Sunday, September 25, 2011

Regime uncertainty
...Higgs' careful look at the data on the Great Depression and World War II convinced him that (1) a U.S. economy producing genuine prosperity wasn't restored until 1946, and (2) investors hunkered down, especially from 1935-40, because New Deal regulations -- along with President Franklin Roosevelt's increasingly vocal hostility to enterprise and successful risk-takers -- created too much uncertainty about how government would treat profits and wealth accumulation.

The "regime uncertainty" -- described by Higgs as "a pervasive uncertainty among investors about the security of their property rights in their capital and its prospective returns" -- unleashed by actual and threatened New Deal interventions made private innovation and entrepreneurial effort simply too unattractive. So private investment spending largely ground to a halt during FDR's reign.

The "Great" was thus put into the Great Depression.

Student suspended after he is overheard saying homosexuality is wrong
...The teacher made good on his threat, and the school administration sprung into action. An assistant principal called the boy’s mother to let her know he was in trouble, and Ary was informed that he would pay for his—er… indiscretion?—with a two-day suspension and a blot on his “permanent record.”...

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Insult Obama? Not on this campus!
...But just hours in, the free speech wall was vandalized by a professor — yes, a professor! — who was offended that someone had written “FUCK OBAMA” on the free speech wall. Students being students, the “F-word” was written on the wall many times about many different topics, but apparently the only expletive that offended this professor enough to take action was the one referring to President Obama.

The professor, whom students identified as Joe Kirk, demanded that the student groups sponsoring the wall — including Republicans, Democrats, libertarians and socialists — cover up only the Obama statement. They refused. He then told them that he would come back with a box cutter and cut it out of the wall himself, which he then did. You can see the before and after pictures at

Shocked that a professor would do this, the student organizers got in touch with the campus police. When the police arrived, they interviewed the students and the vandalizing professor. Then came the surprise: The police told the students that since Prof. Kirk was offended by some profanity on the wall, the students were engaging in “disorderly conduct,” a misdemeanor, and had to cover up all the swear words on the wall or take it down. Realizing that this would make a mockery out of the purpose of a free speech wall, the students simply disassembled the wall. Thus ended SHSU’s several hour-long experiment with free speech....
Sorry, But With Global Warming It's The Sun, Stupid
Man-made global warming crisis crusaders are now facing a new threat. Their anti-fossil carbon-based premise for alarmism is being challenged by new scientific evidence of important solar influences upon climate that can’t readily be blamed on us. Not that there wasn’t lots of good evidence of this before. Actually, there has been, and it has been routinely denigrated and ignored.

Only this time, the high-profile international source will be impossible for the entrenched scientific establishment to casually dismiss. No, not after experiments at the world’s leading physics laboratory, the European Organization for Nuclear Research (CERN) in Geneva, Switzerland recently revealed an inverse correlation between periodic changes in sunspot activity levels, and quantities of cosmic rays entering Earth’s atmosphere that trigger surface-cooling cloud formations....
New e-mails reveal: White House closely monitored Energy Department’s deliberations of Solyndra

Worse and worse: New e-mails show White House rushed OMB to approve Solyndra loan
...The August 2009 e-mails, released toThe Washington Post, show White House officials repeatedly asking OMB reviewers when they would be able to decide on the federal loan and noting a looming press event at which they planned to announce the deal. In response, OMB officials expressed concern that they were being rushed to approve the company’s project without adequate time to assess the risk to taxpayers, according to the e-mails, which were provided by Republican congressional investigators…

One e-mail from an OMB official referred to “the time pressure we are under to sign-off on Solyndra.” Another complained, “There isn’t time to negotiate.”

“We have ended up with a situation of having to do rushed approvals on a couple of occasions (and we are worried about Solyndra at the end of the week),” one official wrote. That August 31, 2009, message, written by a senior OMB staffer and sent to Terrell P. McSweeny, Biden’s domestic policy adviser, concluded, “We would prefer to have sufficient time to do our due diligence reviews.”…

The White House pressure may have had a “tangible impact” on OMB’s risk assessment of the loan, the congressional investigators concluded.

In one e-mail, an OMB staff member questioned whether the review team was using the best model for determining the financial risk to taxpayers in evaluating the Solyndra deal.

