MORNING LINKS — apparently, Monday’s also a snowy day
ITEM: I went to bed with rain falling outside and woke up to about an inch of snow on the ground, with more falling. And apparently we could get more on Friday Morning (May 1st).
ITEM: For about two years before things collapsed, my co-blogger, Bruce Henderson, was pointing out the profound financial risks of the housing collapse and subprime crisis — backed with data gathered automatically from multiple listing services all over the country. He wasn’t alone; it’s just that nobody wanted the good times to end.
ITEM: A Russian politician sets an example for the US Democrats — “Winning Candidate From Ruling Party Renounces Fraudulent Victory“. Now, if Al Franken could just take inspiration from this man. . . .
ITEM: On the other hand, the Labour Party in Merry Olde England just seems determined to beclown and befoul itself with idiocy that I can scarce believe:
They were ready to lay down their lives for Britain – and have been rewarded with an act of treachery.
Thousands of Gurkhas were yesterday shut out of the UK in what was described as ‘shameful betrayal’ by the Government.
Immigration Minister Phil Woolas claimed changes in the rules would allow 4,300 more former Gurkhas to settle here out of the 36,000 who served in the British Army before July 1997.
But lawyers battling for the Gurkhas said they believed only around 100 would benefit. Hundreds of former rank-and-file soldiers will face deportation while thousands more will be barred from entering the country. . . .
Lawyer David Enright said: ‘It’s an absolute betrayal of the Gurkhas, who have been told they are not welcome in this country.
‘It is shameful. This Government has welcomed 600,000 Eastern Europeans, and tens of thousands of asylum seekers every year.
‘But these men, who have fought for us in our darkest hour and in the worst parts of the world, are not welcome. It is a scandal and an outrage.’
Miss Lumley, whose father fought alongside the Gurkhas, said: ‘These men do not want charity. They want this Government to recognise our moral debt of honour.’
Hat tip to Stoaty Weasel.
ITEM: Ya think?
In an interview with FOX News, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, who traveled to Beirut, Lebanon, Sunday ahead of elections there, said Pakistan’s possession of nuclear weapons makes it extra important for the government to keep a lid on the Taliban there.
ITEM: As has been the case for nearly a century now, the rest of the world looks to the United States to save them — this time, financially:
While much of the world blames the United States for triggering the global financial crisis and recession, most nations also are looking to America to start pulling the rest of the world out of the slump.
A parade of foreign financial leaders in town for this weekend’s spring meetings of the International Monetary Fund and World Bank denounced the financial excesses on Wall Street that have cost millions of jobs and caused trillions of dollars in lost output from Detroit to New Delhi. Yet they also hailed some tentative signs of stabilization in the U.S. economy after a winter of free fall that led the world economy into its worst downturn in modern times
ITEM: The US Supreme Court’s decision regarding the “reverse discrimination” case involving white and Hispanic firemen in New Haven (CT) should be interesting:
Wednesday morning, a lawyer defending in the Supreme Court what the city of New Haven, Conn., did to Frank Ricci and 17 other white firemen (including one Hispanic) was not 20 seconds into his argument when Chief Justice John Roberts interrupted to ask: Would it have been lawful if the city had decided to disregard the results of the exam to select firemen for promotion because it selected too many black and too few white candidates? . . .
Racial spoils systems must involve incessant mischief because they require a rhetorical fog of euphemisms and blurry categories (e.g., “race-conscious” measures that somehow do not constitute racial discrimination) to obscure stark facts, such as: If Ricci and half a dozen others who earned high scores were not white, the city would have proceeded with the promotions.
Read the whole thing.
ITEM: Speaking of the Supremes, wondering what that student strip search case is all about? Debra Saunders lays it out, and it isn’t pretty:
[Savana] Redding was an honor student with no disciplinary marks against her when another student was caught in class with prescription ibuprofen, small knives and a cigarette. That girl falsely told Assistant Principal Kerry Wilson that she got the pills from Redding.
Redding denied the charge. Wilson searched her backpack and found nothing. So he asked a female assistant and school nurse to strip-search Redding. The two women took Redding down the hall and instructed her to remove her socks, shoes and jacket, then shirt and pants, and finally, when she was down to her underwear, they asked her to pull and twist her underwear — exposing herself — to see if any pills fell out. Redding later described the episode as “the most humiliating experience” of her life.
The experience should have been among the most humiliating for Wilson, the assistant and the nurse: They didn’t find any pills.
Yeah, I’d sue their butts off, too. Hope Redding wins.
ITEM: Speaking of hope, how’s that Hope and Change™ working out? Not so well, it turns out:
Across the dark living room, one of Childs’s favorite pictures is displayed on a worn coffee table. It shows Childs with her arms wrapped around Barack Obama, his hand on her back, her eyes glowing. They met at a rally attended by 37 supporters on a rainy day in 2007, when Childs responded to Obama’s sluggishness on stage with an impromptu chant: “Fired up! Ready to go!” She repeated it, shouting louder each time, until Obama laughed and dipped his shoulders to the rhythm. The chant caught on. “Fired up!” people began saying at rallies. “Ready to go,” Obama chanted back. He told audiences about Childs, “a spirited little lady,” and invited her onstage at campaign appearances. By the day of his inauguration, when Childs led a busload of strangers bound for the Mall in her now-iconic chant, her transformation was complete. She was Edith Childs, fired up and ready to go.
