Title IX: The Next Battle

Even if this year’s Huskies win the tournament, the N.C.A.A. will pretty much ignore them, too. Certainly it will neglect them financially. Over at the men’s tournament, the N.C.A.A. pays for success: Each game a team plays (not including the championship) earns the team’s conference roughly $260,000 this year plus $260,000 each of the five following years. So the total value of a victory in the men’s tournament is approximately $1.56 million. By contrast, a win in the women’s tournament brings a reward of exactly zero dollars. That’s right, zero dollars.

That sends a strong signal that the women’s tournament is less significant and less worthy than the men’s, and it’s a policy that perpetuates a historical pattern of discrimination against women in institutions of higher education. The N.C.A.A. needs to start rewarding women for their victories.

The federal law Title IX requires equal opportunity for each gender in activities (including athletics) sponsored by institutions of higher education that receive federal funding. But the N.C.A.A., a nonprofit that makes its money from selling television rights, tickets and corporate sponsorships, does not get federal funding and is not considered by the courts to be a state actor. It does not have to follow the rules of Title IX.

And it doesn’t. The N.C.A.A. used to seriously encourage the compliance of member schools with Title IX and other regulations through a certification process every 10 years — a collaborative effort that involved faculty, students and administrators. But in 2011, an N.C.A.A. board put a moratorium on that certification process. Though the N.C.A.A. has devised a superficial substitute, there are now no adequate gender-equity compliance reviews in college sports.


Connecticut’s Breanna Stewart, left, went for a shot against Duquesne’s Kadri-Ann Lass on Monday during the N.C.A.A. tournament. CreditJessica Hill/Associated Press

The N.C.A.A. also doesn’t protest when its member schools engage in the counting chicanery — unfortunately permissible under federal guidelines — that overstates their numbers of female athletes. Male basketball players who practice with a women’s team can be counted as female athletes. Women who run track can be counted as members of three teams: indoor track, outdoor track and cross-country. Female rowing teams sometimes list as many as 100 members, a preposterously high number that is obviously arranged as a Title IX “offset” to the average squad size of 120 men on Division I football teams.

The Office for Civil Rights at the Department of Education is charged with enforcing Title IX, but it doesn’t have enough resources to fully address all the complaints that come in about specific programs, let alone undertake its own compliance reviews of university athletic departments. Without either the N.C.A.A. or the Office for Civil Rights applying adequate pressure, gender equity has lagged in intercollegiate athletics. Last year 57 percent of all college students were female, yet only slightly more than 40 percent of college athletes were women. Over the past decade the number of male athletes in college has increased by 53,317, while the number of female athletes increased by only 44,474.

The N.C.A.A.’s policy of providing no financial reward for victories in the women’s basketball tournament is emblematic of another problem: Athletic administrators and overseers treat college sports like a commercial venture. If men bring in the money, the thinking goes, then men should get the money. (Well, some men — the coaches, conference commissioners and athletic directors, but certainly not the players themselves.)

This reasoning is faulty on two levels. First, the men’s tournament may have higher ratings and sell more expensive tickets, but the women’s tournament is also a moneymaker: It is broadcast by ESPN and sells out many games. Even by conventional commercial standards, the men shouldn’t get $1.56 million per victory while the women get nothing.

Second, college sports are not supposed to be treated as purely commercial activities. The N.C.A.A. constitution considers college sport an amateur activity with redeeming physical, social and educational value. There is no clause in Title IX that says “except if one gender generates more revenue than the other.”

College sports benefits from preferential fiscal treatment in a variety of forms: no taxes on revenues generated by men’s basketball and football, deductibility for individual donations that are required to buy good seats, exemption on interest payments for bonds to pay for stadiums and arenas, no requirement for player payroll taxes or unemployment insurance and so on. College sports programs also receive millions of dollars of subsidies from state governments annually.

If intercollegiate athletics, under the auspices of the N.C.A.A., wants to continue to receive such preferential treatment, it has to adhere to the educational goals that it purports to represent. This means equal treatment of men and women in all aspects of the educational experience — including granting financial rewards for their March Madness victories. Go UConn!

