Archive for January, 2013

January 31, 2013

THE HILL: Hagel delivers shaky performance.

Hagel stumbled over some answers — describing Iran as having a “legitimate, elected government” at one point — and did little to convert critics who have deemed him unfit to serve as Defense secretary because of his past statements and positions. . . . Hagel was frequently forced during a hearing that ran on for more than eight hours to say that he “regretted” his past statements, such as when Sen. Mike Lee (R-Utah) brought up Hagel’s statement that Israel kept Palestinians “caged up like animals.”

“If I had an opportunity to edit that, like many things I’ve said, I would like to go back and change the words and the meaning,” Hagel said. “I regret that I used those words.”

The Republican National Committee touted a clip of Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) pressing Hagel to name one lawmaker that was intimidated by the “Jewish lobby.”

“Name one,” Graham said.

“I do not know,” Hagel responded.

Graham said after the hearing that was “shocked” that Hagel didn’t have responses to many of the questions coming from the GOP.

It’s not like they came out of the blue.

January 31, 2013

ANOTHER STATEMENT HITS ITS EXPIRATION DATE: Obama Chickens Out, Says A Million EVs By 2015 Not Important.

DOE backpedals furiously from a goal set out in a 2011 State of the Union speech, where President Barack Obama announced what he called “Apollo projects of our times.” One of them was the goal for the United States to be “the first country to have a million electric vehicles on the road by 2015.”

“Whether we meet that goal in 2015 or 2016, that’s less important than that we’re on the right path to get many millions of these vehicles on the road,” an unnamed Energy Department official told Reuters.

Reuters notes that “demand for hybrids and electric vehicles has been weaker than expected.” Government money was poured into black holes.

Actually, supporters’ pockets. And that’s racist.

January 31, 2013

REVIEW: “I’m inclined to think the President deserves the Cabinet he chooses, and I don’t approve of destroying a guy just because there’s blood in the water. But honestly, don’t we need a stronger Secretary of Defense than Chuck Hagel?”

January 31, 2013

POLITICO: Tough questions follow Al Gore book tour.

Related: When did legit media questions become ‘an attack’?

January 31, 2013

GUN CULTURE: A reader emails:

May I suggest a hidden rationale for the apparently irrational objections to modern sporting rifles: the AR-15 family of weapons has become the armaments equivalent of the Volkswagen or the Ford model T, it has become the gun for everyone. It is dangerous because it is popular, rather than the other way around. It is a cultural game-changer, just as mass-market automobiles were, and the forces of regression would rather not have their game changed.

Of course, before the Model T and the Volkswagen there were the Equalizer and the Peacemaker, revolutionary firearms that were just as controversial in their day as the AR-15 is today, and for much the same reason. They weren’t the first revolvers, but they made the revolver a mass-market item, the People’s handgun. The forces of regression of old were not pleased that the people should have handguns, they were opposed to equalization and peacemaking!

Yes, the highly adaptable and customizable nature of the AR-15 has helped to make it especially popular. Indeed, although gun-controllers claim they can ban “assault weapons” because the Supreme Court left open the possibility of banning dangerous or unusual weapons, the AR-15, as the most popular rifle in America, is clearly not “unusual.” Nor is it particularly dangerous.

January 31, 2013

OOPS: Menendez Flees Media Horde.

January 31, 2013

CIA OFFICIALS give the case for enhanced interrogations. “All three panelists trashed the Obama-era conceit that we’re a better country because we’ve scrapped the interrogation program. What we’ve really done, they argued, is replace interrogations with drone strikes.”

January 31, 2013

CHANGE: “Islamic clothing is getting a bit more hip in Southern California.”

January 31, 2013

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January 31, 2013

WALTER RUSSELL MEAD: Life After Blue: The Middle Class Will Beat The Seven Trolls.

Does the American middle class (and by extension, the middle class in other advanced democracies) have a future in a post-blue world? That is the basic question at the heart of American politics;. As I’ve noted, 4.0 liberals think that it doesn’t, and think that the defense of the blue social model is the only way to protect the social achievements of the twentieth century.

