Richard Cohen — Rick Perry Is Joe McCarthy Because He Is A Global Warming Skeptic

Seriously, Cohen believes Perry is a McCarthyite unqualified for president because he is an anthropomorphic global warming climate change skeptic:

Maybe more important, Perry waxed wrongly on global warming. He rejected the notion that it is at least partially a product of industrialization, asserting that “a substantial number of scientists have manipulated data” to make it appear that mankind — our cars, trains, automobiles, not to mention China’s belching steel mills — is the culprit. He said that an increasing number of scientists have challenged this notion and that, in conclusion, he stood with them — whoever they might be. In Appleton, Wis., Sen. Joe McCarthy’s skeleton rattled a bit.

In Cohen’s world, it is skepticism that is unscientific rather than models that are not falsifiable, and are inconsistent with observational data, rife with errors and manipulations, based on secret data, and ultimately faith-based. 

Remember, the conventional wisdom in scientific circles is often discredited.  Researchers have been trying to prove that coffee is an evil menace for generations, without avail.  Salt causes high blood pressure.  Oops, maybe not.  And so on.  Skepticism is a core value of scientific inquiry, and one that climate change dogmatics such as Cohen and the primary climate change proponents do not share.

Then note the quick switch here:

Perry’s quaint belief in the utter innocence of mankind when it comes to polluting our precious atmosphere might seem like an innocuous tick, a conviction without consequence.

I thought we were talking about whether man-made emissions were causing a demonstrable shift in climate, not about whether “mankind . . . [has been] polluting our precious atmosphere.”  Silly me.  Of course, sitting here in Los Angeles today, I cannot deny the former.  And I seriously doubt Perry does. 

What we both apparently doubt is that man-made emissions — and the carbon boogeyman in particular — are pushing us toward climate Armageddon.   And skeptics further doubt whether we should spend Trillions of dollars fighting a phantom menace we cannot even say — based on science — is a big problem, a little problem, or no problem.  Moreover, we cannot fight such a menace — assuming it is one — by crippling our economy while China and the rest of the developing world go about their carbon-emitting ways. 

The thing so annoying about columns such as Cohen’s is that he refuses to engage on the merits of an argument, and just declares his opinion to be correct and those who disagree with him to be unthinking idiots.  Mr. Cohen, that is ideology, not science.

Published in: on August 23, 2011 at 9:18 am  Comments (1)  

The Qaddafi Regime Appears To Be Falling

Good news, I guess.  The guy has been a despot and terrorist for decades.  But what now?  Do we even know who the rebels are?

I believe the saying goes, you break it, you bought it.  I have never fully accepted that logic, but our friends on the left certainly have.  Will they change tunes now?  My money’s on yes.

Published in: on August 21, 2011 at 10:46 pm  Leave a Comment  

Then And Now

Jim Geraghty reminds us of the good old days, when it was scandalous for a president with approval ratings at about 45% and unemployment nearing 5% to go on vacation.  Hope and change, I guess.

Published in: on August 16, 2011 at 10:16 pm  Leave a Comment  

Obama Administration: Food Stamps Are The New Stimulus

It would appear that everything the Democrats want to spend money on — no matter what it is — should be supported as stimulus for the economy.  It also appears that the only things they have stimulated are the debt and unemployment.  So the answer, of course, is more of the same.  How much stupidity have the Democrats created or saved?  Do we have enough zeros?

Published in: on August 16, 2011 at 10:06 pm  Leave a Comment  

Obama’s Taxpayer-Funded Bus Tour

Daily Caller has the details.  Here’s a sample:

President Barack Obama used a taxpayer-funded Monday bus trip to Cannon Falls, Minn., to repeat his now common claim that Republicans put their party ahead of the nation’s interest during the July dispute over the federal debt ceiling.

“Some in Congress would rather see their opponents lose than America win … we can’t have patience with that kind of behavior anymore,” Obama told a crowd estimated at 500 supporters.

All class, this guy.  I seem to recall a time when it was the very worst sin imaginable to question someone’s patriotism.  But, of course, that only applies when one is accusing a war-time president of war crimes, not when an election is at stake.  And Obama is diminishing the presidency on our dime, while pretending that the bus tour is not a campaign event.

