…Meanwhile, the world marches on. On Sunday, 2,232 days will have elapsed since a category 3 hurricane made landfall in the U.S., the longest period in more than a century that the U.S. has been spared a devastating storm.
Great religions are wise enough to avoid marking down the exact date when the world comes to an end. Not so for the foolish religions. Expect Mayan cosmology to take a hit to its reputation when the world doesn’t end on Dec. 21, 2012.
Expect likewise when global warming turns out to be neither catastrophic nor irreversible come 2017.
A trip down memory lane.
It is a newspaper truism that what is good for journalism is bad for the country, and vice versa. Let’s just say that regarding the pending retirement of Congressman Barney Frank, we’re delighted to make the professional sacrifice.
Few House Members have made a bigger legislative mark, and arguably no one so expensively. Mr. Frank deserves to be forever remembered—and we’ll help everyone remember him—as the nation’s leading protector of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac before their fall. For years Barney helped block meaningful reform of the mortgage giants while pushing an “affordable housing” agenda that helped to enlarge the subprime mortgage industry.
“I do think I do not want the same kind of focus on safety and soundness that we have in OCC [Office of the Comptroller of the Currency] and OTS [Office of Thrift Supervision],” Mr. Frank said on September 25, 2003, in one of his many legendary rhetorical hits. “I want to roll the dice a little bit more in this situation towards subsidized housing.” The dice came up snake-eyes for the housing market and U.S. economy.
Democracy can be unfair, and for his sins Mr. Frank was rewarded with the chairmanship of the Financial Services Committee in 2009 and an opening to remake the U.S. financial industry. It was like asking Charlie Sheen to teach an anger management class. The result was Dodd-Frank, which didn’t solve the “too big to fail” problem but did make banks even more subject to the wishes of Washington. The crony capitalism exemplified by Fannie and Freddie became more broadly embedded in U.S. financial markets.
Heterosexuals are always being accused by homosexuals of being narrow-minded and intolerant, but have any of them ever said they understood why straights might regard sodomy as disgusting behavior?
Have they ever said that although we all grasp the fact that not all homosexuals are pedophiles, it still behooves them to speak out against adults having gay sex with “consenting” teenagers and, furthermore, why it would be inappropriate and criminally irresponsible for the Boy Scouts to allow homosexuals to be Scout Masters and to oversee camping trips? Just as an aside, I can’t help reflecting on the fact that “camping” is a word long used to describe gays acting out in the most outrageous fashion.
Also, when they defend their life style because they were “born that way,” are they blind to the fact that pederasts and rapists and, I dare say, serial killers, could, in their own defense, make the identical claim?
I happen to know a great many conservatives, and I don’t know a single one who believes that gays should be bullied, beaten, persecuted or ostracized by their families. That’s not to say there aren’t any, but I’m happy to report that I haven’t run into them. At the same time, I don’t know why a crime committed against a homosexual should be deemed a “hate crime” and carry a heavier penalty in a court of law than the very same offense when the victim happens to be a heterosexual.
For that matter, I have no idea why after thousands of years of Judeo-Christian civilization, the concept of marriage should be turned on its head simply to accommodate same-sex couples because they insist they love each other. People love all sorts of things, ranging from their dogs, horses and cats to their cars, their hobbies and their hometown football teams. All of that is simply a matter of personal preference. It’s only when gay activists make demands that love is assumed to trump tradition, the law and common sense.
I don’t hate gays. Having worked for decades in Hollywood, I have known a great many of them. How could I not? As in any group, some are decent and some aren’t. Some are excellent co-workers, others are just silly and annoying. Some are extremely talented, while others just think they are because they happen to be gay.
But one thing I have noticed is that I never hear any of them campaigning for the same privilege they demand for themselves being extended to others, such as incestuous couples or would-be polygamists. After all, if love between consenting adults is all it takes to radically transform the concept of marriage from being a sacred relationship between one man and one woman, why shouldn’t the same rights be extended to those other eccentrics?
What gives a man proclaiming his undying love of another man greater moral authority than a back-sliding Mormon who insists that he loves and wishes to marry a dozen consenting waitresses he met at his local Hooter’s?
“I say if a Christmas crèche can’t exist on public property, there’s no legitimate excuse for letting a thousand unwashed goons set up their tents and turn the city sidewalks into their personal latrine.”
– Burt Prelutsky, from his column coming this Saturday
Yes, that’s the actual LAT headline. Two hundred peaceful arrests, yo.
Without resorting to large-scale violence, Los Angeles police successfully cleared out the Occupy L.A. camp at City Hall early Wednesday, managing to avoid fierce confrontations that marred sweeps in Oakland and New York.
