Saturday, February 26, 2011
Friday, February 25, 2011
The jobs created and saved by the economic stimulus law that President Barack Obama signed on Feb. 17, 2009 cost at a minimum an average of $228,055 each, according to data released yesterday by the Congressional Budget Office (CBO).More......
In a report released Wednesday—“Estimated Impact of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act on Employment and Economic Output from October Through December 2010”—the CBO said it now estimates the stimulus law cost a total of $821 billion, up from CBO’s original estimate that the stimulus would cost $787 billion.
In the same report, the CBO estimated that in the fourth quarter of 2010 there were somewhere between 1.3 million and 3.5 million people who were then employed who would not have been had the stimulus not been enacted. “CBO estimates,” says the report, “that ARRA’s policies had the following effects in the fourth quarter of calendar year 2010: … Increased the number of people employed by between 1.3 million and 3.5 million.”
This estimate seeks to state the net impact the stimulus had on the number of people employed in the United States as a result of the stimulus, taking into account not only the new jobs believed to be created and the existing jobs believed to be killed by the stimulus, but also the existing jobs that were saved that otherwise would have been lost.
Singer John Legend was in Washington to sing at the White House on Thursday but he had a few choice words for the politicians in town, too.
Legend told reporters before an evening concert celebrating Motown's music that too often the arts are the first thing to go when budgets need to be cut.
"People fought to give me _ a millionaire _ a tax cut this year," he said. "I didn't need it. And all the other millionaires didn't need it either."
The singer said he'd benefited from cultural organizations such as community choirs and arts councils in earlier years, which often suffer when budgets get trimmed.
Here's a novel idea John. You feel passionate about the arts? Give your damn tax cuts to the arts and fund them yourself. Apparently, while you were getting all that benefit from those "cultural organizations", someone neglected to provide you with an economics and math lesson or two, or three..............
Thursday, February 24, 2011
This week the media’s attention is finally focused on oil prices. After two years of continually rising consumer gas prices in America, the oil futures market has captivated the Mideast storyline. And attention is much needed. December 2010 saw the highest gas prices for the month of December in our nation’s history. This month, we’re setting similar records with the national average of $3.14/gallon–fifty cents higher than it was a year ago. If this trend continues, the summer of 2011 will hit consumers much harder than in the summer of 2008 when prices soared above $4/gallon.But if you only read, hear or see this week’s news reports, you would think that oil and gas prices were doing just fine until the historic events in Egypt, Libya and across the Middle East unfolded this past month and caused spikes in the futures market. Unfortunately, that is not the case. President Obama has been unilaterally taking steps to increase the cost of gasoline for two years. Here are ten things you need to know about gas prices that you may not hear reported elsewhere:
Read the ten here..........
thanks reader Jeremy for the link.
What's the leading cause of oral cancer? Smoking? Heavy drinking?Now ask yourself this question. If the only health risk to smoking was the potential to get HPV in your mouth do you think we would encourage kids to abstain from smoking?
Actually, it's oral sex.
Scientists say that 64 percent of cancers of the oral cavity, head, and neck in the U.S. are caused by human papillomavirus (HPV), which is commonly spread via oral sex, NPR reported. The more oral sex you have - and the more oral sex partners you have - the greater the risk of developing these potentially deadly cancers.
"An individual who has six or more lifetime partners - on whom they've performed oral sex - has an eightfold increase in risk compared to someone who has never performed oral sex, Ohio University's Dr. Maura Gillison, said at a recent scientific meeting, according to NPR.
It's news that might alarm some parents, who worry about adolescents' appetite for oral sex.
"Today's teens consider oral sex to be casual, socially acceptable, inconsequential, and significantly less risky to their health than 'real' sex," Dr. Gillison and colleagues said in a written statement released in conjunction with the meeting.
Does that mean that some kids will smoke despite our teaching?
Why do we continue to believe in this fable that if we teach kids to have sex but to just do it "safely" that somehow that minimizes the public health risk.
Yesterday, I was in a convenience store listening to this teenager bitch about her baby daddy's lack of parental skills. She went on and on about what a dead beat he was.
The whole time I kept thinking "do you think it might have been a good idea to assess this character before you screwed him and made a baby with him".
But the fact is there is no shame in being a dumbass in this world anymore. Having a child out of wedlock is not only no longer a big deal but is financially profitable.
There are numerous public health risks associated with multiple partners and yet our response is to make sure kids carry condoms with them.
That's not education........ it's a loading a gun and handing it to a kid.
