February 20, 2011
UPDATE: Some amusing political cartoons.
UPDATE: Some amusing political cartoons.
DODD HARRIS: REAL DOCTORS, FAKE NOTES. And the crowd at the eponymous Crooks and Liars blog tries to run interference. “One understands the impulse to discredit a narrative that harms one’s cause. But if the era of blogging, Twitter, and omnipresent video has proven one thing, it’s that it’s better not to jump the gun. Whatever credibility you have is destroyed when you’re proven wrong.” Luckily for them, the Crooks and Liars folks don’t have that much at risk!
Related: Naming Names. Plus, will Wisconsin’s Qui Tam law allow third-party lawsuits for sick-leave medical fraud?
KIDS? EDUCATION? THE HELL WITH ‘EM: Madison schools will close again on Monday — the 4th school day in a row — to accommodate teachers protesting at the Capitol. They don’t care about your kids. They care about themselves, and about money, and political power.
ANOTHER UPDATE: Teachers get personal with Scott Walker’s kids. Fire ‘em all and institute vouchers.
ANOTHER ONE OF MIKE BLOOMBERG’S “MAYORS AGAINST ILLEGAL GUNS” IS A CONVICTED CRIMINAL: “The mayor of one of New York City’s largest suburbs resigned Friday, two months after his conviction on domestic violence charges brought by his wife. White Plains Mayor Adam Bradley, who is appealing, said he had to spend more time on the case than he expected, and more than a mayor can afford.” Maybe we need a Gun Owners Against Crooked Mayors group?
And how long before Bloomberg is in trouble for associating with known criminals. . . ?
ANDREW SULLIVAN THINKS IT’S ODD that many on the right don’t share his enthusiasm for the revolutions in the mideast, but rather worry that they will turn out like Iran in 1979. Well, as I’ve said before, I think the United States squandered its momentum in 2005, and that now we look like the weak horse, and the Islamists look stronger. Of course, we can hope that the forces of bourgeois moderation win out, and I do, but is that how to bet? “Google executive Wael Ghonim, who emerged as a leading voice in Egypt’s uprising, was barred from the stage in Tahrir Square on Friday by security guards, an AFP photographer said. Ghonim tried to take the stage in Tahrir, the epicentre of anti-regime protests that toppled President Hosni Mubarak, but men who appeared to be guarding influential Muslim cleric Yusuf al-Qaradawi barred him from doing so. Ghonim, who was angered by the episode, then left the square with his face hidden by an Egyptian flag.” And certainly the ineptitude of our government’s response hasn’t helped.
UPDATE: Reader Bob Ayers quotes Vince Lombardi: “There are three things that can happen when you put the ball into the air, and only one of them is good.” I thought that was Bear Bryant, but yeah.
ANOTHER UPDATE: Ayers emails that he was invoking Lombardi, but not quoting him. And several readers say it was Woody Hayes, while other coaches get credit from some, too, but so far no authoritative souces. The truth of the statement, however, is indisputable.
MORE: Reader Alan Herrington says it was Darrell Royal, and he sends a link. Prof. Stephen Clark says it started with Gen. Robert Neyland, but doesn’t send a link. Which is too bad, because I’d like it to be Neyland.
MADISON CITY WORKERS supporting anti-Governor protests while on the job: “Obviously, we taxpayers pay for the salt trucks and the employees who drive them and we expect those trucks to be used to make the streets all over town safe, not to circle the Capitol Square for other purposes.” Well, that’s what you think. Actually, they take your money — to which they’re just entitled — and then they do whatever they want with it, and you’re not supposed to ask any stinkin’ questions.
FAMOUS KNOXVILLIANS: Reader Zack Garcia emails: “I know NASCAR isn’t one of your passions, but Knoxville hit a grand slam today. Our very own Trevor Bayne became the youngest winner, by far, of the Daytona 500. He’s currently the top Google search. Daytona was just his second race ever on the top circuit.” Congratulations, Trevor!
AT AMAZON, markdowns in Tools & Home Improvement.
