ALAN TURING WAS A SMART MAN: Turing’s theory of chemical morphogenesis validated 60 years after his death. “Alan Turing’s accomplishments in computer science are well known, but lesser known is his impact on biology and chemistry. In his only paper on biology, Turing proposed a theory of morphogenesis, or how identical copies of a single cell differentiate, for example, into an organism with arms and legs, a head and tail. Now, 60 years after Turing’s death, researchers from Brandeis University and the University of Pittsburgh have provided the first experimental evidence that validates Turing’s theory in cell-like structures.”
BUT OF COURSE: FBI Happy That NSA Revelations Are Distracting People From How Much Spying FBI Does. “Like the NSA, the FBI seems to have interpreted its terrorism-prevention mandate as license to collect and retain as much information as possible. It sweeps up massive amounts of information and retains it in giant databases—regardless of whether the information indicates any threat or wrongdoing. This broad collection and retention raises the same concerns about impacts on privacy and First-Amendment-protected activity as the NSA’s programs. In fact, in the case of the FBI, some of these concerns have already proved well-founded.”
SCIENCE: Think a hangover will teach you not to drink? Guess again. It only delays the next drink if you’re short on cash.
Ever wake up with a crippling hangover and think “never doing that again”? Most people who have had the experience end up drinking again before too long—if they didn’t, there probably wouldn’t be much of a market for all the vintners, brewers, and distillers currently in business. Still, you might think that a bad hangover would cause people to exercise a bit more caution with their alcohol intake.
If you thought so, you’d probably be wrong, at least according to research that went out last week. Some researchers set up a few hundred young Missouri relatives with electronic diaries and asked them to track their drinking and hangover experiences. (In academic jargon, this approach is apparently termed an “Ecological Momentary Assessment.”) Twenty-one days and a hefty 2,276 “drinking episodes” later, the researchers looked at whether incidents of hangover—of which there were 463—had little effect on how long it took participants to have their next drink.
It initially looked like hangovers scared people off, with an average increase of six hours until the next drink among those who suffered from one. But many other factors affect drinking frequency, so the authors had to do a multivariate analysis, taking into account things like a history of alcohol abuse, the day of the week, typical drinking frequency, and so on. When these other factors were considered, the impact of hangovers largely went away.
Of course, some people respond to a hangover by taking a drink as a cure — I used to do that in college, a habit that I outgrew along with drinking enough to be hung over — so that may affect things. Science also says that “hair of the dog” trick doesn’t work, but it sure seemed to . . . .
CANADIAN PORN CHANNELS in trouble for not showing enough Canadian content. I saw a Canadian porn film once in law school. It featured lascivious shots of the woman removing her knee-high wool socks. No, I am not joking.
POPULAR MECHANICS: Malaysia Airlines Flight 370: How Can an Airliner Just Disappear? “A system that would use satellites to beam an airliner’s position and other vital information is not only possible—it’s already being used on some planes. In fact, on long-haul routes that fly over the North Pole or the Pacific Ocean, where radar coverage can be iffy, the latest models from Boeing and Airbus are using data link communications to transmit GPS coordinates and status updates. Even if the bandwidth wouldn’t allow large amounts of information, such as those contained in the black boxes, it could be vital to tracking down the aircraft itself.” But not this one.
NEW DISCOVERY: How To Get Dianne Feinstein To Support The Fourth Amendment: Snoop On And Intimidate Her Staff. Well, we’ve already got Lois Lerner supporting the Fifth, so just 8 amendments to go!
