26 January 2010

Turns out reality has sharp corners

I just had to laugh in a morbid way at reading this on Instapundit about how President Obama’s declaration of a war on banks (another phase of his War on Prosperity) caused the stock market to tank and potentially destabilize a financial system that the Obama Administration has allegedly been trying to restore. Once again, Obama is so disconnected from reality he’s not even delusional.

23 January 2010

Quotage

This isn’t the Democratic Party of our fathers and grandfathers. This is the party of Woodstock hippies. I was at Woodstock — I built the stage. And when everything fell apart, and people were fighting for peanut-butter sandwiches, it was the National Guard who came in and saved the same people who were protesting them. So when Hillary Clinton a few years ago wanted to build a Woodstock memorial, I said it should be a statue of a National Guardsman feeding a crying hippie.

John Ratzenberger at a Scott Brown rally

21 January 2010

Not even Mr. Congeniality?

Via Just One Minute is this excellent quote from Politico

That persuasive power, and the notion of Obama himself as game-changer, was part of his promise, but foreign policy has turned out to be less susceptible to personality than many had hoped.

No, really? Other nations act based on their self interest rather than how much their leaders personally like our President? Gosh, how unexpected!

Modern Lysenkoism

Via Power and Control we have a report on how NASA tweak climate data to get the politically desired results. Warmenists claimed “it is not possible that all of the primary data sources were corrupt” but we are at what, 3 (NOAA / NCDC in the link, CRU, NASA / GISS) of 4 now? I thought there was one more but it doesn’t come to mind. I think that if the majority of sources are shown to be involved, a “global conspiracy” theory is well past plausible.

Such a conspiracy doesn’t take all that much coordination as the results are clearly known to everyone. It takes only a willingness to bend data to conform the the required political narrative, which is how Soviet science worked while Lysenko was favored. One need merely consider the melting glacier fraud to see this in action. Hypotheses are verified not via replication of results but by agreement with the prevailing fashion.

What is different is that these putative scientists are not bowing down because of the threat of execution or banishment to slave labor camps but for a ticket on a government gravy train or worse, just to be “in fashion”. It’s inevitable, I suppose, because of the golden rule — he who pays the gold makes the rules. When science becomes dependent on government money, it will produce results that are favored by politicians in that government.

Flying Pigs Alert

Instapundit links to some articles complaining of photographic malpractice in the NY Times. The NY Times claims just a process error. Sadly, I have looked at the photos and I believe the NY Times.

The claim is that a picture of an actress was altered to make her look fat. I suppose that’s possible but I can see from just a quick glance that it could every easily have happened just because of a bad crop and how images get displayed in web browsers. It’s the same effect as puting a TV sized movie on a wide screen. That is, if someone said “we need the image to be 640×513 and someone cropped it as 540×513 instead you would get precisely the effect shown in the image comparison. You can verify this by looking at things on the edge of the good image, such as the “G” in “GOLDEN” on the background in the upper left. Or the press pass on the background woman with the umbrella. It’s clear that it’s the entire image that is stretched, not the actress in particular. Moreover, web browsers do that automatically if you put a narrow image in a wide box. That is, the NY Times would not have had to do any widening itself on the image, but need only have posted an incorrectly cropped image.

Looking more closely, I wouldn’t be surprised if the incorrect cropping was done in order to clip that out of focus black line in the lower left of the correct crop. That’s a common motivation for picking the edges of the crop.

So I find the NY Times claim eminently believable.

P.S. Looks to me like a rush on the first one, as the editor clearly did a better job with white balance as well in the second.

It's already just a guidance for the ruling class

Something that I have seen mentioned a few places with regard to passing health care nationalization is the option of having the House of Representatives simply pass the Senate version and send it on to the President for signing is — what bill is that, exactly? How could anyone tell if changes were made between passage in the Senate and the vote in the House? Has anyone except the Democratic Party insiders actually seen the legislation? Was it even finished? once you start passing laws first and writing them later, why not go ahead and have the President sign it before writing it? What’s the difference?

20 January 2010

Safe from dissent

So I hear that the New York Times may start charging readers (via Just One Minute comment). The standard objection is that when the NY Times tried doing that with their “premium” columnists, people just stopped reading. But what if that’s the plan? Perhaps the NY Times sees its biggest problem as the erosion of its brand name as the pajama clad radicals repeatedly link to its egregious failures. But what if they couldn’t do that because the targets were behind a subscription wall populated primarily by fellow travelers? The newspaper is already mostly a comfort read, a means for people to justify their pre-existing viewpoints, not a source of actual news. So why not embrace that?

