Our # 1 describes how a new report from the CBO describes the stimulus might have a short term positive effect, but will in the long term work against the recovery. #2 looks to the question of where was Obama during the deficit reduction negotiations. #3 talks about how the Clinton administration’s policies actually cause most of the problems we are suffering from now. #4 is about the national conversation that is going on. What should it be and what are the politicians trying to make it about. #5 is an interesting look at the electoral map and what will be the battleground states in 2012. #6 looks at whether the pepper spraying incident at UCD was justified or not. #7and #8 look at Climategate 2, a new scandal hitting the global warming debate.
1. CBO: Stimulus Hurts the Economy In the Long Run
The Congressional Budget Office on Tuesday downgraded its estimate of THE BENEFITS OF PRESIDENT OBAMA’S 2009 STIMULUS PACKAGE, SAYING IT MAY HAVE SUSTAINED AS FEW AS 700,000 JOBS at its peak last year and that over the long run it will actually be a net drag on the economy.
CBO said that while the Recovery Act boosted the economy in the short run, THE EXTRA DEBT THAT THE STIMULUS PILED UP “CROWDS OUT” PRIVATE INVESTMENT AND “WILL REDUCE OUTPUT SLIGHTLY IN THE LONG RUN - BY BETWEEN 0 AND 0.2 PERCENT AFTER 2016.”
The analysis confirms what CBO predicted before the stimulus passed in February 2009, though the top-end decline of two-tenths of a percent is actually deeper than the agency predicted back then.
All told, the stimulus did boost jobs and the economy in the short run, according to CBO’s models. At the peak of spending from July through September 2010, it sustained anywhere from 700,000 to 3.6 million, which lowered the unemployment rate by between four-tenths of a percent to 2 percent….
… As for the long-term situation, CBO SAID ITS BASIC ASSUMPTION IS THAT EACH DOLLAR OF ADDITIONAL FEDERAL DEBT CROWDS OUT ABOUT A THIRD OF A DOLLAR’S WORTH OF PRIVATE DOMESTIC CAPITAL.
CBO said there is no crowding out in the short term, which is why the Recovery Act boosts the economy in the near term.
If a stimulus hurts the economy in the long run, why would Obama call for another one? He’s not running in the long run, that’s why.
2. Obama’s accidental Admission
To hear Barack Obama describe the latest fiscal impasse in Washington, THE POOR GUY IS TOTALLY HELPLESS DEALING WITH THIS CONGRESSIONAL CROWD OF HEBETUDINOUS LAGGARDS.
HE GAVE THEM HIS PLAN TO CUT THE BUDGET WHILE SPENDING MORE. He's rigidly sticking with it, which is principled. And both sides in Congress are rigidly sticking with their plans, which is stubborn. EXCEPT, COME TO THINK OF IT, THERE WASN'T A REAL DEMOCRATIC PLAN. ALL THEY DID WAS NOT LIKE THE REPUBLICAN ONES.
And now the Real Good Talker has vowed a veto if those slippery legislators try to get around the mandated $1.2 trillion in cuts they imposed on themselves last summer, like dieters' abandoning New Years Resolutions come mid-January.
But wait! Where has Obama been during this fiscal crunch time?
He hasn't been on the sidelines again. HE'S BEEN COMPLETELY OUT OF THE COUNTRY. He absolutely had to be in Cannes for the Group of 29.5 or whatever it's called this month because, you know, the Euro crisis. And, then he was hosting another group of leaders in Hawaii with Michelle. And then, of course, there was the Australia trip, which he'd already postponed twice.
And, hey, as long as he's down there, why not drop into Indonesia for old times sake and the Asian leaders meeting, score a new tropical shirt, talk some more? Not much going on back home anyway.
And today, having waved his veto wand at everybody on Monday, Obama's gone again, flying his large plane up to New Hampshire for more useless campaign talk about construction workers fixing bridges and looking like he's trying real hard….
Obama’s absence in all this has been conspicuous. I guess that is what you get when you elevate a community organizer to the Presidency of the United States. What were we thinking????
