Well it seems the word is spreading, finally! Even this socialist minister in (the formerly) Gr.Britain can see that those hurt disproportionally are the developing countries...CO2 driven climate change is a monstrous scam perpetrated by modern day leftists, whose hysteria cloaks the simple hunger for ever more government, ever more redistribution of income - theft - and De facto communism by fiat...T
Spending billions on trying to reduce carbon emissions is one giant con that is depriving third world countries of vital funds to tackle famine, HIV and other diseases, Sammy Wilson said.
The DUP minister has been heavily criticised by environmentalists for claiming that ongoing climatic shifts are down to nature and not mankind.
But while acknowledging his views on global warming may not be popular, the East Antrim MP said he was not prepared to be bullied by eco fundamentalists.
“I’ll not be stopped saying what I believe needs to be said about climate change,” he said.
"Most of the people who shout about climate change have not read one article about it
“I think in 20 years’ time we will look back at this whole climate change debate and ask ourselves how on earth were we ever conned into spending the billions of pounds which are going into this without any kind of rigorous examination of the background, the science, the implications of it all. Because there is now a degree of hysteria about it, fairly unformed hysteria I’ve got to say as well.
“I mean I get it in the Assembly all the time and most of the people who shout about climate change have not read one article about climate change, not read one book about climate change, if you asked them to explain how they believe there’s a connection between CO2 emission and the effects which they claim there’s going to be, if you ask them to explain the thought process or the modelling that is required and the assumptions behind that and how tenuous all the connections are, they wouldn’t have a clue.
“They simply get letters about it from all these lobby groups, it’s popular and therefore they go along with the flow — and that would be ok if there were no implications for it, but the implications are immense.”
He said while people in the western world were facing spiralling fuel bills as a result of efforts to cut CO2, the implications in poorer countries were graver.
“What are the problems that face us either locally and internationally. Are those not the things we should be concentrating on?” he asked.
“HIV, lack of clean water, which kills millions of people in third world countries, lack of education.
“A fraction of the money we are currently spending on climate change could actually eradicate those three problems alone, a fraction of it...
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Wednesday, December 31, 2008
Well it seems the word is spreading, finally! Even this socialist minister in (the formerly) Gr.Britain can see that those hurt disproportionally are the developing countries...CO2 driven climate change is a monstrous scam perpetrated by modern day leftists, whose hysteria cloaks the simple hunger for ever more government, ever more redistribution of income - theft - and De facto communism by fiat...T
Tuesday, December 30, 2008
Past Great Orators of the Democratic Party...
- Andrew Jackson
The only thing we have to fear is fear itself.'
- Franklin D. Roosevelt
'The buck stops here.'
- Harry S. Truman
'Ask not what your country can do for you; ask what you can do for your country.'
- John F. Kennedy
'That Obama - I would like to cut his NUTS off.'
'Those rumors are false .... I believe in the sanctity of marriage.'
'I invented the Internet, and global warming is real!'
'The next person that tells me I'm not religious, I'm going to shove my rosary beads
' America is--is no longer, uh, what it--it, uh, could be, uh what it was once was...uh, and I say to myself, 'uh, I don't want that future, uh, uh for my children.'
'I have campaigned in all 57 states.
'You don't need God anymore, you have us democrats.'
Nancy Pelosi (said back in 2006)
'Bill is the greatest husband and father I know. No one is more faithful, true, and honest than he.'
Hillary Clinton (said back in 1998)
Wednesday, December 24, 2008
In the "spirit of the holidays"...Merry Christmas!...T
Tuesday, December 23, 2008
Economics 101 time ladies and gentlemen - this was all disproved by Milton Friedman in the 70's and tested out in the 60's with JFK's tax cuts, and in the 80's with Reagan's. This theory was also proved in the negative by Hoover's and FDR's contractionist policies in the 30's and 40's!
Now we're going to make the same disastrous mistakes all over again? Thank you B. Insane Osama!...T
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Great article: On Foreign policy, security, anti terrorism and taxes, Bush has been a good, bordering on great, President. History is still being written, and the bailouts, the future of this recession and of his own party's future remain to be told - But he has had great accomplishments by any reasonable standard...T
The George W. Bush farewell tour took off in earnest last week, with the president granting interviews left and right. The image that emerged was surprisingly upbeat. His party is in tatters, the economy is the bleakest in a generation, and yet Bush played the part of a man confident that history will side with him.
He recognizes that times are tough. “It turns out this isn’t one of the presidencies where you ride off into the sunset, you know, kind of waving goodbye,” Bush told a Washington audience. That’s the understatement of the century.
Bush’s popularity is about the lowest on record for postwar presidents. A recent Gallup Poll ranked his 29.4 percent approval rating as the 10th-worst quarterly ranking since 1945. Only Harry Truman and Richard M. Nixon saw lower ratings.
With those numbers, one might forgive Bush if he snuck out of town and entered the witness-protection program. Instead, we get a concerted effort at legacy management. Is this campaign hopeless, or might history judge him favorably?
The argument for his eventual vindication is stronger than many might expect.
On foreign policy, Bush emphasizes that he pursued a “freedom agenda” and spread freedom to Iraq. While the Iraqi future is far from clear, it is possible that the country becomes a democracy and a reliable ally of the U.S. If that transformation is completed, then it could well be viewed as a turning point in the war on terror.
On the home front, to virtually everyone’s surprise, we’ve avoided a terrorist attack since Sept. 11.
Hard to Argue
So it is hard to argue that Bush’s policies were a failure. The unpopular war may have trashed his party, but it didn’t have the same effect on the country.
Turning to the economy, the pro-Bush argument becomes more of a stretch. First, his accomplishments were few. He passed a relatively small tax cut and was unable to hold the line on government spending. As a result, the deficit skyrocketed and set the stage for his tax cuts to be reversed. The prescription- drug benefit wasn’t paid for, and the jury is out on his No Child Left Behind education policy.
The insignificance of Bush’s economic policy, though, might work to his advantage. We are in the midst of the worst recession of our generation, yet it is hard to attribute this crisis to anything that Bush actively did. If his large deficits produced skyrocketing interest rates that crushed the economy, then the argument that Bush caused the mess we’re in might hold water. If he was the one who deregulated the financial sector, then we could justifiably blame him for our predicament.
Instead, the forces that allowed the financial sector to blow up -- deregulation, for example -- were in place when he took office. Former Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan, who failed to stem the crisis, was inherited from the previous president. Bush even tried to avert the crisis early and often in his presidency, as he sought strict limits on the actions of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, the mortgage-finance companies that were at ground zero of the crisis.
Bush was unable to stop the housing crisis and its fallout, but he tried. In that failure, he is hardly alone. The crisis has touched just about everyone, wiping out wealth in countries run by both liberals and conservatives.
All told, it seems unlikely that history will blame Bush for the financial crisis. He may even receive credit for helping to minimize its impact.
Capital markets, after all, have been anticipating a recession for most of this year. Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson and Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke have defended their extraordinary actions as necessary insurance against a depression. If a disaster is avoided, if the recession begins to ease in the coming months and the bailout frenzy ends, then the terrible economy we see before us will diminish in historical importance.
This is the 11th recession of the postwar period, and 33rd in the National Bureau of Economic Research’s business cycle chronology, starting in 1854. Most presidents have a recession or two during their term, but it is hard to think of one that historians blame on a president. Bush’s tenure would have been unusual if it hadn’t had a recession. It is hard to see why he would bear more blame than has been the historical norm.
It may well be that Paulson and Bernanke have made things worse, and we are going to enter a depression. If we do, then historians will view Bush as someone who at the very least failed to act as needed. Regardless of how foreign policy turns out, Bush would take his place next to Hoover in the rogues’ gallery of history.
But if we look back and see only a worse-than-normal recession, then the Bush legacy will depend on the future of Iraq, and its role in smoothing out the Middle East. In the best-case scenario, Bush will have been a good -- maybe even a great -- president.
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Monday, December 22, 2008
No, he hasn't been perfect. Yes, he spent too much. Yes the auto bailout was bad policy, most likely. Still, a little perspective is needed. Here it is...T
As the year draws to an end and President Bush enters his final month in office, there is much commentary about the Administration's record over the past eight years. Unsurprisingly, many of these stories assail and distort the President's record and recycle myths and unfounded allegations that have been leveled for the better part of his two terms. Historical accuracy requires a response to the litany of attacks leveled against President Bush, and while there's not enough space to respond to all of them, here are five of the most egregious:
Myth 1: The last eight years were awful for most Americans economically and President Bush's deregulatory policies caused the current financial crisis.
President Bush's time in office is ending as it began, with our economy under stress. The recession President Bush inherited as he entered office ran through the attacks of September 11, 2001, but during the recovery that followed, and due in no small part to the tax relief President Bush worked with Congress to provide, this country experienced its longest run of uninterrupted job growth - 52 straight months, with 8.3 million jobs created.
