Tuesday, June 30, 2009

What EPA report on warming advised: ignore UN

"Alan Carlin, the senior EPA research analyst who authored a study critical of global warming that was suppressed by agency officials, has broken his silence and spoken on Fox News about his situation. Carlin told "Fox & Friends" Steve Ducy and Gretchen Carlson that his most important conclusion in the study was that the U.S. should not rely upon recommendations of the UN in making policy decisions regarding global warming.

"The most important conclusion, in my view, was that EPA needed to look at the science behind global warming and not depend upon reports issued by the United Nations, which is what they were thinking of doing and in fact have done," Carlin said.

Asked what happened to his study once it was completed, Carlin said "my supervisors decided not to forward it to the group within EPA who had the responsibility for preparing an overall report which would guide EPA on whether to find that the emission of global warming gases would be something that EPA should regulate."


IBD: U.S. response to Honduras "disgraceful"

"During his campaign, President Obama made a big deal of criticizing leaders who are elected democratically but don't govern democratically. He's had a chance to show that it mattered in Honduras. He didn't.

That's the sorry story as Honduras' now ex-president, Mel Zelaya, last Thursday defied a Supreme Court ruling and tried to hold a "survey" to rewrite the constitution for his permanent re-election. It's the same blueprint for a rigged political system that's made former democracies like Venezuela, Bolivia, Nicaragua and Ecuador into shells of free countries.

Zelaya's operatives did their dirt all the way through. First they got signatures to launch the "citizen's power" survey through threats — warning those who didn't sign that they'd be denied medical care and worse. Zelaya then had the ballots flown to Tegucigalpa on Venezuelan planes. After his move was declared illegal by the Supreme Court, he tried to do it anyway.

As a result of his brazen disregard for the law, Zelaya found himself escorted from office by the military Sunday morning, and into exile. Venezuela's Hugo Chavez and Cuba's Fidel Castro rushed to blame the U.S., calling it a "yanqui coup."

President Obama on Monday called the action "not legal," and claimed that Zelaya is still the legitimate president.

There was a coup all right, but it wasn't committed by the U.S. or the Honduran court. It was committed by Zelaya himself. He brazenly defied the law, and Hondurans overwhelmingly supported his removal (a pro-Zelaya rally Monday drew a mere 200 acolytes).

Yet the U.S. administration stood with Chavez and Castro, calling Zelaya's lawful removal "a coup." Obama called the action a "terrible precedent," and said Zelaya remains president.

In doing this, the U.S. condemned democrats who stood up to save their democracy, a move that should have been hailed as a historic turning of the tide against the false democracies of the region.

The U.S. response has been disgraceful."


Cap and trade bill bets on long-shots that lost

"The Waxman-Markey bill that passed the House on Friday by a 219-212 margin will punitively tax energy sources that contribute 90% of current U.S. electricity (or 71% if you want to leave out nuclear). The taxes will be used to subsidize the 10% renewable contributors (but really just 3% after you leave out hydro).

In other words, Waxman-Markey is betting the future of U.S. electricity production on sources that now contribute 3% or supply 10 million Americans with electricity. That's enough juice for the people in Waxman's Los Angeles County. Or, if you prefer, for Nancy Pelosi's metro San Francisco plus Markey's metro Boston.

Well, what about electricity for the other 295 million? You can't get there from here with Waxman-Markey. At very best, solar, wind and cellulosic ethanol will make 20% contributions by 2025. The smart money would bet on 10%."


In health care, you pay for what you get

"...medical care in other countries is cheaper when they lack many things that are more readily available in the United States.

There are more than four times as many Magnetic Resonance Imaging units (MRIs) per capita in the United States as in Britain or Canada, where there are government-run medical systems. There are more than twice as many CT scanners per capita in the United States as in Canada and more than four times as many per capita as in Britain.

Is it surprising that such things cost money?

The cost of developing a new pharmaceutical drug is now about a billion dollars. Neither political rhetoric nor government bureaucracies will make those costs go away.

We can, of course, refuse to pay these and other medical costs, just as we can refuse to buy air-conditioned homes with built-in microwave ovens. But that just means we pay attention only to prices and not to the value of what we get for those prices.

We can even refuse to pay for so many doctors. But that just means that we will have to wait longer to see a doctor-- as people do in countries with government-run medical systems.

In Canada, 27 percent of the people who have surgery wait four months or more. In Britain, 38 percent wait that long. But only 5 percent of Americans wait that long for surgery."


Obama's latest tactic: the evil eye

"As the summer begins, White House watchers have spotted a new look by President Obama: The Evil Eye!

Staffers have joked about the menacing glance, which comes when the president meets with world leaders who are not aligned with his progressive view.

White House photographers have captured the "evil eye" in recent weeks, during sessions with German Chancellor Angela Merkel and Colombia's Alvaro Uribev.

Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi got hit with the commander's malocchio last week in the Oval office.

And at least one White House reporter has been on the receiving end of the daggers during a press conference.


From: DrudgeReport.com

Monday, June 29, 2009

Sen. Inhofe: EPA hiding skeptical paper on warming

"A top Republican senator has ordered an investigation into the Environmental Protection Agency's alleged suppression of a report that questioned the science behind global warming.

The 98-page report, co-authored by EPA analyst Alan Carlin, pushed back on the prospect of regulating gases like carbon dioxide as a way to reduce global warming. Carlin's report argued that the information the EPA was using was out of date, and that even as atmospheric carbon dioxide levels have increased, global temperatures have declined.

"He came out with the truth. They don't want the truth at the EPA," Sen. James Inhofe, R-Okla, a global warming skeptic, told FOX News, saying he's ordered an investigation. "We're going to expose it."

The controversy comes after the House of Representatives passed a landmark bill to regulate greenhouse gas emissions, one that Inhofe said will be "dead on arrival" in the Senate despite President Obama's energy adviser voicing confidence in the measure."


Sotomayor willing to endorse discrimination

"The Senate is being asked to approve a person who was willing to endorse blatant discrimination motivated by race, albeit in the guise of remedying past discrimination even when no such discrimination is proved or even alleged.

Sotomayor will, when she is undoubtedly confirmed, replace David Souter, one of the justices who were willing to let the affirmative action mindset further erode American democracy. But the fact that her nomination will not undermine the narrow majority for reason is no cause for complacency. A doctrinaire liberal like Barack Obama can be counted on to put forward similar nominees in the next three to eight years. Anyone who cares about the future of the rule of law in this nation should not go to sleep tonight without saying a prayer for the continued good health of Justices Roberts, Scalia, Thomas, Alito, and Kennedy."


Castro, Ortega and Hillary Cllinton see eye to eye

"Hugo Chávez's coalition-building efforts suffered a setback yesterday when the Honduran military sent its president packing for abusing the nation's constitution.

It seems that President Mel Zelaya miscalculated when he tried to emulate the success of his good friend Hugo in reshaping the Honduran Constitution to his liking.

But Honduras is not out of the Venezuelan woods yet. Yesterday the Central American country was being pressured to restore the authoritarian Mr. Zelaya by the likes of Fidel Castro, Daniel Ortega, Hillary Clinton and, of course, Hugo himself. The Organization of American States, having ignored Mr. Zelaya's abuses, also wants him back in power. It will be a miracle if Honduran patriots can hold their ground."


"Wise latina woman" goes zero for nine on method

"Judge Sotomayor thought it appropriate to use an unpublished summary order to dispose of the claims of the New Haven firefighters in Ricci v. DeStefano. Today the Supreme Court issued 93 pages of opinions in the case that Sotomayor acted to bury.

Further, although there is a sharp 5-4 divide among the justices, not a single justice thought that Judge Sotomayor acted correctly in granting summary judgment for the City of New Haven."


Supreme Court strikes "wise Latina woman's" judicial vote against white New Haven firefighters

WASHINGTON -- The Supreme Court ruled Monday that white firefighters in New Haven, Conn., were unfairly denied promotions because of their race, reversing a decision that high court nominee Sonia Sotomayor endorsed as an appeals court judge.

New Haven was wrong to scrap a promotion exam because no African-Americans and only two Hispanic firefighters were likely to be made lieutenants or captains based on the results, the court said Monday in a 5-4 decision. The city said that it had acted to avoid a lawsuit from minorities.

The ruling could alter employment practices nationwide and make it harder to prove discrimination when there is no evidence it was intentional.

