Monday, November 30, 2009
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) spent $2,993 in taxpayer money on flowers between June and October. House Majority Whip James Clyburn has a thing for Chantilly Donuts, spending about $500 at the Virginia shop in the past quarter. And Rep. Tim Walz (D-Minn.), a fiscal conservative, decided to give about $2,000 in unused office funds back to the government to help reduce the deficit.
In order to save the planet from global roasting, it seems entirely reasonable to ask Mr. and Mrs. Joe Peasant to subordinate their freedom of movement to an annual "carbon allowance" preventing them flying hither and yon and devastating the environment. As Dr. Rajendra Pachauri, the chair of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change,explains:
Hotel guests should have their electricity monitored; hefty aviation taxes should be introduced to deter people from flying; and iced water in restaurants should be curtailed, the world’s leading climate scientist has told the Observer.
Rajendra Pachauri? Hey, if you're manning the VIP lounge at Heathrow, that name may ring a bell:
Dr Rajendra Pachauri flew at least 443,243 miles on IPCC business in this 19 month period. This business included honorary degree ceremonies, a book launch and a Brookings Institute dinner, the latter involving a flight of 3500 miles.
So, the New Black Panthers get a pass on voter intimidation. The ACORN fraudsters get a pass on tax fraud and God knows what all. Members of Congress and administration appointees need not bother with tax compliance, and can dance around any number of improprieties.
But, defend the country by engaging in aggressive interrogation of terrorist murderers using methods specifically approved by the DOJ under the previous administration? Watch out. Eric Holder and his DOJ -- now so heavily populated with fancy lawyers who, in private practice, gave those same terrorist murderers free legal services -- will investigate you relentlessly.
Sunday, November 29, 2009
The question at the center of the debate is “Who should control the personal and complex process of medical decision making? You and your physician? Or Washington?” Will patients remain free to choose whether or not to have screening mammograms? Or will the government secure the right to determine what life-saving tests Americans should or should not have?
It is significant the US Preventive Services Task Force is referenced four times as a primary source of medical information in the latest Senate healthcare bill. Washington is consumed with politics and power, not patient care.
It becomes increasingly clear the Democrats have become the party that does not give a crap about what mainstream America thinks or wants. They have decided that owning both houses of congress and the White House means they do not have any particular responsibility toward fundamental ethics-in-governance, honesty, accountability or transparency. This goes beyond simply tsking, “imagine how they’d be screaming if Bush (or anyone with an R after their name) were doing this…”
The Democrat congress that promised to “drain the swamp” and usher in a new era of everything good and open and uncorrupted has proved that it does not actually give a crap about any of that.
Do you see an abuse of power in the President of the United States firing an Inspector General (and attempting to slander his mental capacities) in order to cover up a misuse of funds involving a sex scandal, and do you wonder why Congress is not investigating same?
- "You can't imagine what this has cost me -- to actually allow the operator to assign false WMO (World Meteorological Organization) codes!! But what else is there in such situations? Especially when dealing with a 'Master' database of dubious provenance ..." (98)
And after the release of the e-mails that show UEA-CRU deliberately kneecapping other scientists who dared venture from the heterodoxy and discuss methods of hiding contradictory data and findings, it’s hard to believe that this wasn’t by design rather than carelessness. After all, without that raw data, the world would have to just take UEA-CRU’s word for it — and until those e-mails got released, it seems that most people would have done so.
Create a wild theory suggesting the world will become chaos in a few years if your theory isn't heeded. Then imagine throwing out the raw data that proves your theory. Imagine making unavailable facts on which your basic theories are based. Then imagine creating global industries and treaties based around the theory you created and supposedly based on the raw data that you threw out. These treaties will forever alter the balance of economies around the world, taking from countries like the US and giving to third world countries. You, of course, will have created your own industries and heavily invested in so-called "green" companies which will thrive in this new economy which is, of course, all based on computer models based on raw data you threw out.
SCIENTISTS at the University of East Anglia (UEA) have admitted throwing away much of the raw temperature data on which their predictions of global warming are based.
The data were gathered from weather stations around the world and then adjusted to take account of variables in the way they were collected. The revised figures were kept, but the originals — stored on paper and magnetic tape — were dumped to save space when the CRU moved to a new building.
Heh. Mrs. Obama resembles no one else. No one else wearing a large rubber military belt just below her bosoms.
The Elle style jury, led by Nathalie Rykiel, of the Sonia Rykiel house, said that the emphasis this year was on strong personalities who shone with a distinctive style. “Mrs Obama resembles no one else — her style is unique,” said Elle. “She encourages young designers and has succeeded in imposing the waisted cardigan as official dress.
