Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Obama doublecrosses the Catholic Church

What’s new Today

Story #1 is on a huge story that I posted yesterday and one that is growing in importance.  It has to do with Obamacare and the Catholic Church. This is really a stupid move by Obama in an election year.  #2 basically tells you it doesn’t matter who wins the GOP primaries because whoever the Republican is, they will be president.  It isn’t a question of can that person beat Obama.  They can.  #3 is also a breaking story.  It seem Freddie Mac is making money by keeping people in high rate mortgages.  It isn’t what they are supposed to do and it is contributing to the housing decline.  #4 comes from a Rasmussen poll.  It seems the poor consume like everyone else, that is they have much of the creature comforts of the 21st Century. #5 is the latest on the Occupy Movement.   

1.    Obama Double-crosses Catholics

Catholic leaders are still trying to process the implications of this ambush. The president had every opportunity to back down from confrontation. In the recent ­Hosanna-Tabor ruling, a unanimous Supreme court reaffirmed a broad religious autonomy right rooted in the Constitution. Obama could have taken the decision as justification for retreat.

And it would have been a minor retreat. The administration was on the verge of mandating nearly universal contraceptive coverage through Obamacare without public notice. There would have been no controversy at all if President Obama had simply exempted religious institutions and ministries. But the administration insisted that the University of Notre Dame and St. Mary’s Hospital be forced to pay for the privilege of violating their convictions…

Both radicalism and maliciousness are at work in Obama’s decision — an edict delivered with a sneer. It is the most transparently anti-Catholic maneuver by the federal government since the Blaine Amendment was proposed in 1875 — a measure designed to diminish public tolerance of Romanism, then regarded as foreign, authoritarian and illiberal….


It seems Obama is intent on insulting every potential constituent group in America. 

2.  The GOP primaries:  It doesn’t matter

Mitt Romney will beat Barack Obama because a majority of the country already knows that the president is an epic failure at his job, and a thin-skinned, self-absorbed ideologue to boot.

All the noise about Romney's wealth and the nonsense about his "effective tax rate" won't make a lick of difference to a voter afraid of losing his or her job or fearing for their children's future.

All the left's harrumphing about Bain just isn't going matter to a country desperate for competence and character, discipline and the values of hard work, thrift and sacrifice.

Everybody already knows everything the Chicago gang is going to throw at Romney thanks to Newt. After the intensity of the nomination battle drains away, the focus will shift back to the president's massive incompetence, and ho-him will be the response when yet another Democrat with talking points about Romney tries to evade the reality of an unemployment rate that have never been below 8 percent when the president promised it would never go above that level.

To his great credit, Newt hasn't played the anti-Mormon card and the left certainly will, but that, too, is drained of its power after the campaign of 2008 and the pulverizing realities of the economic mismanagement of the past three years.

When Truman was forced from office, just as LBJ was, and when Carter and George H.W. Bush were denied second terms, the elections were about the overwhelming sense that the country needed a U-turn.

That's what the cover on Time proclaimed when below the smiling picture of Reagan on its November 17, 1980, election "special edition" appeared the words "A Fresh Start."

That is what November's vote will be about as well, and the memories and relevance of the primary battles will be long gone. The GOP's primary battles didn't matter in 1952 or 1980, and they won't matter in 2012

Obama is toast.  When the actual campaign begins, expect Obama to throw everything he can against the Republicans, and expect the Republicans to let you hear Obama saying over and over again all the miraculous things he was going to do.  And then expect the announcer to tell you what the actual numbers are. 

3.   Freddie Mac betting against Homeowners

...Freddie Mac, a taxpayer-owned mortgage company, is supposed to make homeownership easier. One thing that makes owning a home more affordable is getting a cheaper mortgage.

But Freddie Mac has invested billions of dollars betting that U.S. homeowners won't be able to refinance their mortgages at today's lower rates, according to an investigation by NPR and ProPublica, an independent, nonprofit newsroom.

These investments, while legal, raise concerns about a conflict of interest within Freddie Mac.

"We were actually shocked they did this," says Scott Simon, who heads the mortgage-backed securities team at the giant bond trading and investment firm called PIMCO. "It seemed so out of line with their mission, out of line with what Congress wanted them to do."…

….public documents show that in 2010 and 2011, Freddie Mac set out to make gains for its own investment portfolio by using complex mortgage securities that brought in more money for Freddie Mac when homeowners in higher interest-rate loans were unable to qualify for a refinancing.

