February 28, 2015

THE RIDICULOUS HISTORY OF WIND CHILL.

WHY DO SO MANY MIDDLE-AGED MEN feel lost? You won’t be surprised to find that, according to Lucy Cavendish, it’s mostly their fault. Well, and that of “outdated masculinity.”

There may be some other answers. Me, I predict a return of “outdated masculinity” in one form or another.

JOHN FUND: Comrades for Net Neutrality: The powers behind the FCC’s muscling of the Internet. “Our job is to make media reform part of our broader struggle for democracy, social justice, and, dare we say it, socialism.”

BETTER LIVING THROUGH engineered nanomaterials.

FOUND: Biomarkers For Chronic Fatigue Syndrome.

IN THE MAIL: From Kristin Hannah, The Nightingale.

Plus, today only at Amazon: $2.99 Best-Selling Paranormal Series.

TAXPROF ROUNDUP: The IRS Scandal, Day 660.

WHAT I’M DOING THIS MORNING:

TLR3DAMDT

Little-known fact: The first law review article ever published on the Third Amendment, in 1949, appeared in the Tennessee Law Review.

YEAH, IT’S NEVER A GOOD SIGN WHEN THAT COMES UP: The Return Of The German Question:

At the euro’s launch in 2002, the world witnessed the unprecedented formation of a new currency without a state. But while the introduction of the euro centralized monetary policy, it left most fiscal policy in the hands of national governments. The rapid acceptance of the euro as a viable currency and the deeper financial integration of the Eurozone that followed were greeted as stepping-stones toward greater prosperity across the European Union. Observers viewed Europe’s emerging large current account deficits, particularly those of Portugal, Ireland, Italy, Greece, and Spain (PIIGS) as a validation of the gains associated with capital flowing from the center of the EU to its periphery, and a strong counter to the arguments about the limited benefits of importing foreign savings as a means of financing domestic growth.

The honeymoon period for the euro ended in 2010, however, as the unfolding crisis revealed the dangers inherent in the monetary union. Germany’s persistent current account surplus was putting intolerable pressure on the Eurozone periphery and creating a standoff between EU creditor and debtor countries. Germany’s economic and political decisions were creating instability within the EU, much in the same way German military power once did.

This should hardly have been a surprise. Germany is the largest country in the EU by population, GDP, creditor capacity, and among net contributors to the EU budget (16 billion euros). In addition, while 60 percent of German exports go to the Eurozone, Germany’s international economic reach outstrips all other EU member states: 27 percent of all EU exports come from Germany, several times the amount of France, Italy, the United Kingdom (UK), the Netherlands, and Spain. Today Berlin accounts for about 25 percent of China’s total trade with Europe and is the most influential European player in China. A decade after its launch, the euro remains a currency without a state, but dominated by Germany.

This reality has become the subject of a lively debate across the EU and within Germany itself.

What could go wrong?

POLL: Voters: Ignore Obama vetoes, keep passing bills he doesn’t like. I agree. Make him veto stuff. He hates having to take an active role. And if Harry Reid tries to run interference even in the minority, then go nuclear. Harry already crossed the nuclear threshold — make them pay.

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VIRGINIA POSTREL: How Spock Became A Sex Symbol.

ASHE SCHOW: Mia Love discusses 2016 presidential field.

Utah Congresswoman Mia Love won’t say who she’s currently supporting for the 2016 GOP presidential nomination, but she did say whoever it is should be “inspirational.”

When asked by the Washington Examiner how Republicans can combat the “war on women” narrative in 2016 against a possible Hillary Clinton candidacy, the freshman congresswoman said Republicans should be more focused on who they nominate than who they’ll be running against.

“We can’t think about — Hillary, as far as I’m concerned, is not even in the picture. I don’t even like mentioning the name,” Love told the Examiner after her Thursday panel at the Conservative Political Action Conference. “I think that we need to focus on who is going to be inspirational, who is going to talk about upward mobility and move Americans forward.” . . .

“Who is going to be the one that says ‘You know what? I don’t know it all, I trust the American people to make decisions. Give them the reins. Let them decide what healthcare they want. Let them control their lands. Let them educate their children. Let them be able to keep a little bit of their funds to take care of their families and their communities.’”

When asked if there was anyone she was currently leaning toward supported, Love punted.

It’s early yet.