IRS SCANDAL UPDATE: House Releases Report on Lois Lerner’s Role in the IRS Scandal. 141 pages, summary at the link. Full report here. Some key bits:
Lerner broke IRS rules by mishandling taxpayer information: While Lerner told Congress under oath, “I have not violated any IRS rules or regulations,” e-mails show Lerner handled protected 6103 taxpayer information in her nonofficial e-mail account. In a November 2013 letter from Daniel Werfel, Werfel notes, “We do not permit IRS officials to send taxpayer information to their personal email addresses. An IRS employee should not send taxpayer information to his or her personal email address in any form, including redacted.” – p. 33
Lerner planned to retire in October all along: While House Democrats have pushed that Lerner was forced out by the IRS as a result of the TIGTA report; new e-mails indicate that Lerner had planned an October retirement long before TIGTA released its report. Her paid leave amounted to a paid vacation preceding her retirement – it does not appear that the IRS penalized her in any way for her conduct. – p. 40-41
Despite knowing about improper scrutiny, Lerner had IRS blame victims: An IRS document bearing Lerner’s signature shows that in March 2012, despite knowing about improper scrutiny at that time, Lerner reviewed and signed off on a response to Congress that blamed applicants for heightened scrutiny. “[T]he IRS contacts the organization and solicits additional information when the organization does not provide sufficient information in response to the questions on the Form 1024 or if issues are raised by the application …. The revenue agent uses sound reasoning based on tax law training and his or her experience to review the application and identify the additional information needed to make a proper determination of the organization’s exempt status.” – p. 36
Concern Citizens United hurting Democrats: Lerner believed the Executive Branch needed to take steps to undermine the Supreme Court’s Citizens United decision. A senior advisor to Lerner e-mailed her an article about allegations that unknown conservative donors were influencing U.S. Senate races. The article explained how outside money was making it increasingly difficult for Democrats to remain in the majority in the Senate. Lerner replied: “Perhaps the FEC will save the day.” – p. 21
Much more at the link.
BECAUSE ENVY AND RESENTMENT ARE WHAT KEEP THE LEFTY COALITION TOGETHER: Joseph Malchow: Those Nonsensical ‘Google Bus’ Attacks: Why declare war on the tech workers who pour $14.5 billion of income tax into California? And because extortion is what funds it. These groups, like Jesse Jackson in his glory days, are just looking to be bought off.
TAXPROF ROUNDUP: The IRS Scandal, Day 306.
REDISTRIBUTION: Investor’s Business Daily: 70% Of U.S. Spending Is Writing Checks To Individuals. “In 1991, direct payments accounted for less than half the budget and 10% of GDP. What’s more, the cost of these direct payments is exploding. Even after adjusting for inflation, they’ve shot up 29% under Obama.”
MORE RUBES SELF-IDENTIFY: Unions Suffer For ObamaCare:
The first problem is that Obamacare regulations are already pushing up the cost of multiemployer insurance plans. Moreover, many of the regulations don’t really fit the plans — for example, many multiemployer plans do not distinguish between single and family policies, offering everyone the same insurance at the same cost.
The second problem is that the 40 percent excise tax on especially expensive plans — the so-called Cadillac tax — is going to hit union plans especially hard. Unlike most people negotiating compensation, union negotiators make an explicit trade-off between wages and other benefits, and the benefit that they seem most attached to is generous health plans. Union plans are made more expensive still because union membership is heavily skewed toward older workers. They are thus very likely to get hit by the Cadillac tax, which takes effect in 2018.
And the third problem is that Obamacare undercuts one of the key benefits of being in a union. Take a low-wage service worker who is currently insured through her union’s multiemployer plan. If she went to work for a nonunion shop, she could get a substantial wage hike, use part of it to buy a heavily subsidized exchange policy, and still be better off. As I heard one expert say, Obamacare turns health insurance from an organizing tool to a disorganizing tool.
Oft evil will shall evil mar.
#WARONBOYS: Body-Image Pressure Increasingly Affects Boys. Perhaps, along with “average Barbie,” we need pressure for “average GI Joe?” I’m guessing that won’t get as much traction. On the other hand, this isn’t unhealthy: “Of the boys who were highly concerned with their weight, about half were worried only about gaining more muscle.” Send ‘em to the weight room with a copy of Rippetoe.
RUNNING ON EMPTY: UK Shale Struggles A Reminder Of Why America Succeeded.
