On Crisis in general and the Sequester: Are you scared? Numbed by all the crisis?

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Gorfias:

Agema:

From a political POV of course it's all win for the budget cuts lobby. They both get a spending cut to take home to the voters AND lower growth with which to make the president look bad.

Is it fair to write of the Fiscal Cliff "crisis" the President got all revenue increases with no spending cuts? Is this just striking a balance over two deals?

No - he certainly did get spending cuts, didn't he?

I'm not entirely up on this, but I think the objection to the "sequester" had a lot to do with the fact that very little consideration had been made on whether what has been cut were smart and sensible things to cut. The mandated chopping was fairly arbitrary or random, when an alternative plan and more thought they could have been better targetted.

Just checked the sources of the quotes.

The NYT quote obviously isn't from a scientific magazine, but even though it comes from the NYT even then it's actually just the secondary headline taken out of context and doesn't represent the main headline or the text of the article. The main headline states "Cooling may be ahead" and the first paragraph states the discussion over the direction of temperature change is a deepening debate. It's not presented as something that is going to happen, just as something that is there as an alternate possibility to warming.

The Science Magazine issue is specifically not taking into account antropological effects. "7) A model of future climate based on the observed orbital-climate relationships, but ignoring anthropogenic effects, predicts that the long-term trend over the next seven thousand years is toward extensive Northern Hemisphere glaciation." It doesn't state what they're predicting would happen, only what would happen if people didn't exist and influence the environment.

I can't find any mention of International Wildlife magazine from the 70's.

The volume of Science Digest I can't access the part of it where the quotes would have come from, but in the intro to what I believe is the article which contains them, it states that there is no agreement if the earth is cooling or heating - so again not stating that it's getting colder, only that getting colder is a possibility.

The Christian Science Monitor article was headed "New pattern apparent. No basis for forecasts yet. 'Normal' may not be. Some clear indicators."

All in all, it's incorrect to present the situation as science being pro-cooling in the 70's then pro warming from the 80's onwards. At worst all that was said was that there was a possibility but it needed looking into, then it was looked into and it was found that warming is the worry.

I keep hearing the Republicans say that president doesn't need to furlough FDA agents, TSA agents, or ICE agents. Well tell me what the fuck else are they going to do? What else can these agencies cut? There discretionary budgets are made up of employees and necessary infrastructure like computers or paying the bills for their buildings. It's not like the head of the agency is going to walk in and say, " there has been a lot of talk about having to get rid of the pinball machines in the break room because of sequestration. Well I'd like everyone to know I've found a way around it, We're going to fire Bob."

Agema:

No - he certainly did get spending cuts, didn't he?

Not from what I'm reading. For instance, from today's NRO:

"Government-by-fake-disaster-movie seems to be going swimmingly for Obama. Every Republican attempt at fiscal discipline now ends with both higher spending and more taxes: That's the way it went with the Christmas blockbuster Fiscal Cliff, and that's the way to bet with Les Sequesterables, too."

http://www.nationalreview.com/articles/342014/sequestageddon-mark-steyn?pg=2

This must have been written before last night. From what I've read, the sequester went through. It is funny that illegal aliens were released from holding by officials stating the sequester made them do it. They released them before the sequester happened. Appears those in charge aren't happy about it.

http://www.newsmax.com/newswidget/napolitano-immigrant-illegals-released/2013/03/01/id/492647?promo_code=EB8D-1&utm_source=National_Review&utm_medium=nmwidget&utm_campaign=widgetphase1

I'm not entirely up on this, but I think the objection to the "sequester" had a lot to do with the fact that very little consideration had been made on whether what has been cut were smart and sensible things to cut. The mandated chopping was fairly arbitrary or random, when an alternative plan and more thought they could have been better targetted.

That is what is shaking up the USA's financial rating: our inability to do the job. I'm not sure what it is referring to, but I keep reading our Senate hasn't passed a budget in 4 years. I don't know how a government runs if that is true. It sounds true.

dmase:
I keep hearing the Republicans say that president doesn't need to furlough FDA agents, TSA agents, or ICE agents. Well tell me what the fuck else are they going to do?

Real entitlement reform. Bush tried, and maybe justifiably got pilloried for it. But I get the impression from the left that the simple acknowledgement that the USA population demographics have changed radically (those in need of services vs. number of workers) has changed and is going to change even more as the baby boomers retire, is OFF the table. They appear to be ignoring the coming storm.

Gorfias:

dmase:
I keep hearing the Republicans say that president doesn't need to furlough FDA agents, TSA agents, or ICE agents. Well tell me what the fuck else are they going to do?

Real entitlement reform. Bush tried, and maybe justifiably got pilloried for it. But I get the impression from the left that the simple acknowledgement that the USA population demographics have changed radically (those in need of services vs. number of workers) has changed and is going to change even more as the baby boomers retire, is OFF the table. They appear to be ignoring the coming storm.

No no no, that's not how the sequester works, entitlements will not be touched under sequester only discretionary spending of federal agencies. He can't just suddenly decide to shift the burden of sequester on entitlements, that would be a complete usurpation of congressional authority.

Each agency has already been told how much they need to cut from their budgets and most of their budgets that can be cut are personal. Even the military's discretionary spending budget doesn't really include "research projects" as far as I know.

