October 14, 2012
IT’S NOT JUST TAXES: 40% of every small-business dollar goes to pay for federal regs.
IT’S NOT JUST TAXES: 40% of every small-business dollar goes to pay for federal regs.
WASN’T THIS DR. RICHARD DAYSTROM’S DOWNFALL? “Scientists to simulate human brain inside a supercomputer,” Time magazine reports. Following up on another recent article that asked, “Is the universe just a computer simulation?,” a commenter at Hot Air rides the Mobius Loop between the two articles: “So we are simulating a brain inside a computer, which is just part of another computer simulation of the universe? I need to go to bed…”
Just be on guard for Monsters from the Id.
I DISAGREE: “I’ve lived under a dictatorship before. And that’s exactly what you’ve got coming here.” Fascism is forever descending upon the United States, but somehow it always lands on Europe. It is true that there are certain rather creepy strains of leader-worship in the Obama camp, but I don’t think those are representative. Still, it’s easy to see why gun sales have been booming.
FLORIDA: Romney Closing Gap Among Hispanic Voters. “Mitt Romney is closing the gap on President Barack Obama among likely Hispanic Florida voters, a majority of whom say they’re not better off than four years ago, according to a new Florida International University/Miami Herald/El Nuevo Herald poll.”
Well, most people aren’t.
FASTER THAN A SPEEDING BULLET: AP is now reporting that Felix Baumgartner did indeed break the sound barrier. “Baumgartner hit Mach 1.24, or 833.9 mph, according to preliminary data, and became the first person to reach supersonic speed without traveling in a jet or a spacecraft after hopping out of a capsule that had reached an altitude of 128,100 feet above the Earth.”
WELCOMING CAMILLE PAGLIA back to the “Woman Wars.”
THE PAST ECHOES IN THE PRESENT: In everything we say, there is an echo of 1066
HIGHER EDUCATION BUBBLE UPDATE: Why College May Be Totally Free Within 10 Years. I’ll need people to keep coughing up for law school for another 20, though. . . .
THE SERGEANT SCHULTZ OF AMERICAN POLITICS: Elizabeth Warren Claims Not to ‘Know’ Whether Union Members Were Fined for Not Supporting Her.
YOU CAN’T FIGHT A CULTURE WAR IF YOU AIN’T GOT NO CULTURE: Is what L. Neil Smith used to say. In the interest of disintermediating the culture gatekeepers and destabilizing the cultural-industrial complex — which makes giving my readers and friends a leg up sound so culturally relevant! — every week I put up a post with links to my commenters’ books and other work. Here is this week’s post.
EXPLORING PERSONALIZED MEDICINE.
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“WE’RE GOING THROUGH A ‘MISSION ACCOMPLISHED’ MOMENT,” said Darrell Issa on “Face the Nation” today:
This is not very Republican, if you will, but when President George W. Bush went aboard an aircraft carrier and said, “mission accomplished” I listened rightfully so to people saying, look, but there’s still problems, and they’re still dying, and quite frankly, things got worse in many ways after that famous statement.
Excellent interviews at the link with both Issa and Sen. Lindsey Graham. Graham accuses the Obama administration of “trying to spike the ball after killing bin Laden” and “creat[ing] a false narrative about the true state of al Qaeda and it all caught up with them in Libya.”
UPDATE: (From Glenn): Reader Ron Jones writes: “Both Dr. Althouse and Mr. Issa apparently need a reminder that President Bush didn’t say ‘Mission Accomplished’ — it was on a banner on the ship he was speaking from. And as has been pointed out hundreds of times, it was the SHIP’s mission that had been accomplished, not Mr. Bush’s.”
AND: I’m just quoting Issa, but I don’t think Bush can disown the banner he spoke under. I know there’s this way of constraining the meaning of the banner, but Presidents should take responsibility for their messages, and Bush (kind of) did in his book “Decision Points”:
I hadn’t noticed the large banner my staff had placed on the bridge of the ship, positioned for TV. It read “Mission Accomplished.” It was intended as a tribute to the folks aboard the Lincoln, which had just completed the longest deployment for an aircraft carrier of its class. Instead, it looked like I was doing the victory dance I had warned against. “Mission Accomplished” became a shorthand criticism for all that subsequently went wrong in Iraq. My speech made clear that our work was far from done. But all the explaining in the world could not reverse the perception. Our stagecraft had gone awry. It was a big mistake.
