Friday, January 29, 2010

Graduated income tax cuts

JR sends this link, Comparing the Kennedy, Reagan and Bush Tax Cuts
Interesting comparison of the Kennedy, Reagan and Bush tax cuts. This is timely given all of the misinformation regarding the scope and effect of these tax cuts on today's financial condition. JR
Don't miss table 4, wherein it is shown that the Bush tax cuts actually increased the tax share of "the rich."

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Share the blame

"I take my share of the blame for not explaining it more clearly to the American people."
- Barack Obama, State of the Union Speech, 27-Jan-2010

Since he's given around 40 national speeches explaining the health care reform he outsourced to Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid, either he is a very poor communicator/teacher or 60%+ of the American people are well below median intelligence.

I would reciprocate and take my share of the blame for not explaining "it" more clearly to the President, but he isn't listening to me. He is also deaf to the voters in New York, Virginia, New Jersey, and Massachusetts.

He claims to have been unaware of the Tea Party movement even as more than 500,000 people were marching in Washington.

He is apparently not closely observing members of his own party defecting retiring from Congress.

He says he "will not quit" pushing an agenda the American people overwhelmingly reject in detail.

He takes the SOTU speech as an opportunity to tell Republicans they have not been leaders, but now they must be because his party no longer has a super-majority in the Senate.

At the start of his second year in office he's still blaming his predecessor for wasteful spending, even though he voted for that spending as a Senator, has doubled it as President - and proposes to quadruple it.

He announces a spending freeze, to take place after the next election, which will affect a whopping 1% of the budget deficit.

By way of admitting his stimulus bill has been a failure, he calls for another. He names this one a "jobs" bill.

He completely misstates legal precedent and mischaracterizes a recent SCOTUS decision in a criticism reminiscent of FDR's threat to pack the Court.

Enough.

Mr. President, I hear you load and clear. It is not that you are not enunciating clearly, nor is it that you are not speaking slowly enough, loudly enough nor frequently enough. It is not even the nagging irritation of your invariant cadence. We hear you. Unfortunately, for your purposes, we understand you. You need to take your share of the blame for explaining all too clearly.

I know you're angry with us, but, in this case it really is all about you.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

On the occasion of the Philosopher-King's first State of the Union address

In The Real State of the Union: Fear. Michael Ledeen points out that we are afraid of President Barack Obama, and it's not the type of fear Machiavelli recommended when love for the prince became undependable.

We're afraid of Obama, as C. S. Lewis said, because:
Of all tyrannies a tyranny sincerely exercised for the good of its victim may be the most oppressive. It may be better to live under robber barons than under omnipotent moral busybodies. The robber baron’s cruelty may sometimes sleep, his cupidity may at some point be satiated, but those who torment us for our own good will torment us without end for they do so with the approval of their own conscience.
We know we're being screwed as citizens and taxpayers, but the worst part is we'll not even bear a tenth part of the burden. I fear the effect on our progeny of Obama's assault on the education system through his appointments and policies. I fear for our children and grandchildren who may look forward to being wage slaves of the national government. Ours and China's.

We may fear Obama, but our enemies do not. I fear the long term effect of Mirandizing terrorists on our descendants' quality of life and their respect for law.

The past 2 years have been straight out of Atlas Shrugged and we've moved into obvious scenes from The Last Exit to Utopia.
It's not just Obama: TARP and Medicaid Part D are Bush, the financial meltdown was created by our own government and its agencies over the course of 4 Presidencies by people who still defend the policies that led to our current malaise, and not just as well intentioned mistakes, but as fiscally and socially responsible "good government."

That's bad enough, but Obama insists the cause of the recession was lack of regulation. He compounds that error by blaming the free market for his crony capitalism. He wants to quadruple down on taxes, entitlements and debt, and he creates massive uncertainty as a matter of policy. He caps this fantasia with contempt, subtly intimating how stupid we are not to appreciate the wonderful things he's trying to do for us. More of that will come tonight. He blames your anger on you. It couldn't possibly be his conduct or his policies.

The key phrases tonight will be 1- "let me be clear," which translates to "I'm about to lie again;" and 2- "I reject my opponents' false choice of x vs y," where: a) x is a position nobody has taken, b) x & y are not mutually exclusive and c) x & y are not a comprehensive list of reasonable choices.