HE WAS AT THE BLS FROM 2008-2012. Republicans Name Keith Hall CBO Director, Replacing Doug Elmendorf.

ROBERT MCDOWELL: Overturn The FCC’s Power Grab.

Thursday marked the largest government intervention into the Internet ecosphere in American history. By equating the dynamic 21st century Internet to the telephone system of 1934, the Federal Communications Commission has thrust powerful but antiquated utility-style regulations onto the U.S. tech economy. . . .

The FCC’s power grab discards the bipartisan light-touch regulatory framework laid out during the Clinton administration. That hands-off approach made the Net the greatest deregulatory success story of all time.

History teaches us that utility-style regulation raises costs to consumers, reduces investment and innovation, and creates uncertainty due to the politics-driven nature of “mother may I innovate” government mandates. Regulation only grows. Now the Internet cannot escape that fate.

The ultimate result of more government encroachment will be something akin to the sagging European Internet market, where investment in broadband infrastructure is only one-fourth of America’s due to heavy-handed regulations. Even worse, this new power grab could trigger expanded intergovernmental powers over the Web through existing telecom treaties, jeopardizing Internet freedom.

What many in Silicon Valley don’t understand is that, according to the Supreme Court’s 2005 Brand X decision, nearly any “tech” company that builds a telecom-style network to deliver its content and apps has the potential to be captured by the FCC’s new rules. If the agency tries to exempt some companies but not others, it will be choosing the politically favored over everyone else.

Well, that’s the whole point of this exercise, one suspects. I mean, isn’t it always?

BLUE COLLAPSE: Chicago nears fiscal free fall with latest downgrade. “Chicago drew closer to a fiscal free fall on Friday with a rating downgrade from Moody’s Investors Service that could trigger the immediate termination of four interest-rate swap agreements, costing the city about $58 million and raising the prospect of more broken swaps contracts. The downgrade to Baa2, just two steps above junk, and a warning the rating could fall further still, means the third-biggest U.S. city could face even higher costs in the future.”

And remember, it’s run by one of Obama’s more-competent former minions. . . .

MEH. THEY ONLY GOT IN BEFORE VIA COMPLICIT DEMOCRATIC STAFFERS: Code Pink Feeling Stifled by Capitol Police Crackdown.

Forced into handcuffs before and after congressional hearings over the past two days, protesters organizing with Code Pink are fuming about the beefed-up presence of Capitol Police when contentious, high-profile officials testify on Capitol Hill.

On Thursday, officers arrested Shahid Buttar, executive director of the Bill of Rights Defense Committee, when he rose from his seat to challenge Director of National Intelligence James R. Clapper Jr. after the conclusion of a Senate Armed Services Committee hearing on worldwide threats.

And a right-leaning group would never get the degree of forbearance that Code Pink has enjoyed for over a decade.

THE HILL: NRA chief presses Congress on concealed-carry bill.

The head of the nation’s biggest gun rights group urged Congress Friday to pass legislation to allow gun owners to carry concealed weapons across state lines.

During the second day of the Conservative Political Action Conference, Executive Vice President and CEO of the National Rifle Association Wayne LaPierre said it’s time for Congress to act and pass the Constitutional Concealed Carry Reciprocity Act.

“It’s time for Congress to pass national right-to-carry reciprocity for the entire United States,” LaPierre declared to cheers from the crowd of thousands of conservatives gathered at the Maryland event.

Sen. John Cornyn (R-Texas) is the chief sponsor of the concealed-carry bill in the upper chamber, while Rep. Marlin Stutzman (R-Ind.) is spearheading the push in the House.

Supporters of the legislation — expected to be a top priority for gun rights activists in the current Congress, — believe they can secure enough Democratic votes in the Senate to overcome a filibuster and get the legislation to President Obama’s desk.

Good.

February 27, 2015

NANCY PELOSI: Congress Is Living Paycheck To Paycheck. “So you think you’ve got it bad? Try being in Congress. Those poor bastards are practically homeless. . . . Hell, Pelosi is so down on her luck these days, she had to burn the Constitution just to keep warm. Also, because she hates it.”

MARCH MADNESS IN NIGERIA. “President Goodluck Jonathan does now admit that he underestimated Boko Haram and implied that there will be nothing but successful actions against the Islamic terrorists between now and election day (March 28). Boko Haram has announced their intention to disrupt the elections, at least in the three northeastern states where they have thousands of gunmen. All Boko Haram has to do is inflict some major defeats that the government and army cannot hide to wreck Jonathan’s plan. This looks to be a particularly grim form of March Madness.”

