Photo of the day

From Telegraph’s animal photos of the week.  This was the first in the gallery and I knew I need look no further:

Pictures of the week A pair of hares boxing in the snow in the Scottish Cairngorm Mountains

A pair of hares boxing in the snow in the Scottish Cairngorm MountainsPicture: PHIL MORGAN/ CATERS NEWS

Quick hits (part I)

1) So, those ancient tiny statues of obese women seem to indicate that we had obesity back in the days of the genuine paleo diet.

2) Very nice anti-Trump, anti- Tea Party worldview rant from somebody I’ve never heard of before.

3) Andrew Prokop on how Trump’s anti-PC brand insulates him from criticism:

Indeed, in branding himself as the anti-PC candidate, Trump has constructed a situation in which practically everything he does — his over-the-top rhetoric, his policy heresies, even his supposed gaffes — bolsters his supporters’ sense that, whatever his flaws, he’s the most honest candidate in the race.

4) Why, yes, of course we should charge middle schoolers with felony assault for putting hot pepper flakes (like at a pizza joint) in a teacher’s soda.  Sadly, a number of commenters really do think so.

5) I’m a big fan of nuclear power.  Alas, it’s cost prohibitive hear in the U.S.  Vox on how South Korea and France show us it doesn’t have to be this way.

6) I honestly don’t remember much of Algebra II, but seemed pretty good at the time.  An argument for how it has to go.

7) Ross Douthat, normally a saner voice on the right, embarrasses himself by arguing that Obama is responsible for Trump.  Seriously.

8) Will Saletan rebuts brilliantly:

If Obama had been a leftist, the GOP’s policy of negating him on every issue might have positioned Republicans in the mainstream. Instead, because Obama was a moderate, the GOP’s negation strategy pushed it toward the fringe. Obama was for fiscal responsibility and compromise, so Republicans were for absolutism and drama, risking a federal shutdown and a credit default. Obama was for respecting the Supreme Court, so the GOP was for defying judicial orders. Obama was for using sanctions to pressure Iran into a nuclear deal, so Republicans were for scrapping the deal and daring Iran to provoke a war. Obama, like Bush, was for drawing a clear distinction between terrorists and Muslims. So Republicans were for blurring that distinction.

9) A student speaks out on the “myth of rape culture” at Columbia University.

10) Fascinating story of how birds sacrifice some of their chicks to alligators for protection.

11) Isaac Chotiner with a nice piece on what went wrong for Rubio.

12) Chait on the politicization of the Supreme Court:

A world in which Supreme Court justices are appointed only when one party has both the White House and the needed votes in Congress would look very different from anything in modern history. [emphases mine] Vacancies would be commonplace and potentially last for years. When a party does break the stalemate, it might have the chance to fill two, three, four seats at once. The Court’s standing as a prize to be won in the polls would further batter its sagging reputation as the final word on American law. How could the Court’s nonpolitical image survive when its orientation swings back and forth so quickly? And given that the Court can affect the outcome of elections directly (like it did in Bush v. Gore) or indirectly (by ruling on the legality of partisan redistricting schemes, laws designed to inhibit voting by marginal constituencies, campaign-finance regulations, or labor’s ability to organize politically), with every election, the stakes will rise and rise.

The Supreme Court is a strange, Oz-like construction. It has no army or democratic mandate. Its legitimacy resides in its aura of being something grander and more trustworthy than a smaller Senate whose members enjoy lifetime appointments. In the new world, where seating a justice is exactly like passing a law, whether the Court can continue to carry out this function is a question nobody can answer with any confidence.

13) James Fallows argues that ridicule is the key weapon against Trump (short-fingered vulgarian that he is).  Didn’t actually work all that well for Rubio last week.

14) A history of Trump and the KKK.

15) Glenn Greenwald’s take on how Trump is a creation of the modern GOP.

16) Yglesias on how we really shouldn’t blame the media for all the Trump coverage:

Why does the media cover Donald Trump so much? It’s a question I’ve been asked a lot over the course of the primary season. The answer is, in part, that it’s increasingly likely he’ll be the Republican Party nominee for president and so he surely deserves a lot of coverage. But many people feel like the media’s Trump obsession is the cause of his rise, making this illegitimate as an explanation.

So here’s another view: The media covers Trump a lot because Trump’s campaign is fascinating and people are interested in it.

 Here at Vox, for example, 13 percent of the stories we published in February mentioned Trump, which is a lot. But that 13 percent generated 26 percent of our total readership.

Any subject that performs like that when it’s already at a high volume is going to attract more coverage.

17) Connor Friedersdorf on the very real threat to free speech on campus.

18) I’m sure you are no more surprised than I to learn that Trump’s speeches are literally at a 4th grade level.  He’s going to win so much!

19) Nice Mischiefs of Faction post from Julia Azari on the meaning of the rules in the Republican nomination process.

20) NC Senator Richard Burr, defender of torture.

21) Student takes teacher’s cell phone off her desk, finds nude photo, shares it, teacher gets fired.  So wrong.  Worst part, is the response from school superintended who blames the teacher for failing to supervise her class.

22) Finally got around to reading Kevin Drum’s article on assisted suicide.  It’s good.

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