I'm on Twitter! More Must Reads

    follow me on Twitter

    Saturday, February 28, 2009

    Health Care - Why Hard Cases Make Bad Case Law

    William F. Buckley used to like to say that "Hard cases make bad case law" as a way to counter arguments that Liberals usually used to explain why their particular choices needed to be enacted into law.

    These usually involve some hard luck sob story that is designed to stir people to say "We should do something about that." The Conservative typically has a difficult time refuting these things, focused as we tend to be on the larger picture. The reality is the consequences of setting policy based on the needs of the few usually results in unintended consequences in regards to the needs of the many.

    Such is the case of Pamela Rinchich, who Rob (of The Online Magazine formerly known as Rob's Blog) highlights today (guess this story ran on CNN this week).

    While the story says her case is "not unique" it provides us no numbers to back this up, and the Families USA group who is pushing this story does not give us any numbers either.

    But, applying a little Radcon math to it, we can make some assumptions - let's assume that about 92% of Americans who want to work today are employed, and that of those 92%, all of them have either employer-provided health coverage, or can provide it themselves through a private policy (it's Radcon math, y'all, so unless you can improve the assumption with some actual numbers, I am going with it). That leaves the 8% of Americans who are now unemployed. The latest number who are drawing unemployment benefits is about 7 million Americans. Again, the number is higher for all unemployed, but let's limit our discussion to those drawing unemployment benefits, as they would be the one's who fall into Ms. Rinchich's scenario.

    Let's assume all of them lost their employer-provided health insurance with their jobs and went the COBRA route. Of those 7M, how many need to use their COBRA benefits for the 18 months for something other than routine medical care? About .5% of Americans will be diagnosed with cancer each year, and let's assume that the vast majority of them are in retirement, say 50% are, so they are ineligible for our survey. That means about .25% of people who fall into the "employment eligible" group have cancer. Let's multiply by 10 to make that number account for other expensive diseases, and we'll get to 2.5%. So, using very crude radcon math, we're looking about 150,000 people who fall into Ms. Rinchich's scenario. Of those, we can expect that some number of them will be covered completely under the COBRA scenario, and eventually find work again. Since COBRA benefits can be carried for 18 months, let's assume that of that 8% unemployed, half of them find work in time to resume their medical benefits. That cuts the number down to 75,000. So, that's my estimate of the number of people who fall into Ms. Rinchich's category.

    Certainly 75,000 of anything does not make it unique, so, I agree that her situation is not unique. But, is it worthy of radically altering our entire health care system, which seems to work just fine for the 260M or so of covered people? Hard cases make for bad case law.

    Since Rob cherry picked the article, I have some more questions that the article didn't answer:
    • Ms. Rinchich is now married. Is she not covered under her husband's health plan? Is he unemployed, too? Is it a pre-existing condition for her that they won't cover her? (Seems given the political persuasion of CNN, this would be another chance to bash the current system, so I assume this is not the case).
    • The story says she owes $268 dollars to her cancer doctor. Can she NOT come up with $268? Is there no United Way where she lives? No church's or other charities?
    • Has she run out of money to pay anything? Does her husband have no money? She was laid off in March 2008. Under COBRA, she would have 18 months of coverage at her expense, but, less than 5 months later (Honeywell covered her through September), she has quit paying the premiums, apparently. Why? The article leaves us to wonder. My suspicion is she elected not to pay for her COBRA coverage, which probably she was eligible for in September, when her Honeywell severance package likely expired in September.
    What Rob doesn't tell us is that the just-passed Stimulus package includes a provision where the government will pick up 65% of COBRA premiums as part of the unemployment package. So, for people in her situation, there is already some relief.

    That doesn't answer the problem. We have a problem with coverage in this country. The government just isn't the answer.

    See my previous post on this for more.


    Truth in Budgeting. A little.

    This week, we got a view of the Federal Budget, and the budgeting process, as it will be practiced by Obama.

    Now that the stimulus package has passed, and, apparently, with it, the threat of another Great Depression, we see the Obama administration has now become quite bullish on the economy, which they tout in their 2010 budget laughingly titled (I kid you not), "The New Era of Responsibility."

