Saturday, October 16, 2010

Then and now

From Greg Mankiw..........
The Bush administration today recommended the most significant regulatory overhaul in the housing finance industry since the savings and loan crisis a decade ago.
Under the plan, disclosed at a Congressional hearing today, a new agency would be created within the Treasury Department to assume supervision of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, the government-sponsored companies that are the two largest players in the mortgage lending industry....
Among the groups denouncing the proposal today were the National Association of Home Builders and Congressional Democrats who fear that tighter regulation of the companies could sharply reduce their commitment to financing low-income and affordable housing.
''These two entities -- Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac -- are not facing any kind of financial crisis,'' said Representative Barney Frank of Massachusetts, the ranking Democrat on the Financial Services Committee. ''The more people exaggerate these problems, the more pressure there is on these companies, the less we will see in terms of affordable housing.''

As if you needed another reason to dump Strickland

Despite a $400 million award from Washington to build it, a proposed passenger rail line linking Cincinnati to Columbus and Cleveland may never get out of the station if the Ohio governor's office changes hands next month

Whatever other changes in policies and priorities are at stake in the contest between Gov. Ted Strickland and Republican John Kasich, the most immediate tangible impact could be felt on the so-called 3C plan.

With Strickland as strongly in favor of the plan as Kasich is adamantly opposed to it, whether the 255-mile line is developed - indeed, whether Ohio even accepts the $400 million in federal money - will be largely determined Nov. 2.

Strickland, characterizing the plan's opponents as "cheerleaders for failure," argues that restoring passenger rail service among Ohio's three largest cities for the first time in four decades would broaden transit options while generating millions of dollars in development and thousands of jobs.

"Cleveland-Columbus-Dayton-Cincinnati is the most heavily populated corridor in America that is totally devoid of passenger rail service," Strickland said. The line also would include stops in Sharonville and Dayton.

Kasich, who considers the proposed 3C line too expensive, too slow - preliminary schedules called for a 39 mph, 6½-hour trip from Cincinnati to Cleveland - and unlikely to attract enough riders, has vowed that the idea would be "dead when I become governor."

"It doesn't work," Kasich said. "The idea that we are going to fix Ohio's economy with a 39 mph train is prima facie evidence that we are lost in the thicket here."


Ken Buck for U.S. Senate - "Ignore Us"

Friday, October 15, 2010

A Visibly Embarrassed Senator Boxer Has Her Lies Repeatedly Called Out B...

Are you kidding me?

Someone who fashions himself as a media professional threw this out there

One of the sound bites to emerge from last night’s Harry Reid vs. Sharron Angle debate has Angle telling Reid to “man up,” a popular line of attack on Reid from both sides of the political spectrum. While this kind of gender-based attack tends to generate nothing more than an “Oh, snap!” from most observers, imagine what would happen if Reid had told Angle to “act like a lady,” or if President Obama told Sarah Palin to “grow some breasts?” Is Sharron Angle a sexist? And who is she really telling to “man up?”

You know what would happen? Nothing. We already have a candidate calling his opponent a whore. Another candidate who actually beat his wife and the media just yawns.

Liberalism = Projection

Liberals know too well about tax cheats because the comprise most of them............

As far as liberal financiers go, you don’t get much more powerful than S. Donald Sussman.

Since 1989, the hedge-fund billionaire has pumped millions into the coffers of Democratic politicians and their political pet projects. Sussman sits on the board of the Center for American Progress, the Democracy Alliance and the dovish Israel Policy Forum, and he’s been one of the top contributors to left-leaning 527 organizations during the 2010 election cycle.

But while Sussman has long kept a behind-the-scenes profile, a recent ethics controversy in Maine has flung him into the center of a complicated dispute over state residency, tax dodging and congressional ethics – the implications of which extend all the way from the rocky coast of southern Maine to the offshore tax haven of the U.S. Virgin Islands.

According to Sussman’s fiancĂ©e, Rep Chellie Pingree (D-ME), the philanthropist lives with her and has been a resident of Maine since 2009. But financial records and other documents indicate that Sussman has claimed full-time residency and extensive tax breaks in the U.S. Virgin Islands for years – and may be continuing to claim them.

