March 11, 2012
HOW OBAMA is choking off U.S. oil production.
HOW OBAMA is choking off U.S. oil production.
TIN EAR: Joe K3 defends dad on Venezuela oil. Then again, it’s Massachusetts.
AGITPROP FAIL: A Sex Strike For Contraception. Somehow I don’t think many Santorum supporters will be suffering.
UPDATE: Reader Robert Bleck writes: “Aren’t they just employing the aspirin joke?” Heh. Pretty much.
ASPARAGIRL’S MIND IS in the gutter again. I’m sure that Islamists would be horrified at this exemplar of American womanhood. Heh.
AT AMAZON, bestsellers in Science Fiction.
If Obama could say “Maybe you’re better off not having the surgery, but taking painkillers” to an elderly woman with a bad heart…
… then, in parallel fashion, why shouldn’t the government tell young women who want birth control that they are better off using condoms rather than more expensive methods? Condoms, after all, give protection against STDs as well as pregnancy. It would control costs: no doctor visits needed, no calamitous side-effects to treat. Make free condoms plentifully available everywhere.
Remember, Obama took some heat for standing up to the woman who talked about the “spirit” of her 100-year-old mother. If old people are going to get pills instead of surgery, why shouldn’t young people have to accept condoms? And shouldn’t the government be promoting condoms for disease control anyway?
If it saves just one man’s life, it’s worth it.
But, from the comments: “Unless you actually make a Catholic bishop hand condoms out, you won’t satisfy the urge behind the mandate.”
DOG BITES MAN: Chris Matthews, Getting it Wrong and Staying There.
JIM TREACHER: #DJBreitbart.
TRYING TO MAKE AIRLINE FOOD TASTIER. For those few, elite passengers who still get fed.
WHAT HAPPENED TO THE GIRLS IN LEROY? “A common thread emerged among the five girls I interviewed extensively: none had stable relationships with their biological fathers.”
MOVING CLOSER TO THE UNIVERSAL TRANSLATOR:
Researchers at Microsoft have made software that can learn the sound of your voice, and then use it to speak a language that you don’t. The system could be used to make language tutoring software more personal, or to make tools for travelers.
In a demonstration at Microsoft’s Redmond, Washington, campus on Tuesday, Microsoft research scientist Frank Soong showed how his software could read out text in Spanish using the voice of his boss, Rick Rashid, who leads Microsoft’s research efforts. In a second demonstration, Soong used his software to grant Craig Mundie, Microsoft’s chief research and strategy officer, the ability to speak Mandarin.
IN TENNESSEE, a legislative battle over civil rights.
MARK LEVIN IS STILL OUT PROMOTING AMERITOPIA, and the people are still showing up: “Reagan library officials estimated more than a 2,000 people came to the library on Friday to either get a copy of the book signed or listen to Levin speak inside the library’s Presidential Learning Center. Several hundred more watched a live webcast that was shown inside the Air Force One Pavilion and online.”
UPDATE: Reader Rob James writes: “You have to wonder if that is the same approximately 56% of Americans that actually pay taxes.”
AT AMAZON, it’s the Home Audio Clearance.
Also, since several people have been asking about this kind of thing over the past couple of weeks, here’s a reminder: Today only: Over 50% Off Select H&R Block Tax Preparation Software.
WALTER RUSSELL MEAD: Beyond Blue Part 7: From Levittown to Superburb?
Via Meadia thinks that the future for the Millennials is much brighter than the doomsters would have us believe — and housing is an example. At the end of the day, the nation’s housing stock will have to be priced at a level the American people can afford (unless foreigners suddenly develop a massive hunger for residential property in the suburbs of Peoria), and if the only people aging Boomers can sell their homes to are debt-burdened, overtaxed and under-served Millennials, the geezers are going to have to mark down their selling price. It’s called arithmetic, and it works.
Meanwhile, many Millennials are thrown for a loop by misleading new urbanist buzz. As Joel Kotkin writes in a recent op-ed, too often an odd couple of property developers and élites in the legacy media promote values about housing to young Americans that are totally out of step with the emerging – and optimistic – reality.
As always, read the whole thing.
