Today’s Links: October 5, 2012


CASS SUNSTEIN: “Why Should Regulators Have to Listen to You?
“In light of the defining importance of the due process clause, many people are stunned to learn a remarkable fact: When the government issues regulations, the Constitution doesn’t require officials to listen to you, even if your liberty and your property are at stake. […] For regulations, these words have an unmistakable implication. If the Agriculture Department issues a rule significantly affecting farmers, or the Transportation Department issues a rule imposing big costs on the railroad industry, or the Labor Department issues a rule with major effects on workers, the Constitution does not create any right to a hearing. As far as the Constitution is concerned, the government can act unilaterally. ‘Regulatory due process’ has been like a unicorn or a time-travel machine or a bipartisan Congress. It doesn’t exist. This state of affairs was far from satisfactory in 1915, and it is even less satisfactory today.”

LAURA HELMUTH: “Who Will Win a Nobel Prize?
“As with the Olympics, it’s more fun to follow the competition if you know who the contenders are. And as with Olympic-level athletics, Nobel-level science has plenty of rivalries, scandals, and miscarriages of justice. The scientist who got a Nobel for the discovery of the antibiotic streptomycin took credit for his student’s work. Margaret Burbidge, Geoffrey Burbidge, William Fowler, and Fred Hoyle discovered that most chemical elements were forged in dying stars; only physicist Fowler was awarded a Nobel, possibly because of a bias against astronomers by the physics committee.* Two teams simultaneously discovered that our universe is not just expanding but accelerating in its expansion. There was a lot of tension between them over who should get credit, which was mostly resolved last year when the Nobel committee settled the matter by picking its three laureates.”

ELIAS ISQUITH: “Paul Ryan’s Debt to Barry Goldwater—Who’d Be Mortified by Paul Ryan
“As his recent appearance at the Family Research Council’s annual Values Voters summit attested, Ryan’s a man of the entire Republican Party. He doesn’t pick and choose. It’s a kind of intellectual ecumenicalism that would’ve had the doctrinaire Goldwater grinding his teeth in frustration. But Goldwater lost. He lost big. Ryan may often write, talk, and think like Goldwater — but he’ll be damned if he’s going to lose like him, too. ”


TECH POLICY – The Internet’s March on Washington
“At an event held in Boulder, CO, on Thursday night, Alexis Ohanian, co-founder of Reddit and key figure in the online fight against the controversial SOPA and PIPA bills earlier this year, shared a loose thought: ‘This may be a terrible idea,’ he volunteered, ‘but what if we chose a day to ‘geek bomb’ DC, and we scheduled meetings with representatives and senators?’ He went on. What if we ‘brought in geeks from every one of their districts, for one day, to talk specifically about these issues?'”

READING RAINBOW – LeVar Burton is not happy with Romney
“First Big Bird and the Sesame Street gang were gunning for Mitt Romney, and now he’s also on the wrong side of the ‘Reading Rainbow.'”

GAS – Gas Prices Jump 19 Cents Overnight, Stations Close
“Gas prices shot up 19.2 cents overnight Thursday. The average price for a gallon of regular gasoline in L.A. County was $4.58 on Friday, the highest figure since 2008.”