Speaks Louder Than Words

H/T to Power Line Blog for the Cartoon.

SCOTUS Enables Largest Middle Class Tax Increase in History (Updated)

Russ Steele

The Supreme Court has upheld the Obama Care Individual Mandate, not under the Commerce Clause, but under the ability of the government to levy regressive taxes until the citizens rebel.  While Obama is doing a victory lap, Tea Party Patriots across the nation are organizing to oppose all the liberals that voted for Obama Care. Since Obama said he would not raise Middle Class taxes, he is now vulnerable and should be sent packing.

If you choose not to pay this new regressive tax, the IRS will take your property and send you to the poor house to join the 49% who do not pay any taxes.  This new tax has given the Republican one of the strangest issues yet! The worlds largest tax increase in the history of the United States.

We must remove Obama Care and kill the largest unprecedented tax increase on the middle class in history.  Our only hope to save America from government rationing of health care and certain bankruptcy is to force Congress to repeal this horrific law, which steals our personal freedom.

See you all at the next Tea Party Patriot Meeting!   Come and march with us in the Forth of July Parade, details to be posted HERE.

Update (06-28-12, 10:1)  The Polipundit has some ponts to ponder:

  • Yes, we can repeal Obamacare legislatively. Bills that cut the deficit need just a simple majority in the Senate, thanks to the Byrd Rule. Since Obamacare is now scored as massively adding to the deficit, 50 Republican senators + Vice President Portman can repeal it, assuming the GOP-controlled House repeals it too.
  • It is better to repeal Obamacare legislatively than have it be repealed by unelected judges. That’ll ensure that the repeal is legitimate in every way, unlike, say Roe v. Wade’s judicial fiat that is still being fought over today.
  • Obamacare is now the issue of 2012, just like 2010.
  • Democrat Senate candidates will be forced to explain their votes for Obamacare. That includes candidates like Jon Tester (MT), Claire McCaskill (MO), Bill Nelson (FL), Sherrod Brown (OH), Shelley Berkley (NV), and Joe Donnelly (IN).
  • Those who couldn’t vote for it will have to explain whether they would repeal it. That includes Heidi Heitkamp (ND) and Tim Kaine (VA).
  • Obama himself will have to defend Obamacare for the next four months.
  • Meanwhile, conservative voters, volunteers, and donors are feeling a wave of righteous anger that has no outlet, other than the election in just four months. Most independent voters will feel the same way.

Update (o6-28-12, 10:20)  How much of a tax increase?  About  $1.7 trillion over the first decade, according to the CBO.

Obama’s tax pledge of 2008:

“I can make a firm pledge – under my plan, no family making less that $250,000 a year will see any form of tax increase,” he said in a September 2008 campaign speech in New Hampshire.

Prior to Obamacare’s passage in 2010, Obama denied it was a tax. In September 2009, Obama told ABC News that the law “is absolutely not a tax increase.”

The court has converted Obama Care  into a huge tax increase which just may also boost the GOP’s ability to persuade voters to back GOP candidates in 2012. Romney raised over $100,000 in less than an hour after the SCOTUS decision. How much will it be by the end of the day? Stay tuned.

World’s Lakes Show Global Temperature Standstill

Russ Steele

One thing I have learned in my study of climate change and the underlying statistics is that that selection of the  starting and ending points in the data set can influence the out come. David Whitehouse has a perfect example from a poster session at the Taking the Temperature of the Earth Conference. Schneider et al 2012 took the temperature of 169 large inland lakes around the world using satellite IR photos.

According to their findings the surface temperatures of these water bodies have been “rapidly warming” with an average rate of 0.350 ± 0.11 deg C per decade for the period 1985–2010.

Here is the chart showing their findings.

When I first read the article I noted the flat top on the data starting about 1997/98 and just eyeballed the trend line from that point to the present, and I could not see any trend. Yes, there was warming, from 1980 1998, but none from that point on.

David Whitehouse at the Global Warming Policy Foundation also note that flat top and did some additional analysis, and here is his plot.

As  you can see, the starting point makes a big difference in the outcome. From 1977 to 1997 the the Northern Hemisphere climate was being influenced by a warm phase PDO, which ended about 1998, which can account for some of the warming. The sun as still very active, and could have had some influence. Starting in 2000 solar cycle 23 started a slow decline. Historically a quite sun, with fewer sunspot, has resulted in a cooler earth.

Whitehouse concludes: No statistically significant trend post-1997. Since 1997 the data is best represented by a straight line of mean 0.21 deg with a large standard deviation of 0.95 deg. Below is the post-1997 portion of the researcher’s graph. It is easy to see that the trendline calculated from the 1985-2011 data does not fit this section of the data in which there is no trend.

Biased Judges Think CO2 is a Pollutant Which Forms Atmospheric Ceiling? Really?

Russ Steele

Three federal judges, US Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit, admit to being biased in favor of a government agency when granting a landmark decision in favor of caps and taxes on “greenhouse gas” emissions. The Court rules the Earth’s atmosphere acts like a greenhouse after all.

No really, these idiots think there is a ceiling in  our atmosphere and that carbon dioxide is a “pollutant.” John Sullivan has the details:

The EPA now has the legal green light to pursue those related environmental policies of President Obama. Obama, up for re-election later this year, already failed to drive carbon dioxide (CO2) limiting legislation through Congress earlier in his presidency. Now he has succeeded by other means via the EPA regulations that had previously determined CO2 is a “pollutant” via the Clean Air Act.

