North Archives - January 12, 2010
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the State's Fiscal Chasm: the PSG Report
By John McClaughry
on the PSG's 32-page report (net of padding), explained at a January 6
news conference in the Governor's office, one would do well to harbor considerable
skepticism about the prospects of the purported savings. ...
After a year of analyzing,
designing, renegotiating, streamlining, and strategizing, the Agency would
achieve savings of 5% ($18 million). Add up the savings for all of the
programs included in the report, and the magic $38 million in savings appears!
How are these magic percentages
arrived at? There isn't a hint.
18 Percent Western Union Message
By Martin Harris
for example, through the implications of Entergyís recent advice to Vermontís
Golden Dome folks that it proposes to cut its power sales into Vermont
meters from 50% of the Vermont Yankee nuclear plant output down to 18%,
as the 19 December issue of The Rutland Herald reported. For high school
grads disdainful of math proficiency (about 2/3 of them, the NAEP tests
show) thatís a 64% reduction. The Herald was careful to tell readers that
the ratepayer cost would go up 52.5%, but not that 82% of the Vernon plantís
output would now be sold beyond Vermontís borders and the reach of Vermontís
legislators. Unvocalized Entergy message: "we can pull the remaining 18%
if we choose to". You canít send a direct verbal message via Western
Union any more (money transfers only, please; the traditional telegram
service ended in 1999) but non-direct-verbal messages can still be implied
by senders and (sometimes) inferred by receivers in such similar venues
as movie theaters and legislative-assembly halls.
An Occasional Newsletter from the Legislature
By Rep. Thomas F. Koch,
"Kum-ba-ya, mí lord, kum-ba-yaÖ."
Oh what a love fest weíve been having in Montpelier! Will
it last? Iíd like to think so, but Iím not holding my breath. ...
On the surface, things look
warm and fuzzy. But even if the smiles should continue, it might
pay to look at the substance of these issues.
By John Stuart
Following the attempted Delta
bombing, a steady procession of administration officials have issued statements
ranging from the ridiculous ("the system worked") to late but welcomed
admission ("systemic failure") in connection with protocols that exist
to protect the American public. Subsequently, we are told that security
programs are to be re-assessed, new measures implemented and the end product
will result in the restoration of safety and confidence for this important
mode of transportation. That is reassuring until the next airliner event,
which according to the laws of probability, will result in a very bad day
for some travelers and those that might be unfortunate enough to be situated
under the flight path.
But, playing defense is a
very costly and difficult endeavor, particularly when protective measures
are either based on a false premise (criminal as opposed to ideological)
or constrained by political correctness. Two quotes aptly summarize this
# # #
shortage of good scientists, engineers and other professionals which plagues
us is the result of time wasted in public schools which must be made up
later on."- by Vice Admiral Hyman G. Rickover (often called the
"father of the atomic submarine")
# # #
Weekly News Round-Up
Salutes Vermont Troops at Deployment
From WCAX-TV, January 8,
Family members weren't the
only ones saying goodbye at Friday's deployment ceremony. The country's
highest ranking military officer also said farewell.
"We can only do it because
of you, so I am incredibly grateful for all you do," Admiral Mike Mullen
told the troops.
Admiral Mullen is the chairman
of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. He came to Vermont after receiving an invitation
from Sen. Patrick Leahy, D-Vermont. Mullen's visit was a first here in
Vermont, but a detail that made this send-off bittersweet for the soldiers
and their families.
Rising Tide....In Montpelier
From WCAX-TV, January 2010
Coverage of the "Can You
Hear Us Now? Rally/Seminar at the capital and the second annual convention
for the Vermont Campaign for Liberty.
Bedfellows In Different Bedrooms?
Caledonia Record Editorial,
January 8, 2010
It's interesting that several
labor unions have demonstrated in Montpelier in favor of relicensing Vermont
Yankee. Their championing of Vermont Yankee flies in the face of Senate
President Pro Tem Peter Shumlin's and Rep. Shap Smith's rabid opposition
to such a relicensing. The leaders of 15 unions broke ranks with the Democratic
legislative leaders at a news conference by stating emphatically that they
want Vermont Yankee to be relicensed.
Vermonters May Fear "Help" From The Feds
From Vermont Tiger, January
Several things spring to
mind: First, forgiveness may work on a personal level, but it doesnít exist
on a balance sheet. The money comes from somewhere and since we are deeply
in debt as a nation, the $100 billion needs to be borrowed, and those who
lend expect to be paid back. With interest.
Mr. Welch is upfront about
this and is clear his proposal cannot be considered a bailout. Under law
the interest paid on the borrowed money must be paid out of a stateís general
fund. His effort would spare the state that expense Ė for the moment. But
the real concern is how the congressmanís intentions could be misinterpreted
here in Vermont.
