Saturday, September 29, 2007

TCS Daily - Gore Dodges Repeated Calls to Debate Global Warming

For his part, President Klaus has not minced words on what he sees as the real agenda of those promoting climate hysteria. In an op-ed in the Financial Times (June 13, pointedly titled "Freedom, Not Climate, is at Risk," Klaus said: "Let us not scare ourselves with catastrophic forecasts, or use them to defend and promote irrational interventions in human lives." Arguing that the issue of global warming "is more about social than about natural sciences and more about man and his freedom than about tenths of a degree Celsius changes in average global temperature," Klaus rejected the notion of a "scientific consensus" on climate change as an effort by a "loud minority" to impose its will on a "silent majority."

However, Klaus reserved his unkindest cut of all for the movement that has joined forces with Gore is spreading fear about global warming:

"As someone who lived under communism for most of his life, I feel obliged to say that I see the biggest threat to freedom, democracy, the market economy and prosperity now in ambitious environmentalism, not in communism. This ideology wants to replace the free and spontaneous evolution of mankind by a sort of central (now global) planning."

Friday, September 28, 2007 / World - Washington changes its tune on climate

Condi Rice concedes on global warming.  I think it's a mistake, but typical of the Bush administration to give in to critics and then try to be in favor of responsible change that balances the interests of the economy and the environment.  Nothing they do will ever be good enough.

The world must cut emissions or sacrifice the planet, Condoleezza Rice, US secretary of state, told a meeting of governments on Thursday, in the most strongly worded statement on global warming yet made by the US administration.

She told representatives of 16 governments gathered for talks on climate change in Washington: "It is our responsibility as global leaders to forge a new international consensus on how to solve climate change . . . If we stay on our present path, we face an unacceptable choice: either we sacrifice global economic growth to secure the health of our planet or we sacrifice the health of our planet to continue with fossil-fuelled growth."

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Clinton v. Stossel: The Future of Healthcare in America::By Carrie Lukas

Stossel highlights the inherent problems created by insurance and any third party payer system: people (and providers) have no idea how much treatments cost and have no motivation to spend resources efficiently. "What if you had grocery insurance? You wouldn't care what things cost. Why buy hamburger. I'll just buy steak. Why look for sales. Why use coupons. I'll just buy everything. My insurance company's paying."

Governments have a way of addressing that problem of over-consumption: those offering "free" healthcare also ration services. As Stossel depicts with numerous examples from Canada and the United Kingdom, appointments with specialists, high end procedures, and everyday checkups may be free, but there are often month long waits to get those treatments.

Stossel suggests that the real cure for our healthcare problem is to change the fundamental dynamic within the system by putting individuals back in charge of their healthcare dollars with an incentive to use them wisely. He showcases Whole Foods, which, under the leadership of CEO John Mackey, switched to a system of health savings accounts. Employees have high deductible insurance plans and savings accounts with money they can use to help pay their healthcare costs. Unused money stays in their account, accruing interest, and is available for future use. Employees describe how their habits changed under this new system: suddenly they were asking doctor offices how much a visit costs and what kind of service they would receive during their appointment.

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

AP Interview: Clinton on health care - Yahoo! News

Democrat Hillary Rodham Clinton said Tuesday that a mandate requiring every American to purchase health insurance was the only way to achieve universal health care but she rejected the notion of punitive measures to force individuals into the health care system.

"At this point, we don't have anything punitive that we have proposed," the presidential candidate said in an interview with The Associated Press. "We're providing incentives and tax credits which we think will be very attractive to the vast majority of Americans."

She said she could envision a day when "you have to show proof to your employer that you're insured as a part of the job interview — like when your kid goes to school and has to show proof of vaccination," but said such details would be worked out through negotiations with Congress.