Have any of the OWS clowns in the USA been subjected to “large-scale” violence? No.
Hundreds of police officers swarmed the large camp at City Hall’s south lawn shortly after midnight, encircling the demonstrators in less than 10 minutes. By quickly establishing a perimeter, police managed to take control of the scene in the first moments of engagement.
No tear gas was used in the shutdown of what was the nation’s largest remaining Occupy camp. More than 200 people were arrested in the operation that involved 1,400 officers.
Glad to know that no tears were shed.
Now, for an example of large-scale violence, there was this Neda Agha-Soltan, shot dead in Iran.
If the FBI hadn’t overreached in pursuit of Bill Ayers, he probably would have done time for domestic terrorism. Instead, the rich man’s son went free and went on to influence thousands of minds as a college professor.
Then he helped launched Barack Obama’s career, which he denied.
In a NPR story this morning on Rep. Barney Frank’s (D-MA) retirement announcement, there was a brief retrospective of Rep. Frank’s congressional career — but remarkably, there was no mention made of Frank’s involvement in the recent housing-sector meltdown.
None, other than to say he was ‘an advocate for affordable housing.’ What, one wonders, was the result of such advocacy on the part of Rep. Frank?
It’s as if NPR thinks recent history can simply be airbrushed away. But it can’t; it’s right there for all to see.
From a September 2003 report by the New York Times’ Stephen Labaton, on a Bush Administration proposal for a new agency charged with the financial oversight of both Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac:
”These two entities — Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac — are not facing any kind of financial crisis,” said Representative Barney Frank of Massachusetts, the ranking Democrat on the Financial Services Committee. ”The more people exaggerate these problems, the more pressure there is on these companies, the less we will see in terms of affordable housing.”
All hail the ‘great’ Barney Frank!
We’re not hearing much about the prostitution scandal involving his live-in boyfriend, either.
Investors sent Europe’s politicians a painful message last week when Germany had a seriously disappointing government bond auction. It was unable to sell more than a third of the benchmark 10-year bonds it had sought to auction off on Nov. 23, and interest rates on 30-year German debt rose from 2.61 percent to 2.83 percent. The message? Germany is no longer a safe haven.
Since the global financial crisis of 2008, investors have focused on credit risk and rewarded Germany with low interest rates for its perceived frugality. But now markets will focus on currency risk. Inflation will accelerate and the euro may break up in a way that calls into question all euro-denominated obligations. This is the beginning of the end for the euro zone.
Here’s why. Until 2008, investors assumed that all euro- zone sovereign bonds, as well as bank debt, were risk-free and would never default. This made for a wonderfully profitable trade: European banks could buy government debt, finance it at less expensive rates through funding provided by the European Central Bank, and pocket the spread.
Then credit conditions tightened around the world and some flaws became evident. Greece had too much government borrowing; Ireland had experienced a debt fueled real-estate bubble; and even German banks had become highly leveraged. Investors naturally decided some credit-risk premium was needed, so yields started to rise…
Another take on ClimateGate 2.0, this time from Jim Lacey at NRO.
Global-warming skeptics spend much of their time knocking down the fatuous warmist claim that the science is settled. According to the warmists, this singular piece of settled science is attested to by hundreds or thousands of highly credentialed scientists. In truth, virtually the entire warmist edifice is built around a small, tightly knit coterie of persons (one hesitates to refer to folks with so little respect for the scientific method as scientists) willing to falsify data and manipulate findings; or, to put it bluntly, to lie in order to push a political agenda not supported by empirical evidence.
This is what made the original release of the Climategate e-mails from the Climate Research Unit at the University of East Anglia so valuable. They clearly identified the politicized core of climate watchers who were driving the entire warmist agenda. Following in their footsteps are all the other scientists who built their own research on top of the fraudulent data produced by the warmist core.
