My personal musings about anything that gets on my radar screen--heavily dominated by politics.


School Test Scores Out Today 

In case you missed it, the State Department of Education released the results of the CSAP test this afternoon.

I don't have time tonight to blog at length about this yet, but I draw your attention to one graph: follow the link and look really closely at the math graph.

For that matter, look at all the graphs.

And then refute this statement: these graphs are not in any way an indication that our schools are failing our kids.

More on this tomorrow.


Oh, No . . . An Anti-Bounce? 

But I thought this one, little trip abroad was supposed to "reassure" voters.

Republican presidential candidate John McCain moved from being behind by 6 points among "likely" voters a month ago to a 4-point lead over Democrat Barack Obama among that group in the latest USA TODAY/Gallup Poll. McCain still trails slightly among the broader universe of "registered" voters. By both measures, the race is tight.

The Friday-Sunday poll, mostly conducted as Obama was returning from his much-publicized overseas trip and released just this hour, shows McCain now ahead 49%-45% among voters that Gallup believes are most likely to go to the polls in November. In late June, he was behind among likely voters, 50%-44%.

Now, to be sure, this is just one poll, and Gallup has a history of being among the most volatile of polls at this stage. So take this with a grain of salt.

But . . . I think it's safe to say that, in spite of his clear stylistic advantage, and in spite of fawning . . . nay, worshipful . . . coverage by the "professional journalist" class, Obama (as Bob Novak pointed out) has not closed the deal.

And, I would like to think, will not. Every time between now and November that voters go to fill up their tanks and have to fork out upwards of $50, they're going to remember who was NOT working hard to make that situation better. In fact, if Republicans were smart, EVERY advertisement between now and September would point out that the Democrats in Congress went on their vacations rather than solve the problem--and when they were at work, they REFUSED to solve the problem.

But its been a while since anyone accused the Republicans of being smart.


If You Read One Thing Today . . . 

read this. It will have you laughing, and make it possible to start your weekend on an up note.

Leave it to a Brit to say in sarcasm what Americans have been afraid--or unable--to say in earnest. We have always been somewhat challenged for words by comparison.

If You Read One Thing Today . . . 

"Obama Says His Foreign Tour Will Reassure Americans" 

Ummm . . . . .exactly, HOW?

U.S. Presidential Candidate Barack Obama hopes his visit to Europe and the Middle East will show U.S. voters that he is a safe pair of hands, the Democrat said in an interview on Friday.

"What this trip has done has allowed me to talk about some of the critical issues we face," Obama said in an interview . . .

I would stress that the operative word there is "talk."

So the question, and what I can't figure out why the press didn't ask him, is how going to Iraq, Afghanistan, Israel, and Berlin to TALK is any different than going to Detroit, Cleveland, Dallas, or Nashville to TALK. So, the man can give as good a speech in front of an audience that can't understand him as he does in front of an audience that doesn't want to understand him.

How does that reassure American voters?

One trip does not experience make; one speech does not judgment make.

A President needs both; Obama has neither.

ADDENDUM: Remarkably, I did note that Candy Crowley, in a CNN interview today, actually did bother to ask Obama if he didn't think it was arrogant and presumptive to give campaign speeches in Berlin and Israel. He artfully dodged, saying basically "McCain did it first."

Obama: The Audacity of Audacity 

I did not see Obama's speech today, nor do I intend to find it on YouTube, and I also haven't seen a transcript anywhere important, so I assume it was, as most of his speeches, largely hollow and meaningless.

But I am interested in the reactions to different people to it, so here's a sampling:

--“On the positive side, we can expect somebody who reasons the way we do in Europe,” said Pierre Rousselin, the foreign editor of Le Figaro,

That'll play well in Poughkeepsie.

--Mr. Obama indulged in “some pro-German demagogy on nuclear weapons to get applause,” Mr. Védrine said. But he said Mr. Obama’s call for more European engagement in Afghanistan would not go over so well.

--from Michael Rubin: Multilateral organizations are not the answer; at best, they are ineffective soap boxes, at worst cesspools of venality. Rose petals and well-digging have never stopped bombs, racism or genocide. A strong military has.

Obama says, "Let us remember this history." Let us hope he first learns it. Leadership is about more than rhetoric.

--from Douglas Schoen: In place of a war on "Islamofascism" or a new Cold War with Russia, Obama offered engagement. Instead of American exceptionalism, he offered cooperation and even apologies for past misdeeds.

You know what? If he doesn't believe in American exceptionalism, maybe he should run for another office. There are plenty of jobs around the world where belief in American exceptionalism is detrimental--POTUS is not one of them.

--from Stephen Biegun: Consider: Obama elegantly recited Berlin's history -- destruction, division and the dismantling of the Wall. But he spent precious little time on the difficulties of political leadership that achieved a Europe whole and free -- when equally large throngs jeered NATO policies in European capitals. It is tempting to think that such troubles are behind us forever. But when faced by similarly severe choices in the future, as will happen, the test for an American president will be leadership and resolve -- not crowd size.