Those trades "put them squarely against the homeowner," PIMCO's Simon says.

Freddie Mac's trades came at a time when mortgage rates were falling to record lows. Millions of homeowners wish they could refinance, but their lenders tell them they can't qualify for today's low rates because of tight rules. Freddie Mac is one of the gatekeepers with the power to set those rules, and lately, it has been saying no more often to homeowners….

If you read my blog you know how I feel about Fannie and Freddie.  But this one is totally new to me.  We really need to abolish both Freddie and Fannie. 

4.  Poor consume like everyone else

Says Rasmussen, “About 40 million Americans are officially defined as living below the poverty line. Yet most of those have adequate levels of food, shelter, clothing and medical care. Sixty-three percent of American adults believe such a family is not living in poverty,” he writes. “Only 16 percent believe that a family is living in poverty if it has two color televisions, cable or satellite TV, a DVD player, and a VCR, but that’s what the average family living in poverty has as defined by the U.S. government,” he adds.

Rasmussen, who condemns Washington for ignoring the public’s will to run out sky-high deficits, doesn’t mean to criticize households with earnings of $22,314, the 2010 poverty level for a family of four, but finds that the nation believes too much is being spent on welfare.

According to his polling in the new book, 71 percent believe too many are receiving federal welfare benefits and would like to see official measures of poverty tightened to reduce the number of eligible participants.

The president, however, is going the other way and even reviving plans to help homeowners refinance their mortgages, an idea similar to a stimulus-era idea that in part led to the Tea Party movement. Plus, Rasmussen reveals, the administration’s spending on means-tested programs like food stamps, public housing assistance, weatherization spending and others “is slated to continue growing dramatically even after the recession comes to an end.”

I think what shows the hardships the poor go through.  How many people not in poverty have a VCR?

5.  Is OWS just like the TEA Party?  I don’t think so

Not only are the occupiers, who represent 1% of Americans, destructive, as shown by the recent Oakland, California rampage they are filled with hate and bigotry.

Listen to an occupier recite this twisted, prejudicial "Pledge" while happily burning the American flag. Not too surprisingly, not even our quoted article yesterday on the Oakland occupiers mentioned it.

“I pledge allegiance to a flag of the imperialistic, capitalistic dictatorship.

And to the plutocracy for which it stands, depravity owned central bank, under the Jews.

With inequality and injustice for the 99.”

It appears the left version of the TEA Party is all the things the left thinks the TEA Party is. 

Monday, January 30, 2012

Sweet Dreams for Obama, but reality sucks for him

What’s new Today

Story #1 looks at what Obama’s campaign will be all about.  #2 is a short video of Paul Ryan completely dismantling Obama’s claims for a second term.  # 3 looks at income inequality as a problem but not of the rich.  #4 looks at what seems to be Obama’s war on religion.  #5 looks and finds Obama is the most polarizing Politician ever.  #6 reminds us that the election in November will not just be for the Presidency but will have a profound affect in the states as well. 

1.  Obama and the Politics of Envy

There are 1.1 million more unemployed Americans today than when President Obama was sworn into office in 2009. The number of Americans in poverty has risen by 6.4 million.

Unemployment is up 9 percent, the number of food stamp recipients is up 45 percent, and home values are down 13 percent. If Obama were to seek re-election based on his economic record, he would surely lose.

That is why Obama and his political advisers have determined that income inequality, or "fairness" as they call it, is the defining issue of our time.

"In the last few decades, the average income of the top 1 percent has gone up by more than 250 percent to $1.2 million per year," Obama recently said in Osawatomie, Kan.

"Now, this kind of inequality -- a level that we haven't seen since the Great Depression -- hurts us all."

And how does Obama propose to reverse this income inequality? Through something he calls "the Buffett Rule," which would force all Americans making more than $1 million a year to pay at least 30 percent of their income in taxes.

Defending this tax hike in Nevada this week, Obama said, "This has nothing to do with envy. It has everything to do with math." Which sounds like a nice line until you realize that Obama is refusing to show his work

When White House press secretary Jay Carney was pressed to provide the numbers on how much revenue Obama's Buffett Rule would raise, he refused. "I'm not going to give you a schedule of how broad individual tax reform would break down and what impact it would have," Carney said. "The president simply believes that as a matter of principle that unfairness ought to be changed."….

