Friday, January 19, 2018

 

I Think I Have This Figured Out



Concerning a possible "shutdown" of the federal government (which is merely Kabuki theater in my mind--essential services don't shut down at all), I'm wondering who will get the blame this time.

At the end of 1995 and in first few days of 1996 there were 27 days of partial shutdown. The Democrat President Clinton had vetoed the spending bill passed by the Republican controlled House and Senate and the Republicans didn't get a new one passed in time to keep the unimportant government services going. The Republicans got the blame.

From October 1 through 16, 2013, the feds shut down some things because of the lack of a spending bill from the Republican House. The Democrat President Obama and the Democrat controlled Senate wanted things included in the spending bill the Republicans opposed (for a little over two weeks). The Republicans got the blame.

Now the Republicans control the White House, House and Senate but the Democrats want to hold up any spending bill until the Republicans agree to things regarding an immigration bill "fix" for some people here illegally; and the Democrats can hold up the spending bill due to the 60 votes needed to stop a filibuster and only 51 Republican Senators; and therefore a "shutdown" will result.
The Republicans will get the blame.

See, if there is any interruption to unnecessary federal services or any delay in payment to the voracious but inept federal bureaucracy, no matter what the circumstances, it's always the Republicans' fault.

It's like a rule or something.

Just thought you all would like to know.

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Tuesday, December 26, 2017

 

Returning to Old Style Words



I've been uncomfortable with the term "Fake News" almost from the inception of the term. With repetition it get's ever more galling. Perhaps you're suffering from "Fake News" fatigue too.

So I'm going back to the original:

Propaganda

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Monday, December 25, 2017

 

Obsessing Over the Utterly Trivial



Andrew Sullivan, whom I used to like a lot, has continued an ever downward slide into journalistic irrelevance. Here is a recent example: Putin's First Year in the White House. Nothing at all hyperbolic about that headline.

His first mistake is to believe anything James Clapper says. Has there ever been a dimmer head of an intelligence service? Clapper lies a lot too; and his saying Trump is acting like a Russian foreign agent is laugh out loud stupid. But on his own, Mr. Sullivan's pervasive mistake is what he believes is Vladimir Putin's major concern as the leader of Russia. Behold.

[Putin's] core concern, as with any despot, is the legitimacy of his pseudo-democratic autocracy - which means, in turn, discrediting the very different features of the liberal democracies of the West. 

It may well be a concern of Russia's leader that his leadership is secure, but it is way down the list of current concerns. The "pseudo-democratic" autocrat is very popular with the Russian people and he has very little to fear regarding his continued position in the driver's seat. And the whole idea that Putin would bolster his image as leader by discrediting the image of other leaders and other governments is way the heck out on a limb. Especially the wimpy way Putin is alleged to have discredited our Republic. The major concern Putin clearly has is economic. Russia is struggling mainly because of low natural gas prices due to the American fracking glut. And Trump is not helping Vlad out on that at all. Back to this wasted outrage.

Trump has exhibited contempt for a free press, describing the bulk of Western journalism as “fake news,” words that have gladdened the hearts of dictators across the planet. 

I guess Mr. Sullivan thinks that the press has been very fair to Trump's administration and that no mistakes putting it in a lesser light have ever been made. If I were being treated as unfairly by the press as Trump has been, I'd be contemptuous of the press too. But no, Mr. Sullivan is having none of that. Trump believing the press has sunk to new lows is more like a dictator shutting down the press he doesn't like (something Putin actually does). It get's sillier. After a list of minor atrocities by Trump in governing in a way different from what lefties would prefer, Mr. Sullivan trots out this particularly stupid lefty meme:

the looting of the treasury by oligarchs — I give you the latest tax bill.
Letting citizens keep more of the money they have earned is as far from "looting" as it is possible to be. You're not taking anything at all. To think that tax rate cuts are a form of theft must necessarily be based on a belief that all income belongs to the government in the first place. Putin probably believes that. Trump, not so much. Criticism of the tax rate cuts is one of the biggest and stupidest mistakes the left has recently made -- is continuing to make. Tax payers who start getting bigger paychecks next February because less is withheld due to the rate cuts will probably think that's a good thing and the wailing and over the top false criticism of tax rate cuts by the Democrats must be wrong, perhaps an out and out lie. What else does Mr. Sullivan muster to support his premise that Trump is a proto-dictator and enemy agent?

