Free Markets, Free People


Open Thread

Have we ever done this before? Don’t know, but we’re going go ahead and have one tonight.

So, suggested topics:

(1) ObamaCare: If it passes, can it be repealed once the Republicans take over the legislative duties again? I think not, but maybe there’s a rosier prognostication.

(2) Cap’n-Trade: The EPA is poised to rule by fiat. Would a statutory empowerment be the better choice?

(3) Climategate: Will the leaked emails and failed Copenhagen conference make any difference in the seemingly endless march toward global governance via the canard of AGW?

(4) Afghanistan: Obama has at least done something, but is it enough to accomplish the goal of ending, or at least seriously retarding, global terrorism? Will the current semi-surge result in the same success as Iraq or is it just a political gimmick that costs nothing electorally while wasting American lives?

Let’s see how it goes.

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27 Responses to Open Thread

  • (1)  Can be.  Won’t be.

    (2) Statutory depowering of EPA would be the better choice

    (3) No.

    (4) Enough to carry the issue past Nov. 2010.  Mission accomplished.

    • Sorry it wasn’t the dissertation you were looking for to help float the Christmas slowdown.

    • (1)  Can be.  Won’t be.

      I tend to agree, but with the lopsided public opinion against, could this prove to be the exception that proves the rule?

      (2) Statutory depowering of EPA would be the better choice

      I agree that would be the preferred alternative, but see the previous subject for whether such is possible.  That being said, there’s no doubt that the EPA has far more power than should be comfortable for anyone, whether a fan of limited government or not.

      (3) No.

      Unfortunately, I tend to agree.  The U.S. seems to be last bulwark against “world government” and we’re rapidly relinquishing that responsibility.

      (4) Enough to carry the issue past Nov. 2010.  Mission accomplished.

      Yeah, but let’s assume that Obama’s preferred path works.  What if letting the locals have more control over the internal workings of their daily ins-and-outs, buttressed by protecting the cosmopolitan set (read: city-dwelling Afghans), leads to greater security and better relations with the mountainous Islamic set?  Yeah, pipe dream, but what if?  We can hope can’t we?  Can’t we?

       

    • In the name of political expediency, the EPA has “farmed out” of the science for the CO2 finding to the IPCC, and some parts to DOE.  This is highly unusual for EPA.
      The original data for the “basis”, “Jones & Wigley,” of the EPA finding on CO2 is lost.  Without being able to reproduce the underlying “basis” there is no “science.”  Without the “science” there is no finding.  EPA CO2 finding dies a horrible death in court, while EPA officials are made to look like fools on Capitol Hill.

  • 1) Any serious effort to repeal ObamaCare should be coupled with an even larger effort to repeal/cut back the entire spectrum of welfare programs from SS to Medicare to AFDC to Foodstamps to Agri. subsidies, etc.  If a real strong movement gets going then there is a chance.  I do not see this ever happening piecemeal, however.
    2) No, better to leave it as a regulatory effort.  That will be much easier to change with a new executive in the WH.
    3) Global governance is like perpetual motion.  Seemingly wise men have always sought it but it always eludes.  BTW, how many divisions does the UN have at it’s beckon call?
    4) I think that A-stan is the one matter that has truly caught Saint Barry’s attention (of late, anyways) and that he is being forced to do the “right” thing.   I hope this continues to be the case but I am not very sanguine.

  • Bills like Obamacare are like termites.  They’re in the walls and you can spend months if not years trying to kill them all.  In the meantime they’re weakening your house.  And even if you manage to kill them all, the damage to your house is still there, plus you still have to replace or wash all the stuff that got contaminated by fumigation.  No, far better to never bring the termites into your house at all in the first place.
    Cap’n Trade: He’s not a real Cap’n!  The only real Cap’n is Cap’n Crunch! ;)   Seriously, while all of this regulation needs to get lost, I’d much rather it be done by Congress than by the EPA.  Nobody elects the EPA, so they have no incentive to regulate in a way which is actually possible for us peons to implement.  They serve at the pleasure of the President, and so long as they are able to convince the President that those crazy people complaining are just doing so because they’re too lazy or cheap to shell out a few bucks to comply with regulation, the President will be pleased.

