January 20, 2013
BUT I HEAR HIS INAUGURAL SPEECH WILL BE ABOUT UNITY: At Church, Obama’s Pastor Calls Republicans “The Enemies” – Starts Chanting “Forward.”
BUT I HEAR HIS INAUGURAL SPEECH WILL BE ABOUT UNITY: At Church, Obama’s Pastor Calls Republicans “The Enemies” – Starts Chanting “Forward.”
DESPERATION: Piers Morgan wants you to think he’s a serious journalist except that he attacks his critics with nasty taunts. If Piers Morgan wants me to think he’s a serious journalist, he’s doing it wrong.
WELCOME TO THE SECOND TERM OF HOPE AND CHANGE: “See, dissent is evidence of sinister motives. We’ve heard it before, during the fight over ObamaCare and the campaign on raising taxes. We will hear it on climate change and immigration. Only the president is pure, above politics. So when he unleashes his campaign team to function as the spear tip of White House policy, The New York Times actually calls it ‘a grassroots effort.’ Watch for TV ads like those that accused Mitt Romney of being a felon and causing cancer.”
SAYUNCLE: Why Are Anti-Gun Activists So Violent?
ROGER KIMBALL: The Next Target: Talk Radio. “Leftists hate talk radio. Why? Because it represents an independent source of opinion, a source, moreover, that is at once extremely popular and (from the perspective of the leftists) politically heterodox.”
PROF. JACOBSON: When Concerts Are Outlawed, Only Outlaws Will Have Concerts. And isn’t banning gun shows because you don’t like the “gun culture” kinda like banning rock concerts because you don’t like the rock culture?
DEMOCRATIC LEGISLATOR IN JAIL AFTER THREATENING FELLOW LAWMAKER: “A Democratic assemblyman is in jail, arrested for threatening Democratic Speaker-elect Marilyn Kirkpatrick, according to North Las Vegas Police and Democratic sources familiar with the situation. Assemblyman Steven Brooks, 40, of North Las Vegas made threats to harm a public official Saturday afternoon, police said in a news release Sunday morning. A source said he was arrested with a loaded gun after threatening to shoot Kirkpatrick.” Maybe we just need gun control for elected Democrats. . . .
JOHN ROSS: Guilty Until Proven Innocent: Washington, D.C.’s Civil Forfeiture Racket. The whole civil-forfeiture thing is a racket everywhere. An absolute disgrace, one of many in today’s law enforcement environment.
CAN ANYBODY POINT ME to the list of legislators who voted for that dumb New York gun law?
UPDATE: Got it. That was fast! Thanks to the numerous readers who sent the link within minutes.
PALEOISTA is a Paleo diet site.
WHY I WRITE ABOUT MY DAUGHTER ON THE INTERNET: “I walk the line of overshare on my site daily. I try to be truthful and intentional. Loving and honest. I don’t always make it.”
AT AMAZON, New Year’s Markdowns in Exercise & Fitness.
NECESSARY AND PROPER: Congress Won’t Permit “Contortions” at Inaugural Ball.
SO FOR ANYONE WHO’S INTERESTED, I’ve got an early version of my Due Process When Everything Is A Crime essay posted now. It’s pretty short, as I plan to submit it to the online law reviews for faster turnaround. Maybe later I’ll write a longer piece on the topic — I’ve already been asked if I’d like to do a book, but I’m not sure. Maybe someone else will pick up the ball and I won’t have to. . . .
UPDATE: Reader William Vine writes:
Thanks for the very insightful article. You explained concisely the legal ramifications of everyone is guilty. However, there are the psychological ramifications: Everyone is guilty. Everyone is immoral. Everyone is corrupt. Everyone is a failure. First explained to me in Atlas Shrugged. Unfortunately, do not remember citation details.
I believe this is the passage you mean:
“Did you really think that we want those laws to be observed?” said Dr. Ferris. “We want them broken. You’d better get it straight that it’s not a bunch of boy scouts you’re up against – then you’ll know that this is not the age for beautiful gestures. We’re after power and we mean it. You fellows were pikers, but we know the real trick, and you’d better get wise to it. There’s no way to rule innocent men. The only power any government has is the power to crack down on criminals. Well, when there aren’t enough criminals, one makes them. One declares so many things to be a crime that it becomes impossible for men to live without breaking laws. Who wants a nation of law-abiding citizens? What’s there in that for anyone? But just pass the kind of laws that can neither be observed nor enforced nor objectively interpreted – and you create a nation of law-breakers – and then you cash in on guilt. Now, that’s the system, Mr. Rearden, that’s the game, and once you understand it, you’ll be much easier to deal with.”