Last week over 5,000 new e-mails, already dubbed Climategate 2, were released. Anyone still desiring to contest the assertion that only a few persons controlled the entire warmist agenda will be brought up short by this note from one warmist protesting that his opinions were not getting the hearing they deserved: “It seems that a few people have a very strong say, and no matter how much talking goes on beforehand, the big decisions are made at the eleventh hour by a select core group.” Over the years this core group, led by Phil Jones at East Anglia and Michael Mann at Penn State, became so close that even those inclined toward more honest appraisals of the state of climate science were hesitant to rock the boat. As one warm-monger states: “I am not convinced that the ‘truth’ is always worth reaching if it is at the cost of damaged personal relationships.” Silly me, how many years have I wasted believing that the very point of science was to pursue the truth in the face of all obstacles. On the basis of this evidence the scientific method must be rewritten so as to state: “Science must be as objective as possible, unless it offends your friends.”Unfortunately, from the very beginning, the core group at the heart of Climategate had no interest in “scientific truth.” As one states: “The trick may be to decide on the main message and use that to guide what’s included and what is left out.” In other words, let’s decide on a conclusion and then use only evidence that proves that point, discarding everything else. One scientist who seems to have been slightly troubled by these methods wrote: “I also think the science is being manipulated to put a political spin on it, which for all our sakes might not be too clever in the long run.” In another note to Phil Jones, this same scientist complained: “Observations do not show rising temperatures throughout the tropical troposphere unless you accept one single study and approach and discount a wealth of others. This is just downright dangerous. We need to communicate the uncertainty and be honest.”
Of course, nothing of the sort was done. As one e-mail states: “The figure you sent is very deceptive . . . there have been a number of dishonest presentations of model results by individual authors and by IPCC [the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change].” Too bad these so-called scientists felt they could tell the truth only to one another and not the public at large. Some of the other truths they shared only with one another are astounding. For instance, one writes: “I find myself in the strange position of being very skeptical of the quality of all present (more…)
HT: Elena Trevino
As of Saturday, the word was the OWS campers had to clear out by 12:01 Monday morning. But that was then.
The Los Angeles Police Department arrested several people Monday morning as it worked to deal with a swelling crowd that came to protest the planned eviction of Occupy L.A. campers on the lawn of City Hall.
When the LAPD announced that it wanted the campers out by midnight Sunday, officials hoped many protesters would leave voluntarily. Instead, the deadline prompted hundreds of people to converge on the area.
An estimated 1,000 protesters blocked streets around City Hall, creating a standoff with authorities.
Shortly after 5 a.m., police issued an order to disperse to demonstrators gathered at the intersection of 1st and Main streets. Most people complied, but a few refused to leave.
At one point, some protesters started throwing objects at police. Several people were then arrested; one person was carried away by officers.
Police said that there are still no plans to begin evicting people from the park around City Hall, which was officially closed at midnight. They said their main intention was to clear the streets for morning commuters.
“It is not our intent to clear the park at this time,” an officer said over a loudspeaker. “It is only our intent to clear the street. Thank you in advance for your cooperation.”
James Pethokoukis on why Democrats owe Paul Ryan (and the American people) an apology.
Back in May, Democratic Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi traveled to Milwaukee and proceeded to rip the Medicare reform plan of House Budget Chairman Paul Ryan, a Wisconsin Republican:
Democrats brought the fight over Medicare reform to U.S. Rep. Paul Ryan’s backyard Thursday, holding an event in the home state of the man attempting to turn the federal program into a subsidized private insurance plan. Democratic U.S Rep. Tammy Baldwin, D-Madison, and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., held a press conference at the community senior center in Waunakee, where they vowed to fight for continued funding of the social safety net that helps millions of seniors get medical care. … “This plan would abolish Medicare as we know it,” said Pelosi. “We cannot let that happen.”
So it was with some surprise when I read this in the New York Times:
Though it reached no agreement, the special Congressional committee on deficit reduction built a case for major structural changes in Medicare that would limit the government’s open-ended financial commitment to the program, lawmakers and health policy experts say. Members of both parties told the panel that Medicare should offer a fixed amount of money to each beneficiary to buy coverage from competing private plans, whose costs and benefits would be tightly regulated by the government. The idea faces opposition from many Democrats, who say it would shift costs to beneficiaries and eliminate the guarantee of affordable health insurance for older Americans. But some Democrats say that — if carefully designed, with enough protections for beneficiaries — it might work. The idea is sometimes known as premium support, because Medicare would subsidize premiums charged by private insurers that care for beneficiaries under contract with the government.
Now you tell us, NYTimes. Shorter version: Ryan’s idea of turning Medicare into a premium support system is actually a pretty mainstream idea. Former Clinton budget chief Alice Rivlin included it in her fiscal reform plan for the Bipartisan Policy Center. (Even some White House economists thought there was merit in Ryan’s plan, my sources say, though they believed it slowed the growth in Medicare spending by an unrealistic amount. But if Obamacare is unable to reduce costs and preserve quality, a premium support system is a possible Plan B.) And as Avik Roy of Forbes notes (in a great piece), “Again, it’s not clear if Democratic supporters of reform are these think-tank types, or whether they include actual members of Congress.” Still, given the need to transform the U.S. social safety net into a rational, market-based system, any support from the left is a hopeful sign.