Rich Lowry on Hillary Clinton & Health Care on National Review Online

Back in 1993, the burden of proof was on Clinton to prove the necessity of her health-care ideas. Now, the burden of proof has probably shifted to her opponents, and she benefits from the fact that Republicans have endorsed some of her specific proposals (including an "individual mandate" that everyone get insured). In short, she reenters the health-care debate from a position of strength.

Lately, Republicans like President Bush and Rudy Giuliani have gotten into the game, offering forward-looking ideas to try to create a health-care market where individuals can buy their own insurance. That would be the best health-care reform, but HillaryCare 2.0 looms, more cautious and therefore more plausible than her first act.

Sunday, September 16, 2007

Defeat at Any Price

If you believe in appeasement, defeat in Iraq would show that we were wrong to stop talking and start fighting. If you believe in pacifism, defeat would demonstrate that war is futile even if your motives are good. If you believe in globalism, defeat would suggest that we should have acted strictly in concert with world opinion. In short, if you do believe in appeasement, pacifism, globalism (and many leading Democrats do), your wish for defeat is no evil or traitorous urge. It is merely logical.

It also, of course, contradicts traditional Americanism right down to the ground. Americanism is the set of beliefs that has always held this country together in its large embrace. Americanism calls for liberty, equality, and democracy for all mankind. And it urges this nation to promote the American Creed wherever and whenever it can--to be the shining city on a hill, the "last, best hope of earth." 

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Peter Wehner on Iraq on National Review Online

General David Petraeus and Ambassador Ryan Crocker, testifying before the House and the Senate during the last two days, did what many people thought was impossible: They reset the Washington clock. These good men, by what they have achieved in Iraq and by the force and power of their testimonies, have recast the terms of the debate. They will now have until next summer to build on their successes, which in turn could eventually lead to a decent outcome in Iraq. To appreciate how extraordinary this is, it's worth recalling how far we have come.

Rod Dreher: What the Muslim Brotherhood means for the U.S.

The [Holy Land Foundation] trial is exposing for the first time how the international Muslim Brotherhood – whose Palestinian division is Hamas – operates as a self-conscious revolutionary vanguard in the United States. The court documents indicate that many leading Muslim-American organizations – including the Council on American-Islamic Relations, the Islamic Society of North America (ISNA) and the Muslim American Society – are an integral part of the Brotherhood's efforts to wage jihad against America by nonviolent means.

The Muslim Brotherhood is an affiliation of at least 70 Islamist organizations around the world, all tracing their heritage to the original cell, founded in Egypt in 1928. Its credo: "Allah is our objective. The Prophet is our leader. Quran is our law. Jihad is our way. Dying in the way of Allah is our highest hope." Sayyid Qutb, hanged by the Egyptian government in 1966 as a revolutionary, remains its ideological godfather. His best-known work, Milestones, calls for Muslims to wage violent holy war until Islamic law governs the entire world.

According to a 2004 Chicago Tribune investigation, establishing the Brotherhood in the United States has been a 40-year project that has worked mostly underground – even beneath the notice of many Muslims. Richard Clarke, the former top U.S. national security official, told the Senate in 2003 that the Muslim Brotherhood is the common thread linking terrorist fundraising schemes in the United States – which likely explains why so many mainstream American Muslim organizations were named by the feds as "unindicted co-conspirators" in the HLF trial.

We will never forget

This online slide show recalls the 9/11 attack and the aftermath: 
(7 MB)

Jonah Goldberg on 9/11: Six Years Later

But it's important to remember that from the outset, the media took it as their sworn duty to keep Americans from getting too riled up about 9/11. I wrote a column about it back in March of 2002. Back then the news networks especially saw it as imperative that we not let our outrage get out of hand. I can understand the sentiment, but it's worth noting that such sentiments vanished entirely during hurricane Katrina. After 9/11, the press withheld objectively accurate and factual images from the public, lest the rubes get too riled up. After Katrina, the press endlessly recycled inaccurate and exaggerated information in order to keep everyone upset. The difference speaks volumes. 


