Saturday, July 30, 2011

Krauthammer Says It Better Than I Can

I've been taking some heat for my position that the Tea Partiers should grow up and keep their eyes on the prize - which is the defeat of Obama and the Democrats in 2012 and the winning of a mandate to effect real change in the direction of the country.

Tea Partiers (of which I was one) should realize three things: 1. liberals control the media, 2. most people do not follow political events closely, and 3. about one-half of the population now gets direct benefits from the federal government.

They should also remember that it was George Bush (whom I supported on most issues) who gave us Medicare Part D and a tax system that collects NO income tax from more than 40% of working people.

The Debt-Ceiling Divide

Charles Krauthammer July 28, 2011 NATIONAL REVIEW ONLINE

We’re only at the midpoint of the battle to change the ideological course of the country.

W e’re in the midst of a great four-year national debate on the size and reach of government, the future of the welfare state, indeed, the nature of the social contract between citizen and state. The distinctive visions of the two parties — social-democratic versus limited-government — have underlain every debate on every issue since Barack Obama’s inauguration: the stimulus, the auto bailouts, health-care reform, financial regulation, deficit spending. Everything. The debt ceiling is but the latest focus of this fundamental divide.

The sausage-making may be unsightly, but the problem is not that Washington is broken, that ridiculous, ubiquitous cliché. The problem is that these two visions are in competition, and the definitive popular verdict has not yet been rendered.

We’re only at the midpoint. Obama won a great victory in 2008 that he took as a mandate to transform America toward European-style social democracy. The subsequent counterrevolution delivered to that project a staggering rebuke in November 2010.

Under our incremental system, however, a rebuke delivered is not a mandate conferred. That awaits definitive resolution, the rubber match of November 2012.

I have every sympathy with the conservative counterrevolutionaries. Their containment of the Obama experiment has been remarkable. But reversal — rollback, in Cold War parlance — is simply not achievable until conservatives receive a mandate to govern from the White House.

Lincoln is reputed to have said: I hope to have God on my side, but I must have Kentucky. I don’t know whether conservatives have God on their side (I keep getting sent to His voicemail), but I do know that they don’t have Kentucky — they don’t have the Senate, they don’t have the White House. And under our constitutional system, you cannot govern from one house alone. Today’s resurgent conservatism, with its fidelity to constitutionalism, should be particularly attuned to this constraint, imposed as it is by a system of deliberately separated — and mutually limiting — powers.

Given this reality, trying to force the issue — trying to turn a blocking minority into a governing authority — is not just counter-constitutional in spirit but self-destructive in practice.

Consider the Boehner plan for debt reduction. The Heritage Foundation’s advocacy arm calls it “regrettably insufficient.” Of course it is. That’s what happens when you control only half a branch. But the plan’s achievements are significant. It is all cuts, no taxes. It establishes the precedent that debt-ceiling increases must be accompanied by equal spending cuts. And it provides half a year to both negotiate more fundamental reform (tax and entitlement) and keep the issue of debt reduction constantly in the public eye.

I am somewhat biased about the Boehner plan because for weeks I’ve been arguing (in this column and elsewhere) for precisely such a solution: a two-stage debt-ceiling hike consisting of a half-year extension with dollar-for-dollar spending cuts, followed by intensive negotiations on entitlement and tax reform. It’s clean. It’s understandable. It’s veto-proof. (Obama won’t dare.) The Republican House should have passed it weeks ago.

After all, what is the alternative? The Reid plan with its purported $2 trillion of debt reduction? More than half of that comes from not continuing surge-level spending in Iraq and Afghanistan for the next ten years. Ten years? We’re out of Iraq in 150 days. It’s all a preposterous “saving” from an entirely fictional expenditure.

The Congressional Budget Office has found that Harry Reid’s other discretionary savings were overestimated by $400 billion. Not to worry, I am told. Reid has completely plugged that gap. There will be no invasion of Canada next year, no bicentennial this-time-we-really-mean-it 1812 do-over. Huge savings. Huge.

The Obama plan? There is no Obama plan. And the McConnell plan, a final resort that punts the debt issue to Election Day, would likely yield no cuts at all.

