REWRITE OF THE PHILOSOPHERS’ SONG: HEIDEGGER, HEIDEGGER WAS A NAZI OLD BEGGAR WHO WOULD SEND YOU OFF TO BELSEN. “Professor Shocked, Shocked To Find Out Prominent Nazi Was An Anti-Semite.”

The chair of Germany’s Martin Heidegger Society resigned in genuine horror after some of Heidegger’s private papers were released and showed that, surprise, surprise, he was an anti-semite.

The immense awkwardness that is Heidegger’s Nazi affiliation is always quite a thing to behold. The simple fact of the matter is that, in terms of influence and also perhaps quality, Heidegger is a giant of 20th century philosophy, and one whose influence was felt primarily on the “Left.” The fact that a man who exercised such a tremendous influence on postmodern and progressive philosophy was also a Hitler supporter obviously raises eyebrows.

Well, they were the National Socialists, something most intellectuals today are at pains to ignore, just as they were for years at pains to explain away Heidegger’s Nazism, which it turns out he actually believed in.

ROGER SIMON: Obama, the Shiite, Goes to Riyadh. “Much of this Iran-coddling began back when the Green Movement was in the streets of Tehran seeking the overthrow of the ayatollahs and chanting ‘Obama, Obama… Are you with us or are you with them?’ Our president did not respond. He was already in private communication with the bizarre Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. Obama wanted to be the one who got credit for reining in the excesses of the Islamic Republic, not those unruly student demonstrators who were the ones suffering from the regime in the first place, being murdered, tortured and raped in Evin Prison, often in reverse order. . . . Now I realize Obama is not really a Shiite. He was raised in Sunni Indonesia. And, yes, Sunnis — notably ISIS, Boko Haram and AQAP — are leading the way in the public butchery department for the moment and need to be opposed with all our might. But that doesn’t mean Shiites are not active. Just the other day we had the mysterious Buenos Aires death of Alberto Nisman, who was about to reveal truths about the 1994 bombing of the Jewish community center in that city in which 85 were killed — a kind of simultaneous beheading in which Iran’s Revolutionary Guards and Hezbollah are said to be the culprits. Almost anyone honest and awake knows the Islamic Republic is and has been the primary state sponsor of terrorism worldwide for decades. . . . The president now has an Iran deal so tied up in his mind with his legacy that the appearance of Netanyahu in front of Congress opens a psychological wound so large Obama is likely to do almost anything. The world — not just Saudi Arabia and Israel — had better beware.”

WHATEVER COULD OBAMA HAVE IN MIND? Charles Krauthammer On How Israel Tension Raises Questions On Iran.

THIS IS WHAT EVERYONE PREDICTED WHEN THE ADEA WAS APPLIED TO ACADEMIA. I SAY, SUCK IT, LEFTIES. It Is Time to End Tenure at Age 70. “A specter haunting the academy today is of an intellectually wizened white male professoriate refusing to step aside for au courant, energetic, ambitious, and of course diverse younger faculty.”

Interestingly, most of those doing the warning were those “intellectually wizened white males.” So, like I say, suck it.

BUMMER: Fast Track on Drug for Ebola Has Faltered.

GRAPHIC: Watch the rapid decline of “white America” over three decades. Of course, counties with 98% white is setting the threshold pretty high.

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ER, WHY? Great news. Republicans look at eliminating filibuster for SCOTUS nominees. “If the GOP scraps the filibuster for SCOTUS nominees now, it benefits nobody except Barack Obama and his allies, making if much easier for him to rail through a far more liberal choice than would otherwise be possible. Then, if the GOP manages to lose the White House again and the margin in the Senate remains small, the Democrats will get at least four more years of benefit out of it. If the Republicans do take the White House but somehow lose ground (and control) in the Senate, the Democrats can simply put the filibuster back in place in January of 2017, and what possible evidence of good will exists to suggest that they wouldn’t make such a hypocritical move? I suppose I’ll wait to hear a more full explanation from Alexander and friends if this proposal actually picks up steam. But for the moment, it just doesn’t make any sense.”

