June 19, 2011
THE HILL: Weiner Gone, Dems Try To Move On. But something’s missing.
THE HILL: Weiner Gone, Dems Try To Move On. But something’s missing.
AVERAGE SAN FRANCISCO PENSION PAYS OUT MORE than average private sector worker earns. “When you start looking at the total cost of these pensions, it’s through the roof.”
SALENA ZITO: A Failure To Communicate. “Projecting such commonality is not something that President Barack Obama does well. . . . Most golfers, according to Western Pennsylvania Golf Association spokesman Jeff Rivard, play 20 or so rounds a year. The president has played more than 70 rounds in two years — amid a recession, three wars, a Mideast meltdown, and an economy not flourishing under his stimulus and bailout programs. . . . Simple things, such as Obama not receiving economic briefings for more than a month, make voters scratch their heads — especially when the jobs data are anything but optimistic.”
ROGER KIMBALL: Rick Perry vs. Jean-Jacques Rousseau.
Here’s a statistic worth pondering: 45 percent of net U.S. job creation in the last two years comes from Texas.
Yes, Texas: the state that is the poster child for right-wingery, the state with no state income tax whose population is growing at about 1000 per day (see a connection?) while bankrupt behemoths like California are bleeding jobs and people.
There are a handful of other places in the U.S. where job creation is rife. One of them is Washington, D.C. where an exploding government bureaucracy has also led to the creation of many jobs.
Many public-sector, i.e., tax-payer-funded jobs, that is. The jobs in Texas are overwhelmingly private-sector, i.e., wealth-creating jobs.
I mention this by way of introduction to my main point, which is to highlight something Texas Governor Rick Perry said in a recent speech in New Orleans.
Read the whole thing. But don’t worry — the EPA is trying to fix that whole Texas job-creation problem.
KINDLE VS. BOOKS: A COMPLAINT. Funny, in the abstract I agree about the virtue of dead-tree books, but I find I do most of my reading on Kindle — actually, on the Kindle App for iPhone or iPad — and that I’m mildly irritated when a book is only available in old-fashioned form.
AT AMAZON, bestsellers in Multitools.
CLAIRE BERLINSKI: Extremely Disturbing, Barely-Noticed Story Of The Week: “So: Threaten Chinese technicians and they’ll displace 10,000 of you in less than a week, and the only place it will be reported is in the New Light of Myanmar, which you can be dead sure is only hinting at the horror of this.”
I MEANT TO SAY SOMETHING ABOUT THE NEW YORK TIMES’ LAME HIT PIECE ON CLARENCE THOMAS, but fellow lawprof Ann Althouse got there first. Bottom line:
The constitutional check on a Supreme Court Justice is impeachment. Picture Congress going after Thomas for playing some background role in preserving a valuable black history site.
In short: Put up or shut up, schmucks. But of course, the New York Times piece isn’t really about ethics. It’s battlespace preparation for the Supreme Court’s healthcare vote. The problem for the Times is that Thomas doesn’t care what the New York Times thinks. Which means this is more about preparing a narrative of failure for ObamaCare — It was struck down by evil corrupt conservative judges. I think they’re going to be kept quite busy constructing failure narratives over the next couple of years.
And this comment seems to sum things up: “I read the NYT piece this morning early, while still groggy, and went back for a second, slow pass to see what I was missing. Which was nothing. The Times can be slow to act on egregious matters (maybe John Edwards is a good example) that are right beneath their noses, but they will strive mightily to produce a hint of a whiff of an infraction, especially if it regards someone they simply despise.”
UPDATE: Reader Max Jones writes:
Like your previous correspondent, I read the piece on Clarence Thomas twice but on the second pass I realized the most interesting part: Harlan Crow has a serious library with lots of books! Statues of Lenin and Stalin in the backyard! Board member of the American Enterprise Institute! Maybe they are friends because they are interested in the same things?
Actually, that was the second most interesting part. The first was that Jill Abramson, author of “Strange Justice,” hasn’t even waited to become editor of the NYT to attack Thomas and attempt to lay the groundwork for recusal in some future case.
Maybe Breitbart can get to work on Strange Editor.
