Archive for March, 2012

March 31, 2012

TEN YEARS AGO ON INSTAPUNDIT: My dinner with Nick Denton.

March 31, 2012

PALIN TO COURIC: Game On! Well, it was Andrew Breitbart who said that Sarah Palin should be the Red State Oprah.

March 31, 2012

CELEBRATING HUMAN ACHIEVEMENT HOUR: Stately InstaPundit manor is so brightly lit you can see it from space.

UPDATE: Reader Ross Wolfe writes: “Your house is so bright it can be seen from space? And yet you’re still not using up as much energy as Al Gore is at his house.” I don’t ask strange women to release my chakras, either.

March 31, 2012

TOM MAGUIRE exercises skepticism.

March 31, 2012

HARTNOLL BROTHERS UPDATE: After eight years, the return of Orbital.

March 31, 2012

JOURNALISM NARRATIVE MANAGEMENT: Tom Maguire critiques CNN: “CNN pretends to reprise the witnesses to the Trayvon Martin shooting and aftermath. They paint a picture of a ‘fair and balanced’ effort but omit ‘John’, the most important eyewitness to the scuffle that preceded the shooting. John says Zimmerman was on the ground getting beaten and calling for help; odd that CNN missed that.”

It’s still unclear exactly what happened on that night, but it’s pretty obvious what’s happening in the press now.

UPDATE: ‘He Looks Black’: NBC Launches Internal Investigation into Selective Editing of Zimmerman Police Tape.

March 31, 2012

ANN ALTHOUSE CONTINUES TO CALL OUT RACISM WHEREVER SHE SEES IT. Plus, from the comments: “I really get the sense that last week’s SCOTUS arguments gave lefties a dose of cognitive dissonance that’s taking them a long time to rationalize away. In the meantime, all they have to fall back on is invective.”

March 31, 2012

THEY TOLD ME IF I VOTED REPUBLICAN, THE MEDIA WOULD BECOME PRUDISH AND MEAN — AND THEY WERE RIGHT: Newspaper Fires Writer Sarah Tressler Because She Also Worked As A Stripper.

March 31, 2012

HIGHER EDUCATION UPDATE: Reader Dave Lange writes:

Re: your post on the proposed Clery Act expansion.

Ever notice how, in all the Administration’s posturing about reducing college tuition costs, the subject of eliminating all of those Federal mandates that greatly contribute to universities’ expenses never comes up? Of course, the diversity machine is the biggest part of that, but things like this don’t help.

I don’t know if diversity is the biggest single part or not, but yeah. Here’s more on that, and here’s John Leo on how even broke universities won’t cut diversity programs.

UPDATE: Reader Robert Rogers writes: “I don’t know what schools Dave Lange is familiar with, but in my experience diversity is a drop in the bucket compared to the compliance costs for things like federal grants and accreditation. Yes, a lot of administrative bloat is of our own making, but a huge portion is thrust upon us. (And don’t get me started on how most compliance exercises are completely ineffective.)”

March 31, 2012

AT AMAZON, warehouse deals on videogames.

March 31, 2012

HOLLYWOOD REPORTER: NBC News Charged With Misleading Editing in Zimmerman 911 Call.

In the NBC segment, Zimmerman says: “This guy looks like he’s up to no good. He looks black.”

The full version, though, unfolds like this:

Zimmerman: “This guy looks like he’s up to no good, or he’s on drugs or something. It’s raining and he’s just walking around, looking about.”

911 operator: “Okay. And this guy, is he white black or Hispanic?”

Zimmerman: “He looks black.”

It’s as if they’re pushing a predetermined narrative regardless of the evidence or something.

UPDATE: Reader Michael Costello emails: “ABC did the same thing. Aren’t these the same people who accused Andrew Breitbart of deceptive editing?” Yeah, go figure.

