Did all that Cliven Bundy stuff smell like junk news to you? Fortunately, Jessica Scheider at the Center for Effective Government explains some of the issues surrounding Western land rights. Long story short: the small fees ranchers pay for having their animals graze on public land is around one tenth of the fees they'd pay private land owners, meaning that the grazing fees aren't some don't-tread-on-me travesty but comprise a half-billion dollar annual "public subsidy" of ranchers. And yet the fees don't begin to cover environmental damage the grazing animals do to the land -- or, indeed, administrative costs. You might well think Cliven Bundy was just another whiner the "liberal" media seems to find so fascinating.
Paul Krugman finds Timothy Geithner's account of his time as Obama Administration Treasury Secretary more than a little self-serving. Key findings: Mr. Geithner's claim that he was "not an austerian" runs counter to reporting that he found federal stimulus programs worthless, and his claim that bailing out homeowners rather than banksters (or even alongside banksters!) wouldn't have helped the economy much runs counter to economic research indicating the opposite. Again, the moral thing to do turns out to be the pragmatic thing to do, but our elites somehow never see that. I wonder why.
Meta-analysis of ten studies involving 1.3 million children reveals, again, "no relationship between vaccination and autism." That's "no" as in none, zero, zip, zilch, nada. On one hand, I'm pleased that Forbes does this kind of reporting -- but on the other hand, I'm profoundly annoyed that it's left to Forbes to do this kind of reporting, as our more well-known "liberal" media outlets prefer to treat the science like it's still undecided, lest they look bad for all that free publicity they gave to noted University of Google scholar Jenny McCarthy.
Republican Senate nominee Ben Sasse claims that "(g)overnment cannot force citizens to violate their religious beliefs under any circumstances" -- apparently not even if your "religious beliefs" allow or command you to trample over other people's rights. Let me guess on Mr. Sasse's response: "the media got me all wrong by quoting what I said on my website." And now the bad news: Mr. Sasse will almost certainly win his election, Nebraska not being as moderate, even, as Indiana, where Richard Mourdock fumbled away Mr. Lugar's Senate seat in 2012 with his extremism.
New Hampshire Republican Senatorial candidate (and ex-Massachusetts Senator) Scott Brown actually asked Republican leadership to scuttle a bipartisan energy efficiency bill, because its main Democratic sponsor was his opponent, Sen. Jeanne Shaheen. And he wanted to make her look bad. Anyone think he might look bad instead? Apparently he got his wish -- the bill failed to clear a Republican filibuster after Republicans demanded a vote on an amendment on approving the Keystone XL pipeline and another one on blocking the EPA's recent carbon emissions rule. But there has to be a point where fomenting chaos backfires on the fomentors of chaos. Right?
Finally, Operation American Spring, a movement planning to draw tens of millions to D.C. this past Saturday in an apparent effort to overthrow our center-right government for not being far-right enough, wound up drawing "hundreds," not millions. And THAT! Is the MOST! SURPRISING! THING! I! Have EVER! HEARD!