I think Obama must think that it would be unfair to judge him on his record.  He wants to change the subject.  Reread the first two paragraphs because that is what this election is all about. 

2.  Paul Ryan Completely Dismantles Obama on FNS

I'm trying to say is he is giving us a future of debt, doubt, and decline.”

You can watch it here:  http://nation.foxnews.com/paul-ryan/2012/01/29/fire-paul-ryan-completely-dismantles-obama-fns#ixzz1kwug2R7r

3.   How do we Overcome Income Inequality?

….But the mere existence of income inequality tells us little about what, if anything, should be done about it. First, we must answer some key questions. Who constitutes the prosperous and the poor? Why has inequality increased? Does an unequal income distribution deny poor people the chance to buy what they want? And perhaps most important: How do Americans feel about inequality?

To answer these questions, it is not enough to take a snapshot of our incomes; we must instead have a motion picture of them and of how people move in and out of various income groups over time.

The “rich” in America are not a monolithic, unchanging class.  A study by Thomas A. Garrett, economist at the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, found that less than half of people in the top 1 percent in 1996 were still there in 2005. Such mobility is hardly surprising: A business school student, for instance, may have little money and high debts, but nine years later he or she could be earning a big Wall Street salary and bonus…

We could reduce income inequality by trying to curtail the financial returns of education and the number of women in the workforce — but who would want to do that?

The real income problem in this country is not a question of who is rich, but rather of who is poor. Among the bottom fifth of income earners, many people, especially men, stay there their whole lives. Low education and unwed motherhood only exacerbate poverty, which is particularly acute among racial minorities.

Making the poor more economically mobile has nothing to do with taxing the rich and everything to do with finding and implementing ways to encourage parental marriage, teach the poor marketable skills and induce them to join the legitimate workforce. It is easy to suppose that raising taxes on the rich would provide more money to help the poor. But the problem facing the poor is not too little money, but too few skills and opportunities to advance themselves….

There is the old saying “give a man a fish and feed him for a day, teach a man to fish and you will feed him for his lifetime.”  So while the left is busy handing out fish and advocate taking more from the best fishermen, the right is advocating teaching fishing to everyone. 

4.  Obamacare:  We are all Abortionists Now

The decision last week by Health and Human Services Kathleen Sebelius to reject the appeals of scores of religious leaders and retain a very narrow “religious” exemption from Obamacare’s so-called contraception mandate has ignited an uproar among Catholic leaders, as well it should — because it’s hard to fathom a government dictate more offensive than this one.

Here’s how we got where we are: Obamacare includes within its massive delegation of power to the federal government the authority to define what constitutes “preventive services” that must be covered by all health-insurance plans sold and purchased in the United States, including plans sponsored by employers. Services defined by HHS as preventive for purposes of this provision are required under the new law to be covered by the insurer or employer with no charge to the insurance plan’s enrollees.

Last August, in the course of writing a rule that would determine preventive health services for women, HHS decided that free contraception and sterilization services are a must. As a practical matter, that means all health-insurance plans sold in the United States in the very near future will include full coverage of products that terminate pregnancies, since some products classified by the FDA as contraceptives — and thus covered under the HHS definition — also act as abortifacients. While it is true that many insurance plans cover such products today, that’s mainly been the choice of the insurers and employers sponsoring the plans. HHS has now made such coverage obligatory nationwide, thus forcing tens of millions of pro-life Americans to pay for “services” with their health-insurance premiums that they find morally objectionable. (Grandfathered plans are exempt from this and other Obamacare rules, but the number qualifying for grandfathered status is expected to decline precipitously in the next couple of years.)

Bad as all that is, it gets worse. Not only must Catholics who work for non-Catholic employers pay for such products with their premiums, HHS also wants religious employers to cover such products in their health plans. Knowing that Catholic leaders and others would strongly object to this requirement, HHS included in the regulation issued last August a narrow exemption from this requirement for employers that are basically houses of worship. Much larger religiously affiliated institutions, such as Catholic universities, hospitals, and charitable enterprises, do not fit within the HHS exemption.

This is one of those Liberal dreams which will cost them in November.  The Catholic Church is already preaching against this and like the kids lemonade stand that the health authorities shut down because they don’t have a license, this is just plain stupid on the Obama Administration’s part.  Plus it violates the March 2010 agreement between Stupak and President Obama that Obama promised to sign an Executive order banning federal funding of abortion through the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.  The link below here is the letter read in thousands of Catholic Churches across the country.