On Page 16 the Decision reads, “We begin with a brief primer on greenhouse gases. As their name suggests, when released into the atmosphere, these gases act “like the ceiling of a greenhouse, trapping solar energy and retarding the escape of reflected heat.”

You can read the rest of Sullivan’s article HERE. He concludes: 

In a “real” court we would honest judges would prefer to show bias to actual physical evidence rather than biased administrators, self-serving bureaucrats and their dodgy computer models. Instead, the federal court performed a cop-out and endorsed a fellow arm of federal government (the EPA). This ruling was entirely one-sided and pro-alarmist proving once again that the lunatics and tax-craving bureaucrats are running the U.S. government asylum. Roll on voting day!

This action by a Count that admits their bias, makes the election in November extremely important.  We need to clean house and get back to real science at the EPA.  This decision will be soundly critiqued by the skeptical community of scientists. Stay tuned for an Update.

Rio+20 Recap: Climate Change ==> Social Justice

Russ Steele

“The former buzz words ‘environment’ and ‘climate change’ have disappeared … now it’s all about “social justice” with “collectives” that will tell you what you want or should do.”

Who knew, it was never about changing the climate, it was really about wealth distribution. You can read the full report in the Canada Free HERE.  The article by Dr. Klaus L.E. Kaiser concludes:

The Agenda Shift

The agenda shift from the original Eco-92 gathering in Rio (1992), i.e. “global warming” to “climate change” to “environmental justice” to “social justice” happened slowly, but it was a long-term goal by its ideologists all along. By now it’s all about “social justice” with “collectives” that will tell you what you want or should do. The former buzz words ‘environment’ and ‘climate change’ have disappeared too.

Moreover, with the previously touted “Global Warming” scare, supposedly due to carbon dioxide in the atmosphere, rapidly being exposed as the greatest scientific hoax since “Piltdown Man” certainly does not help its cause either. However, the new deity, “social justice” also comes with its own set of conundrums.

Social Justice

In the end, it all boils down to a simple question: What would you rather have, the subsistence lifestyle of the peasant farmer or the conveniences of the modern city dweller? The answer is obvious from a simple fact:

The majority of the 45,000 activists attending Rio+20 had not gone there by dug-out canoe!

Now what are our local lefty defenders of global warming and climate change going to say?  Social Justice will not burn down our houses, just drain our bank accounts.  What will CARB do now that we know it was not climate change but wealth distribution and social justice? Oh, Cap and Trade is wealth distribution from your bank account to a democrat controlled slush fund!

Fox News: “It all comes down to unfunded liabilities”

Russ Steele

His Purpleness has taken note that Stockton is going bankrupt, but it does not have much to do with unfunded liabilities, it was just a bad economy.

Editor’s note: As expected, Stockton is going to become the nation’s largest city to seek bankruptcy protection. Though a cautionary tale, I’d warn readers to be leery about sweeping statements that this could be a widespread trend. Yup, it will happen again. But it also will be politicized by political “fear mongers.” In addition, a lot of Stockton’s problems stemmed from the real estate collapse (a “revenue” problem) and millions of dollars of debt on overly ambitious development projects, not just a problem with public unions and pensions. Context is extremely important when analyzing a trend.

Yes, context is important.  According to a Fox News Report yesterday 20% of California cities and counties are on the verge of similar bankruptcy problems, including Los Angles and San Francisco.  We will soon have an opportunity to see the books for all California cites, counties and other agencies according to the WSJ:

Accounting rule makers approved a series of changes Monday that will shine a harsher light on the troubles of public-employee pension plans, boosting their reported obligations by possibly hundreds of billions of dollars.

The new rules by the Governmental Accounting Standards Board will force pension plans to show their funding shortfalls more prominently and calculate their obligations in ways that will make some underfunded plans look even weaker. Pension plans will also have to record their costs sooner than they do now, among many other changes.

Closer to home, these new accounting rules will soon expose the “rural myth” of Nevada County’s unfunded liabilities.  According to Rick Haffey writing in a Union Other Voices, June 1, 2012 the county’s unfunded liability is $119 million.  If a discount rate of 3.9%, which PERS uses for some purposes as of September 2011, rather than the 7.75% used to calculate the $119 million liability,  then the unfunded liability of the County doubles. Oops.

As a very knowledgable local observer writes:

The key, of course, is the use of a realistic discount rate in the Present Value calculation.  Not mentioned is if the realistic discount rate is applied to the unfunded liability only or if it was applied to the complete liability.  At one time, when the draft GASB standard was being circulated the compromise suggested was to apply the new rate to the unfunded portion only. 

When this liability is moved to the visible part of a financial statement will it impact the borrowing cost of all agencies. 

Stay Tuned, this story will have more legs as the unfunded liabilities go on the books, shattering all those “rural myths.”

Apple Coming to Reno

Russ Steele

Wired News has the story:

Apple is looking to expand its data center empire with a new computing facility just outside of Reno, Nevada.

On Tuesday, the Reno Gazette-Journal reported that Apple is planning to build a data center east of Sparks, Nevada as part of a project that would see the company pump $1 billion into the state’s economy over the next 10 years.

Alongside the other giants of the web — including Google, Facebook, Amazon, and Microsoft — Apple is now building its own computing facilities in an effort to keep up with rising internet traffic — and cut down on costs. Like the company’s data center in Maiden, North Carolina and the facility it’s currently building in Prineville, Oregon, its Nevada data center would house Apple’s various online services, such as the iTunes Store, the App Store, and its iCloud data storage and syncing services.

Now, my question is why not California? Oh, unreliable alternative energy power, with costs going through through the roof!

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