On his first trip to Berlin, Obama gave a speech on how the United States and Europe can together change the world. John McCain has spent a lifetime working to achieve it.

Something a litle bit short of a tour de force or Reaganesque moment. In fact, given the lack of greatness in the speech, it only makes it more ridiculous that he would choose a venue such as that for an american election speech.

Nobody has said it (that I've seen), but doesn't it dramatically cheapen the Berlin Wall as a symbol of American strength and Freedom's march for Obama to give an unimportant and unnecessary campaign speech there? Shouldn't we hold some places as more important to our shared history than to cheapen them thus?

And it is precisely that arrogance that will eventually turn middle-of-the-country Americans off of Barack Obama. At some point, the flowery rhetoric will start to taste like a Twinkie--you might have wanted and needed it for a while, but the whole hollowness thing just makes you sick after a while.

And a Twinkie should never try to pass itself off as a T-bone. We're not that stupid, Senator.

I hope.


Just Shoot Us Now 

Oh, wait . . . that's exactly what they're trying to do.

I've been writing for about 18 months now about the insanity of American Rules of Engagement in the theater of the Global War on Terror. I had thought that maybe--just maybe--with the surge, that we may have regained some measure of sanity.

I guess I was wrong.

It had taken the American military many days to identify, track and target the senior Taliban officer. But the risk of civilian deaths was deemed too high. Air Force commanders, working with military lawyers, aborted the mission. The Taliban leader escaped.

I swear to God that if we manage to not completely screw up the GWOT (oh, wait . . . ) it will ONLY be because of the extraordinary courage, intelligence and imagination of the men and women on the ground. Most any decision made by anybody wearing a suit has been one that endangers our men and women, and makes it nearly impossible for them to do their job.

But that's just me. I like winning. And in war, generally speaking, winning means killing a lot more of their guys than they kill of yours.

[Necessary Disclaimer: By the way, as I've mentioned before, I know NOTHING. I've never worn the uniform, I've never even played "US Navy Seals: SoCom." So, if you military-types out there think I'm full of crap, please educate me better. ]


Exactly How Does This Work? 

Try something, just for grins: do a Google search of the words "Obama foreign policy credentials". Any time a Google search brings up a bunch of the exact same hits--all from major media--you have to suspect a little bit of collusion, don't you?

At any rate, let's think about this for just a minute: "Obama Looking To Bolster Foreign Policy Credentials." It really doesn't matter where you get the link--you could go to any of the major networks and get the same, exact story, since all three of them are travelling with him. But seriously, how is this one trip going to bolster his credentials in any serious way? What would that look like on a resume, exactly?

NAME: Obama, Barack H.
AGE: 46

POSITION APPLIED FOR: President of the United States; Commander-In-Chief, U.S. Military; Healer of Seas; Messiah

RELEVANT EXPERIENCE (in reverse order):

2007-present Member, Senate Foreign Relations Committee
July, 2008 Congressional Delegation, Middle East and SouthWest Asia
Aug, 2004 Speech at DNC

Then what? Page 2? There are 40 other Senators who have a better resumes than that, and the one running against Obama has about seven pages on "Relevant Experience." So Dan Williams and Katie Couric and Charlie Gibson want you to believe that one trip overseas counts for experience. It's laughable.

But that's the media narrative. Nothing we can do about that.

Except continue to point out to other people around you that McCain doesn't need to make trips like this during election season because he's been there a few times before . . . "a few" like as in twenty.


We're Winning the Economic Debate 

Before I try to defend that point, let me tell you what had me absolutely falling out of my chair yesterday. It was the Denver Post editorial page.

--First, there was resident crank Ed Quillen taking shots at a favorite old target:

In other words, with "Drill here, drill now, pay less," Gingrich has given us one of those "sound bites and commercials so short they can't communicate anything complex."

If only Gingrich would stick to writing fiction that is labeled as such.

By the way, I suppose "resident crank" doesn't narrow the list down very much when you're talking about the Post editorial room. But I digress . . .

--Then, there was the syndicated column on the Post pages by Amy Goodman spinning like mad to debunk the idea that nuclear power has to be an integral component of our future energy independence:

Sen. John McCain has called for 100 new nuclear power plants. Sen. Barack Obama, in a July 2007 Democratic candidate debate, answered a pro-nuclear power audience member, “I actually think that we should explore nuclear power as part of the energy mix.” . . . The nuclear power industry sees global warming as a golden opportunity to sell its insanely expensive and dangerous power plants. . . .

