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CONFUSION IN COLORADO: Hickenlooper silent on gun law comments; supporters and foes baffled.

ALAN BOYLE: Polywell Fusion Comes In From The Cold.

A hush-hush nuclear fusion project that’s received $12 million from the U.S. Navy is now sharing what it calls encouraging results — and looking for private investment.

For years, EMC2 Fusion Development Corp. has had to conduct its research into what’s known as Polywell fusion outside public view because the Navy wanted it that way. Now the Navy is phasing out its funding, and EMC2 Fusion is planning a three-year, $30 million commercial research program to see if its unorthodox approach can provide a fast track to cheap nuclear fusion power.

Well, between that and fracking, it would make the middle east a lot less important. Which seems increasingly a good thing.

GOOD: Single Dose of Antibiotic Found Effective in Quelling MRSA. “A single infusion of an antibiotic can clear serious bacterial skin infections — including methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus, or MRSA — just as effectively as the 10-day regimen now used to treat patients, researchers reported Wednesday. Many patients do not finish the complicated treatment for these infections, which requires two infusions of antibiotics daily, often in a hospital. Such incomplete treatments may breed resistance to antibiotics in surviving bacteria. A single-dose therapy may make it easier to treat these dangerous infections, said the authors of the new study, published in The New England Journal of Medicine.”


Now for the astonishing part: It worked. I was able to lift a tiny bit more every single time, like magic — or, rather, like Milo of Croton, the ancient Greek wrestler who is said to have lifted a newborn calf and then lifted it every day thereafter, as it grew, until Milo carried a full-grown bull. In my own case, I eventually squatted 285 pounds, dead-lifted 335 and bench-pressed 235. Those numbers will not impress strength coaches — I weighed 215, after all — but they were a marvel to me.

This raised a question: If all the latest cutting-edge scientific research says that outdated barbell movements have to be updated with core stability tricks and then integrated into super-short high-intensity muscle-confusion routines, how come none of that did much for me, while the same five lifts repeated for a year caused profound structural changes to my body?

The answer, it turns out, is that there are no cutting-edge scientific studies.

You can get the book here, if you’re interested. But, of course, this is old stuff for InstaPundit readers. The bad news is that as the word spreads, it’ll get even harder for me to get a squat rack at the gym. I got ’em to add one more already, but . . . .

JANET NAPOLITANO STRAYS FROM THE SCRIPT: “University of California officials on Wednesday sought to clarify recent comments by President Janet Napolitano that some critics of for-profit colleges interpreted as urging her former Obama administration colleagues to back off their regulatory proposal aimed at cracking down on the industry. . . . Napolitano’s letter left some advocates for tighter rules on for-profit colleges concerned that the leader of one of the country’s largest public university systems was lobbying the Obama administration to abandon its current plan to publish final ‘gainful employment’ rules by this fall.”

Perhaps Napolitano thinks that such rules, once in place, will inevitably be applied to “non-profit” schools too, with catastrophic results.

WHY NOT BOTH? Legalize Prostitution or Marijuana? Puerto Rico Is Looking for Ideas to Solve Debt Crisis.

VENEZUELA: Globovision Anchor Quits On Air, Cites Censorship. “Chavez tells Fusion he believes most electronic media in Venezuela is experiencing this same censorship (or self-censorship). He says there is a bit more freedom in the print media but notes ‘newspapers [critical of the government] are constantly audited by officials, and if there are any problems with their finances, they are hit with hefty fines.'”

Huh. That sounds kinda familiar, somehow.


On top of that you couldn’t say words like ‘food shortages’, barricades, repression, those type of terms were forbidden.

On CNN, the words are “Leland Yee.”

KEN ANDERSON: The WeRobot2014 conference and the diffusion of robots into society.

MORE DAMAGE FROM THE NSA SPYING: Harris Poll: People Using Internet Less After Snowden Revelations. “People are asking questions they didn’t ask before. To be in this place now, given the history of this industry, is just amazing. There is a level of suspicion and confusion we haven’t had before.” I believe that 2014 is the year the bloom came off the tech industry.

RON COLEMAN: Intellectual Property’s Ancien Régime. “In revolutionary times, even IP lawyers need to keep an eye on what’s going on in the streets. It’s not as safe as you might think behind the walls of the Bastille.”

STATE OF CONFUSION: Boehner Confuses Mental Health Measure for Gun Control, GOP Author Says.

A UKRAINIAN OUTSIDE-THE-BOX RESPONSE TO A RUSSIAN INVASION: Paint some tanks to look American. During the Soviet invasion of Czechoslovakia, everything came to a halt when American-flagged tanks were sighted, before it was discovered that they were part of a movie being filmed. Tanks with American, and German, appearance — even papier-mache ones on truck bodies — would create great confusion at low cost. . . .

FASTER, PLEASE: Laser Fusion Project Takes One Small Step Toward Energy Leap.

IRS SCANDAL UPDATE: Wall St. Journal: Obama’s IRS ‘Confusion:’ New evidence undercuts White House claims about IRS motivation.

The IRS hyper-scrutiny of conservative groups only began in 2010 amid the Obama Administration’s larger political attack on political donors like the Koch brothers, and emails show that IRS officials were acutely aware of this political environment. In February 2010, for example, an IRS screener in Cincinnati flagged an application to his superiors noting: “Recent media attention to this type of organization indicates to me that this is a ‘high profile’ case.”

From then on applications were routed through the offices of Mrs. Lerner and Obama-appointed IRS chief counsel William Wilkins, and long approval delays ensued. Extensive interviews and emails show that neither the initial Cincinnati interest, nor the subsequent Washington delay, was in any way driven by “confusion.”

Mr. Koskinen promised in December to restore public trust in the IRS, but he didn’t do much of that on Wednesday. He toed the Administration line on the new 501(c)(4) rules, promising to address concerns only “to the extent I have any control” over the process. He refused to say if he’d comply with Mr. Camp’s request for IRS and Treasury documents pertaining to the rule-making, fretting instead about low IRS “morale” and lack of funding.

The quickest way Mr. Koskinen could restore public trust in the IRS would be to halt the new politically toxic 501(c)(4) rules until investigations into the original targeting are complete. Meantime, the House should sharply reduce IRS funding until the agency is more responsive.

Zero out their conference budget. That seems quite important to them. . . .

JAMES TARANTO: Free Speech Quackery: The left defends corporations’ rights.

The First Amendment protects speech only against censorship or other adverse action by the government. The latter question refers obliquely to last month’s kerfuffle over “Duck Dynasty” star Phil Robertson, an incident that did not implicate the First Amendment. As to the former question, it’s a bit more complicated. Some people, after all, are employees of the government, and in a series of cases starting with Pickering v. Board of Education (1968), the Supreme Court has afforded them some protection against being fired over protected speech.

Swanson means mostly to make fun of the left’s favorite bogeyman, who defended Robertson; her headline is “Nearly Half of Americans Grasp the First Amendment About as Well as Sarah Palin Does.” Palin had written on Facebook: “Free speech is an endangered species. Those ‘intolerants’ hatin’ and taking on the Duck Dynasty patriarch for voicing his personal opinion are taking on all of us.” Here it seems to us the snark is unjustified: “Free speech” is not only a legal concept, and government is not the only entity capable of stifling free and open debate, even though it is the only entity enjoined against doing so by the U.S. Constitution.

One source of the popular confusion over the First Amendment’s scope may be the ubiquity of antidiscrimination laws. Our guess is that a large number of Americans would answer in the negative if asked whether the Constitution allows people to be fired (or otherwise treated adversely by a private-sector employer) on account of race. In fact, such discrimination is illegal–but pursuant to statutory law, not the Constitution. (One does, however, have a constitutional claim if the government is enforcing laws against racial discrimination in a racially discriminatory way.)

