Wotka World Wide

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Democratic-leaning news media at ABC and CBS had no problem leading off their newscasts last week with stories about all the 'threats' to Democratic Congressmen after the health care vote, but when an Obama donor gets arrested for his threatening actions and anti-Semitic rhetoric toward Republican Congressman Eric Cantor, the networks don't even mention the story. What a joke they have become, and their ratings underscore that fact. Too bad for them no one is relying on them for their news coverage anymore...
Michael Barone has a great piece on the continuing struggle between Founders and Progressives, and argues that the Tea Partiers have risen to embrace the Founders to oppose encroaching progressive ideas from the Democrats in power:

The Progressives' scorn for the Founders has not been shared by the people. First-rate books about the Founders have been best-sellers. And efforts to dismiss the Founders as slaveholders, misogynists or homophobes have been outweighed by the resonance of their words and deeds.

The Declaration of Independence's proclamation that "all men are created equal" with "unalienable rights" to "life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness" has proved to be happily elastic. It still sings to us today, thanks to the struggles and sacrifices of many Americans who gave blacks and women the equality denied to them in 1776.

In contrast, the early Progressives' talk of an "industrial age" and an outmoded Constitution sounds like the language of an age now long past. Their faith in centralized planning seems naive in a time when one unpredicted innovation after another has changed lives for the better.

Monday, March 29, 2010

Michelle Malkin has a great primer on how the left fakes the hate. Spot on, Michelle. And it is just the tip of the iceberg.

Friday, March 26, 2010

More doublespeak from Paul Krugman. Is anyone really surprised?
Here is one way to create jobs and let the free market work properly: Repeal the Davis-Bacon Act. The Act requires workers on government projects be paid the 'prevailing' wage, i.e. the union wage. And it was passed for entirely racist reasons. But it was just extended under the Stimulus Bill.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

A reminder about the protesters under President Bush, from NewsBusters.
Victor Davis Hanson reminds us that the real vitriol emanates from the left:
This week’s talking point is the sudden danger of new right-wing violence, and the inflammatory push-back against health care. I’m sorry, but all this concern is a day late and a dollar short. The subtext is really one of class — right-wing radio talk-show hosts, Glenn Beck idiots, and crass tea-party yokels are foaming at the mouth and dangerous to progressives. In contrast, write a book in which you muse about killing George Bush, and its Knopf imprint proves it is merely sophisticated literary speculation; do a docudrama about killing George Bush, and it will win a Toronto film prize for its artistic value rather than shock from the liberal community about over-the-top discourse.
Read the whole thing.

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Friday, March 19, 2010

The Cornhusker Kick-back has apparently been eliminated from the Senate health care legislation, but check out some of the hand-outs that remain.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

New York Times Chairman Arthur Sulzberger recently doubled his own pay to $6 million, while laying off huge sections of his newsroom and instituting a 5% pay cut for everyone else. Nice guy.
Just in case you thought Andrew Cuomo was avoiding all the scandals dogging New York politicians, there is this:

It was Cuomo’s directives that mandated HUD to vastly increase the amount of risky home loans bought by quasi-governmental housing giants Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. Now, Cuomo may be haunted by his tenure as HUD secretary, where he planted the seeds for the nation’s housing collapse.

Though America’s financial fortunes suffered after Cuomo’s time at HUD, his own personal fortune soared. The bulk of this financial “windfall” came courtesy of Andrew Farkas, the billionaire real estate developer who helped Cuomo amass his wealth as a business partner and campaign fundraiser. Farkas — now Cuomo’s financial chairman as he circles the governorship — has personally given Cuomo at least $1.8 million in cash.

As New Yorkers are beginning to discover, Andrew Cuomo personifies the long reach of many at the top of the Democratic Party who built their fortunes on the mortgage bubble and the sub-prime collapse, but have yet to be tarred and feathered as architects of the nation’s worst housing crisis.

Much more in the article though. Good luck replacing Paterson...

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

The WSJ recently interviewed Mosab Hassan Yousef, the highest ranking Hamas member to spy for Israel, and the son of one of the founders of Hamas. He has some fascinating things to say:

As a spy, Mr. Yousef wasn't fully activated until the outbreak of the second Intifada in September 2000. A few months before at Camp David, the late PLO chief Yasser Arafat had turned down the Israeli offer of statehood on 90% of the West Bank with East Jerusalem as the capital. According to Mr. Yousef, Arafat decided he needed another uprising to win back international attention. So he sought out Hamas's support through Sheikh Yousef, writes his son, who accompanied him to Arafat's compound. Those meetings took place before the Palestinian authorities found a pretext for the second Intifada. It came when future Prime Minister Ariel Sharon visited the Temple Mount in Jerusalem, site of the Al-Aqsa Mosque and the Dome of the Rock. Mr. Yousef's account helps to set straight the historical record that the uprising was premeditated by Arafat.

Mr. Yousef tells me that he was horrified by the pointless violence unleashed by politicians willing to climb "on the shoulders of poor, religious people." He says Palestinians who heeded the call "were going like a cow to the slaughterhouse, and they thought they were going to heaven." So, as he writes in the book, "At the age of twenty-two, I became the Shin Bet's only Hamas insider who could infiltrate Hamas's military and political wings, as well as other Palestinian factions."

