Take Note, GOP Contenders:

“When Greenberg tested messages trumpeting the recent rebound, or blaming the economy on Republican mismanagement before 2008, the results were dismal, he says. Voters did not want to hear it. They responded more positively to messages about long-term fixes, like rebuilding the middle class and taking on China, or moving beyond the politics of blame.” – Time

Challenge Obama, but make sure you have positive ideas of your own.

Speechworld vs. Realworld

I was unable to finish the sixth part of my “Vision for America” series today, so enjoy the following article in the meantime:

Speechworld vs. Realworld
by Mark Steyn @ NRO

The Democrats seem to have given up on budgets. Hey, who can blame them? They’ve got a ballpark figure: Let’s raise $2 trillion in revenue every year, and then spend $4 trillion. That seems to work pretty well, so why get hung up on a lot of fine print? Harry Reid says the Senate has no plans to produce a budget, but in April the president did give a speech about “a new budget framework” that he said would save $4 trillion over the next twelve years.

That would be 2023, if you’re minded to take him seriously. Paul Ryan, chairman of the House Budget Committee, did. Last week he asked Douglas Elmendorf, director of the Congressional Budget Office, if he’d “estimated the budget impact of this framework.”

“No, Mr. Chairman,” replied Director Elmendorf, deadpan. “We don’t estimate speeches. We need much more specificity than was provided in that speech.”

“We don’t estimate speeches”: There’s an epitaph to chisel on the tombstone of the republic. Unfortunately for those of us on the receiving end, giving speeches is what Obama does.

Heh. Yes, that pretty much covers it.


Asteroid To Buzz Earth Monday, June 27th

Asteroid 2011 MD, a chunk of rock estimated to be 25 to 55 feet (8 to 18 m) across, is expected to pass less than 8,000 miles above Earth’s surface around 1 p.m. EDT (17:00 UT) on Monday, June 27th. The actual event will be observable only from South Africa and parts of Antarctica, but the approach will be visible across Australia, New Zealand, southern and eastern Asia, and the western Pacific.

The asteroid was spotted on June 22nd by LINEAR, the Lincoln Near-Earth Research project. Its discovery was announced on Thursday morning by the Minor Planet Center.

Granted, this object is not really a threat, but it does make you wonder about the NEO’s we haven’t discovered yet.

Quick Quote: Ideas First, Elections Second

I had a long day at work today, and I’m exhausted. Therefore, I am postponing part three of my work-in-progress until tomorrow. In the meantime, I heartily endorse the following statement:

“Suppose Republicans win next year because we are ‘not the other guys.’ Then what? Winning is necessary but not sufficient to save our country from fiscal disaster. Two years later the Democrats will still be offering free stuff and the postponement of pain. We can’t win the several subsequent elections that will be necessary to put us on the right path unless we win the war of ideas and develop the ability to explain why restraint and reform are necessary and that fostering a nation of free people, free markets, and the rule of law is not only morally just and right but is the only way to sustainable growth and prosperity. Otherwise, we become participants in our own demise, for the sake of short-term political expedience.” – Fred Thompson (at NRO)

My Ideal Presidential Candidate

If there’s one thing I’ve always hated about our presidential election cycles, it’s the fact that they start way too damn early. Though we’ve only just passed the halfway mark for 2011, we’re already pretty deep into the Republican primary season for 2012. This, ladies and gentlemen, is why campaigning costs so much.

I’ve held back from discussing the candidates who are currently in the running mainly because I want to do this properly. I don’t want to judge who’s on the stage based on what they say or what they promise. That’s the kind of approach to politics that gets us a charlatan like Barack Obama in the top seat. No — I want to give SABR Matt and myself the time to look – and I mean really look – at these candidates’ public records because, in the end, it matters what people do when they are in power, not what they say.

Which is not to suggest that I don’t already have opinions regarding the type of person the Republican Party needs to select to challenge Obama. Indeed, the purpose of this post is to explain, briefly, what I am looking for in our candidate.

First of all, as the president is the Commander and Chief of our armed forces and is ultimately in charge of our foreign policy, the man* who wishes to receive my vote in the Republican primary must demonstrate, through his words and actions, that he understands who our friends and enemies are. He needs to be willing to hit Obama good and hard on the disrespect with which the current administration has treated our long-term allies (like Israel), and he needs to project a confidence in America’s basic decency in her role as a superpower. I’m not looking for a jingo, mind — just someone who will not reflexively apologize for our military strength or our past and present involvement in world affairs. No hardline pacifists or isolationists need apply.

