Monday, May 31, 2010
And What Is the Condition of the Culture?
"That the Inferno is a picture of human society in a state of sin and corruption, everybody will readily agree. And since we are today fairly well convinced that society is in a bad way and not necessarily evolving in the direction of perfectibility, we find it easy enough to recognise the various stages by which the deep of corruption is reached.
Futility; lack of a living faith; the drift into loose morality, greedy consumption, financial irresponsibility, and uncontrolled bad temper; a self-opinionated and obstinate individualism; violence, sterility, and lack of reverence for life and property including one's own; the exploitation of sex, the debasing of language by advertisement and propaganda, the commercialising of religion, the pandering to superstition and the conditioning of people's minds by mass-hysteria and 'spell-binding' of all kinds, venality and string-pulling in public affairs, hypocrisy, dishonesty in material things, intellectual dishonesty, the fomenting of discord (class against class, nation against nation) for what one can get out of it, the falsification and destruction of all the means of communication; the exploitation of the lowest and stupidest mass-emotions; treachery even to the fundamentals of kinship, country, the chosen friend, and the sworn allegiance: these are the all-too-recognisable stages that lead to the cold death of society and the extinguishing of all civilised relations."
(Schumacher, A Guide for the Perplexed, quoting Dorothy Sayers).
Other than that, things are just fine!
...Its unemployment rate is lower, its budget deficit breathtakingly smaller (after nearly a decade of balanced budgets), its debt burden far lighter, its banks more stable. The Canadian dollar, once worth as little as .62 cents, is currently nearly at parity with the American dollar.
...Beginning in the mid-1990s, Canadians came to grips with their fiscal crisis. They cut spending at both the national and provincial (state) level, reduced the size and payroll of government, slashed debt, and produced what Paul Martin, then finance minister and later prime minister, called smaller, smarter government. --Fred Barnes, quoted by PowerLine
And Canada has begun breaking apart its national health monopoly.
"...It is rather for us to be here dedicated to the great task remaining before us — that from these honored dead we take increased devotion to that cause for which they gave the last full measure of devotion…” --A Lincoln
Pray for the souls of our veterans, and pray for the lives of US forces.
Sunday, May 30, 2010
G K Chesterton (And JSBach, Too!)
Arriving on a Spokane attorney's site, one is given the cerebral joy-food of JSBach's "Gloria" from the B Minor Mass. The Gloria, of course, is in D Major, of which B Minor is the relative...
And in the sidebar, mirabile dictu, we find G K Chesterton, prophesying as usual:
Saturday, May 29, 2010
Whaddya Know? Sacred Music at Mass!!
The Archdiocese of Birmingham has released full details of the music for the Beatification Mass to be celebrated by the Pope at Coventry Airport on September 19. It could be a lot worse; indeed, as I revealed recently, it was going to be a lot worse until the official organisers – backed by Rome – took the side of proper musicians against trendy bureaucratic liturgists.
So now we have the Gloria, Sanctus and Agnus Dei from James MacMillan’s beautiful new Mass for Blessed John Henry Newman, as he has named it. Plus plainchant (the real stuff as well as the cod-plainchant of Credo III); a motet by Claudio Monteverdi, priest and master of dramatic polyphony; one by the recusant genius William Byrd; another by the Victorian Anglican stalwart Charles Villiers Stanford; Edward Elgar’s setting of Ave Verum; and the hymn Praise to the Holiest, words by Newman, music by R R Terry (Master of Music at Westminster Cathedral who, as it happens, played the organ at my grandparents’ wedding). Nice to see three knights of the realm among the composers. It would have been four, but Ralph Vaughan Williams, whose For All the Saints is the recessional, turned down a knighthood but accepted the OM.
The term 'bureaucratic Liturgists,' is felicitous because it is 100% apropos. Twits need--crave--bureaucracy. It's a substitute for manliness.
The term sexual obesity comes from Mary Ann Layden, a psychiatrist who runs the Sexual Trauma and Psychopathology Program at the University of Pennsylvania. She sees the victims of Internet-pornography consumption in her practice, day in and day out. She also knows what most do not: Quietly, patiently, and irrefutably, an empirical record of the harms of sexual obesity is being assembled piecemeal via the combined efforts of psychologists, sociologists, addiction specialists, psychiatrists, and other authorities.
Young people who have been exposed to pornography are more likely to have multiple lifetime sexual partners, more likely to have had more than one sexual partner in the last three months, more likely to have used alcohol or other substances at their last sexual encounter, and—no surprise here—more likely to have scored higher on a “sexual permissiveness” test. They are also more likely to have tried risky forms of sex. They are also more likely to engage in forced sex and more likely to be sexual offenders…
Looks worse than smoking.
HT: The Shepherd
The Progressive Precedent of Racism
One could make the case that CRA64 was necessary to break a longstanding government policy of encouraging – even requiring – racial discrimination. It wasn’t just state governments, either. The federal government, starting with President Woodrow Wilson, segregated government offices and stopped accepting blacks into the Navy except in menial roles. In the 1930s and into the 1940s, the Federal Housing Authority, [under FDR!] which subsidized the growth of suburban housing, strongly encouraged developers to add racially restrictive covenants to deeds – keeping some neighborhoods all-white by law.
That Progressive-racist mind was also on display with Margaret Sanger, the founder of Planned Parenthood, and was also present in other forms on Bascom Hill in Madison.
Esenberg's take on the matter is sufficient for me; Paul's remarks opened cans which should have remained closed. (More here on the 'progressives', too.)
OTOH, "sound-bite journalism" is malpractice.
The LEO Mentality in Maryland
....I wrote about Anthony Graber, a Maryland man who was arrested for posting a video of a traffic stop to YouTube. Graber was pulled over on his motorcycle by Maryland State Trooper Joseph David Ulher. Uhler drew his gun during the stop. Graber was wearing a camera on his helmet. Graber thought Uhler’s actions were excessive, so he posted the video to the Internet. Days later, police raided the home of Graber’s parents. Graber was arrested, booked, and jailed. He was charged with violating Maryland’s wiretapping statute. In an interview he gave to blogger Carlos Miller shortly after, Graber said, “The judge who released me looked at the paperwork and said she didn’t see where I violated the wiretapping law.”
In my previous column, I interpreted that to mean the judge had dropped the charge. Apparently that isn’t the case. Graber is due in court next week. He faces up to five years in prison.
Agitator's essay elaborates on the situation and (frankly) makes the LEOs look like damn fools.
Which raises the question: WHY do the Md. cops wish to look like damn fools by pressing the case forward?
Is there something in the water?
Accidents? Make Them Illegal!!
In a startling development, the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) has unearthed incontrovertible evidence that accidents happen.
Specifically, the commission found that 32 children have died in accidents over the past nine years involving drop-side cribs.
The reasons were many, but seemed to center on caregivers improperly assembling cribs, losing parts, and parts that can break over time as the mechanism ages.
