August 2, 2014

BRETT KIMBERLIN discovers the Streisand Effect. He’s a slow learner.

August 1, 2014

REPORT: Republicans Rally To Oust Harry Reid.

#SHREWCULTURE UPDATE: So some feminist women set up a hashtag called #DearFeministMen, the point of which was basically, yeah, that’s nice, but you’re still not good enough for us.

But now that hashtag is under assault by female men’s rights activists. Examples:

There’s a healthy, robust debate going on. . . .

ANOTHER VOTE: House votes to end Obama’s deferred deportation program. “The bill passed 216-192, with 11 Republicans voting against it and four Democrats voting in favor of the measure.” Another bipartisan bill heading to the do-nothing Democrat-controlled Senate.

VOTE: Bipartisan Border Bill Heads To Democrat-Controlled Senate.

House Republicans overcame divisions within their own party and voted Friday night to pass a $694 million bill aimed at addressing the recent surge of migrants on the southern border.

One Democrat voted in favor of the legislation and four Republicans defected, leaving only a slim margin of victory for the GOP. The bill passed 223 to 189.

It was a big win nonetheless for Republican leaders, who just a day ago were ready to abandon efforts to pass a border bill when they failed to come up with the 218 GOP votes needed to pass it.

Stay tuned.

HISTORY: Remembering the Warsaw Uprising: August 1, 1944. Not to be confused with the Warsaw Ghetto Revolt.

THOUGHTS ON LUCK AND SUCCESS, with reference to James Garner.

IF I WERE A BILLIONAIRE, I’D BECOME A SORT OF LOW-GRADE BOND VILLAIN, HIRING EX-SPECIAL FORCES GUYS FOR LIGHTNING-QUICK TAR-AND-FEATHERS MISSIONS: Student Could Get 8 Years for Sharing Paper Online.

AT AMAZON, New Markdowns on Men’s Shoes.

Also, new releases on CD and Vinyl.

FROM THE INSTA-WIFE: How Deadlifts and Squats Changed My Life: Or at least made me feel a little better.

THINK OF IT AS EVOLUTION IN ACTION: Setting Yourself On Fire Because It Looks Fun On Facebook.

MOLLIE HEMINGWAY: “Feminism: ruining everyone’s sex lives one relationship at a time.”

MINE’S CUPCAKES. CHICKS DIG CUPCAKES, AND POST-APOCALYPSE I’LL HAVE NO COMPETITION. What’s Your Post-Apocalypse Game Plan?

Okay, it’s actually about The Knowledge: How To Rebuild Our World From Scratch.

AT AMAZON: Off To College: Dorm And Apartment Essentials. Some are pretty good for post-college, too.

Plus, up to 50% off on InSinkerator Evolution Garbage Disposals.

REIHAN SALAM: It’s Time For Legalized Prostitution.

TEST-DRIVING THE 2014 Infiniti Q50S Hybrid AWD.

CLEVELAND, LE BRON, and the evolution of collective shame.

BECAUSE, AS DEMOCRATIC OPERATIVES WITH BYLINES, THEY APPROVE OF HER WORDS, AND HER CONDUCT? Howard Kurtz: Lois Lerner ripping ‘crazies’ on right: Why some media folks don’t care.

THE STRANGE CASE OF U.S. Confusion Over Kurdish Crude.

THIS IS INTERESTING: West Virginia Attorney General Patrick Morrisey Files Lawsuit Challenging President Obama’s Refusal to Faithfully Execute the Law. “The lawsuit alleges the President and his Administration have repeatedly demonstrated that they will change or ignore certain laws or statutes in order to promote or protect their political agenda. The lawsuit cites several instances where the Administration has ignored the law on immigration matters, environmental and mining regulations, and the implementation of the Affordable Care Act.”

Here’s more from Bloomberg: West Virginia Suit Says Obama Health-Law Waiver Illegal. The best way to secure repeal of a bad law is to demand strict enforcement.

