Quick hits (part II)

1) Richard Hasen on how the balance of the Supreme Court may well be the most important outcome of the next presidential election.

2) Drum on what Ben Carson really means when he says “political correctness.”

3) If we listen to Huckabee (and lots of Republicans on guns), e.g., we might also not try to do anything about Iran either.

4) Oh damn did I love this Vox interview with Brookigs scholar Jeremy Shapiro on Putin and Syria:

It’s a little bit depressing that on both sides we’ve gotten into this kind of machismo foreign policy, where we think that whoever appears strongest and most macho is winning. As if that has any meaning in international relations. This is not a pissing contest. Boldness rarely has benefits in international relations, particularly for status quo states like the United States. Caution is a good thing, and boldness is rarely rewarded…

The truth is that everybody’s critical of the Obama policy in Syria, and nobody has a better alternative. I’ve never fucking heard one. And if you heard something that even resembles a good idea on Syria in the Republican debate I would eat my head.

There is a lot of pressure in US politics, particularly under a presidential campaign, to “do something,” to look tough. And one of the advantages of being a powerful country is that you can do stupid things for a long time and it won’t affect you that dramatically.

So we have a history in this country of doing things that aren’t good for us, but we don’t suffer on the scale that some countries experience. So the Vietnam War, we survived it pretty well — the Iraq War, ditto. We have the possibility of doing that again [in Syria]. It won’t be the fall of the American empire if we do, but how many times can you make these kinds of mistakes?

5) Not surprisingly common beliefs held by anti-immigration folks have little connection to reality.

6) The latest study does not link breast feeding with a child’s IQ (quite importantly, this controls for mother’s socio-economic status).

7) Big Steve on the lameness of all the pro-gun arguments.

8) Great Onion headline: “Man Can’t Believe Obama Would Use Tragedy To Push Anti-Tragedy Agenda.”

9) On a related note, another sad retread (from a 2014 mass shooting) that’s really good, “There is no catastrophe so ghastly that America will reform its gun laws.”

10) David Brooks with some hard truths on our mass incarceration problem (i.e., it’s not just letting out non-violent drug offenders, etc.).

11) Seattle schools have responded to the racially-biased use of school suspensions by dramatically cutting school suspension.  Good for them.

12) John Cassidy on the Republican response to the shooting:

The Republican Party has long exercised a veto on any meaningful addition to the gun laws. And among its current crop of Presidential candidates, there is no sign of anybody breaking ranks. Reaction to the shooting ranged from nonexistent to predictably depressing. As far as I could see, Marco Rubio and Carly Fiorina, the third- and fourth-place candidates in the polls, didn’t say anything on Thursday about what had happened in Oregon. In a message on Twitter, Jeb Bush called the massacre a “senseless tragedy.” Donald Trump, in an interview with the Washington Post, referred to it as a “terrible tragedy.” He also said, “It sounds like another mental-health problem. So many of these people, they’re coming out of the woodwork.” Ben Carson, the former neurosurgeon, took a similar line. “Obviously, there are those who are going to be calling for gun control,” he said on “The Hugh Hewitt Show.” “Obviously, that’s not the issue. The issue is the mentality of these people.”

As if only America has people with violent mental illness.  No, only America has them routinely shoot up strangers.

13) North Carolina’s Republicans again taking the position that local government is better.  Unless local government wants to pass liberal laws, of

14) I so love how smart crows are.  Here’s a fascinating new study that shows that have (wisely) learned to fear death in their fellow crows.

15) Very nice piece from Seth Masket arguing that it is far too early to suggest that party elites no longer control nominations as The Party Decides crowd has been arguing.

Basically, it’s still really early. At this point in the 2012 election cycle, Rick Perry was the poll leader. It was Hillary Clinton and Rudy Giuliani at this point in the ’08 cycle. Wesley Clark was heading to an easy Democratic nomination at this point in ’04. Oh, and Teddy Kennedy was beating Jimmy Carter for the Democratic nomination at this point in the 1980 cycle. It’s actually pretty rare for the poll-leader a year out from the election to get the nomination. So just by that metric alone, a Donald Trump nomination would be highly unusual.

16) You might have seen mention of the New Yorker article back in July about the massive earthquake and tsunami overdue to strike the Pacific Northwest.  Finally got around to reading it.  Fascinating!  And scary.  And a really well-written article.  Somebody needs to turn this into a post-apocalyptic (as it will be for that region) novel.

