Found at Theo Sparks. Go for the fun, stay for the cheesecake.
A painful trip down memory lane
(image borrowed from Freaking News photoshop contest. Not sure where it originated)
Ichabod, who had no relish for this strange midnight companion, and bethought himself of the adventure of Brom Bones with the Galloping Hessian, now quickened his steed, in hopes of leaving him behind. The stranger, however, quickened his horse to an equal pace. Ichabod pulled up, and fell into a walk, thinking to lag behind—the other did the same. His heart began to sink within him; he endeavored to resume his psalm tune, but his parched tongue clove to the roof of his mouth, and he could not utter a stave. There was something in the moody and dogged silence of this pertinacious companion, that was mysterious and appalling. It was soon fearfully accounted for. On mounting a rising ground, which brought the figure of his fellow-traveller in relief against the sky, gigantic in height, and muffled in a cloak, Ichabod was horror-struck, on perceiving that he was headless!—but his horror was still more increased, on observing that the head, which should have rested on his shoulders, was carried before him on the pommel of the saddle; his terror rose to desperation; he rained a shower of kicks and blows upon Gunpowder; hoping, by a sudden movement, to give his companion the slip—but the spectre started full jump with him. Away then they dashed, through thick and thin; stones flying, and sparks flashing at every bound. Ichabod’s flimsy garments fluttered in the air, as he stretched his long lanky body away over his horse’s head, in the eagerness of his flight.
The Legend Of Sleepy Hollow, by Washington Irving, is a favorite classic short story. If you're feeling mischievous tonight, read it to your children before they go to bed.
First from Nile Gardiner, writing in The Telegraph, in response to an amusingly frightful column by the NY Times' Paul Krugman*. Mr. Krugman tries to scare the populace. Escape while you can!! The evil multi-headed Republican monster is coming!! Run for your lives!!
Mr. Gardiner calmly, and coolly replies:
Not only is Krugman’s article one of the most ridiculous pieces of scare-mongering in the history of modern American journalism, but it is the pathetic whimper of a decaying liberal Ancien Regime that is spectacularly crumbling. It also illustrates just how out of touch liberal elites are with public opinion, as well as economic reality. The tired old blame Bush line no longer works, and as a recent poll showed, the former president’s popularity is rising again.
Whether Krugman likes it or not, the American people are turning overwhelmingly against Barack Obama’s Big Government agenda, and are looking for free market solutions to getting the country back on its feet, creating jobs and cutting the nation’s debt. As poll after poll shows, Americans are rejecting the liberal status quo and embracing the political revolution sweeping the country. My guess is that historians will look back on November 2010 not as a “catastrophe”, as Krugman declares, but as the beginning of a powerful new era for the United States, when conservatism and the cause of freedom made a striking comeback.
Indeed, Virginia, there can be a Republican renaissance. Given his NY Times opinion today, among other nonsense Mr. Krugman has written, I think it far more likely that he will be forced in the future to admit he knows little about real-world capitalist economics than that his predictions of Republican-caused disaster (as if we're not already experiencing a Democrat-enhanced disaster) come to fruition. For example, see quote #2, from Harvard's Jeffrey Miron. He writes that the 'stimulus' was badly designed and badly executed. No kidding. (pdf)
I argue here, however, that the structure of a fiscal stimulus is crucially important and that the package Congress adopted was far from ideal, regardless of the merits of the Keynesian model...
That the Administration and Congress chose the particular stimulus adopted suggests that stimulating the economy was not their only objective. Instead, the Administration used the recession and the financial crisis to redistribute resources to favored interest groups (unions, the green lobby, and public education) and to increase the size and scope of government.4 This redistribution does not make every element of the package indefensible, but even the components with a plausible justification were designed in the least productive and most redistributionist way possible.
Mr. Krugman continues to write the first 'stimulus' should have been much larger (i.e., more debt), and advocates a second 'stimulus' now. I ask you, should we take Mr. Krugman's advice and let the corrupt Democrat simpletons who wrote the first one to "redistribute resources to favored interest groups" and "to increase the size and scope of government" have another go at it?
*noted former Enron advisor
Doctor Zero presents the case over at Hot Air. It's airtight, and damning. My advice is to read it slowly and take the time to click on the numerous supporting links, for that is where the evidence lays.
One other thing to consider before you enter the voting booth on Tuesday. Is it better to allow an imperial Congress to continually raise taxes in order to spend ever more stupidly (on, for example, health care reforms that remove both freedom and choice from Americans' lives and 'stimulus' including non-existent "shovel ready projects"), or better to make it clear that such nonsense during an economic downturn will not be allowed and, in fact, will be punished by the governed. Because after reading Doc Zero's indictment of the 111th Congress it should be clear that they need an historic and undeniable message sent loudly and clearly.