They’re wrong. The post-blue future for the middle class is bright, and instead of using the weight of the state to shore up a declining blue system to defend an embattled middle class we need to use that power to promote the transition to a 21st-century political economy and a reinvigorated middle class—larger, richer and more in charge than ever before.

Read the whole thing.

January 31, 2013

APPROPRIATE TECHNOLOGY: What’s a hit with hip young travelers? Fold-up maps.

In a world of iPads, GPS and digital technology at your fingertips, one international tourism organization has discovered that few things beat the traditional fold-up map.

USE-IT, a non-profit group that traces its roots back to 1970s Denmark, is an independent maker of free and funky city guides aimed at students and other young travelers, and it’s developing a cult following.

Designed and written by local artists and contributors, the colorful, individual maps are now produced in 23 cities across 14 European countries, with another two dozen cities lining up to take part in coming months.

The guides, covered in sharp commentary and doodle-like markings, scream youth and endeavor to point users to the hidden treats of otherwise familiar cities.

GPS is great, but a map does a better job of giving you a feel for the geography, not just a route.

January 31, 2013

JANEITES: The curious American cult of Jane Austen.

January 31, 2013

OOPS: Senators reportedly in ‘shock’ over Hagel’s ineptitude, bumbling.

January 31, 2013

GO BIG OR GO HOME: At Downsize Fitness health clubs, the treadmills are wider, the head trainers are weight-loss veterans and new members must be at least 50 pounds (22.7 kgs) overweight.

January 31, 2013

WELL, CALIGULA SENT AN ASS TO THE SENATE: Are you ready for Senator Geraldo?

January 31, 2013

SO HOW’D THAT HAGEL HEARING GO? “It is very clear from the testimony that Sen. Hagel will not be bringing the potato salad to the next Mensa picnic.” And that’s from a Democrat. . . .

UPDATE: Prof. Stephen Clark writes on Ted Cruz: “Note Powerline’s take on Cruz’s cross-examination of Hagel and remind yourself that the Republican establishment didn’t want Cruz.” Yeah, they didn’t want Marco Rubio either, remember.

January 31, 2013

SO RATHER THAN HAUL MY MACBOOK BACK AND FORTH, I got a Samsung Chromebook to use when I sit on the sofa in my office. I’ve had it for a few days and it’s pretty good. It’s not as good as the Macbook Air, but it also costs less than a fourth as much. Setup was a little tricky — you have to connect to the Internet and register before it’ll let you launch a browser, but UT uses device registration on its network, which requires that before you can connect with the Internet you complete a form . . . on a browser. I got around that problem by using my iPhone as a hotspot but otherwise it could have been annoying.

Keyboard’s decent, though I keep hitting the ALT button when I mean to hit CTRL, and there’s a “Search” button where the Caps Lock key would normally be. Screen’s fine, browsing and blogging with Chrome is fine. It has an SD slot, which I haven’t used. It’s very cool and quiet. Overall, it’s like a high-end netbook, which is basically what it is.

January 31, 2013

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January 31, 2013

IS THE RISE OF STAY-AT-HOME DADS masculinizing parenting?

January 31, 2013

A BRAVE NEW WORLD of prenatal DNA sequencing.

January 31, 2013

HIGHER EDUCATION BUBBLE UPDATE: Record number of recent college grads defaulting on loans according to new report. “This situation is simply unsustainable and we’re already suffering the consequences. When wage growth is slow and jobs are not as plentiful as they once were, it is impossible for people to continue taking out ever-larger student loans without greatly increasing the risk of default. There is no way around that harsh reality.”

Do tell.

January 31, 2013

MULTIPART BLOGGING ON THE HAGEL HEARING at Power Line.

January 31, 2013

NEXT, THE OCEANS WILL START TO RECEDE: Japanese Analysis of US Gov Data Indicates Warming … Stopped? Just as Obama promised!

