…is leading to a boom in distributed energy.
I haven’t checked gas prices here lately, but it makes me toy again with the idea of getting a generator, given electricity costs here. It would have to be a quiet one, though.
…are in free fall.
Deservedly so. He lied his way to reelection. I think there’s a lot of buyers’ remorse out there from a year ago.
Related: Also sprach Obama:
The most telling line, the one that encapsulates the gulf between the boundless fantasies of the faculty-lounge utopian and the messiness of reality, was this: “What we’re also discovering is that insurance is complicated to buy.” Gee, thanks for sharing, genius. Maybe you should have thought of that before you governmentalized one-sixth of the economy. By “we,” the president means “I.” Out here in the ruder provinces of his decrepit realm, we “folks” are well aware of how complicated insurance is. What isn’t complicated in the Sultanate of Sclerosis? But, as with so many other things, Obama always gives the vague impression that routine features of humdrum human existence are entirely alien to him. Marie Antoinette, informed that the peasantry could no longer afford bread, is alleged to have responded, “Let them eat cake.” There is no evidence these words ever passed her lips, but certainly no one ever accused her of saying, “If you like your cake, you can keep your cake,” and then having to walk it back with “What we’re also discovering is that cake is complicated to buy.” That contribution to the annals of monarchical unworldliness had to await the reign of Queen Barry Antoinette, whose powdered wig seems to have slipped over his eyes.
The latest IPCC report exposes the faith-based initiative that is climate “science”:
In just about any realm of human study, being this dramatically wrong would cause the authors of the errors to be dismissed as unreliable, and perhaps as quacks. But in the world of environmental fearmongering, a spectacularly false prediction is no obstacle. There is no “wrong” in climate activism, there is only the message, which must be pushed continuously without regard for contrary evidence or honest scientific skepticism. Unsettling facts must not get in the way of “settled science.”
Fortunately, I think a lot of people are no longer falling for the scam.
It’s not too big to fail; it’s too big to succeed.
It’s doing many things that it shouldn’t be, poorly, and neglecting those things that the Founders actually established it to do.
[Update a few minutes later]
The latest installment. Lileks watches, so you don’t have to.
It would seem that the big-rocket fallacy has claimed another victim. SLS is not the key to opening the solar system — it is a roadblock.
Will it kill Big Blue?
Edsall is simultaneously overestimating the policy sophistication of the white middle class and underestimating its morality. While it is true that, as Edsall points out, Obamacare is an aggressively redistributionist program that intends to shift hundreds of billions of dollars away from the middle class to the poor, I don’t think many voters have done the math on this. They are not reacting to the $455 billion in Medicare cuts that help to feed the Obamacare beast because not many people really understand how the new system is supposed to work. And at the same time, unlikely as it may sound to the finely tuned consciences of the New York Times editorial page, there are scores of millions of middle class white Americans who don’t hate minorities and would actually like to see things go better for them.
Sorry, lefties, the race card is maxed out.
It’s women who do it, for pretty obvious reasons.
It’s nice to see psychologists trying to do real science.
I suspect that one of the reasons Obama’s approval rating is in free fall is because of his obvious surprise and petulance in his public encounters over the disaster of Obamacare. He has made some grudging half apologies, but it is clear that the only thing he is sorry about is that he cannot — not yet, anyway — simply decree what happens with health care in this country. He believes himself above the law and is impatient about finding a means of achieving that discretion. For our own good, of course. Many observers on the Right have long known this about Obama. Suddenly, though, it is out there for all to see. The American people don’t like tyrants, even smooth-talking, Harvard-educated ones. The great trek away from Obama and what he stands for — above all, government unlimited — has begun. The journey will not be pretty, but I think it is all but certain to continue.
…at the Food Network.
All of the myths are here: fat is bad, meat ‘in moderation,” grains are good, etc. No, those ten foods are not “healthier than I think.” They’re much worse than you think.
It’s off to a rocky start.
This would be a useful bit of legislation. It would basically gut ObamaCare, but the Democrats might feels forced to go along. But we also need a fix to the tax code to fix the portability issue, and decouple health insurance from employment.
I wouldn’t call it “slow.” It actually basically vertical:
The education President Obama received at Columbia University and Harvard Law School — and delivered to others as a lecturer at the University of Chicago Law School — encourages the fantasy of a political world subject to almost limitless manipulation by clever and well-orchestrated images. This explains why the harsh exigencies and intractable forces of politics keep stunning the president, each new time as if it were the very first.