IT’S LIKE THE “GREENS” DON’T LIKE ANY FORM OF ENERGY AT ALL: Gasland Director to Save Us All From Dangers of Energy Independence.
WHY THEY’RE SO ANGRY: Politico: GOP Govs Strike At Heart of Democratic Power. “Yet another element of the legislation could have even greater political consequences. The Republican would end the automatic deduction from their workers paychecks and make the unions collect the dues themselves, a move that would almost surely result in less cash flowing into labor coffers. It would block unions from collecting money from consenting workers’ paychecks for political operations and it would force annual elections on whether state workers even want a union, a lethal threat to public sector labor.”
See this from John Fund, too. Losing the check-off and having to actually work for members’ money would be a crippling blow, and would destroy the iron triangle in which unions take members’ money and use it to elect politicians who give more money to members.
ROGER KIMBALL: A Watershed Moment In Wisconsin.
WILL WE BEAT AGING BY 2045? If so, I hope we can roll it back, since I’ll be kinda long in the tooth by then.
AT AMAZON, markdowns on toys and games.
PROFESSOR JACOBSON: The Yuppie Revolution In Egypt Is Over.
A PODCAST INTERVIEW WITH anti-aging scientist Aubrey de Grey. Faster, please.
LIBYA LAUNCHES HARSHEST CRACKDOWN ON REBELS: “We are not afraid. We won’t turn back.”
UPDATE: Uprising in Libya; Qaddafi Out? Unconfirmed: “Among other unconfirmed reports out of Libya right now, one is that Libyan leader Muammar Qaddafi has left the country for exile in Venezuela. Another is that Qaddafi’s sons, Muatassem and Saif al-Islam, fought each other, with the former shooting the latter. It’s hard to know much right now, since media coverage out of Libya has gone virtually black.”
JOEL KOTKIN on the White House’s high-speed-rail obsession.
MORE ON POTENTIAL COMPLICATIONS from those bogus doctors’ notes in Wisconsin.
And some further thoughts from a physician. “If I was an employer who received one of these sick notes, I would demand proof of a billing statement from the doctor’s office before I would let it slide. There is no place for this in the work place. And those doctors should be sanctioned by their state certifying organizations for not having adequate documentation of their confidential patient interactions. To make matters even worse, what we have here is theft of state taxpayers’ money.”
THIS WEEK in the future.
GREEN ROOF collapses in Illinois. Ice dams?
DEALING WITH ADULT RESPONSIBILITY. This reminds me of something my sister-in-law once said: “Our ancestors settled a continent, but we get upset if we have to go to the bank and the dry-cleaners after work.”
GOOGLE’S LUNAR X-PRIZE gets real. “Today the organizers of the Google Lunar X Prize announced the final roster of teams competing in a $30 million race to the lunar surface. And much to their surprise, 29 teams have signed on to the mission, more than they ever expected.”
TEA PARTIER JOINS DEBATE ON ABC’S THIS WEEK.
HOW TO TOW AN ELECTRIC VEHICLE: Try a flatbed.
SCOTT WALKER TO PRESIDENT OBAMA: Butt out of Wisconsin’s business and try fixing your own deficit.
IN CHINA, a “Jasmine Revolution?” “We want food, we want work, we want housing, we want fairness.”
ANN ALTHOUSE SPOTS more violent rhetoric from Wisconsin’s pro-union protesters.
In THE MAIL: From Ross Guberman, Point Made: How to Write Like the Nation’s Top Advocates.
THOUSANDS OF TURKS MARCH TO ATATURK’S TOMB to protest Erdogan’s arrest of Army officers.
JOE WEISENTHAL: The Two Reasons Muni Investors Should Be Terrified By What’s Going On In Wisconsin. “The first is that nobody had Wisconsin on its list of big states to worry about going into the new year. That’s not to say Wisconsin is going to blow up, but it does suggest that things can and do come out of nowhere all the time. You know, black swans and stuff. The other reason it’s worrisome is that it shows just how far the Democratic party will go to the mat for public employee unions, and how hard it might be to cut costs. A bull case for munis has centered on the idea that there’s plenty of room to cut expenses, before having to default on debt. But if this debate is ripping apart a state like Wisconsin, then it should make you question that assumption.”