CLIMATE CONFERENCE FACES BRUSH WITH REALITY: “In case you missed it – and judging by the complete lack of coverage on the cable news networks you may very well have – there was yet another climate conference held this week in Bonn, Germany. But rather than the usual singing in the round of Bob Dylan tunes and boisterous plans to alter the world, there was a decidedly depressed tone to the discussions. It’s not that they’ve suddenly begun to question their previously held beliefs concerning anthropogenic global warming, (AGW) but rather a grim realization that most of the nations involved are a bit too busy making sure their economies don’t collapse to dump a significant portion of their GDP into carbon emission control. . . . The other problem causing the talks to essentially fall apart until their next meeting in December was the lack of buy-in by both China and some developing countries. Even if China participates, they are insisting on a ‘trust me’ approach where no outside verification of compliance would be allowed.” Yeah, that’ll work.
The world’s foremost authority on climate change used a Greenpeace campaigner to help write one of its key reports, which critics say made misleading claims about renewable energy, The Independent has learnt.
The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), set up by the UN in 1988 to advise governments on the science behind global warming, issued a report last month suggesting renewable sources could provide 77 per cent of the world’s energy supply by 2050. But in supporting documents released this week, it emerged that the claim was based on a real-terms decline in worldwide energy consumption over the next 40 years – and that the lead author of the section concerned was an employee of Greenpeace. Not only that, but the modelling scenario used was the most optimistic of the 164 investigated by the IPCC.
Critics said the decision to highlight the 77 per cent figure showed a bias within the IPCC against promoting potentially carbon-neutral energies such as nuclear fuel. One climate change sceptic said it showed the body was not truly independent and relied too heavily on green groups for its evidence.
And: Rex Murphy: Climate Scientists Make A Mockery Of The Peer-Review Process. “Much of what the world bizarrely allows to be called climate ‘science’ is a closet-game, an in-group referring to and reinforcing its own members. The insiders keep out those seen as interlopers and critics, vilify dissenters and labour to maintain a proprietary hold on the entire vast subject. It has been described very precisely as a ‘climate-assessment oligarchy.’ Less examined, or certainly less known to the general public, is how this in-group loops around itself. How the outside advocates buttress the inside scientists, and even — this is particularly noxious — how the outside advocates, the non-scientists, themselves become inside authorities. . . . A report on renewables, by the Renewable Energy Council of Europe, and Greenpeace, peer-reviewed by the man who wrote it. . . . Kind people may put this down to pure sloppiness on the part of the IPCC. Coming after its disastrous handling of the Himalayan glacier melt, however, it looks to me more like deliberate mischief. The IPCC cannot be that stupid by chance.”
You know, I’m entirely ready to believe that CO2 emissions are having an effect on the climate. But the scientists involved aren’t acting as if they’re confident in letting the data speak for themselves, which is a big deal since they’re asking us to make enormous economic sacrifices based on what they’ve predicted. If, say, pharmaceutical companies were caught doing the same kinds of things, the politicians and the news media would be after their scalps.
Meanwhile, for the political leaders, well, I’ll believe it’s a crisis when the people who tell me it’s a crisis start acting like it’s a crisis. Until they start foregoing private jets and beachside mansions, it’s going to be hard for me to take their calls for sacrifice on my part seriously.
ALL THAT FINDING-INNER-PEACE STUFF WAS JUST FOR THE RUBES ANYWAY: Deepak Chopra Mocks Sarah Palin In Angry Rant. Alternative argument: The two-minute hate is actually cleansing.
RESPONSIBILITY TO PROTECT? So what happened to that whole Obama doctrine about protecting civilians from atrocities by tyrants? Syrian forces try to stem exodus of refugees to Turkey. “Syrian human rights campaigner Ammara Qurabi also accused pro-government forces of attacking people who were helping the refugees as they tried to escape from a widening military assault to crush protests against Assad’s autocratic rule. . . . Witnesses said pro-Assad forces were firing randomly, ransacking houses and burning crops in Jisr al-Shughour, an area known for its apple groves, olive trees and wheat.”
I THINK I FORGOT TO MENTION that Professor Jacobson is now at LegalInsurrection.com. Bye, bye Blogspot!