This reflected six consecutive years of economic growth from the Fourth Quarter of 2001 until the Fourth Quarter of 2007. From 2000 to 2007, real GDP grew by more than 17 percent, a remarkable gain of nearly 2.1 trillion dollars. This growth was driven in part by increased labor productivity gains that have averaged 2.5 percent annually since 2001, a rate that exceeds the averages of the 1970s, '80s, and '90s. In the same period, real after-tax income per capita increased by more than 11 percent, and there was a 4.7 percent increase in the number of new businesses formed. The current economic challenges, which the President and his Administration have responded to aggressively, threaten to reverse some of these gains - but the gains cannot be denied.
As for the current crisis, the President and his economic team have taken unprecedented actions to stabilize the financial sector and avert a collapse. While there are a number of causes of the housing and credit crises that are at the root of our current economic troubles, deregulation by the Bush Administration is simply not one of them. In fact, one of the circumstances that contributed to the crisis was the failure of the government sponsored enterprises (GSEs) Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, which President Bush long tried to subject to greater regulation. In April 2001, three months after taking office, the President warned in his first budget that the size of the two GSEs were a "potential problem" that "could cause strong repercussions in financial markets, affecting Federally insured entities and economic activity." In 2003, the Administration began calling for a new GSE regulator, and over the next five years, the Administration continued to call for GSE reform only to be accused by Democrats in Congress of creating artificial fears and advocating for ill-advised proposals. By the time Congress finally acted in 2008 to provide the oversight the President requested, it was too late to prevent systemic consequences. Had the Administration's initial reform proposals been adopted, some of today's turmoil in our financial markets may have been averted.
Myth 2: President Bush's tax cuts only benefitted the wealthy and were paid for by sacrificing investments in health care and education.
There are not 116 million "wealthy Americans," but that's how many taxpayers benefited from the President's tax relief. The across-the-board tax cuts provided tax relief to every American who pays income taxes, created a new bottom 10 percent bracket rate, doubled the child tax credit to $1,000, and actually increased the share of the Federal income tax burden paid by the top 10 percent of individual earners from 67 percent in 2000 to 70 percent in 2005. Furthermore, this Administration removed 13 million low-income earners from the income tax rolls completely.
The economic growth spurred by tax relief also spurred growth in Federal tax receipts. In fact, the Federal Treasury realized the largest three-year increase of revenue in 26 years, and tax receipts grew more than $542 billion between 2000 and 2007. And yes, much of that money went to investments in health care and education.
President Bush provided more than 40 million Americans with better access to prescription drugs by creating the market-based Medicare Prescription Drug Benefit. And it is one of the rare government programs that actually costs less than expected. Projected overall program spending between 2004 and 2013 is approximately $240 billion lower, nearly 38 percent, than originally estimated, thanks to the market-oriented principles included at President Bush's insistence.
Despite the heated rhetoric over children's health insurance (S-CHIP) legislation last year, estimates from a 2007 Federal survey show that the number of uninsured children under the age of 18 actually declined by 800,000 from 2001 to 2007. From 2007 to 2008, the number of people covered by affordable and portable Health Savings Account-eligible plans increased 35 percent. Additionally, since President Bush took office, more than 1,200 community health centers have opened or expanded nationwide, which has helped provide treatment to nearly 17 million people.
Federal spending on education has increased nearly 40 percent under President Bush. Additionally, Pell Grant funding nearly doubled during the Administration, which is expected to help more than 5.5 million students attend college in the 2008-09 school year, 1.2 million more students than were assisted by Pell Grants in the 2001-02 school year. This financial aid assistance also helps account for the fact that 66 percent of high school graduates from the class of 2006 enrolled in colleges, compared to 63 percent in 2000.
Perhaps more importantly, the President's No Child Left Behind Act has delivered tangible results to students. Since the law was enacted, fourth-grade students have achieved their highest reading and math scores on record, eighth-grade students have achieved their highest math scores on record, and African-American and Hispanic students have posted all-time high scores in a number of categories, narrowing the gap between minority students and white students.
Myth 3: The President's "go it alone" foreign policy ruined America's standing in the world.
Rarely can one see revisionist history occurring in the present, but this charge is nothing short of that. The United States acted with a multilateral coalition of partner nations to remove Saddam Hussein from power in Iraq after he failed to comply with the will of the international community, including numerous United Nations Security Council Resolutions. To ignore this fact is not only a distortion of history, but it is also an insult to the service members of our coalition partners who sacrificed their lives to contribute to the success we are now witnessing in Iraq. And in Afghanistan, approximately forty countries are currently deployed with American forces, including every one of our NATO allies.
The President also created a worldwide coalition of more than 90 nations to combat terrorist networks by sharing information, drying up their financing, and bringing their leaders to justice. To date, we have captured or killed hundreds of al-Qaeda leaders and operatives with the help of partner nations. Furthermore, the Administration established the Proliferation Security Initiative, which now includes more than 90 nations, and other multilateral coalitions to stop the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction.
The President successfully pushed for expanding NATO membership, generated international pressure on Iran to stop it from developing nuclear weapons, and organized the Six-Party Talks, which have resulted in North Korea committing to give up its nuclear weapons and abandon its nuclear programs. Verifying North Korea's commitment will be a challenge, but at the most recent Six-Party Talks meeting, there was strong consensus among the five parties that North Korea must submit to a comprehensive verification regime that accords with international standards.
U.S. ties in Asia have been strengthened over the past eight years, and the Administration has built strong relationships with China, Japan, and South Korea, among others. We have signed an historic civilian nuclear power agreement with India, reflecting a fundamental change in our relationship. Pro-American leaders have been elected in Germany, France, and Italy. Eastern European countries such as Georgia, Ukraine, and Kosovo treasure their relationships with the United States, and no president has done more to improve health and security in the nations of Africa. We have also strengthened cooperation with Latin America, including initiatives with Brazil on biofuels and with Mexico and Central America on fighting organized crime. Finally, when the President took office, America had trade agreements in force with only three countries, versus 14 today - with three additional agreements approved by Congress but not yet in force and agreements with three countries that are awaiting Congressional approval.
Myth 4: The war in Iraq caused us to "take our eye off the ball" in Afghanistan and with al Qaeda.
Iraq and Afghanistan are two fronts in the same war, and while the success of the surge in Iraq has been visible, we have also had a quiet surge in Afghanistan. The U.S. has continuously and aggressively fought side-by-side with Afghans and our allies to defeat the Taliban and al Qaeda in Afghanistan. The United States has provided nearly $32 billion for security, political, and economic development assistance and the international community has provided more than $55 billion to Afghanistan since 2001.
An additional U.S. Marine battalion deployed to Afghanistan in November and they will be followed by an Army combat brigade of about 3,400 troops in early 2009. U.S. forces now total approximately 31,000, and are joined by nearly as many coalition troops. The United States and our allies are working with Afghanistan to help it nearly double the size of the Afghan National Army over the next five years, from 79,000 now trained to 134,000 in 2014.
We have also deployed Provincial Reconstruction Teams to ensure security gains are followed by real improvements in daily life, and we have helped local communities strengthen their economies and create jobs, deliver basic services, improve governance and fight corruption, and build or repair key infrastructure such as roads, bridges, hospitals, and schools. More than six million children, approximately two million of them girls, are now in Afghan schools, compared to fewer than one million in 2001.
In this Global War on Terror, we do not have the luxury to fight on one battlefront at a time. To defeat the terrorists, we must fight them overseas so we don't have to fight them here at home. Since 9/11, we have successfully captured or killed dozens of al-Qaeda's senior leadership and hundreds of al-Qaeda operatives in two dozen countries, removed al-Qaeda's safe-haven in Afghanistan and crippled al-Qaeda in Iraq, and disrupted numerous al Qaeda terrorist plots against the U.S., including a 2006 plot to blow up passenger planes traveling from London.
Myth 5: This Administration has been bad for the environment and ignored the problem of global warming.
Given the liberal media's failure to acknowledge this Administration's true record on alternative energy, conservation, and climate change, it's not surprising this charge has stuck. But here are some irrefutable data points: From 2001 to 2007, air pollution decreased by 12 percent, and fine particulate matter pollution is down 17 percent since 2001. Ethanol production quadrupled from 1.6 billion gallons in 2000 to 6.5 billion gallons in 2007, wind energy production has increased by more than 400 percent, and solar energy capacity has doubled. In 2007, solar installations increased more than 32 percent and the U.S. produced 96 percent more biodiesel (490 million gallons) than in 2006. The Administration also provided nearly $18 billion to research, develop, and promote alternative and more efficient energy technologies such as biofuels, solar, wind, clean coal, nuclear, and hydrogen.