    Pretty funny, eh. The administration that just gave us $800B of deficit spending, on top of a Democrat- authored $700B "bailout," topped by a $400B Omnibus Spending Bill, is now proposing to reduce the deficit (they have created) by half by 2013, through "spending" cuts. Trouble is, they project ahead spending on the war in Iraq to continue as it is today, then cut that, and count it as a spending cut, then, they layer on $1T in tax hikes on anyone making over $250k/year and call that a spending cut, then institute a "cap and trade" scam to control greenhouse emissions and count the proposed revenues from that as a spending cut.

    From Peter Orzsag: "All told, there's $2 trillion in deficit reduction contained in this budget, roughly a trillion dollars in reduced spending compared to the current policy path that we are on [compared to the current policy path we're on - the Iraq War], and roughly a trillion dollars in additional revenue compared to the current path that we were on [tax increases, not yet enacted]."

    Also in this budget, are some pretty rosy assumptions about GDP growth in the next few years. For 2010 (next year) they are predicting 3.6% GDP growth, and over 4.0% for 2011-2013. Those rosy predictions help them get to the 1/2 deficit reduction, and are unlikely to come true. Those predictions are about double the average for the last 2o years, and approach rates of the late Clinton years (of course, they are below the rates achieved during the Reagan years, so, maybe we can give them some credence).

    I hope that the economy rebounds as this administration hopes, too. But, Bill Clinton and Ronald Reagan did not bind the economy with a $1.2T spending package, massive tax increases on the wealthy (history lesson - Clinton lowered cap gains taxes after he raised the income tax rates), huge increases in spending on health care, and a massive cap and spend tax increase scheme, and those are just the things I can remember.

    It is what it is. Clearly, this guy's spending priorities would not be mine. On the Hill, it's going to be business as usual with earmarks and pork projects, every industry in this country is in danger of being nationalized, and we're looking at social policy that leads to the further breakdown of the family and the American identity.

    Oh well...


    Friday, February 27, 2009

    Jay's Reply to Rob - plenty of corrupt D's to go around:UPDATE

    In an updated question - since it is very likely that had Gregg not passed on the Commerce Sec'y job, he would be confirmed by now, what do we think the chances are that the current story about his real estate dealings (all, apparently, legal and aboveboard) would have come out with him as a member of the Appointed One's Cabinet?

    That's right. Zero.

    Original Post below:

    Since "Rob's Blog" can't accept comments right now, here is my reply to his post on Judd Gregg being a crook:

    • Tim Geithner - Tax Cheat
    • Bill Richardson - Tax Cheat
    • Tom Daschle - Tax Cheat
    • Nancy Killefer - Just what is a "Chief Performance Officer" anyway?
    • Blago - Creep, liar, shakedown artist
    • Roland Burris - Liar
    • Frank Murtha - traitor and pork merchant
    • Charlie Rangel - tax cheat
    • Harry Reid - real estate cheat (must run in the Senate?)
    • Al Sharpton - convicted liar and race baiter (not that there's anything wrong with that)
    • Jesse Jackson - shakedown artist
    • William Jefferson - thief
    • William Jefferson Clinton - cretin and serial pardoner
    • Dan Rostenkowski - thief
    • Ted Kennedy - murderer (at the least manslaughterer)
    • Robert Byrd - Klansman
    And those are just the one's I can list from memory in about 15 seconds. How about with some research:
    • Kwame Kilpatrick - Detroit Mayor
    • Barney Frank (ok, it was his "boyfriend"running the prostitution ring out of Barney's place)
    • Sheila Dixon - Baltimore mayor
    • Bill Campbell - Atlanta mayor
    • Marion Barry - DC Mayor (what is it with Dem mayors of large, majority-black, cities?)
    • James Traficant - The hair couldn't keep him out of jail
    • Edward Meszvinsky
    • Hillary Clinton (cattle futurist, Whitewater scammer, Travel Office firer)
    • Don Siegelman - bribery
    • Guy Tucker - Gov. of Arkansas; fraud
    • Kent Conrad - Shady real estate sweetheart deal
    • Chris Dodd - Senator from Countrywide
    • Al Gore - Buddhist temple shakedown artist; Global Warming Alarmist; d-bag
    • Eric Holder - Assisted Clinton's in pardoning Marc Rich and FALN terrorists
    • Tim Mahoney - Florida rep. paying off his girlfriend
    • Sandy Berger - traitor
    • Robert Torricelli - thief
    • James McGreevey - creepy NJ governor
    • Mel Reynolds - Child molester
    • Alcee Hastings - impeached federal judge, found his home as a Congressman!
    • Hazel O'Leary, Henry Cisneros - Clinton appointees who were corrupt
    and finally, Tony Rezko's good pal and another "smart" real estate investor:
    • Barack Obama
    Anyway, this is not to say Republicans are squeaky clean. They are not. But to act like only Republicans are corrupt is the height of hypocrisy. Get over yourself Rob, you're not half as smart as you want to be.


