Sunday, February 28, 2010
That same year,  my mother helped put together a supplement to the magazine, [National Review] a collection of essays called “What in the name of God is going on in the Catholic Church?”, including contributions by novelist Evelyn Waugh, historian Fr. Marvin O’Connell, and Garry Wills. In an essay called “Open Season On the Church?”, NR’s religion editor Will Herberg, a conservative Jew, correctly predicted that ‘aggiornamento’ would soon lead to what we now call ‘the hermeneutic of rupture,’ well before the close of Vatican II. “Under cover of ‘aggiornamento’, a fronde (i.e. a civil war) has been opened up against the Church.” And, after severe criticism of some of NR’s own writings on then-current Church events, he adds, “I will not permit myself to comment on Ramparts, another ‘Catholic’ journal practicing aggiornamento. Anti-clerical snarling and leftist incitement constitute the bulk of the offerings of this sensation-mongering Liberal magazine. And all in the name of aggiornamento!”
Almost makes you wonder if Ratzinger was a subscriber, no?
At a Jan. 16 meeting at Green Bay's Union Congregational Church, the state director of WISDOM, an umbrella group for JOSHUA and 10 sister units, was asked what most influenced the operation of the organization. "First, Saul Alinsky; second, the Civil Rights movement and third, labor organizations," he said.
...Alinsky started the Industrial Areas Foundation to accept organizing funds from other foundations, his wealthy friends, churches and corporations. It exists today.
The Gamaliel Foundation was created by Gregory Galluzzo and is cut from the same cloth as the IAF. Gamaliel's Web site says it "is an organizing institute that brings together communities of people living out our faith and values to bring about justice and collectively transform our society." The organization envisions units in every metropolitan area and would break down whatever local ordinances it deemed in opposition to its socialistic goals.
Plenty of money involved here:
Across the state, WISDOM has about 140 member congregations and an annual operating budget of about $700,000. Thus most of its income is from sources such as foundations, corporations or individuals.
And the better idea:
The feeling here is that monies paid to WISDOM/ Gamaliel by JOSHUA and its sister organizations are better spent at home. The $40,000 WISDOM forwards to Gamaliel would be welcomed at the nearest homeless shelter, Boys and Girls Club or American Red Cross chapter. And local congregations would know with more certainty exactly where their funds were spent.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) said Sunday that Republicans have left their mark on the healthcare bill and should accept that the bill will go forward.
"They've had plenty of opportunity to make their voices heard," she said on CNN's "State of the Union" Sunday morning. "Bipartisanship is a two-way street. A bill can be bipartisan without bipartisan votes. Republicans have left their imprint."The CIA lied to her, too.
And passing ObamaCare will create 400,000 jobs almost instantly.
There's a lot of flapjaw that 'it's all the greedy Banks.' Well, not really. It's more accurate to state that 'it's all the greedy mortgage-brokers.' Yes, banks were also brokers, but it seems that non-bank brokerages (think Countrywide and GM's DiTech, for examples) were more a factor than bank-operated brokers.
We'll soon find out.
...As Barry Ritholtz of Fusion IQ reminds us, the profound problems that beset the industry spring from the fact that over the past decade, something like five million to 10 million people bought dwellings they couldn’t afford and still can’t, and a heap of those homes today are worth less, often a whole lot less, than they paid for them.
The Treasury’s proposal, he scoffs, will achieve nothing more than keeping those unfortunate folks in homes they can’t afford, many underwater and burdened by payments they can’t make.
Such mortgages were riddled, not infrequently, with the connivance or encouragement of the lenders — says Mark Hanson, the insightful real-estate analyst who runs the eponymous Hanson Advisors — with fraud, white lies and like nasty stuff that violate the loan warranties. Investors, he relates, are only beginning to seize on such breaches to demand so-called put-backs — repurchases of principal, accrued interest and expenses for loans that have been compromised.
Mark warns that as more investors turn to put-backs to recoup losses, this process will begin to take a toll on financial institutions that were active in the mortgage and housing arena. He points out that because the put-back push is in its infancy, there is no way for financial institutions to estimate future losses or need to recognize the potential costs under current accounting requirements. All of which is apt to make losses that much more painful for those institutions.--Mark Hanson in Barron's
Who REALLY made the 'bad mortgage loans'? Watch the put-back numbers to find out.
"As President Obama indicated during the campaign, there are just a few gun-related changes that we would like to make, and among them would be to reinstitute the ban on the sale of assault weapons," --Eric Holder
The Assault Weapons Ban signed into law by President Clinton in 1994 banned 19 types of semi-automatic military-style guns and ammunition clips with more than 10 rounds.
[The proper term is "magazines", not "clips," but we are dealing with the MSM here.]
The ban expired in 2004.
This time, it's being sold as a 'help' to Mexico in their drug war. Frankly, that's BS.
Drug gangs purchase their AK-47's (and any other weapons they want) from all over the globe, not "Joe's Gun Shop" in El Paso. Most likely, the arms are coming from countries south of Mexico, not the US. Further, the problem in Mexico has a lot to do with corruption. (How do you think those guns get into Mexico, anyway--no matter where they come from?)
So Holder proposes an un-Constitutional act to deprive US citizens of their rights in order to solve a Mexican-corruption problem.
That makes sense.
Saturday, February 27, 2010
There are two elements in this:
Overall, 43% of voters say they at least somewhat approve of the President's performance. That is the lowest level of total approval yet measured for this President. Fifty-five percent (55%) disapprove. The President earns approval from 76% of Democrats while 86% of Republicans disapprove. Among those not affiliated with either major party, 38% approve and 61% disapprove. The President earns approval from 37% of men and 49% of women.
Data for these updates is collected via nightly telephone interviews and reported on a three-day rolling average basis. As a result, just two-thirds of the interviews for today’s update were collected following the President’s health-care summit. Tomorrow morning (Sunday) will be the first update based entirely upon interviews conducted after the summit.
I'm not surprised. 1) When Obama dumped all over McCain, it provided an emotional negative which was significant. 2) And anyone who watched Ryan's 6-minute firebombing of ObamaCare has the rational negatives.
The combination was deadly.
