November 2, 2008
IS GEORGE WILL smarter than a third grader?
IS GEORGE WILL smarter than a third grader?
IT WOULD BE SUITABLY IRONIC IF IT HAPPENED: “Yet it may very well be that an army of glum, dispirited and pessimistic conservatives will reluctantly trudge to the polls on November 4, each one imagining they are the only remaining person in the entire country voting for McCain, and lo and behold — they’ll turn out to be a silent majority after all.”
DAVID POST: Why I’ll be voting for Obama: “I consider myself a ‘pragmatic libertarian’ â€“ Iâ€™m not a big fan of the state, I believe that power inevitably corrupts, that individuals, when left to their own devices, are capable of remarkable feats of self-organization and problem-solving, and that the freedoms of speech, conscience, and association are, by far, our most precious ones and need to be zealously protected from the folks with the monopoly on coercive force.”
On the other hand, Manny Klausner says that libertarians in battleground states should probably vote for McCain, however reluctantly.
UPDATE: Charles Martin: Why I’ll be voting for McCain.
OBAMA’S CREDIT-CARD CRACKUP: “A breakdown of controls has enabled foreign and other unaccountable funds to pour into the Obama campaign â€” and it’s not an accident.”
BRAD FRIEDMAN IS RIGHT: “As an Election Integrity advocate recently noted rather eloquently, the front-end voter suppression issues and the back-end voting machine failures are two sides of the same coin. You can’t worry about one without worrying about the other.” I’ve made this point myself.
RUNNING WITH the coal issue. “Seizing on a newly released audio tape picked up by the Drudge Report, Sarah Palin took the opportunity here in coal country to accuse Barack Obama of ‘talking about bankrupting the coal industry.’”
UPDATE: The limits of the tanning-bed media.
ANOTHER UPDATE: Context? “Democrat Barack Obamaâ€™s admission that he will use regulation to bankrupt the coal industry is a bombshell that the San Francisco Chronicle sat on for 10 months.” Well, I think the hour-long video was on their website. But I guess nobody in the room noticed the bombshell.
MORE: More context.
STILL MORE: Coal official calls Obama comments ‘unbelievable’. “At least one state coal industry leader said he was shocked by comments Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama made earlier this year concerning his plan to aggressively charge polluters for carbon and greenhouse gas emissions. . . . According to the West Virginia Office of Miners’ Health, Safety and Training, the coal industry provides about 40,000 direct jobs in the state, including those for miners, mine contractors, coal preparation plant employees and mine supply company workers.”
FROM SWARM-JOURNALISM to swarm-corruption?
FORGOTTEN GEMS: So when I was a kid of about the Insta-Daughter’s age, I read a book at my grandparents’ by Mary Lasswell, called One On The House. It was dated enough to seem cool, and the story was cheerful and lighthearted — the three protagonists are old women who live together and spend a lot of time on beer, food, and overcoming minor difficulties. I got a couple of other books in the series out of the library — High Time, and Suds in Your Eye — and had largely forgotten them until recently. But, thanks to the miracle of the Internet they’re easy to get. I also ordered a cookbook supposedly put together by one of the characters, Mrs. Rasmussen’s Book of One-Arm Cookery. (The theory is that you’re supposed to be able to do most of the cooking with a beer in hand). I read the books, and they held up pretty much as I remembered, and the Insta-Daughter has devoured two already, and actually cooked two recipes from the cookbook (deviled eggs and bread-and-butter pudding: they turned out well).
But while the books may or may not be your cup of tea, what struck me was how easy I found it to get copies of books that were printed when my mother was a baby and haven’t been reissued since, compared to what it would have been like a few years ago. Living in the 21st Century really does have its advantages.
TRAFFIC: So in September, InstaPundit had over 12 million pageviews, while in October it had a bit under 11 million. Interestingly, that’s exactly the pattern we saw in 2004, where traffic also peaked in September with RatherGate, etc. This time I think it peaked over the Sarah Palin stories. This doesn’t surprise me — people think of InstaPundit as a political blog, but it’s really more of a media criticism blog, so traffic rises with media stories, rather than with political ones, though naturally the two overlap.
JOHN MCCAIN: “The funnier candidate” for President?
SHRINKING TUMORS BY targeting genes with nanotechnology.
OBAMA PROMISES TO ANSWER QUESTIONS — after the election.
UPDATE: Link was wrong before. Fixed now — sorry! But notice Obama’s backpedaling even from that promise, in the update.
