Friday, September 28, 2012

Smart Wins

Bobby Knight used to say "smart wins!"  Jay Gruden shows how.

The most irresponsible leaders in American history

The Democrats in DC. 

No budget from Senate Dems in 3 years.  No effort to avoid the fiscal cliff from president BO or the Dems in either house of Congress.  A foreign policy in shambles propped up by shameless lies and scapegoating.  No effort by BO to articulate any kind of plan for the future which addresses the current economic mess.

There is no pretense that raising taxes on high incomes will raise any significant amount of tax revenue, yet that is the only thing that Obama is running on.  No plan, no effort, no sense.

All nonsense all the time. 

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Even Howard Fineman

Mickey Kaus points out that even lefty Howard Fineman has become embarrassed by the news media refusal to do its job.
It’s basically a plea to the MSM to start covering Obama they way they’d cover a normal candidate. According to Fineman, Obama has bounced back in the polls
without having to seriously and substantively defend his first-term failed promises or shortcomings, and without having to say much, if anything. about what, if anything, he might do substantially differently if he is fortunate enough to win again. …
Obama was such a cool and uplifting story to so many in the media in 2008 that they essentially ceded ground to him that they have yet to reclaim. He ran a tightly controlled message campaign then, and has run an even more tightly controlled White House, with few press conferences and deep access only to those most likely to write positive stories. Univision didn’t get the memo, and its reporters hammered the president about immigration last week. It was a rare moment.
An MSM veteran, Fineman, in essence, is agreeing with conserviative critics of his profession: they’ve been cutting the President way too much slack, failing to take him to task in areas (the Woodward  portrayal, Libya, the jobs numbers ) where they would have hammered another candidate. Hence the strange, empty, helium-filled trajectory of the Obama campaign so far.


Glenn Reynolds, OOPS make that Elizabeth Price Foley, nails it:
ELITE v. GRASSROOT REPUBLICANS:  Ross Douthat has an interesting column in the New York Times exploring how the alleged dichotomy between the “elite” (0ld school) and “grassroots” (Tea Party) Republicans is real and 180 degrees from their positions during primary season.  Now, it seems the old-line conservatives (elites) are criticizing Romney for various gaffes and a lackluster campaign, while the Tea Party types (grassroots) are lining up dutifully and pragmatically to defend the Republican nominee.  To me, this highlights that there is still an ongoing battle for the soul of the Republican party, with the Tea Party votaries providing the energy and optimism essential to victory.  Old school Republican elites are beginning to remind me of Eeyore.

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Big, Dumb, White Trash Rednecks of Tuscaloosa

Dick Cavett shows his respect for diversity.  Relevant portion from :0:57 - 1:25.

Oops Report due Thursday

John Crudele points out that Thursday could be pretty interesting.
Thursday is Oops Report time.
That’s when the Labor Department will tell us if it has been correctly tabulating the number of jobs in this country. Or, more precisely, it will tell us how much it has erred in the reporting of the job market.
My guess is that the department has over-counted jobs by several hundred thousand.
  The biggest fudge factor in the monthly employment report that everyone watches is a guesstimate for newly formed companies that Labor can’t count but assumes exist. So in almost every month Labor adds a generous number of jobs to its report for these possibly nonexistent jobs.
 The figure on Thursday will correct the March 2011-to-March 2012 count.

Bill Clinton's Dishonesty (Chapter 19,637)

This is dsgraceful.  Not surprising, but absolutely disgraceful.  Especially for a former president.
CLINTON: ... if you look at it, President Bush, when he took office...  immediately the death rate went up among Israelis and Palestinians because there was nothing going on.
Reality is so different.
what was “going on” when the “death rate went up” at the beginning of the Bush administration? It was actually the Second Intifada, which began under… President Bill Clinton. Clinton is right that the “death rate” went up. Thousands died in the Palestinian terror war against Israelis civilians that began after the failure of the Clinton Camp David peace talks.
Nonetheless, was Clinton’s position that George W. Bush should encourage more peace talks between the Israelis and Yasser Arafat, despite the violence? It most certainly was not; in fact Clinton’s opinion was decidedly the opposite of that—and that’s exactly what he told Bush. From Martin Indyk’s memoir of the Clinton administration’s Mideast diplomacy—a book that is extremely positive toward Clinton:
Clinton wanted to make it clear to the incoming administration just who they would be dealing with. He had already dwelt at length on Arafat’s perfidy while briefing George W. Bush and Dick Cheney that morning. Now he called Colin Powell, the secretary of state-designate, who had earlier served as Clinton’s chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. When the phone rang, Powell was dressing for a pre-inaugural concert. He was surprised to hear Clinton’s voice. “I just wanted to wish you all the best in your new position,” the president said. Then he launched into a vituperative, expletive-filled tirade against Arafat. Powell understood the real motive for the call. As he would recount it to me, the president warned him, “Don’t you ever trust that son of a bitch. He lied to me and he’ll lie to you.” Arafat had failed his people and destroyed the chances for peace, Clinton emphasized. “Don’t let Arafat sucker punch you like he did me.”

 Clinton called everyone he could get an audience with to tell the administration not to deal with Arafat. The Palestinian chairman was a liar, and he “destroyed the chances for peace.”

Paul Mirengoff  references this story and adds -- "Nearly twelve years after the end of Bill Clinton’s presidency it has become easy to forget this central fact about the former president: he is a pathological liar."

Monday, September 24, 2012

"Unprecedented" Antarctic Peninsula ice loss

Doug Hoffman has some interesting studies about the state of ice on the other side of the world.

"Unprecedented" Arctic sea ice loss

Matt Ridley points out that we've seen it all before.  When global warming religionists use the term "unprecedented" -- "you keep using that word".

Insanity at the EPA

Alan Caruba points out the insanity that currently grips the EPA. 
The EPA actually encourages environmental groups to sue in order to enter into consent decrees to “settle” the case in a manner they prefer. For decades, environmental groups have reaped millions in taxpayer dollars by accommodating the agency in this fashion. A case in point is the Environmental Defense Fund that received $2.76 million in grants over the last decade while at the same time suing the EPA over various issues.

The Wyoming-based Budd-Falen law office has documented more than 3,000 law suits against the EPA by a dozen environmental organizations over the past decade! During the same time period, the Environmental Law Institute that created a citizen’s guide to suing the EPA has received $9.9 million in grants!
And the the regs are a burden that is much bigger than people realize:
The EPA has become a major threat to property rights nationwide in addition to its relentless attacks on the energy sector. It is a very costly agency in terms of what Congress calls “major rules” that are defined as costing the private economy more than $100 million annually. In August 2010 Speaker of the House, John Boehner, sent President Obama a letter pointing out that the administration had been creating regulations that cost ten times more.

Of the seven rules that broke the $1 billion barrier, four of them were from the EPA. The total cost of EPA regulations hit $104.5 billion versus $5 billion for the entire rest of the government!

Media fact-checkers

When  a dispute arises between Dems and the GOP, how do fact-checkers in the MSM figure out who is telling the truth and who gets pinocchios?  Simple -- they just call the Democrats and ask
To date, three PolitiFact columns have been written on the main welfare reform controversy—two concluding Republicans are lying, and a third concluding that Bill Clinton was telling the truth about Sebelius’s misleading, garbage-in, garbage-out 20 percent metric. and the Washington Post fact checker have also concluded that Republicans are not telling the truth about what the Obama administration did to welfare reform.
In order for “fact checkers” to swiftly, unanimously, and erroneously reach the wrong conclusion, they created a feedback loop, credulously taking at face value the statements of the Obama administration and liberal policy experts, while systematically ignoring critical sources—including the primary source for the allegation the Obama administration is gutting welfare reform.
Though they’ve selectively and dismissively quoted him, Rector says PolitiFact has spoken to him only once, and that was about a tangential matter involving Republican governors who have requested welfare waivers. He’s never been asked by any fact checking organizations “about the core argument, which is Obama gutting workfare,” he says.
The Weekly Standard also spoke to the leading Republican welfare policy expert in the House of Representatives, Matt Weidinger, staff director of the Ways and Means subcommittee on welfare. He said he had never been contacted by a fact checking organization. Becky Shipp, an adviser for the Senate Finance Committee, known as the premiere GOP welfare geek in the upper chamber, also reports she hasn’t been contacted by a media fact checker. Further, she tells The Weekly Standard she went so far as to reach out to a fact checking organization to correct the record and never heard back.

