Here’s what the government is about to do to us — note that I did not say “do for us":
Yesterday, Senator Judd Gregg (R-NH) withdrew his name from consideration to be Barack Obama's Treasury Secretary, adding yet another failure to Obama's weak attempts at "bipartisanship" and another failure to fill a cabinet post. Unlike the many failed Democratic nominees, Gregg didn't get out because he was a tax dodger or likely to be investigated for corruption. I wonder whether Gregg's move will add to pressure on any of the three Senate RINOs who voted for the "stimulus" to change their votes in the final round.
Senator Gregg released a statement, which you can read HERE, explaining his decision. For those of you not well acquainted with Washington, DC beltway-speak, I am assisting you with the following English translation. I encourage you read the original release and then the translation, or read them together, a paragraph at a time, thinking of it as a language lesson.
SENATOR GREGG STATEMENT ON HIS WITHDRAWAL FROM CONSIDERATION OF U.S. COMMERCE SECRETARY
February 12, 2009
Contact: Howard Roark/Hank Rearden (GREGG)
Sen. Gregg stated, "I'm no longer willing to serve as President Obama's fig leaf in his game of artificial bipartisanship which nobody but the NY Times is believing. Although I was really looking forward to this career-extending opportunity, I'm sure the President can find other Senators...like Snowe and Specter, for example, more willing to sell their souls to convince the American people that the President is not a radical leftist.
"It has become apparent during this process that even the amazing chance to get the hell out of the den of thieves known as the Senate was just not worth having the ignominy of supporting our nation's greatest step toward socialism in two generations. Furthermore, the fact that during this process, the important process of conducting our national census was stripped from the department I would have overseen -- in one of the most naked attempts at trying to politicize what must be an objective non-partisan effort -- made it clear to me that the current administration represents anything but "hope and change". It's politics as usual, on steroids.
"Obviously, if the President wants a Republican on his team, he's either going to need one who is less principled, less intelligent, or a better liar than I am.
"I greatly admire President Obama's ability to win in a landslide and I was hoping to ride his coat-tails to a longer career, but since I'd feel like I needed to take a shower with an Ajax and Clorox scrub every time I agreed with him on an economic issue, I must withdraw my name from consideration for this position.
“As we move forward, I expect there will be many issues and initiatives where I can and will work to assure the success of the President’s proposals. This will certainly be a goal of mine.
"I will support President Obama on the 1% of ideas he has regarding commerce that aren't economically ridiculous and born of a domination of leftist bias over an understanding of history. Actually, since 1% is probably far too high an estimate, the whole concept of supporting the President on issues of commerce is entirely theoretical.
"Kathy and I want to ask Governor Lynch how it felt to be pushed around by a President of his own party, and although we really like Bonnie Newman we wonder if she thought she could get such a cushy job without paying her dues like the rest of us. In addition, we want to thank the people of New Hampshire who told me that I must have my head up my ass to even think that I should take the Commerce Secretary job, particularly given the seniority my state would lose in its Senate representation.
"And just to be clear, I'm not a tax cheat nor likely to be charged with corruption, like so many of President Obama's truly embarrassing choices for Cabinet positions. I can't believe I even allowed myself to be put in a position anywhere near that sleazeball, Tom Daschle. No, I quit only because I couldn't live with myself if I had to support our country's rapid march toward socialism...not that my quitting will do anything to stop it. But at least the death threats and people will stop keying my car (you hear me, Mitch McConnell?!?)
A new study by scientists from the University of Minnesota is the latest research to attack corn ethanol. Although I have serious problems with the philosophical approach of the researchers, as shown in my note to them which I have copied below, they conclude that "the combined climate-change and health costs are $469 million for gasoline (and) $472–952 million for corn ethanol depending on biorefinery heat source (natural gas, corn stover, or coal) and technology..."
(They continue on to say that cellulosic ethanol (such as made in Brazil from sugar cane) is far superior to either.)
