Antonin Scalia dies; SCOTUS nomination is going to be interesting

Scalia was a horrible judge who operated under the influence of a legal theory so insane that under it women were not people under the meaning of the 14th Amendment. That had negative consequences for the whole nation. Yet I suppose we should avoid hating a person for being in the grip of bad ideas. "Equally empty, equally to be loved, equally a coming Buddha."

And now, fasten your seatbelts for a SCOTUS nomination during an election campaign. Gonna be interesting.

Supreme court justice Antonin Scalia dies at 79 (the Guardian)

The supreme court justice Antonin Scalia has died. He was 79.

The Republican Texas governor Greg Abbott issued a statement confirming the news and paying tribute to Scalia, a noted and staunch conservative.

Peter Liang, NYPD stairwell-shooting cop, convicted

Justice.

Officer Peter Liang Convicted in Fatal Shooting of Akai Gurley in Brooklyn (www.nytimes.com)

A New York City police officer was convicted of manslaughter on Thursday for killing an unarmed man who was hit by a ricocheting bullet fired from the officer’s gun in the stairwell of a Brooklyn housing project in a case that highlighted concerns over police accountability.

The Clinton record on race is horrible

So far, Hillary Clinton has been able to count on the support of African-American voters. But that support is founded on inaccurate perceptions of Bill Clinton's record. If Sanders supporters are able to get the facts out, her support there will crumble and the Dems will nominate Sanders; if not, she may take the nomination and remove any reason for progressives to stay in the party, hastening its well-overdue collapse. Going to be interesting either way. Get your marshmallows ready to roast over the flaming wreckage of the American political system as we know it...

Why Hillary Clinton Doesn’t Deserve the Black Vote (The Nation)

What have the Clintons done to earn such devotion? Did they take extreme political risks to defend the rights of African Americans? Did they courageously stand up to right-wing demagoguery about black communities? Did they help usher in a new era of hope and prosperity for neighborhoods devastated by deindustrialization, globalization, and the disappearance of work?

No. Quite the opposite.

The moral panic over PUA doofus Roosh V

I stumbled across the vile and ridiculous "pick up artist" or "neomasculinity" site Return of Kings some years ago. It's pathetic and stupid, and its denizens and it's host deserve to be ridiculed. But the recent moral panic about Roosh's planned meetups, the misrepresentation and the gleeful threats of violence, and the calls for him to be banned from even entering some nations, are troubling. Elizabeth Nolan Brown has a good take over at Reason.

How Maryland 'Neomasculinity' Blogger Roosh V Became an International 'Pro-Rape' Villain (Reason.com)

The story has been magnified out of all proportion because for a lot of traffic-thirsty web writers or editors, putting "pro-rape activists" in headlines or tweets is too good to pass up—even if it may not technically be true and props up a man and movement they claim to abhor. But while it's likely to have limited reach and flash-in-the-pan stickiness for most, the Roosh situation is still interesting as a case study of collective catharsis through call-out culture and moral panic as meme.

Sanders closes to statistical tie with Clinton in nationwide poll.

A new nationwise Quinnipiac poll puts Sanders two points behind Clinton -- in a poll with a margin of error of 4.5 points. In other words, since December he's gone from being 30 points behind to a statistical tie.

New Poll Shows Sanders Obliterating Clinton's 31-Point National Lead (Talking Points Memo)

Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) lags behind former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton by just two points, nearly wiping out Clinton's previous 31-point lead, according to a nationwide Quinnipiac poll released Friday.

The poll showed support for Clinton at 44 percent, with Sanders close behind at 42 percent. This represents an enormous change since the previous national Quinnipiac poll in December, which showed Clinton beating Sanders 61 percent to 30 percent.

The poll also shows Sanders doing better than Clinton in hypothetical match-ups with Rubio, Cruz, or Trump. So maybe the Dems are wising up about voter's rejection of Hillary Clinton.

Survivor of Obama's first drone war crime: "What he has done...is an act of tyranny"

Why do they hate us? Oh yeah, because we kill and maim them.

Victim of Obama's first drone strike: 'I am the living example of what drones are' (the Guardian)

It took nearly 40 days for Qureshi to emerge from a series of hospitals, all of which he spent in darkness. Shrapnel had punctured his stomach. Lacerations covered much of his upper body. Doctors operated on the entire left side of his body, which had sustained burns, and used laser surgery to repair his right eye. They could not save his left.

Sarah Palin's Whitman-esque free verse

Paliin's content is nuts. So how does she get so much admiration? Maybe her form is spot-on.

Sarah Palin: The Walt Whitman of Wasilla (New Republic)

There is a strong consensus among Palin scholars as to where she fits into the poetic pantheon: She is heir to the tradition of free-flowing democratic verse that runs from Walt Whitman to Carl Sandburg to Allen Ginsberg. As Michael Solomon writes, “Not since Walt Whitman first heard America singing has a writer captured the hopes and dreams of her people so effortlessly—and with so many gerunds.”

Jason O. Gilbert agrees. “Many critics derided [Palin’s] speech as ‘rambling’ and ‘insane,’” he notes. “These critics are wrong. With a little proper formatting, this speech was poetry, in the tradition of Walt Whitman.”

New York considering outlawing sale of encrypted smartphones

You thought we put a stake through the heart of the crypto apocalypse BS back in the 1990s? IT LIVES! (Not familiar with the crypto wars? Here's a quick bit of background from the Washington Post from a few months back.

Apple iPhone ban? New York looks to outlaw sale of encrypted smartphones | ZDNet (ZDNet)

A proposed bill in New York seeks to require that all smartphones sold in the state can be decrypted or unlocked and proposes hefty fines for vendors failing to comply.

The proposed law marks the latest effort by lawmakers to make it easier for law enforcement to access and read encrypted data stored on smartphones.

Should the proposed bill successfully pass through New York's state assembly and senate, Apple and Google could face fines of $2,500 per device sold in the state after January 1, 2016, if a retailer knowingly sold a smartphone that could not be unlocked or decrypted by the device manufacturer or operating-system provider.

In other words, there's no requirement for Apple, Google, or device makers to create a backdoor. But if any manufacturer wants to sell a smartphone in the state, the device would need to comply with those requirements or else face a civil suit by the attorney general or district attorney.

Kasich rising in NH

I have to admit I'd counted Kasich out. But if he manages even a second place finish in New Hampshire he could still have a shot.

Poll shows Kasich rising in New Hampshire (TheHill)

Ohio Gov. John Kasich is gaining ground in New Hampshire.

Kasich garners 20 percent support in the American Research Group (ARG) poll of the state released Tuesday, second only to Donald Trump’s 27 percent.

Marco Rubio follows Kasich, with 10 percent. Chris Christie and Ted Cruz are tied for fourth with 9 percent, and Jeb Bush has 8 percent.

Kasich’s total is a big jump from the previous edition of the poll a week earlier, when he had 14 percent support.

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