March 11, 2014

Tuesday Off-Topic (Moderated) Open Thread (031114)

Filed under: Lucid Links — Tom @ 6:05 am

This open thread will stay at or near the top today. Rules are here.

This continues a two-week catch-up effort, where I am mostly getting to items which may be a bit dated but which many readers might have missed. Other topics are also fair game.

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Feb. 25 — Bethany Mandel at PJ Media: “7 Famous Supporters of the Chavez Regime”

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Feb. 25 — The near silence from the left on this is deafening: “Supreme Court Strikes Blow To 4th Amendment With Homeowner Consent Ruling”

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Feb. 24 — The rule of law has officially ended: “‘Truly disturbing’: Eric Holder says state AGs not obligated to defend laws they disagree with”

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Feb. 24 — I think it’s an open question as to whether the Comcast’s attempt to buy Time Warner Cable is neutral or good for the economy and Internet users. Paul Venezia’s opinion at Infoworld mostly deserves consideration:

The broadband barbarians will soon control the gates

The massive advancement we saw in the first 10 years of our Internet consciousness is being destroyed by the deregulation and lobbying of the past nine.

We only have to look at the reaction of the big ISPs to Google Fiber to see a crystal-clear example of this in action. Where Google has shown up and delivered extremely high-speed, high-quality data and television service for extremely reasonable rates, the incumbent carriers have been forced to step up their game to where it should have been years ago. For example, Time Warner is now offering speeds up to 300Mbps/20Mbps in Austin, Texas — not coincidentally, where Google Fiber has set up shop.

The only disagrement I have is with Venezia’s characterization of the problem.

It isn’t “deregulation.” It’s “rent-seeking behavior by those who are regulated.” In other words, if the cable companies didn’t have regulatory friends, or if we were in a truly deregulated situation, new carriers and concepts could enter the market without existing providers having any recourse but to get better themselves.

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Feb. 24“Soon, the Supreme Court will rule on “if and/or how far the EPA has the Constitutional prerogative to use the Clean Air Act of 1960 — which does not include carbon as a pollutant under the regulatory jurisdiction of the EPA — as legal authority to regulate so-called greenhouse gasses.”

The EPA clearly has no legal authority, and the Court would have to invent it out of thin air for the EPA to prevail.

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Feb. 23 – While the left distracts attention by flogging the relatively insignificant Koch Brothers, “Unions Are Using $300 Million to Eliminate Five GOP Governors”

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March 4 – Judith Curry, chair of the School of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences at the Georgia Institute of Technology:

For the past 15+ years, there has been no increase in global average surface temperature, which has been referred to as a ‘hiatus’ in global warming. By contrast, estimates of expected warming in the first several decades of 21st century made by the IPCC AR4 were 0.2C/decade. This talk summarizes the recent CMIP5 climate model simulation results and comparisons with observational data. The most recent climate model simulations used in the AR5 indicate that the warming stagnation since 1998 is no longer consistent with model projections even at the 2% confidence level.

In other words, Curry says there’s an over 98% chance that the global warming models are full of globaloney.

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March 6 — Debo Adegbile’s nomination to be the next head of the Department of Justice’s Civil Rights division failed because seven Democrats voted against it. Obama and Harry Reid apparently thought they had it in the bag, and went into intimidation mode:

Sen. Majority Leader Harry Reid warned Republicans just before the vote that if Adegbile lost there would have to be a “broad discussion” of civil rights in America.

Pat Toomey and Seth Williams made the compelling argument several days before the vote:

… it is one thing to provide legal representation and quite another to seize on a case and turn it into a political platform from which to launch an extreme attack on the justice system. When a lawyer chooses that course, it is appropriate to ask whether he should be singled out for a high-level national position in, of all things, law enforcement.

Even seven Dems wouldn’t go there. Even the lack of a filibuster couldn’t save Adegbile.

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March 6 — At the Fiscal Times“Military Gateway to the Middle Class Is Vanishing”

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Feb. 24 — “Paul Krugman doesn’t think there are any Obamacare horror stories.”

Krugman and Harry Reid want us to believe that all of these people liars. Nope. They’re obviously the liars.

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