It's good to see another nail in the coffin of corn ethanol (though I suspect that a better analogy is a zombie that just won't die no matter what we do to it). But so much of the study is pathetic fawning at the altar of the cult of global warming that I felt compelled to send the lead authors the following note:
While I am pleased to see further evidence that corn ethanol as an energy source is little more than a hoax designed to increase subsidy payments to farmers, I have serious questions and concerns about your study:
Why do you seem to uncritically accept the idea that CO2 is a pollutant, when all recent data I've seen show that atmospheric CO2 concentrations lag, don't lead, temperature changes? In other words, much larger forces change the climate and those changes cause the release of more or less CO2 into the atmosphere.
Second, how can scientists even mention the "social cost of carbon" without laughing out loud?
Third, why would you use data from essentially rigged and highly flawed markets (and I use "market" loosely in this case) to attach a value to CO2 and then try to justify that tactic with references to sky-is-falling items like sea level rise, increased storm intensity, and crop losses, NONE OF WHICH HAS HAPPENED even during the years when the temperature was slightly rising?
Fourth, did you not consider that the anthropogenic "global warming" models based on human-caused emissions of CO2 do not leave any room for the possibility of the planet cooling...which it has done for a decade now? In other words, those models are fatally flawed and worthless, and research based on presuming them to be true is by extension flawed.
I wish just once a researcher would come out and say "We don't really believe this global warming garbage, but there's so much grant money available from environmentalist and anti-capitalist interest groups that we've written this anyway."
Again, I'm glad to see you show, as others have before, that corn ethanol is actually worse than gasoline for a variety of reasons. But your obvious membership in the cult of Algore nevertheless leaves me shaking my head in dismay. I remember when scientific research used to be much more free of political pandering and much more interested in getting the right answer rather than being part of a "consensus".
The UK's Guardian newspaper reports that the British Met Office, one of the most prestigious governmental scientific organizations in the world, has issued a sharp criticism of global warming alarmists.
The Met Office comment, "Scientists must rein in misleading climate change claims" is just the latest in a string of bad news and criticism for the world's greatest hoax since another anti-capitalist, Paul Ehrlich, told us in 1968 that overpopulation would cause mass starvation.
In a slightly amusing bit of demonstration of bias, both the Met Office note and the Guardian article about it mention that recent Arctic sea ice loss could be due to natural variation and aren't indicative of "global warming." What's amusing is that neither deems it relevant to mention that Arctic sea ice extent made it's fastest-ever recovery late last year and that Arctic Sea Ice Extent now stands near the top of the range going back to 2002. That's not evidence of global cooling, but it most certainly is evidence against global warming and fear mongering.
Even when government and media want to act as if they're acting rationally, they can't help remaining to some degree on the side of the cult of Algore and his dangerous, expensive, and hypocritical hoax.
I'm still traveling (bet you couldn't tell from my writing the past couple of days), so allow me to leave you with some insights from my friend Brian Wesbury.
About a week ago, Brian Wesbury had an interesting article in the American Spectator explaining that higher government spending leads to higher unemployment because government steals money that would otherwise be used more productively by the private sector. You can read that article here:
Unemployment and Stimulus, Brian Wesbury, 2/6/09
Brian then followed up with another article discussing comments or critiques of the first article which he had received from readers:
On Tuesday, the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA) dropped 382 points, or about 4.6%, to 7889, its biggest drop since December 1st, 2008, its lowest close since November 20th, 2008, and its second-lowest close since March 14, 2003.
And what happened on Tuesday? The Senate, with the help of 3 RINOs, at least one of whom (Arlen Specter) I hope to see lose a primary challenge in less than two years, passed its version of the "stimulus" bill. And Treasury Secretary Geithner announced the Administration's newest version of the TARP plan, a plan which will not only get government much more deeply involved in the operation of banks, but will also, according to Geithner, involve up to $1 trillion, most of which is taxpayer money. Some analysts think it will be much more.
I've written in other articles that 1) the market doesn't lie, at least not for long, and 2) the market doesn't feel very good about the Obama administration. The market made its point louder and clearer on Tuesday.
While many liberals have argued that bailouts should be spectacularly large (a "triumph of hope over experience" as Carlos Alberto Montaner in THIS must-read article), investors voted on the simultaneous passage of two grotesquely massive wastes of our money and the vote was an unmistakable thumbs-down.
Many in the media are spinning Tuesday's sell-off as the market "not having enough details" about the TARP expansion. But I don't think that's it at all. I think the market has all the details it needs. Despite the media, I think what investors really want is a signal that Geithner and Obama realize that bigger government action will not fix the problem in the short term and will exacerbate our national bankruptcy in the longer (but not very long) term.
Obama, Pelosi, Dodd, and friends keep reminding us that the Democrats won the election. Indeed they did, and although it's costing me money, I eliminated most of my stock investments some months ago because I expect this to look in retrospect like a much better selling opportunity than buying opportunity. I hope I'm wrong. But despite the pleas of some liberal readers who probably have very little in investments, buying stocks is not a patriotic duty. What is a duty is protecting one's capital in order to be able to provide for one's family.
An IDB/TIPP poll shows very strong support for cutting taxes to help the economy:
And a Rasmussen poll shows "62% of U.S. voters want the plan to include more tax cuts and less government spending."
What does this mean? As I wrote in October, just before the election, "Liberals will learn the wrong lesson from the election". Senior Democratic politicians believe, erroneously, that Democrats did so well in the election because voters substantially like Democratic policies. This is just as untrue as Republicans winning in 2004 and believing that the public's biggest issue was gay marriage. No, the Democrats won because people were justifiably sick of the GOP, but not because voters support big government liberalism. This wrongly-learned lesson will cost the Democrats dearly in the next couple of elections if and only if the GOP can put up solid, essentially libertarian candidates who focus on limited government and low taxes and not on abortion and gay marriage. In the meantime, we're living the maxim that people get the government they deserve. And boy are they getting it now...good and hard.
It's only a liberal who could think that one of the worst stock markets in American history is due to government not spending enough. It's only a liberal who can't seem to remember that the government doesn't have it's own money...it has yours. (Except of course for the money it just prints, which is little different from just taking yours.)
There's an often-quoted phrase: "If you find yourself in a deep hole, stop digging." The Obama Administration just keeps buying bigger shovels, however, and the stock market just keeps falling deeper into the pit, and your retirement savings, your kids' college funds, and the solvency of our own state, local, and even federal governments.
One thing I should apologize for: During the election, I said that I thought the economic turmoil would curtail the Democrats' ability to turn us into a socialist country. I was wrong. McCain's behavior in the past week makes me wonder "where the hell was that guy four months ago?" He's been right on target in opposing this "stimulus" which will stimulate only the massive and permanent growth of government. If only he'd been today's John McCain when the first stimulus vote came around. In any case, the stimulus bill now includes a heavy poisonous dose of Daschle-care. So, to the extent that I caused anyone to have some hope that an obviously socialist president might not be able to destroy our economy and our capitalist system, I apologize.
Politicians are no smarter or wiser than most other Americans. And they certainly live in an insular world of power-grabbing. This means that the Democratic leadership will continue to believe that they won the election because voters like their ideas. It's a self-delusion, but one whose cure will be extremely painful to the rest of us. The worst thing that happens to Chris Dodd is that he'll retire into his "friends of Angelo" mortgaged-home with his large government pension and benefits. As for the rest of us, we'll be paying for the economic sins of him and his idiot Keynsian leftist colleagues for the rest of our lives...and if you think that's hyperbole, read some history of the New Deal. No, friends, we have a generation or more of suffering coming because the GOP was stupid enough to give stupid voters a reason to vote in stupid liberals in essentially incontestable majorities. Yes, we're all getting the government that Obama voters deserve. The stock market is just making it clear to those who were still, through all this Congressional cluster-f$%k, too stupid to notice.
