The US women's hockey team lost gold to Canada days ago. The US men were 24 seconds from repeating the disappointment. But American Zach Parise scored a fortuitous goal that sent it to overtime. While the US men appeared to be more talented and better conditioned, the Canadians managed to win on pure desire. Sid Crosby, heir apparent to Wayne Gretzky, fired a Sakic-quick wrist shot through Ryan Miller's legs to clinch gold.
Good for them. Good for Canada. America salutes you little brother.
P.S. Thumbs down to the cynical live coverage by NBC that managed to crop much of goalie Miller's patriotic helmet art, including Uncle Sam wielding a big stick, during their numerous close ups.
I trained as a biologist and to my eye, they look organic. Squatter cities are also unexpectedly green. They have maximum density—1m people per square mile in some areas of Mumbai—and have minimum energy and material use. People get around by foot, bicycle, rickshaw, or the universal shared taxi.
Three cheers for abject poverty.
Something we should aspire to, and something our better would be glad to give us.
ThreeSources and Heritage.org have just saved you SEVEN HOURS! Now you can catch up on all that Curling footage you Tivoed...
Senator Grassley has an awesome sound bite in there that opponents should pick up on. "Unconstitutional" doesn't mean anything to anybody who doesn’t read ThreeSources. His explanation of the unprecedented nature of government forcing you to buy something is very strong.
Lookit me, cheering on Sen. Grassley, I guess I am a pragmatist!
I know that a lot of ThreeSourcers used to worry about "debt" and "deficits" and things like that.
But President Obama is starting to announce members of his blue ribbon, bipartisan deficit commission.
MORE COMMISSION MEMBERS: President Obama has appointed four members to the bipartisan deficit commission he established last week, an administration official said. The appointees are: Andy Stern, the president of SEIU; David Cote, the Honeywell International CEO; former Federal Reserve Vice Chairman Alice Rivlin; and Ann Fudge, a former Young & Rubicam Brands CEO.
Wow! With leading lights like this on the commission, I am just going to start worrying about other things. Andy Stern is on the case!
This is all courtesy of Don Luskin whose frequent contributor Mick Danger points out "Stern is a goalie. Doesn’t much matter which player on this Commission tries to score, Stern will block every single shot."
Young energetically anti-big government PPC blogger Ari Armstrong, like many Coloradans, wanted to get straight what Norton meant this week when she said the Obama administration jobs bill was "too small," a response that suggested longtime government employee Norton was advancing a government solution to the jobs crisis. Armstrong didn't get hold of Norton; he got hold of her spokesman Nate Strauch. Suffice it to say, Armstrong got the better of Strauch in the exchange which, given what he has had to deal with week to week as Norton drops bombs at small gatherings across the state, is to say nothing against Strauch.
What Norton meant to say, explained Strauch, was that she would cut taxes to small businesses!
Charlie Rangel: "Spiro Agnew of the Democrat Party"
We know that Charlie Rangel cheated on his taxes regarding investment properties in the Dominican Republic. He claimed that he "didn't understand" the tax laws. We also know that he lied to get four rent-restricted properties in NYC. He claimed that he "unaware." Now, we learn that he violated House rules by accepting a corporately-funded trip to the Caribbean. He says that "there is no evidence that he knew" the trips were funded by a corporation, even though his staff did. (Hey, Charlie - who did you think funded it, the Tooth Fairy?) One could call this the "I'm just a dumb-f***" defense. That may be true enough, but it is clear that Rangel and Spiro Agnew are kindred souls.
If you haven't seen this take five minutes and enjoy Democratic Senators waxing poetic about the joy of the filibuster, the danger of ,majority rule -- y'know, everything they believed when they were in the minority.
"Earlier in this work, I threw out a few thoughts on the propriety of a Continental Charter, (for I only presume to offer hints, not plans) and in this place, I take the liberty of rementioning the subject, by observing, that a charter is to be understood as a bond of solemn obligation, which the whole enters into, to support the right of every separate part, whether of religion, personal freedom, or property, A firm bargain and a right reckoning make long friends."
The breadth and depth of all American patriot's wisdom at the time of our country's founding remains awe inspiring.
"It stands to reason that where there’s sacrifice, there’s someone collecting sacrificial offerings. Where there’s service, there’s someone being served. The man who speaks to you of sacrifice, speaks of slaves and masters. And intends to be the master." -- Ayn Rand
Ignoring pre-existing conditions might sound compassionate, but it is equivalent to declaring that a fire-insurance company must charge the same amount for a modern house with smoke detectors and interior fireproofing as for a century-old, wooden-frame former stable, complete with some hay left over, and a basement full of painting supplies.
The desire to help those with pre-existing conditions is laudable. The way to do this is to help. If someone needs more medical care than he or she can pay for, direct state subsidy is far more efficient than making insurance companies pretend that the patient isn’t ill or at high risk of becoming ill. We can separately debate the degree of generosity of this subsidy, but it is efficient and honest. Making insurance companies play “don’t ask, don’t tell” with health status is neither.
Wait a doggone minnit - this Asness character is an investment banker! Never mind. Say, how much was HIS bonus last year?!
The title is of course from George Carlin's classic comedy routine. No wonder we have a drug problem with so many drug stores.
I inferred from one of my favorite commenters that my frequent defense of drug legalization and my enthusiasm for medical marijuana has been misconstrued. I cannot claim, as Penn Jillett does, that I have never ceded to temptation on any intoxicants -- but I come at the argument from the same place. I have no intention of ever wasting another minute on such things. And yet, I am deeply disturbed at the liberty implications. It's especially clear when we talk of the FDA and pharmaceuticals -- and yet from a first principles perspective "recreational use" seems no different.
The question remains citizens or subjects? There is an "approved" list from the government of what I can and cannot ingest? Help me John Stossel, I'm in great need of a segue...
That’s the subject of my FBN show tonight.
Who gets to control what you put into your body? In what sense are you free if you can't decide what medicines you will take?
Bruce Tower has prostate cancer. He wanted to take a drug that showed promise against his cancer, but the FDA would not allow it. One bureaucrat told him the government was protecting him from dangerous side effects. Tower's outraged response was: "Side effects, who cares? Every treatment I've had I've suffered from side-effects. If I'm terminal it should be my option to endure any side-effects."
Of course it should be his option. Why, in our "free" country, do Americans meekly stand aside and let the state limit our choices, even when we are dying ?
Well, compared to believing something truly ludicrous, like say, that Toyota has exceptional manufacturing, engineering, or safety problems.
Compared to belief in that, Deleterious Anthropogenic Warming of the Globe is a slam dunk.
I was pretty queasy about GM Ownership's involvement in the serial contretempses. The media coverage had that witch hunt vibe, and the body count -- if I may put on my cool, statistician's face -- just didn't seem high enough [insert standard disclaimer how every life is precious and every death a tragedy, &c.]. I assumed that there were some problems, but that government and media were overblowing them -- that wouldn't exactly break precedent.
But no more. Yesterday put me in the full deniers’ camp.
"There is absolutely no problem with any Toyota motorcars that is any more serious than any mechanical defect that one is likely to find on any car." -- John Kranz
I don't know that any ThreeSourcers disagree. Bright lot that you are, you probably all beat me to the punch. If anybody still feels leery of cutting off that smug guy in the Prius, let me present three stunning exegeses (surely ac will let me use that term in the plural).
1) Holman Jenkins: My Sudden Acceleration Nightmare. The nightmare is facing the US regulatory industry, tort bar, and UAW-owned Congress if your name is Toyoda and you make cars without union labor. In this devastating piece, Jenkins pins the defect on "driver pedal misapplication."
2) John Stossel: The Parasite Circuit. Stossel points out that "No one looks at safety 'rationally' when the media and Big Government are stirred up." Stossel runs the numbers and notes the tort sharks already circling in the waters.
3) Washington Examiner: The Taint in the Toyota Probe traces UAW contributions to the congressfolk whipping this controversy up and questions the veracity of some expert witness.
There's a taint a right. Tain't nothing there! Every car has some flaws. Some 40,000 people die each year and surely thousands could be avoided with some vehicle modification. But we buy and drive cars accepting the risk. One of the above links discusses a national news that opened with an 11 minute report on a defect that hasn't been seen since 1992.
