Monday, September 22, 2014

Cruising the Web

Oh, the irony of peace demonstrators protesting John Kerry speaking before Congress. Rather delicious, that irony.

George Will employs his own sort of amused sarcasm to look at the idea Los Angeles has to offer financial incentives for people to come out to vote.
Since the days of Hiram Johnson (1866–1945), who was governor 100 years ago, progressivism has intermittently made California an incubator of dubious ideas. One of which is that government should fine-tune political partisanship — disagreements about how government should behave. If this looks like a conflict of interest, you have not embraced progressivism’s default assumption, which is that disinterested government has only the interests of “the people” at heart.

Los Angeles, in order to get things just right, has a nonpartisan primary. In it, all candidates of all party affiliations for a particular office are listed together on primary election ballots. If no one receives a majority, the top two finishers then face each other in a runoff election. The rationale for this system, which is favored by people whose moral micrometers can measure such things, is that there is “too much” partisanship which produces “too much” polarization.

Los Angeles is a one-party city in a one-party state. It is a state in which one power — organized labor, especially government employees’ unions — is the dominant political force, no matter who is chosen to govern from a coterie of candidates representing faintly variant shades of progressivism.

Predictably, the March 2013 mayoral primary produced a general election choice between two progressive Democrats. Predictably, this did not produce a stampede to the May runoff. So now Los Angeles’ problem is too much apathy. Reformers’ work is never done because their ideas have such unanticipated (by them) caroms.

Ah, how the Democrats conduct their own war on women as they attack a woman running for Congress in Virginia. Now the Virginia Democratic party has tweeted out that the candidate, Barbara Comstock would be down 20 points if she were a man. Oh, gosh they must hate it when a Republican is able to play the women card against one of their candidates. I'm sure they'd never admit that Hillary Clinton's one claim to be the frontrunner in 2016 is simply due to being a woman. But just let a female Republican run for office and the unfairness of her taking advantage of being a woman infuriates the Democrats.

So someone got to through the front door of the White House and now the Secret Service is contemplating making security in the nation's capital even more intrusive. They're contemplating doing screenings of people passing pedestrians near the White House just like we go through at the airport. I was lucky enough to live blocks from the White House when I went to college at George Washington University. I would regularly walk by the White House overcome with how wonderful it was that ordinary people could just stroll past the home of our nation's leader. It's bad enough that traffic has been rerouted from going in front of the White House and that tourists can no longer easily arrange tours of the dwelling. Please don't limit the public's access to what should truly be the People's House.

The increasing hysteria of environmental radicals is a sign of how the supposed consensus on climate change is fading away.
One reason the rhetoric has become so overheated is that the climate-change activists increasingly lack a scientific basis for their most exaggerated claims. As physicist Gordon Fulks of the Cascade Policy Institute puts it: “CO2 is said to be responsible for global warming that is not occurring, for accelerated sea-level rise that is not occurring, for net glacial and sea-ice melt that is not occurring . . . and for increasing extreme weather that is not occurring.” He points out that there has been no net new global-warming increase since 1997 even though the human contribution to carbon dioxide in the atmosphere has risen by 25 percent since then. This throws into doubt all the climate models that have been predicting massive climate dislocation.

Other scientists caution that climate models must be regarded with great care and skepticism. Steven Koonin, the undersecretary for science in the Energy Department during President Obama’s first term, wrote a pathbreaking piece in Saturday’s Wall Street Journal in which he concluded:
We often hear that there is a “scientific consensus” about climate change. But as far as the computer models go, there isn’t a useful consensus at the level of detail relevant to assessing human influence. . . . The models roughly describe the shrinking extent of Arctic sea ice observed over the past two decades, but they fail to describe the comparable growth of Antarctic sea ice, which is now at a record high. . . . Any serious discussion of the changing climate must begin by acknowledging not only the scientific certainties, but also the uncertainties, especially in projecting the future. Recognizing those limits, rather than ignoring them, will lead to a more sober and ultimately more productive discussion of climate change and climate policies. To do otherwise is a great disservice to climate science itself.

The control of the Senate may revolve around who wins Alaska and Kansas. And no one really knows what is happening there.

Gee, I don't think that having a gubernatorial candidate in Kansas appearing in stories with words like "lap dance," "police raid," and "G-string" go over very well.

Barbara Boxer doesn't fool anyone as she collapses on her fainting couch in pretend distress of someone doing some questioning John Kerry.

Charlie Crist is learning that people just don't trust someone who switches parties out of political opportunism. And opportunism is all there is to Charlie Crist.

Matt Bai, writing in the NYT, remembers the Gary Hart/Donna Rice scandal and how media coverage of politics changed at that moment. Bai seems quite mournful about that change and the loss of a possible Hart presidency.

Oh, it's not a good sign when the President has lost David Gergen who dares to compare the administration's beginnings of their war on ISIS to their rollout of OBamacare.

Rich Lowry is smack on when he castigates the media flipping out over the NFL and charges of domestic violence.

So why don't the number of teacher predators on children get as much media hand-wringing as domestic abuse in the NFL or the phony statistic about one in five women being raped in college? Of course, why would Democrats care that one of their favorite statistics is totally bogus when they are still using the equally bogus statistic that women earn 77% what men do. When the goal is political rather than addressing an actual problem, statistics are used like weapons of mass destruction regardless of how accurate they are.

Claudia Rosett doesn't think it's a coincidence that the State Department is celebrating one more member of the UN than there are actually are.