June 30, 2011
AT THE REDESIGNED POWER LINE SITE, which I should have mentioned earlier, More Jimmy Carter Theater.
AT THE REDESIGNED POWER LINE SITE, which I should have mentioned earlier, More Jimmy Carter Theater.
JOE GANDELMAN ON MARK HALPERIN’S SUSPENSION from MSNBC for calling Obama a “dick.” Prediction: “In the way our media and political cultures now operate, Morning Joe will see its ratings go up.”
DOMINIQUE STRAUSS-KAHN CASE on verge of collapse?
MORE ON EDUCATION: “A ProPublica analysis of previously unreleased federal data shows that Florida leads the nation in the percentage of high-school students enrolled in high-level classes—Advanced Placement and advanced math. That holds true across rich and poor districts.” The reason? Gov. Jeb Bush: “Bush introduced a combination of measures to foster AP courses, including a partnership with the College Board, the national nonprofit group that manages AP courses and exams. The partnership kicked off in 2000 and was later written into state law.”
GARNER, N.C. UPDATE: Police say no burglar shooting. Technically, of course, you can certainly be acting in self-defense while outside of your yard, but . . . .
GEERT WILDERS takes a victory lap. As he should.
IF ONLY THIS HAPPENED TO CONGRESS: Failure to pass budget forces Louisville government to shut down. Note to Kentuckians: Don’t worry, it’s the one in Tennessee. . . .
REPORT: The California Dream Is Fizzling Out. On Facebook, Virginia Postrel comments: “There’s a lot going on, both in the article and in the state, but it’s a rather large oversight not to connect the high price of housing and the largely successful efforts of people like the woman in the lead to restrict new construction.”
BILL QUICK IS NOT HAPPY ABOUT THIS WHOLE AMAZON THING: Leftist Wreckers In California Just Stole $3500-$5000 A Year Right Out of My Pocket.
Meanwhile, a different take via Joy McCann.
CHANGE: Bleak View of Economy Spreads to Wealthy Americans: CNBC Survey. “Nearly two-thirds of the nation (63 percent) is pessimistic about the current state of the economy and its future, with just 6 percent optimistic about both.”
AT AMAZON, top deals in Electronics.
ANDREW KLAVAN: Why Do Blacks Vote for Democrats?
LAUREN RAE ORSINI: How to be a journalist in 2011.
DAN SAVAGE: You know what’s wrong with straight marriage? Monogamy. Bill Clinton agrees.
DIET SODA not all it’s cracked up to be.
Just how does diet soda make you fat? The other study may hold the answer. In it, researchers divided mice into two groups, one of which ate food laced with the popular sweetener aspartame. After three months, the mice eating aspartame-chow had higher blood sugar levels than the mice eating normal food. The authors said in a written statement their findings could “contribute to the associations observed between diet soda consumption and the risk of diabetes in humans.”
“Artificial sweeteners could have the effect of triggering appetite but unlike regular sugars they don’t deliver something that will squelch the appetite,” Sharon Fowler, obesity researcher at UT Health Science Center at San Diego and a co-author on both of these studies, told the Daily Mail. She also said sweeteners could inhibit brain cells that make you feel full.
So if sugar soda is no good, and diet soda isn’t either – what should we be drinking?
Dr. Hazuda told the Daily Mail, “I think prudence would dictate drinking water.”
Coffee’s good. Prevents Alzheimer’s, too. Just don’t add sweetener . . . .
THE CONTINUING APPEAL of coupons.
RETIREE TAX HEAVENS and hells.
AT AMAZON, markdowns on bestselling men’s sneakers.
SUSANNAH BRESLIN: Why Blogs For Women Are Bad For Women. “If blogs for women existed in the real world, rather than a virtual one, what would they look like? Giant pink bubbles in which women floated through life, peering through the see-through pink walls at the big, bad confusing world out there in which men exist, things are complex, and not everything has to do with whether or not you have a pair of ovaries. You don’t learn how to live in the world by withdrawing from it.”
WHEN I MENTIONED THIS SYMPOSIUM ON ADVANCING LIBERTY at Broadside Books, I should have mentioned that I have a contribution, too.
