August 1, 2010
FINANCIAL TIMES: The Crisis Of Middle-Class America. Note the role of soaring college tuitions and educational debt.
FINANCIAL TIMES: The Crisis Of Middle-Class America. Note the role of soaring college tuitions and educational debt.
ED DRISCOLL: Frank Rich Must Be Exceptionally Well Paid.
PROF. JACOBSON: What Don’t You Understand About “It’s Not Your Money?” Er, everything?
TOM SMITH: NOONAN FOR ALL TO SEE. “Love? Ronald Reagan may have been a very nice man and a genuine patriot but there was not a lot of love in the air in the 1980s. Love may be in there somewhere but far ahead are emotions such as vigilance, fear, jealousy and suspicion. Any politician who first stirs up love amongst you is trying to steal something from you. . . . There’s this meme of disgust lately — well, aren’t we right to feel disgusted? I mean, Nancy Pelosi really does spend millions of our money flying her private Air Force jet back and forth to San Francisco because first class in a 747 isn’t good enough for her. That’s a perfectly fine symbol of a political class that is drinking deep of the life blood the rest of us could be using to send kids to college, give mom a few more days off, get the car fixed, or buy a big screen TV, and why shouldn’t we? The way federal and state governments spend our money is disgusting and would be even if we could afford it, which we manifestly cannot.”
“WEIRD VINDICTIVENESS” AND “GRATUITOUS CONTEMPT” among sciencebloggers. “Clearly I’ve been out of some loop for too long, but does everyone take for granted now that science sites are where graduate students, researchers, doctors and the ‘skeptical community’ go not to interpret data or review experiments but to chip off one-liners, promote their books and jeer at smokers, fat people and churchgoers? And can anyone who still enjoys this class-inflected bloodsport tell me why it has to happen under the banner of science?” Well, it’s not so different from the ClimateGate emails, is it?
MOST SUCCESSFUL ANTITERROR PROGRAM: Killing Terrorists. As a Keith Laumer character once said, there’s nothing so peaceful as a dead troublemaker.
TALKING TO THE PROSECUTORS in the Channon Christian / Christopher Newsom murder case.
HOLDING GOVERNMENT ACCOUNTABLE: A great book idea!
AT AMAZON, markdowns on groceries.
AN ETHICS TRIAL FOR MAXINE WATERS? “A second House Democrat, Rep. Maxine Waters of California, could face an ethics trial this fall, further complicating the election outlook for the party as it battles to retain its majority. People familiar with the investigation, who were not authorized to be quoted about charges before they are made public, say the allegations could be announced next week.”
IMPORTANT NEWS: Sex Makes You Smarter. At least if you’re a lab rat. But why take chances?
UPDATE: They’ve changed the headline and story, and now it says Fox moves to the front row, but not to Helen Thomas’s actual seat.
WIRED WRITES ABOUT Caterina Fake’s Hunch.com site. “Ultimately, it isn’t just helping people shop for cars — it is getting its users to volunteer a truly impressive amount of unique psychographic data. Just as Google built a vast index of the Web and Facebook constructed a model of our social connections, Hunch is assembling an extraordinarily rich and detailed picture of each user’s taste. From there it can claim to know or extrapolate everything that a person likes or would like. ‘The ultimate goal of the company is to map every person on the Internet to every object on the Internet, be that a product, a service, or a person,’ Fake says.”
TRAILERS FOR the new Scooby Doo and Tom and Jerry movies. Funny that these cartoons are still going concerns after so long.
MICHAEL TOTTEN: “You may have heard about the Palestinian BDS movement. The letters in their acronym stand for Boycott, Divestment, and Sanction. They really ought to add another D for Destroy. Their goal—and they aren’t shy about saying so publicly even in English—isn’t peace between Israelis and Palestinians, which is what all civilized people should want, but the end of Israel. Take a look at the video and see for yourself.”
CHRIS MUIR’S DAY BY DAY CARTOON is finishing up pledge week. Consider donating. I just sent 50 bucks — because if you like stuff on the Internet, somebody’s got to pay for it, somehow. . . .
BEST DIY COSTUMES from ComicCon 2010.
IN THE MAIL: From Mark Robbins, Bluelip.
IN THE KNOXVILLE NEWS-SENTINEL, my thoughts on the JournoList scandal.
STEPHEN GREEN: The Week In Blogs: Dee Snider vs. Al & Tipper Gore.