    Thursday, February 26, 2009

    Idol Results, 2nd 3

    Updated at 10pm:

    As I semi-predicted, Kris Allen managed to make it to the final 12. He's this season's 13-year old's heartthrob, replacing David Archuleta. Of course, Allison and Adam Lambert made it as well.

    The producers left us with Adam and Nick to duke it out in the end. But, while we had to get Adam, we are no longer left with Nick, so, there is some justice. Then, we had to listen to Adam screech Satisfaction.

    Since the judges may take a few people from this group in there sing-off on two weeks, here's who I think they may take:

    1. Megan Corkrey - near 100% probability
    2. Matt Giraud - about 90% probability
    3. Jesse Langseth - 75% chance
    4. Mishavonna Barton - 30% chance
    No one else rates.


    Inside DialIdol.com's numbers

    Looking at the dialidol.com predictions for tonight's 3 finalists, they are predicting the top male as Adam Lambert and the top female as Allison Iraheta.  While Lambert makes me want to puke, I know he's the pimped-out choice from the judges and his placement in the 12 hole last night showed everyone on the Idol set was expecting him to succeed. 
    The more interesting thing is the next one.  It's very close between Matt Giraud and Jesse Langseth, with DialIdol giving just an edge to Matt. 
    This is all based on DialIdol's scoring mechanism, which, I may point out, correctly predicted last week's finalists.
    If you look beyond the dialidol score, to the raw numbers that dialidol has, you can see that choosing Lambert and Iraheta is still a no brainer (especially for Iraheta, who has a runaway lead over Megan Corkrey, with a sizable busy percentage number). While Nick Mitchell is much closer to Lambert in raw numbers of vote attempts, his busy percentage is near nil, indicating a much broader base of support for Lambert and why Mitchell's #5 of the guys in the dialidol score.
    Looking at those raw votes and busy percentages, it is kind of hard to understand why dialidol has Giraud ahead of Kris Allen.  Both had the same busy percentage, with Allen getting 2x as many raw votes as Giraud.  Yet in the dialidol scoring, Allen finishes behind Matt Breitzke.  The same here is true of the Corkrey/Langseth deal.  Corkrey 2x votes, 2x busy, but dialidol putting Langseth number 2.
    I should point out that last week, we didn't see this phenomena with Michael Sarver and Anoop Desai.  While Anoop garnered nearly 80% more raw votes than Sarver, his busy percentage was much, much less. Thus, dialidol vaults Sarver ahead of Anoop, and, boom they are right.
    But, this week's phenomena is slightly different.  I think that 3rd slot is really a tough one to call.  It could go to Corkrey, Langseth, Allen, Giraud, Breitzke, or Mitchell, but I wouldn't bet against dialidol.com.  This is statistical analysis, and they have been using this methodology for 8 seasons and have been able to refine it that whole time.
    Stay tuned...

    Idol, the 2nd 12

    Tonight was week 2 of the final 36 on Idol.

    I must admit, I flew through it tonight, but, I hate Adam Lambert. I hope he doesn't make it with America, but, the judges want him in the final 12, and they'll get a choice this year.

    But, of the others, Allison Iraheta, and Megan Corkrey were good. Jesse Langseth has an interesting voice.

    So, we will see.

    Perhaps Kris Allen will break through. After East Coast voting, the insufferable Adam Lambert is in the lead, with Matt Giraud second of the men. Allison is well in front of the girls, with Jesse Langseth (who's voice, but not expressions) I like.

    Let's see tomorrow what happens after West Coast voting.

    And, finally, Karl Rove is following me on Twitter! Am I awesome, or what!


    Sunday, February 22, 2009

    Congrats to Phil, A pox on Obama

    Congrats to Phil Mickelson, who had a big lead today, then blew it, then came back to win at the Northern Trust Open in L.A. Look out Phil and the rest of you golfers, Tiger is coming back, so you're all done.

    In other news, the Obama administration this week is going to hold a "Fiscal Responsibility Summit."

