Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Brad Klippert Against Gun Control

As a police officer, 8th LD State Representative, Brad Klippert, doesn't think that stricter laws on gun ownership are necessary. He's tough enough to face whatever arsenals are out there and you should be, too. He opines that the problem isn't guns, it's people.  I'm looking forward to the legislation he will introduce to help make mental health care more accessible to those who need it.   Yeah, really.  I am.

Sunday, December 16, 2012

The G.O.P.’s Existential Crisis

Paul Krugman provides a short list of problems that threaten the continued existence the Republican Party as it is now constituted.
1. The party's real goal is to eliminate the welfare state, Social Security and Medicare.  But these programs are too popular to attack directly.
2. The indirect attack is to first reduce taxes and revenue then to use the lack funds as an excuse to cut the programs.
3. The idea is to use other sources of strength, such as white resentment, national security, and working class dislike of change to establish power, then to use that power against the programs.
4. But these sources of strength are now liabilities. There are now more Hispanics than southern whites. Women's rights are stronger than anti-abortion and anti-gay support.  And they failed to get Osama Bin Ladin.

Their goals are now so far out of reach that they have no effective strategy whatsoever.

Gun control in Israel and Switzerland

Contrary to a frequently-invoked myth. Israel and Switzerland are not gun-toting utopias.  In fact, Israel has found that when the IDF troops were required to leave their weapons at the base, firearm suicides went way down.  Maybe there is something to this gun control thing.

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Way to Go, Guys

Tri-City representatives get a failing grade.

Mid-Columbia Reps. Bruce Chandler, R-Granger, Susan Fagan, R-Pullman, Larry Haler, R-Richland, Brad Klippert, R-Kennewick, Joe Schmick, R-Colfax, and David Taylor, R-Moxee, as well as Sens. Jerome Delvin, R-Richland, Mike Hewitt, R-Walla Walla, Jim Honeyford, R-Sunnyside, and Schoesler received "F" grades.

Saturday, December 08, 2012

Thorium Not Proliferation-Proof

While thorium is quite valuable as a nuclear fuel, it isn't as proliferation-proof as first advertised.

Synthetic fuel vs. Crude Oil

A full-court analysis of synthetic fuel say that synthetic fuel from coal and/or non-food feedstocks could be competitive with oil-based fuels.  If we want to reduce the transportation carbon footprint, we have to use biomass.

Wednesday, December 05, 2012

X-47B Catapult Launch Makes Naval Aviation History

This is cool.  The future carrier-based drone has shown that it can be launched from a catapult.

Tracking Space Junk

Junk FM signals can be used to snapshot the location of all the space junk orbiting the planet at once.  With a few shot taken at appropriate intervals, the orbits can be predicted so that anything that might threaten a satellite can be dealt with.

Do millionaires move to avoid high taxes?

Millionaires don't move that much based on taxes. Especially when new tax rates are still below those in alternative destinations.

Sea levels rising faster than IPCC projections

Someone should be paying attention to this.  And this, too.

Citizens United and the Fall of the Roman Republic

Rob Goodman and Jimmy Soni have an interesting piece on how big, no, HUGE money corrupted the quasi-democratic tradition of the Roman Republic.  Massive wealth led to large concentrations of power to the point that democratic practices became history and the Empire was born.

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Forget the Grand Bargain

Give up on the grand bargain.  Even if one were to be struck, it wouldn't survive the next election cycle.  In the meantime, the pursuit of it generates continuing uncertainty.  It would be better for Congress to work on today's problems today and let future congresses deal with the future problems.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

The Next Great Urban Transportation Device?

A system based on gondolas has been proposed for Austin. They would be cheaper than light rail since you wouldn't have to purchase rights-of-way or dig tunnels.

Buffet for a Minimum Tax for the Wealthy

Warren Buffet calls for a minimum tax for the wealthy.  In his experience, taxation levels have never entered in to investment decisions.
...we need Congress, right now, to enact a minimum tax on high incomes. I would suggest 30 percent of taxable income between $1 million and $10 million, and 35 percent on amounts above that. A plain and simple rule like that will block the efforts of lobbyists, lawyers and contribution-hungry legislators to keep the ultrarich paying rates well below those incurred by people with income just a tiny fraction of ours. Only a minimum tax on very high incomes will prevent the stated tax rate from being eviscerated by these warriors for the wealthy.

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

U.S. Deficit Shrinking At Fastest Pace Since WWII

So, as a note to the deficit Chicken-Littles out there, our deficit is shrinking at an historical high rate.  We should push the austerity bomb down the road and let the cycle take its course.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Sailing at 65 knots

How cool is this?  This specially-designed craft has broken the sailing "sound barrier" of 50 knots.  It clocked one run of just shy of 65 knots.  And I get excited when my old. lumbering Catalina breaks 6 knots.

Thursday, November 15, 2012

100-Watts, $50

A new 100-Watt Light Bulb that uses LED's but has a spectrum close to incandescent.  It can be dimmed.  Industrial users will like it because of its 25,000 hour life.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

New view of low-level radioactivity

Scientists include that even low-level radioactivity is damaging,  This means that everyone everywhere suffers some damage from radiation throughout their lives.  So the real question should be, "Do exposures from the nuclear industry make any detectable difference?"

More Election Consequences from Rachel Maddow

We are not going to have a Supreme Court that will overturn Roe versus Wade. There will be no more Antonin Scalias and Samuel Alitos added to this court.

We`re not going to repeal health reform.

Nobody is going to kill Medicare and make old people in this generation or any other generation fight it out on the open market to try to get themselves health insurance. We are not going to do that.

We are not going to give a 20 percent tax cut to millionaires and billionaires and expect programs like food stamps and kid`s insurance to cover the cost of that tax cut.

We`re not make you clear it with your boss if you want to get birth control under the insurance plan that you`re on.

We are not going to redefine rape.

We are not going to amend the United States Constitution to stop gay people from getting married.

We are not going to double Guantanamo.

We are not eliminating the Department of Energy or the Department of Education or housing at the federal level.

We are not going to spend $2 trillion on the military that the military does not want.

We are not scaling back on student loans, because the country`s new plan is that you should borrow money from your parents.

We are not vetoing the DREAM Act. We are not self-deporting.

We are not letting Detroit go bankrupt.

We are not starting a trade war with China on Inauguration Day in January.

We are not going to have, as a president, a man who once led a mob of friends to run down a scared, gay kid, to hold him down and forcibly cut his hair off with a pair of scissors while that kid cried and screamed for help and there was no apology, not ever.

