Today’s Links: April 26, 2012


DAVID WEIGEL: “Inside the Worst Congress Ever
“I was halfway through Do Not Ask What Good We Do when I felt moved to email Robert Draper. Another title for his book, a history of our current House of Representatives, might be Worst Congress Ever. […] Draper finds the House Democrats in a jumpy, irritated, despondent mood. They were warned by pollster Stanley Greenberg, at their first Obama-era retreat, that many of them would fall in 2010. They panicked anyway. Former members like John Tanner (Tennessee) and Glenn Nye (Virginia) wail to Draper about how Nancy Pelosi ruined them by forcing tough votes, watching them lose, then running for leader again.”

LINDSEY BURKE: “College (Loan) Football: The Looming Interest Rate Hike
“Over the weekend, President Obama urged Congress to prevent a pending interest rate hike on student loans. While he argued that failure to keep interest rates low would be a ‘tremendous blow‘ to students, he failed to note that federal overreach into the industry is largely to blame in the first place.”

KYLE SMITH: “California Crackup: LA’s Strange New Attack On Capitalism
“In southern California’s most notorious hippie haven, though, one thing that can’t be allowed to be free is the marketplace. The patchouli brigades have been at war with an invading legion of salesmen hawking, in the coveted 205 spaces on the west side of the boardwalk, such mass-produced items as sunglasses and T-shirts. To lay claim to the valuable retail slots, vendors began hiring transients to squat on them overnight. Vendors who could not afford to pay this minimal level of quasi-rent were at a disadvantage. In other words: Those who were selling products people actually wanted to buy were pushing out those who weren’t. Viva the marketplace.”


AGRICULTURE – Measure on June Ballot Would Treat Pot Like a Farm Crop
“Traditional farmers are rallying against a novel June ballot measure in Lake County that would extend ‘right to farm’ protections to medical marijuana growers. Right-to-farm laws are intended to protect agricultural operations from nuisance complaints that could threaten their viability. This is the first time an attempt is being made to apply the law to marijuana cultivation, farming and pot advocates say.”

CYBERSECURITY – Obama May Back Down From CISPA Veto
“The House of Representatives is expected to begin debate on a controversial piece of cyber-security legislation today. The White House has weighed in, promising to veto the bill in its current form, but there are plenty who doubt that will happen.”

ENERGY – First Algae, Now Spinach to be Green Energy Source
“The EPA awarded a $90,000 grant over the weekend to Vanderbilt University students “who designed a biohybrid solar panel that substitutes a protein from spinach for expensive silicon wafers that are energy intensive to produce, and is capable of producing electricity.”