    No, I'm not kidding. Their idea of fiscal responsibility includes higher taxes on "the rich" and higher corporate taxes, too. This in the middle of our worst recession since 1979. They will do this by allowing the Bush tax cuts to expire in 2010. They say only those who had their marginal rates reduced from 39% back in 2002 will suffer. Seeing how they let Nancy Pelosi write the "stimulus" bill, is there any doubt that this time, too, we will see those entire tax cuts rescinded, which will mean higher tax payments for every single American who pays income taxes.

    Since only about 50% pay income taxes anymore, that'll be politically palatable to them.

    So, if you're one of those 50%, prepare to be screwed yet again by the messiah.


    Thursday, February 19, 2009

    Idol: The First Three

    Last night on American Idol, the first three of 12 finalists were chosen by America voting.

    In no real surprise, Danny Gokey, Michael Sarver, and Alexis Grace (who, amazingly does not yet have any fan sites on Facebook) were chosen. They all sang well and deserved it. Dialidol.com correctly predicted the top three, and they were my choice as well.

    The only real question was going to be whether Anoop Desai could edge out Sarver. Unfortunately (for him), the answer was no.

    I thought the decision to place Sarver/Desai together so early in the show after announcing Alexis as one of the final three was pretty poor planning on the Idol producers part. Everyone who watched the show knew that Gokey was going to make the final three. His lead on dialidol.com was so massive and his status as early favorite so ingrained, the rest of the contestants had to know they were doomed. However, the AI producers clearly wanted to give him the pimp closing-the-show spot. Although I find Tatiana Del Toro quite annoying, even she knew when she was paired with Gokey at the end that it was over for her. Not even votefortheworst.com could save her (let's see how much enthusiasm they can gen up for Normun Gentul next week!).

    If I have the rules correct, the judges will get to choose up to 10 contestants to compete in week 4 in a "wild card" round. I believe the judges will choose the top 3 from that round to go with the 9 chosen by us.

    So, with that in mind, my predictions for people from this round who will make it into the Wild Card round:
    1. Anoop Desai - 95% chance
    2. Ricky Braddy - 75% chance
    3. Tatiana Del Toro - 50% chance
    4. Anne Marie Broshkevitch - 30% chance
    All the rest, I put at 0%, as they all sucked. I'm sorry, Jackie Tohn, if you gave yourself a "91" for Tuesday's performance, it just shows how "Tohn Deaf" you are. Simon is right, you are a "clown."

    What do YOU think? Did America get it right? Who should the judges reconsider from this group?


    Wednesday, February 18, 2009

    FW: Comment on Comment By Jane's On UK / France Submarine Collision


    Editor Jane’s Fighting Ships, Commodore Stephen Saunders, (retired), explained, “The reported collision between HMS Vanguard and Le Triomphant in early February is a very serious incident.  As far as I am aware, it is the first time that the submarines of two friendly nations have been involved in such an accident. In this case, both submarines appear to have been on ‘deterrent patrol’ or on passage to or from patrol areas. Both UK and France have operated a Continuous at Sea Deterrence posture for many years.”


    Saunders continued, “There seem to be three main issues, firstly, procedurally there is a NATO waterspace management organisation, a sort of air-traffic control underwater, which enables national submarine operators to ‘deconflict’ their submarine operations. Submarine operations tend to be sensitive with the whereabouts of ballistic-missile submarines the most sensitive of all, but I would have thought it possible to at least arrange to be in different parts of the ocean without compromising operational security. I am unsure to what extent France participates in this scheme. France has not been a member of the NATO military structure since the 1960s but I was under the impression that a there is some liaison on these matters.”


    My comment: "waterspace management" is the wrong term, but, why deal with semantics here. I don't know how the Brits and French operate, but, for us, patrol areas for BN's are typically not shared with anyone, except the ship itself, and STRATCOM back in my day knew what patrol areas you had assigned (they assigned them), but they didn't know where the CO chose to operate within those areas.  The SSBN would receive every other non-deterrent patrolling submarine's subnote and it was the SSBN's responsibility to stay clear of those. However, we wouldn't have had any info on even a US SSBN's patrol areas, much less a French or Brit SSBN.  In the case of the US SSBN's, it was STRATCOM's responsibility to deconflict when they issued the water.  We may have shared some of this info at the STRATCOM level with the Brits, but I seriously doubt we ever did with the French, and I doubt the Brits and French shared it, either (well, obviously, they don't even today).


