Bruce Bartlett goes off on some of the denialist behavior from the GOP.

Bartlett writes: When a study doesn’t support their dogma, the GOP censors it: Nonpartisan Tax Report Withdrawn After G.O.P. Protest

Original study still available here: Taxes and the Economy: An Economic Analysis of the Top Tax Rates Since 1945 (PDF)

Bartlett discussed how Republicans destroyed much of Congress’s analytical ability when they took over in 1995: Gingrich and the Destruction of Congressional Expertise

He adds “This is part and parcel with poll denialism, global warming denialism, and the general right wing disdain for facts and reality.”

Note: Before making any kneejerk partisan reaction to this, note that Bartlett — Like Stockman and others — sre not trying to mske a pro-Democrat argument; rather, they are acknowledging a major societal concern when one of the 2 major political parties have foresaken science and reality and facts when they disagree with their agenda.

I am enormously concerned about any society that has half its goverrning officials driven by witchcraft and superstitition and bad ideas, and no longer are concerned with facts, truth, reality.

There needs to be a centrist alternative to the GOP: Reality based, science AND market friendly, but also socially forward thinking, not tied to the religious right or other zealots and jihadists.

Category: Philosophy, Politics, Really, really bad calls

Please use the comments to demonstrate your own ignorance, unfamiliarity with empirical data and lack of respect for scientific knowledge. Be sure to create straw men and argue against things I have neither said nor implied. If you could repeat previously discredited memes or steer the conversation into irrelevant, off topic discussions, it would be appreciated. Lastly, kindly forgo all civility in your discourse . . . you are, after all, anonymous.

90 Responses to “Bruce Bartlett: Dangers of Republican Know-Nothingism”

  1. Joe Friday says:

    Now you know how Galileo must have felt.

  2. staticautomatic says:

    That alternative is a congress full of Bloomberg’s. It would be a beautiful place.

  3. phoneranger says:

    “There needs to be a centrist alternative to the GOP: Reality based, science AND market friendly, but also socially forward thinking, not tied to the religious right or other zealots and jihadists.”

    Barry you know we have that alternative already. It’s called the Democratic Party. What’s missing is a Left party. If we did, at least then we’d be done with this Obama is a Muslim-Marxist-Metrosexual bologna.

  4. Expat says:

    The Right has become bigoted and willfully ignorant. The Left seems to dream of only one thing, being like the Right.

    The Right espouses ignorance and loudly ridicules those who promote rational thought and science. The Left meekly stands aside and keeps quiet for fear of offending or being called elitist, communist, or atheist.

    There is One Party in America. It is the party of the rich and the ignorant. The Rich rule and ignorant follow. The rest are disgusted or too busy trying to keep their heads above water to care about politics.

    Any nation that can elect GW Bush, seriously consider Sarah Palin as vice-presidential, and then consider re-electing Obama deserves much worse that whatever might happen to it.

    As for the rest of the world, it would love to see more American ignorance…specifically that America would simply ignore it entirely.

  5. garenwisner says:

    Correlation does not imply causation – beware of the lurking variables (Republican or Democrat)

  6. CTMike says:

    The lack of choice is very frustrating. I generally lean to the left, but I know plenty of reasonable people who make evidence-based arguments who are on the right, and I respect their opinions/insights (if we’re not constantly evaluating arguments that go against our beliefs, we’re not doing our jobs). A lot of them recognize that their party (or its agenda) has been hijacked by extremist elements, but there is seemingly little that can be done about it.

    It’s worth recalling that Romney was the centrist Republican when he was governor of Massachusetts (whether or not he ever really believed in what he espoused given his subsequent change is sort of beside the point). Whatever they may say about his character, Romney’s ever-changing positions really say more about what is required to become a presidential nominee for the GOP.

    I voted for Obama in 2008, and I don’t think Obama has done an especially good job, and I would like it if there were an alternative candidate that I could vote for that doesn’t owe big favors to some constituencies with anti-scientific ideas that are frankly, crazy. Sadly, I don’t see the situation changing.

    Scientific American had a good piece tangentially related to this discussion a couple weeks ago:

    http://www.scientificamerican.com/article.cfm?id=antiscience-beliefs-jeopardize-us-democracy

  7. gfreedy says:

    Barry, the one thing I take exception to is the sentence about 1/2 our governing officials being driven by witchcraft, superstition, etc. I believe it’s 100% minus the relatively few exceptions. The point is that there is no shortage of these kinds of examples on either side of the aisle and a centrist alternative can only begin when we as voters and citizens acknowledge that reality.

  8. dennisc says:

    Thank you! Your concerns and demands are very familiar to me. I share them exactly. Alas, I don’t have the audience or credibility that you have. I don’t have your courage either. Instead of showering you with praise I’m just going to buy your book.

  9. ancientone says:

    please, gfreedy; trying to say they’re both just as bad is ridiculous in the extreme.

  10. 10x25mm says:

    Don’t bet the farm on consensus science. I was an engineer for 30 years before my current occupation and did what engineers do: translate science into practical uses. For most of my engineering career, the scientific consensus was the world entering a new ice age. Now all of a sudden, the consensus has reversed direction. You will find that a lot of university-based science today is driven by the need to publish, rather than any particular merit. Few of today’s scientific papers lead to useful equipments and activities.

    It is appropriate that your quote of the day comes from Albert Einstein. He spent 20 years in the wilderness after his seminal 1905 paper “The Special Theory of Relativity”. He was manhandled by his fellow physicists to a far greater degree than Galileo Galileii ever was. And yet it is the lone voices in the scientific wilderness which have brought forth the most useful science.

    The problem with today’s science is the same problem that afflicts many other modern endeavors: it has been captured by politics and government funding. Until you shrink the role of government in human affairs, you will be plagued with ever greater and more dangerous oscillations.

  11. Frilton Miedman says:

    Libertarian here (in case the name isn’t clue enough), despite popular Neo-Con rumor, Libertarians aren’t property of the GOP, nor are we Austrian economic believers….Friedman was a monetarist, not an Austrian.

    That said, if anyone thinks Bartlett is an anomaly for Reagan era Republicans, think again, he’s on a growing list of Reaganites that are against this recent Neo-Con extremist movement.

    Founder of Reaganomics, Paul C Roberts went on a tirade two years ago (http://www.infowars.com/the-ecstasy-of-empire/)..he’d qualify as an MSNBC talk host by Neo-Con standards –

    His words -

    “Americans have no greater enemies than Wall Street and the corporations and their prostitutes in Congress and the White House.{…}The United States and the welfare of its 300 million people cannot be restored unless the neocons, Wall Street, the corporations, and their servile slaves in Congress and the White House can be defeated.”

  12. Frilton Miedman says:

    Libertarian here (in case the name isn’t clue enough), despite popular Neo-Con rumor, Libertarians aren’t property of the GOP, nor are we Austrian economic believers….Friedman was a monetarist, not an Austrian.

    That said, if anyone thinks Bartlett is an anomaly for Reagan era Republicans, think again, he’s on a growing list of Reaganites that are against this recent Neo-Con extremist movement.

    Founder of Reaganomics, Paul C Roberts went on a tirade two years ago (http://www.infowars.com/the-ecstasy-of-empire/)..he’d qualify as an MSNBC talk host by Neo-Con standards –

    His words -

    “Americans have no greater enemies than Wall Street and the corporations and their prostitutes in Congress and the White House.{…}The United States and the welfare of its 300 million people cannot be restored unless the neocons, Wall Street, the corporations, and their servile slaves in Congress and the White House can be defeated.”

