A New Senate Majority Leader

Seems pretty certain next year, one way or the other:

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid attracts just 39% to 42% of the Nevada vote when matched against three Republican opponents. Two of his potential opponents now top the 50% level of support.

The latest Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey in the state also shows that 62% of Nevada’s voters support repealing the recently passed health care law. That’s a bit higher than support for repeal nationally.

Fifty-seven percent (57%) in Nevada say the new law will be bad for the country.

The new numbers show Reid trailing ex-GOP Chairman Sue Lowden 54% to 39%. Only four percent (4%) would prefer some other candidate while two percent (2%) are not sure.

Either the Dems will replace him (Durbin?) or the Republicans will take over. You have to think that in an environment in which a majority leader loses as badly as these polls indicate, the latter is not at all unlikely.

And I wonder how different history would have been if Reid hadn’t squeaked by a few years ago, due to the Libertarian vote in Nevada?

Backlash

Are Californians on the verge of undoing the idiotic and disastrous energy law?

A coalition of businesses, financed largely by three Texas oil companies, is funding a ballot petition that would delay the law until California’s current unemployment rate is cut by more than half.

Leading Republican gubernatorial candidate Meg Whitman has vowed she would suspend the law on her first day in office, which she would have the authority to do.

Even Schwarzenegger, who has staked his legacy on environmental issues, has begun urging air regulators to take a go-slow approach. But he has vowed to fight the ballot initiative.

The possibility that a state that has set the national agenda on environmental change for decades might shelve its highly publicized climate regulations could have ramifications beyond California’s borders. In Congress, lawmakers are struggling to craft a national climate bill that uses California’s as a template, but are facing headwinds of their own.

“This could very well be an effort to focus on California with the goal of delaying federal legislation,” said state Sen. Fran Pavley, D-Agoura Hills, one of the law’s authors.

While it might have that great side effect, no, it’s an effort to focus on the insanity that has been coming out of Sacramento for years that’s been destroying the California economy and chasing productive individuals and businesses out of the state.

Even if you believe in AGW, this law never made any sense. It would have a negligible effect on global CO2 emissions, while putting the state economy, once larger than that of most countries, at a competitive disadvantage with not only all the other states, but much of the world. Texas has been laughing at us, and with great justification.

I can’t wait to see the end of the governator. The best that can be said about him at this point was the best that could be said of him at the time he was first elected — he wasn’t Gray Davis.

Sigh…

I just heard Jane Skinner on Fox News reporting on the Shuttle launch, noting that there were very few left, and promising more on “NASA’s big budget cuts.” Never mind that the agency is actually getting an increase.

[Update a few minutes later]

Well, she interviewed Corey Powell, editor of Discover magazine. Who dutifully informed us that Constellation was the “replacement” for the shuttle. I’ll have a Pop Mechanics piece about this kind of misreporting, probably this week.

And on a different topic, but still Fox News, could someone tell Trace Gallagher that the San Andreas Fault does not run through downtown LA?

Comment Blockage Issue

Several people have had problems commenting recently. I’m guessing that the issue is that I recently added the word “Successful” to my blacklist, because I was getting so much spam from malicious morons using that as a user name. Unfortunately, WordPress doesn’t distinguish between strings from user names and content, so that was probably the problem that commenters were having. I’ve removed it, and we’ll see if that solves the problem. Unfortunately, it will recreate the problem with my moron spammers.

As an aside, I have to say that I’m very unhappy with WordPress’ inherent comment-spam-blocking system. It seems to me that multiple comments to multiple posts from the same IP in a few minutes should be automatically blocked, or at least held, but it doesn’t seem smart enough to do even that. MT, for all its flaws, could do that years ago. I have to look into a better solution.

I hate to go to a captcha system, but that may be the only solution. I’ve always wanted to make commenting here relatively painless, but apparently the spammers are going to ruin it for the rest of us, as they have with email.

[Monday morning update]

OK, per advice in comments, I’ve added the WP-Spamfree plugin. We’ll see how it goes.

Yeah, We Felt It

We were at Lowes, buying some casing for a new front entryway that I installed last weekend, and you could feel the entire concrete slab that the store was on start to gently roll. It went on for many seconds, and equipment hanging overhead was gently swaying. I told Patricia, “That’s a big quake, somewhere, many miles away.” When we got to the car, and turned on the radio, we heard that it was down in Baja, probably about 180 miles or so southeast of us. They got a lot bigger jolt down in San Diego and the other border towns, I’m sure. I haven’t exinspected the house here for damage, but I’d be surprised if there was any.

