“Save The Planet: Stop The Greens”

A guy named Tim Worstall has a great post up today about climate change as an ideology dedicated to pumping money into technology that doesn’t provide the claimed benefits while neglecting others that might for reasons that are, shall we say, not entirely connected to saving the planet from climate change:

To subsidise one uneconomic and unproven technology but not another, both equally capable of solving the problem supposedly under discussion, non-carbon (or rather low-carbon, there are no non-carbon systems) energy generation, well, there’s at least a soupcon of a suspicion that the choice there is being made on ideological, not practical grounds.

* * *

I just don’t get why we’re pumping tens, possibly hundreds, of billions into technologies like windmills, which we know won’t work, to solar which doesn’t need subsidies any more, but not willing to put money into other interesting things which might work, like thorium just as one example.

Unless, of course, I’m right in that what we should do about this problem has been hijacked by those who don’t in fact want to solve this single, particular, problem of requiring low carbon energy generation but who want to use this agreed upon problem as a means of imposing their vision of the desirable lifestyle upon the rest of us. And so we go with solutions which won’t in fact work because they desire that the problem not be solved, but that we should accord with their instructions upon how society should be.

Yes.  The climate change movement is in large part more about reshaping society to more closely correspond with the greens’ view of what a “sustainable” anti-globalization society should look like than protecting the environment. 

Otherwise, enviros would prefer, for example, to tap our natural gas and oil resources at and close to home rather than, as Obama recently did, exhort others who lack our environmental protection standards and resources to tap their reserves more vigorously.  If the world is one system — which in large part it is — encouraging more production in countries that less sensitive to environmental concerns than the U.S. is certainly not the answer.

But that is not what the green movement is really about for many adherents.  It is about social change, not climate change.

Via Ace of Spades.

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Published in: on April 29, 2011 at 4:08 pm  Leave a Comment  

Reagan v. Obama On Recovery From A Recession

Compare and contrast:

• GDP. In the seven quarters after the 1981-82 recession ended, the economy cranked out quarterly growth rates that averaged 7.1%. Under Obama, GDP growth has averaged a mere 2.8%. (See chart at right.)

• Unemployment. Under Reagan, the unemployment rate had fallen to 7.5% by this point in the recovery. Under Obama, it’s still stuck at 8.8%.

• Long-term unemployment. There were far fewer long-term unemployed by this point in the Reagan recovery; just 18% of the unemployed had been without a job 27 weeks or more. Under Obama, that figure is an astonishing 45%.

• Consumer confidence. By this point in the Reagan recovery, the Conference Board’s Consumer Confidence Index had hit 100. Today, the index stands at just 65.4.

• Deficits. Under Reagan, the federal deficit was trimmed to 4.8% of GDP by 1984. Under Obama, the deficit is expected to climb to 10.9% of GDP this year.

It’s the policies that make the difference.  Where Reagan deregulated, Obama is over-regulating.  Where Reagan cut taxes, Obama desperately wants to increase them.  Where Reagan had spending under control, Obama is spending like a college kid with dad’s credit card and a hot date.

Meanwhile, as gas prices climb higher and higher, suffocating consumers and industry alike, Obama extolls the virtues of drilling for oil anywhere other than here.  Speculation and market manipulation are not causing the rise — if they could, why wouldn’t oil prices always be this high? — government interference is.

All of this takes a toll on investors, employers, and consumers.  We are all paying the price for the Democrats’ economically ignorant policies.

Published in: on April 29, 2011 at 8:11 am  Leave a Comment  

Paul Ryan Shows How It’s Done

The left is desperately — desperately — trying to use GOP town halls to create Tea Party RAGE! and momentum the way the real Tea Partiers spontaneously showed up to vigorously challenge Dems last year.  It appears not to be working very well.

Even better, the Republicans are not acting like churlish teenagers their Democratic counterparts.  They are, instead, acting like this:

At the last of four events on Rep. Paul Ryan’s “listening tour” of his district Thursday, he called on a man in the front row of a high school auditorium, then instantly recognized him.

