March 31, 2015

HEALTH: Fish Oil Claims Not Supported by Research. “The vast majority of clinical trials involving fish oil have found no evidence that it lowers the risk of heart attack and stroke.”

YOU COULD BUILD A WHOLE TV SHOW AROUND THIS CONCEPT: Woman Poses as Lawyer, Makes Partner at Firm. “A woman used forged documents to pose as an estate lawyer for a decade and made partner at her small firm before her fraud was discovered, according to charges announced yesterday. Kimberly Kitchen was charged Thursday with forgery, unauthorized practice of law, and felony records tampering. State prosecutors contend Kitchen fooled BMZ Law by forging a law license, bar exam results, an email showing she attended Duquesne University law school, and a check for a state attorney registration fee.”


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FASTER, PLEASE: Israeli Company’s Vaccine Blocks 90% of Cancer Types. It’s designed to keep cancer from coming back.

ALL THE BEST TREATMENTS COME FROM BALD’S LEECHBOOK: 1000-year-old Anglo Saxon remedy kills hospital superbug MRSA. “The potion was tested on scraps of skin taken from mice infected with methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus. This is an antibiotic-resistant version of the bacteria that causes styes, more commonly known as the hospital superbug MRSA. The potion killed 90 per cent of the bacteria. Vancomycin, the antibiotic generally used for MRSA, killed about the same proportion when it was added to the skin scraps.”

Plus: “A side effect was that it made the lab smell of garlic. ‘It was not unpleasant,’ says Harrison. ‘It’s all edible stuff. Everyone thought we were making lunch.’”

AN IDEA SO CRAZY, IT JUST MIGHT WORK: Maybe The Best Way To Stop All This Swatting Is To Have Fewer SWAT Teams?

I’M LUKEWARM ON THIS WHOLE INTERNET-OF-THINGS BUSINESS: IBM’s making a new business unit just for the Internet of Things.

TEACH WOMEN NOT TO RAPE! (CONT’D): Or, well, something. Cops: Teacher Had ‘Secret’ Thing With 11-Year-Old; Geraldine Alcorn allegedly planned to run away with her student.

READER BOOK PLUG: From D. Jason Fleming, Spring That Never Came.

“IT’S NOT A CAR:” Elon Musk Says Tesla Will Unveil Something New April 30.

NIGERIA: Muhammadu Buhari set for victory. There are some reports that Jonathan has conceded.

NEWS YOU CAN USE: How Not To Catch A Cold On A Plane.

THE DAILY SHOW AUDIENCE MIGHT FORGIVE THE FIRST TWO, BUT THE LAST ONE HITS TOO CLOSE TO HOME: Jon Stewart’s ‘Daily Show’ Replacement Ignites Furor Over Past Tweets About ‘Jewish Chicks’, Israel and ‘Fat Chicks.’

SO PHYTOPLANKTON ARE ON DECLINE IN THE SOUTHERN OCEAN, and it’s “possibly because of climate change.” But the period in question, 1998 to 2014, is one in which there has been no global warming — it almost perfectly corresponds to the ever-lengthening “pause.” So how can “climate change” be producing short-term results when climate hasn’t been changing over that period?

HER INITIAL CLAIM, UNSURPRISINGLY, TURNS OUT TO BE A LIE: How many devices did Hillary Clinton actually have?

RICHARD EPSTEIN: Wanted: A Color-Blind Voting Rights Law. “What is clear, regrettably clear, is that maximizing black representation upsets the overall political configuration. The creation of more majority-minority districts will move the representatives of those districts to the left, given the strong level of black support for the Democratic Party. By the same token, the remaining majority-majority districts will become more conservative as their candidates for office need not worry about the political preferences of non-members. Looked at in the round, race-conscious rules in drawing district lines lead to increased polarization of politics. It is hard to see why the Equal Protection Clause requires this divisive form of politics.”

THE SOUL OF THE 21ST CENTURY DEMOCRATIC PARTY LAID BARE: Harry Reid’s appalling defense of his attack on Mitt Romney’s tax record.