WELL, IT’S CERTAINLY TIME FOR ONE: Gen. Jim Mattis: A New American Grand Strategy.

SCIENCE: Athletes May Benefit From A High-Fat Diet. “Early humans, the hunter-gatherers, who were quite physically active, primarily ate fat. It’s been the main fuel for active humans far longer than carbohydrates have been.”

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ANDREW KLAVAN: Good News, Beheaded Christians! “Well, about that whole ‘Never Again’ thing: Remember ‘Hope And Change?’ That’s what changed.”

THE LIMITS OF SCIENCE: “We don’t know whether being married causes you to have more sex or having more sex causes you to stay married longer.” I say, why take chances?

JEZEBEL ISN’T EXACTLY RELIABLE: Boy, Blowing Up A DNC Media Hit Job On Scott Walker In Realtime Sure Is Fun! The Latest Attempt To Launch A New Walker Smear Crashes & Burns On The Launch Pad. “As it so happens, this Jezebel writer, Natasha Vargas-Cooper, either didn’t do any research at all on this piece or she deliberately left out the whole story.”

IT’LL BE RULED A SUICIDE: Russian Opposition Leader Boris Nemtsov Shot Dead In Moscow.

SEEMS LIKE AN EVOLUTIONARY DEAD END: Study: Richest women have the most sex, most abortions, lowest births.

SEXY OR NOT, HIS SUPERPOWER IS, BASICALLY, TALKING TO FISH: Khal Drogo Gives Aquaman Sex Appeal.

It’s not easy to be Aquaman. Hey, even the Elongated Man gets more dates. Though I suppose that’s understandable.

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HIGHER EDUCATION BUBBLE UPDATE, LEGAL EDUCATION EDITION: The First Two Law Schools to Drop the LSAT Could Be Just the Beginning. Maybe I’m cynical, but I wonder if this isn’t somehow aimed at manipulating the U.S. News rankings.

CATHOLIC PAGAN: 10 Questions For Camille Paglia. “I have very little contact with American academics, who are pitifully trapped in a sterile career system that has become paralyzed by political correctness. University faculties nationwide have lost power to an ever-expanding bureaucracy of administrators, whose primary concern is the institution’s contractual relationship with tuition-paying parents. You can cut the demoralized faculty atmosphere with a knife when you step foot on any elite campus.” Huh. Somebody should look into that.

DRIVING THE BMW I8 on the Angeles Crest Highway.

MICHAEL TOTTEN: Isis’ Next Target.

WHY DID WE GET A SECRET INTERNET REGULATION PLAN VIA AN UNELECTED FEDERAL AGENCY? 61% Oppose Federal Regulation of the Internet. “Americans really like the online service they currently have and strongly oppose so-called ‘net neutrality’ efforts that would allow the federal government to regulate the Internet. The latest Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey finds that just 26% of American Adults agree the Federal Communications Commission should regulate the Internet like it does radio and television. Sixty-one percent (61%) disagree and think the Internet should remain open without regulation and censorship. Thirteen percent (13%) are not sure.”

Plus: “Americans remain suspicious of the motives of those who want government regulation of the Internet.” Good call.

Related: Hillary Calls for Regulating Internet: ‘It’s a Foot in the Door:’ Supports net neutrality.

SEE HOW THE OTHER HALF — BY WHICH I MEAN HILLARY’S ARAB DONORS — LIVES! Check out a VIP Boeing 747-8.

HE LIVED LONG, AND PROSPERED: Leonard Nimoy, Spock of ‘Star Trek,’ dead at 83.

As TV’s Andy Levy reminds us on Twitter, sooner or later we’re all redshirts.

IN THE MAIL: From Iver Pl. Cooper, 1636: Seas of Fortune (The Ring of Fire).

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TAXPROF ROUNDUP: The IRS Scandal, Day 569.

SO WHY DID HILLARY, AND SUSAN RICE, AND EVERYBODY ELSE, KEEP LYING ABOUT A VIDEO AND GET THE FILMMAKER THROWN IN JAIL? Hillary Clinton’s Top Aides Knew from First Minutes that Benghazi Was a Terrorist Attack, E-mails Disclose.

MEGAN MCARDLE: The Church Of Wal-Mart.