Quick hits (part I)

1) Nice Amy Davidson piece on Carly Fiorina.

2) Chait points out that the US Republican party is about the only major political party within advanced Democracies that denies climate change.  They are really out on a limb by themselves.

3) I knew that the placebo week of birth control pills is what gives women on the pill their period, but as one of my correspondents was blown away by this fact, thought I’d share this interesting Atlantic piece on the psychology of forgoing periods (as is the case with many LARC’s).

4) I don’t know why I’ve put off for so long this great Australian comic takes on the insanity of Americans and guns video, but I finally watched.  Overdue.  This is great.

5) Actually something from this week before the latest massacre: a family who tried to sue the suppliers of the Aurora, Colorado shooter (no name here) and got stuck with the gun and ammo manufacturers legal bills to show for it:

The judge dismissed our case because, he said, these online sellers had special immunity from the general duty to use reasonable care under the federal Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act and a Colorado immunity law. If you couple the PLCAA law with Colorado’s law HB 000-208, (which says in essence: If you bring a civil case against a gun or ammunition seller and the case is dismissed then the plaintiff must pay all the defendant’s costs), you have an impenetrable barrier to using the judicial system to effect change in gun legislation in Colorado.

Everyone else in society has a duty to use reasonable care to not injure others — except gun and ammunition sellers. [emphasis mine]

6) This is really cool.  Research at NCSU suggests we may be able to use fingerprints to know a person’s ethnicity.

7) Really looking forward to using Anne-Marie Slaughter’s book on women, men, and the workplace next time I teach Gender & Politics (if I had known it was coming out, I would’ve assigned it this semester).  Great interview on the Freakonomics podcast.

8) Loved this Nicholas Davidoff piece on the carefully orchestrated illusion that is football on TV.

9) I’ve been meaning to do a post working off of a Seth Masket piece on authenticity and presidential elections.  But Julia Azari has already done a better one that I would.

10) When I first heard about the Pope and Kim Davis, I was thinking I bet some conservative American bishop made this happen.  Looks like that’s the case.  Drum:

As usual with the Catholic Church, previous popes continue to have long arms even after they die or retire. It turns out that the papal nuncio, a culturally conservative guy who’s loyal to the former Benedict XVI, decided to invite Davis. The current pope apparently had no idea this would happen and may not have even known who she was. Basically, Davis was ushered in for her 60 seconds with the pope, who blessed her, gave her a rosary, and then moved along to the next person in line. It would be wise not to read too much into this.

11) Jeb Bush said something stupid yesterday (“stuff happens” to refer to mass murder).  When he said something was “retarded” he used the word perfectly correctly.  Is there really no place to use this word at all according to it’s original meaning?  If so, that’s stupid.

12) I almost never listen to “On the Media” (just too many good podcasts out there), but I was driving with NPR on the other day and really enjoyed the feisty exchange described here over whether AP is doing a disservice by moving from “climate skeptic” to “climate doubter.”

13) Loved this Richard Skinner piece for Brookings on Trump supporters.  It’s titled “do hate and racism drive Donald Trump supporters?”  You’ll just have to read it to find out :-).

14) Seth Masket on governing by sacrifice (in this case, Boehner).

15) I so love “The Princess Bride.”  I literally know more of the dialog of that movie than any other movie.  Thus, I loved this Buzzfeed list on why it is such an “important” movie.

16) Will Saletan on the incoherence of Republicans’ arguments against Planned Parenthood.

Throughout the hearing, Republicans complained that Planned Parenthood gets too much of its revenue from the federal government. Several members of the committee—Jeff Duncan of South Carolina, Cynthia Lummis of Wyoming, and John Mica of Florida—protested that taxpayers were supplying more than 40 percent of Planned Parenthood’s income. Duncan fumed that the Boys and Girls Club gets only a fraction of what Planned Parenthood receives. Mica explained the GOP’s underlying beef: Many Americans, including some who are pro-choice, don’t want their tax money used for abortions.

As an argument for defunding Planned Parenthood, this complaint makes no sense. Richards explained to the committee that under U.S. law, federal funds can’t be used for abortions unless the pregnancy threatens the woman’s life or was caused by rape or incest. So if Planned Parenthood is getting a high percentage of its income from the government, that means much of the work it’s being paid for isn’t abortion.

17) Really nice piece in Slate on wrongfully convicted exonerees and restorative justice.