Incompetent AND corrupt

After a presidential campaign featuring more lies than any in our lifetime, Obama has lied shamelessly about what happened in Libya on 9/11 this year.  The corruption is obvious.  But corruption isn't sufficient to explain why Obama has us waking in a ditch every morning.  There's the gross incompetence, too. Jennifer Rubin  has the courage and stomach to sit through an entire 60 minutes interview.  "Bump in the road", "noise", his impotence in Washington, his lie about taxes,"mistakes were made" campaigning ... -- the Obama train wreck just piles higher and higher.

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Climate Tribalism

Judy Curry deserves some praise for pointing this out:
The main point of this post, however, is to explore the following statement:
“I am not one of the sceptics,” insisted Mojib Latif of the Leibniz Institute of Marine Sciences at Kiel University, Germany. “However, we have to ask the nasty questions ourselves or other people will do it.”
IMO this statement is enormously telling in terms of the debate surrounding climate science:
  • Asking questions is at the heart of the scientific method, and science has been characterized as ‘organized scepticism.’
  • The questions are referred to as ‘nasty’, since presumably they are inconvenient for the audience (the UN).
  • Not wanting to be identified as a ‘sceptic,’ in spite of the fact that the perspective that he presents is consistent with with what many sceptics say.
  • There is a ‘we’ versus ‘other people’ , in terms of who is acceptable in terms of asking questions.  If this doesn’t define climate tribalism, I don’t know what does.

Self evident

Steve Goddard:

It Is Self Evident That Obama Will Tell Whatever Lie Seems Most Likely To Get Votes At The Time




Wealthy DC vs. America

Ross Douthat gets it nailed.  DC is where America's wealth goes. The three wealthiest and 7 of the wealthiest 10 counties are in the DC area.

For Mitt Romney and the Republican Party, what’s happened in Washington these last 10 years should be a natural part of the case against Obamanomics. Our gilded District is a case study in how federal spending often finds its way to the well connected rather than the people it’s supposed to help, how every new program spawns an array of influence peddlers, and how easily corporations and government become corrupt allies rather than opponents. 
  [o]ur government isn’t running trillion-dollar deficits because we’re letting the working class get away with not paying its fair share. We’re running those deficits because too many powerful interest groups have a stake in making sure the party doesn’t stop.
When you look around the richest precincts of today’s Washington, you don’t see a city running on paternalism or dependency. You see a city running on exploitation.

Interesting connection

Is this how Obama paid for college?

Thankfully, we have a Dem prez or the news would be awful

We should all be very glad that we have a Democratic president right now; otherwise the news would be terrible. We would be seeing a rash of horrible and depressing stories in the newspapers about strategic failure, with unremitting second guessing and belittling of a  president who agonized for months before the surge and then saw his plan fail. We’d be hearing non-stop reports in the media about the incompetent and klutzy leader who torpedoed his own policy by announcing a withdrawal date; the man who tried to please everybody and do everything—and failed at all he tried.
The press would be jumping on this narrative.
Read it all.  He finishes:

  we are deeply grateful that with a Democratic president running for re-election, the press has decided to pay as little attention as possible to bad news overseas. Otherwise, our morning news read would be depressing, and nobody likes a downer.

Corrupt or Incompetent?

Beldar says both:
We can argue about whether this Administration's misinformation was merely incompetent or actively deceptive (i.e., disinformation). Hayes makes, in my judgment, a strong case for the latter, whereas I'd argue it's a combination of both.
But no one can argue that the early information released by the Obama Administration about the Libyan tragedy has been accurate or trustworthy.
I hope that during the foreign policy debate, Gov. Romney spotlights this particularly ugly performance by the Obama Adminstration. That will probably be his best chance to cut through the mainstream media's too-willing fog on these issues.
I continue to think that Romney and Ryan need great debate performances because the debates will be the only time that millions of voters may ever hear about a number of important issues.

Saturday, September 22, 2012

Green -- the color of failure

WRM on another spectacular green failure:

Greens have an odd knack for developing useless and expensive government policies. Ethanol, ballyhooed as a way to reduce greenhouse gasses, raises food prices for the poor and, in the U.S., actually increases greenhouse gas emissions at great cost. Costly programs to create “green jobs” seem to produce more scandals than jobs. And now we have a subsidy program for electric cars that costs money but otherwise gets nothing done.

And this from an Obama voter.

Tom Coughlin is so wrong; Greg Schiano is right

I've been a NY Giants fan since the days of Y.A. Tittle, Sam Huff and Frank Gifford.  Like most Giant fans, I remember an attempted handoff from Joe Pisarcik to Larry Csonka that ended up in the end zone with Herm Edwards.  So I really, really don't understand what Giant coach Tom Coughlin is complaining about with Tampa Bay coach  Greg Schiano.

With time remaining for only one last play in a one-possession game (repeat -- in a ONE possession game), the Giants chose to maximize  their chances of winning by lining up in victory formation to have QB Eli Manning take the snap and simply kneel down.  Tampa Bay trailed by only a touchdown meaning that they could tie the game with a single play (see e.g. Herm Edwards, Pisarcik, Csonka in 1978).  While the Giants chose to run a play that gave them the best chance to win, Greg Schiano called the defensive play that gave his team the best opportunity to win.  He massed his defense over the ball and slammed everyone forward at the snap in hopes of creating a fumble.  It wasn't much of a chance, but it was their best chance.  Eli took the snap, knelt, and got knocked over by all the bodies surging over him from the Bucs charge.  The effort to create a fumble was unsuccessful.

After the play, the clock ran out and Tom Coughlin was absolutely livid with rage that the Bucs had continued to play hard til the end of a game that they still had a chance to win.  In the bizarre world that Coughlin inhabits, the Bucs should have responded to his effort to maximize his chances of winning by quitting before the game was over.  He's nuts.

In a game that was no longer competitive, the Bucs' move would have been a cheap shot and Coughlin would be correct.  But not in a game they still had a chance to win.  Expecting the other team to quit while they still have a chance to win is just crazy.

How good is Louisiana-Monroe?

Who are these guys?  ULM beat Arkansas when the Hogs were ranked 8th in the nation.  Then they lost to Auburn in OT on the road.  Last night they lost to undefeated Baylor 47-42.  The Warhawks (I didn't know their nickname and I know lots of nicknames) have played 3 big time programs down to the wire three weeks in a row.  I assume this make them favorites in the Sun Belt,

Chris Brown at Smart Football shows they have some wrinkles in their offense.  They clearly know how to score some points.

Illness caused by cleanliness?

Matt Ridley highlights a remarkable new book which suggests that many modern illnesses may be due to cleanliness.

Rachel Carson -- smoking denier

Matt Ridley points out that Rachel Carson's primary source was an ardent denier of any link between smoking and lung cancer.  Funny.

PBS demonstrates why climate science can't be trusted

Dr. Judy Curry discusses her role in the embarrassment that is PBS' recent show which had the temerity to interview Anthony Watts, a skeptic who refuses to goosestep with the global warming thought police.  The thought police are outraged.  PBS is apologizing. Freedom and science are threatened.