A long, excellent essay from the Nov. 26 National Review by Yuval Levin
This fall, liberals from the president on down have begun to grasp the scope of the political and intellectual disaster that the past three years have been for the Left. Their various responses to the calamity have tended to have one thing in common: immense frustration. But the different expressions of that frustration have been deeply revealing. They should help Americans better understand this complicated moment in our politics, and, in particular, help conservatives frame their responses.Liberal frustration has fallen into two general categories that seem at first to flatly contradict each other: denunciations of democracy and appeals to populism. In September, Peter Orszag, President Obama’s former budget director, wrote an essay in The New Republic arguing that “we need less democracy.” To address our country’s daunting problems, Orszag suggested, we need to take some power away from Congress and give it to “automatic policies and depoliticized commissions” that will be shielded from public pressure. “Radical as it sounds, we need to counter the gridlock of our political institutions by making them a bit less democratic.” Two weeks later, North Carolina’s Democratic governor, Beverly Perdue, made a less sophisticated stab at the same general point, proposing to suspend congressional elections for a few years so members of Congress could make the difficult decisions necessary to get our country out of its deep problems.Orszag and Perdue both seemed to channel a long and deeply held view of the Left — that the complexity of modern life and the intensity of modern politics should lead us to put more power in the hands of technical experts who have the knowledge to make objective, rational choices on our behalf. Leaving things to the political process will result only in delay and disorder. President Obama has frequently expressed this view himself — wistfully complaining to his aides earlier this year, for instance, that things would sure be easier if he were president of China.At the same time, the Left has been rediscovering the joys of populism. Populism can mean many things, of course, but in America it has often meant not only a faith in the wisdom of the masses but also a channeling of resentments into a case that the majority is being oppressed by an elite few. And that is just what the president has sought this fall. On the stump, he has been railing against wealthy corporate-jet owners and their Republican henchmen, who care not for the struggling working man and want only “dirtier air, dirtier water, fewer people on health care, [and] less accountability on Wall Street.” Meanwhile, a small but opulently publicized populist protest movement has arisen to “occupy” parts of New York’s financial district as well as parks and public spaces elsewhere around the country. Although it seems at times to be all fringe and no center, the movement does appear to be held together by resentment against corporate greed and crony capitalism, and a sense that the large mass of the public shares that resentment…
DENVER—Ferrie Bailey’s job should be easy: hiring workers amid the worst stretch of unemployment since the Depression.
A recruiter for Union Pacific Corp., she has openings to fill, the kind that sometimes seem to have all but vanished: secure, well-paying jobs with good benefits that don’t require a college degree.
But they require specialized skills—expertise in short supply even with the unemployment rate at 9%. Which is why on a recent morning the recruiter found herself in a hiring hall here anxiously awaiting the arrival of just two people she had invited to interviews, winnowed from an initial group of nearly five dozen applicants. With minutes to go, the folding chairs sat empty. “I don’t think they’re going to show,” Ms. Bailey said, pacing in the basement room.
Her challenge is a familiar one to recruiters, especially in industries that require workers with trade skills such as welding. Union Pacific struggles to find enough electricians who have worked with diesel engines. Manufacturers in many places can’t find enough machinists. Oil companies must fight for a limited supply of drilling-rig workers.
“There’s a tremendous shortage of skilled workers,” said Craig Giffi, a vice chairman of the consulting firm Deloitte. A recent survey it did found that 83% of manufacturers reported a moderate or severe shortage of skilled production workers to hire.
…If Democrats could balance the budget tomorrow and quadruple government spending, they’d refuse the deal unless they could also make Republicans break their tax pledge. That is their single-minded goal.
But the media are trying to turn it around and say that it’s Republicans who are crazy for refusing to consider raising taxes no matter how much they get in spending cuts.
At Tuesday night’s Republican presidential debate on foreign policy, for example, CNN’s Wolf Blitzer asked the candidates for the one-millionth time if they would agree to raise taxes in exchange for spending cuts 10 times larger than the tax hikes.
Terrorism can wait — first, let me try to back you into a corner on raising taxes.
Amazingly, Blitzer cited Ronald Reagan’s statement in his autobiography, “An American Life,” that he would happily compromise with Democrats if he could get 75 or 80 percent of what he wanted — implying that today’s Republicans were nuttier than Reagan if they’d refuse a dollar in tax hikes for $10 in spending cuts.
Wolf should have kept reading. As Reagan explains a little farther in his autobiography: He did accept tax hikes “in return for (the Democrats’) agreement to cut spending by $280 billion,” but, Reagan continues, “the Democrats reneged on their pledge and we never got those cuts.”
