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January 11, 2010



The hope would be that by getting away from oil, you'd have to spend less on securiy in the Middle east in the future. I would not bank on that, somehow.

Too true. People found ways to wage war long before there were automobiles.

One of the passengers of Flight 253 was interviewed just after Christmas. He was young and had worked for NGOs after graduating from college, only to become disillusioned with them.
So he found a partner, and together they are bringing solar power to Africa. I think he was centered in Uganda.
This to me seems the perfect application of solar power, and a great way for companies to develop, install, and test technologies so it can grow as a viable alternative.


Wars are kind of expensive, y'know.

Wars end, y'know. What would be the sunset date for your scheme to extort money from law-abiding people if they want to leave their homes or keep from freezing to death?


And why is it "harsh"er to use the threat of force to compel desired behavior from particularly unsavory foreign dictatorships than to use the threat of force to compel desired behavior from me?


You and I both know that the gvernment is going to be taxing us somehow to pay for all this deficit. This may be one way that actually has some positivr effect.

So we should just lie back and try to enjoy it?

If we didn't want to fund Saudis and Chavez, or were *really* worried about a shortage, we'd be all over developing our own (vast) energy resources.

Danube of Thought

The idea that we have to choose between a tax and going to war strikes me as an odd one indeed. I choose neither one.

The practice of using the tax laws to discourage or encourage private behavior according to whether it is favored or disfavored by the government almost always ends in tears. Thus, for some reason I can deduct the mortgage interest on my ski lodge, but Joe Sixpack can't deduct the interest on the payments he makes on his family's only car. We can deduct certain forms of interest we pay, but have to pay taxes on any interest we earn.

And once a tax is levied it is baked into the national motherboard. We got hit with a telephone tax to finance WWI; they repeal it in 2005. If we impose a carbon tax this year and God comes down next year and says carbon is good for the atmosphere, our grandchildren will continue to pay that tax.


Too true, DoT. New taxes mean new special interests, and those die very, very hard.

Danube of Thought

Oh, yeah, and then there's the granddaddy of them all, the tax exclusion for employer-paid health insurance and the absence of any exclusion or deduction for individual policies. How's that one working out?

That was enacted at a time when almost everyone worked his lifetime for a single employer in a single geographic location. Now that people change jobs repeatedly and discover that their insurance doesn't go with them, we see how that most nimble of all institutions, the US congress, adroitly adapts to the changed circumstance.


Any carbon tax legislation ought to untangle the red tape around offshore drilling and nuclear. That would require the right to agree to a tax and the left to agree that domestic sources of energy that aren't from the sun or wind are not inherently evil.

If you untangle that regulations around nuclear and domestic energy, you have NO NEED for the Carbon tax.


So if the battery operated car becomes a viable option, people will slowly start to buy them. As they do, their energy use will go up, and the utility companies will begin investing in new energy sources.
As energy sources improve, people begin to hear that plugging the cars in at night is become easier/less expensive than owning a gasoline car. People buy more. Utilities invest more.

Well, the reality on the ground currently, and carbon taxes certainly aren't going to change it, is that power companies aren't being allowed to construct sufficient generation capacity to keep up with current needs and replace generation capacity that is eventually going to go off line or need major rehab. About all they can do right now, is construct windmills, with Nat Gas peak sets(that are the actual power source) to try to meet demand. All this is doing is driving up costs while not allowing the companies to adjust for any increased demand. Heck, they are having spot outages in the South right now just from this cold snap. In short, Apalled wants you to power your electric car with Unicorns.


This to me seems the perfect application of solar power,

Then, I propose they build a solar powered plant to build all those solar cells.


That's what's crazy, Pofarmer.
We want our country to grow and prosper by trying to limit what we can already do, in the hopes it will make the next big thing happen right now.


The idea that the left cares about reducing fossil fuel use is just laughable, except as it relates to slowing down the economy. The oil is drilled in the ME or Brazil or Nigeria instead, in less "environmentally friendly" ways than we'd use ourselves. (Not to mention that transporting it here uses even more energy.)

No, the idea is to transfer our wealth and take us down a few pegs in the process. If they could somehow transfer it to themselves instead of sending it abroad, they'd go for that, but that's where the concern ends.