This is a witch hunt exacerbated by government ownership of "the means of production" for a competitor. There are no significant Toyota defects.
Well, if Hitler, Hennessey and Hoyer are right, then in a couple of months the partisans on the left are going to be ramping it up from angry to screaming mad, after they are teased, led on, and frustrated all over again. -- Jim Glass at Scrivener.net
UPDATE: Double Heh. A good friend of this blog says the clip put him in mind of this month's Rolling Stone cover featuring Jeff Beck and Eric Clapton. "Our towering heroes of days gone by look like little old lesbians."
On yesterday's program Bill O'Reilly posed the question, "Is the president [Obama] a socialist?" His answer was that while Obama has pursued socialistic policies he isn't an actual socialist because "Mr. Obama doesn't want to seize your house." I would counter that straw man with, "No, but he want's to seize your income to give a house to thems what ain't gots 'em."
Unfortunately I think it gives Obama too much credit to call him a socialist. That would imply that he knows what he's doing. I tend to agree with Randall Hoven at American Thinker who wrote Obama "is the cargo cult president."
At least the real Cargo Cult followers built real things that looked like landing strips to get airplanes loaded with food and supplies to land on them. Obama thinks you get factories to produce things and hospitals to fix people by making speeches -- speeches that are reasonably good imitations of speeches given by real leaders.
If you're not familiar with the cargo cult tribes of the South Pacific you'll want to read the article to see what he means. If you are familiar then you'll want to read the article to see just how eerily similar the Obama Administration (and the alternative energy movement) is to those primitive peoples.
George Soros, Washington Democratic Sen. Maria Cantwell and others are proposing to curb speculative trading and even outlaw it in credit default swap (CDS) markets. Their proposals appear to be based on a misconception of speculation and could harm financial markets.
This is the lead paragraph from a superb WSJ guest editorial that deserves a more serious link. It's one of my favorite topics the non-evil of speculation. The author is Professor Darrell Duffie of Stanford's Graduate School of Business.
Professor Duffie waxes his evil mustache and provides a credible defnse to those who absorb risk and provide information to markets.
You are victims. You are helpless against the wiles of big corporations and insurance companies and you need protection. You need the government to take over and do things you cannot do for yourself.
That is the thinking of what David Brooks calls "the educated class" that favors the Democrats' health care bills. Members of this elite spout tales of woe of people denied coverage or care with the implication that there but for the grace of government go you. So sign on and the government will take care of everything.
We try to distill arguments down to their original essence around here. Michael Barone is good at this (as well as many other things). His "Hard Amerce, Soft America" is just such a distillation.
I'm glad to see him call out David Brooks in the second 'graph here. Many are looking for politicians to exhibit purer principle, I'd like to see some of the elitist establishment conservative pundits like George Will, David Brooks and Peggy Noonan take down a peg or 16.
She's not only merely dead, she's really most sincerely dead!
With apologies to EY Harburg, who would have championed government health care, the lyrics seem apt: Rep Steny Hoyer is breaking the news.
AP: WASHINGTON – Democratic congressional leaders confronted the reality Tuesday that they may not be able to pass the comprehensive health care overhaul sought by President Barack Obama. Republican leaders prepared to do everything in their power to make sure they can't.
Democrats saw the sweeping health bill that Obama unveiled ahead of a bipartisan health care summit Thursday as their last, best chance at a top-to-bottom remake of the nation's health care system that would usher in near-universal health coverage. But some were clear-eyed about the difficulties after a year of corrosive debate and the loss of their filibuster-proof supermajority in the Senate.
"The President's Proposal," as the 11-page White House document is headlined, is in one sense a notable achievement: It manages to take the worst of both the House and Senate bills and combine them into something more destructive. It includes more taxes, more subsidies and even less cost control than the Senate bill. And it purports to fix the special-interest favors in the Senate bill not by eliminating them—but by expanding them to everyone. -- WSJ Ed Page
UPDATE: Professor Mankiw is not really on board either:
Very, very strange. You would think that all those future Nobel-prize-winning economists working for the President would explain to him the history and economics of government price controls. Imposing price controls certainly wasn't President Nixon's finest hour.
Maybe President Obama should instead follow in President Ford's footsteps and start wearing a WHINE button on his lapel, for Whip Healthcare Inflation Now, Egads!
Feckless would be one step better than counterproductive.
WSJ's John Fund saw the Beck speech at CPAC about the same way I did: Good for the GOP.
In reality, the Tea Party activists who are the core of Mr. Beck's viewing audience have made a pragmatic decision to forswear splinter-group politics and work within the Republican Party. It's true Mr. Beck's words sting and may show insufficient appreciation for recent GOP solidarity against big government. But given the powerful pressures in Washington for even conservatives to backslide when it comes to spending, the Fox News firebrand is probably doing GOP members a favor by keeping the heat on them.
For convenience, I use one credit card for everything and I pay the balance every month. I have had this card for 11 years and it has been my exclusive card for three or more years. I have others but I seldom use them.
Yesterday, a charge of $25 or so for lunch was declined. I called to inquire today, and was told that my credit limit had been reduced from $33,500 to $3900. Thank you and have a nice day.
I don't think it rises to black helicopter conspiracy theories to believe that the adjustment, dated February 18, 2010 came just before the new credit card rules take effect February 22, 2010.
THANKS FOR LOOKING OUT FOR ME!! I REALLY APPRECIATE IT!!!
'Nother datum for those asessing Glen Beck. Yet another vicious attack from the l -- I mean right.
Anointed Leader Of Conservative Movement Glenn Beck Now Believes In Global Warming
The stunning duplicity of Fox News host Glenn Beck has been exposed once again after the talk show host told USA Weekend magazine that he now believes in man-made global warming, after years of assuring his viewers that he was on the side of skeptics who questioned the science behind AGW claims.
In an article entitled Don't judge Beck by his cover, Beck tells interviewer Dennis McCafferty, "You'd be an idiot not to notice the temperature change."
Access to credit doesn't stem from card issuers beneficence but from their self-interest, which coincides pretty well with borrowers. Sure, lots of people get into credit-card and other forms of debt that cause problems. But it doesn't help the far-larger majority of people to limit what can be offered. And, as the quote above suggests, Mr. Potter always gets his fees one way or another. Hell, even George Bailey ended up squeezing his customers for what appears to be an interest-free loan. -- "The Jacket" Nick Gillespie
Insidious that the Democrats are getting away with this. I saw three news reports, all unapologetically explaining that "this new law is gong to save customers billions of dollars."
One has to read Reason (or Insty) to hear anything different. Someday the road just goes straight uphill.
Fun, and pretty. The best part, whether watching or reading, is knowing it was written by America's premier Socialist. Watching it last night, it occurred to me that it could have been written by Ayn Rand. What a masterful celebration of the individual!
The lovely bride and I watched it twice (it is unrandianly short) and then clicked it off to find the Olympics on. I have mentioned that I have been less enthralled than some, but it seemed like the Men's skiing deserved to be grafted onto the end of the film: here were folks from all over the world trying to be the best and to prove they are the best -- an emotional juxtaposition from the equality dystopia.
The recitation, and the whole speech, was captivating, it was a little scary, it was almost completely incomprehensible. It was, in other words, pure Glenn Beck. Watching him walk the audience through his absurd fantasies and his melodramatic bluster, you had to wonder what would have happened if he'd been on the CPAC straw poll ballot with the GOP's list of would-be presidents. All weekend long, there wasn't anyone else who held the stage with the presence -- or the craziness -- Beck did.
Pay no attention to the scary, crazy man. You can't understand him anyway. Just move along.
I was going to make this an "Otequay of the Ayday" post but there were too many good quotes. Glenn Beck keynoted this year's CPAC conference. It was brilliant. He told Republicans it's time to say, "I'm sorry."
"It is still morning in America, it just happens to be kind of a head pounding, hung over, vomiting for four hours kind of morning in America."
Why? Progressivism. And it's in both parties.
