Wait—how the heck did my spindle fill up again so quickly after emptying it out yesterday? Oh well. Always too much going on.
1. Someone at the Obama White House actually has a sense of humor. In response to a petition calling for the U.S. to build a Star Wars-style “Death Star,” the White House issued a response: “This Isn’t the Petition Response You’re Looking For.” (The author, Paul Shawcross, is actually an OMB drone—even more remarkable.)
The Administration shares your desire for job creation and a strong national defense, but a Death Star isn’t on the horizon. Here are a few reasons:
- The construction of the Death Star has been estimated to cost more than $850,000,000,000,000,000. We’re working hard to reduce the deficit, not expand it.
- The Administration does not support blowing up planets.
- Why would we spend countless taxpayer dollars on a Death Star with a fundamental flaw that can be exploited by a one-man starship?
Pejman Yousefzadeh (who sounds like he could be a Star Wars character: “But Obi Won, Count Yousefzadeh says the trade deal is a fraud!”) is not impressed:
Building a Death Star . . . should build oodles of jobs according to Keynesian theory, and Keynesians ought to be outraged that this administration is failing to take the principles spelled out in the General Theory of Employment to the next level. Indeed, I daresay that Keynesians ought to find the administration’s lack of faith in their principles disturbing. . .
In any event, now that the administration has come out against the construction of a Death Star, I propose that we get private enterprise involved to construct it. I look forward to the day when we can point with pride to the creation of the Death Star, and then tell the Obama administration that they didn’t build that; someone else made that happen.
Of course, the obvious irony here is that the Obama Administration has already built the Death Star for the American economy, as people pointed out early on:
2. Obama goes to the Lew? Can we really have a Treasury Secretary who will put a Lewd signature on our dollar bills? I mean really, I know penmanship isn’t taught any more, but having a signature fit only for a Hostess cupcake is a sign that the Decline of the West is nearly complete. (Naturally, there’s already a “Jack Lew Signature Generator” to go along with the all-important “Tom Friedman Op-Ed Column Generator.”)
3. Know any advanced undergraduate or graduate students in need of remedial (or supplemental) instruction about the American Founding? The Claremont Institute’s annual Publius Fellows Program is now accepting applications for this summer’s program. See this link for further details and a downloadable application.
4. The Population Bomb Wet Firecracker. The news media is slowly starting to catch up to a story that has long been evident to people who pay attention: that the most significant global demographic transition, under way for several decades now, is going to deliver declining population in a few more decades. People like the late Julian Simon, Nick Eberstadt, and me, have been on this for a long time now. Good to see that Slate.com is starting to figure it out:
[T]he rate of global population growth has slowed. And it’s expected to keep slowing. Indeed, according to experts’ best estimates, the total population of Earth will stop growing within the lifespan of people alive today.
And then it will fall.
This is good news in some ways, but will wreak havoc on social insurance programs that rely on an expanding base of younger workers to support old-age entitlement programs. Don’t be surprised to wake up one day forty or fifty years from now and seeing liberals—yes, liberals—bemoaning the birth dearth. In fact, the Slate piece previews what might be the liberal meme of 2075:
On the bright side, the long-dreaded resource shortage may turn out not to be a problem at all. On the not-so-bright side, the demographic shift toward more retirees and fewer workers could throw the rest of the world into the kind of interminable economic stagnation that Japan is experiencing right now.
And in the long term—on the order of centuries—we could be looking at the literal extinction of humanity.
Paul Ehrlich, call your office. I love it that no matter what is happening to humanity, we’re always doomed in the end.
5. From No Labels to No Mojo. Oh isn’t this cute: those nice, Kumbaya-singing “post-partisan” people at No Labels are trying to shed their “centrist” image by. . . well what exactly isn’t quite clear from this Yahoo News account. Sounds like they’re now going to try to “break gridlock” by . . . compromising. Let’s see, let’s see, where have I heard that word “compromising” before? Oh yes, that’s it! It’s called “politics,” and it’s something people in a place called “Congress” do from time to time without supervision from the benighted membership of No Labels, on those rare instances when “gridlock,” otherwise known as “checks and balances” and protections of individual rights, isn’t rightly in the way of government doing something extremely stupid, instead of just something routinely stupid.
The one idea in the article is a “No Budget, No Pay” act. Sounds fine, except that California, which historically has gone without budgets for months in years past, adopted this measure recently. So budgets aren’t late any more. They’re passed on time now, but they’re completely phony, and everyone knows it. With a Congress that, unlike California, can borrow unlimited amounts of money, does anyone really think a “No Budget, No Pay” Act will really amount to a significant reform? Even Harry Reid could figure out his way through this one.
There ought to be truth-in-labeling for No Labels. Something like “No Brains.”
Besides which, let’s say it all together: Long Live Gridlock!
6. I saved the best for last. This headline explains itself: “Student at All-Women’s College Wants to Stay at School After Adding Penis.” The school paper describes this as a “thorny issue.” Plus this: “The prospect of the transgender student living on campus has angered some alumnae.” Sounds like fodder for a Judd Apatow movie. Sometimes you just can’t make stuff up.