I'm not really a political person. The system is far too broken and it no longer exists for protecting "the people" but rather is just a tool used by a select few to enrich themselves and those close to them and to push political agendas with both being done at the expense of the American public. On this sequester deal I have very little patience for both sides equally and between Obama and Boehner they have both been acting like petulant children.

Obama has been on the god damned campaign trail screaming about the sky falling because we are going to have to eat forty some billion in spending cuts this year and another forty some billion down the road. Even with those cuts we are still going to end up spending more this year than we did last year. Obama seems far more interested in scaring the public than sitting down at a negotiating table for them.

Boehner is no better though. He is acting out of the best interest of keeping his position in Congress not the best interest of the people he is supposed to represent. He's refusing to negotiate as well all the while pointing fingers at the other side for doing the same god damned thing he's doing. I find his actions just as repugnant as I find Obama's

If these assholes would put as much effort into fixing our problems as they do blaming the other side things would get fixed in no time. However, both sides would rather play a game of chicken for political gain than make honest efforts towards actually fixing the problem. The problem isn't that we have to make a total of 85 billion dollars in cuts though. We could make 85 billions in cuts relatively painlessly if they were made in the appropriate places. No the problem is that this sequester was set up by both sides to inflict the most pain possible to the American people who are being used as pawns.

I say kick the lot of them out. Kick out the people like Harry Reid who has been a lifelong politician and yet somehow became a multi millionaire. Kick out the people like Rand Paul who has the fucking audacity to attach an amendment about abortion to a bill that's supposed to be about helping victims of a natural disaster. Kick out the whole self serving lot of them and start over fresh with strict caps on campaign spending and 6-8 year term limits. In short fuck every last one of the crooked pricks.

Super Not Cosmo:
I say kick the lot of them out. Kick out the people like Harry Reid who has been a lifelong politician and yet somehow became a multi millionaire. Kick out the people like Rand Paul who has the fucking audacity to attach an amendment about abortion to a bill that's supposed to be about helping victims of a natural disaster. Kick out the whole self serving lot of them and start over fresh with strict caps on campaign spending and 6-8 year term limits. In short fuck every last one of the crooked pricks.

Replacing them with whom, though?

It's all very well to blame the people in charge (and I'm not saying that's wrong), but they got there by pandering to the populace. Sure, you can say you've got no choice, and you pick the lesser evil, but then all the people voting for the other side think differently.

They get away with it because people at best, let them, at worst, support them.

Day 1 of the sequester. I'm holed up in my bunker. Cans of beans have been stacked all around me, and I've got a NERF foam bat at the ready to smack up some intruders with. Things on the outside look relatively normal, but I KNOW it's only a matter of time before society breaks down.

Yeah, things are pretty normal. The sequester is going to be the biggest non-event in history, either because it does pretty much nothing or because the politicians find some way to kick the can.

scotth266:
Day 1 of the sequester. I'm holed up in my bunker. Cans of beans have been stacked all around me, and I've got a NERF foam bat at the ready to smack up some intruders with. Things on the outside look relatively normal, but I KNOW it's only a matter of time before society breaks down.

Thank god the internet is still up! It's hard to say how long any of us will have access to it. I figure the internet, along with electricity, running water, and other such utilities will probably not last through the weekend.

Earlier today I moved my pallets of MRE's, jugs of bottled water, generator with a few barrels of fuel and a healthy supply of ammunition to a cabin I constructed in the woods in preparation for the impending fall of civilization as we know it. On my way home to pick up a few more supplies it still looked fairly normal although I did notice the local hospital had started storing the sick children on the lower levels of their parking garage.

Once everything begins to collapse I plan on organizing some like minded individuals and begin some looting of items we will need in the coming days.

Stay strong!

PS. I'll trade you a case of toilet paper for a couple dozen cans of beans.

dmase:

I keep hearing the Republicans say that president doesn't need to furlough FDA agents, TSA agents, or ICE agents. Well tell me what the fuck else are they going to do?... entitlements will not be touched under sequester only discretionary spending of federal agencies. He can't just suddenly decide to shift the burden of sequester on entitlements, that would be a complete usurpation of congressional authority.

But would a sequester have happened at all if our budget was on a path to sanity in the first place? I don't think so. ITMT, Conservatives have long argued that the Department of Education should be shuttered and replaced maybe with a clerk that writes checks to block grants funds to the states. We shouldn't fund PBS: they have means of their own to the extent in this information age they are needed at all. Krauthammer writes,

"A 2011 GAO report gave a sampling of the vastness of what could be cut, consolidated, and rationalized in Washington: 44 overlapping job-training programs, 18 for nutrition assistance, 82 (!) on teacher quality, 56 dealing with financial literacy, more than 20 for homelessness, etc. Total annual cost: $100 billion to $200 billion, about two to five times the entire domestic sequester.

Are these on the chopping block? No sir. It's firemen first."

Why I think that's so, in a moment....

scotth266:
Day 1 of the sequester. I'm holed up in my bunker. Cans of beans have been stacked all around me, and I've got a NERF foam bat at the ready to smack up some intruders with. Things on the outside look relatively normal, but I KNOW it's only a matter of time before society breaks down.

Yeah, things are pretty normal. The sequester is going to be the biggest non-event in history, either because it does pretty much nothing or because the politicians find some way to kick the can.

