Monday, November 30, 2009

YouTube - Michael Crichton - Unpopular Truth

Bowing Crashing Retreating - What's News Tonight

The core of the POTUS support is the hard Democratic base plus the near unanimous African-American vote. That is why POTUS polls will unlikely go below 40% even in the worst of times. John Fund noted that there is a surprise in that the Latino vote has sagged to 60% for a Democratic president; and the white vote overall is at 39%. What causes all this disconfort? Politicio's Mike Allen argues effectively that is it issue based following the long Asia trip and right at the eve of the Afghanistan speech. Perhaps too it is based on a perception that the White House is overwhelmed and undermanned. Karen Hooper,, tells me that an explanation for the State Department's many mistakes on Honduras is that Latin America is a low priority for an overtasked Obama team. This is the same explanation I have heard when asking about the Korean peninsula and the Kim regime problem. The same explanation I have heard with regard the chilly treatment of India. And the same explanation I have heard about the unstable dollar. Excuses don't much work unless you are an infant or a puppy.

Welcome back John Batchelor to nightly programming.

9PM, WABC NY. (and others.)

Fouad Ajami: The Arabs Have Stopped Applauding Obama -

We had once taken to the foreign world that quintessential American difference—the belief in liberty, a needed innocence to play off against the settled and complacent ways of older nations. The Obama approach is different.

Steeped in an overarching idea of American guilt, Mr. Obama and his lieutenants offered nothing less than a doctrine, and a policy, of American penance. No one told Mr. Obama that the Islamic world, where American power is engaged and so dangerously exposed, it is considered bad form, nay a great moral lapse, to speak ill of one's own tribe when in the midst, and in the lands, of others.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Defending Obama…Again | Cato @ Liberty

Let’s use an analogy. Obama’s FY2009 performance is like a relief pitcher who enters a game in the fourth inning trailing 19-0 and allows another run to score. The extra run is nothing to cheer about, of course, but fans should be far more angry with the starting pitcher. That having been said, Obama since that point has been serving up meatballs to the special interests in Washington, so his earned run average may actually wind up being worse than his predecessor’s. He promised change, but it appears that Obama wants to be Bush on steroids.

Climate change data dumped - Times Online

SCIENTISTS at the University of East Anglia (UEA) have admitted throwing away much of the raw temperature data on which their predictions of global warming are based.

It means that other academics are not able to check basic calculations said to show a long-term rise in temperature over the past 150 years.

The UEA’s Climatic Research Unit (CRU) was forced to reveal the loss following requests for the data under Freedom of Information legislation.

I think the term "sientists" would better be quoted in this article rather than all-caps.

Saturday, November 28, 2009

New York Appellate Court Rules in Favor of Basketball Arena Developers -

"Instead, the majority argued that because the state had designated the area as blighted, the takings were therefore a 'public use,' and it was not the place of the court to interfere. Nevermind that the determination of blight was based largely on a study funded by . . . the aspiring developer."

Android News. The Googlephone: Google gears up for attack on mobile-phone market

Google sounded its intentions two weeks ago when it purchased a small company called Gizmo5, which had developed technology to connect Google Voice with voice-over-internet (Voip) networks such as Skype. Now Google has the means to offer a complete, end-to-end phone service, with which consumers can make and receive calls between the Googlephone and other phones or computers anywhere in the world, and often for nothing.

“We’ve never had this situation, where a single vendor controls the entire stack, from the operating system right up to Google’s cloud services,” says Kumar. “It changes the competitive and bargaining dynamics like never before.”

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

A Decade Later, FCC's E-Rate Program Still A Mess - Welcome to dysfunction junction... -

The FCC could take a new look at the program when new FCC Commissioner Julius Genachowski finally gets Congressional approval. But any serious telecom reform may not happen until August, and USF reform may again be buried under the clamor surrounding the creation of a new national broadband policy. Even then, should lobbyists get their way, most of the USF "reform" could focus on ensuring that Verizon and AT&T get a broader slice of the USF pie, not on holding carriers and E-Rate money recipients more accountable.

Emphasis added.

And the band plays on.

Monday, November 23, 2009 News

Peter Harvey, a partner at Patterson Belknap Webb & Tyler LLP, who attended a Nov. 18 lawyer fundraiser for Cuomo and has been a supporter since Cuomo ran for attorney general, said that a contribution means “you get a meeting.”