Whoopi Goldberg said Wednesday that the lack of black nominees in major categories of this year's Academy Awards doesn't reflect a trend in the film industry.
Speaking after hosting the opening of an exhibit of Oscar statues inside New York's Grand Central Terminal, Goldberg underscored that five black actors have won Academy Awards since 2002.
"I don't know how it gets better," she said after posing for pictures. "I think we're all right."
Goldberg recently said on her show "The View" that she was upset about an article in The New York Times citing the lack of black nominees this year because it didn't mention her supporting actress Oscar for 1990's "Ghost."
The Times said she misread the story and that it was not meant to be a comprehensive list of all actors who had won Oscars. Goldberg later apologized for calling the reporting sloppy.
She tried to clarify her comments about the story Wednesday, saying it was inaccurate to think there's "something wrong" with the way blacks are represented at the Oscars. She said strides have been made since 1939 when Hattie McDaniel won for best supporting actress, becoming the first black awarded an Oscar.
Hey, just follow my advice. Here's how you get an Oscar nomination. Play a biographical character. Nelson Mandela, Idi Amin, Ray Charles, Mohammed Ali, Malcolm X characters have all been nominated.
Play a sadistic madman. Worked for Heath Ledger and Anthony Hopkins.
Play a character with obvious mental/physical handicaps. Worked for Dustin Hoffman, Tom Hanks, and the dude from Shine.
Or play a gay man. That's always a sure fire way to be nominated. I've got to think that a b Black gay character is a slam dunk.
Wednesday, February 23, 2011
Tuesday, February 22, 2011
State education officials have ordered Robert Bobb to immediately implement a financial restructuring plan that balances the district's books by closing half of its schools, swelling high school class sizes to 60 students and consolidating operations.
This week, Bobb, the district's emergency financial manager, said he is meeting with Detroit city officials and will set up a meeting with Wayne County Regional Educational Service Agency to discuss consolidation opportunities in areas such as finance, public safety, transportation and other areas.
Bobb also is preparing a list of recommended school closures and Friday said layoff discussions are under way and would be announced closer to April, when notices would be issued. "We are moving forward with the plan," he said "Right now my focus is on my transition plan and the DEP (deficit elimination plan)."
Bobb's last day with DPS is June 30. After that, the state plans to install another financial manager who must continue to implement Bobb's plan, according to a Feb. 8 letter from Mike Flanagan, the state superintendent of public instruction.
In the letter, Flanagan said the Michigan Department of Education gave preliminary approval to Bobb's plan to bring the 74,000-student district out of its financial emergency. As a condition of approval, Flanagan said Bobb cannot declare the district in bankruptcy during the remainder of his contract.
Bobb, appointed emergency financial manager in March 2009, filed his deficit elimination plan with the state in January, saying it would wipe out the district's $327 million deficit by 2014. On Feb. 9, he told state lawmakers the plan is the only way DPS "can cut its way out" of its legacy deficit.
Monday, February 21, 2011
Whitemyer is one of 204 Ohio businesses and homeowners who filed grant requests before Nov. 5 only to learn that they won't get money this year - if ever.
Money for the grants came from a 9-cent monthly fee tacked on to most Ohioans' electricity bills. The fee expired Dec. 31, after state lawmakers didn't reauthorize it.
Chad Smith, interim energy resources director for the Department of Development, said he's aware people are upset about the fund's cutoff and demise, but he said the state can't give money it doesn't have.
"The (grants) were structured on a first-come, first served basis," Smith said. "From July to November, we did more projects than we ever did in any fiscal year."
Before it ran out of money, records show, the program awarded $15.6 million worth of grants for 161 solar-panel and wind-turbine projects from July to November.
The program began in 1999 when the legislature first enacted the fee, initially offering low-interest loans to homeowners and businesses. It has given out a total of
$49.3 million since it was transformed into a grant program in July 2006.
The 204 grant applications filed in 2010 asked for $20.8million from the state. Five years earlier, the fund provided $2 million for 67 projects.
Why such an increase in demand?
The price of solar panels has dropped substantially in recent years, said Geoff Greenfield, co-owner of Third Sun Solar, a company based in Athens that installs alternative-energy systems.
A 10-kilowatt solar-panel system that cost $80,000 in 2005 now sells for $50,000, he said. With the help of state grants and federal tax credits, the electricity generated would help a home system pay for itself in about eight years.
Here's my take away from this article.
Basically, the working poor have been paying a higher utility rates so some rich dude in Dublin can subsidize his solar roof.
Even after the subsidies (which account for more than half the price) it still takes 8 years to recover costs. That sounds amazingly inefficient to me.
