Hard times in the Church of Global Warming

January 31, 2012

Today’s a busy day, but I wanted to share three stories that, taken together, almost make one feel sorry for those who cling bitterly to their faith in the fraud that is anthropogenic global warming …er… dangerous man-caused climate change …no, wait… extreme weather events that are really our fault whatever they want to call it, this week.

First, yet another prediction of DOOM falls flat. Among the various disasters sure to befall us as we pump CO2 (aka, “plant food”) into the atmosphere and Earth takes her revenge in the best Hollywood manner was supposed to be an increase in violent hurricanes.

There’s a small problem: it ain’t happening.

What was learned
The four researchers’ reconstructed record of intense hurricanes revealed that the frequency of these “high-magnitude” events “peaked near 6 storms per century between 2800 and 2300 years ago.” Thereafter, it suggests that they were “relatively rare” with “about 0-3 storms per century occurring between 1900 and 1600 years ago,” after which they state that these super-storms exhibited a marked decline, which “began around 600 years ago” and has persisted through the present with “below average frequency over the last 150 years when compared to the preceding five millennia.”

What it means
It is instructive to note that over the past century and a half of ever-increasing fossil fuel utilization and atmospheric CO2 buildup, the frequency of the most intense category of hurricanes in the Northeastern Gulf of Mexico has been lower than it was over the prior five millennia, which speaks volumes about the climate-alarmist claim that continued anthropogenic CO2 emissions will lead to more frequent super cyclones and hurricanes.

Dontcha just hate it when empirical evidence gets in the way of perfectly good religious dogma scientific theory? Granted, this study was only in Florida, but, also in fairness, Florida is one of the places alarmists claimed would be worst-hit by AGW-caused super-storms. Certainly, this is worth testing elsewhere to see if the results hold up.

But wait, there’s more!

Far from the Earth becoming a steam bath thanks to Man’s folly, we may well be headed toward another Little Ice Age, such as that which plagued us from the mid-17th to the mid-19th centuries, when the Hudson and the Thames would freeze-over in winter. Apparently, the sun just won’t cooperate:

Based on readings from more than 30,000 measuring stations, the data was issued last week without fanfare by the Met Office and the University of East Anglia Climatic Research Unit. It confirms that the rising trend in world temperatures ended in 1997.

Meanwhile, leading climate scientists yesterday told The Mail on Sunday that, after emitting unusually high levels of energy throughout the 20th Century, the sun is now heading towards a ‘grand minimum’ in its output, threatening cold summers, bitter winters and a shortening of the season available for growing food.

Solar output goes through 11-year cycles, with high numbers of sunspots seen at their peak.

We are now at what should be the peak of what scientists call ‘Cycle 24’ – which is why last week’s solar storm resulted in sightings of the aurora borealis further south than usual. But sunspot numbers are running at less than half those seen during cycle peaks in the 20th Century.

Analysis by experts at NASA and the University of Arizona – derived from magnetic-field measurements 120,000 miles beneath the sun’s surface – suggest that Cycle 25, whose peak is due in 2022, will be a great deal weaker still.

According to a paper issued last week by the Met Office, there is a  92 per cent chance that both Cycle 25 and those taking place in the following decades will be as weak as, or weaker than, the ‘Dalton minimum’ of 1790 to 1830. In this period, named after the meteorologist John Dalton, average temperatures in parts of Europe fell by 2C.

However, it is also possible that the new solar energy slump could be as deep as the ‘Maunder minimum’ (after astronomer Edward Maunder), between 1645 and 1715 in the coldest part of the ‘Little Ice Age’ when, as well as the Thames frost fairs, the canals of Holland froze solid.

(h/t the ever-readable Delingpole)

The Met Office and the Climatic Research Unit (1), as you may know, have been two of the chief centers for climate alarmism, constantly pushing a message of impending DOOM!!, unless we all submit now to a transnational bureaucracy that will tax and control us all the way to Salvation. Naturally, since the report came from the Met, they feel obliged to explain that it really means nothing and that the power of CO2-induced warming will overwhelm the influence of the sun (2).

So, does this mean AGW is now good, since it will keep us from freezing our tootsies off? I’m so confused…

Finally, a group of 16 (real) scientists co-authored an essay in the Wall Street Journal arguing that while there is no need to panic over global warming, we should decry the corruption of science in the name of “consensus” and, yes, profit:

The fact is that CO2 is not a pollutant. CO2 is a colorless and odorless gas, exhaled at high concentrations by each of us, and a key component of the biosphere’s life cycle. Plants do so much better with more CO2 that greenhouse operators often increase the CO2 concentrations by factors of three or four to get better growth. This is no surprise since plants and animals evolved when CO2 concentrations were about 10 times larger than they are today. Better plant varieties, chemical fertilizers and agricultural management contributed to the great increase in agricultural yields of the past century, but part of the increase almost certainly came from additional CO2 in the atmosphere.

Although the number of publicly dissenting scientists is growing, many young scientists furtively say that while they also have serious doubts about the global-warming message, they are afraid to speak up for fear of not being promoted—or worse. They have good reason to worry. In 2003, Dr. Chris de Freitas, the editor of the journal Climate Research, dared to publish a peer-reviewed article with the politically incorrect (but factually correct) conclusion that the recent warming is not unusual in the context of climate changes over the past thousand years. The international warming establishment quickly mounted a determined campaign to have Dr. de Freitas removed from his editorial job and fired from his university position. Fortunately, Dr. de Freitas was able to keep his university job.

(…)

Why is there so much passion about global warming, and why has the issue become so vexing that the American Physical Society, from which Dr. Giaever resigned a few months ago, refused the seemingly reasonable request by many of its members to remove the word “incontrovertible” from its description of a scientific issue? There are several reasons, but a good place to start is the old question “cui bono?” Or the modern update, “Follow the money.”