"Fear of litigation alone cannot justify an employer's reliance on race to the detriment of individuals who passed the examinations and qualified for promotions," Justice Anthony Kennedy said in his opinion for the court. He was joined by Chief Justice John Roberts and Justices Samuel Alito, Antonin Scalia and Clarence Thomas.


Justice Thomas seeking test of race-based laws

"In recent years, Clarence Thomas has become a herald of coming developments from the Supreme Court, accurately forecasting what would happen years before a case comes to the Court where the justices fulfill those predictions."


"This VRA case comes at a time when Judge Sonia Sotomayor’s statements and rulings on race have become a major issue in her Supreme Court confirmations, and where her opposition to Second Amendment rights may yet become an obstacle that derails her confirmation, if gun-rights supporters mobilize. This is ironic, since the same lawyer who argued Printz v. U.S. in 1997, Dr. Stephen Halbrook, is the same lawyer representing the NRA in NRA v. Chicago, the case being offered to the Supreme Court for next year, where Justice Thomas and possibly then-Justice Sotomayor will decide it.

Now Justice Thomas invites another case challenging the constitutionality of VRA Section Five. Such a case may come soon, giving the Supreme Court an opportunity to hold that harsh laws targeting systemic racism are a thing of the past. Such a holding would turn the page on racial politics, moving us one step closer to the day where the government stops drawing distinctions between Americans based on the color of our skin."


One writer has read cap and trade bill, loathes it

"The cap-and-trade bill is a travesty. Its net effect on short- to medium-term carbon emissions will be small to none. This is by design: a law that really made a difference would make energy dearer, hurt consumers and force an economic restructuring that would be painful for many industries and their workers. Congress cannot contemplate those effects. So the Waxman-Markey bill, while going through the complex motions of creating a carbon abatement regime, takes care to neutralise itself.

It proposes safety valves that will ease the cap if it threatens to have a noticeable effect on energy prices. It relies heavily on offsets – theoretical carbon reductions bought from other countries or other industries – so that big US emitters will not need to try so hard. It gives emission permits away, and tells utilities to rebate the windfall to consumers, so their electricity bills do not go up. It creates a vastly complicated apparatus, a playground for special interests and rent-seekers, a minefield of unintended consequences – and the bottom line for all that is business as usual."


Sunday, June 28, 2009

GOP greens on cap-trade got green from greens

"House Republicans who received campaign donations from environmental groups helped make up the narrow margin of votes needed to send the Waxman-Markey “cap and trade” bill over to the U.S. Senate.

The legislation passed by a vote of just 219 to 212 on Friday with critical assistance from eight Republicans. They are: Mary Bono Mack (Calif.), Mike Castle (Del.), Mark Kirk (Ill.), Leonard Lance (N.J.), Frank LoBiondo (N.J.), John McHugh (N.Y.), Dave Reichert (Wash.), Chris Smith (N.J.). This support proved critical with 44 Democrats voting against the regulatory scheme.

Political Action Committees (PACs) connected with the League of Conservation Voters, the Sierra Club, Ocean Champions and Republicans for Environmental Protection have made donations to most of these same eight Republican lawmakers in recent election cycles, according to OpenSecrets.Org.

Rep. Kirk of Illinois, for instance, was among the top 20 recipients of PAC donations from environmental groups in the 2008 election cycle. He received $1,000 from the League of Conservation Voters (PAC), $4,000 from Ocean Champions (PAC) and $4,000 from Republicans for Environmental Protection (PAC). In this same cycle Republicans for Environmental Protection also donated $4,000 in PAC funds to Rep. Reichert."


How important is it, in politics, to keep pants on?

"You'd think the Monica Lewinsky scandal would have settled the issue once and for all. Democrats found themselves excusing Clinton's conduct, and Republicans who condemned it wound up on the losing side in both public opinion and the impeachment battle.

When it was over, Clinton left office with a 65 percent approval rating. Trust him with your daughter? Not a chance. But your economy? Sure.

George W. Bush, by contrast, finished his term with an approval rating of 22 percent. Trust him with your daughter? Sure. But keep him away from the economy! Both parties could have drawn the same conclusion: Voters have more important things to worry about than their leaders' sex lives.

Yet here we are again, disqualifying a possible White House aspirant because he couldn't keep his pants on."


GOP describes earth-saving bill as "pile of sh_t"

"Minority Leader John Boehner (R-Ohio) had a few choice words about House Speaker Nancy Pelosi's (D-Calif.) landmark climate-change bill after its passage Friday.

When asked why he read portions of the cap-and-trade bill on the floor Friday night, Boehner told The Hill, "Hey, people deserve to know what's in this pile of s--t."

Using his privilege as leader to speak for an unlimited time on the House floor, Boehner spent an hour reading from the 1200-plus page bill that was amended 20 hours before the lower chamber voted 219-212 to approve it.

Eight Republicans voted with Democrats to pass the bill; 44 House Democrats voted against it.

One Democratic aide quipped, 'What do you expect from a guy who thinks global warming is caused by cow manure?'"



Cap and trade: fading scam reborn as memorial?

"Michael Jackson was working on a song about climate change in the days before his death, his friend Deepak Chopra has disclosed.

The spiritualist and author, who knew the singer for 20 years, said that Jackson had recorded a demo of the track and was drafting the lyrics.

The prospect of unfinished Jackson songs gaining posthumous release will provide some succour to his millions of grieving fans. The King of Pop released his last album, Invincible, in 2001."


Saturday, June 27, 2009

As earth cools, critic says EPA hiding inconvenient findings to protect its global warming narrative

"The Competitive Enterprise Institute is today making public an internal study on climate science which was suppressed by the Environmental Protection Agency. Internal EPA email messages, released by CEI earlier in the week, indicate that the report was kept under wraps and its author silenced because of pressure to support the Administration’s agenda of regulating carbon dioxide.

The report finds that EPA, by adopting the United Nations’ 2007 “Fourth Assessment” report, is relying on outdated research and is ignoring major new developments. Those developments include a continued decline in global temperatures, a new consensus that future hurricanes will not be more frequent or intense, and new findings that water vapor will moderate, rather than exacerbate, temperature.

New data also indicate that ocean cycles are probably the most important single factor in explaining temperature fluctuations, though solar cycles may play a role as well, and that reliable satellite data undercut the likelihood of endangerment from greenhouse gases. All of this demonstrates EPA should independently analyze the science, rather than just adopt the conclusions of outside organizations.

The released report is a draft version, prepared under EPA’s unusually short internal review schedule, and thus may contain inaccuracies which were corrected in the final report.

“While we hoped that EPA would release the final report, we’re tired of waiting for this agency to become transparent, even though its Administrator has been talking transparency since she took office. So we are releasing a draft version of the report ourselves, today,” said CEI General Counsel Sam Kazman."


Mark Steyn: small government=better sex scandals

"I was asked the other day about the difference between American and British sex scandals. In its heyday, Brit sex was about the action – Lord Lambton's three-in-a-bed biracial sex romp; Harvey Proctor's industrial-scale spanking of rent boys; Max Mosley's Nazi bondage sessions, with a fine eye for historical accuracy and the orders barked out in surprisingly accurate German; Stephen Milligan's accidental auto-erotic asphyxiation while lying on a kitchen table wearing fishnet stockings…. With the exception of the last ill-fated foray, there was an insouciance to these remarkably specialized peccadilloes.

By contrast, American sex scandals seem to be either minor campaign-finance infractions – the cheerless half-hearted affair with an aide – or, like Gov. Sanford's pitiful tale (at least as recounted at his news conference and as confirmed by the e-mails), a glimpse of loneliness and social isolation, as if in the end all they want is the chance to be sitting at the bar telling the gal with the nice smile, "My wife, and my staffers, and my security detail, and the State House press corps, and the guy who writes my Twitter Tweet of the Day, don't understand me."

Small government, narrow responsibilities, part-time legislators and executives, a minimal number of aides, lots of days off: Let's burst the bubble."


Obama's government model has failed in state tests

"President Obama has bet the economy on his program to grow the government and finance it with a more progressive tax system. It's hard to miss the irony that he's pitching this change in Washington even as the same governance model is imploding in three of the largest American states where it has been dominant for years -- California, New Jersey and New York.

A decade ago all three states were among America's most prosperous. California was the unrivaled technology center of the globe. New York was its financial capital. New Jersey is the third wealthiest state in the nation after Connecticut and Massachusetts. All three are now suffering from devastating budget deficits as the bills for years of tax-and-spend governance come due.

