Tag Archives: bankruptcy

New York dumps literacy tests for teachers

The coming dark age: In the name of political correctness and ethnic diversity, New York has decided to eliminate literacy tests for its teachers.

It seems that about one third fewer black and hispanic applicants passed the test.

“We want high standards, without a doubt. Not every given test is going to get us there,” Pace University professor Leslie Soodak told the AP. Soodak was a member of the task force that advocated abandoning literacy tests for teachers.

“Having a white workforce really doesn’t match our student body anymore,” Soodak added. [emphasis mine]

Having an uneducated workforce that can’t read, that’s okay however.

Congress micromanages rocket development at ULA

Corrupt Congress: Even though ULA favors Blue Origin’s BE-4 engine for its Vulcan rocket, various elected officials in Alabama are pushing the company to use Aeroject Rocketdyne’s AR-4 engine instead.

At the end of February, two US representatives, Mike Rogers of Alabama [Republican] and Mac Thornberry of Texas [Republican], decided to push a little harder. On February 28, they sent a letter to Lisa Disbrow, the acting secretary of the US Air Force, and James MacStravic, who is performing the duties of the undersecretary of defense for acquisition, technology, and logistics. In addition to reiterating a desire that ULA continue to fly a second rocket, the Delta IV Heavy, the letter urges the Pentagon officials to be skeptical about the BE-4 engine.

“The United States Government (USG) must have a hands-on, decision-making role… in any decision made by United Launch Alliance to down-select engines on its proposed Vulcan space launch system, especially where one of the technologies is unproven at the required size and power,” the letter states. “If ULA plans on requesting hundreds of millions of dollars from the USG for development of its launch vehicle and associated infrastructure, then it is not only appropriate but required that the USG have a significant role in the decision-making concerning the vehicle.” The letter then goes on to say the Air Force should not give any additional funding to ULA, other than for current launch vehicles, until the company provides “full access, oversight of, and approval rights over decision-making” in its choice of contractors for the engines on Vulcan.

The article also mentions porkmaster Senator Richard Shelby (R-Alabama), who also favors Aerojet Rocketdyne because they say they will build it in Alabama. Note also that these elected officials are not only trying to pick the winner in the private competition between these two rocket engines, they also want to force ULA to keep using the Delta rocket, even though it is very expensive and not competitive with the newer rockets being developed by other companies. And their only reason for doing so is because they provide jobs for their districts.

This one story illustrates perfectly the corruption that permeates both parties in Congress. While it is more likely that Democrats will play this pork game, there are plenty of corrupt Republicans who play it as well. These petty dictators all think they have the right to interfere in the private efforts of Americans, whether it involves building a new rocket or buying health insurance. And all we get from this is a poorer nation and a bankrupt federal government.

Republican leaders propose Obamacare revisions

Cowards: The House Republican leadership today put forth a series of proposals for revisingnot repealing — Obamacare.

A packet distributed to lawmakers at the meeting and obtained by The Hill says the GOP bill will include tax credits, an expansion of health savings accounts, money for high risk pools to care for the sick and a major restructuring of Medicaid to cap federal payments.

No dollar figures for any of the Republican proposals have been presented yet. Lawmakers said that is because the Congressional Budget Office is still analyzing the plan.

Nowhere do these proposals deal with repealing Obamacare’s ban on low-cost catastrophic health insurance plans. In fact, these proposal do little to repeal any of Obamacare’s worst regulations, which make the entire concept of health insurance unsustainable. Instead, these proposals nibble at the edges of the law, and will only serve to make things worse. For example, the proposals will repeal all the taxes that pay for Obamacare’s costs, will eliminate the mandates that force people to buy insurance, but will do nothing to relieve insurance companies from the law’s requirements, such as forcing them to accept every applicant, no matter how sick. Such a crazy arrangement will guarantee that no one will buy health insurance until they need it, making it entirely unprofitable.

The whole mess is simply too complicated. The time has come to do what Alexander the Great did: rather than try to untie the Gordian knot, he simply took a sword and cut it. Congress should do the same to Obamacare. Only then will the health insurance industry have a chance of recovery.

Two congressmen propose naming SLS for astronaut Gene Cernan

Two congressman yesterday introduced legislation that would rename SLS after Eugene Cernan, the last Apollo astronaut to walk on the Moon.

I don’t think anyone would argue with this. First, SLS is a terrible name for the rocket. Second, Cernan deserves the recognition.