Be sure to read the whole thing.

And the next time you find yourself pitying a disconsolate global-warming cultist, forget it. Laugh and point, instead; it’s much more fun.

Footnotes:
(1) The CRU was also at the center of the Climategate and Climategate II scandals. How anyone can take them seriously after that is beyond me.
(2) Of course, this is the same crowd that claimed our children and grandchildren would not know what snow is, only to see Europe soon thereafter blanketed with record snowfalls. So we know what their predictions are worth.

(Crossposted at Sister Toldjah)


Obama won’t be expecting the Spanish Inquisition

January 30, 2012

It isn’t bad enough that the majority of Americans oppose ObamaCare and want it repealed. No, the administration had to go and tick off the Catholic Church, too.

Background: As part of the implementation of ObamaCare, Secretary Sebelius of the Department of Health and Human Services issued regulations requiring religious groups to provide health insurance that would cover practices and procedures, such as abortion,  diametrically opposed to their beliefs. The groups were given a year to comply. (Or else?)

This was too much for Catholic bishops to take, and a letter denouncing this move as an assault on religious liberty was read in thousands of  parishes across the land this last Sunday. Here’s an excerpt from one:

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services announced last week that almost all employers,including Catholic employers, will be forced to offer their employees’ health coverage that includes sterilization, abortion-inducing drugs, and contraception. Almost all health insurers will be forced to include those “services” in the health policies they write. And almost all individuals will be forced to buy that coverage as a part of their policies.

In so ruling, the Obama Administration has cast aside the First Amendment to the Constitution of the United States, denying to Catholics our Nation’s first and most fundamental freedom, that of religious liberty. And as a result, unless the rule is overturned, we Catholics will be compelled to either violate our consciences, or to drop health coverage for our employees (and suffer the penalties for doing so). The Obama Administration’s sole concession was to give our institutions one year to comply.

We cannot—we will not—comply with this unjust law. People of faith cannot be made second class citizens. We are already joined by our brothers and sisters of all faiths and many others of good will in this important effort to regain our religious freedom. Our parents and grandparents did not come to these shores to help build America’s cities and towns, its infrastructure and institutions, its enterprise and culture,only to have their posterity stripped of their God given rights. In generations past, the Church has always been able to count on the faithful to stand up and protect her sacred rights and duties. I hope and trust she can count on this generation of Catholics to do the same. Our children and grandchildren deserve nothing less.

Each bishop sent out his own letter, so there’s some variation. Bishop Zubik of Pittsburgh said the HHS ruling amount to telling Catholics “to Hell with you:”

Kathleen Sebelius announced that the mandate would not be withdrawn and the religious exemption would not be expanded. Instead, she stated that nonprofit groups – which include the Catholic Church – will get a year “to adapt to this new rule.” She simply dismissed Catholic concerns as standing in the way of allegedly respecting the health concerns and choices of women.

Could Catholics be insulted any more, suggesting that we have no concern for women’s health issues? The Catholic Church and the Catholic people have erected health care facilities that are recognized worldwide for their compassionate care for everyone regardless of their creed, their economic circumstances and, most certainly, their gender. In so many parts of the globe – the United States included – the Church is health care.

Kathleen Sebelius and through her, the Obama administration, have said “To Hell with You” to the Catholic faithful of the United States.

  • To Hell with your religious beliefs,
  • To Hell with your religious liberty,
  • To Hell with your freedom of conscience.

Want to know how seriously the Church in America takes this? One bishop directed that the Prayer to St. Michael be read at services within his diocese (h/t PJM):

Saint Michael the Archangel,
defend us in battle;
be our protection against the wickedness and snares of the devil.
May God rebuke him, we humbly pray:
and do thou, O Prince of the heavenly host,
by the power of God,
thrust into hell Satan and all the evil spirits
who prowl about the world seeking the ruin of souls.
Amen

Why is that significant? Between 1930 and 1965, when it was last included in regular services, the prayer was recited for the benefit of believers trapped behind the Iron Curtain.

This isn’t just opposition; this is a declaration of war.

It’s also incredibly risky (to put it nicely) for a president who badly wants reelection. Catholics amount to about 25% of the electorate and constitute significant voting blocs in several keys states. Naturally not all would agree with the bishops or think this as serious a matter as they claim. But I’m willing to bet that large numbers will, and that, combined with the already existing ire over ObamaCare and the economy, the President may well come to regret Secretary Sebelius’ highhandedness.

Especially on Election Day.

PS: About that subject line.

LINKS: Yuval Levin, Religious Liberty and Civil Society.

(Crossposted at Sister Toldjah)


Did AG Holder know about Fast and Furious long before he claimed to have known?

January 29, 2012

I know, I know. The idea that Attorney General Eric Holder, that paragon of the Rule of Law, might have lied to the House Oversight Committee when he claimed he had heard of Operation Fast and Furious “only a few weeks” before his testimony last May is hard to accept. Inconceivable, in fact.

Except that’s not what the latest Friday-night dump of emails seems to say:

Also among the documents are Justice Department emails involving a former top aide to Attorney General Eric Holder. The emails show that then-deputy chief of staff Monty Wilkinson was notified by then-U.S. Attorney Dennis Burke the day after [Border Patrol Agent Brian] Terry was slain that guns found at the murder scene were connected to an investigation that Burke and Wilkinson had planned to discuss. The emails did not identify the investigation, but it was Operation Fast and Furious.

(Emphases added)

Keep this in mind: Wilkinson was Holder’s deputy chief of staff and, while the name “Fast and Furious” wasn’t used, it’s not credible that he didn’t know that was the investigation Burke was referring to. The mention in the email indicates a reference to an earlier conversation or conversations.

