Thursday, July 31, 2008

Comments in Perspective on Abp. Dolan

A decidedly Lefty bloglodyte posts the following about Abp. Dolan.

...I had been thinking that perhaps I have been too hard on Dolan in my blog at times. He is not perfect and has made a few big mistakes (i.e. lying about keeping St. Francis Seminary open). But even though he is more conservative, he has not pushed this conservatism done the throats of everyone in Milwaukee. To some extent, the new GIRM (liturgical norms) was only implemented as much as priests and parishioners wanted to implement them. I am not aware of him cracking down on more liberal parishes.

"Wintertime's" syntax and grammar makes one wonder whether he/she is finished with high school--but the content, occasionally, is interesting.

Democrat Sleaze Machine in High Gear

Un-friggin' believable:

How afraid is the Democrat leadership of truly maverick conservative GOP Sen. Tom Coburn, who is waging war with Hapless Harry Reid over binge spending and secrecy?

They’re so afraid of his effectiveness that they are trying to kneecap him with bogus Ethics Committee complaints about his practice of not charging for delivering babies at the Muskogee Regional Medical Center. Coburn continues to serve as an OB/GYN in Oklahoma.

The proper word for the Democrats doing this is not family-friendly.

But perhaps "kneecap" is a term with which Democrats should be more familiar.

HT: Redstates

Obama's Response to Trouble: Racism Charges

I think PowerLine's theory holds water.

What does Obama's latest [race-baiting] play tell us about the current circumstances? I think it tells us that, despite Obama's presidential preening, he senses he may be in trouble. The "world tour" bounce appears to have been a short-hop only, and his pretentiousness and arrogance are beginning to grate even on some in the MSM. The McCain campaign is ridiculing Obama as a celebrity and little more. There's enough truth in this suggestion to make the candidate uncomfortable. He doesn't feel he can ignore the attack, but he also cannot respond with "I am too a man of substance who deserves my celebrity." Hence the whining; hence the race card.

The essay goes on to mention that this is behavior typical of Jackson and Sharpton--meaning that Obama is taking more of their 'territory' as the campaign wears on.

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Get A Tuneup and Hot Air!

You can't make this up.

The guy has gone from slightly batty and waaaaayyyyy pretentious to entirely off his rocker.

Save petroleum? No problem, the Obama way!!

Simply inflate your tires to the proper pressure, get regular tune-ups, and the US will save ALL THE OIL THAT WE COULD GET FROM OFFSHORE DRILLING.

That's what he said today, folks.

I've told a few folks that this election is his to lose; frankly, he's losing it--in more ways than one.

Owen has the tape, if you don't believe me (and frankly, I wouldn't blame you for incredulity.)

Chicago Case/Shiller Index

Value of housing in Chicago metro from the peak (Oct '06) to most recent release:


That's an eleven percent decline in the last 19 months. If your home was worth $200K in 2006, it's now about $178K.

Chicago metro is (arguably) the best proxy for Milwaukee, of all the Case/Shiller markets studied.

Paid Sick Leave: Not Just for Milwaukee

From a newsletter:

Sen. Kennedy and Rep. DeLauro reintroduced legislation called the Healthy Families Act (H.R. 1542/S.910), which would require private and public employers with 15 or more employees (for each working day during each of 20 or more calendar workweeks in the current or preceding calendar year) to provide a minimum of seven paid sick days a year to full-time workers (i.e., working 30 hours per week) to care for the medical needs of themselves or sick family members. The amount of leave would be pro-rated for part-time employees (working less than 30 but at least 20 hours a week, or less than 1,500 but at least 1,000 hours per year). Specifically, the leave could be used to care for the employee's own illness or physical or mental condition, to obtain a medical diagnosis, a related treatment or preventive care and to care for a family member for those same reasons. A family member would be defined as a child, parent, spouse or any other individual related by blood or affinity whose close association with the employee is the equivalent of a family relationship. Employers would be required to (1) post notice of the availability of paid sick leave and how to file an enforcement action; (2) make, keep, and preserve records on compliance with the Act; and (3) keep health information confidential and separate from personnel files; and (4) not discriminate against, interfere with or deny the employee's right to paid sick leave.

Slightly less generous than the Milwaukee proposal.

In addition, a State-wide referendum on paid-sick-leave will be held in Ohio--terms are approximately similar to those of the Milwaukee initiative.

The Real "Gender Inequality"

Wanna bet that the Feminazis don't talk about this too much? not only fill the ranks of the Harvard mathematics faculty but are also pretty much responsible for all violent crime, perversion, mass murder, and suicide. The “gender gap” in incarceration (93.2% of inmates in the U.S. are male) is vastly larger than any difference between races

On the other hand, that could be remedied by legislation criminalizing bad makeup and excessive bitching.

Or, as Charlie Sykes mentioned yesterday, Screeching-in-Restaurants, and Cougar-behavior.

Need Attention, McCain? Try This!

Planet Moron, back from a 6-month hiatus, thinks Sen. McCain can get attention from the MSM if he:

Get[s] caught on tape speaking to a group of conservative donors in which you try to explain the behavior of journalists, “You go into the news rooms of the New York Times, and like a lot of big city newspapers the jobs are gone and nothing’s replaced them. So it’s not surprising then that they get bitter, they cling to decaf iced lattes, Pilates classes or antipathy to people who have never done a semester in Europe, or anti-capitalist sentiment or anti-gun sentiment as a way to explain their frustrations.”

As usual, some of the best snark in the 'sphere...

Stupid Client, Stupid Suit, BAD PR

There are such things as stupid clients.

The California Milk Processor Board, owner of the ubiquitous "Got Milk" trademark, sent a cease and desist letter to Alaska artist Barbara Holmes, putting her on notice that the "Got Breastmilk" T-shirts that she created infringe on its trademark. Holmes sold about six of the shirts over two years ago, and has since moved on to other projects.

Holmes is taking the C&D letter seriously, though. She's hired Talkeetna, Alaska, attorney Paul Bratton who has opined that Holmes' work is a parody protected by the Constitution. Bratton's letter to the Processor Board also noted that Holmes' T-shirts make the case for the benefits of breast-feeding and thus may constitute a form of protected speech.

Holmes observed what most of us already know:

"They're two different kind of jugs."

The California Milk Marketers: another case of 'more money than brains.'

HT: Overlawyered

O-and-Savior Reveals Self to House Dems

Noted in the WaPo:

In his closed door meeting with House Democrats this evening, presumptive Democratic nominee Barack Obama delivered a real zinger. According to a witness, he was waxing lyrical about last week's trip to Europe, when he concluded, "this is the moment, as Nancy [Pelosi] noted, that the world is waiting for."

The 200,000 souls who thronged to his speech in Berlin came not just for him, he told the enthralled audience of congressional representatives.

"I have become a symbol of the possibility of America returning to our best traditions," he said

Others report that Moses and Abraham stood behind Obama as he spoke.

Later, he strictly charged the group not to say anything about this until after his resurrection.

And they then descended from the mount.

HT: Newsbusters

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Wisconsin-Born Enemies

Murphy provides tidbits:

A recent piece in The New Yorker traces the history and harmful environmental consequences of the American lawn. It credits two people as the key leaders in raising awareness of the problem: Rachel Carson, author of the watershed book Silent Spring, and Lorrie Otto of Milwaukee, founder of the Wild Ones. The Wild Ones now have chapters in 12 states.

