March 6, 2014
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.
SALON BECAME A HARDCORE RACIST MAG SO GRADUALLY I BARELY NOTICED: Why I can’t stand white belly dancers.
THE U.S. ECONOMY’S Big Baby Problem.
The thing about an increasingly childless economy is that it has major implications for consumption. Just look at this new data from a Gallup survey released today on the average daily spending of families. Even after you control for income, age, education, and marital status, families with young kids spend more every day. These are the sort of spenders you want in a weak economy following a great deleveraging.
The upshot is that when we think about economic growth, some of the most discussed variables on editorial pages and cable news include policy choices like Obamacare and tapering and tax rates, or international events like China’s shadow banking system and the Crimean invasion. And that’s fine: policies and global events do shape lending and spending behavior.
But buried underneath these headlines is the glacier of demographics, the steady and unyielding force of human numbers to shape the economy. The drop in U.S. fertility rates in recent years has almost certainly had a negative effect on consumer spending (and, in turn, lower birthrates are probably an outcome of the recession). In particular, childless couples don’t need space for more kids so they’re less likely to buy homes in the suburbs, depressing demand for housing in an economy that could [use] more bought homes.
One reason people are having fewer kids is that the costs have been artificially inflated even as the benefits have been reduced. I had some related thoughts in this piece.
TO MAINTAIN THE BOGUS RACE-CARD NARRATIVE ON THE ADEGBILE DEBACLE, NPR SAYS “A HANDFUL OF SOUTHERN DEMOCRATS” JOINED REPUBLICANS TO VOTE AGAINST HIM.
Here are the folks NPR considers “Southern Democrats.”
Chris Coons (Del.)
Bob Casey (Pa.),
Mark Pryor (Ark.),
Heidi Heitkamp (N.D.),
Joe Manchin (W.V.),
Joe Donnolly (Ind.)
John Walsh (Mont.)
And of course Harry Reid (Nev.) who did it for procedural grounds.
Not exactly Sons of the Confederacy.
Welcome to Dixie, North Dakotans!
UPDATE: Related: Shaheen dodges reporters after controversial vote. “New Hampshire Senator Jeanne Shaheen fled the scene of the vote Wednesday – following her decision to support President Obama’s controversial nominee for U.S. Assistant Attorney General for Civil Rights.” So it was “controversial” in that stronghold of the Old South, New Hampshire.
ANOTHER UPDATE: From the comments: “Bipartisanship is the new racism.”
MORE: Yeah, the version that’s online now has changed. As I’ve noticed before, they do that. I saw Jonah Goldberg tweeting with a producer — sorry, can’t find the tweet now it’s buried — who was saying that it was written as “Senate Democrats” but read as “Southern Democrats” and promising that it would be fixed in later feeds.
DESPITE ALL THE SPYING AND EAVESDROPPING, THEY KEEP MISSING THE BIG STUFF: Intelligence Failure, Revisited.
IRS SCANDAL UPDATE: John Boehner backs holding IRS official Lois Lerner in contempt. “Lerner set off the matter last year when she acknowledged IRS officials gave added scrutiny to conservative groups, leading President Barack Obama to fire the acting IRS commissioner and giving the agency a major black eye.”
But now we’re told it’s a “phony scandal.” Do people usually take the Fifth in phony scandals?
Related: President Obama Is Part Of The Problem In IRS Scandal. Hey, he knew about spying on the Senate oversight committee. How likely is it that he didn’t know anything here?
UKRAINE: More Warplanes:
The Pentagon also announced, in response to what officials said were requests from Eastern European NATO members over the past week, that it would more than double the number of aircraft it has based in Lithuania as part of a regular alliance air-defense patrol.
The patrols over the Baltic nations were initiated a decade ago and are rotated quarterly among NATO members that have the appropriate aircraft. The United States, by coincidence, is in charge of the patrols this quarter and is sending six F-15 fighter jets and a KC-135 tanker to add to the four F-15s already deployed at Lithuania’s Siauliai Air Base.