"I'm so sick of hearing people say, 'Oh, well, Republicans are going to solve it all.' Really? It's just Progressive Lite. (...) Progressivism is the cancer in America and it is eating our Constitution. And it was designed to eat the Constitution. To 'progress past' the Constitution."
"This is the cancer that is eating at America. It is big government. It's a socialist utopia. And we need to address it as if it is a cancer. It must be cut out of the system because they cannot coexist. And you don't cure cancer by, 'Well, I'm just gonna give you a little bit of cancer.' You must eradicate it.
"Dick Cheney, a couple of days ago, was here and he says, 'It's gonna be a good year for conservative ideas.' That's true. That's very true. It's gonna be a very good year, but it's not enough just to not suck as much as the other side."
He then played on his own battle with alcohol addiction and mocked the Republican party with the first step of the Twelve Step program: "Hello, my name is the Republican Party and I've got a problem. I'm addicted to spending and big government."
Watch the video to see what he said about the Big Tent concept, and many, many other good points. Like American citizens giving ten times the charitable contributions of France ... per capita. And the depression of 1920 as compared to the "Great Depression." And Calvin Coolidge versus Woodrow Wilson.
Hat tip for the vid link to a critical Ryan Witt at examiner.com.
Some good comments there and he promises to "fact check" Beck's speech "later today."
One of the things the UK does better than the US: I like the term "Pet Hate" far above "Pet Peeve."
Insty links to a boing boing post that links to this comparison of pirated media versus legal DVDs.
It is infuriating to be preached at before watching a movie. The chart (click the last link for the full version) is clever but it leaves out my favorite. Not only are you told not to steal the DVD you just bought, forced to watch trailers (which I love -ahem- the first time I watch a DVD), but then you have to be told the evils of smoking! Lets look at a scarred-up old tattooed emphysema patient in very bad light for awhile before "Santa Buddies" starts -- you kids don't mind, do ya? Or maybe the guy singing out of his voice box because the mean old tobacco companies never told him it was bad.
A commenter has a good plan. Rip every disk. She has toddlers that destroy them, but it’s probably worth a half hour to get a backup copy and to undo the forced menu options. My lovely bride does her faves to watch on iPod anyway.
Add David Boaz to the list of big-L libertarians who dislike the Mount Vernon Statement because it does not whack our 43rd President enough.
Conservative leaders may have restated principles of long standing, principles that reflect the philosophy of Buckley and Reagan rather than the practice of Bush. And Tea Party activists may be demanding that both parties get control of spending and stop expanding government. But in 2008 and 2010, it appears that when you get committed conservatives together in a room, they display no regrets about the Bush disaster.
Boaz's problem is not with the document at all. He loves a good segue even more than me, and launches into the real topic: Gov. Romney's embrace of President GWB in his CPAC Speech.
I'm thinking this is the big lacuna. Libertarians and Conservatives are separated in 2010 over the legacy of George W Bush. Odder still, I'm on the Conservatives' side (hardee har har). The Reason gang all hate President Bush passionately. President Obama? Well, we'd like to tweak some of his policies...
Reason has met the enemy -- and it is George W Bush. I read Gene Healy's superb "Cult of the Presidency" after President Obama was elected but before his inauguration. The book is brutal on W for arrogation of executive power. As I read it, I thought "Gene, Gene, you ain't seen nothin' yet" but I would guess if you cornered him a cocktail party, he probably still rails on the previous occupant more than the current.
They hate the Romans, but it's the People's Front of Judea whom they despise!
My progressive friends are incredibly cheesed off at Citizen's United v FEC. A friend posts this on Facebook today:
I know that Jon Stewart and the Huffington Post folks have been whipping this up. After surviving Kelo, Raich and McConnell I find it somewhat amusing to see the left in apoplexy. My friend who posted it is pretty bright (and well known to Colorado ThreeSourcers [HINT: two-letter-guy]) but it is attracting comments from friends, some of whom I suspect couldn't name a judge that wasn't on American Idol. "These guys are all a hundred years old!" "Who made them the boss of me?"
Okay, I ripped on the Reason folk pretty hard earlier today. I'll give QOTD honors to "The Jacket:"
And yet, even (or perhaps especially) in Obama's America, where Dick Cheney is still making millions of ill-gotten gains by keeping unemployment high and sending troops to the Middle East and Central Asia to secure Haliburton's ultra-lucrative tapioca concessions, there are signs that this world was never meant for one as beautiful as Olbermann. -- Nick Gillespie
Coverage of Evan Bayh's retirements has focused on "the partisan divide" and the notion that there is no longer room for moderates in the debate. The prevailing group-think seems to be that "extremists" on both sides have hijacked the respective parties and forced out the moderates. This analysis is essentially correct, but does not recognize the underlying dynamics.
Over the past 80 or 90 years, the US has gradually drifted to the left in the form of expanded government regulation, bureaucracy, oversight and personal intrusion. During the periods in which Conservatives have prevailed at the ballot box, the result has been an arrest or a slowing of the leftward drift, not an actual move back to the right. There have been some notable periods of deregulation and reduced tax burden, but even under Reagan, the actual size of government never slowed as measured by Federal budget or number of agencies. The best we have enjoyed is a smaller government as a percent of GDP, but that does not represent an actual return of personal authority and freedom to the people.
The country has now reached a crossroads: we either move once-and-for-all into Euro-socialism or we start to reclaim the individual liberties that the Constitution and founders intended. To use a football analogy, the Left can see the goal line and is intent on crossing it. At the same time, the Right understands that this is a goal line stand. We either stop the Left and push them back or we lose the game.
The Tea Party protests are the manifestation of this reality. An awaking population is not only saying "no" to nationalized heathcare and "no" to expanded government, many are saying, "Return Liberty to its rightful owners." In this fundamentally ideological battle, there is no middle ground. Prior comprise has only resulted in extending the time to a socialist state.
Tough room or Libertario Delenda Est? I am going with the latter.
Doherty: Goddammit! How can you have a Constitutional document that fails to enumerate the evils of the Bush/Cheney administration??? (I'm paraphrasing...)
Sullum: Some of the signers are impure!! A good document cannot be signed by a bad person!!
Walker: D. All of the above, plus a serious comment (echoed 'round here) that "[T]he rhetoric here is so all-inclusive and platitudinous as to be practically meaningless. Even the plank on foreign policy is carefully phrased so that both hawks and doves can embrace it[...]"
I complement the ThreeSources commentariat who provided far more substantive and serious critiques than Reason Magazine.
Congratulations, ThreeSourcer! President Obama has selected you to participate in his bipartisan deficit reduction commission-panel-thingy.
WASHINGTON – President Barack Obama signed an order Thursday unilaterally creating a bipartisan commission to rein in unruly deficits after Congress rejected a similar body with considerably more enforcement power.
In making the announcement, Obama said that unless lawmakers put aside partisan differences, the continuing red-ink trend could "hobble our economy."
If you are wondering how much you should compromise with the evil Democrats on the panel, Professor Mankiw lays out some well founded principles.
The answer for liberals is easy: They want to raise taxes to fund the existing, and even an expanded, social safety net, while politically insulating the Democrats as much as possible from the charge of being the "tax and spend" party. President Obama can then campaign in 2012 that he did not break his no-taxes-on-the-middle-class pledge, but rather a bipartisan group broke it. That is, the President wants to take credit for fixing the fiscal situation but duck responsibility for having imposed higher taxes.
But what if you are conservative? This is harder. You can try to stick to your no-tax-increase position. The problem is that doing so would require spending cuts larger than are politically realistic. If I were king, I bet I could find sufficient spending cuts. But I am not expecting to be anointed any time soon. If the fiscal commission is going to succeed, tax increases will have to be part of the deal.
Welcome aboard. We meet at 9:30 sharp and on the first day we will have Chicken Kiev for lunch. Call ahead if you'd prefer a vegetarian, kosher or halal alternative.
Insty links (and at 11:55 MST the Instalanche seems to have overwhelmed the petition signing process) to the Mount Vernon Statement. Some enjoyed the One Sentence Tea Party manifesto last week, but if you like a little more meat on the bone, I recommend this. Highly.
