Search This Blog

Monday, September 30, 2013

The Obama Reid Rejection Front

The bizarre nature of today's follies in Washington is that president Obama and Harry Reid have both said that they will not negotiate under any circumstances.  For the last month, the Democrats have made been saying that it is their way or no way.  It is a totally unreasonable position to take.  Even so, the focus has been on the different deals that the Republicans have offered and not the total refusal of the Democrats to even discuss those deals.  Today, however, we reached a new level of absurdity.  Reid is busy shouting "enough" on the senate floor and Obama just made a statement in which he called for an end to negotiations.  What negotiations?  The man has taken a page from Nancy Reagan and he has just said no, no, no, and no. 

If Obama had shown one tenth as much backbone in dealing with the Syrians, America would not have been humiliated in that mess.


Are The Democrats Going To Ignore The Troops?

When the House passed its latest version of the bill to fund the government, it also passed another bill.  That second bill guaranteed that even if there was no quick agreement on the full funding measure, that America's armed forces and the weapons and material they need to function would still be fully funded.  This second bill was so uncontroversial that it passed the House unanimously; every Democrat and every Republican voted for it.  Not a single representative wanted to see America's defense put at risk as part of a political battle over Obamacare funding.

Now it appears that the Democrats in the Senate are going to ignore this second bill.  As I write this, the plan of Harry Reid is just to reject both of the measures passed by the House and to toss the entire matter back to the House.  In other words, Reid and the Democrats are putting the funding for America's troops at risk. 

This is a shameful position by Reid and the Democrats.  It is important that every American burn up the phone wires to DC to tell their senator not to go along with it.  Our armed forces deserve the support of all of us.  These brave men and women put their lives on the line for us all and we ought not treat them like pawns in a chess game.

Call your senator and tell him or her not to allow Reid's ploy to proceed.  Demand that your senator support the funding for the troops.

UPDATE:  About fifteen hours after this post went up, the Democrats in the Senate changed their mind and passed the bill to fund the salaries of the troops.  Of course, on the next day, Harry Reid said that the Senate would never pass piece meal funding for the government (even though it had done just that one day earlier.)  This time, Reid said the Senate would not consider funding payments for veterans and for the National Institutes of Health and the Center for Disease Control.  Hopefully, Reid and the Democrats are just posturing and will relent to help veterans and the sick, but with Reid, you never know.


Sunday, September 29, 2013

Obama Confuses Hypocritic and Hippocratic

President Obama has spent more time dealing with healthcare since taking office than any  other issue.  Sadly, Obama seems to have confused the Hippocratic Oath with one best described as the Hypocritic Oath.  Hippocrates was an ancient Greek whose basic concept of healthcare starts with the idea "first do no harm."  Obama, however, in dealing with healthcare went instead for a hypocritical posture; in other words, he said on thing and did the opposite.  Looking at what Obamacare is doing to the country and the healthcare industry, no one could ever think that Obama had tried to do no harm.  To many clearly foreseeable problems have arisen for that to be possible.  If you consider things like Obama's promise that you could keep your health plan and your doctor if you wanted, when he knew that was not true, then hypocrisy seems like the order of the day.  The same is true for the claim that Obamacare would reduce costs when it is making them soar.  Ditto for the claim that Obamacare would lead to universal coverage when nothing even close will happen.

It's too bad that Obama mistook hypocrisy for Hippocrates.


A Calamity?

Did you know that the shut down of the federal government is a "calamity"?  Really?  That is how the AP describes the possibility.  Just imagine a week or two with the national parks closed, the federal courts shut for the most part, and all those "critical" government agencies shuttered.  Is that a calamity?

Remember, just because there is no continuing resolution, it does not mean that the government actually shuts down.  Indeed, there is law that governs what happens.  Simply put, government activities that are not considered "essential" are the ones that shut down.  And it is the president who makes the decision what is "essential".  So president Obama gets to decide what shuts and what stays open.  How much do you want to bet that the Obamacare exchanges will open as expected on Tuesday?  They must be essential; America could not have existed without them for two centuries.  Oh wait!  We did fine without them, but they will no doubt be considered essential by Obama.  And don't forget entitlement programs like Social Security and Medicare.  Those won't be affected either for current recipients since their funds are not part of the current dispute.  If the Senate accepts a measure passed unanimously by the House, America's armed forces will also be unaffected, since the House passed a separate measure to pay for all defense costs.

So this is far from a calamity.  We may have a week without a few programs, but life will go on.  Indeed, it is probably a good thing that Americans learn that not everything the feds do is essential.  Indeed, getting rid of some of it would be a benefit, not a calamity.



Three Questions

Consider these three questions:

1.  If you lease some land and then build a ramshackle house and shed on that site without getting a building permit or complying with the building code, is it a "human rights violation" if the government then goes to court and gets an order under which the buildings are torn down?