IT’S THE LAW OF THE LAND! BUT I GUESS THE TERRORIST ANARCHISTS HAVE WON. Administration Extends Obamacare Grandfathering for 2 More Years. Where, exactly, does the legal authority to do this come from?
Plus, most hilarious part of all: “senior administration officials denied a political motive.”
MICHAEL BARONE: Thoughts On The Texas Primary Results.
There’s an obvious trend here, then-Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison challenged Gov. Rick Perry, but with no serious contest this year for governor (and not much of a contest for senator), Republican turnout stayed up and, despite the national hoopla for Davis, Democratic turnout declined somewhat rather than surged. Looking further back, Democratic turnout spiked in 2002 when Laredo banker Tony Sanchez ran a self-financed campaign that brought many Hispanics to the polls; in 1994 and earlier years, Democratic turnout was consistently about twice as high as Republican turnout and five times as high in 1982. What I think is happening is that up through 1994, many voters chose Democratic ballots, because Democrats won most down-ballot offices and state legislative seats and were at least competitive in governor and senator contests. If you wanted to affect the outcome, you voted Democratic. Republicans’ increasing success — they now hold all the down-ballot offices and significant majorities in both houses of the legislature — means that nowadays if you want to affect the outcome, you vote Republican. So the Republican turnout edge in 2010 and 2014 substantially overstates Republican strength in general elections; in the six contests for president, governor and senator starting in 2008, Texas has voted between 54- and 58-percent Republican.
Senators on Wednesday expressed alarm at explosive allegations that the CIA might have spied on their computers to keep tabs on their controversial review of Bush-era “enhanced interrogation” techniques.
Lawmakers from both parties said that if the allegations against the CIA prove true, intelligence officials might have violated the law — and certainly violated the separation of powers enshrined in the Constitution.
“I’m assuming that’s it’s not true, but if it is true, it should be World War III in terms of Congress standing up for itself against the CIA, ” Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) told The Hill.
Intelligence Committee Chairwoman Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) confirmed Wednesday that the CIA inspector general was investigating accusations that the covert agency had peered into the panel’s computers. But she didn’t comment on reports that the investigator has referred the matter to the Justice Department.
Senate Armed Services Committee Chairman Carl Levin (D-Mich.), an ex officio member of the Intelligence panel, said the charge of spying is “extremely serious.”
“There are laws against intruding and tampering, hacking into, accessing computers without permission. And that law applies to everybody,” he said.
Brennan in a statement said he was “dismayed” by the “spurious allegations,” which he said were “wholly unsupported by the facts.”
His statement was released Wednesday evening as McClatchy reported that the computer spying was allegedly discovered when the CIA confronted the Senate Intelligence panel about documents removed from the agency’s headquarters.
INVESTOR’S BUSINESS DAILY: Seven Energy Policies To Make Russia Pay Over Crimea. “Russia’s economy is barely growing and is increasingly dependent on energy production. Oil and gas account for more than half of Russia’s federal tax revenues and about 75% of total exports. Three-fourths of natural gas shipments go to Europe. Europe is dependent on Russia, but the tables are starting to turn. . . . Luckily, this gas-oil price link is starting to break down, thanks to limited liquefied natural gas (LNG) imports and other advances. Here are seven energy policy steps that the West should adopt, all of which have the side benefit of undermining Putin.”
March 5, 2014
THE COUNTRY’S IN THE VERY BEST OF HANDS: Treasury investigator led life of lies, government dependence.
A high-ranking investigator in charge of rooting out fraud by Treasury Department employees was himself fraudulently drawing simultaneous salaries from both the military and the Treasury.
The same investigator then petitioned the government for a full disability retirement.
But wait, there’s more!
He also pretended to be a peace officer and lied about it, all while racking up massive debts and filing for bankruptcy, according to documents obtained by the Washington Examiner.
The very best.