At the same time, I suspect this is happening as part of an overall push within the Washington community to sell SLS to Trump and his administration. This proposal, as well as the recent news stories proposing SLS/Orion Moon missions and putting astronauts on SLS’s first flight, all point to a lobbying effort inside NASA, Congress, and the big space community to save SLS, which when compared to the successes and achievements of commercial space since 2010 appears an abject failure.

That comparison is at the heart of my policy paper, Capitalism in Space, which will hit the newstands next week. It makes it very clear how much a failure SLS/Orion has been, and how embarrassing that failure stands when compared to commercial space.

India preparing rover for 2018 Moon landing

The competition heats up: India preparing rover for 2018 Moon landing.

Isro’s Satellite Applications Centre Director, M. Annadurai, revealed the tentative launch schedule while speaking to the press at the Satish Dhawan Space Centre, Shar, Sriharikota on Wednesday. He said a Lander and a six-wheeled Rover were being prepped to go with the Chandrayaan-II mission. The chief scientist added that a launch is likely to take place in the first quarter of 2018. According to Dr P.V. Venkita Krishnan, the director of the Isro Propulsion Complex at Mahendragiri, engineers were currently testing soft-landing engines.

India’s launch of a record 104 satellites on a single rocket has pumped up the Indian press, as there were almost 20 stories on space and that launch in their press today, almost all favorable.

This article however is from the U.S., and takes a look at the ineffective American space policy that supposedly forbids American companies from launching on Indian rockets.

The U.S. Commercial Space Launch Agreement of 2005 prohibits the launch of commercial satellites on the Indian vehicle. The reasoning is that struggling U.S. commercial launch providers needed time to establish themselves in the market and would be wiped out by India’s PSLV, which is developed by the Indian Space Organization.

Since 2015, commercial satellite owners have successfully obtained waivers to the policy.

The article notes India’s competitive prices, as well as the overall state of the smallsat industry and its dependence on bigger rockets as secondary payloads to get into space. India’s rockets, funded and subsidized by the government but also built to be inexpensive so as to attract customers, is clearly positioned to effectively compete with SpaceX, who until now charged the least.

What will our Congress do? My preference would be for them to repeal this part of the 2005 law so that American satellite companies can fly on whoever they wish. That would increase competition but it would also likely invigorate the overall launch industry because it would increase the satellite customer base for those rockets and thus create more business for everyone.

Sadly, I suspect that Congress will instead demand that the waivers to the law cease, and will thus block the use if Indian satellites by American companies. The short-sightedness of our politicians never ceases to surprise me.

Freedom Caucus to push for swift Obamacare repeal

In a direct clash with the Republican leadership that increasingly wants to slow down a repeal of Obamacare, the conservative House tea party group dubbed the Freedom Caucus announced today that they will push for an immediate repeal of the law.

The House Republican leadership is made up of a bunch of cowards. They fear the polls. They fear the press. They fear the astroturf demonstrations paid for by the left. They fear everything. And they believe in nothing, because if they did believe in freedom and restricting the power of government they would move quickly to repeal Obamacare and let the chips of freedom fall where they may.

The ships of Hanjin six months after it went bankrupt

Real news: Six months ago the shipping company Hanjin went bankrupt, stranding its 96 container ships worldwide. This article takes a detailed look not only on what happened to those ships since, but also at the state of the entire shipping industry.

There was a time when Hanjin’s collapse in August and this follow-up story would have been major news stories, covered by all the leading mainstream press outlets. No more. Even though it indicates significant financial and economic trends that should concern anyone who is serious about being an educated citizen, the press doesn’t cover it, and the public today really doesn’t care.

Just another indicator that a new dark age is looming.

Head of ethics office Obama supporter

Surprise, surprise! The head of the Government Ethics Office that the Republicans tried to defang two weeks ago donated money to Obama.

It appears by his actions since the Republicans were forced to back off that their concerns were completely justified. He has since tried to help the Democrats by pushing to have hearings for Trump’s nominees slowed. In addition, he has been harshly attacking Trump’s plans to separate himself from his businesses, in great contrast to his strong support of Clinton when ethics questions were raised about her paid speeches to foreign governments.

There is more at the link. It is quite clear that the Republicans in the House knew this guy was a Democratic plant, and wanted to get him out. They just handled it badly, and are still stuck with him. Fortunately, it appears that they are not only mostly ignoring him, his documented biases are now working against him. Expect them to act to shut this ethics office down not too far into the future.

