Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Taxing Carbon Imports - Verse 2


Obviously, the Obama administration just can't separate sarcasm from planning....

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Taxing Carbon Imports


It was only meant to be sarcasm. I never thought anyone would take it seriously when I wrote:

The EPA, with the strong leadership of the Obama administration and the Democratic Party controlled Congress, are about to impose a vast new panoply of regulations and economic burdens on the United States in the name of climate control. The U.S., however, is only a minority producer of human-generated CO2. The two fastest growing economies have become the largest producers of CO2, China already is the world's biggest man-made CO2 producer (2007) and India is coming up fast, and are also becoming the largest suppliers of goods consumed in the United States. They will have no comparable restrictions on producing CO2.


It was sarcasm because the EPA is on a fool's errand regarding CO2 regulation in the U.S. and because the obviously stupid bureaucracy enforcing taxes and fees on products produced elsewhere based on some theoretical CO2 pollution confounds human reason and intelligence.

Little did I realize that Henry Waxman had already taken it upon himself to promote such stupidity. H/T Dr. John Ray
Just because Henry Waxman and France think it is a good idea doesn't mean that any real thought [ideological babble, perhaps] has been expended. Regardless, the American Clean Energy and Security Act allows a carbon tax on imports:
Provides an incentive for other countries without a cap on carbon to limit their emissions, by allowing the president to impose fees on carbon-intensive imports from nations that haven't joined an international agreement or adopted their own greenhouse gas cap (starting in 2020)
One has to be careful what one suggests in jest; it may come back as law from Waxman, et al.
Surprisingly, President Obama is disinclined to use such power... at this time.

“At a time when the economy worldwide is still deep in recession and we’ve seen a significant drop in global trade,” Mr. Obama said, “I think we have to be very careful about sending any protectionist signals out there.”

He added, “I think there may be other ways of doing it than with a tariff approach.”

Ve haf udder vays, ja!


Monday, June 29, 2009

Renewable Energy Mandate - Hurdles and Costs


From the U.S. House of Representatives climate bill:

Policies Act of 1978 (PURPA) to establish a combined efficiency and renewable electricity standard that
requires utilities to supply an increasing percentage of their demand from a combination of energy efficiency savings and renewable energy (6% in 2012, 9.5% in 2014, 13% in 2016, 16.5% in 2018, and 20% in 2021-2039).
March is typically the lowest point in electric power production in the U.S. [heating requirements drop dramatically and cooling requirements are low]. It is also the month where coal-powered electricity is at its minimum [because there is no need for as much power generation] and "other renewables" [excludes hydroelectric and misc.] are at the maximum [because they produce whether needed or not]. data source

The recession has made an impact on overall electric power production dropping about 3 - 4% versus prior years. Coal, a flexible source for production has shown a significant reduction... absorbing most of the overall March YTD-to-March YTD reduction.
Wind, solar, and other renewables such as wood and garbage have increased output during this period... at a rate of about 1,800 megawatthours per year or 1/2 of 1% of the total needs at the low point of each year.
Let's presume that the economy stabilizes at about 320,000 thousand megawatthours .
In order to reach 6% of the low point total, other renewables would have to generate 19,200 thousand megawatthours in 2.5 years. That's an increase of 7,000 thousand megawatthours ... or an annual increase rate of 2,800 thousand megawatthours... just under 56% higher rate of increase than present.
With a big push, that is achievable.

But now let's look at the big picture. Annual [not just March YTD minimum] power sources are shown below [thousands of megawatts]:

Coal Other Renewable Total
2005 2,012,873 87,329 4,055,423
2006 1,990,511 96,525 4,064,702
2007 2,016,456 105,238 4,156,745
2008 1,994,385 123,603 4,110,259

"Other Renewable" sources have grown at just under 20,000 total megawatthours per year and accounted for 3%... not 3.9%, which is the March YTD low-point requirement number... of total production.
  • If we presume, through efficiency, that growing demand can be offset by higher efficiency and that the total annual requirements stay at 4,100,000 thousand megawatthours in the coming years [big presumption], then "other renewables" will have to double output in under three years.
  • Furthermore, output will have to increase seven-fold in a decade... again presuming no additional total requirements which may be problematic if we are going to a "plug-in" transportation system.
Given the high cost and unreliability of these "other renewables," President Obama is correct when he predicts that your electric power costs are going to skyrocket. In addition, look for the view to change significantly... which may not please all of those Cape Cod Democrats.



We can all go out for scenic drives in our plug-in mini-cars and view what The Obama hath wrought with his mighty hammer of hope and change.


Sunday, June 28, 2009

Climate Bill: Leading Into A New Economy


My feeling is that no matter what people may say or do, the Democratic Party will pass some form of a massive economy-energy distortion bill in the name of "saving the planet."

This will be followed by a massive "health reform" bill modeled after the Veterans Administration deli-style take a number and wait system.

This will be followed by a massive "tax reform" bill that will significantly increase tax rates for all but targeted voter groups.

This will be followed by a massive "immigration reform" bill that will create a significant new voter block for the Democratic Party.

This will be followed by a massive "screw it" by the productive segments of our population who will say, "Okay, take care of me, too." And we will be screwed.


Saturday, June 27, 2009

Smart People Being Dangerous


Smart people are dangerous because they can fixate on one aspect of an issue and ignore the rest.

Perhaps the issue is ensuring that lower income people have their needs taken care of. They make the first presumption that someone else needs to take care of these lower income people. That's the first presumption of the communist philosophy, but it just sort of slips by. Then, since someone else needs to take care of these lower income people, someone else needs to do it through payments to the government that will ensure proper redistribution to these lower income people. That's the second presumption of the communist philosophy.

Are these smart people communists? They would never admit to that. They don't see themselves as that at all. They see themselves as enlightened and compassionate... they have empathy.

Actually, what they have is sympathy and guilt. They feel sorry that these other people have made life choices that have restricted their incomes and capabilities. They feel guilty that their own accomplishments and financial success has allowed themselves to live so well while others are not. It is only fair that some of what people like them have should go to people who are not like them.

Then along comes a smooth-talking fellow who says he can fix the situation.

  • We will all move back into central cities and ride public transportation... and force other people who can't move into central cities to pay much more for their transportation and fuel.
  • We will all move to perfect climates where it is not too hot or not too cold so that we minimize our energy consumption... and force other people who can't afford to live in perfect climates to pay much more for their heating and cooling plus pay more taxes on the higher expenses.
  • We are too busy to volunteer or unwilling to be responsible for selecting a charity that helps people in need, so we will allow government bureaucrats to choose for the rest of us how our money should be used.
Then we are no longer guilty and don't have to be sympathetic anymore because our government and other people will be forced into doing the right thing for those who didn't.

All of those unsympathetic people will get what they deserve... a system that makes them into good people.
H.R. 2454: American Clean Energy and Security Act of 2009
Requires: (1) the Administrator to implement the Energy Refund Program to give low-income households a monthly cash energy refund equal to the estimated loss in purchasing power resulting from this Act....
And that is how smart people elect people like Barack Obama, Nancy Pelosi, and Harry Reid. That's what makes these smart people so dangerous... and their decisions so stupid.

The problem is that Barack and Nancy and Harry don't really share the attitudes of these smart people. Barack and Nancy and Harry are only interested in heading up a system that makes lots of other people dependent on them. They want a system that is so expensive and onerous that other people need the government... with them as leaders... to take care of those other people. How else will people like Barack and Nancy and Harry keep their power and special health care benefits and political perks that other people can't have?