Things aren’t quite that bad. Yet. (Bumped).
FURTHER SUPPORT FOR MY THEORY that these people favor gun controls because they assume that others are as unstable as themselves: Antigun Virginia lawmaker who brandished AK-47 during legislative session was disbarred following assault, death threat.
A Virginia lawmaker who drew gasps from his colleagues when he brandished a borrowed AK-47 during an anti-gun speech Thursday was found guilty in 2002 of committing a vicious 1999 assault, was sanctioned for legal misconduct while prosecuting a rape case, spent six months in jail for contempt of a federal court, and saw his law license revoked in 2003.
Democratic Delegate Joseph Morrissey brought the rifle to the floor of the House of Delegates to demonstrate how easy it is to carry firearms in Virginia. Republican Delegate Todd Gilbert interrupted Morrissey’s speech to ask him to remove his finger from inside the gun’s trigger-guard — a basic gun-safety practice.
Not fit to own a gun? Possibly. Not fit to make laws as to who should own a gun? Definitely.
CLARICE FELDMAN ON THE DEMOCRACY INITIATIVE. “All of this is taking place with no comment by the media — which like their counterparts in academia, Hollywood. Silicon Valley (and unfortunately too many big corporations) — are ideological partners in ‘progressivism’.”
As I mentioned earlier, it reminds me very much of the way they astroturfed campaign finance “reform,” which was really just a ginned-up media campaign.
21ST CENTURY RELATIONSHIPS: Teenage Girl Says She Will Have Sex With Teenage Boy If He Gets 1 Million Facebook Likes.
ANNALS OF THE ONE PERCENT: “The average tenured university professor at New York University or Columbia makes more than $180,000 a year, according to a 2012 survey by The Chronicle of Higher Education. Sweetening the deal for those looking to buy, N.Y.U. has offered mortgage assistance and discounted loans, while qualified Columbia faculty are eligible for a subsidy of up to $40,000 a year.”
RETIREMENT IN THE ERA OF HOPE AND CHANGE: America’s CEOs Want You to Work Until You’re 70.
HIGHER EDUCATION BUBBLE UPDATE: Robber Needed Money To Pay Student Loan Debt.
A man who wore a three-dimensional Bucky Badger hat when he allegedly robbed an East Side credit union last week told police that he wants to go to prison and needed the money because he has $250,000 in student debt. . . .
An online UW-Madison directory lists Hubatch as a lead custodian at Union South on the UW-Madison campus. University spokesman John Lucas said Hubatch is not a current student but earned a bachelor’s in English in 1998 and a law degree in 2004.
Can’t say I’m surprised to see stories like this.
WARP SPEED: What Hyperspace Would Really Look Like. Not sure we’re on the same page with the description of “hyperspace,” though. They seem to be talking about superluminal flight in normal space.
THE PRIVILEGED AGENDA OF HARRY REID: Harry Reid Will Urge Senate To Tackle Immigration Reform, Gun Control. “On Tuesday, Reid will formally outline his agenda with a series of ‘privileged’ measures he expects to take up over the next two years, according to Democratic aides. To be sure, the list of bills isn’t an outline of what Reid thinks can actually become law: for instance, the House Republican majority has indicated reform to gun laws could not win approval. Rather, the list is more a declaration of those issues the Senate’s Democratic majority values most highly.”
ICE CUBES That Know When You’re Drunk.
DO PLUMMETING LAW SCHOOL ENROLLMENTS portend massive faculty layoffs? Depends on how far they plummet. But the decline has certainly been dramatic over the past few years.
#NARRATIVEFAIL: NBC Poll: NRA More Popular Than Entertainment Industry. Well, they do better work.
GOOD NEWS: As of today, Barack Obama’s presidency is half over. If that’s not enough to cheer you up, try heading over to the Insta-Wife’s new site, Helen’s Page, where you can commiserate or whatever with others who feel the same way.
Helen’s Page is “A place for liberty-minded people to come together. Whether you’re looking to share an interesting new story, or to hire someone to proofread your novel, you can do it here. Just sign up and start posting.”
