Let's start with the left, briefly pause in what passes for the center, move through the right, and then get to the good stuff.
From Talking Points Memo.
President Obama took questions today after giving a speech on the economy at a community college in Pennsylvania. The first question, from a college sophomore, challenged Obama to look at new ways of creating jobs.
"I really appreciate how you're trying to stimulate the economy," the student said. "Maybe, if you checked out some of the statistics about legalizing prostitution, gambling, drugs and non-violent crime in order to stimulate some of the economy."
The audience broke into giggles.
"I appreciate the boldness of your question. That will not be my jobs strategy," Obama responded, to more giggles. "Part of what you're supposed to do in college is question conventional wisdom. So you're doing exactly what you're supposed to be doing."
But there was no response from The Teleprompter Jesus on why he's going to continue spending billions fighting victimless crimes and imprisoning the participants.
Also from Talking Points Memo, an ugly little story on 8 million incidents of police requesting GPS data. I don't think any warrants were required....
Under a new system set up by Sprint, law enforcement agencies have gotten GPS data from the company about its wireless customers 8 million times in about a year, raising a host of questions about consumer privacy, transparency, and oversight of how police obtain location data.
What this means -- and what many wireless customers no doubt do not realize -- is that with a few keystrokes, police can determine in real time the location of a cell phone user through automated systems set up by the phone companies.
And while a Sprint spokesman told us customers can shield themselves from surveillance by simply switching off the GPS function of their phones, one expert told TPM that the company and other carriers almost certainly have the power to remotely switch the function back on.
They know where you are. They know when you are there. They aren't bothering to get 8 million warrants, either.
One more thing from Talking Points Memo:
The New Jersey state senate is scheduled to vote on legalizing gay marriage next week.
Sen. Ray Lesniak (D) announced Thursday on the Statehouse steps that the Judiciary Committee will take up the bill on Monday. The full senate will vote on the measure Thursday.
Coming just days after the New York state senate defeated a gay marriage bill, the New Jersey votes present a big risk. It's not clear if the votes are there.
That's enough of Talking Points Memo. Reading their other crap about Copenhagen, the merits of a Pelosian Healthcare System, and.....well, it makes my head hurt. Let's move on to the mainstream middle:
CNN has a link on their front page entitled Big Improvement For Job Market. Our unemployment rate, according to those who keep the books, has gone from 10.2% to 10.0% ! ! ! Hit the second link. I think so many people were laughing about it that they took down the story.
That's enough from CNN. In the words of God in the Book Of Revelation, Chapter 3, verse 16, "But since you are like lukewarm water, neither hot nor cold, I will spit you out of my mouth."
Here's some stuff from Real Clear Politics, one of the best political aggregator sites:
The Washington Post is waking up from its Rip Van Winkle-ish slumber to report on Climaquiddick a little more. Those poor guys have been distracted by the giant sucking sound of all the potential grant, research, and stimulus money going back to the taxpayers as a result of the leaked emails.
It began with an anonymous Internet posting, and a link to a wonky set of e-mails and files. Stolen, apparently, from a research center in Britain, the files showed the leaders of climate-change science discussing flaws in their own data, and seemingly scheming to muzzle their critics.
Now it has mushroomed into what is being called "Climate-gate," a scandal that has done what many slide shows and public-service ads could not: focus public attention on the science of a warming planet.
Except now, much of that attention is focused on the science's flaws. Leaked just before international climate talks begin in Copenhagen -- the culmination of years of work by scientists to raise alarms about greenhouse-gas emissions -- the e-mails have cast those scientists in a political light and given new energy to others who think the issue of climate change is all overblown.
The e-mails don't say that: They don't provide proof that human-caused climate change is a lie or a swindle.
Well, yeah, they do. They were government funded, they were trying to raid The Treasury, they were acting to silence criticism, and they've thrown away all the original data. Much like the outfit in East Anglia, NASA has been ignoring Freedom Of Information Act requests for two years.
The RCP guys also link to a New York Times piece by Obama Economics Apologist, Bush Basher, and therefore Nobel Prize Winner, Paul Krugman, who says that Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke has done a very bad thing.
