I post articles because I think they are of interest. Doing so doesn’t mean that I necessarily agree with every—or any—opinion in the posted article.
Happy Liberal Day.
The disclosure of climate data from the Climatic Research Unit at the University of East Anglia
Excerpt: Phil Willis MP, Committee Chair, said: “Climate science is a matter of global importance. On the basis of the science, governments across the world will be spending trillions of pounds on climate change mitigation. The quality of the science therefore has to be irreproachable. What this inquiry revealed was that climate scientists need to take steps to make available all the data that support their work and full methodological workings, including their computer codes. Had both been available, many of the problems at CRU could have been avoided.” The focus on Professor Jones and CRU has been largely misplaced. On the accusations relating to Professor Jones’s refusal to share raw data and computer codes, the Committee considers that his actions were in line with common practice in the climate science community but that those practices need to change.
Comedian cites free-speech right to heckle two lesbians
Wow, I thought you had to go to war to get PTSD. Only need to heckle a comic. The declining state of freedom of speech north of the border. Excerpt: Three years after an Ontario comedian had a nasty exchange of words with a group of women at a Vancouver comedy club, the man's comments are being examined by British Columbia's Human Rights Commission. As the volunteer MC at an open-mic comedy night at Zesty's Restaurant in Vancouver in May 2007, comedian Guy Earle lashed out at lesbian Lorna Pardy and her friends because he thought they were being disruptive.
Obama to clear way for offshore drilling for oil and gas, including off Va. coast, sources say
Excerpt: The Obama administration will approve significant oil and gas exploration off America's coasts, including a possible sale two years from now of leases off the Virginia shore, administration officials said Wednesday. (TV news said BO thinks this will lessen our dependence on foreign oil. Gee, who could have figured that out? Okay, Bush, Gingrich and a host of others…..)
Stopping runaway Washington spending one seat at a time (Gov. Tim Pawlenty)
Actually, it’s hopeless. Even in 2006, 50% of workers paid only 3% of the taxes, thus had every economic incentive to support more spending. Worse today under BO. Republicans cannot cut enough spending to matter without the entitlement majority voting them out of office. Things will just have to go crash. Excerpt: Today, the federal government owns or controls the nation’s largest insurance company, two of the three American auto manufacturing companies, the two entities that hold a majority of our mortgages, the entire student loan industry, wide swaths of the banking industry and now a major portion of the American health care delivery system. Think about it. With his individual mandate, President Barack Obama and the federal government are now forcing Americans to buy a good or service simply for no other reason than they are alive. Their reform will lead to higher taxes and higher premiums – and not reduce the exploding health care costs that are the underlying problem of America’s health care system. Let me put it bluntly: America is headed in the wrong direction.
Assessing John Thune's 2012 chances
Excerpt: Today's candidate filing deadline in South Dakota marks the start of serious talk about Sen. John Thune's potential presidential campaign in 2012. The Thune forces have been loathe to discuss his potential 2012 candidacy while there was still a possibility -- albeit it a VERY slim one -- that he could draw a serious Democratic challenge for his re-election race this fall. But, privately, those close to Thune acknowledge that he has been receiving considerable encouragement to run and is likely to take a hard look at a national bid. Those same sources caution, however, that he remains entirely undecided and his decision will be heavily shaped by what he hears and sees in the coming months. (They also note that Thune will keep an eye closely on South Dakota to ensure he doesn't repeat the mistakes of then Sen. George Allen in 2006.) Thune will likely focus on building out an issue portfolio via his chairmanship of the Republican Policy Committee -- the committee released a report on Iran this morning -- with a specific focus on spending and debt issues. (Thune has been an outspoken opponent of the Troubled Asset Relief Program almost since its inception -- although he did vote for the bill.) He will also likely begin to do more for candidates running for office in 2010 via his Heartland Values PAC -- a process that will allow him to visit key early primary and caucus states to gauge support. So, does Thune have a legitimate shot at the nomination? Here's our take on his strengths and his weaknesses.
Signed, Sealed, Delivered
Excerpt: What will it mean for America? The short answer is that the reforms will expand coverage dramatically, but at a heavy cost to the taxpayer. They will also do far too little to rein in the underlying drivers of America’s roaring health inflation. Analysis by RAND, an independent think-tank, suggests that the reforms will actually increase America’s overall health spending—public plus private—by about 2% by 2020, in comparison with a scenario of no reform (see chart). And that rate of spending was already unsustainable at a time when the baby-boomers are starting to retire in large numbers….. They point to recent studies done by the Cato Institute, a libertarian think-tank, which, they claim, are early warnings of trouble to come. Cato recently examined the impact of introducing health reforms similar to Obamacare in Massachusetts a few years ago. It estimates that the law has not improved people’s health, but has led to a “substantial crowdout of private coverage” and to 60% fewer young (and presumably healthy) adults moving to the state. It claims that the “leading estimates understate the law’s cost by at least one third.” Premiums have also risen. If coverage is the new law’s strong point, cost control is its weakness. That is not to say that most ordinary people will pay more for coverage, as critics of reform noisily insist. True, some of those forced to buy insurance will earn too much to qualify for subsidies, and so will be spending more than they do today—but, in return, they will get insurance plans that offer more generous coverage than current basic plans. What is more, many other Americans may end up with lower premiums.
