Archive for June, 2011

June 29, 2011

IN THE MAIL: Wild Bill Donovan: The Spymaster Who Created the OSS and Modern American Espionage.

June 29, 2011

CASH COW: ‘Public servants’ profiting from the billion-dollar industry created by Obamacare.

June 29, 2011

MEET THE GUY WITH over $300,000 in credit cards. Shockingly, not an administration official. Oh, wait, that would have to be the guy with 300 trillion in credit cards . . . .

June 29, 2011

ROBERT NATELSON: Time Magazine’s Constitutional Baby Babble.

UPDATE: Er, babble, not battle. Sorry.

June 29, 2011

FISCAL TIMES: The Dubious Threat Of A U.S. Debt Default.

June 29, 2011

TODAY ONLY: Jabra HALO Bluetooth Stereo Headset for $35.99.

June 29, 2011

THEY TOLD ME IF I VOTED FOR JOHN MCCAIN, INTERNET PRIVACY WOULD BE DEAD. AND THEY WERE RIGHT! U.S. sent Google 8,888 requests for user-data in 2010. “Google fielded 8,888 requests from the United States government last year asking for information on people using its services, the company wrote in a report on Monday. The total number is likely higher because the Google statistics only cover criminal investigations. The U.S. is by far the most active, and successful, solicitor of private info from Google, accounting for about one-third of all federal requests last year, according to the data. Meanwhile, the U.S. Federal Trade Commission formally launched an antitrust investigation into Google’s business on Thursday.”

June 29, 2011

POLITICO: Michelle Obama Denies Supporting Gay Marriage.

June 29, 2011

BOOSTING THE ECONOMY with a one-year income tax moratorium? I’d rather just scrap it for a flat tax.

June 29, 2011

MILT WOLF: Obamanomics Is Shovel-Ready. “In 1932, President Hoover received a letter from a man in Illinois that read simply, ‘Vote for Roosevelt and make it unanimous.’ Based on its recent floundering, it seems even the White House recognizes that Obamanomics has been a disaster. It’s nearly unanimous now.”

June 29, 2011

ON FIRE BUT BLACKED OUT: The Thomas Ball Story. I do think we’d see a lot more coverage if a woman had burned herself to death because she couldn’t get an abortion. . . .

June 29, 2011

CONN CARROLL: Obama’s Debt-Deal Desperation.

June 29, 2011

MICKEY KAUS ON THE FANNIE MAE SCANDALS: “Yes, Obama picked Fannie villain James Johnson to run his VP search. That doesn’t seem like enough, though it reflected very bad judgment on Obama’s part.”

June 29, 2011

DEAN REUTER EMAILS that he and John Yoo have a new book on national security coming out. Contributors include Viet Dinh, Richard Epstein, Bob Barr, Marc Thiessen, and Victor Davis Hanson, among a host of big names. Word is that the Obama OLC calls them “that limp-wristed gang of pinkos.”

June 29, 2011

CULTURE OF CORRUPTION: Ethics Watchdog Calls For FBI to Investigate Rep. Richardson. “A leading watchdog group is touting new evidence of alleged ethics violations by Rep. Laura Richardson (D-Calif.) and calling for a criminal investigation. Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW) is accusing Richardson of habitually threatening her congressional staff with their jobs if they didn’t work on her campaign, and has asked the FBI to investigate.”

Richardson, InstaPundit readers may recall, is also the housing-crisis poster child:

First Rep. Laura Richardson was having problems making house payments, defaulting six times over eight years.

Then after a bank foreclosed on her Sacramento house and sold it at auction in May, the Long Beach Democrat made such a stink that Washington Mutual, in an unusual move, grabbed it back and returned it to her.

This week, in the latest chapter in the housing saga, the Code Enforcement Department in Sacramento declared her home a “public nuisance.” The city has threatened to fine her as much as $5,000 a month if she doesn’t fix it up.

Neighbors in the upper-middle-class neighborhood complain that the sprinklers are never turned on and the grass and plants are dead or dying. The gate is broken, and windows are covered with brown paper.

“I would call it an eyesore,” said Peter Thomsen, a retired bank executive who lives nearby.

The city action was prompted by police action. Police were twice called to investigate reports of a suspicious person in or around the house, perhaps a homeless man squatting there. Officers called the Code Enforcement Department, which boarded up a broken door.

