Global Brightening

A new study published in the Journal of Geophysical Research - Atmospheres finds decreased cloud cover has resulted in a significant increase in solar radiation over the US from 1996 to 2011. Increases in infrared surface radiation dwarfs the alleged warming contribution attributed by Warmists to rising CO2 levels during the same time period.  To simplify,  sunshine has had 4.4 times greater effect on surface temperatures than increased greenhouse gases.

These findings add to many other peer reviewed papers documenting a global decrease in cloud cover or ‘global brightening’ over various periods and locations beginning the the 1980’s. This decrease in cloud cover alone could account for all global warming observed since the ice age scare of the 1970’s.

As Dr. Roy Spencer points out in his book:
The most obvious way for warming to be caused naturally is for small, natural fluctuations in the circulation patterns of the atmosphere and ocean to result in a 1% or 2% decrease in global cloud cover. Clouds are the Earth’s sunshade, and if cloud cover changes for any reason, you have global warming -- or global cooling.
In all fairness, this basic concept has been known for some time, but those scientists whose greenhouse gases theory is threatened, have pointed out that in the past century, there have been periods of "global dimming" as well.  They would have us believe that man's air pollution and aerosol gases are responsible for the dimming. But man has not caused the trend of warming that has prevailed since the last Ice Age, many thousands of years ago.

Only Bill Knows

Hat Tip: Curnudgeonly & Skeptical

The Lies About Manti Te'o

If the title of this post makes you think that I am writing it to defend Manti Te'o, the ostentatious All-Everything football linebacker from Notre Dame with the apparently imaginary internet girlfriend, get over it. As a Hoosier, I have had to endure the publicity campaign about this ostensibly superior athlete who should have been named the 2012 Heisman Trophy winner, honoring America's best collegiate football player.  The campaign almost succeeded but he lost out to Johnny Football.

From the first time Te'o stepped on the football field at Punahou School in Honolulu as a sophomore, he made second team, all-state and according to Wiki, the awards kept coming.  When he arrived at Notre Dame, billed as the best linebacker prospect for 2009, he earned a starting role about four games into the season.  So we know that he has some football talent, but his press drumbeat mysteriously continued and by his junior year he was named winner of the Dick Butkus award as the nation's best linebacker.  Then these obvious promotions began to get him notice as a Heisman candidate. Strangely though, he does not have exceptional stats for the playing time he received - and I watched him get ripped up by the offensive line of the Alabama Crimson Tide for three quarters of the BCS championship game this month.

To prove my point about the performance level of Manti Te'o, I compiled his statistics and those of a backup linebacker and special teams player for the Indianapolis Colts by the name of  Mario Harvey, who was a pretty fair linebacker for lowly Marshall but who did not even get drafted by the NFL. Instead he earned his way onto the Colts roster after getting hurt while trying out for the Steelers in 2011. The statistics that follow fail to explain why all of the media's love has been expended on the Notre Dame linebacker:

Manti Te'o Tackles Def Interceptions Fumbles
Year Pos Solo Ast Tot Loss Sacks  Int Yds Avg TD PD FR Yds FF
2009 LB 29 34 63 5.5 1 0 0 0 1 0 0 0
2010 LB 66 67 133 9.5 1 0 0 0 3 0 0 1
2011 LB 62 66 128 13.5 5 0 0 0 2 0 0 1
2012 LB 55 58 113 5.5 1.5 7 35 5 0 11 1 8 0
Career 212 225 437 34 8.5 7 35 5 0 17 1 8 2
Mario Harvey Tackles Def Interceptions Fumbles
Year Pos Solo Ast Tot Loss Sacks Int Yds Avg TD PD FR Yds FF
2007 LB 28 25 53 3.5 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 1
2008 LB 43 64 107 7 4.5 1 29 29 0 1 1 62 2
2009 LB 45 72 117 8.5 7 0 0 0 1 0 0 0
2010 LB 65 78 143 17.5 8.5 0 0 0 7 0 0 3
Career 181 239 420 36.5 21 1 29 29 0 9 1 62 6

Those of you who never heard of Mario Harvey do not know that he earned the nickname "Thumper" and ran a sub 4.5 second 40 yard sprint.  But what you can see from these stats is that he performed comparably to Te'o in all categories but for the seven interceptions that Manti got in 2012.  On the other hand, Mario's speed got 12.5 more QB sacks over four years. The FF stat means forced fumbles and shows strength in stripping the ball away from ball carriers. The players, BTW,  are about the same weight and height. I also wonder if the press has ever heard of Phillip Steward, a top-flight LB from Houston, who pretty much outshines Te'o in 2012 and for his career.