THERE’S ALWAYS SOMEBODY WHO GAINS WHEN THE GOVERNMENT DISTORTS THE MARKET: Smart Shoppers Hitting Gun Buyback Events for Bargains.

LEFTY BILLIONAIRE GETS OFF PRIVATE JET, SAYS AMERICANS HAVE TOO MUCH STUFF: “Billionaire property investor Jeff Greene recently spoke at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, saying he believes people in the United States need to stop aiming so high and start living with less. . . . The only issue Americans took with the 60-year-old’s opinions was, well, everything, given he owns a $195 million palace in Beverly Hills, which has 23 bathrooms and a rotating dance floor, as well as four other blue ribbon properties, and is famous for throwing wild parties on a 145-foot yacht.”

Related: Hundreds of Private Jets Delivered People to Davos. Also, It’s Climate Change Day at Davos.

Plus, winning Twitter:

Screen Shot 2015-01-24 at 10.02.44 AM

FIGHT THE POWER: German man went to court, won the right to pee standing up.

UPDATE: A former student writes from Germany that this case was their dinner table conversation tonight. To be fair, some of the blame goes to the dreadful German style of toilet design. I think that America offers a happy medium between the German and Japanese schools of toilet craziness.

I SUSPECT “CIVILITY” IS OR WILL BECOME A PROXY FOR “NOT OFFENDING PEOPLE BY HAVING THE WRONG IDEAS:” Higher Education Update: 80% of Provosts Favor Civility as Factor in Faculty Hiring and Tenure Decisions. It’s unsurprising, of course, that administrators would feel that way.

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SPACE: Mars Rover Opportunity Marks 11-Year Anniversary with Stunning Photo.

mars-rover-opportunity-panorama-2

WILL YOU LOSE MORE WEIGHT exercising on an empty stomach? You’ll find it hard to work out really intensely — at least, I’ve tried a couple of times to do heavy squats without eating enough and I ran out of gas. It was quite palpable.

WHAT COULD GO WRONG? Wait! What? FCC ponders plan to route U.S. 911 calls through Russian satellites.

WOMAN WHO IS INCAPABLE OF FEELING FEAR says it’s not all that great. We wouldn’t have evolved it if it weren’t useful.

IN THE MAIL: From Lewis Dartnell, The Knowledge: How to Rebuild Our World from Scratch.

Plus, today only at Amazon: FitDesk v2.0 Desk Exercise Bike, $199.00 (43% off). We have a FitDesk, and it’s quite nice. Helen uses it quite a bit.

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TAXPROF ROUNDUP: The IRS Scandal, Day 625.

MEGAN MCARDLE: Uncle Sam Is Coming After Your Savings.

Earlier in the week, I discussed the Obama administration’s proposal to tax earnings on so-called 529 college savings plans, part of a package of tax hikes that will pay for new programs such as his proposal to make the first two years of community college free. This has been touted as a plan to hike taxes on the rich to help the middle class, but in fact it’s more of a plan to redistribute money from the upper middle class to the lower middle class.

As I noted then, this proposal is not going anywhere, not just because Republican congressmen will block it, but because it would be very unpopular with affluent blue-state voters who currently vote for Democrats. About the only people I saw defending this particular idea were blue-state singles who haven’t yet confronted the monstrous expense of shepherding their progeny into the new mandarin class to which they belong.

Everyone else seems to be somewhere between confused and aghast. One comment in particular struck me, as I saw it several times on social media and in writings: “How would you feel if they did this to Roth IRAs?”

Why did I find that particular question a compelling topic for a column? Because it’s a question we may have to ask ourselves. As I observed when I first wrote about the plan, the very fact that we are discussing taxation of educational savings — redistributing educational subsidies downward — indicates that the administration has started scraping the bottom of the barrel when seeking out money to fund new programs. Why target a tax benefit that goes to a lot of your supporters (and donors), that tickles one of the sweetest spots in American politics (subsidizing higher education), and that will hit a lot of people who make less than the $250,000 a year that has become the administration’s de facto definition of “rich”?

