Friday, November 27, 2009

Now New Zealand's National Institute of Water and Atmospheric research is Cooking the Books?

You have to be kidding me. Does anyone in the Climate Change community have clean numbers?

Gone is the relentless rising temperature trend, and instead there appears to have been a much smaller growth in warming, consistent with the warming up of the planet after the end of the Little Ice Age in 1850.

I think there should be a total halt to any policy decisions on climate change until all of these matters can be dealt with. Right now none of these people have any credibility and all of their research is suspect.

Dubai Restructes its Debt and it Roils Markets

Hmm, it seems that Dubai may be having trouble with their debt load.

"Obviously, the debt restructuring has caught investors very much by surprise," said UBS analyst Saud Masud, who believes the UAE and Dubai governments wouldn't risk so much damage to their financial reputation unless it was essential to a larger plan of achieving long-term stability.

This makes sense so instead of just writing a big check underwritten with their oil wealth they are going to let the market decide what happens. Seems like a good plan and they should have a sound balance sheet once the bad debt gets flushed out of the system.

Tiger Woods Seriously Injured in Car Wreck

It seems he crashed his car pulling out of his driveway. I wonder if he was wearing his seatbelt?

The Florida Highway Patrol said Woods, 33, hit the hydrant and a tree after pulling out of his driveway in his 2009 Cadillac sports utility vehicle.

The patrol reported his injuries as serious, and that he was taken to Health Central Hospital. His condition was not immediately known. A supervisor in the emergency room said Friday afternoon that Woods was not a patient there.

PETA Wants University of Georgia Mascot to be a Robot

Who doesn't PETA get to work on this robot dog at once. That way the University of Georgia doesn't have to waste money and time trying to cater to a group that pretty much kills all the pets put into their care.

On its 2002 federal income-tax return, PETA claimed a $9,370 write-off for a giant walk-in freezer, the kind most people use as a meat locker or for ice-cream storage. But animal-rights activists don't eat meat or dairy foods. And during a 2007 criminal trial, a PETA manager (testifying under oath) confirmed the obvious -- that the group uses the appliance to store the bodies of its victims.

I understand what PETA is trying to do now. I think a robot dog is a good idea because if the next UGA falls into PETAs clutches then he is DOA.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

The Real Problem with Climate Science? The Model is Broken

It seems that all of the emails with their various ethical violations should pale at the thought of the bedrock of their research the climate model may be a big mess from a programming standpoint.

The emails seem to describe a model which frequently breaks, and being constantly "tweaked" with manual interventions of dubious quality in order to make them fit the historical data. These stories suggest that the model, and the past manual interventions, are so poorly documented that CRU cannot now replicate its own past findings.

That is a big problem. The IPCC report, which is the most widely relied upon in policy circles, uses this model to estimate the costs of global warming. If those costs are unreliable, then any cost-benefit analysis is totally worthless.

About all you can do is scrap the entire model and built it again from scratch. In other words this model in which all this policy and trillion dollar changes needs to go back to base code. Then we need new scientists and programmers to put the thing together. If it predicts global warming then spend the trillions and fix the problems. Any other decisions based on this stuff is worthless until the bedrock code is cleaned up.

Less than 10% of Obama Cabinet Members Have Any Private Sector Experience

It seems that I have more experience in the private sector then just about the entire Obama cabinet. Which is kind of sad in a way.

A friend sends along the following chart from a J.P. Morgan research report. It examines the prior private sector experience of the cabinet officials since 1900 that one might expect a president to turn to in seeking advice about helping the economy. It includes secretaries of State, Commerce, Treasury, Agriculture, Interior, Labor, Transportation, Energy, and Housing & Urban Development, and excludes Postmaster General, Navy, War, Health, Education & Welfare, Veterans Affairs, and Homeland Security—432 cabinet members in all.

No wonder they are having so much trouble creating jobs for people. Most of them have never had to run a business that had to make a profit or compete in the marketplace. I mean the closest thing Obama had to the business world was working at Baskin and Robins as a teenager.

I still think Hillary should have won the Democratic race. At least she ran a Law Firm at some time in the past and was on the board of directors of Wal-Mart. Oh well maybe she would have the guts to run against Obama in 2012.

How a Monoculture Destroyed Climate Science

Now this is an interesting article on how a monoculture in Climate Science is so dangerous.

For years, with the media’s active participation, criticism of the mainstream scientific position on global warming has been painted as somehow outside the bounds of reasonable discourse. Skeptics are called “deniers,” with the intent to equate them with those who deny the Holocaust. At every turn, global warming activists with the help of the media, have tried to make it uncomfortable, even impossible, to criticize the science of catastrophic man-made global warming. In the extreme, this has degenerated into outright threats.