I got a lot of responses to my post last week on Wal-Mart’s decision to raise the minimum wage many of its employees earn to $10 an hour next year. One variety of response stood out: the folks who said “Wal-Mart is doing this because it’s good for its business.”

It stood out because it is almost right, but not quite. The correct statement is that “Wal-Mart is doing this because it thinks it’s good for its business.” Never ignore the possibility that Wal-Mart could be completely wrong.

I remark on this because some of the arguments I saw verged upon what I’ve come to think of as “corporation theology”: the belief that if a corporation is doing something, that thing must be incredibly profitable. This is no less of a faith-based statement than the Immaculate Conception of Mary. Yet it is surprisingly popular among commentators, not just on the right, but also on the left. . . .

Corporations do dumb stuff all the time — for decades, even.

Yep. There’s a lot of Dilbert even in the best organizations.

TOUGH TALK FROM STENY HOYER, CONSIDERING THAT NANCY PELOSI KEEPS HIS BALLS IN A JAR UNDER THE SINK: Watch a top Dem call the House majority leader a ‘coward.’

MOLLY BALL: Does Hillary Clinton Have Anything To Say? “Everywhere Hillary Clinton goes, a thousand cameras follow. Then she opens her mouth, and nothing happens.”

Why do you think her campaign revolves around having a vagina?

IT’S “CRIMINAL ACTIVITY” ALL THE WAY DOWN: Investigators probing for criminal activity with Lois Lerner’s missing emails. So did Koskinen perjure himself?

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CULTURE OF CORRUPTION: Reince Priebus: How can Hillary take a 3 a.m. phone call from a country that gave her millions?

n a Q&A session Thursday, Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus pointed out a potential conflict raised by the Clinton Foundation’s acceptance of millions in donations from foreign governments.

“I don’t know how Hillary Clinton’s going to take a 3 a.m. [call] from a leader in Yemen or Algeria or Saudi Arabia when she was willing to have her foundation take potentially millions of dollars from those governments,” said Priebus, speaking at the Conservative Political Action Conference.

Priebus raises a valid point. It will be difficult for Clinton to tell the American people that she will be tough on terrorism or fight for women’s rights when her foundation took money from countries with abysmal records on those issues and others.

Related: Carly Fiorina to Hillary Clinton: ‘Name an accomplishment.’

What has Hillary Clinton actually accomplished? She’s held many titles — first lady, senator, secretary of state — but what has she actually accomplished in any of those roles?

That’s what former Hewlett-Packard CEO Carly Fiorina, a prospective 2016 presidential candidate, wants to know.

“Mrs. Clinton, name an accomplishment,” Fiorina said while addressing attendees at the annual Conservative Political Action Conference.

Fiorina, who is considered a long-shot for the Republican nomination, has tried to break out from pack in early speeches by projecting the image of a strong and accomplished woman who can take the fight to Hillary Clinton.

“And in the meantime, please explain why we should accept that the millions and millions of dollars that have flowed into the Clinton Global Initiative from foreign governments doesn’t represent a conflict of interest,” she added.

Fiorina was referring to the recent revelations that the Clinton Foundation accepted millions in donations from foreign governments, including while Hillary was the secretary of state.

Fiorina then turned her attention toward Clinton’s own role in the supposed war on women.

“She tweets about women’s rights in this country and takes money from governments that deny women the most basic human rights,” Fiorina said. “She tweets about equal pay for women but won’t answer basic questions about her own offices’ pay standards — and neither will our president.”

Earlier this week, a report in the Washington Free Beacon revealed that while Clinton was a senator, the median earnings for women in her office was 72 cents to the dollar for men’s median earnings.

It’s begun.

THE HILL: House GOP floats three-week funding bill to stave off shutdown.

The House will try to avert a shutdown of the Department of Homeland Security this week by passing a stopgap bill that funds the agency for three weeks.

The measure is meant to buy time for Republicans to figure out how to fight President Obama’s immigration policies, GOP leaders told members on Thursday.

The three-week measure would stave off a shutdown at the agency slated for 12:01 a.m. Saturday, but it’s only a temporary fix. Republicans say it would give them a chance to pursue a longer-term solution and iron out differences between House and Senate funding bills.

The House last month passed a bill funding Homeland Security through September but attached GOP amendments aimed at gutting Obama’s executive actions on immigration. The Senate is poised to pass a so-called “clean” funding bill as soon as Friday that is free of those same GOP immigration provisions.

