Monday, October 19, 2009

Random Roundup (And Some Fun With the Titles)

1. "Golf Cart Stimulus" (or "You Just Can't Make This Stuff Up?") - We thought cash for clunkers was the ultimate waste of taxpayer money, but as usual we were too optimistic. Thanks to the federal tax credit to buy high-mileage cars that was part of President Obama's stimulus plan, Uncle Sam is now paying Americans to buy that great necessity of modern life, the golf cart.

2. "
What Happened to Global Warming?" (or "Global Cooling Returns?") This headline may come as a bit of a surprise, so too might that fact that the warmest year recorded globally was not in 2008 or 2007, but in 1998. But it is true. For the last 11 years we have not observed any increase in global temperatures.

3. "
New Tax Cramps Real Estate Market" (or "If You Tax Something, You Get Less of It?") -- A new capital gains tax effective late last month has hit the Ho Chi Minh City property market hard, with many realtors reporting sharp declines in transactions. The number of transactions this month has dropped by 80% from a month ago, a real estate broker said, blaming the business slowdown on the new capital gains tax.

4. "
Commercial Real Estate Bounces Back" (or "There's Always a Bull Market Somewhere?") -- Canada's commercial real estate market is on the mend, as an 18-month slump in Toronto has ended. After almost two years of flat or declining activity, industry tracker RealNet Canada said investments in commercial property in the Greater Toronto Area increased by 46% in the third quarter over the second quarter, to $1.31 billion, while the number of transactions increased by 20%.


At 10/19/2009 4:51 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Just to point out that in some communities there are paths so that you can take a golf cart to go shopping, such as the villages in Fl, or Peachtree City in Georgia. So that the golf cart is then an alternative to a car, not a vehicle for playing golf with. Since these are electric vehicles, they do save oil. Now one may say why do the rich (for it is the rich that live in these communities) need such subsidies, but thats another matter altogether.
The golf cart community is one of the (bright ??) ideas of the urban planners also.

At 10/19/2009 5:06 PM, Anonymous Benny The Real Man said...

Golf carts, and leather seats on private airplanes, and third homes in resort regions, are necessities, and deserve the tax breaks they get under federal law.

At 10/19/2009 5:42 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

...according to the government’s stimulus website, Clements Foods of Lewisville received $891,500 dollars in stimulus money. They said it helped create eight jobs and to produce 972,000 pounds of creamy peanut butter.

Financial Expert Jim LaCamp said, “If this is the way this reads, which is $900,000 dollars saving eight jobs, you wonder how many tax payers would really be okay with that.”

Other examples include Lockheed-Martin. It received more than $4.6 million and said it created or saved 2.2 jobs. According to the government stimulus website, most of the money went to paint hangar floors at Edwards Air Force Base in California.

CBS News

At 10/19/2009 5:43 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

WASHINGTON -- Despite Michigan's worst-in-the-nation unemployment rate, not many jobs -- 400 or so -- have been created or saved in the state so far by federal contracts under the stimulus bill, according to new data released Thursday by the Obama administration.

Detroit Free Press

At 10/19/2009 11:06 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Note that IRS notice 2009-54 specifically excludes golf carts from the rebate, requiring the low speed vehicle to be designed for public streets and not for use on a golf course, must be capable of 20 but not more than 25 mph. So the headline is incorrect from the IRS notice, it is designed to address the communities such as the villages. To check on this go to the IRS web site and lookup notice 2009-54.

At 10/19/2009 11:13 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

IRS notice 2009-54 does no such thing. The golf cart just has to be modified to be street legal. This costs around $500 dollars (wipers, decals, glass windshield). All the major golf cart companies have certificates verifying whether a given golf cart qualifies. Most do.

At 10/20/2009 2:41 AM, Blogger KO said...

Honestly, we should all just start maxing the heck out of all these handouts. That Skooter Store guy figured out the gold mine in Medicare reimbursements for electric wheelchairs. Now the same thing is being offered for even bigger electric vehicles, but for everyone. Then we'll give everyone healthcare to deal with their obesity from riding golf carts instead of walking.

At 10/20/2009 7:49 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

It's good we live in a democracy so that when regulations ala golf carts can be corrected.

Who, if anyone, will go first to correct this problem.

Prize to the first to go.

At 10/20/2009 9:59 AM, Blogger QT said...

