Bill Clinton is proud to mention he is wealthy. Now he is asking you to pay off Hillary Clinton’s 2008 campaign debt. So she will be able to run for president when she will be Social Security age in 2016.
Thursday, November 29, 2012
Monday, November 26, 2012
Republican governors should Let Obama's bureaucrats make a mess of ObamaCare. And block his IPAB board members.
Good ideas from Wesley J Smith at The Corner
The Hill has an interesting story reporting on Republican governors refusing to set up state exchanges under Obamacare — which could save the states money since they are on the hook for costs in excess of federal grants. That means the feds will have to do it on a state-by-state basis, a daunting task even for this highly bureaucratic administration. Plus, it is perfectly legal under the law to engage in such passive resistance.
Some liberals say that approach isn’t conservative because, in effect, it allows the feds to run state health care. (As if they care!) I’m not buying. In case anyone hasn’t noticed, HHS already does run health care nationally about issues important to the Obama political coalition — as in free-birth-control rule, with more of the same no doubt coming soon. Indeed, Obamacare was designed to allow the technocracy to create entitlements nationally on the dimes of the private sector, while guaranteeing the employment of ever more technocrats.
After an appalling and incoherent Supreme Court ruling and the recent election, it does seem now that utter legal non cooperation is the only way remaining to impede the Leviathan. Here’s another suggestion: Senate Republicans should filibuster confirmation of the soon-to-be-nominated members of the Independent Payment Advisory Board. No board, no IPAB autocracy. Of course, the president might then make a non-recess recess appointment, but that opens any action taken by IPAB to legal attack.
So, stalwart Obamacare opponents, time for some good old fashioned passive resistance. Go limp. For those on the political left who object to such blatant obstructionism, I have two words for you: sanctuary cities.
The average age of top Democratic leadership in the US House of Representatives is 72.5. Chucky Schumer, 62, and Harry Reid, 72, want the Senate to match the House. They are facing the expected retirement of
Frank Lautenberg, 88
Jay Rockefeller, 75
Tom Harkin, 73
and Tim Johnson 65
Fossil Carl Levin of Michigan, age 78, is expected to run for reelection.
Lautenberg would be expected to be replaced by another Democrat. But the other three are vulnerable - average age 71. They might be replaced by younger Republicans.
Keep your fossils, Chucky. They get more out of touch with voters every year, but that makes them easier for Harry to control.
Saturday, November 24, 2012
Bellevue thinks it would be really cool to have a light-rail train coming to it from Seattle. (Or vice versa; they are very sensitive about comparisons to Seattle.) But they want the ugly place to store the trains somewhere else. Indeed, they just can't imagine anyone would think of putting the storage yard where it belongs - in Bellevue!
Get it? When you are putting in a new line the best place to store the trains is way out on that new line, not in the central city. To the Bellevue City Council it came natural to pretend the trains would magically appear from no where - pretend for years.
Ah… At the end of the article is a guy who stumbled on a solution:
But Councilman John Stokes doesn't think the projects necessarily have to be combined — especially if that would delay rail service. "I don't see why there would be any advantage to us delaying those things at this point unless you just don't want the light rail," he said.
No place to store the train then no train.
But what if you borrow for classes, then economic reality causes you to drop out? You have college debts, but no degree and no access to the better paying jobs.
Wall Street Journal (subscription might be required)
According to a 2011 study by the Institute for Higher Education Policy, a Washington, D.C.-based research firm, 58% of the 1.8 million borrowers whose student loans were began to be due in 2005 hadn't received a degree. Some 59% of them were delinquent on their loans or had already defaulted, compared with 38% of college graduates. The problem has almost certainly worsened since, as the recession wiped out job opportunities for less-educated workers.The cartoon: Parker in Florida Today. Click to enlarge.
Thursday, November 22, 2012
But the UN is not happy with mere results; they want more talk!
Michigan Capital Confidential
Over the past six years, the United States has reduced its carbon emissions more than any other nation in the world.But the UN is not happy with these results; they want more talk, more meetings, more declarations.
Efforts to curb so-called man-made climate change had little or nothing to do with it. Government mandated "green" energy didn't cause the reductions. Neither did environmentalist pressure. And the U.S. did not go along with the Kyoto Protocol to radically cut CO2 emissions. Instead, the drop came about through market forces and technological advances, according to a report from the International Energy Agency.