What’s even more unbelievable is that Wilkinson, having received news of the death of a federal agent by criminals using weapons they obtained as part of this “investigation” wouldn’t tell his boss, the chief of staff, and that neither of them would tell their “boss of bosses.”

Attorney General Eric Holder.

So, to ask of Mr. Holder the famous question from Watergate — What did he know and when did he know it? — we now have a pretty good idea.

He likely knew everything and he knew it at the latest the day after Brian Terry was murdered.

Months before he claimed in his testimony.

So either the Attorney General of the United States either lied under oath to the committee, or his memory is so bad regarding important DoJ events that he is incompetent to serve in his office.

Regardless (and my bet is on “liar”), Eric Holder is unfit to be US Attorney General and must go.

LINKS. More at Hot Air. Earlier Gunwalker posts.

(Crossposted at Sister Toldjah)


Republican “Establishment” out to get Allen West?

January 29, 2012

Seriously? One of the rising stars in the Party and the Tea Party movement, and yet the Florida legislature tries to harm his reelection chances via redistricting?

After last night’s Republican Presidential debate, the candidates’ respective spinmeisters made their cases to the media as to why their guy won the debate. One of Governor Mitt Romney’s spokesmen was Florida Representative Will Weatherford, and during the course of his remarks in the “Spin Room”, he shed a very dim light on the ongoing redistricting process in the Florida Legislature. Over the past several weeks, many Republicans have voiced their disappointment towards the Republican legislature after the release of the preliminary redistricting maps. Much of the ire concerns the proposed boundaries of Congressman Allen West’s 22nd Congressional District that would be redrawn to include far more registered Democrats.

West’s congressional district inexplicably sheds the most out support as compared to all other incumbent Republican and Democrat Congressman. A few weeks back we quoted an unnamed legislator saying that, “Allen West was screwed”, a statement which was originally made about made five months before the proposed maps were made public, leading insiders to believe that the fix was in against Allen West. But in light of Weatherford’s comment, it is increasingly clear that this is a fait accompli.

According to State Rep. Weatherford, this is due to compliance with federal and state law. Color me unconvinced; after the way the Republican “elite” treated Sarah Palin (1) and with what now looks like a concerted effort to suppress the Gingrich campaign (2), it’s hard not to imagine that something… “funny” is going on here. Anyone who becomes a threat to the “established order” gets the political equivalent of a Mob hit.

But this shot at Representative West could easily backfire; he was already in a tough district, so does the Party elite really want to encourage him to instead run for the Senate in 2012, when Florida’s statewide demographics are much more favorable to him?

May they get what they want and then live to regret it.

via Legal Insurrection

Footnotes:
(1) Remember how she was left to twist in the wind after being all-but-accused of inciting murder after the Tucson shootings?
(2) No, I’m not saying Newt is an “outsider” or a Tea Partier, nor that he hasn’t engaged in mudslinging, himself. (That’s an old tradition in US politics.) But he successfully linked himself to those groups in the eyes of many voters and has made himself a threat to the established order. Thus the double-barrel smear job against him, one that assumes we’re idiots.

(Crossposted at Sister Toldjah)


Dear GOP Establishment: BOOM! Taste her nightstick!

January 27, 2012

The last few days have erupted in controversy as former Reagan-era politicians and bureaucrats have come forth to question hack with a meat axe at Newt Gingrich’s claims to have been a leading figure in the “Reagan Revolution” of the 1980s. Among the most hard-hitting was former Assistant Secretary of State Elliot Abrams’ broadside. (Rebutted by Jeffrey Lord, also a former Reaganite.)

To say the rhetoric has become angry and bitter would be like characterizing the Civil War as a “family argument.”

Enter Sarah Palin, who knows a thing or two about being the victim of a coordinated hatchet-job. Flawed as Newt is, Momma Grizzly is mad and breaks out her nightstick.

Boom.

I am sadly too familiar with these tactics because they were used against the GOP ticket in 2008. The left seeks to single someone out and destroy his or her record and reputation and family using the media as a channel to dump handpicked and half-baked campaign opposition research on the public. The difference in 2008 was that I was largely unknown to the American public, so they had no way of differentiating between the lies and the truth. All of it came at them at once as “facts” about me. But Newt Gingrich is known to us – both the good and the bad.

We know that Newt fought in the trenches during the Reagan Revolution. As Rush Limbaugh pointed out, Newt was among a handful of Republican Congressman who would regularly take to the House floor to defend Reagan at a time when conservatives didn’t have Fox News or talk radio or conservative blogs to give any balance to the liberal mainstream media. Newt actually came at Reagan’s administration “from the right” to remind Americans that freer markets and tougher national defense would win our future. But this week a few handpicked and selectively edited comments which Newt made during his 40-year career were used to claim that Newt was somehow anti-Reagan and isn’t conservative enough to go against the accepted moderate in the primary race. (I know, it makes no sense, and the GOP establishment hopes you won’t stop and think about this nonsense. Mark Levin and others have shown the ridiculousness of this.) To add insult to injury, this “anti-Reagan” claim was made by a candidate who admitted to not even supporting or voting for Reagan. He actually was against the Reagan movement, donated to liberal candidates, and said he didn’t want to go back to the Reagan days. You can’t change history. We know that Newt Gingrich brought the Reagan Revolution into the 1990s. We know it because none other than Nancy Reagan herself announced this when she presented Newt with an award, telling us, “The dramatic movement of 1995 is an outgrowth of a much earlier crusade that goes back half a century.  Barry Goldwater handed the torch to Ronnie, and in turn Ronnie turned that torch over to Newt and the Republican members of Congress to keep that dream alive.” As Rush and others pointed out, if Nancy Reagan had ever thought that Newt was in any way an opponent of her beloved husband, she would never have even appeared on a stage with him, let alone presented him with an award and said such kind things about him. Nor would Reagan’s son, Michael Reagan, have chosen to endorse Newt in this primary race. There are no two greater keepers of the Reagan legacy than Nancy and Michael Reagan. What we saw with this ridiculous opposition dump on Newt was nothing short of Stalin-esque rewriting of history. It was Alinsky tactics at their worst.