Very funny. NRO has this approach though, I think for those that want greater spending, Krauthammer again:

"'The worst-case scenario for us,' a leading anti-budget-cuts lobbyist told the Washington Post, 'is the sequester hits and nothing bad really happens'
Think about that. Worst case? That a government drowning in debt should cut back by 2.2 percent - and the country survives. That a government now borrowing 35 cents of every dollar it spends reduces that borrowing by 2 cents "and nothing bad really happens.'"

http://www.nationalreview.com/articles/341923/hail-armageddon-charles-krauthammer

I've seen this before. When the people demand fiscal responsibility from government, they usually cut in the most painful way possible to punish people for taking back some power from them.

Again, an example: hundreds of illegal aliens were released from detention stating sequester cuts made it impossible to hold them. The were released far before cuts were made, in fact, days before a sequester even happened.

Gorfias:

http://www.nationalreview.com/articles/341923/hail-armageddon-charles-krauthammer

It's nonsense. Insulting nonsense at that. I might as well just quote another site that goes:

"The ridiculous bill was designed as a poison pill, but Republicans popped it like a Pez. Now the body politic - weak with battle fatigue, jerked from crisis to crisis and struggling to recover from a recession - has to wait to see how severe the damage will be.

(The director of the Congressional Budget Office estimates that the sequester could cost 750,000 jobs in 2013 alone.)

This is all because Republicans have refused to even consider new revenue as part of a deal. That includes revenue from closing tax loopholes, a move they supposedly support.

As Speaker John Boehner said after his Congressional leaders met with President Obama on Friday:

"Let's make it clear that the president got his tax hikes on Jan. 1. This discussion about revenue, in my view, is over."

Boehner's intransigence during the talks drew "cheers" according to a report in The New York Times, from his chronically intransigent colleagues. But their position is a twist of the truth that is coming dangerously close to becoming accepted wisdom by sheer volume of repetition. It must be battled back every time it is uttered.

Let's make this clear: it is wrong to characterize the American Taxpayer Relief Act as a "tax hike." In reality, much of what it did was allow 18 percent of the Bush tax cuts - mostly those affecting the wealthiest Americans - to expire while permanently locking in a whopping 82 percent of them.

But of course, that misrepresentation fit with the tired trope of Democrats as tax-and-spend liberals. It also completely ignores that it was Bush-era spending that dug the ditch we're in.

Republicans have defined their position, regardless of how reckless: austerity or bust. However, as economists have warned, austerity generally precedes - and, in fact, can cause - bust. Just look at Europe.

But Republicans are so dizzy over the deficits and delighted to lick the boots of billionaires that they cannot - or will not - see it. They are still trying to sell cut-to-grow snake oil: cut spending and cut taxes, and the economy will grow because rich people will be happy, and when rich people are happy they hire poor people, and then everyone's happy.

http://www.nytimes.com/2013/03/02/opinion/blow-the-sequester-poison-pill-politics.html?_r=0

See? Does that feel nice?

EDIT: Maybe nothing will happen. That's a pretty distinct possibility. I just find the talk that "liberals have a vested interest in a calamity happening" to be very stupid.

OT: I actually prefer another comment about this article, because I find the blame game to be tiresome.

"What we are witnessing is the culmination of over 30 years of selfishness, greed, ignorance, fear, shortsightedness, and just plain stupidity on the part of a significant portion of the American people."

"Right now Washington is focused on the idiocy of the sequester, but this is only the latest episode in an unprecedented run of declines in public employment and government purchases that have crippled our economy's recovery. A misguided elite consensus has led us into an economic quagmire, and it's time for us to get out."

Why didn't they deal instead with corporate write-offs? Why didn't they fix (from what I hear) the broken school district? I don't know.

I won't really say much more about the sequester, but I still find it strange how the topic of this thread changed so quickly.

Gorfias:

But would a sequester have happened at all if our budget was on a path to sanity in the first place? I don't think so. ITMT, Conservatives have long argued that the Department of Education should be shuttered and replaced maybe with a clerk that writes checks to block grants funds to the states. We shouldn't fund PBS: they have means of their own to the extent in this information age they are needed at all. Krauthammer writes,

"A 2011 GAO report gave a sampling of the vastness of what could be cut, consolidated, and rationalized in Washington: 44 overlapping job-training programs, 18 for nutrition assistance, 82 (!) on teacher quality, 56 dealing with financial literacy, more than 20 for homelessness, etc. Total annual cost: $100 billion to $200 billion, about two to five times the entire domestic sequester.

Are these on the chopping block? No sir. It's firemen first."

Why I think that's so, in a moment....

We're on this path because of debt originally created by Reagan and perpetuated by Bush. The country needs to be running at a national deficit, what that is less than the growth of the economy. However lets say we do go ahead an go the reduce the deficit route we can't do it while we're still in recovery. But once we can get to that point we could do what happened under the last president to create a surplus, the democrat Bill Clinton. And this can be done by raising taxes once the economy is back on it's feet. Sure we can do cuts as well but reckless cuts are not a good idea.

Your talking about save a penny, lose a dollar. States already have insane control over how their kids are taught. Which is why some states have horrible education systems that are referred to as drop out factories. Basically our education system is what you said cutting a check, however cutting a check is never as simple one clerk.

