Monthly Archives: April 2009

President Obama’s Incomplete Analogy

Last night when questioned about closing the border with Mexico President Obama responded in part:

“I’ve consulted with our public health officials extensively on a day-to-day basis, in some cases an hour-to-hour basis. At this point they have not recommended a border closing. From their perspective it would be akin to closing the barn door after the horses are out, because we already have cases here in the United States.”

This analogy accurately acknowledges that the Obama Administration failed to act to prevent a potential pandemic while it misleadingly suggests that the border could be closed. A full analogy of the situation might be “akin to closing the gate when the fence is not built“.

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Democrat Science

Anthony Watts has a great blog centered on the science of global warming, Watts Up With That? http://wattsupwiththat.com/ .  One of commenters posted a link to an interview of Representative Waxman by Tavis Smiley   on NPR.  On April 26, a quote from Waxman’s interview became a subject of a WUWT post.

“We’re seeing the reality of a lot of the North Pole starting to evaporate, and we could get to a tipping point. Because if it evaporates to a certain point – they have lanes now where ships can go that couldn’t ever sail through before. And if it gets to a point where it evaporates too much, there’s a lot of tundra that’s being held down by that ice cap..”

Many commenters on WUWT have made that claim that the above quote shows such a stunning ignorance of geography, climate, and basic science that Mr. Waxman should be immediately removed from office and perhaps imprisoned for public malfeasance.

I disagree.

Mr. Waxman represents his constituency perfectly. I’m not aware of any reporting on NPR along the lines of “influential Congressman lacks basic science understanding of eight grader” or on any other major media outlet. Global warming media watchdog blogs like Climate Progress  http://climateprogress.org/ (a major source for NPR) haven’t made any clarifications either.

The facts are in for the Democrats: We need the Arctic ice to hold down the tundra, otherwise we’ll face a disaster. And apparently the only way to keep the Arctic ice holding down the tundra is to place high taxes on American carbon based energy.

Another Opportunity in Swine Flu?

Under the rubric of saving by spending more, perhaps the Obama Administration can use the swine flu crisis to advance two of their goals at once the expansion of Health Care and reducing the deficit.

By reducing controls on the southern border money can be saved that was previously wasted by the Bush Administration. Without doing any research, I would guess that at least $1,000,000,000.00 a year could be saved by eliminating Mexican border enforcement. This would completely offset President Obama’s 2010 proposed budget deficit in only about 1,000 years. Also, with a quick rewrite of some of the Federal Code decriminalizing illegal border crossing, Secretary Napolitano would not look so ignorant.

 Once the Mexican borders are opened, Mexicans would be able to benefit from universal health care which would prevent the spread of deadly and debilitating illnesses like the swine flu. Improved health reduces health care costs and increases economic productivity. And we would not need to waste money on screening travelers the way countries like Japan and Russia do.

This is the genius of the Obama Administration, the ability to see opportunity in crisis and to save money by investing and cutting wasteful programs.

Black and White

I’ve always been told by members of the news media and their favored pundits that the difference between liberals and conservatives is the ability of liberals to perceive and respond to nuance.

As was explained to all, liberals have the sophisticated ability to understand that most issues are not black and white, but colored in shades of gray.  A great example, for liberals, was President Bush. He had no ability for nuance. His world view was “Either you’re with us. or against us.” In contrast, many liberals noted that world affairs were much more complex than President Bush’s simple reduction.

Except with respect to “torture.” With torture, for liberals there are no shades of gray. Either detainees receive full benefits of both the Geneva Convention and the US legal system, or “torture” has been perpetrated.

Is the absolute rejection of  even the suggestion of torture a core value of liberals?

Nuance would call for a careful, contextual evaluation of the facts, and negatives would have to be carefully balanced against positives.  A core value that rejects the humiliation of detainees at Abu Ghraib would also reject the humiliation of Lyndy Englund.

The lack of nuance with regard to the “torture” issue is just another nail in the coffin of liberal hypocrisy.

Earth Day Confidence

Earth Day seems to have passed without what had become a customary media blitz. Yes, it was mentioned, but the hype has definitely been toned down.

Could it be due to the economy? Tight finances drive consumers away from luxury “green” products. Without marketing dollars for these “green” products, media corporations, including the news media, are not going promote something without getting paid.

Or could it be the public opinion polls that indicate that the public is slowly being educated about man-made global warming? Earth Day used to be about picking up trash and planting trees, but about a decade ago recipients of global warming research grant money really made a big push into Earth Day. The newest opinion polls indicated that a growing plurality of Americans are realizing that climate is subject to natural changes and that the much promoted “90% confidence” of the IPCC  may just be part of a confidence game to secure more funding.

As George Will has accurately pointed out, global ice extent is well above the historic (30 year) median. At this writing, Artic ice extent is at a 7 year high, despite poorly researched articles in news media publications like the Washington  Post that predict increasing losses.

To be clear, (As the President likes to say), the Post article spoke about ice “volume” and the loss of “multi-year’ ice that is older than two years.

Is ice older than two years critically important to the Artic, or will the same reporters write an article next year about the critical loss of ice older than three years?

Presidential Magic

Tonight on a FOX News show, Maura Liasson of NPR, made an interesting comment discussion President Obama’s foreign policy. In reference to Iran’s somewhat belligerent tone of late, Ms. Liasson spoke of the “Obama Magic” and how it might not work on Iran.

Ms. Liasson deserves praise for being a member of the news media who actually recognizes “Obama Magic” and more importantly, that “Obama Magic”  is not all powerful.  This public recognition of the possible fallibility of President Obama places Ms. Liasson in a elite group within the news media. Mostly, because the “Obama Magic” has had the most influence on the news media. At some point, it will become widely recognized among members of the news media that magic is make believe.

Genius of the Obvious

 

The title of this post is not meant as an insult. It is meant to emphasize that what seems so obvious in hindsight requires genius to discern. Charles Krauthammer is a genius. No one hit wonder, he constantly clarifies and renders obvious the most salient aspects of an issue. In his column today, he skewers the hypocrisy of the Obama Administration claim of proposing two trillion dollars in deficit reduction by not continuing the Iraq troop surge for ten years, by asking why President Obama didn’t include the money saved by not having a “Stimulus” for ten years.

Genius.