Dissent: A Conservative Case for the Welfare State.
“Today’s conservatives often suggest that the American welfare state is alien to the American experience, imposed on the nation during a particularly vulnerable time in its history by a quasi-dictatorial Franklin D. Roosevelt. Nothing could be further from the truth.”
CookPolitical: Focus on the Fundamentals, Not the Scooby Van.
“At the end of the day, when you put all the assets and liabilities on the table, it’s hard to see anyone but Rubio, Bush or Walker as the ultimate nominee.” Walker has largely no relevance in NM. If I read the tea leaves at all correctly, I predict NM Repubs will go for Rubio or Bush.
NBC/First Read: Foundation Questions Continue to Plague Clinton.
“Now all of these stories are complex and murky. But what they all reveal — especially the New York Times’ piece on the uranium deal — is the APPEARANCE of a scandal. Even if you take the Clintons at their word that there was no quid pro quo with these donations to the Clinton Foundation to buy influence, that’s not what the donors may have been thinking.”
Later: New York Magazine, “... the best-case scenario is bad enough: The Clintons have been disorganized and greedy.” Again, emblematic of what this race is going to be like with Clinton as nominee. Doesn’t this feel like folks have been storing up the vitriol for ages, waiting for a finger to be pulled out of the dike? Everyone, Left *and* Right, wants to get their pound of flesh.
Guardian.UK: Capitol-bound gyrocopter pilot ‘should have been blown out of the air’.
Alas, it’s not just paranoia. Spend two minutes thinking about what could be carried aboard a small gyrocopter [some can carry two, so you’re looking at 150-250 pound payload in addition to pilot], you’ll know what I mean. As I’ve expressed previously, I could wish this guy had found a more benign method for registering his disapproval. Yet, given the focus on drones, these actions may be fortuitous in sealing off a blind spot.
Politico: Secret Koch memo outlines plans for 2016.
“We’re focused on advancing a long-term shift at every level of government towards a culture of freedom. And we’re not just fighting for the fun of it — we intend to win.” Just like the late ‘70’s genesis of the think-tanks.
Guardian.UK: Ted Cruz’s early 2016 funding topples Romney, suggesting big-money race.
NY Times: Pilot of Gyrocopter Is Arrested After Landing on Lawn at Capitol.
I could wish he hadn’t done this. Gives people ideas.
Vox: Read a professor’s outraged tweets from her son’s abstinence-only sex ed.
You expected something better? And our tax dollars pay for this idiocy. Paper babies and condoms. Good grief. Another good reason for ‘free-range kids’. I learned more from other kids on the street than I ever did in Sex Ed.
Vox: Elizabeth Warren has a game-changing idea that doesn’t require Congress.
“From Warren’s point of view, the idea of banks that are simultaneously so vulnerable to collapse and so integral to the ongoing operation of the economy that the government dare not prosecute them is the essence of the problem.” My italics.
TechDirt: TSA Agents Outwitted By Cory Doctorow’s Unlocked, ‘TSA-Safe’ Suitcase.
Check out the photo. Back when I used to fly regularly, the major airlines had a $25 per bag liability. Hair-raising, when I was having to haul a system worth $60k with me.
Guardian.UK: Robot reveals inside Fukushima nuclear reactor – video.
Doesn’t look particularly auspicious; I have no way to judge.
Guardian.UK: Republicans line up the standard anti-Clinton attacks. Will any of them work?
So far, sounds like the throw-crap-at-the-wall-and-see-what-sticks strategy. A whole lot of baggage to work through. Again. I try to imagine her overtopping it all, but just can’t see it. The Bloomberg poll, mentioned within, is interesting. All of Hillary’s boosters tend to quote ‘unbeatable approval numbers’ ... this poll indicates she has significant disapproval numbers as well. More Democratic primary candidates please.
Related: Gender may matter. Mischiefs of Faction: “At the very least, we should be open to the notion that male and female candidates are not treated the same and there is a very real possibility that sexism plays a role in determining election outcomes.”
Bloomberg Business: Saudi Arabia’s Plan to Extend the Age of Oil.
A good overview, worth the time. “How much time Saudi Arabia has to prepare for the eventual decline of the oil era may depend, in part, on how alternatives fare during this period of cheap oil. Will sales of wind turbines and solar panels stay strong? Or will they enter a tailspin like they did during the Great Recession, when project financing dried up? And will sales of electric vehicles continue to climb even as gasoline prices slump?”