Edit/add -- Prominent climate scientist Roger Pielke, Sr. opines:

Since Judy has already discussed Michael Getler’s response as Ombudsman , I just want to add one comment here.
In the statement by Michael Getler, he wrote
What was stunning to me as I watched this program is that the NewsHour and  Michels had picked Watts — who is a meteorologist and commentator — rather than  a university-accredited scientist to provide “balance.”
What in the world is “a university-accredited scientist?”
Anthony Watts has published peer-reviewed papers on siting problems for temperature monitoring stations.  Pielke looks at some of the various silly categories that Getler might have meant and then writes:

Could it mean that you have to be a university professor that works in the area of study; in this case climate science. Also, the answer is No. Richard Muller has internationally well-respected credentials in physics, but he is a newcomer to climate science.
In contrast, Anthony Watts has been working in weather and climate for quite a few years, and is clearly well-qualified to discuss the surface temperature siting issues presented in the PBS broadcast. Even Tom Karl at NOAA’s NCDC invited Anthony to give a talk at their headquarters in Asheville several years ago.  Indeed, NCDC has made changes in their network specifically in response to Anthony’s pioneering work on station siting!
The PBS Ombudsman, Michael Getler, clearly has inappropriately reacted to what was a valuable, much-needed (and usually missing from PBS) report on the diversity of perspectives on the climate issue.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Briggs has big fun with lewlew

I can only quote it.

One day a terrific psychological study is going to be written on the madness and mass lunacy which arose after climate change swam into the public’s ken. I don’t mean the actions and thoughts of the man-in-the-street, which were and are no different in this area than they were and are in any political matterhe . No: the real curiosity is what happened to academia, inside departments which haven’t anything to do with climatology.
There, surrounded by people eager to agree with each other and fueled by infinite estimates of their own intelligence, great hoards of degreed non-experts, people who couldn’t derive the Omega equation if you threatened to remove their tenure and who think Vorticity is a town in Spain, lectured all of mankind on why The End Was Near, Unless…
Unless they, the non-experts, were hearkened to, esteemed, feted, moneyed, and just plain listened to, dammit.
The cornerstone of this future pathological report may well be the peer-reviewed Psychological Science paper “NASA faked the moon landing—Therefore (Climate) Science is a Hoax: An Anatomy of the Motivated Rejection of Science” by Stephan Lewandowsky, Klaus Oberauer, and Gilles Gignac, perhaps the completest, most representative work of its odd era.
Everything that could have been done wrong, was done wrong. Every bias that could have been manifested, was manifested. Every fallacy pertinent to the matter at hand was made. The conclusions, regurgitated from unnecessarily complicated statistical procedures, did not follow from the evidence gathered, which itself was suspect. In its way, then, the paper is a jewel, a gift to the future, a fundamental text to how easy it is to fool oneself.

PBS swears that it really, really is pathetic

PBS did a show on climate.  They actually had the temerity to interview one skeptic, Anthony Watts from .  The lefties that inhabit PBS world went berserk.  Apologies and explanations ensued.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Stupid or Lying?

Neo thinks it is possible that this guy is not lying, that he's just that shallow and stupid.  I don't know.  I'm having trouble with the idea that anyone could be this stupid.

Monday, September 17, 2012

A Johnny Majors story

The University of Tennessee retired Johnny Majors jersey (#45) Saturday evening.  The timing of that honor and the play of the Vols in the game that followed prompted me to write this.

I was a graduate assistant football coach for Johnny Majors at UT in 1989.  When I arrived in Knoxville in the winter at the start of the year, the Vols were coming off a horrible season where they had lost their first 6 games and finished 5-6.  A lot of changes had been made and everyone around the program felt pressure knowing that another poor season wouldn't be tolerated.  What was interesting to me, however, was the amount of confidence that came from within the coaching offices of the assistant coaches.  The rest of the football world may not have thought much of the team's chances in the fall, but they seemed to think that there was a whole lot of emerging young talent on the team.  I've never seen a group of people work so hard.

At that point in his career, Coach Majors was not actively involved in the daily development of minute details of plays and game plans.  He was a CEO, he'd hired some of the best assistants in the country, and he let them do their jobs -- subject to his overview and motivation.  Watching him work that year taught me a number of lessons about executive leadership.  One particularly valuable lesson was observing how he monitored quality.  Perhaps it was the influence of his father, Shirley Majors, who had a long career as a football coach.  Perhaps it was the influence of General Neyland, one of the greatest college football coaches of all time, who retired the season before Coach got to UT and remained on campus as the athletic director.  Neyland's influence and his game maxims still guide football coaches and players at Tennessee to this day.  Certainly, some of it was due to his own experience over a career that included a national championship and two seasons earning national coach of the year honors.  Whatever its source, Coach Majors was a strong believer that football success came down to the basic fundamentals of blocking, tackling and the kicking game.  And he focused like a laser on those parts of the game.

Although I never talked with him about it, I suspect that he realized how easy it is for coaches to get caught up in strategy and tactics.  Football makes for a fascinating chess game.  But just as a wise food chain CEO knows the importance of the simple basics like clean bathrooms and smiling servers, he knew that sound fundamentals require vigilance and emphasis.

 One of my responsibilities that season was to sit with Coach in his office and take notes while he watched film.  He added those notes and the ones taken during practice to his own reminders of what he wanted to discuss at the 7 am staff meetings every morning.   As plays unfolded back and forth repeatedly on the screen, Coach would dictate notes for me to write down regarding questions, points of emphasis, and the like.  He paid particularly close attention to tackling technique.

Football must be played with an emphasis on the basic physics at work.  Proper tackling requires that a player maintain bent knees with his butt low, his back straight, his head up, his pads low, his feet in a good wide base and moving.  A sound tackler must be under control so that he can react laterally if a ball carrier tries to 'juke' or fake him.  After contact, sound tackling requires that the tackler finish the play by keeping his feet moving and his legs driving.  Coaches often teach players this by telling them to "run through the tackle."  Two of the most common mistakes that we see constantly are: 1) after contact a player lets his legs go limp in hopes that his body weight will drag the runner to the ground (more often, the limp body weight simply allows the runner to surge forward for extra yards and sometimes causes the tackler to lose his grip so that the runner breaks free leaving the tackler on the ground), and 2) the tackler launches his body (or dives) at the ball carrier.  If the runner changes direction or cuts back, the tackler cannot react.  When feet aren't in contact with the ground, the body cannot move in a different direction.  This results in the diving tackler landing on the ground.  Also, once a body is launched through the air, upon contact the tackler cannot drive the runner backward.  Diving makes it easier for the runner to stiff arm the tackler or push him on past as he cuts back.  In short, lots of things can happen when a tackler dives and none of them are good.

Coach Majors didn't enjoy seeing his players "diving on the ground".  It seemed to be his biggest pet peeve.  He really, really didn't like it.  While there were all manner of things that might show up on the screen that would prompt him to dictate something to me about the importance of getting them addressed, an instance on tape of "diving on the ground" usually brought the video to a halt.  That is, after it had been reviewed a few times to appreciate in all its horror.  A request that I take down a note rarely followed these instances.  Instead, I would be told to go find whichever position coach had responsibility for the offending player and inform him of Coach Majors' desire to see him (whenever it would be convenient or the next 3 seconds whichever came first).  I would literally run down the hall to find the assistant coach.  He'd walk swiftly back to Coach's private office and we'd all watch the 'diving on the ground' a few more times.  Coach would then communicate the extent to which such viewing deterred him from a happy state of digestion and implore the assistant coach to endeavor to educate his charges on the error of their ways.  Or something like that.  With emphasis.  A lot of emphasis.

The emphasis bore fruit.  The Vols in 1989 had fewer instances of poor tackling than most teams.  And very, very few instances of poor blocking.  The result was an 11-1 record and top 5 national ranking.  No matter how complicated the game gets with plays, the formations, the defenses, the reads, the adjustments and the conversions, it still comes down to Neyland's first maxim, "The team that makes the fewest mistakes will win."  And all the wizardry in the world can't overcome basic mistakes in blocking and tackling.