"Unlike the systems of most other countries, education in the United States is highly decentralized, and the federal government and Department of Education are not heavily involved in determining curricula or educational standards (with the recent exception of the No Child Left Behind Act). This has been left to state and local school districts. The quality of educational institutions and their degrees is maintained through an informal private process known as accreditation, over which the Department of Education has no direct public jurisdictional control."-from wiki

Also this is from the GAO report

"Given the challenges noted above, careful, thoughtful actions will be
needed to address many of the issues discussed in this report, particularly
those involving potential duplication. Additionally, in January 2011, the
President signed the GPRA Modernization Act of 2010,4
updating the
almost two-decades-old Government Performance and Results Act
(GPRA).5
Implementing provisions of the new act-such as its emphasis
on establishing outcome-oriented goals covering a limited number of
crosscutting policy areas-could play an important role in clarifying desired outcomes, addressing program performance spanning multiple
organizations, and facilitating future actions to reduce unnecessary
duplication, overlap, and fragmentation. "

Krauthammer is a prick who nonchalantly takes things severely out of context. The way he says that the president isn't doing shit towards reducing duplicate spending but that is far from the truth. You also want to know what that report advocates mostly? Unifying the state run resources and agencies into a federal network where there is more oversight, basically more big government. Literally if you saw the changes this report suggests you'd say big government socialism and tax increases.

http://www.gao.gov/new.items/d11318sp.pdf

The reason these cuts are painful is because the things that budget offices suggest will be vetoed and fucked over by things like the corn lobby, the anti tax lobby, the anti big government lobby, the private school lobby, and the politicians on both sides protecting their interest, however it's republican that would disagree with many of the things in the gao report.

Frission:

"The ridiculous bill was designed as a poison pill, but Republicans popped it like a Pez.

Agreed, but I thought Obama was the one that supported this idea after Republicans caved on the "fiscal cliff" crisis and gave tax hikes (where us mortals pay about 3% more to government, and have to figure how to best do without) without corresponding spending cuts.

Let's make this clear: it is wrong to characterize the American Taxpayer Relief Act as a "tax hike." In reality, much of what it did was allow 18 percent of the Bush tax cuts - mostly those affecting the wealthiest Americans - to expire while permanently locking in a whopping 82 percent of them.

None of that contradicts the idea that we got tax hikes without corresponding spending cuts.

Republicans have defined their position, regardless of how reckless: austerity or bust. However, as economists have warned, austerity generally precedes - and, in fact, can cause - bust. Just look at Europe.

Like Greece?

Why didn't they deal instead with corporate write-offs?

Conservative rank and file are always about this. Our understanding is that the left loves this stuff and a Republican elite only pay lip service to the idea of closing loopholes (mostly. Reagan closed a big one back in the 1980s, but it took a Democratic congress to make it happen too, so, they get kudos on that.)

I still find it strange how the topic of this thread changed so quickly.

I wanted it to be about crisis in general. The Will Column specifically stated the global cooling crisis as an example, causing the debate to turn, tiresomly again, to global warming (which, even if real, doe not appear to be a crisis. It is snowing outside. Many will die of cold rather than heat this year.)

I don't even know it is the sequester itself that is what this is about, but government by crisis. The debt ceiling "needs" to be raised again. That's the next "crisis".

We are fatigued. We're not buying the idea of "Crisis" anymore. Increasingly, we feel like these guys in government aren't doing their jobs anymore.

dmase:

We're on this path because of debt originally created by Reagan and perpetuated by Bush.

The conservative position is that Reagan got suckered. All tax hikes, no spending cuts. Amnest, no real enforcement. He did cut tax rates and build a really big military though. Bush I or II? Bush I was the worst President of my lifetime. Bush II was facing the fallout of 9/11 and still gets low marks from conservatives on budget matters.

The country needs to be running at a national deficit

Debatable, but there is a big difference between that deficit and running into insolvency, which, I think we are. I understand liberal Bloomberg says not to worry. The US has infinite amounts of money.

raising taxes once the economy is back on it's feet. Sure we can do cuts as well but reckless cuts are not a good idea.

Agreed.

States already have insane control over how their kids are taught.

All the less reason to bother with a multi-billion dollar a year Department of Education. I really don't want to hear from the central government on the matter.

You write of the Fed looking into double spending and trying to be more efficient. That has been going on, forever. Al Gore had a big intiative about it. Yet it persists. The only way to truly kill it may be to starve the beast.

The reason these cuts are painful is because the things that budget offices suggest will be vetoed and fucked over by things like the corn lobby, the anti tax lobby, the anti big government lobby, the private school lobby, and the politicians on both sides protecting their interest, however it's republican that would disagree with many of the things in the gao report.

Sorry. I don't buy that. Has Obama suggested killing ethanol subsidies (that I support)? I don't think so.

Gorfias:

I wanted it to be about crisis in general. The Will Column specifically stated the global cooling crisis as an example, causing the debate to turn, tiresomly again, to global warming (which, even if real, doe not appear to be a crisis. It is snowing outside. Many will die of cold rather than heat this year.)

I hope you don't mind if I only address this point. The term is climate change for a reason. It's a very complicated issue.

I understand not knowing the minutiae of every single crisis and issue, but dismissing purely out of ignorance is not right.

In essence the earth's atmosphere is warming, but there are complications. There can be a feedback loops from the melting of ice caps, permafrost and the disappearance of lower atmosphere clouds which are responsible for a lot of the earth's albedo. When that starts happening the ball will only roll faster and faster.

The increased heat can lead to a variety of different events, like for example an increasing number of hurricanes due to warmer water. The way factors like wind, clouds, ocean currents and the albedo affect the climate system makes it far too complex to test in a conventional laboratory. Instead scientists use computer simulations to test how the earth systems work.

Take for example the "ocean conveyor belt".