I have the agree whenever a monoculture forms it quickly becomes destructive to the people who are not members of it. This happened with the Catholic Church in the Middle Ages, Stalin and his Cult of Personality, Mao and cronies and on-and-on. A small elite group at the top protected their own and treated their enemies as "counterrevolutionaries" or "wreckers" and even tried to kill vast swaths of them.

This Climate monoculture was exactly the same. They closed ranks, excommunicated heretics, and even tried to destroy the careers of their enemies. They all thought alike and tried to treat their enemies as "deniers" by lumping them in with odious Holocaust deniers. The even sprinkled a little information denial in by trying to get their contacts to reject the papers of the "deniers." It was strangly similar to the extreme information control practiced by the Catholic Church and the Soviets. The more I think about it the more this leak may have been one of the great turning points in history.

Is Angelina Jolie Anti-Obama?

Well at least some unnamed source close to the star thinks so.

Barack Obama does not have Angelina Jolie's seal of approval.

"She hates him," a source close to the U.N. goodwill ambassador, 34, tells the new issue of Us Weekly (on newsstands now).

Maybe she was for Hillary? Also I wonder if this will get her passed over for some jobs in Hollywood now?

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Women Plan to Ignore Mammogram Commissar

As well they should. I think it is egregious that this seems to only effect women. Of course you don't see this same Health Politboro (aka U.S. Preventive Services Task Force) issuing edicts about "guidelines" on when men can be checked for prostate cancer.

Women across the USA have reacted angrily to the recommendations and expressed concern that delaying the tests could endanger their lives. In the new survey of 1,136 women, 76% of women say they disagree or strongly disagree with the recommendations.

And 84% of women ages 35 to 49 say they plan to get mammograms before age 50 despite the independent panel's advice. That's in keeping with the guidance of the American Cancer Society, which recommends annual mammograms beginning at age 40.

I'm pretty sure that he CANCER society has a better handle on when women should be checked for CANCER. In fact I think all women should simply ignore the U.S. Preventive Commissar in Charge of Patriotic Womens Health in Defense of the Motherland (USPCCPWHDM) or whatever this group is called when it comes to their lives.

What is really sad is this Health Commissar issued this Dictat right after Breast Cancer Awareness month just finished. Hell, even the NFL got in on the act. Then this USPCCPWHDM pisses all over that. Talk about tone deaf.

Black Men Decimated by the Recession

I really hope Obama gets as mad about the plight of these African Americans as he did about some cops harassing his rich, tenured Harvard professor friend.

Joblessness for 16-to-24-year-old black men has reached Great Depression proportions -- 34.5 percent in October, more than three times the rate for the general U.S. population. And last Friday, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that unemployment in the District, home to many young black men, rose to 11.9 percent from 11.4 percent, even as it stayed relatively stable in Virginia and Maryland.

Obama Finally Makes an Afghanistan Decision

After much dithering, hemming and hawing, and like 10 meetings with his "war cabinet" he came to the decision that he could have made 3 months ago.

"I can tell you, as I've said before, that it is in our strategic interest, in our national security interest to make sure that al-Qaida and its extremist allies cannot operate effectively" in the area, he said. "We are going to dismantle and degrade their capabilities and ultimately dismantle and destroy their networks. And Afghanistan's stability is important to that process."

Military officials expect an infusion of approximately 32,000 to 35,000 troops to begin in February or March, the largest expansion since the beginning of the war and one that could bring the cost above $75 billion annually.

Maybe Obama got tired of holding out his hand in friendship and having it slapped away. Dems can be strong war Presidents just ask Woodrow Wilson, FDR, and Truman. I would be willing to cheer Obama if he does finally show some spine when it comes to the Taliban and Al-Quida. A loss in Afghanistan would be devastating to US prestige going forward.

Monday, November 23, 2009

It Seems that Climate Science Mostly Involves Punishing Heretics

I guess fudging figures is part of it but the zeal in which they try punish skeptics would make Torquemada proud. Do you deny the existence of global climate change? Yes? Dunk Him Again!

