Thursday, June 2, 2011

Friday: The economy worsens

Just for Fun

Could be the best music video ever. What do you think?


Pot meet Kettle

Here’s a video made up by Reason TV showing MsNBC criticizing Sarah Palin for using the flag on her bus tour.

Things go from bad to worse

The Wall Street Journal headline reads, “May Data Indicate Slowdown.” Many Americans didn’t know things had previously picked up. The economic picture is, in any event, far from rosy:

THE U.S. MANUFACTURING SECTOR SLOWED SHARPLY IN MAY, according to data released Wednesday by the Institute for Supply Management. Price pressures lessened.
Separately, private businesses barely added jobs in May as large companies cut workers, according to a report released Wednesday. The news is sure to raise further fears about the second-quarter U.S. economy.

The ISM’s manufacturing purchasing managers’ index fell to 53.5 in May from 60.4 in April. Readings above 50 indicate expanding activity.

The job picture is alarming as well. “Private-sector jobs in the U.S. rose by just 38,000 last month.

. . . Economists surveyed by Dow Jones Newswires had expected [payroll giant Automatic Data Processing Inc.] to report a much larger job gain of 190,000 last month. The April data were revised to show a rise of 177,000 versus 179,000 first reported.”

With this kind of data, the Republicans could nominate anyone and Obama would be in trouble. We now have 29 months and trillions in deficit spending and the economy is not getting any better.

The Weak Presidential Candidate

The belief in many quarters is that the Republican presidential contenders constitute a weak field. I don't share this view; I think the announced GOP candidates, as a group, are solid representatives of their party. But let's turn the question around: HOW STRONG IS THE DEMOCRATIC FIELD?
AT PRESENT, IT CONSISTS OF ONE MAN--BARACK OBAMA--AND THE AMERICAN PEOPLE HAVE HAD ABOUT ENOUGH OF HIM. Yesterday's Rasmussen survey found that likely voters prefer a generic Republican over President Obama by 45-43. And that is no fluke; the numbers have been in the same range for some months. Similarly, voters are slightly more likely to call themselves Republicans than Democrats.

It is not unreasonable to expect that a "generic" Republican whom voters do not yet know and who has no skeletons in his closet--Tim Pawlenty, or even Mitt Romney--will be able to improve on those numbers. Whereas IT IS HARD TO SEE JUST HOW OBAMA CAN BETTER HIS STANDING, GIVEN THAT THE ECONOMY IS TANKING AND SEAL TEAM SIX HAS ALREADY MADE ITS CONTRIBUTION.....

Most lefties take solace in the fact that the generic republican is only two points ahead of Obama. But stop and think about it, “the anybody but Barack (ABB) candidate” is leading!!

The Weak Presidential Candidate Part 2

This Tuesday, the House voted overwhelmingly against the "clean" debt limit increase Obama had been advocating for months.

IN ADDITION TO EVERY HOUSE REPUBLICAN, 82 DEMOCRATS VOTED AGAINST THE BILL. That means, despite White House insistence that "the debt limit should be passed as a standalone bill," any increase in the current $14.3 trillion debt ceiling will now require a package of spending cuts to get approved in the House.

That comes on top of last week's embarrassment, in which THE SENATE UNANIMOUSLY VOTED AGAINST THE PRESIDENT'S 2012 BUDGET. The opposition party routinely declares White House budgets dead on arrival, but it's remarkable that not one Democrat in the Senate was willing to show support for Obama's plan.

Again the press keeps talking about the weak Republican field while ignoring the gorilla in the room. The Democrats are deserting the agenda of their Democratic President.

Government: A feeling

….FOR THE FIRST TIME IN MY ADULT LIFE, I'M BEGINNING TO BELIEVE THAT GOVERNMENT IS MY ENEMY. Not a nuisance, nor a necessary evil, but A CONGLOMERATION OF SELF-ABSORBED, SELF-INTERESTED PEOPLE WORKING DIRECTLY AGAINST THE INTERESTS OF THE AMERICAN PUBLIC. People who, if Americans ever got the courage to openly rebel, would instinctively seal off Washington, D.C., rather than seriously address the source of the peoples' discontent.

Americans are being subjected to the most lawless president and administration in the history of the nation. CAN'T A GET LAW THROUGH CONGRESS? SCREW CONGRESS, THE PRESIDENT WILL ISSUE AN EXECUTIVE DECREE AND HAVE IT CARRIED OUT BY AN AGENCY, CABINET OFFICIAL OR AN UNELECTED CZAR. He'll have his tax-cheat Treasury Secretary, Tim Geithner, take to the airwaves and literally blackmail the entire nation, telling Americans that if this gangster government can't raise the debt ceiling without any pre-conditions, they'll trash the entire economy as payback. Why? So all of this administration's crony-capitalist Wall Street and banker buddies can keep making money hand over fist, without having to share it with Main Street America. So they can continue being immunized from the consequences of their momentously greedy and stupid behavior, the single worst example of which was bringing the entire world's economy to its knees based on a single, ridiculous premise:…

I found this to be a pretty powerful indictment of the current administration.


AGW's rapid loss of credibility

The IPCC view, upon which the UK Government has based its policy, and around which much of the international debate takes place, sees anthropogenic co2 as the principal driver of the increase in temperature. It also foresees a substantial acceleration in temperature change, possibly reaching 3°c by the end of the century. AN ALTERNATIVE VIEW IS THAT THERE HAS BEEN A GENTLE RISE IN TEMPERATURE AS THE WORLD COMES OUT OF THE LITTLE ICE AGE, WITH MULTI-DECADAL OSCILLATIONS AROUND THE TREND. The increase in temperature by the end of the century is likely to be significantly lower than foreseen by the IPCC WE HAVE EXPERIENCED A FASTER PHASE OF TEMPERATURE RISE FROM THE EARLY 1970’S TO THE MID 1990’S AND WE HAVE BEEN IN ONE THE SLOWER PHASES FOR THE PAST 15 YEARS OR SO. In this view both the trend and the fluctuations are largely the result of natural influences, with CO2 being possibly a modest net addition.

And here’s the policy solution suggestion

We should concentrate on those measures which are no regret, which improve resource productivity, improve security of supply and with it our commercial bargaining position, and which do not depress living standards. In my book THESE ARE STOPPING DEFORESTATION, RAISING THE ENERGY EFFICIENCY OF OUR BUILDINGS AND OUR VEHICLE FLEET (though the effect of greater energy efficiency on CO2 reduction may be limited if consumption is sustained by lowering the effective price of energy), INVESTMENT IN NUCLEAR POWER, AN EXPANSION OF ENERGY FROM WASTE and, if we are going to adopt CCS, and the economics has yet to be established, it would be better to attach it to new gas-fired stations rather retrofitting old coal-fired stations. IT ALSO MEANS MUCH LESS WIND AND SOLAR ENERGY, AND AN END TO CURRENT ENCOURAGEMENT OF BIOFUELS.

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