Saturday, January 30, 2010

The Mansourian Candidate: A Reminder Again

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When Obama dissed the Supreme Court in his State of Obfuscation Preach, he famously and incorrectly stated that their decision on Citizens United v. FEC threatened to allow money from foreign corporations to enter our political system. Funny choice of attack, thought I, as I was reminded of the influence that foreign money had on Dear Leader's own election campaign. A wee reminder of how things stood at the end of 2008:

In addition to the $259 million with undisclosed donors, studies of the reports filed with the FEC, by the Obama Campaign, through the 2008 Year End Report, show the following irregularities in their submissions:

• $1.8 million -- Contributions over the $4,600 limit (1,608 contributors)

• $26 million -- Contributions over the $2,300 per campaign limit, reallocated without contributor affirmation.

• $4 million -- Contributors with Foreign Addresses (4,158 contributors)

The Pretender

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Chairman Zero is suddenly pretending he likes nuclear energy.

The Obama administration moved vigorously on two fronts Friday to promote nuclear power, proposing a tripling of federal loan guarantees for new projects and appointing a high-level commission to study what to do with nuclear waste.

First of all, we had a solution to nuclear waste. It was called Yucca Mountain. Engineers and scientists spent decades developing it as the safest possible repository for nuclear waste. Obama and Harry Reid killed it within weeks of taking power.

Second, while he offers loan guarantees to the nuclear industry, he has stacked the Nuclear Regulatory Commission with anti-nuclear activists.

He has replaced Bush's NRC Chairman (a strong pro-nuclear guy) with a former Harry Reid anti-nuclear Senate staffer. He has also left two (of the five Commission positions) vacant.

Basically, this "push" for nuclear power is just a ruse to try and get cap and trade passed.

More Dictionary Good!

Stupid American people have strange mad love for Constitution. Crazy right-wing Tea-Party people always making big fat deal out of it. Want to know where it say Congress can make people buy insurance. Freaky house speaker think that Constitution business nonsense. "Are you serious?" she want to know. Crazy right-wing Tea-Party people dead serious. Say government that can make you buy insurance can make you do anything, anything at all. Some even ask what crazy right-wing president and Congress with that kind of power might do. Me not like to think about that!

Whole issue make brain hurt. Good thing man with nice voice in charge. Him have right ideas. Just need to try new angle, that all. Talk slower. Talk louder. Use small words. Treat American people like kid who got held back in elementary school. That bound to work eventually.

The spirit of liberty is the spirit which is not too sure that it is right.

--Judge Learned Hand.

Dictionary Good!

It mighty big of man with nice voice to take blame like that. Him not need to. Head honchos not often take blame. Most times after big screw-up, head honchos say they have "full confidence" in someone who work for them -- right before pushing someone off edge of cliff, or letting someone twist "slowly, slowly" in wind, like tricky Nixon guy did with man who ran FBI.

Man with nice voice not like those other head honchos. Him bring change to Washington already, see?

But him right. Him not explain health care good. Use too many big words. Say too many compound-complex sentences. Confuse American people. American people not want that. American people want simple explanation. Simpler the better.

Me feel kind of sorry. It must really get on nerves for man with nice voice and people on his side, like lady on TV and cheerleaders in White House press pool. Why can't lamebrain American people get idea through thick skulls? Them not know how to make choices in own best interests!


When the Cold War was over and freedom had won — thanks to all the political forces and figures (e.g., Reagan and Thatcher) that Zinn opposed – Zinn continued his malignant course. He supported America’s enemies right to the end including the Islamic Nazis whose first agenda is to finish the job that Hitler started and then to impose a totalitarian theocracy on the infidel world.

Zinn’s wretched tract, A People’s History of the United States, is worthless as history, and it is a national tragedy that so many Americans have fallen under its spell. It is a political cartoon which even the socialist magazine Dissent described as an intellectual fraud, which it is. All Zinn’s writing was directed to one end: to indict his own country as an evil state and soften his countrymen up for the kill. Like his partner in crime, Noam Chomsky, Zinn was a wicked man and his life’s work was a pernicious influence on the young and ignorant, with destructive consequences for people everywhere.

Not The Case

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The second point, though, is that it’s more than a little irritating to see Obama speak so well of Ryan’s plan and say that it’s the sort of thing that deserves “serious discussion.” Problem is, throughout the health care debate, Obama didn’t want to have that discussion. He didn’t want to talk about any plans to significantly reduce entitlement spending, or severing the links between insurance and employment.