….The Obama Administration has cast aside the First Amendment to the Constitution of the United States, denying to Catholics our Nation’s first and most fundamental freedom, that of religious liberty. And as a result, unless the rule is overturned, we Catholics will be compelled to either violate our consciences, or to drop health coverage for our employees (and suffer the penalties for doing so). The Obama Administration’s sole concession was to give our institutions one year to comply…

Perhaps we should start comparing Obama to Nero or Diocletian or Galerius (all were famous for the persecution of Christians). 

5.  Obama the most polarizing President ever

…For 2011, Obama’s third year in office, an average of 80 percent of Democrats approved of the job he was doing in Gallup tracking polls, as compared to 12 percent of Republicans who felt the same way. That’s a 68-point partisan gap, the highest for any president’s third year in office — ever. (The previous high was George W. Bush in 2007, when he had a 59 percent difference in job approval ratings.)

In 2010, the partisan gap between how Obama was viewed by Democrats versus Republicans stood at 68 percent; in 2009, it was 65 percent. Both were the highest marks ever for a president’s second and first years in office, respectively.

What do those numbers tell us? Put simply: that the country is hardening along more and more strict partisan lines….

Or perhaps rather than hardening, the overreach by Obama and the left polarized the country.  Remember how Obama told us he would end the partisan bickering?  He not only didn’t, he’s made it worse.

6.   The 2012 election at the State level

While the Republican nomination contest has understandably been getting most of the attention in recent weeks, other elements of the 2012 election cycle have been coming into focus. After historic gains in state government in 2010, for example, Republicans have a growing number of opportunities to add to their majorities in governorships and state legislatures.

Right now, 29 of the nation’s states have Republican governors. Democrats hold 20 governorships, with one independent (Lincoln Chafee of Rhode Island). If you throw in the five territories and commonwealths with governors, the split is 32 Rs, 22 Ds, one I. In presidential years, there are 11 races for governor around the country. Of these, the largest prizes are North Carolina, Missouri, Indiana, and Washington.

North Carolina’s embattled Democratic governor, Bev Perdue, just announced that she won’t run for a second term. Her approval ratings went upside-down within months of her election in 2008, and she never recovered. Her 2008 opponent, former Charlotte mayor Pat McCrory, is a shoo-in for the Republican nomination and would have beaten her easily. Now the Democratic field is wide open. Unless former Clinton aide Erskine Bowles get in and quickly raises a lot of money, McCrory will probably win this race….

Republicans also have solid chances of capturing Democratic governorships in Montana and New Hampshire. All Republican incumbents appear to be safe. So it is quite possible that on Election Day, the GOP will win at least a 32-17 edge in state governors.

I still remember the liberal pundit declaring after Obama’s election that the battle between the left and the right was over and the left had one.  They also spoke of 20 years of liberal dominance.  My how time flies.

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Global Warming is Dead--15 Years with no increase in temperatures

What’s new Today

Story #1 is an interesting one telling us what happened that turned China around back in the 1970s.  #2 is a must read.  It’s an educational lesson for the Democrats.  #3 has Marco Rubio relating how Obama made everything worse.  #4 are a couple of polls that show a lack of a SOTU bounce for Obama.  #5 tells us that in England, the Met office and CRU have both admitted that there has been no warming in the last 15 years.  You probably won’t read about this in the regular newspapers or the MSM, but it appears the AGW hypothesis is falling apart.  #6 is a conjecture of how people in the future will look back at the AGW hypothesis and explain what happened. 

1.  China’s Miracle

In 1978, the farmers in a small Chinese village called Xiaogang gathered in a mud hut to sign a secret contract. They thought it might get them executed. Instead, it wound up transforming China's economy in ways that are still reverberating today.

The contract was so risky - and such a big deal - because it was created at the height of communism in China. Everyone worked on the village's collective farm; there was no personal property.

In Xiaogang there was never enough food, and the farmers often had to go to other villages to beg. Their children were going hungry. They were desperate. So, in the winter of 1978, after another terrible harvest, they came up with an idea: Rather than farm as a collective, each family would get to farm its own plot of land. If a family grew a lot of food, that family could keep some of the harvest.

