Sunday, May 31, 2009

Friday, May 29, 2009

Dealergate isn't going away

Closing Chrysler's Dealerships: The Reader's Digest Version

"Item 1: Using the list of all 789 dealerships to be closed, WND found that owners contributed $450,000 to GOP presidential candidates; $7,970 to Sen. Hillary Clinton; $2,200 to John Edwards and $450 to Barack Obama. For the "progressives" out there, that's a 1000-to-1 ratio of GOP-to-Obama donations for closed dealerships.

Item 2: Dealership conglomerate RLJ is owned by Democrat bigwigs Mack McLarty and Robert Johnson. RLJ magically happened to keep all six (6) of their dealerships while its competitors were shuttered. McLarty is a former Clinton chief-of-staff and Robert Johnson (founder of BET) is a major Democrat fundraiser. These politically connected, powerful Democrat supporters were completely insulated from the closings in every market in which they compete.

Item 3: Democratic donor Sidney Deboer is Chairman of Lithia Motors. He donated over $14,000 to Sen. Ron Wyden (D-OR) and Sen. Hillary Clinton (D-NY). Lithia Motors lost only two of its 29 dealerships while gaining as many as five additional ones in the resulting carnage. Deboer was also insulated from Chrysler's closings."

This isn't going to go away without an investigation. They have uncovered enough evidence that makes the closings look politically motivated. I don't think that this well end well for the administration.

Gateway Pundit has more with links as well Sphere: Related Content

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Leave them on the battlefield

I have often thought that we do ourselves more harm than good by taking terrorists alive on the battlefield. We end up releasing many of them only to fight them again. And it costs too much taxpayer money to lock them up.

Ralph Peters makes the case today:


WE made one great mistake regarding Guantanamo: No terrorist should have made it that far. All but a handful of those grotesquely romanticized prisoners should have been killed on the battlefield.

The few kept alive for their intelligence value should have been interrogated secretly, then executed.

Terrorists don't have legal rights or human rights. By committing or abetting acts of terror against the innocent, they place themselves outside of humanity's borders. They must be hunted as man-killing animals.

And, as a side benefit, dead terrorists don't pose legal quandaries.

I couldn't agree more. Sphere: Related Content

Political donations and Chrysler

If this is true we all have problems.

We live in a "free country" that made it law that everyone's political activity will be tracked via campaign finance disclosure laws. I always thought it was a bad idea that anyone can find out if you supported a certain candidate. They can look you up on line and see how much you gave. It was only a matter of time until this information got abused. is a good example of this. People were singled out for supporting traditional marriage, and many of them were targeted. If Chrysler dealers were targeted it is a huge problem for this country.

My advice would be to not contribute to political campaigns if you can help it. Keep your name off the lists. Someday you may need a job, a loan, or your company may compete for a government contract. With the government swallowing up the private sector, the odds of that for everyone is going up substantially.

Likewise one should probably think before registering for a political party if you can help it. Information that is held in these databases are accessable to the public. In the new grand state, it is better to live off of the information grid and keep your name off of the lists.

I am glad I don't put my name on this blog. Sphere: Related Content

Monday, May 25, 2009

Obama in Bush Clothing: America Fights On

Obama in Bush Clothing: America Fights On

Charles Krauthammer shows why Hammer is part of the family name:

The genius of democracy is that the rotation of power forces the opposition to come to its senses when it takes over. When the new guys, brought to power by popular will, then adopt the policies of the old guys, a national consensus is forged and a new legitimacy established.

That's happening before our eyes. The Bush policies in the war on terror won't have to await vindication by historians. Obama is doing it day by day. His denials mean nothing. Look at his deeds.

It is amazing how much Bush gets bashed by Obama while he adopts the exact same policies. It blows the mind. Krauthammer is a master at laying it on the table.

Also from the WSJ: Bush's Gitmo Vindication Sphere: Related Content

No Thanks to the Government Health Care Plantation

Star Parker: No thanks to government health care plantation

Star lets it rip:

First, we already have massive government involvement in health care. Practically half of all health care delivered today comes directly from government programs -- mainly those begun in the 1960's. Medicare, Medicaid, and then later the State Children's Health Insurance Program (SCHIP).

Only 35 percent of health care is paid for through private insurance. Some 87 percent of it is paid for by third parties -- either government or employers. In 1960, 60 percent of Americans' health care expenditures were out of their own pocket. Today it is 12 percent.

Star makes some great points about the government health care we already have in place. You look at the scandal over the VA hospital during the Bush Administration or local scandals about Cincinnati nursing homes and you really have to question government health care. Health care from the same people that give us crappy government schools? Do you want to live next to government housing? I am sure government healthcare is a bad idea indeed. I don't want to move on to that plantation either. I have seen how this ends, and it ain't pretty. Sphere: Related Content

Saturday, May 23, 2009

The Gold Standard

The Gold Standard circa 1933

"All safe deposit boxes in banks or financial institutions have been sealed... and may only be opened in the presence of an agent of the I.R.S." - President F.D. Roosevelt, 1933 – DOW ~ 65

Gold was outlawed from 1933 until the 1970's. I knew that FDR outlawed gold. I guess that is the way you would have to do it if you were serious.

