Thursday, July 30, 2009

This should help things ...

With a 15.2% unemployement rate in Michigan (can't wait to see what July's numbers will be) the geniuses in Washington are working their magic to insure things things will certainly not get better any time soon. For those employed and unemployed.

The economic research is close to unanimous that a payroll tax is a tax on labor and is thus shouldered mostly if not entirely by workers. Employers merely collect the tax and then pass along its costs in lower wages or benefits. This is the view of the Democratic-controlled Congressional Budget Office, which advised on July 13: “If employers who did not offer health insurance were required to pay a fee, employee’s wages and other forms of compensation would generally decline by the amount of that fee from what they otherwise would have been.”

To put this in actual dollars, a worker earning, say, $70,000 a year could lose some $5,600 in take home pay to cover the costs of ObamaCare. And, by the way, this is in addition to the 2.5% tax that the individual worker would have to pay on gross income, if he doesn’t buy the high-priced health insurance that the government will mandate. In sum, that’s a near 10-percentage point tax on wages and salaries on top of the 15% that already hits workers to finance Medicare and Social Security.

Even Democrats are aware that his tax would come out of the wallets of the very workers they pretend to be helping, so they inserted a provision on page 147 of the bill prohibiting firms from cutting salaries to pay the tax. Thus they figure they can decree that wages cannot fall even as costs rise. Of course, all this means is that businesses would lay off some workers, or hire fewer new ones, or pay lower starting salaries or other benefits to the workers they do hire.

But wait, it gets worse.

Cornell economists Richard Burkhauser and Kosali Simon predicted in a 2007 National Bureau of Economic Research study that a payroll tax increase of about this magnitude plus the recent minimum wage increase will translate into hundreds of thousands of lost jobs for those with low wages. Pay or play schemes, says Mr. Burkauser, “wind up hurting the very low-wage workers they are supposed to help.” The CBO agrees, arguing that play or pay policies “could reduce the hiring of low-wage workers, whose wages could not fall by the full cost of health insurance or a substantial play-or-pay fee if they were close to the minimum wage.”

To make matters worse, many workers and firms would have to pay the Pelosi tax even if the employer already provides health insurance. That’s because the House bill requires firms to pay at least 72.5% of health-insurance premiums for individual workers and 65% for families in order to avoid the tax. A Kaiser Family Foundation survey in 2008 found that about three in five small businesses fail to meet the Pelosi test and will have to pay the tax. In these instances, the businesses will have every incentive simply to drop their coverage.

Incentive is putting it mildly. It could probably well be an economic necessity for an employer to drop it's coverage and go with the public plan.

Remember, every time Obama says you can keep your doctors and health insurance, he is LYING.

Also, let's keep in mind that these rules won't apply to union workers or government employees. They're all going to be keeping their insurance.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Make of this what you will

Theo Spark has an astounding list detailing the queen's First Lady's staffers:

1. $172,2000 - Sher, Susan (Chief Of Staff)

2. $140,000 - Frye, Jocelyn C. (Deputy Assistant to the President and Director of Policy And Projects For The First Lady)

3. $113,000 - Rogers, Desiree G. (Special Assistant to the President and White House Social Secretary)

4. $102,000 - Johnston, Camille Y. (Special Assistant to the President and Director of Communications for the First Lady)

5. Winter, Melissa E. (Special Assistant to the President and Deputy Chief Of Staff to the First Lady)

6. $90,000 - Medina, David S. (Deputy Chief Of Staff to the First Lady)

7. $84,000 - Lelyveld, Catherine M. (Director and Press Secretary to the First Lady)

8. $75,000 - Starkey, Frances M. (Director of Scheduling and Advance for the First Lady)

9. $70,000 - Sanders, Trooper (Deputy Director of Policy and Projects for the First Lady)

10. $65,000 - Burnough, Erinn J. (Deputy Director and Deputy Social Secretary)

11. Reinstein, Joseph B. (Deputy Director and Deputy Social Secretary)

12. $62,000 - Goodman, Jennifer R. (Deputy Director of Scheduling and Events Coordinator For The First Lady)

13. $60,000 - Fitts, Alan O. (Deputy Director of Advance and Trip Director for the First Lady)

14. Lewis, Dana M. (Special Assistant and Personal Aide to the First Lady)

15. $52,500 - Mustaphi, Semonti M. (Associate Director and Deputy Press Secretary To The First Lady)

16. $50,000 - Jarvis, Kristen E. (Special Assistant for Scheduling and Traveling Aide To The First Lady)

17. $45,000 - Lechtenberg, Tyler A. (Associate Director of Correspondence For The First Lady)

18. Tubman, Samantha (Deputy Associate Director, Social Office)

19. $40,000 - Boswell, Joseph J. (Executive Assistant to the Chief Of Staff to the First Lady)

20. $36,000 - Armbruster, Sally M. (Staff Assistant to the Social Secretary)

21. Bookey, Natalie (Staff Assistant)

22. Jackson, Deilia A. (Deputy Associate Director of Correspondence for the First Lady)
Note: This does not include makeup artist Ingrid Grimes-Miles, 49, and "First Hairstylist" Johnny Wright, 31, both of whom travelled aboard Air Force One to Europe.

So, I found this to put it in perspective.