Ironically, Issa was trying to highlight how bad it was for the Obama administration to push the narrative that it had vanquished al Qaeda.
ALSO: Bush is such a convenient punching bag. Many Republicans leverage moderating-seeming comments off what they assume is our rejection of Bush. I wonder how many of us there are who really do appreciate what Bush did and would like to see him brought in from out in the cold.
NEWS YOU CAN USE: Is the universe just a computer simulation? Now, we can check.
TSA NIGHTMARES: Dana Loesch tweets another outrageous account of harassment.
To paraphrase Obama’s comments to Dmitry Medvedev, in a second Obama term, the TSA would likely have even greater flexibility when
groping harassing questioning passengers.
MEDIA CREDIBILITY DAY IS COMING.
PIERS MORGAN FOR MITT: CNN Star Says Romney ‘Might Just Save America.’
But isn’t the real story here the discovery that there’s a CNN host who actually isn’t completely in the tank for Obama?
NEWS YOU CAN USE: 8 Ways Sex Makes You Beautiful.
UPDATE: A reader sends this photo from Facebook, where it’s making the rounds.
PARENTING ADVICE at NeoParent.com.
BARACK TO THE FUTURE: At the Corner, John O’Sullivan links to a great observation by Jim Bennett:
In response to my Friday Corner piece arguing that Biden won on points, Jim Bennett offers a very interesting and quite powerful qualification. Here it is:
John, let me suggest that the criteria for victory are changing. The debate no longer ends when the debaters walk off stage. And now it no longer ends when the TV spinners have, like cuckoos, laid their eggs and flown away. There is now the long, long reverberation in social media, where the basic debate footage serves as raw material for mash-ups and parodies and treatments for the rest of the election cycle and beyond. And Biden’s performance, which won him some tactical advantage in the debate, has set him up as the target for rich satire and a way that Ryan’s conventional performance didn’t and cannot do. His performance is comic gold, and although within hard-core Dem/left circles he will be celebrated as the warrior, everywhere else, and especially for basically apolitical young YouTube viewers, he will be the jackass supreme. I suspect that by Election Day, the various parodic videos will have had a larger viewership than the debate itself. By this criterion, the tactic was a massive miscalculation.
Or as Michael Barone writes today, “Biden and Obama run a campaign fit for the 1980s.”
I’ve seen this movie before.
THE RIGHT STUFF: “Coincidentally, Baumgartner’s attempted feat also marked the 65th anniversary of U.S. test pilot Chuck Yeager successful attempt to become the first man to officially break the sound barrier aboard an airplane.”
LIFE IMITATES SEINFELD: Princess Diana-Prince Charles 1981 Wedding Cake Slice Up For Auction.
Mr. Peterman and Elaine Benes could not be reached for comment.
Richard Nixon, call your office.
MEGAN MCARDLE: In Defense of the 5 O’Clock Reservation.
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THIS NEWS WILL PLAY WELL AT THE CORNER: Duran Duran’s John Taylor: Biden a ‘D*ck’ in Debate, Likes Ryan.
A KINDLE BOOK CREDIT as part of an Amazon lawsuit settlement.
HIGHEST EVER JUMP SUCCESSFUL: “Extreme athlete Felix Baumgartner landed safely on Earth after a 24-mile jump from the stratosphere in a dramatic, daring feat that may also have marked the world’s first supersonic skydive.,” AP reports. “Baumgartner came down in the eastern New Mexico desert minutes after jumping from his capsule 128,097 feet, or roughly 24 miles, above Earth.”
The previous highest, farthest, and longest freefall was made by retired US Air Force Col Joe Kittinger, who leapt from a helium envelope in 1960. His altitude was 102,800ft (31.3km).
Mr Kittinger, now an octogenarian, was on hand to witness the dramatic jump from the stratosphere. Indeed, he acted as “Capcom” – capsule communicator – throughout the ascent and descent, maintaining voice contact with the much younger man.
