FROM MAURICE STUCKE: In Search of Effective Ethics & Compliance Programs.
December 20, 2013
IN THE MAIL: From Terrence O. Moore, The Story-Killers: A Common-Sense Case Against the Common Core.
JOHN FUND: Obama Has United America — In Opposition To ObamaCare Rollout. “The fact that no one really knows just how Obamacare is doing (the administration is hiding the numbers) or where it’s going (it’s like an impressionistic painting in progress) may explain the public consensus that’s developed behind delaying its implementation. . . . By 67 percent to 28 percent people now want the law delayed. And every demographic group agrees: 57 percent of liberals, 65 percent of women, 67 percent of those under age 35, and 60 percent of lower-income voters. Even African Americans, the bedrock of Obama’s support base now favor a delay by 48 percent to 47 percent.”
OBAMA GETS MORE MOCKERY FOR SUDDENLY DECIDING A MANDATE DELAY IS FINE. He’s an anarchist! A terrorist! It’s the law of the land!!!!! “After forcing a shutdown by refusing to delay the individual mandate, beating back Senate Democrats’ attempt to rescue themselves and their constituents and insisting all was fine, the administration has now agreed only a few days before Christmas to allow those to whom the president lied (‘You can keep your insurance’) to avoid the mandate and instead buy low-cost catastrophic plans, the ones he has designated as subpar. Trying spinning that, Obama fans.”
OUR DIPLOMACY IS GOING SWIMMINGLY: Angry India Pulls Back US Embassy Security.
In response to the alleged mistreatment of an Indian diplomat by American law enforcement officials, Indian authorities have taken a series of unprecedented steps to show their displeasure, including the removal of security barriers around the American embassy in New Delhi. . . .
Indian outrage over alleged mistreatment abroad is not new. It makes headlines every time celebrities like Bollywood star Shah Rukh Khan and author Rohinton Mistry, a Canadian of Indian origin, are detained at airports. But the Indian response this time seems a tad over the top. The incident has been described as “a slap in the face of the country”, “barbaric” and “humiliating.” A politician even said gay American diplomats’ partners may be subject to arrest under India’s homosexuality laws. India has also downgraded American diplomats’ privileges and told them to turn in their identity cards. Both Narendra Modi and Rahul Gandhi, normally on opposite sides of the political spectrum, refused to meet an American congressional delegation that was visiting.
Rhetoric is one thing, but American diplomats should be concerned to see that India has removed security barriers around the American embassy in New Delhi. Apart from compromising their security, the move may also contravene the Vienna Convention that reinforces host countries’ responsibility to protect diplomats.
India is in the wrong here. But they’ve been paying attention and realize that there’s no cost to screwing with the United States now, and it plays well with the electorate, which apparently is less concerned that their ambassador was essentially keeping a slave. Well, anti-slavery is just another white, western imperialist value, I guess.
CHANGE: Canadian court strikes down anti-prostitution laws. “Canada’s highest court has struck down the country’s prostitution laws in their entirety in a unanimous 9-0 ruling. The high court on Friday struck down all three prostitution-related laws: against keeping a brothel, living on the avails of prostitution, and street soliciting. The ruling is a victory for sex workers seeking safer working conditions because it found that the laws violated the charter guarantee to life, liberty and security of the person.”
“JOURNALIST” IN THIS CASE IS CHARITABLE, BUT THIS DOES REVEAL A LOT: Yet Another Journalist Says Lying is A-OK.
SUSPICIOUS: Republicans usually LOSE recounts in big elections. We need more prosecutions for fraud.
UPDATE: This seems suspicious: Edward Snowden doesn’t show up once in Google’s list of top 2013 searches.
I DON’T THINK DOJ ENFORCEMENT IS JUST PERCEIVED AS PARTISAN: Justice Department Inspector General Pushes Holder on Misconduct Reported by PJ Media.
WELL, SURE — THEY GO AFTER ANYTHING THAT WORKS: Labor Takes the Fight to Amazon. Also, they’ve been getting their asses kicked by WalMart.
Related: Mickey Kaus on my Mark Levin imitation. Okay, I’m no Mark Levin, but I got a pretty good little mini-rant going.