WELL, SOMEBODY NEEDS TO: Michael Barone: Daniels And Christie Light Fuse Under GOP Lawmakers.
I note that this is also more evidence that “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” was just a lame excuse to cover for generic hostility to the military, something made clear by numerous speakers at the event including some Columbia faculty. I also note that in these days of constrained budgets and an angry, aware electorate, heavily subsidized sectors like higher education — and Columbia, despite its private nature, is itself heavily dependent on government subsidies — should think twice about appearing anti-American. It’s not the 1960s anymore.
TODAY ONLY: A sale on binoculars.
JAMES POULOS: The Government Class.
I gotta say, I’m with Ace on this.
OHIO DEMOCRATIC LEGISLATOR ROBERT HAGAN calls black Tea Party supporter “Buckwheat.” But he says the remark wasn’t racist.
UPDATE: Reader Laurence Louden writes: “Buckwheat? Macaca? It’s only a story if the media says it’s a story.” I think it’s a story.
Meanwhile, reader Thomas Spaulding writes:
I suggest we test his claim out. Let’s have Hagan take a midnight stroll down the streets of fair Cincy and Cleveland and call all of the Black people he meets “Buckwheat”. Let him explain in between beatings that he’s been using that phrase “since he was a kid” and that it “has no racial connotation to him”.
Well, I’m certainly up for it. Meanwhile, the NAACP thinks “Buckwheat” is a racial slur.
LOOKING FOR WAR ON TERROR NEWS? Check out Fred Pruitt’s Rantburg.
THE HIGHER EDUCATION BUBBLE: Fuel for revolt?
GOOD NEWS: Firefly coming back to cable. In HD and with the episodes in the correct order. When I first saw this, I thought it meant the series was being revived, though alas not. But Nathan Fillion says he’d play Capt. Mal again if he got the chance.
RAND SIMBERG: Wisconsin: What’s The Right Analogy?
JAMES LILEKS: Michele Bachmann And The Politics Of Minnesota.
CAROLINE GLICK: Lara Logan and the Media Rules.
FRIENDS OF ANGELO: Rumor: Federal probe of Mozilo to be dropped.
EVERYONE SHOULD HAVE SEEN THIS COMING: Thoughts on Wisconsin from Pejman Yousefzadeh.
WHY DOES COLLEGE COST SO MUCH?
The price of higher education is rising — rapidly — and yet a) individual universities do not have strong incentives to take in larger classes, and b) it is hard to start a new, good college or university. The key question is how much a) and b) are remediable in the longer run and if so then there is some chance that the current structure of higher education is a bubble of sorts.
I never see the authors utter the sentence: “There are plenty wanna-bee professors discarded on the compost heap of academic history.” Yet the best discard should not be much worse, and may even be better, than the marginally accepted professor. Such a large pool of surplus labor would play a significant role in an economic analysis of virtually any other sector.
When it comes to solving the access problem, the word which pops up is “financial aid,” not “increased competition.” Why might that be?
There is, apparently, no problem that cannot be solved through increased government subsidy.
MORE PREEMIE UPDATES over at Rambling Rhodes.
AT AMAZON, markdowns on Blu-Ray.
CHICAGOBOYZ: Getting to a quorum in Wisconsin.