The fear is that legislators
would interpret the potential "savings" as a safety valve and not take
the action necessary to put the fund on a solid long-term footing.
With The Wind
Caledonia Record Editorial,
January 7 2010
For any wind farm vote up
or down to be binding, it should include the eligible voters in all of
the towns from which the ridge to be despoiled by a wind farm is visible.
Without those votes being included, a vote by the citizens of the taxing
town, in this case Lowell, is nothing more than a clever public relations
gimmick that guarantees that the birthright of the rest of us will be gone
with the wind.
Needs a Reality Check
By P.G. Behr, Vermont
Tiger, January 9, 2010
Politics in the New Year
should be interesting. Will the Vermont Legislature face reality? With
indisputable evidence that our state is facing unprecedented fiscal problems,
will our politicians get serious about reducing government spending?
The race for the Democratic
nomination for governor will bring many promises from the candidates. Peter
Shumlin tells us he already has a website, a Facebook page and will be
communicating via Twitter, the better to tell us about his optimism (?)
for 2010, his plan for creating new jobs (green ones, of course) and the
need for more Vermont health care, since he isnít sure the federal health
care bill will serve Vermonters adequately! But not a word, thus far, about
how he believes Vermontís indebtedness, which is now measured in billions,
can be paid off. Hopefully, the other Democrats aspiring to the governorship
will be more realistic.
# # #
Global War on Terrorism
on Icebergs Instead of Terrorists?
Obama Program Diverts
Intelligence Assets to Climate Research
National Center for Public
Policy, January 5, 2010
As terrorists continue to
infiltrate America, the Obama Administration is tasking some of our nation's
most elite intelligence-gathering agencies to divert their resources to
environmental scientists researching global warming.
Experts with The National
Center for Public Policy Research are decrying this practice as a distraction
from important counterterrorism duties. They further question if
it is a possible avenue to renew climate change subterfuge already plaguing
some of these scientists.
Iranians to Dislodge the Mullahs
By Amil Imani, American
Thinker, January 08, 2010
The mullahs presently ruling
Iran are faced with monumental threats. Internally, the great majority
of the populace is against their misrule. Labor unions, teachers associations,
student groups, religious and ethnic minorities, journalists, and many
others have suffered and continue to suffer inordinate hardship under the
heavy-handed mullahs and their frontmen. Externally, they are engaged in
brinksmanship with the United States and Israel, while trying to wrestle
the mantle of Islamic leadership from the Sunni Saudis and their Wahhabi
Sadly, President Obama is
intent on making deals with the inveterate mullahs, moving along the same
treacherous path of his four predecessors who accomplished nothing, other
than prolonging the lives of these Islamist miscreants.
al Qaeda connection in Yemen
Pretending the problem
doesn't exist won't make it go away
The Washington Times, January
The attempted Christmas Day
underwear bombing of Northwest Flight 253 may have Iranian fingerprints,
but those are dots the Obama administration doesn't want to connect.
Iran and al Qaeda have made
war on America in Yemen before. In November 2008, Western security officials
intercepted a letter signed by bin Laden deputy Ayman al-Zawahiri thanking
Iran for its "vision" in helping al Qaeda establish a foothold in Yemen
after being routed from Iraq and Saudi Arabia. The terror leader praised
Tehran for its "monetary and infrastructure assistance" related to a September
2008 attack on the U.S. Embassy in Yemen's capital Sana'a. Sixteen people
were killed in the attack, which featured machine gun and rocket fire supporting
a double suicide car bombing.
Last January, Saudi Guantanamo
alumnus Mohammed Atiq Awayd al-Harbi (a.k.a. al-Awfi, or detainee No. 333)
turned up in a videotape as a leader of the newly formed al Qaeda in the
Arabian Peninsula, the organization that recruited Flight 253 bomber Umar
Farouk Abdulmutallab. Al-Awfi had been released to Saudi custody in 2007
and went through Saudi jihadist deprogramming before being set free. He
turned himself back in to Saudi authorities in February 2009 and testified
that Iran was involved in supporting Shi'ite rebels in Yemen, and was also
making cash available to al Qaeda.
Next Theater in the War on Terror?
By David Price, The National
Review January 7, 2010
Yemen is fit to become another
major theater in the War on Terror. The country is tribal, divided into
Sunni and Shia, and hardly centralized or governed at all. Like Afghanistan
or Somalia, it is more of an inhabited space than a nation-state. People
just do what they like there. Never mind the rule of law, there is not
even a proper system of car registration. Once the vehicle I was in was
overtaken on the left and the right side simultaneously ó the drivers were
probably high on qat, which acts like an amphetamine as they chew it. Men
carry daggers habitually, and even small arms. In Saada, there is an open
market where every sort of weapon is openly for sale, and for cash you
can buy a tank. According to hearsay, African slaves are also available.
of a Militarized Iran, as Guard Gains 'Primacy:' Study
By Staff Writers, AFP, January
The Revolutionary Guard Corps
has "gained primacy" in Iran since the 2009 presidential election,
fueling fears there that the country is becoming militarized, a Pentagon-sponsored
study said Tuesday.
