McCain’s skin biopsy: benign

It’s only the rest of him that’s malignant.

That’s good news, though even a positive biopsy wouldn’t have been very bad news; most skin cancers are easily excised, with no risk of spread.

Still, this has to remind you of a political rival’s remark when a tumor on Lord Randoph Churchill’s lung proved benign: that the doctors had “found the one bit of Randolph that wasn’t malignant and cut it out.” It takes a special kind of nastiness in a politician to give that joke a real point. Lord Randolph had it; until this year, you wouldn’t have said the same thing about John McCain.

Pity, that.

Author: Mark Kleiman

Professor of Public Policy at the NYU Marron Institute for Urban Management and editor of the Journal of Drug Policy Analysis. Teaches about the methods of policy analysis about drug abuse control and crime control policy, working out the implications of two principles: that swift and certain sanctions don't have to be severe to be effective, and that well-designed threats usually don't have to be carried out. Books: Drugs and Drug Policy: What Everyone Needs to Know (with Jonathan Caulkins and Angela Hawken) When Brute Force Fails: How to Have Less Crime and Less Punishment (Princeton, 2009; named one of the "books of the year" by The Economist Against Excess: Drug Policy for Results (Basic, 1993) Marijuana: Costs of Abuse, Costs of Control (Greenwood, 1989) UCLA Homepage Curriculum Vitae Contact: Markarkleiman-at-gmail.com