Thursday, June 23, 2011

General Motors Bailout: Pensions Cut for Non-Union Workers

The Daily Caller reports:

> New emails obtained by The Daily Caller contradict claims by the Obama administration that the Treasury Department would avoid “intervening in the day-to-day management” of General Motors post-auto bailout.
>> These messages reveal that Treasury officials were involved in decision-making that led to more than 20,000 non-union workers losing their pensions.
>> Republican Reps. Dan Burton and Mike Turner say that during the GM bailout, Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner decided to cut pensions for salaried non-union employees at Delphi, a GM spinoff, to expedite GM’s emergence from bankruptcy.

Posted via email from The Blue Pelican

Monday, June 20, 2011

Health and Human Services deadline to disarm mini-med waivers?

It sounds like the Obama administration was embarrassed by the need for Obamacare supporters to get waivers from the law they wanted to impose on the rest of the country. If you voted for Obama and want a waiver, you'd better hurry up and apply before September. After that, we'll be in the final run of a presidential campaign, and it would be too distracting for voters to hear about the latest Obamacare waivers.

> HHS has come under intense scrutiny by Republican lawmakers and other critics of the year-old reform law for granting the waivers. Critics have called it a form of cronyism, and hinted that HHS played favorites with the waivers by awarding them to businesses and labor unions who supported the new law.
In the comments a reader provides a link to the current waiver list:

Posted via email from The Blue Pelican

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Bjorn Lomborg Explains How to Save the Planet

Read the whole thing.  Here are a couple of quotes:

Although Westerners were once reliant on whale oil for lighting, we never actually ran out of whales. Why? High demand and rising prices for whale oil spurred a search for and investment in the 19th-century version of alternative energy. First, kerosene from petroleum replaced whale oil. We didn’t run out of kerosene, either: electricity supplanted it because it was a superior way to light our planet.
For generations, we have consistently underestimated our capacity for innovation. There was a time when we worried that all of London would be covered with horse manure because of the increasing use of horse-drawn carriages. Thanks to the invention of the car, London has 7 million inhabitants today. Dung disaster averted.
In fact, would-be catastrophes have regularly been pushed aside throughout human history, and so often because of innovation and technological development. We never just continue to do the same old thing. We innovate and avoid the anticipated problems.

We know from experience that more prosperous countries are more able to respond to the challenges that climate change will pose. They are much more resilient to natural disasters while more able to invest in measures such as greener cities and flood protection. Yet instead of first making sure that everybody is better off and more resilient, our response to global warming has been to try to cut back carbon emissions too soon. In reality, this means reining in growth and making do with less than we could have otherwise.
But this approach flies in the face of history. The way we have made progress against disease, malnutrition, and environmental degradation in the past is by growing, by discovering, and by innovating. Naturally, it is a hard sell to tell the hundreds of millions of people lifted out of poverty in China and elsewhere that they ought to stop burning coal, roll back their prosperity, and go back to a life of poverty.

Posted via email from The Blue Pelican

Monday, June 13, 2011

Sarah Palin's letter from God

Among some 13,000 messages was an unexpected, revealing and touching email from Palin to friends and family.

It was initially written, obviously not for publication, in April of 2008 just a few days before....

...the arrival of her fifth child, Trig, who was born with Down syndrome. In her email Palin imagines a letter from God to the family about to launch on its challenging child-rearing experience together.

Follow the link for the text of Palin's letter.  It's very touching.

Posted via email from The Blue Pelican

Where’s the warming? « Hot Air

Carbon emissions over the past decade actually exceeded predictions by the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), no thanks to the global economic recession.  According to their anthropogenic global-warming theories, global temperatures should have risen significantly as a result.
Be sure to check out the links, which show charts over varying time sets, but which all show basically the same thing: no real change over longer periods of time. Not in the Arctic, which Taylor notes was supposed to be the canary in the coal mine, nor in the northern hemisphere, or the globe overall.  That’s even true for just the last decade, but it’s especially true over the period of several decades.  Periods of high amplitudes in warming are matched with low amplitudes.

