Bret Baier’s interview with James Comey: Sharper, clearer, faster, better than the others by orders of magnitude

Baier’s evening newscast is, I think, the best on TV.

Even if you don’t like the discussion panel for the last 15 minutes (and those who are center-left may not), the hard-news portion is superb.

Indeed, I think it is easily the best straight-news show in the business. And I, for one, like the back-and-forth on the panel.

Tonight, Baier’s interview with Comey showed why he stands head-and-shoulders above the rest.

It was fast, crisp, and tough without being tendentious (except for one moment where Baier reflexively and accurately said Comey had made a factually incorrect statement).

It was also newsworthy.

Here it is, in case you missed it.


New surgical goggles to see hidden cancer . . . based on a butterfly’s eye

love these kinds of science/tech/medical stories, where an innovation makes life better.

A new infrared goggle for cancer surgeons helps them see all the cancerous cells. It is based on a butterfly’s eye! (link) Cool short video with it.

Researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and Washington University in St. Louis have developed a surgical camera inspired by the eye of the morpho butterfly. The tiny camera, connected to the goggles a surgeon wears, sees infrared signals given off by tumor-binding dyes so that the surgeon can find and remove all of the cancerous tissue.

The camera was tested in mice and in human patients with breast cancer. The study was published in the journal Optica.

Eureka Alert

There’s another report on this news at CNET (link).

Ratings are up: Media companies benefit from Trump’s fight with them. But this fight is NOT good for democracy

Drudge features this article from CNBC:

Trump’s ‘fake news’ fight has helped media ratings and readership

President Donald Trump’s fight against the media has led to higher than usual ratings even after the election.

Surprise firings, criminal investigations and vague statements that have world leaders scratching their heads has turned President Donald Trump’s administration into political theater.

And the media – one of Trump’s favorite go-to targets- is reaping the benefits. Experts expected media ratings to normalize after the election when the NFL and other popular TV shows started to air. That’s clearly not the case.


The article goes on to cite major increases in readership in some of Trump’s frequent targets, such as the New York Times and Washington Post.

The readership and viewership may be up, but the damage to our trust in an unbiased media is down.

That’s a terrible thing for democracy.

Whether you think the responsibility for that is the media’s bias, Trump’s unfair attacks, or some mix of the two, the damage itself is serious.

Yep, it’s the 9th circuit says monkeys can sue. Just get a lawyer. Says whales, dolphins, and porpoises should lawyer up, too

Here’s the story (link) and here’s the decision (pdf link).

What could possibly go wrong????

On the other hand, I’m looking forward to some late-night lawyer commercials. “If you are a goldfish and you are being kept in a small bowl with crumbs for food, we’ll fight for your rights!! And you won’t pay a cent unless we recover.”

And here, submitted for your approval, are some gems from the actual appeals-court decision.

Yep, the whales, dolphins and porpoises ought to lawyer up and go after the US Navy.



Terrific quote about writing history. The best way to approach the task–and the worst way

I came across this entirely by accident.

I’ve been reading about the wars of Louis XIV and his tenacious opponent, William of Orange, the Netherlands’ leader who also became king of England with his wife, Mary (as in “William and Mary”), after the Glorious Revolution (1688-89).

Some of the very best studies are by Paul Sonnino. I don’t know him and, since I’m a political scientist, didn’t know where this distinguished historian was based. UC-Santa Barbara, it turns out.

On his departmental webpage, I came across this spectacular quote, which he put at the top of his self-description:

I approach history with a combination of radical empiricism, existentialism, and incomprehension, and I am completely opposed to the postmodern combination of nihilism, preciosity, and political correctness.

–Paul Sonnino

If you would like to read 3-4 of Prof. Sonnino’s very short essays on post-modernism, they are here as a PDF.