March 31, 2010
SOME PHOTOS FROM TONIGHT’S DENVER TEA PARTY RALLY.
SOME PHOTOS FROM TONIGHT’S DENVER TEA PARTY RALLY.
IS IT FEAR, OR EMBARRASSMENT? Dem Rep Tim Ryan Cancels Town Hall Over Fears of Being Alone With Constituents. No, it’s got to be fear. These guys lost all shame long ago. . . .
Related: Tim Ryan: Profile In Courage.
CONGRESSMAN: If Guam Gets Too Overpopulated It Might Tip Over. The country’s in the very best of hands.
UPDATE: Reader Rob Crawford writes:
In the PJTV interview with Jonah Goldberg, you expressed the belief that one of our problems is that the elite really isn’t all that elite. I realize Hank Johnson is ill, but that doesn’t excuse his continued occupation of one of the highest offices in the land, if his mental function is as impaired as the recent video suggests. And, I think, it confirms your thesis — if Congress actually *CARED* if he could do his job, if the voters *CARED*, he’d have been asked to resign. Heck, Kennedy would have been asked to resign years before his death, and Byrd would also be shown the door.
DALLAS NEWS: The Dubious Logic Linking Tea Parties to Racism.
AT LEAST THIS NOT-SO-SMART DIPLOMACY comes from somebody else for a change. Sometimes you prove a point by trying to refute it, and this is one of those times . . . .
“NUDGE” APPROACH TO ENERGY SAVING vetoed in Utah.
XENI JARDIN IS hands-on with the Apple iPad.
WHEN APRIL FOOL’S DAY PRANKS backfire.
REVIEWING THE REVIEWERS: A roundup of book reviews from all over.
INSTAVISION: I talk with Prof. Randy Barnett about the constitutionality of ObamaCare, and what to do about it.
IS CANADA KICKING SAND IN OUR FACE?
I don’t blame any American diplomat for seizing the opportunity to criticize Canada for its lack of sensitivity and inclusiveness; they do it to us all the time and I don’t see why the Canadians should have all the fun. Let’s criticize them for riding roughshod over the rights of small countries and native peoples now and then just to let them know how pointless and infuriating that kind of self-righteous and empty posturing can be. Even so, lecturing one day and begging in vain on the morrow isn’t the most dignified diplomatic posture an American secretary of state can assume. And the pattern of poor relations with close allies is disturbing. Currently embroiled in a quarrel with Israel over Jewish housing construction in East Jerusalem, the administration recently angered the EU by refusing to attend a summit in Madrid, embarrassed Britain by seeming to side with Argentina over negotiations over the Falklands Islands, canceled an invitation to Afghanistan’s President Karzai, and cheesed off Brazil when President Obama made his last minute, ill-fated dash to Copenhagen to snatch the 2016 Olympics from Rio. And where the administration hasn’t figured out a way to insult an old ally, Congress steps in — this time by passing another version of the Armenian genocide resolution through a key House committee.
Where’s that “smart diplomacy” we were promised? Plus, this advice: “Beating up on our few remaining friends isn’t going to fix things. What the President really needs is a victory over an adversary.”
MORE ON FIGHTING CASTRO WITH ANDY GARCIA from Roger Simon.
A CLOSE LOOK AT Saturn’s “Death Star” moon.
AT AMAZON, markdowns on baby supplies.
“GREAT JOB CLEARING THE CRIME SCENE, GUYS.” As between law enforcement bumbling and reportorial ignorance about firearms, it’s hard to know how to bet . . . .
MARCH 31: A day that, happily, turned out not to live in infamy.
“GREEN FOOD” LIES? You mean it’s mostly marketing hype? Who’d’a thunk it?
FIGHTING CASTRO IN L.A. with Andy Garcia and . . . Perez Hilton?
COLA-DRINKING can lower sperm counts. “A Danish study suggests drinking a lot of cola regularly could men’s lower sperm count by almost 30 percent. The culprit does not appear to be caffeine, since coffee did not have the same effect, even though it contains even more caffeine than cola.”