[It may be true that R. Carson is the founding queen of Junk-Science. It is certainly true that banning DDT has led to the horrific return of malaria to SE Asia--and that her "scientific" study of DDT is comparable to AlGore's "science." IOW, folks, it is NOT science...]

Otto is the subject of the First Person profile in the August issue of Milwaukee Magazine (it’s on newsstands or you can order it online). She was a leader in helping push Wisconsin to become the first state to ban DDT back in 1970. [No actual scientists were consulted by Tony Earl & Co.] The Wild Ones promote the use of native plants and wildflowers in American yards, rather than the lawns which are typically supported with a wide range of chemicals, all documented in detail in The New Yorker.

The story reports that lawns are growing at the rate of 600 square miles a year and require two hundred gallons of water per person, per day. It’s a fascinating, but alarming piece.

Does your lawn "alarm" you? Then feel free to substitute the allergenics espoused by Ms. Otto.

And don't be surprised to wake up to the smell of Agent Orange.

Chicago's Continuing Catholic Scandal

Reported by Roeser:

The Rockford, Illinois diocese will not send seminarians to St. Mary of the Lake, Mundelein for training. Two upperclassmen propositioned a Rockford youth for homosexual favors. So much for the change that has been promised in archdiocesan public relations pronouncements

We're aware of a few attorneys who will be watching this carefully. Over time, it's possible that they could fund their grandchildrens' collegiate educations.

You know, generation-skipping trusts, and all that...

There's a history here.

The man who ran St. Mary of the Lake Seminary, Mundelein when it was a hot-house of homosexual excess…and who was quoted in the “Sun-Times” as saying he does not regret ordaining Fr. Dan McCormack, who is now serving time for child abuse…is second in command of the U. S. Conference of Catholic Bishops. He is Gerald Kicanas, now bishop of Tucson, having been promoted from Mundelein (as were all others who ran the dissolute institution) to auxiliary bishop of Chicago and then to Tucson. In Tucson, Kicanas led Tucson through the filing of Chapter 11 bankruptcy reorganization to the point where he ponied up $22 million in settlement for victims of priest child abuse.

Last month Kicanas received an award name for…who else?.. the late Joseph Cardinal Bernardin
... for “efforts in handling the sexual abuse both locally and nationally.”

Yah. The award may have been surreptitiously sponsored by the very same lawyers we mentioned above. After all, they have the money for it...

And just so you pew-sitters know which way the wind is blowing:

Kicanas is slated to become the next president of the U. S. Catholic Conference of Bishops.

The frosting on the cake, so to speak.

Heller, Round 2

Or would it be 'two rounds'--ahhhh, nevermind.

The man who successfully challenged the D.C. handgun ban before the Supreme Court filed a new federal lawsuit this morning, alleging that the District's new gun-registration system is unreasonably burdensome and improperly outlaws most semiautomatic pistols. . . .

...The lawsuit filed today alleges that the District's restrictions are not reasonable.

The city's handgun-registration process is limited almost entirely to revolvers because a D.C. law that bans machine guns includes a broad definition of such weapons, encompassing most semiautomatic pistols

It's obvious that D.C. has a lot of money to spend on its Corporate Counsel's office.

HT: Lott

The Roads Less Traveled

Again in May:

Americans drove 9.6 billion fewer vehicle-miles traveled (VMT) in May 2008 than in May 2007, according to the Federal Highway Administration data. This is the largest drop in VMT for any May ... and is the third-largest monthly drop in the 66 years such data have been recorded.

Three of the largest single-month declines - each topping 9 billion miles - have occurred since December. VMT on all public roads for May 2008 fell 3.7 percent as compared with May 2007 travel, the Secretary added, marking a decline of 29.8 billion miles traveled in the first five months of 2008 than the same period a year earlier.

This continues a seven-month trend that amounts to 40.5 billion fewer miles traveled between November 2007 and May 2008 than the same period a year before, she said.

Next stop? Increasing the fuel tax.

That's because less travel=less fuel used=less fuel-tax revenues=unhappy RoadBuilders.

After all, if we're not USING the roads, then they must be repaired, right?

HT: Calculated Risk

Quo Vadis, Obama, in Afghanistan?

Has Obama thought about what he said regarding Afghanistan? PJB has his doubts.

"We have to be as careful getting out as we were careless getting in," says Barack Obama of the U.S. war in Iraq. Wise counsel.

But is Barack taking his own advice? For he pledges to shift two U.S. combat brigades, 10,000 troops, out of Iraq and into Afghanistan, raising American forces in that country from 33,000 to 43,000.

Why does Barack think a surge of 10,000 troops will succeed in winning a war in which we have failed to prevail after seven years of fighting? How many more troops is he prepared to commit? Is the Obama commitment open-ended?

Remember that Afghanistan, politically, is the rough equivalent of a scatter-diagram--and Pakistan is a sanctuary which has nukes.

The position of C-in-C does not bear cheap promises well.

Monday, July 28, 2008

Fund-Raising Dreams v. Reality

RedState observes a discrepancy of generous proportions.

Q. So, what's going on?

A. The Democrats seem not to have as much money as somebody told us that they have.

Q. Excuse me?

A. Yup. Specifically, the Democratic National Committee. As per the FEC Disclosure form for June, which has finally gone up, they have only $4.53 million in the bank, and raised only $7.59 million last month.

Q. Hold on. Didn't they claim...

A. $22.5 million raised, $20.3 million in the bank? Yup. See here and here. At the time, I accepted the numbers myself, as did everybody else on the planet.

Q. So, why the discrepancy?

A. I don't know.

Might be time to engage some auditors--or cut down the ingress of pizza-and-beer deliveries to DNC's treasurer's office...

WHO "Stands As One", Barack?

PowerLine makes a point that The O-and-Savior ignored.

While Obama was ignoring combat veterans and speechifying to rock-band-dazed Germans (who do, after all, like to stand en masse to listen to messianic-types...) he ran his "one-world" game about the Berlin airlift:

The odds were stacked against success. In the winter, a heavy fog filled the sky above, and many planes were forced to turn back without dropping off the needed supplies. The streets where we stand were filled with hungry families who had no comfort from the cold.

But in the darkest hours, the people of Berlin kept the flame of hope burning. The people of Berlin refused to give up. And on one fall day, hundreds of thousands of Berliners came here, to the Tiergarten, and heard the city's mayor implore the world not to give up on freedom. "There is only one possibility," he said. "For us to stand together united until this battle is won...The people of Berlin have spoken. We have done our duty, and we will keep on doing our duty
. People of the world: now do your duty...People of the world, look at Berlin!"

Very nice.

But in fact, the United States of America not only "stood as one" to assist the Berliners--the United States of America WAS "the one" who made it happen.

Not the Soviet Union. Not France. Not Algeria. Not China, nor Brazil, nor Mexico, nor the League of Nations.

The US "stood as one" to deliver the goods, due to the unilateral decision of Harry Truman.

Trail Lawyers: Greed Unbound

One of the bills which the Trial Lawyers will be pushing in Congress will:

...broaden the definition of “disability,” increasing the opportunities to sue for denial of disability benefits or privileges to cover “any [emphasis added] physiological disorder or condition” or “any … emotional or mental illness.” A “disability” could also be claimed merely for “being perceived or treated as having a physical or mental impairment whether or not the individual has an impairment.” In other words, people could sue for disability protections even if they are not actually disabled.

Just to let you know that a Democrat Congress is harmful in more ways than "taxes."

HT: Overlawyered

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Going to Church?