March 31, 2012

NICK GILLESPIE: Stop Panicking About Bullies. “I have no interest in defending the bullies who dominate sandboxes, extort lunch money and use Twitter to taunt their classmates. But there is no growing crisis. Childhood and adolescence in America have never been less brutal. Even as the country’s overprotective parents whip themselves up into a moral panic about kid-on-kid cruelty, the numbers don’t point to any explosion of abuse. As for the rising wave of laws and regulations designed to combat meanness among students, they are likely to lump together minor slights with major offenses. The antibullying movement is already conflating serious cases of gay-bashing and vicious harassment with things like…a kid named Cheese having a tough time in grade school.”

March 31, 2012

RACISM IN THE AGE OF OBAMA: “Seven black teens have been arrested on suspicion that they committed a hate crime when they attacked a 15-year-old Hispanic boy while he was walking home from school in Southern California, according to the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Office. . . . During the beating, the teens made racially derogatory statements that were captured on the video, Ford said.”

Following the lead of the folks at MSNBC, I suppose I should blame the climate of hate whipped up by the President and his supporters’ racially-charged rhetoric.

March 31, 2012

THE HUFFINGTON POST’S UNPAID BLOGGERS LOSE THEIR LAWSUIT and get no sympathy from Ann Althouse: “You want to get paid for your writing? Bargain for it. And quit whining. No one wants to read things written by whiners, so you’re only digging yourselves a deeper hole.”

March 31, 2012

HIGHER EDUCATION BUBBLE UPDATE: Middle-aged borrowers piling on student debt. “Everybody believes they will get out school, get a job and pay it back. Few really take the time to do the math and decide how much they could afford to borrow.”

March 31, 2012

CANADA eliminates the penny.

March 31, 2012

PHIL BOWERMASTER: Teleportation In The News. “The guy who lands on the other side isn’t me — he just thinks he is. I’m dead.”

March 31, 2012

AT AMAZON, digital deals.

March 31, 2012

FROM THE FOLKS AT REASON, It’s the Nanny Of The Month.

March 31, 2012

HMM: California State Colleges and Universities May Screen for Sexual Orientation in Admissions Applications.

I wonder if it’ll work like in this Fedde LeGrande video? Transfer to Sector 8!

March 31, 2012

QUESTIONS ABOUT Scotusblog’s objectivity? From the comments: “As for the RNC ad, Goldstein’s comments reflect more the tendency of any small, in-bred group to protect its own. Verrilli is a certified, card-carrying member of the SCT bar — he personifies it in his background, current position and likely future career. Goldstein certainly sees himself as part of the same elite crowd. So it’s not political; it’s just a ‘let’s defend Don’ moment. Unfortunately it is likely to backfire badly with anyone not living in the same bubble.”

UPDATE: Related: Legal Elites And Strategic Behavior.

March 31, 2012

THIS WEEK IN THE FUTURE.

March 31, 2012

ON BRIAN WILSON’S RADIO SHOW, the Insta-Wife talks about negative media images of men.

March 31, 2012

ER, FASTER PLEASE? Vaccine to stop heart attacks could be here in 5 years. “Scientists have discovered that the drug stimulates the body’s immune system to produce antibodies which prevent heart disease by stopping fat building up in the arteries.” Well, stay tuned.

March 31, 2012

STEPHEN GORDON: The Medical Lab ON Your Body.

March 31, 2012

IN THE MAIL: Leading at The Edge: Leadership Lessons from the Extraordinary Saga of Shackleton’s Antarctic Expedition.

March 31, 2012

KEITH OLBERMANN’S DEPARTURE: The Day The Muzak Died. Heh.

March 31, 2012

BRITAIN’S FUEL PANIC: “Self-Inflicted Insanity.” “The ambulance had enough diesel to get to the destination but they were struggling to find fuel to allow the team to return to Yorkshire to do further work.”

March 31, 2012

HIGHER EDUCATION BUBBLE? What higher education bubble?

March 31, 2012

JONATHAN ADLER: Why Did Legal Elites Underestimate the Case Against the Mandate?

Related thoughts from Peter Suderman.

March 31, 2012

JAMES TARANTO: Leonid Brezhnev lives. “The presumption that history inevitably moves in one ideological direction is reminiscent of Marx, just as the determination to defend decades-old revolutionary gains echoes the Brezhnev Doctrine.” Hey, if we have a living constitution, that means it can change to meet changed circumstances. Such as our going broke under the old living constitution.