Obama faces two massive problems — jobs and debt. They’re both the result of his spectacularly failed Keynesian gamble: massive spending that left us a stagnant economy with high and chronic unemployment — and a staggering debt burden. Obama is desperate to share ownership of this failure. Economic dislocation from a debt-ceiling crisis precisely serves that purpose — if the Republicans play along. The perfect out: Those crazy tea partiers ruined the recovery!

Why would any conservative collaborate with that ploy? November 2012 constitutes the new conservatism’s one chance to restructure government and change the ideological course of the country. Why risk forfeiting that outcome by offering to share ownership of Obama’s wreckage?


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Wednesday, July 27, 2011

My Fellow Tea Partiers Should Grow Up

Although the House went solidly Republican last fall, Democrats still control the Senate, the Presidency and the media. Unless you control all three institutions of government, you do not yet have a mandate to make sweeping changes, and the way things are going on the debt-limit battle, we will lose the election in 2012. A government shutdown will be blamed on Republicans.

It is a strategic mistake to press for major changes in Social Security and Medicare at this time and give the Democrats a major issue on which to campaign. It is also a major mistake for Tea Partiers to undermine Speaker Boehner at this time. Obama still holds most of the cards. My friends are throwing away the baby with the bath water by letting Obama off the hook and destroying all hopes of accomplishing the most important thing - the defeat of Barack Obama in 2012. Without the mess that Tea Partiers have created, we had a great chance to win all three institutions and a mandate. Now it is about gone. I was one of the original Tea Partiers in April, 2009; now I say, "Thanks a lot, Tea Partiers".

So Long, Speaker Boehner?

With tea partiers reluctant to negotiate, he has only bad choices as the default deadline looms.

By David Morris July 26, 2011 Kiplinger

House Speaker John Boehner is stuck between the tea party and a hard place. No matter what happens in the debt ceiling debate, it shouldn’t surprise anyone if the Ohio Republican is the top dog in the House for just one term.

On the surface, the Ohio Republican seems perfectly suited for the role of negotiator. You can’t grow up as one of 12 siblings in a house with just two bedrooms and one bathroom without learning something about the art of compromise.

But Boehner is in a bind, knowing that the U.S. debt ceiling has to be raised soon, but caught between tea party Republicans who won’t give an inch and a president and Senate Democrats who won’t roll over and play dead.

It’s a lose-lose mess for Boehner. If he throws the Democrats a bone, perhaps agreeing to save money by tightening some tax loopholes, he risks not getting enough support from his own party to push a debt bill through the House. But if he tries to appease the tea party wing of the GOP, the bill won’t get enough votes to clear the Senate. Either outcome threatens to rattle the already shaky U.S. economy.

A third option -- kicking the can down the road -- isn’t likely to make those who lend money to the U.S. by buying Treasuries more inclined to keep buying without upping the risk premium. They’ll demand higher interest rates, which will both cost the government billions of extra dollars at a time when it can least afford it and increase borrowing costs across the board for consumers, homeowners and businesses. Moreover, the prospect of another big political standoff over the debt ceiling in the middle of next year’s presidential race is unappetizing, at best, and potentially catastrophic, at worst. That’s where things seem to be headed, though.

Congress and President Obama are on the verge of missing the best chance in a generation to get a handle on the debt and deficit, and to tackle changes to the Social Security and Medicare systems, which will only get shakier financially as more baby boomers stop paying in and start taking out benefits. Boehner and Obama seemed to be moving in the direction of such a megadeal -- combining big spending cuts and entitlement reform with additional revenues. But a relative handful of GOP lawmakers, mostly first-termers, decided that approach wasn’t their cup of tea.

Here’s the problem: Tea partyers in Congress don’t have enough votes to pass anything, but they can stop nearly everything, at least until fellow Republicans stand up to them and explain the gravity of the situation. So far that hasn’t happened. Getting control of the country’s debt and eliminating wasteful spending is a laudable goal, but allowing one part of one party that controls only one piece of the American government to dictate policy is unworkable.