Progressive organizations and Democratic leaders – including ones who have taken significant financial contributions from Sussman – have long vilified offshore tax havens, pointing to them as evidence of corporate greed gone wild. Rep. Pingree has been an outspoken critic of this type of tax evasion, and made it one of the cornerstones of her unsuccessful 2002 senate bid against Sen. Susan Collins (R-ME).

C'mon, taxes are for the little people.


Media turns a blind eye

Let me make sure I got this right. Paper sues to obtain sealed private divorce records of a senatorial candidate (republican) which discloses that he has some kinky fetishes for his wife.

But Dog the Bounty Hunter couldn't find a paper willing to report on actual spousal abuse (democrat).........

“Charles admits that early in the marriage he kicked and struck Plaintiff and accused her of adultery. Clara shall confirm the beatings, slappings, and kicking at the early stage of her marriage to the point where she was afraid to anger the Defendant and instead yielded to his demands . . .

He jumped out of his chair and grabbed her about the neck as he slammed her into the refrigerator. He then grabbed her about both arms, shaking her as they both went over to the kitchen counter which Mrs. Wilson struck with enough force to take the breath out of her. She then fell to the floor, hitting the bottom door to the sink. As she lay there stunned, she couldn’t move her head or pick up her arm.

Charles admits grabbing Plaintiff [his then-wife, Clara] by the arms and shaking her. He admits grabbing her around the neck with one hand. He admits bruising Plaintiff’s arms and neck.”

“Clara was taken to the East Ohio Regional Hospital by her son. She initially lied to the emergency room physician that she had fallen down stairs. The physician’s observation of a bruise on the back of the right shoulder was inconsistent with a fall down the stairs. He questioned her further and learned of her husband’s assault.”

Has now endorsed him yet?


Rumpke Mountain Boys - "(Pigs) Three Different Ones" Pink Floyd cover

The Gekko's will be out tonight catching the Rumpke Mountain Boys at the Red Rock Tavern. If you're bored come join us.

Insurance Companies only out to make money! Duh!

So Harry Reid believes that insurance companies are only in the business to make money not to make sure that people have coverage.

No shit Sherlock. You know I've purchased probably over a thousand tomatoes over my life time and I've never had a clerk ask me if I planned on feeding my hungry kids with those tomatoes or if I planned to use them to throw at a politician.

The fact remains that if there was no profit motivation for anyone.... no one would ever do a damn thing.

I am currently taking Benicar for blood pressure. Daichi Sankyo never made that drug for my benevolence. They made it because they knew there was a market for people with high blood pressure who would buy it.

If this company was forced to produce goods out of benevolence and not profit, how many blood pressure drugs would be on the market. If you guess ZERO move to the head of the class.

So if a for profit company's not going to produce a drug for shear benevolence do you think our benevolent government will come up with a drug? Even if they could do it, where would they get the money without for profit companies paying taxes?

These democrats want people to believe they're not anti business when this is the kind of caca that rolls out of their mouths.

Harry Reid must have a masters degree in dumb ass.

My constituents love me

With a potentially competitive race developing back home in Minnesota’s 8th District, Transportation Committee Chairman Jim Oberstar collected a contribution from just one resident of the district between June 22 and Sept. 30, according to a federal election report filed Wednesday.

Jane Robbins of Pine City gave Oberstar $500 on Aug. 22.

Read more:

Life in "Progress" City - Ann Arbor edition

Even the author notes the "progressiveness" of the town.........

This progressive city, long known for embracing the poor and destitute, is learning that its support has a price.

For several years, homeless from around the state have descended upon the city because of a largesse that ranges from social services to the generosity of U-M students toward panhandlers, said city police, social service agencies and transients.

The number of homeless in Washtenaw County jumped from 4,212 in 2008 to 4,618 last year, according to the Shelter Association of Washtenaw County. A quarter of them are from outside the county, said the association.

The influx contributed to a panhandling problem that grew so severe this summer that the police chief labeled it the "No. 1 crime," and the City Council assembled a task force to study it.

"We have people from all over," said Police Chief Barnett Jones. "We're on the cusp of being a victim of our generosity."

To discourage outsiders from coming to Ann Arbor, the city's 75-bed homeless shelter instituted a residency requirement earlier this year. That is, a person's last stable home must be located in the county.

I think we can all agree that being homeless is probably a bad thing; something we should encourage people out of.

Now in my "Redvile" enclave, we have no homeless. I've never been panhandled or seen a bum in the street with the flashing light. We also spend 0 dollars on homeless programs.

