HE’S A SPIRITUAL LEADER: Rev. Jeremiah Wright’s daughter found guilty of money laundering.
March 8, 2014
SMART DIPLOMACYTM UPDATE: U.S.: No Need for PA to Recognize Israel; State Department spokeswoman says the U.S. believes there is no need for the PA to recognize Israel as a Jewish state. Obama’s got your back. He’s just holding a knife.
KYLE SMITH: How ‘Free to Be … You and Me’ emasculated men. Wasn’t that the point? “The show, which is of course unwatchable today except perhaps in states with generous attitudes toward self-medication such as Colorado and Washington, was an hour-long special that meant to tell little girls they could be anything they wanted, and little boys they could be anything they wanted too, provided that what they wanted was to be girls.”
PEGGY NOONAN: The Ideologue vs. the Children: New York’s new mayor attacks charter schools, proving his critics right. But with the New York schools losing students already, getting rid of charter schools merely ensures that more people will exit the public school system entirely. Long-term, charter schools are the only thing that can save them.
There is no one who can be trusted with political power. Lord Acton’s famous epigram — “Power corrupts, and absolute power corrupts absolutely” — communicates a law of human life that is as inescapable as that of supply and demand: There may be variations along the curve, but the slope is always in the same direction. Even in a stable, liberal society such as our own, we have seen presidents, including the current president, abuse their power for personal and political ends, sometimes with shocking disregard for both law and propriety. The number of generals who have participated in the overthrow of civilian governments to which they swore oaths of allegiance is enough to populate a small army. In politics, great men are dangerous men.
There is very little in this world as dramatic as the coup d’état, but it is not only presidents and princes who are susceptible to the allure of power. New York City enjoys the services of the nation’s best-led and most professional big-city police department, but its officers have been known to abuse their power in ways ranging from the banal to the antiheroic, from taking petty bribes to acting as mob enforcers for the Lucchese crime syndicate. Political power is corruptible down to the level of public-school administrators and DMV clerks.
That’s why there should be as little of it as possible.
HEALTH NEWS: Man loses 56 pounds after eating only McDonald’s for six months. “John Cisna, a high school science teacher in Colo, Iowa, who gained national attention for his experiment, says he has lost 56 pounds, lowered his cholesterol and lost a total of 21 inches off his chest, waist and hips while dining only at the fast food emporium.”
WITH IPHONE PRICES TUMBLING, IS AN IPHONE 6 COMING SOON? I dunno, but you can pick up a 5S or 5C cheap now. I’ve got a 5S and I’ve been quite happy with it. In particular, the camera is excellent.
EVERYTHING SEEMINGLY IS SPINNING OUT OF CONTROL: 3 asteroids set to flyby Earth as Hubble watches asteroid crumble.
IN CASE YOU WERE WONDERING WHAT TO GET ME FOR MY BIRTHDAY: For sale on eBay: One lightly used Soviet “Bear” bomber, low mileage.
Rod’s reaction was to grab his shovel and “whack it on the head”.
As soon as he was done with the snake, he called an ambulance, grabbed a beer from the fridge and sat down.
“I said to myself, if I’m going to cark it I’m going to have a beer, so I got a Goldie out of the fridge and drank that; ’cause you know eastern browns are the second most venomous snake in the world,” Rod said
Rod’s teenage son was on the couch and slept through the whole thing because Rod didn’t want to wake him and make anyone panic.
“If you panic it makes it worse,” he said.
Well, I suppose the beer helps you stay calm.
READER BOOK RECOMMENDATION: Reader Brenden Luddy recommends this from Jayson Veley, Telephone: Conservative Arguments With Liberal Callers.
I CAN SEE THESE E-BIKES DOING WELL IN L.A., WHERE THE WEATHER’S NEARLY ALWAYS GOOD FOR BIKES: “The Qoros eBIQE concept is a beast of a bike. Fully suspended and capable of quickly hitting 65 kilometers per hour (40 miles per hour) in power mode, it features hand-laminated carbon-fiber bodywork wrapped around a tough steel frame. Its brutish strength is complemented by sophistication, as it’s fitted with a five-inch touchscreen offering a wealth of information and the ability to shape performance with the environment you find yourself in.”