January 31, 2013

THEY TOLD ME IF I VOTED FOR MITT ROMNEY WE’D SEE A WAR ON SCIENCE. AND THEY WERE RIGHT! Decelerating American Physics: Panel Advises Shutdown of Last U.S. Collider.

January 31, 2013

CHANGE: Honda To Integrate Siri Into 2013 Accord.

January 31, 2013

LEGAL EDUCATION UPDATE: Law Schools Facing “Massive Layoffs” in Fall? “Thirty years ago if you were looking to get on the escalator to upward mobility, you went to business or law school. Today, the law school escalator is broken.” The business-school escalator isn’t looking so hot either.

January 31, 2013

21ST CENTURY RELATIONSHIPS: 5 Uncomfortable Moments I’ve Shared With My Waxer.

January 31, 2013

AUSTRALIA: Asia’s Saudi Arabia? Oil and gas do seem to be turning up in all sorts of interesting places.

January 31, 2013

DON’T TRUST THE WHITE FISH: It could be anything.

January 31, 2013

EARLIER THIS WEEK, I wrote about the revolving door between government and business, and the conflicts of interest it creates. But I should note the growing problem of the reportorial revolving door, as John Kerry hires the guy who’s been responsible for his coverage at the Boston Globe to be his State Department spokesperson.

January 31, 2013

IN THE MAIL: First Principles: Five Keys to Restoring America’s Prosperity.

January 31, 2013

MY DUE PROCESS WHEN EVERYTHING IS A CRIME PIECE comes in at #1 on the SSRN Top Downloads list. Get it while it’s hot!

January 31, 2013

WALTER RUSSELL MEAD: Intrepid Citizens Save Timbuktu’s Priceless Manuscripts. “Once again civilization survives barbarism: Timbuktu’s ancient literary treasures were not destroyed after all. In a classic example of how the uncertainty of war can make bad reporters of us all, local accounts apparently vastly exaggerated the damage done to the city’s legendary library. Not only was the place not burned to the ground—as the city’s mayor claimed—but the manuscripts themselves were removed from the library by Malians last year.” Well, good.

January 31, 2013

ASKING THE IMPORTANT QUESTIONS: Where Are The Bicycles In Post-Apocalyptic Fiction?

I think it depends on what you read. They’re very present in William Forstchen’s One Second After. Also in Steve Stirling’s Change novels — though the heroes in those always ride horses because, let’s face it, horses are cooler. Good science fiction writers tend to work out the economics in their worlds pretty carefully. Bad writers just assemble a melange of cliches.

If I were prepping for a truly post-apocalyptic world, I’d certainly lay in some bikes. And a whole lot of tires and puncture-repair kits. Hey, they’re cheap.

Of course, for the immediate post-apocalypse world, you’ll probably want to have emergency underwear dispensers scattered about.

January 31, 2013

WHY DOES SELF MAGAZINE Think Women are too Dumb or Crazy to Own a Gun?

See, that’s why Republican strategists and donors need to heed this advice.

January 31, 2013

MENENDEZ UPDATE: Menendez rushes to pay private-jet tab after FBI raid. “This comes at a particularly sensitive time, as Menendez is slated to take over for John Kerry as chair of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. Until last night, Menendez had insisted he did nothing wrong, but the sudden payment of $58,500 for private jet flights that took place almost three years ago makes it look as if there is more to the investigation than Menendez has admitted. If the Ethics Committee has begun to probe Menendez’ travel, perhaps Harry Reid should start considering a Plan B.”

Love the Absence of Malice reference. And the “Foreign Relations” punch lines write themselves.

January 31, 2013

TWO VOICES OF SANITY on crime and guns.

January 31, 2013

A LOOK AT CHINA’S NEW MILITANCY.

January 31, 2013

“CIVILITY IS ONLY REQUIRED OF US:” NRA president says anti-gun advocates threatened to kill son, daughter.

Related: Anti-Gun Advocates Heckle Woman Wanting to Defend Her Children During Gun Violence Hearing.