We recommit ourselves to the ideas of the American Founding. Through the Constitution, the Founders created an enduring framework of limited government based on the rule of law. They sought to secure national independence, provide for economic opportunity, establish true religious liberty and maintain a flourishing society of republican self-government.
These principles define us as a country and inspire us as a people. They are responsible for a prosperous, just nation unlike any other in the world. They are our highest achievements, serving not only as powerful beacons to all who strive for freedom and seek self-government, but as warnings to tyrants and despots everywhere.
WASHINGTON – The government ordered Toyota to turn over documents related to its massive recalls Tuesday, pressing to see how long the automaker knew of safety defects before taking action. Toyota, concerned about unsold cars, said it would temporarily idle some production in three states.
I'm starting to think maybe it wasn't such a good idea to have the US government take over General Motors...
ConocoPhillips, BP America and Caterpillar pulled out of a leading alliance of businesses and environmental groups pushing for climate change legislation on Tuesday, citing complaints that the bills under consideration are unfair to American industry.
The sudden pullout of three corporate giants from a leading alliance of businesses and environmental groups could be the death knell for climate change legislation languishing on Capitol Hill.
The departing are BP America, Conoco Phillips and Caterpillar, which were among the original members of USCAP, a coalition of green pressure groups and Fortune 500 businesses that tried to drive a cap-and-trade program into law. Some corporate members concluded that climate legislation was inevitable and hoped to tip it in a more business-friendly direction. Others—ahem, General Electric—are in our view engaged in little more than old-fashioned rent-seeking. Through regulatory gaming, Congress would choose business winners and losers, dispensing billions of dollars in carbon permits to the politically connected.
The climate bills the House passed in August and Senate liberals are contemplating have stripped away that illusion. Carbon tariffs and other regulations would have damaged heavy manufacturing against global competitors, which explains Caterpillar's exit, while oil companies would suffer as transportation, refining and power generation via natural gas were punished. Then there's the harm to long-run growth, which would slow under the economy-wide drag of new taxes and federal mandates.
Baradar fought with the Afghan mujahideen during the Soviet-Afghan War and afterwards operated a madrassa in Maiwand, Kandahar Province alongside his former commander, Mohammad Omar (the two may be brothers-in-law via marriage to two sisters). In 1994 he helped Omar found the Taliban.
VANCOUVER, BRITISH COLUMBIA--(Marketwire - Feb. 16, 2010) - Today, Canada's Environment Minister, the Honourable Jim Prentice, announced the Government of Canada's commitment to offset federal greenhouse gas emissions for the 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games.
"Canada is proud to be the first host country in history to help offset the greenhouse gas emissions of its Olympic Games," said Minister Prentice.
The London summer games are a mere two and a half years away. Any chance that Canada will be not just the first, but the last? Probably not.
UPDATE: The race is on to abandon the sinking Climate Change fraud. Investors.com:"Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer, seeing which way the snow is blowing, has issued an executive order saying her state will suspend its participation in the emission-control plan or any program that could raise costs for businesses and consumers." Interestingly, despite succeeding Democrat Janet Napolitano, Brewer is a Republican.
Military recruits do it. Now a correspondent from Playboy.com does it. It's called - woooooo - "waterboarding."
So we're "torturing" our own citizens, on U.S. soil. Quick! Somebody alert John McCain!
Let's put this in perspective: Men who kill people and break things are attempting to obtain information to thwart other men who kill people and break things from killing people and breaking things. Isn't waterboarding the most humane act you could think of in this situation? For Senator McCain, a man who endured genuine torture, to denounce waterboarding gives tremendous and undeserved aid to those who reject a forceful defense of American lives. Character 1, judgement 0.
Professor N Gregory Mankiw has a superb article in the NYTimes today. We've had much chatter about the difference between President Bush's spending and President Obama's From a first principles perspective, I concede much of President Bush's spending was supraconstitutional and excessive.
Mankiw, who was in Bush's CEA, suggests an important difference; the Bush debt, from 2005-2007 was not outgrowing the economy,
From 2005 to 2007, before the recession and financial crisis, the federal government ran budget deficits, but they averaged less than 2 percent of gross domestic product. Because this borrowing was moderate in magnitude and the economy was growing at about its normal rate, the federal debt held by the public fell from 36.8 percent of gross domestic product at the end of the 2004 fiscal year to 36.2 percent three years later.
That is, despite substantial wartime spending during this period, budget deficits were small enough to keep the debt-to-G.D.P. ratio under control.
Like the Laffer curve, the liberty lover is asked to accept optimization of debt and revenue that are outside limited government's needs. But Mankiw's point holds that spending used to be huge but sustainable.
The current White House budget has no end in sight and insiders admit that a VAT or other massive revenue increase will be required. This is no loan through lean times, this is a new way to live. That's different.
Lastly, I am tempted to give the Professor (I can call him that, he's white!) Quote of the Day honors:
In other words, President Obama’s long-term fiscal strategy is to appoint a commission to figure out a long-term fiscal strategy.
I complement Professor Mankiw on his excellent NYTimes editorial (above). But I must offer what he'd call "Must Reading for the Pigou Club" from John Stossel.
Right in his backyard, the good people of Cambridge, Massachusetts have enacted a "Climate Emergency Congress." They're going to start with a carbon tax (Pigou, call your office!) and move on to "Mandatory Vegan Mondays," local food requirements, yadda, yadda, and yadda.
It's the tyranny of the silly people. Reminds me of Prince Charles claiming we only have “96 months left to save the planet.” (That was in July, though, so now we only have 89 months left.)
Sorry, Professor, your beloved Pigouvian taxation empowers and rewards these nannies. I don't care how bleedin;' efficient it is, it is an assault on freedom.
I watched a few minutes of Good Morning America yesterday. Merciful Zeus! I may need therapy.
They did a story on Rep Patrick Kennedy's announced retirement, then tied it to Senator Chris Dodd's retirement, and others and... And I am screaming at the TV: "Uh, guys, any common theme (or party) connecting these retirements?"
Then the political analyst comes on and assures us that this is not a case of Democrats retiring in the face of a tough year. And then he says that more Republicans are retiring this year than Democrats.
Scuze me? They had a graphic prepared, so it was not a casual slip of the tongue. Am I truly in an Internet bubble where I only get news I want to hear? I tried a little research and found this gem from 2009 on CNN: "The 111th Congress has just barely begun as Senate Republicans brace for more grueling elections in 2010 that threaten to further weaken the party's influence in Congress." This was on the devastating news that George Voinovich (RINO - OH) was retiring. I had missed that. The news truly gets better and better...
Today, Insty links to news that Senator Evan Bayh is stepping down. Sadly, he is my favorite 'D' but I think that opens the door wide for Dan Coats.
Has anybody seen a list? Anybody else heard that there are more GOP retirements?
The departure of Bayh, who was on Barack Obama's short list of vice presidential candidate prospects in 2008, continues a recent exodus from Congress among both Democrats and Republicans, including veteran Democrats Christopher Dodd of Connecticut and Patrick Kennedy of Rhode Island.
...then it enumerates four seats that retiring Democrats will have trouble holding. So, it's a bipartisan exodous, it's just not worth noting the Republicans.
A spokesman for Vice President Joe Biden says figure skating great Peggy Fleming and former bobsled champion Vonetta Flowers sustained “minor injuries” in a traffic accident while riding in Biden’s motorcade at the Vancouver Olympics.
Spokesman Jay Carney says the motorcade was carrying members of the U.S. delegation to an event Sunday when the accident occurred.
By my count, this is the third accident with the Vice President's motorcade. The other two were in November.
Professor Jones also conceded the possibility that the world was warmer in medieval times than now – suggesting global warming may not be a man-made phenomenon.
And he said that for the past 15 years there has been no ‘statistically significant’ warming.
The admissions will be seized on by sceptics as fresh evidence that there are serious flaws at the heart of the science of climate change and the orthodoxy that recent rises in temperature are largely man-made.
Professor Jones has been in the spotlight since he stepped down as director of the University of East Anglia’s Climatic Research Unit after the leaking of emails that sceptics claim show scientists were manipulating data.
