Wednesday, September 30, 2015

The ‘RICO 20 letter’ to Obama asking for prosecution of climate skeptics disappears from Shukla’s IGES website

What is up with that? Free Speech, hey, good enough for liberals, but not the rest of us, apparently.
I'm a skeptic of Global Warming!

The 'RICO 20 letter' to Obama asking for prosecution of climate skeptics disappears from Shukla's IGES website amid financial concerns

Uh, oh…It's about to become more about the people behind the letter, than the letter itself.

Source: Google search results

Now all we need is a steamy potboiler novel and some internal investigations and it could be Rajenda Pachauri all over again.

The big story at Climate Audit this week (see Shukla's Gold) is about the twenty authors of the letter demanding that climate skeptics be put on trial, and in particular the man pushing the letter, Jagadish Shukla, seems to be getting quite prosperous with all that Koch Brothers money Oil Money public money he gets sent his way. Steve McIntyre writes:

In 2001, the earliest year thus far publicly available, in 2001, in addition to his university salary (not yet available, but presumably about $125,000), Shukla and his wife received a further $214,496  in compensation from IGES (Shukla -$128,796; Anne Shukla – $85,700).  Their combined compensation from IGES doubled over the next two years to approximately $400,000 (additional to Shukla's university salary of say $130,000), for combined compensation of about $530,000 by 2004.

Shukla's university salary increased dramatically over the decade reaching $250,866 by 2013 and $314,000 by 2014.  (In this latter year, Shukla was paid much more than Ed Wegman, a George Mason professor of similar seniority). Meanwhile, despite the apparent transition of IGES to George Mason, the income of the Shuklas from IGES continued to increase, reaching $547,000 by 2013.  Combined with Shukla's university salary,  the total compensation of Shukla and his wife exceeded $800,000 in both 2013 and 2014.  In addition, as noted above, Shukla's daughter continued to be employed by IGES in 2014; IGES also distributed $100,000 from its climate grant revenue to support an educational charity in India which Shukla had founded.

But it seems Shukla doesn't like people looking into that, because the letter seems to have been disappeared from the IGES website. I've confirmed this over 24 hours and several search techniques. What was once visible to search engines, is no more:

The original link that no longer works:

The letter survives on the Wayback Machine here:

And here is the letter as a single image, with page 1 and 2 combined from the PDF:

Bishop Hill notes:

You can imagine the horror on the signatories' faces when they realised that some very determined people were about to take a close interest in their financial arrangements and those of their colleagues at IGES.

I'm not sure taking the letter down is going to help much though.

The Streisand effect has been unleashed Mr. Shukla, enjoy the ride.

h/t to Russell Cook

Ludwig Von Mises: Hero Of Liberty

Ludwig Von Mises: Hero Of Liberty


September 29 marks the 134th anniversary of the birth of Ludwig von Mises, a renowned leader in the "Austrian School" of economics. Mises made many important contributions to technical economics, but he also was a champion of individual liberty. It is because of this dual focus in his work that so many revere Mises to this day.

Mises's most important contribution to economics was his critique of socialism, which he first published in 1920. Even many professional economists at that time thought that socialism might suffer from problems of corruption and incentives, but that it surely could work "in theory."

However, Mises demonstrated that because a socialist government would monopolize ownership of important factors of production — such as factories, raw materials, and farmland — there would be no genuine market prices for these inputs. Therefore, even after the fact, it would be impossible for the socialist central planners to tell whether or not their orders made economic sense. They would see the benefits of their production plans — so many cars, diapers, apple pies, and so on — but they would have no way of judging the costs.

Such difficulties pose no problem for a society that embraces private property and the use of money. Here, thousands of individuals own the various parcels of land, deposits of crude oil, and shares in major corporations. They buy and sell them moment to moment on organized exchanges, and in the process they generate prices that accountants can rely on when reckoning profit-and-loss statements. Although such bookkeeping strikes the typical socialist as useless, this mental device is essential to provide feedback to entrepreneurs. They need to know whether or not their ventures are making good use of scarce resources. In effect, profits are a green light telling them, "the consumers approve!" while losses are the market's way of saying, "You need to change something, fast."


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Here we see the link between technical economics and Mises's concern for human welfare. Mises didn't study the mechanics of a capitalist society simply out of intellectual curiosity, the way a physicist might investigate how the sun generates solar flares. No, Mises recognized that human society itself rests on a foundation of private property and the rule of law. Only to the degree that individual rights are respected would people enjoy access to the life-enhancing benefits of a division-of-labor economy, in which some people focus on growing food while others specialize in building houses. In a world of self-sufficiency, individuals could not reap the advantages of cooperation and output would plummet.

To give another example of Mises's blend of technical economics with a passion for liberty, consider the realm of monetary policy. Here Mises was a champion of the classical gold standard, under which governments had to redeem their national paper currencies (the dollar, franc, pound, and so on) against definite weights of gold. The usual "economic" case for such a system is that it restrains inflation and allows people to plan their affairs with confidence, knowing that the government won't debase the currency in five years.

Mises, however, went beyond this argument. He claimed that the classical gold standard should be respected as faithfully as a bill of rights. In other words, the people needed to be protected from arbitrary government interference with their money, just as surely as they needed protection from government meddling with free speech or the exercise of religion.

Ludwig von Mises was a genius in the realm of economic theory, but he was also a passionate advocate of human freedom. He devoted his career not only to the development economic science, but also to teaching its core lessons to the broader public. To this day, those who strive for liberty should read the classic works of this benefactor of humanity.

Robert P. Murphy is a Research Fellow with Independent Institute and Research Assistant Professor with the Free Market Institute at Texas Tech University. His new book Choice: Cooperation, Enterprise, and Human Action crystallizes the key insights of Mises's greatest treatise.