From ABC News, of all places! Remember this when you go to the polls on Tuesday.
As you watch this year's ads -- and I've been watching all too many lately -- you'll notice a striking difference between Democratic and Republican attack ads: Democrats are attacking over personal issues, Republicans are attacking over policy.
Of course. And voters who disagree, and still plan to vote for this rancid collection of human refuse running with an 'R' next to their name? Why, Senator John Kerry knows who you are.
"It's absurd. We've lost our minds," said a clearly exasperated Kerry. "We're in a period of know-nothingism in the country, where truth and science and facts don't weigh in. It's all short-order, lowest common denominator, cheap-seat politics."
First, Senator, just exactly who are you calling "know nothings," (wrote the orthopaedic surgeon/engineer)? Second, if one party is practicing "lowest common denominator, cheap-seat politics" wouldn't you say it's the one using the personal attacks and "gotcha!" politics (see Paul, Rand: assault by MoveOn.org hired protestor)
Dr. David Janda is from Michigan, and is supporting Rob Steele against Rep. John Dingell. Here he gives some insight into the rationing of care built into the health care bill.
Interesting. And they said that there was no rationing in the bill. And they said that if you like your doctor and your insurance you can keep it. And the AMA supported this, despite the fact that it's going to chase doctors out of the system by harassing them.
Tell me. Is it better to have doctors and access to care, but no insurance, or to have insurance but fewer doctors and less access to care? Is it better to have doctors and patients deciding together the proper treatment for that individual, or to have treatment prescribed/proscribed by impersonal bureaucrats who previously worked in the DMV? Yes, I know that insurers are already doing some dictating of treatments. But you can reason with insurers, sometimes. The government never listens.
Gallup Poll, 2008, likely voters: "Democrats lead big on generic ballot"
Gallup Poll, 2009, registered voters: "Generic Ballot Provides Clues For 2010 Vote"
"Republicans could have a good year..."
Gallup Poll, 2010, likely voters: "Republicans Remain In Control Of Race For House"
By the way, have a look at those numbers. Over the last 4 weeks they've been incredibly consistent.
Now, I'm no expert on polling. I'm don't generally crawl into a poll's internals and extract profound insights that would otherwise remain obscure. But this is one polling outfit, a highly respected one, using their own likely voter models both in 2010 and 2008. And we see a swing of 21 pts. in the high turnout model and 26 pts. in the low turnout model. (I actually suspect it'll be somewhere between the two - higher than normal for midterms, but not "high" as in presidential years.) Mr. Obama won the 2008 election with 53% of the vote, vs. 46% for John McCain, when Democrats were +12 on the Gallup generic and turned out historic numbers of voters. Now they're -9 (or more).
So explain this to me, okay?
“I still feel confident that it is a very close race in terms of the House. You’ve got close races all across the country,” President Obama said, “So we’re going to have to wait and see what happens. And a lot of it is going to depend on turnout.”…
Mike Damone strikes again!!
10/28/10 0705: Gallup posts its likely voter model for this election - and if you favor the "D" you'd better get ready for what it will stand for post-election. Depression. 55-40?
Specifically, 55% of likely voters in Gallup's Oct. 14-24, 2010, polling are Republicans and independents who lean Republican. This is higher than the Republican showing in the past four midterm elections, although not too dissimilar to the 51% found in 2002. The corollary of this is that the 40% of likely voters now identifying as Democratic is the lowest such percentage of the past several midterms.
National Journal reports that voting for ObamaCare, Obama's health care reform stealth government takeover, has proved particularly poisonous to incumbent Democrats, particularly the Blue Dogs.
But the reality that Democrats hate to discuss – and even some Republicans have been hesitant to fully embrace – is that the party’s signature health care law is what’s turning a bad election year into a disaster of potential history-making proportions.
It was the debate over health care that propelled now-Sen. Scott Brown’s unlikely special election victory in Massachusetts back in January. And it’s the growing unpopularity of the new law that’s fueling Republican energy, turning off independents and jeopardizing the prospects of dozens of Democrats who looked like locks for reelection just a year ago.
Josh Kraushaar details not only those Democrats who, despite the conservative nature of their districts, voted for the bill and now find themselves afloat on rocky seas with no oar, but also lists those who opposed the bill and may indeed survive the turbulent waters.
