Wednesday, December 30, 2009
Rainbows always occur near sunrise or sunset, because the Sun has to be low. I have seen a spectacular circular rainbow while driving across the Bridge of the Gods in the Columbia River Gorge. The height of the bridge allowed the circle of the rainbow to continue all the way around But I photographed this rainbow today after 10:30, a day when sunrise was just before 8 am. I don't think this is any sort of special atmospheric conditions; must be the limit of Sun height. Click to see the photo full-size.
Pray for Rush. This reports he was in serious condition when he went to the hospital. KITV Honolulu: Conservative radio talk host Rush Limbaugh was rushed to a Honolulu hospital on Wednesday afternoon with chest pains, sources told KITV. Paramedics responded to the call at 2:41 p.m. at the Kahala Hotel and Resort. Limbaugh suffered from chest pains, sources said. Paramedics treated him and took him to Queen's Medical Center in serious condition. He will not be released on Wednesday night, sources said. He was seen golfing at Waialae Country Club earlier this week. The country club is next to the Kahala Hotel and Resort.
Tuesday, December 29, 2009
How can we get control of our state budget with its huge gap of revenue versus expenses? Expect another multi-billion dollar "stimulus" from The One like last spring? Not! Union state workers will be getting pay increases next year, says The Olympian. Will anything in the budget be cut? Yes, but not where the unions have power. The Tacoma News Tribune says state workers are willing to share the pain, but their leaders won't allow them to. But Christine Gregoire says it's not that the unions are too powerful, but, well ... she won't cross them. The Capitol Report:
Austin Jenkins asked why not look at state workers: They’re the most expensive part of state government. “When you do something that people believe to be illegal, you get sued,” she said, “so, if I unilaterally, in violation of contracts, take some of the actions that you just articulated, I am going to get sued,” she said. He asked if that was a sign that state unions were too powerful. “This is not about power … we have people now that are doing critical work. You want me to let go of state patrol officers? I am not willing,” she said.This law must have a name; it happens every budget cycle: When Gregoire has to save money by cutting something she puts what the public needs most, not at the bottom of the list, but at the top. Here, even more cynically, she accuses the questioner of making the proposal she brought up. Tip: Evergreen Freedom Foundation
Saturday, December 26, 2009
"This bill will strengthen Medicare and extend the life of the program." - President Barack Obama, after the Senate health care bill secured 60 votes. We never believed the claim that ObamaCare would result in reducing the federal deficit because it used a transparent trick: A ten-year horizon was used. During that ten years the tax increases and benefits cuts came early, but the benefit increases (if any) came later. Any ten-year period with all effects will cause a substantial deficit. So it was an illusion. But the problem is worse. Health-care takeover proponents are double counting the savings from cutting my and your future Medicare benefits. To use them both within Medicare and elsewhere in the budget to "reduce the deficit." They say they are saving Medicare. But we can only spend those dollars once. So which is it? Preserving some funding for Medicare to "strengthen Medicare" or funding to offset other expenses and reduce the deficit? Can't be both. The Congressional Budget Office explains. CBO document dated 12/23/2009
The key point is that the savings to the HI trust fund under the PPACA would be received by the government only once, so they cannot be set aside to pay for future Medicare spending and, at the same time, pay for current spending on other parts of the legislation or on other programs. Trust fund accounting shows the magnitude of the savings within the trust fund, and those savings indeed improve the solvency of that fund; however, that accounting ignores the burden that would be faced by the rest of the government later in redeeming the bonds held by the trust fund. Unified budget accounting shows that the majority of the HI trust fund savings would be used to pay for other spending under the PPACA and would not enhance the ability of the government to redeem the bonds credited to the trust fund to pay for future Medicare benefits. To describe the full amount of HI trust fund savings as both improving the government’s ability to pay future Medicare benefits and financing new spending outside of Medicare would essentially double-count a large share of those savings and thus overstate the improvement in the government’s fiscal position.Megan McArdle aka Jane Galt at The Atlantic goes into further detail. And she shows that this double counting was not an isolated incident. It was repeated everywhere including by President Obama quoted above. Senator Sessions says correcting this error would turn the claimed budget surplus into increased deficit of $300 billion. Via: Say Anything Blog and American Spectator.
