Daily Archives: December 12, 2009

Lead Paint?

Obamas recall their favorite Christmas gifts

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Copenhagen update

Talks stall, thousands riot, delegates focus on the essentials.

Email controversy

Meanwhile, the IPCC says the recent controversy over the hacked emails from the University of East Anglia is being investigated but has not derailed negotiations at the talks.

Mr Pachauri says only a few countries have raised the matter in an effort to discredit climate change science.

“I don’t think it’s made any difference at all within the halls of this particular building.

“Maybe there are people far away but we haven’t found that here.”

The IPCC says its scientific research is peer reviewed by more than 2,000 scientists and the process is transparent.

Innovative design

Delegates will also discuss an energy-saving device designed by a 15-year-old British schoolboy.

Robert Appleton won a competition with his system, which powers street lights using energy generated when cars drive over speed bumps.

“Our system works. As the car comes over it’ll push down the bump which will push down hydraulic pistons, which will turn a generator,” he said.

“Then with this energy stored, it can be fed back into the grid to power streetlights and other amenities.”

He believes that one car could produce enough energy to power a light for around nine hours.

Nine full hours! We have saved the world.

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The entire Martinez family obviously knows nothing about guns or press coverage

What gun? I diddin have no gun!

Times Square gunman “Ready” Martinez is depicted in The New York Post in a family-contributed photograph perched aboard a (probably stolen) motorcycle. And what’s the matter with that? It’s all wrong. When young criminals are shot dead while committing heinous crimes, tradition demands that the family supply a picture of the miscreant in a graduation gown and cap. The fact that it’s from a nursery school graduation means nothing, the process of grieving demands nothing less.

Cap, but no gown


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Cophenhagen failure still doesn’t convince you there’s a god? Try this:

As seen on TV!

Times Square thug’s automatic jammed after just two shots because he held it sideways. I’ve watched silly actors holding their guns sideways for years and fumed over the ignorance of the film’s directors, but now I realize it’s a form of eddukashion and population control, all in one. Go for it guys.

A Times Square bloodbath was narrowly avoided because the machine-pistol-toting thug who fired at a cop flipped the gun on its side like a character out of a rap video, causing the weapon to jam after two shots, law-enforcement sources said yesterday.

When scam artist Raymond “Ready” Martinez held the MAC-10-style gun parallel to the ground, it caused the ejecting shells to “stovepipe,” or get caught vertically in the chamber, the sources said. The gun is designed to be fired only in a vertical position.

If he had fired the weapon — which had another 27 rounds in the clip — properly, Martinez, 25, could have killed the hero cop pursuing him and countless others walking through the swarming tourist mecca Thursday morning.

Instead, Sgt. Christopher Newsom was able to return fire — killing Martinez with four shots before anyone was hurt.


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(Sigh) all that carbon spent getting to Norway wasted

Global Warmism talks going nowhere and will go nowhere. Thank you, Lord.

[T] he European Union, Japan and Australia joined the U.S. in criticizing a draft global warming pact that says major developing nations must rein in greenhouse gases, but only if they have outside financing. Rich nations want to require developing nations to limit emissions, with or without financial help.

Swedish Environment Minister Andreas Carlgren, representing the 27-nation EU, told The Associated Press that “there has been a growing understanding that there must be commitments to actions by emerging economies as well.”

He said those commitments “must be binding, in the sense that states are standing behind their commitments.”

Indian Environment Minister Jairam Ramesh said his country, the world’s No. 5 greenhouse-gas emitter, won’t offer more than its current pledge to slow its growth rate of emissions. It has offered to cut greenhouse gases measured against production by 20% to 25% by 2020.

“National interest trumps everything else,” Mr. Ramesh told the AP. “Whatever I have to do, I’ve said in my Parliament. We’ll engage them [the U.S. and China]. I’m not here to make new offers.”

So all those African leaders won’t get the trillion$ they’ve demanded and the South Pacific islands will wash away. I’m not worried about the African looters but maybe we should buy the islanders a bunch of rubber boats.

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Banks won’t refinance

So says the NYT. Why would a bank want to loan money on an asset that no longer offers security when it can borrow money from the Fed at 0% and buy government bonds paying 4.5%, risk free? Bankers aren’t smart but neither is a pig, and he manages to stay fed.

The scarcity of credit not only hurts homeowners but also has broad economic repercussions at a time when consumer spending and employment are showing modest signs of improvement, hinting at a recovery after two years of recession.Refinancing could save owners hundreds of dollars a month, which could be spent, saved or used to pay down debts. Extra spending would help lift the economy, and lower payments might spare some people from losing their homes to foreclosure.

An estimated six of 10 homeowners with mortgages have rates that exceed the 4.8 percent rate currently available on 30-year fixed mortgages, the least risky form of home loans.Nevertheless, only half as many refinancing applications were reported last week than were reported at the beginning of January, the peak level for the year. The total dollar volume of refinancing activity in 2009 will be about $1 trillion. In 2003, another year when rates fell, it was $2.8 trillion.(Mortgage applications to purchase houses showed modest improvement for much of the year, but recently fell sharply to their lowest level in 12 years.)“The government has succeeded in driving mortgage rates down to their lowest level in our lifetime,” said Guy Cecala, the publisher of Inside Mortgage Finance magazine. “That hasn’t been a big home run, because a lot of people can’t take advantage of it.”