Maybe that’s why Republicans won’t agree to raise taxes in exchange for Democratic promises to cut spending.
For Americans who are unaware of the Democrats’ history of repeatedly reneging on their promises to cut spending in return for tax hikes, the Republicans’ opposition to tax increases does seem crazy. That’s why Republicans need to remind them.
From the moment President Reagan succeeded in pushing through his historic tax cuts in 1981 — which passed by a vote of 323-107 in the House and 89-11 in the Senate, despite Democrats’ subsequent caterwauling — he came under fantastic pressure to raise taxes from the media and the Democrats.
You will notice it is the same culprits pushing for tax hikes today.
So in 1982, Reagan struck a deal with the Democrats to raise some business and excise taxes — though not income taxes — in exchange for $280 billion in spending cuts over the next six years. As Reagan wrote in his diary at the time: “The tax increase is the price we have to pay to get the budget cuts.”
But, of course, the Democrats were lying. Instead of cutting $280 billion, they spent an additional $450 billion — only $140 billion of which went to the Reagan defense buildup that ended the Evil Empire.
Meanwhile, Reagan’s tax cuts brought in an extra $375 billion in government revenue in the next six years — as that amiable, simple-minded dunce Reagan always said they would. His tax cuts funded the entire $140 billion defense buildup, with $235 billion left over.
If Democrats had lied only a little and merely held spending at the same level, Reagan could have smashed the Russkies, produced the largest peacetime expansion in U.S. history with his tax cuts and produced a $235 billion budget surplus. (Jobs created in September 1983: 1.1 million; jobs created in September 2011: 150,000.)
But the Democrats not only refused to implement any budget cuts, they hiked government spending. To the untrained eye, that appears to be the exact opposite of cutting the budget.
Even the gusher of revenue brought in by Reagan’s tax cuts couldn’t pay for all the additional spending piled up by double-crossing Democrats — more than twice as much as Reagan’s spending on defense.
Reagan’s defense spending crushed the Soviet war machine. What did Tip O’Neill’s domestic spending accomplish? (I mean, besides destroying the black family, increasing single motherhood and creating government bureaucracies that can never be eliminated.)
Unable to learn from the first kick of a mule, President George H.W. Bush made the exact same deal with Democrats just a few years later…
Here’s a scene from the last Cultural Revolution. It was not a cheery time.
…Three themes are emerging from the newly released emails: (1) prominent scientists central to the global warming debate are taking measures to conceal rather than disseminate underlying data and discussions; (2) these scientists view global warming as a political “cause” rather than a balanced scientific inquiry and (3) many of these scientists frankly admit to each other that much of the science is weak and dependent on deliberate manipulation of facts and data.
Regarding scientific transparency, a defining characteristic of science is the open sharing of scientific data, theories and procedures so that independent parties, and especially skeptics of a particular theory or hypothesis, can replicate and validate asserted experiments or observations. Emails between Climategate scientists, however, show a concerted effort to hide rather than disseminate underlying evidence and procedures.
“I’ve been told that IPCC is above national FOI [Freedom of Information] Acts. One way to cover yourself and all those working in AR5 would be to delete all emails at the end of the process,”writes Phil Jones, a scientist working with the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), in a newly released email.
“Any work we have done in the past is done on the back of the research grants we get – and has to be well hidden,” Jones writes in another newly released email. “I’ve discussed this with the main funder (U.S. Dept of Energy) in the past and they are happy about not releasing the original station data.”
The original Climategate emails contained similar evidence of destroying information and data that the public would naturally assume would be available according to freedom of information principles. “Mike, can you delete any emails you may have had with Keith [Briffa] re AR4 [UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change 4th Assessment]?” Jones wrote to Penn State University scientist Michael Mann in an email released in Climategate 1.0. “Keith will do likewise. … We will be getting Caspar [Ammann] to do likewise. I see that CA [the Climate Audit Web site] claim they discovered the 1945 problem in the Nature paper!!”
How Europe got into such trouble. Via James Pethokoukis
Mild profanity warning.
This is Omid Djalili, a British Iranian standup comedian and actor. We saw him in The Infidel, an uneven but often funny movie about a lifelong Muslim who learns he’s really Jewish.
By now I’m sure that even people who have less interest in college football than I, if such a thing is possible, are aware of the sex scandal that tore Penn State apart. It does not surprise me that Jerry Sandusky got away with his vile activity for so many years or that Joe Paterno and the college administrators basically turned a blind eye to it. College football, after all, is a cash cow that is far more sacred in America than the cattle that wander blithely through India’s countryside. Even when I was just a kid, a popular joke was that such college super stars as Charlie “Choo Choo” Justice, Doak Walker and Hugh McElhenny, would all have to take pay cuts when they turned pro.