Rick Ballard

I think you've got something there, Pofarmer - The Windturbodriven Solunicorn. We'll make billions. How soon can you deliver a prototype?


"OL - I'm gonna have to arrest you and confiscate the wine.

Posted by: Jane "


From family history studies of my relatives hung as witches in Salem in 1691-2, let me caution you on wine confiscation.

The richest guy in Salem at the time (English/Hollingsworth family), had the biggest and best wine cellar in the territory, as he was a merchant with over 15 merchant vessels and warehouses etc. His wife was the supposedly illegitimate beautiful daughter of the flamboyant, 'flaunt the rules' female Tavern owner who was supposedly the model for Hawthorn's Hester Prinn in The Scarlet Letter. During the 3rd set of roundup's a neighbor girl said this guy and his wife were witches, so they got arrested and carted off to jail in Boston.

Once people started getting hung, (ala my long dead Aunt's), he and the wife saw the writing on the wall, so they bribed their way out of jail, slipped aboard one of their southbound merchant ships, and headed south to Manhattan. There they were put up by the Governor of New York, and waited in high style for the Witch killing hysteria to die down, which happened just after my 2nd long dead Aunt got hung. She BTW is the one ">http://www2.iath.virginia.edu/salem/images/people/nursetrial.jpg"> in this picture with all her teenaged accusers flopping around like fish in front of her.

Now English returned---for revenge! The books say that what ticked him off the most upon return, was finding that his fabulous wine cellar had been looted, and he knew who done it---the Constable. That's when he started bringing legal suits against the perpetrators, between 1693 and I think his death in 1830 or so. Anyway, when the Constable died, he put a lien on the Constable's corpse so that the Constable's family couldn't bury his body for years---sweet revenge indeed for screwing with a Massachusetts man's wine collection.

I simply point this out to remind that you best not confiscate Old Lurker's wine collection on Nantucket if you don't someday want your corpse lying rotten and unburied for a generation due to legal limbo. Sure they could probably store it in the Statehouse, probably the one place in Massachusetts where the stench wouldn't be noticed as anything out of the ordinary by citizens, but still---just saying.


Canada and Mexico seem to be somewhat smarter than us on this point.
I'm sure they enjoy our money, though.


battery operated cars are a scam until we build the energy infrastructure to support them, which we don't seem to be doing.

Someone pointed out recently that the electrical distribution system is not built to run at full power 24/7, and needs some downtime every day to recover from peak production.

Add to this the huge demand for electricity both during daylight and at night that electric cars will create and the numbers simply do not add up.


daddy, what a great story. If you ever make it here I'll try to introduce you to a friend of mine who is Hawthorne's descendant. You probably could fling curses together.

JM Hanes

"I do would support a simple revenue neutral carbon tax..."

In other words, you're for stopping half way down the slippery slope.

Soylent Red

The Windturbodriven Solunicorn

I suggest we give one free to every member of Congress.

Danube of Thought

I can't take credit for this idea, and I regret that I can't recall who first came up with it.

The idea is to revitalize the economy, clean up the environment and drastically reduce unemployment by transitioning to a rickshaw-based transportation system. Millions of new jobs would be created by the rickshaw factories that would sprout like wild mushrooms when rickshaw entrepreneurs availed themselves of the mere $500 billion in federal grants for rickshaw plant startups. Millions more unemployed would suddenly find work as drivers as the rickshaws began rolling off the assembly lines.

And what could be greener? No messy hydrocarbon fuels, no need to consume all that energy manufacturing batteries and upgrading electrical grids. And the number of obese would decline drastically as former potbellied bus- and cab-drivers turned almost overnight into ripped Chippendale dancers as they cheerily towed their smiling patrons along through once-gridlocked streets and along once-choked highways.

It goes without saying that there would be a tax credit for the first-time purchase of a rickshaw (for those making less than $200K per year).

There is hardly any modern problem--as modern problems are perceived--that cannot be solved if one is willing to move from a more efficient to a less efficient model.

(I consent to share my Nobel with whoever it was who first proposed this risk-free scheme.)


Point taken, daddy.

Soylent Red

Yes, yes DoT...but how would we teach all of the coolies...erm, cabbies to speak with an Asiatic dialect (when they choose to)?