These states have been models of "progressive" policies that are supposed to create wealth: high tax rates on the rich, lots of government "investments," heavy unionization and a large government role in health care.

Here's a rundown on the results:"


Another reason to put Sarah Palin on GOP ticket

"Sarah Palin took her revenge on Sen. John Kerry — who'd expressed a wish that she, not Mark Sanford, had vanished — speaking to Alaska National Guard soldiers in Kosovo:

"He looked quite frustrated and he looked so sad — I just wanted to reach out to the TV and say, 'John Kerry, why the long face?'" she said of watching Kerry's jab."


Will the Senate play undertaker for cap and trade?

Myron Ebell, director of energy and global warming policy for the Competetive Enterprise Institute, made this comment on the House's passage of the Cap and Trade bill:

"Vote first, find out what's in the bill later.

House Democratic leaders have managed to squeeze a 1510-page energy-rationing bill through the House on a 219 to 212 vote by filling it full of payoffs to special interests, not releasing the full text until 3 AM the night before the vote, and restricting debate to three hours.

The process should be an embarrassment to Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-San Francisco) and Chairman Henry Waxman (D-Beverly Hills), but once people find out what's in it, the bill will become an embarrassment to everyone who voted for it.

Waxman-Markey has no future in the Senate, and with any luck this first victory for energy-rationing legislation will be the last. I congratulate Minority Leader John Boehner (R-Ohio) and Rep. Joe Barton (R-Tex.) for their magnificent leadership against the bill.

On the other hand, the eight Republicans who voted for this monstrosity provided the margin of victory, which suggests that the Republicans in Congress are still in disarray."

Friday, June 26, 2009

Global warming enthusiasts ignore global cooling

"Natural forces as opposed to human activity are largely responsible for temperature fluctuations, according to a new study the Competitive Enterprise Institute (CEI) released today as Congress prepares to vote on global warming legislation.

Internal email messages show the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) suppressed the report and silenced the author because the scientific evidence did not square with the Obama administration’s agenda of regulating carbon dioxide, CEI claims. The EPA has become overly reliant upon outdated information from the United Nations and has ignored major new scientific developments, the censored study concludes.

“While we hoped that the EPA would release the final report, we’re tired of waiting for this agency to become transparent, even though its administrator has been talking transparency, since she took office,” said CEI General Counsel Sam Kazman.
New scientific data highlighted in the report shows that ocean cycles and solar cycles are probably the most important factors behind temperature fluctuations. Moreover, satellite information now indicates there is little chance of endangerment from greenhouse gases, according to the report.

Some of the major developments overlooked by EPA official include a continued decline in global temperatures, an emerging consensus that hurricanes will not be more frequent or intense and new studies that demonstrate water vapor will have a moderating influence on temperature."


The incredible, vanishing probe of ACORN

"Detroit City Council President Pro Tem Monica Conyers pleaded guilty this morning to conspiring to commit bribery and is free on personal bond.

U.S. District Judge Avern Cohn said, "The defendant now stands convicted."

The one count of conspiring to commit bribery is punishable by up to five years in prison.

No sentencing date has been set.

Conyers, the wife of powerful Democratic congressman U.S. Rep. John Conyers, appeared before Cohn to answer charges in connection with the wide-ranging probe of wrongdoing at Detroit city hall.

She has long been under suspicion in the Synagro Technologies bribery probe, not least because she had been a vocal opponent of the contract before suddenly switching her sentiments. She became the deciding voice in the city council’s 5-4 vote to approve the sludge-hauling deal in November 2007.

“This is not the beginning and it is certainly not the end, folks,” FBI Special Agent in Charge Andy Arena said at a news conference this morning.

Arena said the message to corrupt public officials is, “We’re coming after you.”

U.S. Attorney Terrence Berg said the city corruption probe continues, but this is the end of his office’s investigation “of Synagro-related conduct.”

It remains unclear if federal investigators are still considering Synagro charges against Sam Riddle, the ex-Conyers aide, who court documents suggest was with Conyers when she received at least one of the bribes."



"House Judiciary Committee Chairman John Conyers Jr. has backed off his plan to investigate wrongdoing by the liberal activist group ACORN, saying "powers that be" put the kibosh on the idea.

Mr. Conyers, Michigan Democrat, earlier bucked his party leaders by calling for hearings on accusations the Association of Community Organization for Reform Now (ACORN) has committed crimes ranging from voter fraud to a mob-style "protection" racket.

"The powers that be decided against it," Mr. Conyers told The Washington Times.

The chairman declined to elaborate, shrugging off questions about who told him how to run his committee and give the Democrat-allied group a pass.

Pittsburgh lawyer Heather Heidelbaugh, whose testimony about ACORN at a March 19 hearing on voting issues prompted Mr. Conyers to call for a probe, said she was perplexed by Mr. Conyers' explanation for his change of heart.

"If the chair of the Judiciary Committee cannot hold a hearing if he want to [then] who are the powers that he is beholden to?" she said. "Is it the leadership, is it the White House, is it contributors? Who is 'the power?'"

Capitol Hill Democrats had bristled at proposed hearings because it threatened to rekindle criticism of the financial ties and close cooperation between President Obama's campaign and ACORN and its sister organizations Citizens Services Inc. and Project Vote.

The groups came under fire during the campaign after probes into possible voter fraud in a series of presidential battleground states, including Ohio, Pennsylvania, Michigan, New Mexico and Nevada.

ACORN and its affiliates are currently the target of at least 14 lawsuits related to voter fraud in the 2008 election and a Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations (RICO) Act complaint filed by former ACORN members.

The group's leaders have consistently denied any wrongdoing and previously said they welcomed a congressional probe. The group did not immediately respond Thursday to questions about Mr. Conyers being convinced to drop those plans."


Gallows humor from the Washington Times

"Waxman-Markey: Man-Made Disaster

Fiscal Policy: The House of Representatives is preparing to vote on an anti-stimulus package that in the name of saving the earth will destroy the American economy. Smoot-Hawley will seem like a speed bump."

Cap and trade would raise cost of living, kill jobs

"An analysis of the Waxman-Markey bill (as reported out of the House Committee on Energy and Commerce) by The Heritage Foundation found that unemployment will increase by nearly 2 million in 2012, the first year of the program, and reach nearly 2.5 million in 2035, the last year of the analysis. Total GDP loss by 2035 would be $9.4 trillion. The national debt would balloon as the economy slowed, saddling a family of four with $114,915 of additional national debt. Families would also suffer, as the bill would slap the equivalent of a $4,609 tax on a family of four by 2035.[1]

Heritage is not alone in its assessment. The National Black Chamber of Commerce[2] and the Brookings Institution[3] also project huge job losses. Proponents of a national energy tax will quickly point to a recent Congressional Budget Office memo[4] and Environmental Protection Agency[5] analysis suggesting low per family costs. Those estimates are grossly inaccurate, as both the CBO memo and the EPA's analysis contain flaws too serious for use as measures of the economic impact of the Waxman-Markey bill."


Quick, pass cap and trade before the fools find out global warming was dreamed up by lunatics

"In April, the Polish Academy of Sciences published a document challenging man-made global warming. In the Czech Republic, where President Vaclav Klaus remains a leading skeptic, today only 11% of the population believes humans play a role. In France, President Nicolas Sarkozy wants to tap Claude Allegre to lead the country's new ministry of industry and innovation. Twenty years ago Mr. Allegre was among the first to trill about man-made global warming, but the geochemist has since recanted. New Zealand last year elected a new government, which immediately suspended the country's weeks-old cap-and-trade program.

The number of skeptics, far from shrinking, is swelling. Oklahoma Sen. Jim Inhofe now counts more than 700 scientists who disagree with the U.N. -- 13 times the number who authored the U.N.'s 2007 climate summary for policymakers. Joanne Simpson, the world's first woman to receive a Ph.D. in meteorology, expressed relief upon her retirement last year that she was finally free to speak "frankly" of her nonbelief. Dr. Kiminori Itoh, a Japanese environmental physical chemist who contributed to a U.N. climate report, dubs man-made warming "the worst scientific scandal in history." Norway's Ivar Giaever, Nobel Prize winner for physics, decries it as the "new religion." A group of 54 noted physicists, led by Princeton's Will Happer, is demanding the American Physical Society revise its position that the science is settled. (Both Nature and Science magazines have refused to run the physicists' open letter.)