NINE INFLUENTIAL MUSLIM SCHOLARS MAKE YOUTUBE VIDEO AGAINST JIHAD.
CIVIL RIGHTS PROGRESS: Recording police likely OK, attorney general says. “Marylanders appear to have the right to record interactions with police officers with devices such as video cameras and mobile phones, according to an opinion by the state attorney general’s office. The advisory letter was issued as several people face or have been threatened with criminal charges for taping police. It’s unlikely that most interactions with police could be considered private, as some law enforcement agencies have interpreted the state’s wiretapping act, wrote Assistant Attorney General Robert McDonald. The conclusion is based on prior rulings and opinions of courts in other states.” This statement of the obvious shouldn’t be news, but, sadly, it is.
JOHN HINDERAKER: Citizens vs. The Political Class.
CAR LUST on the cultural psychology of the BMW 3-Series. “Frankly, I think much of the negativity directed at Yuppies was more a product of the entertainment industry’s political leanings than anything else. . . . As I say, there is probably some truth to the association; that’s what marketing does and BMW has certainly marketed their cars to the more affluent among us. But I think most of my ire has been a dose of misplaced class warfare, aided and abetted by a media-entertainment complex with an axe to grind. Thus, I would like to take this opportunity to apologize to all those BMW drivers out there for all the bad thoughts I have directed at you over the years based solely on the car you choose to drive.”
CHICAGO: Where Criminals No Longer Fear The Police. Well, the city’s firmly in the grip of their own kind, so . . . .
PREDICTABLE: NYT Blogger Who Knocked Fox News’ Audience Diversity Has the Same Problem. “Interestingly, though, the media site where Stelter primarily blogs (New York Times’ Media Decoder) suffers from the lowest percentage of African-American readers (4.6%) when compared to comparable media sites like Mediaite (5.8%), Gawker (6.4%), Mediabistro (9.2%), etc., according to Nielsen Media Research. Maybe he should have checked that first?” Nah, that would spoil the fun.
FOLLOWING THE PRESIDENT’S ADVICE, AND TALKING ABOUT RACE “AROUND THE WATER COOLER,” COULD GET YOU SUED:
I certainly agree that it would be good for people to discuss racial issues in a truthful, mature, and responsible way. But I’m pretty sure that discussing such issues around “water coolers” is pretty dangerous advice, at least if one really wants a discussion in which people aren’t afraid to air their views.
1. To begin with, any arguments that some might see as racist could lead to complaints and even lawsuits about a supposedly “racially hostile work environment”; and while such lawsuits are hard for plaintiffs to win, no employer wants to have to fight them, and no employee should want to have his speech be the subject of such suits.
As one Sixth Circuit decision put it, “In essence, while [harassment law] does not require an employer to fire all ‘Archie Bunkers’ in its employ, the law does require that an employer take prompt action to prevent such bigots from expressing their opinions in a way that abuses or offends their co-workers. By informing people that the expression of racist or sexist attitudes in public is unacceptable, people may eventually learn that such views are undesirable in private, as well. Thus, Title VII may advance the goal of eliminating prejudices and biases in our society.” When some judges (not all, fortunately, but some) take such a view, smart workers ought to be careful about any speech that some might perceive as “expression of racist … attitudes” at work; and even someone who is trying hard to be “truthful and mature and responsible” in discussing race might certainly say things that some offended listeners view as racist.
Read the whole thing.
PRINCE CHARLES believes he has been sent to save the world. Uh huh.
AT AMAZON, markdowns on electronics.
TEA PARTY TO PEGGY NOONAN: It’s not “rage,” but disgust.
EDDIE MUNSTER finds true love.
SCOTT JOHNSON: Whatever happened to the Constitution?
PANICKING OVER phytoplankton.
STEPHEN KRUISER: I Don’t Give A Damn About Chelsea Clinton’s Wedding.
WHAT EVERY LAWN NEEDS: A Garden Zombie. (Link via Rand Simberg, who will never be allowed near my flower beds . . . )
BECOMING A LAW PROFESSOR: A Candidate’s Guide. (Bumped).
CLAUDIA ROSETT: Where In The World Is Imam Feisal?
FASTER, PLEASE: In the Future, We’ll All Wear Clothes Made by 3D Printers.
IN THE MAIL: Darkling Fields of Arvon.