Coach Majors understood that a leader can delegate all kinds of important responsibilities, but one part of his job that was too important to delegate was monitoring the quality of the most basic aspects of his team's play.

Sunday, September 16, 2012

What he said

Warren Meyer on a critical asymmetry regarding free speech:

I think the fact that there is an asymmetry between how critiques of Islam are received by US intellectuals and how critiques of Christianity are received is so obvious I am not even going to bother to prove it.  Suffice it to say that the same folks who refrained from even printing the fairly tame Danish Mohammed cartoons embrace satire of Christianity that is far more harsh, e.g. the Book of Mormon.
So accepting this asymmetry as nearly an axiom, I want to ask instead:  Is this asymmetry an exception being made for Islam, or an exception being made for Christianity.  In other words:
  • Do these folks support criticisms of all religions except Islam, because Islam is somehow different, perhaps out of a fear of violence?  If so, aren't we just encouraging anyone who is butt-hurt to resort to violence by giving folks with a Molotov cocktail an effective veto over speech?
  • Or, do these folks oppose criticisms of all religions except Christianity, perhaps because Republicans and Texans are Christians and intellectuals really don't like those guys.  In some ways this is parallel to the asymmetric way the "right not to be offended" is enforced on most campuses, with everyone afraid to offend a black woman but with no punishments assessed for offending white males.
Either answer, by the way, is absolutely unacceptable.  People who want to limit speech in a way to favor their own in-group should wonder what might happen when their group is no longer "in".

Climate sensitivity

Resilient Earth:
One of the main problems with the “theory” of anthropogenic global warming is its reliance on rising atmospheric CO2 levels to force a global rise in temperature. This is predicted by climate change proponents by running large, complex computer models that imperfectly simulate the physics of Earths biosphere: ocean, land and atmosphere. Central to tuning these general circulation models (GCM) is a parameter called climate sensitivity, a value that purports to capture in a single number the response of global climate to a doubling of atmospheric carbon dioxide. But it has long been known that the Earth system is constantly changing—interactions shifting and factors waxing and waning—so how can a simple linear approximation capture the response of nature? The answer is, it can not, as a new perspective article in the journal Science reports.
The climate is so complex and our understanding is so simplistic and ignorant that it is extraordinary hubris to think we can reduce the whole system to a single number.  The evidence demonstrates that climate response is different for different circumstances.  And we don't know many of the circumstances or the reasons why.
When it comes to Earth's climate, new factors are constantly being discovered. A new, and as of yet unidentified chemical substance is involved in driving sulfuric acid formation over forests, making all cloud formation models obsolete. A more direct example of how changing climate can change the climate system's response is the discovery that absorption of CO2 has more than doubled over the past half century. These, and other discoveries indicate that a more general measure of the Earth system's ability to maintain its prevailing state when subject to forcings is required.
As we said in The Resilient Earth, the complexity of Earth's climate system far exceeds current day climate science's abilities to understand. Basing future predictions on CO2 by trying to capture the planet's climate response in a single value called “sensitivity” is a feeble attempt to explain climate change by an immature science. What is needed is more sense about climate sensitivity, for clearly, trying to find a single value to explain climate change is a fool's game.

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Andrew Ferguson gives Lewis and BO an ouchie

This will leave a mark.  Read it all.  Never has someone so small been praised so much by so many for having done so little.
“Obama’s Way,” in other words, is exactly how the Obama administration wants you the reader—you the voter—to think of the president. It’s as close to an official portrait as we are likely to get until the president himself writes his memoirs in his own soaring prose.
Lewis has succumbed inevitably to the Obama Delusion, the vision, once so widely shared, of the blinding splendor of this fellow who has proved to be so ordinary. As a Delusionist he happens upon Obama doing unexceptional things that become, by virtue of Obama doing them, wildly impressive. Lewis discovers, for example, that President Obama is required to make many decisions in his job. He makes fewer of them than we might hope, of course, as in his temporizing response to the Syrian uprising; and the ones he does make are ones we might wish he hadn’t made, as in his insistence on spending so damn much money.
 After Ferguson reminds his readers of Lewis' unbroken record as a stooge, we're almost moved to feel sorry for him.

Friday, September 14, 2012

Pat Caddell on Jarrett's security

Democratic pollster Pat Caddell on Obama advisor Valerie Jarrett:

“Jarrett seems to have a 24 hour, around the clock detail, with five or six agents full time,” Caddell explains. “The media has been completely uninterested. We don’t provide security for our ambassador in Libya, but she needs a full Secret Service security detail. And nobody thinks there’s anything wrong with this. And nobody in the press will ask. What kind of slavish stoogery are they perpetrating here?

“This country has reached the point of absurdity. There are people dead because we don’t have security details for them. But she’s privileged to have a full Secret Service detail on vacation?”

Slander sells

Liberal Super PAC
He used Iowa Republican Rep. Steve King as an example.
“When we said that Steve King … is pro-life and believes in cutting Social Security and voted for the Ryan budget, no one cared,” Arnold said. “When we said Steve King’s a racist, Steve King believes that immigrants ought to be put in electric fences, people moved.”
“When you talk about the substance of a man’s character, people respond,” Arnold continued. “Believe it or not, that is not something politicians knew.”
CREDO super PAC, which did not immediately return a request for comment from The Daily Caller on Thursday, bills itself as a “political committee working to defeat ten of the most odious tea party members of Congress.”
Arnold made the comments while discussing the organization’s campaign against Colorado Republican Rep. Mike Coffman. The event at BJ’s Restaurant and Brewhouse was billed as a gathering for “CREDO members and local activists to discuss our campaign to defeat Mike Coffman.”


IBD points out what should be obvious to everyone if liberals didn't have salaries dependent on not believing:

Capitalism thrives on "creative destruction," as economist Joseph Schumpeter put it. But what the U.S. currently is experiencing is stagnation, with companies and employees too scared to make changes.

Obama's chickens

Mona Charen lays out the case for how BO's weakness hurts America.  All worth reading, but note the multiple apologies she lists:
President Obama, the so-called fact-checkers’ indignant denials notwithstanding, did apologize for the United States. The Washington Free Beacon reminds us that he told a French audience that, instead of “celebrating your dynamic union and seeking to partner with you to meet common challenges, there have been times when America has shown arrogance, and been dismissive, even derisive.” In Turkey, he said that America was still “working through” some of the darker periods in our past.
At the Summit of the Americas, Mr. Obama confessed that “while the United States has done much to promote peace and prosperity in the hemisphere, we have . . . at times . . . sought to dictate our terms.”
Speaking at the National Archives, the president offered, “Unfortunately . . . all too often our government made decisions based on fear rather than foresight; . . . all too often our government trimmed facts and evidence to fit ideological predispositions. Instead of strategically applying our power and our principles, too often we set those principles aside as luxuries that we could no longer afford. In other words, we went off course.”
Faced with an anti-American tirade from the little Marxist of Nicaragua, Daniel Ortega, Obama defended himself, not his country, by saying, “I’m very grateful that President Ortega didn’t blame me for things that happened when I was three months old.”
The world has looked to the United States in vain for leadership on Iran’s nuclear program. It has found a feckless and incompetent leader, whose delayed sanctions have had zero impact on the regime’s pursuit of nuclear weapons.

Science -- Emperor had clothes

Steve Goddard :

For centuries it was believed that the Emperor had no clothing, but new research indicates that this was based on the testimony of one small child, who had no background in textiles or even retail clothing sales. He also had no formal education in clothing and had never published anything about fashion in a peer reviewed journal.
Furthermore, it has been discovered that more than 97% of the experts at the time agreed that the emperor had clothing. We can therefor safely conclude that the emperor was well clothed, and that the child was not competent to discuss his wardrobe.