The collapse of the "consensus" has been driven by reality. The inconvenient truth is that the earth's temperatures have flat-lined since 2001, despite growing concentrations of C02. Peer-reviewed research has debunked doomsday scenarios about the polar ice caps, hurricanes, malaria, extinctions, rising oceans. A global financial crisis has politicians taking a harder look at the science that would require them to hamstring their economies to rein in carbon."


Thursday, June 25, 2009

Cap America's GDP, trade away its economic future

"The reality is that cost estimates for climate legislation are as unreliable as the models predicting climate change. What comes out of the computer is a function of what politicians type in. A better indicator might be what other countries are already experiencing. Britain's Taxpayer Alliance estimates the average family there is paying nearly $1,300 a year in green taxes for carbon-cutting programs in effect only a few years.

Americans should know that those Members who vote for this climate bill are voting for what is likely to be the biggest tax in American history. Even Democrats can't repeal that reality."


Don't Cry for Me, Argentina

The news, of course, is strange. But then, it often is. I am using it as an inducement to listen to a remarkable pop classic, "Don't Cry for Me, Argentina." It's playing regularly on radio.

I have listened to internet versions sung by Madonna, Joan Baez, Elaine Paige and Patti Lupone. My vote goes to Lupone, singing an arrangement by Andrew Lloyd Weber.

But they're all good because the song itself is amazing. It stirs even me, not an easy task.

Puritans may imagine that public repudiation, embarrassment and humiliation will somehow put a stop to philandering. If you listen closely to the seductive strains of "Don't Cry for Me, Argentina," you will realize that, no, it won't.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Lowering hysteria to a mild fever: how a book sapped global warming as an issue down under

In one week, Ian Plimer's book, Heaven and Earth, Global Warming: the Missing Science, will be published in the United States.

If Americans react to the book as Australians have, global warming may soon lose its status as the preferred hysteria of America's political class.

"Since the Australian government first introduced its Emission Trading Scheme (ETS) legislation—the Australian version of cap-and-trade energy rationing—there has been a sharp shift in public opinion and political momentum against the global warming crusade," Real Clear Politics reports. "This is a story that offers hope to defenders of industrial civilization - and a warning to American environmentalists that the climate change they should be afraid of just might be a shift in the intellectual climate."

An April 29 article in The Australian described the general trend—and its leading cause.

"There is rising recognition that introduction of a carbon tax under the guise of "cap and trade" will be personally costly, economically disruptive to society and tend to shift classes of jobs offshore. Moreover, despite rising carbon dioxide concentrations, global warming seems to have taken a holiday.

With public perceptions changing so dramatically and quickly it is little wonder Ian Plimer's latest book, Heaven and Earth, Global Warming: The Missing Science, has been received with such enthusiasm and is into its third print run in as many weeks. [It's now up to the fifth printing.]

The public is receptive to an exposé of the many mythologies and false claims associated with anthropogenic global warming and are welcoming an authoritative description of planet Earth and its ever-changing climate in readable language."

This is how Paul Sheehan, said to be a "leading global warming hysteric," describes the fallout from the book:

"Much of what we have read about climate change, [Plimer] argues, is rubbish, especially the computer modeling on which much current scientific opinion is based, which he describes as "primitive."…

The Earth's climate is driven by the receipt and redistribution of solar energy. Despite this crucial relationship, the sun tends to be brushed aside as the most important driver of climate. Calculations on supercomputers are primitive compared with the complex dynamism of the Earth's climate and ignore the crucial relationship between climate and solar energy.

To reduce modern climate change to one variable, CO2, or a small proportion of one variable—human-induced CO2—is not science. To try to predict the future based on just one variable (CO2) in extraordinarily complex natural systems is folly."

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Obama has found a way to keep all eyes on Obama

While running roughshod over American traditions, such as limited government, President Obama appears restrained and cautious in his approach to the terroism-sponsoring regime in Iran.

Searching for an explanation, commentators have settled on one: it's sensible to avoid intruding the United States into the internal turmoil of a dangerous and unpredictable adversary.

That's sometimes true. In an earlier time, however, President Reagan intruded directly into the internal affairs of the Soviet Union, making the Berlin Wall a worldwide issue.

Soon, the wall came down. Reagan's manly image soared.

There is another possible explanation for Obama's hesitancy with regard to Iran. This blog, as well as other commentators, has noted that Obama appears to be a narcissist, a personality disorder rooted in a Greek literary fable. The legend has it that Narcissus, a handsome Greek youth, gazed at his own reflection in a pool, became transfixed by it, and lost interest in everything else.

The story eventually worked its way into psychological literature, where it remains today. One of the characteristics of a narcissist is that he, or she, takes little or no interest in matters that do not bear directly on the fulfillment of his or her own ambitions.

As has been noted, Obama repeatedly voted "present" on back-burner issues while he was a member of the Illinois senate. Obviously, none of those votes would make or break Obama's political career.

As president, Obama has baffled many political observers by the sweeping ambition of his agenda: overhaul of the auto industry, cap and trade, health care, economic recovery. Indeed, he has spoken about remaking America, an audacious objective that should send a chill through conservatives.

While Obama's agenda appears to be in trouble, that may be a secondary consideration. For the time being, all eyes and cameras are on Obama, every day. Narcissus, who had just one pool, would envy him.

Distinction between U.S. political and corporate cultures recedes, as in Italy and Germany in 1930s

"General Electric, a top-20 source of funds for Obama in 2008, and owner of the Obama-friendly MSNBC, already has strong ties to Democrats, but the company has bolstered that relationship, according to recently filed federal lobbying registrations.

GE's transportation business has hired as a lobbyist Linda Hall Daschle, wife of Tom Daschle, the former Senate Democratic Leader and Obama's first pick to head the Department of Health and Human Services. Mrs. Daschle will lobby on issues including Amtrak, high-speed rail, and freight rail, the lobbying form says. Obama has declared support for added federal funding for high-speed rail.

GE is also a member of the U.S. Climate Action Partnership, which lobbies for restrictions on greenhouse gas emissions."


A commenter: "GE has become the perfect example of a so called capitalistic company engaging in pure rent seeking. They want Congressional subsidies for things like wind mills and others of their product lines. You mention MSNBC as being heavily skewed left, but we also see John Harwood at NBC who needs to get a room every time he talks about Obama. Then, there is the censoring at CNBC. Dylan Rattigan is gone after a rant on the government funded payouts by AIG to the the likes of Goldman and foreign banks. Santelli has been muzzled after his rant suggesting tea parties. GE is a prime example of a rent seeking company that should not be allowed to own media companies to pursue its rent seeking."


How the hell did a conservative U.S. elect Obama?

"Perhaps people who are busy gushing over the Obama cult today might do well to stop and think about what it would mean for their grand-daughters to live under sharia law."


Government in action

Monday, June 22, 2009

For some, Canada Care means dying in wait room

I can see Canada from my back yard. Any day now, I expect to see tired Canadians hauling themselves up on my sea wall and asking for water. This is no time to be Canadian.

It was bad enough when American teams, relying on Swedish, Finnish, Czech and Slovakian players, as well as Americans, overtook, and then surpassed, Canada's NHL teams. With our newfound pride, we started snapping back at Canada's largest group, self-righteous liberals dripping with disdain for American individualism.

Now, we're landing still another blow on our Canadian neighbors, who, in this neighborhood, can be found to the south and east as well as the north.

We are pointing with scorn at the Canadian health care system, Canada Care, citing it as an example of the horrors that would follow socialization of American health care. But we are reyling on evidence produced by Canadian physicians organized as the Wait Time Alliance.

Two of its findings: The wait time for emergency treatment averages seven hours. The median wait for life-threatening cancer treatment is seven weeks, which means that half of the patients wait even longer.

The Wait Time Alliance, formed by Canadian doctors in response to government pledges to reduce wait times, has produced a report called "Unfinished Business." It notes that psychiatric patients wait, on average, almost six weeeks for treatment.

It takes, on average, 18 weeks for a patient to see a speicalist recommended by a family doctor. In some specialties, doctors are refusing to accept referred patients.

The report says that only glacial progress has been made since the government pledged to reduce wait times.

“Although there are signs of improvement, the lack of uniform and timely information on wait times is just one symptom of the ‘unfinished business’ relating to wait times in Canada,” the WTA reported.

Hard times are killing welfare state; who knew?

