August 5, 2012
AT AMAZON, markdowns on Pet Supplies.
AT AMAZON, markdowns on Pet Supplies.
DAN FRIEDMAN: Why I like Donald Rumsfeld: “He gives you a straight answer.”
THE TRANSFORMATION of track uniforms.
AT AMAZON, markdowns in Home & Dining.
NEWS YOU CAN USE: The 5 Plastic Army Men Least Useful In Combat.
DAVID AXELROD: Military Voters Should Get Special Consideration In Voting.
NEW ROMNEY AD: It’s Just Not Getting Better.
21ST CENTURY RELATIONSHIPS: Woman Assaults Boyfriend With Stripper Pole. At least it wasn’t a Festivus Pole. That would have been disrespectful of the holiday. Well, unless it was during the traditional Airing Of Grievances, I guess.
MARS ROVER SET TO LAND TONIGHT — or early tomorrow morning if you’re in Eastern or Central time. Hope it works.
SLOW DEATH: Cable TV Continues Slow Death, Losing 400,000 Customers This Year. “Are Roku, Netflix streaming, and the President’s weak economy facilitating the industry’s decline?”
SOMEHOW THIS REMINDS ME OF THE CHILDREN OF MEN: Finally, a Browser Extension That Turns Your Friends’ Babies Into Cats.
TEN THINGS you should be buying used.
RUMSFELD: If I were Israel, I wouldn’t tell the US my plans. “Given leaks at White House, Rumsfeld says he would not notify U.S. of Iran plans if he were in the Israeli government.”
ER, BECAUSE THEY’RE BETTER? WHY CLASSIC ROCK ALBUMS ARE SELLING MORE THAN NEW ONES.
HARRY REID’S SOLAR BIZ LOOKING . . . SHADY: Solar Jobs Join Harry Reid to Chinese Billionaire in Price Drop. “ENN’s project highlights the growing clout of Chinese capital in this country.”
But do the Chinese know about those troubling Harry Reid pederasty rumors?
NANOTECHNOLOGY UPDATE: Nanozyme destroys virus in human cells and in mice.
A SHOOTING AT A SIKH TEMPLE IN WISCONSIN.
FEMINISM: A Woman’s Topless Fight For Equality.
A New York woman who spends her days walking around the city topless says she’s fighting for equality.
Moira Johnston, 29, a topless dancer from Philadelphia, says she is exercising her legal right to take off her shirt.
She became a bare breast activist after she was banned from a yoga studio after going topless in class, something men were freely doing.
Since May, she has been seen strolling around the city’s East Village topless to remind women that, under New York law, they have the right to bare their chests, just like men.
Ms Johnston says many people are unaware of that right – including the New York Police Department, which arrested her in May. She was later released without charge.
I’m glad to see someone standing up for freedom.
BRINGING AIR TRAFFIC RADAR INTO THE LATE TWENTIETH CENTURY, with phased-array technology.
COMING NEXT YEAR: DARPA’s Super Sniper Scope.
CHECK OUT SCIENCE FICTION WRITER JACK VANCE’S SITE, and download a free copy of his The Chasch.
IN THE MAIL: From James Carville & Stan Greenberg, It’s the Middle Class, Stupid!
GREEN ENERGY A LA TONY SOPRANO: “Another green subsidy, another green scandal. The Wall Street Journal reports that a governent program meant to aid businesses that turn cooking oils into fuel may be guilty of serious fraud. The federal government now alleges that two of these businesses have been abusing the system, casting a pall over the entire program.”
ANALYSIS: Law School: A Dodgy Investment?
LIKE MEMBERS OF CONGRESS? Animation research could offer control of skeleton-free characters.
REPEAL THE HOLLYWOOD TAX CUTS! My Sunday Washington Examiner column is up.
NORTH DAKOTA, America’s “Economic Miracle” State.