WITH EASTER COMING, reader Rich Brichcy asks for my recipe for roast leg of lamb. Here it is.
DAVID LETTERMAN GIVES THE TEA PARTY MOVEMENT “the best showcase it’s ever had?”
WEAPONS-GRADE CONDIMENT: Most Dangerous Object in the Office: Pure Cap Hot Sauce.
WHAT COULD GO WRONG? Jamie Gorelick Helping Rewrite Privacy Laws.
NEWSPAPERS: Substance vs. “Digital Razzle-Dazzle.”
HMM: Close Call With Death Leaves Its Mark On DNA. Stress shortens telomeres.
DANA LOESCH: Nominated for Miss Tea Party USA?
WHILE EVERYONE’S TALKING ABOUT TEA PARTIES, apparently it’s Hollywood that is a nest of neo-Nazi White Power types. Well, it’s more evidence than Keith Olbermann has come up with.
Related: Violent Blue-Dog Extremism.
MORE FROM MEGAN MCARDLE regarding Excessive Outrage on Retiree Subsidy Accounting. “Now we’ve changed it, we have made retiree health benefits more costly for the companies. That means that some of them will probably drop their benefits. Fine, if you think that’s good policy, but let’s not pretend this is some righteous campaign against dastardly companies. We were paying them to take expensive seniors off our hands. Now we want to reduce the payments.”
DISRUPTING MORAL JUDGMENT with magnetic fields?
A GLAUCOMA TEST in a contact lens.
INTRODUCING LINCOLN’S NEW MKZ Hybrid.
THIS WILL BE GOOD FOR THE COUNTRY: Obama to open up offshore drilling. “The Obama administration’s plan adopts some drilling proposals floated by President George W. Bush near the end of his tenure, including opening much of the Atlantic and Arctic Coasts.” Good for him; just be sure it doesn’t get bogged down in fine print and environmental challenges . . . .
MICHAEL BARONE: Tea Partiers Embrace Liberty, Not Big Government.
SOME MILITIA TAXONOMY, via CNN. Plus, don’t trust content from Mark Potok. . . .
And I also recommend Robert Churchill’s book.
UPDATE: Some less-hyped history. “When left-wing Indymedia writer Andrew Mickel ambushed and killed Red Bluff Police Officer David Mobilio as he sat in his car on November 19, 2002, he did so for the exact same reasons that authorities attribute to the Hutaree. Mickel was trying to start a civil war as well, one that he hoped his fellow socialists and communists would support.” I don’t recall the nationwide media explosion over that case.
GONORRHEA becoming a superbug?
ANOTHER “UNEXPECTED” EMPLOYMENT DROP: “Private payrolls unexpectedly fell in March, according to data released Wednesday. Private-sector jobs in the U.S. dropped by 23,000 this month, according to a national employment report published Wednesday by payroll giant Automatic Data Processing Inc. and consultancy firm Macroeconomic Advisers.”
UPDATE: That’s interesting, they’ve rewritten the story to take the “unexpectedly” out. Thanks to reader Gerald Gidcumb for the tip.
INCENTIVES: “Assume you are a teenager contemplating suicide. If you knew the 9 kids at school who were meanest to you would get criminally prosecuted if you killed yourself, would you be more likely to kill yourself or less? I don’t know enough about the psychology of suicide to answer my own question, but my intuitive sense is that self-murderers — or some self-murderers — intend to deal a severe blow to the people they leave behind. And knowing your enemies will be prosecuted might spur you on.”
IN NEW HAMPSHIRE, Carol Shea-Porter charged with holding stacked-audience “Potemkin town halls.” I expect that a lot of members of Congress will be trying this, as public anger has not abated.
REASON TV: 3 Reasons Public-Sector Employees Are Killing The Economy. I think public-sector unions should be illegal.