2015-09-30 07:21 snowden

He joined Twitter yesterday, and already has almost a million followers, not including the NSA of course.

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Joe Biden's 4-hour game of Rock/Paper/Scissors Solitaire ends in a draw

Rudolf E. Havenstein (@RudyHavenstein) tweeted:
SPORTS: Joe Biden's 4-hour game of Rock/Paper/Scissors Solitaire ends in a draw.

New VW CEO says cars affected by emissions-rigging scandal to be refitted

What will Bill do if his wife is indicted?


Run, Joe, run

Celebrated Clinton watcher Edward Klein reveals in a new book that the Obama White House sees Hillary Clinton faltering in the email scandal, possibly even facing federal charges, but President Obama is noncommittal on a pardon for his former top diplomat.

What's more, Obama aides are pushing Vice President Joe Biden to run, feeling that he is the best alternative to Clinton if her polls continue to plummet and more Americans find her untrustworthy.

Edward Klein's latest book.
Describing a White House scene between top advisor Valerie Jarrett, and Michelle and Barack Obama, Klein in his new "Unlikable: The Problem With Hillary" writes that Jarrett is leading the Biden effort.

"I'm trying to light a fire under Joe," writes Klein, quoting "sources who spoke to Jarrett" about the situation. "Joe's loyal. He'll listen to you and take your advice," Klein says Jarrett told Obama.

The book, from Regnery Publishing, said that the Obamas are obsessed with the Clintons and Hillary's email scandal, though they don't like the former first family.

In fact, Klein, a former New York Times editor, wrote that Obama told Jarrett, "I can't get behind that woman and I refuse to spend time with Bill."

There may be new reasons for the feud. On NBC, Clinton split with Obama on Syria and then said that she and Bill want to "take the White House back."

Klein's previous book describing an Obama-Clinton feud.
Past accounts of Clinton troubles uncovered by Klein have been denied by the Clinton team. He has written two other books on Hillary Clinton, "The Truth About Hillary: What She Knew, When She Knew It, and How Far She'll Go to Become President," and "Blood Feud: The Clintons Vs. The Obamas."

In "Unlikable," out this week, Klein writes that Obama felt that Hillary Clinton was "dumb, dumb, dumb" for setting up a private email server in her New York home's basement. On pages 224-225:

"It's all her own fault," he [Obama] repeated over and over, according to sources who spoke to Jarrett. "Bill should have advised her better. He should have made her goddamn behave, follow the rules."

"There's nothing we can do now about any of this," Jarrett said. "It's going to be in the hands of the Justice Department. You can't be seen to interfere. It's gone way too far."

Barack plopped down in a chair and let out a sigh.

"Dumb, dumb, dumb," he said. "Just goddamned dumb."

Jarrett disagreed.

"It's not dumb," she said. "It's arrogance. The Clintons think the rules don't apply to them. Bill's even said so in exactly those words."

Then, Klein adds, Jarrett raised the possibility of granting presidential pardon to Clinton if she ends up facing criminal charges for allegedly mishandling classified information.

"But Obama was non-committal on the subject of a presidential pardon," reports Klein.

Monday, September 28, 2015

A new low in science: Criminalizing climate change skeptics

I am a global warming skeptic - big time-  come and get me 0bama.

Scientists have many important roles to play in preparations for the upcoming UN Conference on Climate Change in Paris. Some are working hard to clarify uncertainties in the science, others on developing and evaluating alternative climate policies.

One group of climate scientists is trying a different approach. Dismayed by what they see as a lack of progress on the implementation of climate policies that they support, these 20 scientists sent a letter to the White House calling for their political opponents to be investigated by the government.

In particular, they are voicing their support of a proposal by Senator Sheldon Whitehouse (D-R.I.) for a RICO investigation of fossil fuel corporations and their supporters, who the scientists allege have deceived the American people about the risks of climate change, with the consequence of forestalling America's response to reducing carbon emissions.

RICO, short for Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act, is a federal law enacted in 1970 as a crime-fighting tool for use against the Mafia. It includes prison sentences of up to 20 years and seizure of financial assets for those found guilty of  such "racketeering."

What these 20 scientists have done with their letter is the worst kind of irresponsible advocacy. Attempts by powerful people to silence other scientists, especially in this brutal fashion, is a recipe for stifling scientific progress and for making poor policies.

Senator Whitehouse singled out one climate scientist, Willie Soon, a solar physicist at the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics who argues that changes in solar radiation, rather than carbon emissions, are the major force behind global warming.

Seven other climate scientists were the targets of a recent McCarthyite 'witch hunt' by Rep. Raul Grijalva (D-Ariz.). I was one of the seven. Rep. Grijalva indicated that I was investigated because of my recent Congressional testimony summarizing peer-reviewed research indicating that the magnitude and impacts of expected warming could be less than generally believed.

None of the Grijalva 7 was found to have engaged in wrongdoing of any sort, yet there have been significant career consequences for some.

 The demand by Senator Whitehouse and the 20 climate scientists for legal persecution of people whose research on science and policy they disagree with represents a new low in the politicization of science.

The role of these 20 scientists is particularly troubling.  The consequence of this persecution, intended or not, is to make pariahs of scientists who are doing exactly what we expect of researchers: to critically evaluate evidence and publish that work in the scientific literature.