“You changed clothes!” Ryan told Steve Jozefczyk. The 54-year old salesman from Franklin, Wis., had asked Ryan several critical questions from the front row of an event six hours earlier in Waterford, when he wore a shirt and tie. In Greenfield, it was a black “Faux News” parody T-shirt.

Josefczyk admitted trying to trick Ryan into calling on him again. But Ryan listened anyway.

You know, they’re acting like adults, like elected officials, like representatives of their constituents.  Isn’t that how the whole democracy thing is supposed to work?

Published in: on April 28, 2011 at 11:40 pm  Leave a Comment  

As Obama Founders, The Race Card Is Coming To The Fore’

This evening, NPR and David Letterman finally went where the Media has been heading for some time now.  Both have decided that Trump’s questioning of Obama’s natural born citizenship is racist and said so today for the first time (that I know of) explicitly. 

It seems they have forgotten the things said about George W. Bush, whose intelligence and background were questioned and lampooned somewhat regularly.  Last time I checked, he was a white guy. 

They also seem to have forgotten that the Media had no qualms about questioning John McCain’s citizenship in 2008.  I could be mistaken, but I think he’s fairly pale in complexion too. 

So, what makes this issue different?  Rather obvious, isn’t it? 

Any challenge to Obama cannot be countenanced because he is an utter disaster as a president.  He is completely unequal to the task.  The only thing he has going for him — the only thing — is the Media.  They are, and have been, fully invested. 

And the time for them to double down is fast approaching.  It won’t be pretty.

Published in: on April 28, 2011 at 11:26 pm  Leave a Comment  

Uh, Donald, You Just Don’t Mess With CK

Donald Trump today decided to call Charles Krauthammer, who we in the Hound household fondly refer to as CK, a “sad fool” for, according to Trump,  disagreeing with him on whether we should take and use Iraqi oil to pay for the Iraq war.   Game over.

Krauthammer is the finest columnist writing today.  Period.  He will, if he decides to bother, crush Trump with the power of his pen.

He is also beloved by conservatives.  Meaning, the folks who pay enough attention to vote in primaries and show up for caucuses love him, and with good reason.  Picking a fight with an intellectual welterweight and partisan hack like Obama is one thing.  Picking a fight with CK is definitely another. 

Good bye and good riddance, Trump. You’re fired. 

By the way, siphoning off Iraqi oil is a dumb idea.  We would simply confirm everything that a big chunk of the middle east is predisposed to think about us — and desperately needs to think about us.  It is the dumbest thing I have heard about ME policy since Jumpin’ Joe Biden suggested sending $100 Million to Iran to after 9/11.

Published in: on April 28, 2011 at 11:13 pm  Leave a Comment  

Media Malpractice

Andrew McCarthy notes the real scandal behind the Obama birth certificate stuff — the media’s refusal to do even the most cursory vetting of Obama as a presidential candidate:

If George W. Bush, Sarah Palin, or even a Republican the media likes (say, John McCain) had taken purposeful steps to block examination of so basic a document, the media would surely have turned such obstinacy into a scandal. The public might not have leapt to extravagant conclusions about whether they’d really been born in Kenya, or on Mars, or wherever. But they’d have thought it was intolerably strange that campaigns were retaining lawyers and amassing affidavits rather than just producing a seemingly innocuous, readily producible document. The story would never have been about the people asking for the birth certificate; it would have been about the candidate who was moving heaven and earth to prevent people from seeing it.

Indeed.  As I have said a bunch of times before, asking for proof of the basic constitutional requirement for a candidate for the office of President of the United States is no big deal.  We card people when they buy a beer; why not ask for proof of eligibility?  But the media not only refused to do that, they also tried desperately to delegitimize the issue and anyone who raised it. 

Meanwhile, the NYT and others had no problem delving into the question of constitutional eligibility with respect to Viet Nam Veteran war hero and prisoner of war John McCain.  If Obama “birthers” are racist lunatics, what does that make the NYT and other media outlets that ran down that particular rabbit hole with gleeful abandon?