Monday, January 25, 2010

The uniter

Long, occasionally funny, diatribe against our Philosopher-King... from the far left: How to Squander the Presidency in One Year
Barack Obama has now, in just a year's time, become the single most inept president perhaps in all of American history, and certainly in my lifetime. Never has so much political advantage been pissed away so rapidly, and what's more in the context of so much national urgency and crisis. It's astonishing, really, to contemplate how much has been lost in a single year.
Pithy and devastating from the center right: Conrad Black: Incompetent Obama teeters on the edge
The president has three principal problems. He is well to the left of the public and of what he promised the voters in 2008, and it is an old, passe leftism, that is authoritarian, deviously presented and was discredited in this country decades ago; the sort of nostrums that caused Bill Clinton and others to become 'New Democrats.' He is increasingly perceived as having credibility problems and of being cold, cocksure, narcissistic and intoxicated by what he modestly called 'the gift' of his own articulation. And as president, he has been quite, and quite surprisingly, incompetent.
I guess we all can get along.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

"...no scientific basis"

A roundup of news on the latest Anthropogenic Global Warming scam.

Al Gore could not be reached for comment, but no plans have been announced to delete the scene of the Himalayan glaciers disappearance from the movie that won him an Oscar and a Nobel prize.

Glacier scientist: I knew data hadn't been verified

The scientist behind the bogus claim in a Nobel Prize-winning UN report that Himalayan glaciers will have melted by 2035 last night admitted it was included purely to put political pressure on world leaders.

...Dr Lal said: ‘We knew the WWF report with the 2035 date was “grey literature” [material not published in a peer-reviewed journal]. But it was never picked up by any of the authors in our working group, nor by any of the more than 500 external reviewers, by the governments to which it was sent, or by the final IPCC review editors.’
So much for the importance of "peer review." For Dr. Lal it means nobody catches the lie.

UN climate change expert: there could be more errors in report

...The IPCC’s 2007 report, which won it the Nobel Peace Prize, said that the probability of Himalayan glaciers “disappearing by the year 2035 and perhaps sooner is very high”.

But it emerged last week that the forecast was based not on a consensus among climate change experts, but on a media interview with a single Indian glaciologist in 1999.

...Dr Pachauri also said he did not learn about the mistakes until they were reported in the media about 10 days ago, at which time he contacted other IPCC members. He denied keeping quiet about the errors to avoid disrupting the UN summit on climate change in Copenhagen, or discouraging funding for TERI’s own glacier programme.

But he too admitted that it was “really odd” that none of the world’s leading glaciologists had pointed out the mistakes to him earlier. “Frankly, it was a stupid error,” he said. “But no one brought it to my attention.”
So much for "consensus." And another lie:

Pachauri: the real story behind the Glaciergate scandal

...But even before the 2007 report was published, it now emerges, the offending claim was challenged, not least by a leading Austrian glaciologist, Dr Georg Kaser, a lead author on the 2007 report. He described Dr Hasnain's prediction of glaciers disappearing by 2035 as "so wrong that it is not even worth dismissing".

...Last week, the IPCC, led by its increasingly controversial chairman, Dr Rajendra Pachauri, was forced to issue an unprecedented admission: the statement in its 2007 report that Himalayan glaciers could disappear by 2035 had no scientific basis, and its inclusion in the report reflected a "poor application" of IPCC procedures.

What has now come to light, however, is that the scientist from whom this claim originated, Dr Syed Hasnain, has for the past two years been working as a senior employee of The Energy and Resources Institute (TERI), the Delhi-based company of which Dr Pachauri is director-general. Furthermore, the claim – now disowned by Dr Pachauri as chairman of the IPCC – has helped TERI to win a substantial share of a $500,000 grant from one of America's leading charities, along with a share in a three million euro research study funded by the EU.
"Poor application" of IPCC principles? No, business as usual.

A Glacier Meltdown
...On Wednesday, the IPCC got around to acknowledging that the claim was "poorly substantiated," though Mr. Pachauri also suggested it amounted to little more than a scientific typo. Yet the error is of a piece with other glib, and now debunked, global warming alarms.