McBride, Anita B. Assistant to the president and chief of staff to the first lady $168,000.00

Harder, Cherie S. Special asistant to the president for domestic policy and director of project of the first lady $108,000.00

Niemiec, Sally M. Press secretary to the First Lady $90,000.00

Miller, Sonja M. Deputy chief of staff to the first lady $84,700.00

Ballard, Deanna M. Director of scheduling for the First Lady $75,000.00

Underwood, Carrie P. Deputy director of policy and projects for the First Lady $65,000.00

Wallace, Charity N. Director of advance for the First Lady $65,000.00

Marshall, Misty C. Director of correspondence for the first lady $59,700.00

Etter, Marisa L. Deputy director of scheduling for the First Lady $50,000.00

King, Kristin N. Deputy director of advance for the first lady $50,000.00

Lineweaver, Lindsey M. Special assistant and personal aide to the first lady $47,500.00

Rawson, Kimberly D. Executive assistant to the chief of staff to the First Lady $46,200.00

Donoghue , Tarah C. Deputy press secretary to the First Lady $43,000.00

Vogel, Campbell B. Deputy director of correspondence for the First Lady $42,500.00

Block, Jonathan F. Assistant press secretary to the First Lady $39,000.00

It's honestly obscene.

Musical Interlude

For some reason, this song just keeps going through my head ...

Dan Riehl has some vids up about the stimulus bullshit.

And, then there is this piece of uplifting news about a back-door deals being worked out to push Obamacare through this week. Perhaps that's why Nancy is going for the vote on Friday.

With the stimulus and Healthcare ... honestly, we're fucked.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Please Read Carefully

Although YMMV since it's from that well-know Rethuglian shill media Fauxnews CNN.

4. Freedom to keep your existing plan

This is the freedom that the President keeps emphasizing. Yet the bills appear to say otherwise. It's worth diving into the weeds -- the territory where most pundits and politicians don't seem to have ventured.

The legislation divides the insured into two main groups, and those two groups are treated differently with respect to their current plans. The first are employees covered by the Employee Retirement Security Act of 1974. ERISA regulates companies that are self-insured, meaning they pay claims out of their cash flow, and don't have real insurance. Those are the GEs (GE, Fortune 500) and Time Warners (TWX, Fortune 500) and most other big companies.

The House bill states that employees covered by ERISA plans are "grandfathered." Under ERISA, the plans can do pretty much what they want -- they're exempt from standard packages and community rating and can reward employees for healthy lifestyles even in restrictive states.

But read on.

The bill gives ERISA employers a five-year grace period when they can keep offering plans free from the restrictions of the "qualified" policies offered on the exchanges. But after five years, they would have to offer only approved plans, with the myriad rules we've already discussed. So for Americans in large corporations, "keeping your own plan" has a strict deadline. In five years, like it or not, you'll get dumped into the exchange. As we'll see, it could happen a lot earlier.

The outlook is worse for the second group. It encompasses employees who aren't under ERISA but get actual insurance either on their own or through small businesses. After the legislation passes, all insurers that offer a wide range of plans to these employees will be forced to offer only "qualified" plans to new customers, via the exchanges.

The employees who got their coverage before the law goes into effect can keep their plans, but once again, there's a catch. If the plan changes in any way -- by altering co-pays, deductibles, or even switching coverage for this or that drug -- the employee must drop out and shop through the exchange. Since these plans generally change their policies every year, it's likely that millions of employees will lose their plans in 12 months.

h/t: JHo.

You will lose your plan. Obama is (continually) lying about this.

About Fruit Trees and Vegetable Trees

Via David Thompson via someone else.

Monday, July 27, 2009


Justify this. Go ahead. Be a bitch for Obama.

Today's racist post

The fun never ends in Detroit.

- The City Council will meet in closed session with Deputy Mayor Saul Green today to discuss the abrupt resignation of Sheryl L. Robinson Wood as the court-appointed federal monitor overseeing the Detroit Police Department reforms.
U.S. District Judge Julian Abele Cook, who oversees the consent decree with the U.S. Justice Department, announced Friday that Wood resigned after being confronted with documents that showed she had "meetings of a personal nature" with former Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick. What happened between Wood and Kilpatrick is unclear.

Kroll Inc., Wood's employer, has been paid $10 million dollars since '03 for for it's oversight of the DPD. But, that's a whole 'nother (racist) boondogle.

July, so far

Average High temperature for Flint in July? 81/82.

This month's actual temperature (which almost always failed to meet the forecasted highs):

76, 65, 73, 74, 80, 79, 69, 75, 80, 80, 82, 77, 76, 77, 82, 79, 70, 67, 75, 79, 79, 78, 74, 79, 78, 75.

The actual lows? Average low is 59/60 for the month of July.

56, 56, 56, 49, 54, 57, 51, 47, 52, 54, 54, 50, 45, 45, 59, 60, 55, 50, 51, 54, 52, 61, 61, 58, 64, 61.

So far, the month of July has had 5 days that actually reached into the 80s (although not very high into 'em) and four days where the lows reached into the 40's.

We've only hit the 90's ONCE this summer, back in June when the high reached 91.

