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July 16, 2011 03:03 PM UTC

Weekend Open Thread

  • 146 Comments
  • by: Colorado Pols

“The person who agrees with you 80 percent of the time is a friend and an ally–not a 20 percent traitor.”

–Ronald Reagan

Comments

146 thoughts on “Weekend Open Thread

  1. as it careens toward the precipice driven by a mindless robot named Cantor. The crowd watches.  Twenty-six percent cheer their leader and the imminent crash and burn; the majority look on with horror and disbelief.  It seems no matter what happens – whether the wheels come completely off first or it goes over the edge, there will be a crash.  It no longer seems like if – but when.  

    1. Otherwise I’d start to short the market and make money off the GOP idiots.  If they are that stupid we can buy into the market after a short term drop like the 700 point drop when they didn’t pass TARP the first time.

  2. I’m going to post some links that show the size and growth of the Federal Govt,just as a backstop to some of the threads going on the last few days.

    I’m mainly doing this because I’m tired of some of the Polsters I used to respect pulling talking points out of Grover Norquist’s ass, all the while avoiding the central debate of “how do we come to a deal that fixes the Federal deficit issue.”

    First off, here’s a neat chart on US Government Spending As Percent Of GDP, with a lot of ways to look at individual variables:

    http://www.usgovernmentspendin

    One immediate point I’d like to make is that we’ve ALREADY hit the hit point of Federal spending, in 2009. That was a combination of the Recovery Act and TARP, but in 2010 spending was already going down.

    Next, let’s examine the SIZE of Government under various Presidents:

    http://www.angrybearblog.com/2

    Whaddup, Repubs? Saint Ronnie actually increased the size of the Federal Govt? And (GASP!) Clinton is the champion at reducing the size of the Fed?

    But, I can hear it now from ‘tad and ellbee…”That doesn’t matter! It’s all about the jobs, and President Obama has failed!”

    But….who’s the worst President in terms of jobs created under his administration – Dubya…HANDS DOWN:

    http://blogs.wsj.com/economics

    (note the link to the commie-pinko website owned by Rupert)

    Again, My Man Bill whups every President on record. And what was the first thing that bill did when he got into office…hmmm…A TAX INCREASE?

    So, in summary, go ahead and post your weird graphics from blogs, hoot and screech your talking points about whatever bumper-sticker philosophy on government…these are the FACTS.

    And they very neatly eviscerate the Repub notion that they know ANYTHING about fiscal policy that’s good for this nation.  

    1. They believe what they believe as articles of faith.  Facts don’t enter into it, so much so that they refuse to even attempt to respond to facts, no matter how well documented.

      It’s like trying to argue with those who believe the earth is only about 6000 years old and Fred Flintstone really was riding around on dinosaurs. Any facts to the contrary must come from Satan to fool us or from God to test our faith. Cover ears, close eyes and chant la-la-la-la-la to avoid contamination.

    2. …was the recipient of the PC boom, and Bush and Reagan tax breaks.  That’s cool.  I would trade Clinton for Obama in a hot second.

      Since the Atlantic is treated as gospel by you, but any other source is apparently straight out of Norquists ass, can I have permission to use a couple of others?  No?  Too bad.

      Christian Science Monitor:

      So, while it is true that many state and local governments are cutting back as they have no central bank to support their borrowing, federal spending is at an all-time high in absolute numbers and relative to GDP the highest since World War II, and by any measure a lot higher than when Obama became president.

      Also, I said the size and scope of government.  ACA will give the government new, unprecedented access and input on private healthcare matters.  The EPA has decided they somehow get to regulate Co2 emissions. He destroyed the assets of private shareholders of GM to give the company to the UAW and the Government (and fired the CEO – where does the power for the President doing things like that come from?).  Boeing is being sued by the NLRB for expanding its business to another State – without losing a single job in WA – why?  Shouldn’t they be able to build wherever they wish as long as they adhere to State and local law?

      Also, why the insults, you guys?  If being ‘respected’ means I get to read a clever invective based on the name my political party pretty much every single time you post anything here, then maybe we have different concepts of respect.  Bluecat, you’re falling into what I see as a flawed, but widespread liberal behavior that invokes that someone simply must be stupid or ignorant to have a completely different point of view than you do.  

      That’s a bummer, because I enjoy reading your posts, but it gets tedious having someone incorrectly tell you over and over again that you’re a poor ignorant hayseed that through no fault of your own just doesn’t get it.  It’s crap, really.  There are quite a few viewpoints in the world, you must be pretty sure of yourself to think that all of them save yours are the result of diminished mental capacity.

      1. The EPA has decided they somehow get to regulate Co2 emissions.

        Are you the arbitor of what is and is not pollution? What is or is not science?

        If you would please, I would appreciate an explanation of what you meant by the comment I quoted.

        1. It’s the Supreme Court

          The Supreme Court rebuked the Bush administration yesterday for refusing to regulate greenhouse gas emissions, siding with environmentalists in the court’s first examination of the phenomenon of global warming.

          The court ruled 5 to 4 that the Environmental Protection Agency violated the Clean Air Act by improperly declining to regulate new-vehicle emissions standards to control the pollutants that scientists say contribute to global warming.

          “EPA has offered no reasoned explanation for its refusal to decide whether greenhouse gases cause or contribute to climate change,” Justice John Paul Stevens wrote for the majority. The agency “identifies nothing suggesting that Congress meant to curtail EPA’s power to treat greenhouse gases as air pollutants,” the opinion continued.

          Meaning LB is ignorant or lying for effect.