How safe are your safe deposit boxes? Sphere: Related Content

Friday, May 22, 2009

How poor schools impact the economy:

From Corey Booker's blog, I got this link to a New York Times article:

Study Cites Dire Economic Impact of Poor Schools

I am going to rob and steal from this article:

WASHINGTON — The lagging performance of American schoolchildren, particularly among poor and minority students, has had a negative economic impact on the country that exceeds that of the current recession, according to a report released on Wednesday.

I don't endorse the study. I didn't look at it closely and examine how well run it was. I am only reporting the study. These guys (and gals) and their estimates could be off. I am simply blogging about an article about this study.

The report concluded that if those achievement gaps were closed, the yearly gross domestic product of the United States would be trillions of dollars higher, or $3 billion to $5 billion more per day.

That is a lot of money. Maybe in reality it is not that much. It is hard to debate one thing though: If the American system of education was better we probably would be a wealthier nation. In Japan the populace is overeducated to an extent (if that can be possible). Japanese people that are janitors could kill you with the physics, science and math that they have learned. That isn't a bad thing, but those people do still clean up the place. I admire the Japanese and this is no slight. I agree with the premise of the report and I suspect everyone does. If our educational system was better, our economy would be better. The nation would have more wealth, and you would probably have more wealth too. Spread it around! (Shakes the Socialist!)

Get this quote:

The New York City schools chancellor, Joel I. Klein, who introduced the findings at the National Press Club in Washington, said the study vindicated the idea that the root cause of test-score disparities was not poverty or family circumstances, but subpar teachers and principals. He pointed to an analysis in the report showing low-income black fourth graders from the city outperformed students in all other major urban districts on reading (they came in second in math).

“Schools can be the game changer,” he said. “We are able to get very, very different results with the same children.”

The chancellor of the New York City schools is blaming bad teachers and bad principals. And in blaming bad teachers and bad principals he is blaming the system and the teachers unions that defend the status quo. No way around that in my book. I am glad Corey Booker highlighted this article.

This is what Secretary of Education Arne Duncan had to say:

“In many situations, our schools are perpetuating poverty and are perpetuating social failure,” he said, adding that the federal education bureaucracy had often hindered past efforts.

Our schools are perpetuating poverty and social failure, and the education bureaucracy has often hindered past and present efforts. Mr. Duncan can tell it like it is on occasion.

What was interesting to me is this: You can click the link and read the whole article in the NYTimes. Not once was the word "voucher" mentioned in the whole article. They may have hinted at it when they quoted Sharpton ("There are no sacred cows in this"), but they never brought themselves to even say the word voucher or talk about school choice in any way other than another public school.

I think someday people will look back at these archives and laugh. School Choice is going to be the next civil rights movement, and the people that stand in the way or ignore it are going to be on the wrong side of history. We have a report that talks about the dire state of our schools in relation to the economy, and school vouchers don't even merit a word, let alone a sentence. It is mind boggling but true.

I also liked the report talked to how school results and test scores vary by region.

Students educated in different regions also showed marked variation in test performance, despite having similar demographic backgrounds. In Texas, for instance, schools are given about $1,000 less per student than California schools, but Texas children are on average one to two years of learning ahead of their counterparts in California.

I would like to see some google mapping with bad schools overlayed with the political party that tends to dominate. I think it would be fair to take a look at that. In Cincinnati and our urban centers in the midwest, the politics is dominated by Democrats and the school boards are dominated by the Democrats.

Cincinnati hasn't elected a Republican Mayor since 1971, and it is considered a conservative city. Detroits last Republican mayor was first elected in 1957. Louisville was in 1965. Chicago was in 1927. It isn't just mayors, that is only what you can look up on wiki. It is schools boards. It is urban Democratic party strongholds. It is the big political machine that teacher's unions use to force people into a situation of neverending failure.

And I will throw this link in for good measure:

Broken Cities: Liberalism’s urban legacy
By Steven Hayward

It is dated a bit but it is still a classic. Sphere: Related Content

Thursday, May 21, 2009

The Housing Boom and Bust

The Housing Boom and Bust
Thomas Sowell on how government policies made the housing crisis possible
Brian Doherty | May 20, 2009

"Sowell: There are those who borrowed to buy a place to live and speculators who borrowed to speculate, and did enormously well for a number of years. Then there were people who simply don’t understand complex mortgages, particularly people who never owned a home before and whose educations were limited. But the people I would blame the most in the sense that without their interference other problems would have been within manageable means are the politicians—people in Congress and the president and regulators—who pushed the lenders and the banks and Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac into lending and buying mortgages based on people who didn’t meet standards that evolved in the marketplace and which had worked. Those politicians, in addition to that initial mistake, ignored all sorts of warnings from all sorts of sources. As I list in the book, the Economist in London, Fortune, Barron’s, people at the American Enterprise Institute, all over the map, saw that this policy of encouraging homeownership at all costs was leading to trouble.