HISTORY: Flashback: Democrats go un-democratic when they lose, and then they lose some more. “The mess in Wisconsin has happened before. In 2003, faced with a new Republican majority intent on redrawing an electoral map that preserved power for Democrats that the voters no longer gave them, the Texas Democrats fled the state. And in 2009, rather than allow a vote on an election security bill that they didn’t want, the Texas Democrats brought the state legislature to a halt — killing the voter ID bill and everything on the calendar that followed it. . . . So the Democrats are trying to bring both houses of the legislature to a full halt to kill the union bill. It may work, at least temporarily, just by running out the clock. But if what has happened in Texas is any guide, it will be a pyrrhic victory. Democrats in Texas have won very little since the 2003 run to the Red River. And after they filibustered the voter ID bill in 2009, which a heavy majority of the voters supported, they suffered an unholy beating in 2010. The Republicans now have a super majority in the House, and the man who led the filibuster, state Rep. Jim Dunnam, was defeated. He didn’t lose just because of that filibuster, but having that on his record certainly didn’t help him.”
UPDATE: Leslie Graves of Ballotpedia notes this difference between Wisconsin and Texas: “In Texas, there is no provision for recall of state legislators.”
TURN YOUR IPAD INTO A LAPTOP: So I saw a kid at the mall with one of these the other day, and although I don’t own an iPad — I like my 11″ MacBook Air — it’s pretty cool. Slip the iPad into the hinged case, the keyboard connects via bluetooth, and you’ve basically got a superlight laptop. Nice for those who sometimes want to do more with the iPad than its virtual keyboard is good for. He said that he’d had it for a while and that it worked perfectly.
UPDATE: Reader Harry Williams emails: “My job involves looking at new technology for the college. I’ve had an iPad for sometime now, looking at where it fits in our plans. It is a great content consuming device. In my personal use, I’ve found 2 deficiencies, the lack of SMS (text messaging) and the lack of a tab on the soft keyboard. I’ve been using the Kensington KeyFolio Keyboard you mentioned to solve my tab key function for several months now. I can confirm that the Kensington is great. I’m extremely happy with it. In fact, at the beginning of February, I gave a demonstration to the college’s Board of Trustees about the iPads, the machines they all used were in the Kensington. My only complaint about the folio is that the holes in the folio force the home button on the iPad to be on the right side in the landscape orientation.”
REPORT: Handing out bogus medical excuses to striking Wisconsin teachers. If the doctor involved is actually signing these, he should be brought before the medical licensing board. I would imagine that criminal prosecution is possible, too. And if his name is being forged, then somebody else is a criminal. Either way, if teachers turn in excuses signed by Dr. Shropshire, further inquiry is merited . . .
UPDATE: Another physician finds this unprofessional. “Is it really his position that he is conducting medical examinations in the midst of thousands of people while attaining a right to privacy? One of the most important things in a genuine patient/physician interaction is honesty and this dude is dishonest! . . . He has abrogated his professional responsibility for political expediency.”
ANOTHER UPDATE: Giving Andrew Breitbart a note to miss work. At this point, the doctors seem to be worrying a bit more about how this may look. A bit late. . . .
STILL MORE: Charlie Martin is most displeased.
WHY NOBODY CAN MATCH the iPad’s price.
GERARD VAN DER LEUN critiques the New York Times headline on Wisconsin:
It has the trumpet call of WISCONSIN LEADS WAY. Then it gives the sign of the down-trodden and wretched of the earth, WORKERS. Humm, “workers?” Would that be the teachers sucking up around $100K a year from the public trough while working, what?, seven months of the year? Well, I guess it would.
And what do these wretched and over-exploited teachers do while “lying” to their schools that they are “sick?” Why they FIGHT, of course.
And who do these sad wretches with only a fat salary, fatter benefits, and obscenely obese pensions fight? Why they fight that big, bad buggaboo, the STATE!
And what is that evil STATE doing? Well, it could be shooting them down like rabid dogs in the streets (see Libya headline right and photo center), but since Wisconsin is more evil and fascist that the dictator of Libya, it is asking them to actually contribute something approaching the rest of America to their health benefits. Those BASTARDS!
But read the whole thing to see where they got it.
FROM BILL QUICK, an I-Told-You-So, delivered with his customary delicacy.
WELL, ONE CAN HOPE: Will The Hunger Strike In Venezuela Lead To Another Egypt?