ED MORRISSEY ON JOHN CARTER: Surprisingly good.
SALENA ZITO: Young Voters Are Engaged And Civil. Which is more than you can say for a lot of the news media. Plus this: “Young people strongly supported Obama’s election in 2008. Not only did they vote but they volunteered, filling rallies and using social media to energize friends and family. Today, polling shows such enthusiasm is waning.”
AMEN, BROTHER! PREACH IT! It’s time for double Daylight Savings Time.
ARROGANCE AND INSECURITY (CONT’D): At 12:45 am, police chief demands reporter make changes. “Berkeley Police Chief Michael Meehan sent his public information officer to an Oakland Tribune reporter’s house in the middle of the night on Friday to push for changes in a story that Meehan thought was inaccurate. Chief Meehan then twice called the reporter, Doug Oakley, and sent him numerous follow up emails urging him to alter wording in the story about a community meeting called to examine Berkeley police response to the Feb. 18. murder of Peter Cukor.”
Reader John Steakley writes: “Reporters should descend upon the Chief’s house tonight and wake him up for an interview. How well do you think he would take that?”
WAR AGAINST PHOTOGRAPHY UPDATE: North Port man videotaped arrest, then got arrested. “Although the 57-year-old computer technician assumed he had a legal right to document the incident, Horrigan was arrested, handcuffed and taken away for a night in jail. He was charged with obstruction, but also with the rare crime of eavesdropping, a third-degree felony in Florida that carries a punishment of up to five years in prison.”
Sue ‘em, and don’t settle for peanuts. And send ‘em a copy of Morgan Manning’s article on photographers’ rights.
DARPA UNVEILS drone-slaying war laser.
IN THE MAIL: Free Market Fairness.
ALAN GRAYSON, ONE-PERCENTER: “Investigators said Grayson was driving a Mercedes, when he ran a red light and hit the bus. . . . A news release for Grayson’s campaign event stated it was scheduled from noon until 1:30 p.m. at the penthouse of some local Democrats in The Vue, a high-rise condominium near Lake Eola. . . . Featured guests included noted environmentalist Robert F. Kennedy, Jr., and actress Cheryl Hines. The suggested contribution for those attending was $1,000.”
Driving a Mercedes, hurrying to a big-bucks fundraiser at a penthouse, injures some bus-riders (99-percenters almost by definition) while himself escaping unscathed. Occupy Alan Grayson!
HIGH COST OF BIRTH CONTROL THREATENS MEN’S HEALTH. How many more must die?
DAN RIEHL: Ban Jane Fonda, Not Rush Limbaugh. How about we don’t ban anyone? But, yeah, it’s always nice to remind people of her history, back before her Ted Turner image-cleansing.
ANDREW BOLT: The Rise of the Totalitarians. “It takes a certain kind of mind to want such controls over the political speech of so many.” One simultaneously arrogant and insecure.
BUT PAUL KRUGMAN SAYS IT’S FINE: 50% of UK Nursing Home Patients Abused By Government Health Care. “There have been several disturbing revelations of abuse and neglect of patients and other mismanagement in the UK’s national health service. This report, suggesting massive neglect and abuse of the elderly, is, sadly, not alone.”
CARBON HYPOCRISY: “What is the carbon footprint of the 340-ton rock transported on a 196-wheel vehicle on an 11-day journey to an art museum in L.A.? And why doesn’t The New York Times, celebrating the project on its website front page, question the environmentalism of this project?”
But are we returning to the era of Duck & Cover?
NICK GILLESPIE: How Andrew Breitbart Changed The News. “A lot of people theorize about democratizing the public square and bringing new voices and sources into conversations about politics and culture. Breitbart actually did it.”
HIT JOB: HBO’s Game Change Treats Palin Like a Punching Bag. They’re still afraid of her. Meanwhile, I wonder how many people have canceled their HBO subscriptions this weekend?
UPDATE: A reader emails: “I don’t know how many people quit HBO since last week but we did.”
ANOTHER UPDATE: “Please don’t use my name as I’m in the entertainment biz, but I called Direct TV last night and cancelled HBO. The operator told me they have had a TON of calls. He tried to negotiate with me and offer me HBO for 5 bucks for a year. That kind of great deal can only come from on high, but I still passed.”