Possibly even more worrying is that it looks like 37% of the stimulus spending and tax credits may end up being permanent.

Before jumping on the latest slice of pork, it might be well to look at the cost to the country. When the U.S. has a debt the size of Mt. Penatubo, what happens to health care or senior care? Are the present frills worth the price of the future financial worth of the U.S.?

If so, that's some golf cart.

At 10/20/2009 10:35 AM, Blogger Orlin said...

"What Happened to Global Warming?" Pulllease Mark, you know what they say: "Recent Man-made Crises: Global over-population and mass starvation (1970s), global cooling (1970s), global warming or change (2000+)....(from my ever growing list of internet blog quotes)~~ Al Gore, Al Gore, please call your office.

At 10/20/2009 11:35 AM, Anonymous GregL said...

I realize you are incapable of accepting facts, but the Earth has not cooled over the last 11 years:

At 10/20/2009 11:37 AM, Anonymous Benny The Real Man said...

Until we (in the USA) eliminate the Department of Agriculture, radically cut back the Department of Defense, eliminate HUD, curtail Dep't of Labor, we will run deficits.
Interestingly enough, more and more conservatives are now asking questions about our chronic military involvements (foreign entanglements). You have guys like Pat Buchanan, George Will, McLaughlin, even even Congressman Dana Rohrbacher saying we should come home and stay home, militarily speaking.
We may like the deficit yet.
No way we can compete globally while supporting a knock-kneed, feeble rural economy and a parasitic military at the same time.
Something has to give.
We need to give free markets a chance--in America.

At 10/20/2009 1:10 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...


We all know your ignorant schtick by heart, no need to post it in the comments of every blog post.

At 10/20/2009 1:15 PM, Blogger juandos said...

I have two headlines that are worth a look at...

Courtesy of Weasel Zippers for this Politico interview: GOP Rep. Gregg Harper: "We Hunt Liberal, Tree-Hugging Democrats, Although it Does Seem Like a Waste of Good Ammunition".....

Coutersy of CNSNews: U.N. Report Says Counterterrorism Measures 'Risk Unduly Penalizing Transgender Persons'

Hey QT that Forbes article doesn't bode well for beating down the US debt and deficit does it?

Consider this Milwaukee Journal-Sentinal article: State public-sector jobs benefit most from stimulus

This makes (assuming the Forbes article is accurate numbers wise) the Forbes article even uglier when considered over time...

benny the pseudo man-child yammers on: "You have guys like Pat Buchanan, George Will, McLaughlin, even even Congressman Dana Rohrbacher saying we should come home and stay home, militarily speaking.
We may like the deficit yet.
No way we can compete globally while supporting a knock-kneed, feeble rural economy and a parasitic military at the same time. Something has to give

Hey benny are you employed by the Obama administration or looking for a job from them?

You remind me of this czar guy...

At 10/20/2009 3:02 PM, Blogger QT said...


That UN report is truly sick making. I can understand people get sick of Homeland Security especially when they miss their flight connection but most of us also remember the reason these measures were adopted.

What I truly love is the way that this gentleman defines other people's realities? How does he presume to know what other people experience? Few things quite as sanctimonious as a liberal.

BTW, play nicely.

At 10/20/2009 3:06 PM, Blogger QT said...


Not so surprising when you look at this guy's background (hint: it ain't counter terrorism). More on Martin Scheinin

At 10/20/2009 3:25 PM, Blogger juandos said...

Hey QT I had taken a look at Scheinin's supposed credentials earlier and I had to laugh at this nonsense: 'comparative constitutional law, international monitoring mechanisms for human rights treaties, indigenous and minority rights'...

All those words and they mean absolutely nothing...

Your comment is dead on: "Few things quite as sanctimonious as a liberal"...

BTW how about this headline/video clip?

Courtesy of Verum Serum: Climate Change Group to Kids: Using Electricity Drowns Puppies

At 10/20/2009 3:33 PM, Blogger juandos said...

Hey GregL, here's something to leverage yourself out of that insidously depressing but questionable 'man made global climate change' syndrome...

