Friday, May 18, 2012

WORD AROUND THE NET

"Does the Australian economy spin the other way?"
Answer: it will if the carbon tax goes into effect.

Occasional contributing blogger Eric sent this in email:

I watched this Clinton speech on CSPAN last night and it is clear in the speech he was not trying to give a direct quote, but Huffpo treats it like a direct quote:
The Republican position that tends to prevail in these primaries was expressed by the gentleman who beat Sen. Lugar, who said, 'I’m just against compromise, we need to stop it, it’s weak, it’s foolish, our views are irreconcilable, we have to force the American people to choose which one of us is right' -- if that prevails, we’re toast. We’ll look like a bush-league country.
What Mourdouck actually said was this:
I certainly think bipartisanship ought to consist of Democrats coming to the Republican point of view. … If [the Republicans win the House, Senate, and White House], bipartisanship means they have to come our way, and if we’re successful in getting the numbers, we’ll work towards that.”
I actually think Clinton’s take on Mourdock’s position would make a better quote than the words Mourdock used… but that’s not what he said and not really what he meant either.

Nothing like deliberately trying to make Republicans look radical and divisive to help your fellow win the general election.

Few charts I've seen have illustrated the US economy under President Obama better than this one. Chronologically it starts at the far right.


This is a spiral down to flatlining. We aren't seeing the usual "inflation and contraction" sort of recession or depression. The economy is dying. This is something new, which is why people can technically say its not a recession, but everyone knows things are desperately wrong. As Andy puts it at Ace of Spades HQ where I saw this, "circling the drain." Yeah but did you hear what Romney did with his pet goldfish when he was five???

Breitbart has been reporting on the Tides Foundation for a while now, basically its a left wing clearing house for donations to activist causes. They are a bit sketchy in terms of donations, taxes, and finance laws, but generally protected because they're "good guys" in the leftist moral scheme so they mean well and ought not be looked at too closely. Canada is looking at them a bit more closely, however, because of this:
A few years ago, they decided to colonize Canada. So they set up a branch plant in Vancouver, called Tides Canada Foundation. And they got charitable tax status from Revenue Canada.

That was very important. Because it let them issue charitable tax receipts to donors, in effect making the Canadian government subsidize those donations.

So they got a coveted charity number. In return, they had to abide by the law.
...
But Tides isn’t really about boring things like food banks. They love radical left-wing politics. And so once we gave them a charity number, they could hardly wait to share it with all of their friends.

Here’s how it would work. Take a left-wing group that could never, ever qualify as a charity itself — say, the animal rights extremists called People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA). They could never give their donors a charitable tax credit.

No problem. Tides Canada agreed to lend their charity number to PETA. Revenue Canada would never allow that. But Tides just did it.

They weren’t even secret about it. They turned it into a business model. They did it hundreds of times.
Essentially they are gaming the Canadian government and people by defrauding their charitable status. But they mean well, and the Canadian government hasn't done anything about it for years, so it must be okay, right?

Vermont, which has no Natural Gas industry, has banned the hydraulic fracturing technique known as "fracking" in its borders. They're free to do so, but its an empty, stupid gesture.

Newly elected French President claimed he hated rich people, and largely ran on a campaign of envy and class warfare. He is an avowed, open socialist and has called for huge tax increases, particularly on the rich, as a way to deal with debt and the failure of socialism in the country. Meanwhile, he is incredibly wealthy and has three rich houses on the Riviera.

Part of the reason behind Hollande's victory was that he was overwhelmingly voted for (French language story) by Muslims. This is one reason that the left is so open to Islamic immigration (even pushing for it in England, at least): voters. The Muslims claimed they felt "stigmatized" by the Sarkozy government and despite being generally opposed to Socialist politics voted for Hollande because he pandered to them.

President Obama's numbers with women have dropped according to a New York Times/CBS poll. When asked about this, Obama's deputy campaign manager said that was false and that the poll was biased.
She then "said that she didn't want to bore the viewers with talk of methodology, but repeated that she believed the poll was flawed." Pressed by Todd, she said: "It's a biased sample, so they re-biased the same sample." Glad she cleared that up.
Because, you know, the New York Times and CBS are all in the tank for Romney. Not mentioned: they used the same method for the previous poll that showed Obama doing better with women.