Posted via email from The Blue Pelican

The Higher-Ed Dilemma - By Matthew Shaffer

To use one economic jargon just once more: If this view is correct, our higher-education system is a big prisoner’s dilemma. Every individual person — the high-school senior and the human-resources manager — has a rational incentive to pursue a BA, but the system as a whole is massively wasteful. There should be a way to prove high intelligence and cultivate diligence and refine social graces that doesn’t cost tens (or hundreds) of thousands of dollars and four to six years, and saddle would-be entrepreneurs with debt (and, dare I add, afflict young people with the grievances and resentments of the academic Left).

This is a roundabout way of saying that higher education as it exists today can simultaneously be a good bet for each student and a bad and outdated model for society as a whole.

Posted via email from The Blue Pelican

Friday, June 10, 2011

Simply Madness - Jonah Goldberg

> The idea behind the steady-state economy should be familiar to anyone who’s heard the lament that capitalism is bad for the environment because it rapaciously consumes resources faster than they can be replaced.
>> It’s an ancient idea, really, a kind of millenarian paranoia that keeps getting gussied up to fit the latest headlines. My favorite example is the 1968 book The Population Bomb by Paul R. Ehrlich. “The battle to feed all of humanity is over,” prophesized Ehrlich. “In the 1970s hundreds of millions of people will starve to death in spite of any crash programs embarked upon now.”
>> It was a “certainty” that even in America, famine would claim millions. Ehrlich desperately claims that his predictions were mostly right and that hundreds of millions of people did indeed die of hunger over the ensuing decades. That’s not exactly true. Global population has doubled, and the amount of food available for humanity has grown as well.
>> But, yes, people have died of hunger since 1968. Why? It wasn’t because markets failed or resources ran out. It was because government planners failed. That’s why countries such as India and China have introduced markets: Their central planning was killing their own people.

Posted via email from The Blue Pelican

Gates rebukes European allies in farewell speech

> In an unusually stinging speech, made on his valedictory visit to Europe before he retires at the end of the month, Gates condemned European defense cuts and said the United States is tired of engaging in combat missions for those who “don’t want to share the risks and the costs.”
>> “The blunt reality is that there will be dwindling appetite and patience in the U.S. Congress, and in the American body politic writ large, to expend increasingly precious funds on behalf of nations that are apparently unwilling to devote the necessary resources . . . to be serious and capable partners in their own defense,” he said in an address to a think tank in Brussels.

I'm starting to think that it's time to let the Europeans take care of the Fulda Gap on their own.

Posted via email from The Blue Pelican

Germany says sprouts are cause of E. coli outbreak

> They've been blamed before, but this time, Germany's investigators feel quite certain that contaminated vegetable sprouts from a local farm caused Europe's current E. coli outbreak, the deadliest ever recorded.
>> "It is the sprouts," asserted Reinhard Burger, the head of the Robert Koch Institute, which is Germany's national disease control centre.
>> Burger said the outbreak, which has killed 29 and sickened nearly 3,000 -- including at least one Canadian -- is believed to have started on a small organic vegetable farm in Lower Saxony that first came under suspicion last weekend.

> Freshfel Europe, an agriculture industry group, published figures showing that sales of salad vegetables had stopped or plummeted across Europe after Germany wrongly blamed Spanish cucumbers for the deadly poisoning.
>> Cucumber sales either collapsed altogether or fell 80 per cent last week while trade in tomatoes dropped by 80 per cent and purchases of lettuce halved.
> During angry exchanges in the European Parliament, Francisco Sosa Wagner, a Spanish MEP, brandished a cucumber at Mr Dalli and demanded that the EU restore consumer confidence in salad vegetables.
>> “We need to restore the honour of the cucumber,” he said.

Posted via email from The Blue Pelican

Fanniegate: Reckless Endangerment

Rush Limbaugh mentioned this book on yesterday's broadcast.  Here's the review:

Reckless Endangerment: How Outsized Ambition, Greed, and Corruption Led to Economic Armageddon. By Gretchen Morgenson, one of America’s best business journalists who is currently at The New York Times, and noted financial analyst Joshua Rosner, Reckless Endangerment gives the best available account of how the growing chaos in the mortgage and personal finance markets and the rampant bundling of dubious loans into exotically toxic securities plunged the world, and millions of American families, into the gravest financial crisis since World War Two. It is gripping reading as well, and its explanations are clear enough that readers without any background in finance will have no trouble following the plot.  The villains?  An unholy alliance between Wall Street, the Democratic establishment, community organizing groups like ACORN and La Raza, and politicians like Barney Frank, Nancy Pelosi and Henry Cisneros.  (Frank got a cushy job for a lover, Pelosi got a job and layoff protection for a son, Cisneros apparently got a license to mint money bilking Mexican-Americans of their life savings in cheesy housing developments.)

