Links for 11-29-2011

Links for 11-28-2011

  • Analysis of the Climategate 2 emails continues. Rob Waugh writes in the U.K. Daily Mail: “The emails paint a clear picture of scientists selectively using data, and colluding with politicians to misuse scientific information.” From the Strata-Sphere blog: “This new round of emails is more damning than the first because of the white-wash by the media and pols who have no clue how to interpret the data, algorithms, graphs, nor have a clue how the scientific process works (being published in niche journals by like minded alarmists is not the scientific process). With the fiction that CRU and IPCC were vindicated having been played, the more damning second round of emails puts us in the ‘fool me once, shame on you, fool me twice, shame on me’ state. The alarmists’ credibility is toast given the new revelations, as is their media and political cheer leaders. There is no pretending the science is sound now.” A post on the “Watts Up With That?” blog by Willis Eschenbach supplies background information on the battle over freedom of information requests for the raw climate station data that was fed into global warming computer models.

  • Ned Ryun of American Majority wrote an excellent rebuttal to Colin Powell’s weekend comments that blamed the Tea Party’s “reluctance to compromise” for the divisive tone in Washington.

  • Power Line has a video clip of Thomas Sowell debating Frances Fox Piven in 1980.

  • Now immigrants are attacking Norwegian men in Oslo.

  • There’s an excellent discussion on the higher education bubble at Instapundit. One person wrote an email about his son who studied engineering, math, and physics at college but left school to become a plumber:

    All he can do with a degree in math & physics is go on to graduate school. Though he’s in the 99th percentile in terms of math ability and skills, he wouldn’t even be able to teach without getting additional ed school credentials. Had he finished his engineering degree, well, while right now the employment market for engineers in the US is good (companies cut to the bone during the financial meltdown and now that the economy is growing, albeit slowly, they need more manpower to increase production), the truth is that engineering can be done in Shanghai and Bangalore just as easily as it can be done in Detroit, and probably cheaper too. When you have burst pipes or an overflowing toilet, that work can’t be offshored.

  • A satellite photo of Iran’s missile base near the city of Malard, the site of an explosion two weeks ago, shows the base was badly damaged if not destroyed.

Links for 11-24-2011

  • Charles C. Johnson describes Calvin Coolidge’s Thanksgiving proclamations. As a stark contrast, here is Obama’s 2011 proclamation. Something I hadn’t known about Coolidge: “The Japanese, ‘America’s friends,’ were the beneficiaries when America came to their assistance after an earthquake, a tsunami, and a typhoon rocked Tokyo and Yokohama in early September [of 1923], killing more than 143,000 people. Coolidge had asked the American people – not Congress – for $10 million in donations. By December 1923, Americans had given $12 million – the equivalent of more than $150 million in today’s dollars, and at the time a record amount.”

  • This article by J. Christian Adams details the voting rights lawsuit he helped to file in Guam. The plaintiff is a retired Air Force major who has lived on the island since 1977. His voter registration form was rejected because he’s white (i.e. not a “Chamorro,” a native of Guam). From the article: “Strangely, or perhaps not, the Obama Interior Department is slated to give $250,000 to GovGuam (the name for the territorial government) to promote and advertise the racially discriminatory election.”

  • A good Big Government article describing how unions are employing scare tactics to prevent school districts from outsourcing custodial, maintenance and groundskeeping jobs to private (non-union) companies to save money.

  • Research by Wisconsin GrandSons of Liberty and Media Trackers turned up evidence that people claiming to reside at a property owned by Wisconsin State Senator Lena Taylor committed vote fraud during an April election. One of the questionable voters is a convicted felon, and Senator Taylor recently re-introduced legislation that gives felons the right to vote. Senator Taylor denied wrongdoing and threw her mother under the bus.

  • Keith Hennessey on the super committee: “The most significant element of the failed Super Committee negotiation is that Republicans offered to cross the no-net-tax-increase line in exchange for structural entitlement reform or structural tax reform and a permanent answer on tax rates.” The offer made by the Republicans to the super committee would have made the income tax even more progressive, raising rates on everyone making $200,000/year or more.

  • Navy Seal Marcus Luttrell recorded a video endorsing Governor Rick Perry for president.