MEGAN MCARDLE: NOTHING EXCITING ABOUT THE JOBS NUMBERS:
They’re not bad — 175,000 jobs were added, mostly in business and professional services and durable-goods wholesalers. Most of the rest of our nation’s industries didn’t do much one way or another, except for motion picture and sound recording, which even in the best of economies is not what you’d call “steady work.” Given that many of those industries spent the last two months shedding jobs the way Lady Gaga goes through costumes, plodding boringly along was a cheering improvement. Especially considering the weather.
On the other hand, these numbers aren’t good, either. Because the economy needs to add somewhere in the range of 100,000 jobs a month just to accommodate population growth, 175,000 still leaves us very far from the level needed to absorb America’s vast reserve army of the unemployed. It’s the sort of number you expect to see in the tail months of an expiring boom, not as we pull out of recession. Numbers like this give credence to any number of depressing theories about permanently depressed labor-force participation — and the permanently lower gross domestic product that comes with it.
This is, of course, exactly the stagnation that critics of Obamanomics predicted.
Tyler Jackson has emailed me an interesting story, soon to apper online (I’ll link to it once it does)– the gist is that the head of the Connecticut Peace Officers’ Assn has released an open letter stating that the police will not “be party to the oppression of the people of the state by enforcing an unconstitutional law.” So far 250 LEOs have cosigned the letter.
The CT law required the registration of AWs, with a deadline for doing so, and it appears that the vast majority of AW owners have simply refused. So now the State faces massive resistance, and some portion, perhaps a large portion, of police refusing to enforce.
Interesting. Stay tuned.
CHEAP COMPUTING: ASUS CHROMEBOX-M004U Desktop, $179. It’s like a Chromebox Mac Mini.
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IRS SCANDAL UPDATE: Tax Analysts: More Arrogance and Secrecy From the IRS.
I am not an IRS basher or hater. As I have said countless times, taking the heat for it every time (and that’s fair game, by the way), I know many fine people who have worked or work for that agency. But we are in litigation with the IRS in an attempt to get information on how it trained people to handle applications from groups seeking to be recognized as social welfare organizations. That litigation has been an incredibly frustrating process.
I don’t know if these apparent political decisions were made by Lerner or others either inside or outside the IRS, because trying to get information out of that agency is like trying to get sweat out of a rock. Over the years, it has fought the silliest things. I’m only half kidding when I say that if you asked the IRS to see the kind of staplers it’s using, it would tell you it doesn’t have staplers.
The IRS will go to great lengths not to be scrutinized. And that breeds an atmosphere of no accountability — which leads to arrogance. We have seen that arrogance consistently throughout the congressional investigations of several IRS officials. And where will it lead us? Not to a good place, especially for those of us getting ready to file our yearly income tax returns. A tax collector that treats its “customers” as guilty until proven innocent is a tax collector out of control. That is precisely what the national taxpayer advocate has been warning about. If IRS officials don’t believe they are accountable to Congress, the rest of us don’t stand a chance.
We really need a tax system that doesn’t give the tax collector so much discretionary power. Also, an end to governmental immunity. IRS employees should be personally liable for misconduct.
I’M PRETTY BIG, SO I MIGHT NOT FARE AS WELL IN COURT IF I USE A DRONE: Judge Dismisses FAA Fine Against Small Drone User.
HOW’S THAT SMART DIPLOMACYTM WORKIN’ OUT FOR YA? Western countries alarmed as Libya slides towards chaos.
ObamaCare is now in the sixth and final month of its extended inaugural open-enrollment period. If you want to buy medical insurance through the exchange–a big if, we realize–you have until the end of the month to do it, or wait till autumn to buy a policy for next year.
This column has analyzed the disaster of ObamaCare in terms of three phases. Phase 1, the technical failure, was evident as soon as open enrollment began on Oct. 1 and many of the exchange websites proved to have been incompetently designed. Technical problems continue to emerge, including, as noted here last week, the Internal Revenue Service’s tardiness in preparing the final instructions for Form 8960, which taxpayers must file if they owe the new ObamaCare “net investment income tax.”
Phase 2 is the revelation that ObamaCare’s central promise–”if you like your plan, you can keep your plan”–was fraudulent. In an effort to appease defrauded consumers, the Obama administration has announced a series of unlegislated exceptions to the law, which the president himself attempted to explain the other day. . . .
The third phase of failure is the slow revelation that the basic economic assumptions behind ObamaCare are wrong. A new survey from McKinsey & Co., conducted in February, found that only 10% of those who lacked insurance pre-ObamaCare had signed up for an exchange plan, and that of those who had signed up, just 27% were previously uninsured.