CHASING DOWN A BURGLAR IN A $1,600 MIATA: Car chases are a bad idea. This one turned out okay.

JUST BECAUSE THEY’RE STUPID DOESN’T MEAN THEY CAN’T BE THUGS: Exclusive: Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee’s Staff Threatens Taxpayer For Asking About Her Impeachment Claims.

K.C. JOHNSON: Marco Rubio Doesn’t Care About Campus Due Process. He chose poorly.

AND, SOON, PROBABLY BUSIER: The Tomahawk Missile Gets Smarter—and Deadlier.

IN THE MAIL: Clinton, Inc.: The Audacious Rebuilding of a Political Machine.

Also, today only: 50% Off Fossil Handbags.

TAXPROF ROUNDUP: The IRS Scandal, Day 449. The White House no doubt hopes that these will get shorter, but on Day 449, there’s an awful lot in this one.

CULTURE OF CORRUPTION: Senate report details how EPA officials divert millions of tax dollars to activist groups. It’s all about recycling taxpayer money into astroturf groups that help you get re-elected and advance your agenda.

Related:

Just last week, Mark Levin and his vigilant Landmark Legal Foundation went to court to ask federal district judge Royce Lamberth to sanction the EPA “for destroying or failing to preserve emails and text messages that may have helped document suspected agency efforts to influence the 2012 presidential election.” The motion is part of a larger Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) lawsuit to force EPA to release emails and related records from former EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson and others “who may have delayed the release dates for hot-button environmental regulations until after the Nov. 6, 2012, presidential election.”

Like I said. And you can see why the lawfare gap on the right needs to be addressed.

AMERICA’S HEALTH CARE SYSTEM: The Global Sugar Daddy.

A new pill for hepatitis C is unmasking a huge global inequality in pharmaceutical costs—one that disproportionately burdens the United States. The FT has a must-read report on Solvadi, a drug developed by Gilead Sciences that costs $84,000 for a 12-week course of treatment for American patients, but sells for a song in other countries—as low as $11 per pill in Egypt, for example. As a result, an increasingly noisy movement in America is starting to ask why this is. . . .

“Sovaldi has shone a light on the fact America is subsidising healthcare innovation for the rest of the world.”

It’s a hairy and complicated issue, and the FT article provides a detailed and nuanced look at it from many angles—it’s very much worth reading in full. But one important fact in particular stuck out at us: pharmaceutical costs account for just one out of every ten dollars spent on health care. As we don’t tire of saying, there’s much more we can do to bring down costs clean across the system, none of which involves explicit price controls.

None of these measures will address the ethical problem of other rich countries (like France, Switzerland and the UK) free-riding off of innovation financed by the more dynamic American marketplace for medicine. But picking the other, lower-hanging fruits may well make our own ailing system better and more sustainable for all Americans—something that must be our first priority anyway.

The world has been free-riding off of America for decades on many fronts; Barack Obama’s legacy may be to put an end to that. . . .

FEWER PEOPLE WOULD DIE IF IT WERE THE OTHER WAY AROUND: Why is the West so afraid of Islam? Fear of Islamic radicalism cows the West into silence on Christian persecution. Also, a lot of Western “thought leaders” really don’t mind the persecution of Christians.

LIFE AMONG THE BARBARIANS: Anti-Israel Protestor Proudly Admits Palestinian Organizations Kidnap Israelis.

A TALE OF TWO HOSPITALS.

AT AMAZON, 20% Off Select Irwin Hand Tools.

Also, 15% off select Liberty Hardware products.

NOW ON YOUTUBE: InstaVision: I talk with K.C. Johnson about the campus-sexual-assault moral panic.