Tom Wigley says that von Storch is partly to blame for sceptic papers getting published at Climate Research. Says he encourages the publication of crap science. Says they should tell publisher that the journal is being used for misinformation. Says that whether this is true or not doesn't matter. Says they need to get editorial board to resign. Says they need to get rid of von Storch too. (1051190249)

Ben Santer says (presumably jokingly!) he's "tempted, very tempted, to beat the crap" out of sceptic Pat Michaels. (1255100876)

Santer complaining about FoI requests from McIntyre. Says he expects support of Lawrence Livermore Lab management. Jones says that once support staff at CRU realised the kind of people the scientists were dealing with they became very supportive. Says the VC [vice chancellor] knows what is going on (in one case).(1228330629)

Grant Foster putting together a critical comment on a sceptic paper. Asks for help for names of possible reviewers. Jones replies with a list of people, telling Foster they know what to say about the paper and the comment without any prompting.(1249503274)

The Unbearable Whiteness of MSNBC

This has to be the first case of the pot calling the kettle white.

In Michigan, O’Donnell smugly noted that Palin’s fans were “largely white — almost no minorities in this crowd.” Matthews parroted the line, assailing the “white crowd.” Walsh likened the gathering to a “paranoid tea party.” Matthews hammered away at the “monochromatic” scene.

Ahem. Check out the masthead of MSNBC TV, “The Place for Politics.” Wear sunglasses and SPF 30 lotion. You’ll need protection from the blinding white glare:

I guess "diversity" in the Palin crowd matches the "diversity" of the MSNBC on-air personalities.

Friday, November 20, 2009

Leading Climate Change Research Group Hacked

Wow it seems that a leading climate change group called niversity of East Anglia Climate Research Unit got hacked and some of their emails were posted on the web. This part is especially disturbing:

From: Phil Jones
To: ray bradley ,,
Subject: Diagram for WMO Statement
Date: Tue, 16 Nov 1999 13:31:15 +0000
Cc: k.briffa@xxx.xx.xx,

Dear Ray, Mike and Malcolm,
Once Tim’s got a diagram here we’ll send that either later today or
first thing tomorrow.
I’ve just completed Mike’s Nature trick of adding in the real temps
to each series for the last 20 years (ie from 1981 onwards) amd from
1961 for Keith’s to hide the decline. Mike’s series got the annual
land and marine values while the other two got April-Sept for NH land
N of 20N. The latter two are real for 1999, while the estimate for 1999
for NH combined is +0.44C wrt 61-90. The Global estimate for 1999 with
data through Oct is +0.35C cf. 0.57 for 1998.
Thanks for the comments, Ray.


Prof. Phil Jones
Climatic Research Unit Telephone +44 (0) xxxxx
School of Environmental Sciences Fax +44 (0) xxxx
University of East Anglia
Norwich Email

That "hide the decline" part sure sounds like they are massaging the data in order to get the conclusions that they want. The problem is that this climate science is the reason why so many countries are trying to cripple their economies with "Cap and Tax" programs. If the scientists themselves are alleged to be messing with the data then how can we trust them going forward?

What is even worse is how this data massaging seems like something out of a Greek religion. Supposedly Greek temples had all sorts of tricks that they used to show the divinity of their gods. For instance Heron of Alexandria was supposed to have invented a steam engine to open the doors of a temple to make it seem like it was done by divine magic.

So these climate scientists seem like a modern day Heron using their science and massaged data in order to convince people that they must do something about global warming yesterday. They then use impressive scare stories that global warming will destroy the earth like Heron used his steam engine to make people believe what they want them to believe. These scientists even have to alter the narrative in order to keep their gods running.

In some ways this anonymous hacker may have saved billions or perhaps trillions in world wide wealth and allowed even more people to emerge out of poverty. I bet Al Gore can see his climate change billions slowly start to evaporate.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

More Bad News for Microsoft: ChromeOS Could be the Default Netbook Option

This article goes over some predictions on what Google's new ChromeOS will do to Windows 7.

My prediction is this: netbooks, as we know them, will come with ChromeOS as a boot option. Ultrathin laptops (think the Dell Adamo or the HP Envy 13) will come with Windows 7. Netbook configuration, then, will consist of entering your IMAP and SMTP info, a few social media credentials, and maybe uploading a picture of your dog as a background image. The rest – installing apps, buying games (other than Android/ChromeOS games), and running Microsoft Office – will be gone, thrust into the cloud.

I can easily see this happening since most of the games you play on a Netbook are Internet games anyway. You don't need Outlook since you will be using Gmail anyway. Even productivity software can be run through a browser like Microsoft Office Online. I will be dual booting this thing and testing it on my netbook as soon as a stable copy comes out.

The Weak Diplomatic Language of the Year Award goes to Obama

An FDR or JFK he is certainly not judging by perhaps the wimpiest threat I have ever heard.

"Iran has taken weeks now and has not shown its willingness to say yes to this proposal ... and so as a consequence we have begun discussions with our international partners about the importance of having consequences," Obama said at a joint news conference with South Korean President Lee Myung-bak in Seoul.