            1. The EPA didn’t decide they can regulate CO2.  They actually decided not to enforce the law, got sued for it, and forced by the court to do so.  That’s what the point there was.

              As for sources of CO2 emissions from livestock, I can’t find exact numbers for you in a quick Google search, but it appears that CO2 emissions from the agriculture and forestry industries together are actually in the direction of less CO2 emissions; i.e., human land use in the U.S. actually decreases net CO2 production (through re-vegetation) more than it increases it through livestock.  At leats as of 2005… if you have sources that are more specific here, feel free to share.

                1. and it’s great to hear than changes in livestock feeding can help reduce the problem.

                  There’s not necessarily a conflict between the data you found and what I did… you’re quoting worldwide numbers, and for greenhouse emissions in general.  And it looks like livestock do a lot more harm with other greenhouse gases besides CO2.  Hence, they don’t figure as prominently in data about the U.S. (FAR more transportation and less livestock than the global average), and for CO2 only.

                  I am curious about the data I found, that human land use actually helps on average in the U.S.  That surprised me.  I don’t know if that’s from agriculture, or other land use items, and nothing I saw gets any more specific.

                  In any case, I think we have a pretty good answer for why the EPA is more concerned about vehicles than livestock when it comes to CO2 emissions: it’s a U.S. agency, and in the U.S., vehicle CO2 output is vastly higher than livestock.  That doesn’t mean there isn’t something the EPA could do about other greenhouse gases produced by our livestock industry, though, especially if it’s just a matter of changing diet.

              1. …from a review of the report I just sourced:

                http://www.independent.co.uk/e

                Meet the world’s top destroyer of the environment. It is not the car, or the plane,or even George Bush: it is the cow.

                A United Nations report has identified the world’s rapidly growing herds of cattle as the greatest threat to the climate, forests and wildlife. And they are blamed for a host of other environmental crimes, from acid rain to the introduction of alien species, from producing deserts to creating dead zones in the oceans, from poisoning rivers and drinking water to destroying coral reefs.

                The 400-page report by the Food and Agricultural Organisation, entitled Livestock’s Long Shadow, also surveys the damage done by sheep, chickens, pigs and goats. But in almost every case, the world’s 1.5 billion cattle are most to blame. Livestock are responsible for 18 per cent of the greenhouse gases that cause global warming, more than cars, planes and all other forms of transport put together.

                1. as mentioned in my previous reply, it looks like you’re right about general greenhouse gases and the world… but wrong about CO2 and the United States.  So it depends on what question you’re asking.

                  If the question is where the EPA should look to control CO2 emissions, then obviously they should look at vehicle emissions, since they are a U.S. agency, and we’re talking about CO2.

                    1. should we do absolutely nothing since it is possible to lay some of the blame somewhere else?

                      Is this what you will teach your children? If what you do wrong is less than what your US Congress-person does wrong, they you are 100% good?

                    2. Global warming is one.

                      National security is another.

                      Pollution in the form of acid rain, mercury, ozone, and particulates is another.

                      Sometimes the cheapest short-term solution isn’t cheapest long-term solution, eh?

          1. Is it the simplistic kindergarten-level slogan of “plants need CO2, so it’s good” that ignores basically all intelligent thought in favor of an intentional return to ignorance and naivety?

            Perhaps the nihilistic “since China is polluting, we can too” of the article?

            Perhaps you mean the video, the message of which is basically “if we cut greenhouse gases by 50% today, it would ruin our economy”… basically ignoring the fact that we’re trying to deal with this now, when we can make sustainable and reasonable changes and let technology catch up, rather than waiting until we really DO need sudden and drastic reductions in emissions that will wreck the U.S. economy?

            Or maybe just the flat-out lying in the video, making it sound like scientists have just neglected to consider the question of causation (a fact that’s directly contradicted by the fact that scientists basically understood atmospheric processes well enough to confidently predict global warming long before it became a measurable phenomenon).

            None of that is very convincing to me.  It wouldn’t be convincing to anyone, unless their political alliances basically tell them that they need to score points by rationalizing how scientists are practically all wrong.

          2. that I don’t have time to watch Roy Spencer go on about something or other (again) since we have guests arriving in a few minutes.

            Face it, the very first comment “the assumption that EVERYTHING humans do hurts the environment” is a strawman. It’s thus obvious to me that this video is propaganda and very likely to be a complete and total waste of my time. Didn’t you find this first comment ridiculous? Do you really think there is a single practicing and publishing climate scientist that holds this view?

            Is that a big enough hole poked into this polemic?

            But, CO2 from biological processes does not change the total amount of CO2 in the atmosphere – all that changes is the rate of cycling. Thus breathing, metabolizing, decaying only change the rates at which carbon moves from pools in the soil or in the water or in organisms and into or from the atmosphere.

            On the other hand, introducing fossil CO2 into the atmosphere changes the total amount. This is what we are doing when we pump/dig up fossil carbon and burn it.

            Think of it this way — you have the tap on in your sink and the drain part way open. If the inflow and outflow equal each other, the level of water in the sink stays constant.

            If you then crack the tap open just a little bit more, without opening the drain, then the sink will fill and overflow. It doesn’t matter than the additional inflow was “small compared to other factors.” It’s still the action to open the tap up a bit more that caused the water to end up on the floor.

            BTW, water is needed for life. Are you going to argue that it is thus not possible to drown in water?

            You really should accept that you don’t understand climate science and that you likely have a poor grasp of basic physics and chemistry. You certainly do not have an appreciation for the current state of knowledge of material cycling in ecosystems.

            But go on with “Al Gore Al Gore Al Gore” if you’d like.