TED CRUZ ON MEET THE PRESS IN ONE TWEET: “@tedcruz did well on @meetthepress good thing #gop didn’t go with some wild #teaparty guy & instead went with a party pick…oh wait.”
IN LIGHT OF THE COUNTRY’S ECONOMIC SITUATION, shouldn’t President Obama have made today’s “bare bones” ceremony the only inauguration ceremony?
GEORGE WILL: A Time Bomb In ObamaCare?
EVERYBODY’S A COMPLAINER: ‘Feminist Americans’ Are ‘Disappointed … and Feel Let Down’ by Michelle Obama.
Last year, after Obama and Ann Romney submitted recipes for a cookie contest, Hirshman told The Washington Post that Obama’s “first mom, gardener thing” is “silly.”Now, Hirshman says, “I’ve kind of lost interest in Michelle Obama. She was trapped by assumptions about race and had limited room to maneuver. Whether that was a welcome choice or she had no choice, I will never know. It’s very difficult to envision her as running for senator from the state of Illinois as you did with Hillary Clinton running for senator from the state of New York.”
“Are fashion and body-toning tips all we can expect from one of the most highly educated First Ladies in history?” asked author Leslie Morgan Steiner in an online column last January. She said she’d “read enough bland dogma on home-grown vegetables and aerobic exercise to last me several lifetimes.”
I agree. I’d like to hear more about strength-training.
JOSCELYN HAYES: Benghazi: It’s worse than an injustice, it’s a humiliation.
AT AMAZON, markdowns in Car Electronics.
Also, today only: 2013 Nautilus Recumbent Exercise Bike, $459.99 (34% off).
THE BLOOM IS OFF THE ROSE: Dana Milbank: Less an inauguration than a tepid rerun. “Four years ago, hundreds of thousands of people flooded the capital, sleeping on floors and lining the streets so that they could be part of history: the inauguration of the first black president, who had the promise of being a transformational figure that could bring hope and change to a broken political system. That messiah never came.”
Bill Quick comments: “Because that messiah never existed.”
Just yesterday, I mocked Maryland officials for suspending two little boys for the horrific crime of playing cops and robbers (and noted that this is not the first time such stupidity has been displayed by Maryland school officials).
Preferred Weapon of al Qaeda
Apparently, the pencil-neck bureaucrats in Pennsylvania are jealous that their neighbors are getting a lot of attention, so they’ve branded a five-year old girl as a terrorist threat for talking about her pink toy gun that shoots bubbles.
As I keep saying, it’s looking more and more like it’s parental malpractice to put your kids in the hands of public schools. Which will just bring on the K-12 Implosion.
Plus, “here’s Andrea Mitchell marveling at the fact that, notwithstanding Christie’s blue-state pander about their ‘reprehensible’ ad, the NRA is a reasonably popular organization.”
IF IT WERE A MUSLIM SCHOOL THEY’D WELCOME IT IN THE NAME OF DIVERSITY: Deans Oppose Canada’s First Christian Law School.
BILL CLINTON TO DEMOCRATS: Don’t “Trivialize” The Bitter Clingers.
Clinton said that passing the 1994 federal assault weapons ban “devastated” more than a dozen Democratic lawmakers in the 1994 midterms — and cost then-Speaker of the House Tom Foley (D-Wash.) his job and his seat in Congress.
“I’ve had many sleepless nights in the many years since,” Clinton said. One reason? “I never had any sessions with the House members who were vulnerable,” he explained — saying that he had assumed they already knew how to explain their vote for the ban to their constituents. . . .
He said that he understands the culture that permeates a state like Arkansas — where guns are a longstanding part of local culture.
“A lot of these people … all they’ve got is their hunting and their fishing,” he told the Democratic financiers. “Or they’re living in a place where they don’t have much police presence. Or they’ve been listening to this stuff for so long that they believe it all.”
Clinton closed his remarks with a warning to big Democratic donors that ultimately many Democratic lawmakers will be defeated if they choose to stand with the president.
“Do not be self-congratulatory about how brave you for being for this” gun control push, he said. “The only brave people are the people who are going to lose their jobs if they vote with you.”
The voice of experience. Though he has some violent rhetoric about the NRA. What is it with these people and their desire to shoot civil rights activists?
