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Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Top execs at cash strapped University of California demand dramatically higher pensions.

The following gluttons want their pensions to go from $183,750 to $300,000.

First let me give you their names. 

Satish Ananthaswamy, CFA senior portfolio manager, Office of the Chief Information Officer

Marie Berggren, chief investment officer

William Coaker Jr., senior managing director of equity investments, Office of the Treasurer

Lynda Choi, managing director, absolute return, regents' Office of the Treasurer

Linda Fried, senior portfolio manager

Gloria Gil, managing director of real assets, Office of the Treasurer

Jesse Phillips, senior managing director, investment risk management, regents' Office of the Treasurer

Tim Recker, CFA managing director of private equity, regents' Office of the Treasurer

Dr. Jack Stobo, senior vice president, health services and affairs

Randolph Wedding, senior managing director, fixed income, Office of the Treasurer

Dr. Sam Hawgood, vice chancellor and dean, School of Medicine

Ken Jones, chief operating officer, medical center

Mark Laret, CEO, medical center

Larry Lotenero chief information officer, medical center

John Plotts, senior vice chancellor

UC Berkeley
Christopher Edley Jr., dean, School of Law

Richard Lyons, dean, Haas School of Business

UC Davis
Steven Currall, dean, Graduate School of Management

William McGowan, CFO, health system

Dr. Claire Pomeroy, CEO health system, vice chancellor/dean, School of Medicine

Ann Madden Rice, CEO Medical Center

Roger Farmer, chair, Department of Economics

Dr. David Feinberg, CEO of the hospital system; associate vice chancellor

Franklin Gilliam Jr. dean, school of Public Affairs

Dr. Gerald Levey, dean emeritus

Virginia McFerran, chief information officer of the health system

Judy Olian, dean and John E. Anderson chair, Anderson School of Management

Amir Dan Rubin, chief operating officer of the hospital system

Dr. J. Thomas Rosenthal, chief medical officer of the hospital system; associate vice chancellor

Paul Staton, chief financial officer of the hospital system

UC San Diego
Dr. David Brenner, vice chancellor for health sciences; dean of the School of Medicine

Tom Jackiewicz, CEO, associate vice chancellor of the health system

Gary Matthews, vice chancellor, resource management & planning

Dr. Thomas McAfee, dean for clinical affairs

Robert Sullivan, dean, Rady School of Management

UC Irvine
Terry Belmont, CEO, Medical Center

Here's a link to the story:

Three dozen of the University of California's highest-paid executives are threatening to sue unless UC agrees to spend tens of millions of dollars to dramatically increase retirement benefits for employees earning more than $245,000.

"We believe it is the University's legal, moral and ethical obligation" ....

Here's the UC website. You can find ways of contacting these greedy bastards directly.

Forget about nuking the Norks, let's aim one at UC.

"Nuke the Norks" is link trolling? I'm just not with it.

Glenn Reynolds expected to be doing better in Andrew Sullivan’s Malkin Award poll.  Referring to references to his comment as link trolling. 

Let's see if it works.

Nuke the Norks. Nuke the Norks. Nuke the Norks. Nuke the Norks. Nuke the Norks. Nuke the Norks. Nuke the Norks. Nuke the Norks. Nuke the Norks. Nuke the Norks. Nuke the Norks. Nuke the Norks. Nuke the Norks. Nuke the Norks. Nuke the Norks. Nuke the Norks. Nuke the Norks. Nuke the Norks. Nuke the Norks. Nuke the Norks. Nuke the Norks. Nuke the Norks. Nuke the Norks. Nuke the Norks. Nuke the Norks. Nuke the Norks. Nuke the Norks. Nuke the Norks. Nuke the Norks. Nuke the Norks. Nuke the Norks. Nuke the Norks. Nuke the Norks. Nuke the Norks. Nuke the Norks. Nuke the Norks. Nuke the Norks. Nuke the Norks. Nuke the Norks. Nuke the Norks.

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

So You Lost Your Election

Iowahawk give some pointers to Washington's dispossessed. 
Congratulations! You're almost there in your new non-Washington job. You've gotten a callback from a prospective employer who wants to interview you for an opening. This can be daunting, but it's important to remain calm, relaxed, and prepared. Before the big interview, make sure you are neat and clean, and wearing appropriate business attire. In many ways your job interview will be like an important televised Congressional debate, and your main goal is to sell yourself. But remember -- always think of your interviewer as an undecided voter, not your opponent. It's a common mistake, as recently experienced by one ex-Capitol Hill layoff victim:

Job Interviewer: so, Mr. Grayson, I see here you would like to join the cast here at Disney World. Tell me about yourself. What is it about Alan Grayson that qualifies him to wear the Donald Duck costume?

Alan Grayson: You're in no position to question my fitness for this position. The people of the Magic Kingdom already know why you want the Donald Duck constume.

Job Interviewer: I... uh...

Alan Grayson: You want to wear the Donald Duck costume because it gives you the cover you need to kill people. That's right - you want to kill people! Face it, beneath those feathers and behind that bill, you are no different than the Taliban.

Job Interviewer: now just a minute, I...

Alan Grayson: You be quiet, you murderous webfooted terrorist! I have the floor.

Job Interviewer: Is that a gavel?

Alan Grayson: You are out of order! [bang] Out of order!

Job Interviewer: Security!

Read the whole thing.

$5.00 GAS!

Why isn't the MSM asking what Obama is going to do about this? 

Or is this part of the plan?

Like bankrupting utilities that use coal?

To save us from Global Warming ... uh ... Climate Change ... err ... Global Climate Disruption.  It's nothing that $5 gas and skyrocketing utility bills won't solve. 

At least it's a plan.

Got that? No matter what the weather, it's all due to warming. This isn't science; it's a kind of faith.

From Investors Business Daily: The Abiding Faith Of Warm-ongers

Nothing makes fools of more people than trying to predict the weather. Whether in Los Angeles or London, recent predictions have gone crazily awry. Global warming? How about mini ice age?

