Thursday, September 19, 2013

Cato Institutue's Resdient Climate Science Fake Skeptic Finally Takes What He Said Is a Good Bet

When someone says something's a "good bet" one would think that that means they'd be willing to be on it. But with some people, it's like pulling teeth. Probably because they're really not that sure of their own BS.

So, I was surprised when Patrick Michaels finally agreed to the bet he said was a good one.

Fake Climate Science Skeptic Finally Willing to Put Money Where His Mouth Is

Back in January, the CATO Institute's resident climate science fake skeptic Pat "Often Wrong" Michaels wrote in the Moonie Times: "’s a pretty good bet that we are going to go nearly a quarter of a century without warming."
Being a life-long gambler who discovered and then lost the best bets ever--politics and climate at Intrade--I contacted him and asked, "How much?"

Sunday, March 17, 2013

Robert Samuelson: "What Frustrates Constructive Debate is Muddled Pundit Opinion" | Beat the Press

Again with the Dean Baker (if you don't subscribe (RSS), you should)--SS     

Robert Samuelson: "What Frustrates Constructive Debate is Muddled Pundit Opinion" | Beat the Press:
Samuelson's complaint about the size of spending on the elderly is also highly misleading. He complains: 
"In fiscal 2012, Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid and civil service and military retirement cost $1.7 trillion, about half the budget." 
That sounds really outrageous -- those damn old people. Samuelson case is considerably weakened by the fact that the vast majority of this money was paid into these programs through designated taxes. He might think it's fine to tax people for Social Security and Medicare and use the money for the military or to pay interest on Peter Peterson's government bonds, but the less educated public might not share this view.

Monday, March 4, 2013

Mooching Off Medicaid -

K-Thug, in part eleventy billion on the GOP rigging of their supposedly Free Markets.--SS   

Mooching Off Medicaid -
Don’t tell me about free markets. This is all about spending taxpayer money, and the question is whether that money should be spent directly to help people or run through a set of private middlemen.

Sunday, March 3, 2013

This is why Obama can’t make a deal with Republicans

Ezra Klein keeping it real.--SS   

This is why Obama can’t make a deal with Republicans:
So let’s back up. Murphy’s initial view was that to unlock GOP votes for a budget deal, Obama just needed to endorse chained CPI and more means-testing in Medicare. Then it was pointed out that Obama has endorsed means-testing in Medicare, so Murphy wondered why he didn’t endorse chained CPI as part of a deal. Then it was pointed out that Obama did endorse chained CPI, at which point Murphy called chained CPI “a gimmick,” and said Obama had to endorse raising the Medicare age, drop his demands for more revenue as part of a deal and earn back the GOP’s trust. 
Recall what Chait said would happen if the Republican legislator in my column was forced to react to the fact that Obama has endorsed chained CPI: “He would come up with something – the cuts aren’t real, or the taxes are awful, or they can’t trust Obama to carry them out, or something.” Check, check, and check.

Monday, February 25, 2013

The Science Behind Coffee and Why it's Actually Good for Your Health

Of course, Organic Kona Coffee is even better for you.--SS     

A cup of coffee contains (30):
6% of the RDA for Pantothenic Acid (Vitamin B5).
11% of the RDA for Riboflavin (Vitamin B2).
2% of the RDA for Niacin (B3) and Thiamine (B1).
3% of the RDA for Potassium and Manganese. 
May not seem like much, but if you drink several cups of coffee per day then this quickly adds up.
But this isn't all. Coffee also contains a massive amount of antioxidants. In fact, coffee is the biggest source of antioxidants in the western diet, outranking both fruits and vegetables combined...

Saturday, February 23, 2013

Economists Discover that Fed Bond Purchases Affect the Budget | Beat the Press

Dean Baker gives free economics lessons on his blog. Too bad most of Washington doesn't take advantage of them.--SS  

Economists Discover that Fed Bond Purchases Affect the Budget | Beat the Press:
The other point that should jump out at folks is that the projected drop in bond prices, which is the reason that the Fed is projected to lose money, presents a great opportunity for the government to reduce its debt burden. The idea is that long-term bonds issued at the current low interest rates will sell at sharp discounts later in the decade, if interest rates rise as projected.
These discounted prices will give the government the opportunity to reduce its debt by hundreds of billions of dollars -- perhaps more than $1 trillion -- simply by buying these bonds back at lower prices. Such a move would be utterly pointless since it would not change the country's interest burden at all, but since we currently live in a political environment where the debt to GDP ratio is an object of worship, this would be a great way to appease that god. It sure beats big cuts to Social Security and Medicare.