A REVIEW OF THE OLYMPUS STYLUS waterproof digital camera.
THE WAR AGAINST excessive online capitalization continues. But everyone knows that IF YOU TYPE IN ALL CAPS ALL THE TIME YOU’RE MORE PERSUASIVE! REALLY, YOU ARE! MILLIONS OF CHATROOM PARTICIPANTS CAN’T BE WRONG!
PIRACY IN NIGERIA, plus this: “The legislature has established a committee to investigate what happened to the $42 billion that has been spent, in the Niger River delta oil region, over the last eight years, on development projects. Nothing appears to have been developed, and the money is unaccounted for.”
STATE OF HAWAII verifies Obama birth certificate. “Will this put a stop to the idiotic rumors? Of course not!”
UPDATE: Reader James Paternoster emails: “There you go again, you and LGF providing the defense of Obama that his own side won’t do. It’s good for the country, and I’m glad you do it. But with the legacy media in the their corner, the new media either on their side or willing to defend them for the sake of truth, and their own tendency to call the truth a lie when it comes from their opponents, I wonder how they’re going to handle it when someone really starts to lie about them? Will they be able to stand the heat? especially when it comes from those parts of the world they think love them?” Good question. But I hope they’re not counting on me and Charles to do all the heavy lifting here.
MAKING ELECTRICITY RATES SKYROCKET: Hope and Change!
HMM: Questions raised over Syrian complicity in US raid. “Syria has denounced a US strike on its territory but sources say Damascus secretly backed the raid. . . . ‘Immediately after 9/11, Syrian intelligence cooperation was remarkable,’ said the Washington source. ‘Then ties were broken off, but they have resumed recently.’”
RAFAEL RESENDES: Which Clinton Economy Does Obama Admire?
STRATEGYPAGE: “Yet another sign that peace has come to Iraq. The U.S. is beginning to replace foreign workers with Iraqis.”
VW TALKS ABOUT ITS new midsize sedan to be built in Chattanooga.
IN THE MAIL: John Ringo and Travis S. Taylor’s Claws That Catch. How many titles can they get out of one Lewis Carroll poem?
Asheville, North Carolina. Electric cars are very popular here. Detail below.
WILL OBAMA bankrupt the coal industry with carbon taxes? Obama audio at the link.
JOHN HINDERAKER: “We are now about to take a second vacation from history (assuming, of course, that Barack Obama prevails on Tuesday). Barney Frank has vowed to cut the defense budget by 25%. Apart from the budget, it is apparent that Obama and his fellow Democrats have little interest in the conflict with Islamic extremism and no intention of pursuing it aggressively. Like the interlude of the 1990s, the de-emphasis on national security promised by the Democrats is the fruit of success.” As I’ve said before, this is why I don’t worry as much about spending on war as on social and regulatory programs. Spending on war always gets cut back.
I’M A TRUE MAVERICK: “A Republican Without Money.”
A STEP TOWARD GLOBAL GUN CONTROL? UN panel backs call for standards in arms trade. Its supporters say not.
A NICE STORY: “The Daughters of the American Revolution and a group of Harley-riding bikers may not seem like they have anything in common. But they do share at least one interest. Sending Christmas care packages to US troops overseas.”
NEIL MUNRO, NATIONAL JOURNAL: “Amid criticism for failing to identify the hundreds of thousands of low-dollar donors who have boosted his $600 million presidential campaign, Barack Obama has responded that it ‘would be a pretty hard thing for us to be able to process.’ But there is much widely used and inexpensive technology that allows Republican and Democratic campaigns to sort and identify millions of donors and to highlight or exclude overseas contributors. . . . The lack of a computerized address-verification system would allow the Obama campaign’s computers to accept online donations from U.S. citizens above legal limits, and to accept donations from foreigners who are barred by law from contributing at all.”
Meanwhile, reader Joseph Edwards emails:
All these stories about Obama’s campaign contributions (lack of credit card verification, Aunti Zaitun, etc.) prompted me to check Google Trends (http://www.google.com/trends) to see from which countries people are searching for “Donate McCain” versus “Donate Obama.” Check it out yourself. Nothing other than the USA registers for McCain, but a statistically significant number of Canadian and British residents apparently have enough interest in donating to Obama’s campaign they show up as numbers two and three. Somehow I don’t believe these are all US service men and women stationed in Montreal or London who are googling this topic.