Among them: that 1998 was the warmest year on record in the United States (it was 1934); that sea levels could soon rise by up to 20 feet and put Florida underwater (an 18-inch rise by the year 2100 is the more authoritative estimate); that polar bears are critically endangered by global warming (most polar bear populations appear to be stable or increasing); that—well, we could go on without even mentioning the climategate emails.
Finally, while we are on the quality of IPCC and AGW data, see here and here. You will find the Canadian data for everything north of the 65th parallel is based on one thermometer located in an anomalously warm site.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Stuck on stupid

President Obama (henceforth to be known as Philosopher-King Obama from a Victor Davis Hansen post today) told ABC News' George Stephanopoulos his thoughts on Scott Brown's Massachusetts victory:
Here's my assessment of not just the vote in Massachusetts, but the mood around the country: the same thing that swept Scott Brown into office swept me into office. People are angry and they are frustrated. Not just because of what's happened in the last year or two years, but what's happened over the last eight years.
Now, Brown did campaign specifically on stopping Obama's Health Care fiasco, he hammered the Obama Administration for Mirandizing the BVD-Bomber and generally granting terrorists full Constitutional protections, and he did repeatedly say Obama's reckless spending was unconscionable. Only the last of those things angered people about George Bush.

What Scott Brown and the voters in Massachusetts apparently did not understand is that This Is Still George Bush's Fault by a factor of 8 years to 1. That won't be even until the end of an increasingly unlikely second term, because what Obama seems not to grasp is that the campaign against George Bush was run - by Martha Coakley.

Mr. Philosopher-King, let me try and explain this to you a in different way. Many of the people who voted for you would prefer to have George Bush back. Many of them voted just last Tuesday. Some things are about you.

By now you have to be considering an amendment to the Health Care bill to expend all the resources the Feds can bring to bear for the express purpose of keeping George Bush alive into the next century.

Anger at Bush did help Obama win, of course, but for him to conflate that with the very specific issues Scott Brown campaigned on - in a special election in the bluest state in the union - is mendacious. It indicates the aftershocks of Tuesday reverberate, but are not understood. Obama's analysis could not have been much better crafted to fan the flames of disgust with his performance. He does think you are stupid and he just said it again.

Victor Davis Hansen can help us gauge the ongoing damage with this gem: The Democratic Reaction Richter Scale
The Democratic statist transformation suffered a sudden earthquake in Massachusetts last night. How can we measure the severity of the upcoming reaction aftershocks?

The subsequent damage will depend on the magnitude of the next round of shaking—a 7 aftershock ensuring rubble, a 1 suggesting that rebuilding can proceed.
Go read the scale.

I think the Philosopher-King's analysis of the vote rates a 6.3. On the face of it, it hovers between a 5 and a 6, but the Philosopher-King himself said it, not a minion, and he does blame Bush.

Take that John McCain

Pulverizes. I like that.

Supreme Court Vindicates Political Speech, Pulverizes McCain-Feingold

Another good day for liberty.

SCOTUS: Doing what George Bush should have done.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Well done, Scott Brown!

52-47
;-)

This was the moment when the rise of the statists began to slow and the plan, it began to reel. And the voice of the jackass was muted throughout the land.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Stay home then

Obama, in a robocall for Coakley this weekend:
“A lot of people don’t even realize there is an election on Tuesday to fill the unexpired term of Ted Kennedy,” Obama says in a robocall that state voters began receiving Friday. “They don’t realize why it’s so important.”
Anyone who did not know there was an election today in Massachusetts should pretend there isn't one. How could such an ignoramus dare cast a vote?

I guess that's Obama's point about his base.

Update- 2:58 PM
Apparently, that last sentence was not as clear a message as it could have been. Let me try again.

The smartest person ever to be President agrees to record a robocall in support of a candidate the White House privately acknowledges to be a hopeless buffoon. A bear of little brain, so to speak.

In the robocall the President urges people, who 3 days before the most exciting, publicized, gripping, contentious, utterly amazing contest in Massachusetts politics in more than a generation don't even know there is an election, to vote for his candidate. If the election has somehow escaped their attention entirely, Obama still wants them to turn out and vote.

