Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Another warming

From overseas, a view on why Obama is leading us to danger zone:

Barack Obama's decision to give the nod to Congress and his attorney general to investigate and possibly prosecute former Bush administration officials opens a Pandora's Box that could ultimately consume his presidency.

Exposing us to terrorism

From a WP guy who's no raving conservative:

At the Central Intelligence Agency, it's known as "slow rolling." That's what agency officers sometimes do on politically sensitive assignments. They go through the motions; they pass cables back and forth; they take other jobs out of the danger zone; they cover their backsides.

Sad to say, it's slow roll time at Langley after the release of interrogation memos that, in the words of one veteran officer, "hit the agency like a car bomb in the driveway."

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Friendly reminder: We're at war

On questioning evil men:

Consider the Justice Department memo of May 30, 2005. It notes that "the CIA believes 'the intelligence acquired from these interrogations has been a key reason why al Qaeda has failed to launch a spectacular attack in the West since 11 September 2001.'

Friday, April 17, 2009

Health care -- spend more?

From Kausfiles:

More broadly, haven't liberals historically prospered when they promised and delivered more for the average American (more Social Security, health security, prosperity, clean air) in exchange for increased spending? Why not try the same with health care? Give pandering a chance.

The problems:

1. We're broke. We don't have more to give, or even credibly promise.

2. As Robert Samuelson's column puts it: we're at the point where more health spending -- harms our ability to spend more on health.

It's not that industry and such are better; but they remain the foundation for all funding of good things.

Choke off such productive growth, and you choke off the source of money for other good things, including health spending.

3. All health spending is rationed. We can't put an ambulance and paramedics on every block. The question is: who decides?

4. There is waste. But who decides how to appropriate?

5. The problem with generous government approvals is that political pressure will distort what should be spent.

I'm a Baby Boomer. We'll demand knee replacements so we can still dance (somewhat) as we used to.

And we have the votes to make it happen.

6. But the real question is: when do these pay back society? If a middle-aged delivery driver gets a knee replacement so he can stay on the job and not go on disability, great.

But how does society benefit if a 75-year-old retiree gets a knee replaced so his shuffleboard form remains unmarred?

7. Political pressure means LESS health care that's needed. And MORE health care for those with political clout. Those are different.

8. Of course, there are equality questions, but not the ones that usually come up. If we as a society pay for your knee replacement, do you have to keep working to pay back society?

9. So is it fair that the healthy keep on the treadmill, and the unfit get to kick back?

Equality isn't possible -- especially if politicians run it. The problem isn't how to get the maximum, for that would be 100 percent, and our economy would collapse before then.

The problem is how to get the optimum allocation of health care.

And that raises brutal questions for a democracy that aspires to equality -- but can't bear to deny anyone anything.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

real explanation

Here's a better explanation of the meltdown:

But then in mid to late June, along came the POR (Pelosi-Obama-Reid) economy. The Democratic triumvirate’s intent to starve the nation of energy, regardless of the consequences, and newly minted presidential nominee Barack Obama’s designs on punitively taxing 5% of the nation’s most productive in the name of redistributing money to everyone else, both became crystal clear. As a result, paraphrasing what I wrote at the time, businesses, investors, and entrepreneurs responded to the trio’s total lack of seriousness by battening down the hatches and preparing for the worst.

They haven’t stopped, which is why the POR economy is now the POR recession as normal people define it. It is also why tax collections have taken a dive.

Protest? or thuggery?

Ominous development.

Saturday, April 11, 2009

President P

Watch out, France and Co, there is a new surrender monkey on the block and, over the next four years, he will spectacularly sell out the interests of the West with every kind of liberal-delusionist initiative on nuclear disarmament and sitting down to negotiate with any power freak who wants to buy time to get a good ICBM fix on San Francisco, or wherever. If you thought the world was a tad unsafe with Dubya around, just wait until President Pantywaist gets into his stride.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

End of philosphy?

But is it emotion, or something else?

Future of belief

Is "post-transcendent" more accurate? And ominous?

The percentage of self-identified Christians has fallen 10 points in the past two decades. How that statistic explains who we are now—and what, as a nation, we are about to become.

What kind of dog?

Questions of the week: Is Jim Matheson a real Blue Dog? And what if anything does that mean?

Some of the most outspoken members of the Blue Dog Coalition also scored points with the big spenders, voting with Frank and Lee six out of nine times. They include Reps. John Barrow (Ga.), Dan Boren (Okla.), Allen Boyd (Fla.), Jim Cooper (Tenn.), Joe Donnelly (Ind.), Brad Ellsworth (Ind.), and Jim Matheson (Utah).

Grappling with reality

But what is reality? A fair number of conservatives feel "mark to market" rules are unrealisitic.

Still, this gets at the worldview behind the bubble.

Repression in economic matters may not always lead to doom. But the scale of unconscious denial of the past five years amounts to a Great Repression. That is the widespread and sustained, if unconscious, denial of economic reality on a scale sufficient so that eventual reckoning spells equally widespread and sustained financial devastation—of which we should now be collectively acutely conscious.

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Good summary of what's wrong

David Frum:

I don’t blame him for borrowing the money to blast the U.S. and world economies out of their current rut. I blame him for accompanying his borrowing with a slew of long- discredited statist interventions. These will hugely burden those future Americans who inherit the job of paying off his debt.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Real alternatives

All of a sudden, nuclear fusion is becoming an energy buzzword instead of an energy joke