News Roundup for 9/5/14

Here are some of the important stories from today and recent days.

Al-Shaabab: “The Pentagon has confirmed that a U.S. airstrike conducted earlier this week killed the leader of the al-Shaabab terrorist group in Somalia,” reports Real Clear Defense.

Cookbook Medicine? Dr. Karen Sibert fears, “The surge of uncritical belief in ‘evidence-based medicine’ has led to rigid algorithms—cookbook recipes, really—for patient care.” See Paul Hsieh’s report for Freedom and Individual Rights in Medicine.

Debating Government: David Harsanyi asks which is the greater threat to liberty: local governments or the federal government? My answer is, “It depends.”

Campaign Speech: With the help of the Center for Competitive Politics, Colorado’s Independence Institute is challenging federal and state campaign disclosure laws, rightly saying such laws violate the right to freedom of speech. See my write-up for the Objective Standard.

Unions: “US Department of Labor data document[s] that the SEIU spent at least $38 million on the Fight for 15/Fast Food Forward campaign in 2013,” reports Worker Center Watch (hat tip to Fox News).

Brazil: The president of Brazil, Dilma Rousseff, is a “former Marxist guerrilla,” the Wall Street Journal reports—but she may get beat by Socialist Party candidate Marina Silva. Is it any wonder the country is a basket case?

Benghazi: “A U.S. security team in Benghazi was held back from immediately responding to the attack on the American diplomatic mission on orders of the top CIA officer there,” Fox News reports.

Snowden: Supposedly some of the information released by Edward Snowden has helped Islamic State “evade U.S. intelligence,” the Washington Times reports. Two quick notes: If we had a real foreign policy, such “intelligence” would be mostly irrelevant. And, if the U.S. government were not busily violating the rights of American citizens, Snowden would not have felt compelled to release the information.

Common Core: Colorado Republican candidate for governor Bob “Beauprez says that if he is elected governor, he will ensure that Colorado opts out of Common Core and PARCC” (Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Career), reports Watch Dog Wire.

Abortion: “Congressional candidate George Leing, a Republican taking on U.S. Rep. Jared Polis [of Boulder], has denounced the [anti-abortion] ‘personhood amendment’ on the November ballot,” Lynn Bartels reports for the Denver Post.

Global Warming: Matt Ridley writes for the Wall Street Journal, “Global warming has stopped since shortly before this century began.” Ridley notes that warming researchers have pointed to some forty different possible causes for the “hiatus” in warming.

More Global Warming: A paper in Climate Risk Management (one widely misrepresented in the popular media), relying on various assumptions about what causes climate change, finds that, except for greenhouse gas emissions, “there is less than a one in one hundred thousand chance of observing an unbroken sequence of 304 months (our analysis extends to June 2010) with mean surface temperature exceeding the 20th century average.” That’s a much punier finding than many have reported. (For what it’s worth, Anthony Watts calls the paper “laughable.”)

Gay Marriage: a federal appeals court in Chicago declared the bans on same-sex marriage in Indiana and Wisconsin to be unconstitutional,” the New York Times reports.

Now for a bit of fun:

Marketing: Ikea has announced its 2015 “BookBook.” Brilliant!

Still About that Bass: Jimmy Fallon, The Roots, and Meghan Trainor perform a fun rendition of “All About That Bass.”