  13. wally says:

    Maybe they could run that alternative party from Missouri; that’s supposed to be the place the laws come from.

  14. MidlifeNocrisis says:

    I take exception to the exception regarding our officials that believe in witchcraft, superstition and voodoo. While it may be possible that nearly 100% of public officials believe in said voodoo, for the most part, only one of the two main political parties actually tries to express those beliefs via legislation.

  15. DrungoHazewood says:

    After the Gasping Old Party takes it up the wazoo Tuesday, it’ll be one more step in a long line toward irrelevancy. Twit was just another path to oblivion. It was telling that the Rs gave Corzine a pass, yet kept harping on the birth certificate crap. That tells you everything you need to know about our dilemma: one party spawned him, and the other gave him a pass. Gentleman’s agreement you know.

  16. howardoark says:

    “I am enormously concerned about any society that has half its goverrning officials driven by witchcraft and superstitition and bad ideas, and no longer are concerned with facts, truth, reality. ”

    This is right, but also wrong. My opinion is that 100% of our elected officials will say anything to be elected. On the right, this requires them not pissing off their base by saying anything that might be taken to mean that maybe the dinosaurs weren’t around 6,000 years ago and didn’t die off because they couldn’t fit on Noah’s ark.

    On the left, you can’t say anything that might be taken to mean that paying people not to work will make them less likely to work.

    And since money is required to be elected, you have Chuck Schumer (probably a 100% liberal rating) protecting the carried interest tax scandal like it was a middle class benefit http://mycrains.crainsnewyork.com/blogs/greg-david-on-ny/2012/01/how-schumer-cut-romneys-taxes/

    It must suck to be a Congress Critter. I can’t figure out why any decent rational person would want to be one – but of course, there probably aren’t many of them in Congress.

    And 10x25mm is completely right about how science is done these days. I’m skeptical about global warming but feel compelled to support measures to control carbon emissions because the consequences are too drastic to take chances with it. The fact that 99.9% of “scientists” say anthropogenic-caused global warming is real is meaningless.

  17. Randel says:

    From 1954 to 1994 we had Democratic Congresses and Republican Presidents. It is my opinion that in 1994, the magnetic poles reversed. We will see Republican Congresses, and Democrat Presidents. Strange as that seems, that is what historians will be writing about years from now, and why Obama will win Tuesday. The legislative branch is the one easiest to be caught up with deniers of all persuasions.

  18. WallaWalla says:

    The republicans seem pretty crazy most of the time these days. Meanwhile, the democrats might not be actively undoing the social progress made in the last century like the repubs, but they are woefully silent on many major issues. There was hardly a fuss when cap and trade died in the senate, and the climate change subject hasn’t even been broached in this election. Obama has not come out and campaigned against cuts to social security which is also disturbing.

    There needs to be more politicians like Senator Bernie Sanders. He is independent and largely unencumbered by the typical political election funding baggage. Vermont’s small size and politically active populace allows Bernie to be directly accountable to his electorate. Heck, we’ve even got a town-meeting day holiday where people go and discuss their local issues. The United States desperately needs to rethink it’s democracy, and Vermont offers one such system.

  19. CSF says:

    Neither party is willing to talk about the nation’s real chall

  20. GetReal1 says:

    Being Republicans does not mean that you oppose science and reasoning, it just means that you have to acknowledge that sometimes these hypothesizes are at odds with many people’s religious Christian beliefs. Ignoring this fact can be construde as trying to rip out someone’s soul and telling them their god doesn’t exist.

    With regards to global warming, you have to admit that it’s really hard for people to believe scientists can surely state what global temperatures will be when they can’t even accurately predict what tomorrow’s weather will be (or even today’s high/low temperature). Global temperatures have risen in the past and ended that last big ice age. Climate changes all the time and tends to operate in cycles, you can just assume that because something happened once in your lifetime doesn’t mean it hasn’t happened many times before.

    Even if global warming does exist, no one has addressed the ramifications of cutting global manufacturing, population control, restoring natual habitat (undoing farms) and what not, issues that will surely piss people off on both sides of the aisle and bring riots into the streets all over the world. I’m all for controlling/limiting use of resources but if this is tried there will be blood in the streets, are you ready for that?

    I grew up in Louisiana at the time when Democrats were in power and corruption was at it’s peak. For the past so many years I have lived in Chicago, where Democrats are in power and corruption still reigns. Democrats bashing Republicans is like the pot calling the kettle black. Just accept the fact that both parties have flaws and that they both suck.

  21. callotal says:

    even money that within the next 20-30 years, the two major political parties will be the Democratic Party (slightly right of center) and the Green Party (retaking what used to be traditional FDR-liberalism) with the GOP at the margins only in the deep, deep South (the rural part of the Confederacy excluding TX).

    As some above comments mentioned America has no left-wing party today. Just one slightly right-wing party and a second radical right-wing party (who would’ve been happy to abolish FEMA in 2009 during the first year of a McCain presidency).

    If the right-wing-nuts would lay off the crazy kool-aid they’d realize that Obama governed like small “c” conservative for the past 3 1/2 years.

  22. CSF says:

    Neither party is willing to address the nation’s real challenges. Republicans pretend that massive tax cuts will pay for themselves. Democrats pretend that Social Security and Medicare can be preserved in their present form, if only we tax the crap out of the uber-rich. Wake up folks. This isn’t Star Wars, where the red light sabers are always evil and the blue ones are always good. The bottom line is you can’t trust Romney’s pledge to create 12 million more jobs for working Americans any more than you can trust Obama’s phoney, faux-populist hick accent. Their rhetoric is different, but their policies are largely the same.

  23. catclub says:

    10x25mm: I doubt it.

    1. The (probably not even) first global consensus meeting on global warming was the 1992 Rio convention. So your 30 years of engineering was from 1950 to 1980? “Now all of a sudden, the consensus has reversed direction”
    The consensus in the civilized world has been there since 1992, at least. Which all of a sudden do you mean?

    2. Einstein promptly became a full professor after his annus mirabilis of 1905, which included about 3 Nobel prize worthy results, which were pretty instantly recognized as such. He got the Nobel for explaining brownian motion.

    20 years in the wilderness? Oh really? There was a large, dedicated expedition in 1919 to test General relativity, which was not even published until 1912, and was far more revolutionary than special relativity.

  24. sellstop says:

    I wrote a opinion piece for the local newpaper recently. The jist of which was that the controversies we have been having of free market vs. socialism has been going on for hundreds of years as capitalism develops. (Polyani)
    And my point being that after this last 30 years of deregulation and laizze faire capitalism it is time for the pendulum to swing the other way as it alway has. I said the “S” word. Socialism…..
    I got the expected feedback from one particular republican. But I couldn’t believe the lack of desire to find the truth. This person kept repeating these rumors and outright lies that can only be the product of AM radio and the internet. Like this: that Obama owns some of the voting machines. Or that Obama gave a “crotch salute” and therefore does not respect the US military. A recent report of a person with a sign depicting Obama with a Hitler mustache standing outside of a local post office offended the passerby, who said she was “frightened”.

    I have to agree. The lack of civil discourse and outright disregard of facts in frightening. Frightening for the future of our democracy. Frightening for the future economics of our country with such an acceptance of ignorance.

    gh

  25. catclub says:

    10x25mm, Einstein won the nobel prize in 1921. That is some 2o years of wilderness.

  26. Frilton Miedman says:

    Sellstop, using the word “Socialism” in place of the intended inference to Communist totalitarianism, to describe Democracy is the same play on words as construing Austrian and Libertarian ideology by saying “free market” over and over….two different schools with similarities that can be swapped around to suit agenda.