“Romney didn’t win, did he?” Reid said in response to Bash’s question of whether he regretted what he had said about Romney.

Think about that logic for a minute. What Reid is saying is that it’s entirely immaterial whether what he said about Romney and his taxes was true. All that mattered was that Romney didn’t win.

This kind of thing is surprising only if you haven’t been paying attention. And it’s not as if Reid is an outlier here, except in terms of his honesty.

IN THE MAIL: Fiske Guide to Colleges 2015.

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TAXPROF ROUNDUP: The IRS Scandal, Day 691.

BYRON YORK: Hillary Clinton Withheld Information From Congress. Now What Does Congress Do?

WALTER RUSSELL MEAD: Can Latin America Weather the Death of the Blue Model?

Some call it “The Second Machine Age,” some call it “post-Fordism,” and some herald the emerging “information economy.” But no matter what you call the coming change, the march of technology will require a fundamental reorganization of how human capital is deployed in the economy, and nobody quite knows how to prepare for it. Latin America is especially vulnerable, and while the region’s economic leaders are officially optimistic, there’s also an unmistakable note of fear. . . .

Moreno is right to be sounding the alarm bell. Latin America never really managed to develop a successful and inclusive social and economic system in the age of the blue model—the “First Machine Age” when industrialization supported armies of well-paid manufacturing workers and clerical employees. The first-world countries of Europe, North America, and Japan built an age of middle-class mass prosperity in those years—and Latin America mostly had its nose pressed to the window, looking on enviously from outside.

Now, a new industrial revolution is challenging the blue model Fordist utopias of the First World—and Latin America faces changes for which it is poorly prepared. Let’s hope some of Moreno’s good advice is taken, and it’s certainly likely that some Latin American economies (like Chile’s) will do better than others. But from the standpoint of geopolitics and foreign policy, the most likely outcome is that in a large number and perhaps a majority of those economies the challenges of transition will not be met, or at least will be met more slowly than in other parts of the world.

It’s expensive to have a greedy, dysfunctional political class. You can see that right here in America.

LAS VEGAS REVIEW JOURNAL: Harry Reid’s retirement makes sense, until he tries to explain it.

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HIGHER EDUCATION BUBBLE UPDATE: A revolt is growing as more people refuse to pay back student loans.

All is proceeding as I have foreseen. Make them dischargeable in bankruptcy after five or ten years, but charge a portion back to the recipient universities. And if any traditional university folks think that this sort of pressure will be limited to for-profit schools, they’re kidding themselves.

ASHE SCHOW: Why the Rolling Stone gang-rape story will never be labeled a hoax.

By now it’s clear that the brutal gang rape reported last November in Rolling Stone did not occur. I write that, knowing full well the backlash I could receive from not adding the caveat that something could still have happened to Jackie, the accuser in the story.

Activists have clung to the idea that something probably did happen to make a young woman tell a tale of a brutal gang rape and become a campus activist to keep the hoax claims isolated to a small subset. These same activists bent over backwards following the Charlottesville Police press conference last week to claim that Jackie probably wasn’t lying, because such a false accusation “flies in the face of statistics,” as one CNN panelist said. Of course, the statistic that only 2 percent of reported rapes are false – doubtful anyway – only applies to rapes actually reported to police, which this one was not.

But in any event, the faint possibility that Jackie may have suffered some other horrific event is not the reason this story will not be labeled a hoax by activists or most in the mainstream media.

No, the reason it will not be labeled a hoax comes from an anonymous McGill University student, using the pseudonym Aurora Dagny, who wrote last year that dogmatism is in part to blame for activists’ refusal to accept evidence contrary to their worldview.

“One way to define the difference between a regular belief and a sacred belief is that people who hold sacred beliefs think it is morally wrong for anyone to question those beliefs,” Dagny wrote. “If someone does question those beliefs, they’re not just being stupid or even depraved, they’re actively doing violence. They might as well be kicking a puppy. When people hold sacred beliefs, there is no disagreement without animosity.”