He said Iran would not be given an unlimited amount of time, likening the Iranian nuclear issue to years of stop-and-start negotiations with North Korea about its nuclear ambitions.

We have begun discussions of the importance of consequences? The discussions aren't about consequences but the importance of having these unnamed consequences. That sounds like something Carter would say. I'm also glad he decided to give a timetable of sometime before the sun turns into a black hole as well. Way to show those Mullahs who's boss Obama.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

A Stanford Professor's Recipe for Fixing Unemployment

I would trade all of Obama's economic team for Michael Boskin of Stanford in a heartbeat. Why can't we get guys like him to fix our economy.

My Stanford colleague Pete Klenow and Rochester economist Mark Bils estimated that cutting the payroll tax by six percentage points (of the 12.4% Social Security component) would, under standard assumptions, increase employment by three million to four million workers—an amount equal to all the job losses since the stimulus was passed.

The payroll tax cut would have reduced firms' costs by roughly the same amount as from the entire decline in employment. It would have cost less than half as much as the stimulus bill, gotten far more income into paychecks quickly and, most importantly, greatly reduced incentives for firms to lay off workers. In fact, it would have created incentives to hire.

So this move would cost less then half of the failed stimulus and actually create 3 - 4 million jobs instead of "saving" just 1 million jobs in 400 phantom Congressional districts? Sign me up for this plan immediately.

Just use the rest of the failed stimulus to pay for it. I mean that money will probably just be poured down a rathole anyway so why not use it for a payroll tax cut? Then while they are at it have an across the board tax cut to all business regardless of size as long as they are expanding their workforce. That should get them hiring.

If Obama passes this payroll tax cut and unemployment drops I think the Dems could hold onto their gains in 2010. If not I think Obama will be "Carter 2: the Malaise" and preside over a double dip recession. In fact he is already afraid it might happen. So my advice to Obama sign Mr. Boskin up as Czar of Tax Cuts or something immediately. It might buy you a second term.

Time to Hoard the Eggos?

It seems there is going to be some Eggo rationing going on that will last until mid-2010.

"We are working around the clock to restore Eggo store inventories to normal levels as quickly as possible," Charles said in an e-mail.

Remaining inventory will be rationed to stores across the country "based on historical percentage of business."

Production figures are confidential, Charles said, but Charles added that all lines are operational except for several lines at the Rossville plant.

"Leggo my Eggo" indeed.

Al Gore Says the Earth's Core is Several Million Degrees

I guess the climate change billionaire is about as knowledgeable about the planet as any 5th grader who flunked Earth Sciences.

Al: It definitely is, and it's a relatively new one. People think about geothermal energy — when they think about it at all — in terms of the hot water bubbling up in some places, but two kilometers or so down in most places there are these incredibly hot rocks, 'cause the interior of the earth is extremely hot, several million degrees, and the crust of the earth is hot …

Um, earth to Al Gore, if the earth's core was several million degrees it would be about the same temperature as the core of a star. I think nuclear fusion in the earths core would make it difficult to live on its surface since the surface of the sun is 6000 Celsius. I can't wait until he is elected the "Climate Pope" and gets to issue edicts on us lowly energy users.

Boehringer Ingelheim Working on "Female Viagra?"

It seems that we may have a so-called female Viagra on the market in the next few years if Boehringer Ingelheim is able to get FDA approval for a drug called flibanserin.

With up to a quarter of women suffering from low libido, it is predicted to be at least as successful as Viagra, with worldwide sales topping £2billion a year.

Like Viagra, which was originally designed to treat heart problems, flibanserin was formulated with another purpose in mind.

It was created as an anti-depressant but those taking part in trials said it did nothing to boost their mood but did wonders for their sex drive.

Independents Flee the Democrats

This might be setting up to be a big year for the GOP in 2010. Independents win elections and they are scared to death about the debt and the deficits.

A Gallup Poll released last week offered a disturbing glimpse about the state of play: just 14 percent of independents approve of the job Congress is doing, the lowest figure all year. In just the past few days alone, surveys have shown Democratic incumbents trailing Republicans among independent voters by double-digit margins in competitive statewide contests in places as varied as Connecticut, Ohio and Iowa.

Obama’s own popularity among independents has fallen significantly, too. A CBS News poll Tuesday showed the president’s approval rating among unaligned voters falling to 45 percent — down from 63 percent in April.