True, those numbers were up significantly from January’s figures, 3% and 11% respectively. Still, they’re low enough that the Washington Post sums it up: “The new health insurance marketplaces appear to be making little headway in signing up Americans who lack insurance, the Affordable Care Act’s central goal.”
It’s train wrecks all the way down.
REVENGE IS A DISH BEST SERVED COLD: Michelle Malkin: Eat Your Words, Debbie Wasserman Schultz; Obamacare’s backers are choking on their promises and running for the hills.
At the end of 2013, Democratic representative Debbie Wasserman Schultz (Fla.) had some nasty words for yours truly. Irked that I used my Twitter feed to criticize her Obamacare propaganda efforts, Wasserman Schultz snarked back at me: “Thanks for spreading the word! You’ll be eating them next year. #GetCovered.”
Classy as always. And completely wrong-headed as usual. Less than three months into 2014, how’s dutiful Debbie and her Dear Leader’s pet government-takeover program doing? . . . While Democrats complain about Obamacare-repeal efforts by Republicans, we may be nearing a special turning point at which the White House will have reneged on more Obamacare regulations than it’s actually enforcing!
Heh. They should have taken the “off-ramp” that Ted Cruz was offering in October.
I WONDER IF SHE WAS USING AN OUTSIDE ACCOUNT? THOSE ARE DE RIGEUR AT THE EPA. IRS caves on Lois Lerner documents, will provide Congress with ALL of her emails since tea party targeting scheme began.
THE DOCS ON INCOMPETENCE WOULD HAVE TAKEN TOO LONG TO COPY: Under legal fire, State Dept. hands over docs on ‘competence’ of ambassadors.
THE MAJESTY OF THE LAW: Judge says prosecutors should follow the law. Prosecutors revolt.
Late last year, South Carolina State Supreme Court Justice Donald Beatty joined Kozinski. At a state solicitors’ convention in Myrtle Beach, Beatty cautioned that prosecutors in the state have been “getting away with too much for too long.” He added, “The court will no longer overlook unethical conduct, such as witness tampering, selective and retaliatory prosecutions, perjury and suppression of evidence. You better follow the rules or we are coming after you and will make an example. The pendulum has been swinging in the wrong direction for too long and now it’s going in the other direction. Your bar licenses will be in jeopardy. We will take your license.”
You’d think that there’s little here with which a conscientious prosecutor could quarrel. At most, a prosecutor might argue that Beatty exaggerated the extent of misconduct in South Carolina. (I don’t know if that’s true, only that that’s a conceivable response.) But that prosecutors shouldn’t suborn perjury, shouldn’t retaliate against political opponents, shouldn’t suppress evidence, and that those who do should be disciplined — these don’t seem like controversial things to say. If most prosecutors are following the rules, you’d think they’d have little to fear, and in fact would want their rogue colleagues identified and sanctioned.
The state’s prosecutors didn’t see that way. . . . The most plausible explanation for all of these stories is that a significant number of prosecutors just don’t want to be held accountable to anyone but themselves. I suppose a lot of us would like to have that sort of protection when it comes to what we do for a living. But few of us do. And the rest of us don’t hold positions that give us the power to to ruin someone’s life with criminal charges, to convince a jury to put someone in prison or to ask the state to put someone to death.
I think that immunity for state officials, including the absolute immunity enjoyed by prosecutors, violates the Titles of Nobility clause.
March 7, 2014
THE HILL ON CPAC: Rand Paul Electrifies Conservative Base. Well, a libertarian who can do that might just have a shot.
HIGHER EDUCATION BUBBLE UPDATE: Party Schools — Years Of Fun Mostly At Other People’s Expense, But Not Much Learning.
YEAH, SCHEDULED BLOG POSTS WOULD DO THE SAME FOR ME: Woman’s auto-payments hid her death for six years. But not for six years.
THE CORDAIR FOLKS ARE OFFERING 25% off ON ART BY DALE MOMII, which includes some cool aviation pieces. Just tonight.
ΜΟΛΩΝ ΛΑΒΕ: AWR Hawkins: Connecticut ‘Does Not Have the Balls’ to Enforce 2013 Gun Ban. Gun owners need to be sure not to dodge jury duty.
AT AMAZON, the St. Patrick’s Day Sale.
Plus, help decide which shows will become series with Amazon Pilot. Watch, choose, and influence the culture, all from the comfort of your own home.
