Short takes

*Former CIA Director John Brennan (how the hell did this hack get that job?) says “I’m increasingly embarrassed to be a white male these days.” That makes two of us. I’m embarrassed that John Brennan is a white male.

Also that he’s an American.

*Speaking of embarrassing, the petition for certiorari (i.e., for Supreme Court review) filed by the Asian-American plaintiffs in their case against Harvard provides a breakdown of Harvard’s undergraduate admit rates by ethnicity/rate and academic credentials. The numbers look very much like Yale’s, which we reported on here.

In brief, Whites in the top 10 percent academically are admitted as undergraduates to Harvard at a rate of 15.3 percent; Asian-Americans at a rate of 12.7 percent. Blacks in the top 10 percent are admitted at a rate of 56.1 percent.

To find a decile in which Blacks are admitted at about the rate at which the top 10 percent of Asian-Americans are, one must go all the way down to the fourth decile (from the bottom). In other words, an African American in the fourth-lowest academic decile (that is, in the 30 percent to 39 percent range) has a slightly higher chance of being admitted to Harvard than an Asian American in the very top decile. And in that fourth-lowest decile, where 12.8 percent of Blacks are admitted, Whites are admitted at a rate of 1.8 percent; Asian-Americans at a rate of 0.9 percent.

Black Americans should be embarrassed that the academic performance of Black students is so comparatively poor. White Americans should be embarrassed that our colleges universities, by rewarding mediocre performance by Blacks, provide scant incentive for improvement.

All Americans should be embarrassed if the Supreme Court doesn’t take the Harvard case and declare that college’s racial preferences unlawful.

*I don’t know whether Andrew Cuomo is embarrassed, but he should be. I do know he’s worried. That’s why he has lawyered up.

Cuomo hired Elkan Abramowitz to represent him. Abramowitz is a criminal lawyer. A former federal prosecutor, he reportedly will represent Cuomo and his close aides.

Cuomo has lawyered up not just over allegations of sexual harassment, but also in response to the federal investigation of possible criminal behavior. That behavior is the failure to provide the U.S. Department of Justice with information it requested about Wuhan coronavirus deaths in nursing homes. It involves not just Cuomo but also, in all likelihood, his close aides. (At some point, these aides might want to think about hiring separate counsel.) We have discussed the potential criminal matter in several posts, including this one.

The sexual harassment allegations are embarrassing, or should be. The possible criminal violations pose a greater potential danger to the governor.

My short take is that Cuomo is right to be worried.

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