CHARLES COBB: Which Cheek You Gonna Turn? “We’d already been stopped by the cops coming into town. They knew where we were staying which meant the Klan knew we were in town and where we were staying. . . . Chaney, Goodman and Schwerner were missing and we assumed they were dead. We also thought that there was a statewide plan to get rid of us all or at least to kill as many of us as they could get away with killing. Now I was not an advocate of going out and killing white people but I did know how to use a gun and when it came down to thee or me, you were going to die before me.”

THE HEAVY HAND OF GOVERNMENT: Department of Agriculture cracks down on seed libraries. “She said the department indicated to her that it would continue to crack down on seed libraries that have established themselves in the state.”

HIGHER EDUCATION BUBBLE UPDATE: Many Parents Have to Pay Off Dead Kids’ Student Loans.

GIVEN ITS BEHAVIOR AND CULTURE, I FAVOR THE LATTER: Mark Tapscott: Can The IRS Be Fixed, Or Should It Just Be Abolished? At the very least, there needs to be enough institutional pain inflicted — and felt personally by the worker bees — that no one will risk something like this again.

IN RESPONSE TO YESTERDAY’S CAMPUS RAPE POLICY POSTS, reader Michael Murphy writes:

If my son were accused of rape and not apprehended by the police for lack of evidence but rather placed in an administrative collegiate tribunal I believe I would unleash the hounds of hell on the university and each and every individual participating in the kangaroo court. I would sue them for practicing law without licenses, I would sue them for slander, I would sue them for whatever I could pay a lawyer to think up to sue them for. And then I would sue the parents of the students participating in the kangaroo court and I would sue the accuser and her parents. And of course, the school.

I think a lot of people feel that way, and I think that colleges and universities have only the dimmest understanding of what they face.

NICE TALKING POINT, BUT IT WON’T FIX ANYTHING IF IT HAPPENS: CIA Confirms Staff Inappropriately Accessed Senate Investigators’ Computers; Udall Calls for Brennan’s Resignation. Fire a bunch of underlings and you’ll have a bigger deterrent effect.

JUSTICE: Underage student who was violently arrested by cops who mistook her case of sparkling water for beer gets $200,000 compensation. They should also be tarred and feathered, but this is a start.

ACTUAL HERO: Ebola-Stricken Doc Gives ‘Experimental Serum’ to Coworker.

An American doctor being treated for Ebola in Liberia has “taken a slight turn for the worse overnight,” according to Samaritan’s Purse, an evangelical Christian Charity based in North Carolina.

An “experimental serum” to treat the virus arrived for the two infected Americans, but there was only enough for one person, according to Samaritan’s Purse.

Dr. Kent Brantly, who noticed his Ebola symptoms and quarantined himself last week, offered the dose to the other infected American, missionary Nancy Writebol.

I didn’t know we even had an experimental Ebola serum. E1101, or something. . . .

Related: NIH to launch early Ebola vaccine trial in September.

ZOMG! THEY’RE ERASING THE VAGINAS! THEY’RE ERASING THE VAGINAS!!! The New Republic: Don’t Let Republicans Erase Vaginas From Women’s Health.

Actually, I saw The Vagina Erasers open for . . . oh, hell, you can make up the rest yourself.

HIGHER EDUCATION BUBBLE UPDATE: Greg Lukianoff & Robert Shibley: A Big Year In Campus Censorship.

INVESTOR’S BUSINESS DAILY: IRS Strikes Deal With Atheist Groups To Monitor Sermons And Homilies. Nothing creepy about that. . . .

DISEASE: Calling Ebola outbreak “unprecedented,” WHO plans $100-million fight.

ILLEGAL IMMIGRATION: The Hill: Report finds detention center workers exposed to contagious diseases.

Some Department of Homeland Security (DHS) employees have become sick after exposure to contagious diseases at detention facilities housing child immigrants, according to an inspector general report.

The report found “many” of the children detained after crossing the border needed treatment for communicable diseases, including tuberculosis, chicken pox and scabies. . . .

The report was issued Thursday by DHS Inspector General John Roth.