DAVID KIRKHAM SENDS THIS TEA PARTY REPORT FROM UTAH:
Last night an reporter from CNN travelling with the Tea Party Express showed up at our shop to talk about the Tea Party Express that was coming through Provo and Salt Lake City, Utah today. (I was the local organizer for the Provo event). I gave him a tour through our shop and then took him for a drive up the canyon in one of our cars. We talked the entire time. We ended up speaking for about 4 hours. At the end of our conversation, he dropped a bomb, “You know, I decided to come and find the facts about you guys for myself. The facts are the facts. Keith Olberman is way out in left, crazy field! You guys aren’t anything like the media has portrayed you.” I replied, “I know.” He told me he was then going to write a story on the “real” Tea Party people he met on his travels through Nevada, Utah, and Colorado.
This morning the Tea Party Express stopped in Provo. We had about 500 people show up. I introduced Mayor John Curtis who was just elected to office (off-year elections for the cities here). He inherited a 5 million budget shortfall. The first thing he did was cut funding for the Miss Provo Pageant. He said they were welcome to have the pageant–just not on the city’s dime. He then asked the city employees to pick 5 guys from each department to figure out where they could save money in the budget–and they DID! He balanced the budget without raising taxes a penny, just like he promised before he was elected. He left his business to run for mayor. He obviously brought his business skills with him. There are some great ones out there.
The comment of the day (Provo) came from a reporter who asked me, “I am trying to take a picture of a counter protester’s sign and I can’t find one. Do you know where any are?”
In Salt Lake over 1000 people attended. A total of 2 counter protesters showed up. They left after 10 minutes.
I spoke with several media people today. This morning I was on KSL radio, in the afternoon I was on PJTV (coming soon, I gave you a shout out!) and tonight I was on ABC Channel 4 News. The Channel 4 News anchors were most respectful and exceptionally nice both on the air and off the air. Throughout the day I spoke with more print journalists than I can remember. I have hopes all these flared emotions of late will temper. It was a great day.
Here’s a pic from Salt Lake City.
A CONTRAST, FROM EVAN COYNE MALONEY: How the Media Treated Anti-Bush Protesters.
MICKEY KAUS: “When the parties are competing domestically mainly on the issue of who can rev up the economy, will the relatively small differences between them (neither party’s socialist, neither is for killing Social Security or Medicare or–soon–Obamacare) yield more vicious campaigning, faculty politics style?”
PRICING ANNOUNCED FOR THE NISSAN LEAF: $32, 780. There’s a lease option, too.
UPDATE: Yeah, a lot of people are quoting the price as $25,780 after the tax credits. But that’s not the price.
JAMES PETHOKOUKIS: Obama And America’s 20-Year Bust. “America faced a similar turning point a generation ago. During the Jimmy Carter years, the Malthusian, Limits to Growth crowd argued that natural-resource constraints meant Americans would have to lower their economic expectations and accept economic stagnation — or worse. Carter more or less accepted an end to American Exceptionalism, but the 1980 presidential election showed few of his countrymen did. They chose growth economics and the economy grew. Now they face another choice.”
Related: The United States of Argentina?
ARE TEA PARTIERS ungrateful?
THE MIND OF A TAX REBEL: Talking to Wesley Snipes.
WILLIAM JACOBSON: Daily Caller a failure. Nah, they got Treacher. You gotta consider that a success.
HEH HEH. She said “testicles.”
DAVE PRICE suggests spreading the wealth around. It’s all the rage!
IN CALIFORNIA? Majority of D.A.s in state oppose Obama nominee. “Forty-two of California’s 58 county district attorneys are opposing President Obama’s nomination of Goodwin Liu to the federal appeals court in San Francisco, saying they believe the UC Berkeley law professor is hostile to the death penalty.”
RICHARD FERNANDEZ: The Left’s Funhouse Mirror.
SEAN TRENDE: Why the Health Care Bill Could Be Repealed.
OH, GOOD GRIEF.
“Mein Fuhrer, set the wayback machine for 1905!”
