Grayson: GOP Tax Plan Gives Rich Enough Money To Buy 800 Cigars A Year, Light Them With $100 Bills

November 18, 2010 · Posted in The Capitol · Comment 

One of the key issues at stake in the ongoing lame duck congressional session is whether to extend the Bush tax cuts for the wealthiest Americans. Conservatives have argued for extending these tax cuts, despite their cost of adding $ 830 billion to the federal budget deficit over the next ten years. Yesterday, Rep. Alan Grayson (D-FL) took to the House floor to visualize the impact of the Bush tax cuts on the wallets of the richest Americans. The congressman explained that, for the top one percent of income earners in the United States — those who earn at least $ 1.4 million a year — the Bush tax cuts would give them a tax break of $ 83,347 a year.

“Let’s give some thought as to what the high and mighty might do with that money,” the Florida congressman said. Used floor charts, Grayson explained that the $ 83,347 a year was enough to buy 800 expensive cigars — “that’s one for the morning and one for the evening” — and “light each one of those cigars with a hundred dollar bill.” Watch it:

In addition to allowing the rich to buy 800 high-priced cigars and smoke them with 100 dollar bills, here are a few other luxuries that Grayson calculated the richest one percent of Americans could afford if the Bush tax cuts were continued:

A Mercedes Benz E-Class Car Every Year: Grayson explained that the Bush tax cuts for the richest Americans would provide them with enough money to purchase an “$ 83,000 Mercedes Benz E-Class car, not just once, but every single year for the next decade.”

An Elite Designer Handbag Every Year: The congressman revealed that the richest Americans could purchase a “gorgeous Hermies bag, a Birkin, for $ 64,800 dollars. Not once, but every single year for the next ten years. For which they will say to the Republican party, ‘Thank you very much.’”

A Bottle Of Wine Bottled in 1787 Every Year: Grayson explained that the Bush tax cuts for the richest Americans would provide them with enough cash to buy a “bottle of Chatteau d’Yquem wine bottled in 1787 for only $ 56,588, that will leave them loose change in their pocket of $ 25,000. They can buy a bottle of wine from 1787 every year for the next decade. Thank you Republican Party.”

20,000 Jars Of Gray Poupon Every Year: “They can buy 20,000 jars of their favorite mustard, Grey Poupon. 20,000 jars,” Grayson exclaimed. “That’s certainly enough for them, their family, their friends, even a few poor people. Thank you Republican Party!”

As Congress continues to debate the fate of the Bush tax cuts, it’s unclear whether the richest Americans will face a tax hike soon. However, the American people side with Grayson, apparently believing that at a time when income inequality is higher than since the 1920s, the richest Americans don’t need extra tax breaks. A recent CNN poll found that 64 percent of Americans want to let the tax cuts for the wealthiest Americans expire. A separate NBC/Wall Street Journal poll found that only 23 percent want to keep the cuts.


NY Councilman Michael Wolfensohn Calls Cops on Two 13 Year Old Boys For Selling Cupcakes

November 16, 2010 · Posted in The Capitol · Comment 

This has what it has come to in the United States … politicians calling the police on teens for merely selling cupcakes? We must break their entrepreneural spirit, how dare teens experience capitalism.

Just to answer the question on everyones mind … Yes, the fool is a Democrat.

Dumb ass of the week award

That is correct,New Castle, NY Councilman Michael Wolfensohn called the police on two 13 year old boys after he discovered they were selling cupcakes with out a permit. You just can’t make this crap up. Calling the police on two kids selling cupcakes in a park for $ 1 each. This is the message that a dumb ass politician wants to send to children? Some who it is expected that the boys should have purcahsed a permit to sell things in the park costs $ 150 to $ 350 for two hours and a $ 1 million insurance certificate is also required. Who elected this MORON! What ever happened to common sense?

A politician in a New York suburb called police on two 13-year-old boys for selling cupcakes and other baked goods without a permit, according to a report Monday.

The Journal News in Westchester County said the boys, Andrew DeMarchis and Kevin Graff, had a brisk business selling cupcakes, cookies, brownies and Rice Krispie treats for $ 1 each in a Chappaqua park.

However, New Castle Councilman Michael Wolfensohn called the police after discovering the sale was not for charity, the newspaper said.

Kevin’s mother, Laura Graff, said the teens were “good kids” who were scared by the police call.

“I am shocked and sad for the boys. It was such a great idea, and they worked hard at it,” Laura Graff, Kevin’s mother, told The Journal News. “But then some Town Board member decided to get on his high horse and wreck their dreams.”

