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Comment: Re:Sequestration is a gimmick (Score 5, Insightful) 720

by NewbieV (#43532079) Attached to: FAA On Travel Delays: Get Used To It

That's not how the bill was written: agencies were given no discretion at all as to what and where they could cut.

The sequester is part of the Budget Control Act of 2011, but it's not the first time sequestration was used. It was first used in 1985, with the Balanced Budget and Emergency Deficit Control Act.

The Congressional Research Service published a report on the sequester (PDF link) that provides a very good overview of what sequestration means:

"In general, sequestration entails the permanent cancellation of budgetary resources by a uniform percentage. Moreover, this uniform percentage reduction is applied to all programs, projects, and activities within a budget account."

Sequestration is as across-the-board as you can get. Every "program, project and activity" that's not exempt from the sequester gets cut by an equal percentage. That's the way the bill was written, and that's the bill that was passed by Congress and signed into law by the President.

Sequestration was meant to be as blunt and distasteful an alternative as possible, to give the supercommittee (remember them?) and Congress incentive to come up with a deal.

Comment: Re:Deceptive page and many here fooled by it. (Score 1) 642

by NewbieV (#35840126) Attached to: Need a Receipt On Taxes? The Federal Tax Receipt

The page asks you to enter in three separate numbers based on the taxes you paid in 2010: Social Security, Medicare and income tax.

That's pretty clear from the start, isn't it? If you're not supposed to pay attention to them, why are you prompted for them as the very first step? Why are you reminded about them in the grand total at the bottom?

The receipt then shows that 100% of your Social Security taxes go to the Social Security program.

Are you arguing that, since the receipt doesn't show Social Security as a percentage of total taxes, the government is trying to fool you?

That makes no sense.

SS and Medicare, unlike income taxes, are itemized on your pay stub - you can see exactly how much is being deducted for those programs.

You can't do that with military personnel salaries and benefits, for example, or student financial aid for college. That's where this receipt, which looks like it originated with a group called Third Way, comes in.

Even if you pick one of the provided income levels, you'll see the exact dollar figures for each item. No one's trying to fool you - they're trying to inform you.

Comment: Re:If you haven't already, watch this video. (Score 1) 599

by NewbieV (#31176074) Attached to: Gov't Proposes "National Climate Service" For the US

...a big problem with the Milankovich cycles is that they only explain a small part of the temperature changes. The rest is when CO2 changes kick in. Alley offered the following analogy: credit card interest lags debt. By the denialist logic, because interest lags debt, then I never have to worry about interest and the credit card company can never get me. However, a simple numerical model demonstrates that interest is the bigger cause of debt (even though it lags!!). So, it’s basic physics. The orbits initially kick off the warming, but the release of CO2 then kicks in and drives it.

source: http://climateprogress.org/2009/12/21/agu-richard-alley-explains-biggest-control-knob-carbon-dioxide-in-earths-climate-history/

Comment: Re:If you haven't already, watch this video. (Score 1) 599

by NewbieV (#31137442) Attached to: Gov't Proposes "National Climate Service" For the US

No, not really.

From an article that discusses the professor's presentation:

"But what do we say to people who say the lag proves current warming isn’t caused by CO2? We know that orbital changes (the Milankovitch cycles) kick off the ice ages – this was predicted 50 years before we had data (in the 1970s) to back it up. But temperature never goes far without the CO2, and vice versa, but sometimes one lags the other by about 2 centuries. And a big problem with the Milankovich cycles is that they only explain a small part of the temperature changes. The rest is when CO2 changes kick in. Alley offered the following analogy: credit card interest lags debt. By the denialist logic, because interest lags debt, then I never have to worry about interest and the credit card company can never get me. However, a simple numerical model demonstrates that interest is the bigger cause of debt (even though it lags!!). So, it’s basic physics. The orbits initially kick off the warming, but the release of CO2 then kicks in and drives it."

Read through the article, then watch the lecture. Professor Alley makes a compelling, accessible argument.

Comment: If you haven't already, watch this video. (Score 3, Informative) 599

by NewbieV (#31132642) Attached to: Gov't Proposes "National Climate Service" For the US

Professor Richard Alley recently gave a presentation called "The Biggest Control Knob: Carbon Dioxide in Earth’s Climate History," in which he makes the case that climate models simply don't work right unless you incorporate CO2.

The key point he makes is that there is a record dating back over 400 million years that provides proof that climate is sensitive to CO2. Doubling CO2 adds 3 degrees C to global temperature.

There are multiple lines of evidence to support climate sensitivity, and additional research is filling in what gaps might have been missing, and further strengthening the argument.

Comment: Re:When... (Score 1) 599

by NewbieV (#31132548) Attached to: Gov't Proposes "National Climate Service" For the US

There's a source that supports the position that "denialists" came up with the term "climate change:"

"Luntz advises that, “’Climate change’ is less frightening than ’global warming.’ ... While global warming has catastrophic connotations attached to it, climate change suggests a more controllable and less emotional challenge” (p. 142)."

source: http://www.ewg.org/node/8684

Frank Luntz is the Republican pollster and go-to person to craft Republican messaging.

It constantly amazes me that the people who complain about politicizing science, are the ones who are doing it the most.

Remember: Silly is a state of Mind, Stupid is a way of Life. -- Dave Butler

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