In all the years since, I have yawned whenever the NCAA would suspend various programs for infractions which generally consisted of bribing their top athletes. It always seemed to me that the folks at the NCAA would periodically flip a coin to determine which college would next be targeted for their wrath. I mean, really, do you actually believe that any college can play by the rules and field a top-20 team year after year after year? It’s one thing for the NY Yankees or the Boston Red Sox to be competitive decade after decade when they pay their players more than everyone else. But how would a college manage to rule the roost when their best players have to move on after three or four years? Quite simply, by emulating New York and Boston and spending more money than the competition!
That being said, what I found most disgusting in the aftermath of the Penn State scandal was the fact that hundreds of students rioted on behalf of Mr. Paterno. Just because he kept turning out winning teams year after year, decade after decade, these young pinheads felt compelled to rally on his behalf, looking and acting exactly like the scumbags who comprise the Occupy Wall Street mob. But, unlike those unwashed morons, the students actually knew why they were out there creating mayhem in the streets. They were, by god, showing their unflagging support for a man who had kept a child rapist on his coaching staff!
I’m sure that in their defense, the young louts would say that Paterno wasn’t the pervert. But would they say the same if the coach had been employed not at Penn State, but at LSU or Alabama, Oregon or UCLA? Would they say the same about the many priests and cardinals who had never engaged in pedophilia, but who maintained their silence about the small number who did?
Elbert Hubbard once observed, “Every man is a damned fool for at least five minutes every day. Wisdom consists in not exceeding the limit.” I’m afraid that the students at Penn State have already exceeded their limit for at least the next 50 years.
But it’s not just at Penn State that corruption runs rampant. Take a look at Washington, D.C., where any number of politicians who opposed ObamaCare nevertheless voted for it because they were bribed or intimidated by the likes of Harry (“It’s just business as usual”) Reid and Nancy (“You’ll find out what’s in the bill after it’s passed”) Pelosi.
Or consider Barack Obama who comes out four-square against what they call swag, which consists of souvenir pens, pins and cufflinks, handed out by politicians. But he sends his family off to Africa at a cost to tax payers of $800,000. He then uses tax dollars to buy two buses so that he can conduct presidential business — business that apparently can only be conducted in what figure to be swing states in the 2012 election — thus saving the DNC’s war chest hundreds of thousands of dollars.
Or, for that matter, consider Solyndra, a beneficiary of 500 million tax dollars and personal visits by Obama and Biden, but which we’re told had nothing to do with the company being owned by a major Obama contributor.
But when it comes to corruption, unfortunately it’s not limited to Penn State and our nation’s capital. It seems that in New York, by the time they retire, 90% of railroad workers — including those who only held desk jobs — have applied for disability, which just happens to add $36,000 a year to their pension payments. In California, 82% of state troopers retire with some sort of disability. It almost makes you wonder why anyone would even dare consider taking such jobs. Am I the only person who worries about his health?
Finally, you have all these various women accusing Herman Cain of acting inappropriately. Not having been there at the time, I don’t know what he did or didn’t do. What I do know is that whenever a woman shows up in public joined at the hip with Gloria Allred, it is safe to assume that she either belongs in jail, a brothel or a psycho ward.
At this point, I suppose we should all be grateful that Anita Hill hasn’t yet come forward to claim that Mr. Cain once gave her a funny look.
Wall Street grabbings
And trying to avoid the hobo stabbings
ELLI PEARSON: Well, we were protesting together, and the riot cops came at us, and we linked arms and sat down peacefully to protest their presence on our campus. And at one point, they were -— we had encircled them, and they were trying to leave, and they were trying to clear a path. And so, we sat down, linked arms, and said that if they wanted to clear the path, they would have to go through us. But we were on the ground, you know, heads down. And all I could see was people telling me to cover my head, protect myself, and put my head down. And the next thing I know, I was pepper-sprayed.
And no, it is not acceptable to scapegoat a couple of riot police or a university Chancellor just to quell the emotional demands of mobs, or to sate a public outcry manipulated by a hostile press. For context, consider: How many police have been injured nationwide in these “protests”? Because by this sophomore’s own admission, the police were trying to leave and it was the protesters who decided to prevent them from doing so.
Obama, Biden, Reid, Pelosi, and the majority of their activist arm in the mainstream press have supported and romanticized these scattershot, intellectually bankrupt mob actions, hoping to sell them as a coherent “movement”; with their new stimulus push — camouflaged as a “Jobs Plan” — they’ve pretended to be on the side of the “working man,” singling out police and emergency personnel as those whose jobs they are trying to protect.