"Broadly speaking, the U.S. welfare system divides into two parts -- the private, run by firms; and the public, provided by government. Both are besieged: private companies by competitive pressures; government by rising debt and taxes. GM exemplified the large corporation as private welfare state. In contracts with the United Auto Workers, GM promised high wages, lifetime employment, generous pensions and comprehensive health insurance. All this is ancient history: new workers get skimpier benefits.

As metaphor, GM's bankruptcy marks the passage of this model. Companies still provide welfare benefits to attract and retain skilled workers. But these shelters against insecurity are growing flimsier. Career jobs remain, but lifetime job guarantees -- whether formal or informal -- are gone. Last year, about 50 percent of male workers aged 50 to 54 had been with the same employer at least 10 years; in 1983, that was 62 percent."


Sunday, June 21, 2009

Reckless U.S. spending hands leverage to lenders

Michelle Bernard has sketched the outlines of the predictable financial disaster that President Barack Obama and his predecessors, especially George bush, have put in place.

Read it in today's Wasshington Examiner. But don't assume that the time of reckoning is as distant as the Examiner's timeline suggests.

Those who have financed our recklessness aren't fools. By itself, China could force the United States to ramp up its spending even further by engaging in adventures that threaten us and our allies, forcing us to respond. Every multibillion in debt that we assume increases our vulnerability.

By simply refusing to buy U.S. bonds at prevailing interest rates, China could drive up the cost of our borrowing significantly, making our dire situation even worse.

The timeline of our downfall is in the hands of regimes that wish us ill as much as it is in our own.


For the first time, more disapprove of Obama

For the first time, more Americans strongly disapprove of President Obama's performance than strongly approve. His standing in Rasmussen Reports is minus 2. Thirty-four percent strongly disapprove, while 32 percent strongly approve.

Obama keeps sounding the fire alarm for his policies, but more and more Americans seems to have concluded that some of them, especially cap and trade, are simply absurd.


Obama's alarmism ignores health insurance reality

"There are 1,300 competing providers of health insurance. And Roll Call's Morton Kondracke notes that the 2003 Medicare prescription drug entitlement, relying on competition among private insurers, enjoys 87 percent approval partly because competition has made premiums less expensive than had been projected. The program's estimated cost from 2007 to 2016 has been reduced 43 percent.

Some advocates of a public option say health coverage is so complex that consumers will be befuddled by choices. But consumers of many complicated products, from auto insurance to computers, have navigated the competition among providers, who have increased quality while lowering prices.

Although 70 percent of insured Americans rate their health care arrangements good or excellent, radical reform of health care is supposedly necessary because there are 45.7 million uninsured. That number is, however, a "snapshot" of a nation in which more than 20 million working Americans change jobs every year. Many of them are briefly uninsured between jobs. If all the uninsured were assembled for a group photograph, and six months later the then-uninsured were assembled for another photograph, about half the people in the photos would be different.

Almost 39 percent of the uninsured are in five states -- Florida, Texas, New Mexico, Arizona and California, all of which are entry points for immigrants. About 21 percent -- 9.7 million -- of the uninsured are not citizens. Up to 14 million are eligible for existing government programs -- Medicare, Medicaid, SCHIP, veterans' benefits, etc. -- but have not enrolled. And 9.1 million have household incomes of at least $75,000 and could purchase insurance. Those last two cohorts are more than half of the 45.7 million."


Saturday, June 20, 2009

The climate "crisis," the key to a fascist America

"Global Climate Change Impacts in the United States” is the “most up-to-date, authoritative, comprehensive” analysis ever done on how human-caused warming affects the United States, deadpans Obama “science advisor” John Holdren.

Actually, it’s the most flagrant attempted con-job and propaganda campaign in US history.

If it helps Congress enact cap-and-tax legislation, it will give activists, courts and bureaucrats control over virtually every aspect of our lives. It will enable them to confiscate hard-earned dollars, convert them to payoffs for activists and companies that get on the climate-crisis bandwagon, consign uncooperative companies and scientists to the ash heap of history, and conceal the exorbitant costs of restrictive energy policies – on families, industries, jobs and transportation – until long after the bill becomes law.

The bogus “report” conflates and confuses human activities and emissions with the powerful natural forces that have caused major and minor climate changes and weather anomalies since the dawn of time – from the Carboniferous Period to the Age of Dinosaurs, from the Big Ice Ages and interglacial periods to the Little Ice Age, Roman and Medieval Warm Periods, Dust Bowl and countless others. It relies on conjecture, conformist thinking and conspicuous elimination of contrary, skeptical, realist scientists and studies that do not support climate cataclysm conjecture and ideology."


European politics goes biological

Who in the world would write a treatise on European politics that includes this observation? "I don’t know what Krisztina has against circumcised penises, but it’s probably not her pelvis."

Oh, yes, that would be Mark Steyn.


Friday, June 19, 2009

Labor unions using environmental restrictions to unionize builders of new power plants

"Two competing solar power companies, Ausra and BrightSource Energy, recently filed plans to build plants in the California desert. Both firms’ plans affected wildlife habitat. But only Ausra’s plans were hit with complaints demanding expensive and cumbersome environmental studies. The reason? Ausra had rejected demands that it use only union workers to build its solar farm, while BrightSource pledged to hire labor-friendly contractors.

As the New York Times reports today, big labor is using California’s environmental regulations to shake down power companies trying to build new plants in the state: “If they refuse, they say, they can count on the union group to demand costly environmental studies and deliver hostile testimony at public hearings. If they commit at the outset to use union labor, they say, the environmental objections never materialize.” As harmful as this racket is to California’s economy, new regulations proposed by the Obama administration will empower other special interest groups to shake down businesses nationwide.

In April of this year, the Environmental Protection Agency began the process of regulating greenhouse gasses by classifying carbon dioxide as a pollutant pursuant to the Clean Air Act.


The Heritage Foundation’s Center for Data Analysis has estimated that if the EPA regulated carbon objectively under the law, the economy would suffer annual job losses exceeding 800,000 for several years and a cumulative GDP loss of $7 trillion by 2029."


Krauthammer on fire over stupefied White House

"And our fundamental values demand that America stand with demonstrators opposing a regime that is the antithesis of all we believe.

And where is our president? Afraid of "meddling." Afraid to take sides between the head-breaking, women-shackling exporters of terror -- and the people in the street yearning to breathe free. This from a president who fancies himself the restorer of America's moral standing in the world."


Thursday, June 18, 2009

Failure-prone government grabs more things to run

"The record of government ownership and/or control of companies in the United States and elsewhere has been one long disaster.

Look at the past year alone. The nation's largest man-made environmental disaster (according to the New York Times) was the coal-ash spill in Tennessee on Dec. 28, 2008, caused by negligence at the Tennessee Valley Authority (a federal-government-owned enterprise). By volume, this spill was 48 times bigger than the Exxon Valdez spill. This September, the government formally took over mortgage giants Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, whose financial holes were many times larger than those of Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc., WorldCom, Enron Corp. or GM. Fannie and Freddie were both U.S. government-sponsored and -regulated companies that had the implicit guarantee of the U.S. taxpayer.

Yet the companies not only failed, but between them have also left the U.S. taxpayer liable for more than $1 trillion. All too many in the mainstream media choose to ignore or underreport government failures while hyping private- company failures. Just look at the press coverage of the Exxon Valdez versus the TVA Tennessee spill, or the coverage given Enron versus Fannie and Freddie."


Rural Dems not buying what Obama is selling

"Angered by White House decisions on everything from greenhouse gases to car dealerships, congressional Democrats from rural districts are threatening to revolt against parts of President Barack Obama’s ambitious first-year agenda.

“They don’t get rural America,” said Rep. Dennis Cardoza, a Democrat who represents California’s agriculture-rich Central Valley. “They form their views of the world in large cities.”


“I wouldn’t say it’s a complete strikeout, but they’ve just got a few more bases to it when it comes to the rural community,” said Louisiana Democratic Sen. Mary Landrieu.

A rural revolt could hamper the administration’s ability to pass climate change and health care legislation before the August recess."


Obama's policies will make U.S. more like Detroit

"Detroit may be the most advanced case of “government disease” in the United States today, but signs of suffering are widespread. Compared to glistening, modern airports in cities like Shanghai and Bangkok, Los Angeles International seems like a Third World airport. The whole state of California is suffering from a Detroit-like exodus of thousands fleeing the economic devastation wrought by Big Government.

We should keep these self-inflicted tragedies in mind in considering whether to assent to the massive expansion of government that President Obama and his congressional allies are seeking. We don’t want the whole country to share the fate of Detroit."


Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Obama's financial oversight reofrms would enable him to pick the winners before the game starts

"Designating particular financial firms for this kind of special regulatory treatment clearly signals to the markets that these institutions are too big to fail. It will reduce the perceived risk of lending to them, enabling them to raise funds at lower cost than their smaller competitors.

In other words, the administration's plan would create what are essentially government-sponsored enterprises like Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac in every sector of the financial economy -- insurers, securities firms, finance companies, bank holding companies, and hedge funds -- where these specially regulated firms are to be designated. The result will be devastating for competition. Larger firms will squeeze out smaller ones and aggressive small companies will have less opportunity to overcome the government-backed winners."


"In AIG, GM, Chrysler, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac we can see the future that the administration envisions for our economy -- a sclerotic and unchanging structure of big companies working with, protected by, and relying on big government."


UAW "a disaster' for southeastern Michigan

"UAW has been a disaster for the people of southeastern Michigan. For decades it has been strangling the Big Three. Its “triumphs” have been pyrrhic victories. Yes, UAW members received fantastic compensation, if they have managed to keep their jobs.

Unfortunately, UAW, more than any other organization, has been responsible for hundreds of thousands of union jobs being vaporized by pricing them out of the market. Now, this parasitic outfit has killed the goose that laid their golden egg.

If the bankruptcy had gone through the usual legal channels, UAW could have been buried alongside the companies that it killed. Instead, Obama made UAW its partner in these two companies by sharing ownership with them."


Sunday, June 14, 2009

Immigration law is still a fertile field for lawyers

"The plenary power doctrine has been affirmed by the courts countless times since the 19th century. Nonetheless, there is a movement underway among law professors and other activists to restrict political-branch control over immigration in favor of a judge-administered system based on the implicit idea that foreigners have a “right” to immigrate. To explore this issue, the Center for Immigration Studies will host a panel discussion on Monday, June 8, 2009, at 9:30 a.m. in the Murrow Room at the National Press Club, 14th & F Streets, NW. Read More..."


Biden admits stimulus failure on rare sunny Sunday

"Biden tells "Meet the Press" that "everyone guessed wrong" on the impact of the stimulus, economy was worse off than anyone thought.

Backs away from the estimate that the funds could create or save 3.5 million jobs, instead promises 600,000 by the end of the summer."


Growing bone to repair a big hole in a soldier's skull


"They're tough, and they're big. And here's an inspirational story about a guy we met when he was a Walter Reed. Eric Castillo is his name, and he's one of the true medical miracles of the war. The story above talks about his psychological courage and grit, but there's a medical dimension to it too, that warrants telling.

About half his skull was blown off by an IED. The doctors attached some bone to his hip, and it grew until they could carve it and then attach it to his head. This, I think, was a new technique, and it worked wonderfully. You have to look very carefully to see the fine scar that shows where the graft was fixed.

I keep saying that one of the really fascinating uncovered stories of our time is the amazing medical advances. When most of us hear "Walter Reed Hospital" we automatically think "hell hole," but it isn't so; it's a place where untold medical miracles have been performed, and Eric is one of them.

Somebody has to write that story, and the many others."


Out-of-office Democrats get rich quickly in Chicago

DON'T BE HARD ON GM'S NEW CHAIRMAN EDWARD WHITACRE for confessing during an interview last week that he knows nothing about cars. He simply suffered a Joe Biden moment. Texans often tumble over their tongues when taking a stab at humility. In fact, few car companies, let alone their CEOs, know how to build cars, which is why so many of them are conking out. The Obama administration, in my view, picked Whitacre to run General Motors (ticker: GM) because he has a more important talent: He knows how to play Chicago-style politics.


U.S. public not into whoring for hispanic illegals

"Most Americans favor providing health care coverage for everyone, but not if it includes government coverage for illegal immigrants. A review of polling on the health care issue shows that voters give mixed reviews to the consensus emerging in Congress over health care reform.

Fifty-one percent (51%) of Americans favor an across-the-board tax cut to stimulate the economy while 34% are opposed. Just 26% believe that President Obama has delivered on his promise to cut taxes for 95% of Americans.

Fifty-three percent (53%) believe that increases in government spending are bad for the economy and 45% say that the rest of the stimulus spending should be canceled."


Thursday, June 11, 2009

The next big threat to life as we know it - water

Al Gore's campaign against carbon dioxide may be flagging, but Penn and Teller are stepping up to fill the hysteria drought by starting a campaign against dihydrogen monoxide. Yes, they're getting people to sign petitions to ban H2O, aka water. Why do that? To get rid of horrors such as "urination." Here's the video. Hat tip to Stan:


Henry Holzer: Look for a brazen Supreme Court-packing scheme like Roosevelt's in the 1930s

"...Obama may be tempted to channel Roosevelt. As I said in Part I of this essay, to achieve his comprehensive undemocratic plans for the United States Obama’s appointment of Sonia Sotomayor will not be enough.

For Obama to turn this country into the socialist/fascist paradise he desires, it is essential that he seize control of the Supreme Court. In Part I of this essay I wrote that “Barak H. Obama must emulate the cynical, utterly un-American but not unconstitutional tactic of the predecessor with whom he is most often compared: Franklin Delano Roosevelt. Barack H. Obama must ‘pack’ the Supreme Court of the United States.”

While Roosevelt failed, Obama may not — because there are ominous parallels. Just switch the names in the next three paragraphs.

When Roosevelt took office, Wall Street had crashed, unemployment was at serious levels, Hoover’s response had been misguided and inadequate, some people were starving, public confidence was at an all-time low.

When Roosevelt took office, he was surrounded by a charismatic aura, he carried the banner of a New Deal for the American people, he was perceived as energetic and having all the answers, he enjoyed enormous public support, he had substantial Congressional majorities, he touted more government as the cure for the country’s economic ills, he was unafraid to spend incalculable sums of treasure to buy our way out of depression. FDR was seen as the savior—in stark contrast to his predecessor, Herbert Hoover, who was perceived as bumbling and incompetent.

Once Roosevelt had the government firmly in his hands, he surrounded himself with a cabal of likeminded unprincipled zealots, dozens of new laws were passed altering forever America’s financial and economic system, and federal appropriation of private property took a quantum leap.

And when a bare majority of the Supreme Court of the United States tried to stop him—successfully for a while, but ultimately unsuccessfully—Roosevelt and his henchmen took on the Court itself.

Yes, the media and chattering classes have been correct: Franklin Delano Roosevelt and Barack H. Obama do have a lot in common. And if the latter takes on the Court, as the former did, the fight we must wage will have to be brutal."


Socialized health care makes us more like Europe

If Democrats enact a public-option health-insurance program, America is on the way to becoming a European-style welfare state. To prevent this from happening, there are five arguments Republicans must make.

The first is it's unnecessary. Advocates say a government-run insurance program is needed to provide competition for private health insurance. But 1,300 companies sell health insurance plans. That's competition enough.

The results of robust private competition to provide the Medicare drug benefit underscore this. When it was approved, the Congressional Budget Office estimated it would cost $74 billion a year by 2008. Nearly 100 providers deliver the drug benefit, competing on better benefits, more choices, and lower prices. So the actual cost was $44 billion in 2008 -- nearly 41% less than predicted. No government plan was needed to guarantee competition's benefits.

Second, a public option will undercut private insurers and pass the tab to taxpayers and health providers just as it does in existing government-run programs."


Wednesday, June 10, 2009

GM car owners turn away from Government Motors

"For the first time in years, voters now trust Republicans more than Democrats on economic issues. This comes following the unpopular bailout and takeover of General Motors. Adding to the hurdles facing the struggling auto-giant, GM owners are looking elsewhere for their next car. Just 42% are likely to buy from GM again. A Rasmussen video report notes a widespread expectation that the government will be forced to provide ongoing bailout funding for GM. Few expect taxpayers to get their money back from the auto bailout."


Don't look to Sotomayor to curtail power grabs

"Why do we have federal courts in the first place? According to James Madison, they were meant to serve as "an impenetrable bulwark against every assumption of power in the legislative or executive."

When it comes to checking government power, Sotomayor's record is pretty poor.
When it comes to checking government power, Sotomayor's record is pretty poor. Civil libertarians can't be happy with her pro-police orientation: The former prosecutor has backed law enforcement in more than two-thirds of criminal cases that she's heard.

Her record on property rights is no more promising: In 2006's Didden v. Village of Port Chester, she ratified an eminent domain abuse that makes the infamous Kelo case look mild.

