Archive for May, 2009

May 29, 2009

CRAIG T. NELSON going John Galt? From the comments: “As a non-taxpayer, he’d be a shoo-in for a post in the Obama administration.” Heh. There are still plenty of openings.

May 29, 2009

MURTHA UPDATE: C.R.E.W. Goes After Murtha, Inc. Here’s their “You Don’t Know Jack” graphic illustrating Murtha’s dubious connections.

Plus this: Vulnerable Democrats Urge Close Scrutiny of Colleagues:

Swept into office partly on promises to end a “culture of corruption,” many potentially vulnerable Democratic newcomers are pressing House leaders to confront allegations of unethical conduct involving fellow Democrats.

Discontent over ethics has been underscored in votes on Republican-sponsored privileged resolutions calling on the House ethics committee to probe the ties between the defunct lobbying firm PMA and powerful Democrats including John P. Murtha of Pennsylvania, Defense Appropriations Subcommittee chairman.

Democrats have rejected the resolution eight times, most recently on May 12. But 29 Democrats — including 22 first elected in 2006 and 2008 — voted for the measure sponsored by Rep. Jeff Flake , R-Ariz.

Almost a third of the 34 Democratic freshmen, or 11 members, bucked their leadership, which has pressed rank-and-file members to oppose the resolution, saying that if Republicans have a gripe, they should file a complaint with the Committee on Standards of Official Conduct.

Another unsuccessful GOP measure offered just before the Memorial Day recess would have barred funding for the lightly used John Murtha Johnstown-Cambria Airport, a facility in Murtha’s district. Murtha has used his perch on the Appropriations Committee to steer considerable federal funding to the facility. That measure, too, won support of 11 Democrats, all but one first elected in 2006 and 2008.

They haven’t had time to grow sufficiently complacent and corrupt not to care, yet.

May 29, 2009

HOPE AND CHANGE! White House Not Moving on Don’t Ask Don’t Tell. I thought it was a matter of fierce moral urgency.

May 29, 2009

SONIA SOTOMAYOR: Closet sovereigntist?

May 29, 2009

WHAT HAPPENED TO “The Information Superhighway?”

May 29, 2009

PEJMAN YOUSEFZADEH: The Huffington Post Is Dishonest: Rob Portman Edition.

May 29, 2009

JACOB SULLUM: Excuse Me, Ma’am, We’ve Had Reports of Prayer.

May 29, 2009

FROM PROFESSOR BAINBRIDGE: An Open Letter to GM President Obama. “I haven’t had a lot of experience with GM products in recent years, but when I was back east over the Memorial Day weekend, Avis upgraded my rental car to a Cadillac CTS. So I’ve got some advice for GM boss Obama.”

May 29, 2009

FROMA HARROP: Sotomayor and Condescending Identity Politics. “The important part of Sotomayor’s time at Princeton wasn’t her struggle as a Bronx-raised, working-class Puerto Rican among the Ivy League flowers. After all, Sotomayor did attend a good private Catholic high school. (And had she been born of poor Chinese immigrants, little fuss would have been made of her academic success.) The essence of Sotomayor’s Princeton experience was that she graduated summa cum laude and went on to Yale Law School, where she was an editor on the law journal.”

Related item here:

This is a story of privilege, dammit, not adversity.

Show me a Montana girl of un-useful ethnicity who put herself through law school waiting tables, after being left with two young children when her Army husband was killed overseas, and I’ll start oohing and aahing over her compelling story.

Of course, such a person would never ever end up on any President’s short-list, no matter if she graduated first in her class at her non-Ivy institution, no matter how extreme the intelligence and dedication and hard work she displayed over the subsequent course of her career. That’s simply how the world — and especially the legal world — is constructed today.

Largely true, alas.

May 29, 2009

ANOTHER BUSTED TREASURY NOMINATION: Garrett Withdraws Nomination for Assistant Secretary for Tax Policy. The Obama Administration’s “rigorous vetting process” is blamed.

May 29, 2009

DODD UPDATE: Dodd to air first TV ad in 2010 re-election bid. Starting kind of early — it’s like he’s worried or something.