Thursday, February 21, 2013

We Need Job Creation, Not Talk of Debt-to-GDP Ratios | Debate Club | US News Opinion

#facts from Dean Baker.--SS   

We Need Job Creation, Not Talk of Debt-to-GDP Ratios | Debate Club | US News Opinion:
This would be a small matter if Bowles and Simpson were not proposing real pain to real people. Their cuts to Social Security and Medicare will be a major hit to tens of millions of seniors who even now have a median income of just $20,000 a year. The change to the Social Security cost of living adjustment alone, which amounts to a 3 percent cut over the lifetime of a typical beneficiary, would be a much larger hit to the income of the typical senior than President Barack Obama's tax increases were to the high income people affected by them.

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Letter to Sen. Portman: 'Entitlement Reform' Means Cuts to Social Security, Medicare Benefits | Social Security Monitor

Dean Baker attempts to associate former Bush Budget Director (need I say more?) and current US Senator Rob Portman with the facts. Too bad Republicans don't care about facts. Go read the whole thing if you do.--SS   

Letter to Sen. Portman: 'Entitlement Reform' Means Cuts to Social Security, Medicare Benefits | Social Security Monitor:
...the non-partisan Congressional Budget Office projects that even if Congress makes no changes to the program at all, Social Security can pay full scheduled benefits through the year 2034 and over three-quarters of scheduled benefits for the rest of the century. The shortfall that remains is equivalent to only about 0.6 percent of our GDP, which could be easily made up with common-sense solutions, such as applying the Social Security payroll tax to income above $113,700. 
Medicare is projected to be able to pay full benefits through the year 2024 and the long-term projected shortfall has decreased by more than two-thirds, due to cost controls put in place by the Affordable Care Act.  In addition, the latest projections of Medicare spending from 2011 to 2020 have dropped by $500 billion. The main reason for Medicare's long-term deficits is that we pay twice as much per person for health care as in other developed nations, without better health outcomes to show for it. In fact, if we could get our health care costs down to their levels, for example by allowing the government to negotiate Medicare prescription drug prices, then we'd be looking at budget surpluses, not deficits, in the future.

Tuesday, February 19, 2013


Sunday, February 17, 2013

Teamster Nation: The GOP is raising your taxes all over the US

The latest round of billionaire-backed assaults on working people includes tax hikes for nearly everyone except -- you guessed it -- the very wealthy. Billionaires' manservants -- aka "Republican governors" -- are trying to raise taxes on the working class in Ohio, Louisiana, North Carolina, Oklahoma, Nebraska and Kansas. Only they're calling it the opposite of what it actually is. So when you hear a Republican governor use the words "tax reform," be very afraid. 
In Ohio, Republican Gov. John Kasich is trying to raise taxes on practically everything: real estate rents, credit processing fees, trademarks, franchises, licenses, stocks, bonds, money market funds, funerals, courier services, dry cleaning, haircuts, cable tv and advertising. To name a few. 
Why? Because Kasich wants to cut taxes for the very wealthy by more than $10,000 a year.

Friday, February 15, 2013

A Republican Inadvertently Admits Supporting a Higher Minimum Wage

Illinois gay marriage bill that does 'what's right' passes Senate, moves to House - Sun-Times Politics

If gay marriage ever gets legal in CA, I'll ask my Los Angeles caterer friend if more weddings will hurt her business. Or, maybe I should ask my Maui Bed and Breakfast owner friend if more honeymoons will be bad for her business.

Illinois gay marriage bill that does 'what's right' passes Senate, moves to House - Sun-Times Politics:
"Businesses will be affected. Bed and breakfasts, florists, all those that are wedding-related, will be affected. They will choose to, most of them, dissolve their businesses. That's what happened in other states," said state Sen. Kyle McCarter (R-Lebanon), drawing scoffs and laughter from supporters of the bill.

Thursday, February 7, 2013

Sylvester Stallone, Bruce Willis Take Opposite Gun Stances | TPMDC

Sylvester Stallone, Bruce Willis Take Opposite Gun Stances | TPMDC:

Willis’ line is similar to that coming from NRA leaders like Wayne LaPierre who have warned that new proposals to expand the background check system and limit the capacity of magazines are the first step toward a plan to roll back Second Amendment rights. 
Stallone on the other hand, was a supporter of the 1994 effort to ban assault weapons and he supports similar proposals now. 
“I know people get (upset) and go, ‘They’re going to take away the assault weapon.’ Who … needs an assault weapon? Like really, unless you’re carrying out an assault. … You can’t hunt with it. … Who’s going to attack your house, a (expletive) army?” Stallone said recently.

