Today’s Links: March 22, 2012


CHRIS REED: “Solyndra Times Seven: Why California’s High Speed Rail Project Is an Even Greater Waste of Federal Tax Dollars
“The national media have devoted plenty of skeptical attention to California’s bullet-train boondoggle—from the ballooning cost of the California High-Speed Rail Authority project to its shoddy management to the baffling decision to build the first segment in the lightly populated Central Valley. But the press has yet to focus on a crucial fact: the bullet train isn’t just some quirky Left Coast fiasco; it’s also a grotesque waste of federal money. ”

NINA TOTENBERG: “Confronting the VP May Be Impolite. Is it a Crime?
“The U.S. Supreme Court hears arguments Wednesday in a case involving the arrest of a Colorado man who was thrown in jail after telling Vice President Cheney in 2006 that the Bush administration’s policies in Iraq were ‘disgusting.’ Environmental consultant Steven Howards is suing the Secret Service agents who arrested him, contending that the arrest violated his First Amendment rights because it was nothing more than retaliation for the views he expressed to the vice president. The case pits the need for protecting public officials against the rights of citizens to express their views to the people elected to represent them.”

ROGER PILON: “From Liberty to Leviathan in a Nutshell
“On Monday the Supreme Court will begin hearing oral argument on the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (“Obamacare”), which will run for six hours over three days. Brought against the Obama administration by 26 states, the National Federation of Independent Business and two individuals, Florida v. Dept. of Health & Human Services raises fundamental questions about the scope of Congress’s powers, the powers reserved to the states and the rights of individuals over their medical care. It is, without question, the most important case the Court has taken in decades.”


FREE SPEECH – L.A. City Council Warns ‘Crack Ho’ Comments ‘Intolerable,’ Call for Diversity in Public Radio
“City Council members were one step closer on Wednesday to becoming the first in the nation to adopt a resolution condemning certain types of speech on public airwaves. Councilmember Jan Perry introduced legislation this week that would call upon media companies to ensure ‘on-air hosts do not use and promote racist and sexist slurs’ on radio and other broadcasts.”

PRIVACY – Google Customers Sue Company Over Privacy Rules
“Google customers sued the company Wednesday over claims they were deceived by its new privacy rules merging separate policies for about 60 services into one.”

HEALTH – Washington State Health Officials Appeal Contraception Ruling
“Washington state health officials asked an appeals court on Wednesday to reinstate a rule requiring that pharmacists dispense emergency contraceptives even when doing so violates their religious beliefs.”