20 February 2009

No blank checks

nothing wrong with being skeptical. in fact, being skeptical is the foundation of good government. i’d much prefer that they earn our trust through their deeds rather than have a blank check of public trust which they can squander.


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11 February 2009

Isn't that what everyone would want as a epitaph?

Cheer the old folks up, Bad. Under Kill Granny their probability of living to see benefit cuts has dropped considerably. Talk to them about the nobility of their coming sacrifice. The memorial will be inscribed with They died so that Democrats might spend. A lovely sentiment.

Rick Ballard

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05 February 2009

The real question about the stimulus

Why do we need to spend $87,000,000 for an icebreaking ship when global warming is melting everything?


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Historical Class

Seriously, why can’t Gates take up sailing or golf like any other self respecting billionaire? You can grouse all you want about The Gilded Age and “Robber Barons”, but at least folks back then did not have to put up with this noxious posturing.

Amused Bystander

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Lancet Iraqi death count exhumed and burned

Lancet study author officially rebuked (via Hot Air)

In a highly unusual rebuke, the American Association for Public Opinion Research today said the author of a widely debated survey on “excess deaths” in Iraq had violated its code of professional ethics by refusing to disclose details of his work. The author’s institution later disclosed to ABC News that it, too, is investigating the study.

AAPOR, in a statement, said that in an eight-month investigation, Gilbert Burnham, a faculty member at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, “repeatedly refused to make public essential facts about his research on civilian deaths in Iraq.”

Hours later, the school itself disclosed its own investigation of the Iraq casualties report “to determine if any violation of the school’s rules or guidelines for the conduct of research occurred.” It said the review “is nearing completion.”

Both AAPOR and the school said they had focused on Burnham’s study, published in the October 2006 issue of the British medical journal the Lancet, reporting an estimated 654,965 “excess deaths” in Iraq as a result of the U.S.-led invasion in 2003. An earlier, 2004 report, in which Burnham also participated, estimated approximately 98,000 excess deaths to that point.

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02 February 2009

Rules are for little people watch

Via KausFiles

Obama has issued a late Friday executive order requiring that when a government service contract expires—and there’s a new contract to perform the same services at the same location—the new contractor has to keep the old workers. Why?

The Federal Government’s procurement interests in economy and efficiency are served when the successor contractor hires the predecessor’s employees. A carryover work force reduces disruption to the delivery of services during the period of transition between contractors and provides the Federal Government the benefits of an experienced and trained work force that is familiar with the Federal Government’s personnel, facilities, and requirements.

But what if the contract got switched because the previous work force, you know, sucked? P.S.: For example, the Obama administration itself can be seen as having won a new contract to perform the same Federal services, at the same location, as the previous contractor, the Bush Administration. Did Obama keep all of Bush’s employees in order to reduce “disruption” and enjoy “the benefits of an experienced and trained work force that is familiar with the Federal Governments … facilities”?

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01 February 2009

Bias is history

I have read a number of posts lately on the winter storm problems and the difference in reporting vs. Hurrican Katrina and something occurred to me — the recognition of bias requires memory. So naturally if you’re one of those journalists or more broadly of the MAL for whom history always started yesterday you will be incapable of understanding why others accuse of bias. Now that’s turning a weakness into strength.

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