Obama's $3,000,000,000,000 Tax Hike
Excerpt: When he released his new budget proposal on February 1, President Barack Obama asserted that the government "simply cannot continue to spend as if deficits don't have consequences; as if waste doesn't matter; as if the hard-earned tax dollars of the American people can be treated like Monopoly money; as if we can ignore this challenge for another generation." Yet the President's new budget does exactly that, according to Brian Riedl, the Grover M. Hermann Fellow in Federal Budgetary Affairs at the Heritage Foundation: The budget would permanently expand the federal government by 3 percent of gross domestic product over 2007 prerecession levels. Taxes would be raised on all Americans by nearly $3 trillion over the next decade. It would raise taxes for 3.2 million small businesses and upper-income taxpayers by an average of $300,000 over the next decade. For every dollar spent in 2010, 42 cents would be borrowed.
Enemies of the state
Excerpt: During President George W. Bush's two terms, you couldn't drive far without seeing a particular bumper sticker: "Dissent is the highest form of patriotism."
Now that Democrats control the White House and Congress, the left treats dissent as the lowest form of treason. When the left agitates over government policies, it's considered righteous anger. When the right - and much of the center - agitate, it's painted as the rantings of the criminally and violently insane. With Obamacare signed into law, Democrats have stopped congratulating themselves long enough to notice that the American people aren't cheering on the sidelines. According to a CNN poll released last week, 58 percent oppose President Obama's handling of Obamacare, while Gallup shows him this week with a 46 percent job approval, his lowest yet. A CBS poll released after the House of Representatives passed Obamacare showed Speaker Nancy Pelosi's favorable rating at 11 percent and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid's at 8 percent, higher only than Beelzebub's. Aware that their "reform" is rejected by most of the American people and that they will face serious consequences in November, the Democrats have decided that the best defense is a good offense: Attack those who oppose Obamacare. It doesn't seem to bother most Democrats that that pernicious strategy puts them in the weird and politically untenable position of attacking most of the American people. Over the past week, a parade of Democrats have accused members of the Tea Party movement and other opponents of Obamacare of threatening them. There may be an infinitesimal number of looney tunes who have engaged in that kind of unacceptable behavior out of hundreds of millions of Americans. But the Democrats have dishonestly extrapolated from a few claimed incidents to taint all those who reject Obamacare as wild-eyed wackos. If this sounds familiar, it's because the Democrats have shown a disturbing pattern of demonizing those who disagree with them.
Pro-Life Democrats Who Switched Vote for Health Bill Request Billions in Earmarks
In line for their 30 pieces of silver. Excerpt: The 11 House Democrats led by Rep. Bart Stupak who dropped their opposition to health care reform mere hours before the final vote have requested $3.4 billion in earmarks -- and one watchdog group wants to know whether the money represents business as usual, or a political payoff.
Apple Boycotts Glenn Beck—Promotes Che Guevara!
Excerpt: “More than 200 companies have joined a boycott of (Glenn) Beck's program,” reports the Washington Post. “A handful of advertisers, such as (iPhone owner) Apple, have abandoned Fox altogether,” continues the WaPo article. We can only assume this Apple “boycott” was prompted by what CBS's Katie Couric (quoting the Fox commentator’s critics) describes as Beck’s “inflammatory, unfair, despicable, hateful rhetoric." This same hyper-sensitive-to-hate-speech Apple, by the way, has just launched an iPhone application featuring Che Guevara’s quotes. Yes! “Now you can carry around Che Guevara's quotes on your IPhone!” Alas, many of us, though not customer of this unquestionably hip product, suspect that most of Che Guevara's hippest quotes are missing from this hippest of iPhone apps. Among those we fear were overlooked by the hyper-sensitive-to-hate-speech, Apple are: “The Negro is indolent and spends his money on frivolities and booze, whereas the European is forward-looking, organized and intelligent.” "The negro has maintained his racial purity by his well known habit of avoiding baths" (as if Che had room to talk) "My nostrils dilate while savoring the acrid odor of gunpowder and blood...Crazy with fury I will stain my rifle red while slaughtering any surrendered enemy that falls in my hands! With the deaths of my enemies I prepare my being for the sacred fight and join the triumphant proletariat with a bestial howl!" (From Che’s own diaries, later immortalized as The Motorcycles Diaries, though we note that executive producer Robert Redford “overlooked” this unquestionably dramatic citation for his movie.) "Hatred as the central element of our struggle!... Hatred that is intransigent.... Hatred so violent that it propels a human being beyond his natural limitations, making him violent and cold- blooded killing machine...We reject any peaceful approach. Violence is inevitable. To establish Socialism rivers of blood must flow. The victory of Socialism is well worth millions of atomic victims!” (Thus spaketh the icon of flower-children.)