UPDATE: Reader Benjamin Sharma writes:
Sure, they’re not US servicemen — but they could be garden-variety expats.
There are over 200,000 Americans in Toronto alone, and 250,000 in London.
And expats are (for whatever reason) something like 80% Democrat.
But when I’ve donated to McCain from up here, they’ve had to jump through hoops — they ended up putting my money through using my last American address. When I thought about donating to Hillary late in the primary season, I saw that they required that it be done by mail, and that I include a photocopy of my passport. (So I didn’t.)
Yeah, the Obama campaign seems much, much laxer.
ANTI-MURTHA FOLKS, TAKE NOTE: “A final campaign rally for Republican 12th District candidate William Russell has been scheduled for this weekend. Russell Campaign Manager Peg Luksik announced the final rally will be held Sunday November 2, 2008, at the DAYS INN in New Stanton, PA at 2:00PM. . . . Luksik also announced that several national conservative organizations including; Gun Owners of America, Move America Forward, Veterans for Freedom and the Minutemen have all asked to participate.”
MICHAEL YON: Advertisement and the Virtue of Audacity.
QUESTIONS ABOUT THAT civilian national security force.
Despair is a sin, and often a mistake. The polls do not record the “refused to respond” which in my judgment is a much larger category than any admit — it includes me, five times so far this year since I’m home to answer the phone more than many people are — and I suspect that more McCain people refuse to respond than the trendier Obama enthusiasts.
Few Republicans are enthusiastic. I wish there were a safe recipient for the Turn The Rascals Out! vote. There isn’t. Electing a junior senator whose political positions are indistinguishable from McGovern except on the checkoff unionization which even McGovern opposes cannot be a good thing for the future of the nation. If the Democratic candidate were Colin Powell, who has fairly traditional liberal views but is primarily a centrist with some military (including political military, but who has led troops in combat) experience, I’d very likely vote for him on the grounds that he would be a good restraining influence on Rangel, Franks, Dodd, Pelosi, and the weak Reid. Alas, Obama isn’t likely to stand up to much of anything; his political experience has been Chicago machine go along to get along.
But the election is not over. There are more decline to answer voters than it takes to change the election.
One vote per precinct in California delivered the nation to Woodrow Wilson.
The way to win elections is to get those who intend to vote for your candidate to go vote. Few readers here are not capable of getting two or three voters to the polls. That’s well over a million votes. Think on it.
JAPAN: Slacker Nation? Young Japanese Shun Promotions. In a modern industrial society, it’s possible to live quite well without climbing the ladder much. That may be a problem, in time.
UPDATE: Michael Greenspan notes that this is what happens when you don’t have enough income inequality.
ANOTHER UPDATE: And Greenspan seems to be right. Another reader emails:
It’s not just Japan. I work for one of the big 3 aerospace/defense companies at a Los Angeles area location, and though I wouldn’t say it’s nearly as evident as in Japan, young workers in our industry are asking the same questions. We have no hope of achieving the same standard of living as the droves of retiring Boomers and Silents, and the 2% raise differential afforded by a promotion simply isn’t enough of an incentive to work 20-30% more hours a week.
If the industry paid overtime, or offered significant bonuses to rank and file employees (bonuses are only available to upper management), a lot of young engineers would respond enthusiastically. In fact, we’ve asked the company to do these things in recent employee forums. We’d all like to buy homes in the area and raise families here, but the older workers own all the real estate, and most of us assume that we’ll give things a few years, but get out of the area once we need to settle down. It’s simply too expensive to live in a metro area like L.A. Since the incentive structure doesn’t offer us hope of achieving the same lifestyle as the older employees, we don’t see much reason to devote our lives to these companies. As I said, the 2% differential doesn’t make a whole lot of difference, so why bother with the extra stress?
There you have it.
MEN WITHOUT PETS.
MICHAEL PETRELIS: SF Mayor Denounces Yes on 8/Obama Mailer.
MICAH SIFRY: The Obama Machine. “The last time a presidential candidate saw this kind of outpouring of grass-roots involvement, in my opinion, was when Ross Perot ran for president as an independent in 1992.”
SANDRA DAY O’CONNOR WAS IN TOWN YESTERDAY: “She spoke about the need for civic education, citing three problems with what she calls ‘civic illiberty’: the lack of time schools spend teaching civics; a static approach to civic education; and the lack of modern teaching methods such as computer programs in teaching civics.” Some of my students attended her talk and said it was good.