Breakthroughs in how natural gas is extracted from underground shale formations were the key factors that led to the reductions, the report said. Natural gas has a low carbon footprint and is widely available in the United States. As a result, entrepreneurs are flocking to extract it from new areas.
"It's good news and good news doesn't get reported as much,” John Griffin, executive director of Associated Petroleum Industries of Michigan, said of the lack of reporting about the CO2 reductions. "The mainstream media doesn't want to report these kinds of things."
UN climate bureaucrat-in-charge Christiana Figueres hopes Hurricane Sandy will wake up the US and get us to her meetings. Successful results only count when the ring is kissed.
Christiana Figueres, who leads the United Nations negotiations to get governments to reduce carbon emissions in the world, regards Hurricane Sandy as “yet another wake-up call” for Americans to get on board with her climate change policy.
“Yes, I certainly do think that this is yet another wake-up call,” Figueres said of Hurricane Sandy to Yale Environment 360 in an interview published by The Guardian.”I did hear President Obama say quite categorically in his acceptance speech that he is not going to have a future that is threatened by increasing warming . . . I do think that this mirrors the growing awareness in the United States. So I do think that Sandy has contributed to this. Is it the tipping point? That remains to be seen.”
Figueres also spoke if international frustration with the United States for failing to sign onto UN global warming initiatives such as the Kyoto Protocol.
“[I]f the United States does not strengthen its participation in the global climate regime under the newly re-elected president I think there will be increased frustration with the United States,” she said.
Job-killing policies such as cap-and-trade, which would limit and tax carbon emissions in the United States, died in 2010 due to the harm it would cause the economy. Figueres, though… [blah blah blah]See also: Lowest energy-related CO2 emissions in 20 years. NY Times. The graphic on this page shows that "lowest in 20 years" means just that, comparing the first quarter in every year.
This isn't a "Sound" topic, but there is a shortage of reporting good news on the enviro scene.
Cross posted on Economic Freedom.
Does Bloomberg wear his hairnet when he serves food in NYC disaster areas? BUZZ - Question is based on the false assumption that he does something besides jet off to Bermuda at every disaster.
But he will fine your organization if you don't.
The New York City Department of Health has been dispatching workers to storm-ravaged areas across the five boroughs as part of an outreach to ensure that volunteers are informed on proper food-handling and other safety issues.
But the presence of health officials has caused some confusion as to where the city is drawing the line between advisement and enforcement.
Bobby Eustace, an 11-year veteran with the city's fire department tells FoxNews.com that on Sunday he and his fellow firefighters from Ladder 27 in the Bronx were issued a notice of violation for not maintaining restaurant standards in a tent set up in Breezy Point, Queens, to feed victims and first responders.
“It’s just a little ridiculous. The inspector came up and asked if we were wearing hairnets. I told him, ‘We have helmets. This is a disaster area,’” Eustace told FoxNews.com. “Then he asked is we had gloves and thermometers [for food]. I said, “Yeah, we have rectal and oral. Which one do you want?’ He wasn’t amused.”
Eustace says that the Health Department worker then checked off a list of violations at the relief tent, including not having an HVAC system and fire extinguisher.
“He told us that he might come back to see if we fixed the violations.
Of course Nanny Bloomberg's PR people say the volunteers don't understand what is going on. But he set the nanny standard; his employees are following him.
Was it Senator Rubio? No. The One himself.
And here's then-Sen. Obama, D-Ill., speaking at the Compassion Forum at Messiah College in Grantham, Pa. on April 13, 2008:
Q: Senator, if one of your daughters asked you—and maybe they already have—“Daddy, did god really create the world in 6 days?,” what would you say?
A: What I've said to them is that I believe that God created the universe and that the six days in the Bible may not be six days as we understand it … it may not be 24-hour days, and that's what I believe. I know there's always a debate between those who read the Bible literally and those who don't, and I think it's a legitimate debate within the Christian community of which I'm a part. My belief is that the story that the Bible tells about God creating this magnificent Earth on which we live—that is essentially true, that is fundamentally true. Now, whether it happened exactly as we might understand it reading the text of the Bible: That, I don't presume to know.