Thursday, December 24, 2009
Prince William, who is second in line for the thone of England, decided to go for pseudo heroism rather than the real thing. His brother went in the British Army and risked his life in a real war. William decided to prove something by sleeping in a sleeping bag under a cardboard box in the street. Not real smart. He almost got run over by a midnight street sweeper. CNN
Senator Nelson traded his beliefs that we thought were strongly held - against abortion - to help his state of Nebraska with the new burdens of ObamaCare. His governor told him Obama would hurt Nebraska and he acted. Gregoire? Is she back from Copenhagen? Attorney General McKenna is on the job; he is covering his area of responsibility - the law. It is legal/constitutional to put obvious favors for a few states - Mass., Louisiana, Nebraska - into a law? A-G McKenna
“The arrangement that requires Washington state taxpayers, and those around the country, to permanently pay Nebraska’s additional Medicaid costs carries a price tag of untold millions,” McKenna said. “It raises key constitutional questions about whether residents of certain states should receive special privileges, based on the deal-making skills of their senators. I look forward to working with Attorney General Henry McMaster and other colleagues in researching the constitutionality of such a provision.”HT: Orbusmax
Wednesday, December 23, 2009
Harry Reid gets more and more unbelievable. It's not enough to be ahead the game. He is illegally changing the rules. Senator Jim DeMint (R-S.C.) pointed out some rather astounding language in the Senate health care bill during floor remarks tonight. First, he noted that there are a number of changes to Senate rules in the bill--and a 2/3 vote is required to change the rules. He pointed out that the Reid bill declares on page 1020 that the Independent Medicare Advisory Board cannot be repealed by future Congresses: The Weekly Standard quoting Sen. DeMint:
... there's one provision that i found particularly troubling and it's under section c, titled "limitations on changes to this subsection" and i quote -- "it shall not be in order in the senate or the house of representatives to consider any bill, resolution, amendment, or conference report that would repeal or otherwise change this subsection." This is not legislation. it's not law. this is a rule change. it's a pretty big deal. we will be passing a new law and at the same time creating a senate rule that makes it out of order to amend or even repeal the law. I'm not even sure that it's constitutional, but if it is, it most certainly is a senate rule. i don't see why the majority party wouldn't put this in every bill. if you like your law, you most certainly would want it to have force for future senates. I mean, we want to bind future congresses. this goes to the fundamental purpose of senate rules: to prevent a tyrannical majority from trampling the rights of the minority or of future co congresses.His words seem reversed. We don't want to bind future congresses. Binding them allows the tyrannical majority to trample rights. Not allowing the binding allows reversing the kind of overreaching we are now seeing with the 60-vote Democrat margin.
Monday, December 21, 2009
I have always maintained drinking coffee is good for the health. I find about as much evidence supporting as counter evidence. In favor: FuturePundit: Tea And Coffee Cut Type 2 Diabetes Risk: Drinking more coffee (regular or decaffeinated) or tea appears to lower the risk of developing type 2 diabetes, according to an analysis of previous studies reported in the December 14/28 issue of Archives of Internal Medicine, JAMA (1).
Sunday, December 20, 2009
Obama? Fulfill a campaign promise? Get real. Barack Obama - Salon.com:
Every now and then, an insider inadvertently exposes the hideous rationalizations that run the American political grotesquerie. The best known of these statements are memorialized on TV as "gaffes." But the ones that never become famous tend to reveal the ugliest assumptions of all. Case in point is the comment the pharmaceutical industry recently let fly in the Washington Post. The newspaper this week examined how the Obama administration crushed legislation that would have allowed Americans to purchase lower-priced FDA-approved medicines from abroad -- legislation that President Obama promised to support as a presidential candidate; legislation that would have reduced drug profiteering and saved the government and consumers $100 billion. "It's about being a candidate as opposed to being president," said the drug industry's top lobbyist in defense of Obama's flip-flop.In other words "don't expect a politician to fulfill the promises he makes and you are a fool if you expect him to."
