Friday, July 29, 2011

Obama Targets Corporate Jets

This guy is smart? He sounds like Bubba Blue talking about shrimp.

Cutting the budget

Krauthammer: Obama Discusses, Gives Speeches, He Has Nothing in a Plan


Thanks reader Tim for the link

Why we're doomed II

I just heard Jeanne Schmidt on the radio and she's supporting the Boehner bill but believes we need to enact a Balance Budget amendment to the constitution.


If you don't vote to increase the debt limit, stuff will need to be cut because there won't be anyway for the government to borrow. Hence, no need for a balance budget amendment when you no longer have borrowing capacity.

Why we're doomed

One of the reasons we're doomed in this whole debt ceiling debacle is that no one in the media (either because of their partisanship or intelligence) is willing to challenge the vernacular of these politicians.

I listened to Obama's address an hour or so ago and about six times he mentioned that we needed to increase the debt ceiling to pay our bills.


Borrowing money from Peter to pay Paul and have some left over to fund shrimp on treadmill studies is not paying your bills!

It's the antithesis of paying your bills.

Do you think there's going to be a Brian Williams, Chris Matthews, Brett Baier out in there willing to call bullshit on this?

The fact is, our federal government is driving our economy over a cliff. All republicans and democrats are doing fighting over is the speed. Democrats are thinking 100+, republicans want to pull it back to 95.51 mph.

Calling an eight percent budget increase a cut because you planned on 10% is not a cut at all.

I've been going back and forth on whether Tea Party types should back Boehner so they can claim the political high ground.

But what difference does it make when we have a media who won't recognize even the basics in calling bullshit on the bullshit.

Then again, it's bad enough when the media doesn't challenge anything but simply parrot it like Newspeak.

The trio of idiots

When you saw the title, your go to was probably Obama, Reid and Boehner.

While that's a real close second, the award goes to Mike Brown, Carson Palmer and the fans who allow enable this soap opera.

First Mike Brown, his quote that "I won't award him" by trading Palmer is to concede that anywhere is an upgrade to his team. Here's an idea Mike, how about creating an organization where people feel rewarded to play for you ass-hat.

Second Carson Palmer, he's a loser. Keep in mind that Palmer knew full and well what this organization was like when he signed a contract extension a couple of years ago. A winner would have filed for free agency and went to the team where he could have been a part of something bigger. Instead, he allowed Bengaldom to do what Bengaldom always does. Pays for nonperformance.

Third, Why any fan would pay hard earned money to give to these clowns boggles the imagination. What the hell is wrong with you people? I'm guessing that most of these people would never give the money they roll out for season tickets to a crack head who refuses treatment. What's the difference?

So I'm offering my Marty treatment to you people. Call me when you're ready.

Blue State exodus - Chicago edition

CME Group Inc. is evaluating whether to move some operations to other states from Chicago to reduce its taxes, but it has not decided on an exact timeline, CEO Craig Donohue said Thursday.

"Our tax situation is untenable," Donohue told Reuters, noting that CME is taxed more heavily than any of its global competitors. The company is talking with at least three states -- Texas, Florida and Tennessee -- about relocating some of its business to take advantage of lower tax rates there, Donohue said.


Wednesday, July 27, 2011

How's the federal government any different?

After my divorce in 2000, I went through what you might call a depression, rebound, mid life crisis, etc.

For about three - four years, I was a total non productive schmuck.

I've chronicled my debt situation in previous post. I owed $45,000 in credit cards. I owed about $10,000 in back real estate taxes and I had to have at least $15,000 in other related business debt.

You know what changed for me? I had a conversation with a collector about my delinquent real estate loan on my business property.

Him I don't understand why your payments are that delinquent they're only about $600 a month.

Me Look, I'm so far in debt I just pay what I can when I can.

Him You know what I also don't understand, you've got a property worth at least $150,000 and you only owe about $70,000 and you're just going to let the thing go in foreclosure.

Me Let me ask you, are you willing to roll up all of my other debt so I can get my arms around this?

Him You're kidding me right?

That night, I went to my local watering hole for my attempt to forget the whole thing. When I went to use one of my cards to pay the tab, it was rejected.