The country’s in the very best of hands.

June 29, 2011

ABC NEWS: Obama’s White House Fundraising ‘Unseemly but Perfectly Legal.’

June 29, 2011

FACEBOOK’S Fake Friends Epidemic. Ya got nothin’ to lose, you don’t lose when you lose fake friends, fake friends.

June 29, 2011

TEA PARTY LEADER DAVID KIRKHAM TESTIFIED BEFORE THE SENATE FINANCE COMMITTEE: He emails: “I asked them (paraphrase), ‘Would you rather have me back in Utah creating jobs or here in DC protesting yours? Because that’s what I have been doing here for the past 4 days with Freedomworks.’”

June 29, 2011

RIPPING OFF Jon Stewart’s clown nose.

June 29, 2011

DANA MILBANK: On Same-Sex Marriage, Obama Still Has Cold Feet. “For Obama, this is less about the issue than about leadership.”

June 29, 2011

PAUL HSIEH: Why the “Unexpected” Keeps Happening.

June 29, 2011

THE QUOTABLE CHRISTOPHER HITCHENS.

June 29, 2011

MICHAEL BARONE: Mainstream Media Covers For Obama On Horrifying Mistake. Hey, it’s not like he’s Michele Bachmann or Sarah Palin — you know, somebody important.

June 29, 2011

WELL, THAT WAS QUICK: Surprise: HHS drops plan to snoop on doctors. “No worries: The program’s not really dead, it’s just … resting. It’ll be back in a few years, once ObamaCare goes into effect and millions more Boomers have landed on the Medicare rolls. That’s when the doctor shortage will really begin to bite.” My doctor has adopted a new phone-tree system that will frustrate all government snooping efforts, by making it impossible for anyone to actually make an appointment.

June 29, 2011

L.A. TIMES: 861 days and $787 billion in, Obama pleads for more time on jobs.

June 29, 2011

DAVID BRIN: Milestones Leading Up To The Good Singularity?

UPDATE: Some readers object to Brin’s politics. Meh. He’s a smart guy — learn what you can and don’t let the politics distract you from that.

ANOTHER UPDATE: Reader Ken Norlie emails:

I realize that you link many people whose politics are left-of-center. This isn’t a problem. I think that the strong dislike of David Brin comes mostly from science fiction fans like myself. We see the way leftists have taken over sf in the past few years, with disastrous results, ranging from “radical hard sf” (basically New Wave that gets the science right) on the accessible end, to “New Weird” on the even more unreadable end. Brin, like it or not, is heavily identified with sf culture as a whole, and his nasty, uninformed, and categorical rejection of anyone to the right of Bill Clinton sends the message that conservatives don’t fit into the sf world.

This is utterly ahistorical. John Campbell, editor of Astounding and Analog, was the most influential editor ever, and his politics could best be described as far right. Robert A. Heinlein, Poul Anderson, Jerry Pournelle, and Larry Niven were all politically right-of-center; even less conservative authors like Gregory Benford and Ben Bova are heavily influenced by Campbellian pro-free enterprise views. In fact, it was stories like Heinlein’s “The Man Who Sold the Moon” that set the stage for the current free enterprise boom in space, with entrepreneurs like Elon Musk.

Basically, when we get angry about Brin, we’re getting angry at the anti-libertarian trends in sf as a whole.

Well, don’t buy the stuff you don’t like, and make a point of buying the stuff you do like. It should sort itself out.

June 28, 2011

STEPHEN GREEN: It’s Delightful, It’s Delicious, It’s Default. “The chatter today has been all about Lawrence Lindsey’s WSJ column about our dire fiscal situation. Excuse me — the meaningful chatter. . . . The most serious budget-cutter we have, Congressman Paul Ryan, is not nearly serious enough about the disaster we face. Or if he is serious, he doesn’t have enough of his party backing him up. And even if he had that, Ryan still would face a public too uninformed to understand or tolerate what must be done.”

Too many of those “Economic Reality Deniers” out there.

June 28, 2011

FOLLOWING UP ON READER SAM HUNG’S REQUEST, another Knoxville picture. This one of the Petro’s food truck.

June 28, 2011

SHOULD AMERICANS get more time off from work? No, but Congress should. They should meet only 60 days per year, and if they fail to pass a budget they should receive no pay, or expenses, and should be ineligible to stand for re-election.

