Saturday, August 07, 2010
For more than 20 years, local heroin addicts have relied on a collection of needle exchanges for clean works. But in recent months, crack users too have quietly found an outlet in the city.
In a nondescript alley in the University District, users can pick up clean crack pipes, pipe filters and ascorbic acid for injecting crack. Heroin users can also pick up a drug that reverses a heroin overdose — an apparent first for a city needle exchange.
“We take a different philosophy approach than most government institutions or public health departments. They have a budget, and have to pick and choose who they’re going to help,” said Shilo Murphy, executive director of the non-profit People’s Harm Reduction Alliance, which runs the U-District needle exchange.
Public health officials know of no other local program that gives out crack kits or Naloxone, the heroin-overdose reversal drug. But they see the potential benefits.
Friday, August 06, 2010
Let me offer this.
First, I've been to two gay marriage ceremonies. I don't have a problem with gay marriage one way or another. In fact, as a libertarian, I still fail to see what's the value add of having the state sanction any marriage. When I married Mrs. Gekko, my marital contract was between her, me and our creator. What the hell did the county do to justify the $43 bucks they charged us to record our marriage license; outside of giving our names to droves of telemarketers?
Second, does anyone doubt that eventually we'll have gay marriage in this country through the regular legislative process. New Hampshire and Vermont have it and I believe all 50 states will have have some sort of civil union provisions without the interference of the courts.
Third, state's have regulated marriage since the first colony was formed in this country. They've regulated issues such as age of the partners, bigamy and polygamy, who can preside over the ceremony, waiting periods, etc. At one time, in the state of Ohio, you needed a blood test to get a marriage license. Each state also has rules on the dissolution of marriages. Until DOMA, the feds never had any standing in regulating marriages. DOMA did nothing but keep the process at the state level.
Third, some judge in California decides that it is no longer the function of the state to regulate marriage but his opinion and his alone. Is this is the height of arrogance or what? He based his opinion on the fact that other's opinions are "bigoted". Somehow if I were to tell him that I think it should be legal to have my five year old daughter married in a pre-arranged marriage, he'd probably think his opposition wasn't bigoted.
This is the point I make incessantly to the pro gay marriage crowd. If you are allowed to marry how do you tell a 51 year old school teacher that he's not allowed to marry his 14 year old student? What makes the difference? Like most issues, no liberals can make a coherent argument for their position.
How do you tell a devoutly religious Muslim or Morman they can't have more than one spouse?
What about cousins? or siblings?
Remember.... the answer you give may resemble the very bigotry you accuse others who want to deny your ability to marry.
The conventional wisdom is that homosexuals are the only people who have their relationships regulated. In fact, we have all sorts of marital regulations regarding all sorts of relationships.
Now we have a set up where we have the robes deciding what we would have ultimately come to as a society so the process makes the whole issue illegitimate.
As Krauthammer notes in the video above, it mirrors the whole abortion issue and you can see how that's worked out.
Hopefully, the robes on the Supreme Court, the same people who brought us "separate but equal", will have gained some wisdom from their previous rulings.
But I doubt it.
New Jersey's most impoverished city will close all three branches of its public library at year's end unless a rescue can be pulled off,Turning your libraries into fire hazards?
Camden's library board says the libraries won't be able to afford to stay open past Dec. 31 because of budget cuts from the city government. The city had its subsidy from the state cut.
The library board president says the library system, which opened in 1904, is preparing to donate, sell or destroy its collections, including 187,000 books.
Board president Martin McKernan says keeping the books around would pose a fire hazard.
Now that's "Progressive"!
None of the numbers Cincinnati City Council members heard or saw at a meeting Thursday about the staggering financial woes of the city's retirement system offered much encouragement about finding a less-than-painful solution.If you are a "progressive" and in a "disaster scenario" what do you do?
Not the warning that, without substantive changes, the $2 billion system could see a projected $1 billion long-term shortfall balloon to $1.5 billion within five years.
Not the fact that, even if the plan achieves what many see as wildly optimistic investment returns, it still could lose up to $30 million a year. Not recommendations that, to avert those doomsday scenarios, City Hall might be asked to come up with an immediate cash infusion of as much as $439 million or nearly double its annual payments.
And, perhaps most importantly, not the roughly 125 city retirees and workers in the audience at the Duke Energy Convention Center whose lives could be significantly affected by any changes - and whose attitudes and fears were passionately expressed by a retired city garage worker toward the end of the three-hour hearing.
"You keep on wanting to take more and more and more from us," said Thomas Koch of Bethel, who worked for the city for 32½ years. "It doesn't seem fair that you keep on wanting to kick the retirees when we worked long and hard. ... I'd like you to have a little bit more respect for retirees."
As council members strove to make clear at the meeting, they do respect retirees, but also may need more money from them - and from current city workers and taxpayers as well - to put the troubled Cincinnati Retirement System on solid financial ground.
"We're in a disaster scenario here," said Councilman Chris Bortz.