I’M SURE IT’S GEORGE W. BUSH’S FAULT, SOMEHOW: Better Use Those Points: The Sad Decay of Frequent Flyer Programs.
If you’re a frequent flyer, you might have noticed that your miles don’t go as far as they used to. Spurred by rising costs–from fuel to flight training–and too many passengers with too many points, airlines are taking the pruning shears to their loyalty programs, cutting everything from the value of a mile to the perks their most elite flyers receive.
Why? The industry never really recovered from the massive downturn in business after the September 11 terrorist attacks, and over the past decade, airlines have been trying to squeeze every last penny out of their operations. First it was baggage fees, then came overpriced snacks and drinks. Frequent flyers were insulated from many of these costs, receiving free checked bags, first class upgrades, and free flights in exchange for loyalty, but now airlines are looking to their most loyal customers to help keep them in the black.
It started with United last fall, which made sweeping changes to the amount of points its Star Alliance members needed to upgrade or book flights. Now its Delta’s turn. The airline, which flies more people more places and has a fervent rewards fan base, rolled out a new policy that makes transcontinental and other upgrades even harder to obtain for its SkyMiles members. In addition, a new pricing scheme set to begin next year will make earning points significantly more difficult.
I’ve always said that frequent-flyer programs are a pie-eating contest where the prize is more pie. When I was flying enough to be a Royal Medallion frequent flyer, I wasn’t looking for more chances to get on a plane. Making the experience more pleasant is better — but they don’t seem to be doing that, either. Personally, I’d pay a premium for more comfortable seats — though I’d pay a bigger premium for more reliable flights. That, alas seems the least likely perk of all.
DAVID BARON, CALL YOUR OFFICE: Washington state girl, 11, shoots cougar that stalked her brother. “11-year-old Shelby White fired a rifle at an emaciated female cougar estimated to weight a paltry 50 pounds. The animal appeared to be following her 14-year-old brother, Tanner, into their home before she shot the life-saving bullet. It was the third such death of a cougar on the Whites’ property in two weeks. Locals speculate the animals are starving and looking closer to humans for food.”
Love the picture.
BECAUSE THE DMCA IS LARGELY EVIL: Disappointing: DMCA Being Used To Make Feynman Lectures On Physics Less Accessible.
I’M INTERVIEWED IN U.S. NEWS about my book, The New School: How The Information Age Will Save American Education From Itself. Say, did I mention I have a book out?
WELL, THIS IS THE 21ST CENTURY, YOU KNOW: Navy will deploy first ship with laser weapon this summer.
POPULAR SCIENCE USED TO BE MOSTLY ABOUT ROCKETS AND STUFF. NOW: How Men Learn (Or Don’t) About Menstruation. But at least the sample is scientific, right? “In their research, the scientists asked 23 young adult men — a largely white, suburban group of 18 to 24-year-olds who had signed up for a college course on human sexuality — about their experiences learning about menstruation.” Uh huh. Broad and deep.
MARK RIPPETOE: Maybe You Should Gain Weight. “The bottom line: bigger and more muscular looks better than smaller and less muscular. Further, more muscular is healthier, stronger, and more useful than less muscular.”
MY VIEWS ON LIBEL ARE PRETTY RELAXED, BUT THIS SEEMS LIBELOUS TO ME: AP smears Trail Life boys with misleading ‘Nazi’ photo. Made worse by a false caption. And the delay in fixing the error once it was pointed out seems like reckless disregard. But hey, smearing kids in the service of a political agenda is par for the course, these days. #Journalism.
ALL WE NEED IS A PRESIDENT WILLING TO USE IT: America’s Energy Weapon. “The US’s energy power, a product of the shale revolution, is what the Kremlin fears most.”
NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio and Governor Andrew Cuomo are both Democrats, but they couldn’t stand further apart when it comes to charters. On the stump de Blasio promised to end the city’s practice of allowing charter schools free co-location in empty space in public schools, and to restrict the creation of new schools. Cuomo, on the other hand, has joined Democrats like Barack Obama and Rahm Emanuel to champion charters as a common-sense education reform.
The two appeared at competing rallies in Albany on Tuesday. De Blasio’s rally in support of a higher tax on wealthy New Yorkers was not specifically targeted at education, but across town, Andrew Cuomo joined Success Academy CEO Eva Moskowitz at a different rally promoting charter schools. Although de Blasio downplayed the significance of the charter rally, it’s a big deal. Moskowitz is his chief opponent in the charter school co-location fight. Indeed, de Blasio specifically mentioned the need to reduce Moskowitz’s influence as a reson for the policy shift, and Moskowitz has responded with plenty of harsh words of her own. By appearing at the rally, Cuomo effectively endorsed de Blasio’s biggest rival. And he’s not just a silent partner; he spoke forcefully about the need to protect charter schools. . . .