Of special note, Professor Jones' data is critical in backing up the famous hockey stick graph created by Penn State's Michael Mann.
First the rules: show this graphic on your site. Write an article every now and then supporting Democracy in Iraq.
Curious that the one rule is not strictly Constitutional izzit? Now, I support Democracy in Iraq and think this site has been particularly dedicated. But I sympathize with Reason readers and Paulites who say our efforts were supraconstitutional.
Text TEA to #666 -- oh, never mind, just leave a comment!
Capitalism needs the institutions of government to reduce uncertainty from investments. It needs intellectual property protection, it needs a system of regulation to enforce standards, whether they be building codes or a system of weights and measures or any of a host of more arcane regulations that on their face may seem burdensome or unnecessary. But government also needs capitalism to flourish so that its goals of wealth and prosperity for its citizens is fulfilled. The complexities of reaching those goals seems at times overwhelming because economic growth lags its citizens expectations. When economic growth fails to emerge fast enough the dynamic tension between government and the institutions of capitalism come into sharp relief. But government can't rush innovation or changes in our economic life it can only provide an environment for capitalism to flourish and evolve.
Reuters breaks out its favorite economic adverb again today, this time in its headline on consumer confidence. American consumers turned more pessimistic than forecasters predicted, which has been more or less the “unexpected” norm in economic reporting
I agree and cheer the ridicule of "unexpected" preceding bad economic news.
But I say "unexpected" modifies the noun news, not the adjective economic, and ergo, ipse dixit, res ipsa loquitor, quod erat demostratum, it be an adjective.
David Harsanyi calls the medicinal marijuana play unhelpful in the War on the War on Drugs. Hard to argue (and with a man with whom I'm not generally inclined to argue).
Would overwhelming proof of pot's therapeutic impotence change my mind about an individual's right to seek the kind of treatment (even imaginary) he or she deems helpful and necessary?
Of course not. I would argue that this should be a debate about the role of government in our private lives, not a case that is contingent on the vagaries of public perception, emotion and evolving evidence.
It is equally grating — not to mention a full-scale assault on reality — for pot advocates to pretend that every one (or even most) of the thousands of Coloradans on the list for medical marijuana is in frantic need of Skunk Weed to ease grave physical suffering.
Those outside Colorado are missing a spectacle. "Dispensaries" have sprung up everywhere and rarely even make an attempt to appear medical -- well, except for "Dr. Reefer" in Boulder, he's obviously serious.
Mea Maxima Culpa. Harsanyi is right and I am wrong. This is not an incremental step toward liberalization and it is certainly not a showcase for relaxed enforcement. On the plus side, I do hope there are a few "Angel Raiches" who are profiting.
Well, blog friend Perry to start. He demolishes the extra coercion piled on the taxpayers "lucky" enough to host the games. Our friends in Vancouver are learning about an implicit taxpayer put to cover losses and overruns.
Perry saw it up close in Utah. I was ten when mean old Governor Lamm withdrew Colorado from the 1972 Winter Games (which we had "won.") Should build a statue to that (Democrat) guy!
Read the whole thing, but here's a taste:
It's a very simple point of logic: if hosting an Olympics is such a great moneymaker for developers and city businesses alike, then why are taxpayers needed to guarantee it?
Bastiat wouldn't need to know anything else about our modern world to tell us the simple answer. He would reply, "Developers already know from past Olympics that they can't do it without taxpayers, whether to guarantee the debt or to pay for infrastructure. Do you not see it also?" The developers are just a modern form of protectionist, whom Bastiat described as petitioning to the government, "Thus, since everyone else uses the law for his own profit, we also would like to use the law for our own profit. We demand from the law the right to relief, which is the poor man's plunder."
Many have felt frustration trying to objectively assess the former Governor if Alaska.
The venom, vitriol and antipathy hurled at her from the left makes one on the right naturally defend her. As Andrew Marcus states :
Further, Progressive elites weighing in to consign Sarah to idiot status doesn’t exactly diminish her standing among the average Tea Partier, who love her almost in direct proportion to how much Progressives hate her.
Progressives traffic in the politics of name-calling and character assassination. They have forfeited any goodwill presumption of credibility when it comes to objectively criticizing anyone on the Right, let alone their most vilified American citizen target, Sarah Palin.
This from an objective and honest appraisal of Governor Lipstick's performance at the TEA Party Convention. I don't think anything Marcus says is devastating or disqualifying -- but he makes some damned good points.
The hand note reveals something though that is worth examining in context and without the venom of the Progressive Left.
Governor Palin’s need for a hand note in order to answer the questions posed reveals not so much that she is stupid, as the never-compassionate Progressive Left would have you believe, but rather that Sarah is a Tea Party Keynote speaker and not yet a Tea Party leader. (Note that we are using the term “a” instead of “the” to qualify leader. There is no central leader of this movement and that’s a good thing)
A Tea Party leader should not need a note card in order to answer the question, "What are the top three things that need to be done if the House and Senate are flipped to Conservative?"
Lastly, Marcus is concerned that Palin did not speak with media and bloggers at the convention, that she isolated herself in a bubble like Senator Clinton at the Kos Konvention.
When Hillary made her appearance, it was from within the bubble. She was whisked in through a back hallway and onto a stage in a medium-sized room. She gave her talk, answered a couple of questions, and then was whisked back out through the hallway, never to be seen again.
In contrast, when then Senator Obama made his appearance, he walked into the room through the same door everyone else did. He remained on the floor level, never taking to the stage. People were not prevented from approaching him, and approach they did. He was greeted and treated like a rock star.
Governor Palin is in no way off my list for 2012 but she is clearly not a frontrunner.
PRE-UPDATE, funny Palin-Derangement story: My moonbat brother and she share a birthday (yesterday). Sorry, Randians, perhaps there is a benevolent God.
REAL UPDATE: I asked him if it was true. He just replied "You Betcha!"
AP: NEW YORK -- Former President Bill Clinton had two stents inserted Thursday to prop open a clogged heart artery after being hospitalized with chest pains, an adviser said. Clinton, 63, "is in good spirits and will continue to focus on the work of his foundation and Haiti's relief and long-term recovery efforts," said adviser Douglas Band.
I know I speak for all ThreeSourcers when I say that we hope he is up chasing the nurses around very soon...
UPDATE: I retract my flippancy. The stents just given the former President were mentioned in a front page WSJ (News Pages) story today. Onder ObamaCare, would they be available?
Blog Friend Everyday Economist embeds a cool YouTube.
Federal Reserve’s monetary policy actions is to use a graphical representation of the market for reserves. Frederic Mishkin’s textbook on money and banking is an excellent print resource. Meanwhile, Mark Thoma illustrates the model, and Fed policy changes, in this YouTube clip:
Andrew Klavan explains how culture in America has become an enchanted place where the conservative facts of life are magically turned into liberal fantasies. From JFK conspiracy theories to murderous evangelical Christians, can you spot the difference between "culture" and reality? Watch & comment here: http://pjtv.com/v/3008
Obama's critics keep blasting him for Chicago-style politics. So, fine. Channel your inner Al Capone and go gangsta against your foes. Let 'em know that if they aren't with you, they are against you, and will pay the price.
Many people still cannot get their heads around the idea of creating wealth ex nihlo. It's easier to see it in the software business, but people always look at an item and confuse its marginal production cost for its value.
Here's an abstraction for you: WSJ Tweets that it is close to a deal to sell its stock indices.
CME Group Inc. was on Wednesday close to finalizing a deal to purchase Dow Jones & Co.'s stock-indexing business, said people familiar with the matter.
The price was expected to be greater than $600 million, said one of these people, though an exact price couldn't be determined.
Six hundred million for a list of stocks and permission to use the name. I hope we do not kill this wonderful country.
Don't know how many watch "House M.D." My lovely bride and I have been big fans of Hugh Laurie from his BBC days, and we secretly wait for Stephen Fry to do a guest appearance on House.
Ann Althouse once cheered that the drug-addict doctor was the hero over the zealous narcotics officer. For the last couple of years, I've become convinced that Dr. Gregory House is lifted from an undiscovered Ayn Rand novel. He is preternaturally intelligent -- to which he owes all his success; he is self-focused to an amount that disturbs everybody else on the show; he is dedicated to disproving quackery, junk science, new age spirituality and questioning seriously held religious beliefs.