This Administration has improved and protected the health of more than 27 million acres of Federal forest and grasslands, protected, restored, and improved more than three million acres of wetlands, and established the Papahānaumokuākea Marine National Monument, the world's largest fully protected marine conservation area (nearly 140,000 square miles).
Much of the misperception about the President's environmental record is born out of the President's withdrawing the United States from the Kyoto Protocol, which did not include the effective participation of major developing countries such as India and China. Instead, the President worked to address climate change by launching the Major Economies Process, which convened the leaders of the world's major economies, both developed and developing, to work on ways to further reduce greenhouse gas emissions and improve energy security without harming our economies or giving any nation a free ride. Finally, the President set the country on course to stop the growth of greenhouse gas emissions below projected levels by 2025 and invested more than $44 billion in climate change-related programs.
Some other items that are infrequently mentioned about the real record of the Bush Administration but are worth noting: Teenage drug use has declined 25 percent; in 2007, the violent crime rate was 43 percent lower than the rate in 1998; between 2005 and 2007, the chronically homeless population decreased approximately 30 percent; funding for veterans' medical care has increased more than 115 percent; and as of 2005, the most recent abortion rate is at its lowest since 1974.
And one last fact: Our homeland has not suffered another terrorist attack since September 11, 2001. That, too, is part of the real Bush record.
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Thursday, December 18, 2008
No mistaking this: The UAW union killed the auto bailout, holding out for more money from the incoming Osama administration. As the author describes that scenario:
A majority of Americans oppose an auto bailout, but you can be sure that they will be even more unhappy if an auto collapse deepens the already-deepening Great Recession.
Even if most Congressional Republicans are determined to have the Detroit auto companies go into Chapter 11 bankruptcy and reorganization, the Bush administration and the incoming Obama administration are convinced it would be a bad idea.
Sixty percent of Americans, according to a Washington Post poll, think that bankruptcy would make no difference or would be good for the economy.
But neither the incoming nor outgoing administration thinks that -- mainly because bankruptcy for General Motors could also result in the failure of companies that supply parts for all auto companies, including foreign transplants, causing a collapse of the entire industry.
And the stigma of a Chapter 11 filing by U.S. auto companies -- putting them into position for reorganization by courts -- might discourage any buyers from purchasing American, causing a cascade into Chapter 7 bankruptcy, that is, liquidation.
All that could add several million people to the unemployment rolls at a time when joblessness is already surging.
Another Washington Post poll found that 43 percent of U.S. households has already suffered from job loss or reduced hours of work and 66 percent are worried that they won't be able to maintain their standard of living.
Sixty-five percent support the idea of up to $700 billion in infrastructure spending to prop up the economy. That suggests that the 55 percent who oppose an auto bailout don't understand the potential consequences of bankruptcy.
As Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson told Fox News's Bret Baier on Tuesday, President George W. Bush "made a decision that he didn't want to see a failure of an auto company, so we're right now exploring the options."
Asked about most Congressional Republicans' favored process -- Chapter 11 reorganization -- Paulson said "the economy is fragile. A failure would not be good at this time."
And Vice President Dick Cheney told radio talk-show host Rush Limbaugh, "if the automobile industry goes belly up, there's a deep concern that that would be a major shock to the system."
President-elect Barack Obama endorsed the White House-Congressional Democratic $14 billion bailout package that passed the House last week but failed to survive a GOP filibuster.
The hero of the moment in that exercise -- though he ultimately failed to win a victory -- was Sen. Bob Corker (R-Tenn.), who sought to fashion a bankruptcy-like reorganization package for GM without bringing on the consequences of bankruptcy.
Corker, a freshman Senator, tried to save everyone involved -- the auto companies, their employees, suppliers, the economy and his fellow Republicans -- but he came up short because the United Auto Workers and their Democratic allies would not go along with his compromise proposal.
His idea was to force GM's management, the UAW and company creditors to make guaranteed concessions by a definite date -- March 31 -- using the threat of certain bankruptcy as a stick to prevent backsliding.
The administration-Democratic plan was similar in outline -- and was defended by administration officials as "tough" -- but contained no certain terms for keeping the auto companies viable.
Under that plan, Bush would appoint an "auto czar" assigned to work out concessions by March 31 or April 30 or demand that the companies return their bailout loans, resulting in bankruptcy.
Corker determined that the administration terms weren't definite enough and that his fellow Republicans wouldn't support it.
So he called for a two-thirds "haircut" by GM's bond-holders -- that is, they'd write down GM's debt to one-third of its original value -- along with requirements that GM's pension funds convert the company's obligations into GM stock and that the UAW reduce its pay and benefits package to match Toyota and the other transplants' average.
Corker, even though he's a junior member of the Senate Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs Committee, spent hours negotiating with GM, the bond holders and the UAW.
But the UAW wouldn't agree to the deal, mainly because it figured that it would get an easier deal from the administration and, eventually, a Democratic administration and a heavily Democratic Congress.
Without the union concessions, Senate Republicans blocked the administration bill and Congress went home to let the administration figure out what to do.
The Corker plan remains the best solution for the auto companies. It's bankruptcy without the stigma of formal bankruptcy. It's shared sacrifice among the stakeholders to keep their common enterprise alive and limit losses to the economy.
The package also involves limits on executive pay for the auto companies, although it leaves current management in place.
The big question now is: Does the administration have the leverage to obtain tough concessions all around?
Having made it clear it will not let the auto companies fail, Bush & Co. seemingly have given up a big stick in trying to obtain terms -- and the UAW simply has to look 30-odd days ahead to see Democratic relief.Although many conservatives cite unionized auto workers pay at $75 an hour vs. $45 at non-unionized plants, the difference in pay and benefits is actually just $10 an hour -- an amount the UAW should be prepared to eat in order to keep its goose laying eggs.
If the Bush administration can't win bankruptcy-like concessions to keep the auto companies alive for the long run, perhaps it should just make a short-term loan to keep GM and Chrysler breathing until Jan. 20 and let Democrats figure out the longer run.
The danger is that, unions being as powerful an influence on Democrats as they are, the next bailout will just be the first of many and government will end up running auto companies along with the banks.
Bankruptcy might be better than that.
Full article in new window
Posted by Ted Pethick at 7:22 PM
Wednesday, December 17, 2008
Posted by Ted Pethick at 12:47 AM
Thursday, December 11, 2008
You'll laugh till you cry - I know I do every time I see this one. If only Fred was as Reaganesque in person as he is on screen, we may have all been able to avoid the mess we now find ourselves in, economically, culturally, and politically. The silver lining may be, though, that this situation is so Orwellian, and Kafkaesque all at the same time (never thought I'd put those two together), that the turnaround may not be that far off at all. More people every day see the absolute insanely Orwellian nature of today's situation...T
Wednesday, December 10, 2008
And now come the FACTS!
Be sure to read and save the whole lengthy piece, as all the conclusive evidence is therein linked, as it is too long to post in it's entirety here. Also, be sure and add Tom Nelson , MS, to your Blogroll for the facts on Anthropogenic Global Climate Change.
Study: Half of warming due to Sun! –Sea Levels Fail to Rise? - Warming Fears in 'Dustbin of History'
POZNAN, Poland - The UN global warming conference currently underway in Poland is about to face a serious challenge from over 650 dissenting scientists from around the globe who are criticizing the climate claims made by the UN IPCC and former Vice President Al Gore. Set for release this week, a newly updated U.S. Senate Minority Report features the dissenting voices of over 650 international scientists, many current and former UN IPCC scientists, who have now turned against the UN. The report has added about 250 scientists (and growing) in 2008 to the over 400 scientists who spoke out in 2007. The over 650 dissenting scientists are more than 12 times the number of UN scientists (52) who authored the media hyped IPCC 2007 Summary for Policymakers.
The U.S. Senate report is the latest evidence of the growing groundswell of scientific opposition rising to challenge the UN and Gore. Scientific meetings are now being dominated by a growing number of skeptical scientists. The prestigious International Geological Congress, dubbed the geologists' equivalent of the Olympic Games, was held in Norway in August 2008 and prominently featured the voices and views of scientists skeptical of man-made global warming fears. [See Full report Here: & See: Skeptical scientists overwhelm conference: '2/3 of presenters and question-askers were hostile to, even dismissive of, the UN IPCC' ]
Full article in new window
It is a permanent addition, located in the left column, just above my blogroll. It is posted here for your viewing convenience. Now it's back to sunning myself in the mid December warmth of 20 degrees in N. Indiana...T
"WARNING! Global Warming Alarmists do not want you to watch these videos."