Living in an Orwellian World

Neo --

We are living in an Orwellian world…

…and I’m not an Orwellian girl.
Apologies to Madonna, but it seems that in terms of disinformation and propaganda, we are living in an Orwellian world (or at least a Pravda-esque world). And if the American people aren’t sharp enough to see it, they will have no one to blame but themselves.
If that fact weren’t already clear to me, the relentless MSM and administration focus yesterday and today on Mitt Romney’s quite reasonable reaction to the tweet from the Cairo embassy would have brought it home quite dramatically.

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Obama;s nasty streak

Neo discusses the lies Obama tells in an effort to slide away from being a prick to Ryan:

Obama says he was unaware of Ryan’s presence “when I gave that speech.” But even if Obama was unaware of Ryan’s presence before he took the podium, if Ryan was sitting in the front row, Obama became aware “when he gave that speech.” And if he was unaware under such circumstances, then he is extraordinarily and pathologically out of it.
Obama then contradicts himself and says first that “we” didn’t know beforehand (that would probably include his staff, unless he’s using the royal we). Then he catches himself, perhaps because he recalls that in the Woodward book the author says that Ryan was specifically invited to the speech by Obama staffers. So Obama corrects himself and says “I” didn’t know—”until I arrived.”
So, which is it, Barack? Did you not know when you gave the speech, or did you become aware when you arrived?
Obama then goes on to add what I think is his most curious statement of all: he acts as though he had no power whatsoever to change his speech once he saw Ryan sitting there. Perhaps he’s correct. After all, his reliance on prepared remarks and the teleprompter is legendary. Even had he wanted to temper his remarks (which I do not for a moment believe), are we really to understand that he had no ability to ad lib and override his own speechmakers, and was forced to insult a man sitting in front of him because Obama is a preprogrammed robot who cannot adjust to circumstances?
Now, that’s quite an admission.

News you can use

Q and O:
Mitt Romney stopped and bought Girl Scout cookies during a campaign stop this morning. He bought two boxes of Do-si-dos and a box of Trefoil butter cookies.
Debbie Wasserman-Shultz derided the incident as yet more evidence that Romney is out of touch with average Americans. "He didn’t get a single box of Samoas or Thin Mints? That’s unpardonable. Those are the Girl Scout Cookie varieties Americans love. Mitt Romney has proven again that he’s not fit to lead America during this tough economy."
Los Angeles mayor Antonio Villaraigosa called Romney a racist over the flap. "He didn’t buy anything that has any chocolate in it. Not only did he turn down the totally brown Thin Mints, he wouldn’t even take the partially brown Samoas. The only reason I can think of for such blatant insensitivity is outright racism."
Senate Majority leader Harry Reid said a friend in the Girl Scouts told him Romney had never purchased Samoas or Thin Mints. "The facts are clear. Unless Romney releases his purchase records of Girl Scout cookies for the last twenty years, we’ll all know exactly what to think."
A Romney campaign spokesman pointed out that the group of Girl Scouts selling cookies outside a supermarket was out of Samoas and Thin Mints. "We were all disappointed that there were no Samoas, but that’s not Mitt Romney’s fault. The Obama economy with its high unemployment has made it impossible for the Girl Scouts to predict how many cookies of each variety to order. I really wanted some Samoas with vanilla ice cream on top, but, hey, that’s just how it goes."
Politifact looked at the Romney campaign’s claim that they didn’t buy Samoas or Thin Mints because they were not available that day. Since there were some Samoas and Thin Mints available from other scouts elsewhere in the country, they rated the claim "mostly false".

Did Obama screw the troops for a photo-op?

Big Lizards has a theory.  Obama went to Fort Bliss over Labor Day weekend and was met with silence and a cold shoulder from the troops.  The speech was such a dud that Obama's cheerleaders in cable tv cut away before he was half over.

Big Lizards runs through several potential explanations for the silent treatment, then offers this -- the soldiers were ordered to be at the speech, thus ruining a lot of plans for the holiday weekend:
the holiday reunions for many soldiers and their families were ruined. Gone are their (possibly non-refundable) flights and difficult to get hotel reservations; gone also is half the time they expected. Not to mention all the wasted money they couldn't afford to lose. All gone.
And for what? Because of a military emergency? A hurricane or other natural disaster? For what lofty reason were these soldiers forced to donate their time, the most precious resource for an active-duty soldier? To listen to a classless, clueless politician talk about how concerned he is about military personnel... while using them as a prop in his own reelection campaign, without regard to whether they want to become part of his next campaign commercial, or even whether they support his reelection in the first place.
I'd say the poker-faced silent treatment Obama received was no more than he deserves. The brass can order the troops to assemble and be respectful to the Commander in Chief, but they cannot order them to cheer spontaneously.

Bill Barnwell wrong on 2 pt conversion

Bill Barnwell kicks and misses with his best Charlie Brown imitation:

It's pretty easy to pick on Browns coach Pat Shurmur this morning, so let's spare him the cheap jokes and get to the facts. When D'Qwell Jackson picked off Michael Vick and took the return back to the house for a 27-yard touchdown in the fourth quarter of Sunday's game, the Browns took a 15-10 lead before attempting the conversion. Shurmur sent his kicking team out there and picked up an extra point to go up 16-10. On their final meaningful drive, though, the Eagles scored a touchdown and picked up the deciding score on the extra point, winning 17-16 after Brandon Weeden threw his fourth pick of the day.
This isn't an egregious decision because it came back to haunt the Browns; it's a critical failure because Shurmur chose the option that added virtually nothing to his team's chances of winning.2 Kicking the extra point gave the Browns a 16-10 lead with 14 minutes to go; the only advantage it gave them was having the ability to tie if Philadelphia kicked two field goals. That's far less likely to occur than the Eagles scoring one touchdown. The value added by a successful two-point conversion is significantly greater, more than enough to justify the risk of going for two. The two-point chart suggests that the Browns should have gone for two unless their chances of converting were below 24 percent, a conversion rate that even the league's worst rushing attack would find attainable.
Furthermore, it's an awful decision because it employs exactly zero foresight. You don't need to be thinking about win probability models or game theory to realize that going from a five-point lead to a six-point one in the fourth quarter is basically worthless. Coaches have charts that tell them when they should kick or choose to go for a two-pointer, but a second-generation coach like Shurmur should have easy decisions like this instilled in his DNA. There are some two-point decisions that require a closer consideration of the variables than the simple numbers indicate. This wasn't one of them.

Homer Smith, perhaps the greatest offensive mind in the history of college football, disagrees.  Coach Smith's formulation is simple and sound.  Going for two is the riskier strategy with a lower expected return.  It therefore makes no sense to go for it unless a coach knows that the single point has no value.  

First, compare the likelihoods of making 2 vs. making 1.  The Browns will make the kick 99% of the time -- giving an expected return of .99 points.  The average NFL try for two points succeeds less than half the time -- giving an expected return which is less than the return expected from kicking.  Additionally, the try wouldn't be attempted by the NFL average.  It would be attempted by the Browns' offense, which struggled all day and had a much less likely chance at succeeding in going for it than the NFL average offense.

Second, look at the time remaining.  Were the Browns desperate?  Did they know that the single point would serve no purpose?  Of course not.  There were all kinds of potential scoring combination outcomes for both teams with almost a full quarter remaining to play.  E.g. if the Browns go for it and likely fail, they lead by 5.  If they should later kick a FG to increase the lead to 8, the Eagles are still only one score down.  But if they kick the XPt, a subsequent  FG gives them a 9 pt lead and puts the Eagles 2 scores down. Huge difference.  And the likelihood of getting another FG with nearly a quarter remaining is not small.  The reality is that the point combinations are many.

Smith advised that the decision should only be made to make the riskier play when the time remaining was small enough that the coach can be fairly confident in predicting the likely scores he needs in the time remaining. 14 minutes is way, way too much time left (unless a coach is down by 3 scores e.g. down 24-0 and scores a TD with 14 mins left).