  • An interesting column by Neal B. Freeman on Mitt Romney and Newt Gingrich. “Is it unfair to entertain the possibility that a Gingrich Presidency might resemble in essential respects a Gingrich Speakership: lots of ideas in search of a premise, lots of projects in need of adult supervision, management by whim and driven by impulse – followed by a swirl of charges, a cloud of confusion and, off at the end, an awkward exit?”

  • Peter Ferrara believes the U.S. Supreme Court will strike down ObamaCare in its entirety on 5–4 vote.

  • Michele Bachmann appeared on Jimmy Fallon’s late night talk show, only to have the house band play the song “Lyin’ Ass Bitch” as she was introduced. Rush Limbaugh’s response was to fake an introduction of Michelle Obama and play “I Like Big Butts” by Sir Mix-A-Lot. Eventually NBC apologized to Bachmann. The original error: Bachmann agreeing to appear on a mainstream media talk show and thinking she would be treated fairly or respectfully.

  • Obama’s “reset” of relations with Russia continues to fail. President Medvedev is threatening to station missiles near the U.S. missile shield in Europe: “Russia will have to take military countermeasures if the U.S. continues to build the shield without legal guarantees that it will not be aimed against Russia.” Medvedev specifically threatened the system’s command and control facilities: “He said that as part of its response Russia would also equip its intercontinental nuclear missiles with systems that would allow them to penetrate prospective missile defenses and would develop ways to knock down the missile shield’s control and information facilities.”

  • A professor of international law at McGill University and former U.N. war crimes prosecutor claims that many of Iran’s ruling elite are using Canada as a haven for ill-gotten cash.

  • Zetas cartel gunmen staged a guns blazing assault on a load of marijuana in Harris County, Texas that was being tracked by several U.S. law enforcement agencies.

  • An excellent essay by David Solway on “The Death of the Individual”: “The displacement of the ‘individual’ as a primary category of social and political thought – a distinctly observable trend in the contemporary West – is an infallible sign of civilizational despair.”

  • An image of George Washington’s 1789 Thanksgiving proclamation as written. As read by Rush Limbaugh in 2010:

Links for 11-21-2011

  • Peter Schweizer alleges in his book Throw Them All Out that George Soros advised the Obama White House on how to spend “stimulus” dollars, then invested in the companies that would benefit from it. Given Obama’s record on crony capitalism, this shouldn’t surprise anyone.

  • It’s not often that you read this in a Los Angeles Times article: “According to the source, CIA case officers met a series of Lebanese informants at a local Pizza Hut, allowing Hezbollah and Lebanese authorities to identify who was helping the CIA. U.S. officials strongly disputed that agents were compromised at a Pizza Hut.” The upshot is that the CIA’s Beirut station is “out of business,” which restricts the intelligence it can gather on Syria, Iran, and Hezbollah.

Links for 11-18-2011

  • Herman Cain’s political action committee, the “Hermanator PAC,” raised more than $220,000 for the 2010 election but donated only $2,000 to candidates. The rest was spent on airline tickets, hotels, and restaurants. Left unsaid in the article but probably at the forefront of mainstream media investigative efforts: money spent on hookers and blow.

  • Meanwhile Cain is the first Republican candidate to be protected by the Secret Service. Initially his campaign suggested that they requested this to protect Cain from the media. Apparently realizing that statement was like waving a red cape in front of a bull, the campaign changed its story. Cain explained it himself this way: “‘It was just that it was time because of the popularity of the campaign. It was just time to go to that next step. And I’m just glad we were given that opportunity so we’re delighted to have it.’ ‘We had private security for a while before we asked for Secret Service protection,’ he went on to say. ‘But we wanted to move to that next level because of my ranking in the polls and the additional scrutiny that I’ve been getting.’” Unfortunately for Cain, the additional scrutiny worked and his poll numbers have been down, not up, for the past couple of weeks. The campaign has also said Cain received unspecified threats. I guess you get to pick the reason you believe.

  • The Obama administration’s laser-like focus on jobs led it to cancel a mineral lease auction for a national forest in Ohio. As you’d expect, they canceled it because environmental groups are opposed to the use of hydraulic fracturing in the area.

