Saturday, August 14, 2010

Stuff liberals run - Colleges

One of the most popular articles on Digg yesterday was titled, “Why Does College Cost So Much?” — I guess it’s that time of year. The article was written by a pair of economics professors who have written a forthcoming book on the subject. The authors argue that the primary factors driving college-tuition inflation are:

  1. The labor-hours needed to provide this “artisanal” service have not declined;
  2. The cost of employing the highly educated workers needed to provide the service has gone up; and
  3. The cost of the technologies employed in higher education has risen faster than the cost of other technologies.

I’m interested to see what kind of evidence the authors provide for this thesis in their book, because I’m not at all persuaded by this article. The authors don’t bother to mention the argument, even for the purpose of dismissing it, that the primary factor driving college-tuition inflation is actually ballooning federal tuition support: Tuition keeps going up because the federal government ensures that students can afford to pay it.

Ground zero mosque

I've not expressed an opinion on the ground zero mosque because I consider it a local zoning issue. Like most NIMBY issues, I'm thinking if you oppose this so much, buy the damn property and turn into something more appropriate.

But given that our president finds the need to speak up on this issue, I guess it's fair game for everyone.

Here's the typical liberal take on the issue....

Many opponents of the project have been employing a clever little dodge. They say they don't question the group's legal right to build it under the Constitution. Rather, they say, they're merely criticizing the group's decision to do so, on the grounds that it's insensitive to 9/11 families and will undercut the project's goal of reconciliation. The group has the right to build the center, runs this argument, but they are wrong to exercise it. In response, Obama could have merely cast this dispute as a Constitutional issue, talked about how important it is to hew to that hallowed document, and moved on.

Let me offer this to Greg. If I wanted to open a gun shop next to his house, or maybe a strip joint, or a cell tower, or how about a big ass Christian church with all the parking issues and such, would he be as sensitive to my "right" to be there?

Like a Kennedy, he be as big of NIMBY (not in my back yard) as any.

I don't get the feeling that the Imam in NY is all that interested in building bridges to the victims of 9/11. It seems to me that they are looking to pour some salt in the wounds and then stick one in the eyes of these folks.

Ultimately, the city of New York will decide this issue and when the next terrorists come rolling out of this mosque, I'm guessing that Greg here will be no where to be found.


Ohio Socialists

Gateway Pundit with a list of the congressional socialist caucus ( total membership 70).

The Ohio contingency

Hon. Marcy Kaptur (OH-09)
Hon. Dennis Kucinich (OH-10)
Hon. Marcia L. Fudge (OH-11)

Pretty good socialist representation out of the Cleveland area. Probably why the city is such a basket case.

Read the entire list........

John R. Graham, Director of Health Care Studies, Pacific Research Instit...

Friday, August 13, 2010

Life in "Progress" State - CA edition

They called it Paradise
I don't know why
Somebody laid the mountains low
While the town got high

So how lucrative are those California public pensions. Apparently, lucrative enough for Jerry Brown to keep his secret while he double dips...........

As Jerry Brown grabbed the spotlight with his criticism of Bell city officials and their outrageous pensions, The Watchdog got to wondering: How much will the Democrat for Governor make in retirement?

That, as it turns out, is a very difficult question to answer. After more than a month of investigation, the Watchdog can only say for certain that Brown and a handful of other top officials are eligible for generous benefits under a special pension fund so obscure that few people in government know how it works and many thought it had been eliminated 20 years ago by outraged voters.

Under the law, Brown should have accrued, at most, 16 years of service credit in this special fund, known as the Legislators’ Retirement System, or LRS. Actuarial statements produced by LRS, however, indicate that an unnamed person of Brown’s age and earning Brown’s exact salary has been credited with 25 to 29 years of service. The difference would mean tens of thousands of dollars in additional pension payments for Brown each year.

Brown’s campaign staff acknowledge the unnamed person sure looks like the gubernatorial candidate but have been unable to explain the discrepancy over service.

Officials at the California Public Employees’ Retirement System, which manages LRS, have similarly refused to cooperate, saying the law forbids them from answering questions about specific individuals. Meanwhile, The Watchdog has sought help from the offices of seven state lawmakers, one constitutional officer and one state department as well three outside pension experts and not one has been able to explain the discrepancy.

It’s a mystery as persistent as LRS itself.

Sounds like a chapter straight out of Animal Farm


Afraid to Create Jobs: Brian Calle on Why Businesses Aren't Hiring

This is an absolute must watch...........the whole thing

Liberalism = Projection

In a move of stunning hypocrisy, the United Federation of Teachers axed one of its longtime employees -- for trying to unionize the powerful labor organization's own workers, it was charged yesterday.

Jim Callaghan, a veteran writer for the teachers union, told The Post he was booted from his $100,000-a-year job just two months after he informed UFT President Michael Mulgrew that he was trying to unionize some of his co-workers.

"I was fired for trying to start a union at the UFT," said a dumbfounded Callaghan, who worked for the union's newsletter and as a speechwriter for union leaders for the past 13 years.

Callaghan said he personally told Mulgrew on June 9 about his intention to try to organize nonunionized workers at UFT headquarters.

"I told him I want to have the same rights that teachers have," said Callaghan, 63, of Staten Island. "He told me he didn't want that, that he wanted to be able to fire whoever he wanted to."

Wow what a concept!


Life in "Progress" City - Chicago edition

The governing body of the Chicago Teachers Union has rejected giving up 4 percent teacher raises to avoid layoffs, continuing the standoff over Chicago's school funding crisis.

"No matter what savings CTU members could offer CPS, the Board offered no guarantee that layoffs or class size increases would stop," said union president Karen Lewis after the Wednesday vote.