This only makes sense. The Democrats who voted for the bill against the judgment and wishes of their own constituents are in trouble precisely for that reason. They were sent to Congress to represent the people of their district. But they didn't. Instead they were sold a bill of goods by statists anxious to annex one-sixth of the U.S. economy, told to vote for a bill that no one in Congress had ever read, the "negotiations" replete with back-room deals, threats, and promises that could not be kept. Voters in their districts were against it, but that didn't stop them. Does the name Bart Stupak ring a bell?
The people in general don't like the bill, by roughly 56-44, depending on which poll you believe. Contrary to the claims of Mr. Obama and his minions, it is not getting more popular, but less. If you subtracted those in New York City, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Seattle, Boston, Philadelphia and Chicago from the mix the weight of opinion against this bill is sharply negative, maybe as high as 70-30. And guess what? These Democrats in trouble don't represent the people in NY, LA, SF, Seattle, Boston, Philly or Chicago. They represent the others, the ones who hate it.
Or, rather, they represent them, for now.
Mr. Kraushaar makes the rather obvious point that this election really is about policy, not about money or messaging. The Democrats keep trying to make it about the latter items, by insisting that they just haven't been communicating well enough, or stating that people who are scared are simply not up to listening to science or facts, or bleating about the US Chamber of Commerce and "foreign money." But they know what it's really about, and they don't like it and can't admit it.
A brief glance at a few interesting tidbits this fine Sunday night.
"This is what her and her kind all around this country are using, this is part of the talking points of the right-wing Republicans," Reid said in an interview on CNN.
As opposed to the left-wing Democrats, who never say anything insulting about their opponenets. "This is what her and her kind all around this country are using?" Classic. His high school English teacher must be very proud. By the way, what does he mean, "her kind?"
In a bold prediction – either a sign he is wiser than the conventional wisdom [ed: highly unlikely], eternally optimistic [ed: err, doubtful], or staying on message until the bitter end [ed: bingo!!] – [DNC chairman Tim] Kaine told "This Week" anchor Christiane Amanpour that Democrats would maintain control of the House in the midterm elections nine days from now.
This is a demonstration of item 3 in the Mike Damone theory of dating, as applied to politics. No matter where you are, always act like that's the place to be.
BERKELEY, Calif.—On the night before we are scheduled to address this conference, the Tea Party experts are treated to a meal at the Faculty Club. It sounds fancy, and it is, with the feel and décor of a Sundance ski lodge. Over craft beers, wine, and cheese, we discuss that favorite topic of liberal academics: What the hell happened to Barack Obama? Why does the right have all the energy that he and the left used to own?
Frye shakes his head in disbelief. "What he [Obama] needed was a job program that addressed the inner cities. It didn't even have to cost that much." He shakes his head again. "I think he really believes this bipartisan s**t."
Bipartisan? Who's more clueless, Mr. Frye for saying it, or Dave Wiegel for writing it without scare quotes and snickers. Mr. Obama's been too bipartisan, obviously, with a wholly Democratic 'stimulus' bill because "I won" and a health care bill passed with no Republican input and, as a result, no Republican support? Right. Maybe it was the craft beer that addled his pate. But it's not his fault. The President couldn't possibly work with Republicans. They were all stuck in the ditch, with the car in "R," drinking a Slurpee.
Hmmmm. What was that I wrote about Democrats never insulting their opponents?
The First Amendment to the Constitution reads simply this:
Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.
"Congress shall make no law..." That does not apply to private, or rather public-funded companies, and taxpayer-funded NPR fired longtime analyst and senior correspondent Juan Williams, who also contributes regularly to Fox News, for expressing the simple sentiment that he feels a little anxious seeing someone wearing traditional Muslim attire on an airplane with him. NPR did so in response to a deluge of "listener email." Here are a few snippets from commentary on the topic, well worth considering.
From Emilio Karim Dabul, journalist, in today's Wall Street Journal:
I grew up surrounded by Islamic culture, went to Islamic events, and was used to seeing women in traditional Muslim clothing, and yet when that woman appeared at the Berlin airport, I was scared.
That's all Mr. Williams was saying. He didn't say that they should be removed from the plane, treated differently, or anything close to that. He simply said he got nervous. And for that, he was fired.
The reality is that when Muslims cease to be the main perpetrators of terrorism in the world, such fears about traditional garb are bound to vanish. Until such time, the anxiety will remain. In the long run, it's what we do with such fears that matters, not that we have them.
CAIR has taken it to another level by denouncing an "sizeable minority" of Americans who "think it is legitimate to single out Muslims for special scrutiny." Unfortunately there's a "sizeable minority" in their own backyard that should be highlighted, as Geoff at Ace of Spades identifies.