PUNCHING BACK TWICE AS HARD — IT WORKS! Controversial Ohio Homeschool Bill Withdrawn After Grassroots Tsunami Opposes.
House Republican legislators have asked Attorney General Eric Holder to launch an investigation into James Clapper, the director of national intelligence, who has been accused of lying about the National Security Agency’s surveillance programs when asked by a Senate Democrat about the programs during a congressional hearing.
“Congressional oversight depends on truthful testimony — witnesses cannot be allowed to lie to Congress,” several members of the House Judiciary Committee wrote in a letter to Holder. The letter is signed by Rep. Jim Sensenbrenner, R-Wis., who introduced the Patriot Act, House Oversight and Government Reform Committee Chairman Darrell Issa, R-Calif., Rep. Trent Franks, R-Ariz., Rep. Ted Poe, R-Texas, Rep. Trey Gowdy, R-S.C., Rep. Raul Labrador, R-Idaho, and Rep. Blake Farenthold, R-Texas.
“Accordingly, we request you investigate Director of National Intelligence James Clapper’s ‘erroneous’ statements to the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence earlier this year.”
The letter notes that Ronald Reagan’s former National Security Advisor John Poindexter went to jail for lying to Congress.
Yeah, but he was a Republican.
ROGER SIMON: The PC Lynching of Phil Robertson.
Related: Ink From The Leftist Squid. Yeah, it’s all about distracting from the ObamaCare debacle. Plus: “The goal is, therefore, not to highlight an area of disagreement, but to make people who want to avoid aggression step back a bit from those who aren’t so timid.” Punch back twice as hard, but don’t get distracted.
KANSAS BOARD OF REGENTS restricts social media speech by academics. I suppose this is in response to that idiot professor at KU who called for NRA members’ kids to be killed. It’s a dumb rule, that should be overturned. Aside from its dumbness, it’s also void for vagueness.
UPDATE: Yes, it is in response to the death-to-NRA-members’-children tweet.
TRAIN WRECK UPDATE: The Hill: O-Care ‘fix’ expands access to bare-bones plans. So, to recap: Those plans that Obama said were crap plans you wouldn’t want a dog to have? Now that he can’t hit his numbers without them, they’re just the thing!
On the upside, at this rate he’ll be enacting Rand Paul’s plan by June, and calling it a “modification” of ObamaCare.
THIS TENNESSEE BILL SOUNDS DUMB: The Crime of “Annoy[ing]” Local Governments Through “Offensively Repetitious” Threats of Litigation. “The proposal was apparently prompted by a desire to restrict Establishment Clause challenges — that’s what the rest of the bill is about — but this section would cover all threats of litigation.”
BRIAN DOHERTY: Of Ducks and Gays and Tolerance.
The advantages of classical liberal market cosmopolitanism–the idea that it’s best to set aside peaceful differences of opinion and creed and worries about different races, nationalities, and genders when deciding how we interact with the world–has a great track record of making us all richer and happier.
The idea that that people should be punished with boycott or losing their jobs over having wrong beliefs hobbles the flowering of tolerant classical liberal market cosmopolitanism.
There may have been a good reason why classical tolerance of expression was summed up in the epigram: “I disagree with what you say, but will defend to the death your right to say it!”
That has a different feel than: “I disagree with what you say, I think you are evil for having said it, I think no one should associate with you and you ought to lose your livelihood, and anyone who doesn’t agree with me about all that is skating on pretty thin ice as well, but hey, I don’t think you should be arrested for it.”
Free speech was fine when it was needed to protect communists. Now it’s not anymore, so it can be abandoned. Gleichschaltung!
PHILIP KLEIN: Obamacare ‘death spiral’ scenario is about the states, stupid. “What’s been largely lost in the ongoing discussion about whether a death spiral can happen is that there isn’t one Obamacare ‘risk pool’ and thus, there isn’t one potential ‘death spiral.’ In reality, there are 51 different risk pools (for each state plus the District of Columbia), which means 51 chances to get things right, as well as 51 possible death spirals. It’s perfectly possible that come March 31 – the current end of the open enrollment period – evidence will show a bit of both. That is, some exchanges may be viable, and some may find themselves in deep trouble. This could not only have implications for the 2014 elections, but it could affect how both parties approach health care policy.”