The sight of confused and angry travelers stuck in airports across Europe because of an arctic freeze that has settled across the continent isn't funny. Sadly, they've been told for more than a decade now that such a thing was an impossibility — that global warming was inevitable, and couldn't be reversed.

This is a big problem for those who see human-caused global warming as an irreversible result of the Industrial Revolution's reliance on carbon-based fuels. Based on global warming theory — and according to official weather forecasts made earlier in the year — this winter should be warm and dry. It's anything but. Ice and snow cover vast parts of both Europe and North America, in one of the coldest Decembers in history.

As if to prove their point, here is an article written by Judah Cohen for the NY Times (and reprinted in the Virginian Pilot) and linked by DRUDGE. Bundle Up, It’s Global Warming
THE earth continues to get warmer, yet it’s feeling a lot colder outside....

How can we reconcile this? The not-so-obvious short answer is that the overall warming of the atmosphere is actually creating cold-weather extremes. Last winter, too, was exceptionally snowy and cold across the Eastern United States and Eurasia, as were seven of the previous nine winters.

For a more detailed explanation, we must turn our attention to the snow in Siberia.

Cohen brings in El Nino, solar variability, arctic sea ice, Siberia, the Jet stream, snow reflecting heat into space, and none of them is persuasive ... unless you are a true believer.

And to think that atheists make fun of Christians for their faith.

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Phil Jones and the clowns at East Anglia should be forced to spend the evening outdoors as punishment for thier global warming hoax.

Via JammieWearingFool, from the UK Mail Online
Christmas Day is the coldest ever with mercury plummeting to MINUS 18 as UK heads towards the biggest December freeze since 1890
Traditional family walks to help the turkey go down could be off the cards today as December 25 is the coldest Christmas ever.

The mercury plummeted to -5.9C at Glenlivet in 1996, but that record was smashed last night when temperatures dropped to -17C at Worcester and -18C at Altnaharra in northern Scotland.

Some areas enjoyed a traditional white Christmas, with snow falling in Edinburgh, Glasgow, Aberdeen and north east England.

Most parts of England, Wales and Northern Ireland were sunny and dry but daytime temperatures are set to remain below freezing.

As some Parisians frolicked in the blanket of snow covering their city, air passengers stranded at Charles de Gaulle airport were having a less joyful time after being evacuated from one of its terminals amid fears for their safety because of an accumulation of snow on the roof.

Bernard Cathelain, deputy director of the Paris airport authority ADP, said the terminal was still operating but passengers had been asked to move.

Le Monde newspaper reported about 60 centimetres of snow had built up on the roof of the terminal and about 2000 people had been evacuated. Firefighters have been sent in to clear the snow.

It added to the woes at Charles de Gaulle, where freezing conditions and a strike at the main French factory producing de-icing fluid forced the cancellation of half - about 400 - of scheduled flights. A supply of glycol was flown in from the US but many passengers already faced missing traditional Christmas Eve dinner.

Fresh snow falls and cold weather have caused travel chaos elsewhere in France and across Europe, shutting airports and causing big delays to trains and aircraft. Dusseldorf airport in Germany shut for several hours, causing the cancellation of about 65 flights.

UPDATE: On this side of the pond Blizzard :
A winter storm that brought a rare white Christmas to parts of the South was barreling up the East Coast early Sunday, with forecasters predicting 6 to 10 inches of snow for Washington and blizzard conditions for New York City and New England.

Airlines canceled hundreds of Sunday flights in the Northeast corridor, with more likely to come as the storm intensifies.

Snow in Chesapeake, VA
Maryland, Virginia and North Carolina declared states of emergency early Sunday or Saturday night. As North Carolina road crews tried to clear snowy and icy highways, Mid-Atlantic officials spent Christmas Day preparing for up to a foot of snow, plunging temperatures and high winds.
From AccuWeather:

Blizzard Looms for Philadelphia, New York City, Boston

The corridor from Salisbury, Md. to Philadelphia to New York City to Boston to Portland will be faced with roughly 18 hours of heavy, wind-whipped snow.

Total snow accumulations within this zone will exceed a half foot. More than a foot will bury places from the New York City area to Bangor, Maine.

Strong winds will significantly blow and drift the snow around, leading to an all-out blizzard from Philadelphia northward.


Friday, December 24, 2010

Sacramento-area pilot punished for YouTube video showing security flaws. Big Sis Strikes Back!

A fifty year old pilot who's been deputized to carry a gun in the cockpit, is an active member of the Army Reserve and flew mission for the UN in Macedonia has been visited by
... four federal air marshals and two sheriff's deputies arrived at his house to confiscate his federally-issued firearm. The pilot recorded that event as well and provided all the video to News10.

Dissent does not appear to be the highest form of patriotism when Democrats are in charge.  Of course once the FCC controls the Internet, stories like this are not apt to show up.

Power Line labels it Gangster Government
As for the folks running the show in the Obama administration, you have to wonder who these people think they are. It's a question that applies to several cabinet officers and administrative agencies and goes right to the top of the administration.
Glenn Reynolds notes:
This is precisely the sort of vindictive — while fundamentally ineffective — behavior we expect from Janet Napolitano. And once again, we are not disappointed.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

The Original Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree

On this day (+2) in 1931, America was spiraling into the depths of the Depression. Thousands of banks had closed and there was a national panic that more closings might be imminent. And large corporations announced huge layoff programs, stunning many who thought they were safe. Those who had a job were grateful just to be employed.

Among those were a group of construction workers in New York City. As they stood amidst the rubble of demolished buildings in midtown Manhattan, they talked of how lucky they were that some rich guy had hired them for a new but risky development.

And since it was near Christmas, they decided to celebrate the fact that they had a job. They got a Christmas tree from a guy in a lot on the corner who apparently had discovered that folks with apartments suitable for 18 foot trees were not too free with the green pictures of dead presidents in 1931. So the workers stood the big tree up in the rubble and decorated it with tin cans and other items in the lot. A photographer saw it as a perfect symbol of 1931. It caught on immediately and each Christmas as the project proceeded a new tree was put up. And even after the project (Rockefeller Center) was completed, management put up a new (and much bigger) tree each year.

