Morning Media Summary


Cubans upset at video game that aims to kill Fidel Castro:
“Cuba’s state-run media and bloggers are not amused at “Call of Duty: Black Ops,” a new videogame in which the player can join a secret operation in the 1960s to assassinate former leader Fidel Castro.”

Palestinian held for Facebook criticism of Islam:
“A mysterious blogger who set off an uproar in the Arab world by claiming he was God and hurling insults at the Prophet Muhammad is now behind bars — caught in a sting that used Facebook to track him down.”

Firefox 4 regains speed mojo:
“With the release of Firefox 4 Beta 7, Mozilla returned to near the top spot in browser performance rankings.”

Seybold’s Take: The fallacy of unlocked phones:
“From time to time there is talk in the press about being able to purchase unlocked phones that can be moved from the networks they were intended for to other networks. It seems many people believe that if a phone is unlocked it can simply be moved from one network to another. This became a rallying point for many when AT&T Mobility and Apple teamed up for the iPhone on a five-year exclusivity deal.”

Google: Third parties liable for Java infringement, not us:
“Third parties, not Google, would be liable for any Java copyright violations in the Android mobile OS, according to a filing the vendor made Wednesday in U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California.”

Police recruits screened for digital dirt on Facebook, etc.:
“Law enforcement agencies are digging deep into the social media accounts of applicants, requesting that candidates sign waivers allowing investigators access to their Facebook, MySpace, YouTube, Twitter and other personal spaces.”

Watchdog Planned for Online Privacy:
“The Obama administration is preparing a stepped-up approach to policing Internet privacy that calls for new laws and the creation of a new position to oversee the effort, according to people familiar with the situation.”

Global Warming / Environment / Energy:

Peaceful resistance: incandescent light bulb stockpilers defy the ban:
“Smith stockpiles incandescent light bulbs. He has been collecting them for three years now, ever since the Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007 passed. The act, which imposed a de-facto ban on incandescent bulbs by 2012, was co-sponsored by Upton. In September, Barton co-authored legislation to turn back that part of the bill.”

White House Notebook: No dead fish means water ok:

“Dead fish tell no tales—unless they’re the goldfish being used to monitor water quality at the conference center where President Barack Obama and other world leaders met Friday to hash out global economic policy.”

Insurance / Gambling:

William Hill to Set Up Shop in New Jersey:

“Believing that New Jersey will soon be the first US state to legalize online sports betting and poker, has learned that William Hill is already in the process of setting up an office in the state. They will immediately employ 6 individuals. It was not clear at press time whether any of these jobs would go to state citizens or current William Hill associates. ”

Health / Safety:

Dr. Drew on Obamacare: ‘You will see a massive flight of physicians from the field’:
“He couldn’t be more wrong, of course. Good intentions will act as a magic spell and everything will work out just like Obama says. You’ll see. After all, health care is a right. Doctors and nurses must take care of us, by force if necessary. They don’t have the right not to! See, look, it’s in the Constitution.”

Washington state bans alcoholic energy drinks:
“Retailers have a week to clear millions of dollars worth of alcoholic energy drinks from their shelves after state regulators banned them Wednesday, citing the hospitalization of nine dangerously drunk college students last month.”


On Fixing Social Security, and the Budget:
“I’d suggest the data might be explained by recourse to the employment-to-population ratio for 18-24 year olds, which is under 50%. I don’t find it surprising that people who are not self-supporting would disproportionately break in favor of higher taxes to support a paternalistic program. But the proportion in the general population which supports tax increases is well under 50%, and unsurprisingly, is lowest among the age groups that are going to pay most of the taxes.”

Reason TV: Is payday lending immoral?:
“This is no easy question. In any other context, the interest rates charged for payday lending would be considered usurious, even loan-sharking — minus the knee-capping, of course. But payday lenders operate in a high-risk market with essentially unsecured loans of such short duration that anything less in terms of interest would put them out of business. That appears to be the intent of the new consumer-protection regulation passed by Congress and hailed by Barack Obama as the most comprehensive protections for consumers ever passed. But without payday lending, will the new regulations wind up hurting the people Obama and Congress brag about protecting? Reason TV’s Nick Gillespie and Ted Balaker look at the implications of the new regulation:”

Free Johnson, the next Ron Paul:
“There are certain shibboleths in presidential politics that even the most forthright candidates feel obliged to repeat, certain topics they feel compelled to avoid. Yet talk to former New Mexico Governor Gary Johnson, the unorthodox 2012 GOP hopeful, and those rules go out the window. Ask about church, and he says he doesn’t go. “Do you believe in Jesus?” I ask. “I believe he lived,” he replies with a smile. Ask about shifts in position, and he owns up to one. “I changed my mind on the death penalty,” he tells me. “Naïvely, I really didn’t think the government made mistakes.” Ask about his voting history, and he volunteers (without regrets) that he cast his first presidential ballot for George McGovern (“because of the war”). Ask about his longstanding support for marijuana legalization, and he recalls the joy of his pot-smoking days. “I never exhaled,” he says. (An avid athlete, Johnson forswore marijuana and alcohol decades ago when he realized they were hurting his ski times and rock-climbing ability.)”