But now, as Obama nears the 100-day milestone of his presidency, Childs suffers from constant exhaustion. In a conservative Southern state that bolstered Obama’s candidacy by supporting him early in the Democratic primaries, she awakens at 2:30 a.m. with stress headaches and remains awake mulling all that’s befallen Greenwood since Obama’s swearing-in.
ITEM: And, of course, there’s all that transparency that Obama promised during the campaign:
The Obama administration, which has boasted about its efforts to make government more transparent, is rolling back rules requiring labor unions and their leaders to report information about their finances and compensation.
The Labor Department noted in a recent disclosure that “it would not be a good use of resources” to bring enforcement actions against union officials who do not comply with conflict of interest reporting rules passed in 2007. Instead, union officials will now be allowed to file older, less detailed conflict reports.
Because, you know, the Obama Administration will not be beholden to special interests.
ITEM: Speaking of unions, it looks as though the Union of Auto Workers (UAW) blinked in the face of Chrysler’s possible bankruptcy:
It’s crunch time for Chrysler: The automaker has until Friday to slash billions of dollars in debt off its books and partner with Italian automaker Fiat.
Huge hurdles, no doubt. But this weekend it cleared two big ones: It successfully negotiated new deals with the United Auto Workers union and Canadian Auto Workers. The government had been leaning on the UAW to cut wages, making them on par with those of the transplant auto plants in the U.S. In a statement late Sunday, the UAW said the changes meet the requirements set forth by the Treasury Department.
Funny how the prospect of total disaster tends to focus one’s mind.
ITEM: Speaking of economic disaster, Robert Samuelson takes on the utter silliness that surrounds “green economics”:
The trouble is that these models embody wildly unrealistic assumptions: There are no business cycles; the economy is always at “full employment”; strong growth is assumed, based on past growth rates; the economy automatically accommodates major changes — if fossil fuel prices rise (as they would under anti-global-warming laws), consumers quickly use less and new supplies of “clean energy” magically materialize.
There’s no problem and costs are low, because the models say so. But the real world, of course, is different. Half the nation’s electricity comes from coal. The costs of “carbon capture and sequestration” — storing CO2 underground — are uncertain, and if the technology can’t be commercialized, coal plants will continue to emit or might need to be replaced by nuclear plants. Will Americans support a doubling or tripling of nuclear power? Could technical and construction obstacles be overcome in a timely way? Paralysis might lead to power brownouts or blackouts, which would penalize economic growth.
This sounds remarkably like the problems with the actual anthropogenic global warming models.
ITEM: And the Washington Post (God bless ’em) points out what Obama and the Congressional Democrats are trying very hard to hide: that Obama’s proposed tax increases would fall squarely on the back of small businesses:
Since last year’s campaign, President Obama has vowed repeatedly not to increase taxes for families making less than $250,000 a year. That pledge, while politically popular, has left him with just two primary sources of funding for his ambitious social agenda: about 3 million high-earning families and the nation’s businesses.
Johnson, with her company, falls into both categories. If Obama’s tax plans are enacted, her accountant estimates that her federal tax bill — typically, around $120,000 a year — would rise by at least $23,000, a 19 percent increase.
“You hear ‘tax the rich,’ and you think, ‘I don’t make that much money,’ ” said Johnson, whose Rainbow Station programs are headquartered near Richmond. “But then you realize: ‘Oh, if I put my business income with my wages, then, suddenly, I’m there.’ “
Guess where almost all of the job growth in the US over the past decade has come from? And guess what will happen to job growth if and when those taxes hit?
ITEM: Speaking of deception from the Obama Administration, FactCheck.org finds that Obama has “fudged” or “spun” on a number of items, though their list looks like outright mistakes or lies:
— He told a joint session of Congress on Feb. 24 that “we import more oil today than ever before.” That’s untrue. Imports peaked in 2005 and are lower today.
— He claimed in the same speech that his mortgage aid plan would help “responsible” buyers but not those who borrowed beyond their means. But even prominent defenders of the program in his administration concede that foolish borrowers will be aided, too.
— He said in an address on March 10 that the high school dropout rate has “tripled in the past 30 years.” But according to the Department of Education, it actually has declined by a third.
— Obama also got it wrong when he claimed in his March 24 speech that “we are reducing nondefense discretionary spending to its lowest level since the ’60s.” His own forecast puts this figure higher than in many years under Reagan, Clinton or either Bush.
Let’s say it all together: What if Bush (0r McCain) had made these same ‘errors’? How would the press deal with it?
ITEM: Finally, have you wondered what Newt Gingrich and Fidel Castro might have in common? Hint: it involves President Obama.