Days the air conditioning has been used this summer? Twice.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Hold the Presses

An amazingly biased piece about Henry Lois Gates Jr. made the "cover story" in the National and World section of my paper. Written by AP writer Hillel Italie, it is so bad, and so lacking in actual news, the mind wobbles.

Gates rarely has been considered a dangerous man. Gregarious, outgoing, media savvy - yes. But in the years after the incident in Keyser, W.Va., his unrelenting focus on black life in America was intellectual. He has written essays, compiled reference works, searched for slave narratives, produced documentaries, assembled a mighty team of colleagues at Harvard.
"He's unquestionably one of the great public intellectuals. He puts people together, he makes a million speeches. He's on airplanes a lot. I think he has 50 honorary degrees by now," says David Remnick, editor of The New Yorker, for which Gates has been a contributor.

Yea. So? How come the writer isn't explaining the clean record of Sgt. James Crowley? What is the point? Does one's life experience somehow "prove" he didn't act like an ass? That he evidently has zero respect for our police officers, and that he should have been treated like a VIP because he's a part of the intellectual elite?

Reached Thursday by telephone, Gates told The Associated Press he had no further comments to make about the incident, in which he was suspected of breaking into a house - his own - and then charged with disorderly conduct when he raged at a police officer.

This recount is do devoid of context. How about the fact that the house had been long been empty? And that a neighbor had, in fact, seen two men breaking into the house. Because, that's what they were doing. Breaking in. That it was their own house? That was to be determined after the cop showed up. Yet, Gates apparently was offended even by the accusation.

But, I digress. The best part of the piece is this:

He's entrepreneurial. He has an eye for investments and for networks that are a potential source of support. He has an eye for talent, for bringing in the best people he can to Harvard. And he has an eye for the media, for positioning himself and knowing how to present a story."
He has told his own story in a memoir, "Colored People." Gates was born in 1950 in Piedmont, W.Va., then a segregated mill community. His first knowledge of whites was through television, in sitcoms such as "The Life of Riley," which featured a factory worker, like Gates' dad. His family initially had little interest in protest, wondering why blacks would want to eat at white-owned restaurants since it was well established that whites couldn't cook.

Ahem. See what I'm talking about?

This isn't part of my job description

Took apart the Maytag Bravo this morning ... need to replace the water pump. Got it ordered, saving myself a couple hundred bucks in a service call.

Next, ordered a new lamp from my DLP tv. Should be a cinch after the job I did on it a few years back when I replaced it's color wheel.

Finally, my boys want me to fix their Xbox's RROD. Sigh. Off to Radioshack.

Think I'll get time to play in the garden today?

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Today's Racist post

Because it's just horrific. Ten-year-old girl gets raped by four 14-year-olds, and the family doesn't want her back.

The father told the caseworker and an officer in her presence that he didn't want her back. He said, 'Take her, I don't want her,' " police Sgt. Andy Hill said.

Bending over backwards to understand those from different cultures, we get this explanation:

Ali Keita, a Liberian refugee and president of the Arizona Mandingo Association, works with refugees to ease their integration into U.S. society. Keita said that Liberian families may question why sexual-assault victims were in a situation that left them open for attack but that the initial response likely stems from disappointment and frustration with the family's circumstances.

"(As a parent), you feel like you've failed . . . to protect them," Keita said.

Oh yes. That's some yummy cultural understanding. He doesn't want her back because he feels like a failure.

h/t: Small Dead Animals.

Friday, July 24, 2009

Remember when approval numbers were important?

That was BO. Before Obama. Now, polling numbers can't seem to find their way onto the front page. Unless, of course, we're talking about Sarah Palin's numbers.

But, since I've learned from the liberals during the last few years, approval numbers are very, very important. They went on about them seemingly every day. So, let's turn our eyes to Obama's approval numbers.

He came into office with a 65% approval rating. That number, today, has fallen to 49%. With an overall index (strong approve v. strongly disapprove) of -8.

What. Does. This. Mean?

It must means something, right?

Perhaps it just means that 51% of Americans are too stupid to realize Obama's wonderfulness.

Or, perhaps evertyime someone new loses their job, they realize that can no longer blame BOOOOSH!

Of course, Rasmussen is eager to attempt to explain away the low numbers.

It is important to remember that the Rasmussen Reports job approval ratings are based upon a sample of likely voters. Some other firms base their approval ratings on samples of all adults. President Obama’s numbers are always several points higher in a poll of adults rather than likely voters. That’s because some of the President’s most enthusiastic supporters, such as young adults, are less likely to turn out to vote.

Swing and a miss

As "proof" of Palin's stupidity, OceanCat links a piece that edits her, sans teleprompter, resignation speech. See how stupid she is? Look at all the grammatical mistakes she made? OMG. We sure dodged THAT bullet didn't we?

How 'bout we do the same with Teh One.

Uh uh uh ...

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Genius unveiled

Teh One responds to Jake Tapper's question:

OBAMA: They're going to have to give up paying for things that don't make them healthier. And I -- speaking as an American, I think that's the kind of change you want. Look, if, right now, hospitals and doctors aren't coordinating enough to have you just take one test when you come because of an illness, but instead have you take one test, then you go to another specialist, you take a second test, then you go to another specialist, you take a third test, and nobody is bothering to send the first test that you took, same test, to the next doctors, you're wasting money.

