Saturday, March 19, 2011
San Francisco's public-employee pension fund is in weaker shape than many people realize, according to an analysis by Stanford University Professor Joe Nation released Tuesday. It is underfunded by some $6.8 billion, Nation's report finds.
The city's pension fund is officially underfunded by $1.6 billion. Nation's study argues that the pension fund is relying on a 7.75 percent annual rate of return that is unrealistic over the long term. The study argues for 6.2 percent, which it says was the average rate of return in the capital markets from 1900 through 1999.
There would be indictments for outright fraud if this were a private company.
You get a heap load of inflation..........
Ferguson graduated from Occidental College in 1978 and the tab for his senior year was $5100; adjusted for normal inflation, that tuition today would be $16,500. But no: it’s now in excess of $40,000 (not including room and board), an example of how higher education occupies a rarefied category in American industries. This isn’t breaking news, but when it’s not simply an abstract head-scratcher, meaning when if affects you, the obscene cost of college is staggering. Ferguson interviewed Richard Vedder, an economics professor at Ohio University who’s “studied college tuition so long, so thoroughly, and so honestly that college administrators can’t stand him.” Vedder’s “short answer” when the author queried about how colleges can get away with this legal larceny, he simply said, “Because they can! I mean, who’s going to stop them? Parents? The government? There’s nothing stopping them—literally nothing.”
This is how the conversation goes.
Detective - So do you want to tell us what happened?
Dirty cop - Not if it jeopardizes my pension.
Detective - You're looking at the death penalty here unless you cooperate.
Dirty cop - I'm saying anything without my pension being protected.
That's what I think of when I read this piece sent to me by reader Jeremy...........
A District Court judge denied a motion to dismiss a fraud charge Wednesday against the city's former human resources director..
Lisa Roth is accused of directing staff members to falsify documents to allow a former Police Department employee, Linda Clark, to be eligible for retirement. She is charged with a misdemeanor count of making false statements to the state retirement system.Laura Masters, a former compensation analyst with the city, said Clark was facing termination and did not have enough hours to qualify for retirement benefits.
Masters said Roth directed her to “fix it that she can retire.” Masters said Clark had 19 years of service and needed 20 years to qualify for retirement benefits. She said city policy allowed only sick pay to be used in accumulating additional days of service for retirement, but Masters said Roth directed her to apply comp time and vacation time to Clark's service
Now why would someone go to such trouble unless it was worth it?
Brazilians protesting the imminent visit of President Barack Obama struck the U.S. consulate in Rio de Janeiro with a Molotov cocktail Friday, prompting police to respond with rubber bullets, according to local news accounts.
The U.S. Consulate in Rio said one security guard was treated at a local hospital for minor injuries after the brief demonstration. A radio reporter was hit by the rubber bullets, Brazilian newspaper O Globo reported.
Can you feel the love?
The News’ auto critic, Scott Burgess, resigned this week after his editors softened a review of the Chrysler 200 – making changes to an online version of the piece following a complaint from a local dealer who advertises in the paper, according to online auto site Jalopnik.com.
The rift ignited a firestorm – largely in support of Burgess – that started in journalism circles and the blogosphere but eventually made its way to prime time with a mention on the Rachel Maddow Show.
The Jalopnik story, headlined “How the Detroit News Sold Its Soul” features before and after versions of Burgess’ column, which shows some of his harshest words omitted. Among the lines to get the ax: “If this is the best vehicle Detroit exports, then Glenn Beck is right.”
Burgess goes on to call the car a “dog” and compare its profile to “a loggerhead turtle.” “If this car came in tortoise shell, the EPA would have to put it on the endangered sedan list to prevent trappers and automotive enthusiasts from rightfully shooting it into extinction,” he writes in one of the deleted lines.
No room for ambiguity here.
Because when they own businesses, that's exactly what they do..........
A strike called by unpaid Huffington Post contributors received a major boost Wednesday with a call to arms released by the national Newspaper Guild.
The industry association called on contributors not currently on strike to cease contributions and asked members to help by “shining a light on the unprofessional and unethical practices of this company.”
The strike was called earlier this year by the membership of Visual Art Source, whose 50 members had previously contributed content for free to the site.
“Just as we would ask writers to stand fast and not cross a physical picket line, we ask that they honor this electronic picket line,” wrote the Guild.
Friday, March 18, 2011
can't you guys let the poor guy finish his pancakes?