In other words, accidents.
How can we prevent these tragic accidents from occurring?
If you answered, “by properly assembling and maintaining the cribs,” you clearly are not qualified to be a member of the United States Senate.PlanetMoron has a number of other Senatorial Suggestions in the post--so long as the Senator is as mentally-challenged as Gillibrand.
Only on Fischer's Blog...
One is Kevin's. (The other is PowerLine).
This one of Kevin's features a pinstriped diamond-cruiser who has exceptionally good fingers. A real "aha!!" moment.
The Analytical Belling
Well, now, there's a study out there...
...Researcher Dr Lorenza Colzato, of Leiden University in the Netherlands, said: 'This is the first time that scientific proof has been found for the existence of a gaydar mechanism amongst homosexuals.
‘This perceptual skill allows homosexuals to recognise other gay people faster and we think it's because they are much more analytic than heterosexuals.'
Interesting study. I happen to disagree that 'because A, then B'; it's likely that analytical abilities result from training and experience. In fact, for the fun of it, I'd argue that analytical abilities co-exist with sensitive people of ALL persuasions and are merely enhanced by experience and training.
But it's interesting.
HT: Hot Air
The Fallacy of Big Government
When you ask a government far away in Washington to handle everything, it will handle nothing well.
It is NOT a revelation to anyone with common sense. Violating the law of subsidiarity is just like violating the laws of finance (e.g., running up a national debt t0 95+++% of GDP).
Sooner or later the damn thing collapses.
'Damn Near Russia' Advisers: Boot on the Neck!!
Elected municipal leaders, not an appointed commission, should determine where and how cities grow in Wisconsin, according to Verona’s director of planning and development.
[T]he Capital Area Regional Planning Commission, formed in 2007, is an advisory board to the DNR to ensure municipalities that extend water and sewer services in the Madison metropolitan area do not hurt water quality. The commission rejected a city of Verona request to annex 265 acres from the town of Verona.
The Commission has Commissars, too, just like in the model-country.
State law requires 60 percent storm water retention for new commercial development in urban service areas.
Verona’s plan proposed 90 percent retention, but commissioners said they want 100 percent.I don't know why the Commissars didn't demand 125% retention.
Paul's Common Sense on Anchor Babies
U.S. Senate candidate Rand Paul is stirring it up again, this time by saying he opposes citizenship for children born in the U.S. to parents who are illegal immigrants.
Paul, who a week ago won the GOP primary, told a Russian TV station in a clip circulating on political Web sites Friday that he wants to block citizenship to those children.
Some claim, based on a SCOTUS decision, that the 14th Amendment says otherwise.
And based on a SCOTUS decision, babies are killed every day in the US. Based on a SCOTUS decision, foreign citizens who are terrorists are given criminal trials with all the trimmings in the US.
Yah. That's the ticket!! SCOTUS decisions!!
Bart Simpson's "Sestak Defense"
'We did not offer him a paid position. Besides, there’s nothing wrong with offering “alternatives” to candidates for office, especially if they’re qualified. Besides, everybody does it.' --Bob Bauer, White House Counsel.
"I didn't do it. Nobody saw me do it. You can't prove anything!" --Bart Simpson
There are differences, of course.
Bauer admitted that the White House did it, in violation of USCode.
And Simpson never claimed that 'everybody does it.'
Friday, May 28, 2010
Really, Sestak? REALLY?
The 'best Liar' ever to occupy the White House--impeached and disbarred, to boot--takes the fall for Obama/Emanuel.
Sestak may be elected--but he has an uphill fight from this credibility problem. "Job" is different from "position." Sestak considered a FLUNKY slot?
This is far from over.
Although the LightWorker idolizes FDR, he should study RMN. Particularly the chapter entitled "Watergate."
The LightWorker: Lies and Fairy Tales on BP
And he lied, at least once, as demonstrated by PowerLine:
(Q): Why is it taking so long? And did you really act from day one for a worst case scenario?
OBAMA: We did.This is pure revisionist history. A month ago, the administration's spokesmen explained that their response was graduated as understanding of the magnitude of the spill increased over time.
Then the, ah, ..........grim.......fairy-tale, a common Obama-form of child-abuse--wherein, like Jimmuh Carter, he uses his child as a foil for his ObamaEpicFail.
Sure, It's The Onion.....Right?
"At first, Motley did greatly please the President with his cavorting and merrymaking," White House Senior Adviser David Axelrod told reporters. "He recited droll quatrains about the Tea Party movement to much enjoyment. But yea, verily, his impression of [U.S. Secretary of Education] Arne Duncan, with oversized costume teeth, earned the heartiest roars of laughter by far, and perhaps emboldened Motley past the brink of decorum."
Tensions rose when a happily beaming Obama demanded to be riddled. After a string of well-received topical posers, Motley asked the following:
A pocket-hole that grew so large,
A giant couldn't eat it.
A cache of gold that never was,
But nonetheless depleted.
When the President confessed to being stumped, Motley revealed the answer to be "the National Debt, of course."
Witnesses said Obama's mood immediately darkened and, pounding on the arm of the Presidential Throne, he demanded new jesting. After nervously clearing his throat, Motley was heard to ask, "Wherefore is the National Debt like a sprouting leaf of spinach?" When a glowering Obama demanded the answer, Motley stated, "For it shall rapidly grow into something our children cannot bear."
At this, Obama reportedly dropped the large turkey leg in his hand and signaled to nearby Secret Service agents, who seized Motley and dragged him, pleading, to the Executive Dungeon. The President exited the Hall in a fury, and within minutes had drafted an order of execution by beheading.Limbaugh's next.
FINALLY!! The Repeal-ObamaCare Bill!!
House Republican leaders introduced a bill Thursday to repeal and replace the sweeping healthcare law adopted in late March.According to Rep. Roy Blunt (R-Mo.), the measure would repeal the current law and replace it with the alternative the minority party offered to the original healthcare legislation last November.
Ride to the sound of the guns, boys.
Murder Last Night
Until around 1:30 AM, when a raccoon decided it was time to chow down on birds' eggs in the tree about 30 feet from the window.
The bird did not like this at all, and REALLY started screeching. The raccoon argued with its clicking/chatter. Loudly.
It was mayhem out there; woke one of the kids, too.
After about 10 minutes, the coon went home, fatter. Still haven't seen the birds, which I think was a mourning dove pair.
Mourning, for sure.
Broke Breakwater, But ChooChoo Aplenty!
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, which owns and is responsible for most harbor breakwaters, years ago determined the Milwaukee breakwater is in need of overall repair, said Larry Sullivan, chief engineer for the Port of Milwaukee. But the proposed 2011 Corps budget includes only $625,000 for an Army Corps ship and crew to repair the most-damaged parts of the structure.