House Republicans want a House-Senate conference committee to try to find common ground between the two measures. But Senate Democrats are continuing to insist that they’ll only back a clean funding bill, and could vote to block the Senate from going to conference.

“Clean” in this case means a bill that gives them what they want.

WHATEVER YOU DO, IT’S NEVER ENOUGH, AND YOU’RE STILL THE BAD GUY BECAUSE YOU HAVE A Y CHROMOSOME: Vivek Wadhwa: Why I am stepping out of the debate on women in technology. “I have little doubt that we will see a significant shift in the culture of the technology industry towards greater acceptance and inclusion of diversity. But achieving this will only be possible if moderate and constructive voices lead the debate. My worry is that personal agendas, fringe groups, and the media will make the discussion toxic.” Yeah, well, for the activists, that’s not a bug, but a feature. After all, if the problems get solved and everybody’s happy, they’re out of a job.

ROGER SIMON: The New New New New Anti-Semitism.

Prostitution may be the world’s oldest profession, but anti-Semitism is probably the world’s oldest bigotry. It’s come and gone and come and gone and then come and gone again since the days of the pharaohs.

Well, maybe it was never really gone, but, like cancer, it was in remission. Born at the end of World War II, I was one of those lucky Jews to be born in a period of remission as never before seen, particularly in the United States.

It’s over. And how it’s over. You don’t need a poll to tell you that, but a new one just conducted by Trinity College and the Louis D. Brandeis Center for Human Rights Under Law tells us that 54 percent of self-identified Jewish students in 55 college across the country experienced or witnessed anti-Semitism during the 2013-2014 school year. Whoa! Welcome to the University of Berlin.

At the same time, the David Horowitz Freedom Center has published a “Top 10″ academic institutions for Jew hatred with two Ivies — Columbia and Cornell — at the top. Representatives of Columbia are already crying foul, but with Rashid Khalidi director of their Middle East studies department, what do they expect? He’s not exactly an impartial academic, more like Mahmoud Abbas with better credentials. (Abbas got his PhD in Moscow for a thesis denying the Holocaust.)

I can understand why the university would be concerned, however. A lot of parents, not to mention alumni and donors, are probably a bit perturbed to see the institution at the top of such a list. More importantly, how about prospective students? If I were a young person, I wouldn’t want to apply at this point. The idea of Columbia with a judenrein student body, given the overwhelming contribution of Jews to the university’s past, is as tragic as it is hard to fathom.

But then, as we all know, American academia is just part of the global zeitgeist, albeit a shameful and especially dangerous part.

Indeed.

February 26, 2015

NATIONAL REVIEW: Walker Thrills a Packed House at CPAC.

FCC COMMISSIONER MIKE O’RIELLY ON THE “NET NEUTRALITY” RULES: “When you see this document, it’s worse than you imagine.”

I dunno, I can imagine an awful lot. But we know it’s awful because they kept it secret before they enacted it. More:

The historic vote was cheered by internet activists, President Barack Obama and many in the tech community. However, few people have seen the actual orders. On Friday the FCC was finalising its documentation for publication – it it is not expected to release the orders until next week at the very earliest.

Pai said the new rules would mean “permission-less innovation is a thing of the past”. The new rules will ban broadband providers from creating fast lanes for some or slowing the traffic of others for commercial reasons. They will also give the FCC the power to police conduct by broadband providers on a case-by-case basis.

Internet service providers will not be allowed to “unreasonably interfere with or unreasonably disadvantage” consumers’ access to content and services.

O’Rielly said this would mean that any company looking to start a new service would have to seek permission ahead of time. He said anybody looking for new business opportunities in the document would be best off becoming a “telecoms lawyer.”

So at least there’s an upside!

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IN MY OWN OBSERVATION, SUPPORT FOR SOCIALISM SEEMS TO BE CLOSELY LINKED WITH A WILLINGNESS TO CHEAT ON TAXES: Greece Struggles to Get Citizens to Pay Their Taxes.

During the country’s centurieslong occupation by the Ottomans, avoiding taxes was a sign of patriotism. Today, that distrust is focused on the government, which many Greeks see as corrupt, inefficient and unreliable.

