Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Bolivia assails rich, carbon market at Cancun talks | Reuters


Interesting. Who in Hell does Bolivia think it is, anyway? Denmark or something?

Monday, November 29, 2010

YouTube - 'The Euro Game Is Up! Just who the hell do you think you are?' - Nigel Farage MEP


Nigel Farage explodes the Euro and the European Union. Pointed, fierce, and dead on target.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

A Return to Economist Friedrich Hayek's Ideas - Newsweek


Aside from a distortion of the Austrian School of Economics and what it actually espouses, the article is mostly correct. Hayek and Austrian economics is relevant again.

Homeland Security seizes domain names - The Hill's Hillicon Valley


And Homeland Security has the right to do this under what legislation? More to the point, WHY are they dealing with copyright infringement? How is that even their job?

FT.com / Global insight - Trust in short supply at Middle East talks


Israel should be skeptical. US administrations have taken a pretty high handed approach to the Middle East peace process since Jimmy brokered a deal between Egypt and Israel, but things have gotten markedly worse since the Palestinian take over of Gaza. The US views both sides as equivalent, when, realistically, Israel is held to a significantly higher standard of behavior.

WikiLeaked cable from Bob Gates: “Russian democracy has disappeared” | The Cable


With ex-KGB boss Putin in charge of things, we really would be naive to believe differently. He is huge on the "cult of personality" thing, using television and video to enhance his image at home and abroad...but under everything, he remains an apparatchik who would be as much at home under the old Soviet oligarchy as he is under the present system.

The only thing that ever changes about Russia are the players in charge.

Saudi Arabia urges US attack on Iran to stop nuclear programme | World news | guardian.co.uk


Interesting. Part of the reason we haven't attacked Iran and destroyed their nuclear capability is that we fear igniting the region. As it turns out, the region is largely in favor of that action. They may not be ginger-peachy happy about the prospect, but a nuclear Iran is unacceptable to them.

As it should be to us.

WikiLeaks Archive — Cables Uncloak U.S. Diplomacy - NYTimes.com


Sausage and diplomacy: both are disturbing to watch while they are being made.

FT.com / US / Politics & Foreign policy - US tries to limit WikiLeaks damage


Embarrassing and ridiculous in its scope. Most of the revelations are hardly that incredible, but taken all in all, damaging.

And the administration comes out looking like tools. Again.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

North Korea fires artillery barrage on South - Yahoo! News


Is it finally time to put together a coalition and take these lunatics the hell OUT?

Airport "Security"? by Thomas Sowell on Creators.com - A Syndicate Of Talent


Thomas Sowell has made a career of questioning conventional wisdom about, well, everything. And he gives the Obama administration a pat-down here and finds...people who richly deserve more than a pat-down.

Lowest ever: Obama job approval sinks to 39%, as even Democrats' support melts away | Top of the Ticket | Los Angeles Times


It's getting worse for The One, and at a certain point, recovery is no longer possible because people have stopped listening.

We may have already reached that point.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

George F. Will - The T.S. of A takes control


Will notes that ordinary Americans don't complain nearly often enough about stupidity, which is true. On the other hand, there are more than enough people who complain about things that are not remotely their business to make up for the lack.

Democrats Learn Nothing in Defeat


They got beaten, but Democrats are trying to spin the loss as a failure to communicate. Like Strother Martin's warden in "Cool Hand Luke," the failure is not in communication; it is that something else entirely is wanted instead.

Afghan Christian faces trial for alleged conversion from Islam – CNN Belief Blog - CNN.com Blogs


Conversion is, apparently, a one way deal for Muslims. You can convert to Islam, but if you convert FROM Islam, we will kill you.

TSA has met the enemy — and they are us - Yahoo! News


My experiences with TSA have been mostly eh, but I understand the annoyance. There is no conceivable reason for grandma to get the kind of scrutiny that an obviously foreign man gets, but it happens regardless because we fear profiling...even though profiling is easier and works better.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Forgiving Michael Vick is not forgetting what he did - ESPN


Don't get me wrong; I love dogs, too. But if there is a case of someone losing everything in a very public, very embarrassing, and very humiliating way...and coming back to right his wrongs however he can and perform better than he ever did before, I haven't seen it.

Geithner Warns Republicans Against Politicizing the Fed - Bloomberg


Hysterical. The Fed in this administration is completely politicized, and Geithner has the balls to call for it being non political. Basically, he means that YOU can't make it political, because we are busy being political in OUR direction.