That’s one constitutional reform I left out of my list. Dang. Oh, well, it was just supposed to be a starting point anyway.

June 28, 2011

OOPS: The New York Times’ Natural Gas Fiasco. “Natural gas just might be the energy solution environmentalists say they want, but actually can’t stand because nothing would put them out of business faster.”

June 28, 2011

ANN ALTHOUSE: Local journalist Bill Wineke demagogues the Wisconsin Supreme Court story… and slimes me. “What I want, and what I think good feminists should want, is to be treated as an equal in a sane workplace, where nobody gets in anybody’s face, and nobody thinks they can taunt or threaten or hit — or choke! — anybody. Ironically, Wineke is spouting sexism. If men and women are really governed by such different standards, that would be sex discrimination. And on the whole, it would hurt the advancement of women in the workplace. We are not fragile flowers in need of old-school chivalry. If we were, it would justify discrimination.”

UPDATE: More details arise in Wisconsin’s “Chokegate.” Justice Abrahamson isn’t coming off too well. But then, who is?

Really, if I had tried to come up with a plan to undermine the institutional authority of the judiciary I don’t think I could have done better than the Wisconsin Supreme Court has managed to do. And, apparently, Shirley Abrahamson has played a starring role.

June 28, 2011

IT’S NOT JUST THE BANKERS: Bankers Say Supporting Obama Is “Bad For Business” And Embarrassing.

June 28, 2011

HOW TO MAKE YOUR RETIREMENT SAVINGS last into your 90s. I think the Obama plan is “work until you’re 85!”

June 28, 2011

HIGHER EDUCATION BUBBLE UPDATE: Daniel Indiviglio: College: A Very, Very Expensive Shortcut for Lazy Hiring.

June 28, 2011

AT AMAZON, an extra 20% off of Clearance clothing. Men’s and women’s. Also kids’.

June 28, 2011

DAN MITCHELL: Promote Federalism and Replicate the Success of Welfare Reform with Medicaid Block Grants.

June 28, 2011

COULD REPUBLICANS NOMINATE A FREE-MARKET POPULIST? “I suspect, though, that no Republican really wants to battle big business. Of course, Barack Obama doesn’t, either — he just wants to pretend he is.”

Yes, as I’ve noted before, it was blindingly obvious that opposition to DMCA and other Big Entertainment initiatives would have been hugely beneficial for the GOP, but apparently they can’t bring themselves to attack Big Business, even big business that hates them and serves as a major source of money for the Democrats.

June 28, 2011

ED MORRISSEY ON SOCIAL CONSERVATIVES AND MARRIAGE: Be Careful What You Wish For.

June 28, 2011

YES, IT IS. NEXT QUESTION? BBC: Is the U.S. in denial over its $14 trillion debt?

UPDATE: A reader emails: “Why haven’t we started calling them ‘Economic Reality Deniers?’…. You heard it here first — only 3 google results.”

June 28, 2011

I BLAME THE OBAMA ADMINISTRATION’S ELIMINATIONIST RHETORIC: Glenn Beck, Family Attacked By Hateful Lefty Mob.

June 28, 2011

GOOGLE UPDATE: “Governments take notice: You can investigate Google’s business practices, but Google is also studying you. The search company has updated its Transparency Report, which discloses inquiries that governments make about Google users as well as their requests to remove content. The update adds data from July 2010 to December 2010, along with new ways to digest that data.”

June 28, 2011

HOW THE NEW CAFE REGULATIONS will change U.S. cars. Probably not for the better, from a consumer standpoint.

June 28, 2011

ESSENTIAL BOOKS FOR YOUNG ADULTS: Hmm. I think there are a few books missing from this list.

June 28, 2011

FIGHTING POVERTY WITH ECONOMIC FREEDOM:

June 28, 2011

I COULD HAVE LIVED WITHOUT THIS IMAGE: Coming Next: Al Gore In Your Bedroom.

UPDATE: Reader Jonathan Bailey emails: Quick, hide your chakras!

June 28, 2011

DON’T KNOW MUCH ABOUT HISTORY: “George Stephanopoulos made the mistake of going after Michele Bachmann on history — and promptly proceeded to get his history foolishly wrong. . . . Is challenging Michele Bachmann on fundamental history and getting it wrong embarrassing for somebody in the liberal media who criticizes others on the subject? Yes. Will George be concerned enough to retract and correct the record?” Nice little dig about Stephanopoulos’ memoir, too, though it was actually the best book to come out of the Clinton insiders’ crowd.

