Assorted Links (4/13/2011)

Here’s a list of articles that I have been reading lately:

Today’s Obama Speech: Nearly as deceitful as it was dull

“Heartland’s Steve Stanek found President Obama’s speech less than inspiring.”

Understanding the President’s New Budget Proposal

Keith Hennessey breaks it all down for us!

Freakonomics » Clearing Out the “Rubber Rooms”

“Steven Brill’s excellent 2009 article on New York City’s “Rubber Rooms,” classrooms filled with teachers accused of misconduct or incompetence, provoked understandable outrage at New York’s beat-up school system. Now, two years later, it seems many of these teachers are being returned to the classroom…”

Little Girl Frisked By TSA

“Thought those pesky TSA pat-downs were old news? This video of a six-year-old girl getting frisked has been making waves, rekindling the debate over airport security.”

Back to the Future

“In his first floor speech, Senator Ron Johnson reviews more than a century of bigger government.”

Chicago School Bans Homemade Lunch

“Nobody likes being the kid whose mom packs the worst lunch, but isn’t this taking things a little too far?”

Perry ally pushed reforms at A&M, records show

“The architect of some of Gov. Rick Perry’s higher education reforms has worked closely with Texas A&M University System officials on implementing the controversial recommendations, records obtained under the Texas Public Information Act show.”

The Lessons of Fort Sumter

“In The Wall Street Journal, Global View columnist Bret Stephens writes that there is no substitute for principled leadership in war.”

There Is No Male-Female Wage Gap

“In The Wall Street Journal, Carrie Lukas of the Independent Women’s Forum writes that a study of single, childless urban workers between the ages of 22 and 30 found that women earned 8% more than men.”

The Constitution Doesn’t Mention Czars

“George Shultz writes in The Wall Street Journal that unaccountable White House aides are a product of a broken cabinet-nomination process. This is not the form of government the Founders intended.”

We’re in a Bubble and It’s Not the Internet. It’s Higher Education.

“Fair warning: This article will piss off a lot of you. I can say that with confidence because it’s about Peter Thiel. And Thiel – the PayPal co-founder, hedge fund manager and venture capitalist – not only has a special talent for making money, he has a special talent for making people furious.”

Obama Is Missing

“Where’s the Democratic vision on the budget?”  Even Paul Krugman of all people is unhappy about what’s going on these days with the POTUS!

The Fed’s Interest Rate Risk

“To make financial conditions more supportive of economic growth, the Federal Reserve has purchased large amounts of longer-term securities in recent years. The Fed’s resulting securities portfolio has generated substantial income but may incur financial losses when market interest rates rise.”

April 11: The Most Boring Day in History

“Last year, the computer program True Knowledge concluded that the most boring day in human history occurred, 57 years ago today. Using algorithms that used weighted values for more than three million facts including historical events, birthdays of significant people, etc., it determined that April 11, 1954, was really, really uneventful.”

Drivers start to cut back on gas as prices rise

See for an interesting assortment of anecdotal evidence concerning the effect of high energy prices on all sorts of different transactions, all noted by Harvard’s Greg Mankiw the last time that we had an oil price shock (in July 2008)…

Fort Sumter: Undermanned, Outgunned, Low on Supplies

“When the election in 1860 of Abraham Lincoln, a Republican whose party advocated slavery’s abolition, sparked slave-holding states in the Deep South to secede from the union, many took the forts on their territories with them. By early 1861, rebel forces had seized almost all but two major federal installations: Fort Sumter in Charleston, S.C., harbor and Fort Pickens outside Pensacola, Fla.”

PIMCO Officially Goes SHORT The US Treasury Market

PIMCO is betting that prices of US Treasuries will likely fall substantially, and yields rise…

The Auto Bailout and the Rule of Law

GMU Law Professor Todd Zywicki explains how the auto bailout undermined the rule of law and promoted crony capitalism…