'Food porn' - Is your favorite restaurant on this list? - wtop.com


What is it going to take to get the Food Nazis to shut up? I understand highlighting caloric intake. I get it. Americans and others in the developed world are too, well, developed. But this sort of thing leads inevitably to deployment of the Food Nannies (like Mayor Bloomberg in New York) who seem to believe that it is their business what people decide to eat.

Lisa DePaulo Interviews Vice President Joe Biden: Politics: GQ


The VP can flat bring it in conversation. And he usually says things that people call gaffes (which is nothing more than unguarded truth at in opportune moments).

I can't help liking the guy, even though I am politically at a distant variance from him.

Friday, November 19, 2010

Don’t Touch My Junk - Charles Krauthammer - National Review Online


Agreed. Maybe we are seeing the Revolt of the Sheeple. If so, it's about damned time.

Senate Democrats vent anger with Barack Obama - Glenn Thrush and Manu Raju - POLITICO.com


Senate Democrats are panic breathing because they face the voters in two years under circumstances unlikely to change a lot in their favor. The president shows no willingness to compromise, and hard left thinks electoral gold is to be found by moving the party further to the edge.

Party pragmatists understand that in a country with 21% self-identification of voters as either "liberal" or "very liberal," moving farther left is death. But they have the same lemming like march to purity that many in the GOP have displayed.

Successful leaders understand that party ideology has to be expansive in order to maximize supporters; the current administration thinks that is spinach and wants none of it.

Carville defiant on Obama comment – CNN Political Ticker - CNN.com Blogs


Even when I didn't like Carville, I liked Carville. He is partisan as hell, but he is a pretty honest partisan.

Carville's adherence to a very basic in house slogan during the 1992 Clinton campaign kept everyone focused, laser-like, on what could get him elected: "It's the economy, stupid!"

Mr. Obama has forgotten that, to his peril.

Perry says consider military in Mexico


It sounds kind of insane on the face, but we are probably going to have to consider helping the Mexican government defeat the cartels. SecState Clinton recently referred to the cartels as almost an "insurgency," and having that kind of lawlessness in Mexico is tremendously destabilizing on the border and elsewhere.

I'd rather have our troops humping through Baja than hanging out in Kabul.

Sources: FCC chief to move on net neutrality proposal - Kim Hart - POLITICO.com


Still trying to figure out how it is that the FCC thinks they are going to get away with it.

A federal court has already ruled that the agency does not have the legal authority to regulate the web. But if you are an official in Obamaland, you can't let silly things like the law get in your way.

Bernanke Takes Aim at China - WSJ.com


Left unsaid is his real annoyance: if China inflates while we are inflating, then the dollars they hold keep approximately the same value they had before and balance of trade remains roughly the same.

Those cheaters.

Web Censorship Bill Sails Through Senate Committee | Epicenter | Wired.com


Congress can't get the tax cuts reauthorized or reduce the deficit or reduce the regulatory uncertainty that is paralyzing business, but they are good at passing stuff to help their donors.

Cancer surviving flight attendant told to remove prosthetic brea - WBTV 3 News, Weather, Sports, and Traffic for Charlotte, NC-


There is a point where caution becomes parody. We have reached it. If we are strip searching airline stewardesses, we have clearly gone too far. Do we honestly think that anyone trying to blow up an airplane is going to try to do it by carrying on explosives anymore? They will do it, if they do it, by putting something in the hold luggage or on the service carts, or by shooting a hand held missile at the thing.

Nearly 1 in 5 Americans had mental illness in 2009 - CNBC


If you are in a group and you look around and everyone else seems sane, it might be you.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Counsel Recommends Censure in Rangel Ethics Case - CBS News


Rangel will probably earn a censure, something less than expulsion. It is interesting that, in earning his seat, he defeated Rep.Adam Clayton Powell in a Democratic Primary.

Powell had been expelled from the House subsequent to conviction on charges of corruption in 1967, but he was re-elected to the seat in the special election, won again in 1968, and lost to Rangel in 1970.

The Tao of Moonbeam - NYTimes.com


Well, let's see what Brown can do with the place. Arnold, in the end, got his ass handed to him repeatedly by the Lege; Brown at least knows how to maneuver in Sacramento.

