Wednesday, December 31, 2008
Tuesday, December 30, 2008
Monday, December 29, 2008
It might be more economical to build a nuke plant, use the nuke to generate electricity. Use that electricity to run a giant fan sitting right in front of the wind turbine. That way, the turbine can generate consistent wind power cheaply.
Hat tip FreeRepublic Post #4
Tuesday, December 23, 2008
Saturday, December 13, 2008
LA LA LA LA LA LA LA LA -- Hat Tip: Market Ticker
That's the sound of someone with their fingers in their ears making noise so they don't have to listen to the person talking in front of them.
The list includes:
- Congress - warned explicitly in 1991 that repeal of Glass-Steagall was a bad idea and would lead to exactly what we're seeing now. LALALALALA.
- Congress (again) - warned repeatedly by the SEC in 2000 that removing caps on leverage (Requested by none other than Henry Paulson!) was demonstrably unsound (by the SEC of the time) - LALALALALALA.
- The SEC - warned about Madroff by Harry Markopolos - in writing - that Madroff was the world's largest Ponzi Scheme. LALALALALALALA.
- Alan Greenpan's fantasies were ignored by Congress and still are. But he did tell people what he was going to do and was up to in trying to thwart a mathematical long-wave cycle (Kondratieff Winter) and also stated that if he failed, what would occur would make The Depression look like "A Sunday-school picnic." LALALALALALALALA.
- The FBI and Congress (again) - there were petitions sent to Congress on behalf of thousands of property appraisers as far back as 2001 noting the pressure to falsify numbers. LALALALALALALA.
- Treasury and The Federal Reserve - the debt-to-GDP numbers are right in their face (hell, they report most of the base data!) but they think they can keep taking on debt to "solve" a solvency problem. LALALALALALALALA.
- US Consumers - There are only two ways to fix their balance sheets - sell the assets on which the debt is carried and pay it off or spend less than you earn. There is no third choice. LALALALALALALALA.
- Congress (again) - Bernanke and Paulson ("Subprime is contained", "We are not and will not go into recession", "The economy is fundamentally sound", etc etc etc.) Accountability for what are now known to be clear lies? LALALALALALALALA.
- Regulators in the R/E industry of all stripes - LandAmerica, a big title insurance company, has filed for bankruptcy. Why? Because instead of actually performing title searches title companies have been outsourcing the work to foreigners in places like India, where the so-called "search" has turned into nothing more than a quick dig through electronic records. Of course when there are real claims on the title the company is then on the hook and can't pay; instant boom! Where is the investigation of this obvious misrepresentation of what the purchaser of that policy bought? LALALALALALALALALALA.
- Obama still seems to think he can "soften the blow" by spending a trillion more (that we don't have.) He obviously hasn't bothered paying attention to the debt-to-GDP numbers, or to what happened in the 1930s as GDP fell away. This plan, if implemented, will give it to us in both holes as GDP will fall at the precise same time that debt increases. LALALALALALALALALA.
- Californicated is running a monster deficit and threatening to implode. Republicans are refusing to raise taxes while Democrats are refusing to cut spending. Neither party pays any attention to the fact that the state has been spending money that doesn't really exist (as a consequence of the housing bubble) on illegal immigrants from various social programs to schooling to jailing illegals instead of shipping them all home. As with the rest of the states, they spent all of the money during the flush years, and are now in serious trouble. LA LA LA LA LA LA.
- The Fed, Treasury and Congress all have known for years about the fact that banks were making bad loans that had no chance of being paid. The warnings were copious and unending. LALALALALALALALALA.
- Congress (again) still refuses to force financial institutions to state their actual, real, total exposure to bad debt, bring everything back onto balance sheets and stop marking to fantasy. Yes, that would mean we'd all get to see the bankruptcies in front of us. Its easier to stick your head in the sand. LALALALALALALALALA.
There's lots more but I think you get the point. If you still are having trouble figuring it out, here 'ya go - a picture is worth 1000 words.
Thursday, December 11, 2008
Back in 1990, the Government seized the Mustang Ranch brothel in Nevada for tax evasion and, as required by law, tried to run it. They failed and it closed.
Now, we are trusting the economy of our country and 850 + Billion Dollars to a pack of nit-wits who couldn't make money running a whore house and selling booze.
Now if that don't make you nervous, what does???
Wednesday, December 10, 2008
Less egregious Pay to Play are indirect enrichments like political campaign contributions or employing a spouse/crony/relative first, then government favor later. Some of these enrichments are illegal.
However, the "Play then Pay" use of political power is almost never considered illegal. It's use is not "naked," or in legal words "quid pro quo" since the favor is dispersed first.
Sophisticated politicians and government favor recipients further distance themselves from the illegal "quid pro quo" by using the mostly legal "quo pro quid." And, the most practiced politicians use the totally legal "quo pro assumed quid" method to dispense government favor. This method might be described as a "wink-and-a-nod" if such a physical gesture is needed at all.