So would you agree that we in "Redville" have done a better job in getting people out of homelessness than the folks in Ann Arbor who have spent lots of resources for the homeless only so more homeless can be enabled in their community?

Let's assume that you had a relative who lost his job due to an alcohol problem and you decide to give him a place to stay until he got back on his feet. How long would you put up with this guy if he continued to drink, do drugs, trash your house and not look for a job and/or treatment before you kicked his ass out?

And yet "progressives" feel like they're being generous for enabling people to live in the cesspool of humanity; behavior they would never allow in their own homes.

Being a victim of your own generosity?

Now that's "progressive"!


Media continues to be surprised

More unexpected news at Bloomberg..........

The Thomson Reuters/University of Michigan’s preliminary index of consumer sentiment unexpectedly decreased to 67.9 in October from 68.2 a month earlier. The gauge was projected to rise to 68.9, according to the median estimate in a Bloomberg News survey.

Forecasts for the October reading ranged from 64.4 to 73.5. The Thomson Reuters sentiment index averaged 89 in the five years leading up to the recession that began in December 2007 and has yet to reach that level since the recovery began in June 2009.

As the economy grinds to a halt people are still surprised?

Thursday, October 14, 2010

When is someone going to call bull%$#

The NT Times Magazine is releasing its interview

In the piece, Obama aides note that the president and his team underestimated Republican rejectionism. "Perhaps we were naive," White House adviser David Axelrod remarked to Baker. "First, [the president's] always had good relations across party lines. And secondly, I think he believed that in the midst of a crisis you could find partners on the other side of the aisle to help deal with it. I don't think anyone here expected the degree of partisanship that we confronted." Recently departed White House chief of staff Rahm Emanuel said, "Part of what [the Republicans] were doing was not just making us grind it out. They were souring the country on the mood of the country."

Obama noted that it was probably a mistake to incorporate Republican-style tax cuts into the stimulus to win over GOPers and that he should have let the Republicans push for such tax cuts, so he could then score political points by accepting them as a bipartisan compromise. In other words, he couldn't deal straight with Republicans because they were not straight shooters. Give them a good-faith compromise at the start, and they'll hit you with a two-by-four.

Wait a damn minute here. He got what they wanted. He signed the damn thing. Why did he ever need one republican on the stimulus in the first place? To share the blame on a pile of crap. To suggest that republicans obstructed bills that passed without them is total BS.

Maybe, just maybe, this stimulus was so horrible it wouldn't even pass the stench test for one of our infamous RINO's (Snowe, Grahamnesty, Collins, RINOvich)?

So now. They own it but are too chicken to run on it. Or as Joe Biden would say, "it's too complicated". But explaining alleged foreign contributions to the chamber of commerce who turned around and spent that money on campaign ads is oh so straight forward.

I used to think the general media types were such partisan liberals they would refuse to call out the BS. Now I just think they are so stupid they can't even recognize BS when it's right under their noses. Which is why they're probably liberals in the first place.


Obamonomics true to form

It's all coming together for Team Obama.............

The United States has lost its gold-plated triple-A rating -- in the eyes of credit traders, at least.

U.S. sovereign debt was the third-worst performer in a closely watched derivatives market during the third quarter, CMA said Tuesday in its quarterly review of global sovereign credit risk.

The cost of insuring against a default on U.S. government bonds via so-called credit default swaps rose 28% in the quarter ended Sept. 30, the firm said.

That puts the United States' third-quarter performance behind only two other nations, both of which are struggling with the early stages of sovereign debt crises: Ireland, whose CDS prices rocketed 72% to a record amid growing questions about the costs of a massive bank bailout, and Portugal, whose costs jumped 30%.

What's more, the decline leaves U.S. debt trading at an implied rating of double-A-plus for the first time in memory.

But hey, at least gold is almost $1400/an ounce.


When you roll with the devil...... get a pissed off democrat.

Apparently, Steve Driehaus is upset that the DCCC is using him as timber for their fire break.

You may know Steve as one of the Stupak 8, 9 10 whatever, who sold his "conservative" soul to pass Obamacare and now..........

The national Democratic Party may have walked away from him, but he’s not exactly running after them.

That’s the message Rep. Steve Driehaus is sending to his supporters in a video posted on, an online political action committee that collects money for Democrats.

