Sunday, November 16, 2008

Is it warm here or is it just NASA?

NASA, home to global warming activists Gavin Schmidt (of and James Hansen, has been caught again hyping false warming data.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Michael Crichton, RIP

Michael Crichton (1942-2008)  is well known as an author of fiction. It is less well-known that he was a highly educated thinker:  he "graduated summa cum laude from Harvard College, received his M.D. from Harvard Medical School, and was a postdoctoral fellow at the Salk Institute for Biological Studies, researching public policy with Jacob Bronowski. He taught courses in anthropology at Cambridge University and writing at MIT," according to his bio.  In 2003, he lectured on the nature of science and its misuse in public policy debates.  He observed, for example:
I would remind you to notice where the claim of consensus is invoked. Consensus is invoked only in situations where the science is not solid enough. Nobody says the consensus of scientists agrees that E=mc2. Nobody says the consensus is that the sun is 93 million miles away. It would never occur to anyone to speak that way. . . .
and reaches the conclusion:
Historically, the claim of consensus has been the first refuge of scoundrels; it is a way to avoid debate by claiming that the matter is already settled. Whenever you hear the consensus of scientists agrees on something or other, reach for your wallet, because you're being had.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Unbiased reporters and Palin Derangement Syndrome

AP reports that MSNBC has just admitted being the victim of a hoax when it reported that Gov. Palin didn't know that Africa was a continent, not a country.  It wasn't just MSNBC and Fox News that fell for this hoax.  (As I write this, a Google search on "Sarah Palin Africa Country" produces 385,000 hits with the top ones about the claim that Gov. Palin thought Africa was a country while the more selective Google News produces 8,219 hits on the same topic.)  Newsbusters spotted the hoax several days ago.

Lack of scepticism when it comes to smears against Republicans is part of a pattern.  After the election, even the Washington Post ombudsman admits its coverage was pro-Obama.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Obama and change or just following George Orwell

One of the most frightening things about Sen. Obama's election is as president is that he might do what he had promised.  Apparently, that won't be a problem.  The Washington Times reports that Obama has just deleted his agenda from his website:
Over the weekend President-elect Barack Obama scrubbed, his transition Web site, deleting most of what had been a massive agenda copied directly from his campaign Web site.

Gone are the promises on how an Obama administration would handle 25 different agenda items - everything from Iraq and immigration to taxesand urban policy - all items laid out on his campaign Web site,
Will this development be significant enough that the Stock Market will recover from its worst election week ever?

Sunday, November 09, 2008

Dem's top priority: more corporate welfare

Looking forward to same-party control of house, senate, and executive branches, Sen. Reid and Rep. Pelosi have called for government assistance for the auto industry.

Saturday, November 08, 2008

Rahm Emanuel: hard-nosed moderate?

Incoming Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel has a reputation as a hard-nosed partisan but, according to Jason Riley of the Wall Street Journal, he is not a hard-nosed liberal.  Riley reviews some of Emanuel's background:
As head of the DCCC, he was not only responsible for fund raising but also for vetting candidates. His methods often upset members of his own party, even when they were successful. In 2006, he made a tactical decision to recruit candidates who opposed abortion rights and gun control to run in more conservative-leaning districts. And although the strategy worked, it meant passing over more ideologically pure candidates, which didn't sit well with some orthodox liberals.
And also:
Policy-wise, Mr. Emanuel has fashioned himself as a "New Democrat" in the Clinton mold. He has long been an advocate of governing from the center, reaching across the aisle to seek consensus. As a Clinton adviser, he championed welfare reform and free trade. He's even called for a flatter, less progressive system of taxation. As a congressman, Mr. Emanuel supported the Bush administration's decision to remove Saddam Hussein, though he subsequently criticized the president's management of the war in Iraq.
In Chicago, Obama may have been a G-D-America leftist. His selection of Rep. Emanuel at least provides hope that, as president, he will be more closely tied to reality.
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