Because the activists behind the Rolling Stone story hold a “sacred belief” that thousands, perhaps even millions, of college students are sexually assaulted each year, any evidence to the contrary is seen as detrimental to the cause.

It’s why Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, D-N.Y., was able to continue calling Jackie a “victim” of a crime for which there is no proof. It’s why the University of Virginia’s president, Teresa Sullivan, and those responsible for vandalizing the fraternity named in the Rolling Stone article have not had to apologize for their rush to judgment.

This is too kind. Jackie, Gillibrand and Sullivan won’t apologize because they’re political liars, and they’re lying to a constituency that doesn’t care about the truth, and the press — which is part of that constituency to a large degree — won’t punish them for it.

Related: Cathy Young: Jackie Is A Serial Liar. Why Not Say it?

It is, of course, nearly impossible to prove a negative. Short of a surveillance tape documenting Jackie’s every movement, one cannot know for certain that she was never sexually assaulted at UVA. But the evidence against her is damning. It’s not simply that there was no party at Phi Kappa Si, the fraternity named by Jackie, anywhere near the time when she said she was attacked. It’s not simply that her account changed from forced oral sex to vaginal rape and from five assailants to seven, or that her friends saw no sign of her injuries after the alleged assault. What clinches the case is the overwhelming proof that “Drew,” Jackie’s date who supposedly orchestrated her rape, was Jackie’s own invention.

Back in the fall of 2012, Jackie’s friends knew “Drew” as “Haven Monahan,” an upperclassman who supposedly wanted to date her and with whom she encouraged them to exchange emails and text messages. However, an investigation by The Washington Post and other media last December found that “Haven’s” messages were fake; the phone numbers he used were registered to online services that allow texting via the Internet and redirecting calls, while his photo matches a former high school classmate of Jackie’s who lives in a different state. No “Haven Monahan” exists on the UVA campus or, apparently, anywhere in the United States (at least outside romance novels). The catfishing scheme seems to have been a ploy to get the attention of a male friend on whom Jackie had a crush—the same friend she called for help after the alleged assault.

Is it possible that someone sexually assaulted Jackie on the night when she claimed to be going out with her fictional suitor? Theoretically, yes. But it’s also clear that her credibility is as non-existent as “Haven Monahan.”

Moreover, the police investigation has debunked another one of Jackie’s claims: that in spring 2014, when she was already an anti-rape activist, some men harassed her in the street off-campus and threw a bottle that hit her face and (improbably) broke. Jackie said that her roommate picked glass out of a cut on her face; but the roommate disputes this and describes the injury as a scrape, likely from a fall. Jackie also said she called her mother immediately after that attack, but phone records show no such call.

Despite all this, Chief Longo wouldn’t call Jackie’s story a false allegation and even referred to her as “this survivor” (though amending it to the more neutral “or this complaining party”).

Meanwhile, in the CNN report on the March 23 press conference, anchor Brooke Baldwin, correspondent Sara Ganim and legal analyst Sunny Hostin were tripping over each other to assert that “we have to be very careful” not to brand Jackie a liar and that “she could have been sexually assaulted.” Hostin argued that the idea that Jackie made it all up “flies in the face of statistics,” because “only about 2 percent of rapes that are reported are false.”

This is a bogus statistic, which Hostin misattributed to the FBI. (According to FBI data, 8 to 9 percent of police reports of sexual assault are dismissed as “unfounded”; the reality of false rape reports is far more complicated, and it’s almost impossible to get a reliable estimate.) Even if it were true, it would say nothing about Jackie’s specific case. What’s more, statistics on false allegations generally refer to police reports or at least formal administrative complaints at a college—neither of which Jackie was willing to file.

CNN never mentioned the evidence that Jackie fabricated “Haven Monahan.” Neither did the New York Times, which said only that “the police were unable to track Mr. Monahan down.”