But the truth is, the Democrats are torn between using these unionized civil servants as propaganda tools, and despising them as symbols of law and order in a country where they are guardians of a neutral rule of law instead of soldiers for a dictator running a police state.
We shouldn’t be fooled. And we shouldn’t stand-by and watch innocent people be sacrificed simply because we worry about the long-term implications of receiving negative press. The left is looking for its Kent State moment. Hell, they’ve been longing for it.
The labor movement is crying foul over a resignation threat from a member of the National Labor Relations Board that would effectively quash a long-sought change to union election rules.
Brian Hayes, a member of the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB), has threatened to resign because of a proposed rule that would speed up union elections, according to a Nov. 21 letter from his colleague, Mark Pearce, the labor board’s Democratic chairman.
If Hayes resigned, his absence would essentially shut down the NLRB and prevent a Nov. 30 vote on parts of the proposed rule.
The backlash to Hayes’s threat from unions has been intense, as a long-held goal of simplifying and speeding up union elections would be stopped in its tracks by the maneuver.
“We think it’s really terrible to shut down a government agency over ideology,” Peter Colavito, director of government relations for the Service Employees International Union (SEIU), told The Hill. “I’m really struggling to find precedent for this. It’s really an outrage as an attack on workers’ rights.”
Nowhere does it say whether Colavito delivered his lines with a straight face.
I have great respect for retired Navy Captain Mark Kelly’s service to this nation. I also admire the courage of Democratic Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords. See Thursday’s post, “God bless you, Gabrielle Giffords.” But I find Captain Kelly’s tactics for selling his new book to be insulting , misleading and plain out wrong. More than that it is disturbingly dishonorable.
From the London Daily Mail:
But it was the lack of any contact from former Alaskan Governor Sarah Palin that was ‘surprising’ said Mr Kelly.
Citing the book, Mr Morgan said that it revealed some ‘interesting insights’ into ‘political colleagues and people that [Gabby Giffords] had worked for and against.’
Speaking about a map for which Palin was responsible, with crosshairs over certain states including Arizona, Mr Morgan said that the Alaskan ‘doesn’t come out of this very well, I don’t think, because there was a woman who at the time had been putting these crosshair things on her website and stuff, including Gabby,’ he said.
Sarah Palin’s map had nothing to do with the attempted assassination of Congresswoman Giffords. The man who shot her knew nothing of the map and had stalked the captain’s wife for 3 years prior to the shooting that left 6 people dead.
What a disgusting thing to do — and Piers Morgan’s failure to challenge Captain Kelly on this misinformation is appalling but not surprising.
One more day. One more lie. Captain Kelly should apologize privately and publicly to Missus Palin for perpetuating this fallacy.
George Handlery at Brussels Journal writes about the European mess.
…Let us assume that you are located on the fiftieth floor. When the man that jumped out at the one-hundredth floor whizzes past, you will avoid to assess his future prospects by referring to the jumper’s currently occupied spot in space.
With the above in mind, one needs to state the obvious. Hither snapshots of reality at different times depict a decline. Each new assessment documents a small slide relative to the previously frozen movement. These gradual appraisals have registered minor deteriorations only.
This was the case even if whatever was said to be impossible earlier became a subject of speculation at the next stage and a reality once the hard bottom at the end of the trajectory moved nearer. First, the rules of regarding the common currency, the Euro, were claimed to be iron clad. Then they were, citing the emergency, softened. Initially a “hair cut” was beyond the pale and avoidable through government bailouts that intended to assert politics primacy over the economy. Then a trimming became a possible scenario. Finally, naturally on a voluntary basis to which the lenders were obligated, the low set clipper, was moved over the crane. The “volunteers” were told to be happy as imposed baldness is still better than a scalping.
The second error we like to make involves a mistake that might be harking back to a misunderstanding of the mechanism that drives economic activity. One would have understanding for it had this happened before Adam Smith or in the condition of infatuation with Marx prior to experiencing him. Most of the leaders of the countries with developed economies are guilty of a fundamental error. They have made their peoples the victim of a stillborn politically inspired economic policy. One could say that the political class lost sight of the “Invisible Hand.” Having lost their bearings, they succumbed to a temptation to which safely held power tends to fall victim. Briefly, they attempted to use political power to override the laws of the market. This makes out of the crisis a primarily political one.