Another description of "quo pro quid" among politicians themselves could be "vote swapping," a common tactic used within various legislative bodies build working majorities.
I hope this helps explain the difference between the legal and illegal use of political power.
SOLUTION: Minimal government.
For further study Google Nobel Prize winning "Public Choice Theory."
Tuesday, December 9, 2008
American Solutions For American Problems
And why the "conventional wisdom" won't work
by Karl Denninger (Excerpts)
(...) When one compares the GDP and total US Debt, you find a striking fact – there has been no actual GDP growth at all in the last eight years. In fact, you can go back through President Clinton's second term in office and you will find the same thing – the entirety of so-called "growth" since 1996 was in fact growth in debt, not GDP.
Once we understand the foundation of what has happened, we can then look at the basic facts surrounding our economy. These facts include:
- There has been no actual GDP growth for more than ten years; claiming "growth" from increased debt is exactly identical to my going out and borrowing $200,000 on my credit cards, then claiming to be $200,000 richer. I am in fact poorer than when I started since I must not only repay the $200,000 but must also pay interest on it!
- We have replaced productive output (building cars, computers, TV sets, washing machines, etc) with non-productive output (shuffling paper, creating "financial innovation", etc)
- "Financial innovation" is in fact equity-stripping; if there is 300 basis points of profit available in a bundle of mortgages over the reference rate (e.g. 10 year swaps), that's all there is. You can allocate who gets the 300 basis points but you cannot increase the amount of actual profit available. Financial "innovation" is in fact a fraud as the only means by which you can obtain more than originally existed is through lying; this is typically accomplished through obfuscation and opacity (e.g. CDOs with 100,000 pages of underlying documentation which are flatly impossible to read due to volume before the purchase decision is made.)
- The fiscal and monetary policies of the previous ten years and more have been insanely inflationist, causing the prices of necessary goods and services, such as homes, education and health care, to skyrocket, while global wage arbitrage has caused real standards of living to decline for 90% of Americans. We must stop this now if we are to have a working middle class in this nation going forward.
(...) From this we find the foundation for solutions that are driven first by mathematical necessity, and then by maintenance and improvement of the public weal, both directly and indirectly. These are: (Click here to read solutions)
Wednesday, December 3, 2008
Tennessee State Rep. Stacy Campfield explains election success and how to maintain a majority now that the GOP controls both the Tennessee House and Senate even in the Obama electoral wave.
To look forward, we must look back. Over the years I have had the opportunity to speak with and listened to several Republicans who were part of the Reagan revolution as well as many people who have worked long and hard to put us in the majority. They all seem to offer similar advice on what to do and what not to do.
I hear a lot of "Don't let happen what happened to us", "Let Tennessee be a leader for the country to see why Republicans should lead again"
These are the top 9 things I gleaned....
1. Don't Compromising values for power, position and money. Campaigns and leadership, if done correctly, are hard work for regular people. In the legislature people don't necessarily offer bribes (As far as I know) but it is well known who gives money and the issues that are important to them. Some fear loosing the money or having that money used against them. They would rather compromise their principles then possibly offend some group and have to do the physical work of a campaign against the big money people. In the long run though, it will disenfranchise people from us and our message.
2. Family values does not means "involvement" with multiple people from different families outside your own. We won on family values. Republicans are held to a higher standard on social issue. When one of us stumbles it pulls down the entire team. Proof can be seen at the national level where one Republican and a male intern or bathroom stall incident pulls down the entire party at election time. Should someone screw up at the wrong time it could hurt us all.
3. Don't move from conservative to Republican. The warnings came from many people that saw it happen in congress. After six or eight years many of the conservatives retired from congress back into private life. What replaced them were not true believers but were more liberal or moderates who ran on the ticket as Republicans but served as liberal Democrats. They lost the strong conservative agenda that swept Republicans into power. It diluted the brand message. It just took time to be exposed and removed.
4. Don't get cocky and lazy. Do not stop doing the things that got us there. Hard work, door to door, going to events having listening tours, doing surveys, etc..
5. Not pushing what we promised. Many groups worked hard to help us get where we are. They expect and deserve to be rewarded for that hard work by our following through with what we promised them. Homeschooling groups, legal gun owners, right to life groups have great expectations.
Now that we are in power we must guard against letting the negative sides of our personal nature get the best of us. Obviously as conservatives versus Liberals our ideas are going to greatly diverge but if A Democrat comes up with an idea it should get a fair hearing and an honest vote.
Tuesday, December 2, 2008
By Jeff Dufour and Patrick Gavin
POSTED December 2, 2008 | 11:00 AM DC Examiner.com
The Capitol Visitors Center, which opened this morning, may have tripled its original budget and fallen years behind schedule, but Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid found a silver lining for members of Congress: tourists won't offend them with their B.O. anymore.
"My staff tells me not to say this, but I'm going to say it anyway," said Reid in his remarks. "In the summer because of the heat and high humidity, you could literally smell the tourists coming into the Capitol. It may be descriptive but it's true."