With everything else settling in on the tall tales and lies emanating from personal statements by Manti, his chance to be an early pick in round one of this year's NFL draft is going south - that is, if the media cannot save him and they are trying very hard.  Deadspin broke the girlfriend hoax and concluded:
  • There was no Lennay Kekua .
  • Lennay Kekua did not meet Manti Te'o after the Stanford game in 2009.
  • Lennay Kekua did not attend Stanford.
  • Lennay Kekua never visited Manti Te'o in Hawaii.
  • Lennay Kekua was not in a car accident.
  • Lennay Kekua did not talk to Manti Te'o every night on the telephone.
  • She was not diagnosed with cancer, did not spend time in the hospital, did not engage in a lengthy battle with leukemia.
  • She never had a bone marrow transplant.
  • She was not released from the hospital on Sept. 10, nor did Brian Te'o congratulate her for this over the telephone.
  • She did not insist that Manti Te'o play in the Michigan State or Michigan games, and did not request he send white flowers to her funeral.
  • Her favorite color was not white.
  • Her brother, Koa, did not inform Manti Te'o that she was dead. Koa did not exist.
  • Her funeral did not take place in Carson, Calif., and her casket was not closed at 9 a.m. exactly. She was not laid to rest.
  • Lennay Kekua's last words to Manti Te'o were not "I love you."

Farm Bill Follies

Texas Drought Reveals Wreckage From Space Shuttle Columbia

Farm Bureau President Bob Stallman was somehow roused to pen a letter to the Washington Post objecting to an anti-farm bill editorial:
Robert J. Samuelson [“Plow under the farm subsidies” op-ed, Jan. 7] missed the mark in not understanding that farm bills are written not for the good times but for when farmers need help the most. When Mother Nature strikes, such as with last year’s extreme drought, both farmers and consumers feel it. While crop insurance and farm programs help mitigate the economic impact on farmers, an indirect benefit to consumers is a stable food supply. Other farm-bill provisions provide nutrition assistance to those in need.
Actually, Mr. Samuelson's point was that total farm income is at an all time high ($133 billion in 2012 and $135 Billion in 2011 - up from $72 billion in 2005), so if there was ever a time to eliminate farm subsidies, it is now. The U.S. economy is on life support and government spending is far more than revenues taken in so the country can no longer afford these socialistic programs. "Socialistic" is my word - the WaPo would never use the term.

Now let me say that the Farm Bureau is not all bad.  For example they oppose the the pseudo-science of global warming and do not believe that "cap 'n trade" is in the farmers' best interests. But Bob Stallman,of all people, knows about the waste and abuse of public funds that goes on in Washington all the time.

Back in 2008, the Washington Post produced an exposé that concluded:
"In 2005 alone, when pretax farm profits were at a near-record $72 billion, the federal government handed out more than $25 billion in aid, almost 50 percent more than the amount it pays to families receiving welfare."
A key finding of that report was that "No Drought Required For Drought Aid.
A 2002 program aimed at helping those facing a serious drought gave $635 million to ranchers and dairy farmers who had moderate or no drought. Some ranchers got money because they lived in counties declared disaster areas after debris fell to earth from the space shuttle Columbia.
Yep, it is just this easy:
At first, livestock owners were required to be in a county officially suffering a drought to collect the money. But ranchers who weren't eligible complained to their representatives in Washington, and in 2003 Congress dropped that requirement. Ranchers could then get payments for any type of federally declared "disaster." In some cases, USDA administrators prodded employees in the agency's county offices to find qualifying disasters, even if they were two years old or had nothing to do with ranching or farming.
In one county in northern Texas, ranchers collected nearly $1 million for an ice storm that took place a year and a half before the livestock program was even created. In Washington state, ranchers in one county received $1.6 million for an earthquake that caused them no damage. In Wisconsin, a winter snowstorm triggered millions of dollars more. For hundreds of ranchers from East Texas to the Louisiana border, the shuttle explosion opened the door to about $5 million, records show.
John A. Johnson, deputy administrator for farm programs for the USDA, said that initially the program provided meaningful assistance to ranchers in areas suffering from drought. But after Congress loosened the rules, he acknowledged, "what was meant as disaster assistance ended up being given to people who didn't have a need or a loss."
Perhaps Mr. Stallman would like to correct his example about drought and his general theme that this farm aid is all about the American consumer.