The Micro Offering Exemption That Entrepreneurs Hope For


Rep. Thomas Emmer, R-Minn., has introduced legislation (H.R. 4850) that would create a micro-offering exemption described below; the reason for it are stated here.

When a company would like to sell stock, it must register with the Securities and Exchange Commission, unless an exemption applies, per the Securities Act. It’s estimated by the Securities and Exchange Commission that registration costs $2.5 million dollars in legal, accounting and other expenses. So registration is not an option for small companies.

It’s estimated by the Securities and Exchange Commission that registration costs $2.5 million dollars in legal, accounting and other expenses.

Since the federal securities laws were first enacted in 1933, “transactions by an issuer not involving any public offering” have been exempt.

But the problem is that there is no definition of a public offering or, conversely, of what is not a public offering in the Securities Act (or in the securities regulations). A non-public offering is called a private placement or private offering.

 Thus, in principle, a few guys forming a small little business (a local restaurant or retail store) who are a little too public in seeking investors can run afoul of the securities laws. This wouldn’t be that hard to do, for example, one of them telling a local reporter about their plans when they run into him at the local high school football game could break the rules. Mentioning your plans on the internet could cause you serious legal problems.

In the hyper-litigious country we inhabit and given the potentially catastrophic impact that aggressive enforcement of the law would entail, it is appropriate to create a bright line, per se safe harbor for very small offerings.

If you are raising a small amount of money from a few people most of whom you know already, you should not have to hire a securities lawyer, do a private placement offering memorandum, comply with Regulation D and file a SEC Form D or otherwise risk being pursued by federal or state regulators, or more likely, being successfully sued by disgruntled investors if the business fails or does not have the hoped for returns.

Small, and usually young, businesses are the source of most net job creation and much of the dynamism in the economy.

To reduce regulatory impediments to small business formation and growth, Congress should create a micro-offering exemption. It should create a safe harbor so that any offering (within a 12 month period):

(1) to people with whom the issuer (or its officers, directors or 10 percent or more shareholders) has a substantive pre-existing relationship;

(2) involving 35 or fewer other persons;

(3) or of less than $500,000 is deemed not to involve a public offering.

The anti-fraud provisions of federal and state laws should remain fully applicable.

This legislation would reduce the regulatory burden and legal risk imposed on small entrepreneurs by the securities laws and promote economic growth and job creation.

Bolton on Email Issue: Will Politics Beat Lawlessness

Speaking in a radio interview on Sunday, John Bolton, former U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, stated he believes the FBI will “explode” if Hillary Clinton ultimately is not indicted for her email infractions due to what he described as politics triumphing over the legal system.

Bolton was being interviewed for “Aaron Klein Investigative Radio,” broadcast on New York’s AM 970 The Answer and Philadelphia’s NewsTalk 990 AM.

Klein, who doubles as Breitbart’s Jerusalem bureau chief and senior investigative reporter, asked Bolton whether he thinks Clinton will ultimately be indicted for allegedly sending classified information over her private email server.

“I think that the pressure is definitely building,” Bolton responded. “And just take the politics out of this for a second. What Hillary Clinton and her top aides did is not just make a few small violations of laws to protect classified information. They made wholesale violations and they did it for a sustained, indeed for a four-year period.”

He continued:

So this is a far more serious than what happened to General Petraeus. And it’s one reason why I think that both the FBI and I believe the people in the Justice Department, the prosecutors who would oversee the handling of the case, are moving more and more to the conclusion that serious indictments are warranted here.

Now it’s possible that in this administration that politics can triumph over the legalities. But I think if that does happen, there’s a real risk for Obama and for the Attorney General that the FBI will explode. And a lot of things that we don’t know about, that are not on the public record at the moment, will come on the public record.

It may not be the same thing as firing Archibald Cox (the discharged Special Prosecutor) in the Watergate investigation, but if this potential prosecution is tanked for political reasons, it will be a very loud explosion.  And it will stain Obama’s legacy forever. It will damage Loretta Lynch’s professional reputation and I think it will have a profound impact on the presidential election, as well.

Supreme Hypocrisy of the Left.


The Alinsky Rules that the left operates under says, “Make the opposition adhere to their own rules.” This is what the Republicans are doing with that Garland nomination!

