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More On That Montana Political Science Project Gone So Wrong

You'll remember back in the fall we reported on three political scientists from Stanford and Dartmouth who stumbled and bumbled their way into all kinds of controversy in Montana with a research project pegged to state Supreme Court elections. Now the state's commissioner of political practices has released his report on the fiasco, and found that Stanford and Dartmouth are on the hook for violating state elections laws. Here's our complete report on his decision, including the backstory on the research project for those who missed this back in the fall.

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More Thoughts on the Facebook Borg

I'm a heavy Facebook user in my personal life, with friends and family, as I'm sure many of you are too. It's also a very key part of our distribution and reader recruitment strategy at TPM. I say that to be clear that we and I are deeply invested in the Facebook ecosystem. But one of things I find fascinating about Facebook's efforts to assimilate much of the news publishing industry is the mix of genuine newness and benign unfamiliarity with the business and trade practices of journalism on the one hand combined with a realistically confident assumption whatever they don't figure out at first doesn't really matter all that much because they're still Facebook and you have to do what we want you to do.

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I sometimes think those who warn of creeping Sharia just don't have enough confidence in its inevitability. I like to think of it as the political world's kudzu or wisteria. Ignore it for too long and pretty soon it takes over everything in sight. It even sounds botanical: I have a terra cotta pot of Creeping Sharia over there next to that lush Wandering Jew.

But those most fervently on-guard for creeping Sharia lack the assuredness you'd expect from diehards. They're always on the look out for creeping Sharia where you'd least expect it, and they find evidence of it in the most amazing places.

Here's the best example I've heard in a while: Obama is going to use the thwarted attack on Pam Geller's anti-Islam Muhammad cartoon contest as a pretext for bringing the First Amendment in compliance with Sharia's anti-blasphemy restrictions. "Imagine, a nation founded on Judeo-Christian ethics changing the rules for a Muslim prophet!” Jeanine Pirro warned on Fox News.


Images from Tonight's Amtrak Derailment

These pictures from tonight's fatal Amtrak crash in Philadelphia are harrowing and sobering, especially if you spend a lot of time going back and forth between DC and New York on this train. Just filed photos of the rescue efforts after the jump.

So far at least five people are confirmed dead and 49 more people injured, six in critical condition.

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I'm here!