May 2, 2010
AT AMAZON, home and garden markdowns.
AT AMAZON, home and garden markdowns.
LAMAR ALEXANDER: Border security must precede path to citizenship for immigrants.
MATT CONTINETTI: The Bully Party:
The omens are everywhere. Iran is close to obtaining nuclear weapons. The eurozone is in crisis. The U.S. unemployment rate is near 10 percent. America’s social insurance programs threaten to bankrupt the country. And—most unusual—the Washington Nationals are above .500.
But rest easy. None of this is distracting the Obama administration and congressional Democrats from their fulltime occupation: demonizing the political opposition.
It’s their main tactic. Plus this: “The Democratic response to dissent is a lot like their governing style: partisan, arrogant, and self-righteous.”
HUMANITIES SCHOLARSHIP: Going with the flow.
FROM DONALD SENSING, a photo essay on flooding in Tennessee.
MEGAN MCARDLE: “Andrew seems very pleased by the progress we’re making with the auto bailout. I’m not seeing it. Am I really supposed to get excited by the astonishing revelation that when you pour tens of billions of dollars into a couple of failed companies, some of that money will end up in someone’s pocket, somewhere? . . . In answer to Andrew’s question–’That auto restructuring last year was a disaster, wasn’t it?’–well, yes, it was.”
UBIQUITOUS VIDEO: CATCHING A THIEF:
Students sick of getting their lockers broken into and having their money disappear set up a cell phone camera to hopefully catch the crook in the act.
Deputies said the video showed the crook was Steven Simmons, 49, their PE teacher.
It’s news that spread quickly at North Marion High School.
“There’s videos going around and forwarded messages of his mug shot, and it’s crazy,” said Shelby Revels, a North Marion High student.
Deputies said at first Simmons denied going into the lockers.
However, when confronted with the video, they said he confessed to stealing money from students for years.
My prediction: The state Education Association will push for a law banning student video cameras in schools. . . .
WELCOME TO the deflation club.
FLOODING IN NASHVILLE: Reader Michael Bassham writes: “Flooding in downtown Nashville. This is at Rosa Parks Blvd and Locklayer, across from Farmer’s Market. This is a block from my house.” Note the nearly-submerged SUV in front of the store.
Thanks to the folks who’ve written worrying about me — but I’m not in Knoxville. I’m on travel and staying at a secure, undisclosed location where tornadoes do not appear to be a threat.
Related: Tennessee Got Pounded.
UPDATE: The indomitable spirit of the Internet remains, er, indomited.
UPDATE: Claim is plausible.
ANOTHER UPDATE: Possible bomb in Pittsburgh. Stay tuned.
MORE: NYPD: No evidence of Taliban link. Of course, what would that evidence consist of, at this point? Best evidence against a Taliban connection is that the bomb sucked; they’ve got better bomb-making skills than that. . . .
I’VE WRITTEN REPEATEDLY on the importance of disaster-preparedness. Boston’s water problems are just another example of why it matters. You should keep at least a few gallons of water stored against emergencies. Also, remember that hot-water heaters and toilet tanks store many gallons and can be accessed in a pinch. But it’s not a bad idea to have some bottled water handy to avoid that. Also, a high-quality filter might be nice.
UPDATE: Here’s a post on water filters and other sources of emergency water.
UPDATE: NYT: GM, Treasury lied about bailout repayment. “This article by Gretchen Morrison in the New York Times is significant for two reasons. First, the Times has decided to give this significant coverage, which means the story of GM’s misleading claim of paying back the taxpayer-funded bailout will continue to have some legs. More importantly, it also points the finger at Treasury and the Obama administration for its complicity in allowing CEO Ed Whitacre to make those claims without challenge.”
TOURING the psych-bloggers.
WHY CAN’T A MAN be more like a woman?
PROF. JACOBSON: We Are All Gillian Duffy Now.
TUNKU VARADARAJAN: Lloyd Blankfein’s PR Coup.
HOW TO START A FIRE with just compressed air.