[Update a while later]

For those interested, it was at the Lowes in Hawthorne, at the end of the runway of the airport. And SpaceX is right across the street (Crenshaw) from it.

The Second-Order Knowledge Problem

…or why people like Henry Waxman, who think they can run the economy, are ignorant fools:

“What AT&T, Caterpillar, et al did was appropriate. It’s earnings season, and they offered guidance about , um, their earnings.”So once Obamacare passed, massive corporate write-downs were inevitable.

They were also bad publicity for Obamacare, and they seem to have come as an unpleasant shock to House Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Rep. Henry Waxman, D-Calif., who immediately scheduled congressional hearings for April 21, demanding that the chief executive officers of AT&T, John Deere, and Caterpillar, among others, come and explain themselves.

Obamacare was supposed to provide unicorns and rainbows: How can it possibly be hurting companies and killing jobs? Surely there’s some sort of Republican conspiracy going on here!

More like a confederacy of dunces. Waxman and his colleagues in Congress can’t possibly understand the health care market well enough to fix it. But what’s more striking is that Waxman’s outraged reaction revealed that they don’t even understand their own area of responsibility – regulation — well enough to predict the effect of changes in legislation.

In drafting the Obamacare bill they tried to time things for maximum political advantage, only to be tripped up by the complexities of the regulatory environment they had already created. It’s like a second-order Knowledge Problem.

Possibly this is simply because Waxman and his colleagues are dumb, and God knows there’s plenty of evidence that Congress isn’t a repository of rocket scientists. But it’s just as likely that adding 30 or 40 IQ points to the average congressman wouldn’t make much difference.

Well, they might at least be smart enough to know what they don’t know. You know, when the president claimed that he’d read Hayek? I don’t believe him. Or if he did, he didn’t read for comprehension.

I also think that they outsmarted themselves, and it’s going to justly bite them in their collective keister this fall. Outsmarting them is no big feat of course. Except for them.

[Sunday night update]

Over at Cato, David Boaz has further thoughts. And they’re a lot more intelligent (as usual) than commenter “Jim”‘s.

One Man’s Regime

…is another man’s regime:

Perhaps Matthews missed all of those references. If he did, he still might have heard the phrase the many times it was uttered on his own network, MSNBC. For example, on January 8 of this year, Democratic Rep. Joe Sestak said that, “In George Bush’s regime, only one million jobs had been created…” On August 21, 2009, MSNBC’s Ed Schultz referred to something that happened in 2006, when “the Bush regime was still in power.” On October 8, 2007, Democratic strategist Steve McMahon said that “the middle class has not fared quite as well under Bush regime as…” On August 10, 2007, MSNBC played a clip of anti-war protester Cindy Sheehan referring to “the people of Iraq and Afghanistan that have been tragically harmed by the Bush regime.” On September 21, 2006, a guest referred to liberals “expressing their dissatisfaction with the Bush regime.” On July 7, 2004, Ralph Nader — appearing with Matthews on “Hardball” — discussed how he would “take apart the Bush regime.” On May 26, 2003, Joe Scarborough noted a left-wing website that “has published a deck of Bush regime playing cards.” A September 26, 2002 program featured a viewer email that said, “The Bush regime rhetoric gets goofier and more desperate every day.”

Finally — you knew this was coming — on June 14, 2002, Chris Matthews himself introduced a panel discussion about a letter signed by many prominent leftists condemning the Bush administration’s conduct of the war on terror. “Let’s go to the Reverend Al Sharpton,” Matthews said. “Reverend Sharpton, what do you make of this letter and this panoply of the left condemning the Bush regime?”

But, but…that was Bush! It’s only a sign of the degeneracy of our politics when Rush Limbaugh does it! Against The One!

I can never figure out if Chris Matthews is really stupid, or he just thinks that we are. And you’d think that these idiot journalists would have figured out by now that the Internet makes it impossible for them to put things down the memory hole.

[Monday morning update]

Heh. Moe Lane says that this proves that even Chris Matthews doesn’t listen to Chris Matthews. I wonder if Olbermann ever listens to Olbermann? I sure wouldn’t, if I were him. And it would explain MSNBC’s ratings. Or lack thereof.

Biting Commentary about Infinity…and Beyond!