We are not going to have a Secretary of State John Bolton. We are not bringing Dick Cheney back. We are not going to have a foreign policy shop stocked with architects of the Iraq war. We are not going to do it.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

The 'Obamacare Layoffs' Are Way Overblown

As one would expect, all the hype about layoffs driven by Obamacare is just that, breathless hyperbole.  Yet another example how portions of our population will believe anything that reinforces their preconceptions.  But that's just human nature I suppose.

Friday, November 09, 2012

No Deal Is Better Than A Bad Deal

Let’s Not Make a Deal.  Obama is in the driver's seat this time around.  Now is the time to return the tax rates back to the pre-Bush levels and save our economy and our government.  As for the fiscal cliff:
Nobody wants to see that happen. Yet it may happen all the same, and Mr. Obama has to be willing to let it happen if necessary.
Why? Because Republicans are trying, for the third time since he took office, to use economic blackmail to achieve a goal they lack the votes to achieve through the normal legislative process. In particular, they want to extend the Bush tax cuts for the wealthy, even though the nation can’t afford to make those tax cuts permanent and the public believes that taxes on the rich should go up — and they’re threatening to block any deal on anything else unless they get their way. So they are, in effect, threatening to tank the economy unless their demands are met.

Gerrymandering Saves Republican Majority in the House

Democratic House candidates received more votes than Republicans.  If districts had been drawn to reflect a proper population distribution, we would have a Democratic House majority.  Republicans keep their majority because of their partisan control of redistricting at the state level.  This exposes a flaw in our political system.  But it should bode well in the upcoming policy battles.  People did not vote for a split Congress. It's just that way because of a technical fluke.  

Thursday, November 08, 2012

You think this is warm?

You ain't seen nuthin' yet.  After developing an appreciation for Nate Silver's election modeling, one might want to see what modeling on climate change is showing these days.

Share buttons added

I just figured out how to add Share buttons to the blog posts.  So, if you're so inclined, you can share away.

CBO: Letting upper-income tax cuts expire would barely hurt economy

There are plenty of daunting things in the Republican fiscal cliff,  but upper-income tax increases will have a minimal effect on the economy.  Talk about your low-hanging fruit.

HD 40307g

HD 40307g.  Remember that name.  It's a planet that is as close as 42 light-years away that could very well be suitable for liquid water and life.  Let's see what future observations bring.

Teachable Moment


It's a truism that in failure is when we actually learn something.  This election presented the opportunity for much to be learned by conservatives since their failure was so striking.  With thanks to Rachel Maddow, here's a list of things to learn:

Ohio really did go to President Obama. 
And he really did win. 
And he really was born in Hawaii
And he really is legitimately president of the United States, again.
And the Bureau of Labor Statistics did not make up a fake unemployment rate last month. 
And the Congressional Research Service really can find no evidence that cutting taxes on rich people grows the economy. 
And the polls were not skewed to oversample Democrats. 
And Nate Silver was not making up fake projections about the election to make conservatives feel bad. Nate Silver was doing math.
And climate change is real. 
And rape really does cause pregnancy sometimes. 
And evolution is a thing.
And Benghazi was an attack on us, it was not a scandal by us. 
And nobody is taking away anyone`s guns. 
And taxes have not gone up. 
And the deficit is dropping, actually.
And Saddam Hussein did not have weapons of mass destruction. 
And the moon landing was real. 
And FEMA is not building concentration camps. 
And U.N. election observers are not taking over Texas
And moderate reforms of the regulations on the insurance industry and the financial services
industry in this country are not the same thing as communism.

She had so much good stuff to say in that broadcast, I may be putting some more up as I process it all.

The Tax Mandate

There is a mandate for higher taxes as a part of deficit reduction.  In all seats that hadn't been gerrymandered by Republican legislatures, Republicans lost.  The Republican majority in the House is a technical artifice and doesn't reflect the desires of the majority in the country at large.

Sunday, November 04, 2012

Sandy Gets Occupied

If you have been wondering whatever happened to the Occupy Wall Street folks, it turns out that they continue to lead the way in community organizing.
So how did an offshoot of Occupy Wall Street, best known as a leaderless movement that brought international attention to issues of economic injustice through the occupation of Zucotti Park in the financial district last year, become a leader in local hurricane relief efforts?  Ethan Murphy, who was helping organize the food at St. Jacobis and had been cooking for the occupy movement over the past year, explained there wasn’t any kind of official decision or declaration that occupiers would now try to help with the hurricane aftermath.  “This is what we do already, “ he explained: Build community, help neighbors, and create a world without the help of finance.  Horst said, “We know capitalism is broken, so we have already been focused on organizing to take care of our own [community] needs.” He sees Occupy Sandy as political ideas executed on a practical level.

Monday, October 22, 2012

Obama Deserves Your Vote

Despite all the political noise to the contrary, Obama is doing quite well with the economy. It is recovering just as well as other recoveries from depressions of equal severity. Remember, nothing in his policies caused the bad economy. Others whine that saying that is just blaming the other guy. But what sort of responsibility does it show when your policies produce the worst economic downturn since the 30’s and you completely ignored it? I just hate to think of what could happen if they get another chance.

Please take a look at what has really been accomplished despite fierce, unreasoned opposition. The right to equal pay for equal work was strengthened. The auto industry was saved from collapse (at a handy 3000% profit for certain venture capitalists including Ann and Mitt). The explosion of health care costs has begun to see a limit. Students have less predatory student loans. The Iraq war is over. The war in Afghanistan will soon be over. Seventy percent of the Simpson-Bowle spending cuts have been made. Homosexual military people no longer have to remain closeted and fear reprisals. Children who only know this country as home can continue to serve, learn, and contribute without fear of being deported. Insurance companies must accept patients with pre-existing conditions and they can’t deny coverage for contraception should any woman wish to have it.

Then compare that to what is being offered on the other side. Medicare is to be defunded. Most, if not all, of the benefits of the health care reform will go away. Tax breaks are promised to those who need them least at the expense of those who need them most. The goals of the budget cannot be achieved mathematically. The man at the top of the ticket seems to change his position every time he talks to a different group of people. In private, he says things that are simply appalling while glossing over them in public. The economic supply-side theory of economics has proven to be a failure. If you don’t like this depression, you really aren’t going to like the Romney one.

When you look at the case against Obama, it’s clear that it is driven by unreasonable antipathy and, often, patent delusion. Obama actually is a natural-born American citizen. He isn’t Muslim (but it isn’t against the law if he were). The ACA is insurance regulation based on Republican ideas. It isn’t socialized medicine nor is it death panels. Why are the people who say these kinds of things even listened to by anyone?

