It would be an enormous relief if the recent attacks on the science of global warming actually indicated that we do not face an unimaginable calamity requiring large-scale, preventive measures to protect human civilization as we know it.
I, for one, genuinely wish that the climate crisis were an illusion. But unfortunately, the reality of the danger we are courting has not been changed ...
But the scientific enterprise will never be completely free of mistakes.
I wish we could wish away Mr. Gore.
Didn't he state a few months ago, that the temperature of the earth was millions of degrees when you descend a few thousnad feet beneath the surface?
Here's the point - one BILLION people in the world live on one dollar a day. And we're supposed to drop everything get concerned about some hypothetical, unproven sea level rise of one or two feet over the next century?
Speaker Pelosi talks to Candy Crowley in an interview taped yesterday in her suite at the Capitol, for airing on “State of the Union” tomorrow:
CROWLEY: We looked at our polling numbers, just from yesterday, we had almost three-quarters of Americans who said they need to drop this bill, just stop talking about health care and move on to something else. Or, they need to start new. So, don’t the Republicans have a point?
PELOSI: The point is that we have a responsibility here. And the Republicans have had a field day going out there and misrepresenting what is in the bill. But that is what they do.
CROWLEY: So, it has been method –
PELOSI: But that is what they do.
CROWLEY: You think people don’t understand the bill?
PELOSI: No, I don’t think—there isn’t a bill. When we have a bill, which we will in a matter of days, then that is the bill that we can sell. Our bill, the House and the Senate bill, had major differences which we are hoping now to reconcile. And then when we have a bill—you—as I say, you can bake the pie, you can sell the pie, but you have to have a pie to sell. And when we do we will take it out there. I feel very confident about what is in there, because if you are—if you are concerned about having access to health care, as most Americans are around their kitchen tables, then they will have access to health care.
Babbling arrogance. Three quarters of the country disagrees (In a CNN poll! Not Hannity, not FOX news ...), but they're going to shove it down everyone's throat anyway.
Speaker Pelosi has her own idiosyncratic dictionary, one in which federal agencies can pay for abortion on demand without spending “public funds” or “taxpayer funds” for abortion. In ordinary English, however, this is deceptive claptrap. ...
... indeed, the Senate produced a final bill that is the most pro-abortion single piece of legislation to reach the floor of either house of Congress since Roe v. Wade. It would result in direct federal funding of abortion through Community Health Centers, tax subsidies for private plans that cover abortion (including some federally administered plans), and pro-abortion federal administrative mandates, among other problems. The Ben Nelson language in the Senate bill is unacceptable, but most of the problems are entirely outside the scope of the Nelson language.
If journalists want to really understand the degree to which abortion policy issues bear on the prospects for this legislation in the House, they need to abandon their misconception that the two bills differ on abortion only on one narrow issue that they can summarize in one sentence.
—Douglas Johnson is legislative director of the National Right to Life Committee.
Earlier this week, Damon officially signed a one-year, $8 million contract with the Tigers, months after rejecting a two-year, $14 million offer to return to New York. At his introductory news conference, Damon reiterated that the Yankees had always been his first choice.
For Rodriguez, the feeling was mutual.
"I was crossing my fingers hoping that he would come back," Rodriguez said. "Johnny's a great player. He was an integral part of our world championship team, and we're going to miss him dearly. He's also a great human being, and he's always out there doing a lot of charity work."
I posted this earlier today - Friday winter wonderland - pictures Brigid took out the windows of our house. And I mentioned she was off on a walk to the Black Cow coffee house.
The Cow, like 60% of the rest of Croton, was closed on account of having no power. I'm posting this at 9:30 in the evening and power is still out in much of Croton, with an expectation that it won't be back on until at least tomorrow.The outage is not just in the business district; streets a couple of blocks from us also have no power. The village has set up an emergency shelter at the Harmon firehouse.
Anyway, here are pix by Brigid on her walk-around in the area. Those white specks in the pictures - yup those are snowflakes!
Here is Dunkin donuts - donuts delivered but they're closed with no power! Check out the image of the photographer in the glass.
Here's the Croton Diner -
Ahhh, looks grim with the empty parking lot. Very strange.
Brigid took a whole slew of pictures of these guys, and I'll put up a separate posting about them
Back up the road
and looking back -
and back to the house - the view from inside the garage
it takes about 45 minutes to do a post like this ... but it sure beats watching television!
UPDATE: Just got robocall from Village of Croton - 60% of village is without power! They've set up an emergency facility at one of the firehouses.
Right. It's noontime and I am working out of my house. It's been raining, sleeting, snowing, for over 30 hours. Judy Anderson lives on a hill a couple of miles away, and she told me they've gotten two feet of snow. Some streets near us have had no power for hours. Last evening we lost power three times momentarily.