Obama panel probes stimulus waste – at Ritz Carlton:
“Members of a key panel created by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, better known as the stimulus bill, have scheduled a meeting on November 22 to consider ways to prevent “fraud, waste, and abuse of Recovery Act funds.” The meeting will be held at the super-luxe Ritz Carlton Hotel in Phoenix, Arizona.”

Limbaugh to Simson/Bowles: Try Again, Guys:
“Essentially this nonstarter of a plan codifies the 22%-of-GDP spending Obama achieved and calls that the new normal, then “cuts” from there. Sometime down the road. maybe.”

Debt Plan Ideas Draw Scorn of Liberals and Tea Party:
“By putting deep spending cuts and substantial tax increases on the table, President Obama’s bipartisan debt-reduction commission has exposed fissures in both parties, underscoring the volatile nature and long odds of any attempt to address the nation’s long-term budget problems.”


Unconstitutional to Require Registration and Disclosure for Any Committee Spending Over $200 to Support/ Oppose a Ballot Measure:

“Colorado law requires that any group of two or more persons that has accepted or made contributions or expenditures exceeding $200 to support or oppose a ballot issue must register as an issue committee and report the names and addresses of anyone who contributes $20 or more. Plaintiffs are residents of Parker North, a neighborhood of about 300 homes in an unincorporated part of Douglas County, Colorado, who opposed the annexation of their neighborhood into the Town of Parker. Plaintiffs had raised less than $1,000 in monetary and in-kind contributions for their cause when supporters of annexation challenged the failure of the opponents to register as an issue committee.”

Plea For Supreme Court Review Of Tobacco Pact Passionate, But Likely Futile:
“Lawyers suing to break up the $200 billion tobacco settlement have filed a passionate, if long-shot, petition for Supreme Court review of a case that has been stuffed by every court to consider it including the conservative Fifth Circuit. I’m betting this last-ditch effort won’t work either, but it’s an excellent summation of the argument against an agreement that enriched Philip Morris, plaintiff lawyers and the National Association of Attorneys General at the expense of consumers and competing cigarette companies.”

Tim Pawlenty joins health bill lawsuit:
“Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty on Thursday filed a legal brief seeking to join a multi-state lawsuit challenging the Obama administration’s health care reform law. ”


Harry Reid Re-Election Likely Due to SEIU Ballot Fraud?:
“Votes without voters – the notion seems like something from “The Twilight Zone.” Yet this outcome, the result of a mysterious computer glitch, may have helped re-elect Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid over his Republican challenger, Sharron Angle, last week by a 50.2%-44.6% margin. Actually, the “mystery” is very likely the doing of a local of the Service Employees International Union (SEIU), which nationwide provides votes, money and muscle for the Democratic Party. Critics are charging that voting machines throughout Clark County (Las Vegas), where about three-fourths of the state’s population resides, were rigged to place check marks next to Reid’s name before a person even had voted. County officials insist that no tampering has occurred. But the possibility can’t be dismissed out of hand, especially given that one of Reid’s sons is county commission chairman. ”

Transportation/ Land Use:

Pennichuck Agrees To Be Acquired By City of Nashua, NH, For $138M:
“Pennichuck Corp. (PNNW) has agreed to be acquired by the city of Nashua, N.H., for about $138 million, settling a longstanding eminent-domain dispute involving attempts by the city to acquire all or a significant portion of the business that runs Nashua’s water system.”

Hi-speed rail conference planned:
“State Senate President Malcolm Smith along with other local, state and federal officials will participate in the historic High Speed Rail conference of leading international experts who will discuss ways to bring the speedy passenger train to America. Expected guests include U.S. Secretary of Transportation Secretary, Ray LaHood, Deputy Administrator- Federal Railroad Administrator, Karen Rae, Governor David Paterson, Governor Elect Andrew Cuomo, Governor of Pennsylvania Ed Rendell, US Congresswoman Louise Slaughter and US Congressman John Mica.”