Paascal's thoughts on eschatological thought (and the lack thereof):

"The fact that there exist men who are indifferent to the loss of their being and the peril of an eternity of wretchedness is against nature. With everything else they are quite different: they fear the most trifling things, foresee and feel them.... He knows he is going to lose everything through death but feels neither anxiety nor emotion. It is a monstrous thing to see one and the same heart at once so sensitive to minor things and so strangely insensitive to the greatest. It is an incomprehensible spell, a supernatural torpor that points to a supernatural power as its cause." -- Blaise Pascal

Recall that Pascal was a reasonably eminent thinker...

HT: Blosser

"For the Children"--Yah, Right!

The local National Education Ass'n folks call themselves WEAC.

They run ads yapping about 'great schools.' Because, after all, it's all about "the Children."

Not that you'd know that from their laundry-list of resolutions passed at their national convention as reported by Schlafly:

Delegates sported buttons with provocative slogans such as "Gay marriage causes global warming only because we are so hot," (obviously child-centered) "Hate is not a family value," "The Christian right is neither" and "Gay rights are civil rights."

...NEA resolutions cover the waterfront of all sorts of political issues that have nothing to do with improving education for schoolchildren, such as supporting statehood for the District of Columbia, a "single-payer health care plan" (i.e., government run), gun control, ratification of the International Criminal Court Treaty and taking steps "to change activities that contribute to global climate change."

The NEA fiercely opposes any competition for public schools, such as vouchers, tuition tax credits, parental option plans or public support of any kind to nonpublic schools. The NEA strongly opposes designating English as our official language (because not knowing English is "for the children"?)

...The NEA opposes home schooling unless children are taught by state-licensed teachers using a state-approved curriculum. The NEA wants to bar home-schooled students from participating in any extracurricular activities in public schools even though their parents pay school taxes, too.

The NEA wants additional (job-creating) services and programs — such as early childhood education — provided by public schools. NEA resolutions call for "programs in the public schools for children from birth through age 8" and for "mandatory kindergarten with compulsory attendance." (It's "for the children" to rip said children from their homes at the age of 5--at the point of a gun.)

NEA resolutions include all the major feminist goals such as "the right to reproductive freedom" (i.e., abortion on demand), (uhhhnnnhhhh....well, maybe not ALL the children...)

...Diversity is the code word used for pro-gay indoctrination in the classroom.

The NEA's diversity resolution makes clear this means teaching about "sexual orientation" and "gender identification." The NEA demands that "diversity-based curricula" be imposed on preschoolers. (An important part of a 5-year-old's knowledge-base, obviously.)

...The NEA not only favors amnesty for illegal-immigrant students, but also in-state college tuition and financial aid to illegal-immigrant college students (Obviously, there are no children who pay taxes to support this--so it IS 'for the children.')

Perhaps the resolutions included items about teaching actual mathematics (including trigonometry, useful for getting jobs) and actual spelling, syntax, and grammar.

But maybe that would be asking too much "for the children."

HT: Moonbattery

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Thanks, Chicago!!

This is a good thing.

Chicago Police will continue to enforce the city's handgun ban and firearm registration laws while lawyers fight the pro-gun lobby in federal court.

..."Chicago's gun ordinance was not invalidated by the . . . decision. Three prior Supreme Court decisions have found that the Second Amendment does not apply to states and municipalities," Georges said. "The decision did not change that case law."

Georges said she's confident that the U.S. District Court will dismiss the gun lobby lawsuit challenging Chicago's existing laws.

"What would happen for it to apply to Chicago is that the district court would have to fail to follow well-established Supreme Court precedent . . . and say that we should be treated like a federal jurisdiction," she said. "That's the difference here. D.C. was considered a federal jurisdiction. . . . We are not."

I smell "incorporation."

HT: Of Arms and the Law

Owen's Good Question

As most of you know, some bozo voided the warranty on his Lawn-Boy by attempting to repair it with a sawed-off shotgun at close range.

He's under arrest, and charged with possession of an illegal weapon. That's a felony.

But he hasn't been convicted yet (it should take a jury about 10 seconds to convict...) and yet, the cops siezed a number of other goods from his home, including a pistol, stun-gun, and some ammo.

Owen asks:

why did the police confiscate the handgun, handgun ammunition, and stun gun?

Yah. Why?

Soccer Lives!!

Judge Foley has his head screwed on straight.

A Milwaukee County judge has kicked out a state agency’s decision requiring the Wisconsin Soccer Association to have unemployment compensation for referees, coaches and trainers, some of whom work only a few games a year.

Earlier this year, the association filed a civil lawsuit challenging a decision by the state’s Labor and Industry Review Commission that the volunteer organization would have to have the insurance. Association leaders said they feared the ruling could be extended to require them to deduct a range of taxes from an official’s pay, including state, local and Social Security taxes.

Circuit Judge Christopher Foley, in a written decision issued this week, found that the referees, coaches and trainers were not association employees and that they were not economically dependent on the money they received for their efforts.

That "agency decision" was just one in a series of silly decisions made by LIRC over the last few years.

Happy to see that the judge kicked their position down the stairs.

Archdiocese of Milwaukee Misrepresents on Celibacy?

The Archdiocese of Milwaukee has found a gift: a new priest. He's a former Lutheran minister who crossed the Tiber. He's also married and has children.

Abp. Dolan is looking for a position for the fellow who is coming here from Florida.

That's background.

Now the big problem.

Dolan says area Catholics will need catechesis, or religious education - especially in whatever parish Scheip is assigned - and he provides as an attachment a series of questions and answers that the archdiocesan chancery office prepared.

The first question is: "We were always taught that married men could not be ordained Catholic priests. How is it possible that we could have a married Catholic priest here in the Archdiocese of Milwaukee?"

The answer notes that celibacy has never been required of priests in the church's Eastern rite, though it is practiced universally in the West. [More on this below]

"Although it is highly valued, Pope Paul VI states that celibacy 'is not, of course, required by the nature of the priesthood itself.

That is not true.

Paul VI did, indeed, write an instruction on the topic. But here's what he actually said:

17. Virginity undoubtedly, as the Second Vatican Council declared, "is not, of course, required by the nature of the priesthood itself...

Frankly, this is serious. There is a VERY big difference between "virginity" and "celibacy," and this error will give rise to all sorts of problems in "catechesis" downtrack.

By the way, here's Paul VI's sentence following the Archdiocesan mis-quotation:

But at the same time the Council did not hesitate to confirm solemnly the ancient, sacred and providential present law of priestly celibacy

Just how "ancient" is another question entirely.

In an article found here, based on extensive and recent research by Fr. Conchini and Cdl. Stickler, there is an excellent discussion of the topic of celibacy.

Some excerpts:

“To understand the history of celibacy from today's perspective it is necessary to realise that in the West, during the first millennium of the Church, a large number of bishops and priests were married men, something which today is quite exceptional. However, a precondition for married men to receive orders as deacons, priests, or bishops was that after ordination they were required to live perpetual continence or the lex continentiae. They had, with the prior agreement of their spouses, to be prepared to forego conjugal life in the future.]

...Candidates for ordination could not commit themselves to live continence without the prior, express agreement of their spouses, since as a consequence of the sacramental bond they had an inalienable right to conjugal relations.

