FUBAR

Stimulus cost keeps going up

Historically huge to begin with, economic stimulus legislation is growing larger by the day in the Senate, where the addition of a new tax break for homebuyers sent the price tag well past $900 billion.

"It is time to fix housing first," Sen. Johnny Isakson, R-Ga., said Wednesday night as the Senate agreed without controversy to add the new tax break to the stimulus measure, at an estimated cost of nearly $19 billion.

Good politics, lousy economics

In 1930, as the Great Depression tightened its grip on the country, Congress passed the Smoot-Hawley Act, erecting a high and onerous tariff wall around the U.S. economy. The lawmakers thought they were helping American workers; instead, they greatly lengthened and deepened the Great Depression, here and worldwide.

What the Congress is considering doesn’t rise to the level of Smoot-Hawley but "Buy American" is protectionism and protectionist measures tend to feed on themselves. We enact them, our trading partners retaliate and on it goes in a downward spiral.

Revoking Blackwater’s license to kill

The government of Iraq has announced that the private security firm Blackwater will be banned from that country.

The news that the company’s license to kill will not be renewed has been accompanied by the triple assassinations in Iraq of three Sunni candidates in the upcoming elections, providing grim headlines. Blackwater spokesmen have immediately exploited the situation by stressing that their efficient enterprise could easily withdraw from the country, but that American security would suffer greatly as a result.

Finally, a real effort to safeguard our kids

This is a story of bad government, children at risk and, perhaps, a glimmer of hope.

Marc Edwards is a dedicated and very smart scientist and engineer (he won both a MacArthur Fellowship and a White House Presidential Faculty Fellowship) named by Time magazine as one of the four most important scientists seeking innovative answers to the world’s worsening water problems.

Even the left laughs at global warming now

So-called "global warming" has shrunk from problem to punch line. And now, Leftists are laughing, too. It’s hard not to chuckle at the idea of Earth boiling in a carbon cauldron when the news won’t cooperate:

– Nearly four inches of snow blanketed the United Arab Emirates’ Jebel Jais region for just the second time in recorded history on January 24. Citizens were speechless. The local dialect has no word for snowfall.

Blagojevich tossed out as Illinois governor

Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich was thrown out of office Thursday without a single lawmaker rising in his defense, ending a nearly two-month crisis that erupted with his arrest on charges he tried to sell Barack Obama’s vacant Senate seat.

Blagojevich becomes the first U.S. governor in more than 20 years to be removed by impeachment.

Iraq pulls plug on Blackwater mercenaries

Iraq will not allow Blackwater Worldwide to continue providing security protection for U.S. diplomats in the country, Iraqi and U.S. officials said Thursday.

Blackwater’s image in Iraq was irrevocably tarnished by the September 2007 killing of 17 Iraqi civilians in Nisoor Square. Five former Blackwater guards pleaded not guilty Jan. 6 in federal court in Washington to manslaughter and gun charges in that shooting.

The pressure politics of prayer in the workplace

Judith Scott probably never set out to be a First Amendment heroine. But she is as far as I’m concerned. Scott has filed suit in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Virginia for what she claims was a retaliatory firing. Her proselytizing boss at the Blacksburg, Va. Middle School, whose acts are detailed in her court filing, kept trying to force her to participate in unlawful prayer meetings and religious events at work.

The Iranian revolution at 30

The 20th century was a time of great and terrible revolutions. The Russian Revolution of 1917 promised a communist utopia. It delivered man-made famines, the Gulag Archipelago and at least 20 million murdered. The Chinese Revolution of 1949 brought the Great Leap Forward and the Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution; estimates put the death toll as high as 65 million.

Rush Limbaugh and the stupidity meter

When Rush Limbaugh said he wanted Barack Obama to fail, the clanging of the stupidity meter roused me to action.

Usually, I have the stupidity meter set to mute when it comes to the Vesuvius of Vacuity because everything he says is bound to set off the alarm and the dog can’t sleep with all the stupid racket.

But, for some reason, this statement tripped the alarm and I felt bound to investigate.