No Special Treatment

“You get an opportunity to communicate your thoughts but that doesn’t mean the person listening is going to agree with you,” he said. In fact, he said, “because you are a supporter they will be careful not to give you any special treatment” so they can’t be accused of anything.

Uh, yeah, sure.

The Dodd-Frank Bills Leave No Bondholder Behind -

While most scholarly investigations of the too-big-to-fail phenomenon start from the premise that it's a problem, Messrs. Dodd and Frank appear to view it as the cornerstone of our financial system. This may not be surprising given their history. Mr. Frank is famous for saying he wanted to "roll the dice" with Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.

Less well known is how Mr. Dodd has labored to make Wall Street increasingly eligible for the taxpayer safety net. By raising expectations that bailouts will be available, he has, as much as anyone in Congress, encouraged the risk-taking that took the financial system to the brink of ruin.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Driving in the Wrong Direction: The Sordid Details and Lasting Consequences of the Bush/Obama Auto Industry Intervention | Cato Institute: Policy Foru

According to their own interpretation of events, the Bush and then Obama administrations rescued the entire U.S. auto industry from imminent disaster and total failure. But in fact, a potential collapse only threatened General Motors and Chrysler, whose years of bad decision-making had finally caught up with them. Pouring cash into these two corporate clunkers may have "saved" them, for now, but in the process other companies were penalized, laws were circumvented, property rights were trampled, and America's tradition of free enterprise was badly damaged.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

David S. Broder - David Broder: Fears of health-reform cost are justifiable

I have been writing for months that the acid test for this effort lies less in the publicized fight over the public option or the issue of abortion coverage than in the plausibility of its claim to be fiscally responsible.

This is obviously turning out to be the case. While the CBO said that both the House-passed bill and the one Reid has drafted meet Obama's test by being budget-neutral, every expert I have talked to says that the public has it right. These bills, as they stand, are budget-busters.

George F. Will: Fossil fuels belie environmentalism -

For many years, most oil was used for lighting and lubrication, and the amounts extracted were modest. Then in 1901, a new well named for an East Texas hillock, Spindletop, began gushing more per day than all other U.S. wells combined.

Since then, America has exhausted its hydrocarbon supplies. Repeatedly

Thursday, November 19, 2009

The $100 Million Health Care Vote? - The Note

I am told the section applies to exactly one state: Louisiana, the home of moderate Democrat Mary Landrieu, who has been playing hard to get on the health care bill.

In other words, the bill spends two pages describing would could be written with a single world: Louisiana. (This may also help explain why the bill is long.)

Senator Harry Reid, who drafted the bill, cannot pass it without the support of Louisiana’s Mary Landrieu.

How much does it cost? According to the Congressional Budget Office: $100 million.

Cloward–Piven strategy - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

The Cloward–Piven strategy is a political strategy outlined by Richard Cloward and Frances Fox Piven, then both sociologists and political activists at the Columbia University School of Social Work, in a 1966 article in The Nation. The two argued that many Americans who were eligible for welfare were not receiving benefits, and that a welfare enrollment drive would create a political crisis that would force U.S. politicians, particularly the Democratic Party, to enact legislation "establishing a guaranteed national income."


House Panel Approves Broad Auditing of Federal Reserve -

The approval came as the House Financial Services Committee concluded weeks of debate on a sweeping financial-overhaul bill to create a new council of regulators to wind down large institutions that pose a risk to the economy. A final committee vote on the bill will be postponed until after Thanksgiving.

Mr. Paul's amendment removes restrictions on the Government Accountability Office's auditing authority, giving auditors access to every item on the Fed's balance sheet. He for more than 20 years has championed significantly neutering the Fed.

Let's "hope", but somehow I think we'll be remembering sayings about snowballs and hell soon.

Obama Promotes Louis Butler Despite WI Voters Rejecting Him -

As consolation prizes go, Louis Butler can't complain. After being twice rejected by Wisconsin voters for a place on the state Supreme Court, the former judge has instead been nominated by President Obama to a lifetime seat on the federal district court. If he is confirmed, Wisconsin voters will have years to contend with the decisions of a judge they made clear they would rather live without.

Judge Butler served on the state Supreme Court for four years, enough time to have his judicial temperament grow in infamy. Having first run unsuccessfully in 2000, he was appointed by Democratic Governor Jim Doyle to the seat vacated by Justice Diane Sykes in 2004. But after serving four years, voters had seen enough of his brand of judicial philosophy, making him the first sitting justice on the Wisconsin Supreme Court in four decades to lose a retention election last year.

