Saturday, June 26, 2010

Obama's support among non-black voters cratering

"The NBC/Wall Street Journal poll this week shows Barack Obama with a negative 45%-48% job rating. But as the Wall Street Journal story notes, Obama’s job rating among black voters is 91% positive. A lttle back of the envelope arithmetic suggests that Obama’s job rating among the 88% or 89% of non-black respondents is about 39% positive and 54% negative.

That’s pretty weak — a whole lot more negative than the numbers you usually see for all voters. This is hugely relevant to the 2010 elections. Most of the states with seriously contested Senate races or Democratic seats that seem almost certain to go Republican have below-national-average black percentages."

Read the rest of the article here.

Wall Street Journal on the (hopeful) end of Keynesian "stimulus"

Those who don't learn from history are doomed to repeat it. Such is the case with Keynesian economic theory. Named for the famous 1930's British economist, this holds that government can end recessions, or in his time, depressions by engaging in massive deficit spending. This is really a crackpot theory, but it has been a great excuse for governments to do what they want to do anyway - spend lots of your money.

The mere fact that it has never worked anywhere in the world, and has made things worse time after time, was no reason for the Obama administration not to try it again. Apparently using a new word, "stimulus," was supposed to make everyone forget Keynesian-ism's sorry history. What is unfortunately not surprising is that the media, with its utter ignorance of basic economics, has led the cheer-leading squad for this tired old fraud.

Now, however, according to this Wall Street Journal article, Obama is likely to have a hard time at the G-20 summit selling Europe on recovering from its massive Keynesian hangover by drinking from the same bottle.

As the above chart shows, when comparing tax cuts versus increasing spending to improve the economy, there really is no doubt which is the correct strategy.

Friday, June 25, 2010

British wind farms paid not to produce electricity

Just when you thought the wind energy madness couldn't get any nuttier, it does.

In Britain, "Energy firms will receive thousands of pounds a day per wind farm to turn off their turbines because the National Grid cannot use the power they are producing...

The National Grid fears that on breezy summer nights, wind farms could actually cause a surge in the electricity supply which is not met by demand from businesses and households...

Whereas coal and gas power stations often pay the National Grid £15 to £20 per megawatt hour they do not supply, Scottish Power was paid £180 per megawatt hour.

It raises the prospect of hugely profitable electricity suppliers receiving large sums of money from the National Grid just for switching off wind turbines...

Earlier this year, The Sunday Telegraph revealed that electricity customers are paying more than £1 billion a year to subsidize wind farms and other forms of renewable energy...

Professor Michael Laughton, emeritus professor of electrical engineering at the University of London, said: 'People will find it very hard to understand that an electricity company is getting paid the market rate plus a subsidy for doing nothing. It is essentially a waste of consumers' money.'"

Britain is ahead, if you can call it that, of us in forcing wind power on its already overburdened citizens. It probably won't be long before utilities here are paid for not producing wind power. When it becomes a large enough source of power to matter, its inherent unreliability means it will not be producing power when we need it, and producing too much power when we don't need it.

If you were planning a new industrial facility, would you pick a country that is going to increase electricity costs by 300% to 500% using unreliable wind and solar power, or a country like China that is building reliable new low-cost coal fired plants at the rate of one a week?

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Is Obama our own Hugo Chavez?

The Obama administration is reportedly looking into ways to "legalize" the millions of illegals in this country by some sort of executive action, according to a former Bush administration official who has talked to several people involved in the discussions.

"The former official said it's unclear what specific avenues the administration is considering, but that one potentially feasible option would be to use either deferred action or parole to legalize at once the millions of immigrants who have overstayed their visas -- not necessarily those who crossed the border illegally.

Deferred action and parole would give illegal immigrants the ability to seek a work permit and temporary legal status.

Those two tools are usually used on a case-by-case basis. The former official said any move to broaden that authority and use it on a mass basis would be 'woefully inappropriate'"...

It was obvious from the first moment Obama appeared on the scene that he was a radical leftist, who was unfortunately able to bamboozle millions of Americans into believing he was some sort of moderate. But it wasn't obvious that he would be willing to go this far.

This is Hugo Chavez territory. Some commentators have termed his administration to be a "gangster government", and this would put him firmly in that category.