“Up to recently, the general historical perception held that it was not until the fourth century that the Church articulated a law of celibacy. This view was established by Franz X. Funk...Funk's judgment was erroneous because of basing it on a document that has since been proved to be spurious...Funk made the basic error of dating the origin of celibacy from the first known written law about it, that is from the Council of Elvira

In fact, the Elvira canon concerning celibacy was written in reaction to 'observation in the breach' of the oral tradition, which is described above.

Legislation promulgated by Pope Siricius (386 AD) gives the proper exegesis of the Pauline phrase "married only once..." which is consistent with the rule of celibacy. In addition, this letter and the Council of Carthage (390 AD) claim apostolic origin for the practice.


...the catechesis of St Cyril of Jerusalem (313- 86) had already affirmed that the discipline of clerical continence was anchored in the example of the Eternal High Priest, a living norm that was more convincing than all other justifications. By linking priestly continence closely to the virginal birth of Christ, in the mind of Cyril it is based on a foundation that goes far beyond mere historical conjecture

And the authors make clear, again, the reason for the 4th Century decrees:

“It is therefore true to say that, during those centuries of crisis for clerical morals, the Church never lost sight of the ancient tradition concerning the law of celibacy. From her memory she constantly affirmed the prohibition of marriage for clerics in major orders and the duty of a vow of perpetual continence for those married before ordination, even at times when these laws were being flagrantly violated.

There's more at the link.

It is also true that John Paul II's exception, cited by Abp. Dolan, is current law--that is, there is no licit objection to the situation of the priest who is the subject of Abp. Dolan's letter.

But there is simply NO WAY to reconcile the difference between "celibacy" and "virginity"--and this statement should be corrected immediately.

Friday, July 25, 2008

Utility Costs

Most of you readers are in the Wisconsin Energies (WE) service area.

Thus, most of you have experienced an increase in your utility costs in the last few months.

It's worse than you think. Like most people, I don't waste energy, and it shows. Since we are down to only a few children here (and one only during summer vacation from college) the hot-water-for-shower load has gone down significantly, as has the electricity for Hair Stuff (dry, curl, un-curl....) and the hot water for laundry. This summer has been fairly cool and dry, so the air has not been used much.

Accordingly, the gas and electric usage has gone down year-to-year.

But the cost? That's gone UP.

So take another look at the Wisconsin Climate Report (excerpts and comments here.) Find the places where the Commission is happy to lay new costs onto the utilities.

Then contemplate your energy bill.

Whence Barack?

An interesting thought from Pertinacious.

...I'm inclined to think that the single most important factor behind the emergence of a candidate like Barack Hussein Obama, as well as the dearth of truly inviting and substantial alternatives, is the final death of the Christian Faith in the public square. This isn't to say that there are not Christians. It is simply to say that the Faith, as a decisively culture-formative force in society, has been eclipsed by other forces: the secular media, the Internet, commercialism, reality TV, and what Herbert Marcuse long ago called "telenewsmagspeak...As G.K. Chesterton once said, "When people stop believing in God, they don't believe in nothing — they believe in anything." Whether Mr. Obama is epistemologically self-conscious about this, I do not know; but I believe he instinctually knows that secularized Americans yearn for a God-substitute, a Messiah, and that he has tapped into this yearning. He wears his mantle with studied audaciously. The irony of the yearning is that it recoils from traditional religion because of its putative anti-intellectualism and repressiveness

Plato, in his Republic, describes the process by which good forms of government are displaced by progresively worse ones. He starts with a government of the wise, which is followed by a government of military virtues (Timocracy), one of self-aggrandizement (Oligarchy). Famously, the last form of government before hitting rock bottom with Tyrrany, for Plato, is Democracy. What Plato fears about Democracy is that it verges toward anarchy and easily permits a man to rise to power on the wings of great promises, who, when elected, turns into a tyrant. The wost result, however, is that when the souls of individual citizens have lost their normative order and orientation, they lose the capacity to understand what has happened to them, because they themselves have become viciously tyrannical, leading them to call evil "good" and good "evil."

Thinking about The O-and-Savior's Berlin pastiche of gossamer, "citizen-of-the-world" surrealistic silliness kinda puts Pertinacious' question into place, no?

Wisconsin Climate Report: Some Considerations

The Wisconsin Climate Report was released yesterday, and it will be controversial. Jim Ott (R-Mequon) has already made a few salient points, but there are other nuggets in the Report's Appendix E which are of interest. (Page reference are from Appendix E pagination.) Following that, we'll look at sections of the main Report. Some of the report is actually funny. Some of it is ludicrous. ALL of it will cost money. A LOT of money. And the Report's assumption is that the State treasury is damn near limitless.

Economic Impacts: Under all of the policy scenario modeling runs, both those with and those without cap and trade policies, the state’s economy, employment and personal disposable income increased over the 2006 to 2024 time period, but at a slightly lower rate of increase than projected under the Reference Case. The TAG had concerns that the REMI runs, including the robust economic forecast, may have been somewhat insensitive in assessing economic impacts (PP 7/8)

IOW, it's possible that the costs will kill off economic growth.

By the way, the Report also observes that Wisconsin might either import or export electricity in the future. If we import it, we pay more but emit less. If we export, we pay less, but emit more--in which case we pay more anyway because our utilities will be required to emit less.

Electricity Demand Growth: Annual electricity demand growth rate is cut in half from two percent in the Reference Case to one percent in under Policy Case 1. This can be attributed to a number of factors including the enhanced energy efficiency policy, and to higher energy prices resulting from the enhanced renewable portfolio standard policy. This reduction in electricity demand results in lower electricity bills in 2024. While the rates that utilities charge customers increase an average of 8 percent above Reference Case in 2024, electricity bills are reduced by between 12 and 15 percent depending on the rate class. The experience of individuals and particular businesses may vary significantly from these projections. (P 8)

Translation: "We're not exactly sure why demand growth is cut by FIFTY PERCENT under our Policy Case 1, and don't be bothered by the EIGHT PERCENT increase in electricity costs, because overall, electric bills will be lower in 2024, but we don't know whether that's because all the businesses left the State, or because all the individuals left the State (your mileage may vary, don't blame us.)"

The Report did use "high-end" estimates for costs of coal, petroleum, and natural gas, which is a credit to them. It is entirely possible that prices will be less than they assume, which will be beneficial to ratepayers. (P 13)

Now back to the main Report itself (Page numbers will correspond with Report page numbers.)

This policy recommends that Wisconsin advocate for a dramatic increase in federal research and development (R&D) spending related to achieving substantial reductions in GHG [greenhouse gas] emissions. At the state level, R&D funding for renewable and other low carbon technologies should be significantly increased to enable Wisconsin to become a leader in these areas. In addition, the state should support R&D of carbon capture and storage technologies in order to achieve, if feasible, rapid development and deployment on a commercial basis of coal plants with this technology. Finally, R&D funding should be provided to enhance Wisconsin’s ability to adopt to climate change, including funding for the Wisconsin Initiative on Climate Change Impacts, a partnership between the UW-Madison and the Department of Natural Resources (P. 38)

That will certainly help the Legislature reduce the State's ~$1 billion structural deficit, no?

...the policy recommends that the state adopt annual targets for reducing electric load and natural gas use through energy efficiency. The targets for 2009 would be to reduce electric load by 0.75% and natural gas use by 0.5% from what they would otherwise be without the energy efficiency and conservation measures. The annual reduction targets would increase gradually until they reach 2% for electric load and 1% for natural gas use in 2015 and each subsequent year. (P. 39)

That happens to be a lot of reduction. The Report calls it "aggressive."

How to get there?