A final note -- using NFL averages to produce some likelihood chart on scoring by each team in a given period of time is ridiculous.  The game isn't played by an Eagle team with an NFL average offense, defense and kicking game vs. a Brown team with an NFL average offense, defense and kicking game, in average weather and average field condition.  Coaching real human beings in a real game with real differences in abilities is not remotely like crunching numbers about averages with a computer.  Games aren't played by numerical averages.


"What can you say?" Steelers safety Troy Polamalu said. "I mean, he's Peyton Manning. He's the same Manning. Everything anybody has ever said about him is probably the same thing I would say tonight."

 "That guy is a great competitor. I've never seen anybody better."
--Broncos' Champ Bailey on Manning.

"It's great to have a first-ballot hall of famer who knows the game inside and out."
--Tracy Porter on Manning.

The Broncos primarily won this season opener because Manning is back in all his glory. He is the Peyton Manning of old. Despite missing all of last season with a neck injury, despite playing with a new team in a new home stadium with new teammates, Manning played quarterback as Michelangelo would paint, as Shakespeare would write, as Fred Astaire would dance.
Manning plays as an artist.-- Mike Klis Denver Post

It's a certainty that, without Manning's experience and intelligence, the Broncos would have been lost without him.

“I don’t know how Peyton’s neck is doing,” NBC analyst Cris Collinsworth quipped, “but his brain’s doing just fine.”

most importantly of all, he showed he still has those qualities that make him Peyton Manning — the ability to stay one step ahead of the defense, to pick out a weakness and exploit it. -- SI Chris Burke

the Broncos defense had at least one good reason to hang tough: Manning.
His presence affects the psyche of the defense, too.
"It brings confidence," said defensive end Elvis Dumervil. "You know it's not the end of the world if you don't stop 'em, that you know he can put up points, too. It's huge for us."
Elway knows. That's what great quarterbacks tend to do. They lift the whole program.
"It gives you hope," he said.

 Pittsburgh coach Mike Tomlin was succinct, but summed it up best Sunday night: “He’s Peyton."

 Yes, Peyton Manning can still cut that meat. -- NY Post

College Bubble

Megan McArdle:

at least a third of students gain no measurable skills during their four years in college. For the remainder who do, the gains are usually minimal. For many students, college is less about providing an education than a credential—a certificate testifying that they are smart enough to get into college, conformist enough to go, and compliant enough to stay there for four years.

DC Hoops mention

NBC Sports on the strength of non-BCS teams this year in NCAA hopes:
Could there really be seven top 20 teams from outside the power six conference this season?
But that’s not even the end of it, because there are a number of teams that didn’t make this list that will see their names pop up in the top 25 a time or two this year.
St. Mary’s returns one of the most underrated back courts in the country in Matthew Dellavedova, Stephen Holt, Jorden Page, and Paul McCoy and has enough of a front court presence to be a favorite to win the WCC. They didn’t make the top ten. Neither did BYU, who returns Matt Carlino, Brandon Davies and Tyler Haws.
That’s not it. Colorado State returns the majority of the roster of a team that made the NCAA tournament while adding a pair of high-profile transfers, and the Rams may not even be a top three team in the MWC if Nevada figures out a way to put all of their talent together. If Norvel Pelle gets eligible, Iona has the talent to compete in the Big East. Lehigh returns the majority of their roster, including CJ McCollum, from a team that beat Duke in the opening round of the tournament, and they may not even be the best team in their conference with Bucknell around. Should I mention the fact that Davidson brings back all five starters from the team that beat Kansas in Kansas City or that Ohio brings back everyone from a team that made the Sweet 16? (Edit: It’s worth noting that mid-major hoops is good enough this year that I completely blanked on mentioning Drexel — and, for that matter, George Mason — and St. Joseph’s in this post.)
This is a great year to be a fan of mid-major hoops.

The Lewandowsky mess

Skeptic blogs have been having a field day with the ridiculous survey and "academic study" by Australian social science prof named Lewandowsky.  Examples here and here.  Russell Cook makes a good point that doesn't get enough notice.  At the summary of his post he writes:
It is eerily too easy to spot Ross Gelbspan’s associations with practically any given person who claims skeptic scientists are corrupt.
And Gelbspan, as I’ve pointed out earlier, has never proven he has any evidence to support his accusation that skeptic scientists are paid to manufacture doubt about man-caused global warming.
It certainly appears that what we have instead is around two decades of efforts by enviro-activists to manufacture doubt about the credibility of the skeptics. So, how many more attempts to smear skeptics can be thrown on this pile before the whole thing collapses?

It is axiomatic that alarmists like Mikey Mann will claim that vast sums are spent by evil fossil fuel companies to corrupt the science and the debate.  They've never produced any evidence to support their claims, but they aren't in the habit of providing evidence for much of anything they claim.

Monday, September 10, 2012

Coaching and ego

“You can get a lot done in coaching if you don’t let your ego get in the way.” -- George Raveling

Jack Fertig has a great story about foolish ego.  I don't think I should quote the whole thing, so go there and read it.   Hey, who could possibly want the coach of the defending NBA champs (and a winner of NCAA titles at two different schools) helping to teach his players a few things?

[edit -- OOPS! Brown's UCLA team in 1980 did not win the title.  They lost in the NCAA final game.]


“There are more horses’ asses in the world than there are horses.”

Iceland shows how to do it right

Iceland is a great example of how letting the market work, how taking your medicine and starting over, leads to a much better result in the long run.
Iceland, like the rest of Europe, was faced with an almost unprecedented economic situation in 2008. Iceland’s central bank tried to rescue some of the country’s largest banks, bankrupting itself in the process. Iceland’s largest banks held almost 10 percent of Iceland's GDP in assets (much of it foreign) in 2008. The central bank was forced to attempt the rescue after agreeing to guarantee future bailouts in 2001. With the central bank out of commission and a crippled financial sector, Iceland’s GDP took a nosedive.

Iceland’s GDP per capita (in current U.S. dollars) was a little over $65,500 in 2007; in 2009 it was almost $38,000. It would be cruel to overlook the effect a sudden loss in wealth like this had on the average Icelander’s economic well-being. Having investments you thought were safe vanish is unfortunate at best and tragic at worst. However, the economic future of young Icelanders will almost certainly be substantially better than that of their peers in Greece.
Icelanders will do better than Greeks precisely because financial institutions collapsed in Iceland

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Lead, follow, or get out of the way

Bill Dyer explains why Obama is so spectacularly ineffective.  After quoting Bob Woodward's account of how all the Congressional leaders of both parties realized that Obama was screwing things up and effectively shut him out of the process so that they could get a debt deal down:

Sidelined! Well, yeah, everyone else on the team has effectively sidelined him because he doesn't know the plays, doesn't know how to play his position, pays no attention to the snap count, draws a penalty flag with every other step he takes, and yet trash-talks endlessly. It's not unusual for a player to be sidelined. But it's pretty unusual when the other players sideline the nominal quarterback.
President Obama in a meeting with congressional leaders on the budget deficit on July 14, 2011, in the Cabinet Room of the White House. Fair-use photo credit: AFP/Getty|Mandel Ngan via denverpost.comYet it is not really surprising, because:
Barack Obama never learned to work and play constructively with others, so he certainly never learned how to effectively lead others.

Obama has never done anything in his life that required him to work with others, never worked as a legislator to get things done, and  has shown he doesn't even like many people (although he loves to brag  about how great he is).
By all accounts, the only legislation of consequence that Obama ever passed as a state senator was that which was drafted by others and decided by the party bosses that, for symbolic reasons, he should sponsor. He passed absolutely nothing of consequence in his brief tenure as a U.S. Senator, served in no important leadership positions, and left not a single fingerprint on the institution of the United States Senate.
And now, when the United States and the world desperately need someone who can not just make speches, but actually lead — not just in public, but in private with his sleeves rolled up to deal with competing congressmen and constituencies — Barack Obama does not know what to do. He has the power of the Presidency, but not a clue how to use it effectively, so he is not taken seriously by any of the other players whom the Constitution makes part of the process of government.
And not only can Obama not lead, he can't even cooperate effectively.
I would feel slightly sorry for him, if he wasn't destroying my children's future.
"Lead, follow, or get out of the way," it's said. The 2012 election now represents President Obama — refusing even to get out of the way.