PEOPLE WOULD RATHER THEIR FAITH BE EXCITING THAN WATERED DOWN: Is charismatic Christianity coming to Europe? Up until now, it didn’t seem likely. But events in the UK perhaps suggest otherwise. “Pentecostalism is probably the fastest growing religious movement in history. From humble American beginnings early in the twentieth century the movement truly exploded after World War II, now numbering at least 600 million adherents worldwide. Pentecostals are a significant presence in the United States, but most of the growth has been in the Global South—in Africa, Latin America and parts of Asia. Originally a movement within Evangelical Protestantism, Pentecostalism has spilled over into virtually all Christian denominations. . . . The phenomenon must be seen in the context of a huge demographic shift: There now are more Christians in the Global South than in the “home territories” of Europe and North America. And most of this ‘New Christendom’ (a term coined by the historian Philip Jenkins) tends toward charismatic forms of the faith.”
GOP STRATEGY ON ILLEGAL IMMIGRANTS: Legalize ‘em but don’t let ‘em vote? Dems would prefer the opposite, of course. . . .
December 19, 2013
AT AMAZON, coupons galore in Health & Personal Care.
UPDATE: In the comments, a reader recommends the Boker Cop Tool as an alternative to the Lifehammer and the ResQMe.
ANOTHER UPDATE: Also in the comments, a recommendation for the somewhat heavier Trucker’s Tool. Yeah, that’ll answer for a variety of situations.
PROBABLY BECAUSE HE SUPPORTED IT, AND IT SUCKS: AFL-CIO’s Richard Trumka getting ‘grief’ from members over Obamacare.
HOW TO BE “TRANSGRESSIVE” IN THE 21ST CENTURY: Book on ‘submissive wives’ becomes hit in Spain: Book that advises new wives “to be submissive” proves surprise success in Spain but angers feminists. Note that it’s bigotry to say who can marry who, but it’s perfectly fine to prescribe how people must live within their marriages.
Plus: “The book currently appears at number 15 on the Amazon bestseller list in Spain but has raised the hackles of modern-minded Senoras who even staged a public demonstration against the tome, where they tore up copies.”
I guess that’s how you have a book-burning when nobody trusts you with matches.
ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE: Our Final Invention? I tend to be more a Kurzweilian optimist, but there is this:
At the end of our interview, I asked Barrat what I thought was a joke. I know you’ve got a grim view of what may lie ahead, I said, but does that mean you’re buying property for your family on a desert island just in case?
“I don’t want to really scare you,” he said, after half a chuckle. “But it was alarming how many people I talked to who are highly placed people in AI who have retreats that are sort of ‘bug out’ houses” to which they could flee if it all hits the fan.
Four decades later, Reagan’s soliloquies on welfare fraud are often remembered as shameless demagoguery. Many accounts report that Reagan coined the term “welfare queen,” and that this woman in Chicago was a fictional character. In 2007, the New York Times’ Paul Krugman wrote that “the bogus story of the Cadillac-driving welfare queen [was] a gross exaggeration of a minor case of welfare fraud.” MSNBC’s Chris Matthews says the whole thing is racist malarkey—a coded reference to black indolence and criminality designed to appeal to working-class whites.
Though Reagan was known to stretch the truth, he did not invent that woman in Chicago. Her name was Linda Taylor, and it was the Chicago Tribune, not the GOP politician, who dubbed her the “welfare queen.” It was the Tribune, too, that lavished attention on Taylor’s jewelry, furs, and Cadillac—all of which were real. . . .
When I set out in search of Linda Taylor, I hoped to find the real story of the woman who played such an outsize role in American politics—who she was, where she came from, and what her life was like before and after she became the national symbol of unearned prosperity. What I found was a woman who destroyed lives, someone far more depraved than even Ronald Reagan could have imagined. In the 1970s alone, Taylor was investigated for homicide, kidnapping, and baby trafficking. The detective who tried desperately to put her away believes she’s responsible for one of Chicago’s most legendary crimes, one that remains unsolved to this day. Welfare fraud was likely the least of the welfare queen’s offenses.