"Yes, yes! Makee lunny velly fast to Congless Mr. Leid!"


From family history studies of my relatives hung as witches in Salem in 1691-2, let me caution you on wine confiscation.

daddy, that's cool - my 8x grandmother, Martha Carrier, aka a "rampant hag" (Cotton Mather" and the "Queen of Hell" (Nathaniel Hawthorne) was hung in Andover in 1692. She got ratted out by her son Richard (from whom we are descended) because he was hogtied until he confessed. But she spat and hissed at her accusers in court. Not a nice woman, I don't think, though she didn't deserve what she got.

Maybe we are related. :)


Thanks Clarice,

It's fun tracking this stuff down. If anyone cares I can provide some better particulars. I always liked the Hester Prynn referenced Tavern Owner. The books said she had initially got in trouble with the Law when a Constable had come to dun her for taxes. She had a man supposedly distract him, and then came up behind him and brained him with a shovel. Don't know if that's what made her reputation, but it certainly contributed to it. Apparently she had to constantly fight to keep permission to run the Tavern---especially being a single woman in Puritan Salem-town.

And I also remember that as part of his revenge, English quit the Puritan Church and started up the first Anglican Church in town. That stuck it to 'em! And in a letter written on his deathbed in the 1830's, in response to a plea by the daughter of one of the perp's, he grudgingly writes something close to this: "Okay, I forgive the bas@#$ds, but if I get better and don't die then I take it back and damn them all to Hell all over again."

And FWIW, a third Aunt was stuck in jail also, but she beat the rap:)

Danube of Thought

RCP' analysis of Mass.


Great genes..perfect tea partiers.


And where the hell would we be without George W. Bush? If he hadn't personally led the charge to promote anthropogenic global warming, we'd all really be freezing our asses off.


And I, for one, am looking forward to some great spring skiing. Things were pretty lousy there for a while, when the world was coming to an end, before Obama began to fix it.


I choose neither one.

Well, yeah, but I keep hearing that if we only oppose the terrible ideas the Democrats have, we'll be the Party of No and nobody will like us. So I thought I'd propose an alternative: rather than extorting money from the American citizenry for forever to keep the Orlando temperature from skyrocketing into the 50s, we pluck Hugo Chavez out of his James Bond supervillain lair and make him Kevin Spacey's pool boy.

between 1693 and I think his death in 1830 or so.

You sure he wasn't a witch?


Well Porchlight,

We are both fans of ">http://www.typetive.com/candyblog/item/mary_jane_peanut_butter_kisses/"> Mary Jane Peanut Butter Kisses, but I don't think we can say we're definitely related until I ">http://www.daybydaycartoon.com/2009/11/09/#005421"> appear nude in a Chris Muir Cartoon.

Then it's for certain!




And at least he wasn't a boring vampire!


Sounds about right, daddy. :) Mmmm, peanut butter kisses...preferably in the orange and black wrappers for Halloween. There's that witch thing again...

Old Lurker

DoT...that telephone tax was for the Spanish American War...nothing so current as WWI.

Rick: "PS Don't forget that you're also going to pay for all the natural gas fired generators necessary to "back up" the non-functional solar and wind farms." You don't suppose that's why T. Boone Pickens (who owns gazillions in natural gas reserves) ran those commercials for wind farms, do you?

Daddy...Mrs. L thanks you very much for scaring Jane off confiscating our wine club shipments.

Rick Ballard

Dunno about the "strain on the grid" argument wrt electric cars. The Mini-E only takes 28 kWh for a full charge (150 miles). Set a timer on the charger for a midnight start and I can't see much impact on the grid. Pretty cheap too. Five gallons of gas = $14-15 while 28 kWh = around $3. You'd want a 240V, 40 amp charger though. No problem if your dryer is in the garage but a little sticky if it's not.

Old Lurker

"while 28 kWh = around $3."

Even less if your public service commission allows off peak pricing and you use that timer.


Leading climatologists predict a mini ice age.
Now I am worried about global warming.


"while 28 kWh = around $3."

Even less if your public service commission allows off peak pricing and you use that timer.

Good luck with that as more of them get plugged in.