I keep a little cigarette-lighter inverter in the car and don’t use it much, but on our last trip Helen’s cellphone died and all she had was the 110v charger in her purse. Popped the inverter in and she was charged up in a jiffy. I keep one of the bigger ones in the garage in case we need to charge electronics (laptops, etc.) in an extended power outage, but I’ve never had to do that because our power is pretty reliable. Nice to have, though. Interesting that a lot of them now come with USB outlets.
FAIL: Gun at anti-violence film shoot leads to arrests. “Oakland Schools spokesman Troy Flint says the teacher and counselor showed a severe lapse in judgment. He said they were trying to create a film to illustrate the harms of violence.”
A HACKER CIVIL WAR? Hit the deck: LulzSec and Anonymous start trading blows. “Hacker group LulzSec has begun publicly attacking hacker group Anonymous, an action that could lead to a civil war of sorts between the two hacker groups that have similar origins. LulzSec has begun publicly mocking 4chan.org, the image-sharing message board where Anonymous was reportedly born, on its main Twitter account, which it has used to generate publicity for its attacks.”
MAPPING THE DEAD from Mexico’s Drug War.
WISCONSIN: What Will The Unions Do Now?
Reader Scott Loftfield sends this link to the benefits of a low-carbohydrate diet, and reader Jeffrey Bentley writes:
I read on Instapundit the finding about high incident rate of NASH in the US.
I was diagnosed with NASH in 1999 or so when my liver started failing.
They spent two years running just about any test or imaging scan they could think of, as my liver slowly developed fibrosis. I was one of those people that were told I’d need a liver transplant in 5-10 years. To buy myself some time my gastroenterologists recommended losing weight, but doing it healthily by going to a nutritionist to develop a custom diet. Many typical weight-loss diets put stress on the liver, so doing a “low impact” weight reduction diet was critical for me.
The nutritionist I went to was a semi-retired surgeon, fatigued from years of transplant surgery, that decided to start a clinic devoted to preventing disease.
She basically saved my life.
In doing her intake on me as a patient, she looked over the pile of data, quizzed me on the effects certain foods have on me, and realized that I may have difficulty processing fructose.
She put me on a diet restrictive of fructose. I had to give up the fruits and fruit juices that I loved, I had to give up food with high fructose corn syrup, and I had to give up table sugar, as that is processed by the body into fructose and glucose.
Within 6 months my liver enzymes were normal and within a year my ultrasounds showed a normal-sized liver. No more NASH.
I have pretty much stayed on this diet, lost 30 pounds on it, and have had no problems with my liver. I put a couple tablespoons of sugar in my coffee every morning, otherwise, I avoid it.
As to why fructose would have this effect, we have no idea. My liver was treating it as a harmful substance that needed to be eliminated, the process of which was taking a heavy toll on my liver, much as if I was drinking a lot of alcohol. There seems to be no readily identifiable reason why this was so, but when I backslid on my diet and started eating fructose again, I did start having lots of pain in my liver and developed jaundice. When I stopped eating fructose, the jaundice and pain went away.
This is just my personal experience, and may not be the same for the others afflicted with NASH. But it’s easily tested on an individual basis. Just watch what you eat, skipping sucrose and fructose in your meals, and see if it helps.
THEY TOLD ME IF I VOTED FOR JOHN MCCAIN, WHISTLEBLOWERS WOULD BE SUPPRESSED. And they were right! “Stephen J. Kim, an arms expert who immigrated from South Korea as a child, spent a decade briefing top government officials on the dangers posed by North Korea. Then last August he was charged with violating the Espionage Act — not by aiding some foreign adversary, but by revealing classified information to a Fox News reporter. Mr. Kim’s case is next in line in the Obama administration’s unprecedented crackdown on leaks.”
TIM CAVANAUGH; Why Not Let Wages And Prices Fall? Bernanke’s sophisticated surgical tools keep making the patient worse. Whether Bernanke’s surgery is a success or failure depends on who you think he’s trying to help.
IN THE WALL STREET JOURNAL, an excerpt from Nick Gillespie and Matt Welch’s new book, The Declaration of Independents: How Libertarian Politics Can Fix What’s Wrong With America. “Though rhetorically and theoretically at odds with one another, the two parties have managed to create a mostly unbroken set of policies and governance structures that benefit well-connected groups at the expense of the individual.”
JENNIFER RUBIN: The Abortion Pledge Mess.