May 29, 2009

USA TODAY: Leap in U.S. debt hits taxpayers with 12% more red ink. “Taxpayers are on the hook for an extra $55,000 a household to cover rising federal commitments made just in the past year for retirement benefits, the national debt and other government promises, a USA TODAY analysis shows. . . . The latest increase raises federal obligations to a record $546,668 per household in 2008, according to the USA TODAY analysis. That’s quadruple what the average U.S. household owes for all mortgages, car loans, credit cards and other debt combined. . . . Bottom line: The government took on $6.8 trillion in new obligations in 2008, pushing the total owed to a record $63.8 trillion.”

May 29, 2009

THE DAMAGE THAT GRANDSTANDING ATTORNEYS GENERAL DO: The Craigslist Sex Panic: How shutting down its “erotic services” section hurts prostitutes and cops.

May 29, 2009

FABIUS MAXIMUS: The first step on the road to America’s reform. “Unfortunately, the class that has led America — and done so well during our first two centuries — appears to have lost interest in the project. They prefer to skim the profits off the top, and hope the ship drifts along in the trade lane (and stays off the rocks). Reform must come from us, not them.”

May 29, 2009

NANCY PELOSI AND a coming Whiskey Rebellion?

May 29, 2009

MATT WELCH: California’s Silent Big Spenders.

May 29, 2009

BLACK POWER, WOMAN POWER, GAY POWER, and the “power” that dare not speak its name.

May 28, 2009

THEY TOLD ME IF I VOTED FOR JOHN MCCAIN, thugs would drag screaming journalists away from Air Force one. And they were right! Kicking & Screaming: Journo Dragged From Near AF1. “A reporter for a small newspaper was forcibly removed from a press area near Air Force One shortly before President Barack Obama arrived at Los Angeles International Airport to depart California early Thursday.”

UPDATE: Reader Paul Harper writes: “A self-described ‘Roman Catholic priestess’ has no business anywhere near Air Force One, much less POTUS. The Secret Service did right and seem to have been extremely professional, as we’d expect. Her second career as a blogger/reporter is irrelevant.” Several other readers agree, but that doesn’t spoil the joke. And look at the photo of a black woman being dragged off by Secret Service agents with Air Force One in the background and think about how it would have been played under the Bush Administration . . . .

May 28, 2009

ANOTHER “TEA PARTY” PROTEST TOMORROW, IN CARSON CITY:

A group of nonpartisan Northern Nevada residents, upset with what they said are the state Legislature’s harmful tax increases, will gather Friday in Carson City for the second “TEA Party” in as many months.

Organizers for the Anger is Brewing group said they expect about 2,000 people will participate in the peaceful Tax Freedom Day event in the square in front of the Legislative Building. “TEA” stands for “Taxed Enough Already.”

These things keep popping up all over, under the national-media radar.

May 28, 2009

HOMELAND SECURITY TO SCAN FINGERPRINTS OF PEOPLE EXITING THE UNITED STATES: “The controversial plan to scan outgoing passengers — including US citizens — was allegedly hatched under the Bush Administration. An official has said it will be used in part to crack down on the US population of illegal immigrants.” One day, they’ll figure out that they’ll get more mileage by checking on the people coming into the United States. . . .

Related: Cancer Patient Held At Airport For Missing Fingerprints: “A 62-year-old man visiting his relatives in the US was held for four hours by immigration officials after they could not detect his fingerprints because of a cancer drug he was taking. The man was prescribed capecitabine, a drug used to treat cancers in the head, neck, breast, and stomach. Some of the drug’s side-effects include chronic inflammation of the palms or soles of the feet, which can cause the skin to peel or bleed.”

UPDATE: Original story now includes this correction: “Editors Note – This story originally contained a representation that the biometrics trial in Atlanta and Detroit included the fingerprint scanning of US citizens. This has since been proved to be incorrect and the story has been modified – only non-US citizens will be expected to provide a biometric record.”

And Stewart Baker offers some additional correction:

Unfortunately, the story, from an Australian IT outlet, made serious errors. It claimed incorrectly that US citizens would be fingerscanned. It also succumbed to the assumption that any idea that can be made to sound like creepy and dumb security must have been the brainchild of the Bush Administration, accepted only reluctantly by the new administration.

