1) From the AP via the WSJ, Wolfgang Wagner, leader of the Bayreuth opera festival from 1951-2008 and grandson of Richard Wagner, has died.
2) For the WSJ, Heidi Waleson reviews the production of Ambroise Thomas' "Hamlet" running at The Metropolitan Opera through April 9.
3) From Armond White at First Things, "Do Movie Critics Matter?"
4) Terry Teachout at the WSJ on "Bringing Art Back to PBS."
5) At the Mises Daily blog, Anton Batey on "the trouble with 'No Child Left Behind.'"
6) Three issues of constitutionality, from Ilya Somin at The Volokh Conpiracy
7-8) More on constitutionality at the Cato @ Liberty blog:
At Reason, Peter Suderman on the "lie of fiscal responsibility."
10) Also from Cato @ Liberty, Chris Edwards on federal health spending.
11) Doug French at the Mises Daily blog looks at the bigger picture of healthcare "reform":
The current system cries out for fixing. And how does the state propose to fix it? Never through more freedom, never by rolling back the real problem. Instead, it proposes more power. This has been the systematic trajectory during every presidential administration for many decades.
One of the worst problems concerns the wedge that the state drove between the payer and the healthcare provider. Businesses became the wedge. When? During World War II wage controls. Businesses scrambled to find ways to pay their employees without running afoul of the law. They turned to providing medical care. This is no different from how banks offered toasters to depositors when interest rates were controlled in the 1970s. It is the market desperately trying to get around a problem created by the state. But once this happens, if the controls are not repealed, the escape hatch becomes the norm. And this is precisely what happened.
12) Victor Davis Hanson at his Pajamas Media blog:
How wonderful if a Reid, Obama, or Pelosi for a moment would just come clean, if even in defiant fashion. Imagine:
“Some people screw up or are unlucky. We’re here to ensure they end up the same as you who don’t screw up or are luckier. We can’t say they are in any way culpable, so we blame either the system or you who are better off. The best way to level the playing field is to tax all we can, take our percentage, and redistribute the rest. Lots get hired to administer to even more. The rules don’t apply to ourselves, who are wealthy but not the targeted culpable. We know privately all this is not sustainable, but assume the better off will find a way to save themselves and thus us, before we bankrupt ourselves — after we are gone. And we don’t care really whether this is always legal, or fair, or workable, because we know it is moral and we are far more moral people than you.”
13) At Investors Business Daily, Michael Ramirez: