Saturday, March 28, 2009

Turn Out The Lights, The Party's Over

The Democrat & Chronicle is good for laughs if not for news. And I'm not talking about the comics section.

Today's chuckle came on (you guessed it!) the editorial page, in the Thumbs Up, Down section. They gave a thumbs up to "Earth Hour". This is happening tonight when concerned citizens from across the country and the world are supposed to show their support for anti-global warming initiatives. The idea is that you should shut off all of your lights from 8:30-9:30 PM and conserve energy.

This "sacrifice" will show world leaders how serious we are about global warming. Of course, we wouldn't want too much sacrifice; you are not being asked to turn off your TV or computer for that hour. I guess environmentalists across the globe want to be able to IM each other about what a great thing they are doing.

Obviously, protecting our environment is a paramount concern. But the idea of taking dramatic steps which will severely reduce our standard of living on the claim that such steps will prevent man-made global warming is crazy. If you take a look at the temperature chart contained in this PowerLine post, it is clear that the Earth goes through cycles of warming and cooling. Something other than man-made pollution has to have been the cause, at least in the millenia before the Industrial Age. The related charts also show that CO2 emissions do not appear to be the cause of warming.

It seems to me that before embark on costly changes to our economy, like a multi-billion dollar carbon tax, we should have a real scientific debate on whether or not human efforts are responsible for the condition and/or can change the result. Like so many other things we "know", the case is not closed. We have been told it is closed by advocates, zealots and partisans like Al Gore and the UN's IPCC. There are many reputable scientists and climate experts who disagree; the zealots don't want them heard.

As the PowerLine article notes, we can only hope that Congressmen read the cap and trade carbon tax bill that Obama is pushing before they vote on it. Here's another idea: why don't we hear from scientists on both sides of the issue before we take irretrievable steps?

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

They Really Like Him

I don't know if you saw the lead editorials in the Rochester Democrat & Chronicle on Monday and Tuesday, but if Jim Lawrence and Tom Tobin aren't getting paid by the Obama team, they should be.

Monday's editorial told us that Obama was being like FDR and going over the heads of the regular media by doing appearances on Leno and 60 Minutes. Actually, Obama was just going back to campaigning, which he's good at to get away from governing which hasn't worked out so well so far.

On Tuesday, the editors were effusive in their praise of Obama's performance at his press conference. We were told that he showed a mastery of issues and gave thoughtful responses. The AP wasn't so sure. On page 2 of the paper, the AP story ran asking if Obama was trying to have it both ways on the economy. Meanwhile, John Hinderaker and Scott Johnson at Power Line were not impressed. They both described Obama's remarks as "disingenuous". That's a nice way of saying they think he's lying.

I happen to think that Obama prefers campaign mode because he can make statements that cannot be verified. His problem is that the campaign is over and the facts of governing can't be glossed over. He can no longer be all things to all people, but he sure keeps trying to convince us that he can.

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Steyn: Making Us Laugh So We Won't Cry

I was torn between laughing and crying when I read this article by Mark Steyn from the National Review.

Steyn points out that the massive spending undertaken and or proposed by the Obama administration is threatening to leave a huge tab for our kids and grand kids. But Steyn says, what the heck, the youngsters who are going to get the bill deserve their fate since they supported Obama. As Steyn suggests, today's youth didn't specifically ask for debt but "...they did stand around behind Barack Obama at all those campaign rallies helping him look dynamic and telegenic and earnestly chanting hopey-hopey-changey-changey. And 'Yes, we can!'".

You should read it all. As I noted, its funny but the ultimate reality underlying the article is dead serious.

Friday, March 13, 2009

Orange Have Heart

I was one of many Syracuse Orange fans who stayed up way past our bed-times to watch their six-overtime classic win over UConn in the Big East basketball tournament.

By now you've heard all of the details; how the Orange never led in any of the first 5 overtimes but managed to hang in. You've heard how Jonny Flynn simply refused to let the Orange give up even after having Eric Devendorf's apparent game-winner waived off.