Presumably, because you’re running out of other places to get the money.

And spending less is unthinkable. Is this why Dems also want mandatory IRAs? First force the savings, then confiscate!

SO THE BEST AIRPLANE FOR ATTACKING ISIS IS THE A-10, and the Pentagon is scrapping them.

You know, Robert Conquest once wrote, “The behavior of any bureaucratic organization can best be understood by assuming that it is controlled by a secret cabal of its enemies,” but that statement is striking a little too close to home lately.

THE COUNTRY’S IN THE VERY BEST OF HANDS: Failing Up: Company behind HealthCare.gov debacle gets an IRS contract.

January 23, 2015

CULTURE OF CORRUPTION: Law Firm at Center of Silver Scandal Donated Huge Sums to Dems, Including President Obama. “And although no wrongdoing has thus far been attributed to the law firm, it’s at least worth noting that two of the biggest recipients were both involved with the Moreland Commission, which was mysteriously and abruptly disbanded by the governor in March 2014 after less than a year on task of probing public corruption.”

COME ON, CHUCK, YOU KNOW THEY DON’T COVER THINGS THAT MAKE OBAMA LOOK BAD: Chuck Todd Blasts the media for ignoring Yemen in their coverage. “They’re all on Tom Brady. Yemen is actually on fire.”

VIDEO: Dean Cain Backs Up Talk, Imam Choudary Threatens Death!

MORE ON the Disneyland measles outbreak. Vaccinate your kids — but we probably need better vaccines, too.

HOW THE BRAIN STORES TRIVIAL MEMORIES, just in case.

ANOTHER REASON TO KEEP YOUR KIDS OUT OF PUBLIC SCHOOL: All Your Facebook Passwords Are Belong To Us.

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A PORSCHE 928 disguised as a VW Golf.

THE SCIENCE DOESN’T MATTER UNLESS THE SHIRTS WERE PROPERLY VETTED: Rosetta Finds Out Much About a Comet, Even With a Wayward Lander. Because the most important part of any scientific venture is what people are wearing.

NANOTECHNOLOGY UPDATE: Piezoelectric monolayer joins toolkit for nanomanipulation.

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WHY YOUR SMARTPHONE NEEDS AN INFRARED SENSOR.

ROBERT VERBRUGGEN ON Obama’s Plan To Tax Parents Of College Students.

DEEP SCRUTINY: X-Rays Reveal Contents of Ancient Scrolls Buried by Mt. Vesuvius. “Over 260 years ago, archaeologists discovered hundreds of ancient scrolls left behind in an ancient library in Herculaneum, which was covered in volcanic material after the infamous eruption in 79 A.D. Unfortunately, these charred scrolls are next to impossible to open without destroying them, leaving their contents largely a mystery. But a new imaging technique allows researchers to see what’s written inside, without ever opening the delicate artifacts.”

DAVID STEINBERG: Was Strange Cantor Event Prelude to ‘Cantor for Virginia Governor 2017′?

GALLERY: The 11 Coolest Cars From the Detroit Auto Show.

K.C. JOHNSON: Shame On Kirsten Gillibrand.

Apart from Claire McCaskill, no senator has more aggressively advocated weakening due process protections for students accused of sexual assault than New York senator Kirsten Gillibrand. She continued her anti-due process crusade in two high-profile moves this week. First, Gillibrand invited Columbia student Emma Sulkowicz as her special guest for the State of the Union address. Sulkowicz has attracted international media attention for her “performance art” project of carrying a mattress around campus to protest what she considers Columbia’s insufficient response to a student she claims sexually assaulted her. No evidence exists that the student did, in fact, sexually assault her: even under Columbia’s extraordinarily imbalanced sexual assault policy, which tilts nearly all procedures in the advantage of the accusing student, the disciplinary panel didn’t find Sulkowicz’s allegation credible. Why Gillibrand came to believe Sulkowicz remains unclear. . . .