            1. But I would think that I’d have to have more than .04% of my lungs full of water to drown.

              B’Dump CH!

              Ok – snark-free here.

              In order to make headway on legislating anything related to climate change, you’re going to have to influence people like me.  Obviously I’m not a climate scientist, but I’m far from unintelligent.  I know there are brilliant climate scientists that disagree with you 100%, and there are other factors like not wanting to do China’s strategic work for them that play into it for me.

              Do you really think the “You’re so stupid” defense is ultimately going to work for your side?  It’s untrue, and it gets old.

              What’s another option?  I was born and raised here.  I grew up hiking, fishing, hunting, and in many ways I consider myself a conservationist.  I would think I’m reachable to folks like you, but at this point I truly believe that the climate-change bandwagon is being driven by people more interested in other goals than in actually trying to reverse Co2 accumulation in the atmosphere.

              Can you at least try to see things through my evil, warped, racist, Nazi prism for just a moment?

              1. http://www.npca.org/northernro

                http://www.npr.org/2011/04/16/

                If you, a reasonable well-education person (who’s scared of giant metal dogs) can understand that this park, as huge as it is, should be immune to local climate effects like the oil and gas industry.

                But clearly, the climate has changed so much as so fast  and so much that trout are dying from the water being too warm, the local fauna are dying from lack of rainfall and the ecosystem is crashing from climate change that’s never been seen before.

                As a repub with brains, you probably think former Senator John Warner is a pretty groovy dude, right? HE’S touring with former Senator Gary Hart talking about the National Security implications of climate change, then you should get there’s a huge problem here.

                He tells a story of what made him a believer – he went to the deep Idaho forest with his grandkids to where he worked in his youth for the forest service. He said instead of finding a lush, deep woods paradise, he said the trees were dying, the creeks dried up, and he could barely hear or see any wildlife.

                If this Conservative Repub senator can “switch sides” why not you?  

                  1. I don’t think you have the capability to understand hard science. That’s not an insult. Many of us have the same deficit.

                    It’s complex science.

                    Ideology….that’s easy.

                    1. And it’s well established.

                      The problem is predicting the location, magnitude and timing of change. Unfortunately, uncertainty in the precision of the details has clouded the accuracy.

                  2. Let’s go straight to the skeptic: Roy Spencer.

                    How Do Climate Models Work?

                    This is pretty good until the end where he starts editorializing. His editorializing fails because greenhouse gasses change the global energy balance (which he describes near the beginning). He completely ignores this in his comments at the end.

                    Here’s a rather dated reference, but even 15 years ago there were some rather undisputable facts:

                    Climate Models: How Reliable are Their Predictions?

                    The IPCC has some FAQs that are also helpful:

                    What is the Relationship between Climate Change and Weather?

                    How Reliable Are the Models Used to Make Projections of Future Climate Change?

                    Lately, I’ve been working though a new book by Neelin: Climate Change and Climate Modeling. It’s pretty technical, but the chapter on The Greenhouse Effect and Climate feedbacks is really good and very accessible.  Basically, if you increase greenhouse gasses, the Earth will warm. You can quibble about the details (as Spencer does), but that one fact remains (and Spencer doesn’t dispute it).

                    I’ve got loads more references, but these are, I think, a good start.  

              2. then they’ll be able to write articles that their peers agree are sound, and get them published in prestigious journals.

                If that isn’t happening, then maybe they aren’t so brilliant. (Or perhaps they’re not exactly in the field of climate science.)

                That MUST be kept in mind when assessing this stuff. If the rigors of peer review can’t be met, it isn’t science. Just as Einstein’s insistence that quantum physics was a sham wasn’t science. Brilliant guys get it wrong, too, and peer review is the net through which their wrong opinions escape. Good science is caught in that net.

                Now, it’s been years since I last checked up on whether any science (as defined here) has actually run counter to the prevailing opinions that the climate is heating up faster than it’s ever been shown, and that manmade carbon emissions are the likeliest reason why. But I know full well, since there are many monied interests threatened by this finding, that if such a paper came out, it would be heralded all over the media. So I’m going to take the absence of this as meaning that no such paper has been published. But if you know otherwise, please share it.

                  1. First, you read those papers and let us know if any of them actually provide evidence that refutes the hypothesis that human activities can have an impact on climate.

                    Again, education is not something others do for you. It’s something you do for yourself.

                    Given that I’ve seen similar sorts of lists (of scientific papers that were not behind a paywall) that basically are full of science documenting that there are non-human factors that lead to changes in climate.

                    This fact is fully recognized. The fact that there are natural climate forcings is included in every climate model. The fact that there are natural climate forcings is NOT evidence against an anthropogenic forcing.

                  2. Peer-Review Papers Skeptical of “Man-Made” Global Warming:

                    That heading is a bald-faced lie.

                    To say that there are climate cycles operating at millennial timescales in no way impinges on the idea of man-made global warming. Certainly you see the logical disconnect there.

                  3. So far, that heading appears to be far more of a distortion than an accurate description of those papers. Gee, what a surprise, given the images I saw in the right margin of that site.

              3. It’s something you have to do for yourself.

                Over the years I have provided considerable evidence in the form of graphs, tables, and links to other sources.

                And then you come back with the same lame claims that have been refuted numerous times by people smarter than all of us here.

                AND, you continue to conflate the scientific study of climate with policy and economic considerations that have absolutely zero influence on what is true about the physical world. (You can not legislate how many protons are in the nucleus of an oxygen atom and you can not legislate the basic physics of radiatively active compounds such as CO2.)

