Thursday, December 31, 2009

Demotivator - Friday, January 1, 2010

For Christmas, my daughter got me the Demotivator calendar from Each month has a "demotivating" slogan, with daily demotivating tidbits. The slogan for January: "Economics - The science of explaining tomorrow why the predictions you made yesterday didn't come true today."

Here is the first daily posting for January 1, 2010:

* It's New Year's Day and It's Epoch! (1970)
* Edwin Hubble announces the existence of other galaxies. Alien species thriled to finally be legitimized. (1925)

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Elections Count

A recent Michael Medved column underlines something important -- every vote counts. Many voters claim that they are disgusted with the two major parties, and vote for a third party candidate. That's exactly what happened in Minnesota. Let's look at the consequences.

* Nearly 500,000 Minnesota voters cast their votes for third-party candidates in the 2008 US Senate Race.
* Republican Norm Coleman won the initial count by 215 votes (out of three million votes cast.) The small margin of victory triggered an automatic recount. In the recount, Democrat Al Franken won by just over 300 votes.
* Al Franken's election gave Democrats 60 Senators -- enough to override Republican filibusters.
* Obama's massive healthcare plan passed the Senate by a count of 60-40, a strict partyline vote.

Essentially, a difference of 500 Minnesota voters in the 2008 US Senate election -- .1% of those who threw away their votes on third-party candidates -- could have stopped the Democrat healthcare legislation. Elections -- and your vote -- count. And the two major parties are demonstrably not the same.

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

The Sunshine Condiment

From "The Proper Mustard," the newsletter of The Mustard Museum.


1. I will use mustard every day.
2. I will be bold and try mustard on all kinds of foods.
3. I will smile whenever I eat mustard - life's too important to be angry when eating the sunshine condiment.
4. I will be more tolerant of ketchup eaters.
5. I will share my mustards with others.

Monday, December 21, 2009

How to Purchase a Country

The Democrat-dominated Senate passed its version of healthcare legislation over this last weekend, with Democrat Ben Nelson of Nebraska providing the 60th "yes" vote. An Associated Press story provides samples of earmarks ("pork") Senators were given for their votes:

* Nelson was able to exempt Nebraska from having to bear any of the added Medicaid expenses the legislation imposes on states. (This maneuver keeps the federal cost of the legislation down by passing it on to the states. Taxpayers still foot the bill.) This means that all taxpayers pay for Nelson's vote. Vermont (represented by Democrat Senator Patrick Leahy and Independent Bernie Sanders) and Massachusetts (represented by Democrats John Kerry and Paul G. Kirk,) received similar special "aid" from the legislation.

* Senator Max Baucus (D-Montana,) chairman of the Senate Finance Committee, had language inserted that provided 2,900 citizens of a small Montana town "special" access to Medicare.

* Senator Mary Landrieu (D-Louisiana) negotiated $100 million in extra aid to Louisiana in exchange for her vote.

* Senator Bill Nelson (D-Florida) tailored a special provision that grandfathered in hundreds of thousands of Florida seniors enrolled in Medicare Advantage who would have otherwise lost coverage.

* Senator Christopher Dodd (D-Connecticutt) engineered $100 million for a hospital that's being built by the University of Connecticutt.

Other Democrat special interest groups received special consideration.

As Otto von Bismarck said, "Laws are like sausages. It is better not to see them being made." Fifty-eight Democrats and two Independents sold the American healthcare system -- and the lives of our children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren -- for the political equivalent of a blue-light special.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Our Version of M. Moore

Journalist, documentarian and film maker Phelim McAleer has suddenly become a thorn in the global warming alarmists' side. And they're not handling it well. In fact, they're resorting to physical force to silence him.

And here's what "the debate is over" means to Al Gore.

This whole climate change conference in Copenhagen has proven very embarrassing for Gore. Go, Karma!

Monday, December 14, 2009

Karma Kicks Gore in the Rear

"Inconvenient truth for Al Gore as his North Pole sums don't add up" blared the headline on a (UK) Times Online news article. Gore finally got called down on one of his bogus claims -- by the scientist whose research he was referencing.