In fact, the requirement for fingerprints on exit was first put in law in 1996, was recommended again by the 9/11 Commission, and was also included in the 9/11 implementation act. Despite this, the Bush administration was always a little ambivalent about the requirement — mainly because the requirement is not a security measure.

Departing travelers are, well, departing. If they’re terrorists, they’ve had their chance to attack us already.

Plus we already get passport data on departing passengers. Getting fingerprints too just makes the identification a little more certain, so the error rate goes down two or three percent. Since fingerprints are a hassle for everyone, and expensive, the Bush administration was pushed by Congress into gathering prints on exit. Congress has in essence said that Poland and other candidate countries will not be eligible for visa-free travel unless the Administration implements prints-on-exit.

More at the link.

May 28, 2009

FREQUENT EMAILER C.J. BURCH is also a novelist.

May 28, 2009

RAND SIMBERG IS BLOGGING FROM THE International Space Development Conference in Orlando.

May 28, 2009

EVEN CHRIS DODD OR JOHN MURTHA WOULD HESITATE AT THIS: UK Tory MP added a servant’s wing to his house at taxpayers’ expense.

May 28, 2009

“WANT A NEW CAR IN A FEW YEARS? DIG DEEP.” “New fuel efficiency standards and auto industry woes will drive price tags skyward.” (Via NewsAlert.).

May 28, 2009

I JUST WATCHED BILL O’REILLY OFFER A NON-APOLOGY APOLOGY on the Hot Air matter — sorry, but totally inadequate. O’Reilly misrepresented something as Hot Air’s when it came from a commenter — either deliberately, or because he’s got a lousy staff that misinformed him — and he should have apologized frankly. He didn’t, and his wriggly response made him look worse. Earlier on the show he talked about the New York Times losing the trust of readers; later in the show he bragged about his own ratings. Perhaps he should consider that the Times’ fate might become his, if he squanders the trust of viewers in Times-like fashion. . . .

UPDATE: Video.

May 28, 2009

FROM C-SPAN, the full 35-minute video of Judge Sotomayor at Duke Law School.

May 28, 2009

ANN ALTHOUSE: Do we know what Sotomayor thinks about abortion rights? “Some people assume Obama wouldn’t have picked her if she doesn’t support abortion rights, but is that really the case?”

May 28, 2009

A CIVIL-RIGHTS SETBACK IN TENNESSEE: Democratic Gov. Phil Bredesen vetoes a bill to allow licensed gun-carry in restaurants. An override is expected.

UPDATE: More from SayUncle, who says it’s a symbolic veto that will be overridden.

May 28, 2009

MAX SCHULZ: “President Obama is absolutely right that we can learn a lot from the European approach to energy. But he is dead wrong on what those lessons are.”

May 28, 2009

THE PROMISE OF geoengineering.

May 28, 2009

A DEVICE THAT HARVESTS your drinking water from the air.

May 28, 2009

REVISING THE DSM-IV INTO THE DSM-V.

There are high stakes here – a DSM-sanctioned diagnosis can make a huge difference in treatment, insurance coverage, and perception of a disorder. But these are not easy decisions to make: “Some psychiatrists warn that the tome runs the risk of medicalizing the normal range of human behaviors; others vehemently argue that it must be broad enough to guide treatment of those who need it.” Homosexuality was listed as a disorder in the second edition; one of the issues that has been discussed for the fifth edition is whether bitterness could be considered a mental disorder.

The process — which has been particularly iffy this time around — makes one doubt how much substance is there, as opposed to faddish opinion.

May 28, 2009

BRINGING OUT THE Zune HD. “In short, the Zune HD is aggressively positioning itself against Apple’s iPod touch, with its multitouch capability and App Store. What Microsoft is hoping will set the Zune HD apart are its HD radio offering and native integration with the XBox and Windows PCs, creating a sort of cloud for music and video content purchases from the soon-to-be-launched Zune Marketplace.”

May 28, 2009

ED MORRISSEY: “Right now, the United States has responded to a lack of demand for its Treasuries through a questionable and disturbing method: we’re buying our own debt. That allows the yields to remain low, but buying our own debt is somewhat akin to creating your own credit card. . . . What would a world with the United States in the second financial tier of nations mean? We would have significantly less foreign investment, to start, and that has other implications besides just the impact to our economy. We rely on economic engagement with other nations as a not-inconsequential portion of our national security and foreign policies.”