UPDATE: More bullying: “Full text at the link, but you have to watch the video to understand the incivility of Durbin’s tone. . . . Of course, Durbin’s real point was not that background checks deter criminals from buying guns. The point was to find an opportunity for drama and to seize it. These so-called hearings have little to do with gathering information for the purpose of writing sound legislation. It’s political theater to build support for… oh, what difference does it make what they really do as long as they do something? . . . Remember the great call for civility that went out — from President Obama and many others — after the Tucson shootings? I’ve always used the tag ‘civility bullshit’ for that topic, because I never believed that it was intended to apply across the board. Imagine the reaction in the media if LaPierre had used the tone employed by Durbin.”

Yes, I had some thoughts on that civility bullshit myself.

January 31, 2013

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January 31, 2013

HOW’S THAT HOPEY-CHANGEY STUFF WORKIN’ OUT FOR YA? (CONT’D): Jobless Claims Rise Sharply. “Jobless claims surged this week, missing expectations by the most since Sandy as seasonal affectations are in the rear-view mirror. For 13 months, we have meandered around a flat-line initial claims number in the 365k range – and we remain there.”

UPDATE: Reader Tom Deakins writes: “You forgot to mention that this latest surge was unexpected.” Well, that goes without saying, by now.

January 31, 2013

BILL WHITTLE: Afterburner: What Difference Does It Make?

January 31, 2013

MISFIRE: Misfire: Joe Biden’s ‘Shotgun vs. Rifle’ Comments.

UPDATE: Sexist heckling! Gun rights proponent Gayle Trotter mocked by media, attacked by Left.

January 31, 2013

JACK DUNPHY: The Guns of Villaraigosa.

January 31, 2013

CULTURE OF CORRUPTION: Complaint: Sebelius’ illegal campaign trip for Obama worse than we thought.

Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius violated federal law by campaigning for President Obama on the taxpayers’ dime, but now that initial violation has the Democratic National Committee and an HHS aide in the spotlight for related alleged infractions.

A nonprofit government watchdog filed a complaint alleging that the DNC violated campaign finance law by misreporting the money it spent to reimburse HHS for Sebelius’ trip in a way that masked the fact that the Hatch Act, a ban on political campaigning by government employees working in their official capacity, had been violated. . . .

“Not only is it that the DNC is not being transparent about what it’s using its funds for reimbursement of, but it’s also violating the intent and letter of the Federal Elections Campaign Act,” Cause of Action’s Dan Epstein said in a phone interview with The Washington Examiner. “Whether it’s to cover up the Hatch Act violation or to just not properly report it, it’s very clear that it’s not properly reported — [for] the reason why, one would have to look into the minds of the lawyers at the DNC.”

Epstein floated the idea that the DNC reimbursed HHS (rather than the Treasury Department) and classified it as travel, rather than as a reimbursement for an independent expenditure in order to avoid the appearance that the Treasury Department had effectively loaned money to the Obama campaign for the trip (which would be another violation of federal law, he said).

Good grief.

January 31, 2013

LABORATORIES OF DEMOCRACY: States Embrace Tax Reform To Drive Economic Growth.

January 31, 2013

AARON SWARTZ UPDATE: A martyr in the fight for free online access to research?

January 31, 2013

HIGHER EDUCATION BUBBLE UPDATE: Mark Cuban: Will Your College Go Out Of Business Before You Graduate? “When I look at the university and college systems around the country I see the newspaper industry.”

Plus: “The smart high school grad no longer just picks a school, borrows money and wings it. Your future depends on your ability to assemble an educational plan that gets you on your path of knowledge and discovery without putting you at risk of attending a school that is doomed to fail , and/or saddling you with a debt heavy balance sheet that prevents you from taking the chances, searching for the opportunities or just being a fuck up for a while. We each take our own path, but nothing shortcuts the dreams of a 22 year old more than owing a shitload of money.”

UPDATE: Reader Rob McFadden writes: “In Northern Virginia, an Associate in Applied Science (automotive technology) will have local employers lined up even *before* you’ve got the degree. And, if you’re willing to move to the oil patch the amount of money is astonishing.”