Friday, June 26, 2009

The Devil In The Climate Bill's Details


Yesterday's post was a summary of the so-called American Clean Energy and Security Act of 2009. Very soon, the House of Representatives, most of whom are at least superficially familiar with its provision, will be voting on this catastrophe-in-waiting.

The promoters of this monstrosity hail it as the way to America's energy independence and avoidance of global warming [now couched in the term "change"]. Behind the scenes is a massive effort to bring all aspects of energy, commerce, and individual decisions under the scrutiny and limitations of the Federal government and its bureaucratic minions. Career bureaucrats who have never held private-sector jobs will dictate how the marketplace should work.

An example:

Policies Act of 1978 (PURPA) to establish a combined efficiency and renewable electricity standard that
requires utilities to supply an increasing percentage of their demand from a combination of energy efficiency savings and renewable energy (6% in 2012, 9.5% in 2014, 13% in 2016, 16.5% in 2018, and 20% in 2021-2039).
Provides for: (1) issuing, trading, banking, retiring, and verifying renewable electricity credits; and (2) prescribing standards to define and measure electricity savings from energy efficiency and energy conservation measures.
Let's look at the March, 2009 baseline:
Figure 2: Net Generation Shares by Energy Source:
Total (All Sectors), Year-to-Date through March, 2009
Figure 2: Net Generation Shares by Energy Source: Total (All Sectors), Year-to-Date through March, 2009
"...other renewables (biomass, geothermal, solar, and wind) and other miscellaneous energy sources generated the remaining 3.9 percent of electric power (Figure 2)."
It is completely unclear how utilities will improve the "energy efficiency" portion of mandate... just as it is unclear how automotive companies will the achieve 30 mpg mandate for trucks by 2016. So, the real change has to be in how the 4% combined biomass, geothermal, solar, and wind becomes 6% ... a 50% increase ... in just 2-1/2 years! It really doesn't matter how, does it? The government's wish is our command.
Obviously, the simplest way to achieve this mix of energy sources is to reduce the other sources.
While this example shows the extent of how government wants to dictate the marketplace and the real possibility of major increases in our cost of purchasing electricity, the result is less onerous than the next provision:
Amends the Clean Air Act (CAA) to require the Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to: (1) set forth a national strategy to address barriers to the commercial-scale deployment of carbon capture and sequestration; (2) establish an approach to certify and permit geologic sequestration; and (3) promulgate regulations to minimize the risk of escape to the atmosphere of carbon dioxide injected for purposes of geological sequestration. Amends the Safe Drinking Water Act to require the Administrator to promulgate regulations for sequestration wells.
This section is nothing more than pumping taxpayer and business dollars into the ground. There is no scientific or economic or environmental benefit from this provision. It is a complete governmental boondoggle. It is the same wrong-minded thinking that will pay farmers to not plant crops because the production of crops requires use of fuel that emits CO2... totally disregarding the fact that crops absorb CO2 to grow. There is no benefit. There is cost with no return.

This bill is an Orwellian nightmare and must be soundly defeated before the shit that is hitting the fan covers us all.


Thursday, June 25, 2009

The Climate Shit Is About To Hit The Fan


President Obama and the Democratic Party Congress are about to embark on a path that will cost much more than the Manhattan Project, World War II, and placing a man on the moon combined. In return, the U.S. will see an enormous increase in the National Debt, a generally lower standard of living, significantly less product choices in the marketplace, higher overall taxes, and an overwhelming increase in government bureaucracy.

All of this based on the fiction that human-caused climate change is 1) happening, 2) caused from production of CO2, and 3) we can trust them; they are from the government.

H. R. 2757

To require the return to the American people of all proceeds raised under any Federal climate change legislation.


June 8, 2009

Mr. KIND (for himself, Mr. REICHERT, Mr. LIPINSKI, and Mr. INGLIS) introduced the following bill; which was referred to the Committee on Ways and Means


To require the return to the American people of all proceeds raised under any Federal climate change legislation.

Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled,


This Act may be cited as the ‘Consumer Assistance Rebate for Energy Act’.


Congress finds the following:

(1) It has been well documented that the Earth’s temperature has steadily increased in recent decades and that human activity has contributed to a large degree to this increase.

(2) Changes in climate will have wide ranging effects on sea level, precipitation, wildfire, agriculture, ecosystem health and viability, wildlife habitat, and more.

(3) Congressional action to reduce national emissions of greenhouse gasses contributing to climate change is necessary and urgent.

(4) Such legislation will have impacts on consumers in the form of high prices for energy, transportation, and consumer goods.

(5) These impacts will fall most heavily on low-income and middle-income families who are least able to absorb price increases.

(6) A national program to reduce greenhouse gas emissions should not impose a tax on the American people in order to fund other priorities.


Any Federal climate change legislation that is signed into law shall return to the American people all proceeds from the sale of allowances or credits, a tax or fee imposed on greenhouse gas emissions, or other means, through reductions in individual taxes, increases in social security or unemployment benefits, and other direct means.
So we have a scheme that works like this:
  1. Raise taxes
  2. Change the cost structure of the economy
  3. Redistribute money according to politically determined qualifications
Need further explanation?
  1. Raise taxes - Cap and Tax
  2. Change the cost structure - require electricity from high-cost, unreliable sources
  3. Redistribute money - give rebates to lower-income groups
Need the summary?
H.R. 2454: American Clean Energy and Security Act of 2009

To create clean energy jobs, achieve energy independence, reduce global warming pollution and transition to a clean energy economy.

American Clean Energy and Security Act of 2009 - Amends the Public Utility Regulatory Policies Act of 1978 (PURPA) to establish a combined efficiency and renewable electricity standard that requires utilities to supply an increasing percentage of their demand from a combination of energy efficiency savings and renewable energy (6% in 2012, 9.5% in 2014, 13% in 2016, 16.5% in 2018, and 20% in 2021-2039). Provides for: (1) issuing, trading, banking, retiring, and verifying renewable electricity credits; and (2) prescribing standards to define and measure electricity savings from energy efficiency and energy conservation measures.

Amends the Clean Air Act (CAA) to require the Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to: (1) set forth a national strategy to address barriers to the commercial-scale deployment of carbon capture and sequestration; (2) establish an approach to certify and permit geologic sequestration; and (3) promulgate regulations to minimize the risk of escape to the atmosphere of carbon dioxide injected for purposes of geological sequestration. Amends the Safe Drinking Water Act to require the Administrator to promulgate regulations for sequestration wells.

Sets forth: (1) a process to establish a Carbon Storage Research Corporation to collect assessments from distribution utilities of fossil fuel-based electricity delivered directly to consumers; and (2) performance standards for new coal-fired power plants.

Amends PURPA to provide for the development of electric vehicle infrastructure. Requires the Secretary of Energy (Secretary) to establish: (1) a large-scale vehicle electrification program; and (2) a program to provide financial assistance for the manufacture of plug-in electric drive vehicles. Requires the Administrator to establish a program under which a state may create a State Energy and Environment Development Account.