And reader Doug Jordan writes: “Glenn, I cancelled HBO on Wednesday. The rep asked me why and I said ‘Cost and political content.’ He asked: ‘Bill Maher?’ “Yep.” (Should have added ‘Game Change.’) Clearly, he had heard Bill Maher as a reason for cancellation recently. This was the Cox Cable operation in Fairfax County, VA. I have a conservative friend in Galveston who also cancelled HBO within the last few months and gave political content as the reason.”
DON SURBER: Attacking Obama As A Radical Doesn’t Work. “This video will not bring down President Obama. His sorry record of no accomplishments will. We cannot afford to live in 2008 and mope about Obama not being vetted. The job before us is to show that the last 3+ years have sucked and 4 more years of Obama — a red-blooded, true Christian American who was born in Hawaii — will suck even harder.”
Well, that shouldn’t be difficult.
WHY BABY BOOMERS face a troubled retirement.
HMM: China Posts Biggest Trade Deficit Since 1989 As Crude Imports Surge: Is China Recycling Export Dollars Solely Into Oil? As China fills its strategic petroleum reserve.
THAT ILLINOIS ROBOCALL SCANDAL SEEMS TO BE GROWING: Shady Group That Made Illegal Calls to “Red to Blue” Districts HAS SUSPECTED LINKS TO DCCC or DNC. Well, stay tuned.
MY FOXNEWS COLUMN last week used the phrase “Keep your grubby laws off my computer!”
This interested some guy on Slashdot enough that he is now selling t-shirts with the slogan over the web. Am I getting a royalty? No. But I don’t care. I hope he sells a million.
I don’t think he did. But I know I never got a royalty.
UPDATE: Reader Cory Hamblin writes: “Cafepress still has those shirts.”
AT AMAZON, markdowns in computers, office and software.
ANN ALTHOUSE FISKS BILL MAHER. I’d like to know how many people have canceled HBO in the last few days.
SHOCKER: Occupy Wall Street Needs Bailout.
THEY’RE SELECTED FOR LOYALTY, NOT INTELLIGENCE:
They seem to feel empowered by their numbers and my aloneness, but they can see I’m filming, and they’re only interested in harassing me because I’ve put things on the internet in the past. Are they so into the moment that they don’t have a clue that I’m going to put up this blog post?
Madison seems to be a sad, pathetic place, with its public spaces occupied by sad, pathetic people who think they’re a lot more potent than they are.
Related: Wishing Scalia Dead At Wesleyan.
BARACK OBAMA DOESN’T CARE ABOUT WHITE PEOPLE: FEMA Denies Kasich’s Disaster Declaration Request. “The Federal Emergency Management Agency has denied Gov. John Kasich’s request for federal assistance in Clermont County after last week’s tornadoes. . . . More than 70 percent of Moscow was destroyed by Friday’s storms. Franklin Township also suffered heavy damage. The storms killed three people in Clermont County.”
UPDATE: Reader Bart Hall writes: “Reminder: This is far from the first time the Obama administration has denied assistance to Republican areas. Nashville floods. Texas drought. Texas fires. To name but three.” Yeah, but Ohio is a swing state, not a red state.
MICHIO KAKU on the world in 2100. Plus a concern: “The U.S. is losing its edge because we’re not producing enough scientists.”
EDUCATION’S GENDER GAP: Colleges Graduate Nearly 3 Women for Every 2 Men.
In every other academic realm, the existence of a statistical disparity — such as the fact that fewer men than women pursue advanced degrees in certain science and technology fields — is taken as definitive proof of gender discrimination.
For instance, in 2010 the American Association of University Women lamented the “striking disparity between the numbers of men and women in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics,” and concluded that “we must take a hard look at the stereotypes and biases that still pervade our culture. Encouraging more girls and women to enter these vital fields will require careful attention to the environment in our classrooms and workplaces and throughout our culture.”
We look forward to a robust debate on how institutions of higher learning can correct the discriminatory circumstances that are leading them to graduate nearly three women for every two men.