    “Secondly, why didn’t the submarines detect each other? The modus-operandi of most submarines, particularly ballistic-missile submarines, is to operate stealthily and to proceed undetected. This means operating passively and therefore not transmitting on sonar and making as little noise as possible. A great deal of technical effort has gone into making submarines very quiet by reduction of machinery noise for example. While in parallel much effort has gone into improving the capability of sonars to detect other submarines, detection was clearly made too late or not at all in this case.”


    My Comment: Pretty clearly a modern SSBN going 3-5 knots is hard to detect.


    “And finally bad luck, even if two submarines do find themselves in the same area, it is still bad luck to end up in the same place at the same depth and run into each other.”


    My Comment: No kidding. My guess is both these guys use a trailing wire to stay in comms, and that likely puts them at basically the same depth.  Thus, all they need is to be in the same geo position.  Still, big ocean, little submarine didn't work this time.


    It is worth noting that submarines are robustly built. USS San Francisco ran into an underwater seamount at high speed in 2005 and survived. In today’s case, two large submarines hit each other, probably at low speed, and the damage, whilst embarrassing, can be repaired.


    Saunders concluded, “No doubt there are a number of technical issues to be investigated, but the root of the problem appears to be procedural. These submarines should not have been in the same place at the same time.”


    My comment: My guess is the problem here is the French.




    Saturday, February 14, 2009

    Weekend Tidbits

    Kind of old, Dear Readers, but, please read this Ann Coulter interview with Right Wing News.

    If, like me, you find Islam to be something less than a religion of peace, you won't be surprised by this occurance.

    Gateway Pundit always has great coverage on his blog. He provides this link of Afghan President Hamid Karzai dressing down our new president.

    My Congressman, Rep. Tom Price, chair of the Republican Study Committee, has started reading the Porkulus bill. Michelle Malkin reports.

    Not a moment too soon, the Obama administration is shifting it's focus to the deficit (stop laughing). Read the linked WSJ article, and mark my words, this is going to be used as the excuse not to renew the Bush tax cuts in 2010 and for more reductions in defense spending.

    Sadly, ice is the likely cuplrit in the Buffalo plane crash. My guess is when all is said and done, pilot error will play a part. When the NTSB completes its analysis of the USAir Hudson River landing and this accident, those of us travelling by air are going to have to ask ourselves if we're safe when we step onto those commuter planes.

    Jay's Commentary Today
    Finally, I know many LIberals like to live in the fantasy land that informs them that FDR and his socialist agenda known as "The New Deal" ended the great depression, but, most educated people know that the advent of WW2 and the massive spending on military weapons systems, and the technological advances of war, coupled with the massive pent-up demand from 16 years of depression and war, saw the return of economic good times post-war. For these Libs, spending on their silly projects (as embodied in the Porkulus Bill) will get us out of the current funk, since it's spending on "something." Something, to them, is better than nothing.

    I have advocated for increased defense spending, since it actually furthers national goals, restores national pride, can be done quickly, is money spent in the U.S. and employs highly skilled craftsmen and engineers. Instead, Liberals will pay for their mistake (Porkulus) on the backs of the defense industry.

    We will all be the worse off for it.

    This week was a sad week for this country. Monday could mark the death knell for our American system as President B.H. Obama signs the worst bill in my adult life into law.


    Thursday, February 12, 2009

    American Idol Shocker

    It is no secret we're big American Idol fans, so, who shocked us that they didn't or did make it into the round of 36 last night:

    Shocked by failing to make it were Jamar Rogers (a lot!) and TK Hash (a little).

    Shocked that they made it:
    • Tatiana Del Toro
    • Nick Mitchell (aka Normun Gentul)
    More later

    Tuesday, February 10, 2009

    Eric Boehlert is a big fat liar cat

    Eric Boehlert, who passes for some kind of media critic at Media Matters (the left's hit group aimed at right-of-center journalists), has a response to an article in USA Today by conservative Jonah Goldberg. Godberg responds.

    In his piece, Boehlert complains that, basically, Goldberg is a big fat liar.