While the district released a balanced budget Monday that would require it to drain reserve funds, negotiations between the two sides have not determined a way to avoid about 1,200 teacher layoffs.


That explains why so many are liberals

The number of college students who are afflicted with a serious mental illness is rising, according to data presented Thursday at the annual meeting of the American Psychological Assn. in San Diego

The findings came from an analysis of 3,265 college students who used campus counseling services between September 1997 and August 2009. The students were screened for mental disorders, suicidal thoughts and self-injurious behavior.


REAL or FAKE: Can you tell which of these government spending projects a...

Play along with the little ones

How's it going? Not good

Especially in Albion MI

By the way, how are things working out for Peggy Joseph?

Are they just smarter?

While surfing the other day I ran into story that reported how your average common stock investor usually loses about 1% on their investments. Professional traders get about 3%. Insider traders trading on inside information get about 6% and US senators get a whopping 12% on their investments.

Now call me cynical, but given that you average senator sports the intelligence of few multi-cellular organisms, I have a hard time buying their investment acumen.

None the less, here is a study confirming the results.

The actions of the federal govemment can have a profound impact on financial markets.
As prominent participant.'^ in the govemment decision making pr(x:ess. U.S. Senators are
likely to have knowledge of forthcoming government actions before the inlormaiion becomes public. This could provide them with an informational advantage over other investors.We test for abnonnal retums from the common stock investments of members of the U.S. Senate during the period 1W3-I998. We document that a portfolio that mimics the purchases of U,S, Senators beats ihe market by H5 basis points per month, while a portfolio that mimics the sales of Senators lags the market by 12 basis points per month. The large difference in the returns of stocks bought and sold (nearly one percentage point per
month) is economically large and reliably positive.


and even more here.......

Serial stabber turns out to be a born again, tea partier

Well if you were to follow network news he would be............

FLINT, Mich. — The arrest of a suspect in a three-state stabbing spree that left five people dead and 13 others wounded has eased some but not all fears in Flint, where the attacks have changed the way some residents of one of Michigan’s toughest cities view helping others.

The Flint stabbings started in May, with the attacker approaching men on lonely roads at night and asking for directions or help with a broken-down car. Then he would pull out a knife, plunge it into his victim and speed away.

Even if the assaults are over, at least some fear remains in Flint, the battered industrial city where most of the stabbings, including all five deaths, occurred…

Elias Abuelazam, 33, was arrested Wednesday night in Atlanta before a flight to Israel, his native country, and charged with attempted murder in a July 27 knife strike in Flint that put the victim in a hospital for a week.

So it is not until the fourth paragraph that we learn Mr. Abuelazam is not a native American. Note that the AP refrains from telling us his ethnic background, leaving us to assume he is of the Jewish persuasion.

Authorities said more charges were expected in Michigan, Ohio and Virginia.

Abuelazam is being held at the Fulton County, Ga., jail awaiting an extradition hearing in the next few days. It was not known if he had an attorney.

"We will be methodical and thorough in our continuing investigation and prosecution. … You have real people who have died, real families who have been torn apart," Genesee County Prosecutor David Leyton said Thursday.

A tip — one of more than 500 — led police this week to a market in Mount Morris Township, outside Flint, where Abuelazam had worked for a month. Investigators talked to employees, and a store video showed that he matched the description of the man wanted by authorities.

Abuelazam, however, was gone: He told people he was off to Virginia and hadn’t been seen since his Aug. 1 shift.

Police in Arlington, Va., stopped him for a traffic offense Aug. 5 and arrested him on a 2008 misdemeanor assault charge from Leesburg, Va., where he had lived and worked in the mental-health field. A hammer and a knife were found inside the Chevrolet Blazer, which was returned to him after his brief detention. There was no national alert for Abuelazam or his vehicle.

"They had no idea at that time that he was involved in these crimes," Leyton said of Virginia authorities.

Abuelazam eventually returned to Michigan, obtained a $3,000 ticket to Tel Aviv from his uncle and made it as far as Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport, where officers snatched the man in flip-flops and shorts after he was paged over the intercom.

Passengers on the Delta Air Lines flight were stunned but said Abuelazam appeared tense. He was talking to someone on his cell phone "about not being violent and different things like that," passenger Eugene Williams said after the plane landed in Tel Aviv.

Leyton would say only that "technology" was used to track Abuelazam outside Michigan.

Abuelazam, an Israeli citizen who is in the U.S. with a green card, was living in Flint, where his uncle owned two adjacent homes. Leyton said evidence was removed, but he declined to describe it.

In the fourteenth paragraph, we learn that Mr. Abuelazam was an legal alien resident in this country. (According to other reports, he was married an American citizen in 2004, who he divorced three years later.)


A discussion on race

It's an honest one as well......

One of the most sobering observations made by Wax comes in the form of a disarmingly simple calculus presented first by Isabel Sawhill and Christopher Jencks. If you finish high school and keep a job without having children before marriage, you will almost certainly not be poor. Period. I have repeatedly felt the air go out of the room upon putting this to black audiences. No one of any political stripe can deny it. It is human truth on view. In 2004, the poverty rate among blacks who followed that formula was less than 6 percent, as opposed to the overall rate of 24.7 percent. Even after hearing the earnest musings about employers who are less interested in people with names like Tomika, no one can gainsay the simple truth of that advice. Crucially, neither bigotry nor even structural racism can explain why an individual does not live up to it.


Thursday, August 12, 2010

Life in "Progress" CIty - NY edition

Here's one way to flunk economics.

Officials at a downtown public school wastefully threw out hoards of pricey desks, chairs, cabinets and other classroom furniture yesterday despite steep budget cuts to city schools.

