Articles of Interest

Global warming alarmist James Hansen, inflation, Facebook, paygo deception.

The Man Who Cried Doom
NASA’s James Hansen is the least-muzzled climate alarmist in America

NASA’s James Hansen was one of the first to warn of the “impending doom” of global warming. How has his message fared over the last 20 years? Here’s what other scientists have said about Hansen: “Hansen’s testimony in 1988 was ‘a huge embarrassment’ to NASA, and he remains skeptical of Hansen’s predictions. … describes Hansen’s belief in a man-made global-warming catastrophe as ‘almost religious’ and says he ‘never understood how [Hansen] got such a strong voice’ in the debate. … puts Hansen ‘at the extreme end of global warming alarmism.’ … Hansen got caught with his hand in the cookie jar in 2007, when Stephen McIntyre, the man who debunked the infamous “hockey stick” graph showing stable Northern Hemisphere surface temperatures for most of the last millennia before a sharp upturn, found a flaw in Hansen’s numbers.”

The full article from the Weekly Standard is at The Man Who Cried Doom.

Get Ready for Inflation and Higher Interest Rates
The unprecedented expansion of the money supply could make the ’70s look benign.

Arthur Laffer, writing in the Wall Street Journal, warns of inflation and other trouble ahead. The chart of the growth of the money supply looks a lot like Al Gore’s “hockey stick” chart of global temperatures. That chart, we know now, was in error. The chart of the rapid growth of the money supply, unfortunately, is true. Here’s some of what Laffer wrote:

But as bad as the fiscal picture is, panic-driven monetary policies portend to have even more dire consequences. We can expect rapidly rising prices and much, much higher interest rates over the next four or five years, and a concomitant deleterious impact on output and employment not unlike the late 1970s.

About eight months ago, starting in early September 2008, the Bernanke Fed did an abrupt about-face and radically increased the monetary base … The percentage increase in the monetary base is the largest increase in the past 50 years by a factor of 10. It is so far outside the realm of our prior experiential base that historical comparisons are rendered difficult if not meaningless.

Now the Fed can, and I believe should, do what it must to mitigate the inevitable consequences of its unwarranted increase in the monetary base. It should contract the monetary base back to where it otherwise would have been, plus a slight increase geared toward economic expansion. … Alas, I doubt very much that the Fed will do what is necessary to guard against future inflation and higher interest rates. If the Fed were to reduce the monetary base by $1 trillion, it would need to sell a net $1 trillion in bonds. This would put the Fed in direct competition with Treasury’s planned issuance of about $2 trillion worth of bonds over the coming 12 months. Failed auctions would become the norm and bond prices would tumble, reflecting a massive oversupply of government bonds.

Get your Facebook vanity name tonight

“Soon you will be able to have a username. Starting on Friday, June 12th, at 11:01pm in your time zone, you’ll be able to choose a username for your Facebook account to easily direct friends, family, and coworkers to your profile.” Facebook’s blog post Coming Soon: Facebook Usernames explains more.

So the cyberspace land rush is on, at least at 11:01 pm tonight for the Central time zone in America. With some 200 million Facebook users, it probably won’t be easy for most people to be successful in grabbing their own name for their Facebook profile.

The ‘Paygo’ Coverup
The Obama pattern: Spend, repent, spend again, repent.

A Wall Street journal editorial tells how President Obama is promoting “paygo” budgeting.

Paygo is “very simple,” the President claimed. “Congress can only spend a dollar if it saves a dollar elsewhere.”

That’s what Democrats also promised in 2006, with Nancy Pelosi vowing that “the first thing” House Democrats would do if they took Congress was reimpose paygo rules that “Republicans had let lapse.” By 2008, Speaker Pelosi had let those rules lapse no fewer than 12 times, to make way for $400 billion in deficit spending. Mr. Obama repeated the paygo pledge during his 2008 campaign, and instead we have witnessed the greatest peacetime spending binge in U.S. history. As a share of GDP, spending will hit an astonishing 28.5% in fiscal 2009, with the deficit hitting 13% and projected to stay at 4% to 5% for years to come.

The truth is that paygo is the kind of budget gimmick that gives gimmickry a bad name. As Mr. Obama knows but won’t tell voters, paygo only applies to new or expanded entitlement programs, not to existing programs such as Medicare … Mr. Obama’s new proposal includes even more loopholes …

The real game here is that the President is trying to give Democrats in Congress political cover for the health-care blowout and tax-increase votes that he knows are coming. The polls are showing that Mr. Obama’s spending plans are far less popular than the President himself, and Democrats in swing districts are getting nervous. The paygo ruse gives Blue Dog Democrats cover to say they voted for “fiscal discipline,” even as they vote to pass the greatest entitlement expansion in modern history. The Blue Dogs always play this double game.

The main political question now is when Americans will start to figure out Mr. Obama’s pattern of spend, repent and repeat. The President is still sailing along on his charm and the fact that Americans are cheering for an economic recovery. But eventually they’ll see that he isn’t telling them the truth, and when they do, the very Blue Dogs he’s trying to protect will pay the price. And they’ll deserve what they get.

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