MIKE RAPPAPORT: “I have reluctantly concluded that I should vote for McCain. It is an awful pill to swallow. I don’t particularly like the man, and really dislike his policies. But that is how bad things have gotten.”
NO HUBRIS HERE: Obama: ‘I Will Change The World’.
UPDATE: Jake Tapper emails: “I have never heard him say ‘I will change the world’. Where is that headline supported? Seriouslyâ€¦a serious question.”
I don’t know. They’ve got it in quotation marks, but it’s not in the body of the story, just the headline. Anybody seen that anywhere else?
ANOTHER UPDATE: It appears here:
â€œThis is our time!â€ he proclaimed. And â€œI will change the world.â€
But it’s not clear where he said it. Any other examples? Meanwhile, in a followup email, Tapper writes: “Seems dubious to me. I’m covering him like white on rice and if he said that we would have written about it, but if anyone finds it, let me know pls.” Will do.
MORE: Reader Urania Mitchell says it’s probably a misquote of this statement:
“I’m Barack Obama,” he concludes. “If you give me your vote on Tuesday, we won’t just win this election — together, we will change this country and change the world.”
Any other examples? And reader Rew Waltman writes: “I wonder if he can change it as much as George Bush has by liberating 25 million people?”
DOG BITES MAN: Study: Media coverage has favored Obama campaign.
LIVE BY THE SARAH PALIN BIKINI PICS, die by the Sarah Palin bikini pics. But what about the Michelle Obama swimsuit video?
THE TRAILER FOR Lord of the Rings: Conquest is out.
BILL STUNTZ REPORTS some good news on the cancer front. Glad to hear it.
ORRIN HATCH, UNPLUGGED.
CHARGING POLITICS AT THE D.O.J.: “The highest-ranking Republican in the House is accusing the Republican-led U.S. Justice Department of playing politics when it comes to investigating voting-fraud allegations and monitoring balloting in Ohio.”
FASTER THAN A BUGATTI VEYRON: Jay Leno drives an all-American supercar.
NOW YOU’RE RICH IF YOU MAKE over $120,000. Gee, it’s halved in, like, a week. How long before it’s down to $60K?
UPDATE: Well, here’s a bid for $70K, but I don’t know if it counts . . . .
ANOTHER UPDATE: HEH: “Bottom line: If you make over 30 grand, you might want to restructure yourself as an offshore corporation in the Turks & Caicos.” That’s silly. I’m sure you’re safe up to $45K. Well, pretty sure.
CATAPULTS VS. AIRGUNS at the long-distance pumpkin chunking contest. Plus, talk of electromagnetic rail guns in the future. Is this a great country, or what?
BUZZ ALDRIN: Purchase a lovely new home, on Mars. “Aldrin, speaking to the AFP (Agence France Presse, a global news agency), said the men and women who board the world’s first non-stop flight to Mars should establish a long-term colony on the Red Planet. The time and expense required to send them there warrants more than a brief sojourn, he says, so those who are on board should think of themselves as pioneers. Like the Pilgrims who came to the New World or the families who headed to the Wild West, they should not plan on coming back home.”
UPDATE: Reader Clinton Edwards writes: “The problem is that the Outer Space Treaty of 1967 (which covers the moon and other celestial bodies) forbids private property ownership. You can’t go to Mars and stake a claim to a few acres like you could in New England or the Old West. Instead your homestead belongs to whoever happens by.”
That’s not really correct. Rob Merges and I discuss the issue at some length here.
AN UNDERWATER CAR THAT ACTUALLY EXISTS: The Rinspeed Squba. Video at the link.
BARACK OBAMA: “CHRISTIANIST” THEOCRAT?
Several gay friends and wealthy gay donors to Senator Barack Obama have asked him over the years why, as a matter of logic and fairness, he opposes same-sex marriage even though he has condemned old miscegenation laws that would have barred his black father from marrying his white mother.
The difference, Mr. Obama has told them, is religion.
As a Christian â€” he is a member of the United Church of Christ â€” Mr. Obama believes that marriage is a sacred union, a blessing from God, and one that is intended for a man and a woman exclusively.
My guess is that the reason he’s not getting more flak on this is that lots of people who’d be upset by it just don’t believe him. What will they say if it turns out he’s telling the truth?
GOOD NEWS IS NO NEWS: US deaths in Iraq plunge to wartime low in October.