PROFESSOR JACOBSON TARGETS RACISM: Why do they presume ex-felons will vote for Democrats?
AT AMAZON, MARKDOWNS ON BESTSELLING KNIVES.
FATHER’S DAY THOUGHTS FROM JOEL KOTKIN: Hey, Dad: Family Still Matters. “Ignore the claims of pundits on right and left who long have predicted the demise of the family. The family will prove more important than ever in determining where people live, work and, especially, settle. . . . Margaret Mead once wrote, ‘No matter how many communes anybody invents, the family always comes back.’ Those who have children, not those who do not, define and create the future. It’s a lesson companies and economic developers would do well to learn.”
CLAYTON CRAMER: The Department Of Education’s Crackdown On For-Profit Colleges. “Let me be clear: Public institutions and private non-profits also turn out plenty of graduates who can’t get jobs — especially right now. The incentives are not quite as direct, but a college president with 20,000 students gets a higher salary than a president with 5,000 students. The fact that the Department of Education thinks that this problem only applies to for-profits suggests that there are other incentives in play here besides just concern for students. . . . It appears that someone might have been planning the short selling of for-profit colleges, while persuading the Department of Education to impose regulations that would impair their profitability. The Department of Education’s inspector-general is looking into this very convenient coincidence.”
I’ll believe they’re serious about outcomes when the feds look at places like Chicago State University as closely as they’re looking at the for-profits.
JACK BALKIN: Hey, the Obama Administration is looking a lot like the Bush Administration on this whole War Powers Act thing. “Obama’s strategy, like Bush’s, also short circuits the normal process of seeking opinions from the OLC; it simply does so in a different way. . . . Obama came into office promising to reform the abuses of the Bush Administration and its manipulation of the OLC. The best way to do that is not to create entirely new abuses of one’s own.” They told me if I voted — oh, hell, that’s too easy.
Obama is, of course, not bound by the opinions of any lawyers in the executive branch other than himself. However, when he does this sort of thing he’s not able to hide behind such opinions, either. Which is why this sort of behavior by presidents is “extraordinarily rare.”
That George Bush would knowingly order an eavesdropping program to continue which his own top lawyers were telling him was illegal was, of course, a major controversy, at least in many progressive circles. Now we have Barack Obama not merely eavesdropping in a way that his own top lawyers are telling him is illegal, but waging war in that manner (though, notably, there is no indication that these Obama lawyers have the situational integrity those Bush lawyers had [and which Archibald Cox, Eliot Richardson and William Ruckelshaus had before them] by threatening to resign if the lawlessness continues).
All I can say is, you expected respect for legal niceties from a Chicago machine politician? Hey, Rube!
HAPPY FATHER’S DAY: If you forgot, it’s not too late to send an Amazon gift card. You can even email ‘em.
THE ELECTION’S A LONG WAY OFF, but the bumper stickers are proliferating already.
THE CHICAGO WAY: Expose prosecutorial misconduct, get investigated.
I wrote about this a while back.
SUSANNAH BRESLIN: My Father, The Writer.
SUPPLY WORRIES spur corn prices. “Corn supplies are expected to hit a 15-year low by the end of August, and surging prices in the physical market are an indication that demand is still strong.”
JEFF CARTER: Losing Our Way As A Nation.
TIM CAVANAUGH: Green Shoots Bustin’ Out All Over: How Much More Awesome News Can One Economy Take? Those aren’t green shoots, they’re Simbelmynë.
JIM TREACHER ON NETROOTS NATION: Was it as good for you as it was for me?
FIRST AMENDMENT? WHAT FIRST AMENDMENT? “The mayor said Carlos Osegueda, director of HUD’s regional Office of Fair Housing and Equal Opportunity, told him Huntsville is being reviewed because of negative public comments about fair housing in The Times and local blogs.”
We’ve seen this kind of thing from HUD in the past.
RAND SIMBERG: The Surprise Space Policy Debate.
THE SILENT MAJORITY WALK AND THE NAKED BIKE RIDE.
I couldn’t muster much outrage about this one.
On a question of foreign affairs law, the Attorney General’s lawyer disagreed with the Secretary of State’s lawyer. The President then listened to his own lawyer and resolved the matter in favor of State. That’s what chief executives do when their subordinates disagree.