Even more troubling, however, was a Huffington Post essay penned by Gillibrand to accompany her invitation. The New York senator explained that she reached out to Sulkowicz to show solidarity with a student who “carries her mattress everywhere she goes to symbolize the burden she carries every single day as long as her rapist is still on campus.” Note the senator’s remarkable word choice. Gillibrand didn’t say “as long as her alleged rapist is still on campus.” Or “as long as the person she says raped her is still on campus.” No: Gillibrand, a sitting U.S. senator, has described a Columbia student as a “rapist”—that is, someone guilty of a criminal act—based solely on an allegation from a single person. And not merely a generic type of allegation, but one that even Columbia didn’t deem credible and the police did not pursue. As FIRE’s Ari Cohn has pointed out, with this statement Gillibrand laid “bare her disregard for rights of the accused.” For the senator, “allegations of rape = guilty of rape.”

Imagine the reaction of the Times editorial page if a New York senator on virtually any other criminal justice issue described as guilty of a criminal act a resident of the state who (a) hadn’t even been criminally charged and (b) had been deemed non-culpable of any criminal activity by an internal inquiry.

Yes, but men don’t have feelings, and don’t really matter anyway. Because fairness and equality!

IT’S COVERUPS ALL THE WAY DOWN: Whistleblower: Pelosi Covered Up Role In Crisis. “We’ve long suspected the Financial Crisis Inquiry Commission wasn’t honest in examining events before the meltdown. But an ex-commissioner says the probe was actually a full-blown political cover-up. In a just-released book, former FCIC member Peter Wallison says that a Democratic Congress worked with the commission’s Democratic chairman to whitewash the government’s central role in the mortgage debacle.”

The book is Peter Wallison’s Hidden in Plain Sight: What Really Caused the World’s Worst Financial Crisis and Why It Could Happen Again

UPDATE: From the comments:

The pattern of reviews on Amazon for Wallison’s book hint at a coordinated attack on a book and a subject which is a sacred cow to liberals. He criticized the Dodd-Frank act. He dares to skewer the holiest of holys, the no-down-payment-low-interest subprime loan as being a major factor in the meltdown.

Interesting to note: The praise for the book comes from those who are noted as having made a “verified purchase.” The disgruntled reviewers blatantly parrot one another in talking point fashion in an effort to discourage anyone from buying / reading this book.

How about that?

PAUL RAHE: A Revolution Of Sorts In New York.

Silver’s indictment is big news. If he was on the take for fifteen or more years — to the tune of $6 million — then we can be confident that everyone else associated with him was also on the take. The government of the state of New York is that sort of polity. If Mr. Big is receiving, everyone else is getting some sort of cut.

This would explain why, in March 2014, Andrew Cuomo, the current Governor of New York, suddenly shut down the Moreland Commission, which he had set up in 2013 — no doubt, in anticipation of a presidential run — ostensibly for the purpose of cleaning up politics in New York. That commission was apparently turning up evidence that impinged on people close to the Governor himself, and it had to go.

Well, Cuomo is a threat to some powerful Democrats outside of New York.

TAXPROF ROUNDUP: The IRS Scandal, Day 624.

CHEAP GAS PROBABLY WON’T LAST:

No one knows exactly what factors are causing prices to fall so far, so fast, but there is a strong suspicion that Saudi Arabia, which you can think of as the central banker of OPEC, is letting prices fall in the hopes of killing off the competition from U.S. and Canadian shale oil. The question, then, is: Who will blink first?

At first blush, you might think that Middle Eastern oil producers have the upper hand. Their oil requires relatively little investment to get out of the ground; it’s not quite as simple as sticking a straw in the desert and sucking out the black stuff, but it sure looks like that compared to the complexity of a fracking operation. And fracking wells dry up fairly quickly, requiring even more investment just to stay in place.

But the shale oil producers also have some advantages. First of all, the Saudis need high prices to support their government spending — the IMF estimates that they require a price of about $90 a barrel just to pay the bills. That means they can’t keep up a price war forever. Second of all, upstart industries tend to improve pretty quickly in their first years or decades of operation, and fracking is no exception; my Bloomberg News colleagues report that the break-even point for many operations is $70 or less, which is lower than OPEC nations can sustain.

