Sunday, April 7, 2013

Austerity Is Not to Blame for Tepid Job Growth

Investors Business Daily ^ | 04/05/2013

Democrats were quick to blame the anemic March jobs number on the "sequester" spending cuts. If that were the case, what explains the previous four years of lousy job growth under Obama?
At 88,000, the jobs growth in March was well below expectations. And while the unemployment rate dropped, that was the result of hundreds of thousands dropping out of the labor force who as a result aren't counted as unemployed.
Democrats, of course, tried to pin the blame for this on Republicans for allegedly pushing austerity measures.
White House economic adviser Alan Krueger complained that "arbitrary and unnecessary cuts to government services will be a head wind in the months to come."
His predecessor in that job, Austan Goolsbee, worried that "maybe the sequester's a bigger deal than people thought it was."
And Sen. Majority Leader Harry Reid argued that "self-inflicted setbacks like the sequester" were behind the tepid jobs growth.
It didn't take long for the Democrats' amen chorus in the press to run with this spin.
"Friday's jobs report is the first to reflect the post-sequester world," is how Politico put it.
The Huffington Post said "austerity may be starting to squeeze the life out of the job market."
Just one problem: There's nothing unusual about this month's jobs report, and there's been no austerity.
(Excerpt) Read more at ...

Global Warming Alarmists Continue To ‘Hide The Decline'

Flopping Aces ^ | 04-06-13 | Curt

It's interesting that over the years the skeptics who didn't believe "the science was settled" on man-made global warming were raked over the coals. They were called heretics and compared to 9/11 twoofers. But now they don't seem so crazy.

OVER the past 15 years air temperatures at the Earth’s surface have been flat while greenhouse-gas emissions have continued to soar. The world added roughly 100 billion tonnes of carbon to the atmosphere between 2000 and 2010. ...The mismatch between rising greenhouse-gas emissions and not-rising temperatures is among the biggest puzzles in climate science just now. It does not mean global warming is a delusion. Flat though they are, temperatures in the first decade of the 21st century remain almost 1°C above their level in the first decade of the 20th. But the puzzle does need explaining.
The above article hammers the IPCC and their alarmist predictions from years ago. Predictions of rising oceans, melting ice, and cities destroyed. Predictions that were wrong, have always been wrong, and when called out on it the alarmists went into survival mode.
How did they try to survive and stay relevant?
By hiding information that directly refutes their theories. No one knew about their smudging of fact until the ClimateGate emails came out and specifically in the "trick...hide the decline" email. First some history prior to that email:

The trick email had its roots in the 1998 Mann and Briffa temperature reconstructions. Both were submitted independently in 1997 within only a few days of one another and published in 1998 within only a couple of months of one another. Both drew on very large tree ring networks, but their later 20th century results were diametrically opposite. Mann’s went sharply up, while Briffa’s went down. Disguising this inconsistency rather than explaining it led to much of the strange history in this field. The Briffa reconstruction was based on densities from an extremely large network collected in the early 1990s by Fritz Schweingruber from over 400 sites in northern Canada, Siberia etc selected beforehand as being temperature-limited due to altitude or latitude. To this day, it remains by far the largest sample of this type. Despite relatively little centennial variability, Briffa’s reconstruction had a noticeable decline in the late 20th century, despite warmer temperatures. In these early articles, the decline was not hidden.
For most analysts, the seemingly unavoidable question at this point would be – if tree rings didn’t respond to late 20th century warmth, how would one know that they didn’t do the same thing in response to possible medieval warmth – a question that remains unaddressed years later.
The famous Mann reconstruction was published in April 1998, a month before Mann received his PhD. Mann also used a tree ring network of over 400 sites. But instead of limiting the network to temperature-limited sites, Mann included everything, even precipitation limited sites in the US southwest. Mann even included Graybill’s bristlecone pines, which had a pronounced 20th century growth pulse that the authors argued was due to CO2 fertilization rather temperature. Instead of using averages like Briffa, Mann used principal components – or rather his own adaptation of the method – a method that enhanced the contribution of bristlecones. In its first muddy version as shown here, it gave little hint of its later iconic status.
Contact between Jones and Mann commenced around this time. The first letters are polite. In the fall, Jones, Mann, Briffa and Overpeck correspond about the merits of paleoclimate proxies and how to attract attention to the field.
September 1998 brought very different fortunes to Mann and Briffa. Despite his very junior status – only a few months from his PhD - Mann got a big boost by being appointed one of only eight Lead Authors of the important chapter 2 of the forthcoming IPCC Assessment Report. Briffa, on the other hand, despite practicing in the field for many years, was facing the bleak prospect of unemployment at the start of the new year:
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Friday Was Full of Good Information on the Failings of "Universal Background Checks"