America remains the sole state to capitalize on its shale oil and gas resources, and difficulties in countries like the UK and China remind us that the shale revolution was more than just the result of applying the dual techniques of hydraulic fracturing and horizontal well drilling to underground hydrocarbon reservoirs. Rather, the US energy revolution was the product of a mature oil and gas drilling industry, replete with robust supply chains. The boom depended on a unique set of mineral rights that provided landowners with a financial incentive to invite drillers on to their land, on a deep pool of capital, and on a variety of small wildcatting firms willing to take on the risk of drilling exploratory wells. . . .
This isn’t to say that shale can’t be tapped elsewhere, just that it’s going to be a more difficult process than many world leaders not named Obama might like. But the race to produce even a pale imitation of America’s experience is more important to European energy security now than ever, given the situation in Ukraine. Europe sources nearly a third of its natural gas from Russia, and that’s a lever Brussels is keen to rid itself of as it maneuvers against Moscow. Lawmakers in Washington have made the case that American LNG could help on that front, but so too could the continent’s significant domestic supply of shale gas. The Crimean crisis may be the strongest incentive yet for Europe to frack.
Frack now, or regret it later. By the way, I recommend Gregory Zuckerman’s The Frackers on this. I interviewed him here.
RIP: Joe McGinniss, the journalist who harassed Sarah Palin, dead at 71. “Too bad to put in a life’s work and have something creepy that you did be the #1 thing many or most people attach to your name when they see that you died.”
JAMES TARANTO: 1930-Something: Old-school leftists are unhappy with Obama’s America.
Reed disdains what he calls “the cult of the most oppressed,” the idea “that there’s something about the purity of these oppressed people that has the power to condense the mass uprising. I’ve often compared it to the cargo cults. . . . As my dad used to say, ‘If oppression conferred heightened political consciousness there would be a People’s Republic of Mississippi.’ ” (This all seems a bit out of place in Salon, whose usual stock in trade is exotic identity-based grievances. Last week the site ran an article by Randa Jarrar, an Arab-American novelist, titled “Why I Can’t Stand White Belly Dancers.”)
Conservatives share Reed’s and Frank’s aversion to identity politics, though of course for different reasons. They (we) see it as anathema to the classical liberal ideas of individual freedom and equality of opportunity. Reed pointedly rejects what he calls “a neoliberal understanding of an equality of opportunity.”
What Reed wishes for instead, in his Harper’s article, is a radical “redistributive vision,” which “requires grounding in a vibrant labor movement.” There’s more than a bit of nostalgia here: He opens by observing that the left “crested in influence between 1935 and 1945, when it anchored a coalition centered in the labor movement,” and that “at the federal level its high point may have come in 1944, when FDR propounded what he called ‘a second Bill of Rights,’ ” including “the right to a ‘useful and remunerative job,’ ‘adequate medical care,’ and ‘adequate protection from the economic fears of old age, sickness, accident, and unemployment.’ “
What we actually have is a coalition of Wall Street — they don’t call him President Goldman Sachs for nothing — and gentry liberals, with enough minorities included as electoral fodder to provide key votes. But look who’s getting richer these days. It’s the .1 percent. A few rubes are just starting to catch on.
IRS SCANDAL UPDATE: The Silence Of The Tax Lamb.
Just what was Lerner doing on the taxpayer dime that she doesn’t want to share?
Lerner’s silence is especially unsettling given that her attorney, William Taylor III, told reporters that Lerner had given a full interview to the Department of Justice with no grant of immunity. Lerner’s lawyers, he said, have confidence that prosecutors, unlike Issa, are open-minded. Thing is, also unlike Issa, the Department of Justice is in a position to prosecute people.
“It does strike me as a little odd,” Rutgers law Professor George Thomas III told the Wall Street Journal. “One explanation is the one given by her lawyer. The other, darker explanation is that she and her lawyer think that DOJ is not interested in a serious investigation of the IRS treatment of these tax-exempt groups.”