But you also have a sizeable minority of Muslims who think it is legitimate to indiscriminately kill peaceful folk and deny them the lives all other people hold dear. That viewpoint expresses intolerance and bigotry on a level far beyond "special scrutiny."
Until CAIR acknowledges the sizeable minority that concerns us, I don't see why we should acknowledge the one that concerns them.
A WSJ editorial points out the obvious - that Mr. Williams association with Fox News likely was the heavy load, and one additional brick caused the collapse.
They finally found a way to get rid of Juan Williams.
It has long been one of the most open secrets in the world of punditry (which needless to say, includes NPR's "analysts"), that NPR's progressive political base was unhappy with Mr. Williams's appearances on Fox as existentially incompatible with their worldview.
Mr. Williams and I disagreed on many things; I found particular disagreement with his acceptance of unsupported accusations of racism from Democrats, such as those that arose in connection with the "n-word" being allegedly hurled at congressmen in Washington last spring.
It is a fact that the tea party is an overwhelmingly older, white and suburban crowd. It is true that Republicans in Congress are almost completely white. And it is also true, according to some black and gay Democrats, that a tea party rally against health-care reform at the Capitol degenerated into ugly scenes in which racial and homophobic epithets were used and spit flew on some members of Congress. There are suspicions that tea party anger boiled over into the spate of personal threats against Democrats who voted for the health-care bill.
There's still no evidence whatsoever to support those accusations, which should not be taken at face value. In fact, the evidence is strong that it did not. Still, to Mr. Williams credit, he defended the tea party against the blanket smear of racism.
The tea party is not the problem. Whether you like them or not they do seem to have captured the political angst in the electorate, without regard to skin color.
Mr. Williams has the right to express concerns regarding the presence of Muslims on airplanes. Given the history - 9/11, the underwear bomber, the shoe bomber - those concerns are not unreasonable by any stretch. And NPR, publicly funded though it is, has the option of terminating his employment.
Of course, even-handedness could have caused them to terminate his employment for participating in the smear of the tea party last march with his support of the false accusations. Taken together they betray what NPR has become, an organization that is not committed to freedom of expression that offends liberals.
10/22/10 1340: More, from Juan Williams himself:
Yesterday NPR fired me for telling the truth. The truth is that I worry when I am getting on an airplane and see people dressed in garb that identifies them first and foremost as Muslims.
I took Bill’s challenge and began by saying that political correctness can cause people to become so paralyzed that they don’t deal with reality. And the fact is that it was a group of Muslims who attacked the U.S. I added that radicalism has continued to pose a threat to the United States and much of the world. That threat was expressed in court last week by the unsuccessful Times Square bomber who bragged that he was just one of the first engaged in a “Muslim War” against the United States. -- There is no doubt that there's a real war and people are trying to kill us.
Mr. Williams is a rational, very slightly leftist thinker who throws no bombs, eschewing the outrageous, and carefully considering the worthy arguments of both sides. I still disagree with him at times; I rarely find his arguments wholly irrational or without basis in at least some fact. The disagreements usually stem more from interpretation. Here he's being rational once again.
I explain patiently to my daughters, the now-not-so-little jesters, that lying poisons you. It demonstrates to those who learn of your lie that you are not to be trusted, that you're declarations need to be taken with a grain of salt, that your claims need to be verified.
Let's leave politicians out of this, because, let's face it, there are way too many who openly and easily lie - about their accomplishments and CV; about their beliefs and principles; about their votes, even if they've been recorded, and particularly about their opponents. So a lying politician isn't unique or even noteworthy; one who doesn't is far more notable.
And there is a difference between neutral misstatement of fact "lies" and smear lies. President Obama gave a speech a while back and gave the unemployment rate as 9.5% when it was actually 9.6%. Let's not get all nitpicky about such trivial errors and start to "misunderestimate" the speaker of such misstatements. Smearing one's opposition with false accusations, on the other hand, is destructive because many who hear the lie will never hear the truth, and the target of the smear remains harmed even if a retraction is made.
Rachel Maddow made the list of those whose utterances cannot be taken at face value today. Newsbusters takes down MSNBC's Maddow for claiming a congressman received advance warning of the Oklahoma City bombing of the Murrah Federal Building. And the high-powered weapon Newsbusters uses to combat this? Contemporaneous reporting.
That Stockman received the fax after the bombing was also reported in a June 22, 1995 column in the Houston Press by Jim Simmon, titled "God, Guns and Kombucha: Is Steve Stockman a committed crackpot, or just a hapless goofball?"As its headline suggests, this was hardly a puff piece favorable toward Stockman. Nonetheless, Simmon wrote --
Contrary to suggestions in some earlier reports, Stockman's office had received the fax after the bombing and promptly passed it on to the FBI. (Ironically, the initial misunderstanding about the fax was propagated by the National Rifle Association, Stockman's chief patron.)