OH, GOODY: The Navy Bought Fake Chinese Microchips That Could Have Disarmed U.S. Missiles. “Last year, the U.S. Navy bought 59,000 microchips for use in everything from missiles to transponders and all of them turned out to be counterfeits from China. Wired reports the chips weren’t only low-quality fakes, they had been made with a “back-door” and could have been remotely shut down at any time. If left undiscovered the result could have rendered useless U.S. missiles and killed the signal from aircraft that tells everyone whether it’s friend or foe.”
SKADDEN ASSOCIATE DIES of overwork?
WHAT IS UP IN GARNER, NORTH CAROLINA? Burglar shoots at homeowner, homeowner shoots back, gets ticket for “unlawful discharge of a firearm.”
UPDATE: Police say otherwise.
SHOCKING NEW FINDINGS ABOUT STATIC ELECTRICITY: “A new study has found that the age-old understanding of this everyday phenomenon—one item becoming positively charged while the other becomes uniformly negative—is incorrect.”
JERRY POURNELLE has a new, WordPress-powered site.
THAT WAS FAST: CNN says Chevrolet Volt tech is “obsolete” compared to Toyota Prius Plug-in. “It all boils down to price. Stickered with a base price of $41,000, the Volt ain’t cheap. Pricing for the Prius Plug-In, though not officially confirmed, is expected to start at approximately $28,000, meaning that it will likely undercut the Volt’s MSRP by more than $10,000. Yes, rebates alter that number, but CNN finds it difficult to justify the hefty premium for what amounts to less than 30 miles of added electric-only range. Do you agree?”
PROCEED AT YOUR PERIL: Proceed at Your Peril: Crowdfunding and the Securities Act of 1933.
JAMES PETHOKOUKIS: Obamanomics, Leaving On A Jet Plane. “But the clumsy attempt at class warfare probably wasn’t even Obama’s most disheartening moment during the presser. Several others were at least equally as bad. . . . But this seems certain: Obamanomics took flight in 2009 as a purist Keynesian experiment in economic management from high above. The ultimate Dreamliner for Democrats. Now, two-and-a-half-year later, it’s begun its sputtering descent.”
MATT WELCH AND NICK GILLESPIE: Obama Has Outdone Bush On The Drug War. “Obama has been awful. . . . He’s a bum.”
EVEN THE LEFTIES ARE COMPLAINING ABOUT Obama’s War On Whistleblowers.
FASTER, PLEASE: Drug Reverses ‘Accelerated Aging’ in Human Cells. “The discovery has implications for the treatment of several diseases—as well as normal aging in healthy people.”
CIVIL RIGHTS PROGRESS IN BRITAIN: “Justice Secretary Ken Clarke has said a householder who knifes a burglar will not have committed a criminal offence under plans to clarify the law on self-defence in England.”
That’s good, but they’ve got a long way to go to catch up with evolving standards of human rights.
“IT WAS MY UNDERSTANDING THAT THERE WOULD BE NO MATH:” How Old Is Malia Obama? Don’t Ask Her Dad. “But hey, it’s not like he said something arguably inaccurate about Paul Revere or any of the other Founding Fathers. (Or even John Wayne!) Family man Barack Obama simply doesn’t know how old his own daughter is. He’ll definitely get it right when she turns 18, though, because he’ll be reminded every time he plays golf.”
WASHINGTON EXAMINER: Obama Doesn’t Understand The Family Budget.
Meanwhile Megan McArdle predicts a Washington Monument / Starve Grandma approach on the debt ceiling:
Matt is thinking like a wonk, not a politician. What Obama should do is the exact opposite of this sensible advice: he should make preparations to shut down the machines that write Social Security checks and army paychecks, lamenting that he has no choice because the US is contractually obligated to pay its other bills. The GOP is betting that Democrats will take the blame for this. I think that is a very bad bet.
This is why schools and other government agencies facing budget cuts tend to immediately slash something high-profile and politically popular. That’s how you get them to reverse the budget cuts. I’m sure most of us in the private sector can recount situations where this has worked in corporations as well.
The GOP should go for a short-term debt ceiling tied to new cuts — and they should include language that will prevent this approach if the debt ceiling is hit next time. How will the Dems oppose “protect Grandma” language?
CHINA IS INTERESTED in Canada’s oil. “Our self-destructive dithering on the XL Pipeline could have even worse consequences than we thought.”