Republicans moving to restore earmarks

Idiots: Senate Republicans are pushing for a secret vote tomorrow that will propose restoring earmarks.

Senate Republicans are poised to restore earmarks unless opponents muster the votes to stop them in a secret ballot Tuesday. House Speaker Paul D. Ryan, Wisconsin Republican, is under severe pressure from his members and has agreed to study the issue. “Very tone-deaf,” Mr. Coburn told The Washington Times. “I’d love to know who the smart guys are in the Republican conference who want to do this.”

Earmarks increase spending. Right now we have a spending problem in the federal government, which is also the hammer that government uses to wield its out-of-control power over the citizenry. Doing anything that increases that spending thus increases that power and is entirely counter to the overall sense of the electorate that voted in November.

Coburn is right. This is very tone-deaf, and incredibly stupid.

GOP schedules six confirmation hearings for one day

The Senate Republican leadership has scheduled six cabinet appointee hearings all for one day, next Wednesday, despite Democratic demands that they not do this.

Interestingly, the Democrats did exactly the same thing in 2009, when they controlled Congress. And they did it for probably the same reason the Republicans are doing it now, to hamper the opposition’s ability to obstruct the appointment process. The Democrats are of course going to squeal about this. If the Republicans do not back down, it will be a sign that they might be growing a spine and will stand up to them.

Obamacare: The Republican strategy of partial repeal vs full repeal

This National Review editorial today describes very succinctly the strategy being used by the Republican leadership in its effort to repeal Obamacare.

Senate Republicans want to pass a bill that repeals the taxes and spending in Obamacare, but not its regulations. That’s because they think that they can use a legislative process to avoid Democratic filibusters only if they leave the regulations alone. They think that this partial repeal of Obamacare will set the stage for later legislation that repeals the rest of the law and creates a replacement.

The heart of the problem for a full Obamacare repeal is that in the Senate you can pass budgetary items with only 51 votes while regulatory changes require 60. The Democrats plan to filibuster any regulatory changes, thus preventing their repeal.

The editorial opposes this strategy and instead calls for removing the federal government completely from health insurance regulation, the situation that existed prior to the passage of Obamacare. While I totally agree with this stance, I also recognize that the intransigence of the Democrats in the Senate makes it difficult. The only way it could work is if the Republicans could convince 8 Democratic senators to break away from their party and support full repeal. While a large number of Democratic senators are faced with difficult elections in 2018, I don’t think the Republicans could get 8 to agree.

We are thus faced with the unfortunate and bad situation that the Republicans will repeal only part of the law, which will further damage the health care industry. While they hope this damage will strengthen their effort to get the law entirely repealed, I fear that it will instead be used by the Democrats to attack the Republicans and the idea of the repeal itself.

It seems to me that it would be better to offer a full repeal, forcing a Democratic filibuster, and then use that filibuster as a campaign weapon to defeat more Democrats in 2018.

House passes bill to cancel all regulations created during Obama’s lame duck rule

I like this: The House today passed a bill that would allow Congress to repeal all regulations created during the last sixty days of the Obama administration.

Legislation to allow Congress to repeal in a single vote any rule finalized in the last 60 legislative days of the Obama administration sailed through the House Wednesday, the second time in less than two months. The GOP-backed Midnight Rule Relief Act, which passed the previous Congress in November, was approved largely along party lines by a vote of 238-184 on the second day of the new Congress, despite Democratic opposition. If passed by the Senate and signed by President-elect Donald Trump, the legislation would amend the Congressional Review Act to allow lawmakers to bundle together multiple rules and overturn them en masse with a joint resolution of disapproval.

What is disturbing is how few regulations Congress has cancelled over the decades. This is supposed to be an republic, whereby the rules are set by our elected officials. Instead, they have passed that responsibility off to bureaucrats, and when they hint, as they do here, that they might take back some of that power, the howls of outrage are deafening.

House moves to weaken its ethics panel

Draining the swamp? Republicans in the House have moved to weaken an independent ethics office, placing it under the oversight of the House Ethics Committee.

This is actually a complicated story, because the panel as it presently exists has been misused a number of times for political partisan reasons, and clearly was a threat to the Republicans now in charge and planning many significant changes to the government in the face of a very hostile and partisan press.

Nonetheless, making this the new Congress’s very first move seems ill-advised politically, and does suggest they are trying to shield themselves from justifiable investigations. It also gives their opponents a convenient hammer to hit them over the head unnecessarily. Then again, those same opponents would have used this ethics panel against Republicans anyway, so maybe it doesn’t matter.