We can only cross our fingers and hope he really doesn't intend to go that far. Based on his track record, it may be a forlorn hope. If he does pull that trigger, the issue for the next election should be whether to impeach him.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

The next step in the Mexican invasion

Obama has made it clear he is much more concerned about Arizona's efforts to defend itself than he is about the massive invasion from Mexico. Now the assault has moved to its next phase -

"Mexican drug cartels have set up shop on American soil, maintaining lookout bases in strategic locations in the hills of southern Arizona from which their scouts can monitor every move made by law enforcement officials, federal agents tell Fox News.

The scouts are supplied by drivers who bring them food, water, batteries for radios -- all the items they need to stay in the wilderness for a long time.

'To say that this area is out of control is an understatement,' said an agent who patrols the area and asked not to be named. 'We (federal border agents), as well as the Pima County Sheriff Office and the Bureau of Land Management, can attest to that...'

In these areas, which are south and west of Tucson, sources said there are 'cartel scouts galore' watching the movements of federal, state and local law enforcement, from the border all the way up to Interstate 8.

'Every night we’re getting beaten like a pinata at a birthday party by drug, alien smugglers,' a second federal agent told Fox News by e-mail. 'The danger is out there, with all the weapons being found coming northbound…. someone needs to know about this!'...

multiple agents told Fox that the situation is more dangerous for them than ever now that the cartels have such a strong position on the American side of the border.

They say morale is down among many who patrol the desolate area, and they worry that the situation won't change until an agent gets killed."

Insurance companies starting to get out of healthcare due to Obamacare

Remember how The Anointed One promised, promised that under Obamacare no one would lose their existing insurance coverage? Anyone who believed that - or any other Obama commitment - was probably a Democrat. Now, however, insurance companies are starting to cancel policies that don't comply with Obamacare mandates. Here is an actual cancellation notice sent by a national insurance company telling clients that it is getting out of the business, so their policies won't be renewed. So much for "If you like your insurance, you can keep it."

Monday, June 21, 2010

US Debt Clock

For those of you who haven't already seen this, or who want to bookmark it for future (depressing) reference, here is the real time US debt clock. Look at it and weep.

Making the same mistakes in Afghanistan as in Vietnam

Perhaps the biggest lesson of the Vietnam war is that we can't win if we tie both hands behind our back. Political meddling in Vietnam put our troops in an impossible situation. It's happening again in Afghanistan.

According to George Will, "[This is from] a recent e-mail from a noncommissioned officer (NCO) serving in Afghanistan. He explains why the rules of engagement for U.S. troops are 'too prohibitive for coalition forces to achieve sustained tactical successes.'

Receiving mortar fire during an overnight mission, his unit called for a 155mm howitzer illumination round to be fired to reveal the enemy's location. The request was rejected 'on the grounds that it may cause collateral damage.' The NCO says that the only thing that comes down from an illumination round is a canister, and the likelihood of it hitting someone or something was akin to that of being struck by lightning.

Returning from a mission, his unit took casualties from an improvised explosive device that the unit knew had been placed no more than an hour earlier. 'There were villagers laughing at the U.S. casualties' and 'two suspicious individuals were seen fleeing the scene and entering a home.' U.S. forces "are no longer allowed to search homes without Afghan National Security Forces personnel present." But when his unit asked Afghan police to search the house, the police refused on the grounds that the people in the house 'are good people.'

On another mission, some Afghan adults ran off with their children immediately before the NCO's unit came under heavy small-arms fire and rocket-propelled grenades (RPGs), and the unit asked for artillery fire on the enemy position. The response was a question: Where is the nearest civilian structure? 'Judging distances,' the NCO writes dryly, 'can be difficult when bullets and RPGs are flying over your head.'

When the artillery support was denied because of fear of collateral damage, the unit asked for a 'smoke mission' -- like an illumination round; only the canister falls to earth -- 'to conceal our movement as we planned to flank and destroy the enemy.' This request was granted -- but because of fear of collateral damage, the round was deliberately fired one kilometer off the requested site, making 'the smoke mission useless and leaving us to fend for ourselves.'"

It's a miracle that our troops are willing to fight under rules like this. They are expected to risk death themselves in order to prevent enemy combatants from being killed. This is insanity, but perfectly understandable given Obama's military experience as a community organizer. If these rules continue, we will lose the Afghan war.

Obama won't enforce border security until Congress passes amnesty

Arizona Senator John Kyl says that Obama told him that he won't enforce border security until amnesty is passed. Here is the video of Kyl's remarks.