Wow that is a nose dive any way you look at it. I think independents voted for a moderate and ended up with Chicago Nixon instead. However I still think Barack Hussein Carter might be more appropriate given his handling of the economy and the slow crawl on Afghanistan.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Democrat Blasts White House over Stimulus Reporting

It is good that his own party is starting to push back on all the book cooking when it comes to the failed stimulus bill. I thought the White House was going to be the most transparent administration in history?

Rep. Dave Obey (D-Wis.), who chairs the House Appropriations Committee, took the administration to task for pervasive errors on the Web site designed to monitor disbursement of the stimulus funds. He called those errors "outrageous."

"Credibility counts in government and stupid mistakes like this undermine it. We've got too many serious problems in this country to let that happen," Obey said in a statement. "Whether the numbers are good news or bad news, I want the honest numbers and I want them now." Shows Jobs and Stimulus Money Going to Phantom Congressional Districts

They should have just made all the jobs come from these phantom districts. Then they can say that a billion jobs were "created and saved" in these districts and it would solve the unemployment issue just in time for 2010.

Researchers at the Franklin Center for Government & Public Integrity found 440 “phantom districts” listed on, consuming $6.4 billion and creating or saving nearly 30,000 jobs. Their findings are listed HERE.

For example, shows 12 districts, using up more than $2.7 billion, in Washington, D.C, which only has one congressional district. also shows 2,893.9 jobs created with $194,537,372 in stimulus funding in New Hampshire’s 00 congressional district. But, there is no such thing.

The site also shows $1,471,518 going to New Hampshire’s 6th congressional district, $1,033,809 to the 4th congressional district and $124,774 to the 27th congressional district. In fact, New Hampshire only has two congressional districts; inviting confusion about where the money listed for the 00, 4th, 6th and 27th districts is going.

Monday, November 16, 2009

The Public Plan Would Actually Have Premiums 4% Higher than Private Plans?

We have been told over and over that the public plan would "reduce costs" but this report says that that is just bunk.

We estimate that the public plan will have costs that were 5% below the average level for private plans but that the public plan premiums would be roughly 4% higher than private as a result of the antiselection of enrollees.

In other words there will just not be enough people taking the public plan to make low premiums financially viable. Plus, the cutting of the so-called "overhead and profit motive" from private plans would result in just a 5% cost savings.

Also I would rather stick with the private plan if I get to pay 4% less in premiums. Suddenly the public option looks much less fearsome to private insurance as some might think. I think many Americans will look at the health exchange see that the government plan is too expensive and just choose Blue-Cross/Blue-Shield or something.

Will PelosiCare Gut Senior Health Care?

At least that is what the Washington Post is saying. Here is the text of the non-partisan report.

A plan to slash more than $500 billion from future Medicare spending -- one of the biggest sources of funding for President Obama's proposed overhaul of the nation's health-care system -- would sharply reduce benefits for some senior citizens and could jeopardize access to care for millions of others, according to a government evaluation released Saturday.

The report, requested by House Republicans, found that Medicare cuts contained in the health package approved by the House on Nov. 7 are likely to prove so costly to hospitals and nursing homes that they could stop taking Medicare altogether.

Yup, now we are talking about some real "death panels." If hospitals won't take Medicare then there will be a lot more seniors that are going to have to choose between going to the doctor and buying food for themselves. In other words PelosiCare will cove 30 million extra Americans at the expense of 36 million senior citizens.

It is so laughable that the AARP is actually endorsing this mess because it will end up costing their members dearly. The funniest part too is that if you are rich or have "Cadillac Insurance" you will not be affected by these Medicare cuts (the SEIU and other retired union members just breathed a sigh of relief.) But if you retired as a member of the middle class you will be screwed by it. It seems that any senior that supports PelosiCare needs to know that their lives might be shortened if, for some reason, they are forced to rely on Medicare alone.

Palin Hits Back Against Couric

Too bad she didn't hit back at Couric during the campaign. That interview was a real ambush and it made her look like a dope.

Asked if she prepared for the interview with Couric, Palin said “not so much, but it was supposed to be a light-hearted thing.”

“After the first segment, it didn’t go well. It didn’t go very well, I was annoyed by her badgering,” Palin said.

The former Alaska governor accused Couric of trying to trap her on the issue of abortion, asking her “12 different times on my position on abortion and the morning after pill.”

Palin also said she grew annoyed by Couric’s presence at campaign rallies. After one particular rally when she left the rope line “fired up,” Palin recalled that she turned around to see Couric and thought, “There is the perky one again with the microphone.”

Palin indicated that she was offended when Couric asked her what newspapers and magazines she reads, saying that she took the question “in the context of ‘do you read?’”

“Obviously I have over the course of my life,” Palin said. “I’m a lover of books and magazines and newspapers.”