You got some research on this assertion, Mr. President?

You may not see it, because if you have health insurance right now, it's just being sent to the insurance company. But that's raising your premiums. It's raising everybody's premiums. And that money, one way or another, is coming out of your pocket. Although we are also subsidizing some of that because there are tax breaks for health care. So, not only is it costing you money in terms of higher premiums, it's also costing you as a taxpayer. Now, I want to change that. Every American should want to change that. Why would we want to pay for things that don't work? That aren't making us healthier?

Excuse me, but NOT taxing income that is directed at healthcare is NOT a government subsidy. This makes my head explode.

And here's what I'm confident about. If doctors and patients have the best information about what works and what doesn't, then they're going to want to pay for what works. If there's a blue pill and a red pill, and the blue pill is half the price of the red pill and works just as well, why not pay half price for the thing that's going to make you well? But the system right now doesn't incentivize that. Those are the changes that are going to be needed -- that we're going to need to make inside the system. It will require, I think, patients to -- as well as doctors, as well as hospitals, to be more discriminating consumers. But I think that's a good thing, because ultimately we can't afford this. We just can't afford what we're doing right now.

Absent from this paragraph, is truth. Because we're not talking about doctors and patients having the best information. We're talking about the government DICTATING what they have decided "works."

And -- and -- and just to -- to raise a broader issue that I think has colored how we look at health care reform, let me just talk about deficit and debt, because part of what's been happening in this debate is the American people are understandably queasy about the huge deficits and debt that we're facing right now. And the feeling is, all right, we had the bank bailout, we had the recovery package, we had the supplemental, we've got the budget, we're seeing numbers, trillions here and trillions there. And so I think, legitimately, people are saying, "Look, we're in a recession. I'm cutting back. I'm having to give up things. And yet all I see is government spending more and more money." And that argument, I think, has been used effectively by people who don't want to change health care to suggest that somehow this is one more government program. So I just want to address that point very quickly.

Uhm, but this is just one more government program ...

First of all, let's understand that, when I came in, we had a $1.3 trillion deficit -- annual deficit that we had already inherited. We had to immediately move forward with a stimulus package because the American economy had lost trillions of dollars of wealth. Consumers had lost through their 401(k)s, through home values, you name it, they had lost trillions of dollars. That all just went away. That was the day I was sworn in; it was already happening. And we had 700,000 jobs that were being lost. So we felt it was very important to put in place a recovery package that would help stabilize the economy.

Opened this segment of response by blaming Republicans, which he claimed he wasn't gonna do. As for the effectiveness of the stimulus craptastic .... nemployment in Michigan is 15.2% and going up. Everyone's losing their jobs. People are still losing their homes. But, we do have some spiffy new signs announcing the stimulus projects.

Then we had to pass a budget by law, and our budget had a 10-year projection. And I just want everybody to be clear about this. If we had done nothing, if you had the same, old budget as opposed to the changes we made in our budget, you'd have a $9.3 trillion deficit over the next 10 years. Because of the changes we've made, it's going to be $7.1 trillion. Now, that's not good, but it's $2.2 trillion less than it would have been if we had the same policies in place when we came in.

Sure. Sure we would have.

So the reason I point this out is to say that the debt and the deficit are deep concerns of mine. I am very worried about federal spending. And the steps that we've taken so far have reduced federal spending over the next 10 years by $2.2 trillion. It's not enough. But in order for us to do more, we're not only going to have to eliminate waste in the system -- and, by the way, we had a big victory yesterday by eliminating a weapons program, the F- 22, that the Pentagon had repeatedly said we didn't need -- so we're going to have to eliminate waste there.

How 'bout we talk about eliminating stuff not related to our national defense?

We're going to have to eliminate no-bid contracts. We're going to have to do all kinds of reforms in our budgeting. But we're also going to have to change health care. Otherwise, we can't change that $7.1 trillion gap in the way that the American people want it to change. So to all -- everybody who's out there who has been ginned about this idea that the Obama administration wants to spend and spend and spend, the fact of the matter is, is that we inherited an enormous deficit, enormous long-term debt projections. We have not reduced it as much as we need to and as I'd like to. But health care reform is not going to add to that deficit. It's designed to lower it. That's part of the reason why it's so important to do, and to do now.

It's not our FAULT!! What was the question again?


You've got something on your chin, Tom

Just when I had hopes that the media had begun to show signs that perhaps they'd remembered that they weren't actually on the DNC's payroll ...

When a politician says "Let me be clear," what follows is often anything but. It's a tradition in obfuscation that probably got a big boost from Richard Nixon's "Let me make this perfectly clear," one of that president's signature phrases. But when Barack Obama uses it, as he did Wednesday during his fourth prime-time presidential news conference, the odds seem a little better than usual that clarity really is a possibility.

Anyone that came away with "clarity" from Obama's presser last night, needs to give me a call. I'd love to know what the hell Obama clarified.

As usual, Obama turned in an admirably effective performance at the news conference, even if it did seem a little too tidy -- and even rehearsed -- for nearly all the reporters to fall in line and stick with the matter at hand rather than pursue their own little butterflies as in many administrations past. Obama had a list of reporters and called on each one in turn; the assembled reporters played pass-the-mike, using a rather primitive hand-held microphone to address the president and pass along questions that could hardly have been very surprising to him.

