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Saturday, December 12, 2009

Iowahawk explains climate math

Iowahawk, who works with statistics in his day job, has a rare non-funny post,

"In short, it's a detailed how-to-guide for replicating the climate reconstruction method used by the so-called "Climategate" scientists. Not a perfect replication, but a pretty faithful facsimile that you can do on your own computer, with some of the same data they used."

via Instapundit.

Friday, December 11, 2009

Dems propose $1.8 TRILLION debt ceiling increase

Mark Hemingway has comments and links at the Examiner:

How's this for transparency and accountability?:

In a bold but risky year-end strategy, Democrats are preparing to raise the federal debt ceiling by as much as $1.8 trillion before New Year’s rather than have to face the issue again prior to the 2010 elections. [emphasis added]

Really? Britain wants to brand Jewish goods

On the UK blog CentreRight:

The government - our government, supposedly representing you and me in its interaction with people abroad - wants to label goods as coming from the Jewish settlements in the West Bank, so as to help consumers boycott them.

Explosion of six-figure salaries in fed gov't during recession

Captain Ed has comments and links at Hot Air:

Bureaucracy is the real recession-proof industry. The numbers are mind-boggling. In 18 months, the number of federal employees making over $100K have increased 46%. The number making over $150K has more than doubled.

It’s not as if they’ve been asked to do more with less, either. In the first six months of the year, the federal government was adding 10,000 jobs per month, and over the recession had grown the ranks of bureaucrats by 9.8%. The private sector, during that same period, shed 7.3 million jobs to contract 6.3%.

Here’s the fun fact of the day from USA Today:

When the recession started, the Transportation Department had only one person earning a salary of $170,000 or more. Eighteen months later, 1,690 employees had salaries above $170,000.

Got that? Seventeen hundred employees at DoT make $170,000 per year. Eighteen months ago, there was one.

UPDATE: Reason has a related post - The Class War: Public Employees vs. the Rest of Us.

Dr. Zero - The First Casualty Is Choice

"The Orwellian splendor of the “Health Choices Commissioner” is consistent with the tendency of the President and his allies to promote the “choices” that will come with a government takeover of health insurance. This is insulting nonsense. When the government takes over anything, choice is the first casualty...

When government absorbs huge amounts of money from the population, it reduces their options for entertainment, travel, and countless other aspects of their lives.

Because money is so versatile, we experience the loss of choice through taxation in a gradual way, making it relatively painless. Payroll tax withholding is also a potent sedative. You barely feel the possibilities being drained away from you. The essential lesson of the Obama Administration is that this kind of painless energy drain is over. The ambitions of socialism can no longer be fulfilled by draining tax money from the middle class in mosquito bites, while the heavy-duty vampire attacks are reserved for the Evil Rich."

Read the whole thing at Hot Air's Green Room.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Kids FINALLY allowed to ride bikes to middle school -- if they follow a mountain of rules.

Read the details at Free Range Kids.

Enabling ACORN's Comeback

Matthew Vadum at

The bottom line is that the ACORN funding prohibition language remains in the massive fiscal 2010 spending measure taken up by appropriators this week but ACORN ally Eric Holder's Justice Department has rendered that language virtually meaningless.

The Obama administration's bailout of ACORN may help keep the financially distressed group that had been considering filing bankruptcy before Christmas open for business.

Everyday Germs in Childhood May Prevent Diseases in Adulthood

From Science Daily, some common sense about letting your kids be kids:

Most provocatively, the Northwestern study suggests that exposure to infectious microbes early in life may actually protect individuals from cardiovascular diseases that can lead to death as an adult.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Tiger, Barack, and the Law of Transitivity

Lisa Schriffen, one of my favorites, writing at American Thinker.

If I were watching the public's disgust with the newly revealed Tiger Woods from an office in the West Wing, I'd be concerned. Because Barack Obama is about as completely manufactured a political character as this nation has seen. His meteoric rise, without the inconvenience of a public record or accomplishments, and the public's willing suspension of critical evaluation of his résumé allowed his handlers and the media to project whatever they wanted to on his unfurrowed brow.

Ironically, the parallels have nothing to do with race. The Obama campaign did explicitly attempt to borrow the from the then-universal Tiger Woods appeal to allay any discomfort voters might have had with a mixed-race politician. They constructed a persona that would make the American electorate comfortable with a barely-known, first-term senator with a left wing voting record, a deliberately obscured personal and professional past, and no traditional qualifications for high office."

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Why Kids Don’t Play Outside Much Anymore - new BBC show

Why Kids Don’t Play Outside Much Anymore.

at the Free Range Kids blog, which should be a mandatory read for every parent.