Read the whole thing.
UPDATE: Hyper-Regulated Lawlessness. “The political significance of the ‘welfare queen’ story rests on how many of them are out there. A single person scamming the welfare state does not, by herself, represent a devastating indictment of the welfare state. It matters how easy it was, and whether a large number of people participate in such activities, albeit on a less grandiose scale than ‘the haughty thief who drove her Cadillac to the public aid office’ and wore ‘expensive clothes and oversize hats’ to her trial. Unfortunately, there’s a lot of scamming going on, and the Left is not even slightly interested in cracking down on it, or even admitting it’s a problem.” For them, it’s not a problem. It’s a funding mechanism.
The IPCC report acknowledges that almost all of the “historical simulations do not reproduce the observed recent warming hiatus.” Not to worry, it assures us; 15-year pauses just happen, and you can’t really expect the models to simulate such random natural fluctuations in the climate. Once this little slow-down passes, the report maintains, “It is more likely than not that internal climate variability in the near-term will enhance and not counteract the surface warming expected to arise from the increasing anthropogenic forcing” (emphasis in original). In other words, when the warm-up resumes temperatures will soar.
John Christy, a climatologist at the University of Alabama in Huntsville, has come to a different conclusion. Christy compared the outputs for the tropical troposphere of 73 models used by the IPCC in its latest report with satellite and weather balloon temperature trends since 1979. “The tropics is so important,” Christy explains in an email message, “because that is where models show the clearest and most distinct signal of greenhouse warming-so that is where the comparison should be made (rather than say for temperatures in North Dakota). Plus, the key cloud and water vapor feedback processes occur in the tropics.”
When it comes to simulating the atmospheric temperature trends of the last 35 years, Christy found, all of the IPCC models are running hotter than the actual climate.
Well, that’s encouraging. Though actually, I’d prefer global warming to global cooling.
READER MEAD RECOMMENDATION: Reader Melissa Lambert writes:
I’m a daily addict of Instapundit – you’ve used my silly quotes a few times. A few months back I saw on your blog that Amazon was selling wine, and our “Meadery” is now on Amazon as of this week! We are so happy to have this new way to sell mead — we got our first order for “The Venerable Mead” (paging Ann Althouse) a few hours after we listed. So far we can only ship to CA, FL, and DC, but we’re going to add more states asap. (Pictures of the bottles with the lovely mead will be up in a few weeks.)
Alas, Tennessee — which doesn’t even allow wine or mead to be sold in grocery stores — won’t allow Amazon to ship booze here. But I encourage others to check it out.
SARAH HOYT: Woe Is Obama: Is the president depressed as his “accomplishments” come home to roost? “Unexpectedly! Everything going wrong for the most brilliant man in the nation!”
UPDATE: The National Enquirer was already on this. Hey, as John Edwards can attest, they’re not always wrong.
PEELING THE ONION OF FAIL (CONT’D): Think your state has Obamacare problems? They’re nothing compared to Guam.
USA TODAY: A&E fowls up ‘Duck’ flap: The ‘tolerance’ society demands from Christians really is silent compliance. My own view is that everyone gets to state an opinion, but nobody has to listen to the opinions stated. That is a view, however, that is inconsistent with gleichschaltung.
UPDATE: From the comments: “I suspect this is an attempt to get Obamacare off the front pages and I suspect that we are all falling for it.” I’m still covering ObamaCare, but I think that’s probably right.
POPULAR MECHANICS: Is an Obsession With Safety Stifling Space Exploration? An interview of Rand Simberg about his new book, Safe Is Not An Option.
SO KNOXVILLE’S CITYVIEW MAGAZINE did a profile on me in their latest issue (though I got second billing to Johnny Knoxville). I liked this photo:
Also this one:
The cool photos are by Bryan Starmer, of Cityview Magazine.
IN THE MAIL: From Stephen P. Halbrook, Gun Control in the Third Reich: Disarming the Jews and “Enemies of the State.”
GLEICHSCHALTUNG NEWS: Ann Althouse Unpacks the Phil Robertson Kerfuffle.
