Friday, January 21, 2011

Friday Morning Music

We have lift off... just: Massive 235ft rocket carrying a secret spy satellite replacement blasts off from California coast

It is the largest rocket ever launched from the U.S. West Coast.

The 235ft-tall Delta IV Heavy Launch Vehicle lifted off at 1.10pm local time yesterday with a classified U.S. government defence satellite on board.

Carrying cargo for the National Reconnaissance Office (NRO), the booster rose into the sky over California's central coast and arced over the Pacific Ocean, a spectacle visible from 50 miles away.

Daily Mail UK

We Should Take More Pride in Our Manufacturing Dominance; We Still Make LOTS of Stuff Here

Carpe Diem

Bin Laden demands France withdraw from Afghanistan


Osama bin Laden demanded that France withdraw its troops from Afghanistan in exchange for the release of French hostages being held by al-Qaida affiliates, according to an audio message broadcast on an Arabic news channel Friday.

"The exit of your hostages out of the hands of our brothers depends on the exit of your troops from Afghanistan," bin Laden said in the message broadcast by Al-Jazeera.

Seattle Times

Obama Names GE CEO Immelt As Economic Adviser

President Obama wants to cast some light on economic success stories in the shadows of a slow recovery. And he is looking to find some more.

On Friday, the president travels to Schenectady, N.Y., birthplace of the General Electric Co., to showcase a new GE deal with India and announce a restructured presidential advisory board to focus on increasing employment and competitiveness.


Report: Boston teachers got double-digit raises

Boston —

While many workers have seen no pay increases in the last several years, some Boston public school teachers have seen their salaries go up by 44 percent since 2006, according to a report released by The Boston Foundation Tuesday.

Wicked Local

PA: So, how did we get into this financial mess again? What was that? The evil 'Pubs?

Try again.

A 44% raise? Are you freaking kidding me? Our schools are pounding out morons, with around 50% of all incoming college Freshman requiring remedial English and Math, and these people demand - and get - raises like that?

THIS is how we have ended up bankrupt. One single generation of people with their hands stuck out, treating taxpayers as an endless source of easy money.

America must brace itself for turbulence

America is experiencing the hard slog of recovering from the financial crisis. Prospects have turned more positive over the past two months. But a year ago growth was picking up too – and then it stalled, at about the same time Greece’s fiscal problems infected the global economy. The question now is whether a home-grown fiscal crisis could derail this year’s rebound.

Financial Times

Path Is Sought for States to Escape Debt Burdens

Policy makers are working behind the scenes to come up with a way to let states declare bankruptcy and get out from under crushing debts, including the pensions they have promised to retired public workers.

Unlike cities, the states are barred from seeking protection in federal bankruptcy court.

New York Times

Alan Johnson resignation: Labour needs to rediscover the values and virtues of England

The party should not shrink from seeking to restore belief in a national identity, say Jon Cruddas and Jonathan Rutherford.

Last night Westminster was abuzz with news of Alan Johnson’s departure. Why has he gone? What does it mean for Labour? Will Ed Balls recalibrate Labour’s economic policy? But the gossip and the questions are not shared much beyond a small elite. They do not resonate in the daily lives of people. Despite the shuffling of the pack, there are deeper issues for Labour to address.

Telegraph UK

Everything starts with repeal

Suppose someone - say, the president of United States - proposed the following: We are drowning in debt. More than $14 trillion right now. I've got a great idea for deficit reduction. It will yield a savings of $230 billion over the next 10 years: We increase spending by $540 billion while we increase taxes by $770 billion.

Washington Post

Anyone accusing Chávez of "bad faith" will be prosecuted

In 2010, the Supreme Tribunal of Justice gave the Venezuelan president the green light to sue his accusers

Any Venezuelans who believe that President Hugo Chávez has committed a crime and resort to the Attorney General Office to seek prosecution of the Venezuelan president will go from complainant to defendant, as provided for in two judgments issued by the Supreme Tribunal of Justice (TSJ).