I'll venture a guess that self-proclaimed geek Maddow not only has access to computers, but that those computers are connected to the Internet -- leading to all sorts of wondrous possible discoveries (and, alas, inconvenient facts), assuming a person is inclined to look.
Ms. Maddow's charge was that Mr. Stockman received "advance notice," which clearly cannot occur if the alleged advance notice arrives after the event. Maybe Ms. Maddow will someday receive "advance notice" that will help her understand this, such as an invitation to a party that took place the previous weekend.
So, Ms. Maddow, you managed to fully forfeit your credibility, such as it was, forever in my book. Congratulations.
Two stories at Politico.com this morning. Same author, Jeanne Cummings. Same topic for discussion, political donations. Two different perspectives. First up, it turns out that wealthy Democratic donors are now jumping in with hefty funds. And just in time!
Wealthy Democratic donors are making a late entry into the midterm elections, hoping to build a firewall around a small group of vulnerable incumbents and protect the party’s majority in the House and Senate.
America’s Families First Action Fund in late September gathered $1.7 million from a dozen individual donors and one union, The International Association of Firefighters, which pitched in $500,000 to make it the group's largest donor, according to Federal Election Commission disclosure reports.
The America’s Families Action Fund is one of three newly formed Democratic committees not aligned with a union that are swooping in during the final weeks, hoping to stall the Republicans’ momentum. Disclosure reports for the other two, The Patriot Majority PAC and Commonsense Ten, were not available.
As is the case for the Republican outside groups, the Democratic organizations, including labor unions, are trying to coordinate their efforts to avoid overlap and maximize their combined resources.
Those valiant Democratic donors, stepping forth with their checkbooks gallantly trying to stave off the vandals at the castle perimeter! Notice how Ms. Cummings downplays the fact that unions such as SEIU are (still, like always) flooding the zone with campaign ads and money in support of Democratic politicians. Ah, but those evil Republican groups take CORPORATE money, which apparently is not as clean as union money. Certainly the Democratic-leaning groups could do so also.
To drive home that point, the very next story on the Politico.com front page, without any sense of irony, is this:
For years, Harold Simmons was the kind of donor who dipped into his personal fortune and maxed out his donations to Republican Party candidates and committees.
But in a year in which there’s no such thing as maxing out, Simmons has gone one better: he pulled out his corporate checkbook and cut a pair of $1 million checks.
Democrats had warned that wealthy Republican CEOs would grab their company checkbooks and swamp the political landscape.
Turns out, they were pretty much right.
POLITICO found nearly 20 business donations during a review of Federal Election Commission disclosure reports, those filed by more traditional political action committees that must reveal their donors and have announced that this year that they will take oversized corporate cash.
The profile of the 2010 corporate donor that can be gleaned from these public donations suggests that the vast majority of them represent long-time Democratic adversaries and former Bush loyalists.
In case you're pathologically obtuse, you're supposed to see, as Ms. Cummings does, that unions spending millions of their members' dues on political activity in favor of Democrats and wealthy Democratic donors stepping up with their checkbooks is good and clean and wholesome and necessary, while wealthy Republican donors using millions of corporate dollars is evil and unhealthy for our democracy and should be unconstitutional.
You see that, don't you? These big GOP donors are BUSH supporters! They gave to ROVE's organization! And it's CORPORATE money! This is PROBLEM for democracy.
On the other hand, unions taking mandatory union dues and spending them virtually universally in favor of Democrats is no problem, even if the members are far from unanimous in political bent. Many of these unions represent public employees, whose salaries and benefits are paid from taxpayer dollars. Democrats have no qualms about drilling deeper into those taxpayer dollars, so essentially the the unions favor those who will take from non-public employees and transfer the money to public employees. That's apparently good for democracy.
Of course, the elephant in the room is this: it's not the money this election cycle, it's the policies. It's the non-stimulating stimulus. It's the ruination of American healthcare. It's the ongoing government-caused mortgage crisis. It's redistribution. It's accusations of racism where no racism exists. It's cap and trade. It's the politics of smear against groups like the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and individuals like House minority leader John Boehner. The people weren't influenced against Democrats by Republican ads. They were influenced against Democrats by the actions of Democrats in control of the executive and legislative branches of government. The people saw what happened, and what can still happen, and decided that it was not good.