So I used my debit card only to find out that I had a whole $8.91 left in my account.

It was that night that I started taking my debt situation seriously.

After six years, an extra job and a lot of elbow grease, I believe I have a net worth in excess of $300,000 and my debt consists of nothing more than the what little mortgage I have left. My credit score has gone from about 550 to now around 720.

But see, if I were the federal government, I would have just extended my debt ceiling by a couple of hundred of thousand and we all would have been better off. Right?

But how is the federal government any different? When will the feds ever take their debt seriously? Simply borrowing more doesn't make the existing debt more collectible.

I realize that I'm no Wall Street Hedge fund manager but maybe these guys will start to take the debt seriously if they cannot borrow anymore.

Life in "Progress" City - Detroit edition

I rarely get into political debates anymore. Whenever someone starts in on republicans this or that, I simply ask the question.

Detroit is 95% democratic. The city hasn't had a republican mayor or council in over 50 years. When you can explain to me how republicans are responsible for that cesspool or the myriad of other cesspools where you cannot find a republican, I'll listen to your point of view.

It really makes for a debate free evening..........

Detroit's mayor unveiled a plan Wednesday that could determine what the city looks like as it fights for vitality, announcing that neighborhoods will receive different kinds of services depending on the conditions of homes, how many people live there and the level of blight.

Mayor Dave Bing released details from his Detroit Works Project, calling them part of a "short-term intervention strategy" to serve residents at a time when the city has limited financial resources and a $155 million budget deficit.

Nothing like blight to describe something inherently "progressive".


Tuesday, July 26, 2011

White House Spends 10 Min. Saying They Won't Release A Plan They Might N...

CNN's Gloria Borger: President Obama Only One In Washington Talking Tax ...

Thought of the Day

Do you remember how the press climbed all up Newt's rear end when he told someone that he shut down the government because Clinton never invited him on AF1?

Do you think the same media types will be all up in Obama's junk because Boehner never returned his phone call?

The party of no

To hear much from the media, you would think that it's those pesky tea partiers who are so inflexible that they are holding up the deal.

watch the video

Life in "Progress" County - Jefferson County AL edition

Alabama's largest county is laying the groundwork for filing what would be the largest municipal bankruptcy in U.S. history, over a more than $3 billion debt for its sewer system.

The Jefferson County Commission approved resolutions Tuesday to hire prominent bankruptcy lawyers and to sell bonds later in case money is needed to emerge from bankruptcy.

Jefferson is Alabama's most populous county and seat of Birmingham. It's been trying for three years to avoid filing bankruptcy over debt payments it can no longer afford.

Two of the five commissioners say there's an 80 percent chance the county will file bankruptcy. The vote could come at a meeting scheduled for Thursday in Birmingham.

So how many republicans were in on these deals?


Who would have thunk it?

After roughly two generations of the world saying to men "you're not needed" a lot of guys took it to heart and are spending their lives in a hammock.......

Has anyone in Washington noticed that 20% of American men are not working? That's right. One out of five men in this country are collecting unemployment, in prison, on disability, operating in the underground economy, or getting by on the paychecks of wives or girlfriends or parents. The equivalent number in 1970, according to the McKinsey Global Institute, was 7%.

Both political parties have proven their talent in ginning up outrage over the federal budget, whether it's spiraling spending or millionaires collecting tax breaks on private jets. So today a tiresome, and dangerous, debt drama unfolds in real time, freezing leaders in both parties in their respective partisan corners. Are these same leaders capable of confronting the fearsome fact that 4.3 million Americans have been jobless not just for months--but going on years? We are in danger of losing a generation of work-habituated Americans, especially men--and lawmakers can't see their way past November, 2012.

This is a conversation that goes beyond a stubbornly high 9.2% unemployment rate and last week's unnerving news that company layoffs are ticking up again. While we all know there is a job shortage, employers are increasingly talking about a "talent shortage" -- they can't find qualified workers even for the jobs that are available. "We found that 30% of companies surveyed had openings for six months or longer, and can't find the right person," says Susan Lund, research director for the McKinsey Global Institute.


Who did she vote for? #10

Meet Diana Frey. Why is Diana in the news?