Old Lurker

right you are, Po

Danube of Thought

You're right, OL--I misspoke.

Of course, once these vehicles become widespread, off-peak time will become progressively less off-peak.

Obama approval per CBS now at 46%--first time below 50% there. And his CBS numbers on healthcare are abysmal. Check it out at Hot Air.


Rick, 3 years ago California was hit with rolling blackouts and the Northeast has been straining under the load of a poorly maintained grid for the past 20 years. All of this with the current growth in load from electronic devices of various shades and colors.

Imagine 2-3 million vehicles loaded onto that on a hot summer night or even a cold winter night.

The Chevy Volt is said to consume 16 KwH per charge, which I find hard to believe with a 140 Hp motor. And as the line voltage goes down, amperage goes up, putting more strain on transformers and other equipment. 8 hours at 15 amps at 120 V KwH = 14.4Kwh @ $0.08/KwH (So Cal Edison) = $1.15/charge. As an engineer, I am having a tough time with this one. Energy out seems to be more than energy in.

We run a number of of 1- 30Hp electric motors at 208/Single/3Phase/10-30 amps along with heaters and all sorts of other equipment, and the bills are thousands of dollars/month.

I hear what they are saying, but am skeptical.

Old Lurker

Your point was valid nonetheless, DoT. I think the PA Turnpike paid for itself by about 1950 but the tolls continue today.


Amish families exempt from insurance mandate

Although the Amish consist of several branches, some more conservative than others, they generally rely upon a community ethic that disdains government assistance. Families rely upon one another, and communities pitch in to help neighbors pay health care expenses.
Rick Ballard


They're putting it in their ads - they'll get slapped silly if they bust by more than 15% or so. The energy out being greater than the energy in derives from capturing braking energy, doesn't it? That said, I agree that the CA grid would have some problems if upgrades were not done as more electrics came on line. I don't believe that it would be at the neighborhood level though. Average miles driven per day is around 30 so we're talking about 5-6 kWh per household per day.

The simplest arithmetic shows a power need of +13% nationally if the entire country were to start driving the Mini-E tomorrow morning (towing half the family on skateboards alongside the car, I suppose). Call it a 35% increase if we ever reach the five passenger + driver level.

Wind and solar fantasies won't touch that amount of increase.

Pebble beds would, though. Lots and lots of pebble beds.


I'm thinking this mini ice age is just God's way of saying he hates the globul warming religion.


Funny Tweet:

BREAKING NEWS: Rosetta Stone to release new language program- "Negro Dialect"

h/t Stephanie

Oh, and Brown has raised : $984,976.48 so far!

Soylent Puke

Means what? Is that what you said?



Better gird your loins. We all will reap the whirlwind from the wind sown by the greedheads enabled by Classical Liberals, Libertarians and Conservatives (aka; Republicans)


Thanks for all the real numbers, guys.
I was just going by the number of times my electricity has gone out on hot summer nights. Not very scientifical.


Brown goes over $1 million!! Will Allahpundit give him the humpbot?

Danube of Thought

Anybody have any idea what the simpleton at 9:35 was railing about?


Scott Brown just went over $1,000,000.


Hi, Cleo. Do sheep have fangs in your world? Just trying to get an idea of what things are like in there.


I simply point this out to remind that you best not confiscate Old Lurker's wine collection on Nantucket if you don't someday want your corpse lying rotten and unburied for a generation due to legal limbo


I would so prefer to be on the same side as you, but hey, bring it on!

Thomas Collins

I'd be glad to drink . . . er . . . hold Old Lurker's collection in escrow until this matter is resolved.


Scott Brown has a clean, nice looking family :)



Alright you two, just to stop the fight, I will accept shipment of the wine.

CBS poll has Obama at 46%. First time CBS has had him below 50%.

And Brown reminded the voters of MA that Kennedy's seat is the people's seat.

Go Brown!


He looks like he is in a snuggie.

Frau Atomkraft

Go Scott Brown! My $41 is in that "over $1 million." I included the following praise for MA JOMers:
"This is also to thank Jane and Rocco who have been campaigning for you on the streets, on the airwaves and on the internet."
Now those Fisters, er, Dems know that they are dealing with serious contenders from all over the country.