This secret meeting, though innocuous to anyone accustomed to the benefits of private property, was dangerous in the then-wholly communist country. Most importantly, the agreement was hashed out with a document that goes hand-in-hand with private property: a contract. With a formal contract established and plots of land assigned to each family, the incentive was now in place in order for those farmers wishing to improve their own standard of living to do so by virtue of their own labor. While a certain portion of food still had to be given over to the collective, surplus quantities could be kept for private consumption.

And with that, the tragedy of commons mentality vanquished, and starvation ceased to be an issue. The simple rule of "keep what you make" had transformed the barren economy overnight. The hallmarks of capitalism which brought hundreds of years of increasingly material prosperity to the West were ironically established in a hut that lacked both plumbing and electricity. The results were immediate, as that year's harvest was bigger than the last five years' harvests combined. According to one farmer, "we all secretly competed -- everyone wanted to produce more than the next person."

As a man obtain the means of production -- be it factory equipment, the contractual pledges of workers, land, etc. -- he becomes both an entrepreneur and speculator. If he has any interest at all in maintaining the value of his assets, he will use them efficiently and judiciously to maximize their output.

In collectives, however, the mindset is quite different. Man loses his right to the sweat of his brow. He therefore loses any incentive to produce beyond a certain threshold, as he can no longer enjoy the excess of his labors. The mindset envelops the whole community, as performing the least amount of work necessary and living off the labor of others becomes commonplace.

This communal syndicalism is in fact what nearly brought an early end to the American experiment. When European settlers first arrived at the colony of Plymouth, they established a communist-like agrarian economy, where all harvested food was kept at a common storehouse for members of the community to enjoy at their pleasure. And much like China, rampant starvation forced a change in practice. After two years, privatized farming was adopted, which in turn lead to an abundance of food production and the very first Thanksgiving….

An interesting story which conservative will nod their heads in agreement while liberals will look upon in disbelief. 

2.  Obama needs to own up to the truth

“Human nature and the laws of physics, not technocratic liberalism, are still the best guides to the madness around us. Money borrowed has to be paid back or the debt eaten by someone, period. Poverty is defined by a want of material necessities, not by lacking the appurtenances that someone else better off enjoys. Gas and oil are miracle fuels and it is very hard to find alternate energies at comparable costs and reliability. And as a rule, the green class of environmental elites usually uses more fossil fuels per capita than do the muscular classes who mine and drill them out of the ground — and who do not jet, drive, or live in the comparable fashion of their critics.”

There is a lot of truth in this posting.  I recommend you read it. 

3.  Rubio: Obama 'made everything worse'

Freshman Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) panned President Obama’s State of the Union speech during the weekly Republican address, saying the president largely ignored his own record because he has made the economy worse during three years in office.

“It was an opportunity for the president to talk about his accomplishments over the last three years and to lay out his plans for the year ahead. And he missed on both counts,” Rubio said. “You didn’t hear much talk about the success of his administration—and that’s because there isn’t much.”…

…“This president didn’t talk about his record for one simple reason; he doesn’t want you to know about it. But you do know about it, because you feel the failure of his leadership every single day of your life,” Rubio said.

“The bottom line is this president inherited a country with serious problems. He asked the Congress to give him the stimulus and Obamacare to fix it. The Democrats in Congress gave it to him. And not only did it not work, it made everything worse.”…

This is what you are going to hear from the Republicans this year.  In the meantime the Democrats will talk about the flaws of the Republican candidates and how this is all Bush’s fault.  It’s been 40 plus months since the financial meltdown.  The new coach owns the disaster now and he has done a horrible job with it. 

4.   State of the dead cat bounce

Lucianne Goldberg calls it the dead cat bounce when reaction to a political event is nil. The president gave his fourth State of the Union speech (officially it is three as for some reason the first one is always considered an address to Congress) and the crowd went mild. Let us go to the charts:

The Gallup    Approve  Disapprove

Pre-SOTU        44%       46%

Post-SOTU       43%       49%

Rasmussen    Approve  Disapprove

Pre-SOTU        48%       51%

Post-SOTU       46%       52%

So although the media spun the SOTU as a huge success, it doesn’t seemed to have had an effect on BHO’s popularity.

5.  Global Warming No longer the issue

The supposed ‘consensus’ on man-made global warming is facing an inconvenient challenge after the release of new temperature data showing the planet has not warmed for the past 15 years.

The figures suggest that we could even be heading for a mini ice age to rival the 70-year temperature drop that saw frost fairs held on the Thames in the 17th Century.