 What kind of a delusional, asinine rat bastard of a politician must one be to actually call the policy on two 13 year old boys for selling cupcakes? As stated by Jammie Wearing Fool, looks like this fool confiscated the cupcakes for himself as it looks like he has not missed a dessert.

For all you kids who think its OK to sell lemonade, wrong … You need a $ 150 permit to sell a 50 cent cup or the face the wrath of the law.

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ABC’s Dan Harris Gently Questions Carville: Do You ‘Stand By’ Prediction of 40 Year Dominance by Dems?

November 15, 2010 · Posted in The Capitol · Comment 

Good Morning America' s Dan Harris on Saturday gently coaxed an answer from James Carville as to whether the campaign operative still believed  his 2009 prediction that the Democratic Party would rule for the next 40 years.

The ABC co-host delicately reminded, "One, last, quick question. You wrote a book last year, I believe, that predicted 40 more years of Democratic dominance in Washington…Given what happened not long ago in those elections, do you stand by that prediction?"

The liberal strategist didn't back down, asserting, "Yeah. I do." Does Carville "stand by" his prediction? Clearly, he's already off by at least two years with the remaining 38 still in question. (The analysis first appeared in 40 More Years: How the Democrats Will Rule the Next Generation, Carville's book on the subject.)

read more – Exposing Liberal Media Bias

A stunning year in climate science reveals that human civilization is on the precipice – The first anniversary of ‘Climategate’, Part 1: The media blows the story of the century

November 15, 2010 · Posted in The Capitol · Comment 

This week marks the one-year anniversary of what the anti-science crowd successfully labeled ‘Climategate’.  The media will be doing countless retrospectives, most of which will be wasted ink, like the Guardian’s piece — focusing on climate scientists at the expense of climate science, which is precisely the kind of miscoverage that has been going on for the whole year!

I’ll save that my media critiques for Part 2, since I think that Climategate’s biggest impact was probably on the media, continuing their downward trend of focusing on style over substance, of missing the story of the century, if not the millennia.

The last year or so has seen more scientific papers and presentations that raise the genuine prospect of catastrophe (if we stay on our current emissions path) that I can recall seeing in any other year.

Perhaps the media would have ignored that science anyway, but Climategate appears to be a key reason “less than 10 percent of the news articles written about last year’s climate summit in Copenhagen dealt primarily with the science of climate change, a study showed on Monday.”

But for those interested in the real climate science story of the past year, let’s review a couple dozen studies of the most important findings.  Any one of these would be cause for action — and combined they vindicate the final sentence of Elizabeth Kolbert’s  Field Notes from a Catastrophe:  “It may seem impossible to imagine that a technologically advanced society could choose, in essence, to destroy itself, but that is what we are now in the process of doing.”

1. Nature: “Global warming blamed for 40% decline in the ocean’s phytoplankton”:  “Microscopic life crucial to the marine food chain is dying out. The consequences could be catastrophic.”

If confirmed, it may represent the single most important finding of the year in climate science.  Seth Borenstein of the AP explains, “plant plankton found in the world’s oceans  are crucial to much of life on Earth. They are the foundation of the bountiful marine food web, produce half the world’s oxygen and suck up harmful carbon dioxide.” Boris Worm, a marine biologist and co-author of the study said, “We found that temperature had the best power to explain the changes.”  He noted, “If this holds up, something really serious is underway and has been underway for decades. I’ve been trying to think of a biological change that’s bigger than this and I can’t think of one.”

2.  Science: Vast East Siberian Arctic Shelf methane stores destabilizing and venting:  NSF issues world a wake-up call: “Release of even a fraction of the methane stored in the shelf could trigger abrupt climate warming.”

Methane release from the not-so-perma-frost is the most dangerous amplifying feedback in the entire carbon cycle. This research finds a key “lid” on “the large sub-sea permafrost carbon reservoir” near Eastern Siberia “is clearly perforated, and sedimentary CH4 [methane] is escaping to the atmosphere.”

The permafrost permamelt contains a staggering “1.5 trillion tons of frozen carbon, about twice as much carbon as contained in the atmosphere,” much of which would be released as methane.  Methane is  is 25 times as potent a heat-trapping gas as CO2 over a 100 year time horizon, but 72 times as potent over 20 years!

The carbon is locked in a freezer in the part of the planet warming up the fastest (see “Tundra 4: Permafrost loss linked to Arctic sea ice loss“).  Half the land-based permafrost would vanish by mid-century on our current emissions path (see “Tundra, Part 2: The point of no return” and below).  No climate model currently incorporates the amplifying feedback from methane released by a defrosting tundra.