    Hayak and Friedman had two completely different views on the definition of “free market”.

  27. Pantmaker says:

    Want to cry your eyes out… go back and read some Goldwater quotes. People don’t even know what Conservative Politics are any more…shameful fools highjacked the party and ruined it.

  28. socaljoe says:

    In reading Bill Gross’s commentary today, I was happy to see I am not alone in my views.

    “Obama/Romney, Romney/Obama – the most important election of our lifetime? Fact is they’re all the same – bought and paid for with the same money. Ours is a country of the SuperPAC, by the SuperPAC, and for the SuperPAC. The “people” are merely election-day pawns, pulling a Democratic or Republican lever that will deliver the same results every four years. “Change you can believe in?” I bought that one hook, line and sinker in 2008 during the last vestige of my disappearing middle age optimism. We got a more intelligent President, but we hardly got change. Healthcare dominated by corporate interests – what’s new? Financial regulation dominated by Wall Street – what’s new? Continuing pointless foreign wars – what’s new?”

    William H. Gross
    Managing Director
    PIMCO

  29. just-sayin says:

    @10x25mm
    I was trained as a physicist/engineer in the 1970′s and I never heard about a ‘new ice age’.
    Not sure where you were educated, but where I was , there was talk of the greenhouse effect that
    was likely to be coming in the future.
    Scientific minds are expected to question and up until a few years ago I was indeed questioning
    the ‘consensus science’ on climate change. However, there is now a preponderance of studies indicating that
    the earth is warming and probably (not absolutely definitely) caused by human endeavors.
    The potential other causes of warming are becoming much less likely as time passes.

  30. DrungoHazewood says:

    Walla Walla

    Nice state you’ve got there. Went in Oct of 2008 and had to put my eyes back in my head.

    Nobody seems to be serious about climate change. Beyond C&T, there is not much that can be done. Even switching from coal to NG won’t have much of an effect. Any big steps that would make a dent are politically unfeasible. And both sides are going to figure out a way to get SS in the hands of the corporations. May use different methods and timelines, but its coming. The FIRE economy will continue to dictate what happens, and we could even get a nice little boomlet.

  31. Frwip says:

    @CSF

    You’re missing the point. It has nothing to do with policies.

    The core of the problem is that one of the two major political parties, namely the Republicans, is, simply put, utterly batshit insane, pandering to the worst instincts of their base, feeding and reinforcing them at every turns. And their current roll of leaders is so bad they make George Walker Bush look like a true statesman, so there is close to no hope to see one of them pull the party out of this abyss anytime soon.

    It doesn’t even matter what the Republican program is or what their position is on the political spectrum. The problem would be exactly the same if for some reason the positions were reversed and it was the Democrats who were cavorting in utter batshittery (as some of them came pretty close in the 70s).

    In a bipartisan system like the one which is built in our winner-take-all electoral system, it takes two functional major parties for the system to work. If one of the parties has gone off the deep end, all the other party has to do to win and keep a strong hold on power is to not be as insane as the other side. No need, no point in addressing the nation’s real challenges or engage in any kind of the substantial debates which are so vital to a democracy.

    Right now, one of the two parties is terminally dysfunctional and, as an inevitable consequence, it’s the entire political system and democracy itself which have become dysfunctional.

  32. overanout says:

    American political system reflects the citizens illusion about power and money who only wants to hear what it whats to hear. There is many political alternatives to the current two major party’s but the vast majority of Americans don’t want to hear or think about what that might mean to there lifestyles or face the changes that would be coming. I will give you a typical example. I live in a small San Francisco Bay Area city with a annual budget around 10 million. 25% of the budget currently is paid to 60 past city employee’s to cover there pension cost and when combined with the current 108 employee’s the bill will exceed 24 million within 15 years!!!!!!!! Yet the city council continues to believe that the tooth fairy will arrive or the State will somehow pony up the pension money.

    Selling illusion is what political power means in America rather then facing reality of any kind.

  33. changja says:

    @10x25mm

    You are exactly the picture perfect example of the anti-fact movement. Your entire statement is easily researchable to be wrong but yet you go on to espouse it either out of ignorance or malice.

    From wikipedia:

    That same year (1905), which has been called Einstein’s annus mirabilis (miracle year), he published four groundbreaking papers, on the photoelectric effect, Brownian motion, special relativity, and the equivalence of mass and energy, which were to bring him to the notice of the academic world.

    By 1908, he was recognized as a leading scientist, and he was appointed lecturer at the University of Bern. The following year, he quit the patent office and the lectureship to take the position of physics docent [43] at the University of Zurich. He became a full professor at Karl-Ferdinand University in Prague in 1911. In 1914, he returned to Germany after being appointed director of the Kaiser Wilhelm Institute for Physics (1914–1932)[44] and a professor at the Humboldt University of Berlin, with a special clause in his contract that freed him from most teaching obligations. He became a member of the Prussian Academy of Sciences. In 1916, Einstein was appointed president of the German Physical Society (1916–1918).[45][46]

    In 1921, Einstein was awarded the Nobel Prize in Physics for his explanation of the photoelectric effect, as relativity was considered still somewhat controversial. He also received the Copley Medal from the Royal Society in 1925.

    Sure-sounds like he was out in the scientific wilderness!

  34. Richard W. Kline says:

    It is indeed an indictment of present American society that less than one week from today, 45% of the public at a minimum will vote to endore a party which a) is utterly willing to lie massively about anything to anyone at anytime including what they just told you, 2) would rather that everything ever built in this country be blown away or stolen than that a single nickle be spent to preserve it, c) thinks pharmaceutical inspection or banning fracking are anarcho-infidel plots to destroy our way of life, d) holds all of one gender in the most irrational contempt imaginable and is quite willing to tell you so, and c) can’t recruit a candidate for major office who, on grounds of ethics or competency, is fit to administer a dog pound with no occupants. From the standpoint of “fool all of the people some of the time,” one can reliably recruit 10% of the population to that spectrum of delusions (and many others). The other 35% there . . . are the number one problem on our time. Not billionaires, not tipping points per million are the main harm of our day, but a third of our society with their heads so far up the the tokhus of paranoid self-reference they’d rather die than step back and take a breath of fresh air. That supports Frwip’s contention that with one party and so much of the electorate grossly delusional, the entire political system can only be dysfunctional.

    But regarding the proposed solution—a centrist, market friendly political party—there are two salient points to consider. First, that and the other conditions mentioned in the post describe the present Democratic Party. They may not be the party you _want_, Barry, not the party you’re comfortable with, but they fit the description. I mean, you couldn’t loathe them more than me, but they match that matrix. They’re so market friendly they won’t even regulate the thing!

    But more to the larger point, no putative centrist, market friendly party will provide the slightest solution to our problems, so wishing for a new one is a nonstarter. No centriest market friendly party will do a thing about climate warming; “not politically possible,” i.e. too many vested monied interests to ‘get the votes.’ No such party would do a thing about high-frequency trading; I’m sure you know this, Barry. No such party would end base- and mission-creep overseas; these are intrinsic to the image of such a party, and earn BIG money for the military-industrial sector. No such party is going to get in the way of fracking unless a Federal judge rules against the incredibly harmful practice. No such party is going to re-regulate the ibanks; you did say ‘market friendly,’ didn’t you. So the fact is, the [kind of] party you would be comfortable with simply will do nothing about any of the issues I know from your remarks you believe need, most urgently, to be addressed. You would be very comfortable blackening an oval for that party, and they would keep things right on the same dysfunctional track only with better bunting and other optics on it. Indicte a few financial small fry while doing no discovery on the great crimes and criminals in the exective suites above pulling the strings behind the ambitious schmucks who get nabbed. Lot’s of nice, hard-hitting reports and no legislative or administrative follow-through.