Thanks to Art Cashin for his yearly reminder of how much we have to be grateful for.  We are again in the middle of tough times for a lot of people.  Let's light up a Christmas tree in our homes & in our hearts, and let us be grateful if we have a job.  And let us extend our hands to those who do not.

A lesson for those who hate the rich, in 1931 the name Rockefeller was synonymous with wealth.  He was the one who gave those construction men their jobs, and they were glad to have them.

Top 10 Hoaxes Perpetrated by the Left and Trumpeted by a Complicit Media

Megan Fox has the roundup: all the way from books with pee on them in the Harvard library to fake anti-Muslim flyers.Click HERE to read.

Or .... you can just pick up a copy of the Virginian Pilot.

Monday, December 20, 2010

A Scientific Theory Is Judged By Its Predictive Power

John at Powerline points out that if a scientific theory makes predictions that do not come true, it's false.

Dr. David Viner is a senior research scientist at the climatic research unit (CRU) of the University of East Anglia; the leading climate research organization in the world, and the source of the infamous leaks of e-mails that showed how the data on climate change was "massaged" and how scientists that did not agree got blacklisted from peer reviewed publications.

Here's his prediction in the year 2000
Sledges, snowmen, snowballs and the excitement of waking to find that the stuff has settled outside are all a rapidly diminishing part of Britain's culture, as warmer winters - which scientists are attributing to global climate change - produce not only fewer white Christmases, but fewer white Januaries and Februaries. ...

According to Dr David Viner, a senior research scientist at the climatic research unit (CRU) of the University of East Anglia,within a few years winter snowfall will become "a very rare and exciting event".

"Children just aren't going to know what snow is," he said.

Can we review how that prediction turned out?

We're not talking about a nobody making predictions about the weather in a week, we're talking about an official "climate scientist" at the Mecca of "climate science"  making the kind of long-term prediction that should prove the validity of global warming.  In fact, the exact opposite of the prediction is happening, so the charlatans who brought us the first prediction are ramping up the wattage.

Saturday, December 18, 2010

"Most economists/scientists/reporters agree that ..."

Brian Stelter in the NY Times runs a hit piece on Fox News by citing a study conducted by the and arm of the University of Maryland. The survey determines that more Fox viewers than non-viewers believe that “most economists have estimated the health care law will worsen the deficit;” and “most scientists do not agree that climate change is occurring.”

What I found interesting about this study is that it tests people’s knowledge about what economists believe with regard to Obamacare, not what the people themselves believe. If I were asked the question, I would not know the answer to what most economists believe, but I know that you can’t insure 30 million additional people at zero cost to the government. As a small business owner I also know that my health insurance premiums have risen dramatically since the bill was signed into law and even before most of its provisions have been put into effect. So I really don’t give a rip what most economists believe when I have reason and proof that tells me that Obamacare – in common with all government health programs like Medicare have exceeded their most extravagant cost projections. I may add that government economists have also been telling us that the price of food has not been rising; a claim that reminds me of the philandering husband caught in the act by his wife asking her “who are you going to believe, me or your lying eyes?

The study was designed to show that Fox was misinforming its viewers. On the contrary, the polling organization was misleading the people being surveyed.

The second question is also a survey question, not a question about people’s personal beliefs. But I think most people would respond to it with their own opinions on the underlying question rather than guessing about a survey of scientists. From that perspective, it’s a bit of a trick question. If you were to ask the average person: is climate change occurring, many would answer “yes” that climate is always changing. But a lot of people would view that question by assuming that the question was really “is there manmade global warming?” Here, a large proportion of people have become skeptical about this issue, having observed that the apocalyptic predictions have not come true and that the weather they have observed around them has actually become much colder that they have been used to. If they have been exposed to the Internet and to Fox News they would also have heard about the cooked books at the British climate science center in East Anglia and the intemperate rants by NASA’s James Hansen. If they people asking the question were to approach me I would answer that I assume most intelligent people know that the earth’s climate has changed over the centuries, but I seriously doubt the theory of man-made global warming. In my case, Fox News had nothing to do with it.

We can conclude from this survey that you can make survey results say anything you want them to say if you word your questions correctly.  The second thing we learn from this is that if academics, economist and scientist come up with conclusions that contradict what we are experiencing in our everyday lives, I don’t care if they agree with each other; they’re wrong.

"In the Bleak Midwinter"

Friday, December 17, 2010

Nazi/Communism Discussion at Instapundit

AND YET APOLOGISTS IN AMERICA WERE COMPARING HIM TO THE EARLY CHRISTIANS: Mao’s Great Leap To Famine: “The worst catastrophe in China’s history, and one of the worst anywhere, was the Great Famine of 1958 to 1962, and to this day the ruling Communist Party has not fully acknowledged the degree to which it was a direct result of the forcible herding of villagers into communes under the ‘Great Leap Forward’ that Mao Zedong launched in 1958. To this day, the party attempts to cover up the disaster, usually by blaming the weather. Yet detailed records of the horror exist in the party’s own national and local archives. . . . Starvation was the punishment of first resort. As report after report shows, food was distributed by the spoonful according to merit and used to force people to obey the party. One inspector in Sichuan wrote that “commune members too sick to work are deprived of food. It hastens their death.”

Socialism starves. Capitalism enriches. It’s been proven over and over again. But remember: Communism is about “human dignity.” See:

In all, the records I studied suggest that the Great Leap Forward was responsible for at least 45 million deaths.

Between 2 and 3 million of these victims were tortured to death or summarily executed, often for the slightest infraction. People accused of not working hard enough were hung and beaten; sometimes they were bound and thrown into ponds. Punishments for the least violations included mutilation and forcing people to eat excrement.

Communists are as bad as Nazis, and their defenders and apologists are as bad as Nazis’ defenders, but far more common. When you meet them, show them no respect. They’re evil, stupid, and dishonest. They should not enjoy the consequences of their behavior.