He says that like it's a good thing.

Still, viewers who sincerely wanted to know the essentials of the president's health-care reform plan got an opportunity. Television even became an issue in the discussion, when one reporter asked if Obama had been true to his pledge that the debate on health care be available on C-SPAN, the public-affairs channels supported by the cable industry.

Obama's use of the personal and the colloquial helped keep him from seeming pompous, as when he said many Americans are being "clobbered" by high health-care costs, and then explained the necessity for a deadline on debate and action by saying, "If you don't set deadlines in this town, things don't happen."

If anyone would care to explain the essentials explained by Obama in comments, that would be greatly appreciated.

About the most justifiable criticism that could likely be made: "Barack Obama still seems too good to be true." It's doubtful any president would lose sleep over such criticisms as that -- no matter what the Cambridge police department might be saying about him Thursday morning.

Too good to be true. Yea, that's my criticism. @@

Once more, into the breach dear friends, once more ...

I don't know why I'm poking the pile like this, but Mare (over at the Hostages) pointed out this article and it's just too good to not pass along.

While my interest in Palin as a future political candidate is waning (because I want to WIN and I don't know if she can overcome the bullshit that swirls around her), my fascination for the Palinization of a Republican woman has not. Because, I fear liberals will do the same to any prominent conservative woman.

Of course, the first answer you’ll get if you ask feminists why they hate Sarah Palin is that “it’s because she ____” — and then fill in the blank with the lie of choice: made rape victims pay for their own kits, is against contraception or sex ed, believes in abstinence-only, thinks the dinosaurs were here 4000 years ago, doesn’t believe in global warming, doesn’t believe in evolution, is stupid and can’t read, etc., etc., etc., etc.
But none of those things is true. None of them.

The vitriol is fascinating. The anti-Palin crowd has such energy and passion directed at the destruction of a woman who dared to run (popularly) against Teh One.

But even weirder is what happens when you try to replace the myths with the truth. If you explain, “no, she didn’t charge rape victims,” your feminist interlocutor will come back with something else: “she’s abstinence-only!” No, you say, she’s not; and then the person comes back with, “she’s a creationist!” and so on. “She’s an uneducated moron!” Actually, Sarah Palin is not dumb at all, and based on her interviews and comments, I’d say she has a greater knowledge of evolution, global warming, and the Wisconsin glaciation in Alaska than the average citizen.
But after you’ve had a few of these myth-dispelling conversations, you start to realize that it doesn’t matter. These people don’t hate Palin because of the lies; the lies exist to justify the hate. That’s why they keep reaching and reaching for something else, until they finally get to “she winked on TV!” (And by the way: I’ve been winked at my whole life by my grandmother, aunts, and great-aunts. Who knew it was such a despicable act?)

You can't win the battle of unraveling the lies. Because they keep popping up. Because, the author is right. They don't hate Palin for what she believes or stands for. They just hate her because ... she's a normal woman. And if that isn't anti-feminist, I don't know what is.

Was it just about electing Obama? Were feminists simply willing to commit any slander necessary to elect the Chosen One? That’s a likely explanation, but here again: we’re talking about feminists. Feminists doing this — slandering a woman, and doing so in unmistakably sexist terms. After all, caricaturing Palin as a purity queen (Bible Spice, Sexy Puritan) is just the flip side of caricaturing her as a porn queen. As I’ve said before, it’s like the NAACP sponsoring a lynching. The mind boggles.
Even more mind-boggling are the attacks that don’t even bother with false claims about policy or beliefs, but just go straight for free-floating misogynistic rage. Ridiculing her hair, clothes, makeup, voice, body, womb. “Sarah Palin is a cunt” — good one! Calling her a bimbo — good one! Calling her a fucking whore — good one! Fantasizing about her being gang-raped — good one! And all this from feminists. Forget the NAACP sponsoring a lynching; this is like the NAACP ripping off their masks to reveal that they’ve been replaced by white supremacist pod people.

Honestly, it was a rather sad chapter for women. If this is what "feminists" have to offer, they can go get fucked by a swordfish.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Anyone care to explain this?

It's way down at the bottom of the article. With no explanation. One short little line.

Michigan's latest monthly jobless rate is its highest since reaching 15.3 percent in May 1983.

About 19,000 jobs were lost last month in manufacturing, a fallout of problems that include the bankruptcies of General Motors Corp. and Chrysler LLC.

About 10,000 jobs were lost in professional and business services. Another 5,000 jobs were lost in construction.

Michigan gained about 5,000 government jobs in June.


Monday, July 20, 2009

Car v Canadian Goose

It was a draw.

This picture is cool, 'cause you can still see the feathers stuck in the windshield.

And, yes, it did scare the $hit out of me.

Stimulus for those with lesser need

The only folks surprised by this are those that believed that the stimulus plan was a good idea. Those who thought it was actually going to help anything. With Michigan sitting at 15.2% unemployment, we're not experiencing much stimulation.

So, what was it that was actually done? Teh One promised us the bill included help for those hardest hit. He said it would help the poor and working Americans.

But has analyzed data tracking how the stimulus money is being given out across the 50 states and the District of Columbia, and it has found a perverse pattern: the states hardest hit by the recession received the least money. States with higher bankruptcy, foreclosure and unemployment rates got less money. And higher income states received more.