That brings us back to Boehner. At some point -- soon -- he has to decide whether doing the tea party’s bidding is the best course for his party, not to mention for the nation. Either way, the decision may be personally painful. Tick off the tea party, and Boehner is likely to see House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-VA) take over as speaker in 2013. But anger enough voters, and Boehner could see Democrats win back the House and Obama claim a second term in the White House.

What’s the speaker to do? It’s not too late to strike a deal with the president.

Boehner could give a little ground on tax revenues but insist that the president put forth his plan to tighten Medicare and Social Security benefits and hope that Obama takes a political hit for that. Then the speaker could hammer away at the high unemployment rate and the sluggish economy and let voters decide which candidates and which party they trust to move the country forward.

It’s a risky strategy, for sure, and there’s no guarantee of success. But it would give Boehner at least a fighting chance to remain relevant instead of retired.

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Saturday, July 23, 2011

Understanding Social Security and Medicare

The Social Security fund and the Medicare fund are set up in similar ways: taxes are collected from employers and employees and used to pay current benefits. Medicare is somewhat more complex in that recipients pay premiums to help pay for benefits. For most of the life of the funds, tax receipts have exceeded benefits paid, and the excess moneys went into trust funds, which bought (invested in) special US Treasury bonds. These bonds are non-negotiable; that is, they can only be redeemed by the US government. The trust funds are to be a backup in years when taxes collected are less than benefits paid.

To redeem the bonds, the federal government might use general receipts from taxes, issue ordinary US bonds (borrow more money), or print money causing hyper-inflation.

In 2010, Social Security benefits paid exceeded Social Security taxes collected, and the trust fund was required to make up the difference. Current official projections indicate that the trust fund will be used up by 2036, and benefits will have to be sharply reduced.

In 2011 Medicare benefits paid exceeded Medicare taxes collected, and the trust fund was required to make up the difference. Current official projections indicate that the trust fund will be used up by 2024, and benefits will have to be sharply reduced.

The combined deficit, on a monthly basis, is now running about $20 billion a month, and it is feared by many economists that the current economic stagnation, combined with increasing retirements, will actually use up both funds within 10 years

To do your own research, a good place to start is
“Status of the Social Security and Medicare Programs”


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Friday, July 22, 2011

They Get It, But Pretend Not To and Lie, Lie, Lie

If I live to be a hundred I will never understand how Americans can not see through the constant lies of the Democrats. No Republican has proposed cuts in Social Security or Medicare benefits for any current recipient, and the changes proposed would not take effect for many years. Yet, we are watching TV commercials and Democrat politicians (including the President) telling seniors on SSI and/or on Medicare that Republicans want to cut their benefits!

What Republicans want to do is save these programs from bankruptcy so our children and grandchildren will have a reasonable safety net. It is not Republicans who are claiming that bankruptcy is on the horizon for these programs – it is the neutral CBO, and the end is coming in as soon as 10 years.

Out of the Way, Please, Mr. President

The Gang of Six puts forward some ideas worth pursuing.

By PEGGY NOONAN July 22, 2011 Wall St Journal (Excerpt)

It's good, it represents progress, build from it. That would be a helpful approach to the Gang of Six proposal on the debt. Don't deep-six it because it's flawed. Flawless isn't going to happen. There will be a big election in 2012. A lot can be settled then, and after.

The Gang of Six—three Democrats and three Republicans in the Senate—this week put forward a plan aimed at reducing the national debt by almost $4 trillion over the next 10 years. It includes $500 billion in immediate cuts, and repeals a costly provision of ObamaCare. The plan would lower the top individual tax rate to 29%, push corporate tax rates down to 29% from 35%, and abolish the Alternative Minimum tax. On long-term spending the plan includes a legislative supermajority and sequester feature. In the words of a senator involved in the bargaining, "For the first time, we have some real teeth" in spending controls.

This is all pretty good. It moves the ball forward in the right ways.

As for the flaws: A lot is left up to committees and future action. A lot is left vague. But a critic of the plan, the Cato Institute's Dan Mitchell, highlighted with justice one of its central advantages: It "is not fueled by class-warfare resentment." These days that always comes as a surprise and a relief. And it might have come at a cost to the Democrats in the bargaining sessions.