UPDATE: A reader emails:

I’m a long time reader, but I must strongly object to this:

“Communists are as bad as Nazis, and their defenders and apologists are as bad as Nazis’ defenders, but far more common. When you meet them, show them no respect. They’re evil, stupid, and dishonest. They should not enjoy the consequences of their behavior.”

As someone who works in academia, I run into my fair share of Marxists. While I disagree with their politics, many of them are decent non-evil people most certainly deserving of respect. There is, to my mind, a big difference between communism and Nazism: it is possible to be a communist with the “good will,” i.e. to sincerely wish the best most prosperous future for everyone. I think it’s pretty obvious that communism is not the way towards that goal, but intelligent people can disagree. Nazism, on the other hand, is fundamentally impossible to commit one’s self to with a good will. It is inherently racist, hateful, and concerned with elevating particular groups of people on the basis of the subjugation and dehumanization of others.

Put another way: communism, like it or not, is an Enlightenment project and an Enlightenment ideology. The evils of communism my be intrinsic, but they are not built into the ideology itself. I.e. Marx never advocated for any society like the Soviet Union or for gulags, etc. The same cannot be said of Nazism.

This is not to give communism a “pass,” but rather to separate the ideology and intentions of the believer, from, say, crimes like the Great Leap Forward. One does not convince communists to give up their creed by calling them Nazis and refusing to show them a modicum of respect. One convinces them (and I speak from personal experience) but engaging them as people who want the good, but don’t realize that their politics cannot and will never be able to effect the society they seek.

I’d like to agree with this, but I don’t. As Cathy Young noted a few years ago, the “good intentions” argument has long been an excuse for mass murder:

Why the double standard? Unlike Nazism, Communism claimed to champion the noble ideals of equality, fairness, and brotherhood. To many well-meaning liberals and progressives, it was an expression of the enduring human hope for a good and just society; a nostalgic fondness for that hope, Amis argues, endures to this day. That’s why, he says, Hitchens can still profess admiration for Lenin and Trotsky, who laid the foundations for Stalin’s brutal police state. (In his essay, Hitchens evades Amis’s blunt question: “Do you admire terror?”)

Today, the issues raised in Koba the Dread could be seen as purely academic; but they are not. The left’s reluctance to acknowledge that Communism wasn’t just a failure but an evil is due to more than stubbornness. Such an acknowledgment would amount to (1) validating a view of the West, Communism’s Cold War adversary, as good (albeit imperfect), and (2) admitting that the left spent much of the 20th century cozying up to mass murderers and therefore has precious little moral authority to criticize the West today. And that’s very relevant to present-day global conflicts.

Indeed. Communism’s mass murders have gotten less condemnation precisely because academic Marxists and sympathetic journalists continue to cover for them. Meanwhile, Kate McMillan has a more even-handed perspective:

A few years ago a handful of Aryan Guard marched in Calgary, and were confronted by a larger group of “anti-racist” communist protesters. The media ate it up, of course.

As I reminded my conservative blogger friends who were applauding the latter – “When the communists show up to protest the nazis, you’re supposed to pray for an asteroid, not pick a favourite.”

Evil vs. evil, no more.

ANOTHER UPDATE: Reader T.J. Linzy writes:

I work in academia, but formerly in commerce, and the “good will” remark is one that I hear regularly. However, it is wrong. What the Communists want to do is far worse than racism. Communism feels the need to control someone, because they have legally built up wealth, or want to through their own endeavours (and want to keep it). That wealth makes that person “deserving” of being plundered. “Workers of the world unite!” is OK, but for what? The unspoken goal is to plunder those who have. It is not a call for brotherly love. It is a mobilisation call for a lynch mob.

The Nazis had good will to other Nazis too. You were only in trouble if you weren’t a Nazi. Communism encourages tyranny of the mass over the few. If that is not evil, I don’t know what is.

It’s not even tyranny of the mass over the few. That’s the slogan, but it always ends up in the hands of the nomenklatura. In fact, the more any group talks about equality, the more certain it is to end up with an entirely different set of rules for the few at the top.

Plus, from Moe Lane: Not buying the “goodwill” bit:

Yes, of course: when I get a bullet in the back of the head from somebody for the ‘crime’ of believing in property rights I so totally will feel better about it because the shooter and I ‘merely’ disagree on the best route to Utopia.

I’ll repeat: The difference between Communists and Nazis is mostly PR, and the PR is better because more journalists and academics were communists than Nazis.

And reader Michael Ravine notes what Robert Heinlein said about communism: “I regard it as Red fascism, distinguishable from black and brown fascism by differences of no importance to me nor to its victims.”

Reader Tom Scott, meanwhile, writes:

A long time reader responded:

The evils of communism my be intrinsic, but they are not built into the ideology itself.

Not being an academician I am struggling to understand the distinction he is attempting to make. In reading the “Black Book of Communism” it seems that wherever communism is adopted-USSR, PRC, Cambodia, Cuba, etc- it has inevitably led to a similar result.

By its fruit, the tree is known.

FINALLY: This quote from Moe Lane is worth breaking out:

Marxism is intellectualism for stupid people; it tends to attract the sort who can’t understand that an economic system that cannot feed its own population reliably has failed at the game of Life. Literally.


Remember when Sarah Palin was roundly criticized for saying that food prices were rising?

From the San Francisco Chronicle online

If anything, this article understates the rise in food prices.  I go to the grocery store several times a week and am shocked by the prices of the fresh and packaged food.  Want a goose for Christmas?  Be prepared to shell out $75!

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Mao's Great Leap to Famine

Even the NY Times, still a reliable supporter of communism in most of its forms printed this article by Frank Dikotter that  shows how Mao killed 45 million Chinese during the "Great Leap Forward" as he implemented communism in that sad country. 

Stalin said that "one death is a tragedy, a million deaths is a statistic." So it's worthwhile to document individual deaths so that we are not overwhelmed by statistics.
One report dated Nov. 30, 1960, and circulated to the top leadership — most likely including Mao — tells how a man named Wang Ziyou had one of his ears chopped off, his legs tied up with iron wire and a 10-kilo stone dropped on his back before he was branded with a sizzling tool. His crime: digging up a potato.

