Patterico's Pontifications


More Deception from the L.A. Times on Global Warming

Filed under: Dog Trainer,Environment,General — Patterico @ 6:48 pm


During a four-day period earlier this month, 47% of the surface of the Greenland ice sheet melted, bringing the total melted area to 97% of the surface, according to NASA.

The melting is the worst that has been observed since researchers have been monitoring the ice sheet, the agency said in a statement posted on its website. According to records from ice cores, it is the worst melt since 1889.

Holy crap! And there’s this SCARY picture to go with it:

It’s MELTING!!!!!!!!

So what’s the source for this? Well, the good folks at the L.A. Times, where this fine article appears, have placed the useful link to the NASA statement right there in the article! See there, where it says “website“? Look how convenient that is! Just click on that!

. . . and you get:

. . . the NASA website. Yup, that’s it all right.

Is there a reason they didn’t provide the direct link to the press release? Well, the cynic in me says: yeah there is. And here’s the reason: if you went and found the actual link to the actual press release (hint: I did and it’s here), you might see this:

“Ice cores from Summit show that melting events of this type occur about once every 150 years on average. With the last one happening in 1889, this event is right on time,” says Lora Koenig, a Goddard glaciologist and a member of the research team analyzing the satellite data.

So: it’s the worst melt since 150 years ago . . . but what they don’t tell you is, a really bad melt happens every 150 years or so.

Does that mean we’re totally in the clear? Not necessarily. She goes on to say: “But if we continue to observe melting events like this in upcoming years, it will be worrisome.”

Well, yeah. If Halley’s Comet returned one year after its next appearance, I guess that would be worrisome. But it would be kind of irresponsible for journalists around 2060 to suggest that we needed to be SUPER WORRIED ABOUT THIS BIG BALL OF FIRE IN THE SKY because nothing like this had appeared in the sky for 75 years . . . without telling you that this particular ball of fire in the sky appears every 75 years or so — and thus, is “right on time.”

If anyone knows how the editors of this rag could possibly justify such rank deception, let me know.

Thanks to Gary H.

Government Motors Costs Taxpayers $35 Billion

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 7:29 am

Tell me more about Mitt Romney’s failures in the private sector again, Mr. President?

General Motors (GM) shares closed down 1.5% to 19.02 on Monday, hitting 18.85 intraday. That’s the lowest since the U.S. auto giant came public again in November 2010 at 33 a share. Update: GM shares early Tuesday fell 1.4% to 18.76, hitting a new low.)

That raises the taxpayer loss on the GM bailout to just shy of $35 billion. Here’s the math:

GM doesn’t have to pay back anything else, but taxpayers are still out $26.4 billion in direct aid. The Treasury still owns 26.5% of GM — 500 million shares. The stock would have to rise to about 53 to break-even on that direct aid. At the current price, the Treasury’s stake is worth just $9.51 billion. (Taxpayers lose $5 million for each penny that GM stock falls).

That would leave taxpayers out $16.9 billion. But the true cost is much higher.

President Obama let GM keep $45 billion worth in past losses to write off future earnings. These carry-forwards are typically wiped out or severely cut along with debts as part of bankruptcy. But in this case, the administration gifted huge tax breaks with an $18 billion book value. (That’s how GM avoided taxes last year despite a bumper $7.6 billion profit.)

Including those tax write-offs, taxpayers are sitting on a bailout loss of $35 billion.

When the government buys stock in private industry, everybody wins!

Did Obama Publicly Thank A Gay Pr0n Kingpin?

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 7:19 am

The Weekly Standard says yes — and it’s almost too good to check:

“I want to thank someone who put so much work into this event, Terry Bean,” President Obama said as the crowd began to cheer. “Give Terry a big round of applause.”

Terry Bean is, according to the New York Post, a “gay-porn kingpin.”

“ONE of the ‘bundlers’ who has raised $50,000 to $100,000 for the Barack Obama presidential campaign is Terrence Bean, who once controlled the biggest producer of gay porn in America,” the Post reported in 2008, during the president’s first run the office. “Bean, the first gay on Sen. Obama’s National Finance Committee, is the sole trustee of the Charles M. Holmes Foundation, which owned Falcon Studios, Jock Studios and Mustang Studios, the producers of about $10 million worth of all-male pornography a year.”

“Once controlled”? Hmm. We’ll get back to that part in a second.

The Weekly Standard says the Terry Bean whom Obama praised is the same dude as the foundation trustee. I have not independently verified that, and I wish they’d provide some clear basis for independently reaching that conclusion. But Bean the trustee is from Oregon, and is also an Obama bundler — and so it very may well be the same guy.

Problem is, according to my reading of the New York Post article linked by the Standard, Bean is a former kingpin and not a current one. And Obama is not his only donee:

Bean, a real-estate developer based in Oregon, was the CEO of Conwest Resources, the holding company that owned Falcon, before Holmes died. The company was sold in 2004 but, now called 3 Media, continues to pay off a note to the foundation.

In 2002, Oregon Gov. Ted Kulongowski returned a $15,000 contribution from Conwest to avoid the “taint” of the porn connection. Bean told Page Six yesterday, “I asked the company to donate, and they did. To avoid the appearance of anything, he [Kulongowski] returned it.”

Bean also said, “I never had anything to do with running the company . . . Chuck became a friend of mine, and I got him interested in philanthropy.”

An Obama spokesman told Page Six: “Mr. Bean does not own the company [Falcon]. He is a regular contributor to state and federal candidates, including Republican Senator Gordon Smith and Arizona Congressman Jim Kolbe, and has even donated to the Log Cabin Republicans – who endorsed John McCain.”

Almost too good to check, but when the checking involves clicking a single link, I guess I can fit that in. Seems like this story might be kind of a swing and a miss by the Standard. Which sucks, because I really wanted to write a “Obama praises gay porn kingpin” post.

Obama may have dodged this bullet.

Give Barry a big round of applause.

UPDATE: Well, now, that’s very embarrassing. Somehow, I got the idea that it was the Daily Caller that had published the piece I mildly criticized in this post, and it just isn’t. At all. I have had to go back and put “Weekly Standard” everywhere I had originally written “Daily Caller.”

I’m flummoxed. I don’t even know why I thought it was the Caller. I really don’t. Weird. Just a total brain misfire. My apologies to the folks at the Caller.

Give Patterico a big round of applause!

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