Residents who live near the Greenwich Village Middle School on Hudson Street said they watched in horror as sanitation workers crushed more than 50 pieces of perfectly good furniture -- and perhaps twice that -- in the back of a garbage truck.

"It was perfectly good stuff. It should be used and not thrown away," fumed local business owner Richard Butensky. "There were a lot of desks -- at least 50 -- and those were all destroyed."

The damage would have been worse if Robert Nassau -- whose wife runs a new private school in Fort Greene, Brooklyn, called the Greene Hill School -- hadn't rescued dozens of items lined up on the block ready to be pulverized.

He quickly hired and filled a truck full of the salvaged furniture -- at a cost of more than $600 -- after getting the OK from the sanitation guys.

I just wanted to save the stuff from the trash. I saved half of what was there, maybe less," said Nassau, 38, who snagged about 100 desk chairs, standup cabinets, filing cabinets and bookshelves.

Reason #16,888 why our borders should be secured

The suspect in the fatal shooting of a 14-year-old Houston girl was an illegal immigrant from El Salvador who previously was deported twice by immigration officials, authorities said.

Melvin Alvarado, 22, was convicted of two separate intoxicated driving offenses in Harris County in 2006 and 2007, criminal records show. He was sentenced to 60 days in jail in connection with the last arrest in November 2007.

Gregory Palmore, an Immigration and Customs Enforcement spokesman, said immigration officials removed Alvarado from the country in April 2008 and again in May 2009.

Palmore said it was unclear from his records whether Alvarado was picked up directly from Harris County Jail after the last intoxicated driving conviction.

The second suspect in the fatal shooting of Shatavia Anderson on Saturday, Jonathan Lopez-Torres, 18, was a lawful permanent resident from Honduras, Palmore said. Harris County records show Lopez-Torres was arrested and accused of auto theft in February 2009. That charge was later dismissed.

The two suspects allegedly saw Anderson as merely a "target of opportunity" for an armed robbery, Houston police homicide detectives said Wednesday.

Alvarado and Lopez-Torres were charged Wednesday with capital murder in the slaying of Anderson, who was known as "Tae" to her friends and family. They were being held without bail at Harris County Jail.

I guess I'm just a red neck, racist xenophobe for wanting to keep clowns like this out of our country.


SEIU Intimidation Outside of Meg Whitman Fundraiser

The Decline

Stuff liberals run - College dorms

I ran across this on youtube

I lived on the 22nd floor of this death trap the last year it was open as a dorm.

The story is 1 ) building opened in 1971, cost to build 3 million 2) After a fire in 1982 that almost killed a girl, it was decided that the building needed another stairwell. 3) during plans to put in the new stairwell, asbestos was found. cost to abate around 5 mill. 4) new stairwell put in at a cost of 16 million. 5) After stairwell was installed, the university decided the building no longer served a purpose so it was imploded in 1991.

All together it took 21 million to refurbish a 3 million dollar building just in time to blow it up.

Now that's "Progressive"!

Stuff liberals run - Municipal Water systems

Residents in eastern Washtenaw County will soon see higher water bills, and the director of the Ypsilanti Community Utilities Authority says the area's declining industrial base is partly to blame.

The Detroit Water and Sewer Department increased YCUA's water rates by 18.6 percent this year, which is then partially passed on to customers.

YCUA Director Larry Thomas attributed half of that figure to the area’s declining industrial base.

“That’s really because of changes in our usage patterns,” Thomas said.

Historically, water rate increases passed on from Detroit have largely resulted from improvements to the infrastructure. Thomas said new management arrived in Detroit roughly 15 years ago and began making needed infrastructure updates. Prior to that, rates were relatively low because Detroit wasn’t fully maintaining its infrastructure, he said.

From 2001 to 2004, rates increased at an average 15 percent annually. From 2004 to 2008, increases were much lower, and after YCUA renegotiated its contract with Detroit in 2008, rates dropped by 7.1 percent.

But in the last two years, the rate increases have doubled to 9.6 percent in 2009 and 18.6 percent this year.

Only in liberal economies do you see a situation where demand goes down and prices go up.......


The race card has expired

This is pretty hilarious..... because it's true.....

The Daily Show With Jon StewartMon - Thurs 11p / 10c
Race Card Is Maxed Out
Daily Show Full EpisodesPolitical HumorTea Party

Making the story fit the prejuduce..........

.......even if you have to make stuff to make it happen

Remember a few years ago when NBC wanted to show how your average NASCAR fan was a religious bigot by planting praying Muslims across various NASCAR events?

If you don't remember, it's because the story never aired because these plants were largely ignored by the fans.

Update to today where your average dumbass media member believes that tea partiers are racist even though the only racist at these events are democratic plants. From Gateway Pundit......

It figures. The fake racist plant and liberal Jack Conway supporter who was busted infiltrating a Rand Paul rally was an Obama campaign worker.

He has a long history of liberal activism.
David Weigel reported, via FOX Nation:

I just talked to Tyler Collins, who politely declined to comment as he adjusts to life as the subject of a multi-tier campaign of citizen journalism investigating his life as a Democratic activist. You know Collins. He was the guy who dressed up as a slack-jawed “Rand Paul fan,” wearing a tinfoil hat and holding a sign that echoed/parodied conservative fears about illegal immigration.

Why is Collins lying low? Because he has a long picture and paper trail as a Democratic activist. Brandon Kiser has posted a column Collins, a political science student at Murray State University, wrote for a local paper. It’s mostly tame stuff critical of the tea party movement. “If we would have had the Tea Party state of mind,” Collins writes, “many elderly people would have frozen and starved to death because others would have been in their generator-heated homes oblivious to the fact and content in their cozy situations.” BREAKING NEWS: he’s a liberal activist. Here is a picture, from Collins’s now-suspended Facebook page, of the future fake tea partyer campaigning for Barack Obama.