Monday, November 19, 2012
Everyone wants bipartisan government - when it doesn't count. Now it is happening in the Washington Senate. Last March three Senate Democrats joined the Republicans to forge and pass a budget. See Olympia's Democrats Throw a Childish Hissy-Fit. And current developments are even more astounding.
Republicans and Democrats together might elect the majority leader! Senator Rodney Tom (D - Medina) has put together a coalition of himself, Sen. Tim Sheldon (D - Shelton) and the Republicans. Their third Democrat Jim Kastama of Puyallup didn't run for reelection and was replaced by Bruce Dammeier, a Republican. Now everyone is waiting for the final count of Senator Don Carlson vs. Tim Probst, where Benton is 100 votes ahead, but they are still counting.
Tom has the votes to win. Who is opposed to bipartisan leadership?
Senator Tom began his Legilative career as a Republican, but switched to Democrat. He has a record of thoughtful leadership on the budget, against the Chopp-Gregoire-Brown "spend, spend, spend. Oh, we were surprised by a deficit!" herd.
John Carlson on KVI 570 radio
Thursday, November 15, 2012
Seattle now gets 96.5% of its electricity from renewable sources. Don't you want it to be higher? I don't see the problem.
I live outside the city limits, but we get our electricity from Seattle Light. So a couple weeks ago I got a mailing showing the very, very happy owner of a wind farm and telling me about the problem.
"However, while hydro electricity is renewable and low cost, it is not infinite."
Oh… It's not infinite. So disappointed. Nothing is infinite! That's life! But we have a lot of it and we are buying wind power also. But now Seattle is allowing its electricity customers to voluntarily pay $3, $6 or $12 per month to keep that 96.5% from falling. No thanks.
The graphic: the right column shows the power sources in 2012: Hydro 92.4 plus wind 4.1 = 96.5%.
Husky star and Seahawks star tight end Jerramy Stevens. Year after year he committed crimes but was let off.
Prosecutor Norm Maling protected him by chewing out the prosecutor who brought charges against him. AD Barbara Hedges protected him. Coach Rick Neuheisel - may his name live in infamy - protected him. Judges gave him below-minimum sentences or delayed sentence until after football season..
[Correcting misspelled title!]
He was very touched when he saw soldiers wounded by mustard gas. This powerful painting resulted. It's not heroic at all, but shows the pain of war.
And… I will place a flag at Acacia Cemetery in Lake Forest Park in memory of Harvey C Roys, Jr., my father-in-law, who attended medical school during WW II, finishing in time to see action in the invasion of Okinawa.
[Oops. Didn't post on the day.] The photo: Wall Street Journal. I think this is full size.
Sunday, November 11, 2012
In NY after Sandy… Daily Beast
… And on the ground level, one of the most useful tools to emerge is a genius new spin on the most basic of emergency devices: the campfire.The manufacturer - Biolite CampStove. Note that its fuel is wood you find, not white gas or propane.
The BioLite CampStove is about the size of a coffee urn. Developed as the hot new toy for hikers, the stove houses a small fire that burns from hunter-gatherer fuel sources—dry twigs, pinecones—and, in addition to warmth, generates electricity for users to charge mobile devices. You can cook on it, too. But with hundreds of thousands of people without power for days following the wrath of Sandy, and many in the New York region still in the dark, a serendipitous new function of the CampStove—disaster relief—has come to light.
“We realized some of these applications while we were developing it,” Erica Rosen, director of marketing at BioLite, tells The Daily Beast. “But it has really come front and center in the last week.”
The Wednesday after Sandy struck, a group of three BioLite engineers packed a car with four CampStoves and a folding table and drove to Lower Manhattan, where there was still no power, and set up a charging station outside Washington Square Park. They made a handwritten sign—“Come charge your phones for free and drink some tea while you’re waiting”—and quickly amassed a crowd of local residents toting dead phones who couldn’t believe their luck. Finally, a way to charge their cells and reopen crucial lines of communication with family and friends.