May 28, 2009

TODD BENSMAN: Drug Cartels Use Failed States to Traffic in Chemicals.

May 28, 2009

USING PULSARS FOR INTERSTELLAR NAVIGATION: “The signals from pulsars form a natural GPS system that could locate any object in the galaxy to within a meter.”

May 28, 2009

BACK TO BASICS: “The USDA established the National Organic Program and the term certified organic for crops in 1992 and for meat in 1999. But today, Tennessee has only 23 certified organic crop producers in the state and only one certified organic meat producer. . . . Many Tennessee farmers still aren’t interested in farming organically, says Wszelaki, either because they don’t agree with it philosophically, or they think it would be too labor-intensive and expensive to do.”

May 28, 2009

SILICON GRAFFITI: 21st Century Schizoid Mad Men. “You’d think that advertising would be the most political neutral environment around. Historically, most business owners have been reluctant to talk politics; why anger half your customers? But an increasing number of corporations — or at least the ad agencies they hire to promote their wares—seem to love pushing the edge. And not surprisingly, that edge points sharply to the left.”

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May 28, 2009

DON’T MISS THE FLAME AZALEAS on Gregory Bald.

May 28, 2009

BURSTING THE Higher Ed Bubble? “From an economic point of view, in other words, a college degree costs more and more and returns less and less. Kind of like a hot stock with a price-to-earnings ratio of 32, it’s a prelude to a crash. . . . As the number of job applicants with degrees rises, employers become more sophisticated in assessing the value of any particular degree. The degree itself matters less than the institution that granted it, the subject areas of concentration, and the grade point average earned. A 4.0 math degree from Cal Tech is a very different thing from a 2.8 communications degree from San Francisco State University. Now the next question is: Will consumers become more sophisticated too? Tuition, room and board at the University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill cost a little over half what they cost at nearby Duke. Is a Duke education really twice as valuable as one from UNC?”

May 28, 2009

PEOPLE TEND TO REBEL AGAINST EXCESS NANNYING, EVEN WHEN THE NANNIES ARE RIGHT: Healthy Lifestyles On Decline In United States. Then, of course, there’s the way the advice tends to change over time.

May 28, 2009

REVIEWING THE NEW 2010 Toyota Prius. “During our week, the Prius returned a healthy 47 mpg with a driving style that was modest but could not be described as hyper-miling. It took comparatively little effort to get some very impressive numbers.” Plus this: “It’s almost fun to drive.”

May 28, 2009

IN THE MAIL: From Mark Teppo, Lightbreaker.

May 28, 2009

J.D. JOHANNES IS GETTING READY TO LEAVE FOR AFGHANISTAN. If you want to support him, consider buying one of his DVDs. They’re good!

May 28, 2009

CLAUDIA ROSETT on the 20th Anniversary of the Tiananemen Square uprising. “I’d say at least two enduring and important messages came out of Tiananmen. Both sorely need remembering, especially as the world today seems to be losing its bearings on the immense value of individual freedom.”

May 28, 2009

RASMUSSEN: 87% Expect Sotomayor Will Be Confirmed, 45% Say She Should Be.

May 28, 2009

MURTHA UPDATE: Earmarks for Campaign Cash?

May 28, 2009

CHRIS DODD UPDATE: Dodd Shows Signs of Life in Connecticut.

Plus, Why Dodd is Still Trailing.

May 28, 2009

MICKEY KAUS: Elizabeth Edwards: ‘I Would Have Married Somebody Else’!

May 28, 2009

IF YOU’RE A GUN OWNER, you may be a “terrorist.”

May 28, 2009

PJTV: Obama Confesses, “We’re Out of Money” … with Megan McArdle & Alison Fraser. On my new “InstaVision” show. Well, it’s really pretty much the same show, only with better graphics, and I’m going to branch out beyond political / economic subjects in the future.

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May 28, 2009

WASHINGTON EXAMINER: Furor grows over partisan car dealer closings.