SUSAN SMITH REDUX? ‘Our Mom Is Trying to Kill Us!’: Hero Recounts Ocean Rescue.
“Help us — our mom is trying to kill us!” a young child screamed as a pregnant woman drove her minivan — with three young kids children inside — into the ocean in Florida, a trucker who waded into the frigid Atlantic waters to rescue them said Wednesday.
Tim Tesseneer, a truck driver and former volunteer firefighter visiting from North Carolina, was one of the first men to reach the van Tuesday in the heavy surf. He and other passersby dived in to pull the children — two girls and a boy, ages 3, 9 and 10 — to safety through a window and a hatchback.
The children, who weren’t badly hurt, were treated at a hospital and were in state custody, Volusia County Sheriff Ben Johnson said Wednesday. The driver, identified as Ebony Wilkerson, 32, of Cross. S.C., was undergoing a mental evaluation Wednesday, and no charges had been filed.
SMART DIPLOMACYTM STRIKES AGAIN: Hillary Clinton: I’m Not Comparing Putin To Hitler, I’m Just Saying He’s Acting Like Hitler.
K-12 IMPLOSION UPDATE: For the public-schools-as-child-abuse file: School forces half-naked, sopping wet student to stand outside, frostbite results. “A Minnesota public high school was so committed to obeying its fire drill policy to the exact letter of the law that it forced a female student–dressed only in a swimsuit, and sopping wet–to stand outside in the freezing cold for ten minutes. As a result, she suffered frostbite. Administrators wouldn’t let the student retrieve her clothes, sit in a car or wait inside another building, according to WCCO. . . . It was 5 degrees below zero in St. Paul that day. With the windchill, it was 25 degrees below zero. Hagen-Tietz asked to wait inside an employee’s car, or at the elementary school across the street. But administrators believed that this would violate official policy, and could get the school in trouble, so they opted to simply let the girl freeze.”
These people shouldn’t be allowed around children. In fact, they shouldn’t be permitted to breed.
IS THIS REALLY A “Risk-Free J.D.?” “Beginning this spring, if a J.D. student decides not to continue law school after completing the first year of studies, the student can graduate with a Masters in Legal Studies (M.L.S.) degree, without taking any additional courses.” Because, you know, it’s not a J.D.
THE NEW MCCARTHYISM: Mediate: The Democrats’ Crusade Against ‘Un-American’ Activities.
The moral righteousness of resistance to Sen. Joe McCarthy (R-WI) and his House Un-American Activities Committee remains vibrant in the imaginations of modern progressives. McCarthy’s myopic campaign to expose communists in high-profile areas of American life was opposed by liberal dissenters who viewed his investigation as an infringement on their rights of free association, speech, and even thought.
The modern progressive movement admires their predecessors’ stand against McCarthy so deeply that references to that inauspicious period of American history are regularly deployed in liberal publications and media outlets.
Those noble principles apparently go right out the window when Democrats face what increasingly appears to be a catastrophic political landscape heading into the 2014 midterm election cycle. Political handicappers beginning to suggest Republicans have better than even odds of recapturing the upper chamber of Congress in November as Democratic officeholders struggle to defend the political millstone that has become of the Affordable Care Act. Rather than surrender to their fates, Democrats have taken to identifying their own shadowy boogeyman wrecking America from within: the libertarian billionaire brothers Charles and David Koch. . . .
That strategy came alive on February 26, when Sen. Harry Reid (D-NV) was driven to rhetorical excess arguably unseen since U.S. Army Counsel Joseph Welch pointedly asked McCarthy whether he had “left no sense of decency.”
Taking to the floor of the U.S. Senate, Reid called these two private American citizens “un-American” for exercising their constitutionally protected rights of free expression. . . .
The modern Democratic Party’s origin myth is so closely tied up in their opposition to McCarthyism, they may not be able to objectively view how these actions reflect on them. If they could look objectively in a mirror, they might see that they are becoming precisely what they once opposed.