When a boy stole a handful of grain in a Hunan village, the local boss, Xiong Dechang, forced his father to bury his son alive on the spot. The report of the investigative team sent by the provincial leadership in 1969 to interview survivors of the famine records that the man died of grief three weeks later.

Starvation was the punishment of first resort. As report after report shows, food was distributed by the spoonful according to merit and used to force people to obey the party. One inspector in Sichuan wrote that “commune members too sick to work are deprived of food. It hastens their death.”

And before anyone claims that this was not part of the plan and that Mao did not know:

Mao was sent many reports about what was happening in the countryside, some of them scribbled in longhand. He knew about the horror, but pushed for even greater extractions of food.

At a secret meeting in Shanghai on March 25, 1959, he ordered the party to procure up to one-third of all the available grain — much more than ever before. The minutes of the meeting reveal a chairman insensitive to human loss: “When there is not enough to eat people starve to death. It is better to let half of the people die so that the other half can eat their fill.”
Glenn Reynolds (Instapundit) writes: 
Communists are as bad as Nazis, and their defenders and apologists are as bad as Nazis’ defenders, but far more common. When you meet them, show them no respect. They’re evil, stupid, and dishonest. They should not enjoy the consequences of their behavior.

The Porkers

The Omnibus arrives with so much pork it almost seems that there was no taxpayer revolt on November 2nd. The Ruling Class really does beleiv it has a mandate from heaven and we are the peasants.

So here's the list of Senators and the number of earmarks Jamie Dupree found for each in this Omnibus - so find your Senator and see what they did in this bill.

Here's the score for Virginia's Warner and Webb.


Tuesday, December 14, 2010

I blame global warming

The blizzard that pummeled the Upper Midwest over the weekend was one for the record books, burying some communities with nearly 2 feet of snow and breaking 100-year-old records in others.

Even all the way to the South, new records have been set as snow and brutally cold air blasted in behind the storm.

Another Dose of Frigid Air

20-Degree Temps Invade Central Florida

Chill Map:

Perky Katie Couric vs. Condoleeza Rice

From Powerline:
In some respects, one could say that American politics from 2003 until 2008 were dominated by Congress's decision to go to war in Iraq and the Left's hysterical response to that decision. Sensible commentary on Iraq is always in short supply, but Condoleezza Rice's interview with left-winger Katie Couric provides a refreshingly adult take on the subject:

Obama thanks 'Mike' McConnell

"Mike" McConnell is the Senator from the 57th state.

They told me that if I voted for McCain we could have a President who was too dumb to know the name of the minority leader in the Senate. And they were right!

Monday, December 13, 2010

Obama Scores a Hat Trick

As everyone is busy describing the rapidly shrinking Obama Presidency, let us take note of the fact that this President scored a “Hat Trick” by coming through on three of his most important campaign promises: health care, financial reform and energy.

1.       Obama promised us national health care reform during the campaign and he delivered.  He revolutionized the health care system.  That fact the it will not improve the quality of health care, that the vast majority of Americans want it repealed, and that it increases rather than decreases the cost of health care is irrelevant.  He kept his promise despite the fact that this bill probably had more to do with the massive defeat of Democrats in congress than any other action.
2.       Obama promised us reform of the financial system and got a bill passed.  The fact that it enshrined “too big to fail” and does absolutely nothing about the twin causes of the financial melt-down (Fannie and Feddie) is not an issue.  He promised us a bill and a bill was crafted by the people who were most responsible for the crisis that just passed (Dodd and Frank), and that’s all right with him.
3.       Obama promised to wean us off conventional fuels by making them too expensive to use and he did it.  When he came into office gasoline was selling for about $1.67 a gallon and – two years later during the slowest part of the driving season – it’s over $3.00 a gallon and rising. 
Promises made, promises kept.  Now about that Civilian National Security Force that’s as well armed and trained as the military...  He has two more years to fulfil that promise.  And lest you think that's not a possibility, did you think just two short years ago that before you boarded a plane you had to choose between being viewed in the nude or having your "junk" groped by the TSA?
To paraphrase Glenn Reynolds: "They told me that if I voted for McCain, the cost of health care would go up, we would have crony capitalism and I would have to park my car because I could not afford gas.  And they were right!"

Saturday, December 11, 2010

What’s more important: cutting spending or cutting the deficit?

What’s more important: cutting spending or cutting the deficit? Wait, aren’t they connected?

The story from the Washington Examiner polls the public and the political class and shows that where you sit is hwere you stand.

The survey found "that 57% of likely U.S. voters think reducing federal government spending is more important than reducing the deficit. Thirty-four percent (34%) put reducing the deficit first," according to Rasmussen.

But when the same issue was put before members of the two groups, the results were profoundly different:

"It’s telling to note that while 65% of mainstream voters believe cutting spending is more important, 72% of the Political Class say the primary emphasis should be on deficit reduction," Rasmussen said.

Here’s the reason why most voters believe that cutting spending is more important. If you cut spending, you accomplish two things: you reduce the deficit AND you reduce the impact that the government has on the individual. The Tea Party is about the gargantuan government as much as it is about the humongous deficit.

When the political class puts deficit reduction first what people hear is: tax increases. The ruling class continues to believe that the people will be willing to pay more of their money to the government if they can see the deficit reduced; and this has the added benefit – to the government – of being able to continue to give money to their favored constituencies.

The focus should be laser-like on spending reductions; cutting the size and scope of government. If we do that, the deficit will take care of itself.

Obama Names Bill Clinton to Presidential Post

Iowahawk does it again: 
"I am gratified that the President-Elect has entrusted me with this important responsibility," said Clinton. "I'm looking forward to getting back behind, and under, the Oval Office desk again. As I have told the President-Elect, I pledge to do whatever I can to serve his historic administration by making sure that none of that bullshit he talked about during the campaign will ever see the light of day. Americans can rest assured that he will be safely confined to the East Wing, as far away as possible from any potentially dangerous office equipment or nuclear buttons."