Sets forth provisions concerning the development of a smart grid, including provisions: (1) amending the Energy Policy and Conservation Act to provide for the inclusion of smart grid capability information on appliance energy guide labels; (2) requiring the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) to support load-serving entities in developing their peak demand reduction goals; (3) amending the Energy Policy Act of 2005 to reauthorize the energy efficiency public information program and to include smart grid information in it; and (4) reauthorizing the energy efficient and smart appliance rebate program and revising it to include smart-grid features.

Amends the Federal Power Act to require FERC to adopt electricity grid planning principles derived from a federal policy (established by this Act) on electric grid planning that facilitates the deployment of renewable and other zero-carbon energy sources for generating electricity to reduce greenhouse gases (GHGs) while ensuring reliability, reducing congestion, ensuring cyber-security, and providing for cost-effective electricity services.

Amends the Energy Policy and Conservation Act to revise: (1) rules regarding improving energy efficiency in industrial equipment; (2) efficiency standards for electric motors; (3) conservation standards for lighting and appliances; and (4) the Energy Conservation Program for Consumer Products Other Than Automobiles.

Requires the Secretary to establish Clean Energy Innovation Centers to promote commercial deployment of clean, indigenous energy alternatives to fossil fuels, to reduce GHG emissions, and to ensure that the United States maintains a lead in developing and deploying state-of-the-art energy technologies.

Amends the Energy Conservation and Production Act to revise energy conservation standards for new buildings. Requires the Administrator to establish: (1) standards for a national energy and environmental building retrofit policy for residences; and (2) a building energy performance labeling program. Establishes a rebate program to assist low-income households residing in pre-1976 manufactured homes in purchasing new Energy Star qualified manufactured homes.

Requires the Secretary to establish a Best-in-Class Appliances Deployment Program.

Requires the President to use statutory authorities to set motor vehicle emissions standards. Amends the CAA to require the Administrator to promulgate standards applicable to GHG emissions from specified mobile sources, including heavy-duty vehicles and engines, new marine vessels, locomotives, and aircraft. Establishes within EPA a SmartWay Transport Program, a SmartWay Transport Partnership program, and a SmartWay Financing Program.

Requires the Secretary to establish a program to make monetary awards to encourage owners and operators of electric energy generation facilities or thermal energy production facilities using fossil or nuclear fuel to use innovative means of recovering any thermal energy that is a potentially useful byproduct of their processes to: (1) generate additional electric energy; or (2) make sales of thermal energy not used for electric generation, in the form of steam, hot water, chilled water, or desiccant regeneration, or for other commercially valid purposes.

Authorizes the Secretary to make grants to community development organizations to provide financing to businesses and projects that improve energy efficiency, develop alternative, renewable, and distributed energy supplies, provide technical assistance and promote job and business opportunities for low-income residents, and increase energy conservation in low income rural and urban communities.

Safe Climate Act - Amends the CAA to require the Administrator to promulgate regulations to: (1) cap and reduce GHG emissions, annually, so that GHG emissions from capped sources are reduced to 97% of 2005 levels by 2012, 83% by 2020, 58% by 2030, and 17% by 2050; and (2) establish a federal GHG registry.

Designates carbon dioxide, methane, nitrous oxide, sulfur hexafluoride, hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs) from a chemical manufacturing process at an industrial stationary source, perfluorocarbons, and nitrogen trifluoride as GHGs and establishes a carbon dioxide equivalent value for each gas. Prohibits any person from manufacturing, introducing into interstate commerce, or emitting a significant quantity of certain fluorinated gas that is generated as a byproduct during the production or use of another fluorinated gas.

Requires the Administrator to establish specified emission allowances (annual tonnage limits) for: (1) each of 2012-2049; and (2) 2050 and thereafter. Provides for the establishment and distribution of compensatory allowances for the destruction and conversionary use of fluorinated gases and the nonemissive use of petroleum-based or coal-based liquid or gaseous fuel, petroleum coke, natural gas liquid, or natural gas as a feedstock.

Phases in prohibitions against covered entities (including electricity sources, fuel producers and importers, industrial gas producers and importers, geological sequestration sites, industrial stationary sources, industrial fossil fuel-fired combustion devices, natural gas local distribution companies, nitrogen trifluoride sources, algae-based fuels, and fugitive emissions) exceeding allowable emission levels. Requires covered entities to demonstrate compliance through: (1) holding emission allowances (including international emission or compensatory allowances) at least as great as attributable emissions (as specified); or (2) using offset credits. Sets forth penalties for noncompliance.

Provides for trading, banking and borrowing, auctioning, selling, exchanging, transferring, holding, or retiring emission allowances.

Requires the Administrator to: (1) establish a strategic reserve account and place into that account specified amounts (ranging from 1% to 3%) of the emission allowances for each of calendar years 2012-2050; and (2) auction such strategic reserve allowances once each quarter of each of such years.

Requires stationary sources subject to the CAA to have permits that require the covered entity to hold a number of emission allowances at least equal to the total annual amount of carbon dioxide equivalents for its combined emissions and attributable GHG emissions.

Authorizes the Administrator to designate an international climate change program as a qualifying international program for purposes of international emission allowances provisions, if certain conditions are met.

Establishes the Offsets Integrity Advisory Board. Requires the Administrator, considering the Board's recommendations, to promulgate regulations establishing a program for the issuance of offset credits.

Requires the Administrator to promulgate regulations concerning reducing GHG emissions from deforestation in developing countries.

Sets forth provisions governing the disposition of emission allowances, including specifying allocations: (1) for supplemental emissions reductions from reduced deforestation; (2) for the benefit of electricity, natural gas, and/or home heating oil and propane consumers; (3) for auction, with proceeds for the benefit of low income consumers and worker investment; (4) to energy-intensive, trade-exposed industries; (5) for the deployment of carbon capture and sequestration technology; (6) to invest in energy efficiency and renewable energy; (7) to be distributed to Clean Energy Innovation Centers; (8) to invest in the development and deployment of clean vehicles; (9) to domestic refiners; (10) for domestic and international adaptation; (11) for domestic wildlife and natural resource adaptation; and (12) for international clean technology deployment.

Requires the Administrator to auction off certain unused allowances and to deposit the proceeds for 2012-2025 into the Treasury and for 2026-2050 into the Climate Change Dividend Fund. Requires the President to distribute funds in the Consumer Climate Change Rebate Fund (established by this Act) to U.S. households.

Amends the CAA to require the Administrator to promulgate GHG emission performance standards for specified categories of stationary sources that: (1) have uncapped GHG emissions greater than 10,000 tons of carbon dioxide equivalent and are responsible for emitting at least 20% of the uncapped GHG gas emission annually; or (2) are responsible for at least 10% of the uncapped methane emissions.

Requires the Administrator to promulgate regulations to phase down the consumption of and regulate the production of HFCs. Specifies consumption allowances for: (1) each of 2012-2032; and (2) 2033 and thereafter. Provides for: (1) the distribution, auction, banking, exchange, and international transfer of such allowances; and (2) the issuance of offset credits for the destruction of chlorofluorocarbons. Establishes the Stratospheric Ozone and Climate Protection Fund, into which the Administrator shall deposit all proceeds from the sale of such allowances.

Requires the Administrator to promulgate regulations to reduce emissions of black carbon (light absorbing component of carbonaceous aerosols) or propose a finding that existing CAA regulations adequately regulate such emissions.

Prohibits states from implementing a cap and trade program that covers any capped emissions emitted during 2012-2017.

