Monday, January 25, 2010

Cruising the Web

Perhaps this statistic explains why the economy isn't bouncing back as it usually does in a recession.
U.S. investors overwhelmingly see President Barack Obama as anti-business and question his ability to manage a financial crisis, according to a Bloomberg survey.

The global quarterly poll of investors and analysts who are Bloomberg subscribers finds that 77 percent of U.S. respondents believe Obama is too anti-business and four-out-of-five are only somewhat confident or not confident of his ability to handle a financial emergency.
If investors have no confidence in the government and think that it is anti-business, why would they have enough confidence to invest in expanding their businesses? This administration fosters uncertainty among the business class. More populist Wall Street bashing doesn't make things any better.

Jeanne Cummings writes at Politico
that, despite the apocalyptic warnings from the Democrats, the Supreme Court's ruling on corporate and union advertising in political campaigns probably won't make all that much of a difference. Businesses won't want to anger half their stockholders by taking too partisan a stance. If anything, if they shift money from shadowy 527's and run ads under their own names, we'll have more transparency and responsibility in advertising.

George Will perceives the silver lining in the cloud of bad political news cursing the Democrats. Obama will now be forced to moderate his opinions and move to the center. In this view, Obama was cursed by having 60 senators into thinking that he could ram through an increasingly unpopular health care bill. Now with one less senator he won't be so deluded. As if.

Is Scott Brown's victory a signal of the resurgence of Mitt Romney? Kimberley Strassel seems to thinks so, provided Romney can find away to explain the increasingly unpopular health care plan that he used to so proudly tout. I'm not so sure. When Romney had to hide himself from the Brown campaign's public face and couldn't be seen to be campaigning with Brown, while the senator-elect proudly walked the streets of Boston's North End on the weekend before the election with Rudy Giuliani, it's hard to see a great future for Romney. He might be excellent as a behind-the-scenes impresario, but I'm afraid that his own image is too tarnished for him to excite the kind of crossover appeal that his protege, Scott Brown, now has. It's a shame, but I don't see how the progenitor of the eponymous RomneyCare system in Massachusetts will get the same sort of anti-ObamaCare support that Brown did by saying he'd vote against it even if Brown had supported Romney's plan in Massachusetts.

Michael Godwin finds the perfect metaphor for the Obama presidency. He's the Wizard of Oz. And Scott Brown is the one who ripped open the curtain to reveal that Obama is just a man, a rather mediocre leader.
Just as Dorothy and Toto exposed the ordinary man behind the curtain in "The Wizard of Oz," the voters in Massachusetts revealed that, in this White House, there is no there there.

It's all smoke and mirrors, bells and whistles, held together with glib talk, Chicago politics and an audacious sense of entitlement.

At the center is a young and talented celebrity whose worldview, we now know, is an incoherent jumble of poses and big-government instincts. His self-aggrandizing ambition exceeds his ability by so much that he is making a mess of everything he touches.
Ed Morrissey notes how the President's advisers went on the Sunday talk shows yesterday and all of them cited different numbers for how many jobs were created by the President's policies. And they're still using the "created or saved" canard to count the jobs even though the OMB has decided to drop the "or saved" label because it recognizes how silly it was to try to count jobs that were supposedly "saved."

Jim Geraghty does a mighty fine job
of fisking David Plouffe's column in the Washington Post or, as Geraghty calls it, "Weapons-Grade Horse Puckey." Here's a sample:
Plouffe continues, “If you put the GOP back in charge, lobbyists and huge corporate special interests will be back in the driver’s seat.” Yes, I know administration folks Tim Geithner and Larry Summers have done a bang-up job to stop those lobbyists and corporate interests, and the country faces the crisis of not having Chris Dodd running the Banking Committee. It’s frightening to think we might have special interests in charge, instead of our current situation, where Congress is seriously considering a special tax that would only apply to workers who aren’t union members.
Go read the rest.

Barack Obama has finally realized that bringing peace to the Middle East might be, you know, difficult, even for The One.
Obama told Time Magazine: "This is just really hard ... and if we had anticipated some of these political problems on both sides earlier, we might not have raised expectations as high."
Apparently, the Obama campaign, with all its experience in solving intractable foreign policy problems from its background in Chicago ward politics, was, apparently, the only people in the world who didn't realize that the Middle East's problems were "really hard." Too bad they didn't consult their brilliant vice president who was supposedly brought on board for all his vast foreign policy experience. Seriously, is Obama really this innocent and naive about foreign affairs? He's so brilliant that it takes him only one year to figure out what everyone else has recognized for decades.

Yup, these scientists are the ones who should be laughing at all those skeptics of man-caused global warming. They're so devoted to the scientific method that they would discard any evidence that isn't based on such scientific research, right? Sure.
The scientist behind the bogus claim in a Nobel Prize-winning UN report that Himalayan glaciers will have melted by 2035 last night admitted it was included purely to put political pressure on world leaders.

Dr Murari Lal also said he was well aware the statement, in the 2007 report by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), did not rest on peer-reviewed scientific research.

In an interview with The Mail on Sunday, Dr Lal, the co-ordinating lead author of the report’s chapter on Asia, said: ‘It related to several countries in this region and their water sources. We thought that if we can highlight it, it will impact policy-makers and politicians and encourage them to take some concrete action.

‘It had importance for the region, so we thought we should put it in.’
Yup, there's that devotion to the scientific method that seeks to put science over politics.
Having been forced to apologise over the 2035 claim, Dr Pachauri blamed Dr Lal, saying his team had failed to apply IPCC procedures.

It was an accusation rebutted angrily by Dr Lal. ‘We as authors followed them to the letter,’ he said. ‘Had we received information that undermined the claim, we would have included it.’

However, an analysis of those 500-plus formal review comments, to be published tomorrow by the Global Warming Policy Foundation (GWPF), the new body founded by former Chancellor Nigel Lawson, suggests that when reviewers did raise issues that called the claim into question, Dr Lal and his colleagues simply ignored them.

For example, Hayley Fowler of Newcastle University, suggested that their draft did not mention that Himalayan glaciers in the Karakoram range are growing rapidly, citing a paper published in the influential journal Nature.

In their response, the IPCC authors said, bizarrely, that they were ‘unable to get hold of the suggested references’, but would ‘consider’ this in their final version. They failed to do so.
And this is the supposed 'evidence' upon which the world is supposed to base economic decisions on that will cost their economies billions, perhaps trillions of dollars?