PrestoPundit

Archive for December, 2005

Posted by PrestoPundit on 12/27/2005

back pocket

Santa's list

Thomas Sowell:

I don’t make a million dollars a year but I think every member of Congress should be paid at least that much. It’s not because those turkeys in Washington deserve it. It’s because we deserve a lot better people than we have in Congress.

The cost of paying every member of Congress a million dollars a year is absolutely trivial compared to the vast amounts of the taxpayers’ money wasted by cheap politicians doing things to get themselves re-elected. You could pay every member of Congress a million dollars a year for a century for less money than it costs to run the Department of Agriculture for one year ..

Posted in Politics | Leave a Comment »

Steyn on The War

Posted by PrestoPundit on 12/24/2005

Not that war, this war:

At my children’s school, like most others, the holiday concert’s “celebrate diversity” anthems are parceled out entirely randomly: one year you might get the Hannukah song, the next the traditional Hutu disemboweling chant. But the thing to remember is: it would be offensive to inflict “Deck The Halls” or “God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen” on any hypothetical Hutu in attendance, but it’s not offensive to inflict hot Hutu hits on bewildered moppets.

More Steyn:

year in, year out it becomes harder for [parents] to support a secular Democratic Party closely allied with the anti-Christmas militants. American [leftists] need to re-think their priorities: What’s more important? Winning a victory over the kindergarten teacher’s holiday concert, or winning back Congress and the White House?

Posted in I kid you not | Leave a Comment »

The War Against Christians

Posted by PrestoPundit on 12/24/2005

A Frontpage Interview: “Why does the international community ignore the plight of Palestinian Christians?”

Well, perhaps for the same reasons that the international community — including academia and the press — now ignores Christian persecution in any number of nations. Could it be that the global “multicultural” elite is simply indifferent to the suffering of Christians? We know that much of the world outside the United States is anti-Semitic. What we deed is a word to capture the prejudice lying behind international indifference to the torture and murder of Christians — an indifference that finds expression in the United States as well as abroad.

Posted in The Left | Leave a Comment »

The Axis of Taxes

Posted by PrestoPundit on 12/24/2005

Daniel Aronstein takes a look at government workers and The Axis of Taxes.

Posted in Politics | Leave a Comment »

Power Line vs. The NY Times

Posted by PrestoPundit on 12/23/2005

Advantage Power Line.

Of course it’s never really a fair fight when the Powerline folks go up against the 3rd raters in the MSM.

The first part of the debate begins here. (hat tip Doug Ross).

Posted in Terror War | Leave a Comment »

Human Events “Man of the Year”

Posted by PrestoPundit on 12/23/2005

And the winner is Rep. Mike Pence, leader of the pork busting House Republican Study Committee (RSC).

Posted in Porkbusters | Leave a Comment »

So How Does Mexico Deal With Illegal Foreigners?

Posted by PrestoPundit on 12/23/2005

Mexico has a border problem — Central Americans are illegally taking up residence in Mexico. So how does Mexico deal with this illegal alien problem? Well, it detains them in sub-human prison camps, that’s how.

Posted in Immigration, International | Leave a Comment »

Look for More Trouble at Los Alamos

Posted by PrestoPundit on 12/22/2005

UC Berkeley is chosen again to (mis)manage the Los Alamos lab. Quotable:

In the April 30, 2003 announcement that he was opening the Los Alamos contract to competition for the first time in its history, then-Energy Secretary Spencer Abraham cited “systemic management failures” by the University of California as the reason and pointed to a series of events.

For months, the New Mexico laboratory had been shaken by allegations and revelations of theft, fraud, security lapses and lax oversight. The problems erupted into a public scandal after two investigators who had been hired by the lab to look into the allegations were fired and then went public with claims that their dismissals were part of a cover-up. They were later rehired ..

the embarrassments continued. In July 2004, Los Alamos was shut down after two incidents — the reported loss of two classified computer disks and a laser accident that injured the eye of an undergraduate intern — and remained closed for the rest of that year. Investigators later concluded that the reportedly missing disks had never existed.

The lab’s closure for much of 2004 has been estimated to have cost the government up to $370 million, although the General Accounting Office said in a report this week that it may not be possible to calculate the total cost because of problems with the lab’s record-keeping ..

An insider who knows this business as well as anyone tells me that the new multi-partner management “team” led by the U. of California will likely make things worse rather than better, and that this selection of UC and the cumbersome multi-partner management set up likely came out of political considerations as much as anything else. U.S. Senators and local politicians are key players in such matters, and New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson — once critical of UC management as head. of DOE — has come on board with the inclusion of the New Mexico state universities in the new management team. Here’s Richardson press release. (pdf)

My own view is that university administrators and professors shouldn’t be allowed within a thousand miles of the management of our key national security assets. As management professionals and security professionals they simply aren’t up to the job. And that’s just the top of the list of my concerns.

UPDATE: Here’s a chronical of outrageous mismanagement at the LANL from the Project on Government Oversight.

And this from Judicial Watch:

If a series of security breeches and fraud are committed at a government-owned nuclear laboratory, what should happen to the group responsible for managing the facility? Most people might say to get rid of it, but United States Government officials have instead rewarded the group, the University of California, a multi-year, $512 million contract to continue mismanaging the Los Alamos National Laboratory in New Mexico.

UPDATE II: Do we really want these people running a nuclear lab?

Posted in California, Technology, Terror War | Leave a Comment »

“The Left has a Narrow Tent”

Posted by PrestoPundit on 12/21/2005

A new study of our leftist professoriate. The full article is here (pdf):

We analyze the responses of 1208 academics .. We find that the academics overwhelmingly vote Democratic and that the Democratic dominance has increased significantly since 1970 .. On the 18 policy questions [asked], the Democratic-voter responses have much less variation than do the Republicans. The left has a narrow tent ..

Posted in The Left | Leave a Comment »

Bill Gates vs. Scrooge

Posted by PrestoPundit on 12/21/2005

And the winner is .. Scrooge. A classic from Steven Landsburg.

Hat tip The Underground Economist:

Steven Landsburg reminds us that one of Christmas’s greatest philanthropists was Scrooge. His miserly refusal to eat a Christmas turkey, year after year, meant one more turkey that someone else could afford. His capacious bank account meant that money was available to lend out to entrepreneurs and kept interest rates low. There’s nothing wrong with spending money if you’re going to enjoy it, but if it’s going to be frittered away .. then you couldn’t ask for a better role-model than Scrooge.

Posted in Economics | Leave a Comment »