Brigid has gone for a walk over to the Black Cow coffee house (about a ten minute walk normally), and I'm sure she's going to take a load of pictures.
Here are some pictures she took out of the windows of our house.
Tim's upstairs window
Out the back
and out the front
and the backyard again
12:30 and Brigid just got back. Will have to put up winter wonderland II as another post.
Obama and Republicans seemed reasonable. That's bad news for Democrats.
The complexity demonstrated today helps Republicans because they're arguing that Congress should address the issue incrementally. There are policy arguments against this approach, which Sen. Ron Wyden says actually "does less and costs more." Yet that case wasn't convincingly made today. Obama and Democrats have been making the case for comprehensive coverage for months, and they haven't convinced anyone. In fact, people like the legislation less. Nothing today changed that dynamic.
The NYT doesn't want Paterson to run, since he's generally unpopular in the state, so a Republican may actually beat him. The Times would love for Paterson to announce he's not running for another term, so Andrew Cuomo could run.
Paterson's unpopularity is based on the fact that he has to make the difficult fiscal decisions that Mario Cuomo and then Pataki ducked over a period of several decades. I actually think he's done a decent job.
Anyway the Times sliming begins with this long and tedious article. Rumors ahve been around for weeks that the Times was getting ready to attack Paterson.
21 Democrats spoke, for a combined time of 114 minutes.
17 Republican spoke for a total of 110 minutes.
The President spoke for 119 minutes.
So much for listening. He must have taken lessons from Chris Matthews. As facilitator of the "Summit", he'd have served himself, his party, and more importantly the country, much better if he had talked less, and let the Congresspeople and Senators present their positions.
Here's part of an email response I wrote to a friend of mine, who mentioned that the President didn't use a teleprompter:
he certainly didn't. And it showed. Any time he has to think on his feet,
he has troubles. His summation at the end (i saw the first part of it in the gym
- he spoke after Nancy Pelosi lied about the senate plan not funding abortion)
was rambling and all over the place.
He said he would sum up in about ten minutes, but was still going strong
after 15 minutes, when I got off the ellyptical.
I never thought I'd wish for Bill Clinton. He must grind his teeth every
time he watches Obama.
I heard bits and pieces of the summit during the day - thought some of it
Yeah, some of it was good. And some wasn't - like the congresswoman talking about her constituent who had to use her deceased sister's dentures because she couldn't afford any herself.
I'm going to enjoy listening to Don Imus and his guests dissect the "summit" in the morning.
Now 70, with white hair pulled back in a ponytail, she is sober and is expressing her creativity through painting. She's as outspoken as ever, often repeating her belief that rockers older than 50 don't belong onstage. She recently told CNN why some of her paintings still reference 'Alice in Wonderland,' which, of course, inspired 'White Rabbit.'
"The President's Proposal," as the 11-page White House document is headlined, is in one sense a notable achievement: It manages to take the worst of both the House and Senate bills and combine them into something more destructive. It includes more taxes, more subsidies and even less cost control than the Senate bill. And it purports to fix the special-interest favors in the Senate bill not by eliminating them—but by expanding them to everyone.
The bill's one new inspiration is a powerful federal board that would regulate premiums in the individual insurance market. In all 50 states, insurers are already required to justify premium increases to insurance commissioners, who generally have the power to give a regulatory go-ahead, or not. But their primary concern is actuarial soundness and capital standards, making sure that companies have enough cash to pay claims.
The White House wants to create another layer of review that will be able to reject any rate increase that is "unreasonable or unjustified." Any insurer deemed guilty of such an infraction by this new bureaucracy "must lower premiums, provide rebates, or take other actions to make premiums affordable." In other words, de facto price controls.
For years, many middle-aged people have taken the drug in hopes of reducing the chance of a heart attack or stroke. Americans bought more than 44 million packages of low-dose aspirin marketed for heart protection in the year ended September, up about 12% from 2005, according to research firm IMS Health.
Now, medical experts say some people who are taking aspirin on a regular basis should think about stopping. Public-health officials are scaling back official recommendations for the painkiller to target a narrower group of patients who are at risk of a heart attack or stroke. The concern is that aspirin's side effects, which can include bleeding ulcers, might outweigh the potential benefits when taken by many healthy or older people.
Cook: I sort of reject the notion that there is a communications problem with President Obama. I think it's just fundamental, total miscalculations from the very, very beginning. ...
This was a case where I think the White House people could see, look at the president, the White House and congressional Democrats as sort of checking the box on stimulus, but found that kind of boring, and moved on to health care and cap-and-trade. And the thing is, Democrats piled all this cotton candy and pork and junk and pet projects into it, so it discredited the stimulus package in the minds of a lot of voters and at the same time, it wasn't big enough. .... And so we start off with the original sin of a very imperfect and inadequate economic stimulus package and then moving off the economy almost entirely going into cap-and-trade and health care.