The landowner in Didden, who wanted to build a CVS, refused to pay off a politically connected developer, so the town gave his property to the developer to build a Walgreen's. Sotomayor's panel saw no evil in this case of state-sponsored extortion."


Coming soon to Fox News: a news host who drinks coffee and makes faces...Oh, wait!

"News Corp. is forming an external diversity council in response to pressure over a New York Post cartoon that critics said compared President Barack Obama to a dead chimpanzee.

The cartoon appeared in February. News Corp. chairman Rupert Murdoch published an apology in the Post, but civil rights and community organizations demanded further action.

NAACP President and CEO Benjamin Todd Jealous said Wednesday that News Corp. had agreed to form a "diversity community council" that will meet semiannually with company executives.

The council will include members of the NAACP, 100 Black Men of America, the National Action Network and the National Urban League."


Thomas Sowell ponders the pertinent message of a new book, "The character of Nations"

"American society in recent years has been imitating behavior patterns that have produced negative-- and sometimes catastrophic-- consequences in many other countries around the world. Among these patterns have been a concentration of decision-making power in government officials, an undermining of the role of the family, a "non-judgmental" attitude toward behavior and a dissolution of the common bonds that hold a society together, leading to atomistic self-indulgences and group-identity politics that increasingly pits different segments of society against each other."


"Putting ever more economic decisions in the hands of those with political power is just one of those mistakes with a track record of painful repercussions in many countries around the world. These repercussions have included not only serious economic losses but, even more important, a loss of personal freedom and self-respect, as ever wider segments of the population become supplicants and sycophants of those with the power to dispense largess or to make one's life miserable with legalistic or bureaucratic harassment."



Your money is flowing like a river through D.C.

"Most corners of the economy may be struggling, but in the nation's capital it's boom times, baby.

According to new data, the area's unemployment rate dropped to 5.6% in April from 5.9% in March. This is the second consecutive month of improvement for Washingtonians, and it's leagues from the national unemployment rate, which hit 9.4% in May.

With unemployment for all government workers about half the private sector's rate, the Beltway has been spared the tightening elsewhere. The federal government is the second largest job sector in the area, making up 11.6% of jobs, while state and local government workers add another 10.4%. According to a February survey by the Greater Washington Initiative, Washington area business executives were also "significantly more positive" about their own companies and the region's prospects than about the national economy. Translation: It's good to be close to Uncle Sam when stimulus funds start flying."


Paglia: Obama "simplistic" and "condescending"

"But the gravest omission was that Obama failed to fully articulate the most basic Western concepts of legal process and civil liberties, which have inspired reformers around the world. The president of the U.S. should be an eloquent ambassador of those ideals wherever he goes.

It was also puzzling how a major statement about religion could seem so detached from religion. Obama projected himself as a floating spectator of other people's beliefs (as in his memory of hearing the call to prayer in Indonesia). Though he identified himself as a Christian, there was no sign that it goes very deep. Christianity seemed like a badge or school scarf, a testament of affiliation without spiritual convictions or constraints. This was one reason, perhaps, for the odd failure of the speech to acknowledge the common Middle Eastern roots of Judeo-Christianity and Islam, for both of whom the holy city of Jerusalem remains a hotly contested symbol.

Obama's lack of fervor may be one reason he rejects and perhaps cannot comprehend the religious passions that perennially erupt around the globe and that will never be waved away by mere words. By approaching religion with the cool, neutral voice of the American professional elite, Obama was sometimes simplistic and even inadvertently condescending, as in his gift bag of educational perks like "scholarships," "internships," and "online learning" -- as if any of these could checkmate the seething, hallucinatory obsessions of jihadism."


John Bolton: the Bush official conservatives miss

"Conservative foreign and national-security policies do not need remaking, rebranding or remessaging. They need not be escorted by prefixes or adjectives, nor do they need "moderating."

Conservative foreign policy is unabashedly pro-American, unashamed of American exceptionalism, unwilling to bend its knee to international organizations, and unapologetic about the need for the fullest range of dominant military capabilities. Its diplomacy is neither unilateralist nor multilateralist, but chooses its strategies, tactics, means and methods based on a hard-headed assessment of U.S. national interests, not on theologies about process. Most especially, conservatives understand that allies are different from adversaries, and that each should be treated accordingly.

These sentiments bear repeating because the fundamental principles underlying conservative foreign and national-security policy have never been stronger, and the consequences of deviating from them have rarely been so clear. The Obama administration's first few months already provide compelling evidence of the enormous costs of embracing the alternative worldview of the European and American left."


Tuesday, June 9, 2009

As raid on taxpayers grows, value of AIG tumbles

"In September 2008, Geithner engineered the government's purchase of an 80% share in AIG for the handsome sum of $85 billion, the amount necessary to prevent the company from entering bankruptcy. Losses continued to mount, however, and more federal dollars were needed.

Total cost of AIG's bailout to date? A staggering $185 billion -- or roughly $1400 per U.S. taxpayer. Yet today, according to AIG's own numbers, the company is worth less than $6 billion, and this after posting the largest quarterly loss in corporate history. Nevertheless, the problems at AIG extend beyond the balance sheets.

In March of this year, we learned what the Obama administration already knew -- that after receiving bailout funds, AIG paid $165 million in executive bonuses to employees of its troubled financial products division. Additionally, more than $30 billion in counterparty payments were made to Goldman Sachs, Bank of America, Citigroup, J.P. Morgan and Wachovia -- all of which received separate bailout funds directly from the government -- and foreign banks like Deutsche Bank, Société Générale and UBS, who received counterparty payments in excess of $50 billion.

The public was beyond outrage. They were sold something they didn't want for more than it was worth in a midnight fire sale of busted corporations over-leveraged in troubled, toxic assets. And yet, taxpayers are still kept in the dark about the management of their controlling interest in AIG."


Monday, June 8, 2009

A hispanic advises justices: "Watch your hubcaps"

"Maybe Obama's selection of Judge Sonia Sotomayor was a brilliant bid for him to buy time and put an illegal immigration amnesty on the backburner.

However, reviewing some Latino/Latina blog posts from cyberspace’s diverse corners, I see cracks in Obama's Hispandering strategy.

Many don't view Sotomayor as one of their own."


"...Taco from El Paso had this charming advice for Sotomayor's Supreme Court colleagues:

'My advice to all the other justices: watch your hubcaps.'"


Shelby Steele: Sotomayor nomination "hackneyed"

"The Sotomayor nomination commits the cardinal sin of identity politics: It seeks to elevate people more for the political currency of their gender and ethnicity than for their individual merit. (Here, too, is the ugly faithlessness in minority merit that always underlies such maneuverings.) Mr. Obama is promising one thing and practicing another, using his interracial background to suggest an America delivered from racial corruption even as he practices a crude form of racial patronage. From America's first black president, and a man promising the "new," we get a Supreme Court nomination that is both unoriginal and hackneyed."


"Throughout her career Judge Sotomayor has demonstrated a Hispanic chauvinism so extreme that it sometimes crosses into outright claims of racial supremacy, as in 2001 when she said in a lecture at the University of California, Berkeley, "a wise Latina woman . . . would more often than not reach a better conclusion [as a judge] than a white male."


"...in the real world of Supreme Court nominations, where there is a chance to actually bring some of that idealism down to earth, he chooses a hardened, divisive and race-focused veteran of the culture wars he claims to transcend."



Sunday, June 7, 2009

Obama said jobless line would go down; it went up

While lobbying for its "stimulus" plan the Obama administration used charts that showed a significant decline in unemployment if it were enacted. It was. But the unemplymnet line went in the opposite direction.


Obama's hand is on GM's steering wheel

"The administration is determined to prop up GM as a jobs program for the UAW and Midwestern states rich in electoral votes. This frenzy will intensify as the administration's decisions deepen the debacle."


Saturday, June 6, 2009

Barbour takes the wrong side on a crucial issue

Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour is one of the many likely candidates for the 2012 Republican presidential nomination. Here's a good reason to strike his name from your list of acceptables:


Friday, June 5, 2009

GM bailout drives down Obama's poll numbers

A promising harbinger hove into view on Friday, but was largely ignored by the Obama Adoration Society, also known as the mainsteam media.

Voters who strongly oppose Obama's policies have grown to even strength with voters who strongly approve, according to Rasmussen Reports. For me, the sight of the trend lines meeting on the chart was tantmount to watching the Tigers tie the White Sox with a home run in the eighth inning.

it ain't over yet, but things are finally starting to look better.