Without minimizing the scope of the problem, Bortz said after the meeting that he believes council should "not do anything on this for at least two years,"...........
Deferring disaster scenarios for at least two years when you're probably no longer there to deal with it?
Now that's "Progressive"!
Let me offer this analysis.
Not so long ago, all eight of the members of Congress being investigated by the Office of Congressional Ethics were black. Now, two powerful black members of the Congressional Black Caucus are on the griddle. There are two entirely appropriate responses.
One of them is to wonder if there is something racial going on. Yes, that is reasonable. Dismissals of this line of reasoning as mere “crying racism” are, in this case, hasty. Bloggers blithely listing white people who have fallen into the OCE’s line of sight as disproof of the racism charge are missing the point. The issue—so often missed in discussions of race but usually by those crying wolf, not their detractors—is proportion. All eight? Two leading black legislators in two weeks? One is not a race-baiter to ask questions.
Then, the other entirely appropriate response is to ask another question: is there some trait local to the Congressional Black Caucus that makes its members especially likely to commit improprieties of the kind under concern?
First, many of these minority members of congress where elected through the legalized gerrymandering of the Voting Rights Act, virtually guaranteeing a minority and a democrat to office.
Second, as a result of #1, many of them rise to power through corrupt, back door, city politics which get's little attention from the feds.
Third, because these members are guaranteed a winning election, they receive little to no vetting from republican opponents during the election process. You don't think a healthy campaign wouldn't have shown Rangel sleeping on his Dominican spread? Or Maxine throwing some favors to her husband?
Fourth, because your average media a-hole doesn't want to be cast as a racist, they do no vetting of these people. In addition, many media members agree with the politics of these pols, so their coverage will be more than sympathetic. Just read some of the coverage on Journolist.
So now we're surprised when many of these politicians act as if they are entitled to all the amenities of being a king or queen?
This is affirmative action at it's worst. It totally ushers black politicians to the front of the line; never really checking them out to make sure they don't have any baggage. Then we act surprised when there is.
This is why I've believed the liberal media do liberal politics and politicians no favors. If the media were to actually have vetted one B. H. Obama during the campaign of 2008, the public would have found out that he was nothing more than a race baiting, corrupt Chicagoan.
I also believe it was why so called "conservative" dorks like Noonan, Parker, Frum, and Brooks were so willing to cut this guy a break. They didn't want their friends at the next wine and cheese party in upper Manhattan to think of them as racist, so they softballed the dude. They turned a blind eye to all the evidence that this guy was at best a socialist and may, in fact, be a communist........ an incompetent one at that.
As a result, his main accomplishment as president will be to push the historic ranking on Jimmy Carter to number 42 of the best presidents of all time and set back the liberal cause for generations.
By now, almost everything imaginable has been said about Senator Kerry’s docking of his new $7 million yacht in Rhode Island instead of Massachusetts, thus avoiding/postponing some $500,000 in state taxes. Here is some postmortem analysis:
1. Once again, a liberal proponent of higher and more redistributive taxes (e.g., Daschle, Geithner, Rangel) has acted antithetically to what he professes. In his 2004 campaign, Kerry alleged near-treasonous behavior (“Benedict Arnold”) on the part of companies that relocated out of the country to seek lower taxes. The psychology of this hypocrisy is hard to figure: Does the technocratic guardian class believe that, as an overseeing nomenklatura, the laws should not apply to thems? Does loud support for taxes in the abstract serve as some sort of surrogate ethical compensation for avoiding them in the concrete? Or is there an assumption that such elites won’t get caught (remember, Geithner and Kerry only paid up when public attention turned to their avoidance)?
Fannie Mae, the mortgage-finance company operating under federal conservatorship, is seeking $1.5 billion in aid from the U.S. Treasury Department after a 12th straight quarterly loss.
A decline in costs from bad loans helped narrow the second- quarter loss to $1.2 billion from $14.8 billion in the same period a year earlier, the Washington-based company said today in a filing to the Securities and Exchange Commission. Fannie Mae has accrued more than $148 billion in consecutive losses since 2007, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.
The Treasury seized Fannie Mae and McLean, Virginia-based Freddie Mac, the biggest sources of U.S. mortgage funding, in 2008 as souring subprime loans pushed the companies to brink of collapse. Including today’s request, Fannie Mae has drawn $86.1 billion in aid. The growing tally has helped spur the Obama administration to solicit proposals to fix the companies, and prompted some lawmakers to demand their closure.
“Congress must act to end this taxpayer-funded bailout,” said Representative Jeb Hensarling, in a statement after today’s earnings were announced. The Texas Republican is the lead sponsor of legislation to abolish the companies.
Freddie Mac hasn’t yet disclosed second-quarter results.
Good luck with that.
The U.S. Postal Service reported a quarterly net loss of $3.5 billion on Thursday and said it will likely have a cash shortfall going into 2011.
The agency, which delivers nearly half the world's mail, has reported net losses in 14 of the last 16 fiscal quarters.
