October 31, 2010
ELIOT SPITZER: “You are a heinous terrorist.”
ELIOT SPITZER: “You are a heinous terrorist.”
CHARLIE CRIST WREAKS POLITICAL MAYHEM: “Since that casual May 2009 e-mail announcing your candidacy for U.S. Senate, you’ve ripped apart the Florida GOP, and now it’s dividing Florida Democrats. You’ve gone from national superstar and future presidential contender to someone banished from your lifelong party and fighting for political survival. Not to mention the trickle-down effect: Republican fixture Bill McCollum, poised to breeze into a second term as attorney general, is now through in politics; probably so is your lieutenant governor, Jeff Kottkamp; Chief Financial Officer Alex Sink, the state Democratic Party’s great hope, skipped reelection and is locked in an ugly, neck-and-neck race for governor against a controversial businessman no one had heard of nine months ago.”
GALLUP: Republicans Appear Poised to Win Big on Tuesday. Don’t get cocky.
ELECTION REPORTING FROM Vidalia, Georgia.
THE JUSTICE DEPARTMENT GOES TO ALASKA: “For a good preview of how politics, rather than law, may drive decisions in the Obama Justice Department next year when redistricting gets underway, go north, young man, and cast your eye on the Senate race in Alaska. The latest shenanigans by Alaskan election officials and the Voting Section of Justice’s Civil Rights Division show a dangerous willingness to bend regulations in furtherance of political objectives.”
POPULAR MECHANICS: 2010 Election Watch: Security of Your Electronic Voting Machine.
PROFESSOR JACOBSON: David Brock of Media Matters Issues A Challenge, And I Challenge Back.
UPDATE: Plot still thickening in Alaska.
“Of course it’s JournoList – it’s Greg Sargent,” Breitbart said in a phone interview. “Then you see Ben Smith say ‘a snippet,’ acting as if the audio, the information, isn’t telling enough. Then, you see Media Matters – the same players – the same ones that get invited to the White House, the same ones that get on special conference calls, the same ones that get the shout-outs at the press conferences, who get their presidential 15 minutes of fame, the same bloggers who have access to key people within the administration. They’re all working in cahoots with each other, it’s predictable. Every single damaging bit of revelation.”
PROF. ALTHOUSE IS CORRECTING THE “EITHER SHAMELESS OR IGNORANT” BRIAN BEUTLER. It’s amusing how often we see faux-intellectual arrogance coupled with cluelessness these days.
Plus, from the comments: “Man, if I were Sarah Palin, I’d throw an obscure fact or quote into every speech, tweet, post, or sneeze I made, just to watch these fools twitch.”
Related: Thin crowd. “President Obama wrapped up a weekend of last-minute campaigning in Ohio on Sunday, addressing Democrats in an indoor arena that, in a sign of the ‘enthusiasm gap’ that the president is working so hard to close, was little more than half full.”
ANOTHER UPDATE: “Miss me yet? I miss them both.” Heck, even Jimmy Carter is looking better . . . .
CHANGE, AND MEDIA FEAR: “Isn’t it amazing how these same people that were thrilled by the idea of America electing as president a junior senator from Illinois with little qualification for the most important office in the land are now scared to death about who may be going to Congress next January?”
UPDATE: Charlie Martin emails:
I’m kind of curious whether NPR is going to reprimand Totenberg now. This was after Juan Williams was fired, so there’s certainly no excuse that she either didn’t know the policy, or that her past transgressions were before a change in policy.
Okay, I admit it: that was rhetorical. I don’t *really* wonder.
She’s popular with the tote-bag crowd; Williams wasn’t, because he challenged their idea of what a black man could say in public.
FACE YOUR FEARS with phobic films.
SNAKEBIT: Coral Snake Antivenom Crisis Gets a One-Year Extension. “The world’s stock of coral snake antivenom, set to expire this weekend, gets a last-minute one-year extension from the FDA. But is there enough antivenom to last that long?”
FROM “I HEART BACON” TO “I LOVE BACON!”
KEITH ELLISON BECLOWNS HIMSELF: Video: Ellison crashes Election Integrity press conference, stomps off when questioned.
UPDATE: The video above has, suspiciously enough, been pulled from YouTube. But a reader sends this link.
ADVICE TO WOMEN: Freeze an ovary at 19.
ABC’S ELECTION NIGHT COVERAGE to feature Dana Loesch and Andrew Breitbart.