    What may be hard to admit is that you, and we all, need a new party you’re NOT going to be comfortable with, a new Left Party. Whoa there friend, take a deep breath, it won’t actually _be_ that bad. Here’s why: they’ll never have a majority, and likely never elect a President, so you’re safe.

    Here’s how things work in the US over the last 250 years: The Right never does anything good, the Center never does anything unless pushed from the Left, and the left is never allowed to do anything because when they start to grow a real party business and industry tells the Center to ‘hurry up and do something.’ Now, we presently _have_ a left party; I know, because I voted for them. But they’ll poll about 1.5% under the present rigged political system of unlimited private funding, grossly distorted media coverage, and discriminatory polling. A political-media system where we’ll here endless loops of some gross asses bigotry on someone elses body or sexual interests but not a sylablle on the hottest year ever in the hottest century ever, for instance. So what we really need is a New New Left Party. To change the discourse by injecting real facts, real policy options, real prosecutions, and real elected officials into the the toxic waste dump of American politics. Such a Real Left Party might get as much as 15% of the vote at peak, but changing the discourse will also draw the half-sane few from the Right into the Center and pressure the Center to actually effect reform. That is more or less what has happened in prior reform eras in American history, Barry.

    So it’s gut-check time here, friend. Do you want the party you’re comfortable with or the policies you know are essential to the continuance of much of the way of life we enjoy? If the former, then you might as well do nothing, Barry. If they latter, then advocate for a New New Left Party—but when you’re in the privacy of the booth go right ahead and blacken that Center oval. Because that’s the only way the Center will _become_ the party you want them to be. That is my considered opinion.

  35. denim says:

    My recollection a centrist GOP Republican President is this excerpt of his farewell address to us. I watched as my fellow Americans built his Interstate Highways for us. That was a visible benefit of his many policies. There have been only GOP pretenders since then, who served only the haves and have mores. But Eisenhower Republicanism would have that wonderful built-in integrity and compassion that is lacking in today’s ersatz GOP.

    ” Public Papers of the Presidents, Dwight D. Eisenhower, 1960, p. 1035- 1040″

    “My fellow Americans:

    Three days from now, after half a century in the service of our country, I shall lay down the responsibilities of office as, in traditional and solemn ceremony, the authority of the Presidency is vested in my successor.

    This evening I come to you with a message of leave-taking and farewell, and to share a few final thoughts with you, my countrymen. “… …
    … …” To all the peoples of the world, I once more give expression to America’s prayerful and continuing aspiration:

    We pray that peoples of all faiths, all races, all nations, may have their great human needs satisfied; that those now denied opportunity shall come to enjoy it to the full; that all who yearn for freedom may experience its spiritual blessings; that those who have freedom will understand, also, its heavy responsibilities; that all who are insensitive to the needs of others will learn charity; that the scourges of poverty, disease and ignorance will be made to disappear from the earth, and that, in the goodness of time, all peoples will come to live together in a peace guaranteed by the binding force of mutual respect and love.”

    http://www.h-net.org/~hst306/documents/indust.html

  36. ilsm says:

    Truth is suppressed everywhere inside the beltway, much of it on the Arlington side of the Potomoc.

    There would plenty of room for maintaining a civil society, if we take down the war profiteers.

    There is no room for maintaiuning an empire, with militarism.

    26% of US government outlays go to insuring that some fictional enemy don’t attack th US, resources which should have been sent after something productive.

    The US would look a lot differently if $10T had not been diverted to hurting Muslims the past 10 years.

  37. ilsm says:

    Davy Crockett once said,” I have never been lost, but I have been bewildered….”

    Crocket not a great philosopher, mixes “rights” with “responsibilities”………………………

  38. TLH says:

    The bank bailout-The Republicans started it, the Democrats continued it. Both parties want to create controversy so the political contributions continue. If you solve a problem, the contributions dry up. The political parties want to milk both sides for their monetary gain.

  39. fallond says:

    “There needs to be a centrist alternative to the GOP: Reality based, science AND market friendly, but also socially forward thinking, not tied to the religious right or other zealots and jihadists.”

    Couldn’t agree more… well said Sir!

  40. Roanman says:

    I read the report and it is a colossal waste of time unless you want to dream the truly batshit proposition that adjusting marginal rates will in any way solve any problem facing this country in 2012 and forward. As an aside that notion is one of the more than several cherished batshit propositions held near and dear by liberal/progressive Democrat types.

    The problem with the tax code is that which goes untaxed. That which goes untaxed, goes untaxed because of nonsensical social engineering which goes into a code which is supposed to be about funding the country.

    Remove deductions and revenue expands. Remove deductions for mortgage interest, depletion allowances, accelerated depreciation (although were it me I’d allow for equipment write offs in the year it was paid for) charitable contributions, children, earned income credit …… everything.

    Tax untaxed income. The best example being employer paid healthcare and retirement benefits.

    Fund the government with the tax code. Tinker with society elsewhere. Treat all income the same. Income is income regardless of source, interest income is the same as dividend income is the same as wages. End favorable tax treatment for government debt.

    The real problem right now is that everybody and I mean EVERYBODY is gaming the tax code. And because everybody is gaming the tax code, EVERYBODY is pretty damn sure everybody else is gaming it better.

    Among the fundamental reasons for the bitterness and political hatred expressed here and across the entire political spectrum is an incredibly and deliberately opaque system for funding the country. If you simply provide for a high personal deduction and tax every dollar above that number at some politically fought out rate regardless of source, you can fund the country quite nicely while going a long way toward reestablishing a notion of fairness. Nobody benefits from the current system of taxation except elected government types who are playing us all quite nicely.

  41. Ridge Runner says:

    Pace ancientone, I agree entirely with gfreedy, Barry. It’s not 1/2, but closer to 100% . As an ex-Democrat who never signed on to the other great centralizing political faction, I’ve watched my ex-political home erode into its current decrepit state since exiting around 1978, and it wasn’t in great shape when I exited, or I wouldn’t have left.

    One can argue that the current crony-infested, ideologically driven administration is Carter II (or Carter 1 1/2, as BO shrinks by the day), or Bush III (with an even stupider excuse for a foreign policy, and even less respect for civil liberties, both downplayed by its media sycophants), but expecting something other than “more of the same” from another term for this set of rascals is delusional. We’ve allowed our electoral process to give us David’s choice (2Sam 24:10-17). So lets choose our plague and see how it works out. If we want a better set of candidates for leadership roles, we will need to raise a better set of voters, and that won’t happen in one election cycle, or even a handful of them. Perhaps a series of Sandys to instill some humility and modesty in knowledge claims and “will to power” ambitions is just what we need.

  42. romerjt says:

    In The Righteous Mind the author says there are 6 intuitive values The 6 values:
    1. Care-Harm
    2. Fairness – Cheating
    3. Loyalty – Betrayal
    4. Authority – Subversion
    5. Sanctity – Degradation (mostly religious but not all)
    6. Liberty – Oppression
    And shows with studies / interviews how self-identified conservatives actually find all six important while liberal are nearly always focused on Care-Harm and Fairness-Cheating.