We spent 3 or 4 days in Chamonix, France, in 1981 on our way to Tunisia, North Africa. It is spectacular!! Mont Blanc, the highest mountain in Europe (the western part). I previously had been to Grindelwald, Switzerland, which is one of the classics of Europe with the haunting north face of the Eiger and its neighbors. Someone put together a stunning helicopter tour of the mountains above - on both sides of - Chamonix plus passing through the main valley. They did an incredible job. It runs with the Google Earth plug in for web browsers. I don't recall if it requires an installation, but you don't need Google Earth itself. It is very smooth and professional The area of mountains is huge. At helicopter speed this tour takes - actually I haven't finished it yet. One feature doesn't work with my setup. There is a scrolling list of mountain features. You should be able to click on a name and jump there, but it doesn't work for me. But it's great. It really gives a feel for flying over glacier valleys and mountain ridges and peaks, except for lack of sound synced with how hard the engine would be working and gravity, of course. Aigilles de Chamonix
Friday, December 18, 2009
Several governors who have studied the effects of Obama's takeover of health care found that it will hurt their states by forcing unfunded mandates on them. All of those we found statements from. Some of the them say "stop." Others say "fix it" and support this government takeover. Nebraska's Governor Dave Heineman asks his Senator Ben Nelson to oppose it and join the filibuster.
"This bill increases taxes, cuts Medicare and is an unfunded expansion of Medicaid. "In reviewing the current Senate bill, it appears that while the increased state costs for the initial three years of the Medicaid expansion would be covered, the program quickly becomes a substantial unfunded Medicaid mandate."California's Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger wants it fixed, but the problems are large; California can't afford it.
"I will be clear on this particular proposal: if Congress thinks the Medicaid expansion is too expensive for the federal government, it is absolutely unaffordable for states. Proposals in the Senate envision passing on more than $8 billion in new costs to California annually – crowding out other priority or constitutionally required state spending and presenting a false choice for all of us. I cannot and will not support federal health care reform proposals that impose billions of dollars in new costs on California each year. "Arizona's Janice Brewer says that when Congress requires increasing Arizona's AHCCCS (Medicaid) to 150% will be an unsustainable burden even if Congress funds the first five years. Christine Gregoire has some things going on in health care. But no one has found a statement from her on ObamaCare. But of course she has been busy going to Copenhagen. She has her priorities.
Wednesday, December 16, 2009
Michael Medved will be discussing and signing his new book The 5 Big Lies About American Business.
Townhall - 8th Ave & Seneca St. (east side of I-5) - 7:30 PM Thursday - Tickets at the door $5.Michael is the best at communicating our conservative principles. And he willingly engages those who disagree. It will be a very interesting evening. See his website.
Tuesday, December 15, 2009
I went to watch the first landing of the 787. I had long planned to watch the landing because starting in April I was working for Flight Test at Boeing Field. Of course I could take some time from work to watch with the benefit that I could wear my yellow vest and watch from the flight line. No longer being an employee I kept the same plan. I had my doubts around noon when the online information said it would be over a 5-hour flight, therefore landing close to 4 pm. Then close to 1 pm I saw "30 minutes out from Boeing Field on approach from the north." I jumped in my van and drove down. When I got to the north end of Boeing Field there was some traffic confusion and people waiting and watching. I parked and got an espresso at a place where I could see the landing. Then I waited about 10 minutes. Here came a large airplane approaching very low over the Georgetown neighborhood. And someone said "see the little chase plane with it." Sure enough, that was it. Routine, smooth landing at 1:33 pm. 3 hours, 6 minutes.
Senator Akaka of Hawaii has been pushing a bill to establish race-based government in Hawaii - since 1999. In the light of day there is opposition to it, so it has not been approved in past years. But now rumor is he will sneak it into the defense-funding bill this week. Is government based on race constitutional? Not in this country. Big Government The House and Senate are wrapping up work on the last appropriations bill of the year and rumors are swirling that the controversial Native Hawaiian Government Reorganization Act, also known as the “Akaka Bill,” will be included in the Defense Appropriations bill. The defense measure is proving to be controversial, because House and Senate appropriators are using it to carry non related matters like a $1.9 trillion debt limit increase, an extension of unemployment benefits and the Native Hawaiian measure. The Native Hawaiian bill, a long time priority of Senator Daniel Akaka (D-HI), would set up a race based government of “indigenous, native people of Hawaii.” Opponents argue that this bill is unconstitutional and unwise. National Review Online sounded the alarm bells today and sources on Capitol Hill confirmed to Big Government that a version of the Native Hawaiian Bill may end up in the Defense Appropriations bill. According to NROnline:
The Hill rumor is that Democrats plan to attach Akaka to the Department of Defense funding bill before this session ends — basically, sneaking it in at a busy, contentious time of year to avoid full debate.