January 31, 2013

NEWS YOU CAN USE: What’s the Difference Between Yogurt and “Cultured Dairy Blend”?

January 31, 2013

BACKYARD FARMING GETS FANCY:

Can chicken feed, canning jars and garden hoses feel chic?

Absolutely, say retailers cashing in on the “modern homesteader” craze. As more urban and suburban homeowners take up backyard farming, items like chicken coops, beehives, gardening tools and pickling and canning supplies are getting more stylish and pricey.

Stylish pickling?

January 31, 2013

STUDY: New E15 Gas Can Ruin Auto Engines. “In 2010 and 2011, EPA gave the green light to use E15 – the 15 percent ethanol gasoline blend – in model-year-2001-and-later cars and some other vehicles. EPA’s action was irresponsible. EPA knew E15 vehicle testing was ongoing but decided not to wait for the results. Why did EPA move forward prematurely? Part of the answer may be the need to raise the permissible concentration level of ethanol so that greater volumes could be used, as required by the federal Renewable Fuel Standard. Most gasoline sold today is an E10 blend, but rising volume requirements under the law can’t be met much longer without going to higher blends.”

Reader Bill Richmond emails: “Feds are pushing E15, not because of green fantasies about E15 itself, but because the existing formulas (mostly E10) weren’t using enough ethanol to meet the mandated amount of ethanol use. Central planning failures always lead to more central planning. It’s a beautiful thing. Well, not really.” Except for central planners.

January 31, 2013

THE GOOD NEWS ABOUT GUN CONFISCATION IS THAT THE GOVERNMENT IS ABOUT AS GOOD AT THAT AS IT IS AT EVERYTHING ELSE: California unable to disarm 19,700 felons and mentally ill people. “California authorities are empowered to seize weapons owned by convicted felons and people with mental illness, but staff shortages and funding cuts have left a backlog of more than 19,700 people to disarm, a law enforcement official said Tuesday.”

January 30, 2013

WAIT, I THOUGHT THESE STORIES WERE JUST RIGHT-WING FANTASIES: Home invasion suspect arrested after woman opens fire.

January 30, 2013

CHANGE: Rising Financial Burdens for Middle-Aged Americans.

With an aging population and a generation of young adults struggling to achieve financial independence, the burdens and responsibilities of middle-aged Americans are increasing. Nearly half (47%) of adults in their 40s and 50s have a parent age 65 or older and are either raising a young child or financially supporting a grown child (age 18 or older). And about one-in-seven middle-aged adults (15%) is providing financial support to both an aging parent and a child. . . .

One likely explanation for the increase in the prevalence of parents providing financial assistance to grown children is that the Great Recession and sluggish recovery have taken a disproportionate toll on young adults. In 2010, the share of young adults who were employed was the lowest it had been since the government started collecting these data in 1948. Moreover, from 2007 to 2011 those young adults who were employed full time experienced a greater drop in average weekly earnings than any other age group.

Unless the economy starts growing, this won’t change. We’ve got a Junior Squeeze and a Senior Squeeze, and both are contributing to the middle-aged feeling stretched.

Related: Obama Keeps Us In Our Parents’ Homes.

January 30, 2013

OF COURSE RAPISTS WANT WOMEN DISARMED. WHY ARE DEMOCRATS PRO-RAPE? Gun Control Activist Protesting How Easy it is to Buy Guns, is a Rapist.

January 30, 2013

POTEMKIN SENTIMENT: It turns out that Giffords’s speech therapist wrote the note, not Giffords herself — and that Americans for Responsible Solution’s reference to “Gabby Giffords’ handwritten testimony at the Senate Judiciary Committee” meant “handwritten” in a general sense.

But then, as Mark Tapscott noted, it’s just one Potemkin village after another.

January 30, 2013

NATION’S BIGGEST GUN STORE CALLS FOR REVOLT. Well, not exactly. More like political action.

January 30, 2013

STICK WITH BURGERS AND FRIES. FOR YOUR HEALTH! Study finds leafy green vegetables top source of food poisoning.