Tuesday, December 09, 2008
Sigh...there's more truth in humor (good humor, at least), than in all the pontificating of the Drive-by's combined. They should have included Governor "Hot Rod" Blago in this list though.
Hmm, wonder if that will become his new prison name?
WHY DID THE CHICKEN CROSS THE ROAD?
SARAH PALIN: Before it got to the other side, I shot the chicken, cleaned and dressed it, and had chicken burgers for lunch.
BARACK OBAMA: The chicken crossed the road because it was time for a change! The chicken wanted change!
JOHN MC CAIN: My friends, that chicken crossed the road because he recognized the need to engage in cooperation and dialogue with all the chickens on the other side of the road.
HILLARY CLINTON: When I was First Lady, I personally helped that little chicken to cross the road. This experience makes me uniquely qualified to ensure right from Day One that every chicken in this country gets the chance it deserves to cross the road. But then, this really isn't about me.
DICK CHENEY: Where's my gun?
BILL CLINTON: I did not cross the road with that chicken. What is your definition of chicken?
AL GORE: I invented the chicken.
JOHN KERRY: Although I voted to let the chicken cross the road, I am now against it! It was the wrong road to cross, and I was misled about the chicken's intentions. I am not for it now and will remain against it.
PAT BUCHANAN: To steal the job of a decent, hardworking American.
ps - thanks to Splugy for forwarding this!
Monday, December 08, 2008
Soviet Leader Nikita Khrushchev, 1959:
"We cannot expect the Americans to jump from capitalism to Communism, but we can assist their elected leaders in giving Americans small doses of socialism until they suddenly awake to find they have Communism."
Obama chief of staff-designate Rahm Emanuel, Dec. 2008, claiming the current economic crisis as an opportunity for major change to our political and economic systems:
"You never want a serious crisis to go to waste"
This is exactly what Rahm said after the election…..watch out Amerika! Comrade Obama is coming for you...T
Sunday, December 07, 2008
Nice to hear from former Majority Leader Dick Armey, and I couldn't agree more. There should be no such thing as a "big government" republican anymore. Every time we elect one, we lose, big time! The following words express this perfectly:
"What will be the fate of free market capitalism in America? Will the 2008 election look more like 1932 -- or 1992?
On both occasions, Republican presidents had abandoned their party's principles for bigger government policies that exacerbated difficult economic times. On both occasions, Democrats took control, largely hijacking the small-government, fiscally responsible rhetoric of their opponents."
When will we ever learn? This is the party of Reagan, not of Taft nor McCain...T
The liberal pundits who embraced the candidacy of Barack Obama are also eager to issue a death certificate for free market capitalism. They're wrong, and they remind me of what the great Willie Nelson once said: "I'm ragged but I'm right."
To be sure, the American people have handed power over to the Democrats. But today there is a categorical difference between what Republicans stand for and the principles of individual freedom. Parties are all about getting people elected to political office; and the practice of politics too often takes the form of professional juvenile delinquency: short-sighted and self-centered.
This was certainly true of the Bush presidency. Too often the policy agenda was determined by short-sighted political considerations and an abiding fear that the public simply would not understand limited government and expanded individual freedoms. How else do we explain "compassionate conservatism," No Child Left Behind, the Medicare drug benefit and the most dramatic growth in federal spending since LBJ's Great Society?
John McCain has long suffered from philosophical confusions about free markets, and his presidential campaign reflected as much. Most striking was his inability to explain his own health-care proposal, or to defend his tax cuts and tax reform. Ultimately, it took a plumber from Ohio to identify the real nature of Barack Obama's plan to "spread the wealth."
Mr. McCain did find his message on taxes in the last few weeks, but it was too late. A Rasmussen poll of Oct. 30 reported that 31% of likely voters believed that "taxes will go down" under an Obama administration versus just 11% under a McCain administration. Shockingly, 19% of self-described conservatives believed Mr. Obama would cut taxes; only 12% thought Mr. McCain would.
The response by Mr. McCain to the financial crisis on Wall Street was the defining moment of the campaign. In what looked like a tailor-made opportunity to "clean up Washington," the Republican nominee could have challenged the increasingly politicized nature of Federal Reserve policies, and the inherently corrupt relationships between Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac and various Democratic committee chairmen. Instead, his reaction was visceral and insecure: He "suspended" his campaign and promised "to put an end to the reckless conduct, corruption, and unbridled greed that have caused a crisis on Wall Street."
In the process, he squandered his political standing with the investor class, a core Republican voting bloc. An October 26-30 Reuters/C-Span/Zogby poll of likely voters showed Mr. McCain barely beating the Democratic nominee among self-identified "investors," 50.4% to 43.8% -- a dramatic drop from the 15-point lead he held in a similar poll a month earlier.
The modern Republican Party has risen above its insecurities to achieve political success. Ronald Reagan, for example, held an unshakably positive vision of American capitalism. He didn't feel a need to qualify the meaning of his conservatism. He understood that big government was cruel and uncaring of individual aspirations. Small government conservatism was, by definition, compassionate -- offering every American a way up to self-determination and economic prosperity.
Republicans lost control of Congress in 2006 because voters no longer saw Republicans as the party of limited government. They have since rejected virtually every opportunity to recapture this identity. But their failure to do so must not be misconstrued as a rejection of principles of individual liberty by the American people. The evidence suggests we are still a nation of pocketbook conservatives most happy when government has enough respect to leave us alone and to mind its own business. The worrisome question is whether either political party understands this.
What will be the fate of free market capitalism in America? Will the 2008 election look more like 1932 -- or 1992?
On both occasions, Republican presidents had abandoned their party's principles for bigger government policies that exacerbated difficult economic times. On both occasions, Democrats took control, largely hijacking the small-government, fiscally responsible rhetoric of their opponents. Of course, FDR's election ushered in the New Deal, the most dramatic expansion of government power in American history, together with policy changes and economic uncertainty that inhibited investment and growth and locked in massive unemployment for nearly a generation.
The official agenda of the incoming administration is not so different from FDR's. Whatever doubts remain about Mr. Obama's governing principles can be cleared up by looking at the governing philosophy of the Democrats in Congress he will be crafting legislation with or the liberal constituencies he is indebted to support. Democrats will not be ambiguous. They have every right to be energized, and will attempt sweeping changes to our economy and the very nature of the relationship between individual American citizens and the federal government.
Their wish list is long. Charlie Rangel, chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee, has said he would like to redistribute a trillion dollars through the tax code, including massive tax hikes on capital accumulation and individual entrepreneurship. Labor unions want to take away the right of a worker to a secret ballot in organizing elections. Radical environmentalists demand strict curbs on energy production and use. Hillary Clinton may have lost the primary, but expect Democrats to push her favorite idea: government-run heath care.
Will Democratic overreach give the small-government movement the opportunity to reassert itself in the GOP? Former Congressman Dick Gephardt has warned President-elect Obama and the new Democratic majorities to be humble and measured. But with a legislative agenda driven by Nancy Pelosi, George Miller and Mr. Rangel, the temptations may be too great.
In 1992, Republican backbenchers including Newt Gingrich, myself, Bob Walker and John Boehner rose up to challenge the Clinton administration's agenda on taxes, spending and government-run health care. But before we could beat the Democrats, we had to beat the old bulls of our own party who had forgotten their principles and had become very comfortable as a complacent minority. We captured control of Congress in 1994 because we had confidence in our principles, and in the American people's willingness to understand and reward a national vision based on lower taxes, less government and more freedom.
That can happen again today -- but it will require a new generation of leadership, the sooner the better. Rest assured that the American people will show up for the fight.
Mr. Armey, U.S. House majority leader from 1995 to 2002, is chairman of FreedomWorks Foundation.
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Saturday, December 06, 2008
Friday, December 05, 2008
The latest from Michael Barone. I concur, and I think he will. Three Bushes? If his last name was anything else he'd be president...T
Florida Sen. Mel Martinez's surprising decision not to run for re-election in 2010 has led former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush to seriously consider running for the seat. This is very good news for Republicans: Martinez's poll numbers have been lousy, while Bush's are very high. Bush, in my judgment, was the outstanding state governor of this decade, for reasons that Peter Robinson of the Hoover Institution sets out. (His leading competitor for that title, in my judgment, is Tennessee Gov. Phil Bredesen, a Democrat.) Operating in a state where liberal newspapers, teachers' unions, and trial lawyers maintained a continual barrage of criticism, Bush and the Republican legislature produced the nation's best education reform and major changes in healthcare, while Bush himself proved masterful in handling hurricane relief. One reason for the federal government's poor response to Hurricane Katrina was that the feds were used to dealing with Jeb Bush and Florida's competent local officials; dealing with the hapless New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin and Louisiana Gov. Kathleen Blanco was quite a different thing.