After an undercover video released Tuesday showed staff at their Milwaukee abortion clinic agreeing to cover up the sexual abuse of a purportedly 14-year-old girl by her 31-year- old "boyfriend," Planned Parenthood of Wisconsin says they "were unable to make any report" of the suspected abuse because the girl would not give the clinic any identifying information.
The videotape proves otherwise. The girl gave her name to the PP 'counselor.'
Wisconsin law requires reporting of any sexual assault, and under Wisconsin law, intercourse with a 14-year-old is a sexual assault. No 'ifs/ands/buts' about it.
It's up to Chisholm to review the evidence and issue charges.
Friday, February 26, 2010
Imagine an America where your Unique Health Identifier (UHI) is required for every access to a nationally controlled healthcare system. Imagine an America, where you must give your UHI, via a scan of your surgically implanted biochip, to pick up your prescription at the pharmacy and even when you buy over the counter medications. The number could eventually be required to purchase alcohol and tobacco products, perhaps even to track quantities of bakery goods, chocolates, trans-fats, beef, and even birth control products — or anything else the nanny bureaucrats decide to monitor. The plans to make these very things a reality right here in America are being made in this administration, under the leadership of the president's science guru, John Holdren.
Oh, no. That's not all.
Members of this sub-committee were even heard discussing how women's menstrual periods could be state monitored. How people's defecation might be monitored and used to detect broad health concerns through electronic toilet management systems. How sexual habits could be state-monitored by managing the sale of all birth-control technology through the use of the UHI.
If the State is already considered 'an immediate threat to freedom', you ain't seen NOTHIN' yet.
Tell me: is 'an immediate threat to rights and freedoms' governing with consent?
Fifty-six percent of people questioned in a CNN/Opinion Research Corporation survey released Friday say they think the federal government’s become so large and powerful that it poses an immediate threat to the rights and freedoms of ordinary citizens. Forty-four percent of those polled disagree.
There are party-line differences, as you might imagine.
During the early afternoon debate Thursday, Republican Senator Ted Kanavas (R-Brookfield) was blunt in his assessment about what is wrong with the plan.
He argued the Wisconsin Commissioner of Insurance would never allow a company in the private sector to market a plan like BadgerCare Basic, which Kanavas said will not have enough reserves to cover the risk the State is assuming, “There are simply not enough funds to support the kind of claims you are going to see.”
What "risk"? We have TAXPAYERS for that, Steve, just like for AIG and Citi.
Wiggy has the rest of the very sad story, plus (follow the link) a private-sector alternative!!
What this does, according to the chief actuary of Medicare, he’s saying as much as 20% of Medicare’s providers will either go out of business or will have to stop seeing Medicare beneficiaries. Millions of seniors who are on…who have chosen Medicare advantage will lose the coverage that they now enjoy. ---Paul Ryan
VerumSerum takes exception with Politico's dismissal of Ryan's statement. Evidently the Politico wag heard "plan" instead of "coverage."
AIG has been significantly and adversely affected by the market turmoil in late 2008 and early 2009, and, despite the recovery in the markets in mid and late 2009, is subject to significant risks, as discussed below. Many of these risks are interrelated and occur under similar business and economic conditions, and the occurrence of certain of them may in turn cause the emergence, or exacerbate the effect, of others. Such a combination could materially increase the severity of the impact on AIG. As a result, should certain of these risks emerge, AIG may need additional support from the U.S. government. Without additional support from the U.S. government, in the future there could exist substantial doubt about AIG's ability to continue as a going concern. See Management's Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations — Consideration of AIG's Ability to Continue as a Going Concern and Note 1 to the Consolidated Financial Statements for a further discussion.
That's not a comfy blanket.
I had a beat-up old car. And I won't name the name of the insurance company, but there was a company, let's call it Acme Insurance in -- in Illinois. And I was paying my premiums every month. After about six months I got rear-ended, and I called up Acme and said, "You know, I'd like to see if I can get my car repaired." And they laughed at me over the phone.
Because really, this was set up not to actually provide insurance, what it was set up was to meet the legal requirements. But it really wasn't serious insurance.
PowerLine has a few questions about that narrative, assuming that it's true.Automobile insurance (like health insurance) is a heavily regulated industry. In some states, all auto insurance policies are required to include collision coverage. If the cost of the repairs exceeds the value of the "beat-up old car," you get the value of the car. In other states, liability insurance is required but collision coverage is optional. If you prefer to take your chances, you can choose to forgo collision coverage. Obama is a reasonably bright guy; is he telling us that he bought an insurance policy that didn't provide for repairs if he had an accident, but didn't know it?
At the very least, Obama demonstrated that he really is on another planet. Auto insurance that "wasn't serious"?
He expected what: a Continental Mark V as a free rental-car?
President Barack Obama’s 2009 stimulus plan included $25 million for airport screening machines capable of detecting explosives like those carried by the Christmas Day bomber.
But more than a year after passage of the stimulus, the Department of Homeland Security has yet to install a single scanner paid for by the bill.
"We have not outlined our deployment schedule as yet," said Amy Kudwa, a DHS spokeswoman. "We're very actively working on a deployment plan. That process has not been completed."
Records show that it took the department almost seven months just to order the 150 Advanced Imaging Technology units covered by the stimulus bill.
There are about 100 machines delivered. They are sitting in a warehouse.
Announcer lady tells us that sponsors include "Reinhart, Boerner, VanDuren, and Spray-O-Bond."
Yes, you know, and I know, that inflection counts.
Sometimes word-order is important, too.
With their actions, they make certain that 'imported energy' is all that's available.
Westerners aren't the only ones upset about secretive talks by the Obama administration to create new national monuments. The U.S. Chamber of Commerce is, too, and it seeks to require congressional approval of any future monuments.
The chamber, the world's largest business federation representing more than 3 million businesses, wrote this week to White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel to express concern about leaked documents showing the administration has considered up to 14 new monuments in the West, including two in Utah in the San Rafael Swell and at Cedar Mesa.
The most egregious example of this crap, Staircase-Escalante, was done by the Clinton Administration, in a payoff to Red Chinese interests--after they had financed his early Presidential campaign.
The Chamber's position:"...pristine areas can still be protected "while ensuring that issues like domestic energy production, pipelines and transmission corridors, job creation, and public access to federal lands are fully considered."
