Wednesday, October 31, 2007

President Clinton - This Time With Pants

Nurse Ratched made a strong case for why she shouldn't be president last night in the Democratic debate. She got caught in a bind on questions about New York Governor Spitzer’s plan to give illegal immigrants driver’s licenses. She said the plan “makes a lot of sense,” but then weaseled out of saying whether or not she supported it. Instead, she got angry and blamed President Bush for the failure of immigration legislation and said “what’s (Spitzer) supposed to do?” Here’s why she doesn’t know what to do: giving illegals driver’s licenses will lead to massive voter fraud that will favor Democrats (there’s no way to stop someone with a driver’s license from voting), so she supports it, as she said earlier. However, recent polling suggests 72% of New Yorkers are against it for the obvious reasons. Democrat messaging that those against amnesty are racists is not working out nationwide either. Should she win the nomination, add illegal immigration to the long list of huge problems for her campaign.

In response to challenges that she was too cozy with big business, Hillary said she had specific plans "to take $10 billion away from a lot of these industries." Is this in addition to her promises to take away the oil companies' profits?

The Shrillary camp is furious with Tim Russert for asking Hillary, since she's running on her experience, why Bill Clinton is preventing all of the records of the advice she gave to him as first lady from being shared with the public. Hillary weaseled out of this, claiming it's just that the National Archives are slow to release them. This is a lie. Bill Clinton can release them anytime he wants. For reasons we can only speculate about, none of the other candidates opted to ask what they are hiding.

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

The Income Gap

Billionaire Warren Buffet is saying that he wants to be taxed more, saying that our current income tax rates are not progressive enough: "The taxation system has tilted towards the rich and away from the middle class in the last 10 years. It's dramatic; I don't think it's appreciated and I think it should be addressed." Buffet makes most of his money investing. Capital gains are taxed at a lower rate than the top income brackets. Low taxes encourage investment and economic growth, high taxes hurt investment and economic growth (and abortion groups that depend on Buffet's handouts). I am mystified at how the tax system is "tilted" toward the rich. The fact is that the richest 1% pay 37% of all income taxes! The bottom 50% only pay 3.3%! I think our tax system punishes achievement quite enough. But wouldn't taxing the rich more close the "income gap?" The media has recently sounded the alarm that the income gap is growing. A growing income gap is a good thing. That means the economy is growing. Everyone benefits from that, only the rich benefit more, because they have more money invested in the growing economy. If we punish them with higher taxes, they will be less likely to take risks with their money. Think of a small business owner with a new product he's excited about. Should he take out a second mortgage on his house in order to afford more employees? Higher taxes means a smaller potential payoff should he succeed, making him less likely to take on the risk. The income gap talk is nothing more than stirring up class envy.

Monday, October 22, 2007

Hillarycare? Maybe We Should Ask the British First

Socialized medicine seems to be working wonders in the UK. (ht Moonbattery) reports that a man recently pulled out seven of his own teeth with a pliers because he got sick of being on a six week waiting list for emergency dentistry. Maybe Michael Moore should do a sequel.

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Behind the Scenes at the Drudge Report

The Drudge Report is an addiction for me. I probably check it at least 10 times a day. The site links to various news around the web, often things overlooked by the mainstream media (like when it broke the Lewinsky story and this picture of John Kerry). The Drudge Report gets 3 million unique visitors a month, giving Matt Drudge great influence on the public and what stories the media covers. The New York Times has an article about politicians efforts to get favorable coverage that I think is interesting. The NYT reports that Hillary is stepping up her efforts by giving hot tips and that Romney has been the most successful of the GOP front runners at getting on Drudge's good side.

Saturday, October 20, 2007

Bright Eyes - Chicago Theater

Sarah and I saw one of my favorite bands (and one of the few Sarah and I both like) at the beautiful Chicago Theater last night. Bright Eyes sounded great, they played a good mix of old songs and stuff off Cassadaga. Unfortunately, Mike, their usual guitarist/violinist couldn't be there. I saw them kick off their current tour at the Metro in February and the violin sounded really great on songs like "Four Winds" (click here to see the music video). Cassadaga is really growing on me lately, but I still like I'm Wide Awake It's Morning the best. Andrew Bird opened and he was amazing. In his solo act, he builds each song by adding layer after layer with his violin, and while they are played back, plays guitar and sings.