And Laurie is a brilliant actor, whose comedy chops keep this prickly character entertaining. The show's flaw is that the rest of the cast is thin and hollow. His oncologist friend Dr Wilson (Robert Sean Leonard) has his moments, but there's no ensemble of any kind to play on.
Last Monday's episode, therefore, had two fatal flaws. It was built around the hospital's COO, Dr. Lisa Cuddy. That turned out okay, but not memorable.
Secondly, I wonder how many House fans are sympathetic to his Randian nature (like me) and how many (like me) were perturbed by the anti-business tilt of the episode, Yesterday’s Ayn Rand Facebook link was a talk on "America's Persecuted Minority: Big Business."
Our brave Dr. Cuddy has to manage her adopted baby, her creepy husband, the weight of the world on the sisterhood, and then has to negotiate a contract with an (duh-duh-duuuuh!) evil insurance company (boo, hiss!)
She's just tryin' to get her doctors paid, but the grubby CEO, who won't interrupt his lobster lunch to speak with her, won't give his monthly budget for olives on his yacht to save children's lives! Thankfully she wins in the end to be cheered in the board room (are you sick yet? Dr. House could figure it out...)
The ads fell into three basic categories: Some were aimed at drunks, some were aimed at slobs, and the rest were aimed at men unsure of their own sexuality. There was quite a bit of overlap here.
Maybe it's just me, but it's starting to feel a little bit like Rome, 475 A.D., around here, with the barbarians outside the gates and a bunch of slightly better-dressed barbarians inside.
Allan Bloom, call your office!
Queenan informs that in England "they actually know how to make clever ads" and he grudgingly excludes the Google ("who is the stig?") and Letterman/Leno ads from disapprobation.
Besides elitist condescension, it strikes me as odd to hear somebody complaining that commercial announcements were not clever enough. If we're reduced to that, maybe our culture is decaying...
I think the same thing every year but they keep running the same stupid ad with the same stupid theme: Spend just a few minutes on our website (and upwards of fifty bucks) ordering this precious Valentine's day teddy bear for your wife/girlfriend/barracks mate and she'll think you spent hours coming up with the perfect gift just for her!
Yeah, because chicks must not watch television too. Listen buddy, they're not as stupid as you are if you actually buy into this notion.
If you didn't have enough reasons to dislike President Nixon (EPA, anybody?) -- he had a peculiar take on the laws of supply and demand.
President Nixon signed the CON law because he thought America had too many hospitals. He thought decreasing the number would lower health care costs. But that was ridiculous economics. Limiting the number of suppliers raises costs.
This is from a nice John Stossel post explaining that we don't really have a free market in health care at all. To build a hospital, you have to prove need.
My slightly partisan defense of our 43rd President was rebuffed in the comments.
Well, it's not how many times you are knocked down, but how many times you get up. Furthermore, the early bird gets the worm.
I suggested that by conceding that President Bush was as bad as President Obama on spending, we were both perpetuating a lie and letting the current Executive off the hook.
For my next witness, I call Obama-voter Megan McArdle:
Whatever George W. Bush did or did not do, he's no longer in office, and doesn't have the power to do a damn thing about the budget. Obama is the one who is president with the really humongous deficits. Deficits of the size Bush ran are basically sustainable indefinitely; deficits of the size that Obama is apparently planning to run, aren't. If he doesn't change those plans, he will be the one who led the government into fiscal crisis, even if changing them would be [sob!] politically difficult.
I have a serious question for the people who are mounting this defense: at what point in his presidency is Obama actually responsible for any bad thing that happens? Two years? Five? Can we pick a date for when bad things that happen on Obama's are actually in some measure the responsibility of one Barack Obama, rather than his long gone predecessor? And then stick with that date? Conversely, can we agree that as long as the bad things that happen are really George Bush's fault, any good things that happen should probably be chalked up to his administration as well?
Wow. Bret Stephens takes to the WSJ Editorial Page today for a powerful and thoughtful piece on gays in the military. He first exposes some of the more frivolous and emotional arguments on both sides of the debate. Then he plays in the middle, and makes what I feel are incontrovertible points.
But does "don't ask, don't tell" contribute to military effectiveness? Probably not. One problem is that by demanding that gay and lesbian service members keep their sexuality a secret, it makes them uniquely susceptible to blackmail. It creates a security hazard where none need have existed.
More problematic is that it has meant the dismissal of more than 13,000 service members since the policy came into force. Assume that the presence of openly gay people in uniform poses real if intangible risks to morale or capability. It's still worth pondering whether those risks outweigh what amounts to the loss of an entire division of war-fighters.
He closes with positive reactions from the British, Canadian, and Israeli militaries.
I think it's a good idea -- I'd just hate to see President Obama do something right and ruin his streak.
Prof. Mankiw links to an interesting website that attempts to referee the claims of the White House Budget recommendations. They've already thrown a couple flags:
The Administration is taking two tax provisions from the 2009 stimulus bill -- expansions of the child tax credit and the EITC -- and claiming them as part of the "current policy" Bush tax cuts. And they are doing something similar for Pell grants: assuming that they will receive sufficient funding to pay out the maximum grant level set in the stimulus bill.
The Administration didn't inherit these policies, they created them. And worse, still, they created them as explicitly temporary, under a stimulus bill which they claimed was meant only to help bring us out of this recession.
Yet the White House wants to continue these policies, and they don't want to pay for them. So what do they do? They hide these policies in their baseline, in the hopes that they won't have to.
Seeing The Who's 65-year-old Roger Daltrey and Pete Townsend perform "Teenage Wasteland" during the Super Bowl Half-Time Show brought to mind an image of the Soviet Red Army Chorus Alumni performing "The Internationale" at a Goldman Sachs Christmas party.
Today marks the 100 anniversary of the Boy Scouts of America. In those 100 years, more than 110 million American boys have learned self-reliance, self-respect, leadership, teamwork, survival and a dedication to service - not to mention how to stay warm in below-zero temperatures and not burn the eggs when cooking over an open fire.
The Refugee is proud to be an Eagle Scout with Son of The Refugee close to that rank as well. The Boy Scouts remain the largest, most effective organization for teaching the core values that made this country what it is. Happy birthday, Scouting!
If you already knew I'm an Audi afficianado in addition to being a green-basher you weren't surprised when I called the Green Police on the new ketchup pouch. The ad had me guffawing wildly, yet Grist Magazine's David Roberts argues that "the teabaggy interpretation just doesn't quite fit."
The ad is not just another pot shot at greens. It's an appeal to a new and growing demographic that isn't hard-core environmentalist -- and doesn't particularly like hard-core environmentalists -- but that basically wants to do the right thing.
Yeah, sure it is. Personally I think that movement peaked prior to 1998. Tea anyone?
I love this. Insty links to video of a new Ketchup package.
I bore everybody with this all the time. Small innovations in packaging never show up in GDP numbers but millions of small innovations provide us with a richer environment. The zip-lock® feature built into cheese and tortilla bags generally elicit a dull disquisition from me. But over time, this matters. Just like getting more memory in your laptop.
And yet, Paul Krugman, should there be a Republican in the White House, will tell us that we are poorer than we were in 1973.
I like to say I don't believe in hope, but I had the hope to move to Vegas to do a magic show. And I do hope that Vegas pulls through this bad economic time and people come and visit us and we do our stupid shows for all the stupid, hopeful people.
Obama, please remember, it was those stupid, very hopeful people who took the over on a stupid point spread on Obama with a stupid hope to help our country, which includes stupid Vegas.
The gamble Obama took with his run for president and the gamble that the American people took on him sure weren't taken at good odds. It wasn't putting everything we had on red in roulette, or "don't pass" in craps, or carefully counting cards in blackjack.
Obama's presidency is more than all of us putting our whole future on 00 in roulette. It was more like putting everything we had on one slot pull at the stupid Elvis impersonator slot machine in the stupid Elvis casino for the stupid hillbillies who are filled with hope.