“[G]iven the time pressure we are under to sign-off on Solyndra, we don’t have time to change the model,” the staffer wrote....
Bombshell: General accused WH of pressuring him to change testimony for Democratic donor
...The four-star Air Force general who oversees U.S. Space Command walked into a highly secured room on Capitol Hill a week ago to give a classified briefing to lawmakers and staff, and dropped a surprise. Pressed by members, Gen. William Shelton said the White House tried to pressure him to change his testimony to make it more favorable to a company tied to a large Democratic donor.

The episode—confirmed by The Daily Beast in interviews with administration officials and the chairman of a congressional oversight committee—is the latest in a string of incidents that have given Republicans sudden fodder for questions about whether the Obama administration is politically interfering in routine government matters that affect donors or fundraisers. Already, the FBI and a House committee are investigating a federal loan guarantee to a now failed solar firm called Solyndra that is tied to a large Obama fundraiser.

Now the Pentagon has been raising concerns about a new wireless project by a satellite broadband company in Virginia called LightSquared, whose majority owner is an investment fund run by Democratic donor Philip Falcone. Gen. Shelton was originally scheduled to testify Aug. 3 to a House committee that the project would interfere with the military’s sensitive Global Positioning Satellite capabilities, which control automated driving directions and missile targeting, among other things....
Nobel Laureate resigns American Physical Society fellowship over global warming alarmism
A Nobel Prize-winning physicist is quitting the American Physical Society, the world’s second-largest professional organization of physicists, over the organization’s hardline stance on anthropogenic global warming.

Ivar Giaever, who shared the 1973 Nobel Prize in Physics for his work in discovering the properties of electrons in superconductors, resigned as a Fellow of the society. Giaever is professor emeritus at the Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute.

In an email obtained by the Committee For A Constructive Tomorrow, Giaever wrote: “I resign from APS … I can not live with the statement below;” namely, that “the evidence is incontrovertible, global warming is occurring.”

Giaever told APS that “the claim … is that the temperature has changed from ~288.0 to ~288.8 degree Kelvin [58.7–60.2 degrees Fahrenheit] in about 150 years, which (if true) means to me is that the temperature has been amazingly stable.”

Giaever has been a skeptic of man-made global warming for many years. In 2008 he told the 58th Lindau Meeting of Nobel Laureates that “global warming has become a new religion. You are not supposed to be against global warming.” In that speech, Giaever compared modern claims about global warming to those initially made about the ozone hole and acid rain — claims whose proponents later abandoned them....

A greener Greenland? Times Atlas 'error' overstates global warming
The publishers of the world’s most prestigious atlas have been caught out by Cambridge scientists exaggerating the effects of climate change.

In its latest edition, the £150 Times Atlas of the World has changed a huge coastal area of Greenland from white to green, suggesting an alarming acceleration of the melting of the northern ice cap.

Accompanying publicity material declared the change reflected ‘concrete evidence’ that 15 per cent of the ice sheet around the island – an area the size of the United Kingdom – had melted since 1999.

But last night the atlas’s publishers admitted that the ‘ice-free’ areas could in fact still be covered by sheets of more than a quarter of a mile thick....

Secret recordings raise new questions in ATF 'Gunwalker' operation
...The tapes were recorded approximately mid-March 2011 by the primary gun dealer cooperating with ATF in its "Fast and Furious" operation: Andre Howard, owner of Lone Wolf Trading Company in Glendale, Arizona. He's talking with the lead case ATF case agent Hope MacAllister.
The tapes have been turned over to Congressional investigators and the Inspector General.

As CBS News first reported last February, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives allegedly allowed thousands of weapons to "walk" onto the streets without interdiction into the hands of suspected traffickers for Mexican drug cartels in its operation "Fast and Furious."

The conversations refer to a third weapon recovered at the murder scene of Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry.

Agent: I was ordered to let guns into Mexico

Court records have previously only mentioned two weapons: Romanian WASR "AK-47 type" assault rifles. Both were allegedly sold to suspects who were under ATF's watch as part of Fast and Furious.

Also, a ballistics report turned over to Congressional investigators only mentions the two WASR rifles. The ballistics report says it's inconclusive as to whether either of the WASR rifles fired the bullet that killed Terry....