The Google Phone Is Very Real. And It’s Coming Soon

Way more interesting are the rumors we’ve been hearing for months about a pure Google-branded phone. Most of our sources have unconfirmed information, which we describe below. But there are a few things we have absolutely confirmed: Google is building their own branded phone that they’ll sell directly and through retailers. They were long planning to have the phone be available by the holidays, but it has now slipped to early 2010. The phone will be produced by a major phone manufacturer but will only have Google branding (Microsoft did the same thing with their first Zunes, which were built by Toshiba).

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

How Andy Stern Got Around Obama’s “No Lobbyist” Policy; He Just Didn’t Register

President Obama has always made a pretty big deal about not working with “lobbyists”. Registered lobbyists can’t get stimulus money, can’t be White House advisors and are not allowed access to meetings and summits. So how does one get around that? It’s simple; you just don’t register as a lobbyist. That’s what Andy Stern did and it may come back to bite him.

Al Gore and the Great Debate: Will He or Won’t He?

The notion of remaining silent is not one readily associated with Al Gore. But, by his steadfast, years-long refusal to do anything other than pontificate about his views, such as defend them in an exchange with anyone who might know what they’re talking about, he does seem to be adopting some form of the adage “Better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to speak out and remove all doubt”.

The Health Care Rationing Commission -

Like most of Europe, the various health bills stipulate that Congress will arbitrarily decide how much to spend on health care for seniors every year—and then invest an unelected board with extraordinary powers to dictate what is covered and how it will be paid for. White House budget director Peter Orszag calls this Medicare commission "critical to our fiscal future" and "one of the most potent reforms."

On that last score, he's right. Prominent health economist Alain Enthoven has likened a global budget to "bombing from 35,000 feet, where you don't see the faces of the people you kill."

When preschoolers ask questions, they want explanations

"Curiosity plays a big part in preschoolers' lives. A new study that explored why young children ask so many 'why' questions concludes that children are motivated by a desire for explanation."

Apparently nature is conditioning them for a career in seeking government grant money where endless studies must be conducted to confirm that which is already obvious to normal people.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Jobs Saved or Created in Congressional Districts That Don't Exist - ABC News

Here's a stimulus success story: In Arizona's 15th congressional district, 30 jobs have been saved or created with just $761,420 in federal stimulus spending. At least that's what the Web site set up by the Obama administration to track the $787 billion stimulus says.

There's one problem, though: There is no 15th congressional district in Arizona; the state has only eight districts.

Monday, November 16, 2009

David Brooks, Senior Editor The Weekly Standard

Mr. Brooks graduated from the University of Chicago in 1983, and worked as a police reporter for the City News Bureau, a wire service owned jointly by the Chicago Tribune and Sun Times.

David Brooks is a joke. A potential talk-show host.

Paterson Rips White House For NYC 9/11 Trial -

"This is not a decision that I would have made. I think terrorism isn't just attack, it's anxiety and I think you feel the anxiety and frustration of New Yorkers who took the bullet for the rest of the country,"

"Our country was attacked on its own soil on September 11, 2001 and New York was very much the epicenter of that attack. Over 2,700 lives were lost," he said. "It's very painful. We're still having trouble getting over it. We still have been unable to rebuild that site and having those terrorists so close to the attack is gonna be an encumbrance on all New Yorkers."

The Real Axis of Evil: Washington, the Fed, and Wall Street

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Carl Sagan - 'A Glorious Dawn' ft Stephen Hawking (Cosmos Remixed)

And... in case you are wondering as I was...

Friday, November 13, 2009

Kim Strassel: The EPA's Paranoid Style -

Meet the Obama EPA, and its new suppressing, paranoid style. It was the president who once ripped the Bush administration for silencing scientific critics, and it was EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson who began her tenure promising the agency would operate like a "fishbowl." But that was before EPA realized how vastly unpopular is its plan to usurp Congress and regulate the economy on its own, based on its bizarre finding that CO2 is a danger to health.

After spending binge, White House says it will focus on deficits - Mike Allen and Jim VandeHei -

"On the practical side, Obama has spent more money on new programs in nine months than Bill Clinton did in eight years, pushing the annual deficit to $1.4 trillion. This leaves little room for big spending initiatives."