Jackie’s defenders argue that rape victims often change their stories because their recall is affected by trauma. It is true that memory, not just of traumatic events, can be unreliable; a victim may at various points give somewhat different descriptions of the offender or the attack. It is also true that, as writer Jessica Valenti argues, someone who tells the truth about being raped may lie to cover up embarrassing details (such as going to the rapist’s apartment to buy drugs).

None of that, however, requires us to suspend rational judgment and pretend that Jackie’s story is anything other than a fabrication. While Jackie is probably more troubled than malevolent, she is not the victim here. If there’s a victim, it’s Phi Kappa Psi, the fraternity branded a nest of rapists, suspended and targeted for vandalism—as well as UVA Dean Nicole Eramo, whom the Rolling Stone story painted as a callous bureaucrat indifferent to Jackie’s plight.

Jackie lied, Erdely lied, Rolling Stone lied, Teresa Sullivan — at best — went along with a lie. All should face more consequences than they have so far experienced.

Plus: “For the rest of us, this episode shows how extreme and irrational ‘rape culture’ dogma has become, and how urgent it is to break its hold on public discourse. The current moral panic may be an overreaction to real problems of failure to support victims of sexual violence. But when truth becomes heresy, the pendulum has swung too far, with disastrous consequences for civil rights and basic justice.”

UPDATE: Ann Althouse says I should be calling for “more speech,” not “consequences.” The very first commenter on her post busts her on this, correctly:

The proper remedy for perjury is not “more speech”.

The proper remedy for filing a false police report is not “more speech”.

The proper remedy for slander is not “more speech”.

The proper remedy for all of the above are “consequences”.

Yes, “more speech” is a remedy for opinions one doesn’t like. When speech falls into the category of actions — which false accusations certainly do — it calls for more than simple talk as a response. (But note that Jackie was smart enough not to file a police report, though that should have been a tip-off). And I should note that the fraternity in question was the victim of violent mob action that was ginned up in part by the University of Virginia itself. Is the only remedy for officially-inspired thuggery “more speech?” No. That’s one remedy, but it’s not the only remedy, nor should it be.


House Democrats will launch a series of attacks on Republicans over college affordability over the next two weeks, when members of Congress will fan out across the country for the Easter recess.

The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee will hit 15 Republicans via advertisements in student newspapers at colleges and universities in their districts, according to a release provided first to CQ Roll Call. The ads attack these Republicans for not supporting Pell Grants — which provide funding for low-income students working toward undergraduate degrees.

The 15 members either voted for the House Republican budget — which calls for 10-year freeze to the maximum Pell Grant award, currently set at $5,775 — or, they voted against both the GOP budget and the budget submitted by House Democrats, which maintained funding levels for the Pell Grant program.

“The Republicans made a clear statement of their priorities by casting votes that would make it more expensive for young people to attend college — priorities that stand in stark contrast to Democrats,” DCCC Chairman Ben Ray Luján said in the release. “We will be using the first week of Congress’s April recess to remind voters just how out of touch Republicans are on college affordability.”

These are the Republicans targeted, and the schools where students will see ads.

The Republicans should respond with a bill freezing tuitions.

DOING JOBS AMERICANS WON’T AREN’T ALLOWED TO DO: Amazon tests delivery drones at secret Canada site after US frustration.

THEY TOLD ME IF I VOTED AGAINST BARACK OBAMA, WE’D HAVE POLITICIANS OBSESSED WITH ETHNIC PURITY. AND THEY WERE RIGHT! “A Brooklyn city councilwoman wants to know why ‘blocs’ of Asians are living in two Fort Greene housing projects — and suggested it would be ‘beneficial’ to assign housing by ethnic group.”


Rabbi Shmuley Boteach, a television host, author and political aspirant, will publish a full-page advertisement in The Washington Post on Tuesday urging President Obama not to “appease” Iran by signing a nuclear agreement.

The advertisement says Obama should be compared to former British Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain if he signs an Iranian nuclear deal with a one-year “breakout” period.