Report: At least 200 murders in Mexico now linked to Fast & Furious weapons
...In a conference call this morning with Chairman of the House Oversight Committee Darrell Issa, reporters were told the Attorney General in Mexico has confirmed at least 200 murders south of the border happened as a result of Operation Fast and Furious. Eleven crimes in the United States have been linked to Operation Fast and Furious up to this point. Issa said he expects as the investigation in the operation continues, more crimes connected to Fast and Furious will come to light and be exposed. This is not surprising, considering out of 2500 weapons the Obama Justice Department allowed to “walk,” and that only 600 have been recovered, the rest are lost until they show up at violent crime scenes. The damage from Operation Fast and Furious has only started to be seen...

New Fast & Furious audio: Border Patrol agent killed by F&F weapons was “collateral damage”
It’s not an ATF agent who utters those magical words, it’s the Arizona gun dealer who was working with the ATF on Fast & Furious. He utters them to an ATF agent, though, to which she replies with a cryptic “mm-hmm.” Callousness — or strategy?

However, the lawyer representing the Lone Wolf Trading Co. says owner Andre Howard made the tapes only after he suspected he was being lied to, and his language is meant to get Hope MacAllister, an agent with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, to implicate herself and her agency in their illegal gun running scheme.

“He became very suspicious and in his own defense would tape key conversations with Ms. MacAllister and try to get her to make admissions about the truth of the matter,” said Dallas attorney Larry Gaydos. “Andre was trying to get her to admit that indeed they let guns go to Mexico.”…

Howard made the tapes in March 2011 after a meeting he and his attorneys held with federal officials. In that meeting, Assistant U.S. Attorney Emory Hurley continued to insist the guns Lone Wolf sold were stopped and seized before reaching Mexico.

But ATF officials are quoted in a Washington Post article and the Spanish language daily La Opinion saying just the opposite — blaming Lone Wolf for “selling guns to the cartels” with no mention that Howard was operating under the federal government’s direction, encouragement and approval....

HUD targets liberal New York enclave for social engineering
Despite progressive tendencies and racial diversity, the New York suburb of Westchester — which voted heavily for President Obama in 2008 — is not safe from the administration’s focus on social engineering.

The Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) is concerned that Westchester County is too white and even though the county is outpacing the schedule to fulfill a 2009 settlement with HUD — in which the county agreed to spend over $50 million on 750 new subsidized housing units to be provided to minorities via a lottery system (630 of which had to be built in neighborhoods with less than 3 percent African-American and 7 percent Latino populations) — HUD is ordering the county to do more. All this, even though the 2010 census indicates that Westchester is the fourth most racially diverse county in the state — tied with Manhattan...
Video: The left’s got a fever and the only prescription is Elizabeth Warren talking about tax hikes

Elizabeth Warren’s Non Sequitur
...Has anyone seen this social contract that obligates you to surrender a “hunk” of what you produce under penalty of violence? Sorry, I don’t trust unwritten open-ended so-called “contracts” into which any advocate of government power may read conditions ex post. (The idea of social contract can be construed more sensibly. See this.) Moreover, why aren’t honest production and exchange of valuable goods counted as payment forward? Just as our living standard is the fruit of previous generations’ production, so today’s producers are helping to raise the living standard of the next generations.

Boiled down, then, Warren’s argument is that since everyone has paid taxes to provide services without which wealthy people couldn’t have made their money, they should pay more. How does that follow? She’d first have to show that they are paying too little now. She only assumes this. (See Steven Horwitz’s discussion of this matter.) That’s not good enough. And maybe the services cost too much — wouldn’t we expect that from a protected monopoly?

She might respond that the presence of the deficit shows that not enough money is collected in taxes and therefore the wealthiest should pay more. Still not good enough. As she herself intimates, the George W. Bush years were marked by unfunded spending. That sounds like a problem of overspending, not undertaxation. Solution: Cut spending.

Saturday, September 10, 2011

RSS AMSU, Jan-Aug: 2011 second coldest in this century
...You can see that the first eight months of 2011 were colder than the same period of 1991 which was 20 years earlier; and of course, 1998 remains the leader of the league: its first 8 months were almost 0.5 °C warmer than the same months of 2011. At the 12th position, 2011 is out of top ten. Only Jan-Aug 2008 with –0.013 °C managed to be colder than the same period of 2011 among the years of the 21st century. So 2011 is helping to make the preliminary 21st century temperature trend even more negative than before; this is no bulšit, angry Al.