And then when unemployment numbers started proving to be much, much tougher and it started becoming more clear that the stimulus package hadn't worked properly, they just kept plowing ahead on health care. And this isn't a communications problem. This is a reality problem. And I think they just made some grave miscalculations and as it became more clear that they had screwed up, they just kept doubling down their bet.
And so I think, no, this is one of the biggest miscalculations that we've seen in modern political history.
NJ: What do Democrats have to do to correct this?
Cook: I've spent the last couple of days talking to some of the brightest Democrats in the party that are not in the White House. And it's very hard to come up with a scenario where Democrats don't lose the House. It's very hard. Are the seats there right this second? No. But we're on a trajectory on the House turning over....
Now, Cook knows vastly more about this stuff then I do, and he points out that it is nine months until the election, but -
There are nine months, certainly things could happen, but the odds of unemployment being below 9 percent are minimal by the time of this election. We're probably going to have a year of basically, more or less, 10 percent unemployment, which hasn't happened since the Great Depression.
Nevertheless - my opinion - the Republicans can easily blow it with overconfidence and hubris.
TAMPA, Fla. -- While Johnny Damon was trying on his Tigers jersey for the first time some 30 miles away, life continued as usual for the Yankees, having long since come to terms with their left fielder's departure.
"Our agenda is based on a clear-eyed assessment of our national
interest," Mr. Biden said. "We have long relied on nuclear weapons to
deter potential adversaries. Now, as our technology improves, we are
developing non-nuclear ways to accomplish that same objective."
Non-nuclear weapons development includes the administration's
plan for an "adaptive" missile-defense shield and conventional warheads
"with worldwide reach," he said.
"With these modern capabilities, even with deep nuclear reductions, we will remain undeniably strong," Mr. Biden said.
Well, that's good - although similar sentiments have been voiced by all past administrations.
I would go further. Nuclear weapons are prima facie immoral. We should unilaterally destroy ours. If the old idea of deterrence ever made sense, it doesn't any more. Our former enemies are so interlinked with us socially and economically, that it is not in their self-interest to attack us with nuclear weapons. And deterrence has no effect on terrorists.
That's our big concern - terrorists getting hold of portable weapons of mass destruction, whether nuclear or biological. If a suitcase nuclear bomb went off in downtown Washington DC, or a biological weapon was put in the Los Angeles water system, what would we do? Nuke the whole Middle East?
"Ban the Bomb." "Bread not Bombs." Etc, etc. Ohh, and think of the money we'd save!
"Cervelli is awesome, I love Romine, I love Montero," Posada said. "For me, it's easy, because these kids want to be taught. They listen. They follow you. Montero is like, 'What are we going to do today?' They're going to follow me around, and hopefully we can work together. Whatever I have to teach, I'll probably do a little bit of it."
Back on January 14th I mentioned that Brigid and I had been in Haiti in 1980. Since then we've followed the usually bad news of poverty and violent politics coming out of Haiti.
Brigid set up a small exhibit of stuff we'd picked up in Haiti twice in January; once at our Church, Holy Name of Mary, the day of the special collection. And then a week later at the Black Cow coffeehouse in Croton, as they did a fundraiser.
And the Black Cow -
I love this picture - I think I identify with the guy looking out at you, in blue.
There he is -
The Black Cow pictures were taken before the fundraiser, which was very successful - as was the HNM collection.
The news isn’t good for the upper middle class. If you are, or you plan to be, a lawyer, a tenured university professor, a manager, an architect, a civil servant or a doctor, be afraid. Be very, very afraid.
The bell is tolling for you.
One of this morning’s ominous stories comes from Bloomberg.com: “Making Partner Less Likely” trumpets the headline, “As Big Law Firms Face Cash Crunch.” The other comes from our old friend The New York Times, and it’s a report on a study that reports rising public dissatisfaction with the price and quality of college education in the United States.
Both stories are straws in the wind pointing to the possibility that the biggest bubble in the US economy may be coming to an end. The biggest bubble of them all isn’t the real estate bubble; it’s not the dotcom bubble that took two thirds of the value off the NASDAQ when it burst at the start of the last decade. The biggest bubble in the United States is the upper-middle class professional bubble; for the last generation the incomes of Americans with professional degrees continued to rise, sharply in many cases, even as incomes for blue collar workers steadily fell. While investment bankers left us all coughing in their dust, doctors, lawyers, university professors and other professionals got generally richer while the rest of the country faced stagnant or even falling living standards.
A new book about the atomic destruction of Hiroshima has won critical acclaim with its heartbreaking portrayals of the bomb’s survivors and is set to be made into a movie by James Cameron.
“The Last Train from Hiroshima,” published in January by Henry Holt, also claims to reveal a secret accident with the atom bomb that killed one American and irradiated others and greatly reduced the weapon’s destructive power.