“There’s probably a billion dollars worth of development here that the breakwater is there to protect,” he said.A broken breakwater is not unique in the Great Lakes. The Army Corps’ 2009-13 capital plan reported that 80 percent of the breakwaters in the Great Lakes are older than the 50 years they were designed to last.
Annual budgets simply don’t dedicate enough money to keep up with needs, said Bill O’Donoghue, chief of the Army Corps Detroit office’s technical services branch.“They just don’t fund these repairs anymore,” he said.
By co-incidence, the Feds will waste nearly $1Bn on a choochoo to Madistan.
Joe Lieberman's True Colors: Statist Warmonger
Here's his latest offering:
The amendment, sponsored by Sen. Joe Lieberman (I-Conn.) and in the House by Rep. Patrick Murphy (D-Pa.) would repeal the ban on homosexual service 60 days after completion of the Defense Department review.
If adopted, the amendment would also allow homosexuals to marry other homosexuals while in the military as well as allowing any soldier to engage in homosexual acts.
The policy is opposed by the heads of each of the four branches of the military, each of whom testified against repealing the ban in February 2010. Each of the four service chiefs has also reiterated their displeasure in individual letters to Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.).
He's consistent, Ol' Joe: he thinks that politicians should run the military, General Motors, the Internet, banks, hospitals, doctors' offices, and your household, too.
He's wrong, of course.
And he's a danger to the country as long as he's in office.
Another New Tax
Members of the House will soon vote on the Motor Vehicle Safety Act of 2010, which is essentially the response by the House Democratic leadership to the Toyota sudden acceleration scandal.
The measure includes a $9 per car tax to fund a lengthy list of actions to be taken by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) to make sure your car doesn't suddenly accelerate without your permision in the future. The tax will be disguised as a "Vehicle Safety Fund" fee to be collected by the manufacturers.
Oh...it's only a "fee." Not a Tax.
Thursday, May 27, 2010
Benedict XVI on Education--and Liturgy
Benedict XVI had a few words which are germane. And they fit in a couple of situations.
He suggested going to the roots so as to find "adequate responses" to the educational challenge.
"One main root is, it seems to me, a false concept of man's autonomy," the Holy Father said. This concept calls for man to develop himself by and for himself, "without impositions from others, who can assist in his self-development, but who cannot enter into the process."
"That's why so-called anti-authoritarian education is not education but rather a rejection of education."
That "autonomy" is reflected in the anti-authoritarianism of liturgical praxis in this country.
This concept is erroneous, the Pontiff explained, because man's self is defined in relation to others. "It is created for dialogue and for communion," he said.
"Only the encounter with the 'you' and with the 'we' opens the 'I' to himself," the Pope said....
"So a first point seems to me to be this one," he stated, "to overcome this false idea of man's autonomy as an 'I' complete in itself."
OK. Martin Bieber, I/Thou. Yah.
But the next part is, curiously, co-incidental with what we posted earlier today.
Benedict XVI pointed to a second root in skepticism and relativism, "or," he said, "with simpler and clearer words, in the exclusion of the two sources that orient the human journey."
The sources, he indicated, are [human] nature and revelation. "But nature," the Holy Father observed, "is considered today as a purely mechanical thing, and because of this, no type of orientation comes from it."
Meanwhile revelation, he noted, is seen "either as a moment of historical development, and therefore relative, just as any historical and cultural development -- or, it is said, perhaps there was revelation, but it doesn't offer content, only motivation."
"And," the Pontiff warned, "if these two sources are blocked, nature and revelation, then the third source as well, history, ceases to offer guidance because it becomes nothing more than a conglomeration of arbitrary, momentary cultural decisions that serve for nothing for the present and the future."
IOW, B-16 posits that history is NOT a pile of pickup sticks...'arbitrary, momentary, which serve nothing for the present and the future.' In other words, history has meaning and value.
Earlier, we suggested:
The well-educated individual knows that history and historical practices actually have value in se.
...with specific regard to liturgical praxis.
That brings to mind the concept of the liturgical 'communion.' Hmmmmmm.
Seems to me that Benedict could be speaking to "Liturgical Gurus" in some Dioceses.
H-1B's: Are They REALLY All That Great?
The Lucas-Mithas research deviates from the findings of other studies investigating the effect of temporary visa programs on the salaries of U.S. IT professionals. According to Lucas and Mithas, H-1B visa holders earned an average of $75,358 from 2000 to 2003, compared with the average U.S. citizen's salary of $66,836. (The InformationWeek survey did not ask about visa status in 2004 and 2005). But according to the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS), the median salary for H-1B visa holders in computing professions during the 2000 to 2003 period was just over $50,000.
So is USCIS' database (the comprehensive one) wrong and an online survey right? We doubt it. Online surveys determine American Idol winners, folks....
But the best one is the "H-1B's create 5 jobs for every one they take..."
Some researchers find the general premise of the study
...persuasive, even if the study didn't prove it. Duke University statistician David Banks said correlation can't prove causation, but he did think the study "corroborates the idea that H-1B visas support job creation." It does so, he says, by contradicting the theory that companies seek foreign workers to replace domestic ones.
Umnhhh...yah, but Banks is also on the payroll of a big-time immigration lawyer.
Woopsie! "Highly-Qualified" MMS Leader Out!
President Obama claimed to know nothing of MMS Director Liz Birnbaum’s sudden departure. Whatever. Let’s consider Liz’s qualifications to be the head of the agency charged with regulating rigs like the Deepwater Horizon and 30% of domestic oil production.
Brown/Harvard Law? Check. Environmental lawyer? Check. Environmental policy wonk? Check. Experienced with oil and gas technology?
<*chirp*> … <*chirp*>
But, but, but.....she's so SMART!! Harvard!!! Brown!!
And by the way--for a guy who's been "on this since Day One," isn't it curious that The LightWorker has no idea whether B'baum was fired or quit?
Who the Hell is RUNNING this Administration?
Liturgy From a Global and Historical Perspective
In liturgical practice, they are behind the curve of history--probably because they don't understand history in the first place.
1) Walking into your average Greek, Russian, or Coptic church, visitors are often struck by the relatively passive behavior of most worshippers with regard to what is going on at the altar. This was very similar to the behavior of the average "bump on a log," pre-Vatican II worshipper of modern-day liturgical lore. The extent of the congregation's participation is limited to lighting a candle, making frequents signs of the cross, and singing at selected times.
These churches are "Catholic," too, albeit the Greeks do not recognize the Successor of Peter as the supreme ruler of the Church.
2) For those who have studied the question, Vatican II was not the "revolution" in the liturgy that many traditionalists make it out to be, but the culmination of a process of liturgical and devotional change starting at the end of the French Revolution. ...
(Unless history began in 1969, of course, which is what's taught at Notre Dame U. "Liturgy" courses.)
3) Even the Gregorian chant in which many hear the voice of the apostolic church is in some ways a scholarly recreation of the monks of Solesmes,...
VERY controversial--and still so. For a real My-Eyes-Glaze-Over experience, read some of the Solesmes stuff on semiology.
