Clearing my spindle

When we redesigned this site, we added the “Picks” feature above so that we could note news as it was breaking, bring items of interest to the attention of readers about which we didn’t necessarily have anything to say, or take note of pieces that were otherwise worthy of your attention. For some reason I am unable to add Picks this morning. It’s the kind of software glitch that seems to afflict those of us who are still catching up with the computer age. I am dealing with it by means of an old-fashioned approach. I’m clearing my spindle, digitalian style. I’m setting items out below in ascending order of difficulty.

One of my three daughters absolutely loved the Berenstain Bears series of books, by Stan and Jan Beresnstain. At one point I think I’d read her every one of the series, but it probably only felt that way. Jan Berenstain died last week at the age of 88. As you might expect, there is an interesting story behind the Berenstain Bears. Elaine Woo tells the story in her excellent Los Angeles Times obituary of Jan Berenstain.

No sooner did Barack Obama announce that he wanted to buy one of Government Motors’ revolting Volts when he leaves office — Lord, let it be January 2013 — than GM announced that it was temporarily halting production. GM blames the media; I credit the Obama touch.

The Obama touch is also at work on Iran. Jeffrey Goldberg’s interview with Obama relays Obama’s to Iran and Israel not to call his bluff. Where have we heard that before? Was it the last time Obama was bluffing? Anne Bayefsky finds Obama to be — how shall we put this politely? — bluffing with respect to his record on Israel.

The New York Times blandly reported last month that the Pentagon “wants to raise some retirees’ health fees.” Bill Gertz followed up at Washington Free Beacon (a new site you should bookmark) in somewhat more hard-hitting fashion in “Trashing Tricare.” Gertz returned to the subject this week in “The war on Tricare.” The Navy Times picks up the story in “Planned Tricare cuts unfair, lawmakers say.” You can watch Wisconsin Senator Ron Johnson asking Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta about the cuts at the end of this five-minute video, which is also worth a look.

The problems raised by Obamacare are profound, varied, and many. Professor Hadley Arkes explores one or two dimensions in “Turning the tables on Obamacare: Returning to natural rights.”


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