It has long been thought that Bush is temperamentally ill-suited to be a legislator, and in fact he has never been one. But he is a man of original ideas as well as impressive follow-through. As a senator he would attract national attention initially as the brother and son of presidents, but over time he would do so because of the quality of his ideas. One other thing: He is fluent in Spanish and has proven appeal to Hispanic voters. And I mean fluent. I have seen him speaking to a crowd in Miami and switching from English to Spanish and back again in the same sentence, making jokes in both languages. He once told me that he was trying to make his accent less Mexican (his wife is from Mexico, and he met her while studying there) and more Cuban.
Bush says that he will decide over the Christmas season whether he'll run for the Senate. If he does, he will probably pre-empt the field on the Republican side (as he did when he ran for governor in 1998) and will be a heavy favorite in the general election. I hope he does. Mel Martinez's decision to retire has opened the way for this gifted politician to make a contribution to national politics and public policy. And to the Republican Party, which needs to find some outside-the-box candidates if it's to have any chance to increase its numbers in Congress in 2010.
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Bush's greatest accomplishment passes almost without notice - but not in the judgment of history...T
The barbarism in Mumbai and the economic crisis at home have largely overshadowed an otherwise singular event: the ratification of military and strategic cooperation agreements between Iraq and the United States.
They must not pass unnoted. They were certainly noted by Iran, which fought fiercely to undermine the agreements. Tehran understood how a formal U.S.-Iraqi alliance endorsed by a broad Iraqi consensus expressed in a freely elected parliament changes the strategic balance in the region.
For the United States, this represents the single most important geopolitical advance in the region since Henry Kissinger turned Egypt from a Soviet client into an American ally. If we don't blow it with too hasty a withdrawal from Iraq, we will have turned a chronically destabilizing enemy state at the epicenter of the Arab Middle East into an ally.
Also largely overlooked at home was the sheer wonder of the procedure that produced Iraq's consent: classic legislative maneuvering with no more than a tussle or two -- tame by international standards (see YouTube: "Best Taiwanese Parliament Fights of All Time!") -- over the most fundamental issues of national identity and direction.
The only significant opposition bloc was the Sadrists, a mere 30 seats out of 275. The ostensibly pro-Iranian religious Shiite parties resisted Tehran's pressure and championed the agreement. As did the Kurds. The Sunnis put up the greatest fight. But their concern was that America would be withdrawing too soon, leaving them subject to overbearing and perhaps even vengeful Shiite dominance.
The Sunnis, who only a few years ago had boycotted provincial elections, bargained with Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki, trying to exploit his personal stake in agreements he himself had negotiated. They did not achieve their maximum objectives. But they did get formal legislative commitments for future consideration of their grievances, from amnesty to further relaxation of the de-Baathification laws.
That any of this democratic give-and-take should be happening in a peaceful parliament just two years after Iraq's descent into sectarian hell is in itself astonishing. Nor is the setting of a withdrawal date terribly troubling. The deadline is almost entirely symbolic. U.S. troops must be out by Dec. 31, 2011 -- the weekend before the Iowa caucuses, which, because God is merciful, will arrive again only in the very fullness of time. Moreover, that date is not just distant but flexible. By treaty, it can be amended. If conditions on the ground warrant, it will be.
True, the war is not over. As Gen. David Petraeus repeatedly insists, our (belated) successes in Iraq are still fragile. There has already been an uptick in terror bombings, which will undoubtedly continue as what's left of al-Qaeda, the Sadrist militias and the Iranian-controlled "special groups" try to disrupt January's provincial elections.
The more long-term danger is that Iraq's reborn central government becomes too strong and, by military or parliamentary coup, the current democratic arrangements are dismantled by a renewed dictatorship that abrogates the alliance with the United States.
Such disasters are possible. But if our drawdown is conducted with the same acumen as was the surge, not probable. A self-sustaining, democratic and pro-American Iraq is within our reach. It would have two hugely important effects in the region.
First, it would constitute a major defeat for Tehran, the putative winner of the Iraq war, according to the smart set. Iran's client, Moqtada al-Sadr, still hiding in Iran, was visibly marginalized in parliament -- after being militarily humiliated in Basra and Baghdad by the new Iraqi security forces. Moreover, the major religious Shiite parties were the ones that negotiated, promoted and assured passage of the strategic alliance with the United States, against the most determined Iranian opposition.
Second is the regional effect of the new political entity on display in Baghdad -- a flawed yet functioning democratic polity with unprecedented free speech, free elections and freely competing parliamentary factions. For this to happen in the most important Arab country besides Egypt can, over time (over generational time, the time scale of the war on terror), alter the evolution of Arab society. It constitutes our best hope for the kind of fundamental political-cultural change in the Arab sphere that alone will bring about the defeat of Islamic extremism. After all, newly sovereign Iraq is today more engaged in the fight against Arab radicalism than any country on earth, save the United States -- with which, mirabile dictu, it has now thrown in its lot.
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Wednesday, December 03, 2008
Posted with minimal content, from VDH. As I have been saying, Bush will be fondly remembered, to say the least, in terms of actual accomplishments. Witness the "New" Obama, becoming more conservative and "Bush-like" as each day passes...T
I think Obama may do more for George Bush's reputation than anyone thinks.
I've collated the dozens of articles from liberal thinkers that explain why so far Obama — the candidate of hope and change, and cleaning out the entrenched status quo that so warps our D.C. politics and ensures stasis in our policies — has surrounded himself either with Clintonites, outright Bush people or those who worked closely with them, and centrists of ambiguous politics. The explanations are quite creative and run the gamut:
1) Whom else might a Democrat pick, given that the Carterites are now 28 years out of office, and team Clinton the only experienced circle of liberals still around (and given that Democrats have only been in the executive branch for 8 out of the last 28 years)?
2) This is part of Obama's brilliant grand strategy. Just wait and see how Machiavellian it works out: by coopting power-hungry centrist pros to enact HIS "progressive" policies, he can advance a leftist agenda much more effectively and fend off gratuitous attacks from the right-wing attack machine.
3) Review what Obama actually promised and you will learn he actually ran a centrist campaign; the problem is that too many liberals simply projected their own agendas on him, and saw what they wished rather than what was there.
4) These are not centrists at all. Gates was at heart a sort of anti-Bush maverick. Hillary and others are liberals that used to be the bane of right-wingers. The new economic team wants to assume government control of essential industries.
5) This is just a small sampling of appointments; wait until you see the U.N. rep, NEA, NEH, key figures at State and Justice. By picking bumper-sticker centrists at the figuratively top spots, he can appoint real progressives under the radar at the bread and butter posts where real policies happen.
Note that the most obvious and embarrassing explanation is taboo and blasphemous: That Obama is a masterful politician who never has had any real ideology or persona other than his own diversity story and history, youth, and charisma that together allow him to be whatever is politically expedient at the time.
That is, there is a pattern here: public campaign financing, FISA, NAFTA, drilling, nuclear power, coal, guns, capital punishment, abortion, Iran, Iraq, the surge, etc. all were repackaged as the primary and general elections evolved. A community organizing past that once welcomed in a Wright, Pfleger, Ayers, Khalidi, became inoperative lest he meet a McGovern-like fate.
And rather than assess carefully the Bush policies, it made better sense to lump them altogether under the general rubric that Bush shredded the Constitution and, as a unilateral preemptivist, ruined the American brand over seas (while knowing privately that when Obama himself assumed office he would leave alone the homeland-security measures, Patriot Act, FISA, etc. to ensure the continuance of the 7-year hiatus from a major attack, and follow Bush/Petraeus in getting out of Iraq to preserve the unexpected victory).
Likewise, privately Obama knew the meltdown was not Bush's fault per se but a bipartisan miasma a decade in the making, fueled by Wall Street greed, wrongheaded utopian politics, and corruption at Freddie and Fannie — and thus the Bush response was largely to be followed (and this apparently may even extend to not tampering immediately with the existing tax rates.)
The result of all this?
I think we are slowly (and things of course could change) beginning in retrospect to look back at the outline of one of most profound bait-and-switch campaigns in our political history, predicated on the mass appeal of a magnetic leader rather than any principles per se. He out-Clintoned Hillary and followed Bill's 1992 formula: a young Democrat runs on youth, popular appeal and charisma, claims the incumbent Bush caused another Great Depression and blew Iraq, and then went right down the middle with a showy leftist veneer.
Second, we will come, through the Obama prism, to see that Bush's sins were largely the absence of rhetorical skills, unfortunate shoot 'em braggadocio in 2003-4, the federal response to Katrina, and a certain administration haughtiness about the problems in Iraq between 2002-6, but not most of his policies that included prescription drugs, No Child Left Behind, AIDs relief in Africa, the removal of two odious regimes, and consensual governments in their places, a framework at home to stop 9/11-type terrorism, and good working partnerships with key allies abroad such as Britain, Germany, France, Italy, India, et al., and a pragmatism in handling rivals like Russia and China.