Revenue in the third quarter that ended June 30 fell $294 million to $16 billion from a year ago, while expenses were $789 million higher at $19.5 billion, due largely to higher workers' compensation costs and retiree health benefits.
"Given current trends, we will not be able to pay all 2011 obligations," said Joseph Corbett, the agency's chief financial officer.
Cash flow seems on track to handle 2010 operations, Corbett said, but it is uncertain whether sufficient liquidity will be in place for 2011 after the agency must make a $5.5 billion payment on Sept. 30 to prefund retiree health benefits.
"It is clear that a liquidity problem is looming and must be addressed through fundamental changes requiring legislation and changes to contracts," Corbett said.
Here's an example of one of the train wrecks run, not coincidentally, by liberals...........
Social Security will pay out more this year than it gets in payroll taxes, marking the first time since the program will be in the red since it was overhauled in 1983, according to the annual authoritative report released Thursday by the program's actuary.
Meanwhile President Obama's health care overhaul has given Medicare's basic Hospital Insurance an extra 12 years of financial stability, though it did not solve all of the program's long-term challenges.
"The financial status of the HI trust fund is substantially improved by the lower expenditures and additional tax revenues instituted by the Affordable Care Act," the program's actuary said in its annual report. "These changes are estimated to postpone the exhaustion of HI trust fund assets from 2017 under the prior law to 2029 under current law and to 2028 under the alternative scenario."
But the actuary said the programs' finances are still troubled in the near and long terms, and warned that Congress is making things worse by putting off scheduled doctor fee cuts.
Thursday, August 05, 2010
Wednesday, August 04, 2010
The cost of retirement benefits for Los Angeles city employees will grow by $800 million over the next five years, dramatically eroding the amount of money available for public services to taxpayers, according to a report issued Tuesday.
In a bleak assessment delivered to members of the City Council, City Administrative Officer Miguel Santana said pensions and health benefits for current and future retirees would jump from $1.4 billion next year to at least $2.2 billion in 2015.
Those costs remain a fraction of the city's overall annual budget, which is currently $18.8 billion. But more troubling is the fact that retirement costs are consuming an increasingly large portion of the general fund, which pays for basic services such as parks and public safety.
Now ask yourself this question. What republicans and/or conservatives are responsible for this wanton budget abuse?
Please let me know.
Bankrupting your city by paying for workers no longer there?
Now that's "progressive"!
But let me ask this question. If the republicans are obstructing the dems what exactly have the Obamunists been not able to get accomplished?
Supreme Court nominees?
Extended unemployment benefits?
30,000 more troops in Afghanistan?
The fact is republicans haven't been able to stop anything democrats wanted passed. So democrats can take sole pleasure in running on their record, it's their baby.
Once again, I'll never give republicans the Steal Cajones Award for courage in the face of reelection but I still believe it says something when the GOP almost unanimously fought against all the proposals brought to the fore by the Obamunists.
Think about it. If republicans knew these things were to be beneficial to the American economy how many would have been willing to line up for a simply partisan affair? For crying out loud, the dems couldn't even get one Grahamnesty, Collins, Snowe, Rinovich to vote on some of these bills.
Barbara, Harry, Patty et al, go out and campaign on what your hard work and efforts have done for (or is it "to") this country.
And maybe the media will expose this republican obstruction canard for what it is.
But I won't hold my breath.
We tax cigarettes because we want people to smoke less.
We tax alcohol because we want people to drink less.
Now were looking to tax junk food because we want people to eat less junk.
We issue credits for purchasing energy efficient appliances because we want people to be energy efficient.
We extend home buyers credits because we want people to buy homes.
But if we want people to be wealthier, we increase taxes on wealth?
Incumbents beware. Another lawmaker just bit the dust.
Michigan Rep. Carolyn Cheeks Kilpatrick lost her bid for an eighth term on Tuesday, her son's legal woes dragging her down in a year when fickle voters seem eager to fire longtime lawmakers.
She's the sixth — and the fourth in the House — to lose so far this year. And the frustrated electorate could deal others the same fate in primaries over the next two months, not to mention the general election in November, when nothing less than the balance of power in Washington will be at stake.
Tuesday, August 03, 2010
It's a coincidence - but a fortunate one - that a special Cincinnati City Council committee meeting Thursday on ways to stabilize the city's troubled pension system will be held at the Duke Energy Convention Center.Creating a multi billion dollar Ponzi Scheme?
That's because the much larger meeting space, being used while the council chamber at City Hall is being restored this summer, may be needed to accommodate throngs of angry city retirees and employees - and perhaps even more Cincinnati residents upset over having to help pay for the solution to the very expensive problem.
Beyond the thorny question of how much more it will cost city workers, retirees, City Hall and taxpayers to remedy the retirement plan's woes, council also is expected to ponder other changes - among them, higher retirement ages, lower benefit ceilings and new funding formulas that could require more years of service for reduced payments.