There are no federal laws against discrimination on the basis of political views or expression of protected speech. But as UCLA legal scholar Eugene Volokh noted in a 2012 article for the Texas Review of Law & Politics, “about half of Americans live in jurisdictions that protect some private employee speech or political activity from employer retaliation.” One man who does is Phil Robertson of Louisiana, where the state Supreme Court has held that “the actual firing of one employee for political activity constitutes for the remaining employees both a policy and a threat of similar firings” and is therefore forbidden under state law.

Read the whole thing. Plus: “Implicit in the claim that A&E was within its legal rights in suspending Robertson–which it was, in our view–is a recognition that corporations and not just individuals have the right to free speech. We remember when the left didn’t believe in the First Amendment.” Heh.

A SELF-REGULATED MILITIA, BEING NECESSARY . . . “If the government doesn’t back us, we must do what we can”: Mexican Citizens Create Private Forces to Fight Cartels. “In the face of kidnappings and extortion from cartels and a lack of reliable protection from the police and military, groups of Mexican citizens are taking matters (and weapons) into their own hands and protecting themselves. . . . Mexico has extremely strict private gun ownership laws, which is why part of the news coverage seems focused on ‘disarming’ the vigilantes. That the military is unable to even disarm its own law-abiding citizenry (other than the gun laws anyway), and that armed citizens appear to be a better choice to keep cartels at bay (they actually have a stake in the outcome) may indicate an important shift for Mexicans in fighting the violence in their country. The New York Times frets these vigilante leaders may have ties to other criminal gangs, but there’s little to indicate in either their story nor Fusion’s that they are victimizing these communities further or worse than what they had been living under.”

UPDATE: From the comments: “Finally, a group in Mexico the Obama administration will not sell guns to.”

SPACE: In all the confusion of the past week — there was a traffic jam on a bridge! — it’s worth noting that both SpaceX and Orbital Sciences had successful launches. It’s actually good that those don’t make as much news as they used to. I hope that soon they’ll be no more newsworthy than a timely Delta nonstop making it from Knoxville to La Guardia. Oh, wait, that would be news, based on my recent experience. . . .

CAT OUT OF THE BAG: “Aliens Exist,” Says Canada’s Former Defense Minister.

InstaPundit readers have been in on the truth for a long time.

TRAIN WRECK UPDATE: Jim Geraghty Discusses ‘50 States of Obamacare Confusion.’


THE COUNTRY’S IN THE VERY BEST OF HANDS: Obamacare delays create New Year’s confusion.

MORE NEWS FROM THE WORLD OF “SMART DIPLOMACY:” Mixed Messages From Washington Confuse Asian Allies. “Washington needs to get its ducks in a row. The different branches of the US government can’t be sending out mixed messages. Our allies in Asia are watching very closely to gauge the depth of the US commitment to stability in Asia. Diplomatic missteps, confusion, mixed messages, and incompetence will only further convince our allies that the US ship has sailed.” We elected a post-American president. Not surprising that his diplomacy is pushing us toward a post-American world. Hey, it’s not like you weren’t warned.

Now back to the latest episode of Post-American Bandstand.

JAMES TARANTO: Susan Rice for HHS: A YouTube video caused the next ObamaCare failure.

“We’re probably heading for a turning point in the health reform discussion,” writes former Enron adviser Paul Krugman. No, he doesn’t see congressional Democrats as revolting imminently against ObamaCare. Quite the opposite: “The facts on the ground are getting better by the day, and Obamacare will turn into a Benghazi-type affair where Republicans are screaming about a scandal nobody else cares about.”

One is tempted to observe that if Benghazi is the standard of success, ObamaCare must be an even worse disaster than its harshest critics imagine. But that’s not Krugman’s meaning. His analogy has nothing to do with “the facts on the ground,” and it reveals more about Krugman’s values than about either Benghazi or ObamaCare.

In neither the above-quoted post nor the earlier one in which he first put forth the analogy does the erstwhile adviser make any reference to what happened at Benghazi. To him, Benghazi is purely a phenomenon of partisan politics: “The [Republican] party has convinced itself that there must be a . . . winning issue hidden in there somewhere, and that if only it keeps flogging the thing, long after the public has moved on, it will eventually score big.”

The analogy is flawed even if you accept Krugman’s amoral partisan terms. Krugman may shrug off four murdered Americans, but he can’t claim the Obama administration accomplished anything at Benghazi. The administration’s success consisted only in a propaganda effort in which a designated liar, then-U.N. Ambassador Susan Rice, created enough confusion to neutralize the attack as a potential threat to Obama’s re-election and set the stage for the administration, at least so far, to evade accountability (though Rice herself perhaps paid the price of not being nominated secretary of state, a position requiring Senate confirmation).

Well, maybe Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius should swap jobs with Rice, who could then be sent out to blame ObamaCare’s failure on a YouTube video.

You may think that’s a joke, but even our wit isn’t always quick enough to keep up with this crowd. Tomorrow is Thanksgiving, and Organizing for Action, the nonprofit organization that sells access to the president, has produced a YouTube video titled “Health Care for the Holidays.” The completely functional OFA website urges Obama supporters to spend the holidays urging their kin to buy ObamaCare insurance.

In all but a handful of states, of course, that’s not even possible, given the failure of HHS and some states even to build functional exchanges.

It’s Potemkin villages all the way down.


The Iranian agreement comes not in isolation, unfortunately. The Syrian debacle instructed the Iranians that the Obama administration was more interested in announcing a peaceful breakthrough than actually achieving it. The timing is convenient for both sides: The Obama administration needed an offset abroad to the Obamacare disaster, and the Iranians want a breathing space to rebuild their finances and ensure that Assad can salvage the Iranian-Hezbollah-Assad axis. The agreement is a de facto acknowledgement that containing, not ending, Iran’s nuclear program is now U.S. policy. . . .

Aside from the details of this new Sword of Damocles pact, one wonders about the following: In the case of violations, will it be easier for Iran to return to weaponization or for the U.S. to reassemble allies to reestablish the sanctions? Will Israel now be more or less likely to consider preemption? Will the Sunni states feel some relief or more likely pursue avenues to achieve nuclear deterrence? Will allies like Japan or South Korea feel that the U.S. has reasserted its old global clout, or further worry that their patron might engage in secret talks with, say, China rather than reemphasize their security under the traditional U.S. umbrella?

The president’s dismal polls are only a multiplier of that general perception abroad that foreign policy is an auxiliary to fundamental transformation at home, useful not so much to create international stability per se, as to enhance Obama influence in pursuing his domestic agenda. Collate reset, lead from behind, “redlines,” “game-changers,” ”deadlines,” the Arab Spring confusion, the skedaddle from Iraq, Benghazi, the Eastern European missile pullback, and the atmosphere is comparable to the 1979–80 Carter landscape, in which after three years of observation, the opportunists at last decided to act while the acting was good, from Afghanistan to Central America to Tehran.

There is not a good record, from Philip of Macedon to Hitler to Stalin in the 1940s to Carter and the Soviets in the 1970s to radical Islamists in the 1990s, of expecting authoritarians and thugs to listen to reason, cool their aggression, and appreciate democracies’ sober and judicious appeal to logic — once they sense in the West greater eagerness to announce new, rather than to enforce old, agreements.

Nope. But Obama et al. care only about accumulating their own power, not about what others do. Just as they are happy to see the economic pie shrink, so long as they control a larger slice of what’s left.

CBS NEWS: Only 6 People Enrolled In ObamaCare On First Day.