Tuesday stuff

Dr. Zero - The First Sign Of Corruption

"The first sign of corruption in a society that is still alive is that the end justifies the means. – Georges Bernanos

The Republicans proved themselves sadly capable of shoving their noses in the treasury during their last years in power, and were punished by the voters for it. The corruption of the Obama Democrats is truly breathtaking. Virtually nothing this Administration does is conducted in a honest, open manner. Everything from the “stimulus” bill, to Cash for Clunkers, to frantic attempts to buy House and Senate votes for the government’s health care takeover, is wrapped in pork and glazed with payoffs, cooked with a secret recipe that you can’t see without a subpoena. Some of this corruption is enabled by the Democrats’ largely accurate sense that the media will not hold them accountable for it, certainly not with the same vigor they would pursue Republicans. The raging rapids of taxpayer cash surging through Washington are a factor as well. Reckless deficit spending has made purchasing a representative or Senator the only investment guaranteed to increase in value."

At Hot Air's Green Room.

Monday, December 7, 2009

California cuts off mammograms to poor women younger than 50

"Facing enormous budget shortfalls, the state (California) has ended subsidies for mammograms for poor women between 40-50 years of age, and will also freeze enrollments in a breast-cancer screening program for its Medicaid recipients."

Details and links at HotAir.

WSJ: Sarbanes-Oxley - $2.3 million each year in direct compliance costs at the average company

Post-Enron and -Worldcom, Sarbox was passed to require microscrutiny of accounting practices at publicly traded companies. The results would have been (and were) foreseeable to business people, but not to bureaucrats.

WSJ: "In the years since its passage, the country has experienced an historic drought of initial public offerings. Is Sarbox to blame? Many financial pundits say no, but the SEC survey results point in the other direction. When public companies are asked whether Section 404 has motivated them to consider going private, a full 70% of smaller firms say yes, and 44% of all public companies also say yes.

Has Sarbox driven businesses out of the country? Among foreign companies, a majority in the survey say that Section 404 has motivated them to consider de-listing from U.S. exchanges, and a staggering 77% of smaller foreign firms say that the law has motivated them to consider abandoning their American listings."

via Weekly Standard.

Gropenhagen: Prostitutes Offer Free Climate Summit Sex

Copenhagen Mayor Ritt Bjerregaard sent postcards to city hotels warning summit guests not to patronize Danish sex workers during the upcoming conference. Now, the prostitutes have struck back, offering free sex to anyone who produces one of the warnings.

via Reason.

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Steven den Beste: Government by Wishful Thinking

Steven den Beste contributes occasionally at Hot Air's Green Room, and is excellent as always. I used to read him regularly, several years ago, at his now-defunct (except for the archives) USS Clueless blog; due to illness, I believe, he stopped updating that one and is rarely seen these days.

The subject today is the Left (including but not limited to Obama) and magical thinking:

"The teleological world view on the left has been a factor in American politics to a greater or lesser extent since the 1960’s, but this is the first time it was largely in control. And the most likely outcome of it is to make most Americans understand just how deeply worthless, and outright damaging, it is. Which, in the long run, will be very good for America.

The only concern is that we can come through the remaining three years of Obama’s first (and almost certainly his only) term of office without sustaining irreparable damage. If Congress had moved at the speed Obama wanted them to, we might have suffered such damage, but now that we’ve almost made it through his first year and are moving into an election year, with public opinion polls moving strongly against Obama and his policies, I am becoming cautiously optimistic that we can survive this."

via Hot Air.

ACORN’s Fingerprints on Mortgage Crisis Appeared 20 Years Ago

Story at Big Government.

"Specifically, ACORN strong-armed banks and worked with members of Congress, such as Barney Frank, to weaken credit standards in order for banks, as well as Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, to fund risky mortgages. Mortgages, of course, that stood little chance of ever being paid, as we witnessed last year.

But ACORN’s penchant for shaking down banks didn’t begin 2 years ago, or even 10 years ago. Check out this article from the Atlanta Journal-Constitution from 1988. "

Outstanding - best history of climategate EVAH

An absolute must-read at American Thinker.

Breach in the global-warming bunker rattles climate science at the worst time

Another great UK article:

"Now the pirating of thousands of e-mail messages from within its walls has revealed a dangerous bunker mentality among the scientists who guarded those records and a data-fudging scandal that has created a crisis of confidence in global-warming science that is threatening to destroy the political consensus around next week's carbon-policy summit in Copenhagen.

On a political level, coming on the eve of the Copenhagen summit, the controversy has been catastrophic: In the last few days, it has prompted opposition politicians in the United States, Britain and Australia to argue that human-caused global warming is a myth."

via Strata-Sphere.