AN EARTH-SHATTERING KABOOM: An Olympic Weightlifter on Football, Breaking Windows and the Perfect Lift. “It’s so technical. It looks so effortless when you do it right, and when you do it wrong it looks like it’s really, really heavy. There’s this thing called weightlessness. When you get a good lift the bar is literally weightless. It’s off your body and you don’t feel it until it’s over your head. You get that with maybe one in 100 lifts, but when you get it you’ll chase it for the rest of your life.”
MICHAEL BARONE: Supporters of Ted Cruz and Chick-Fil-A Break News. “Americans keep behaving in ways that baffle the liberal mainstream media.”
If you think those claims sting, consider Tamanaha’s argument that law school effectively transfers money from students to relatively well-to-do professors, via student-loan debt — much of which is ultimately guaranteed by federal taxpayers who are generally not as well-off as the typical law professor.
Law school faculties are also bastions of liberal politics, and this irony is not lost on Tamanaha, who accuses the professoriate of not only enriching itself but also erecting de facto barriers to upward social mobility and true public-service law practice, all in the name of “academic freedom” and other abstractions.
They must speak and politic in one direction, to balance the fact that they actually act in the other . . . .
I’M SURE THERE’S NOTHING POLITICAL ABOUT THIS: Feds Now Investigating Sheldon Adelson’s Business.
CLARICE FELDMAN: Tea Party Unbound. “For several years now it seems to me that voters throughout the country in a perfectly peaceable way have demonstrated their revulsion at the ruling class’s political, academic and media elites, and the media’s disparagement or utter refusal to cover this civil revolution has not succeeded in killing it.”
MARTIN PERETZ: From Truman to McGovern to Obama.
THE FIVE MOST POLITICALLY INCORRECT IDEAS smuggled into The Dark Knight Rises.
WHY IT’S SO HARD to land on Mars.
IT’S ALL IN THE FAMILY for Harry Reid.
HARRY REID IS BEING SANTORUMED.
NEWS YOU CAN USE: Ladies: Men Think You’re Sexier When You’re Ovulating.
IF, WHEN YOU SEE A COMMERCIAL WITH A MONKEY, YOUR FIRST THOUGHT IS “BLACK PEOPLE,” then you just might be a racist.
MAYBE THEY COULD LEARN A LESSON FROM, SAY, CHICK-FIL-A: Amtrak Dining Cars Losing Money On $10 Hamburgers. “Only a government subsidized operation could sell hamburgers for $10 each and lose money. People who use Amtrak know that the food is overpriced and not very good. But, hey, it’s a captive dining audience, right? The dining car should be a way for Amtrak to recoup some of its losses from running its expensive trains. Instead, the food system is so badly managed that somehow it also loses a lot of money, apparently because of theft, bad management, high labor costs, and other problems.”
9TH CIRCUIT JUDGE STEPHEN REINHARDT: “Carrying a Gun … Is a Second Amendment Right.”
This is consistent with my analysis in Second Amendment Penumbras. One of the effects of Heller and McDonald was to put an end to the notion that firearms possession is somehow a deviant act, carried out at the actor’s peril. Instead, it’s been normalized. That has consequences.
UPDATE: Related: Armed Self-Defense In California. “It is quite entertaining to watch five would-be jewelry store robbers, two of them armed, falling over themselves to escape from a white-haired lady, the store’s owner. The key being, of course, that she was firing a handgun at them.”
RICHARD VEDDER ON TOM HARKIN’S ASSAULT ON FOR-PROFIT EDUCATION: They Just Don’t Get It. “It is true that many of the for-profits have high drop-out rates, but are they really any worse than some of our public universities, like the University of Texas at San Antonio or Chicago State University, schools with thousands of students but very low graduation rates? Should we impose some sort of selective admission standards on all schools wanting government handouts? I suspect that if one compiled a list of all institutions where the six-year graduation rate was below, say, 40 percent, a larger number of students would attend public as opposed to for-profit institutions. The attack on the for-profits is an attack based on ideology, a dislike of capitalism, more than on a comprehensive and objective concern for students. The clearly one-sided nature of Harkin’s criticism may be one reason that his report was not issued by all the Democrats on the Senate education committee—my guess is some did not want to be associated with this unbalanced attack.”