But this whole thing isn’t really about Newt Gingrich vs. Mitt Romney. It is about the GOP establishment vs. the Tea Party grassroots and independent Americans who are sick of the politics of personal destruction used now by both parties’ operatives with a complicit media egging it on. In fact, the establishment has been just as dismissive of Ron Paul and Rick Santorum. Newt is an imperfect vessel for Tea Party support, but in South Carolina the Tea Party chose to get behind him instead of the old guard’s choice. In response, the GOP establishment voices denounced South Carolinian voters with the same vitriol we usually see from the left when they spew hatred at everyday Americans “bitterly clinging” to their faith and their Second Amendment rights. The Tea Party was once again told to sit down and shut up and listen to the “wisdom” of their betters. We were reminded of the litany of Tea Party endorsed candidates in 2010 who didn’t win. Well, here’s a little newsflash to the establishment: without the Tea Party there would have been no historic 2010 victory at all.

Emphasis added. Read it all.

If there’s one person outside the candidates themselves who has sufficient respect and influence among the base to significantly influence the primary race, it’s Sarah Palin.

And she just shot a bullet at the feet of the GOP establishment.

Go, ‘Cuda.

RELATED: My blog-buddy ST has a long piece about this controversy, the dread charge of “RINO-ism,” and pols who try to manipulate voters. Legal Insurrection calls it a “thousand points of fright” for the GOP establishment.


Tell me again why you’d vote to reelect Obama?

January 27, 2012

When he has a record like this?

America Before President Obama Took Office and Now

  Before Now Change
Number of Unemployed1 12.0 Million 13.1 Million +9%
Long-Term Unemployed2 2.7 Million 5.6 Million +107%
Unemployment Rate3 7.8% 8.5% +9%
“High Unemployment” States4 22 43 +95%
Misery Index5 7.83 11.46 +46%
Price of Gas6 $1.85 $3.39 +83%
“Typical” Monthly Family Food Cost7 $974 $1,013 +4%
Median Value of Single-Family Home8 $196,600 $169,100 -14%
Rate of Mortgage Delinquencies9 6.62% 10.23% +55%
U.S. National Debt10 $10.6 Trillion $15.2 Trillion +43%

Source: House Ways and Means Committee (1)

The only reasons I can think of for voting to reelect this miserable Socialist failure are:

  • One actually likes what Obama is doing and believes these trends are a necessary price to pay to transform the nation and that “more cowbell” is the solution. In other words, a progressive;
  • One is addicted;
  • One is simply ignorant.

Forget Obama’s disastrous energy policies that will beggar the poor and the middle classes; forget his topsy-turvy foreign policy that slaps friends, hugs enemies, and makes the world a more dangerous place; forget his arrogance and his contempt for the Constitution, adherence to which is at the heart of our common bargain.

And forget that you’re unhappy with the Massachusetts Moderate, the Angry Muffin, or Mr. Sweater Vest, based on what they might do in office.

Forget all that.

Looking at the numbers above, which represent the president’s record, tell me how could any rational voter who cares about the fate of the United States of America and, indeed, the future of the world make a positive case to vote to reelect Barack Obama?

Well?

via Joel Pollak (2)

UPDATE: Argh, the table didn’t format right. Danged inflexible columns. To see the percentages, follow the committee link above.

UPDATE II: And here’s a nice graphic courtesy of Pirate’s Cove that further illustrates the point:

Heckuva job, Barry!

Footnote:
(1) Yeah, a Republican-controlled committee. So what? Statistics can be manipulated. And? Show me how those numbers are wrong.
(2) Who tried to unseat “Red” Jan Schakowsky in 2010 and is considering running again. Go, Joel!

(Crossposted at Sister Toldjah)


Entitlement spending as vote-buying heroin

January 27, 2012

Liberals decry all the corporate money in politics, while conservatives worry that President Obama plans to spend a billion dollars to fund his reelection campaign.

Bill Whittle calls that “chump change.”

In another of his Firewall videos, Bill examines what he calls “The Vote Pump:” the money the federal government can use to make sure you vote the way the statists want. It’s eye-opening, to say the least.

Interesting, isn’t it? We currently take in more than enough revenue to fund the actual government (setting aside for the moment how many of those are legitimate functions), but what’s killing us is the nearly 60% of all federal spending that goes toward entitlements.

And it’s a percentage that, under current conditions, is only going to go up as the population ages.

Bill calls this a vote pump — money in, votes out. I think of it more as a form of economic heroin: give people “free money” and make them dependent, afraid to give it up. And, no matter how much they realize intellectually that the system is unsustainable and bad for the nation, that fear will lead most to vote to keep in power those who promise to keep the smack coming — the statists, whether Democrat or Republican.

It’s as de Tocqueville once wrote:

The American Republic will endure until the day Congress discovers that it can bribe the public with the public’s money. (1)

So when conservatives mock Gingrich for proposing a lunar base (“Too expensive!!”) or lefties decry all the money for the military (“Think of the children!!”), just take another look at Whittle’s chart and remind yourself of what the real problem is.

And then look at Greece to see where it will lead.

Footnote:
(1) Arguably misattributed.