Quick hits (part II)

1) Nice column from Kareem on education under assault from right and (sadly) left:

The attack on education isn’t on training our youth for whatever careers they choose, it’s on teaching them to think logically in order to form opinions based on facts rather than on familial and social influences. This part of one’s education is about finding out who you are. It’s about becoming a happier person. It’s about being a responsible citizen. If you end up with all the same opinions you had before, then at least you can be confident that they are good ones because you’ve fairly examined all the options, not because you were too lazy or scared to question them. But you—all of us—need the process. Otherwise, you’re basically a zombie who wants to eat brains because you don’t want anyone else to think either.

2) I’m so with Drum on the great court decision voiding the copyright to “Happy Birthday.”  Can’t wait till my family’s next birthday meal out when the restaurant can sing the real birthday song.

3) North Carolina Republicans are cutting the mental health budget for short-term savings.  Of course, those will be far outweighed by long-term costs.

4) Emily Bazelon on the intellectual battle going on over sex and sexual assault on college campuses.

5) Nice Thomas Mills piece on why he won’t be voting for Bernie Sanders.  Pretty much captures my view as well.  (And a quick skim through the comments makes me even more sure).

6) Everybody predicted that the rise of Super PAC’s would totatlly change the game in presidential primaries.  Turnst out they haven’t.

But it turns out that there are some things that Super PACs can’t do. Hard money can pay for the full gamut of campaign expenses, from hiring staff to purchasing printer toner to putting ads up on television. Super PACs can pay for television ads, but they can’t pay for campaign staff.

Perry and Walker were hoping to hang on for long enough to allow nominally independent Super PACs to flood the airwaves with supportive ads. But long before the first caucus, their hard dollars dried up, leaving them unable to make payroll.

7) Love this research that is such a compelling demonstration of the power of motivated reasoning.  Americans feel totally different about the same policy if it purportedly comes from a Democrat or a Republican.  People like to think that their issue positions drives their partisanship.  Alas, the causality works far stronger in the other direction.

8) Bill Ayers on Republicans’ fear-based, “Dirty Harry” approach to politics.

9) It ain’t easy being Chief Justice John Roberts and actually having an intellectually consistent (as opposed to ideologically/ and or partisanly (yes, I made that up) consistent) judicial philosophy.


10) So, the government’s college scorecard doesn’t rank schools, but it’s not hard to do it on your own with some basic criteria.  So NPR does.  Nice to see my alma mater as #1 for “schools that make financial sense.”  And go University of California system for so much social mobility.

11) The conservative case against the death penalty making some headway in NC (personally, I support both the conservative and the liberal case against it).

12) Jeb Bush– just as enlightened as Mitt Romney about minority voters.

13) Yeah, so I get totally freaked out by insects.  To the consternation of my wife and the amusement of my children.  But I sure would not jump out of a car I was driving leaving children behind, as this parent did at the sight of a spider.

Quick hits (part II)

1) Sexual violence on campus is a bad thing.  But so is going to far in combating it for universities to ignore basic principles of due process.  Good to see the courts got it right where University of Michigan got it wrong.

2) Really enjoyed this post/video on the importance of aspect ratio in film.

3) Love this— imagine if the media covered alcohol like other drugs.  E.g.,

NEW ORLEANS — An ongoing drug epidemic has swept the US, killing hundreds and sickening thousands more on a daily basis.

The widespread use of a substance called “alcohol” — also known as “booze” — has been linked to erratic and even dangerous behavior, ranging from college students running naked down public streets to brutal attacks and robberies.

4) Are college lectures “unfair” to minorities?  I say no.  To say that sub-optimal teaching is noticeably less effective for students less prepared for college is one thing.  To call lectures unfair seems a bit much.

5) I suppose I’m not surprised the best jobs require you to be a people person.  Also, this advantages women.

6) Just came across this great piece from a couple years ago looking at the failures of American education in a comparative perspective.

7) You”ll surely be shocked as I to learn that changes to tax policy in NC’s latest budget are regressive.

8) It should also be noted in the Ahmed Mohamed case that it was a violation of the 14 year-old’s civil rights to deny his request to have his parents there.  I’ve already told my 15-year old never talk to the police without me.

9) Garrett Epps on what’s worth celebrating about the Constitution on our recent Constitution day.

10) When all my NoVa friends’ kids started school after labor day, I was so pleased to see that my home school system is actually listening to science and has moved back high school start times.