This is from Stephen Hayward at Powerlineblog.com


Lately I’ve been arguing with lefty acquaintances of mine who say, “Isn’t it terrible for the Republicans to play tit-for-tat over Court nominations” that surely they don’t seriously expect Republicans never to reciprocate for the shameful treatment of Republican judicial nominees, starting with Bork. Over 50 Bush judicial nominees were never given a hearing, let alone a vote—and not just in the final year in office. Democrats blocked a hearing for Miguel Estrada for several years (because a conservative Hispanic terrified Democratic Party racial uniformity enforcers). And let’s not forget Obama’s willingness to filibuster each of George W. Bush’s two Supreme Court nominees. Obama has no standing to complain about the treatment of Judge Garland.

Moreover, if you consult the basic literature of game theory, you’ll see that “tit-for-tat” is exactly how you should respond to a second party who is trying to gain advantage over you: only through a taste of their own medicine will the first party moderate its behavior.

But let’s not forget the original sin of this problem: the Democrats’ shameful behavior in the Bork nomination in 1987. No, I’m not willing to let this go, because it represented a dramatic change in the rules of judicial politics. Pottery Barn rule time: Democrats broke it—they need to own it.

Forget Joe Biden and his “rule” from 1992. Here’s Sen. Joe Biden, chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, in 1987:

“Say the administration sends up Bork, and, after our investigation, he looks a lot like another Scalia. I’d have to vote for him, and if the groups tear me apart, that’s the medicine I’ll have to take. I’m not Ted Kennedy.”

It didn’t take long for “the groups” to get to Biden, however, so much so that the theWashington Post raised an editorial eyebrow at Biden’s extraordinary stance, noting that it would be hard for Bork to get a fair hearing when the Judiciary Committee chairman “has already cast himself in the role of a prosecutor instead of a juror.”

Let’s not forget that Bork had been approved unanimously by the Senate for the DC Circuit Court of Appeals. So much for that Garland talking point.

There is nothing in the Constitution that says the Supreme Court has to be nine members. (See: FDR, 1937. Heh.) If they want to, Republicans could insist on simply not filling vacancies and shrinking the Court through retirements or deaths. I suspect Democrats will come to this position next time a Republican president wants to replace a liberal justice with a conservative justice. Might as well just blow it up now.

While we’re at it, let’s also recall the sheer anti-intellectualism and evasions of Democrats in the Bork fight. As Suzanne Garment commented at the time in the Wall Street Journal:

The irony here is large. For a long time now liberals in America have denounced conservatives for anti-intellectualism and represented themselves and the institutions they control, like universities and the courts, as preservers and defenders of intellect. In the Bork campaign they acted with a contempt for intellect at least as bad in its way as anything that came out of the fundamentalist Right of the 20s.


Trump Lies, the Noun and the Verb

Lies, Damned Lies, and Donald J. Trump
3:02 PM, MAR 09, 2016 | By MICHAEL WARREN

Donald Trump began his post-primary press conference in Jupiter, Florida, Tuesday evening by castigating the “$38 million dollars worth of horrible lies” against him by his political opponents over the last week. But in true Trump form, the GOP frontrunner delivered a litany of lies, falsehoods, and misleading statements of his own. Oh, and that $38 million figure Trump cited? It’s made up.

Mitt Romney’s speech last week blasting Trump for his underwhelming business record seems to have gotten under the candidate’s skin, and so Trump spent much of his Tuesday-night appearance boasting about his successes. Over at Mashable, Jonathan Ellis documents how much of what Trump said was simply wrong.

Trump Steaks? A defunct brand since 2007 that sold poorly in the first place, which explains why the meat being hawked at Trump National Golf Club as the real deal was actually from a local, non-Trump-affiliated butcher. Trump Water? Standard bottled water with the Donald’s branding. Trump Magazine? The actual publication closed down years ago, and the magazine Trump waved around at his press conference is actually a “glorified brochure” for Trump’s resort properties. Trump Airlines? Trump claims he sold it in a “great deal,” but the Wall Street Journal showed his attempt in 1989 to transform Eastern Airlines’s shuttle business into a luxury airline failed because it carried a “high debt load” and “eventually defaulted.”