Root cause analysis

The IRS plan to regulate tax preparers is an excellent example of the kind of magical thinking that what passes for policy by the MAL. A problem is spotted and the proposed solution is some sort of regulation or registration and, like a magical incantation, this will magically make the situation better and have no unintended consequences. Any dissent from this is taken as objecting to fixing the problem frequently accompanied by expansive claims of how the dissenters like having the problem occur or is in league with the putative creaters of the problem. This attempted suppression of dissent is critical to maintaining the MAList viewpoint because like so much of the MAL ideology facts are toxic.

Let us consider this case in particular. As Captain Hate at Just One Minute notes

So the IRS, which isn’t bound by the advice they give taxpayers calling in with questions (at least that used to be the case), is now gonna hold people to “higher standards” who may, in fact, only prepare returns of people that fall into well-defined categories where only a partial expertise is required. I need somebody from the “educated class” to tell me that nothing could possibly go wrong with this.

This regulation depends on the judgement of an organization that is itself dysfunctional at a level that will not be tolerated in anyone else, is legally immune to any consequences of its dysfunctionality, instead putting full responsibility for any wrong answers on the people who asked the question. That is who we will have judging the soundness of other tax preparers? Who can take this seriously?

The obvious motivation is the standard corporatist one, that while it will hurt the big players it will wipe out the small ones. I am also sure that this will be “unexpected” the the rank and file of the MAL who support the regulation, although certainly not to the corporate interests backing it.

What is most depressing is not that so many in the MAL can’t see this in specific cases but that they can’t see this as a valid concern in any case. It just can’t happen. The very concept seems inconceivable.

P.S. I actually have a lot of sympathy for the IRS in this area. The problem isn’t the IRS itself (although it’s not a well run organization) but in Congress. It is Congress that passes tax regulation that IMHO literally surpasses human understanding and then expects taxpayers to understand and the IRS to explain it. I would love to have a “say it or lose it” option where a taxpayer can take a dispute to a Congressman who voted for the tax regulation. If that Congress critter can’t personally explain the regulation, it is stricken and the taxpayer imdenified. If the Congress critter does explain it, that becomes the legally binding interpretation, any court or IRS decision notwithstanding. What if (as is almost certain) the Congress critter spouts off some stupid bordering on insane explanation? That’s fine because now you have a specific person with personal responsibility for the insanity. So when a Congress critter uses this to get out of a tax payment, everyone else gets to do the same! That’s a win.

Heh, thinking about it you could set up a milder version where Congressional tax returns become law. If you can find a cite for a specific position from a Congressional tax return, that supercedes the IRS and judicial opinion. That’s only fair.

Credit check

Let me note, via Hot Air, that the GOP leadership appears to have actually done something intelligent and perceptive in quietly supporting then Senate candidate Scott Brown.

Learning to love

Many people are wondering just how obstinate the Democratic Party is going to be in pushing health care nationalization after the Massachusetts election yesterday. Could they really be dumb or ideological enough to push through with whatever it takes to pass legislation?

I think it’s a distinct possibility. I am coming to the conclusion that much of the Democratic Party leadership actually believes that people are just confused about the legislation and that once passed it can be sold to the American Street so that a large majority will rapidly come to love it. This is just another aspect of my earlier point which is that much of our political class, particularly the Democratic Party leadership, has come down with a severe case of reality dysfunction.

17 January 2010

It's the reality, stupid!

Via Brothers Judd we have this insight

Democrats across the country are starting to wonder aloud if they misjudged the electorate over the last year, with profound ramifications for the midterm elections this year and, potentially, for Mr. Obama’s presidency.

First off, it’s unclear what would be different if these people had accurately judged the electorate. After all, surely they know by now and yet they continue on despite seeing the waterfall.

But the truth is, they didn’t misjudge the electorate, they misjudged reality. Their policies simply do not work. I think President Obama in particular is working the levers but the machine is not responding as he expects. The result is a panic and flailing button pushing.

Part of it is that I don’t think the leadership of the Democratic Party could envision the underdog vs. corrupt out of touch officials could apply to them in the position of the latter. They can’t be The Man, they fight The Man on behalf of the little people who should darn well be grateful for it. The American Street may not see it that way.