The transfers to the states having the least problems are large. Even after accounting for other factors, each $1,000 in a state’s per capita income means that the state got $21 more per capita in stimulus funds. With a spread of almost $38,000 in per-person income between the top and bottom states, this has a sizable impact. High-income states get considerably more stimulus money.

States with higher bankruptcy rates got a lot less, not more, money — roughly $86 less per person for each percentage point increase in the state’s bankruptcy rate. States with higher foreclosure rates were treated very similarly, losing $82 per person for each one percentage point more of the people suffering foreclosures.

Of course, Fauxnews, yada yada yada, I know libs will ignore this.

Basically, we’re talking about a pattern of pork distribution. States with higher per capita income levels and better economies produce better contributors, which get pork-barrel projects assigned back home. It underscores why we called this Porkulus — it’s not a stimulus package at all, but an omnibus pork-barrel bill sold as a stimulus by both Congress and the White House. It’s economic snake oil, and the only people getting rich off of it are the snake-oil salesmen.

Bill of goods. Thanks Nancy and Harry and Barack. Our grandchildren will thank you.

OMG, what's happened to Matt Damon?

While looking something else up ...

I came across this about France's health care.

"A big difference is because of society,” says Maggie Mahar, a health care expert and fellow at The Century Foun¬dation, a public policy research group. “Nothing is too good for a fellow French¬man. They are socially obli¬gated. In America, they say, ‘It’s me and my family.’”

Yea, it's wonderful, we suck. Then there is this:

The French system isn’t without its problems. As in the rest of the world, national health care spending continues to increase. France’s costs have led to budget deficits of several billion dollars, one that may even threaten to bankrupt the system, experts say. As in the United States, the number of physicians is dwindling compared to the increasing size of its population in the near future. Concerns exist that paying for health care through employment taxes discourages employers from hiring. France is now turning toward broad taxes on earned and unearned income to pay for health care.

It's going bankrupt, despite the fact that the French are already paying a very high tax rate. Frenchies pay between 6 and 40% individual tax rate, a 33% corporate tax and a VAT of (cough cough) 19.6%. Physicians are getting scare. Health care taxes discourages hiring. No problem, right?

Monday funny/Today's racist post

Obama's on facebook!

H/t : The Other McCain.

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Damn that BUSH!

Michigan unemployment hits 15.2%.

I preemptively denounce myself for this racist post.

Honestly, Obama inherited this mess*. The stimulus, and Cap and Tax***, and looming health care disaster have had NO EFFECT on the economy. Suggesting so is racist. Don't be a hater.

*As did Jenny Granholm. Although, she inherited it over 6 years ago.


***Current temperature - 62 degrees. Today we're expecting a high of 67. That's normal.

For May.

Let them eat cake

From WSJ. I'm not sure who is on the Senate Health Committee ... if there are any black folks, but -gosh- I sure hope this isn't another one of my black-bashing posts.

On Tuesday, the Senate health committee voted 12-11 in favor of a two-page amendment courtesy of Republican Tom Coburn that would require all Members and their staffs to enroll in any new government-run health plan. Yet all Democrats -- with the exceptions of acting chairman Chris Dodd, Barbara Mikulski and Ted Kennedy via proxy -- voted nay.

In other words, Sherrod Brown and Sheldon Whitehouse won't themselves join a plan that "will offer benefits that are as good as those available through private insurance plans -- or better," as the Ohio and Rhode Island liberals put it in a recent op-ed. And even a self-described socialist like Vermont's Bernie Sanders, who supports a government-only system, wouldn't sign himself up.

Sure, it narrowly passed. How embarrassing would it have been for the democrats if it didn't? But, should this monstrosity go through, it will be stripped in some backroom deal.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

One more bit before I go...

Tax increases on "the rich." Yea right.

In the middle of a recession and with rising unemployment, Democrats have been letting it leak that they want to raise U.S. tax rates higher than they've been in nearly 30 years in order to finance government health care.

Every detail isn't known, but late last week Ways and Means Chairman Charlie Rangel disclosed that his draft bill would impose a "surtax" on individuals with adjusted gross income of more than $280,000 a year. This would hit job creators especially hard because more than six of every 10 who earn that much are small business owners, operators or investors, according to a 2007 Treasury study. That study also found that almost half of the income taxed at this highest rate is small business income from the more than 500,000 sole proprietorships and subchapter S corporations whose owners pay the individual rate.

Read the whole thing. Cry. Scream. Tear your hair out.

A new study by the Kaufman Foundation finds that small business entrepreneurs have led America out of its last seven post-World War II recessions. They also generate about two of every three new jobs during a recovery. The more the Obama Democrats reveal of their policies, the more it's clear that they prize income redistribution above all else, including job creation and economic growth.

Honestly, you gotta read it all.

On last bit, though:

Another implication of the Rangel plan is that America's successful small businesses would pay higher tax rates than the Fortune 500, and for that matter than most companies around the world. The corporate federal-state tax rate applied to General Electric and Google is about 39% in the U.S., and the business tax rate is about 25% in the OECD countries. So the U.S. would have close to the most punitive taxes on small business income anywhere on the globe.