Indeed, not only did he make almost no effort to incorporate opposition ideas into his legislation, he wasn’t willing to recognize the existence of legitimate opposing ideas at all. Instead, he chose to caricature his opponents as having “no solutions.”

His conversation today with Rep. Ryan, I think, is a tacit admission that that’s just not the case.

And This Year?!

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Artist's impression of NIF target (LLNL)
192 laser beams are focused through holes in a target container called a hohlraum

Inside the hohlraum is a tiny pellet containing an extremely cold, solid mixture of hydrogen isotopes

Lasers strike the hohlraum's walls, which in turn radiate X-rays

X-rays strip material from the outer shell of the fuel pellet, heating it up to millions of degrees

If the compression of the fuel is high enough and uniform enough, nuclear fusion can result

Crucially, the recent experiments provided proof that the plasma did not reduce the hohlraum's ability to absorb the incident laser light; it absorbed about 95%.

But more than that, Dr Glenzer's team discovered that the plasma can actually be carefully manipulated to increase the uniformity of the compression.

NIF target chamber (LLNL)
The 130-tonne target chamber is kept under vacuum for the experiments

But Dr Glenzer is confident that with everything in place, ignition is on the horizon.

He added, quite simply, "It's going to happen this year."

Some Hopeful News

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NIF target chamber (LLNL)

A major hurdle to producing fusion energy using lasers has been swept aside, results in a new report show.

The controlled fusion of atoms - creating conditions like those in our Sun - has long been touted as a possible revolutionary energy source.

However, there have been doubts about the use of powerful lasers for fusion energy because the "plasma" they create could interrupt the fusion.

An article in Science showed the plasma is far less of a problem than expected.

The report is based on the first experiments from the National Ignition Facility (Nif) in the US that used all 192 of its laser beams.

I wonder what premise the watermelons will use to ban this if it proves out? You can count on them having one.


the economy's strong resurgence in the fourth quarter--great news, seemingly. Yet the stock market was down on Friday. Why? Investors Business Daily offered this explanation:

[R]ight now, the market seems to be saying: "It's the policies, stupid." Specifically, the socialistic policies that the Obama administration keeps pushing at Americans who know that's not the way this great country was built.

It isn't just the efforts to socialize medicine or nationalize the car industry or control banks or punish both consumers and industry for climate variations that have little to do with it either. It's every initiative that comes out of this White House.

Of course, you can't draw any conclusions from a day's or a week's performance of the market. But IBD offers this comparison, which seems revealing:

President Obama's lack of private sector experience is probably his single biggest weakness. The fact that he does not value such experience in his top advisers shows a serious lack of judgment.

Bad, Bad O Bush

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The trial of 9/11 mastermind Khalid Sheik Mohammed won't be held in lower Manhattan and could take place in a military tribunal at Guantanamo Bay, sources said last night.

Administration officials said that no final decision had been made but that officials of the Department of Justice and the White House were working feverishly to find a venue that would be less expensive and less of a security risk than New York City.

The back-to-the-future Gitmo option was reported yesterday by Fox News and was not disputed by White House officials.

Such a move would likely bring howls of protest from liberals already frustrated that President Obama has failed to meet his deadline for closing the prison at Guantanamo Bay.

It would also indicate that after years of attacking the Bush administration for its handling of the war on terror, Obama officials are embracing one of the most controversial aspects of it.

Snuck In

There's been a remarkable amount of coverage of President Obama's appearance at the House Republican retreat today, but I haven't seen anyone focus on the President's rather stunning admission about the Democrats' health care legislation (Video):

we said from the start that it was going to be important for us to be consistent in saying to people if you can have your -- if you want to keep the health insurance you got, you can keep it, that you're not going to have anybody getting in between you and your doctor in your decision making. And I think that some of the provisions that got snuck in might have violated that pledge. [emphasis added]

If we take this statement at face value, President Obama is admitting the the health care bills passed by either the House or Senate (or both) contained provisions which were "snuck in" - presumably by Democratic members and perhaps on behalf of certain lobbyists - that would have in fact prevented people from keeping their current insurance

Caught Out In Colorado

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Both WUWT and Climate Audit had posts regarding the ridiculous WaPo story about snowfall being a result of climate change.

This is a follow up to those posts done by guest contributor Steven Goddard.

One of the  NWF claims about global warming is that snow in the Colorado mountains is diminishing and has become very erratic, as seen in the NWF graphic at left.