The President gets to make these calls. Of course, when the President makes this sort of a call, in a war that never had any sort of Congressional approval, it’s pretty risky — or, if you prefer, “gutsy” — but that choice is the President’s to make, and the political risks are his to run.
WALL STREET JOURNAL: Funny, Obama’s not talking much about the NLRB and Boeing. “Mr. Obama has been touting his plan to double the country’s export growth by 2015, thereby creating two million new jobs. Now one of the country’s foremost exporters is under assault for seeking a lower-cost venue for manufacturing to stay globally competitive, and the President has had nothing to say.”
TEST-FIRING THE KEL-TEC KSG: “Obviously, with 14 rounds on board, capacity is never going to be an issue. Those factors make it perhaps the best shotgun for home defense we’ve seen in a while.”
HILLARY CLINTON: You know, come to think of it that Assad guy’s not so much of a moderate after all. “By following Iran’s lead, President Assad is placing himself and his regime on the wrong side of history. He will learn that legitimacy flows from the consent of the people and cannot be forged through bullets and billyclubs.”
PENELOPE TRUNK: Repulsion Is Part Of Diversity. “One thing I have learned from living on a farm is that you are not really experiencing diversity unless you are also experiencing repulsion.”
INSIDER KNOWLEDGE: Top Stock Holdings Of U.S. Congress.
LIFE LESSON: “Turns out, it was the hormones.”
UPDATE: Reader Kevin Green writes: “Where are the Republican security personnel? That crazy lunatic could easily have been carrying a knife or gun and she was allowed to get way too close to Michelle Bachmann. How many more Gabby Giffords must there be before Republicans begin to take candidate security seriously?”
And another reader emails: “In a post-Gabrielle Giffords political climate, it’s chilling to watch Bachmann’s fireplug ‘bodyguards’ stand there and take no preemptive action. Genuinely startling, who provided that security?”
I dunno. It’s a fine line between bodyguards who don’t move fast enough, and bodyguards who go all Patti LaBelle on people.
THE ATLANTIC: The 14 Biggest Ideas Of The Year.
AT AMAZON, a sale on swimsuits and shorts. That model who looks like Halle Berry probably isn’t included.
HOW FATHERHOOD made us human.
CHANGE: Will grey hair be a thing of the past? Scientists discover protein that keeps colour in strands. Faster, please: My boyish good looks won’t last forever on their own.
BRINGING AMERICANS TOGETHER: Union, Texas Congressional delegation agree: The EPA is threatening the Texas economy. Well, Texas is showing up the blue states by creating so many jobs. Can’t have that, especially with it sounding like Rick Perry might run for President.
GREG LUKIANOFF: Yale And The New Threat To Free Speech On Campus.
At some point or another, we have all made someone else feel uncomfortable, whether intentionally or not. We have caused someone else emotional distress. And yes, all of us have likely flirted with someone who isn’t interested and may have even made an innuendo. The thinking behind these absurdly broad codes seems to be if you make every student guilty, you can let campus administrators decide who to punish. In the “risk management” industry, which provides legal consulting to universities, this guilty-until-proven-innocent mentality is cutely referred to as “wiggle room.”
Administrators should be punished for threatening free speech.
RON COLEMAN ON THE INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY ANGLE to that iPhone-crippling story.
A SUDDENLY GROWING LIVER DISEASE:
“This is huge. We didn’t even know this disease existed 30 years ago. Now it’s the most common liver disease in America.”
‘We won’t have the ability to treat all these patients’
About a third of the U.S. population has nonalcoholic fatty liver disease, according to Dr. Michael Curry, a hepatologist at the Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Boston.
Curry said most of those people — about 80% — will not develop significant liver disease. The other 20% will develop a disease called nonalcoholic steatohepatitis, or NASH. Of those, about 20-30% will go on to develop cirrhosis and end-stage liver disease, where the only real treatment is a liver transplant.
My advice is to drink heavily. At least then you’ll know why your liver has gone bad. . . .
Or you could try this: “If a patient loses weight, eats better and exercises, he or she can often reverse the disease in its earlier stages.”
TABLOID HEAVEN: A montage of New York Post Anthony Weiner covers.
IN THE MAIL: From Philip K. Howard, The Death of Common Sense: How Law Is Suffocating America.