I think they only opposed it then because it was hurting their party. I don’t think they ever really minded the tactic.
NOTHING SHADY HERE: Police Contract With Spy Tool Maker Prohibits Talking About Device’s Use. “A non-disclosure agreement that police departments around the country have been signing for years with the maker of a cell-phone spy tool explicitly prohibits the law enforcement agencies from telling anyone, including other government bodies, about their use of the secretive equipment, according to one of the agreements obtained by an Arizona journalist. The NDA includes an exception for ‘judicially mandated disclosures,’ but no mechanisms for judges to learn that the equipment was used. In at least one case in Florida, a police department revealed that it had decided not to seek a warrant to use the technology explicitly to avoid telling a judge about the equipment. It subsequently kept the information hidden from the defendant as well.”
Facebook has released their statement on the effort by anti-gun groups to ban speech & photos by gun owners. The other side is going to declare a win because they are recognized by Facebook for their efforts. In reality, the only impact is that if a post gets “reported” as being any kind of regulated product (not just firearms) for sale, the poster will be reminded that they should follow applicable laws.
That’s it. Facebook will pop up a message reminding you that you should follow the law if you post a gun for sale and someone complains to them about it. They won’t ban the speech. They won’t ban the images. They won’t even ban promotions of guns for sale at all.
The only speech-related restriction is that they say they will interpret phrases like “no background check required” as being a possible tip off that the seller may be willing to help others evade the law. They don’t require that private sellers agree to run a background check, just that they don’t make “no background check” a selling point of their firearm.
Under these rules, NRA can still do their gun contests, and local Friends committees can still promote the guns they’ll be giving away to FNRA dinner attendees. You can even still post that you’re going to sell a gun privately. The only thing is that Facebook can tell anyone who complains about the posts that they sent a reminder to follow the law.
If the anti-gunners had truly gotten what they wanted – a ban on firearm images or promotions of any kind – we would have completely pulled our personal and community Facebook accounts and no longer visited the site. I suspect that many of the millions of gun owners on the site would have done the same, and that’s not something Facebook can afford. It is, at best, a pyrrhic victory for the other side.
Moms Demand Illegal Mayors, or whatever the two merged groups are called these days, are declaring total victory in the Facebook/Instagram policy statement that any reported post featuring an offer to sell any regulated product privately will generate a reminder to sellers that they shouldn’t violate the law.
But the Brady Campaign swiftly sent out a letter to their supporters highlighting that the anti-gun groups didn’t get anything they demanded at all, and this is not in any way a victory. The thing is, the Brady Campaign is right on this, at least coming from a gun banner’s perspective.
SPYING: OBAMA KNEW. Obama knew CIA secretly monitored intelligence committee, senator claims. “Independent observers were unaware of a precedent for the CIA spying on the congressional committees established in the 1970s to check abuses by the intelligence agencies.” That’s because such spying is illegal. I wonder who else, inside and outside the various branches of government, was being similarly spied upon. And what was done with the information learned. (Bumped, because this seems big.)
And note my column from a couple of weeks ago. Can I call ‘em, or what?
SMART DIPLOMACYTM BEARS ITS USUAL FRUIT: Report: John Kerry Confidantes Say Obama Sabotaged Mideast Peace Talks With Harsh Interview.
VEBLEN GOODS: How A Louis Vuitton Bag Can Explain The Higher Education Bubble. “In economic terms, higher education is a positional good: It is valuable to have a college degree because other people don’t have one. It is also to a significant extent a Veblen good: Sending one’s children to college, and most especially a prestigious (meaning expensive) college, is a way of signaling social status via the conspicuous consumption of a luxury good.”
PREVENTING CRUISE SHIP DISASTERS: “For the past three decades cruising has been the fastest-growing segment of the travel industry. Eleven new ships were christened last year, and almost 21 million people went on a cruise. Statistically, cruising is relatively safe, but recent failures in seamanship, emergency response, and engineering should sound an alarm. Introduce bad weather or remote surroundings into the equation and an incident like the Costa Concordia shipwreck, which made international headlines two years ago, could result in hundreds of deaths.”
