Links for 11-10-2011

  • These “occupy” protests certainly are a beacon of light in a troubled world. One person was shot and killed at Occupy Burlington in Vermont; it may have been a suicide. Not to be outdone, there was a murder near Occupy Oakland today. An Occupy New York protestor was arrested for breaking an EMT’s leg. And public health authorities discovered a tuberculosis outbreak at Occupy Atlanta. I for one am feeling much more hopeful.

  • The Obama administration found itself unable to reconcile its perpetual laser-like focus on jobs and the indignant screaming from environmentalists opposed to the Keystone XL pipeline, so it did what is usually does: it punted and threw someone under the bus to take the blame for inaction. In this case the bus rumbled over Nebraska, specifically the Sand Hills area the pipeline would have traversed. The Obama administration says the pipeline will be reconsidered after the 2012 election — hopefully by a different president, assuming there’s still interest in building it.

  • American Crossroads produced a new web ad that features Mississippi Governor Haley Barbour:

Links for 11-9-2011

  • A beautifully shot video of Afghanistan.
  • Russia’s probe that was supposed to explore Phobos (one of Mars’ moons) is stuck in a deteriorating Earth orbit. It’s carrying 12 tons of nitrogen tetroxide and hydrazine fuel, which may reach Earth’s surface if it freezes in orbit first. The Russians are still trying to recover the mission.
  • Multiple SWAT teams were called out to a gun battle on the Texas/Mexico border. If you’re concerned, just keep repeating to yourself the Obama administration’s mantra that the border is more secure now that it ever has been. If you repeat it often enough, you might even believe it.
  • Virginia Governor Bob McDonnell wrote an article for RedState giving his take on yesterday’s election and attributing Virginia’s recent economic successes to conservative policies.
  • Emails and documents released by the Obama administration show that George Kaiser was talking about Solyndra when he visited the White House. The administration previously claimed that Kaiser’s visits had nothing to do with Solyndra.

Links for 11-8-2011

  • As anticipated yesterday, Attorney General Eric Holder’s testimony during a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing denied responsibilty for Operation Fast and Furious. From the story: “Agents from ATF have told Congress their agency ‘suffers from a lack of effective enforcement tools,’ and a ‘critical first step should be for congressional leaders to work with us to provide ATF with the resources and statutory tools it needs to be effective,’ Holder said.” Given Ruby Ridge, the Branch Davidian disaster, and now Operation Fast and Furious, the ATF somehow manages to use the tools it already has at its disposal to kill Americans. Giving them more tools would appear to be a Bad Idea.
  • At times I’ve been hard on Senator John Cornyn, but he deserves credit for the thorough grilling he administered to Eric Holder today.
  • I appreciate the effort the people at the American Enterprise Institute and other think tanks put into explaining why they think a balanced budget amendment (BBA) to the Constitution is a bad idea. This piece by Steve Conover, for example, discusses the differences between the debt level and the debt burden, points out that not all debt is necessarily bad, and argues that a BBA could sacrifice our long-term security for short-term accounting. In short, Congress just needs to create a rational budget. Does anyone really think our Representatives and Senators actually think like this (i.e. rationally, with an eye to the long term) when they draft a budget? Back when we had budgets, that is. Mr. Conover, meet Senator DeMint, who presents the ugly truth that federal spending is still increasing in spite of the debt ceiling deal, a situation that’s unlikely to change after the Super Committee presents its plan — assuming it arrives at a consensus plan. Reality on the ground dictates that we need a balanced budget amendment, in spite of the risks.
  • The Daily outed the identity of the second woman to anonymously accuse Herman Cain of sexual harassment. Karen Kraushaar, who works for the Department of the Treasury, talked to The New York Times and The Washington Post, and suggested she may appear together with Cain’s other accusers so they can tell their stories.
  • Meanwhile Herman Cain held a press conference where he denied everything. Herman, you may not be guilty of sexual harassment, but the mainstream media is making it look like you’re a serial skirt chaser, and that’s not going to endear you to social conservatives.

Links for 11-7-2011

  • Andrew Klavan writes: “There’s a reason we right wingers vet our candidates while the left adulates theirs, a reason we condemn our miscreants while the left elevates theirs, a reason our news outlets cover stories that the left covers up. The reason is: we’re the good guys. We have to do what’s right. The left doesn’t. Sorry, but that’s the way it works. It’s the price you pay for defending what’s true and good, the price of holding yourself to a high moral standard. Our politicians have to be better than their politicians. Our journalists have to be more honest. Even our protesters have to behave with decorum and decency—and still suffer being slandered—while theirs can act like animals and commit acts of violence and lawlessness and spew anti-semitic filth and still find themselves excused and glorified.” I’m with Andrew on this point. Yes, the mainstream media is being unfair to Herman Cain, but if he has a history of harassing women, I’d rather know about it now than just before the general election — or after he’s been sworn into office.