The presidential candidates are wrong on nuclear power. Wind, solar and microgeneration (generating electricity and heat at the same time, in smaller plants), on the other hand, are taking off globally,

Of course, in her column, Goodman only bothers to cite one--ONE--"expert" who happily opines against nuclear power; likewise, she never bothers to not that many countries around the world use nuclear power liberally to turn on the lights [France, for instance, generates upwards of 75% of its domestic electricity with nuclear power].

--And then, what really had me falling out of my seat, was this in-house editorial:

As this national debate on energy continues, more people have begun to link energy with our national and economic security. That's an important step.

The next, most immediate, step is for Congress to follow the president and allow for off-shore drilling.

Everybody, quick--forward copies of that editorial to Mark Udall and Ed Perlmutter and any other weak Democrats who actually don't want America to have its own supplies.

But when you step back and look at the big picture, here is why we are winning this debate: everybody is talking about energy. Anybody remember your Sun Tzu? Battles are won before they are ever fought, and the person who decides the battle ground wins most of them.

If this battle continues to be about energy independence and producing more of our own energy, Republicans will win. I think most Americans like the idea of conservation and renewables, but have no faith at all in their ability to actually fuel our economy; in other words, liberal environmentalism is a luxury, and we are not in a time of luxury.

McCain, Schaffer, Bush, Gingrich, McConnell, and ALL the other candidates need to keep harping on this issue--either their opponents are out-of-touch liberals, or their opponents will agree with them. Either way, it's our issue.


Hey, Did You Know The Dems Want Religious Votes? 

Just in case you missed it Saturday, the Rocky managed to run the THIRD profile of the lady, who happens to be a Pentacostal Minister, who is running the Convention in Denver.

THIRD profile.

Is this overkill on this lady, or is it just me?

Or maybe--just MAYBE--is the media really trying hard to change the narrative for the Democrats? Awful nice of the media to work that hard for them.

Amazingly, it doesn't seem to be working:

But a survey released last week called that into question. Despite Obama's robust religious outreach, only about one-quarter of white evangelicals support him, according to the Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life — about the same number that supported Democrat John Kerry at this juncture four years ago.

I think, maybe, that's because Evangelicals don't really recognize Obama's form of Christianity. He could make it simple: come out with a strong statement of his belief the Jesus Christ is THE Way and THE Truth and THE Light, and that none come to the Father but through Him.

Evangelicals would recognize that. Most of the rest of the Democratic Establishment would have sudden, immediate aneurisms, but . . . Besides, that would hurt Obama's standing among his supporters who are waiting for him to make the seas recede.

Evidence That Happy Home Life Improves Work Performance 

Even if you're not a golf fan, you've got to tune in tomorrow morning to watch 53-year old Greg Norman compete from the front of the field on Sunday at the British Open.

I never celebrate the collapse of a marriage, as happened recently to Greg Norman (to the tune of a $103 million settlement) and his wife. But I find it a little hard to argue that a man who hasn't won a tournament in ten years has any other reason to suddenly be playing good golf except that he's got a fresh reason to have his head on straight.

So, let that be a lesson to you, guys.

I don't want to presume to tell you exactly what the lesson is--you read into it what you want.


An Idea Worth Throwing Up At The Wall . . . 

just to see if any part of it sticks.

The Rocky Mountain News editorialized today against a proposal for all state government offices to shift to a 4-day, 10-hour-a-day work week.

Marostica believes that legislation ordering a 10-hour, four-day week would ease traffic congestion, cut greenhouse gas emissions and reduce wear and tear on highways. It might also cut the state's power bills if buildings could turn off the lights, heat and air conditioning an extra day.

The News actually makes a fairly compelling case against the proposal: state government exists to serve the public (at least in theory), and the public is poorly served by limiting their access to services.

However, if I may throw something out there . . .

there are a significant number of other pseudo-governmental bodies that might benefit from the option of a four-day work week. For instance . . . schools.

Rural and mountain school districts already have four-day weeks to limit the expense of bussing over huge distances. Forgive me if I'm wrong, but aren't large suburban districts beginning to be in a position where bussing is going to be of enormous expense?

Many schools operate now on a block schedule where students only go to each class every other day for an extended amount of time--what would be the difference if they met longer each session and, instead of five sessions every two weeks, they only met four sessions every two weeks? To be honest, there are already so many weeks a year that are four-day weeks, it might be a little bit hard to tell the difference.

In exchange, large districts with large bus expenses would have their transportation costs cut by roughly 20%. That makes a HUGE difference in this day and age.

There would, obviously, have to be some understandings and concessions to athletic teams and other extra- and co-curricular activities. But, . . . .

I'm not saying this needs to be an actual policy proposal.

But I'd love to see a discussion. There are many ideas that need to be discussed in regard to education, and the current party in power doesn't seem to want to take any of them up.

Maybe this would be worth looking in to.


Couldn't Have Said This Better, Myself 

Luckily, somebody with a little "name" said it for me.