Chamberlain signed an agreement to allow Nazi Germany to annex parts of Czechoslovakia in 1938, one year before it invaded Poland. Negotiators in the Iran talks are working on a deal meant to prevent Iran from getting a nuclear weapon for at least one year if it pulls out of a deal.

“Do not sign a deal that allows the potentially catastrophic one-year-weapons-breakout period, which endangers the Middle East, America, and the world,” the ad reads.

The ad comes on the day of a deadline for the United States and five other world powers to reach an agreement with Iran to curb its nuclear program in exchange for sanctions relief.

Bad deal.

REALLY? BOYCOTTING ISRAEL? The Virginia bar continues to disgrace itself.

SCOTT SHACKFORD: Indiana’s RFRA—and the Response—Is All About the Signaling: What the law actually says is mostly irrelevant in our cultural climate.

Actually, it’s mostly about satisfying the Democrats’ core constituencies’ bottomless desire to feel morally superior.

OH, OF COURSE NOT: State Department: No consequences for missing Iran deal deadline. Deadlines, Red Lines — consequences not an issue.

March 30, 2015

SPENCER KLAVAN: How Colleges Protect Their Students (Unless They’re Male, Conservative, or Jewish).

WHERE THERE’S A WILL, THERE’S A WAY: Woman Finds Kidney Donor — via Plea on Car Window.

WALTER OLSON: Obstruction of justice, the collectively bargained way.

ONWARD, CHRISTIAN SOLDIERS: Former 10th Mountain Division soldier aids Christian militias fighting ISIS.

THERE MUST BE SOME OTHER ERROR, IT SHOWS HIS BIRTHPLACE AS NAIROBI: The Hill: Autofill mistake exposes Obama’s passport data.


Screen Shot 2015-03-30 at 8.32.18 PM



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SCIENCE: Survey Says: Middle Class Women Want To Get Laid.

VIDEO: Steve Crowder interviews Mark Rippetoe. Planet Fitness is mocked.

DIVE SITE: There’s a mysterious bomber at the bottom of Lake Mead. “The Overton Arm B-29 — named for the part of Lake Mead where it crashed in 1948 — tested a secret ballistic-missile guidance system. The nature of the test required a risky and dangerous flight. But a historic drought has lowered Lake Mead’s levels, and may soon give recreational divers access to the sunken bomber.”

SHE’D BE A FRESH FACE, AND NOT YOUR USUAL POLITICO: Nashville Tennessean: Vanderbilt’s Carol Swain ‘open’ to leading Tenn. GOP.

CHINA STILL CAN’T FRACK: “Beijing lays claim to the world’s largest shale gas reserves and third-largest shale oil reserves. Yet, as countries like Poland, Lithuania, Romania, South Africa, and the UK are all learning, simply possessing the resource isn’t enough. The American energy renaissance has not come gift-wrapped; rather it has been a product of a great number of favorable factors and innovative efforts.” It’s been so powerful that even Obama hasn’t been able to kill it.

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JET CARDS: THE NEW STATUS SYMBOL? Well, I’d like one, but not so much for the status as for the mobility.

A HISTORY OF WORLD WAR TWO, in 25 Airplanes.

TIPPING: A Guide For Young Men.

READER BOOK PLUG: From Sean Golden, Warrior.

WHEN LAW PROFESSORS breach publication contracts.

ANN ALTHOUSE ON INDIANA AND RFRA: “Indiana has focused attention on RFRA laws, but it’s stupid to focus on Indiana. These laws are all over the place. Understand them. Understand how they apply in many different scenarios and how they are limited by courts in their application. Understand that if we’re going to relieve religious believers of the burdens of generally applicable laws, courts are going to have to avoid preferring one religion over another. You can’t accommodate the religions you agree with or think are sweet and fuzzy and say no to the ones who seem mean or ugly. We need to figure that out. If, in the end, you think the Indiana RFRA is a bad idea, check that map and see if your state has RFRA (or a RFRA-like state constitutional provision) and push for repeal in your state. And get after Congress. Congress started it. Unless you’re Hoosier, leave Indiana alone. Stop otherizing Indiana. AND: I had to wonder What does Garrett Epps think about this? Because Garrett Epps wrote a whole book about how terrible it was for the U.S. Supreme Court to deny special exceptions to religious believers, especially in that case where Native Americans wanted the freedom to use peyote. As I predicted, Epps is otherizing Indiana.”