NEW YORK PRESS SHOCKER: Spencer Wilking Finds That New York’s Tea Partiers Aren’t The Bigoted White Guys You Fear.
MEA CULPA: Anderson Cooper Says He Was Wrong to Let Shirley Sherrod Smear of Andrew Breitbart Go Unchallenged. “Cooper now says he should have challenged Sherrod to support such an inflammatory charge with facts: ‘I believe in admitting my mistakes….I didn’t challenge her that night and I should have.’” Why didn’t he, then? Was he afraid to challenge a black woman talking about racism? Well, at least his learned his lesson, as have many. It was a teachable moment on race, I guess, just like the President wanted. . . .
UPDATE: A Reminder from Prof. Jacobson: The Original Sherrod Clip Was Not “False.” “The clip itself was what it was. No one is claiming that the words were changed or edited within the time span shown on the clip. The original Sherrod clip was no worse, and in many ways much more fair, than the clips and words taken out of context that we see every day at Democratic media machines.”
KING BANAIAN: Underneaths The GDP Report. “I was more surprised by the reported savings rate of 6.2% than any other number. An economy that is showing vigorous growth and high optimism would have a rate moving lower. But of course sentiment is down to pre-2010 levels, and consumers appear to have decided to continue the repair of their balance sheets instead.”
JOHN KERRY AND YACHTGATE: “He’s apologizing for getting caught.”
MORE ON JOURNOLIST as a media self-herding device. “Certainly Journolist wasn’t an institution where you got career points for being contrarian. Quite the opposite.” Nope, it was a place for good party discipline, those who were happy to enforce it, and those who were happy to submit to it.
Sounds like Ann Althouse was right. “Remember the liberal meme that George Bush was ‘incurious’? But aren’t these liberal journalists incurious? They had this email list that was designed — apparently — to figure out how to structure the various news stories to serve the interests of their party. The Journolist was a self-herding device. They wanted to be good cogs in a machine that would generate power for the Democratic Party, didn’t they? For career and social rewards? That’s my hypothesis.”
UPDATE: Reader Randy Miller writes: “It seems as though Journolist’s Blowhard Preventer….Failed!” Heh.
WORST BIKINI TOP ever? I’m at the beach, and so far I haven’t seen anything like this. But at least they don’t make a men’s Speedo on the same theme. . . .
SOME IMPORTANT burger-grilling advice.
SCANDAL ROCKS WHITE HOUSE: “SnookiGate!”
INVESTOR’S BUSINESS DAILY: Will Washington’s Failures Lead To Second American Revolution?
YEAH, BLOGGING’S A LITTLE LIGHT: I’m at the beach, and attending a conference, so things may be a bit lighter for a few days. And email responses will definitely be slower, if present at all. Sorry, but it’s summer!
“BUILDING THE FUEL-EFFICIENT CARS OF TOMORROW:” Like the Jeep Grand Cherokee!
MIKE RAPPOPORT ON CHELSEA CLINTON’S WEDDING: “Apparently, it is estimated to cost $2 million. Quite a fee for a couple who have spent virtually their entire lives in public service.”
WELCOME BACK, CARTER: Poll: 62% Think America Is In Decline.
STACY MCCAIN: When Phyllis Schlafly Speaks the Truth, Democrats Call It ‘Extremism.’ “Do you know how Phyllis Schlafly earned her way through college? Working in a munitions plant during World War II, when her job was test-firing .50-caliber machine-gun ammunition. Think about that, gentlemen.”
Related: “Maybe, instead of getting pissed at her, women who are convinced that they can do it all without a man’s help should actually, you know, try proving her wrong.”
UNDER THE BUS? Obama finds Rangel charges “very troubling,” hopes he ends career “with dignity.” So I guess the White House’s polls are in . . . .
AL GORE UPDATE: Crazed Sex Poodle Cleared of Assault Charges.
PERQUISITES OF THE RULING CLASS: No-fly zone declared for Chelsea Clinton’s upstate NY wedding; FAA will close local air space. (Via the deeply-unimpressed Bill Quick).
THEY TOLD ME IF OBAMA WERE ELECTED WE’D SEE A POST-RACIAL AMERICA. And they were right! Essence Magazine Hires White Fashion Director.
DOG BITES MAN: Anthony Weiner Flips Out On House Floor.
AT AMAZON, it’s the Friday Sale.