There is just one problem. That section of the book and other technical details of the mission are based on the recollections of Joseph Fuoco, who is described as a last-minute substitute on one of the two observation planes that escorted the Enola Gay.
"Challenges of historic import threaten America’s future."
"There are many causes for the dysfunction ..."
"Many good people serve in Congress."
Here's a profound(?) suggestion -
"Let’s start with a simple proposal: why not have a monthly lunch of all 100 senators?"
His big proposal is: let's lower the number of senators who can end a filibuster from 60 to 55.
Unspoken: He want's to run for President in 2016. As I waded through the op ed (it was a struggle to finish it) I felt embarrassed for Bayh. Also unspoken. His party totally controlled the Congress and White House for a year and got very little done. He doesn't want to be in line for an election debacle this November.
BUT that's just my opinion - here's the whole essay:
Yesterday was Ash Wednesday, so we're into the 40 day penitential season.
One thing I'm "giving up" (more or less) is the classic, chocolate. YIKES! I probably won't totally give it up, but I certainly won't buy any. But if someone wants to give me some ...
I always try to do some serious reading during Lent. Not just spiritual/religious stuff, but definitely serious stuff.
Yesterday I started Fr. Thomas Keating's book, Open mind, Open Heart. Keating is a Cistercian monk, who along with the late Fr. Basil Pennington is known for promoting the Centering Prayer technique and movement.
The first chapter (they are short chapters; the book is about 150 pages long) was excellent. I'll do a chapter a day, and finish it in two weeks.
Concurrently, I'm reading (another) book on options trading, primarily on the sell side. After I finish it, I'll probably read one of the history books I've got sitting, waiting for me.
Lastly, during Holy Week, I'll re-read one of scripture scholar the late Fr. Raymond Brown's books on the Passion.
... now she wants to take the initiative across the Atlantic, and use the teachings to help British children build social and emotional stability - and curb violent outbursts in the classroom and playground.
The political retirement of Evan Bayh, at age 54, is being portrayed by various sages as a result of too much partisanship, or the Senate's dysfunction, or even the systemic breakdown of American governance. Most of this is rationalization. The real story, of which Mr. Bayh's frustration is merely the latest sign, is the failure once again of liberal governance.
For the fourth time since the 1960s, American voters in 2008 gave Democrats overwhelming control of both Congress and the White House. Republicans haven't had such large majorities since the 1920s. Yet once again, Democratic leaders have tried to govern the country from the left, only to find that their policies have hit a wall of practical and popular resistance.
Democrats failed in the latter half of the 1960s, as the twin burdens of the Great Society and Vietnam ended the Kennedy boom and split their party. They failed again after Watergate, as Congress dragged Jimmy Carter to the left and liberals had no answer for stagflation. They failed a third time in the first two Bill Clinton years, as tax increases and HillaryCare led to the Gingrich Congress before Mr. Clinton salvaged his Presidency by tacking to the center.
A fourth crackup is already well underway and is even more remarkable considering how Democrats were set up for success. Inheriting a recession amid GOP failures, Democrats had the chance to restore economic confidence and fix the financial system with modest reforms that would let them take credit for the inevitable recovery. Yet only 13 months later, Democrats are down in the polls, their agenda is stymied by Democratic opposition, and their House and Senate majorities are in peril as moderates like Mr. Bayh flee the scene of this political accident.
Democrats have responded by blaming "obstructionist" Republicans, who lack the votes to block anything by themselves; or a failure to communicate the right message, though President Obama is a master communicator; or even Madison's framework of checks and balances, though this system has worked better than all others for some 225 years.
Can Mr. Obama still make a mid-course correction, a la Bill Clinton after 1994? Of course he can. What we don't know is whether he has the political instincts and nerve to do so.
Now, separate studies from two economists offer some answers, providing the strongest evidence yet that team sports can result in lifelong improvements to educational, work and health prospects. At a time when the first lady, Michelle Obama, has begun a nationwide campaign to improve schoolchildren’s health, the lessons from Title IX show that school-based fitness efforts can have lasting effects.
At the one year mark unemployment is now 9.7%, after rising above 10%, and the U.S. economy has lost 4 million jobs leaving the White House 9 million jobs short of the 138.6 million they promised to deliver by December of this year. By any objective measure President Obama’s $862 billion stimulus must be judged as a complete failure. Undeterred by these facts, the White House Council of Economic Advisers (CEA) published a report on the economic effects of the Administration’s economic stimulus plan claiming that there are 2 million more jobs in the economy than there otherwise would have been had the President’s stimulus not become law. But as Heritage Policy Analyst Karen Campbell has documented, the CEA report relies on completely arbitrary benchmark projections that fail even basic standards of economic analysis.