March 31, 2012

AT AMAZON, Today only: 60% or more off on Barska flashlights.

March 31, 2012

SCIENCE: EPA Backpedals on Fracking Contamination: Texas Water-Pollution Suit Dropped; Third Recent Setback on Drilling for Agency. “The Environmental Protection Agency has dropped its claim that an energy company contaminated drinking water in Texas, the third time in recent months that the agency has backtracked on high-profile local allegations linking natural-gas drilling and water pollution.”

March 31, 2012

THE TRAYVON MARTIN CASE: “A very unattractive descent into tribalism.” Hope and change!

March 31, 2012

WAPO QUESTIONS: Did the White House Pressure Washington Post to Change Fact Checker?

On March 27, Josh Hicks of the Washington Post’s Fact Checker gave White House regulation czar Cass Sunstein one “Pinocchio” for his defense of the Obama administration’s regulatory record. However, the same article, a day earlier, was far more critical of the administration, giving Sunstein a total of three Pinocchios.

Below (as text, and in Word document at the end of the article) is a comparison of the first (3 Pinocchio) and the second (1 Pinocchio) versions of the Fact Checker article, with extensive changes indicated.

But wait, there’s more: Washington Post and the Rush Limbaugh Memory Hole. Now they don’t mention that Limbaugh lost “fewer than five” advertisers.

The Post — and other media folks — need to realize that this sort of change doesn’t go unnoticed. But I wonder if this means that the White House’s pressure on Kaplan, the cash-cow that keeps the Post afloat, is bearing fruit. More on that here. (Bumped).

March 31, 2012

#OBAMAFAIL: Obama Campus Fervor Losing to Apathy as Students Sour on 2012. They should be sour, as they’ve done worse under Obama than almost any other group. “Obama came in with so many big ideas and big promises and this mantra of hope and change and something new. . . . I was more excited in 2008, but I was also very much naive about how politics work.”

March 31, 2012

TIMOTHY DALRYMPLE: Want To End Rabid Partisanship? Reform American Academia. “When you look at the three values that conservatives (according to Haidt) honor but liberals do not — loyalty, respect for authority, and sanctity — these are precisely the values that are flouted in the precincts of American academe. The result is a more impoverished moral imagination amongst students, a stubborn inability to understand the beliefs and the motives of conservatives, and thus the imputation of nefarious motives to those irrational conservatives who do not see things in the ways the illuminati do. If you don’t believe that this has contributed to the partisanship we’ve observed in recent years — particularly the exceedingly nasty way in which liberals in general have responded to the Tea Party movement, to social conservatives and generally to anyone who refers too much to moral sanctity and loyalty to American traditions and institutions, then I think you’re wearing exactly the kind of blinders Haidt talks about.”

March 31, 2012

MATTHEW CONTINETTI: Democrats In Disarray. “Hoping to spend the week sliming Paul Ryan and screeching about the mythical Republican ‘war on women,’ the Democrats instead have been set back as the news cycle spun out of their control. Foreign policy, health care, and energy have forced them into a defensive crouch. No wonder I’m in such a good mood.”

March 31, 2012

PUBLIC EDUCATION: We’ve Added Feathers and it Still Won’t Fly?!?

March 30, 2012

TEN YEARS AGO ON INSTAPUNDIT: “MICHAEL JUDGE blows the whistle on the various neo-temperance outfits currently crusading against drinking. My advice to the public-health community: start focusing on things like anthrax and smallpox, instead of announcing bogus studies with the shocking discovery that college students like to drink.”

March 30, 2012

AT AMAZON, Warehouse Deals on Office Products.

March 30, 2012

KEITH OLBERMANN: The Incredible Shrinking Man.

Funny, but wasn’t it supposed to be Limbaugh going off the air?

UPDATE: Reader Michael Harlow writes: “You’ll hear a lot more in the press about Rush Limbaugh losing sponsors than you will about Keith Olbermann losing his job.” True.

