Assorted Links 7/17/09


Is Barbara Boxer the Orville Faubus of the Climate Committee?

  • Drafting Effective Federal Legislation and Amendments, July 29, 2009
  • Preparing and Delivering Congressional Testimony, July 30, 2009
  • Advanced Federal Budget Process, August 3-4, 2998
  • Advanced Legislative Strategies, August 5-7, 2009
  • Manhattan Office Vacancy Rate Increases, Effective Rents off 44% – “Sharply lower rents, reduced leverage and much higher cap rates – Brian calls this the ‘neutron bomb for RE equity’; destroys CRE investors, but leaves the buildings still standing. ”
  • Senator Feinstein and the Commerce Clause – “Either Senator Feinstein misspoke, or she needs better staff. In the last decade, the Supreme Court has only struck down a single federal statute for exceeding the scope of the federal commerce clause power. In United States v. Morrison (2000), the Court invalidated portions of the Violence Against Women Act. Given her reference to ‘protecting schools,’ I assume she meant to include the Court’s 1995 decision in United States v. Lopez, but that only increases the number of cases to two in which the Court found Congress exceeded the scope of its Commerce Clause power.”
  • Sotomayor Displays a Lack of Deep Thinking – “Sonia Sotomayor is not a Cass Sunstein or Larry Tribe or Elana Kagan or (fellow circuit judge) Diane Wood. She is not a scholar or an ideologue. Her liberality is reflexive and warmed-over, a product of the post-modern educational environment that formed her in the 1970s–complete with ethnic activism–but not an intellectual edifice. This does not mean she isn’t a danger to liberty and the rule of law, or that her votes and opinions won’t harm the Constitution. But it does indicate that, for all her bluster about being a ‘wise Latina,’ she is little more than a left-leaning empty robe.”
  • Sotomayor Again Misstates Fundamental Rights Doctrine – “This is both a grossly incorrect (and empty) understanding of the doctrine governing the protection of fundamental rights and an inaccurate statement of the precedents concerning the incorporation of the right to keep and bear arms into the Due Process Clause of the Constitution.”
  • Feds Set to Pay Billions to Axed GM and Chrysler Dealers – “As our previous story on New GM’s dealer oath indicated, New Chrysler and Government Motors are fighting a desperate battle to head-off H.R. 2743. The bill–which has cleared committee and continues to gather steam amongst the axed dealers’ political allies– would require the former bankrupts to take back thousands of terminated franchisees.”
  • Federal sentence on former [PA State] senator prompts outcry – “The 55-month federal sentence imposed Tuesday on former Sen. Vincent Fumo, one of the most powerful and corrupt politicians of the past two decades, was a ‘slap on the hand’ and a ‘travesty of justice,’ according to observers from a wide range of backgrounds.”
  • The War Against the Producers – “This recovery cannot work, other than a brief spurt that results from trillions in printed money, because we are rewarding unproductive areas of the economy (federal money for more wind farms, federal hurdles for pumping more known natural gas or nuclear power construction; more of the community-organizing model, less of the productive small business model) and punishing the engines of the economy.
    . . .
    Remember the logic: the poor Californian voter who works at Starbucks or Target is angry that the grandee social worker is unnecessary and grossly overpaid at $90,000 a year, with lush retirement and benefits, and so is told that if he does not raise taxes to over 10% income and 9% sales, then firemen, police, and water workers will quit/be laid off/furlow and so he will starve, be murdered, and have no sewage.

    That is the model here in California and that is the model we are soon to see in Washington: the government worker and those who receive his largess, are kings; those who pay for them, and who work in private enterprise for far less, are, well, less than fools.

    Whereas thousands are fleeing the natural paradise of California for the arid deserts of no-tax Nevada, there is no Nevada to the United States — the last hope of an otherwise depressing planet.”

  • Ancient global warming shows the limits of our knowledge: A new analysis of a past period of climate change suggests that there might be feedbacks in the climate system that we aren’t aware of yet.
  • After the storm comes a hard climb – “Recovery will be slow and painful, with substantial danger of relapses.”
  • Autism as Academic Paradigm – “t’s a little tricky to talk or write about the autistics who may work in your institution. If you work at a college or university, there is a good chance you are interacting with people on the autism spectrum on a very regular basis. Maybe the reaction of the reader is to draw up a mental list of people in the workplace and start applying various stereotypes to them. Maybe you’ll be on the lookout at the next dean’s meeting for people who exhibit ‘autistic traits’ and then gossip about those perceptions to your friends.

    That’s human nature, but I’m suggesting an alternative tack. Embrace individualism. Question your stereotypes. Maybe even look in the mirror. When you’re done, it’s likely that you’ll see far more talent, in far more unorthodox varieties, than you expected.”

  • $2 million and 7 years to fire a teacher – “Seven years after Los Angeles school officials fired a special education teacher for sexual harassment, a judge has approved the firing of Matthew Kim, reports the LA Times.”
  • Seven hours of [Richard] Feynman lectures online
  • calibre ebook management
  • Why I purchased the Sony PRS-505 Reader – “Here’s to the hope to the publishing industry figures things out faster than RIAA’s member companies. In the meantime, I will be mostly pretending that the both the Sony and Amazon eBook stores with their proprietary DRM’ed books don’t exist…”
  • Hands on with Sony’s new PRS-700 digital reader
  • Stanza
  • Save on Back-to-School Spending: College Edition – Do You Really Need That? A Mom & Son’s Advice – “In the not-so-far future, in the unloading area of college dormitories all across America, cars and SUVs will be disgorging skyscrapers of stuff: bed-in-a-bags, floor lamps, microwaves and cube refrigerators, computer laptops in leather carrying cases and more than a few flat screen TV sets. But what do you really need? And how can you make college spending dollars stretch? Our mother and son blogging team have some advice.”

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