Even if they manage to push U.S. and Canadian fracking operations offline temporarily, the technology and expertise still exist. It took less than 10 years from the time when prices started soaring to the point where the U.S. was producing more oil than most OPEC members. If oil prices soared again, it would take even less time to get up and running again.

Stay tuned.

2014 CALLED AND IT WANTS ITS HYSTERICAL OVERREACTIONS BACK: ‘Yes means yes’ law could be coming to Arizona. Just another front in Democratic politicians’ war on men.

WHY DO BAD THINGS ALWAYS HAPPEN TO HER? Kirchner: Argentine prosecutor was killed to discredit me.

YEMEN: Sure sign of an Obama foreign-policy success: the evac. Helicopters on the Embassy roof: To some, they’re a fond memory.

YOU KNEW THIS WAS COMING: TurboTax Apologizes for Bait-and-Switch, Provides $25 Refunds to Customers. The reputational damage is more expensive than the refunds.

KING ABDULLAH’S friends at the New York Times. I’m not so sure even about the notion that the Saudis are America’s allies. . . .

FLYING COVER: Major media mostly ignoring four potential Democratic Hillary 2016 rivals.

A search of U.S. publications in Lexis Nexis for “Jim Webb” since Nov. 20, 2014 — the day the former Democratic senator and Reagan administration official announced he was considering a run for president — produces only 93 results.

Results for potential Republican 2016 candidate Mike Huckabee (“Huckabee”) since just three weeks ago, when he gave up his Fox News program and signaled a probable run: 227.

Though there are presently at least five Democrats who say they’re seriously considering bids for the White House — a sizable number — major media news coverage has disproportionately focused on the GOP side, which has at least nine potential candidates, and on former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.

Many of the potential 2016 candidates are barely known to the public, but lack of visibility two years out isn’t the handicap it once was. Clinton has a commanding lead in the 2016 contest, but a Jan. 6, 2007, poll found that 61 percent of the respondents said they didn’t know enough about then-Sen. Barack Obama to have an opinion of him. He went on to defeat Clinton in the Democratic primary and win the 2008 and 2012 presidential elections.

Hillary’s inevitable, just like she was last time.

RICHARD LANDES: We’ll Always Have Paris, Won’t We? “For fifteen years now, there has been a consistent stream of powerful evidence for all the trends that now, in this latest jihadi assault, so rudely shocked all of France. Those of us who have been tracking these trends for the last fifteen years are astonished that so many really didn’t see this coming. In part, the ignorance came, alas, from the brilliant choice by the jihadis to target Jews first. For many reasons, none of them particularly admirable, many among the French journalistic and political elites preferred not to talk about or acknowledge this assault on the Jews.”

YOUR TAX DOLLARS NOT WORKING: HHS Inspector General Details How Feds Botched the Obamacare Exchange Planning Process.

SCRATCHING OUT THE EYES OF FOREIGN OBSERVERS: China harassing and imprisoning Chinese working for foreign news outlets.

Zhang Miao has now been in prison for almost four months.

She is a Chinese researcher for a German newspaper in China, and her arrest has sparked fear, outrage and some soul-searching among foreign news organizations in China about the role of their Chinese assistants.

Reporting from China has become increasingly difficult and harrowing in recent years for both Chinese and foreign media, with a sweeping crackdown on press freedom since China’s President Xi Jinping took power.

According to the New York-based Committee to Protect Journalists, China had more journalists in prison last year than any other country. Most were Chinese citizens.

For years, the most common threat to foreign news outlets has been expulsion. But increasingly, Chinese authorities are attacking news bureaus at their most vulnerable point: their dependence on Chinese citizens who translate and facilitate their coverage.

Just in case you thought the Chinese had gotten nice or something.

BARBARA KAY: Rape culture proofiness feeds moral panic over non-existent epidemic.