Then there’s this:

“We had reversed the recession, avoided a depression, gotten the economy moving again,” Obama told a crowd in Decorah, Iowa. “But over the last six months we’ve had a run of bad luck.” Obama listed three events overseas — the Arab Spring uprisings, the tsunami in Japan, and the European debt crises — which set the economy back.

(Emphasis added.)  Insty nails it, as usual:


Throughout history, poverty is the normal condition of man. Advances which permit this norm to be exceeded — here and there, now and then — are the work of an extremely small minority, frequently despised, often condemned, and almost always opposed by all right-thinking people. Whenever this tiny minority is kept from creating, or (as sometimes happens) is driven out of a society, the people then slip back into abject poverty.

This is known as “bad luck.”

By the way, where’s your plan, champ?  Waiting for some inspiration from The Vineyard?

Published in: on August 15, 2011 at 10:00 pm  Leave a Comment  

The NYT’s Prescription For Job Creation — More Governement Make-Work, Natch

While acknowledging that the President’s approach to job creation is pretty thin gruel, the NYT editorial board once again underscores its economic ignorance by suggestion the adoption of more make-work projects to keep a few folks busy by spending more (borrowed) government money:

Mr. Obama has begun to talk more about jobs, but his agenda is thin. Its main components — extending federal unemployment benefits and the payroll tax cut beyond their expiration at the end of this year — are vitally important, but their extension will only maintain the status quo. His idea for an infrastructure bank to finance large-scale building projects is also good, but would take time, and would not address the immediate need for jobs. Ditto his push for patent reform and trade agreements.

There are other ideas worth fighting for. Take, for example, Fix America’s Schools Today, or FAST, an idea that has been incorporated into a House proposal to be introduced this fall by Jan Schakowsky, Democrat of Illinois. Public school buildings in the United States are on average over 40 years old and in need of an estimated $500 billion in repairs and upgrades. A $50 billion school renovation program would employ 500,000 workers (1.5 million construction workers are currently unemployed) and could be easily scaled up. The money could be disbursed through existing federal formulas to all 16,000 public school districts. The initial cost could be largely offset over 10 years by ending tax breaks for fossil fuels, as called for in Mr. Obama’s 2012 budget.

Other programs in the Schakowsky bill could employ an estimated one million young people for projects in federal parks, community centers and on college campuses, as well as 350,000 laid-off teachers, police officers, firefighters and health care providers.

Washington, in thrall to austerity, has abandoned one of the most immediate and powerful tools for supporting growth and jobs, namely, borrowing at today’s low rates to provide direct fiscal aid to states. But Mr. Obama can and should make the case for targeted new jobs today, to be paid for over time by closing tax loopholes.

First, extending unemployment benefits and the temporary payroll tax cut for employees (which, of course, offers employers no incentive whatsoever to hire) haven’t done anything to stave off unemployment or foster new hiring.  More of the same tired redistributive policies will just result in more of the same stagnant economy.  I will say that it is nice to see that the NYT finally recognizes the value of free trade agreements, at least in the abstract.

Second, if a $50 billion school renovation program were the cure for what ails us, it sure would have been nice to see that included among the $900 Billion original failed stimulus.  Heck, I might have even supported it, at least in principle.  But the last thing we need now is to throw more money at schools to temporarily prop up employment at the further expense of true organic job growth.

Third, the last thing we need is for the government to spend billions more hiring one million young people and 350,000 laid-off teachers, police officers, firefighters and health care providers for make-work projects in federal parks, community centers and on college campuses. 

If we want to employ more young people, just lower the minimum wage so they can get real working experience and employers can get useful labor at the price the market will bear for unskilled workers just entering the job force.  If we want to keep former union government workers busy, reform government worker benefits and compensation so they match the private sector, and these laid off folks can easily be hired back.  But just throwing borrowed money at them on made up projects is asinine

Published in: on August 15, 2011 at 5:33 pm  Leave a Comment  

Feel Good Story Of The Day

Given all the economic doom and gloom we find ourselves mired in of late, I thought I would take a moment to brighten things up around here and introduce you to Mallory Weggemann

Miss Weggemann lost the use of her legs during high school due to complications arising from a medical procedure.  Not to be deterred, she is now breaking records left and right as a competitive swimmer.