For 31 days now, the Obama administration has been telling us that Americans by the millions are visiting the new health insurance website, despite all its problems.

But no one in the administration has been willing to tell us how many policies have been purchased, and this may be the reason: CBS News has learned enrollments got off to an incredibly slow start.

Early enrollment figures are contained in notes from twice-a-day “war room” meetings convened within the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services after the website failed on Oct. 1. They were turned over in response to a document request from the House Oversight Committee.

The website launched on a Tuesday. Publicly, the government said there were 4.7 million unique visits in the first 24 hours. But at a meeting Wednesday morning, the war room notes say “six enrollments have occurred so far.”

They were with BlueCross BlueShield North Carolina and Kansas City, CareSource and Healthcare Service Corporation.

By Wednesday afternoon, enrollments were up to “approximately 100.” By the end of Wednesday, the notes reflect “248 enrollments” nationwide.

The health care exchanges need to average 39,000 enrollees a day to meet the goal of seven million by March 1. The war room notes give a glimpse into some of the reasons customers had problems:

“Direct enrollment (signing up directly on an insurer’s website) is not working for any issuers.”
“Experian” credit reporting agency is “creating confusion with credit check information.”
“Issuer phone numbers are not appearing correctly on the Pay Now page.”
The notes leave no doubt that some enrollment figures, which the administration has chosen to keep secret, are available.

“Statistics coming in,” said notes from the very first meeting the morning of Oct. 2. Contractor “QSSI has a daily dashboard created every night.”

But head of CMS Marilyn Tavenner would not disclose any figures when Rep. Dave Camp, chair of the House Ways and Means Committee, asked earlier this week.

“Chairman Camp, we will have those numbers available in mid-November,” she said.

Health and Human Services told CBS News Thursday it’s in no position to confirm or discuss enrollment figures because it doesn’t have any.

I believe she was under oath when she said that, wasn’t she?

MICHAEL WALSH: Most Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest. “The GOP is not, in any meaningful sense, a conservative, first-principles, Constitutionalist Party — and unless it’s subsumed by the Tea Party, it never will be. Rather, it’s content to be the lesser half of the Permanent Bipartisan Fusion Party as long as it can collect some of the pork scraps from underneath the table of the Permanent Bipartisan Fusion Government. No wonder they keep losing — they like it.”

THE TECHNOLOGY OF THE FUTURE: Pressure for Results Mounts as Fusion Research Crawls Forward.

SCIENCE: Novel Two-Stage Laser Fusion Approach.

REVIEW: The Ford Fusion Energi plug-in hybrid.

#GREENFAIL: Santa Monica Bets on Electric Cars, but Consumers Are Slow to Switch. Here in Knoxville, as even one of my Prius-driving buddies notes, we have electric-car charging stations all over, but you never see a single car hooked up to charge. I do see the occasional Leaf on the road, but never at the chargers. Plus, this problem: “When she or her husband, who drives a Ford Fusion plug-in hybrid, run the air-conditioning at home while charging their cars, the fuse blows, she said.” And: “Consumers have been slow to buy electric vehicles because they cost more while providing less range.” Yeah, that’s the key problem right there. Ideally, I’d keep a Tesla to drive around town, and maybe that Audi A8 TDI for long road trips. But that would mean investing as much (actually more) in cars than most people invest in their house, which isn’t very practical.

MICHAEL WALSH ON THAT LOUSY SENATE “SHIELD” LAW: “As I’ve written elsewhere, under the guise of ‘protection,’ the Permanent Bipartisan Fusion Party is moving toward its real goal of licensing journalists and creating an American version of Britain’s Official Secrets Act. The Senate bill has nothing to do with protecting journalists, and everything to do with the Government Class protecting itself from those who would expose its activities. Having successfully co-opted what used to be the national media — so much so that there is now a veritable revolving door between Washington and old-media institutions — Congress now seeks to shut down via exclusion all those who do not toe the party line. And if you don’t believe me, just ask Senator Dianne Feinstein.”

My thoughts on the subject are here. And, to a related degree, here.

NOBEL PEACE PRIZE UPDATE: The Permanent Bipartisan Fusion Party Prepares for War.

Well, once again, I defend an Obama policy and my defense turns out to be over-generous.

JOHN FUND: Name That Bureaucrat: IRS Scandal Shows That Decisionmakers Must Be Held Accountable. “It’s taken nearly three months to begin to peel back the onion and discover the chain of command in the IRS scandal. One of the bureaucracy’s biggest weapons against scrutiny and accountability is its ability to hide who actually makes decisions and who should be held responsible for them. Back in May, former IRS commissioner Douglas Shulman didn’t even pretend to know how the scandal had happened.”

On the other hand, some people seem fine with bureaucratic diffusion of responsibility: “There are nearly 100,000 people working for the IRS. The IRS has an Inspector General who keeps busy and issues reports. When the Inspector General issues a report there is always something that somebody, somewhere has done wrong.”

Related: Tax Court: IRS Must Sign Interrogatories Under Oath, Just Like Taxpayers.

WE’RE GOING TO HAVE TO LOOK MORE SERIOUSLY AT THE MOSAIC THEORY: License-plate readers let police collect millions of records on drivers.

The paperback-size device, installed on the outside of police cars, can log thousands of license plates in an eight-hour patrol shift. Katz-Lacabe said it had photographed his two cars on 112 occasions, including one image from 2009 that shows him and his daughters stepping out of his Toyota Prius in their driveway.

That photograph, Katz-Lacabe said, made him “frightened and concerned about the magnitude of police surveillance and data collection.” The single patrol car in San Leandro equipped with a plate reader had logged his car once a week on average, photographing his license plate and documenting the time and location.

At a rapid pace, and mostly hidden from the public, police agencies throughout California have been collecting millions of records on drivers and feeding them to intelligence fusion centers operated by local, state and federal law enforcement.

Prediction: It’ll be used more to stalk political enemies and law enforcement officers’ romantic interests than to solve crimes. More on the “mosaic theory” here.

ALAN BOYLE: Fusion energy dreams smash into hard economic realities. “In the current era of cheap fossil fuels and increasingly affordable renewable energy, there’s just not enough incentive to move forward more quickly with fusion research. But that could change if there’s a breakthrough, of if there’s a desperate need for the ‘always-on’ baseline power that fusion could provide.” Not so sure about the “increasingly affordable renewable energy,” but we certainly have plenty of fossil fuels, it appears. Why, I haven’t heard the words “peak oil” — other than ironically — in ages.

THE PERSPECTIVE IS KINDA SOCIAL-CONNISH, but Charlotte Allen reviews Men On Strike in the Wall Street Journal.

UPDATE: Helen just heard from the publisher that they’re going into a third printing. Get your copy now! (Bumped).

ANOTHER UPDATE: My mistake. This was just the second-printing notice coming a second time. Sorry for the confusion. It’s still good!

MARK STEYN: Obama’s Melting Wings.

I suppose it might have been worse. When Angela Merkel proposed a toast to a strong West, he could have assumed that was the name of Kim and Kanye’s new baby. At any rate, President Obama’s mishap had faint echoes of a famous social faux pas during the Second World War. Irving Berlin, the celebrated composer of “White Christmas,” was invited to lunch at 10 Downing Street and was surprised to find that Churchill, instead of asking what’s that Bing Crosby really like, badgered him with complex moral and strategic questions and requests for estimates of U.S. war production. It turned out the prime minister had confused Irving Berlin with the philosopher Sir Isaiah Berlin, then under secondment to the British embassy in Washington, and thought it was the latter he’d invited to Number Ten. In the Obama era, any confusion is the other way around.

Read the whole thing, of course.