Guardian.UK: ‘Free-range’ kids taken into custody again - parents had to sign ‘safety plan’.
I oppose this idiocy with all might and main. Why they even need to be labelled ‘free-range kids’, boggles my mind. I learned SO MANY important things out on my own. Parents and schools can only do so much. Kids must be so impoverished these days. The tyranny of constant tracking and observation.
I feel for these parents. Once CPS gets involved, your life is hell. All those social workers, looking for advancement. “True believers.” You as a parent are ‘guilty’ until ‘proven innocent’ by extremely dubious standards of measure.
The Mischiefs of Faction: What’s in an announcement?
Hillary Rodham Clinton throws her hat in the ring. The ‘inevitability’ argument is what bothers me most. The formal announcement means her opposition - and the media in general - take the gloves off and start bombarding the armor of ‘inevitability.’ What will be left, in 500-some days? All media - regardless of political bent - will be determined to level the playing field just prior to election. If it’s not a horserace, it won’t drive ad-impressions. In 2000, Gore was injured by the Clinton record. All of his political star-power, his intellect, were used against him. Now, fifteen years later, the default Dem candidate will be running on that Clinton record, and not much else. This is why I throw up my hands. If Jeb’s as smart as I think, funds will somehow find their way to boostering another left-leaning third party candidate - insurance. I see no evidence (yet) that the Dems have their wits about them. All seems muddle. As a Democrat, I’m not hopeful at this stage.
Later: Reader emails and asks why I’m ‘down’ on Hillary. Here’s one good reason. I am an avowed opponent of fracking and those who support it in our drought-stricken lands.
A bit later: See? Some of the first irrelevant hits at the armor, boostered by media. And it’s going to get even weirder, kids. If you weren’t around in the ‘90’s, you have no bloody idea what you’re in for.
Political Wire: Liberals Try to Push Clinton Left.
Better to run Center, then move Left. Question is, how will she move in office? How does one signal that to the party, without tipping off the opposition? Maybe it’s the blue pantsuit.
Photo Attorney: Federal Lands Photography Rules.
FYI. A bookmark is definitely in order.
GlobalPost: The future of religion around the world, in one chart.
New Economic Perspectives: We Send Teachers to Prison for Rigging the Numbers, Why Not Bankers?
“Wow, a newspaper did a series of articles, and documented a scandal built on deceit. Imagine if the New York Times and the Wall Street Journal were to do an ‘unsparing’ investigation into banking fraud – and into Attorney General Eric Holder’s refusal to prosecute. What if they actually looked at culpability in the C-suites?” Hear, hear.
Nat’l Journal: Jeb Bush’s Team Is Taping His Private Events ‘As Much As Possible’.
BBC: Eleven Atlanta teachers teachers in mass cheating scandal.
“She insisted that she was innocent, but many accused her of pressuring the teachers to show improvements in scores which would unlock greater federal funding.” You know, I’ve wondered how prevalent this behavior is, given the linking of funds to performance. Checks and balances? Are there any?
TG’s Political Wire: Are Republicans Losing Big Business?
Sigh of relief. Republicans, when in power, can’t resist going after social issues. Noone will remember any detail of Benghazi; everyone will remember the folks who support Indiana - and negatively.
The Art Newspaper: Vienna museum director calls for time limit on Nazi-loot restitution claims.
This doesn’t help Austria in the eyes of the world. Many don’t agree: “We have an immense obligation towards the Holocaust era. The discussion should not be about time limits but rather on how provenance research can be carried out as efficiently and rapidly as possible.” If someone has clear provenance 500 years hence, should a museum be able to deny it? I don’t believe so. Especially given the nature of how these artworks were ripped away from their rightful owners. You can set a statute of limitations on theft of consumer goods, perhaps. That is a petty crime. Consumer goods have a useful lifespan. Not so artworks, burgled with governmental organization and premeditation .... artworks appreciate in value.
And why say this now, when methods of detection and unearthing provenance have become so much better? We’re seeing new revelations in the news every day. No, this was a very unwise statement.
ars technica: Energy companies around the world infected by newly discovered malware.
ReadWrite: How GitHub Apparently Ended Up In The Crosshairs Of Chinese Hackers.
You know, I’m looking forward to a book on ‘invisible warfare’ that’s taking place as we go about our daily routines ...