    Republican strategists know this and every election we hear about gay right-marriage. To liberals it’s a matter of fairness; to conservatives it’s degrading marriage, defying the authority of the church, and a betrayal to the concept of marriage. And they always play
    their strongest sanctity card – abortion.

    If you can bear to listen to the campaigns you’ll hear these values over and over. The Dems “mediscare” tactics are their gold card for care-harm and fairness. Dems need to first articulate and vision and a narrative that is more than just – anti Republican and find a way to express it in these values that people can relate to.

    The other tactic, like 2008, is to just wait until the Republican run it into the ground again. I still remember what William Safire said after the Bush victory in 2000, he said the Republican had built themselves a coalition and situation where they ought to be able to govern for decades, adding, unless they screw it up.

  43. normal1 says:

    I had hoped that the alternative you long for was going to come out of the Ron Paul crowd, but that was not to be. After the Reps got enough credibility from associating with him, they went on to group his supporters, many I suspect were disgusted Reps fleeing Bush 2, into the tea party. So, back to your hole, Ron, but keep in touch because we may need you again.

    I think this year, especially given the selection of candidates, Rep voters will stubbornly go to the polls to stand up for capitalism and against the socialist threat that is always present as long as there are Dems on the ballot. Political ads from Reps in my state are emphasizing “strong families, good jobs, FLATTER taxes” while having to withstand Mitt’s ads telling us how bad things have gotten here and it’s time for a change. Ha!

    Until we bury the whole Rep=capitalism, Dems=socialism, we’ll continue to rant about the ruse we call our political system.

  44. jb.mcmunn says:

    @ just-sayin: I was around during the 60s and 70s and there were indeed dire predictions of global cooling by the 80s, complete with glaciation. It was the same intellectual mistake made by the global warming crowd today: extrapolation of recent trends (and the recent trend has stalled, BTW).

    The Republicans have no monopoly on stupidity or ignoring reality. The Democrat geniuses were in complete denial about the housing crisis in 2004, vilified regulators, and had nothing but love for the criminal Franklin Raines.

    Oldie but goodie: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IyqYY72PeRM

  45. Petey Wheatstraw says:

    It’s not so much the willful ignorance on the right that bothers me — it’s the pride they display in being willfully ignorant.

  46. rocketgas says:

    I wonder how is socalist fantasy is europe is working, keep me posted

    ~~~

    BR: Southern California in Europe . . . ?

  47. Petey Wheatstraw says:

    Europe is not a casualty of socialism — it’s a casualty of unbridled/unchecked capitalism and the corruption and hegemony that comes with it.

    The world has enough for everyone AND enough left over for the rich to remain rich.

    You complain of “socialist fantasy” while capitalist reality eats you like cancer.

  48. miamiocean says:

    @10x27m

    Because Real Climate Blog is more articulate than I could be;
    http://www.realclimate.org, http://scienceblogs.com/illconsidered/2008/07/how-to-talk-to-a-sceptic/

    “It is true that there were some predictions of an “imminent ice age” in the 1970′s but a very cursory comparison of then and now reveals a huge difference. Today, you have a widespread scientific consensus supported by national academies and all the major scie”ntific institutions solidly behind the warning that the temperature is rising, anthropogenic CO2 is the primary cause and the warming will worsen unless we reduce emissions. On the other hand, in the 1970′s, there was a book in the popular press, a few articles in popular magazines, and a small amount of scientific speculation based on the recently discovered glacial cycles and the recent slight cooling trend from air pollution blocking the sunlight. There were no daily headlines. There was no avalanche of scientific articles. There were no United Nations treaties or commissions. No G8 summits on the dangers and possible solutions. No institutional pronouncements.

    Quite simply, there is no comparison. I’m sure you could find better evidence of a “consensus” of a coming alien invasion. “

  49. danm says:

    This US phenomenon is getting exported everywhere.

    Harper is Canada’s representative. One of the first things he did when elected was tinker around with Statcan. Soon after, the census was changed so we will have a 5-yr hole in data where we will not be able ro see what impact all his right wing policies will have had on Canada.

    It is hard to get data in Canada. What you get for free in the US, Statcan offers for a price… if you can find it! On top of it, even when purchased, data must quickly get downloaded or it disappears.

    The world is moving right and religions LOVE it because social nets get cut, enciting people to flock back to the church for support.

  50. theexpertisin says:

    I’m glad our leftist friends have all the answers.

    I, for one, wish the Democrats would “move towards the center” and become the party of John Kennedy, not Alan Grayson.

    And we could use a little more “witchcraft” (otherwise known as the Ten Commandments). It could make for a more civil, less finger flicking social media addicted society.

  51. doug says:

    “Mark my word, if and when these preachers get control of the [Republican] party, and they’re sure trying to do so, it’s going to be a terrible damn problem. Frankly, these people frighten me. Politics and governing demand compromise. But these Christians believe they are acting in the name of God, so they can’t and won’t compromise. I know, I’ve tried to deal with them.”
    ~Barry Goldwater

    This quote is from the mid 50′s. It might be worth your time to read more of his thoughts on the matter.

  52. VennData says:

    Thanks Frilton Miedman,

    But Reagan Myth-making is a CORE problem of the GOP. Which is pointed out by the said-same Bartlett here:

    http://old.nationalreview.com/nrof_bartlett/bartlett200310290853.asp

    So turn off the “Reagan did so we can” lies, which create the belief he cut taxes for middle class and small businesses when in fact he did the exact opposite, and raised taxes for middle class and small businesses. The Exact Opposite.

  53. Greg0658 says:

    “It must suck to be a Congress Critter. I can’t figure out why any decent rational person would want to be one – but of course, there probably aren’t many of them in Congress.”

    howie I’ve thought much along same lines .. yuck – what an OpSys – horrible treatment begets horrible responces
    ~~
    R.Kline well said too .. calm down cause .. ‘gut-check time’ .. not gonna change without much more pain
    ~~
    good 1 Petey .. ‘You complain of “socialist fantasy” while capitalist reality eats you like cancer.’
    ~~
    so true Dan .. ‘religions love it because social nets get cut, enciting people to flock back’ .. yepper
    onward Chr_ian soldiers marching as to ../.. and gotta pass the plate to make it happen

  54. tjmc says:

    Today’s post about reading well is timely.
    Consider the source. Bruce Bartlett started his career with a book about how the Pearl Harbor attack was allowed by US authorities to get us into WWII. Then he worked for the republicans and was a leading advocate of supply side economics. Now he says reagonimics was a failure. He makes a living by changing his position to something sellable. He’s now billing himself as a true republican who is critical of current republicans. It’s good business. And you have to pay the bills somehow.
    As far as the bigger picture goes, we now have the know nothings vs. the socialists. Mitt Romney may be a departure from both, campaign rhetoric aside ( Campaign rhetoric is campaign rhetoric.)

    ~~~

    BR: Bartlett’s master’s thesis at Georgetown was on the errors of intelligence before and during Pearl Harbor, not exactly that an “attack was allowed by US authorities.” His thesis was published as a book, Cover-Up: The Politics of Pearl Harbor, 1941-1946

  55. tjmc says:

    I apologize that I haven’t read the book. What I have been told (hearsay, I know, but I’m never going to get to that book) is that it was a review of the politics of/and investigations and that it asked (and left unanswered) pointed questions that intimated US authorities knew about the attack and took no action.

  56. hankest says:

    The only “scientists” worse than doctors are engineers. It’s the whole inductive deductive reasoning thing…

    Anyway, most studies from 1965 to 1979 predicted warming.

    http://www.skepticalscience.com/ice-age-predictions-in-1970s.htm

  57. NoKidding says:

    The number one change that could be made right now to reduce CO2 emmissions is to build nuclear power plants, nd encourage their construction world wide.