Obama's 'Soviet-Style' Takeover of Student Loans
Excerpt: “As Americans find out what it really does, they’ll be really unhappy,” Alexander predicts. “The first really unhappy people will be the 19 million students who, after July 1, will have no choice but to go to federal call centers to get their student loans. They’ll become even unhappier when they find out that the government is charging 2.8 percent to borrow the money and 6.8 percent to lend it to the students, and spending the difference on the new health-care bill and other programs. In other words, the government will be overcharging 19 million students.” The overcharge is “significant,” Alexander adds, because “on a $25,000 student loan, which is an average loan, the amount the government will overcharge will average between $1,700 and $1,800.” “Up to now, 15 out of 19 million student loans were private loans, backed by the government,” Alexander says. “Now we’re going to borrow half-a-trillion from China to pay for billions in new loans. Not only will this add to the debt, but in the middle of a recession, this will throw 31,000 Americans working at community banks and non-profit lenders out of work.” Alexander, a former University of Tennessee president, says the effects of Obama’s policy could be felt for decades. “When I was education secretary, one of my major objections to turning it all over to the government was that I didn’t think the government could manage it,” he says. “This is going to be too big and too congested, and makes getting your student loan about as attractive as lining up to get your driver’s license in some states.”
Reagan commercial on socialized medicine from the fifties
And, Lo! It came to pass.
U.S. government has abandoned the American southwest
Excerpt: Illegal aliens, drug cartels, gangs destroying American southwest. Last weekend’s murder of an Arizona rancher has outraged people across the country, and is bringing attention to the war zone-like conditions which those in the American southwest have lived under for several years. Authorities now admit that Robert Krentz, 58, was likely shot to death by an illegal alien. His body was found on Saturday night, on his 35,000-acre ranch about 35 miles northeast of Douglas. His murderer also killed Krentz’s dog. The ranch which has been in the Krentz family since 1907, is located in a known smuggling corridor, used by Mexican drug cartels. Shortly after the murder was discovered, U.S. Border Patrol agents, sheriff’s deputies and Department of Corrections dog chase teams followed a single set of foot tracks for 20 miles, to the Mexican border.
Obama, who 'excluded lobbyists', has appointed 50
As he told McCain when McCain called him on his violated healthcare transparency promise, ‘the election’s over, John.” Meaning promises were to get votes from the rubes, not to live up to.
Most Say Tea Party Has Better Understanding of Issues than Congress
excerpt: In official Washington, some consider the Tea Party movement a fringe element in society, but voters across the nation feel closer to the Tea Party movement than they do to Congress. The latest Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey finds that 52% of U.S. voters believe the average member of the Tea Party movement has a better understanding of the issues facing America today than the average member of Congress. Only 30% believe that those in Congress have a better understanding of the key issues facing the nation. When it comes to those issues, 47% think that their own political views are closer to those of the average Tea Party member than to the views of the average member of Congress. On this point, 26% feel closer to Congress.
United States of Argentina
Excerpt: When White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel last year advised "never waste a good crisis," he likely was thinking ahead to President Obama's economic stimulus program and health care plan. After swelling the federal deficit by passing the stimulus at a cost of nearly $1 trillion, Democrats in Congress signed off on Obamacare, with a price tag, according to Rep. Paul Ryan, R-Wis., of $2.3 trillion in its first decade alone. With federal spending exploding at such a rate, it's no wonder that Moody's Investor Service recently warned that it would downgrade the U.S. government's credit rating if it concludes "the government was unable and/or unwilling to quickly reverse the deterioration it has incurred." What the United States government will do in the future may be in question, but we need not look far to find past examples of countries unwilling to get their finances in order. Consider Argentina. In 1914, it was one of the wealthiest countries in the world, and its living standard exceeded that of Western Europe until the late 1950s. Then President Juan Peron squandered his nation's prosperity by introducing a host of redistributionist economic and regulatory policies, nationalizing utilities and foreign investments, and pumping up the national debt. What followed was three decades of political instability, growing dependency, and economic stagnation
Lesson on just what the health care bill means
Excerpt: I was in my neighborhood restaurant this morning and was seated behind a group of jubilant individuals celebrating the successful passing of the recent health care bill. I could not finish my breakfast. This is what ensued: They were a diverse group of several races and both sexes. I heard the young man exclaim, “Isn’t Obama like Jesus Christ? I mean, after all, he is healing the sick.” The young woman enthusiastically proclaimed, “Yeah, and he does it for free. I cannot believe anyone would think that a free market would work for health care. They are all crooks and thieves and don’t deserve all of that money.” Another said, "The stupid Republicans want us all to starve to death so they can inherit all of the power. Obama should be made a Saint for what he did for those of us less fortunate.” At this, I had heard enough. I arose from my seat, mustering all the restraint I could find, and approached their table. “Please excuse me; may I impose upon you for one moment?” They smiled and welcomed me to the conversation. I stood at the end of their table, smiled as best I could and began an experiment.