(Crossposted at Sister Toldjah)


Dear Mr. President: Paying your fair share begins at home

January 26, 2012

President Obama spent much of his recent State of the Union address declaring that the rich need to pay their “fair share” of taxes. (1)

Maybe he should have given that speech to his staff, first:

How embarrassing this must be for President Obama, whose major speech theme so far this campaign season has been that every single American, no matter how rich, should pay their “fair share” of taxes.

Because how unfair — indeed, un-American — it is for an office worker like, say, Warren Buffet’s secretary to dutifully pay her taxes, while some well-to-do people with better educations and higher incomes end up paying a much smaller tax rate.

Or, worse, skipping their taxes altogether.

A new report just out from the Internal Revenue Service reveals that 36 of President Obama’s executive office staff owe the country $833,970 in back taxes. These people working for Mr. Fair Share apparently haven’t paid any share, let alone their fair share.

Previous reports have shown how well-paid Obama’s White House staff is, with 457 aides pulling down more than $37 million last year. That’s up seven workers and nearly $4 million from the Bush administration’s last year.

Nearly one-third of Obama’s aides make more than $100,000 with 21 being paid the top White House salary of $172,200, each.

(Emphasis added)

On a scale of 1-10 on the Public Secrets Hypocrisy Meter(tm), this hits an “11.” But, coming as it does from the administration of the most cynical, fork-tongued president since Richard Nixon, it also isn’t surprising.

May I suggest that Congressman Issa’s Oversight Committee, in the moments when it isn’t digging into Operation Fast and Furious, summon these federal employees to explain to Congress why they are not obeying federal law and paying their fair share?

Meanwhile, have a look at the rest of Andrew Malcolm’s article; it seems tax evasion is a favorite sport for federal employees.

LINKS: More from Moe Lane and Hot Air.

Footnote:
(1) As determined by Obama and his allies, of course.

(Crossposted at Sister Toldjah)


Anti-democratic Democrat governor cuts and runs

January 26, 2012

"Cancel elections? Wonderful idea!"

Remember Governor Bev Perdue, the Democratic Governor of North Carolina who suggested canceling the 2012 congressional elections so Congress could focus on solving the nation’s problems? (And preserving their Senate majority, coincidentally.)

Maybe she should have cancelled her state’s elections, instead. Facing bad polling numbers and strong opposition, Governor Perdue is calling it quits:

North Carolina Gov. Beverly Perdue, facing a hard fight for a second term, will not seek re-election, a Democratic official said today.

The first woman elected governor in North Carolina history, Perdue faced a potential rematch against former Charlotte Mayor Pat McCrory, a Republican whom she narrowly defeated in 2008 in the state’s closest gubernatorial contest since 1972.

Perdue’s win was partly attributed to Barack Obama’s surprise win in North Carolina.

Perdue was expected to make a formal announcement later today, according to a Democratic official, who requested anonymity in order to discuss the governor’s decision.

Her likely opponent in the next campaign was to be Pat McCrory, former Charlotte mayor and a Catawba College graduate.

Hat tip to my blog-buddy, ST, who’s a go-to source for Tar Heel State politics and whose site should be one of your regular stops as the (Social) Democratic National Convention rolls into her hometown of Charlotte this summer.

Meanwhile, Ed Morrissey analyzes the egg-on-face moment this gives the Democratic Party and the Obama campaign (but I repeat myself):

Instead of making a triumphant entry into Charlotte and lifting Perdue to re-election, Democrats from around the country will have their convention opened by a one-term governor who couldn’t win re-election even with a Democratic presidential incumbent on the top of the ticket and her party spending a ton of money in her state.  That’s not exactly a winning message for Democrats this summer.

I think this means she gets moved to a 3AM speaking spot.

As for Governor Perdue, herself, I shed no tears at her decision. Not because I’m a partisan Righty who thinks the Democrats don’t deserve to win another election ever, because of the their incompetence and the damage they’ve done to the nation.

Though that’s true.

No, it’s because of that stupid statement about cancelling elections, which she lamely tried to pass off as a joke, that I think she should go away and never be heard from again. It’s not that I think she’s some sort of Fascist, though the proposal itself was. It’s that she has to be either incredibly stupid or incredibly ignorant of American History and political tradition (and of Fascism, itself) to even suggest such a thing and not know how appalling an idea it is.

And we don’t need those kind of ignoramuses in our politics.

Bye-bye, Bev!


Obama plagiarizes himself?

January 25, 2012

If you’re like me, you were too busy with urgent, pressing matters to watch the President’s State of the Union address last night. You know, things like alphabetizing your DVD collection, or playing Angry Birds. In fact, on Twitter last night I said that I wish presidents would go back to the old tradition of sending a written report to Congress; they’ve become such a pompous  event anymore that they feel like a speech from the throne. Instead, just mail it in.

It seems Obama agrees with me; as this video from the Republican National Committee shows, the President just took his old speeches , rearranged the order, and mailed it in:

Should’ve gone all the way and put a stamp on it, sir, and spared people the disruption of their TV night.

PS: I wonder if “Professor” Obama would ever have let his law-school classes get away with such cheap work?

PPS: On a more serious note, here’s the official Republican response, delivered by Indiana Governor Mitch Daniels.

(Crossposted at Sister Toldjah)


When geek dreams become real life

January 24, 2012

Come on, this is Dungeons and Dragons brought to life, thanks to the mad scientists of DARPA: a Wand of Fire Suppression!

The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, known to its friends as DARPA, has announced their latest innovation: Instant fire suppression. The goal of the research project, which was part of a joint venture with Harvard University, was to find a better way to put out fires. Instead of conventional tactics, DARPA wanted a high-tech tool that would attack the very physical make up of fire using acoustics and electromagnetism.