Or is it back to the future.
Here comes 1979 all over again........
A number of economic indicators have been hitting their best levels since before the financial crisis of late, but you have to go way back to January 2004 for the last time the Philadelphia Federal Reserve’s monthly manufacturing gauge was as strong as the reading issued Thursday.
The Philly Fed came in at 35.9 for February, way above estimates and the 19 seen in January. That encouraging signal came with the morning’s second hint of inflation though, as the prices paid index of the report jumped to 67.2, from 54.3 in January, while prices received increased at at a slower pace — to 21 from 17.1.
Thursday morning’s report came after the Labor Department’s consumer price index showed inflation on the consumer level accelerated somewhat in January, rising 0.4% and 0.2% on a core basis when stripping out food and energy. Earlier this week the producer price index was up 0.8% (0.5% core). (See “Consumers Get A Whiff Of Inflation.”)
Taken together, the reports indicate that businesses face challenges in passing along the well-documented rising prices of commodities like oil and other raw materials to consumers. Companies are likely to take additional steps to that end though. J.M. Smuckers said in its earnings release Thursday morning that it will hike prices to combat higher costs, while beverage maker Dr. Pepper Snapple echoed recent statements from rivals Coca-Cola and PepsiCo acknowledging the challenge of offsetting growing costs with higher prices.
So class let's go back to how this mess started. The Obamunist and their Central Committee decided that using oil was bad. So they quit allowing American companies to drill for it.Since there is less supply, the price goes up.
But don't worry. Because the Obamunist Central Committee thought that it would be a good idea to pay farmers to grow corn; not for food.........but for fuel.
As a result, we're drilling less oil which means higher fuel prices and everything else that fuel supports in our economy. But we're also reducing the amount of food in the market place which results in higher food prices.
Now class, let me ask you a question.......... who does inflation hurt more. Rank them accordingly.
1) A pediatric radiologist?
2) A Wall Street investment banker?
3) The poor working shlub?
4) A starving Somalian?
Sunday, February 20, 2011
Had I known, when I left the city in 2000 to move my family to the leafy suburban paradise of Northbrook, that 200,000 of my fellow Chicagoans would follow clumping after us, fleeing en masse to the surrounding region, according to the United States Census, well, I might have given it a second thought.
OK, that’s not true. It wasn’t my fault. People left Chicago over the past decade for a variety of reasons — some were public housing residents who had their homes demolished out from under them. Some lost their jobs in the Great Recession and had to seek work elsewhere. And yes some — 20,000? 40,000? the number is unknowable — were middle class wage slaves like myself (OK, lower upper middle class wage slaves, to borrow George Orwell’s term) who couldn’t bring themselves to fling their darling children into the stormy chop of the Chicago public school system and couldn’t make the nut at a private school that might not deign to accept them anyway, whatever the price.
And yes, there are good Chicago public schools, and yes, it is possible to get one’s children into them, or so I’m told. But the question was: Is this a risk you’re willing to take?
Sure, there were other factors. Our boys rode their Big Wheels around and around the dining room table, because it was too much of a hassle for them to find an adult to escort them down the flight of stairs, out the three, count ’em, three locked doors, to finally the busy street and tiny, dog-piss murdered patch of blasted grass, with its anemic locust tree, that served as their playground. A backyard was a plus, or would have been, had they ever put their video games down. But it was there.
This is not to criticize the city — Geez, hold your fire. People seem to have this bellyful of vindictiveness, boiling in their guts, and are scanning the horizon, desperate to find somebody, anybody, for them to spew it onto. Look! A guy who fled to the suburbs! The treachery of betrayal! He’s dissing our city! Get him!
Chicago’s population loss is ominous — first, because a city needs people. Detroit had a population of 2 million in 1950; it has 800,000; just 40 percent of that, now, and it’ll be interesting to see whether our elephant step in Detroit’s direction over the past 10 years will tarnish Mayor Daley’s legacy, the central leg of which is that we didn’t become Detroit under his watch. It isn’t the same if you tack “yet” at the end, “We didn’t become Detroit yet.”
Yes “we.” Because the concerns of Chicago are the concerns of Northern Illinois, which rises or falls with it, and while the bowl haircuts Downstate would like to cut off the city, out of prejudice and parochialism, and the city would like to disown suburbanites like me, out of pure spite, the truth is we are all bound together, sink or swim.
Frankly, I’m not expecting a lot of attention to the population loss story. Like global warming, it’s just too grim for many people to accept or think about. Population loss is connected to every urban problem. How to get those people back? Well, fix the schools, cut crime, create jobs, lower taxes. That’s a start.