Personally, I hope he succeeds, but I'm still not going to move there.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Harry Reid: I’m bringing the DREAM Act to the floor — for a standalone vote « Hot Air


Gotta love them. They lose huge and decide to back another popular loser, just to double down on the fun.

Podesta advises Obama to ignore voters, bypass Congress through agency action « Hot Air


Had to figure this was next. These people simply cannot comprehend the idea of no meaning NO.

Deficit and taxes: Time to raise taxes on the rich - latimes.com


It takes an academic to come up with something so damned stupid.

The thing that fueled the early to mid Nineties boom was the evolution of personal computers and the internet. It helped that defense spending dropped precipitously, enabling the government to reallocate resources and close the budget gap. Raising taxes in the midst of a incipient boom is reasonable, to balance a budget; it is insane in the midst of a stagnant recovery.

AP: Murkowski wins Alaska Senate race « Hot Air


Reminds me of the Lieberman race in Connecticut a couple of years back. Joe got beat in the primary by a raving liberal, and then he ran as an independent in the general and won. Same thing here. Murkowski got beat in the primary but had more than sufficient support to win the general. Winning with a write in campaign is studly, though.

Newsweek Uses Same Excuse for Obama as Carter: Presidency Too Big for One Man | NewsBusters.org


The presidency always seems too big when it is doing things people don't want done. Again, as the article points out, Reagan handled the presidency with ease; George HW Bush didn't seem to be too out of breath, and George W Bush and Bill Clinton both seemed, at times, to draw strength from the presidency, rather than be diminished by it.

But Obama and Carter can't and couldn't handle it.

I think it says more about Carter and Obama than it says about the presidency.

RealClearPolitics - Does White House Have a 'Message' Problem?


The problem is not how the message is taken to the people; the problem is the message.

Climate Scientists Strike Back | Mother Jones


So these scientists think that they need to advocate for their view more than they have been advocating for their view? I'm not sure how that is even possible, but they are going to give it a whirl.

But keep this in mind. Exaggeration and unwillingness to listen to opposing points of view or science that contradicted their predisposition led them to this state. Arrogance and hubris are a bad combination, particularly when someone is trying to convince others that the sky is falling when it is, in fact, not. Warmer does not necessarily mean worse; it does mean different, and the earth has been experiencing different for as long as it has been hurtling around the sun.

Heath Shuler: A Blue Dog Democrat Running Against Nancy Pelosi for Top Dem Job - The Daily Beast


Well, Nancy ain't going and the Dems ain't forcing her out. Which is great news for the Reps. The get to run against her again. W00t!

RealClearPolitics - The Tax Rate Racket


I wish I could say "duh" to this story, but I can't. I know this. Mr. Murchison knows it. But most taxpayers don't, and the professional left does not want them to. The "rich" already pay a disproportionate share of all taxes.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Pleasures of reading Christopher Hitchens--Christopher Caldwell - NYPOST.com


Hitchens is a pleasure to read, even if...especially if...you disagree with him. He makes his case in such a way, literate, erudite and witty, that you learn something interesting or entertaining, even if, at the end, you still disagree vehemently.

These days, I find I disagree less often, but I am just as entertained. ANd he needs to stick around a LOT longer. God knows we need his like, and are not likely to have them again.

The big disconnect: D.C. elites think Obama will be reelected, but the public doubts it - Mark Penn - POLITICO.com


I've been saying this for months: the president is not remotely a lock for re-election. He won, under the most interesting string of lucky events, in 2008. He can't count on another crisis that already has a scapegoat, a weak opponent, and a tremendously divisive and unpopular incumbent...someone other than him, I mean.

Given ALL of that, plus the cachet of being the first black president, plus a $300 million cash advantage over his opponent...he still won only 53%.

Two years ago, Republicans upset with Bush gave him a chance. Independents gave him a chance. Students turned out because of the movement nature of his appeal. Women voted for him solidly, as did minorities.

He might be lucky to get McCain's 46% in two years.

Charlie Rangel Found Guilty on 11 Counts of Ethics Violations - The Daily Beast


I like Rangel. I find pragmatic and endlessly entertaining. And Beinart, whom I usually find tedious or simply annoying, is dead on here. Rangel is a throwback to what Democratic politics used to be, not what they are now.

And it is sad to see that go. I mean, I liked Tip O'Neill, too, and if there was a more partisan Democrat than he was, I can't recall him.