“SOCIAL JUSTICE WARRIORS” ON THE JOB: Nearly 200 pictures of Ferguson looters released.

Clearly, they’re concerned about police accountability.

INSTITUTIONALIZING SEXISM: The “Manspreading” Campaign — A Portent Of Things To Come. “It is inconceivable that any other identifiable group would be singled out in such a humiliating fashion for public correction.”

Punch back twice as hard. And never give them credit for being “well-meaning.” Because they don’t mean well.

Meanwhile, I wonder where this whole “manspreading” thing got its start?

DON SURBER: Advice on men’s issues for 2016 Democratic presidential hopefuls.

If Republicans have female problems, Democrats have a problem with men. In the last presidential election, Democrats got 47% of the male vote, Republicans 53%. Then came the 2014 disaster in which Democrats had their biggest butt whupping since 1928. 2016 is less than two years away, and Hillary or Fauxcahontas represent the feminist sense of entitlement that most men dislike. . . .

The presumption of guilt when a woman accuses a man of rape causes resentment among men, and their wives, mothers and sisters. Hostility toward men — particularly young men — brings out the Mama Bear in most women.

Another stat that needs to go to rest is that 77 cents on the dollar that women make. No one believes it except the Democratic core. We know it does not take into account child raising and taking lighter jobs. Men dominate the dangerous jobs — lumberjacking and commercial fishing — and deserve more due to their risks.

Here is a statistic that needs a political home: men are 9 times as likely to go to prison. The same crime often gets women a lighter sentence. Female privilege anyone?

Read the whole thing.

January 22, 2015

THE LOLITA EXPRESS? “Flight logs on pedophile Jeffrey Epstein’s private jet puts Bill Clinton sharing a ride with a pornstar, as well as a woman who procured underage hookers for the billionaire.”

More here: “Other MRG films include Deviant Desires and Carnal Confessions; the company has since been purchased by Larry Flynt. Exposed, appropriately enough, was directed by a pseudonymous auteur who went by the name of Clinton J. Williams.”

WHITE PEOPLE WORRIES: Was Chandler Bing A Homophobe? “Indeed, of all the aspects of Friends that seem trapped in the past, Chandler Bing is the most agonizingly obsolete. Once he may have seemed coolly sarcastic, the gang’s designated ‘funny one.’ But through the eyes of a 2015 viewer even vaguely cognizant of modern gender politics, he’s also the cringe-worthy one.”

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WELL, THE OLYMPICS ARE OFTEN HELD IN REPRESSIVE REGIMES: Boston City Employees Banned From Criticizing Olympics.

YES, THESE ARE The Crazy Years.

SPENGLER: Why Europeans Envy The Jews.

IT’S COME TO THIS: Models’ Pubic Hair Triggers Instagram Brouhaha.

CONFESSIONS of a serial rapist.

SHOCKING NEWS FROM THE AUTO WORLD: Well That Didn’t Work: Turns Out Americans Didn’t Want a $70K Luxury VW. Go Figure. I know a professor who bought one because she wanted a luxury car but didn’t want her colleagues to think she was putting on airs, but I guess that’s a small market. Nice car, though.

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GOOD IDEA, THOUGH I BELIEVE JURASSIC PARK HAD THE SAME SAFETY DEVICE: Scientists Develop Technique Aimed at Preventing Spread of Bio-Engineered Organisms. “The scientists have given a common type of bacterium a unique genetic code that makes it dependent for survival on unnatural amino acids that must be fed to it. If such organisms escaped into the wild, where those amino acids are not available, they would die.”

YES, YOU CAN CATCH A COLD FROM BEING COLD: “Yale researchers studying the rhinovirus — the common cold virus — have found a link between temperature and our body’s ability to fight a cold. The colder we get, the easier it is for the rhinovirus to trounce us into sniffling, sneezing defeat.”

PROFESSOR JACOBSON: Finally Obtained: David Gregory Arrest Warrant Affidavit.