STILL MORE on that Harvard Law School racial flap.
IN THE MAIL: From Jon Lauck, Prairie Republic: The Political Culture of Dakota Territory, 1879-1889.
MY WASHINGTON EXAMINER COLUMN IS UP: Tea Party movement likely to have unglamorous but effective future.
The first stage of Tea Party rallies was very important. The political apparatchiks and the Big Media folks built up — quite deliberately — a sense of inevitability around the Obama machine’s agenda of big government dominance. It was unstoppable, and wildly popular, according to the conventional storyline.
The rallies proved that it wasn’t as wildly popular as all that, and inspired many people who felt — as the storyline was intended to make them feel — powerless, outnumbered, and marginalized to realize that they were none of those things. That was a vital first step, the equivalent of the kid shouting that the emperor was naked.
But rallies without follow-through are just rallies. And the Tea Party movement is now following through with the grunt work of politics: Organizing precincts, waging primary battles, registering voters, and compiling mailing lists.
Read the whole thing!
DEMOCRACY’S MATH PROBLEM.
WALTER RUSSELL MEAD: The Greek Tragedy Unfolds. “Will Greek society resist the imposition of savage cuts in salaries and public services, and will the government’s efforts to reform the public administration and improve tax collection (while raising taxes) actually work? The answer at this point is that nobody knows.”
OVER AT THE VOLOKH CONSPIRACY, a whole series of posts on that Harvard Law School race flap. And here’s the first in the series.
UPDATE: Reader Ari Mendelson writes:
A comment about the Harvard Email Controversy.
I’m not sure if this has been brought into the conversation or not, but I think it should be more prominently emphasized in any case.
What about the person who betrayed her friend by forwarding the email? The person is, after all, going to be an attorney. As an attorney, she will have to take an oath to keep her clients’ confidential information secret. I believe that it is reasonable to suspect that the betrayer has demonstrated a lack of fitness to practice law due to her unreliability in keeping the confidence of secrets entrusted to her. After all, the email sender did say, in essence, not to “Larry Summers” her. I believe the Larry Summers comment was meant as a request to keep the email confidential.
Furthermore, it seems to me that bad conduct (namely betraying friends and colleagues) is less condemned than bad opinions. That disgusts me more than anything else about this case.
OUCH: White House Fends Off Specter of Katrina in Federal Response to Oil Spill. “As the massive oil slick grows worse by the day, the White House is fighting off a growing perception that the federal response to this ecological disaster is President Obama’s Katrina.”
MERYL YOURISH: John Mearsheimer’s speech on Jews: Echoes of the 1930s.
MOTHER’S DAY SPECIAL: Free one-day shipping on women’s watches.
MAY DAY: A Dishonorable Holiday.
AN ATTEMPTED CAR-BOMB in Times Square? Stay tuned.
RAIDERS OF THE lost self-awareness. Heh. Good headline.
NANO-SCULPTURE: A whole new world.
ROGER SIMON: Has Al Gore Given Up On Global Warming?
FROM HOMESCHOOL to Harvard. Step up, or down? . . . .
GAS PRICES TICKING UP. I’ve noticed the steady rise to the three-dollar range, and I’ve also noticed the lack of media gas-price hysteria we saw during the previous administration.
TURNOUT AT L.A. PRO-IMMIGRATION RALLY about half what was expected.
UTAH TEA PARTY on the warpath.
WHAT IS TABOO, AND NOT TABOO, at elite universities.
WORLD’S worst tattoo.
ANNOUNCING THE WINNERS of the 2010 Edgar Awards.
DAVID HARSANYI: “Immigration” isn’t the problem.
SO IF YOU WANT TO RECHARGE IT, I GUESS YOU CAN JUST HAVE A BEER: A Portable Battery That Runs on Saltwater – or Urine.
MARKDOWNS on camera and photo gear.
UPDATE: NYT editorial: Obama should have acted sooner on the oil spill. “First Bill Maher wonders aloud why The One isn’t getting more crap about the spill, and now this. Why must these darned wingnuts forever find fault with our president? Seriously, though, Bush would have been torn to shreds for reacting the same way and everyone, from the Times on down, knows it.”