An objective of this effort would be to achieve net zero energy commercial buildings by 2030
and residential buildings by 2040
(P. 41)

This policy recommends that the state set a strong example by taking a number of steps to
reduce its GHG emissions through energy conservation, energy production, building efficiency,
transportation use, and purchasing policies
(P. 41)

You think that means the Capitol's heat and a/c will be turned off? The Governor's Mansion? The UW-System's? Or that the Governor will use a Prius instead of an SUV?

They have other ideas.

..requires rental properties to install energy efficient lighting in common areas and all mounted fixtures (other than fixtures controlled by dimmer switches and fixtures in appliances). It also would require exit lights to use light emitting diode bulbs (LEDs).

...proposes legislation to create state appliance/equipment efficiency standards based on a model bill developed by the Appliance Standards Awareness Project...[including] new commercial and
industrial boilers, new residential furnaces and furnace fans, and compact audio equipment...
state should request a waiver of the existing federal standard for commercial boilers and
residential furnaces in order to adopt higher standards
(PP. 40/41)

Compact AUDIO equipment?

Liquid propane gas (LPG) and fuel oil make up 17% of fossil fuel use in Wisconsin’s residential sector and are also used in large quantities in the commercial, industrial, and agricultural sectors, but these fuels are not covered by the existing Focus on Energy program. This policy recommends legislation to provide for a fee on non-regulated fuels to fund Focus on Energy conservation and energy efficiency programs for consumers of these fuels (P. 42)

So LPG and heating-oil customers will pay more to use the stuff.

This policy calls for a legislative study committee to consider the need for, and nature of,
potential mandatory, minimum energy efficiency standards triggered by specific events (e.g.
point of sale) for existing single-family home and multi-family rental units
to complement
voluntary energy efficiency programs for these sectors

Selling your home or investment property? You'll pay for the "efficiency upgrades" from the proceeds of the sale. That cap-gain just disappeared, folks. Re-arrange your retirement program immediately.

This policy calls for a major state-sponsored energy efficient housing retrofit and
rehabilitation program for existing housing stock in lower income areas
(urban and rural), funded in large part by allowance fees and auction revenues from a cap and trade program

So either the cap-and-trade program will be very lucrative (that is to say, expensive for the buyers of credits) OR the "large part" will be small--meaning that GP Revenues will be funding these retrofits.

And, of course, the Report has expensive thoughts about the fake "problem" of CO2:

This policy recommends that the Public Service Commission and the DNR convene a special commission to explore the potential for geologic carbon sequestration for CO2 produced by Wisconsin’s electricity generation fleet (P.43)

They'll pipe the emissions underground, or pipe them to other States to put them underground (!!)

And we'll windmill the blazes out of the Great Lakes!!

This policy recommends that the state, through the relevant state agencies, convene a
study group to look at the technical and economic potential for developing wind energy on Lake
Michigan and Lake Superior

Another electricity cost-enhancement is buried in here.

This policy recommends that the PSCW reopen the current Strategic Energy Assessment,
with all utilities subject to the SEA required by October 15, 2008 to file comprehensive GHG
emissions inventories using recognized standards. In conjunction with these filings, each utility
would: (i) identify the actions currently being taken or planned to be taken during the next three
years that will reduce its GHG emissions, showing estimated reductions, costs and other relevant information; and, (ii) identify other actions that are not included in its current actions or plans that could be undertaken by it during this period to further reduce its GHG emissions, and
identify the potential emissions reductions available, the associated costs and any other relevant

Reality time, folks. The utilities will NOT pay for these studies. YOU will. How many folks will WEenergies add to the staff to come up with this stuff? Who knows? But WEenergies does NOT care--it's a pass-through cost.

This proposal would increase the state’s RPS [Renewable Portfolio Sources] in current law to 10% by 2013, 20% by 2020 and 25% by 2025. Of the required 20% by 2020 and 25% by 2025, minimums of 6% by 2020 and 10% by 2025 would have to come from Wisconsin-based renewables (P.45)

That means we'll be burning trees, corn (!!), silage, weeds, and dried excrements. In addition, the report hints that we will be connecting cow-butts to pipelines leading to electricity-generation facilities. Maybe even deer- and bear-butts!! Invest NOW in hose-makers!!

...renewable energy and renewable resources in the existing RPS law would be expanded to include the thermal portion of Wisconsin cogeneration projects fired with biomass, as well as biogas produced in Wisconsin that is put in the gas pipeline system, solar water heating and other verifiable renewable applications that displace fossil fuel use (P.45)

Gas from contented cows!!

If you happen to buy your own windmill, you could do very well:

Utilities would be required to enter into long term, fixed price contracts to purchase all of the electricity produced by customer-owned renewable generation systems at favorable rates. The policy recommends that these advanced renewable tariffs should be based upon the specific production costs of each particular generation technology, include a return comparable to the utilities’ allowed returns, and be fixed over a period of time that allows for full recovery of capital costs (P.47)

Folks, these rather generous terms are enough to make Gary Grunau slobber spit all over the office. I'll remind you that the utilities DO NOT CARE what those "favorable rates" are--because the utilities will NOT PAY the costs--YOU will, dear reader.

The "new nukes" policy is hogwash.

The proposed policy would not mandate or encourage new nuclear plant construction, but would modify the current requirements as follows: (i) A new Certificate of Public Convenience and Necessity (CPCN) provision would be added requiring that the proposed nuclear plant must be built to meet Wisconsin needs at a cost that is reasonable and advantageous to customers in comparison with available alternatives, taking account of emission reductions benefits. If such a nuclear plant is a plant to be built and owned by a party other than a Wisconsin utility, the output would need to be sold to Wisconsin utilities to meet the needs requirement. In any event, any new nuclear plant, regardless of any changes in ownership or operational responsibility during the life of the plant, would be subject to regulation by the PSCW on a basis that is comparable to the regulation that would apply to such a plant if owned and operated by a Wisconsin public utility. (ii) The current requirement of a federally licensed or foreign nuclear waste disposal facility would be replaced with a requirement that to obtain a CPCN the PSCW must find the nuclear waste plan for the plant is economic, reasonable, stringent, and in the public interest, given the safety and other risks presented by such waste. (iii) The proposed CPCN requirements for a nuclear plant would apply to any proposed nuclear unit regardless of size and include any replacement of any existing nuclear unit. (iv) In addition to the existing right of the PSCW to apply for extension of the 180-day time limit to act on a CPCN, an additional extension could be sought by the PSCW in the case of a nuclear plant for a reasonable,
but defined period

"Economic, reasonable, stringent, and in the public interest, given...."---any 5th grader could drive a truck through the holes in that language. Nukes? Fuggeddaboutit.

Now as to your car:

This policy recommends that Wisconsin join with other states that have adopted
California rules that set mandatory minimum GHG emission standards for passenger vehicles

What about cutting your lawn, boating, 4-wheeling?

This policy recommends adopting voluntary and mandatory emission reduction measures
to reduce GHG emissions from off-road sources related to construction, agricultural,
lawn/garden care, recreational and industrial/commercial sectors

Driving your semi-, or any OTHER truck?

The task force recommends regulation to limit truck idling at depots, over night rest areas
and other long-term parking circumstances. The rule would limit idling to a maximum five
except when trucks are on the roadway during traffic, there are temperature extremes,
medical needs require engine power, powering equipment is needed to unload freight, engines
are required to idle to regenerate emission filtration devices or required maintenance procedures are conducted. Efficient trucks with 2007 or newer engines will be exempt

Bundle up, Teamsters. It will be cold out there. In the alternative, you might want to get naked when it's hot. Trust me, "temperature extremes" can be defined in very interesting ways.