  • Anthony Watts has been covering the controversy over the BEST climate data, which many scientists have been citing as evidence for recent global warming, while many other people contend that it shows flat U.S. temperatures over the last decade. This post references what is supposed to be the best available temperature data for the U.S.: “So according the the National Climatic Data Center, it seems clear that for at least the last 10 years, there has been a cooling trend in the Annual mean temperature of the contiguous United States.”

  • Not too surprisingly, the primary sponsor of the “Stop Online Piracy Act” (H.R. 3261), Congressman Lamar Smith of Texas, has been accepting a lot campaign contributions from the music, movie, and TV industries.

  • Texas Railroad Commissioner Elizabeth Ames Jones is running for the Texas Senate. She’s running in district 25, a seat currently held by a RINO, Jeff Wentworth. Dr. Donna Campbell is also running for this seat. Hopefully Ames Jones and Campbell won’t split the conservative vote and hand Wentworth victory in the primary. Wentworth countered the Ames Jones announcement by stating he’s been endorsed by other RINOs, including Joe Straus and Paul Workman. Apparently he thinks this will help him when he’s being primaried from the right. Yes, he’s that clueless.

  • Following up on Friday’s link to a report on the rising number of rape cases in Norway committed by foreigners: Last month women’s groups staged a torchlight protest to “take back the night,” only have to two 16 year old girls raped in a train station hours later. Five Afghan and Pakistani men were arrested.

  • Steven Crowder helps out the Occupy Wall Street folks:

Links for 11-4-2011

  • Why are House Republicans, including Ron Paul, signing a letter encouraging the Super Committee to increase revenue? There’s a lot of odd, careful parsing going on here – somehow the Super Committee should increase revenue in a meaningful way without increasing taxes?

  • The Norwegian government is deciding how to counteract a large increase in rapes, most of them committed by foreigners.

  • Americans for Prosperity finds itself entangled in Herman Cain’s fundraising irregularities. Cain’s campaign chairman, Mark “Cancer Man” Block, was the Wisconsin state director for Americans for Prosperity, which gave money to a non-profit group that Block created called Prosperity USA, which in turn made questionable donations to Cain’s campaign in its earliest days.

  • Stanley Kurtz calls out the New York Times for trying to draw a sharp line where none exists between Occupy Oakland and violence committed by its participants, including breaking into businesses and shutting down the port of Oakland.

  • House Republicans are forcing the White House’s hand over the sorry state of the country’s icebreaker “fleet.” At a time when thinning Arctic ice and high oil prices are making Arctic oil exploration and production attractive, the U.S. has one working medium-duty icebreaker and two old heavy-duty icebreakers that are in a perpetual state of disrepair. Canada has six icebreakers, Finland and Sweden have seven each, and Russia has around 25. The article quotes Senator Maria Cantwell as saying that refurbishing an existing icebreaker would take five years and rebuilding it would take eight. Both estimates are further evidence that the federal government can’t do anything expeditiously. If a private sector company took five years to refurbish a vessel or eight years to rebuild it, that company would very likely go out of business.

A Modest Proposal

I’ve been reading Governor Rick Perry’s “Cut, Balance, and Grow” plan. Perry says he would open federal lands and waters to oil and gas exploration, creating up to 1.2 million jobs. It would also greatly increase the oil and gas royalties collected by the Office of Natural Resources Revenue (ONRR), which leads me to a modest proposal: Perry ought to direct the Department of the Treasury to apply all revenue collected by ONRR to purchasing treasury bonds held by foreign governments, particularly China. As Mark Steyn likes to point out, the treasury bond interest the U.S. pays to China each year is approaching the (publicly disclosed) budget for the People’s Liberation Army, i.e. we’re funding what could be a future military opponent. I’d like to see Perry use the windfall from oil and gas production on federal lands to stop this, plus it would help the country’s credit rating to retire debt early.

Links for 11-3-2011

  • Peter Wallsten and Juliet Eilperin wrote an excellent article describing how Mitt Romney espouses all sides of an issue, with his position varying according to the audience he’s wheedling. The only surprise: it was published in the Washington Post. The article reminded me of several Twitter posts I’ve read, all of them to the effect that Romney understands your position on an issue because at one time he’s held that position himself.

  • Freddie Mac lost $6B in the third quarter and expects to be bailed out. Again. The total cost to “save” both Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae so far has been $169B, and they stand to burn through another $51B by 2014. It’s time to shut them down and get the federal government out of the mortgage business.

  • New York Communities for Change freaked out after Fox News exposed it as a prime motivator behind Occupy Wall Street. Two NYCC staffers suspected of talking to Fox News were fired. Anything labelled “ACORN” (NYCC’s former identity) has been hidden away. And they’re circulating photos of Fox News staffers among their employees so they know to avoid them.