“I’ve had the guts to stand up for you….I’ve taken those tough votes because it was the right thing to do for the American people. Now the DCCC is walking away,” he says in the video, titled “Don’t Walk Away.”

The Congressman’s message comes on the heels of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee yanking more than a half million in television ads from his battleground – Ohio’s 1st District.

In the minute-long video, Driehaus urges his supporters to send a message to the Democratic Party by donating to his campaign.


Seriously, this guy is put off because the same people willing to sell out 300 million people through a back door health care deal is now shocked, shocked I tell you, that they're willing to throw him overboard for their own self protection.

His total stupidity makes him unqualified.

Hey Steve, I've got a way to communicate a more effective message to those House Democrats.

Vote for Chabot.

The Obamunists love jobs but hate business

Way too many democrats seem to believe that nothing they can do will harm the American entrepreneurial spirit and the economy.

They may be right about the entrepreneurial spirit but that only means that the big dollars guys will take their capital where they can make more money. Right now that isn't by having US plants with US workers.

But according to high level officials at the Kremlin, er, the Obama White House, Obama loves businesses..........

Former White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel isn't known for mincing words, and in a conversation with a CEO of a large company last month, he lived up to his reputation. "How come," he demanded to know, according to a person with direct knowledge of the conversation, "you guys aren't hiring more?"

The CEO's answer, the person says, went something like this: "I know you're paid to do the president's bidding, but I'm paid to answer to shareholders and a board of directors and your health-care plan is costing me $1.5 billion, your tax increases another $1 billion, and regulation another half a billion. So I might have to lay off people rather than hire them."

Emanuel's response was, according to this person, somewhat incoherent: All the conditions are there for corporations like his (in the Fortune 20) to put people back to work again. The stimulus package stopped the economy from falling into the abyss (despite persistently high unemployment), the economy is on the mend (despite slowing GDP growth), and President Obama isn't really anti-business (despite all his business-bashing on the campaign trail).

Incoherent might also describe the economic policies of the Obama administration. An administration official bragged to me that the president could have publicly supported the foreclosure moratorium, and unleashed Attorney General Eric Holder to join state attorney generals, investigating the alleged fraud in the foreclosure process—but Obama didn't after hearing from banks that the vast majority of people being foreclosed upon aren't the victims of fraud and have defaulted on their mortgages.

Now your average "progressive" like to fashion themselves as smart. But if you are so smart, how can you not see that the inconsistent, almost schizophrenic, attitude towards American commerce does nothing to fuel confidence in the American economy?

When I last worked in corporate America, I had to deliver a really bad report critical of another department. Prior to the report release we had a big time meeting between departments. After the meeting my supervisor ripped me a new one because the meeting wasn't negative enough.

Quoting him "We've got bad news to report. We needed to start consistently planting that seed early and often in that meeting. Now these people are going to feel blind sided and manipulated."

It was a lesson I always remember and one that I always employ when I believe I have bad news to deliver to a taxpayer/client........ Your communication and actions should be consistent with your beliefs.

You cannot rip businesses and the rich on the stump, increase the costs of doing business in this country and then try and get a warm fuzzy hug from these people by telling them you love them.

Of course, Obama would know these things given his wealth of business experience as a community organizer, student/professor, and Harvard Law Review editor.


Life in "Progress" City - The bankruptcy edition

Reader Becky forward this article to me noting the nation's fifteen most bankrupt cities.

You can probably guess what they all have in common.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Phil Hare was here

Krauthammer Slams Obama For Shovel Ready Admission

I'm supposed to feel sorry for these people

Two more foreclosure cases for people who deserve not one drop of sympathy.


On Monday in Simi Valley, he helped a family of nine break into their foreclosed home, and this Tuesday in Escondido started three miles east of the Bolanoses' home at a property once owned by Eva Rocha and her husband.

The couple purchased the house on Kimball Street with a traditional loan of $196,000 in 1999. When the value of the house soared in the bubble, they refinanced in 2005 for $400,000, Eva said standing in the empty living room of the house. They used the money to purchase another house nearby, one that allowed their two children to each have their own room, and a pool in the backyard.



The Earl family bought the Simi Valley house in 2001 for $539,000. In 2005 they refinanced with an $880,000 loan. In February, the trustee’s deed upon sale indicated unpaid debt with costs on the property just over $1 million.
So between these two families they drained a half a million dollars of equity out of homes they probably couldn't afford in the first place.