TAXACHUSETTS NO MORE? A report on the Massachusetts income tax repeal initiative.
Thanks to the tenacity of Carla Howell of the Committee for Small Government, voters may be able to eliminate Massachusettsâ€™s income levy through Question 1 of a ballot referendum. In 2002, a similar ballot question asking for the repeal of the income tax earned 45 percent support. Today, with jobs and residents fleeing the economically limping Bay State, the political climate for eliminating the income tax is even more hospitable. Backers also hope that the repeal would force Massachusetts to practice tough fiscal discipline.
It certainly seems to have the powers-that-be spooked. And here’s more on the subject. “You would think that proposing a major reduction in the taxes the Commonwealth takes from each of us would be a difficult and carefully measured calculation as much of our many billions in taxes are well spent. However, given the recent history of our governance, the decision turns out to be easy. To adopt the current mantra Massachusetts needs ‘change!’”
Our podcast interview with Initiative promoter Carla Howell is here.
JAMES JOYNER ON SPREADING THE WEALTH AROUND: “Itâ€™s one thing, though, to lament the unfairness of, say, Paris Hilton having millions while youâ€™ve got only thousands and quite another to advocate the government taking away her money and divvying it up.” What I find interesting is the movement of the poll numbers on this over the past few months.
DAVID BERNSTEIN on Obama and affirmative action. “I know some Obama-haters are inclined to use this against him, but, in fact, given his successes ever since, Obama would more likely be the poster child in favor of affirmative action.”
MOVING TOWARD TRUE NANOTECHNOLOGY: “Self-propelled microbots navigate through blood vessels.”
IN THE MAIL: Thomas Nevins’ The Age of the Conglomerates: A Novel of the Future.
SEATTLE’S THE STRANGER publishes addresses and photos of homes displaying Republican signs. Political intimidation and incitement to violence, or just colorful journalism? Note the discussion in the comments.
UPDATE: Oh, heck. Let’s have an Insta-Poll on this one. Please be sure to read the article and look at the photos before voting.
ANOTHER UPDATE: The Stranger link now redirects to Drudge, who also had an item on this. I think it’s safe to infer that it was the folks at The Stranger who did that, and that they’re feeling the weight of criticism. Kinda tacky, though.
ROGER KIMBALL: Commander-in-chief vs. Nanny-in-chief, or two cheers for selfishness. “‘Selfishness’ can be a vice. It can also be another name for that ‘well-ordered self-love’ that Thomas Aquinas extolled as ‘right and natural.’”
Hillel had some similar observations.
COMING SOON: Obama Derangement Syndrome?
BRIAN WANG HAS highlights from the Singularity Summit.
OBAMA’S AUNT IS LIVING ILLEGALLY IN THE UNITED STATES, according to an AP report. Hmm. Wouldn’t that make her donations to Obama’s campaign illegal?
UPDATE: I see that Power Line is asking about the donations too.
ANOTHER UPDATE: Reader Thomas Prewitt emails:
Based on her assertion that all people who are “thrust into the public spotlight” have their records checked, I call for the immediate and comprehensive review of all the Ohio state records of Helen Jones-Kelley, Director, Ohio Department of Job and Family Services, and the public reporting thereof. This would include tax, DMV, court filings, child-support, and all other records that could detect any possible unmet financial obligations held by Ms. Jones-Kelly.
After all, we don’t want the slightest obligation to go unmet due to her pending financial windfall as a byproduct of her new celebrity status. Seems only fair, right?
Turnabout notwithstanding, I think people should leave her alone. But they should ask the Obama campaign some questions.
JOHN TIERNEY: â€˜Misleadingâ€™ Research From Industry? “Now some researchers have looked to see what kind of hierarchy actually exists. After analyzing weight-loss research conducted over four decades, theyâ€™ve found that the quality of data reporting in industry-sponsored research does seem to be different from that in other research: Itâ€™s better.”
WELL, THEN, NOTHING TO WORRY ABOUT: “Obamaâ€™s hand on the Bible will jump-start an entire new historical epoch, one that is already under way. We just donâ€™t know what it is, or what we will call it, much less what it will bring.”
MORE BAD FINANCIAL NEWS FOR THE MEDIA: Washington Post Co. Earnings Plummet in Third Quarter.
A YEAR LATER, the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education has a report on indoctrination at the University of Delaware.
ARNOLD IN OHIO: Work on those pecs, Barack.