It highlighted one instance at a Del Rio facility in Texas in which Customs and Border Patrol employees reported contracting scabies, lice and chicken pox. At other facilities in Santa Teresa, N.M., and Clint, Texas, employees said they could have been exposed to tuberculosis.

“Unfamiliarity with bathroom facilities resulted in unsanitary conditions and exposure to human waste in some holding facilities,” the report concluded. “Contract cleaners and DHS employees are working to maintain sanitary conditions.”

The nine-page report is based on information gathered from 87 unannounced visits to 63 centers in the first party of July, and is expected to be updated in the coming months.

The facilities include Border Patrol checkpoints and holding facilities, Immigration and Customs Enforcement detention centers and one holding facility in Artesia, N.M.

Along with the illnesses, the report found that the children are being held longer than the maximum three days because permanent shelter is not available. In one instance, a facility was not giving children enough food, but that was quickly corrected.

The country’s in the very best of hands.

LANA DEL REY, advertisement for heterosexuality? “She’s aggressively straight, tragically straight, sometimes even comically so. Where other female pop stars let you silently assume their heterosexuality, Lana sings like she’s marching in the straight version of a pride parade.”

WHAT THE HALBIG CASE SHOWS: Lefty Wonks Just Aren’t Very Good At Their Jobs. “For a movement that so prides itself on being the vanguard of wonky wonkery on wonkiness, Cohn’s admissions are rather stunning. It’s one thing to believe event X is more likely than event Y, but to write off event Y as unimaginable? To ignore entirely a specific provision of law that says event Y is eminently possible? That’s a special kind of wonkery right there. . . . His remarks are important, though, because they reveal the massive gap between what self-styled progressives wonks think they know and what they actually know.”

I’ve found that gap to be quite wide on quite a few subjects.

CROWDFUNDING an Iron Dome anti-missile for Israel.

MICKEY KAUS: How About Plan C? “The latest reporting suggests House Speaker John Boehner thinks a bit of tweaking will save his border bill — after it was (embarrassingly) pulled from the floor Thursday due to lack of majority support. . . . There is an alternative for Republicans worried about “doing nothing” about the border before they head home. That’s to drop all the risky policy provisions in the bill, making it a ‘clean,’ temporary money bill giving the Obama administration the temporary stopgap funding it says it needs.”

REMEMBER THAT POST-TUCSON CIVILITY BULLSHIT? New York Times Reporter: ‘Some People Are Deserving of Incivility.’ Well, Barro sounds a lot like Frank Constanza here: You think you’re better than me? Lots of people are better than you, Josh. Get used to it. I have.

July 31, 2014

BY “TECHNICALLY ILLEGAL,” THE WAPO MEANS “ILLEGAL.” Study: Hundreds of rules passed by Obama administration are technically illegal.

PHILADELPHIA STORY: Six cops charged with robbery, kidnapping, extortion.

HIGHER EDUCATION BUBBLE UPDATE: Annals of Affirmative Action: NH professor hired for her race loses suit claiming racial discrimination.

HERE YOU SEE THE POWER OF THIS FULLY OPERATIONAL KAUSFILES: House GOP leaders spike border bill rather than see it defeated.

Related: Jeff Sessions, Not Ted Cruz, was crucial to blocking bill.

BLOGGER NEEDS HELP: Kate Berry (better known as Venomous Kate)’s husband has brain cancer. Donate if you’re so inclined. I gave a hundred bucks. Here’s the Facebook page.

NINA BURLEIGH IS NOT SO HOT on #WomenAgainstFeminism. “Women Against Feminism had, last time I checked, 16,013 followers on Facebook. Its tumblr is constructed of selfies of young women, dressed and posed like ads for DIY escort services, holding up bits of notebook paper on which they’ve scrawled screeds against feminism.”