“Greeks consider taxes as theft,” said Aristides Hatzis, an associate professor of law and economics at the University of Athens. “Normally taxes are considered the price you have to pay for a just state, but this is not accepted by the Greek mentality.” . . . Alleged corruption among politicians only strengthens Greeks’ conviction that evading taxes in their own everyday lives isn’t a serious crime, and little stigma is attached to getting caught, unlike in other European countries or even the U.S.

That said, this is consistent with my own warning from 2009.

THE U.S. PRESIDENTS, ranked by hotness. “I look at Rutherford B. Hayes, and all I see is beard. So I just tried to rank him based on his beard. (His beard is great!)”

THE OBAMA ADMINISTRATION’S crackdown on prostitution. They told me if I voted for Mitt Romney. . . oh, hell, you know the rest.

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LIZ PEEK: Chris Christie Should Drop Out Now in Favor of Scott Walker.

I’M NOT SAYING THAT IT’S ALIENS. BUT IT’S ALIENS. Mystery Spot on Dwarf Planet Ceres Has Mysterious Partner.

I mean, come on. Wake up, sheeple!

GREAT STRIDES IN SCIENCE:

Screen Shot 2015-02-25 at 10.44.36 PM

UPDATE: Ouch.

Screen Shot 2015-02-26 at 7.17.37 PM

IT’S NOTHING YOU WANT, THAT’S FOR SURE: Baddest Bug: C. Diff Hits Half a Million Americans. “The number’s probably been undercounted for so long because many people get sick after they leave the hospital. And the study showed people are not just getting infected in hospitals. They are getting infected in doctors’ offices, the dentist’s chair, and in other healthcare settings.”

FIRST THE FCC, NOW THIS: Obama to ban bullets by executive action, threatens top-selling AR-15 rifle. No, this isn’t somebody’s paranoid fantasy. At least, it isn’t somebody’s fantasy.

HIGHER EDUCATION BUBBLE UPDATE, LEGAL EDUCATION EDITION: The Anemic Law Jobs Recovery.

21ST CENTURY CRIME-CONTROL: DNA Phenotyping To Make Drawings Of Criminal Suspects.

WELL, IF MY 21ST CENTURY CAR IS GOING TO HAVE AN INTERNAL-COMBUSTION ENGINE, THE ENGINE SHOULD AT LEAST HAVE A FRICKIN LASER IN IT: Lasers Could Boost Engine Efficiency by 27%. “In a conventional internal combustion engine, a mixture of fuel and air explodes to push down a piston, converting chemical energy into mechanical energy. The explosion is triggered by spark plugs that live at the top of the combustion chamber, using sparks to ignite the fuel air mixture. This works fine, but it’s not particularly efficient, since the ignition point is at one edge of the chamber. Engines move fast enough, and the combustion cycle is short enough, that the entire mixture doesn’t have a chance burn completely, leading to unburned fuel, which is bad for both engine efficiency and the environment. Lasers can fix this problem by igniting the fuel in the middle of the combustion chamber instead of at the outer edge. This results in a much more complete burn, so you get more bang for your buck, literally. Also, lasers can be fired with nanosecond timing (multiple times per combustion cycle if necessary), and even targeted at different areas of the combustion chamber. The increased energy output allows for leaner fuel-air mixtures, increasing overall fuel efficiency by 27 percent while lowering emissions. Really, it’s a much better way to do things. Which should not be surprising. Because lasers.”

THE MARKET, SHOCKINGLY: What Happened To The Rare Earths Crisis?

DAVID BERNSTEIN & ILYA SOMIN: The Mainstreaming of Libertarian Constitutionalism.

WHY DON’T WE ONE-UP THEM BY BLOWING UP A REAL IRANIAN NUCLEAR-RESEARCH FACILITY? Iran Just Blew Up a Fake American Aircraft Carrier: It’s meant as a show of strength during talks over Iran’s nuclear program.

AUSTIN BAY: Remembering Iwo Jima.

CULTURE OF CORRUPTION: Watchdog Accuses Harry Reid of Ethics Violations.

ANDREW CLINE: The New Hampshire primary to come, if current journalism is a clue.

A seasoned Washington reporter — distinct in his fashionable black jacket, pressed jeans and once shiny dress shoes now caked with New Hampshire mud — approaches a woman who clutches a Sharpie and a copy of Rubio’s last book.

“Excuse me, do you mind if I ask what you thought of the senator’s speech?”

Woman: “I thought it was great. I liked how he related to average people, you know? I don’t hear a lot of candidates talking about how to make it easier for low-income families to succeed in America.”