MICHAEL BARONE: WaPo buries Dem fundraiser’s fraud, highlights GOP fundraising scandal. Acting like a loyal party organ. Which organ is left to the reader’s imagination.
SHOCKER: Clinton comptroller blasts government workers’ accrual of benefits at expense of private sector workers. “Walker’s speech, and the comments of some of the panelists who spoke after him, were met with strong disagreement and at times derision by labor officials and union-aligned representatives who sat at the back of the room.”
TOKYO’S OLDEST MAN actually dead for 30 years.
DRAINING PERFUMING THE SWAMP: Why Charles Rangel is surviving.
COMING SOON: The Facebook Movie. So long as it doesn’t revolve around Farmville.
AT AMAZON, a sale on jewelry.
FASTER, PLEASE: Helping Joints Regrow Themselves.
JOHN NOLTE: JournoList, Shame of a Nation: We Know What Ezra Klein Knew and When He Knew It. “If Klein ever plans to lay out that contextual case he was so eager to play the victim over, what I see as an obvious contradiction between what he published June 29th on the Washington Post website and what Jonathan Strong of the Daily Caller has reported, appears to be the perfect opportunity. And if Klein won’t do so of his own volition, his employers at the Washington Post might want to ask him to.”
FOSSIL VIRUSES: Unexpected viral ‘fossils’ found in vertebrate genomes. “Over millions of years, retroviruses, which insert their genetic material into the host genome as part of their replication, have left behind bits of their genetic material in vertebrate genomes. In a recent study, published July 29 in the open-access journal PLoS Pathogens, a team of researchers have now found that human and other vertebrate genomes also contain many ancient sequences from Ebola/Marburgviruses and Bornaviruses – two deadly virus families.” Starting to sound like Darwin’s Radio.
THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN Mutts And Mongrels. Just words?
FACTCHECK: Geithner’s GDP Whopper.
SOCIALLY CONNECTED PEOPLE live longer.
WHEN YOU’RE 80, You’ll Want To Live Like Stirling Moss.
THREE UNANSWERED questions about our Moon.
UH OH: The Volt: G.M.’s Electric Lemon. “So the future of General Motors (and the $50 billion taxpayer investment in it) now depends on a vehicle that costs $41,000 but offers the performance and interior space of a $15,000 economy car.” Whether it’s good or not, as a taxpayer, you’ve already bought it!
AIRBRUSHING: Who Got to Chris Matthews?: ‘Hardball’ Defense of Breitbart Memory-Holed. The first instinct is Stalinist, again. . . .
IN THE MAIL: From Lawrence Kane, Blinded by the Night.
UH OH: Did The Government Cause The Gulf Oil Spill? “A new report by the Center for Public Integrity, based on testimony from people on scene and Coast Guard logs, contains evidence that the platform sunk because of a botched response from the Coast Guard, which failed to coordinate firefighting efforts and to have the proper resources to fight the fire.”
The White House isn’t talking about this.
TAXPROF: A Rangel Ethics Reader.
THIRD HOUSE DEMOCRAT CALLS FOR RANGEL TO RESIGN. “It’s not quite a chorus, but it’s become at least a three-part harmony. Rep. Patrick Murphy (D-PA) joined Betty Sutton (D-OH) and Walt Minnick (D-ID) in demanding that Charlie Rangel resign from office in disgrace. Murphy’s statement came after the House Ethics Committee produced 13 charges of unethical behavior by the New York Democrat and former Ways and Means chair.”
WHY HE WENT ON “THE VIEW:” Obama Losing Ground With Women. “Mr. Obama averaged a 59% approval rating among women in 2009, but seven months into 2010, that’s dipped 14 points to just 45%.”
MAX BOOT: Impact of past defense cuts should warn of risks. “If there were ever evidence that it’s impossible to learn from history — or at least that it’s difficult for politicians to do so — this is it. Before they rush to cut defense spending, lawmakers should consider the consequences of previous attempts to cash in on a ‘peace dividend.’” If you want peace, prepare for war.
SO MUCH FOR “GEORGIA OVERDRIVE:” Coasting in Neutral Does Not Save Gas. “Coasting downhill in neutral consumes less fuel than in gear, right? Wrong. Coasting in neutral is dangerous and it burns up more fuel. Here’s why.”
AMAZON ROLLS OUT THE NEW KINDLE. I still like the Kindle app on my iPhone.