“DIY escort services?” Burleigh is, of course, the journalist who said about Bill Clinton, “I would be happy to give him a blowjob just to thank him for keeping abortion legal. I think American women should be lining up with their presidential kneepads on to show their gratitude for keeping the theocracy off our backs.”

She’s also the authoress of a sophomoric psychosexual analysis of the Tsarnaev brothers. To a certain class of women in the media, it’s always about them, and their various mucous membranes.

Which, speaking of psychosexual theories, may explain Burleigh’s reaction to Women Against Feminism. Just check out the pictures; I’m sure these young women need to check their “prettiness privilege” or something. And I think that’s what’s going on with Nina Burleigh. When she, and her generation of feminists, could exercise sexual power directly (see above) it was all “you go, girl!” Now that they’re getting past that age, they’re falling back on the standard refuge of older women: Slut-shaming younger women who try to do the same. Older women have, of course, always tried to limit the sexual power of younger women, for fairly obvious reasons. This is just more of the same.

Good luck with that, Nina. Meanwhile, the vast majority of women, according to a Huffington Post poll, don’t consider themselves feminists — and only six percent consider themselves “strong feminists.” So outside the fem-journalist bubble, these women aren’t the outliers. You are.

UPDATE: From the comments: “For Burleigh and her crowd I propose a new hashtag: #shrewculture. You know what to do, Internet.”

PRODUCT REVIEW: So for the last week, the Insta-Daughter and I have been using the Fitbit Flex, a motion-sensing wristband that syncs with a smartphone app to track diet, activity, etc. My sister-in-law, who’s lost 24 pounds in a couple of months using one, was showing hers off at a family get together a while back and it seemed kind of interesting.

Tiny accelerometers in the wristband track all your movements, and it syncs via bluetooth with your smartphone (or a computer or tablet). One of the big things it does is press you to move around: It wants you to get at least 10,000 steps a day, and offers a variety of encouragement. It also tracks your diet and exercise — you can log a weight workout, for example — and allows you extra calories. You can program in a weight-loss goal and it will adjust your food intake, etc. to reflect it.

It’s easy to use, and kind of fun to play with. It also tracks your sleep at night based on how much you move, which is kind of cool. (Unsurprisingly, I found out that I sleep like a baby, but I have a friend who discovered a sleep disorder only when he roomed with a physician on a college-reunion trip, so I suppose it could be useful to many, and it encourages you to get enough sleep.)

My bottom line: If you’re already doing a serious training or exercise regime, a la Rippetoe or Crossfit, it doesn’t have much to offer beyond what (much) cheaper smartphone apps like Livestrong or MyFitnessPal already offer: If you’re doing 5 sets of squats at 250 pounds, you know it already. But if you are a couch potato seeking encouragement to be less couch-potatoey — and, let’s face it, that’s most Americans — then this just might do the trick. Otherwise, it’s just a toy. Though I like toys. . . .

The Insta-Daughter, whose exercise regimen runs more to Ballet Beautiful, Blogilates, and long walks than to Rippetoe, likes it a lot more than I do. (She calls it the equivalent of a “What Would Jesus Do” wristband for diet and fitness). She’s been working to increase her steps/day, going over 15,000. That’s a lot of steps, and if you do that, you’ll be in a lot better shape than if you just sit on the couch. Consider it a tool to help you pluck the how-hanging fitness fruit. And that’s not such a bad thing.

IT’S EVAN SAYET: Comedian Rips Liberals in Awesome Stand-Up Routine.

THE U.S. GOVERNMENT CAN’T SEEM TO GET ANYTHING RIGHT: State Department Visa Database Crashed, Down For Weeks. “American visas have become literally unobtainable in all consulates worldwide for nearly two weeks as IT specialists have struggled to fix the country’s malfunctioning consular database.”

Remember when the big selling point for Obama was supposed to be competence?

THEY TOLD ME IF I VOTED FOR MITT ROMNEY . . . OH, HELL, YOU KNOW THE REST. Safety Cops Patrol the Office For High Heels.

