1.) Remember: The five worst reactions to the Loughner shooting — Washington never fails to disappoint. While normal people cry in response to tragedy, the buttinskys on Capitol Hill are attempting to legislate away the pain. The Daily Caller’s Chris Moody rounds up the dumbest of the dumb, from a plan to “encase the entire House and Senate floor with Plexiglass so the tourists can’t throw things at members of Congress,” to a Republican-proposed law that would make it illegal to carry a firearm within 1/5 of a mile “of any ‘high-profile’ public official.” In a lapse of judgment that will go unpublished by his base, Democratic Rep. James Clyburn argued that the FCC–on which his daughter is a commissioner–should bring back the Fairness Doctrine. “You cannot yell ‘fire’ in a crowded theater and call it free speech and some of what I hear, and is being called free speech, is worse than that.” And people say Congress doesn’t listen…
2.) Chafee forbids state employees from explaining themselves on radio — Rhode Island Governor Lincoln Chafee, who cruised to victory over his Democratic opponent with the endorsement of Pres. Obama, has decided that his employees should not do anything during their work hours that furthers a private business. “A spokesman for Gov. Lincoln Chafee tells the Providence Journal that talk radio is essentially ‘ratings-driven, for-profit programming,’” reports ABC’s the Note. The spokesman added, “‘We don’t think it is appropriate to use taxpayer resources’ to have state employees use work time to ‘support for-profit, ratings-driven programming.’” As Chafee has not banned his employees from eating at for-profit restaurants or talking on cell phones serviced by for-profit telecommunications companies, it’s likely that Buddy Cianci is right on the money when he says the new rule is a result of “The fact is that he’s got some issues that he maybe doesn’t have the answer to [on the air].”
3.) DHS wants to see you naked pretty much all the time — When TSA announced the implementation of nude body scanners in airports, Americans threw a first-class fit. Across the political spectrum, critics believed that such fit-throwing was reasonable: Treating every passenger like a terrorist is an inefficient way to stop actual terrorists. But the response from nannystaters was that it was for our own good, and the good of the republic, and anyway, why not take a train or a bus or drive or hitchhike? Will their tune change now that DHS is preparing to implement body scanner technology in more arenas of American life? According to The Daily Beast, “DHS intends to continue publicly testing equipment for the next several years, including sophisticated video surveillance cameras, infrared imaging, ultrasound sensors, and (most controversially) active millimeter wave scans” that produce naked images. This technology will then go into widespread use in parks and arenas and shopping malls. “Patrons approaching large public events” are “attractive targets for terrorists,” says a little-covered DHS report. Such technology will “improve decision-making by using a highly automated system that integrates detection systems and prioritizes threats.” Welcome to the New American Panopticon, where each of us is a terrorist until a machine says otherwise.
4.) Max Stier tears out hair as Americans fall out of love with waste — Max Stier, president of the Partnership for Public Service, recently bemoaned Americans’ shifting views on government work. “Today, government service isn’t even considered public service by most Americans, partly because successive generations repeatedly have been told by our political leaders that the government is the problem, not part of our collective solution. As a result, the desirability of public service has diminished, trust in government has steadily eroded and federal workers are undervalued,” Stier said, adding, “Our nation today would be well served by a president who is willing by word and deed to strengthen the federal workforce, not to offer it up as a false sacrifice for our fiscal problems.” Stier’s remarks come on the tail end of a year that saw the largest federal workforce in the history of the United States.
5.) All manner of liberal disappointed with Obama’s new econ team — “Last week Barack Obama named the pair of white male veterans of Wall Street and the Clinton administration who will be replacing the pair of white male veterans of Wall Street and the Clinton administration who had largely defined his first two years in office,” Maureen Tkacik writes in the New York Observer. “The Professional Left did not take the news well.” The hiring of William Daley to replace Rahmbo and Gene Sperling to replace Larry “grlz suck a’”t [AT? @?] math LOL” Summers has the peons at the base of the base crying foul. “[Y]ou can’t blame Gene or Daley or any of these aides for the administration,” said one liberal lobbyist. “They’re carrying out Obama’s policy. This is him. He’s not the guy we elected.” Said another, “The appointment of the obscene corporate hack William Daley should put to rest any and all illusions people have on the Obama administration.” Even Thomas Frank got in on the Obama bashing: “They have no idea what’s going on in the country or how to deal with it….There is nothing original or inventive about them, and I am almost ashamed that I ever thought there was.” Sad!
6.) Does the BP oil spill commission want to send us back to horse-and-buggy days? — Write this down: Catastrophes beget catastrophic overreactions on the part of government. Exhibit A is Jared Loughner. Exhibit B? The Deepwater Horizon oil spill. According to a report from American Solutions, the recommendations released by the Deepwater committee would cripple America’s ability to access its own natural resources. “The report recommends applying a completely new system of approving oil and gas drilling in Alaska, a recommendation that would effectively end all new exploration in America’s Arctic waters until this massive new bureaucracy was in place.” Also: “Currently the federal government has 30 days to review a drilling application before approval. The commission recommends doubling that to 60 days, even though there is no evidence that the existing 30 day approval window had any connection to the Gulf spill.” According to American Solutions, the bad ideas don’t end there.