HIGHER EDUCATION BUBBLE UPDATE: Pricking The Academic Bloat.
DAY BY DAY on gender relations and civilization.
BILL WHITTLE SAYS HAVE FAITH. And don’t succumb to the efforts to demoralize you. The untapped reservoirs are deep and wide.
More reporting, including photos, here.
HEAVEN FORFEND: Joe Biden Makes Hilarious Pre-Inauguration Gaffe: ‘I’m Proud To Be President Of The United States.’ No, really, Heaven forfend.
UPDATE: Reader Jim McCrory writes: “I think he would be an improvement.” Ouch.
ON THE PAGE FOR HER NEW BOOK, Amity Shlaes talks with Paul Volcker about Calvin Coolidge. Volcker: “Coolidge balanced the budget. Saving, we don’t do that anymore.”
CULTURE OF CORRUPTION: Unions, bundlers and special interests fund Obama’s second inauguration party.
WHY AL FRANKEN IS LOOKING IFFY ON GUN CONTROL: Minnesotans Buying Guns In Record Numbers. “Across the country, firearms industry analysts point to soaring numbers — including first-time gun buyers now making up a quarter of all sales and nearly 75 percent of gun retailers reporting sales boosts over last year. Minnesotans are riding that same wave, prompting more than 25,000 law enforcement queries tied to permit applications since Dec. 18. That’s more than double the 10,681 checks run for permits during the same period a year ago. . . . Those burgeoning numbers worry gun control advocates, who are puzzled that the reaction to the Newtown tragedy has been this massive firearms buildup.”
They don’t understand things very well, do they? But then, the gun-control movement is a bunch of old, out-of-touch white people, clinging to the politics of the last century.
POINTS AND FIGURES: The Debt Crisis. “America is on a bullet train to debt hell. The numbers speak for themselves.”
The new rules would cost about half a billion dollars per year. The cost of FSMA will be borne by farmers and food producers of all sizes. The FDA estimates the FSMA will cost America’s small farms about $13,000 each per year. Larger farms—much more capable of bearing the costs—will be out about $30,000 per year. Other food producers are likely to face varying fees. . . . In truth, the law’s real impact on food safety will be minimal.
The FSMA would permit the FDA to hire about 2,000 new food-safety inspectors in order to increase the frequency of food-safety inspections. Specifically, the proposed rules would require that “[a]ll high-risk domestic facilities must be inspected within five years of enactment and no less than every three years, thereafter.” Given that the FSMA rules are just now open to public comment and won’t be final for another year or two, this translates into a likely total of exactly two inspections of what the FDA refers to as the most “high-risk domestic facilities” over the next decade.
How’s that for impact?
Even if these inspections were to take place more than once in a blue moon, just how effective at preventing foodborne illness are FDA inspections? Not very.
BILL QUICK: “Any parent who sends their kids to public schools should understand that they are sanctioning the long term abuse of their own child. Sit them down in front of a computer screen loaded up with Khan Academy courses. They’ll end up healthier, happier, better adjusted, better educated, and far, far more safe. Nobody ever got an STD, bullied, or shot through an online educational course. And no kid ever got harmed by predatory edu-bots that way, either.”
How many parents have to start thinking this way before the K-12 Implosion becomes a reality?
By the way, that book is now available on Kindle, too.
INGRATITUDE: George Takei does not care much for William Shatner.
12-YEAR-OLD GIRL SHOOTS HOME INTRUDER: “Deputies say the girl was home alone when a man she’d never seen before, rang the front doorbell. They say when no one answered the door, the man went around to the back of the house and kicked a door open. That’s when authorities say, the girl grabbed a gun and hid in a bathroom closet. . . . Under sheriff Ken Golden says the girl is a hero and that under the circumstances, she did everything right to protect herself.”
PUNCHING BACK TWICE AS HARD: Thousands of 2nd Amendment Supporters Rally in Albany. If they’re smart, they’ll follow this up with personal visits to their legislators. That’s more effective, generally, than a rally, though rallies do help remind people that there’s a dispute here.
MICHELLE CATALANO: MySpace Attempts to Rise from the Ashes. The Insta-Daughter loved the old MySpace because you could customize the page — she learned CSS in 6th grade as a result. She finds Facebook utterly dull.