The 10 a.m. meeting of council's Budget and Finance Committee essentially is a curtain-raiser for council on the retirement system dilemma, likely to be debated the rest of this year as members search for an answer that balances harsh fiscal realities against compelling political factors.
"There still are a lot of moving pieces to this," said Councilwoman Roxanne Qualls, who chairs the committee. Her objective, Qualls said, is to win council approval for a package of pension changes by the end of this year, before 2011 election-year considerations make decisive action on such a controversial issue much more problematic.
Much of Thursday's meeting will be devoted to a review of a 25-page report prepared this spring by a task force that examined the painful options that could help put the $2 billion Cincinnati Retirement System on solid financial ground.
Already facing a $1 billion long-term shortfall stemming from generous benefits, soaring health costs, catastrophic investment losses and insufficient city funding, the system could see that gap widen to $1.5 billion within five years unless substantive changes are made to benefits and how they are funded, the task force concluded.
Now that's "progressive"!
Meet Bernadette Music. Why is Ms. Music in the news?
A Norwood woman faces charges after she allegedly called 911, and asked dispatchers for a date.
Court documents say 43 year old Bernadette Music called 911 a week ago Monday, four to five times, asking two dispatchers if they'd like to go on a date with her. Officials say Music was intoxicated. When police went to the door of her home on Maple Avenue, she refused to come out.
Officials also say she urinated in the hallway of her apartment building at some point during that day.
Music is charged with two counts of disorderly conduct.
During the 2008 election, did Bernadette vote for Hope and Change or Four More Years Of Bus
Meet Carlos Montano. Why is Carlos in the news?
The man charged in connection with the Sunday crash that took the life of a Bristow nun is an illegal alien who was out on bond awaiting a deportation hearing, police said Monday.
Prince William County police notified U.S. Immigration and Naturalization officials about the status of Carlos A. Martinelly Montano, 23, of Bristow after both his first and second drunken driving arrests, said county police spokesman Jonathan Perok.
Perok said police are investigating how he was able to obtain a driver’s license, which was later revoked after being convicted of drunken driving.
Police have charged Martinelly with driving drunk and involuntary manslaughter in the Sunday morning crash along Bristow Road that killed one Benedictine sister and injured two others.
Police say Martinelly swerved off the right side of the road, hit a guardrail, careened across the incoming lanes, hit a jersey wall and then slammed head on into a Toyota carrying the three nuns.
Sister Denise Mosier was killed instantly, and two others were flown to the hospital, where they remained Monday in critical but stable condition, police said.
Montano was taken to a local hospital, but released to authorities Sunday. He is now being held without bond at the Prince William-Manassas regional jail. He is set to appear in court Oct. 13.
I think we can assume that for the 2008 election ACORN got this guy registered to vote. During that election, did Carlos here vote for The One or The Maverick?
I guess for someone like myself to want to keep this piece of crap out of our country makes me a racist.
If I get pulled over for speeding, I am required to provide an officer with 1) my driver's license 2) proof of insurance and 3) auto registration
I have a concealed carry permit. If I am pulled over and I am carrying, I am required to give the officer notice of where my weapon is and provide him with my license.
If I am pulled over involuntarily at a DUI check point I am required to provide a license and proof of insurance. Keep in mind, a DUI checkpoint involves no suspicion of an offense what so ever.
A couple of weeks ago when the Gekko's closed on a refinance we were required to provide a photo ID to the closing agent.
Yet somehow if you have none of these documents when asked to provide them and the officer asks you for your legal status, you are profiling. And, of course, if agree with such a law, you are xenophobic racist.
Obama and company can bite me.
Historical amnesia is at once the most endearing and the most frustrating of American qualities. On the one hand, it means that—F. Scott Fitzgerald to the contrary—there really are second acts in American lives. People can move somewhere else, reinvent themselves, start again.
On the other hand, our inability to remember what our policy was last week—never mind last decade—drives outsiders crazy. We forget that we supported the dictator before we decided to destroy him. Then we can't understand why others, especially the dictator's subjects, don't always believe in the goodness of our intentions or the sincerity of our devotion to democracy.
Domestic policy is no different, as I learned from readers who wrote to denounce my column of two weeks ago. I had argued that Americans on both the left and the right have, for the last decade, consistently voted for high-spending members of Congress and consistently supported ever-higher levels of government intervention and regulation at all levels of public life. As a result, the federal government expanded under George W. Bush's administration at a rate that was, at least until President Barack Obama came along, totally unprecedented in U.S. history.
Alas, historical amnesia appears to have affected some readers, many of whom are under the impression that President Bush believed in small government and that recent Republican congressional leaders opposed federal spending.Here is a more accurate assessment: "President Bush increased government spending more than any of the six presidents preceding him, including LBJ." I didn't write that; the astute libertarian economist Veronique de Rugy did. She also points out that during his eight years in office, Bush's "anti-government" Republican administration increased the federal budget by an extraordinary 104 percent. By comparison, the increase under President Bill Clinton's watch was a relatively measly 11 percent (a rate, I might add, lower than Ronald Reagan's). In his last term in office, Bush increased discretionary spending—that means non-Medicare, non-Social Security—by 48.6 percent. In his final year in office, fiscal year 2009, he spent more than $32,000 per American, up from $17,216.68 in fiscal year 2001.