The NSF is normally a very staid organization.  If they are worried, everybody should be.

It is increasingly clear that if the world strays significantly above 450 ppm atmospheric concentrations of carbon dioxide for any length of time, we will find it unimaginably difficult to stop short of 800 to 1000 ppm.

3.  Must-read NCAR analysis warns we risk multiple, devastating global droughts even on moderate emissions path.

Dust-Bowlification may be the impact of human-caused climate change that hits the most people by mid-century, as the figure below suggests (“a reading of -4 or below is considered extreme drought”):

drought map 3 2060-2069

The PDSI in the Great Plains during the Dust Bowl apparently spiked very briefly to -6, but otherwise rarely exceeded -3 for the decade (see here).  The National Center for Atmospheric Research notes “By the end of the century, many populated areas, including parts of the United States, could face readings in the range of -8 to -10, and much of the Mediterranean could fall to -15 to -20. Such readings would be almost unprecedented.”

4.   Nature Geoscience study: Oceans are acidifying 10 times faster today than 55 million years ago when a mass extinction of marine species occurred and Geological Society: Acidifying oceans spell marine biological meltdown “by end of century” — Co-author: “Unless we curb carbon emissions we risk mass extinctions, degrading coastal waters and encouraging outbreaks of toxic jellyfish and algae.”

Marine life and all who depend on it, including humans are at grave risk from unrestricted emissions of greenhouse gases.  This can’t be stopped with geo-engineering and there is no plausible strategy for undoing it.

Ocean acidification may well be the most under-reported of all the catastrophic climate impacts we are risking.

5.  Sea levels may rise 3 times faster than IPCC estimated, could hit 6 feet by 2100 [see figure] and these related findings and studies:


For more on SLR, see Coastal studies experts: “For coastal management purposes, a [sea level] rise of 7 feet (2 meters) should be utilized for planning major infrastructure”

6.  Royal Society: “There are very strong indications that the current rate of species extinctions far exceeds anything in the fossil record.”

This is from a special issue of 16 articles in the Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B (Biological Science), “Biological diversity in a changing world,”- which notes “Never before has a single species driven such profound changes to the habitats, composition and climate of the planet.”

7.  Science: Drought drives decade-long decline in plant growth

The NASA news release explains the importance of the work by researchers Maosheng Zhao and Steven Running,:

“These results are extraordinarily significant because they show that the global net effect of climatic warming on the productivity of terrestrial vegetation need not be positive — as was documented for the 1980’s and 1990’s,” said Diane Wickland, of NASA Headquarters and manager of NASA’s Terrestrial Ecology research program….

“This is a pretty serious warning that warmer temperatures are not going to endlessly improve plant growth,” Running said….

“The potential that future warming would cause additional declines does not bode well for the ability of the biosphere to support multiple societal demands for agricultural production, fiber needs, and increasingly, biofuel production,” Zhao said.


UPDATE:  A commenter notes that questions about the statistics used in this paper have been raised here. It does look to me like the authors should have put in more of a disclaimer about statistical uncertainty.  I viewed (and still view) the original results as credible because they’re consistent with the findings of the Global Carbon Project — see slide 26 here, which is based on this 2009 Nature Geoscience article.  See also Nature on stunning new climate feedback: Beetle tree kill releases more carbon than fires.” The bottom line is that this study joins others in raising the serious warning that, contrary to the popular view, a world of ever increasing carbon dioxide may not lead to increased vegetation and may in fact lead to a decreased land sink. That would be particularly true if the NCAR drought projection comes true.

8.  Nature review of 20 years of field studies finds soils emitting more CO2 as planet warms

A biogeochemist quoted by Nature explained that “perhaps [the] most likely explanation is that increasing temperatures have increased rates of decomposition of soil organic matter, which has increased the flow of CO2. If true, this is an important finding: that a positive feedback to climate change is already occurring at a detectable level in soils.”

Another major study in the February 2010 issue of the journal Ecology by Finnish researchers, “Temperature sensitivity of soil carbon fractions in boreal forest soil,” had a similar conclusion.  The Finnish Environment Institute, which led the study, explained the results in a release, “Soil contributes to climate warming more than expected”

9.   Global Warming: Future Temperatures Could Exceed Livable Limits, Researchers Find.

There were so many important climate science findings this year I didn’t get to write on all of them.  This one in particular was misunderstood:

Reasonable worst-case scenarios for global warming could lead to deadly temperatures for humans in coming centuries, according to research findings from Purdue University and the University of New South Wales, Australia.