New York is quickly becoming the chief battleground between the Democratic Party’s liberal and moderate wings. The competition between these two men can tell us a good deal about whether the far-left wing of the Democratic party can successfully pull the moderates in their direction and influence the party’s agenda. If they succeed, it could be good news for the GOP come 2016.
Yeah, the GOP should probably be cheering de Blasio on, as he leaves a trail of blue wreckage. The worse it gets in New York, the starker the message.
NOT FLATTERING: How Iran’s Rulers See Obama. “Iran’s rulers are watching Obama lurch from crisis to crisis, and they’re not impressed. Indeed, if this cartoon is a window into their thinking, it’s a safe bet that Tehran is already planning to walk away from the ‘interim’ deal now that it has loosened the global sanctions that had been crimping Iran’s economy.”
Plus: Charles Krauthammer: The Wages Of Weakness. Obama cares about consolidating Democratic power domestically. He’s not interested in what happens abroad, except to the extent it impacts that. And now that he’s been re-elected, he has more flexibility.
JAMES TARANTO: Nuclear Fallout: Democrats filibuster an Obama nominee.
The 47-52 procedural vote that blocked the nomination of Debo Adegbile as assistant attorney general for civil rights was actually bipartisan, with “no” votes coming from all 44 Republicans who were present. But because of a recent Senate rule change, pushed through by Majority Leader Harry Reid, the GOP can’t block a nominee without Democratic help.
It was in November that Reid and the Democrats invoked the so-called nuclear option, depriving the Republicans of their ability to block nominations on what is called a cloture vote–a vote to end debate and bring the nomination to the floor. Before the change, it took 60 “yes” votes to invoke cloture, so that a unified minority party with at least 41 seats could prevent nominations from coming to the floor. Democrats have held the majority throughout Obama’s presidency, but they’ve been below the 60-vote threshold for most of that time. Under the new practice, a simple majority is enough to break a filibuster, so that cloture is tantamount to confirmation.
That means that if the Democratic majority stays unified (or has few enough defections–currently five–to leave a majority in support), it can confirm any Obama nominee. The flip side, as we noted in November, is that one day Senate Democrats will find themselves in the minority, unable to block a Republican president’s nominees. But a smaller unintended consequence came into view yesterday. As the Hill’s Meredith Shiner notes, an effect of the majority rule is “squarely putting the burden of confirmation on the majority and politically exposing the most vulnerable members of that majority.”
Oft evil will shall evil mar.
THEATRICS: Rep. Issa on IRS hearing: I followed the rules, Rep. Cummings threw a ‘hissy fit.’ Cumming’s hissy fit was intended to give the press something to report on besides the fact that Lois Lerner took the Fifth again, undermining the White House’s “phony scandal” claims. Cummings was going to do that no matter what happened — that’s basically his job on the Committee, as the White House’s water boy — and the press was going to pick up on whatever he did because they’re water boys too.
By ignoring the absurd theatrics of the Congressional Black Caucus, Boehner and Issa are making clear that they’re serious, and won’t be rolled here. I think that’s good.
HIGHER EDUCATION BUBBLE UPDATE, LEGAL EDUCATION EDITION: Law School Applicants From Top Colleges Plunge 36%.
THESE GUYS JUST GET WEIRDER: Malaysia Bans Ultraman For Blasphemy. “The Ultraman character, born out of a 1960s Japanese television series, is a superhero with alien powers who protects the Earth from a variety of rampaging monsters. Malaysia’s image as a moderate Muslim nation has been undermined in recent years by a shift towards more conservative Islamic values. Authorities regularly ban movies or books deemed too vulgar, sexually explicit or religiously sensitive and have banned some foreign pop music stars from performing in the country.”
TRAIN WRECK UPDATE: Study: ObamaCare not reaching uninsured.
Old storyline: If you oppose ObamaCare, you want uninsured people to die!!!!
New storyline: Meh, there were always going to be a lot of people left uncovered, but most of ‘em don’t want insurance anyway.
THEY NEVER APOLOGIZE: Jay Carney: No regrets about Team Obama’s dinging Mitt Romney on Russia.