Have we reached the DUH moment yet?

Thursday, November 12, 2009

ACORN Sues Over 'Unconstitutional' Funding Cuts By Congress -

Representatives for ACORN sued the federal government Thursday morning in an attempt to regain the millions of dollars in funding the community organizing group lost after filmmakers videotaped its workers offering advice on how to commit tax fraud and various other felonies.

The suit charges Congress with violating the Constitution when it passed legislation in September that specifically targeted ACORN to lose federal housing, education and transportation funds.


A group of imbeciles in a nation of imbeciles being run by imbeciles.

Nothing surprises me any more.

Video Interview: Ken Auletta, Author of "Googled: The End of the World as We Know It" | Kara Swisher | BoomTown | AllThingsD

Two things….

Rumors of Microsoft’s death are much exaggerated. If it were a small company, of the sort that the New York Times is getting to be, then yes, we could see the handwriting on the wall. But it’s a big company, with lots of money in the bank, and more importantly an installed base that can’t be easily dislodged.

Suppose Congress/Obama mandated that every vehicle purchased by the US government be from GM. Furthermore, everyone who wanted to visit DC to interact with government had to use a GM vehicle (hey this actually happened!), and everyone corresponding by other means must prove ownership of a GM vehicle. Another company comes along with personal airplanes that fly themselves and, theoretically, obsolete the car, and the government requires that they all be equipped with 4 heavy rubber tires and be shaped like a car. After trying to ignore complaints of unfair GM advantages, the government launches an investigation into companies still making horse drawn carriages (IBM in my little morality play).

That’s the situation that has been in place with Microsoft for years, and even with some Google fans in the White House, I don’t see it changing anytime soon. While our politicians may talk about change, the unelected people who are in Washington don’t care for it at all. The only reason the Feds stopped buying Wang mini computers was that the company stopped selling them. There was gnashing of teeth when bureaucrats had to actually think about what all those machines were doing so that functionality could be transferred to machines running Windows, Oracle, Powerbuilder. Most of those people plan to retire before they ever put themselves through such a thing again.

As to logic versus “emotional intelligence”… I’ve always thought such terms are really intended to describe things that are in fact logic, but which haven’t been described yet in terms of logic. “Intuition” for example. That is, if in fact the actions you take by such means ultimately work out for the good. But what if the results of this intuition can’t be measured, and what if those who propose it as unmeasurable do so intentionally?

Of course there is a lot of that going around these days, with changes being proposed the benefits of which cannot be measured, now or in the future. How convenient. Such thinking is the playground for corruption and snake oil salesmen, voodoo economics and ultimately Luddism. The extent to which Google partakes of this is proportional to the extent to which they cause their own downfall.

For how many years have we been asked to accept the notion that we are well served by a desktop operating system which is installed insecure by design, but for which you must pay extra to buy software to change all those settings to (hopefully) make it more secure? That there are “viruses” that the OS can’t detect, but which add-on software can? That sounds a lot like the sort of “emotional intelligence” we are being asked to consume these days in all aspects of our life.

I hope Google sticks to it’s engineering bias toward being able to predict and measure things. I just wish the country as a whole could reacquaint itself with that same concept and atttude.

Judy Shelton: The Fed's Woody Allen Policy -

In the Woody Allen film "Annie Hall," the main character tries to explain irrational relationships by recounting an old joke. "This guy goes to a psychiatrist and says, 'My brother's crazy, he thinks he's a chicken.' The doctor says, 'Well, why don't you turn him in?' And the guy says, 'I would, but I need the eggs.'"

It takes similar reasoning to reconcile the elation felt across America every time the stock market rises—partially replenishing personal investment portfolios and 401(k) retirement plans—with the uneasy feeling that we are being set up for yet another big financial disappointment. We dare to hope that the economy is growing solidly once more, that the Federal Reserve has superior knowledge about providing liquidity, and that the U.S. Treasury knows what it's doing by guaranteeing money market-fund assets.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

FCC Falling Afoul of Key Senators

Setting aside tersely-worded warnings from Senate Commerce Committee Chairman Sen. John (Jay) Rockefeller (D-W.Va.) regarding the prospect of the FCC submitting a broadband plan that is “complicated, esoteric, filled with grandiose ideas and dependent on protracted rulemaking to implement,” the Committee as a whole is reportedly concerned about the overly highbrow nature of discussions regarding the plan:

“There’s growing concern within the Senate Commerce Committee that the process has become too academic. Dozens of workshops designed to provide the public with an opportunity to learn about the plan and interact with the agency have featured Ph.D.-level policy discussions that even some telecom experts have difficultly understanding.”