Until now, I thought Syracuse was a good club but that they wouldn't be able to match up against the really elite teams. Boy was I wrong! Last night Syracuse proved they can play with anybody.

The exhaustion of playing in such a game will probably show up tonight in the game against West Virginia. It would not surprise me if the 'Cuse don't have any gas left in the tank. But the rest of the NCAA tournament field should be on notice. This Syracuse team has the heart to go deep into the later rounds.

I'm marking my brackets accordingly.

Trying to Fool All of the People All of the Time

Barack Obama is a man who is trying to have it both (all?) ways.

I do not think we have ever witnessed a person in public office who has more often said one thing and done another. Earmarks and deficit spending, Guantanamo, Iraq and signing statements; in each case, as a candidate, Obama claimed he would operate differently than former President Bush. Now, having been elected, he is operating out of the Bush playbook on all of those items.

He gets away with it because most of his fawning allies in the mainstream media, will simply not report any contrary news or opinion about him. He therefore feels empowered to continue with the disconnect between his rhetoric and action.

Not all observers are blind to what he is doing. My favorite commentator, Victor Davis Hanson, shows he is onto Obama in this post from National Review OnLine. Hanson's article questions the motives behind Obama's double talk on the economy. This is his lead-in:

" is quite striking that in the space of a mere 50 days, Obama & Co. have gone from “We are in 1932 and things are getting worse—unless” to “Things are not as bad as we think,” with choruses from the likes of Larry Summers on the dangers of talking down the economy and sowing fear. This is one of the most schizophrenic moments in recent memory."

Some others have also noticed, like Paul Mirengoff at PowerLine and Charles Krauthammer at Real Clear Politics.

There is little doubt that Obama has been trying "not to waste" this good crisis in the service of pushing through his ultra-liberal agenda. It is also clear that he will say anything that helps him mask his real intentions. We can only hope that Lincoln was right and Obama is wrong and he can't fool all of the American people all of the time.

UPDATE 3/14/09: This Michael Ramirez cartoon is spot on regarding Obama's penchant for talking out of both sides of his mouth.

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Getting Bigger By The Hour

That's what's happenning to government spending, our national debt, and the level of government control over our daily lives.

There have been countless articles and posts regarding the massive spending President Obama and Congressional Democrats are using to effect sweeping changes in our government and society. I am among the many critics who hoped for the best with Obama but expected, and appear to be getting, the worst.

I give you two articles tonight on the topic. The first is a PowerLine post by John Hinderaker. I offer this one as a prayer of hope that Hinderaker is on to something when he claims that the general public is already beginning to question where Obama and the Dems are taking us. The second is an article by Mark Steyn in the National Review Online. I link to Steyn so that you can have a few laughs at the way he skewers the incredible spending which is going on.

Steyn's piece is both funny and scary, however. While he pokes fun at Obama's plans, the truth is that Obama is engaging in this stuff without any end in sight. Steyn concludes with this:

"Is the new all-powerful Statezilla vulnerable to anything? Unfortunately, yes. He loses all his superpowers when he comes into contact with something called Reality. But happily, Reality is nowhere in sight. There are believed to be some small surviving shards somewhere on the planet — maybe on an uninhabited atoll somewhere in the Pacific — but that’s just a rumor, and Barack Obama isn’t planning on running into Reality any time soon."

As you read the article, you may have the sense that you are laughing on your way to the poorhouse.

More on Consolidation

As many of you know, I am quite a contrarian when it comes to local government consolidation. This is an article on the topic which I posted today at Monroe Rising.

The article has a number of links back to earlier items I posted here on the topic. It is clear that the "powers that be" are coalescing around this issue. In my view, there are a number of hidden agendas behind the push, not the least of which is to distract us from the ongoing gusher of red ink in Albany.

The D&C has the additional desire of seeing suburban tax dollars "transferred" to the City of Rochester.