                Your snark about the concentration of CO2 in the atmosphere makes my point. For one thing, it’s the old ploy of moving the goal posts. You are admitting that something that is necessary for life (both water and carbon dioxide) can be toxic at too high of a concentration, but now you are going to pick nits about relative concentrations.

                Fine, let’s pretend that compounds in really low concentrations are benign. Ask your doctor about the difference between normal and high blood sodium levels. Or try arsenic until it reaches 0.04% of your body weight.

                But let’s stop pretending because that was indeed a dumb thing for you to write.

                If 0.04% CO2 in the atmosphere has no consequence, then this means that physicists and chemists are completely ignorant of the most basic scientific understanding. The “low” levels of greenhouse gases in our atmosphere are critical for providing the climates we find tolerable. Without these greenhouse gases, the average global temperature would be about 33deg C (60deg F) colder and would not support life as we know it.

                Scientific understanding of the “enhanced” greenhouse effect (aka AGW) is based directly on an understanding of the natural greenhouse effect. For example, see Kirchoff’s Law.

                Ignorance is not the same as stupidity. I will readily admit that I am ignorant in many subjects. And thus, in these subjects I do not claim to know more than the experts. And when I seek to learn more about these topics, I look to the consensus science that is published in textbooks. I don’t go to Sarah Palin’s website. Or even ExxonMobil’s.

                In great contrast, YOU ellbee appear to be claiming to know more than the world’s practicing publishing climate scientists. It makes you arrogant and does not lend you the appearance of intelligence.

                So, if the “You’re so stupid” argument is getting old to you, imagine how I feel when you keep trotting out the same old tired myths no matter what I say.

                If you want to try something different, I’d suggest the handy site called Skeptical Science. Go directly to this page if you want to see if any of your favorite “arguments” has been thoroughly refuted.

                1. I think I need to start by letting you know that you probably have no idea how brilliant I know you are.  I enjoy reading your stuff, always, and I always appreciate it.

                  You also can’t tell from a blog post nuance that if we were in person might make a joke I’m trying to be funny with offensive to you if you’re not in my presence when I tell it, and that’s on me.

                  The .04 thing was a total joke, and I agree with you and I do understand exactly what you’re saying. I was just trying to be funny.  FAIL.

                  I will look at your links, and I appreciate you taking the time to post them.  For the record, I’m going to restate my position on AGW, so that hopefully you’ll realize I do occasionally breathe through my nose, too.

                  I think greenhouse gas science is sound.

                  THere’s no way that 8 billion people aren’t affecting the climate.

                  I do believe, though,  there’s a possibility that hundreds-of-thousands of years’ climate patterns might supersede any impact created by even the 8 billion folks on the planet.

                  I think that there are people out there that wish to use climate change to promote “social justice”, although I don’t believe they are a majority, particularly not of scientists.  There are also charlatans at the forefront of the AGW movement that do it no favors by becoming incredibly wealthy using scare tactics, when they aren’t committed to demonstrating a concern for Co2 in their own lives.

                  I’m not sure that anything we could legislate would have the slightest impact on Co2 levels.

                  I think that unless China and India are (verifiably) onboard, that it’s completely useless for us to do anything that would impact us negatively regarding Co2.

                  There.

                  I would hope that mine would be a position that you could respect, even though I’m sure you don’t agree with it, particularly along the lines of ‘we should set the bar – we should do anything we can no matter what anyone else does’.  I fully understand that view, and I demonstrate it in other areas of my life, just not in this arena.

                  Does any of that make a little more sense?

                  1. Why would it be “useless” for us to act independent of China and India? That kind of reasoning strikes me as making an amoral choice – I won’t do the right thing because others won’t.

                    I’m certain that China and India are taking the USA’s actions as excuses for their own inaction. And why not? They can play this game, too.

                    Obviously, there’s no reason to assume that they’ll follow our lead if we finally get on board and do what Europe is doing. BUT… on one hand, they’d have a lot less cover. And, maybe (just maybe) we could work WITH them to improve thier emissions control. With their economies, they could, if they choose, start using proven cleaner technologies. Hey, that might even make us some money over here.

                    Let’s suppose, for a moment, that, yes, the suddenly and unprecedented change in global temperature is from natural causes. (I think you can see that the coincidence with our equally unprecedented growth of a single species and their use of fossil fuels is probably too much to be true. But, for the sake of argument…) That doesn’t change the fact that we are too dependent on fossil fuels and that the evidence suggests that we’re likely to exhaust these supplies “soon” (in a century or two, depending on global population and industrialization). Unless we want to try transitioning back to a preindustrial way of life (if not a stone age way of life), it makes sense to do all we can to develop alternative energies. At the very least, it would break the influence of the Middle East on global politics, which would be a good thing for the United States.

                    Just some thoughts. Thanks for the link – it looks interesting. I’ll reiterate my skepticism that it says what the anti-AGW folks would like it to say, however – again, with their resources, that stuff ought to be widespread in the internet and certain media outlets if it did. But, I’ll try to check it out. (Sincerely. I’ve been asking for this stuff for five years now, and you’re the first one to provide it.)

                    I wonder what “social justice” programs you think could be implemented via emissions control and green energy programs?  

                  2. Is the climate warming?

                    If so, is that warming largely man-made?

                    If so, what should the U.S. do about it?

                    If so, what should the world do about it?

                    It appears that your responses would be yes, yes, nothing (unless), China/India cut emissions.

                    I think my best response to that is that there are tremendous benefits to doing something, regardless of what China and India do. And you can be sure they won’t do squat unless we take the lead and do something.