A LOOK AT WHAT HAPPENED WITH NIR ROSEN: “It seems that Rosen has been getting away with making outrageous statements for so long that it’s no wonder that he felt emboldened to tweet away and mock Logan with impunity. This time, though, he happened to have hit on a subject that was offensive to leftist sensibilities as well as those on the right — and he discovered that there are finally consequences, even for Nir Rosen. It couldn’t have happened to a nicer guy.”
How many of these anti-American hacks are out there doing allegedly factual reportage? They keep turning up. See, e.g., Chris Hedges. And as was noted after Toby Harnden’s revelations about the Baghdad press corps, the journalistic omerta that keeps these things from being reported only serves to undermine the entire profession’s trustworthiness.
This is corroborated by Ann Althouse: “I saw these people myself today. At first I thought it was some sort of comic street theater, but it was, apparently, real doctors, defending what they were doing. I’ll have my video interview up soon. I asked if it was dishonest or unethical, and the answer was that everyone has symptoms, perhaps a migraine, diarrhea, or insomnia. I suggested ‘activitis.’” Someone should complain to the medical licensing board.
UPDATE: A physician reader emails:
Medicolegally, passing out sick notes to anyone (much less strikers walking by) implies the creation of a physician-patient relationship. This means, for example, that it could be construed that you are legally responsible for any medical issues related to said relationship. In Florida, and presumably in WI, you must have an official medical record for all patients that you evaluate and care for. Technically, my writing an antibiotic prescription for my child’s ear infection is forbidden if I don’t have a record kept on file documenting an examination and treatment plan.
There is no doubt that ethically, and presumably legally, the MDs in Madison are committing multiple violations of their regulations in order to further a political goal. Certainly this isn’t nearly as egregious as what has transpired in Philly recently, but I worry that it might help further erode the image of my profession. I do feel that I have the right to voice my opinion in the political arena, but feel that it should be done as an ordinary citizen and not as a physician (as when I was in the military and knew that attending political events in uniform was wrong). Otherwise I might give the impression that I speak for all physicians or that my opinions carry more weight than others.
Sadly, casual abuse of power and position in the service of leftist politics seems to be the norm these days. And Dr. Steve White emails:
I noted the Althouse blog reference at Instapundit.
I’m a physician. I take care of patients. Yes indeed, if I were to give a doctor’s note to someone without conducting a proper medical evaluation (however brief), I’d be guilty of improper behavior and ethics and could be brought before the medical licensing board.
However, there’s another name for this: FRAUD. The teachers will use these notes to justify their absences and collect their pay. Both the doctors and the teachers are perpetrating a fraud.
Wonder if the Wisconsin attorney general could be motivated to look into that? At the very least, demand that any teacher turning in a doctor’s note over this work action also turn over the record of the medical ‘evaluation’. That would put a stop to this real quick.
I wonder what the physicians’ malpractice carriers think about this?
MORE: Here’s Althouse’s video interview with one of the doctors:
FINALLY: Reader Bryon Scott emails: “They told me if I voted for John McCain the health care system would be slanted for a select few, and they were right!”
And reader Matthew Bowdish emails:
I am a physician and I am extremely troubled by Ann’s video, which seems to confirm that these doctors are committing fraud. I did a little searching and it looks like the doc she interviewed is a third-year resident in Family Medicine at the Univ of Wisconsin. His name is Patrick McKenna MD. According to his bio, it looks like he has a “strong interest in politics.” Well, yeah!
I dunno — the name matches, and it could be him, but he sure looks more clean-cut in the photo on his bio page.
And in another cold, snowy place — Cornell — Prof. Jacobson writes: Obamacare Starts Early In Madison – Free Sick Notes For Progressives! “We have seen the future of the health care system, and it is the doctors on the streets of Madison, Wisconsin, handing out free sick notes to public sector union members so they can fraudulently collect their pay for missing work. Boy, oh boy, I can’t wait for Obamacare. Politicized medicine, massive fraud in the name of progressive politics, and a callous disregard for the law free from fear of prosecution for those aligned with the Democrats.”
You could hardly ask for behavior better tailored to lower respect for the medical profession.