June 28, 2011

HIGHER EDUCATION BUBBLE UPDATE: The Lawyer Surplus: A State-By-State Look.

June 28, 2011

CLAIM: Men have their own biological clock.

June 28, 2011

REPORT: Democratic Rep. Laura Richardson could face jail time for ethics violations. “New documents disclosed in a complaint from the watchdog group Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW) appear to show California Democrat Rep. Laura Richardson and her staff clearly violating congressional ethics rules and potentially federal law. The documents show Richardson using official taxpayer resources for political events, including fundraisers. ‘Rep. Richardson didn’t just violate House rules, she likely committed crimes,’ said Melanie Sloan, CREW’s executive director.”

June 28, 2011

LAWRENCE LINDSEY: The Deficit Is Worse Than We Think: Normal interest rates would raise debt-service costs by $4.9 trillion over 10 years, dwarfing the savings from any currently contemplated budget deal. Forget machetes and scalpels — we need a chainsaw.

June 28, 2011

WAR AGAINST PHOTOGRAPHY UPDATE: Charges Against Emily Good Dropped. “It took less than a minute for a judge to dismiss an obstructing governmental administration charge against Good, saying there was no legal basis to move forward. Good was arrested last month while videotaping a traffic stop outside her Rochester home. She was taken into custody after Good failed to go inside her home when ordered to by Rochester police officer Mario Masic.” I wish the judge had ordered Mario Masic to take some remedial courses in the first amendment while he was at it. But at least Mario Masic’s name has been identified with this lawless action, and with this: “On Monday a judge, the district attorney’s office, Mayor Richards, and Police Chief Jim Sheppard all agreed with the decision to drop the charge against Good.”

But the police union says you should just shut up and do what officers say. Good’s suing, though. I hope she wins.

Perhaps Masic can be ordered to read Morgan Manning’s article on photographers’ rights — and pass a quiz afterward. Maybe, judging by the police union’s position, that should be extended to the entire Rochester force. . . .

June 28, 2011

SCALIA: Armed Career Criminals Act is unconstitutionally vague. Wait, I thought he was a conservative who thus didn’t care about the rights of criminal defendants — that’s what I’m always hearing from the usual pundits . . . .

June 28, 2011

DON SURBER: Obama Enters The Republican Race In Iowa. The bride at every wedding, the corpse at every funeral, and the baby at every christening.

Surber comments: “Maybe he can run in a few Republican primaries. I would love to see him in the debates going against Herman Cain or Michele Bachmann.”

June 28, 2011

IN THE WORKS: A Toyota Prius V Plug-In Hybrid?

June 28, 2011

GUNWALKER: What Will Happen When Ken Melson Testifies?

June 28, 2011

BIKE SADDLES AND ERECTILE DYSFUNCTION: “I’ve spent much of my journalistic career debunking health scares, but the bike-saddle menace struck me as a no-brainer when I first heard about it. Why, if you had an easy alternative, would you take any risk with that part of the anatomy? Even if you didn’t feel any symptoms, even if you didn’t believe the researchers’ warnings, even if you thought it was perfectly healthy to feel numb during a ride — why not switch just for comfort’s sake? Why go on crushing your crotch?”

Plus this: “There’s as much penis inside the body as outside . . . When you sit on a regular bike saddle, you’re sitting on your penis.” It’s not any better for women, either, it turns out. “In another study, Dr. Marsha Guess and Dr. Kathleen Connell, who are urogynecologists at Yale, found that that more than 60 percent of female cyclists using nosed saddles reported symptoms of genital pain, numbness and tingling. Lab tests recorded lower levels of genital sensation in the cyclists than in a control group of runners.”

So give up that traditional bike seat.

June 28, 2011

STUFF EXPAT AID WORKERS LIKE.

Well, there’s always the emergency sex.

June 28, 2011

ATF GUNRUNNING SCANDAL UPDATE: Assault weapons linked to ATF strategy turn up in U.S. neighborhoods.

June 28, 2011

ARE AIRLINES bribing politicians with super-elite status?

June 28, 2011

PROF. JACOBSON: Does Dane County Sheriff have conflict in Prosser-Bradley Investigation?