HOW’S THAT “SMART DIPLOMACY” WORKIN’ OUT FOR YA? (CONT’D): “In two contexts the Obama administration has revealed its complete confusion about high-stakes negotiations and the interrelation of soft and hard power.”

21ST CENTURY WATERGATE? CBS News confirms multiple breaches of Sharyl Attkisson’s computer. “A cyber security firm hired by CBS News has determined through forensic analysis that Sharyl Attkisson’s computer was accessed by an unauthorized, external, unknown party on multiple occasions late in 2012. Evidence suggests this party performed all access remotely using Attkisson’s accounts. While no malicious code was found, forensic analysis revealed an intruder had executed commands that appeared to involve search and exfiltration of data. This party also used sophisticated methods to remove all possible indications of unauthorized activity, and alter system times to cause further confusion.”

Say, if they can do that, couldn’t they plant incriminating stuff on your computer, too? More undermining of trust. . . .

HOMELAND SECURITY: Even Politicians Tire of Failure-Prone, Freedom-Threatening Fusion Centers.

The Department of Homeland Security’s pet fusion centers, intended to “serve as focal points within the state and local environment for the receipt, analysis, gathering, and sharing of threat-related information between the federal government and state, local, tribal, territorial (SLTT) and private sector partners,” have instead managed to enrage people across the political spectrum by finding bogeymen under every conceivable bed. They’ve targeted Occupy protesters and Ron Paul supporters as threats to the republic, and even listed the American Civil Liberties Union on a map detailing “terrorism events and other suspicious activity.” Just about the only people they haven’t targeted are actual terrorists — an omission that has drawn criticism for the Massachusetts franchise of the DHS network. No wonder politicians are starting to question whether the money dedicated to these factories of Fail are well-spent.

I was opposed to the creation of the Homeland Security department from the beginning. Nothing has happened since to suggest that I was wrong. And while we’re reliving the past, read this, and this. And this. Not much progress over the past decade. . . .


Heinlein used the transfusion process for rejuv in Methuselah’s Children. Synthesizing the blood was the key to long-term rejuv for everyone, too. (Might as well put a link to it in, too. Wouldn’t hurt for people to read it again. There’s a great example of government persecuting a group they think is “hiding the stash.” Worse, they knew the group wasn’t, but needed to throw someone to the wolves to satisfy the populace.)

Luckily that could never happen here. And linked. Plus, it’s also on Kindle.

NEW BLOOD: Transfusions Reverse Aging Effects On Hearts In Mice. “‘When the protein … was injected into old mice, which develop thickened heart walls in a manner similar to aging humans, the hearts were reduced in size and thickness, resembling the healthy hearts of younger mice.’ Through a type of transfusion called parabiotic or ‘shared circulation’ in mice — one old and sick, the other young and well — they managed to reverse this age-associated heart disease. From there, they isolated an active agent, GDF-11, present in the younger mouse but absent in the older, which reverses the condition when administered directly. They are also using the agent to restore other aged/diseased tissues and organs. Human applications are expected within six years.” Faster, please.


WHAT IF THEY HELD AN ANTI-NRA PROTEST AND NOBODY SHOWED UP? And the few people who did seemed kind of useless?

Some brief confusion ensued Thursday when protesters arrived at the first nondescript office building and no one could remember which lobbying firm was located inside.

“Whatever, we’ll get it to them later,” one organizer told another after milling about for a few minutes. “Let’s not stand around looking like idiots.”

Too late!

ROSS DOUTHAT’S PIECE ON “LIBERALTARIAN DEMOCRATS” AND WHY GUN-CONTROL FAILED sounds kind of like my USA Today column on guns and gay marriage. Key bit:

Obama isn’t the Marxist of conservative paranoia, but his economic vision is far more dirigiste than libertarian — which is a big reason why many of the economic libertarians who had soured on the Bush-era G.O.P. ended up returning to the Republican fold. (Though not Lindsey himself, I should note.) On national security, meanwhile, the Democratic Party is plainly much less libertarian — and the Republican Party, mostly thanks to Rand Paul, slightly more so — than it was when Lindsey was drawing up his form of fusionism.

But on most cultural issues, the Democratic Party clearly has grown steadily more, well, “liberaltarian” since Lindsey coined the term. Again, if you look at things on a right-left axis, as the Politico piece quoted above does, the resistance to even modest gun control measures among many swing-state Democrats seems like the exception to the Obama-era party’s leftward shifts on gay marriage, immigration (where the party’s Byron Dorgans are all but extinct), and recreational drugs. But if you look at things from a libertarian perspective instead, it’s all perfectly consistent — the freedoms of gun owners being of a piece with the freedoms of migrants and pot smokers and gay couples — and an indication that the Democrats are simply becoming more culturally libertarian across the board.

When you combine this trend with the Republican Party’s sharp libertarian turn on economics and modest libertarian turn on civil liberties, you could argue that libertarian ideology has never enjoyed more bipartisan influence than it does right now.

Which isn’t to say that we’ve gone all that far. . . .

On a less cheerful note, on Twitter, Douthat also recommends James Poulos on The Pink Police State. “So citizens of a Pink Police State (I should say subjects) are apt to surrender more and more political liberty in exchange for more and more cultural or ‘personal’ license. And the government of a Pink Police State tends to monopolize and totalize administrative control while carving out a permissive playpen for the people. This tradeoff has a creepy economic component.”

REPORT: Boston Bombing Suspect Arrested.

UPDATE: NBC now saying no. Stay tuned.

ANOTHER UPDATE: CNN walks back. Confusion reigns.

MORE: A major media malfunction. And yet journalists put down bloggers?

REGULATION: New Agriculture Rules Generate Anger, Confusion.

FASTER, PLEASE: Scientists develop fusion rocket technology in lab – and aim for Mars.

HOPEY-CHANGEY: Fusion Centers Spy on ‘Anti-Government’ Americans, Official Admits.

WHY REBUT AL GORE? NPR Laments ‘Confusion’ Campaign to Teach Two Sides on Climate Change.

Obviously the reactionary corporatists at NPR prefer to see a spokesman for Big Oil dissemble without opposition.

DOROTHY RABINOWITZ: Chuck Hagel’s Defenseless Performance. “No amount of right-wing conspiracies against Mr. Hagel could have done to the former Nebraska senator what his own astoundingly disastrous performance did. One that revealed far more about his lack of capacity for the job, his confusion, than anyone could have predicted—a display not without its saddening aspects.”

LOOKING BACK ON HILLARY’S CAREER AS SECRETARY OF STATE: NOT VERY IMPRESSIVE, REALLY. “American foreign policy under Secretary Clinton has been one disaster after another. She may not deserve blame for all of them — or even most of them — but it defies common sense to call her tenure a success.” Read the whole thing.

UPDATE: Reader Dennis Mulcare writes: “When the mass media measures Hilary’s career as Secretary of State in miles traveled, 1,000,000, and the number of countries visited, 120, then you have a major confusion between mere activity and actual accomplishments. Now there is a difference for you.”

MEDICINE: Fecal transplants successful in treating intestinal ailment. “An infusion of feces from a healthy person is much more effective than an antibiotic in treating C. difficile, a recurrent intestinal infection, researchers find.”


North Dakota, unlike almost every other state, is poised to make an unprecedented spending increase in its higher education system. The state’s governor has proposed a 14 percent increase — about $90 million — in the 11-campus system’s operating budget for the next biennium, as well as an additional $177 million in one-time capital expenditures. Politicians and education leaders hope an infusion of cash will help transform the system – which has struggled with inconsistent direction and leadership – into one of the country’s best.

