30 March 2010

NASA climate data not reliable, per NASA

Full article here
Global warming critics call this a crucial blow to advocates' arguments that minor flaws in the "Climate-gate" data are unimportant, since all the major data sets arrive at the same conclusion -- that the Earth is getting warmer. But there's a good reason for that, the skeptics say: They all use the same data. 
"There is far too much overlap among the surface temperature data sets to assert with a straight face that they independently verify each other's results," says James M. Taylor, senior fellow of environment policy at The Heartland Institute.

25 March 2010

House of Anger? Please.

The original article.

My take below

Unfairly or not, the defining images of opposition to health care reform may end up being those rage-filled partisans with spittle on their lips. Whether the outbursts came from inside Congress — the "baby killer" shout of Rep. Randy Neugebauer, and his colleagues who cheered on hecklers — or outside, where protesters hurled vile names against elected representatives, they are powerful and lasting scenes of a democracy gasping for dignity.
Since the media will largely control the 'defining images', this likely will be true to a great extent. As an adjunct of the Democrat party, most of the media will happily replay the clips that make the oppostion look 'rage-filled' and buffoonish. Similarly rabid protestors of the Iraq war were potrayed as simply exercising their rights in what was obviously a righteous cause.

Most of these vignettes are isolated incidents — a few crazies going off in a vein-popping binge. But the Republican Party now has taken some of the worst elements of Tea Party anger and incorporated them into its own identity. They are ticked off, red-faced, frothing — and these are the men in suits.
The accounts I've read of people who've actually attended Tea Party events describe orderly, polite protests - nothing 'red-faced' or 'frothing' about it. I'm sure there are crazies who show up, as there are crazies on the other side who don't represent most of the left. The tea party's views are mostly libertarian and - from what I've read - they've avoided affiliating with any existing party. They're not happy with pretty much any of the current crop of legislators. Bush was no proponent of smaller, less-intrusive government.
Here's an interesting commentary on an article discussing the supposed threats to Democrat lawmakers.

... as the party of the hissy fit, Republicans are playing with fire.
And Democrats should know as that's more often their role. (Low hanging fruit. Couldn't resist)

On Monday morning, most Americans awoke with some relief that the epic battle was over. Then, they tried to figure out what health care overhaul would mean to them. They found out that insurance companies would no longer be allowed to drop people if they get sick. They saw that older children could stay on their insurance through age 26. And the elderly, the most consistent voting block, discovered that the new law would gradually end a prescription drug donut hole that causes many of them to cut their pills in half to get through a month.

Saul Alinsky wrote a book - Rules for Radicals. Rule number 12:  "pick the target, freeze it, personalize it, and polarize it."This administration seems fond of Saul and his rules. In this case the target is insurance companies. The first step to a single payer health system is to get rid of the insurance companies. If insurance companies are required to cover people with existing conditions then why would anyone buy insurance before they became sick? That goes against the whole theory of insurance. Would anyone expect their auto insurance to cover them for an accident they had before they obtained coverage? Doesn't that sound silly?

No death panels. No socialized public option. No forcing people to change doctors or providers. And the most contentious part of the new law — requiring nearly everyone to get health coverage or pay a fine — does not kick in until 2014.

The fine will be pointless unless it is more than the cost of the insurance. I guess we'll see, but I'm guessing that won't be the case. And that 2014 date is interesting - that's when the requirements kick in, but the taxes start right away. That was the only way they could massage the numbers from the CBO to make it look like the plan isn't going to bankrupt the country.
But it's always better to be building something than destroying it.
That's just a silly statement.

Having welcomed Tea Party rage into their home, and vowing repeal, the Republicans have made a dangerous bargain. First, they are tying their fate to a fringe, one that includes a small faction of overt racists and unstable people. The Quinnipiac poll this week found only 13 percent of Americans say they are part of the Tea Party movement.
Again with a misportrayal of the Tea Party as being about rage. And here's one thought on the supposed racist faction of the Tea Party movement. There probably are racists among Tea Partiers but there are probably more in the Democrat party - or have we forgotten our President's long-time pastor Reverend Wright.
And let's not be too quick to dismiss that 13 percent who are 'part of the Tea Party movement'. Since this is a movement that's just about a year old, 13 percent doesn't seem too shabby. I'd consider it pretty impressive. I mean I'm not 'part of the Tea Party movement' but I feel a lot more affinity for them than either of the dominant parties.

It was the ancient Greeks who gave us a sense of what Republicans will be living with under this pact with rage. Many people are afraid of the dark, the saying goes. But the real tragedy is those who are afraid of the light.

Hmmm. A 'pact with rage' - really?
And I guess we'll see when and how brightly the light shines on the details of the new healthcare plan. Considering the administrations past aversion to transparency, I'm not expecting much.

Not likely, but makes sense to me ...

From my inbox...
An idea whose time has come 

For too long we have been too complacent about the workings of Congress. Many citizens had no idea that members of Congress could retire with the same pay after only one term, that they didn't pay into Social Security, that they specifically exempted themselves from many of the laws they have passed (such as being exempt from any fear of prosecution for sexual harassment) while ordinary citizens must live under those laws. The latest is to exempt themselves from the Healthcare Reform that is being considered...in all of its forms. Somehow, that doesn't seem logical. We do not have an elite that is above the law. I truly don't care if they are Democrat, Republican, Independent or whatever. The self-serving must stop. This is a good way to do that. It is an idea whose time has come.

Have each person contact a minimum of Twenty people on their Address list, in turn ask each of those to do likewise.

In three days, most people in The United States of America will have the message. This is one proposal that really should be passed around.

Proposed 28th Amendment to the United States Constitution

"Congress shall make no law that applies to the citizens of the United States that does not apply equally to the Senators and/or Representatives; and, Congress shall make no law that applies to the Senators and/or Representatives that does not apply equally to the citizens of the United States."
You are one of my 20.

01 March 2010

From an email forward ...

I'm Sick of "Inherited"

The Washington Post babbled again today about Obama inheriting a huge deficit from Bush, blah blah blah. Amazingly enough, a lot of people swallow this nonsense.

So once more, I'll try a short civics lesson.

Budgets do not get approved by the White House. They are passed only by CONGRESS and the party that controlled Congress since January 2007 is the Democratic Party. They controlled the budget process for FY 2008 and FY 2009, as well as FY 2010 and FY 2011. In that first year, they had to contend with George Bush, which caused them to compromise on spending, when Bush belatedly got tough on spending increases. For FY 2009, though, Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid bypassed George Bush entirely, passing continuing resolutions to keep government running until Barack Obama could take office. At that time, they passed a massive omnibus spending bill to complete the FY 2009 budgets.

And where was Barack Obama during this time? He was a member of that very Congress that passed all of these massive spending bills, and he signed the omnibus bill as President to complete FY 2009.

Let's remember what the deficits looked like during that period:

If the Democrats inherited any deficit, it was the FY 2007 deficit, the last of the Republican budgets. That deficit was the lowest in five years, and the fourth straight decline in deficit spending. After that, Democrats in Congress took control of spending, and that includes Barack Obama, who voted for those budgets. If Obama inherited anything, he inherited it from himself.

In a nutshell, what Obama is saying is I inherited a deficit that I voted for and then I voted to expand that deficit four-fold since January 20th.