Today’s Links: June 26, 2012


BAYLEN LINNEKIN: “I Say Tomato, You Say No
“With summer now upon us, gardening season is in full swing. And that can only mean it’s time for local government officials around the country to try to outdo one another when it comes to preventing everyday people from growing fruit and vegetables in their own yards. If the proposition that squads of busybody, anti-gardening bureaucrats are waiting in your thicket, ready to pounce on the pecks of peppers you might have tended in your yard sounds like hyperbole, then you clearly have not been paying attention to the news. In years.”

JONATHAN ADLER: “From Rhetoric to Action
“Romney clearly recognizes that federal regulations can hamper job creation and slow economic growth, and he promises to be less supportive of new regulatory initiatives than President Obama. […] A President Romney may have a difficult time turning his rhetoric of regulatory reform into reality.  His campaign materials overstate the extent to which the President may dictate federal regulatory policy.  Many regulatory initiatives, including many of those Romney has blamed for slowing economic growth, are the result of statutory mandates enacted by Congress.  There’s little a President can do about such things on his own.”

DAVID WEIGEL: “Cato at Peace
“Bob Levy, chairman of the Cato board, took the stage first and explained the deal—a new board of directors (minus Crane and Charles Koch) and the end of the ‘shareholder’ system that started the whole conflict. The avuncular Crane spoke next, introducing the staff to Allison. After meeting the new boss, the Cato-ites got to field questions about a treaty that had been hashed out over two months—from two in-person meetings in the Kochs’ home base of Wichita, Kan., to some increasingly fruitful conference calls, all apparently moderated by Allison. There would be 16 board members, 11 of them unaffiliated with the Kochs.”


EXECUTIVE POWER – Much-Abused ‘State Secrets Privilege’ Under Fire in Congress
“Obama and his successors in the White House would be banned from using false claims of national security to conceal ’embarrassing or unlawful conduct’ by the government, under new legislation proposed by lawmakers on both sides of the House. The proposed State Secrets Protection Act, H.R. 5956, introduced by Rep. Jerrold Nadler (D-New York), would be the first law to rein in the president’s ‘state secrets privilege,’ a nearly limitless power to kill litigation by claiming a lawsuit would expose national security information to the benefit of America’s enemies”

CULTURE – Ten Cool Facts About How Americans Spend Their Time
“People over the age of 75 watch twice as much television as teenagers. On any given day, women are 30 percent more likely to do chores than men. The typical college student spends about an hour sleeping for every 25 minutes he spends studying. Those are just three of the facts you can harvest from the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ latest American Time Use Survey, which using polling data to illustrate a day in the life for Americans by age, gender, and education.”

TRANSPORTATION – States Consider Raising Fines for Distracted Driving
“Growing concern over the continued use of cellphones by drivers has some states reviewing laws against the practice and exploring stiffer fines and harsher penalties.”