Thursday, July 28, 2011

Warming? Not As Much

Roy Spencer of NASA has a study showing atmospheric heat has been dissipating much faster than predicted by UN climate models.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Laugh Out Loud, Robert Reich Edition

Reich's a smart guy. I usually learn something when I read his stuff. But not today.

He's attacking the President for not having a good jobs plan. Fair enough, the President deserves such attacks. Reich writes:
This job recession shows no sign of ending. It can no longer be blamed on supply-side disruptions from Japan, Europe's debt crisis, high oil prices, or bad weather.

We're in a vicious cycle where consumers won't buy more because they're scared of losing their jobs and their pay is dropping. And businesses won't hire because they don't have enough customers.

Hard to argue with that. But as part of his solution, he suggests (emphasis mine):
Second, we'll recreate the WPA and Civilian Conservation Corps -- two of the most successful job innovations of the New Deal -- and put people back to work directly. The long-term unemployed will help rebuild our roads and bridges, ports and levees, and provide needed services in our schools and hospitals. Young people who can't find jobs will reclaim and improve our national parklands, restore urban parks and public spaces, recycle products and materials, and insulate public buildings and homes.

Holy green gravy. He's done it! He's solved the nation's problems! We'll just take all those chronically unemployed middle-managers, salesmen, lawyers and put them to work building stuff. What a great idea!

And all those urban and suburban youth who can't get jobs in fast food? We'll send them out into the wilderness, where they will also build stuff. Well, except for the ones sorting stinky milk cartons and tuna fish cans down at the recycling center. Or those installing insulation in buildings that are already R33.

Yeah, that'll happen. I laughed out loud when I read that.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

President Holds Twitter Town Hall

Check out this pic...

Presumably that's supposed to be the President responding to tweeted questions. What an awful image, the world's most powerful government figure standing at a podium, not answering verbal questions, but typing answers to the world's tweets.

Fortunately I'm pretty sure that particular picture was taken another time, in another context.

Friday, July 1, 2011

Resolving the U.S. Debt Crisis

The Washington Post and others report that debt crisis talks between the President and Congressional leaders have stagnated. By insisting on tax hikes, and by refusing to negotiate with Republicans, it's clear the President thinks a government shutdown and potential default will benefit Democrats politically. He might be right.

Both Boehner and McConnell have said they're not interested in forcing a default. They're willing to pass a smaller compromise bill that includes fewer spending cuts, but also raises the debt limit by less, requiring another debt hike sometime before the 2012 elections. Democrats of course don't want this.

If Democrats hold the line and insist on tax increases, and refuse to pass a smaller debt limit increase, here's what House Republicans should do: pass a bill raising the debt limit by the exact amount needed to make federal debt payments through 2012, thus providing the means to avert default. They should pass this without any spending cuts or tax increases. This would take the default threat off the table, and force Democrats to confront the primary budget deficit.