Dec 17 2008

OK, as long as no quid pro quo

Category: corruption,election 2008harmonicminer @ 4:41 pm

It’s OK with me if all Rahm Emmanuel did is twist Illinois Gov. Blagojevich’s arm to Appoint Obama Loyalists. That’s to be expected, and is neither illegal nor immoral. It is, after all, a political appointment, and normal political considerations apply.

Incoming White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel pushed Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich to appoint longtime Obama adviser Valerie Jarrett to fill Barack Obama’s Senate seat, and even gave Blagojevich’s staff a deadline by which an appointment was expected, according to a report in today’s Chicago Sun-Times.

Citing sources “with the Obama camp,” the Sun-Times report says Emanuel began to push for Jarrett to fill Obama’s seat “just days” after the Nov. 4 election.

That story also cites a source close to Emanuel admitting it is “possible” Emanuel discussed the appointment with Blagojevich chief of staff John Harris, and that a specific date for the appointment was given.

The Sun-Times’ revelations suggest that Emanuel was more deeply involved in discussions with Blagojevich and his staff than previously reported, and was more assertive in promoting a specific candidate.

Those conversations could have contributed to Blagojevich’s apparent belief that the Senate appointment held great political value.

It is only if there was some deal to compensate Blagojevich personally that we have a problem. And, of course, if Blagojevich twisted Emmanuel’s arm to offer some kind of bribe (essentially a form of criminal conspiracy), then Emmanuel was obliged to report that, even if he didn’t take the offer.  We can only hope that it turns out that Emmanuel is the one who tipped the FBI that something was imminent.  It will not help achieve a successful Obama presidency to begin it by having a Chief of Staff resign in disgrace.


Dec 17 2008

Vote buying in Venezuela

Category: Obama,politicsharmonicminer @ 10:54 am

Chávez government handed out millions in exchange for votes

Venezuela’s government distributed electronic appliances, food and cash totaling tens of millions of dollars in an effort to secure the loyalty of voters in poor sections in advance of recent elections, according to evidence and testimony obtained by El Nuevo Herald.

Pro-government officials in the municipality of Sucre alone handed out $10 million in cash on Nov. 22 and the day of the balloting, Nov. 24, offering each person between $140 and $480, according to campaign workers who spoke to El Nuevo Herald.

So how different is this, really, from encouraging people on the government dole and payroll to vote for the candidate who will give them more? Is buying the vote after the election so different from buying it before the election?  Very few people voted for McCain because of what he might give them, while enormous numbers voted for Obama expecting him to honor campaign promises to give them benefits of various kinds.  “Spread the wealth” indeed.

With his war chest, he made a down payment on his election with the media blitz.  Now that he’s elected, is he going to pay for the rest on the public dime?

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Dec 17 2008

Who writes this stuff? Can they read?

Category: global warmingharmonicminer @ 12:06 am

NASA reports 2008 is ninth warmest year since 1880 – Yahoo! News

The year 2008 was the ninth warmest year since instrumental temperature measurements began in 1880, and all of the nine warmest years have occurred in the past 11 years, NASA reported on Tuesday.

This is simply false.  The hottest year on record since 1880 is 1934.  The second hottest year is 1998.  Don’t expect a correction on this report.  But be aware that you simply cannot believe what is reported on this in the major media.

The ten hottest years are, according to NASA (after some recent, painful revisions, embarassing as they were), in order of heat:

1934, 1998, 1921, 2006, 1931, 1999, 1953, 1990, 1938, 1939

Draw your own conclusions about AP’s and Yahoo’s ability to read and research, and remind yourself of that whenever you read a story from either on this point…  and many others, of course.

In any case, NASA has established a recent habit of false reporting, and failing to validate its own records and reports, and then having to recant later.  Call it the Hansen effect.  When you’ve publicly committed to such an extreme position, you’ll say anything to put a good face on it.  Sadly, a great many more people have the same commitment, particularly politicians and media types.  Every time you see an “anthropogenic global warming (AGW) denier” accused of being paid by “big oil”, ask if the accuser knows how much money is taken by scientists from the government, IF they’ll sign on to AGW as the thing they are researching.

By a factor of ten or more, scientists get more more money to support global warming than to deny it, even if you assume that all “big business” money is given purely to fund the denial of AGW.  It IS clear that no scientist can get ANY money from the government unless their research proposal assumes AGW in the first place.

So how surprising is it that they keep “confirming” it, on the government nickel?

But they really should get their story straight.