Links for 11-17-2011

  • U.S. Secretary of Defense will tell Israel that they shouldn’t attack Iran’s nuclear facilities because it will damage the world economy. When did the Obama administration start caring about the our economy, let alone the world economy?

  • Mitt Romney’s staff erased all of his administration’s emails when he left the Massachusetts governor’s office. And I thought only Democrats did this sort of thing.

  • Nancy Pelosi replied to Rick Perry’s debate challenge with snark: “‘He did ask if I could debate here in Washington on Monday. It is my understanding that such a letter has come in,’ Pelosi said in the Capitol Thursday. ‘Monday I’m going to be in Portland in the morning, I’m going to be visiting some of our labs. I’m in California in the afternoon, that’s two. I can’t remember what the third is.’” Perry’s campaign replied via Twitter with more snark: “@NancyPelosi Perhaps the third activity that you have forgotten is the ongoing insider trading?”

Newt at the Crossroads

Ned Ryun’s Twitter stream directed me to a New York Times article on Newt Gingrich by Andrew Ferguson that was published on June 29, 2011. (An aside: Andrew Ferguson’s writing is too good for The Weekly Standard (where he’s an editor), so what’s he doing publishing articles in a rag like The New York Times?) Andrew waded through all of Newt Gingrich’s books and not only lived to tell the tale, but made some pithy observations:

The ghosts [ghost writers] for that first book served him unevenly. They got him in metaphor trouble from the first sentence. “We stand at a crossroads between two diverse futures,” he wrote. This crossroads, it transpired, faced an open window. That would be the window of vulnerability, which is widening. Three paragraphs later, the crossroads, perhaps swiveling on a Lazy Susan, is suddenly facing another window, also open. The important point, Gingrich writes, is that this window of opportunity is about to slam shut. And if it does? “We stand on the brink of a world of violence almost beyond our imagination.”

Admitting mistakes comes easily to no public man — as memoirs from figures like Bill Clinton and Donald Rumsfeld demonstrate — but in “Lessons Learned,” Gingrich gave it the old West Georgia College try. This didn’t work, either. There’s lots of mea in “Lessons Learned,” but the culpa is all on the other side.

One lesson Gingrich claimed to learn the hard way was, as a chapter title has it, “Don’t Underestimate the Liberals.” As speaker, Gingrich discovered that Republicans are too good for their own — um, good. “The difference between the well-thought-out, unending and no-holds-barred hostility of the left,” he wrote, “and the acquiescent, friendship-seeking nature of many of my Republican colleagues never ceases to amaze me.” Democrats flatter themselves with the mirror image of this fantasy, of course, pretending to be envious of the robotic efficiency of Republicans and the freedom of action allowed them by their utter lack of conscience or shame. Self-awareness is not listed in the catalog of traits required for faithful partisanship. About the true nature of their enemies, however, if about nothing else, professional Republicans and Democrats are both exactly right.

Callista is unavoidable in all of Gingrich’s current endeavors. Having married a powerful man and suddenly blossomed in fields in which she earlier showed seemingly no interest or professional skill — writing books, taking photographs, making movies, overseeing her husband’s not-for-profit company — Callista has emerged as the Linda McCartney of the conservative movement.

As I was reading Ferguson’s article I thought about blog posts and tweets I’ve read advocating for a Gingrich + Cain ticket. Gingrich’s mixed metaphors also reminded me of the car metaphors that keep recurring during this election cycle. I imagine Gingrich and Cain could extract the national car from the ditch, empty it of Slurpees, and turn it away from the cliff we’re always hurtling toward at 100mph (can a Chevy Volt go that fast?). Then we’d find ourselves at a crossroads, with the windows of opportunity closing. But never fear! Gingrich will steer a course for a technology-laden future where government actually works, and Cain will fill the tank with 9–9–9 octane fuel and we’ll be off! But, alas, the tires won’t be touching the road. Neither Gingrich nor Cain has a head for details; their ideas float in the aether, untethered from reality on the ground. I’m looking for a candidate who will study how the federal car is constructed and then ruthlessly cut every bolt and wire and hack and slash until we’re left with something small, something that more closely resembles the limited federal government described in the Constitution. Maybe a horse-drawn wagon.

Gingrich and Cain are not the mechanics I’m looking for. But they could probably deliver a high-falutin’ pizza.