It took off at about 10:30. I thought it would be delayed because they wanted a ceiling (lowest clouds) of 5,000 feet and had 1500 or maybe 2500. Boeing's live coverage didn't work for me. I was downloading a newer version of Flash Player when I missed the takeoff. But their coverage still doesn't work. FlightBlogger has "live" coverage that has no video of the takeoff, but does have live text comments. Flight Aware has live tracking of the flight. It is aircraft BOE1.
Monday, December 14, 2009
Our street was solid ice this morning, so bad that the police closed it around 7 am. It's far from flat, so it's pretty exciting. The only way to walk is on the grass. The glare in this photo is all ice. The car shown hit his brakes and slid through the flares and spun around. He, or someone, pushed the left flare over to the curb. You see his escape.
Saturday, December 12, 2009
Daily Tech Observers in northern Norway Wednesday morning witnessed a bizarre spiral appear in the sky at around 7:49 a.m. They first saw a blue light soar up from over a mountain to a north. The light then paused in midair and began circling. Before long, like the closing scene from the Japanese horror film Uzumaki, a massive spiral had filled the air. Then came a brilliant beam of green-blue light which shot out of the center and lasted 10 to 12 minutes, before suddenly vanishing. Citizens described the bizarre sighting to be like "like a big fireball that went around, with a great light around it" and "a shooting star that spun around and around". Totto Eriksen, from Tromsø, was walking his daughter Amelie to school when he spotted the strange spectacle. He describes to VG Nett, "It spun and exploded in the sky. We saw it from the Inner Harbor in Tromsø. It was absolutely fantastic. It looked like the moon was coming over the mountain, but then came something completely different" The Norwegian Meteorological Institute was flooding by calls from concerned citizens wonder what a logical explanation of the phenomena might be. Celebrity astronomer Knut Jørgen Røed Ødegaard's early guess later proved prophetic. He postulated, "My first thought was that it was a fireball meteor, but it has lasted far too long. It may have been a missile in Russia, but I can not guarantee that it is the answer." A British engineer named Doug Ellison, an animator and multimedia producer for a medical firm in Leicester, jumped in offering a 3D simulation that similarly suggested the bizarre light show was the result of a failed launch. He made a simulation in 3D Studio Max of a spinning box, which produced a similar spiral trail. Mr. Ellison, who runs the forum unmannedspaceflight.com describes, "Once I saw the photos, and knowing a fair amount about space flight, the cause of the beautiful pattern seemed quite obvious to me. Trying to explain it in layman's terms is quite hard, so I used some basic animation tools to try and emulate the effect. I bolted two virtual particle emitters onto a small box - spun the box, then moved it at speed and low and behold, the spiral pattern, and the trail behind, both emerged as a result. The people in northern Norway are lucky to have been in the right place, at the right time!" Indeed, on Thursday the Russian newspaper Vedomosti cited a military source as saying the phenomenon was caused by a failed test launch of a intercontinental missile, dubbed Bulava. Past launches had failed on the first stage, but this launch reportedly went off without a hitch, before experiencing the strange failure on the third stage.