As a final point, someone pointed out that this race demonstrates the end of the deference for female candidates. I am still so old I can remember when then Senatorial candidate Hillary Clinton won a debate because her male opponent was overly aggressive. Now, after the attacks on then Vice Presidential candidate Sarah Palin that’s all gone. Another example of how the Democratic Party will permanently burn a principle for tactical advantage. I suspect the current situation is in no small part because they’re starting to run out and live on that formerly forrested but now empty plain.

Browning on the grill

It’s a great name.

But I digress more than usual. A couple of things strike me about this Massachusett[e]s.

The first is the trend of the polls showing Brown continuing to pull ahead in the race. It’s commonly said that it’s actually a negative to have strongly positive poll numbers around because it decreases turnout through complacency. Reading reports from folks on the ground in the state, though, I think this time higher poll numbers for Brown will have the opposite effect, energizing his voters and depressing Coakley’s. I live in hope but not expectation that Brown’s lead will be enough.

Which brings me to my second point which is the wide spread acceptance of the fact that the Democratic Party and/or its allies will cheat enough to tip a close election. It’s not even debated, it’s simply presumed. Some even openly encourage it or admit it has been done to the candidate in past elections. Is there any point at which the Democratic Party’s growing open disdain for democracy will start to cost them among the voters?

It's in the definition

Big Government is complaining about Media Matters complaining about limited press access for a Tea Party themed convention. Is that far enough inside?

Anyway, Media Matters is a flutter because, since ex-Governor Sarah Palin is a keynote speaker, Fox News will be allowed in but not other major media outlets. I think that’s funny because to me, the perfect answer would be “No major news media is allowed. I mean, weren’t we all told that Fox News is a not a real news organization? So what’s the problem?”.

14 January 2010

How intervention ends

Here is an issue for the 2010 and 2012 elections — the SEC has ruled that the records of the AIG bailout can be closed until 2018. $150 billion handed over to private entities and no member of the public is allowed to know to how and why.

This is how government intervention in the economy ends. Every time it’s a little more blatant, a little more for the private interests that have captured the interventionists appartchiks, until we get here when the regulators join in and the entire crew is able to loot the treasury right out in the open. When people ask me why I object to government intervention that seems like it should work, this is why. This is where it ends up. The only way to avoid it is to not start. At what point can we admit that as bad as doing nothing would have been, it would be as bad as what has and is happening?

P.S. In looking back on how we got to this particular situation, here’s an interesting take on ex-President Bush’s contribution. It’s a tale of a good man seduced by the destructive memes of the MAL.

13 January 2010

From Russia with love

Maybe it really is a small Ice Age. My inbox is currently being flooded with offers from extremely attractive women in Russia who desire nothing other than to please me while living in the USA. I would love to help them out but SWIPIAW says we can’t afford any right now.

Warmenist timeline

Here is a nice but large graphic which illustrates the timeline of the warmenists.

Last hacks of Obama hagiography?

Even though the bloom is fading on the cult of Barak Obama, even those who think they’re outside of it are caught up in it. This article in the Wall Street Journal is an archetype and I need to note it before it’s just a historical curiosity. The gist is pondering whether President Obama is a lasting phenomenon or a passing fancy. The fact that the author considers this a serious question is the first clue. A few quotes from the early paragraphs —

no figure has ever so thoroughly pulled toward himself the nation’s political energy

Has any president so engulfed American politics? He is everywhere. He is the first real king of all media. He makes himself the constant conversation, the national siren song. No one can stop listening to him, even if it kills them to hear it.

Nobody says “Barack Obama” anymore. He’s just “Obama.”

Uh, many of us can’t stop not listening to him. I have tried to sit through Obama speeches and have yet to manage to listen all the way through. As for being a single name, that’s clearly unprecedented by the likes of Washington, Lincoln, FDR, JFK, Nixon, Reagan, Bush, … The primary thing which is unprecedented for Obama is his public relations overuse of the word “unprecedented”.

Still, if Obama’s grinding collision with reality cuts down on the number of articles like this we should all be grateful.

Brown streak

This is amusing

My spy passes along word that [Massachusetts AG Martha] Coakley herself fired up the crowd with this inspiring line: “If I don’t win, 2010 is going to be hell for Democrats . . . Every Democrat will have a competitive race.”

Oh noes! Not competitive elections! What is this nation coming to?