My favorite quote:

“It’s something where I can get out of my chair, and it’s just me and the water, and I can move about freely,” she said. “Even when my competitive days are over, I’ll still need that, because it’s a big part of who I am and what I know.”

Do read the whole thing.

Published in: on August 15, 2011 at 5:09 pm  Leave a Comment  

We Have Ourselves A Circuit Split

Now it gets interesting.

President Barack Obama’s signature healthcare law suffered a setback on Friday when an appeals court ruled that it was unconstitutional to require all Americans to buy insurance or face a penalty.

The U.S. Appeals Court for the 11th Circuit, based in Atlanta, ruled 2 to 1 that Congress exceeded its authority by requiring Americans to buy coverage, but it unanimously reversed a lower court decision that threw out the entire law.

The problem for Obama and the other Democrats is that, without the individual mandate even their screwy math doesn’t work.  The law was never going to deliver anything but increased costs and diminished quality.  But without the mandate, it just collapses. 

 Next stop, the Supreme Court.  It was always going there anyway, but the circuit split (the 6th concluded it was constitutional) seals it.

Published in: on August 12, 2011 at 3:33 pm  Leave a Comment  

The “Recommender-In-Chief”

The Washington Examiner laments the President’s weakness and passivity and pleads: “Someday, very soon, he must stop outsourcing, rise above politics and take presidential ownership of charting the country’s course.”

The problem is, he has no idea what to do.  His supporters, see Eugene Robinson today, plead for a focus on jobs instead of the deficit and debt, while the President himself is hopelessly wedded to seeking a bit more of the same disastrous policies.  Neither understands that massive government, massive government intrusion in markets, massive government regulation, and massive government spending are exactly what is killing the economy and job creation.


Published in: on August 12, 2011 at 9:08 am  Leave a Comment  

And Yet They Say There’s Nothing Left To Cut

Here is a list of agencies and commissions in the Golden State.  A very small sampling picked more or less randomly:

California Work Opportunity and Responsibility to Kids (CalWORKs) * California Workers Compensation Appeals Board * California Workforce and Labor Development Agency * California Workforce Investment Board * California Youth Authority (CYA) * Jobs with the State of California * Learn California * Lieutenant Governors Commission for One California * Little Hoover Commission (on California State Government Organization and Economy) * California Small Business and Disabled Veteran Business Enterprise Certification Program * California Small Business Development Center Program * California Smart Growth Caucus * California School to Career * California Public Employment Relations Board (PERB) * California Refugee Programs Branch * California Office of the Ombudsman * California Office of the Patient Advocate * California Museum for History, Women, and the Arts * California Museum Resource Center * California National Guard * California Native American Heritage Commission * California Labor and Workforce Development Agency * California Labor Market Information Division

It’s pretty easy to see why California is flat broke, isn’t it?  And don’t forget, many, many of these groups are busy imposing regulatory burdens on those who actually create jobs and wealth.

Published in: on August 11, 2011 at 7:53 am  Leave a Comment  

Democrats Are Starting To Notice — Obama Really Can’t Play This Game

Ouch.  The money quote:

“Those of us who were bewitched by his eloquence on the campaign trail chose to ignore some disquieting aspects of his biography: that he had accomplished very little before he ran for president,” he wrote.

And yet the bewitched thought it was freaking ludicrous that someone who had only been mayor of a small town and governor for a couple of years could be considered fit to be Vice President.

UPDATE: Even when the stars are finally knocked out of their eyes, some on the left remain so historically-challenged that they can’t remember the state of play from just a couple of years ago.  In the course of telling us that he should have voted for Hillary, one Bill McClellan throws in this whopper:  “It’s too easy to blame Republicans. Yes, they have blocked Obama at every turn, but that is the way of things in politics.”

Um, didn’t the Democrats control the presidency and both houses of Congress for two full years?  Republicans didn’t block the Democrats’ agenda.  They couldn’t.  They enacted a disasterous spending regime and then got tossed out.