Does the President realize how insulting his assumption about Democrat voters is to Democrat voters? Did he pause to think what it means to this Republic for the President to explicitly urge the uninformed and disinterested to vote?

To the People of Massachusetts

Today is a day history will remember. When you go to vote, remember this:
... [A]all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights, that among these are Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness. That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed. —That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles, and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shown, that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations pursuing invariably the same Object, evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security.
-Declaration of Independence
Of all tyrannies a tyranny sincerely exercised for the good of its victim may be the most oppressive. It may be better to live under robber barons than under omnipotent moral busybodies. The robber baron’s cruelty may sometimes sleep, his cupidity may at some point be satiated, but those who torment us for our own good will torment us without end for they do so with the approval of their own conscience.
-C. S. Lewis

Monday, January 18, 2010

Contracts

One provision of the health care "reform" bill now being crafted behind closed doors by Washington Democrats is a tax on health care plans with annual premiums of over around $25,000 (the exact number varies weekly).

It is proposed that union members won't have to pay this tax. Like Nebraskans, they are to be exempt from a health care tax that applies to everyone else.
[U]nion officials ... [said] the tax would be phased in and would exempt workers in collective bargaining agreements, as well as state and municipal government workers, until 2018, costing $60 billion in revenue over a 10-year period.

Under the agreement, non-union workers with expensive health plans would reportedly begin paying the tax in 2013.
Consider; Ben Nelson's bribe was only $100 million for a Nebraska population of 1.8 million - about $56 each. The unions are getting $60 billion for their 16 million members - about $3,750 each.

Exempting union members removes $60 billion from the $150 billion the "Cadillac" tax was to have raised. That's 40%, but the approximately 16 million unionized workers in the US only make up around 12% of the US workforce. This says something about who is inflating health care costs. According to the Obama administration, the reason for the tax is to reduce health care costs.

It is further worth noting that union membership for public sector workers includes about 37% of those workers, nearly 5 times higher than the 8% unionization rate for private industry workers.

The SEIU, for example, has 2.2 million members. 1.1 million work in health care and 1 million in the public sector. The SEIU contributed over $60 million to Barack Obama's presidential campaign. As Andy Stern said in May 2009, "We spent a fortune to elect Barack Obama — $60.7 million to be exact — and we’re proud of it."

Nebraska's motto is "Equality before the law." SEIU's is "Stronger Together." Unlike Nebraska's motto, the SEIU motto is for members only.

Aside from the reciprocal affinity of Democrats and unions, you may wonder how anyone can argue the "Cadillac" health care tax shouldn't apply equally to those 12% of covered individuals who receive 40% of the "taxable value."

Unions and Democrats contend the tax would affect union members unfairly because unions have what are known as "contracts" with their employers. These contracts specify that part of the compensation package for union workers is a "Cadillac" health care plan - you know, the kind that destroyed General Motors. Besides, say the unions, taxing their health care would mean Obama had broken his promise not to raise taxes on those making less than $250,000 per year.

It's hard to see how both these arguments do not apply to every worker. Health care is very often part of your compensation, whether you have a union contract or not. "Ah yes," say the unions, "but we have long-term contracts based on current health care tax regulations."

Sorry. I still don't get it. Can't these contracts be renegotiated? Or simply abrogated? I am not one to support arbitrary dissolution of contracts by the Federal government, but this administration has no problem with the concept. Remember the Chrysler bondholders who were told they'd have to take what Obama told them they could have so he could give Chrysler to the UAW? The bondholders had contracts. Remember those AIG bonuses, approved as part of the bailout by our Congress? The bonuses that got everyone so upset? Those were contractual.

Those contracts didn't matter, why should the unions'? Because they're a major source of support for the takeover of health care by the government.

Adding to the hypocrisy, to make up for the union exemption the Democrats are talking about further increasing the Medicare payroll tax and applying it to capital gains. Isn't the Medicare tax a "current health care tax regulation," too? Won't this raise taxes on people making less than $250,000 per annum?

Finally, we must wonder about another "union" contract: The Constitution. Where, in that contract, does it say Nebraska, Louisiana and labor unions get special treatment? Where does it allow the federal government to force you to buy a specific product or pay a fine to the IRS? On the face of it, and for but one example, the 14th Amendment equal protection clause would seem to prohibit such statist intervention.