January 30, 2013

BUT OF COURSE: Dolce & Gabbana Plans To Release Perfume For Babies.

January 30, 2013

PHOTO: An early beta-test for the Borg.

January 30, 2013

SCHOOL SEX SCANDALS IN THE 21ST CENTURY: “When I was young, a school sex scandal was when someone got some. Times evidently have changed.”

January 30, 2013

AT AMAZON, coupons galore in Home Improvement.

January 30, 2013

WAIT, I THOUGHT THIS KIND OF THING NEVER HAPPENED: Home Invasion Suspect Dies Of Gunshot Wound. “One man was killed and another shot in the leg when they, along with three others, allegedly participated in a home invasion Monday evening where the residents fought back. . . . Fairborn Police Sgt. Paul Hicks said the only motive they’ve uncovered was that the subjects intended to rob the home. Two Wright State University students who live at 1006 Victoria Ave. were home when the intruders entered. Trent Seitz, 21, reportedly struggled with the men and was ordered to the floor. He called out for his roommate, Christopher Muse, who told police that he grabbed a gun and fired at the men.”

January 30, 2013

CHANGE: “Did you know that the Earth is getting greener, quite literally? Satellites are now confirming that the amount of green vegetation on the planet has been increasing for three decades. This will be news to those accustomed to alarming tales about deforestation, over-development and ecosystem destruction.”

January 30, 2013

KURT SCHLICHTER: Ignore Lena Dunham’s ‘Girls’ at Your Own Peril, Conservatives. “Will we finally heed Andrew Breitbart’s warnings about the importance of taking pop culture seriously or just keep fiddling as the culture burns?”

January 30, 2013

SAYUNCLE: Advice on a “good first gun.”

January 30, 2013

JACK SHAFER: Unsolicited advice for New Republic owner Chris Hughes. “If you think I’m being unfair to Hughes — and don’t put it past me — read his introductory note to readers in the redesigned magazine, where he deploys the same, lifeless voice. . . . This is a memo that every newspaper and magazine editor since the invention of the telegraph could have written. And has!”

January 30, 2013

MENENDEZ UPDATE: Menendez Admits Flying to Dominican Republic on Donor’s Private Plane.

January 30, 2013

I’M APPALLED AT THIS EVIDENCE OF INSTITUTIONAL RACISM AT CNN: Soledad O’Brien’s CNN show nixed due to being ‘too ethnic’?

More here.

January 30, 2013

21ST CENTURY RELATIONSHIPS: Woman Tries To Kill Husband By Poisoning Her Vagina.

January 30, 2013

AT AMAZON, Digital Deals.

January 30, 2013

LABORATORIES OF DEMOCRACY: Sen. Ted Cruz invites Chicago banks, gun manufacturers to move to Texas.

January 30, 2013

ROBERT MENENDEZ UPDATE: Roll Call: “Sen. Robert Menendez denied any wrongdoing as he responded Wednesday to a report that a South Florida ophthalmologist associated with the New Jersey Democrat had his office raided by the FBI. . . . The Miami Herald reported that the FBI raided the office of Dr. Salomon Melgen in West Palm Beach on Tuesday night. The newspaper noted that Melgen has been accused of providing prostitutes to Menendez during travel to the Dominican Republic. Those claims remain unsubstantiated, and the Miami Herald reported that the tipster in the case has refused to meet in person with FBI agents.”

UPDATE: Related: Emails: FBI Wanted to Meet Source of Menendez Prostitution Allegations Before Raid on Donor. I’m not actually sure why Menendez’ cavorting with hookers should, by itself, be of interest to the FBI. But, of course, we don’t know that that’s what’s going on. Perhaps there are questions of bribery or influence-peddling.

January 30, 2013

MATT K. LEWIS: Why I Hate Twitter. “Twitter has become like high school, where the mean kids say something hurtful to boost their self esteem and to see if others will laugh and join in. . . . When Abraham Lincoln was mad, he would famously write people scathing letters. He would then file them in his desk drawer, never to be sent. Abe was lucky he didn’t have Twitter.”