From Hot Air blog,

"Of course The One won’t do anything about the border until he gets ... amnesty; his party wants to build a heavy Democratic majority among Latinos long-term and he’s not going to mess that up. What’s stunning is simply the fact that he’d be so candid, to a member of the opposition no less, in admitting his dereliction of duty. Sure, he could fulfill his constitutional responsibility and try to enforce federal law — but what good will that do him politically?... And you thought the BP deal was a 'shakedown.'”

Does anyone actually believe that Obama will enforce border security after an amnesty bill passes?

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Obamacare will outlaw health plans for over a million people this fall

Obamacare will outlaw certain types of low cost plans, which will dramatically raise the cost of premiums and force most employers to terminate these plans in September - just before the November elections.

Mark Steyn is at it again

Mark Steyn is one of my heroes - a writer who can take a subject thousands have written about and do a column that is original and an absolute pleasure to read. Here's another one - titled "We're too broke to be this stupid."

"You know how it is when you’re at the mall and someone rattles a collection box under your nose and you’re not sure where it’s going but it’s probably for Darfur or Rwanda or Hoogivsastan. Whatever. You’re dropping a buck or two in the tin for the privilege of not having to think about it. For the more ideologically committed, there’s always the awareness-raising rock concert: it’s something to do with Bono and debt forgiveness, whatever that means, but let’s face it, going to the park for eight hours of celebrity caterwauling beats having to wrap your head around Afro-Marxist economics.

The modern welfare state operates on the same principle: since the Second World War, the hard-working middle classes have transferred historically unprecedented amounts of money to the unproductive sector in order not to have to think about it. But so what? We were rich enough that we could afford to be stupid.

That works for a while. In the economic expansion of the late 20th century, citizens of Western democracies paid more in taxes but lived better than their parents and grandparents. They weren’t exactly rich, but they got richer. They also got more stupid. When William Beveridge laid out his blueprint for the modern British welfare state in 1942, his goal was the “abolition of want.” Sir William and his colleagues on both sides of the Atlantic succeeded beyond their wildest dreams: to be “poor” in the 21st-century West is not to be hungry and emaciated but to be obese, with your kids suffering from childhood diabetes. When Michelle Obama turned up to serve food at a soup kitchen, its poverty-stricken clientele snapped pictures of her with their cellphones.

In one-sixth of British households, not a single family member works. They are not so much without employment as without need of it. At a certain level, your hard-working bourgeois understands that the bulk of his contribution to the treasury is entirely wasted. It’s one of the basic rules of life: if you reward bad behaviour, you get more of it. But, in good and good-ish times, who cares?

By the way, where does the government get the money to fund all these immensely useful programs? According to a Fox News poll earlier this year, 65 per cent of Americans understand that the government gets its money from taxpayers, but 24 per cent think the government has 'plenty of its own money without using taxpayer dollars.'"

Read it all.

'Nuff said

Surprise - the left flunks economics 101

As one who has studied economics for many years, it has been obvious to me that the left is defined by its determined ignorance of basic economic principles. Here's a study confirming that obvious fact.

"How did the six ideological groups do overall? Here they are, best to worst, with an average number of incorrect responses from 0 to 8: Very conservative, 1.30; Libertarian, 1.38; Conservative, 1.67; Moderate, 3.67; Liberal, 4.69; Progressive/very liberal, 5.26...

On every question the left did much worse. On the monopoly question, the portion of progressive/very liberals answering incorrectly (31%) was more than twice that of conservatives (13%) and more than four times that of libertarians (7%). On the question about living standards, the portion of progressive/very liberals answering incorrectly (61%) was more than four times that of conservatives (13%) and almost three times that of libertarians (21%).

The survey also asked about party affiliation. Those responding Democratic averaged 4.59 incorrect answers. Republicans averaged 1.61 incorrect, and Libertarians 1.26 incorrect."

The continuing ignorance of a large fraction of the population about economics is one of the wonders of our age. A majority of politicians today don't know as much about the subject as economic thinkers of 150-200 years ago. The result of that ignorance is the imposition of destructive policies that make almost everyone poorer.

Monday, June 7, 2010

Chris Christie - a new political hero

For those of you who haven't seen it, here is another video of New Jersey Governor Chris Christie telling it like it is, no matter what the political cost. This time he takes on the teachers' union. If you haven't already, you really should see it. This guy is awesome!

Friday, June 4, 2010

Speliothem records show the polar bears are probably safe

You all know what a speliothem is, don't you? Just in case you weren't listening when that word was explained in class, "Speleothems are secondary mineral deposits formed in caves. Stalactites and stalagmites are speleothems, and they come in a wide variety of sizes and shapes...