Some warming may have been taking place in recent months – because of the delayed effect of the disappearing La Niña a few months ago. But it may be replaced by another cooling in the coming months....

Gunwalker Explodes: FBI Hid Weapon, Tax Dollars Subsidized Murder
...Every American, regardless of political ideology, should be livid that the FBI gave at least $70,000 of “seed money” to murderous felons so that they could buy firearms. The FBI knew these weapons were destined for narco-terrorists, and that they would be used to target not just other murderous cartels but to terrorize innocents.

The third weapon recovered at the scene of Agent Terry’s murder that the FBI made “disappear” is an SKS carbine. Not an assault weapon by any practical definition, authorities claim that the official existence of the Texas-purchased rifle at the crime scene could have exposed an FBI informant.

Another plausible motive for hiding the weapon is that it would be traced to a different ATF operational sector, as an early indication that gunwalking was not limited to Operation Fast and Furious in the Phoenix Field Operations area....

Ignorance of the Law Is No Excuse . . . Unless You’re in Law Enforcement
...TAMERA MEDLEY begged the police officer to stop slamming her head – over and over – into the hood of a police cruiser.

Thinking they were helping, passers-by Shakir Riley and Melissa Hurling both turned their cellphone video cameras toward the melee that had erupted on Jefferson Street in Wynnefield, they said.

But then the cops turned on them.

Riley had started to walk away when at least five baton-wielding cops followed him, he said, and they beat him, poured a soda on his face and stomped on his phone, destroying the video he had just taken.

Meanwhile, two officers approached Hurling, urged her to leave and, after exchanging a few words, slammed her against a police cruiser, Hurling said. They pulled her by her hair before tossing her into the back of a cop car, she said.

Although it’s legal to record Philadelphia police performing official duties in public, all three were charged with disorderly conduct and related offenses, and officers destroyed Hurling and Riley’s cellphones, erasing any record of Medley’s violent arrest, the pair said.

Charges against Hurling and Riley were dismissed, but Medley was found guilty last month of disorderly conduct, resisting arrest, harassment and related offenses. She was fined $500 but has filed an appeal.

Echoes of the incident, which was corroborated by a half-dozen witnesses, have been reverberating nationwide in recent years as the combination of cellphone video and police officers has simmered into what is an increasingly explosive formula . . .

In another case last month, police allegedly began beating Darrell Holloway, who is legally blind, with flashlights and batons during a narcotics investigation on a West Philly street. There wasn’t much his cousin Jamal Holloway could do but record the incident on his phone.

Jamal, 33, said that when officers spotted him filming, he was detained and taken to a police station at 55th and Pine streets. Before he was brought inside, an officer told him to delete the video.

“One female cop told me to delete the stuff and then I can walk,” Jamal recalled, adding that the cop said she would confiscate his phone. “I was there close up. I can’t believe it happened like – they beating my cousin like that and he’s in the situation he’s in.”

Jamal said he opted to erase the footage. . .

Then in July, Zanberle Sheppard, 24, said neighbors told her that police were beating her handcuffed boyfriend, Tayvon Eure, in an alley behind their home on 65th Street near Chester.

Sheppard said she peered out her back window and began to film the arrest. After officers saw her, she said, they banged on her neighbor’s door. Sheppard ran outside and around to the alley with her cellphone, she said, and that’s when a cop told other officers to grab her phone.

She claims that when she pulled away from the cops, one officer grabbed her by her hair and she dropped her phone. Neighbor Robin Artis, 17, said she saw a cop punch Sheppard in the face and stomp her. Sheppard had a black eye and a bruised lip.

The next time she saw her phone was when the cop who allegedly beat her boyfriend came into the police station where Sheppard was and threw it at her, she said. The back of her phone was broken, the battery was missing and the video was gone....

Whoops! ObamaCare Backers in Wisconsin Produce Report Showing That the Health Care Overhaul Will Make Health Insurance More Expensive
...The report Doyle ordered before leaving office certainly reveals something about how the law will affect hundreds of thousands of individuals in the state he used to govern, it's not all flattering. Indeed, it’s telling that despite bring ordered and authored by true-blue ObamaCare backers, a big part of what this report suggests is that the law will ultimately raise the health insurance costs for large numbers of the state’s residents....