Published in: on April 28, 2011 at 2:33 pm  Comments (1)  

The Boston Herald Asks: “Where The Hell Did Barack Obama Learn Economics?”

He didn’t.  That’s one of his fundamental problems. 

In a letter sent to congressional leaders Tuesday Obama put part of the blame for the sharp spike in gas prices on “increased global demand” compounded by “unrest and supply disruptions in the Middle East.” Well, China’s demand didn’t spike overnight and any disruptions from the serial crises in the Middle East have far more impact in Europe than here.

So the president notes — again — that “there is no silver bullet.” However, when in doubt blame Big Oil and propose to “eliminate unwarranted tax breaks to the oil and gas industry,” which he insisted were “wasteful subsidies.” Now if you take away $4 billion in tax breaks from the oil industry, what do you suppose that will do to the price of gasoline? Make it go up or down?

As a general matter, I don’t favor subsidies of any industry.  Let ’em compete on a level playing field, and we’ll all be better off.  So if Obama wants to get rid of “wasteful subsidies,” I’m in (although somehow I don’t think Obama would want to get rid of wasteful subsidies for solar, wind, rail, etc.). 

But set that aside.  How, exactly, does Obama think that extracting another $4 Billion in taxes from the oil and gas industry will lower the cost of gas?  There really are only two possible answers.  1) He’s an idiot.  2) He’s just demagoguing the issue; he wants to increase the price of gas (through higher taxation) while pretending to care that gas prices are high.

My money’s on a little of both.  Obama has shown pretty clearly that he has no understanding of economics.  And he has actually said that he wants gas prices to go up.  He’s perfectly willing to sacrifice the economy on the altar of global warming.

Published in: on April 28, 2011 at 11:59 am  Leave a Comment  

Back To Blogging After A Brief Interruption

Sorry for yet another blogging gap.  Mrs. Hound and I took her mother to Boston for a few days R&R.  Boston is one of our favorite towns, and a good time was had by all. 

We did the touristy Duck tour (amphibious trucks that give you a tour of the City and a stretch of the Charles River), attended an Easter Mass in Italian and post-church lunch at an Italian restaurant in the North End, ate well, drank our way through a few pubs, and saw lots of the usual sites. 

New this trip was a great long run along the Charles River to Cambridge and back in a light rain.  Beautiful, especially the part that runs through Harvard University.  Just stunning.

The last few days I was more interested in vacationing than following the news.  Not sure I missed much, except the media crowning Donald Trump king of the Republicans birthers and Obama finally releasing his long form birth certificate. 

Funny how easy that was to do.  Maybe the media should have spent more energy asking Obama for that rather than asking every Republican they came across what they thought about the issue.  Certainly now appears that checking his ID would have solved the issue pretty dang quickly. 

Once I get caught up with work, I plan to get caught up with the news and have a few comments.

Published in: on April 27, 2011 at 4:11 pm  Leave a Comment  

Michael Hancock For Denver Mayor

The Denver mayoral race is coming to a close, and I finally decided who to vote for — Michael Hancock. 

By way of background, the election is technically non-partisan.  That pretty much means Republicans need not apply, so my pickings are a bit slim.  No one in the race is perfect for me.  Not even close.  In particular,  the entire race is dominated by classic urban Democrats — people who have spent their entire lives in Democratic politics and political positions as opposed to working in the private sector.

That said, I am very impressed with Michael Hancock.  He came out of abject poverty, with a father who abandoned the family, projects-living, homelessness, and all that entails, including a murdered sibling and another that died of AIDs.  He put himself through school, kept his shit together, and built an impressive life.  That matters.

The thing that put him over the top, in my view, was simple but indicative of a certain style that I admire in politicians.  I have contributed modest amounts of money to local politicians on both sides of the aisle, so I am being bombarded with robo-calls as the election comes near (mail-in elections have already started).  A few weeks ago, something novel happened.  For some reason, I answered the phone when an unknown caller called, and it was Michael Hancock himself.