  • Can Obamacare be repealed? I agree with jpm1000. George Bush really disheartened me on the Republican “small-government – take back America” slogans. The only way I could see it happening is the rise of a third party, the Tea Party. As much that would be wonderful, it has about the same odds as teaching us libertarian cats into obeying the command to “heel” from yet another master.

  • How can one who is heartfelt anti-abortion ever pay taxes again?

    • The same way people who are heart-felt against the wars in Iraq and A-stan, or heart-felt against foreign aid, or heart-felt against anything the government does with our money:

      Because fear of prison or being killed by the police when they come to arrest you for tax evasion outweighs heart-felt opposition.

      • I think there is a far greater distinction in forcing people to participate in killing the innocent unborn than the examples you have given but I do get your point. Gulagaphobia, to the point of inaction, have we come to that?  

  • “ObamaCare: If it passes, can it be repealed once the Republicans take over the legislative duties again? I think not, but maybe there’s a rosier prognostication.”

    I hear from informed sources that many liberal Demmies in the House will demand that the “public option” be included in the conference report, and that anything resembling Stupak-Pitts be stripped, or they are warning of a “Progressive revolt” and a vote against the bill.

    This might not be over. But if it is – if we truly have to face this monstrosity becoming law – the GOP should run in 2010 with the promise that if given a sizable majority they will work to undo it. It is as simple as that. Let’s put our principles to the test for once, God dammit, and take the fight to the Demmies and make them eat dirt.

  • China also took note of the corruption endemic in Europe’s [cap-and-trade] system

    It has long been considered that the US was the target of this massive redistribution of wealth, but for a moment, consider the case that over time the biggest “target” of this scheme turned out to be China … and China wanted no part of it. The irony of communist China being against “wealth redistribution” is just so far out there.

  • People point to Social Security and Medicare as examples of how you can never get rid of a big government program once it is put in place. But I believe that to be wrong
    The GOP never tried to undo or change those programs and in fact added to them because they were popular.  But this is not like that. This will be very unpopular because it will cost the middle class a buttload of money, take away choice, and eventually there will be huge waiting lines.
    Also, the other programs are bankrupt. So the coming secondary economic crash and hyperinflation is going to give a golden opportunity for those who preach fiscal restraint to get elected.
    My advice to any Republicans running for office, paint yourself as a real fiscal conservative and be opposed to big government of all types, That will be the path to success as the people see all of their prosperity fade.

    • The real reason, lost on most, why the GOP never tried to end Social Security is that they never had a majority in both houses until Social Security was decades old.  The real difference this time is that there is a 4 year start up period, call it a “period of anger,” where the taxes go into effect but there are no benefits.

  • Actually the way they have set up the healthcare bill, its possible to get ride of it…but not in 2010 as Obama will veto.
    Since people are paying taxes but not seeing any benefits until 2013, I think 2012 election, if Obama loses, then it would be possible to repeal.

  • Also, I would suggest the GOP run ads that remind Americans that we do already have a healthcare safety net, i.e. Medicaid, SCHIP, free emergency care, etc.
    Too many progs get away with painting a picture of poor people dying due to lack of insurance – that’s not the case. Maybe some cheapskate middle class folks, but not truly poor people.

  • ObamaCare – It will pass.  The “progressives” (can we not call them socialists?) will squawk about the lack of a public option and (perhaps) the stripped-out abortion provisions, but they’ll be reminded by SanFran Nan that (A) all that will be added back later and (B) they’ll P-A-Y for crossing her on this.  It’s sort of like buying a house: the one you can afford and that your wife wants doesn’t have that three-car garage and workshop you want.  You can dig in your heels, not get a house at all AND piss off your wife, or get this one and add the things that you want as time goes by.

    The GOP will never repeal the program once passed.  For one thing, they will fear a backlash (“GOP wants people to DIE!”).  More importantly, THEY want the control it offers, too.  Finally, they’ve bought into the basic premise that it is Uncle Sugar’s job to provide everything people want, and that includes health care.

             Harun… I would suggest the GOP run ads that remind Americans that we do already have a healthcare safety net, i.e. Medicaid, SCHIP, free emergency care, etc.

             Forgive my snark, but what you seem to be saying is that the GOP should oppose a huge, new government program by effectively promising to continue (and perhaps expand) existing, less huge government programs.