Virginia Shooting Sports Association ^ | 5 April, 2013 | NA

First, this from the Heritage Foundation:
Addington, head of Heritage’s Edwin Meese III Center for Legal and Judicial Studies, lays out some of the dangers in Reid’s proposal:
  • It effectively puts a new tax on selling or giving away a firearm.
  • It could help criminals figure out where it is easiest to buy guns.
  • It allows for the beginnings of a national gun registry.
  • It makes a missing firearm a ticket to five years in prison.
And this one from Dave Kopel on National Review Online that explains how Chuck Schumer's "Fix Gun Checks Act" is based on "model language" that the Bloomberg gun-ban lobby is pushing all over the country:
To see how the Bloomberg bill makes felons of people who do not sell guns, consider a woman who buys a rifle when she is 25 years old. She keeps the rifle her entire life. Yet over her lifetime, she — like most gun owners — engages in dozens of firearms “transfers.” She brings the unloaded rifle to a friend’s house, for instance, because the friend is thinking of buying a gun and wants to learn more about guns. The friend handles the rifle for a few minutes before handing it back. Another time, the woman lends the gun to her niece, who takes it on a camping trip for the weekend. While the woman is out of town on a business trip for two weeks, she gives the gun to her husband or her sister. If the woman lives on a farm, she allows all her relatives to take the rifle into the fields for pest and predator control — and sometimes, when friends are visiting, she takes them to a safe place on the farm where they spend an hour or two target shooting, passing her gun back and forth. At other times, she and her friends go target shooting in open spaces of land owned by the National Forest Service or the Bureau of Land Management.
Or perhaps the woman is in a same-sex civil union, and she allows her partner to take her gun to a target range one afternoon. Another time, she allows her cousin to borrow the gun for an afternoon of target shooting. If the woman is in the Army Reserve and she is called up for an overseas deployment, she gives the gun to her sister for temporary safekeeping.
One time, she learns that her neighbor is being threatened by an abusive ex-boyfriend, and she lets this woman borrow a gun for several days until she can buy her own gun. And if the woman becomes a firearms-safety instructor, she regularly teaches classes at office parks, in school buildings at nights and on weekends, at gun stores, and so on. Following the standard curriculum of gun-safety classes (such as NRA safety courses), the woman will bring some unloaded guns to the classroom, and under her supervision, students will learn the first steps in how to handle the guns, including how to load and unload them (using dummy ammunition). During the class, the firearms will be “transferred” dozens of times, since students must practice how to hand a gun to someone else safely. As a Boy Scout den mother or 4-H leader, the woman may also transfer her gun to young people dozens of times while instructing them in gun safety.
Under S. 649, every one of the above activities would be a federal felony, subject to precisely the same punishment a person would receive if he had knowingly sold a firearm to a convicted violent felon. S. 649, like other Bloomberg-model bills, has a few exceptions to the ban on transfers, but none of them apply to the situations described above.
And finally, talk show host Mark Levin spent a great deal of time on his program in each hour talking about the background check issue and the 2nd Amendment in general. It is worth the hour and fifty two minutes to listen to the podcast.

ATF Seeks 'Massive' Database of Personal Info: 'Assets, Relatives, Associates and More'

CNS News ^

A recent solicitation from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms (ATF) reveals that the agency is seeking a "massive" online database capable of pulling up individuals' personal information, connections and associates.
On March 28, ATF posted the notice on, entitled "Investigative System." The solicitation was updated on April 5 with a few minor changes.
The document says that the system will be utilized by staff "to provide rapid searches on various entities for example; names, telephone numbers, utility data and reverse phone look-ups, as a means to assist with investigations, and background research on people, assets and businesses."
(Excerpt) Read more at ...

...a majority of the American people“Taking Our Temperature” ^ | Saturday, April 6, 2013 | - Erik Rush

Progressive talking heads, including President Obama, recently adopted the idiom “a majority of the American people” in order to misrepresent public sentiment concerning their radical positions; suffice it to say that, in these cases, the truth has been quite the opposite.
They know that of course, and this is why their rhetoric remains so spirited. To Obama and his co-conspirators on the left, lying comes as naturally as breathing.

Though radicals appear to be on the verge of a wholesale usurpation of political power in America, they realize that their end game is not going to endear them to that majority of the American people. Thus, their tone, declarations, and allegations have reached epic proportions in terms of outrageousness.

Democrat lawmakers and the Obama administration are currently crafting yet more “immigration reform” legislation. It is commonly understood that this will amount to amnesty for millions of Mexican nationals currently living illegally in the U.S. – so commonly understood in fact, that illegals are now flooding U.S./Mexico border in anticipation of this prospect, some allegedly asking authorities, “Where do we go to get our amnesty?

Republican lawmakers, ostensibly in an effort to play nice, are once again in ankle-grabbing mode on the issue, although this isn’t likely to make them the friends they think they’ll make. A recent poll shows that likely voters “strongly favor enforcement over legalization for illegal immigrants.
(Excerpt) Read more at ...