Either way, this story gives us a taste of the coming years. It will certainly not be boring.

Update: The House has pulled the amendment so that no change to the ethics panel will take place. While there are plenty of good reasons why they should not have introduced this change now, and should back off, the manner in which they folded so quickly does not bode well for the more difficult changes that they propose to pass in the coming years. Are they going to fold when they try to repeal Obamacare and the left and the press goes bonkers? I suspect yes. Will they fold when Trump proposes slashing the EPA budget and the environmental movement goes nuts in protest? I suspect yes.

These Republicans have no courage, made worse by their lemming-like herd instincts.

Republicans offer two meaningless resolutions condemning UN-Israel resolution

Failure theater: Two resolutions, one in the House and the other in the Senate, are going to be offered by Republicans to condemn the UN resolution that declared Israel’s presence in parts of Jerusalem and Israel to be illegal.

Sen. Jerry Moran (R-KS) was quoted by The Hill as having said on Friday he will introduce a measure on Tuesday expressing support for Israel and throwing the “sense of the Senate” behind disapproving the United Nations resolution. “Over the last eight years, the Obama administration has made a series of blatantly misguided choices when it comes to working with our strongest ally in the Middle East,” Moran said in a statement. He added the Trump administration will “have to work overtime to repair the damage President Obama has done.”

Separately, Rep. Dennis Ross (R-FL) said Friday he is offering a resolution condemning President Barack Obama and the United Nations “for their dangerous anti-Israel actions”, according to The Hill.

Neither resolution will have any teeth. Essentially, they will declare that the UN was mean for what it did, but the U.S. Congress ain’t going to do anything about it.

Obviously, Congressional action might not end with these resolutions, but do not be surprised if this is all these cowards do.

California Democrats legalize child prostitution

Yes you read that right: The Democratically controlled California legislature has passed a law, signed by Democrat Governor Jerry Brown, that legalizes child prostitution beginning on January 1, 2016.

SB 1322 bars law enforcement from arresting sex workers who are under the age of 18 for soliciting or engaging in prostitution, or loitering with the intent to do so. So teenage girls (and boys) in California will soon be free to have sex in exchange for money without fear of arrest or prosecution.

Obviously, we don’t have the right to stop underage children from working the streets to make money, do we? We mustn’t be judgmental, or deny them their freedom. That would make us racist, tyrannical conservatives!

Republicans consider delaying Obamacare repeal

Failure theater: The Republican leadership is considering a whole range of delays in their so-called effort to repeal Obamacare.

Republicans are debating how long to delay implementing the repeal. Aides involved in the deliberations said some parts of the law may be ended quickly, such as its regulations affecting insurer health plans and businesses. Other pieces may be maintained for up to three or four years, such as insurance subsidies and the Medicaid expansion. Some parts of the law may never be repealed, such as the provision letting people under age 26 remain on a parent’s plan.

House conservatives want a two-year fuse for the repeal. Republican leaders prefer at least three years, and there has been discussion of putting it off until after the 2020 elections, staffers said.

When are these idiots finally going to realize that the voters who put them in office are not Democratic liberals, and specifically want Obamacare repealed, now?

The squealing of pigs

Back in October 2010, just days before the mid-term elections, I wrote the following:

For the sake of argument, let’s assume that, come Tuesday, the Republicans take both houses, in a stunning landslide not seen in more than a century. Let’s also assume that the changes in Congress are going to point decidedly away from the recent liberal policies of large government (by both parties). Instead, every indication suggests that the new Congress will lean heavily towards a return to the principles of small government, low taxes, and less regulation.

These assumptions are not unreasonable. Not only do the polls indicate that one or both of the houses of Congress will switch from Democratic to Republican control, the numerous and unexpected primary upsets of established incumbents from both parties — as well the many protests over the past year by large numbers of ordinary citizens — make it clear that the public is not interested in half measures. Come January, the tone and direction of Congress is going to undergo a shocking change.

Anyway, based on these assumptions, we should then expect next year’s Congress to propose unprecedented cuts to the federal budget, including the elimination of many hallowed programs. The recent calls to defund NPR and the Corporation for Public Broadcastings are only one example.

When Congress attempts this, however, the vested interests that have depended on this funding for decades are not going to take the cuts lightly. Or to put it more bluntly, they are going to squeal like pigs, throwing temper tantrums so loud and insane that they will make the complaints of a typical three-year-old seem truly statesman-like. And they will do so in the hope that they will garner sympathy and support from the general voting public, thereby making the cuts difficult to carry out.

