Friday, December 09, 2011

Life in "Progress" City - Chicago edition

From the Windy city

Federal authorities have begun a criminal investigation into how nearly a dozen union officials became eligible for inflated city pensions, according to subpoenas obtained by the Tribune and WGN-TV through an open-records request.

The Chicago municipal employees and laborers pension funds each received subpoenas from a federal grand jury in October seeking "records pursuant to an official criminal investigation." The request seeks documentation on 11 labor leaders who appeared in reports from a joint Tribune/WGN-TV investigation.

The reports focused on a 1991 law that allowed union leaders who once worked for the city to receive credit in public pension plans for their private union work. When they retire, the union officials' pensions aren't based on their old city paychecks but on their much higher union salaries.

That opened the door for them to land public pensions that far exceeded their pay as city employees — even as they continued to earn lucrative salaries from their unions.


Holder and Chaffetz Fight Over Fast And Furious

Laws... we don't need no stinkin' laws

For democrats what this means is that if it's good enough for you, I don't have to follow it.

Seriously, how in the hell does Jon Corzine run a securities firm without a license?

We know that other FINRA staffers altered evidentiary documents regarding broker misconduct prior to forwarding cases to the SEC for action. 

Now, we learn that FINRA failed to require Jon Corzine to re-qualify for certain securities licenses that were required of the head of a securities broker-dealer. It appears that as much as $1.2 billion of customer assets are missing. One could argue that Bernie Madoff was current with all of his licenses. And, that would be correct. 

Now ask yourself this question. Imagine Joe the Plumber starting a securities firm in the Toledo area without a securities license.

How much trouble would he be in?


What is the meaning of "is"

Probably a good question for Eric Holder...........

When Wisconsin Republican Rep. Jim Sensenbrenner and Attorney General Eric Holder had a sharp back-and-forth on whether or not officials in the Department of Justice lied to Congress. The questioning was during Thursday morning’s House Judiciary Committee hearing on Operation Fast and Furious.

“First let me make something very clear, in response to an assertion you made, or hinted at: Nobody in the Justice Department has lied,” Holder said in response to accusations that he or his confidantes lied to Congress. 

“Nobody has lied.”

“Then why was the letter withdrawn?,” Sensenbrenner retorted, referring to a factually inaccurate letter one of Holder’s deputies, Assistant Attorney General Ronald Weich, sent to Iowa Republican Sen. Chuck Grassley on February 4. In that letter, Weich claimed that guns were never allowed to walk.

Holder and one of his other deputies, Assistant Attorney General Lanny Breuer have both admitted that statement was false in recent Senate hearings.

“The letter was withdrawn because there was information in there that was inaccurate,” Holder replied to Sensenbrenner’s question.

Still unsatisfied, Sensenbrenner followed up again. “Tell me what the difference is between lying and misleading Congress in this context?,” he asked Holder.

Holder responded that whether a statement is a lie or misleading comment depends on what the person making it is thinking at the time.


Why we should consider a per mile road tax...NOT

Based on recent history and what's likely to happen to the nation's infrastructure, it's an inescapable conclusion: 

We will need new and different sources of funding if we are to have the type of transportation system that is needed to support economic prosperity.

For the past 75 years, the U.S. road network has provided the foundation for much of the nation's economic development. This network has not come without a cost; estimates are that the replacement value of the nation's roads is $1.3 trillion.

The bulk of the revenue to build the world's most extensive road network has come from motor vehicle fuel taxes, first used by Oregon in 1918 and culminating in a 1956 federal motor fuel tax to construct the national highway network, including the Interstate highway system.

But big challenges loom. The U.S. population is expected to grow through 2100 and the economy likely will be strongly tied to the movement of people and goods. The need for added capacity to the nation's transportation system is great.

When one adds the hundreds of billions of dollars that will be needed to reconstruct and rehabilitate existing infrastructure, the demand for transportation funding will be perhaps even greater than ever.

Why am I so adamant against increasing taxes. Because there is not one governmental unit in the history of the world who has properly prioritized its spending.

We currently pay for our roads through a fuel tax. The more you drive the more you pay. It seems totally fair to me. It would have been more than enough to cover the expenses for all our roads and bridges but our DOT decided that there were bigger priorities. And every time you drive on a freeway you get to see this............

The worst part of these walls is that they are less effective (and less green) than the plants and trees that used to be there.

So when you quit blowing taxpayer money on these road boondoggles, come back to me with your hand out.


Blue State exodus

If you were to believe the conventional wisdom constantly espoused by the media, you would believe that the suburbs and the south were populated by droves of white racists; practically klansmen without the robes.

But how is it that affluent blacks are leaving the cities for these racist enclaves and there isn't even a cross burning to celebrate?

Affluent African-Americans are leaving industrial cities for the suburbs and the South shifting traditional lines between rich and poor, according to new study.

Their migration is widening the income gap between whites and the inner-city black population who remain behind, while making African-Americans less united as a group and subject to greater income disparities.

Roderick Harrison, a Howard University sociologist and former chief of racial statistics at the Census Bureau, said: 'Reverse migration is changing the South and its race relations.'

He said a rising black middle class is promoting a growing belief among some black conservatives that problems of the disadvantaged are now rooted more in character or cultural problems, rather than race.
HELLO!!!!!!!!!!!!!! It's what conservatives have been preaching for decades.
"Promoting a growing belief"? Maybe Dr Harrison can explain how it is that for all the racism in this country, how is it that many blacks can achieve and be successful and feel totally comfortable moving into primarily white, conservative areas and these people don't care.

What's most hilarious about liberals is their unflinching belief that they are so much smarter than any conservative.  Yet the concept above seems so foreign to them. Exactly how smart is that?

