20 January 2010

Mort's Buyer's Remorse

I wish I could have written so succinctly about how I felt about W back in 2006:

In the campaign, (Obama) said he would change politics as usual. He did change them. It’s now worse than it was. I’ve now seen the kind of buying off of politicians that I’ve never seen before. It’s politically corrupt and it’s starting at the top. It’s revolting.

Five states got deals on health care—one of them was Harry Reid’s. It is disgusting, just disgusting. I’ve never seen anything like it. The unions just got them to drop the tax on Cadillac plans in the health-care bill. It was pure union politics. They just went along with it. It’s a bizarre form of political corruption. It’s bribery. I suppose they could say, that’s the system. He was supposed to change it or try to change it.

I’m very disappointed. We endorsed him. I voted for him. I supported him publicly and privately.

The political leadership of the world is very, very dismayed. He better turn it around. The Democrats are going to get killed in this election. Jesus, looks what’s happening in Massachusetts.

14 January 2010

The Most Open and Transparent Administration Ever

President Obama has not held a full news conference at the White House since July 22, the night he said that the Cambridge Police "acted stupidly" in the arrest of Harvard professor Henry Louis Gates.

Since then, the president has delivered dozens of speeches and taken a few questions from reporters while with world leaders on foreign trips. But, lately, it is rare for him to take questions from the media at events or meetings at the White House.


In fact, today's Biden schedule highlight is a meeting with the chief of transparency for economic recovery. But, unfortunately, the transparency meeting is non-transparent, closed to the press. (See his full schedule below.) Which makes it -- what? -- secret openness? Open secrecy?


In the morning, the President and the Vice President will receive the Presidential Daily Briefing and the Economic Daily Briefing in the Oval Office. These briefings are closed press.

At 11:30 AM, the Vice President will meet with Secretary of Transportation Ray LaHood to discuss the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. This meeting is closed press.

Afterwards, the President and the Vice President will have lunch in the Private Dining Room. This lunch is closed press.

At 1:00 PM, the Vice President will meet with Iraqi Vice President Adil Abd al-Mahdi in the Roosevelt Room. There will be a pool spray at the bottom of this meeting; gather time is 1:45 PM in the Brady Briefing Room.

Then, at 2:15 PM, the Vice President will meet with Earl Devaney, chairman of the Recovery Act Transparency and Accountability Board. This meeting is closed press.

09 January 2010

And This is Just the Shootout

What. A. Game.


Mikko Koivu shootout goal

ChicagoJonathan Toews shootout saved
MinnesotaGuillaume Latendresse shootout miss
ChicagoPatrick Kane shootout goal
MinnesotaMarek Zidlicky shootout miss
ChicagoMarian Hossa shootout miss
MinnesotaAntti Miettinen shootout saved
ChicagoPatrick Sharp shootout saved
MinnesotaEric Belanger shootout saved
ChicagoKris Versteeg shootout miss
MinnesotaKyle Brodziak shootout miss
ChicagoAndrew Ladd shootout miss
MinnesotaCal Clutterbuck shootout saved
ChicagoTroy Brouwer shootout saved
MinnesotaOwen Nolan shootout goal
ChicagoJohn Madden shootout saved

06 January 2010

05 January 2010

Politically Correct to the End

A slow but methodical march toward the end of society:

(A) civilization becomes incompetent not only when it fails to learn the lessons of its past, but also when it becomes crippled by them. Modern Germany, to pick an example, has learned from its Nazi past to eschew chauvinism and militarism. So far, so good. But today's Multikulti Germany, with its negative birth rate, bloated welfare state and pacifist and ecological obsessions is a dismal rejoinder to its own history. It is conceivable that within a century Germans may actually loathe themselves out of existence.

In the U.S., our civilizational incompetence takes various forms. For instance: No country in the world collects more extensive statistical data about its own population than the U.S. And no country is as conflicted about the uses to which that data may or may not be put than the U.S. So what exactly is the point of all this measuring, collating and parsing?

Our deeper incompetence stems from an inability to recognize the proper limits to our own virtues; to forget, as Aristotle cautioned, that even good things "bring harm to many people; for before now men have been undone by reason of their wealth, and others by reason of their courage."