    Cap and Trade – It’s not about the environment: it’s about extending government control (much like health care).  The dems will do SOMETHING on this, though I think it will be easier to get rid of in the future than health care.  I wouldn’t count on the courts, either: SCOTUS has already ruled that CO2 is a pollutant, so the precedent is there for them to accept any junk science the EPA wants to throw their way.
    Part of the problem with getting rid of it down the line is that people have short memories.  After it goes in and people get used to it, they will come to consider the provisions and effects, no matter how onerous or destructive, as “normal”.  We’ve already heard rumblings that people need to get ready for a “prolonged” period of high (about 10%) unemployment.  After a few years of that, people will cheer when we get down to about 8%, which is unacceptably high now.

    Consider that people don’t grumble too much about paying upwards of 50% of their income in various taxes, something our forefathers would have revolted over.  Why?  They’ve gotten used to it.

    Climategate – Eventually, the truth will catch up with the lies, and the “settled science” will go the way of the geocentric universe, phlogiston, spontaneous generation, Lysenkoism, and all the other false theories people have held over the centuries.  It will take time, however, because there’s much money and power to be gotten from the AGW con job, and the people riding the gravy train won’t allow it to be derailed without a fight.  Meantime, we’re all going to pay the cost.
    A-stan – Unless the military can work a miracle, it’s just a matter of time.  The terrorists – and the Afghanis – know that our basic “strategy” is to get out as soon as we can plausibly claim “victory”.  Hence, the terrorists need only to keep a bit of pressure on, just enough to provide libs with “evidence” that we can’t win AND remind the Afghanis that working with us will be punished after we leave.

  • ClimateGate and Cap’n Trade are two sides of the same lie.   Don’t believe for a minute if you get those things in place that they’ll take them back and hand you your tax dollars.
    Already I’m noticing the ‘for the children’ thought pattern at work on the believers side.  “Well, it certainly won’t hurt to reduce CO2″ they say now.  To me that’s like saying it’s okay for the government to pass a law that we all be in bed by nine PM because the aliens will kidnap us if we’re not under cotton sheets after 21:00, and when proven false, they tell us we should keep the law because, well, we don’t get enough sleep anyway, and we should all be in bed by then because it’s just so darn good for us.
    Government programs don’t go away, The Spanish American War Telephone tax for God’s sake!  Military bases even the military wants closed that Senators and Congressmen won’t let close.  Once you get an industry going for regulating Global Warming and Cap’ n Trade suddenly you’re ‘effecting the economy’, and “this will produce green power solutions”, and “it will be good for us and the environment and the polar bears”, and “how can it hurt not to put ‘dangerous’ gases into the atmosphere!”  (all along the lines of “you like war and killing and destruction!” if you agree with, say the War in Iraq or “you want to kill old people, or starve/freeze children” if you want to cut government spending to…ACORN).
    We need to slam the door, bar it, and kill the zombies before they breed, we ARE the Cavalry, we can’t hunker down, hold out and wait for them to show up.

  • Oh, and with regard to 1) – No repeal rule based on Senate rules changes in the bill.
    Section 3403 of the Reid substitute, amendments to the Standing Rules of the Senate -
    Provision Section C – title – limitations on changes to this subsection
    “It shall not be an order of the Senate or House of Representatives to consider any bill, resolution, amendment or conference report that would repeal or otherwise change this subsection/law.”
    We are “…Passing a new law, and at the same time, creating a Senate rule that makes it out of order to amend or even repeal the law”  “Binding legislation on future Congresses”
    …”I don’t see why the majority party would not put this in EVERY bill”.
    And despite the Senate Presidents response, it sounds to me like you are ‘out of order’ in the Senate if you try to discuss changing the bill.  Freedom of speech?  heh…no, the ‘gentlemen’s rules’ will prevent you from making the speech in the first place.
    Hey, just like the the ‘gag’ rule from the good old days.  The Democrats strike again.
     