Consider this. In the past 40 years, the south has become populated with relocated northerners, has become more conservative and decidedly less racist.
Maybe that says more about democrats than conservatives. Read more: 

Wednesday, December 07, 2011

Energy For America: Dr. Steven Hayward explains path to North America's...

Honey Badgers care

I've always cracked up at your PETA and atheist enthusiasts who want to equate people with animals (rat = bear = boy).

It's always occurred to me that people are the only species of animals who cares about a damned thing.

That is until I read this.........

Researchers from the World Wildlife Federation in conjunction with the United Nations wildlife task force have come to the conclusion that the honey badger, in fact, does care.

“Honey badger has developed an unfair reputation in recent years,” said researcher Dr. Kevin Obswam. “There is no doubt that he is fearless as he goes after prey. There is no doubt that he can often be reckless as he navigates his way through the wild. But we want the world to know that at the end of the day, Honey badger do care.”

Extensive testing was done on honey badger to gauge the degree to which he cares. Electronic probes were put in place to monitor honey badger’s reactions to various stimuli. Scientists discovered that the receptors that initiate and control the emotion of caring in honey badger were no less evolved than that of most other mammals. “We found that honey badger’s senses of sympathy and empathy were rather evolved,” said Dr. Obswam. “In fact, we found that honey badger needed to be sedated, because he cared a little bit too much about having the probes attached to his head. Mauled three of our vet techs pretty good.”

Researchers discovered that honey badger cares most about friends and family, and cares deeply about making sure that they celebrate the holidays together. Honey badger also cares about global warming, man’s inhumanity to man, BCS football rankings, gluten free cooking, and sunrises. Honey badger has also been known to cry like a little girl while watching Terms of Endearment.

From Derf Magazine

Tuesday, December 06, 2011

Jimmy's 1993 ESPY Speech

Tonight's the Jimmy V classic on the sports monstership. watching those games always reminds me of this speech.

I will own that I don't fully understand the short or long term impacts of devaluing a currency on an economy. But if I had to guess, I'm betting on it not being a good thing when a finite group of people decide on manipulating a free market discipline.

This thought from MJ Perry gives more clarity to the issue...........

"Let me break from [the] consensus about China's currency policy and present an alternative position: In the best of all possible worlds for the United States, China would use its labor and capital to manufacture consumer products like clothing, footwear, furniture, electronics, and appliances and send $300 billion worth of these products to U.S. consumers for free every year as a gift or a form of foreign aid to the American people. In addition, the Chinese would produce and send to America another $100 billion worth of raw materials, parts, industrial supplies, inputs, and natural resources at no charge, as a gift to American manufacturers every year. (Note: That's roughly the amount of goods we will purchase from China this year.) . . .

Unfortunately, that extreme Chinese generosity is not realistic, so here's a possible second-best outcome: . . . [China] agrees to send us $500 billion worth of consumer and industrial goods every year, but agrees to sell us those manufactured goods at a substantial 20 percent discount for only $400 billion. In that case, the amount of foreign aid will be less than the $400 billion in the first example, but will still be significant—a $100 billion gift every year from the Chinese people to the American people.

How will China generate this $100 billion in annual foreign aid to the United States? One way is to keep its currency undervalued to bring about the 20 percent discount on its products coming to America.

Which then raises the question: If China is willing to undervalue its currency, and in the process provide approximately $100 billion of foreign aid annually to American consumers and businesses, what's the problem? Why should we complain?"

Read his blog here..........

When being poor isn't

A Seattle woman who is receiving welfare assistance from Washington state also happens to live in a waterfront house on Lake Washington worth more than a million dollars.

Federal agents raided the home this weekend but have not released the woman or her husband's name because they have not officially been charged with a crime.

However, federal documents obtained by KING 5 News show the couple currently receives more than $1,200 a month in public housing vouchers, plus state and government disability checks and food stamps. They have been receiving the benefits since 2003.

The 2,500 square-foot home, which includes gardens and a boat dock, is valued at $1.2 million. And even though the couple has been receiving the benefits for nearly 10 years, records show that they accurately listed the address of their current home when applying for the state and federal benefits.

Paraphrasing an Ohio liberal blogger "just because someone has a boat dock doesn't mean they're not poor".


Monday, December 05, 2011

What's 400 million between friends

Just because Ohio doesn't have a good business climate doesn't mean they don't have money to throw around for more bad companies........

Ohio has pitched $400 million in incentives to lure Sears' corporate headquarters away from Illinois, far more than Illinois was preparing to offer to keep the retailer in suburban Chicago, a spokeswoman for Gov. Pat Quinn told an Ohio newspaper.

Quinn said Thursday he is not willing to get into a bidding war with Ohio to keep Sears Holdings Corp. from leaving the state, saying a tax package that Senate lawmakers passed earlier this week "is more than adequate" to keep the company from rolling up the carpet.

Good news for the Obamunists..........

President Obama, with his electoral fate tied to the economy, must be pleased with the momentum he’s getting.

Just months ago, the U.S. credit rating was downgraded and Democrats worried Obama was following in the footsteps of one-term President Jimmy Carter. Maybe he will, but reports in the last week suggest manufacturing and construction are humming, and Thanksgiving saw record-setting shopping by consumers.

The icing on the cake? A jobs report Friday shaved nearly half a point off the unemployment rate. The 8.6 percent rate was down from 9 percent in October and is the lowest unemployment has stood in two and a half years.

Nevermind that the unemployment rate job primarily as a result of discouraged workers, workers who have just quit looking for a job.

So if Obama can only get another million or so workers get on with being a "lazy Americans" and quit looking for a job, he'll be looking fine...........