At his confirmation hearing for a second term as chairman, Bernanke emphasized that the government has spent less than half of the money in the $787-billion package passed earlier this year and that analysts are still determining its impact.
“Only about 30 percent of the funds have been disbursed,” Bernanke said. “It’s a little bit early to make a strong judgment, a little bit early to decide whether or not to do additional fiscal actions.”
Krugman responded to the Bernanke quote with the following: "Bear in mind also that fiscal policy is slow to get underway. Waiting to be absolutely, totally sure that we really need more strikes me as deeply irresponsible."
"This was a very unhelpful statement."
You're dang right, it was unhelpful. There's going to be some kind of changing of the guard in 2010, the clock is ticking, and the Red Digital Readout is working its way down to zero.
Bernanke's most irresponsible acts? He won't allow an audit of The Fed. He won't shut down The Fed. But he has one advantage that Paul Krugman doesn't.
Bernanke isn't totally full of bullshit. Bullshit is not leaking from his ears. Bullshit doesn't impact Bernanke's ability to walk without slipping in it.
This is taking longer than I thought, and I have to go help with a church project we're doing with a low-income family. I'm gonna hit "Publish Post", and comment on some other links later today. Sorry.
Ok, I'm back. Let's move on to the good folks at Hot Air. They've got a story about some Afghan guerillas parading into an abandoned U.S. military facility in Nuristan province.
“Glad Tidings of Victory,” a video released by the Taliban’s Al-Emirat video production unit, shows the Afghan guerrillas strutting around an abandoned U.S. military base in Nuristan province. Taking a filmed “victory” lap around an American facility might make some sense as a propaganda tool. But taking a giggly victory lap on an elliptical in said base – as two Taliban enthusiastically do in the video – is a big infowar fail."
"....While some items can make for effective propaganda symbols, the display of (of Taliban fighters exercising on) lower body exercise machines, generally speaking, tends to dilute their impact."
I've brought this story to the attention of The Jihadist Safety Consultant, and he'll probably chime in sometime next week. We can't have terrorists working out on infidel exercise equipment without proper training, can we?
They've got another link to a Pajama's Media piece on the Dutch team that's been studying the ice cap on Mount Kilimanjaro.
Newspapers and news sites in the Netherlands today extensively broke the news of the findings of a research team led by Professor Jaap Sinninghe Damste — a leading molecular paleontologist at Utrecht University and winner of the prestigious Spinoza Prize — about the melting icecap of the Kilimanjaro, the African mountain that became a symbol of anthropogenic global warming.
Professor Sinninghe Damste’s research, as discussed on the site of the Dutch Organization of Scientific Research (DOSR) — a governmental body — shows that the icecap of Kilimanjaro was not the result of cold air but of large amounts of precipitation which fell at the beginning of the Holocene period, about 11,000 years ago.
The melting and freezing of moisture on top of Kilimanjaro appears to be part of “a natural process of dry and wet periods.” The present melting is not the result of “environmental damage caused by man.”
....DOSR calls Al Gore’s iconic use of the melting cap of Kilimanjaro “unfortunate” — since it now seems to be mainly the result of “natural climate variations.”
With the exception of handing Ross Perot some portraits of Smoot and Hawley, Gore's entire career has been "unfortunate". His Grammys, Oscars, and Nobels were "unfortunate". But his iconic use of the melting cap of Kilimanjaro has been a godsend.
Yes, we should be grateful for Gore's choice. We are fortunate.
There would've been no way to disprove an Al Gore scam to save the melting ice cap on Mount Asfertimondig Hoittpifflesteinin Grogger on the forbidden planet Nekthar.
Hot Air also links to a Weekly Standard piece on Climaquiddick:
No drug company could get through the FDA approval process with data handling this slapdash, yet the climate policy process contemplates trillions of dollars in costs to economies around the world based partially on this incompetent work. Worse, it suggests the possibility that the CRU circle might not be able to replicate its own findings from scratch, let alone outside reviewers. No wonder Mann keeps issuing new versions of his hockey stick....