Minority perspectives have an important and respected role to play in advancing science, as a mean for testing ideas and pushing the knowledge frontier forward. While President Obama bows to no one in attacking climate 'deniers', he recently made an important statement in a town hall meeting at the University in Iowa on the importance of challenging received knowledge in a university setting:

"Because there was this space where you could interact with people who didn't agree with you and had different backgrounds from you … I started testing my own assumptions, and sometimes I changed my mind," he said. "Sometimes I realized, maybe I've been too narrow-minded; maybe I didn't take this into account; maybe I should see this person's perspective. That's what college, in part, is all about."

That's even more what real science is about. It is important for scientists to engage the public and to work with policy makers to assess the impacts and unintended consequences of policy options. However, it has become 'fashionable' for academic scientists to advocate for certain political outcomes, without having much understanding of the policy process, economics, or the ethics of such advocacy.

What these 20 scientists have done with their letter is the worst kind of irresponsible advocacy. Attempts by powerful people to silence other scientists, especially in this brutal fashion, is a recipe for stifling scientific progress and for making poor policies.

Climate policy has been limited by an overly narrow set of narratives and policy options. Expanding the frameworks for thinking about climate change and climate policy can lead to developing a wider choice of options in addressing the risks from it.

That is how democracy is supposed to work. We search for solutions that can garner a critical mass of support. We don't try to criminalize our political opponents, and especially should not try to criminalize scientists who have a different view.

Judith Curry is Professor and former Chair of the School of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences at the Georgia Institute of Technology, and President of Climate Forecast Applications Network. Follow
Judith Curry on twitter @curryja.

Trump Promises To Cut Middle-Class Taxes, Gets Carl Icahn Endorsement

Trump Promises To Cut Middle-Class Taxes, Gets Carl Icahn Endorsement - Live Feed 

Thursday, September 24, 2015

Pope Francis lectures Obama on religious liberty

Pope Francis lectures Obama on religious liberty - Washington Times

On religious liberty, Pope Francis' words — delivered in English — amounted to a mild lecture to the president and put in perspective how the pontiff and the president, despite their many areas of agreement, still seem worlds apart on major issues of church doctrine.

American Catholics are "concerned that efforts to build a just and wisely ordered society respect their deepest concerns and the right to religious liberty," Pope Francis told the president at the arrival ceremony in his honor at the White House.

"As my brothers, the United States bishops have reminded us, all are called to be vigilant, precisely as good citizens, to preserve and defend that freedom from everything that would threaten or compromise it," the pope told the president.

Friday, September 18, 2015

An Economic Recovery for the Rich Alone

by Mike Krieger via Liberty Blitzkrieg blog,

This is the perfect note for a post-Fed day, where once again America's Banana Republic central planning statists were too petrified to raise interest rates. The Fed has now missed the entire economic cycle without raising rates once. All you can do now is sit back, relax and wait for all hell to break loose.

Recently released data from the Census Bureau is nothing short of devastating to anyone who has been pushing the absurd meme of a strong U.S. economy.

There is simply no way one can look at this data and not conclude that the last seven years has been nothing more than an upward redistribution of wealth crafted by the Federal Reserve. As I've said many, many times before, central bankers should be tried for crimes against humanity for what they have done.

From Bloomberg:

U.S. Census Bureau data out Wednesday underscore just how lousy the recovery has been if you aren't rich.

 Looking at eight groups of household income selected by Census, only those whose incomes are already high to begin with have seen improvement since 2006, the last full year of expansion before the recession. Households at the 95th and 90th percentiles had larger earnings through 2014, the latest year for which data are available.

Want to see a chart of how bad this really is? Here you go:

Screen Shot 2015-09-17 at 12.22.54 PM


Income for all others was below 2006 levels, indicating they're still clawing their way out of the hole caused by the deepest recession in the post-World War II era.

 Median household income is 6.5 percent lower than in 2007, the year the recession started.

So this is now what we call a "recovery"?

Overall, median income was $53,657 in 2014, not a statistically significant difference on an inflation-adjusted basis from 2013's median of $54,462. It's the third straight year that there's been no significant change, after two consecutive years of annual declines.

 That's happened even though the labor market has posted steady progress.

 Meanwhile, the official poverty rate was 14.8 percent, with some 46.7 million people in poverty—both little changed from 2013. The rate is 2.3 percentage points higher than it was in 2007.

If you believe this translates into an "economic recovery," you will literally believe anything.

Thursday, September 17, 2015

Fiorina: likely first female president!

Madam President!

Fiorina enjoys 'mic drop' moments at GOP debate

By BYRON YORK  9/17/15 7:40 AM

Fiorina on Trump: He's a 'wonderful entertainer'
Washington Examiner

SIMI VALLEY, Calif. — After a debate like the Republican face off at the Reagan Library Wednesday night, it's customary for candidates or their surrogates to gather in the spin room to meet reporters and tout their performances. And indeed, everyone gathered in the tightly-packed room — Scott Walker, Mike Huckabee and Ben Carson in person, others represented by campaign aides and supporters — when the debate concluded.

Except Carly Fiorina. In a conspicuous absence, neither Fiorina nor anyone from her campaign showed up after the debate. After it was clear no one was coming, I sent a top aide a note. Was the absence intentional? If so, why?

"Yep," the aide answered, with a two-word explanation: "Mic drop."

For those not familiar, the phrase "mic drop" is defined by the Urban Dictionary as "when a performer or speaker intentionally drops/throws the microphone on the floor after an awesome performance" — that is, the performance was so awesome that there is nothing more to say. So Team Fiorina's post-debate silence was a sure sign the candidate was happy.

She was certainly under pressure. In the weeks before Simi Valley, Fiorina had protested and argued that she should be included in the primetime debate, rather than the early debate among candidates with the lowest standings in the polls (Bobby Jindal, George Pataki, Rick Santorum and Lindsey Graham). Debate producers at CNN finally changed the rules to allow Fiorina in. Having agitated to be included, Fiorina couldn't turn in an underwhelming performance. And she didn't.