"If we're unable to resolve differences over health care, we will need to move ahead on decisions," he said, alluding to using reconciliation, a controversial maneuver that prevents a GOP filibuster by requiring only 51 votes to pass legislation.
Obama added that if voters are unhappy with results, then "that's what elections are for."
I think it's the first time in modern history that a President has double-dog-dared the American people to remove his own party from Congress.
But then, this is the first modern-day President whose resume begins with "Rabblerouser."
Given that it passes--still in doubt--he also knows that ObamaCare will not be repealed by the next Congress; the Rabblerouser still has a veto, after all. That leaves a large majority of Americans with a dilemma.
Those were ill-considered words.
“If the U.S. puts a limit on carbon pollution from dirtier sources of energy, we will send a clear signal to the marketplace that will unleash a massive wave of private investment in clean energy that would allow us to compete with the Chinese. Only when American policy creates a profit motive for investors, inventors and entrepreneurs, will we have a chance to win the race,” --Tony Kreindler, Environmental Defense Fund
In other words, placing a ~$9.4Billion tax on US industry will make US manufacturing 'competitive' with PRC manufacturers, who have no such burden (nor OSHA, nor healthcare, nor pensions, nor EEOC....)
On Wednesday, [Obama] told the Business Roundtable: “A competitive America is also an America that finally has a smart energy policy. We know there is no silver bullet here – that to reduce our dependence on oil and the damage caused by climate change, we need more production, more efficiency, and more incentives for clean energy.
“But to truly transition to a clean energy economy, I’ve also said that we need to put a price on carbon pollution …
Or something like that, anyway.
He claimed, erroneously, that ObamaCare V 3.0 would 'not change' health-plan design. Perhaps he didn't read the CNN breakdown which made clear that it WOULD change plan design in Year Five.
Obamamama also ws a little short on numbers accuracy regarding malpractice/tort reforms.
Obama said today that tort reform would only save $5 billion a year, but Coburn replied this evening that tort reform would, in fact, do the most to save consumers money.
"The biggest cost driver that accounts for this 33% [of health care waste] is defensive medicine," Coburn said. Obama's figure, based on a CBO report, doesn't take into account all the tests doctors needlessly order to avoid lawsuits.
"You fix the tort system in this country and you’ll cut costs like crazy. It’s $250 billion a year in defensive medicine costs," Coburn said. "If you just got rid of half of that, in one year you’d cut everyone’s cost of health care five percent."
Thursday, February 25, 2010
Paul Ryan just gave Obamamamama a thorough smackdown, and here's the money-part:
When you strip away the double-counting of Medicare cuts, the so-called savings from Social Security payroll taxes and the CLASS Act, the deficit increases by $460 billion over first ten years – and $1.4 trillion over second ten years.
Finally, one of the most expensive – and most cynical – of the gimmicks applies to Medicare physician payments, the so-called “Doc Fix.”
By your own estimate, the Doc Fix adds an additional $371 billion to the cost of health care reform. With the price tag beyond what most Americans could handle, the Majority decided to simply remove this costly provision and deal with it in a stand-alone bill.
Ignoring this additional cost does not remove it from the backs of taxpayers. Hiding spending doesn’t reduce spending.
Herbie is very consistent when it comes to taking money from taxpayers: he likes them to pay for his Bradley Center playground, and for abominably expensive programs like ObamaCare. For him, that's 'fiscally prudent.'
Clearly, Herbie likes taxpayer funding.
Feingold is worse: he's a snot-nosed condescending Leftist ideologue.
Both should pay close attention to what Ryan said.
Behind the numbers is the very serious possibility of a real revolt. Taxpayers, especially those under the age of 40, will not stand for this crap. They may be civil--now--but don't expect that treatment if you vote for this monstrosity.
At least 25% of homeowners are underwater on their mortgages now, and a new wave of foreclosures is imminently going to slam the market. Not only has the negative equity city (Miami, Las Vegas, Stockton) become a feature of the landscape, we have graduated to the negative equity state (Nevada).
The CBO model started by automatically assuming that government spending increases GDP by pre-set multipliers, such as:
- Every $1 of government spending that directly purchases goods and services ultimately raises the GDP by $1.75;
- Every $1 of government spending sent to state and local governments for infrastructure ultimately raises GDP by $1.75;
- Every $1 of government spending sent to state and local governments for non-infrastructure spending ultimately raises GDP by $1.25; and
- Every $1 of government spending sent to an individual as a transfer payment ultimately raises GDP by $1.45.
If you prize choosing your own cardiologist or urologist under your company’s Preferred Provider Organization plan (PPO), if your employer rewards your non-smoking, healthy lifestyle with reduced premiums, if you love the bargain Health Savings Account (HSA) that insures you just for the essentials, or if you simply take comfort in the freedom to spend your own money for a policy that covers the newest drugs and diagnostic tests -- you may be shocked to learn that you could lose all of those good things under the rules proposed in the two bills that herald a health-care revolution.
In short, the Obama platform would mandate extremely full, expensive, and highly subsidized coverage -- including a lot of benefits people would never pay for with their own money -- but deliver it through a highly restrictive, HMO-style plan that will determine what care and tests you can and can’t have. It’s a revolution, all right, but in the wrong direction.
Did we mention that there are no 'cost controls' in the plan?
A LOT more at the Warrior's site.
Gov. Jim Doyle sometimes signs more than 10 bills a day. Those laws translate to added regulations that directly and indirectly affect county costs; some, like the new mandate on group health insurance in the last biennial budget, have an immediate effect on the county's expenditures.
Most private insurance carriers must now provide coverage for cochlear implants, hearing aids, certain autism-related costs and parity for mental health treatment. Parents' policies must cover their adult children up to 27 years of age.
According to Administrator Jeff French, municipalities and counties are budgeting for a projected 20- to 24-percent increase in health insurance premiums, which includes annual hikes plus the 3- to 7-percent cost of the mandate.
That '3- to 7-percent' mandate cost applies to all State, County, municipal, and school district healthcare costs (not to mention lots of private industries.)
You get to pay the taxes to support that.
The story is here (HT: Berry) and there's this very interesting .....uhhhhnnn....contradiction from DNR officials.
Tom Wrasse, conservation warden supervisor from Woodruff, was one who served on the task force during Cruiserfest. He said he knew nothing about the incident involving Ellenbecker and other vintage snowmobile drivers.