    Hydro is nearly built out. Wind and solar are not effective. Modernization of the developping world plus population growth there outpaces efficiency gains plus population decline here.

    I think AGW is somewhere between nonsense and a harmless detail, and I’ll start listening again when I see my counterparts propose something beyond money-churning tax schemes to address it.

    Sea level rise over the last 100 years: 3-4mm per year
    Surface temperature rise over the last 15 years: less than 0.1 degrees C

    Those are concensus numbers not Sceptic site calculations.

  58. carleric says:

    Bring on a third and fourth party and sh*tcan the current flock of geese comprising the Democrats and Republicans. I am so uncomfortable with the dogma of each that I need a viable, thoughtful, polite, well-mannered, intelligent alternative and simply can’t find one. I thnk maybe we should ban lawyers from holding public office, congressmen from running for president and career politicians from headng up federal bureauracies……that would be a start anyway.

  59. techy says:

    As long as >50% of the population is driven by hatred and religious delusion and they are stupid enough to be controlled by big business profit agenda this is what we will get. Humans are not smart enough to be not sold down the river. We are just a little different than a country in the middle east where religion decides all political outcomes.

  60. a2ricedgti says:

    “There needs to be a centrist alternative to the GOP: Reality based, science AND market friendly, but also socially forward thinking, not tied to the religious right or other zealots and jihadists.”

    Isnt that Gary Johnson? In a country where “say anything to get elected/re-elected” is the norm the guy who sits outside that (he’s a pro-life republican in favor of ending the drug war, the war in Afghanistan and substantially reducing our military, among other things) can’t poll well enough to represent in the debates.

  61. Joe Friday says:

    NoKidding,

    The number one change that could be made right now to reduce CO2 emmissions is to build nuclear power plants, nd encourage their construction world wide.

    Nonsense.

    Greenhouse gasses are produced from the mining, from the milling, from the enrichment, and from the fuel fabrication of uranium, all prior to the irradiation of the fuel, and it gets worse from there.

    Wind and solar are not effective.

    Nonsense.

    * As you read this, more than 20% of the electricity demand for the entire state of Iowa is being derived from wind.

    * The efficiency of solar is growing exponentially, doubling every two years, while the cost plummets. We are only eight doublings away from being able to meet 100% of the planet’s entire energy needs, which would require merely one part in 10,000 of the sunlight that falls on the planet.

    Sea level rise over the last 100 years: 3-4mm per year … Surface temperature rise over the last 15 years: less than 0.1 degrees C

    Where the hell are you measuring ?

  62. DeDude says:

    The beauty of denying reality and spreading disdain for experts is that when the experts cannot be trusted, then everybody is equally trustworthy, on anything. The opinion of Joe-six-pack on global warming is just as credible as that of a university professor who has spend 3 decades studying global warming (because you can’t trust the experts – they have an agenda). In this world of “whatever I pull out my dumb ass”, the only thing that counts is who have the most money to ensure that their message is spread out to the most people. That is what Fox has always been about. Hire some big boob bimbo’s, and when Joe takes the bait, start feeding him information that will get him to vote for the interests of the top 0.1%.

    It is true that consensus of experts sometimes can be wrong but it is also clear that opinions backed by careful study and grounded in facts, are much more likely to be right than the flip of a coin (whatever feels right) type of conclusions that comes from disconnecting opinions from reality and facts. If I had an investment strategy that worked 60% of the time, I would take it any time over one that worked 50%, yet people are ready to discard knowledge and expertise as soon as someone present them with a few cases of experts being wrong.

    10x25mm must have been kidding. This was just such a beautiful lay out of a person who changes his perception of reality to fit his “ideology”, that it cannot be a real person. And his mockery is a beautiful illustration of how, for some people their ideological perception of reality takes over to such an extent that they not only have selected memory, but literally change how they remember facts.

  63. retrogrouch says:

    It always reminds me of Voltaire’s line – “Those who can make you believe absurdities, can make you commit atrocities.” Certainly a lot of absurdities out there – birthers, Obama’s a socialist, a Muslim, subverting the constitution, taking guns, global warming is a hoax, evolution too .There is a frighteningly large group – in the millions, that will grasp any absurdity the party or Rush or Beck tells them with both hands. Violence is too close given the paranoid nature of so much of this propaganda.

  64. dastone16 says:

    I’m still amazed when historical high tax rates are discussed without including the income range.

    For example the in 1939 when the rate was ~80%, the income bracket started at $5 million in 1941 dollars – which adjusted to 2011 would be well above $50 million.

    Both side massage facts to fit their arguments

    ~~~

    BR: Are you suggesting that Federal rates across the baord, but especially for top 20% are NOT appreciably lower than anytime over the past 50 years?

  65. Time to shift to a Parlimentarian system!

  66. bart says:

    Nobody’s right if everyone is wrong…

    Support your local ideology regardless, it’s the right thing to do.

  67. NoKidding says:

    Joe Friday Says: “Where the hell are you measuring ?”

    “Global average sea level rose at an average rate of around 1.7 ± 0.3 mm per year from 1950 to 2009 and at a satellite-measured average rate of about 3.3 ± 0.4 mm per year from 1993 to 2009″
    http://www.cmar.csiro.au/sealevel

    The following link to Nasa GISS temp shows global surface temps. Linear trend starting at 1998 slopes down.
    Pick an earlier startpoint it slopes up. Pick the nice arbitrary interval “ten years” and the slope is zero.
    Apply common sense looking at the chart and you will conclude “not much change since 1998″.
    http://data.giss.nasa.gov/gistemp/graphs_v3/Fig.C.gif

    Do you dispute those numbers?

  68. Petey Wheatstraw says:

    And I guess the ice caps aren’t melting, either.

  69. NoKidding says:

    Also:

    As of the end of September 2012, Iowa has 4,536 megawatts of installed wind capacity which is 2nd in the nation. The average capacity factor of Iowa wind farms has been estimated as 33.3%. So the wind is providing an intermittant 1.5 GW of electric power.

    Compare to the Yeonggwang nuclear power plan in South Korea, which opened in 1986 and runs at an installed capacity of 5,875 MW. It runs at a capacity factor between 80 and 90 percent, delivering a continuous supply three times as large as all the windmills in Iowa.

    I like solar for the future, but right now it makes less than 1 percent of US energy. It can not be in the picture if you are making plans that need power in the next decade.

  70. Petey Wheatstraw says:

    I wager that if we had put half of the Iraq war money into solar research, we’d be on the path to a very clean, very stable future.

    Priorities.

  71. NoKidding says:

    Petey says “And I guess the ice caps aren’t melting, either.”

    If you are sticking to facts, the answer is no, the ice capS aren’t melting.
    One of them just set a 30-year record low and the other set a 30-year record high less than a month later. Facts.

    ~~

    BR: More facts: The south pole is a continent — its a land mass, and doesn’t melt (though ice coverage changes). The North Pole is much less land, primarily snow and ice, and IS melting. Indeed, Ice is melting at North and South Poles, there was also a collapse of an ice bridge at the South Pole.

    Vanishing Arctic ice is the planet’s white flag of surrender

    Without context, you Misrepresent what is the truth.

  72. Kevin_In_Philadelphia says:

    “There needs to be a centrist alternative to the GOP: Reality based, science AND market friendly, but also socially forward thinking, not tied to the religious right or other zealots and jihadists.”

    BR, what you described in your closing is the modern Democratic Party.