Friday, November 12, 2010

RealClearPolitics - A Stunned and Dispirited Base


The problem Robinson does not address is a simple one. About 21% of the population identifies as either "liberal" (16%) or "very liberal" (5%) according to Gallup. About 40% of the public identifies themselves as either "conservative" (31%) or "very conservative" (9%). This leaves a balance of Americans who self-identify as "moderate" (35%). Progressives can probably be categorized in the "very liberal" slot, and while they are undoubtedly upset with what they believe to be a capitulation to the center by the Democratic party, they are missing the point. After the last two years, Democrats in general are seen as liberal, and if you look at the poll again, that would point to a desperate problem; they can't get elected as a liberal party. 21% of the population is not going to get you there. Republicans have a similar problem if they drift too far to the right, but they begin with a 19% larger ideological base, and 10% plus one is a much lower hurdle to electoral success than 29% plus one.

Robinson may not like it and progressives may be confused and angry, but they are marginal to election, frankly, and the Democrats have to move back towards the center to stay viable as a party.

Peggy Noonan: Home


Republicans in the past have shown the ability to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory. I hope they renounce that as an operating principle this year. The Democrats have committed political hiri kiri, and Republicans should neither drive them to the emergency room for treatment nor join them in the gut cutting.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Kim Strassel: Bush Agonistes? Not Quite - WSJ.com


Say whatever you want; taken all in all, I'd rather have Bush as president than Obama. Bush was persuadable, but resolute; Obama is ideologically set, but malleable.

In this world, malleable gets walked all over.

Pelosi: After 'productive' Congress, fight for jobs goes on - USATODAY.com


Madame Speaker, spin it however you want: the fact remains that the majority of the American people think you and your party overreached tremendously, and have spent money like drunken sailors on shore leave.

You managed, in two short years, to make the profligate Republican Congress from 2000 through 2006 look positively miserly, and took a president with approval ratings in the 70s downhill abruptly into the low 40s.

As Oliver Cromwell, with similar exasperation, said to Parliament in 1653: "You have sat too long for any good you have been doing lately ... Depart, I say; and let us have done with you. In the name of God, go!"

Abu-Jamal case back before Philadelphia court - Yahoo! News


There has to be a point where stupid stops. This case has been adjudicated repeatedly, and the only doubts about the verdict occur only within the feverish brains of his supporters. We are now re-sdjudicating his sentencing hearing. Not whether he is guilty; whether the sentence he got was just.

This case is turning into a criminal version of Jarndyce v. Jarndyce. Abu-Jamal killed Officer Faulkner. He was convicted, and his conviction has been repeatedly upheld. He went to jail. He should never be allowed to leave jail.

Any questions?

Goldberg: The bashing of American exceptionalism - latimes.com


The infuriating thing to me about people who deny American exceptionalism is that they do it within the context of the freest society ever conceived of by mankind. In terms of sheer freedom of action, upward mobility, and political flexibility, no other country on earth is, or ever has been, close.

That simple.

The 2010 Midterms: How Barack Obama Was Undone By His Own Brand Of Social Movement Politics. | The New Republic


Sean Wilentz. Worth a read.

President Obama should fight, not surrender - USATODAY.com


Dear President Obama:

Please listen to this columnist and do not moderate your views. Fight for progressivism and tout it from the streetcorners if you have to.

And when you get the 40% of the country that generally holds your views when you are running for re-election and lose the other 60%, you will have my profound thanks.

And those of everyone to the right of you and yours.


Stopping Judicial Imperialism - Thomas Sowell - National Review Online



Sunday, November 7, 2010

Dana Milbank - Would we be better off under a President Hillary Clinton?


I'm not a huge Hillary fan, because, at heart, she is more liberal than Bill and a good deal more progressive than she lets on. But. She is also a political realist and has been around the block a few times. And she was successful in Congress.

I have no doubt that the Democratic party would be better off with her as standard bearer. And, given the choice, so would the country.

Democrats in denial


George Will doesn't miss very often, and he is dead on target here. The Democrats survived the midterm elections. Merely survived. They did not thrive, and were amazingly lucky not to have had a worse beating. If they don't learn the midterm lesson, they will lose the presidency and the Senate next time out.

Dissecting the 2010 Midterm Election Exit Polls - NYTimes.com


As a former GOP VP candidate once put it: "How is that hopey-changey thing working for you?"