UPDATE: Brother ka rubs it in that our President failed to pick the winner yesterday, Wayne Allen Root did. I will take a break from my Libertario Delenda Est campaign to link to a superb article: Lessons Obama Should Have Learned From Watching the Super Bowl.
Obama, Reid and Pelosi might snicker, but they obviously don’t understand the difference between Vegas and Washington D.C. You know what it is? In Vegas the drunks gamble with their own money. Maybe we need a politician in D.C. who understands the psychology of winning; who understands the motivation of risk versus reward; who has the guts to take gambles; and the courage to back his convictions with his own money, instead of the taxpayers’ money.
Must read lead editorial in the WSJ today. If you have to subscribe to read it, pony up!
NYAG Andrew Cuomo has filed a fraud lawsuit against Bank of America joining as the WSJ Ed Page declares "the long queue of politicians blaming bankers as the chief culprits in creating the financial panic and recession"
But they click on over to the Housing and Urban Development web site. Take a moment and imagine explaining to the ghost of James Madison that we have a Federal Department of Housing and Urban Development, and that it is contained in the Executive Branch... I digress. Here's an item from the HUD accomplishments during AG Cuomo's tenure as HUD Chief under President Clinton.
HUD's Web visitors learn that in 1999 "Secretary Cuomo established new Affordable Housing Goals requiring Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac—two government sponsored enterprises involved in housing finance—to buy $2.4 trillion in mortgages in the next 10 years. This will mean new affordable housing for about 28.1 million low- and moderate-income families. The historic action raised the required percentage of mortgage loans for low- and moderate-income families that the companies must buy from the current 42 percent of their total purchases to a new high of 50 percent—a 19 percent increase—in the year 2001."
Damned, fat cat bankers!
The good part of this story is that I have been overwhelmed of late with nostalgia for the Clinton days. Spending was down, Buffy was on, NAFTA and GATT were kicking in -- as was China's MFN and WTO status. Yeah, he was boning the interns (Umm, that would depend on what the definition of "boning" is...) but IPOs were happening and life was good.
It is worth remembering that Al-Qaeda’s growth was unabated and that these seeds of future economic troubles were being sown. Hey, I still take him any day of the week over the present occupant, but the pleasant, silver-haired magistrate of bonhomie we see helping the Haitians is always pitched as being better than his successor. I'm not buying.
A "truther" friend of mine (and BR's) shares this video -- approvingly -- on Facebook.
I think it proves that nannies come in all shapes, sizes, and politics. You could transcribe this and give the script to a young earnest bespeckled Boulder woman in a Che T-shirt and hemp necklace. And it would work pretty well.
So, whaddya say we all skip the Super Bowl and watch a documentary in the Federal Reserve? I'll bring dip!
UPDATE: Who Dat? I resign my membership in the reason and logic club. I am an AFC guy and was looking forward to seeing the Colts accept their reward for their talent, intelligence, and work ethic. But even I got caught in the magic. When the Saints were down 0-10, I started hoping that they'd avoid a drubbing. By the fourth quarter I had openly changed allegiance.
Jeez, you don't want to be in a foxhole with me...
But Tancredo, a committed protectionist and anti-immigration crusader, would have been equally disastrous. It’s too bad that the Tea Party would open their first “official” convention with a politician who so ferociously opposes one of the key tenets of the capitalism. Fact is, committed socialists and Tancredo have plenty to agree on. -- David Harsanyi
My hope for the TEA Party convention does not match my hopes for the TEA Party movement.
UPDATE: Blog friend Terri and I do not see eye-to-eye on immigration, but she's no happier with Rep. Tancreado's speech:
If Tom Tancredo is the “face” of the Tea Party movement, then the tea party movement is dead. He’s pretty certain we should have Jim Crow laws for voting.
“People who could not even spell the word ‘vote’ or say it in English put a committed socialist ideologue in the White House,” he said.
The Internet segue machine comes through for me yet again.
I am watching TeeVee news in the morning -- against my better judgment. I am particularly tied to the weather these days and it seems almost worth it. The personalities are attractive and perky and I am luckily immune from most of the nonsense spewed.
Today, we are in full-out sturm and drang about "Sexting." WE WARNED YOU ABOUT THIS EPIDEMIC in no less than 49 Exposes. Well it has happened. In Falcon, Colorado, that hotbed of sin, a nude photo of a 12 year old girl has been sent to a dozen phones. I hate to make light of a particular instance; I feel for the child involved. But the media response has been disproportionate to the problem all along.
An interesting issue crept in. The father of a student was interviewed and expressed displeasure that his child had his phone confiscated and was questioned in what could be a felony case without anyone alerting his parents.
The FOX31 news crew would not understand legal nuance or questions of liberty if they were to bite them in the ass, but they did offer one piece of advice: "Students should disable the ability to receive picture messages."
Got it? Turn your phone off in case somebody sends you an illegal nekkid picture. Or stay home in the cave with no phone.
This has burned in my mind all day, but now the Doctor is in: Theodore Dalrymple suggests we fix global warming by banning lampshades. The first of his legal fixes came to him in what I knew as "Defensive Driving School:"
It was then that I had a blinding flash of illumination, a real eureka moment. The best, indeed only, way to prevent road traffic accidents is to prohibit people from leaving their houses in the first place! By a process of association of ideas, I remembered the slogan that was used during the war to cut down the demand for public transport: “Is your journey really necessary?”
Dagny and I were amused when we heard the president pronounce the word "corpsman" at this morning's prayer breakfast as though he referred to a dead male. We laughed our arses off when he did it again! But his press secretary probably wishes he had his own teleprompter telling him what to say, even if he couldn't pronounce it either. While defending the White House over publicizing the bean-spilling panty bomber he tried to turn the tables on the criticizers.
"I think he owes an apology to the professionals in the law enforcement community and those that work in this building, not for Democrats and Republicans, but who work each and every day to keep the American people safe and would not ever, ever, ever knowingly release or unknowingly release classified information that could endanger an operation or an interrogation," Gibbs said.
"Never knowingly or unknowingly doing anything" is a good motto for the 111th Congress.
A British farmer who secretly built a castle and hid it behind haystacks to avoid trouble from local planning authorities was ordered by a court Wednesday to demolish it.
Farmer Robert Fidler built the mock Tudor castle in Surrey and moved into it with his family in 2002.
He says he had applied in 1996 to build a house on his farmland, but the authorities wouldn't grant him permission. So, when he and his wife were feeling "desperate," they found a loophole in the British law.
The Democrats in the 51st Congress ridiculed President Benjamin Harrison and Republicans for annual federal spending that reached one billion dollars for the first time: the Billion Dollar Congress! Ahh, those were the days...
We are all Austrians now. Over the past few weeks, in Los Angeles, San Francisco, Sacramento, New York City, and London, I've run into more and more institutional investors whose economic and financial views either knowingly or unknowingly reflect the influence of the Austrian School of Economics. I am in Zurich today and Geneva tomorrow. … How do you know if you are an Austrian? Here is a simple test. Answer yes or no to the following question: "I believe that this will all end very badly." -- Ed Yardeni (via James Pethokoukis)
Yesterday's Investor's Business Daily lead editorial is Bare Warning.
A chilling spectacle just took place before the Senate Intelligence Committee. Panel Chairwoman Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., asked, "What is the likelihood of another terrorist-attempted attack on the U.S. homeland in the next three to six months, high or low?"
And one by one, Director of National Intelligence Dennis Blair, CIA Director Leon Panetta and FBI Director Robert Mueller all agreed an attack was "certain."
But log onto the Department of Homeland Security's Web site and all seems fairly calm. The first news item listed says, "Secretary Napolitano Announces More than $23 Million in Recovery Act Funding for Fire Station Construction Grants." And three of the other four news items on the main page tout the ways the department's $56.3 billion fiscal year 2011 budget request would be spent.
The go on to make a larger point about counter-terrorism strategy but the first thing that occurred to me was hey, at least Secretary Ridge suggested we stock up on duct tape!