Amends the Federal Power Act to require FERC to promulgate regulations for the establishment, operation, and oversight of markets for regulated allowances. Requires the President to establish an interagency working group on carbon market oversight.

Amends the Commodity Exchange Act to provide for transactions in derivatives that involve energy commodities. Gives the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) jurisdiction over the establishment, operations, and oversight of markets for regulated allowance derivatives.

Amends the CAA to require the Administrator to: (1) distribute emission allowance rebates to eligible industrial sectors (with eligibility based on specified energy, GHG, or trade intensity criteria); and (2) provide for the sale of and require submission of international reserve allowances by U.S. importers of products of industrial sectors that the President determines have suffered certain negative impacts from compliance with GHG emission requirements.

Sets forth provisions concerning green jobs and worker transition, including: (1) authorizing the Secretary of Education to award grants to eligible partnerships to develop programs of study focused on emerging careers and jobs in renewable energy, energy efficiency, and climate change mitigation; and (2) providing climate change adjustment assistance to adversely affected workers.

Amends the Internal Revenue Code to allow certain low income taxpayers a refundable energy tax credit to compensate such taxpayers for reductions in their purchasing power, as identified and calculated by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), resulting from regulation of GHGs.

Requires: (1) the Administrator to implement the Energy Refund Program to give low-income households a monthly cash energy refund equal to the estimated loss in purchasing power resulting from this Act; (2) the Secretary of State to oversee distributions of allowances from the International Clean Technology Account; (3) the President to establish within the United States Global Change Research Program a National Climate Change Adaptation Program; (4) the Secretary of Commerce to establish within the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) a National Climate Service; (5) the Secretary of Health and Human Services (HHS) to publish a strategic action plan to assist health professionals in preparing for and responding to the impacts of climate change; (6) the President to develop a Natural Resources Climate Change Adaptation Strategy; and (7) the Secretary of State to establish an International Climate Change Adaptation Program.
Next month: The Santa Claus Preservation Act


Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Should Ford Look A Gift Horse In The Mouth?


As The Detroit News reports today:

Feds loan Ford $5.9B to build greener cars

Nissan, Tesla also benefit from Energy Department funding

Bryce G. Hoffman / The Detroit News

Dearborn -- After nearly two years of political wrangling, the U.S. Department of Energy approved $5.9 billion in low-interest loans for Ford Motor Co. to help fund the development and production of new, more fuel-efficient cars and trucks.

The money will not just help pay for fuel-sipping engines and electric cars; it will help the nation's only solvent automaker survive one of the worst market declines in the industry's history, which has already sent its crosstown rivals into bankruptcy.

While I have no doubt that Ford appreciates the access to the money and lower interest rates, you have to step back to see that there is just something ominous in this "gift." Throughout the recent collapse of General Motors and Chrysler, Ford has been able to maintain a certain independence and that has been an advantage in both marketing and customer reaction. Now the Ford team will become "one of those guys."

Why has this happened? Besides the tough market conditions, the government has played the roles of Lenny and Louie. Lenny is the guy that causes a big problem for a business. In this case, completely unreasonable mileage mandates... especially for trucks. Then Louie steps in and offers a "little loan for a small price"... your company's soul. Later, when you are still struggling under Lenny's oppressive tactics, Louie informs you that he will have to take over your business "to save it." It looks like Ford is about to step into the quagmire.

How can I question this fabulous "gift?" How could I compare the Federal government to Organized Crime? Well, let me ask you a question: what happens to Ford when they take that money and build a lot of tiny, expensive cars and trucks that people don't want or can't afford?

From Automotive News:

The money announced for Ford today will reach the automaker as it does the work and spends the money. The first check could arrive within the next couple of months, she said. Some financial paperwork must be completed.

The initial loan money will be for work that dates back to December 2008 on projects such as Ford's electric vehicles and the turbocharging and direct-injection strategy known as EcoBoost, Cischke said. The money will be doled out through 2011, and payback will begin in 2012.

Ford qualified for loan assistance on projects affecting 13 nameplates and 11 factories in five states.

Vehicles include a electric Transit Connect small commercial van slated to go on sale in 2010 and an electric Ford Focus that will follow in 2011. Other approved projects involve six-speed transmissions and hybrid and ethanol-powered vehicles.

The loans give Ford access to money at low single-digit interest rates. Ford spokesman Mike Moran said today's interest rate on the loans will be 3.7 percent, compared with 13 to 15 percent if the company had tapped market-rate credit, he said.

Cischke said she hopes the public will distinguish these loans from the bailout money that Chrysler Group LLC and General Motors have received. Congress passed the original legislation in December 2007 and appropriated the money last fall.

"People need to understand that this is money that was separated a long time ago, actually before the economic crisis," she said. "I hope people do see it as different because it's very different. It's not emergency money.

"This is not about viability. This is about investment in the future and in fuel-efficient technologies that we need, and it helps us accelerate that."

And it won't give the government any ownership of or control over Ford's projects.

Said Cischke: "We decide what we're working on."

But keep looking over your shoulder, anyway. It may be "just a loan," but that doesn't mean the rules of the game can't change. Just ask the GM and Chrysler bondholders.


Tuesday, June 23, 2009

No Coal No Cash


Yesterday, just about dinner time, a young man came to the door soliciting funds for some clean air and clean water group. We've given donations in the past. He wanted me to sign some sheet.

When I started reading, the first sentence was all about shutting down "dirty coal" power plants and replacing them with alternative energy. Wrong house to stop at!

I simply said that I was not interested in donating to any group that was willing to jeopardize my children's and grandchildren's economic future on shutting down dependable energy sources for expensive, unreliable alternatives... no mention of nuclear power. The water and air quality in Michigan is quite good. We all pay plenty for it. We don't need to undermine the economic foundation of this country to support somebody's political lobbying that we need to go back to some Camelot version of a pristine environment.

Camelot was during the Dark Ages and the environment was hardly pristine. It is this naive glorification of an ideal past ... or future ... that gets us all into trouble.


Monday, June 22, 2009

Tell Me It's True, Please!


The Detroit Free Press ran this [click image for larger view]:

Of course, with the recent 10-year cooling trend, we all understand that the government report was based on a late 1990s anomaly and that this is nothing more than science fiction. The Great Lakes levels have been rising from record snowfall and rain while the temperatures have been falling. And there is evidence that some of the decline in the Great Lakes levels prior to 2000 has been due to a variety of causes... but that, overall, water levels have stabilized.

The government researchers found the difference in elevation between Lakes Michigan-Huron and Erie had narrowed by about 9 inches between 1962 and 2006.

One reason was the ice jam of 1984, which deepened the channel by scraping the bottom and boosting water flow rates, boosting erosion. That caused the temporary increase in outflow to Lake Erie, which lasted three to four years before the two lakes leveled off, said Jim Bruce, a Canadian member of the study team.

Other factors affecting Michigan-Huron levels include changes in climate patterns and rebound of the earth's crust from glacial melting 10,000 years ago, which slowly is altering land levels in the region, the government study showed.

It said there had been no significant erosion of the St. Clair River bed since at least 2000.

As I said a few days ago:
Still, there is hope for the alarmists as record temperatures have been recorded in Hawaii. The story is reported by Anthony Watts. If the weather won't cooperate, there are other ways to heat things up.
In a 196-page report filed by the Obama administration on Tuesday, it was detailed that global warming is bigger and badder than ever before.
Yeah, and he wants to sell you a bridge in Brooklyn named Cap and Trade.