Hey, why no mention of natural gas-powered vehicles? They are all over around here in southern CA.


Stephanie is killing me with her re-tweets tonight:

Any bets that Ted Kennedy votes on the 19th?


Frau Atomkraft

Having witnessed Jane in action, I don't think she is worried about legal limbo of any kind.

JM Hanes

He looks like he is a snuggie, Jane. I assume you've got dibs.


Anybody have any idea what the simpleton at 9:35 was railing about?

Armageddon...or The Obama Administration's Year II.


Anybody have any idea what the simpleton at 9:35 was railing about?

Yes DOT. Apparently the fellow's loins were ungirded by a whirlwind and that resulted in some disappointment.


I don't understand why enviroleftists are concerned about seas rising, anyway. Aren't these the same people who consider the human race the biggest danger to the planet, and often lament that there are so many of us? What better way to wipe out a bunch of us than for mass deaths along the coasts?

And if you're wondering, well, why should simple sea rising cause any deaths, wouldn't we just retreat slowly? Well, no, obviously there would be mass casualties, because all the leftist propaganda films show tsumami-like waves causing many deaths. So clearly they seem to think that seas rising would be a disaster that would cause a drop in the population. Wouldn't that be a good thing, according to them?


Ot, does anybody now about Amazon hashtags they've been keeping me from accessing a certain site, Zombie Contentions


Speaking of government regulation making it harder for traditional energy producers to operate...


Rubio tops Crist in home county straw poll.




Jane: You gotta watch this video:

Woman Goes Nuclear At California Town Hall Meeting

I found it in this article about the Tea Parties:

In Defense of Tea Parties
by Tunku Varadarajan

Soylent Red

WTF Cleo. There can be only one.

Fresh Air

Daddy & Porchlight--

I have a long-dead relative who presided over some of the Salem Witch Trials. I'm sorry about your aunts, etc. You know, though, if they didn't float there wouldn't have been any problem.

Fresh Air

I assume you've got dibs.

I've heard the guys at HillBuzz have dibs, actually. Not there's anything wrong with that.

Danube of Thought

He is a great-looking guy, isn't he.

Is $1M a big deal in a Senate race? I really have no idea, but surely every little bit helps.

Lovely Game Change dish on the Clintons.

Danube of Thought

I still find the coming healthcare fiasco extremely hard to fathom. Sixty Dem Senators: are we really to conclude that each and every one of them believes that this thing is not extremely bad for the country, that it will actually lower costs and premiums?

I simply don't believe it. I think most of them have completely lost sight of what it is they are about to do, and they are going to do it for no other reason than to show that they can. Bastards.

Danube of Thought

Maybe he should put it on display at the mall:

"And you thought you had it hard in this economy. Not even Jonah Falcon, the man with the biggest penis in the world, can find a job. At 39, Falcon, whose penis is 13.5 inches long, is among the ranks of the unemployed. While he’s worked as a freelance journalist, his dream is to become a screenwriter. He thought his big break had come when HBO created a series about a well-endowed male prostitute, 'Hung.' Tragically, they didn’t want Falcon or his expertise. Nowadays, he spends his time looking for work and living with his mom."


Sixty Dem Senators: are we really to conclude that each and every one of them believes that this thing is not extremely bad for the country,

I sometimes think the Dems. must have "something" on each of their candidates. Blackmailing them to vote a certain way, or step down when they are told (Dodd),...
That is all I can come up with to explain the 2 Virginia Senators voting for this garbage.


Sorry to be OT, but I can’t post my answer to Pofarmer on old Pinko Caddy tread.

Pofarmer, thanks for valuable information. I left engine market research couple of years ago, when all buzz switched to fight Global warming scum. I am allergic to bull, you know.

Lubrication properties of fuel. First, poppet valves do not require lubrication in exhaust tract, whatsoever. There is no sliding motion in valve head and seat. What required is proper high-temperature corrosion resistance metal, and no hardening deposits on valve stem, which reams valve seat. Higher temperature on idle is good measure to erode such deposits. I doubt fuel pump failure is result of LSD fuel. Any diesel fuel is fairly good lubricant. Most likely it is attempt of manufacturers to use old metals and machining tolerance on fuel pumps delivering five times higher pressure.