3. Despite Book’s Claims, Clinton Policies Hurt Economy
Subprime Scandal: President Clinton is plugging a new book scolding Wall Street and Republicans and offering his "solutions" to an economic mess he helped cause. His gall knows no bounds.
The media portray Clinton, who acts as if he were still president, as some kind of hero riding in to save the economy. BUT IT WAS HIS OWN POLICIES THAT WRECKED IT.
AND NOW HE'S COVERING UP HIS FAULT BY BLAMING OTHERS, WHEN IN FACT HE FORCED BANKS TO MAKE HIGH-RISK LOANS IN THE NAME OF DIVERSITY.
"When President George W. Bush took office, it was the first time anti-government Republicans had held both houses of Congress and the White House. They could do whatever they wanted," Clinton intones in "Back to Work: Why We Need Smart Government for a Strong Economy." "It soon became clear they wanted less regulatory oversight" of the financial sector.
In fact, THE PROBLEM WAS TOO MUCH REGULATION, NOT TOO LITTLE.
Starting in the 1990s, banks came under siege by regulators who politicized their mortgage-underwriting decisions on Clinton's orders.
HE ADDED TEETH TO ANTI-REDLINING LAWS UNDER THE COMMUNITY REINVESTMENT ACT, AND MADE IT NEARLY IMPOSSIBLE FOR BANKS TO EXPAND IF THEY DIDN'T PASS CRA LENDING TESTS.
Then he ordered Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac to buy and bundle the riskier mortgages into securities to meet the higher "affordable-housing" lending quotas he slapped on the publicly created mortgage giants.
These policies carried over into the Bush administration, which was a big mistake. But it was Clinton who fundamentally changed the rules for risk and the home-finance market for the worse….
This is the fact the Democrats will fight tooth and nail to deny. They cannot admit that it was their well-meaning regulations that caused the economic crisis we are in. The continue to spin the crisis as the fault of a lack of regulations rather than the presence of government.
4. Changing the Conversation: Democratic Style
….Democrats apparently think they have changed the conversation since President Obama went all class-warfare on us. Says a Democratic aide via Hugh Hewitt:
The worm has turned a little bit. THE NATIONAL CONVERSATION NOW IS ABOUT INCOME INEQUALITY AND ABOUT JOBS, AND IT'S NOT REALLY ABOUT CUTTING THE SIZE OF GOVERNMENT ANYMORE OR CUTTING SPENDING.
There it is, that famous "national conversation" again. Last time I checked my political dictionary, "national conversation" meant the latest talking point that Democrats are trying to ram down our throats.
Here's what's really happening. THE DEMOCRATS CAN'T WIN BY DOING A PRAGMATIC DEAL ON SPENDING OR A DOWN PAYMENT ON ENTITLEMENTS ON THE SUPERCOMMITTEE, SOMETHING THAT WOULD REALLY HELP THEIR SUPPORTERS LONG-TERM. They can't do it because ANY DEAL WILL GORE DEMOCRATIC OXEN in the here and now and demoralize or even inflame the base. Bang goes the election in 2012.
So instead they are doing another Bob Schrum special, "fighting for the People against the Powerful" and writing solemn articles about inequality. Here's Ezra Klein's effort: “Ryan’s Inequality Plan Means Inequality.”
The whole idea of the welfare state is to provide the little people with a little protection, a safety net, against the major austerities of life, old age, health care, educating the kids. You'd think a party that cared about the little guy would be saying: Wow, things are going to be really tough for the next few years. We've got to do what we can to make sure that the little guy is protected. WE SHOULD EASE UP ON THE NICE-TO-HAVES LIKE REALLY FAST TRAINS AND GREEN ENERGY. WHY, WE COULD EVEN LET THE ODD OIL PIPELINE GET BUILT AND TURN A BLIND EYE TO THE OCCASIONAL HORIZONTAL FRACKING BETWEEN CONSENTING ADULTS. Instead, the Dems have hit the nitro on the Class Warfare Special.
My guess is that we are just weeks from the moment when every tyro realizes what the best strategic minds already know: that OBAMA'S CLASS WARFARE STRATEGY IS GOING TO MAKE THINGS WORSE -- FOR DEMOCRATS….
