The NY Times v. Science

The New York Times this morning had a story splashed across its front page with the ominous headline, “Earth Sets a Temperature Record for Third Straight Year.” Its first paragraph was even more ominous:

Marking another milestone for a changing planet, scientists reported on Wednesday that the Earth reached its highest temperature on record in 2016, trouncing a record set only a year earlier, which beat one set in 2014. It is the first time in the modern era of global warming data that temperatures have blown past the previous record three years in a row.

Vivid writing to be sure (although the Times meant highest average temperature, not highest temperature). Football teams get trounced by 30 points. Racehorses blow past the competition to win by six lengths. What the Times does not give its readers, though, are the actual numbers by which global temperatures are racing towards climatic Armageddon. All we get are the loaded verbs.

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The NY Times v. Science

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The New Old European Obsession

Some things never change.

Does Europe still want its Jews, and can the Jews still find belonging in Europe? Ask the likes of Angela Merkel, Emmanuel Macron, and European Commission chief Jean-Claude Juncker, and they will answer firmly and decisively in the affirmative. Yet their assurances ring hollow amid a resurgence of Europe’s old and unhealthy obsession with Jews.

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When Useful Idiots Were Useful

'Agents of influence' to my right, 'subconscious multiplicators' to my left.

Last week, Robert Mueller’s probe established with legal precision the methods Russian nationals used to sow chaos and dissension in 2016. Moscow’s efforts ranged from laughably silly to quite menacing; all of it amounted to an attack on American sovereignty. The precise effects of the Russian operation are still debatable, but whatever efficacy it enjoyed would have been impossible without the aid and support of Russia’s unwitting accomplices in the United States.

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Trump Endorses his Frenemy, Romney

A living counter-narrative.

If Donald Trump’s ascension felt like the final nail in the coffin of the battle over the Republican Party’s soul, Mitt Romney’s Senate run proves that the war is far from over.

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Do Arabs Back Israel in a Clash with Iran?

Reality beckons.

After issuing a rare rebuke of Iran’s repeated calls for Israel’s destruction on Monday, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov added that Moscow also opposes “attempts to view any regional problem through the prism of fighting Iran.” Unfortunately for him, that’s precisely the way most of the Middle East does view many regional problems, as revealed by a stunning informal poll which an Al Jazeera talk show host conducted among his tens of thousands of Arabic-language Twitter followers on February 10. Asked which side they supported in a recent Israeli-Iranian clash in Syria, fully 56 percent–12,800 people–said they backed Israel.

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The Russian Meddling Was in Our Hearts

Podcast: How serious was Russia's intervention in 2016?

Robert Mueller’s special counsel’s office issues a series of indictments that establish the facts of Russia’s efforts to influence the political process in 2016, which are incontrovertible and disturbing but also objectively underwhelming. The COMMENTARY Podcast hosts explore the renewed debate over Russian meddling and the ongoing campaign to secure new gun laws in the wake of the mass shooting in Parkland, Florida.

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