TIM PAWLENTY: I Stand With Scott Walker.
CHANGE: Retiring Boomers Find 401(k) Plans Fall Short. “The median household headed by a person aged 60 to 62 with a 401(k) account has less than one-quarter of what is needed in that account to maintain its standard of living in retirement, according to data compiled by the Federal Reserve and analyzed by the Center for Retirement Research at Boston College for The Wall Street Journal. Even counting Social Security and any pensions or other savings, most 401(k) participants appear to have insufficient savings.” Part of this, of course, is not putting in enough all along, part is lousy performance by the markets over the last 20 years, and part is desire to retire early. Me, since I don’t have one of those golden defined-benefit pensions that state employees in other states have, I’ve maxed out contributions to my defined-contribution plan every year for quite a while and my prospects for early retirement nonetheless look poor. Actual performance since I started my current job has been around 4% overall; if I’d relied on those rosy 8-10% forecasts I’d have put in less. Oh, well: Maybe markets will boom when the next administration shrinks government dramatically. If not, well, I wasn’t planning on retiring until at least 70 anyway . . . .
AT AMAZON, Warehouse Deals.
PROFESSOR JACOBSON: Susan Rice’s Illegitimate U.N. Folly. More of that “smart diplomacy” we were promised, I guess.
ED DRISCOLL TAKES ON “financial catastrophe denialists” in the media.
VIDEO: ANDREW BREITBART AT THE MADISON TEA PARTY RALLY TODAY. “The violence has come only from the Left. . . . The country cannot afford for public-sector unions to be in control of the budget. . . . I’m a little bit nervous, but I’m more nervous for the country if we don’t stand up to this form of collective bullying.”
UPDATE: “I paid for your pension and all I got was this lousy t-shirt.” Sent by a reader via iPhone:
ANOTHER UPDATE: Herman Cain speaks: “Maybe the ten percent has forgotten that we pay the bills.”
QUESTION: If Iran becomes a nuclear weapons state, would U.S. offer deterrence for Middle East allies? “I certainly believe people need to be thinking about that.”
UPDATE: Reader Gerald Hanner emails: “Having served in Strategic Air Command for the last twenty-five years, more or less, of the Cold War, I really don’t want to see us back in the deterrent business. That takes hard-nosed discipline. I’m not the least bit convinced that anyone in politics today is up to enforcing a deterrence policy let alone funding and maintaining the weaponry needed to support a credible policy.”
MILWAUKEE JOURNAL-SENTINEL: No, Rachel Maddow, Wisconsin is not running a budget surplus this year. “Our conclusion: Maddow and the others are wrong. There is, indeed, a projected deficit that required attention, and Walker and GOP lawmakers did not create it.”
It’s like the people at MSNBC just make stuff up.
ERIC SCHEIE: Kill the Kill Switch.
THEY TOLD ME IF I VOTED REPUBLICAN, we’d have more cyber-jobs in national security than in Silicon Valley. And they were right!
READER BOB WIRKA SENDS THIS PICTURE from the Madison Tea Party rally in support of Gov. Walker. I like the sign that says “Teach Economics 101.”
UPDATE: More photos and reports at Gateway Pundit. There are thousands present — and they weren’t given the day off from work to attend.
ANOTHER UPDATE: More here:
Thousands gathered outside of the state capitol this afternoon to support Gov. Scott Walker. Teachers and firefighters circled the tea party as it rallied. Gadsden flags clashed with union banners in the cold Wisconsin air. It was a beautiful sight — loud, raucous, animated, and sweaty. So far, Andrew Breitbart, Herman Cain, Brad Thor, Tim Phillips, and Joe the Plumber have addressed the crowd.
Joe the Plumber’s question turns out to have been the most salient of the 2008 campaign, though I suppose the frantically hostile reaction to him should have made that clear at the time.
MORE: Jim Treacher emails: “Joe the Plumber was the canary in the coal mine, wasn’t he? That whole mess was the first sign that Obama was willing to roll over average people to get what he wants. If only he had as much contempt for America’s enemies as he does for Americans who stand in his way.”