The primary good of the plan is that it represents the work of three serious liberals and three serious conservatives who together are moving in the right direction, not the wrong one. They admit the spending crisis is a crisis; they appear to admit that we cannot, at least now, tax our way out of it. This seems small but isn't. Agreement on these essentials is an antidote to feelings of widespread public hopelessness: "Washington can't do anything." That hopelessness damages us more than we know, both at home and in the world. We have to look competent. We have to look like we can reform ourselves. The other day there was an apparently incorrect report that the Republicans and the president had neared a debt ceiling deal. The markets immediately jumped. Everyone wants Washington to work.

People hunger for it.

The plan has already garnered a lot of opposition, much of it fair, but to quickly push it aside would be a real missed opportunity. Those who critique the plan can help it. Its cuts in entitlements and its attempts to reform them are unclear and appear insufficient. If the Senate passed a final proposal along Gang of Six lines, House Republicans would have to make the bill more concrete, more reliable in its mechanisms. And they'd probably have to make deeper cuts. Overshadowing all negotiations is the persistent threat of a credit downgrade. The senator at the bargaining table said that if a final bill doesn't contain "at least $4 trillion in cuts," we will get a downgrade, which would carry costs greater than the cuts in the Gang of Six plan.

Attempts to find a final compromise are delicate, with a lot of moving pieces. But the Gang of Six proposal is cause for encouragement. It could not be turned into specific legislation quickly. Gang of Six member Kent Conrad said Thursday morning it could take six months to get it all done and through the appropriate committees. But President Obama signaled this week, for the first time, that he might back a temporary debt ceiling increase to allow work to continue.

That's good. But a note on his efforts in the drama. It is time for the president to get out of the way.

For the longest time he wouldn't engage, and now he's engaged. For the longest time he didn't care about spending, and now he cares about spending. Good, both in terms of policy and for him. But his decision to become engaged has become a decision to dominate, to have his face in front of the television with his news conferences, pronouncements, and what his communications people are probably calling his "ownership" of any final agreement. He's trying to come across as the boss, the indispensable man, the leader. And, of course, the reasonable one.

That's all very nice and part of Political Positioning 101, but at this point it's not helping. He's becoming box-office poison. His numbers are falling. The RealClearPolitics composite job approval poll rating has him down six points since June 2, when the debt ceiling crisis began. That fall, from 52% to 46%, exactly tracks his heightened media presence and his increased attempts to be seen as dominant. Public Policy Polling, a Democratic firm, said that if he ran for president today he'd lose, that his job numbers are "worse than they appear," and that he continues to have real trouble with undecided voters.

And if you've watched him lately, you know why. When he speaks on the debt negotiations, he is not only extremely boring, with airy and bromidic language—really they are soul-killing, his talking points—but he never seems to be playing it straight. He always seems to be finagling, playing the angles in some higher game that only he gets. In 2½ years, he has reached the point that took George W. Bush five years to reach: People aren't listening anymore.” Wall St Journal

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Friday, July 15, 2011

Negotiating with Lunatics

Unfortunately, even some of my wisest, conservative friends have fallen for the idea that Medicare and Social Security don't need to be changed because enough cuts can be made in other programs. The real truth is twofold: 1. Our children and grandchildren will have no Medicare or Social Security because both programs will have gone bankrupt, and 2. The proposals for changes by Paul Ryan and other Republicans don't affect anyone now benefitting from these programs.

We need to make some major changes in all levels of government and in most programs to reverse the direction our country has taken for many years, or we will end up like Greece, Ireland and other European countries now on the edge of disaster.

Negotiating with Lunatics

By Carol Peracchio July 15, 2011 American Thinker

One of the benefits of having been a nurse for over thirty years is that people will occasionally allow me to be brutally honest. For example, I can get away with telling an acquaintance, "God did not create gastric reflux medication just so you can eat an entire pizza and then go lie on the couch like a beached whale."

Until recently, I was willing to believe that President Obama and his party were merely way-out-leftists, even Marxists. But after listening to their response to last week's horrific economic news, I can only conclude that today's Democratic Party has lost its collective mind. In this nurse's expert opinion, Obama and the Democrats are crazy.