Hey Anne. Let's get some things straight. One, your average conservative/libertarian totally understood the fact that republicans were spending whores. It was why so many of us were so frustrated we abandoned republican candidates at the polls.
In fact, here's what I wrote about Bush the day after Obama was sworn in........
For the life of me, I never understood the absolute hatred liberals had for W.Second, conservative types like myself, really have no choice for government. We have liberals (republicans) and socialists (democrats) so the fact that we're bitching about Obama spending is not an endorsement of republican spending and I can give you at least 100 articles written by conservatives about the outrage over Ted Steven's funding of the Bridge to Nowhere.
By nearly every measure (except abortion), the guy governed like a bonafide liberal.
It's really what has fueled the Tea Party movement. See Tea Partiers are not racist but people who know that because of liberal republicans, Obama never would have come to power.
Third, the real affliction here is not of amnesia but of hypocrisy fully on display by liberals who now want to come up with the excuse "well Bush did it!, where was the outcry then".
Somehow I don't remember old Anne displaying the love for the liberal spending Bush when he was in office.
The recession that began in late 2007 was extraordinarily severe, but the actions we took at its height to stimulate the economy helped arrest the freefall, preventing an even deeper collapse and putting the economy on the road to recovery.
From the start, President Obama made clear that recovery from a crisis of this magnitude would not come quickly and that the recovery would not follow a straight line. We saw that this past spring, when the European fiscal crisis posed a serious challenge to the markets and to business confidence, dampening investment and the rate of growth here.
While the economy has a long way to go before reaching its full potential, last week’s data on economic growth show that large parts of the private sector continue to strengthen. Business investment and consumption — the two keys to private demand — are getting stronger, better than last year and better than last quarter. Uncertainty is still inhibiting investment, but business capital spending increased at a solid annual rate of about 17 percent.
Together, private consumption and fixed investment contributed about 3.25 percent to growth. Even the surge in imports, which lowered the rate of increase of G.D.P., actually reflects healthy and growing American demand.
Of course if you are one of those 10 percent of Americans looking for work......
The city has started temporarily closing fire stations in order to balance its budget.
The rolling "brownouts" began with the closing of three fire companies as of 8:05 a.m. Monday.
Union members hosted a news conference as Engine 57 shut its doors for the day in West Philadelphia. Union officials said the closures are creating unsafe conditions in affected neighborhoods.
The city says these rotating brownouts will not have an impact on public safety and firefighters from those companies will be redeployed to other companies or will undergo training.
So closing stations won't have an impact on public safety? Then why wasn't this policy in place from the start?
Shutting down basic municipal services?
Now that's "Progressive"!
Monday, August 02, 2010
If you are old enough, you probably remember 4-4-3-2 that was the public health indoctrination you received in elementary school for your daily food consumption. It was pretty easy to remember 4 servings of fruits & veggies, 4 bread, 3 dairy and 2 meat.
For some reason, the same people who told us we'd have to learn the metric system because the english system would be obsolete, came up with this food pyramid to the right.
The only thing I can tell you about this mess is that if you follow this, you'll be a 400 lb diabetic before you are 50 years old.
It's been my belief for a long time that this is a product of a bunch of politically correct liberals trying to dissuade people from meat consumption.
Now evidence is coming out that this diet may be harmful to your health....
Every five years, the federal Department of Agriculture and Department of Health and Human Services revise their Dietary Guidelines for Americans, a publication that sets the direction for federal nutrition-education programs. In an age when aggressive government agencies in places like New York City seek a greater hand in shaping Americans’ diets, the next set of guidelines, published later this year, could prove more controversial than usual because increasing scientific evidence suggests that some current federal recommendations have simply been wrong. Will a public-health establishment that has been slow to admit its mistakes over the years acknowledge the new research and shift direction? Or will it stubbornly stick to its obsolete guidelines?
The crux of the controversy is the quantity of fat and carbohydrates that we consume and how it influences our cardiac health. As a recent review of the latest research in Scientific American pointed out, ever since the first set of federal guidelines appeared in 1980, Americans heard that they had to reduce their intake of saturated fat by cutting back on meat and dairy products and replacing them with carbohydrates. Americans dutifully complied. Since then, obesity has increased sharply, and the progress that the country has made against heart disease has largely come from medical breakthroughs like statin drugs, which lower cholesterol, and more effective medications to control blood pressure.
