1.) Joe Biden doesn’t know how to feel about Wikileaks, chooses to feel everything — As the human face of the Obama Administration–we will never forget his honesty during the great swine flue crisis of 2010–Vice Pres. Joe Biden can be expected to accidentally tell something resembling the truth whenever he appears alone in public. Occasionally, Biden feels torn apart by his dual roles as National Billy the Largemouth Bass (singing “Don’t Worry, Be Happy”) and his desire to be treated like a grownup human being. Wikileaks has only exacerbated his angst. Last Thursday, Biden told Andrea Mitchell on the air that “leaked cables created no substantive damage — only embarrassment,” and “nothing that I’m aware of that goes to the essence of the relationship that would allow another nation to say: ‘They lied to me, we don’t trust them, they really are not dealing fairly with us.'” A day later, Biden taped an interview with David Gregory for Meet the Press in which he told the MSNBC host, “[Assange] has made it more difficult for us to conduct our business with our allies and our friends,” and “In my meetings — you know I meet with most of these world leaders — there is a desire to meet with me alone, rather than have staff in the room: It makes things more cumbersome — so it has done damage.” Can you now show us on the doll where Hillary Clinton touched you, Joe? You are not going to get in trouble!
2.) Genachowski may compromise, incorporate even worse ideas into Internet regulations — Obama law-school chum and FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski may fold on some key regulatory points in order to win the approval of his Democratic colleagues on the commission. According to National Journal, FCC Dems Michael Copps and Mignon Clyburn do not think the regulations are invasive enough. Therefore, “the FCC chairman also appears willing to limit the creation of toll lanes on the Internet for companies willing to pay for faster transmissions…As a result, the agency might specify scenarios under which such lanes would be barred because of concern about harm to consumers or competition.” What does this mean? It means no first class. No V8 option if the V6 seems a little tepid. You want filet mignon? Here’s a cut of flank steak. You want overnight? How does four-to-six days sound? This is the real problem with the invasive regulations called “net neutrality”: There can be no economies of scale after the forced flattening of the Internet landscape.
3.) FCC chairman takes to WSJ to question Genachowski’s judgment — FCC Chairman Robert McDowell may be a Republican, and thus innately opposed to fiddling with things that do not require fiddling, but he is real-keeping when he says that there is no actual reason to intervene in the business of the Internet: “Nothing is broken and needs fixing, however,” McDowell writes in the pages of the WSJ in advance of tomorrow’s net neutrality vote at the FCC. “The Internet has been open and freedom-enhancing since it was spun off from a government research project in the early 1990s. Its nature as a diffuse and dynamic global network of networks defies top-down authority. Ample laws to protect consumers already exist. Furthermore, the Obama Justice Department and the European Commission both decided this year that net-neutrality regulation was unnecessary and might deter investment in next-generation Internet technology and infrastructure.” These are not unimportant points!
4.) Public sector pensions are every bit as awesome and underfunded as you have been led to believe — “Defenders of public employee pension systems often make the case that pension benefits are not all that generous,” write Josh Barro and E.J. McMahon in the New York Post. Defenders of public sector unions say that the cases we hear about on the news are outliers; anomalies. “The data, however, tells a different story. According to the Census Bureau, the average New York retiree receiving a corporate or union pension — a retiree from the private sector — was receiving an annual benefit of $13,100 in 2009. For state and local government retirees, that figure was more than twice as high: $27,600. And that average figure includes retirees who were part-time workers or only spent part of their careers in government; full-career retirees often do far better.” It’s true what they say: Everything is more expensive in New York.
5.) Will Tea Party types keep crazies off the farm teams? — “While other Tea Party-affiliated groups have zeroed in on specifically helping candidates win seats inside the U.S. Capitol, Drew and Ned Ryun are more focused on developing a farm team at the local and state level who one day could run for Congress,” reports The Daily Caller’s Alex Pappas. The Ryun’s run American Majority, and had their baseball epiphany when they looked around and saw many unchallenged federal races. “We had noticed that a lot of times that it came to open-seat elections at the federal level, or when it came time to potentially have a good conservative run for and win a federal seat, we had no farm team,” Drew Ryun explained. “A lot of people would be looking around and going, “Well, where’s our farm team? Who’s going to be that person, that proven conservative, that can step up to the plate and actually, legitimately run for and win higher office?’” Here’s hoping that the Ryun’s keep driving when they find the next Christine O’Donnell or Sharron Angle.
6.) WaPo drops another intelligence bomb (we are all being surveilled) — Nothing will ever be private again. Facebook is a monster and the U.S. Government is keeping tabs on all of us forever. To wit: The Washington Post has released another data bomb in its series on the intelligence industrial complex. According to WaPo, “The FBI is building a database with the names and certain personal information, such as employment history, of thousands of U.S. citizens and residents whom a local police officer or a fellow citizen believed to be acting suspiciously. It is accessible to an increasing number of local law enforcement and military criminal investigators, increasing concerns that it could somehow end up in the public domain.” Other thing WaPo uncovered: “The Department of Homeland Security sends its state and local partners intelligence reports with little meaningful guidance, and state reports have sometimes inappropriately reported on lawful meetings.” So, basically, the left hand not even knowing there is a right hand thing is systemic in a way that is both a relief and terrifying.