11) Great piece on how regardless of the famous singer, a huge portion of today’s top pop songs come from a bunch of middle-aged Swedish men:

Seabrook describes the pop sound this way: “ABBA’s pop chords and textures, Denniz PoP’s song structure and dynamics, ’80s arena rock’s big choruses, and early ’90s American R&B grooves.”…

More telling is the record executive Jason Flom’s reaction to meeting a young Katy Perry: “Without having heard a note of music, I was sure that Katy was indeed destined for stardom”—a statement that says more about the nature of the industry than about Perry.

12) Risperdal was a great drug for my son Alex for quite a while– really helped calm down the worst features of his autism-induced anxiety and misbehavior.  But he put on too much damn weight (though, not enough to grow breasts as roughly 5% of male patients did).  After a rough transition, he’s done well on the Clonidne patch.  But as for Risperdal, apparently Johnson & Johnson spent years trying to hide its side effects.  Kristoff is on the case.

13) Can we still blame the media for the Donald Trump phenomenon?  John Sides says yes.

14) What happens when Barbie meets Skynet. I imagine it won’t be long before Sarah is wanting the artificially intelligent Barbie.  Kim loved Barbie as a girl and gets such a kick out of sharing that with Sarah (that’s why it’s fun to have both genders of children– you are just more likely to share experiences from your own childhood).  Surely won’t be long before Sarah wants one of these.

15) Krugman on fact and fiction in the GOP debate:

I began writing for The Times during the 2000 election campaign, and what I remember above all from that campaign is the way the conventions of “evenhanded” reporting allowed then-candidate George W. Bush to make clearly false assertions — about his tax cuts, about Social Security — without paying any price. As I wrote at the time, if Mr. Bush said the earth was flat, we’d see headlines along the lines of “Shape of the Planet: Both Sides Have a Point.”

Now we have presidential candidates who make Mr. Bush look like Abe Lincoln. But who will tell the people?

16) It is a very, very bad thing for vaccines to become a politicized issue.

17) Nice little infographic (though, a little business-oriented) on common cognitive biases.

18) I’ve kept this tab on the “Coddling of the American Mind” Atlantic cover story about the changing  intellectual culture on college campuses open long enough without writing a post.  Honestly, it’s simply one of those things that if you are  the type of person who enjoys this blog (and you’ve made it down to the 18th quick hit, so you are) you should read.  So just do it.

Quick hits

1) Really enjoyed this NYT magazine profile of Kareem.

2) As a Catholic, I’ve always been particularly intrigued by the history of Catholic-hating in America.

3) Interesting take from Chait on climate change.  Also interesting to get David Roberts‘ take on Chait’s take.

4) Jon K. will love this.  A feminist conference where they’ve decided that hand-clapping is too anxiety provoking (wtf??) and that audiences should just do jazz hands instead.  No, not the Onion.

5) No, it’s not the actual ranking of colleges promised, but the Obama administration’s efforts to collect and publish data on graduation rates, debt loads, etc., is very useful.

6) There literally is too much good TV out there.  But you should still watch Bojack.

7) The other day my oldest son asked me why they don’t know the age of the new fossil human.  I was excited to be able to send him to this article.

8) Republican state legislators who are complete idiots are always easy pickin’s.  Still, I’d prefer it if they were not in my state.  What a nutjob.

9) How the upper-middle class (income 81-98th percentile) are pulling away from everybody else (though, not as much at the 99th, of course).

10) On how Exxon knew long ago about coming problems with climate change and mobilized it’s resources for denial and obfuscation.

11) Right.  As if Carly Fiorina is going to apologize for her bald-faced lies.

12) Watched Sixth Sense with David recently.  Holds up pretty well.  So different when you know what’s coming.  Really enjoyed this 538 on the death spiral of Shyamalan’s career.

13) Had this open tab about food irradiation too long.  We should just do it.

14) Is it wrong of me to not be upset about how male Colbert’s new writing staff is?

15) Oh damn did I love this take on higher education “quit lit”:

3. If your quit lit essay primarily discusses the unbearable politics, backbiting, and general petty behavior of academics, how you’re mad (or sad) as hell and you just can’t take it anymore, and we really need to do something about all this terrible stuff before the entire academic enterprise collapses, I can only say, welcome to the whole wide world. You just wrote an “I have a job,” essay.

16) Why you shouldn’t pay your kids for grades.  Personally, I’m all about insufficient justification (which would suggest paying low dollar amounts).  Also, you need to let kids learn by screwing up their household chores.