WELL, THAT SEEMS LIKE POOR DESIGN: Hackers Can Control Your Phone Using a Tool That’s Already Built Into It. “The tool is used in some form in more than 2 billion phones worldwide, they say, including Android and BlackBerry devices and a small number of Apple iPhones used by Sprint customers. They haven’t looked at Windows Mobile devices yet.”

IT’S COME TO THIS: The Russians Are Openly Mocking Obama On Twitter Now.

RUBIO’S OFFICE RESPONDS TO QUESTIONS ABOUT THE CAMPUS SEXUAL ASSAULT BILL AND DUE PROCESS FOR THE ACCUSED: “This bill does not address this issue.”

UPDATE: From the comments: “Rubio just lost my support in the primaries.”

MOLLIE HEMINGWAY: Why Do Feminists Demand That Women Stay In The Workforce?

TEN WEAPONS YOU WON’T BELIEVE ARE LEGAL.

WELL, THIS IS THE 21ST CENTURY, YOU KNOW: I Drank a Cup of Hot Coffee That Was Overnighted Across the Country. Also, Americans traditionally excel at logistics.

A Q&A WITH Science Fiction Writer Gene Wolfe.

Plus, the relationship between torture and legal education.

ASHE SCHOW: 6 questions for the sponsors of the new campus sexual assault bill. “This bill institutionalizes bias against the accused in a ‘guilty until proven innocent’ mentality, but doesn’t provide the accused any recourse to defend themselves.”

A COKE AND A SMILE — AND SOME DUCT TAPE, AND A MERCEDES: DIY Autonomous Car. Kids, don’t try this at home.

KNOW YOUR PLACE, PEASANT! If it’s not OK to spy on senators, is it still OK to spy on citizens?

Well, both are illegal. But, to be fair, spying on Senators adds an additional separation of powers angle that, I should note, I was pointing out months ago.

And it’s also the case that so long as a culture of impunity reigns in the Executive Branch — as it very clearly does now — neither citizens nor Senators are safe from anything.

SPYING: Active attack on Tor network tried to decloak users for five months. I doubt it was from the NSA, which I expect can decloak Tor users whenever it wants.

EVERYONE’S DOING IT: Does OkCupid Really Have the Right to Experiment on You?

CAPTION CONTEST: In light of a suggestion on Twitter, hit the comments to caption this photo of Democratic Sen. Claire McCaskill introducing her new campus sexual assault bill.

SPYING: CIA improperly accessed Senate computers, agency finds.

NOW OUT: Barbara Oakley’s new book A Mind For Numbers: How to Excel at Math and Science (Even If You Flunked Algebra). Barb also emailed about a new website on learning how to learn that readers may find informative.

Plus, today only at Amazon: Up to 50% Off Select Transcend Memory. You can never have too much memory.

BECAUSE THEY’RE DEMOCRATIC OPERATIVES WITH BYLINES? Why doesn’t the media grill Democratic pols on the ideas pushed by their fringe?

TAXPROF ROUNDUP: The IRS Scandal, Day 448.

SCIENCE: Isaac Cohen: An ‘Ether Of Sexism’ Doesn’t Explain Gender Disparities In Science And Tech.

The most relentlessly cited statistic was that women make up only 16% of the tech workforce. At first glance, this looks pretty lame. But once you catch your breath, you realize that most of these jobs require a bachelor’s degree in computer science. Women only earn 18% of such degrees awarded to United States residents. Not such a bad effort, then, by Google and company. Still, that didn’t stop the public shaming. Earnest apologies were issued, and calls were made for reform.

Who deserves the brunt of our collective outrage over these lopsided ratios? More importantly, who should be charged with fixing them?

One highly controversial theory — the one that got Larry Summers in deep trouble — argues that there are male advantages in math-related cognitive ability, especially at the so-called “right tail” end of the bell curve. But it’s not necessary to hit that third rail, because even the most capable women shy away from engineering and computer science.