Trump Vodka? Trump dismissed Romney’s criticism by ignoring it and talking instead about Trump Winery. To be fair, Trump Winery is a real, operating venture, but that’s as far as the truth goes. Trump claimed to own the winery in Charlottesville, Virginia, “100 percent”, but in fact Trump’s son Eric is the actual owner and neither Trump himself nor his organization have no ownership or management role. And the winery isn’t next to the Thomas Jefferson Memorial, as he claimed Tuesday—that’s in Washington, D.C. He was probably thinking of Jefferson’s home in Charlottesville, Monticello, on which the memorial was modeled. And none of this addressed Trump Vodka, which is indeed defunct.

The truth is Ellis just scratched the surface of Trump’s lies and misleading statements Tuesday. Many of them were small or insignificant. Trump claimed New Jersey governor Chris Christie, who has endorsed him, was “around here somewhere.” But spokesman for the governor told the Asbury Park Press that Christie was elsewhere in Florida Tuesday and not attending the Trump event in Jupiter. Trump also said House speaker Paul Ryan “called me” earlier in the week, but the Wisconsin Republican’s office confirmed to THE WEEKLY STANDARD that Ryan’s phone call came after Trump’s campaign first reached out to the speaker.

Others gave more inaccurate assessments of Trump’s professional success. Trump described his Riverside South housing development on Manhattan as “one of the most successful projects in all of real estate.” That’s hard to believe. A recent New York Times article instead characterized Riverside South as a “low point” in Trump’s New York real-estate career. The development, which stretches from 72nd Street to 59th Street along the Hudson River, “encountered ferocious opposition from neighborhood groups and city planners,” the Times reported. “Saddled with debt, Mr. Trump in 1994 was forced to bring in outside investors and eventually lost control over the project, though he says he made money on it.”

Some of Trump’s untruths were much bigger and consequential, like one that bolsters his oft-repeated but dubious claim that he will be able to beat Hillary Clinton in a general election with ease. “Polls are showing that I beat her, and some of the polls are showing that I beat her very easily,” he said.

Why then, does the Real Clear Politics average of polls asking about a general-election match-up between the two give Clinton a five-point lead? Of the 48 polls asking about a Trump-Clinton race since May, just 5 show Trump beating her, never by more than 5 percentage points. The most recent of those, a USA Today/Suffolk poll from mid-February, gave Trump a two-point advantage over Clinton. But five of the latest polls show Clinton ahead of Trump, including a brand-new survey from NBC and the Wall Street Journal that gives the former secretary of state a 13-point lead.

Sometimes, Trump just got facts wrong. He said the United States has a trade deficit with China of $500 billion a year. But for 2015, the deficit—that is, the difference between our imports and exports to and from China—was just under $366 billion. That’s the highest deficit to date, and it’s a figure that’s been growing for years, but it’s not $500 billion. Trump made a similar claim that the deficit with Japan is “over $100 billion,” but again, in 2015, it was closer to $68 billion.

The list goes on. Trump argued “nobody’s more conservative than me on health care”—this from the guy who praised the single-payer systems in Canada and Scotland and has cast himself as different from other Republicans on the issue because he, unlike them, does not want to see “people dying in the streets.”

If we can give Trump any credit for self-awareness when it comes to his lying, it’s that in one moment Tuesday, he corrected himself immediately. Ted Cruz “never beats me!” he said. Then, in the same breath, Trump added, “Meaning he rarely beats me.”

It’s a start.

Drinking In America. Where Do You Rank?

From Powerlineblog.com per Stephen Hayward.


I somehow missed the Washington Post Wonkblog story two years ago about the mal-distribution of alcohol consumption in this country, but here’s the gist of it:

The top 10 percent of drinkers account for well over half of the alcohol consumed in any given year. On the other hand, people in the bottom three deciles don’t drink at all, and even the median consumption among those who do drink is just three beverages per week.

And here’s the chart:


As the story goes on to report:

In order to break into the top 10 percent of American drinkers, you would need to drink more than two bottles of wine with every dinner. And you’d still be below-average among those top 10 percenters.

First, I’m not doing nearly enough to keep my spot in the top 10 percent.

Second, what is Bernie Sanders going to do about this obvious inequality??