This is likely the final chapter in the saga of our two-year long fight to obtain important documents regarding the non-prosecution of David Gregory for possessing on Meet the Press an illegal high-capacity ammunition magazine.

The short version is that the D.C. Metropolitan Police Department warned NBC News that it could not possess an actual high-capacity magazine, but NBC News went ahead and did it anyway. The MPD recommended a warrant for Gregory’s arrest, but that request was nixed by the D.C. Attorney General Irvin Nathan because — my paraphrase — Gregory was just too nice a guy and had no other criminal intent.

That attitude stood in stark contrast to the D.C. Attorney General’s vigorous prosecution of other lesser-known people who also were nice people and had no other criminal intent, but violated D.C.’s gun laws.

Know your place, peasants!

I TRY TO TAKE A CONSTITUTIONAL WHENEVER MY SCHEDULE AND THE WEATHER PERMIT: The Benefits Of A Lunch-Hour Walk. “A new study finds that even gentle lunchtime strolls can perceptibly — and immediately — buoy people’s moods and ability to handle stress at work. . . . On the afternoons after a lunchtime stroll, walkers said they felt considerably more enthusiastic, less tense, and generally more relaxed and able to cope than on afternoons when they hadn’t walked and even compared with their own moods from a morning before a walk.”

WELL, THIS IS INTERESTING: How Asteroid Magnetic Fields Could Have Protected Hitchhiking Lifeforms.

CULTURE OF CORRUPTION: Top Tammany Democrat Silver Arrested — Is Andrew Cuomo Next?

IN THE MAIL: From Jenna Short, Cooking Allergy-Free: Simple Inspired Meals for Everyone.

Plus, today only at Amazon: Youth Digital Mod Design 1 – Learn to Code in Java with Minecraft (PC and Mac).

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TAXPROF ROUNDUP: The IRS Scandal, Day 623.

HIGHER EDUCATION BUBBLE UPDATE: Brandeis student journalist Daniel Mael on free speech and the campus culture war. “I’m generally careful about where I am on campus. I’m not saying anything would happen, but you just have to be careful in a day and age in which people are calling for violence and are openly supporting the murder of police officers. . . . I have many kids who privately approach me and thank me and say I did the right thing. Professors, too. But there hasn’t been as much public support.”

Sixty grand a year for this environment.

OBAMACARE UPDATE: Colorado Chaos Shows ACA Troubles.

Under the ACA, the Colorado insurance market is in chaotic flux. The NYT reports that the premium for one standard midlevel silver ACA plan rose this year by 36 percent in one part of Colorado, while in another part a premium for the same plan dropped by almost 40 percent. Apparently many insurers set their prices low to attract customers, but it’s no longer clear if the low rates will be sustainable in the long-run. . . .

One takeaway from this article is that’s far too early to tell how well the ACA is doing at keeping premiums down. It will take a while before the markets settle out and we see what the actual average premiums are, and it’s not really possible to assess how well that part of the ACA is working until then. In the meantime, workers are increasingly feeling the bite of rising costs. Uncertainty for many, rising costs for some: not a pretty picture for U.S. health over all.

It’s like the whole thing was just a cobbled-together scheme whose main purpose was political.

COMPARE AND CONTRAST: As Obama vows Iran sanctions veto, Boehner invites Netanyahu to address Congress.

MILO YIANNAPOULOS: ‘Yes, I was a racist… and I’m mentally ill’: Shanley Kane in shocking social media meltdown. And yet so many people listened to her, feted her, excused her behavior, and gave her money, because social justice!

SHE’S A DEMOCRAT, SO PARTY AFFILIATION DOESN’T MAKE THE HEADLINE: Perjury, obstruction among charges recommended against Pennsylvania Attorney General Kathleen Kane.

THIS IS WHAT DEMOCRATIC CONTROL OF THE MEDIA PRODUCES: People Who Like Republican Policies Hate Republicans Anyway, Without Knowing Why. Talk of “outreach” is fine, but when the press demonizes you all day everyday, outreach is hard. If the GOP wants to get ahead, it needs to go after the real enemy. I’ve offered advice on that in the past, to much praise but little effect.