Suffice it to say, I think liberals are paying penance for the fact they mostly sided with conservatives on the Iraq war, or at least didn't do much to stop it. Now they feel like they must prove their progressive bona fides, and in other ways atone for the errors of their ways, particularly now that the left has the upper-hand politically. So they bow and scrape to the netroots, they're terrified of seeming like a "wanker" and they don't worry that irrational Bush hatred will ever count against them professionally. 


This might sound unfair, but if George Bush had been a better president, John Edwards would never have dreamed of calling the war on terror nothing but a bumper sticker. As it stands right now, if any Democratic candidate other than Joe Biden or maybe Hillary Clinton (!) gets elected we will bug out of Iraq so precipitously it will be indistinguishable from abject defeat in the eyes of the world. And under any of them, the war on terror will become a glorified Elliot Spitzer style legal campaign. That is not a sign that President Bush has adequately led the country or prepared it for the struggles ahead. 

Wednesday, September 05, 2007

Cool It: The Skeptical Environmentalist’s Guide to Global Warming

If The Skeptical Environmentalist gave eco-pessimists epileptic fits, Lomborg's new book could provoke outright seizures. Cool It: The Skeptical Environmentalist's Guide to Global Warming is Lomborg's take on the number one environmental issue of the day. Lomborg remains stubbornly optimistic about humanity's future as he argues we must "cool our conversation, rein in the exaggerations, and start focusing where we can do the most good." For Lomborg, this also means cooling the push for binding limits on greenhouse-gas emissions.

Lomborg readily accepts that human activity has increased atmospheric concentrations of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases, and that this, in turn, has contributed to global warming over the past several decades. Such claims are "beyond debate." "What is debatable," he explains, "is whether hysteria and headlong spending on extravagant CO
2-cutting programs at an unprecedented price is the only possible response." In Lomborg's view, the dominant climate-policy prescription — draconian emission controls — would likely do more harm than good, particularly in the near term, so other options must be considered. Lomborg explains that "policies addressing societal factors rather than climate policies will help much more and much faster. "Doing too little about climate change is definitely wrong," he counsels, wisely adding that "so is doing too much." 

Tuesday, September 04, 2007

Frederick W. Kagan on Bush in Iraq on National Review Online

President Bush's Labor Day visit to Iraq should have surprised no one who was paying attention. At such a critical point in the debate over Iraq policy, it was almost inconceivable that he would fly to and from Australia without stopping in Iraq. What was surprising was the precise location and nature of the visit. Instead of flying into Baghdad and surrounding himself with his generals and the Iraqi government, Bush flew to al Asad airfield, west of Ramadi, the capital of Anbar Province. He brought with him his secretaries of State and Defense, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and the commander of U.S. Central Command. He was met at al Asad by General David Petraeus and Ambassador Ryan Crocker, as well as Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri Kemal al Maliki, Iraqi President Jalal Talabani, and Vice Presidents Adel Abdul Mehdi and Tariq al Hashemi. In other words, Bush called together all of the leading political and military figures in his administration and the Iraqi government in the heart of Anbar Province. If ever there was a sign that we have turned a corner in the fight against both al Qaeda in Iraq and the Sunni insurgency, this was it.

Anbar, as everyone knows, has been one of the hotbeds and the most important base for both the Sunni rejectionist insurgency and al Qaeda in Iraq since 2003. It has been one of the most violent provinces in Iraq, and one of the most dangerous for American soldiers and Marines, until recently. Now it is one of the safest — safe enough for the war cabinet of the United States of America to meet there with the senior leadership of the government of Iraq to discuss strategy.

Monday, September 03, 2007

Can you buy a greener conscience?,0,3441587.story?coll=la-home-center

Beneath the feel-good simplicity of buying your way to carbon neutrality is a growing concern that the idea is more hype than solution.

According to Native Energy, money from "An Inconvenient Truth," along with payments from others trying to neutralize their emissions, went to the developers of a methane collector on a Pennsylvanian farm and three wind turbines in an Alaskan village.