                  3. Just when I’m ready to write you off you come back with a thoughtful reply. My life would be a lot easier if I could keep you in your damn pigeon hole.

                    You may be reluctant to believe this, but our “positions” regarding AGW are remarkably similar (although the paths we took to arrive at this position are likely quite different).

                    For example, you commented:

                    I do believe, though,  there’s a possibility that hundreds-of-thousands of years’ climate patterns might supersede any impact created by even the 8 billion folks on the planet.

                    And not only do I find this a reasonable position, this is also the consensus among practicing publishing climate scientists. You may note that in all scientific communications there is an acknowledgement (as well as a precise quantification) of their uncertainty.

                    For example, here is a passage from the IPCC Climate Change 2007: Synthesis Report Summary for Policymakers:

                    Most of the observed increase in global average temperatures since the mid-20th century is very likely due to the observed increase in anthropogenic GHG concentrations.[7] It is likely that there has been significant anthropogenic warming over the past 50 years averaged over each continent (except Antarctica). [emphasis in the original]

                    So, of course it is possible that anthropogenic factors are less than current estimates. But, along with this acknowledgement, it is equally likely that the current best scientific understanding underestimates the potential impacts of our CO2 addition experiment. Barring any additional information, the wise (and conservative) person will tentatively adopt the best estimates of the experts as more likely than not to be correct (if the experts are largely in agreement that this is likely).

                    The actions of charlatans and profiteers should not blind you to promoting and adopting something that is good and right. Every big issue has its snake oil salesmen, this includes climate change, debt ceilings, gold, oil shale, war, equal rights, etc. Allowing the worst of humanity to influence your making the best decision for you and those you love is not wise. I’m not pointing fingers, but acknowledging a weakness that I think we are all susceptible to.

                    Given that the science is well worked out and that the consequences have the potential to be undesirable, to me there is a decision to be made that, in my naive way, seems very obvious to someone who considers themselves conservative. There is a personal responsibility aspect of this also.

                    I would seldom take the position of “we should do anything we can no matter what anyone else does.” I’m just not that virtuous of a person. But I do think that I share my citizenship with people who think we can set an example to the world (that shining city on the hill).

                    Enough. It’s late. In short, we are probably uncomfortably similar in our positions. Fuck you.

                    (That last bit was “humor.” The rest was sincere.)

                    1. Enough. It’s late. In short, we are probably uncomfortably similar in our positions. Fuck you.

                      Awww!  That’s the sweetest thing you’ve ever said to me!

                      Cheers, Ardy.

          3. It plays cute tricks with data.

            Example:

            “…six main greenhouses gases fell 6.1% in 2009 from their 2008 levels.”

            So did GDP – duh. So what?

            Example:

            “levels increased by 7.3% from 1990 to 2009. But the average annual rate of increase since 1990 has been a mere 0.4%”

            Yes, 20 time 0.4 = 8%.

            Example:

            “The green world we see around us would disappear if not for atmospheric CO2,” Christy says.

            Between water vapor, CO2, and other naturally occurring greenhouse gasses, our climate is 34 Degrees C warmer than it would be without them. This is basic climate science. The very same science says that if you increase greenhouse gasses, then climate will warm.

            Example:

            “CO2 makes a strong leverage point for those who want bureaucratic control over the rest of us, says Richard S. Lindzen, a professor of atmospheric science at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.”

            Cue the scary music. Evil climatologists are out to control the world. Bwahahahah

            1. Thank you all for an intelligent discussion on climate change.

              I learned something. Good arguments, citations, no name calling

              WTF is this blog coming to?  Second time in three days, people made sense.  This, more than Cantor, scares me.

              This crisis could be for real and decent people are stepping up to the plate.

              Somebody wake up “Tad, so I can go back to sleep secure that things are returning to normal.  

      2. I’ll explain it in simple sentences for you:

        (1) Clinton raised taxes.

        (2) He did so after Bush I raised taxes.

        (3) Your Republican leaders (Gingrich, Armey, & others) cried that Clinton’s 1993 tax hikes would cause a recession.

        So for you to say the 90s good economy was because of Republican tax cuts, when in reality it followed repeated tax hikes that Republicans bashed, is a total fantasy on par with BJ’s creationism.

        1. REAGAN CUT TAXES, before he raised them.

          Therefore everything good can be ascribed to Reagan.

          Roosevelt raised taxes and created social programs. Therefore everything bad dates back to Roosevelt.

          1. can be attributed to Reagan, in spite of the deficit and stagnating economy he left  in his wake and for which Bush senior was stuck with the blame, everything bad became Obama’s fault, in Elbee’s estimation, almost immediately.

            In fairness to Reagan, since he was already suffering early stage dementia before the end of his first term, his handlers, and perhaps Nancy’s astrologer, probably should bear most of the blame for the mess his administration left behind, along with a public that had no problem electing a man who already couldn’t distinguish between his reel life and his real life to a second term.  

          2. Were not overcome by his later increases in corporate and payroll and other taxes, and he had an unwilling partner in Congress.

            He lowered the top marginal rate from 70% to 28% over his term.  This was the biggest accomplishment, tax-wise, from Reagan, and set the stage to add 20 million jobs over his Presidency, IMO.

            1. … that followed two tax hikes (by Bush & Clinton) that Republicans at the time said would cause recession?

              Elbeenomics: when tax hikes occur, either the occurrence of a recession, or the non-occurrence of a recession, identically prove tax cuts avoid recession. Specifically, when Dems raise taxes:

              (a) cry that all tax hikes cause recession, &

              (b) when the predicted recession never happens, declare that long-ago Republican tax cuts saved us.