Could it be that Lerner’s lawyers do not fear the often-terrifying Justice Department precisely because President Obama already signaled there is no cause for concern because the IRS story is a “phony scandal”?
Similarly, the president signaled his disdain for conservative nonprofits during the 2010 and 2012 election seasons. Lo and behold, the IRS started to put conservative tax-exempt organizations on the slow track and under a microscope.
Who will rid me of these turbulent Tea Party groups?
IN CALIFORNIA, STANDING UP AGAINST RACISM:
Asians in the San Gabriel Valley and beyond joined forces Friday to rally against a proposed Senate constitutional amendment that they said would punish their children for working hard to achieve the American Dream.
Olivia Liao, president of the Joint Chinese University Alumni Association, said Senate Constitutional Amendment No. 5 is racist because it allows public education institutions to give preferential treatment on the basis of race, sex, color, ethnicity or national origin.
Well, that’s basically correct.
BYRON YORK: Dems can’t run on Obamacare and can’t hide from it either.
Some Democrats hope to minimize the importance of Obamacare as a political issue by focusing on other topics in this November’s midterm elections. Some hope to win by promising to fix the flawed national health care plan they passed in 2010. And others hope to turn the issue on Republicans by appealing to voters who have been helped by the law.
The problem is, none of that will work. The importance of Obamacare as an issue in November 2014 cannot be controlled by either political party. It will be determined by just one thing, and that is the performance of Obamacare as a law in the months preceding the election.
The Obama administration obviously understands that. There is no other explanation than political expediency for its announcement last week that it is extending the “keep your plan” fix until 2016 for Americans who have coverage that doesn’t meet Obamacare’s minimum standards.
The administration knows that the same kinds of cancellations that happened to holders of individual policies over the winter will happen later this year to people insured in the small group market. That could be a lot of newly-angry voters. So the White House put it off until after Election Day.
The administration did not take action because it feared Republicans might gin up some fake health care controversy to be used against Democrats. It took action because it knew Obamacare was going to impose new burdens on millions of Americans with an election approaching.
It’s train wrecks all the way down. But if Obama has his way, they’ll be post-election train wrecks.
I THINK THIS MEANS “ANOTHER BADLY-CHOSEN NOMINEE.” Roll Call: Next Nasty Nomination Fight for Obama: Michael Boggs on the Hot Seat. Also, gun rights activists are gearing up to oppose Surgeon General nominee — and anti-gunner — Vivek Murthy.
THE HILL: Europe calls for more US natural gas exports.
So, basically, now it’s the Europeans echoing Sarah Palin’s “drill, baby, drill?”
GOVERNORS FACE SPECIAL PERILS IN RUNNING FOR PRESIDENT: “Christie may not have this problem, but governors who’ve never run for president underestimate what a national vetting is like. Issues they thought were aired and dismissed at the state level reappear, with more reporters and oppo teams combing through the archives for nuggets. The candidate who does not vet himself and is not prepared to respond to hordes of challenges, reveal taxes, satisfy voters on health concerns and have past writings and speeches flyspecked is making a huge mistake.”
I DON’T THINK OF THINKPROGRESS AS A “THINK” TANK: When Think Tanks Are In The Tank: A blogger claims ThinkProgress toned down its positions at White House request, and suggests this is business-as-usual in Washington. But if they were really coordinating messaging at White House direction, their tax exemption would be questionable. And note the non-denial-denial from ThinkProgress’s Judd Legum.
Oh, who am I kidding? The IRS doesn’t go after people who do Obama’s bidding.
MORE OBAMACARE LIES: Enroll America told reporter ‘no truth’ to Kathleen Sebelius fundraising claims.
A Fox News reporter was told by Enroll America that “there was no truth” to a tip that Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius was fundraising for the group, ending an early investigation into her activities.
Emails obtained by the Washington Examiner through a Freedom of Information Act request show officials scrambling to decide how to respond to the Fox inquiry.