As it turned out, both projects had already been designed and financed, and the contributions from Native Energy covered only a minor fraction of their costs. "If you really believe you're carbon neutral, you're kidding yourself," said Gregg Marland, a fossil-fuel pollution expert at Oak Ridge National Laboratory in Tennessee who has been watching the evolution of the new carbon markets. "You can't get out of it that easily."

The race to save the planet from global warming has spawned a budding industry of middlemen selling environmental salvation at bargain prices.

Sunday, September 02, 2007

The Man Behind The De Palma Smear: Mark Cuban Declares War On The Troops

Billionaire Mark Cuban has decided to put all of his weight behind a campaign to smear US troops in Iraq as "monsters'. Cuban has decided that De Palma's film "Redacted" must be seen as the cornerstone of his and De Palma's self-declared anti-victory campaign against America and her troops fighing in Iraq. Cuban's company Magnolia Pictures will be bringing this propganda campaign to a theater near you this winter. According to a source close to Cuban, the decision for Magnolia to develop, finance and distribute the film was personally made by Çuban. Cuban has a full producer credit on the film, and DePalma shot it on HiDef video at Cuban's request, in order for it to qualify as fodder for Cuban's hi-def cable channel. So far neither he or DePalma have explained how they can be "bringing the truth of the Iraq war to the American people", as Louie DePalma has said, when neither of them have ever been to Iraq, filmed any of "Redacted" in Iraq, or spent one minute with any soldier in Iraq. Clearly they are only bringing you their imagined propagandists' reality of Iraq. Both had the opportunity to go, both declined. They have chosen the coward's path in a quest for legitimacy as spokesmen for the Iraq war, and as such both have failed in that quest. Indeed, they are left standing as laughingstocks. Their reach has exceeded their grasp. Cuban is a jet-set, armchair "Iraq Truther" who made sure not to have his private jet stop anywhere near Iraq. But he and DePalma are more than anxious to bring you the "reality of the Iraq war".

Saturday, September 01, 2007

A way out for Larry Craig  (via


I realize that there are things missing in this analysis, and of course the biggest problem is that it does not involve actual sex, but the perception of sex. In that respect, Craig's "sex" is like the nonexistent sex of Mark Foley, whose crime was not sex, but sending suggestive emails. (Or Vitter, whose name was found in an address book.) . . .

What is it with these guys that they can't even run a proper sex scandal?

Who ever heard of sex scandals without sex?

At least when the Democrats have a sex scandal, it involves real, honest to goodness sex. Yeah, I know, Bill Clinton said the sex wasn't sex. But let's face it, it was. Had Bill tapped Monica's foot, the most he'd have been accused of was playing footsie, and there'd have been little to no outcry, much less an impeachment. And as Matthew Sheffield makes clear, the double standard is appalling; Democrats keep their jobs after drowning women in cars or keeping male brothels, while Republicans are hounded out of office for sex scandals without even the component of sex.

If I were the American people, I'd be totally sick of sexless Republican sex scandals by now.

The GOP needs to shape up.

My suspicion about Larry Craig is that he pleaded guilty because he was worried that a full investigation would lead to further revelations that would doom his political career as Republican.  He was probably used to high risk behavior (maybe that was part of the attraction) so it made sense to take the chance that the whole thing might blow over.  Although the particulars of this case sound pretty weak (toe tapping is not strictly a crime), numerous rumors about Craig suggest that he had plenty to hide.  I'm not too worried about an innocent man being destroyed by the media here.  But I do object to the way the Democrats are spinning this as an example of Republican hypocrisy -- as if only gay marriage supporters should be allowed to flirt with men in public toilets.  Personally, I'd prefer that no one had sex in public restrooms.  However, the hypocrisy charge does suggest a way out for Craig.  Come out of the closet and switch parties to join the Democrats.  I'm sure he'd be welcomed with open stalls.