March 30, 2012

EURO UNRAVEL: The central bank of Germany will no longer accept bank bonds backed by Ireland, Greece and Portugal as collateral.

March 30, 2012

WHAT COULD GO WRONG? Senate Bill Would Expand Clery Act To Include Dating Violence, Stalking. “Colleges would be required to track and report claims of dating violence, domestic violence and stalking on campus if a bill before the Senate is passed. While some hail it as an important step toward stopping those crimes, others call it a well-intentioned but perhaps misdirected effort that would prove burdensome to colleges.”

If passed, I predict it will be implemented in a sexist fashion, with stalking and violence by female students against male students largely ignored or excused. This will no doubt serve to exacerbate the already burgeoning gender imbalance in higher education, which these “reformers” seem uninterested in addressing. But perhaps male students will report females who text them 20 times in an hour for “stalking.”

Plus, from the comments: “Statistically, traditionally aged college students are safer than similarly aged people anywhere else in the country…in small towns…in urban settings…anywhere…why don’t they push for legislation to track this out in the world? Why not…because they can force colleges and universities to do anything they want with the whip of taking away financial aid. Every regulation that is passed causes cost of attendance to rise.” Yes, the social-experimentalists have universities under their thumb, the way they’d like to have everyone else under their thumb. Ironically, this is helping to undermine the solvency — and legitimacy — of their main source of support.

UPDATE: Reader Gregg Hanke writes: “If the Republicans want to poison-pill this bill, they only need to add a clause expanding the act to cover Senate interns.” Heh.

March 30, 2012

CULTURE OF CORRUPTION: Kinde Durkee, once a trusted treasurer to dozens of California Democrats, pleaded guilty in the biggest campaign embezzlement case ever to hit U.S. politics.

March 30, 2012

LAYERS OF editors and fact-checkers.

March 30, 2012

AT AMAZON, it’s the Kindle Deal of the Day.

Plus, a sale on Dockers shorts for men.

March 30, 2012

BLOG REPORTS ABOUT NIKKI HALEY SEEM TO BE LESS RELIABLE THAN THE USUAL: IRS not investigating Nikki Haley for tax fraud.

March 30, 2012

GOING COMING GREEN: A solar-powered sex toy.

March 30, 2012

ADVICE: American Men Should Be Upfront About Asking For Sex, Like French Men.

But you follow that advice, you’re a harasser.

UPDATE: Reader Ray Dawson writes that the trick is to ask in a French accent, so as to bypass the oikophobia. Good point!

March 30, 2012

AL GORE’S CURRENT TV TERMINATES RELATIONSHIP WITH KEITH OLBERMANN: round up of links from Ed Driscoll; schadenfreude from Ace, and an employment opportunity from the Daily Caller.

UPDATE: “Olbermann now has the distinction of being fired from almost every major cable news channel on television – CNN, MSNBC and now Current. He never appeared on Fox News, but he did work for Fox Broadcasting, and was fired from there.”

ANOTHER UPDATE: “Keith Olbermann has been fired from Current TV, because he no longer reflects the company’s values, it was announced today. He will be replaced by a man who cheated on his wife with a prostitute.”

Plus this: “His viewer must be devastated.”

And, “One suspects that this might have something to do with the lawsuit involving James O’Keefe, but truthfully that is rank speculation.”

March 30, 2012

A CAUTIONARY NOTE FROM DEWEY & LEBOEUF: “In simple terms, it appears that Dewey (a) overpaid for M&A both big (firm mergers) and small (lateral partners), and (b) acted like it was making more money than it was, while not fully recognizing liabilities. One key to the Dewey story is the degree to which the wounds are self-inflicted, so the tendency of most folks will be to say ‘Well, there are no lessons there for us to learn, we would never make those mistakes.’ . . . The irony is that law, which should be managing to longer-term time horizons, seems to be more short-term oriented than most other businesses. When the Great Recession struck in 2008, most companies were able to do a “great reset,” re-setting stakeholder expectations by cleaning up balance sheets, lowering short-term profit expectations and making the case for strategic investments. But the folks running law firms don’t seem to feel they have the latitude to fess up that firms need to revamp to focus on client value, not near-term profits. That’s partly because in a cash-basis business they do have less latitude to clean things up, but also reflects deeper issues for which Dewey is an avatar, not an outlier.”