My complaint with Obama is that he has been not given the chance to do more. There is a budget that needs to be balanced with real arithmetic. There are tools available to improve the economy in ways that benefit everyone from the middle, not just trickle-down from the top.

Saturday, October 20, 2012

U.S. Debt Dissolved

Contrary to Republican rhetoric, the credit market makes this an excellent time to borrow and stimulate.

U.S. debt has shrunk to a six-year low relative to the size of the economy as homeowners, cities and companies cut borrowing, undermining rating companies’ downgrading of the nation’s credit rating.
Total indebtedness including that of federal and state governments and consumers has fallen to 3.29 times gross domestic product, the least since 2006, from a peak of 3.59 four years ago, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. Private- sector borrowing is down by $4 trillion to $40.2 trillion.
Reduced borrowing means there is less competition for the U.S. Treasury Department as it sells debt to fund spending programs to help the nation recover from the worst financial crisis since the Great Depression. Credit-rating firms are discounting the improvement even as debt, equity and currency markets suggest the U.S. is more creditworthy than before Standard & Poor’s stripped the nation of its AAA grade in 2011.


Auto Bailout Good for Romney's Coffers

Romney called the auto bailout a government gift to auto unions.  In fact it was a gift to the vulture capitalists of whom he was one.  Three thousand (yes, thousand) percent is a darn good ROI.

Romney and the SEAL

It's an ever-present temptation for a politician to dress up his personal history, but it almost always backfires. It ends up making the candidate look too much like the emotional opportunist he is.  When you talk about your emotional response, it pays to make sure that you actually have one.

Too Many Mitts

Salt Lake Tribune endorses Obama.  Sometimes it takes those who are closest to a candidate's deepest supporters to appreciate his fickleness.

Friday, October 12, 2012

Deficit Recovery

The party that was operated on the dictum that "deficits don't matter" now is very much in a lather about our national debt. Let's look at the history.

At the end of the Clinton admin, the budget had a surplus.  We were taking in more that we were spending.  We still had an outstanding debt but it wasn't getting any worse.  Then the dot.com bubble burst.  In an effort to stimulate the economy, Bush lowered taxes.  There was little appreciable stimulus but the deficit began to grow. In addition, we started paying for two wars.  This increased the deficit even more. 

Then the economy tanked.  In 2010 we had the lowest revenue as % GDP since 1950.

We should be asking, "What is the appropriate target revenue per GDP that government should have?"  This benchmark should be low enough that there is space to temporarily increase it in case of emergencies.  But there is no need to make it so low that government is crippled.  From 1983 to 1999, the federal revenue per GDP range from 16.94% to 19.38%o averaging 17.61%.  During that time, the GDP growth ranged from 3.3 % to 11.21%, averaging 6.28%.  In 2011, revenue per GDP was at 13.24%.  If we are serious about reducing the deficit we need to get our revenue back up to the something near 17%.  That means simply more tax revenue.  Really getting ahead on the deficit requires that we also fix our depressed economy.

On the revenue front, the first hit to the budget was the Bush tax cuts.  They should be the first to go in the process of getting our house in order.  The next target should be a belated tax increase to pay for the recent war efforts.  That should buy us some necessary breathing room in which to strategically restructure government to ensure better economic growth.

Supply-siders hold that more money in the hands of investors allows them to make investments that increase jobs and economic growth.  There has yet to be a convincing demonstration of this theory.  Demand-siders hold that more money in the hands of lower income consumers generate consumer spending that generates demand that then generates economic growth.  They also hold that strategic government investment can stimulate growth by provide economic infrastructure that opens new economic doors.  This has, in fact, been demonstrated in our history.  Major government investments in power production, irrigation projects, education, and transportation links have indeed fueled growth.  So my allegiance is with the demand-siders.

Another thing to look at is the source of our economic problems.  The biggest key factor is the collapse of the housing bubble.  A lot of wealth has just evaporated.  Consumers who were using inflated equity to buy goods and services now find themselves owing much more for their house that it will ever be worth again in their lifetime.  We need to reform the financial system to prevent a repeat of this.  Another cycle like this would be an apocalyptic disaster.  Reform would cost little but would end the worry about a repeat.

We need to rev up the economic engine.  Money to buy home-grown goods and services needs to flow into our markets.  This is where we need to be creative.  It may take government spending to do this, but we don't want to create an unsustainable situation.  This means that we have to be smart about benchmarking the success or otherwise of the stimulus spending.  We don't have money to gamble with.  Every program needs to have a method of scoring its success.

Friday, October 05, 2012

Mitt Romney's Real Agenda

Here is what to expect from a Romney presidency based on what the Republican House has already been doing.
From abortion rights and gun laws to tax giveaways and energy policy, it's far worse. Measures that have already sailed through the Republican House would roll back clean-air protections, gut both Medicare and Medicaid, lavish trillions in tax cuts on billionaires while raising taxes on the poor, and slash everything from college aid to veteran benefits. In fact, the tenets of Ryan Republicanism are so extreme that they even offend the pioneers of trickle-down economics. "Ryan takes out the ax and goes after programs for the poor – which is the last thing you ought to cut," says David Stockman, who served as Ronald Reagan's budget director. "It's ideology run amok."
The Republicans have put ideology before jobs.  They didn't even let Obama's jobs bill come up for a vote.  They have actually killed jobs by imposing the fiscal cliff in order to get a raise in the debt ceiling.  They passed a bill that would deny a lifesaving abortions to a dying women.  Rape victims would have to give birth to their rapist's baby.  Fuel economy standards would be reversed.  Higher mercury emissions would be allowed.  The ANWR would be drilled.  The Bush-era tax cuts would be extended and enhanced for the rich.  The estate tax would be eliminated.  We would either have much higher deficits or tax breaks enjoyed by the less affluent, like the mortgage interest deduction, would go away.  One million students would lose college tuition grants.  Food stamps would be cut for 1.8 million people.  Student lunches for 280,000 children would be cut out.  Health care for 300,000 poor children would be cut.  Obamacare would be repealed and health care costs for everyone will continue soar.

If this is the country you want, vote for Romney.  If you would rather not have that, vote for the other guy.

The Spending Has Already Been Cut

The Simpson-Bowle spending cuts have mostly been done, 70% complete. The spending cuts of deficit reduction are already in place.  It's now time to increase the revenue.

The Evolution of Human Nature

The resourceful, independent individual is not the natural model.  In the type of tribal societies in which human nature was formed, the people favored by evolution were the ones who cooperated.  Those who tried to game the system for their personal advantage, lost their reputation and potentially their lives.  Nor were they favored as good mating material.  It was the advent of "civilization" that allowed these social predators to prosper.