MORE ON THAT HARVARD LAW SCHOOL RACIAL FRACAS: Academia, Harvard Law School, and freedom of speech. “In law school, one of the first tasks a student learns is to summarize the facts of the case. If I were a professor at Harvard Law and Minow was my student, I’d give her an ‘F’ for that response.” Although Neo is a Harvard alumnus, I think things may have changed since she attended. . . .
ED MORRISSEY: Why does the Wall Street regulation overhaul give FTC authority over the Internet? “Neither the FTC nor the Internet had anything to do with the Wall Street meltdown in 2008. If this financial-regulation bill is so desperately needed, why did House Democrats lard it up with this power grab at the FTC? . . . The Internet economy has been one of the bright spots throughout a dismal period of recent history. Do we need to attack the one area that shows growth and promise?” Actually, if you notice, that’s pretty much what they do — find the areas that are somehow flourishing due to lack fo government attention, and move aggressively to screw them up, too.
MICHAEL S. MALONE: The Apple Empire Strikes Back.
HOW PERSONAL GENOMICS could change health care.
HARRISON FORD: The anti-InstaPundit?
TIDYING UP SPACE JUNK with laser “tractor beams.” Technically, more like pressor beams in this application.
IN THE MAIL: From David Pierce, Don’t Let Me Go: What My Daughter Taught Me About the Journey Every Parent Must Make.
MICKEY KAUS: Democrats Are Manipulating the Marchers:
Participants in Saturday’s pro-amnesty marches are being used by the Democratic party elite, Democratic U.S. Senate candidate Mickey Kaus charged today.
“There is not going to be an amnesty this year, or next year. The majority of the American people don’t want it, for good reason. They want to secure the borders first,” he said. “Amnesty before we secure the borders would only encourage yet another wave of illegals and hurt the wages of unskilled Americans (and legal immigrants).”
“But every time Democratic politicians in D.C. need to rev up the Latino vote, they dangle the false promise of an amnesty bill. At some point. Latino voters are going to realize they’re being used.”
Kaus is the only Democratic Senate candidate on the ballot to oppose amnesty proposals, even when they are packaged with enforcement measures and billed as “comprehensive reform.” The incumbent, Barbara Boxer, supports “comprehensive reform” that includes a “path to citizenship” for illegals–i.e., amnesty.
More at the link.
HOW TO INSTALL a car iPod dock.
IOWAHAWK: Citizen Gore.
TODAY, OBSERVING Victims of Communism Day.
KAREN ROWAN: Could Extraterrestrials Really Invade Earth, and How? I don’t find this story particularly thoughtful. Aliens wouldn’t have to send an army. A quarter-pound of lethal nanobots would do for a planet — and paranoid aliens would send them just out of fear that a hostile intelligence might evolve some day.
A good fictional treatment is in Greg Bear’s The Forge Of God, For the more technically-inclined, there’s Ernst Fasan’s Relations With Extraterrestrial Intelligences, or some chapters in McDougal, Lasswell, and Vlasic’s Law and Public Order In Space. Kind of old, but still good. A more recent popular treatment that’s worth your time is Ben Bova and Byron Preiss’s Are We Alone in the Cosmos? The Search for Alien Contact in the New Millenium.
DOING WHAT CONGRESS DIDN’T: Cincinnati Tea Partiers to hold “Read The Bill” Marathon:
Cincinnati Tea Party spokesman Justin Binik-Thomas did the math and figured out that reading all 2200 pages would mean spending 1 minute on each half page of arduous legalize, and that would be without taking any type of break at all — no restroom brakes, no meal breaks and no sleeping. So members will share the joy of reading the document in 15 minute increments so as not to fall asleep in the process. In the picture to the right, House Minority Whip Eric Cantor lends some visual aid regarding the size of the bill.