Martz on Manning

Mike Martz is one of the best offensive coordinators the NFL has ever seen.  He knows football. 
"There's no coach in the NFL who knows more offensive football than he does," Martz said.
Manning's current offensive coordinator, Mike McCoy, agrees:

Science would be far more interesting to more students if the assigned project in lab class was to build the perfect quarterback.
Start with John Elway's arm. It'd be nice to have Michael Vick's legs and Joe Namath's release. Mix in a heavy dose of Joe Montana's poise under pressure. Might as well throw in Tom Brady's good looks because, you know, the perfect quarterback figures to be on his share of magazine covers. There is enough accuracy in the arms of Drew Brees, Aaron Rodgers and Warner to fill an army of perfect quarterbacks.
Manning's mind would be the no-brainer to the perfect-quarterback project.
"I would say so," said Broncos offensive coordinator Mike McCoy. "He's pretty special."

"His attention to detail is out of this world," McCoy said. "But he's an out of the box thinker too. The other day he gave a five-minute dissertation to the other three quarterbacks about what he thinks about each of these six or seven concepts."

Just watching ESPN's pregame show.  Tom Jackson made an interesting observation.  He said he went out to Denver for five days.  He said that all the players on the Broncos have adopted Manning's amazing work ethic.  Jackson sees that alone as being a reason to expect Denver to be much better.

Will plaintiff's lawyers kill football?

Warren Meyer  wonders along with Walter Olson "if the litigation system carries over to football the legal principles it applies to other industries, the game isn’t likely to survive in its current form."

plaintiff's lawyers are going to have a hell of a lot better scientific case than they had with breast implants.    I honestly think it will take an act of Congress to keep the NFL alive, giving them some sort of liability exemption similar to what ski resorts got years ago.
And don't think the NFL does not know this.  If you are wondering why they handed out insanely over-the-top penalties for bounty-gate in New Orleans, this is why.  They are working to establish a paper trail of extreme diligence on player safety issues for future litigation.

Saturday, September 8, 2012

Vanderbilt-Northwestern notes

Vandy's best receiver, Jordan Matthews #87, has a 43 yard gain after catching the ball and stumbling off-balance about 3 steps.  All he has to do is keep both hands on the ball as he falls down.  But he's concerned that his body might hit the ground too hard.  So he takes one hand off the ball to put it on the ground to cushion his fall.  And with only one hand left holding the ball, the ball comes loose when he hits the ground.  Incomplete.

I don't care how talented a player is, he simply can't be afraid of falling on the ground.

On the same drive, QB Jordan Rodgers fumbles at the 11 in the final minute.  He costs Vandy at least a FG.  No excuse not to have the ball covered up.  James Franklin may need to explain to his kids that the ball is pretty important in the game of football.  They might want to focus on holding it with both hands.  The casual attitude can get you beat.  Vandy up only 10-3 at the half in Evanston.

Earlier, a Vandy defender rushes the NW QB and bats the ball up in the air.  All he has to do is stop running, gather himself under the ball and catch it.  Instead, he keeps running forward while trying to reach behind and bat the ball forward to himself.  Yes, if he had pulled it off, he would have scored easily.  But really... dude, catch the ball.  First, secure possession.  That's an awesome play all by itself.  If you run for more yardage, great.  A score? Fantastic.  But first -- just catch the damn ball.


Vandy blew the game and went down 23-13.  Gen. Neyland's first game maxim -- the team that makes the fewest mistakes will win.  Vandy had more talent and more mental mistakes.  This is the general rule when SEC teams play non-conference games.  It always comes down to the question of which plays the bigger role -- the talent advantage or the mental mistakes.  Vandy's never had that much talent.  Dumb mistakes proved to be the difference.

Weirdest stat line: Nebraska-UCLA

Nebraska-UCLA tied 24-24 at the half.  Huskers 336 yards in half.  Averaging 9.8 yards a carry.  13-17 passing. And 0-4 on 3d down conversions so they punted 4 times in the half. Weird.

No one ever said sports journalists needed logic

More evidence.  This is so dumb it would take a whole day to fisk it.  Illogical arguments are to be found far and wide, but the BCS seems to attract them like a magnet.

Climate science -- it's worse than we thought!

Jeff explains Antarctic basics to Dr. Steig.  Again. There are none so blind as those who refuse to see.  Or as Upton Sinclair noted about people like Steig, ""It is difficult to get a man to understand something, when his salary depends upon his not understanding it!"

I'm not sure which is more troubling about all the garbage we get from climate alarmist scientists -- the ones who know that they are lying or the ones who don't have a freaking clue.

How many shoes do you own?

Virginia Postrel had an interesting post and WSJ article earlier this year which highlighted some of the difference in affluence we enjoy since the time my mother was born.  Pretty dramatic.

consider a middle-class worker's wardrobe during the Great Depression. Instead of roughly 90 items, it contained fewer than 15. For the typical white-collar clerk in the San Francisco Bay Area, those garments included three suits, eight shirts (of all types), and one extra pair of pants. A unionized streetcar operator would own a uniform, a suit, six shirts, an extra pair of pants, and a set of overalls. Their wives and children had similarly spare wardrobes. Based on how rarely items were replaced, a 1933 study concluded that this "clothing must have been worn until it was fairly shabby." Cutting a wardrobe like that by four items—from six shirts to two, for instance—would cause real pain. And these were middle-class wage earners with fairly secure jobs.

Friday, September 7, 2012

Fraudulent climate alarmist blog

Shub offers a look at the way Mikey Mann plays sock puppet for skepticalscience using their own e-mails.  The fraud is an epidemic.


Noonan on Fluke

She rarely thinks as well as she can turn a phrase, but Peggy got some good ones here
The sheer strangeness of all the talk about abortion, abortion, contraception, contraception. I am old enough to know a wedge issue when I see one, but I've never seen a great party build its entire public persona around one. Big speeches from the heads of Planned Parenthood and NARAL, HHS Secretary and abortion enthusiast Kathleen Sebelius and, of course, Sandra Fluke.
What a fabulously confident and ingenuous-seeming political narcissist Ms. Fluke is. She really does think—and her party apparently thinks—that in a spending crisis with trillions in debt and many in need, in a nation in existential doubt as to its standing and purpose, in a time when parents struggle to buy the good sneakers for the kids so they're not embarrassed at school . . . that in that nation the great issue of the day, and the appropriate focus of our concern, is making other people pay for her birth-control pills. That's not a stand, it's a non sequitur. ... She is a ninny, a narcissist and a fool. 
And she was one of the great faces of the party in Charlotte. That is extreme. Childish, too. 

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Democrat-land: Unicorns, magic dust and fairies

Matt Welch:
In this idyllic landscape of Democratic magical thinking, there is no state and local budget crises, no unaffordable and underfunded defined-benefit public pension obligations, nothing at all standing in the way of "investing" in our public safety, except (in ex-Republican Stern's words) "right-wing extremists." Vallejo, California is not bankrupt because of public employee pensions, and the rest of the state is not following suit. It's a hell of a place, this Democrat-land. Wish I could live there.
Last night's speeches were notable less for what they contained and more for what they did not: any engagement with the issue of having a debt load (of $16 trillion) that is now larger than GDP, of having a long-forecasted entitlement time bomb marching northward toward 100 percent of federal spending, of having underfunded obligations in the trillions of dollars promised by politicians addicted to handing out "free" benefits.
"If you want to get America back to work, you don't fire cops, teachers, nurses and firefighters. You invest in them," said Rep. Xavier Becerra (D-Calif.). It really is that simple. Keynote speaker and mayor of San Antonio Julian Castro offered a similarly basic formula: Spend Invest more money on education, and education will improve. It's worked so well up to now.
"We have to come together and invest in opportunity today for prosperity tomorrow," Castro said, in a speech long on policy banality. "We know that you can't be pro-business unless you're pro-education." And we know that you can't be "pro-education" unless your idea of education policy involves spending more money on it.