June 28, 2011

UNEXPECTEDLY! U.S. Consumer Confidence Hits Seven-Month Low. “Confidence among U.S. consumers unexpectedly fell in June to a seven-month low, indicating that slowing employment gains are weighing on Americans’ outlooks. . . . Joblessness hovering around 9 percent, rising inflation and falling share prices may keep household sentiment in check, raising the risk that the biggest part of the economy will stagnate. Employers last month added the fewest workers since September, and spending, adjusted for inflation, dropped for a second consecutive time, figures from the Labor and Commerce Departments showed.” With all that being the case, it’s funny that the drop was so . . . unexpected.

UPDATE: Reader Michael Long writes:

Too funny, it is no longer “unexpectedly!”

Professor Reynolds, Please tell me you have a screen-shot shot of Bloomberg’s “unexpectedly”… I just followed your link and they no longer think it is so unexpected.

As a matter of fact, I do. Here’s the story lede as it was when I blogged it. Just for the record.

So I guess I can scratch this off my Bloomberg gift list — they’ve obviously already got one. . . .

June 28, 2011

IN THE MAIL: Henry Clay: The Essential American.

June 28, 2011

THREE THINGS you can’t say about Social Security. Key bit: “While Social Security’s shortfall is manageable, it is also real. The long-run deficit can be eliminated only by putting more money into the system or by cutting benefits. There is no silver bullet. . . . But you need adult politicians to have an adult conversation about Social Security. And where are they?”

June 28, 2011

WALTER RUSSELL MEAD: The Failure of Al Gore: Part Deux.

It is a measure of how far Gore has fallen that almost all the scanty attention the piece received focused on Gore’s criticism of what he sees as President Obama’s failure to lead on climate change. Gore, like the global green movement he champions, has fallen by the wayside. Despite terrible weather, despite tornadoes, droughts, food crises and high oil prices, the world conversation has moved on. The question is why. . . .

The global green treaty movement to outlaw climate change is the most egregious folly to seize the world’s imagination since the Kellog-Briand Pact outlawed war in the late 1920s. The idea that the nations of the earth could agree on an enforceable treaty mandating deep cuts in their output of all greenhouse gasses is absurd. A global treaty to meet Mr. Gore’s policy goals isn’t a treaty: the changes such a treaty requires are so broad and so sweeping that a GGCT is less a treaty than a constitution for global government. Worse, it is a constitution for a global welfare state with trillions of dollars ultimately sent by the taxpayers of rich countries to governments (however feckless, inept, corrupt or tyrannical) in poor ones.

For this treaty to work, China, India, Nigeria and Brazil and scores of other developing countries must in effect accept limits on their economic growth. The United States must commit through treaty to policies that cannot get simple majorities in Congress — like sending billions of dollars in climate aid to countries like Iran, North Korea, Syria and Pakistan, even as we adopt intrusive and expensive energy controls here at home.

To some, of course, that’s not a bug, but a feature. But not to enough.

Plus this: “Mr. Gore’s work up to and including his latest Rolling Stone essay has taken a demagogic rather than intellectual approach.” Yes. As he’s gotten older and fatter — even “jowlier” — Gore has come to resemble Jerry Falwell in many ways, including but not limited to the physical, though it appears he is less intellectually and politically sophisticated.

June 28, 2011

IN SOUTHWEST CHINA, nostalgia and a “Red” revival. “The local satellite television station recently stopped broadcasting sitcoms and now shows only ‘revolutionary’ programs and news. Government workers and students have been told to spend time working in the countryside. The local propaganda department launched a ‘red Twitter’ micro-blogging site, blasting out short patriotic slogans. And in what seems like a throwback to the days of the Cultural Revolution, residents have been encouraged — or told — to read revolutionary books and poetry and to gather regularly in parks to sing old songs extolling the Communist revolution. A recent Sunday gathering, including a colorful, choreographed stage pageant, attracted an estimated 10,000 flag-waving people, many in uniforms and red caps and mostly organized by the party chiefs in their schools and factories.” Pardon me if I’m less than impressed. But if I were a Chinese leader in Beijing, I’d be a bit worried that some sort of purification movement might be springing up.