"I think it had to have been another law enforcement agency that was in contact with them because no member of our task force was at that location," Wrasse said.
Wrasse also said it has been his experience in similar situations that he and others would have allowed the people to drive their vintage snowmobile back to their hotel.
Got that? Good. Here's the second part:
[Todd] Schaller [section chief] said DNR personnel were well within their rights when they ordered the riders of vintage snowmobiles to stop and not drive them any farther. He said they did nothing wrong by also not allowing the owners of the machines to drive them back to their hotel and instead ordering them to be loaded onto a trailer to be removed.
Evidently Schaller did not get the memo that 'DNR personnel were not in that area.'
Weeks after scoring a publicity coup with a 30-second Super Bowl ad featuring Heisman Trophy winner Tim Tebow, conservative Christian group Focus on the Family is at the center of another marketing tug-of-war — this time involving the major governing body of college sports.
The National Collegiate Athletic Association removed a Focus on the Family banner ad from one of its Web sites this week, NCAA spokesman Bob Williams said Wednesday.
So what did the banner ad say?
The ad in question was not about sexuality. It featured a father holding his son and the words, "All I want for my son is for him to grow up knowing how to do the right thing."
NCAA objects to Focus on the Family, not to the ad's content. Seems that Focus doesn't .........ahh.........bend over and bless 'homosexual relationships.'
Don't look for Notre Dame to pull out of the NCAA, however.
Customs and Border Patrol (CBP) lost 1,975 items worth $7.6 million, including nearly 600 computers, dozens of Blackberry phones and 300 pieces of expensive night vision goggles, sights and cameras, each valued at between $1,400 and $18,700. One lost "infrared optical device" was valued at $232,000. The agency lost track of 72 personal radiation detectors valued at about $1,300 each.
Among CBP's roughly 550 "lost" computer items was a Storage Area Network system that had been purchased for $871,236. A similar system, worth only $528,359, was also listed as "lost." CBP told Shepherd that the items had been exchanged with their vendor for new ones, but that the exchange had not been properly documented.
"Lost" my butt. Those goodies are on someone's closet shelf.
Wednesday, February 24, 2010
Without QE, the government will be unable to honor its obligations. Non-payment of Social Security or Medicare or federal payroll or welfare checks or retirement checks, or military payroll, etc., etc., would show up almost immediately. That would jeopardize foreign (and domestic) purchases of additional federal debt, exacerbating the problem.
Bernanke's second option enables the government to continue operating irresponsibly until market forces eventually stop the profligate behavior. Market discipline would likely be imposed in the form of a collapse of the dollar or raging inflation (or both.)
Under either scenario, the Obama presidency is destroyed. Obama probably prefers the second option, because it might extend the period before sovereign bankruptcy. However, it might not extend it very much.
"QE"--quantitative easing, or Fed purchase of T-bills and stinko bank assets--is supposed to end by the end of March--the Ides plus 2 weeks.
...the unions and lawmakers said they really opposed a private prison for safety reasons. "The bottom line is that privatization of correctional institutions threatens public safety," said guard union boss Gary Lonzo in 1997. "I am troubled by questions regarding the quality of security and staffing at private facilities," said U.S. Rep. Ron Kind, the La Crosse Democrat, three years later as he tried barring the federal use of private prison contractors. "The thought of private prisons in this state is so antithetical to what you need for a good corrections policy," said
then-Attorney General Jim Doyle.
Yup. Stanley. And McIlheran has plenty more of the Lefty bullroar at his post.
We reject RINO money; we reject RINO “advice”; we reject RINO “professional experience”; we reject RINO “progressivism”; we reject RINO support of Big Government; we reject RINO back room deal making; we reject RINO pork spending; we reject false RINO professions of Conservative views and we reject the RINO’s statist subversion of the principles of small government for which the Republican Party is supposed to stand…
Pretty well nails it, ain'a?
An overwhelming majority of Americans, 73%, prefer that Congress either start from scratch (48%) or stop work completely on health care reform (25%). Obama’s Health Plan contains essentially the same policies as the bill passed by the Senate, with the addition of price controls for health insurance premiums.
Rusty and Herbie really want to take heat, eh?
At Gimbel's Folly (the Wisconsin Center):
Overall tax revenue dropped 17.28% to just over $16 million. That was $3.3 million less than expected.
• Collections for the city hotel tax dropped 21.14%. Collections for the county hotel tax dropped 20.5%. Collections for the food and beverage tax dropped 5.37%. And collections for the county-wide car-rental tax dropped 17.8%.
In December, the district board approved increasing the 0.25% local food and beverage tax to 0.5%. That increase is due to become effective on July 1. But the board has already signaled that it hopes to sunset the tax when economic conditions improve.Actually, that tax will sunset whenever the Board feels like it.
The Miller Park stadium district received just over $1.85 million in sales-tax collections from December 2009, 18% below the same time period a year ago, new figures show.
For all of 2009, the district finished the year 9.45% behind 2008's sales-tax collection amount. The district collected $24.16 million in 2009; in 2008, $26.68 million was collected....the bottom line is that the district will not be able to retire the tax in 2014, as had been hoped. The new sunset year could be as late as 2018.
What's that phrase? "Tax Hell"....yah.
One interesting graf:
A major problem of pre-Vatican II ecclesiology was its disregard of the laity. The laity was a misplaced object in the magnificent baroque edifice of the Counter-Reformation Church. They were defined negatively -- "not the clergy" -- and almost treated as passive bystanders. The message was: If you want to be holy, become a priest or nun; otherwise, take a seat in the bleachers, where you may watch the priests and nuns, who are the true athletes of holiness, and you shall be holy to the extent that you plug in, however distantly, to their holiness. At the council, Bishop John J. Wright of Pittsburgh said: "The faithful have been waiting for 400 years for a positive conciliar statement on the place, dignity and vocation of the layman."
Until Vatican II, there was little sense of calling the laity to serious ascetical struggle and adult intellectual formation. All that was the preserve of the priests and nuns, who were somehow the "real" Church. The council was a clarion call to the laity to share actively in the mission of the Church. They are henceforth to act as leaven in the world and not to leave all the heavy lifting to the clergy. Today, many Catholics (including some bishops) seem to think that Vatican II was about the role of the laity in the Church -- eucharistic ministers, lectors, and so forth. But it was really about the role of the laity in the world. The true Catholic life is one of personal conversion and evangelization; it does not involve hanging around the sacristy.