Bloomberg's Margaret Carlson is calling the GOP's bluff on their claims to have ideas other than "no" for economic and health care reform. Most of her examples are flippant or revisionist so the main reason to link is for her accusation. OK, I'll give you an example:
You can't just wish something into being, like the heading in their "No-Cost Jobs Plan" that reads, "Tear Down Self-Imposed Obstacles to Economic Growth." In other words: clear-cut pesky regulations about mine safety and meat packing. We might die, but we'll be more competitive.
Now, for my money I think President Obama himself actually had the best idea. I don't remember which policy retreat he said this at, probably the one with the GOP, but he more or less said, "In order to make federal outlays match revenues we would have to cut spending across the board by something like sixty percent."
Tell you what, Mr. president - I'll settle for fifty.
The Ten Years of Failed Policies of the Bush Administration...
...or as Keith Hennessey puts it: Ten Years, Seriously?
Hennessey goes over President Obama's continuing campaign bromides one at a time. He acknowledges overspending (and personal bias) but picks apart the current Administration's attempt to exculpate itself. It is an excellent summation against the argument of "Bush broke it and Obama is trying to fix it."
This debate about the past can continue ad nauseam. At some point I hope it ends, but the President and his team bring it up at every opportunity. It is strange for a President to complain repeatedly about ten-year old policies and then not propose to change them. More importantly, this debate is not relevant to the problems we face today.
Yes, President Obama faced some enormous economic challenges early in his term. His predecessor did as well, even before the crisis of 2008: a bursting tech bubble leading to a recession in 2001, an economic seizure caused by 9/11, corporate governance scandals in 2002, a recession in 2002-2003, the economic uncertainty triggered by invading Iraq (this one was a policy choice), and eventually oil spiking above $100 per barrel.
More than the blame game, this is what concerns me about the President’s economic agenda. The President’s own projections show that his policies will not fix the future problems he identifies. Based entirely on numbers from the President’s just released budget, America will see the following results if all of his policies are implemented as proposed and work as projected:
Personally I agree with Jason Lewis that Sarah Palin becomes what she claims to abhor when she chooses to attack Rahm Emmanuel for calling the hard-core progressive Democrats in congress "f-ing retarded." He did so for suggesting they run campaign ads against fellow Dems who won't walk the plank for health care. Criticizing speech for being "offensive" is the stock in trade of the politically correct. But don't those people just need to get a life?
Instead I think all conservative-minded people should write a letter to Rahm thanking him for the best "he said it" moniker for our political enemies since the L.A. Times gave us Barack the Magic Negro.
WASHINGTON – Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood now says he misspoke when telling owners of recalled Toyotas to stop driving then.
Instead, LaHood says take them to dealerships to get them repaired.
LaHood told reporters it was "obviously a misstatement" when he told a House panel earlier Wednesday that he would advise owners not to drive recalled vehicles. The remark came during testimony to the Appropriations subcommittee on transportation.
Toyota's most recent recall in the United States affects 2.3 million vehicles with the potential for sticking gas pedals.
Perhaps they'd be just as tough with a problem in an Official, Government Owned Automotive Manufacturing facility.
But am I the only one who sees great opportunity for conflict of interest?
Faced with severe budget shortfalls after a steep economic recession, state legislatures and governors are trying to raise money without raising taxes — at least not technically.
A fee hike, an increased penalty or fine, the elimination of a tax exemption — none of these technically counts as a tax increase, as far as many state lawmakers are concerned. Fiscal conservatives argue that a tax hikes are exactly what they are, but their arguments are likely to fall on deaf ears for legislators and governors wrestling with some of the worst budget deficits since the Great Depression.
"There's a certain American antipathy to raising taxes, so even if these are tax increases, there's an incentive to call them something else," said Joseph Henchman, director of state projects at the conservative Tax Foundation. "It's a trend we always see, but it's certainly going to be one that's stronger this year."
I feel for my friends from Colorado, but I suspect none of us are going to escape this.
On Monday, the Colorado House of Representatives approved eight bills eliminating tax exemptions on items ranging from online sales and farm equipment to restaurant napkins and plastic foam containers. The bills passed with no Republican support.
Were those tax increases? It depends on your political bent. To Democrats, the votes merely rid the books of tax breaks and loopholes for big business in order to avoid cuts to public schools and social services.
"It's time for corporate and other special interests to pay their fair share, and suspending a small fraction of the over $2 billion Colorado loses every year in corporate loopholes and giveaways is not too much to ask," Alan Franklin, president of ProgressNow Colorado, said in a statement after the vote.
To Republicans, the bills meant raising taxes on many of those who can least afford it: struggling farmers and ranchers, people running Internet-based businesses out of their homes, small businesses teetering on the brink of insolvency.
"At the worst possible time, we're making a choice to raise taxes on people who can't afford them anymore," state Rep. Scott Tipton, a Republican, said during the floor debate. "It's an overreach by government."
Stated another way, even if TARP saved our financial system from driving off a cliff back in 2008, absent meaningful reform, we are still driving on the same winding mountain road, but this time in a faster car. -- TARP Inspector General's Quarterly Report.
John Stossel has done some good reporting on the NYC "rubber room." Suspected pedophile teachers are shunted off to draw full salary, benefits and pensions (dey do got a Union contract!) without putting them in a classroom where they would likely hurt a student.
Scrivener links to a story of one guy -- just has to be read to be believed. Alan Rosenfeld "collects a $100,000 salary for doing nothing...working on his law practice and managing 12 real-estate properties worth an estimated $7.8 million..."
So Rosenfeld simply collects his $100,049 salary -- top scale for teachers -- plus full health benefits and the promise of a fat pension, about $82,000 a year if he were to retire today.
His pension will grow by $1,700 each year he remains. He could have retired at age 62, but he stays.
He has also accumulated about 435 unused sick days -- and will get paid for half of them when he retires. With city teachers trying to negotiate a 4 percent pay hike, Rosenfeld stands to get the raise.
All this largesse comes as Mayor Bloomberg threatens to cut 2,500 teachers to help close a $4 billion budget gap.
Maybe some brave politician will stand up to the Teachers' Union and demand that they repair this outrageous --- oh I do crack myself up sometime.
I have two great links today and I cannot decide whether to try for a segue. I post, you decide...
First is King Banaian, whom I have linked before -- easily the finest of the HotAir stable. Today, his majesty brilliantly answers "What's the Matter with You Americans?" He traces it back to the Revolution's suspicion of tyranny and revolution against what most people today admit is pretty small potatoes.
Doesn’t it seem the same today? When one points out the connection between parts of the Obama agenda and those of European socialists we are told “he’s certainly not one of those!” Of course not. But we called tyranny a level of taxation that many other places just accepted as their lot in life. Our common people believe they deserve explanations, and they are mistrustful most of those who say, “trust us.”
And this is a vital point — a country that has the character to not use government power to plunder a minority for the sake of a majority (or vice versa, as in Saddam’s Iraq) better resists the eventual trials of war, depression, famine, etc.
Outstanding piece, not done justice by my excerpt.
For the second link, blog friend tg has a superb post on "The Death of a Nation” (I might mention that it is not an uplifting, optimistic story of sweetness and light, lots of hugs and puppies kind of thing).
Also comparing the Revolution to today, tg and his buddies turn to Carroll Quigley's theory of institutional decay and disturbing parallels with modern American government.
The discussion began with a Committee post titled "Institution vs. Instrument". The post highlighted historian Carroll Quigley's theory of institutional decay, termed in this discussion as the "institutional imperative." According to this imperative, organizations are formed as a means to accomplishing a stated goal. These organizations are thus instruments whose role is limited to the function they were designed to perform. Over time these instruments tend to denigrate into institutions – organizations who exist for their own sake, devoting resources to protecting their position instead of directing resources towards the fulfillment of their designed role.
I am able to fire up the Sanguine Machine® a little more than tg. Our Constitution lays seeds to rejuvenate itself without Jeffersonian bloodletting. I commented that I find America's being centered around ideals instead of race or heritage an optimistic sign, Lastly, attending a tea party (egads! me among all those unwashed, anti-intellectuals!) has given me hope that the light of liberty burns a little more brightly in people's hearts than the media would have you know.
It's Monday and I know you're trying to get some work done, but both of these items deserve a thoughtful reading (and neither is long).