Yeah, Ask Scott Walker how easy that is.
To me it's like the guy who I pay to do my lawn work. He asks me for a raise to which I tell him I can't afford to pay him more.
So even though he doesn't get a raise, he still has enough money to take time off of work and buy a picket sign so he can stand in front of my house telling my neighbors what a cheapskate I am.
The fact is. As much as I thought John Edwards was a big time creep yet he was right about the two Americas. We are in a culture war between contributors and consumers.
The contributors are ones who pay the bills and the consumers are the ungrateful assholes who do nothing but whine for more all while the contributors are reaching the tapped out point.
The Tea Parties are nothing more than the contributors making a statement......
"how about getting out of the wagon and helping us pull the damn thing for a change".
So how would the democrats and unions handle the same issue. They wouldn't and the tale is that these pensions would collapse and leave seniors in abject poverty. Remember, these people don't get social security.
Also remember, this is no tale. We have a true, honest to God, example of what happens when you do nothing. Talk to the retirees of Prichard Alabama, where they didn't have the benefit of a few republicans cleaning up a generational pension mess when the time came.........
The city of Prichard filed for bankruptcy Tuesday in an attempt to cope with the debt created by fighting lawsuits and addressing the demands of unpaid and agitated retired city employees.
The Chapter 9 filing marks the second time in a decade that the city declared it was out of money. Mayor Ron Davis, who just two years ago helped the city pay off its creditors from the 1999 bankruptcy, blamed the latest financial crisis in part on a flawed municipal pension plan. The filing came a day before Davis and the city Finance Director Rex Williams were slated to be deposed by attorneys representing the pensioners in a lawsuit filed in August.
With the filing, that testimony will be put on hold, along with any other litigation pending against the city.
Now I did this post in November, 2009. How are things working today? Let's go to our liberal tomb of the NY Times to tell us............
This struggling small city on the outskirts of Mobile was warned for years that if it did nothing, its pension fund would run out of money by 2009. Right on schedule, its fund ran dry.
Then Prichard did something that pension experts say they have never seen before: it stopped sending monthly pension checks to its 150 retired workers, breaking a state law requiring it to pay its promised retirement benefits in full.
Since then, Nettie Banks, 68, a retired Prichard police and fire dispatcher, has filed for bankruptcy. Alfred Arnold, a 66-year-old retired fire captain, has gone back to work as a shopping mall security guard to try to keep his house. Eddie Ragland, 59, a retired police captain, accepted help from colleagues, bake sales and collection jars after he was shot by a robber, leaving him badly wounded and unable to get to his new job as a police officer at the regional airport.
Far worse was the retired fire marshal who died in June. Like many of the others, he was too young to collect Social Security. “When they found him, he had no electricity and no running water in his house,” said David Anders, 58, a retired district fire chief. “He was a proud enough man that he wouldn’t accept help.”
Yet the media will continue to portray Scott Walker as some sort of union buster with the compassion of a viper.
But you tell me. What's so compassionate about the scenario above?
Read the rest.......
A Broadview Heights woman is accusing state Rep. Robert F. Hagan of using a term that some believe has a racist connotation on a social networking site.
Hagan, D-60th, of Youngstown, used the term “buckwheat” in a Facebook posting Saturday.
He said the posting wasn’t racist, and the attack on him is the tea party’s attempt to make him look bad.
“I have a history of supporting equal rights and civil rights,” Hagan said.
The Facebook discussion started between Hagan and Maggi Cook, of Southwest Ohio, regarding Wisconsin Senate Democrats not showing up at their Statehouse because of their governor’s attempts to remove collective bargaining rights and cut benefits for public workers.
Ohio Gov. John Kasich has proposed similar cuts.
Hagan opposes the cuts.
Rachel Mullen Manias, a GOP activist from Broadview Heights, outside Cleveland; a man named Kevin Crowther and others joined the discussion.
The discussion continues, with Manias, Cook and Crowther, who is black, arguing for the need for cuts and Hagan against what’s bee n proposed.
Manias then wrote, “I’m guessing your (sic) from an entrenched area ripe with corruption. I don’t recognize your name as a Cuyahoga County resident, but I’m guessing you’re from the land of Traficant...”
Hagan responds that she’s not making sense. Two others comment and then Crowther returns to the discussion of public unions.
Then Hagan writes, “I ran against Traficant buckwheat ... so take your personal shots, and shove them where the sun don’t shine.”