The real question then is not whether the new Congress will propose the cuts required to bring the federal government under control, but whether they, as well as the public, will have the courage to follow through, to defy the howls from these spoiled brats, and do what must be done.

The legislative situation with NASA over the summer and fall might give us a hint about whether the next Congress will have the courage to make the cuts that are necessary. In this case Obama actually proposed doing something close to what conservatives have dreamed of for decades: take NASA (and the government) out of the business of building rockets and spacecraft and pass it over to the private sector.

Moreover, despite the strong dislike the right has for Obama and his leftist policies, many conservative pundits both inside and outside of the space activist community publicly supported the President in this effort.

Nonetheless, these policies were not accepted by Congress. Instead, the legislative body passed an authorization bill that requires NASA to build a new heavy-lift rocket and the manned capsule to go with it. Congress did this partly for national security reasons, but mostly because they wanted to protect the jobs in Houston, Florida, and elsewhere that NASA provides, and thus bring home the bacon to their constituents. And they did this because those constituents had squealed at them about the threatened loss of funding.

In other words, elected officials from both parties had teamed up to authorize this pork-laden program in order to keep the pigs quiet. In other words, NASA’s legislative history this past year does not give us an encouraging view of the future. It appears that Congress will give us the same-old same-old, when asked.

More than six years have passed, and my analysis of the situation in 2010 appears almost perfect. While the Republicans did not win both houses of Congress in 2010, they did in 2014. Despite these victories from voters who clearly wanted them to cut back on the power of government, they did exactly what I expected, based on their actions in connection with NASA and SLS: maintain the pork and chicken out whenever challenged by Obama, the Democrats, the press (I repeat myself), and too many spoiled members of the general public.

After the 2016 elections, things have moved even more to the right. The Republicans not only control both houses of Congress, they have a Republican president (though a very unpredictable one) and the leftwing mainstream press has been discredited and no longer monopolizes the distribution of information. What will happen in the coming years?
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Pennsylvania college students replace Shakespeare portrait with black author

The coming dark age: Students at the University of Pennsylvania have removed a portrait of Shakespeare, replacing him with a black author, because “he did not represent a diverse range of writers.”

It is very clear that these students have never read one word of Shakespeare, and thus are quite ignorant. It is also very clear that they are outright bigots, rejecting someone merely because of his skin color (white) to favor someone else merely because of their skin color (black).

The real tragedy here is that the university is apparently in agreement with the students. If I was sending my kids to college, this event would definitely place the University of Pennsylvania in the reject pile.

Correction: In my initial post I mistakenly described the private University of Pennsylvania as state funded. It is not, at least not directly. I have corrected the post accordingly.

Democratic Senators force short government shutdown

Those racists! A handful of Democratic Senators have forced a government shutdown this coming weekend by refusing to allow the end of debate on a continuing resolution that would have funded the government through April.

Though I generally don’t agree with the reasons for this shutdown (they want to spend more money), I wish them luck, and would celebrate if this shutdown ended up lasting weeks. Unfortunately, according to some analysis, it can only last the weekend.

The biggest irony of this story is that the Democrats are forcing the shutdown to supposedly protect the pensions of coal miners, an industry they and Barack Obama successfully worked to destroy during the past eight years.

Update: Senator Joe Manchin (D-West Virginia) and the Democrats have backed down so that the shutdown was averted.

I am disappointed. I was really hoping they would do it. Every time there has been a shutdown it has clearly shown how little we need the federal government. The more the merrier, I say. Shut it down!

Republican Congress passes National Park bill that raises fees

More bull from the House Republicans: In an effort to fix budget problems at the National Park Service, caused by years of Congressional and Presidential budget malfeasance, the lame-duck Republican-run House today passed a bill that would raise the lifetime fees for a park senior pass.

The House of Representatives moved quickly Tuesday to pass legislation designed to provide the National Park Service with badly needed funds to help the agency chip away at a staggering $12 billion maintenance backlog. However, without concurrence by the Senate by week’s end, the measure could die.

As passed by the House, the National Park Service Centennial Act would increase the price of a lifetime pass for senior citizens 62 and older to $80 from its current $10 lifetime fee. Seniors who don’t want to pay the $80 could purchase an annual pass for $20. Park Service staff estimate that the increase in the cost of a senior pass would generate $20 million a year.