The ocean conveyor belt transports heat around the globe. One of it's functions is that it transports from the tropics to the northern part of the Atlantic ocean, releasing it into the atmosphere and thereby warming Europe and adjacent landmasses by 10C (18F). After which it cools, sinks and flows to the tropics again. The cooling water sequesters some of the C02 from the atmosphere deep into the ocean. It's an oversimplification, but I hope it's enough.

One of the theories is that with freshwater melting off the Greenland ice sheet, the conveyor belt could be weakened or even shut down in a short a period as a decade. This will feed a feedback loop where less Carbon is absorbed, which only further weakens the conveyor belt. Not to mention that Europe and north America will have a sudden decrease in temperature. There might actually be an ice age in that area.

So saying "hey there's snow, climate change is bogus" is ignorant.

EDIT: Sorry for bringing this back to climate change. I really think crises like sequester has nothing to do with climate change and will only derail the discussion.

If the original topic was if you were growing numb to the disasters, then I guess some people might have become apathetic. Saying you've grown numb doesn't mean you're justified in doing nothing though. A lot of problems that are happening nowadays is because refused to take into consideration the consequences of their actions and we're now paying the price.

EDIT EDIT: Climate Change may lead to more droughts and flooding because the lessened temperature difference between the equator and the arctic regions would mean that the wind won't travel as fast. We might also see the appearance and migration of diseases due to the warmer temperatures.

It's like throwing a deck of cards in the air and trying to see where they land.

Frission:

So saying "hey there's snow, climate change is bogus" is ignorant. I really think crises like sequester has nothing to do with climate change and will only derail the discussion.

Will is writing that we've heard it all before. Global cooling. Global Warming. Energy Crisis. Fiscal Cliff. Sequester. Alar.

Can't people just do their job without the hyperbole?

Climate Change may lead to more droughts and flooding because the lessened temperature difference between the equator and the arctic regions would mean that the wind won't travel as fast. We might also see the appearance and migration of diseases due to the warmer temperatures.

It's like throwing a deck of cards in the air and trying to see where they land.

A problem is I recall reading that we'd all be over-heating in an irreversible trend by 1999 if we didn't surrender to big government. We have not (yet) and we're still alive. And it is very cold outside. And people are more apt to die of cold than heat to this day in the Northern Hemisphere (I read the opposite in the Southern Hemisphere).

I do wonder, how is the USA doing regarding its carbon foot print? I've read it is shrinking without big government. Any truth from what you read?

To your point: Just because we're all exhausted by all this "crisis" talk and government by crisis is causing us to tune out doesn't mean there aren't real crisis out there.

But it is like the boy that cried wolf. I keep hearing the word crisis, and I really am going to miss out on the real thing as I roll my eyes and ignore the thing. I hope I don't do that when it really counts.

Gorfias:

Will is writing that we've heard it all before. Global cooling. Global Warming. Energy Crisis. Fiscal Cliff. Sequester. Alar.

Can't people just do their job without the hyperbole?

Maybe. Maybe they need it to make people listen. Maybe it's just the media trying to increase circulation. As I said above, the sequester can be considered "the latest episode in an unprecedented run of declines in public employment and government purchases". I'm not personally bothered by it, but I can't say the same for everyone. (By not personally bothered, I mean that I think it's a big deal, but it's just something that should be put into context).

A problem is I recall reading that we'd all be over-heating in an irreversible trend by 1999 if we didn't surrender to big government. We have not (yet) and we're still alive. And it is very cold outside. And people are more apt to die of cold than heat to this day in the Northern Hemisphere (I read the opposite in the Southern Hemisphere).

I do wonder, how is the USA doing regarding its carbon foot print? I've read it is shrinking without big government. Any truth from what you read?

It's too easy to just look at the weather outside. We have to look at the global average, which is telling us conclusively that the earth is warming. Besides, as I said, not all the problems will be due to this heat. The earth's systems are more interconnected than people thought and Climate Change will have a myriad of consequences. I already gave the example of the ocean conveyor belt.Earth's climate is a system that in turn is composed of smaller, interdependent systems.

The earth's surface has already warmed about 1.4F since the Industrial Revolution, most of that in the last 40 years. We have to remember that the earth's average is 14C or 57.2 F and even a slight increase might have tremendous effects on the environment.

The science is from the 19th century, but the debate started in 1960. There was a massive cool down in 1970s due to what might have been dust and sun-blocking molecules. However, there was still concern about the long term outlook for warmth during that time and in the 1980's global temperature began an ascent that hasn't stopped.

As I said we can't determine all the effects climate change will have on the earth, but we are capable of testing components. We already know the heat absorbing quality of greenhouse gases for example, or that clouds are a feedback mechanism, not a forcing mechanism. This has been annoying me lately since some "scientists" (whom I won't name) are feeding upon an audience that wants to hear a certain message, and wants to hear it put forth by people with enough scientific reputation that it can be sustained for a while, even if it's wrong science. There are enough industry lobby groups to confuse matters.

I've stated what I think are solidly established facts. If you had a bad run in with some activist, who might have misled you or you read something which was unclear, I can really shrug my shoulders and say sorry. In 1985 the ozone hole was discovered. It created a long lasting confusion between ozone depletion and global warming. (Ozone is a pollutant in the troposphere, but is essential in the stratosphere).