Related: The $60 an hour lawyer?

March 30, 2012

TOO CLEAN: RISE IN ALLERGIES LINKED TO WAR AGAINST BACTERIA.

“Allergic diseases have reached pandemic levels,” begins David Artis’s new paper in Nature Medicine. Artis goes on to say that, while everyone knows allergies are caused by a combination of factors involving both nature and nurture, that knowledge doesn’t help us identify what is culpable—it is not at all clear exactly what is involved, or how the relevant players promote allergic responses.

There is some evidence that one of the causes lies within our guts. Epidemiological studies have linked changes in the species present in commensal bacteria—the trillions of microorganisms that reside in our colon—to the development of allergic diseases. (Typically, somewhere between 1,000 and 15,000 different bacterial species inhabit our guts.) And immunologists know that signaling molecules produced by some immune cells mediate allergic inflammation. . . .

It has been well known for some time that IgE mediates allergies. But no one knew that bacteria living in the gut may use it to check the growth of immune precursor cells in the bone marrow. The finding might have wide ranging implications and help us make sense of other chronic inflammatory disease states that have also been associated with changes in this bacterial populations. Commensal bacteria might impact these other inflammatory conditions—including cancer, infection, and autoimmune disorders—through this mechanism, as well.

Experts have puzzled over the enormous explosion of asthma and allergies in recent years, and been unable to pinpoint the cause. This paper suggests that perhaps the overuse of antibacterial products could be to blame.

It’s a complex world.

March 30, 2012

NEWS YOU CAN USE: Why You Should Sell Out To the Man.

March 30, 2012

FASTER, PLEASE: Life-extending drug without the negative side effects.

It was a bittersweet discovery: a drug that extends life but at the cost of causing diabetes. Now the drug’s dual nature has been teased apart, raising the prospect of a new life-prolonging drug without the harmful side effects.

Rapamycin is regularly given to prevent transplant rejection and treat cancer. Previous studies have also shown that it extends the life of animals, but simultaneously causes glucose intolerance – a side effect reported in humans, too.

Nice to get the upside without the drawback.

March 30, 2012

FOR MARKETING PURPOSES, I THINK THEY’LL NEED A MORE ATTRACTIVE PHOTO: ‘Cyberplasm,’ a Micro-Robot Modeled After the Sea Lamprey, Could Swim Around Inside You.

March 30, 2012

AT AMAZON, bestselling Audible Audiobooks.

March 30, 2012

VIDEO: Health Care Mandates vs Pizza Toppings.

March 30, 2012

LIZ PEEK: Obama’s Folly: Choosing Switchgrass Over Oil.

March 30, 2012

FASTER, PLEASE: Lab-Created Cells Could Target Tumors and Deliver Drugs.

March 30, 2012

SEEN IN THE MARKET SQUARE PARKING GARAGE ON TUESDAY, a bumper sticker for a political ticket I could really get behind!

March 30, 2012

BOB OWENS: The Appleseed Project: History, Character, and Rifles.

March 30, 2012

LARRY SUMMERS AND THE TECHNOLOGY OF MONEY. “The penetration of e-commerce and the movement toward IT platforms of commerce is going to have a larger and larger impact on the real economy, simply because high percentage rates from a substantial base make more difference than high percentage rates from a very low base. Amazon, and the fraction of all purchasing that’s taking place online, is having a growing impact. We’re also seeing all kinds of industries that nobody conceptualized even a few years ago, built around social networking in one way or another, of which online games are only one example. And we’re seeing—this gets ahead of us slightly—the processes of commerce changing fundamentally when people are able to store value on their cell phones, when people are able to take payments digitally with minimal friction or red tape.”

March 30, 2012

ARE STATINS THE REASON WHY FATAL HEART ATTACKS ARE LESS COMMON? “The short answer is yes, but many factors could account for the decline. Indeed, the rate has been going down fairly steadily since 1980 — before the introduction of statins, which lower “bad” cholesterol, a known risk factor for heart disease.”