UPDATE: Several readers say that Beijing likes this, but I repeat — if it gets out of control, it could easily become a “purification movement” that would mean the end of all the lucrative deals for Party officials and their kids, and possibly those officials and their kids hanging from lampposts. When you’ve spent the last ten years profiting off of state-crony capitalism, this is dangerous stuff. Perhaps they’re pushing this now because they expect the economic bubble to burst and want people to take solace in ideology instead of wealth. Good luck with that. China’s overdue for one of its cyclical convulsions already . . .

June 28, 2011

WEINER THRUSTS HIMSELF INTO choice of his successor. What a putz.

June 28, 2011

SUPREME COURT: Brown v. EMA casts doubt on the “weapons effect” justification for gun control. “In examining the legislative history of anti-gun laws, courts will not have to look far to find the ‘weapons effect’ as a crucial motive for many of the laws which aim to reduce gun ownership or accessibility by ordinary citizens (rather than merely keeping guns away from actually dangerous people). Legislative animus against the exercise of constitutional rights can be, in itself, an important reason to find a law unconstitutional. When that animus is based on the same type of social science which the Supreme Court has recently dismissed as unrelated to any serious state interest, then courts have especially good reason to recognize the unconstitutionality of the legislation.”

June 28, 2011

TODAY ONLY: World Of Warcraft: Cataclysm on sale.

June 28, 2011

ON WEDNESDAY, John Kurtz will go on trial for taping Orlando police, and faces 6 years in prison. No one should be prosecuted for recording the actions of public employees on the public dime.

Here’s a video of the case.

June 28, 2011

MICHAEL GRAHAM: “For people serious about security, the entire TSA is a joke.” Plus this: “As long as it’s easier for Whitey Bulger to bring illegal prescription drugs across the border from Mexico than it is for an elderly leukemia patient to go home to Michigan, forget it.”

June 28, 2011

JOURNALISM: Big Media Go Gaga Over Bachmann Error, Still Haven’t Reported Obama’s Medal Of Honor Gaffe From Last Week.

June 28, 2011

WHAT ABOUT THE CARBON FOOTPRINT? Obama admin political appointee takes heat for trips home on taxpayers’ dime. “Obama political appointee Ron Sims is under scrutiny for trips he made to Seattle during the first several months after his appointment. Sims made 13 trips to Seattle, his home city, as Obama’s Deputy Secretary of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) between early May 2009 and late August 2010.” Worries about carbon emissions are for the little people. And worries about misuse of tax money are for . . . nobody much, it seems.

June 28, 2011

RACISTS: Anti-Mormon bias persists, notably among Democrats.

June 28, 2011

BOB OWENS: Pravda on the Potomac: Washington Post Again Covers for Gov’t on Gunwalker. “The increasingly shameless Post runs an editorial trying to shift the blame for Gunwalker to … the National Rifle Association.” Personally, I blame Sarah Palin. And the Koch Brothers. Also, Halliburton. [Forget the Halliburton, that's so pre-2009. -- ed Sorry, need to run an update on my List Of Approved Villains.]

June 28, 2011

SUPREME COURT TO REVIEW whether GPS tracking requires a warrant.

June 28, 2011

COPYRIGHT NEWS: Pretty Much Everyone Who’s Not A Broadcaster Comes Out Against Broadcast Treaty.

June 28, 2011

INVESTOR’S BUSINESS DAILY: The Dems’ Unbalanced Debt Plan. “The implicit message, of course, is that Republicans want an unbalanced approach, one that favors the rich at the expense of the poor and middle class. Biden went so far as to say that the GOP’s refusal to consider tax hikes ‘borders on the immoral.’ But even if raising taxes on business and the most productive elements of society makes sense at a time when the economy is still struggling to find its feet — which it most emphatically doesn’t — the simple fact is tax hikes fail to address the real cause of the debt crisis: out-of-control federal spending.”

Which doesn’t just border on the immoral.

June 28, 2011

JAMES TARANTO: Dire Straights: The decline of marriage isn’t the fault of gays.

June 28, 2011

AMNESTY INTERNATIONAL AND PRINCE: Time To Party Like It’s 1999 B.C. “What it is about the Middle East that causes self-styled ‘Progressives’ to suddenly mumble, ‘Nevermind,’ ala Emily Litella?”

Further thoughts from Rand Simberg.