It appears that already purchased lifetime passes would still be valid, though I am willing to bet that, given time, these bastards will change that as well. What really annoys me about this is that the reason the Park Service is short of funds is not really because they don’t have enough money. The budget isn’t really any smaller than it’s been for decades. The reason it is short of money is that the federal government, and the Park Service, wastes enormous amounts on things that are not essential, on pork (such as dozens and dozens of tiny park facilities spread throughout the country that are really outside the Park Service’s original purpose and exist mostly because some elected official pushed for their creation).

What these idiots never do is find ways to reduce or rearrange spending to pay for things that are important. Instead, they constantly work to suck more money from the taxpayer, endlessly. And they wonder why they got Trump.

Pentagon buries report documenting $125 billion of waste

Why the revolt? The Pentagon purposely buried a 2015 report that documented $125 billion in wasteful Defense Department spending because they feared Congress would use it to justify sequestration.

The report, which was issued in January 2015 by the advisory Defense Business Board (DBB), called for a series of reforms that would have saved the department $125 billion over the next five years. Among its other findings, the report showed that the Defense Department was paying just over 1 million contractors, civilian employees and uniformed personnel to fill back-office jobs. That number nearly matches the amount of active duty troops — 1.3 million, the lowest since 1940.

The Post reported that some Pentagon leaders feared the study’s findings would undermine their claims that years of budget sequestration had left the military short of money. In response, they imposed security restrictions on information used in the study and even pulled a summary report from a Pentagon website. “They’re all complaining that they don’t have any money,” former DBB chairman Robert Stein told the Post. “We proposed a way to save a ton of money.”

The corruption in Washington today runs very deep. It will take many years and a lot of change to fix it. Don’t expect a lot from Trump or this Republican Congress. They might be a start (maybe), but even if they worked entirely to get the federal cleaned up they couldn’t do it in the next four years. And no one should expect them to work entirely to clean this up.

“Researchers baffled by nationalist surge”

Clueless: According to this Nature article, researchers are completed baffled by the recent surge in nationalism in Europe and the United States, best illustrated by the UK vote to leave the European Union and the victory of Donald Trump in the U.S.

The cluelessness reeks throughout every word, but I can’t quote the whole article. The following quote will give you the flavor:

Some academics have explored potential parallels between the roots of the current global political shift and the rise of populism during the Great Depression, including in Nazi Germany. But Helmut Anheier, president of the Hertie School of Governance in Berlin, cautions that the economic struggles of middle-class citizens across the West today are very different, particularly in mainland Europe. The Nazis took advantage of the extreme economic hardship that followed the First World War and a global depression, but today’s populist movements are growing powerful in wealthy European countries with strong social programmes. “What brings about a right-wing movement when there are no good reasons for it?”Anheier asks.

In the United States, some have suggested that racism motivated a significant number of Trump voters. But that is too simplistic an explanation, says Theda Skocpol, a sociologist at Harvard University. “Trump dominated the news for more than a year, and did so with provocative statements that were meant to exacerbate every tension in the US,” she says.

They are like a someone throwing darts at a dart board from two feet away and missing continuously. For some reason, they can’t seem to conceive of any of these possibilities:

  • Out of control budgets that are bankrupting entire countries
  • Out of control regulation that is squelching freedom
  • Incompetent and corrupt management that results in the failure of practically every government project or effort
  • Out of control immigration that is overwhelming countries with unskilled workers as well as terrorists
  • Foreign policy stupidity that has routinely and steadily worsened the international climate in the past three decades
  • Elite arrogance that lazily uses the accusation of racism to explain everything

I could go on. You can also read this article: How We Got Trump II: 2008, 2009, 2010 to get a few concrete examples here in the U.S.

The last point above sums up this article quite nicely. Until our intellectual community stops fooling itself and starts to accept some of the responsibility for their own failures, things are only going to get worse. Their liberal policies are failing, and need to be rejected by them. And if they don’t do it, the voters will definitely do so, with increasing fury.

The science lobby looks at Trump’s pick for Health Secretary

Link here. The Nature article clearly takes a partisan and opposition view of Trump’s pick, Congressman Tom Price (R-Georgia). Nonetheless, it does give good insight into Price himself. I especially like this quote, used by Nature to imply that Price is somehow hostile to science:

But Price’s stance on biomedical research issues is harder to parse. He has taken few public positions on science, but has consistently pushed to cut overall federal spending. Last year, he voted against a bill that would overhaul FDA regulations and provide US$8.75 billion in mandatory funding to the NIH over five years.