Evaluating the Carbon Tax

Here's a reasonable discussion on the carbon tax.  There are right ways and wrong ways to do it.  Australia chose a wrong way and it's a real headache.  It shouldn't be considered an long-term revenue source because if it works as planned, the revenue will eventually dry up.

Eagle Without Wings

A courageous Boy Scout has been refused his Eagle rank because of his sexual orientation.  In its defense, BSA say it has a strict "no gays allowed" policy.  This is really pathetic.

This is a new low for scouting. Isn't there some folks who care enough about this organization to take the reins of power and bring it into the 21st century?  Is it appropriate for charity money to go to such a blatantly discriminatory organization?

Thursday, October 04, 2012

Romney: 27 Myths in 38 Minutes

It's hard to keep up when the lies are flying this fast.  Here's the list.  Click the link for what the truth actually is.
1) “[G]et us energy independent, North American energy independent. That creates about 4 million jobs”.
2) “I don’t have a $5 trillion tax cut. I don’t have a tax cut of a scale that you’re talking about.”
3) “My view is that we ought to provide tax relief to people in the middle class. But I’m not going to reduce the share of taxes paid by high-income people.”
4) “My — my number-one principal is, there will be no tax cut that adds to the deficit. I want to underline that: no tax cut that adds to the deficit.”
5) “I will not under any circumstances raise taxes on middle-income families. I will lower taxes on middle-income families. Now, you cite a study. There are six other studies that looked at the study you describe and say it’s completely wrong.”
6) “I saw a study that came out today that said you’re going to raise taxes by $3,000 to $4,000 on middle-income families.”
7) “And the reason is because small business pays that individual rate; 54 percent of America’s workers work in businesses that are taxed not at the corporate tax rate, but at the individual tax rate….97 percent of the businesses are not — not taxed at the 35 percent tax rate, they’re taxed at a lower rate. But those businesses that are in the last 3 percent of businesses happen to employ half — half of all the people who work in small business.”
8) “Mr. President, all of the increase in natural gas and oil has happened on private land, not on government land. On government land, your administration has cut the number of permits and licenses in half.”
9) “The president’s put it in place as much public debt — almost as much debt held by the public as all prior presidents combined.”
10) “That’s why the National Federation of Independent Businesses said your plan will kill 700,000 jobs. I don’t want to kill jobs in this environment.”
11) “What we do have right now is a setting where I’d like to bring money from overseas back to this country.”
12) “I would like to take the Medicaid dollars that go to states and say to a state, you’re going to get what you got last year, plus inflation, plus 1 percent, and then you’re going to manage your care for your poor in the way you think best.”
13) “I want to take that $716 billion you’ve cut and put it back into Medicare…. But the idea of cutting $716 billion from Medicare to be able to balance the additional cost of Obamacare is, in my opinion, a mistake.
14) “What I support is no change for current retirees and near-retirees to Medicare.”
15) “Number two is for people coming along that are young, what I do to make sure that we can keep Medicare in place for them is to allow them either to choose the current Medicare program or a private plan. Their choice. They get to choose — and they’ll have at least two plans that will be entirely at no cost to them.”
16) “And, by the way the idea came not even from Paul Ryan or — or Senator Wyden, who’s the co-author of the bill with — with Paul Ryan in the Senate, but also it came from Bill — Bill Clinton’s chief of staff.”
17) “Well, I would repeal and replace it. We’re not going to get rid of all regulation. You have to have regulation. And there are some parts of Dodd-Frank that make all the sense in the world.” 
18) “But I wouldn’t designate five banks as too big to fail and give them a blank check. That’s one of the unintended consequences of Dodd-Frank… We need to get rid of that provision because it’s killing regional and small banks. They’re getting hurt.”
19) “And, unfortunately, when — when — when you look at Obamacare, the Congressional Budget Office has said it will cost $2,500 a year more than traditional insurance. So it’s adding to cost.”
20) “[I]t puts in place an unelected board that’s going to tell people ultimately what kind of treatments they can have. I don’t like that idea.”
21) “Right now, the CBO says up to 20 million people will lose their insurance as Obamacare goes into effect next year. And likewise, a study by McKinsey and Company of American businesses said 30 percent of them are anticipating dropping people from coverage.”
22) “I like the way we did it [health care] in Massachusetts…What were some differences? We didn’t raise taxes.”
23) “It’s why Republicans said, do not do this, and the Republicans had — had the plan. They put a plan out. They put out a plan, a bipartisan plan. It was swept aside.”
24) “Preexisting conditions are covered under my plan.”
25) “In one year, you provided $90 billion in breaks to the green energy world. Now, I like green energy as well, but that’s about 50 years’ worth of what oil and gas receives.”
26) “I think about half of [the green firms Obama invested in], of the ones have been invested in have gone out of business. A number of them happened to be owned by people who were contributors to your campaigns.”
27) “If the president’s reelected you’ll see dramatic cuts to our military.”    
Romney has admitted already that number 26 was wrong.  The true number is 3 out of 26, nowhere even close to half.

Romney has learned that the folks on the right will believe most anything that suits their preconceptions, so this stuff just excites them.  Those who have yet to make up their minds aren't paying close attention anyway.  So it's a prevaricator's paradise out there.

Wednesday, October 03, 2012

How to To Box In Mitt Romney On Taxes

It's a no-win situation for Romney. If he puts middle class deductions like the mortgage interest on the chopping block, he loses. If he doesn't, his plan isn't credible and he loses.

Multiplier Effects

In a number of stimulus studies the CBO's multiplier effects are noted.
The CBO calculated multipliers to estimate the effect on output of various kinds of stimulative programs, and then applied them to the amount of money spent in the stimulus on each type of program. For example, payments to state and local governments for infrastructure were estimated to have a multiplier of between 1 and 2.5, whereas the multiplier for transfer payments (unemployment benefits, food stamps, etc.) to individuals was between 0.8 and 2.1.
As the business cycle slowly moves up, more stimulus would be a good thing.

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Earth cracking up

It's interesting to live in a time when a brand new rift in the earth's crust makes its appearance.  Since the Himalayan range is slowing the movement of the west side of the Indo-Australian plate, it is beginning to buckle out in the middle of the Indian Ocean.  There has been much more frequent and stronger seismic activity there in the last few years than science has ever seen before.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Tax cuts needed for the rich?

No, not so much:
When politicians try to convince you that half of Americans aren’t really paying taxes, it’s usually because the real data undermines their preferred policies. For instance, you wouldn’t look at these numbers and think tax cuts for the rich need to be a huge priority. And that’s one reason people who want more tax cuts for the rich don’t like to show you these numbers.