In this article I will show that the claim is incorrect – Colorado snowfall has been generally increasing for the last hundred years and that year over year variability has always been extremely high.

In summary, snowfall is increasing annually and we see upward trends in the months of “snowfall season” in Colorado.  Year over year variability has always been very high and may actually be lower in recent years. And, the Colorado mountains no longer have extremely low snow years like they did 80 years ago. By the data, it seems the NWF claims are unfounded.

Continuous Climaquiddick

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CLIMATEGATE COVERUP? London Times: Climate chief was told of false glacier claims before Copenhagen. “Rajendra Pachauri was told that the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change assessment that the glaciers would disappear by 2035 was wrong, but he waited two months to correct it. He failed to act despite learning that the claim had been refuted by several leading glaciologists. The IPCC’s report underpinned the proposals at Copenhagen for drastic cuts in global emissions. . . . Dr Pacharui has also been accused of using the error to win grants worth hundreds of thousands of pounds.”

The Times coverage of this has been terrific, which is more than you can say for pretty much any mainstream American media outlet, most of which are still trying to pretend there’s no story here. It’s — again — a complete abnegation of journalistic responsibility.

Friday, January 29, 2010

The Answer Is Not

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In connection with James Hansen’s explanation of why his GISS temperature record diverges from that of HadCRUT, I decided to check on the legitimacy of what GISS was doing. Dr. Hansen’s article is here at RealClimate. This is the specific chart of interest:
So it seems that the North American side of the Arctic changed little, or even got cooler between 98 and 05, the Russian side warmed considerably.  Why is that?  I think that this ice cover map gives us the answer.  As is immediately apparent, the coastal ice cleared out far earlier in 2005 in northern Russia than it did in 1998.  This is even though the rest of the globe was slightly warmer in 1998 than in 2005.  When dealing with coastal stations, removing the ice and exposing the water is like taking the hatch off a heating source for the coastal thermometers.

we need to ask if the GISS extrapolations of land based stations, particularly coastal stations,  to the poles is appropriate.

The answer would seem to be that it is not

Algae Can't Do Math

ALGAE have been touted as a solution to environmental worries over biofuels, but they may be a long way from providing a truly green option.

Unlike maize, soya beans and oilseed rape (canola), algal farms don't take up valuable farmland, so algae-based biofuels don't threaten food supplies. However, Andres Clarens at the University of Virginia in Charlottesville has modelled the environmental impacts of algal farms and concludes that they require six times as much energy as growing land plants - and emit significantly more greenhouse gases (Environmental Science and Technology, DOI: 10.1021/es902838n).

"You have to add a whole lot more fertilisers, and the environmental cost of producing these is the primary drawback," Clarens says.

Bubba The Rookie

Barack Obama can’t help himself. Today, in front of national cameras, the radical claimed that his hidden health care discussions were actually on CSPAN:

Via BreitbartTV

“The truth of the matter is that, if you look at the health care process, just over the course of the year, overwhelmingly the majority of it actually was on C-SPAN because it was taking place in Congressional hearings in which you guys were participating. How many committees were that that helped to shape this bill? Countless hearings took place.”

Senator Inhofe was right. Obama really does make Bubba look like a rookie. He’s the best liar we’ve ever seen.

COTD: The Treserve Collective

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by strike for retu...
on Fri, 01/29/2010 - 16:36

It's easy to have good numbers when you get to make them up.

So long as Treserve buys what they print, the numbers will keep looking good.

Didn't the Soviet collectives always report what their 5-year plans said they would?

Didn't Try

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A former senior intelligence official told me in 2009 that he was shocked by Pelosi's claim because, he said, "Speaker Pelosi herself has stopped covert action programs that she has been briefed on by going to the White House. In that very same time frame [after she learned about waterboarding] Pelosi had gone back to the White House [over] a separate covert action program, expressed strong opposition to it. And the remarkable part to me, the White House backed off the program, changed one aspect of the program . . . she was particularly opposed to. And literally, the finding was pulled back and revised." If Pelosi had truly opposed waterboarding, he said, she had numerous ways to stop it -- but she didn't try.

That move -- stopping the funding of moderate parties -- seemed to have no other point than to try to sabotage the entire war effort, by the way.

He Would If He Were A Republican President

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Emanuel: Look, we were involved in the legislation all the way through.

Couric: Were you involved in that?

Emanuel: Yeah. I’m not gonna go through all of it…

Couric: But in the Ben Nelson deal?