In a sign of how frustrated members of both parties are with President Obama’s disengagement from the budget debate on Capitol Hill, a supermajority of 64 senators, including Majority Whip Dick Durbin, D-Ill., have signed a letter urging the president to “to engage in a broader discussion about a comprehensive deficit reduction package.”
Sen. Mike Johanns, R-Neb., and Michael Bennet, D-Colo., organized the effort, signed by 32 Republicans and 32 Democrats. In a conference call with reporters today, Johanns said any hope for broad reform will require leadership from the White House, which the lawmakers haven’t seen so far.
Now $671k is a lot of money. I think that probably qualifies you as rich. If you are of the persuasion to believe that the rich don't pay enough tax, I challenge share with all of us what "fair" would be for this family.
I've thrown this out in the past but you'll notice that I never divulge what the taxpayer actually pays. I do that for a couple of reasons
1) I think it's more important to give thought to the subject rather than just throw out another opinion
2) I'm waiting for someone to actually address the issue in my comment section so we can have a great debate on the subject. When someone gives me a well thought out opinion on the subject, I'll divulge the amount.
I would be willing to bet that Jan Schakowsky, who wants to raise taxes on the top 1% of wage earners, actually has no idea what rich people (including herself) pay in taxes. I'm actually surprised that no media member has actually challenged Anthony Weiner or any of the other liberal demagogues to specifically state, in whole dollar amount what the "fair" amount of tax people should pay.
So throw it out there Mr./Ms. "Progressive". Tell us all how much is fair? If you've got the guts..... or the intelligence.
OKLAHOMA CITY -- The Boeing Company says it is relocating two programs from Long Beach, Calif., to Oklahoma City, a move expected to bring 550 engineering jobs to the state.
Boeing announced in a news release Monday it is moving its C-130 Avionics Modernization program to Oklahoma City beginning in the first quarter of 2011. The move of the B-1 program is expected toward the end of 2012.
"Part of our decision was affordability," said Jennifer Hogan with Boeing in Oklahoma City. "Oklahoma City is a great place to do business. We are conscience of the budget cuts Defense is going through and this move will also make us competitive for future work."
Both programs are part of the Maintenance, Modifications & Upgrades division of the company's St. Louis-based Boeing Defense, Space & Security.
Meet Mark Gerth. Besides his resemblance to Mark Wahlberg, why is he in the news........
Hamilton County Judge Robert Taylor set bond at $2.25 million on Thursday for Mark Gerth, the man accused of crashing a stolen car into a cab, killing the driver and a passenger.Just after 9 a.m. Gerth was led into a Hamilton County courtroom at the Justice Center. His gait was slow and deliberate. Gerth's leg was gashed and closed by staples.
He appeared emotionless as the charges were read. Judge Taylor flipped through Gerth's lengthy criminal record, which includes 8 violent felonies, four other felonies and 11 misdemeanors.
Gerth moved here from Sandusky last year. He has been homeless since he was released from prison.
This guy is 39 and has 12 felonies and is not in prison? Are you serious?
Let me ask you a question. Is it "progressive" or conservative policies that allow this pile of crap on the streets?
You know, when I hear that "progressives" care about the poor & downtrodden where is their compassion for this immigrant working his ass off driving a cab? Or the passenger, who probably couldn't drive for whatever reason. If this guy were behind bars, where he should have been, those people would be alive today.
As far as I'm concerned, liberals in this country have the blood of two more murder victims on their hands because they're more worried about protecting the rights of Marky Mark here then the working people of this country.
Oh and by the way, you should also take note of the fact that this scumbag didn't head to Redville after his last stay in the clink, he headed to "Progress" City where he could victimize other liberals.
Since the feds made Monday the 18th the filing deadline, I have a tough decision to make. Do I stay with the 15th because it's a Friday or do I make it the regular 18th?
So this year we're sticking with the 15th at Cindy's Friendly Tavern in Loveland. The main decision maker? The Lovely Mrs. Gekko and her nurse friends scheduled off the 15th before clearing it with me.
Who says men run the household? Or the annual tax day celebration?
Regardless, if you want to hang with a bunch of drunken nurses and a drunk accountant, this will be a great opportunity.
Wednesday, March 16, 2011
Tuesday, March 15, 2011
Yet it seems to me that right now we have a lot of issues going around in the world and our president appears to be laying back waiting for things to show up on his desk.
In the Illinois legislature state Sen. Barack Obama voted "present" 129 times. Today he seems to be voting present on two major issues, Libya and the budget. National Security Adviser Tom Donilon told reporters Thursday that the United States and other nations have "taken a range of steps . . . to squeeze Gadhafi, isolate him, really turn him into a pariah."