Here in southeastern Michigan we can only hope for some of that fictitious man-made global warming. We'll need it when the coal-fired power plants shut down and the natural gas supplies dwindle. Otherwise, if we have to rely on the naturally-occurring climate oscillations [we're on a downslope now], we're going to have to wait way beyond 2099 to enjoy that warmer weather.
2099! Geez, I thought that was 2019! Well, no one is going to remember that farcical prediction by then. All they'll remember is that we did a lot of stupid, counter-productive, economy-destroying stuff at the beginning of the century. Well, maybe summer will be nicer. Spring was a bust.
Meanwhile, Anthony Watts reports that even if the projection were remotely realistic in 2008, it is no longer relevant:


Sunday, June 21, 2009

Sotomayor: Only Men Can Discriminate


Well, of course she has to resign from an all-women's club. How else can she claim that men unconsciously discriminate against women if she is part of an organization that consciously discriminates against men?

Supreme court hopeful Sotomayor resigns from elite all-women's club

Saturday, June 20th 2009, 4:00 AM


Supreme Court Justice nominee Sonia Sotomayor (r.) met with Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid during her visit to Capitol Hill.

Supreme Court nominee Sonia Sotomayor resigned from an elite all-women's club on Friday. Federal judges are bound by a code that says they shouldn't join any organization that discriminates by race, sex, religion or nationality.

You see, Ms. Sotomayor made the statement that:
"Well, I found in my experiences that it's not that men are consciously discriminating against promoting women. But, I do believe that as people, we have self-images of what's good. And if you're a male that grew up professionally in a male-dominated profession, then your image of what a good lawyer is a male image."
You see, men are too unaware to actually know that they are discriminating against women. I have to presume that is white men because they also lack a rich cultural experience and empathy.


Saturday, June 20, 2009

Clinton's Explanation Of Whether Or Not Sen. Burris "Bought" His Seat


Perjury charges against Illinois Sen. Burris have been dropped. As CNN reported:

"It is clear from the conversation that Robert Blagojevich's call was to raise money for Governor Blagojevich and not to discuss the vacant Senate seat," Schmidt said in a letter sent Friday to the speaker of the Illinois House.

Schmidt compared Burris' testimony with transcripts of phone calls recorded by federal investigators probing Blagojevich last fall. Those transcripts were made public last month.

Burris could not be convicted of perjury, he said.

When a state representative asked Burris under oath in January if he had spoken to members of Blagojevich's staff or family about his interest in the Senate seat, Burris responded, "I talked to some friends about my desire to be appointed, yes." ...

During a November 18 conversation, Burris told Robert Blagojevich, "I know I could give him a check" -- then added that he might make the contribution under the name of his attorney, Timothy Wright, " 'cause Tim's not looking for an appointment."

Burris then promised that he'd write the check by December 15.

Throughout the talk, Burris pressed Blagojevich to tell him how he could help with the campaign without looking like he bought the appointment.

"I'm trying to figure out how to deal with this and still be in the consideration for the appointment," he said.

"I hear ya. No, I year ya," Robert Blagojevich responded.

Bill Clinton explains the situation eloquently:
"It depends on what the meaning of the word 'is' is. If the--if he--if 'is' means is and never has been, that is not--that is one thing. If it means there is none, that was a completely true statement...."
So there was no perjury even though there was a payment and there was an appointment.

If it walks like a duck and swims like a duck and quacks like a duck, it must be a... misinterpretation. Don't you love Illinois politics? Reminds me of Detroit Politics.


Friday, June 19, 2009

June Is A Washout


Global warming alarmists may have to wait until July before they have an opportunity to warn us about melting ice and tropical species invading Canada. There is virtually no chance that June temperatures in this area will approach anything close to normal with the first 18 days at 6.3° below normal... zero days at or above normal... and the rest of the month forecasted in the near-normal range.

Avid golfers are watching the effect of the prolonged colder-than-normal weather in New York as the U.S. Open is being flooded out.

FARMINGDALE, N.Y. _ With a gusty wind pushing the rain sideways at times and a chill in the air, one could have sworn alien forces had picked up the U.S. Open overnight and transported it to the Scottish coast.
Still, there is hope for the alarmists as record temperatures have been recorded in Hawaii. The story is reported by Anthony Watts. If the weather won't cooperate, there are other ways to heat things up.
In a 196-page report filed by the Obama administration on Tuesday, it was detailed that global warming is bigger and badder than ever before.
Yeah, and he wants to sell you a bridge in Brooklyn named Cap and Trade.


Thursday, June 18, 2009

African Centered Education


Yesterday, I wrote a tongue-in-cheek post about the Detroit Public Schools abandoning grading of students because of the "disparate impact" it had on its African-American and Hispanic descendant students. I ran across this as part of the spoof [click image for larger view]:

At first I thought this was just the pipe dream of Rev. Jimmy Womack who is listed as the president of the organization promoting African-centered education... and is an at-large member of the Detroit Public Schools Board of Education. Then, upon, further checking, I found that it is actually part of the DPS curriculum.

Just a couple of thoughts:

  • I can't find Detroit anywhere in Africa
  • What would the reaction be if Milwaukee declared that it was establishing a German-centered education... presumably around brewing beer... or if Minneapolis proclaimed a Scandinavian-centered education focused on the principles of being a good Viking... go long and then cut toward the sidelines?
What do the 67 white students in the DPS system think about this approach... and how has it helped any of the students achieve anything in mainstream American society, science, or business?

This is a perfect example of ethnicity running amok.
Is this to be the basis for educating our future leaders... to prepare them for the Supreme Court and other positions that require a rich ethnic background and empathy? God help us all.
There is no limit on human stupidity. Instead of focusing on a continent that has been largely out of the march of civilization... except for Egypt which is more closely aligned to the Middle East than the sub-Sahara... why not teach students about the basis of their own nation and society...
you know, the history of the nation bad and good; the way government does and does not work; the principles of capitalism and economics... and how that applies to earning a living; scientific discovery and its impact on their own lives; why education and acquiring skills are good things; understanding mathematics and managing income versus spending (presuming there is income); what they could do with their very limited time on this planet besides eating junk food and having sex (not necessarily bad things, but there is a bit more to life).
The biggest failing of the Detroit Public School system is not its students' grades or lack of scholastic achievements. It is that the system is looking for gimmicks to replace expectations and discipline and hard work.
Singing Kum Ba Yah around a mystical motherland campfire may be gratifying, but it is not educational. Looking for excuses in abuses of 150 years ago is fine for maintaining the myth of present victimhood, but it doesn't jibe with the successes of many recent immigrant groups who have been quite successful.

The DPS students are failing themselves, their parents are failing parenting, and the DPS is a bad caricature of a school system. Phony glorification of African cultures rife with slavery, corruption, genocide, and tribal hatreds is not an answer... any more than phony glorification of Europe's Dark Ages would be.

The fact that African-American and Hispanic students can and do succeed in suburban school systems that have high expectations, discipline, and require hard work is proof enough of Detroit's bankrupt educational vision.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Detroit Public Schools To Drop Grading System


In a startling leak, an anonymous official from the Detroit Public School system revealed plans to drop all grading for classroom work by students. Internal studies have shown that DPS students achieve far lower grades than their suburban counterparts on objective tests such as the Michigan Educational Assessment Program and the SAT and ACT tests. Even in strictly single school testing, DPS 12th graders scored well below any objective or subjective norm in basic reading, writing, and arithmetic.