FIGHTING THE POWER: Kim Dotcom: the internet cult hero spoiling for a fight with US authorities.
After spending almost a month in prison in early 2012, Dotcom and his co-accused were awarded bail – the first of a series of court victories that have left the prosecution case looking increasingly wobbly. With any hearing for extradition to the US to face criminal copyright charges having been pushed back, it is hard not to see the extravagant unveiling of the new site as a two-finger gesture aimed at US authorities. . . .
The series of setbacks to the prosecution case has prompted speculation that the extradition hearing itself may never be heard – a scenario that Dotcom, who turns 39 next week, says he would regret. “We want to expose what has happened here. We have a lot of information that shows the political interference. We feel that what happened here was manufactured to destroy Megaupload, and we want to show that. . . . I have a much better understanding now of how the US government operates and how much spying is actually going on, how much privacy intrusion is the reality today.”
Overreaching at the DOJ seems to be producing some blowback.
FREE ON KINDLE, TODAY AND TOMORROW: A Different View: Travels with Team Easy, Iraq 2007. By Blake Powers, with a foreword by Matt Burden, and an introduction by J.D. Johannes.
HOW YOU CAN save $1000 this year.
THIS WAS SUPPOSED TO BE MY COLUMN FOR NEW YEAR’S DAY: John Tierney On Procrastination.
ALGERIA: Crisis Over, Hostages Dead.
IN THE MAIL: After the Welfare State.
INVESTOR’S BUSINESS DAILY: $16 trillion in debt but still no Democrat budget for 1,361 days.
THE COUNTRY’S IN THE VERY BEST OF HANDS: GAO: IRS service bad–and getting worse. “Fewer taxpayers are getting through on the Internal Revenue Service hotline, their wait times for help has surged to 17 minutes, and 40 percent of those who write in questions wait over 45 days for an answer, a deterioration of taxpayer service that is just getting worse, according to a new government audit.”
CHARLIE MARTIN: 13 Weeks: Week 11 — In Which We Consolidate Our Losses.
WALTER RUSSELL MEAD: Illinois’s Blue Robin Hoods Stealing from the Young to Give to the Old.
After pension reform went down in flames last week, Illinois moved to Plan B: war on the young. Governor Pat Quinn’s administration claims that the upcoming budget will include major cutbacks on state services to make room for a $1 billion increase in pension spending. Most notably, education spending will decrease by $400 million, which would make 2013 the third straight year in which education spending has dropped. . . . Sticking it to either group, the young or the old, isn’t appealing, but the boomers are politically organized and better positioned to fight for their interests, particularly because powerful unions are on their side. The young, by contrast, are among the least politically active groups in the country, making them much easier for politicians to ignore. Illinois has obviously chosen the path of least resistance.
If there’s a clearer illustration of the blue war on the young, we have yet to see it.
It’s all about juice. Young people don’t have the juice.
INVESTOR’S BUSINESS DAILY: Obama’s Second-Term Priority: Destroy Republicans And Win Back The House. If he can do that, he’ll really have “flexibility.”
HIGHER EDUCATION BUBBLE UPDATE: “The impulse to impose Sarbanes-Oxley on universities is tempting. . . . It has traditionally has been assumed that universities, as ostensibly charitable organizations, would be run with an eye on the public good, thus formal restraints on self-dealing, conflicts of interest, and rules that apply to private corporations would not be necessary. Today, however, universities are big businesses riven with self-interest. And there is little evidence that charitable purpose plays any role in their behavior.”
The entire nonprofit sector — not just higher-ed — is ripe for much more scrutiny. There’s lots of money sloshing around, and not much accountability.
WAIT, I THOUGHT THEY WERE A BUNCH OF CLUELESS, OUT-OF-TOUCH OLD WHITE GUYS, SQUATTING ON THE DUSTBIN OF HISTORY: Washington Post: How The NRA Is Winning.
There’s little doubt that the inside-the-Beltway crowd and those who have been longtime advocates of more gun control laws are outraged by the brash style that the NRA has adopted following the shootings in Newtown, Conn.
But, there’s also plenty of evidence to suggest that the NRA is regarded entirely differently in the country at large. . . .
The NRA is already in the midst of a membership boom, as the actions taken by Obama — and, in particular, his executive orders — convince people that the threat of the government seizing guns or limiting gun ownership is real and, because it is, a counter-weight to that government is needed. (To be clear: Obama has never said anything that would suggest confiscation of guns is a possibility.)
