January 31, 2012

AP’s Borenstein Insists on Citing Guide to Year’s Coldest Days as Proof of Global Warming

GlobalWarmingEven when someone who helped prepare a new guide for gardeners on the coldest temperatures seen annually in different parts of the country says that their output doesn’t fit the global warming template, an AP reporter decides that it really does.

In preparing his write-up last week on the release of the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s revised the official guide for gardeners, the Associated Press’s Seth Borenstein, the infamous writer of reports claiming that the Climategate scandals were no big deal, buried the following quote from a USDA official at Paragraph 17 of 24:

USDA spokeswoman Kim Kaplan, who was part of the map team, repeatedly tried to distance the new zones on the map from global warming. She said that while much of the country is in warmer zones, the map “is simply not a good instrument” to demonstrate climate change because it is based on just the coldest days of the year.

Seems pretty clear to me. Something which only addresses “the coldest (few) days” in a year doesn’t have much relevance to what temperatures are like during the rest of the year.

But not to good old Seth, whose under-the-breath response to Ms. Kaplan must have been along the lines of “What the heck do you know?” Borenstein almost waxed poetic about the impact of global warming on the gardening guide:

New map for what to plant reflects global warming

Global warming is hitting not just home, but garden. The color-coded map of planting zones often seen on the back of seed packets is being updated by the government, illustrating a hotter 21st century.

It’s the first time since 1990 that the U.S. Department of Agriculture has revised the official guide for the nation’s 80 million gardeners, and much has changed. Nearly entire states, such as Ohio, Nebraska and Texas, are in warmer zones.

The new guide, unveiled Wednesday at the National Arboretum, arrives just as many home gardeners are receiving their seed catalogs and dreaming of lush flower beds in the spring.

It reflects a new reality: The coldest day of the year isn’t as cold as it used to be, so some plants and trees can now survive farther north.

“People who grow plants are well aware of the fact that temperatures have gotten more mild throughout the year, particularly in the wintertime,” said Boston University biology professor Richard Primack. “There’s a lot of things you can grow now that you couldn’t grow before.”

… The 1990 map was based on temperatures from 1974 to 1986, the new map from 1976 to 2005. The nation’s average temperature from 1976 to 2005 was two-thirds of a degree higher than it was during the old time period, according to the National Climatic Data Center.

Wow. A whole two-thirds of a degree. Would somebody break it to poor Seth that there hasn’t been any global warming since 1997?

Cross-posted at NewsBusters.org.

AP Headline For CBO’s Awful 10-Year Projections: ‘Deficit to Dip to $1.1T’

Oh joy.

Today at the Associated Press, aka the Administration’s Press, in response to the Congressional Budget Office’s release today of an awful 10-year baseline outlook, Andrew Taylor made sure that his first paragraph was only about the projected “dip” in the fiscal 2012 deficit, and dedicated his second paragraph to the bad things that will happen if “the Bush tax cuts” are extended and Congress fails to live within “tight” spending “caps” (when did those happen?). Towards the end he spoke of the deficit-cutting wonders ending “the Bush tax cuts” might bring about. What follows are the first two paragraphs of Taylor’s report, followed by the “Bush tax cut” passage:

Federal budget deficit to dip to $1.1T, CBO says

The government will run a $1.1 trillion deficit in the fiscal year that ends in September, a slight dip from last year but still very high by any measure, according to a budget report released Tuesday.

The Congressional Budget Office report also says that annual deficits will remain in the $1 trillion range for the next several years if Bush-era tax cuts slated to expire in December are extended, as commonly assumed – and if Congress is unable to live within the tight “caps” the lawmakers themselves placed on agency budgets last year.

… The CBO report shows that the deficit dilemma would largely be solved if the tax cuts enacted in 2001 and 2003 – and renewed in 2010 through the end of this year – were allowed to lapse. Under that scenario, the deficit would drop to $585 billion in 2013 and to $220 billion in 2017.

But expiration of those tax cuts would slam the economy, CBO said, bringing growth down to a paltry 1.1 percent next year. However, the economy would quickly rebound in 2014 and beyond.

Really? Taylor does not explain exactly why that would happen, especially given the track record of how tax increases (which is what ending “the Bush tax cuts” really amounts to) fail to bring in the anticipated extra tax collections static analysis (which is primarily what CBO does, assuming no behavior change as a result of higher rates) would predict. The reason they don’t is that growth (i.e., the “rebound”) ends up being less than what was expected.

Taylor conveys far more certainty about the outcome than is warranted in the circumstances.

Cross-posted at NewsBusters.org.

Romney Wins Big in Florida

Filed under: Taxes & Government — Tom @ 9:28 am

(Link)

Boy, are we in trouble.

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UPDATE, Feb. 1: It’s early, etc., but if Romney gets the nomination, his chances of winning will entirely hinge on the economy being so awful — and being seen that way, despite establishment press smiley-faces — that voters are willing to risk literally anyone but Obama. There will be a wave of disgust with the available choices not seen since Nixon v. McGovern.

That economy will have to be so bad that it outweighs the tidal wave of legitimate negatives Team Obama will throw at Romney.

As noted, we (i.e., the people of the USA) are in trouble.

UPDATE 2, Feb. 1: Bill Jacobsen at Legal Insurrection had the stomach to look at the details, and they are not comforting. Bottom line: “In counties where Gingrich did better, Republican turnout was up over 2008. In counties where Romney dominated, turnout was lower.” Wow.

IBD to Al Gore and the ‘Climate Change’ Movement: You’re Full of Globaloney

Okay, the folks at Investor’s Business Daily didn’t use those words in their Monday evening editorial.