By "crazy," I mean looney, batty, daft, bonkers, and nutty as a fruitcake, to put it in medical terms.

On Friday, we learned that the recovering American economy added a piddling 18,000 jobs in June and that the unemployment rate rose to 9.2%. The underemployment rate jumped to 16.2%. Americans based in reality were not surprised. Contrary to the reactions of professional economists, these numbers were hardly "unexpected" to us.

After all, chances are that we are unemployed or underemployed, or else we love someone who is one or the other.

But the economic picture is very different on Planet Democrat. In his comments last Friday after receiving the dismal jobs report, President Obama actually suggested :
Right now, there are over a million construction workers out of work after the housing boom went bust, just as a lot of America needs rebuilding. We connect the two by investing in rebuilding our roads and our bridges and our railways and our infrastructure. And we could put back to work right now some of those construction workers that lost their jobs when the housing market went bust.

That statement is indicative of a person suffering from delusions and a lack of short-term memory. After a trillion dollars in stimulus spending a mere year and a half ago that didn't work, President Obama suggests... more stimulus!

Today in Washington, Republicans are attempting to negotiate with the president and the Democrats on raising the debt ceiling. Why bother? Any sane adult will tell them: it is impossible to negotiate with a crazy person . And it's obvious to every rational American that today's leading Democrats are crazy.

Only a crazy person would insist that we raise taxes in a recession.

Only a crazy person would tell us that Social Security is just fine.

Only a crazy person believes that people won't vote based on the unemployment rate.

Occasionally in my work in emergency and intensive care nursing, I would be assigned a patient who was delusional in addition to whatever physical trauma or disease brought him to the hospital. These patients are challenging, to say the least. I quickly learned that if the two of us were going to make it through the shift, there were some very important ground rules.

First, the nurse must accept that the patient is delusional, and therefore a lot of the things he "knows" are not based in reality and therefore not true . Asking a delusional patient who sees a giant pink bunny in the corner what medications he takes is not the best way to gather information. Asking a Democrat who believes that the rich are not paying their fair share to come up with a budget that makes sense is ludicrous.

Second, it is impossible to compromise with a person who is not in touch with reality. Hospital staff can't realistically make a discharge plan with a patient who believes she lives in Buckingham Palace. Likewise, Republicans can't compromise with any delusional Democrat who, for example, actually believes that the 14 th amendment gives the president the authority to raise the debt ceiling all by himself.

Third, it's important to avoid validating the patient's delusions by arguing about them. In nursing school, we were taught to say, "I understand that the penguin at the foot of the bed is very real to you. But I don't see it." Then simply get on with your job. Republicans need to stop wasting their breath trying to prove to crazy liberals that Medicare is going broke. Republicans will never win that argument, because the two sides are working from different solar systems.

Republicans work from reality. Liberals live on Planet Democrat.

I've always been fascinated by how differently we treat crazy people who happen to be rich and/or powerful as opposed to the run-of the-mill nut found in everybody's family or workplace. Examples abound, from Howard Hughes to Michael Jackson to Charlie Sheen. Famous lunatics are surrounded by people whose livelihood depends on the crazy person. These sycophants are thus charged with keeping the famous person's more outrageous statements and antics under wraps. Should the crazy famous person actually find his way to a microphone or camera, the sycophants' responsibility is to spin the incoherency of the crazy person into something resembling rationality.

Crazy Democrats have sycophants. They are known as the mainstream media. With Obama's election, the press fully embraced its role of publicist to the looney left. The president's statements are tightly scripted and confined to his teleprompter, even when speaking at a grade school . Official business is conducted out of sight. (Note how all the debt negotiations with President Obama are being held in secret.) Should a crazy Democrat's lunacy actually be disseminated unfiltered, the press stand at the ready to explain, obfuscate, and, if all else fails, attack the messenger.

So as I observe the ongoing negotiations on raising the debt ceiling, I have to express great admiration for Speaker of the House John Boehner. I understand that many conservatives are disappointed in the speaker, wishing that he could bring the president and the Democrats to our side of the table. But how can Boehner do that when the crazy Democrats are at a fictional table on another planet?