From the article: "Mr Gore, speaking at the Copenhagen climate change summit, stated the latest research showed that the Arctic could be completely ice-free in five years.

In his speech, Mr Gore told the conference: “These figures are fresh. Some of the models suggest to Dr [Wieslav] Maslowski that there is a 75 per cent chance that the entire north polar ice cap, during the summer months, could be completely ice-free within five to seven years.”

However, the climatologist whose work Mr Gore was relying upon dropped the former Vice-President in the water with an icy blast.

It’s unclear to me how this figure was arrived at,” Dr Maslowski said. “I would never try to estimate likelihood at anything as exact as this.”

Mr Gore’s office later admitted that the 75 per cent figure was one used by Dr Maslowksi as a “ballpark figure” several years ago in a conversation with Mr Gore."

Tuesday, December 08, 2009

Just How Serious Is Climate Change?

Well, you could say "it depends."

This video by Americans for Prosperity shows what attendees at the Climate Change Conference in Copenhagen are doing to save the planet from manmade global warmng.

Sunday, December 06, 2009

Obama's Ideas on Economics

There has never been a secret about Barack Obama's economic philosophy and intended policies. The following is gleaned from a column by Austin Hill.

Before being elected president, Obama campaigned on, and promised

- to raise taxes on oil companies to get even with them for their so-called “windfall profits;”
- to “reign in” executive salaries;
- to raise the capital gains tax rate;
- to “crack down” on both the insurance, and pharmaceutical industries;
- to raise income tax rates on high-income earners
- to make both healthcare, and a college education, “universal.”

Since becoming President, Barack Obama has,

- alleged that doctors sometimes perform unnecessary procedures merely for the sake of enhancing their salaries;
- sought greater ability for his administration to seize private banks;
- engaged in a public campaign of maligning the U.S. Chamber of Commerce ;
- forced Chrysler into a bankruptcy
that defied both bankruptcy law and accounting rules. (Discussed earlier here and here);
- ordered his “Executive Compensation Czar” to mandate anywhere from 50 to 90% salary cuts for executives of bailout-receiving companies

Obama has now been in office nearly a year. His policies (some of which he began influencing before taking office) have had time to begin taking effect. Regardless of what the previous administration might have gotten him into, he is the President, with a Democrat Congress to support and implement his policies.

Recently, the unemployment rate "fell" to 10%. (From 10.2%, it might be noted; economists say the change is statistically neglible. The unemplyment rate when Obama took office was 7.2%) Gold is at an all-time high against the dollar, indicating that inflation may be rearing its ugly head.

Draw your own conclusions. Do Obama's policies appear as though they are designed to inspire confidence in the economy? If you were a business owner, would you borrow money to expand your business, with hopes of increasing your income?

Unfortunately, Obama's policies may be effectively accomplishing the goals of his underlying philosophy -- an increased dependence on, and the resulting increase in the power of, the federal government.

Thursday, December 03, 2009

Other People Say Smart Stuff, Too - Part XIX

George Will, in his latest column regarding Obama and Afghanistan:

"Obama's second new Afghanistan policy in less than nine months strikingly resembles his predecessor's plan for Iraq, which was: As Iraq's security forces stand up, U.S. forces will stand down."

(Note: yes, I realize I'm hitting the OPSSS,T pretty hard lately. What can I say? More other people are saying smart things.)

Wednesday, December 02, 2009

Other People Say Smart Stuff, Too - Part XVIII

In the wake of the revelations of fraud and mafia-like machinations by scientists selling the idea of manmade global warming, Dr. Ian Pilmer had a pithy observation in a UK news story about him:

“If you have to argue your science by using fraud, your science is not valid.”

Tuesday, December 01, 2009

Other People Say Smart Stuff, Too - Part XVII

From a recent column by economist Thomas Sowell:

Since this is an era when many people are concerned about "fairness" and "social justice," what is your "fair share" of what someone else has worked for?