10/17/10 1050: As if to underscore the point I made in the final paragraph above, Powerline references a Rasmussen survey of all Americans, not registered voters or likely voters, and finds that rejection of Democratic political priorities is deep and wide.
Today's Rasmussen Reports illuminates some basic American attitudes that are antithetical to the Democrats: only 16 percent of Americans think the government spends our money wisely and fairly; 70 percent think it does not. (And these are all Americans, not likely voters.) Only 14 percent say the government has too little power and money, while 61 percent think the government already has too much power and money.
In 2008, millions of voters gambled on the hope that the Democrats might have something to offer other than their historic recipe of higher taxes and spending and more government power. Over the last two years, those voters have found out they were wrong.
It should be remembered that those millions of voters thought that about Democrats because they were led to believe that Mr. Obama was a reasonable non-ideological centrist by the Obama campaign and by a complicit media. Not only have voters found out that they were wrong about Democrats, but they also found out that they have been lied to by both the Democrats and the media.
From Iowahawk, natch. (hat tip: Maetenloch at Ace of Spades)
YOU ARE IN AN OVAL OFFICE. YOU ARE BEHIND A DESK. YOUR APPROVAL HEALTH IS 55%. YOUR CONGRESS HAS 31% HEALTH. UNEMPLOYMENT IN THE FOREST IS 8.9% YOUR FRIEND AT HARVARD IS ARRESTED BY POLICEMAN.
>CALL POLICEMAN STUPID, PLAY RACE CARD
I'M SORRY, THAT DID NOT WORK. WHAT DO YOU WANT TO DO?
>BEER SUMMIT, BLAME BUSH
YOU ARE IN AN OVAL OFFICE. YOU ARE BEHIND A DESK. ON THE DESK IS A TELEPHONE AND A TV. THE TELEPHONE RINGS. IT IS COPENHAGEN. YOU DO NOT GET THE OLYMPICS FOR CHICAGO. A PEASANT ON TV FROM CHICAGO CALLS FOR TEA PARTY REVOLT. WHAT DO YOU WANT TO DO?
I'M SORRY, THIS NAME WILL NOT WORK. DO YOU WANT TO CALL IT SOMETHING DIFFERENT?
Oh, a couple of details are missing, but "BELTWAY ADVENTURE' seems to take us to this point fairly accurately. It is funnier if you know the genre. Did you ever see "Big" with Tom Hanks?
By the way, in looking at the options the game player in the Oval Office had to choose from, it did seem that the game was winnable. Probably not anymore, as many in Congress are likely to find out.
Ron Brownstein has a piece in National Journal discussing accusing the GOP of giving "climate science" the "cold shoulder." In it the logic is laughable. It's purely argument by authority.
When British Foreign Secretary William Hague visited the U.S. last week, he placed combating climate change near the very top of the world's To Do list.
"Climate change is perhaps the 21st century's biggest foreign-policy challenge," Hague declared in a New York City speech. "An effective response to climate change underpins our security and prosperity." The danger was no longer just distant thunder, he suggested, warning that the recent devastating floods in Pakistan heralded the sort of extreme events that will become more common in a warmer world. "While no one weather event can ever be linked with certainty to climate change," he said, "the broad patterns of abnormality seen this year are consistent with climate-change models."
William Hague is not a holdover from the left-leaning Labor Government that British voters ousted last spring. He's not even from the centrist Liberal Democrats who are governing in a coalition with the Conservative Party of Prime Minister David Cameron. Hague is one of Cameron's predecessors as Conservative Party leader.
His strong words make it easier to recognize that Republicans in this country are coalescing around a uniquely dismissive position on climate change. The GOP is stampeding toward an absolutist rejection of climate science that appears unmatched among major political parties around the globe, even conservative ones.
Oh, look, Mr. Hague is a conservative, and he believes in AGW!! Since he agrees with Mr. Brownstein, and Mr. Brownstein is obviously right, then Mr. Hague is obviously right. Q.E.D. So let's quote him! All U.S. conservatives should heed the wisdom of their overseas betters.
Sorry, but that's not how it works. Just because a British conservative (British conservatives being to the left of Democratic Senator Ben Nelson politically) happens to espouse this thinking doesn't make it correct. You know what is more likely to sway my views? This. It turns out that Republican objections are not at all "uniquely" dismissive.
How different it is now. The giants no longer walk the earth, and the money flood has become the raison d’être of much physics research, the vital sustenance of much more, and it provides the support for untold numbers of professional jobs. For reasons that will soon become clear my former pride at being an APS Fellow all these years has been turned into shame, and I am forced, with no pleasure at all, to offer you my resignation from the Society.