We come to the second error we like to make. Its symptom is that we seek to put our mind at ease by suggesting that, the ongoing crisis is the malfunction of an economy that has lost its balance. Our problems began by politics distorting the realities of the US’ housing market through the granting of credit that gave purchasing power of unqualified buyers for their votes. An avalanche exploiting the “opportunity” was triggered when the participation in the make believe became lucrative. It soon involved the entire economy of the globe’s leading economy. At first, things were fine and profits, both pecuniary and political, were high. Finally, the trick, based on “another idiot will bid higher than the atrocious price I am offering” did what rising balloons do. They burst. Thereafter, the descent turned out to be even faster than the ascent had been.
Earlier, in Europe, the bureaucratically driven expansion of the Union made it grow from six compatible members to a mixed salad of twenty-seven. The EU’s economic zone had also been enlarged. This process put size above the claimed qualitative criteria. The first sin began before the admission of new members. In some instances, desired candidates were encouraged to cook their books so as to appear qualified for inclusion. The idea was that once admitted, the candidate will correct his deficiencies…
Five illegal immigrants armed with at least two AK-47 semi-automatic assault rifles were hunting for U.S. Border Patrol agents near a desert watering hole known as Mesquite Seep just north of the Arizona-Mexico border when a firefight erupted and one U.S. agent was killed, records show.
A now-sealed federal grand jury indictment in the death of Border Patrol agent Brian A. Terry says the Mexican nationals were “patrolling” the rugged desert area of Peck Canyon at about 11:15 p.m. on Dec. 14 with the intent to “intentionally and forcibly assault” Border Patrol agents.
At least two of the Mexicans carried their assault rifles “at the ready position,” one of several details about the attack showing that Mexican smugglers are becoming more aggressive on the U.S. side of the border
From today’s LA Times Thanksgiving editorial:
President Obama deserves thanks for a number of reasons, though he has disappointed as well. The administration gave a significant boost to the future economy and environment by approving ambitious fuel-economy standards calling for new-car fleets in 2025 to average 54.5 miles per gallon.
Obama also deserves credit, along with House Speaker John Boehner, for attempting to strike a grand budget deal when intemperate Republicans threatened to drive the United States into default. And Obama’s refusal to countenance waterboarding as an interrogation technique — indeed, barring it as a form of torture — is a defining and admirable feature of his presidency.
No, the “intemperate” Tea Party Republicans used the little leverage they had to prevent the United States from long term default by insisting on reforming the US budget.
Europe is coming unglued as unsustainable welfare state spending ruins their economies. Can’t the LAT and Dem Cong see the iceberg ahead?
Or do they not care enough to make the hard choices?
Thankfully, we have the Tea Party advocates working with everything they have to prevent our nation from drowning in debt.
“What if climate change appears to be just mainly a multidecadal natural fluctuation?”
That’s the question many Global Warming “deniers” have been mocked for asking. But this wasn’t posed by a denier, but one of the scientists inside the AGW machine.
Once again, emails have revealed just how corrupted by politics climate science has become.
here was always an element of tragedy in the first “Climategate” emails, as scientists were under pressure to tell a story that the physical evidence couldn’t support – and that the scientists were reluctant to acknowledge in public. The new email archive, already dubbed “Climategate 2.0”, is much larger than the first, and provides an abundance of context for those earlier changes.
“I can’t overstate the HUGE amount of political interest in the project as a message that the Government can give on climate change to help them tell their story,” a civil servant wrote to Phil Jones in 2009. “They want the story to be a very strong one and don’t want to be made to look foolish.”
Having elevated global warming to the most dramatic, urgent and over-riding issue of the day, bureaucrats, NGOs, politicians and funding agencies demanded that the scientists must keep the whole bandwagon rolling. It had become too big to stop.
“The science is being manipulated to put a political spin on it which for all our sakes might not be too clever in the long run,” laments one scientist, Peter Thorne. While Professor Jagadish Shukla, a lead IPCC author, IGES founder, and one of the most senior climate experts writes that, “It is inconceivable that policymakers will be willing to make billion-and trillion-dollar decisions for adaptation to the projected regional climate change based on models that do not even describe and simulate the processes that are the building blocks of climate variability.”
With the release of FOIA2011.zip, the cat’s now well and truly out of the bag.
To their credit, some of the climate scientists realised the dangers of the selective approach politicians demanded, which meant cherry-picking evidence to make it suitably dramatic, and quietly hiding caveats. “We need to communicate the uncertainty and be honest,” pleads Thorne, in another email from 2005. Thorne noted that a telltale “signature” of greenhouse gas warming was absent. “Observations do not show rising temperatures throughout the tropical troposphere unless you accept one single study and approach and discount a wealth of others. This is just downright dangerous.”
Read it all.