CONN CARROLL: Bipartisan Study Confirms: Default In Geithner’s Hands. “The Bipartisan Policy Center released a Debt Ceiling Analysis today showing that even if Congress does not raise the debt ceiling by August 2nd, the federal government would still have enough incoming revenue to pay: all interest on Treasury securities (thus avoiding default), all Social Security obligations, all Medicare and Medicaid obligations, all Defense contractor bills, all Veterans payments, and all active duty troops, and still have almost $7 billion left over for other items. . . . Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner does not have to decide whether or not he wants to default on our debt until August 15th. That is the day that the Treasury is obligated to pay $29 billion in interest on previously issued debt.”
Whatever decision Geithner makes, I feel sure that it will be political.
RICHARD EPSTEIN: “The stumbling pattern of the aging athlete is reminiscent of the vacillation and weakness of today’s American leadership.” Plus this: “Right now American leadership is running scared. We have a president who thinks that bold words can ease our national decline, which has become as evident to the world as the hitch in Derek Jeter’s swing. We will know that this administration is intent on reversing the decline when the word ‘deregulation’ passes approvingly from its lips. Until that time, we should expect to see housing, labor, and financial markets remain in the doldrums.”
ECONOMIC NEWS: Mr. President: Hold up a mirror; you have met the enemy and it is you! “I watched President Obama today make a scathing speech in which he was alternatively cynical, deprecating, preachy and downright demagogical. . . . Mr. President, you need to admit you don’t know how to fix America, and what you thought would work, didn’t, isn’t working and won’t work. You were wrong, and still are. Mr. President, you need to stop going to fund raisers to reach $1 billion you can spend on your reelection campaign and do your job. You need to retire your golf clubs and roll up your sleeves and live up to some of that soaring rhetoric that got you into this job—you know, the one you have learned you were woefully underprepared to do.”
ABOUT TIME: Fred Upton Flip-Flips On Light-Bulb Ban. But will the repeal pass the Senate?
If you’re in doubt, there’s still time to stock up!
UPDATE: Reader John Steakley emails:
Awww, you missed it. He didn’t flip-flop. He “switched.”
Hello? [tap, tap] Is this thing on?
THE NEW CIVILITY: Mark Halperin Calls Obama a “Dick” on “Morning Joe.”
Plus: “Take a look at the video and make note of this. He didn’t say it off the air and didn’t mean to say it off the air. He meant to say it on the air and be seen saying it! That speaks volumes.” The teflon is scratched and flaking.
VOTER SUPPRESSION in Maryland?
ATF GUNRUNNING SCANDAL UPDATE: The Hill: Issa rips Obama’s silence on ATF gun-tracking matter:
At a press conference Wednesday, Obama reiterated that Attorney General Eric Holder did not order the gun-tracking program, which was run by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF) and allowed known and suspected straw purchasers to buy thousands of weapons in hopes of tracking them to members of Mexican drug cartels.
Holder called for the Inspector General to investigate the matter to determine who approved of the operation. Obama said he would comment further on the issue once the investigation is completed. . . .
But Issa, who held a charged hearing on the issue earlier this month, has indicated that responsibility for the operation rests with some of the highest officials at the Justice Department and the ATF.
They’ll stall until after the election if they can.
RICK PERRY TAKES ON Eric Holder And The Gaza Flotilla. “In his letter to Holder, the governor specifies the U. S. laws which he thinks are being violated by the American individual and corporate participants in the flotilla.”
THEY TOLD ME IF I VOTED FOR JOHN MCCAIN, EMINENT LAW PROFESSORS WOULD BE PROCLAIMING A “LAWLESS PRESIDENCY.” AND THEY WERE RIGHT! Bruce Ackerman: The Lawless Presidency. “The present confrontation over the War Powers Act requires Congress to rethink some tragic events of the past decade. It has been tempting to view the torture memos as an unfortunate accident—the result of legal ideologues finding themselves at key positions at a moment of crisis. But the debate over President Obama’s bombing campaign in Libya forces us to ask whether there is an emerging crisis of legality within the executive branch.”
OPERATION DISTRACTION: Dems Set To Demonize Gun Owners With Gunwalker Hearing.