UPDATE: I see that Charles did eventually figure out that it was a Tennessee flag, not some sort of “neo-Nazi” emblem. But, you know, seeing neo-Nazis behind every bush deserves a bit of mockery. The Tea Party movement is not a neo-Nazi front, however much some might wish to make it so.
Meanwhile, reader George Kinney thinks the Tennessee flag is a crypto-confederate emblem — I guess because it has stars, and is red white and blue, and stuff. Nobody tell these folks!
IS THERE ANYTHING IT CAN’T DO? Chocolate could reduce heart risk.
GREG GUTFELD: “Look, this debate is basic: it’s small government vs. big government. So how cowardly do folks like Blood and Frank Rich have to be that they can’t man up and defend their love for collectivism? The only reason they scream race, is because that debate scares them. They know a racial accusation prevents dialogue, because such a harmful charge far outweighs any benefits of winning an argument.”
UPDATE: Reader Paul Strasser writes that the answer to bogus racism charges is a question: “Do you honestly think any of us would be FOR Obamacare if he was white?”
MUSCULAR CHRISTIANITY: Punch back twice as hard!
JOHN MCCAIN channels Tom Tancredo.
FROM HANS BADER, A WARNING: Republicans will lose many seats in Congress due to right-wing paranoia about the census. “The number of Congressional districts a state gets is based on how many of its citizens return completed census forms. Because voters in conservative states are completing and returning census forms at lower rates than voters in liberal states, conservative states will lose many seats in the House of Representatives that they would otherwise gain due to increases in their population.”
UPDATE: Just use sampling.
ANOTHER UPDATE: A reader emails: “This works both ways. Don’t discount conservatives in blue districts and states like mine also neglecting to return their census forms. Not that this conservative would do something so devious!” That’s just wrong.
OH, GOODY: Half of commercial real estate mortgages to be underwater by year’s end. Obviously, we need another Stimulus Bill . . .
KATHERINE MANGU-WARD: Traditional schools aren’t working. Let’s move learning online.
CAR LUST: A Bulgarian Perspective.
HMM: UK ‘Climategate’ inquiry largely clears scientists. “Phil Willis, the committee’s chairman, said of the e-mails that ‘there’s no denying that some of them were pretty appalling.’ But the committee found no evidence of anything beyond ‘a blunt refusal to share data,’ adding that the idea that Jones was part of a conspiracy to hide evidence that weakened the case for global warming was clearly wrong.” So, is this right, or is it a whitewash? Stay tuned.
UPDATE: Reader Robert Lederman writes:
From the body of the article to which you linked (emphasis mine):
“Lawmakers stressed that their report—which was written after only a single day of oral testimony—did not cover all the issues.”
“Report” is not the word that springs immediately to (my) mind to describe an effort such as this.
Well, stay tuned.
ANOTHER UPDATE: Prof. Stephen Clark emails:
Bear in mind that this committee does not speak for two pending investigations. It is not clear from the story what this committee’s relationship is to those two investigations that remain ongoing. Moreover, the issue isn’t whether “global warming is happening and that it is induced by human activity” versus the implied “global warming isn’t happening or isn’t caused by human activity”. The question has been primarily the extent to which it is, and it is, with respect to the former proposition, and most importantly the following: Was the data treated properly? Was the data analyzed properly? Is the existing data significant in supporting any of the existing mathematical models, and to what extent?
More important than any judgment of Jones and his collaborators in this matter is whether all of the data and associated documentation is made public and available for independent analysis, and that this should be so for all similar work going forward. If policy prescriptions involving potentially trillions of dollars over many years are to rest on matters of science then there should be absolutely no secret with regard to the science or the scientists involved: absolute transparency should be the standard.
Well, stay tuned.
FROM CAM EDWARDS, A PROTEST VIDEO: All These Things That They’ve Done. I like the CBGB t-shirt.
VICTOR DAVIS HANSON: We Are All Pods Now.
VERONIQUE DE RUGY: United States’ Net Position Deteriorates.
MICHAEL BARONE: The Show Me State Shows Us Something. “We are looking at something other than an ordinary political year.”
BILL QUICK on democracy and freedom.