This young radical ought to go far in the democrat party. He’s a natural fit.

Do you think Katie Couric will have a story about this anytime soon?

When will parents learn

In an all too familiar tragedy related to kids and cars..........

A speeding motorist fleeing an Ohio State Highway Patrol trooper on northbound I-75 overnight died when he crashed into a semi parked on the side of the highway, according to the Highway Patrol’s Hamilton post.

The driver was identified as Jordan Day, 16, of West Chester Township. The Lakota East High School student had sped up to more than 130 mph when he crashed, patrol officials said.

Day, who was going to be a junior this fall and would have turned 17 on August 31, moved to West Chester with his family from Chico, Calif., at this time last year. He was the top golfer on the Lakota East golf team and was considered by his coach, Jeff Combs, to be one of the top players in Southwest Ohio.

The crash occurred just south of the Ohio 63 exit, near the rest stop.

The pursuit began about 12:30 a.m. when Trooper J.S. Wickman clocked a white 1998 Lexus GS 400 driving 122 mph on the highway near the Union Centre Boulevard exit in West Chester Township, said Lt. Wayne Price, commander of the Hamilton post.

First, what parent in their right mind would allow a 16 year old kid to drive a car that could do 130/mph?

Second, what is a kid doing out at 12:30 at night during the week?

In many respects, I'm so glad that my family was not affluent when I was a kid. I drove a 1972 Ford Pinto I paid $500.00 for. That car wouldn't go 60 if you rolled it down Pike's Peak with a headwind. Since we had little, it saved a lot of trouble since I never even had to ask. I already knew the answer.

I hate to think what I would have done with a car that would do 130/mph. Probably ended up like Jordan here.

Every time I read one of these stories I ask myself, when parents are going to deny their kids crap even though they can afford it? But within a month there's going to be another kid killed just like this one and it's not like the parents weren't warned ahead of time.


Stuff liberals run - Fannie and Freddie

From the NY Times no less...........

THE Federal National Mortgage Association — known as Fannie Mae — and the Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corporation — Freddie Mac — were poorly structured from the time, 40 years ago, when they were set up as so-called government-sponsored enterprises. Both of these technically private companies, designed to foster the issuance of home mortgages, enjoyed implicit federal backing in the event they got into financial trouble but only weak regulation to prevent such trouble. Essentially, the federal government insured the companies’ liabilities but never charged a premium.

Fannie and Freddie had a license to print money. They could borrow at an interest rate only a bit over the Treasury rate and then accumulate large portfolios of mortgages and mortgage-backed securities earning the market rate. What a deal — borrow at the low rate, invest at a higher one, hold little capital and let the federal government bear the risk! Investors enjoyed high returns, and management enjoyed high salaries. Incidentally, politicians also got a steady flow of campaign contributions from the companies’ executives.

Fannie and Freddie’s risky policies led to their near collapse; in September 2008, the federal government brought them under federal conservatorship. Fannie and Freddie have cost taxpayers about $150 billion so far.


It's all coming together

Let see

Jobless claims up

Foreclosures up

Treasury bankrupt

All for the small price of $165,000,000,000 in the month of July.

For the party who wants to blame everything on Bush, let's have a short term history lesson.

Remember 9/11 and the closing of the all the stock exchanges in the immediate aftermath? As I recalled the news at the time, people were scared to death of the economic collapse facing us when the markets reopened.

Somehow, George Bush pulled us through that.

Remember the TARP program instituted by George Bush, while very unpopular with conservatives at the time, many believe that it prevented significant economic collapse. Oh yeah, and one B. Obama actually voted for the bill in lieu of voting present.

When are people going to get that this guy is a socialist of the first order and this is going to be life under socialism in this country.

So I'm thinking that as much as I wasn't a fan of W, I'm thinking that somewhere he's laughing his ass off watching all the incompetence.

Who did she vote vote? #88

Meet Brenda Goucher. She's not the McNugget chick (we can already assume she's probably a racist tea partier). Brenda's the friend of the McNugget chick. Listen to her just excuse away her friend's assault on an innocent employee.

Now did Brenda here pull the chain for Hope and Change during the 2008 presidential election or did she grab the Four more Years of Bush chain?

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Union Jobs vs. Children's Lives: Which side are you on?

2 Gay Tea Partiers Discuss Gay Marriage And Bigotry

Jobs deficit

Normally, trade deficits don't bother me. I figure I have a trade deficit with the local grocery store; I buy much more from them than they do me.

The same is true of macro economies. If I buy a widget from a company in Indonesia over a company in the US, it just means that I have extra money to purchase things American made.

However, these recent trade deficit figures have me concerned..............

The U.S. trade deficit unexpectedly widened in June by a record $7.9 billion as imports rose and shipments abroad declined.

The $49.9 billion gap was the biggest since October 2008 and followed a $42 billion shortfall in May, Commerce Department figures showed today in Washington. Exports dropped by the most in more than a year.

Stocks plunged after the report, extending a global slide, on growing concern the recovery worldwide was slowing as a report showed output in China cooled and the leader of the Bank of England said U.K. growth will be weaker than previously forecast. Today’s trade data also signaled the U.S. economy slackened more than currently estimated last quarter.

“We’re going to get less of a boost from exports in the second half,” said Aaron Smith, a senior economist at Moody’s in West Chester, Pennsylvania. “It’s consistent with slower global growth.”

Why do trade deficits bother me now? Because it's clear that we have collective demand for goods and services in this country. However, with unemployment hovering around 10%, you have to wonder how it is that none of these goods and services can be produced in this country.