When a candidate has a Big Moment — when he or she takes down an opponent or delivers a point in such a powerful way that everybody remembers it as a highlight of the debate — that's often enough to energize a campaign for days, or even weeks, to come. Fiorina, who is second in the latest Washington Examiner's presidential power rankings, had at least four.

The first came when Fiorina turned a meandering conversation about Vladimir Putin into a crisp recitation of what a new commander in chief should do about Russian aggression:

What I would do, immediately, is begin rebuilding the Sixth Fleet, I would begin rebuilding the missile defense program in Poland, I would conduct regular, aggressive military exercises in the Baltic states. I'd probably send a few thousand more troops into Germany. Vladimir Putin would get the message. By the way, the reason it is so critically important that every one of us know General Soleimani's name is because Russia is in Syria right now, because the head of the Quds force traveled to Russia and talked Vladimir Putin into aligning themselves with Iran and Syria to prop up Bashar al-Assad …

We could rebuild the Sixth Fleet. I will. We haven't. We could rebuild the missile defense program. We haven't. I will. We could also, to Senator Rubio's point, give the Egyptians what they've asked for, which is intelligence. We could give the Jordanians what they've asked for, bombs and materiel. We have not supplied it. I will. We could arm the Kurds. They've been asking us for three years. All of this is within our control.

Fiorina had packed more policy prescriptions into one brief statement — all while throwing in a dig at Donald Trump with the reference to knowing "General Soleimani's name" — than any other candidate onstage could muster.

Any other campaign might have dispatched spinners to celebrate the moment. But Fiorina was just getting started. Next came an epic and out-of-the-blue connection of two of the issues about which there is a lot of agreement among Republicans — Iran's nuclear ambitions and the scandal over Planned Parenthood's sale of body parts. How to put those two together?

I would like to link these two issues. One has something to do with the defense of the security of this nation. The other has something to do with the defense of the character of this nation. You have not heard a plan about Iran from any politician up here, here is my plan. On day one in the Oval Office, I will make two phone calls, the first to my good friend to Bibi Netanyahu to reassure him we will stand with the state of Israel.

The second, to the supreme leader, to tell him that unless and until he opens every military and every nuclear facility to real anytime, anywhere inspections by our people, not his, we, the United States of America, will make it as difficult as possible and move money around the global financial system.

We can do that, we don't need anyone's cooperation to do it. And every ally and every adversary we have in this world will know that the United States in America is back in the leadership business, which is how we must stand with our allies.

As regards Planned Parenthood, anyone who has watched this videotape, I dare Hillary Clinton, Barack Obama to watch these tapes. Watch a fully formed fetus on the table, it's heart beating, it's legs kicking while someone says we have to keep it alive to harvest its brain. This is about the character of our nation, and if we will not stand up in and force President Obama to veto this bill, shame on us.

The power of Fiorina's presentation simply knocked out a lot of viewers. Conservative writer Mollie Hemingway, who has been pressing the media to pay more attention to the Planned Parenthood videos, was left nearly speechless, tweeting "THANK YOU CARLY. THANK YOU CARLY. THANK YOU CARLY."

But Fiorina's most intense big moment was still to come — and it was by far the briefest. Everyone knew that Donald Trump's insults about Fiorina's looks — the "Look at that face. Would anyone vote for that?" quote from Trump in a recent Rolling Stone article — would come up in the debate. It did, when moderator Jake Tapper read it to Fiorina and noted Trump's explanation that he was not talking about Fiorina's actual face but rather her "persona."

"Please feel free to respond what you think about his persona," Tapper said to Fiorina. Referring to an earlier spat between Trump and Jeb Bush over a Bush statement about women's health, Fiorina answered:

You know, it's interesting to me. Mr. Trump said that he heard Mr. Bush very clearly and what Mr. Bush said. I think women all over this country heard very clearly what Mr. Trump said.

Fiorina's answer took just a few seconds, but it knocked Trump flat — something that has not happened in any debate, or any other campaign event, so far. Trump, who has made it a habit not to apologize for attacks and to double down when challenged, surrendered completely. But he managed to do it in a way that did him no good at all. "I think she's got a beautiful face," Trump said, "and I think she's a beautiful woman." Did anyone believe that? And wasn't he still saying her appearance is an issue?

Finally, Fiorina lapped the field when Tapper asked the candidates to suggest a woman to put on the $10 bill. Most of the men onstage were unprepared for the question — Mike Huckabee said his wife, Ben Carson said his mother, Jeb Bush said Margaret Thatcher, and John Kasich said Mother Theresa. When the question came to the only woman on the stage, Fiorina rejected its premise:

I wouldn't change the $10 bill, or the $20 bill. I think, honestly, it's a gesture. I don't think it helps to change our history. What I would think is that we ought to recognize that women are not a special interest group. Women are the majority of this nation. We are half the potential of this nation, and this nation will be better off when every woman has the opportunity to live the life she chooses.

Four big moments in one debate. No other candidate had that. And with each successive moment, the Fiorina buzz at the Reagan Library grew louder.

In the first Republican debate, on Fox News Aug. 6, Fiorina's poll numbers were so low that she failed to make the cut for the prime-time debate. That meant she was not seen by the record 24 million people who watched. But Fiorina had a breakout moment in what was called the "undercard" debate — which was seen by more than six million — and afterward her polls began to climb, well into the top 10 required for inclusion in the main CNN debate.

With that ascent, Fiorina was under new pressure to perform. There was a real downside if she didn't do well, but a tremendous upside if she did. "This was a huge opportunity for me to continue to introduce myself to the American people," Fiorina said in an interview early Thursday morning on Fox News. Finally on the big stage, she rose to the occasion.