ROMNEY VS. OBAMA: Staples vs. Solyndra.
RETIREMENT PLANNING: You should plan to live to be 100 years old.
My take on the mortality tables: they are excessively pessimistic. The mortality tables assume a fairly static biomedical treatment environment in which only small incremental improvements to medical care are possible. No discontinuities are part of the forecast. This seems a very big mistake. On the horizon we can see the approach of effective gene therapies, cell therapies, and other treatments that attack the underlying mechanisms of aging. The scientists doing research on these treatments will succeed. Once they do we will have biotechnology that enables us to repair aged tissue.
For a long time mortality has declined fairly slowly. That’s because we’ve had no tools for attacking the underlying mechanisms of aging. Our bodies gradually wear out just like bodies 50 or 100 years ago. We’ve got medical treatments that reduce the consequences of failing tissue (e.g. blood pressure medicine) and treatments that slow the rate of development of some types of problems (e.g. cholesterol lowering drugs). But we can’t do much about the rate at which we accumulate mutations or the rate at which a href=”http://www.futurepundit.com/archives/008684.html”>we accumulate toxic intracellular junk.
We aren’t going to stay helpless against aging tissues. The legions of scientists experimenting with pluripotent stem cells, tissue engineering, gene therapies, and other promising therapies will succeed and they will succeed in the first half of the 21st century. Once we can fix and replace failing parts the mortality tables go out the windows as we gain the ability to do what we can now do to old cars: replace parts and keep on going. At some point in the 21st century we will reach actuarial escape velocity where the rate at which we can repair the body exceeds the rate at which pieces of the body wear out and fail. Our rejuvenated bodies will then go on for many more decades and eventually centuries.
In a nutshell: If you are in your 30s or below I think your odds of dying of old age are remote. Whether folks in their 40s, 50s, and beyond will live to benefit from rejuvenation therapies probably depends on how long they will live naturally. Someone who is 50 years old and has 40 years to go even without biomedical advances will certainly live long enough to enjoy the benefits of biotechnologies that will enable them to live well beyond 90 years.
HOW’S THAT HOPEY-CHANGEY STUFF WORKIN’ OUT FOR YA? (CONT’D): Is 8% Unemployment “The New Normal?” “Or perhaps it’s wishful thinking to believe that the number will stay that low.”
TEA PARTY PROTEST ANNOUNCED: “‘Occupy the Truth’ March For Peace & Justice Set For Cleveland, Ohio” on August 18th; details at Gateway Pundit.
HOW’S THAT HOPEY-CHANGEY STUFF WORKIN’ OUT FOR YA? (CONT’D): Millenials’ Jobless Rate at 12.7%.
BE THANKFUL AND KNOW YOUR PLACE, citizen. The entitled attitude one encounters among public employees these days is certainly not limited to law enforcement, but it’s most troubling there.
ON TWITTER, TERRY TEACHOUT REMINDS US THAT IT’S LOUIS ARMSTRONG’S BIRTHDAY. In observation of that august date, I recommend Charles Black’s My World With Louis Armstrong. Black wrote the brief in Brown v. Board of Education with Thurgood Marshall. This essay helps explain why.
JONAH LEHRER: The Fall of a Hipster Intellectual.
SHOULD YOU TAKE ANTIBIOTICS? Theodore Dalrymple on the ups and downs. “Only those who can relive, either in their memory or imagination (which is much rarer), what it was like to be ill in the pre-antibiotic era can appreciate the rapture with which the development of antibiotics was greeted.”
READER BOOK PLUG: Reader David Welch writes: “I’m a long-time reader of Instapundit and have noticed you occasionally linking to e-books written by your readers. I am writing to ask if you’d consider linking to a novel I have for sale on Amazon. It is an action-adventure/crime thriller by the name of Slade Masters.” Done!
HOW’S THAT ARAB SPRING WORKIN’ OUT FOR YA? Arab Spring? Egyptian Media Deny and Glorify Holocaust.