Small businesses are screwed. And, unfortunately, small businesses make up the bulk of our economy. But, don't worry. Big business will be protected by our Democratic politicians who are always looking out for the little guy themselves.

Monday, July 13, 2009

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Meet the New Science Czar!

It's a fella named John Holdren. Let's get to know Mr. Holdren:

In a book Holdren co-authored in 1977, the man now firmly in control of science policy in this country wrote that:

• Women could be forced to abort their pregnancies, whether they wanted to or not;
• The population at large could be sterilized by infertility drugs intentionally put into the nation's drinking water or in food;
• Single mothers and teen mothers should have their babies seized from them against their will and given away to other couples to raise;
• People who "contribute to social deterioration" (i.e. undesirables) "can be required by law to exercise reproductive responsibility" -- in other words, be compelled to have abortions or be sterilized.
• A transnational "Planetary Regime" should assume control of the global economy and also dictate the most intimate details of Americans' lives -- using an armed international police force.

How come we don't know about any of this? Because Czars are merely appointed by the President, and don't go through any sort of vetting or confirmation.

Now, I know some are going to doubt the truth of this, so let me quote a few actual quotes from Holden's actual book.

In today's world, however, the number of children in a family is a matter of profound public concern. The law regulates other highly personal matters. For example, no one may lawfully have more than one spouse at a time. Why should the law not be able to prevent a person from having more than two children

And this:

Adding a sterilant to drinking water or staple foods is a suggestion that seems to horrify people more than most proposals for involuntary fertility control. Indeed, this would pose some very difficult political, legal, and social questions, to say nothing of the technical problems. No such sterilant exists today, nor does one appear to be under development. To be acceptable, such a substance would have to meet some rather stiff requirements: it must be uniformly effective, despite widely varying doses received by individuals, and despite varying degrees of fertility and sensitivity among individuals; it must be free of dangerous or unpleasant side effects; and it must have no effect on members of the opposite sex, children, old people, pets, or livestock.

And this good one about a "Planetary Regime":

Perhaps those agencies, combined with UNEP and the United Nations population agencies, might eventually be developed into a Planetary Regime—sort of an international superagency for population, resources, and environment. Such a comprehensive Planetary Regime could control the development, administration, conservation, and distribution of all natural resources, renewable or nonrenewable, at least insofar as international implications exist. Thus the Regime could have the power to control pollution not only in the atmosphere and oceans, but also in such freshwater bodies as rivers and lakes that cross international boundaries or that discharge into the oceans. The Regime might also be a logical central agency for regulating all international trade, perhaps including assistance from DCs to LDCs, and including all food on the international market.

The Planetary Regime might be given responsibility for determining the optimum population for the world and for each region and for arbitrating various countries' shares within their regional limits. Control of population size might remain the responsibility of each government, but the Regime would have some power to enforce the agreed limits.

This from Forbes:

Unfortunately, Holdren doesn't appear to have an adequate understanding of the economic process through which these technological advances are achieved. He seems to think new technologies arise full-blown from government agencies and university laboratories.

Holdren early on exhibited an unlovely tendency to try to enforce ideological conformity on his fellow scientists and activists. Back in 1972, he and Ehrlich disagreed with environmentalist Barry Commoner on whether population or technology was worse for environment. This dispute exploded into the public when Commoner disclosed a letter Ehrlich and Holdren had sent to numerous scientific colleagues revealing that the two had pressed Commoner not to debate in public which of the factors was most important because that would undermine the realization of environmental goals.

Commoner was outraged that the two wanted to shut down debate and enforce an environmentally correct united front. If this is what Holdren would attempt to do to an errant fellow environmentalist, it's no surprise the fury he visits upon those who don't accept the environmental litany of doom, such as Bjorn Lomborg, author of TheSkeptical Environmentalist.

Don't debate in public. Transparency, you see. Free and open inquiry. Facts and evidence not obscured by politics and ideology. Wasn't that what Obama said?

Friday, July 10, 2009

Pup picture- last week

How's that Hope and Change coming?

Not so good:

Democrats have complemented their smiling encouragements with behind-the-scenes threats. After retaking the House in 2006, the party made clear that companies that did not hire Democratic lobbyists would not get a hearing in Washington. The ruling party is now seeing the fruits of its bullying. These days, a meeting of health-care lobbyists is better described as a reunion of Senate Finance Chairman Max Baucus's former aides. Health-care lobbying has been turned on its head: The new cabal of Democratic lobbyists does not exist to protect the industry from Congress. It exists to present Democratic ultimatums to business.

When Senate Republicans last month hosted a meeting to discuss reform ideas, Mr. Baucus's office called in a block of these Democratic lobbyists to deliver a message. "They said, 'Republicans are having this meeting and you need to let all of your clients know if they have someone there, that will be viewed as a hostile act,'" reported one attendee to the Baucus caucus. Message to companies that don't agree with their Beltway lobbyist: Pull a Rick Scott (the former hospital executive running ads critical of ObamaCare), and you'll be sorry.

All these actions -- the White House meetings, the strung-out negotiations, the muzzling -- have been taken with one aim: To buy silence. President Barack Obama is committed to a public option. Liberal Democrats intend to make the private sector fund their plans. They figure by the time they drop a bill that contains odious elements, it'll be too late for any industry player -- big or small -- to cut a Harry & Louise ad.