None of the new marks set by Baumgartner can be classed as “official” until approved by the Federation Aeronautique Internationale (FAI).
UPDATE: The first draft of the AP article quoted above had the altitude wrong; they’ve since corrected the figure, and I inserted the new lede above.
THE ‘MILLION MUPPET MARCH:’ An example of how the liberal media spins the news.
DOING DISASTER-PREP WHILE LANDSCAPING with edible ornamentals.
I SAW ARGO LAST NIGHT, Ben Affleck’s new film about the Iran hostage crisis. If you’re skeptical about Affleck as a director, don’t be. First of all, the extended cut of his last film, The Town, is a magnificent crime film. Second, Argo is better by far than just about anything else Hollywood has ever produced about the Middle East. I have a few minor criticisms, but they vanish into the awesomeness of the rest of the film.
NATIONAL JOURNAL: What Happens To The Children of the Unemployed?
LIVE VIDEO: Felix Baumgartner’s leap from space.
JOHN HINDERAKER: What Happened In Benghazi. “While this is by no means clear, it appears that the State Department may have released the transcript as part of the escalating conflict between Barack Obama and Joe Biden and the Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton.”
ARLEN SPECTER has died.
NEWS YOU CAN USE: Advice to My Younger Self About One Night Stands.
QUESTIONS ON BENGHAZI: Where is CIA Director Gen. David Petraeus? “He seems to be the missing man in the unfolding Benghazi debacle. It is his agency, among others, which is being fingered by the White House for getting the Libya attack wrong. However, we know that within a very short time after the murder of our ambassador (an extraordinary occurrence) and others, our intelligence community did have the story straight: This was an organized al-Qaeda attack. Is he to preside over a witchhunt? Or is he, who to date has been one of the most respected national security officials, going to be instrumental in shining light on the Libya fiasco and thereby truly serving the national interest and the memory of those killed?”
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BOB OWENS NOTES THAT THE “PUTTING THE WHITE BACK IN THE WHITE HOUSE” LINE comes from a lefty anti-Palin site. No surprise there. No surprise that Buzzfeed — which is rapidly losing credibility on all fronts — jumped on this.
UPDATE: Ann Althouse: Shameful, lowly race-baiting… but who’s doing it? Well, in the first instance, Andrew Kaczynski. “Buzzfeed and all the Romney opponents who chose to link to Buzzfeed should be ashamed. They lowered themselves. They saw an opportunity go racial and they took it.”
The Buzzfeed folks should also be concerned that folks on the right will be less willing to link them in the future, if they’re perceived — as I believe they increasingly are — as lefty agitprop shills. Caroline Bankoff at New York Magazine may be comfortable in that niche, but I believe Buzzfeed wanted broader appeal.
And if you’ve noticed that I’m going out of my way to name names here, you’re right. Accountability journalism.
One of Althouse’s commenters nails it: “An agent provocateur passed off by BuzzFeed as a Romney supporter. Both are complicit in the smear.”
HE’S MOCKABLE: SNL Mocks Biden For Being A “Real World Catholic.”
CHANGE: Romney Now On Track. “Mitt Romney leads President Obama in national polls, and the president is approaching his all-time low in the RealClearPolitics average. Romney leads in some key swing states (e.g., Florida, Colorado and North Carolina) and has largely erased the deficit in others (Ohio, Virginia, Nevada). His approval rating (the likability rating so many liberals have obsessed about) is in positive territory; the gap between the two candidates’ approval ratings has all but disappeared.” Don’t get cocky, kid.
RASMUSSEN: Romney 49, Obama 47.
IN THE MAIL: The Annotated Brothers Grimm.
HOW LINCOLN EMERGED IN THE STRATOSPHERE OF GREATNESS: As Daniel Day Lewis’ portrayal of the 16th president is about to hit the silver screen, Conrad Black offers an assessment of the original.
UNEXPECTEDLY: Global Warming Stopped Sixteen Years Ago. RELATED, IF YOU HAVEN’T READ IT: The Coming of the New Ice Age: End of the Global Warming Era? And yeah, the ice age thing was in my books in middle school and it’s why I’ve never taken AGW seriously. Opposing trends shouldn’t have exactly the same proposed remedy. Unless the hot/cold stuff is an excuse to drag us into socialism and scarcity.