Emanuel: We were helpful in getting the bill off the Senate floor. And in retrospect the things – as I said to you just earlier, things you woulda done different.

To repeat what Obama told Diane Sawyer about the Cornhusker Kickback:

So let’s just clarify. I didn’t make a bunch of deals. There is a legislative process that is taking place in Congress and I am happy to own up to the fact that I have not changed Congress and how it operates the way I would have liked.

The mainstream media has thus far ignored Obama being exposed as a liar by his own chief of staff.

With Emanuel himself confirming the Obama administration’s involvement with the Cornhusker Kickback, Obama has some explaining to do. Well, he would if he were a Republican president.


For while the people who sent us here have different backgrounds, different stories and different beliefs, the anxieties they face are the same. The aspirations they hold are shared. A job that pays the bills. A chance to get ahead. Most of all, the ability to give their children a better life.”
–Barack Obama, 2010 SOTU
“We’re not the first to come here with a Government divided and uncertainty in the air. Like many before us, we can work through our differences, and we can achieve big things for the American people. Our citizens don’t much care which side of the aisle we sit on, as long as we’re willing to cross that aisle when there is work to be done. Our job is to make life better for our fellow Americans and to help them build a future of hope and opportunity, and this is the business before us tonight.”

–George W. Bush, 2007 SOTU

Obama’s QuotesBush’s Quotes

Let Them Dig Holes

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MEGAN MCARDLE: Dude, Where’s My Job? “I’d argue that the better measure of whether the economy has returned to health is employment–at least, that’s when the improvement starts to translate into improvements in peoples’ real lives. Prolonged unemployment is one of the most crippling things that can afflict people in the modern world. Yet despite a second consecutive quarter of growth, prolonged unemployment is what we’re stuck with. . . . That has particular implications for a skilled economy. In 1930s, when FDR was trying to combat mass long-term unemployment, all he needed to do was create a construction project; most of the men in the country did some sort of hard physical labor. It was relatively easy to create jobs that they could fill. But what kind of public works projects would absorb mortgage brokers or mid-level managers? As jobs have gotten more skilled, more human capital is specific to firms, industry, and job classifications.”

Speaking Of Which...

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FROM CORNELL LAW PROF. WILLIAM JACOBSON, A CHALLENGE TO OBAMA: Request Special Counsel As To Foreign Contributions. “That the Obama campaign received foreign donations as a result of this scheme may be the only thing agreed-upon by both Pamela Geller and Charles Johnson. Indeed, Obama for America has admitted receiving foreign contributions. The fact that the Federal Election Commission is not investigating the allegations necessitates a special counsel.”

The Obamarang

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VICTOR DAVIS HANSON: The Obamarang. “All politicians fudge on their promises. But this president manages to transcend the normal political exaggeration and dissimulation. Whereas past executives shaded the truth, Barack Obama trumps that: on almost every key issue, what Obama says he will do, and what he says is true, is a clear guide to what he will not do, and what is not true. It is as if ‘truth’ is a mere problem of lesser mortals.”

And when he criticizes foreign money in American campaigns, it means he got foreign contributions to his campaign.

Without Comment

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From AP:

Senate Democrats needed all the 60 votes at their disposal Thursday to muscle through legislation allowing the government to go $1.9 trillion deeper in debt.

Democratic leaders were able to prevail on the politically volatile 60-39 vote only because Republican Sen.-elect Scott Brown of Massachusetts has yet to be seated. Republicans had insisted on a 60-vote, super-majority threshhold to pass the measure. …
The massive increase in the debt limit would allow majority Democrats to avoid another vote until after the midterm elections this fall. New estimates released by the Congressional Budget Office on Tuesday show that the U.S. this year could run a deficit matching last year's record $1.4 trillion shortfall. …

The current $12.4 trillion debt ceiling is expected to be reached in mid-February.

These numbers are too huge to be comprehended — much less sustained. The scum controlling the federal government is quite literally destroying our country.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Frozen Over

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The MSM and the Obama Apologists would have you believe that the "Spending Freeze" Obama announced (and which was rightly snickered at in the SOTU) was at least a baby-step in the direction of fiscal responsibility and lean government. What they don't tell you is that the "freeze," even if enacted, represents a massive increase in spending from the Bush years.

  • Department of Energy: $27 Billion under Bush, $65 billion under the Obama "freeze".

  • Environmental Protection Agency: $7.8 billion budget under Bush, $17.7 billion under the Obama "freeze".