March 30, 2012

ECONOMIC THOUGHTS ON female hypergamy.

March 30, 2012

MORE ON HOW too much sitting raises risk of death.

March 30, 2012

JOHN RIZZO: The CIA-Congress Wars: A hostile relationship defined by a failure to communicate.

March 30, 2012

IN THE MAIL: Patriot Future: A Novel.

March 30, 2012

HOW’S THAT ARAB SPRING WORKIN’ OUT FOR YA? (CONT’D): Egypt Gets Worse. “As liberals continue to cede ground to the Muslim Brotherhood, it’s increasingly clear that democracy and liberty in Egypt do not point in the same direction. Mounting evidence suggests that the new Egypt will be less liberal than the old one, especially regarding religious minorities and women’s rights.”

March 30, 2012

HEALTH CARE AND THE DYNAMICS OF INTERVENTION: “There is an externality problem but it is entirely of the government’s making; it isn’t in any way inherent to the industry. There would be no externality if those who defaulted on their health care providers could be held liable.”

March 30, 2012

ED DRISCOLL: Re-Engineering Humans: An Old Solution to Climate Change.

March 30, 2012

YESTERDAY I ASKED if anyone had encountered any Tim Geithner TAX CHEAT bills, and I got this email from reader David Rogers: “I picked this up at Burger King, along with a couple of (disappointingly) unmarked Timmies. And a completely unmolested Hank Paulsen. Enjoy!”

Nice to see that there are some circulating in the wild. Any other sightings?

March 30, 2012

THEY TOLD ME IF I VOTED FOR JOHN MCCAIN, THEY’D BE SHUTTING DOWN RESEARCH IN THE NAME OF NATIONAL SECURITY. And they were right! U.S. Tightens Reins on Research That Could Be Used by Terrorists.

March 30, 2012

WALTER RUSSELL MEAD: The Health Care Disaster And The Miseries Of The Blue Model. “This is a horrible piece of legislation — as misbegotten and useless to its friends as it is menacing to its enemies. The question is: why? Why did the blues write such a bad law? Why, given a once in a lifetime chance to pass a program that Dems have longed to achieve ever since the New Deal, did they craft a sloppy mess that nobody understands and few admire, and then leave their law so unnecessarily vulnerable to constitutional challenge? The answers tell us much about why blue progressive thinking is losing its hold on the body politic — and why blue methods generally aren’t working as well as they used to.”

March 30, 2012

BILL WHITTLE: Afterburner: Merchants Of Despair.

Plus, here’s a YouTube version of my InstaVision interview with Walter Russell Mead.

March 30, 2012

A PHYSICIAN WRITES ABOUT AMERICA’S GROWING DRUG SHORTAGES:

Just got word that several additional medications have been added to the national list of “drug shortages”. Doctors better start learning more about wilderness medicine at this rate.

Read the whole thing.

March 30, 2012

HIGHER EDUCATION BUBBLE UPDATE: No Financial Aid, No Problem. For-Profit University Sets $199-a-Month Tuition for Online Courses.

Students are flocking to Western Governors University, driving growth of 30 to 40 percent each year. You might expect that competitors would be clamoring to copy the nonprofit online institution’s model, which focuses on whether students can show “competencies” rather than on counting how much time they’ve spent in class.

So why haven’t they?

Two reasons, says the education entrepreneur Gene Wade. One, financial-aid regulatory problems that arise with self-paced models that aren’t based on seat time. And two, opposition to how Western Governors changes the role of professor, chopping it into “course mentors” who help students master material, and graders who evaluate homework but do no teaching.

Read the whole thing.

March 30, 2012

INVESTOR’S BUSINESS DAILY: If The Court Dumps ObamaCare, Republicans Must Be Ready. “If the Supreme Court chucks ObamaCare entirely, which looks increasingly likely, Republicans will finally have a chance to redefine the debate. But only if they get educated and put together reform ideas now. . . . For too long, Democrats have defined the health care issue, depicting the U.S. system as an unfettered market where costs run wild, insurers rip off consumers and deny coverage to tens of millions, and big-government ‘reforms’ are desperately needed. None of it is true.”