He didn’t compare “being gay to bestiality.” He put homosexual conduct — not the status of being gay — into a category of sins that included “sleeping around with this woman and that woman” as well as bestiality. We don’t see the heterosexual men who enjoy multiple sex partners getting hotheaded over Phil Robertson. Why not? They’re not organized to make political demands at the moment, but they haven’t had to fight for the right to fornicate recently. So those who are organized and in the middle of a movement are taking Robertson’s bait (or answering his duck call or whatever). It’s “anti-gay.” The “bestiality” business is forefronted.
This is the political game of the moment.
You must have no unacceptable thoughts or criticisms, comrade.
HE WAS A BIG DEAL ONCE, BUT BECAME TECHNOLOGICALLY OBSOLETE: Al Goldstein, Pioneering Pornographer, Dies at 77.
I was living in San Francisco during the period when Jim Jones was a Democratic power broker, known for his ability to deliver thousands of votes. I recall that in 1976, Assemblyman Willie Brown, later the longtime speaker of that body, compared Jones to Martin Luther King, Angela Davis, Albert Einstein, and Chairman Mao in an introduction. That same year, Walter Mondale, Jimmy Carter’s vice-presidential candidate, met personally with Jones. So did Jimmy Carter’s wife, Rosalynn. Among dozens of accolades from leading Democrats that Jones collected was this one from Joseph Califano, who was secretary of Health, Education and Welfare under Jimmy Carter: “Knowing your commitment and compassion, your interest in protecting individual liberty and freedom have made an outstanding contribution to furthering the cause of human dignity.”
Jones basked in the glow of praise his People’s Temple garnered from gullible politicians, and San Francisco mayor George Moscone, later tragically assassinated in 1978, even appointed him to San Francisco’s housing commission. Jones had been responsible for an incredible vote-harvesting operation that may have made the difference in Moscone’s narrow 4,000-vote victory over conservative John Barbagelata in 1975.
After Jones’s death, the national media briefly reported on the massive vote-fraud operation that Jones conducted on behalf of Moscone.
Then memory-holed it.
OBAMACARE: “A cascade of declining expectations.”
UPDATE: Then there’s the ad campaign: Even MSNBC is laughing hysterically at Pajama Boy.
IT’S POTEMKIN VILLAGES ALL THE WAY DOWN: “The Potemkin village of a CEO meeting — it was really just a photo op — was a Potemkin village for a sales pitch to hide a Potemkin village of a website.”
MEGAN MCARDLE: More Obamacare Delays. Surprised?
Last week, the Barack Obama administration asked health insurers to allow “retroactive payment” for policies that begin Jan. 1. The move was widely seen as a response to the problems the exchanges have been having. With millions of current policies being canceled, the administration understandably wants to minimize the possibility that people will be left uninsured because of a paperwork error.
This week, Reuters reported that insurers are a little worried about the possibility that people will game the system: have a bad emergency room visit on Jan. 3, pay for their insurance Jan. 4. Unsurprisingly, I’ve seen this popping up here and there in the conservative media world. Is this yet another unfolding Obamacare disaster?
“So far, at least 4.8 million Americans have received insurance cancellations notices, but Laszewski predicts that the total Obamacare enrollment will be less than half that number on January 1.
“‘My guess is that we’ll have somewhere around a million and a half people signed up for Obamacare on January 1 in the states and in healthcare.gov,’ he says. The big question then, he adds, is ‘why have we gone through this whole dislocation of the American health insurance system if only a million and a half to two million buy health insurance?’”
Maybe we’ll make up some of the gap with Medicaid. But at the current pace of enrollment, it would be a big hurdle to make up all the losses. Which means that we may well start the year with fewer people insured than we had in January 2013. There’s reason to think that that may be what the administration is seeing in the latest enrollment numbers.
One of the major defenses being offered for Obamacare — botched rollout and all — is that the status quo was so awful. Obamacare may have its issues, but at least it’s not the bad old days.
The problem with reformers is rarely that they’re wrong about the status quo; there are a lot of awful things in the world that could use fixing, and the reformers have usually correctly identified at least a few of them. The problem with radical reformers is that they tend to forget that things can get worse, as well as better.