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Safer than Saddam's Iraq

The American Thinker notes the rapidly declining deaths in Iraq since the "surge." The French wire service AFP put the September death toll for civilians killed at 840, down 50% from August, a figure you probably haven't heard if you rely on the mainstream media. AT notes that during Saddam's 23 year rule, he killed at least 300,000 civilians and political prisoners, or 1,086 a month. In September it was safer to be a civilian in Iraq than under Saddam. And that does not include the 500,000 Iraqis who died in wars he started, the soldiers killed by his army in wars he started, or the people killed by the terrorists he financed.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Court Rules Gore Is a Liar

The British government has been trying to force all school children to see Al Gore's "An Inconvenient Truth." However, they were sued by a truck driver claiming the government was guilty of political indoctrination. The judge ruled that the movie could be shown, but teachers must explain that it is a political work showing only one side of the argument and must acknowledge eleven falsehoods in the movie. Here's the 11, as listed in

  • The film claims that melting snows on Mount Kilimanjaro evidence global warming. The Government's expert was forced to concede that this is not correct.
  • The film suggests that evidence from ice cores proves that rising CO2 causes temperature increases over 650,000 years. The Court found that the film was misleading: over that period the rises in CO2 lagged behind the temperature rises by 800-2000 years.
  • The film uses emotive images of Hurricane Katrina and suggests that this has been caused by global warming. The Government's expert had to accept that it was "not possible" to attribute one-off events to global warming.
  • The film shows the drying up of Lake Chad and claims that this was caused by global warming. The Government's expert had to accept that this was not the case.
  • The film claims that a study showed that polar bears had drowned due to disappearing arctic ice. It turned out that Mr Gore had misread the study: in fact four polar bears drowned and this was because of a particularly violent storm.
  • The film threatens that global warming could stop the Gulf Stream throwing Europe into an ice age: the Claimant's evidence was that this was a scientific impossibility.
  • The film blames global warming for species losses including coral reef bleaching. The Government could not find any evidence to support this claim.
  • The film suggests that the Greenland ice covering could melt causing sea levels to rise dangerously. The evidence is that Greenland will not melt for millennia.
  • The film suggests that the Antarctic ice covering is melting, the evidence was that it is in fact increasing.
  • The film suggests that sea levels could rise by 7m causing the displacement of millions of people. In fact the evidence is that sea levels are expected to rise by about 40cm over the next hundred years and that there is no such threat of massive migration.
  • The film claims that rising sea levels has caused the evacuation of certain Pacific islands to New Zealand. The Government are unable to substantiate this and the Court observed that this appears to be a false claim.

Cyanide and Happiness

This has happened to me so many times...

This is from a comic strip called Cyanide and Happiness.

Friday, October 05, 2007

Freakonomics and Sports Betting

I don't bet on sports, but I found this story about how Vegas sets point spreads interesting. The authors of Freakonomics (check out their blog) show that bookies do not just try to get half the bets for the favorite and half for the underdog, as you might expect. Losers have to pay 10% on top of their wager, so that would net the bookie 5% of the total wagers. However, the bookie knows that people tend to like the favorite a little more than they should and are biased toward certain teams (recently the Bears and the Bengals have been favored by more fans over equally good teams like Seattle and Carolina) and sets the spread accordingly, tempting them into bad bets. I also learned that if you bet home underdogs in the NFL you will, on average, beat the bookies. Anyway, check out the article if you like the Freakonomics stuff.

Tuesday, October 02, 2007

Romney Newsweek Cover

Mitt Romney (my favorite for the Republican nominee in '08) is on the cover of the most current Newsweeek. The article examines Romney's upbringing and shows his struggle to portray himself as the turn around artist of the 2002 Winter Olympics and not as the Mormon candidate. The authors paint a picture of a hard working, disciplined, analytical, and bright person. Romney is shown to be very principled, but at the same time cognizant that he must connect with voters on shared values to overcome the liability of his religion. Not an easy thing to do, but I think as the average Republican voter gets to know him (as they have in New Hampshire and Iowa), he will gain ground on Rudy and Thompson. I'd like to see him run with Mike Huckabee as VP. Huckabee would help shore up the southern and evangelical vote.

Monday, October 01, 2007

Meeting Crashers

I really enjoyed this YouTube video. I love how the people go back in to the Port-o-Potty.