Here’s the deal: (1) Indiana has gone from a swing state to a red state, so it’s fair game; and (2) Dems need something to agitate the base so it doesn’t pay attention to Iranian nukes, trashed email servers, and an overall culture of corruption. Those who join in are willing enablers.

TEEN LIBERTARIAN draws crowds of 200,000 in Brazil.

HOW “AFFIRMATIVE CONSENT” LAWS CRIMINALIZE EVERYONE: If a student throws her arms around her boyfriend and kisses him without his permission, even if she has done this dozens of times before, she has violated affirmative consent policies. “Affirmative consent laws trivialize sexual assault by turning nearly everyone who has ever dated into a sexual offender.” But only disfavored students will ever be prosecuted.

K-12 IMPLOSION UPDATE: Florida School Suspends 11-year-old Girl for Video Recording Teacher Threatening to Hurt Other Student. “The evidence Brianna Cooper recorded was enough to get the teacher fired from Samuel Gaines Academy in Fort Pierce, about two hours north of Miami. But administrators say it was also enough to earn the student a five-day suspension. After all, they claim, the teacher, had an expectation of privacy in the classroom.” How can anyone have an “expectation of privacy” in a classroom full of people?

JUDICIAL WATCH: Corruption Scandals Led to Harry Reid’s Abrupt “Retirement.” “You’d never know it from the mainstream media puff pieces of Harry Reid’s sudden retirement, but it was a long string of corruption scandals—including a recent one involving his attorney son—that drove the veteran Nevada senator to abruptly leave public office.”

UH OH: Video: One dead, two wounded at Fort Meade’s NSA gate after vehicle attack. “A bizarre attack on the NSA access gate has left at least one person dead and two more wounded, after guards opened fire on an SUV attempting to crash through the barriers. Initial news reports say that two men dressed as women attempted to force their way into Fort Meade, and the gunfight ensued.”

MY USA TODAY COLUMN: You’re Probably Breaking The Law Right Now.

TAXPROF ROUNDUP: The IRS Scandal, Day 690.


America’s higher education system is an example to the world—and that’s not necessarily all to the good. In a lead article as well as a special feature, the Economist argues that America’s higher ed system is increasingly spreading across the globe, with more and more people going to universities that resemble America’s colleges. However, as the Economist notes, America’s education system is good at delivering excellence but become increasingly dysfunctional—and very expensive. One of the main reasons is that some colleges have become credential mills, where earning a degree is more important than learning. . . .

Another reason why higher ed’s bang-to-buck ratio is lower these days, ironically, is that generous federal student loans have helped subsidize an expensive system and even perhaps made it pricier. The Economist’s special report argues that technology, especially MOOCs and online courses, could help in this regard by lowering costs. But many colleges—and college faculty members—resist them because they have a lot invested in the status quo.

In fact, the adoption of MOOCs may be a case in which the U.S. can learn from the rest of the world. Unmentioned by the Economist is that MOOCs (though offered by companies of American origin) are popular in other countries like India and Trinidad and Tobago. The rest of the world might surpass us, in other words, in embracing and legitimizing educational tech—particularly if it permits people who wouldn’t ordinarily have access to a traditional, brick-and-mortar college to start attending classes online. If that’s true, American colleges should start taking a page out of foreign colleges’ playbook.

But they won’t because the foreign colleges’ playbook offers insufficient remuneration for administrators.

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MY USA TODAY COLUMN: You’re Probably Breaking The Law Right Now.

THIS STORY IS SEVERAL MONTHS OLD, BUT SOMEHOW IT’S GOTTEN NEW SOCIAL-MEDIA LIFE, AND IT WAS NEW TO ME: There are more museums in the U.S. than there are Starbucks and McDonalds – combined.