If I’d sketched out the current scenario last summer — computer systems don’t work for months, millions lose insurance, and by the beginning of December, only 1.2 million people have picked up coverage from the exchanges and Medicare combined — the law’s supporters would have rolled their eyes and shaken their heads at the wishful thinking of the law’s critics. And now they generally assume that it will of course get better — that by March 31, if not sooner, we will see a measurable and substantial reduction in the number of uninsured.
But while that’s certainly very possible, it doesn’t exactly seem inevitable.
Based on experience to date, it doesn’t even seem especially likely. Then, of course, there’s the problem of whether people who are “covered” will be able to actually see doctors. . . .
PEELING THE ONION OF FAIL: Medical Experts Tell Congress about the Obamacare ‘Damage’ to Come. “One neurologist said that in return for ordering necessary scans, ‘CMS and insurance companies are going to post negative grades in my name.’”
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I had no idea there was such a thing as a tire sock.
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INSTAVISION: I talk with Mickey Kaus about the state of ObamaCare. And deliver an uncharacteristically Mark Levin-like rant about right-wing legal outfits. Plus, what Republicans can learn from Mike Bloomberg’s failures.
ED KRAYEWSKI: Angela Merkel’s comparison of NSA to Stasi is unfair — to the Stasi. “Merkel may have been born and raised in East Germany, but former Stasi officials themselves say it would’ve been a dream come true to collect the amount of data on citizens that the NSA does. Where the information collected by the Stasi would fill an estimated 48,000 filing cabinets, were the information the NSA Collects printed out it would take an estimated 42 trillion filing cabinets to store. . . . President Obama may make a lot of media appearances, but he manages to avoid being confronted by uncomfortable truths, largely by manipulating a friendly press and cultivating friendly opinion-makers. Have you seen the president take a tough question on the revelations about the NSA’s spying activities? Apparently he was outraged as you were when he read it in the papers. Nevertheless, Obama has been getting an earful on the NSA in private.”
Some wonder if the NSA gave him tips on Mitt Romney’s campaign. We don’t know, but in a world full of spies and lies, it’s natural to have such doubts. President Asterisk, indeed.
CATHY REISENWITZ ON THE REALITY OF “DARK MONEY:”
The left’s preferred narrative is simple, easy-to-understand and has a ring of truth. It goes like this: Regulation helps consumers but hurts business’ profitability. Individuals give money to big-government organizations to promote regulation. Corporations donate to small-government organizations like Americans for Prosperity, the American Enterprise Institute and the Competitive Enterprise Institute to fight regulation.
But the fact that corporations also fund big-government organizations raises questions about this narrative. If regulation hurts corporations, why are they funding think tanks which promote it?
The truth is that most regulation is written by and for incumbent businesses to erect barriers to entry and to buy advantages over their competitors. That’s why corporations fund groups like the Center for American Progress.
Earlier this year, Center for American Progress donor Citibank hired lobbyists to literally write 70 out of 85 lines of a bill regulating derivatives trading which passed the House. If this regulation was meant to hurt Citibank’s profitability while defending their customers it’s unlikely to have done so.
There are three main reasons corporations like Citibank write their own legislation. First, lawmakers feel pressure from constituents to regulate industries about which their staffs know nothing; corporate lobbyists and lawyers provide much-needed information. Second, it’s much easier and faster for a company to understand and comply with a regulation it wrote. Third, and most important, companies write regulation that is easier and cheaper to comply for them than for their competitors.
And outfits like the Podesta-linked Center for American Progress are there to help. All in service of the .0001 percent. To the pitchforks!
GOOD LUCK WITH THAT: Roll Call: Reid Wants 8 More Years as Senate Leader.
Reid is up for re-election in 2016 and has repeatedly said he intends to run again. He reiterated that intention again on Wednesday and indicated he’s looking at serving another full term running the Senate, if Democrats hold onto the majority the entire time. If he and Democrats are able to hold onto power that long, Reid would be the leader for 16 years, matching the current record set by the legendary Montana Democrat Mike Mansfield.