How might higher education be reformed to produce political leaders more familiar with how the world really works, more alive to the realities of social and political life and better able to discuss them honestly with the American people?
He’s lived his entire life in a bubble of unreality. A lot of us realized this in 2008, but a few million too few.
I’d say so.
It would appear that day has arrived.
The Dems on the Hill aren’t very happy with him, either.
[Update a few minutes later]
This is the most encouraging poll result, I think:
Gallup has been asking the question since 2000. “Prior to 2009, a clear majority of Americans consistently had said the government should take responsibility for ensuring that all Americans have healthcare,” the firm reports. The proportion answering “yes” peaked in 2006 at 69%–27 points higher than today’s number. Then it began declining, to 64% in 2007 and 54% in 2008.
The current 42% is the lowest figure ever recorded, but the percentage answering in the affirmative hasn’t risen above 50% since 2009. Remember what happened in 2009? . . .
Perhaps the most dramatic finding: The proportion of Democrats who say it isn’t the federal government’s responsibility in 2013 (30%) is higher than the proportion of all voters who said the same thing in 2006 (28%).
This could provide a political opportunity to get the federal government out of a lot of things it has no business doing and isn’t very good at.
Jon Goff has some thoughts on utilizing its resources.
[Update a while later]
For the record, I think that Venus is a much more interesting destination than Mars, but that’s because I don’t suffer from a desire to redescend into a gravity well. It has much more light for solar power, and as Jon points out, easy-to-harvest resources in the upper atmosphere. I think that habitats floating high in it could be nice places to live.
Joel Achenbach reports on Tito’s plans.
He wants to use Cygnus, but how does he propose to enter? Guess I have to read the paper. I think he’s crazy to stake the mission on an SLS flight.
[Update a few minutes later]
Jeff Foust has a more detailed description. I think it’s crazy to rely on unbuilt NASA hardware.
[Update a while later]
This makes so little sense that I am compelled to think that it is driven by politics. I smell Boeing/LM behind this.
If I were Tito, I’d be working with SpaceX to do the mission with a dual-heavy concept, and use Dragon, not Orion. I’d order a stretch Centaur from ULA, or use two of them. I’d also bypass OSC and go directly to Thales Alenia for a PCM. The changes needed are so extensive that it doesn’t make sense to start with a Cygnus.
So Tito and Taber MacCallum had a phone call with the press afterwards, and said that they couldn’t make the case close commercially, that the solutions didn’t have the margins they wanted. Question: Did they ask ULA if they could demo orbital fueling within three years? Of course, Boeing/Lockmart would never let ULA do that, which is why it would be good for the space industry to force a divestiture. You have a commercial space company that’s hamstrung by its cost-plus-contractor parents.
Obviously, I disagree.
It’s not surprising at all that it would see it as a potential area to reduce the deficit (see page 74). The entire NASA budget is an option for that, in fact, as is the entire federal budget, really. But it points out how completely out to sea we are on why we’re doing it. Note the underlying assumption.
This option would terminate NASA’s human space exploration and space operations programs, except for those necessary to meet space communications needs (such as communication with the Hubble Space Telescope). The agency’s science and aeronautics programs and robotic space missions would continue. Eliminating those human space programs would save $73 billion between 2015 and 2023, the Congressional Budget Office estimates.
The main argument for this option is that increased capabilities in electronics and information technology have
generally reduced the need for humans to fly space missions. The scientific instruments used to gather knowledge in space rely much less (or not at all) on nearby humans to operate them. NASA and other federal agencies have increasingly adopted that approach in their activities on Earth, using robots to perform missions
without putting humans in harm’s way. For example, NASA has been using remotely piloted vehicles to track
hurricanes over the Atlantic Ocean at much longer distances than those for which tracking aircraft are conventionally piloted.
Eliminating humans from spaceflights would avoid risk to human life and would decrease the cost of space exploration by reducing the weight and complexity of the vehicles needed for the missions. (Unlike instruments, humans need water, air, food, space to move around in, and rest.) In addition, by replacing people with instruments, the missions could be made one way—return would be necessary only when the mission required it, such as to collect samples for further analysis—thus eliminating the cost, weight, and complexity of return and reentry into the Earth’s atmosphere.