If contracts mattered, that is.

Friday, January 15, 2010

This should drive her down another 5 points

Obama to campaign for Coakley

On Sunday. That means there are 2 days for analysis.

Whether the President will actually appear with Coakley, or she with him, is not known. Critical mass of implosion may be achieved.

Creigh Deeds and John Corzine could not be reached for comment. David Axelrod is on extended leave. Hillary has been hospitalized due to incessant chortling. Two new teleprompters have been purchased for use after the Massachusetts election due to superstition on the part of the CinC; JIC.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Ted Kennedy's Senate seat

Time magazine-
The Kennedy Succession: The Coming Scramble

The UK's Guardian-
Obama absent from campaign for Kennedy's seat

The Boston Herald-
Candidates for Kennedy seat make final money pitch

The Newburyport Daily News-
Kennedy seat hopefuls battle in final debate

The Toronto Star-
Kennedy seat race becoming health care referendum

The Boston Globe-
Analysis: Race for Kennedy seat taking on greater significance

And even David Gergen - erstwhile moderator of the Scott Brown/Martha Coakley debate and director of the Center for Public Leadership at the, ahem, John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University - all refer to the seat being contested in Massachusetts as the "Kennedy Seat."

If it is indeed a dynastic succession that's needed, we'll have to see Coakley's DNA credentials. A blood relationship to either Teddy or George III would seem necessary.

Scott Brown was up to the bias (of which that "Kennedy seat" presumption is but one example) from the moderator, however. The Q&A is on video here. Watch it.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Trite man's burden

Harry Reid's cynical paternalism and his blanco dialect got him in trouble. The fact that a liberal statist is expected to be cynically paternal toward blacks is getting him out of it. Barack Obama's "typical white person" grandmother might have said that very thing.

My favorite comments on Harry Reid's recently reported remarks; below. The links are worth a click.


Ann Althouse, Althouse

If by “racist,” you mean somebody who feels antagonism toward black people, then Harry Reid isn’t a racist. Harry Reid thinks we are racists.

If by “racist” you mean somebody who would use other people’s feelings about race in a purely instrumental way to amass political power, then Harry Reid is a racist.

Mark Steyn, The Corner
To those of us who find identity politics repugnant, it would seem to confirm that an unhealthy obsession with "anti-racism" eventually becomes so condescending it's indistinguishable from racism — or, at any rate, the micro-classifications of apartheid — to the point where bigtime Dem honchos are sitting around saying, "What we need here is a clean octoroon." "Well, this high yaller from Chicago might do the trick."

Scott Ott, Washington Examiner
Sen. Harry Reid, in an effort to increase the popularity of the imperiled health care reform bill, on Monday added a provision requiring insurance companies to pay 100 percent of the cost of treatments intended to lighten the skin of African-Americans.

..."It's not fair that the path to the Oval Office is blocked for my darker-hued friends," Reid said Monday. "Skin-lightening therapy will open the corridors of power to a new generation of African-American leaders. And thanks to my amendment, this treatment will be free at last."
(So as to prevent any erroneous viral spiral, that last is satire.)

H/T Instapundit

PS, 4:47PM Surely, Mr. Ott should have noted this Amendment is to be known as the Michael Jackson Memorial clause.

Monday, January 11, 2010

Dingy Harry

Let's stipulate that former Senate Majority Leader Trent Lott's birthday party comment that the country would have been a better place if segregationist Strom Thurmond had been elected President was racially insensitive. Then let's admit that current Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid's assertion that Barack Obama could win the Presidency because of his "light skin," and that Obama only affects a "negro dialect" when he needs to, was profoundly cynical.

Reid said Obama could profit from his skin color and his ability to avoid sounding like Al Sharpton as required. Lott said a Thurmond presidency would have been better, overall, than otherwise. Who overtly brought race to the table?

Harry Reid is among the most inept, corrupt and frankly stupid individuals ever to hold federal office. Nevertheless, he gets away with an apology for being misunderstood. How about an apology for implying American voters are racists?

Sunday, January 10, 2010

War? What war?