According to NRA spokesman Andrew Arulanadam, the group has added 250,000 new members since gun control re-emerged in the national debate and added 400,000 more followers to its Facebook page (from 1.6 million to 2 million). Arulanadam wouldn’t disclose any information about the pace of donations to the NRA over that same time period, but it’s hard to imagine that hasn’t heavily increased as well.
The longer the fight on gun rights carries on, the more members — and money — the NRA will add. It’s not unreasonable to think the NRA will add more members (and raise more money) in 2013 than in any year in recent memory.
Well, and after the NYT, and pretty much all the other inside-the-beltway crowd, called the armed-guards-in-schools proposal crazy — the Times called it “delusional, almost deranged” — President Obama came out with . . . a proposal for armed guards in schools. It is no small feat for an out-of-touch, on-the-ropes organization to get the President to basically endorse its signature policy proposal at a time of national debate.
“SMART DIPLOMACY:” Algerian stance spoils U.S. strategy for region. “The result is that the U.S. will have squandered six to eight months of diplomacy for how it wants to deal with Mali.”
WHILE AMERICANS WERE TAKEN HOSTAGE BY THE “DEFEATED” AL QAEDA, Government Focusing on Threat of “Right-Wing” Domestic Terror. “The report’s author is Arie Perliger, who directs the Center’s terrorism studies and teaches social sciences at West Point. I can only imagine what his classes are like as his report manages to lump together every known liberal stereotype about conservatives between its covers.”
THE CYNICISM OF DICK MORRIS: One of the architects of the anti-militia panic is now borrowing the militias’ rhetoric.
WITH LEGAL EDUCATION IN FREE-FALL, WE TURN TO THE IMPORTANT QUESTION: What Does It Mean For Women? “Law schools, of course, don’t give women a tuition break because they are likely to earn less than men in the workplace or to take more years out of the full-time labor force. So as tuition went up (and up), the financial benefits of attending law school diminished more for women than for men.”
Men try harder, because they know that women want men who earn more. Women don’t because they know that men have different priorities, and because they want to quit the rat-race at some point and have kids, making their tolerance for high debt levels rationally lower.
MEGAN MCARDLE: Law School Enrollments Are Plummeting: What Happens Next? “At the Cato Panel, Campos and Tamanaha argued that while lawyers from mid-ranked schools have actually been struggling for years, the last decade has seen a radical collapse in the fortunes of all but the very elite. Enrollments have expanded, and tuition has skyrocketed, even as the profession is contracting. Technology and outsourcing are taking over the most mundane tasks, leaving less work for lawyers. At the same time, they argue that federal student loans have allowed schools to ratchet up tuition. That means that the schools, rather than the graduates, are capturing more of the value of the degree . . . to the point where many schools are capturing more value than the degree actually confers.”
Hence the term, higher education bubble. It’s just hitting law schools first. Plus:
This will have a few knock-on effects worth thinking about. The first thing to consider is that law schools have opened at such a big clip in part because they are cash cows for the schools that operate them. You don’t need a bunch of expensive labs, just some classrooms and some law professors. Yet students pay tuitions much higher than that of other graduate programs. Shrinking or closing law programs will put financial pressure on other departments.
Another thing to think about is what happens to departments like English and Political Science. When I was an English major, law school was the obvious backup plan if you couldn’t get a job–indeed, more than a few kids chose it in order to ensure that they had the best possible GPA for their law school applications. If it becomes clear that this is no longer a sure-fire rescue plan, do kids start rethinking the interesting-but-non-remunerative departments?
I recommend studying welding. Big demand.
UPDATE: Some more hopeful thoughts from reader Robert Gaumont:
The changes are happening, but they might not be as dramatic as you say. They’re subtle.
I am a lawyer. I spent most of my career at one of the largest international law firms. In 2006, as a mid-level associate, I was compensated about 340,000 which is huge for Baltimore and mostly attributable to a six figure bonus for killing myself at work.
I hit the glass ceiling in 2008. They were not promoting, i saw the writing on the wall and I moved into a nice regional firm. I’ve been performing well, but salary has been steady at 240,000 including a bonus that has one less zero on it. I expect to look at 2006 as my peak earning year, maybe for my lifetime or until I have such a significant direct client relationship to justify a higher salary.