El Universal

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Thursday Evening Tunes

Giffords will be flown to Houston rehabilitation hospital Friday

Tucson, Arizona (CNN) -- Accompanied by a veterans' motorcycle escort, Arizona U.S. Rep Gabrielle Giffords will be taken Friday from a Tucson hospital to a nearby Air Force base for a flight to Texas and the beginning of her extended recovery, according to the congresswoman's office.


PA: Astounding. All of our best wishes and prayers that she fully recovers.

EU Spells Out Sanctions on Belarus

The European Parliament adopted a resolution on Thursday calling on the EU to impose severe sanctions on top Belarus officials, judges, and security officers involved in the crackdown against mass protests following presidential elections in late December.

Epoch Times

China: The First Mature Fascist State

For nearly ten years, I have been arguing that China may well be the first example of a mature fascism in power. The highest praise imaginable has been bestowed on this theory, by the People’s Republic itself. When I published an updated version of my theory (first published in the Wall Street Journal in 2002 and reprised in different form in NRO thereafter) in the Far East Economic Review in May, 2008, the entire issue was banned in China.

Pajamas Media

Dependence Day

If I am pessimistic about the future of liberty, it is because I am pessimistic about the strength of the English-speaking nations, which have, in profound ways, surrendered to forces at odds with their inheritance. “Declinism” is in the air, but some of us apocalyptic types are way beyond that. The United States is facing nothing so amiable and genteel as Continental-style “decline,” but something more like sliding off a cliff.

New Criterion

House Conservatives Offer Bold Proposal to Cut $2.5 Trillion in Federal Spending

House conservatives are holding firm on their promise to cut federal spending. Speaking this morning at Heritage, Rep. Jim Jordan (R-Ohio) outlined $2.5 trillion worth of cuts between now and 2021 — a bold proposal called the Spending Reduction Act (SRA).


Good news: Study confirms that college is pretty much a total waste of time

You don’t even need to read the article; just follow the link and check out the graph in the left-hand sidebar.

What’s tuition up to these days at private universities, parents? About $30-35,000?

Nearly half of the nation’s undergraduates show almost no gains in learning in their first two years of college, in large part because colleges don’t make academics a priority, a new report shows.

Hot Air

PA: "Colleges don’t make academics a priority?" Isn't that like your auto mechanic not making Cars his priority?

Tell-tale letdown: Poe visitor again a no-show

Telltale hearts beat with anticipation during a rainy, midnight dreary and beyond, hoping the mysterious visitor to Edgar Allan Poe's grave would return after a one-year absence.

But once again, the unknown person who for decades has left three roses and a half-empty bottle of cognac at Poe's grave on the anniversary of the writer's birth failed to appear Wednesday, fueling speculation that he may have died.


Hubris heading for a fall

It takes a worried man to sing a worried song, and in a recent speech that seemed like Larry Summers's swan song, the president's now-departed economic adviser warned that America is "at risk of a profound demoralization with respect to government."

Washington Post

Cost of 1,000 federal committees leaves taxpayers with skyrocketing bill

Got a problem? Form a committee.

For decades, this has been Washington's go-to response for tackling an array of policy challenges big and small, national and local. But that response has added up.


The Union Threat to the Democrats' Future

Unless the party confronts its allies in the public-employee unions, it will continue to lose credibility with voters around the country.

There is a crisis in state and municipal finance. That much is clear. What hasn't been fully understood is that the fate of the Democratic Party is bound up in the resolution of that crisis.

Wall Street Journal

Exclusive: Over a million immigrants land U.S. jobs in 2008-10

(Reuters) - Over the past two years, as U.S. unemployment remained near double-digit levels and the economy shed jobs in the wake of the financial crisis, over a million foreign-born arrivals to America found work, many illegally.

Those are among the findings of a review of U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics and Census Bureau data conducted exclusively for Reuters by researchers at the Center for Labor Market Studies at Northeastern University in Boston.


