A scandal. “It has been documented for some time that Asian applicants to the Ivies face a stiff test-score penalty in the admissions process — Asians have to get higher SAT scores than members of other races to have an equal chance of admission. But it’s one thing to have a higher bar for Asians. It’s still worse to have an Asian quota.”

North Korean fuel rods Spent North Korean nuclear fuel rods (Associated Press)

An humiliation. All President Obama can muster is empty, vague threats. “The White House vowed ‘consequences’ on Wednesday after North Korea successfully launched a long-range rocket that appears to put the United States within range of a nuclear strike.”

A debacle — the health-care exchanges, that is. It seems like very few states are going to run their own. “Pennsylvania will not set up its own health care exchange under the federal Affordable Care Act, at least not for now, Gov. Tom Corbett said Wednesday, putting the state on a course to join others led by Republicans that will let President Barack Obama’s administration run its exchange.”

A travesty ends, at least in the upper Midwest. “The battle between unions and state governments continued this week — just as it has for the last two years — in territory normally considered friendly for labor organizations. In the winter of 2011, Wisconsin forced an end to mandatory union contributions for state employees — and conservatives subsequently fought through two recalls, leaving in place both the public-employee union reforms and the GOP governor who forced the issue. Indiana followed suit in 2012, passing right-to-work legislation, becoming the first Rust Belt state to do so. Both state legislatures faced massive union protests, but in the end, very little electoral punishment for reforming workplaces to allow employee choice for funding union activities.”

A disgrace. “In case you haven’t heard, Patrick Moran, the son of Representative Jim Moran (D., Va.) heretofore most infamous for shooting the breeze on voter fraud in a James O’Keefe sting op, has pled guilty to assault after allegedly smashing his girlfriend’s face into a metal trash gate outside a D.C. nightclub, fracturing her skull. Young Patrick was allowed to plea down from a felony charge and will receive probation.” Even worse, Moran the elder claims it was all an accident. Surely Virginia Dems have the decency to finally give him the boot one election, right?

A collapse. ” [F]ew American institutions are as ill suited to the 21st century or have proved so inept at reorganization and reform as the unions. Labor is so enamored of its glorious past that it has failed to respond to the challenges of the future. The price for this failure is already high, and it is likely to climb.”

A shame. Barbara Walters was reduced to this questioning of New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie: “There are people who say you couldn’t be president because you’re so heavy. What do you say to them?” Maybe she should have asked what kind of tree he should be.