January 30, 2013

STATISTICS: Gun-Controlled Britain Has More Than Double U.S. Rape Rate. Why are Democrats pro-rape?

January 30, 2013

NICK ROSENKRANZ: There Is No Basis In Constitutional Text For the Claim That A Treaty Can Increase The Legislative Powers of Congress.

January 30, 2013

WHY MEN STOPPED WEARING HIGH HEELS:

A recent episode of the BBC’s “The Why Factor” explored the history of high heels. Of interest is the background of men wearing high heels, which they originally wore as a form of riding footwear.

“Good horsemanship was essential to the fighting styles of Persia – the historical name for modern-day Iran …When the soldier stood up in his stirrups, the heel helped him to secure his stance so that he could shoot his bow and arrow more effectively,” said Elizabeth Semmelhack of the Bata Shoe Museum in Toronto.

I’m so enjoying the visual of a man on horse in stilettos. From there, interest in Persian fashion spread to Western Europe where the high heel became a way for men to flaunt their status. The more impractical the footwear, the more privilege it displayed. The higher a man’s heel, the less distance he had to walk. . . . By 1740, high heels were seen as too foolish and effeminate for men to wear.

Except for a brief return during the Disco era.

January 30, 2013

FOREIGN CHEESE: Threat, Or Menace?

January 30, 2013

ANSWERING THE IMPORTANT QUESTIONS: Why Is Spider Silk Five Times Stronger Than Piano Wire?

January 30, 2013

AMUSING AMAZON REVIEWS ON THIS PREDATOR DRONE MODEL. My favorite: “This is the best toy ever. Finally, I can pretend that I’m a winner of the Nobel Peace Prize!”

January 30, 2013

SUB SHOP CHAIN IS HIGH ON BOSTON:

“Nugs,” “pinners” and “blunts” soon will be openly sold near Boston college campuses.

No, not the marijuana cigarettes — though those may be already. Cheba Hut will be marketing its herb-themed subs in the Hub under those names. Though no pot plants are harmed in the making of these sandwiches, they are totally “toasted.”

“The core to our theme is certainly cannabis-driven and counterculture-driven,” Cheba’s chief operating officer Matt Trethewey said. “We think it’s funny that a plant is legislated, and there’s laws around it.”

It is kind of funny.

January 30, 2013

MICKEY KAUS: The Fox News Immigration Plan.

January 30, 2013

NEWS YOU CAN USE: Viagra As A Diet Pill. “The drug, generically known as sildenafil, helped convert undesirable white fat cells to energy-burning beige fat cells in laboratory mice, researchers at the University of Bonn in Germany report in The Journal of the Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology. It was already known that mice fed Viagra became less prone to obesity when fed a high-fat diet. What was not clear was why.”

January 30, 2013

THE NEW YORK TIMES’ NEMESIS, SmarterTimes, is back. Here’s why.

January 30, 2013

GUN CONTROL ON RAHM EMANUEL’S WATCH: Chicago murders top Afghanistan death toll. “The death toll by murder in Chicago over the past decade is greater than the number of American forces who have died in Afghanistan since the beginning of Operation Enduring Freedom, according to a police analysis. In addition, police reports in Chicago – where President Obama once worked as a community organizer and where his former chief of staff, Rahm Emanuel, now serves as mayor – show most of the city’s massive murder mayhem is black-on-black crime.”

January 30, 2013

NOW IF HE’D ORGANIZED A TEA PARTY EVENT, THEY’D HAVE BEEN ALL OVER IT: Convicted rapist organizes gun control demonstration at Dayton gun show; Media fails to note his sex offender status.

January 30, 2013

A SEEMINGLY EVERGREEN HEADLINE: NBC ‘Reviewing’ How Its Editors Created a Lie that the Network Aired.

January 30, 2013

WILLIAM RATLIFF: Cuba After Fidel.

January 30, 2013

IN THE MAIL: Government Policies and the Delayed Economic Recovery.