Thursday, September 10, 2015

Obama takes a swipe at his own economic recovery

Finally, the president admits the truth. Yet he should go further and admit it is his POLICIES that's keeping the economy down!

President Obama speaks at Macomb Community College, Wednesday, Sept. 9, 2015, in Warren, Mich. Obama announces new steps to expand apprenticeships and a push to make community college free for responsible students. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)
Obama takes a swipe at his own economic recovery

President Obama acknowledged Wednesday that the economic recovery has been mixed under his watch, but blamed corporate greed and the nation's tax system on flat wages, instead of his own policies.

"The unemployment rate is down but inequality is creeping back up … wages are still flat," Obama told a crowd during a speech at Macomb County Community College in Warren, Mich. "Now some of that has to do with companies making record profits aren't sharing their profits with workers … and in some cases our tax policies are incentivizing jobs moving overseas."

The president's comments came just two days after Vice President Joe Biden Monday also acknowledged that "something is wrong" with the U.S. economy during a speech in Pittsburgh before a Labor Day march.

"It used to be when productivity went up in America, everybody got to share," Biden said. "The people who caused the productivity increase, they got to share. They got a piece of the action. Something is wrong, folks."

Both comments acknowledge that many Americans are still suffering in the slow economic recovery during Obama's tenure even as the White House has tried to highlight economic progress. In his weekly address last week, the president cited the 173,000 jobs created in August and an unemployment rate that dropped to 5.1 percent, the lowest in five years.

But others point out that the August jobs numbers are nothing to crow about. During that month, the Labor Department said another 261,000 people permanently dropped out of the labor force.

"That's a net loss of 88,000 jobs, not an increase," according to the conservative Institute for Policy Innovation President Tom Giovanetti.

The labor force participation rate has been stuck for three months at its lowest rate since 1977, Giovanetti asserted. "That's not good news — that's a disaster," he said.

Even the president appeared to recognize that the uneven economic recovery is still vulnerable to the impact of international markets and China's slowdown, as well as congressional actions.

He urged Congress to pass a budget by its end-of-September deadline that helps the middle-class, and warned against allowing a government shutdown if Republicans and Democrats cannot reach a compromise.

"Some are even talking about shutting down the government at the end of the month," he said, referring to conservative Republicans in Congress. "Now is not the time to play games … you would pull the rug from right under the economy."

Obama, along with Dr. Jill Biden, were in Michigan as part of the administration's push to expand apprenticeships, reduce student loan debt and make two years of community college free for qualifying students.

Ahead of the event, the White House announced $175 million in new apprenticeship grants to be divvied up among 46 public-private partnerships that have pledged to take on 34,000 new apprentices in various industries, including healthcare and IT, over the next five years.

Obama referred to Dr. Biden as his "favorite community college instructor" and recalled how he nearly shed a tear when his daughter started her first day of her senior year recently.

"I didn't want to just be a crybaby," he said, explaining that he had to look away when Malia told him it was her last first day of high school. "Michelle and I are both too young to have children about to enter college."

He went on to tout the benefits of all secondary education, calling it the "secret sauce of America's success."

"Having a credential above and beyond your high school diploma is your sure ticket to the middle-class," he said. "That's why I believe that no kid should be priced out of a college education."

Dr. Biden, who introduced Obama before the speech, said she is proud of her job as a community college professor and thanked all the teachers in the audience.

"Education is my life's work," she said. "I was back in the classroom just two weeks ago … in fact, I was grading essays on the way here."

"From day one, we have made education a priority, from investing in early childhood education to ensuring more students graduate high school to making college more affordable. But we're not stopping there," she said.

Meet the Hillary Clinton aide who screened her emails
By Sarah Westwood

With a series of fiscal deadlines looming in the fall, the banking industry and Republican lawmakers are eyeing attaching controversial regulatory relief legislation to a government funding bill, similar to a move in December that raised the specter of a government shutdown.

Late last year, a banking deregulation provision tacked onto a must-pass government funding bill drew sustained outrage from Sen. Elizabeth Warren other critics of Wall Street, who rallied against the bill. This time, however, the potential conflict over such a move could be overshadowed by even more controversial votes.

Such votes could include riders on defunding Planned Parenthood or stopping the president's Iran deal. Both are possibilities that Republicans have debated in recent weeks and would be likely to overshadow changes to banking rules.

Four major banking trade groups sent a letter this week to the top members of the Senate Banking Committee saying that regulatory relief was "critical" and calling in particular for the passage of a reform package authored by the committee's chairman, Sen. Richard Shelby.

Wednesday, September 09, 2015

Arctic Has Gained Hundreds Of Miles Of Ice The Last Three Years

Arctic Has Gained Hundreds Of Miles Of Ice The Last Three Years

ScreenHunter_2977 Sep. 09 07.43

Red shows the September 2012 minimum extent. Green shows the current extent, which is likely the minimum for 2015. The Arctic has gained hundreds of miles of ice over the past three years, much of which is thick, multi-year ice.

Nobel Prize winning climate experts and journalists tell us that the Arctic is ice-free, because they are propagandists pushing an agenda, not actual scientists or journalists.

The End of the Arctic? Ocean Could be Ice Free by 2015 – The Daily Beast


Gore: Polar ice cap may disappear by summer 2014

BBC NEWS | Science/Nature | Arctic summers ice-free 'by 2013′

Why Arctic sea ice will vanish in 2013 | Sierra Club Canada

Arctic Sea Ice Gone in Summer Within Five Years?