17) Loved this little essay connecting hatred of Ewoks with feminism.

18) You might have heard about the stay of execution in Oklahoma.  Read this to understand why he shouldn’t be on death row at all.

19) Ahmed Mohammed’s school.  Not a big fan of Muslims.

20) On our toxic, anti-family work-place culture.

THE problem is with the workplace, or more precisely, with a workplace designed for the “Mad Men” era, for “Leave It to Beaver” families in which one partner does all the work of earning an income and the other partner does all the work of turning that income into care — the care that is indispensable for our children, our sick and disabled, our elderly. Our families and our responsibilities don’t look like that anymore, but our workplaces do not fit the realities of our lives…

Bad work culture is everyone’s problem, for men just as much as for women. It’s a problem for working parents, not just working mothers. For working children who need time to take care of their own parents, not just working daughters. For anyone who does not have the luxury of a full-time lead parent or caregiver at home.



Quick hits (part II)

1) Nice look at the political geography of North Carolina.

2) Why it is really important whether the Sage Grouse gets listed at and endangered species or not.

3) Of course I hate that Fox has purchased National Geographic.  But if the choice is a Fox-owned NG, or no NG (certainly a possibility in this changing media landscape), I’ll go with the former.

4) Sure it’s anecdote, but this Slate piece on what some teachers think about the Common Core shows how the it can be effective for getting more out of our students.

5) The rise of victimhood culture.  So happy I only taught at Oberlin for one year.  Pretty sure I would have been fired by now.

6) Do college students have too much privacy?  Here’s a good argument saying, Yes.


Some in Congress, notably Rep. Jared Polis (D-Colo.) are agitating to revise the law. But perhaps it is time to throw it out altogether. Without FERPA, universities could send students’ records directly to their guardians, and allow administrators to immediately alert or respond to families if a student is in crisis. Where’s the harm in that? Of course, if a student has good reason to keep her family in the dark, she should have the right to apply for an exemption or waiver (inverting the status quo).

Transferring all power to the students is not fair to them; they never asked for that responsibility. At a time when young people seem perfectly happy to share every moment of their lives online, they’d probably not blink an eye if they were forced to continue to share their educational records. Rescinding this law may improve the shameful college completion statistics. Most important, it will keep families connected and allow our children to remain young just a little bit longer.

7) If you really want to understand women in combat and the US Marines, this is a long, thoughtful piece on the matter.

8) What I find most appalling about this story about a Physics professor falsely arrested for spying is that the FBI and US Attorneys can basically ruin someone’s life through incompetence and face no consequences for it.  As long as that’s the case, we can expect continued incompetence and abuse of power.

9) John Cassidy on Jeb and the return of voodoo economics (of course, they never actually left).

You won’t see that figure, or anything like it, on Bush’s Web site, of course. Just like Reagan, Jeb’s brother George, and Mitt Romney in 2012, Jeb talks about simplifying the tax code, boosting American competitiveness, stimulating growth, and restoring “the opportunity for every American to rise and achieve earned success.” That’s how voodoo economics is always marketed. But, despite the welcome addition of a few populist touches, such as pledging to euthanize the carried-interest deduction, Bush is writing the same old tired script.

10) Bill Ayers with a terrific example of how to lie with statistics (and how not to).

11) Supposedly the Feds are finally going to go after Wall Street for all their malfeasance that led to our economic collapse.  Color me skeptical.  Much easier to go after Chinese-American physics professors.

12) If there’s a dubious or overblown health claim out there, I always want to see what Michael Specter has to say about it.  Sugar:

Yet, like the anti-fat credo of my youth, “That Sugar Film” places too much certainty in the belief that a single food can be the problem. If only it were that simple. Many nutritionists believe it’s time to stop demonizing individual components of our diet—whether it’s fat, carbohydrates, cholesterol, or even sugar. It’s time to acknowledge that the special diets that obsess us—whether they consist of fruit or eliminate fruit, rely on meat or banish it—don’t work.

We eat too much processed food, and our diets are disgraceful. Live solely on M&M’s and sugary drinks and you are going to get sick. For sugar to exist as a normal, safe part of our food, all we need to do is maintain balanced diets. The problem, of course, is that we don’t.

13) Mischiefs of Faction (now at Vox!) on how “special interests” and government really work.

14) Been meaning and failing to do a post on this great Nate Cohn piece looking at what the Political Science has to say about Trumps’ chances (still not good at all).