Because the normal stories that would have been written about someone just never appeared. The truth of the matter was, there seemed to be an unlimited market for anything on Hillary and very little market for writing a story on Barack Obama and say, for example, his attendance in the Senate. There has still been no story written about something like that—as basic as something like that. . . .

Well, I think, look, he had tremendous help from the media. No one has gotten media coverage— If he had gotten fair media coverage…

...Look, there’s no question that the Obama campaign took comments that could not in any way, shape, or form in an objective reality be seen as racist, and they told surrogates to characterize them that way.

Who, you might ask, dared call out the media and the Obamessiah that way.

None other than Mark Penn--Hillary's number one guy.


Now, Exactly, WHICH Side Is Vicious And Mean-Spirited? 

As usual, irony is a literary device lost on liberals.

First, there's this charming piece of high rhetoric from the Speaker of the House.

"You know, God bless him, bless his heart, president of the United States, A TOTAL FAILURE, losing all credibility with the American people . . ."

For contrast, consider this description of an advertisement running in Washington state:

Obama. This one, produced by the Washington State Republican Party, begins with Mrs. Obama's famous "For the first time in my adult life I am proud of my country" remark. From there, it cuts to a series of Washingtonians saying why they are proud of the United States. "Because we live in the land of the free and the home of the brave," says one woman. "Because in our country people can freely express themselves however they wish," says another. "Because this country has given more blood for freedom than any other country in the world," says a third. After that, the ad cuts to those same people reciting the Pledge of Allegiance. After a quote from Ronald Reagan, the ad ends on a slide that says, "Help us welcome Michelle Obama to Washington. Forward this video to your friends and family!"

So, which one of these two events do you suppose draw this response?

These shameless attacks . . . have no place in our politics. . . . After eight years of the most divisive, fear-driven politics this country has ever seen, I agree . . . that it's time to turn the page and bring Americans together.

Of course, you know which one it is--this is the Democrats' response to the non-attack on Michelle Obama.

Not just irony lost on libs, though; they are rather effectively mounting the most extensive topic-limiting campaign in American history, with willing participation from their friends in the media. Pretty soon, any effort to even show what Obama has actually said will be called an "attack" and scrubbed from the discourse.

It's really rather amazing that Obama doesn't have a 15-point lead at this point.


As Usual, Newt Has Good Idea 

And it's one that every Republican candidate ought to shout from the rafters at every event and campaign stop, and in front of every camera everywhere.

Americans believe deeply that these problems can be solved if only our leaders would quit campaigning and suspend partisan fighting for six weeks to take steps to strengthen America.

Americans would like to see the two Presidential candidates suspend their campaigns for the six weeks - from now to the Democratic National Convention - and come back to Washington to work together and get something done.

Americans would like to see President Bush and the House and Senate stay in Washington until an effective, powerful comprehensive energy bill is passed.

If we can't afford to go on vacation, why should they?

This is brilliant on two levels: one, it would focus America's attention on the inaction of the Democratic Congress to deal seriously with this issue over the last two years; and two, it might--MIGHT--actually lead to something resembling a solution.

Bob Schaffer, in particlar, should tout this idea. If anybody wants to see in most stark terms just how far to the Left of most Coloradans Mark Udall really is, energy policy is the low-hanging fruit.

Covering the Coverage 

Colorado's Senate candidates held their first debate yesterday. Others have covered the debate very well here, here, and here, so I won't spend any space on that.

Instead, what interests me most is the coverage. Since very few Coloradans were actually at the event, or are likely to bother to watch the whole video of the debate, so whatever shows up on the evening news is likely to be all most of them know about the debate. And, I have to say, I was rather disappointed. Not surprised, but disappointed.

First of all, there absolutely WAS an "A-HA" moment in this debate: when Bob Schaffer read the text of a resolution introduced in the House citing Iraq's noncompliance with U.N. resolutions, pursuit of WMD, and state sponsorship of terrorism, the Udall crowd hissed . . . until Schaffer revealed that it was Udall himself that wrote that resolution. A beautiful rhetorical moment, if completely unimportant in the big picture.

NOBODY reported this moment, played video of this moment, talked much about this moment. Even 9News, who sponsored the debate, did not show the video.

What seemed to actually show up in the reportage was a fiesty Bob Schaffer making his points forcefully and articulately, paired with a mild Mark Udall constantly reminding us of his "moderate" views.

Saying a thing doesn't make it true; but saying a thing unchallenged by the media enough times DOES make it conventional wisdom, and that's almost as good as true.

One of these days, the media is going to be subjected to a debate with those of us who watch them. I hope I'm there to be a part of it.