The speleothems give us a record of what is called the 'delta oxygen 18' (∂18O) value. This value is related to the temperature... What can we learn from the speleothems?...

As is shown in the Greenland ice core records, we are currently at the cold end of the Holocene (the current interglacial).

• Recent phenomena (Roman Warm Period, Medieval Warm Period, Current Warm Period) are scarcely visible at this scale. So much for the 'uprecedented' nature of the recent rise.

• The polar bears are not in any danger from the recent rise.

• What’s up with the big jump and drop about 12000 years ago?...this is almost certainly the 'Younger Dryas' event...The Younger Dryas stadial, also referred to as the Big Freeze, was a geologically brief (1,300 ± 70 years) cold climate period between approximately 12,800 and 11,500 years ago (between 10,800 and 9,500 BCE)."

The unconstitutional census

"It is no secret that there are between twelve and thirty million people illegally in the United States at present. These people were neither born in the United States, nor have they gone through the naturalization process prescribed by our laws. As a result, they are not citizens of the United States and they are beyond the reach of constitutional provisions intended to apply to citizens of the United States. One of those provisions is Article I, Section 2 of the Constitution.

Under Section 2 of Article I, the United States House of Representatives must be composed of House members chosen every two years. The number of Representatives apportioned to each state of the Union is determined by an 'enumeration' (i.e., a census) taken every ten years of the people living in each state who are legally eligible to vote in statewide elections. While different states at different times have allowed non-citizens to vote in statewide elections, by 1926 every state in the Union had legally abolished that practice. Thus, to be eligible to vote for a member of the House of Representatives today, you must in fact be a citizen of the United States of America.

So, why is it that the United States Census Bureau doesn't even inquire whether the people being counted in the current census are American citizens? Is it that the Constitution of the United States doesn't mean anything to federal officials anymore?"

We know why the Census Bureau doesn't ask about citizenship. It creates over-representation of Democratic districts. Besides, many illegals vote, and this makes sure there won't be more votes than citizens.

Playing the media like a violin

The MSM reaction to Israel's stopping of "relief" ships headed for Gaza, and the resulting violent confrontation, is exactly what the Hamas supporters, or according to the MSM, "peace activists," had planned. They have become expert musicians playing any tune they want on the MSM violin.

Charles Krauthammer has an excellent piece on this charade. His conclusion:

"The whole point of this relentless international campaign is to deprive Israel of any legitimate form of self-defense.

The world is tired of these troublesome Jews, six million — that number again — hard by the Mediterranean, refusing every invitation to national suicide. For which they are relentlessly demonized, ghettoized and constrained from defending themselves, even as the more committed anti-Zionists — Iranian in particular — openly prepare a more final solution."

Thursday, June 3, 2010

James O'Keefe strikes again

Mr. O'Keefe, the journalist who exposed ACORN's support for underage prostitution rings, has done it again. This time he went undercover at the Census Bureau in New Jersey, and immediately discovered massive corruption.

"With a hidden camera, I caught four Census supervisors encouraging enumerators to falsify information on their time sheets. Over the course of two days of training, I was paid for four hours of work I never did. I was told to take a 70 minute lunch break, was given an hour of travel time to drive 10 minutes, and was told to leave work at 3:30pm. I resigned prior to doing any data collection but confronted Census supervisors who assured me, 'no one is going to be auditing that that level,' and 'nobody is going to be questioning it except for you.'"

This is the kind of performance one would expect from our overpaid Federal bureaucracy (see below.) What's perhaps more interesting is that the independent Mr. O'Keefe is able to document one example of corruption after another while the mandarins of the MSM apparently can't uncover government fraud right under their noses.

Of course, the MSM assiduously avoids looking under government rocks precisely because it might find something, which would undermine its leftist, pro-government narrative.

The Federal Aristocracy

Dems love to bleat about "the gap between the rich and the poor," which is the central element of their economic con job justifying high taxes on those who produce wealth to buy votes from their political supporters.

The real scandal is shown in the chart above. Federal workers, with the help of their unions, are conducting a massive rip-off of the rest of us. These coddled denizens of the Federal Goliath now make twice what private sector workers make, and this for working fewer hours, getting more time off, having lower performance standards, with no risk of layoffs and little risk of being fired for poor performance.

We really do live in a two tiered society - Federal workers on top, and the rest of us down below staggering to pay for them. Welcome to the new aristocracy.