“One person was like, ‘Just let me know when this company goes public. I want to pour my life savings into it,’” Nissan Lerea, one of the BioLite product engineers who manned the charging station, says. “A lot of people wanted to buy the stoves from us right then and there, but we weren’t selling it. One person offered to buy it used on the spot.”
But this is oil shale, not the more common oil formations or the tight rock containing oil where fracking is used. There is little production in oil shale (though it was first used before 1850) because high temperatures are involved and it's not economical at $100 per barrel. So the immediate impact is not so big.
The Interior Department on Friday [November 9] issued a final plan to close 1.6 million acres of federal land in the West originally slated for oil shale development.
The proposed plan would fence off a majority of the initial blueprint laid out in the final days of the George W. Bush administration. It faces a 30-day protest period and a 60-day process to ensure it is consistent with local and state policies. After that, the department would render a decision for implementation.
The move is sure to rankle Republicans, who say President Obama’s grip on fossil fuel drilling in federal lands is too tight.
Interior’s Bureau of Land Management cited environmental concerns for the proposed changes. Among other things, it excised lands with “wilderness characteristics” and areas that conflicted with sage grouse habitats.
Under the plan, 677,000 acres in Colorado, Utah and Wyoming would be open for oil shale exploration. Another 130,000 acres in Utah would be set aside for tar sands production.
The administration and Democrats said that while the plan would curtail what was originally sought for oil shale development, it still opens up a significant amount of land that was previously unavailable for the energy production method.
The administration noted the plan pushed forward Friday also included two research, development and demonstration (RD&D) leases for oil shale development.
"The proposed plan supports the Administration’s all-of-the-above approach to explore the full potential our nation’s domestic energy resources and to develop innovative technology and techniques that will lead to safe and responsible production of resources, including oil shale and tar sands, which industry recognizes are years from being commercially viable, but require RD&D today," Interior spokesman Blake Androff said.
Sen. Mark Udall (D-Colo.) praised the plan, saying the administration exercised the right amount of caution on oil shale development, which has not yet been brought to commercial scale and brings concerns about the amount of water used in the practice.
"I am glad the Interior Department is taking measured steps to encourage research and development of our oil shale resources. With water being one of our most precious commodities in the West, I have concerns about the potential impacts of commercial oil shale development. Nonetheless, I look forward to seeing this technology explored further," Udall said in a Friday statement
Oil shale development is not to be confused with drilling into shale formations for oil and natural gas. The practice, which involves separating hydrocarbons bound up in rocks, has not been widely executed since Exxon's failed Colorado venture in the 1980s.
Bobby McEnaney, senior lands analyst with the Natural Resources Defense Council, praised Interior Secretary Ken Salazar for the proposed final plan.
“By significantly reducing the acreage of wilderness potentially available for leasing, Secretary Salazar is laying out a creative, thoughtful and more responsible approach in managing some of our most precious resources,” McEnaney said in a Friday statement.
Congressional Republicans are not likely to be as pleased.
GOP lawmakers, along with some Democrats, have pushed for more fossil fuel production in the West. Republicans have led the charge, saying Obama’s policies on fossil fuel drilling on federal lands are too restrictive.
While Obama notes domestic oil-and-gas production has increased during his administration, Republicans contend that it is activity on private and state land that is driving the boost. They point to this year’s dip in oil-and-gas production on federal land — though levels are still higher than they were during the Bush administration.
The Congressional Western Caucus released a report in August to deliver that message.
“This proposal will place further limitations on the exploration and development of our country’s natural resources and is yet another example of how this administration continues to stand in the way of North American energy independence," Rep. Ed Whitfield (R-Ky.), the chairman of House Energy and Commerce's subcommittee on Energy and Power, said in a statement to The Hill.
Oil and gas lobby the American Petroleum Institute, an ally of congressional Republicans, slammed the decision.
Jack Gerard, the group's chief, said Thursday he would take a "wait-and-see" approach to Obama's second term to gauge whether he would live up to campaign rhetoric in which he praised the domestic oil-and-gas industry.
Reid Porter, the lobby's spokesman, said Friday's news was a disappointing sign from the administration.
“This is another step in the wrong direction that limits development and investment in one of the nation’s most energy-rich areas and goes against a prior government decision that would allow for research and development over a much wider geographical area. Just days after the election this decision by the administration sends negative signals to industry and capital markets at a time when we need to encourage growth and innovation in the U.S.," Porter said in a statement to The Hill.The graphic is from CNN Money. Click to enlarge.