Can't See the Forest for the Lies

"Watch the Nice Hand; don't worry about what the Naughty Hand is doing:

Under the "Cornhusker Kickback," the federal government will pay all of Nebraska's new Medicaid costs forever, while taxpayers in the other 49 states will see their budgets explode as this safety-net program for the poor is expanded to one out of every five Americans.

Obviously Congress treats different states differently all the time, via earmarks and the like, but in this case there is simply no plausible argument for some kind of "general" benefit. The only state that gains from special treatment for Nebraska is Nebraska—and this actively harms all other states, which will have fewer tax dollars for their own priorities while effectively subsidizing the Cornhusker state.

The reality is that national taxpayers have subsidized New York and California's social services for years because Medicaid's funding formula rewards higher state spending. That spending helps explain why these two states, plus New Jersey, are in such budget fixes today. But we welcome Mr. Paterson's discovery that redistributing income via progressive taxation is harmful.

04 January 2010

If It's Monday

Then it must be time to get back to work wondering about stuff that very few others are worrying about, like where are all the killer hurricanes I was promised?
First, they concur with the believers that the Earth has been warming since the end of a Little Ice Age around 1850. The cause of this warming is the question. Believers think the warming is man-made, while the skeptics believe the warming is natural and contributions from man are minimal and certainly not potentially catastrophic a la Al Gore.

Second, skeptics argue that CO2 is not a pollutant but vital for plant life. Numerous field experiments have confirmed that higher levels of CO2 are positive for agricultural productivity. Furthermore, carbon dioxide is a very minor greenhouse gas. More than 90 percent of the warming from greenhouse gases is caused by water vapor. If you are going to change the temperature of the globe, it must involve water vapor.

Third, and most important, skeptics believe that climate models are grossly overpredicting future warming from rising concentrations of carbon dioxide. We are being told that numerical models that cannot make accurate 5- to 10-day forecasts can be simplified and run forward for 100 years with results so reliable you can impose an economic disaster on the U.S. and the world.

Life or death matter in Cliff Claven's hands:

If we suffer an anthrax attack, everyone who's been exposed will need antibiotics within three days of the attack. That's within two days of our discovery of the attack, if we're lucky. Every day of delay after that is a death sentence for roughly five or ten percent of those exposed.

How will we get antibiotics in the hands of what could be hundreds of thousands of really worried people? The Administration's answer is contained in an executive order released quietly last week: We'' get the Postal Service to do it.

Whether in Washington, Chicago or Kailua - The situation is being monitored.

It speaks eloquently to the Obama administration's priorities that it took the White House four days to acknowledge the "catastrophic breach of security" that led to the failed bombing of a US-bound jet on Christmas Day - but a scant four hours to accuse Dick Cheney of coddling terrorists.

02 January 2010

The Second Ammendment and You

Are you, by chance, one of those folks that seems content to let ol' #2 pass you by?

Danish police have shot and wounded a man at the home of Kurt Westergaard, whose cartoon depicting the Prophet Muhammad sparked an international row.

Mr Westergaard scrambled into a panic room at his home in Aarhus after a man wielding an axe and a knife broke in.

Danish officials said the intruder was a 28-year-old Somali, who they did not name, but said was linked to the radical Islamist al-Shabab militia.

There's really no act more selfish than trying to kill another person because they are not devout enough in your eyes.

His house has been heavily fortified and is under close police protection. Police said the man had entered Mr Westergaard's house armed with a knife and axe and had shouted in broken English that he wanted to kill him. Mr Westergaard ran to a specially designed panic room where he raised the alarm.

Police awareness and passive fortification didn't seem to suffice in this instance.

Fritz Keldsen, deputy chief superintendent of Aarhus city police, told the BBC: "We got the alarm message from this address, yesterday evening. And we came in strong numbers. "When we saw the suspect, he was moving away from the scene. Then he attacked the police patrol. He did that with such skill, that they had to shoot him. "The suspect was armed with an axe and a knife, which he used against the police. The police patrol managed to subdue him, with the use of firearms."

Going after the cops with the axe - somewhere along the line the "religion of peace" somehow got lost on this caveman.

Mr Westergaard told Jyllands Posten he was shocked that his five-year-old granddaughter, who was in the house at the time, had witnessed the attack.

Oh now that's a nice touch; just the memory making that makes time with ones' grandchild very special.

Just because you don't involved in and high-risk behavior like . . . cartooning . . . doesn't mean you won't ever face a lethal threat. Remember, when seconds count, the police are minutes away.