The proposal stands out in higher education because most states are still cutting budgets in the wake of the economic downturn, which led to a 25 percent decline in per-student funding between 2006-07 and 2011-12, according to the College Board. At the same time, Republican lawmakers in other states have begun to question the value of state investments in higher education, with some calling for even greater austerity.

The situation in North Dakota couldn’t look any different. The state’s economy did not take any meaningful hit during the economic downturn that began in 2008, so the increases would come on top of decent budget years to start with. Recent developments in natural gas and oil drilling have dramatically transformed the economy of the western portion of the state, generating multibillion-dollar budget surpluses for a state of about 700,000 people. And Republican lawmakers are eager and excited to invest in higher education.

Okay, we know about the oil. But what about the rest?

Higher education leaders and politicians say that while the economic picture is unique to the state, the system would not be seeing an increase in funding had it not been for a concerted effort on the part of the board and system administration to prove that such an investment would be a good move on the part of lawmakers.

And they say their experience holds lessons for public institutions facing lawmakers who are increasingly skeptical about higher education funding. In particular, they said their efforts to provide a detailed road map, meet initial goals, hear and respond to private-sector interests, demonstrate efficient operations, and establish personal relationships with lawmakers all helped build confidence in the system after a period of prolonged skepticism.

The big secret seems to be transparency and accountability. Go figure.

SO NOW THE UTAH COUNTY GOP SAYS that I was never officially invited. Well, I got an email inviting me, which I sure thought was an official invitation. And I’m pretty sure David Kirkham thought he was conveying an official invitation, too. But perhaps there was confusion at their end about what was going on. With my paid speaking gigs there’s generally a contract, but this was, of course, unpaid. And this still remains: “Word got back to me over the weekend that they didn’t want Mr. Reynolds here because he was ‘pro gay’ and that was too controversial for them.” At least the puppy-blending rumors never made it that far. . . .

UPDATE: More here. It doesn’t sound like the problem was confusion. Oh, well.

THE BOY WHO PLAYED WITH FUSION: “A rational society would know what to do with a kid like Taylor Wilson, especially now that America’s technical leadership is slipping and scientific talent increasingly has to be imported. But by the time Taylor was 12, both he and his brother, Joey, who is three years younger and gifted in mathematics, had moved far beyond their school’s (and parents’) ability to meaningfully teach them. Both boys were spending most of their school days on autopilot, their minds wandering away from course work they’d long outgrown.”

Do tell. But read the whole thing.

NEW MARIJUANA LAWS CAUSE CONFUSION: “Laws legalizing the recreational use of marijuana in Colorado and Washington state have exposed a wide disconnect between Congress, the administration and voters on an increasingly controversial issue. The newly enacted laws put President Obama in a tricky spot, as evidenced by the Justice Department’s (DOJ) monthlong silence on the matter, despite pleas from lawmakers and the states’ governors for a concrete position.”

WHAT THE LEFT BLOGOSPHERE IS DOING ABOUT THE ASSAULT ON STEPHEN CROWDER: “They’re engaged in a systematic effort to create confusion and discourage mainstream journalists from reporting on the incident.” And they don’t have to be very good at it to achieve their goal, since mainstream journalists are looking for an excuse to ignore it. They never cover violence by lefties when they can avoid it, though they’re happy to report made-up claims of violence involving the right.


Romney lost because he refused to provide an alternative for fear of being labelled a warmonger, flint-heart or social reactionary. He refused to engage with any of the issues that made this Presidential election so truly momentous. Up against the bullying of the totalitarian left, he ran for cover. He played safe, and as a result only advertised his own weakness and dishonesty. Well, voters can smell inconsistency from a mile away; they call it untrustworthiness, and they are right …
like Britain’s Conservative Party, the Republicans just don’t understand that America and the west are being consumed by a culture war. In their cowardice and moral confusion, they all attempt to appease the enemies within. And from without, the Islamic enemies of civilization stand poised to occupy the void.

Well, I think we’ll get someone different next time.

UPDATE: Oops. It’s from Melanie Phillips. Dan Gifford just emailed it to me. Sorry — insufficient coffee.

ENDING COFFEE CONFUSION with language reform. “Instead of the tall, grande or venti sizes favoured by big-name shops such as Starbucks, customers in Debenhams can now simply ask for a cup or mug.”

THE RETURN OF COLD FUSION? “A new theory may explain the notorious cold fusion experiment from two decades ago, reigniting hopes of a clean-energy breakthrough.”

CONVENIENT NEW REVELATIONS: CIA documents supported Susan Rice’s description of Benghazi attacks. What the CIA reportedly said on September 15: “The currently available information suggests that the demonstrations in Benghazi were spontaneously inspired by the protests at the U.S. Embassy in Cairo and evolved into a direct assault against the U.S. Consulate and subsequently its annex. There are indications that extremists participated in the violent demonstrations.”

This certainly makes the CIA look bad, at any rate. But notice how the story tries to turn this White House reliance on a bad report by its own intelligence agency into a Romney “misfire.”

UPDATE: Reader Ed Holston emails: “Sure looks like the CIA documents that supported Susan Rice’s description of Benghazi attacks were revised from and at odds with the CIA’s own sources who were reporting from on the ground in Libya to Langley.” He sends this: CIA report at time of Benghazi attack placed blame on militants, sources say: CIA station chief in Libya reported within 24 hours that there was evidence US consulate attack was not carried out by a mob.

Remember when we were told that an Obama Administration would be marked by competence and good communication?

ANOTHER UPDATE: Reader Jim Hicks voices darker suspicions:

That memo raises more serious questions about the cover-up than it answers and does not provide cover for Obama. The information that they supposedly relied on for the memo was an intercept involving an Al Qaida operative. That Al Qaida connection was left out of the memo. More importantly, we know that the CIA knew the day after the attack that it was a terrorist attack and Al Qaida was involved. So why is the administration and CIA circulating the Talking Points memo, which goes to Capitol Hill, on the 15th? This looks more than anything like they were intentional deceiving Congress. Rice/Obama/Ignatius might have had a point if the memo were released on 12th. However, the release of of a memo on the 15th, to Congress, containing assertions everyone in the intelligence community knew to be false, raises the questions of who wrote the memo and who approved it. Obama himself has now claimed he called it a terrorist attack on the 12th. In any event, we know that was the conclusion of the intelligence community on the 12th. So why was he having the CIA lie to Congress on the 15th?

“Lie” is such a harsh word. And there may well have been confusion in the Administration. But they certainly showed no uncertainty or margin for ever in their insistent, and long-running, efforts to blame a YouTube video.

Say, anybody heard from Mr. Nakoula lately?

Related: White House Tries to Write Al Qaeda Out of Libya Story. “If this is the best the Obama administration can offer in its defense, they’re in trouble.”

COLD FUSION, ANYONE: British engineers produce amazing ‘petrol from air’ technology.  If not a hoax, I’m all for it.  It would allow us to stop financing terror.

ELIZABETH BATHORY CALL YOUR PHLEBOTOMIST:Transfusion of young blood could delay onset of diseases like Alzheimer’s.

HILLARY FALLS ON HER SWORD:  She tells CNN tonight, in an interview from Lima, Peru, “I take responsibility” for the confusion and misstatements after the 9/11 attacks on American installations in the Middle East, including Benghazi.  She insists the President and Vice President are not involved in security decisions.  Seriously????????

UPDATE (from Glenn): David Kirkham emails: “I think Hillary just zeroed out her campaign debt.”

Amazing how cynical they become once they’ve been exposed to politicians.