Maybe it's because the costs of production is so high they can't be made in this country.

Just a thought.


Life in "Progress" City - Cambridge MA edition

At least one Cambridge city councilor won’t be supporting MIT until the university pledges to put its workers first.

During a hearing about recent MIT staff layoffs Monday, Councilor Marjorie Decker told representatives from the university that she would not back MIT when it comes before the Council for permits or other approvals.

“I will not be engaging in any conversations about other needs of the university until I have a better handle on what the university is doing to really, meaningfully, show that workers are a priority,” said Decker during a meeting of the City Council’s university relations subcommittee.

Staff layoffs at MIT were necessary to help close a $125 million budget deficit, but the university has no plans to cut more jobs, school officials said during the hearing.

Is it just me, or does it seem that liberals are going "all in" and really trying to ruin our society?

Not only bankrupting you own city but taking everyone else down with you?

Now that's "Progressive"!


Life in "Progress" City - Atlanta edition

A crowd of people hoping to get federal housing assistance became unruly Wednesday morning with reports of fights breaking out in the crowd.

Thousands of people were lined up at the Tri-Cities shopping center, hoping to apply for a voucher from the East Point Housing Authority that will give them a discount on their rent.

People began lining up at the shopping center two days ago, and by Wednesday morning the crowd had grown to over 1,000 people. East Point police, some wearing riot helmets, were patrolling the area. Firefighters and EMTs were attending to people who were overheating in the sun. College Park police and firefighters were also assisting in crowd control.

Felecia McGhee told the AJC she arrived around 6:30 a.m. Wednesday. She said the major problem began when people started breaking into the line and officials started moving the areas where they were handing out applications. She said she saw at least two small children trampled when the crowd rushed the building where the applications were to be handed out.

"It's a real mess out here," she said.


The Hill they die on

Last year, I did a series of pieces titled the "Hills They'll Die On" regarding the issues and/or constituents they'll protect at all costs.... even if it means the disintegration of the party.

Number five on that list was the NEA. If you needed any further proof that they'll stake the whole party fortunes on the NEA then read this........

Some House Democrats and advocacy groups are getting squeamish about the move to fund the $26 billion state aid bill by making cuts to food stamps, a federal assistance program currently depended on by nearly 41 million Americans.

House members convened Tuesday and passed the multibillion-dollar bailout bill for cash-strapped states that provides $10 billion to school districts to rehire laid-off teachers or ensure that more teachers won't be let go before the new school year begins, keeping more than 160,000 teachers on the job, the Obama administration says.

But the bill also requires that $12 billion be stripped from the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, commonly known as food stamps, to help fund the new bill, prompting some Democrats to cringe at the notion of cutting back on one necessity to pay for another.

Arguably one of the most outspoken opponents on the Democratic side is Connecticut Rep. Rosa DeLauro, who has blasted the move as “a bitter pill to swallow” but still voted yes.

Right............ but she still voted yes because the NEA is a hill they'll die on; unlike poor people.


How to lose your man card

Next to Rick Pitino testifying that his sex act lasted all of 15 seconds this may be the lamest........

Reds v Cardinals Brawl - HD - 8/10/10

Thoughts on the fight last night.

1) Phillips accuses Cardinals of being a bunch of little bitches. Tony LaRusa (the direct descendant of Abner Doubleday) proves Phillips point it by calling the media to whine about someone calling his team names.

2) Instead of just firing a fastball at Phillips, Molina proves Phillips point again by getting in his grill.

3) The Reds finally get the red ass about something. Probably because they have something worth fighting for.

4) Reds get their ass kicked. Committing three errors in a big game; proving they're probably not ready for prime time.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Life in "Progress" City - Bell CA edition

When the government of Bell, Calif was outed for paying exorbitant salaries, the mayor said his $800,000 city manager was worth it: "Our city is one of the best in the area. That is the result of the city manager. It's not because I say it. It's because my community says it."

But things weren't actually going that well in the LA suburb. S&P just cut the city's bond rating to junk on warnings of an inability to pay debts due Nov. 1.


S&P lowered Bell’s general-obligation and pension bond ratings to BB, two levels below investment grade, from A-, and put it on a watchlist for potential further downgrade. The credit-rating company cited the resignations of top city officers amid a scandal over how much they were paid, and media reports about the decline in value of property financed with municipal debt in 2007 as reasons for the downgrade.

“The lack of good information is creating some uncertainty,” S&P analyst Sussan Corson said in a telephone interview. “There could be some stress on the city, and we think that the rating action is justified.”

The city manager and others have resigned after protest, but who knows how screwed up and corrupt the local finances are?

Dana Milbank, racist

I never knew Dana Milbank was a racist until I read this criticism of our first black president.........

While President Obama's wife and younger daughter were conducting international relations in Majorca on Sunday with Spain's King Juan Carlos and Queen Sofia, the commander in chief was at home hosting a fantasy camp for himself. He and his buddies had a birthday weekend barbecue and basketball game with LeBron James, Alonzo Mourning, Magic Johnson and other legends of the sport.

The day before, it was a four-hour golf outing for Obama and the boys. On Monday, he hosted the Super Bowl champion New Orleans Saints at the White House and talked about his own exploits on the gridiron last year with Saints quarterback Drew Brees. "He tossed me a nice tight spiral that I then lateraled to a kid on [Dallas Cowboys linebacker] DeMarcus Ware's shoulders," the president recalled. "I also want to point out I beat [Pittsburgh Steelers safety] Troy Polamalu over the middle on that throw." Obama turned to Brees. "You remember?"

Boys will be boys -- even if they're presidents.