Wednesday, November 07, 2012
Obama adminsitration at its best. You can't make this stuff up. Obama really closed the disaster center due to rain.
TOTTENVILLE — They fly into disaster areas, but flee from raindrops.
FEMA disaster recovery centers in Hurricane Sandy-ravaged sections of the city that were supposed to provide assistance to hurricane victims went MIA Wednesday morning, posting signs saying that they were closed due to the approaching Nor'easter.
The temporary shuttering of the facilities, which help victims register for disaster relief, as well as city food distribution centers come even as many of those still reeling from the monster storm were not told that they had to leave the battered areas.
On Tuesday, Mayor Michael Bloomberg said that residents in the low-lying portions of Staten Island, Queens and Brooklyn were advised to leave ahead of the nor'easter, which could hit the city with 60 mph gusts and several inches of rain Wednesday afternoon, but that the evacuation was not mandatory like the one issued for all of Zone A ahead of Sandy.
“We do not believe that it’s necessary to evacuate people,” said the mayor Wednesday.
No. Don't evacuate residents. But do evacuate the "disaster responders." Including the food distribution centers.
Monday, November 05, 2012
Liberal groups have been intimidating churches for decades, sending letters claiming any church that allows political speech will lose their tax-exempt status - ACLU, Barry Lynn's American United for Separation of Church and State and PFAW. But they are wrong. No church has ever lost its tax-exempt status for political speech. And now the IRS is blowing the whistle on the anti-church bunch.
… The left has cried wolf far too many times. No one will come running. Especially not the IRS.
That’s because churches, unlike other nonprofit organizations, don’t need a letter of tax exemption from the Internal Revenue Service. Churches are constitutionally tax-exempt simply by virtue of existence. It’s automatic. The only way the IRS could revoke a church’s tax-exempt status would be to disband the church, which, obviously, the government has no authority to do. It’s simple. Pastors, if you get a letter from the ACLU, PFAW or AU, I suggest a singular use for it: bird-cage liner.
Keeping all this in mind, something I’ve long expected has finally occurred. A little over a week ago, the IRS ran up the white flag. [The Blaze] That bureaucratic bully we all love to hate announced that, for the indefinite future, it is “holding any potential church audits in abeyance,” for violating its arbitrary “no politicking” rule.
Sunday, November 04, 2012
Do you think China is about to run away with all the glory - economic and rising military power? People who live there don't agree. They look at all the problems - huge very-low-income population, bad air and other environmental problems, unstable rule by 20 men - and look for a way out.
BEIJING — At 30, Chen Kuo had what many Chinese dream of: her own apartment and a well-paying job at a multinational corporation. But in mid-October, Ms. Chen boarded a midnight flight for Australia to begin a new life with no sure prospects.
Like hundreds of thousands of Chinese who leave each year, she was driven by an overriding sense that she could do better outside China. Despite China’s tremendous economic successes in recent years, she was lured by Australia’s healthier environment, robust social services and the freedom to start a family in a country that guarantees religious freedoms.
“It’s very stressful in China — sometimes I was working 128 hours a week for my auditing company,” Ms. Chen said in her Beijing apartment a few hours before leaving. “And it will be easier raising my children as Christians abroad. It is more free in Australia.”
As China’s Communist Party prepares a momentous leadership change in early November, it is losing skilled professionals like Ms. Chen in record numbers. In 2010, the last year for which complete statistics are available, 508,000 Chinese left for the 34 developed countries that make up the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development. That is a 45 percent increase over 2000.
Individual countries report the trend continuing. In 2011, the United States received 87,000 permanent residents from China, up from 70,000 the year before. Chinese immigrants are driving real estate booms in places as varied as Midtown Manhattan, where some enterprising agents are learning Mandarin, to the Mediterranean island of Cyprus, which offers a route to a European Union passport.
Few emigrants from China cite politics, but it underlies many of their concerns. They talk about a development-at-all-costs strategy that has ruined the environment, as well as a deteriorating social and moral fabric that makes China feel like a chillier place than when they were growing up. Over all, there is a sense that despite all the gains in recent decades, China’s political and social trajectory is still highly uncertain.
