Sunday, March 22, 2009

AIG and the Monkeys

AIG is the insurance company that collided with a financial iceberg and which Congress has given billions and billions of our dollars. AIG took some of that money and paid some of its executives hundreds of millions of dollars in bonuses. Everyone is mad at AIG and Congress, so Congress (and Obama) are screaming at AIG and enacting legislation to create a special tax to get the bonus money back.

Now then.

The agreement that Congress created and which AIG signed before the money was given over last fall included language that specifically okayed the bonuses. So the first thing to say is that Congress has zero credibility in showing outrage now.

Most Congressmen are saying that they didn't know the language was in the agreement. This indicates one of two things: 1) These Congressmen are lying; or 2) They are incompetent, voting for something they don't understand. Neither one of these options reflects well on these buffoons.

The language was eventually traced back to Democrat Senator Christopher Dodd, chairman of the Senate Banking Committee. He has been one of the loudest critics of the bonus money -- no hypocrisy there -- and at first denied knowing anything about the language in the agreement.

Let's back up for a moment. In his notorious appearance on the Tonight Show, Obama said he was "stunned" when he learned about the AIG bonuses. That would indicate some level of surprise, right? Stay tuned.

Back to Dodd. On Tuesday, March 17, in an interview, Dodd denied knowing anything about wording in the agreement that specficially provided for bonuses to be paid to executives. The next day, Dodd said that his words had been "misunderstood," and that he had, in fact, inserted the specific wording.


Now it gets interesting. Remember how "stunned" Obama was at learning of the bonuses? Dodd claims that he inserted the language okaying the bonuses against his own judgment but under pressure from the administration. So either Obama is lying, or Dodd is lying, or they are both lying. Regardless of the answer to that question, it is evident that they are both incompetent.

And incidentally, AIG has been the fourth-largest political contributor to Democrat Senator Chris Dodd over the course of his political career.

The AIG situation is what it is. The government should never have given them any money in the first place. Now that it has, though, members of Congress look like a bunch of chattering monkeys trying to get their faces on television so that they can show us how they, too, are enraged at the bonuses -- blithely stepping past the fact that they approved the bonuses in the first place.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Researchers: "Global Warming Has Stopped"

Researchers at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee have come up with another theory to explain climate change -- "synchronized chaos." (Too complicated for here; read the article to get the gist.)

Among other comments, researcher Dr. Anastasios Tsonis said this: ""The research team has found the warming trend of the past 30 years has stopped and in fact global temperatures have leveled off since 2001."

Friday, March 13, 2009

Where Racism and Self-Interest Intersect

The Wall Street Journal reports on Democrat Representative Maxine Waters, demonstrating how her own party wants her to keep her nose out of certain financial legislative decisions. This attitude is despite Ms. Waters' position as a member of the House Financial Services Committee.

Why the concern? Because Ms. Waters and her husband have a big stake in "minority" owned OneUnited Bank. Her involvement is complex, from her practice of giving the bank's executives special access to Federal Treasury officials, to the shares, stock options and other benefits she and her husband have in the bank, to her husband's postion as a director of the bank.

Ms. Waters has also been relentless in her efforts to prevent OneUnited from being forced to merge with other, "non-minority" owned banks. At a hearing on minority lending in 2007, Ms. Waters alluded to two banks, Independence Bank of Washington, D.C., and "another bank that was about to be acquired by a major white bank out of Illinois." You know, the special white bank, where only white people can go.

Racism in all its forms is stupid and vile. What's even more stupid and vile is when one party -- the Democrat one -- allows its members to practice racism publicly, without consequence. That those members can use their racism to affect legislation is beyond belief. When it comes to Liberals, however, you can't consider any action too outlandish, too outrageous or too foolish.

[Edit 3/14: Michelle Malkin has a bit more detail on the antics of Maxine Waters. How in the world can she still hold office? Oh, that's right, she's a Democrat. There are no standards for behavior.]

The Truth About Rush

I'm a big fan of Rush Limbaugh's, and I'm ecstatic that the Obama administration has seen fit to target him as an enemy. (Hmmm...weren't enemies lists a bad thing just a short while ago?) Rush has the opportunity to fight back via his radio show, and the backbone and skill to do so effectively.

In a recent column by Matt Towery, the wisdom, or lack of it, in attacking Rush is confirmed by polling data. (Read Towery's column for that information.) My point here is Towery's description of his one brief personal encounter with Rush:

"It was enlightening. He was the complete opposite of his persona. He was soft-spoken, extraordinarily polite and clearly not taking himself too seriously. My friends who know him well tell me he is still that way today."

Towery later gives one of the best descriptions of Rush Limbaugh the radio personality that I've ever seen articulated:

"...anyone who listens to his show knows that Limbaugh plays the role of pompous ringmaster, but in jest. After five minutes it is clear that he is not a hatemonger."

A huge percentage of the people who criticize Rush Limbaugh have never listened to his show, much less listened long enough to get the subtleties of his humor. Their remarks and accusations are not only wrong, but very wrong. The mistake the Obama bunch has made is forgetting the twenty million Americans who listen to Rush, and who enjoy his show. Rush is a skilled communicator, and his Conservative message gets through very effectively. The Democrat attacks are adding to the number of people who will realize the power and the wisdom of Conservatism. More power to them.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

It Takes a While

Gallup just released a poll indicating that more Americans than ever – 44% -- believe that the threats the media report about global warming are overexaggerated. In the decade since Gallup started tracking this topic, the percent of Americans who believe the media is correct, or is underestimating the threat, is also at its lowest level ever.

There is a distinct political bent here. Republicans are more likely to be cynical about media coverage of the subject – that’s a shock – than Democrats. However, the increase in the number of disbelievers is from the population of independents. Democrats tend to have a certain, um, inflexibility of thought.

A comment about Gallup’s report, however. This is a quote: “Americans generally believe global warming is real. That sets the U.S. public apart from the global-warming skeptics who assembled this week in New York City to try to debunk the science behind climate change.”

That passage illustrates how poor reporting can mar otherwise good information. You can accept that “global warming” is real – the average temperature over the last century has gone up a bit less than one degree Centigrade; that is, the globe has warmed. Accepting that point does not concede that 1) Warming is caused by humans; or 2) The effects will destroy us.

The meeting in New York City referenced is the International Conference on Climate Change. Debunking the science – or more precisely, the lack of rigorous scientific standards – used by global warming alarmists should be the job of every scientist. I’ll repeat a point I’ve made before: When did “global warming” become “climate change?” Could it be because the earth has not experienced warming for several years, has perhaps even cooled? If you call it climate change, then you can use any sort of weather to prove your point. Global warming actually requires warming.

Again, another previously-mentioned point: If their science was up to snuff, they wouldn’t have to cheat; e.g., the discredited “hockey stick” graph; their practice of ignoring the “Little Ice Age;” the almost unknown fact that increases in CO2 gas follow warmer temperature, not cause it. Yet now, government interference into businesses is based on their CO2 emissions.

The ICCC’s purpose is to allow a discussion of the side of the scientific argument that the media and the government don’t want you to hear. Despite the claims by global warming profiteer Al Gore, the argument is most definitely not over.

Technical Catastrophe

While trying to edit my labels, I accidentally deleted ten of my past posts. Nothing to say about it, other than "Mit der Dummheit kämpfen Götter selbst vergebens."

Tuesday, March 03, 2009

Now I'm Somebody

In today's mail I received several copies of the book I ghostwrote that hit the bestseller list on Amazon. Pretty cool.

[3/12/09 Edit: I forgot to mention, the books were autographed. Ghost autographed. Snicker.]