March 30, 2012

CONFIDENCE IN SCIENCE BY CONSERVATIVES HAS DECLINED SINCE 1974: “That represents a dramatic shift for conservatives, who in 1974 were more likely than liberals or moderates (all categories based on self-identification) to express confidence in science. While the confidence levels of other groups in science have been relatively stable, the conservative drop now means that group is the least likely to have confidence in science.”

The reason is the use of science as an argument-from-authority for bigger government. If scientists want more trust, perhaps they should try not to be tools.

UPDATE: Reader Mary Ritenour writes:

I tracked back to the original paper (http://www.asanet.org/images/journals/docs/pdf/asr/Apr12ASRFeature.pdf) to see what the exact survey question was.

“The GSS asked respondents the following question: “I am going to name some institutions in this country. As far as the people running these institutions are concerned, would you say you have a great deal of confidence, only some confidence, or hardly any confidence at all in them [the Scientific Community]?”(page 172)

The confidence in “people running these institutions” was being measured, not “Science” itself. Huge difference. HUGE!

Maybe we should be skeptical of science reporting, too.

March 30, 2012

EUROPE: Two men torch themselves in Italy as hardship bites. “A Moroccan worker in Italy set himself on fire on Thursday in protest at not being paid for months, a day after an Italian businessman set himself alight over a tax dispute, police said.”

March 30, 2012

TOM BLUMER: The Green Jobs Boondoggle. “One thing at which the ‘green’ portion of the public sector has become particularly adept is burning through taxpayer money.” The “green” portion of the private sector has been doing pretty well at that, too.

March 30, 2012

NOW, A LOWER EDUCATION BUBBLE: People Are Taking Out Student Loans to Pay for Kindergarten. “Families are taking out tens of thousands of dollars worth of loans in order to pay for private kindergarten for their whelps. That is some f*cked up sh*t.”

March 30, 2012

WHY IS THIS THE FCC’S BUSINESS? FCC pushes for tablet computers in schools.

March 30, 2012

LEAKED: DOJ to Indict SC Gov. Nikki Haley on Tax Fraud Charges. I blame anti-Sikh racism for this persecution.

March 30, 2012

HARRY REID: No recess appointments this time.

March 30, 2012

PROF. RICK SANDER LOOKS AT the mismatch effect and law school affirmative action.

March 30, 2012

A. BARTON HINKLE: NOBODY LIKES A BULLY. I dunno, we elected one President. . . .

March 30, 2012

IF YOU STRIKE ME DOWN, I SHALL ONLY BECOME STRONGER . . . MEDIA MATTERS FAIL: Rush Limbaugh’s Ratings Increase By 60 Percent.

Video courtesy of Jim Treacher, who also mocks David Brock’s limp book sales.

And notes that the SEIU had to pay protesters $20 to show up at the Supreme Court. Nothin’ for nothin’ and damn little for a dollar. When that’s your motto, what do you expect? . . . .

March 30, 2012

JOHN PODHORETZ: “The panicked reception in the mainstream media of the three-day Supreme Court health-care marathon is a delightful reminder of the nearly impenetrable parochialism of American liberals. . . . The strength of the conservative arguments only came as a surprise to Toobin, Greenhouse and others because they evidently spent two years putting their fingers in their ears and singing, ‘La la la, I’m not listening’ whenever the conservative argument was being advanced.”

UPDATE: Chris Matthews: I’m pretty surprised to learn that the mandate might be unconstitutional. “I was totally unprepared because of the way people talked.”

March 30, 2012

WILL THIS BRING ON GLOBAL COOLING? Modified microbes turn carbon dioxide to liquid fuel.