IN RUSSIA, DECAY AND DECLINE: “The current government has made progress in fixing the economy and reducing the atmosphere of lawlessness. But corruption is still rampant, and the newly centralized government is seen as a return to autocratic rule of the past. The problem with autocratic strongmen is that they tend to stay in power long past the point where they are effective. The czars and communists both suffered from this, and it is feared that new ‘democratic dictatorship’ will do the same.”
TUESDAY’S ELECTIONS: SETTING A BASELINE.
ESTIMATING CROWD SIZE at the Stewart/Colbert rally.
IN THE MAIL: From Eric Flint, 1635: The Eastern Front.
JOEL KOTKIN ON OBAMA’S MISTAKE: Suburban Nation, but Urban Political Strategy.
The connection between suburbs and political victory should have been clear by now. Middle- and working-class suburbanites keyed the surprising election win of Republican Sen. Scott Brown in Massachusetts in January. Suburban voters were also crucial to the 2009 Republican gubernatorial victories in Virginia and New Jersey, two key swing states.
Nationally, suburban approval for the Democrats has dropped to 39 percent this year, from 48 percent two years ago. Disapproval for President Barack Obama is also high — nearly 48 percent of suburbanites disapprove, compared to only 35 percent of urbanites. Even Obama’s strong support among minority suburbanites, a fast-growing group, has declined substantially.
Many suburban voters, notes Lawrence Levy, executive director of the National Center for Suburban Studies at Hofstra University, appear to be undergoing “buyer’s remorse” for backing Obama and the Democrats last time around .
As they should:
Many of the administration’s most high-profile initiatives have tended to reflect the views of urban interests – roughly 20 percent of the population – rather than suburban ones.
When the president visits suburban backyards, it sometimes seems like a visit from a “president from another planet.” After all, as a young man, Obama told The Associated Press: “I’m not interested in the suburbs. The suburbs bore me.”
Read the whole thing.
ANOTHER UPDATE: Reader Scott Littler writes:
“Bomb the Suburbs” was popular in democratic socialist circles in the early ’90’s. A fellow El Salvador “solidarity” activist gave me a copy back in that ’93-’95 era. It’s probably still in my basement collection of America-hating books: “Fidel & Religion”, “A People’s History…”, etc.
That America elected a grown man with the politics that I had as a 18-25-year old stoner, America-hating, Fidel-admiring, “democratic” socialist was more than a little surprising to me. Positively freaky-deaky.
I see now on Wikipedia that it was Chicago-oriented: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bomb_the_Suburbs. Imagine that. The author seems to have an Ayer-esque-lite biography – son of privilege, hater of the normal:
Yeah, imagine. But Bomb The Suburbs was really a rap/hip-hop book (though anti-suburban), and it should be noted that the author has since written Please Don’t Bomb The Suburbs.
TOM BLUMER: A coming government shutdown?
WARNING SIGNS of a mini-stroke.
DIVING TO 400 FEET DEEP in the mountains of East Tennessee.
UPDATE: Yeah, yeah, Fontana Lake is in North Carolina. But it’s in our mountains, dammit.
MEGAN MCARDLE: Why We Should Eliminate The Corporate Income Tax.
ONE-DAY ONLY SALE: “Black Adder Remastered: The Ultimate Edition.”
AHMADINEJAD’S American friends.
RAND SIMBERG POSTS A REPORT FROM A Craig Venter talk on synthetic genomics.
THE NEW YORK TIMES TALKS TO David Kirkham and the Utah Tea Party folks.
AMITY SHLAES: “The estate tax is one topic getting lost in the dust of the midterm races. That’s a pity. This tax, now quiescent, is set to roar back like a stallion in 2011 if lawmakers don’t rein it in with new legislation.”
JOURNALISM: “Last night news broke that Anchorage’s CBS affiliate KTVA News 11 reporters were caught on tape discussing ways in which they could potentially embarrass the Senate campaign of Republican Joe Miller.” Funny, there was a time when I would have found this inherently unlikely. Has the press changed, or is it just easier to get caught now?
UPDATE: A reader emails that it’s not “journalism,” it’s “journolistism.” Good point!
ANOTHER UPDATE: “It’s easier to get caught.”
TEA PARTY GROUP takes on voter fraud.