It's a good thing Michelle Obama is back from her foreign trip. Otherwise Obama might have already invited the networks to film him playing H-O-R-S-E on the White House basketball court. Oh, wait: He already did that, in the spring, when basketball star and CBS Sports announcer Clark Kellogg shot some televised hoops with him.

According to unofficial presidential statistician Mark Knoller of CBS News, Obama has left the White House to play basketball 16 times so far, in addition to the countless times he has played on his home court. He's shot 44 rounds of golf, gone fishing and played tennis. Total sporting-related events hosted at the White House: 45. That's about six times the number of news conferences he has held.

Nothing like a squeezing a little vaca between rounds of golf.......


Life in "Progress" State - Illinois edition

Here's a list of vendors who are owed more than $100,000 by the state of Illinois.

Stiffing your vendors?

Now that's "progressive"!

Carnahan Campaign Meltdown Caught on Tape

remind me again who the party of tolerance is?

Yes John Edwards, there are two Americas

One for your average working stiff and another for the fat ass federal worker they support..........

At a time when workers' pay and benefits have stagnated, federal employees' average compensation has grown to more than double what private sector workers earn, a USA TODAY analysis finds.

Federal workers have been awarded bigger average pay and benefit increases than private employees for nine years in a row. The compensation gap between federal and private workers has doubled in the past decade.

Federal civil servants earned average pay and benefits of $123,049 in 2009 while private workers made $61,051 in total compensation, according to the Bureau of Economic Analysis. The data are the latest available.

The federal compensation advantage has grown from $30,415 in 2000 to $61,998 last year.

Public employee unions say the compensation gap reflects the increasingly high level of skill and education required for most federal jobs and the government contracting out lower-paid jobs to the private sector in recent years.

Riiiiiight. We've all been impressed with the intellectual horsepower coming out you average federal worker.


Monday, August 09, 2010

Life in "Progress" Cities - The Top Ten edition

The Top Ten worst places to live........

New Yorkers may curse the city's traffic jams or the sweltering heat, but the Big Apple isn't one of the worst places to live, according to WalletPop's new list.

Newark, Miami and Los Angeles made the outlet's Top 10 Worst Places to Live, which used criteria such as unemployment rates, health and climate data, crime stats and the number of foreclosures.

Newark, the closest city to make the dubious list, qualified for a few reasons: More than a quarter of its residents reportedly live below the poverty line and the city also is trying to close a $70 million deficit, according to the site.

WalletPop chose Miami for its reported 40,000 foreclosures and for having one of the highest crime rates in the country.

Los Angeles landed on the list for topping another worst list: the American Lung Association's list of cities with the worst ozone pollution.

Other "worst" cities include El Centro, Calif,, where one in four residents is out of work, and Cleveland, which gets brutally cold and snowy winters, according to the site.

Rounding out the rest of the list were Oklahoma City, Phoenix, Detroit and Memphis.

You know what you'll find in the group here? Lots of democrats.

Once again I have a chicken/egg question. Are these cities dumps because they're populated with democrats or did they become dumps because of democratic policies?


The top ten Obamunist job killers

From IDB...........

President Obama claims that he's concerned about "jobs, jobs, jobs," but he has signed laws, issued executive orders and approved regulations that create incentives for private-sector employers to lay off people or delay hiring people. It's no wonder high unemployment persists.

Obama's top 10 job killers include:

• Executive orders and regulations promoting compulsory unionism.

By gaining a bargaining monopoly in workplaces, labor unions have negotiated above-market compensation and benefits for their members, which has driven governments toward bankruptcy, priced unionized businesses out of markets and destroyed jobs.

Although Obama's card-check legislative initiative (to eliminate the secret ballot in union certification elections) stalled in Congress, he has pushed compulsory unionism by other means.

For example, in January 2009, Obama issued executive order 13496 promoting compulsory unionism among government contractors. The next month, he issued executive order 13502 requiring compulsory unionism for federal construction projects.

In March, Obama named Craig Becker to the National Labor Relations Board. Becker, formerly an attorney for the AFL-CIO and Service Employees International Union, is pushing the NLRB to rewrite union certification rules, making it easier for unions to gain a bargaining monopoly in workplaces — which would destroy more jobs .

Read the other nine here.

They actually forgot one on this list. The Lilly Ledbetter fair pay act which only dramatically increased the costs of employment contingencies.

These are the best things to ever happen to the Chinese labor markets.

Stuff liberals run - The Chevy Volt

Let's call it the Yugo of our generation..........

Yet another example of crony capitalism rolls off the assembly line soon, in the form of the GM Volt — an electric hybrid that’s absurdly overpriced and woefully underperforms.

It’s set to sell for $41,000, and travels an underwhelming 40 miles before needing a charge (340 miles when the gas engine is invoked, defeating the basic purpose). It seats four, uncomfortably (thanks to the battery pack down the middle).

But there’s more to the story than just a poorly designed, expensive car subsidized with taxpayer money.

Not satisfied with violating bondholders’ rights during bankruptcy proceedings, Obama twisted GM’s arm into producing the car, despite a lack of projected demand to justify the investment economically. As is usual in such arrangements, Obama added some large carrots to the stick. According to the New York Times:

Quantifying just how much taxpayer money will have been wasted on the hastily developed Volt is no easy feat. Start with the $50 billion bailout (without which none of this would have been necessary), add $240 million in Energy Department grants doled out to GM last summer, $150 million in federal money to the Volt’s Korean battery supplier, up to $1.5 billion in tax breaks for purchasers and other consumer incentives, and some significant portion of the $14 billion loan GM got in 2008 for “retooling” its plants, and you’ve got some idea of how much taxpayer cash is built into every Volt.