A Breath of Fresh Air 

If you don't like baseball, you are unlikely to know the name Josh Hamilton. In brief, Josh Hamilton was "The Natural"-- a first-round draft pick straight out of high school in 1999, his first contract included a $4 million bonus check. He was the type of player in high school who would hit the winning home run, then help clean out the dugout after the game, then make sure he gave his grandmother a kiss on the cheek before going to talk to the scouts [that last part from a former coach speaking on ESPN]. His early career was marked by astonishing successes; he was five-tool stud with a future as bright as the sun.

Unfortunately, he got a bit derailed on his way to the Hall of Fame. Too young, too much, too soon, he became the tragic stuff of After School specials: into drugs and alcohol, his game slipped and he got suspended from baseball. Just two years ago, he got cleaned up, was reinstated and started making up for lost time. In the first half of this season, he has 98 RBI playing for a Texas Rangers team that, while better than anybody thought it would be, is still nothing extraordinary.

By the way, 98 RBI on July 14th is, well, . . . pretty good. Like, top 25 all-time good.

Tonight, in Yankee Stadium, he put on a display of power in the Home Run Derby that nobody has ever seen before. In round one he hit 28 balls out of the park to set the record for homers in one round; three of those hits travelled over 500 feet--one and a half football fields!; the total distance of all those hits was estimated at 2.3 miles. Even just seeing the highlights, this was an extraordinary display.

What did he have to say about this explosion of talent and skill?

"You know, it's amazing, over the past few years, what God has done in my life, and how quickly He's done it, so, I just feel blessed . . ."

Can you, in a million years, imagine Barry Bonds saying such a thing? How about Terrell Owens, or Kobe Bryant, or any of the others who are in the top tier of the world of athletics?

Given the abyssmal season the Rockies are having, it might be worth following the Rangers for a little while. A good redemption story is always a welcome thing.

And a person at that level with that kind of humility deserves much good will and support.


Tony Snow, RIP 

I never met him, didn't know him, have no reason to be touched by his death.

Except that, for some reason, the news of his passing yesterday morning hit me like a kick in the belly.

Tony Snow was everything I think conservative commentators should be: eternally affable, quick, funny, with a complete command of the facts. He was a happy warrior. But, more importantly (politically), he seemed to always keep his eye on the big picture--he never got bogged down in the minutia, even though he certainly had a firm grasp on it. Had I been a broadcast journalist, I would have worked hard to emulate Tony Snow.

If the personality that came through on the TV is even a fraction of what he was like to the people who knew and loved him, than they have an enormous hole in their world. My prayers go out to them.


Quick Hits 

Wide ranging, off-topic, slightly schozophrenic, with very little to tie it together.

Jus' cuz I can.

:Indy Mac Fails

does this mean I don't have to pay my mortgage? Or is Congress gonna jump in and help by costing me an extra couple hundred a month?

:Reality Check on Obama

bottom line?

Curiously, the only legislative accomplishments Obama talks about are those from his days in the Illinois senate, yet he's been in the U.S Senate for 3 years now.

:Ritter is Headed To Norway

I wonder if he's gonna spend time looking at their robust, independent, off-shore oil production?

Probably not.

:I just finished a book called "90 Minutes in Heaven." It's about a guy who is killed in a car accident--actually dead, declared dead by the EMT's and remained in the car for 90 minutes unattended, until a preacher happened on him and prayed him back to life.

Or something like that.

It tells of his experiences in Heaven, and, really, it wasn't anything all that new--there have been many such stories documented over the years of people who have near-death/death experiences. Which got me thinking . . .

If all these stories seem to be pretty much the same . . . somebody go ask Michael Newdow if he thinks its just possible that this is the actual experience on the other side? Not the blinking into oblivion that he believes in.

:The new Children's Hospital in Aurora is a wonder. I visited a friend there the other day, and the way they treat the patients, and the way they've appointed the facility is really amazing. If you're cursed enough to need to rush your child to the hospital, may you be blessed enough to have a facility like this to go to.

:Tough Summer

Just got my public service bill for the last 30 days--it was high. Know why? The average temperature over the last 30 days was 71 . . .last year it was 63 during the same time frame.

Before anybody says squat about "global warming", just remember that the average temperature in Des Moines over the last 30 days was 3-4 degrees cooler than last year. Weather changes, ya' know. Depends where you are.

:Speaking of weather, we have the first hurricane of the season. Might have a little work to do to reach that forecast of 8 hurricanes this year.


Something to Think About 

which you would be seeing in EVERY GOP ad this year, if the party could get its collective head out of its collective orifice.

From Chuck Muth

When Democrats took office on January 4, 2007, the average cost of a gallon of gas was $2.30. As of July 1 of this year it was $4.05.
When the Democrats took over, the Dow Jones Industrial Average was 12,481. As of July 1, it was down to 11,232.

When the Democrats took over, the cost of a loaf of bread was $1.15 and a gallon of milk $3.07. Today, the cost of a loaf of bread is $1.37 and a gallon of milk $3.76.