The groups will gather at the Crowne Plaza in Blue Ash beginning on May 14th at 6:00 p.m., and spend the next 72 hours reading the government healthcare takeover bill that was signed into law on March 23.
Making Congress look bad — though nothing anyone does in this regard can hold a candle to what Congress does to itself . . . .
DROPPED BALLS: BP Is Criticized Over Oil Spill, but U.S. Missed Chances to Act. “The delay meant that the Homeland Security Department waited until late this week to formally request a more robust response from the Department of Defense, with Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano acknowledging even as late as Thursday afternoon that she did not know if the Defense Department even had equipment that might be helpful.” Heckuva job, Janet. She was probably too busy cataloging deadly blue-haired threats to the Republic.
What’s really news here is that the usually very-friendly New York Times is leveling this kind of criticism out of the gate.
UPDATE: Interestingly, the story linked above has now been completely rewritten, with the critical language deepsixed. However, you can see the language here.
PEGGY NOONAN: The Big Alienation: Uncontrolled borders and Washington’s lack of self-control. “Arizona is moving forward because the government in Washington has completely abdicated its responsibility. For 10 years—at least—through two administrations, Washington deliberately did nothing to ease the crisis on the borders because politicians calculated that an air of mounting crisis would spur mounting support for what Washington thought was appropriate reform—i.e., reform that would help the Democratic and Republican parties.”
You might think that when an elected official makes a promise to avoid a certain policy (like tax hikes), then that policy would no longer be considered. In theory, that’s the whole point of promising not to do something—to definitively take that option off the table. But apparently a promise not to raise taxes on a particular group of people actually means…well, not much of anything at all.
Not that it matters considering that Obama has already broken his campaign tax pledges. That is, unless you take the administration’s more nuanced view of taxation, which, as Jacob Sullum describes it, comes down to the simple idea that “when the president does it, it’s not a tax.”
More like Nixon all the time.
THE NATIONAL ENQUIRER is pushing an Obama cheating scandal story. Bah. When was the last time they got one of these things right? . . . .
ADVICE TO CONOR FRIEDERSDORF on victory conditions.
LOOKING AT SECULAR SEX ABUSE. What, you mean that stuff happens outside of churches? Who knew?
MICKEY KAUS: “It’s getting highly annoying to hear Obama and Senate Democrats pretend that to have effective border control we have to take a package deal that includes amnesty. They’re worse than the cable company when it comes to package deals.”
CHRIS DODD TALKS TRANSPARENCY, DWELLS IN SECRECY.
GAYS UNDER THE BUS on Don’t Ask Don’t Tell. “Tiretracks all across your back — I can see you’ve had your fun!”
FUEL ON THE FIRE: Arizona deputy shot with AK-47 by suspected illegal immigrant.
IRAN TRYING TO STIR UP TERRORISM IN MOROCCO.
RETRO-COMMERCIAL FUN: Steve Wozniak pitches the 280ZX.
HMM: OBAMA INTERVIEWS MONTANAN FOR SUPREME COURT. “President Barack Obama on Thursday interviewed federal appeals court Judge Sidney Thomas of Montana for an opening on the Supreme Court, a person familiar with the conversation told The Associated Press.”
And it looks like Obama may be taking my diversity advice: “The court is dominated by justices with ties to the Northeast and the Ivy League; Thomas’ career is rooted in the West — he lives in Billings, Mont., and got his bachelor’s degree from Montana State University and his law degree from the University of Montana.”
UPDATE: Reader E.L. Core writes: “Mainstream media treated Sarah Palin’s degree from the University of Idaho as an indication of her inferiority to Ivy League graduates: she couldn’t hack it in the big leagues. Think they’ll do the same with a graduate of the University of Montana if Obama nominates him to the Supreme Court? (Yes, that’s a rhetorical question.)” Yes, it is.
10 WAYS TO BECOME A FAMOUS BLOGGER. The “famous” part is kind of overrated. . . .
HE KNOWS IF JEW’VE BEEN BAD OR GOOD: Mearsheimer makes a list.