The fact that Chant is, after all, MUSIC? Well, that's buried in the competing piles of field-muffins left by people who are obviously educated far beyond their intelligence, and who haven't talked with an average member of the congregation ever since they went to Notre Dame.
4) In 1794, Pope Pius VI condemned the Jansenist Synod of Pistoia's suggestions for liturgical innovation in the bull Auctorem Fidei. These innovations -- such as the reading of the Scriptures in the vernacular during services, the return of an offertory procession, and the general simplification of rubrics -- became the law of the Church only a century and a half later.
The author asks good questions:
Can reforming or restoring the order and flavor of what Catholics do for 50 minutes on a Sunday morning really determine the fate of the Church? Will it be enough to fend off the onslaught of secularism so that we can pass on the Catholic Faith to our children as a significant part of their lives?
But those can be turned around: will irremediable harm occur if Chant and Latin are restored, selectively, to the Order of the Mass? I doubt that. It was not "harmful" to read the Epistle and Gospel in the vernacular. It was not "harmful" for the Offertory petitions to be restored. It will not be "harmful" for the congregation to sing Chant, or use Latin now and then.
In reality, it is speculative at best to claim either that vernacular or Latin (or Chant or Broadway-tunes) will effect the salvation of souls.
A far better measure is the one to which Cdl. Ratzinger, now Benedict XVI, often alludes. He simply calls for beauty and holiness in the language, the music, and the movements. Beauty attracts; banality--not so much. It's worth emphasizing that Western civilization's proto-thinkers, Aristotle and Plato, posited that truth, beauty, and goodness were the attributes of the Unknown (greatest) God. Therefore, one ignores beauty at great risk to civilization, not just the Church.
In this millennium, some should be thinking about those attributes. The well-educated individual knows that history and historical practices actually have value in se. Not for nothing is the Mona Lisa, or the Pieta, admired. Not for nothing do the Orthodox liturgies emphasize the sacred-time/sacred-space/sacred-language.
Apposite, and indirectly acknowledged by the author, is materialism (or, if you prefer, Social Progressivism accompanied by a remarkable growth in material prosperity, at least in the West.)
What had primarily changed was the influence of the Church over society. In most places, Christian kingdoms were replaced by secular (and often anti-religious) governments; there was a mass movement of population from countryside to city; and general literacy and education increased among all social classes. Because of all of these social phenomena, the influence of the Church in the daily lives of her faithful diminished greatly. No longer was the rhythm of life determined by the Church calendar, no longer were feasts publicly celebrated, and ecclesiastical authority was not the only voice competing for the ears and hearts of the masses.
What we have really seen in the liturgy since 1969 is a continuation of that trajectory of secularization, or maybe better-worded, flaccidity.
Recently, however, following the election of JPII and continuing with Benedict XVI, there has been a movement back towards the mustard-seed/counter-cultural model proposed by Christ and lived by the Apostles and Martyrs. It was signaled by Benedict in his "contra the Muslims" speech, and in this country, Bp. Bruskewitz, Abp. Chaput, Abp. Burke, and Abp. Dolan have, in various ways and addressing various issues, done the same.
It would be appropriate if Liturgy Directors had eyes to see and ears to hear!
Si Vis Pacem, Parate Bellum
New Black Panther Party Holding National Black Power Convention In Atlanta to “Prepare for War Against Tea Party, White-Right”
Conference Convener Attorney Malik Zulu Shabazz anf Former Congresswoman Cynthia McKinney will deliver the Convention Keynote Speeches on Saturday Night May 29th
“With the rise of the Tea Party, the white-right and other racist forces. With gun sales nationwide at an all time high amongst whites, with a mood that is more anti-Black than any time recent, it is imperative that we organize our forces, pool our resources and prepare for war!" --Chairman Malik Zulu Shabazz, Esq. Convention Convener and Party Chairman.
No extremism there. And no screaming-meemie report from SPLC, either.
So I guess the JS Editorial Board will talk about how "inclusive" the Black Panthers really are.
AZ Bozo-(D) Folks to Whine at Int'l Commission
To reverse the effects of SB-1070, legislators in Mexico and the U.S. (EU) have agreed to submit an appeal to the Interamerican Commission on Human Rights (IACHR), since this initiative criminalises migration with racial profiling in the state of Arizona. --El Seminario (newspaper)
A few AZ leggies have signed on to this Whine-Out-Loud.
White House Bribery Allegations Double
Allegations that the White House offered Joe Sestak a job in exchange for dropping out of the Pennsylvania Senate race echo an earlier report of a job offer to candidate Andrew Romanoff in Colorado.
On September 27, 2009 the Denver Post reported that the Obama administration offered Senate candidate Romanoff a position if he canceled plans to run for the Democratic nomination against incumbent Sen. Michael Bennet. --Newsmax
No problem. It's for the Chilllrrrun, after all.
The $165Bn+++ Pension-Fund Rescue, Explained
This is a textbook case of moral hazard. The presence of government insurance with artificially low premiums encourages firm managers and labor union bosses to cooperate and shift some of the costs of future employee pensions onto the PBGC and maybe onto taxpayers. Management and labor agree to pay employees higher wages and benefits now, to increase the promised future retirement benefit promises from that plan, but to underfund those promises. They are, in effect, gambling workers’ pensions on the firm’s ability to avoid bankruptcy.
Once again, a FAR-too-involved FedGov now finds itself in the tar with Bre'r Rabbit.
It's the SPENDING, Stupid!! Part 85,559
State and local debt in Wisconsin grew faster than federal debt over the last 19 years. State debt rose 316%, an average of 7.8% per year, from $2.71 billion in 1990 to $11.25 billion in 2009. Local general obligation debt was up 284%, a 7.3% average, from $3.41 billion in 1989 to $13.1 billion in 2008. Federal debt held by the public averaged annual increases of 6.2% per year for a total increase of 212.8% from 1990 through 2009.
The figures come from a new study from the Wisconsin Taxpayers Alliance (WISTAX), a nonprofit, nonpartisan public policy research organization dedicated to citizen education.
That demonstrates the level of prostitution and whoring present in Madison (and all of the subdivision Counties, schools, and munis) --including that of TThompson, who "Stuck It To 'Em", alright.
Look again at those numbers. The "%/year" is critical, because the Governments' revenue streams have to grow at the SAME PACE (plus interest) in order to pay it off on time.
How's that working out, folks??
No Breakfast? No Can Read!!
It's FAR more accurate to say "no father around, no reading."
Jay's argument is Post hoc, propter hoc, and fallacious (although I am sympathetic to Jay and his colleagues.)
"Poverty" will not be eliminated. Ever. And if MPS keeps handing out free rubbers to the darlings, reading skills will not be improved, either.