Dow Jones Industrial Average to Obama and Geithner: "Take your bailouts and shove them."
I just love this story from the UK's Telegraph newspaper: "Snow is consistent with global warming, say scientists."
The subtitle: "Britain may be in the grip of the coldest winter for 30 years and grappling with up to a foot of snow in some places but the extreme weather is entirely consistent with global warming, claim scientists."
It's almost enough to make you laugh except when you realize that these scientists are doing their very best to attack both political and economic liberty in the interest of increasing their own grant money.
A wide range of data continues to show the "global warming" scare to be a hoax:
* CO2 levels lag, don't lead, planet temperature changes
* Arctic sea ice recently made it's largest one-season gain ever and is at or above its average this decade
* While anecdotes are not data, enough anecdotes of unusually cold weather around the planet suggest something real
There are dozens more bullet points one could add, but I'm going to keep this short.
The main point is that you know the alarmists are getting desperate when they say that unusually cold weather fits neatly into their claims of an overheating planet. It's clearly, patently ridiculous.
Of course, they're getting desperate to maintain the inflow of money from muddle-headed liberals and environmental radicals, as well as the few (in my view traitorous) corporations who are piling on to the junk science in order to sell us ethanol or compact fluorescent light bulbs. (They're terrible...stay away!)
So now they're telling us that global warming will slow the closure of a southern hemisphere hole in the ozone. Or that the ocean is getting more acidic. It's been the tactic of the alarmists to release one outrageous "sky is falling" claim after another for several years now.
One other interesting thing I ran across: This article describes a 90-year old scientific study which demonstrated that the "greenhouse effect" of atmospheric gases does not exist.
The current economic crisis will somewhat impede the ability of those whose real aim is to attack capitalism and/or the energy industry under the guise of saving the planet. But only somewhat. After all, the so-called "stimulus" bill contains several hundred millions of dollars for the liar-in-chief, NASA's James Hansen, to continue spewing his junk science into the world because it pleases Democratic politicians.
Fighting this dangerous climate alarmism is something we can't be complacent about. Just because rational people realize that something must be wrong when someone says that a very cold season or a very cold year means the planet is overheating, that doesn't mean liberals will realize it.
Allow me to leave you with this interesting article about one of the men who created global warming hysteria, and an apparent end-of-life change of heart:
see "The Amazing Story Behind the Global Warming Scam"
[Update: According to my favorite Pennsylvania journalist, Salena Zito, others (who matter more than I do) agree with me:
Of what use is Arlen Specter?
Without his complicity, the Democrats would probably not be able to pass the "stimulus" bill which will likely prove ineffective at best and devastating to our children's economic futures at worst.
Without his complicity, President Obama would probably not have been able to get Eric Holder, a self-dealing man of poor judgment, confirmed as Attorney General.
Specter's sins go way behind these, but these are two biggies in just the last couple of weeks, and they're the last straw.
I hope that conservative organizations and Pennsylvania Republicans encourage and support a primary challenge against our own Manchurian Candidate, a single-man sleeper cell murderer of not just conservative and libertarian principles but of good government.
If the stimulus passes with his vote, I will gladly do what I can to help any serious GOP challenger to RINO-in-Chief Arlen Specter.
I'm traveling today, so allow me to offer you instead this excellent article by Robert Higgs:
see "Instead of stimulus, do nothing – seriously", Robert Higgs, Christian Science Monitor, 2/9/09
I almost never write about sports. Once or twice regarding the Superbowl. I don't even have a "sports" category on my web site. So the odds of me posting a sports-related video are tiny...it must be really great. And so it is...even if it's all fake, as my physicist friend Steve H. believes. (Thanks to Mike for sending this along.)