Based on readings from more than 30,000 measuring stations, the data was issued last week without fanfare by the Met Office and the University of East Anglia Climatic Research Unit. It confirms that the rising trend in world temperatures ended in 1997.

Meanwhile, leading climate scientists yesterday told The Mail on Sunday that, after emitting unusually high levels of energy throughout the 20th Century, the sun is now heading towards a ‘grand minimum’ in its output, threatening cold summers, bitter winters and a shortening of the season available for growing food….

…Yet, in its paper, the Met Office claimed that the consequences now would be negligible – because the impact of the sun on climate is far less than man-made carbon dioxide. Although the sun’s output is likely to decrease until 2100,This would only cause a reduction in global temperatures of 0.08C.’ Peter Stott, one of the authors, said: ‘Our findings suggest a reduction of solar activity to levels not seen in hundreds of years would be insufficient to offset the dominant influence of greenhouse gases.’

These findings are fiercely disputed by other solar experts.

‘World temperatures may end up a lot cooler than now for 50 years or more,’ said Henrik Svensmark, director of the Center for Sun-Climate Research at Denmark’s National Space Institute. ‘It will take a long battle to convince some climate scientists that the sun is important. It may well be that the sun is going to demonstrate this on its own, without the need for their help.’..

… Nature is about to carry out a very interesting experiment,’ he said. ‘Ten or 15 years from now, we will be able to determine much better whether the warming of the late 20th Century really was caused by man-made CO2, or by natural variability.’

It does appear we should know in the next decade whether the AGW phenomena was actually what Al Gore and James Hansen told us it would be, or if it was just another up and down we’ve experienced before on the planet.  

6.  What if CO2 has nothing to do with the Climate?

….Here I ask this. Suppose it turns out that CO2 has essentially nothing to do with the earth’s climate. How will the history of this colossal mistake be written?

They will say that a mechanism called the “greenhouse effect,” was postulated long ago (~1824 by Joseph Fourier) and gained adherents in the late 20th century. They will say that the theory was seemingly invalidated by the decrease in global temperatures from 1940-1975, but that the adherents patched this up by explaining the cooling with pollution, specifically sulfur, from industry…

….They will say the theory was seemingly invalidated by the evidence that the atmosphere was already nearly opaque in the wavelengths that are absorbed by CO2 and so the additional CO2 could have, on its own, little effect, but that the theory was patched up by positing a feedback mechanism between the small temperature increases directly due to CO2 and the production of water vapor which is the main greenhouse gas.

They will note that the theory of anthropogenic global warming (AGW) proceeded much like any scientific theory (cf. Thomas Kuhn, The Structure of Scientific Revolutions) in that it was modified and patched up and adjusted to fit empirical challenges until it finally collapsed altogether under the weight of incontrovertible evidence. But, the scientific historians will have a new phenomenon to consider, and that is the social and political context of this particular scientific theory.

Kuhn describes very well the build-up of evidence that ultimately leads to the over-turning of accepted orthodoxy within the scientific community, of some particular theory. But AGW is intrinsically wrapped up with political ideology and, increasingly, with economics and government (cf. “Solyndra”). The only apt comparison I can think of is Lysenkoism, the anti-genetics theory of Trofim Lysenko that was bought wholesale by Stalin and ultimately hobbled the entire Soviet biological establishment for generations (to say nothing of its role in leading to the starvation of people who followed its tenets in regard to things like agriculture).

Scientific revolutions are difficult and traumatic enough without the added inertia of government sponsorship. To put it more bluntly, scientists have difficulty enough admitting that they have egg on their faces. Throw in the Solyndras of the world and the United Nations and the entire anti-capitalist Global Left and the backing out of this theory will be nothing short of a fiasco.

If someone were, for instance, to come up with indisputable evidence tomorrow that CO2 has essentially no impact on earth’s climate, could the world accept it? With the development of frakking and the concomitant extension of carbon based energy resources hundreds of years into the future, what would they do with all the windmills?

Well, the truth of this issue should be apparent within about 15 years…at which point we may be allowed to buy incandescent light bulbs again.

The falling apart of the AGW Hypothesis is likely to have serious political consequences as well.  The left has taken this to heart looking to use it to try to overthrow free markets and free enterprise.  The arrogant position that anyone who didn’t toe the line on this “theory” was a denier and anti-science is likely to make their warnings be treated like those of the “Boy who cried wolf.”  In short their credibility will be seriously damaged.

