The Baehr Essentials
1. The Princeton Review is out with a new book in which it names the 300 top undergraduate Professors in America, based on evaluations and nominations of over 42,00 professors. Nine of the 300 teach at Kenyon College, my alma mater (and that of AT editor Thomas Lifson), and two of the Kenyon professors named are longtime friends: Professor Fred Baumann of Political Science and Professor Pamela Jensen of Political Science. With just over 1,500 undergraduates out of 8 million nationally, I guess you could say that both Kenyon is greatly over-represented on the list. Congratulations to Fred and Pamela.
2. It is pretty apparent that the Obama Administration will do pretty much anything to get Obama re-elected. But this takes the cake: $8 billion of federal money from the Department of Health and Human Services that is available for experiments, will instead be used to extend the Medicare Advantage program that ObamaCare would have curtailed. Medicare Advantage is a program very popular with seniors, and the money shuffling will extend the program through the date of the elections. An experiment to judge a program that is already in effect? huh? The cuts in Medicare Advantage were part of the "funding package" to supposedly help pay for ObamaCare. When the GOP argued that the new program was being funded in large part (about half) by cuts to Medicare, the Administration cried foul. In fact, the Administration has used the Medicare cuts twice -- once to supposedly extend the life of the Medicare Trust fund, and the second to pay for ObamaCare. Of course, it only be used for one or the other, but who is counting, when you are talking about double counting $500 billion over ten years. So far, the national networks have totally ignored the $8 billion ploy, for which the non-partisan Government Accounting Office is very critical.
3. Of course, we can also expect outright voter fraud, as occurred in 2008. But please do not require photo ID for voting, as we do for most everything else in America these days.
4. It looks like Blago may be teaching the classics to inmates. Will he be named one of America's top 300 Professors sometimes soon? :
5. Turkey is blocking Israel's participation at the upcoming NATO summit: And once more, as in her tongue tied inability to define whether the State Department believes any part of Jerusalem is in Israel, Victoria Nuland is unable to say whether the U.S is trying to secure Israel's participation. Interpretation: it isn't. Turkey matters a lot more to this Administration. Remember Obama has said Erdogan is a role model for the Muslim world.
6. If you are a young high tech superstar, and want venture capital money for your new business, , it might pay to attend Stanford, if you can get in.
7. Ireland is one of the European countries ,where hostility to Israel is the strongest (Sweden and Norway are also in competition). One Irish journalist visited Israel expecting to hate the place and came away with very changed views.
8. American professors gather in Teheran for an Occupy Wall Street Conference. Who paid for the trips? Was there money left over in the Medicare Advantage slush fund?
9. Politichicks (a real group) interviews Joel Pollak:
10. A Pew survey shows Republicans are better informed than Democrats.
11. The TARP cover-up, four years later: http://tinyurl.com/78nfh75
12. In Germany, the problem with Israel goes a lot deeper than an old buffoon like Gunter Grass (and the many thousands of Germans who came out of hiding to shout their approval of his poem in comments sections on German websites). The mercantilist urge means all hands on deck to make money from commerce with Iran
13. Unlike Peter Beinart, Hamas believes Gaza is not occupied. Khaled Abu Toameh argues that the PA is radicalizing Palestinians, a point I made the other night in the debate with Peter Beinart. Many thanks for all the nice comments from those who listened and emailed me.
14. Some good news: Senator Mark Kirk continues to improve, and a first photo is released. When might Barack Obama wish him well? It is four months now.