Obama’s whopper of a claim on tax cuts
...We took an informal survey in our office and asked people what they thought the president’s statement meant. Everyone agreed he was claiming the biggest tax cut in terms of dollars.

Imagine our surprise when the White House responded that he wasn’t talking about dollars at all.

“The point the president was making that is there is not a tax cut that has been enjoyed by such a broad section of the population,” an administration official said, pointing to a report that said that 95 percent of working families received some kind of tax cut under the Making Work Pay provision in his stimulus bill.


In other words, this isn’t about the size of the tax cut, but about the fact that every working family, except those making more than $190,000, received as much as $800 in tax cuts.

That strikes us as very odd way to claim “the biggest,” but maybe that’s because Obama can’t make that claim. We ran the numbers every which way, but the fairest over time is to look at the tax cut as a percentage of national income (Gross Domestic Product minus depreciation.)...

Monday, September 05, 2011

Government Housing Policies in the Lead-up to the Financial Crisis: A Forensic Study
The major cause of the financial crisis in the U.S. was the collapse of housing and mortgage markets resulting from an accumulation of an unprecedented number of weak and risky Non-Traditional Mortgages (NTMs). These NTMs began to default en mass beginning in 2006, triggering the collapse of the worldwide market for mortgage backed securities (MBS) and in turn triggering the instability and insolvency of financial institutions that we call the financial crisis. Government policies forced a systematic industry-wide loosening of underwriting standards in an effort to promote affordable housing. This paper documents how policies over a period of decades were responsible for causing a material increase in homeowner leverage through the use of low or no down payments, increased debt ratios, no loan amortization, low credit scores and other weakened underwriting standards associated with NTMs. These policies were legislated by Congress, promoted by HUD and other regulators responsible for their enforcement, and broadly adopted by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac (the GSEs) and the much of the rest mortgage finance industry by the early 2000s. Federal policies also promoted the growth of over-leveraged loan funding institutions, led by the GSEs, along with highly leveraged private mortgage backed securities and structured finance transactions. HUD's policy of continually and disproportionately increasing the GSEs' goals for low- and very-low income borrowers led to further loosening of lending standards causing most industry participants to reach further down the demand curve and originate even more NTMs. As prices rose at a faster pace, an affordability gap developed, leading to further increases in leverage and home prices. Once the price boom slowed, loan defaults on NTMs quickly increased leading to a freeze-up of the private MBS market. A broad collapse of home prices followed....

Parents of seven told: Your children are too fat, so you will never see them again
Four obese children are on the brink of being permanently removed from their family by social workers after their parents failed to bring their weight under control.

In the first case of its kind, their mother and father now face what they call the ‘unbearable’ likelihood of never seeing them again.

Their three daughters, aged 11, seven and one, and five-year-old son, will either be ‘fostered without contact’ or adopted....
The Community Reinvestment Act’s Harmful Legacy (PDF)
While both CRA- and non-CRA lenders have increased the number of loans to low-income borrowers, the financial soundness of CRA covered institutions decreases the better they conform to the CRA. Gunther compares certain institutions’ CRA ratings to their CAMELS rating—a formula used by bank regulators to assign safety and soundness ratings that takes into account capital adequacy, asset quality, management, earnings, liquidity, and sensitivity to market risks. He found that the better a lender was rated by CRA standards, the worse was its CAMELS rating.

The Washington Post: Fannie's Perilous Pursuit of Subprime Loans
In January 2007, as years of loose mortgage lending were about to send the nation's housing market into devastating decline, Fannie Mae chief executive Daniel H. Mudd wrote a confidential memo to his board.

Discussing the company's successes, Mudd said one of Fannie Mae's achievements in 2006 was expanding its involvement in the market for subprime and other nontraditional mortgages. He called it a step "toward optimizing our business."

A month later, Fannie Mae outlined plans to further expand its activities in the subprime market. The company recognized the already weak performance of subprime loans but predicted that they would get better in 2007, according to another Fannie Mae document.

Internal documents show that even late in the housing bubble, Fannie Mae was drawn to risky loans by a variety of temptations, including the desire to increase its market share and fulfill government quotas for the support of low-income borrowers....

...Fannie Mae aimed to benefit from subprime loans and expand the market for them -- and hoped to pass much of the risk on to others, documents show. Along with subprime loans, which were typically issued to borrowers with blemished credit, the company targeted so-called Alt-A loans, which were often made with no verification of the borrower's income.