Researchers have started asking hard questions about fat consumption and heart disease, and the answers are startling. In an analysis of the daily food intake of some 350,000 people published in the March issue of The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, researchers at the Children’s Hospital Oakland Research Institute found no link between the amount of saturated fat that a person consumed and the risk of heart disease. One reason, the researchers speculate, is that saturated fat raises levels of so-called good, or HDL, cholesterol, which may offset an accompanying rise in general cholesterol. A few weeks later, researchers at Harvard released their own analysis of data from 20 studies around the world, concluding that those who eat four ounces of fresh (not processed) red meat every day face no increased risk of heart disease.
I've always been amazed that regardless of the time in history every culture in humanity has come up with a way to make bread out of wheat, corn, rice, potatoes, etc.
Yet I've always wondered why? In my humble opinion, it's because bread represented cheap fuel for cultures with limited fresh food options. The difference is that average person probably burned 4,000 - 6,000 calories a day just subsisting in a primitive culture. In today's sit on your butt all day culture, consuming carbs from bread is liking loading up a Toyota with jet fuel. It just doesn't work.
But you'll never get the public health establishment to concede the politically correct line. Instead, you'll get requests for more money to clean up the obesity problem they helped create.
It's how government works.
Senior officials at the U.S. Department of Transportation have at least temporarily blocked the release of findings by auto-safety regulators that could favor Toyota Motor Corp. in some crashes related to unintended acceleration, according to a recently retired agency official.
George Person, who retired July 3 after 27 years at the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, said in an interview that the decision to not go public with the data for now was made over the objections of some officials at NHTSA.
"The information was compiled. The report was finished and submitted," Mr. Person said. "When I asked why it hadn't been published, I was told that the secretary's office didn't want to release it," he added, referring to Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood.
A Transportation Department spokeswoman, Olivia Alair, said NHTSA is still reviewing data from the Toyota vehicles the agency is examining. "Its review is not yet complete. The investigation remains ongoing," she said.
It seems almost impossible to believe that the most transparent administration in history would be behind something so nefarious :)
So after you read this, let's play the game of "Name the Party?"...........
El Centro, Calif., is the largest U.S. city to be situated entirely below sea level. At the moment, it's also home to the country's most underwater job market. Nationally, the unemployment rate sits at 9.5 percent. But in the El Centro metropolitan area, it's a staggering 27.6 percent. And as workers across the country struggle to navigate the anemic labor market, El Centro has emerged as a case study about just how fragile the economic recovery can be.
In recent years, California's multi-billion dollar budget shortfall and its painful cutbacks have gotten plenty of attention. But even by California standards, El Centro's situation is unusually dire. Since the recession hit, the area's housing market has fallen apart, its wages have remained dismal, and its unemployment rate has soared.
Amit Singh, director of operations at the worker-placement firm Labor Finders International, saw firsthand how the recession savaged El Centro's economy. Labor Finders used to have an office in El Centro, but the company was forced to close down that branch earlier this year. "Unfortunately, the economy there was hit hard, and it just wasn't supporting our business. We tried there for many years to find better avenues, but the opportunities were just not there," says Singh. "We just didn't find that there were any future growth opportunities. Actually, the picture looks pretty grim."
Located within Imperial County and just miles away from the Mexican border, the El Centro metropolitan area is home to upwards of 150,000 people. Among them is Cheryl Viegas-Walker, a banker who also serves as the city's mayor. In El Centro, the position of mayor rotates between the members of the city council. Viegas-Walker has sat on the council for 13 years and is currently serving her third term as mayor.
In El Centro, unemployment has always been a concern. Notably, in the past decade, the area's jobless rate has never dropped below 12 percent. But when the economy soured during the recession, El Centro's unemployment rate surged, rising from 15.3 percent at the beginning of 2007 to 31.3 percent by the middle of last year as the housing market crumbled.
27 percent unemployment?Sounds pretty "progressive" to me.
Update. I just checked on Wiki and found this........
El Centro is operated by a council/manager form of government. The members of the City Council also sit as the Community Development Commission (Commission) and Redevelopment Agency (Agency) governing boards. The City Manager is empowered as the Executive Director of the Commission and Agency.
In the state legislature El Centro is located in the 40th Senate District, represented by Democrat Denise Moreno Ducheny, and in the 80th Assembly District, represented by Democrat Manuel Perez. Federally, El Centro is located in California's 51st congressional district, which has a Cook PVI of D +7 and is represented by Democrat Bob Filner.
Funny how you can't find a republican with a bloodhound there.
For discussion purposes, let me throw out the question.
Without exception, we know that every shithole in the country has been run by democrats for generations. Does this represent a symptom or a cause of their problems?
Here's a piece noting how tax credits on hybrid vehicles do just that........
The liberal magazine Slate has a thought provoking article titled "Unaffordable at Any Speed". The thrust of the arguments in the article are two fold, the first argument is that President Obama's electric car tax credit is going to primarily go to the affluent, the second is that the best way to reduce gas consumption is to tax it. The article goes on to outline the electric car purchaser demographic;"When Deloitte Consulting interviewed industry experts and 2,000 potential buyers, it found that from now until 2020, only "young, very high income individuals"-those from households making more than $200,000 a year-would even be interested in plug-in hybrids or all-electric cars."