    Anyway, I sought to duplicate the work that Boehlert was incapable of doing, and in 5 minutes found these examples to support Goldberg's conclusions:

    Nov 11 2008, from WNBC's Gabe Pressman (a 60 year NYC reporting veteran):

    "Will FDR Inspire Obama? Obama calls for hope and courage like FDR," and "There is a striking similarity between the situation President-elect Obama faces and the crisis FDR confronted. And there are strong similarities between the personalities of these two leaders elected 75 years apart. Like Roosevelt, Obama is charismatic. He has a beguiling smile. His voice seduces listeners, just as Roosevelt's did."

    From the Chicago Tribune, how about some of Obama's own words, days after the election:

    "Want a glimpse into the future Barack Obama presidency? Take a look back to Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s first 100 days in the White House.During his “60 Minutes” interview Sunday, the president-elect was asked if he had been reading anything about Roosevelt and the Depression.Yes, he said. “There’s a new book out about FDR’s first 100 days. And what you see in FDR that I hope my team can emulate is not always getting it right, but projecting a sense of confidence and a willingness to try things and experiment in order to get people working again.”

    From the International Herald Tribune, just after the election:

    "Now the United States is about to get a new president who many people, including Charlie Peters, believe has the potential to be another Roosevelt. Like FDR, Barack Obama has shown an ability to inspire and instill hope, and he has also exhibited the keen intellect, canny political instincts and easy confidence that were hallmarks of Roosevelt."
    And, how can we forget the Time Magazine hagiography.

    Eric Boehlert, before you throw stones at Goldberg in a fruitless attempt to justify your own and the national press corps slurping at Obama's feet, perhaps you could do some actual research, rather than feign it.


    Monday, February 9, 2009

    Senate Gives Finger to America

    The Senate today voted for cloture on the porkulus bill.

    Sadly, this rotten POS is going to cost us close to $10T over time in interest, assuming it's ever paid off.

    I don't really need to say anything more about this thing. It's a huge spending bill, and its impact on the economy will be small and delayed.

    It signals the most massive growth of government in our lifetime, and coupled with the ill considered and poorly planned bank bailout, will leave our children, their children, and their children in debt. It'll probably be used as an excuse to reduce social security and other retirement benefits to baby boomers and generations to come, and it will definitely be used as an excuse to cut defense spending.

    It's a massive assault on states and state's rights. A couple of Southern governors have expressed that they might not want all the strings attached to their money, Haley Barbour, Governor of MS, said:

    "It's not a possibility of strings being attached, it's a certainty ... and until we get a look at what finally passes and all of the implications, it is my belief that there may be some things that we'd be better off not to take."

    Mark Sanford, Governor of South Carolina, has similar concerns.

    They are the exception, as I expect Georgia will take the money.

    But, when these fairly conservative states recognize what a pig this becomes, and what amount of Federal control it requires, will they wise up and say "Enough!"?

    I don't know, but I wonder how long it will take for some states to realize that we have become one of states controlled by a strong and demanding central government, not of states, united.


    Sunday, February 8, 2009

    Economics and Obama

    Gateway Pundit helps put the lie to President Obama's claims that "the tired old policies of the last 8 years" are responsible for the current mess and that this is the "worst economy since the great depression."

    Since those of us older than 40 are used to hearing these lies every 4 years from Democratic candidates, we have been through these all before. These are tactics used by Democrats to justify increased government spending and government involvement in your life, and to demonize conservative principles.

    If they told the truth, they would be forced to admit that "the worst economy since the great depression" occurred because of Jimmy Carter's policies, and that the best way to grow an economy is by supply-side tax rate cuts (see: Kennedy, Reagan, Bush).

    What these prove about President Obama is what we on the right tried to tell people prior to November 4th. This guy is not about "hope" or "change." He has dropped the "hope" meme (choosing, instead, "fear" and "catastrophe"), and the only change has been the level of corruption is back to Clintonian levels!

    Welcome back, Dems!

    Saturday, February 7, 2009

    The Arctic - Time for the United States to get militarily serious about it

    RADML David Gove, Oceanographer/Navigator of the Navy, has published an article in Proceedings, Arctic Melt: Reopening a Naval Frontier, which discusses the strategic impacts of melting ice in the Arctic.

    I am a global warming skeptic (that man is responsible), so, I looked for a political angle in the Admiral's writing, and there is none, just some thoughts for us to consider as the Arctic becomes another sea which is navigable year round, and exploitable as well.

    It's interesting, apparently this ocean has been navigable before, "Core samples from the Lomonosov Ridge suggest that some 55 million years ago semitropical waters rich in organic matter covered the Arctic basin, perfect conditions for the formation of vast hydrocarbon beds."