Friday, September 14, 2012

Gravity Waves Detected

A pair of white dwarf stars that orbit in less than 13 minutes send out gravity wave that can be detected in the optical wavelengths.

Here's Hypocrisy

"Americans for Prosperity" don't like wind credits but they love credits for oil companies.  I guess favorable tax advantages are only for those who can buy Congress.

Rather than defend wind energy tax credits, we should just put them on the same footing as the oil company tax credits. Who doesn't want a level playing field?

Oil spill cleanup

When the next Deep Horizon-style blowout occurs because regulators are still ineffective, there are some new cleanup tools that might be useful.

Greed and Debt

But what most voters don't know is the way Mitt Romney actually made his fortune: by borrowing vast sums of money that other people were forced to pay back. This is the plain, stark reality that has somehow eluded America's top political journalists for two consecutive presidential campaigns: Mitt Romney is one of the greatest and most irresponsible debt creators of all time. In the past few decades, in fact, Romney has piled more debt onto more unsuspecting companies, written more gigantic checks that other people have to cover, than perhaps all but a handful of people on planet Earth.
If that's the kind of guy you think we need to run this country, then more power to you. 

House Republicans Forget

Amongst all the hand-wringing about the fiscal cliff and the sequester, let's remember that the House Republicans are to blame.  The Democrats wanted a simple, clean debt-ceiling increase, but no.  The Republicans tied it all up with a deficit reduction program that subsequently failed.  Any consequences for this can be placed squarely at the feet of your local Republican congress-critter.  Yes, I'm talk about you Rep. Hastings.

Nuclear Safety, Decide for Yourself

Here's a short piece that debunks the mythology on nuclear safety or the lack thereof.

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Small Government Ideology Kills Jobs

Growth in the nuclear industry is suffering because budget pressures are such that the Nuclear Regulatory Commission is understaffed for the mission it has before it. After Fukushima, power plant regulations are being enhanced. That means there less staff available to review the permits utilities need to make improvements in their day-to-day operations. New, more efficient fuel designs sit in the queue for NRC approval. This slow-down means reduced business and fewer new jobs.

Economic growth depends more upon appropriate government partnership than reduced taxes and oversight. It's Republican philosophies that are holding back our economic recovery. When regulators have the resources to do their jobs efficiently, industry prospers. Small government isn't the answer, it's the problem!

Shattering glass cookware

The glass cookware you have in your kitchen may be an explosion waiting to happen.  The formulation of Pyrex has changed over time and the current products can only withstand a temperature differential one third the size of the original product.

Tuesday, September 04, 2012

Ohio Secretary of State Refuses To Comply

You see, the law and the courts can only be honored when they side with the Republican view. When they side with the Democratic view, they can just be ignored.

The simplistic flaw in Ayn Rand's philosophy

Ayn Rand's fallacy is ignored by most of her adherents. It involves a basic logical confusion between what is a necessary condition or a sufficient condition. A necessary condition is one of multiple requirements. A sufficient condition is the complete set of requirements.

One can agree with this point by saying that the entrepreneur is a necessary condition for the creation of economic value. But Rand treats the entrepreneur as a sufficient condition. The entrepreneur creates the value of goods and everyone else gets in his way (in Rand the pronoun is always "he," even when he is a woman). Governments are leeches on the value he creates; organized labor siphons off more of it. Who could blame the hero of Atlas Shrugged, John Galt, and his like if they should take their marbles and head off to form their own society, leaving the parasites behind?

But in truth the entrepreneur, though very much a necessary condition for the production of economic value, is not a sufficient condition. An entrepreneur will get nowhere without a capitalist or a government agency in charge of a budget to finance his or her ideas; the production will require a labor force; it will need to make use of public infrastructure and a framework of the rule of law; and the fruits of the production will be of no value if no one wants them. Thus the creators, entrepreneurs, investors, taxpayers, legislators, jurists, workers, and consumers are all necessary conditions for the production of the value that we find in the marketplace; but none of them, including the entrepreneur, is a sufficient condition: none can make it happen alone.

Friday, August 31, 2012

Anti-gay bigotry

How to debunk homophobia:

Those who think homosexuality is a choice reveal themselves as bisexual.  Gender preference isn't much of a choice for the rest of us.

Those who say that homosexuality is disgusting don't have a very realistic idea of what heterosexual sex is like.  Parts is parts and heterosexuals do everything that homosexuals do.

Homosexuality is no more a mental illness than red hair is an illness.  It can't be "fixed" and homosexuals have the same mental stability and capacity that the rest of the population does.

If homosexuality is unnatural or against God's design, then so is religious incentivized monogamy.  The penis has the peculiar shape it has to help expel the seminal fluid from the vaginal canal of other men who have been there in the last 48 hours.  That's what is natural.


Wood pulp

Nano-crystaline cellulose could be a new wonder material.
So why all the fuss? Well, not only is NCC transparent but it is made from a tightly packed array of needle-like crystals which have a strength-to-weight ratio that is eight times better than stainless steel. Even better, it's incredibly cheap.

One-molecule-thick material

What could you do with a sheet of material that was only one molecule thick?  This could change the technical world as we now know it.

Texas Judge Tom Head

Lubbock's own Tom Head warns of possible civil war if Obama is elected.  Classify this under either potential self-fulfilling prophecies or thinly-veiled threats.  It's all the more reason to keep Obama's opposition out of power.

College Loans

The current situation with college loans is not always helpful to our students.  Too often they turn into a sick trap for the young and unwary.
Update: There is as cap on the size of payments required for student loans.  With ACA, Obama lowered that cap from 15% to 10%.  No ex-student is required to pay more than 10% of their income on their student loan obligation.  This makes life easier on the loan recipients but it could be problems for the lenders (even if the lenders are the taxpayers).

The cause of abortions in U.S.

Most anti-abortion folks are not really serious about that issues.  You can tell by how little they actually focus on the real causes of abortions.

Birth Control Rights

If you are in that segment of the population concerned about birth control, here's a primer on how your rights could be affected by the election.

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

19 Times

That's how much more money big Pharma spends on advertising than basic research.  So if we want more for our pharmaceutical dollar, perhaps we should go back to limiting the advertising.

Obamacare and Medicare

Romney is correct. ACA cuts Medicare costs. It does that with an agreement with the hospitals. The costs experienced by the hospitals is offset by the increased number of patients with insurance. Reducing Medicare costs in this way is a good thing. It cuts costs without cutting benefits. Isn't that what's needed?  Hurray for Barack!

Ryan/Romney, on the other hand, would just gut the program altogether.  What kind of government do we want?  One that gets the job done or one that quits.