WAPO EDITORIAL: Hey, you know, the action in Libya looks kinda like war to us. Plus this: “The Obama administration’s depiction of its Libya venture as too halfhearted to be covered by the War Powers Resolution contains an unfortunately large dollop of truth. President Obama’s commitment is sufficiently halfhearted to undermine the NATO alliance. It is sufficiently halfhearted, and confused in its statement of purpose and its connection of ends to means, to give Moammar Gaddafi hope that he can hang on. It is not, however, so halfhearted as to justify the administration’s evasion of its legal duties under the war powers law.”
The Post editorial board has now caught up to InstaPundit on March 23: “Waging war halfheartedly, on the cheap, and by committee is not a formula for success.” Some people (well, Joshua Greenman) criticized me at the time for not understanding Obama’s awesome Libya plan. I don’t think that criticism has been borne out by events.
ANOTHER UPDATE: Lawmakers mock Obama claim on Libya hostilities.
YET ANOTHER UPDATE: Hugh Hewitt: So When Will Those By-Passed Lawyers Be Resigning? “Bypassing the lawyers you don’t like to get to those who agree with you in fact sounds very Nixonian, but the lawyers Nixon overruled had the decency to quit rather than let their offices be downgraded. Will the lawyers in Team Obama stand by their legal judgment or with their increasingly unilateralist boss?”
CLAIRE BERLINSKI: When Syria Explodes. “It’s not a secret that Syria is imploding. But the key thing to grasp is that it won’t stop there: There is a real possibility that this regime will take its neighbors down with it. I’m not sure that the West–which from what I can tell is now completely preoccupied with itself and its economic problems–is sufficiently grasping this.”
WALTER RUSSELL MEAD: Can This Presidency Be Saved?
RASMUSSEN: 83% of GOP Voters Intend to Vote Republican No Matter Who’s The Nominee. “A new Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey finds that 77% of Likely Republican Primary Voters think that every one of the party’s presidential candidates would do a better job than the current occupant of the White House. Just 14% disagree, with 10% more undecided.”
ATF GUNRUNNING SCANDAL UPDATE: “The Wall Street Journal reported last night that the political fallout from Operation Fast and Furious has the White House looking for a fast and furious way out. The acting head of the ATF, Kenneth Melson, will likely lose his job, perhaps as early as next week, the WSJ’s sources say, in what looks like an effort to contain the damage.”
That won’t be enough, for a scandal that some are calling “worse than Iran-Contra.” “The effort to get rid of Melson looks like an attempt to appease the House, but it’s not likely to work. Had the White House provided more cooperation with Darrell Issa on this and other investigations, a Melson resignation might have sufficed. Instead of cooperating, Melson and Attorney General Eric Holder stonewalled the Oversight Committee for weeks, and when they finally turned over the documents subpoenaed by Issa, the heavy redactions prompted Issa to tell the the DoJ’s Assistant Attorney General that he ‘should be ashamed’ of its conduct in an investigation into the death of one of its Border Patrol agents. . . . Issa now will go after the DoJ for its conduct in the investigation, because Holder and Weich have certainly acted as if they have something to hide. And the sudden desire to throw Melson under the bus seems to indicate that the White House would like to end this probe rather quickly, too. At this point, even a resignation by Weich wouldn’t slow Issa’s probe.”
Bonus quote: “Allowing loads of weapons that we knew to be destined for criminals, this was the plan. It was so mandated.” –Special Agent John Dodson ATF Phoenix Field Division. I retain my suspicions about the connection between a secret ATF operation that allowed thousands of weapons to go from U.S. gunshops to Mexican crime scenes, and a public gun-control campaign by the Obama Administration that stressed the need to limit gun sales in the United States because weapons from U.S. gun shops were turning up at Mexican crime scenes. Call me cynical, but this is an awfully convenient juxtaposition.
TEST-DRIVE: Alex Nunez loves the Toyota Prius V. Alex emails: “Seriously, if they don’t sell like beer at a hockey game, I will be dumbfounded.”
WHY EUROPE No Longer Matters.
