Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Craziness in the News

The NY Times at work

First we had this:

Did the bill pledging federal funds for the health care of 9/11 responders become law in the waning hours of the 111th Congress only because a comedian took it up as a personal cause?

And DOES THAT MAKE THAT COMEDIAN, JON STEWART — despite all his protestations that what he does has nothing to do with journalism — THE MODERN-DAY EQUIVALENT OF EDWARD R. MURROW?

Come on, comparing Jon Stewart to Edward R. Murrow? Then we have this:

Bundle Up, It’s Global Warming

THE earth continues to get warmer, yet it’s feeling a lot colder outside. Over the past few weeks, subzero temperatures in Poland claimed 66 lives; snow arrived in Seattle well before the winter solstice, and fell heavily enough in Minneapolis to make the roof of the Metrodome collapse; and last week blizzards closed Europe’s busiest airports in London and Frankfurt for days, stranding holiday travelers. The snow and record cold have invaded the Eastern United States, with more bad weather predicted.

All of this cold was met with perfect comic timing by the release of a World Meteorological Organization report showing that 2010 will probably be among the three warmest years on record, and 2001 through 2010 the warmest decade on record.

How can we reconcile this? The not-so-obvious short answer is THAT THE OVERALL WARMING OF THE ATMOSPHERE IS ACTUALLY CREATING COLD-WEATHER EXTREMES. Last winter, too, was exceptionally snowy and cold across the Eastern United States and Eurasia, as were seven of the previous nine winters.

It appears the old “Grey Lady” has become the crazy old aunt in the closet. No longer printing all the news that is fit to print, they have transformed into a liberal version of Pravda mixed in with Mad Magazine.

And speaking of crazy old aunts

OUTGOING CONGRESSWOMAN CAROL SHEA-PORTER IMPLIED THE CHINESE COST HER RE-ELECTION IN NOVEMBER and secretly funneled money to help her Republican opponent Frank Guinta during a post-election interview with ABC News.

“THEY’RE IN THE HALLS OF CONGRESS EVERYWHERE,” Shea-Porter said in the interview with ABC’s Jonathan Karl. “[A]nd it means, for example, that you sit on a committee and you say something about concern about Chinese influence or something, you don’t even know if in the next election, somehow or another, they manage to send some money to some group that now doesn’t even have to say where they got it.”

Now this might just be sour grapes by Ms. Shea-Porter, but it sound a bit more delusional and conspiratorial than that.

Economic Optimism? Yes, I’ll Take That Bet

Five years ago, Matthew R. Simmons and I bet $5,000. It was a wager about the future of energy supplies — a Malthusian pessimist versus a Cornucopian optimist — and now the day of reckoning is nigh: Jan. 1, 2011.

titled “The Breaking Point.” It featured predictions of soaring oil prices from Mr. Simmons, who was a member of the Council on Foreign Relations, the head of a Houston investment bank specializing in the energy industry, and the author of “Twilight in the Desert: The Coming Saudi Oil Shock and the World Economy.”

I called Mr. Simmons to discuss a bet. To his credit — and unlike some other Malthusians — he was eager to back his predictions with cash. He expected the price of oil, then about $65 a barrel, to more than triple in the next five years, even after adjusting for inflation. He offered to bet $5,000 that the average price of oil over the course of 2010 would be at least $200 a barrel in 2005 dollars.

I took him up on it, not because I knew much about Saudi oil production or the other “peak oil” arguments that global production was headed downward. I was just following a rule learned from a mentor and a friend, the economist Julian L. Simon.

As the leader of the Cornucopians, the optimists who believed there would always be abundant supplies of energy and other resources, Julian figured that betting was the best way to make his argument. Optimism, he found, didn’t make for cover stories and front-page headlines.

Once in a while, a liberal puts his money where his mouth is. It doesn’t work out well for them. This is why we don’t want to let liberals put our money where their mouths are.

GAO Sees Problems in Government’s Financial Management

The U.S. Government Accountability Office SAID IT COULD NOT RENDER AN OPINION ON THE 2010 CONSOLIDATED FINANCIAL STATEMENTS of the federal government, because of widespread material internal control weaknesses, significant uncertainties, and other limitations.

What a surprise! The government accounting office says government accounting is bad!! You might want to reread the previous article.

You don't need a weatherman to know which way the wind blows

A whole lot of wind: 'They have been consuming more electricity than they generate'

This is the season for quizzes. So ¬fingers on buzzers, here’s your starter for ten. In percentage terms, HOW MUCH ELECTRICITY DO BRITAIN’S 3,150 WIND ¬TURBINES SUPPLY TO THE ¬NATIONAL GRID?

Is it: a) five per cent; b) ten per cent; or c) 20 per cent? Come on, I’m going to have to hurry you. No conferring.

Time’s up. THE CORRECT ANSWER IS: NONE OF THE ABOVE. Yesterday afternoon, the figure was just 1.6 per cent, according to the official website of the wholesale electricity market.