Sorry peak oilers, but the world keeps finding more oil. In fact, the US is practically swimming on the stuff. John Hindraker writes at Powerline:
America has more fossil fuel resources than any other nation. Russia is second, Saudi Arabia is third. On Thursday, a representative of the Government Accountability Office testified before the House Science Subcommittee on Energy and Environment that the Green River Formation alone–it is located at the intersection of the states of Colorado, Utah and Wyoming, and mostly underlies federal lands–contains as much oil as the entire proven reserves of the rest of the world combined.
But we'll run out soon! And besides, if we drill now it will be ten years before we see any of that oil... like folks told us ten years ago.
Something I keep reading about is that the dangers of radiation have been greatly overstated. A new study at MIT found that mice exposed to 400 times the normal background level for five weeks showed no genetic damage. It has been discovered that the cancer rates of people around Chernobyl were nowhere near as high as expected; in fact people live in the highly radioactive area to this day. Its sort of a pendulum swing: in the 1950s people pretended radiation was no particular cause for alarm, then people freaked out and claimed it was deadly at any level and should be totally avoided at all costs. We're being irradiated constantly by the world around us, some caution is wise, but people went a little overboard.

Unable to run on the economy or their record, Democrats in congress are being taught how to use race to hurt their opponents. Its like the old legal adage: if the facts are on your side, Dershowitz says, pound the facts into the table. If the law is on your side, pound the law into the table. If neither the facts nor the law are on your side, pound the table. In this case, if the facts are on your side, focus on the facts. If the culture is on your side, focus on culture. If neither are on your side, demonize your opponent. Vote for me or you're a bigot!!!

Bloggers have been sued quite a bit over the last decade, and they almost always win. The strange thing is that its usually public figures and news organizations that try these suits, when they know you almost never win them from past experience with reporters. In a particularly ugly practice, not a few news organizations have used bloggers as sources, often directly lifting text from a blog and putting it in the news without any attribution whatsoever. Like a blogger is beneath notice. Finally a blogger is standing up to this and taking them to court for copyright violation.

Just in case you weren't sure, MSNBC's Hardball agreed that in any debate, President Obama will be able to count on the media's defense and support. As Mark Halperin said:
I think in a debate he can bumper-sticker it and make it clear. And again, the press — this is one of these instances where the press is very sympathetic to the Obama narrative on Bain, and not all that sympathetic to Governor Romney. He needs to make an argument so compelling that it finds an audience in the press, if he can do it, and an audience with the public. I think in a debate, again, we know what the President will say, and I think he’ll be pretty effective.
Halperin has always been quite honest about media bias though. He just thinks it is completely proper and reasonable for the legacy media to totally support the Democrat and attack the Republican in any contest.

Before Americans bash nations like Greece and Portugal for profligate spending and stupid government programs, take a look at this:

Naturally the expenditures differ in areas, and the US is more expensive to live in than Portugal, but the numbers do make a point: the US Government is wasteful with money on a scale these nations can only dream of.

Annoyed at gaffes, embarassing statements, and moments of honesty with supporters getting out to the public (like when Obama admitted he forgets how bad the economy is and called it a "recession" to a bunch of celebrity millionaires eating $40,000 a plate dinners at a fundraiser), the reelection campaign is putting its foot down. They're demanding everyone turn over their cell phones before they can get into events now. And the press is not allowed, either. I'm fine with privacy and the cell phone thing is out of hand but... this is pretty much an admission that he's doing and saying things he doesn't want the public to know about.

Lightsquared had everything going for them. A hip new company focusing on high speed internet supported by the president and boosted by the "stimulus" package loans, they even had so much support the Obama administration tried to pressure a general into changing his testimony to help them out. And they still have gone bankrupt, almost as if they had no viable product.