I'm still waiting for the media to drop a real heartbreak story on these foreclosures.

"We'll have to pass the bill before we'll know what's in it"

Now we know it's a pinata full of various species of doo doo...........

Ralph Nilssen's five beautiful kids are about to get more expensive. Regence Blue Shield sent him a letter saying rates are going up - way up.

Regence put the blame - at least in part - on the new and controversial health care law.

"Obama care went into effect and my rates went through the roof," said Nilssen.

In the letter, Regence told Nilssen his $532 monthly premium could nearly triple next year.


Those racist tea partiers

A new analysis of political signs displayed at a tea party rally in Washington last month reveals that the vast majority of activists expressed narrow concerns about the government's economic and spending policies and steered clear of the racially charged anti-Obama messages that have helped define some media coverage of such events.

Emily Ekins, a graduate student at UCLA, conducted the survey at the 9/12 Taxpayer March on Washington last month by scouring the crowd, row by row and hour by hour, and taking a picture of every sign she passed.

Ekins photographed about 250 signs, and more than half of those she saw reflected a "limited government ethos," she found - touching on such topics as the role of government, liberty, taxes, spending, deficit and concern about socialism. Examples ranged from the simple message "$top the $pending" scrawled in black-marker block letters to more elaborate drawings of bar charts, stop signs and one poster with the slogan "Socialism is Legal Theft" and a stick-figure socialist pointing a gun at the head of a taxpayer.

There were uglier messages, too - including "Obama Bin Lyin' - Impeach Now" and "Somewhere in Kenya a Village is Missing its Idiot." But Ekins's analysis showed that only about a quarter of all signs reflected direct anger with Obama. Only 5 percent of the total mentioned the president's race or religion, and slightly more than 1 percent questioned his American citizenship.


Chicago Reporters Work as Rahm's Press Thugs; Threaten Reporter Asking T...

Allen West: Admit

Life in "Progress" Country - France edition

How is it that we ended up with the French leader and the French got Chris Christie with a hot wife?

President Nicolas Sarkozy could face the greatest challenge of his presidency in the next few days as a month-old protest against pension reform swells towards outright confrontation.

More than 3 million demonstrators – one in 20 of all French people – marched yesterday against the President's plans to raise the standard retirement age from 60 to 62. Tens of thousands of students joined the marches for the first time, threatening to radicalise the protests and broaden them into a rebellion against a deeply unpopular presidency.

Militant union branches in the railway and oil-refining industries were pushing last night for a showdown with Mr Sarkozy, who has made reform of the loss-making state pension system the make-or-break issue of his final 20 months in office.

Once again, we have another example of failed leftist policies. Will there ever be a day when some lefty will own that "progressive" policies never work?

Nationwide strikes?

Now that's "progressive"!


"The most ethical congress evahhhh"

Today's corrupt House democrat is Barney Frank..........

U.S. Rep. Barney Frank, immersed in one of the toughest political fights of his career, took a free private jet to the Virgin Islands courtesy of a Maine congresswoman’s billionaire fiance — whose company received a $200 million federal bailout, the Herald has learned.

Frank, who’s facing feisty Republican challenger Sean Bielat, flew to the tropical paradise for a vacation in 2009 on a $25 million jet owned by Paloma Partners honcho S. Donald Sussman, the fiance of U.S. Rep. Chellie Pingree (D-Maine). Paloma Securities — a subsidiary of Sussman’s Greenwich, Conn.-based hedge fund — received $200 million in 2009 as part of the $180 billion federal bailout of troubled insurance giant AIG, records show.

Frank, who chairs the House Financial Services Committee, said his partner, Jim Ready, lives in Pingree’s district and the couples are “personal friends.”

“She and I have become friendly and they invited us to the Virgin Islands and I checked with House ethics (officials) and they gave it the OK,” Frank said. “It was purely personal.”

Sure! I know it's always personal when you use other people's money to grease the skids of your friends.........


Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Chamber smears

Life in "Progress" City - Seattle edition

It’s being called by some, Seattle’s war on cars. A series of recent moves by city leaders has critics saying Seattle wants to balance its massive budget deficit on the backs of motorists. Mayor Mike McGinn calls the idea that Seattle is at war with cars silly, but he does admit he’s trying to get many people out of their cars and onto bicycles and their own two feet.