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Icelandic Model

Don't look for the austerians in Europe for help in economic recover. Look to Iceland. Preserve the safety net.  Let the banks take the losses they have earned.  Allow the currency to devalue.  Economic growth returns across the board.  Krugman is vindicated.

Where's the Beef?


My recent letter to the editor of the Tri-City Herald (headline provided by TCH):
Imagine what a powerful thing it would be for Romney to be able to show with his tax returns that he is grateful for the opportunities for success provided by this country. He could say, "Because this country has been good for me, I am willing to pay taxes on the money I earn here. Because this country has been good to me, I want to serve to make sure it is just as good for everyone." But for some reason, Romney can't or won't demonstrate such gratitude.
If he won't, it shows that he and his team are not very smart campaigners. If he can't, it shows that his ambition for the job has more to do with selfish goals than the general good. In either case, he is not qualified to be our country's leader. At the moment, Romney looks like someone who skims the cream without being willing to pay his fair share to feed the cow.

Read more here: http://www.tri-cityherald.com/2012/08/19/2066638/wheres-the-beef.html#storylink=cpy

Obama Staged Shootings?

Here's proof that the folks who worry about their guns and Obama are
just street-rat crazy.

Saturday, August 18, 2012

Mitt Romney, Voter Fraud

The Guardian hypothesizes that it isn't the taxes paid or not paid by Governor Romney that he is trying to hide.  Rather, it's the clear evidence that he violated voting laws to vote in the election to replace Ted Kennedy.  If that's the case, it's Game Over.  The GOP can just pack up their carpetbags full of money and go home.

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Paul Ryan’s Lies


1. National Debt has raised borrowing costs. Actually interest rates are at historic lows. We have a golden opportunity to refinance our debt. Rates are so low that the government can actually make money by borrowing.

2. Spending levels are unsustainable. Spending has actually gone done. We have a deficit because of the Bush tax cuts and a depressed economy. Unemployed people can’t pay taxes.

3. We can cut debt and cut taxes. The math is a fantasy. Cutting taxes in the past has made the deficit worse.

4. Inflation is a threat. Part of our economic problem is that there is too little inflation. Modest inflation encourages spending and reduces the deficit.

5. Social Security is about to go broke. All it needs is a minor tweak and it will be fine for the foreseeable future.

6. Medicare in about to become insolvent. There are some challenges for it in the future as more people age. Again it just needs some adjustments and it will be fine. Furthermore, the ACA actually strengthen Medicare financing.

7. Medicaid spending is unsustainable. Better health care law can reduce the need for high Medicaid spending.

Friday, August 10, 2012

Recycling Nuclear Waste

Recently the DC Court of Appeals vacated the waste confidence rule of the NRC.  It basically said to the NRC, "You don't have any sort of credible plan for spent nuclear fuel and it's time to stop pretending that you do!"  As a result, any no new licenses for nuclear power plants are going to be issued until the NRC gets its act together.

This is an opportunity to talk about closing the loop in the nuclear fuel cycle.  The advantages of recycling spent nuclear fuel include:
  • Reduction of the volume of space needed in a geologic repository by 75%.
  • The long-term toxicity of the waste to be deposited is reduced from several hundred thousand years to 10,000 years
  • Vitrified waste only loses 1% of its mass by water leaching in 100,000 years.  That's a period 10 times as long as it takes for the waste to become no more radioactive than the ore from which natural uranium is extracted initially.
  • 96% of the original fuel is reused.  That means that much less needs to be mined and processed to begin with.
  • The recycled fuel requires less enrichment effort that natural uranium.  Natural uranium is 0.72% U235 and recycled is typically 0.9%.  Fuel is typically enriched to a range of 3.0-5.0% U235.
  • Vitrified waste from recycling doesn't contain any material that is useful for weapons.  It can be stored on an interim basis without any proliferation risk.
  • Recycling burns the plutonium that is contained in spent fuel, thereby removing it from table as a proliferation concern.
  • A recycling capacity makes it inviting for international users to buy the service instead of developing their own.  This enhances non-proliferation.
One reason that recycling hasn't been implemented in the U.S. is the perception that it costs more to recycle fuel than it does to mine and enrich fresh natural uranium.  On a napkin sketch, this is true.  However, when one considers the costs of spent fuel uncertainty and the eventual repository costs, recycling begins to look much better.  Currently rate-payers are paying into a fund to dispose of wastes and there has been no return on that money.

A recycling program would provide 18,000 direct jobs during construction with 5,000 operational jobs thereafter.  It could be expected to be in place for 50 or more years.  Some 30,000 additional jobs would be generated in the surrounding community and host state.

The technology has been proven in other countries and private capital is available to build the infrastructure, should the decision be made to allow it.  The existence of a recycling industry would stimulate the development of more effective and efficient technologies.

Here sits an economic development option that could be budget neutral.  All private industry needs is reasonable regulation and permission to proceed.

Information taken from an AREVA white paper entitled "Recycling. Essential Element in a Sustainable Nuclear Fuel Cycle"

Thursday, August 09, 2012

Truth and Fiction

By applying lessons learned from social media, scientists can examine classical literary works and determine which which have a basis in truth and which are just made up.   The Iliad and Beowulf score high on being based on real characters while Les Misérables, Richard III, Fellowship of the Ring, and Harry Potter show otherwise.

Money for Nothing

It today's unusual economics governmental borrowing makes good fiscal sense.
So investors are, in a sense, offering governments free money for the next 10 years; in fact, they’re willing to pay governments a modest fee for keeping their wealth safe.

The Estate Tax Canard

Ezra Klein looks at who actually paid the tax when it was last in place.  The answer: very few.
So if you hear politicians worrying about the 55 percent rate, remember that when it was last in place, fewer than 5,000 people were affected every year. It’s simply not that big a part of the tax code, and the idea that “millions” of families and small businesses would be affected by a return to Clinton rates is just plain wrong.

Dooh Nibor

Krugman's criticism of the Romney tax plan.  It's Robin Hood spelled backwards.  It takes from the poor and gives to the rich.

No Quick Fix

Jeffrey Sachs critcizes both the Left and the Right for fostering the expectation that our economic woes can be solved easily.  The solution is long term and requires long term discipline.
The U.S. needs long-term public investments -- in education, skills, and infrastructure -- so that its dual economy can once again become an inclusive middle-class economy. Out kids should be in school and training, rather than in unemployment or low-skilled work. The Eurozone needs debt relief, cleaned-up banks, and social inclusion in the south that matches the more successful north. The entire rich world needs to understand that it faces a new era, in which its growth will be earned the hard way, by having sufficient skills and technology to warrant a significant wage premium over the emerging economies.