Another Tit-Sucking Government Bunch to Zero Out
This morning in U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia, the Competitive Enterprise Institute is filing suit against NASA, calling the erstwhile space agency to account for its nearly three-year stonewall of access to internal documents exposing an abuse of taxpayer funds to advance the global warming agenda
NASA is running a third-party advocacy website out of NASA facilities, at taxpayer expense, to assail "skeptics" and promote the highly suspect basis for a specific policy agenda. This campaign also helped to elevate the particular fiefdom in question (James Hansen's Goddard Institute for Space Studies, or GISS) in terms of budget and stature
The (R) majority of next January should simply delete GISS funding.
Zero. Zip. Nada.
Schmeiss the bastards.
Obama 2Circuit Nominee REALLY Likes Sexual Sadists
Extreme Statists Don't Like the Wind's Direction
So they make up stuff and throw it against the wall.
P-Mac gently shoves back.
He's a gentle guy. Never says that a 40% cutback in Government (ALL of them, not just the Feds) would be salutary.
But it would be VERY salutary. And it will happen, sooner or later.
Long, Long, Ago, Terry Cullen Was...
He didn't mention hiring snakes and gators as his security staffers....
How Stupid ARE You Cheeseheads?
Health care reform will save Wisconsin $745 million to $980 million from January 2014 through June 2019 as the federal government picks up a larger share of the cost of insuring residents with limited incomes, according to initial estimates released by the state Wednesday.
"We actually anticipate national health care reform substantially saving money for taxpayers of our state because of our unique situation," said Jason Helgerson, who oversees the BadgerCare Plus and Medicaid programs.
That's because in Wisconsin, NOBODY pays Federal income taxes, eh, Jason?
Boehner Pulls Earmarks; Ron Paul Won't
House minority leader John Boehner has sent a letter to Transportation and Infrastructure Chairman James Oberstar directing him to strike all Republican requested earmarks from the Water Resources Development Act reauthorization bill being drafted by the committee...
On the other hand, there's Ron Paul and some other addicts, collapsed in an alley with the vermin.
Despite being directed to withdraw their requested earmarks, four members of the GOP caucus have refused to do so: Anh “Joseph” Cao (La.), Henry Brown (S.C.), Don Young (Alaska) and Ron Paul (Texas).
I recall the sentiment "Throw ALL of them out!!" which seems to be endemic in the small-business community.
Boehner must have heard the hoofbeats of the Four Horses. Paul, Cao, Brown, and Young are obviously deaf.
"You WILL Conform, Or We Will Strangle You, Marquette"
Lieutenant Governor Barbara Lawton, in her capacity as chair of the Wisconsin Arts Board, sent the following letter today to MarquetteUniversity’s Haggerty Museum of Art Director Wally Mason:
At its May 14, 2010 meeting, the Wisconsin Arts Board voted unanimously to defer action on the HaggertyMuseum’s application for a fiscal year 2011 Creation and Presentation grant until our meeting September 11, 2010.
The Wisconsin Arts Board members expressed unanimous concern that serious questions suggesting discriminatory hiring practices at MarquetteUniversity had been recently raised in the press and remained unresolved. Board members asked for more time to investigate and ensure that any grant approved was consistent with our mission as the state agency which “nurtures creativity, cultivates expression, promotes the arts, supports the arts in education, stimulates community and economic development and serves as a resource for people of every culture and heritage.” Our clearly stated values include “freedom of expression” and “respect and appreciation for all cultures and people.”
Never mind that about 30% of Wisconsin tax revenue comes from Roman Catholics...
Good News/Bad News at Rexnord
The good news:
Milwaukee-based Rexnord LLC reported fiscal fourth quarter net income of $11.1 million, which was an improvement over a loss of $7.8 million in the same period a year ago.
The BAD news:
The company’s quarterly net sales fell to $406.7 million from $432.2 million a year earlier.
Rexnord supplies gears, drives, chains, clutches, (and replacement parts) to capital-goods manufacturers AND on an OEM basis to firms which make off-road vehicles.
It's a rough, down-and-dirty measuring stick, and it tells us that things aren't all that hot out there.
Ald Bauman: Here's the Answer!!
The Milwaukee Department of Public Works’ proposed long-range budget dedicates $85.8 million to street projects between 2011 and 2016, starting with $15.3 million in next year’s budget. But city officials charged with prioritizing projects are wondering how to weigh the importance of street work against requests to improve city offices.
“Everybody wants new space,” said Alderman Robert Bauman, a member of the city’s Capital Improvements Committee, “and I don’t know how we deal with it.”
Simply dump 20% of City workers who occupy offices, Bob. Pick 'em at random and toss 'em a pink slip.
Milwaukee's going banko anyway; why torture them by forcing them to stay?
The Danger in the Foxhole
An analysis of publicly available documents indicates that homosexuals in the military are three times more likely to commit sexual assaults than heterosexuals, relative to their numbers, announced the Family Research Council Wednesday.
...a review of the "case synopses" of all 1,643 reports of sexual assault reported by the four branches of the military for Fiscal Year 2009 (October 1, 2008 through September 30, 2009) found that over eight percent (8.2%) of all military sexual assault cases were homosexual in nature. Yet homosexual activist groups themselves have stated that less than three percent of Americans (2.8% of men and 1.4% of women) are homosexual or bisexual.
Gee. The Catholic Church has had experience with that--and that experience record is available.
M3 Disappearing; So? Keynes v. Friedman v. Hayek
The M3 money supply in the United States is contracting at an accelerating rate that now matches the average decline seen from 1929 to 1933, despite near zero interest rates and the biggest fiscal blitz in history.
...The stock of money fell from $14.2 trillion to $13.9 trillion in the three months to April, amounting to an annual rate of contraction of 9.6pc. The assets of insitutional money market funds fell at a 37pc rate, the sharpest drop ever.
According to the article, this has caused near-panic in the White House and has made inoperative Obama's yappaflappa about reining in the deficit. (So that 'promise' joins the closing-Gitmo promise--and the 'no taxes on little guys' promise, and the 'transparent and open Gummint' promise......)
One econo-guru disagrees with the Keynesian "load up with debt" formula.
Professor Tim Congdon from International Monetary Research:
'...the Obama policy risks repeating the strategic errors of Japan, which pushed debt to dangerously high levels with one fiscal boost after another during its Lost Decade, instead of resorting to full-blown "Friedmanite" monetary stimulus.'
"Fiscal policy does not work. The US has just tried the biggest fiscal experiment in history and it has failed. What matters is the quantity of money and in extremis that can be increased easily by quantititave easing. If the Fed doesn’t act, a double-dip recession is a virtual certainty," he said.Congdon bewails the fact that Obama-ites are ignoring Friedman.
Others are just as unhappy that Hayek is ignored. His economic theory recognizes the existence of debt in the PRIVATE sector as a factor--and arguably has the best of the argument when he proposes that credit-expansion beyond productivity-expansion is dangerous.
No kidding, hey....