U.S. forces set sights on Taliban bastion of Kandahar
Excerpt: U.S. forces have begun the initial phases of a political-military offensive in this Taliban bastion and hope to control the city and surrounding areas by late summer, according to senior U.S. military officials.
President calls on U.N. to impose tough sanctions on Iran by spring
The situation calls for decisive action and President Wobbly stepped up…and set another deadline. Excerpt: President Barack Obama on Tuesday called on the United Nations to impose sanctions on Iran by this spring. During a joint press conference at the White House with French President Nicolas Sarkozy, Obama said he wants to see a sanctions regime in place, but conceded that he does not yet have international unanimity. At the same time, Obama suggested he was optimistic he could win sanctions at the United Nations, saying he thought “we can get sanctions in weeks.” “My hope is that we are going to get this done this spring,” said Obama, who has come under intense pressure from Congress to take action on Iran. “So I'm not interested in waiting months for a sanctions regime to be in place. I'm interested in seeing that regime in place in weeks," he said.
New suicide blasts kill 12 in southern Russia
Didn’t get the memo. Excerpt: Two suicide bombers targeted authorities in southern Russia on Wednesday, killing 12 people, including nine police officers. Prime Minister Vladimir Putin said the blasts may have been organized by the same militants who attacked the Moscow subway. The attacks Wednesday came after the powerful former president had vowed to "drag out of the sewer" the terrorists who plotted Monday's twin subway bombings, which killed 39 people and injured scores of commuters during rush hour. Wednesday's blasts struck in Dagestan, one of the provinces in Russia's volatile North Caucasus that have been destabilized by near-daily bombings and other raids by Islamic militants.
Navy SEAL McCabe Passes Polygraph
Excerpt: One of three Navy SEALs facing a court martial announced at a rally Saturday that he has passed a polygraph test, casting doubt on the Pentagon’s case against him. In Scottsdale, Ariz., over 130 people rallied in support of the three Navy SEALs facing courts martial after capturing one of the most wanted terrorists in Iraq, Ahmed Hashim Abed, mastermind of the murder and mutilation of four Blackwater security guards in Fallujah in 2004. Navy SEALs Julio Huertas, Jonathan Keefe and Matthew McCabe are accused of punching Abed after capturing him.
The Incredibly Stupid One
This is a great story of POWs in Vietnam. Excerpt: Doug’s battle station was the aft ammunition handling room for the 5 inch guns, located aft in the bowels of the ship. One morning he had the 0400 watch while Canberra was steaming down the coast of North Vietnam firing its 8 inch guns against targets of opportunity [bicycles, water buffalo and occasional trucks] on Highway 1. At about 0330 he rolled out of the rack. Being a prudent farm boy he locked all his valuables in his locker and then proceeded to go out on deck for a breath of fresh air before manning his battle station. Now there is a non repetitive exercise in the surface Navy called "going out on deck when big guns are firing". If the concussion does not blow you over the side it will at least blow out your ear drums. But Doug must have slept though that safety lecture. He doesn’t know what happened. Either not being night adapted, or being without his glasses, or concussion did it, he ended up going arse over teakettle into the South China Sea about three miles off shore with no life preserver, no identification, no nothing. Meanwhile he watched the Love Boat merrily steaming over the horizon, firing at the coastline and never missing him for two days. There is not much to do in the South China sea at 0345.
Searchers: Remains of Errol Flynn's son found
Just another of the hundreds of millions of people murdered by the Communists during the 20th century. Excerpt: Forensic tests will be conducted on what two searchers believe are the remains of photographer Sean Flynn, son of Hollywood star Errol Flynn, who disappeared during the Cambodian War 40 years ago, the U.S. Embassy said Monday. At least 37 journalists were killed or are listed as missing from the 1970-75 war, which pitted the U.S.-backed Lon Nol government against the North Vietnamese-supported Khmer Rouge. A number of journalists were known to have been captured by the Khmer Rouge and probably executed.
The Vietnam wall