  • Department of Education: $46.2 billion under Bush. $127.8 billion under the Obama freeze.

Obama is only planning on "freezing" budgets at levels he has already bloated out. And, by the way, only about 11% of Federal spending is affected.

By the way, the Democrat-run Senate has already rejected the idea of any spending freeze.

Fear The Boom And Bust

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Quite possibly the first rap video you will ever watch in rapt attention. And also quite possibly the last.

But you'll have something to talk about tomorrow now won't you?

I'm Sure They'll Come Again Next Year

Nothing Runs Like A Deere

Sincerely, Elly

It's not just me saying this. Every day I talk to dozens of other typical __Iowahawk_  citizens at __name of mall__ and __other local public point of interest__. We see the difference that the policies of __elected Democratic official__  are making in our everyday lives. We are the real voice of __Iowahawk__, and __he/she_  has our complete support. Unfortunately __Iowahawk Blog__ would rather act as a corporate media echo chamber for the so-called "__name of local teabagger group__," who are nothing but a transparent front group for __local GOP campaign donor___.

Despite what __Iowahawk Blog__ says, the common people of __Iowahawk_ are completely behind __elected Democratic official__. _He/she__ will prevail against the naysayers, just as surely as the __area sports team__ will defeat the __despised rivals__.


Ellie Light

Not So Crazy After All These Years

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Jan. 29 (Bloomberg) -- The idea of secret banking cabals
that control the country and global economy are a given among
conspiracy theorists who stockpile ammo, bottled water and
peanut butter. After this week’s congressional hearing into the
bailout of American International Group Inc., you have to wonder
if those folks are crazy after all.

Later, when it became clear information would be disclosed,
New York Fed legal group staffer James Bergin e-mailed
colleagues saying: “I have to think this train is probably
going to leave the station soon and we need to focus our efforts
on explaining the story as best we can. There were too many
people involved in the deals -- too many counterparties, too
many lawyers and advisors, too many people from AIG -- to keep a
determined Congress from the information.”

Think of the enormity of that statement. A staffer at a
body with little public accountability and that exists to serve
bankers is lamenting the inability to keep Congress in the dark.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

In Which It Is Revealed What They Do A Bad Job Of

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Six Words

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OBAMA’S SPENDING FREEZE IN SIX WORDS: Big Mac, large fries, Diet Coke.

O Do We Deserve It

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From the Cato Liveblog: “The assertions about the Depression we would have had are outrageous. Their forecasts of the stimulus’s impact have been horrible, so how can they have any credibility on this kind of issue? ” I think it’s full speed ahead, here, credibility be damned. Plus this: “Bastiat is spinning in his grave.”

The “stimulus” didn’t produce any jobs, but if we pass a new stimulus and call it a “jobs bill,” it will!

More from Cato: “Wonderful, more government-directed investment. That worked really well with Fannie and Freddie.” Plus this prediction: “He’ll pivot from a new $100 billion jobs bill to cutting the deficit.”

Ann Althouse: “Small businesses are good. (Come on, talk to them.) Big business sucks though. We want to help small business grow… so it can become big business and then we can hate it.”

Seems pretty much like a recycled campaign speech to me.

From Dan Mitchell at Cato: “We’ve all done something very naughty if this is the government we deserve.”

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

If It Stops Moving, Subsidize It

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Here's how the great Ronaldus Maximus summed up Big Government's view of the economy:

If it moves, tax it. If it keeps moving, regulate it. And if it stops moving, subsidize it.

Thanks to the relentless growth of the bureaucratic cancer that is choking the life out of our country, ever more of the economy has stopped moving, thereby earning subsidies — i.e., money stolen from you to be doled out by our corrupt rulers to whomever deserves it least. Since Reagan's modest efforts to rein them in, federal subsidies have nearly doubled, reaching the 2,000 mark a few days ago. Cato@Liberty comments:

There is a federal subsidy program for every year that has passed since Emperor Augustus held sway in Rome. We've gone from bread and circuses to food stamps, the National Endowment for the Arts, and 1,999 other hand-out programs from the imperial city on the Potomac.

I wonder if the Roman governing class rushed headlong into decline and ruin deliberately, the way ours seems to be doing.


How Ridiculous

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Plus this: Poll shows Scott Brown could top Obama in prez run. That’s ridiculous. A guy who’s barely even been elected to the Senate, going to the White House in just a couple of years without accumulating any real experience at the national level? Spare me the absurd speculation. Couldn’t happen.