IN THE MAIL: From Stanley Kurtz, Spreading the Wealth: How Obama is Robbing the Suburbs to Pay for the Cities.
REPEAL THE HOLLYWOOD TAX CUTS! Reader Theodore Simon writes: “Never mind putting back the old excise tax on films. Just don’t let Congress extend the generous tax write-offs that are written for Hollywood’s benefit into Section 181 of the IRC, which allows film makers to expense rather than amortize certain production costs and is the motion picture industry’s equivalent of the oil industry’s depletion allowance. HR 5793 would extend those tax write-off provisions for another two years. They were supposed to lapse at the end of 2011.”
WALTER RUSSELL MEAD: The Real Information Revolution. “Don’t misunderstand: We think social media are fun. But innovation that changes the way business works is far more important.”
ORIN KERR: Can Federal Border Patrol Agents Pull Over Cars Based Only on State Traffic Law Violations? “This issue wasn’t the focus of the Valdes-Vega case, but it raises a really interesting Fourth Amendment question: To what extent can officers working for one sovereignty make stops, arrests, and searches based on cause to believe laws from another sovereignty have been broken?”
JOHN HINDERAKER: Is Obama Slipping? “Given that actions speak louder than words, one thing you can do is look at where the candidates are spending their money: nearly all of Obama’s campaign spending (and Romney’s too) is directed at states that Obama carried in 2008. This means that notwithstanding the media cheerleading, Obama is playing defense, not offense.”
“IT’S JUST THE WAR, AND THAT LYING SON-OF-A-BITCH JOHNSON:” Life Imitates Forrest Gump.
NEWS YOU CAN USE: How To Survive A Cyberwar.
RAND SIMBERG ON NASA’s Latest Moves On Commercial Space.
AT AMAZON, Warehouse Deals in Toys.
CASS SUNSTEIN UPDATE: Powerful Shaper of U.S. Rules Quits, With Critics in Wake. ” Cass R. Sunstein, who wielded enormous power as the White House overseer of federal regulation, came to Washington to test his theories of human behavior and economic efficiency in the laboratory of the federal government. Now he is departing with a record that left many business interests disappointed and environmental, health and consumer advocates even more unhappy.” He’s a nice guy, and a smart one, but going in I don’t think he fully appreciated the messiness of how government actually works. I’ll be interested to see how his experiences inform his subsequent scholarship.
VOTER FRAUD: ‘Boleteros’: Inside the shady world of ballot-brokers. “Deisy Cabrera’s arrest puts a spotlight on ‘boleteros,’ the often elderly campaign workers who hustle for absentee-ballot voters. . . . Cabrera was charged Wednesday with a state felony for allegedly forging an elderly woman’s signature on an absentee ballot, and with two counts of violating a Miami-Dade County ordinance banning the possession of more than two filled-out absentee ballots.”
DO TELL: Ex-Limbaugh sponsor says dropping show during Fluke controversy hurt company. “So how has dumping Limbaugh worked out for Carbonite? Not so well. Turns out alienating Rush’s fans may have been more damaging than alienating his critics.”
They chose . . poorly.
BYRON YORK: Obama: Negative Approval Ratings in 37 States, But King Of DC. “Obama’s approval rating is below 50 percent in 37 states, ranging from a 26 percent rating in Utah to a 49 percent rating in Michigan. Obama is at 50 percent or higher in just 13 states, from a 50 percent rating in Minnesota to a 63 percent rating in Hawaii. The president is most popular in Washington DC, where his job approval rating is an astonishing 83 percent. . . . States where Obama is just below the 50 percent mark are: Michigan 49 percent; Wisconsin 49 percent; Maine 47 percent; Oregon 47 percent; and Iowa, Florida, Virginia, and Pennsylvania — all key electoral states — where Obama is at 46 percent.”
Plus this: “Finally, a note on Washington DC. Some readers might attribute Obama’s rating there solely to his enduring popularity among black voters, but Washington is no longer a majority-black city. (The black population dipped below 50 percent last year.) Obama is popular with nearly everyone in the capital. Among those who work for the government and for government-related businesses — the permanent bureaucracy centered in Washington DC, northern Virginia and southern Maryland — approval of the president remains very high.”