"We have met the enemy, and he is us."
-Pogo

Mark Steyn:
"Hey, thanks for all the outreach! But we're still gonna kill you." RTWT

Thursday, January 07, 2010

Fools

Today, Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano, along with Assistant to the President for Counterterrorism and Homeland Security John Brennan, held a Press Conference regarding the intelligence review occasioned by the Christmas Day airplane bombing attempt. The whole transcript is here, but I'd like to consider just one Q&A:
Q What was the most shocking, stunning thing that you found out of the review? And, Secretary, to you, as well.

MR. BRENNAN: Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula is an extension of al Qaeda core coming out of Pakistan. And, in my view, it is one of the most lethal and one of the most concerning of it. The fact that they had moved forward to try to execute this attack against the homeland I think demonstrated to us -- and this is what the review sort of uncovered -- that we had a strategic sense of sort of where they were going, but we didn't know they had progressed to the point of actually launching individuals here. And we have taken that lesson, and so now we're full on top of it.

SECRETARY NAPOLITANO:
I think, following up on that, not just the determination of al Qaeda and al Qaeda Arabian Peninsula, but the tactic of using an individual to foment an attack, as opposed to a large conspiracy or a multi-person conspiracy such as we saw in 9/11, that is something that affects intelligence. It really emphasizes now the renewed importance on how different intelligence is integrated and analyzed, and threat streams are followed through. And, again, it will impact how we continue to review the need to improve airport security around the world.
These are the most shocking things Janet Napolitano is able to name: That al-Qaeda is active in the Arabian Peninsula, and that an individual executed the attack.

Madame Secretary, here are some examples of jihadist attacks launched from Yemen along with some US actions attacking al Qaeda in Yemen. You should not have been surprised at al-Qaeda's activity in the Arabian Peninsula.
  • USS Cole attacked - Oct-12 2000
  • Head of the group al-Qaeda in Yemen killed by a Predator drone - Nov-3 2002
  • U.S. Embassy attacked apparently on a direct order from al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden. 19 dead - Sept-17 2008
  • The Yemeni and Saudi Arabian branches of al-Qaeda merge - Jan 2009
  • Obama Orders Cruise Missile attack on al-Qaeda sites in Yemen - Dec-17 2009
Madame Secretary, regarding your theory that an individual attacker is a novel tactic: What was shoe-bomber Richard Reid, a hive mind? How about Army Major Nidal Hassan at Fort Hood, did he have accomplices you're not telling us about? What about José Padilla, the "dirty bomb" plotter? What about the many dozens of Palestinian suicide bombers?

I guess if you think of all these as "isolated individuals," as the President described the Detroit bomber 3 days after Christmas, it is hard to even think about them as dots, much less connect anything.

Wednesday, January 06, 2010

Liar

Obama promised at least 8 times that health care "reform" negotiations would be televised on CSPAN.

But, as Nancy Pelosi laughingly says, "There are a number of things that he swore on the campaign trail."

As to swearing, I just wish he was more serious about the oath of office.

Broken link fixed. 7:10PM 7-Jan

Monday, January 04, 2010

Ben Nelson - Hypocrite, Kleptocrat

Senator Ben Nelson (Kleptocrat, Nebraska) initially withheld his vote for the health care "reform" bill because, he said, he objected to any federal funding of abortion. He was able to change his mind because, he said, modifications to the bill precluded any federal money for abortion.

Coincidentally(?)
, Nebraska received a special dispensation ensuring Nebraska Medicare payments would be paid by taxpayers in the other 49 states. Nelson says this largesse was forced upon him by the Majority Leader.

We know, then, that Senator Nelson got special treatment for Nebraska - whether he asked for it or not. Did he also achieve his core principle: No mandatory federal funding for abortion?

Apparently not, given the meaning of the words "fungible" and "funding". Emphasis mine.
The changes allow the federal government to subsidize private insurance plans that cover abortion on demand, to oversee multi-state plans that cover elective abortions, and to empower federal officials to mandate that private health plans cover abortions even if they do not accept subsidized enrollees.

"The abortion-related language violates the principles of the Hyde Amendment by requiring the federal government to pay premiums for private health plans that will cover any or all abortions," NRLC indicated. "The federal subsidies would be subject to a convoluted bookkeeping requirement, different in detail but similar in kind to the Capps-Waxman accounting scheme that the House of Representatives rejected."