The list of recent actions is long. Last year Seattle jacked up taxes on parking lot owners who are now passing those costs along to customers. McGinn beefed up parking enforcement in an effort to write more tickets and it’s working. Last year, officers wrote 508,675 parking tickets which works out to one ticket per minute. And they’re on pace to write even more this year. Parking ticket fines are projected to bring in $23 million next year up from $18.4 last year.

The city has also put itself on what it calls a “road diet”. The transportation department is taking car lanes and giving them to bicyclists. At a cost of more than $300 million over 10 years, Seattle is creating hundreds of miles of bike and pedestrian lanes.

And most recently, Mayor Mike McGinn has proposed raising the metered parking rates up to $4 an hour. Currently people pay $2.50 per hour. It’s all got motorists and downtown business owners fuming. Some drivers we spoke with say only the wealthy can even afford to drive downtown these days. And the parking crunch has shop owners blasting the mayor for creating road blocks at a time when many of them are suffering and struggling to stay afloat. One antique shop owner told me his sales are down 40% since 2008 and this will deter even more would be customers from shopping downtown.

Read more:

Why vote for republicans?

When you have democrats like this...........

I would counter this ad by noting that he'll cast the crucial vote....... For Nancy Pelosi and the democratic agenda.

I'm supposed to feel sorry for this guy

Let me make sure I have this right. I'm supposed to feel sorry for the guy who's living in this house which is roughly three times the home the Gekko's reside in.

For the record, we can/could have "afforded" a $3600/month mortgage payment but the Gekko's aligned our lifestyle so that one income could pay for our home. Now it looks like we'll need the money we've saved to pay for this asshole's house.


Hypocrisy on high

Let me make sure I have this right. The Obamunists took in over 100 million in contributions $250 and under without disclosing who any of those donors were when many suspected that these donations came in from foreign sources.

In addition, how many union members money is used to support political candidates that the rank and file do not support.

But now they're all up in arms because businesses are out fighting against the persecution of what drives this country?

Actually, I believe there is an ulterior motive behind the administrations attempt to demean the Chamber. They want the chambers contributor list so they can inflict pain on those contributors.

If you don't believe me just see what's already happened to the Koch brothers and Target for their political contributions.

Follow up.

The WSJ has an article that addresses this very point..........

Democrats claim only to favor "disclosure" of donors, but their legal intimidation attempts are the best argument against disclosure. Liberals want the names of business donors made public so they can become targets of vilification with the goal of intimidating them into silence. A CEO or corporate board is likely to think twice about contributing to a campaign fund if the IRS or prosecutors might come calling. If Democrats can reduce business donations in the next three weeks, they can limit the number of GOP challengers with a chance to win and reduce Democratic Congressional losses. ...


Monday, October 11, 2010

SEIU member speaks out

Dingell: It will take some time for ObamaCare to "control the people"

Pennyslvania Radio Ad

The most ethical congress evahhhhh

Today the corruption comes from Harry Reid's house..............

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid’s (D-Nev.) top energy aide made several thousand dollars in 2008 by investing in a solar-energy company that stood to benefit from tax legislation moving through Congress, according to a news account.

The investment by aide Chris Miller — described in a Wall Street Journal report Monday — drew a rebuke from Reid’s spokesman.

“Mr. Miller showed poor judgment, and Sen. Reid has made it very clear to Chris and all his staff that their actions must not only follow the law, but must meet the higher standards the public has a right to expect from elected officials and their staffs,” Reid spokesman Jim Manley told the Journal.


Other than's a great idea

What’s the best cure for a recessionary environment? Apparently, raising energy prices and killing jobs. The Obama Administration admitted to both because of the Department of Interior’s (DOI) newly announced offshore drilling safety regulations. Katie Howell of E&E reports:

The Obama administration is acknowledging that its new offshore drilling safety regulations will raise costs for the oil and gas industry—and may also delay some offshore development, slightly increase gas prices and kill some jobs.

The new rules unveiled last week would increase operating costs by an estimated $1.42 million for each new deepwater well drilled with a floating rig, $170,000 for each new deepwater well drilled with a platform rig and $90,000 for each new shallow-water well, according to an Interior Department notice released yesterday.