The study notes that even a 12°F warming would be dangerous for many.  In fact, we could well see these deadly temperatures in the next century or century and a half over large parts of the globe on a very plausible emissions path.

10.  UK Met Office: Catastrophic climate change, 13-18°F over most of U.S. and 27°F in the Arctic, could happen in 50 years, but “we do have time to stop it if we cut greenhouse gas emissions soon.”

Right before Climategate broke, scientists were increasingly starting to realize that humanity might well ignore the increasingly strong evidence that we needed to take action.  They even held a conference on “4°C and beyond” just weeks before the scandal broke.  Some of the top climate modelers in the world finally did a “plausible worst case scenario,” as Dr Richard Betts, Head of Climate Impacts at the Met Office Hadley Centre, put it in a terrific and terrifying talk (audio here, PPT here).

This is the “plausible worst case scenario” for 2060 from the UK Met Office that occurs in 10% of model runs of high emissions with the carbon cycle feedbacks [temperature in degrees Celsius, multiple by 1.8 for Fahrenheit]:

Graphic of chnage in temperature

As the Met Office notes here, “In some areas warming could be significantly higher (10 degrees [C = 15F] or more)”:

  • The Arctic could warm by up to 15.2 °C [27.4 °F] for a high-emissions scenario, enhanced by melting of snow and ice causing more of the Sun’s radiation to be absorbed.
  • For Africa, the western and southern regions are expected to experience both large warming (up to 10 °C [18 °F]) and drying.
  • Some land areas could warm by seven degrees [12.6 F] or more.
  • Rainfall could decrease by 20% or more in some areas, although there is a spread in the magnitude of drying. All computer models indicate reductions in rainfall over western and southern Africa, Central America, the Mediterranean and parts of coastal Australia.
  • In other areas, such as India, rainfall could increase by 20% or more. Higher rainfall increases the risk of river flooding.

In fact, though, this is ‘only’ the 5.4°C case, and if it doesn’t happen in the 2060s (which it probably won’t), it is merely the business as usual projection (!) for 2100 (see “M.I.T. doubles its 2095 warming projection to 10°F — with 866 ppm and Arctic warming of 20°F“).

CONCLUSION:  Unrestricted emissions of greenhouse gases threaten multiple catastrophes, any one of which justifies action.  Together, they represent the gravest threat to humanity imaginable.  The fact that the overwhelming majority of the mainstream media ignored the overwhelming majority of these studies and devoted a large fraction of its climate ‘ink’ in the last 12 months to what was essentially a non-story is arguably the single greatest failing of the science media this year.

I didn’t have space here to report on the many studies that bolstered the case for our understanding that recent warming has been unequivocal and that humans are the primary cause.  But indeed the case is so strong that this year, even the normally staid U.S. National Academy of Sciences labeled as “settled facts” that “the Earth system is warming and that much of this warming is very likely due to human activities.”

Must-read NCAR analysis warns we risk multiple, devastating global droughts even on moderate emissions path

Climate Progress

‘Refudiate’ wins Word of the Year

November 15, 2010 · Posted in The Capitol · Comment 

The New Oxford American Dictionary has named "refudiate" as the Word of the Year, defining it as a "verb used loosely to mean ‘reject:’"

An unquestionable buzzmaker in 2010, the word refudiate instantly evokes the name of Sarah Palin, who tweeted her way into a flurry of media activity when she used the word in certain statements posted on Twitter. Critics pounced on Palin, lampooning what they saw as nonsensical vocabulary and speculating on whether she meant “refute” or “repudiate.”

(h/t Martin)

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Ben Smith’s Blog

Year Two of Obamanation: Barack Obama’s Approval Rating = GWB’s in Year 5 of Presidency

November 15, 2010 · Posted in The Capitol · Comment 

Barack Hussein Obama likes to blame all the ills of his Administration on former President George W. Bush. Does Obama blame his poor job approval ratings on GWB as well? Presently according to Gallup, Obama has a 42% approval rating and a 49% disapproval.

How bad has Obama been as President? It took Barack Obama only two years to reach an approval level of GWB in the 5th year of being President. One has to try in order to accomplish such poor poll numbers so fast.

Wonder why there are some Democrats who do not want Obama to run in 2012? However, it would also appear from the rhetoric from Barack Obama that he in no way understands the will of the people from their votes in the 2012 midterm election.