THE INSTAPUNDIT TAKE ON TAXES: With all the talk about spreading the wealth around, let’s revisit this Robert Heinlein quote:
Throughout history, poverty is the normal condition of man. Advances which permit this norm to be exceeded â€” here and there, now and then â€” are the work of an extremely small minority, frequently despised, often condemned, and almost always opposed by all right-thinking people. Whenever this tiny minority is kept from creating, or (as sometimes happens) is driven out of a society, the people then slip back into abject poverty.
This is known as “bad luck.”
I’m just, you know, sayin’ . . . . (Bumped).
MORE ON THOSE SUSPICIOUS JOE THE PLUMBER BACKGROUND CHECKS: It’s not the crime, it’s the coverup:
Vanessa Niekamp said that when was asked to run a child-support check on Samuel Joseph Wurzelbacher on Oct. 16, she thought it routine. A supervisor told her the man had contacted the state agency about his case.
Niekamp didn’t know she just had checked on “Joe the Plumber,” who was elevated the night before to presidential politics prominence as Republican John McCain’s example in a debate of an average American.
The senior manager would not learn about “Joe” for another week, when she said her boss informed her and directed her to write an e-mail stating her computer check was a legitimate inquiry.
The reason Niekamp said she was given for checking if there was a child-support case on Wurzelbacher does not match the reason given by the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services.
Keep digging, guys.
THE POLIWOOD SHOW: Looking at Woody Allen’s decline. Free to everybody.
CURRENTLY ON DRUDGE: “ZOGBY SATURDAY: McCain outpolled Obama 48% to 47% in Friday, one day, polling. He is beginning to cut into Obama’s lead among independents, is now leading among blue collar voters, has strengthened his lead among investors and among men, and is walloping Obama among NASCAR voters. Joe the Plumber may get his license after all.”
Hmm. Polls sure do seem volatile this season.
MICHAEL MALONE: Note To The President: The Care And Feeding Of Entrepreneurship.
ANN ALTHOUSE is liveblogging Halloween.
THE 900 CLUB: Pictures of the world’s heaviest people.
ADVICE ON making every dollar count in tough economic times. Of course, if you make every dollar count when times aren’t so tough, you can save more money to tide you over when they are . . . .
IT’S COMPLEX: Melatonin and aging.
A ROUNDUP: The Pension Fund Problem to Come. Some places, it’s already arrived. And this part seems right to me: “Americans and politicians have an erroneous view that stocks are for ‘rich people’ and not them. Wall Street remains a mysterious world, operated largely behind closed doors by mad scientist math wizards. The pension problem proves nothing could be farther from the truth. The teachers, cops and other government workers who trust their retirement to companies such as CalPERs may suddenly take a keen interest in equities.”
Plus this: Colo. public employee pension fund plunges $10B. “Colorado PERA had been hoping that investment gains would help resolve its long-term underfunding problem.” I’ll bet they had. Hope is not a plan.
UPDATE: Taxpayers To Fund Public Pension Shortfalls. “While most people have watched their 401K values drop with the stock market over the past several weeks, taxpayers may have spend millions more propping up pensions paid to county and state retirees.” I don’t think that will play well, politically.
SPY ROBOTS in California prisons. At least they don’t draw expensive pensions.
COMING: A Caracas on the Potomac? Let’s hope not.
POLISHING UP the Apple TV.
CAR LUST: Remembering the Lotus Esprit S1/S2. With James Bond video that’s not bad, though it would be better if it had more Barbara Bach.
THIS SOUNDS PROMISING: Ethanol Innovation Turns Wood Into Sugar at Room Temperature.
I’M GUESSING THAT CITY-PROVIDED CARS FOR BIGSHOTS ARE STILL THERE, THOUGH: California Cities Cut Police Budgets. Note the pressure from overly generous pension benefits they now can’t afford. Oh, well: If they loosen their gun laws maybe they won’t need as many police.
More on those underfunded public pensions here.
DINING AT the taxpayer buffet.
MEGAN MCARDLE: “One of the continuing problems with trying to straighten out the mortgage mess is that it’s really hard to arrange a workout on a securitized mortgage, because the organization that collects the payment is not the organization that ultimately owns the payment stream; its just a hired manager.”
FIGURING OUT EXTRATERRESTRIALS with lessons from Neanderthals.
KARL OKAMOTO: After the Bailout: Regulating Systemic Moral Hazard.