Evidence appears to be mounting that the Obama administration has systematically targeted for closing Chrysler dealers who contributed to Repubicans. What started earlier this week as mainly a rumbling on the Right side of the Blogosphere has gathered some steam today with revelations that among the dealers being shut down are a GOP congressman and closing of competitors to a dealership chain partly owned by former Clinton White House chief of staff Mack McLarty.

The basic issue raised here is this: How do we account for the fact millions of dollars were contributed to GOP candidates by Chrysler who are being closed by the government, but only one has been found so far that is being closed that contributed to the Obama campaign in 2008?

I hope the Public Integrity Section at the Department of Justice looks into this.

UPDATE: A reader notes something about “car czar” Steven Rattner: “Rattner is married to Maureen White, the former National Finance Chair for the Democratic Party.” The comment: “So one of the guys advising SecTreas on this thing is married to someone who used to be one of the people in charge of fundraising for the Democratic Party. This explains so much it’s scary.” Well, it bears a close look.

ANOTHER UPDATE: Megan McArdle notes some skepticism, and the Examiner piece has been updated with additional information that calls this into question. Also, somebody forwarded me an email from John Lott, who’s run the numbers and doesn’t think there’s much here. So don’t get carried away just yet.

May 28, 2009

ROBERT FARAGO: “The Associated Press called it: GM is set to enter popular parlance as ‘Government Motors.’ When the automaker files for Chapter 11, the nickname will stick, as the debate over GM’s future centers on whether or not the United States government should own a commercial enterprise. To which the only possible answer is no. . . . There are lots of reasons why ‘new’ GM is a bad idea. But here’s the most important impediment: Government Motors doesn’t have the vehicles it needs to survive. . . . As the New York Times recently asserted (welcome!), we can blame GM’s sclerotic corporate culture for their abject failure to create a complete line of compelling/profitable vehicles. The idea that the United States government will reform GM’s way of being and reverse the curse is completely preposterous. It’s like asking a cocaine dealer to sponsor a crack addict.”

UPDATE: TigerHawk: “Now that the One has staked his reputation and our dollars on the revival of General Motors, will college town academics and related hangers-on suddenly decide it is chic to buy and drive a Chevrolet? If not, why not?”

May 28, 2009

WENDY KAMINER on Sotomayor and Sisterhood.

May 28, 2009

WALL STREET JOURNAL: Return of the Bond Vigilantes.

They’re back. We refer to the global investors once known as the bond vigilantes, who demanded higher Treasury bond yields from the late 1970s through the 1990s whenever inflation fears popped up, and as a result disciplined U.S. policy makers. The vigilantes vanished earlier this decade amid the credit mania, but they appear to be returning with a vengeance now that Congress and the Federal Reserve have flooded the world with dollars to beat the recession.

Treasury yields leapt again yesterday at the long end, with the 10-year note climbing above 3.7%, its highest close since November. Treasury yields had stayed low, and the dollar had remained strong, as long as investors were looking for the safest financial port amid the post-September panic. But as risk aversion subsides, and investors return to corporate bonds and other assets, investors are now calculating the risks of renewed dollar inflation.

They have cause to be worried, given Washington’s astonishing bet on fiscal and monetary reflation. The Obama Administration’s epic spending spree means the Treasury will have to float trillions of dollars in new debt in the next two or three years alone. Meanwhile, the Fed has gone beyond cutting rates to directly purchasing such financial assets as mortgage-backed securities, as well as directly monetizing federal debt by buying Treasurys for the first time in half a century. No wonder the Chinese and other dollar asset holders are nervous. They wonder — as do we — whether the unspoken Beltway strategy is to pay off this debt by inflating away its value.

I’m not so much wondering, as expecting.

UPDATE: Okay, unlike this guy I’m not “100% sure” of hyperinflation. But willl we see something like this for real?

May 28, 2009

XENI JARDIN: Twitterer Facing Up to 10 Years In Prison for One Tweet.

May 28, 2009

NICK GILLESPIE: “Sadly, the Predictably Lame Arguments Against Gay Marriage Seem to be Working Quite Well. When it comes to recognizing gay marriage (which the polling compnay asking about in the mid-’90s), Gallup finds support slipping from a high of 46 percent in 2007 to 40 percent this year.” Actually, I think the behavior of those arguing for gay marriage has as much to do with the polls.