Here's another GP Revenue drain, combined with a property-tax increase:

This policy recommends legislation to reduce consumption of non-renewable motor
fuels. This legislation would require that by 2012, 25% of the delivery vehicles, light trucks, and
passenger vehicles operated by the state and its largest cities have Plug-in Hybrid Electric
Vehicle (PHEV) drive trains. The state would provide grants to the affected municipalities to
offset 50% of the incremental cost
of purchasing PHEV vehicles compared to conventional
vehicles of the same make and model

And Jimmy Carter redux:

This policy recommends strict enforcement of the existing 65 mph highway speed limit, a
study of potential future speed limit reductions
, and support and recognition for voluntary speed
reduction policies by businesses and other organizations

"Reducing speed limits" translates to "increasing the semi-truck fleet numbers"--as was proven by the Carter flop. Buy stock in Kenworth.

This policy recommends education and incentives for the purchase of hybrid electric
vehicles (HEVs), plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEVs) and electric vehicles (EVs) including
encouraging businesses to allocate favorable parking for these vehicles and by providing rebates
or state-tax credits

IOW, taxpayers will subsidize folks who buy hybrids/plug-ins. Grind down the lower-end taxpayers a bit more!!

Another reference to fake-pollution here:

This policy suggests legislation with regulatory implementation and enforcement to
develop a low carbon fuel standard (LCFS) for fuel providers on a sales-weighted average. The
standard would be developed by measuring CO2-equivalent grams per unit of fuel energy

Providers could meet the standard by blending ethanol (corn/cellulosic) with gasoline, blending biodiesel with diesel (P.53)

Starve a few Mexicans. Who cares??

We hope you like to walk.

This policy recommends regulatory action and state funding to reduce vehicle miles
traveled (VMT) by individuals
. The recommendations include: (i) providing special
transportation funding for areas zoned for traditional neighborhood design, (ii) including safety
provisions for pedestrians, bicyclists, and transit vehicles in road projects along and across
corridors being improved, (iii) requiring a VMT and GHG analysis for new developments that
will receive state economic development assistance
and for projects to expand state roadway
capacity, (iv) developing a model parking ordinance that reconsiders mandatory minimum
requirements for retailers and increases pricing of street parking, incorporating parking standards based on technology and market changes, such as small parking spaces for microcars, (v) establishing multimodal accessibility as the highest goal for the state to ensure walking and
biking accessibility
, (vi) considering VMT generated by applicant facilities as a major factor in
state economic development funding decisions, giving projects with low levels of VMT per
employee preference over those that increase VMT
, (vii) considering VMT generated by
Wisconsin to be a higher priority on rehabilitation of existing infrastructure over adding new
lane-miles (fix-it-first) for funding purposes, and (vii) encouraging the Wisconsin Department of
Commerce to develop incentives for local governments to allow compact development and

There are all kinds of "Smart Development" ideas in that graf which are inimical to suburbs and ex-urbs. But if you read that stuff carefully, you also find that "economic development" efforts will look at parking spaces--the more required, the less the State wants them.

So if you're going to build a 2,000-employee factory about halfway from Jefferson to Milwaukee, your development will be DIS-favored, compared with building it smack-dab in the middle of Milwaukee, or any other municipality with bus, rail, or bike-paths.

Or unless your workers can simply walk to the factory.

And it gets even more interesting.

This policy recommends legislation to reduce GHG emissions through establishing three
programs for public and private transit alternatives: Intercity Rail, Transit Trust Fund and a
Regional Transit Authority. The policy also recommends a voluntary Travel Demand
Management (TDM) policy for employers with more than 100 employees
. The Intercity Rail
initiative would advance the proposed Chicago-Milwaukee-Madison high speed rail
improvements to Eau Claire and the Twin Cities by increasing the non-federal share to a level
that will provide greater leverage to access limited federal funding, up to $120 million. The
Transit Trust Fund would provide local units of government with up to a 50% state match for
local rail projects, such as the Kenosha-Racine-Milwaukee
and Dane 2020 rail options. The
Regional Transit Authority initiative would allow local units of government to fund transit
operations through a local sales tax of up to one half cent to help transit systems account for
. The voluntary TDM policy would promote commute trip reduction programs for
employees to reduce single-occupant vehicle use for workplace travel. Key elements of the TDM
program would include providing incentives for alternate modes, considering parking supply
constrictions, tailoring support and incentives suited for specific work sites
, combining programs
that inform employees of commuting options and making a range of commuting alternatives
(pp 54/55)

You might want to read that again. First off, is there ANY money left in the Transportation Fund?? Taxes for KRM, taxes for Dane 2020, taxes for buses, light rail--and if you employ more than 100 people, you will be "advised" by State bureaucrats.

Meaning: hire another couple of HR desk-jockeys to plan your employees' trips to/from work.

Buy a farm. It will be profitable, no matter what you do.

This policy recommends legislation to increase the availability and use of renewable
biomass and biofuels for electricity, heat and transportation by (i) creating an Energy Crop
Reserve Program that would provide incentive payments to landowners for growing perennial
grasses and energy crops
, targeting land previously enrolled in the federal Conservation Reserve
Program (CRP), (ii) providing financial support to biomass producers for the purchase of new
equipment and technology needed
to harvest, process and transport biomass feedstocks, also
replace older equipment or introduce more energy efficient equipment, resulting in further
reduction of carbon emissions, (iii) providing financial support to reduce risk and uncertainty for
biomass producers
and (iv) providing support for biomass aggregators and infrastructure such as transportation, storage and processing. Such support may include development of biomass
harvesting and classification deadlines, pilot projects, promotion of commodity markets and
exchanges, outreach to producers and users and grants to cooperatives.
Of course, if you choose to live off the taxpayers' largesse, you don't want to employ more than 99 people--otherwise, you'll have to "aggregate" and "farm" where there are sidewalks, bike-paths, and busses.
Schools should be located on farms. Dairy farms are ideal.

To establish the state as a leader in the use of biomass, the policy recommends: (i)
utilizing solid/liquid/gaseous fuels derived from biomass to provide 25% of the energy needs for
state owned or occupied facilities by 2025
, (ii) providing incentives to school districts that use
biomass for heat or electricity by excluding the capital cost of biomass systems, fuel,
maintenance, and any purchase cost of heat or electricity from revenue limits under the school
aid formula
and (iii) excluding the cost of biomass systems, fuel, maintenance and any purchase
cost of heat or energy from biomass from municipal and county levy limits
The way this is shaping up, I think there will only be 68 actual tax-PAYERS remaining in the State. All the rest will be tax-TAKERS.
Buy a tree-farm

This policy recommends enhancement of existing state programs, and increased
education and assistance, to encourage afforestation and reforestation to decrease GHG
emissions through terrestrial carbon sequestration. Enhancement of state programs will provide
additional incentives for landowners
. These changes may require legislative rule changes, fiscal
measures, or manual code adjustments. (P.56)

This policy recommends improvement of animal health through better nutrition. For example, healthier cows stay in the herd longer and fewer replacements are needed, resulting in lower methane emissions. The task force recommends promoting management intensive grazing
at existing grazed animal operations to increase soil fertility, plant vigor and quality, and
providing financial incentives to producers to increase use of animal nutritionists to promote a
high level of livestock health and productivity
Cow-Fart Utilization

This policy recommendation seeks to increase the capture and use of animal methane for
electricity or heat and to reduce current methane emissions
. (WTF??) Several policy options are suggested: (i) establish a cap-and-trade program to increase demand for electricity and biogas from digesters, (ii) establish a voluntary consumer payment program for electricity or biogas produced from manure, (iii) grant a tax credit for production of electricity or biogas from manure, (iv) grant a tax credit for investments in manure digesters or lagoon covers, (v) provide a state subsidy for digester capital costs, interest costs, or to cover risk incurred by private lenders for digester projects, (vi) create a state fund for incentives for utilities to pay a higher rate for electricity or biogas supplied from manure digesters, and (vii) fund research to increase the economic viability of manure digesters and other waste-to-energy systems and efficiently bring waste-to-energy systems to market through farmer-owned cooperatives
(P. 59/60)
Less farts? More poop? Buy cow-manure futures!!
Become an Energy Inspector!! Or Buy Certain Kinds of Stuff!!

