Sorry, folks

Internet problems and the devastation in my home state of Alabama, and across the South, have me preoccupied. Blogging later, prayers and work now.


There may be hope yet

The message that cuts HAVE to be made for America to avoid having to run down the curtain and joining the bleedin’ choir invisible might just not be the hard sell you’d think.

As Michael Barone explains in reaction to the Slate story, “My conclusion: there’s not nearly as large or articulate a constituency against the budget cuts the Republicans are proposing as there was and is against the Obama Democrats’ vast expansion of the size and scope of government.”

Have a Coke and a…subpoena?

Yesterday, I referred to the Human Rights Council’s bullying of the King & Spalding law firm. Now it comes out that Coca-Cola might have played a part in that bullying, too, and might be in for some thoroughly uncarbonated bad news as a result.

This isn’t a criminal court in which we are prohibited from inferring guilt from a refusal to testify. This is the court of public opinion. If Coke had zero involvement in this unseemly episode, it would be simple enough to issue a one-line denial. The company didn’t do that. I think it entirely reasonable (unless Coke has lost any PR smarts it has) to assume something went on here.

And guess what? The House of Representatives, not to mention state bar organizations, is fully capable of demanding answers. Ethics expert Richard Painter yesterday explained there is no attorney-client protection for any message from one client to its lawyers about another client…

Congress does have subpoena power, too.

Go green to really hurt the environment

So we have Al “Earth in the Balance” Gore admtting that he backed ethanol subsidies in order to get corn state votes. Those kinds of subsidies led to things like high food prices for everybody, because, as a rule, you eat food and burn fuel.

Now we have those wretched compact fluorescent bulbs that the government, in what is not an overreaching nanny-state move AT ALL, has mandated that we all use. CFLs have that wonderful substance known as mercury in them, leading Popular Mechanics to advise:

What is the proper way to handle a broken CFL?
Open the windows and let the room air out for 15 to 30 minutes, then remove as much material as possible without a vacuum cleaner. Using disposable gloves, scoop the glass onto a piece of cardboard and wipe the area with a wet paper towel. For smaller pieces of glass and powder, use duct tape to pull up the fragments and wash your hands after cleaning up the debris.

Of course, those steps are easily followed, especially if you’ve got kids and pets in the house.

But that’s not all. Flopping Aces takes a more in-depth look at all the “green” processes that go into manufacturing those CFLs.

A Compact Florescent Lamp (CFL) is made from glass, fluorescent gas, phosphors, mercury, conductors, plastic, diodes, transistors, resistors, transformers (inductors), capacitors, and a printed circuit board (twelve components).

All of the materials that go into a CFL require mines, transportation, smelters and/or refineries, transportation, manufacturing, transportation, assembly, transportation. CFL’s that are made in China require a lot of transportation to be sold in the USA. All of these require energy.

Anytime you add a stage, or a process, to the manufacturing of your product you raise the cost of that product. At every stage someone makes money and the end consumer pays for it.

Lots more good reading there.

“…the bottom line is always a financial one.”

I love the way this man thinks.

Paul Krugman, professional moron economist argued in the NY Times recently that patients are not consumers and that it is “profoundly irresponsible” to say that they are. He actually has the audacity to cite the “special” relationship between doctor and patient as his justification for this position:

Here’s my question: How did it become normal, or for that matter even acceptable, to refer to medical patients as “consumers”? The relationship between patient and doctor used to be considered something special, almost sacred. Now politicians and supposed reformers talk about the act of receiving care as if it were no different from a commercial transaction, like buying a car — and their only complaint is that it isn’t commercial enough.

What has gone wrong with us?What has “gone wrong” is that the government and wonks like Krugman have been instrumental in the systematic and ongoing destruction of that “special, almost sacred” relationship.

The whole article is worth reading.

Mercy sakes, we got us a convoy

(With apologies to C.W. McCall) “We got a great big convoy, rockin’ ‘cross the border. Yeah, we got a great big convoy, not acting like it orter.” My favorite part of this is how the EPA (taxpayers) will be putting pollution controls on these newly welcomed Mexican trucks. Because we don’t have anything like a deficit.

1. Obama’s deal with President Felipe Calderon, announced on March 3, bypasses Congress, defies the wishes of the American people and looks like the action of a Third World dictator who thinks representative government is a nuisance and can be ignored. Congress made its wishes emphatically clear in 2007 when it voted to continue our ban on Mexican trucks. The House roll-call vote was 411 to 3, and the Senate’s was 75 to 23.

2. Obama’s deal is a direct attack on the jobs available to U.S. truck drivers because it helps big-business interests cut their costs by hiring cheaper Mexican drivers. Obama’s deal is also an attack on small business (i.e., the owner-operated and independent truck drivers) who constitute the [vast] majority of U.S. trucks.

So when it comes to tackling oil prices, the president says it’s gonna take a long time, yada yada yada. But when it comes to favoring Mexican trucks entering America, over the clear wishes of the American people and their representatives, he turns into Frank Sinatra and does it his way.

Maybe I’m Clare Voyant

I’m not a pessimist, but for some reason, I have always assumed that Social Security and other safeguards either wouldn’t be there when I got to 65, or would be drastically reduced. And by “always,” I mean “since junior high.” And it looks like my concept of a sterner, harsher future is turning out to have been correct.

States are $1.26 trillion in the hole when it comes to their pension and retiree health obligations, according to a report released Tuesday…

…And taxpayers are ultimately on the hook for this shortfall, which soared 26% in one year…

…States are largely responsible for this predicament. As tax revenues plummeted, many skipped part or all of their annual retiree benefits contributions as they struggled to pay for education, Medicaid and other services.

Now, watch me pull a rabbit out of my hat.