Wednesday, August 06, 2008

Coastal oil drilling

Krauthammer, the psychiatrist, is better at economics than the economist, Krugman. Dr. Charles Krauthammer remains the clearest thinker in the punditocracy. Former Enron advisor Paul Krugman, not so much. The two squared off today on Democratic House Speaker Nancy Pelosi of San Francisco's statement that by shutting down new oil production in the USA, she is saving the world. Krugman in the New York Times:
"In themselves, limits on offshore drilling are only a modest-sized issue. But the skirmish over drilling is the opening stage of a much bigger fight over environmental policy. What's at stake in that fight, above all, is the question of whether we'll take action against climate change before it's utterly too late.

"It's true that scientists don't know exactly how much world temperatures will rise if we persist with business as usual. But that uncertainty is actually what makes action so urgent. While there's a chance that we'll act against global warming only to find that the danger was overstated, there's also a chance that we'll fail to act only to find that the results of inaction were catastrophic. Which risk would you rather run?"

OK, so the economist gives the political and pseudo-climatologist response. We won't drill here and therefore we will be on the road to saving the planet from this generation's apocalyptic fear. The last one was global cooling. Before that it was a nuclear holocaust.

Krauthammer in the Washington Post pointed out the obvious; by not drilling here, we buy oil from Third World venues, where it is drilled under less pristine conditions. That is the economist's response. Wrote Krauthammer:
"There are a dizzying number of economic and national security arguments for drilling at home: a $700 billion oil balance-of-payments deficit, a gas tax (equivalent) levied on the paychecks of American workers and poured into the treasuries of enemy and terror-supporting regimes, growing dependence on unstable states of the Persian Gulf and Caspian basin. Pelosi and the Democrats stand athwart, shouting: We don't care. We come to save the planet! "They seem blissfully unaware that the argument for their drill-there-not-here policy collapses on its own environmental terms."

In summation, not drilling offshore does not "save the planet." It spends it.



Economic growth doubles

Not good enough for the New York Times, which keeps hoping for a recession. The New York Times headline was dour: "G.D.P. Grows at Tepid 1.9% Pace Despite Stimulus." It goes on to say this dimmed hopes for a "quick recovery." Recovery from what? There has been no recession. Perhaps if the Times did not rely on former Enron adviser Paul Krugman for economics advice, its editors would understand the basic definition of a recession. The AP was more positive:
Economic growth picked up in the second quarter as tax rebates energized consumers and exports boosted businesses. The rebound followed a treacherous patch where the economy jolted into reverse at the end of 2007.

The Commerce Department reported Thursday that gross domestic product, or GDP, increased at an annual rate of 1.9 percent in the April-to-June period. That marked an improvement over the feeble 0.9 percent growth logged in the first quarter of this year and an outright contraction in the economy during the final quarter of last year.

And Reuters, "GDP gets stimulus checks boost"
Expansion accelerated modestly in the second quarter as government stimulus payments helped consumers add more buying punch to the economy, a Commerce Department report on Thursday showed. Gross Domestic Product or GDP grew at a 1.9 percent annual rate, up from a revised 0.9 percent rate in the first quarter that previously was reported as 1 percent. Economists surveyed by Reuters had expected a 2.0 percent rise in GDP in the second quarter.

Given the housing bubble burst and a world economy that suffers from inflation in food prices and oil prices, not a bad quarter. And definitely, there will be no recession on Election Day. Tough break, liberals. Just like the one on not losing the war.




An interesting remark from Bill Clinton: ""I never was mad at Senator Obama - I think everybody's got a right to run for president who qualifies under the constitution," he said." [Looks like Bill has heard about Obama's forged birth certificate too]

Secret deal kept British Army out of battle for Basra: "A secret deal between Britain and the notorious al-Mahdi militia prevented British Forces from coming to the aid of their US and Iraqi allies for nearly a week during the battle for Basra this year, The Times has learnt. Four thousand British troops - including elements of the SAS and an entire mechanised brigade - watched from the sidelines for six days because of an "accommodation" with the Iranian-backed group, according to American and Iraqi officers who took part in the assault. US Marines and soldiers had to be rushed in to fill the void, fighting bitter street battles and facing mortar fire, rockets and roadside bombs with their Iraqi counterparts. Hundreds of militiamen were killed or arrested in the fighting. About 60 Iraqis were killed or injured. One US Marine died and seven were wounded. US advisers who accompanied the Iraqi forces into the fight were shocked to learn of the accommodation made last summer by British Intelligence and elements of al-Mahdi Army"

Religious Tolerance on Display in Ethiopia: Muslim Mob Stones Christians: "A mob of Islamic extremists stoned Seid Ahmed and Musa Ibrahim [names changed for security reasons] in Jijiga, a city on border with Somalia. The attack is the latest attack against Christians in Ethiopia where the spread of radical Islam is fueling the persecution of Christians. ICC (International Christian Concern) says that on July 19, 2008, Ahmed and Ibrahim were going to a church meeting when they were confronted by nine extremist Muslims yelling anti-Christian slogans. The extremists started hurling rocks at the two Christians. Ahmed, who is a church leader, was hit by eight stones and suffered a severe concussion and injuries on his torso. He was admitted to Karamara Hospital where he was treated for his injuries. Ibrahim escaped physical harm as he fled the scene to call the police who never arrived to stop the attack."

Trouble for cheap Indian car: "The Nano, the world's cheapest car, is threatening to be a commercial flop as surging raw material costs scramble its low-cost business model, according to industry insiders. Analysts and rival manufacturers expect Tata, the conglomerate behind the Nano, to suffer heavy losses on the car as its promise to sell a basic model for only 100,000 rupees ($2,500) - a price calculated to tempt India's middle classes away from their motorcycles - proves unexpectedly costly. Ratan Tata, the chairman of Tata, has admitted that he faces a dilemma. "If we pass on all costs to the consumer, it will affect demand, and if we don't, it will affect margins," he told investors recently."


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The Big Lie of the late 20th century was that Nazism was Rightist. It was in fact typical of the Leftism of its day. It was only to the Right of Stalin's Communism. The very word "Nazi" is a German abbreviation for "National Socialist" (Nationalsozialist) and the full name of Hitler's political party (translated) was "The National Socialist German Workers' Party" (In German: Nationalsozialistische Deutsche Arbeiterpartei)


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