No, John Boehner appears to be doing what a good nurse would do: get to the end of shift with as little damage as possible. In the speaker's case, that means no tax increases. Here's hoping he's able to stand firm. The bad news is that the shift isn't over until November 2012.

Carol Peracchio is a registered nurse.

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Sunday, July 10, 2011

NASA and Obama’s Vision for America

The Shuttle program has ended, as everyone knew it would at some point, but the cancellation of Constellation and other NASA programs should shock all Americans who believe in American exceptionalism. Our president, who went around the world apologizing for America, is succeeding in his plan to cut America down to size. We will no longer be first in space, if Obama has his way, and soon we will be just another weakened shell of a former colonial power – like France, Spain and Great Britain.

The hatred that Obama feels for those of us of white, European stock is being played out in many ways, and the destruction of NASA is only one of them. As Dinesh D’Souza explained in his perceptive book, “The Roots of Obama’s Rage”, Obama’s main inheritance from his parents and his early surroundings was a hatred of colonialism and a determination to make them (us) pay.

In Obama’s world at the time, the moon landing wasn’t seen as a giant leap for mankind, it was seen as Americans now owning the moon, and another humiliation for the third world. No wonder that he 1. “wants to blunt NASA’s space program, to divert it from being a symbol of American greatness to a more modest operation that builds ties with Muslims and other peoples”.

2. “Time and money issues aside, accusing NASA of a lack of innovation is ludicrous. According to NASA Scientific and Technical Information , NASA has filed over 6,300 patents with the U.S. government. So much new technology has come from NASA that one can hardly look around without seeing devices and techniques that originated from the space program -- exercise machines, satellite radio, scratch-resistant lenses, memory foam, shoe insoles, water filtering systems, cordless tools, home security systems, and flat-panel televisions, to name just a few. In addition to reducing our national energy consumption by such innovations as Radiant Barrier , it has been estimated that for every dollar the U.S. government has given NASA for space R&D, seven dollars are returned in the form of corporate and personal income taxes from increased jobs and economic growth. One NASA innovation, "safety grooving" in concrete for highways and airport landing strips, was so successful that it has been estimated to have reduced highway accidents by 85%, as well as created an entire industry, as shown by the International Grooving and Grinding Association .”

The selective modesty of Barack Obama

By Charles Krauthammer July 9, 2010 Washington Post (Excerpt)

“Remember NASA? It once represented to the world the apogee of American scientific and technological achievement. Here is President Obama's vision of NASA's mission, as explained by administrator Charles Bolden :
"One was he wanted me to help re-inspire children to want to get into science and math; he wanted me to expand our international relationships; and third and perhaps foremost, he wanted me to find a way to reach out to the Muslim world and engage much more with dominantly Muslim nations to help them feel good about their historic contribution to science and math and engineering."

Apart from the psychobabble -- farcically turning a space-faring enterprise into a self-esteem enhancer -- what's the sentiment behind this charge? Sure America has put a man on the moon, led the information revolution, won more Nobel Prizes than any other nation by far -- but, on the other hand, a thousand years ago al-Khwarizmi gave us algebra.

Bolden seems quite intent on driving home this message of achievement equivalence -- lauding, for example, Russia's contribution to the space station. Russia? In the 1990s, the Russian space program fell apart, leaving the United States to pick up the slack and the tab for the missing Russian contributions to get the space station built.

For good measure, Bolden added that the United States cannot get to Mars without international assistance. Beside the fact that this is not true, contrast this with the elan and self-confidence of President John Kennedy's 1961 pledge that America would land on the moon within the decade .

There was no finer expression of belief in American exceptionalism than Kennedy's. Obama has a different take. As he said last year in France , "I believe in American exceptionalism, just as I suspect that the Brits believe in British exceptionalism and the Greeks believe in Greek exceptionalism." Which of course means: If we're all exceptional, no one is.

Take human rights. After Obama's April meeting with the president of Kazakhstan, Mike McFaul of the National Security Council reported that Obama actually explained to the leader of that thuggish kleptocracy that we, too, are working on perfecting our own democracy.