ANOTHER UPDATE: (From Glenn again): Reader Yolanda McVicker writes: “Well played by Hillary – the President and Vice President are not involved in security decisions. She fell on her sword and impaled them in the same blow. I’m sorry – this is just too funny. She and her husband have the art of politics down – Obama thought he was safe by putting her in a position of power. She showed him that he is a mere babe in the woods. But, this one isn’t over yet.”

ROOTING FOR INJURIES: Bill Maher and Newsweek’s Tina Brown have Twitter tiff over Newsweek “Heaven is Real” cover.

Speaking of which, on Sunday, I linked here at Instapundit to Tina’s latest cover, and the 1966 Time magazine cover that bookended it, which asked, “Is God Dead?” At Power Line, Steve Hayward mentions another Time magazine cover story, this one from 1989, that squares the circle:

As Steve writes, “I went back and read the two Time ‘death’ stories side-by-side, and recognized that since government is, for liberals, the secular substitute for God, these were essentially the same story.”

Heh, indeed.™ Or as Ace writes, regarding the left’s post-debate meltdown:

But it is much, much more the fault of people who pride themselves on being skeptical realists who permitted their minds to run to the magical and to the (frankly, blasphemously) religious.

I hate to defend Obama at all, but I have to say to his Religious Zealot supporters: This is your shit. This is your deeply weird, Great Man on a White Horse worshipping psychological hangup.

One of the most wonderful things which will come with a Romney presidency is that Romney will finally, once again, separate Church and State. The president, finally, will just be a man. Not a perfect man. Not a prefigurement of Jesus. Not a prophet and not a savoir.

Just a man. A good man, and a smart man. But ultimately just a man.

The fusion of religion and politics has in fact been every bit as deleterious as the liberals always warned us.

It’s just that they were the ones who actually fused God and President.

Which dovetails perfectly into the theme of Noemie Emery’s latest column in the Washington Examiner.

CONFUSION: Obama’s Social Security Answer Leaves Democrats Utterly Baffled.

COMPETENCE: Report: Napolitano misled Congress on terrorism ‘fusion’ centers.

“THREE UW PROFESSORS IRKED AT SOME DETAILS OF OBAMA’S RALLY,” and, yeah, I’m one of them. The article is in The Wisconsin State Journal, a traditional newspaper:

Downs was joined by law professor Ann Althouse and political science professor Ken Mayer in raising concerns. Mayer sent a letter outlining four concerns to university administrators on Wednesday. Althouse later shared it with [Instapundit], a conservative-leaning blog run by a Texas law professor.

Texas, Tennessee… what’s the difference? Not much, out here in Wyoming… I mean Wisconsin, where we’re lining up in droves to give our President a big hug after his debate debacle.

UPDATE (FROM GLENN): A reader emails:

I read this. Then I thought…well, isn’t this about audience suppression? I mean requiring registration and ID and such?


By the way, I am curious about the rainbow of color at this rally in Madison.

Just sayin’.

Heh. And I love the Tennessee/Texas confusion. In the words of Tex Ritter: “They say that Virginia is the mother of Texas. We never knew who the father was, but we kinda suspected Tennessee.”

POOLS OF WASTE AND CIVIL LIBERTY INTRUSIONS: at the DHS fusion centers.  Between this and the video of Obama channeling Sharpton look for the media to be ultra-protective at the debate and condemn as racist any vague suggestion Romney might make that Obama might be less than competent.  Take that in account as you watch.


#NARRATIVEFAIL: Democrats to join call for more information on Libya terrorist attack. “Officials initially attributed the attack to a spontaneous protest against an anti-Islam video before labeling the assault an act of terrorism several days later. The administration continues to say the attack was not planned in advance, despite Stevens’s reported concerns that he might have been on al Qaeda hit list and multiple media reports that have called the administration’s account into question. Adding to the confusion, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton on Wednesday appeared to draw a link between the Libya attack and al Qaeda.”

It’s clowns all the way down.

MICHAEL BARONE: Thoughts on night three of the Democratic convention. “Barack Obama went into this convention essentially tied with Mitt Romney. Most voters want to think well of whoever is president but most voters dislike the current economy and disapprove of his economic policies. In these circumstances I thought and think he needs a pivot, an indication of what new goals he would seek in a second term. We didn’t get that at this convention.”

UPDATE: “You know it’s not a good night when you get out-shined by Joe Biden.”


1. Clint Eastwood’s remarks were more memorable and more effective than President Obama’s. The empty-chair metaphor never seemed so apt as during the Obama drone-a-thon.

2. The press, even liberal commentators, admitted that Obama had bombed. Sure, there were bitter-enders who claimed all was fine, but the cable TV talking heads and the vast majority of columnists were brutally honest. MSNBC personalities were downright glum.

3. Knowing the president has a problem with pro-Israel voters, the Obama campaign made a mess for itself by fiddling with platform language and then allowed the matter to fester for two days. The display of booing and confusion when the language was reinstated may be the most memorable thing about the 2012 Democratic National Convention. Even more surprising, Obama did not mention Jerusalem and gave short shrift to both Israel and Iran in his speech.

More at the link.

#GREENFAIL: Amonix closes North Las Vegas solar plant after 14 months, heavy federal subsidies. “The Amonix plant was highly touted by political leaders and economic development officials when it opened in May 2011. Company executives said they would employ as many as 300 assembly line workers paid $12 to $14 an hour, plus benefits. Nevada Sen. Harry Reid, U.S. Rep. Shelley Berkley, D-Nev., and Gov. Brian Sandoval were among the political leaders who lauded the company when it announced it would start making solar panels in the Golden Triangle Industrial Park. . . . Amonix isn’t the only solar company to go under after receiving an infusion of federal capital. California-based Solyndra filed for bankruptcy last year after receiving $535 million in federal loan guarantees from the Obama administration. Colorado-based Abound Solar, which received a $70 million loan guaranteed by the Energy Department, filed for bankruptcy in June.”

HMM: DARPA spent $34 million investigating cold fusion, and excess heat was found.

RESPIROCYTES: Injecting life-saving oxygen into a vein: Microparticles could deliver oxygen when breathing is impaired. “Patients unable to breathe because of acute lung failure or an obstructed airway need another way to get oxygen to their blood—and fast—to avoid cardiac arrest and brain injury. A team led by researchers at Boston Children’s Hospital has designed tiny, gas-filled microparticles that can be injected directly into the bloodstream to quickly oxygenate the blood. . . . The microparticles consist of a single layer of lipids (fatty molecules) that surround a tiny pocket of oxygen gas, and are delivered in a liquid solution. In a cover article in the June 27 issue of Science Translational Medicine, John Kheir, MD, of the Department of Cardiology at Boston Children’s Hospital, and colleagues report that an infusion of these microparticles into animals with low blood oxygen levels restored blood oxygen saturation to near-normal levels, within seconds.” Faster, please.

And this is kind of cool: “We drew each other’s blood, mixed it in a test tube with the microparticles, and watched blue blood turn immediately red, right before our eyes.”

The emergency-medicine applications are dramatic. Here, by the way, is Robert Freitas’ original envisioning. Not quite there yet, but amazingly close.

MEGAN MCARDLE: Liberals Shouldn’t Defend FDR’s Attacks On The Court. “Maybe you like precious schoolchildren lisping loyalty oaths to government programs more than I do. But even so, not this program. The NIRA was based on a lunatic confusion of cause with effect. President Roosevelt had noticed, along with everyone else, that prices were falling and people were being thrown out of work. So he decided that if businesses would just stop lowering those darn prices, everything would be okay. . . . This is like thinking that the way to deal with your drinking problem is to just stop vomiting and blacking out so much. Prices were falling because the banking system had collapsed, which was sucking the money out of the economy like a gigantic national vacuum. Even if the cartels managed to keep prices from falling, people still weren’t going to have enough money to buy the goods they wanted, because their savings accounts were shut down and they couldn’t roll their loans over, and neither could the people who bought their merchandise or wrote their paychecks. With too little money in circulation, fixing prices artificially high would just mean that even more people would be going without necessities. . . . I’m not trying to get liberals to concede that 80 years of Supreme Court jurisprudence were all a hideous mistake. But thinking that the healthcare law should be allowed to stand does not require romanticizing FDR’s conflict with the court, which mostly used bad methods to defend bad laws.”