Secondly, our candidate must be a strong fiscal conservative. His words and his record must indicate a willingness to cut wasteful spending and shrink government according to the principles I outlined in my series on the federal budget. Moreover, our candidate should ideally be a man with a proven ability to revitalize and grow an economy. We need to get a true recovery going and get people back to work (and off the dole).

Thirdly, our candidate must be at least vaguely conservative on the social issues. At this point, I’m pretty much looking for “better than Obama and the Democrats on abortion,” and that’s definitely not hard.

Lastly – and perhaps most importantly – our candidate must be able to cut through the media noise and communicate all of the above to the American people in a way that doesn’t cede ground to the left. We need to have a candidate who can take the arguments that will be lobbed by the Obama shills and deftly reframe them: “My opponent’s supporters want you to believe that my plan to fix Medicare is tantamount to pushing granny off a cliff. They’ve even made ads alleging this! But I would like to ask them, ‘What about our duty to ensure that Medicare will be available to our children?'” Instead of remaining forever on the defensive, why not field a candidate who can play offense every once in a while? What we definitely don’t need is McCain-level “politeness”.

So what do you think? What kind of Republican candidate would you like to see? Comment below if you have anything to add!

(*Or woman. I use the masculine here just because it’s easier.)

Fun with actual facts.

So here’s a fun little article by a guy named Harry Dale Huffman that (nearly) disproves the central hypothesis behind the extreme heat of Venus.

No Greenhouse Effect on Venus?

Recall from your basic astronomy training that Venus is supposed to be as warm as it is because its’ atmosphere is mostly composed of greenhouse gases which absorb outgoing infrared radiation from the sun and allow visible light to pass. Early in the planet’s history, the theory goes, it was not remarkably warmer than Earth since it possessed a thinner atmosphere, but after millions of years with a runaway greenhouse effect, the mass of its’ oceans boiled away along with anything else that might evaporate in the heat, thus thickening its’ atmosphere to the point where it exerted unbearable pressure on the surface and causing the planetary temperature to skyrocket.

There’s just one little problem. Venus, with its 96% CO2 and 4% water vapor (essentially) atmosphere, is currently opaque to visible light (only the thinnest veil of dim red light reaches the surface)…in fact at pressures around 1 atmosphere, the percentage of visible light relative to the top of the Venusian atmosphere drops to less than 0.1%. If there were a greenhouse effect that was substantially different than the effect observed on Earth, we would see it in the temperature data in that uppermost 1 atm of mass. We don’t. The Venusian temperature profile is, in fact, remarkable similar to Earth’s temperature profile down to the 1 atm. level. If you applied an atmospheric pressure as impressive as that which exists on Venus to the Earth, we would boil almost as hotly as that planet does.

That doesn’t mean, as Huffman claims, that there is NO greenhouse effect on Venus or on Earth. But it DOES mean that the existing greenhouse effect is NOT related to the amount of CO2 in the air. How can it be? If it were, Venus would have a greater greenhouse effect than Earth does…we don’t see evidence of that in the actual data. 96% CO2 and at least as much H2O(g) on Venus and only 0.04% CO2 on Earth…and no difference in the greenhouse effect? Really?

Something is rotten here.

Support Israel for the Gays!

“So, in closing, there’s only one country in the Middle East where people are free to worship, protest, women are treated equally, and flamboyantly gays aren’t killed. If you guessed that country is Palestine, well, congratulations: you’re a moron.



Weiner Calling It Quits

Even as the photos kept surfacing, Rep. Anthony Weiner was determined to keep his job. That resolve eroded as he found himself in a slow-motion fall that ended Thursday with his resignation from Congress.

Just to be clear, it’s not the lewd Tweets that were the problem. We are all sinners, after all. It’s the fact that he lied about it when confronted. Indeed, he even stooped to the despicable tactic of smearing a famous conservative in an attempt to weasel his way out of the inevitable consequences of his actions. One thing’s for sure: Congress doesn’t need a slimeball like Weiner in its ranks.

Wisconsin Union Law to Take Effect

Wisconsin Union Law to Take Effect
@ the Wall Street Journal

The Wisconsin Supreme Court cleared the way Tuesday for the state’s contentious collective-bargaining law to take effect, ruling 4-3 that a lower-court judge who put the measure on hold improperly interfered with the legislature.

Granted, we still have the recall elections to worry about. But given this and the fact that the pathetic Kloppenburg lost her judicial election despite massive union mobilization and a ridiculous recount, I feel like celebrating:

The method of celebration favored by Prof. Jacobson.

And this is the method of celebration favored by the folks at Hot Air.

Take that, losers!

Ahem. Am I gloating? Sorry. Obnoxious leftwingers inspire that in me, especially when they falsely claim to be defending democracy and “the little guy.”