SO MUCH FOR CELEBRITY “COMPASSION:” Wyclef Jean’s highly-hyped Haiti charity defunct and in debt, surprising approximately nobody.
IN VAIN I HAVE STRUGGLED, IT WILL NOT DO: Curse you Michael Walsh for posting the Ryan girl video answer to Obama girl. If my husband and kids get me committed for going around the house singing “Let’s get fiscal” it’s all your fault.
A RANT ON SUPPOSED RACISM: “You want to talk racism? Well, let’s talk about this.”
NO MORE BONHOMIE FOR BUBBA AND BARRY? “It appears that the Obama administration has a death wish,” Michael Walsh writes.
BY ALL MEANS, LET’S TALK RACISM: A Rant on Supposed Racism
HOW’S THAT HOPEY-CHANGEY STUFF WORKIN’ OUT FOR YA? (CONT’D): Predicting “The Withering Of The Affluent Society.”
Hmm. In Neal Stephenson’s Snow Crash, he talks about globalization smearing things out “into a broad global layer of what a Pakistani bricklayer would consider to be prosperity.” I don’t see that as our future, assuming technology and free markets are allowed to flourish. But should we have a further run of the past four years’ “bad luck,” well, then we just might see the withering of the affluent society. There’s no limit to how long a redistribution recession can last . . . .
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TOMORROW’S POST-ELECTION MSM APOLOGIAS TODAY, REDUX: On Twitter, Washington Post reporter calls Ryan ‘Law & Order: SVU’ ‘perp of the week.’
Rather nice of him to inadvertently prove our point.
IS THE BENGHAZI ATTACK OBAMA’S MADRID TRAIN BOMBINGS? The parallels bode ill for the Obama administration, writes Brad Thor and Robert C. O’Brien.
STEWART BAKER: RATs and Poison: Can Cyberespionage Victims Counterhack?
“MY CUT-RATE RESURRECTION:” Gerard van der Leun writes: “When people find out I dropped dead on October 13 of 2011, they often ask me if I saw ‘the white light.’ They are disappointed when I tell them I did not. They’ve come to believe in the light, believe in it in a very literal way. They’ve heard it is seen and they’d like continuing confirmation of this sighting. My report always, as I said, disappoints.”
I’VE ALWAYS BEEN MORE OF A CLAUSTROPHILE THAN A CLAUSTROPHOBE: Conquering Claustrophobia.
I SUSPECT THE PROLIFERATION OF HORMONAL BIRTH CONTROL IS INVOLVED: More Young People Suffering Strokes.
JEFF JACOBY: A True Moral Giant And A Dogmatic Leftist Creep.
UPDATE: Read the whole thing, but here’s the key bit:
Imagine that Hobsbawm had fallen in love with Nazism as a youth and spent the rest of his career whitewashing Hitler’s atrocities. Suppose he’d refused for decades to let his Nazi Party membership lapse, and argued that the Holocaust would have been an acceptable price to pay for the realization of a true Thousand-Year Reich. It is inconceivable that he would have been hailed as a brilliant thinker or basked in acclaim; no self-respecting university would have hired him to teach; politicians and pundits would not have lined up to shower him with accolades during his life and tributes after his death.
Yet Hobsbawm was fawned over, lionized in the media, made a tenured professor at a prestigious university, invited to lecture around the world. He was heaped with glories, including the Order of the Companions of Honour — one of Britain’s highest civilian awards — and the lucrative Balzan Prize, worth 1 million Swiss francs. His death was given huge play in the British media — the BBC aired an hour-long tribute and the Guardian led its front page with the news — and political leaders waxed fulsome. Former Prime Minister Tony Blair called him “a giant … a tireless agitator for a better world.”
Such adoration is sickening. Unrepentant communists merit repugnance, not reverence. Compared with a true moral giant like Nguyen Chi Thien, Hobsbawm was nothing but a dogmatic leftist creep, and the toadies who worshiped him were worse.
They were, and they’re still around.
ASSOCIATED PRESS: Do black people support Obama because he’s black? Yeah, pretty much. Next question?