Sometimes I wonder if the Democrats are a foolish as they seem to be. Their tax the rich meme is the only thing they seem to have and while you have the OWS movement out, it seems to be going rogue and actually turning people off. Things are not going to go well for the Democrats in 2012.
5. 2012: An Election Road Map
…THE AUTHORS CONTEND THAT 37 STATES ARE PRETTY MUCH SAFE FOR ONE PARTY OR THE OTHER. This list includes 14 states for Obama with 186 Electoral College votes, and 23 states (many of them smaller ) for the Republican nominee with 191 Electoral College votes.
How does either candidate get to 270?
Of the 13 tossups, one is in the Northeast, New Hampshire (4), 6 are in the Midwest or rust belt: Pennsylvania (20), Ohio (18), Iowa (6), Wisconsin (10), Michigan (16), Minnesota (10). Three are in the South: Florida (29), North Carolina (15), Virginia (13). Three are in the Southwest: Colorado ((9), Nevada (6), New Mexico (5). ALL 13 STATES WERE WON BY OBAMA IN 2008, AND 5 WERE WON BY JOHN KERRY IN 2008).
The article examines the minority vote for each state except New Hampshire, the college educated white vote, and the non-college educated white vote, since the historical voting pattern for each group is markedly different for all three. The sizes of the three groups are shifting -- moving toward equal slices, with minority share growing, a favorable trend for Democrats, and non educated white voter share declining, also good for Democrats.
However, THERE WAS A DRAMATIC SHIFT OF COLLEGE EDUCATED WHITE VOTERS FROM 2008 TO 2010, WITH MANY MORE VOTING REPUBLICAN. My own projections are very similar to these. Assume Romney is the nominee. He should run very strongly among college educated white voters. He may not run as well among non college educated whites as Bush did or the GOP did in 2010. THE ENTIRE PURPOSE OF THE ASTROTURFED OCCUPY WALL STREET MOVEMENT (HAVE YOU FORGOTTEN THAT BARACK OBAMA WAS A COMMUNITY ORGANIZER?) WAS TO TURN NON COLLEGE EDUCATED WHITES AGAINST THE GOP AND TO PORTRAY ROMNEY, AS THE DEFENDER OF THE 1%.
Among the states in play, I think North Carolina and New Hampshire lean to the GOP, and Florida ever so slightly as well. THIS GETS ROMNEY TO 239. HOW DOES HE GET TO 270? BY WINNING OHIO AND VIRGINIA. OR IF HE LOSES VIRGINIA, BY WINNING COLORADO AND EITHER NEVADA OR IOWA (A TOUGHER ROAD I THINK). If Romney can mount a real challenge in Pennsylvania or Wisconsin, this is very bad news for Obama. These are must win states for Obama, as are Ohio and Florida for Romney.
The most fought over states are likely to be Virginia, Colorado, Ohio, Florida and maybe Pennsylvania. You will know it will be razor close if the candidates are spending a lot of time Nevada and Iowa.
So the folks in Ohio, Virginia, Colorado, Nevada and Iowa are going to be deluged with TV spots. And I predict most of them will be negative.
6. Pepper Spray at UCD
… That brings us to UC Davis where the Occupy mob had set up tents and refused to take them down. Then they were asked to move by the police — and they refused. AT THAT POINT, THEY SAT DOWN AND LOCKED ARMS TO KEEP THE POLICE FROM MOVING THEM. All of the protesters knew they were going to be hit with pepper spray and THEY COULD HAVE SIMPLY GOTTEN UP AND MOVED. It was actually safer for everyone involved, particularly the police, to spray the protesters first — than to risk injuring them by trying to slowly pry them apart, while other protesters could get access to the officers’ backs. Pepper spraying those protesters in the face was absolutely the right thing to do.
Again, THE PROBLEM WASN’T THE POLICE; IT WAS THAT THE PROTESTERS THOUGHT THEY SHOULD BE ALLOWED TO BREAK THE LAW WITH IMPUNITY. They learned they were wrong about that. That’s a good thing. When people break the law, the police need to be allowed to use as much force as necessary to get everything under control and it’s too bad that these police officers, who did exactly the right thing, are being vilified by unethical people for the sake of politics. In actuality, cities across the country could learn a lot from UC Davis. Had the rest of the country forced the Occupy protesters to obey the law from the beginning, including using pepper spray where necessary, it undoubtedly would have led to a lot less vandalism, violence, and women being raped by Occupy protesters.