Saturday, February 2, 2013

Democracy by Langston Hughes

Langston Hughes would have been 111 yesterday.

Democracy by Langston Hughes:

Democracy will not come
Today, this year
Nor ever
Through compromise and fear. 
I have as much right
As the other fellow has
To stand
On my two feet
And own the land. 
I tire so of hearing people say,
Let things take their course.
Tomorrow is another day.
I do not need my freedom when I'm dead.
I cannot live on tomorrow's bread. 
Is a strong seed
In a great need. 
I live here, too.
I want freedom
Just as you.

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Durbin, Law Professor Argue Over Gun Magazine Limits (VIDEO) | TPM LiveWire

Logic is not a wingnut strong suit,  even when the wingnut is a law professor.--SS   

Durbin, Law Professor Argue Over Gun Magazine Limits (VIDEO) | TPM LiveWire:

"If you can rationalize a 100-round drum that someone can strap onto a semi-automatic weapon, as it did in Aurora, Colo., and turn it loose, killing dozens of people there and saving lives only because it jammed, then you certainly ought to object to the laws that have been on the books for 80 years about machine guns. Why aren't they allowed under the Second Amendment?" Durbin said.

Kopel responded that machine guns aren't allowed because they are not "commonly used by law-abiding citizens for legitimate purposes."

"But 100-round magazines are?" Durbin said.

Monday, January 28, 2013

What Are The Gobshites Saying These Days? - Esquire

Charles P Pierce on the Sunday Showz:

What Are The Gobshites Saying These Days? - Esquire:

Then came Jim DeMint, the former senator from South Carolina who is now running the ideological chop-shop known as the Heritage Foundation. DeMint sat down with the Dancing Master and gave a very convincing impersonation of a political lunatic. When the Dancing Master asked him about Colin Powell's comments regarding what Powell saw as the thinly veiled racism behind much of the criticism of the president, DeMint exploded in a cloud of snowflake Jeebus babies.
The fact that we are losing over 3,000 unborn children a day is an important issue...But Republicans or conservatives should not engage in a wish list about exceptions for abortion when the other side will not even agree that we have real people, real human beings. And we need to fight the battle where it should be fought. Life is important. We know from all the new technology and improved sonograms that we do have a baby...Instead of just offering my opinion on some hypothetical debate about exceptions for abortions, we need to move it back and particularly work with the states that are fighting just for the personhood of the child. And if we can start there, I think America will move with us.
I think I speak for the entire class when I say — what in the unholy fk is this man raving about? When a waiter asks him what he'd like to start with this evening, does he deliver an impassioned defense of the automatic transmission? When he's buying a plane ticket, and the agent asks him for his destination, does he go on for five minutes on the relative merits of pickles with tuna fish? How does this man get through the day, what with his various sequiturs so thoroughly non?

Read the whole thing: What Are The Gobshites Saying These Days? 

Saturday, January 26, 2013

Where there’s a Will … theres a way to distort the truth | Open Mind

When I first saw this story, I thought it was from Dog House Riley, who is known for taking George F'ing Will down a few notches every time Will's fingers hit a keyboard. Instead we have global warming blogger Tamino ripping Will a new one. There's math and science involved, so Republicans might want to brace themselves.--SS  

Where there’s a Will … theres a way to distort the truth | Open Mind:

"In his editorial in the Washington Post, he starts with “raging fires” by saying:
Are fires raging now more than ever? (There were a third fewer U.S. wildfires in 2012 than in 2006.)
Here’s a clue for those who want to know the truth of the matter rather than George Will’s “spin.” When you hear a phrase like “a third fewer U.S. wildfires in 2012 than in 2006,” you know you’re being played for a sucker."


Let’s look at acres burned. Let’s look at all the data available from NIFC:
All of a sudden George Will’s “a third fewer U.S. wildfires in 2012 than in 2006″ seems like a blatantly misleading indicator. That’s because it is a blatantly misleading indicator. The 2012 tally of acres burned is one of the highest on record. And even if it weren’t there is still an evident trend.
Go read the whole thing if you like to watch George Will have his old, saggy ass handed to him. 

Monday, January 21, 2013

Unpublished Carl Sandburg poem about power of guns uncovered at U. of I. library -

What a timely find.--SS    

Here is a revolver.
It has an amazing language all its own.
It delivers unmistakable ultimatums.
It is the last word.
A simple, little human forefinger can tell a terrible story with it.
Hunger, fear, revenge, robbery hide behind it.
It is the claw of the jungle made quick and powerful.
It is the club of the savage turned to magnificent precision.
It is more rapid than any judge or court of law.
It is less subtle and treacherous than any one lawyer or ten.
When it has spoken, the case can not be appealed to the supreme court, nor any mandamus nor any injunction nor any stay of execution in and interfere with the original purpose.
And nothing in human philosophy persists more strangely than the old belief that God is always on the side of those who have the most revolvers.