Friday, November 13, 2009

AG Holder Rolls the Dice

All I can say is that he better get a conviction or there will be hell to pay.

Holder insisted both the court system and the untainted evidence against the five men are strong enough to deliver a guilty verdict and the penalty he expects to seek: a death sentence for the deaths of nearly 3,000 people who were killed when four hijacked jetliners slammed into the towers, the Pentagon, and a field in western Pennsylvania.

If these terrorists get off the hook due to Judicial bungling or it turns into a Kangaroo Court where these killers continually disrupt the proceedings then all bets are off. Americans can forgive the White House for not stimulation jobs but letting terrorists off on technicalities or some other screw-up will be a grievous blow. I think a military tribunal would be a better deal but I guess you have to trust Holder to have enough evidence to execute these scumbags.

Twisted Logic on How Tax Hikes Empower Consumers

Even though I support an excise tax on "Cadillac" insurance plans I just think Ms. Romer should not be the one selling the plan.

“Part of the idea of how that is going to work is precisely because it does empower consumers. It empowers each of us to have an employer-sponsored plan to call our HR office and say, ‘Would you negotiate harder? Would you think about (whether this) is the most efficient plan out there, because I don’t want my plan paying an excise tax.' So I think that’s something that is very much empowering consumers.”

It really isn't up to most employees on what health plan their employers give them. Especially if you are in a union. I really think they need to pay some sort of tax so they don't end up getting away with a "Cadillac" Plan while other people can barely afford it.

Consumer Confidence Sours Again

I just wish this whole healthcare debate goes away so that people can focus on creating jobs by cutting payroll taxes. These terrible confidence numbers should be bad for retail and the economy as a whole in any case.

The Reuters/University of Michigan Surveys of Consumers said its preliminary index of sentiment for November fell to 66.0, the lowest since August, from 70.6 in October.

This was well below economists' median expectation of a reading of 71.0, according to a Reuters poll.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

The Great China Crash?

Hmm this is some very interesting reading if you are long China or you think their GDP will grow at 8.9% forever. I thought it was interesting that with all that demand constrained all over the world they had such a high GDP growth. I could understand it when things were humming but who is buying all these cheap Chinese exports? This guy thinks its book cooking:

Chang argues that inconsistencies in Chinese official statistics — like the surging numbers for car sales but flat statistics for gasoline consumption — indicate that the Chinese are simply cooking their books. He speculates that Chinese state-run companies are buying fleets of cars and simply storing them in giant parking lots in order to generate apparent growth.

Also if you are a commodity bull you need to be ready to take profits since a Chinese collapse will destroy you.

Another data point cited by the bears: overcapacity. For example, the Chinese already consume more cement than the rest of the world combined, at 1.4 billion tons per year. But they have dramatically ramped up their ability to produce even more in recent years, leading to an estimated spare capacity of about 340 million tons, which, according to a report prepared earlier this year by Pivot Capital Management, is more than the consumption in the U.S., India and Japan combined.

That is a lot of cement and what are they supposed to build with all that? These China bears like Jim Chanos of Kynikos Associates think its lots of empty high rises and factories. The slow motion collapse seems to be happening already at least when it comes to Chinese retail:

And the bears also keep a close eye on anecdotal reports from the ground level in China, like a recent posting on a blog called The Peking Duck about shopping at Beijing’s “stunningly dysfunctional, catastrophic mall, called The Place.”

“I was shocked at what I saw,” the blogger wrote. “Fifty percent of the eateries in the basement were boarded up. The cheap food court, too, was gone, covered up with ugly blue boarding, making the basement especially grim and dreary. ... There is simply too much stuff, too many stores and no buyers.”

When the food court closes you have to be worried.

Did Obama Betray the Iranian Protestors?

It certainly seems that way according to this New Republic article.

To the people in the streets, to the middle class and to the students--the only hope for Iran--he has shown them, frankly, his behind. Not a statement of solidarity. Certainly not material support. He is still apologizing for the overthrow by the C.I.A. of Iran's prime minister, Dr. Mohammed Mossadegh, in 1953. That was 56 years ago, for God's sake. Still, his apologies have gotten him nowhere and will get him nowhere.

I think there was an opportunity there that a JFK, Hillary Clinton, or a Truman would have seized in a minute. If he came out four-square for the protesters and gave them some kind of firm support we had the opportunity to see the Fall of the Mullahcracy in Iran.

Obama seemed so disengaged at the time while millions of people from the left and the right had their eyes on Iran. If he quickly said a statement like "I see in those protesters the same courage that filled the hearts of the people that founded our nation and we stand with them 100%" it might have gone a long way.