Free speech? Climate? Stanford University? The null set. Professor Stephen Schneider’s assistant requested armed UN security officers who held film maker Phelim McAleer, ordered him to stop filming and prevented further questioning after the press conference where the Stanford academic was launching a book at the Copenhagen conference. Big Government Video
Obama's worker bees in CMS - Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services - of the HHS Department analyzed Harry Reid's ObamaCare bill and found what we expected: ObamaCare would make costs rise, not fall. The total cost of health care for Americans would increase $234 billion over the next decade. Cuts to Medicare, while expanding its covered population, would make reimbursements so low that providers would quit serving Medicare patients, which would reduce care for seniors. Surprise. And, indeed, expecting to make his deep cuts to Medicare to actually take place is unrealistic, according to the Obama administration. His higher taxes on drugs, medical devices and health insurance would cause higher insurance premiums. Higher? Yes, higher, as in higher costs. And, though the number of "insured" would increase, millions of people would still be uninsured. Washington Times:
... The report was prepared by the chief actuary at the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, which specializes in long-range cost evaluations for Medicare. It analyzed the total public and private cost of the health care bill over the next 10 years, in contrast to earlier studies by the Congressional Budget Office that said the measure would minimally lower the record-setting federal deficit over the decade. Under the Democrats' plan, according to the analysis, health care spending would rise by an additional 0.7 percent between 2010 and 2019, mostly the result of more people getting medical services. Although the increased access to health care would drive up costs, the report found that the bill would accomplish Mr. Obama's goal of expanding health care coverage. About 93 percent of Americans would have health insurance under the plan, removing about 33 million people from the ranks of the uninsured. Perhaps the most startling revelation in the report, however, was an assessment that cuts to the Medicare program could undermine it. "Providers for whom Medicare constitutes a substantive portion of their business could find it difficult to remain profitable," the report said. "Absent legislative intervention, [physicians] might end their participation in the program, possibly jeopardizing access to care for beneficiaries."See also Robert Costa at The Corner. He mentions a negative report from Mayo Clinic and opposition by the AMA and hospitals to Harry Reid's expansion of Medicare.
Friday, December 11, 2009
Boeing announced Thursday that first flight of the 787 will be Tuesday, December 15, at 10 AM. AVIATION WEEK : The first of six test airplanes, ZA001, is due to take off from Payne Field next to the airplane's final assembly factory north of Seattle. Chief Pilot Michael H. Carriker and copilot Randall Neville will conduct low- and high-speed taxi tests that take the airplane to the threshold of flight in preparation for Tuesday's events. Once airborne, Carriker and Neville are not expected to return ZA001 to Everett. They will land at Boeing Field in Seattle, headquarters for all of Boeing's commercial airplane flight tests. The full flight program is nominally expected to last 8.5 months and follows about three years of pre-flight certification procedures that Boeing has conducted with the FAA. If the flight schedule holds, FAA certification and delivery of the first production airplane - the seventh produced - to launch customer All Nippon Airways will be achieved late in 2010. But it is an aggressive schedule. Normally, Boeing allows a week to 10 days after first flight for analysis before taking to the air again. With the Christmas-New Year holidays fast approaching, ZA001 may not fly again until January. Seattle's Puget Sound region has enjoyed clear, sunny weather all week but is due to turn rainy next week. By itself, rain will not prevent the flight. But strong winds or low ceilings are factors that could result in a scrub. Once it begins, the flight is expected to last as long as 5 hours as Carriker, Neville and an army of flight engineers on the ground evaluate both the feel of the airplane and the streams of data pouring from hundreds of sensors embedded in its fuselage, engines and systems. The flight is intended to be conservative, establishing the basic flight envelope - the airplane's actual handling characteristics versus what computer models have predicted. While the flight of any new airplane draws attention, this one is special because it is the first for a commercial jet with a composite wing and fuselage. Aside from its use of carbon fiber reinforced plastic - composite - wing and fuselage assemblies, the 787 also introduces a distributed electric architecture supporting its many flight systems. Those systems are heavily dependent on a central computer system and the airplane is studded with software code.
Monday, December 07, 2009
NPR's top political correspondent had been caught appearing on Fox News - for the past 12 years. Send her to reeducation camp. The White House is after Fox... What a coincidence. NPR reporter pressured over Fox role - - POLITICO.com: Executives at National Public Radio recently asked the network’s top political correspondent, Mara Liasson, to reconsider her regular appearances on Fox News because of what they perceived as the network’s political bias, two sources familiar with the effort said. According to a source, Liasson was summoned in early October by NPR’s executive editor for news, Dick Meyer, and the network’s supervising senior Washington editor, Ron Elving. The NPR executives said they had concerns that Fox’s programming had grown more partisan, and they asked Liasson to spend 30 days watching the network. At a follow-up meeting last month, Liasson reported that she’d seen no significant change in Fox’s programming and planned to continue appearing on the network, the source said. NPR’s focus on Liasson’s work as a commentator on Fox’s “Special Report” and “Fox News Sunday” came at about the same time as a White House campaign launched in September to delegitimize the network by painting it as an extension of the Republican Party.