Then there is Russia’s permanent interest in deepening the racial and partisan divides in America — the better to force the United States to be more concerned with internal strife than with foreign affairs. 

I would have to say that Sullivan and his ilk are far more guilty of this than any Russian has ever been. The support I have for that observation is gargantuan and it takes a whole lot of effort by the left to pretend they aren't doing anything like that at all. Wow, this is really thin -- to fan partisan and racial discord in America is to act like a Russian agent?

What better propaganda could the Kremlin get than the Charlottesville horrors, the racial divide crippling the NFL, or the candidacy of Roy Moore?

Is Sullivan saying that Trump engineered any of these? I remember during the Cold War that the Soviets were constantly criticizing us about crime and to a much lesser extent the racial problems the Democrats had created, but they criticized everything the West did. The racial part was not a constant drumbeat. If you want to see constant criticism of America, especially about race, look no further than the Democrat Party.

As for the stability and legitimacy of liberal capitalism, Putin could scarcely do better than the GOP tax proposal. When economic inequality is at record highs, undermining the social compact that undergirds capitalism, the GOP is making things far worse. It would also add well over a trillion dollars to the U.S. debt. Trump is not just looting the Treasury for himself and his buddies, he is looting the younger generation as well.

Back to looting. He keeps using that word. I do not think it means what he thinks it means. $9 Trillion added to our national debt in the 8 years of the Obama administration was hunky dory. Adding just over a $Trillion over 10 years is the worst thing in the world. Got it.

Let's end with this major mistake by Sullivan because the piece after that is virtually unreadable:

In the Middle East, Russia has never been stronger — it is now the key player in the future of Syria, while Putin’s naked annexation of Crimea and sections of eastern Ukraine remains in place, unmentioned by the White House.

Russia has indeed been supportive of Syria since 2011 and militarily involved in Syria since 2015. Clearly that was Trump's fault. And the military action undertaken by Trump against Syria for their atrocities (our 'bombing' the airfield at Al Shayret) was the only military action taken by the United States during the entirety of that nation's civil war. Obama did absolutely nothing. So clearly the bombing of Russia's new ally Syria is evidence of Trump's being in cahoots with Russia regarding a nation it supports. Nothing could be clearer. Oh, wait. Except for arming the Ukrainians with weapons. That might be clearer evidence of the White House helping out the Russians. No one could doubt how pleased the Russians would be with sophisticated American anti-tank weapons in Ukrainian hands. It's a no-brainer. I'll stop with the sarcasm now and point out that Sullivan possibly might not have been aware of the military weapons deal when he wrote his piece. But I doubt it. The WSJ was reporting the deal was in the works in July 2017. It's almost as if he was ignoring the actual help the "silent" White House was planning to give the Ukrainians so he could falsely accuse the current administration of doing nothing for the Ukraine.

It is difficult for me to square Andrew Sullivan's former clear eyed assessments of the world with the drivel he now writes. It is a crying shame.

UPDATE: Tyler O'Neil agrees with me here that calling tax rate cuts theft or "looting" means the Democrats must no longer believe in private property. All your income belongs to the government, apparently, and allowing you to keep more of it than last year is therefore theft from the government. Tough to come to any other conclusion (except plain old lefty incoherence).