Plus, another crowd photo, from Twitpic.
MORE STILL: A high-school friend emails:
Something occurred to me a couple of days ago.
Watching the unions and their allies wage such a ( possibly ) losing pitched battle in the heart of Progressivism, Madison WI, reminded me of Pickett’s Charge. Is this the high water mark of Liberal America? Will their push be broken? Is the tide turning? All eyes seem turned to the Wisconsin Capital, waiting for a result.
Just like 1863, there will be years of hard fighting still ahead to save our country, but we need a “Sherman”s March” through the institutions, systematically dismantling the Statist Confederacy that has enslaved the tax payers of these United States. I am for freedom of all kinds. Go Tea Party!
From Gramsci to Sherman in two generations.
HOUSE VOTES TO kill funding for UN IPCC.
IN TUNISIA, protesters demonstrate for a secular state.
WISCONSIN “BADGER 14″ SENATORS now on milk cartons. Heh.
AMERICA’S WORST SPEED TRAPS. It’s about revenue, not safety, which is the case with most traffic enforcement.
IN THE MAIL: From comedian Tom Naughton, Fat Head.
WHAT DOES GOVERNMENT DO? Mostly, write checks to beneficiaries.
The biggest single thing the federal government does these days is … cut checks.
Lots and lots and lots and lots of checks that go to individual citizens — $2.3 trillion worth last year alone.
In fact, according to a table buried deep inside the little-noticed Historical Tables volume of the White House’s 2012 budget, these “direct payments to individuals” accounted for more than two-thirds of federal spending in 2010. That’s a post-war high. And that share has been steadily climbing. Payments to individuals accounted for 2.4 percent of all federal spending in 1945. By 1980 it has risen to 47 percent, and in 1992 it crossed the 50 percent mark.
I’d be happy to cut this back to 1945 levels. . . .
ARE YOU CRAZY, ARE YOU HIGH — OR JUST AN ORDINARY GUY? Documents Show Congressman David Wu’s Staff “Threatened to Shut Down His Campaign.” “U.S. Rep. David Wu’s behavior grew so erratic in the final weeks before his re-election last November that the Oregon Democrat’s closest political advisers staged two of what some of them termed “interventions” to urge him to seek psychiatric help, WW has learned. Wu played down their concerns. Several staffers and consultants left his employ after the confrontations.”
The country’s in the very best of hands.
SO IS THIS THE HOPE, OR THE CHANGE? Fear of ‘Catastrophic’ Crash Rising Despite Bull Market. “In an unprecedented move, the number of investors fearing a catastrophic stock market crash is rising even with the stock market at 2 ½ year highs. The unusual dislocation comes from two distinct reasons: a lack of trust in the U.S. financial markets following the so-called Flash Crash last May and the collapse of Lehman Brothers in 2007.”
I WON’T ARGUE: No Man Should Wear His Ex-Girlfriend’s Jeans.
“SMART DIPLOMACY:” Rex Murphy: Egypt Crisis Leaves Obama Diminished.
TODAY ONLY: Rich Man, Poor Man, the complete miniseries for 25 bucks. I didn’t realize that was the very first dramatic miniseries.
JOHN FUND: WHAT’S AT STAKE IN WISCONSIN: Plus, why the unions are really upset:
Labor historian Fred Siegel offers further reasons why unions are manning the barricades. Mr. Walker would require that public-employee unions be recertified annually by a majority vote of all their members, not merely by a majority of those that choose to cast ballots. In addition, he would end the government’s practice of automatically deducting union dues from employee paychecks. For Wisconsin teachers, union dues total between $700 and $1,000 a year.
“Ending dues deductions breaks the political cycle in which government collects dues, gives them to the unions, who then use the dues to back their favorite candidates and also lobby for bigger government and more pay and benefits,” Mr. Siegel told me. After New York City’s Transport Workers Union lost the right to automatic dues collection in 2007 following an illegal strike, its income fell by more than 35% as many members stopped ponying up.