Why I quit... Desert Storm vet explains decision to leave Air Force after 22 years - Daily Inter Lake: Home - The Daily Inter Lake


Agreed, noted and posted.

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Obama calls for compromise, won't budge on tax cuts - TheHill.com


Ok, this is hysterical. Obama calls for compromise on re-enacting the Bush era tax cuts, and then says that HE won't budge. I was unaware that compromise was a unilateral thing; I kind of thought it meant that BOTH sides moved to the middle and found common ground.

This is the same sort of compromise he has wanted from the Republicans the last two years: total capitulation.

Friday, November 5, 2010

Barack Obama's response: That tin ear | The Economist


The president thinks the public was wrong, not that he must correct his course.

Two schools of governance collide here. One says that the officeholder must do what he or she thinks is right, and take the consequences if it does not work or the public does not like it. The other school thinks that the politician must ascertain what the majority of the electorate wants, and then strive to achieve that.

President Obama is the former type, and he avoided the consequences because he was not up for election. Nevertheless, the public sent him a message as to its concerns and desires. He will ignore it at his political peril.

Charles Krauthammer - A return to the norm


Another homer.

Dead right. What this election did was sweep away the Democratic gains of the last two elections, and not much more than that. As he puts it, America is governed between the 40 yard lines.

Pete Rouse Plots Comeback for Obama Administration - NYTimes.com


A reorganization in the White House is a good idea. They might start by bringing in more grown ups and people who have worked for a living.

Pete Rouse Plots Comeback for Obama Administration - NYTimes.com


A reorganization in the White House is a good idea. They might start by bringing in more grown ups and people who have worked for a living.

Indebted and Unrepentant by Fred Siegel, City Journal 3 November 2010


California, even more than New York, is a mudslide or earthquake away from being Greece. They are proof of the old Heinlein adage that if the public can, they will vote themselves bread and circuses, for awhile...until the money runs out.

And the money is, basically, gone. Have fun with that.

Peggy Noonan: Home


Ok. As usual, Peggy hits it. Home run.

Peggy Noonan: Home


Ok. As usual, Peggy hits it. Home run.

Obama Can Pursue Ambitious Agenda Without Congress's Help


You had to figure that this was the next step. If you can't convince Congress anymore to give you the sort of powers and legislation you want, create them out of whole cloth through regulation.

Never mind that much of what the administration wants to pursue in a regulatory sense will inevitably be challenged in the courts or reversed by the next Republican in the White House (one hopes in 2012). But in the meantime, all hell is about to break loose.

This president has the arrogance and certitude of your average fifteen year old that what he wants to do is that what which must be done.

Man Up, America! | The Magazine | Vanity Fair


Another elitist missing the point. All they see is the anger and disillusionment, and fail to see the cause.

People do not want government to have more power, not really. They do not want government to spend on wars with no observable point to them. And they certainly do not want to pay more in taxes of whatever kind. Bush lost the public with his spending and the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, while Obama has lost support among people who are genuinely afraid of his spending and the unprecedented expansion of government power.

We are not "hormonal teenagers." We are people genuinely concerned that the America we grew up in is not the one we will leave to our children. It will, in fact, be demonstrably poorer, demonstrably less free, and a very great deal less open to the dreams of our ambitious youth.

Unless we stop the madness.

Employers add 151K jobs, first gain since May - Yahoo! Finance


The first, tiny bright spot in quite awhile.

But not nearly enough.

President Barack Obama On 60 Minutes Acknowledges He's Failed To Deliver His Message CBS New York – News, Sports, Weather, Traffic and the Best of NY


This is total crap. He spent all spring and summer out trying to sell Obamacare and the stimulus, and the more he talked the less people wanted it. I love how he talks about "[m]aking an argument that people can understand." Incredible. If that isn't disconnect, I don't know what is.

No, Mr. President. The problem isn't that we didn't understand you. The problem is that what you were selling is not what we wanted.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Stu Bykofsky: Olbermann fair? O'Reilly balanced? What we found | Philadelphia Daily News | 11/04/2010


I knew that Olbermann generally refuses to give face time to opposing viewpoints, but even I though he did so more often than this. And I also knew O'Reilly often brings on people who disagree, if only to try and run circles around them. But in terms of balance, O'Reilly by a landslide.