HIGHER EDUCATION BUBBLE UPDATE: Academic dishonesty at Stanford: What compels elite students to cheat? For some, perhaps many, that’s how they got there. Others learned once they arrived. Neither phenomenon speaks well of college as an improving enterprise.

BYRON YORK: Reid Senate career a story of money and muscle.

In 1998, Nevada Sen. Harry Reid paid $400,000 for two pieces of residential land outside Las Vegas. It was a complicated deal. Reid secretly transferred ownership of the property to a company set up by his friend and lawyer Jay Brown, who then convinced the local government to re-zone the land for commercial development. In 2004, Brown sold it to a group of developers and Reid walked away with $1.1 million.

“The complex dealings allowed Reid to transfer ownership, legal liability and some tax consequences to Brown’s company without public knowledge, but still collect a seven-figure payoff nearly three years later,” the Associated Press reported in 2006. “Reid hung up the phone when questioned about the deal during an AP interview.”

It was a classic Harry Reid transaction: legal but a little shady, and undoubtedly lucrative. Business deals like that allowed Reid to do very well during his years in the Senate, spent of late in a luxury condominium in Washington’s Ritz Carlton.

Democrats: Fighting for the little guy.

IT’S COME TO THIS: Wanted: New, ‘Politically Correct’ White House Fence.

HIGHER EDUCATION BUBBLE UPDATE: What happens when you find out a year of college costs $71,000? “The sticker price at NYU gained attention earlier this week when incoming freshmen, Nia Mirza, started a petition to get the school to lower the cost of attendance. Mirza, a 19-year-old from Pakistan, claims the price went up after she committed to early admission to the class of 2019. She said she thought it would cost roughly $64,000 to attend the tony private school.”

Hey, those Presidential beach houses on Fire Island don’t come cheap.

THE HILL: O’Malley: Nuclear Iran ‘greatest man-made threat.’

Former Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley (D) on Sunday said that a nuclear-armed Iran would present the gravest “man-made” danger to American interests.

“The greatest threat that we face right now in terms of man-made threats is a nuclear Iran and related extremist violence,” O’Malley told host George Stephanopoulos on ABC’s “This Week.”

“I don’t think you can separate the two,” he added.

O’Malley, a likely 2016 Democratic presidential candidate, said climate change served as the worst environmental threat to national security. He said that Tehran possessing atomic bombs, however, was still a preventable catastrophe.

If nothing else, he’s provided the GOP with a TV-ad sound bite.

K-12 IMPLOSION UPDATE: Boy Got a Haircut Like His Military Step-Brother, School Suspended Him: Why is it okay for public school officials to place totally unnecessary, soul-crushing restrictions on students? Sending your kids, even boys, to public school isn’t exactly child abuse, but it’s looking more and more like parental malpractice.

WELL, THAT’S GOOD NEWS FOR PEOPLE WITH RARE DISEASES: Big Profits Seen In Rare Diseases. “For decades, drugmakers were reluctant to invest in rare-disease treatments, preferring to focus on mass-market drugs for cholesterol, heart trouble, and other common problems. Then, starting a decade ago, patents on some of the industry’s most lucrative medicines began to expire, and cheap generic drugs started wiping out tens of billions of dollars in annual revenue. So many companies shifted money to rare-disease drugs, knowing that those medicines cost less to develop and will face limited competition. Some already sell for $100,000 or more for a year of treatment, although drugmakers usually give financial aid to patients and big discounts to insurers.”

HMM: Black churches divorce Presbyterians over gay marriage. “This shows the riff between white liberals and minorities over gay marriage. Minorities overwhelmingly supported the Proposition 8 ban on gay marriage in California, which passed in 2008.”

Prediction: Neither the press, nor LGBT rights groups, will call them bigots. Here’s the press release.

March 29, 2015


There are two things that we know about the next election, more or less: first, the Democrats [are] tanking among white voters. Second, black voters aren’t going to come out for a non-black Presidential candidate with the same intensity that they did for Barack Obama. Add those two together, and the end result looks very bad for the Democratic party.