Update: Lou Dobbs to Quit CNN - Media Decoder Blog -

Well known for his political positions, Mr. Dobbs is an outlier at CNN, which has sought to position itself as a middle ground of sorts in the fractious cable news arena. The CNN employees said Wednesday that they did not know if Mr. Dobbs was moving to another network.

Middle ground: HA!

Stimulus fund job benefits exaggerated, review finds - The Boston Globe

While Massachusetts recipients of federal stimulus money collectively report 12,374 jobs saved or created, a Globe review shows that number is wildly exaggerated. Organizations that received stimulus money miscounted jobs, filed erroneous figures, or claimed jobs for work that has not yet started.

The Globe’s finding is based on the federal government’s just-released accounts of stimulus spending at the end of October. It lists the nearly $4 billion in stimulus awards made to an array of Massachusetts government agencies, universities, hospitals, private businesses, and nonprofit organizations, and notes how many jobs each created or saved.

Jobs or no jobs, I'm sure those who knew the right people got paid off for their "support".

One of the largest reported jobs figures comes from Bridgewater State College, which is listed as using $77,181 in stimulus money for 160 full-time work-study jobs for students. But Bridgewater State spokesman Bryan Baldwin said the college made a mistake and the actual number of new jobs was “almost nothing.’’ Bridgewater has submitted a correction, but it is not yet reflected in the report.

A silly claim even if it were true. That's $482 in total for each "full time" job? That's starting to sound like the Chinese wages we keep hearing about. I had no idea they were paying that type of slave wages in upscale MA. This Obamanomics is something isn't it?

Groklaw - Microsoft Patents Sudo?!!

Lordy, lordy, lordy. They have no shame. It appears that Microsoft has just patented sudo, a personalized version of it.

Here it is, patent number7617530. Thanks, USPTO, for giving Microsoft, which is already a monopoly, a monopoly on something that's been in use since 1980 and wasn't invented by Microsoft. Here's Wikipedia's description of sudo, which you can meaningfully compare to Microsoft's description of its "invention".

This is why what the US Supreme Court does about software patents means so much. Hopefully they will address the topic in their decision on Bilski. Sudo is an integral part of the functioning of GNU/Linux systems, and you use it in Mac OSX also. Maybe the Supreme Court doesn't know that, and maybe the USPTO didn't realize it. But do you believe Microsoft knows it?

Über-Programmer Ditches Yahoo Over 'Lame' Microsoft Deal - Yahoo - Gawker

No one likes Yahoo's search deal with Microsoft. Wall Street wanted more up front money; tech elites called it an abdication, a "shame" and "seppuku." Now Yahoo is losing a programming icon over the embarrassing arrangement.

UPS vs. FEDEX: Ultimate Whiteboard Remix

Official Gmail Blog: More extra storage for less

While storage costs have been dropping naturally, we've also been working hard to improve our infrastructure to reduce costs even further. Today, we're dramatically lowering our prices to make extra storage more affordable. You can now buy 20 GB for only $5 a year, twice as much storage for a quarter of the old price, and enough space for more than 10,000 full resolution pictures taken with a five megapixel camera. And if you need more than 20 GB, you can purchase up to 16 terabytes!

Upgrading Storage : How it works - Picasa Help

I noticed today that suddenly I had a LOT more spare space on my Google account. Seems Google has gotten much more generous with paid storage:

20 GB - $5/yr
80 GB - $20/yr
200 GB - $50/yr
400 GB - $100/yr
1 TB - $256/yr
2 TB - $512/yr
4 TB - $1024/yr
8 TB - $2048/yr
16 TB - $4096/yr

Wisdom of Radio Callers...

"It's a badge of honor to be called a teabagger by a scumbag."

Holman Jenkins: The Economic Uses of Al Gore -

In retrospect, a significant moment was the falling apart or debunking of two key attempts seemingly well-suited to clinch matters for a scientifically literate public. One, the famous hockey stick graph, which suggested the temperature rise of the past 100 years was unprecedentedly steep, was convincingly challenged. The other, a mining of the geological record to show past episodes of warming were sharply coupled with rising CO2 levels, fell victim to a closer look that revealed that past warmings had preceded rather than followed higher CO2 levels.