Indicted Cincinnati union president Diana Frey seldom worked at her city job since at least 2009 - despite a contract specifying that she spend no more than roughly half her time on union business and repeated efforts by some city officials to force her to earn her public salary.

As a result, customers of the Metropolitan Sewer District, where Frey was an administrative specialist, paid her $64,000 salary while she worked almost full time on business for the Cincinnati Organized and Dedicated Employees.

Meanwhile, Frey was still receiving favorable city evaluations - even though she was rarely at work.

So in the last presidential election did Ms. Frey vote for Obama or McCain.


Sunday, July 24, 2011

How's that minimum wage working?

Not good..............

In 2007, the United States government imposed a new federal minimum wage on American Samoa and the Commonwealth of Northern Mariana Islands (CNMI.) While this increase was well intended—a response to the islanders' wages being lower than that of their mainland counterparts—the results have been nothing less than devastating.

According to a new report from the United States General Accountability Office (GAO), the 19 percent decline in employment in the workforce that American Samoa has experienced since 2008 was in large part the result of imposing minimum hourly wages across various industries. The island’s primary industry is tuna fish canning, with major employers Chicken of the Sea closing and Starkist announcing huge layoffs. In 2008 the number of workers in the canneries was slightly more than 19,000 but has since fallen to 15,400.

Imagine the impact of this kind of job loss on an island with a total population of just over 67,000 people. At the same time, according to the GAO, the value of canned tuna fell from almost $600 million at the end of 2008 to $312 million by the beginning of 2010. What is even more astonishing is that, despite minimum wage laws, earning overall for American Samoans has fallen. “For the period from 2006 to 2009, average inflation-adjusted earnings fell by 11 percent. This resulted from a rise in average annual earnings of about 5 percent while local prices rose by about 18 percent,” the GAO report stated.


Life in Red State

Despite the fact that tax revenues have dropped for nearly every state in the union, eleven states have been able to produce budget surpluses.

As Washington stares at rising national debt and projected deficits for years to come, many states are faced with the opposite problem: whether to spend their budget surpluses and, if so, on what.

At least a dozen states ended fiscal 2011 with surpluses. Indiana reported one of the largest, with an extra $1.2 billion in its accounts. Gov. Mitch Daniels, a Republican, on Friday authorized bonus payments of up to $1,000 for state employees. An employee who “meets expectations” will get $500, those who “exceed expectations” will receive $750 and “outstanding workers” will see an extra $1,000 in their August paychecks.

“No state anywhere comes close to Indiana’s record of spending tax dollars carefully, with total savings over the last six years in the billions. Your spending efficiency has enabled us to stay in the black even as revenues plummeted,” said Mr. Daniels, who recently flirted with a run for the White House but ultimately stayed out of the race.

While Indiana decided to reward its employees, other states are redirecting surplus funds into cash-strapped areas such as education. Idaho ended the year with an $85 million surplus, the majority of which will be funneled to public schools and colleges, Gov. C.L. “Butch” Otter, a Republican, said in a statement last week.

If you had a gun to your head and the wrong answer meant pulling the trigger would you bet that the states with the surpluses were prominently red or blue?


"Born that way"

A recurring debate in the Gekko household is the issue of homosexuality and whether it's a "choice" or not.

It's a particularly sensitive issue because there have been three people intimate to our family who have come out as gay.

Yet, within in a year, two of those three ended up in totally heterosexual relationships and the third, in my humble opinion, is simply hanging out in Lady Gaga land until he probably gets married and has kids.

I don't profess to know what makes people attracted to the same sex anymore than I know why I seem to be attracted to a certain type of woman. But I've always rejected the whole "born that way" stuff because it doesn't explain bisexuality or people who believe they're gay but go back to heterosexual relationships as has happened to people close to us. What do you exactly call "switching teams"?