May 28, 2009

FORBES: Is Sotomayor Really Anti-Business? “The Didden decision is likely a red herring–not a ‘red flag.’”

UPDATE: Related: Comments from Jeffrey Rosen. More on Rosen here.

And is Obama pursuing a Harriet Miers strategy? There was a strategy with Harriet Miers?

May 28, 2009

THE CASE FOR TAXING EMAIL. Why not? They seem to want to tax everything else. Hope and change!

May 28, 2009

JAMES KIRCHICK: “Alongside not talking with your mouth full and wiping, one of the elemental lessons in manners that civilized societies teach their young is not to mock the physically disabled. Someone should remind Joe Klein, the ostensibly adult political columnist for Time magazine.”

May 28, 2009

WAR-GAMING an attack on North Korea.

May 27, 2009

BILL O’REILLY SMEARS HOT AIR. “Bottom line for me: if the O’Reilly Factor can’t figure out the difference between a blog post and a comment, they have no business opining about the Internet at all.” Indeed. O’Reilly should apologize.

UPDATE: Reader Juliette Akinyi Ochieng (who blogs here) writes:

About ‘Hussein’:

If the president had been born in Kenya, his name would be ‘Barack Hussein’ or he would have a Luo surname other than ‘Obama.’ My father–also a Luo–spells out the custom here–in short, Luo offspring do not take the last name of their fathers, but receive their own surname. But because he was born in the US, he has the surname of his father (a patronymic).

Same thing with me: because I was born in the US, rather than in Kenya, I have the same surname as my father. Had I been born in Kenya, my name would be “Juliette Akinyi.” (One more thing: I started using my entire name because Kenyans would hear “Juliette Ochieng” and look at me oddly: in the Luo tribe, male surnames begin with ‘O’ and female surnames begin with ‘A.’)

As is often the case, O’Reilly doesn’t know what he’s talking about.

You’d think he’d get producers who could keep things like the difference between blog posts and blog comments straight, though. Unlike Luo nomenclature, that’s not exactly an obscure distinction.

May 27, 2009

UH OH: New Investor Worry: Treasury Selloff Spiking Interest Rates.

May 27, 2009

ON NPR, my colleague Jeff Hirsch looks at Sotomayor’s 1995 baseball ruling.

May 27, 2009

A BUNCH OF NEW RELEASES on DVD and Blu-Ray.

May 27, 2009

PJTV: A New Korean War — With Nukes?

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May 27, 2009

STIMULUS! Home Sales in U.S. Stay Sluggish as Supply Soars. “The glut of unsold homes, fed by a new wave of foreclosures, could drag housing prices lower in the month ahead as the gap widens between supply and demand.”

May 27, 2009

SWINE FLU UPDATE: Possible Return of Swine Flu in Fall Has U.S. Health Officials on Alert.

As the H1N1 swine flu virus continues to wax and wane in different parts of the country, U.S. health officials said Tuesday that they were working as fast as possible to learn as much as they can about the novel pathogen before the return of the flu season in the fall.

The reason for the urgency: Some past pandemics were preceded by “herald waves” of a flu strain that surfaced at the end of one flu season, only to return with far greater consequences the next flu season.

It’s a good time for everyone — in and out of government — to brush up their preparedness plans.

May 27, 2009

OBAMA’S GREEN GURU CALLS FOR WHITE ROOFS. Obviously, he’s getting his ideas on how to deal with global warming from InstaPundit!

Meanwhile, I keep hearing Cream sing, In a White Roof, even though I know it’s wrong. Besides, you wouldn’t want black curtains if you were trying to save on cooling bills.

May 27, 2009

TREASURY SECRETARY TIM GEITHNER WILL MEET WITH THE CHINESE: “Perhaps the chief issue facing global markets is the extent to which China will continue investing heavily in Treasury bills. If China believes the dollar is going to decline in the future, given the ballooning United States debt, it could reduce its purchases.”

May 27, 2009

VIDEO: Protesters Greet Obama, Reid in Las Vegas.

