Science Suddenly Inconvenient For Obama; Higgs Boson Leads Iowa Polls


NEW YORK—Have you been watching "Up" with Chris Hayes? You should be! It's really, really wonderful. Though honestly kind of creepy? Because that man issmart. Freakishly so. As in: he does this weird thing where whenever one of his guests brings up some random new topic he'll just recap it for everyone watching. Like, just off the top of his head? Without a teleprompter? And it's crazy! Who let this man with a perfectly healthy frontal cortex on television?! It just makes no sense to us at all. But in any event, Sunday's show featured a depressing reminder of the President's remarks in 2009 that "it's about letting scientists, like those who are here today, do their jobs free from manipulation or coercion and listening to what they tell us, even when it's inconvenient, especially when it's inconvenient," two years before deciding it was too inconvenient teenage girls to have access to emergency contraception.

(One more plug for Chris Hayes and then we promise we're done? Sunday's segment on the rights of women to have access to all available and safe contraceptive options featured a panel of three men and—wait for it—four women! Again: who let this man on TV?!) (Seriously: Saturday mornings at 7 and Sunday's at 8.)

Scientists in Switzerland have "glimpsed" the elusive Higgs Boson according to advance remarks of tomorrow's press briefing.

Now this "glimpse" is a qualified one, of course. Do we all remember how science works? It's tricky, of course, for American readers, because scientists do this bizarre thing where they come up with a theory and then furiously set about trying to disprove that theory instead of, oh, continuing to slash taxes on the top bracket after decades of ample evidence have put the lie to their suspicion that the wealth will just trickle down maybe for starters? But we're digressing. The moral of the story is that this "glimpse" of the Higgs Boson is another way of saying that scientists have yet to find a way to disprove its existence, and that they may be less than a year away from having a definitive answer. Less than a year! Or put another way: scientists could finalize the Standard Model of particle physics in about a tenth as much time as the Republican party hasn't been able to figure out that the Laffer Curve is a joke.

In other Just Making It Up As We Go Along news, the world's highest paid historian, Newt Gingrich, is taking heat (rightfully) for saying an exceptionally stupid thing about the Palestinians.

And because stupid begets stupid, Rick Perry invented a people of his own when he lambasted the administration for sending so many hundreds of millions of dollars in foreign solar aid to the country of Solynda.

Ok now hold on a minute. We follow all of this stuff pretty closely but we'd never heard about the great EMP threat facing America? What the?! Anyway, do you ever get the feeling that these conservative warmongery types are so dependent on having something—anything—to be afraid of they'll just make one up? (We're kidding: that's rhetorical, obviously).

Mitt was doing damage control in New Hampshire yesterday after his disastrous offer of a $10,000 bet with Rick Perry during Saturday's debate, telling the story of his time as a missionary in France. It was very humanizing! Apparently he had to... poop in buckets? Which we think may say more about France than Mitt, but either way.

Lindsey Graham went on Meet the Press yesterday to say that Republicans were opposing the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, which passed the Senate with a filibuster-proof 60-vote majority—bolstered by the vote of Massachusetts Republican Scott Brown—not because it "lacks oversight" (as we've heard) or because it answers to a single cabinet official instead of a review board (heard that, too), but because it's "Stalinist." Which... right.

Jonathan Cohn, meanwhile, thinks the rejection of Richard Cordray to head the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau is akin to nullification. (And we think he may be right!)

And in today's surest sign yet that the 2012 Republican primary is a joke, Politico's Ben Smith is moving to... Buzzfeed?!



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