FASTER, PLEASE: University of Tennessee Professors Take Big Step to Develop Nuclear Fusion Power. “UT researchers have successfully developed a key technology in developing an experimental reactor that can demonstrate the feasibility of fusion energy for the power grid. Nuclear fusion promises to supply more energy than the nuclear fission used today but with far fewer risks.”

FASTER, PLEASE: The Big Machine That Could Lead to Fusion-Powered Spaceships.

WALTER RUSSELL MEAD: Global Green Agenda Continues To Fail.

Remember when meetings to debate and negotiate an international carbon treaty were big news? The Copenhagen Summit was hailed as the largest assembly of world leaders ever to gather for one event; when it fizzled in waves of shame and confusion, the green movement was shocked and dismayed.

There was a lot of happy talk, of course. The world remained committed to the treaty, more progress would be made, targets were agreed, blah blah blah.

Then there was the meeting in Cancun: fewer reporters, fewer first rank politicians, fewer hopes. That meeting too ended in disarray on the core issues, and then, too, desperate greens scrambling to maintain some kind of policy relevance tried to spin the meeting as a victory for the “process”. Nobody was paying much attention; the world’s news organizations sharply cut their budgets for green summitry.

By the time there was another meeting, this time in Durban, South Africa, the global green agenda had slithered even farther down the news ladder. Most people simply didn’t notice that diplomats and greens had gathered to discuss The Fate of The World last December. Once again, there was no real progress to report.

Now the latest meeting in this increasingly anti-climactic series has concluded, this time in Bonn. Yet again, much was said and nothing was done — and yet again even fewer reporters and officials paid attention to this increasingly irrelevant bureaucratic mess.

Global Warming was a hothouse flower, a child of the bubble. And, sometimes, sneering is a solution. . . .

SHOCKER: Green energy jobs far short of Obama goal.

President Obama has made much of his commitment to green energy as he launches his re-election bid, but the nascent industry has produced far fewer jobs than the president promised, despite massive, repeated infusions of taxpayer dollars.

Since taking office more than three years ago, Obama has routinely promoted wind, solar and other green energy efforts, touring factories — often the beneficiaries of federal grants — and touting the manufacturers as cutting-edge job producers who are leading America’s transition to energy independence. He had promised in 2008 to help those companies create millions of jobs.

“We can invest $15 billion a year in renewable sources of energy … to create 5 million new jobs, new energy jobs, all across [the] country, jobs that pay well, jobs that can’t be outsourced,” Obama, the candidate, told an Ohio crowd.

But the president has fallen far short of his own mark.

The wind industry has actually lost about 10,000 jobs since 2009, even though it doubled its domestic production, the American Wind Energy Association reports. And Republicans were quick to point out that as Obama blocks the construction of the Keystone XL pipeline from Canada to Texas, the oil and gas industry has added 75,000 jobs since the start of his term.

Obama spent $90 billion of his stimulus package on green energy projects, including weatherization of buildings and development of electric vehicles. Yet, by the end of last year, just 16,100 people landed new jobs in the so-called green industry, Labor Department statistics show, far short of the 200,000 jobs the White House projected it would help create each year.

It’s like the whole thing was really just about funneling money to cronies and contributors.

THE PRESIDENT’S HIT LIST: The Wall Street Journal notes:

Those are some ugly details that our Kimberley Strassel has been turning up about the effort to smear Mitt Romney’s campaign donors. The dirt-digging exercise reflects the character of President Obama’s re-election campaign, as well as what’s really behind the drive for more “transparency” in political donations.

As Ms. Strassel has reported in recent columns, Idaho businessman Frank VanderSloot has become the target of a smear campaign since it was disclosed earlier this year that he had donated $1 million to a super PAC supporting Mr. Romney. President Obama’s campaign website teed him up in April as one of eight “less than reputable” Romney donors and a “bitter foe of the gay rights movement.” One sin: His wife donated to an anti-gay-marriage campaign, of the kind that have passed in 30 or so states.

Now we learn that little more than a week after that Presidential posting, a former Democratic Senate staffer called the courthouse in Mr. VanderSloot’s home town of Idaho Falls seeking his divorce records. Ms. Strassel traced the operative, Michael Wolf, to a Washington, D.C. outfit called Fusion GPS that says it is “a commercial research firm.”

As Doug Ross wrote back in 2010, “Unlike Tricky Dick Nixon, Obama Wears His Enemies List On His Sleeve.”

MORE: Businessman Says He Lost Hundreds of Customers After Attacks by Obama Campaign.

FINE-TUNING NANOTECHNOLOGY TO TARGET CANCER. “The results of the human trials are startling. Even at a lower-than-usual dose, multiple lung metastases shrank or even disappeared after one patient received only two-hour-long intravenUous infusions of an experimental cancer drug. Another patient saw her cervical tumor reduce by nearly 60 percent after six months of treatment. Though the drug trial—by Bind Biosciences in Cambridge, Massachusetts—of an experimental nanotechnology-based technique was designed simply to show whether the technology is safe, the encouraging results revive hopes that nanomedicine could realize its elusive promise.”

Faster, please. Though is it really “elusive promise” when people have only been working on this stuff for a few years?

WALTER RUSSELL MEAD: History Repeats: In Europe, They Want Jewish Blood. “When a self-proclaimed jihadist slaughters Jewish schoolchildren in France on account of events in the Middle East, the proper response is collective horror and serious societal soul-searching. Via Meadia highlighted one laudable example of this in the form of Palestinian Prime Minister Salam Fayyad, and there have been many more in France. Unfortunately, there are those in France and elsewhere who do not see the Toulouse attack as an anti-Semitic hate crime to be forcefully condemned, but rather as an event to be ‘explained,’ whitewashed or even celebrated. Take Tariq Ramadan, professor of Contemporary Islamic Studies at Oxford University.”

Plus this: “In rage, confusion and hatred, some of these young people may focus on Jews when they lash out, but it will not only be Jews who reap the harvest of dragons’ teeth that Europe in its blindness has so thoughtlessly sown. Europe and France should either have kept the immigrants out or welcomed them in as they prepared a place for them. They did neither, and the payback will hurt.”

WELL, TO BE FAIR, DEMOCRATS IN THE SOUTH HAVE A LONG HISTORY OF VIOLENCE AGAINST PEOPLE OF COLOR: Narrative Interrupted: George Zimmerman a Registered Democrat. Will someone ask Obama about this?

More here: “According to the document, Zimmerman’s race is officially listed as Hispanic.” But there’s this: “It is unclear whether he voted for President Barack Obama in 2008.”

UPDATE: Reader Bert Rollen writes: “Heh, I bet he doesn’t vote for him this year.”

Related: Inconvenient narratives in the Martin case.

Plus: Trademarking Trayvon?