Over the past three weeks, with demand for power at record levels because of the freezing weather, there have been days when the contribution of our forests of wind turbines has been precisely nothing.


So for all of you greenies who want the government to require the use of wind power, solar or other renewable energy sources, remember that the science just isn’t there. Can they make a contribution? Yes. Do you want to rely on this contribution? Absolutely not.

Hot Sensations Vs. Cold Facts

The media owe us better coverage on the climate than alarmism.

As 2010 draws to a close, DO YOU REMEMBER HEARING ANY GOOD NEWS FROM THE MAINSTREAM MEDIA ABOUT CLIMATE? Like maybe a headline proclaiming "RECORD LOW 2009 AND 2010 CYCLONIC ACTIVITY REPORTED: GLOBAL WARMING THEORISTS PERPLEXED"? Or "NASA STUDIES REPORT OCEANS ENTERING NEW COOLING PHASE: ALARMISTS FEAR CLIMATE SCIENCE BUDGETS IN PERIL"? Or even anything bad that isn't blamed on anthropogenic (man-made) global warming--of course other than what is attributed to George W. Bush? (Conveniently, the term "AGW" covers both.)

Remember all the media brouhaha about GLOBAL WARMING CAUSING HURRICANES that commenced following the devastating U.S. 2004 season? Opportunities to capitalize on those disasters were certainly not lost on some U.N. Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change officials. A special press conference called by IPCC spokesman Kevin Trenberth announced "Experts warn global warming likely to continue spurring more outbreaks of intense activity."

But there was a problem. CHRISTOPHER LANDSEA, A TOP U.S. EXPERT ON THE SUBJECT, REPEATEDLY NOTIFIED THE IPCC THAT NO RESEARCH HAD BEEN CONDUCTED TO SUPPORT THAT CLAIM--not in the Atlantic basin, or in any other basin. After receiving no replies, he publicly resigned from all IPCC activities. And while the press conference received tumultuous global media coverage, Mother Nature didn't pay much attention. SUBSEQUENT HURRICANE SEASONS RETURNED TO AVERAGE PATTERNS noted historically over the past 150 years, before exhibiting recent record lows with no 2010 U.S. landfalls.

Global warming as a political issue is current on life support by its believers. It is no longer credible and the latest claim that the 2010 will be one of the three warmest years on record rather than supporting their hypothesis, simply brings it in to disrepute.

If you think it’s cold now on the East Coast, you ain’t seen nothing yet!

British meteorologist Piers Corbyn appeared on Fox and Friends to not only celebrate his accurate prediction of a bone-chillingly cold winter, but to also share HIS DISGUST WITH WHAT HE BELIEVES TO BE THE “FAILED SCIENCE” BEHIND GLOBAL WARMING. Despite it often being mentioned that the consensus in the scientific community is that global warming is undisputedly occurring, Corbyn proudly goes against the grain and advocates for his hypothesis of the coming global cooling.

PREDICTING IN NOVEMBER THAT WINTER IN EUROPE WOULD BE “EXCEPTIONALLY COLD AND SNOWY, like Hell frozen over at times,” Corbyn suggested we should sooner prepare for another Ice Age than worry about global warming……

Regardless of the politics behind the scientific debate, what everyone should be upset about is if Corbyn’s next prediction is accurate, that the “NORTHEAST AND EAST USA [WILL] SUFFER THE MOST HORRENDOUS BLIZZARDS FOR DECADES.” He even tweeted out his warning saying “you ain’t seen nothing yet” this winter.

Grab an extra sweater and watch the clip from Fox News at the link below.

It should be fun watching the alarmists try to spin this if he’s right.

End-of-Life Decisions and the Bureaucracy

When I learned today that the federal bureaucracy had promulgated a rule compensating physicians for the time they spend counseling patients on end-of-life health-care decisions, I wasn’t surprised. A SIMILAR PROVISION WAS DROPPED FROM THE OBAMACARE BILL, but anyone who understands the profoundly bureaucratic nature of contemporary government knew that that was not necessarily the end of it. THE 2,700-PAGE LAW IS DESTINED — IF IT IS NOT ROLLED WAY BACK OR REPEALED — TO GENERATE OVER 100,000 PAGES OF ENABLING REGULATIONS. In such a milieu, that which can’t be obtained legislatively can often be gotten through the bureaucratic back door. In fact, as I’ve noted elsewhere, one commission created by the law, THE MEDICARE INDEPENDENT PAYMENT ADVISORY BOARD, CAN EVEN ENACT LAWS OVER THE PRESIDENT’S VETO.

When I was in the service (Navy) I had piles of regulation books in my stateroom. They basically defined everything. The problem was there was no possible way to know what was in them. You might have a question that you would look up, but in a day you would make hundreds of decisions that you wouldn’t. What we found was that these books were not “rule books,” but “blame books.” If something went wrong they would look it up and see if you followed the regulations. This bill must be repealed.

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