Tuesday, December 6, 2016

Wind turbines generating regret; $100,000 turbines to create $1.50 in electricity monthly

peninsuladailynews.com ^ | December 4, 2016 | Paul Gottlieb 

Three windmill-like turbines loom motionless over the city of Port Angeles’ new Waterfront Park.
The $107,516 spires stand immobile more than two months after they were erected and more than a year after the city council approved them.
Once they are working to generate electricity, they will produce so little power — $1.50 worth of electricity a month in savings — that at least one council member is regretting her decision to purchase them.
They have not been activated because the city is involved in an inspection-related dispute with the manufacturer, UGE International Ltd. of New York City, Community and Economic Development Director Nathan West said last week.
The impasse could be resolved by January, after projects with a higher priority are taken care of, West said.
The turbines will power the 31 lights that illuminate the park, Deputy Power Systems Manager Shailesh Shere said last week.
They can generate up to 3 kilowatts an hour but under normal conditions will generate a quarter of that, Shere said.
Shere said they are expected to generate $1.50 worth of electricity a month, based on current retail Bonneville Power Administration (BPA) rates.
City Councilwoman Sissi Bruch said last week the turbines were intended to do more than generate electricity.
“They were also meant to educate folks about wind power,” she said.
(Excerpt) Read more at peninsuladailynews.com ...

The Left's Gambles

Townhall.com ^ | December 6, 2016 | Thomas Sowell 

Sometimes life forces us to make decisions, even when we don't have enough information to know how the decision will turn out. The risks may be even greater when people make decisions for other people. Yet there are some who are not only willing, but eager, to take decisions away from those who are directly affected.
Something as personal as what doctor we want to go to has been taken out of our hands by ObamaCare. What job offer, at what pay rate, someone wants to accept has been taken out of their hands by minimum wage laws.
Sick people who are dying are prevented from trying a medication that has not yet completed all the long years of tests required by federal regulations -- even if the medication has been used for years in other countries without ill effects.
One by one, innumerable decisions have been taken out of the hands of those directly affected. This is not just something that has happened. It is a central part of the agenda of the political left, even though they describe what they are doing in terms of the bad things they claim to be preventing and the good things they claim to be creating.
Minimum wage laws are described as preventing workers from being "exploited" by employers who pay less than what third parties want them to pay. But would people accept wages that third parties don't like if there were better alternatives available?
This is an issue that is very personal to me. When I left home at the age of 17, going out into the world as a black high school dropout with very little experience and no skills, the minimum wage law had been rendered meaningless by ten years of inflation since the law was passed. In other words, there was no minimum wage law in effect, for all practical purposes.
It was far easier for me to find jobs then than it is for teenage black high school dropouts today. After the minimum wage was raised to keep up with inflation, for decades the unemployment rate for black male 17-year-olds never fell below TRIPLE what it was for me -- and in some years their unemployment rate was as much as five times what it was when I was a teenager.
Yet many people on the left were able to feel good about themselves for having prevented "exploitation" -- that is, wage rates less than what third parties would like to see. No employer in his right mind was going to pay me what third parties wanted paid, when I had nothing to contribute, except in the simplest jobs.
As for me, my options would have been welfare or crime, and welfare was a lot harder to get in those days. As it was, the ineffectiveness of the minimum wage law at that time allowed me time to acquire job skills that would enable me to move on to successively better jobs -- and eventually to complete my education. Most people who have minimum wage jobs do not stay at those jobs for life. The turnover rate among people who are flipping hamburgers was found by one study to be so high that those who have such jobs on New Year's Day are very unlikely to still be there at Christmas.
In short, the left has been gambling with other people's livelihoods -- and the left pays no price when that gamble fails.
It is the same story when the left prevents dying people from getting medications that have been used for years in other countries, without dire effects, but have not yet gotten through the long maze of federal "safety" regulations in the U.S.
People have died from such "safety." Police are dying from restrictions on them that keep criminals safe.
San Francisco is currently trying to impose more restrictions on the police, restrictions that will prevent them from shooting at a moving car, except under special conditions that they will have to think about when they have a split second to make a decision that can cost them their own lives. But the left will pay no price.
One of the most zealous crusades of the left has been to prevent law-abiding citizens from having guns, even though gun control laws have little or no effect on criminals who violate laws in general. You can read through reams of rhetoric from gun control advocates without encountering a single hard fact showing gun control laws reducing crime in general or murder in particular.
Such hard evidence as exists points in the opposite direction.
But the gun control gamble with other people's lives is undeterred. And the left still pays no price when they are wrong.