When Democrats took over, the inflation rate was 2.1 percent. Today it’s 4.2 percent.

When Democrats took over, the unemployment rate was 4.6 percent. Today it’s 5.5 percent...and growing.

Just imagine where we’d be two years after Obama becomes president.

Just the sort of thing I'm hoping we see plastered all over the airwaves over the next few months. Especially when you consider that Congress has about the same approval rating right now as Astrology.


On Truth, Fact, Religion and Myth 

[giant hat tip to Ben for this one]

No, this isn't a theological post.

I think I've learned my lesson about that.

Actually, I'll begin from here:

Your science is flawed; your hypothesis is wrong; your data is manipulated and may I add your scare tactics are deplorable. The earth does not have a fever. Carbon dioxide does not cause significant global warming.

This is the conclusion of John Coleman, long-time meteorologist and the founder of The Weather Channel.

There--is HE scientific enough for you? No? How about . . .

But when 31,000 scientists refuted global warming a month ago the media hardly mentioned it. He said that compares to 2,000 pro-global warming scientists on the UN climate change panel who claim that the issue is settled.

31-2 . . . 31-2 . . . Perhaps the weight of scientific opinion is not quite as lopsided as Al Gore would have you believe.

And then, from the abstract to the specific:

The run of recent warm years comes on the heels of a period of falling temperatures that extended from the early1940s through the early 1980s. Previous to then, temperatures warmed rapidly from the1910s through the 1930s, long before high levels of industrial CO2 emissions. The highest annual average statewide temperature was observed in 1934.

This, from the lead paragraph of a report titled "Observed Climate Change and the Negligible
Global Effect of Greenhouse-gas Emission Limits in the State of Colorado" produced by the Science and Public Policy Institute.

The numbers are difficult to challenge, since they're the actual numbers--they're not projections based on computer simulations or models of what we think might happen if we assume clouds will always be white . . . or whatever else Al Gore uses to put out his horror films.

More . . .

The precipitation history of Colorado indicates that the first part of the
20th century was wetter than the latter part, and thus exhibits an apparent overall slight
downward trend. However, since 1950, the trend in precipitation is upwards indicating
that a recovery is ongoing from the mid-20th century lows.

Bet you've never heard that little factoid before.

But more useful as we talk about policy going forward:

a complete cessation of all CO2 emissions in Colorado will be undetectable globally, and would be entirely subsumed by rising global emissions in just less than a month’s time.

Sure, but we should all follow Gov. Ritter down the sinkhole of the "new energy economy" because it sounds cool, and by the time he leaves office, it'll be too late to realize how damaging his idea is compared to the benefits.

But that's never stopped a Democrat before . . .

a cessation of all of Colorado’s CO2 emissions would result in a climatically-irrelevant global temperature reduction by the year 2100 of about three thousandths of a degree Celsius.

But if all 50 states do it . . . then we have a reduction over the next century of 1/10th of one degree.

Whoo. That almost makes it worth it to wreck the economy.

What do I mean "Wreck the economy?" Well . . . .

SAIC found that by the year 2020, average annual household income in Colorado would decline by $977 to $3167 and by the year 2030 the decline would increase to between $4019 and $7328. The state would stand to lose between 21,000 and 31,000 jobs by 2020 and between 57,000 and 76,000 jobs by 2030. At the same time gas prices could increase by over $5 a gallon by the year 2030 and the states’ Gross Domestic Product could decline by then by as much as $11.6 billion/yr.

Now, I'm no economist, but it seems to me that all of that is, well, BAD.
So, next time somebody tries to get you to sacrifice your well-being to save the planet, ask them where you can make out your tithe, what time services are, and if there's a specific place for you to worship.

Because science, truth and fact have VERY little to do with the global warming debate--but Faith is absolutely central.

For another piece of counter-intuitive information on global warming, see this, which clearly states . . .

Changes in temperature precede changes in CO2, with a lag of around 800 years.


Quick! Somebody Get Him On The Record 

So, there I was this morning, flipping through the remains of the Sunday paper, when I happen upon the Parade Magazine. This is actually something that rarely interests me, but today, what do I see but giant pictures of McCain and Obama, with the big, bold title "What Is Patriotism?"

Now, I think I know what Sen. McCain's idea of patriotism is all about (see "Biography: McCain, John), but I was curious to see how the junior Senator from Illinois spun this particular question.
And, to his credit, he was his usual, practiced, eloquent self. But there was one gem that just leaped off the page at me.

That is the liberty we defend—the liberty of each of us to follow our dreams. That is the equality we seek—not an equality of results but the chance of every single one of us to make it if we try.

So, here's my question for the Senator: Do you agree with Justice O'Connor's assessment in Gratz that "affirmative action has failed to produce the results for which it was intended?" And, given that, along with your stated belief that we seek the equality "of chance," do you disagree with Justice O'Connor's conclusion that affirmative action should be continued for 25 more years? And, if you disagree, would you appoint Justices to the Supreme Court that would uphold the current "equality of results" regime, or would you stick with Justices who adhere to "equality of opportunity"?