This fits in with the analysis from Hot Air

Consider this [Brown making a deal with the devil] and their Palin-baiting to be an official admission that they no longer believe that running on a standard liberal policy agenda can carry them over the finish line even in Massachusetts.

I do not expect Scott Brown to win the special senatorial election. Despite the putative tipping points and bad optics of Coakley fund raising, I just don’t see the registered Democratic Party rank and file in Massachusetts not voting her in to the office. Little to none of this will be reported locally, on the panic at the thought of a member of the GOP being elected to office. Let’s remember what this base has already supported via re-election of the perpetrators — the legislation to change how replacement Senators are selected in 2004, the change back in 2008, the flaunting of that law by the replacement Senator Kirk, and openly admitted delay if Brown wins to get the “correct” vote on health care nationalization. Not to mention that put same sex marriage on the ballot to which the legislators said “as if!”.

That said, Brown has accomplished an immense amount by getting within striking distance. Contra Coakley’s claim, I think it’s too late for her victory to stave off a wave of additional challenges to Democratic Party incumbents. Pace Hot Air if the Democratic Party and its allies have to dump well over a million dollars1 in to the race in the last week in the deepest blue state of the union there are certainly even better opportunities for challengers elsewhere.

I made my donation to his campaign and I consider it money well spent even if he loses. If he gets within single digits I will consider it a very strong indicator of disintegrating Democratic Party fortunes. On the other hand, an astute political observer points out “The electorate trends Republican when it’s fat, dumb and happy, but turns to the Demcorats when it’s in trouble” and the American Street is certainly not fat, dumb, and happy these days.

P.S. Let us note, as Melissa Clouthier does that despite Brown holding a number of non-hard core conservative positions, he is very popular with the conservative and Tea Party base. This shows that despite claims arising after the NY-23 race the insurgents are able to calibrate their expectations to the local political environment.


1 $685K + $576K + $288K = $1,549,000.

12 January 2010

Writer, revealed

I know you have all been wondering exactly what I look like, so here is a self portrait I took on a recent family trip. I hope it’s not too intimate an exposure.

If you are all nice, I won’t put up the scanner image from the next time I fly.

Hollywod prototyping

I ended watching the movie Avatar (as noted here). I didn’t notice much anti-Americanism as much anti-logic. Big chunks of the movie made no sense (e.g., the ground attack — what was the point of that again?).

It seems a common issue that producers / directors who have large scale imaginations don’t seem to be able to handle the details needed to produce actual plots (*cough* Phantom Menace *cough*).

At some point in the future, motion capture and computer graphics will be sufficient to “skin” actors so that I could do a scene and you would see Mel Gibson. But that’s still a good number of years out. Before then, however, it’s plenty good enough to make prototype movies. That is, rather than submitting a script, an enterprising writer / director or group could do a movie on the cheap that actually looks decent. The big boys could then put their stunning, big budget visuals on that skeleton to get the best of both worlds. One might also catch some of the plotting problems that haunt the big budget pictures earlier in the process when it is much cheaper to fix.

One can already see a form of this in user generated content for first person shooter games. Game companies used to fight against fan modifications but now such things are actively encouraged. The effect is that gamers do work for the companies on spec so the companies only pay for the good stuff.

It might be objected that this would cause the “real” movie to be effectively a remake of a low budget picture but given how much current movies are recycled content (Avatar is just Ferngully in space) I don’t see that as a problem.

11 January 2010

Always choose to fight the wounded man

Apparently the Democratic Party is going all out to defend Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid. No smear to nasty or fantastical, no standard too doubled.

I think that’s fine. Not only does it show the true nature of the MAL but it’s good for the GOP in a tactical sense for the same reason that Senator Chris Dodd’s retirement was not. The situations aren’t completely equivalent as Dodd was replaced by another politician who is very popular in the state. As far as I can tell there’s no one like that in Nevada with which to replace Reid. But even an unknown would probably do better than Reid will.

Songs of our times

In honor of President Obama’s record low approval rating in a CBS poll, Hot Air selected Waterloo by ABBA. I think another song and its music video are far more appropriate. I give you Torn by Natalie Imbruglia. Key lyric “illusion never changed in to something real”. The video itself, which mixes the acting and the staging is a perfect representation of the Obama phenomenon, especially as we see the set gradually “torn”.