June 28, 2011

THOUGHTS ON DAVID BERNSTEIN’S REHABILITATING LOCHNER: DEFENDING INDIVIDUAL RIGHTS AGAINST PROGRESSIVE REFORM, from Scott Gerber and from Jerry Pournelle.

Gerber writes: “I give Bernstein’s book the highest compliment one scholar can pay to the work of another: I learned a lot from reading it. Indeed, after finishing Bernstein’s book I will no longer think of Lochner the way I used to — as the apogee of the Supreme Court’s activist defense of the capital class — and I will certainly teach the case differently than I have in the past. Rehabilitating Lochner is intellectual history in its highest form. ”

And here’s my review in Commentary, which was the springboard for Pournelle’s thoughts.

Also, if you missed them before, my thoughts on constitutional reform of the sort that Pournelle thinks we need.

June 28, 2011

YESTERDAY’S POST ABOUT REDUCED CONSUMER SPENDING produced numerous emails like this one from reader Robin Lyons:

Instead of spending, I have been taking all my disposable income and paying off debt. I have a good job and have disposable income every month. But I have decided that I am not buying anything not absolutely necessary in protest of the Obama economy. Not that my single participation makes any difference, but who knows how many of me there are out there?

Well, put together with the not entirely different class of Antoinette Auberts, quite a few it seems.

UPDATE: Reader Michael Hayden writes:

I’ve actually increased my consumer spending this year. I already paid off all of my debt last year, and my usual savings and investments are returning less than the real rate of inflation, so I see only two other options: invest in a bubble like gold and pray that I cash out before it pops, or spend my money while it’s still worth something. Guess which one I chose.

I’ve been spending several hundred dollars each month on replacing old, “good enough for a poor bachelor” stuff with newer, nicer, “grown-up” stuff. A new office chair, new towels and bed linens, neglected car repairs, hobby equipment, getting my wisdom teeth extracted, assembling a proper bug-out bag, and so on. I’m sure all thirtysomethings go through this phase as they become more secure and settled in their lives, but for me it’s been a deliberate reaction to our current economic conditions.

Indeed. For that matter, I suppose if you really expect runaway inflation, it makes sense to buy stuff that will hold some value even in preference to paying off debts.

June 28, 2011

ALL IN THE GAY FAMILY: “Contrary to the rhetoric you still hear from some of the idea’s opponents, gay marriage was not cooked up in some D.C. laboratory and imposed on America by social engineers. It was built from the bottom up, and it was alive at a time when the typical social engineer thought homosexuality was a disease.”

June 28, 2011

YAWN: Former Obama czar launches yet another Anti-Tea Party.

Van Jones, President Barack Obama’s former special adviser for “green jobs, enterprise and innovation,” yesterday launched what he calls “The American Dream Movement.” In a punchy, two-hour webcast that was heavily promoted by MoveOn.org, the former green czar signaled his support for all ideas progressive — and his appalling unwillingness to face some simple facts.

Jones’ American Dream at first sounds familiar: a decent job, a college education, a dignified retirement, a secure future. But he seems to forget the pivot on which the Dream has always turned: an honest work ethic that proceeds from no sense of entitlement but rather from a grounded optimism that ability applied to opportunity will yield results.

Like Administration figures and honest tax returns, Czars and Tea Parties don’t mix.

June 27, 2011

I HATE TO SAY “I TOLD YOU SO,” BUT THIS IS JUST WHAT I WAS WORRIED ABOUT: Egypt’s pro-democracy activists feel their grip slipping.

Sensing the revolution that overthrew President Hosni Mubarak is slipping from their grasp, activists and opposition groups are pressuring the ruling military council to postpone Egypt’s elections in September amid fears that Islamists and members of the former regime will gain too much power.. . . The pressing concern among independents and secularists is that the Brotherhood, the nation’s largest and best-organized party, may win about 25% of the seats in parliament and control even more through a coalition. This could give the organization the power to infuse the new constitution with conservative Islamic ideals to limit rights for women and non-Muslims.

“The Brotherhood is tyrannical in its opinions and views, and I think they will take the side of the Islamist businessmen who fund it and have strict Islamic ideologies,” said Khalid Sayed, a member of the Jan. 25 Youth Coalition. “Whatever constitution they might form would not fulfill the demands of Egyptians for civil rights and democracy.”

