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.

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

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’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:

BARACK OBAMA MUST BE A ROBERT HEINLEIN FAN! Robert Heinlein:

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  

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  

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  

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  

The Boy King’s Epic Failure

Over at Commentary Contentions, Jonathon Tobin sums up the status of the Obama presidency thusly:

Obama came into office thinking all of the country’s problems, both domestic and foreign, were the fault of his predecessor, a myth he still clings to. Having been handed the reins of power along with comfortable Democratic majorities in both houses of Congress, he had two years to do as he pleased. That’s exactly what he did as he rammed through a trillion dollar stimulus and a health care bill that vastly expanded federal entitlement spending. These measures were unpopular and cost him his majority in the House of Representatives. But worse than that, they were a failure, and burdened by his ideology-based inability to embrace policies that will promote growth, he has led the country to ruin.

If Obama appears clueless today it is because he has already played every card in his hand during the first half of his one term. All that is left to him now is the last resort of every political failure: to blackguard his opponents and hope that demonizing them, as he hopes to do with the populist Tea Party movement, or to incite prejudice against them, as he plans to do with Mitt Romney should he be the GOP nominee, will ensure his re-election. The trouble with this strategy is it is an attempt to divert the public’s attention from the one thing they can never be distracted from: an economic collapse he has helped bring about.

Emphasis added.  America hates a loser, and it hates a whiner.  Obama is increasingly perceived on all fronts as both.  As Glenn Reynolds often says, at this point, Carter part II is looking like a best case scenario.

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

The Daily Kos Is Delusional

I know, no big surprise there.  But this is exceptional:

Beyond Wisconsin, if we can enjoy a similar “loss rate” in Republican-held districts (picking up 33 percent of them), Speaker Nancy Pelosi will have a huge majority in 2013. We had a message that resonated with large numbers of working people in overwhelmingly white working-class districts that shifted hard against Democrats in 2010. GOP overreach is winning them back for us. Just think, before today, only 13 state legislators had been recalled in the entire history of this nation.

So yeah, I feel strangely energized and elated.

Must be the medical marijuana.

Here’s an alternative view — the unions shoveled money by the truckload into an election and lost 4 out of 6.  In addition, 1 of their 2 wins involved Randy Hopper, who was last seen shacked up with his 25 year-old mistress.  When that’s the best you can do despite an all-out effort, you might want to reconsider the popularity of your views.  Just a thought.

Stay tuned, since the recall vote for the Dems who fled the state to avoid doing their jobs comes next.

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

Who Are The Real Economic “Terrorists”?

Just a few days ago, columnist Froma Harrop was busy attacking Tea party activists and House Republicans associated with them in, shall we say, rather harsh terms:

The tea party Republicans have engaged in economic terrorism against the United States–threatening to blow up the economy if they don’t get what they want. And like the al-Qaida bombers, what they want is delusional: the dream of restoring some fantasy caliphate. . . .  That the Republican leadership couldn’t control a small group of ignoramuses in its ranks has brought disgrace on their party.

Today, Ms. Harrop laments the bankruptcy of a small town back East:

CENTRAL FALLS, R.I. — The stock market plunged over 500 points last Thursday, but no one seemed very perturbed about it in this tiny factory town. Three days before, Central Falls had filed for a Chapter 9 bankruptcy. These working-class folk see bottoms fall out on a regular basis.

* * *

If any U.S. city was destined to go bankrupt, it was this one — though Vallejo, Calif., beat it by three years. Like Vallejo, ruinous public-employee contracts sent Central Falls over the edge. Unlike the San Francisco suburb, Central Falls has a smaller, less economically diverse tax base. (The median household income is under $33,520 a year.) Its local government at the time of the bankruptcy filing was far more corrupt than Vallejo’s.

On this thin tax base, Central Falls faced an annual deficit of $5 million and unfunded pension obligations of $80 million. For a long time, its police and firefighters could retire on full pensions after only 20 years of service. So even though their monthly payouts were not princely, workers could start collecting them — and free health coverage for life — while in their 40s. Bankruptcy lets a city tear up union contracts and start over.

* * *

Being able to erase foolish spending decisions made in more prosperous times is a tempting proposition. Very few cities have tried bankruptcy so far, but many are considering it.