They include: (i) cash grants for conducting comprehensive energy audits,
implementing corresponding conservation and efficiency measures, or purchasing replacement or retrofit equipment that is more energy efficient; (ii) refundable tax credits for the purchase of
equipment or other capital expenditures that will result in quantifiable energy savings and
manufacturing transition tax credits to assist companies that redesign production facilities to
produce new, cutting-age technologies with fewer GHG emissions; (iii) low-interest or nointerest
loans for large capital expenditures
intended to reduce energy consumption; (iv) fast
track permitting for retrofit and/or equipment replacement projects that would otherwise proceed on a traditional permitting path, if the equipment will result in energy efficiency or conservation savings; and (v) industrial development bonds targeted to businesses that do any of the following: begin manufacturing energy efficient fixtures, metering equipment or appliances, or begin manufacturing renewable energy products or components; install renewable power generators in their facilities; or begin manufacturing component parts for renewable fuel or hybrid/flex-fuel vehicle operations; or transition from manufacturing traditional vehicles to
manufacturing hybrids, advanced diesel, flex-fuel and other advanced drive train vehicles and
related components
I see a lot of existing Wisconsin businesses in that list--who will now be getting tax-favored treatment, courtesy of ordinary citizens (the 58 who remain actually paying taxes...)
I quit here.
You want more? Read the report yourself. Go ahead. I dare you.

Obama: Gaffe After Gaffe After...Part 389

You'd think that with 300+ "foreign policy advisers" that ONE of them might actually know something.

He goes to Berlin and tells the crowd that 'there are walls'--and specifies 'walls' between the US and Europe.


To say that somehow there is a wall in NATO that's running somewhere down the Atlantic shows Senator Obama's inexperience when it comes to understanding where we are.

Then he has a brilliant idea!

He has these kind of message-tested, poll-tested things like, we should, Barack Obama will make sure we take -- he'll negotiate with the Russians to take our ICBMs off hair-trigger alert. It's a great idea: it was done 20 years ago.

(Quotes are from Rep. Heather Wilson, R-NM, whose credits include [bio: high honors Air Force Academy grad, Rhodes Scholar] and service at NATO headquarters.)

HT: NewsBusters

Obama Has Transition Team in Place

Maybe we should just skip all that foolishness in November.

As Marc Ambinder reported this morning, the Obama campaign is putting together a post-campaign "transition team" to ease Obama from candidate to executive. Several Obama staffers confirmed to Ambinder that the campaign has begun transitional planning, though a formal announcement will not be made until the fall.

I mean, who needs more Flori-DUH jokes? Who really wants to sit up half the night listening to Talking Heads? And why pay for all that fuss and muss--poll workers, machines, ballots?

"Feel-Good" Testing from the Feds

Here's a nugget which was buried in the middle of an article.

Hyde’s team coded the difficulty levels of the No Child Left Behind exam questions, and found that all 10 states had absolutely no questions requiring strategic or critical thinking.

“It’s something I think is worth worrying about,” Halpern said. “We’re going for more minimal standards than excellent standards.”

“Teachers are teaching to the test and the test items are not very complex or involved,” said Ellis, a former high school teacher herself. “This has terrible ramifications for students trying to understand math concepts.”

At some point in time, we'll recognize that the GWB program should be called "No Child Very Educated."

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Jerry Bott: Common Sense on Favre

It was refreshing to listen to Jerry Bott's discourse on the DramaFest at Lambeau.

Short version: Ted Thompson has been around football for a long time and he's pretty sharp.

So when Ted Thompson makes the judgment that Brett Favre is no longer 'the guy' for the team's future, Thompson's probably right.

His analogy was also dead-on: when you're asked to start a talk-radio show, do you consult with: A) bloggers; B) newspaper writers; C) neurosurgeons; or D) other successful talk-show hosts?

It is no co-incidence that Bott has a managerial position at WISN, by the way.

Latin Mass Supporter

The name sorta jumps out at you...

One of the people who signed a petition asking England's Bishops for more Extraordinary Rite Masses (the Old Rite), was

Bianca Jagger, a devout practising Catholic, is well-known as a radical human rights activist; but she also regularly attends Latin Mass at the London Oratory and wishes to see the provision of the Old Rite extended throughout the world

HT: Fr. Z

Kmiec Denied Communion: Chapter Two

This is almost 'inside baseball,' but it's hot stuff in RC circles.

I'll let Roeser tell the story--he's really good at that.

Roger Cardinal Mahony, archbishop of Los Angeles, has called the priest who refused to give Communion to pro-Obama Catholic Douglas Kmiec, on the carpet. As many who read this site know, Kmiec, law dean of Pepperdine University, has been dining out with the mainstream media through self-generated publicity since a priest turned him down for Communion because of Kmiec’s support of Obama who not only is pro-abortion but killed the Born Live bill in the Illinois legislature.

...Kmiec who parlayed great legal expertise into a top Justice Department job under Ronald Reagan and George H. W. Bush, was passed over for the Supreme Court by both administrations. He surfaced first as a supporter of Mitt Romney for president but when Romney pulled out, changed direction and endorsed Obama. Some of his old law colleagues at Notre Dame law school and Catholic U say the switch was due to his driving ambition to go to the Court...

After announcing his support of Obama, Kmiec was the featured speaker at a dinner of Catholic CEOs in Ventura, California, near Pepperdine. But at Mass prior to the dinner, the celebrant refused to give him Communion. A line following Kmiec stood waiting as the lawyer-professor said, “I think you’re making a mistake, Father” to which the priest said “I don’t think so.” Kmiec’s wife ran sobbing from the church which caused other wives to whimper sympathetically--but Kmiec turned the refusal into a favorable story about himself with the mainstream media by disclosing it to E. J. Dionne, a pro-abort Catholic columnist for “The Washington Post.”

...On NPR Kmiec was interviewed and portrayed himself as a kind of Thomas More in reverse, being pilloried because of his support for Obama. Now Los Angeles’ liberal prelate has written to the priest summoning him to the chancery to explain his action. Like the late Joseph Cardinal Benardin whom he venerated, Mahony has linked pro-life with other non-related liberal actions. Bernardin performed a signal work for liberal Democrats when he devised, with true Machiavellian savvy, the concept of the “seamless garment.” ...

Fr. Bryan Hehir a staffer at the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, took the biblical notation and made it a liberal crusade. He concocted the theory that he could weaken the strength of the anti-abortion injunction by tying it to a host of liberal goals and calling the entire linkage “seamless.” He took (a) nuclear freeze and (b) anti-death penalty and fused them with (c) pro-life. Ergo: Democratic presidential and congressional candidates could claim a “pro-life” score of 2 out of 3.