MICHAEL BARONE: Obama’s attempt to turn the page undermined by policy failures. “The bigger problem for Obama and the Democrats is that the perceived failures of the stimulus package and Obamacare have undermined the case for big government as much as the perceived success of the Reagan economic policies strengthened the case for cutting it back. ‘Because I won’ is a look back to the past, not a formula for the future.”

UPDATE: Noah Rothman: Obama’s shtick is getting tired, even with some Democrats.

HIGHER EDUCATION BUBBLE UPDATE, LEGAL EDUCATION EDITION: Only 38% of Law Students Are Paying Full Tuition. This widespread discounting is not limited to legal education. Basically, if you’re paying full tuition, you’re something close to a sucker.

JOURNALISM: Journalism school dean: The First Amendment ends at insulting Mohammed. If you want to create an incentive system where newspaper editors get lynched for insulting Jesus, this is the way to go about it.

GOP ISSUES DIRECTORS SHOULD LISTEN TO HER: Ashe Schow: Advice on women’s issues for 2016 GOP presidential hopefuls.

REMEMBER WHEN MONEY IN POLITICS WAS BAD? ME NEITHER: The Hill: Hillary Clinton plans to astound, intimidate with fundraising ‘like nothing you’ve seen.’

Major donors are ready to announce huge financial commitments to Hillary Clinton as soon as she announces a second run for the White House, according to Clinton allies and Democratic fundraisers.

The Clinton team wants to build excitement about her campaign launch, which is expected in March or April. The money blitz would be a show of Clinton’s strength meant to scare away potential primary rivals.

“The floodgates are going to open immediately, and there’s going to be a rush to get on the team,” said Don Peebles, the real estate mogul who served on President Obama’s national finance committee. “There’s nobody in the Democratic Party who can match her. Not even close.”

“It’s going to be like nothing you’ve seen,” added one top Democratic donor, who supported both of Obama’s presidential campaigns and plans to throw big support behind Clinton. “The numbers will be astounding.”

Clinton is also busy considering who to have run the finances of her would-be campaign.

Well, I guess Terry Bean is out of the question.

Related: The Hill: Hillary Does Best Putin Imitation. “We have a process, yes.”

CHRISTINA HOFF SOMMERS: Sexual Assault Myths, Part 1.

HIGHER EDUCATION BUBBLE UPDATE, LEGAL EDUCATION EDITION: Are You Paying Too Much for Law School? Not if you’re attending the University of Tennessee College of Law, which is on the list of 20 Best-Value Law Schools.

STOP THE DEMOCRATIC POLITICIANS’ WAR ON MEN: Man found not responsible for rape blasts Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand for ‘harassment campaign.’

Paul Nungesser was found “not responsible” for sexually assaulting another student at Columbia University. The student who accused him, Emma Sulkowicz, has since began carrying a mattress around the university as part of an art project to protest a finding she claims was unfair.

Sulkowicz’s activism earned her an invitation to President Obama’s State of the Union address Tuesday night from Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, D-N.Y. When Nungesser heard of the invitation, he blasted the senator for rewarding Sulkowicz’s attacks against him.

“I am shocked to learn that Sen. Gillibrand is actively supporting Ms. Sulkowicz’s defamation campaign against me by providing her with a public forum in which to broadcast her grave allegation,” Nungesser told New York Magazine on Tuesday. “By doing so, Sen. Gillibrand is participating in a harassment campaign against someone, who, for good reason, has been found innocent by all investigating bodies.”

Nungesser reminded people that the university, after a seven-month long investigation, found him not responsible in 2013 — even in the current atmosphere where colleges are encouraged to find students guilty to appease political interests. Nungesser also pointed out that he cooperated with police after Sulkowicz filed a report (after the university found him not responsible) and that prosecutors declined to pursue the case.

Kirsten Gillibrand should be ashamed, but she’s not capable of shame, and probably doesn’t really think that men are people, or have feelings that matter, anyway.