The focus shifted to in the cooling in the 1980's because of the pronouncements that nuclear warfare would produce enough sun blocking particles to cause nuclear winter. I think that's where the confusion comes from.

I can understand that there's a lot of misleading pronouncements on the subject.

image

The footprint is lower, but it's not at the level for the Kyoto Protocol. Knowing that the Kyoto protocol was only supposed to be a preliminary treaty, we still have a long way to go.

I warn against drawing conclusions such as "It's thanks to shrinking big government". A depressed industry is more likely the reason.

"The agency attributed the decline to a combination of three factors: a mild winter, reduced demand for gasoline and, most significant, a drop in coal-fired electricity generation because of historically low natural gas prices. Whether emissions will continue to drop or begin to rise again, however, remains to be seen." Quote from somewhere or another.

There's also the fact that gas extraction increases methane level, which is a greenhouse gas. So even if CO2 is being lowered, they may be even more greenhouses gases. I really dislike the fact that people forget that it's not all about CO2.

The part about surrendering to big government is something that I don't understand. Actually, I do, but I don't subscribe to that line of thinking.

Frission:

The footprint is lower, but it's not at the level for the Kyoto Protocol. Knowing that the Kyoto protocol was only supposed to be a preliminary treaty, we still have a long way to go....
"The agency attributed the decline to a combination of three factors: a mild winter, reduced demand for gasoline and, most significant, a drop in coal-fired electricity generation because of historically low natural gas prices.

Interesting stuff. Thanks.

The part about surrendering to big government is something that I don't understand. Actually, I do, but I don't subscribe to that line of thinking.

Can't recall where I read it but it went something like this: "big government, proving they are unable to improve the lives of ordinary people now tell us that while they can't make our lives better, we will have to do what they say because they are protecting non-sentient things (the earth) that cannot protest."

Global warming aversion can give great power to those that desire that power. You'd be giving government more power to tax, spend, regulate. It could be a huge boon to the government industry. Not that we don't need it. But if not? As Michael Crichton points out in his book, "State of Fear" if it really isn't a crisis (anthropomorphic global warming could be real but relatively benign) we'd be spending more averting it than many nations have GDP per year. A terrible waste.

Gorfias:
snipped

Bush Jr, and he didn't need to invade Iraq or cut taxes because of 9/11. Increasing the DHS budget because of 9/11 understandable but that is hardly the biggest reason our debt exploded. The biggest addition to our debt isn't because of expenditures it's a lack of revenue, our tax revenue should be growing every year but instead it's stable. The recession is the biggest drag on the debt and that has to be solved before we even think about "starving the beast".

You used a writer that talked about the GAO report and no where in that report does it say "starve the beast", it says there are ways to reduce costs by reducing the fragmented program. Two examples are food safety and DOT. Under the GAO's suggestion the USDA and FDA's budget would increase and other federal programs would decrease. However it would be painted by the GOP as further centralizing government authority. For the DOT there where would be a unified federal DOT instead of fragmented state ones once again increasing the size of federal government at the expense of the state.

"The primary functions of the Department of Education are to "establish policy for, administer and coordinate most federal assistance to education, collect data on US schools, and to enforce federal educational laws regarding privacy and civil rights."[10] The Department of Education does not establish schools or colleges.[11]
The Office of the Inspector General has a unit of enforcement agents who conduct investigations and raids in connection to student loan defaults and fraud.[12]
Unlike the systems of most other countries, education in the United States is highly decentralized, and the federal government and Department of Education are not heavily involved in determining curricula or educational standards (with the recent exception of the No Child Left Behind Act). This has been left to state and local school districts. The quality of educational institutions and their degrees is maintained through an informal private process known as accreditation, over which the Department of Education has no direct public jurisdictional control.
The Department's mission is: to promote student achievement and preparation for global competitiveness by fostering educational excellence and ensuring equal access.[13] Aligned with this mission of ensuring equal access to education, the Department of Education is a member of the United States Interagency Council on Homelessness,[14] and works with federal partners to ensure proper education for homeless and runaway youth in the United States."-expanded from wiki

The current education department is the smallest cabinet level federal department and only has 3000 employees. Cutting funding to that department doesn't reduce their employees or size of the federal government it reduces the money received by colleges, students, and public schools. Also the GAO report says that in order to increase education standards and prevent overlap in duties the education department should be expanded to take control of other federal education programs across other federal agencies.

I'd like to know what does the department of education do that you don't like. Just so you know another fact about the department education's staff budget. From the below statement, the department of education is the most efficient agency in the entire federal government.

"A wide range of management improvements have helped limit administrative costs to approximately 2 percent of the Department's discretionary budget and only about 1 percent of all grants and loans made by the Department. This means that ED delivers about 99 cents on the dollar in education assistance to States, school districts, postsecondary institutions, and students."

Now the GPRA bill to reduce federal government waste

http://www.govtrack.us/congress/votes/111-2010/h660

You'll notice the only reason this bill passed was because of the democrats.

http://www.gmaonline.org/blog/?p=1025

President Barack Obama doesn't support corn subsidies. And was excluded from his budget. Oh and the ocrn subsidies where ended by a tax law signed into law by Obama.

http://usnews.nbcnews.com/_news/2011/12/29/9804028-6-billion-a-year-ethanol-subsidy-dies-but-wait-theres-more?lite

dmase:

Bush Jr, and he didn't need to invade Iraq or cut taxes because of 9/11.