May 27, 2009

G.M. BONDHOLDERS: PEOPLE LIKE YOU AND ME. “The government is punishing one group of workers to reward another.” That’s the Chicago Way.

UPDATE: Reader Fred Butzen writes:

I’m a fourth-generation Chicagoan, and lifelong resident. There’s a lot here to like, and I have no plans to leave. But one thing that you have to understand about Chicago, which is the key to understanding Obama, is that the city’s political system is a kinder, gentler form of Leninism: government and business subordinate to the Party, and the Party subordinate to the dictator. There may occasionally be a coup, but never a lost election. Political influence is a second currency, more valuable, in some ways, than money. “Don’t send nobody nobody knows” is the system’s creed.

I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again: Obama’s vision for America is Cook County writ large. And we are fools if we let him do it.

Indeed.

May 27, 2009

MORE TREASURY BOND WORRIES: “I do want to point to two articles that point to a growing problem that the Obama administration has failed to address in any serious way: the exploding deficits, and the resulting need to borrow heavily. . . . Eventually the treasury has to roll that debt or pay it off, and if interest rates spike, that can prove catastrophic–just ask Argentina. The five year, seven year, and especially the thirty year auctions will tell us much more. If the longer-yield debt again registers weak demand, the administration is going to have to address this problem.”

But how can they do that? Tax increases to make up the difference are impossible — not only politically, but probably economically — and they seem sublimely uninterested in cutting spending.

Meanwhile, let’s run that graphic one more time, since I still hear Obamites blaming the problem on the cost of the Iraq war, etc.:

May 27, 2009

APOLLO XI: The Untold Story.

May 27, 2009

I THINK HE’S ENJOYING THIS TURNABOUT THING: Gingrich: Sotomayor ‘racist,’ should withdraw nomination.

Robert Gibbs, meanwhile, thinks people should be careful about what they say. Where have I heard that before?

UPDATE: Ah, Politico is remembering the same thing:

White House press secretary Robert Gibbs issued a pointed warning to opponents of Judge Sonia Sotomayor’s Supreme Court nomination Wednesday, urging critics to measure their words carefully during a politically charged confirmation debate. . . .

In 2001, then-White House press secretary Ari Fleischer drew criticism in the press for suggesting Americans “need to watch what they say” in the overheated aftermath of the Sept. 11, 2001, terror attacks.

But that was a scary threat of totalitarian censorship. Well, to Frank Rich, anyway.

May 27, 2009

FINANCIAL TIMES: Exploding Debt Threatens America. “Under President Barack Obama’s budget plan, the federal debt is exploding. To be precise, it is rising – and will continue to rise – much faster than gross domestic product, a measure of America’s ability to service it.”

May 27, 2009

AUSTRALIAN GOVERNMENT backing down on Internet censorship?

May 27, 2009

A NEW Buffy The Vampire Slayer movie. Only . . .

May 27, 2009

REASON TV: 128 Days Later: It Can Always Get Worse.

May 27, 2009

LUCIAN BEBCHUK on reforming corporate elections.

May 27, 2009

ACID TEST: Proton-pump inhibitors may increase pneumonia risk.

May 27, 2009

HOWARD KURTZ: Secretly Selling Sotomayor. “While the Obama administration is hardly the first to use background briefings, journalists have complained about the ground rules several times this year. Reporters for the AP, New York Times and Washington Post, among others, objected at yesterday’s session for print journalists.” Hope, change, and transparency!

May 27, 2009

THE CHICAGO WAY: CONSEQUENCES: “Bond investors literally can’t afford to lend to unionized companies because it’s clear that current power in Washington will take the unions’ side, despite past bankruptcy law precedents that favor senior creditors. That means Washington’s actions in pushing for these bankruptcy verdicts to come out in favor of the unions will probably hurt unionized companies in the long run.”

May 27, 2009

TA-NEHISI COATES: About that “wise Latina” statement. “The problem with this reasoning is it implicitly accepts the logic (made for years by white racists) that there is something essential and unifying running through all white people, everywhere.”

May 27, 2009

HOME-SECURITY robots.

May 27, 2009

THE MYTH OF the white Muslim’s burden. Aren’t Arabs white?

May 27, 2009

IS THE CLOSING OF CHRYSLER DEALERSHIPS a politically targeted operation?