Illinois has some of the most corrupt politicians in the nation, and they've always been pretty free with the taxpayers' money. But this from Bruno Behrend at For The Good of Illinois takes the cake:
Two days ago, For the Good of Illinois added another tranche of data to our online transparency portal at openthebooks.com. This installment includes every check written by the City of Chicago from FY 2002 to 2011.

It contains $74 billion in vendor payments. Last year alone, over 69,000 entities received checks, and you can see it all at openthebooks.com.
...
Here’s a curious item found while digging though the data…

The Admiral Theatre, Inc., is a strip club on the northwest side of the city. Obama for America is the President’s campaign fund.

The City of Chicago approved payouts to each of them, using the same catch-all “vendor code” or expense classification. Further review found that neither vendor exists in the Chicago’s current on-line transparency portal.

The Admiral Theatre strip club received $5,197.78 from the City of Chicago between the dates 2006 through 2011. The sixteen checks ranges from $1.00 to $1,900.
Someone, or some ones were cutting state checks to pay... strip clubs. Strip Clubs are a typical mob operation, especially in big cities like Chicago. Someone was being paid off, with public funds, in so brazen a manner that they were using government checks. This wasn't undercover work or an informant, they use cash for that.

Wikileaks has another body on their apparently nonexistent conscience. A Mossad agent working in Iran was apparently revealed by a Wikileaks dump, and hung for espionage. Great work, guys. Why they haven't been shut down and Assange made an example of is beyond me. He's almost certainly working for someone very powerful. I think there are too many secrets too, and there are some that certainly ought to be revealed, but these guys seem to have zero discernment... or are deliberately choosing some because of their impact.

Provisions in the House Defense Appropriations act prevent any official sanction from being directed at chaplains in the military who refuse to perform homosexual "marriage" ceremonies. The bill also protects them from acting according to their conscience in these areas as well. The Obama administration strongly objects to these provisions and President Obama has threatened to veto the bill over this and a few other provisions in the legislation as it is now written.

Formerly giant store JC Penny started out as a mail-order catalog and grew big a penny at a time in the old west. For decades it was a standard in malls, acting as an "anchor" to pull in customers for the other shops, and in the last twenty years has seen a decline. Part of it is that they abandoned their low-cost model and tried to go upscale, part of it is that people just don't go to malls much these days, and part of it is that their retail model has been outmoded by the internet. Stunts like this probably didn't help either:
A while back J.C. Penney decided to change its image. Instead of making money hand over fist and selling the hell out of retail, they decided they needed to become more “socially conscious.” So J.C. Penney brought in a lesbian spokesmanperson and started running pro-homosexual, pro-gay marriage ads. J.C. Penney was so hellbent on social engineering, so hellbent on pushing a noxious agenda, that they totally drove away their most important customer base – women.
Although Old Navy has built an empire around the gayest ads imaginable. Do a web search on JC Penny Lesbo Wear and see what you get.

When pressed on his Hockey Stick graph, Michael "Piltdown" Mann insisted it was all true and not manipulated, but that they'd lost all the original data and couldn't reconstruct it. But you should trust him anyway. Well Steve McIntyre didn't trust him, and after being stonewalled for years in freedom of information requests, finally got data and has been working on it to see what it gives him:
Although the chronology itself was not yet available, the list of sites was sufficient for McIntyre to calculate the numbers himself, and the results were breathtaking. Firstly, the URALS regional chronology had vastly more data behind it than the Yamal-only figures presented in Briffa’s paper

But what was worse, the regional chronology did not have a hockey stick shape — the twentieth century uptick that Briffa had got from the handful of trees in the Yamal-only series had completely disappeared.
Even with new data, the blade doesn't show up. It was faked. Mann simply used different data to create the huge uptick which predicted warming which never took place in real life, It was false from start to finish. And to this day there are zealots who cling to this thing like its a life raft made up of an old piece of the Titanic. Garbage In, Garbage Out is a standard computer term to refer to how you get poor results from poor data, but usually that means a mistake or something done in good faith, not deliberate deception for a desired result.

And that's the Word Around the Net for May 18, 2012. 22 years ago, Mt St Helens erupted!

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