And all countries rich and poor will need to plug two more structural holes. The first is the explosion of tax havens, the kind where Mr. Romney reportedly keeps his savings. Without adequate taxation of corporate and high-end income, there is no way to close budget gaps in the U.S. and Europe. The second is ecological. No economic trick, no amount of education and training, will suffice, if we do ourselves in by human-induced droughts, heat waves, famines, and floods. It's time, in short, to put away the gimmicks and to start thinking about the sustainable economic prosperity, built on education, skills, social inclusion, and environmental responsibility.

Carbon Tax Success

Despite all the moaning and hand-wringing, a carbon tax is actually working...in Britist Columbia, Canada.  That figures.

Truthiness

The scientific underpinings of Stephen Colbert's 'truthiness' has been established.  People genuinely can be influenced to believe that some clearly false propostitions are true by how they are presented.  "Truthiness" is the experience of just feeling that something is true regardless of the actual facts.

Natural Wood Computer

The Iameco computer brings sustainability into computer design.

Friday, August 03, 2012

Romney and Bain Capital

The theory versus the reality.  In economic theory, private equity firms buy under performing businesses and restructure them such that the capital is used more efficiently.  This creative destruction strengthens the economy in the long run.  But in actual practice, leveraged buyouts load firms with debt, channel money to the brokers, and leave the workers in the lurch.  What's lacking is appropriate regulation that genuinely results in the theoretical promise of such creative destruction.  What we have is a social class that extols the theoretical benefits of capitalism while it delivers little of them in actual practice.  Instead, they manipulate capitalism for their own predatory satisfaction.  If the benefits of capitalism are to be genuinely realized, its energy needs to be channel appropriately rather than diverted into the silver-lined pockets of the wealthy.

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

The Choice

The Choice for voters in November:
Effective bank regulation or a repeat of what happened in 2008.
We can allow the richest people more cuts in taxes or invest in things that bring future prosperity to everyone.

The Small Business Tax Canard

Higher taxes on the rich does little harm to small businesses.  Here's a short list of what higher taxes really do:
1. Only 2.5 percent of small businesses will be affected by dropping the Bush tax cuts.
2. There's no historical evidence that lower tax rates for rich people help small business.
3. Lower tax rates have little to do with small business hiring.  Demand is what drives hiring.
4. The real job creators are young firms, not small firms.  It's just a coincidence that young firms tend to be also small.

Lowering taxes for the rich just makes buying Congress and elections more affordable for them.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Leading the Way

While other states try to purify voting rolls, Washington will the first state to expand voter registration by using Facebook.  For those who may find that disturbing, remember, making a false registration is still a crime no matter how you do it.  Our present laws do a fine job of preventing registration shenanigans.

Small government, bad public health

Cutbacks in a single state's public health budget can threaten the health of the whole country.  This is what small government looks like.  Doesn't sound like progress to me.

Fukushima increases risk of cancer

Theoretically, anyway.  Three billion living today will get cancer sometime in their lifetimes.  Fukushima radiation may add as many as 100 to that.  That's one in 30 million. This in what one can characterize as an infinitesimal risk.

Sunday, July 15, 2012

How about a state income tax?

Dick Nelson points out that many of the main arguments against a state income tax are specious.  Besides, Oregon does quite well with an income tax and better in many ways than Washington.  Perhaps it's worth talking about.

Profiting on fish

Here's a way that an ecological view could actually make money.
 By reducing the size of the global fishing fleet, eliminating harmful government subsidies, and putting in place effective management systems, global fisheries would be worth US$54 billion each year, rather than losing US$13 billion per year.

Exxon CEO accepts climate change

The Exxon CEO admits that fossil fuels warm the planet.  But that's OK because humans can adapt to it.  Somehow I doubt that he will let his company pay for all that adaptation.

How to bend it like Beckham

Applied physics in soccer.

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Japanese nuclear reactor restarts

The hard fact is that Japan can't do without nuclear power.  Ideally they should move ahead and address the long-standing known weaknesses in their nuclear industry and get on with it.  Protests notwithstanding, it's time to git-er-done and get it done right.

NFIB is Wrong on Obamacare

The NFIB, the outfit that brought the case against the ACA to the Supreme court, isn't really representing small business.  Actually small businesses benefit greatly from the health care reform.  Those who oppose it are more interested in politics than actually business growth and well-being.

Medicaid stimulation

It seem crazy to refuse Medicaid money.  This article points out how Medicaid money actually stimulates more economic activity that the initial dollar value.  For a state to refuse it is the same as refusing to do something to help that state's economy.  And that's appears to be the Republican agenda, to do nothing to improve the economy and weirdly try to blame it on the Democrats.  In my opinion, this lack of effective governance deserves being swept out of office.

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Tort Reform Did Not Reduce Health Care Costs

The data is in, tort reform doesn't work in Texas.  And I doubt it will work anywhere else.  Another pet Republican theory bites the dust.  When are Americans going to get fed up with their crap?

George Washington's individual mandates

In order to strike down the insurance mandate, the Supreme Court would
have to go against the founders of the Constitution. Several of them
supported and enacted individual mandates both under the commerce clause
and without the commerce clause. Mandates were not unconstitutional to them.

Sunday, June 17, 2012

North Carolina Senate Does Comedy

North Carolina state Senate takes a page from a Stephen Colbert comedy bit.  Sadly, they are quite serious about it.  This, of course, makes their state a joke.  You can't stop climate change by passing laws.

Saturday, June 16, 2012

THE Story of This Election

This is the complete Republican election strategy.  They continue to sabotage Obama's efforts at job creation, and blame him for the damage.  That's it!  Nothing else.  Spread the word.

Private Student Loan Debt

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau highlights how private student debt is a severe drag on the young generation.

Mitch McConnell Argues Against More Donor Disclosure

If you obsess about people actually finding out what you are doing, perhaps, just perhaps you feel some shame about doing it.  If you don't want people to know what political causes you support, maybe you should stop.

Reversing The Stanford Prison Experiment

Where else but Canada?  The RCMP has found that rewarding good behavior works better than punishing bad behavior.  What would it be like to live in a country of which a person could be proud?

General Mills Declares War on Bigotry

In this right-wing screed, the marriage fascists are all up in arms because General Mills shows some guts by treating homosexuals like equal human beings. I wish these guys would go find some other country to ruin.

We Don't Need No Education

Another Krugman piece. Actually, it’s kind of ironic. While Republicans love to engage in Europe-bashing, they’re actually the ones who want us to emulate European-style austerity and experience a European-style depression.