BLOOMBERG: Obama Relies on Debt Collectors Profiting From Student Loan Woe. “With $67 billion of student loans in default, the Education Department is turning to an army of private debt-collection companies to put the squeeze on borrowers. Working on commissions that totaled about $1 billion last year, these government contractors face growing complaints that they are violating federal laws by insisting on stiff payments, even when borrowers’ incomes make them eligible for leniency. . . . In failing health, after contracting hepatitis from a blood transfusion, Campos pleaded with Pioneer, owned by SLM Corp. (SLM), the nation’s largest student-loan company better known as Sallie Mae. He left a $40,000-a-year job at the Massachusetts health department when he got too sick to work and waited for a liver transplant. The 52-year-old former busboy, a naturalized U.S. citizen from El Salvador, earned bachelor’s and master’s degrees in the 1990s from Cambridge College in Massachusetts.”

Occupy the Department of Education! Or, you know, the White House. Just the kind of behavior you’d expect from the administration of President Goldman Sachs! (Bumped).

UPDATE: A reader emails:

Noticed your post regarding student loan providers engaging in hard-headed collection practices. You might want to also consider another feature of student loans that I believe resembles loan-sharking. After graduation, many students consolidate their loans into a single loan. This is because each year a student is in school, a new loan is made. Sometimes there are multiple loans in a single year, due to different kinds of eligibility, etc. This means that a graduating student can often have a half-dozen or more individual loans to manage. Student loan providers helpfully allow consolidation of all these loans into a single loan with a fixed interest rate. Now here’s the rub. Once consolidated, the loans cannot be refinanced and the borrower is locked to the same interest rate no matter how low market rates might go. There have been bills introduced to allow student loan refinancing, but so far the lenders have lobbied heavily against allowing the practice and the bills have failed. This means that a student who borrowed during a period of high rates is locked to those rates, potentially for decades, without any real recourse.

No name on this one. I am in administration now.

A report from the Dark Side!

BLOOMBERG: Obama Relies on Debt Collectors Profiting From Student Loan Woe. “With $67 billion of student loans in default, the Education Department is turning to an army of private debt-collection companies to put the squeeze on borrowers. Working on commissions that totaled about $1 billion last year, these government contractors face growing complaints that they are violating federal laws by insisting on stiff payments, even when borrowers’ incomes make them eligible for leniency. . . . In failing health, after contracting hepatitis from a blood transfusion, Campos pleaded with Pioneer, owned by SLM Corp. (SLM), the nation’s largest student-loan company better known as Sallie Mae. He left a $40,000-a-year job at the Massachusetts health department when he got too sick to work and waited for a liver transplant. The 52-year-old former busboy, a naturalized U.S. citizen from El Salvador, earned bachelor’s and master’s degrees in the 1990s from Cambridge College in Massachusetts.”

Occupy the Department of Education! Or, you know, the White House. Just the kind of behavior you’d expect from the administration of President Goldman Sachs!

DAN MITCHELL: How to Reconcile Liberty, Morality, Conservatism, and Libertarianism with Carney’s Fusionist Theorem.

A NEW WARNING ON STATINS: “It is the first time that the Food and Drug Administration has officially linked statin use with cognitive problems like forgetfulness and confusion, although some patients have reported such problems for years. Among the drugs affected are huge sellers like Lipitor, Zocor, Crestor and Vytorin.”

Try CoEnzyme Q10. In fact, you should probably try it even if you aren’t taking statins.

RICK SANTORUM: Straining the Libertarian-Conservative Alliance?

FASTER, PLEASE: Study: Cardiac stem cells can reverse heart attack damage.

Researchers have used cardiac stem cells to regenerate heart muscle in patients who have suffered heart attacks, also known as myocardial infarction.

The small preliminary study, which was conducted by the Cedars-Sinai Heart Institute in Los Angeles, involved 25 patients who had suffered heart attacks in the previous one and a half to three months.

Seventeen of the study subjects received infusions of stem cells cultured from a raisin-sized chunk of their own heart tissue, which had been removed via catheter. The eight others received standard care.

Did I say “Faster, please?” Why yes, yes I did.



You don’t need a link to find out what’s going with the SOPA “Blackout,” or all that other stuff. It’s all over the place, beyond those with a special interest in intellectual property.

Real news over an IP issue? Not quite.

Rather, the news and the attention arise from the fact that the threatened power-grab that SOPA represents goes far beyond IP, or “enforcement,” or “brands,” or even “piracy.”

Oh, those are all real things, real concepts. But their meaning has become so distorted in the public and political debate and spin that they get scare-quotes here today. It is precisely by turning piracy into a mission-critical bogey-man that the strong-IP advocates have perhaps, for once, overplayed their hands.


Yes, it’s about protecting existing companies from new business models, not piracy. But here’s an easy fix for SOPA: Allow anyone whose site is taken down to recover the greater of either $50,000 or five times actual damages imposed if their site is taken down without good reason, or if they can show bad faith. Given that Big Entertainment was robo-signing complaints a decade ago, that seems a reasonable thing to ask. Also make it a felony to sign a false affidavit in these cases, and allow private prosecution. . . .

Meanwhile, here’s Julian Sanchez on Internet regulation and the economics of piracy.

UPDATE: From reader Max Mulholland, a prediction. Is Obama playing a deep game here?

I am a undergraduate student in mechanical engineering at Missouri S&T and from what I have observed over the last few days is, If SOPA or PIPA are passed by congress and obama vetos them he will most likely get reelected in 2012 by energizing the youth by becoming “the savior of the internet” or something along those lines. It would be reasonable to assume that if he vetoed SOPA or PIPA now to get reelected he would just ram them through in the beginning of his second term.

Interesting. Is he that smart? Regardless, it’s looking as if he’s not going to get the chance. Missouri S&T is a great school, by the way.

SCIENTIFIC CONSENSUS: When Lobotomy Was Seen As Advanced. “When used for psychiatric illness, lobotomy was once seen as a huge advance. Dr. Egas Moniz, a Portuguese neurologist who developed the procedure in the 1930s, was awarded the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine in 1949. Surgeons performed many types of lobotomies, but most involved severing nerves that ran from the frontal lobes to other parts of the brain to disrupt supposedly faulty connections that had developed in schizophrenia or depression. Lobotomies for mental illness fell out of favor in the 1960s because of the development of effective antipsychotic medications, misuse of the procedure and a growing unease among doctors with the confusion and stupor that resulted from the operation. . . . One of the ironies of Dr. Nijensohn’s story, if true, is that another method already existed for treating Perón’s pain: aggressive use of opiates like morphine. Doctors of the era, however, so feared that their cancer patients would become addicted to these drugs that they saw lobotomy as a suitable alternative. Today, our understanding of cancer pain has certainly changed. The liberal use of narcotics, accompanied by other medications to treat side effects, is seen as appropriate, not indicative of untoward behavior by patients.”

UPDATE: Reader Brad Merriman writes: “So when Moniz won the Nobel prize, was the science settled about lobotomies?”

WELCOME TO THE BIG LEAGUES, BUB: The way Americans talk about China can often seem hostile, frustrating, or altogether irreconcilable with the world as a newcomer from China knows it.

Americans have been having this experience while traveling abroad pretty much forever.

MORE PROBLEMS FOR THE SECURITIES AND EXCHANGE COMMISSION. Really, an agency in need of repair, or replacement. Or abolition.

A ROUNDUP FROM ALAN BOYLE: What’s New On The Fusion Front.

CULTURE OF CORRUPTION: Report: Fed directors benefited from bailouts. “Multiple directors or former directors of the Federal Reserve banks who played a key role in the 2008 bailouts had an apparent conflict of interest, according to a Government Accountability Office (GAO) report. These directors had business relationships with companies and banks that received large infusions of government money.”

Of course, when you’re bailing out most everyone in the business, most everyone in the business will have a bailout-related conflict.

CHANGE: Prostate Test Finding Leaves a Swirl of Confusion.