My sense is that they’re a bit complacent. One would expect insurers to police things, but they get complacent too.
TAXPROF ROUNDUP: The IRS Scandal, Day 300. Congrats and appreciation to Paul Caron, for 300 days of coverage.
A HOME-SCHOOLING MODEL FOR HIGHER EDUCATION?
This may seem like a fringe proposal, but we see several advantages: for starters, more one-on-one access to professors and tailor-made lesson plans. Depending on the specific arrangements between teachers and students, there could be major cost savings as well. If the student lives at home, he wouldn’t need to pay for room, board, facilities, administrators, or whole academic departments whose halls he would never darken over four years in a traditional college. Students could boost their savings, at a relatively small cost in one-on-one time, by grouping together to hire teachers.
This approach may not be for everyone, but for many it would be a smart twist on the standard college model. To us, it sounds like an interesting way of addressing a reform goal we’ve talked about frequently: the need for colleges to move away from a system that rewards students based on the number of credit hours they rack up (the time-served model), and to move toward a system that rewards them for what they know (a stuff-learned model).
We would love to see some enterprising students or academics take a chance on this idea, or something like it. One of the keys to making it work is a standardized, college-level assessment that would make it easy to measure the performance of home-tutored college students against that of their traditional college peers.
Well, there’s the Collegiate Learning Assessment.
THAT’S IMPOSSIBLE. JUST A FEW MONTHS AGO, SMART DIPLOMACYTM ABSOLUTELY REQUIRED THAT HE BE OVERTHROWN. With Latest Victory, Assad Has Won the War in Syria.
SO’S EVERYTHING ELSE HE’S DOING: Obama’s New Budget Is All About the Midterm Elections. He needs to (1) Keep legislation bottled up in the House; (2) Ensure a filibuster-proof path for appointees, especially judges and possible Supreme Court appointees; and (3) Avoid investigations that might (would) uncover extensive and embarrassing wrongdoing. Even weak GOP control of the Senate denies him those.
AT AMAZON, wireless printers under $100.
And, today only: Up to 65% Off Select Sony Memory Cards & USB Flash Drives.
SNITCHES GET STITCHES: Lois Lerner fears for her life if she testifies at Wednesday’s oversight hearing.
REPORT: CIA spied on Congressional staff members. I wonder what other domestic spying has gone on with CIA and NSA, and how the information was used.
OBAMA’S CORE FOREIGN POLICY PROBLEM: “The man’s sense of himself has been over-indulged to a reckless point.”
CUOMO, YOU MAGNIFICENT BASTARD, YOU READ MY BOOK! Er, or something like that: Cuomo Vows to Defend Charter Schools, Setting Up Another Battle With de Blasio. “Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo, standing shoulder to shoulder in Albany with thousands of parents and students who rallied in support of charter schools, vowed on Tuesday to defend the movement and offered a sharply different vision for their place in the educational system than Mayor Bill de Blasio.”
Well, de Blasio is the unions’ creature. But other politicians are noticing that there are more parents than teachers’ union members.
#WARONBOYS: Ohio boy suspended for pointing finger like a gun. ‘Zero tolerance’ run amok? These people are too stupid to be allowed around children, much less entrusted with any sort of authority over them.
The idea, as described by the Hill, is to minimize the number of consumers victimized before Election Day by President Obama’s you-can-keep-your-plan fraud. Although perhaps it would be more precisely accurate to say the idea is to minimize the number of consumers who know before Election Day that they’re victims of the fraud.
You’ll recall that last year, late in the summer and through September, insurance companies sent out a wave of letters informing policyholders that their plans would be canceled for failing to comply with ObamaCare’s many mandates. At first Obama and his defenders insisted these were all “substandard” policies and the government was doing people a favor by forcing their cancellation.