May 27, 2009

DEFLATING the “green bubble.”

May 27, 2009

WHAT EVERYONE NEEDS: An electric jet-ski.

May 27, 2009

TEST-DRIVING THE Lexus 250h hybrid. “The interior of the HS is techy, cool and far more inviting and driver-oriented than, say, the Prius.”

May 27, 2009

NEWSPAPERS “PUSHING UP FLOWERS.” Photographic proof!

May 27, 2009

F.I.R.E.:

A student who wants to form a gun-rights group at the Community College of Allegheny County (CCAC) has been threatened with disciplinary action for her efforts. Student Christine Brashier has turned to the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE) for help after reporting that administrators banned her informational pamphlets, ordered her to destroy all copies of them, and told her that further “academic misconduct” would not be tolerated. . . .

In April, CCAC student Christine Brashier created pamphlets to distribute to her classmates encouraging them to join her in forming a chapter of the national Students for Concealed Carry on Campus (SCCC) organization at CCAC. The handbill states that the group “supports the legalization of concealed carry by licensed individuals on college campuses.” She personally distributed copies of the flyer, which identified her as a “Campus Leader” of the effort to start the chapter.

On April 24, Jean Snider, Student Development Specialist at CCAC’s Allegheny Campus, summoned Brashier to a meeting that day with Snider and Yvonne Burns, Dean of Student Development. According to Brashier, the deans told Brashier that passing out her non-commercial pamphlets was prohibited as “solicitation.” They told Brashier that trying to “sell” other students on the idea of the organization was prohibited.

CCAC also told Brashier that the college must pre-approve any distribution of literature to fellow students, and that pamphlets like hers would not be approved, even insisting that Brashier destroy all copies of her pamphlet.

Brashier reports that she was also interrogated about why she was distributing the pamphlets, whether she owned a licensed firearm and had ever brought it to campus (she has not), whether she carries a concealed firearm off campus, and whether she disagrees with the existing college policy banning concealed weapons on campus.

When Brashier stated that she wanted to be able to discuss this policy freely on campus, she was told to stop doing so without the permission of the CCAC administration.

An absolute disgrace. There’s contact information at the link, but I hope that some Pennsylvanians will contact their state legislators, too.

More thoughts from Eugene Volokh, who notes that the college hasn’t given its side of the story yet — though, in light of the time lag, I’d say that’s indicative.

May 27, 2009

THE LATEST Grand Rounds is up!

May 27, 2009

IT’S ALL SPELLING BEE, ALL THE TIME, over at Throwing Things.

May 27, 2009

THE HILL: Holder pressed for answers on Murtha project.

May 27, 2009

IN THE MAIL: From Claire Shipman and Katty Kay, Womenomics: Write Your Own Rules for Success.

May 27, 2009

MICHAEL TOTTEN: The Future of Iraq, Part II. As always, worth your time. Remember that, like Michael Yon, he’s supported by reader donations, so if you like his work, consider hitting the tipjar.

May 27, 2009

MICHAEL SILENCE TO AP’S JENNIFER LOVEN: “Hey, you made the bed. Sleep in it. Oh, and by the way, what made you think the White House would give you a honeymoon?”

May 27, 2009

TONIGHT, A NEW SHOW FOR SOUTH PARK CONSERVATIVES?

Director Mike Judge’s new animated television series “The Goode Family” is a send-up of a clan of environmentalists who live by the words “What would Al Gore do?” Gerald and Helen Goode want nothing more than to minimize their carbon footprint. They feed their dog, Che, only veggies (much to the pet’s dismay) and Mr. Goode dutifully separates sheets of toilet paper when his wife accidentally buys two-ply. And, of course, the family drives a hybrid.

Hey, there’s nothing wrong with driving a hybrid!

May 27, 2009

WHO IS JOHN GALT? TAX COLLECTIONS PLUMMET.

Meanwhile, China warns Federal Reserve over ‘printing money’. “China has warned a top member of the US Federal Reserve that it is increasingly disturbed by the Fed’s direct purchase of US Treasury bonds.” So am I. Plus, over $99 Trillion in unfunded pension and health-care liability, “built up by a careless political class over the years.”