It's fair to say that clericalism is still extant. The above statement followed this groundwork:
The institutional model of the Church that had prevailed since the Council of Trent, and in many respects had done good service, was no longer adequate. This model saw the Church as a juridical machine operated by the bishop of Rome. Over the centuries, the Church's government had become top-heavy and centralized. This trend had been fortified by Vatican I, which defined papal infallibility, but (partly due to the outbreak of the Franco-Prussian War) did not address the role of the bishops, let alone the laity. There was a tendency to regard "Rome," especially the bureaucratic machinery of the Curia, as the Church.
That model contrasts with the current one, which is far more reliant on Bishops to teach, sanctify, and rule--even those who don't want that responsibility--or who are quite selective about which 'rules' they will actually implement. And it goes almost without saying that the press still regards "Rome" as the "Church."
Plenty more at the link.
9) China won’t collapse, but government efforts to stop overheatingby raising reserve requirements make clear that the world’s second-largest economy can’t be the locomotive for world growth.8. Greece and its prospective rescuers in the European Community are at loggerheads over conditions for EC help
...then there's the massive switch in Bank assets from commercial loans to Treasuries, and a few more not-very-goodies.
$700 MILLION at risk. If the drug works, Roche makes a lot of money.
If it does not, they'll kiss that $700MM buh-bye.
Of interest only if you or a loved one has melanoma, by the way...
Two interfaith groups will meet Wednesday to talk about concerns about their associations raised by the Roman Catholic Diocese of Green Bay.
Those would be "ESTHER" and "JOSHUA."
...the Green Bay diocese has signaled concern about Catholics associating with the interfaith groups because of their ties to state and national organizations that take stances the church thinks run counter to its teachings.
Bishop David Ricken has asked the Catholic members of ESTHER and JOSHUA to meet with him March 24 to discuss their membership in the groups, and he’s asked the interfaith groups to sever ties to their state organization, a move that caught members by surprise. Catholic churches make up half of the corporate membership of ESTHER and JOSHUA.We've mentioned that these groups are Alinskyites, affiliates of the Industrial Areas Foundation.
There is nothing, whatsoever, 'Catholic' about IAF.
Thanks, Bp. Ricken!!
"In short, the nation has not, to date, realized the potential economic benefits of the $5 billion in Recovery Act funds allocated to the Weatherization Program," Inspector General Gregory H. Friedman wrote. "The job creation impact of what was considered to be one of the department's most 'shovel ready' projects has not materialized."
Also, low-income residents "have not enjoyed the significant reductions in energy consumption and improved living conditions promised as part of the massive Recovery Act weatherization effort," Friedman wrote.No jobs, no results.
Oh, wait. There ARE results: national debt.
UPDATE: Stuff that the JS article didn't mention: (HT: Just One Minute)
The Recovery Act required that recipients of weatherization funds pay laborers at least the prevailing wage as determined under the Davis-Bacon Act. This requirement was not previously applicable to weatherization activities, and as such, grantees lacked information on which to base wage rates. In response, the Department asked the Department of Labor (Labor) to provide necessary wage determinations for each of the geographical areas expected to receive weatherization funds. Labor then began to conduct wage surveys across the country to determine the appropriate wage for weatherization work.
That meant an 8-month delay on projects for most of the country.
Nothing like a little Big Labor screeching to obtain no jobs and no results.
But there is a serious warning.
The report, called "The Imbalance Between Public and Private Pensions in Wisconsin," comes on the heels of a decision last month by State of Wisconsin Investment Board trustees to borrow the equivalent of 4% of the pension fund's biggest chunk of assets and use it to more than double its position in Treasury Inflation Protected Securities, or TIPS. The action was widely seen by investment professionals as a bet on inflation that was driven by the retirement system's need to have a 7.8% average annual rate of return over the long-term in order to meet its obligations to retired public workers.
Umnnhhh.....what if that 'bet' doesn't pay out?
The combox following the article has all the usual blather about 'high-minded' people who took Gummint jobs to help the poor, and downtrodden, and yadayadayada, and how they're just scraping by, using candles for lighting and burning old newspapers for warmth because they earn nothing--absolutely nothing-- from their Gummint jobs.
And how they have to take 8 days' unpaid leave (that's THREE percent, folks).
Yup. Saw a gent yesterday who is a journeyman tool-and-die maker. Hasn't had work for 11 months.
So much for anecdotes.
The "Yahara Station" idea would move the Doylet Line's Madison stop from the airport (~5 miles from the Capitol) to the area of 1st St. at Washington.
THAT'S a real improvement.
Last night I clocked the distance from the "Yahara Station" to the Capitol.
It's only 1.8 miles.
Think Ricky Pimentel of the JS would hoof it that far? Or Jagler of the BizTimes? Or the lobbyists?
Oh, by the way: the Capitol is several MILES from the real business center of Madison, which is actually in the Middleton area--further from both Yahara AND the airport.
Tuesday, February 23, 2010
There's more to that story, including an appearance by Arlen Specter, the disgraceful twit who's about to lose a Senate seat.
Read it all here, and (part two) here.
A proposed North Carolina school textbook that described Roe v. Wade as a ruling against government oppression of rights has been altered following opposition from Catholics and other pro-life advocates.
...The proposed text had asserted that Roe v. Wade, the 1973 U.S. Supreme Court decision that mandated permissive abortion laws nationwide, was an example of the Supreme Court upholding rights “against oppressive government.”
Actually, it was an example of SCOTUS manufacturing 'rights' directly contradicting the Natural Law. Further, as a great thinker proposed, "No one has a 'right' to do wrong."
Sykes mentioned this video. Clearly a criminal kinda problem with Wisconsin reporting laws, statutory rape and all that stuff.
S'pose Joanne Huelsman, a Board member and ex-Leggie, knows about that? Edie Brengel Radtke? Pat Van Alyea? Jackie Boynton? Jane Delzer?
And who's that "Priest" on page 6 of the PPWI Annual Report?