When that claim proved indefensible, Obama announced a partial reprieve: He “called on states and the insurance industry to allow people to keep their existing plans for an additional year.” The first batch of policies renewed under that moratorium expire Dec. 31, and insurers must give policyholders 90 days notice of cancellation.
Thus if the one-year reprieve expires, cancellation letters will go out at the same time they did last year–in the weeks leading up to Oct. 1, less than five weeks before the election. “I don’t see how they could have a bunch of these announcements going out in September,” a health-industry consultant tells the Hill. “Not when they’re trying to defend the Senate and keep their losses at a minimum in the House. This is not something to have out there right before the election.”
And so, according to the report, “as early as this week, according to two sources, the White House will announce a new directive allowing insurers to continue offering health plans that do not meet ObamaCare’s minimum coverage requirements”–presumably at least through 2015, though the story vaguely suggests the delay could be “several years.”
The political imperative is clear. If Republicans take a Senate majority–a strong possibility, given that Democrats are defending many seats on unfriendly terrain–then the Senate GOP, for the first time in Obama’s presidency, have the ability to force votes on legislation, and even to push some Republican bills through Congress.
True, the president has his veto pen (or is it a phone?), but he hasn’t used it since the Interstate Recognition of Notarizations Act of 2010. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid has seen to it that bills Obama opposes never make it to the floor of the Senate, which frees the president from the political cost of vetoing anything popular.
What’s more, vetoes can be overridden with two-thirds majorities in both congressional chambers. That raises the possibility of bipartisan legislation the president opposes–especially, though not only, changes in ObamaCare–becoming law over Obama’s objections.
Well, to be fair, everything they do is self-serving.
I’M SO OLD, I REMEMBER WHEN DISSENT WAS THE HIGHEST FORM OF PATRIOTISM: Sally Kohn: These Republicans are “undermining” Obama by criticizing him on Russia.
Plus: “What will the consensus lefty line on Cold War II be? The Kohn-ian ‘support your president’ take or Eugene Robinson’s ‘who are we to judge someone else’s invasion?’ line? Dilemmas, dilemmas.”
TAKE YOUR TREATIES AND SHOVE ‘EM: Is Marijuana Legalization Illegal Under International Law? U.N. drug warriors falsely claim that treaties compel U.S. states to ban pot.
SO WHAT’S REID TRYING TO DISTRACT PEOPLE FROM WITH THESE CHARGES: Reid escalates feud with Koch brothers.
And did he ever respond to those nasty pederasty charges?
The more the Dems go on about stuff, the more it seems they’re doing it themselves.
GOVERNMENT HEALTH CARE: House GOP leaders want probe of Veterans Affairs’ purging of medical test orders.
Two key House members have called for an investigation into reports published by the Washington Examiner that the Department of Veterans Affairs purged thousands of medical appointments to hide backlogs of tests and consultations dating back 10 years.
House Majority Whip Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., and Rep. Dan Benishek, R-Mich., said in a joint letter sent last week to Veterans Affairs Secretary Eric Shinseki that they want the findings probed by the VA’s Office of Medical Inspector, a unit within the agency that monitors health care issues.
It’s easier to shred ‘em than to treat ‘em.
ROLL CALL: McCain Raises Prospect of Russian Incursion Into Poland. If I were President, I’d be sending NATO troops to Poland and the Baltics for reassurance.
FINALLY, A PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE I CAN GET BEHIND:
Does the president have inherent powers under the Constitution to conduct surveillance for national security purposes without judicial warrants, regardless of federal statutes?
The Supreme Court has never held that the president has such powers. As president, I will follow existing law, and when it comes to U.S. citizens and residents, I will only authorize surveillance for national security purposes consistent with FISA and other federal statutes.
Too bad President Obama doesn’t think this way. You know, the way Senator Obama did, in 2007.
March 4, 2014
FEMINISM: Good for the top 15% of women, but what about the rest? Well, maybe, but it’s not quite that straightforward.