A major argument against this option is that eliminating human spaceflight from the orbits near Earth would end
the technical progress necessary to prepare for human missions to Mars (even though those missions are at least
decades away). Moreover, if, in the future, robotic missions proved too limiting, then human space efforts
would have to be restarted. Another argument against this option is that there may be some scientific advantage
to having humans at the International Space Station to conduct experiments in microgravity that could not be
carried out in other, less costly, ways. (However, the International Space Station is currently scheduled to be
retired in 2020, postponed from an earlier decommissioning in 2015.) [Emphasis added]
There are multiple flawed assumptions in this analysis. First that the only purpose of sending humans into space is about science. Second, that it is about exploration. Third, that Mars is the goal.
If we aren’t going to develop and settle space, there is no point in sending people there, or hazarding their lives. But we never have that discussion.
Seemed to be a link problem. Hope it’s fixed now, sorry.
Some observations from Richard Epstein:
The Obamacare fiasco now flunks Justice Holmes’ extreme rational basis test in the 1905 decision of Lochner v. New York: “I think that the word liberty in the Fourteenth Amendment is perverted when it is held to prevent the natural outcome of a dominant opinion, unless it can be said that a rational and fair man necessarily would admit that the statute proposed would infringe fundamental principles as they have been understood by the traditions of our people and our law.”
In the light of day, Obamacare is that bad, even if the minimum wage law is not. Even the most ardent defender of government power must concede that it is sickening when a president tells people without healthcare insurance that they must navigate his government websites or go without. If “the right to healthcare” is fundamental, Obamacare violates it. Delay here is no option. If left in place, every single structural problem that besets Obamacare today will continue to wreck innocent lives a year from now. Striking it down is an act of mercy for the American people.
Bottom line: other than that it is logistically impossible and unconstitutional, the president’s “fix” is just fine.
[Update a while later]
I’m sure there are more than three, but I agree with them.
We are apparently born with it.
This doesn’t surprise me at all. There are sound evolutionary reasons for us to cooperate. But these are statistical studies, and some people are clearly miswired and sociopathic. Many of them become politicians.
[Update a few minutes later]
This seems related somehow: Ace on the psychopathy of the Left:
Leftist politics, I maintain, are not a politics at all, but a psychological response to one’s shortcomings and feelings of failure. Leftist politics are, simply put, a way of getting even with a world that’s done one wrong — and most people carrying about such grievances against a world that’s done one wrong are psychologically broken.
These fairytale “politics” give them an avenue to vent their rages and turmoils about their failures and inadequacies in a way that is deemed, incorrectly, to be socially acceptable and even high-minded.
If a man were raving on the street in this fashion — about his hopes that someone would literally sh*t in a perceived “enemy’s” mouth (a perceived “enemy,” who, crucially, he’s never actually met) — most of us would shake our heads in secondary shame. Some of the more empathetic of us would call social services and attempt to have the madman brought in for psychological treatment.
But the left — Martin Bashir, Chris Matthews, Daily Kos, all of the hateful, raging, vibrating-with-resentment left — does this sort of thing in the guise of “political commentary” and no one makes the connection between this broken-souled primal screaming and mental unwellness.
All while their ratings remain in the same gutter as their political views.
“Ray” over at the Vision Restoration blog writes about the ridiculous discussion last week on SLS/Orion:
This past week rewarded us with a panel discussion Removing the Barriers to Deep Space Exploration. The subject of the panel turned out to be the SLS heavy lift rocket and the Orion spacecraft. Surprisingly, in spite of the title of the panel, the discussion was not about cancelling SLS and Orion to allow funding to go to the robotic precursor missions, exploration technology development, and affordable space infrastructure needed for actual deep space exploration that have largely been squashed by the SLS/Orion pair. In fact, the discussion really didn’t seem to be about barriers to deep space exploration at all. Instead, it seemed like a snugglefest of love for the expensive capsule and even more wildly expensive rocket.
I weary of even writing about it any more, it’s so unutterably absurd.
…is much too hard.
Since people in DC seem so big on “comprehensive solutions,” I propose a much broader effort than simply repealing ObamaCare. It should be called the “Liberty Restoration Act,” and should be festooned like a Christmas tree with a rollback of much of the federal code (e.g., the idiotic incandescent bulb ban, and toilet specs, and ethanol requirements).
Well. Ron Fournier isn’t pulling any punches.
I think that the media has finally reached a tipping point. Combined with the polling showing that young are turning against the Democrats, we’re seeing what looks very much like a preference cascade. It’s a tragedy for the country that it didn’t happen a little over a year ago.
Some thoughts, and a link, from Mark Steyn.
It’s long past time to legalize it.
How not to do it.
I abjectly apologize for the delays, but I can pretty much guarantee that, as a result, my book will not look like it was.