Price also opposes President Barack Obama’s proposed $755-million Cancer Moonshot, which seeks to double the pace of cancer research over the next decade. “We’re all in favour of increasing funding for cancer research,” Price told STAT News in January. “The problem that the administration has is that they always want to add funding on, they never want to decrease funding somewhere else. That’s what needs to happen.” [emphasis mine]

There was once a time where Price’s approach would have been considered plain common sense. In today’s mad leftwing world however the idea that resources are not unlimited and that people have to make careful choices is considered evil and anti-science.

Expect these kinds of attacks to continue nonstop throughout the entire Trump administration, especially if that administration and Congress continue to push for a bit of restraint on budget issues. This is what happened during Reagan’s first term in the 1980s. The result was that eventually Reagan was never able to trim costs or eliminate any federal agencies, as the attacks caused many of his more radical cabinet picks to resign and the Republicans in Congress to eventually back down.

Today, however, things are different in one major way. Then, there was no alternative to the liberal press. Today, there are such alternatives. Moreover, the bias of the liberal press today is much more evident. Many more people recognize it, and do not take their howls of indignation as seriously. If Trump and the Republicans have some courage and do not back down, they can win this battle. All it will take is some courage. We shall see if they have it.

Trump and the Republican establishment team up

The House Republican majority leader Kevin McCarthy (R-California) today said that their partnership with Trump will allow them to ignore the conservative Freedom Caucus.

Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy signaled that Republican brass doesn’t plan to kowtow to the conservatives anymore. Ryan’s No. 2 predicted that it’ll finally be the other way around. The group will be forced to fall in line. During a forum hosted by The Washington Post, McCarthy forecasted a less influential Freedom Caucus, a bolder GOP leadership team, and a more unified GOP conference. Altogether, the California Republican explained, “you’re going to see us sticking together more.” That’d be a significant change from the last two years.

…Famous for making deals, Trump won’t worry about reaching across the aisle to compromise with Democrats. For the pragmatic president-elect, bipartisanship is a bonus, not a liability. The threat of losing 35 members of the Freedom Caucus won’t fill Trump’s White House with fear. Depending on the significance of the legislation, Trump won’t have much trouble getting his agenda through the House. Democrats have already signaled that they’re ready to work with the new administration. They won’t hesitate to jump onboard a trillion-dollar infrastructure package or a protectionist trade deal.

I am not surprised. I do feel bad for all those conservatives who went with Trump instead of Cruz because they imagined him first as an “outsider” instead of the moderate Democrat that he is.

Autistic boy disqualified from victory because he swam too fast

Madness: A nine-year-old autistic boy was denied a gold swimming medal in a special Olympics competition in Wales because he set a personal best time that was more than 15% better than his previous best.

Rory Logan, nine, was competing in the Special Olympics Regional finals in Bangor, north Wales, and won the 50 metres race in 53.15 seconds – a personal best and smashing his heat time of one minute and three seconds. However, when it came to the medal ceremony, Rory, from County Antrim, was simply given a ribbon for participating instead of the gold he was expecting.

Now mum Briony claims that officials told her that he didn’t get a medal because he was too fast for the race. She told Belfast Live: “Rory came to me and said, ‘Mum I didn’t do anything wrong, I won fair and square, what did I do?’. I was absolutely gutted for him. I went to speak to the officials and basically they said he had been disqualified because he swam too fast. No one can get over this decision. Apparently you can’t be more than 15% faster than the time you swam in your heats just in case you are trying to swim slower in your heat to be placed in a lower division’s final.”

The boy went on to win gold in two other races, for which he should be cheered, but that he was denied a medal because he did his best is beyond disgusting.The worst part of this story is that in the future this kid is likely going to sandbag his achievements in order to avoid getting punished for success.

Ryan stops vote on earmarks

House speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wisconsin) was today able to convince Republicans to delay a vote on reinstating earmarks.

Ryan convinced his colleagues to postpone the vote until the first quarter of 2017. “After a long debate, it was clear there’s a lot of pent up frustration with ceding spending authority to the Executive Branch,” said one source in the room. “Based on the comments by members, it was likely that an earmark amendment would have passed. Ultimately, the speaker stepped in and urged that we not make this decision today.”

“[Ryan] said we just had a ‘drain the swamp’ election and cannot turn right around and bring back earmarks behind closed doors,” the source continued.

Be warned. This issue is not dead. The crooks in Congress on the Republican side have simply agreed to delay the vote in the hope that after things calm down in a few months they can slip it in without anyone noticing.