THE OBAMACARE SHELLACKING: DEMOCRATIC SUPPORT FOR HEALTH CARE LAW MAY HAVE COST THEM THE HOUSE IN 2010, STUDY FINDS. This doesn’t seem especially shocking to me.
CIVIL RIGHTS UPDATE: Washington Supreme Court Puts an End to Gun Ban in Seattle Parks.
THE MYSTIFYING HISTORY of neutrino experiments. “More often than not, neutrino experiments throughout history have turned up perplexing results.”
HIGHER EDUCATION BUBBLE UPDATE: Mapping The College Culture Gap. “When Britain still had an Empire, what mattered most was to get your daughters married and your sons into a good regiment. In Homeland America, all that matters to middle-class and affluent parents is getting their children into the best colleges that money can buy or that the [Scholastic] Aptitude Test will allow.”
THE CHART THAT OBAMA SUPPORTERS can’t stand.
They say it is unfair.
They say it proves nothing.
They say it is racist, sexist and taken out of context.
But mostly, they cry because they made the chart up and the chart is being used against them. Conservatives are making them eat the chart of “Unemployment Rate With and Without the Recovery Plan,” which Barack Obama used to sell the $787 billion stimulus — the largest gamble ever made in the history of the world.
This was their chart.
TEACH YOUR ROBOTS WELL: “Georgia Tech researchers from the school’s Center for Robotics & Intelligent Machines presented findings this week about how humans might best communicate with robots by talking to them as opposed to programming them. The researchers explained that humans would be best off with robots who ask mainly the same sort of questions they do, namely questions about certain features of tasks, such as how to hold a ketchup bottle when trying to pour from it.”
WANT TO LIMIT AGGRESSION? Practice Self-Control.
BLU-RAY DEAL OF THE WEEK: The Austin Powers Collection for $16.99.
JOHN COX OF COX & FORKUM had a heart attack last week. He’s doing OK now, but you might drop by and wish him well.
LEGAL EDUCATION UPDATE: Lean Times For Law School Grads. “Johnson graduated in the top 25 percent of his class and was confident he’d find a job with a Juris Doctorate degree, especially when he saw his law school reporting an employment rate of almost 90 percent on its website.”
IF YOU SKIPPED COLLEGE AND YOU’RE UNDER 30, the Insta-Wife would like to hear from you.
POLL: Romney 48, Obama 43. “That’s Romney’s largest lead since December.”
Even Santorum is ahead of Obama, 46-45. And yet the perception is that last week was bad for Republicans and good for the Dems because the Dems succeeded in painting the GOP as a bunch of ugly social-cons. What gives?
WALTER RUSSELL MEAD: Another EU Greenfail As Poland Vetoes Carbon Targets. “The EU’s carbon agenda has launched a trade war that has China blocking purchases of Airbus’s troubled new jumbo jets; now word comes that the EU climate agenda is beginning to fall apart at home.” Remember how people used to want us to practice “smart diplomacy,” like the Europeans used?
BLOG COMMENT OF THE WEEK:
SPLC has been an incredibly successful organization. It has consistently solved the poverty problems of its directors. . . .
If I didn’t know any better, I would say they are secret monocle wearing libertarians. Not only do they take millions in donations that could otherwise go to liberal political causes, but also, they use that money that they don’t pocket to run an organization that does nothing but discredit and embarrass liberals.
Heh. And calling the pickup-artist crowd a hate group has got to be the best embarrassment so far.
ANNALS OF THE ONE PERCENT (CONT’D): New York Times paid former CEO $24 million.
UPDATE: Prof. Jacobson emails: “Question: How many law students could have been provided with free contraception for a year for the $24,000,000 The NY Times is spending on Janet Robinson’s exit bonus?”
FIGHT THE POWER: New Civic Activists Shine at Anti-Putin Protest. 20,000 of them, according to this report.
ANNALS OF THE ONE PERCENT: Elizabeth Warren And Her Super-Rich Hollywood Supporters.