Here are the trends as I see it:
1. There is a push to smaller, regional firms. We have the talent to win cases, the horses to staff cases appropriately if things start going sideways, but not much overhead in expensive places.
2. An older gray beard in my office said it’s returning to the way it was. He was meaning the 80s, when lawyers did stuff. Our compensation was tied to production. Hourly rates, yes, but adjustments based on results and a big scrubbing of bills for inefficiencies before they are sent to clients. Hitting this new economy during the beginning of my peak (I’m 13 years out now) is actually pretty refreshing, to be honest. These changes have made our profession better. I wouldn’t have it any other way.
3. You might be overstating the “bubble” in education, although i think your audience is sophisticated enough to grab the nuance. Some people who get four year degrees would be better with two year degrees and, my goodness, people should only go to lawschool if they want to practice law, even with less compensation. Definitely study hard sciences if you can- liberal arts schools are closing all over the place. With the number of professionals who will be retiring in the near future, however, i would still recommend incurring some debt for some college than incurring significant debt for, say, a house. Most homes don’t have mortgages and, as retirees trade down and pass from this world there is no floor to that market. Our banks understand this- the gap between 15 year and 30 year mortgages is very wide despite all the fed easing. Our economy will still reward people who can really think plus you can do that work for longer.
4. Interesting times. This new generation of Americans might end up being as resilient and resourceful as those raised in the 1930s. We’ll see. No one’s ever gotten rich by betting against America.
The decline in legal pay and employment is survivable. However, I don’t think we can charge students 2013 tuition rates when they’re getting 1985 salaries.
EVERYTHING OBAMA TOUCHES. . . . Ray’s Hell Burger Closed Due to Dispute with Landlord.
FISHBOWLDC sued for libel.
SMART DIPLOMACY: Mali joins list of US ‘terror’ boomerangs. “There was a lack of foresight about the blowback in the Sahel from the overthrow of Colonel Muammer Gaddafi in Libya. Hundreds of Malian Tuareg fighters, drafted as mercenaries into his army, went home with heavy weaponry and joined other disaffected Tuaregs to link up with separatists and Islamists in a revolt in January last year. The government’s mishandling of that rebellion sparked the coup that led to the near-disintegration of the army and ultimately today’s crisis.”
AT AMAZON, 50% off on Woodworking Tools.
Also, Universal Classic Monsters: The Essential Collection on Blu-Ray, 50% off. Lon Chaney, Jr., Bela Lugosi, Boris Karloff. And the Creature From The Black Lagoon — in 2D and 3D!
FASTER, PLEASE: US Could Be Top Oil Producer This Year. “The U.S. could become the largest producer of oil this year, seven years earlier than expected, a recently published BP report predicts. In less than 20 years, it will be 99 percent self-sufficient in net energy. We’ve read the tea leaves, and they foretell a new world order.”
Say thanks to Dick Cheney!
THOUGHTS ON DELIGHT AND DISGUST. Don’t click the link if you don’t like pictures of worms.
ED DRISCOLL: Newsweek Meets Muggeridge’s Law.
EVEN A FLATWORM IS SMART ENOUGH TO TURN AWAY FROM PAIN: NY newspaper removes handgun permit holder data. Punching the bully in the nose works.
DOJ NOT LOOKING SO GOOD: With weapons charge, DOJ announces another conveniently timed indictment.
MEDICINE: Fecal transplants successful in treating intestinal ailment. “An infusion of feces from a healthy person is much more effective than an antibiotic in treating C. difficile, a recurrent intestinal infection, researchers find.”
WITH AFFIRMATIVE ACTION GOING AWAY, colleges suddenly interested in going beyond traditional measures of merit.
WHAT REALLY HAPPENS WHEN WOMEN EARN MORE: “Yet the angle of every major outlet to cover the study is that men are retrograde cavemen who must be to blame if their wives earn less than they do. . . . I’ll be blunt. Most women I know would still prefer to pair up with a man who is their professional and financial equal if not superior.”
Related item here. “Why do women want that more than men? Is it merely the social convention that the man needs to bring in money? Is it some sexual need that corresponds to the man’s desire for beauty?”
UPDATE: More on women’s high expectations.
ANOTHER UPDATE: Related item here.