Reid dismissed the idea he was particularly looking to the Mansfield record as a marker, however. Reid celebrated his 74th birthday earlier this month, meaning he would be into his 80s by the time his next term would end at the beginning of 2023.
As long as he remains leader, Reid said he would not rule out more changes to Senate rules and precedents as a way to impose further limits on debate and filibusters. Just last month, Reid used the “nuclear option” to eliminate filibusters on most nominations.
He didn’t sound eager to make more changes in the immediate future, however.
I think memories of Reid’s tenure will be more “cautionary” than “legendary.”
HE’S A SMOOTH OPERATOR: Podesta apologizes for Jonestown crack.
John Podesta, the former Clinton chief of staff who was recently named a special adviser to President Obama, apologized Wednesday for comparing the Republican Party to the cult at Jonestown in an interview earlier this year.
Hmm. Is it the GOP who’s suicidally following a cult-like figure? . . . .
LIFE IS FAT IN CAPITAL CITY: K Street mints money from regs surge. “Lobbyists are minting money from the surge in government regulations. Top K Street officials say their regulatory work has accelerated in recent years thanks to the sprawling rule-making from the healthcare and financial reform laws.”
Who could have seen this coming? I thought Obama was going to put an end to this sort of thing. . . .
Oddly enough, the millions started seeing big government as a big threat in 2009. Note the right end of the graph.
ASKING THE IMPORTANT QUESTIONS: Why does China’s Moon Rover exhibit show a nuclear mushroom cloud over Europe? “While it’s probably just an embarrassing error, it’s still an unsettling image given the Chinese government’s recent statements concerning plans to build a missile base on the Moon.”
People need to be paying attention.
December 18, 2013
CAPITALISM WILL SELL YOU THE ROPE YOU USE TO HANG YOURSELF: Wal-Mart is selling an Occupy Wall Street poster.
PEELING THE ONION OF FAIL (CONT’D): ObamaCare May Devastate the Real Estate and Travel Industries. “Americans are among the most mobile people on earth, but ObamaCare may soon start freezing them in place. Millions are losing their health insurance policies and being forced onto the ObamaCare exchanges, where most plans only provide local medical coverage.”
NEW DOCUMENTARY THREATENS TO MAKE YOU LIKE MITT ROMNEY. Well, Obama’s doing that every day on his own. But Romney was always a better man than Obama — he’s quite possibly the best human being to run for the White House in quite a few election cycles — but he was a worse candidate, and that’s what determines elections. The voters decided what they wanted, and now they’re getting it good and hard. Unsurprisingly Romney looks better.
Every month, money flies from my checking account to the education savings accounts of my children, because I don’t want them to become hobos. This is one way I allay my fear the world will eat them up. It’s a mark of a good parent to worry over where—and whether—his child will go to college, isn’t it?
I need to confess a profoundly un-American heresy: I question what my children will get for the money. I don’t question the value of education (though we make it a panacea for deeper ills of the soul); I doubt the capacity of most educational institutions to impart much beyond what one could obtain with, as the protagonist in Good Will Hunting notes, “a dollar-fifty in late charges at the public library.”
I know there are teachers who can help a student get far more out of Dracula, say, than he might acquire on his own—might help him develop a healthy awareness of the various psycho-sexual literary analytical clubs with which the text has been bludgeoned for decades, for example, or even help him challenge dominant beliefs about what Dracula, and monster literature more broadly, means to us culturally. There are teachers like that; I’ve seen them in action, and they are a heartening, humbling species to behold.
The practical reality, however, is that most educational institutions have no interest in rewarding excellent teachers, or even understanding which of their teachers are truly excellent. They are in the business of slinging feed to cattle.
Tony, I’ve got a book you ought to read.
NEWS YOU CAN USE: Caffeine + alcohol keeps your chromosomes just right. “Now, researchers have found that caffeine makes it more difficult for cells to copy the ends of their chromosomes. But that may be OK, since they also found that booze has the opposite effect. . . . Some telomeres are too long, and some are too short. Perhaps striking the right balance of caffeine and alcohol is the key to keeping them just right—as if you needed an excuse to have another hot toddy.” As soon as I finish my latte.