Visible black smoke was eliminated when high-pressure injection was introduced, plus better governing which does not allow overinjection of fuel to consume more than 2/3 of oxygen in combustion chamber. However, visible smoke is not all. Old diesels emitted copious amount of invisible fine particulate matter (the most damaging to lungs), and nitrogen oxides, which determine how much smog is formed over cities. Most of the smell was from – yes – sulfur compounds. BTW, gasoline engine generates about 3 times more NOx than comparable diesel. But: on gasoline 98% of NOx are destroyed in 3-way catalytic converter. 2010 on-road diesels will universally use Selective Catalytic Reduction converters with urea (ADblue, DEF) to destroy NOx. Plus special catalyst to reduce slipped-over urea. Plus dedicated converter to burn-off HC and CO. Plus regenerative Diesel Particulate Filter. All requiring precise closed loop management and tons of platinum, palladium, and even more expensive rhodium. And whatever you expect to gain in fuel efficiency due to inclusion of “nuclear option” – SCR catalyst, (up to 5% reportedly), you will lose on buying urea. That’s why I call 2010 EPA on-road rules overkill. European regulation is more relaxed, usually DPF is enough.

Fuel efficiency in lab and field. When you have more hp and torque at your immediate disposal, you use it. And use more fuel with it.

“Miniscule amounts of water in the fuel can totally wreck some of these newer systems.”
This is mostly urban legend. Water emulcification of diesel fuel (to reduce NOx) was widely researched on numerous engines, and no adverse effects were reported for at least hundreds of hours of operation. Yes, filtering out even finest particles from fuel is a must. It would be vise to use the best of last breed of fuel filters.

It is true that total injector fouling is rare occasion. However, even partial clogging significantly reduces fuel atomization, which leads to hotter exhaust and increased fuel consumption. Higher injection pressure keeps injector holes cleaner. The sign of partial injector clogging is asymmetrical black deposits on piston head. When it appears, it is time to back-flow and flush the injector. Good idea is to have spare (refurbished) injectors at hand.

Apparently, 08 09 installed EGR valves were the same breed as in 05. New generation, designed to work on soot-less engines is reported in literature to be way more reliable.

I totally agree about modern gasoline engines. With synthetic oil and operational oxygen sensor, they last 200K easily.



I just saw elsewhere that Daily Kos was able to raise 100,000 for Coakley yesterday. Didn't research it to see if it was true, but if it is, it really is something that Brown raised over 1 mil in one day.


Hey, guys, after half a bottle of a nice red wine, I figure the best solution to our energy problems is to have the Chinese invade Iran and Saudi Arabia and do a sort of Babylonian Captivity. Take all the Muslim leaders back to China and disperse them through the population in non-Muslim areas and force them to convert, and move in a bunch of Chinese people to take over and run the oil fields.

China has 1/5 of the world's population, and they need the oil wealth, and the nutcases have given up their rights by being nutcases!


2010 on-road diesels will universally use Selective Catalytic Reduction converters with urea (ADblue, DEF) to destroy NOx. Plus special catalyst to reduce slipped-over urea. Plus dedicated converter to burn-off HC and CO. Plus regenerative Diesel Particulate Filter.

I could tell you how that's all working out in real life. Would you like to know?

Any diesel fuel is fairly good lubricant. Most likely it is attempt of manufacturers to use old metals and machining tolerance on fuel pumps delivering five times higher pressure.

This is simply not the case and my point on lubricity is supported by both research and industry literature. Going to LSD cause COPIOUS pump problems on engines that nothing else changed, except for changing to LSD. We got by on MOST of our ag pumps by already using Bio diesel, but weren't so lucky on the OTR engines.

That’s why I call 2010 EPA on-road rules overkill. European regulation is more relaxed, usually DPF is enough.

European regs actually seem pretty reasonable, although I don't know all the specifics of them. The diesels "over there" get exceptionally good mileage and seem to have good life. When they bring them "over here" they seem to have the same crappy results our engines have. The exception MAY be SISU coming up. We'll see. Deere has just set themselves up to absolutely PUNT sales to all but the true believers with what they are about to do.