It appears that AIG - the company we have bailed out (thus far) to the tune of some $100 billion plus, in fact, isn't done. It appears they may have written credit protection on Greece. If this allegation by the German equivalent to The New York Times is true Americans are going to be asked to pay billions of dollars - or more likely, hundreds of billions (since Greece is almost certainly not the only place - try Spain, Portugal, Ireland, etc) to bail out a bunch of FOREIGN NATIONS.
Well, what we know for SURE is that we'd bail them out 100% if they were named GoldmanSachs, or Chase, or Citi, or Bank of America.
If TurboTimmy and his henchmen think the US taxpayer will sit still for bailing out half of Europe, though, they're wrong.
And we're not done with the GoldmanSachs/Chase/Citi discussion, either, Timmy-boy.
And there's more.
A new Treasury proposal:
[ ] seeks to mandate Foreclosure Abatements and Mortgage mods. These (and other related) policies that have shown themselves to be ineffective, and ultimately, counter-productive.
Barry Ritholtz (studiously non-partisan kinda guy), comments:
One of the most disappointing policy initiatives of the Administration to date has been the expensive and ineffective attempts to fight foreclosures at all costs.
The net impact of this is to artificially prop up home prices and reduce the number of real estate transactions. In the high foreclosures regions (California, South Florida, Arizona, Las Vegas), the foreclosure process have driven prices down to the point where buyers have materialized and sales numbers are improving significantly. The uptick in real estate transactions benefits durable good sales, increases mortgage volume, and positively impacts other real estate related activities.
As wrenching and unpleasant a process as foreclosures may be, the net impact of artificially high real estate prices is even more problematic. It punishes savers and first time home buyers (think Newlyweds).One of the side effects NOT mentioned by Ritholtz is this: if property values remain high (artificially or otherwise), local Gummint TAX revenues are artificially supported, too.
Beyond that, banks are not forced to write down/off the assets, which (we all know) is merely a game. You might want to avoid buying bank stocks...
While Social Security’s Office of the Chief Actuary has not released the final financial data of the “Trust Funds” for January 2010, the Treasury Department has released the basis for those numbers, the January 2010 Monthly Treasury Report, and it appears that the combined OASDI “Trust Funds” have finally gone into a 12-month primary (or cash) deficit for the first time since monthly records were kept in 1988, to an estimated tune of $98 million.
Pictures and everything over there.
[Because he's a] corrupt politician from a corrupt political machine, Obama's "solution" seems patterned on the protection racket you see in organized crime, squeezing companies and the American people dry as he tries to profit from a problem he and his political allies created.
And he goes the final yard, calling Obama's flogging of Anthem for what it really is:
His pedophile mentor Frank Marshal Davis was a radical communist. His neighbor, alleged book doctor, fellow board member and fundraiser Bill Ayers is a murderous Marxist who hoped to put tens of millions of Americans in concentration camps in the American southwest. His pastor and mentor of more than two decades is a racial separatist and socialist, as is another one of his Chicago allies, the lynching-advocate [alleged "Catholic" Fr.] Michael Pfleger.
So I'm not the least bit surprised to find that Barack Obama has announced a health care rationing solution on par with what you would expect from a petty tyrant like Castro or Chavez.The color of his flag is red. No stars, no stripes.
"I met with some people while I was home dealing with domestic abuse. It has gotten out of hand," Reid said on the Senate floor. "Why? Men don't have jobs."
Reid said that the effects of joblessness on domestic violence were especially pronounced among men, because, Reid said, women tend to be less abusive.
"Women don't have jobs either, but women aren’t abusive, most of the time," he said.
"Men, when they're out of work, tend to become abusive," the majority leader added. "Our domestic crisis shelters in Nevada are jammed.”
Sure, Harry. Just yesterday there were 40 ambo runs down my street and the kids are making a small fortune recycling brass they pick up from neighborhood homes and yards.
Mark the date and preserve this post: Baldwin, Buchen, Berry, and Moore agree (more or less) on something. That is, that "tax breaks for hiring people" is kinda useless and stupid.
"If I'm a small business right now, I don't need a tax credit to hire people," said Rep. Gwen Moore (D-Milwaukee). "What I need are customers. I need people to have money to spend."
Rep. Tammy Baldwin (D-Madison) said that while she's open to tax incentives, it can't be "the only strategy in a jobs bill." Meanwhile, even business associations say they don't expect to see much economic growth related to the job tax credits.
"I wouldn't hold my breath that it's going to solve the unemployment problem," says James Buchen, the chief lobbyist for the Wisconsin Manufacturers & Commerce. He argues for across the board decreases in the corporate income tax to make American products more competitive overseas.
Todd Berry, president of the Wisconsin Taxpayers Alliance, said the lesson to be learned from the stimulus is that you need to get money into people's hands one way or another, either through tax cuts or unemployment benefits. But the $15 billion being discussed by the Senate is simply too small to make a difference in a $14 trillion national economy.
"I suspect this is more about saying 'We're doing something' than saying 'We're doing something that will have a real impact,' " he said.Next thing you know, they'll be a Simon & Garfunkel song.
A new health care bill proposed by President Obama Monday threatens to expand abortion even more drastically than the health care bills stymied in Congress over the past several months, says the National Right to Life Committee.
..."If all of the President's changes were made," said Johnson, "the resulting legislation would allow direct federal funding of abortion on demand through Community Health Centers, would institute federal subsidies for private health plans that cover abortion on demand (including some federally administered plans), and would authorize federal mandates that would require even non-subsidized private plans to cover elective abortion."
Let's see if USCC will mobilize. If they do, Ride to the Sound of the Guns!
...Bloomberg Markets reports in its April issue [that] Representative Darrell Issa, the ranking Republican on the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, placed into the hearing record a five-page document itemizing the mortgage securities on which banks such as Goldman Sachs Group Inc. and Societe Generale SA had bought $62.1 billion in credit-default swaps from AIG.
These were the deals that pushed the insurer to the brink of insolvency -- and were eventually paid in full at taxpayer expense. The New York Fed, which secretly engineered the bailout, prevented the full publication of the document for more than a year, even when AIG wanted it released.
Because Issa made the document public,
The public can now see for the first time how poorly the securities performed, with losses exceeding 75 percent of their notional value in some cases. Compounding this, the document and Bloomberg data demonstrate that the banks that bought the swaps from AIG are mostly the same firms that underwrote the CDOs in the first place.