HIGHER EDUCATION UPDATE: Campus President Rebukes Limbaugh-Supporting Professor: U. of Rochester intimidates a professor and allows students to disrupt his class. “Most worrisome, however, is the fact that UR allowed its students to disrupt Landsburg’s class without any consequences, despite the fact that campus security was on the scene. What happened in Landsburg’s class is a textbook example of ‘mob censorship,’ where a group of people silence or drown out a speaker with whose views they disagree. A classroom is perhaps the least appropriate place for something like this to happen, and the fact that UR did not see fit to clear the heckling students out of the class is disturbing.”
It’s particularly disturbing when administrators side with the mob and, indeed, seem to employ the mob to chill dissent, but that’s not uncommon on campuses. Rochester President Joel Seligman should be ashamed.
MATTHEW CONTINETTI: Obama Campaign Not Looking All That Confident. “While the media cluck their tongues at social conservatives and obsess over the rather boring and predictable Republican primary, can we pause for a moment to observe just how panicked President Obama seems to be about his reelection? . . . Since he lacks a significant and popular domestic achievement, the president seems to have concluded that the way to a second term is through the mobilization of key constituencies rather than a broad-based appeal to middle America. He combines these appeals with cheap gimmicks to generate publicity and deflect attention from the Republican primary. Now that his job is in trouble, the man who enthralled millions during the campaign of 2008 has been reduced to just another transactional political panderer. The gloss is off. Even the liberal Washington Post writer Dana Milbank says White House hiring practices make ‘a joke of the spirit of reform he promised.’”
Yes, and pointing out that contradiction will be a major part of the 2012 campaign.
JAMES TARANTO ON JOEL SELIGMAN AND THE UNIVERSITY OF ROCHESTER: The Privilege to Dissent: How academic freedom coexists with stultifying conformity. “To begin with, one statement Seligman makes (which Landsburg does not address directly) is so misleading as to be scurrilous.”
HEH: “The first thing on [The New Republic's] web site at the moment is a lot of high-minded blather in honor of the new owner (‘we will continue the great tradition … since 1914 …etc. ….’) immediately followed by ‘Is Female Masturbation [really] the last taboo?’”
Plus: “You can now get your Christina Hendricks topless photos on the distinguished web site Slate.com. Except not quite. It’s all empty foreplay with these intellectuals!”
MICHAEL TOTTEN: An American in The Den of Assad.
WAIT, ISN’T THAT WHAT’S HAPPENED UNDER OBAMA? Romney: Regulators Should Make ‘Friends’ With Business.
JAMES HUDNALL REVIEWS JOHN CARTER: “I really enjoyed it. I can’t understand why some critics have been so hard on the film except it shows how much George Lucas swiped from Burroughs, who wrote the Mars books 100 years ago.”
PROF. JACOBSON: “Louis C.K. is just the start. All it takes is a little sunshine.” And you wouldn’t want President Obama to have to explain these people to Sasha and Malia.
ASKING THE IMPORTANT QUESTIONS: Is the American Association of University Women (AAUW) a Hate Group? By the definitions in common use today, probably.
CONSISTENCY, LIKE PAYING TAXES, IS FOR THE LITTLE PEOPLE: Chu chooses a BMW over a Volt. “The big news yesterday was that Energy Secretary Steven Chu does not own a car. But his wife owns a 2002 BMW 325i, which gets 21 MPG, according to the Daily Caller. Why did Chu not get her to trade in the Beamer for a Chevy Volt? Also, as a Cabinet secretary, he gets a security detail that drives him around in an SUV, most likely a Cadillac Escalade. We can mince around with words over whether he owns a car or not, but he is not taking public transportation, walking or riding a bicycle to get everywhere.”
MORE IRS QUESTIONS: The Hill: Key GOP senator lashes out at Dems over tax-exempt advocacy groups.
A key Republican senator is accusing Democrats of playing politics with the IRS, over a request that the agency implement tighter controls on tax-exempt groups playing a role in politics.
Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) said in a Friday statement that Democrats were putting the IRS in an uncomfortable situation by reportedly asking the agency to do more to stifle tax deductions for donors to politically inclined tax-exempt groups.
“Sending the IRS on a politically-motivated witch hunt is simply unacceptable and could have a chilling impact on the constitutionally-protected right to free speech,” said Hatch, the ranking Republican on the tax-writing Finance Committee. “I expect the IRS not to succumb to this type of political posturing.”