    Because the US has not ratified the latest Law of the Sea Treaty, we are being shut out of negotiations ongoing that will determine the future of many of those resources, which include 90B bbl of oil, and trillions of cubic feet of natural gas, not to mention vast mineral resources.

    So, it's a good read, if you can access the article (I believe it's on the free side of the USNI's web site).


    More on the "Compromise"

    “This compromise greatly improves the bill,” said Senator Susan Collins (RINO, ME).

    That pretty much sums up just how rotten the Porkulus bill is. That some tinkering around the edges could greatly improve it shows just how much we need to get into this thing and fix it and change it's entire character from focusing on everyone's unfunded projects to what can really help the economy.

    What has happened with this bill, and, I guess, why a bureaucrat like Obama can actually think it's a good thing and immediately necessary, is that every project that has never made the cut when we thought (semi-) rationally about appropriations has been dredged up in an effort to get money moving quickly, and to prevent the time it would take to actually consider worthwhile projects that would similarly get people working.

    You know how this goes, because unless you are self-employed, you have seen this in big corporations or in the government. The end of the fiscal year approaches, and there is a big pot of money (I know in my old Corporate Behemoth it used to be capital dollars) left to spend, and you're told, "Spend it or lose it." Usually in the real world, there are worthwhile projects that you wanted to do, but probably either cut before or pared back, so this represents an opportunity to get those going again. In the government, it's an opportunity to do the same, but the projects usually should never have started in the first place (except in DoD, of course).

    At any rate, this Porkulus is the same thing, and we have President Obama believing that when he requested "shovel ready" projects, that was what he was going to get. Instead, he may have gotten a few (hundred) billion dollars worth of those, but he also got a ton of crap, too.

    I do not want to see this thing passed. If we were going to get some highway and construction projects moving quickly, and couple that with some serious tax reductions (reduce cap gains and the corporate tax rates, and even just making the Bush tax cuts permanent - check out the Senator Jim Demint, R-SC, American Options Plan), this might be more palatable. But, as it is, it is a bunch of pork that will not get mostly spent until 2010 and 2011 and the tax rebates are too weak to have any stimulative effect. So, by Nancy Pelosi's accounting, by this time next year, 5,000,000,000 (that's right 5B) Americans will be out of work.

    Here are a couple of other things I want you folks to read:
    • Mark Steyn on Obama - in which Steyn opines on the audacity of pork and hope
    • On NPR's Morning Edition yesterday, there was much discussion about how the Porkulus money should be spent and who should spend it. One thing is for sure, Democrats don't want YOU to make those decisions, you ignoramouses. Remember this Bill Clinton gem (on the surplus, oh...happy days!), "We could give it all back to you and hope you spend it right... But ... if you don't spend it right, here's what's going to happen. In 2013 -- that's just 14 years away -- taxes people pay on their payroll for Social Security will no longer cover the monthly checks... I want every parent here to look at the young people here, and ask yourself, 'Do you really want to run the risk of squandering this surplus?' "
    • Charles Krauthammer on how "Hope and Change" became "Disaster and Catastrophe"and the age of New Politics is really just the same old politics.
    • Heritage Foundation on why this didn't work for Japan in the 1990's and left them in a decade-long recession

    Friday, February 6, 2009

    We're screwed (well, your kids are)

    The Senate has reached a compromise on the porkulus bill. You can thank Susan Collins, Olympia Snowe, and the ever faithful Arlen Specter for this debacle. I blame Republicans because they should know better. We expect Democrats to spend like drunken sailors to buy future votes and increase their power. We don't need that from the GOP, we need adult leadership.

    Our GOP compromisers have saved about $100B off what the Senate was going to pass, but, it's the same as the House's and Carl Levin has promised to bring all the garbage that was cut back during conference.

    In a failed, but valiant effort, Senator John Thune (R. SD, the guy who beat Daschle, by the way) introduced an alternative bill which would have instead spent $936B on across the board tax relief for every middle-class family in America. But, it failed. So, instead of each family (making <$250K) getting $11,000 in immediate, and stimulative tax relief (or my alternative defense/aerospace plans), we will massively increase the size of government and make a whole bunch of new Federal programs while not getting enough stimulus to make much of a difference in the economy.

    Here's the list of the crap that got cut. Just imagine what is still left in this piece of crap.