The study by the RAND Corporation
also urged US policymakers to take "great care" in their statements regarding
Iran in order not to give the leadership a pretext to divert attention
from domestic troubles, like the economy.
The disputed election was
"a watershed event" in the Islamic republic's history "that has altered
elite relationships and solidified the position of the Islamist right and
the Revolutionary Guards in Iranian politics," it said.
Obama takes America
down another notch with an unnecessary, reckless act.
By Andrew C. McCarthy, National
Review, January 3rd, 2010
An agencyís having a permanent
U.S. presence is more of a reason to bind it by U.S. law, not a
rationale for immunizing it. And Interpol apparently has had no difficulty
operating under the Reagan-era restraints during the five years since its
permanent office opened. Moreover, as Richardson points out, Interpol is
not just "any other international organization"; it is an international
As Iíve explained before, "what prevents law-enforcement and its controlling
authority from becoming tyrannical" are the constraints of law ó in the
U.S., such provisions as the Fourth Amendment, the Freedom of Information
Act, and other limitations of the Constitution and federal law that protect
the liberty and privacy of Americans.
# # #
Dewey and the Philosophical Refounding of America
National Review Special:
By Tiffany Jones Miller,
December 31, 2009
The "progressive" label is
back in vogue; politicians of the Left routinely use it to describe themselves,
hoping to avoid the radical connotations associated with being "liberal"
in the post-Reagan era. The irony in this is manifold, especially because
the aim of the movement to which the name refers, the late-19th- and early-20th-century
progressive movement, was anything but moderate. ...
It began with a conscious
rejection of the natural-rights principles of the American founding and
the promotion of a new understanding of freedom, history, and the state
in their stead. From this foundation, the progressives then criticized
virtually every aspect of our traditional way of life, recommending reforms
or "social reorganization" on a sweeping scale, the primary engine of which
was to be a new, "positive" role for the state. As the progressivesí influence
in the academy increased, and growing numbers of their students sallied
forth into all aspects of endeavor, this intellectual transformation gradually
began to reshape the broader American mind, and, in time, American political
practice. "A new regime in thought," as Eldon Eisenach writes, "began to
become a new regime in power."
From Investorís Business
Daily, January 8, 2010
Entitlements: While a massive
health care entitlement is fashioned in secret, another one, Social Security,
is running deficits decades earlier than expected. We've been kicking the
can down the road. We're out of road.
Party Activists Gaining Steam Across the Country
From Florida to California,
Conservatives Are Challenging Moderate Republicans
By Kate Snow & Kristina
Wong, ABC News, January 7, 2010
movement is sweeping the country, and taking politicians
The most recent victim of
party" activists was Florida Republican Jim
Greer, who resigned from as state party chairman this week,
in part because of the activists' objections to his alliance with Florida's
Crist, who is running for the U.S. Senate. The activists
are vocally supporting Crist's opponent -- a young, outspoken conservative,
Marco Rubio -- and some believe the tea party group may bring down Crist,
Double Dip in Second Quarter: Economist
By Robin Knight, CNBC, January
The U.S. economy will slip
back into recession in the second and third quarter of 2010 as the boost
from fiscal stimulus measures and inventory rebuilding wears off, James
Shugg, senior economist at Westpac Bank, told CNBC Wednesday. ...
"You'll see the boost to
growth from fiscal stimulus and inventory rebuilding lose momentum and
what's left? A consumer that's still inclined to save more than spend,
a banking system still dragged down by one in four mortgages being in default,"
By Steven Crowder, RightBias.com,
January 3, 2010
Comedian Steven Crowder highlights
the devastating state of affairs in Detroit that are the result of 49 years
of leftists, feel-good policies that have effectively killed a formerly
booming American city.
From Investorís Business
Daily, January 5, 2010
Climate Change: A new study
shows that Earth's ability to absorb carbon dioxide from all sources, including
man, has remained unchanged for 160 years. As it turns out, there may be
no carbon to offset.
Trouble with Harry
Reid's racial comments
aren't his worst rhetorical offense.
Wall Street Editorial, January
We can think of several reasons
for Harry Reid to resign as Senate Majority Leader, though the flap over
his obtuse racial comments isn't one of them....
That prize goes to his all
too public comments in April 2007 that "the war is lost" in Iraq, even
as the surge was finally making victory possible. That was a betrayal of
American soldiers risking their lives in Iraq, and to the extent it emboldened
the enemy, it may have cost American lives.
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