AN UNINTENDED CONSEQUENCE OF TUESDAY’S ELECTIONS: San Francisco Mayor Nancy Pelosi? “That scream you just heard was this queen reacting in horror to such a possibility. . . . Conservatives will be shocked to learn that in her backyard, Pelosi is not widely viewed as truly representing our core liberal to progressive values.”
AS I RECALL, IT’S BEEN “EMERGING” FOR ABOUT 20 YEARS: The Disappearance of the The Emerging Democratic Majority: The Failure of a Thesis.
ARTICLE ON HOW TO ELIMINATE FOOTNOTE GLUT IN LEGAL WRITING has 174 footnotes.
BLAST BOXERS: Penis Armor for men.
CHANGE: MoveOn supporter remorseful after roughing up conservative in Arizona. “MoveOn and Republicorps member Fred Highton says he regrets initiating a physical altercation with a conservative Tea Partier at a political event at the University of Arizona earlier this month. ‘If I’m going to take part in these political events, I need to learn some self-control,’ Highton said.”
UPDATE: Related: Obama To Protesters: Heckle The Other Side.
WHAT “TEEN MOM” STARS EARN. On the one hand, it’s more than they deserve. On the other, it’s not that much for such a successful reality show.
SPACE BUCKYBALLS: “Astronomers have discovered bucket loads of buckyballs in space. They used NASA’s Spitzer Space Telescope to find the little carbon spheres throughout our Milky Way Galaxy — in the space between stars and around three dying stars. What’s more, Spitzer detected buckyballs around a fourth dying star in a nearby galaxy in staggering quantities — the equivalent in mass to about 15 of our Moons.”
WELL, GET ON WITH IT, THEN: “We Have to Stop Demonizing Anyone We Disagree With.”
PROF. JACOBSON: Bill Maher Out Juan-Williamses Juan Williams, Media Silence Erupts. “Maher will get a pass because he serves other purposes.”
UPDATE: Reader Ric Locke emails: “Juan Williams was disciplined for getting off the reservation. Maher helps delimit the reservation.”
WHY NPR IS LIKE RUSH LIMBAUGH. And why it’s different.
LIES, DAMNED LIES, AND MEDICAL SCIENCE: “Much of what medical researchers conclude in their studies is misleading, exaggerated, or flat-out wrong. So why are doctors—to a striking extent—still drawing upon misinformation in their everyday practice?”
GOOD NEWS FOR STEPHEN GREEN: First human liver grown in lab.
IN CANADA, THE MASSES ARE REVOLTING and the media missed it:
Like my friends, the people who work in much of the major media – the CBC, the Toronto Star, even my own beloved paper – were stunned by the Ford tsunami. After all, the polls had predicted a squeaker. But there’s another reason they didn’t see the big wave coming. Very few of these people live or work outside downtown Toronto. Very few ever hang around with someone who voted for Mr. Ford and will own up to it. They remind me of the super-smart editorial writers at The New York Times who are sincerely convinced that Tea Partiers are dangerous crackpots – even though they’ve never met any.
The media think they understand why people voted as they did. As one Toronto Star pundit helpfully explained, the voters – Ford voters, that is – “were full of largely pointless rage.” Only pointless rage could explain why voters ignored the editorial endorsements of two leading newspapers, as well as a long line of former mayors who begged them, in the name of decency, to vote for George Smitherman. Even Justin Trudeau’s twinkle dust didn’t work.
Funny that in these circumstances they never ask “why do they hate us?”
Plus this: “The problem is simple. People have a lot more government than they can or will pay for. Mr. Ford and Tea Partiers know that. Scaling down the scope of government is the political challenge of the next generation. And if mainstream politicians stay in denial, they’ll be toast.”
HILLARY CLINTON, CALL YOUR OFFICE: Poll: Half of Democrats Think Obama Should Face Primary.
OBAMA HECKLED at Connecticut rally.
THE IMPACT OF “STUDENT AID:” “Increasing government subsidy for attending college doesn’t lower costs — it increases them and spreads them to taxpayers who would rather do something else with their money if they had any choice.”
AN OVERWHELMINGLY WHITE CROWD at the Stewart/Colbert rally. Well, Stewart and Colbert are Stuff White People Like.
But they had a fundamentalist Islamist to add diversity. “The inclusion of Yusuf Islam in the Rally to Restore Sanity is sure to raise a number of eyebrows, given the controversy surrounding his alleged support of the fundamentalist Islamic fatwa against author Salman Rushdie. As Andy Levy tweeted ‘Rally To Restore Fatwas?'”