Read the whole thing.

Posted via email from The Blue Pelican

Thursday, June 09, 2011

Free market, not government policies, drives energy boom | Michael Barone | Politics | Washington Examiner

There is a lesson here for public policy generally, including health care. No centralized government expert predicted the vast expansion in energy supply from hydraulic fracking. It was produced by decentralized specialists in firms subject to market competition.

Just as Friedrich Hayek taught, no central planner can know or foresee enough to produce the beneficial results regularly produced by competition in free markets regulated in accordance with the rule of law. And no central planner can accurately predict the course of innovation that can be achieved in decentralized markets. That's something you might want to keep in mind when someone tells you that Medicare costs can be controlled by 15 members of an unelected board created by Obamacare. Better results and lower costs can be expected with the kind of market competition set up by the 2003 Medicare prescription drug law.

Posted via email from The Blue Pelican

Anthony Weiner’s Ex, Kirsten Powers: He Lied to Me

This has not been my previous position during the scandal, but as I have recovered from the shock of seeing an old friend’s life unravel and have had time to get my mind around the extensive and sociopathic lying in which he engaged, there seems to be no other choice than for him to step aside and stop hurting his family, friends, and the Democratic Party. As more information trickles out about his online behavior with women, it has also become clear that he does not have the character to be in a position of leadership because of his misogynist view of women and predatory behavior.

Posted via email from The Blue Pelican

Wednesday, June 08, 2011

Breitbart Vindicated Again

Follow the link for video of Breitbart talking to the press.

In New York pimping his new book, Andrew Breitbart showed up at the presser and was immediately mobbed by reporters asking about today's exclusive pictures of Weiner on Big Journalism and Big Government which seems to have pushed Weiner into admitting the truth.

Watching Breitbart take Anthony Weiner's Stage and speak into the microphone Weiner rented not only showed how far Breitbart has come, but how far citizen journalism had come.

After ten days of being vilified by left wing media reporters, those same reporters were tripping all over their underwear trying to ask him questions about the story they had doubted until today.  Not only that, but at the behest of the same reporters who trashed him personally and his stories, Breitbart stood where Weiner was about to stand and demanded an apology from the slanderers in the press,  and from Congressman Weiner himself.

Posted via email from The Blue Pelican

Saturday, June 04, 2011

Feds say Edwards hid mistress to aid campaign

Prosecutors said $725,000 from Mellon and $200,000 from Baron was used to pay for Hunter's living and medical expenses and for chartered airfare, luxury hotels and rental of a house in Santa Barbara, Calif., to keep her hidden from the public.

Former campaign staffer Andrew Young, who initially claimed to be the father of Hunter's child to protect his boss, has said that Edwards was aware of the financial support and agreed to solicit money directly from Mellon.

Mellon sent her money through her decorator, sometimes hidden in boxes of chocolates. On the memo lines of her checks, she listed items of furniture such as "chairs," ''antique Charleston table" and "book case" to hide the true purpose, according to the indictment.

Posted via email from The Blue Pelican

Friday, June 03, 2011

iowahawk: Farewell, My Weiner

Iowahawk exposes the conspiracy...

"It seems I am the subject of some sort of elaborate extortion ring," he explained, sliding a manila envelope across the desk. Inside was a 8x10 glossy of a grey pair of drawers, apparently packing a snubnosed Derringer.

Posted via email from The Blue Pelican

Wednesday, June 01, 2011

Rep. Anthony Weiner linked to numerous beauties on Twitter following lewd photo scandal

But reporters persisted, asking Weiner if he followed the co-ed on Twitter and whether he had other "young women followers" -- with one barking: "Answer the question!"

Instead, the famously temperamental Weiner looked annoyed, rolled his shoulders and argued -- but never said whether or not he sent the picture.

Follow the link for video of Weiner evading the hard questions.

Posted via email from The Blue Pelican