Comments Posted By TMLutas
Displaying 1 To 10 Of 38 Comments

MITCH DANIELS AND 'ROWDY' CONSERVATIVES

One of the great challenges for the GOP is how to defang the urban liberal strongholds inside red states. Gov. Daniels is providing a very attractive model that is entirely unobjectionable to the public at large and will find wide support, sufficient to get it into state constitutions. This sort of quiet competence at raising liberal testicles to about ear level will be quite attractive to a lot of conservatives.

Gov. Daniels is going to have a great deal of support in the GOP outside of the RINO grouping. The reality of Gov Daniels is that he has an actual solution to liberal urban concentrations. He's tax limited them.

Under his leadership, Indiana has acquired property tax caps, 1% assessed residential, 2% commercial, 3% industrial if I remember correctly. It's getting written into the Indiana Constitution this year. Cities have to live within their means and have no ability to pass crushing property taxes anymore to finance spendthrift policies. This overwhelmingly affects big cities and poorly run cities, i.e. the left wing power base.

Because of this policy, Gary, IN is likely going to go bankrupt. Their budget's got to get cut 40%. They're going to have to get off a cash basis accounting system, and implement dozens of other reforms. My opinion is that they're not going to make it, not with a debt load of 80% of their new tax base and a poor credit rating. It's going to be a huge blow to the local left when Gary's lifeline runs out in 2012 and they have to seek some sort of extraordinary adjustment.

I expect Gov. Daniels to end up pulling the plug on the city and allowing constituent components to apply for municipal charters in their own right. Miller, for instance, is likely going to be quite happy to be free of some of the dead weight in the rest of the city.

I think you're selling Gov. Daniels short. I think that conservatives who want results are likely to have a strong voice going into 2012 and many of them may well back Daniels.

Comment Posted By TMLutas On 24.02.2010 @ 16:05

WHERE IS CLIMATE SCIENCE TODAY?

The reason the frauds were so hard to spot is that they agreed with so many other pieces of data that have not been double checked by skeptical outsiders. The question is naturally raised, if we double checked that other data would enough digging find other frauds, other problems? We don't know.

There are known psychological phenomena that affect science where scientists "shade" data that they "know" must be in a certain value range so that it fits in the value range. It's not fraud but it's not accurate science either. Have honest scientists fallen to AGW propaganda and subconsciously done quite a bit of shading in the non-fraudulent evidence? Are the frauds that we're uncovering the pieces that couldn't be hammered into fitting the preconceived results that were expected?

We don't know. The original data needs to be double checked to find out. That's a huge task given the peculiar data sharing ethic that seems to have taken root in climate science. Given the HarryReadMe file, I expect that we are going to find a huge mess under a large number of rocks. People who will just make up basic info like weather station numbers are not going to be careful with anything else.

Given the number of frauds already discovered, there is a great sense that a large number of shoes have yet to drop. We won't know until we double check. Anthony Watts' surfacestations.org project to hand check the siting issues of the entire US network of temperature stations and then the world's network needs to get done and without funding, even that is going to take years.

Comment Posted By TMLutas On 2.02.2010 @ 18:42

SUPPORTING SCOTT BROWN: PRAGMATISM OR PRINCIPLE?

The difference between Scozzafava and Brown is that Scozzafava was to the left of the district while Brown is to the right of it. There is ample evidence of this. The eventual Democrat winner had to deceitfully tack far to the right of his actual positions in order to eke out a small win over the Conservative nominee. Had the GOP and Conservative lines run with one candidate, this would have been a win for the GOP.

Scott Brown's libertarian challenger is polling about 3%. There's no credible challenger to his right. This is why I predict that Brown will have a lot more slack than predicted by the article.

Comment Posted By TMLutas On 18.01.2010 @ 14:29

MERRY CHRISTMAS FROM AN ATHEIST TO ALL YOU BELIEVERS

Rick - Thanks for your good wishes.

I do think that you've been ill served by whoever has provided your religious education. The sweet syrupy nice guy is not particularly in the Bible but rather the invention of gutless people who are not willing to afflict the comfortable of the day.

There are better than two billion christians of various denominations. Just apostolic christians (Catholics and Orthodox mostly) weigh in at about 1.5 billion. I strongly suspect that you have not encountered a representative sample. For instance, my own Romanian Byzantine Catholic Church has 6 eparchies, one in the US and maybe 5000 adherents in N. America. Yet our approach is legally recognized as one of the 23 distinct approaches to describing and approaching the reality of Jesus called rites. And we are different. My bishop condemned the Iraq War, formally. I had to personally speak to the man to make sure he wasn't going to excommunicate me as I supported the war and was not quiet about it.