REASON TV: ATTACK ADS, CIRCA 1800.
AN ALL-ELECTRIC, single-molecule motor.
BEDBUGS CAUSING COUPLES TO BREAK UP: “Stacie Handwerker, a real estate attorney, said that one man asked her point blank if she had bed bugs in her apartment. If she said yes, her date would have ditched. He didn’t even ask her if she carried any sexually-transmitted diseases. ‘Well, a condom can’t protect you from bedbugs,’ Handwerker said.”
UPDATE: Jim Bennett emails: “Hmm, is it easier or harder to make DDT than methamphetamine in a home lab? Because once bedbugs start interfering with peoples’ sex lives, there’d be one hell of a black-market opportunity. Just sayin’.”
I’ve written about homemade DDT before.
JON STEWART’S WAR AGAINST PHOTOGRAPHY? “Rally to Resore Sanity” pledges to “strictly prohibit filming” at National Mall. “The claim that Comedy Central can prohibit filming on federal property during an event open to the public is completely wrong.”
But it’s revealing that they’d try. It’s really the Rally To Reassert The Failed Narrative. Plus, from the comments: “We smell their fear.”
UPDATE: Charlie Martin emails: “It’s pretty clear that ‘sanity’ in this context means ‘seeing and hearing what we think is good for you.'”
HIGHER EDUCATION BUBBLE UPDATE: Cornell and Dartmouth Shame Students for Not Adding Their Real Money to the Ongoing Bonfire of Imaginary Money. “Fundraisers at Dartmouth and Cornell singled out students by name for failing to donate money to the universities.” Chutzpah. Plus this: “The single student from Dartmouth’s 1,123-student Class of 2010 who did not contribute this year was criticized in a column in the college newspaper and on a popular blog, which posted her name and photograph.”
And this: “Why would anyone with a normal human level of income give any money to these universities? Today’s endowments and their fluctuations exist in a budgetary fantasyland; from the schools’ point of view, individual gifts are literally worthless. It is like writing a check to the Department of Defense.”
And, from the comments: “Who was the holdout, and does she need a job? I like the cut of her jib.”
TUNKU VARADARAJAN TELLS JON STEWART FANS, “Sanity Is Overrated.”
PJTV: Talking to Steven Malanga about his new book, Shakedown: The Continuing Conspiracy Against The American Taxpayer. The interview’s on YouTube, so no registration is required.
DON’T GET COCKY. No, really, I mean that. Just sayin’ . . ..
JOSEPH CAO UPDATE: “Obama’s favorite Republican” is on the ropes. “Meanwhile, Obama didn’t let his past fondness for Cao interfere with his desire to elect a Democrat. The president personally recorded a TV spot on Richmond’s behalf.” Cao’s pro-ObamaCare vote left him with no friends.
CHARLES KRAUTHAMMER: “This is how the great post-partisan, post-racial, New Politics presidency ends – not with a bang, not with a whimper, but with a desperate election-eve plea for ethnic retribution.”
MAKING BIRYANI in a rice cooker.
With the Cold War well behind us, the real choice between systems lies in a growing variation in the form of capitalisms. Choices now range from the Chinese Leninist model – essential centrally planned exploitation of the greed gene – to various kleptocracies, divergent Anglo-American systems and varied forms of European capitalism.
None of these systems are likely to excite the most rabid Hayekian, especially now that the once free market haven Hong Kong is being integrated into the Chinese command and control system. But still, according a new study by my colleagues at the Legatum Institute, when it comes to delivering the best economic environment for people and families various forms of liberal capitalism still perform best.
The Legatum Prosperity Index found that all the more prosperous places – not only by income, but by quality of life, environment, education and health care – almost exclusively are democratic states. “Prosperity,” the report concludes, “is found in entrepreneurial democracies that have strong social fabrics.”
Read the whole thing.
ERIC SCHEIE: NO GLOATING OVER A G.O.P. SWEEP: “A sweep is not a sweep until it has swept.”
Plus this: “I have been too busy campaigning to have buyer’s remorse. Sure, I have my usual complaints about Republicans, and as a libertarian I have my usual complaints about conservatism. But this time around, I feel so strongly about getting the Democrats out that rather than holding my nose and voting per my usual style, I am holding my nose while campaigning!”