  73. whskyjack says:

    ” Linear trend starting at 1998 slopes down.
    Pick an earlier startpoint it slopes up. Pick the nice arbitrary interval “ten years” and the slope is zero.
    Apply common sense looking at the chart and you will conclude “not much change since 1998″.”

    LOL

    My goodness, I hope you aren’t a financial adviser for some poor souls.
    1998 is what is known as an outlier. If you look at the chart you can clearly see an increase. with a lot of variation as one would expect from any dynamic system. If you go to the page where you got that chart and look at their longer term charts, the raise in temperatures is even more apparent.

  74. The foundation for the right-wing idiots having a large voice has its roots in the GOP primaries race. Albeit the Party had an awesome run in the 2010 Election, yielding 63 new members (mostly via Tea Party movement), the tier-1 candidates for the GOP nomination failed to throw their hats in the ring. Obama still appeared unbeatable at that juncture.

    That left the “B” team for the primaries and the rest is history…

    Virtually all gov’t & agency stats are free in both Canada & the USA. I live in that domain and have the highest respect for these providers.

    chart updates for my Race for the White House ECV projections: http://trendlines.ca/free/elections/USA/electusa.htm

  75. NoKidding says:

    BR I agree that land does not melt, I was talking about the ice on top. In fact the Antarctic record is set at the margin, where it is sea ice. You quoted that reasoning before, it is not the right counter argument. The concensus excuse is that the cooloing effect of ozone recovery is overcompensating for the warming effect of CO2. I’m not sure how much stock I put in it. Truth is that the ice on the South pole has been growing.

    The ice on the South pole might start shrinking next year. It might keep going. The 2007 IPCC report predicts temperature rises of 1.1 – 6.4 °C by 2100 – but the real data does not look like that.

    If CO2 is being released at an ever-increasing rate, which it is,
    and the stock in the atmosphere has accumulated continuously without break, which it has,
    and the effect of CO2 was the temperature increase that started before 1950, which the IPC claims
    then the much-bigger-than-1950 accumulation ought to be producing a much bigger than 1950-2000 effect between 2002 and 2012.

    But between 2002 and 2012 the data is trendless. It was indicated earlier that 1998 was an outlier. Granted. But catastrophic predictions based on CO2 require positive feedback to get exponential results. If this system is being driven by an exponential effect How does it rocket up for a decade then go flat for a decade.

    Beside that, temperature rise in the low end of the range, 1.1 °C by 2100, sounds OK to me. What specific consequence should I be scared of? What kind of technology will be available in 82 years that might make the high end of the range less of a problem?

    Geologists claim that there have been 5 major ice ages. Ice ages are said to have occurred every 150 million years, and last for at least 1 million years. According to the ice age theory, our current warm period will end with the beginning of another cold phase in 23,000 years time. We’ll all be dead by then, so it doesn’t matter whether thats better or worse than a heat age would be. However there seems to be a very large natural temperature variability, and I don’t think its fair to make strong arguments about a few degrees C without having a rock solid explanation about why those things came and went.

    I’m not in the business of fighting against science, and I don’t want to litter your blog with off topic spam. This post is about to roll off the bottom anyway. I am just confused by blind acceptance the prevailing viewpoint on this topic because it is called “science”. Read the article you linked again dispassionately. Is that science?

  76. hankest says:

    No Kidding said: “Global average sea level rose at an average rate of around 1.7 ± 0.3 mm per year from 1950 to 2009 and at a satellite-measured average rate of about 3.3 ± 0.4 mm per year from 1993 to 2009″

    Hmm, so the sea level rise from ’93 – ’03 was twice that of the rate between ’50 and ’09. And to you this proves sea level rates are rising more quickly? Odd.

    No Kidding also said: “The following link to Nasa GISS temp shows global surface temps.”

    Actually it shows global surface temperature anomalies.

    No Kidding says: “Linear trend starting at 1998 slopes down.Pick an earlier startpoint it slopes up. Pick the nice arbitrary interval “ten years” and the slope is zero. Apply common sense looking at the chart and you will conclude “not much change since 1998″.

    How can you tell the “linear trend” did ya eyeball it?

  77. DeDude says:

    In science you start with a question and then you go out and search for data that can help you find correct answers.

    The problem in the right wing alternative universe is that they start with the answer and then go our and search for, or make up out of thin air, whatever can support that answer. That approach is flawed but so is our educational system – so both will continue to spew out products that are a mismatch to the real world.

    @NoKidding; if you really want to know something about ice cap melting, this site has some real data:
    http://nsidc.org/arcticseaicenews/
    Remember that SEA ICE is not the same as the ice cap. The ice caps consists of both sea and land ice. Sea ice has mostly relevance for reflectivity and future temperature increases (via positive feed-back loops created from a loss of reflective ice surface). It is the land ice (as measured in cubic miles, not by area) that is relevant for sea levels. The over 1 ft. of ocean level increase in the past 100 years is a reflection of a rather limited melting of land ice so far (until about 10 years ago). The concern about loss of sea ice in the arctic ocean (about 50 % and way more than 2 standard deviations from the mean) is that it has been associated with severe melting of land ice on Greenland. That is why the forecast are for at least 2-3 ft. increase in ocean levels in the next 100 years.

  78. hankest says:

    Oh, since i’m not sure what point your trying to make exactly, you might find this interesting (or not).

    “Climate warming does not force sea-level rise (SLR) at the same rate everywhere.”

    http://www.nature.com/nclimate/journal/vaop/ncurrent/full/nclimate1597.html

  79. MacroEconomist says:

    Yes, they thought we would be cooling in the 1950′s and for many years the so-called scientists thought the world was flat.

    We don’t need them.

    There is only one truth, and it’s the Bible, which in its 2000 years has never been altered!

  80. howardoark says:

    There is a theory that global warming could trigger an ice age – the ice caps melt, vast quantities of fresh water flood into the north Atlantic, fresh water being lighter, it doesn’t sink, the lack of sinking water in the north Atlantic turns off the Gulf Stream (typically, evaporation makes the surface water saltier, so it sinks, which is the Gulf Stream’s driving mechanism), London (at the same Latitude as northern New Foundland) becomes uninhabitable – don’t ask about Norway.

    Scientific consensus means nothing (less than nothing on something that can’t be proved experimentally in fact, it’s a contrary indicator) because if you want to be published in the referred journals, get tenure, win research grants, you can’t be telling people that the earth isn’t the center of the universe (in 15th century Europe) now you can’t be telling them that global warming isn’t real unless you want to be denied a career in academe (at least you don’t get burned at the stake any more). Anthropogenic warming may be real, but just because every member of Academe says it is isn’t a reason to believe it. If I had to bet, I’d say it was real. If I had to bet on whether the outcome will be half as bad as the consensus says it will be, I would bet against.

  81. jspeart says:

    At times I think I live in an alternative universe. Are we really that weak that we want to live in a nanny state who restricts the size of our soda cups? And our big concern is how we can funnel more money to a corrupt, bloated and inefficient government. We don’t make the connection as to the size of the government is directly proportional to our personal freedom. Tax this and tax that! Pay your fair share! All the while, the elites of our society laugh as they control the masses. I’m not an anarchist. Government should be smaller and less intrusive. Does anyone really think our government can solve global warming? They can’t even produce a budget! Can anyone please give a reasoned argument as to how tax cuts (allowing people to keep more of their hard earned income) are bad for an economy?