Just an inexplicable fact

Instapundit writes

White House Economic Adviser: Jobs Picture is ‘Still Terrible.’ “Council of Economic Advisers chief Christina Romer said it’s devastating that some workers have been unemployed for two years and that job losses were continuing nearly a year after passage of the so-called stimulus bill.”

But not terrible enough to reconsider any economic policies, health care nationalization, or carbon graft taxes. Hot Air throws another log on the pile by pointing to data that indicates that the stimulus spending stimulated nothing except debt. But I am confident that Romer and her ilk will press on to try for another round of failure.

Data analysis trumps data

This article has a nice little factoid from the UK Meteorological Office

the Met still asserts we are in the midst of an unusually warm winter — as one of its staffers sniffily protested in an internet posting to a newspaper last week: “This will be the warmest winter in living memory, the data has already been recorded. For your information, we take the highest 15 readings between November and March and then produce an average. As November was a very seasonally warm month, then all the data will come from those readings.”

This is apparently not a parody but an official statement. Move beyond the amazing point that even if the UK spends the entire month of January at the interstellar background temperature of -270°C it would still be “the warmest winter in living memory”. What we see here is that even with the raw data a proper selection of analysis yields the politically correct soundbite.

I am just left wondering if the UK Meteorological Office has any credibility left to squander holding to this claim while the UK looks like a Christmas cookie.

Hollowing out

Right Wing News has yet another post on California’s economic failures. It does however bring up a point that I find interesting —

as the more fiscally prudent of California’s residents and businesses depart, the likely scenario, as is occurring in other blue states such as New York and New Jersey, is a reduction in the middle class households, and growing extremes of the very wealthy and very poor.

Here we see one of the fundamental problems with the MAL which opposes such income disparities yet consistently endorses policies that promote it. Even without the view that actions speak louder than words, it has been my view for a long time that the core leadership of the MAL longs for a plantation style culture, with themselves as the benevolent owners and the unable-to-care-for-themselves masses as happy at their forced labor serfs.

10 January 2010

Extreme denialism

The UK Telegraph reports that the CRUtape Letters release is being investigated by, among other law enforcement organizations, the National Domestic Extremism Team. I for one am not the list bit surprised that the response of the state is to focus on the release of what should have been public data that was kept secret despite legal requests for release rather than what the East Anglia CRU was doing with all of its government money.

Via Tim Blair.

08 January 2010

I can't keep up

According to Prison Planet the new airport scanners make good images of people naked. All I could think of is the old joke about “we might as well just have everyone fly naked”. One step closer apparently.

P.S. Prison Planet is not exactly a reliable source but I feel like living on the edge today.

07 January 2010

Glad that "culture of corruption" was voted out

First up we have this (via Right Wing News) —

The veteran Justice Department voting rights section chief who recommended going forward on a civil complaint against members of the New Black Panther Party after they disrupted a Pennsylvania polling place in last year’s elections has been removed from his post and transferred to the U.S. attorney’s office in South Carolina.

Purely a coincidence, I am sure. Another fun bit of voter fraud support is this story which involves a Obama campaign staffer who committed voter fraud in Ohio in 2008 and was rewarded recently with a six figure income job via political appointment in the Department of Transportation. On the other hand, given the other people appointed by the Obama Adminstration that is a bit thin, although one has to wonder how we got to the point of that being a pecadillo.

The Judicial Watch Ten Most Corrupt List is good reading. A Republican made the list but for a sex scandal. If you want corruption of office, it’s the Democratic Party that’s got the lock.

Updates:

Rice gain

Via Right Wing News is a story about former Secretary of State Condoleeza Rice joining an carbon indulgence trading start up. This doesn’t much change my view of Rice, as I lost the bloom on that rose a couple of years back. Sometimes you just have to move on.

Snow bound

Hot Air has a post about the proposed transfer of Camp X-Ray prisoners to Illinois. The gist is that the prisoners may resist it because it would be so much worse than where they are now and might be so harsh as to violate the Geneva Convention.

Of course, many non-MAList pundits have noted how much harsher most domestic prisons are compared to the conditions at Camp X-Ray but so much of reality it hasn’t really registered on much of the vocal MAL. At this point I hope the Obama Administration continues to push for the transfer just for the sheer schadenfruede of it.