He arguably did. If you read the Senate committes report on pre-war intelligence, which was written by Democrats and meant to be as negative as possible about Bush, add to that the ABC report that Saddam wanted people to think he had WMD, and it would seem an impeachable offense if Bush I hadn't invaded. Certainly more needed than Kosovo or Libya. Also, cutting taxes after 9/11 might have kept this nation out of a deep recession afterwards. 9/11 did, over all, about $1 trillion in damages to this economy.

Bush did do the "No Child Left Behind" and expanded medicaid, so, Conservatives do hate him. What is funny is, that hardly endears him to the Left. So with everyone hating on him, hard to believe he got re-elected in 2004.

"The primary functions of the Department of Education are to "establish policy for, administer and coordinate most federal assistance to education, collect data on US schools, and to enforce federal educational laws regarding privacy and civil rights."

In conservative circles, the DOE was created as a thank you to the teachers' unions that do so much for the Democratic party. (Ann Coulter jokes that people ask each other at Democratic fund raisers and conventions, "and what school do you or your spouse work at?".

We don't need it. Never did. And if it didn't exist, we might be wealthier, better educated, freer and politically more decentralized.

In 2012, it cost over $65 Billion. About 1.5 times the entire sequester.

http://www2.ed.gov/about/overview/budget/history/edhistory.pdf So, take 2/3 of that for sequester, 1/3 to dole out to the states and viola. Done.

President Barack Obama doesn't support corn subsidies. And was excluded from his budget. Oh and the ocrn subsidies where ended by a tax law signed into law by Obama.

http://usnews.nbcnews.com/_news/2011/12/29/9804028-6-billion-a-year-ethanol-subsidy-dies-but-wait-theres-more?lite

Yeah, I hate that. I would subsidize them. We're OK for now, but what you subsidize, you get more of at a higher cost. Food is one thing I don't want to be super efficient at. I'd hate to be in a time of shortages. But if we create surplusses, we end up flooding and harming other markets. What to do with excess corn in times of plenty? Burn it. Ethanol.

Gorfias:

Agema:

No - he certainly did get spending cuts, didn't he?

Not from what I'm reading. For instance, from today's NRO:

The sequester IS spending cuts. It doesn't matter how they were devised and what less is being spent on, the government has forced itself to spend less.

"Every Republican attempt at fiscal discipline now ends with both higher spending and more taxes:"

Fiscal discipline is not running up debt. More taxes are consistent with that aim. I'm not sure how credible this comment is either, given that the Democrats had agreed to make spending cuts.

The Republican Party and conservative commentators play fast and loose with the term "fiscal discipline". As above, it means having income that equals or exceeds expenditure. It is frequently twisted in conservative-speak by conflating it with tax cuts / small government. The record of the Republican Party in recent decades on fiscal discipline is dreadful - Reagan and Bush Jnr. needlessly ran up a lot of debt. Bush Snr. tried not to, and as we know it cost him his job.

I think it is crucial to clearly separate the concepts of the desire for small government from the desire for income to meet outgoings.

Not that Reagan and Bush Jnr. even reduced the size of government anyway.

Agema:

The record of the Republican Party in recent decades on fiscal discipline is dreadful - Reagan and Bush Jnr. needlessly ran up a lot of debt. Bush Snr. tried not to, and as we know it cost him his job.

I think it is crucial to clearly separate the concepts of the desire for small government from the desire for income to meet outgoings.

Not that Reagan and Bush Jnr. even reduced the size of government anyway.

One of the reasons I'm switching to Libertarian party first. I will write this of the Gipper: it is written that he was suckered, amnesty and increased taxes for spending cuts and enforcement that proved illusory.

Bush Sr. should have known better by then. Instead, his tax and revenue increases were something in the order of 1/2 a trillion off. He had a chance to say no, it is time to limit the size and scope of Government and he blinked. The rest is history.

I have a conservative economist pal that hates Bush Jr. Can't defend him on fiscal front.

Interesting side kerfufle going on. Bob Woodward is supposedly being pilloried on the left for writing something to the effect that the Democrats designed the sequester cuts to be a poison pill the left thought the Republicans would never swallow.

Gorfias:

One of the reasons I'm switching to Libertarian party first. I will write this of the Gipper: it is written that he was suckered, amnesty and increased taxes for spending cuts and enforcement that proved illusory.

It no doubt is written so by people who wish to excuse where he may have governed poorly. If it is true, even then to have been suckered in that way just makes him an incompetent politician by a different measure. The latter is however more attractive: if a man enacts bad policy, only he is to blame. If instead he can be portrayed as a well meaning naif exploited by others, the others can be blamed instead.

Interesting side kerfufle going on. Bob Woodward is supposedly being pilloried on the left for writing something to the effect that the Democrats designed the sequester cuts to be a poison pill the left thought the Republicans would never swallow.

It is plausible. It is plausible that the Republicans have deliberately played chicken with the government's financial credibility to compel unnecessary spending cuts, although I doubt many Republican supporters seriously entertain the notion.

Everyone wants to present themselves as the honest, right-thinking people. As above, it is appealing to make out that failure of good governance is the result of scheming, nefarious opposition. But the reality is that they are nearly all scheming and backstabbing whether for good or ill, such is the nature of politics. We voters then select our tribe, and tend to cherry pick the excusatory arguments that make us feel good about ourselves and the people we support.