Sunday, January 20, 2013

Journalists in the service of Pete Peterson | Remapping Debate

A great story on our Galtian Overlords and the sycophants who stroke their enormous egos.--SS     

Journalists in the service of Pete Peterson | Remapping Debate:

Peterson, however, is hardly a disinterested and dispassionate observer of such discussions. In fact, he is now beginning his fourth decade of arguing that there is no alternative to enacting “entitlement reform” (read: cut Social Security and Medicare) and “tax reform” (read: raise regressive taxes and lower progressive ones) in the name of curbing the country’s “unsustainable” debt and deficits. 
An essential and successful element of the Peterson strategy is to create an environment where it is widely if not universally believed that there is no alternative to his vision. In this view, it’s “not realistic” to believe the country can afford the same programs it once did. Those who are prepared to be “adults” will look at these “hard truths” without flinching and recognize that it is time to take citizens-have-to-do-with-less medicine. 
The conceit is that those with “courage” will see past narrow, partisan concerns and embrace an ideal: a bipartisan consensus that has the strength to demand “shared sacrifice” from a childish and selfish populace. 
A review of the proceedings of the Fiscal Summits of the last three years makes agonizingly clear that most of the journalists who conducted interviews or moderated panel discussions both reflected and amplified the Peterson worldview — entirely unselfconsciously, it would seem. 
So, for example, Lesley Stahl, the CBS “60 Minutes” reporter, was fully a part of the Erskine Bowles and Alan Simpson deficit-cutting team during her interview with both men: “You are going to have to raise taxes and cut things, big things, put restrictions on Social Security. Everybody knows that.” 
Virtually none of the reporters thought to ask about or suggest an alternative path, such as preserving Social Security benefits and bolstering the system’s reserve by raising the cap of wages subject to Social Security taxes (currently annual wages above approximately $110,000 are not subject to any Social Security tax).

Saturday, January 19, 2013

California lawmaker: Guns are ‘essential to living the way God intended’ | The Raw Story

Yeah, right. The way God intended for us to live. Whatever. Keep talking, wingnuts!--SS   

California lawmaker: Guns are ‘essential to living the way God intended’ | The Raw Story:

“They are used to defend our property and our families and our faith and our freedom, and they are absolutely essential to living the way God intended for us to live.”--California Assemblyman Tim Donnelly

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

ClubOrlov: The Image of the Enemy

Great piece from Dimitri Orlov.-SS    

ClubOrlov: The Image of the Enemy:
Now, for me, fervent passion for the works of Ayn Rand has served as an accurate litmus test for a mediocre mind. The best that Ayn Rand's thinking can offer is a way of getting in touch with one's “inner asshole”: if you are the sort of person who is driven to distraction by the idea that somebody somewhere might be getting a free lunch at public expense, Ayn Rand is there to help you nurture such feelings. Ayn Rand is beloved of America's self-styled “libertarians.” The real Libertarians were socialists, but Americans have a way of borrowing words they don't know and then using them to mean things they don't understand, like saying “football” instead of “hand-egg” and then having to say “soccer” instead of “football,” never mind that the entire world finds this unintelligent and impolite. As the character Inigo Montoya put it in the film The Princess Bride, “You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means.”
So here we have a country in severe crisis (the United States) holding an important election, which should, theoretically, be over whether it should stay on course of runaway debt and government spending, or to reinvent itself and so to avoid national bankruptcy and collapse. And it turns out that all the opposition candidates it can field happen to be followers of a mediocre methamphetamine-addled Russian novelist. Now, let me ask you this: does this pathetic excuse for a democracy still have the right to lecture others about democratic governance? Perhaps the wounded beast of American democracy would be better off finding a dark place to go and lick its wounds for a couple of years.

Go read the whole thing. It's a great read.

Monday, January 7, 2013

Chuck Hagel Defense Nomination - The Hagel Nomination - Esquire

Charles P. Pierce puts boots on the ground.--SS   

Chuck Hagel Defense Nomination - The Hagel Nomination - Esquire:
"Hagel is a grunt. He always has been. He always will be. He's one of the people who has to kick in the doors. He's one of the people who has to look gingerly around the corner. He's one of the people who had to live at war 24-7, and who walked through Indian country and nearly died there. (By comparison, as he himself has said, until he got shot down, John McCain had a pretty good Vietnam war, flying back to the carrier every day for hot meals.) "