"By entering new markets -- especially Alt-A and subprime -- and guaranteeing more of our customers' products at market prices, we met our goal of increasing market share from 22 to 25 percent," Mudd wrote in a 2006 year-end report to the Fannie Mae board dated Jan. 3, 2007.

In other internal documents, there was a common refrain: One of Fannie Mae's objectives for 2006 was to "increase our penetration into subprime."...

...In 2006 and 2007, Fannie Mae "carefully broadened our entry into the subprime market," Faith said in a statement. At the time, it wasn't clear how severe the problems in the housing market would become, he said....

...Mudd said he worried that while the company focused on its accounting problems, "the business itself would get away from us." He said the company avoided that pitfall but now faced another: intense competition from "usurpers and innovators."

Buying Alt-A and subprime mortgages was part of Fannie Mae's effort to meet the challenge. Fannie Mae sought to reap the rewards and protect itself from the downside of the investments through a feat of financial engineering it called its "Risk Transformation Facility," which was meant to transfer the riskiest elements to other investors.

"We engaged in the subprime market, for the first time closing deals to guarantee and securitize subprime loans, with help from the new facility that allows us to sell off the riskiest layers," Mudd wrote. By October, the company had signed $3 billion of such deals....

...A month later, Fannie Mae management outlined a plan to acquire $11 billion more in "subprime/non-prime mortgages" in 2007 and expressed confidence in its ability to handle the risk.

The company had "approached its expansion of this business cognizant of the relatively weak credit performance of recent subprime originations, which were affected by issues relating to underwriting quality, home price de-appreciation . . . and risk layering," one February 2007 document said, referring to loans with multiple risky characteristics. "However, management expects improvement in the quality and credit performance of subprime mortgages originated this year."...

Sunday, September 04, 2011

New Fast and Furious details indicate gov’t cover-up, White House involvement
...New emails obtained by the Los Angeles Times appear to show senior Obama administration and White House officials were briefed on the gun-walking operation. The three White House officials implicated by the LA Times’ reporting are Kevin M. O’Reilly, the director of North American Affairs for the White House national security staff; Dan Restrepo, the president’s senior Latin American advisor; and Greg Gatjanis, a White House national security official.

The emails were sent between July 2010 and February 2011, before the scandalous ATF program was exposed, according the LA Times.

The LA Times says a senior administration official denies that the emails which lead Fast and Furious ATF agent Brian Newell sent to O’Reilly — who later briefed Restrepo and Gatjanis –included details on “investigative tactics” used in the program. By “investigative tactics,” the White House means how ATF agents facilitated the sale of firearms to drug cartels via “straw purchasers,” or people who could legally buy guns in the U.S. but did so with the intention of selling them to individuals who would traffic them to Mexico.

Those emails apparently show Newell and O’Reilly discussing how the program was affecting Mexico....

Saturday, September 03, 2011

Is Barack buddy Buffett betting on bank bailout?
If you're looking for proof that Too Big to Fail is still alive, and that Washington won't leave large financial institutions to the mercies of capitalism, consider billionaire Obama fundraiser Warren Buffett's $5 billion bet on struggling Bank of America.

Buffett, who recently won plaudits for advocating higher taxes, has spent four years betting on bailouts and big government -- and tilting the playing field in that direction by putting his money and prestige at the service of Barack Obama.

Buffett gave the maximum donation to Obama in 2007 -- $4,600 to his campaign, and $28,500 to the Democratic National Committee -- and also hosted a fundraiser for Obama in Omaha. By mid-2008, Obama had tapped Buffett as an official economic adviser to the campaign.

When Wall Street nearly collapsed in September 2008, Buffett rallied behind the Troubled Asset Relief Program, and bet big on its passage. He put $5 billion into failing investment bank Goldman Sachs. "If I didn't think the government was going to act, I would not be doing anything this week," Buffett said on CNBC at the time.

Obama had campaigned against policies that mainly serve wealthy Americans, belittling the notion that "somehow prosperity will trickle down." Obama was the only man in position to block the bailout, but he voted aye and took much of his party with him.

As Congress was passing TARP and Republicans were falling in the polls, Buffett made another investment in Obamanomics, taking a $3 billion stake in General Electric....