              It must be so awesome when both “X” and “not X” equally prove your point!

      3. …it seems that over the past few days you’ve been possessed by someone other Repub-shaped object, posting talking points rather than the well-developed argument you (or your similarly-named doppelganger) were famous for.

        I personally objected to the goose-stepping right-wing mouthpiece opinion article you posted as a specific response to a factual article from The Economist. Unlike some other Polsters, I don’t post equally delusional posts from the Left like Sirota. So when I lay out my argument and cite an article from a respected source, that’s what I expect in reply.

        If I want hooting from the Right-wing-o-verse, I wait for ‘tad to post his usual drivel.

        Even the post above has it’s holes – you cite an blog from a news source I think is pretty even-handed, but then go off into a rant about the Affordable Care Act, the EPA, and Unions….NONE of which were in the article you cited.

        Karlsson pulls some “interesting” conclusions above the size of gov’t based on spending, which ignores the fact that the budget for that spending is set 8-12 months prior to it happening (if your lucky.)

        The GDP to govt spending ratio observation is an interesting twist…but the GDP went down because of the Great Recession, but gov’t spending was already allocated in the previous fiscal year dollars. Since the gov’t works on a cash basis, those dollars are worth more…you can’t compare the two without some adjustment.

      4. What I object to Elbee, is your claiming that the point of view with which you disagree is wrong without presenting any facts to back that up.  

        For instance, you think Dems are wrong to believe that tax cuts haven’t been the answer and aren’t likly to be.  We present stats.  You present nothing but snark.  

        You say things like lowering tax rates increases prosperity and “automatically” increases revenue.  Based on what evidence?  What have you got?  And yes I do find it appalling when people make claims and stick to them regardless of reality based evidence.  

        Sorry but it does strike me as stupid to hold theories as matters of faith and to refuse to let anything factual interfere with that faith.  If you won’t show me real evidence of your theory at work creating prosperity and raising revenues then, though it pains me in your case, I  really can’t respect your right to argue the matter.

        Just sayng that you believe in low taxes and small government and that Obama is a dick isn’t evidence in support of anything.

        1. For instance, you think Dems are wrong to believe that tax cuts haven’t been the answer and aren’t likly to be.  We present stats.  You present nothing but snark.  

          Because we look at tax cuts differently philosophically, and this is snark-free.  

          For instance, if I asked you what tax cuts ‘cost’, you could give me a dollar figure.

          My opinion is that it’s not a ‘cost’ at all, because it’s not the government’s money in the first place.  The government didn’t earn it, they just happened to spend it.

          Take a look at this:

          http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/18

          This is after the Bush tax cuts, and it reports record tax revenues.  How could this be?

          And, I would always hope that you would respect anyone’s right to argue their philosophy.  If not, who’s really being intolerant, eh?

          1. We wouldn’t be in this mess (from your link above):

            The administration’s budget sent to Congress in February projects that the deficit will be eliminated by 2012 even if the president achieves his goal of getting his tax cuts made permanent. They are now due to expire in 2010.

            That mean ol’ snake Obama squandered Bush’s legacy!

            Lessee now, in 2006 we were at the height of the real estate bubble, interest rates were pretty low, so money was cheap, banks were selling loans like candy, Wall Street was playing “Who can pay the most for this leveraged buyout?”.  So yeah, tax receipts were definitely on the rise the first part of that year.

            Your point about tax cuts?

            1. Disagreed with whomever you were quoting there.

              http://www.bloomberg.com/news/

              President Barack Obama’s 2012 budget would produce $2.3 trillion more in deficits over the next decade than the administration projects, according to the Congressional Budget Office.

              The nonpartisan agency said today the administration’s plan would generate $9.5 trillion in deficits between 2012 and 2021, compared with the $7.2 trillion forecast last month by the White House budget office.

              1. I was quoting from the article you linked above (as I already stated).

                It’s attributed to the Bush White House, circa 2006, if that jogs your memory.

                1. I misunderstood what you were saying. My bad.

                  The housing bubble and associated derivative shenanigans along with the costs of entitlements put a little bite in that projection.

                  So did spending trillions on non-stimulus and a healthcare law that is most certainly not deficit neutral, and expanding non-military discretionary spending by nearly 25%.

                  Look, I’m quite sure Obama was going to spend a shitload of money on new and old entitlements (in order to ‘spread it around’), I just wish he hadn’t done it when we were already up the creek thanks to the CRA, Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, and Wall Street’s derivative adventure.

                  1. I get it that you vehemently disagree that federalized RomneyCare was the best we Dems could get through the Senate with 58 1/2 Democrats (ok, a little snark).

                    Single payer would be by far the most cost-effective solution.  

                    Since at least 1987, polls have shown the majority of the public favor a single-payer system when a New York Times/CBS Poll showed 78 percent of people are in favor of such a system.[50]

                    Between 2003 to 2009, 17 opinion polls showed a simple majority of the public supports a single-payer system in the United States.[16] These polls are from sources such as CNN,[51] AP-Yahoo,[52][53] Quinnipiac,[54] New York Times/CBS News Poll,[55][56][57] Washington Post/ABC News Poll,[58] Kaiser Family Foundation[59] and the Civil Society Institute.[60]

                    In contrast, an August, 2009 Rasmussen Reports poll, which questioned only registered voters, people were asked, “Do you favor or oppose a single-payer health care system where the federal government provides coverage for everyone?” 32 percent favored; 57 percent opposed.[61][62] Responses depend on the wording. For example, people respond more favorably when they are asked if they want a system “like Medicare.”