Consequently, officials within the DPS have decided that any testing of DPS students who are predominantly of African-American [must read this link] or Hispanic descent is having a "disparate impact" on these students' chances of being enrolled in top universities. Citing Supreme Court nominee Sonia Sotomayor's stance against testing of fire fighters in New Haven, Connecticut as ample justification for the DPS' decision, the anonymous source has revealed that the new approach will be to simply ask each student if he or she got all they could out of their 12 years of DPS-based schooling and accept a "yes" as sufficient. Students who have transferred into the DPS system from any other system will not be asked that question. Students who transfer out of the DPS system will not have their records made available to the receiving school system because of the "disparate impact" those records could have.

After decades of struggling to solve the issue of a high failure and dropout rate within the DPS system, this source says that removing the root cause of failure... testing... will lead to far fewer dropouts. The source also noted that the minority experience of these students needed to be accounted for in ways that appreciated the richness of their experiences and had empathy for their cultural uniqueness that could not be duplicated by mere facts or labyrinthine reasoning exercises or suburban students.

Since the President's nominee has now made it perfectly acceptable... nay, even required... to set aside legal requirements or qualifications or merit, is it any wonder that the President of the United States now feels he can disregard federal law? Law simply gets in the way of what he wants. Besides, Nancy and Harry will give him a "pass" on this one, too. How about changing the law ex post facto?

This is what you get when cultural experience or personal feelings or "it's the way I want it" replace the rule of law. Isn't that right Fidel? How about you President Chavez?

Sorry I picked on you DPS. You have enough problems.


Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Nice Weather For May, But It Is June


Our daughter-in-law commented that it seemed awfully cool here. She is from this area, but now she and my son live near San Francisco where the weather is always cool. Where is the warm weather? Good question.

We have hope that the second half may be closer to normal.

This article says we might be facing more of a problem than just a few months of cold weather.

Canada and USA agricultural weather issues and changes in our solar cycles

The key part of this article is contain in a brief statement at the end:
Assuming that two thirds of the productivity increase in mid-western states from 1990 to 2004 was climatically driven, then the productivity decline in this region due to Solar Cycle 24 is expected to be of the order of 30%. The total US agricultural productivity decrease would be less than that at possibly 20%, equating to the export share of US agricultural production.
What will we send to China in exchange for those lead-painted toys?


Elusive Recovery


Bill and I talked recently. He is not happy with the Obama administration for a number of reasons, but his biggest concern was a "W" recession... a false recovery followed by another sharp downturn. More than that, he could see that happening in the stock market and is keeping his money on the side.

Smart fellow, I think. Meanwhile...

NEW YORK ( -- Stocks slumped Monday as weaker oil prices and more geopolitical unrest raised worries that the recession may not be waning as soon as some had hoped.

The Dow Jones industrial average (INDU) lost 187 points, or 2.1%. After ending last week in positive territory, the Dow is now back in the red for 2009.

The S&P 500 (SPX) index lost 22 points, or 2.4% and the Nasdaq composite (COMP) fell 42 points, or 2.3%.

Wall Street has been steadily rising for three months on bets that the pace of the recession is waning, with the S&P 500 up 40% during that period. But a lack of new evidence to support the rally has left stocks rangebound over the last few weeks.

"People are re-evaluating the run up," said Kim Caughey, senior equity analyst at Fort Pitt Capital Group.

I wrote this last month and don't see any reason to change my evaluation of the situation yet:
  • Unemployment has not peaked and the "hunker down" mentality is increasing which will have a suppressing effect on the economy
  • The economy has yet to feel the impact of General Motors and Chrysler declaring bankruptcy... and the bankruptcy court decisions that will ripple through the supplier base and have a suppressing effect on the economy
  • Oil prices have gone up over $15 per barrel from their lows and that will have a suppressing effect on the economy
  • The federal government's deficit spending increases will lead to either or both tax increases and higher inflation which will prompt the Federal Reserve to raise interest rates... all of which will have a suppressing effect on the economy
  • Federal energy policies are being pushed by Energy and Commerce Chairman Henry Waxman that will dramatically increase the cost of energy and create burdens on domestic manufacturers which will have a suppressing effect on the economy
I'm still not sure what hope I am to have from all of this change. But don't worry; China will buy our debt and continue to subsidize us... or will they?

Monday, June 15, 2009

Spring On The Lake


The Michigan economy may be wheezing, but we are fortunate that the state has fantastic recreational opportunities... more water and boats than just about any other, plus really, really inexpensive golf. Consequently, we hardly feel deprived staying in the area for our relaxing time.

The weather here has been on the cool side this spring, just as it has been for most of the northern half of North America. So, getting out on the lake in the middle of June means wearing a fleece pullover. Regardless, it is still getting out the lake.

Here are a couple of pictures from this weekend. Click on images for larger view - use [CTRL - ] if images are too large.


Iran: Elections and Negotiating Are The Same Thing


Some of you are old enough to have heard of ... or even heard ... The Kingston Trio. They had a fine little ditty that, in part, went something like this:

They're rioting in Africa,
There's strife in Iran,
What nature doesn't do to us,
Will be done by our fellow man.
No much has changed in the several decades since that was popular.

Iran has, once again, demonstrated its inexhaustible capability to make a mockery of anything to do with the establishment of a legitimate government. The theocratic thugs who run the country have no need for real elections or real negotiations. What they want, they get. They allow the people the futile exercise of voting; they will allow President Obama the futile exercise of negotiating.

There is only one realistic option for the U.S. in dealing with Iran and that is to actively undermine the theocratic structure by any means available... after we read them their Miranda rights, of course.


Sunday, June 14, 2009

Computers Are Your Friends


Posting had to take a back seat to getting my laptop running properly again. I had this annoying little Interactive Services popup that hit the screen every few minutes, so I researched it and decided that my computer needed a tune-up... I'm not much inclined to do a full re-install, even with all of my files backed up on an external hard drive.

I bought this suite of software from Pareto Logic which fixed about a thousands errors in the registry and identified all of the outdated drivers as well as providing the replacing ones. After a few fits and starts, I seemed to get the hang of it and now the popup problem seems to have been solved. Still, all is not perfect. My paranoid settings for my McAfee virus protection seems to cause a few problems with automatic updates to Vista, so I do that manually every so often. I have Window Defender and McAfee and Malwarebytes and will probably activate a few more things from the Pareto Logic suite. I tend to be cautious about computer security, even though there is no perfect security.

It's not all about Windows either. My iPhone needed to be restored to its original whatever when it froze up the other day. That was a four-hour exercise. And I lost all of the music that was loaded, so I have to go back to iTunes and reload my iPhone from there. But, of course, there was a new version of iTunes and Quick Time and Safari that demanded to be downloaded, so add another hour to the mix. Now all I have to do is restart my computer for about the 5th time and hope I can get my music back and not have anymore popup boxes.

The only thing bugging me now is that "Windows has blocked some startup programs" message that keeps fading in and out. My old 286 never seemed to be so finnicky except for the CPU chips that kept popping loose from the heat build up.

I keep telling myself that computers are my friends.


Saturday, June 13, 2009

Cool Dude


Our son, wife, and our two-month old grandson are visiting. Knowing the importance of socialization at an early age, my wife and daughter-in-law felt it was time for the youngest family member to see the "real world"... a mall.

