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Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Hurtling Down The Hill

And it appears nothing is going to slow the momentum or prevent utter catastrophe:
Report: In one year, U.S. public debt has risen from 41 to 53 percent of GDP
By David Freddoso, Commentary Staff Writer, Washington Examiner

Today's report from the non-partisan Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget is a sobering read:

"Over the past year alone, the public debt of the United States rose sharply from 41 to 53 percent of gross domestic product (GDP). Under reasonable assumptions, the debt is projected to grow steadily, reaching 85 percent of GDP by 2018, 100 percent by 2022, and 200 percent in 2038.However, before the debt reached such high levels, the United States would almost certainly experience a debt-driven crisis — something previously viewed as almost unfathomable in the world’s largest economy."

"Public debt" refers to the portion of the debt not held by the government in its various trust funds.

The solution, the report states, must revolve around reforms to "programs that are growing faster than the economy -- notably Medicare, Medicaid, Social Security, and certain tax policies." (The latter is identified elsewhere as the tax cuts of 2001 and 2003.) These cheery-eyed suggestions are the most frightening part of the report. They are so obvious, and they have so little chance of being put into effect. [link]
Another half-trillion dollars in "omnibus" spending was approved on Monday.  Money we don't have.  And haven't a prayer of obtaining.

My God.


A 2 to 3 percent retail sales increase over prior year nationally is considered decent.  Similarly, a 2 to 3 percent decline is troubling.

Which makes this down-right awful:
Gallup: Christmas spending still 20% down from 2008
By Ed Morrissey

If last Christmas season was a disaster for retailers, 2009 looks like the Titanic. Gallup reports that its survey of consumers shows holiday spending down 20% or more each of the last three weeks from the previous year. Its job survey continues to show no improvement over 2008, either ... [link]
There are many retailers - particularly in mall settings - whose survival depends on a solid Christmas selling season, with some of them realizing as much as 50% of their entire annual sales between Thanksgiving and Christmas.

So this three-week stretch of terrible results will be devastating to a good number of them.

Like America's malls can handle more vacancies.

I Wonder ...

The Roanoke Times editorial team seems concerned (no, really) that the Republican Party may allow its "fringe" to dictate to its membership what its political make-up must be.  They call it a "purity test."  And not "middle-of-the-road."

I expect tomorrow the same Roanoke Times will denounce the vitriol from the fringe left here in the USA that's been hurled at Democrat independent Joe Lieberman in recent days.  And the hatred being spewed at his wife, for God's sake.

Fringe right?  They don't hold a candle to the left when it comes to hatred and purity tests.

Facts. Facts. Facts.

"Climate change" runs up against that brick wall we call truth:
Climategate's Stubborn Facts
By Dexter Wright, American Thinker

Mark Twain once said, "Get your facts first, then distort them as much as you please." By contrast, he also exclaimed, "How empty is theory in the presence of fact!" This pretty well covers the recent controversy over the altered global temperature data from Dr. Jones at East Anglia University in Great Britain.

What are the facts? Well for starters, scientists at the Smithsonian Institution tell us that during what is known as the Medieval Optimum, the Vikings were growing grapes in Greenland.

What are the facts? Well for starters, scientists at the Smithsonian Institution tell us that during what is known as the Medieval Optimum, the Vikings were growing grapes in Greenland. An agronomist at Virginia Tech suggest that if you are planning to start a vineyard, the roots of the vines cannot be exposed to temperatures below 25oF or the vine will die. Even though there were no thermometers at the time of Eric the Red, this gives us a benchmark for reference. There are no vineyards in Greenland today because it is too cold. In fact, the Smithsonian reports that there is evidence which supports the theory that the Viking colonies later collapsed as a result of a dramatically cooling climate.

Other facts seem to stand stubbornly in the way of the global warming theory. Paleoclimatological records show that after the last ice age -- about seven thousand years ago -- the climate on earth reached a very warm period (much warmer than now) known as the "climatic optimum," which resulted in green pastures covering what is now the Sahara Desert in Africa. This fact contradicts the popular mantra from former Vice President Al Gore that we are warmer now than ever before.

Geologists tell us that the earth's climate has changed many times from hot to cold and back again. [link]
None of this matters, of course, to the true believers.  They have it on faith that the pronouncements being passed down by Al Gore and the other climate scientists are the truth.

And they'll cling to that belief until the bitter end.

The People Are Smart Enough To See The Truth

This is encouraging:
Fewer Americans worried by climate change: survey
By Bernard Orr, Reuters

New York (Reuters) - Al Gore's pitch for saving the planet from global warming appears to be falling on increasingly deaf ears, a Zogby Interactive survey shows.

Nearly half of Americans, or 49 percent, say they are only slightly or not at all concerned about climate change, while 35 percent are somewhat or highly concerned, the survey shows.

Zogby's latest poll shows those with more relaxed views on the issue jumped 10 percentage points from 2007, when 39 percent said they were slightly or not at all concerned. In 2007, 48 percent said they were somewhat or highly concerned.

The survey's results emerge as the United Nations climate change summit in Copenhagen heads into its final week, amid warnings that global warming could eventually melt the polar ice caps, raising sea levels and causing drought and other severe weather conditions. [link]
We make progress.  The truth will out.

Stories You Just Don't Want To Read

This one is in the Roanoke Times:

A ... deceased ... deer ... pulled ...