That's how they get away with it

One question that is frequently asked is how the Democratic Party leaders expect to survive the ongoing debacle of trying to nationalize health care. Via Instapundit we have this editorial which points out a key mechanism —

Judging by the silence of the hundreds of professional journalists covering Congress for the mainstream media, however, it appears this lesson from Covering Government 101 has been forgotten. President Obama, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi — all of whom have in recent years promised unprecedented levels of transparency in government — are flouting their own words by meeting in secret to write the final version of Obamacare. They are doing this to avoid the public meetings of a bipartisan conference committee representing the Senate and House and the multiple, on-the-record roll call votes required in both chambers on a conference committee report.

The most radical expansion of central government power in American history is happening right under these journalists’ noses, and yet they raise not a peep of protest when the doors close, effectively barring them from doing their jobs at a critical juncture. Where are the Society of Professional Journalists, the American Society of Newspaper Editors, and the Radio and Television News Directors Association? These august organizations vigorously and rightfully protested former Vice President Richard Cheney’s secret meetings with oil company executives in the early days of the Bush administration. They also wailed loud and long about the Bush administration’s abuses, many real and some imagined, of the Freedom of Information Act.

There are no protests because they are either ideologically committed to nationalization and don’t want to rock the boat, or they are Party hardliners who, in their formative years acquired an anti-GOP Narrative and now judge things not on principle but on faction. The nation will be far better off when the American Street finally realizes this.

In a related vein, we have via sisu is a round up of opinions on the recent flurry of retirements from the Democratic Party. With regard to Senator Dodd in particular put me down with those who think that it’s a strategic win for the Democratic Party because it jettisons someone who is more damaged than the party as a whole. I am with commentor brooklyn

The irony remains, Democratic Partisans are blind to the Party folly, and will view the problem entirely via an individual. They still ignore the big picture, the terrible policies of the mindless Democratic Party.

Maybe it will work this 2010, having new faces take over for the well known, corrupt Symbols. […]

Nothing seems to matter to a Democratic Partisan, just their mindless hatred of their perceived opposition.

I think that last bit is critical. My experience has been that the hard core partisans are driven less by love for the Democratic Party and more by hatred for the GOP and conservatives. They are “fighting the last war”, locked in to a view of American politics that may have been true at one point but has since been obviated by events. But for what ever reasons the partisans are obsessed with errors and agit-prop of the past and counter any present day issue with decades old issues as if they were equivalent for how to act today.

Exo-Planet News

Instapundit writes

MAKE “VERBAL VIOLENCE” A CRIME, and many more women will go to jail.

Because there would not be any politically correct selective enforcement. Who will want to be the first officer to bring in a woman for violating this law in any but the most flagrant fashion? Even in France I expect it to be rather selectively applied, presuming it is not basically ignored.

06 January 2010

Another reason to not exercise

While I was burning some calories this morning I was exposed to CNN which had a story about Casey Johnson dieing young from as yet unannounced causes. I ended up finding the online version while talking of the day with SWIPIAW and found this —

“Everyone please pray 4 my Wifey Casey Johnson,” Tequila wrote. “She has passed away. Thank u for all ur love and support but I will be offline to be w/ family.”’

I instantly made SWIPIAW promise that if I kick off suddenly, she would love me enough to fully spell out all the words in the announcement. So I got that going for me.

Not always the last to know

Instapundit reports on furloguhs at UIUC but for once I knew about something before I read it on Instapundit. SWIPIAW is an adjunct there and told me even before it was going around the InterTubes. I don’t know how it is going to affect her since the only days she works are days when she is lecturing students, holding office hours, or running a lab. Perhaps they’ll furlough on her off days and dock her pay on that basis.

I don’t blame UIUC very much as they have been stiffed for over $400M by the state which is only technically not broke. I keep thinking we are a year or two behind California but perhaps this is our year to leap ahead on the track to a complete state government financial meltdown. The state borrowed over $2B in short term loans (due in June) to make it through 2009 and it’s still $4B behind in required payments. The State Comptroller said “no more” when the Governor tried to borrow even more to cover that.

And hey, there’s another thing we’re going to one up over California. It used to be that California set the stage for the national direction but now you are all going to get Chicago politics good and hard. Take that you coasters!

P.S. Can I toss this in — California can’t spend “stimulus” funds because of excessive state regulation. Watch for this to be solved by exempting state agencies rather than reforming the regulation. The sad part is that no one will learn.