It is of course, the global warming scam, with the (literally) trillions of dollars driving it, that has corrupted so many scientists, and has carried APS before it like a rogue wave. It is the greatest and most successful pseudoscientific fraud I have seen in my long life as a physicist. Anyone who has the faintest doubt that this is so should force himself to read the ClimateGate documents, which lay it bare. (Montford’s book organizes the facts very well.) I don’t believe that any real physicist, nay scientist, can read that stuff without revulsion. I would almost make that revulsion a definition of the word scientist.
So what has the APS, as an organization, done in the face of this challenge? It has accepted the corruption as the norm, and gone along with it.
Professor Lewis follows with his case against the APS, and it is a fairly persuasive argument that the APS has squelched dissent to the detriment of scientific inquiry. His suspicions have to do with research dollars - follow the money. Where Mr. Brownstein talks about "accepted science," quoting the National Academy of Sciences (another organization likely with a financial stake), some scientists see the stamping out of the scientific method. See, for example, the ClimateGate emails.
In another, Phil Jones, the director of the East Anglia climate center, suggested to climate scientist Michael Mann of Penn State University that skeptics' research was unwelcome: We "will keep them out somehow -- even if we have to redefine what the peer-review literature is!"
Suddenly the silencing of dissent is, somehow, mainstream. Mr. Brownstein and others seek to bully those who dissent into toeing the climate change line with pronouncements from on high, shouting "heretic!" at non-believers. It didn't work with doctors when the AMA supported ObamaCare, and it's not going to work in climate science with those who value the scientific process.
Vice President Joe Biden may become the Delaware Strangler.
The vice president said “if I hear one more Republican tell me about balancing the budget, I am going to strangle them. To the press: that’s a figure of speech.”
The Republicans’ new “Pledge to America,” he said, will increase the debt by $1 trillion.
“These guys have absolutely no credibility, no credibility on debt,” he said. “Folks, look, we’ve seen this movie before. We’ve seen this movie. We know how it ends”
At the risk of my personal safety, I'm going to recommend that the Vice President have a look at Dan Mitchell's most recent video. (via Hot Air)
In reality, I don't think the VP is much of a threat to me. I tested for and received 2nd Brown belt in Kenpo Karate this weekend. I know several effective (and painful) escapes from choke holds.
The Boston Globe Metro Desk reports that Massachusetts Representative John Tierney's wife will be pleading guilty tomorrow to tax charges related to managing the illegal offshore gambling earnings of her brother.
Federal prosecutors filed documents that were unsealed today in US District Court in Boston charging Patrice Tierney, 59, who is married to the Salem Democrat, with four counts of aiding and abetting the filing of false tax returns by her brother, Robert Eremian, of St. John's Antigua.
The US Attorney's office announced that Tierney is scheduled to plead guilty tomorrow afternoon.
Boston attorney Donald K. Stern, who represents Patrice Tierney, said that under a plea agreement, prosecutors will recommend that Tierney receive probation, with several months of home confinement. But, Stern said, "I intend to urge the court to impose a sentence of straight probation.''
Sixth district Congressman Tierney, whom one only can infer is a Democrat in this story as his opponent is identified as Republican Bill Hudak, issued a statement that reads, in part:
"While devastated to learn that her brother might have deceived her and so many others, Patrice has acknowledged and agreed that she should have done more to personally investigate the true nature of Mr. Eremian’s business activities in the course of carrying out his requests in paying his children’s household expenses, family medical bills, and his personal bills and taxes from a checking account in which he deposited funds."
I think it highly unlikely that Mr. Tierney knew nothing about her overseas brother and the large account with which Mrs. Tierney was supporting her brother's family. For eight years. I would think he should similarly "have done more to personally investigate the true nature of Mr. Eremian's business activities." Call it "implausible deniability." Maybe he should talk to Michigan's John Conyers, whose wife had her own problems.
*my mistake. It does identify him as a "Salem Democrat" in the second paragraph.
Yeah, I'm sure that the post-partisan reaching across the aisle is about to flow forth like Bacchanalian wine.
Reshaping the tone and tenor of the White House, President Barack Obama on Friday replaced the colorful and caustic Rahm Emanuel with the private Pete Rouse as his chief of staff, shifting to a new phase of his presidency with a drastically different aide as trusted gatekeeper.
Emanuel's decision to quit the White House and run for Chicago mayor had been so well known that even Obama mocked the lack of suspense. But it still felt like the most important transition to date for the Obama operation, which has been fueled for nearly two years by Emanuel's demands, drive and discipline.
After all, don't you recall, "I won."
