Tuesday, November 08, 2011

Cruising the Web

Here's the Pew quiz of public affairs. It's rather disturbing that only 8% get all of these rather easy questions correct. Apparently, only 43% of the public know that the Republicans hold the majority in the House, but 56% know that John Boehner is the speaker. I wonder how all that bashing of the House that the President does will backfire if people don't know that the GOP control it.

While the White House is fighting subpoenas on Solyndra, they were also fighting a FOIA request for information on Dr. James Hansen, head of NASA's Goddard Institute for Space Studies, who has been a fervent advocate for regulating fossil fuels. He's been protesting against the Keystone XL pipeline. But on Friday, the Obama administration stopped fighting and released documents that show he'd been paid $250 an hour by a Canadian group to oppose Alberta's developing their oil sands. Interesting timing, that. And isn't it interesting how the EPA fights as hard as possible against FOIA requests that come from skeptics of man-caused global warming, but is happy to grant them for global warming supporters?

Andrew Biggs and Jason Richwine attack the idea that public school teachers are underpaid. Taking into consideration benefits, time off, and job security, public school teachers are earning more in education than they would in private employment, particularly taking into account that the majority of them were education majors. I can well testify that the education classes I took were a joke and I can well believe the statistics that education majors have some of the lowest standardized test scores of any college major. Full disclosure: I'm a teacher at a public charter school. My major was not education, but I took the classes to get teacher certification. And I've used about 60 minutes of material from all those classes in my teaching career. The rest were a joke.

Mitt Romney has a gender gap. Women like him more than men do.

William McGurn contemplates the Broken Windows effect
of cities that seem impotent against the disorder in Occupy Wall Street demonstrations.
What company thinking of moving to Texas or even Connecticut, for example, will be persuaded to stay in Manhattan after witnessing the mayor's impotence here? How many trade groups or associations are going to move their big meetings from the nation's capital after they've seen the lack of police protection at the convention center? Who's going to sink money into Oakland—which clocked in below Flint, Mich., on a recent Forbes ranking of cities by job growth—when they see a mayor unwilling to call in the cops even after businesses have been openly attacked?

Our progressive mayors may think themselves reasonable when they turn a blind eye to the public disorders that have characterized the Occupy movement. In fact, they are sending a signal that imperils the urban development they so profess to love. For the message they are sending to business is this: When the crazies come for you, you're on your own.
Meanwhile, John Hawkins has 10 stories or quotes that tell us how bad the OWS movement has gotten.

And why did one Occupy group protest the Israelis consulate and cheering the Intifada? As Ira Stoll asks, why are they protesting Israel and not China, Iran, or Syria? Do they really think that Israel is a worse violator of human rights?

Many men can thank Bill Gates and Steve Jobs for not having to wear suits to work every day.

Matthew Continetti asks why it should be the goal of government policy to redress income inequality.

The NYT tries to get a story out of the story that Mitt Romney flew coach and was polite, but curt with an annoying woman sitting next to him on the plane.