UPDATE: Noah Pollak emails a followup:
Imagine, as a thought experiment, if a white American professor gave a speech to an organization in Washington and listed, by name, “good blacks” and “bad blacks” — and added that the bad blacks aren’t just wrong, but are blindly loyal to a foreign country. That professor would be out of a job in about five minutes. Mearsheimer will get away with this.
The limit of acceptable anti-semitism has been climbing for a while, and it’s been kicked up a few notches under the current regime.
UPDATE: More on Mearsheimer. “Mearsheimer, ironically, has become the mirror image of the stereotypical pro-lsrael ‘lobbyist’ he decries. One-sided, obsessed with Israel-bashing, willing to sacrifice scholarly standards and honesty to promote his political agenda, and willfully blind to the faults of the side he supports.”
PALIN HACKER FOUND GUILTY. “A federal jury this afternoon convicted Sarah Palin e-mail intruder David C. Kernell of felony destruction of records to hamper a federal investigation and misdemeanor unlawfully obtaining information from a protected computer.”
AT AMAZON, it’s the Friday Sale.
AT REASON TV, April’s Nanny Of The Month: Anti-Flag N.C. Cop Scott Hunter.
A NEW CLASS OF non-addictive painkillers.
MAKING PLASTIC from Algae?
MORE PROOF OF THE UNITED NATIONS’ CHARACTER: United Nations Names Iran to Commission on the Status of Women. Note the photos demonstrating the depth of Iran’s concern.
GDP GROWTH DROPS — UNEXPECTEDLY: “In January, Barack Obama and Democrats insisted that the 5.7% annual growth rate in the fourth quarter of 2009 showed that their stimulus plan had set the American economy back on track for rapid growth and job creation. The administration needed a big number for 2010 to allay fears that unemployment would stagnate at the current high levels for the long term. Unfortunately, they didn’t get it, with the 3.2% annualized GDP rate for the first quarter of 2010 falling below analyst expectations.”
Plus this: “Capital will not flow back into the market under the conditions set by the Obama administration and the Democratic Congress over the last fifteen months. Instead, it will most likely flow overseas, in markets more friendly to capital investment, where the nation’s executive doesn’t offer off-the-cuff remarks about people making too much money.”
EXPLAINING PORN to Thomas Frank.
MEGAN MCARDLE: End Game In Greece. “There is no longer any realistic possibility that Greece will be able to soothe debt markets with the mere possibility of assistance, bringing its interest payments down to a level where the country can reasonably (or even maniacally) hope to austerity-package its way out of this crisis.”
NEXT-GEN CAR-SHARING IDEA: You rent your car to a complete stranger. One problem: “Known as personal car sharing or distributed car sharing, the concept is very intriguing… and runs somewhat contrary to how many people view their cars.”
UBIQUITOUS VIDEO CAMERA UPDATE: Reader Tyson Stanek emails that they knocked 20 bucks off the price of the waterproof Kodak Playsport videocam that I mentioned earlier, making it a pretty good deal at $129 with included HDMI cable and memory card. These small videocams certainly have played an important role in the Tea Party movement, etc., so far.
IN THE MAIL: From Robert Reilly, The Closing of the Muslim Mind: How Intellectual Suicide Created the Modern Islamist.
DON BOUDREAUX: An entrepreneur and the minimum wage.
RADLEY BALKO: DNA Exonerations.
Freddie Peacock of Rochester, New York, was convicted of rape in 1976. This year he became the 250th person to be exonerated by DNA testing since the technique was first used in 1989. According to a new report by the Innocence Project, those 250 prisoners served a total of 3,160 years; 17 spent time on death row. Remarkably, 67 percent of them were convicted after 2000, a decade after the onset of modern DNA testing. The glaring question: How many more are there?
A lot, is my guess.
A “VACCINE” to treat prostate cancer. Faster, please.
RANDY BARNETT: “On Monday, May 3d, I will be speaking on Why the Individual Health Insurance Mandate is Unprecedented and Unconstitutional at Stanford Law School.”