Friday, November 02, 2012
Vote for Rob McKenna because he will be a better governor - Sea Times - National Federation of Small Business - WA Realtors - Veterans - not because a Metro Transit worker was photographed stealing and destroying his yard signs.
Seattle Times headline: "Metro warns workers on political activity"
Why can't the Sea Times have a headline saying "Metro Transit worker(s) seen stealing Rob McKenna signs"? Times:
… Paul Bachtel, president and business representative of the ATU [union] local, initially said it appeared the photos had been fabricated by McKenna supporters to discredit Inslee. He later told Thomas in an email that Metro had identified the person with the signs was a McKenna supporter who was was trying to protect the signs and who will “suffer the consequences” for violating Metro policy.
… Metro spokesman Jeff Switzer said he couldn’t confirm that Metro had identified the man with the signs because the investigation is continuing.
President Bush''s Dept of Energy saw the problems with the NE US electric grid and proposed solutions in 2002. Why didn't Washington work with him to improve on this known problem?
Democrats rejected plans to upgrade the electrical grid system in the country because they believed Bush and Cheney were just rewarding "cronies" who helped get them elected (sort of like Obama giving billions to now bankrupt solar companies whose CEOs supported his election). Here (PDF) is the Bush Administration report advocating for upgrades. Too bad its implementation was blocked by Dems in Congress.
But the Dem action in this case is just par for the course. Soon after the election of George W. Bush, plans were being hatched to derail any energy plan that the dastardly "oil men" were to send to Capitol Hill, as this 2001 LA Times article reports.
Three UW undergraduate engineering students have devised a large-scale 3D printer that uses the high-density polyethylene (HDPE) in milk jugs. They can devise and make all sorts of things - from discarded milk jugs.
Amazing people. They are not typical undergrads. Matthew Rogge, after years working in the Peace Corps in third-world countries, saw an opportunity, but needed more technical education, so he went to UW he is 36.
They've developed an inexpensive 3-D printer that can turn shredded, melted plastic waste into just about anything.
3-D printers have been around for at least 25 years, although they have become more widely available, better-known and cheaper in recent years. They use computer-aided design to create three-dimensional objects by laying down super-thin layers of a material, such as plastic, much like a regular printer lays down ink.
But until now, nobody had figured out how to cheaply build a large-scale printer that used recycled plastic as its raw material, said UW mechanical-engineering professor Mark Ganter.
"They're amazing students just to start with," he said of the team. "They have a very clear vision of how to marry 3-D printing into what could help a developing country."
The unlikely trio — in addition to Rogge, the team is made up of a former Japanese major and a blacksmith — are all pursuing undergraduate degrees in mechanical engineering. They'll use the $100,000 prize money to build low-cost 3-D printers that can make large objects, including composting toilets and rain-catchment systems, in the mountainous state of Oaxaca in southwestern Mexico, which has a large population of indigenous people.
"Not only are we addressing water and sanitation and economic needs, but we're reducing waste," Rogge said of their plans. "There's just so many good things about it."
Thursday, November 01, 2012
The federal government normally pays 75 to 90%. But Governor Andrew Cuomo says he can't afford 10%.
Yes. His state is a mess. State debt is $13,000 per person - highest in the nation. But I didn't make the mess, Cuomo, you did. Go ahead, Cuomo, just continue borrowing.
NEW YORK/WASHINGTON (Reuters) - New York state on Wednesday asked the U.S. federal government to pay all the costs of cleaning up and repairing damage from massive storm Sandy that tore through the Northeast this week and crippled New York City.
Governor Andrew Cuomo said he is asking fellow Democrat, President Barack Obama, to pay 100 percent of the estimated $6 billion bill, at a time that state and local government budgets remain constrained by a weak economic recovery.
That would be a significant change from last year when the federal government covered about 75 percent of the $1.2 billion cost paid by New York to clean up after storm Irene hit the region.
The two U.S. senators from neighboring New Jersey, the other state hit hardest by the storm, also asked that the federal government cover more than the usual share of the cost, given the size of the disaster and the financially strapped local coffers. ...