5 Myths

All 5 myths continue to be perpetrated by the right.  Mythology has become their stock in trade.  Reality doesn't seem to matter much to them at all.  We can't afford to have a country run by wild-eyed, true believers.  Future generations deserve better than that.  Read about something more workable than the Volcker Rule, the Hoenig Rule.
It's time -- after five years, it's well past time -- for us to stop pointing fingers at one another, and to fix the excesses that almost sank us. The market sure didn't work very well. The government regulation solutions, like the Volcker Rule and Dodd-Frank "resolution rules," aren't going to work very well. We need common sense, like the Hoenig Rule, and markets (as opposed to a zillion regulators) that can enforce discipline on institutions that will not be too big to be allowed to fail.

The Solution

The right is a one-trick pony.  And that trick isn't working.  In times like this, government can be the solution.

Let’s turn Ronald Reagan’s declaration on its head: Opposition to government isn’t the solution. Opposition to government was and remains the problem. It is past time that we affirm government’s ability to heal the economy, and its responsibility for doing so.

Saturday, June 09, 2012

Kinect in orbit

With Kinect cameras, small Lego-like satellites could assemble themselves after launch into large space structures.  That would be cool.

Fracking Regulation

It would be much better for the industry if we had reasonable regulation on fracking than none at all.  With no regulations, many jurisdictions will be forced to ban it altogether.

Why Are We Collecting Taxes?

When the inflation rate is higher than the interest rate, it makes sense for the government to sell more T-bonds at the current incredibly-low interest rate and redeem them with inflated money later.  It's better than free financing, it makes money.

Furthermore, it makes the case that now would be a good time for borrowing to increase dramatically until the interest rates begin to creep up.  We could use the money to invest in things like infrastructure and strategic projects that prepare the ground for a prosperous future.

Sunday, May 27, 2012

Breaking with the extreme right

Micheal Fumento details his history in the echo chamber.  As well as how he walked out that door.  Here are some quotes:
All of today’s right-wing darlings got there by mastering what Burke feared most: screaming “J’accuse! J’accuse!” Turning people against each other. Taking seeds of fear, anger and hatred and planting them to grow a new crop.
...
Limbaugh pulls down a stunning $38 million annual salary. Leaked Heartland Institute documents revealed it’s gotten over $14 million in the past six years from a single individual. RightMarch.com accompanied the Obama-cum-tyrant message with an offer to “Blast Fax” every member of Congress for $139 – for a profit of about $139. Surely these people have their fingers crossed that President Obama is reelected. 
...
But while the new right screams the most about big government, it nonetheless supported President George W. Bush as he presided over the largest expansion of government spending since uber-liberal FDR and left us with a massive debt before President Obama was sworn in. Why? Silly rabbit! Because the left opposed him. 

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Sunday, May 06, 2012

George W. Bush and torture

George Bush and his gang really are responsible for our recent era of torture.  Still waiting for his military tribunal.

The Netherlands Model for Health Care

The Netherlands provide health care at a much better cost than the U.S.  How do they do it?  By using as system that requires everyone to buy insurance similar to the ACA.

Can Oregon fix health care?

Governor Kitzhaber is a pretty savvy guy whom I respect.  I look for great things from the Oregon model of health care.  If anyone can pull this off, Kitzhaber can..

Better Ways to Measure

Vermont considers better ways to set governmental benchmarks. The idea is to measure what really matters instead of less relevant things like the GDP.

Chronicling Mitt's Mendacity

I'm sure he doesn't mean to, but when it comes to telling whoppers, Romney is setting a new standard.

Thursday, May 03, 2012

Self-sustaining stimulus

Brad DeLong and Larry Summers have written a paper in which they argue that if the economy can be sufficiently stimulated, with today's economy, the long-term debt will be countered by real growth.  This what happened in the post-war era. Perhaps the planets have now aligned.

The Nonprofit 1 Percent

Non-profits doesn't mean they don't have much money. Sometimes the
people at the top really rake it in.

Capital gains and taxes

Does cutting taxes on capital gains really help the economy? Nope. No correlation.  Whatever else lower taxes on capital gains do, they don't create economic growth.  That's been proven.  Let's move on now.

Government Jobs Buoyed Bush’s Economy

When they say there was a massive expansion of the government under Obama, they are wrong (chart). The expansion was under Bush.  And yet Bush was able to gut the regulation of food, oil, and banking.

Vacant houses

Vacant houses owned by the Federal Home Finance Agency should be destroyed.  To stimulate the economy, we need to eliminate that inventory and rebuild with homes appropriate for tomorrow's market.

Gore and the Internet

For those who care about lies and damn lies, Gore deserves a bit of credit for the internet.
At the Internet Society’s Global INET 2012 conference in Geneva, Switzerland, the description of Gore states: 
“Al Gore, the 45th Vice President of the United States, was a key proponent of sponsoring legislation that funded the expansion of and greater public access to the Internet. Instrumental in helping to create the ‘Information Superhighway,’ Gore was one of the first government officials to recognize that the Internet’s impact could reach beyond academia to fuel educational and economic growth as well.”

The Case Against Arizona Was Settled in 1874

In the Case of the 22 Chinese Women the Supreme Court set the precedent for how it should handle the Arizona Immigration Law.  In this case, the Court struck down the power of states to any immigration policy other than that of the Federal government.  If the states had the power to make their own policies, our international standing and relationships could be hurt by the independent actions of a state.  This has been the settled law since 1874.  The Arizona Legislature needs a history lesson.  Let's see if the current court needs one as well.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

High Tax Rates Won't Slow Growth

Two notable economists write in the Wall Street Journal that we are nowhere near the top of the Laffer curve.  The best solution to the national debt issue is to raise taxes and increase spending to get the economy going again.

Monday, April 23, 2012

Start here to cut health care costs

Outfits like Abbott Laboratories game the patent system so that no generic drug is able to compete.  This is how drug companies ripoff consumers and the government.  This needs to be fixed.

Monday, April 16, 2012

Cause for Colony Collapse Disorder for Bees

The reason for the collapse of so many bee colonies has been found, neonicotinoid pesticides.

Undocumented Workers

Here are some facts for the undocumented worker debate. They have little, if any, impact on wages.  And the net immigration flow from Mexico now zero.  So what is it again that right wing are so upset about?

Conservative Case For the ACA

conservative constitutional authority makes the definitive case defending the constitutionality of the Affordable Care Act.  Here's where we find out whether we have a court of law or political ideologues.

Friday, April 06, 2012

Risk Factor for Birth Defects

Scientists have found a single risk factor that could be in play for a number of birth defects.  The culprint is hypoxia. If the oxygen supply to the developing fetus falters at a critical stage, some sort of birth defect is likely.