And that’s why Hillary Clinton is still being propped up by the Democratic establishment: she’s the most prominent female politician that they have right now. I personally don’t think that she’s going to be able to recreate Barack Obama’s 2012 performance when it comes to white women voters, but former Secretary Clinton has a better shot at it than pretty much anybody else. …And that is, as they say, pretty much it.

Martin O’Malley.

IT’S COME TO THIS: Michael Tomasky: “And so what I hope is that Obama administration officials are, well, lying. That is, I hope they’re just saying this stuff about a new and improved Iran because they think it might help build public support for a deal. That’s not very appealing, but it’s better than the other possibility, which is that they actually believe this stuff.”

ED DRISCOLL: Peggy Noonan, Then And Now. In 2008 she was allowed to like Barack Obama. In 2015, she’s not allowed to like Ted Cruz.

KEVIN WILLIAMSON: Of Course Ted Cruz Can Win. “In football, any team can win on any given Sunday; in politics, any candidate can win on any given Tuesday. Ted Cruz did not cut a swath through Democrats to take his seat in the Senate — the Democrat, whose name I defy you to call up, was pro forma — but rather by defeating the Republican political machine in Texas and by making fools of its top dogs. If you think that he managed that by being stupid, then there is an adjective in this sentence for you.”


Via Don Surber.

ALFONZO RACHEL: The Reasons Why Democrats Are the Party of Slavery and Victimization.

CHANGE: Russia’s oligarchs head for London as rouble collapses. I think they want to get away from Putin’s response to the ruble collapse more than from the ruble collapse itself. . . .

RUTHIE BLUM ON THE LATEST LENA DUNHAM FLAP: “Most striking about the enraged responses was what they did not include: The impunity with which women are allowed to express contempt for members of the male sex, while cloaking their own neediness and hunger for love in outdated feminist lingo. Indeed, nobody calls them out on things that men could never get away with saying, certainly not in print.”

This will persist until men stop putting up with it.

JONATHAN LAST: The Campus Left Begins to Implode. “The good news is that these sorts of perversions always burn themselves out-they’re too untethered to reality. Eventually people realize that the radicalism is really about just one thing: power. And once people begin to challenge the dogmas, they collapse in a cascade. Because as they lose their power to exact a price for criticism, they attract more of it.”

SCIENCE: Indefinite Safe Sex Urged for Liberian Ebola Survivors. “The Liberian government recommended on Saturday that survivors of Ebola practice safe sex indefinitely, until more information can be collected on the length of time the virus might remain present in body fluids including semen. Previously, male survivors were advised to abstain from sexual intercourse or to use condoms for three months, reflecting that the active virus had been detected for up to 82 days in semen.”

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MY USA TODAY COLUMN: You’re Probably Breaking The Law Right Now.

MICHAEL WALSH: So What Really Did Happen to Harry Reid? “It’s pretty obvious from the photographs that somebody beat the bejesus out of the soon-to-be-former senator from Nevada. . . . So what happened? Is there a single honest, curious reporter left in Washington? No need to answer that question.”

JEKYLL & HYDE: Driving the BMW i8. “Tromp the i8’s throttle and you’re whisked into motion like protons in a collider. The instant signature shove of electric torque helps. The miniature gas engine chimes in with a backup duet voice. It’s canned but uncanny: a synthesized simulation of engine sound piped through door speakers to complement the actual exhaust note. You’d never know that a three-cylinder engine was at work; instead, the BMW’s chesty rumble sounds like a Porsche flat-six mating with a flying saucer.”

PHOTO GALLERY: The Sad Decline of Florida’s Space Coast.

SPACE: More Ingredients for Life Identified on Mars.

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HISTORIC PROOF: The 1891 Patent for Toilet Paper Settles the Over/Under Question Once and for All. Sorry, I’m not changing.

THE BETTER TO DOWNLOAD YOU, MY DEAR: Carbon nanotube fibers make superior links to brain.