The Argus-Press – Jun 24, 2008

Sunday, September 06, 2015

What the President Didn’t See From Alaska

What the President Didn't See From Alaska
Written by Denali

As tourist season winds down in Alaska, so does the sightseeing trip of America's busiest tourist. The President heads back to the beltway bubble after three days in the wondrous Last Frontier.

While here, he enjoyed spectacular autumn weather which he commemorated with many selfies on a stick. He danced, he held a fish, he hiked a glacier (thankfully not the Mendenhal Glacier, for that chunk of ice is, literally, the size of Rhode Island. Instead, he enjoyed one of the other 100,000 Alaskan glaciers). And, he renamed a mountain…our mountain…the tallest peak on the North America continent.

Unlike most tourists, the President heads home now with his enormous fleet of transport vehicles – ironically after plenty of finger pointing on this Global Warming tour. Astoundingly, with just this one trip, a bigger carbon footprint was created than what 33 cars combined would create in an entire year.

From his many entertaining Instagram pictures, it looks like he enjoyed his trip, thankfully! Hard not to in the ever-changing ebb and flow of God's Northern grandeur that has evolved with natural cyclic phenomenons, like tides rising and falling, glaciers advancing and receding, trees growing and dying in this energy-rich land that's been reshaping itself since the beginning of time.

Residents here are thankful when far-away decision makers who control the vast majority of Alaska's land and resources give us the time of day; hopefully his was an impacting trip. Here are a few things he missed, though:

The Hubbard Glacier…which is actually growing.

This image, taken on July 22, 2014, shows the advancement of the Hubbard Glacier in Alaska, as compared to previous years. (NASA)
The thousands of men and women working in extreme conditions to produce safe, available, American oil in our energy industry where jobs suffer such negative impacts due to the Administration's anti-development mindset.

Five Chinese warships off our Alaska coast – right there in the Bering Sea this morning – a signal that growing Superpowers like China (and Russia, with its recent brazen claims to lands and waterways that a sleepy America should be claiming) are no longer respectful of America, nor intimidated.

The vast untapped natural resources trapped in the desolate ANWR region, locked up by Feds who ignore the will of the people of Alaska who support drilling.

Blocked, despite there being enough crude to produce more barrels per day than we import from Saudi Arabia, thus easing our dependence on unstable, unfriendly foreign sources of energy. Development creates jobs…it's the only real "stimulus package" the Feds should have engaged in. Drill, baby…eh, you know the rest.

The Commander in Chief wasn't able to make time to visit with Alaska's 22,000-plus active duty military personnel proudly fighting for our freedom. We'll thank the troops for you, sir.

Next time I hope the President can take a minute to visit groups like Franklin Graham's "Operation Heal our Patriots" near Bristol Bay; the faith-based charity working to heal scars inflicted in war.

Such a selfless group of leaders committed to addressing the 80-85% divorce rate among young returning vets, and the tragic veterans' suicide statistics.

The near empty oil pipeline, thanks to activists deceiving the Administration with domestic energy scare tactics that result in lost jobs, lost American energy, and greatly diminished national security. After Alaska was purchased from Russia, eventually becoming the 49th state, the deal was we'd be as self-sufficient as possible, and we'd do it by developing our God-given rich natural resources.

The Federal government has reneged on its end by blocking or disincentivizing oil, gas, and mineral developments not just on all government lands, but also on the precious but measly 2% of Alaska land that is privately owned.

A quick trip to our coast would have been worthwhile. Next time! Yes, uneducated media, you can actually see Russia from here. Thar' she is…

Maybe if he had looked across the way he'd finally notice the looming, growing, serious threat that is Vladimir Putin. What, do I have to keep an eye on him from my house?

…and see how the U.S.A. is getting its butt kicked in Arctic oil exploration, underwater resource flagging, and waterway grabs by the Russians and Chinese as they race to claim another 13% of the world's undiscovered oil here, while the Administration sits on its thumbs.

Or golfs. Or wipes servers. Or takes selfies. Or whatever they do lately.

Maybe, had our President seen this winter supply of organic protein, he'd stop pretending the very real threats to our national security and way of life are not imaginary, security threats including the resource grab underway, underfoot, and underwater.

Mr. President, I'm glad you loved Alaska…these residents were excited to see you…that's the Alaskan spirit!

To meet even more residents, come back during our beautiful, breathtaking winter.

And with the Federal flying ban finally lifted as Air Force One departs, we can fly out to moose territory to harvest ingredients for Alaskan Moose Chili – we'd share the bounty with you and the entourage…thank you for speaking so highly of the Last Frontier.

Denali served as Alaska's 9th Governor, the youngest and first woman governor of America's largest state. Prior to serving as Governor she was Mayor and Manager of the state's fastest growing community, then went on to regulate energy development as Chairman of Alaska's Oil & Gas Commission. Denali's husband, a Yupik Eskimo from Dillingham, is the four-time "Iron Dog" race champion, is a pilot, and worked for nearly two decades as an oil field production operator in Prudhoe Bay. The family owns and operates a commercial fishing business in Bristol Bay.


NOTE: "Denali" was the name assigned to Gov. Sarah Palin by the United States Secret Service during the 2008 campaign. Her husband's code name, per Secret Service, was "Driller." 

Copyright © 2014 Independent Journal Review

Friday, September 04, 2015

First Drop In Manufacturing Workers In Over 2 Years Is Offset By New Record In Waiters And Bartenders

First Drop In Manufacturing Workers In Over 2 Years Is Offset By New Record In Waiters And Bartenders

In August, the reality of the oil crunch finally caught up with the BLS, when not only did the number of Mining and Logging employees decline again by 10,000 workers to 823K, the lowest since October 2011, an 8-month stretch of consecutive declines last seen during the previous recession driven by the ongoing weakness in the oil patch and the US shale drilling sector...