Two days after the Fox reporter, Joe Weber, was waived off by the denial, the Washington Post on May 10 would go on to break the story that Sebelius had asked private companies and nonprofits to donate to Enroll America, a group with close White House ties formed to promote Obamacare enrollment.
This whole “Enroll America” thing sounds fishy anyway.
WITCH HUNT? Judge in general’s court-martial dismisses jury after e-mails emerge.
A military judge dismissed the jury Monday in Army Brig. Gen. Jeffrey Sinclair’s court-martial after e-mails emerged over the weekend that could point to alleged Pentagon interference in the proceedings.
Among the 22 pages of e-mails are a January communication in which a senior military lawyer writes Fort Bragg’s chief of military justice casting doubt on SInclair’s accuser’s credibility, and a February correspondence in which a lieutenant colonel with the Judge Advocate General’s Corps asked for a colonel’s “thoughts/opinion” on Sinclair’s offer to enter a plea.
According to CNN affiliate WTVD, Col. James Pohl, the presiding judge in the court-martial, granted a motion to reconsider whether unlawful command influence has marred the proceedings. The judge ruled Army prosecutors failed to meet their burden of proof in denying that the court-martial had been unduly influenced.
The command authority certainly seems to have been going after a lot of generals and admirals lately.
KANSAS TEA PARTY SENATE CANDIDATE MILT WOLF IS running a Money Bomb campaign today and tomorrow.
LESSONS ON PRIVACY from a porn star. “You cannot expect your legal name to remain a secret, and a stage name will not fool people who recognize you. . . . But this same lack of context is something any of us can experience. It’s what happens when any ill-advised tweet or embarrassing Facebook picture goes viral. Ten years ago, I would have judged people over the course of several conversations. Now I evaluate them based on a few snippets of their social media presence.” We’re all porn stars now, except for the paychecks.
CURRENT RESULTS IN THE INSTAPUNDIT STRAW POLL: Rand Paul 26%, Scott Walker 21%, Ted Cruz 20%. Rick Perry & Sarah Palin 5% each, Marco Rubio & Chris Christie 2% each. Total votes cast: 12,948. You can vote here.
VIDEO: Dolphin Comes Out Of Nowhere And Asks Diver For Help. I generally dive with EMT shears. This guy looks like he’s got a Leatherman.
BUY FOR YOURSELF, OR FOR THAT SPECIAL PRESIDENT IN YOUR LIFE: Deals on new 2014 Golf Gear.
Also, Award-Winning Titles in Movies & TV.
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A QUEST TO KILL GATORADE:
Lim says that Gatorade, Powerade, and their ilk rely so much on artificial and excessive ingredients that their effects are actually the opposite of what’s intended—making athletes not lean and mean but sick and sluggish. With Skratch Labs, his company based in nearby Boulder, he’s dreaming up products that change the way those athletes fuel themselves. At the Skratch Labs kitchen trailer in the parking lot, folks are jockeying for free samples of the company’s signature Exercise Hydration Mix powder. “I haven’t touched Gatorade since I tried your mix!” a fan gushes. “Taking Gatorade out!” Lim cries with his typical giddiness, slapping the guy a high five.
Water is also good.
HIGHER EDUCATION BUBBLE UPDATE: Roommate Effects: “Imagine you are a college freshman living (at substantial expense to your parents) in a relatively small space with someone who has been assigned to you in the interest of broadening your horizons and building strong peer relationships … or something to that effect.. . . ‘The bottom line was we found that when you’re matched with a roommate who drinks alcohol, your grades are likely to go down.’”
HEALTH: The Perils of Toughing It Out. “Too often, elderly patients sabotage effective treatment by waiting too long to take a prescribed drug — pain is best headed off at the pass, before it becomes severe — or by stopping the medication abruptly when they feel better. Pain medication is best taken on a consistent schedule, especially if the pain is chronic.”
RICK MORAN: Sharyl Attkisson, ‘Fast and Furious’ Investigative Reporter, Resigns from CBS.