The experience of Vallejo offers some warnings on the dangers of going the bankruptcy route, however. Harrisburg, Pa., and others on the brink, take note.

Vallejo’s bankruptcy resulted in a $9.5 million legal bill and a black eye to its reputation. Bankruptcy is a booming announcement that the local government is dysfunctional. For some businesses, having the city’s name on the letterhead becomes an embarrassment. A lawyer and real estate broker recently moved out of Central Falls, not because he didn’t like the city, but because its name has become a stigma associated with failure.

But like other depressed factory towns, Central Falls retains its reputation as a nice place filled with nice working people. Less than an hour from Boston and loaded with some lovely housing now selling super-cheap, the city will rise. Its next generation, meanwhile, is playing soccer while the sun shines.

Central Falls may be a nice place full of nice people, but they spent too much money, made promises they could not keep, drove out businesses, and went broke.  Who are the “terrorists” — the ones who desroyed the economic viability of their own communities or the ones trying to clean it up?  It is amazing that people such as Harrop choose to attack the latter while giving the former a complete pass.

Published in: on August 9, 2011 at 11:41 am  Leave a Comment  

Talk About Stuck On Stupid

Widener Law School has decided to double down after a faculty committee determined that a couple of students — Jennifer Perez and Nadege Tandoh, to be precise — falsely accused law professor Lawrence Connell of engaging in racist and sexist conduct.  The school is requiring Connell to submit to a psychiatric examination before it will reinstate him.  Professor Jacobson has the details.

Speaking of nutjobs, who in their right mind would go to Widener or hire one of its graduates after this spectacle?  Not me.  The place is a joke.

Published in: on August 9, 2011 at 10:57 am  Leave a Comment  

Is Obama Smart?

No.  “The presidency of Barack Obama is a case study in stupid does.”

You read it here first, though.

Published in: on August 9, 2011 at 10:40 am  Leave a Comment  

The Brilliant Fast And Furious Operation

This, apparently, was the ATF’s plan for the Fast and Furious operation:

1.   Sell over a thousand weapons to Mexican Sinaloa drug cartel.

2.   Don’t follow the guns.

3.   Don’t follow the money.

4.   ???

5.   Take the entire Sinaloa cartel down!  Yeah baby!

It didn’t quite work out as planned.  Details here

The more I read about it, the more I am convinced that the whole plan was directed at using U.S.-bought  weapons in the hands of Mexican drug cartels as an excuse to agitate for more gun control in the U.S.

Via Ace of Spades.

Published in: on August 5, 2011 at 5:16 pm  Comments (2)  

This Kind Of Sums Up The Whole Obama Administration

“I think the key is not to get too bogged down in detail.”   Seriously.

Even with this kind of fluff, Obama can’t play it straight:

“If somebody asks about taxes, nobody is really interested in hearing what precise marginal tax rate change would you like to see in the tax code,” Obama said. “What they want to know is that our campaign stands for a fair, just approach to the tax code that says everybody has to chip in, and that it’s not right if a hedge fund manager is being taxed at a lower rate than his or her secretary.”

Really, “everybody has to chip in”?  OK, how about the 49% who pay no federal income taxes whatsoever?  Somehow, I don’t think Obama wants them paying their fair share. 

On Afghanistan and Iraq, Obama said: “If somebody asks about the war, whether it’s Iraq or Afghanistan — if it’s Iraq, you have a pretty simple answer, which is all our folks are going to be out of there by the end of the year. If it’s Afghanistan, you can talk about, look, we think it’s time for us to transition to Afghan lead and rebuild here at home. So, again, it’s a values issue: Where are we prioritizing our resources?”

Out by the end of what year?  I am not in favor of abandoning Iraq or Afghanistan, but who on earth would believe Obama’s time-tables at this point, even if they wanted to?  Every year, its “by the end of the year,” and the deadline keeps slipping. 

That’s one of the essential problems with Obama — he just makes stuff up.  The end of this year becomes the end of next year, which later becomes the end of the year after that.  Taxing hedge fund managers becomes taxing small business owners and those trying to acquire some modicum of wealth, and will eventually become taxing the middle class — without ever openly advocating for it, mind you — to pay for an ever-expanding welfare and regulatory state.

Published in: on August 4, 2011 at 2:02 pm  Leave a Comment