Mother Jones, not exactly a right wing publication, has a really good article on the issue........
That's the usual interpretation of reparative therapy—that to the extent that it does anything, it leads people to repress rather than change their natural inclinations, that its claims to change sexual orientation are an outright fraud perpetrated by the religious right on people who have internalized the homophobia of American society, personalized the political in such a way as to reject their own sexuality and stunt their love lives. But Aaron scoffs at these notions, insisting that his wish to go straight had nothing to do with right-wing religion or politics—he's a nonobservant Jew and a lifelong Democrat who volunteered for George McGovern, has a career in public service, and thinks George Bush is a war criminal. It wasn't a matter of ignorance—he has an advanced degree—and it really wasn't a psychopathological thing—he rejects the idea that he's ever suffered from internalized homophobia. He just didn't want to be gay, and, like millions of Americans dissatisfied with their lives, he sought professional help and reinvented himself.


Who represents union members

This blog has never been kind to unions. Mainly because unions support policies that are counter productive to their rank and file. Leading me to believe they must be corrupt.

Nothing could prove my point more than oil drilling in the gulf. What could do more to put money into the pockets of rank and file union members than an aggressive drilling program in the gulf? It's a no brainer.

Now, some union officials may be getting it.........

President Obama's cap-and-trade bill died in the Democrat-run 111th Congress, but that hasn't stopped the chief executive and Lisa Jackson, his U.S. Environmental Protection Agency administrator, from finding regulatory paths to achieve the same goals.

Topping those goals is the abolition of coal as an electrical power-generating fuel. More than half of the electrical power used every day by Americans is generated by power plants fueled by coal. And 90 percent of all the coal consumed in the U.S. goes to electrical power generation.

But that doesn't matter to Obama and Big Green, they are determined to kill the coal industry because of its alleged contribution to global warming.

It appears that Jackson's EPA has now found the perfect regulatory tool to accomplish that goal - the proposed Mercury and Air Toxics Standard (MATS), which, according to the agency, would apply to all "Coal and Oil-Fired Electric Utility Steam Generating Units and Standards of Performance for Fossil-Fuel-Fired Electric Utility, Industrial-Commercial-Institutional, and Small Industrial-Commercial-Institutional Steam Generating Units."

The MATS proposal has sparked massive opposition from among energy industry groups and conservative think tanks, but now a huge coalition of unions that normally are vocal supporters of Obama are warning of the loss of millions of jobs, substantial power-generation capability, and other harmful consequences radiating throughout the entire U.S. economy.

The National Debt in perspective

I continue to be amazed at media outlets who seem to have absolutely no clue about the magnitude of the debt crisis we're in the middle of. The problem is much more dire than simply increasing our own credit limit.

Seriously, could you with a straight face tell your credit card company that you'll have a better ability to pay back your current debt as long as they increase it? It's laughable beyond belief.

For instance, if the US government could confiscate the entire 14 TRILLION dollar annual US economy, it could just about pay off the current debt that is owed. Of course, if they did that, the GDP would be Zero because no one would work for nothing. That doesn't even cover the 60 TRILLION, the US is set to pay in social security, medicare and government pensions.

Second, there is a limit to how much more money people will be inclined to loan us. No one has pushed the president as to what that number is but it is dangerously close when our debt to GDP relationship looks closer to the PIIG (Portugal, Ireland, Italy, Greece) with increasing rapidity.

According to this OMB chart, our spending has gone up each and every year since 1948. That means in good times, spending has gone up, in bad times spending has gone up. Spending went up with Johnson, Reagan, Nixon, Clinton, Bushes etc. Can you seriously argue with a straight face that all these increases in spending are warranted.

This might be almost tolerable if we had something to show for it. But can you name one problem eradicated by government spending? Poverty looks every bit as bad as it did in 1960.

Even take all the money doled out in student loan aid and programs, is college more or less affordable to the average person than it was 20, 30, 40 years ago?

To make matters worse, can you name anything tangible our money has produced in the past twenty years.

FDR built national parks and infrastructure projects, Eisenhower built the interstate system, Kennedy pushed the space program. Now, as we watch the last space shuttle park and our bridges and roads crumbling around us, we can say that we're spending trillions of dollars on what that has a lasting impact on our country?

For once, I would just like Bob Shieffer et al, quit taking the lies (sorry they call it spin) and simply pin down these guys on the obvious.

Maybe we could get to real budget reform if these clowns would pin down Dirty Harry Reid on the obvious.