These episodes from a decade ago testified to one important thing: Even climate activists recognized a need for evidence from the real world. The endless invocation of computer models wasn't cutting it. Yet today the same circles are more dependent than ever on predictions made by models, whose forecasts lie far enough in the future that those who rely on them to make policy prescriptions are in no danger of being held accountable for their reliability.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Catholic Bishops Help Pass Pelosicare

The AARP and American Medical Association supported H.R. 3692, the Affordable Health Care for America Act of 2009, but a careful analysis of the media coverage demonstrates that it was the U.S. Catholic Church that provided the winning margin. Yet, the liberal media are failing to raise the issue of the alleged separation of church and state.

Contrary to some media reports, the U.S. Catholics Bishops never opposed a national health care scheme. In fact, their main objection was to a provision for federal funding of abortion. Once that provision was eliminated, the Catholic Bishops embraced the bill.

Fouad Ajami: From Berlin to Baghdad -

It would stand to reason that 45 years of vigilance would spawn a desire for repose. The disputations of history had ended, we came to believe. Such was the zeitgeist of the '90s, the Nasdaq era, a decade of infatuation with globalization. The call of blood and soil had receded, we were certain then. Bill Clinton defined that era, in the way Ronald Reagan had defined his time. This wasn't quite a time of peace. Terrorists were targeting our military installations and housing compounds and embassies. A skiff in Aden rode against one of our battleships. But we would not give this struggle the label—and the attention—it deserved.

Monday, November 09, 2009

Why the Berlin Wall Fell -

Those contrasts were even more apparent to the Germans trapped on the wrong side of the Wall. Barbed wire, closed military zones and the machinery of communist propaganda could keep the prosperity of the West out of sight of most people living east of the Iron Curtain. But that wasn't true for the people of East Berlin, many of whom merely had to look out their windows to understand how empty and cynical were the promises of socialism compared to the reality of a free-market system.

Yet it bears recalling that even these obvious political facts were obscure to many people who lived in freedom and should have known better. "Despite what many Americans think, most Soviets do not yearn for capitalism or Western-style democracy," said CBS's Dan Rather just two years before the Wall fell. And when Reagan delivered his historic speech in Berlin calling on Mr. Gorbachev to "tear down this wall," he did so after being warned by some of his senior advisers that the language was "unpresidential," and after thousands of protesters had marched through West Berlin in opposition.

Sunday, November 08, 2009

Report: 237 millionaires in Congress - Erika Lovley -

"Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) gained about $9.2 million. Sen. James Inhofe (R-Okla.) gained about $3 million, Sen. Daniel Inouye (D-Hawaii) had an estimated $2.6 million gain, and Richard Shelby (R-Ala.) gained about $2.8 million.

Some lawmakers have profited from investments in companies that have received federal bailouts; dozens of lawmakers are invested in Wells Fargo, Citigroup, Goldman Sachs and Bank of America."

Ya don't say!

Saturday, November 07, 2009

George F. Will on the changing climate for a global warming treaty -

In their new book, "SuperFreakonomics," Steven D. Levitt, a University of Chicago economist, and Stephen J. Dubner, a journalist, worry about global warming but revive some inconvenient memories of 30 years ago. Then intelligent people agreed (see above) that global cooling threatened human survival. It had, Newsweek reported, "taken the planet about a sixth of the way toward the Ice Age average." Some scientists proposed radical measures to cause global warming -- for example, covering the arctic ice cap with black soot that would absorb heat and cause melting.

Thursday, November 05, 2009

YouTube - Chris Matthews Guest: "You're Making My Leg Tingle"

Mathews shows again that he can dish it out but can't take it. What a pathetic performance.

Herbert Pardes: The Coming Shortage of Doctors -

In the debates about the current "hot topic" of political conversation there seems to be a steady confusion, or maybe obfuscation is a better word, between "health coverage" (that is, insurance) and "health care" (that is, doctors, hospitals, medicines and affiliated technologies). All of this conveniently glosses over the issue of supply (demand we seem to have a handle on)...

Even in the absence of health-care reform, according to the American Association of Medical Colleges, the U.S. will face a shortage of at least 125,000 physicians by 2025. We have about 700,000 active physicians today. One factor driving this shortage is that the baby-boomer generation is getting older and will require more care. By 2025 the number of people over 65 will have increased by about 75% of what it is today—to 64 million from 37 million today.