DOI called the costs “not an insignificant amount” and said it would only increase drilling costs 2 percent and 1 percent for deepwater wells and shallow-water wells, respectively. Although the cost increase would not be enough to affect world markets, “it could also lead to job losses at the more than 130 companies that own active leases in federal waters and more than a dozen drilling contractors and their suppliers,” Howell writes.


Life in "Progress" City - San Francisco edition

The homelessness industry has pulled off some impressive feats of rebranding over the years—most notably, turning street vagrancy into a consequence of unaffordable housing, rather than of addiction and mental illness. But for sheer audacity, nothing tops the alchemy that homelessness advocates and their government sponsors are currently attempting in San Francisco. The sidewalks of the Haight-Ashbury district have been colonized by aggressive, migratory youths who travel up and down the West Coast panhandling for drug and booze money. Homelessness, Inc. is trying to portray these voluntary vagabonds as the latest victims of inadequate government housing programs, hoping to defeat an ordinance against sitting and lying on public sidewalks that the Haight community has generated.

The outcome of the industry’s rebranding campaign—and of the Haight’s competing effort to restore order—will be known this November, when San Franciscans vote on the proposed sit-lie law. That vote will reveal whether San Francisco is ready to join the many other cities that view civilized public space as essential to urban life.

Four filthy targets of Homelessness, Inc.’s current relabeling effort sprawl across the sidewalk on Haight Street, accosting pedestrians. “Can you spare some change and shit? Will you take me home with you?” Cory, a slender, dark-haired young man from Ventura, California, cockily asks passersby. “Dude, do you have any food?” His two female companions, Zombie and Eeyore, swig from a bottle of pricey Tejava tea and pass a smoke while lying on a blanket surrounded by a fortress of backpacks, bedrolls, and scrawled signs asking for money. Vincent, a fourth “traveler,” as the Haight Street punks call themselves, stares dully into space. All four sport bandannas around their necks—to ward off freight-train exhaust as they pass through tunnels, they explain—as well as biker’s gloves and a large assortment of tattoos and metal hardware. The girls wear necklaces and bracelets of plastic disks and other hip found objects; their baggy tank tops and stockings are stylishly torn.

A petite Asian woman passes the group and smilingly hands Cory the remains of a submarine sandwich. Suddenly, all four are on their feet, tearing at the sub. As Zombie stuffs the bread into her mouth, partly chewed chunks fall back out onto the ground.

During my last trip to the Haight I watched a man dig a half eaten burrito out of a garbage can and I watched a guy with no pants on crapping himself while two cops played rock-paper-scissors to figure out who would arrest him.

Oh and how could I forget the needles all over the place in Golden Gate park.

and that was fifteen years ago.


Even Mark Halperin can read the tea leaves

With the exception of core Obama Administration loyalists, most politically engaged elites have reached the same conclusions: the White House is in over its head, isolated, insular, arrogant and clueless about how to get along with or persuade members of Congress, the media, the business community or working-class voters. This view is held by Fox News pundits, executives and anchors at the major old-media outlets, reporters who cover the White House, Democratic and Republican congressional leaders and governors, many Democratic business people and lawyers who raised big money for Obama in 2008, and even some members of the Administration just beyond the inner circle.
On Friday, after the release of the latest bleak unemployment data — the last major jobs figures before the midterms — Obama said, "Putting the American people back to work, expanding opportunity, rebuilding the economic security of the middle class is the moral and national challenge of our time." But elites feel the President has failed to meet that challenge and are convinced he will be unable to do so in the remainder of his term. Moreover, there is a growing perception that Obama's decisions are causing harm — that businesses are being hurt by the Administration's legislation and that economic recovery is stalling because of the uncertainty surrounding energy policy, health care, deficits, housing, immigration and spending.

And that sentiment is spreading. Many members of the general public appear deeply skeptical of Obama's capacity to turn things around, especially, but not exclusively, those inclined to dislike him — Tea Partyers and John McCain voters, but also tens of millions of middle-class Americans, including quite a few who turned out for Obama in 2008.

Jobs Fair

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Jerry Brown On Mammograms

It's like running in concrete boots

Government is broken and the economy is gasping. The reason is the same: Americans no longer feel free to roll up their sleeves and make the choices needed to fix things. Governors come to office and find that 90% of the budget is pre-committed to entitlements and mandates enacted by politicians long dead. Teachers no longer have authority to maintain order in the classroom.