ROGER SIMON: Clint Eastwood Comes Out of Closet, Endorses Romney.
HOW’S THAT HOPEY-CHANGEY STUFF WORKIN’ OUT FOR YA? (CONT’D): CNBC: Get Used to ‘New Norm’ of 6-7% US Jobless Rate. “The jobless rate in the United States will never go back to where it was before the global financial crisis and people will have to get used to a ‘new normal’ of 6-7 percent even if the economy starts revving up from where it is now, observers tell CNBC.”
L.A. TIMES: Chick-fil-A ‘Kiss in’ protest small compared to appreciation day. But it got more media coverage, I think.
ANOTHER OBAMA STATEMENT HITS ITS EXPIRATION DATE: “I Am Pledging To Cut The Deficit We Inherited By Half By The End Of My First Term In Office.” The Romney ads write themselves. Check out the video and graphics at the link.
MORE TESTS WE DON’T NEED ANY MORE: Professors: Komen overstating benefits of mammograms. “A national breast cancer charity is being accused of using misleading statistics to convince women to have mammograms, according to a paper published Thursday in the British Medical Journal.”
The report, entitled “The Job Impact of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Plan,” was released on Jan. 9, 2009. It was put out by the office of the president-elect was written by economists Christina Romer and Jared Bernstein. Romer would become chairwoman of the Council of Economic Advisers for President Obama. Bernstein was Vice President Biden’s chief economic advisor.
Page four of the report features a chart projecting the unemployment levels with and without the stimulus. With the stimulus, the Romer and Bernstein predicted that unemployment would never rise past 8 percent, and would peak just under that in the third quarter of 2009 before steadily declining to around 5.6 percent by today. Without the stimulus, they predicted that unemployment would peak around 9 percent in the third quarter of 2010 before declining to around 6 percent today.
The then-Democrat majority Congress passed the $819 billion stimulus bill later that month. The projection turned out to be one of the few things connected to it that was shovel-ready. The unemployment rate reached 10.1 percent in late 2009. It has declined since then but has remained above 8 percent for 41 months straight, a record.
Let’s have that graphic one more time:
Of course, there’s this caveat: “One note: the report assumed that the unemployment rate in the first quarter of 2009 would be 7.5 percent. It was in fact 8.2 percent. Economist Lawrence Lindsey later adjusted their forecast to reflect this and found that it projected unemployment to be about 6.3 percent by this time.”
Well, okay then. Obama defenders sometimes say that, well, Obama didn’t realize how bad the recession was going to be. But that hardly helps. It merely indicates the general problem with central economic planning — the planners never really know what’s going on. The fact is, he spent nearly a trillion dollars on a “stimulus” that was largely wasted (or stolen) and that didn’t deliver anything like the results he promised when selling it. Obama’s stimulus didn’t help, and Obama’s policies in general took a bad situation and made it worse.
OIL? WHO NEEDS OIL? Five dozen lawmakers protest ‘untenable’ oil field regulations.
NOTHING TO SEE HERE, MOVE ALONG: Pentagon releases report on sex scandal during Colombia trip.
HACKING AT YALE: “Yale is notifying 71 people that their personal information was stolen from a university computer last month.”
BARACK OBAMA: Tax Hypocrite.
It was probably an antislavery protest.
Hey, I’m married to a cyborg, and you know what they say: Once you “go metal,” you’ll never settle!
MORE HARRY REID MOCKERY.
HAPPY ANNIVERSARY to Ann & Meade.
THE NEW FACE OF BIGOTRY: Fedoraphobia.
REPEAL THE HOLLYWOOD TAX CUTS: Tax The Hollywood 1%!
HOW’S THAT HOPEY-CHANGEY STUFF WORKIN’ OUT FOR YA? (CONT’D): For Luxury Real-Estate, the ‘Year of Capitulation.’