So much for Climate Research. When Geophysical Research Letters also showed signs of wandering off the “consensus” reservation, Dr. Tom Wigley (“one of the world’s foremost experts on climate change”) suggested they get the goods on its editor, Jim Saiers, and go to his bosses at the American Geophysical Union to “get him ousted.” When another pair of troublesome dissenters emerge, Dr. Jones assured Dr. Mann, “I can’t see either of these papers being in the next IPCC report. Kevin and I will keep them out somehow — even if we have to redefine what the peer-review literature is!”
Which in essence is what they did. The more frantically they talked up “peer review” as the only legitimate basis for criticism, the more assiduously they turned the process into what James Lewis calls the Chicago machine politics of international science. The headline in the Wall Street Journal Europe is unimproveable: “How To Forge A Consensus.” Pressuring publishers, firing editors, blacklisting scientists: That’s “peer review,” climate-style.
Here’s where things get really ugly. TPMDC’s Brian Beutler calls “the” $2.5-trillion cost estimate a “doozy” of a “hysterical Republican whopper.” Not only is he incorrect, he doesn’t seem to realize that Gregg and I are correcting for different budget gimmicks; it’s just a coincidence that we happened to reach the same number.
When we correct for both gimmicks, counting both on- and off-budget costs over the first 10 years of implementation, the total cost of ObamaCare reaches — I’m so sorry about this — $6.25 trillion. That’s not a precise estimate. It’s just far closer to the truth than President Obama and congressional Democrats want the debate to be.
Beutler and other supporters of ObamaCare can react to this news in two ways. They can continue to deny the enormous cost of the legislation they support. Or they can question how President Obama’s health plan came to be so blessedly expensive, and how (and by whom) they were duped into thinking it wasn’t.
Mrs Horoski, an English professor, bought the 3,400 sq ft (315 sq m) bungalow 15 years ago for less than $200,000. In 2004, after the value of the home soared, she refinanced with a mortgage for $292,500 from Deutsche Bank at an initial interest rate of 10.375 per cent that rose as high as 12.5 per cent.
The couple, both of whom have medical problems and who live with their adult daughter, used the extra money for healthcare and to help to finance Mr Horoski’s online business selling collectable dolls. But the value of their home plummeted in the property crash and is now appraised at no more than $275,000 — less than the mortgage.
Saturday, November 28, 2009
One of Labour's great triumphs with the National Health Service is that people now go into hospital to die rather than to be cured. It seems to render the whole debate about assisted suicide utterly pointless. Who needs a Dignitas clinic when you can check into a hospital in Basildon and be relatively certain to be taken out in a box?
It is a further achievement of our monitoring, regulating culture that even the monitors and the regulators don't seem to have a clue how bad things are – or they certainly didn't in Basildon. This exposes one of the great pretences of the NHS: that it is there first and foremost for the benefit of patients. It isn't. It exists these days mostly for the benefit of various trade unionists who are fully paid-up members of the Brown clientele, and who earn good money as petty bureaucrats trying to "manage" things that, if they need to be managed at all, could be far better done by fewer people in much more efficient systems.
"You are suggesting that we are a court only for the Third World. That's what the Arab world said about Bashir, that we are using double standards," he explained. "I said no, I prosecute whoever is in my jurisdiction. I cannot allow that we are a court just for the Third World. If the First World commits crimes, they have to investigate, if they don't, I shall investigate. That's the rule and we have one rule for everyone."
Mr. Ocampo—who has a photo of himself with the head of the Arab League, Amr Moussa, on his windowsill—could have pointed out to his Arab interlocutors that the real double standard was their own complaining about alleged Western aggression against Muslims while they protect Sudan's Bashir, the greatest butcher of Muslims in modern history. The fact that Mr. Ocampo mentioned the Sudanese perpetrator of genocide in the same breath with alleged crimes of NATO soldiers shed light on what the International Criminal Court may have in store for the U.S. in the future.
Nancy Pelosi told leftist supporters today that the the reason Americans are mad about their record spending is that “they’re not getting anything for it.”
Building the case for a brand new jobs-creation bill, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi says most Americans would not mind inflating the already-gaping deficit in exchange for more jobs.
The California Democrat said on a conference call Tuesday that Americans could “absorb” the hit to the federal budget, and she argued that their biggest complaint is not that the deficit is big — it’s that they’re not seeing any benefit in return for increasing the U.S. debt load.