Legal mandates and entitlements have accumulated, like sediment in the harbor, until it is almost impossible for Americans to get anywhere without trudging through a treacherous legal swamp. Only big businesses, not small entrepreneurs, have the size (and legal staffs) to power through the legal sludge.

America will thrive only so long as Americans wake up in the morning believing they can succeed by their own efforts. Innovation, not cheap labor, is the economic engine of America. The net increase in jobs since 1980, according to research at the Kauffman Foundation, is attributed solely to newly-started businesses.

Unleashing these powerful human forces requires, however, an open field for individual opportunity - bounded by reliable legal structures that enforce contracts and other important social norms.

Instead, the land of opportunity is more like legal quicksand. Small business owners face legal challenges at every step. Municipalities requires multiple and often nonsensical forms to do business. Labor laws expose them to legal threats by any disgruntled employee. Mandates to provide costly employment benefits impose high hurdles to hiring new employees. Well-meaning but impossibly complex laws impose requirements to prevent consumer fraud, provide disability access, prevent hiring illegal immigrants, display warnings and notices and prevent scores of other potential evils. The tax code is incomprehensible.

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The good news

Wealth isn't the only thing fleeing the blue states to the red ones; so are the voters......

The country's balance of population, and hence its balance of political power, continues to shift to the South and West, as it has for the past six decades. The census figures being released in December, which will decide the reapportionment of House seats among the states starting with the 2012 election, will probably show less dramatic changes than in the recent past. But they also could upend much of the advance planning of the nation's political mapmakers, if the final and official count varies even a little from current projections.

Texas clearly will be the big winner and stands to gain as many as four seats, due in large part to its fast-growing Hispanic population. But it could be limited to a three-seat gain if the state's population surge proves to be just 38,005 smaller (in a population of 25.3 million) than expected. And similarly minuscule differences -- in relative terms, at least -- could make the difference for as many as 16 states that might gain, retain or lose congressional seats.

Last week Kimball Brace, who runs Election Data Services Inc., a political demographic consulting firm, released a reapportionment projection based on July population estimates. It shows that four states could gain an additional seat -- and four could retain a seat they're now projected to lose -- if their populations prove only slightly bigger than current estimates. At the same time, minimal deviations put four states at risk of losing one of their current seats and four on the cusp of missing out on a seat they will get if the conventional projections prove accurate.

Under Brace's projections, just two states gain multiple seats: Texas would elect 36 House members starting in 2012, up from 32, and the Florida delegation would grow to 27 from 25. New seats would also be assigned to Georgia (for a new total of 14), Washington (for 10), Arizona (for nine), South Carolina (for seven) and Nevada and Utah (for four apiece). The two-seat losers would be New York (which would be left with 27) and Ohio (reduced to 16). One seat each would be taken from Illinois and Pennsylvania (leaving both with 18), New Jersey (12), Massachusetts (nine), Missouri (seven), Louisiana (six) and Iowa (four).

To think that Ohio once had 26 electoral votes.


Who are the democratic voters?

Finally! Someone who's picking up on my "everything run by democrats is crap" meme.....
I have come to the opinion it is difficult to understand the thinking of those who consistently vote for democrats.

There was a time when one could find elected democrats in both the House and Senate who were quite conservative, but those days seem to be in the past. I cannot think of a single democratic senator who could be classified as a conservative. In the House, there are several democrats who campaign as conservatives; but when their vote is needed, Speaker Pelosi can depend on them.

Nearly every major city is controlled by democrats and just as many are in deep trouble with poverty, education, and crime. The working population leaves, and the majority that remains demands more and more from fewer and fewer taxpayers. Most of the Northeast is a good example. Those who are able to escape do so. They flee from ever-increasing taxes and restrictions, with most of them moving south or southwest: It is not because of warmer weather. California is another example with fleeing citizens.

When one talks to a Democratic voter and asks why he or she votes that way, the answer is usually that he thinks the Democrats are for the working folks and that republicans are for the rich. There may have been a time when that was true, but even then I doubt it. How many democratic administrations have lowered federal income taxes to make it easier on the little guy? The only one that I am aware of is John F. Kennedy and that was in the early '60s. We are now facing the largest tax increase in our history starting Jan. 1, 2011, unless the current administration extends the Bush tax cuts.


Next CBS! I won't hold my breath.