You might be asking, “But DARPA, we already have perfectly good means of extinguishing fires, don’t we?” Sure, but each method has some pretty major drawbacks. Chemical suppressants, which interrupts the combustion process, are only effective against some types of fires, often result in collateral damage through their use, and are usually toxic. Water and CO2 suppression work well enough by smothering fires, but they still require a physical delivery system — the logistics of which can be hampered by the tight spaces one might encounter onboard a ship, for instance.

Through their research, DARPA wanted to use the physics of fire against itself. In their own words, they sought, “a novel flame-suppression system based on destabilization of flame plasma with electromagnetic fields and acoustics techniques.” Their research paid off in the form of a handheld “wand” device which snuffs out flames.

Click through for video. The big problem is scalability (perhaps power requirements or the size of the fire), but I imagine that can be fixed with enough research. Regardless, this is beyond way-cool. It’s science fiction brought to life, technology as magic.

Now, if they’d only start working on creating a hot Elf chick in a chainmail bikini…


Keystone pipeline rejection a product of crony capitalism?

January 24, 2012

As they say, Hmmm…

Warren Buffett’s Burlington Northern Santa Fe LLC is among U.S. and Canadian railroads that stand to benefit from the Obama administration’s decision to reject TransCanada Corp.’s Keystone XL oil pipeline permit.

With modest expansion, railroads can handle all new oil produced in western Canada through 2030, according to an analysis of the Keystone proposal by the U.S. State Department.

“Whatever people bring to us, we’re ready to haul,” Krista York-Wooley, a spokeswoman for Burlington Northern, a unit of Buffett’s Omaha, Nebraska-based Berkshire Hathaway Inc., said in an interview. If Keystone XL “doesn’t happen, we’re here to haul.”

The State Department denied TransCanada a permit on Jan. 18, saying there was not enough time to study the proposal by Feb. 21, a deadline Congress imposed on President Barack Obama. Calgary-based TransCanada has said it intends to re-apply with a route that avoids an environmentally sensitive region of Nebraska, something the Obama administration encouraged.

Buffett, aside from being a master investor (1), is also a big supporter of Barack Obama and famously demanded to be taxed at a higher rate, even though a) he can voluntarily pay as much as he wants, and b) his company owed a billion in back taxes as late as last year. (2)

Now, I’m more inclined to think Obama killed Keystone to pander to the enviro-whacko Left, but he’s also shown no restraint about using the power of the federal government to help his buddies. (Solyndra? LightSquared? The UAW?)

As Artie Johnson would say, “Verrryyy Interesting!”

Footnotes:
(1) Seriously. If you invest for yourself, his letters to shareholders are must-reading.
(2) Economist Daniel J. Mitchell has called Buffett “innumerate” for his opinions on taxes.

(Crossposted at Sister Toldjah)


Now this is a debate I would watch!

January 24, 2012

Sponsored by Hot Air, moderated by Ed Morrissey, intelligent questions on issues that matter, and with a format that doesn’t resemble a version of “What’s My Line??

Sign me up!

PS: Hey, Ed! If you need a Center-Right blogger for the panel, I know someone who might be available…

(Crossposted at Sister Toldjah)


It’s about time: Arizona to launch investigation of Operation Fast and Furious

January 23, 2012

It’s bad enough when states have to act to enforce federal law that Washington itself refuses to enforce, as did Arizona and other states when they passed tough anti-illegal immigration laws. But what is a state or local government supposed to do when the federal government is not just refusing to enforce the law, but may itself be one of the lawbreakers?

Answer: Start your own investigation.

Arizona’s state legislature will open its own investigation into the Obama administration’s disgraced gun-running program, known as “Fast and Furious,” the speaker of the state House said Friday.

Speaker Andy Tobin created the committee, and charged it with looking at whether the program broke any state laws — raising the possibility of state penalties against those responsible for the operation.

(…)

Mr. Tobin will announce the committee’s jurisdiction at a press conference in Phoenix on Monday. The committee is charged with looking into the facts about the program, what impact it had on Arizona and whether any of the state’s laws were broken.

A report is due back by March 30.

To recap, Operation Fast and Furious (aka “Gunwalker”) was a program that fed thousands of heavy-duty firearms to Mexican drug cartels, without the knowledge of the Mexican government. Guns were purchased by “straw buyers” who were allowed to walk the firearms over the border into Mexico. The originator of this scheme was the United States Department of Justice, which, through its subordinate law-enforcement agencies, pressured legitimate gun dealers in Arizona to sell these weapons knowing that these sales were likely violations of federal statutes and regulations.

The ostensible purpose was to trace these weapons back to their cartel users, though how that was supposed to work given that the weapons were untraceable until they showed up at Mexican and US crime scenes is unknown.

What is known, however, is that over 300 Mexican military, federal agents, police officers, and civilians are dead from weapons obtained via Gunwalker. In addition, at least one and maybe two US federal officers also were killed with “walked” guns. And the Department of Justice is stonewalling congressional investigating committees, to the extent that –and it appalls me to have to write this– a high-ranking DOJ official is now “pleading the Fifth.” (1)

So, having had enough, the State of Arizona is launching its own inquiry, with the possibility of criminal action down the road.

I wish our neighbors to the East good hunting.

via Big Government

RELATED: Hot Air has news video on the Arizona investigation. See these earlier Gunwalker posts for background links.

Footnote:
(1) Probably because he wants a deal and refuses to be the fall guy. Rats and sinking ships, and all that.

