Wednesday, 20 January 2010

In Passing

A little nervous, Evan?

Squalls sighted   Dept
ABC News/The Note (via Hot Air, via Ace)
Even before the votes are counted, Senator Evan Bayh is warning fellow Democrats that ignoring the lessons of the Massachusetts Senate race will “lead to even further catastrophe” for their party.

“There’s going to be a tendency on the part of our people to be in denial about all this,” Bayh told ABC News, but “if you lose Massachusetts and that’s not a wake-up call, there’s no hope of waking up.”
Sounds worried, doesn't he?
D’ya suppose his numbers might have anything to do with it?
From The Hoosierpundit):
I’ve now heard from a couple of people of a new poll of Bayh's numbers placing him in the low fifties in approval ratings and the high thirties in disapproval ratings.

So ponder Evan Bayh
s approval trendline for a moment:

May:  74%
November:  63%
January:  50%-55%

And the disapproval trendline:

May:  23%
November:  31%
January:  35%-40%

That can’t be good news for the army of consultants Evan Bayh is paying for with his warchest flush with a gazillion dollars from Washington insiders and special interests.

In a bit over six months, Evan Bayh’s approval rating has been slashed by a third and has fallen by almost 25%. His disapproval numbers have almost doubled.

Related:

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Monday, 18 January 2010

In Passing

Stands to reason...?


Instapundit:  “Women’s handbags getting lighter”

...Because they’re switching to holsters?


Further up the page:  Oops, maybe that better be shoulder holsters!

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Rants

OK, RINO apologists. Tell me where I’m wrong.


In the comment thread of this post at Daily Pundit, poster “TraitorHater” lamented:

Why Republicans don’t run on a program of deregulation and ending corrupt interventionism picking winners and losers this year, which because of the lousy current House and Senate campaign committees it appears they won’t do, I can’t understand.
To which I replied: Because:
  • Because deregulation reduces the power of the government and, by extension, the Republican establishment.
  • Because without regulation it’s harder to do favors for your buddies in business or in the pressure groups…
  • …or screw the folks who aren’t your buddies, which makes it harder to extract protection money campaign contributions.
  • Because less regulation means less lobbying -> fewer post-congressional career opportunities.  (Horrors! Ex-congressmen might have to work for a living!)
  • Because deregulation means that people have more opportunity to do what they want, instead of what they’re told…
  • …which is anathema to the political class and the “educated” (see David Brooks)
  • And speaking of the “educated classes,” less regulation means less influence for the media, the academy, and the progressive internationalists/socialists generally…
  • also anathema to the political class and the “educated” (see David Brooks)
Vote ’em all out.


LATER (100120 17:55): Quoth Tam:
Nowadays we just have the Party of Big Government and the Party of Even Bigger Government and the easiest way of telling them apart is that one of them doesn't like abortion and gay cooties.

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In Passing

Announcing: New scientific principle

This would have made my Physics courses
*so* much easier
  Dept
The BBC:
The Met Office has now admitted to BBC News that its annual global mean forecast predicted temperatures higher than actual temperatures for nine years out of the last 10.

This “warming bias” is very small - just 0.05C.  And the Met Office points out that the variance between the forecast and the actual temperature is within its own stated margins of error.

Professor Chris Folland from the Met Office said a re-analysis of weather science might even show that the actual temperature measurements have under-recorded recent warming - making the Met Office forecast even more accurate than it appears.
So when the data disagrees with the model, blame the data.

Via: Daily Pundit

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Saturday, 16 January 2010

In Passing

Less Science Middle School

Teach your children well  Dept
San Diego Union Tribune:
Students were evacuated from Millennial Tech Magnet Middle School in the Chollas View neighborhood Friday afternoon after an 11-year-old student brought a personal science project that he had been making at home to school, authorities said.

...
A vice principal
(probably an Education major...)
saw the student showing it to other students at school about 11:40 a.m. Friday and was concerned that it might be harmful, and San Diego police were notified.

The school, which has about 440 students in grades 6 to 8 and emphasizes technology skills, was initially put on lockdown while authorities responded.
When in worry, when in doubt...
[Maurice] Luque [San Diego Fire Rescue spokesman] said the project was made of an empty half-liter Gatorade bottle with some wires and other electrical components attached.  There was no substance inside.

When police and the Metro Arson Strike Team
!!!!
responded, they also found electrical components in the student's backpack, Luque said.  After talking to the student, it was decided
(Don’t-cha just love that passive voice?)
about 1 p.m. to evacuate the school
...run in circles, scream and shout!
as a precaution while the item was examined...

A MAST robot
!!!!
took pictures of the device and X-rays were evaluated. About 3 p.m., the device was determined to be harmless, Luque said.
...
He said fire officials also went to the student’s home
Oh, I bet that went over well with the parents!
and checked the garage to make sure items there were neither harmful nor explosive.

“There was nothing hazardous at the house,” Luque said.

The student will not be prosecuted,
Gee, that’s really white of them...
but authorities were recommending that he and his parents get counseling...
What the hell for?
Luque said both the student and his parents were extremely upset.
I don’t doubt that one bit!
He was very shaken by the whole situation, as were his parents...”

And the moral of the story, boys and girls:
No matter what the government tells you, if you want to stay out of trouble at school,
Be a jock or cheerleader- not a geek.