GOP Has Tools to Force Senate Vote on Repeal

While the health care repeal that the House passed Wednesday has little chance of passage in the Senate, Republicans will probably succeed in eventually forcing a vote on the measure -- albeit with at least a 60-vote threshold.

National Journal

‘Conversing’ About Afghanistan

I had not previously suspected that Grover Norquist has quite the sense of humor. I had thought of him as a dour ideologue, but he shows hidden strains of mirth in responding to my blog post expressing skepticism about his attempts to rally a “center-right” coalition against the Afghan war. The Daily Caller quotes him as follows:


States of Insolvency

Paced by California and Illinois, state governments across the country continue to mimic the unsustainable fiscal excesses of the federal government – creating crushing deficits and soaring unfunded liabilities. Moreover, any state attempting to plug these holes with tax hikes or other revenue enhancements could create an exodus of businesses and taxpayers – meaning fewer jobs, lost revenue streams and diminished political clout.

Town Hall

Czechs Demonstrate Against the Persecution of Christians

Some 3,000 signatures were collected in a week under an appeal to the Czech government to pay attention to the persecution of Christians and consider granting asylum to at least some of the worst affected Iraqis.

Gates of Vienna

Facilitating magical thinking

For different reasons, both M. Simon and Sarah have made me want to sound off about something that has long annoyed me.

Magical thinking. Seeing things that aren't. Making connections that are not there. In movies, the Michael Moore approach. (Bush swings golf club. Truckload of dead Iraqi babies. Voila! Connection made!)

Classical Values

When Democrats Were Cold Warriors

Today marks the 50th anniversary of John F. Kennedy's presidency, beginning with his historic inaugural address. Liberals remember the inaugural for the famous phrase, "Ask not what your country can do for you; ask what you can do for your country." To the progressive mind, it's a call for government service, an exhortation to give back to the federal government what the federal government, in its benevolence, has given you.

American Spectator

Democratic Congressman’s comparison of Republicans with Nazis is met with deafening silence from President Obama and America's liberal elites

In what has to be a leading candidate for the most inflammatory, ignorant and downright offensive political statement of the year, Congressman Steve Cohen (D-TN) compared Republican opposition to President Obama’s health care reforms to the tactics of Adolf Hitler’s henchman Joseph Goebbels and the genocidal regime in Nazi Germany.

Telegraph UK

House GOP conservatives set to unveil $2.5 trillion in deep spending cuts

A number of the House GOP’s leading conservative members on Thursday will announce legislation that would cut $2.5 trillion over 10 years, which will be by far the most ambitious and far-reaching proposal by the new majority to cut federal government spending.

Daily Caller

Who is Suhail Khan?

Suhail Khan, a Bush administration veteran, has presented himself as a moderate, pro-American voice in the Muslim Community. But new videos cast serious doubt on that image he’s carefully groomed for himself in Washington.


Liberals hate free speech unless it's theirs

Ever since a violent, evil lunatic decided to shoot innocent people in a public place in Tucson, Ariz., hand-wringing liberals have been vilifying everyone but the violent, evil lunatic himself. They have tried to blame Sarah Palin, Rush Limbaugh, Glenn Beck, the tea party and the NRA. I'm sure some of them are even trying to figure out how to pin it on George W. Bush.

Tampa Bay Online

House Votes for Repeal of Health Law in Symbolic Act

WASHINGTON — The House voted Wednesday to repeal the Democrats’ landmark health care overhaul, marking what the new Republican majority in the chamber hailed as the fulfillment of a campaign promise and the start of an all-out effort to dismantle President Obama’s signature domestic policy achievement.

New York Times

The Robots Are Taking Our Jobs

Free traders like to point out that technology likely destroys far more American jobs than globalization, and yet globalization skeptics do not complain when this happens. Furthermore, we like to add, why should individuals whose jobs are offshored be entitled to a better safety net than individuals whose jobs are made redundant by technology?

Modeled Behavior