In October 2012 Romney called Russia America’s “No. 1 geopolitical foe” and the Obama campaign immediately pounced, releasing an attack ad featuring former Clinton Secretary of State Madeleine Albright which accused Romney of being an out-of-touch cold warrior.
The campaign also published and circulated a poster employing a Soviet-style propaganda motif dismissing the “preposterous notion” that Russia is our “No. 1 Geopolitical Foe.”
“Mitt Romney talks like he’s only seen Russia by watching Rocky IV,” the poster proclaimed.
For Obama, it’s more like Mission to Moscow.
Personally, I think civilians and police should be able to carry the same kinds of weapons. That’s a useful check on the militarization of the police.
CULTURE OF CORRUPTION: Obama administration faces FOIA fire over ambassador picks. “State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki faced a fusillade of questions from reporters Thursday asking why the agency has yet to respond to a request for documents showing proof that President Obama’s nominees for ambassadorships are qualified.” It’s nice to see the press asking tough questions. Though, to be fair, at the behest of a union.
March 6, 2014
RAPE CULTURE: Democrat-Controlled Senate Blocks Sexual Assault Bill. #headlineitlikepartieswerereversed
JUAN WILLIAMS: Rutgers rage against Condi Rice — why do liberals have so much hate for black conservatives? “Liberals are shockingly quick to demean and dismiss brilliant black people like Rice, Carson, Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas, U.S. Senator Tim Scott (R-SC), Professor Walter E. Williams and economist Thomas Sowell because they don’t fit into the role they have carved out for a black person in America. Black Americans must be obedient liberals on all things or risk being called a race traitor or an Uncle Tom.”
BECAUSE THEY’RE BEING GOOD PROVIDERS? Male Executives Don’t Feel Guilt, See Work-Life Balance as a Women’s Problem. Actually, reading the article, I think this shows that people’s actions in their own lives are often more traditional/conservative than their beliefs in the public sphere. Harvard Business School students of both sexes may be horrified at these findings, but watch the choices they make themselves over the coming decade or two.
Related: How Serfdom Saved The Women’s Movement. “I have never once argued with my husband about which of us was going to change the sheets of the marriage bed, but then—to my certain knowledge —neither one of us ever has changed the sheets. Or scrubbed the bathtubs, or dusted the cobwebs off the top of the living-room bookcase, or used the special mop and the special noncorrosive cleanser on the hardwood floors. Two years ago our little boys got stomach flu, one right after the other, and there were ever so many loads of wash to do, but we did not do them. The nanny did. . . . Betty Friedan had a crack cleaning woman on staff when she was busy writing about the oppression of domestic work).” This offers insight into the immigration-reform debate, too. . . .
The professional-class working mother—grateful inheritor of Betty Friedan’s realizations about domestic imprisonment and the happiness and autonomy offered by work—is oppressed by guilt about her decision to keep working, by a society that often questions her commitment to and even her love for her children, by the labor-intensive type of parenting currently in vogue, by children’s stalwart habit of falling deeply and unwaveringly in love with the person who provides their physical care, and by her uneasy knowledge that at-home mothers are giving their children much more time and personal attention than she is giving hers. She feels more than oppressed—she feels outraged! she wants something done about this!—by a corporate culture that refuses to let a working mother postpone an important meeting if it happens to coincide with the fourth-grade Spring Sing.
On the other hand, the nonprofessional-class working mother—unhappy inheritor of changes in the American economy that have thrust her unenthusiastically into the labor market—is oppressed by very different forces. She is oppressed by the fact that her work is oftentimes physically exhausting, ill-paid, and devoid of benefits such as health insurance and paid sick leave. She is oppressed by the fact that it is impossible to put a small child in licensed day care if you make minimum wage, and she is oppressed by the harrowing child-care options that are available on an unlicensed, inexpensive basis. She is oppressed by the fact that she has no safety net: if she falls out of work and her child needs a visit to the doctor and antibiotics, she may not be able to afford those things and will have to treat her sick child with over-the-counter medications, which themselves are far from cheap. She is oppressed by the fact that—another feminist gain—single motherhood has been so championed in our culture, along with the sexual liberation of women and the notion that a woman doesn’t really need a man. In this climate she is often left shouldering the immense burden of parenthood alone.