    Out of curiosity, I checked what our government spent in 1999 and it was a paltry $1.8 trillion. We are scheduled to spend $3.8 trillion this year? 12 years later and our government outlay has more than doubled while our population grows at 3% a year. And the big remedy, MORE TAXES? Even if you confiscated the wealth of the Forbes 400, you would pay for our deficit for one year. Taxing the “wealthy” isn’t going to work. The only answer is to shrink government, reform entitlements, lower taxes across the board to a flat tax (treat everyone equally), and lift the regulation that is killing business formation/expansion. Thanks for allowing me to vent.

  82. Joe Friday says:

    NoKidding posted:

    Global average sea level rose at an average rate of around 1.7 ± 0.3 mm per year from 1950 to 2009 and at a satellite-measured average rate of about 3.3 ± 0.4 mm per year from 1993 to 2009

    And if you and Warren Buffet are in a room, the AVERAGE net worth of everyone in the room is tens of billions of dollars.

    The following link to Nasa GISS temp shows global surface temps. Linear trend starting at 1998 slopes down.

    The fact that you’re hanging your argument on 1998 is all the evidence I require that you are merely regurgitating propaganda and you have no idea what you’re posting about.

    As of the end of September 2012, Iowa has 4,536 megawatts of installed wind capacity

    Which provides more than 20% of all the electricity for the entire state.

    I like solar for the future, but right now it makes less than 1 percent of US energy. It can not be in the picture if you are making plans that need power in the next decade.

    That’s FIVE doublings. Good enough for me.

  83. Joe Friday says:

    jspeart,

    Government should be smaller

    As I’ve previously outlined, we have the smallest federal government of all 20 industrialized nations on the planet.

    Can anyone please give a reasoned argument as to how tax cuts (allowing people to keep more of their hard earned income) are bad for an economy?

    Sure.

    Tax rate cuts are not stimulative to the national economy, do not spur job creation, and have only resulted in increased federal debt. Every time tax rate cuts have been enacted, the national economy has tanked.

    Even if you confiscated the wealth of the Forbes 400, you would pay for our deficit for one year.

    How about for more than 12 years, like the failed tax cuts for the Rich & Corporate ?

    Taxing the ‘wealthy’ isn’t going to work.

    It’s worked like a charm every time.

    The only answer is to shrink government

    Discretionary spending hasn’t been this low since Eisenhower was in office.

    reform entitlements

    Except they are not the drivers of our federal deficits & debt, the numerous rounds of tax cuts which overwhelmingly benefited the Rich & Corporate are the drivers of our federal deficits & debt.

    lower taxes across the board to a flat tax (treat everyone equally)

    A) The total tax bite is already the lowest in more than six decades.

    B) ONCE AGAIN:

    Even the originators of the misleadingly termed “Flat Tax”, Professors Robert Hall and Alvin Rabushka, freely admitted in the 1983 edition of their book, that a ‘Flat Tax’ would be “a tremendous boon to the economic elite from the start“. In an appendix to their book, Hall and Rabushka estimated that their flat tax proposal would increase the tax bill for the lowest income families by 78 percent, and decrease the tax bill for the very richest families by 41 percent.

    Throwing money at the Rich & Corporate has never worked economically.

    and lift the regulation that is killing business formation/expansion.

    Bogus and previously debunked propaganda.

  84. sinful mistress says:

    Time to revisit the post about forum spies:
    http://cryptome.org/2012/07/gent-forum-spies.htm

  85. Frilton Miedman says:

    The assertion that increasing rates to the top won’t reduce the deficit/debt is idiocy, a complete lie.

    NOT including deductions/tax shelters/write-offs/carried interest and others –
    AGI for the top 5% is $2.5 Trillion, the proposed 5% increase in marginal rates would increase revenues by $125 billion per year….NOT including the aforementioned loopholes, NOT including corporate taxes.

    That’s a 7.5% reduction in our debt over ten years without getting into cuts., like military or even reducing healthcare costs. (HUGE room for both, without any pain to the middle – means testing, cost reductions…etc)

    Reagan wanted Cap gains taxed as regular income, at the time cap gains rate was 28%, it’s now 15%,

    60% of the stock market is now owned by the top 5%,

    40%+ is owned by the top 1%,

    Only 6% of IRS revenues come from cap gains.

    Increasing cap gains to a meager 20% rate adds another 3% in revenues, atop a 5% marginal income tax increase, this is substantial. revenues

    If we went with Reagan’s 28% rate, cap gains revenues would almost double what they now are, adding 5% in revenues – but we;re not even talking that, just thought I’d remind folks what Reagan really believed in.

    I agree with the premise of “job creating” tax cuts, so why aren’t we doling tax cuts in DIRECT proportion to actual jobs created?

    It would be EXTREMELY conducive to economic growth and TRUE job creation if we stopped giving out tax breaks to wealthy buyers of elections, instead, giving those breaks to actual job creators.

    For those who like what I’m saying, guess what?…It’s Obama’s idea. (well, except the Reagan 28% cap gains, He only wants a 20% rate)

  86. DeDude says:

    @howardoark

    You bought into the right wing BS about how academia works, but forgot to think it through. If our masters can confuse the sheeple with non-sense like that, then they can put their own reality forward as credible without having to present facts or suffer the humiliating defeat at a stringent academic cross-examination. If it was even half as easy to kill a good idea in academic settings then the Chicago school of economics would be the only game in town because it is the game that serve the rich.

    What happened on the climate issue was quite simple. The natural cycle, as observed by rather simple tools back in the 50′ies, suggested we would be heading for an ice age. At that time there was a consensus about cooling (because the models and the data suggested nothing else). As more precise current data was collected and the models refined, a divergence between the models and newly collected information was observed. At that time consensus was breaking up a little and some climatologists questioned the idea of heading for an ice age with the initially just speculative hypothesis that human release of gases known to have “greenhouse” effects were responsible for the unexplainable observed warming. As more data were collected and models refined a solid fact based scientific debate between proponents of warming vs cooling began, and at that time each side had pretty good reasons to question each others conclusions. To get real answers and settle the question, a substantial effort was set in motion to collect data that would give us the answer one way or the other. As this progressed more and more climate scientist began supporting the hypothesis of global warming and that human activities were in large part to blame. That shift was closely correlated with the collection of new data. It was not correlated with political pressure in any way. There were actually more real climatologist questioning human influence on global warming during the Clinton years than during Bush II. Right now anybody who questions global warming would have a hard time getting tenure in an academic institution for the same reason that a “flat earther” would have a hard time getting tenured in a geography department. If you use the scientific approach to reach a conclusion you cannot deny global warming. If you start with the conclusion and then cherry-pick and massage data until it seem to support the conclusion you want to draw – then you simply do not qualify as a tenured faculty at an academic institution.

  87. txshad0 says:

    Only in America could the believers in an effective government for the people be happy with such an incompetent president simply because he’s not as bad as another party’s worst. The gaming of our country’s treasury is where the big money is and there are thousands of ways to do it, from HFT and capital cronyism to health insurance and Green Energy . We don’t want to believe that it is this bad, because we know nobody in power can bring about change.

  88. Joe Friday says:

    txshad0,

    We don’t want to believe that it is this bad, because we know nobody in power can bring about change.

    If you don’t think going from MINUS NINE GDP and losing 850,000 jobs a month to 36 straight months of positive GDP (or whatever it is now, I’ve lost count) and something like an average of 167,000 jobs a month gained is not CHANGE, then I don’t know what planet you’re living on.

  89. Willy2 says:

    The situation in the GOP seems to be much worse than I thought. The remaining credibility they had has been washed away. They are simply NOT suitable to govern the US.