Climate change is a genuine phenomenon, and there is a nontrivial risk of major consequences in the future. Yet the hysteria of the global warming campaigners and their monomaniacal advocacy of absurdly expensive curbs on fossil fuel use have led to a political dead end that will become more apparent with the imminent collapse of the Kyoto-Copenhagen process. I have long expected that 20 or so years from now we will look back on the turn-of-the-millennium climate hysteria in the same way we look back now on the population bomb hysteria of the late 1960s and early 1970s--as a phenomenon whose magnitude and effects were vastly overestimated, and whose proposed solutions were wrongheaded and often genuinely evil (such as the forced sterilizations of thousands of Indian men in the 1970s, much of it funded by the Ford Foundation).
Today the climate campaigners want to forcibly sterilize the world's energy supply, and until recently they looked to be within an ace of doing so. But even before Climategate, the campaign was beginning to resemble a Broadway musical that had run too long, with sagging box office and declining enthusiasm from a dwindling audience. Someone needs to break the bad news to the players that it's closing time for the climate horror show.
Of course Climate Change is a genuine phenomenon. It's a freakin' cliche. "If you don't like the weather in Texas, just wait a few minutes", etc etc etc.
Thank God this farce is almost over. But think of the millions that industry, interest groups, and individuals have had to spend to protect themselves from the Statist Chicken Littles.
That's enough from the Left, the Right, and the bland Center. On to the Libertarian-leaning forces of goodness.....
Here's some stuff from Reason magazine's Hit & Run section.
First, they link to something in The Nation, where you can get a Garden Noam For Your Killing Fields. (It's a Noam Chomsky pun. Lefty academic Noam Chomsky was an apologist for Cambodia's Killing Fields. Get it? A Garden Noam For Your Killing Fields?)
That's Gandhi on the far left, whose non-materialist philosophy required the wealth of 3 princes to maintain, and whose peaceful approach required hundreds of thousands of soldiers to implement.
Then there's mass-murderer Che Guevera.
Then there's Leon Trotsky, whose revolution resulted in the death of millions from purges, starvation, or worse. Yeah, worse.
And finally, on the far right, Nelson Mandela.
Chomsky, Marx, Gandhi, Che, Trotsky, and Mandela. Treat those guys like an SAT question. Five were famous statists, one was a victim of the state. Circle the correct answer.
But wait, there's more. They've also got a link to a Bowlsheviks bowling T-shirt that you can order through Mother Jones for only $39.95. It has Lenin's profile on the bowler !
Lord have mercy. I guest if you're dense enough to continue buying into The Nation's post-Marxist, death of the Bolshevik dream, collectivist nostalgia, you're probably dense enough to purchase a $39.95 T-shirt.
Reason also has some good stuff on Climaquiddick.
Americans honor the courageous informant, the gutsy citizen who stands against the savagery of the profit-mongering conglomerate. Well, sometimes. It appears, believe it or not, that there are those who aren't religiously tethered to this sacred obligation.
....Yet Barbara Boxer, the Democratic chairwoman of the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee, is off hunting bigger game.
"You call it 'ClimateGate'; I call it 'E-mail-theft-gate,'" Boxer clarified during a committee shindig. "We may well have a hearing on this; we may not. We may have a briefing for senators; we may not." Boxer, as steady as they come, went on to put the focus where it belongs: on hackers. She warned: "Part of our looking at this will be looking at a criminal activity which could have well been coordinated. ... This is a crime."
If this hacker(s) is unearthed on U.S. soil (or anywhere in the Middle East, actually), Boxer can jettison the guilty party to Gitmo for some well-deserved sleep deprivation.
The more we get into this mess, the more it looks like a whistleblower, not a leaker. Remember when Whistleblowers were Time magazine's Person Of The Year a while back?
An article in Sunday’s NYT travel section carries the season-appropriate headline, “Brad Pitt’s Gifts to New Orleans.”
....The problem of buying good presents for other people, even people you supposedly know well, illustrates that old familiar Hayekian concept, the knowledge problem. If you can't even give your loved ones the right presents, how likely is it that a central authority could make the right decisions for everyone?
That's it for today, Saturday November 5th, 2009. I can't believe there are bloggers out there who claim there's never anything to write about.