I guess it’s only against the law if you agree with the law.
7. Climategate Part Two
This second batch deals less with climate science than with how some prominent climate scientists framed the issue and recruited colleagues to serve on panels such as the U.N. Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.
In a statement released Tuesday, the University of East Anglia said, “We have no evidence of a recent breach of our systems,” and could not confirm whether the 5,000 new e-mails were genuine because of “the sheer volume of material.”
But it added that if genuine, “these emails have the appearance of having been held back after the theft of data and emails in 2009 to be released at a time designed to cause maximum disruption to the imminent international climate talks….
…In one round of 2005 e-mails, researchers discuss whether an early draft of what became a 2007 IPCC report has accurately depicted the temperature rise in the lower atmosphere. An official from the U.K. Met Office, a scientific organization which analyzes the climate, writes to the Climate Research Unit’s then-director Phil Jones at one point: “OBSERVATIONS DO NOT SHOW RISING TEMPERATURES THROUGHOUT THE TROPICAL TROPOSPHERE UNLESS YOU ACCEPT ONE SINGLE STUDY AND APPROACH AND DISCOUNT A WEALTH OF OTHERS. This is just downright dangerous. We need to communicate the uncertainty and be honest. Phil, hopefully we can find time to discuss these further if necessary [...]”
Later, the official adds, “I ALSO THINK THE SCIENCE IS BEING MANIPULATED TO PUT A POLITICAL SPIN ON IT WHICH FOR ALL OUR SAKES MIGHT NOT BE TOO CLEVER IN THE LONG RUN.”
Another missive written by Stephan Singer, who heads the European climate and energy policy team for the advocacy group WWF in Brussels, said when it came to publicizing the state of climate science, “we as an NGO working on climate policy need such a document pretty soon for the public and for informed decision makers in order to get a) a debate started and b) IN ORDER TO GET INTO THE MEDIA THE CONTEXT BETWEEN CLIMATE EXTREMES/DISASTERS/COSTS AND FINALLY THE LINK BETWEEN WEATHER EXTREMES AND ENERGY.”…
…Some e-mails appear to show researchers’ push to close ranks. In one, Jones writes about enlisting reliable researchers to join the team writing the IPCC’s summary report.
“Getting people we know and trust is vital,” he writes, referring to a group charged with studying tornadoes. Jones was not immediately available for comment….
It makes you wonder if the scientists involved in these e-mails at the original released thought to themselves, “Whew, there are a lot more emails they could have gotten and released.”
8. 7 Stages of Grief for Climategate 2.0
Climategate 2.0 – the gift that goes on giving. And you know how good it is from the reaction of the trolls. They're going mental. On the one hand they'd like to insist it's a non-story. ON THE OTHER HAND, THE MORE SHRILLY THEY SHRIEK IT'S A NON-STORY THE MORE EVIDENT IT BECOMES JUST WHAT A GREAT STORY IT IS.
Here's an amusing analysis of the warmist trolls' various lines of defence, which I picked up from the comments at Watts Up With That: (I would give a hat tip except I've gone and lost the bit: if anyone can re-find it for me let me know)
STAGE 1: THEY AREN’T REAL EMAILS
STAGE 2: THEY ARE REAL EMAILS BUT THEY AREN’T IN CONTEXT
STAGE 3: THEY ARE IN CONTEXT, BUT THAT’S HOW SCIENTISTS WORK
STAGE 4: OK, THIS ISN’T REALLY SCIENCE, BUT YOU GUYS STOLE THE EMAILS!
STAGE 5: THIS IS OLD STUFF
STAGE 6: THIS IS NOTHING
STAGE 7: LOOK EVERYONE! WINTER STORM! SEE, WE HAVE PROOF OF OUR THEORIES NOW.
Repeat as needed
A funny but telling look at what we can expect over the next few weeks.