It is highly unusual for mortgage money to be available below 5 percent. Average rates fell as low as 4.7 percent in the 1940s, as the government held down interest rates to finance World War II, and stayed just below 5 percent until the early 1950s. Rates went above 5 percent in 1952 and stayed there — until this year.The super-low rates are not likely to last much longer. The Federal Reserve program that has driven rates to such lows, which involves buying $1.25 trillion in mortgage-backed securities, is scheduled to expire in March, and Fed leaders have said that it would not be renewed.Some analysts believe rates could jump as high as 6 percent in the spring. On a $300,000 mortgage, such a jump would cost an extra $225 a month.

Andrew Knapp, a sales executive in Bartlett, Ill., has tried twice to refinance, which would save his family several hundred sorely needed dollars every month. Lenders said the house had lost value and the Knapps had too much debt. “There was no urgency for them to do anything,” Mr. Knapp said.

The most recent Federal Reserve survey of lenders found that they were continuing to tighten terms for business and household loans. Banks say they are under pressure from regulators to raise their cash reserves, which means fewer loans. They also argue that a troubled economy breeds extreme caution.“More than ever before, lenders are very conscious of making good quality loans,” said Michael Fratantoni, the vice president for research at the Mortgage Bankers Association. “They are looking at the value of the collateral and the credit quality of the borrower.”

But some borrowers argue that more refinancings now might well forestall losses for the banks later.Mark Belvedere bought a condominium in a San Francisco suburb in early 2004 and refinanced it in 2005. He now owes $235,000 on a property that would sell for barely half that today.Mr. Belvedere said he would be willing to live with all that lost equity if he could refinance his loan from a variable rate, which could eventually go as high as 12 percent, into a 30-year fixed term.

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Axis of Evil

COPENHAGEN – Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, Hugo Chavez and Robert Mugabe plan to address negotiators at international climate talks in Copenhagen next week. Can we persuade the Russians to try again with that new nuke they have?

Hot air seek and destroy missile

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Zero Hedge sends a reporter to a Greenwich cocktail party

Sounds like he won’t be invited back. By the way, are the nervous rich really hiring private tutors these days, as he says? I may have to update The New Millionaire’s Handbook.

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Idiot mother Kimberly Piccioli feeds her kids raw milk, almost kills them, sues.

A drink to die for!

“Wasn’t made aware of the risk”, lawyer claims. Wanna bet that she doesn’t vaccinate those kids either from fear of mercury poisoning? It sounds harsh, but some genetic dullards are evolutionary dead-ends and shouldn’t be allowed to spawn.

WEST HARTFORD — – Two families whose young children became deathly ill in July 2008 from virulent E. coli bacteria in raw milk produced by a Simsbury dairy are suing the dairy and Whole Foods Market Inc., whose store in West Hartford sold the tainted milk.

The three children — a brother and sister, then 3 and 1, and another girl, then 3 — were hospitalized. Two of the children suffered kidney failure from the poisoning and needed dialysis to recover, the families’ attorney said this week.

The lawsuits, filed in recent weeks at Superior Court in Hartford in the names of the children’s mothers, seek money for medical expenses, suffering and future care. The children now lead normal lives, Bartolini said, but their health has been compromised.

“No one is sure of the long-term effects of the illness on these children,” Bartolini said. “They will need regular monitoring at least into late teen years for kidney function and hypertension. It’s a big sword hanging over the heads of these families.”

Raw milk is not treated to kill potentially harmful bacteria, but its fans say it has better flavor and is more nutritious than pasteurized milk. There are about a dozen raw milk producers among the state’s 150 licensed dairy farms.

The E. coli outbreak sparked state agriculture officials this spring to push for new state laws requiring labels on raw milk warning consumers that unpasteurized milk presents serious health risks to children, the elderly and anyone with compromised immune systems because of bacteria sometimes found in it. The proposal died in committee.

Agriculture officials do not plan to submit similar proposals this next session, said Wayne Kasacek, assistant director of the agriculture department’s regulatory and inspection bureau.

The lack of what Bartolini calls “adequate warnings” on the raw milk bought by his clients is one reason he is suing both the dairy and the store.

UPDATE: Well, wouldn’t you know it, this drooling flower child is an English teacher at Conard High School in West Hartford. At least she doesn’t teach science.


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You’d think he’d want to praise Shakespeare, not bury him

To me, or not to me

WSJ: American manages decline of Japanese Hamlet

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Get sick, but not too sick

Harry Reid, Obama slip lifetime cap on medical care payments into ObamaKare bill.


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Fortunately for him, rent-a-lawyers abound

Founder of Rent-a-Husband indicted for securities fraud.

UPDATE: History of this would-be franchisor here. I did some work drafting franchise documents and registering them back in the day, as well as writing up a couple of dozen ipos. Sounds like this guy should have rented me! In any event, if you’ve ever been tempted to invest a large chunk of cash with a bankrupt, failed Maine homebuilder with a dream and a $500 van, here’s a story that might warn you off.

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