Even more remarkably, he was calling to just answer questions.  There was no sale pitch, stump speech, or anything else obnoxious.  He just wanted to know if I had any questions.  Impressive.

Of course, I hadn’t been paying as much attention to local city politics as I should have and had nothing specific to ask about.  So I told him that and asked where I could find more information.  He gave me his campaign web address and we signed off.  Here is when the next impressive thing happened. 

The next day, a member of Hancock’s campaign staff called to follow-up and make sure I had found the website and ask whether I had any remaining questions.  Again, no sales pitch, no crap, just a polite inquiry.  

I seriously doubt that Hancock and I share many views about the proper role of government.  But no one in the race shares my philosophy of limited government.  So I have to find the next best thing.

And so I enthusiastically voted for Michael Hancock for Denver Mayor.  Sir, your story is an inspiration to us all, your campaign is impressive, and while we likely disagree on most things, I have no doubt that you, like me, want what’s best for all of Denver.  Good luck and Godspeed.

Published in: on April 21, 2011 at 11:13 pm  Leave a Comment  

Redistribution By Taxation

Veronique de Rugy takes the wood to claims that the rich — whatever that means — are not paying their fair share of income taxes, as President Obama incessantly tells us.  She does it with a simple chart:

Green is share of total income.  Blues are share of total income taxes.  More information at the link.

President Obama and the Democrats in Congress view tax policy as a way to engage in (i) redistribution, not any concept of fairness that comports with the definition of the word, and (ii) social and economic engineering to favor certain industries, technologies, and groups (i.e. special interests). 

The only way to make taxes fair is to ensure that all segments of society feel a proportionate amount of pain to some degree, and to eliminate provisions that favor special interests.  This would have the added benefit of reducing market distortions that impede economic prosperity by favoring certain industries and groups instead of letting the market — meaning consumers like you and me — determine which will prosper.

Published in: on April 21, 2011 at 10:49 am  Leave a Comment  

What Is Wrong With Liberals These Days?

Jim Treacher and Professor Jacobson and many others are noting that the liberal website Wonkette decided to attack and mock (again) Sarah Palin’s three-year old disabled child.  What is wrong with these people?

Here is what is wrong with them.  Liberals claim to be tolerant, but are lying to themselves and everyone else about it. 

Gays must be embraced in the name of inclusiveness.  Conservatives must be shunned. 

9/11 “truthers” are welcomed or politely ignored.  Obama “birthers” are anathema. 

Piss on a picture of Jesus and you are an artist.  Piss on a Koran and you are an Islamaphobe.  Embrace Christianity and you are a dangerous proponent of theocracy.

If you are black or hispanic or a woman running for office, that alone is a sufficient qualification for election (see Obama, President).  Unless you are a conservative, in which case you are never qualified; in fact, you are a traitor who must be stopped at all costs (see Palin, Sarah).

Free speech is essential.  Unless you are a conservative addressing a crowd in Madison, Wisconsin (see Althouse, here), or any college campus.

And on, and on.  It is not diversity they want, but a certain kind of uniformity of views that correspond with their own.  If your views fit within that framework, you will be welcomed.  But if not, you will be attacked in the most hostile and unpleasant ways. 

That is in part because a large percentage of liberals do not want a debate on the merits.  They are losing the debate on the merits.  So they want to stop debate. 

(more…)

Published in: on April 21, 2011 at 9:49 am  Leave a Comment  

What, Me Biased?

At Big Government, Andrew Marcus reports that CBS “News” has decided not to release the whole “hot mic” recording of President Obama talking to a group of big money donors at a fundraiser.  It couldn’t possibly be because Obama has a habit of saying things that come back to bite him at such events, could it?  Perish the thought.

Published in: on April 20, 2011 at 3:17 pm  Leave a Comment  

The Dems’ New Civility, Part . . . Whatever

The University of Iowa college Republicans sent out a university-approved blast email inviting students and faculty to join them at various events in a “Conservative Coming Out Week.” 