Sunday, December 06, 2009
But Obama promised... PROMISES, PROMISES: A closed meeting on openness - Yahoo! News:
It's hardly the image of transparency the Obama administration wants to project: A workshop on government openness is closed to the public. The event Monday for federal employees is a fitting symbol of President Barack Obama's uneven record so far on the Freedom of Information Act, a big part of keeping his campaign promise to make his administration the most transparent ever. As Obama's first year in office ends, the government's actions when the public and press seek information are not yet matching up with the president's words. "The Freedom of Information Act should be administered with a clear presumption: In the face of doubt, openness prevails," Obama told government offices on his first full day as president. "The government should not keep information confidential merely because public officials might be embarrassed by disclosure, because errors and failures might be revealed, or because of speculative or abstract fears." Obama scored points on his pledge by requiring the release of detailed information about $787 billion in economic stimulus spending. It's now available on a Web site, http://www.recovery.gov. Other notable disclosures include waivers that the White House has granted from Obama's conflict-of-interest rules and reports detailing Obama's and top appointees' personal finances. Yet on some important issues, his administration produced information only after government watchdogs and reporters spent weeks or months pressing, in some cases suing. Those include what cars people were buying using the $3 billion Cash for Clunkers program (it turned out the most frequent trades involved pickups for pickups with only slightly better gas mileage); how many times airplanes have collided with birds (a lot); whether lobbyists and donors meet with the Obama White House (they do); rules about the interrogation of terror suspects (the FBI and CIA disagreed over what was permitted); and who was speaking in private with Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner (he has close relationships with a cadre of Wall Street executives whose multibillion-dollar companies survived the economic crisis with his help).
"In the strongest employment report since the recession began nearly two years ago, the government said Friday that the nation's employers had all but stopped shedding jobs in November, taking some of the pressure off of President Obama to come up with a jobs creation program." Javier Hernandez, New York Times, December 4, 2009. Click to enlarge. American Thinker Blog:
Saturday, December 05, 2009
Congressman Henry Waxman clarifies it. In this stunning YouTube video he explains how under ObamaCare the government would have the power to “suspend” the enrollment of any American in any health care plan, that is, kick you off your plan. With the help of an aide, he begins reading from the 2,074-page bill; “The remedies described in the paragraph with respect to a qualified health benefit plan, they [federal officials] can levy civil money penalties, or can suspend the enrollment of individuals under such a plan after the date the commissioner notifies the entity of the determination under paragraph 1 that the plan does not qualify.” If federal officials determine your health plan does not qualify, you will be disenrolled, that is, kicked off. In government-speak “remedies” means punishment, and “suspend” means cancel. Watch it here. Tell us again, President Obama, how you guarantee that I will be able to keep my current health care coverage. Oh, you left out one little word - NOT. Thanks to Paul Guppy at Washington Policy Center
Friday, December 04, 2009
Thursday, December 03, 2009
Do the old big three networks have any news about climate? They have lots of news about the elite world leaders and their upcoming gathering in Copenhagen. But nothing about the scandal of ClimateGate disclosed in the emails. Nothing? So says Julia Seymore at Business and Media Institute. Julia Seymore at BMI - 12 Days, 3 Networks and No Mention of ClimateGate Scandal:
It’s been nearly two weeks since a scandal shook many people’s faith in the scientists behind global warming alarmism. The scandal forced the University of East Anglia (UK) to divulge that it threw away raw temperature data and prompted the temporary resignation of Phil Jones of the university’s Climate Research Unit. Despite that resignation and calls by a U.S. senator to investigate the matter, ABC, CBS and NBC morning and evening news programming has remained silent – not mentioning a word about the scandal since it broke on Nov. 20, even as world leaders including President Barack Obama prepare to meet in Copenhagen, Denmark next week to promote a pact to reduce greenhouse gases. Other news outlets, including The New York Times, Washington Post, CNN and Associated Press have deemed ClimateGate worthy of reporting, but the networks were too busy reporting on celebrity car accidents and the killer whale that ate a great white shark. Instead of airing a broadcast news segment that might inform the public about the science scandal, both ABC and CBS relegated the story to their Web sites. There was one mention of the scandal on ABC’s Sunday talk show: “This Week with George Stephanopoulos.”OK. One mention on three networks over 12 days on a news opinion show, not the straight news. The East Anglia Climatic Research Unit's director Phil Jones stepped down while he is be being investigated. Albert Gore, Jr.'s favorite Michael Mann is under investigation by his university, Penn State. So what? The entire Kyoto/Copenhagen need to hobble our economy is based on the "research" of these people. BMI's climate science adviser says this is not a smoking gun, but a mushroom-shaped cloud. Brian? Katie? Whoever else anchors their news? The Seattle Times finally put it high on their web edition; don't know where it is in the print edition. But they cast it as a political ploy of Republicans in Congress. Are there climate scientists who have something to say about this? Yes. Couldn't find them, eh, Times? How about Prof. Mann? Honorable Jay Inslee says the e-mails somehow aren't stopping the Arctic from warming. What is your source of data, Congressman Inslee? Oh, the definitive source, of course. The IPCC's data from Phil Jones's CRU? Any climate news? Part 1
Wednesday, December 02, 2009
When Jon Stewart makes fun of you your run of fame is probably over, because now it's OK for everyone to make fun of you. And how can you have a good crisis if people are laughing at the authorities who solemnly are warning the world of it. Fudging the data and throwing away the original data? That's Phil Jones and his Climatic Research Unit at University of Anglia in the UK. Watch to the end. It's good. If only Ben Stein could get in front of the camera every day like this. Hat tip to Thomas Lifson at American Thinker.