FIDDLING WHILE THEIR ECONOMY DIES: A Grand Experiment to Rein In Climate Change — in California.
THE SCARLET MANIFESTO?: Dr. Peggy Drexler argues that the increasing social and economic parity of men and women is a proximate cause of equalizing rates of adultery across genders. Unsurprising conclusion: “Women have more choices, and they are acting on them.”
CLINT EASTWOOD’S CLAIRVOYANCE: Biden a “grin with a body behind it.” “I didn’t pay much attention to that line in the speech, but man, was Clint on target.”
HILLARY, UNDER-BUSED: Obama Bites The Hand That Feeds Him. “Hillary’s leverage is at its peak now, when Bill is leading the Obama reelection charge and when a sudden resignation would represent a huge setback for Obama. The Clintons can try to use this leverage to halt White House efforts to scapegoat Hillary. Then, they can hope the issue blows over. However, the Benghazi story isn’t likely to blow over. And after November 6, the Clintons can do nothing to avoid the scapegoating of Hillary by the Obama administration.”
A DEMOGRAPHIC SEA CHANGE: “Finally, buried deep in the report is the most telling number of all: In the last year the number of “first” births dropped to the lowest level ever recorded in America. What does that mean? It means that we’re slowly bifurcating into a country where there are two kinds of adults: people who have children, and people who do not. The people who have children are inclined to have seconds and thirds. But for the first time in our nation’s history, we’re growing a sizable cohort of adults who remain childless their entire lives. And a sea change like that never happens without consequences.”
I FORESEE A GOLF-BASED PARODY AD: New Obama ad: Few presidents have faced so many challenges. Sand traps, golf carts stuck in mud, balls in the rough. . . .
UPDATE: Reader Dan Naden writes:
My first thought? The last president faced a lot of challenges.
It’s insulting that Obama would dare to make such a claim while President Bush faced the Dot Com crash, 9/11, Katrina, etc. All while Democrats pulled out all the stops in undermining him and everything he ever supported (including our troops overseas).
Obama should probably pull that ad because, aside from sounding like a whiner, aside from being an outright lie, the ad is a slap in the face for America.
Well, that’s the whole Obama presidency, really.
THAT DOESN’T FIT THE NARRATIVE: Contra His Incessant Whining, Obama Was Handed an Economy in Recovery.
UPDATE: Lloyd Tackitt emails: “Obama didn’t inherit a bad economy, he applied for the job of fixing it. He literally begged to get his hands on it so he could fix it. He ran a competitive campaign to get the job of fixing it and shouted about how bad of a condition it was in. Now he twists it so that it sounds like it was something dumped on him he didn’t really want. He has gone from bragging that only he could fix it, to whining that it was worse than he expected. Why is it that no one calls him out on this? I haven’t heard even the most conservative of pundits call him on this.”
DOING THE MATH on what counts as “middle income.”
I THOUGHT THE HARRY POTTER SERIES WAS BOARDING SCHOOL STORIES WITH MAGIC: Because I grew up on British boarding school stories, I didn’t find HP wildly inventive. I did however find it engaging. I haven’t had the nerve to try her grown-up mystery yet. Reviews like this aren’t helping: J. K. Rowling and the Deadly Tedium. The reviewer reminds us of Flannery O’Connor’s observation that “the writer can choose what he writes about, but he cannot choose what he is able to make live.” In my experience, not only is that true, but first efforts in any genre are best kept from public eyes or very thoroughly re-written after you get your bearings. Each type of story has a language/rule set of its own. (Update: yes, even if you read a lot of the genre, the first time you write it you’ll still be clumsy.)
PBS’S GILDED CASTLE: Big Bird’s Big-Bucks Boosters.
HOW CELLPHONE DATA could slow the spread of malaria.
DESIGNERS DIVIDED ON New Arby’s Logo. Funny, I was just talking with someone a few weeks ago about how bravely they’d stuck with the old one and how well it worked. . . .
STOP DISTRACTING PEOPLE FROM BIG BIRD: Mark Steyn: ‘Politicized’ Benghazi distracts from Big Bird.
