Quick hits (part II)

1) Yglesias makes the case that demographics mean that Bernie Sanders supporters are the future of the Democratic party.

2) Ian Milhiser calls the power-plant regulation case the most important Supreme Court case in human history (maybe not after yesterday’s events):

Yet, despite the aggressiveness of the challengers’ arguments against executive power, these arguments aren’t even the most ambitious portion of their case against the Clean Power Plan. To the contrary, the states challenging the EPA offer a theory of states’ rights that, while difficult to parse, appears to press for limits on federal power that would call into question why we should even bother having a federal government in the first place…

The challenge to the Clean Power Plan, in other words, is more than just a threat to the Obama administration’s efforts to ward off a global catastrophe. It is also one of the most ambitious attempts to rethink the role of government to reach the Supreme Court in years. And five justices thought this challenge had enough merit that they halted the Clean Power Plan before any lower court had even considered those rules.

3) I do find lazy reporting on superdelegates to be really frustrating.  Here’s the real story.

4) Apparently David Denby got around to The Teacher Wars a year late.  Still, good stuff on teaching and education policy.

5) Drum on how the 1994 crime bill did not create mass incarceration.

6) Mount Saint Mary’s has re-instituted the fired professors.  But this statement tells me the people in charge still have no idea how to run a university:

In the statement, a member of the university’s Board of Trustees, the Rev. Kevin Farmer, said the board “continues to support” Mr. Newman. He added: “We embrace his vision for the future of the university and believe he is the best person to carry it out. We have every desire to resolve the tension on campus and move forward together.”

7) On the amazing compress-ability of cockroaches.

8) Cool Pew infographic on the religious denominations of American presidents.

9) Interestingly, Eric Posner makes the legal argument that Cruz is not eligible to be president.

10) Why we use lead for water pipes anyway.

11) How about that– a Republican criminal justice reform that makes sense:

As a legal principle, mens rea means that causing harm should not be enough to constitute a crime; knowingly causing harm should be. Walking away from the baggage carousel with a suitcase you mistook for your own isn’t theft; it’s theft only if you knew you didn’t own it. Ordinary citizens may assume that this common-sense requirement is already the law of the land. And indeed law students are taught that prosecutors must prove not just that a defendant did something bad, but also that his frame of mind made him culpable when he did it.

But over the years, exceptions to the principle have become common because mens rea requirements have not been consistently detailed in laws. In one often-cited case, the president of a company that mistakenly shipped mislabeled drugs was convicted of a crime even though he had no way of knowing that the labels were incorrect

12) Republican tax plans, of course, all exist in a fantasyland.  Repeat the same line a few times in a debate and the media is all over you.  Release a tax plan that is all unicorns and rainbows, and get a free pass.

13) Dahlia Lithwick on the leftward drift of Supreme Court justices.

14) Kristoff’s take on how the GOP created Trump:

So how did we get to this stage where the leading Republican candidate is loathed by the Republican establishment?

In part, I think, Republican leaders brought this on themselves. Over the decades they pried open a Pandora’s box, a toxic politics of fear and resentment, sometimes brewed with a tinge of racial animus, and they could never satisfy the unrealistic expectations that they nurtured among supporters.

15) Loved this explanation behind the development of the yellow first down line for football games.  A technological innovation that has truly added to the enjoyment of the game.  I also had fun just during the most recent Super Bowl explaining this to my 10-year old.

16) Will Saletan rips into Rubio good for his Islamophobia.

17) Way back when, it was women who pushed for temperance as they bore so many of the ill effects of widespread alcohol abuse.  More than 100 years later, that’s still the case.  What we really need is more people smoking dope and less drinking alcohol.

18) On the problems of Meryl Streep being a “humanist” instead of a “feminist.”

19) David Brooks is going to miss Obama.

20) The Atlantic’s Eric Liu is skeptical of Bernie’s revolution:

But now that voters in Iowa and New Hampshire have spoken, it’s time to take the idea of political revolution more seriously—more seriously, indeed, than Sandershimself appears to have. It’s time to ask: What exactly would it take?

It starts with Congress. And here it’s instructive to compare Sanders and Donald Trump. Both rely on broad, satisfying refrains of “We’re gonna”: We’re gonna break up the big banks. We’re gonna make Mexico build the wall. We’re gonna end the rule of Wall Street billionaires. We’re gonna make China stop ripping us off.

The difference is, Trump’s refrains are more plausible. That’s because today’s Congress is already willing to enact many of his proposals, whether repeal of Obamacare or severe restrictions on immigration. And if Trump became president, the 115th Congress would very likely be more conservative than the 114th.

21) Andrew Prokop thinks Hillary finally has her argument contra Bernie.

22) And Seth Masket argues she’s still in solid shape after the NH loss.

23) And I might as well stick with a theme and close some tabs, but linking this Vox post where 6 political scientists all agree that Sanders would perform worse (by varying amounts) than Clinton in the general election




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