Naturally, one has to look one's best.

Did ya see that chick in the stroller?!

No, he did the "thumbs up" himself.


Movable Obstruction


The weather was cool... about 60°... and slightly rainy, but we played on despite the conditions. It takes a lot to stop a golfer.

Then we came to this tee and we stopped...
There are a lot of Canadian geese around here and we ignore them. But a 5' tall bird is another story. And two 5' tall birds guarding their 3' tall chicks is another.

Movable Obstruction

A player may take relief without penalty from a movable obstruction as follows:

a. If the ball does not lie in or on the obstruction, the obstruction may be removed. If the ball moves, it must be replaced, and there is no penalty provided that the movement of the ball is directly attributable to the removal of the obstruction. Otherwise, Rule 18-2a applies.
They were obstructions... and they were movable... but are you going to walk up to a 5' tall bird with a 10" pointed beak and move it? They were not exactly concerned about our presence, so we waited until they moved themselves a bit off to the side and then hit our tee shots... which didn't faze the birds at all.

Those are Sandhill cranes and they seem to be more prevalent than ever.


Friday, June 12, 2009

Pay As You Go


The following article appeared in the electronic version of the Detroit Free Press. It sounds good. Here's the catch: this doesn't mean a retreat from spending; it means an advance toward significantly higher taxes... probably to pay China for CO2 emissions.

Obama pushes pay-as-you-go system
Congress urged to save when it spends


WASHINGTON — Presi­dent Barack Obama chal­lenged Congress on Tuesday to pay for new increases in federal benefit programs as it goes rather than sink the na­tion deeper into a debt, calling it a matter of public responsi­bility.

Republicans lashed back that Obama is no voice of fiscal restraint as the deficit soars.

The president’s plan would require Congress to pay for new entitlement spending, such as health care, by raising taxes or coming up with bud­get cuts — a so-called pay-as­-you- go system that would have the force of law. Under the proposal, if new spending or tax reductions are not off­set, there would be automatic cuts in so-called mandatory programs — although Social Security payments and some other programs would be ex­empt.

Not noted by the president: Tuesday’s plan is a watered­ down version of the so-called PAYGO rules proposed last month in his budget plan.

That version would have required, on average, all af­fected legislation to be paid for in the first year. The new plan only requires such legis­lation to be financed in the coming decade. That mirrors congressional rules and re­flects the likelihood that health care reform will add to the deficit in the early years.

Obama said the principle is simple: Congress can only spend a dollar if it saves a dol­lar somewhere else.

“It is no coincidence that this rule was in place when we moved from record deficits to record surpluses in the 1990s — and that when this rule was abandoned, we returned to record deficits that doubled the national debt,” Obama said, flanked at the White House by supportive Demo­cratic lawmakers.

PAYGO... TAX & SCAM... hope and change.


Thursday, June 11, 2009

Michigan Gasoline Prices Skyrocket On Demand


Michigan's overheated economy has created so much demand for gasoline that it appears refiners simply cannot keep up with the demand. Hence, gasoline prices in Michigan are among the highest in the nation.

This comes on the heels of announcements by automotive manufacturers that they will be increasing production by 25% and hiring thousands of new employees. Workers are moving into Michigan at a rate unprecedented anywhere else in U.S. history. Home prices are increasing at a rate of 5% per month.

The long lines at the Michigan gasoline pumps have resulting in this startling comparison with Georgia that is on the brink of economic collapse. Demand is so weak in Georgia that gasoline stations have begun offering free glasses or coffee mugs with a fill-up to compete for the few customers available.

Okay, maybe the law of supply and demand is not enforced in Michigan. That presumes a free market economy. In Michigan, there is a requirement for "summer blend" gasoline to combat pollution.
The Michigan Department of Agriculture (MDA) is charged with enforcing ozone protection measures in accordance with Michigan's Motor Fuel Quality Act. This environmentally friendly program, started in 1996, will be mostly transparent to consumers, who may notice a slight increase in fuel efficiency using the slower to evaporate gasoline. Gasoline stations in the eight - county Southeast Michigan area, however, must sell only the summer-formula gas and meet other state and federal requirements. Use of the reformulated gasoline will prevent the release into the atmosphere of an estimated 28 tons of smog-causing compounds per day. [ed. consumers may also note a slight increase in gasoline prices]
When confronted with the fact that motor vehicles already have sophisticated electronic pollution control devices costing hundreds of dollars, plus very expensive catalytic converters, and that the industrial production conditions affecting the atmosphere in the 1990s have changed, a government spokesperson responded, "So what? Who's gonna complain?"


Just in case you were wondering why the heck the government thinks this situation is such a good idea... it doesn't... at least the part of the government tasked with thinking things through. This is nothing more than bureaucratic inertia costing the American consumers and businesses billions of dollars each year.


Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Anthony Watts Gets NOAA's Attention


Anthony Watt's effort to survey weather stations for quality issues is beginning to pay off... big time. It turns out that "man-made global warming" may have much more to do with GIGO than CO2. Below is from a recent post at Watts Up With That?

Remember as you read Anthony's material that our government is prepared to send $ billions to China to fight global warming as a follow-up to sending our manufacturing capability there... and you get to pay for "science that is settled." It appears that the only thing that was settled was the weather equipment... into the muck.

How Not to Measure Temperature, Part 25

This picture, taken by volunteer Don Kostuch is the Detroit Lakes, MN USHCN climate station of record. The Stevenson Screen is sinking into the swamp and the MMTS sensor is kept at a comfortable temperature thanks to the nearby A/C units.


The complete set of pictures is here

From NASA’s GISS, the plot makes it pretty easy to see there was no discernible multi-decadal temperature trend until the A/C units were installed. And it’s not hard to figure out when that was.


And as you know, that curious jump in the GISS record, even though it coincided with the placement of the a/c heat exchangers (I checked with the chief engineer of the radio station and he pulled the invoices to check), it turns out that wasn’t the most important issue.

Steve McIntyre of Climate Audit saw something else, mainly because other nearby stations had the nearly the same odd jump in the data. That jump turned out to be discovery of a data splicing glitch in the NASA GISS processes joining the data pre and post year 2000.
So, if I splice my weight record over the past few years on to my wife's weight record prior to that, it is ample evidence that she has a serious weight problem... or I better get my data the hell out of there.

Way to go, Anthony! How can I ever believe this statement from now on: "Trust us. We're here from the government to help you." Or as one commenter about that post said:

So how long did they run parallel equipment at old and new spots to compare the difference and at least be able to estimate a bias at the old spot? What, nobody thought of that? Is it stupidity, arrogance, or bureaucratic incompetence? Whatever it is, it isn’t science.