15) Also been meaning for two long to link to this two great WP posts on why it is so hard for college-graduate women to find a suitable partner (it’s the math).

16) Your long read for the day… is college tuition too high?  (Ummm, yes).


Quick hits (part II)

1) Been meaning to give this great Op-Ed on why NC needs a professional, full-time legislature it’s own post.  I keep failing:

The main argument for a full-time legislature is that House and Senate members need more time to fully deliberate public policy issues. Tax reform has been considered for over 30 years, but a complete modernization of the system has not occurred, in part because legislators lack the time to take on this complex system. Other issues, such as mental health reform, don’t get done because these policy issues are difficult to do in the midst of regular legislative business and the desire to keep sessions short…

Another reason for investing in a full-time legislature is to make it possible that a wider range of citizens serve in the House and Senate. The current legislative salary of just under $14,000 per year, plus monthly expenses while in session, makes it virtually impossible for most North Carolinians to consider running for these offices. Most teachers, service sector employees or those without a second income stream cannot serve in the legislature that is supposed to represent its citizens.

 2) Utah is now keeping tabs on what SWAT warrants are actually used for.  No surprise: they are used to serve drug warrants were there is almost never any reason to believe there is a genuine threat.

3) Yes, Buzzfeed does sometimes do more than silly lists.  Nice piece on the futility of relying on torture to gather intelligence.

4) Interesting piece on how the fact that computers driving cars follow the rules too closely ends up creating problems.

5) I’m so glad an NC-based political scientist decided to tackle this.  Yes, having her photo in every single damn elevator in the state is a real (and surely unfair) political advantage to Cherie K. Berry.

6) Nice post from Drum on how we are getting good increases in education test scores for younger kids, but somehow not for High School.  We really need to figure out why.

7) Sex offenders who have served their time are not the most sympathetic group, but we really ought to deal with them based on actual empirical knowledge and science, not pseudo-statistics of mysterious provenance.

8) Don’t know that I’ve ever posted something from Red State before, but just get this:

Sharanda Jones is currently serving a sentence of life without the possibility of parole at Carswell Federal Prison in Texas. Life without the possibility of parole is the second-harshest sentence our justice system can mete out, short only of the death penalty, and that not by much. What, you might ask yourself, did Sharanda Jones do to merit this sentence?

She was convicted of a single, non-violent drug offense involving crack cocaine. This conviction stemmed from her first ever arrest, and she was not even caught with crack in her possession.

9) A special-ed teacher on what he wishes people understood about special-ed kids.  This one is near and dear to my heart.

10) We should not be shaming young girls for their bodies and we should have a little more faith in boys that they can learn if a girl nearby has a spaghetti strap dress.

11) There’s nothing at all linking #blacklivesmatter with the shooting of the cop in Texas.  Unless you are Fox News, that is.

12) Really interesting and different take on Kim Davis.  Our defense of rights really depends upon who’s rights we’re talking about.

13) Jamelle Bouie on why Democrats should be angry with HRC about the email:

But on that score, Democrats are right to be angry. As one of the most scrutinized people in American politics, Clinton had a duty to her party to tread carefully and avoid obvious mistakes. The private server is an obvious mistake, and if nothing else, it will feed the bottomless media appetite for Clinton scandals, even when they don’t bear fruit. And although you could make the case that this is unavoidable—that she can’t escape the “Clinton rules,” so why bother—it’s also fair for Democrats to want more prudence from their likely nominee.

14) Donald Trump is not about a backlash to political correctness.

15) Can Bill Gates and his billions make a difference in gun control?  I doubt it, but sure would be nice.

16) Nice Friedman column on how our “friend” Saudi Arabia is more of a threat than Iran.

But the fact remains that Saudi Arabia’s export of Wahhabi puritanical Islam has been one of the worst things to happen to Muslim and Arab pluralism — pluralism of religious thought, gender and education — in the last century.

Iran’s nuclear ambition is a real threat; it needs to be corralled. But don’t buy into the nonsense that it’s the only source of instability in this region.

17) What happens to a state department for environment and natural resources when you put environment-hating Republicans in charge?  Just see NC for the answer.

18) The Republican establishment made a huge mess of things by giving so much money to Jeb before it was at all clear he could be a decent candidate.

19) Milbank on how Clinton’s accusers are running out of ammo. Not that it will stop them from trying.

20) Buzzfeed list of things you’ll remember if you went to college in the 90’s.  This 1994 grad says its a pretty good list.


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