With those two words — “I won” — the Democratic president let the Republicans know that debate has been put to rest Nov. 4 .
Former Senator Phil Gramm has in today's Wall Street Journal an interesting look at the Great Depression, and the echoes of FDR's policy choices that he sees in President Obama's policies. He notes that if employment is the measure, the U.S. has done worse with the 'stimulus' than most other countries affected by the financial crisis and recession.
Obama administration officials such as Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner have argued that without their policies the economy would be worse, and we might have fallen "off a cliff." While this assertion cannot be tested, we can compare the recent experience of other countries to our own.
The chart nearby compares total 2007 employment levels in the United States, the United Kingdom, the 16 euro zone countries, the G-7 countries and all OECD (Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development) countries with those of the second quarter of 2010. There are 4.6% fewer people employed in the U.S. today than at the start of the recession. Euro zone countries have lost 1.7% of their jobs. Total employment in the U.K. is down 0.6%, G-7 average employment is down 2.4%, and OECD employment has fallen 1.9%.
This simple comparison suggests two things. First, that American economic policy has been less effective in increasing employment than the policies of other developed nations. Second, that if there was a cliff out there, no country fell off. Those that suffered the most were the most profligate...
Indeed. But Mr. Gramm's look back at the depression-era policies of Mr. Roosevelt finds dramatic increases in spending - which started under Pres. Hoover - and in taxes, that did little to stem the depression, but rather prolonged it. He also finds much of the same tax-the-rich class warfare that we hear from Mr. Obama. This quote from Winston Churchill is instructive.
The Roosevelt administration also conducted a seven-year populist tirade against private business, which FDR denounced as the province of "economic royalists" and "malefactors of great wealth." The war on business and wealth was so traumatic that the League of Nations' 1939 World Economic Survey attributed part of the poor U.S. economic performance to it: "The relations between the leaders of business and the Administration were uneasy, and this uneasiness accentuated the unwillingness of private enterprise to embark on further projects of capital expenditure which might have helped to sustain the economy."
Churchill, who was generally guarded when criticizing New Deal policies, could not hold back. "The disposition to hunt down rich men as if they were noxious beasts," he noted in "Great Contemporaries" (1939), is "a very attractive sport." But "confidence is shaken and enterprise chilled, and the unemployed queue up at the soup kitchens or march out to the public works with ever growing expense to the taxpayer and nothing more appetizing to take home to their families than the leg or wing of what was once a millionaire. . . It is indispensable to the wealth of nations and to the wage and life standards of labour, that capital and credit should be honoured and cherished partners in the economic system. . . ."
Sharp guy, that Churchill. It's too bad his bust is no longer in the White House. Mr. Obama and his fellow Democrats would rather tilt at the windmill of "the wealthy" (otherwise known as "those who employ") for what they perceive as their traditional political gain than pursue policy that would grow the economy. Most economists, and most politicians, in fact, will tell you that it's a bad idea to raise taxes in a struggling economy. Last quarter growth was 1.7%. Positive, but barely so, and in no way indicative of a "robust recovery."
The Boston Globe, no friend of Republicans, finds fault with Obama's Democrats for failing to address the pending tax increase issue before adjourning for midterm campaigning. Predictably, it wanted the tax increase to be blocked for middle class taxpayers but still to take place for the job creators. But nothing was done, and that in itself is a problem.
Democrats worry that they have been robbed of their most valuable populist talking point: that cuts on income taxes should be extended for the middle class, but not for the wealthy.
“It is both a political and a governmental mistake,’’ said Representative Michael Capuano, a Somerville Democrat, of the delayed vote. He pushed for a vote this week and tried floating an alternate proposal — to no avail. “To me, it is a classic example of what’s wrong with Washington.’’
The tax cut extension is expected to remain a political issue over the next few weeks, but not in the way Democrats had initially intended. Rather than using it on the campaign trail against Republicans, Democrats could find themselves on the defensive as the GOP yesterday began framing the vote delay as an example of government ineptitude and cowardice.
Democrats have only themselves to blame for the mess they will see one month from tomorrow. They could have pursued policies that would allow recovery to take place. (Note: government does not create recovery, but it can create the environment for it.) Then, able to point to that accomplishment with pride, with employment once more growing, Mr. Obama and his hyper-partisan, hyper-liberal congressional leadership would have had the political capital necessary to try to pass their agenda with support not just from newspaper editors and CNN/MSNBC talking heads but with some of the 53% that voted for him. Now, however, they chose in their policies the triple binds of hamstringing recovery, robbing Americans of freedom in the healthcare bill, and creating unsustainable debt while threatening tax increases.
And Americans are angry. Rightly.