But they could have (bolds are mine):

When Global Warming Freezes Over
(browser window title: “The Data Show There’s Been No Warming For Over a Decade”)

Global warming alarmists won’t give up their campaign to spread fear and backward thinking until an ice bridge stretches from New York to Paris. Science, though, says they should.

According to the data (from the Met Office in the UK), there’s been no warming for more than a decade. The global temperature that (Al) Gore and the rest of the alarmist tribe are so concerned about was about one full degree cooler (as measured in Celsius) last year than it was when temperatures peaked in 1997.

… The Daily Mail, which, unlike America’s mainstream media, isn’t afraid to report news that goes against the global warming narrative, says the British government agrees with that assessment.

… The warmer temperatures the alarmists were predicting decades ago have never arrived. Nearly five years back, Kevin Trenberth, a climate scientist who believes in global warming, had to admit that “none of the climate states in the models correspond even remotely to the current observed climate.”

We have no models, but even without one we think we can safely predict that the alarmist community and its sphere of influence will continue to shrink.

Not if the Obama administration, the carbon-crazed Luddites at the EPA, and the pseudo-academics who have staked the credibility of their entire professional lives on what GOP presidential candidate Rick Santorum has accurately called a “hoax” have any say about it.

Laffer: ‘Gingrich’s Tax Plan Beats Romney’s’

Filed under: Economy,Taxes & Government — Tom @ 7:10 am

In the Wall Street Journal today (bolds are mine):

Gingrich’s Tax Plan Beats Romney’s

… the key is a good tax plan and the ability to implement it.

Mr. Gingrich has a significantly better plan than does Mr. Romney, and he has twice before been instrumental in implementing a successful tax plan on a national level—once when he served in Congress as a Reagan supporter in the 1980s and again when he was President Clinton’s partner as speaker of the House of Representatives in the 1990s. During both of these periods the economy prospered incredibly—in good part because of Mr. Gingrich.

Jobs and wealth are created by those who are taxed, not by those who do the taxing. Government, by its very nature, doesn’t create resources but redistributes resources. To minimize the damages taxes cause the economy, the best way for government to raise revenue is a broad-based, low-rate flat tax that provides people and businesses with the fewest incentives to avoid or otherwise not report taxable income, and the least number of places where they can escape taxation. On these counts it doesn’t get any better than Mr. Gingrich’s optional 15% flat tax for individuals and his 12.5% flat tax for business. Each of these taxes has been tried and tested and found to be enormously successful.

Mr. Romney’s tax proposals—including eliminating the death tax, reducing the corporate tax rate to 25%, and extending the current tax rates on personal income, interest, dividends and capital gains—would be an improvement over those of President Obama, but they don’t have the boldness or internal integrity of Mr. Gingrich’s personal and business flat taxes.

Not surprising. A shortage of boldness (with the exception of brazenly lying about his opponents, and having others do it on his behalf) and a lack integrity signature features of Mitt Romney’s political life going all the way back to his time as Massachusetts governor.

Continuing with Mr. Laffer:

… A person who makes 10 times as much as another person should pay 10 times more in taxes. It is also patently obvious that it is unfair to tax some people’s income twice, three times or more after it has been earned, as is the case with the death tax.

The current administration’s notion of fairness—taxing high-income earners at high rates and not taxing other income earners at all—is totally unfair. It is also anathema to prosperity and ultimately leads to the situation we have in our nation today.

In 2012, those least capable of navigating complex government-created economic environments find themselves in their worst economic circumstances in generations.

Mr. Gingrich’s flat tax proposals—along with his proposed balanced budget amendment—would put a quick stop to overspending and return America to fiscal soundness. No other candidate comes close to doing this.

Florida voters would be wise to decide in favor of the guy who has an economic plan Art Laffer can support, or at a minimum to stay away from the guy with a boring 59-point plan.

Tuesday Off-Topic (Moderated) Open Thread (013112)

Filed under: Lucid Links — Tom @ 7:00 am

Rules are here. Possible comment fodder may follow later. Other topics are also fair game.

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Positivity: Lighthouse Pregnancy Center offers ‘true choice’ to women in need

Filed under: Life-Based News,Positivity — Tom @ 5:57 am

From Denver:

Jan 31, 2012 / 02:53 am

Lighthouse Pregnancy Center hosted a dinner and auction on Jan. 26 to help raise the funds needed to open its doors as the first Catholic crisis pregnancy center in Denver, Colo.

“Lighthouse brings together the community to provide education, outreach and services that will encourage and uphold the dignity of women,” said board chairman, Laura Salvato.

Recently, Lighthouse secured property across the street from Planned Parenthood of the Rocky Mountains’ new $6.3 million headquarters. The construction, which is still being completed, heavily relies on volunteer efforts and donations.

“By building and operating a crisis pregnancy center on this site, Lighthouse can offer a true choice to women who seek its services,” Salvato added.

Pro-life actor and film producer Eduardo Verastegui was the keynote speaker at the inaugural fundraiser.

Verastegui recently opened a pro-life medical center for women, Guadalupe Medical Center, in Los Angeles. He referred to it as “an oasis of life” in a “desert of death” because of its location in the midst of 10 abortion clinics.

“I am just so excited to hear that you are doing the same thing,” he told donors, “I think (this is) the best way to really win this culture and turn this into a culture of life.”

Executive director, Rosalindo Loano, spoke and shared her vision for the center to provide “hope and help for these women who need to know that they are strong and intelligent.” …

Go here for the rest of the story.