Gunwalker: Details of Coverup Revealed
...In a letter, Grassley and Issa say the lead prosecutor on Fast and Furious, Assistant U.S. Attorney Emory Hurley, learned almost immediately that guns allowed onto the street in his case, had been recovered at Terry’s murder. “(I)n the hours after Agent Terry’s death,” says the letter from Grassley and Issa, Hurley apparently “contemplated the connection between the two cases and sought to prevent the connection from being disclosed.” The Justice Department recently transferred Hurley out of the criminal division into the civil division.

An internal ATF email dated the day after Terry’s death reveals the quick decision to not disclose the source of the weapons found at the murder scene: “… this way we do not divulge our current case (Fast and Furious) or the Border Patrol shooting case.”

Another ATF email indicates that the justification both offices used to not charge the suspect with crimes related to the murder scene “was to not ‘complicate’ the FBI’s investigation.”

ATF whistleblowers revealed the link between the two cases to Congressional investigators and CBS News, saying their supervisors were attempting to cover it up....

Global Warming Bombshell
...Canadian scientists Stephen McIntyre and Ross McKitrick have uncovered a fundamental mathematical flaw in the computer program that was used to produce the hockey stick. In his original publications of the stick, Mann purported to use a standard method known as principal component analysis, or PCA, to find the dominant features in a set of more than 70 different climate records.

But it wasnt so. McIntyre and McKitrick obtained part of the program that Mann used, and they found serious problems. Not only does the program not do conventional PCA, but it handles data normalization in a way that can only be described as mistaken.

Now comes the real shocker. This improper normalization procedure tends to emphasize any data that do have the hockey stick shape, and to suppress all data that do not. To demonstrate this effect, McIntyre and McKitrick created some meaningless test data that had, on average, no trends. This method of generating random data is called Monte Carlo analysis, after the famous casino, and it is widely used in statistical analysis to test procedures. When McIntyre and McKitrick fed these random data into the Mann procedure, out popped a hockey stick shape!

That discovery hit me like a bombshell, and I suspect it is having the same effect on many others. Suddenly the hockey stick, the poster-child of the global warming community, turns out to be an artifact of poor mathematics. How could it happen? What is going on? ...
Has the AGW argument imploded?
Has new research disproven the theoretical models of anthropogenic global warming? A new study by a European nuclear research group appears to show that the actual prime cause of temperature shifts in the Earth’s climate isn’t carbon dioxide at all, or even the broader range of “greenhouse gases,” but the large ball of fire in the center of the solar system. Not that this study from CERN has attracted much attention in the media, at least not in the US — but at least Nature reported the results and the implications...

...Solomon says that CERN has “found the path to the Holy Grail of climate change,” although they seem intent on hiding the evidence of it. Solomon links to a graph that Nature apparently didn’t publish, which shows the reaction from cosmic rays in the CLOUD chamber and the rapid creation of particles associated with cloud formation in the atmosphere...

SPECIAL REPORT: More Than 1000 International Scientists Dissent Over Man-Made Global Warming Claims - Challenge UN IPCC & Gore
More than 1,000 dissenting scientists (updates previous 700 scientist report) from around the globe have now challenged man-made global warming claims made by the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) and former Vice President Al Gore. This new 2010 321-page Climate Depot Special Report -- updated from the 2007 groundbreaking U.S. Senate Report of over 400 scientists who voiced skepticism about the so-called global warming “consensus” -- features the skeptical voices of over 1,000 international scientists, including many current and former UN IPCC scientists, who have now turned against the UN IPCC. This updated 2010 report includes a dramatic increase of over 300 additional (and growing) scientists and climate researchers since the last update in March 2009. This report's release coincides with the 2010 UN global warming summit in being held in Cancun.

The more than 300 additional scientists added to this report since March 2009 (21 months ago), represents an average of nearly four skeptical scientists a week speaking out publicly. The well over 1,000 dissenting scientists are almost 20 times the number of UN scientists (52) who authored the media-hyped IPCC 2007 Summary for Policymakers.