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Thursday, December 14, 2017

 

Thought of the Day



Strzok to Miss Page, August 15th 2016:
I want to believe the path you threw out for consideration in Andy's office that there's no way he gets elected — but I'm afraid we can't take that risk. It's like an insurance policy in the unlikely event you die before you're 40...
"He" is Trump. "Andy's office" is believed to be that of the Deputy Director of the FBI, Andrew McCabe, who was in charge of the Trump investigation - then just a few weeks old. The conversation appears to be a violation of the Hatch Act, which prohibits civil servants from engaging in political activity while on duty and in a government office.

But what does "I'm afraid we can't take that risk" (of Trump winning) actually mean?

Does it mean, for example, that "I'm going to dress up this dodgy Christopher Steele dossier Hillary and Fusion GPS passed along to us into something a bit more credible-seeming and take it to the FISA court to get authorization to tap everyone around Trump round the clock until we hit paydirt"?

9) The above text explains why Mueller hired the same-old-same-old Hillary crowd for his supposed "independent" investigation into Trump: The same people had to run both investigations because otherwise the new investigators would discover the shenanigans of the old investigators.Putting Strzok and Page on the team was the FBI's way of protecting itself.

Mark Steyn

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Saturday, December 09, 2017

 

I Blame Trump



Here is a chart from several sources, including the EPA, UNESCO and the World Bank, regarding changes in some of the human problems we share. It's a remarkable drop.


Poverty has decreased by 75%. Pollution in the US by 61% (and that's on top of the decline from 1970 to 1990). Whenever I hear someone saying humans are ruining the world and things are getting constantly worse, I remember this chart.

I've got to admit it's getting better, a little better all the time.

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Thursday, November 16, 2017

 

I Love It When I'm Prescient



Nine years ago I wrote this:

...In the Southern Hemisphere, however, it's Fall and it's getting colder. The sea ice in the North has probably peaked and is down from the 21 year normal by half a million square kilometers. Most of the anomaly is from two places--Barents Sea and the Sea of Okhotsk. In the South, the sea ice around Antarctica is more than a million and a half square kilometers above the 21 year normal. Therefore world sea ice is a million square Km above normal. The flux density from the sun is low, 71, and the sun is spotless and still hasn't had a normal second new cycle sunspot since January 4, 2008. The four different measurements of global temperature are rebounding from the year long full degree slide.
I'm speculating that there is a recently active volcano under the ice near the base of the Antarctic Peninsula which accounts for the recent melting only there in Antarctica. Is there any way to tell? It is difficult otherwise to account for the record sea ice (which would mean colder than normal temperatures) and single source of ice shelf collapses (which would require warmer than normal temperatures).


Yesterday I read this:

Antarctica is the largest reservoir of ice on Earth. Understanding its ice sheet dynamics is crucial to unraveling past global climate change and making robust climatic and sea level predictions. Of the basic parameters that shape and control ice flow, the most poorly known is geothermal heat flux. Direct observations of heat flux are difficult to obtain in Antarctica, and until now continent-wide heat flux maps have only been derived from low-resolution satellite magnetic and seismological data. We present a high resolution heat flux map and associated uncertainty derived from spectral analysis of the most advanced continental compilation of airborne magnetic data. Small-scale spatial variability and features consistent with known geology are better reproduced than in previous models, between 36% and 50%. Our high-resolution heat-flux map and its uncertainty distribution provide an important new boundary condition to be used in studies on future subglacial hydrology, ice-sheet dynamics and sea-level change.


So it turns out that there are lots of volcanoes and other geological heat sources under the huge amount of ice in Antarctica. Here is the photo of the mapping:


And it was these sources, and not added heat in the air from any greenhouse gas, that were measured by Warmie True Believers Eric Steig, Michael Mann et al. and sold to us as catastrophic man-caused global warming. That was pretty much bull shit. Compare the geologically based warming above with the false narrative of "air temperature" warming at the South Pole, in this view side by side:



Yea, Me!

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Monday, November 13, 2017

 

Photos out my Office Window



Here are some things I've taken pictures of while "working."





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