Tuesday, June 09, 2009

CAFE Washington


I ran across this in Scitizen:

On May 19, President Obama announced a comprehensive framework for vehicle fuel economy and greenhouse gas emissions. While I'm not sure I'd go quite as far as one Congressman, who compared it to solving the "energy and economic policy equivalent of a Rubik's Cube", this represents an important step for reducing our oil imports and improving our energy security. At the same time, the corporate average fuel economy standard (CAFE) remains more of a goal and tracking system than a mandate with sharp teeth.
By itself, a stricter CAFE won't force Americans to buy different cars, though it will doubtless alter the slate of choices available to them. It's also a little less clear that this measure is quite such a big win on climate policy, as I'll explain, though it does neatly finesse California's emissions-based request for a precedent-setting waiver to effectively set its own CAFE standard. Car companies may not be delighted to have to deliver an average of 35.5 miles per gallon by 2016, but they must be relieved to face one consistent set of rules in all 50 US states.
The article went on to say that it was really a wonderful requirement.
All in all, I regard the new CAFE standard as a positive development, although it doesn't stand on its own. The specifics of how it will be enforced will ultimately determine its success in altering the car-buying habits of Americans.
Well, here's a proposal:
Require all government cars used for transportation of people... including the President of the United States... to meet 2016 average fleet CAFE requirements.
That includes limos and Secret Service SUVs. No exceptions or deferrals.

If the government can't live within the mandates, then no one else should have to.

Now let's talk about Congress using the same "universal health care" system that they are proposing for everyone else....


Monday, June 08, 2009

The Sun Says It Will Be A Cool June


The current Obama administration and its Congressional minions continue to preach Global Warming... wait, that's Climate Change now. I absolutely agree. We are experiencing Climate Change now, yesterday, tomorrow, forever. The difference is that the Obama administration has latched on to a fairy tale about man causing the climate change. I believe it has something to do with ancient Greek mythology.

Despite ample evidence that earth's solar furnace is the primary arbiter of the changing heat content of earth's atmosphere and oceans, our fearless leaders wish to push forward the agenda of making sacrifice to atone for our sins of existence. It appears that our fearless leaders have determined that if we move our industrial base to China and then pay China vast sums to reduce mankind's climate change juggernaut, we will all be saved.

Meanwhile the sun continues to ignore our fearless leaders and remain strangely quiet:

Current conditions
Solar wind
speed: 362.7 km/sec
density: 3.2 protons/cm3
explanation | more data
Updated: Today at 1636 UT
X-ray Solar Flares
6-hr max: A0
1635 UT Jun07
24-hr: A0
0905 UT Jun07
explanation | more data
Updated: Today at: 1635 UT
Daily Sun: 06 June 09
The sun is blank--no sunspots. Credit: SOHO/MDI
Sunspot number: 0
What is the sunspot number?
Updated 06 Jun 2009
Anthony Watts posted the following charts that demonstrate the relationship of the sun's activity and earth's atmospheric and oceanic heat content:

Strange how "climate change" seems to be related to "solar change." Now that the sun is quieting down, would you care to venture a guess about how "climate change" will change?

The Obama administration better hurry up with Cap and Scam and sending the rest of our economic resources to China if they want to be able to take credit for saving us from "climate change"... which already is changing for the cooler.


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CO2 Cap and Trade

There is always an easy solution to every human problem—neat, plausible, and wrong.
Henry Louis Mencken (1880–1956)
“The Divine Afflatus,” A Mencken Chrestomathy, chapter 25, p. 443 (1949)
... and one could add "not all human problems really are."
It was beautiful and simple, as truly great swindles are.
- O. Henry
... The Government is on course for an embarrassing showdown with the European Union, business groups and environmental charities after refusing to guarantee that billions of pounds of revenue it stands to earn from carbon-permit trading will be spent on combating climate change.
The Independent (UK)

Tracking Interest Rates

Tracking Interest Rates


SEARCH BLOG: FEDERAL RESERVE for full versions... or use the Blog Archive pulldown menu.

February 3, 2006
Go back to 1999-2000 and see what the Fed did. They are following the same pattern for 2005-06. If it ain't broke, the Fed will fix it... and good!
August 29, 2006 The Federal Reserve always acts on old information... and is the only cause of U.S. recessions.
December 5, 2006 Last spring I wrote about what I saw to be a sharp downturn in the economy in the "rustbelt" states, particularly Michigan.
March 28, 2007
The Federal Reserve sees no need to cut interest rates in the light of adverse recent economic data, Ben Bernanke said on Wednesday.
The Fed chairman said ”to date, the incoming data have supported the view that the current stance of policy is likely to foster sustainable economic growth and a gradual ebbing in core inflation”.

July 21, 2007 My guess is that if there is an interest rate change, a cut is more likely than an increase. The key variables to be watching at this point are real estate prices and the inventory of unsold homes.
August 11, 2007 I suspect that within 6 months the Federal Reserve will be forced to lower interest rates before housing becomes a black hole.
September 11, 2007 It only means that the overall process has flaws guaranteeing it will be slow in responding to changes in the economy... and tend to over-react as a result.
September 18, 2007 I think a 4% rate is really what is needed to turn the economy back on the right course. The rate may not get there, but more cuts will be needed with employment rates down and foreclosure rates up.
October 25, 2007 How long will it be before I will be able to write: "The Federal Reserve lowered its lending rate to 4% in response to the collapse of the U.S. housing market and massive numbers of foreclosures that threaten the banking and mortgage sectors."
"Should the elevated turbulence persist, it would increase the possibility of further tightening in financial conditions for households and businesses," he said.

"Uncertainties about the economic outlook are unusually high right now," he said. "These uncertainties require flexible and pragmatic policymaking -- nimble is the adjective I used a few weeks ago."

December 11, 2007 Somehow the Fed misses the obvious.
[Image from:]
December 13, 2007 [from The Christian Science Monitor]
"The odds of a recession are now above 50 percent," says Mark Zandi, chief economist at Moody's "We are right on the edge of a recession in part because of the Fed's reluctance to reduce interest rates more aggressively." [see my comments of September 11]
January 7, 2008 The real problem now is that consumers can't rescue the economy and manufacturing, which is already weakening, will continue to weaken. We've gutted the forces that could avoid a downturn. The question is not whether there will be a recession, but can it be dampened sufficiently so that it is very short.
January 11, 2008 This is death by a thousand cuts.
January 13, 2008 [N.Y. Times]
“The question is not whether we will have a recession, but how deep and prolonged it will be,” said David Rosenberg, the chief North American economist at Merrill Lynch. “Even if the Fed’s moves are going to work, it will not show up until the later part of 2008 or 2009.
January 17, 2008 A few days ago, Anna Schwartz, nonagenarian economist, implicated the Federal Reserve as the cause of the present lending crisis [from the Telegraph - UK]:
The high priestess of US monetarism - a revered figure at the Fed - says the central bank is itself the chief cause of the credit bubble, and now seems stunned as the consequences of its own actions engulf the financial system. "The new group at the Fed is not equal to the problem that faces it," she says, daring to utter a thought that fellow critics mostly utter sotto voce.
January 22, 2008 The cut has become infected and a limb is in danger. Ben Bernanke is panicking and the Fed has its emergency triage team cutting rates... this time by 3/4%. ...

What should the Federal Reserve do now? Step back... and don't be so anxious to raise rates at the first sign of economic improvement.
Individuals and businesses need stability in their financial cost structures so that they can plan effectively and keep their ships afloat. Wildly fluctuating rates... regardless of what the absolute levels are... create problems. Either too much spending or too much fear. It's just not that difficult to comprehend. Why has it been so difficult for the Fed?

About Me

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Michigan, United States
Air Force (SAC) captain 1968-72. Retired after 35 years of business and logistical planning, including running a small business. Two sons with advanced degrees; one with a business and pre-law degree. Beautiful wife who has put up with me for 4 decades. Education: B.A. (Sociology major; minors in philosopy, English literature, and German) M.S. Operations Management (like a mixture of an MBA with logistical planning)