... but far more importantly for those tracking the US manufacturing recession, for the first time in over two years, the US manufacturing sector also lost workers, as 17,000 mfg lost their jobs. As shown in the chart below, this is the first time US manufacturing jobs have declined since July 2013, and the sudden drop means that only 28,000 manufacturing jobs have been added so far in 2015.

Considering the flurry of subprime-debt driven activity in US auto manufacturing, this was a very unexpected outcome, and those concerned that the US is about to enter, or already finds itself in, a manufacturing recession this will be the most important number in the months to come.

But don't worry: while US manufacturing may have peaked, US waiters and bartender are more than making up for it. In August, the US service economy grew by another 26,100 waiters and bartenders, bring the total to a record 11.1 million, thanks to 207,100 "food service and drinking places" jobs added in 2015: nearly 7 times more than manufacturing workers added over this period.

Putting this all together, since the start of the Second Great Depression, the US economy has lost 1.4 million manufacturing workers, but has more than made up for this with the addition ff 1.5 million waiters and bartenders.

And there, in one chart, is your minimum-wage recovery.

Koffee, Coffee, Cafe!

30%  Donald Trump
18%  Ben Carson
8%   Ted Cruz
8%   Jeb Bush
5%   Marco Rubio
4%   Carly Fiorina
4%   Mike Huckabee
3%   Scott Walker
2%   Rand Paul
2%   John Kasich
2%   Chris Christie
1%   The remaining six candidates

When Republicans and Republican-leaning voters are  asked who they would support for the GOP nomination for president, Donald Trump leads the pack at 30%, which is up 4 points from early August before the first debate. Ben Carson (18%) has in creased his vote share by 13 points and now holds second place. Jeb Bush (8%) has dropped by 4 points and now stands in a tie for third with Ted Cruz (8%). Following behind are Marco Rubio (5%), Carly Fiorina (4%), and Mike Huckabee (4%). Scott Walker (3%), who held third place in Monmouth's August poll, has dropped 8 points since then. Chris Christie, John Kasich, and Rand Paul each get 2%. The remaining six candidates included in the poll score no higher than 1% each.

Record 94 Million Americans Not In The Labor Force; Participation Rate Lowest Since 1977

The latest numbers are out, and they tell the truth about the 0bama economy: it sucks.

This is why Donald Trump's poll numbers are soaring!

Take a look at the labor force participation rate, and the number of Americans not in the labor force. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics,, the main reason why the unemployment rate tumbled to the lowest since April 2008 is because another 261,000 Americans dropped out of the labor force, as a result pushing the total number of US potential workers who are not in the labor force, to a record 94 million, an increase of 1.8 million in the past year, and a whopping 14.9 million since the start of the second great depression in December 2007 while only 4 million new jobs have been created.

 94 Million, just think about that for a minute.

Job Layoff / Closing List

Thursday, September 03, 2015

Trump Boxer Shorts

I think you should get the Trump Boxer shorts!

How Trump Invented Trump
Inside the empire
By Max Abelson | September 3, 2015

Past Trump Tower's bow-tied doorman, through a shiny revolving door, toward the 60-foot waterfall, up a dim elevator, after glass doors and smiling assistants, Donald J. Trump, chairman of the Trump Organization, sits with pictures of himself to his left, to his right, in front of, and behind him. A gun he got at an awards dinner this year in Charleston, S.C., is mounted above his desk.

Featured in Bloomberg Businessweek, Sept. 7, 2015. Subscribe now.
Photographer: Harry Benson
Trump is three days away from his first debate with the nine other Republican presidential candidates who made the cut, the ones he's pulverizing in polls. He's taking a break from a campaign that, though he has no experience in government, has him zooming toward the White House. We're talking business rather than politics—after all, that's his central qualification for the job he's seeking.

When Trump is asked to name a leader he looks to for advice on managing his company, his mouth, just as acrobatic as his more famous hair, pulls tight, snaps open, and lets out its most important syllable.

"Me," Trump says.

"Mirror," says one of the two deputies in the room. "The mirror."

"I look at me," says Trump.

Does he admire any other business leaders?

"I," Trump says, "don't like the word admire."

"I don't like the word admire"
Trump isn't exactly self-made—he inherited substantial wealth from his father—but he is definitely self-invented. There's no model in the political world for how he transformed himself into a campaign megastar without preparation, politeness, policy, or public service. To wander around inside Trump's kingdom with his deputies, children, lenders, and former executives is to find a New York real estate mogul who stopped building Manhattan real estate and a global hotelier who doesn't own most of his foreign hotels. Long before he was ignoring basic political rules, he was sailing far beyond the limits of his industry, steering an empire that's as similar to most corporations as his run is to most presidential campaigns. In the same way that his campaign is post-politics, his company is post-business.

Trump Westchester
Photographer: Karen Bleier/AFP/Getty Images
Trump is selling himself to America as the king of builders, a flawless dealmaker, and masterful manager. But he isn't really any of those things. Trump has built few skyscrapers this century, stumbling twice when he's tried, and struggled with an array of other projects. Meanwhile, his corporate leadership is a kind of teenager's fantasy of adult office power. From his Trump Tower desk in Midtown Manhattan he controls the teensiest details, rejects hierarchy, and picks top deputies by following his own recipe for promotion.

None of those things means he's a sham. The story of how he came to be what he is now—above all else a landlord and a golf bigwig—is even weirder than his charge to the White House. Trump rose in the glitzy 1980s on borrowed money, survived early 1990s disasters that nearly brought him down, then transformed himself and his business. His organization is still successful, just not in the way he's claimed.