January 30, 2013

RANDY BARNETT: Gun Control Fails Rationality Test.

So, when considering the constitutionality of bans on so-called military-style assault weapons, or restrictions on the capacity of magazines, senators should begin by asking whether the weapons being banned are in common use by civilians. When it comes to so-called assault weapons, like the AR-15, or 30-round magazines, the answer is clearly “yes.” Millions of such weapons and magazines are in private hands.

That should settle the matter, but senators can go a step further and ask whether these or other measures are actually rational — to articulate the end they are seeking to accomplish, then assesses whether the means adopted actually match up with the purported end. Would they actually have prevented a mass shooting or ameliorated real crimes?

This heightened “rationality review” could help ensure that the reason being articulated is the real reason for the law.

For example, “assault weapons” are a made-up category of weapons that is based solely on cosmetic features that make them look like the fully automatic weapons used by the military. Banning them leaves other rifles that are functionally identical in their lethality and rate of fire completely legal. Moreover, far more powerful hunting rifles are left untouched by the law, as are shotguns. This is simply irrational and therefore unconstitutional.

The same can be said for New York’s law limiting handguns to seven rounds, while allowing both active and retired police officers to keep their handguns that hold up to 15 rounds. If retired cops need 15 rounds to effectively protect themselves and others, then so do other citizens. Arbitrarily discriminating among Americans in this way is irrational and unconstitutional.

Yes. Likewise the proposals to tax ammunition, which would punish target shooters — who shoot a lot — to a vastly greater degree than criminals, who only shoot when committing a crime.

January 30, 2013

MAYOR BLOOMBERG’S LEGACY: Massive Spending Increases.

January 30, 2013

ALLEN WEST: We Need The Next Generation of Guardians.

January 30, 2013

PEJMAN YOUSEFZADEH: The Fact that Brad DeLong Doesn’t Understand Conservative Jurisprudence Doesn’t Mean the Rest of Us Have to Pretend.

January 30, 2013

CREATING JOBS: Help Wanted: Qualified Death Panelists. “Are you a nationally recognized health finance and economics expert willing to work for beans on a political lightning rod of a project? Do you enjoy being the subject of Senate confirmation hearings? If so, apply to be a death panelist today…because it doesn’t look like anyone else is. . . . It isn’t hard to see why nobody is clamoring to take a job that offers low pay and lots of regulations and will make everyone in the country hate you. But it’s been clear from the beginning that this is the kind of thing you get with a massive, centralized health care ‘fix’ like Obamacare: 15 unhappy people in a room making enormously important but impossible to predict decisions affecting a broad and diverse industry (not to mention the lives and health of millions). It’s hard to imagine a centralized approach getting all the nuances of health care right—and we certainly haven’t stumbled onto the miracle cure here.”

January 30, 2013

HOW’S THAT HOPEY-CHANGEY STUFF WORKIN’ OUT FOR YA? (CONT’D): GDP Actually Shrunk in Fourth Quarter of 2012. Funny, as I recall the news reports it seemed like we were in an Obama-driven economic boom. . . .

January 30, 2013

CUOMO’S APPROVAL PLUMMETS 15 POINTS AFTER GUN-CONTROL MOVE.

January 30, 2013

TEST DRIVE: My Day on a Treadmill Desk.

January 30, 2013

AT AMAZON, Valentine’s Day Gifts Galore!

Also, today only: 45% Off Select Puma Running Shoes.

January 30, 2013

WHEN AL GORE DREAMS OF ELECTRIC JEEPS: I’ve got a review of Al Gore’s new book in today’s Wall Street Journal. With an oblique Philip K. Dick reference, and an overt Nebraska Guitar Militia reference.

January 30, 2013

ED DRISCOLL UNPACKS NBC’S Latest Incident of Dishonest Video Editing. “As with George Zimmerman’s 9/11 call last year, somebody at NBC/MSNBC futzed with the timeline of the raw video to produce the result they wanted to see.” This goes way beyond “out of context.” They’re really shameful.