More college, less common sense

This clown has the opinion that more students need to have their eyes set on college..........

U.S. students have become accustomed to making grades good enough to develop minimal proficiencies and graduate high school, but in many cases not good enough to pursue higher education and land important, high-paying jobs in emerging fields. These career fields will depend heavily on science, technology, engineering and math – what those of us in academia call the STEM disciplines.

Many students have not been encouraged to take a long view toward education. They have been taught to see high school graduation as the goal. If this level of educational attainment is the goal, there is less incentive to perform at higher standards that guarantee college admission and career success. Worse, college is only presented as only "one option" to many students.

Our nation does not have a "college-going culture." I am not so pessimistic, however, as to assume that we cannot create one. If we are to provide this cultural sea change in America – and especially in North Texas – there are several important things we must do.

First, what rock has this guy been living under. There isn't a high school in this country that doesn't count the number of kids heading to post graduate studies.

Second, I would offer that too many kids have college at any price on their minds. As a result, not enough of them are prepared academically when they enter school nor do they have any sense of a plan when they arrive on campus.

The result is tons of college dropout loaded with big fat student loans they'll never be able to repay.

For those who do graduate with that Women Studies degree too many never got the memo that employers are looking for people with requisite skills to their businesses. Being able to recite a laundry list of bra burners is generally not a skill a lot of employers are embracing in today's job market.

Third, not enough kids are being encouraged to develop skills outside of academia. What's wrong with a kids knowing how to service fuel injectors over recitation of O'Henry?

I've always been confused with the sizable population of this country who believe that a college degree says something about your character and your value to society; like the pompous sportswriters who get hung up on college football graduation rates.

I've met more than my share of college graduates who might have been the dumbest people in my life. Hell, look at our president. The guy graduated from Harvard Law School but still can't get his brain around the Law of Supply and Demand.


Stuff liberals run - Freddie Mac

As much talk as the Obamunists have done beating on Wall Street and telling us that this latest financial "reform" bill will prevent any future meltdowns, you'd think they might have addressed something that only cost the feds 150 BILLION dollars...........

Mortgage finance giant Freddie Mac (FMCC.OB) on Monday said it would need another $1.8 billion in aid from taxpayers, bringing its total request since it was taken over by the government two years ago to more than $64 billion.

The second largest U.S. residential mortgage funds provider reported a loss of $6.0 billion, or $1.85 per diluted share, in the second quarter, including a $1.3 billion dividend payment to the government.

That compares with an $8.0 billion loss in the prior quarter and is the best three-month performance in a year. The firm lost $840 million in the second quarter of last year.

The company said losses stemmed primarily from loans purchased or guaranteed between 2005 and 2008.

The U.S. Treasury took control of Freddie Mac and its sister entity, Fannie Mae (FNMA.OB), at the height of the financial crisis in 2008 as loan losses mounted.

Since the government takeover, the two firms together have requested close to $150 billion from the government's unlimited credit line, scheduled to expire at the end of 2012.

But then again, what do you expect from a business populated by liberals?


Life in "Progress" State - California edition

They called it Paradise
I don't know why
You call some place Paradise
Kiss it goodbye

California has long been a destination for those seeking a better place to live. For most of its history, the state enacted sensible policies that created one of the wealthiest and most innovative economies in human history. California realized the American dream but better, fostering a huge middle class that, for the most part, owned their homes, sent their kids to public schools, and found meaningful work connected to the state’s amazingly diverse, innovative economy.

Recently, though, the dream has been evaporating. Between 2003 and 2007, California state and local government spending grew 31 percent, even as the state’s population grew just 5 percent. The overall tax burden as a percentage of state income, once middling among the states, has risen to the sixth-highest in the nation, says the Tax Foundation. Since 1990, according to an analysis by California Lutheran University, the state’s share of overall U.S. employment has dropped a remarkable 10 percent. When the state economy has done well, it has usually been the result of asset inflation—first during the dot-com bubble of the late 1990s, and then during the housing boom, which was responsible for nearly half of all jobs created earlier in this decade.

Since the financial crisis began in 2008, the state has fared even worse. Last year, California personal income fell 2.5 percent, the first such fall since the Great Depression and well below the 1.7 percent drop for the rest of the country. Unemployment may be starting to ebb nationwide, but not in California, where it approaches 13 percent, among the highest rates in the nation. Between 2008 and 2009, not one of California’s biggest cities outperformed such traditional laggards as New York, Pittsburgh, and Philadelphia in employment growth, and four cities—Los Angeles, Oakland, Santa Ana, and San Bernardino–Riverside—sit very close to the bottom among the nation’s largest metro areas, just slightly ahead of basket cases like Detroit. Long a global exemplar, California is in danger of becoming, as historian Kevin Starr has warned, a “failed state.”

What went so wrong? The answer lies in a change in the nature of progressive politics in California. During the second half of the twentieth century, the state shifted from an older progressivism, which emphasized infrastructure investment and business growth, to a newer version, which views the private sector much the way the Huns viewed a city—as something to be sacked and plundered. The result is two separate California realities: a lucrative one for the wealthy and for government workers, who are largely insulated from economic decline; and a grim one for the private-sector middle and working classes, who are fleeing the state.

Creating their own Exodus?

Now that's "progressive"!

This is great case study of how liberal policies can bring down the most affluent of societies.


Stuff liberals run - public pensions

You know the liberal management of government is in trouble when the NY Times piles on............

There’s a class war coming to the world of government pensions.

The haves are retirees who were once state or municipal workers. Their seemingly guaranteed and ever-escalating monthly pension benefits are breaking budgets nationwide.