"Let's face it, it's obvious I'm in way over my head here," explained Obama. "Anyone paying attention knows I am a disaster waiting to happen, and who can blame them? I mean, just look at the stock market. That's why I think it's in the best interest of the country that I hand over the reins to people who, whatever their ethical shortcomings, at least have a faint clue about what they're doing. Come on, man. I've got a 401-k, too."
Read the whole thing.

Navy Sets World Record With Incredible, Sci-Fi Weapon

A theoretical dream for decades, the railgun is unlike any other weapon used in warfare. And it's quite real too, as the U.S. Navy has proven in a record-setting test today in Dahlgren, VA.

Rather than relying on a explosion to fire a projectile, the technology uses an electomagnetic current to accelerate a non-explosive bullet at several times the speed of sound. The conductive projectile zips along a set of electrically charged parallel rails and out of the barrel at speeds up to Mach 7.

The result: a weapon that can hit a target 100 miles or more away within minutes.

"It's an over-used term, but it really changes several games," Rear Admiral Nevin P. Carr, Jr., the chief of Naval Research, told prior to the test.

Friday, December 10, 2010

Beyond Same Sex Marriage: Liberal Columbia Professor and Daughter Commit Incest

Here's a serious question: why are we repulsed by this and why are we supposed to celebrate same sex marriage?  The mantra about same sex marriage goes like this: why can't two people that love each other get married?  Epstein and his daughter are not even asking to get married; they just want to have sex.  If the Supreme Court has judged that it is not any of the law's business what two people do in the privacy of their bedroom, what's the argument for making what Epstein did to his daughter illegal?

“First, do no harm.”

As George Washington lay on his sickbed, having caught cold after working outside in freezing weather, doctors were called in, one after another. One of the primary remedies for illness at that time was bloodletting, and each physician in succession provided that remedy. It is now surmised that by the time he died, a day after taken ill, doctors had taken two-thirds of the blood in his body. Washington finally died of his remedy.

With Washington’s doctors to instruct us, it behooves the government, as the economy lies on its sickbed struggling to recover, to make sure that it does no harm. There is not a single economist, Left or Right, who believes that raising taxes during a recession is a prescription for a recovery. Had Washington’s doctors simply stood by his bedside, he may not have recovered, but his death would certainly have been delayed.

Most of what you know about the Obama/Republican compromise legislation is wrong. First of all, it’s not about a tax cut. The rate cuts occurred in 2001 and 2003 in response to an economy in recession, still suffering from the after-effects of 9/11. The tax rates have been in effect for nearly a decade. In return for cutting tax rates, Democrats insisted that the rates should go up at the end of 2010. If the deal that has been described passes, it will simply continue the current tax rates for the next two years. There is no income tax cut in the bill. The bill is designed to keep taxes from rising automatically on January 1, 2011. To go back to our Washington analogy, allowing tax rates to go up would be the same as starting the bloodletting, and you see how well that worked out.

The proposal calls for a temporary reduction in the Social security tax. Social Security taxes have been used to fund other government programs for decades. Will this stimulate the economy either by increased consumer spending or increased hiring? Time will tell, but there are doubts.

The estate tax, which is scheduled to go from 0% to 55% on estates over $1 million as of January 1, 2011 will, according to this accord, be levied on estates over $5 million at 35%. To minimize your taxes, plan to die before the end of the year.

Seriously, I question whether the passage of this plan will do much to stimulate the economy. What it does is give the American people the ability to see their tax burden for two years into the future and removes the current uncertainty for some time. That stability will cause some people who have been holding off needed investments to proceed. The problem facing the policy makers who want to have consumers begin spending again is that the trauma of the last 2 years will not be forgotten soon. People living paycheck to paycheck are going to be taking Dave Ramsey’s advice and are getting debt free. That means that most of the extra money from the reduction on the Social Security tax will be used to reduce debt and put some money aside in an emergency fund. Consumers are getting their financial house in order.

I predict that economic growth over the next decade will be producer-driven rather than consumer-driven. That’s where the cash is, that’s where the profits are and that’s where the real needs are. From a public policy perspective we do not want to encourage the vast majority of the American people to spend and spend, live paycheck to paycheck, always in the brink of insolvency, and retiring with their Social Security checks as their sole source of income. Make no mistake, corporate pensions for private sector workers are a thing of the past and, as governments face the facts regarding their unfunded pension liabilities, they will also disappear for public employees. Demographics do not allow the welfare state to support us at more than subsistence levels; anything above that will have to be provided from our personal resources.

This is the “new normal” and those who want to move the country back to the days before the bills came due in 2008 are simply going to bleed the patient to death.

Thursday, December 09, 2010

"The Middle"

Ron Radosh addresses the issue raised by David Frum and William Galson who want to form a “No Labels” party. This would be a party that is neither as far Left as the Democrats or as far Right as the Republicans. This is not only a strange conceit on the part of Galson and Frum, but points out the fact that, for a lot of people like them in this country, we are not a nation in crisis.

To address the issue of the essential un-seriousness of Frum and Galson, you only have to imagine that two people who most of the nation has never heard of and whose pronouncements don’t particularly resonate are about to start a mass movement. Neither Frum or Galson resemble Abraham Lincoln who led the most important political realignment, nor FDR who led the last great American mass movement. They are simply editorial writers whose adherents number in the hundreds. The other factors that made mass movements possible were issues of great moral import like slavery or economic factors – the Great Depression – that caused the average American to fear for his personal well-being. That latter factor may be present today, but only as a shadow of its predecessor in the 1930s before the creation of the social safety net and the welfare state. A final point regarding these mass movements: they were not attempts to find a middle ground; they were radical. A civil war is fought by people who are passionate to the extent of killing the opposition. The FDR era was a time - globally - which fostered the most extreme national leaders who fostered cults of personality; and if you doubt the extent to which this applied to FDR, you’re no student of history.

