Cuomo’s Top Aides

…are indicted on sweeping corruption charges. But as is pointed out, unlike Chris Christie, Cuomo is a Democrat, so it’s just a “local news story.”

And I agree that that Bharara is a bulldog, and very likely to eventually get to Her Highness herself, regardless of what Trump wants, or what Sessions wants (I can’t imagine the latter calling him off at this point). He is doing the job that Comey refused to do. I don’t really care whether or not she ends up wearing orange (though I know a lot of people who’ve handled classified information who think she should), but her crimes should be put on the public record, just as Nixon’s were, before there should be any consideration of a pardon.

“Fake News”

No, the real problem is dumb news:

Media is a product. Firms that provide this product are servicing a need, and we’d only be kidding ourselves to claim news consumers desire only to be informed. This isn’t a matter of simple bias confirmation. News outlets have begun to cater not just to partisans but the minimally informed for whom fleeting and shareable controversies provide a sense of feeling informed. What media consumers reward outlets for are rarely deeply reported stories on matters related to consequential items of public policy. What takes off are emotionally stimulating stories that don’t require of their readers any background knowledge to fully understand them and to opine on them.

This kind of entry-level politics is not a new phenomenon, and its victims are bipartisan. Colin Kaepernick, the Black Lives Matter movement, college-age adults devolving into their childlike selves, or pretentious celebrities politicizing otherwise apolitical events; for the right, these and other similar stories masquerade as and suffice for intellectual stimulation and political engagement. The left is similarly plagued by mock controversies. The faces printed on American currency notes, minority representation in film adaptations of comic books, and astrophysicists insensitive enough to announce feats of human engineering while wearing shirts with cartoon depictions of scantily clad women on them. This isn’t politics but, for many, it’s close enough.

These are emotionally gratifying confirmations of tribal moiety. They provide readers a chance to affirm and demonstrate clannish loyalty. They are attractive to media organizations because they allow them to forgo the five sentences of exposition that are required to understand any subject of objective policy relevance—sentences that, in some cases, news outlets literally cannot afford.

This is a continuing product of our failed public-education system and academia. But then, perhaps it’s not a failure — it might be exactly what people running those institutions have been trying to achieve.

The Real War On Science

Yes, it comes from the Left and (as with racism) always has. And when they accuse the Republicans of it, it’s simply the usual projection from them. I’ve offered to debate Chris Mooney, too, but I suspect he knows he wouldn’t do well.

[Update a while later]

More thoughts from Judith Curry. And I agree with her that Mooney’s Storm World was (surprising to me, after the polemical Republican War On Science) a good book.

[Update a while later]

This seems sort of related: The global warming “consensus” falls strongly on the side of skeptics:

Taken together, these four skeptical groups numerically blow away the 36 percent of scientists who believe global warming is human caused and a serious concern.

One interesting aspect of this new survey is the unmistakably alarmist bent of the survey takers. They frequently use terms such as “denier” to describe scientists who are skeptical of an asserted global warming crisis, and they refer to skeptical scientists as “speaking against climate science” rather than “speaking against asserted climate projections.” Accordingly, alarmists will have a hard time arguing the survey is biased or somehow connected to the ‘vast right-wing climate denial machine.’

I’ve often written this, but anyone still using the “97%” number is either a demagogue, or ignorant. And when they use it, it’s a strong signal that their opinions can be safely ignored.

[Early afternoon update]

Thoughts from John Tierney himself, where he briefly discusses the unwillingness of the Left to debate him.

Animals Living In Our Houses

Why is it happening?

As that great philosopher Homer J. Simpson once said, “Animals are crapping in our houses, and we’re cleaning it up. That’s not America! It’s not even Mexico!”

Seriously I’d say that we domesticated dogs, but cats (along with grass) domesticated us. And it’s worth noting, which the article doesn’t, that cat’s haven’t really been domesticated; they too have been tamed, and generally require taming from birth. Feral cats, after a certain age, regardless of their ancestry, will generally remain wild.


This is almost comical, or would be if it wasn’t such a tragic waste:

In an interview this summer, the engineer who oversees the development of SLS and Orion for NASA, Bill Hill, acknowledged that the vehicles were too costly now to be practical. “We’re just way too expensive today,” Hill told Ars. “It’s going to take some different thinking and maybe a little bit more risk taking than what we’re wanting to do today.”

Gee, if only someone had warned them about this. Or if only insane NASA boosters had realized that how much things cost really does matter.

Trump And ObamaCare

No, amending it won’t work. They deliberately designed it to ensure that it wouldn’t.

Allowing people to buy insurance with pre-existing conditions remains as economically insane as when it was first proposed. There are better ways to deal with this than effing up the insurance market. And 26-year olds are supposed to be adults, though that’s just stupid, but not as economically harmful.

[Update a few minutes later]

And yes, live by reconciliation, die by reconciliation. Have it on his desk to sign on his first day.

Biting Commentary about Infinity…and Beyond!