But it's no longer going to be true, noted Reid, thanks to the air conditioned, indoor space.
And that's not all. "We have many bathrooms here, as you can see," Reid continued. "Souvenirs are available."
$621 million well spent.
"We have many bathrooms here, as you can see," Reid continued.
(Editorial comment inserted below)
Tuesday, November 25, 2008
It seems eligibility is in the news today. Via Instapundit, I read two articles, one at DailyKos and one at The Volokh conspiracy, regarding Hillary Clinton's eligibility to serve as Secretary of State for the Obama administration. My reading of the story online indicates the DailyKos blog came first.
The source of the issue is something called the Emoluments Clause, which is a clause in the Constitution that essentially states that, while a person is serving a term of office to which they were elected, he or she may not be appointed to any civil office which was newly created, or for which the compensation was increased in that same term. So because there was a pay raise given to the position of Secretary of State during Senator Clinton's current term, she is ineligible for appointment to this office. The wording: "No Senator or Representative shall, during the Time for which he was elected, be appointed to any civil Office under the Authority of the United States which shall have been created, or the Emoluments whereof shall have been increased during such time; and no Person holding any Office under the United States, shall be a Member of either House during his Continuance in Office."
Monday, November 24, 2008
Link: Columbia, SC—Most people are probably unaware of it, but on the Friday and Saturday after Thanksgiving, handguns, rifles and shotguns will be sales tax free in South Carolina. State lawmakers passed a bill in June that includes the sales tax holiday on firearms. They called it the Second Amendment Recognition Act.
Rep. Mike Pitts, R-Greenwood, was the sponsor of the original bill. He said he got the idea after talking to the owners of a hunting outfitters shop in Clinton about the late summer sales tax holiday for back-to-school supplies and clothing. The store owners said they could use the stimulus, too. "It was to help dealers," Rep. Pitts says. "Another point was to bring recognition to the 2nd Amendment."
Kent Parsons, manager of Barron's Outfitters hunting and fishing store in Columbia, says the days after Thanksgiving are typically busy sales days anyway. He's hoping that even more people than usual will be buying shotguns and rifles from his store since they'll be sales tax free. Sales tax will still be charged on ammunition and accessories.
Sunday, November 23, 2008
I'm still searching for the mythical creature that is the "financially conservative, socially liberal" politician. In virtually every case, the pro-abortion or pro-gay marriage politician is the first to vote against a tax cut, the first to vote for more spending and quick to compromise principles on any issue there is.Using the National Journal's ratings of Senators in 2007 , the correlation coefficient between "economic" scores and "social" scores is 90%. That means they almost always go together; financial conservatives are social conservatives and vice versa. Every Senator scoring above 60 in economic issues, scored above 50 in social ones. Every Senator scoring below 40 in economic issues, scored below 50 in social ones. If there is such an animal as a "financial conservative, social liberal", it does not exist in the US Senate.
Monday, November 17, 2008
Thursday, March 13, 2008
Just so the record is clear ... the resulting lawsuits are a direct cause of government regulatory takings.
During the successful 2006 campaign, opponents of private property rights howled that thousands of lawsuits would be filed. To date, only two have been filed with a couple of threatened lawsuits that were averted when the government backed down by following the Prop. 207 law.
Flagstaff's situation surrounds city government passage of a restrictive historic district overlay zone. The Pacific Legal Foundation is handling the suit.
Now the big bastion of liberalism, Tucson, has disregarded the Prop. 207 law and has preeminent attorney Clint Bolick knocking at the court house doors.
Doesn't the city council have some potholes to fix instead of spending hundreds of thousands of dollars defending the uber-liberal property control freaks desires to boss everybody in town around?
Quick excerpt from the Arizona Daily Star article of March 13, 2008:
Tucson developer Michael Goodman has sued the city for $12.5 million or permission to tear down more than a dozen buildings affected by a new law regulating demolition of potentially historic buildings.
The suit is one of the first in the state to test the limits of a proposition approved by Arizona voters in 2006, requiring governments to compensate property owners if their property value is negatively affected by land-use laws, said Clint Bolick, Goodman's lawyer.
The suit was filed Tuesday in Pima County Superior Court and asks for either exemption from the law or $12.5 million, based on the diminished property value of more than a dozen of Goodman's properties as a result of a new land-use law.
Another Proposition 207 suit was filed in October in Flagstaff on behalf of property owners affected by a historic preservation district there.
The Tucson suit targets a law passed by the City Council in June 2007 requiring completion of a study of the property on which demolition is proposed, and others in the area, as well as approval by the Tucson/Pima County Historical Commission, before a building can be demolished.
The law applies to buildings more than 45 years old that were within city limits in 1953.
This should be interesting watching the "do-gooders" get a legal whipping that will legally solidify the provisions of Prop. 207. I've got my popcorn ready for the big show.