March 30, 2012

JOHN HINDERAKER: “President Obama has fanned the flames of hatred in the Trayvon Martin case, and has not said a single critical word about the outrageous actions of the New Black Panthers, who offered a $10,000 bounty on George Zimmerman–the same New Black Panthers on whose behalf Eric Holder quashed a federal criminal prosecution; or of Spike Lee, who tweeted a wrong address for Zimmerman, presumably to facilitate harassment or even murder; or of the many liberals who have posted on the @killzimmerman Twitter feed; or of the many other Democrats and liberals who have indulged in an orgy of hate with respect to Mr. Zimmerman. President Obama’s interest in the victims of violence is selective: he cares if they look like the hypothetical son he doesn’t have.”

In other words, he’s a racist hatemonger. Just to be clear. So much for hope and change.

Hope is what he promised.  Hate is what he's delivering.

Hope is what he promised. Hate is what he’s delivering.

UPDATE: Andrew Sullivan has never heard of scheduled posts, apparently. I was happily asleep at 3:18. Funny that someone who’s been blogging as long as Sullivan has never heard of scheduled posts. He seems to live in an insular little world. But still, you’d think that one of the interns would have known.

As for “nutball,” well, I think it’s entirely fair to call a man whose political machine spreads racial and gender division for political advantage a hatemonger. Sullivan has his own reasons for feeling grateful to Obama, of course, and that may color his views.

But at least some people are showing some sense: Civil rights leaders condemn Sharpton’s call for escalated civil disobedience. But where was Obama?

March 29, 2012

CHINESE POWER PRODUCTION not screaming “recovery.”

Well, neither is U.S. power production.

March 29, 2012

DAN RIEHL: Does New Sanford PD Video Show Zimmerman With Broken Nose? As I keep saying, stay tuned.

March 29, 2012

OBAMA’S worst week ever? Nope. Just his worst week so far.

March 29, 2012

ANN ALTHOUSE TAKES ON Charles Pierce’s Racist Attack On Antonin Scalia.

Calling a man of Italian ancestry “Tony” when that isn’t his nickname? Isn’t that on the level of calling a Latino “Jose” or a black man “Leroy” (or some such stereotypical name)? . . . Pope? More anti-Italian (and anti-Catholic) stereotyping crap, which Pierce probably thinks is just fine, indeed hilarious, because it’s against a conservative.

Par for the course for Pierce. Plus, from the comments: “They never seem to see the racism that they and their friends tend to be guilty of. That’s why they smear Thomas in racist terms. Smeared Palin and Bachmann with sexism (apparently, they’re nailing the WI LG with the same kind of nonsense). It’s why we see Tom Hanks on stage with a guy in blackface at an event that had a remarkable lack of racial diversity.”

March 29, 2012

TEN YEARS AGO ON INSTAPUNDIT: “Several readers write that since the French are upset that accused 20th hijacker Zacarias Moussaoui might face the death penalty, perhaps we should have him jump out a window at police headquarters instead. Much neater, much less simplistic.”

March 29, 2012

NEWS: PHOTOS: Street fires, violence in Spain protest.

Related: Watching Spain, Uneasily. “Was it only yesterday that Italy’s prime minister announced that the crisis was ‘almost over’? Why yes it was. . .”

March 29, 2012

BUYER’S REMORSE: Peggy Noonan: This Obama character seems increasingly dishonest and devious to me.

UPDATE: Prof. Stephen Clark writes: “My God, Glenn! Noonan? What next, a reconsideration from T. Coddington Van Voorhees VII?”

March 29, 2012

PROF. JACOBSON: Yeah, We Were Serious.

March 29, 2012

JIM TREACHER: Has Obama called David and Elaine McClain to make sure they’re holding up okay? “They’re the elderly Florida couple whose address Spike Lee tweeted because he thought it was George Zimmerman’s. Presumably because he wanted people to go there and discuss things calmly. . . . ‘Fearful for their safety, and hoping to escape the spotlight, the couple have temporarily moved to a hotel.’”

Plus: “Somebody please try to justify this. Seriously. Tell me why this is okay. Tell me why this doesn’t matter. Tell me how this helps. Tell me how anyone involved in this fiasco expects us to just forget what they’ve said and done.”

Also: “And remember Obama’s $35K-a-plate fundraiser at Spike’s house just two months ago? I’m sure they’d both prefer if you didn’t.”