Report: Pentagon squashed plan to save $125 bil. in bureaucratic waste

Hotair ^ | 12/06/2016 | Larry O'Connor 

The Washington Post has a bombshell report Tuesday morning which reveals an internal study conducted by the Pentagon which pointed out $125 billion in administrative waste in how the enormous, military bureaucracy operates. According to the long and detailed report, Defense Department officials buried the findings so as not to jeopardize their political arguments for more funding during the years of “sequester” cuts:
But some Pentagon leaders said they fretted that by spotlighting so much waste, the study would undermine their repeated public assertions that years of budget austerity had left the armed forces starved of funds. Instead of providing more money, they said, they worried Congress and the White House might decide to cut deeper.
So the plan was killed. The Pentagon imposed secrecy restrictions on the data making up the study, which ensured no one could replicate the findings. A 77-page summary report that had been made public was removed from a Pentagon website.
Of course, President Obama has spent the past several years publicly decrying the sequester cuts for political advantage. Here’s the president in 2015 claiming Republicans were making America vulnerable to terrorist attacks because of the cuts:
President Obama on Tuesday said congressional Republicans must end the “reckless cuts” under sequestration that are hurting the U.S. military.
“That’s not the way to keep our armed forces ready,” he said in a speech at a Veterans of Foreign Wars convention in Pittsburgh. “These mindless cuts have to end.”
The president said lawmakers have two paths forward on the budget.The first would be keeping the spending ceilings under sequester in place and using “gimmicks” to fund the military and “shortchange” counterterrorism efforts.
“I got to be honest, that’s what the Republican budget does,” Obama told the audience.
Meanwhile, according to WaPo, Obama’s own appointees at the Pentagon were well aware that there were plenty of ways to cut spending at the Pentagon by merely cleaning up the waste found in the vast, un-checked bureaucracy at the Pentagon:
“They’re all complaining that they don’t have any money. We proposed a way to save a ton of money,” said Robert “Bobby” L. Stein, a private-equity investor from Jacksonville, Fla., who served as chairman of the Defense Business Board.
Stein, a campaign bundler for President Obama, said the study’s data were “indisputable” and that it was “a travesty” for the Pentagon to suppress the results.
“We’re going to be in peril because we’re spending dollars like it doesn’t matter,” he added.
It’s stories like these that resonate with disaffected voters who have been disgusted with the endless demand for more tax dollars and unfulfilled promises to cut “waste, fraud and abuse.” In short, it’s stories like this that got Donald Trump elected. Will he, as a business man, be able to reverse these long-entranched practices by running these agencies like a private company rather than a government agency that can spend billions of dollars with no scrutiny?

There is something really wrong with the Detroit/Wayne county vote totals!

Wayne County Clerk ^ | 12/5/16 | Me 

There are some really strange things going on in Detroit with the vote. First the Detroit Free Press wrote an article saying that over 59% of Detroit precincts couldn't be recounted due to mismatched votes. Then the claims that there are 85,000 uncounted votes in Detroit. So I did a little digging.

First the Wayne County Clerk lists 1.134 million ballots cast, but if you add the total presidential votes there are 1.252 million total. Second, Detroit is listed as having a 97% voter turnout, but is short the 85,000 votes vs ballots cast. This matches votes cast for other citywide races. Then outside of detroits has about 180,000 more votes cast than ballots listed. Obviously there is very wrong with their numbers, and with the detroit Free Press article from this morning, it probably shows some type of fraud.
First, if their is someone who can get this to the right people in Michigan, and also to check my numbers. Here is the Detroit Free Press article from today.Mismatched numbers means precincts can't be recounted
And here is the Wayne County Clerk site. Wayne County Clerk 

Yes, you can blame millennials for Hillary Clinton’s loss!

MSN ^ | Aaron Blake 

Hillary's campaign has lots of excuses for losing. The electoral college, James Comey, the media's alleged over-exuberance in digging into Clinton's email server, etc. But Clinton campaign manager Robby Mook said Thursday that one particular group is especially to blame: millennials.


Where the campaign needed to win upward of 60 percent of young voters, it was able to garner something “in the high 50s...” Mook said. “That’s why we lost.”

The national exit poll shows Clinton underperformed Barack Obama's 2012 share of the vote by one point with those between the ages of 30 and 44 and by three points with those 45 to 64.

Among those between 18 and 29, she took five points less — 55 percent versus Obama's 60.