This leaves Democrats in the deliciously ironic position of providing a $7500 tax break primarily to people that make more than $200,000 a year. All the screaming about the Bush tax cuts only benefiting the rich is only so much political theater. When it comes time for the Democrats to govern they pass a tax cut that only benefits the rich and self-righteous. As slate puts it;"Where does the federal government get off spending the average person's tax dollars to help better-off-than-average Americans buy expensive new cars?"
The author goes on to point out the obvious, the most effective way to reduce the use of something is to tax it (Somehow liberals always miss this point as they continue to tax success). The problem with taxing energy is that it hits the poor and and especially the rural poor very hard. How can Democrats say that they are sticking up for the little guy when policies like cap and trade and killing school choice programs hurt the little guys?
Despite state budget troubles, more states than ever are embracing sales tax holidays, which aim to please back-to-school shoppers even as they draw criticism from economists.
Illinois will offer tax-free shopping this month for the first time, bringing to 18 the number of states that suspend sales tax on designated days, up from 16 states in 2009 and seven in 2000.
The end of summer is the most popular time for tax holidays: 15 states will suspend sales taxes this month.
"For once in their life (consumers) get an opportunity to buy something without the government marking it up," says Mississippi state Sen. J. Walter Michel, a Republican who sponsored the bill that initiated the tax holiday in 2009. Mississippi held its second tax-free shopping weekend Friday and Saturday, dropping the 7% state sales tax on clothes and shoes priced under $100. "I'm going to go buy some blue jeans and socks and underclothes," Michel said last week.
Mississippi, like other states, had to make deep cuts to balance its budget for fiscal year 2011. "I'm much more concerned about the consumers saving a little money on their purchases than the (loss) in state revenue," Michel says. The final tab on a pair of $44 men's Levi's at J.C. Penney in Jackson, for instance, would not include the $3.08 sales tax.
In Massachusetts, a bill to offer sales-tax-free shopping in August is awaiting the governor's signature.
As much of an anti tax guy as I am, I hate these programs because they bastardize the normal flow of commerce.
Why go out and buy a pair of jeans today when you can go out in a couple of weeks and buy them. It just makes it harder for companies to manage their operations.
If enough people do that, how does a business adequately order goods and services?
Here's an idea. how about making your sales tax so low, people will come to your state to buy product all the time?
They cross our border with impunity. They pay no taxes and benefit from our abundance. They carry no documentation.
They are a stress on our infrastructure. They leave our parks a mess.
They bring down planes and are a general nuisance to taxpaying, law abiding American citizens.
I believe it's time for people to start shooting & killing them.
Yesterday, I got to witness hundreds of these nuisances feeding on a kid's soccer field. Of course, when you're feeding, there's also the exit ramp right back on the same field's. That nice for your kids to play in.
Apparently, I'm not the only one fed up with these pests...........
They have their own Facebook page, where fans post photographs of them in their best light. They have loyal lawmakers who defend them against critics who say they are messy, noisy and menacing neighbors. Until recently, they had a lakefront home in one of New York's most desirable areas.
But the Canada geese living in Brooklyn's Prospect Park also had the bad luck to fall on the losing side of a battle sparked by the drama of Capt. Chesley "Sully" Sullenberger III. His safe landing of a US Airways jet in the Hudson River after geese flew into its engines last year made him America's newest hero and turned the ubiquitous, black-eyed birds into every flier's nightmare.On a warm July morning along the shores of Prospect Park's placid lake, federal wildlife officials rounded up hundreds of Canada geese and took them away to be gassed to death. Feathery tufts and plastic strips used to bind the birds were all that remained.
It was one of several mass goose killings nationwide this summer by the Department of Agriculture in response to local concerns about everything from airline safety to piles of dung. Timed to coincide with the annual molting season — when the birds shed old feathers and are unable to fly — the killings are part of an effort to cull Canada geese, which bordered on extinction in the early 1900s but now number in the millions in the United States.
How about millions in Ohio? There's at least 200 of these things on every golf course in the state.
President Obama makes his first Atlanta appearance since his inauguration.
The President will fly into town Monday morning.
If you think this will be a time for Democrats running for office to rally around the chief executive- -you probably haven't been following the campaigns this summer.
Rev. Joseph Tracy said he’s tired of going to funerals. And now, he suspects he’ll be going to more of them.
"It’s open field day now," said Tracy, the pastor of Straightway Baptist Church here. "The criminals are going to run wild."
Gang activity. Drug dealing. Cold-blooded killing. Tracy worries that a decision to shrink the police force by almost 30 percent will bring more of everything.
The pastor voiced his concern on Friday at a raucous special City Council meeting at which East St. Louis Mayor Alvin Parks announced that the city will layoff 37 employees, including 19 of its 62 police officers, 11 firefighters, four public works employees, and three administrators. The layoffs take effect on Sunday.