Reporter: “It didn’t bother you that his second cousin once removed said Tom Brady wears ladies underwear?

Woman: “Who said that?”

Reporter: “Rubio’s second cousin once removed. He said it at a Miami fund-raiser three weeks ago. Thus far, Rubio has failed to disown his cousin, denounce the comment, or apologize to Tom Brady for it.”

Yeah, pretty much. And reporters wonder why nobody respects them.

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TAXPROF ROUNDUP: The IRS Scandal, Day 658.

MSNBC’S MELISSA HARRIS-PERRY applauds racial violence.

REMINDER: PolitiFact is dishonest and partisan.

IT’S SEX CRIMINALS ALL THE WAY DOWN: Embattled Green Leader Resigns as IPCC Chief.

The head of the world’s preeminent climate change organization resigned this week after being accused of sexual harassment in his home country of India. Rajendra Pachauri stepped down as the chairman of the International Panel on Climate Change, an ignominious end to what has been a tenure tinged with scandal. . . .

Pachauri is no stranger to the salacious, having penned a fictionalized autobiography full of boasts of sexual exploits, nor is this the first fracas in which he’s been involved. Five years ago he was accused of raising huge sums of money for his foundation on the basis of bogus IPCC claims that Himalayan glaciers were not long for this world.

I wonder if “social justice” type movements pose a disproportional attraction to people with sociopathic tendencies.

STEVE CHAPMAN: The Black Family in 1965 and Today: Poor black neighborhoods are not the unassisted creation of poor black people, but largely the malignant result of factors beyond their control. Well, except to the extent that politicians they vote for are not beyond their control, and have made things worse.

CANADIAN FREE-SPEECH ACTIVIST EZRA LEVANT IS CROWDFUNDING A NEWS STUDIO. More on that project here.

His site is TheRebel.media.

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IN USA TODAY, Scott Walker writes on not taking the media’s bait.

SEE, NOT KNOWING IF OBAMA’S A CHRISTIAN IS OVER-THE-TOP PREJUDICE NOT ACCEPTABLE IN TODAY’S SOCIETY. BUT THIS IS OKAY: Dem Rep: ‘Tea Party People’ Want To Bring Back Segregation, Get Rid Of Women’s Rights.

THE SKULLS OF HIS ENEMIES: Scott Walker Is Set to Deliver New Blow to Labor in Wisconsin. That’s the New York Times headline, and while it’s accurate enough — the unions hate this, and with reason — it’s also a major advance for workers’ rights.

UPDATE: “One thing those of us who are pro-union need to ask ourselves is why so few Americans belong to unions presently. It is facile, lazy, and simply wrong to blame the anti-union efforts of Reagan, Walker, the Kochs, Whole Foods, Walmart and the like. If you say it is the anti-union policies of the past thirty five years, then you are simply ignoring the fact that when American unions formed in the 19th century and struggled to build in the first third of the 20th century, the anti-union sentiment of the corporations and most politicians was much stronger than today, and the lot of the average worker was harder. Lazy people blame others. If those who originally fought to create our unions had such an attitude, unions would never have been established in the first place. Part of the problem is that the Left failed to criticize unions as their leadership often evolved to having more in common with the bosses than with their own members. As the Left moved away from worker issues in the Sixties to Civil Rights, the anti-war movement, feminism, and cultural issues, blue collar workers became alienated from those who were now largely content to support labor by merely singing Woody Guthrie and Weavers songs. The Left largely came to look down their noses at workers because of attitudes regarding culture and the war, only honoring workers when their issues were tied to something else, such as the largely Mexican-American United Farmworkers Union or access to jobs for women.”

CIVIL LIBERTIES UPDATE: U.Va. professor to receive academic freedom award at CPAC for defending due process.

James W. Ceaser, a professor of politics at the University of Virginia, will be honored at the Conservative Political Action Conference for his defense of due process in the wake of a Rolling Stone article telling the now-discredited story of a brutal gang rape at the school.

Ceaser, in an article for the Weekly Standard, defended due process by calling out his own employer for the way it handled the Rolling Stone debacle.

“Even on the level of future policy changes, this problem can only be properly addressed if it is presented in an unbiased way, not in terms of a preconceived framework,” Ceaser wrote. “The moral dimension of disregarding the truth also cannot be forgotten.”