In short, given all that, Obama's victory (predicated on painting Bush as a Hoover/Nixon redux), more so even than perhaps a John McCain's, may do more for Bush's reputation that anyone ever imagined. And the Mumbai mess (over there, not here) will only emphasize all this, as an array of old 9/11-era experts who used to warn us about radical Islam, then, in the subsequent respite at home, screamed that Bush fabricated a war against terror against bogeymen, and now in their third manifestation are paraded once more out to warn us about? — why, yes, radical Islam!
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Tuesday, December 02, 2008
Exactly! Let's keep this firmly in mind, as it's analysis from the widely acknowledged "best in the business"...T
Beneath the numbers in political polls, which suggest a certain continuity of opinion, are millions of voters who keep changing their minds. This is the finding of a series of Associated PressYahoo polls as laid out in this Associated Press story. The APYahoo poll tracked some 2,000 adults periodically throughout the campaign—a panel back in the lingo of pollsters—starting in November 2007. Overall, 17 percent of those who ultimately voted for Obama said they were for McCain in at least one of the 10 tracking polls, while 11 percent of eventual McCain voters said they backed Obama. In other words, 14 percent of all voters switched from one candidate to the other over a period of 12 months. As the AP story concludes, "Election polls that showed only gradual shifts in support for Obama and McCain were masking a much more volatile electorate."
All of which is worth keeping in mind when you hear people predicting that Obama's election is the beginning of a lasting political realignment. That's possible. But it's far from inevitable. McCain, after all, was ahead during the first two weeks of September. Some may dismiss this as an ephemeral reaction to the two-party conventions and as a lead that could not be sustained. That may be right: We have no way of knowing for sure what would have happened in the absence of the financial crisis triggered by the collapse of Lehman Brothers September 15. But the APYahoo polls suggest that opinion was volatile and that in different circumstances the McCain lead might have endured. And that Obama's impressive 53 percent-46 percent lead should not be regarded as etched in stone. Voters this year, more than in 2000 or 2004, seemed to be willing to switch their votes in response to events. And it suggests that they may be willing to switch again—toward the Democrats or toward the Republicans—in the months and years ahead.
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Monday, December 01, 2008
A brief post mortem on the Bush presidency, and on the man himself: I urge you to read the full article, linked below. I won't post it all, because although I agree in principle, I do not agree with the authors points en toto. One thing is clear however: Bush fought back hard, and reaped the ensuing political benefits, through election day 2004. He ceased doing so afterwards, in dramatic fashion, and with devastating consequences, both for himself and his party.
We now have lost the historic chance to remake the Supreme Court in it's intended originalist function. This is just one of many tragedies that has befallen our nation, in large part because Mr. Bush chose to remain above the fray the last 4 years.
President Bush will be remembered in history for many great achievements ( keeping us safe for 8 years, winning 2 wars; liberating millions, and bringing freedom to the oppressed Arabic world; saving our economy in the aftermath of 9/11 - a vastly underestimated achievement - ). Unfortunately, his legacy also includes abandoning his party's intellectual underpinnings, thereby handing us over to the socialists' tender mercies...T
Conservatism needs a fresh start. It is losing arguments ... and it is losing elections. One person, more than any other (even more than John McCain), has caused this: President George W. Bush...
George W. Bush is undoubtedly a sincere man. He is, in all probability, a good man. His dramatic conversion to Christianity indicates that he, at least at this point in his life, is a man of high moral principles. He is compassionate. And therein lies the problem: President Bush was too compassionate to be a good president...
A few conservatives saw this coming. I remember cringing at Bush's promise for "compassionate conservatism" and at these lines from his first Inaugural Address:
"Today, we affirm a new commitment to live out our nation's promise through civility, courage, compassion and character.America, at its best, matches a commitment to principle with a concern for civility. A civil society demands from each of us good will and respect, fair dealing and forgiveness."
President Bush really believed this -- and probably still does. His opposition on the left, however, never has believed it and never will. President Bush "misunderestimated" the ruthlessness of his political opposition. And the Democrats spent eight years running circles around him. As a result, conservatism will probably spend the next eight years paying for Bush's naïveté.
The reason we will pay is because partisan politics, in spite of what President Bush and Senator McCain believe or would have us believe, is not a quest for civility, or respect, or fair dealing, or forgiveness. Partisan politics is the pursuit, acquisition, and the use of power.
Our Founding Fathers were well aware of this cold hard political fact. They were not congenial in their descriptions of the process:
"The inference to which we are brought is that the causes of faction cannot be removed, and that relief is only to be sought in the means of controlling its effects."
[Federalist Papers, Number 10, Madison. Emphasis in original.]
Our Constitution was not written to ensure forgiveness. It was written to prevent any one political faction from obtaining too much power.
The founders did not demand or expect cooperation and compromise between competing political ideologies -- they wanted and expected wide-eyed and vocal competition:
"To judge from the conduct of the opposite parties, we shall be led to conclude that they will mutually hope to evince the justness of their opinions, and to increase the number of their converts by the loudness of their declamations and the bitterness of their invectiveness." [Federalist Papers, Number 1, Hamilton.]
Any politician who claims that politics is or can become a cooperative and civil process is either gullible (Bush) or is deliberately trying to deceive his constituency (Obama).
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Friday, November 28, 2008
Now that Osama is co opting Bush policies wholesale (Iraq; Tax cuts; Afghanistan; Gitmo; FISA; Patriot Act; Financial bailouts etc...), one wonders if our fair and balanced news media will continue to say we ( and Osama) are racist, fascist, torturing, police state-loving murderers of our own citizens who had the Twin Towers blown up for oil?
Oh, and by the way, any possibility they will give Bush credit for keeping us safe for 8 years now, liberating Afghanistan and having the courage and wisdom to turn Iraq into a spectacular success, and a stable democracy at the very heart of the middle east?
...NO WAY. The drive-by's are forever corrupted and discredited, as phony as CO2 driven climate change - great article linked here!
For the record - they won't see us acting like they did the last eight years: crying, whining, and fantasizing about massive conspiracies. No, because we love our country, and want her to succeed. We wish President-Elect Osama well (OK, a little fun is allowed!), and hope for his success.
Take time to follow the link to the full post - It really is VDH at his very best...T
Turning on a dime.
There is such a thing as divine Nemesis, even though the god seems to sleep for long periods. The media violated all the classical cannons of fairness and objectivity in this presidential campaign. Now they are in a dilemma, since most of their long-voiced objections about Bush won’t be operative any more—on matters of taxes, Guantánamo, the bail-outs, FISA, the Patriot Act, Iraq, guns, abortion, capital punishment—inasmuch as Obama suddenly won’t be hoping and changing much of anything, but often leaving things on these issues as they are, while turning management over to the tentacles of the Clinton octopus. The media, in Animal Farm fashion, will have to do a ‘that was then, this is now’ turnabout, as they dream of reasons why Gitmo is not that bad, or why keeping the Bush tax cuts for a bit will stimulate the economy, or why wiretapping on suspected terrorists, on reflection, isn’t really that subversive. And as they reinvent the once evil administration policies, and the formerly Hillary hacks into inspired Obama ideas and experienced and professional Obama appointments, few will believe them. Done, over with—the media has lost credibility and will have to start over from square one. And all that was a much needed development. (PS—after the India nightmare, note the Obama reaction to dismantling the FISA accords, Patriot Act, Guantánamo, and withdrawing from Iraq, as the campaign rhetoric of Bush shredding the Constitution morphs into something like ‘the public will turn on a dime and blame us for criminal laxity if anything like 9/11 happens on our watch.’)
What happened to Iraq?
Lost? Quagmire? Out by March 2008 which was the promise Obama gave when he announced his run in February 2007? General Betray Us? Somehow between Gen. Petraeus’s 2007 congressional testimony (Cf. Hillary’s “suspension of disbelief” slur) and the present calm, the US military essentially won the war. All the front-page stories in our papers that Americans in Iraq were incompetent, barbaric, mercenary, and Hitlerian suddenly ceased, and in their absence there was—nothing? About five times as many Chicagoans died violently in October than did US soldiers in combat in Iraq. Just as the hysteria peaked as gas was supposedly fated to hit $5 a gallon, but silence followed when it descended below $2, and just as we were warned that spiraling home prices had ensured an entire new generation of Americans were shut out of the American dream, and then even greater furor followed when prices fell suddenly and Americans were robbed of their equity, so too with Iraq, which we were to assume, would always be lost, but apparently never won. Like it or not, Gen. Petraeus will compare favorably with generals like Sherman, LeMay, and Ridgway who likewise somehow found victory when failure seemed certain. For all the tragedy and mayhem, the thought that Saddam Hussein is gone and just five years later there is a stable and successful constitutional government in the heart of the ancient caliphate seems as surreal as it is encouraging.