The have-nots are taxpayers who don’t have generous pensions. Their 401(k)s or individual retirement accounts have taken a real beating in recent years and are not guaranteed. And soon, many of those people will be paying higher taxes or getting fewer state services as their states put more money aside to cover those pension checks.

At stake is at least $1 trillion. That’s trillion, with a “t,” as in titanic and terrifying.

The figure comes from a study by the Pew Center on the States that came out in February. Pew estimated a $1 trillion gap as of fiscal 2008 between what states had promised workers in the way of retiree pension, health care and other benefits and the money they currently had to pay for it all. And some economists say that Pew is too conservative and the problem is two or three times as large.

Here's a dirty little secret for those anti free enterprise "progressives" who believe those cake jobs with the cushy benefits will be there for life.

Those pension funds are invested in those same private companies you detest so much. Without a flourishing private sector, your pension assets might as well consist of tumbleweed.

Oh and your job, without that private sector, where will the taxes come from to cover your fat ass position with benefits?

So instead of killing the golden goose, why don't we work on the attitude that the private sector isn't some sort of evil vulcan invasion.


Where the hell is John Galt?

No one knows for sure but the one thing we know is that he's not hiring.

With unemployment just under 10% and companies sitting on their cash, you would think that sooner or later job growth would take off. I think it's going to be later—much later. Here's why.

Meet Sally (not her real name; details changed to preserve privacy). Sally is a terrific employee, and she happens to be the median person in terms of base pay among the 83 people at my little company in New Jersey, where we provide audio systems for use in educational, commercial and industrial settings. She's been with us for over 15 years. She's a high school graduate with some specialized training. She makes $59,000 a year—on paper. In reality, she makes only $44,000 a year because $15,000 is taken from her thanks to various deductions and taxes, all of which form the steep, sad slope between gross and net pay.

Before that money hits her bank, it is reduced by the $2,376 she pays as her share of the medical and dental insurance that my company provides. And then the government takes its due. She pays $126 for state unemployment insurance, $149 for disability insurance and $856 for Medicare. That's the small stuff. New Jersey takes $1,893 in income taxes. The federal government gets $3,661 for Social Security and another $6,250 for income tax withholding. The roughly $13,000 taken from her by various government entities means that some 22% of her gross pay goes to Washington or Trenton. She's lucky she doesn't live in New York City, where the toll would be even higher.

Employing Sally costs plenty too. My company has to write checks for $74,000 so Sally can receive her nominal $59,000 in base pay. Health insurance is a big, added cost: While Sally pays nearly $2,400 for coverage, my company pays the rest—$9,561 for employee/spouse medical and dental. We also provide company-paid life and other insurance premiums amounting to $153. Altogether, company-paid benefits add $9,714 to the cost of employing Sally.

Then the federal and state governments want a little something extra. They take $56 for federal unemployment coverage, $149 for disability insurance, $300 for workers' comp and $505 for state unemployment insurance. Finally, the feds make me pay $856 for Sally's Medicare and $3,661 for her Social Security.

When you add it all up, it costs $74,000 to put $44,000 in Sally's pocket and to give her $12,000 in benefits. Bottom line: Governments impose a 33% surtax on Sally's job each year.

As I've noted before, in the future, the push will be to get overtime out of existing employees over hiring new ones. Even with the overtime surcharge, it will be to a company's advantage to keep lean and mean over the premium of having more employees.

Especially when you consider that so many of these government mandates kick in when companies get to certain employee thresholds 25, 50, 100 employees.

So congratulations. If you have a job, you're likely to have it next year. If you don't. Well, good luck with that one.


"Southern Strategy" myth perpetrated by media

As a junior high student, I attended William T Sherman junior high. Lancaster Ohio was the home of the great Civil War general.

I always crack up when I think of the giant mural that covered part of the gym wall that showed Sherman on a horse with flames surrounding him as he marched through Atlanta. I'm sure the PC police has had that covered since my days for fear of offending someone.

I will always remember my Ohio history teacher telling us at the time that you should probably never tell a southerner that you are from that school because you are sure to provoke a confrontation.

That was the mid seventies, when bell bottoms were awfully popular.

I tell that story because the conventional wisdom is that those racist southerners switched from being democrats to republicans as a reflection of their racist past.

But I've traveled all over the south staying in every state east of Texas at one point in time over my lifetime and you know what I've noticed in my travels? The lack of southern dialects. Most of the people who live in the south today couldn't give a crap about William Sherman. The next time I head to Tennessee and Georgia, I'm going to test it out.

None the less, what this tells me is that so much of the south has been invaded by northerners who brought with them their conservative sensibilities and leaving behind the union protected stooges of the northern states. Many of these people left their native northern homesteads for job opportunities in the south.

The Gekko's have three family members who now reside in the south and I would venture to guess that a significant number of southerners who reside in the area probably don't go back more than two generations there.

But that doesn't stop people like Joan Walsh from attempting to perpetrate the myth of the "Southern Strategy". In this case as it pertains to Fox News.
The most important point is this: Fox News has, sadly, become the purveyor of a 50-state "Southern strategy," the plan perfected by Richard Nixon to use race to scare Southern Democrats into becoming Republicans by insisting the other party wasn't merely trying to fight racism, but give blacks advantages over whites (Fox News boss Roger Ailes, of course, famously worked for Nixon). Now Fox is using the election of our first black president to scare (mainly older) white people in all 50 states that, again, the Democratic Party is run by corrupt black people trying to give blacks advantages over whites (MSNBC's Rachel Maddow laid out this history last week).

Once again, let me offer that Fox News has more black guests and contributors on their supposedly "white" broadcasts than the purveyors of great diversity over at MSNBC. I guess they believe because Rachel is a gay chick they get two bonus points for their diversity efforts.