Ceaser argued that the truth never mattered in the Rolling Stone article, because even when the story was abandoned by the magazine, it was used by activists to further their agenda.

But Ceaser’s refusal to condemn his university for an imaginary crime or give in to mob justice has earned him the Jeane Jordan Kirkpatrick Award for Academic Freedom, presented by the American Conservative Union Foundation and the Lynde and Harry Bradley Foundation.

“These times require a thoughtful and courageous voice on college campuses, and Professor Ceaser has been such a voice,” Michael W. Grebe, president of the Bradley Foundation, said in a press release. “A man of intellectual rigor, principle, and moral clarity, James Ceaser is a beacon for all academia.”

Most academics, alas, are go-along-to-get-along types.

MEH. I SAY BURN IT TO THE GROUND. Fears of Chaos Mount Over Obamacare Case.

But all this “chaos” talk is just an attempt to frighten the Court into not doing anything. And hey, why not? They successfully bullied Chief Justice Roberts on ObamaCare last time.

THE HILL: Republicans suspect the White House is hiding ObamaCare fallback plan. “Some Republicans say they simply do not believe that the Obama administration isn’t developing a fallback plan in case the Supreme Court dismantles a piece of the healthcare law this summer. Sylvia Burwell, the secretary of Health and Human Services (HHS), has repeatedly said there is no plan B if the high court rules that subsidies for insurance cannot be distributed through the federal exchange HealthCare.gov.”

Well, everything else they’ve said about ObamaCare has been a lie, so it’s a safe bet.

CULTURE OF CORRUPTION: Foreign governments gave millions to Clinton foundation while Clinton was at State Dept. “The Clinton Foundation accepted millions of dollars from seven foreign governments during Hillary Rodham Clinton’s tenure as secretary of state, including one donation that violated its ethics agreement with the Obama administration, foundation officials disclosed Wednesday. . . . Foreign governments and individuals are prohibited from giving money to U.S. political candidates, to prevent outside influence over national leaders. But the foundation has given donors a way to potentially gain favor with the Clintons outside the traditional political limits.”

So when she brags about all the air miles she logged, bear in mind that most of them were probably racked up while going to ask people for money.

SEX POLICE: Sexual violence law specialist threatens SUNY over affirmative consent. “Any school that determined whether an incident occurred by applying the affirmative consent standard is asking for trouble, because, number one, it’s inconsistent with Title IX, and two, because it’s a worse standard. It’s an unconstitutional standard. . . . My feeling is that it’s a lawsuit that is going to be easy to win.”

Note, however, that her problem is that she thinks “affirmative consent” isn’t hard enough on men.

FROM ANN ALTHOUSE, an old-fashioned Fisking of the hapless Dana Milbank. “And you’d be a better man, Dana Milbank, if you didn’t pose as if you were saying something nice about Scott Walker and inviting him to a higher level of civil discourse.” The list of things that would make Dana Milbank a better man is nigh-infinite.

February 25, 2015

IF ONLY THE GOP WERE THIS TRICKY: Democrats Fear an Ambush on the Senate Floor.

THE OMEGA MAN. And I don’t mean Charlton Heston.

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BUT SHE DOES IT SO WELL: Sarah Hoyt: It’s Not Easy To Be Me.

“HE SHALL TAKE CARE THAT THE LAWS BE FAITHFULLY EXECUTED.”

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CAPITULATION: Breaking stalemate, Senate votes 98-2 to debate ‘clean’ DHS bill. Well, unless they’re planning something tricky in the conference committee.

MARK RIPPETOE: A Very Simple Mathematical Truth For Successful Strength Training. “Few things could be simpler: use a few exercises that work as much of the body at one time as possible, find out how strong you are now on these exercises, and next time you train, lift a little heavier weight. Just a little. It’s the same process you used to learn to read, to play the guitar, to get a suntan, and to finish your master’s thesis. It’s the same process used to build an airplane or to evolve a more complex organism. It’s the accumulation of adaptation – the enemy of entropy – and it can be done by quite literally everybody.”

UPDATE: Link was wrong before. Fixed now. Sorry!

I’D CALL IT ADOLESCENT SOCIALISM: What Is the Philosophical Perspective of Star Trek?

FROM LARRY CORREIA, another Book Bomb.

A SMALL MEASURE OF ACCOUNTABILITY: Mass. Gov. Baker forces Obamacare architect Gruber off board.