Along the same lines, let me ask this question, as well:

Senator, given your recent push to expand the current administration's Faith-based Initiatives, would it be safe to assume that you would appoint to the Court Justices who DO NOT believe in a strict "Wall of Separation" between Church and State? After all, the type of Justice the ACLU and many of your other supporters expect you to appoint would be very hostile to such a program.

There is much else in the Parade article of interest:

We can say and write what we think, without hearing a sudden knock on the door.

Unless you are a conservative on a college campus . . .

And I remember my grandfather’s funeral at Punchbowl National Cemetery in Hawaii. As I listened to the rifles fire in salute and the long, solemn notes of taps, as I watched the honor guard fold the flag and tenderly present it to my grandmother, . . .

Not to be a cynic, but has anybody bothered to fact-check this story? He's made things up before . . .

the essential American ideal—that our destinies are not written before we are born, that in America we can travel as far as our energy and talents will take us—has defined my life.

While I suppose his own personal story embodies this, How, exactly, does he square that with the completely opposite opinions and beliefs of his "closest spiritual advisor" (Jeremiah Wright) and his closest confidant (Michelle Obama)?

That's the problem with the proverbial "move to the center"--there's usually just way too much evidence that he can't POSSIBLY believe what he's saying. Or, perhaps, that everything he's said to get to this point was just pandering and opportunism. Either way, if the Right has it's collective head anywhere near the orifice into which it has been firmly affixed for the last four years, it will simply make Obama's contradictory words do all the talking for him.

America tends to like authenticity, even if it disagrees with it. And one thing that CANNOT be said about John McCain is that he is inauthentic.

Infuriating and often-wrong . . . but not inauthentic.


Addendum to the History Lesson 

I have attempted to sketch the course of the Battle of Gettysburg over the last three nights, because I believe it is an incredibly important historical event from 145 years ago.

There are those, however, who saw the entire Civil War as the greatest encroachment on American liberties in history, and the beginning of the end of the Constitutional Republic. I differ, however. But rather than trying to make the case on my own, I will turn that task over to the much more qualified and scholarly Ben.

It is frequently asserted that “slavery was not the main issue” in the Civil War. Nothing could be further from the truth. The primary instigators of the war were agitators within a slave-owning class from the Cotton South who were possessed with preserving their “Peculiar Institution” of slavery. Secession wasn’t pursued in defense of some abstract principle, but primarily was adopted as a matter of convenience in service of political power and the institution of slavery. . . .

It is important to note that, whether you accept the Henry Clay/Daniel Webster view of the union or the even more reliable James Madison view (who after all wrote most of the Federalist), secession was and is not Constitutionally permissible. The South’s actions also failed the test of a just revolution.

It's a good post, if lengthy--do yourself a favor and read the whole thing.

I would add just one thought: the Libertarian impulse to resist all government action not explicitly ordered by the Constitution fails on several counts, and the Civil War is just one great example of why. The inability to either recognize Evil (slavery) or to muster the will to act against it is, in itself, an Evil. There is a reason Dante created a special level of Hell for those who refuse to recognize Evil.

And the inability/refusal to act against Evil is, I think, one reason the Libertarian movement has completely failed to catch fire, politically speaking. There is logic and reason in the Lisbertarian philosophy--it just fails on some fairly important central points.


This Day In History 

Growing up, I heard about a mythical event called "Pickett's Charge," but I had no idea what it actually was. Come to think of it, that same dynamic is true of a great deal of American History.

Yes, I was educated in public schools.

It was only later that I learned exactly what Pickett's Charge actually was--a suicide mission.

From Hearts in Conflict:

. . . the men in gray and butternut charged forward, firing as they advanced, someof them driving away defenders where stone walls made an angle pointing the Confederates' way.

Lewis Armistead saw the chance of breaking through. Still holding his sabe with his hat impaled on its point, he got over the stone wall and looked back at maybe 300 me left of the 15,000 or so. "Come on, boys!" the old soldier shouted. "Give them the cold steel! Follow me!"

Follow Armistead they did, seeing amid he smoke his hat up there on the sword agead of them, charging upslope directly into point-blank canister fire from a battery whose commander was dead, shot through the mouth giving his final order. Lewis Armistead got as far as those guns. Down clattered the gallan general's saber, his hand still grasping it. He died with his other hand gripping the muzzle of a Yankee cannon.

So, at the moment of truth, it was Armistead's charge . . . yet it would be called Pickett's and remembered ever afterward as a failure. Armistead would be forgotten; Pickett, blamed.