Published in: on August 10, 2011 at 6:35 pm  Leave a Comment  

Hope and Change?

“Meet the snake.”

From the Chicago Boyz’ great reaction to the Wisconsin recall election.

Needs to be a bumper sticker.

Via Legal Insurrection.

Published in: on August 10, 2011 at 3:32 pm  Leave a Comment  

More Of The Same Bad Ideas Will Not Fix Our Problems

In his column today, WaPo’s Harold Meyerson begs President Obama to “go big on the economic solutions“:

It’s time to propose a massive second stimulus, offset by some serious tax hikes and budget cuts once the economy regains a semblance of good health. . . .

Economically, the case for a massive stimulus is a good deal stronger than the case for the rather minimal one that you’re calling for — extending unemployment insurance and the payroll tax cut, and establishing an infrastructure bank. A major stimulus is the only conceivable source of substantially increased economic activity and jobs for at least several years. . . . .

Which leaves us with this stark reality: If the federal government doesn’t intervene massively to help the economy, the economy will oscillate between neutral and reverse for many years.

What should that intervention look like? First, don’t just extend the 2-percentage-point reduction in the employee payroll tax, which is normally set at 6.2 percent. Eliminate the tax altogether, for employers and employees, at least temporarily. It would increase by $2,100 the take-home pay, and buying power, of workers making $50,000 annually. It would make it easier for small businesses to resume hiring.

Republicans have been cool even to extending the 2-percentage-point reduction in the employee tax. . . .  In fact, the presumably anti-tax GOP habitually supports taxes (payroll and sales, for instance) that don’t annoy the rich — and in the case of the payroll tax, Republicans want to raise it. This is not, however, a politically sustainable position when Americans are struggling to get by.

The payroll tax can’t be suspended indefinitely without compromising Social Security, which it funds. Its suspension should end when unemployment falls to a specified level — say, 7 percent.

We’ll need other, less fleeting forms of stimulus, too. You should call for renewing aid to state and local governments. Infrastructure bank or no, you need a long-term program to make our nation navigable again. (Our knowledge of how to get from A to B has improved, thanks to global-positioning technology, even as the road, airway and rail connections between A and B have declined.)

Those kinds of projects may take years to realize. Your first stimulus failed to establish a fast track for creating less-capital-intensive jobs in maintenance, rehabilitating buildings, and child- and elder care. It deferred job creation to state and local governments, which have taken forever to set up even such relatively low-tech endeavors as home-weatherization projects. This time around, you should acknowledge the bottlenecks in your first stimulus and call for a federal job corps to do this kind of work.

In other words, Meyerson wants more spending, and more taxes, other than the tax that funds our already bankrupt Social Security system, which he wants to stop funding for a few years or so.  In other words, he wants Obama to propose a bigger version of what the Democrats enacted in the first two years of his administration. 

Yet there is no evidence whatsoever that such measures had any positive effect on the economy or employment.  None.  To the contrary, there is a strong case to be made that the Democrats’ spending, redistributive policies and threat of tax increases are a major cause of the continued economic malaise.

Published in: on August 10, 2011 at 3:24 pm  Leave a Comment  

A Disarmed Populace . . .

. . . is a vulnerable populace.

Desperate Brits are resorting to shopping online for improvised weapons. They are buying out of baseball bats, billy clubs, and folding shovels. Yesterday, billy clubs saw a 41,000%+ increase in sales, until the item was pulled. Shipping times on their most popular baseball bat (up over 36,000%) slipped to 4-6 weeks. Today, a folding shovel is their new Sports and Leisure top seller, with sales up 239,000% in the past 24 hours!

When seconds count, help is only minutes away.  And in England, that help is generally unarmed and more concerned about the “rights” of the rioters than the safety of their victims.

Published in: on August 10, 2011 at 11:09 am  Leave a Comment  

On The Ground In Iowa

Robert Stacy McCain continues his reporting on the Republican contenders in Iowa here and at the American Spectator.  Check it out if you want to understand what’s happening without the desperately pro-Obama MSM filter.

Published in: on August 10, 2011 at 10:29 am  Leave a Comment