These two, Frum and Galson, are simply trying to sell their columns. America is undergoing an upheaval engendered by an economic crisis that is making many people gloomy about their future and that of their children. This situation may lead to an new leader. Obama promised to be just such a leader, described my some as literally a Messiah.  But he has disappointed his followers while energizing his opponents. Another charismatic leader – Sarah Palin – has emerged, almost by accident. Loved by her supporters, loathed by her enemies, there is no one else currently on the national stage - other than Obama - who has shown the ability to lead a mass movement. Meanwhile out in the street, in flyover country, that mass movement is coalescing around the banner of the Tea Party which is not a party and has no national leader.

Frum and Galson are irrelevant. Sloppy middles of the kind they envision are not the province of political transformations. Watch what happens to “The Middle,” not just the name of a popular TV show, but also where most of the people in the country are. See who they will follow.

Tuesday, December 07, 2010

Obama the Messiah

As we enter the Christmas season and turn our minds to the birth of the Messiah, let us remind ourselves how easily men turn to other Gods.  Memory does not have to go back very far.  Let us recall the way that many prominent opinion leaders hailed another "anointed one" not more than two years ago:

"I mean in a way Obama’s standing above the country, above – above the world, he’s sort of God." - Evan Thomas, Newsweek

"Barack Obama isn't really one of us. Not in the normal way, anyway...Dismiss it all you like, but I've heard from far too many enormously smart, wise, spiritually attuned people who've been intuitively blown away by Obama's presence - not speeches, not policies, but sheer presence - to say it's just a clever marketing ploy, a slick gambit carefully orchestrated by hotshot campaign organizers who, once Obama gets into office, will suddenly turn from perky optimists to vile soul-sucking lobbyist wh*res, with Obama as their suddenly evil, cackling overlord. Many spiritually advanced people I know (not coweringly religious, mind you, but deeply spiritual) identify Obama as a Lightworker, that rare kind of attuned being who has the ability to lead us not merely to new foreign policies or health care plans or whatnot, but who can actually help usher in a new way of being on the planet, of relating and connecting and engaging with this bizarre earthly experiment. These kinds of people actually help us evolve. They are philosophers and peacemakers of a very high order, and they speak not just to reason or emotion, but to the soul." - Mark Morford, San Francisco Chronicle

"I have to tell you, you know, it's part of reporting this case, this election, the feeling most people get when they hear Barack Obama's speech. My, I felt this thrill going up my leg. I mean, I don't have that too often." - Chris Matthews

"I've been following politics since I was about 5. I've never seen anything like this. This is bigger than Kennedy. [Obama] comes along, and he seems to have the answers. This is the New Testament. This is surprising." - Chris Matthews

"It was the best speech I've ever heard. ... And I'm tearing up, and I'm writing down notes, and I'm trying to keep track of this thing. ... His heart must've been broken last night." - Chris Matthews

Historian Michael Beschloss: Yeah. Even aside from the fact of electing the first African American President and whatever one’s partisan views this is a guy whose IQ is off the charts — I mean you cannot say that he is anything but a very serious and capable leader and — you know — You and I have talked about this for years …

Imus: Well. What is his IQ?

Historian Michael Beschloss: … our system doesn’t allow those people to become President, those people meaning people THAT smart and THAT capable

Imus: What is his IQ?

Historian Michael Beschloss: Pardon?

Imus: What is his IQ?

Historian Michael Beschloss: Uh. I would say it’s probably – he’s probably the smartest guy ever to become President.

Obama is, of course, greater than Jesus."  -- Politiken (Danish newspaper)

"No one saw him coming, and Christians believe God comes at us from strange angles and places we don't expect, like Jesus being born in a manger."  --Lawrence Carter

"Many even see in Obama a messiah-like figure, a great soul, and some affectionately call him Mahatma Obama."  -- Dinesh Sharma

"We just like to say his name. We are considering taking it as a mantra."  -- Chicago Sun-Times

"What Barack Obama has accomplished is the single most extraordinary event that has occurred in the 232 years of the nation’s political history"  -- Jesse Jackson, Jr.

"This was the moment when the rise of the oceans began to slow and our planet began to heal."  -- Barack Obama

"Does it not feel as if some special hand is guiding Obama on his journey, I mean, as he has said, the utter improbability of it all?"--Daily Kos

"He communicates God-like energy..."  -- Steve Davis (Charleston, SC)

"Not just an ordinary human being but indeed an Advanced Soul"
-- Commentator @ Chicago Sun Times

"I'll do whatever he says to do. I'll collect paper cups off the ground to make his pathway clear."  -- Halle Berry

"A quantum leap in American consciousness"  -- Deepak Chopra

"He is not operating on the same plane as ordinary politicians. . . . the agent of transformation in an age of revolution, as a figure uniquely qualified to open the door to the 21st century."  -- Gary Hart

"In many ways, he's sent from God, because the world's a mess." 
-- Sting

"Obama is my homeboy. And I'm not saying that because he's black – I'm saying that in reference to those Urban Outfitters T-shirts from a couple years ago that said, 'Jesus is my homeboy.' Yes, I just said it. Obama is my Jesus."  -- Maggie Mertens, the associate editor at the campus paper at Massachusetts' Smith College

"Barack Obama is our collective representation of our purest hopes, our highest visions and our deepest knowings . . . He's our product out of the all-knowing quantum field of intelligence."  -- Eve Konstantine

"[Obama is ] creative imagination which coupled with brilliance equals wisdom . . . [He is] the man for this time."  -- Toni Morrison

"Obama's finest speeches do not excite. They do not inform. They don't even really inspire. They elevate. . . . He is not the Word made flesh, but the triumph of word over flesh . . . Obama is, at his best, able to call us back to our highest selves."  -- Ezra Klein

"Obama has the capacity to summon heroic forces from the spiritual depths of ordinary citizens and to unleash therefrom a symphonic chorus of unique creative acts whose common purpose is to tame the soul and alleviate the great challenges facing mankind."   -- Gerald Campbell

"We're here to evolve to a higher plane . . . he is an evolved leader . . . [he] has an ear for eloquence and a Tongue dipped in the Unvarnished Truth."  -- Oprah Winfrey

“I would characterize the Senate race as being a race where Obama was, let’s say, blessed and highly favored. That’s not routine. There’s something else going on. I think that Obama, his election to the Senate, was divinely ordered. . . . I know that that was God’s plan."  -- Bill Rush