Milk Bills: Extortion By Legislature
IBM is lobbying against a bill even though it would extend a favorite bipartisan policy, the federal tax credit for R&D.
IBM and other business lobbies oppose the bill because of provisions that would increase taxes on money earned overseas by U.S. companies,........
Got it? (The details of this are not really important.)
If Congress really believed R&D was a priority, it could make the credit—which expired in December, the 13th time it has done so since it started in 1981—permanent. But that would make it harder to string out corporate bidders for more PAC contributions, as well as depriving Members of the annual fire drill that gives them a chance to boost taxes. --WSJ Editorial
Back in the days of Gray Davis, California operatives would tell me about “milk bills” — legislation the governor would openly hem and haw about in order to raise funds from both the side that would get rich off the bill, and the side that would sufferIn other words, extortion-by-Legislature (or Congress).
It's not a question of the national interest.
It's a question of selfishness.
No wonder I'm hearing the rumble "Throw ALL of the bastards out!!"
Wednesday, May 26, 2010
Congressional Dems: "Go Ahead, Watch Porn on Gov't Time!"
Well!! Taxpayer-paid employees can watch porn on taxpayer-supplied computers!!
House Republicans on Thursday sidetracked an $80 billion technology bill, cutting out all new programs as part of an anti-pornography amendment and then daring Democrats to oppose the change.
Democrats said their members had to support the GOP amendment to avoid being subject to election-year attack ads claiming they supported pornography.
The GOP measure, which passed 292-126, effectively eliminated some of the key initiatives in the technology bill while putting members on record as supporting the firing of government workers who view or download pornography on the job.
Democrats pulled the technology bill rather than pass the watered-down version. --AP
The excuse was "It's watered-down."
Bawney Fwank could not be reached for comment. He was teabagging his monitor.
Bush's Fault? Walker's Fault?
Lakes in northern Wisconsin are shriveling.
Wetlands are no longer wet. Trout stream tributaries are drying up. Flowages aren't flowing like they used to. Oak trees are producing fewer acorns.
An eight-year drought is affecting everything from boaters and anglers to walleyes and blackberries, the Department of Natural Resources announced Tuesday.
Or maybe AGW.
Budget Cuts? Here Are a Few Possibilities
It was noted in this space yesterday that in 2008 Congress included an obscure amendment in an agriculture bill that changed one word in the law requiring the Department of Agriculture to maintain a publicly available database of who receives federal farm subsidies.
Who was sucking at the Federal tit in 2007? Maybe it would explain why the Ag Department was nudged into dumping the database, eh?
Sen. Max Baucus, D-MT, and five other members of his family own a large Montana ranch that had received more than $230,000 in subsidy checks over a five-year period
Sen. Ken Salazar, D-CO, and his brother, Rep. John Salazar, D-CO, had between them received more than $162,000 in Ag subsidies
Rep. Stephanie Herseth Sandlin, D-SD, was a member of the House Agriculture Committee but did not receive subsidy checks. However, her father, a former South Dakota governor, had received more than three-quarters of a million dollars from the Ag Department program
All VERY legal, of course.
Isn't law-making fun, especially when you're also writing checks??
Tuesday, May 25, 2010
The Fonz, Pre-Born
Archaic Humor Break
1. Draw a historical parallel (after the manner of Plutarch) between Hannibal and Annie Laurie.
2. What internal evidence does the Odyssey afford, that Homer sold his Trojan war-ballads at three yards an obolus?
3. Show the strong presumption there is, that Nox was the god of battles.
4. State reasons for presuming that the practice of lithography may be traced back to the time of Perseus and the Gorgon's head.
5. In what way were the shades on the banks of the Styx supplied with spirits?
6. Show the probability of the College Hornpipe having been used by the students of the Academia; and give passages from Thucydides and Tennyson in support of your answer.
Yes, there are more--and all just as obtuse and enjoyably demented.
Assad: 'Obama Has No Influence Here'
The US has lost its influence in the Middle East peace process despite the hopes raised by US President Barack Obama, Syrian President Bashar al-Assad said in an interview published Monday by Italian daily La Repubblica.
Assad added that a new era has begun in the Middle East, including an understanding between its major powers that was reshaping the region. He pointed to a similar phenomenon throughout the world, with countries such as China and Brazil refusing to wait for Washington to “hand out roles” and noting that Russia was trying to rebuild its own role in the region.
That reduces Obama to a more familiar territory: street-thugging gigs and demolition of the Constitution.
Obama to Vacation, Skip Memorial Day at Arlington
Another insult to US Armed Forces and the country in general.
Next week, after a long Memorial Day weekend at their other home in Chicago, the Obamas will return to the White House and the Banghra will give way in the East Room to the music of Paul McCartney. --NYTimes, quoted by WZ
ONE term is 4 years too many.
"Little Noticed" Field-Muffins in ObamaCare
"A little noticed national calorie labeling rule tucked into the legislation assures that within a couple of years, everyone who walks into a chain restaurant will see calories counts displayed alongside the price of a meal."
"A little-noticed provision in the House-passed health-care plan would strip billions of dollars out of privately run Medicare plans that emphasize wellness and are increasingly popular among retirees in Ohio and nationally."
"A little-noticed provision in the new health care law may not only dramatically increase paperwork for small businesses, but also put them at a disadvantage against their larger competitors."
And, of course, what we mentioned yesterday:
About one-third of employers subject to major requirements of the new health care law may face tax penalties because they offer health insurance that could be considered unaffordable to some employees, a new study says.... It suggests that a little-noticed provision of the law could affect far more employers than Congress had assumed.
There are more.
Well. The Statist/Democrats passed the bill.
NOW we notice there are a lot of problems.
Waukesha Sheriffs' Compensation
If you go to the JS' database, you find that a number of Waukesha County deputy sheriffs are earning base salaries in the $80K+ range.
You'd expect that for a 30-year veteran, sorta.
But not for people with 15-to-20 years on the force...right?
Two Idiots and a Visitor
"A fool and his child are soon parted" would seem to be the proper photo-caption.
Bank Troubles in Wisconsin
That list of banks that received a “D+” rating or worse includes most of the prominent banks in southeastern Wisconsin. In addition to M&I Bank, the local banks on the list of "weak" banks include: Columbia Savings & Loan Association, Milwaukee; Community Bank & Trust, Sheboygan; Equitable Bank, SSB, Wauwatosa; First Banking Center, Burlington; First Business Bank-Milwaukee, Brookfield; Foundations Bank, Pewaukee; Fox River State Bank, Burlington; Guaranty Bank (MHC), Milwaukee; Hartford Savings Bank, Hartford; InvestorsBank, Waukesha; ISB Community Bank, Ixonia; Johnson Bank, Racine; Layton State Bank, Milwaukee; Legacy Bank, Milwaukee; Maritime Savings Bank, West Allis; Mitchell Bank, Milwaukee; North Milwaukee State Bank, Milwaukee; Park Bank, Milwaukee; Peoples Bank, Elkhorn; Port Washington State Bank, Port Washington; PyraMax Bank, FSB, Greenfield; RidgeStone Bank, Brookfield; Securant Bank & Trust, Milwaukee; Southport Bank, Kenosha; Sunset Bank & Savings, Waukesha; Town Bank, Hartland; Walworth State Bank, Walworth; WaterStone Bank, Wauwatosa; and Westbury Bank, West Bend.