The hearings two weeks ago saw Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) agents testify about their role in Operation Fast and Furious, the multi-agency scheme that allowed gun smugglers to arm Mexican drug cartels with 2,000 or more weapons as federal law enforcement officers watched. Issa’s hearings included evidence of damning emails that showed acting ATF chief Kenneth Melson to be intimately familiar with the program, which has been blamed for the deaths of two U.S. federal agents and more than 150 Mexican police and soldiers.
The ATF’s parent agency, the Department of Justice (DOJ); the Department of Homeland Security (DHS); and the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) were all directly involved in the operation, which could not even have occurred without State Department approval.
But the committee hearing today isn’t about what Obama administration officials in the Department of Justice and Department of Homeland Security knew, or when they knew it, or about bringing those responsible for the dangerous plot to light to face accountability or possible criminal charges.
Instead, the minority hearing by Democratic Rep. Elijah Cummings will be a forum for gun control activists such as Brady Campaign President Paul Helmke. . . . Instead of seeking answers from those Obama administration officials who are culpable for a rogue government program that has left cops, soldiers, and civilians dead, the congressman from Baltimore will use his position in order to provide airtime to those who would place blame at the feet of American citizens.
A reminder for gun owners of where the Administration stands.
HOLLOWING OUT the Ivory Tower. “So does increasing the number of people with degrees amount to a surefire way of increasing the majority’s earnings? Wolf is not convinced.”
JAMES TARANTO ON OBAMA: Is he really going to campaign on his economic record?
Hey, he killed Osama bin Laden, you know. Osama bin Laden is Osama bin Dead. Dead Osama. Killed, killed, killed bin Laden.
L.A. WEEKLY: L.A. County’s War On Private Property. Watch the well-connected people who wind up with this land a little while down the line.
NATIONAL JOURNAL: Nerves Show On Team Obama: Recent scrambling by the president’s political advisers indicates they’re very worried about his reelection chances. With reason, given his performance to date.
GREENPEACE TAKES ON VOLKSWAGEN, gets mauled by Jim Treacher.
HEATH SHULER MAY DITCH CONGRESS TO BECOME U.T. ATHLETIC DIRECTOR? Hmm. I guess the new job’s more popular with constituents than the old one, but it’s close . . . .
THEY REALLY DO SELL EVERYTHING AT AMAZON: Markdowns on high-end lab equipment. Er, and if by some chance you do buy that automated tissue processor, please do it through my link . . . .
UPDATE: Reader Steve Eimers writes that Amazon really does sell everything: “You’re not kidding! I needed a new 32′ ladder for my window cleaning business. I weigh less than 200 pounds but have only ever been able to buy the 32′ ladder locally that was rated for 300 pounders. That ladder is much heavier! Amazon has a 32′ type 2 ladder that weighs much less. When you are carrying around a ladder all day it is nice to have a lighter one.” Well, I weigh 210, so this would even work for me, though happily I don’t need a ladder that long. I think my extension ladder is 24 feet. But yeah, ladders, tissue processors, whatever you need. Except fresh produce, and they’re working on that.
WELL, IT’S A GOOD THING WE ELECTED OBAMA AND PUT A STOP TO THAT THEN: Cost of Wars Estimated at 3.7 Trillion.
A SYMPOSIUM ON ADVANCING LIBERTY, at Broadside Books.
AFTER OBAMA’S CLASS-WARFARE TIRADE, expect more of the “unexpected” economic news.
HIGHER EDUCATION BUBBLE UPDATE: Testing Harvard’s Mettle With A Flood Of Gold:
When the thermostat gambit failed to make up for the $10-billion hit, Harvard waited until the campus emptied out for the summer and then laid off almost 300 clerical and technical workers. The top administrators who lost the money and the full-time faculty members who received the money were unscathed.
That’s because the real priority of elite higher education, as the receding tide of money has exposed, is the greater glory of elite higher education and the administrators and faculty members who work there. That’s where all the money went, and that’s where, now that some of the money turns out to have never existed in the first place, it needs to come from.
And when those cuts happen, as they must, Harvard and its peers should take the chance to assess why they made the choices they made with their huge piles of gold, and how long they can keep making them in the future.
Read the whole thing.
BYPASSING DEFENSES WITH A RED-BLOODED DRUG DELIVERY DEVICE:
Liangfang Zhang and colleagues filled the red blood cell membrane with a cocktail of anti-cancer drugs. According to the researchers, the device stayed inside the bodies of lab mice for nearly 72 hours.