Elsewhere (via Reynolds, who calls it “another reason to take your kids out of public school”):

Related (to the “what the government tells you” link):
Norman Matloff:
There is no tech labor shortage.  No study, other than those sponsored by the industry, has ever shown a shortage.  HR departments routinely exclude CVs of applicants they deem “too expensive”--those that are over age 35.  (So managers never see these CVs, and mistakenly believe there are no applicants.)

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Friday, 15 January 2010

In Passing

Goldberg gets it half right


Jonah Goldberg:

The Democrats’ “bad [political] climate” is a direct result of how they’ve governed.  The populist backlash is fueled by a sense that Democrats both parties are acting on their preferred agenda and by their own rules.  From the shenanigans of the people who write our tax code and collect our taxes to special deals and secret arrangements for big businesses and legislators who play ball, the Democrats have entire political establishment has abandoned transparency in favor of transparent arrogance.
Fixed it for you.

Granted that Goldberg’s topic is the Democrats’ problems in Massachusetts.  Still, anyone who believes the “populist backlash” is only about the Democrats is in for a nasty surprise.

Related:
Daily Pundit:  Steele? No, Putty.

(Link via IP)

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Rants

Ability is insufficient. There must be permission, too.


Via “Mr.B,” Herbert E. Meyer on our latest intelligence screwups:

The reason our intelligence service keeps failing to connect the dots is because the officials in charge don’t know how.  And the blame lies squarely with President Obama -- and alas, with President George W. Bush before him -- for appointing managers rather than dot-connectors to run our intelligence service.
Mr.B believes the rot goes beyond the exceutives, and that we must clean house:
Like any bureaucracy, the intelligence game is full of mindless drones...

Having people who are just putting in their time towards retirement is NOT going to keep the citizens of (and visitors to) this country safe.
...
Civil service laws be damned.  Get the right folks in there, and the pencil pushing REMFS who just need to get their time in, and their proper tickets punched the hell out of the “intelligence” game.
Well yes, but...

Look, “dot-connecting” is as much an art as it is a skill, and nine times out of ten it’s the product of a judgement call.  It’s tricky under the best of circumstances, even moreso when being wrong might land the dot-connector in political hot water.

And good dot-connectors are smart- certainly smart enough to detect the unspoken messages issuing from their superiors.  What kind of messages do you suppose our dot-connectors are detecting?

What is obvious is that neither the Bush administration (which began by “declaring war on a noun”) nor the Obama administration (whose F.B.I. is busy taking sensitivity lessons from people connected with the Muslim Brotherhood) have been interested in connecting the “wrong kind” of dots. Fear of accusations of racism, international pressures, political correctness, sympathy for “revolutionaries”... whatever the reason, both administrations have continually bent over backwards, failing to name the enemy and rushing to declare each new incident “isolated.”

So it’s no surprise that, in the wake of the Fort Hood shootings, we discovered that Nidal Malik Hasan’s conduct and statements repeatedly raised concerns among his superiors and colleagues; and that each time those superiors and colleagues failed to act, instead keeping their concerns to themselves.   No surprise at all that those superiors and colleagues might have believed that connecting “Muslim” with “Jihad” or “terror” might be a career-ender.

I cannot believe that our military and our intelligence agencies have lost all  ability to connect the dots.  What I can believe is that our dot-connectors know which way the wind blows, and- consciously or unconsciously- tailor their output to avoid conclusions their superiors “don’t want to hear.”  And as long as those superiors “don’t want to hear” about Islamic terrorism, it will take something really frightening to make it across that threshold.

Which won’t be solved by replacing a few incompetent agency heads.  Permission to connect the dots has to come from the White House.

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Thursday, 14 January 2010

In Passing

More “presumption of good intentions by terrorists”

It’s a “cultural thing”  Dept
Talk show host Thom Hartmann:
Our left-wing crazies are incited to violence because they’re trying to create a better world.
ACORN founder Wade Rathke:
[It’s] one thing to disagree, but it’s a whole different thing to rat on folks...
...both from this Daily Caller post, about a man you’ve most likely never heard of: Brandon Darby foiled terror attack...  (Worth reading; via IP).

Related:  Darby told his own story on Big Government last September.

Previously.

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Saturday, 09 January 2010

In Passing

Even warmer!

Brass Monkey  Dept
Sarasota Herald Tribune:
For the first time in more than two decades a mixture of sleet and snow fell in the Tampa Bay area this morning.  The sleet and snow came during the early morning hours as an arctic air mass began to push through the region.  Temperatures recorded at Tampa International Airport this morning also matched a record low of 36 degrees recorded in 1969.

The last time Tampa Bay saw snow was on Dec. 23 in 1989, according to National Weather Service forecast records.  Areas just north and east of Tampa last saw snow in 1996. Snow and sleet is not in the forecast tonight but if lingering precipitation overlaps plunging temperatures, it is still possible.

Temperatures in the Sarasota area have hovered near freezing most of the day, falling to a low of 35 this morning and climbing to a high of about 37 this afternoon at Sarasota-Bradenton International Airport.

LATER, Elsewhere:  Celsius 233

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In Passing

As: “Educated” by the American “education” system?


Tom Maguire:

Longfellow:
Listen my children and you shall hear
Of the midnight ride of Paul Revere,
On the eighteenth of April, in Seventy-five...
From the [New York] Times corrections:
An article in the Escapes pages on Jan. 1 about visiting Boston in the winter, which described modern and historical sites, misstated the year of Paul Revere’s famous ride.  It was 1775, not 1776.
How soon they forget.
That story must have been written by one of those “educated class” people.

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