UPDATE: British reader Alan Massey sends this link:
The Army is facing an exodus of the next generation of military leaders after nearly 1,000 of its brightest officers and soldiers applied for voluntary redundancy. . . . The Army is expected to lose a substantial number of senior NCOs, who provide the “backbone” of discipline in the field, and it has also been inundated with applications from corporals, sergeants and staff sergeants. Under the defence cuts, the Army is to lose 7,000 troops over the next four years, leaving a force of 94,000.
One decorated officer, who has commanded a battalion with distinction but has now opted to leave, said: “When you know what’s going on at the moment and the amount of money that’s needed to be saved and the impact of that on the Army, what’s the point of staying? People see the writing on the wall and are saying it’s time to go.”
The Army is most concerned by the calibre of the officers who have asked to leave. At least five commanding officers or future battalion commanders have handed in their papers.
Massey adds: “We (in the UK) have had a military that has been continuously shrinking for the last 20 years, despite being sent to fight all over the world. I would hazard a guess that the only reason a lot of them held on at all is in the hope that a change of government would see a change in policy. Therefore it is not at all surprising that we see a collapse in morale and a rise in the number of voluntary redundancies as it has become obvious that the Conservatives are little different from the Labour Party.”
Perhaps some of these retirees will go into politics.
JAMES TARANTO: Losing His Religion: A Pentagon Scare And A Media Taboo. “When news organizations evade facts that fit what they see as undesirable stereotypes, they train news consumers to fill in the blanks even when the stereotypes do not apply.”
PROOF THAT WE’RE NOT GETTING VALUE FOR OUR EDUCATION DOLLAR: Asking people to sign a petition to ban “job-killing” ATM machines: “When we went out on the street and started asking people to sign a petition to ban ATM machines, we expected most of them to call us crazy or to simply ignore us. But in Barack Obama’s America, banning cash machines as economic stimulus actually seems like a fairly reasonable idea to many folks.”
JEREMIAH DUBOFF: We Hated Reagan.
ECONOMIC WORRIES: The Vise, or stag-double-flation. “The more I sift through the economic news, the more anxious I grow.” My hope is that the inflation and deflation will cancel each other out. But “hope” hasn’t paid off especially well lately.
HOPE AND CHANGE: Your Well-Paid, Middle-Class Job Is in Danger.
DAVID BROOKS ON CORRUPTION AND DEMOSCLEROSIS. But he’s worried about democratically-inspired turnover:
Washington is home to a vertiginous tangle of industry associations, activist groups, think tanks and communications shops. These forces have overwhelmed the government that was originally conceived by the founders.
The final message is that members of the leadership class have done nothing to police themselves. The Wall Street-Industry-Regulator-Lobbyist tangle is even more deeply enmeshed.
People may not like Michele Bachmann, but when they finish “Reckless Endangerment” they will understand why there is a market for politicians like her. They’ll realize that if the existing leadership class doesn’t redefine “normal” behavior, some pungent and colorful movement will sweep in and do it for them.
UPDATE: Reader Jody Green writes:
I read this rather surprising article by Mr. Brooks and thought it amazing that he might call out Michelle Bachmann as a possible star on the side of good governance but he ended with the word “Pungent” to describe her. A hard working, self made, seriously altruistic (24 foster kids), intelligent and patriotic American citizen who questions the horrid mess that the ruling class has made of the Federal Government, must be “Pungent” if she accurately questions the Ruling class and it’s corruption. Please bring on the “Pungent” horde. Am I reading this wrong?
Alas, I don’t think so. She may be necessary, and Brooks may even realize that she’s necessary, but there’s still the NOKD factor.
A judge in Corpus Christi, Texas some harsh words for a mother charged with spanking her own child, before sentencing her to probation.
“You don’t spank children today,” said Judge Jose Longoria. “In the old days, maybe we got spanked, but there was a different quarrel. You don’t spank children.”
Rosalina Gonzales had pleaded guilty to a felony charge of injury to a child for what prosecutors had described as a “pretty simple, straightforward spanking case.” They noted she didn’t use a belt or leave any bruises, just some red marks.
Really? We know the judge’s name — and I regard this as an utter dereliction of duty — but who’s the prosecutor who decided to bring charges? Both should be ridden out of office on a rail for this outrageous interference with parental authority.
And have you noticed that the same people who want to undermine parental authority — say by sending parents to jail for spanking kids — also demand a high degree of parental responsibility for things kids do, to the point of jailing parents when kids don’t go to school?