Wait, I thought they were misunderstood moderates? But this is how it goes: Kerensky could replace the Czar, but Lenin could replace Kerensky — and there was no one around who could replace Lenin, because Lenin made sure of that right off. The liberal democrats should have killed him when they had the chance, but they hesitated, and he didn’t.

The pro-democracy activists need to be prepared for a real fight. Because they’ll have one, and win it, or they’ll lose.

June 27, 2011

WHY HAS WIKIPEDIA removed the Thomas Ball page?

June 27, 2011

AT AMAZON, markdowns in groceries and gourmet food.

June 27, 2011

AUSTRALIAN OPPOSITION embraces multiculturalism as Dutch walk away. Behind the curve downunder, where Andrew Bolt is facing another dumb PC witch-hunt.

June 27, 2011

I THINK THIS IS A VERY CONSERVATIVE ESTIMATE: RATINGS DOWNGRADE COULD COST $100BN: “Investors in the US government bond market could face losses of up to $100bn if the largest economy loses its triple A rating, according to a research arm of McGraw-Hill, the parent of Standard & Poor’s.”

June 27, 2011

ATF FIRES WHISTLEBLOWER? ‘Project Gunrunner’ Whistleblower Says ATF Sent Him Termination Notice.

June 27, 2011

THE WARNING PROCESS MUST BE FIXED: Too many tornado-warning false alarms creating dangerous complacency. “These kind of warnings force us to go on the air for 40-45 minutes, often after tornado signature has vanished from the radar. Sirens sound, the NOAA Weather Alarm goes off, severe weather apps on smart phones alert users. Getting these kind of warnings over and over and over again totally create an ocean of people that won’t be paying attention when a real tornado emergency is in progress. I heard it over and over as people described their April 27 experience. ‘I hear those sirens all the time, and nothing ever happens’. The cry wolf syndrome is very real, and very dangerous.”

June 27, 2011

ACE: Scripting the Obama comeback, just like a Hollywood feel-good blockbuster. “Who’s the audience for this script? Well, the most important audience is the media, who would love to now move to the Obama’s Comeback Montage, but aren’t quite sure how to prepare that narrative.”

June 27, 2011

AT AMAZON, markdowns on musical instruments.

June 27, 2011

FASTER, PLEASE: Scientists crack histamine code that could lead to better allergy relief.

June 27, 2011

SO THE “SLOPEHEAD” GUY AT THE NEW YORK TIMES is a crackhead? Literally?

Plus, from the comments: “Why is it, exactly, that leftists supposedly dedicated to eliminating class distinctions so quickly fall into the old patterns of the Soviet nomenklatura? Perhaps it’s an essential element of leftist ideology.”

June 27, 2011

HOW NOISE CANCELING HEADPHONES WORK.

June 27, 2011

LOW-COST HOME COOKING FROM SCRATCH: Recipes and more at Hillbilly Housewife.

June 27, 2011

CHANGE? Core Inflation Rises: Interest Rates May Follow. As somebody who’s bemused to find himself happy to get 1% on a money-market these days, even as a promotional rate, I’m ready.

And I repeat: If we had a Republican President, we’d be seeing endless tear-jerker news stories about how low CD rates are hurting senior citizens. Under Obama, bupkis.

June 27, 2011

OBAMA FOMENTS VIOLENCE: First, the President blames ATMs for high unemployment, and shortly thereafter violent lefties smash ATM in Seattle.

Hey, it’s fairer than the blood-libel aimed at Sarah Palin after the Giffords shooting. . . .

June 27, 2011

IT’S NOT THAT EXCLUSIVE A GROUP: Blogojevich Joins Illinois Governors’ Convicted-Felon Club.

June 27, 2011

FASTER, PLEASE: New Nukes Coming Online To Double. “Globally the rate at which new nuclear power plants get turned on to start operating will more than double from 5 to 12 per year in the next 4 years.”

Plus this: “In the United States the Tennessee Valley Authority will start operating the Watts Bar 2 nuclear reactor in 2013. Its construction was halted in 1985 but is now being completed. That will be the first added nuke in the US since the 1990s. The TVA has plans for more nuclear reactors including a half dozen small modular reactors. The US government’s commitment to nuclear power is undiminished and nuclear power’s biggest obstacle in the US is the low cost of natural gas from shale.” Well, since Obama-connected GE makes nuclear reactors, better fire up the environmental opposition to cheap shale gas, then.