Parks said the weak economy has robbed the city of badly need money. For example, revenue from the Casino Queen was $900,000 below budget expectations last year. There are no signs of improvement, Parks said.
"I want our citizens to know we have some of the bravest police officers and firefighters in the country," Parks said. "But we don’t have the money to pay them. We have to have fiscal responsibility."
City officials wanted police and fire unions to accept a furlough program that would have required employees to take two unpaid days in each twice monthly pay period. If accepted, emergency responders would have seen a pay cut of about 20 percent for the rest of the year.
What is absolutely amazing to me is how many "progressives" believe in the bogus science of global warming yet seem unable to get the mind around the fact that "progressive" policies have failed time after time. Just look around and you can see failure after failure.
In fact, is there one problem in the history of humanity that some "progressive" policy has actually solved? Poverty? Crime? Education?
Turning your city into crime ridden cesspool?
Now that's "progressive"!
Sunday, August 01, 2010
A Texas company hired to administer Ohio's popular appliance rebate program used hundreds of workers in El Salvador to process applications and to answer customers' calls.
State officials learned of the arrangement on the day the stimulus program began in March, after a customer asked a call center employee where he was located and then complained to the state.
"We were horrified," said Lisa Patt-McDaniel, director of the Ohio Department of Development.
Parago Inc., based in Lewisville, Texas, never told state officials that it would handle rebates from an offshore call center, she said. But state officials never asked, either.
Several Republican congressmen from Ohio, including House Minority Leader John Boehner and U.S. Rep. Steven LaTourette, said this week the stimulus-funded work should not have ended up in Central America.
Strickland, a Democrat, said Thursday the state will do a better job of vetting companies that get stimulus contracts.
And we'll do a better job of vetting incompetent governors as well.......
In a move that pits the suburbs' commuter rail vs. the city's streetcar, city leaders last week thwarted efforts to apply for federal money for a long-planned commuter rail line linking the eastern suburbs to the city.
The routine transportation meeting turned ugly - and dramatic - after the move by Cincinnati city officials to fend off what they see as a competitor to the streetcar for federal money.
In turn, Hamilton County officials accused city leaders of being "small minded."
Cincinnati City Councilman Jeff Berding told the officials from Hamilton and Clermont Counties and other eastern suburbs - just hours before the deadline to apply for $50 million to build part of the rail - the eastern corridor project, "just isn't a priority for the city."
City leaders say the project that expands highway, rail, bus and bicycle transportation along Hamilton County's eastern corridor is competition for cash needed to build the streetcar, a project that's ready to be built, not still in the study phase like the commuter rail.
Both had been seeking cash from the same pot of federal money.
Berding's remarks brought stunned silence. Then anger.
Everyone in the room knew without city support - a grant requirement - they couldn't seek the grant.
"I am still in shock over what the city did," said Hamilton County Board of Commissioners President Todd Portune. "All they had to do is acquiesce. I have every reason to believe we would have been successful.
Planners in the region have been working on the "Eastern Corridor" project - which spans two counties and 17 political jurisdictions - for more than 15 years. It's been in the talking phase for decades.
I want Thomas.
No! you can have Percy and Henry but I'm keeping Thomas.
I'm going to bonk you over the head with Gordon if you don't give my Thomas.
Everything you ever needed to know about politics you learned in Kindergarten.
Read the whole thing
I have given up on macroeconomics.
Certainly it is a worthy field of study. But the science is too young, the systems it studies are too complex, and its practitioners are too often politicized for me to take its prescripts seriously in most policy debates.Last week President Obama visited a new stimulus-funded electric-vehicle battery manufacturing facility in Michigan. The factory produces a product for which there is virtually no market, where worldwide manufacturing capacity already outpaces demand by a factor of three, and whose sales will depend on the government heavily subsidizing its customers.
Nobel prize-winning economist Paul Krugman often writes that only by authorizing much more of exactly this kind of government spending can we pull out of the current recession. Apparently, the way to economic growth is to have the operator of the Post Office, rather than private individuals, invest money. Hearing this, I can't come to any conclusion except that the field of macroeconomics is lost.
My training is not in economics, but in business and management. Perhaps I am biased by my background, which includes 15 years of strategy and planning at large corporations and 10 years running my own business. But my framework for economic growth is a simple one: For growth to occur, someone has to make an investment.
Beginning Sunday, anyone 18 or older could face a fine -- or at least get shooed away by police -- if found in a Miami Beach playground without a child.
Intended to protect children from predatory adults, the new rule is part of a national trend -- a municipal corollary to kids-required policies for grown-ups at children's museums.
Miami Beach Commissioner Jorge Exposito proposed the ordinance at a City Commission meeting in April after seeing a man behave lewdly in front of children at South Pointe Park.
"If you don't have a kid, then what the heck are you doing in a tot lot?'' Exposito asked. "It's an instrument for parents and police, and it provides a safe environment for the children.''
Miami Beach is among the first in South Florida to join cities including New York City and San Francisco in instituting child-required policies in kids' play areas.