UPDATE: Flashback: CBS News President Is Brother of Obama National Security Official. “CBS News president David Rhoades is not only the brother of President Obama’s national security advisor, Ben Rhodes, but ABC News reports that Ben Rhodes was very much involved in the editing of the now-infamous CIA talking points.”
PROBLEMS WITH the Apple Lighning Cable. Like the MagSafe2 power adapter, this seems to have been a misstep.
SCIENCE: When Studies Are Wrong.
All scientific results are, of course, subject to revision and refutation by later experiments. The problem comes when these replications don’t occur and the information keeps spreading unchecked.
Dr. Ioannidis’s analysis took into account several factors — things like noisy data, a small sample size or relatively lenient standards for deciding if a finding is statistically significant. His model could be applied to any area of science that met his criteria. But most attention to the reproducibility problem has been in the life sciences, particularly in medical laboratory research and epidemiology. Based on the number of papers in major journals, Dr. Ioannidis estimates that the field accounts for some 50 percent of published research.
Another area of concern has been the social sciences, including psychology, which make up about 25 percent of publications. Together that constitutes most of scientific research. The remaining slice is physical science — everything from geology and climatology to cosmology and particle physics. These fields have not received the same kind of scrutiny as the others. Is that because they are less prone to the problems Dr. Ioannides described?
I predict that the physical sciences will have their share of fraud too. As Thomas Ray has said, every successful system accumulates parasites, and science has been successful long enough to pick up a substantial load.
OBAMACARE DELAYS: An “outrageous abuse of executive power.” What Obama is doing in purporting to unilaterally suspend laws is unconstitutional and outrageous, but it certainly opens up great possibilities for a small-government president in the future. Though presumably in that case the press will act as if such a thing had never been done before.
OKAY, CPAC’S OVER. NOW FOR AN INSTAPUNDIT STRAW POLL! Just as meaningful, and probably more broad-based. . . . I’ve included everyone who was on the CPAC poll for comparison purposes, many of whom aren’t real prospects. But if there’s someone I’ve left out, mention ‘em in the comments!
PETER WOOD: The SAT Upgrade Is A Big Mistake. “The new changes, like others that have been instituted since the mid 1990s, are driven by politics. David Coleman, head of the College Board, is also the chief architect of the Common Core K-12 State Standards, which are now mired in controversy across the country. Coleman’s initiative in revising the SAT should be seen first of all as a rescue mission. As the Common Core flounders, he is throwing it an SAT life preserver.”
#YAWN: Roll Call: Climate Change All-Night Session Set for Monday. “Senate Democrats are about to burn the midnight oil to make their case on climate change. The previously rumored all-night session on the effects of climate change will take place Monday, Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse confirmed.” I wish we could get a cameo from Nancy “where’s my Gulfstream?” Pelosi.
Meanwhile, the demise of the “green Capitol initiative” doesn’t bode well for anything these folks push.
DAVE CAMP TO OBAMA: Let’s Talk About Tax Reform. Camp’s proposal is okay, but too timid — especially as an opening bid.
IRS SCANDAL UPDATE: Slow Lerner.
SALENA ZITO: Original tea partyers returning to GOP fold.
Related: Ben Carson urges conservatives to unify behind GOP in November. I’ll note, though, that sore-loser mainstream Republicans — like Richard Lugar and Mike Castle — were happy to help Democrats take seats.
WHEN OBAMA STARTS HIS “THE PEOPLE VS. THE POWERFUL” SCHTICK AGAIN, REMEMBER THIS: NASA Admits To Selling Discount Fuel For Google Execs’ Private Jets. “NASA sold to H2-11 discounted jet fuel that was then used to fly a private 757, a 767 and 5 other luxury aircraft all over the world. H2-11’s principle owners are the same as Google’s: Sergey Brin, Larry Page and Eric Schmidt.”
Hint: It’s not “the people” who own private 757s and 767s.
GEORGE WILL: The IRS’s behavior taxes credulity.