Doctors are also aging. By 2020, as many as one-third of the physicians currently practicing will likely retire. If health-care reform adds millions of people to the health-care market, the shortage of doctors will be even greater than it is projected to be now.

Dems Need to Start Over -

Mr. Obama campaigned on a pledge to spare 95% of Americans from tax increases, but the American middle class is slowly figuring out that it will eventually be asked—that's the polite way of putting it—to pay for all of this. These looming bills, and not only from the $787 billion stimulus, are clouding the investment outlook.

Nowhere is this more true than on health care. The House bill is the very definition of a job killer, funding another entitlement program with a payroll tax equal to 8% of wages on businesses that don't offer insurance even as it inflicts a huge 5.4-percentage-point marginal rate tax hike on those earning over $500,000. The Democrats' own Joint Tax Committee says that one-third of the $460.5 billion this is estimated to raise over 10 years will come from small businesses that create most new jobs.

Some TVs Go Directly Online for Streaming Movies -

The early answers didn’t inspire many couch potatoes to get off the sofa. You could either plug a laptop computer into your TV set (assuming the computer and the television had the right connections) or buy a box, called a media extender, for your home theater that received streaming files from your computer. Media extenders proved obstreperous and confusing: some files wouldn’t play on some extenders, the boxes were awkward to set up and movie downloads were painfully slow.

Paul Ingrassia: How Ford Made Its Comeback -

"It's interesting, then, that Consumer Reports rates the quality of the four-cylinder Ford Fusion higher than the Toyota Camry and Honda Accord, and the Lincoln MKZ higher than its Acura and Lexus counterparts. The Fusion and MKZ are built in a factory without job classifications because it's in Hermosillo, Mexico, and isn't represented by the UAW. If Ford targets future expansion in Mexico, the recent contract vote will spell further decline for a union that, like Detroit's car companies, badly needs cultural change."

Obama administration missteps hamper Mideast efforts -

"President Obama came into office insisting that his administration would press hard and fast to resolve the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. But after nine months, analysts and diplomats say, the administration's efforts have faltered in part because of its own missteps."

Daniel Levy, a veteran Israeli peace negotiator now at the Century Foundation in Washington, summed up the administration's efforts in recent days as "amateur night at the Apollo Theater." He said the administration did not game out the consequences of its demands on the parties -- and then flinched. "They just dug deeper and deeper their own grave," he said. "All of this talk of negotiations doesn't cut the mustard in the region."

Coincidental Obscenity Deemed Extremely Dubious -

In a looking back article on a recent California gubernatorial veto the mathematics are discussed and the comments contain some amateurish efforts to mimic the veto letter, but then there is one gem:

For a former actor and bodybuilder, this governor shows a remarkable
understatement in letting the legislature know what he really thinks, and in
communicating what those moonbats need to hear, even if it upsets their
karma or chakras or whatever.

Their problem is not illiteracy; they can read between the lines without any
help from the media. Their problem is innumeracy; they don't get basic
economic principles enough to see what everyone else can see, that
most of their state's economic problems are of their own doing.

Wednesday, November 04, 2009

Saying No To Big Software -

According to Sims, open-source software is not only as good as proprietary vendor software, but in many cases, he claims it's even better. In addition, he says he has saved his company over 50% in IT costs annually since he replaced proprietary software from Oracle, Microsoft and Hewlett-Packard with open-source solutions.

Slashdot Your Rights Online Story | Secret Copyright Treaty Leaks. It's Bad. Very Bad.

How's that "change" working out for ya?

Cuomo Files Antitrust Suit Against Intel -

"The suit alleges that for several years, Intel sought to maintain its dominance of the computer-chip market by paying billions of dollars in kickbacks to computer makers under the guise of 'rebates.' The suit also alleges Intel threatened computer-makers—including Hewlett-Packard Co., International Business Machines Corp., and Dell Inc.–with retribution if they marketed products with chips made by competitors."

I'm glad I'm not the only one to spot this guy's obvious resume building activities. While in this case I agree that Intel probably has dirty hands, this would make more sense as a Justice Department action, who instead has been saber rattling at IBM while turning a blind eye to the activities of Intel and Microsoft.

We need someone to investigate the investigators.