(Crossposted at Sister Toldjah)


Newt’s South Carolina victory speech

January 22, 2012

Former Speaker Gingrich won a smashing victory in South Carolina, yesterday, shattering Mitt Romney’s aura of inevitability and, I think ending any idea that this is anything other than a two-man race between him and the former governor. (1)

So, I think it’s worthwhile to see how Newt acts in victory. The short version: I was impressed. He was gracious toward his opponents, seemed presidential, and was right on the money when attacking the Obama administration’s radical and stupid energy policies. But whether he can carry on a national campaign for the nomination with an organization best described as “bare bones” remains to be seen.

For now, at least, he’s a real contender. But I’ll shut up and let the man speak for himself:

Footnote:
(1) Harsh toward Paul and Santorum, but I think nonetheless true. And I really do feel sorry for former Senator Santorum; if the Iowa Republican Party had been at all competent at counting votes, who knows what difference this might have made for his fundraising and later efforts?

PS: Go, 49ers!

(Crossposted at Sister Toldjah)


In which Newt eviscerates CNN’s John King

January 20, 2012

There’s no other way to describe it: John King, moderating last night’s debate in Charleston, SC, opened with a question about salacious allegations made by Gingrich’s second ex-wife. The former Speaker then gutted King and the MSM in front of the entire nation, calling them out for their biased coverage. It was a thing of beauty, an instant classic. The only thing missing was King falling to his knees in tears to beg for mercy.

Enjoy, my friends:

Now, I’m not much of a fan in Gingrich, though I admire his intellectual acuity; he has a lot of good ideas (and a lot of bad ones). But, were he to become the nominee, I would so look forward to the debates with Obama. The president would be reduced to a quivering mound of Jello.

And I’d need extra popcorn.

(Crossposted at Sister Toldjah)


Can we call them “Socialists” yet?

January 19, 2012

Harking back to some of the worst excesses of the New Deal, six Democratic members of the House lead by Denis Kucinich (D-UFO) and all but one members of the Congressional Progressive Caucus, have proposed an additional tax on oil companies to be levied when profits rise above “a reasonable level”:

The Democrats, worried about higher gas prices, want to set up a board that would apply a “windfall profit tax” as high as 100 percent on the sale of oil and gas, according to their legislation. The bill provides no specific guidance for how the board would determine what constitutes a reasonable profit.

The Gas Price Spike Act, H.R. 3784 (PDF), would apply a windfall tax on the sale of oil and gas that ranges from 50 percent to 100 percent on all surplus earnings exceeding “a reasonable profit.” It would set up a Reasonable Profits Board made up of three presidential nominees that will serve three-year terms. Unlike other bills setting up advisory boards, the Reasonable Profits Board would not be made up of any nominees from Congress.

The bill would also seem to exclude industry representatives from the board, as it says members “shall have no financial interests in any of the businesses for which reasonable profits are determined by the Board.”

And, of course, “reasonable” would be in the eye of the beholder: in this case, appointees of Barack Obama, renowned class warrior and Socialist. What could go wrong?

Of course, this isn’t about the economic ignorance of the members sponsoring the bill; they’re leftist Democrats, progressives. It’s practically an unwritten law that you have to give up any understanding of basic economics to join that club. The idea that these profits can be returned to shareholders, including pension funds and individual middle-class Americans, many on retirement, via dividends and capital gains is immaterial. And don’t even think of suggesting that these oh so unreasonable profits could be used to expand the business or explore for more oil –or both!– thus creating jobs.

Like I said, to join the club, you have to forswear any economic common sense.

No, this bill, which will never pass the House or even get out of committee, is nothing more than an election year appeal to the worst of Americans populist instincts: class warfare, punishing those “evil” oil companies, and looking for a scapegoat for high gas prices rather than understanding the Law of Supply and Demand. Oh, and already-high federal, state, and local taxes.

It’s all about pandering to people’s frustrations, so they won’t blame the real cause: the radical and against-all-reason natural resources policies of the Democrats and their environmentalist allies that keep us from developing the vast resources we have.

It’s the political equivalent of “Look! It’s Elvis!”

But, let us not forget, it’s also about control and power. These are, after all, progressives, social democrats. Some are full-blown Socialists. It’s their belief that only government can fairly (in their definition, again) distribute wealth. They may not be Marxist, and are thus willing to allow the shareholders to still own their companies, but government has first call on “your” money, to do with what it will. You can keep whatever they decide is reasonable.

Which is why I put “your” in quotes.

In their world, you are not a free citizen with unalienable rights, but a dependent who must wait to see how much of what you earn government will let you keep.

So, while this bill may be a bit of populist red meat that will never pass, it has a very real and very pernicious-to-liberty philosophy behind it.

And it’s another example why the Democrats should never win another election again.

via Jammie Wearing Fool

RELATED: Pirate’s Cove has suggestions for other “reasonable boards.”

(Crossposted at Sister Toldjah)


Rick Perry drops out; I pout and move on

January 19, 2012

As I wrote on Twitter, I never get what I want.

From Legal Insurrection, Governor Rick Perry has ridden off into the sunset. The race is down to Romney and Gingrich (1), now.

While I’m disappointed, I can’t say I’m surprised; after starting with tremendous momentum, Perry blew it all in some terrible initial debate performances. And though he did much better in later debates, one only gets one chance to make a first impression, and he couldn’t overcome his. (In spite of having a tremendous video shop. Really, Newt or Mitt should hire these guys.) But this election is not only practical – fix the economy, stupid! — but ideological, a stark choice between American conservatism/classical liberalism and progressive statism. And Perry just couldn’t articulate the conservative case.

And while I’m not surprised, I can say I’m disappointed. Perry had far and away the best overall record of anyone running as well as the right governing philosophy. I’m still convinced that he’d make a great president, even if he isn’t a champion debater.