Read the whole thing, as usual.
Robert Samuelson tells it like it is on the fraud of current health care reform measures:

Though it seems compelling, covering the uninsured is not the health-care system's major problem. The big problem is uncontrolled spending, which prices people out of the market and burdens government budgets. Obama claims his proposal checks spending. Just the opposite. When people get insurance, they use more health services. Spending rises. By the government's latest forecast, health spending goes from 17 percent of the economy in 2009 to 19 percent in 2019. Health "reform" would probably increase that.

Unless we change the fee-for-service system, costs will remain hard to control because providers are paid more for doing more. Obama might have attempted that by proposing health-care vouchers (limited amounts to be spent on insurance), which would force a restructuring of delivery systems to compete on quality and cost. Doctors, hospitals and drug companies would have to reorganize care. Obama refrained from that fight and instead cast insurance companies as the villains.

He's telling people what they want to hear, not what they need to know. Whatever their sins, insurers are mainly intermediaries; they pass along the costs of the delivery system. In 2009, the largest 14 insurers had profits of roughly $9 billion; that approached 0.4 percent of total health spending of $2.472 trillion. This hardly explains high health costs. What people need to know is that Obama's plan evades health care's major problems and would worsen the budget outlook. It's a big new spending program when government hasn't paid for the spending programs it already has.

Read the whole thing.
During the election, President Obama wouldn't be seen in the same state with Al Sharpton. Now, he is a frequent guest at the White House, where a marked change in strategy on racial relations is underway. Apparently, the White House is using Sharpton to deflect criticism from some quarters that it isn't doing enough to specifically help struggling black Americans. This is quite a role change for the Reverend Sharpton, who is more often known for traveling the country following the news of racial incidents to hype them and draw more media attention, like a personal injury lawyer follows an ambulance in pursuit of a settlement.

This strategy seems to be a dangerous one for the Obama Administration, as Sharpton has a bad rap among many for his behavior, particularly in the Tawana Brawley hoax, which resulted in a defamation judgment against him. Many independent voters are likely to be turned off by his presence, and it could further hurt Democrats at the polls in November, and that should easily outweigh the gains Sharpton might bring with his appeals to the black community. That, and I can't help but think that a tiger has a hard time changing his stripes.

Monday, March 15, 2010

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Following the money trail of funding for the climate research industry. Of course, it massively dwarfs the spending from skeptics. And that doesn't even get into the money for the carbon trading industry, which easily gets into the hundreds of billions on a yearly basis. Carbon trading could soon be the largest commodity market in the world:
Commissioner Bart Chilton, head of the energy and environmental markets advisory committee of the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC), has predicted that within five years a carbon market would dwarf any of the markets his agency currently regulates: "I can see carbon trading being a $2 trillion market." "The largest commodity market in the world." He ought to know.

It promises to be larger than the markets for coal, oil, gold, wheat, copper or uranium. Just soak in that thought for a moment. Larger than oil.

Richard L. Sandor, chairman and chief executive officer of Climate Exchange Plc, agrees and predicts trades eventually will total $10 trillion a year." That's 10 thousand billion dollars.
Follow the money, indeed. Read the whole thing.
How Andrew Breitbart Hacks The Media. Not a bad review of the man, especially coming from an admitted Democrat.

Tuesday, March 09, 2010

Chicago's Pointless Handgun Ban, from Steve Chapman at Reason.

Monday, March 08, 2010

After the details of the National Security Agency's 'Einstein' cyber security program became known, some other critics started to emerge, pointing out the dangers of the 'cyber war' pretext being used as a way for the government to finally take control of the internet, which has so far remained one of the more open and unregulated areas of American life. This piece is from Wired:

Security companies have long relied on creating fear in internet users by hyping the latest threat, whether that be Conficker or the latest PDF flaw. And now they are reaping billions of dollars in security contracts from the federal government for their PR efforts. But the industry and its most influential voices need to take a hard look at the consequences of that strategy and start talking truth to power’s claims that we are losing some non-existent cyberwar.

The internet is a hack that seems forever on the edge of falling apart. For awhile, spam looked like it was going to kill e-mail, the net’s first killer app. But smart filters have reduced the problem to a minor nuisance as anyone with a Gmail account can tell you. That’s how the internet survives. The apocalypse looks like it’s coming and it never does, but meanwhile, it becomes more and more useful to our everyday lives, spreading innovation, weird culture, news, commerce and healthy dissent.

But one thing it hasn’t spread is “cyberwar.” There is no cyberwar and we are not losing it. The only war going on is one for the soul of the internet. But if journalists, bloggers and the security industry continue to let self-interested exaggerators dominate our nation’s discourse about online security, we will lose that war — and the open internet will be its biggest casualty.

Read the whole thing. And start wondering if all this going on about health care is just a cover so that other essential American freedoms can disappear with less fuss.

Thursday, March 04, 2010

Did the ideas of Milton Friedman save Chile's economy? Bret Stephens at the Wall Street Journal thinks so. And when you consider that Chile has the highest standard of living in South America, I am inclined to agree with him.

Wednesday, March 03, 2010

Mark Perry at The American looks at banking and mortgages in Canada, and examines the reasons why Canada suffered no banking failures in the recent economic crisis. The Canadian banking industry was even profitable in 2008! Clearly, there are some things to be learned here. High on the list is stricter lending standards and a government policy of subsidizing low cost rental housing instead of pushing home ownership, with the result that Canada has seen no rise in their level of foreclosures. I hope the bureaucrats in Washington are paying attention, but since their policies helped drive the recent housing collapse and wave of bank bailouts and failures, I expect little action on their part.