Gorfias:

He arguably did. If you read the Senate committes report on pre-war intelligence, which was written by Democrats and meant to be as negative as possible about Bush, add to that the ABC report that Saddam wanted people to think he had WMD, and it would seem an impeachable offense if Bush I hadn't invaded. Certainly more needed than Kosovo or Libya. Also, cutting taxes after 9/11 might have kept this nation out of a deep recession afterwards. 9/11 did, over all, about $1 trillion in damages to this economy.

Bush did do the "No Child Left Behind" and expanded medicaid, so, Conservatives do hate him. What is funny is, that hardly endears him to the Left. So with everyone hating on him, hard to believe he got re-elected in 2004.

Bullshit, even republicans say it was a bad decision at the time. And no president has ever been impeached for not invading a country. If that where the case Obama would be getting impeached because North Korea does have nuclear weapons, and Iran at least has the capability to make a dirty bomb.

Decreasing taxes in general doesn't get rid of recessions, if it did we should have a recession proof economy. Our taxes are much much much lower than the pre-regan era. Also the first and most important round of tax cuts was june 2001, obviously before September 11th.

In conservative circles, the DOE was created as a thank you to the teachers' unions that do so much for the Democratic party. (Ann Coulter jokes that people ask each other at Democratic fund raisers and conventions, "and what school do you or your spouse work at?".

We don't need it. Never did. And if it didn't exist, we might be wealthier, better educated, freer and politically more decentralized.

In 2012, it cost over $65 Billion. About 1.5 times the entire sequester.

http://www2.ed.gov/about/overview/budget/history/edhistory.pdf So, take 2/3 of that for sequester, 1/3 to dole out to the states and viola. Done.

As stated one cent for every dollar is spent in the DOE administering the department. And the report the author you quoted uses as an example explicitly states that many departments are having a problem not because the department is to unified but because it isn't unified enough. Federalizing saves money because the repetition isn't in the federal agencies as much as it is the 50 different state agencies that have to coordinate the money.

Yeah, I hate that. I would subsidize them. We're OK for now, but what you subsidize, you get more of at a higher cost. Food is one thing I don't want to be super efficient at. I'd hate to be in a time of shortages. But if we create surplusses, we end up flooding and harming other markets. What to do with excess corn in times of plenty? Burn it. Ethanol.

No clue what your trying to get at, I'm just posting that obama did push to get rid of corn-ethanol subsidies which you said he wouldn't.

dmase:

Bullshit, even republicans say it was a bad decision at the time.

I'm switching to libertarian before the next major election.

Decreasing taxes in general doesn't get rid of recessions

Very non-keynsian of you. (Though, I'm of mixed opinion on the matter). During rough times (like when terrorist cost you a trillion bucks) borrow and spend. Cutting taxes increases borrowing. During good times, (the 1990s) increase taxes, cut deficits. That supposed to smooth out the business boom bust cycle.

I'm just posting that obama did push to get rid of corn-ethanol subsidies which you said he wouldn't.

Did I? I certainly hope he wouldn't.

EDIT: Found it. I wrote, "Sorry. I don't buy that. Has Obama suggested killing ethanol subsidies (that I support)? I don't think so."

I regret I was wrong giving him the benefit of the doubt and that he did do it. Conservatives argue that a major Democratic party tactic: when you cut spending, do so as dumbly and cause as much pain as possible. Looks like he did it.

Gorfias:

Very non-keynsian of you. (Though, I'm of mixed opinion on the matter). During rough times (like when terrorist cost you a trillion bucks) borrow and spend. Cutting taxes increases borrowing. During good times, (the 1990s) increase taxes, cut deficits. That supposed to smooth out the business boom bust cycle.

It all depends on how you apply tax cuts, lower income bracket tax cuts along with stimulus improves economies. And in that stimulus can be more tax cuts however they have to be directed, just doing a big hunk of general tax cuts does nothing except provide more money for the rich. What Bush proposed was trickle down economics, if he had instead put the tax cuts for millionaires toward other programs we probably could have avoided a recession.

I regret I was wrong giving him the benefit of the doubt and that he did do it. Conservatives argue that a major Democratic party tactic: when you cut spending, do so as dumbly and cause as much pain as possible. Looks like he did it.

No where have I seen cuts being applied dumbly by democrats that is common among republicans though because they don't want the government to work. It's much easier to show the federal government is a failure if you make it work with a handicap. Democrats have a vested interest in making the government run as smoothly as possible so people don't say wow that shit is fucked up why do we even have this.

dmase:

No where have I seen cuts being applied dumbly by democrats that is common among republicans though because they don't want the government to work. It's much easier to show the federal government is a failure if you make it work with a handicap. Democrats have a vested interest in making the government run as smoothly as possible so people don't say wow that shit is fucked up why do we even have this.

Stonewalling the government then acting as if it's the government's own fault that it's stonewalled is also an effective distraction from the fact that you don't have a better idea in the first place.

Vegosiux:

dmase:

No where have I seen cuts being applied dumbly by democrats that is common among republicans though because they don't want the government to work. It's much easier to show the federal government is a failure if you make it work with a handicap. Democrats have a vested interest in making the government run as smoothly as possible so people don't say wow that shit is fucked up why do we even have this.

Stonewalling the government then acting as if it's the government's own fault that it's stonewalled is also an effective distraction from the fact that you don't have a better idea in the first place.

That, or we're to believe that the White House had no choice but to cancel the relatively low cost tours. But he, keep the multi-million dollar golf trips going!

EDIT: And this should never be forgotten:

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