TMT legal case in Hawaii gets messier

The permit process in Hawaii for the Thirty Meter Telescope has gotten far messier, with the telescope’s opponents appealing to the state’s Supreme Court, complaining about witness procedures and the lawyers who are working for the state, while the land board running the procedures has asked the court to dismiss this appeal.

Essentially, the opponents are using every trick in the book to delay the permit process, and it appears that the law in Hawaii, including one just passed in August, is designed to aid them in this tactic.

TMT will not be built in Hawaii.The consortium that is building it needs a decision by early next year at the latest. They ain’t gonna get it. The luddites going to win, and Hawaii will be far poorer because of it.

House passes new tax on concrete companies

The swamp is winning! The Republican House today passed a new law that not only imposes a new tax on concrete industry, it creates a crony Concrete Masonry Products Board to help keep its buddies in that industry in charge.

The bill, introduced by Rep. Brett Guthrie, R-Ky. (F, 45%), would create a Concrete Masonry Products Board composed of 15-25 members appointed by the Department of Commerce after a referendum approval by producers of concrete masonry products. This board will have the power to establish, finance, and carry out a “coordinated research and education program,” ostensibly to “promote masonry products in the domestic market,” according to a legislative bulletin email from the Republican Study Committee. This program will be paid for by a “federally administered assessment.”

This is corruption, pure and simple. We don’t need this. All it accomplishes is to force the public to pay for this fake board whose only real purpose, when you strip it down to its essentials, will be to favor the already established U.S. concrete companies.

House Republicans to vote on ending ban on earmarks

The swamp is winning! A group of House Republicans have put forth a proposal, to be voted on tomorrow, to partly lift the ban on earmarks imposed in 2010.

Reps. John Culberson of Texas, Mike Rogers of Alabama, and Tom Rooney of Florida are listed as sponsors of the amendment, a copy of which was obtained by The Daily Signal. The amendment would bring back legislative earmarks for some government agencies, including the Department of Defense, the Army Corps of Engineers, the Department of Homeland Security, and the Bureau of Reclamation. It also would allow lawmakers to provide earmarks for state and local governments, except for recreational facilities, museums, or parks. If the amendment is adopted by a secret-ballot vote Wednesday, lawmakers would be able to request earmarks once again as long as the sponsoring member is identified, the earmarks initiate in committee, and they don’t increase spending.

A senior House aide told The Daily Signal this was the first step to completely ending the earmark ban by slowly peeling it away.

The earmark explosion that occurred under Republican control during the first six years of the second Bush administration was one of the main reasons they lost Congress in 2006. It showed that their claims that they were fiscal hawks was hogwash. And now it appears that some Republicans are trying to pull the same crap, all over again.

Will Republicans and Trump reduce the budget? Maybe not!

Hypocrites and liars: Less than two days after winning the Presidency and retaining control of both houses of Congress, Republican budget cutters are already signaling that they are now more willing to considering big spending projects, now that they are no longer opposing a Democratic president.

Sen. David Perdue (R-.Ga) stood on the Senate floor a little more than one month ago and declared that “we have a budget crisis. We have a debt crisis.” Two weeks ago, he wrote in an op-ed that “President Obama’s budgets ignored fiscally responsible principles, instead leaving an ever-growing mountain of debt for taxpayers down the road,” and he urged the United States to pass a balanced-budget amendment ensuring that the government can’t spend more than it takes in.

But asked about President-elect Donald Trump’s fiscal plans on Wednesday morning, Perdue sounded much less of an urgent note. “Well, I think there’s a short-term view and a long-term view. What we need is a long-term strategy, and by long-term, I’m talking, you’re going to say, 30 to 40 years to solve this debt crisis eventually,” Perdue said in an interview on CNBC.

,,,Perdue’s comments on CNBC could be one sign of how the politics of debt in Washington may shift when Trump takes office Jan. 20. Under George W. Bush, the nation’s debt exploded with federal spending and tax cuts, often with the consent of Republicans in Congress. But over the past eight years, the Republican establishment has repeatedly excoriated President Obama for plans that don’t immediately balance the budget.

Trump’s liberal roots had him immediately propose a variety of big government spending projects in his acceptance speech, and it appears that the Republican leadership is eager to go along, as they did with Obama, to put those big spending plans in place. Unfortunately, it also appears that that leadership might not get much resistance for bigger spending from its rank and file, who will no longer be fighting a Democratic administration and thus can jump on the bandwagon for more pork in their districts.

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