The Union Army never launched the expected counterattack, or the war might have ended on that battlefield. Nonetheless, the Confederate Army of Northern Virginia was never again able to mount a credible offensive, and General Robert E. Lee surrendered his Army just shy of nine months later.

Of General George Pickett, this last hurrah was the end of his functional command. Of thirteen colonels in his command that day, 7 are dead, the other 6 wounded; the casualties to his Division exceed 60 percent. The infamous "Charge" bears his name, but the orders came straight from Lee, and the immediate commander (who objected to the plan all along) was General Longstreet, though neither of them are quite as graced with a historical moniker.

Sundown on July 3rd saw 7,000 Americans dead, 33,000 wounded and another 10,000 missing. Remarkably, this was by no means the bloodiest of the Civil War battles, but it was more significant from an historical perspective.

7,000 dead in three days.

What price freedom?


This Day In History 

One hundred forty-five years ago today:

[from The Killer Angels by Michael Shaara]


"Yes," Chamberlain was busy.

Vincent said "You are the extreme left of the Union line. Do you understand that?"

"Yes," Chamberlain said.

"The line runs from here all the way back to Gettysburg. But it stops here. You know what that means."

"Of course."

"You cannot withdraw. Under any conditions. If you go, the line is flanked. If you go, they'll go right up the hilltop and take us in the rear. You must defend this place to the last."

And, to the last he would. Colonel Joshua Chamberlain, 20th Maine Regiment, would not only defend Little Round Top at the left flank of the Union line which formed on Cemetary Hill, he would in the end, short on ammo and in desperate condition, order a bold and unorthodox bayonet charge into the Confederate line. That charge would repel the attack on the Union flank, and allow the Union to re-fortify their position overnight, ultimately holding on to the ground at Gettysburg--the furthest Northern advance the Confederate Army and General Robert E. Lee would ever achieve.

It was a bold move, and absolutely the right call in the moment of need. I don't think I would be overstating it to say that it stands as one of the pivotal decisions in all of history--if Gettysburg falls to Lee, the back road to Washington , D.C. is wide open, and the odds of Confederate victory grow exponentially. It is easy to conceive of a scenario whereby that one moment, had it gone differently, leads to a vastly different history--not just for the United States, and the Confederate States, but for the entire world.

Joshua Chamberlain went on to earn the rank of Major General, be elected the Governor of Maine, and to ultimately succumb to the SIX different woundings he recieved in the Civil War . . . at the age of 83 in 1914. His is a most remarkable story, and a wonderful example of the unusual circumstances that place the right men at the right moments to make the most important decisions.

All this, from just one ordinary American citizen-soldier.

This Day In History 

One hundred forty five years ago, elements of the Union Army under the command of General George Meade and the Confederate Army under the command of General Robert E. Lee engaged just to the south and west of a little town in southern Pennsylvania called Gettysburg. The Confederate forces were able to force the Union off of Seminary Ridge and onto the higher ground behind it, but the skirmishes were largely indecisive.

What WAS significant, and would prove to be nearly decisive, was a mistake: the absence from the Confederate forces of the Cavalry of General J.E.B. Stuart. Stuart was off pursuing a division that kept moving beyond his reach, while failing to present General Lee with necessary intelligence, not to mention the additional forces.

It turns out that even 145 years ago, the lack of intelligence becomes decisive in battle.

Sadly, our CIA failed to pick up on that little lesson the last few years.

This Would Be Meaningful If It Weren't So Deeply Ironic 

And laughable.

Concludes the Washington Post at the end of its Wednesday editorial:

This might sound awfully quaint. It may be pitifully naive. But would it be too much to ask for just a little more focus on what the candidates themselves have to say--and less on the surrogate bloopers du jour?

So, maybe, you know, just for grins, the WaPO might actually assign somebody to COVER WHAT OBAMA SAYS!!!

Is that too much to ask?


Add Him To The Pile 

Of surrogates and supporters screwing up the Obama campaign, that is.

To refresh:
:chief spiritual advisor Jeremiah Wright was thrown overboard for his Black Liberation Theology
:Veep search committee member was thrown overboard after it was found that he took sweetheart loans
:closest business associate and financial mentor Tony Rezko has been convicted and is about to be thrown . . . in jail
:wife Michelle has had to tone down her rhetoric after "never being proud of America"

And now the man who I thought was probably the leading candidate for Vice President inadvertantly reveals his--and all of the Left's--smug disregard for conservatives and the military by saying this:

Well, I don't think riding in a fighter plane and getting shot down is a qualification to be President.

Gen. Clark should know better. But it does fit into the growing pattern of the people around Sen. Obama saying and doing things that are embarrassing and disturbing and disgusting.

So, then you have to ask yourself: given Obama's complete lack of experience doing anything himself, and given the way the people who he surrounds himself with tend to screw up, just HOW dangerous would it be to give this guy the keys to the Oval Office?

Weblog Commenting by HaloScan.com

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?