                    But the problem is, we’ve trained our politicians (or more often, selected them) to be cowards and panderers.

                    “Even more important, greater efficiency and improved cost containment would become possible, leading to sizable savings in the future. The impediment to fundamental reform in health care financing is not economic, but political. Political will, not economic expertise, is what will bring about this important change.”

                    But you do raise some issues over priorities that I wish our elected representatives, the media, and yes, we citizens, had the knowledge, skills and desire to discuss and come to reasonable compromises over.

                    1. I get it that you vehemently disagree with having federalized RomneyCare. Unfortunately, it was the best we Dems could get through the Senate with 58 1/2 Democrats (ok, a little snark).  

                    2. I actually have no problem if a State wants to install their own totally shitty Health Care Law.  I don’t want a shittier one foisted on me forever by underhandedness that we’ll never be able to unwind once the entitled stop having to pay for their care.

                  2. You simply can’t show me how the lowered tax rates in place for the past 10 years succeeded in creating greater prosperity and therefore more revenue because it didn’t happen. It has nothing to do with how we look at taxes philosophically. It’s simply this:

                    Question: Has reducing taxes (no matter what your philosophy) on the wealthy to historically low rates created prosperity and increased revenue over the ten years during which those cuts have been in place?

                    Answer: no

                    You cannot show me that the above answer to the above question is false because of a pesky thing called objective reality,  because of what actually has happened and been recorded.  It’s as simple as that on this particular question, regardless of philosophy, spin, politics, bias or any other soft consideration.

                    According to your theory, no matter how you define “taxes”, “cuts”, “the” or “been” the answer should be “yes”. Do the non-philosophical, non-political, non-touchy feely math and the conclusion is inescapable. What you wish to be isn’t.

                    This particular question and answer have nothing to do with interpreting reality through a philosophical or political or ideological lens, which is not to say I don’t have any of those. Of course U do , like everyone else. Still, in a case this clear cut, to explain it away in those terms is to be unwilling to accept reality when it doesn’t match your theory.

                    One more thing. If it had turned out differently I would feel compelled to accept the theory as a good one and I would be happily enjoying my prosperity.

                    1. tax cuts didn’t produce any jobs, but quixotically, he CAN show that the non-tax cut portion of the stimulus didn’t produce any jobs.  How do he do it?

        2. Corporate and other taxes (for the wealthy) have been on the decline since the 1960’s under Kennedy and de-regulation has been “in vogue” for over three decades.  I would ask the poster then as to why the economy is not “roaring along” as some claim it should be? Could it be that perhaps some are looking only at one side of the ledger or only at what benefited them and that is what they use as their standard or “It worked for me.  Therefore it must be right”. There are many who think in that way as that is all they actually know.

      5. Sure – as long as they also adhere to Federal law. But they didn’t.

        I get that federalism in general runs counter to your philosophies, but as long as we’re a nations of laws and not men, you’re absolutely wrong to say that breaking the law is right. And make no mistake – that IS what you are saying.

        So stop bitching about the NLRB-Boeing case like there’s something wrong with enforcing the law. Bitch about the law and how unjust you feel it is, but submitting it as evidence of governmental malfeasance is absurd.

    3. THIS:

      Republicans try to blame Obama for increasing the National Debt, even though it’s only gone up 25% since he was in office, and it went up 75% under Bush, with Republican support. They also fail to mention that 95% of Obama’s budget deficit is carryover spending from the Bush Administration’s policies.

      http://www.addictinginfo.org/2

  3. I recently signed up for a business news web site.  Got this email notification:

    GASP! Anti-Tax King Grover Norquist Wants A Debt Deal That Raises Taxes

    Looks like he’s joining the rest of the GOP in playing “Twister” with their stance over allowing us to fall into default.

    1. Grover Norquist – the head of Americans for Tax Reform and arguably the driving force behind Republican opposition to any and all new taxes – has given his stamp of approval to a deficit-reduction plan that would raise tax revenues.

      Norquist said Thursday that his plan doesn’t violate Americans for Tax Reform principles. Linking annual borrowing for a long-term middle class tax exemption with closed tax loopholes, his plan includes both tax reform and $700 billion in real deficit reduction, he said.

      “You can’t trade a temporary tax cut for a permanent tax increase,” Norquist told the National Journal. “But if they’re both permanent or they’re both temporary, that works.”

      http://www.businessinsider.com

      1. I think Norquist sees opening up the tax code as a means of getting to those few portions that actually don’t benefit the very wealthy; earned income tax credit, child care tax deduction, etc.  

        1. He sees it will happen so he goes with that but then does as you say and tries to get the few sensible deductions removed.

          ps – If we were to remove all deductions but one – I would keep the EITC.

  4. Til noon at the Safeway at 80th and Wadsworth in Arvada. I’d have posted it earlier but it’s finals week and frankly I forgot. Anyway if you’re in Arvada and bored, come meet my favorite Congressman!

    1. most of these poor girls can only afford a small portion of a shirt . . . and some of the others look that they haven’t been able to purchase a new outfit since they were about seven or eight.  

  5. Speaker at WPC published a marketing book. Shortly after it came out Guy Kawasaki tweeted about it – one tweet. Two weeks later it was front page in the New Your Times business section – print & website.

    Impact on book sales of each event? Identical.

  6. A Tale Of Two Countries: The Growing Divide Between Silicon Valley And Unemployed America

    If accumulation of wealth correlates with productivity then, in Graham’s view, increasing variation of wealth might actually be a sign of good things. But could this increase in variation lead to the creation of two almost completely distinct countries in America, one which continues to boom and create enormous wealth for those who reside in it and another for which long-term unemployment and underemployment and the corresponding frustration that accompanies those states becomes the norm?