The most intrusive and potentially most punitive federal agency has been politicized; the IRS has become an appendage of Barack Obama’s party. Furthermore, congruent with exhortations from some congressional Democrats, it is intensifying its efforts to suffocate groups critical of progressives, by delaying what once was the swift, routine granting of tax-exempt status.
So, the IRS, far from repenting of its abusive behavior, is trying to codify the abuses. It hopes to nullify with new rules the existing legal right of 501(c)(4) groups, many of which are conservative, to participate in politics. The proposed rules have drawn more than 140,000 comments, most of them complaints, some from liberals wary of IRS attempts to broadly define “candidate-related political activity” and to narrow the permissible amount of this.
Lerner is, so far, the face of this use of government to punish political adversaries. She knows what her IRS unit did and how it intersects with the law, and for a second time she has exercised her constitutional right to remain silent rather than risk self-incrimination. The public has a right to make reasonable inferences from her behavior.
And from Obama’s. After calling the IRS behavior “outrageous,” he now says there is not a “smidgen” of evidence of anything to be outraged about. He knows this even though the supposed investigation of the IRS behavior has not been completed, or perhaps even begun. The person he chose to investigate his administration is an administration employee and a generous donor to his campaigns. . . .
Speaking of questions: Can anyone identify a Democratic Senate candidate whose tax records were leaked, as Christine O’Donnell’s were when she was the Republican candidate in Delaware in 2010? Is it a coincidence that in January 2011, after Catherine Engelbrecht requested tax-exempt status for two conservative groups she founded in Texas — King Street Patriots and True the Vote — the Engelbrecht family business was notified of its first IRS audit? Does James Comey wonder why (this was before he became FBI director), five months after Engelbrecht’s tax-exemption request, FBI agents appeared seeking information about attendees at the King Street Patriots meetings? Were five subsequent FBI contacts “checking in” for “updates” on the group’s activities really necessary? Why did the Occupational Safety and Health Administration and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives show a sudden intrusive interest in the Engelbrechts’ business, which has nothing to do with alcohol or tobacco or firearms or explosives?
The whole thing stinks to high heaven. And so does the press’s unwillingness to investigate.
LESSONS IN SELF-PUBLISHING.
JOHN KERRY JOKES ABOUT CHARLIE CRIST’S FAKE TAN, but he had his own Florida fake-tan moment, which is seared, seared in my memory.
DEAL KILLER: Here’s why Dana Loesch can’t support a Ben Carson campaign. Me neither. An anti-gun GOP candidate for President?
STEALING A MARCH ON REPUBLICANS, lefties go after the Higher Education Bubble.
Marco Rubio and Mike Lee have been on this, but overall the GOP hasn’t picked up on an issue — involving elitism, the failure of the Blue Model, and direct pain to young voters — that should naturally be theirs.
I HAVE TO SAY, I kind of want this sandwich.
THE DETROIT NEWS on Obama’s endless ObamaCare delays:
The serial delays of Obamacare are coming so rapidly and for such obviously political reasons that the White House is barely even trying to mask its real mission of protecting vulnerable Democrats in the mid-term elections.
In announcing the latest postponement this week — this one allowing individuals to keep their existing health insurance policies through 2016 — the Obama administration carefully credited Sens. Mary Landrieu of Louisiana, Mark Udall of Colorado, Ron Barber of Arizona and 10 other vulnerable Democratic lawmakers.
All face tough reelection fights in the fall in races in which Obamacare is a key issue.
While it may be politically expedient, rewriting a law passed by Congress simply to avoid ballot box consequences is an outrageous abuse of executive power.
Yes, and it’s illegal and unconstitutional. So where are the lawsuits?
AN ILLEGAL ARREST FOR RECORDING A COP IN MASSACHUSETTS:
George Thompson says last January he was just sitting on his front porch, watching a Fall River police officer working a paid detail. Thompson says the officer was on his phone and was swearing very loud.