Saturday, January 28, 2012

A little bit of this and a little bit of that

What’s new Today

Story #1 looks at the charity giving record of democrats and republicans.  #2 relates a story of a hit piece by Reuters on Marco Rubio.  And finally #3 looks at Elizabeth Warren and her claim not to be rich.  It’s amazing how Democrats feel the need to hide their wealth. 

1.   Who is more generous?

Greed: Rich businessman Mitt Romney gave more than 16% of his income to charity last year. A few years back, Barack and Michelle Obama gave less than 1% of theirs. Aren't Republicans supposed to be the heartless ones?

According to their tax returns, the Obamas gave to charitable causes just $10,772 of the $1.2 million they earned from 2000 through 2004. In 2005 and 2006, they boosted their giving a bit to 5%.

How about Vice President Joe Biden? Surely he could top the Obamas and save some face for the party that purports to be all about helping the poor. But no.

Biden and his wife gave an average of $369 a year to charity for the decade preceding his vice presidency, according to USA Today. That amounted to 0.3% of their income. They haven't been much more generous since Biden became veep. In 2010, they gave $5,350, or roughly 1.4%.

Maybe the Clintons, the last Democrats to hold the White House before the Obamas, can save the party's reputation. From 2000 to 2006, their donations averaged 8.26% of income, from a low of 1.21% in 2002 to a high of 12.57% two years later, says the Tax Foundation.

Better, but not exactly Romney territory. The former Massachusetts governor gave 13.73% of his income to charity in 2010 and an estimated 19.14% last year….

Actually this shouldn’t come as a surprise.  Arthur Brooks, the author of a book on donors to charity, “Who Really Cares,” cites data that households headed by conservatives give 30 percent more to charity than households headed by liberals.  You can read about it here.

2.   Reuters Hit Piece on Rubio backfires

The Reuters news service once again has made itself a laughingstock by publishing a mistake-riddled hit piece on Marco Rubio, all but ruling him out as a vice presidential nominee for the GOP because of alleged financial problems. Many of which turned out to be untrue. Five corrections were necessary.

Matt Lewis of the Daily Caller outlines a total of 7 falsehoods or exaggerations in the story. Dylan Byers of Politico spoke to Reuters staff who refused to go on the record (an interesting stance for a newsman), and writes:

One senior staffer at Reuters described the episode to me as a "fiasco," another as a "disgrace."

It was so bad, in fact, that the editors and writer involved have been asked not to talk about it. (I reached out to editors David Lindsey and Eric Walsh, but have not heard back.)

They won't even defend themselves! How bad must it be if you can't even fabricate a rationalization of the facts. The facts must themselves be damning. John Hinderake of Powerline calls it the "worst news story of 2012."…

Two things here.  Dana Perino said that an article with one mistake is acceptable, two mistakes is unforgiveable, three is a firing offense.  Now what does 7 equal?  The second point is Hinderake calling this the “worst news story of 2012” is premature.  It’s only January and the press going for Obama is likely to beat this. 

3.   Elizabeth Warren claims she’s not in the 1%

The rhetoric of class and inequality is back in force, and Massachusetts Senate candidate Elizabeth Warren -- the standard-bearer for a combative new progressivism -- made the case to MSNBC's Lawrence O’Donnell last night that members of the Senate shouldn't own stock.

“I realize there are some wealthy individuals – I’m not one of them, but some wealthy individuals who have a lot of stock portfolios" she told him.

Hard to see how Warren wouldn't be, by most standards, wealthy, according to the Personal Financial Disclosure form she filed to run for Senate shows that she's worth as much as $14.5 million. She earned more than $429,000 from Harvard last year alone for a total of about $700,000, and lives in a house worth $5 million.

She also has a portfolio of investments in stocks and bonds worth as as much as $8 million, according to the form, which lists value ranges for each investment. The bulk of it is in funds managed by TIAA-CREF.

Warren would not, of course, be particularly wealthy by the tony standards of the Senate. But she's also unlikely to draw the sort of popular identification with her financial status that might attach to Marco Rubio, whose home is underwater….

It should be interesting to see how much she gives to charity.  Anyone want to comment on their guess?  And it’s interesting to watch as Romney says he’s not ashamed of being rich while Warren seems quite embarrassed by it.