The incomparable Bruce Schneier tells us why Apple should continue to resist FBI efforts to force them to build backdoors into iPhone software. Long story short: the FBI's solution to its problems breaking into one phone is to make every phone vulnerable not just to government spying, but to hackers. And, in time, not just every phone, either, but everything that uses computer software, meaning it'll be easier for hackers (and governments!) to, for example, make your car brakes fail while you're driving it.
Ho hum, arguably the most reactionary state government in America finds that drug-testing welfare recipients doesn't save any money. At least one North Carolina functionary says that drug-testing welfare recipients helps get them treatment -- although, of course, if you're not finding very many drug addicts, you're also not helping very many drug addicts. If he's that anxious about helping people, he might be better off drug-testing the legislature.
Wisconsin Sen. Ron Johnson, the man who gives the "Citizen Legislator" a bad name, backtracks on his vow to reject any Supreme Court nominee President Obama offers. Naturally, he also suggests it's your fault that you thought he said something that, well, he actually did say. Some observers are chalking this up to stupidity or ineptitude, but you have to consider the possibility that Sen. Johnson actually thinks it doesn't matter what he said two days ago, because no one remembers that long. I wonder where he got that impression (cough from the "liberal" media cough).
Perhaps even worse, Sen. Pat Toomey (R-PA) comes out and says the Senate shouldn't vote on a Supreme Court nominee because it would change the ideological makeup of the Court. He even suggests that having a vote would "mislead the American people" into thinking that the nomination is about qualifications or something! And, like the others, Mr. Toomey doesn't explain how picking up the phone and calling your Senator and telling them what to do is somehow a less "direct say" for the American people than voting for a single candidate on a single Election Day for any number of reasons.
Bryce Covert, writing at The Nation, instructs us that "Race Best Predicts Whether You Live Near Pollution." Which is not surprising if you know that government, banks, and realtors all conspire to segregate neighborhoods, or even if you've ever just heard a real estate agent call the absence of blacks in a neighborhood a "good thing."
Finally, Sen. Ted Cruz says he'll get rid of "gluten-free" meals for soldiers when he's President, because he'll have none of that political correctness in his military dadgummit. It clearly hasn't occurred to Ted Cruz that he is easily the most politically correct person in any room he walks into -- that all his swordfighting over how he's more "conservative" than the next person is far more pernicious a species of political correctness than being scolded for calling women "girls."