To my knowledge — I’m biased — no school enrolls more fiercely intelligent women than Yale. Yet even there, women are only 18% of computer science majors. The figures are similar at other high-flying schools that admit the best and the brightest women. Not unexpectedly, the prevailing narrative at Yale is that these numbers reflect some kind of glaring injustice. But what exactly is Yale doing wrong? . . . In fact, despite the mainstream media’s insistence that sexism is rife, there exists very little evidence of pervasive bias. Studies occasionally pop up that point to overt or subtle bias in academic hiring or funding, but they are debunked as often as they are trumpeted. And the discrimination that social scientists claim to demonstrate is rarely strong enough to explain observed disparities.

One explanation I’ve seen is that most women don’t want to date science-and-engineering guys. Thus, they avoid those majors. . . . But read the whole thing.

ED MORRISSEY: Obama’s Command Economy: Incompetent At Every Level.

INVESTOR’S BUSINESS DAILY: Case Against The D.C. Court’s Halbig Ruling Crumbles.

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MICHAEL LEDEEN: The Latest Intelligence Failure, And The Next One.

JIM TREACHER: “Remember when North Korea wasn’t the least of our problems? Ahhh, the good ol’ days.”

Plus: “Apparently, even the highest ranks of North Korean government aren’t allowed unfettered access to western media. Otherwise, they’d know that the White House is the last place you’ll find Barack Obama these days. If they really want to get him, they should aim for his latest golf course and/or fundraiser.”

THEY TOLD ME IF I VOTED FOR MITT ROMNEY, RICH PEOPLE WOULD CONTROL THE GOVERNMENT. AND THEY WERE RIGHT! Report: Liberal Billionaires Are “Hijacking” EPA.

IN TODAY’S WALL STREET JOURNAL, David Rivkin, Jr. and Elizabeth Price Foley: The Case for Suing the President: Rewriting ObamaCare laws on the fly is a violation of the constitutionally mandated separation of powers.

‘So sue me” is President Obama’s message to Congress. And on Wednesday the House of Representatives took up his taunt, authorizing a lawsuit to challenge the president’s failure to faithfully execute provisions of the Affordable Care Act as passed by Congress. The House lawsuit is no “stunt,” as Mr. Obama has characterized it. The lawsuit is necessary to protect the Constitution’s separation of powers, a core means of protecting individual liberty. Without a judicial check on unbounded executive power to suspend the law, this president and all who follow him will have a powerful new weapon to destroy political accountability and democracy itself.

Article I of the Constitution vests all legislative power in Congress. Article II imposes a duty on the president to “take care that the laws be faithfully executed.” When a law is unambiguous, the president cannot rewrite it to suit his own preferences. “The power of executing the laws,” as the Supreme Court emphasized in June in Utility Air Regulatory Group v. EPA, “does not include a power to revise clear statutory terms that turn out not to work in practice.” If a law has defects, fixing them is Congress’s business.

These barriers between the branches are not formalities—they were designed to prevent the accumulation of excessive power in one branch. As the Supreme Court explained in New York v. United States (1992), the “Constitution protects us from our own best intentions: It divides power among sovereigns and among branches of government precisely so that we may resist the temptation to concentrate power in one location as an expedient solution to the crisis of the day.”

The barriers also reflect the Framers’ belief that some powers are better suited for a particular branch of government because of its institutional characteristics.

Yep. And, relatedly, the Wall Street Journal editorializes: So Sue Him: Forget impeachment. The House lawsuit is the real threat to Obama.

The House challenge involves crucial questions about the architecture of American government and the separation of powers—questions that haven’t been joined in this kind of challenge at the courts. Mr. Boehner contends that Mr. Obama’s habit of amending or suspending (not enforcing) statutes that conflict with his political goals have usurped “all legislative powers herein granted” by Article I to Congress. . . .

