Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Romney Discusses Obama's Foreign Policy Approach on CNN

Romney highlights some of the early foreign policy failures of the Obama administration. This is all common sense--but why is everyone giving Obama a pass on it?

Another Socialized Medicine Success Story

Do we really want socialized medicine? Really? You might want to get the opinion of Britain's Leslie Fletcher, who is being denied a drug – routinely given to others – to save her sight because she lives in the wrong area.

Economically, the cost of treating the bleeding under her eye is much less than the cost of putting her on disability – which is what will happen if she goes blind.

A National Health Service spokesman responded:
“Our Individual Case Panel makes decisions about whether to fund treatments for conditions which fall outside guidance issued by the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence and are therefore not routinely commissioned by the NHS.”
Behold the power of stupidity of socialized healthcare by committee. By all means, let's follow Britain's example.

Monday, April 20, 2009

Obama Asks for Budget Cuts - by 0.002%

President Obama is really showing some spending restraint here. He's calling on his cabinet members to cut $100,000,000 from a budget he has inflated to $3,550,000,000,000. That's less than two thousandths of a percentage point.

Farewell, kids' future.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

The Miserly Obama Administration

I wonder what the average annual charitable donation is for our illustrious congresspeople. If Obama and Biden are remotely representative, the amount is truly pitiful.

2008 charitable contributions (as percent of income):

Obama: 5.7%
Biden: 0.3%

It's no wonder these people have no faith in goodwill of humanity. They can't fathom how someone would be willing to give more than a few percentage points of their income to charity. Maybe that's why they only see a bigger government as the solution.

On the flip side, the previous administration:

Bush: 23%
Cheney: 70%

So the people who are going to raise our taxes through the roof are the same people who have more trouble parting with their own cash to help others. The contradiction is nauseating.

Wednesday, April 08, 2009

Dear Obama: Spend Yor Billions on Fusion Technology

One of the greatest debacles in energy and budgetary policy is the dumping of billions of dollars into unsustainable "green" alternative energy programs like wind and solar power. These technologies have far-reaching negative side effects that short-sighted politicians refuse to acknowledge.

I'm all for clean, abundant renewable energy. But instead of committing our children's future to programs that will create more problems than they will solve, let's invest in fusion energy.

It's the long-sought panacea of our energy woes--and it appears to be another step closer to reality. Behold the laser-induced fusion reaction.
The National Ignition Facility has already test-fired all 192 giant lasers at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory in California as part of this effort. The lasers will eventually focus their power on compressing and heating a single, pea-sized fuel capsule to more than 180 million degrees Fahrenheit in order to trigger thermonuclear fusion.

"One of the major activities of the NIF is to explore the basics of fusion energy, building a miniature sun on Earth that could supply limitless, safe and carbon-free energy," said Ed Moses, National Ignition Facility (NIF) program director.

Serious ignition testing scheduled for 2010 would focus 500 trillion watts of power on the pea-sized capsule containing deuterium and tritium fuel. NIF has already produced 25 times more energy than any other existing laser system, and also became the first fusion laser facility to break the megajoule barrier and create enough energy to power 10,000 100-watt light bulbs for a second.
Why isn't this technology receiving more attention? Is the green movement so afraid of real science that it's not including it in its memos to the mainstream media? If the Obama administration can consider hamstringing the economy through cap-and-trade schemes, surely they can discuss an alternative that makes the ubiquitous (albeit vacuous) carbon emission issue moot.

Tuesday, April 07, 2009

Kevin Gilbert and Prognostic Pop

In 1995 a tragically unknown talent named Kevin Gilbert put out an album filled with crisp, biting lyrics and unforgettable hooks. More tragically, he died shortly after at age 29.

His music could be described as "progressive pop." It's sweet and sardonic, dissonant and refined. But what makes it all stick: the message behind the notes.

I was reminded of a Gilbert song while reading one of the countless articles about who's to blame for the country's economic mess. Clearly, there's plenty of blame to go around. But the preponderance of it sits on the shoulders of one demographic--here mentioned by Gilbert 14 years ago:
Goodness Gracious of apathy I sing
The baby boomers had it all and wasted everything
Now recess is almost over
and they won't get off the swing
I couldn't agree more. I wonder if Gilbert would be gratified to know in 2009 that recess is, indeed, over.

Sunday, April 05, 2009

LDS General Conference on Twitter

Just for kicks, I decided to follow the Latter-day Saint (Mormon) General Conference on Twitter while watching it over the Internet, and even offer a few comments here and there. The tag everyone used for their tweets was #ldsconf.

Which turns out to be the number-one tag on Twitter during these times:

I don't know how many people use twitter--but it seems pretty significant to me that the most popular tag was that of the LDS General Conference. Of course, tomorrow it will fall back to Britney this and Obama that.

Saturday, April 04, 2009

Okay, Obama is Scaring Me

So all the banks have received all sorts of government cash in the form of TARP (Troubled Asset Relief Program) funds. Even for those banks who didn't really want the money, the administration basically threatened them into taking it. To what end?

Control. If a bank is sitting on millions or billions in government money, the government then has the power to dictate how that money is used.

But what if a bank wishes to give back its TARP allotment? With interest? Good idea, right?

Not to the Obama administration.

From an article in the Wall Street Journal:
Under the Bush team a prominent and profitable bank, under threat of a damaging public audit, was forced to accept less than $1 billion of TARP money. The government insisted on buying a new class of preferred stock which gave it a tiny, minority position. The money flowed to the bank. Arguably, back then, the Bush administration was acting for purely economic reasons. It wanted to recapitalize the banks to halt a financial panic.

Fast forward to today, and that same bank is begging to give the money back. The chairman offers to write a check, now, with interest. He's been sitting on the cash for months and has felt the dead hand of government threatening to run his business and dictate pay scales. He sees the writing on the wall and he wants out. But the Obama team says no. The bank has also been threatened with "adverse" consequences if its chairman persists. That's politics talking, not economics.
So now the government can assume nearly unlimited control over banks forced to hold onto government loans that those banks don't want. It's heavy-handed politics at its far.

Wednesday, April 01, 2009

Mitt Romney Was Right About Detroit

Back in November of last year, Mitt Romney advocated letting distressed automakers fall into a managed bankruptcy rather than be given "bridge loans" to keep them afloat. He was roundly criticized for not having enough faith in the American auto industry, nor enough sympathy for the plight of auto workers receiving free health care and guaranteed retirement perks.

He wrote in his op-ed in the New York Times:
Without that bailout, Detroit will need to drastically restructure itself. With it, the automakers will stay the course — the suicidal course of declining market shares, insurmountable labor and retiree burdens, technology atrophy, product inferiority and never-ending job losses. Detroit needs a turnaround, not a check.
Today, tens of billions in government-backed loans later, it looks like GM and Chrysler are bankruptcy-bound. If they had listened to Romney six months ago, the painful but necessary restructuring would be well underway, and light may even be shining at the end of the auto makers' tunnel.

Instead, we're in a deeper hole and the auto makers are only now realizing that their ship is too obsolete and outdated to float.

For reasons such as this I still haven't removed my Mitt '08 bumper sticker. I can endure the tackiness for another few weeks, I think.