UPDATE: Reader Joe Rigney writes: “Sounds like a gubernatorial pardon might be in order. That would be one more plus for a Perry presidential run.”
SO THIS VIDEO IS OVER A YEAR OLD, but Weiner-defenders were posting in the comments, attacking Andrew Breitbart and, well, defending (now ex-) Rep. Anthony Weiner. Nice work, guys. . . .
WAR POWERS: Top Lawyers Lost to Obama in Libya War Policy Debate. “President Obama rejected the views of top lawyers at the Pentagon and the Justice Department when he decided that he had the legal authority to continue American military participation in the air war in Libya without Congressional authorization, according to officials familiar with internal administration deliberations.”
101 GADGETS that changed the world.
STEVEN CROWDER stands up against intolerance.
EVEN A BROKEN CLOCK IS RIGHT TWICE A DAY, and Jimmy Carter is right about this.
UNPRECEDENTED RACISM at the University of Massachusetts? Well, technically it’s the remedy that’s unprecedented, but does that say something about what provoked it? It would if it were at the University of Mississippi . . . .
ANDREW KLAVAN: Klavan’s Economic Smackdown: Paul Ryan vs. Barack Obama.
UPDATE: Pajamas is checking on what’s going on with the YouTube embed. But you can see the video on PJTV in the meantime.
ANOTHER UPDATE: YouTube version should be playable now.
FROM POLITICAL SEX SCANDAL WHERE NOBODY GETS LAID, to spy sex traps where nobody gets laid. Good grief.
COFFEEBLOGGING: OKAY, I STILL LIKE MY CUISINART COFFEEMAKER, but I’ve found myself throwing out a lot of un-drunk coffee. After some decent hotel experiences with one-cup coffeemakers — of which I’ve always been skeptical — I bought one of these. I find the coffee a bit watery unless you use the “Extra Bold” varieties, but then it’s fine. There’s also a filter that lets you use your own coffee varieties, and just pack in a bit more. I’ve had it for a couple of weeks now and I think I’ll keep it. It’s especially nice for brewing up a cup of decaf at night as a lower-calorie substitute for a beer or wine.
UPDATE: Kim du Toit writes:
With three serious coffee-drinkers in our house, we used to have a Bunn restaurant-style coffeemaker, because the total cost per cup was about 20c.
Until we realized that because we used to throw out the stale coffee and make a new pot, the ACTUAL cost per cup was closer to 75 cents.
And like you, sometimes we’d just want a decaf or something else. And a whole pot was a waste.
Enter Keurig. About a year ago, we got the Platinum model, and we’ve been singing its praises loudly ever since. We have our own favorites: The Mrs. likes hers strong (Van Houten European), I like the weaker “diner” stuff (Timothy’s Donut Blend), Daughter likes chai, #1 Son likes the occasional white chocolate, #2 Son decaf, and so on.
But the best is when it’s cold outside, and then it’s out with the hot apple cider, or an after-dinner espresso. Which is the whole point.
We have about a dozen different kinds of drink handy — coffees, flavored coffees, teas, iced tea mix, cocoas, hot chocolate, apple cider — so anyone can have anything they want, at any time. 24/7 in our house, somebody has some kind of Keurig-made drink next to them.
Choice, baby. That’s Keurig.
I haven’t tried the others, except for the hot chocolate. But I do like the flexibility.
UPDATE: Reader Dan Carr writes: “Had stopped drinking coffee at home until I received a Keurig at Christmas ’09, enjoying it ever since. Recommend Emeril’s Big Easy Bold and Jet Fuel.” Jet Fuel, eh? I rather like the sound of that.
WOULD YOU PAY $392,133 for This Book?
OUCH: “Is this like those employers who give you an IQ test and if you score too high you don’t get the job? I’m sorry, professor, you’re too good to have emeritus status at our miserable little law school.”
They’re not getting much of a reputational boost here.
OKAY, THIS homemade airship is pretty cool.
BILL WHITTLE: Helping Our Wounded Warriors.
WHO ARE YOU GOING TO BELIEVE, ME OR YOUR OWN LYING EYES? Senior White House aide: 1996 Obama gay marriage questionnaire is a fake, even though Obama signed it. Presumably the White House is demanding release of the original long-form questionnaire.