PETER SUDERMAN: Mitt Romney vs. ObamaCare.
Romney’s line should be Hey, states are “laboratories of democracy.” We tried this, and it flopped. Lesson learned. Plus a point on the advisability of testing out new national approaches that way in general. . .
DEMOCRATIC SENATOR: VOTING FOR OBAMACARE WAS “POLITICAL FOLLY.” Allahpundit: I told you so!
Coincidentally, viewership is way up at PJTV.
THE MOST OVERPRICED PRODUCT you could possibly buy.
LOOKING INSIDE Taser’s electified shotgun slug.
ORNL’S radioactive Stonehenge.
POLICING FOR PROFIT: The Institute For Justice takes on asset forfeiture.
FIGHT THE POWER — buy a Ford! Or a Toyota, I guess.
IMPORTANT RELATIONSHIP ADVICE FOR TODAY’S ECONOMY: Why You Should Date A Guy Who Lives With His Parents.
COMBINING TWO OF MY INTERESTS: How to cook bacon with a machine gun. Thanks to reader Michael Stajduhar for the link.
THIS SEEMS LIKE NEWS: Google Buzz Privacy Flaw Snags Another Victim: White House Deputy CTO Andrew McLaughlin. “The exceptionally close relationship between Google and the Obama Administration is no secret. But it does raise questions when Google’s former top lobbyist, now serving in the executive office of the president, is using his former employer’s private email and social networking tools (Gmail and Buzz) to communicate privately with bunches of Google lobbyists and lawyers.” It’s also amusing when a tech guy gets nailed by a privacy bug.
TIM PAWLENTY on stopping runaway spending, one seat at a time.
MEGAN MCARDLE: Henry Waxman’s war on accounting.
Accounting basics: when a company experiences what accountants call “a material adverse impact” on its expected future earnings, and those changes affect an item that is already on the balance sheet, the company is required to record the negative impact–“to take the charge against earnings”–as soon as it knows that the change is reasonably likely to occur.
This makes good accounting sense. The asset on the balance sheet is now less valuable, so you should record a charge. Otherwise, you’d be misleading investors.
The Democrats, however, seem to believe that Generally Accepted Accounting Principles are some sort of conspiracy against Obamacare, and all that is good and right in America.
I think when they planned for ObamaCare’s costs to come online post-election, they didn’t know enough to realize that accounting rules (and SEC regulations) would require companies to act now. Just another example of the “knowledge problem” confronting economic planners and regulators . . . .
UPDATE: Reader Bill Hesson emails: “Would somebody please explain to the gentleman from California that the incessant prosecution of business executives for nothing more than excessive optimism is likely to have consequences that include pessimistic accounting?”
And reader Brant Hadaway writes:
I’m not usually this petty, but every time I see a link to another piece by Megan McArdle in which she (correctly) calls out the Dems on deficits, accounting rules, Obamacare, etc., I have to grit my teeth to prevent myself from yelling at the screen, “But you voted for him! You and every other sentient being on the planet should have seen this coming!”
I can respect the true believers in Obama. After all, they have their agenda.
But I cannot abide those who act like they were duped. The only people who were duped by Obama were those who wanted to be duped.
Well, everyone can be fooled by somebody. If you think you’re immune then you’re fooling yourself. But it’s true that in Obama’s case there was a strong will to believe, pushed by the hope — apparently false, based on current race-baiting aimed at Tea Party protesters — that Obama’s election would lead us to a post-racial America. Not so much, as it turns out. But better to point this out now than to remain silent, even though it would have been better still if more people had noticed it before the election.
ANOTHER UPDATE: Reader Brad Garton writes: “What’s really funny is that among other things Sarbanes-Oxley requires them to make the impacts public, and Waxman voted for that. Apparently he didn’t read that bill either.”
RAND SIMBERG notes that the Space Access Conference is next week, and likely to be particularly interesting this year.
HOW TO repossess an airliner.
GRAND ROUNDS IS UP — in a special post-healthcare reform edition.