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Tuesday, November 25, 2008
Whew, let's hope this trend holds up! A Senator Franken is a truly ridiculous prospect, like say, having Michael Moore as Secretary of State...looks like it won't happen now though, and thank God!
With Norm Coleman, And Chambliss likely winning in Georgia's runoff next month, we will at least hold the leftist hordes 2 votes shy of 60, thereby preserving at least the possibility of stopping the worst of the leftist excess to come, like Hillary Care parte deux, card check, and fairness doctrine. The hours from noon till three may still be there to comfort us after all...T
A correspondent writes:
Just returned [from Crystal]. We counted the last three precincts without incident.
Then the City Clerk made the announcement that she had found some absentee ballots that had not been processed yet from another previously closed precinct, Ward 4 Precinct 2.
Apparently Friday afternoon she was given the order by SOS [the Secretary of State] to release the names of voters who had their ballots rejected. While canvassing the absentee ballots she found 8 ballots bound together that had not been processed on election night. She claimed they were valid ballots that had been filled out by registered voters.
So she opened them in front of the crowd.
Coleman campaign is challenging. When I asked if these ballots had been checked against the Election Day roster to make sure these people had not voted on Nov 4th she said she had not (roster has been sent to the County). Nor had she talked to the election judges who had signed these 8 ballots and for some reason bound them together. Yet she was willing to put them in the official count.
One more thing: I was asked by [a local official] to show photo ID before I could observe the recount. I told him I wished he would be so thorough on voting day when no picture ID is required.
He replied "this is still America." Not sure what that means.
Meanwhile, in St. Paul a ballot box contained seven fewer ballots than were counted on Election Day. One official suggested that "judges in the precinct ... might have inadvertently run some ballots through twice." Franken's campaign lodged a protest.
Currently, the Minneapolis Star Tribune shows Norm Coleman with a 195-vote lead. Something like 75% of the ballots have been recounted, but a significant percentage of those remaining are from Minneapolis. Still, given the small changes that have occurred so far, it's hard to see Franken catching up, short of litigation.
UPDATE: The Star Tribune tally, which I've had a hard time correlating to the results posted on the Secretary of State's web site, now shows Coleman ahead by 202 votes.
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Friday, November 14, 2008
Whoa - I spoke too soon. They are blatantly stealing Minnesota; the Alaska numbers strongly suggest massive, unprecedented fraud; and even Georgia could fall if the leftists can focus all their resources on it (most states STILL have overwhelmingly democrookic local organizations, even after all these decades). Oregon fell the day after the election, so the socialists currently stand at 57, not 56.
IF they get 60 votes - the America you and I have known our entire lives will be gone for a generation, at the very least. Say hello to Union thugocracy, and goodbye to Rush Limbaugh. Say hello to socialist medicine, and goodbye to our role in the world as guarantor of world peace.
Thank God Ronald Reagan didn't live to see this day. Pray for one small victory that could save our nation. Pray for Saxby Chambliss in Georgia...T
In my column written the day after the election, I wrote that the Democrats had fallen short of the 60 seats they need to stop a filibuster in the Senate. I may have spoken too soon. In Alaska, Democrat Mark Begich has taken the lead over Republican incumbent Ted Stevens in the early counting of absentee, early, and challenged votes. At last count, Begich was 814 votes ahead. Begich had a big lead in those tallies—evidence of the effectiveness of the Obama campaign, which was targeting Alaska until John McCain named Sarah Palin as his running mate. But the counting may not entirely favor Democrats. Not until next week will ballots from Anchorage be counted, and Anchorage typically is more Republican than the rest of the state.
Meanwhile, we await the final count from Minnesota, where Republican incumbent Norm Coleman is only 206 votes ahead of Democrat Al Franken. A good place to keep up with that is the Powerline blog. And here are some other links, from Marc Ambinder of the Atlantic. And on December 2, Georgia will have a runoff election because Republican incumbent Saxby Chambliss got 49.8 percent of the vote on November 4, just short of the 50 percent required to win without a runoff. The Obama campaign has kept its offices busy working on this project, although it's not clear whether Obama, who didn't campaign much for other Democrats this year, will personally campaign. The Obama campaign did a terrific job of increasing black turnout in Georgia, and so a victory for Democrat Jim Martin is a lively possibility.
The results in these three races could make an enormous difference in public policy. With 60 votes in the Senate, Democrats will probably pass the card check bill designed to abolish secret ballots in unionization elections. The likely result: a sharp rise in the 8 percent of private-sector employees represented by unions. We can see the difference this can make by looking at another issue that's being debated: the Detroit Three auto bailout backed by Barack Obama and Democratic congressional leaders (the subject of my forthcoming Creators Syndicate column). Why are the Detroit Three in such trouble? Well, the lavish healthcare benefits negotiated by the companies and the United Auto Workers mean that total compensation paid workers by the Detroit Three is 52 percent higher than Toyota's and 132 percent above the U.S. manufacturing average. Is this what we want for large swaths of the private-sector economy?
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Sunday, November 09, 2008
The important number to take away from this election was not Osama's electoral total. No, it is the number 56. That is the maximum number of senate seats the democrooks can achieve after recounts and runoffs, realistically. They have no chance at 60 at all.
This effectively means we can block card check, fairness doctrine (hush Rush), and the most radical leftist "reforms" these thieves have planned for us. A warning though - watch to see if Osama tries to impose "hush Rush" through administrative action.
Things aren't yet as bad as they seem...T
Washington, meet Barack Obama. Barack Obama, remeet the Republican senators who are now going to help define your presidency.
Democrats won big on Tuesday but not big enough. The voters' rebuke of the GOP was brutal, though not so cruel as to hand Mr. Obama and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid the 60 votes they needed to grease a sweeping agenda. The GOP still owns a filibuster, and that is as big a factor in this new "era" as is our president-elect.
Democrats, who now officially own 55 seats, are still salivating over that distant 60. But Alaska Sen. Ted Stevens is holding on, and Georgia's Saxby Chambliss is positioned to win a run-off. Norm Coleman in Minnesota is in for an ugly recount, but he starts with a lead. If Mr. Reid goes postal on the McCain-supporting Joe Lieberman, Republicans could also find themselves with occasional help from the liberated Connecticuter.
These numbers aren't an accident, but instead say something about America's interest in a check on the Democratic majority. Mr. Obama won Oregon by 15 percentage points, yet thousands of his own supporters pulled the lever for Republican Gordon Smith, who lost narrowly. In Minnesota Mr. Obama won by 10, yet Mr. Coleman leads. Alaskans appear to have voted for a felon in part to deny the left a supermajority.
The biggest Republican victory this week was in fact that of Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, whose considerable tactical skills will now be in even greater demand. Democrats have a healthy fear of Mr. McConnell's abilities, one reason Chuck Schumer chose to divert $6 million into the long-shot Kentucky race, rather than keep it in say, Minnesota, where his boy Al Franken is now losing.
Mr. McConnell's strength has been putting up a principled opposition, without earning the reputation for Tom Daschle-like obstruction. And from the sounds of his opening statement this week, his game plan is the same, only with higher stakes. Mr. McConnell "stands ready" to hear Mr. Obama's "ideas for implementing his campaign promises of cutting taxes, increasing energy security, reducing spending and easing the burden of an immense and growing national debt." Note he is not standing ready to negotiate on eliminating union secret ballots, nationalizing health care, enacting a climate program, or over-regulating the financial industry.
Nevertheless, Mr. Reid is closer to 60 votes than he was before, and he is already strategizing about which Republicans to pick off on specific issues. At the top of every list is Maine's Olympia Snowe. Pennsylvania's Arlen Specter is up for re-election in 2010. Susan Collins and Mr. Coleman (should he return) will also be targets. And Mr. McConnell will have already lost those battles for which he was dependent on a veto, such as more funding for the State Children's Health Insurance Program.
Then again, the minority leader has several things going for him. Congressional Democrats will overreach, as they are already doing. (House liberal Henry Waxman is moving to unseat fellow House liberal John Dingell -- who he doesn't find liberal enough -- from the Energy and Commerce committee.) This means tension with a President Obama, who may not be so eager to throw out his "bipartisan" image on Day One. Republicans can sit back to watch that fight.
Democrats also can't depend on President Bush to save them from themselves. All but one of Mr. Reid's 51 caucus members voted last year to proceed with legislation eliminating union secret ballots, and all 50 knew it would never become law. Mr. McConnell has his own list of vulnerable Democrats who he -- with the help of the business community -- will remind of the electoral consequences of enacting a measure hated by 80% of the country, according to polls. Maybe Nebraska's Ben Nelson, who hails from a right-to-work state, will vote to allow his constituents to be bullied by union thugs. Or, when it comes down to it, maybe not.