MICKEY KAUS: How’s that Obama base-rousing strategy working out?
LOOKING FOR WAR ON TERROR NEWS? Check out Fred Pruitt’s Rantburg. And hit the tipjar if you’re so inclined.
WHY IS JULIAN ASSANGE STILL ALIVE? “I don’t expect the U.S. government to kill Assange, but I do expect them to try to stop him. As of now, the plan seems to be to do nothing at all.” Because he’s a useful tool.
RADIATION: When A Cancer Therapy Puts Others At Risk. “In 1997, the Nuclear Regulatory Commission dropped a requirement that such patients be quarantined in the hospital. Instead, patients can be released right after their treatment, when they are at their most radioactive. And while most people go right home, one patient in New York boarded a bus for Atlantic City, N.J., and set off a radiation alarm in the Lincoln Tunnel.”
SPIRAL GALAXIES stripped bare.
A CORNUCOPIA OF Alaska Senate write-in candidates. Heh.
TRIBE, SOTOMAYOR, and Obama.
AT AMAZON, markdowns on flashlights.
ANSWERING TO OUR robot overlords.
ARE WE HAVING ANOTHER FOOD CRISIS? “The world food price index is at its highest since 2008, when food prices rocketed and millions of people suffered. This year the crisis seems to be happening again. Prices for the staple grains that underpin the world’s food supply soared after forecasts for the US and Chinese maize harvests fell in October, Pakistan lost its wheat to floods, and crop losses to drought and wildfire led Russia to ban grain exports until 2011. Food prices have soared in India, Egypt and elsewhere and are being blamed for riots in Mozambique.”
UPDATE: Reader Matthew Hennessy writes:
Inflation in food prices is explained by deleveraging: stuff you NEED to have that’s paid for in cash goes UP in price (inflation), while stuff you WANT to have that’s paid for with borrowed money goes DOWN in price (deflation).
Before asking about a food crisis, ask this: how much sugar/wheat/corn can you buy with an ounce of gold now vs. an ounce of gold 1, 2, or 5 years ago? If the amount is roughly the same, then you have your answer.
THAT’S MORE THAN MOST OF US CAN DO WHILE AWAKE: Sleeping Rover Finds Evidence of Liquid Water on Mars.
INSTAVISION: I talk with David Horowitz about his Academic Bill of Rights proposal, and his new book, Reforming Our Universities: The Campaign for an Academic Bill of Rights.
RICHARD POLLOCK: My Ordeal with Jon Stewart and His ‘Cone of Silence’ Event. “Interacting with Comedy Central over the upcoming Jon Stewart Rally to Restore Sanity, or the March to Keep Fear Alive, or the This Is Not a Political Rally rally is much like trying to communicate with North Korea’s Kim Jong II.”
VIRGINIA: Red-light camera installed at accident-free location. “Albemarle County, Virginia plans this week to install its first red light camera system, ostensibly to reduce accidents caused by red light running. County documents show that at one of the two intersection approaches selected, there has not been a single accident caused by red light running in the past three years.” It’s all about the benjamins.
PERSONALLY, I LIKE THE THEORY THAT WE’RE LIVING IN A COMPUTER SIMULATION: Fermilab is Building a ‘Holometer’ to Determine Once and For All Whether Reality Is Just an Illusion. “The universe-as-hologram theory is predicated on the idea that spacetime is not perfectly smooth, but becomes discrete and pixelated as you zoom in further and further, like a low-res digital image. This idea isn’t novel; recent experiments in black-hole physics have offered evidence that this may be the case, and prominent physicists have proposed similar ideas. Under this theory, the universe actually exists in two dimensions and the third is an illusion produced by the intertwining of time and depth. But the false third dimension can’t be perceived as such, because nothing travels faster than light, so instruments can’t find its limits.”
SPACE HOTEL PROGRESS: Bigelow Aerospace Shows Off Bigger, Badder Space Real Estate.
FLIGHT RECORD SET by laser-powered helicopter.
AT AMAZON, it’s the Friday Sale.
BILL WHITTLE on Natural Law.
A REPLACEMENT FOR MY HIGHLANDER HYBRID? 2011 Porsche Cayenne hybrid – with 21/25 mpg – goes on sale next month. Well, maybe if about 10,000 of you hit the PayPal button. . . . .
Meh. The mileage is only good compared to the non-hybrid Cayenne.
DOWN MEMORY LANE with Barney Frank.