Nor is this the only example of an implied moral equivalence that diminishes and devalues America. Assistant Secretary of State Michael Posner reported that in discussions with China about human rights , the U.S. side brought up Arizona's immigration law -- "early and often." As if there is the remotest connection between that and the persecution of dissidents, jailing of opponents and suppression of religion routinely practiced by the Chinese dictatorship.

Nothing new here. In his major addresses, Obama's modesty about his own country has been repeatedly on display as, in one venue after another, he has gratuitously confessed America's alleged failing -- from disrespecting foreigners to having lost its way morally after 9/11.” Washington Post

Note 1. "The Roots of Obama's Rage"
Note 2. American Thinker

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Thursday, July 07, 2011

Why Global Cooling Proves Global Warming

There was an excellent article reproduced in the Providence Journal today (Science, blinded) about how scientists have the same personality flaws as the rest of us, and giving, as an example, the personal bias the great scientist, Stephen Gould, introduced into some of his major findings. I point this out because of the report below, which explains why climate-change alarmists hang onto the myth of global warming even in the face of no warming since at least 1998.

There has been no global warming since 1998

By James Delingpole July 6th, 2011 Telegraph (Excerpt)

"The headline of this post really shouldn’t be controversial. It chimes perfectly with what Kevin “null hypothesis” Trenberth wrote in that notorious 2009 Climategate email to Michael Mann:

The fact is that we can’t account for the lack of warming at the moment and it is a travesty that we can’t.

And it’s what Phil Jones admitted in a BBC interview when he said that there had been no “statistically significant” warming since 1995.

Why then am I mentioning it now? W-e-l-l, because just as ze war is to the Germans, Chappaquiddick is to the Kennedy family and that Portland masseuse incident to Al Gore, so the recent lack of warming is to the, er, Warmists. They hate it. It’s an affront to everything they believe in. Damn it, if the world isn’t warming with the alacrity they’d prefer, how are they going to keep the funding gravy train going, and how are they going to persuade an increasingly sceptical populace that the “science” is “settled”, the debate over and the time for action is now? That’s why they can’t be reminded of the truth often enough. It’s like salting the slugs that are ruining your garden: necessary, but also kind of fun too.

Consider their latest desperate effort in fudge, denial, and duplicity. It concerns a new report which – if you believe the Guardian and Michael Mann – confirms that man-made global warming is even more man-made and more happening and more dangerous than at any time ever.

Michael E Mann, at Pennsylvania State University and not part of the research team, said the study was “a very solid, careful statistical analysis” which reinforces research showing “there is a clear impact of human activity on ongoing warming of our climate”. It demonstrated, Mann said, that “the claim that ‘global warming has stopped’ is simply false.”

Actually the paper Reconciling anthropogenic climate change with observed temperature 1998-2008 [PDF] by a team led by Robert Kaufmann at the Department of Geography at Boston University demonstrates no such thing. What it shows – yet again and in excelsis – is the chutzpah and threadbare desperation of the “scientists” involved in the Great Global Warming Boondoggle. Rather than admit that their Ponzi scheme is dead in the water, they try to dazzle us with new imaginative theories which prove that, even though they’re wrong they are in fact right.

No global warming since 1998? Simple. All you’ve got to do – as Kaufmann et al have done – is apply the Even Though We’re Wrong We’re Right Panacea Get-Out Formula. In this instance the ETWWWRPGOF (as it’s snappily known) involves Blaming The Chinese. Yep, it turns out all that pollution that Chinese are pumping into the air thanks to their unhealthy obsession with economic growth and giving better lives to their children is actually counteracting the effects of Man Made Global Warming.

“Results indicate that net anthropogenic forcing rises slower than previous decades because the cooling effects of sulfur emissions grow in tandem with the warming effects greenhouse gas concentrations. This slow-down, along with declining solar insolation and a change from El Nino to La Nina conditions, enables the model to simulate the lack of warming after 1998,” the team explains.

In other words Man Made Global Cooling is cancelling out Man Made Global Warming.