Mr. Obama and his party are meanwhile now the sole political proprietors of a major financial crisis. Revenues will contract, even as Mr. Obama promises tax cuts. That alone may temper ambitions on issues like health care, which Democrats may now have to approach piecemeal. But also expect to see the GOP rediscover a devotion to fiscal responsibility. Any Democratic proposal, for anything, will elicit howls of "deficit spending." Some Republicans are actually looking forward to January.
And let's not forget that the left has spent eight years helpfully showing Republicans how they might make life difficult. Democrats have insisted a filibuster for judicial and cabinet positions is "essential" and that a president "must" consult with the opposition. Mr. Obama himself voted to filibuster Bush picks. They don't call these things "precedents" for nothing. Democrats have also highlighted procedural tools that the right could now use to slow Senate business to a slug's pace.
So yes, it is a new day in Washington. Just don't go thinking it will be an easy one.
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Wednesday, November 05, 2008
So it's time to congratulate President-Elect Osama. The democrats, the media, and the left all did the same after Bush was elected in 2000 and 2004, so....oh wait a minute - no they didn't! I seem to recall that he was called a murderer, a thief, a brain dead moron, and a Machiavellian evil genius among other vile and hateful names (how exactly is one both a moron AND a Machiavellian at the same time?).
Why they even rooted openly for our country to lose a war, purely for partisan political benefit, as well as claiming that Bush was responsible for the attacks of 9/11 themselves as a means to confiscate Mideast oil for his rich cronies.
No, we don't wish Osama ill, or root for his failure. But if he and this congress have difficulty governing, it will be due in large part to the bitter harvest they have sown these last 8 years...T
Earlier this year, 12,000 people in San Francisco signed a petition in support of a proposition on a local ballot to rename an Oceanside sewage plant after George W. Bush. The proposition is only one example of the classless disrespect many Americans have shown the president.
According to recent Gallup polls, the president's average approval rating is below 30% -- down from his 90% approval in the wake of 9/11. Mr. Bush has endured relentless attacks from the left while facing abandonment from the right.
This is the price Mr. Bush is paying for trying to work with both Democrats and Republicans. During his 2004 victory speech, the president reached out to voters who supported his opponent, John Kerry, and said, "Today, I want to speak to every person who voted for my opponent. To make this nation stronger and better, I will need your support, and I will work to earn it. I will do all I can do to deserve your trust."
Those bipartisan efforts have been met with crushing resistance from both political parties.
The president's original Supreme Court choice of Harriet Miers alarmed Republicans, while his final nomination of Samuel Alito angered Democrats. His solutions to reform the immigration system alienated traditional conservatives, while his refusal to retreat in Iraq has enraged liberals who have unrealistic expectations about the challenges we face there.
It seems that no matter what Mr. Bush does, he is blamed for everything. He remains despised by the left while continuously disappointing the right.
Yet it should seem obvious that many of our country's current problems either existed long before Mr. Bush ever came to office, or are beyond his control. Perhaps if Americans stopped being so divisive, and congressional leaders came together to work with the president on some of these problems, he would actually have had a fighting chance of solving them.
Like the president said in his 2004 victory speech, "We have one country, one Constitution and one future that binds us. And when we come together and work together, there is no limit to the greatness of America."
To be sure, Mr. Bush is not completely alone. His low approval ratings put him in the good company of former Democratic President Harry S. Truman, whose own approval rating sank to 22% shortly before he left office. Despite Mr. Truman's low numbers, a 2005 Wall Street Journal poll found that he was ranked the seventh most popular president in history.
Just as Americans have gained perspective on how challenging Truman's presidency was in the wake of World War II, our country will recognize the hardship President Bush faced these past eight years -- and how extraordinary it was that he accomplished what he did in the wake of the September 11 attacks.
The treatment President Bush has received from this country is nothing less than a disgrace. The attacks launched against him have been cruel and slanderous, proving to the world what little character and resolve we have. The president is not to blame for all these problems. He never lost faith in America or her people, and has tried his hardest to continue leading our nation during a very difficult time.
Our failure to stand by the one person who continued to stand by us has not gone unnoticed by our enemies. It has shown to the world how disloyal we can be when our president needed loyalty -- a shameful display of arrogance and weakness that will haunt this nation long after Mr. Bush has left the White House.
Mr. Shapiro is an investigative reporter and lawyer who previously interned with John F. Kerry's legal team during the presidential election in 2004.
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Monday, November 03, 2008
A travesty for America is in the making. One would think that the 70's, and the success of the Reagan years would have put the lie to LBJ style quasi-socialism. But this guy, Osama Bin Lyin, makes LBJ look like RWR! Anyone who wants to use me as a tax shelter when the communist thugs come to their door, are most welcome ;)...humor is what we will have to rely on, as even Rush may be silenced by these brown shirts...T
Last week I made the open-and-shut case for John McCain: In a dangerous world entering an era of uncontrolled nuclear proliferation, the choice between the most prepared foreign policy candidate in memory vs. a novice with zero experience and the wobbliest one-world instincts is not a close call.
But it's all about economics and kitchen-table issues, we are told. Okay. Start with economics.
Neither candidate has particularly deep economic knowledge or finely honed economic instincts. Neither has any clear idea exactly what to do in the current financial meltdown. Hell, neither does anyone else, including the best economic minds in the world, from Henry Paulson to the head of the European Central Bank. Yet they have muddled through with some success.
Both McCain and Barack Obama have assembled fine economic teams that may differ on the details of their plans but have reasonable approaches to managing the crisis. So forget the hype. Neither candidate has an advantage on this issue.
On other domestic issues, McCain is just the kind of moderate conservative that the Washington/media establishment once loved -- the champion of myriad conservative heresies that made him a burr in the side of congressional Republicans and George W. Bush. But now that he is standing in the way of an audacity-of-hope Democratic restoration, erstwhile friends recoil from McCain on the pretense that he has suddenly become right wing.
Self-serving rubbish. McCain is who he always was. Generally speaking, he sees government as a Rooseveltian counterweight (Teddy with a touch of Franklin) to the various malefactors of wealth and power. He wants government to tackle large looming liabilities such as Social Security and Medicare. He wants to free up health insurance by beginning to sever its debilitating connection to employment -- a ruinous accident of history (arising from World War II wage and price controls) that increases the terror of job loss, inhibits labor mobility and saddles American industry with costs that are driving it (see: Detroit) into insolvency. And he supports lower corporate and marginal tax rates to encourage entrepreneurship and job creation.
An eclectic, moderate, generally centrist agenda in a guy almost congenitally given to bipartisanship.
Obama, on the other hand, talks less and less about bipartisanship, his calling card during his earlier messianic stage. He does not need to. If he wins, he will have large Democratic majorities in both houses. And unlike Clinton in 1992, Obama is no centrist.
What will you get?
(1) Card check, meaning the abolition of the secret ballot in the certification of unions in the workplace. Large men will come to your house at night and ask you to sign a card supporting a union. You will sign.
(2) The so-called Fairness Doctrine -- a project of Nancy Pelosi and leading Democratic senators -- a Hugo Chávez-style travesty designed to abolish conservative talk radio.
(3) Judges who go beyond even the constitutional creativity we expect from Democratic appointees. Judges chosen according to Obama's publicly declared criterion: "empathy" for the "poor or African American or gay or disabled or old" -- in a legal system historically predicated on the idea of justice entirely blind to one's station in life.
(4) An unprecedented expansion of government power. Yes, I know. It has already happened. A conservative government has already partially nationalized the mortgage industry, the insurance industry and nine of the largest U.S. banks.
This is all generally swallowed because everyone understands that the current crisis demands extraordinary measures. The difference is that conservatives are instinctively inclined to make such measures temporary. Whereas an Obama-Pelosi-Reid-Barney Frank administration will find irresistible the temptation to use the tools inherited -- $700 billion of largely uncontrolled spending -- as a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to radically remake the American economy and social compact.
This is not socialism. This is not the end of the world. It would, however, be a decidedly leftward move on the order of Lyndon Johnson's Great Society. The alternative is a McCain administration with a moderate conservative presiding over a divided government and generally inclined to resist a European social-democratic model of economic and social regulation featuring, for example, wealth-redistributing growth-killing marginal tax rates.
The national security choice in this election is no contest. The domestic policy choice is more equivocal because it is ideological. McCain is the quintessential center-right candidate. Yet the quintessential center-right country is poised to reject him. The hunger for anti-Republican catharsis and the blinding promise of Obamian hope are simply too strong. The reckoning comes in the morning.
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