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Thursday, April 02, 2009
 
Don't Tell Al Gore

But the red spot on Jupiter is shrinking.

The spot, which is actually an ancient monster storm that measures about three Earths across, lost 15 percent of its diameter between 1996 and 2006, scientists at the University of California, Berkeley, have found.

It shrank by about 1 kilometer (about 0.6 miles) a day during that time period, said Xylar Asay-Davis, a postdoctoral researcher who was part of the study.


It's those doggone Jovian SUVs!
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Tuesday, March 31, 2009
 
Would You Buy a Used Car From This Man?

David Brooks on the car-dealer in chief:

The Bush advisers decided in December that bankruptcy without preparation would be a disaster. They decided what all administrations decide — that the best time for a bankruptcy filing is a few months from now, and it always will be. In the meantime, restructuring would continue, federally subsidized.

Today, G.M. and Chrysler have once again come up with restructuring plans. By an amazing coincidence, the plans are again insufficient. In an extremely precedented move, the Obama administration has decided that the best time for possible bankruptcy is — a few months from now. The restructuring will continue.


But, no surprise either, Brooks' take on the matter is incomplete. Read Tom Maguire to find out why GM has been so busy restructuring; Brooks completely whiffs on that part.

And the point? Obama is trying to extract concessions from General Motors bondholders, all of whom know that the free riders will pick up a windfall after Obama shocks everyone by deciding not to take GM into bankruptcy. The free riders could be controlled in bankruptcy, of course, but that won't be happening. However, a lot of huffing and puffing has to take place over the next few months to scare some bond holders into submission somehow. Clearly, the ordinary Washington Kabuki won't be enough - look for Super Kabuki!


Let me say here too that I have been sorely tested by Brooks this year. I know most of my readers probably consider me a squishy moderate, but compared to David I'm the Rock of Gibraltar.

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Monday, March 30, 2009
 
Matt Yglesias Calls for Return of the 95% Tax Rate

Mr Egalitarian:

Some people, as I understand it, just don’t think inequality is a problem. But for the egalitarians among us, I’ve never really understood the view that obscene executive compensation is an issue that absolutely positively certainly must only be addressed through the indirect Rube Goldberg-esque method of changing corporate governance rules. What if we had a 95 percent marginal tax rate on income over $10 million?


As I recall, Matty mentioned recently that he was making comfortably more than $60 grand (and he gripes about his workload). I suggest that we put the 95% tax bracket on all income over that $60,000 marker; then Matt might suddenly "get it". And listen to this hilarious suggestion about what will happen:

But my strong suspicion is that at the end of the day most of the super-rich would ultimately find it a relief to get off the treadmill of status-competition and the not-quite-so-rich would be thrilled to see their betters cut down to size.


Thrilled indeed.

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Horowitz on a Sensible Opposition to Obama

Terrific column:

I have been watching an interesting phenomenon on the Right, which is beginning to cause me concern. I am referring to the over-the-top hysteria in response to the first months in office of our new president, which distinctly reminds me of the “Bush Is Hitler” crowd on the Left.

Speaking of this crowd, have you seen any “I am so sorry” postings from that quarter as Obama continues and even escalates the former president's war policy in Afghanistan and attempts to consolidate his military occupation of Iraq?


And:

Even as astute a conservative thinker as Mark Steyn has been swept up in the tide that thinks Obama is a “transformative” radical. But look again at his approach to the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq. In both cases, as noted, he is carrying out the Bush policies – the same that he once joined his fellow Democrats in condemning. And that should be reassuring to anyone concerned about where he is heading as commander-in-chief.


Indeed, one of my major concerns about Obama coming in was that he was going to blow the success in Iraq. He has reassured me tremendously on that score. However, he has also alarmed greatly on the "tax and spend" front. Horowitz does note that Obama has by now fully alienated conservative and moderate Republicans, some of whom clearly crossed over and voted for him:

Through a combination of ineptitude and zeal, Obama has in two short months locked down the conservative and Republican base. On fetal stem-cell research, on borders (e-verification), on spending, on unions, on shutting down talk radio, Obama has flexed the leftist muscle so nakedly and unmistakably that there isn’t a conservative left who will vote Democratic in the next election (and there were many who did so in the last).
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Obama's Trolls

Things that make you go hmmmmm:

Much of Mr. Obama's vaunted online strategy involved utilizing "Internet trolls" to invade enemy lines under false names and trying to derail discussion. In the real world, that's called "vandalism." But in a political movement that embraces "graffiti" as avant-garde art , that's business as usual. It relishes the ability to destroy other people's property in pursuit of electoral victory.

Hugh Hewitt's popular site shut off its comments section because of the success of these obnoxious invaders. Breitbart.com polices nonpartisan newswire stories for such obviously coordinated attacks. Other right-leaning sites such as Instapundit and National Review Online refuse to allow comments, knowing better than to flirt with the online activist left.

During the Clinton impeachment scandal, a new group out of California called MoveOn.org employed a plan to get its members to dial into right-leaning talk radio shows with scripted talking points falsely claiming that they were Republicans. They said they would never vote for the GOP again if the case against Bill Clinton was pursued.


Commenters who pretend to be conservative but spend their time bashing conservative bloggers? What will Soros and his minions think of next?
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Sunday, March 29, 2009
 
Biden's Daughter Doing Blow

But that doesn't make Joe a hypocrite, since he's never been a guy to pursue anti-drug legislation or mandatory minimums.

A "friend" of Vice President Joseph Biden's daughter, Ashley, is attempting to hawk a videotape that he claims shows her snorting cocaine at a house party this month in Delaware.

The anonymous male acquaintance of Ashley took the video, said Thomas Dunlap, a lawyer representing the seller.


Ooops:

Biden has been an outspoken crusader against drugs, coining the term "drug czar" in 1982 while campaigning for a more forceful "war on drugs."

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