If we take a short trip in the way-back machine, we are reminded that Obama promised something else. I seem to recall hearing (endlessly) that folks were tired of politics as usual. Obama was something different.

The promise of an Obama presidency, if it resembles his two year campaign which is no guarantee (i.e., see G. W. Bush) may be one that will be more mechanical and machine-like that will not interfere with every day people's lives but will assist when necessary and regulate or oversee not in large proportion but in smart ways. Hopefully and more than likely, it will be one with less cronyism and more competence. The Obama era hopefully brings a paradigm shift of politics with an adjustment towards inclusion and a stamp on unity of purpose for all Americans, reminiscent of Kennedy's era when Americans of all demographics wanted to serve the public.

One of the more striking excerpts from what was a remarkable speech was when Obama said with empathy and reconciliation, "Let's remember that it was a man from this state who first carried the banner of the Republican Party to the White House, a party founded on the values of self-reliance, individual liberty and national unity. Those are values that we all share. And while the Democratic Party has won a great victory tonight, we do so with a measure of humility and a determination to heal the divides that have held back our progress. As Lincoln said to a nation far more divided than ours, 'We are not enemies but friends though passion may have strained, it must not break our bonds of affection.' He continued, "And to those Americans whose support I have yet to earn, I may not have won your vote tonight but I hear your voices. I need your help and will be your president too."

Well, that was so-much bullshit, now wasn't it?

Thursday, July 09, 2009

Summer Arrives Tomorrow

Oops, sorry. No that's been cancelled. I had noticed the weather predictions were calling for a "heat wave" of 85 degrees for tomorrow. But that's been downgraded to a high of 81.

Heat wave. Of the normal average high temperature.

Congrats. We've finally warmed to the average. Or, we will (hopefully) tomorrow.

Today's racist post

From The Mackinac Ceneter:

Imagine a city where all the major economic planks of the statist or "progressive" platform have been enacted:

A "living wage" ordinance, far above the federal minimum wage, for all public employees and private contractors.
A school system that spends significantly more per pupil than the national average.
A powerful school employee union that militantly defends the exceptional pay, benefits and job security it has won for its members.
A powerful government employee union that does the same for its members.
A tax system that aggressively redistributes income from businesses and the wealthy to the poor and to government bureaucracies.
Would this be a shining city on a hill, exciting the admiration of all?

Well, this city, of course, is Detroit. Says Tom Bray:

Detroit, remember, was going to be the 'Model City' of Lyndon Johnson's Great Society, the shining example of what the 'fairness' of the welfare state can produce. Billions of dollars later, Detroit instead has become the model of everything that can go wrong when you hook people on the idea of something for nothing - a once-middle class city of nearly 2 million that is now a poverty-stricken city of less than 900,000."

Detroit is our future.

Wednesday, July 08, 2009

Crappy Puppy pic

More to come.

"Summer" Reading?

I put summer in scare quotes, because it's just not warm up here.

Despite that, I can still do some "summer" reading. I picked up a collection of Ray Bradbury short stories (many of which I've read already) and I'm enjoying that. And, I just got a library notice that a book I reserved is ready. "The Moon is a Harsh Mistress."

Can't wait!

Is it safe to turn on the teevee?

Is the Michael Jackson stuff over?

Tuesday, July 07, 2009

All ironical and shit

Like a free ride, when you've already paid. But, just today I was wondering what ManBearPig had been up to lately. Apparently, anti-climate change folks (like me) are the Nazis. And, Al Gore is Winston Churchill.

“It will either be ’what were you thinking, didn’t you see the North Pole melting before your eyes, didn’t you hear what the scientists were saying?’ “Or they will ask ’how is it you were able to find the moral courage to solve the crisis which so many said couldn’t be solved?’.”

erm. Ok. But, you know, first they came for the icebergs, and I wasn't an iceberg ... yada yada yada.

FTR, temperature in Michigan today? Upper 60's. Average temp? 81.

Sunday, July 05, 2009

Happyfeet comments on Michael Jackson's Memorial Service

People keep asking me if I’m going to the memorial Tuesday and I say no I have to get ready to go to Chicago on Wednesday and a lot of them think that’s a for real answer. I don’t get that.

Friday, July 03, 2009

I've been busy all week ... getting my new puppy. Pictures forthcoming.

Today's must read.

Two main things to understand about Waxman-Markey: First, it will not reduce greenhouse-gas emissions, at least not at any point in the near future. The inclusion of carbon offsets, which can be manufactured out of thin air and political imagination, will eliminate most of the demands that the legislation puts on industry, though in doing so it will manage to drive up the prices consumers pay for every product that requires energy for its manufacture — which is to say, for everything. Second, it represents a worse abuse of the public trust and purse than the stimulus and the bailouts put together. Waxman-Markey creates a permanent new regime in which environmental romanticism and corporate welfare are mixed together to form political poison. From comic bureaucratic power grabs (check out the section of the bill on candelabras) to the creation of new welfare programs for Democratic constituencies to, above all, massive giveaways for every financial, industrial, and political lobby imaginable, this bill would permanently deform American politics and economic life.

This is not the Green Revolution you were looking for.