[Remember that "the swaps" were paid back, 100%, by taxpayers through the AIG Bailout.]
There's a word for that:“It’s almost too uncanny,” Calacci says. “If these banks had insight into the underlying loans because they had relationships with banks, originators or servicers, that’s at the least unethical.”
The identification of securities in the document, known as Schedule A, and data compiled by Bloomberg show that Goldman Sachs underwrote $17.2 billion of the $62.1 billion in CDOs that AIG insured -- more than any other investment bank. Merrill Lynch & Co., now part of Bank of America Corp., created $13.2 billion of the CDOs, and Deutsche Bank AG underwrote $9.5 billion.
These tallies suggest a possible reason why the New York Fed kept so much under wraps, Professor James Cox of Duke University School of Law says: “They may have been trying to shield Goldman -- for Goldman’s sake or out of macro concerns that another investment bank would be at risk.”
If you're not a cynic, you're on the wrong planet.
A sampling of the new burdens, from ATR:
Corporate 1099-MISC information reporting ($17 billion): Requires businesses to send 1099-MISC information tax forms to corporations (currently limited to individuals), a huge compliance burden for small employers
(By the way, that has a few Big Brother implications.)
Apply Medicare tax to unearned income ($334 billion): Would apply the current 2.9 percent Medicare tax rate to unearned income in households earning at least $200,000 or $250,000 married (interest, dividends, capital gains, rent, royalties, and passive investment in pass-throughs like S-corporations and partnerships)
Innovator medicine company tax ($22 billion): $2.3 billion annual tax on the industry imposed relative to share of sales made that year
(And YOU will pay that tax, just like the next two items:)
Medical device manufacturer tax ($19 billion): $2 billion annual tax on the industry imposed relative to shares of sales made that year. Exempts items retailing for <$100. Rises to $3 billion annually in 2017
Health insurance company tax ($60 billion): $10 billion annual tax on the industry imposed relative to health insurance premiums collected that year. Phases in gradually until 2017. Fully-imposed on firms with $50 million in profits
Medical itemized deduction "haircut" raised from 7.5 to 10 percent of AGI ($15 billion)
That last one will virtually eliminate the medical deduction for the vast majority of people.
Monday, February 22, 2010
The Senate bill includes a “grandfather” policy that allows people who like their current coverage, to keep it. The President’s Proposal adds certain important consumer protections to these “grandfathered” plans. Within months of legislation being enacted, it requires plans to cover adult dependents up to age 26, prohibits rescissions, mandates that plans have a stronger appeals process, and requires State insurance authorities to conduct annual rate review, backed up by the oversight of the HHS Secretary. When the exchanges begin in 2014, the President’s Proposal adds new protections that prohibit all annual and lifetime limits, ban pre-existing condition exclusions, and prohibit discrimination in favor of highly compensated individuals. Beginning in 2018, the President’s Proposal requires “grandfathered” plans to cover proven preventive services with no cost sharing.
Oh, yes, "consumer protections," said the Grandmama with the extraordinarily large teeth.
Those 'protections' are designed to terminate-with-prejudice the health insurance industry within 10 years or so. Expanded coverage, 'controls' on rate increases, mandated pre-existing coverages, (etc.) will singly or in combination demolish "your health plan."
Buy More Ammo!!
Statute 20.927 of Wisconsin law states, “No funds of this state or of any county, city, village, town or long term care district or of any subdivision or agency of this state or of any county, city, village or town and no federal funds passing through the state treasury shall be authorized for or paid to a physician or surgeon or a hospital, clinic or other medical facility for the performance of an abortion.”
Looks like the UW-Madistan is gaming that a bit.
An open records request by Pro-Life Wisconsin and the Alliance Defense Fund reveals the University of Wisconsin Hospital and Clinics (UWHC) has been funding medical students’ rotations at Planned Parenthood, training medical students in abortion procedures.
I'm sure there will be a long Jesuitical argument which tells us that 'education' does not precisely fall under the prohibition of 20.927.
"Out, out, damned spot..."
Leave it to third-string, has-been quarterbacks of the Republican Party to throw an interception at the precise moment conservatives are about to turn the game around. What is wrong with people like former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich, former Senator Alan Simpson, and Senator Orrin Hatch?
Nothing that a good buttstroke to the head won't cure.
Bishop Robert Vasa of Baker, Oregon, has given us the absolute best reason to rejoice in a penitential season: he yanked the title "Catholic" from a hospital in his diocese that refuses actually to be Catholic.
...The point of contention that the good bishop had with the St. Charles Hospital in Bend, OR was the hospital's practice of surgical sterilization
The adjective "Catholic" may not be used by this hospital any more.
"Whoever solicits or receives … any….thing of value, in consideration of the promise of support or use of influence in obtaining for any person any appointive office or place under the United States, shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than one year, or both." 18 USC Sec. 211
And then there's this thing here:
"In the face of a White House denial, U.S. Rep. Joe Sestak stuck to his story yesterday that the Obama administration offered him a "high-ranking" government post if he would not run against U.S. Sen. Arlen Specter in Pennsylvania's Democratic primary."--Philadelphia Inquirer February 19, 2010
And it's not the first time this White House was ........umnnnhhhh........"helping" someone make a decision, either.
Sunday, February 21, 2010
President Obama will propose on Monday giving the federal government new power to block excessive rate increases by health insurance companies, as he rolls out comprehensive legislation to revamp the nation’s health care system, White House officials said.
Personally, I think we have an "excessive" White House.
Vox likes it.
...this straw poll win won't be trumpeted by the NY/DC Axis Republicans the way it would have if Romney or Jindal had won. It is astonishing how they continue to argue that a liberal Mormon from Massachusetts or an Indian from Louisiana is going to have more national appeal than the libertarian Texan who everyone now knows was correct about the failed World Democratic Revolution, correct about the financial crisis, and correct about TARP and the banking bailouts.
Oh, there's more.
Romney is a liberal Mormon; he's about as electable as an Aztec priest. Palin is a political rock star, but she's a lightweight and won't be running if she has any sense at all because she'd be throwing away a very lucrative career in what passes for political commentary these days. Jindal is a lightweight who looks and talks funny. Pawlenty is an unprincipled snake, which is probably why the neocons are talking him up. I don't like Huckabee, but he's probably the only other serious candidate in the bunch.