Courtesy of Anthony Watts: Study: model in good agreement with satellite temperature data – suggest cooling


Global satellite data is analyzed for temperature trends for the period January 1979 through June 2009. Beginning and ending segments show a cooling trend, while the middle segment evinces a warming trend. The past 12 to 13 years show cooling using both satellite data sets, with lower confidence limits that do not exclude a negative trend until 16 to 22 years. It is shown that several published studies have predicted cooling in this time frame. One of these models is extrapolated from its 2000 calibration end date and shows a good match to the satellite data, with a projection of continued cooling for several more decades.

At 10/20/2009 6:19 PM, Blogger KO said...

GregL said...
I realize you are incapable of accepting facts, but the Earth has not cooled over the last 11 years:

Geez, did someone kick your dog or something. Why the personal attack? It was a link to a BBC article, not an opinion on a blog. Do you just troll the internet looking for people who aren't among the true believers?

But lets look at the "facts" from that link you provided. 2008 was in fact cooler than every year since 1998, except 2. 2009 at least through August (however they estimate that) looks like it is cooler than 5 of the last 10 years.

So really you're just playing word games when you say Earth hasn't cooled in the last 11 years. Because it has cooled, it's just a matter of relative to when. What does the 5 year trend 2003 to 2008 look like? It's certainly not that upward slope they claim is so consistent in the graphs.

They're going to have do some more spin when that 10 year graph flattens out when the 2011 numbers come out.

At 10/21/2009 10:21 AM, Anonymous GregL said...

juandos suggested a forest products industry group statistical study that "suggest[s] cooling". The problem is that the 'global' data isn't global, so a straight comparison can not be made:

Global -85 to +85 latitude

As you are all aware, if you follow the science, the warming is greatest in the polar regions. In fact, the current switch of the PDO to a 'cool phase' means that the central Pacific is cooler while the artic is warmer. We can see the effects of that by the extraordinary sea ice loss in the Artic Ocean starting in 2005.

Also, the relationship between the lower troposhere and surface temperatures is latitudual so the comparison must be weighted by latitudual bands. The referenced sudy doesn't do that.

Thus the satellite datasets are biased downward vs. the actual global temperature and the referenced study was too naive in it's data comparison.

At 10/21/2009 10:26 AM, Anonymous GregL said...


One year does not make a "trend", you need many years. If you hang your hat on the most recent year, you must have been yelling like hell for CO2 reduction at the end of 1998, right?

At 10/21/2009 2:45 PM, Blogger QT said...


A recent debate helped to put into perspective many of the issues surrounding climate change. Noted climatologist and Alfred P. Sloan chair at MIT, Dr. Richard Lindzen:

Pt. 2 of 10

Richard Somerville, Pt. 3 of 10

The full debate is available on YouTube and makes excellent viewing. Both sides make intelligent arguments however the issues are not as cut & dry as you may imagine. Complex subjects seldom are.

Another debate is also available: Real World Observation vs. Climate Models


What a sickening commercial! How many actual climatologists have we heard in this debate? What we have heard is politics trumping science ie. the IPCC Report for Policy Makers being hyped in the media while the scientific report goes practically unreported. The public does not learn from the scientific report that the prediction of storm intensification was disproved as reported in the scientific IPCC report.

At 10/21/2009 3:28 PM, Blogger KO said...

GregL said...

One year does not make a "trend", you need many years. If you hang your hat on the most recent year, you must have been yelling like hell for CO2 reduction at the end of 1998, right?

It's not 1 year, there are 3 since that peak in 2005, and likely soon to be 4.

This is in spite of increasing CO2. But CO2 is dwarfed by the effect of water vapor so that we're really talking about a fraction of a percent of the greenhouse effect.

You have 2 years to think of excuses for when that trend turns into a 10 year flat line followed by a decrease. Solar activity, which has not only a correlation with temperature but makes sense, is down. Yes there are explanations for why solar can't be the reason, but that same rigor against sun activity is not applied to explain why CO2 is.

At 10/21/2009 3:41 PM, Blogger ExtremeHobo said...

30 Year Trend of Co2 vs temp from 1940 to 1970 thanks to THE MAN (RIP) Michael Creighton (Source Nasa)

At 10/21/2009 4:45 PM, Anonymous GregL said...

OA said: "This is in spite of increasing CO2. But CO2 is dwarfed by the effect of water vapor so that we're really talking about a fraction of a percent of the greenhouse effect."

Water vapor isn't a forcing, it's a feedback:

And there is no single cause for global atmospheric temperatures, so it is no surprise that you can't show a simple relationship between CO2 and temps. To explain a complex system, you need a complex model. But within those complex models, CO2 forcing explains most of the rise in temps.