It’s the first time that scientists have combined a natural cell membrane with a synthetic nanoparticle for drug-delivery applications, Zhang said in a statement. “Such a nanoparticle platform will have little risk of immune response,” he said.
Next, they’ll add a targeting molecule so it can seek out and destroy only certain kinds of cancer cells.
JOURNALISM: Quote-doctoring among the elite.
HIGHER EDUCATION UPDATE: Despite Faculty Opposition, CUNY Board Votes to Standardize Some Requirements and Streamline Transfers. I don’t see why transfers shouldn’t be easier among colleges and universities in general. I think it’s absurd that you can switch institutions and lose a big chunk of your credits.
MORE JOBS DESTROYED BY BIG-SPENDING GOVERNMENT: Amazon Shuts Down California Affiliate Program.
WANT A SPACE SUIT? You might just find one at auction.
AT AMAZON, bestsellers in biographies and memoirs.
UTAH COURT MISSES CHANCE to be a leader in Third Amendment jurisprudence. I always tell my students that the Third Amendment is the only part of the Bill Of Rights that really works, because you almost never hear of troop-quartering issues. . . .
NLRB UPDATE: Ex-NLRB chairman denounces partisan Obama board.
HOW TO BUILD A GREAT SAND CASTLE THIS SUMMER.
TINA BROWN sees dead people.
WHAT’S GOING ON with Greece’s austerity budget. “Papandreou is passing these cuts because these cuts are what is necessary to get external institutions, like the EU and the IMF, to keep funding his primary deficit. If he refused, the financing would dry up, and Greece would be forced to make even deeper cuts. They would also have to try to raise more revenue with higher taxes, but this is very difficult in Greece, where compliance is low and the officials in charge of collecting your taxes are generally quite corrupt.” Well, when the officials in charge of tax-collection are perceived as corrupt, compliance tends to be low. That’s a lesson that applies everywhere.
MORE BORDERS AND LOWER COSTS boost war?
HIGHER EDUCATION BUBBLE UPDATE: Calif. Budget to Require Bigger Cuts From Public Universities.
ANN ALTHOUSE: “Isthmus columnist Emily Mills slimes me over the Wisconsin Supreme Court ‘chokegate’ story…… without taking the trouble to link to or quote anything I said. Or should I say without daring to link to or quote anything I said?”
Plus this: “Emily Mills’ dishonest assertions about me seem to reflect her desperation, her need to believe what she wants to believe, her reflex to plug her ears and go la la la la la. I mean, look at what I actually said.”
The traditional ruling class in Wisconsin is seeing it all fall apart, and they’re coming apart with it. The result is not pretty, but it is instructive.
“FALSE CHOICES AND DEMAGOGUERY:” A review of Obama’s press conference. So, pretty much the usual, then, I guess.
BACHMANN / STEPHANOPOULOS UPDATE: You know who else said the Founders worked to end slavery? Abraham Lincoln. Well, he was just another dumb slopehead from flyover country, right?
IMAGINE NO CAPITAL GAINS TAX. I WONDER IF YOU CAN. Time To Rewrite the Lyrics to “Imagine” As John Lennon’s Political Shift Is Revealed.
UPDATE: Reader Carl Fumante on Lennon’s Reagan-love: “Why is this such a surprise? Did everyone forget ‘Taxman’?” Good point!
ANOTHER UPDATE: Yeah, yeah, Harrison wrote it, but Lennon lived it . . . .
WELL, THEY’RE NOT STUPID: Obama losing grip on Jewish voters, donors? “Republicans probably won’t make significant inroads with these voters, and exit polls in 2012 will likely show similar breakdowns as 2008. The difference will be fewer voters coming to the polls to support Obama as others sit on their hands … and their cash.”
REPORT: Apple To Release Two iPhones This Fall. Pretty thinly sourced.
DEREK LOWE: Avastin At The FDA: Passion Should Lose.
NEW CLAIM: Hey, you know, that debt-ceiling we’ve had for years? Suddenly I think it’s looking kind of unconstitutional. I suspect that this approach would give the tax-protest movement a big shot in the arm. Or maybe people will decide we need a Constitutional Convention.