Rabbi David Saperstein, reading from Psalms in English and Hebrew, noticed from the altar that the good men and women of the congregation that day, including the Bidens and other dignitaries, had not yet stood. Finally Bishop Vashti McKenzie of the African Methodist Church asked that everyone rise. At that moment Saperstein saw something from his angle of vision: "If I had seen it in a movie I would have groaned and said, 'Give me a break. That's so trite.'" A beam of morning light shown [sic] through the stained-glass windows and illuminated the president-elect's face. Several of the clergy and choir on the altar who also saw it marveled afterward about the presence of the Divine. 
The Promise: President Obama, Year One, by Jonathan Alter.
(Simon & Schuster, May 2010 - p. 102)

-- Dartmouth College Democrats

Monday, December 06, 2010

Media lags climate change by 15 years

During one of the coldest days in a long time (Chesapeake, VA 30⁰) in our temperate part of the world, the Virginian Pilot issues one of its periodic catastrophe warnings: global warming will cause Norfolk to drown. Quick run, it may already be too late. The fact that even the people who brought you the global warming hoax have now admitted that the earth’s temperature has not increased in the last decade, the news media is still busy flogging a decomposing horse and is, as usual far, far behind the times.  At the AccuWeather blog they are claiming that the "missing heat" is hiding!  When faith and reality collide, true believers stick with faith and become more shrill.

For an instructive and entertaining read on how the media hyped prior changes in global temperature cycles, read MSM Inertia: What We Can Learn from 120 Years of Climate Catastrophe Reporting

I doubt that even predictions of Norfolk drowning will save the Virginian Pilot.

Sunday, December 05, 2010

Helen Thomas' school scraps award over 'Zionists' remark

What's remarkable is that any reputable organization would have given an award commemorating Helen Thomas.  She has always been a repulsive creature.  But Thomas is like Barack Obama - it takes a long time for some people to get to know the real person.

The Obama Administration's War on Science

The New Scientist is shocked, shocked that the Obama administration is politicizing science. Under the headline We're waiting, Mr President, they tell us that the Obama administration is a far cry from the "dark days" of the Bush administration, but they are … waiting; waiting for the new policy on scientific integrity that's more than a year-and-a-half overdue.   Meanwhile ...

A US government report on a pressing environmental issue is edited to falsely imply that scientists had peer-reviewed and supported the central policy recommendation. Almost 1 in 4 government scientists working on food safety say they have been asked by their bosses to exclude or alter technical information in scientific documents during the past year.

These incidents sound as if they come from the dark days of George W. Bush's presidency, when complaints about political interference in government science reached a crescendo. But in fact, both refer to the behaviour of the current US administration, led by a president who famously promised to "restore science to its rightful place" in his inauguration speech of January 2009.

There is no question in the minds of the editors of the New Scientist that Bush was for fraudulent science. If we need any reminding – this is after all an article about the Obama administration – there’s this:

Francesca Grifo, who heads the Scientific Integrity Program at the Union of Concerned Scientists (UCS), says that her phone is no longer ringing off the hook like it did during the worst excesses of the Bush administration.
The authors go on to say that during the last year 23% of the scientist at the USDA have been asked to inappropriately alter their findings. Obama has been in office for two years, which makes the following sentence … incoherent:
The survey offers little evidence that things have improved much under Obama.
They then go on to point out, with no sense of irony, that at another agency, politicization of science has increased by 60% under Obama!

As this strange article concludes, we are left with the impression that the people at the New Scientist are beginning to feel like disappointed lovers, speaking of their “fondness” for this president. Obama promised to be theirs, and they’re “waiting.” There is a reference to lots of money going to scientists, illustrating  - if anyone doubted - that scientist can be bought as readily as any other interest group.

Like a star-struck teen, they call him a “…friend of science,” yet other than money, they present no evidence of that friendship. We are tempted to ask what was it in Obama’s history before becoming President, or during his administration, that made them believe he’s a “friend of science?” But we won’t because that’s a rhetorical question. The reason they believe is the reason so many believed: he's not Bush, he gives a good speech, he’s charming and the people at the New Scientist are no different than Obama Girl. They fell in love and reason leaves by the front door when loves comes in the back.

Glenn Reynolds at Instapundit has a funny take on their conclusion. You have to be a student of history to understand. “ … note the “if the Czar only knew” bit in the final paragraph.” And no, it’s not about all the czars that Obama has created.

Saturday, December 04, 2010

At least 60 killed by cold snap across Europe

Global warming blamed.

"Perversion of the courts"

Ed Morrissey The new humane: killing terrorists instead of capturing them.

Quoting David Ignatius
Every war brings its own deformations, but consider this disturbing fact about America’s war against al-Qaeda: It has become easier, politically and legally, for the United States to kill suspected terrorists than to capture and interrogate them. …

This isn’t a deformation of war; it’s a deformation of politics. And it really isn’t directly related to the enhanced interrogation techniques at all, but to the insistence of political leadership and the federal courts to insist on a jurisdiction that flies in the face of two centuries of American military and legal tradition. Pushing terrorists like Khalid Sheikh Mohammed and Ahmed Ghailani through federal courts perverts the normal operation of war, especially by imposing the same kind of legal liabilities used to restrict law enforcement in regard to American citizens and residents.

We have made it more costly and more difficult to capture terrorists, a task with plenty of difficulty already. Once we capture them, the courts and this administration have made it clear that they have to be treated like a suspect in a criminal investigation rather than a foreign enemy of war....

The problem is not just that interrogation is now problematic, it's not just a question of how but where:
We’re not killing terrorists rather than capturing them because we’re restricting interrogation to the Army Field Manual, which has nothing to do with later adjudication; we’re killing them because we have no real rational place to put them. That’s due entirely to Obama’s detention policies and the judiciary’s arrogation of jurisdiction. Thanks to the mess created by the Holder DoJ, we have no way to process them even if we did.

Easier to kill them. The courts, Holder and the law professors still allow that.