Safe shooting

Tim Blair reports on the interesting juxtaposition that New York City banned tobacco smoking putatively because of health concerns while spending money on teaching heroin addicts how to safely inject themselves. Blair quips “if only cigarettes were injectable!”. I think there could be good money in a “Safe Smoking” campaign / money grubbing busy bodies charitable organization. Get some sponsorship from tobacco companies and states that depend on tobacco growing and / or taxes on tobacco sales. And then there’s “Safe Drinking”…

05 January 2010

It's good to find your place

I used to wonder how Homeland Security Secretary Napolitano fit in to the Obama Administration. Now I know — definite the useful idiot.

Almost makes you want to move

An excellent video advertisement via Tim Blair. Perhaps Texas should look in to this.

All those investigators and no penetration

Via Right Wing News we have well known MAList pundits whining that, after all of the lies and abuse they heaped on ex-Governor Sarah Palin, she is no longer cooperating with them. Gosh, can you imagine? And even as a private citizen she can still just shut them out —

The problem is that Palin has put the political press in a submissive position, one in which the only information it prints about her comes from prepared statements or from Q&As with friendly interviewers.

Unlike, say, President Obama. But clearly it’s still far more important to the American Street to get to the bottom of private citizen Palin’s nefarious schemes than to get past our President’s spin control.

Of course, the very idea of simply ignoring someone as irrelevant and washed up as Palin never seems to occur to these people.

04 January 2010

Tea time

Hot Air writes about the Democratic Party trying to capture some of that Tea Party energy. It’s an interesting post but what I thought of was that this is, in fact, an excellent time for the Democratic Party to achieve its long term ambition of destroying American Exceptionalism. While their policies are massively unpopular they do have a short window of political domination and an amazing weak opposition that one might reasonably expect to throw away the opportunity.

I agree with Hot Air that there is no way the Democratic Party can pick up Tea Party voters but that it’s quite possible that the GOP won’t either because, as far as I can tell, the GOP leadership still doesn’t actually understand what the Tea Party people are upset about, or can’t bring themselves to embrace it. To a large extent our entire political class seems dysfunctional but the modern Democratic Party seeks to enshrine that dysfunctionality2 which gives them a home field advantage3.


1 The GOP is losing the fund raising contest and has more retirements than the Democratic Party on top of the failed leadership.

2 Like spending $27M from Porkulus in non-existent zip codes. Of course, it wasn’t really spent there. What is actually happening is that after spending millions on building the Recovery Tracking website the government has failed to implement basic data integrity checks, something that would get any private sector contractor fired and blacklisted. Just as significantly there doesn’t seem to be any pressure or concern about fixing it. But maybe I am wrong and voters want more of that sort of thing.

3 I should drop this in as well — Representative Barney Franks’ “reform” of financial regulation

calls for more than a dozen agencies to create a position called “Director of Minority and Women Inclusion.” People in these new posts will be presidential appointees. I thought too-big-to-fail banks were the pressing issue. Turns out it’s diversity, and patronage.

When it can no longer be attributed to stupidity

Here’s a good post from Harry’s Place on the fellow travelers of the Caliphascist. I find the sponsorship by the Quakers the interesting part. So much for that vaunted pacifism.

Your opinion is settled

Old Media in action

With trillions of dollars at stake in the battle over global warming, now would be the time for the press to closely scrutinize the claims of those who would reorganize the world’s economy from farm to factory and laboratory to living room. And the Climategate scandal - where leaked e-mails and dodgy computer programs from the University of East Anglia raise powerful new questions about the role of politics in climate science - would be the perfect opportunity to explore what is going on behind the scenes.

That’s not happening. To judge by recent coverage from Associated Press, the Fourth Estate watchdog has acted like a third-rate pocket pet. Case in point is an 1,800-word AP missive that appeared in hundreds of publications, many carrying it on the front page of their Sunday, Dec. 13 issue with the headline, “Science not faked, but not pretty.” AP gave three scientists copies of the controversial e-mails and then asked them about their conclusions. The wire service portrayed the trio of scientists as dismissing or minimizing allegations of scientific fraud when, in fact, the scientists believe no such thing.

Deliberating distorting or falsifying quotes? Old Media is so discredited that this wouldn’t normally rate a mention except for two things —

One is that this was published in Old Media. Perhaps the ideological bias has gotten too strong even for those committed to changing the world through agit-prop?

The other is that the warmenists must be hurting if, rather than easily finding compliant scientists, they have to make things up.