Educating Ezra

When we last heard from Ezra Klein, he was explaining that it’s hard to understand the constitution because it’s over a hundred years old. Now, Jen Rubin takes the juice boxer to school on the nature of the judicial branch.

[Update a while later]

Losing a battle but winning the war against ObamaCare:

House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) issued a statement stressing that Republicans had kept “their promise to seek repeal of the job-destroying health care law.” The House and Senate Republicans’ unanimity on ObamaCare repeal is an important message to the base and to independents who fret that politicians don’t keep campaign promises. Moreover, we now have a clear demarcation between the two parties on a central issue. If elections are about choices, voters will have a clear one in 2012. Republicans seem very happy about that. The Democrats? Not so much.

Well, they weren’t so unhappy as to not vote in lockstep with a political loser. People like Joe Manchin will have a tough reelection fight. That vote may have been suicidal, particularly after his campaign rhetoric.

Remember Those Noble Rabbis?

They’re being repudiated by those they cited. They’re hypocrites with a double standard:

While we have said many times that Nazi comparisons are offensive and inappropriate when used for political attacks, in my view it is wrongheaded to single out only Fox News on this issue, when both liberals and conservatives, Democrats and Republicans, can share equal guilt in making trivializing comparisons to the Holocaust.

Furthermore, the open letter signed by hundreds of rabbis is a trivialization in itself—bizarrely timed for release on United Nations’s Holocaust Remembrance Day. At a time when Holocaust denial is rampant in much of the Arab world, where anti-Semitism remains a serious concern, and where the Iranian leader has openly declared his desire to “wipe Israel off the map,” surely there are greater enemies and threats to the Jewish people than the pro-Israel stalwarts Rupert Murdoch, Roger Ailes and Glenn Beck.

It’s not about anti-semitism — it’s about shutting down the opposition and anyone who would out and criticize the left, and George Soros, a truly malevolent player on the world stage.

When Did The Left Turn Against Free Speech?

The answer is that the left has never been in favor of free speech, except for themselves.

[Update a few minutes later]

I should add that I used to be a great fan of Robert Wright. I thought that The Moral Animal and Non-Zero were truly great books. So I am quite disappointed to see that he seems to suffer from Beck derangement.

[Update a few minutes later]

As someone notes in comments over at Ann’s site, this is a perfect example of why leftists aren’t entitled to the label “liberal.”

Space Stasis

Thoughts from Neil Stephenson on how we got stuck with our current space transportation schemes. It’s unclear, though, what he means when he says “rockets,” or what different directions wold be fruitful. If he means “expendable launchers,” then yes, we need to break out, and start building space transports. But those are still “rockets.”

[Update a while later]

on the development of reusable vehicles from Clark Lindsey.

A Possible Explanation For Wall Street Screwups

They rely too much on credentialism in hiring:

It is odd that the soft firms, which market themselves to clients as being super-smart repositories of brainpower (of course this is largely a fiction; see point 3 above), would rely so heavily on university admissions committees. They effectively outsource a big chunk of due diligence on their most important investment (human capital) to a group of people whose judgement they somehow trust, but perhaps without detailed understanding. When I was on the faculty at Yale I knew people in admissions and it’s not clear to me that they were the best able to spot potential in 18 year olds. In studies of expert performance admissions people are less good at predicting UG GPA than a simple algorithm. (The “algorithm” is simply a weighted sum of SAT and HS GPA!)

I’m a lot less impressed by Ivy degrees than I’m supposed to be. And I think that the current occupant of the White House is a great example of why.

Obama’s Antique Technological Vision

Thoughts from Michael Barone:

If you put together Obama’s resistance to just about any serious changes in entitlement spending with his antique vision of technological progress, what you see is an America where the public sector permanently consumes a larger part of the economy than in the past and squanders the proceeds on white elephants like faux high-speed rail lines and political payoffs to the teacher and other public-sector unions. Private-sector innovation gets squeezed out by regulations like the Obama FCC’s net neutrality rules. It’s a plan for a static rather than dynamic economy.

Leftists only like change when they are in control of it.

[Update a few minutes later]

Sorry, link is fixed now.

[Update a while later]

This seems related somehow: Network news anchors struggle to understand the Internet in 1994.

I had been using email for over ten years prior to this.

The Deer Hunter

I saw the movie for the first time last night. I know, I know.

My impressions, which will probably not be found in any other review.

1) Wow, what a young Meryl Streep. What’s amazing is that she’s actually improved with age in many ways. A truly beautiful woman.

2) Wow, what a young Christopher Walken.

3) A young DeNiro is no big deal — I saw Taxi Driver.

4) There’s no way those mountain scenes were filmed in Pennsylvania — many of them were above the tree line. So I went and looked it up, and found out that they filmed in the Olympics. I would have guessed the Sierras, because they would have been closer to Hollywood. But why not just show what the Appalachians looked like? They were already there to film a lot of other scenes in town. To get points for cinematography? To me it detracted from the movie.

That is all.

Biting Commentary about Infinity…and Beyond!

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