Judith Curry is unimpressed:
Their argument is totally unconvincing to me. However, the link between flat/cooling global temperature and increased coal burning in China is certainly an interesting argument from a political perspective. The scientific motivation for this article seems to be that that scientists understand the evolution of global temperature forcing and that the answer is forced variability (not natural internal variability), and this explanation of the recent lack of warming supports a similar argument for the cooling between 1940 and 1970. The political consequence of this article seems to be that the simplest solution to global warming is for the Chinese to burn more coal, which they intend to do anyways." Telegraph

This article goes on to give many more examples in the same vein: Warmists can explain anything away, if not to us, than to themselves.


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Sunday, July 03, 2011

The president's horrifying mistake

Calling this a 'senior moment' is also an insult to me and to the millions of seniors like me who occasionally have to reach for the word they are looking for. This Obama blunder shows carelessness, lack of attention and the taking of the occasion too lightly. When an NHL goalie does this, he is pulled.

The president's horrifying mistake

Sherman Frederick Jul. 3, 2011

If George W. Bush or Ronald Reagan had made the kind of mistake President Barack Obama made 10 days ago, the full weight of the condescending liberal class, led by the so-called "mainstream media," would have mercilessly rained criticism upon their heads.

"Senile," they would have cried. "Stupid," the talking heads would shout.

But because it was Obama, the liberal mob hardly managed a peep.

In case you missed it (which you more than likely did), here's what happened:
Our commander in chief, in full campaign mode, stopped by Fort Drum in upstate New York to address the troops from the 10th Mountain Division, which had recently completed deployments to Iraq and Afghanistan.

Obama said: "First time I saw 10th Mountain Division, you guys were in southern Iraq. When I went back to visit Afghanistan, you guys were the first ones there. I had the great honor of seeing some of you because a comrade of yours, Jared Monti, was the first person who I was able to award the Medal of Honor to who actually came back and wasn't receiving it posthumously."

The soldiers of the 10th Mountain Division listened in stunned obedience.

It was actually Staff Sgt. Sal Giunta of the 173rd Airborne who last year became the first living recipient of the Medal of Honor to have fought in Afghanistan, and the first living recipient since the Vietnam War. Sgt. 1st Class Jared Monti of the 10th Mountain Division was killed in action in Afghanistan in 2006 and awarded the Medal of Honor posthumously in 2009 by President Obama.

A reader of the military blog "Blackfive" put a finger on the magnitude of the mistake:
"How does the commander in chief mix these heroes up? He put that medal around Giunta's neck and he stood with Monti's parents as they grieved. These fallen heroes leave such a great legacy, and we should know all their names."

There's no particular value in speculating as to why America didn't hear more about this mistake. Some might say it had something to do with the degree of care the general media has for the military -- one dead soldier's story looks like another dead soldier's story. Others might point out the "plantation mentality" the liberal elite demonstrate for minorities ("There, there, there, Mr. President, how can anyone expect a disadvantaged American such as yourself to keep these names straight?")

The point we ought to contemplate this Independence Day weekend is that our president committed an error such as this and it barely touched the American consciousness. Had the president mixed up NBA stars Steve Nash and Carmelo Anthony, can you imagine the media attention?

Americans can by and large name the No. 1 draft pick of their favorite NFL team, but they can't name one distinguished soldier from their home state.

President Obama apologized to the family of Jared Monti for the mistake, once he was informed of it. The White House has yet to say whether it was the mistake of a speech writer somewhere or whether the president was winging it off script. They only say the president "misspoke."

The Los Angeles Times illustrates the "there, there, there" philosophy of most big newspapers to this mistake:
"President Obama, at recent campaign stops, has pointed out that his hair is now getting gray, a sign of how he has aged and the toll taken by his job. But on Thursday, the president had a different kind of senior moment."

A "senior moment" hardly describes it. How about an outrageously embarrassing moment? Or, a horrifying mistake considering his audience was Fort Drum

President Obama ended his ill-fated pep talk to the soldiers of the 10th Mountain Division by concluding, "your commander in chief has your back."

If the president does, indeed, have the backs of our soldiers (and if we as a country do as well), then the least we can do is get the names of our heroes right.


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