...Roger Mahony, tall, stoop-shouldered with a face adorned by a perpetually glistening anchor-man smile, switched the formula. Since nuclear freeze was off the table, he added immigration rights in addition to anti-death penalty. This fit his immediate political needs since he needed to distract the media from sexual abuse of children in Los Angeles by embracing a cause liberals would rally to.

...Using Bernardin’s “seamless garment” with pro-illegal immigration as a pretext, Mahony vowed a campaign of civil disobedience in 2005 against the Sensenbrenner-King immigration bill in the archdiocese’s 288 parishes which dealt with illegal enforcement only.

Thus the prelate who decided what immigration law he will reject and instructs his flock to disregard is out to punish the priest who concentrated on his right to deny the Eucharist to one who espouses not just abortion but who endorses a candidate who has denied dying babies nutrition and medical care.

...From his august $150,000 throne can Roger the Dodger excoriate those who are unfeeling about illegal immigrants’ rights. It is to this enormous palisade that Roger the Dodger…a Prince of the Church… called the errant priest who dared to deny Communion to a defector who is hustling Catholic votes for Barack Obama.

You ask: is this Church divine?

It has to be--to survive people like Roger the Dodger as it has so many others before even Thomas Cranmer.

There's a lot more at the link, but you get the idea.

Even the NYTimes Can't Take Gorebasms

Believe it or not, Andy Revkin, the science reporter for the NYTimes fisked Al's "No More Carbon Sources" speech...

AlGore: Scientists with access to data from Navy submarines traversing underneath the North polar ice cap have warned that there is now a 75 percent chance that within five years the entire ice cap will completely disappear during the summer months. This will further increase the melting pressure on Greenland. According to experts, the Jakobshavn glacier, one of Greenland’s largest, is moving at a faster rate than ever before, losing 20 million tons of ice every day, equivalent to the amount of water used every year by the residents of New York City.

NYTimes: I have a post coming shortly on the latest update from the world’s leading teams of sea ice experts, showing this year’s retreat is unlikely to match last year’s, while the long-term trend is still heading toward ever less summer ice. I’ll try to find out where the sub data came from. Only one group I know of has posited an ice-free Arctic Ocean in summers by 2013. On Greenland, the picture is far more complex than the way it is portrayed here. Other glaciers have slowed and, overall — as I’ve written here recently — new studies show no fresh signs of imminent destabilization of the ice.]

AlGore: There seem to be more tornadoes than in living memory, longer droughts, bigger downpours and record floods

NYTimes: why mention tornadoes? There’s been no evidence of an increase in dangerous tornadoes since careful records have been kept (great graphic at this link). It’s really no different stressing “strange” weather in a push for limiting greenhouse gases than doing so to fight the same policy shift. Remember all the yelling about global cooling because of cool global temperatures recently?]

AlGore: Today I challenge our nation to commit to producing 100 percent of our electricity from renewable energy and truly clean carbon-free sources within 10 years. This goal is achievable, affordable and transformative.

NYTimes: would be hard to find experts immersed in the challenges of generating, storing and distributing electricity at large scale who could chart an achievable or affordable 10-year path to doing this. Joe Romm at said a more realistic ambitious goal would be 50-percent renewable electricity sources by 2020. And of course “affordable” is a word dependent entirely on public attitudes,

AlGore: A few years ago, it would not have been possible to issue such a challenge. But here’s what’s changed: the sharp cost reductions now beginning to take place in solar, wind, and geothermal power – coupled with the recent dramatic price increases for oil and coal – have radically changed the economics of energy.

NYTimes: The price differential between renewable energy sources and coal burning is shifting, but a 10-year transformation is hard to foresee given the incredibly small base from which solar is growing (see the solar link in the previous annotation) and the long timeline for boosting geothermal generation, among other issues. An Energy Department review of geothermal sources last year said we might be able to generate as much electricity by 2050 that way as is now produced with nuclear plants. But currently nuclear generation is less than 20 percent of the national electricity pie. Sure, that might be accelerated, but 10 years?]

Etc., etc.

And the NYT's reporter was being very gentle compared to others.

Pubbie Fundraisers

In the last couple of days, both the Republican National Committee and the Republican Senate Campaign Committee assigned a couple of pleasant young chipmunks to call here asking for money.

They started off with the usual Doomsday Scenario crap...

....and that's as far as they got, before I politely but firmly advised them that they were wasting their time.

Maybe if they were the Conservative National Committee.....?

But that would mean that they are not Republicans.

Did Mitch McConnell Grow a Spine?

Reported by The Hill and passed along by Morrissey:

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell has laid down the gauntlet to Majority Leader Harry Reid on energy, according to The Hill. Following the efforts of Tom Coburn and Jim DeMint, the Republican caucus has promised to obstruct any bills not pertaining to energy until the Senate votes on removing the remaining restrictions on off-shore drilling

...which would include the Most Massive Bailout in history, too...

The Middle East Trip--No Poll-Bump? You're RACIST!

So the O-and-Savior goes all over the Middle East, gets pix and several dozen MSM tongue-baths, but there's no poll-bump.

Time magazine has it figured out.

The emerging conventional wisdom seems to be that the trip is a bit too grand, too...presumptuous and voters are wary of that. (And presumption, of course, always comes with the subterranean tinge of racism.) Maybe so

Got that? The trip is presumptuous, because voters are RACIST. Can't abide the possibility that some black fellow is ....traveling....or something like that.

Or maybe it's just presumptuous--beginning with the O-and-Savior's erasing the US flag from the 757 and substituting his "O" trademark on the plane's tail.

Thank God that Time magazine is here to diagnose our ills.

HT: RedState

Obama: Gaffe After Gaffe After....

Here's a new one to add to the pile, after '57 States', 'Civilian Security Corps', '10,000 Died in Kansas Tornadoes', 'Arkansas is nearby Kentucky', ....

Speaking in Israel, Obama says:

Now, in terms of knowing my commitments, you don't have to just look at my words, you can look at my deeds. Just this past week, we passed out of the U.S. Senate Banking Committee, which is my committee, a bill to call for divestment from Iran, as a way of ratcheting up the pressure to ensure that they don't obtain a nuclear weapon.


Here's the Senate Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs committee roster:

Umnnhhhh.....lemmeessee, heah, ahhhh....Dodd, Menendez, Schumer, Reed, Akaka.......

Well, maybe he's listed as a Republican?

Shelby, Enzi, Dole.......

Not there either.

Obviously, the Teleprompter broke.

HT: PowerLine

So About John Edwards...

Most likely the dirt came from the Clinton campaign, and most likely the tipsters were paid for their info.

But, you know, there's pictures, and lotsa witnesses.

So when will this get the Henry Hyde treatment from the MSM?

Vice Presidential candidate Sen. John Edwards was caught visiting his mistress and secret love child at 2:40 this morning in a Los Angeles hotel by the NATIONAL ENQUIRER.

The married ex-senator from North Carolina - whose wife Elizabeth continues to battle cancer -- met with his mistress, blonde divorcée Rielle Hunter, at the Beverly Hilton on Monday night, July 21 - and the NATIONAL ENQUIRER was there! He didn't leave until early the next morning.

Natch, there's a non-denial denial from Edwards, who has NOT instituted suit against the Enquirer.