Saturday, April 9, 2011

Congressional Fail

After all the hand-wringing, demagoguing, and name calling the Congress of the United States came up with $38.5 billion in budget cuts. Well, whoop-de-damn-do! Pardon me as I keep from jumping on the bandwagon of people praising our so-called representatives. In 2010 the U.S. Treasury paid $413 BILLION in interest on the debt! They didn't even cut the equivalent of ten percent of one year's interest payment!

NPR funding survives budget deal

Despite several ugly recent episodes and considerable movement by conservative activists to defund it, federal funding for the Corporation for Public Broadcasting and National Public Radio survived an 11th hour deal on a spending bill to fund the government for the rest of the fiscal year. The continuation of funding for public broadcasting is one of several significant victories for Democrats regarding the policy riders in the bill still emerging 12 hours after Democratic and Republican leaders struck a deal to avert government shutdown.

This one really disappoints me. NannyState Public Radio should sink or swim without taxpayer support. If their programming has wide appeal, then they should sell some ads like every other station.

'Star Wars' Weaponry On The High Seas

A futuristic laser mounted on a speeding cruiser successfully blasted a bobbing, weaving boat from the waters of the Pacific Ocean -- the first test at sea of such a gun and a fresh milestone in the Navy's quest to reoutfit the fleet with a host of laser weapons, the Navy announced Friday. "We were able to have a destructive effect on a high-speed cruising target," chief of Naval research Rear Adm. Nevin Carr told The test occurred Wednesday near San Nicholas Island, off the coast of Central California in the Pacific Ocean test range, from a laser gun mounted onto the deck of the Navy’s self-defense test ship, former USS Paul Foster.

Sumptuous Shades Of Gray ...From Paris

A gray suit. A cuffed shirt. A mint julep.  A sumptuous iconic moment.  

California Legislators Packing Heat

Give the privilege to law-abiding citizens and watch the crime rate go down. Assembly Chief Sergeant-at-Arms Ronald Pane has given four legislators permission to carry concealed weapons in the state Capitol, according to two senior Senate staff members who have been informed of the decision. State law prohibits carrying loaded firearms and deadly weapons in public buildings, except under limited conditions. A 2010 bill by Assemblywoman Cathleen Galgiani, D-Livingston, tightened the law, requiring that most holders of concealed weapons permits or other gun licenses get permission from the sergeants-at-arms of the state Assembly or the state Senate in order to bring their gun in the Capitol or legislative office buildings. Peace officers are exempt from the restrictions.

Coolest March in 17 Years

Remote Sensing Systems has released their satellite measured temperature data for the month of March 2011. March 2011 ended up as the coolest March globally since March of 1994. The actual global temperature anomaly for the lower troposphere last month was negative 0.026 C. This is also the first month since June of 2008 that the global temperature anomaly was in the negative.

Beer better than water after exercise.

(better, that is, if you aren't concerned about consuming calories you just worked hard to burn off) A beer after playing a game of football, a long run, or a strenuous round of golf can be good for the body, scientists say. In a rare piece of good news for those who like a pint, Spanish researchers say beer can help someone who is dehydrated retain liquid better than water. Prof Manuel Garzon, of Granada University, also claimed the bubbles in beer help to quench the thirst and that its carbohydrate content can help to replace lost calories.

Prosser ahead after corrected vote tally

In one explosive stroke Thursday, the clerk in a Republican stronghold tilted the tight Supreme Court race in favor of Justice David Prosser by recovering thousands of untallied votes for the incumbent. Waukesha County Clerk Kathy Nickolaus said Thursday that she failed to save on her computer and then report 14,315 votes in the city of Brookfield, omitting them entirely in an unofficial total she released after Tuesday's election. With other smaller errors in Waukesha County, Prosser gained 7,582 votes over his challenger, JoAnne Kloppenburg, leaving the sitting justice significantly ahead for now amid ongoing official counting. 14,315 votes omitted in a computer mixup. What is it with upper midwest voting irregularities? Remember the fiasco in Minnesota that ultimately led to that clown Franken getting into the Senate?