At 10/21/2009 5:14 PM, Anonymous GregL said...


The debate format is useful for convincing listeners to accept a proposition. That works for the speakers. But a debate is a poor forum to investigate and comprehend a complex subject. Debates are not advantageous for listener education.

Now we can't dig down into the details of every issue out in the public arena. So for some relatively unimportant topics, a debate works well.

But climate change could possibly be a major extinction event and that, it seems to me, calls us to do more than listen to a debate.

The IPCC WG1 report is ~1,000 pages, but it is not dense at all. Anybody who wishes to make an informed decision about global climate change needs to read that document.

The WG1 report is comprehensive and includes references to the underlying peer reviewed papers that support the statements made. Thus it is the perfect starting point to evaluate any GCC claims made. New material can be integrated into the existing knowledge base and evaluated by many people. Higher education helps, of course, but the WG1 report is accessible enough to allow non-climate scientists to determine the controversial parts of new arguments from the non-controversial. Then a google search will result in a better evaluated set of links.

At 10/22/2009 1:05 AM, Blogger KO said...

So, GregL, the coincident facts are breaking down and all that's left are just complex models that have not had any predictive powers. And we're to believe CO2 is the culprit even though the models don't work.

CO2 has always been around so why are we magically at the point where these feedback loops will all start up? If CO2 lasts so long and causes problems, why is it ok for Al Gore to private jet around and buy carbon credits that only help prevent future CO2 emissions. The damage is already done. He should be using his millions to literally take CO2 out of the air if he really believes it. But that costs way more than carbon credits so I'm not holding my breath.

At 10/22/2009 6:10 AM, Anonymous GregL said...

OA speaks about: "complex models that have not had any predictive powers"

But putting global surface temperatures aside, there are some other significant predictions of enhanced greenhouse gas warming that have been made and confirmed:

* the warming at the surface should be accompanied by cooling of the stratosphere and this has indeed been observed
* as well as surface temperatures warming, models have long predicted warming of the lower, mid and upper troposphere even while satellite readings seemed to disagree. But it turns out the satellite analysis was full of errors and on correction, this warming has been observed
* models expect warming of ocean surface waters as is now observed
* models predict an energy imbalance between incoming sunlight and outgoing infrared radiation. This has been detected
* models predict sharp and short lived cooling of a few tenths of a degree in the event of large volcanic eruptions and Mount Pinatubo confirmed this.
* models predict an amplification of warming trends in the Arctic region and this is happening

OS asks: "CO2 has always been around so why are we magically at the point where these feedback loops will all start up?"

Sorry OA, we are talking about science, not magic. The feedback was always active, that's why Earth is inhabitable. The climate mean has changed in the past for various specific reasons. CO2 has always been part of the process. It's just now that humans are providing the CO2 trigger for change.

At 10/22/2009 10:24 AM, Anonymous GregL said...

For those who like data, here is NOAA's September report. Ain't any sign of cooling:

•The combined global land and ocean surface temperature for September 2009 was 0.62°C (1.12°F) above the 20th Century average of 15.0°C (59.0°F). This was the second warmest September on record, behind 2005, and the 33rd consecutive September with a global temperature above the 20th Century average. The last below-average September occurred in 1976.
•The global land surface temperature for September 2009 was 0.97°C (1.75°F) above the 20th Century average of 12.0°C (53.6°F), and ranked as the second warmest September on record, also behind 2005.
•The worldwide ocean temperature tied with 2004 as the fifth warmest September on record, 0.50°C (0.90°F) above the 20th Century average of 16.2°C (61.1°F). Warmer-than-average sea surface temperatures were widespread, particularly in lower latitudes. The near-Antarctic southern ocean and the Gulf of Alaska featured notable cooler-than-average temperatures.
•For the year to date, the global combined land and ocean surface temperature of 14.7°C (58.5°F) was the sixth-warmest January-through-September period on record. This value is 0.55°C (0.99°F) above the 20th Century average.

At 10/22/2009 10:26 AM, Anonymous GregL said...

Sorry, the last part of that URL is:


At 10/23/2009 4:21 PM, Blogger ExtremeHobo said...

All you global warming believers better get rid of your dogs...
Dogs worse than cars )-:


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