    I hope this works, I doubt it will, and we've just dug an incredibly huge whole that no amount of defense cutting (and that's what the Dems will try to cut to pay for it) is going to get us out of it.


    Thursday, February 5, 2009

    If we must stimulate....let's do it like this...

    Men, if we're going to capitulate to spending $1T, let's do it as manly men, on stuff we know will actually stimulate the economy, provide good jobs to engineers and joe sixpacks alike, and make us all proud to be Americans again. So, here's Jay's plan for spending the Trillion bucks:

    • Defense Spending - there are numerous capital projects already in progress that could benefit from an injection of dollars - shipbuilding, fighters, new bombers that need to be delivered, maybe even a tanker decision could be made and the P8 replacement for the P3 sped up. We'd also need people to fly and man these and we, of course, could use more tanks, Hummers, and APC's. We also need to modernize our defense and intelligence satellite fleet, and we can probably make a military case for a space shuttle replacement, as well as building that missile defense system.

    If we built up our military again like we did in WW2 (without the actual deadly war), we would reap tremendous benefits, as all these projects will have secondary impacts on the economy, and will yield tremendous fringe benefits. Like, the Chinese will know not to mess with us, the terrorists will know we're not taking their crap, and the Iranians will realize that we will kick their ass.

    And, another place to help spend $1 TRILLION dollars is:

    • Space Exploration - if we can't make the military case for a shuttle replacement, let's make a national pride case for returning to the moon and going to Mars with men. We all know the great stuff the space program brought us - velcro, Tang, the $6M dollar man - let's repeat THAT example of spending, not the boring and failed New Deal.
    • Worthy transportation projects: Let's develop a workable SST, let's DO put more concrete on the ground for aircraft (those are called runways), and for automobiles (let's DO improve and expand the interstate highway system), and if the government must subsidize rail - let's do it in the form of high-speed rail connecting say BOS-NY-PHL-DC-ATL-MIA, and NYC-CHI-DEN-LA, and let's develop those flying cars finally!

    So, these are my ideas if we must spend this money, let's not waste it on crap like infrastructure and "green" technology and bailouts for banks and auto manufacturers, let's spend it on real stuff that makes us cool again.


    500 Million Americans will lose their jobs....according to Nancy Pelosi

    It's a good thing there's a billion dollars in the Porkulus Package for the census, because Nancy Pelosi thinks 500 Million Americans are losing their jobs every month we don't pass the bill:

    What's worse? Nancy Pelosi not knowing that there aren't 500 Million people in North America, or the talking heads who refuse to point this out? Many have rightly said, what would happen if Sarah Palin said this?


    Wednesday, February 4, 2009

    Online petition opposing the porkulus bill

    Americans for Prosperity, a "Grassroots, free markets organization" is sponsoring and pledging to deliver an online petition opposing the "Stimulus" bill.

    Check it out and sign up.

    Also, check out AFP's web site to see what other work they are doing to encourage free market solutions to our nation's problems.


    Sunday, February 1, 2009

    Whelan on Daschle

    Ed Whelan over in the Corner at National Review online, says it better than I about Daschle,

    "According to the lead article in today’s Washington Post, Tom Daschle “waited nearly a month after being nominated to be secretary of health and human services before informing Barack Obama that he had not paid years of back taxes for the use of a car and driver provided by a wealthy New York investor.

    "If President Obama were really serious about ending business as usual, he would immediately withdraw the nomination of someone who was cheating big-time on his taxes and who didn’t level with Obama about the problem at the outset. Of course, if he were really serious about ending business as usual, he would never have selected for a major Cabinet position a former senator of no discernible talent who, while he was a senator, enabled his wife to leverage his status to become a super-lobbyist and who on leaving the Senate cashed in his access to his former colleagues for millions of dollars a year."

    Yesterday I provided this article about his and his wife's shady dealings in her position as an aviation industry lobbyist.


    Liberal commentators never cease to amaze me.

    Juan Williams thinks the Republicans are going to roll over for Daschle, and apparently, thinks the continued Obama administration snubbing its nose at its own rules will not impact them.

    He also thinks zero votes for the "stimulus" was bad politics.

    Mara Liassion, in a more brazen statement, thinks the offering of the Commerce Secretary job to NH Senator Judd Gregg, is a brilliant political move. I think it's ballsy and arrogant, but brilliant? No.

    All the GOP has to do to shut down this "brilliance" is say "No."