Jonathan Chait thinks "Hillary Clinton is Probably Going to Win" the 2016 Presidential race. Mr. Chait has a solid list of reasons why -- capped, of course, by the fact that she'd be "the candidate of the only major American political party not run by lunatics" -- but I think it's more important that fewer people would run through a wall for Democrats than for Republicans. Really, abortion and racism and homophobia motivate people more than Not Being Republican does, and if Democrats had used their mandate to do actual good works back in 2009 -- instead of trying to make peace with the party that just spent eight years burning our country down -- they wouldn't have this problem.
Amanda Marcotte wonders if Rand Paul is playing a sort of long game with his tantrums against the press. Long story short: Mr. Paul may have calculated that getting snotty with the press whenever they ask him tough questions will put an end to the tough questions -- but if he's actually made that calculation, he's forgotten that every time a Presidential candidate acts out, it gets the press more attention, too. I think he's operating pretty much on instinct myself.
Gracy Olmstead, writing at The American Conservative, ponders the ironies of the social media era, where we find (in one rabbi's words) that "in the virtual village, we are too close, and long for the space that we had just two decades ago." I had imagined objecting that social media can help people come together in real space-time, but clearly she anticipated that objection: "the internet can complement community," she writes, "but it cannot replace it." And, to be perfectly honest, social media doesn't help us come together unless we actually try to come together, and too often we let social media do that trying for us.
"DARPA Wants to Make a Computer Program that Evolves for a Hundred Years," Vice announces -- "evolve," that is, to adapt to ever-changing hardware and software. This notion stokes fears of artificial-intelligence-taking-over-and-getting-rid-of-people, but before we worry too much, perhaps we should first wait for operating systems that don't repeatedly crash or freeze. We might also recall what we learned from healthcare.gov's rocky rollout -- that the organizations that get government funding are often only good at getting government funding, and not actually making things that work.
Finally, New Mexico's government has reformed its civil asset forfeiture laws, Now only convicted criminals can have their property taken from them by the state of New Mexico, which is as it should be, and the state also now prevents police departments from getting first crack at such forfeitures. Gov. Martinez, who very nearly didn't sign the law, still aired sour grapes about it -- she said the term "policing for profit" "disrespects our law enforcement officers." No, it doesn't -- it disrespects a system that runs roughshod over the rights of the citizenry, a system I suspect our police like as little as the rest of us.