Archive for April, 2010

A little travelin’ music to stir both the body and the soul

Let me tell you a secret…

(I love good old-fashioned gospel. No, that’s not the secret part. But you see, sometimes, when I’m home all alone and I know that nobody will be around for awhile, I’ll draw the shades and … I know I shouldn’t be telling you this … I slip some great gospel collection into the CD player, crank up the volume and let the music take me over. And all of a sudden, my body begins to move in ways that a middle-aged white man’s body maybe shouldn’t be a-movin’….

But please please please, don’t tell anyone. I have an image to uphold.)

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Once again, evidence says ‘Climategate’ scandal a fraud

Two news items of note regarding our warming planet. First, from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Association:

The combined global land and ocean average surface temperature for March 2010 was the warmest on record at 13.5°C (56.3°F), which is 0.77°C (1.39°F) above the 20th century average of 12.7°C (54.9°F). This was also the 34th consecutive March with global land and ocean temperatures above the 20th century average.

For the year-to-date, the global combined land and ocean surface temperature of 13.0°C (55.3°F) was the fourth warmest January-March period. This value is 0.66°C (1.19°F) above the 20th century average.

Second, from The Guardian in London, another investigation of so-called “ClimateGate” turns up nothing:

The climate scientists at the centre of a media storm over emails released on the internet were disorganised but did not fudge their results, an independent inquiry into the affair reported today.

The inquiry, the second of three set up in the wake of the …

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Ga. Legislature sells the future for political protection

Remember the story about lemmings that would march off a cliff by the thousands?

According to biologists, that’s a myth. Such behavior would require an instinct for mass self-destruction that can’t be found in nature, they say.

But then, those biologists have never covered the Georgia Legislature.

Confronted by disastrous revenue shortfalls predicted to dog the state for years even if the economy recovers, legislators this week marched off the cliff anyway. With tax revenues down by 25 percent, they approved tax cuts to slash revenue available to future Legislatures by another $387 million.

Their reasoning, if you can call it that, is extremely selfish and short-sighted:

Legislators have already cut the budget to the bone and deeper, to the point that additional cuts would render state government all but inoperable. They have voted to kill the Georgia Council for the Arts, making Georgia the only state without such an organization. Thousands of teachers are being laid off, and …

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Who’s that country way over on the right? Why, it’s US!

In honor of the Tea Party scheduled for this evening at the Georgia Capitol, I offer a  much-needed injection of reality:

taxchart

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Scott Brown testing GOP’s patience with ‘diversity’

After the ‘08 elections, it was pretty clear that the Republican Party needed to broaden its appeal if it was to challenge the Democrats for control anytime soon. Seemingly intent on purging all but the purist of conservatives from its midst, the GOP seemed in danger of becoming a regional party, concentrated in the South.

Then came Scott Brown’s surprising victory in liberal Massachusetts, taking a seat that had been held by liberal icon Ted Kennedy for as long as most people could remember. The victory revitalized the party and restored a good deal of its confidence.

However, if Brown is to hold that seat beyond the 2012 election, he’s going to have to separate himself a bit from the dominant conservative strain of his party, as he seems to realize.

From Politico:

Asked whether he’s attempting to position himself as a moderate, Brown replied tersely, “I’ll let my votes speak for themselves.”

Earlier this week, Brown joined Collins, Snowe and Voinovich to give Democrats the …

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A paint-by-numbers portrait of the Tea Party movement

Well that’s pretty interesting…

From the New York Times:

“Tea Party supporters are wealthier and more well-educated than the general public, and are no more or less afraid of falling into a lower socioeconomic class, according to the latest New York Times/CBS News poll.

The 18 percent of Americans who identify themselves as Tea Party supporters tend to be Republican, white, male, married and older than 45.

They hold more conservative views on a range of issues than Republicans generally. They are also more likely to describe themselves as “very conservative” and President Obama as “very liberal.”

And while most Republicans say they are “dissatisfied” with Washington, Tea Party supporters are more likely to classify themselves as “angry….”

The overwhelming majority of supporters say Mr. Obama does not share the values most Americans live by and that he does not understand the problems of people like themselves. More than half say the policies of the administration favor the …

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Ron Paul, Obama in dead heat for 2012, says Rasmussen

Is this one crazy country or what?

From Rasmussen:

A new Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey of likely voters finds Obama with 42% support and Paul with 41% of the vote. Eleven percent (11%) prefer some other candidate, and six percent (6%) are undecided.

Ask the Political Class, though, and it’s a blowout. While 58% of Mainstream voters favor Paul, 95% of the Political Class vote for Obama.

But Republican voters also have decidedly mixed feelings about Paul, who has been an outspoken critic of the party establishment.

Obama earns 79% support from Democrats, but Paul gets just 66% of GOP votes. Voters not affiliated with either major party give Paul a 47% to 28% edge over the president.

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Fake populists in the GOP take us all for suckers

A while back, I wondered how the Republicans were going to both defend their buddies on Wall Street while simultaneously placating their Tea Party constituents to whom helping Wall Street is anathema. How could they manage both?

I should have known the answer: Lie. Lie often, lie repeatedly, lie shamelessly.

It’s now clear that Wall Street bitterly opposes the financial reform bill proposed by congressional Democrats. After meeting with Wall Street leaders, Republicans such as Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell have made it equally clear that they too will oppose the financial reform bill.

So how do the Republicans plan to sell that approach to Americans sickened by Wall Street’s arrogance and selfishness?

By claiming that it’s the Democrats who are siding with Wall Street. While they do the Street’s bidding and collect the Street’s campaign money, the Republicans intend to cast themselves as the populists who side with Main Street over Wall Street.

In the Alice in …

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Who told the truth? Huckabee or college interviewer?

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After WaMu collapse, CEO walked off with $25 million

A Senate subcommittee is taking testimony today on the collapse of Washington Mutual, once the largest savings and loan in the country and later the largest bank to fail in American history.

The subcommittee’s investigative report, available here, makes for maddening reading.

Such as:

“WaMu’s CEO (Kerry Killinger) received millions of dollars in pay, even when his high risk loan strategy began losing money, even when the bank began to falter, and even when he was asked to leave his post. From 2003 to 2007, Mr. Killinger was paid between $11 million and $20 million each year in cash, stock, and stock options. That’s on top of four retirement plans, a deferred bonus plan, and a separate deferred compensation plan. In 2008, when he was asked to leave to leave the bank, Mr. Killinger was paid $25 million, including $15 million in severance pay. $25 million for overseeing shoddy lending practices that pumped billions of dollars of bad mortgages into the financial system. …

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