BLACKLISTED: John Fund at National Review Online discusses “The New Blacklist.” On it? Anyone who disagrees with progressive/liberal causes, particularly gay marriage. Whatever one thinks about such issues, the aggressive intimidation tactics– outings, firings, etc.–are this generation’s McCarthyism.
BENGHAZI BLOG-COMMENT OF THE DAY:
This seems to be a real test of the American media.
They have dined out for decades on the role of the Watergate investigation in removing a president from office as proof of their value in policing the government and holding those in power accountable to the court of public opinion.
Well, it wasn’t exactly easy, but the media didn’t share a lot of ideological views with Nixon, and he didn’t go out of his way to be friends with them. But how much harder must it be now, for the media to be in a position to hold an administration accountable when it contains the people they are simpatico with. How much harder must it be, when they don’t know if the trail will end with Clinton or Obama, frustrating even their internecine bias. How much harder must it be, right before a presidential election?
LIBERAL BIAS IN LAW SCHOOL HIRING– A TEST CASE: A first-of-its-kind trial begins Monday in Iowa, claiming that the University of Iowa law school violated the First Amendment rights of Teresa Wagner, a conservative woman turned down for a faculty position there. Like most law schools, Iowa’s faculty was overwhelmingly Democrat, with 46 of 50 faculty members registered as such. As an earlier study published in The Georgetown Law Journal in 2005 analyzed 11 years of federal campaign contributions by professors at the top 21 law schools as ranked by U.S. News & World Report. Of those who gave $200 or more, the study found, 81 percent gave wholly or mostly to Democrats, while 15 percent gave wholly or mostly to Republicans. The percentage contributing to Democrats were shockingly lopsided at the most prestigious law schools: 91 percent at Harvard, 92 at Yale, 94 at Stanford.
The left-leaning nature of law faculties is undeniable (as with the rest of the academy). In addition to a possible (probable) bias in hiring, one has to wonder: What effect does this unbalanced, one-sided view of things have on lawyers’ learning of the law, particularly the Constitution?
OHIO COAL MINERS TO OBAMA: Quit Lying About Us!
ART AND TOTALITARIANISM: Is there any act so absolutely heinous that the works of a great artist who commits it should be permanently banned from circulation?
That’s the question that Terry Teachout asked back in 2006 in a lengthy post that he linked to this past week. It seems especially timely given Camille Paglia’s article in the Wall Street Journal, and upcoming book on the history of art. If I’m understanding her comments in her podcast interview at Ricochet (which isn’t easy at times given their machine gun rate of delivery) much of her diagnosis for an artistic revival is based around the notion of replacing morality with aesthetics. While we definitely need a better class of artist, art doesn’t always lead to great civilizations, as Teachout notes. (See also: post-Wagnerian Germany, D.W. Griffith and Woodrow Wilson, pioneering Soviet filmmakers, etc.)
RELATED: Ronald Radosh on “The Case of Eric Hobsbawm: Can a Stalinist be a Good Historian?”
UPDATE (FROM GLENN): Totalitarians as failed artists — a blast from the InstaPundit past. “Art kills.”
THE INTOLERANCE OF INTOLERANCE: Jonathan Turley has a great piece at the Washington Post about the decline of free speech in the western world over the last few decades. He correctly observes, “It appears that the one thing modern society can no longer tolerate is intolerance.”
LOOK BACK IN MAGMA: Evidence that Democrats are in “Last Days of Pompeii” mode.
Great metaphor, kid — but, as our Insta-host is wont to say, don’t get cocky.
THE GENDER GAP NARROWS: In this interesting piece from Melinda Henneburger at the Washington Post, she observes that the post-debate gender gap is narrowing, with more women breaking for Romney. In part, this is because the Obama Administration’s primary selling point to women has always been abortion and contraceptives. Yet women are–like the country as a whole–deeply divided on abortion, with 49 percent self-identifying as pro-choice, 45 percent pro-life. It’s the economy, stupid.
HOW MUCH SPACE IS THERE UNDER THAT BUS? No More Bonhomie for Bubba and Barry?
HOW’S THAT “SMART DIPLOMACY” STUFF WORKIN’ OUT? August 2012 US Report Shows Libya on the Road to Becoming A Failed Islamist State. Too bad nobody thought this might mean our ambassador needed security or something.