I think Truman might have even steamed a carrier group nearby or leaked satellite photos to make Iran know that any genocide of protesters would be broadcast to the world. I would bet JFK may have even had CIA agents in place to turn the protesters movement into a full scale rebellion.

I can understand that Obama was hedging his bets because he figured he would still have to negotiate with the hardliners over their nuclear program if they held onto power. But times like that would have called for an all-in gamble that a fall of the Iranian government would have solved the nuclear issue once and for all.

In any case is was just embarrassing to see a US President side with the Mullahs over the kids protesting in the streets of Tehran for actual "change they could believe in." It just seemed so unlike a Democratic President that is supposed to care about protesting and "radical change" to be so aloof and disconnected like that.

Liberal Calls for End of Filibuster: Be Careful What You Wish For

I think the totalitarian streak of some liberals seems to shine through every once in a while.

The filibuster may seem like an arcane procedural issue to rail on about (we've already published excellent articles about it in these pages by William Greider and Thomas Geoghegan), but it has serious substantive results. America desperately needs a twenty-first-century social democratic reformation, but no such thing is in the offing as long as the filibuster remains in place. As I write this, there are almost certainly fifty-one votes in the Senate for a healthcare reform bill with a public option and good subsidies, the Employee Free Choice Act, and cap and trade. But there aren't sixty votes for any of those.

Of course this filibuster is there to prevent the "tyranny of the majority" at the expense of the minority. If they could pass things with 51 votes then liberals would have flipped out in the 6 years when the GOP controlled the White House and Congress.

Imagine if one party needed just 51 votes to create a fascist dictatorship that made Bush President for Life? I mean 9/11 could have gotten people scared enough to think that was a good idea. It would only take 51 GOP votes to make that happen.

What is funny is that liberals like this writer can't convince a majority of people that these ideas are worth doing so he just wants to make Congress into a rubber stamp. He just wants to impose his will on America with no one there to stop it. That sounds suspiciously like something out of Soviet Union. If he wants a totalitarian government run by him and his "progressives" then come out and say it. Then just wait for a large part of the nation to succeeded from the Union.

Monday, November 09, 2009

Colombia and Venezuela Inch Toward War?

It seems that "Crazy Hugo" Chavez is rattling the saber again.

However, the move of troops to the Colombian border and the threats Chavez made this weekend of war do not reflect lunacy, but a bid to grab power and influence in Latin America at the expense of a weakened US. He wants the US out of Colombia, and Chavez apparently believes he has an American President he can bully towards that goal:

I agree with this statement. I think Chavez is testing Obama to see if he will protect his allies or not. A pullback here and everyone will be looking to make a power grab at the expense of Obama. I can see Russia pushing their influence into the Ukraine or maybe agitating for a pro-Russian government in Georgia. I also see Israel going it alone on Iranian nukes as well. That's what happens when Obama channels Carter instead of Truman.

The Rise of the Right Across Europe

I think people in the US as well as Europe are finally understanding that spending billions that you don't have is not a way to economic prosperity.

It's not just the Republicans who came out ahead. Last month a conservative coalition swept into power in Germany. In France, Nicolas Sarkozy's party has considerable public support. In Britain, conservatives are poised to win their first national election in 17 years. Even in Denmark and Sweden, where social democrats usually win, the right is in power. In fact, across continental Europe, only one major country, Spain, has a left-wing ruling party.

I think this criticism of PelosiCare is especially valid as well.

On health care, however, the story looks different. There are two great health-care crises in America—one in-volving coverage and the other cost. The Obama plan appears likely to tackle the first but not the second. This is bad economics but also bad politics: the crisis of cost affects 85 percent of Americans, while the crisis of coverage affects about 15 percent. Obama's message to the country appears to be "We have a dysfunctional health-care system with out-of-control costs, and let's add 45 million people to it."

Plus it raises taxes on some Americans while increasing costs for the rest of them. I can't wait until 20-somethings suddenly get a tax bill for $900 when they choose to forgo health insurance for more spending money. It will be interesting to see the backlash that will result from these same people being sent to prison for the crime of not having health insurance.

Friday, November 06, 2009

Holy Crap I Agree With Robert Reich

It might seem strange but this sentiment is bitterly important.

If Obama and the Democrats lose one or both houses of Congress in the midterms, it will be because the president learned only the most superficial lesson of the Clinton years. Health-care reform is critically important. But when one out of six Americans is unemployed or underemployed, getting the nation back to work is more so.

Yup, he is 100% right. No one cares about health insurance when they can't find a job to put food on the table. I think it is time for Obama to come up with an actual "jobs bill" with the rest of the stimulus money that hasn't been spent yet.