USCC Closes Barn Door. Horses in Next County.
The nation’s Catholic bishops endorse a new bipartisan measure aimed at blocking any possibility of federal abortion funding under President Obama’s healthcare reform law.
The bill would apply the language of the Hyde Amendment, which bars federal abortion funding, to the healthcare law, says its chief sponsor, Rep. Joe Pitts, R-Pa.
Frankly, the Bishops are in over their collective heads.
ObamaCare embodies Death Panels, completely ignores the principle of subsidiarity--AND pays for abortions. The Bishops' endorsement of the "concept" was foolish, based on a horrible misinterpretation of the term "human rights" as used in Catholic theology.
In other words, the Bishops' work was sloppy. Culpably sloppy.
Now---NOW---they say "So sorry!"
House Pubbies Want Spending-Cut Ideas? Coburn Has Them
Now [Coburn] finds himself on President Obama’s politically inspired, dubiously worthwhile commission to come up with ways to cut trillions of dollars from a mountain of debt. Coburn is outnumbered on the commission by a hand-picked majority of big spenders, but is coming well-armed with a detailed list of outdated, needless, unaffordable, fraud-ridden programs, agencies and expenditures that he has shoved under their noses, suggesting that these cuts would be a good place to start before even thinking about raising taxes.
About $350Bn for starters; the number could be much higher. (That number includes entitlement-reform, too.)
The list Coburn dropped on the Commission's desk is still embargoed. However, he's mentioned a number of items in the past which likely are on the list. Such as:
• $1.9 million for Connecticut’s Pleasure Beach water taxi service.
• $1.8 million for swine odor and manure management research in Ames, Iowa.
• $750,000 for continued celebration and commemoration of the 400th anniversary of the voyages of Henry Hudson and Samuel de Champlain.
Or these National Imperatives:
• $188,206 to ask the question, “Why do political candidates make vague statements, and what are their consequences?
• $11,825 to study “Prime Time Politics: Television News and the Visual Framing of War.”
• $143,254 to evaluate whip counts by party leaders in Congress to determine the impact of party leaders in the legislative process and how successful party leaders are at mobilizing support for party programs.
• $50,000 to hold a conference on the effect of youtube.com on the 2008 election.
• $678,000 to study Internet social networking sites including Twitter and Facebook in an effort to “measure public happiness.”
We could eliminate the ENTIRE Department of Education, but Coburn simply mentions 230 duplicative programs and $10Bn in waste, fraud, and mismanagement.
And then there's Energy.
Congress gave this department, which produces no energy but adds to its costs, $26.4 billion in fiscal 2010, after more than doubling its budget by another $34 billion under the economic stimulus bill the year before.Rife with waste, fraud and mismanagement with at least 17 programs duplicating one another, the Energy Department handed out $5 billion last year for state-run weatherization projects, a massive increase over the $227 million of the previous year—a spending binge that contractors described as “winning the lottery.”
Worse, it was later found that a “vast majority” of states were not spending the money they were given
And we all know why: nobody can pay the "prevailing wage" formula mandated by Big Labor and still make a profit; in other cases, the D of Labor hasn't even figured out what the "prevailing wage" should BE for these jobs.
Dump Energy, Education, and EPA altogether. Dump the Bureau of Indian Affairs. Dump the "Don't Farm" subsidies to Scotty Pippin and Sam Donaldson (see below.)
Dumping all Cabinet positions NOT mentioned in the Constitution would be nice, too.
Another 24 Cents/BBL Tax Increase
Responding to the massive BP oil spill, Congress is getting ready to quadruple—to 32 cents a barrel—a tax on oil used to help finance cleanups. The increase would raise nearly $11 billion over the next decade.
Just as with ObamaCare, the proposal is slopped together--and actually pays for Unemployment Compensation extensions.
The U.S. Chamber of Commerce said the tax increase was hastily put together, without adequate study, to help pay for an unrelated bill. The tax increase was unveiled Thursday, without any congressional hearings to study its impact.
Even with the tax increases, the bill is projected to add $134 billion to the federal budget deficit.
"I have seen no analysis on how this would impact energy security, how this would impact domestic production, how this would impact the overall economics in the country," said Christopher Guith, vice president of the chamber's energy institute. "There hasn't been any sort of deliberation on this."Assuming that it's necessary, it's not likely that this bunch of dogs and field-muffins in Congress will do it right anyway.
Sibelius to Virginia Over ObamaCare Suit: "Shove It"
President Barack Obama's administration on Monday asked a federal judge in Virginia to dismiss the state's lawsuit alleging Congress overstepped its constitutional bounds with the new health care reform law.
Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius argued in a motion filed hours before a midnight deadline that the law is well within the scope of the Constitution's Commerce Clause.
We'll see about that.
QueenNancy's "Transparency": Not
...Every couple of years, using the Federal Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) and often only after overcoming official resistance, EWG would update the database and there would be a flurry of news stories about celebrities, professional athletes, journalists, and others who clearly were not farmers being paid millions of tax dollars by USDA not to farm.
Well, you can forget about updating that story any time soon because USDA is no longer updating the database. Seems that the Democratic Congress in 2008 changed the law that previously required the department to maintain the database to say that doing so was merely optional.
The federal farm bureaucrats naturally opted out of disclosing how much they were paying people like former ABC News White House correspondent Sam Donaldson and multi-millionaire David Rockefeller not to grow crops. No doubt the decision was made to "save tax dollars."
Monday, May 24, 2010
Second Time: 'Just Vote ALL of Them Out'
Talked with a sales professional who sees a lot of Wisconsin businesses. Naturally, I asked 'how things are going' with business.
He told me that his customers were angry. Angry at banks who were bailed out by the Treasury (i.e., taxpayers) and who are now telling customers (taxpayers) to go pound sand when they need loans.
And VERY angry at Congress. All 535 of them. He said that his customers think ALL of them should be tossed out of DC. As soon as possible.
Perhaps Mr. Patrick has cause for concern. It might go past "sedition" really quickly, Deval--and you and all your pals from Chicago should have a plan.
Union Pension Bailout Next
We weren't kidding.
A Democratic senator is introducing legislation for a bailout of troubled union pension funds. If passed, the bill could put another $165 billion in liabilities on the shoulders of American taxpayers.
The bill, which would put the Pension Benefit Guarantee Corporation behind struggling pensions for union workers, is being introduced by Senator Bob Casey, (D-Pa.), who says it will save jobs and help people.