"The President’s ratings have slipped since General Motors filed for bankruptcy to initiate a new government bailout and takeover," the polling agency reports. "Just 26% of Americans believe the GM bailout was a good idea and nearly as many support a boycott of GM products. It remains to be seen whether the dip in the President’s numbers is a temporary reaction to recent news or something more substantive."

Thirty-four percent of the sample strongly approve of Obama's performance while 34 perent strongly disapprove, reducing Obama's Presidential Approval Index to zero.

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Exuding weakness, Obama keeps on apologizing

"A common theme that runs through President Obama's statements is the idea the United States must atone for its past policies, whether it is America's application of the war against Islamist terrorism or its overall foreign policy. At the core of this message is the concept that the U.S. is a flawed nation that must seek redemption by apologizing for its past "sins."

On several occasions, President Obama has sought to apologize for the actions of his own country when addressing a foreign audience--including seven of the 10 apologies listed below. The President has already apologized for his country to nearly 3 billion people across Europe, the Muslim world, and the Americas.

The Obama Administration's strategy of unconditional engagement with America's enemies combined with a relentless penchant for apology-making is a dangerous recipe for failure. The overall effect of this approach has been to weaken American power on the world stage rather than strengthen it."


Wednesday, June 3, 2009

The more they go to school, the behinder they get

"...the longer American children are in school, the worse they perform compared to their international peers.

In recent cross-country comparisons of fourth grade reading, math, and science, US students scored in the top quarter or top half of advanced nations.

By age 15 these rankings drop to the bottom half.

In other words, American students are farthest behind just as they are about to enter higher education or the workforce." That's a sobering thought. The longer kids are in school and the more money we spend on them, the further behind they get."


GOP needs a shadow president who's an expert at rescuing failing enterprises: that's Romney

With the Republican Party riddled with self-doubt, uncertain of its future path, and lacking a broadly accepted leader, it's time for one of its presidential aspirants to take a bold step forward.

For want of an established post, let's call him the shadow president. If he were to perform well, he would get a leg up on the field of Republican candidates for the presidential nomination in 2012.

While it is not my purpose to pick the shadow president, the Obama administration's performance to date points to one man, Mitt Romney. The son of one-time Michigan Gov. George Romney, who also was an auto industry executive, Mitt Romney became rich and famous by recognizing undervalued assets and liberating things of value in failed or failing corporations.

Doesn't that sound like a good job description for the next president?

The situation is so dire, after all, that officials of two relics of Communism, Russia and China, are urging the U.S. government to exercise caution as it piles up previously unthinkable levels of debt

Along with its nuclear arsenal, Russia's partnership with the United States on space exploration is one of its few remaining claims to world status.

For China, the United States is a major market as well as a source of stolen military advances, such as the stealth propellor system for submarines. China also is the leading buyer of U.S. bonds, and that investment becomes more risky as the U.S. debt, and the chance of default, grows at an unprecedented rate.

Whether China values the United States most as a market, or as a mahufacturer of advanced military systems that China can steal, is not clear.

In the absence of a shadow president, the most effective political class spokesman for conservatism has been former vice-president Dick Cheney. But Cheney's strengths are military and foreign affairs, and he is unlikely to retain an official role in future years.

So who do we have who can revive a damaged and dispirited nation that will not have recourse to a bankruptcy court?

The obvious choice is Romney, whose academic career surpasses President Obama's and who earned a fortune as a skilled scavenger prowling through the boneyards of corporate America. Estimates of his net worth run as high as $500 million. Liberals will pillory him for that, but respect for success may make a comeback as the prospect of America's failure looms.

A graduate of Brigham Young, where he was valedictorian, Romney subsequently earned a joint doctoral/master's degree from Harvard's law and business schools. Success in business led, in early 1999, to a summons to rescue the failing 2002 Olympics Winter Games in Salt Lake City. With Romney at the held, the Olympics recovered from a huge deficit to earn a profit of $100 million.

Romney donated his $825,000 salary to charity.

The turnarnound led to a successful campaign for governor of Massachusetts, where he served one term before seeking rhe Republican presidential nomination in 2008.

Now that American business is falling more and more under the heavy hand of an arrogant, fascistic government that is running up trillions of dollars in new debt, perhaps it's time for a new approach to candidate selection.

Let the job that is to be done define the candidate. As of now, the job at hand points to an experienced, successful turnaround specialist.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

White House blundered in GM bankruptcy

"...the Obama administration overtly played favourites to get the United Auto Workers protection it would not have received under Section 1113, probably elevating costs in a way that will damage prospects for a successful reorganisation. It made and imposed business judgments on GM about what cars to make and what plants to close (and perhaps about suppliers and distribution) that no one in the government or on the task force had the experience to make and for which no one would be financially accountable. Worst of all, despite Sunday’s desperate attempt to distance itself from GM’s future decisions, it left its fingerprints all over the new plan. Inevitably the White House will take political and hence financial responsibility for its success, relieving pressure on management and labour to succeed. Ultimately it elected to adopt an industrial policy toward the industry that failed utterly in the UK, and has worked out badly and expensively in France and Italy.

Finally, in the process, it disturbed the security of expectation that has made lenders willing to provide capital as secured credit, thus handicapping all US industry and undermining what has been, for all its flaws, one of the best financial reorganisation processes in the world, now emulated elsewhere.

The administration took a tragic situation and turned it into an expensive mess to pay a political debt. It wasted billions of dollars over many months delaying GM’s filing and then implicitly put itself on the hook for many billions more. The financial, political and social echoes of that decision will be with us for a long time. In short, they blew it."


GM bankruptcy follows "decades of dumb decisions"

"The year was 1998, and the United Auto Workers was striking at two factories in Flint, Mich., that made components critical to every GM assembly plant in the country. The union was defending production quotas that workers could fill in five or six hours, after which they would get overtime pay or just, you know, go home.

Most strikes are forbidden during the life of a labor contract, so to provide legal cover the union started filing grievances. GM lawyers contended the walkouts violated the contract anyway and drafted a lawsuit -- the first by the company against the UAW in more than 60 years. But GM's labor-relations department freaked out because the lawsuit would antagonize the union.

Just think about that. The union had shut down virtually all of GM, costing the company and its shareholders billions of dollars, and yet the company's labor negotiators were afraid of giving offense. After heated internal arguments, the suit was filed and GM seemed on the verge of winning. But the company settled just before the judge ruled.

UAW members marched victoriously through downtown Flint. GM executives who advocated a tougher stand got pushed out of the company.

The picture of a heedless union and a feckless management says a lot about what went wrong at GM. There were many more mistakes, of course -- look-alike cars, lapses in quality, misguided acquisitions, and betting on big SUVs just before gas prices soared. They were all born of a uniquely insular corporate culture."


Sowell: Does GOP have guts to take on Sotomayor?

"Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes said that he "loathed" many of the people in whose favor he voted on the Supreme Court. Obviously, he had feelings. But he also had the good sense and integrity to rule on the basis of the law, not his feelings.

Laws are made for the benefit of the citizens, not for the self-indulgences of judges. Making excuses for such self-indulgences and calling them "inevitable" is part of the cleverness that has eroded the rule of law and undermined respect for the law.

Something else is said to be "inevitable" by the clever people. That is the confirmation of Sonia Sotomayor to the Supreme Court. But it was only a year and a half ago that Hillary Clinton's winning the Democratic Party's nomination for president was considered "inevitable."


Monday, June 1, 2009

Ford's refusal of bailout may become marketing hit

Ford Motor Co's. rejection of government handouts may turn out to be a shrewd marketing decision.

Already, Michiganders are telling talk radio hosts they will buy Ford next time round, rejecting bailed-out Government Motors and Chrysler. In effect, they say they will cast proxy votes against President Obama instead of waiting until 2012 to oppose him through the ballot box.

Millions of Americans might line up to apply for Ford advertising jobs, where the potential for snappy slogans appears limitless:

Buy Nobama. Restore America. Liberty, not fascism. Why would you think a GM car would actually run? Buy one that takes us to freedom, not fascism. Serve yourself, not the government. Drive yourself to liberty, not to servitude. Sock it to the government. Government-made cars have no brakes. GM and Chrysler: it's all about the hood ornament. If you buy GM or Chrysler, check first to see if anyone will insure it.

This won't ensure the survival of American capitalism and free markets but it'll give us another chance to vote against Obama.