2.  If you buy some urban property and then tear down the structure there and build an small apartment building there in compliance with all laws and regulations, it is a "human rights violation"?

3.  If a country is the target of repeated attacks by its neighbor and the victim of the attacks attempts to cut off military supplies from getting to the attackers, is it a "human rights violation"?

The answer to all three of these questions are clearly negative.  But there is a caveat.  If you are the Christian Science Monitor and the questions pertain to Israel, then the answers are all yes.  When Israel tears down illegally built homes and other structures after getting court orders allowing the demolition of particular buildings that were built without a building permit and without compliance with the building codes, the Monitor repeatedly calls this a human rights violation.  When individual Israelis buy land and build new apartments in Jerusalem and (gasp!) allow Israeli Jews to rent those apartments, the Monitor sees a human rights violation if the site is in the eastern half of the city.  When Israel cuts of military supplies to Gaza after being hit by thousands of missiles launched from that enclave, the Monitor calls it a human rights violation because it causes problems for the attackers.

The truth is that even an idiot understands that there are no human rights violations here.  What is actually at play is that the bias of the Monitor against Israel just comes to the fore whenever there is a story about events in that area.  As a result, the Monitor does not present things as disputes; instead, there is always a good guy victim (the Palestinians) and an evil guy oppressor (the human rights violating Israelis).  The reality, however, is clearly something else.

I realize that the Monitor is just a small and failing paper.  Things got so bad a few years back that they had to discontinue printing newspapers and go solely on line.  Nevertheless, it is wrong to allow the blatant bias of the Monitor to go unchallenged. 



Let's See if Obama Holds the Military Hostage

Last night, the House voted to fund the government but to delay the individual mandate of and some of the other provisions in Obamacare for a year.  The likelihood of that exact measure becoming law is extremely slim.  Most likely, the Senate will reject this plan and send the country into some sort of government shutdown.  Because of this, the House passed another bill that will fund the military even if the rest of the government remains unfunded.  The Senate will be able to pass the second bill and by doing so take away any threat of soldiers not being paid or military contracts being interrupted.  The House vote on this measure was unanimously in favor.  Most likely, that means that the Senate will also vote in favor of funding the military even if it rejects the latest House proposal regarding the Obamacare delay.

That outcome would put president Obama on the spot.  He will have a choice:  he can sign the funding for the military so as to allow our defense to continue without interruption or he can refuse to sign anything other than a bill that funds the complete government.  If Obama signs the bill, it will take away a threat that he used last time a shutdown was threatened, namely that he would withhold salaries from our troops who are fighting in Afghanistan and elsewhere.  In other words, Obama would not be able to use American troops as pawns in his battle with the House.  On the other hand, if Obama refuses to sign the bill and vetoes it, he will be shutting down defense to help his position regarding a delay of Obamacare.  I do not think many Americans are willing to forego paying salaries to the armed forces no matter what battle is being fought regarding Obamacare.  The people who fight battles with real weapons deserve our support and respect.  Those whose battles are waged mainly with hot air and blather need to keep that in mind.



More on Global Warming

With the IPCC summary released a few days ago, we learned that this international body was unable to explain the now 17 year pause in atmospheric warming across our planet while at the same time announcing that the computer models (which did not predict that temperature trend) are at least 95% accurate.  That's ridiculous.  These computer models produce predictions with a margin of error.  In other words, if the model predicts an average temperature of 59 degrees (Farenheit), it actually is predicting that the temperature will be within a certain range centered on 59 degrees.  For example, any average temperature between 57 and 61 degrees might meet the predicted result.  (All of these numbers are just used for illustration.  They are not the actual predictions or margin of error.)  The problem with the models over the last 17 years, however, is not that they have missed the precise average temperature; rather, it is that the observed temperatures are moving now outside the margin of error of the prediction.  Using the above numbers to illustrate, it is that average temperatures are now at 56 degrees which falls outside the predicted range.  Simply put, the computer models have failed to predict the actual climate.

A one year variation of this sort would be troubling, but not a major problem.  Everyone understands that weather is variable and so some misses are to be expected.  Even a five year period with misses both above and below the expected trend would not be that big a deal.  But that is not what the data reveals.  For nearly two decades now, the average atmospheric temperature has been pretty much steady; in other words, the climate models have consistently predicted higher numbers than the actual results from observations.  To anyone other than someone who "believes" in climate change as a religion, the observations prove that the models are not 95% accurate, but wholly wrong.

The focus of the computer models is the increase in carbon dioxide from the activities of man.  We know that carbon dioxide has increased during the relevant period since we have actual measurements that confirm this.  The lack of any increase in temperature, however, also indicates pretty clearly that the models and the whole global warming crowd have gotten the relationship between carbon dioxide levels and temperature WRONG.  Indeed, these actual temperatures indicate that something other than the dreaded carbon footprint of man is at work governing the global climate.