TOO BUSY SPYING ON TEA PARTIERS? Intelligence Failure: Why Didn’t The United States Catch On To The Ukraine Invasion Sooner?
TO BE FAIR, A LOT OF PEOPLE FEEL THAT WAY THESE DAYS: NY Times WH Correspondent Peter Baker: Putin Just Doesn’t Respect Obama.
OBVIOUSLY, WOMEN SHOULD NOT BE ALLOWED TO DRINK AT ALL, SINCE THEY’RE NOT MATURE ENOUGH TO HANDLE IT: The New Sexual Double Standard: When Alcohol Is Involved, Men Are Rapists And Women Are Rape Victims. I guess they should be kept at home until marriage, so that they’re always under the supervision of a responsible male, since they’re not up to autonomous decisionmaking out in the wider world.
21ST CENTURY RELATIONSHIPS: “Is it backward to expect a wife to be submissive to her husband?” It used to be. Now it’s approaching deliciously transgressive.
AN UNFOLDING Crimean Cyber-War. They tested this out in Georgia.
If I were a small country bordering Russia, I’d work hard to develop the ability to blow up some Russian oil and gas pipelines.
The refinery is OJSC TANECO, formerly known as the Nizhnekamsk refinery, in Tartarstan. If you get into your Lada and drive due East from Moscow, you’ll get there in about 14 hours.
Reuters reports that the fire was put out the same evening it started and there were no injuries. It will take a few months to get production back up.
It churns out 140,000 barrels of gas and diesel a day, and that production all goes to Russia.
Hmm. Nobody hurt, but production out for months. Production that all goes to Russia. Hmm.
CAN YOU SUE YOUR MOM AND DAD FOR TUITION? Sure. At 18 you’re only an adult for purposes of screwing and voting. You’re a dependent for all other purposes until 26, when you’re not on their health insurance any more. Because autonomy!
WELL, TAXPAYERS ARE PAYING: Federal Agencies Spend Millions On First-Class Flights. “Premium travel reports from 14 federal agencies documenting the flights show these agencies alone spent an estimated $8.7 million on 1,903 upgraded flights in those two years. That was about $6.4 million more than the same coach and government-rate flights would have cost.”
AN ARMY A DIPLOMATIC CORPS OF DAVIDS: Louise Mensch vs Russia – the Twitter row. Frankly, she’s doing better than the U.S. State Department.
Now, see, if they cared about their carbon footprint they’d be moving all their manufacturing to the United States.
NEWS YOU CAN USE: How to Keep Your Kegerator Foam-Free. I’ve thought of putting one in, but I figure if I had one, it would come with 20 pounds of beer gut.
AND YET WITH ALL THE SPYING, THEY COULDN’T STOP THE TSARNAEVS AND THE RUSSIAN INVASION OF UKRAINE WAS A SURPRISE: ACLU Report On Metadata Details Law Enforcement Abuse, Shows There’s No Clear Cutoff Between Content And Data.
APPARENTLY, I’M NOT OLD ENOUGH, THEN: Ronan Farrow: The Young Man Only Old People Like; Young Blue Eyes fails to bring young viewers to MSNBC. I look at him and I’m all backpfeifengesicht.
WELL, THIS SUCKS, AND WILL CAUSE ME TO LEAVE KEURIG, I EXPECT: Keurig’s next generation of coffee machines will have DRM lockdown: Green Mountain fixates on controlling the coffee pod market.
Keurig is setting itself up to attempt a type of coffee “DRM” on the pods used in its coffee-making machines, according to a report from Techdirt. Keurig’s next-gen machines would be unable to interact with third-party coffee pods, thus locking customers into buying only the Keurig-branded K-cups or those of approved partners.
That’s just lame and tacky.
WHY WE SHOULD BE ENCOURAGING U.S. COMMERCIAL SPACE COMPANIES: Michael Belfiore: What Happens If Russia Refuses to Fly U.S. Astronauts?