The Lesson Of McCain-Feingold

Some thoughts on the NRA and the DISCLOSE Act (which looks like it may be dying or dead, thankfully):

The lesson of McCain-Feingold fight is that if you see legislation that fundamentally violates constitutional rights, kill it. Do not try to minimize the damage. Do not try to get the best deal you can. Do not count on even a John Roberts-led court to do the unpopular work and strike it down. Do not count on any other part of our political or judicial system to step in. Do not collect “Go” or pass 200 dollars. Kill it, kill it, kill it before it can put down roots.

Because we have a governing class that literally “doesn’t care” about the Constitution. As far as they’re concerned, the Commerce Clause ensures that Congress can pass any idea that pops into its members’ heads if the votes are there. Ben Stein tells how the White House press office told him that no enumerated power in the Constitution or federal law was required for Obama to fire the head of GM. This crew thinks that the Constitution ensure the government’s right to require citizens to purchase health insurance. As Charles Kesler noted, “TARP, for example, was an unprecedented delegation of legislative power to the Treasury secretary, of all people. It was a desperate, essentially lawless grant resembling the ancient Roman dictatorship, except that the Romans wisely confined their dictators to six-month terms.”

Up against a crew like this, for whom the Constitution is a dusty museum relic, you don’t take the best deal available.

As I’ve often said, I think that George Bush should have been impeached for signing McCain-Feingold. In doing so, he blatantly violated his oath of office.

Very Bad News

If this guy is right:

Over the next 2 months the mechanical situation also cannot improve, it can only get worse, getting better is an impossibility. While they may make some gains on collecting the leaked oil, the structural situation cannot heal itself. It will continue to erode and flow out more oil and eventually the inevitable collapse which cannot be stopped will happen. It is only a simple matter of who can “get there first”…us or the well.

We can only hope the race against that eventuality is one we can win, but my assessment I am sad to say is that we will not.

The system will collapse or fail substantially before we reach the finish line ahead of the well and the worst is yet to come.

Sorry to bring you that news, I know it is grim, but that is the way I see it….I sincerely hope I am wrong.

We need to prepare for the possibility of this blow out sending more oil into the gulf per week then what we already have now, because that is what a collapse of the system will cause. All the collection efforts that have captured oil will be erased in short order. The magnitude of this disaster will increase exponentially by the time we can do anything to halt it and our odds of actually even being able to halt it will go down.

The magnitude and impact of this disaster will eclipse anything we have known in our life times if the worst or even near worst happens…

…If the BP data correctly or honestly identified four separate reservoirs then a bleed-out might gush less than 2 to 2.5 billion barrels unless the walls — as it were — fracture or partially collapse. I am hearing the same dark rumors which suggest fracturing and a complete bleed-out are already underway. Rumors also suggest a massive collapse of the Gulf floor itself is in the making. They are just rumors but it is time for geologists or related experts to end their deafening silence and speak to these possibilities.

This is likely to become the biggest environmental disaster in history. At least American history. And hard to top, short of the Yellowstone Caldera blowing.

The Democrat War On Science

Expect this to be a recurring theme. The latest incident:

Needless to say, there is something ugly and hypocritical about glorifying the absolute authority of scientists and sanctimoniously preening about your bravery in “restoring” that authority — and then ignoring the scientists when politically expedient.

But it is bordering on the grotesque to handpick scientists to give you an opinion and then lie about what they actually said and implement a policy they don’t endorse. (According to the Journal, the Interior Department has apologized to the scientists. But the administration refuses to publicly acknowledge it did anything wrong.)

Of course it does. Not just hypocrites, but incompetent ones, who are compounding the damage to the Gulf economy from the oil leak by wiping out the local oil industry. Oh, and speaking of incompetence, how about this?

Against Governor Jindal’s wishes the federal government blocked oil-sucking barges today because they needed to confirm that there were fire extinguishers and life vests on board and were having trouble contacting the owners.

We don’t have elections often enough.

So Publish The Damn Iowahawk Book Already

Go sign the petition. The background is that Dave was in negotiations with a publisher, but they decided not to go for it, because they didn’t think it would sell ten thousand copies.

[Friday morning update]

If you go to the petition site, DO NOT DONATE any money, at least with the intent of getting it to Burge, because he won’t get a dime. That’s the petition site’s business model.

[Update mid morning]

Iowahawk has shut down the petition, lest anyone else get fooled.

It’s still a good idea, though. Maybe I should set one up here. I’ve been thinking about doing it for a market test of a space policy book.

More SpaceX Presser Coverage

Alan Boyle has his story up now. I have to repeat how struck I was by how adamant and vehement Elon was about the goal of reusability. It was almost Churchillian — we shall fight for it on the shop floor, we shall fight for it at the launch pad, we will never, ever give up. It should be noted, as always, though, that he also insists that reusability is not necessary to meet his current price goals. What it will do is give him more cost margin, either for lower prices, or higher profits, or both.

Taking America For Granted

Some thoughts from a grateful Tunisian/American cabbie:

The driver was recently back in Tunisia. And a curious incident occurred, in the town. A horse reared up and injured somebody (not badly). The owner subdued the horse as quickly as he could. Later, a mob came and beat the owner up, as punishment. “My sister said, ‘Good, he deserved it.’ And she is a doctor, a psychologist. If she thinks this way — that a mob can just do what it wants — what about common people?”

America, he says, has an independent judiciary, and legislatures, and executive branches. In Tunisia — as in most places — it’s all one. The cab driver thinks that the separation of powers is a miracle. Again, amazing what we take for granted.

And one that we’re in danger of losing, when we have a president who thinks that it’s perfectly fine to extort twenty billion dollars from a private business as a political slush fund.

[Update a couple minutes later]

Representative Joe Barton isn’t impressed with the shakedown, either.

And Iain Murray says that Mordor is looking for more wealth to pay its orc mercenaries.

Biting Commentary about Infinity…and Beyond!