Monthly Archives: January 2013

Cool Hand Luke-San

Featured image When it comes to global warming, the Japanese can’t quite get their minds right. Anthony Watts explains: Each year, four international science institutions compile temperature data from thousands of stations around the world and make independent judgments about whether the year was warmer or cooler than average. “The official records vary slightly because of subtle differences in the way we analyze the data,” said Reto Ruedy, climate scientist at NASA’s »

You Know It’s Winter In Minnesota When…

Featured image On the way home from the office tonight, I picked up a six pack of beer. When I pulled into my garage, the temperature was -1 F. Not epic by any means, but pretty darn cold. We have a sort of overflow refrigerator in our garage, and I realized I had better put the beer there–not to keep it cold, but to keep it warm. If I had left it »

A Mystery Is Solved

Featured image The New York Times announced today that its systems have been hacked by the Chinese over a period of months: For the last four months, Chinese hackers have persistently attacked The New York Times, infiltrating its computer systems… Here comes the key bit: and getting passwords for its reporters and other employees. So that explains Tom Friedman’s columns! We probably should apologize for believing Friedman was dumb enough to consider »

Does “smart power” require a smart Secretary of Defense?

Featured image Let’s hope not, because Chuck Hagel has not come across today as a particularly smart man. Even some leftists have been tweeting their negative impressions of Hagel. As I have suggested, he’s more cracker barrel philsopher than serious policy analysis. Hagel did prove, however, that he’s smart enough to know when to lie. He disavowed past position after past position. Sen. Vitter was particularly effective in pointing this out late »

Ted Cruz shows that Hagel slandered both Israel and the U.S.

Featured image I had thought that Lindsey Graham would be the most effective questioner of Chuck Hagel at today’s hearing, and Graham did his usual fine job of “cross-examination.” But for my money, Ted Cruz topped Graham and everyone else with questions that exposed not just Hagel’s contempt for Israel, but his contempt for the United States. You can view the tape of Cruz’s devastating round with Hagel here. First, Cruz played »

The Hagel hearing, Part Five (Sen. Graham takes Hagel to the woodshed)

Featured image Now it’s Lindsey Graham time. Are will still at war, Graham wants to know. After some stammering, Hagel says “Yes.” Graham’s next question is “name one person in Congress who has been intimidated by the Jewish lobby.” Hagel can’t do it (or won’t). Now Graham wants Hagel to name one dumb thing Congress has done in response to pressure from the Israeli lobby. Hagel can’t do it (or, actually, won’t). »

Surprise, Surprise, Surprise

Featured image No, that headline is not a pop culture reference to the news that Jim Nabors (“Gomer Pyle”) has married his partner, though I was a little surprised that Nabors is still alive.  Rather this refers to the “unexpected” news out today of more and more “glitches” in Obamacare as it rolls out. First, it seems there’s a “glitch” that makes some low income people ineligible for coverage.  From the Puffington »

The Hagel hearing, Part Four (Sens. Ayotte and Fischer take Hagel to the woodshed)

Featured image Sen. Hagan of North Carolina extracts another pledge from Hagel to support the “special relationship” with Israel. These repeated statements by Hagel are self-serving and probably not sincere. But it’s salutary to have Hagel make them over-and-over. Part of President Obama’s reason for nominating Hagel was, I believe, the desire to stick it to Israel and the pro-Israel lobby. If so, that purpose is undermined, to some extent, whenever Hagel »

The Hagel hearing, Part Three (Sen. Wicker gently takes Hagel to the woodshed)

Featured image Sen. McCaskill (the luckiest politician in America) is asking a laundry list of questions to enable Hagel to state his support for preventing Iran from obtaining nukes, keeping the military strong, baseball, and apple pie. These questions are meaningless, of course, without a discussion of Hagel’s past votes and statements. So far, Hagel is zero for two in answering targeted questions (those of McCain and Sessions) that focus on his »

The Hagel hearing, Part Two (Sen. Sessions takes Hagel to the woodshed)

Featured image With Sen. McCain having ripped into Hagel (see post below), Sen. Nelson of Florida tries to give Hagel a breather by asking him about his service in Vietnam. But Hagel, clearly stung by the exchange with McCain, wants to talk about the Iraq surge (the issue he ducked when McCain asked about it). So Hagel uses the Vietnam question to return to the surge. His view of the surge, Hagel »

The Hagel hearing, Part One (Sen. McCain takes Hagel to the woodshed)

Featured image The hearings on Chuck Hagel’s nomination are under way. Former Senator Sam Nunn is droning on with a 99 percent content free, generic endorsement of Hagel, his pal. Nunn isn’t going anywhere near the controversial issues raised by Hagel’s nomination, such as Israel and Iran. A wise move. Now it’s time to hear from Senator Foghorn himself, John Warner. He will likely make Nunn’s platitudinous statement sound like a PhD »

Risk on, baby

Featured image The Wall Street Journal has a good editorial (“As contractions go,” — behind its subscription paywall but available via Google News) on yesterday’s announced fourth quarter contraction in the economy. Does anyone think that more of the same monetary policy will deliver us from Obama’s slow growth/no-growth economy? The Journal comments: “Bad economy=more Fed cowbell=higher stock prices. Risk on, baby.” The Journal concludes the editorial with comments on the Fed’s »

Covering the Hagel hearing

Featured image Chuck Hagel will testify on Thursday before the Senate Armed Services Committee in furtherance (he hopes) of his nomination for Secretary of Defense. I will post reports, and perhaps live-blog, the event. Judging from reports of Hagel’s meeting with Chuck Schumer, the nominee intends to disavow or attempt to explain away his past anti-Israel, soft-on-Iran positions and comments, as well as his statements suggesting dislike of Jews. One hopes that »

A path to citizenship would establish a path to welfare benefits

Featured image In the post immediately below this one, John notes how immigrants from Eastern Europe have taken advantage of the combination of EU immigration rules and the British welfare system to live “high off the hog” at the expense of the taxpayers of Great Britain. As John suggests, this phenomenon has relevance to the debate over immigration reform in the U.S. In 2007, welfare expert Robert Rector estimated that the McCain-Kennedy »

The U.K. Braces for the Next Wave of Immigration

Featured image Immigration is suddenly a hot topic in the U.S., but it has been hot in the United Kingdom for a while. European Union rules will require Great Britain to admit vast numbers of Eastern European immigrants, starting next year. Why? Just because, apparently. We wrote here about how immigrants from elsewhere in Europe can live high off the hog on British welfare, which is far more lavish than anything available »

Two Voices of Sanity on Crime and Guns

Featured image President Obama is pressing for more gun control laws, but what about the many gun laws that are already on the books? The Obama administration has been lax with respect to gun crime enforcement, with prosecutions down by 25% to more than 50%, compared with the Bush administration. It is ironic that an administration so committed to passing new laws, that will only have the effect of harassing law-abiding gun »

Green Weenie of the Week: The Desperate Sierra Club

Featured image I’ve argued for a long time that environmentalists are the cheap dates (or battered spouses) of the Democratic Party, but even Obama’s shout out to climate change in his inaugural address isn’t satisfying them.  There was quite a negative reaction to Theta Skocpol’s critical report on why climate legislation failed in Obama’s first term because environmental groups hate being told they’re a bunch of losers.  To the contrary, the Center »