Friday, November 27, 2009
I finally beheld what my eyes had refused to see: that leftists are Mr. and Ms. Misogyny. Neither the males nor the females care a whit about women.Women are continually sacrificed on the altar of political correctness. If under radical Islam women are enshrouded and stoned and beheaded, so be it.My other epiphanies: those ponytailed guys were marching for abortion rights not because they cherished women's reproductive freedom, but to keep women available for free and easy sex.Then along came Sarah, and the attacks became particularly heinous. And I realized something even more chilling about the Left. Leftists not only sacrifice and disrespect women, but it's far worse: many are perpetuators.The Left's behavior towards Palin is not politics as usual. By their laser-focus on her body and her sexuality, leftists are defiling her.
I don't believe that Democrats in Congress actually disagree with the majority of voters who expect a government takeover of medicine to result in worse health care at a higher cost. Rather, the Democrats believe that degraded health care is an acceptable price to pay for what they are really after--government domination over the life of every citizen. Whether the American people understand how profound is the Democrats' assault on their liberties, and will be willing to do what it takes to throw the greedy rascals out of power, remains to be seen.
Okay, so here's what they do. They throw a bunch of money for stupid [ACORN] projects out to the states, and then they tell people how to calculate how many jobs were created *or saved* based on a formula. Not literally created. Of course.
Michigan's Department of Transportation offers up yet another reason to doubt the accuracy of the reported number of stimulus grants. From the Clare County Review in Michigan:
Statewide the Michigan Department of Transportation is the recipient of $566.9 million in stimulus funds. Clare County is receiving $3.35 million of that total for two projects, the new 44,000 square foot Clare County Transit facility and the recently completed 5.5 mile portion of the Peré Marquette Rail trail through Farwell.
Janet Foran of MDOT’s Office of Communications said “The stimulus funding calculation for jobs created is one job for each $92,000 invested, making, if the calculation is accurate, three hundred sixty-four jobs created or saved by the investment."
If you define stimulus money in advance as creating a certain number of jobs per dollar, then obviously you will achieve the results the Obama administration has been looking for. How many other reported stimulus jobs have been "created or saved" through this kind of circular logic?
It's not only Republicans who decry this prospect. Examining the Democrats' health care proposals, William Galston, domestic policy adviser in the Clinton White House, writes, "We're already facing an unsustainable fiscal future."
Looking further ahead, Scott Winship notes in the Progressive Policy Institute's progressivefix.com blog that federal spending is on course to exceed 40 percent of GDP because of scheduled spending on entitlements -- Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid -- within the lifetime of today's children.
Yet the congressional Democrats who are pressing to expand federal health care spending do not seem much fazed by the prospect that, as Winship writes, "the level of taxation it would require to meet projected spending needs is far higher than anything the country has ever seen-slash-tolerated."
It is true that Mr. Obama often seems not to have a firm grasp of—or respect for—protocol, of what has been done before and why, and of what divergence from the traditional might imply. And it is true that his political timing was unfortunate. When a great nation is feeling confident and strong, a surprising presidential bow might seem gracious. When it is feeling anxious, a bow will seem obsequious.
The Obama bowing pictures are becoming iconic not for those reasons, however, but because they express a growing political perception, and that is that there is something amateurish about this presidency, something too ad hoc and highly personalized about it, something . . . incompetent, at least in its first year.
Re: Re: This Just In [Jonah Goldberg]
And of course, global warming also causes:
Acne, agricultural land increase, Afghan poppies destroyed, poppies more potent, Africa devastated, Africa in conflict, African aid threatened, African summer frost, aggressive weeds, Air France crash, air pressure changes, airport malaria, Agulhas current, Al Qaeda and Taliban Being Helped, Alaska reshaped, moves, allergy season longer, alligators in the Thames, Alps melting, Amazon a desert, American dream end, amphibians breeding earlier (or not),[SNIP]
Thursday, November 26, 2009
Here are some red flags in the behavior of mainstream scientists that
could be used as prompts for examining more carefully the consensus
(1) Consistent use of ad hominem attacks toward those challenging their
(2) Refusal to make data public. This has been going on in this area for
(3) Refusal to engage in discussions of the actual science, on the
assumption that it is too complicated for others to understand.
(4) Challenging the credentials of those challenging the consensus position.
(5) Refusal to make computer code being used to analyze the data public.
This has been particularly egregious here, and clear statements of the
mathematics and statistics being employed would have allowed the
conclusions to be challenged at a much earlier stage.
But what stood out most for me was extensive evidence of the hijacking of the "peer review" process to enforce global warming dogma. Peer review is the practice of subjecting scientific papers to review by other scientists with relevant expertise before they can be published in professional journals. The idea is to weed out research with obvious flaws or weak arguments, but there is a clear danger that such a process will simply reinforce groupthink. If it is corrupted, peer review can be a mechanism for an entrenched establishment to exclude legitimate challenges by simply refusing to give critics a hearing
.And that is precisely what we find.