David Broder calls Harry Reid on his cost-hiding tricks. If The Big Democrat has lost Broder he has trouble. David S. Broder - David Broder: Fears of health-reform cost are justifiable - washingtonpost.com: First, the public is opposed:
The day after the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) gave its qualified blessing to the version of health reform produced by Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, a Quinnipiac University poll of a national cross section of voters reported its latest results. ... It read: "President Obama has pledged that health insurance reform will not add to our federal budget deficit over the next decade. Do you think that President Obama will be able to keep his promise or do you think that any health care plan that Congress passes and President Obama signs will add to the federal budget deficit?" The answer: Less than one-fifth of the voters -- 19 percent of the sample -- think he will keep his word. Nine of 10 Republicans and eight of 10 independents said that whatever passes will add to the torrent of red ink. By a margin of four to three, even Democrats agreed this is likely. That fear contributed directly to the fact that, by a 16-point margin, the majority in this poll said they oppose the legislation moving through Congress.Costs? Big problems.
While the CBO said that both the House-passed bill and the one Reid has drafted meet Obama's test by being budget-neutral, every expert I have talked to says that the public has it right. These bills, as they stand, are budget-busters. Here, for example, is what Robert Bixby, the executive director of the Concord Coalition, a bipartisan group of budget watchdogs, told me: "The Senate bill is better than the House version, but there's not much reform in this bill. As of now, it's basically a big entitlement expansion, plus tax increases." Here's another expert, Maya MacGuineas, the president of the bipartisan Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget: "While this bill does a better job than the House version at reducing the deficit and controlling costs, it still doesn't do enough. Given the political system's aversion to tax increases and spending cuts, I worry about what the final bill will look like." ... Republican budget experts such as former CBO director Douglas Holtz-Eakin amplify the point with specific examples and biting language. Holtz-Eakin cites a long list of Democratic-sponsored "budget gimmicks" that made it possible for the CBO to estimate that Reid's bill would reduce federal deficits by $130 billion by 2019. Perhaps the biggest of those maneuvers was Reid's decision to postpone the start of subsidies to help the uninsured buy policies from mid-2013 to January 2014 -- long after taxes and fees levied by the bill would have begun.You pay increased fees and taxes for 4 years before you receive increased benefits. That's how dinghy Harry keeps the costs down - front load the revenues and back load the costs, so the first ten years don't look so bad.
Even with that change, there is plenty in the CBO report to suggest that the promised budget savings may not materialize. If you read deep enough, you will find that under the Senate bill, "federal outlays for health care would increase during the 2010-2019 period" -- not decline. The gross increase would be almost $1 trillion -- $848 billion, to be exact, mainly to subsidize the uninsured. The net increase would be $160 billion. But this depends on two big gambles. Will future Congresses actually impose the assumed $420 billion in cuts to Medicare, Medicaid and other federal health programs? They never have"They never have." He concludes:
The challenge to Congress -- and to Obama -- remains the same: Make the promised savings real, and don't pass along unfunded programs to our children and grandchildren. [and the states]