Clinton's 55-36 margin [19 points] among those ages 18 to 29 is also significantly worse than late polls suggested it would be. A mid-October poll from the Harvard Institute of Politics showed her leading 59 to 29 in a two-way matchup with Trump... A GenForward survey conducted by the AP-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research, meanwhile, had her up 41 points, 60 to 19.

They, of course, are national polls, and the race was really decided in a handful of close states — Florida, Michigan, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin. And sure enough, Clinton did even worse among young people in those states.

While Clinton's national margin of victory among young people was only four points worse than Obama's 60-to-37 edge, Michigan's exit poll shows her margin among young people there was five points worse (+28 for Obama vs. +23 for Clinton). In Florida, it was 16 points worse (+34 vs. +18). In Pennsylvania, it was 17 points worse (+28 vs. +9). And in Wisconsin, it was 20 points worse (+23 vs. +3).
(Excerpt) Read more at msn.com ...

Political Spin in Full Spin on the Obama Economy

Real Clear Markets ^ | December 6, 2016 | Ray Keating 

As their time in office winds down, U.S. presidents and their supporters tend to focus on legacy: What will history say about them? Unfortunately, on the economy, the Obama crowd has a lot of work to do in the hopes that political spin will cloud or even overrule economic reality. The effort is well under way.
It's not like this hasn't happened before. Franklin Delano Roosevelt's New Dealers successfully spun the idea that Herbert Hoover was a laissez-faire president, unwilling to use the tools of government to fight off the Great Depression, and it took FDR and his government programs to end the depression and save capitalism from itself. Of course, a cursory review of the facts shows that Hoover was anything but a free-market advocate. Instead, he signed the protectionist Smoot-Hawley Tariff Act, jacked up government spending and intrusiveness in unprecedented ways, and hiked taxes dramatically. FDR built and drastically expanded on such measures, including ramping up federal regulation like never before. Hoover and FDR were alike in imposing burdensome costs and uncertainties on the private sector. Hence, we experienced the Great Depression.
It took decades for the real history of the era to begin to get more widely reported, by historians, economists and authors like Paul Johnson, Amity Shlaes, Larry Schweikart, Burt Folsom, and Robert Higgs.
Like FDR, Obama was dealt a very bad hand on the economy. However, he largely followed the Roosevelt prescription of government activism. Obama imposed more spending, hyper-regulation, and tax increases, while also threatening throughout his two terms to inflict even more tax hikes, regulations and spending. The results of increased costs and uncertainty on the private sector were predictable, that is, fewer resources and diminished incentives for starting up, expanding and investing in businesses.
Obama supporters apparently will have plenty of help in spinning the Obama economy, as a December 2 article in The New York Times carried the title "President Obama Is Handing a Strong Economy to His Successor." Really? The article basically highlighted an unemployment rate of 4.6 percent in November, and served up assorted quotes from the Obama crowd, which included Jason Furman, chairman of Obama's Council of Economic Advisers, offering the typical declaration from Obama circles that his policies saved us from another Great Depression.
But putting aside the spin and just looking at the numbers, it's unmistakable that Mr. Obama is handing over a badly under-performing economy to his successor. Consider economic growth and employment.
Real annual GDP growth since the end of the recession in mid-2009 has grown at less than half the rate it should during periods of recovery and expansion (averaging a mere 2.1 percent during this recovery compared to the historic average of 4.3 percent). If growth during this recovery had matched the historical average, GDP this year would approximately $2.5 trillion larger.
As for the recent drop in the unemployment rate, from 5.0 percent in September to 4.6 percent in November, it turns out that 78 percent of that reduction was due to people leaving the labor force altogether, rather than new jobs being created. Indeed, labor force participation and job creation have been woeful. Employment as a share of the population in November registered 59.7 percent. If this employment-population ratio registered a more typical level prevailing before the recession (for example, 63 percent), we'd have 8.3 million more people working today.
In the end, the additional costs and uncertainties courtesy of government policies under Obama have discouraged private investment and entrepreneurship (both also down markedly from where they should be), and resulted in less growth and diminished job creation.
Through costly, wrongheaded policymaking, Hoover in effect created a recession, and both he and FDR turned it into the Great Depression. Similarly, President Obama took a bad economy, turned it into a deeper recession, and generated one of the worst recoveries on record.
Given his dismal performance in office, in order to polish up his legacy, President Obama will have to rely on his own delusional declarations, the work of his political spin-meisters, and the complicity or ignorance of some in the media. Let's hope that historians look at the actual record.
Ray Keating is an economist and a novelist. His latest thriller is Wine Into Water: A Pastor Stephen Grant Novel.







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Recount Fraud!