As FOX Business Network’s Gerri Willis reported Monday, these pensions are in bad shape; as of 2006, well before the market dropped and recession began, only 6% of these funds were doing well.
Although right now taxpayers could possibly be on the hook for $165 billion, the liability could essentially be unlimited because these pensions have to be paid out until the workers die.
How bad IS the union-pension-fund problem?The report found that 35% of non-union plans, compared to 17% of union pension plans, are fully funded, among large plans. At the 80% funding threshold, 86% on non-union pensions comply, but only 59% of union pensions met the threshold. 1% of non-union pensions were critical, while 13% of union pensions were. Small private pension plans also fair better than small union pension plans.
Perhaps the Teamsters' Central States Fund was smart by "investing" in Las Vegas .....ahhhh.........gentlemen. Unlike other Union pension funds, the Vegas 'gents' always paid off.
"Sedition"? Or Just Reality, Governor?
Governor Deval Patrick, even as he decried partisanship in Washington, said today that Republican opposition to President Obama’s agenda has become so obstinate that it “is almost at the level of sedition.”The Democratic governor, who is close to the president, made the comments at a forum...
Face it, Deval. He's dumped all over the electorate, their children, and their grandchildren.
People get pissed off about that, Deval. We call you folks "FIBs" for a damn good reason.
Simplicity Can Do Better Than This
Maybe Simplicity, or Ariens, wants to step up?
Deere probably won't.
The End of the World for Headless Blogger
Having dramatically expanded the role of the government in your doctor’s office and your bank this year, the Obama administration is turning its attention to your kitchen. Sara Burrows, a reporter for the Carolina Journal, reported on the ramifications of the Obama administration’s war on salt, announced recently as a nationwide decade long program by the FDA. I followed up with her on a podcast for Health Care News. Hold your breath for the potential casualties — that’s right, we’re talking about ham and bacon.
Toilet-flush limits. Mercury-bulbs mandated. Tinfoil automobiles. "Health" insurance. Auto insurance. Ethanol mandates. Electric-rate increases due to windmills, solar, wood-burning. No drilling for oil in OUR territory.
Shall we go on?
Bacon restrictions will be the final straw.
SEIU=Thugs, Plain and Simple
It's worse than you think; the DC cop-shop escorted (!!!) the parade to the Maryland (!!!) residence.
And it seems that SEIU may have had an ulterior motive.
The aptly named LIberty Chick reports that as of 2007, the SEIU owed Bank of America nearly $95 Million. By the end of 2008, SEIU owed more than $156 Million in total outstanding liabilities.
That's a bunch of money.
"Pass the Bill To Find Out...." ...How Truly Awful It Is
(John Boehner, are you listening, or just getting tanned on a beach someplace???)
...As they study the law, employers are discovering another provision that got much less attention. If a company offers coverage but requires any full-time employees to pay premiums that amount to more than 9.5 percent of their household income, the coverage is deemed unaffordable, and the employer may have to pay a penalty.
...The Mercer survey found that one-third of employers had some workers for whom coverage might be “unaffordable,” meaning that the workers’ share of premiums — in the absence of federal assistance — would consume more than 9.5 percent of their household income. --NYTimes
As usual, Congress put zero thought into this; if one or the other spouse becomes un-employed, the "household income" drops and the OTHER spouse's employer gets socked.
Smooth moves, bozos.
Pentecost and Arthur
Interesting choice of day.
"Oh! It's the SPENDING? I Want to Veto That!!"
President Barack Obama on Monday is sending legislation to Congress that would allow him to force lawmakers to vote on cutting wasteful programs from spending bills.
Basically, it's a line-item veto.
Gee. Did B. Hussein have a conversion?
Barack Obama voted against the legislation back in 2007
Spending was never a problem for Barry, and that won't change. But looking like a responsible leader seems more important these days.
Chicago Fed Index
Federal Transit Administrator: "Rail Is EXPENSIVE"
The Administrator of the FTA told the truth.
...Pointing out that the future of public transportation in the U.S. is in jeopardy, Rogoff bluntly told attendees that solutions are not only about engineering and economics: They are also about "honesty" and "moral choices."
Transit officials and local politicians need to be more honest with the public, Rogoff said bluntly, especially about the high costs of rail versus bus transportation.
"Supporters of public transit must be willing to share some simple truths that folks don't want to hear. One is this: Paint is cheap, rails systems are extremely expensive."
By 'paint,' Rogoff means that making a bus a lot prettier attracts riders. (This may not work with lobbyists and lawyers.)
HT: Washington Examiner
Sunday, May 23, 2010
Old Script, New Players
But as Moonbattery points out, it's damn near word-for-word being replayed now.
"Formative years" for Barry and his closest friends, indeed.
President Barack Obama is trying to ride the wave of anti-incumbency by taking on an unpopular politician steeped in the partisan ways of Washington.
It doesn’t matter that George W. Bush left office 16 months ago.
The White House’s mid-term election strategy is becoming clear – pit the Democrats of 2010 against the Republicans circa 2006, 2008 and 2009, including Bush.
SCOTUS Reviews "Honest Services"
The U.S. Supreme Court is scheduled to release its highly anticipated decision on the honest services statute by the end of June and many legal observers, including those who prosecuted Lord Black under the controversial law, predict the top court will strike down the 28-word act as unconstitutionally vague.
In brief, Black paid himself and a few other top execs of Hollinger $5.5 million as part of a non-compete contract. Black maintains that the payment did NOT 'harm' Hollinger shareholders, and that the 'honest services' statute used to jail him is subject to extremes in interpretation.
Side-note: Black's DC counsel is Miguel Estrada.
That Biggest "Illegal" Problem: OTM's Crossing the Border
It's a lot worse than job-seekers, and it's NOT just Arizona. The eastern Rio Grande has plenty of problems, too.
Just this week, Houston's KHOU-TV 11 reported Homeland Security warned Houston, Texas, police and Harris County Sheriff's deputies that a suspected terrorist may be traveling through the U.S. through Mexico. Mohamed Ali is a suspected member of the terrorist group Al Shabaab, a group based in Somalia with ties to the Somali attacks portrayed in the movie "Blackhawk Down."
That warning was issued on April 14.
And to review some slightly older statistics:
According to the Department of Homeland Security's 2008 Yearbook of Immigration Studies, from the Office of Immigration Statistics, federal law enforcement agencies detained 791,568 deportable aliens in fiscal year 2008 – and 5,506 of them were from 14 "special-interest countries."
"Special-interest countries" are chock-full of Muslim terrorists.
I recall that GWB yapped about 'fighting terrorists overseas instead of on our territory.' For that purpose, we have spent a lot of blood and treasure in Iraq and Afghanistan.
However, about 10% of those who invade this country over its southern border are NOT Mexicans. A very small percentage (650 of 1.2 million) are from terror-sponsoring countries.
Bush ignored the border. Obama is ignoring the border.
This will not end well.