The chorus of skeptical scientific voices grew louder in 2010 as the Climategate scandal -- which involved the upper echelon of UN IPCC scientists -- detonated upon on the international climate movement. "I view Climategate as science fraud, pure and simple," said noted Princeton Physicist Dr. Robert Austin shortly after the scandal broke. Climategate prompted UN IPCC scientists to turn on each other. UN IPCC scientist Eduardo Zorita publicly declared that his Climategate colleagues Michael Mann and Phil Jones "should be barred from the IPCC process...They are not credible anymore." Zorita also noted how insular the IPCC science had become. "By writing these lines I will just probably achieve that a few of my future studies will, again, not see the light of publication," Zorita wrote. A UN lead author Richard Tol grew disillusioned with the IPCC and lamented that it had been "captured" and demanded that "the Chair of IPCC and the Chairs of the IPCC Working Groups should be removed." Tol also publicly called for the "suspension" of IPCC Process in 2010 after being invited by the UN to participate as lead author again in the next IPCC Report. [Note: Zorita and Tol are not included in the count of dissenting scientists in this report.]

Other UN scientists were more blunt. A South African UN scientist declared the UN IPCC a "worthless carcass" and noted IPCC chair Pachauri is in "disgrace". He also explained that the "fraudulent science continues to be exposed." Alexander, a former member of the UN Scientific and Technical Committee on Natural Disasters harshly critiqued the UN. "'I was subjected to vilification tactics at the time. I persisted. Now, at long last, my persistence has been rewarded...There is no believable evidence to support [the IPCC] claims. I rest my case!"...

Op-Ed: Rethink, relearn
...But history tells us that today’s public schools are the legacy of corporate fads from the 1900s, when large industrial enterprises were keenly interested in securing a docile workforce that recognized and respected hierarchies. The tinkering, self-starting spirit that had been a necessity in a frontier society was snuffed out by design. We’ve been taught that education is this constricted, standardized and homogenized thing that happens in buildings called schools in between the ringing of school bells.

Just as aging industrial companies angle for tariffs to be protected from more nimble competitors, resistance to corporate education reform is to be expected. But there is an ugly side effect. Industrial-age schools have sapped our ability to learn in the wild....

New Report on Global Warming Contradicts U.N.’s IPCC
The United Nations’ Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), already under severe criticism for violating the requirements of academic peer review and relying on secondary sources, comes under attack again in a new report co-produced by three nonprofit research organizations.

According to the new report, “natural causes are very likely to be [the] dominant” cause of climate change that took place in the twentieth and at the start of the twenty-first centuries. “We are not saying anthropogenic greenhouse gases (GHG) cannot produce some warming or have not in the past. Our conclusion is that the evidence shows they are not playing a substantial role.”

The authors of the new report go on to say “the net effect of continued warming and rising carbon dioxide concentrations in the atmosphere is most likely to be beneficial to humans, plants, and wildlife.”...

BREAKING: Editor-in-chief of Remote Sensing resigns over Spencer & Braswell paper
...UPDATE #2: This ad hominem-esque Guardian article about the resignation quotes an engineer (engineer??) who claims we have a history of publishing results which later turn out to be “wrong”. Oh, really? Well, in 20 years of working in this business, the only indisputable mistake we ever made (which we immediately corrected, and even published our gratitude in Science to those who found it) was in our satellite global temperature monitoring, which ended up being a small error in our diurnal drift adjustment — and even that ended up being within our stated error bars anyway. Instead, it has been our recent papers have been pointing out the continuing mistakes OTHERS have been making, which is why our article was entitled. “On the Misdiagnosis of….”. Everything else has been in the realm of other scientists improving upon what we have done, which is how science works.

UPDATE #3: At the end of the Guardian article, it says Andy Dessler has a paper coming out in GRL next week, supposedly refuting our recent paper. This has GOT to be a record turnaround for writing a paper and getting it peer reviewed. And, as usual, we NEVER get to see papers that criticize our work before they get published....
Berkeley offers college credit to ‘fight the new Jim Crow’
Back in the day, if students wanted easy credits, they signed up for underwater basket-weaving. Now they just need a political cause.

The University of California, Berkeley is offering students college credit to work for an expressly political organization fighting for affirmative action and immigrant rights....

Mental illness rise linked to climate
RATES of mental illnesses including depression and post-traumatic stress will increase as a result of climate change, a report to be released today says.

The paper, prepared for the Climate Institute, says loss of social cohesion in the wake of severe weather events related to climate change could be linked to increased rates of anxiety, depression, post-traumatic stress and substance abuse.

As many as one in five people reported ''emotional injury, stress and despair'' in the wake of these events....