Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Cruising the Web

So this is how the Democrats are seeking to politicize Ebola. A liberal group is running an ad blaming the GOP for not funding research. The NIH director Dr. Francis Collins >/a>is also blaming not getting enough support for research into a vaccine. Liberals are jumping all over this seeming opportunity to blame Republicans. The only problem is that a) NIH funding has doubled since 2000 and the funding for the US National Institute for Allergy and Infectious Diseases went from $1.8 billion in 2000 to $4.3 billion in 2004. And cuts that have happened over the past few years are due to sequestration. Remember that idea originated in the White House and it was passed by both the GOP House and Democratic Senate. b) As Jim Geraghty points out, a lot of that funding is going for a lot of things that don't have much to do with researching true health needs. Noah Rothman links to Twitterer Counter Moonbat who is tracking down some of the more puzzling grants that NIH has been giving money to.

And most tellingly,

Red State has some more examples. This is what the internet allows people to do that didn't use to happen before. Of course, who knows how much of this counter-argument will seep into the consciousness of those who aren't as plugged in to the conservative blogosphere.

Bobby Jindal addresses these sorts of allegations.
In recent years, the CDC has received significant amounts of funding. Unfortunately, however, many of those funds have been diverted away from programs that can fight infectious diseases, and toward programs far afield from the CDC’s original purpose.

Consider the Prevention and Public Health Fund, a new series of annual mandatory appropriations created by Obamacare. Over the past five years, the CDC has received just under $3 billion in transfers from the fund. Yet only 6 percent—$180 million—of that $3 billion went toward building epidemiology and laboratory capacity. Especially given the agency’s postwar roots as the Communicable Disease Center, one would think that “detecting and responding to infectious diseases and other public health threats” warrants a larger funding commitment.

Instead, the Obama administration has focused the CDC on other priorities. While protecting Americans from infectious diseases received only $180 million from the Prevention Fund, the community transformation grant program received nearly three times as much money—$517.3 million over the same five-year period.

The CDC’s website makes clear the objectives of community transformation grants. The program funds neighborhood interventions like “increasing access to healthy foods by supporting local farmers and developing neighborhood grocery stores,” or “promoting improvements in sidewalks and street lighting to make it safe and easy for people to walk and ride bikes.” Bike lanes and farmer’s markets may indeed help a community—but they would do little to combat dangerous diseases like Ebola, SARS or anthrax.
As Jindal goes on, these might be worthwhile endeavors, but we can't pay for everything that seems nice. My students don't seem to understand this. They're 10th graders so they have an excuse for not understanding, as Jindal reminds us, that "to govern is to choose."

The Berlin Wall has provided a great opportunity for social scientists to study how living in a totalitarian society affects people afterwards. It is rather a controlled experiment. Of course, the real evidence was how the West German economy flourished under capitalism and alliances with the West compared to East Germany's communist economy and domination by the USSR.

So which Democratic candidate this year is playing the role of Todd Akin? There are quite a few possibilities, but, of course, their gaffes aren't getting the blanket coverage that Akin's "legitimate rape" idiocy got.

Wendy Davis might be in the lead. After her terrible ad attacking Greg Abbot for getting a monetary settlement after he was paralyzed by a tree falling on him in an ad that has been widely criticized, she decided to fight back by having a photo op using people in wheelchairs as her protective props.

Noah Rothman is seeing a trend in how the Democrats are getting desperate in races across the country.

The Federalist examines how Cory Gardner was able to fight back on the Democrats' demagogic "War on Women" attacks. Other Republicans should be studying his campaign to know what to do because these attacks won't stop, especially if Hillary is the Democratic nominee in 2016.

So Hillary sent out a fund-raising request to help Democratic women candidates and includes Iowa's race among the ones that the money will go to help. Er....no.

Mitt Romney has a great joke making fun of Obama.

This year it is the Democrats who are whistling past the graveyard as they rush to tell themselves not to trust the polls. I've been there - all 2014.

Another day, another conflict-of-interest allegation against Kay Hagan.
Hagan, who is currently locked in a close fight in North Carolina, has campaigned on reauthorization of the Export-Import Bank. She held a campaign kickoff event earlier this year at a company that benefits from the bank’s assistance, and she has attacked her opponent, Tom Tillis, for opposing the bank’s reauthorization.

But Hagan has stood to personally profit from her votes for reauthorization in 2012 and again last month. And if reelected, she would be voting for reauthorization once more early next year.

Hagan has reported in her personal financial disclosures that her husband owns between $100,000 and $250,000 of stock in Mother Murphy’s Laboratories, a flavoring manufacturer based in Greensboro.

Further, according to the company’s annual reports, Chip Hagan has served as Assistant Secretary for the company’s board since 2007. The financial disclosure reports show that Chip Hagan has been receiving income from the company, as well. This has risen substantially since Sen. Hagan first took office in 2009. In 2010, her husband’s income increased by nearly $29,000 at Mother Murphy’s. The most recent report, from last year, shows that Chip Hagan maintains his equity stake in the company and received $27,555 in compensation.

For every year since 2010, Mother Murphy’s has been awarded $300,000 in loans from the Export-Import Bank. As of earlier this year, the company has received a total of $1.5 million in Export-Import Bank loans.

Sen. Hagan’s campaign did not respond to a request for comment on whether it was appropriate for her to vote on reauthorization of the Export-Import Bank when her family stood to profit from shares in the company.

Jazz Shaw reports on a New York City teacher who actually got fired. Hey, it just took three years to get rid of a teacher alleged to have done the following.
Jason Roberts, 36, was fired from Public School 78 in February for a slew of offenses, including allegedly telling a colleague, “Don’t worry, when bullets fly I will spare you and your family.”

It took a long time for the city to be able to fire Roberts — a perennial problem for the city when it comes to trouble teachers. That issue was recently highlighted again by the arrest of alleged perv teacher Sean Shaynak, who’s currently drawing a paycheck while sitting behind bars on Rikers Island.

Court filings say Roberts was hit with 33 allegations of wrongdoing between 2010 and 2013.

In that time, he allegedly warned that “bullets are going to fly;” blew a whistle directly into a student’s ear; gave another teacher the finger; spat on a student; hung up on the principal; told students they could attack another student and break his glasses; passed gas in students’ faces; threw a block of wood at a student, and shouted things like “bitch,” “white devil” and “suck a goat’s ass” when talking to students, parents and colleagues, according to court papers.
Shaw points out that the teachers union still paid for this guy's defense. Amazing what those dues will get you.

The supposedly independent Greg Orman is having a fundraiser held for him by the son of George Soros. That's a pretty elastic definition of "independent."

There is a new problem with climate change forecasts:
CLIMATE change forecasts may be overestimates due to a failure to take into account how plants absorb carbon dioxide, scientists warned today.

They said the impact of rising CO2 levels on plant growth has been underestimated by 16 per cent.

And as plants absorb CO2, this has led to overestimates of how much of the greenhouse gas is left in the atmosphere....

The study in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences focusses on the slow diffusion of CO2 in plant leaves, with particular attention to the mesophyll or their inner tissue.

It concludes: "Carbon cycle models that lack explicit understanding of mesophyll diffusion will underestimate historical and future terrestrial carbon uptake.

"Consequently, they will overestimate historical and future growth rates of atmospheric CO2 concentration due to fossil fuel emissions, with ramifications for predicted climate change."