Tuesday, June 30, 2009

The Obama Doctrine

Joshua Muravchik has a masterful article at the Wall Street Journal analyzing the Obama Doctrine in foreign policy, such that there is. It's an eye-opener. Obama and his administration are apparently downplaying the promotion of democracy and, to some extent, human rights. These are at the expense of laudable (but, in my mind, secondary) issues that promote a livable, civil society, once you've actually got liberty and democracy.

What was surprising was to see the quotations in which Obama or Sec. State Clinton actually denigrate or minimize democracy. It's long, but check out the whole thing.


Rush Limbaugh is talking about the Waxman-Markey cap-and-trade bill the House passed last week. He has said that hidden within it is a nationwide home energy-efficiency standard for new buildings. One, that's unconstitutional. The Federal government can't legislate how you build your house, although your state can. Second, according to Rush, it is based on California's standards. That's to be expected, but those must be pretty stringent, considering the state's politics. That's an "ouch" in practical terms. Third, and here's where I want to check that Rush has his information straight, he thinks it would regulate the sale of inefficient homes in some way. Specifically, he said it would prohibit their sale, unless you upgraded the efficiency, although he said it was how he understood it, so he's not quite as sure as on the previous points.

What?! That's going to really, really come down hard. If this is true, I'm fighting it.

More on Honduras vs. Iran

Hillary Clinton, speaking about the Iranian elections:

Obviously, they have a huge credibility gap with their own people as to the election process...And I don't think that's going to disappear by any finding of a limited review of a relatively-small number of ballots. But clearly, these internal matters are for Iranians themselves to address. And we hope that they will be given the opportunity to do so in a peaceful way that respects the right of expression. And it has been my position and that of our administration that we support the fundamental values of peoples' voices being heard, their votes being counted. And we'll have to see how this unfolds.

(Emphasis mine)

Compare with her statements on Honduras' kicking out of its president--a process done through constitutional channels, and intended to stop him from becoming a strong-man:

The action taken against Honduran President Mel Zelaya violates the precepts of the Inter-American Democratic Charter, and thus should be condemned by all. We call on all parties in Honduras to respect the constitutional order and the rule of law, to reaffirm their democratic vocation, and to commit themselves to resolve political disputes peacefully and through dialogue. Honduras must embrace the very principles of democracy we reaffirmed at the OAS meeting it hosted less than one month ago.

(Emphasis mine)

Notice a difference in tone between how our administration treats an oppressive, anti-American, terrorist-supporting, vote-rigging (we believe) theocracy on the one hand, and a democracy that's going through legal means to preserve its democracy, on the other? Hmph.

The idea of political class privilege

If constituents threaten to vote against their representative because of that representative's votes in the legislature, that's "terrorism" and shouldn't be allowed (or, if it's free speech, "it's extremely unfair").

Thus sayeth the Speaker of the California Assembly, Karen Bass. Wow, talk about your stereotype of a self-serving politician

Comparing Iran and Honduras

How does Obama treat these two situations? Legal Insurrection says, "We speak softly to our enemies, but use a big stick against our friends."

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Cap and Trade passes the House--but there's no correct copy of the bill!

This just makes me angry. Not only could the lawmakers voting on the awful cap-and-trade bill last night not possibly have read the whole document in the time given, but there is no complete copy of the bill in existence! The 300+ page additions (to the 1000+ page bill itself) that were slipped in at 3:00 AM Friday aren't even simple additions. They're instructions for revising the rest of the bill. Filled with things like,

"Page 15, beginning line 8, strike paragraph (11)..."

Absolutely spitting mad. That's what I am. Deceitful, good-for-nothing centralizers of power at the expense of liberty and the Constitution...and they can't even know what they're voting on....

UPDATE: I'm going to breathe more just to emit more CO2 for spite.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Evidence of ancient Martian lakes

The University of Colorado's Di Achille has announced the discovery of a dry lake shore on Mars, found with the HiRISE camera on the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter. "Shalbatana Lake," as they're calling it, was down in a deep valley and about the size and depth of Lake Champlain. Funny thing, though--this lake seems to have formed when Mars was already cold and dry. The warm, wet period astronomers have been establishing was already gone by this time. Interesting.

Friday, June 05, 2009

How to turn Congress into a rubber stamp

Propose that an independent advisory commission propose laws and have the Congress simply vote up-or-down on them. That's what the Obama administration wants Congress to do with some changes to Medicare. Have the Medicare Payment Advisory Commission write the bills and require Congress to vote on them as-is. Of course, even that wouldn't require Congress to approve; they could still vote them down. But it would put Congress on a footing more like the President's veto power.

It would be nice to see this discussed in terms of Fascist political theory--how do you organize government in that system? Where does the real power lie?

Lamar Alexander's proposal on GM ownership

Put the stock certificates in individual taxpayers' names. Interesting. Get it out of the hands of the government and back into private hands. It's certainly better than what's going on now, anyway.