German WWII Bomber found intact in 50' of water.

A rare World War II German bomber, shot down over the English Channel in 1940 and hidden for years by shifting sands at the bottom of the sea, is so well preserved a British museum wants to raise it. The Dornier 17 — thought to be world's last known example — was hit as it took part in the Battle of Britain. It ditched in the sea just off the Kent coast, southeast England, in an area known as the Goodwin Sands.

Terrorism Returning to Northern Ireland

Police foil plot to stage 'new Omagh massacre' A van bomb containing a wheelie bin packed with 500lbs of home-made explosives could have been destined for a town centre in Northern Ireland, police said. Detectives believe the vehicle, found near Newry at an underpass beneath the main A1 route between Belfast and Dublin, was abandoned because of the presence of a police checkpoint. The foiled attack is being blamed on dissident republicans opposed to the peace process, who last Saturday killed constable Ronan Kerr in a booby-trap bomb in Omagh.

The Problem of Shrinkage

Joe Queenan at WSJ: "I'm constantly reading that manufacturers are surreptitiously shrinking the size of their products as a sneaky way to avoid raising prices. So some half-gallon containers of orange juice now hold 59 ounces, not 64. And many bags of sugar are now 4 pounds, not 5. Though I have not actually gone out and measured them, I suspect that many foot-long subs now log in at a demure 10 inches. Think it ends there? For $150,000 your kid used to get a degree in physics, prestige and a future. Now it gets her a degree in gender studies and an unpaid internship at a nonprofit Romanian alternative-fuels think tank that only exists on Twitter. Worst of all is the world of politics. As recently as the Clinton administration, $100,000 would buy you a politician lock, stock and barrel. If you were a crooked labor union or a shady real-estate developer, you plunked down a hundred grand and you had that pol locked up for life. Now a hundred G's won't keep your average pol on the payroll till Flag Day."

Oprah won't publicly support Obama for re-election.

I wouldn't be surprised if she changes her mind, but I like the fact that she is looking out for her business and not playing the partisan politics game.
Oprah Winfrey's daily talk show ratings dropped in 2008 after her highly publicized political rally for Barack Obama's presidential campaign. An October 2008 Gallup poll before the rallies but after Oprah's public endorsement of Obama found that Oprah's favorable ratings had fallen from 74 to 66 percent while her unfavorable ratings jumped from 17 to 26 percent. Then came news that Oprah's TV ratings showed that her daytime audience, which was nearly 9 million at its height in 2004-05, had fallen to 7.3 million. As much as Oprah may still love President Obama and may support him behind the scenes, do not expect to see the same public support you saw in 2008. As my source puts it, "Helping a friend keep the most important job in the world is great, but making sure her OWN network thrives is now her priority."

Andrew McCarthy from NRO on the Budget Deal:

"With due respect, I think those who are praising the budget deal are deluding themselves. Under circumstances where we are trillions of dollars in debt, the GOP just caved on its promise to cut the relative pittance of $61 billion in spending because it’s just not worth fighting for more than the half-pittance of $40 billion Democrats claimed was their drop-dead number. “Drop dead” meant daring Republicans to shut the government down (which, as we know, doesn’t actually shut the government down). The Republicans blinked."

'Let Them Eat Cake', from the Community Organizer in Chief

Mark Steyn commenting on Obama's verbal dismissal of a man's gas price query: "America, 2011: A man gets driven in a motorcade to sneer at a man who has to drive himself to work. A guy who has never generated a dime of wealth, never had to make payroll, never worked at any job other than his own tireless self-promotion literally cannot comprehend that out there beyond the far fringes of the motorcade outriders are people who drive a long distance to jobs whose economic viability is greatly diminished when getting there costs twice as much as the buck-eighty-per-gallon it cost back at the dawn of the Hopeychangey Era. So what? Your fault. Should have gone to Columbia and Harvard and become a community organizer."

This is the best they could do? They cut pocket change.

Deal falls short of GOP cut pledge; 'As good as we could get,' Boehner says.