From what I've seen of Pawlenty, Vox nails it. I'll agree with him on the other names above, except to quibble over Huckabee, who is personally likeable, but politically skanky.
Paul does have a huge obstacle to overcome: The Party of War--which is spokes-fronted by Limbaugh, Hannity, Levin, Sykes, and Belling.
“There is nothing wrong with being a conservative and having a conservative belief in foreign policy where we have a strong national defense and don’t go to war so carelessly,” Paul said. That line was met with a lot of silence, some nods, but, based on my conservations with activists afterward, strong respect from many for not simply pandering."
It is very useful to remember that Statism is furthered best by war. See both Woodrow Wilson and FDR--not to mention GWB, the BigGummintPubbie (and heir to GHWBush...)
Forty-one percent (41%) Strongly Disapprove giving Obama a Presidential Approval Index rating of -19. The Approval Index has been lower only on one day during Barack Obama’s thirteen months in office (see trends). The previous low came on December 22 as the Senate was preparing to approve its version of the proposed health care legislation. The current lows come as the President is once again focusing attention on the health care legislation.
A -19 Index means Geiger counters go nuts whenever he gets nearby.
But there's a perverse, murderous, and malicious form of rent-seeking out there, too, called Planned Parenthood.
A new report asserts the U.S. abortion industry is in significant decline, held together largely through the $300 million-plus that federal taxpayers deliver annually to its major player, Planned Parenthood.
"It is very clear that the only abortion group expanding its business is Planned Parenthood, and the only reason it can do so is with the help of our tax dollars," said Operation Rescue President Troy Newman.
Another "spending" item which not only could be cut--it should and must be cut.
Here's something that the newspaper doesn't tell you:
The FY 2007 version of the Tiahrt amendment ensures that trace data is available to federal, state, and local agencies "in connection with and for use in a bona fide criminal investigation or prosecution" or for use in administrative actions by BATFE
That is the specific reason that DA Chisholm cannot "go fishing," as he would like to do. If there's no bona fide criminal investigation, BATFE is not allowed to release the data.
Flynn, a lefty, derides what the Fraternal Order of Police happens to support:
BATFE has fought for years in the federal courts to keep the databases confidential, because they contain information (such as names of gun buyers) that could jeopardize ongoing investigations—not to mention law enforcement officers’ lives. For example, a suspected gun trafficker could search databases for names of "straw purchasers" he had used to buy handguns, or for traces requested on guns he had sold. That information could lead him to names of officers, informants and other witnesses against his crimes
No, Ed, it wasn't "sudden." It was deliberate, and done for good reason. You may or may not care about witnesses and informants--or members of the FOP--but we do, Ed.
It's not a surprise that the Lefties: Barrett, Bloomberg, Cieslewicz (and others) formed "Mayors Against Illegal Guns." And it sounds so nice!!
The NRA and its several million members are concerned about crime. That concern led to a recent SCOTUS decision which affirmed the 2nd Amendment: every law-abiding citizen in this country is allowed to possess and carry firearms for self-protection. It's the same concern which Wisconsin allayed with its 25th Amendment.
Another purpose of the 2A, of course, is to prevent Governments (state, local, and federal) from getting too uppity. In that regard, Tiahrt is necessary and very helpful.
Republican Rep. Paul Ryan says he was disappointed by the way President Obama, at the January 29 meeting with House Republicans in Baltimore, first praised him and then turned around and attacked him almost immediately after the meeting was over. At the bipartisan session, Obama called Ryan's anti-deficit plan "a serious proposal." And then, Ryan tells the New York Times, "the next day, his budget director starts ripping me and then the day after that the entire Democratic National Committee political machine starts launching demagogic attacks on me and my plan. So when you hear the word 'bipartisanship' come from the president and then you see his political machine get in full-force attack mode, it comes across as very insincere."
When the Times' Deborah Solomon notes that Obama seems "genuinely pained" by the "just-say-no obstructionism" of Republicans, Ryan answers simply: "You know, casting the other side as somehow nefarious and evil and poorly intended is the oldest trick in the book."
The Elmbrook District has told its high school faculty members that they will be expected to teach an additional hour of class next year, and staff will be reduced accordingly.
That's about a 1/6th cut in teaching staff.
Saturday, February 20, 2010
Hoskins told News 5's Courtis Fuller that he issued the bank an ultimatum. "I'll tear it down before I let you take it," Hoskins told them. And that's exactly what Hoskins did. The Moscow man used a bulldozer two weeks ago to level the home he'd built, and the sprawling country home is now rubble, buried under a coating of snow.
Maybe the damnfools in the White House (and Senate, and House) who think they can ram ObamaCare through should read that story as an allegory.
There are a lot of bulldozers and pitchforks out here. And other toys.
Pro-life leaders on Capitol Hill are once again rolling up their sleeves for the health care fight after the White House announced it would publish a compromise bill as soon as Sunday to push through abortion-expanding health care.
In a New York Times report Thursday, Democratic officials confirmed that President Obama's proposal was being designed for attachment to a budget bill, which would require only a 51-vote majority in the Senate through a process known as budget reconciliation.
If the new legislation (which is essentially a package of compromises to satisfy House Democrats) passes, the House would be forced to swallow whole the health bill the Senate passed in December. The House-passed bill, which included the Stupak language barring government monies from funding abortion, would be completely discarded in favor of the abortion-expanding Senate bill.
Maybe the bozo parade of (D)s think that TEA Party folks are wintering underground. They're wrong.
We're buying pitchforks, along with the ammo. Tar and feathers will be hard to get, too...if this comes to the floor.
Friday, February 19, 2010
If it is my Constitutional right and freedom to kill my child through abortion, then I’d rather be a slave to my Catholic Faith. If it is my right and freedom to dress and act provocative, then I’d rather be considered a prude. If it is my right and freedom to sterilize myself through contraception, then I’d rather be fruitful. If it is my right and freedom to become some “thing”, a sexual object, then I’d rather become some “one”, deserving of dignity. ---Leah Darrow
Ms. Darrow was a contestant on "Next Top Model" (hit the link to see a pic) and recently decided to re-affirm more important things--thus the above quotation.