We're good friends. This makes no sense to a surprising number of people that I tell this too.

This same man explained the phrase "turn the other cheek" to me this way. In Rome if you struck an equal you used your palm. If you struck an inferior you used the back of your hand. To turn the other cheek was to reply that the striker had used the inappropriate hand part and he really should correct his social faux pas. Unsaid was the part that of course the Roman was going to start off using the back of his hand. That interpretation is quite a bit different from the treacly never strike back lesson that is the interpretation provided by others.

I would encourage you to explore some of the rest of Christianity. Whether or not you become a believer (and as a christian, of course I encourage you to change your ind) you really ought to understand the faith better. It will, at the very least, assist in your analysis.

Comment Posted By TMLutas On 26.12.2009 @ 14:55

GOP: OUT OF GAS, OUT OF IDEAS, OVER THE CLIFF

Here's a simple GOP strategy that would work. Every year, let's cut the dumbest stuff. Pick a percentage, 1%, 5%, 10%, it doesn't matter what it is so long as you cut all expenditures below your cut off, cut all regulations below your cutoff.

With socialism, it's all dumb stuff. It's just artfully hidden and the stupidity emerges over time. When it's become obvious, that program, that regulation, that expenditure just gets cut. It's a program for continuous improvement in government over the nitty gritty of expenditures and regulations. If some bureaucrat passes a dumb rule, the legislature eventually will catch it in its yearly review and cut it.

Here's a pro-freedom ratchet that the entire GOP coalition can get behind. Here's a program that the left wingers will hate, but will be unable to explain to the broad middle of the country why getting rid of the least effective expenditures, the most destructive regulations, even stupid taxes that are woefully inefficient (some taxes actually cost more to administer than they collect) is a bad idea.

The strategy can be translated into a legislative program easily. It can be made bipartisan via a BRAC like process to pick off moderate Dems and coopt them onto our side. It's politically salable. What's not to like?

Comment Posted By TMLutas On 25.12.2009 @ 14:51

CHRISTMAS IN AMERICA, 2009

Everybody who I have seen who believes in fate is kidding themselves if they also believe themselves an atheist. They "believe" in fate. They have conversations with fate. They even bargain with fate. It is a deity for them. You might be different but you certainly don't sound like it.

Comment Posted By TMLutas On 17.12.2009 @ 21:24

ABOUT MY DECISION TO LEAVE THE RIGHT

And they say that the GOP has no big tent.

Richard bottoms - Nice to hear you recognize reality about 2010. That's a redistricting year, remember, tilt the playing field for the next decade. You're a brave man to make any sort of predictions prior to the full results of 2010 being known.

A lot will rest on whether the GOP is lazy and just coasts to a medium sized victory in 2010 or in the spring/summer they unite around a unified agenda that gets a resounding endorsement by the people and which they implement with Obama fighting it every inch of the way.

Comment Posted By TMLutas On 14.12.2009 @ 13:18

WHAT'S SO HARD TO UNDERSTAND ABOUT CLIMATEGATE? EVERYTHING

Here's what I hope will be an explanation that a normal nontechnical person could understand. Let me know if I succeed.

From an economics perspective clean fuels are coming down in price far faster than dirty fuels. Everybody with any observational capability expects that sometime in the near to medium future the two lines are going to cross and at that point, dirty fuels will get pushed out by clean fuels, period. The question is how are we going to manage that transition. For certain very limited cases it is possible today to purchase nameplate capacity of solar power for less money than it would take to purchase the same nameplate capacity using coal. That's revolutionary even with the long line of caveats that go with it.

If we have time, the cheapest way to do the transition is to continue using the dirty fuels and as machines and plants wear out, you switch them over, with early retirement pushing up if clean fuels actually get cheaper than dirty fuels. In this scenario, we don't have to do much political reform, no treaties, no global governance initiatives, the free market pretty much takes care of the problem and governments best assist by goosing the R&D along with targeted investments. The vast majority of climate skeptics favor this approach.

But if we don't have time, the whole emergency socialist bit comes into action like a war emergency such as WW II. We have to have a crash program. We have to have vastly enlarged government powers to force the early retirement of machines, of power plants, etc. We have to ban charcoal BBQ and other pursuits that heretofore have been considered innocent private pleasures. "Consensus" scientists overwhelmingly favor this approach.

If there has been a Medieval Warm Period (MWP) that had global reach and significantly higher temperatures than today, we have time. If there was no MWP or it was just regional or very small, we might very well not have time. That's the significance of the hockey stick. It scares people into thinking we might not have time and that the fate of the planet depends on quick, emergency action. It's a scare con with the twist that they might be scaring us about a real problem that is truly "bet the planet" scary.