He points out that many of the Dem speakers have had to fight with their own public sector unions because there isn't any money left.  But at the DNC, the unicorns, magic dust and faires are so lovely.

 One of the great ironies of this convention already is that speaker after speaker denounces Republicans for being unable to tell the truth or get their facts straight. Meanwhile, one of the most important truths of modern governance—we are well and truly out of money—sits neglected in the corner. This might be a great way to rally the Democratic base, but it's thin gruel for the majority of Americans who think, correctly, that the nation's finances have spun out of control.

Shocking Abuse of Power by Obama

David Axelrod tried to shoot the messenger.

Ending Medicare as we know it

It is important to remember that Social Security and Medicare are two very different problems re: govt debt.  The former is in hock because Congress spent all the money.  The second is a looming disaster because the benefits promised far exceed the taxes collected.  Warren Meyer provides the frightening graph of the numbers and explains:

As I have written before, the problem with Social Security is not a mismatch of taxes and benefits - it's simply that 40 years of Congresses have spent the premiums, and now they no longer exist to pay benefits.
The problem with Medicare is actually more difficult.  By these numbers, Medicare taxes are not even a third of what they need to be to pay for actual benefits.

The thing that will end Medicare as we know it is Medicare as we know it. 

Paine -- society vs. government

Richard Samuelson on "government is the only thing we all belong to." He quotes Thomas Paine:

“SOME writers have so confounded society with government, as to leave little or no distinction between them; whereas they are not only different, but have different origins. Society is produced by our wants, and government by our wickedness; the former promotes our happiness positively by uniting our affections, the latter negatively by restraining our vices. The one encourages intercourse, the other creates distinctions. The first is a patron, the last a punisher.’

On the Proper Care and Treatment of Politicians

No person of sufficient intellect, morality, wisdom and humility to be suitable to represent the people, and possessed of a commitment to the founders' vision of the proper role of government, and adequately apprised regarding the nature and demands of modern politics, should ever want to be a politician.  Accordingly, any time someone announces an intention to run for office it is incumbent on the voters to adopt as their natural inclination a jaundiced view toward their candidacy.

However, it is the sad reality of the matter that government requires that its positions be filled by somebody and preferably humans.  Elections will be held.  Thus, the electorate should apprise itself of the character of candidates, and support those candidates who represent the least worst of the available options.

Following election, those serving in office should be viewed with appropriate suspicion, their activities monitored, their opportunities for self-dealing examined closely, and their motivations for holding the position scrutinized intensely.  It is our sad reality that all officeholders are susceptible to the siren songs of power, wealth and prominence and that the allure of these sirens increases with time in office.  Their forms and shapes are many.  They entice and beguile relentlessy.

Recognizing the power of the sirens, the electorate should adopt as a standard presumption an inclination toward the defeat of incumbents.  This presumption should increase along with the politician's tenure.  And, after any lengthy time in office, all politicians benefit from a return to reality and an opportunity to live and work amongst the victims of their policies.  The voters should be generous in providing such benefits.

Lastly, miscreant officeholders should be dealt with harshly and publicly.  Removal from office should be swift and certain.

I am under no pretension that the adoption of such measures by the public will ensure good government or increase the welfare of society.  They should, however, help to reduce the damage.

Davidson Basketball Schedule released

Hoops team has some big games and a number of television appearances.  Go 'Cats.

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

"Give up your weird fetish about working"

The problem is the we don't know how to love him.

Checking the "fact-checkers"

Taranto has a much stronger stomach than I.

Bubba and the crash

Financial reporter, Charlie Gasparino:

Clinton won’t mention a whole bunch of inconvenient facts — about what brought the prosperity of the 1990s, and how he himself helped put America on the path to the 2008 financial crisis.
It’s an absurd distortion of reality that the Bush-era tax cuts or spending on Iraq were even remotely responsible for the 2008 banking collapse and the Great Recession — though both claims are now core to the left’s talking points in defense of President Obama’s failures as president (and largely unchallenged by a sympathetic media).
Yet the reality of what caused the banking collapse has the fingerprints of tonight’s keynote speaker all over it.
Clinton pushed hard for riskier home loans and ushered in the repeal of Glass-Steagall.

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

"If I wanted America to fail"


Mikey Mann is paranoid

" its not hard to imagine basements full of individuals financed by Koch-funded front groups whose job it is to post climate change disinformation and smears to newsgroups, blog comments, and news article threads. In fact, we know this sort of thing is going up"

Actually, it is not hard to imagine Mann saying this.

William White on Easy Money

 Harvard professor, Niall Ferguson on Jackson Hole:

 Back in 2005, U of Chicago’s Raghuram Rajan gave a paper titled “Has Financial Development Made the World Riskier?,” which presciently warned that bankers were “flirt[ing] continuously with the limits of illiquidity” and that “we should be prepared for the low probability but highly costly downturn.” This year’s hit paper was published ahead of Jackson Hole: William White’s “Ultra Easy Monetary Policy and the Law of Unintended Consequences.”
Get this: “Ultra easy monetary policies have a wide variety of undesirable ... unintended consequences. They create malinvestments in the real economy, threaten the health of financial institutions and the functioning of financial markets, constrain the ‘independent’ pursuit of price stability by central banks, encourage governments to refrain from confronting sovereign-debt problems in a timely way, and redistribute income and wealth in a highly regressive fashion.”

White's paper is here.  " William R. White is currently the chairman of the Economic Development and Review Committee at the OECD in Paris. He was previously Economic Advisor and Head of the Monetary and Economic Department at the Bank for International Settlements in Basel, Switzerland.

Good college advice

WRM has a long piece that every freshman should read.

A cocoon liberal's lament

It isn't hard to see how hard Roger Berkowitz leans to the left by this piece or that he obviously lives in a liberal cocoon.  He recognizes that Obama is a failure.  But he can't help slandering Romney.  I'm sure it must make him feel better for the guilt he feels in having to come to grips with the blatantly obvious failure of his leader.

I'm sure he'd be shocked to learn that the entire nation does not share his feeling of total helplessness.  Or that the entire nation didn't join in him 2008 as he was swept up in a brain spasm that Obama represented hope.

There are myriad sources for this pessimism that one hears from seven-year-olds, college students, and adults. It is markedly different from the idealism that swept the country four years ago, personified in Barack Obama. More so than at any time I know of, there is a sense of total hopelessness—a feeling that neither party and no potential president can change our course for the better.
Gag me.

  The President offered hope. He embodied all of our dreams of a way forward, out of the excesses of the Bush era and towards a re-enlivening of basic American values of freedom and fairness. There was, in the President’s own words, a demand for a “new era of responsibility.”
What a crock.  BO got 52% of the vote.  Millions of people saw right through the hopey-changy BS and saw an incompetent jerk with an inflated ego who'd never done anything in his life.

The preference cascade causes media insanity

Last week a line was crossed, and full blown insanity manifested itself in the formerly-mainstream media. 
Tammy Bruce offers up a plausible theory to explain the media's insanity, insanity so widespread even the occasionally more temperate Juan Williams was shamefully swept up in it:

I knew the liberal establishment would have a meltdown swathed in violence and depravity as they realized they were being rejected, and that time has arrived.
For some time now, professor Glenn Reynolds, known to many as Instapundit, has talked about "preference cascades" I think the insanity of the media is triggered by their sense that a preference cascade is building up in the US which will wash them and their political clients out to sea.