Rasmussen thinks Coakley will win, but it all depends on voter turnout. I think that has been mentioned here already. I think it is closer than The Globe says but I don't think the PPP is right either. However, I think if their internals showed The Globe numbers, Obama would be up there to take credit for the win. That he has no plans to travel to MA tells me they are worried about it. At least a little. He really can't afford another loss attached to him campaigning for the candidate. So, I am cautiously optimistic and praying for snow, rain, sleet, hail or all 4.

Night y'all.


If I'm not mistaken, the whole China (and others)invading the Middle East is a big part of end time prophecy in Revelation.


Can this post get any more OT?

Apparently, the Brits see a healthy dose of deflation in our future.

December was the worst month for US unemployment since the Great Recession began. The labour force contracted by 661,000. This did not show up in the headline jobless rate because so many Americans dropped out of the system. The broad U6 category of unemployment rose to 17.3pc. That is the one that matters.

Wall Street rallied. Bulls hope that weak jobs data will postpone monetary tightening: a silver lining in every catastrophe, or perhaps a further exhibit of market infantilism. The home foreclosure guillotine usually drops a year or so after people lose their job, and exhaust their savings. The local sheriff will escort them out of the door, often with some sympathy –– just like the police in 1932, mostly Irish Catholics who tithed 1pc of their pay for soup kitchens.

Realtytrac says defaults and repossessions have been running at over 300,000 a month since February. One million American families lost their homes in the fourth quarter. Moody's Economy.com expects another 2.4m homes to go this year. Taken together, this looks awfully like Steinbeck's Grapes of Wrath.

Judges are finding ways to block evictions. One magistrate in Minnesota halted a case calling the creditor "harsh, repugnant, shocking and repulsive". We are not far from a de facto moratorium in some areas.

This is how it ended between 1932 and 1934, when half the US states declared moratoria or "Farm Holidays". Such flexibility innoculated America's democracy against the appeal of Red Unions and Coughlin Fascists. The home siezures are occurring despite frantic efforts by the Obama administration to delay the process.

This policy is entirely justified given the scale of the social crisis. But it also masks the continued rot in the housing market, allows lenders to hide losses, and stores up an ever larger overhang of unsold properties. It takes heroic naivety to think the US housing market has turned the corner (apologies to Goldman Sachs, as always). The fuse has yet to detonate on the next mortgage bomb, $134bn (£83bn) of "option ARM" contracts due to reset violently upwards this year and next.

US house prices have eked out five months of gains on the Case-Shiller index, but momentum stalled in October in half the cities even before the latest surge of 40 basis points in mortgage rates. Karl Case (of the index) says prices may sink another 15pc. "If the 2008 and 2009 loans go bad, then we're back where we were before – in a nightmare."

David Rosenberg from Gluskin Sheff said it is remarkable how little traction has been achieved by zero rates and the greatest fiscal blitz of all time. The US economy grew at a 2.2pc rate in the third quarter (entirely due to Obama stimulus). This compares to an average of 7.3pc in the first quarter of every recovery since the Second World War.

Fed hawks are playing with fire by talking up about exit strategies, not for the first time. This is what they did in June 2008. We know what happened three months later. For the record, manufacturing capacity use at 67.2pc, and "auto-buying intentions" are the lowest ever.

The Fed's own Monetary Multiplier crashed to an all-time low of 0.809 in mid-December. Commercial paper has shrunk by $280bn ($175bn) in since October. Bank credit has been racing down a hair-raising black run since June. It has dropped from $10.844 trillion to $9.013 trillion since November 25. The MZM money supply is contracting at a 3pc annual rate. Broad M3 money is contracting at over 5pc.

Professor Tim Congdon from International Monetary Research said the Fed is baking deflation into the pie later this year, and perhaps a double-dip recession. Europe is even worse.

This has not stopped an army of commentators is trying to bounce the Fed into early rate rises. They accuse Ben Bernanke of repeating the error of 2004 when the Fed waited too long. Sometimes you just want to scream. In 2004 there was no housing collapse, unemployment was 5.5pc, banks were in rude good health, and the Fed Multiplier was 1.73.

How anybody can see imminent inflation in the dying embers of core PCE, just 0.1pc in November, is beyond me.

Mr Rosenberg is asked by clients why Wall Street does not seem to agree with his grim analysis.