The Anthropogenic Global Warming (AGW) team is committed to scientifically proving that our current temperatures are unprecedented and therefore we might not have time. They are pro-government intervention, the lot of them. They know that they must argue away the historically recognized MWP. They use temperature proxies like tree rings. What ClimateGate does is bring to public consciousness that the proxies in use are not reliable enough to carry the point without cheating.

We can double check proxies on tree rings from about 1850 or so. That's 160 years give or take. For about 110 of those years the proxies and the thermometers track pretty well. Then about 1960 they don't. Nobody knows why. That means that for 50 of the 160 years (31%) of the data we can check, a major proxy has proven unreliable and instead of discarding the proxy and seeing what they can prove with proxies that have not veered off into known unreliability, the CRUTape letters show that they've been trying to hide the decline in accuracy. That's not scientific. It won't be clear how much this unscientific conduct matters until the data gets thoroughly checked.

What we need to make sense of this which we don't have, a list of proxies that have not declined in accuracy, a clear identification of the proxies that have declined and the papers that have become unreliable because of them, and how much of the IPCC's conclusions depended on those unreliable papers.

Had the CRU crew not tried to "hide the decline" we would have had 4 decades to work around this problem and could have advanced the science in a reliable way much further. Now we've got 40 years of backlog, my entire lifetime, to go through and figure out how much still stands when you take out the unreliable stuff.

All the while if the AGW crowd is right the clock's ticking and we can't tell the difference quickly whether these are harmless lies or a massive long term con with horrible consequences. If we bet wrong either way, there's going to be a body count and massive financial losses.

This is deadly serious stuff. Bjorn Lomberg with his Copenhagen Consensus work has come up with a great list of all the stuff we're going to sacrifice, complete with casualty counts, if we overspend on global warming. Al Gore and company have provided us with the other side, including casualty counts.

Comment Posted By TMLutas On 9.12.2009 @ 11:27

HADLEY EMAILS DON'T 'PROVE' GLOBAL WARMING A CROCK

What the Hadley emails prove is that the UK FOI system is broken and people ought to be fired over it. Pro-AGW scientists convinced UK FOI officers to treat requests differently based on the opinions of requesters (and I suspect blog commenters who commented on Climate Audit who were not even doing the FOI requests). That's scandal enough.

The emails prove that the state of science is entirely rotten in the UK and perhaps in the US too. They prove that these very smart people were willing to court prison time by destroying information rather than let the science speak for itself. That's strongly suggestive that AGW theory is a crock.

I am disappointed in the sleight of hand that the article above commits. "Global Warming" is a popular press bowdlerization. It's shorthand for Anthropogenic (man caused) Global Warming. That's what's under discussion, whether AGW is a crock or not.

One of the great sins that skeptics accuse the AGW crowd of is their denial of global warming during the Medieval Warm Period and the denial of global cooling during the Little Ice Age. In fact, some of the emails deal with an effort to 'contain' the MWP to a Europe only event.

Nobody in the serious skeptic community denies global warming. It is the AGW crowd that is full of MWP deniers because accepting the existence of a global MWP makes a great big joke out of Mann's sainted "hockey stick" reconstruction.

If you're going to use the popular press term, at least don't take it literally and use it to beat others over the head with. It's not right and lowers the discourse for no good reason.

Comment Posted By TMLutas On 24.11.2009 @ 15:58

PALIN AND HER SUPPORTERS IN A TIME WARP

Recovery need not be slow if you re-legalize enough economic activity. Want to revitalize your local sign shop? Change your local zoning ordnance to ok larger signs. How about cutting down the red tape for powerplant construction so that we don't lose major manufacturers like the Columbia Falls Aluminum Company which just closed operations in Montana because powerplant construction restrictions made Bonneville Power unable to fulfill its contractual obligations for power. Columbia Falls was the world's biggest aluminum operation. Losing it is not trivial.

There are opportunities at the local, county, state, and federal levels of government to improve economic performance by legalizing practices we thought we could get away with outlawing. We should be aggressively pointing those out.

This is today's target rich opportunity and one that Reagan triaged out of his presidency even though it was in his original template, rightly viewing taxes as more key in his day (and political reality forcing something to give). But the role of tax cuts is not zero.

We're about to undergo major tax increases in 2011 as the death tax kicks back in at punitive rates. We're going to get income tax hikes and more rate brackets too. If we're in the second leg of a W shaped recession, those baked in tax increases are going to kill off any recovery. Those increases need cutting.

I'm going to give Palin the benefit of the doubt here (not having heard the interview) and assume that these baked in reversions to the pre-Bush levels are the sort of cuts she's referring to.

Comment Posted By TMLutas On 18.11.2009 @ 15:20


 


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