Gruber

Dear Democrats, don’t even think about trying to run away from him.

[Afternoon update]

The epic search of Diogenes for an honest man is over.

[Update a few minutes later]

It gets worse:

I think we’d probably like to get rid of the tax exempt status for health care benefits.

Note that McCain proposed doing just that in the 2008 election. His idea was that we would get rid of this exemption and instead give people an additional tax credit valued at the average cost of health insurance. Thus, people would be held harmless by the change, but we’d get rid of this government-made distortion in how employers pay their employees.

Barack Obama, get this, demagogued that plan and accused McCain of wanting to increase taxes on people.

And meanwhile, he schemed to achieve the same thing, except without that part about giving people an additional tax credit which would offset increased taxes, and, get this, without telling people he was getting rid of the tax exemption.

Once again — subverting democracy by completely destroying the concept of Consent of the Governed.

All in a day’s work.

[Update a while later]

Obama himself was leading the discussion of how to take away the tax benefits.

A Simpler Cheaper Health-Care Policy

It would be a huge improvement over the current mess:

I think that from the libertarian perspective, either of these proposals should be preferable to Obamacare. I’d even argue that they should both be more appealing to progressives. But the administration didn’t want simple, modest and stable; it wanted a massive, transformational legacy. Which is why, four years later, we’re still fighting about it.

Yup.

Scott Walker

I had a beer with Stephen Fleming a few months ago, and we were discussing potential 2016 Republican presidential candidates. We both agreed that the Wisconsin governor should be a leading contender. Rich Cromwell agrees:

Does Walker sizzle? Not exactly. Is he a particularly charismatic speaker? No, he isn’t. But does he sit upon a throne made of the skulls of his enemies? Yes, yes he does.

Heh.

Siebold’s Testimony

Sounds like he didn’t have any new information for the NTSB, but I’d still like to hear his description of the engine burn and vibration environment. Note, it doesn’t say he doesn’t remember the feathers being unlocked, but that he was unaware of it (i.e., cognizant of his experience right up until breakup).

[Update a few minutes later]

Andy Pasztor has the problematic history of the program. I haven’t read it yet.

[Update a while later]

OK, the WSJ piece seems to line up pretty well with my own understanding of the history. I talked to Jon Ostrower last week to give him some background, and he seems to have incorporated some of what I told him, though he didn’t quote me. Which is fine.

Congratulations To ESA

My twitter feed’s been exploding with tweets about the comet landing. Unfortunately, the harpoons apparently didn’t automatically deploy, so they don’t yet have a sure grab to the surface, which could make sampling operations difficult. The surface seems to be softer than expected. But they’re still working the problem.

This is good news for asteroid miners, though.

[Update a few minutes later]

OK, hearing that they managed to anchor with the ice screws, so maybe harpoons are redundant now.

Lest We Forget

Today’s Remembrance Day is particularly poignant, the first one on a century anniversary from the beginning of the war. And I think that no one who fought it is with us any longer. My paternal grandfather was a veteran. He had emigrated from Eastern Europe as a young man, and then returned to fight in France.

Poppies In England

In Flanders fields the poppies blow
Between the crosses, row on row,
That mark our place; and in the sky
The larks, still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below.

We are the Dead. Short days ago
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
Loved and were loved, and now we lie
In Flanders fields.

Take up our quarrel with the foe:
To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high.
If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
In Flanders fields.

The Asteroid Retrieval Mission

Lee Billings describes the ARM policy mess.

It’s a mission they came up with for an overpriced, non-existent and unnecessary rocket looking for a mission. And note this rationale:

She and other NASA officials note that the advanced propulsion required for ARM would be enabling technology for a broad range of future missions and that ARM would be a crucial test for many deep-space activities crucial for someday reaching Mars. And it would do all this while keeping astronauts sufficiently close to home so that if something goes wrong, they could attempt an emergency return to Earth.

Safety is the highest priority.

Changing Junkyards

It’s not the way it used to be.

Longer ago than I care to think about (OK, four decades or so), I regularly visited a place out in Holly, MI to scrounge parts for my British sports cars. Every other time or so, when I’d go out, and come back with the part I needed, the owner (or manager) would ask me if I wanted a job. The last time I did it was in the nineties, when I went to a place on Hawthorne Blvd in Hawthorne to get a distributor for my Honda Accord, whose shaft had sheared off on the 405 in Orange County.

Interstellar

Peter Suderman reviews his review.

[Update a while later]

And here‘s John Nolte’s review.

[Sunday-morning update]

Five reasons why Interstellar is a conservative film.

I think that it helps to view it as allegorical, and not try to take the science too seriously.

[Bumped]

Another Green “Stimulus” Fail

Google and others want a taxpayer bail out for their desert bird roaster.

That looks like a nice bill for the new Congress to make Obama have to sign.

More at (appropriately) Powerline:

The sheer temerity of the request is almost outweighed by the unintended humor of their explanation for the failure of their project: the Sun isn’t shining as much as they thought it would. But I think they’re barking up the wrong tree: rather than ask for your money so they don’t have to use their money, they should ask the guy who said he would make the oceans recede, to order the Sun to stop slacking — rudely continuing to shine as it has for five billion years — and brighten up for Google, NRG, and Obama’s legacy.

What fools these mortals who support this insanity be.