With all the civility and eloquence we have come to expect from the modern left, “Professor of Anthropology and Gender, Women’s & Sexuality Studies in the Department of Gender, Women’s & Sexuality Studies,” Ellen Lewin responded to the kickball, flag-football, and BBQ invitation with this cogent argument against conservatism:

FUCK YOU, REPUBLICANS.

Ellen Lewin
Professor, Anthropology and Gender, Women’s & Sexuality Studies
Department of Gender, Women’s & Sexuality Studies

Note the novel use of all caps for emphasis.  Sheer genius.  How will the Campus Republicans ever respond to such a devastating argument?

Bonus stupidity — Professor Lewin later took offense to a student addressing her by her first name instead of “Professor.”

Setting aside Ellen’s useless department and virtually worthless field of study — have any of her students ever gotten a real job — her reaction to an innocuous and mildly funny email is indicative of a problem facing the left.  So many of their standard-bearers — academics and journalists being primary among them — live in such an intellectual bubble that they literally cannot mount a serious argument any more.

Enjoy your fifteen minutes of fame, Ellen.  Then go back to studying the Politics of Reproduction and Lesbian and Gay Anthropology.

Via Instapundit.

Published in: on April 20, 2011 at 12:37 pm  Comments (1)  

An Optimistic Take On Election 2012

Jim Geraghty presents the optimist’s view of Obama’s re-election bid.  By optimistic view, I mean one that posits that Obama will lose

I agree with all of his points in general, but especially these two:

Barring some sudden, steep drop in the unemployment rate, the Republican nominee will be able to say that the unemployment rate for every month of the Obama presidency has been higher than every month of George W. Bush’s presidency, every month of Bill Clinton’s presidency, and every month of George H.W. Bush’s presidency. What’s more, the current slow slide in the unemployment rate is driven heavily by Americans leaving the workforce, which is not the way we traditionally like to see people leaving unemployment.

* * *

For an allegedly great communicator, most of Obama’s efforts to move public opinion since taking office have fallen flat. He never moved the numbers on health care. . . .  He and his team can’t resist overpromising; his team put out a laughable chart about how the stimulus would keep unemployment low, and by September 2010, “Recovery Summer” was a punchline.

Obama is just a seemingly more charming Jimmy Carter retread, and as my post below notes, the charming part is starting to wear off.  So, frankly, I think Obama should be a relatively easy defeat.

But here’s the problem — who is going to challenge him?  As Mrs. Hound points out with some despair, it is hard to identify a solid challenger who can guide the party to a presidential  victory in 2012.  Until we have that, conservatives are in trouble.

Published in: on April 19, 2011 at 10:18 am  Leave a Comment  

The Washington Examiner — Obama Is Kind Of A Dick

Well, they don’t say it in so many words, but the Examiner’s editors have apparently noticed that President Obama is a partisan hack, not a thoughtful leader of the free world.   This will be a shock to many, as the Examiner notes:

Even as public opposition mounted to his policies — Obamacare, the failed economic stimulus program, cap and trade, skyrocketing government deficits — Obama retained a reserve of public good will reflected in consistently strong personal favorability ratings. People who didn’t like his policies generally still saw Obama as a likeable guy, somebody they would enjoy having over for dinner with the family.

But his partisan nasty streak is now showing (actually, it’s been there all along, just generally ignored by the entirety of the media).

That presents a real danger to his presidency.  Obama comes across as a decent guy when having his ego stroked by adoring media sycophants.  But when challenged, he is a jerk.  I expect to see a lot more of that on display.  If people also start to suspect he is a jerk, what does he have left?

Failing to lead in Libya, Egypt, Iran, Syria.  Check.

Failing to lead on jobs and the economy.  Check.

Failing to lead on reigning in government spending.  Check.

Failing to close Guantanamo, win Afghanistan, leave Iraq.  Check.

But he’s a nice guy narcissistic incompetent jerk!

Published in: on April 18, 2011 at 2:05 pm  Leave a Comment