The Supreme Court has already responded when this President’s law-breaking has been challenged by private parties. This past term the Supreme Court rebuked the White House for its unilateral overreach in appointment powers (Noel Canning), unlawfully rewriting the Clean Air Act (Utility Air Regulatory Group) and infringing on religious freedom (Hobby Lobby). . . .

Yet Mr. Obama’s claim that he can pick and choose which laws to enforce is far more offensive to the American tradition than anything the government has done in the name of antiterrorism. The House challenge is an opportunity to vindicate the genius of the Framers to prevent the exercise of arbitrary and centralized power.

Stay tuned.

FROM MATTHEW YGLESIAS, A PLAN FOR MIDEAST PEACE THAT JUST MIGHT WORK:

AFTER THE LATEST DEPRESSING news from the Middle East I think we have to start asking just how inhumane it would be for Israel to just expel the Palestinians from the occupied terroritories. The result would probably be out-and-out war with the neighboring Arab states, but Israel could win that.

All forced population transfers are humanitarian disasters, of course, but so is the current situation. It’s not like there’s not any room in the whole Arab world for all these Palestinian Arabs to go live in, it’s just that the other Arab leaders don’t want to cooperate.

Congratulations for thinking outside the box, Matt!

HE MADE THE MISTAKE OF CROSSING MICKEY KAUS: Roll Call: The Almost Invisible Final Days of Eric Cantor. “You may be a rooster today, but you’ll be a feather duster soon enough.”

MORE ON THE INTERNAL DEMOCRATIC REVENUE SERVICE SCANDAL: Not crazy for you: Lois Lerner, former IRS official, slammed conservative Republicans with colorful language, emails show.

You know, a FOIA request for emails from senior IRS officials mentioning “Republican” or “Tea Party” would probably turn up a lot of this kind of thing.

IT’S CRONYISM ALL THE WAY DOWN: State Department approved 215 Bill Clinton speeches, controversial consulting deal, worth $48m; Hillary Clinton’s Chief Of Staff copied on all decisions.

Some of the speeches were delivered in global hotspots and were paid for by entities with business or policy interests in the U.S.

The documents also show that in June 2011, the State Department approved a consulting agreement between Bill Clinton and a controversial Clinton Foundation adviser, Doug Band.

The consultancy with Band’s Teneo Strategy ended eight months later following an uproar over Teneo’s ties to the failed investment firm MF Global.

State Department legal advisers, serving as “designated agency ethics officials,” approved Bill Clinton’s speeches in China, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, the United Arab Emirates, Panama, Turkey, Taiwan, India, the Cayman Islands and other countries.

The memos approving Mr. Clinton’s speeches were routinely copied to Cheryl Mills, Hillary Clinton’s senior counsel and chief of staff.

Bribery.

WAR ON SCIENCE: Civil Rights Commission Member: We Need Campus Speech Codes Because Young Adults’ Brains Are Different Or Something.

Eugene Volokh comments: “I thought I’d pass this along, as expressing the views of a political figure who holds a significant position in the federal civil rights establishment.” I’m beginning to think that establishment doesn’t care much about, you know, actual civil rights.

JUST LOOK AT THE PHOTO OF CLAIRE MCCASKILL: IS THIS THE FACE OF SOMEONE WHO SHOULD BE REGULATING COLLEGE STUDENTS’ SEX LIVES? Sex Assault Bill Unveiled.

I almost think that if Republicans were really Macchiavellian, they would get 110% behind this bill so as to accelerate the process of higher education’s eating itself.

WAPO: Tea party opposition puts fate of House Republican border bill up in the air. Tea Party? I thought the Tea Party was dead. I blame Mickey Kaus.

THE HILL: GOP to Obama: Take your ‘golf cap off’ and visit coal country.

Related: Obama To GOP: Stop Hating.