That’s when Thompson pulled out his phone. Thompson says Officer Tom Barboza then rushed him and arrested him, charging him with unlawful wiretapping.
But in Massachusetts it’s perfectly legal to record video and audio of a public official, including police, as long as they are performing their duties and the recording isn’t hidden. Barboza’s own police report shows that Thompson acknowledged he was recording the officer.
“I think we all have our basic rights and I think people should not record others secretly or surreptitiously,” Fall River Police Chief Daniel Racine told WPRI.
Yes, well, according to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the First Circuit, citizens have the right to record the police, and that right is so clear that qualified immunity doesn’t attach to officers who violate it. I hope he sues them for a lot. And the folks of Fall River may want to ask why they have a Police Chief who doesn’t know the law.
FEW ARE IMPROVED BY THE CHANGE: Iconic Celebrities With Photoshopped Tattoos. Though I kind of like tattooed Spock.
WHY HIGH-IMPACT EXERCISE IS GOOD FOR YOUR BONES. So are squats, but the effects are different. This is why I run stairs for interval training.
VIRTUAL REALITY IS the Next Big Thing again.
IN THE MAIL: From T. B. Crattie, To Save the Realm.
JOURNALISM: It’s “A Rand Paul rout in CPAC straw poll” says Politico, but the only report in the NYT is a Ross Douthat column titled “Four Factions, No Favorite.” “Douthat’s column, dated yesterday, may very well have gone up before the poll, but still, if a rout was in the works, why is Douthat in the dark, and why is there no NYT article about Rand’s rout?” Wouldn’t fit the Narrative.
ED MORRISSEY: Ukraine: Another 3 AM wake-up call going unheeded. “Suddenly we’re discovering the consequences of the return to moral relativism in US foreign policy. It’s eerily similar to the Carter years, where an American President scolded his countrymen over their ‘inordinate fear of communism’ in an attempt to ‘reset’ the Cold War.”
TAXPROF ROUNDUP: The IRS Scandal, Day 304.
TIM CAVANAUGH: Tea Party Less Dead Than Advertised at CPAC.
Among presidential hopefuls and prospects, the straw poll delivered wins for Kentucky Senator Rand Paul, who took first place with 31 percent, Texas Senator Ted Cruz, who placed with 11 percent; and retired neurosurgeon Ben Carson, a long shot with no political experience who showed with 9 percent. . . .
After reports that this conference would show a Republican Party establishment back in control amid a general fading of Tea Party energy, the conference followed a pattern that has characterized GOP events since at least 2008: When the small-government zealots are not around, you can hear a pin drop. When a member of the Paul family shows up, there’s so much energy in the place it almost seems like Republicans can win an election.
Nowhere was this more evident than in a highly combative panel on privacy Friday, during which former Virginia Governor Jim Gilmore was repeatedly booed and catcalled for being the least anti-National Security Agency voice in the discussion. The mid-sized audience was fired up against even a Republican-approved version of the security state.
This libertarian wave continued throughout the conference, and the smartest presenters tried to ride it. The CPAC audience responded enthusiastically to all mentions of drug legalization. And pollster Pat Caddell broke the applause meter Saturday with a presentation that laid into the party establishment with a vengeance, reiterating his charge that the GOP establishment actually supports the Obama Internal Revenue Service’s persecution of Tea Party non-profit groups. Caddell’s fellow panelists questioned that assertion, but the dynamic was clear: The more Caddell ripped into the RINOs, the more the crowd loved him.
These data points could merely indicate the meaningless of CPAC and other GOP events. Rand Paul’s father used to be the only act that got crowds on their feet at Republican events too, but in two straight presidential elections he failed to turn that energy and fundraising advantage into primary wins.
But whatever peace the GOP establishment seemed to have imposed on the Tea Party hasn’t sunk in among the faithful. The Tea Party has been pronounced dead every year since 2009 (though oddly it also gets blamed for an ever-growing list of troubles). But for the Republican insurgency, it’s a dead man’s party.
Well, some people want it to be dead.