  • Linked with the global warming mini-thread, this infuriating tripe published just today:

    Polluting pets: the devastating impact of man’s best friend

    http://news.yahoo.com/s/afp/20091220/sc_afp/lifestyleclimatewarminganimalsfood

    This sort of thing crops up from time to time: some “scientist” does a “study” to prove how big a carbon footprint Fido or Cuddles has, which in turn proves just how much we all need to stop keeping pets because they are (cue ominous music) DESTROYING THE ENVIRONMENT.  This is an example of how the paradigm of CO2 / global warming perverts other branches of (I choke to misuse the word in this way) science.  And, in line with looker‘s remarks about the “for the children” thought pattern, it’s not just the carbon:

    And pets’ environmental impact is not limited to their carbon footprint, as cats and dogs devastate wildlife, spread disease and pollute waterways, the Vales say. 
    With a total 7.7 million cats in Britain, more than 188 million wild animals are hunted, killed and eaten by feline predators per year, or an average 25 birds, mammals and frogs per cat, according to figures in the New Scientist. [Oh, no!  You mean... predators EAT other animals???  Say it ain't so!  / sarc If you have a predator that can help reduce the whitetail population around here, let me know...]
    Likewise, dogs decrease biodiversity in areas they are walked, while their faeces cause high bacterial levels in rivers and streams, making the water unsafe to drink, starving waterways of oxygen and killing aquatic life. [Yes, because wild animals don't do this at all, do they?  Ah, imagine the earth as it was before man invented dogs, cats, and cattle.  Oh, wait...]
    And cat poo can be even more toxic than doggy doo — owners who flush their litter down the toilet ultimately infect sea otters and other animals with toxoplasma gondii, which causes a killer brain disease. [How long have humans domesticated cats?  A few thousand years?  So, why haven't the sea otters gone extinct yet?]
    But despite the apocalyptic visions of domesticated animals’ environmental impact, solutions exist, including reducing pets’ protein-rich meat intake. [News flash: cats and dogs are not designed to be vegetarians.]

    I continue to be amazed that this sort of thing is published by the media.

    At any rate, in the interests of planning for the UN regulations outlawing pets, does anybody know the carbon footprint of a lib?  I figure that one lib is worth AT LEAST one dog (Algore alone in probably worth every dog registered with the AKC!).   This suggest a cap and trade policy that I could really support!

  • Eurostar told the Financial Times that it faced a hefty compensation bill after 125,000 passengers were stuck at stations or forced to make other plans. Richard Brown, Eurostar’s chief executive, said the company would “have to work hard to rebuild” passenger confidence in the company.
    He blamed an “unprecedented” combination of “quantities of snow”, freezing temperatures in northern France and breakdowns. But politicians in Paris and London rounded on the company.

  • POLITICO has learned that Rep. Parker Griffith, a freshman Democrat from Alabama, will announce today that he’s switching parties to become a Republican.

    So much for that 60% bounce .. unprecedented B+

  • Good news .. peer-review study says that we are already fighting global warming ..

    My findings do not agree with the climate models that conventionally thought that greenhouse gases, mainly CO2, are the major culprits for the global warming seen in the late 20th century,” Lu said. “Instead, the observed data show that CFCs conspiring with cosmic rays most likely caused both the Antarctic ozone hole and global warming. These findings are totally unexpected and striking, as I was focused on studying the mechanism for the formation of the ozone hole, rather than global warming.”
    His conclusions are based on observations that from 1950 up to now, the climate in the Arctic and Antarctic atmospheres has been completely controlled by CFCs and cosmic rays, with no CO2 impact.

    .. bad news, the “scientists” were all wrong.

  • Now for something completely different …

    WASHINGTON – A federal appeals court on Tuesday upheld a $290 million judgment against Microsoft Corp. and issued an injunction that will prevent the sale of its popular Word software.

  • You too can be a “climate scientist”.
    The Met Office announced the release of “station records were produced by the Climatic Research Unit, University of East Anglia, in collaboration with the Met Office Hadley Centre.”
    The station data zipfile here is described as a “subset of the full HadCRUT3 record of global temperatures” consisting of:

    a network of individual land stations that has been designated by the World Meteorological Organization for use in climate monitoring. The data show monthly average temperature values for over 1,500 land stations…
    The stations that we have released are those in the CRUTEM3 database that are also either in the WMO Regional Basic Climatological Network (RBCN) and so freely available without restrictions on re-use; or those for which we have received permission from the national met. service which owns the underlying station data.