Large Hadron Collider Shut Down By Bread Dropped By a Bird?

I think they should shut this thing down because it is turning out to be a big joke.

The bird dropped some bread on a section of outdoor machinery, eventually leading to significant over heating in parts of the accelerator. The LHC was not operational at the time of the incident, but the spike produced so much heat that had the beam been on, automatic failsafes would have shut down the machine.

I think Dr. Nielsen and Dr. Ninomiya have a point when they are saying that time traveling particles may be creating strange happenings to shut down the collider.

“It must be our prediction that all Higgs producing machines shall have bad luck,” Dr. Nielsen said in an e-mail message. In an unpublished essay, Dr. Nielson said of the theory, “Well, one could even almost say that we have a model for God.” It is their guess, he went on, “that He rather hates Higgs particles, and attempts to avoid them.”

A bird dropping a piece of bread that overheats part of the Collider has to be one of those one in a million things that these two theorists were speculating about.

"Saved" Jobs Count in Illinois Was Way Off

I think the White House needs to just sign on to the fact that the "Stimulus" was a dismal failure and figure out some other way to get Americans back to work. This number fudging on jobs "saved" is just adding up to embarrassment down the line.

In the official report, Wilmette Public Schools District 39 was credited with 166 jobs saved by stimulus aid. Superintendent Raymond Lechner said the number should be zero.

At Dolton-Riverdale School District 148, stimulus funds were said to have saved the equivalent of 382 full-time teaching jobs -- 142 more than the district actually has.

A similar discrepancy was found in data for Kankakee School District 111, where the stimulus report logged the equivalent of 665 full-time jobs saved. "That's impossible," a top Kankakee school official said, adding that the entire payroll -- full and part time -- is 600 workers.

Thursday, November 05, 2009

Government To Be Your Land Lord?

It seems that way if you are about to be foreclosed on by Fannie Mae.

Thousands of borrowers on the verge of foreclosure will soon have the option of renting their homes from Fannie Mae, under a policy announced Thursday.

The government-controlled company, through its new "Deed for Lease" program, will allow borrowers to transfer ownership to Fannie Mae and sign a one-year lease, with month-to-month extensions after that.

I'm not sure if this will slow the foreclosures but at least it will keep people in their homes as they wait to refinance them. It just seems like a "kick the can" type of thing but you never know.

Saudi Jets Cross into Yemen to Strike Militants

It seems that we might see a hotter war between militants in Yemen and Saudi Arabia.

Saudi Arabia sent fighter jets and artillery bombardments across the border into northern Yemen Thursday in a military incursion apparently aimed at helping its troubled southern neighbor control an escalating Shiite rebellion, Arab diplomats and the rebels said.

I hope the Sauid's are really careful that these militants don't start to launch attacks against oil fields and other infrastructure. You would see $100+ oil in a few weeks if that should happen.

Tuesday, November 03, 2009

Best Idea of the Day: Women Only Firearms Camps

Now this is a great idea and should deter all those rapists and muggers. A woman packing heat is a beautiful thing.

The three-day camps, which cost £400, are exploding across the country and in January next year a US TV show will begin documenting the female gun trend.

"It started with one camp in 2004 and now we're planning 15 to 20 camps for 2010," said Debbie, who has helped recruit over 1,000 women to the shooting world.

"Women love it. We get schoolteachers, lawyers, nurses, women from all walks of life.

The gun is the great equalizer for a woman. It doesn't matter how big and powerful her attacker is as long as he isn't on speed or something a woman can take him down with one shot. Those crazy boyfriends and stalkers would think twice if a girl shows them their arsenal and their willingness to use it.

Polling Shows Americans Against PelosiCare

This data should make moderate Democrats sit up and take notice. People just don't want a "public plan" or anything else the Dems are selling on health care. I think the idea of spending $1.2 trillion *more* dollars on top of all the other debt and unfunded mandates just rubs people the wrong way.

Monday, November 02, 2009

Japan Cruising Toward Debt Crisis

I knew Japan was deep in debt but these numbers are truly scary.

The IMF expects Japan's gross public debt to reach 218pc of gross domestic product (GDP) this year, 227pc next year, and 246pc by 2014. This has been manageable so far only because Japanese savers have been willing – or coerced – into lending for almost nothing. The yield on 10-year government bonds has been around 1.30pc this year, though they jumped to 1.42pc last week.

That means for every 1 Yen of GDP you have more then 2 Yen of Debt. That is simply unsustainable and if there is a debt crunch in Japan it will be strait-up devastating.