    If the majority of voters reside in the high productivity, well paying, low unemployment side, then the poor will be abandoned and ignored. I don’t want to live in a country like that.

    1. The outcome of a case in Boulder a few years ago also hinged on that law:

      In Colorado, adverse-possession law allows someone to gain possession of property after using it unchallenged for 18 years. A judge in October granted part of the Kirlins’ land to McLean and Stevens, who said they had been using it to access their backyard for 25 years.

      Texas appears to be a bit more lenient in just requiring 3 years.  But if that guy can live there without water or electricity for 3 years, I guess I’d say he earned it.

      1. I’m pretty sure I could live in a house without water or electricity for 3 years, if it meant a nice $330,000 windfall at the end.  I’m pretty familiar with local homeless services for showers and such.

        1. If the successor to the failed mortgage company or the former occupant think they can recover it, fine.  Otherwise, the guy’s got a point, and deserves it.

  7. The Death of Bundling in University Education?

    Like newspapers, the university is rapidly finding itself in need of a new model. Most places are experimenting, but universities are remarkably conservative institutions when it comes to changing themselves. I look at my own institution, whose budget situation calls for major changes. Yet it has been slow, at times unwilling, to change, for a variety of reasons. Universities that depend more heavily on state funding, such as mine, need to adapt even more quickly to the change in funding model. It is perhaps ironic that, unlike our research-focused sister schools, we take the vast majority of our students from in-state, and our graduates are even more likely to remain in the state, to be its citizens and the engines of its economic progress.

  8. Is Google Really Wrecking Our Memory?

    To answer this story’s title-question, then-is Google really wrecking our memory-the answer’s “it depends.” The Columbia University report doesn’t offer evidence of actual memory atrophying (as in diminished or impaired memory abilities). Instead, the suggestion’s that, influenced by Internet and search engine use, our memories are switching job hats and becoming more transactive. Instead of remembering “ends,” we’re remembering “means.” Search engines like Google are simply becoming extensions of our brains, sort of like wireless cybernetics.

    1. for various Latin American countries  Growing GNP but it all went to a small elite class with no increase in the prosperity of the masses.  Lots of instability.  Not a societal model that works well with non-repressive forms of government. Disenfranchised masses tend to require lots of suppression so as not to slaughter the rich.  Lots of walled estates, private security and venturing out in armed caravans required. That’s what real class warfare looks like and it always starts out being waged by the wealthy, not the other way around.

  9. By a non-Christian:

    Muslim hate crime victim asks TX court to spare life of white supremacist who shot him

    Rais Bhuiyan, a devout Muslim who emigrated from Bangladesh to the United States, is one of the victims of a white supremacist who went on a “9/11 revenge” killing spree and murdered two people, one of whom was Hindu.

    Mark Anthony Stroman shot all of his victims while they were working at gas stations and convenience stores in Dallas, Texas. Unless there is an intervention, the still-unrepentant killer will be put to death by the state of Texas on July 20.

    But Bhuiyan believes that the man who shot him should not be killed, and has created the worldwithouthate.org project to urge Texas to spare his life.

    http://www.boingboing.net/2011

    Though, I must admit, I don’t see spending the rest of my life in a cheap shithole Texas prison as “better” than the death penalty….

    1. The NPR interviewer asked, “Does Mark Anthony Stroman know that you are trying to save him?”

      Bhuiyan replied along these lines: “His lawyer told him, and told me that when he was told, he broke down in tears and said ‘That’s the first act of kindness anyone has ever done for me.'”

      (Disclaimer: Not the exact quotes. This is just my memory of the radio interview.)

      Anyway… yes, you could say that of course the lawyer said something like that. But it also could well be true. Just something to think about…

      Kudos to Mr. Bhuiyan. There are few in this world who embody the most beautiful tenets of their faith in the way he has done.

      1. as contributing to how amazing this is.  Most religions teach us to be forgiving, not just Christianity, even though entire religious sects are sometimes diverted into being incredibly bestial in the name of the religion, including Christian ones. The Inquisition comes to mind.  

        1. Since I didn’t mention his non-Christian faith, but I agree with you completely. All religions teach forgiveness; few humans embody it.

  10. “I’m not ready to tell you that I’m ready to announce that I’m in,” Gov. Rick Perry told The Des Moines Register. “But I’m getting more and more comfortable every day that this is what I’ve been called to do. This is what America needs.”

    Read more: http://www.politico.com/news/s

    If Rick Perry is called and Michelle Bachmann is called (and presumably Rick S and Tim got some sort of OK too), then what’s He up to?

    Is this the clearest proof yet that God is a Democrat?    

    1. ought to be disqualified out of hand as delusional and anti-American. Of course we already know he’s anti-American what with the secession talk. Tea Party, or any other kind of patriot, my ass.

  11. with the statement.  That is merely an ally or “friend of convenience”. Friendship for some of us, is considered a personal relationship, and not one of political or other convenience. The latter is little else than a mutual use or abuse of one another.  A “friend” will always tell you the truth, and so that it will accrue to your benefit, not theirs.  Sometimes they are right and sometimes they are wrong, but always sincere in their beliefs.

    Some of us understand why Reagan defined friendship in the way he did as, being the complete materialist, he did not associate with anyone who did not serve his ambitions.  That was evident even during the Joe McCarthy hearings in the 1950’s where he turned his back on those being unfairly attacked.  And, that being his character, he remained so throughout his Presidency, and most probably until the end.  

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