Fish, meet bicycle. But, then, while “you can know chapter and verse about the psychology of oppressed peoples and still not get a man to turn out a nice meal,” if he should somehow happen to do so, women in the pages of The Atlantic will call him a “kitchen bitch.” So maybe staying at the office late doesn’t look half-bad.
SEXISM IN AMERICA: The War On Boys:
The reason for the disparity between boys and girls isn’t exactly pinned down. [Harvard professor Ronald] Kessler points to various factors — community perception, interpersonal skills — as major points of influence: “We had an anthropologist working with us, and the anthropologist went and talked to and watched the kids in the old neighborhoods and the new neighborhoods, and their perception was that when the boys came into the new neighborhood they were coded as these juvenile delinquents,” says Kessler. “Whereas with the girls, it was exactly the opposite. They were embraced by the community—‘you poor little disadvantaged thing, let me help you.’”
Christina Hoff Sommers, call your office.
AL JAZEERA AMERICA: Looking enviously at InstaVision’s audience? “The latest Nielsen ratings show that the network, owned by the government of Qatar, averages only 15,000 total primetime viewers, which is effectively negligible.”
UPDATE: Link was bad before. Fixed now. Sorry!
SO THE BREASTFEEDING THING IS MOSTLY JUST FEMALE STATUS-COMPETITION AND MOMMY-SHAMING? Sibling Study Finds No Long-Term Breastfeeding Benefits For Kids.
In 2012, Reid said the following on the Senate floor, about Mitt Romney: “So the word’s out that he hasn’t paid any taxes for ten years. Let him prove that he has paid taxes, because he hasn’t.” The word’s out — and you know about “the word.” To reporters from his home state of Nevada, Reid said, “I don’t think the burden should be on me. The burden should be on him. He’s the one I’ve alleged has not paid any taxes.” Bear in mind, this is the majority leader of the U.S. Senate speaking, not a comedian, not a right-wing satirist.
The other day, Reid was tearing into the Koch brothers, backers of causes Reid does not like. He said these guys were “about as un-American as anyone that I can imagine.” Wasn’t Tailgunner Joe supposed to have rendered such language verboten? Have the rules changed?
There are many damning things about today’s Democrats, in my view. None is more damning than that Harry Reid is their choice to lead them in the Senate.
Indeed. Say, how did he become so rich, after a lifetime spent in “public service?”
WELL, THIS IS THE 21ST CENTURY, YOU KNOW: This Is Not A Frame From A Science Fiction Movie. “It’s an actual image from the successful Morpheus vehicle test completed today at the Kennedy Space Center’s Shuttle Landing Facility. There’s great video too.” At the link.
HEH: Responding to senator’s bid to ban Bitcoin, congressman calls for cash ban. “Dollar bills are present in nearly all major drug busts in the United States.” Don’t give ‘em any ideas. . . .
WAIT, I THOUGHT THIS SORT OF THING WAS JUST A GOP MYTH: Vote-Buying Scandal Rattles Valley Politics: The FBI investigates the use of politiqueras in Valley elections. Actually, what’s really amazing is that the Holder Justice Department is investigating.
FASTER, PLEASE: A Genetic Entrepreneur Sets His Sights on Aging and Death.
On Tuesday, Dr. Venter announced that he was starting a new company, Human Longevity, which will focus on figuring out how people can live longer and healthier lives.
To do that, the company will build what Dr. Venter says will be the largest human DNA sequencing operation in the world, capable of processing 40,000 human genomes a year.
The huge amount of DNA data will be combined with huge amounts of other data on the health and body composition of the people whose DNA is sequenced, in the hope of gleaning insights into the molecular causes of aging and age-related illnesses like cancer and heart disease.
Slowing aging, if it can be done, could be a way to prevent many diseases, an alternative to treating one disease a time.
“Your age is your No. 1 risk factor for almost every disease, but it’s not a disease itself,” Dr. Venter said in an interview. Still, his company will also work on treating individual diseases of aging.
Well, actually, it is a disease. The FDA just doesn’t recognize it as one.
GARY LIBECAP: Three Cheers For Fracking: Thanks to secure property rights, this technology has the power to resuscitate our lagging economy. The political class views this stuff askance, though, because secure property rights reduce the opportunities for graft.
THE COUNTRY’S IN THE VERY BEST OF HANDS: A former policeman convicted of tipping off a terror suspect is now a senior official at the IRS.
IN THE MAIL: From Greg Lukianoff, Unlearning Liberty: Campus Censorship and the End of American Debate, now in paperback.