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Missing 13 Year Old Sarah Maynard Found Safe, One Arrest Made … Stephanie Sprang, Tina Herrmann & Kody Maynard Still Missing

November 14, 2010 · Posted in The Capitol · Comment 

13 year old Sarah Maynard who has been missing since November 10, 2010 was found safe found safe inside a Columbus Road home in Mount Vernon, OH. She has been taken to the hospital for an evaluation. According to reports, one person was taken into custody by police and charged with kidnapping. 30 year old Matthew Hoffman was arrested at his home that is approximately 10 miles from Tina Herrmann’s home.

Sarah Maynard Found Safe

A 13-year-old girl who was missing with three other people was found safe on Sunday morning.

Sarah Maynard was last seen on Wednesday.  Sources told 10TV News that the girl was found safe inside a Columbus Road home in Mount Vernon.

Maynard was taken to Knox Community Hospital for evaluation, 10TV News reported.

UPDATE I: SWAT team found Sarah Maynard bound and gagged in the basement of a home in Mount Vernon, Ohio

A SWAT team found Sarah Maynard bound and gagged in the basement of a home in Mount Vernon, Ohio, Knox County Sheriff David Barber said at a news conference today.

The man who lives in the house, 30-year-old Matthew Hoffman was arrested and charged with kidnapping, Barber said.

Maynard was taken to Knox Community Hospital for evaluation, the sheriff said.

“She was being held against her will,” Barber said. “She is in good in good condition.”

Matthew J. Hoffman has been charged with Sarah Maynard’s kidnapping.

Sheriff Barber said Hoffman  listed two residences.  One was at 49 Columbus Road where Sarah was found.   The second was at 3730 Apple Valley Drive.

The second address is a home owned by Hoffman’s parents and is within walking distance to the home from which the four people were reported missing last Wednesday.

Today’s events began when The Mount Vernon News reported law enforcement officers forced entry into the home on Columbus Street around 7:45 a.m.

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WTF … 3 Year Old Treated Like Terrorist as She is Assaulted By TSA Airport Screener … “STOP TOUCHING ME” … This is Airport Security?

November 14, 2010 · Posted in The Capitol · Comment 

This is our War on Terror … a War on 3 Year Olds.

WTF is going on in the airports in the United States in the name of so-called TSA airport screening to protect us against terrorism. This is what it has come to, searching grandma in a wheelchair and accosting a child? This is absolute “POLITCAL CORRECTNESS MADNESS!!

Since when is a TSA airport screener allowed to accost and assault a 3 year old child in the name of airport screening? The VIDEO below is beyond unreal and crosses the line of TSA ignorance and what should be allowed. Do these fools have any common sense in how to deal with a child? The incident took place at the Chattanooga, TN Airport where the 3 year old little girl kept screaming. “DON’T TOUCH ME”!!!


Hat Tip: The Gateway Pundit

Did the Teddy Bear have a bomb in it … was this 3 year old little girl the next “underwear” bomber? Maybe Mandy’s name was on the “no-fly” list? IDIOTS, PURE AND SIMPLE IGNORANT IDIOTS.

Since when is a trip to the airport and through TSA screening for a child supposed to be followed up by years of therapy? The TSA search was so insensitive and over the line that is damn near bordered on molestation. Who in their right mind would continue in such a manner to search the child in the manner they were when it was obvious how upsetting and disturbing the behavior was? What was next TSA, a strip search?

How in the hell is this crap allowed in this country? We have liberal do-gooder groups protecting the rights of sex offenders in allowing them to live near schools, yet when it comes to children, they are fair game to be treatedlike terrorists. I am trying to figure out why the mother or father did not crack the TSA official in the mouth for manhandling their child like this.

EXIT QUESTION: What are the odds that the TSA does not have the balls to treat a Muslim adult o child in the same manner that they treated this three year old? Hmm?

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US Postal Service lost $8.5 billion last year. Time to privatize?

November 13, 2010 · Posted in The Capitol · Comment 

Yesterday came news that the US Postal Service lost $ 8.5 billion last year.

Now imagine if this was a private business. Wouldn’t this venture be bankrupt already? Instead we are funneling money to this endless pit.

Why so much money lost? Unions of course. Time to go the route of British, yes the British, and privatize the mail service. We can no longer afford this.

Liberty Pundits Blog

Palin e-mail hacker sentenced to over a year in prison

November 12, 2010 · Posted in The Capitol · Comment 

(CNN) –  The man convicted of hacking into former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin’s e-mail account was sentenced Friday to one year and one day in federal prison, along with three years of supervised release, according to a courtroom deputy.

A federal judge in Knoxville, Tennessee, rejected a request from David Kernell’s attorney for a sentence of probation only.  Federal prosecutors had pushed for at least 18 months in prison.

CNN Political Ticker

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