While 98% of the blame must rest with Governor Perry in this case, the debate process and the ridiculously outsized influence of two or three small states play are broken. The debates are too crowded, reducing the candidates to seeking soundbites and reciting slogans. (Newt being sometimes an exception.) And why in Heaven’s name they let liberal MSM figures moderate debates for conservative candidates, I’ll never know. The questions are designed to make the candidates look bad and they’re almost never on crucial issues (Really, how many times did Fast & Furious or the European debt crisis come up? *crickets*). The AEI debate was the only good one; coincidentally, that was moderated by conservatives.

And the influence of Iowa and New Hampshire? Gee, people in later states once again get to enjoy a meaningless choice on their primary ballot based on the results in a couple of states with electorates smaller than some congressional districts. The primary system is desperately in need of reform, and I suggest the RNC look carefully at alternatives, such as Jim Geraghty’s suggestion.

Ah well. No use crying over a spilled martini. Reports are that Governor Perry has endorsed Former Speaker Gingrich and will campaign for him, especially on 10th amendment issues:

I’m told reliably that Governor Perry will head up a 10th Amendment project for Speaker Gingrich to rally Governors and state legislators toward a plan of devolving power from Washington. This project will include helping shape the Republican platform for the general election, something small government conservatives have been concerned about.

Hopefully this will draw Newt more strongly to the federalist, limited-government side of the Force.

As it is, I can’t get excited about either Romney or Gingrich, each for different reasons. I’ll of course vote for whichever wins the nomination, because getting rid of Obama is the overriding priority. But, from now through November, I may concentrate my efforts on getting as conservative a congress as possible elected, to drag the new president in the Right direction. Sign me up for Operation Counterweight.

Footnote:
(1) Sorry, sweater-vest fans, I just don’t see Santorum going anywhere.

UPDATE: Here’s Governor Perry’s withdrawal speech. Very nice; he’s clearly a classy guy, in the most genuine sense. I wish more people had seen this part of him early on.

(Crossposted at Sister Toldjah)


No, my blog is not “going dark” today

January 18, 2012

Quite a few sites, including the perennially smug Wikipedia, are “going dark” in protest of the proposed SOPA and PIPA acts (background here).  I won’t, because of my distaste for the sanctimonious political theater the Left is so fond of. (1) (And even if some Right-sites are joining in.)

However, this issue is one of those rare ones that brings both Right and Left together: both bills are badly drawn and grant far too much authority to the federal government to block web sites suspected of piracy. While I have little to no sympathy for copyright pirates, one does not fight it by giving the government power to shut anyone down at any time on just a complaint, with no due process. There is a real threat to free speech in these bills, and they must be defeated.

So, while I won’t be draping this site in black, today, I do urge you to contact your senator to urge the withdrawal or defeat of PIPA. (SOPA is, for now, dead.) Senator Marco Rubio, who had distressingly co-sponsored PIPA, has realized his mistake and withdrawn his support.

Here’s a list of remaining cosponsors. If your senator is on the list, contact him or her to make your opposition known. (2) And if Republicans vote for these bills, regardless of who they are, primary them.

Footnotes:
(1) They like to do strange things such as protesting threats to free speech by doing passive-aggressive stuff such as… suppressing their own free speech. As a friend notes, “Seems a bit like giving up your guns to protest a gun ban.” Must be a quirky “moral authority” thing.
(2) Yeah, I know. I’ve got Boxer and Feinstein. A forlorn hope, but letters sent, nonetheless.

UPDATE: From Moe Lane, a list of Republican senators who’ve changed their minds about protecting free speech.

(Crossposted at Sister Toldjah)


British scientists find Darwin fossil slides ‘lost’ for 150 years

January 17, 2012

Got nothing political today (not even a good bit of Biden mockery!) but here’s a neat find for fans of science and history: hundreds of glass slides containing original fossil samples collected by Darwin during his famous voyages.

What Falcon-Lang found, while looking through the old drawers with a flash light, was a collection of 314 slides of specimens by Charles Darwin and his close professional colleagues, including the famous botanist Joseph Hooker and Rev. John Henslow.

Falcon-Lang said he was very surprised and excited to find “quite important and overlooked specimens.” AP reports Falcon-Lang described the moment of seeing Darwin’s signature on the first slide he examined as “a heart in your mouth situation.” The first glass slide was a specimen Darwin acquired during his voyage on the HMS Beagle. Falcon-Lang commented: “To find a treasure trove of lost Darwin specimens from the Beagle voyage is just extraordinary…We can see there’s more to learn. There are a lot of very, very significant fossils in there that we didn’t know existed.”

According to the Paleontologist, some of the significant finds come from the slides Hooker collected in 1846 while working at the British Geological Survey. One was a specimen of prototaxites, a 400 million-year-old tree-sized fungi that grew at a “time the Earth was so hot that not even the Poles had ice.” (1) Other finds, according to Daily Mail, include 40 million-year-old plants from a remote Island off the coast of Chile. Falcon-Lang said,”There are 100 million-year-old fossil trees from the latter age of the dinosaurs. It’s real Jules Verne stuff, and scientists are only now starting to study it and understand its scientific importance.”

I think this kind of stuff is cool: lost treasures, sitting in a closet or cabinet  in a nearly forgotten room until someone stumbles across them. Thank goodness they weren’t chucked out by some overzealous janitor or administrator desperate for space.

RELATED: The Daily Mail has some pictures.

Footnote:
(1) I couldn’t resist highlighting this bit for the global-warming cultists in the crowd. So, the earth was much hotter, the Poles were clear of ice, yet life somehow survived this sweltering greenhouse. Indeed, it prospered. Now there’s “an inconvenient truth” for you.

via neo-neocon

(Crossposted at Sister Toldjah)


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