His answer is that this is the same Mr Market that bought stocks in October 1987 when they were 25pc overvalued on Shiller "10-year normalized earnings basis" – exactly as they are today – and bought them at even more overvalued prices in 2007, long after the property crash had begun, Bear Stearns funds had imploded, and credit had its August heart attack. The stock market has become a lagging indicator. Tear up the textbooks.

Interesting it takes a foreign paper to point all this out.

Danube of Thought

Is there any reason to think that candidates believe in their own internal polls more than the ones taken and published by the various professional polls? If their internal guys can really show that they're more accurate than, say, Ras or Qunnipiac, they can find much more lucrative employment than working for some particular candidate.


She didn't actually say something this stupid,
in the LUN, did she


Pofarmer: Dieselnet com has good summary of emission regulations worldwide.

Fresh Air


Yes, internals are typically more accurate. Their panels are better selected and weighted, their telephone operators more professional. Generally, they are sampling from the same group of names. That gives a consistency to the results, even if the absolute numbers are off.


Yesterday Instapundit pointed to an IEEE article (LUN) on potential problems with Electric Vehicle charging.

"EVs need lots of power, especially when charged quickly. Utilities bet that most buyers will want a 240-volt charger that can "fill the tank" of a modest-size EV in 2 to 3 hours, four times as fast as a standard 120-V charger can. Such "AC Level 2" chargers, as defined by the Society of Automotive Engineers' emerging J1772 standard, draw up to 6.6 kilowatts. Turning one on is like adding up to three homes to a neighborhood, and that's with the air conditioning, lights, and laundry running.
Turning on two or three Level 2 chargers could burn out the street-level transformers that are the distribution grid's weakest link. Most utilities employ undersized transformers, which are designed to cool overnight. Without time to cool, sustained excess current will eventually cook a transformer's copper windings, causing a short and blacking out the local loads it serves."

It will not be cheap if all those transformers have to be replaced.


It will not be cheap if all those transformers have to be replaced.

Yes, but in pony land, those are just uninteresting details compared to the excitement of riding the fad.

I would have said "compared to the excitement of being green," but won't most of these "green" cars be charged from electricity from coal-burning plants?


won't most of these "green" cars be charged from electricity from coal-burning plants?

Um, electricity doesn't come from coal, it comes from wall sockets.


WOW...Thank you Frau! I missed the debate tonight but after the evening commute, I put up my last Brown sign in a great spot on a busy street.

I'm just blown away by all the positive comments and generosity. And as I was on my way to a friends house, my ears perked up when a caller told Michele McPhee that she was a Democrat who was at Brown headquarters in Worcester Saturday morning making phone calls. Jane, we were probably sitting right next to her.

This is a GREAT DAY! I can't remember who suggested it, but what a great idea it was that 40 cheering US Senators follow Scott Brown into the United States Capital to claim, by the consent of the governed, his lawfully elected seat and cast his 41st vote against healthcare.

Just like the British at Lexington Green, she fired the first cheap shot tonight huh? Well may Tuesday January 19th be known as the election heard round the world!

I'm proud to know all of you!

Nite all



She did.


There was some good wine on Nantucket,
So Constable Jane she did pluck it,
but Old Lurker he was mean
so when she died he put a lien,
on her corpse and when it stank Miz OL simply said "Phuket, Thailand:)"

Fresh Air

Po & Everyone else--

If you want to know why equities keep rising while the economy keeps sucking, see this essential video from, of all places, Canadian television, at this link. Charles Biderman is on the case...again.

Hint: It's not the Chinese buying our stocks. It's much, much worse.

Dave (in MA)
Hi, Cleo. Do sheep have fangs in your world? Just trying to get an idea of what things are like in there.
Cleo only pays attention to the other end of the sheep.
Old Lurker


And that's why I love JOM.


Me too, OL, me too.


Me,too. You guys are great to wake up to each and every day.


Think of how cold it would be if there weren't warming.


DoT, I think internal polls often are more accurate at least in state races because the candidates can often afford to pay for better sampling (more, more sensitive data, etc.).

So-called renewables pervert the natural climate regulating system, the sun, the wind and the water.

The Whine of Raison
Ages by and buyer too.
Let cellar beware.

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