Right to Life explained that the manager's amendment requires all enrollees in an abortion-covering plan to make a separate payment into an account that will pay for abortions, but the amendment also contains language [Section 1303 (b)(3)(A) and (b)(3)(B)] that is apparently intended to prevent or discourage any insurer from explaining the use of the surcharge. It says there is nothing in the language to suggest that payment of the abortion charge is optional for any enrollee.
Let's repeat: "...[T]here is nothing in the language to suggest that payment of the abortion charge is optional for any enrollee." There's also nothing to prevent bureaucrats from deciding abortion coverage is a right. There's nothing there, period.

Presently Mr. Nelson is polling at 30% vs opponents who have not even declared. He won with 64% in 2006. His constituents can recognize a bribe when they see one, and they do not like it.

Well, it is no surprise they don't like it. Nelson embarrassed Nebraskans by forcing taxpayers in 49 other states to pay for Nebraska's Medicare, and he agreed the taxpayers of all 50 states will pay for abortion.

Sunday, January 03, 2010

Catastrophic Anthopogenic Global Warming Theory

"...it's not catastrophic, it's not anthropogenic, it's not global and it's not warming..."

And, it isn't even a theory. In Theory, It Ought to Be a Theory, But...

Furthermore, it's shaky as a hypothesis: No Rise of Airborne Fraction of Carbon Dioxide in Past 150 Years, New Research Finds
Most of the carbon dioxide emitted by human activity does not remain in the atmosphere, but is instead absorbed by the oceans and terrestrial ecosystems. In fact, only about 45 percent of emitted carbon dioxide stays in the atmosphere.

However, some studies have suggested that the ability of oceans and plants to absorb carbon dioxide recently may have begun to decline and that the airborne fraction of anthropogenic carbon dioxide emissions is therefore beginning to increase.

Many climate models also assume that the airborne fraction will increase. Because understanding of the airborne fraction of carbon dioxide is important for predicting future climate change, it is essential to have accurate knowledge of whether that fraction is changing or will change as emissions increase.

To assess whether the airborne fraction is indeed increasing, Wolfgang Knorr of the Department of Earth Sciences at the University of Bristol reanalyzed available atmospheric carbon dioxide and emissions data since 1850 and considers the uncertainties in the data.

In contradiction to some recent studies, he finds that the airborne fraction of carbon dioxide has not increased either during the past 150 years or during the most recent five decades.

The research is published in Geophysical Research Letters.
The significance of this is not that CO2 is not being produced in larger quantities since industrialization. The question is not whether global carbon sinks are approaching saturation. The point is that the models predicting catastrophic AGW, and the assertion we are already experiencing it depend absolutely on increases in the fraction of atmospheric CO2. If there isn't significant increase in atmospheric CO2, then the models are even more junk than Climategate suggests.

Saturday, January 02, 2010

What would an honest man have done?

Senator Ben Nelson (Kleptocrat, Nebraska) is claiming that Majority Leader Harry Reid inserted the "Cornhusker Kickback" into the Health Care "reform" bill and that he, Senator Nelson, did not ask for it. To further refute claims of seeking special privilege for Nebraska, Senator Nelson now says it is merely a "marker" which will be used in the future to expand this specific raid on taxpayers to cover all 50 states.

Senator Nelson is saying he didn't ask to be bribed, but simply took it when it was offered. Therefore, it isn't a bribe. And besides, you'll get yours eventually.

A number of questions arise:

1- Under the expansion to all states theory, why was Nebraska picked as the camel's nose instead of, say, Michigan?

2- If expanding this particular bribe is part of a long term plot which will dramatically increase health care cost, why did he not insist the CBO produce a new estimate?

3- Without that estimate, how could he claim in his Holiday Bowl television ad that the bill would reduce the deficit?

4- What prevented Senator Nelson from refusing to accept the bribe, or from revealing the implications?

5- Is he so stupid that he thinks no one would ask these questions?

Senator Nelson wants us to believe that accepting a bribe is excused by the fact that it was offered. He then offers the rest of us a chance to share in being bribed with our own money.

Great damage control Ben, now I feel much better about your morals and integrity.