But the steps the United States has taken may well have bolstered Gadhafi's determination to crush the rebellion against his regime.
On the one hand we supported the United Nations resolution giving the International Criminal Court jurisdiction to prosecute Gadhafi and his minions. That means we have blocked off any escape route to a safe retirement.
On the other hand we have interpreted the Security Council resolution ordering an arms embargo as applying to the Libyan rebels as well as the Gadhafi regime.
Or at least that's the interpretation of State Department spokesman P.J. Crowley. An anonymous White House source said maybe the resolution doesn't apply to the rebels.
The White House has said the United States will send aid to the rebels and that Secretary of State Hillary Clinton will meet with their transitional council next week.
Aid, not arms; a meeting, but (unlike France and Portugal) no official recognition. The president seems to be voting "present" once again.
Monday, March 14, 2011
Seriously, I met some people in Teacher's college who should never have graduated from high school let alone into a college curriculum. Yet there they were.
None the less, here's a piece by the fabulously liberal Nick Kristoff buttressing my observations.........
These days, brilliant women become surgeons and investment bankers — and 47 percent of America’s kindergarten through 12th-grade teachers come from the bottom one-third of their college classes (as measured by SAT scores). The figure is from a study by McKinsey & Company, “Closing the Talent Gap.”
Now, being liberal, Kristoff attributes this to low pay for not attracting our best and brightest.
But riddle me this Batman, can you name a white collar professional in the sphere of people you know represented by a union?
One of my observations which I believe has more scientific validity than global warming is this. Unions only protect douchebags, derelicts and ding dongs. They don't do anything for achievers. For those who believe that some star teacher is going to be frozen out of a job because of an intraschool beef with a principal doesn't understand that, like most "professions", when you get fed up with the job, you go find a new one. That's what "professionals" do!
Instead, we throw the handcuff of seniority and pay scales on good teachers and zap them of their mobility. Not exactly qualities of a "profession" if you ask me.
Sunday, March 13, 2011
So when public unions squeeze the taxpayer's, who's most likely to feel the impact. Hint, it's not the rich and here's a liberal who gets it...........
Let's hope, then, that current popular sentiment turns against the unions, and soon.
How can any compassionate person say such a thing? At a time when so many middle- and lower-income Americans have lost their jobs and homes, while many in the elite haven't even lost their bonuses, isn't it only decent to stand up against further assaults on struggling folks? Exactly whom are these Republicans targeting when they portray unions as big, fat, and overpaid? Janitors? Hospital attendants? Street cleaners?
Those are all painfully fair questions — and they should shape the way officials deal with the problem of a burgeoning public work force, not serve as an excuse to avoid the issue. Simply put, if politicians are scared away from revamping the public sector, they will be leaving in place a major structural flaw in the national economy. Ironically, no one will pay more dearly for this than the average worker.
Think about it: When education unions succeed in wringing every concession they can out of their particular piece of a school system, the squeeze is felt mainly by people who have to rely on the whole of that school system: Goodbye, gym class; hello, parents' paying out of pocket for all kinds of "extras" — and these are not, by and large, parents who can just throw their hands up and say, “That's it, he's going to Buckley!” When transit workers' demands shut down services or drive up fares, it barely registers with the rich who ferry themselves in taxis and towncars from one gilded district to another. It hurts those who can't get to their jobs without a bus or subway — and who need to count every cent that commute costs them. When a city's police force receives so much in salary and benefits that the city is then unable to hire enough cops on the beat, who is going to feel it more? The professional who must ask the cabdriver to idle in front of the building until the doorman appears, or the woman who cleans that professional's office, and has to hustle up a dark street before letting herself in? In short, when any government is forced to starve one set of programs in order to feed another, it affects the people who most need those programs — people who are rarely found at the yacht club.
Of course, being a conservative, I'd be crucified for such a statement. Yet in "Progress" City, it's a standard operating procedure...........
The Dayton Police Department is lowering its testing standards for recruits.
It's a move required by the U.S. Department of Justice after it says not enough African-Americans passed the exam.
Dayton is in desperate need of officers to replace dozens of retirees. The hiring process was postponed for months because the D.O.J. rejected the original scores provided by the Dayton Civil Service Board, which administers the test.
Under the previous requirements, candidates had to get a 66% on part one of the exam and a 72% on part two.
The D.O.J. approved new scoring policy only requires potential police officers to get a 58% and a 63%. That's the equivalent of an ‘F’ and a ‘D’.
Apparently, they're not too familiar with the Pygmalion Effect.