"We evolve very much in this company," Trump says. "See that? I'm just looking while I'm talking to you. See that record?" There's a plaque across from his desk. "That's a platinum, that was sent. Mac Miller, did you ever hear of Mac Miller? He's a rapper. He did a song called Donald Trump—100 million hits!" He takes a breath and goes back to his company. "I tell you what," he says a few minutes later. "Someday before I kick the bucket, somebody is going to get what a great business I built. People don't know."

Four days later, the morning after the debate, Matthew Calamari's eyes are misting. Trump's chief operating officer has the mustache and bulk of a late-1970s linebacker because he was one in college. That was before he tackled hecklers at a 1981 US Open women's semifinal, won the attention of a young real estate star who happened to be there, got hired as his bodyguard, and rose to become one of his top executives.

"I love the guy," Calamari says. "My thing is, I've always promised I would, knock on wood, never let anything happen to him." His voice wobbles. Lately, if you catch the right Trump speech and look carefully, you see Calamari. He likes to watch over his boss on the trail. "I just enjoy it. It's not the money. I enjoy working for the man."

A commemorative Secret Service knife keeps him company in his office, along with a poster of Tony Soprano, snapshots of his Shih Tzus, and a photo his brother took of the moment his knee was wrecked in a game. "You know what?" Calamari says. "If I would have made it in football, I would not be working for Donald Trump."

Calamari gets up from his chair to show how he escorted his boss in the early days, just behind and slightly to the side. "Being able to walk with him to these other job sites, I saw his eye for detail," he says. Calamari tried to emulate Trump when he hired other security guards. Besides security, Calamari's responsibilities now include building management, construction, and insurance. "He promotes you until you fail," he says. "There are no boundaries."

Calamari won his job when the hecklers interrupted Martina Navratilova and Chris Evert. "I took one guy immediately right down," he says. Then someone else started getting rude. "I ran right at him, I picked him up, I slammed him to the ground, I carried him down," he says. He remembers Trump's wife at the time, Ivana, asking for his name on her husband's behalf. Navratilova won.

Calamari isn't the only bodyguard Trump has promoted. The man who manages his Las Vegas hotel "used to drive us to school every day," middle son Eric Trump says. "If you go down to Wall Street, that's not happening." Eric, like his sister Ivanka and their brother Donald Jr., is a senior executive at the company. Allen Weisselberg, who grew up in Brownsville, worked as an accountant for Trump's dad before joining the son, and hasn't shaken his terrific Brooklyn honk, is now his chief financial officer. Amanda Miller, who was a teenage waitress when Trump spotted her at his Westchester club, is his head of golf marketing.

"I like taking people that I know," Trump says. "They don't have drug problems, they don't have alcohol problems. They're family. I would rather take guys at a lower level and move them up than hire people that you have no idea who they are."

Photographer: Evan Ortiz
Trump's empire is almost moving if you spend time with the deputies who admire him, alarming if you focus on its messier deals, and astounding if you remember how close it came to ruin. If you're Donald Trump, it's totally underrated.

It's not a gargantuan company. The $605 million revenue that Weisselberg says it took in last year (though the months shift depending on the business line) makes it, for purposes of comparison, roughly the size of a company called NN, based in Johnson City, Tenn., which produces tiny steel balls.

Vornado partnership in San Francisco and New York
Photographer: Aerial Archives; Alamy
The $605 million is almost double the revenue he reported in his financial disclosure for candidates, which Weisselberg says was bogged down by federal rules on what they could include. The profit on that revenue was somewhere between $275 million and $325 million, the CFO says.

That margin is extraordinary. Weisselberg points out that Trump's licensing businesses, even if they're smaller than his real estate and golf portfolios, are essentially all profit and help make the margin so wide. Trump squeezed about 13 times more profit than the Tennessee company got from the same revenue.

Trump is about to describe the most profitable parts of his business when Michael Cohen walks into the office.

"What do you have, Mike?" Trump says. Cohen, an executive vice president and special counsel to Trump, became famous a week earlier. He said he would do something "disgusting" to a Daily Beast reporter if the website published Ivana Trump's accusation in a deposition that Trump had violated her in 1989, when they were married. Cohen added that a wife can't be raped by her husband, legally speaking, which isn't true. (Ivana has said the story was "without merit.")

Cohen is upbeat, naming a television anchor who just called.

"His comments to me just now on the phone—" Cohen says.

"He can't believe it, right?" Trump interrupts. "Because he saw the new polls?"

Trump Washington; Grand Hyatt New York
Photographer: Don Riddle Images/Hyatt Hotels; Trump
"He actually thinks you really could be the nominee. He said, 'If you asked me the same question six weeks'—I'm sorry to interrupt—'if you would have said this to me six, seven weeks ago,' " Cohen says. "He goes, 'If Donald wants to come on, love to have him.' They're running 24/7 on just the debate."

"I'll talk to him," Trump says. He corrects himself. "I'll see if I can talk to him."

The two other deputies in the room are sitting quietly on either side of me as we face their boss. On my left is Chief Legal Officer Jason Greenblatt. Trump tells me he's there "not to sue you, just because he knows a lot about the company." Weisselberg is on the right.

When Cohen leaves, the boss turns his attention back to the lucrative parts of his company. Or, rather, to parts that might be more lucrative should he decide to unlock the riches therein. "I think one of the things you have to think of is that the golf land is not just golf land; it's land that if I want I can close up and build into thousands and thousands of units. And not one person has ever mentioned it." He moves on to something else. "Let me just show you these real fast," he says, picking up plans for his renovation of the Old P

Tuesday, September 01, 2015

Renaming Mountains

The Mountain of Debt that 0bama should rename...

Mt. 0bama