Tuesday, November 03, 2009

YouTube - Dont Copy Europes Mistakes: Less Government Is the Right Way to Fix Healthcare

Bye-bye Arne: Why we don't need an education secretary - Class Struggle - Jay Mathews on Education

"I think the No Child Left Behind law, supported by both parties, was an improvement over previous federal policies, but it was only copying what several states had already done to make schools accountable and identify schools that needed extra help.

Duncan will never admit this, but I am betting that soon he will realize, if he hasn't already, that he had the potential to do much more for students when he was running the Chicago schools. He was able to make vital decisions like appointing principals, rather than push papers and give speeches in his new Washington gig."

Also from Cato:

Too bad Mathews wasn’t willing to go all the way on this. But just for proposing that we put the position of U.S. Secretary of Education out to pasture, he deserves some hearty applause.

The Secret Diary of Steve Jobs: We are closing in on 5.3% market share -- watch out, Microsoft!

Surprise: ABC’s Sawyer Hits Gore on Profits From Global Warming, Plays Glenn Beck Attack |

Speaking of the upcoming global warming conference in Copenhagen and of China’s environmental record, Sawyer quizzed, "And everyone keeps saying, how can go and have the U.S. commit to controls when China is not doing the same thing? What's the point?" After Gore ducked the question and touted the country’s solar power facilities, the ABC host tried again: "But they're still the major polluter on CO2."

Finally, the anchor highlighted a front page story in the November 3 New York Times on how some critics accuse Gore of profiting from climate change: "But they [the New York Times] say you are about to become, perhaps, the world's first carbon billionaire because of the amounts of money that you've made from your investments, from your green investment."

Sawyer certainly should be commended for being far tougher than CBS Evening News host Katie Couric. As the MRC’s Brent Baker noted, she enthused on "I'm honored to be joined today by the Godfather of Green, the King of Conservation: Former Vice President Al Gore."

Gore’s Dual Role in Spotlight - Advocate and Investor -

Mr. Gore and his partners decided to back the company, and in gratitude Silver Spring retained him and John Doerr, another Kleiner Perkins partner, as unpaid corporate advisers.

The deal appeared to pay off in a big way last week, when the Energy Department announced $3.4 billion in smart grid grants. Of the total, more than $560 million went to utilities with which Silver Spring has contracts. Kleiner Perkins and its partners, including Mr. Gore, could recoup their investment many times over in coming years.

Monday, November 02, 2009

“Internet Freedom”: How Statists Corrupt Our Language — Technology Liberation Front

What makes Maddow’s comments so stunning is not her view that corporate America, rather than government, is the real enemy of freedom. That view is simply part of the long-regnant political orthodoxy. No, what’s stunning is that she actually thinks that her side is losing the “war of words” just because Sen. McCain had the gall to use the term “Internet Freedom” as a rallying-cry for the outdated, bourgeois notion that “freedom” means the absence of coercion by the one entity that can enforce its commands at the point of a gun and call it “justice”: that coldest of all cold monsters, the State. That’s precisely what “liberalism” used to be about until people like Rachel appropriated that word and words like “liberty” and “freedom” as slogans for control.

Technology News: Tech Buzz: How to Solve the Net Neutrality Issue

Regulation by the U.S. government is not the way to keep the Internet neutral. A better approach would be self-regulation. Now is the time for ISPs to support an independent, private body to monitor neutrality issues and forestall the possibility of the FCC "managing competition" on the Internet.

Anyone who has followed how well the FCC "managed competition" in telecommunications gasps with horror at the thought that a similar fate might await the Net. Indeed, even the left-leaning Electronic Frontier Foundation is worried about the FCC's move toward Net neutrality regulations since, as EFF staff attorney Corynne McSherry correctly argues, "experience shows that the FCC is particularly vulnerable to regulatory capture and has a history of ignoring grassroots public opinion."

Sunday, November 01, 2009

Pay-to-Play and the Tort Bar -

Mr. Cuomo's campaign happens to have received $200,000 from securities law firms. Perhaps it's merely a coincidence that the expected candidate for governor in 2010 doesn't want to investigate his funders. Mr. Cuomo recently proposed legislation that puts restrictions on campaign donations from investment firms seeking pension business. His proposal does not seek the same restrictions on securities law firms. Perhaps that's another coincidence.

If Mr. Cuomo won't investigate pay-to-play torts on his own, then someone else should investigate Mr. Cuomo's relationship with these pay-to-play law firms.