But it seems to me that they’re feeling the heat, since the unions are now starting to offer concessions. Not that one, though. . . .
UPDATE: Reader M. Simon writes that they got the year wrong: “Democrats think it is 1933 when it is actually 1773.”
ANOTHER UPDATE: Reader Mark Corlazzoli recommends this counter-protest maneuver:
Have the home schooling parents set up tents in the parking lots of shuttered schools and invite parents to bring their kids down for a day of learning using the materials approved by the school system. Invite the media and hope for an arrest or two.
UPDATE: Reader Allan Rossmore writes:
The Wisconsin unions don’t seem to understand that Gov. Walker is just following what they have always asked for. Wealth redistribution. They say that the wealthy should share with the poor. Well, right now, the private sector worker makes about half of what the public sector worker does. Seems like the wealthy public sector should share.
Also, only a very small minority of private workers are unionized. Most of those unionized jobs have become so cost prohibitive that they are now overseas. I would say that with today’s technologies, those unionized school teachers could also be outsourced. Maybe they cannot see the writing on the wall. Or maybe they do.
Unions aren’t for wealth redistribution in general. Just in particular.
Plus, some amusing turnabout from reader Bill Marcy.
BILL DYER: Still More Mush From The Wimp.
NOT A STROKE, BUT A MIGRAINE: This doesn’t surprise me. I once had an optical migraine, in which the left 2/3 or so of my visual field was obscured by what looked like ripples in clear water. I thought it might be a stroke, and I went to the ER where they diagnosed it pretty quickly and told me that it wasn’t that unusual. Afterwards, I talked to several people I knew who’d had that experience, though I’d never heard of it.
WIDENER LAW SCHOOL UPDATE: An Interview with Professor Lawrence Connell. And why Dean Linda Ammons appeared in his hypothetical.
I’m still waiting for some evidence that Widener — and Dean Ammons — are something other than an embarrassment to legal academia. So far, not seeing it. Normally, law schools hope their deans will enhance their reputation with other legal academics, rather than tarnishing it. (Via The Volokh Conspiracy.)
ADDRESSING THE IMPORTANT LEGAL QUESTIONS:Should the Justice League of America Incorporate? Or become an LLC?
My first thought was: Who cares, when you’re invulnerable, pseudonymous, and some of your members can make diamonds by crushing coal in their hands? Turns out the experts agree.
WISCONSIN MADNESS AS SEEN BY “THE LITTLE PEOPLE.” “Yesterday a good friend who lives in southeastern Wisconsin sent me an email telling me how embarrassed she is to be from Wisconsin. The recent protests and the pathetic escape of the Senate Democrats to the nearby People’s Republic of Illinois have both angered and shamed my friend Margaret. She simply cannot believe that while she and her neighbors have been financially crippled over the past two years, these supposed public servants continue to grow fat while feeling no ill effects of the Obama recession. No longer basking in the glow of the Green Bay Packers Super Bowl victory, my friends on the other side of the border are positively beside themselves at the insane behavior of their public servants.”
STACY MCCAIN: On, Wisconsin! “The unemployed, the under-employed and regular folks trying to pay their bills aren’t likely to have a lot of love for people who (a) have jobs, (b) work at taxapayer expense, (c) get paid more money than the average taxpayer, and (d) go on strike because they don’t want to pay a dime toward their own generous benefits.”
YOUR TAX DOLLARS AT WORK: Fallout from Contra Costa’s top drug agent’s arrest begins. “The arrest of Norman Wielsch, commander of the state’s Central Contra Costa Narcotics Enforcement Team, or CNET, could have far-reaching ramifications in superior and appellate courts, said Contra Costa County Public Defender Robin Lipetzky. The arrest not only calls into question the credibility and integrity of Wielsch as an individual, she said, but also that of the task force as an investigative body and the guardian of prosecution evidence.”
THE PEOPLE VS. THE POWERFUL: Teachers In Wisconsin Make More Than Double The Per Capita Income.