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 Opportunist

A conversion of convenience.

While Republicans are wrestling over whether to fully embrace a lecherous scofflaw, Democrats are finally breaking with one. This is how the latter party would prefer the nation’s narrative-shapers frame the left’s apparent determination to confront the allegations against President Bill Clinton. The fact that this great coming to terms occurs at a moment of utmost political opportunity is, they’d contend, pure coincidence.

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The Democrats’ Faith-Based Initiative

Myths and fables.

The Democrats seem to have three and only three principles when it comes to tax policy.

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Moral Panics and the Nation That Loves Them

Podcast: The great outing of sexual harassers.

On the first of this holiday week’s COMMENTARY podcasts, we delve into the question of what the sexual harassment scandals of the past seven weeks have in common with previous moments in American history. And we talk tax reform and where you can get a cheap cooked turkey. Give a listen.

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Reverse BDS

A shameful movement ashamed?

Since 2002, student activists have tried to pass anti-Israel divestment resolutions at the University of Michigan. This month, they succeeded on a 23-17 vote of the university’s Central Student Government. But opponents of the Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) movement should not be demoralized by this result.

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Iran’s Immoderate ‘Moderate’

Rouhani was never a reformer.

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani has now been in office for more than four years. Yet he hasn’t fulfilled any of the major domestic-reform pledges that got him elected in 2013 and re-elected earlier this year. Those pledges won him the decisive backing of urban, secular-minded, middle class Iranians–and plaudits in the West. Yet Iranians are no more free than they were four years ago, and the Islamic Republic is still the same security state that it was then.

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