The Hatch statement comes a day after The New York Times reported that six Democratic senators were reaching out to the IRS to ask that the agency to keep tax exempt-groups from mostly doing political work.
How about just abolish tax-exempt status entirely, except for hospitals, orphanages, and the like?
FEELING THREATENED: NY Times Backs IRS Efforts to Out Donors to Tea Party, Other 501(c)(4) Groups.
HANS BADER: Higher Education Bubble May Explode In Taxpayers’ Faces. May?
THAT’S LIKE, WHAT, TEN DOLLARS PER VIEWER? Ed Schultz Paid Nearly $200,000 By Unions in 2011, According to Labor Dept. “All told, Schultz has been paid $337,490 by unions in the last seven years, according to the Labor Department. These same records show no payments from unions to Schultz between fiscal years 2000 to 2004 — before Schultz became such a passionate advocate for unions over the airwaves.”
The specter of austerity lies heavy on America. Hardly a day passes without another warning from New York Times whiner and erstwhile economist Paul Krugman, his colleague Nicholas Kristof, and the legion of other progressive apologists that “austerity” is threatening the U.S. recovery and destroying Europe.
Where is this austerity? It is certainly not anywhere to be found in the federal budget. Total spending in 2011 was $3.598 billion in 2011, higher than the stimulus-bloated total in 2009, and 21 percent higher than the year of the Bush administration. Austerity?
It’s austerity when people aren’t getting everything they want, right now!
HEH: What’s after ‘Jumping the Shark’? “I almost feel sorry for the humorless, clueless commissars at the Southern Poverty Law Center. . . . Now, piggybacking on the two minutes’ hate against Limbaugh, they’ve found a new arena of hate groups, comparable to neo-Nazis and the skinheads: the ‘manosphere’ of misogynist web sites, including, among others, ‘Roosh Vörek . . . a Maryland-raised PUA (“pick up artist”) whose specialty is sex with foreign women.’ As if that weren’t funny enough, one of their sources of information is — I am not making this up — something called manboobz.com.”
BILL MAHER is sounding nervous. How many people have canceled HBO? Not enough.
INVESTOR’S BUSINESS DAILY: Chicago Democrat Obama congratulates Russia’s Putin on fraudulent election.
POLITICS: Illegal robocalls accuse Republicans over Rush Limbaugh and ‘slut’ slur. And desperation. “A group calling itself “The Women of the 99 Percent” is making robocalls across the United States in an attempt to link Republican members of the House of Representatives to ‘the war on women led by Rush Limbaugh’. The automated calls are illegal because they do not state who they are from (there is no known group called The Women of the 99 Percent) or provide a callback number, as required under the US Telephone Consumer Protection Act of 1991.”
Compliance with the law, like paying taxes, is for the little people.
UPDATE: Reader Rich Reilly emails: “Shouldn’t ‘The Women of the 99 Percent’ be outraged that the federal mandate on contraception doesn’t mandate means testing to exclude wealthy women?”
TEN YEARS AGO ON INSTAPUNDIT:
MICKEY KAUS responds to my criticism of Congress for finally passing a stimulus bill now that we don’t need a stimulus bill anymore. Well, actually he takes exception to my suggestion that Congress is thus unqualified to criticize corporate executives for their economic acumen, citing the dot-com bust as an example.
Well, there were plenty of dumb dot-com ideas, though I think that the big injection of liquidity in late 1999 — which was a Fed phenomenon, not a market phenomenon — encouraged some of that. But notice the difference: folks in the market arena generally pay a price for getting things wrong; folks in the political world generally don’t. Just one example: Arthur Andersen is in danger of bankruptcy because it’s hemorrhaging clients. It’s hemorrhaging clients because people don’t trust it. People don’t trust it because it turns out to have been untrustworthy. So far, the market system has punished Andersen more swiftly, and more effectively, than the political system.
Well, some things don’t change.
AT AMAZON, markdowns on Men’s Shoes.
BREITBART TV: Lou Dobbs Mocks Soledad O’Brien’s Interview Fail.