But the politicians clearly had as their political goal homeownership as “a good thing” and persisted—and for that matter persist to this moment in pushing it. The Federal Housing Administration last I checked was promoting supporting mortgages that have less than 4 percent down payment. We all make mistakes, but politicians have persisted in their mistakes, and in the pointing of fingers in other directions.

“Affordable housing” covers a number of things. There was this sense in Washington that the cost of buying a house had become a nationwide major problem which would require a federal answer as opposed to a local answer. All the data say that was not true. People weren’t paying a higher percent of their income nationwide for housing than they had a decade earlier. In fact, it was a somewhat lower percentage in some areas. Now in some areas, including California—coastal California—people were paying half their family income to put a roof over their head. That in turn was a result of local political people putting all sorts of restrictions on building.

Implicit in the idea of “affordable housing” is the notion that third parties know what people can afford better than those people know themselves. If you spell it out it sounds so absurd you wonder how anyone could have believed it. But for politicians the question is not, is it absurd? The question is whether or not the public will buy it."


Thomas Sowell is my favorite American. Read the rest at Reason Online at the link above.

Home ownership is a good thing in general. When it becomes government policy it becomes easy to see how we came to get too much of a good thing. Sphere: Related Content

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Barack Obama's Risky Deficit Spending

Barack Obama's Risky Deficit Spending
By Robert Samuelson

Let's see. From 2010 to 2019, Obama projects annual deficits totaling $7.1 trillion; that's atop the $1.8 trillion deficit for 2009. By 2019, the ratio of publicly held federal debt to gross domestic product (GDP, or the economy) would reach 70 percent, up from 41 percent in 2008. That would be the highest since 1950 (80 percent). The Congressional Budget Office, using less optimistic economic forecasts, raises these estimates. The 2010-19 deficits would total $9.3 trillion; the debt-to-GDP ratio in 2019 would be 82 percent.

But wait: Even these totals may be understated. By various estimates, Obama's health plan might cost $1.2 trillion over a decade; Obama has budgeted only $635 billion. Next, the huge deficits occur despite a pronounced squeeze of defense spending. From 2008 to 2019, total federal spending would rise 75 percent, but defense spending would increase only 17 percent. Unless foreign threats recede, military spending and deficits might both grow.


By the time the mainstream media catches on it will probably be too late.

Never let a crisis go to waste! Sphere: Related Content

Saturday, May 16, 2009

President Palin’s First 100 Days

President Palin’s First 100 Days

What a great idea by Victor Davis Hanson. Try to imagine a President Palin doing the exact same things as President Obama. Try to anticipate how the media would react.

I think he nailed that one. Funny stuff. Give it a read.

One thing he didn't touch on was a measure of relief I had after Obama got elected. Had Obama lost I think the media would still be doing some soul searching for why we are so racist and couldn't pull ourselves to vote for him. I think it would have gone way overboard.

When Charles Gibson announced Obama's victory you could hear the people on the set cheering and clapping. Imagine if McCain would have pulled the shocker. Imagine the reaction on Charlie Gibson's set. It wouldn't have been clapping.

Here is a Rahm Emanuel quote from a an article in 2004:

"If you don't think you are going to be accountable and there are no consequences for what you do, it'll lead to overreaching."

Wish he thought the same way now about never letting a crisis go to waste.

Back in 1994 they didn't give Republicans 100 days...

Flashback: Media's Bitter, Lashing Out Reaction to 1994 Election

"Some thoughts on those angry voters. Ask parents of any two-year-old and they can tell you about those temper tantrums: the stomping feet, the rolling eyes, the screaming. It's clear that the anger controls the child and not the other way around. It's the job of the parent to teach the child to control the anger and channel it in a positive way. Imagine a nation full of uncontrolled two-year-old rage. The voters had a temper tantrum last week....Parenting and governing don't have to be dirty words: the nation can't be run by an angry two-year-old."
-- Peter Jennings in his daily ABC Radio commentary, November 14th, 1994.

"The public seemed more intolerant than involved, uninterested in what the candidates have had to say, blindly voting against....The President might argue, with some justification, that it's the media's fault: we're allergic to good news."
-- Newsweek Senior Editor Joe Klein, November 14th, 1994

"It would strike some of us that the campaigns have all been so down and dirty and nasty and personal, there's no overarching mandate that the GOP can read into this...My memory after that '92 convention the Republicans held in Texas, is that a lot of people, even Republicans, said `Good Lord, what have we done?' Because the party seemed to have skewed so to the right. Well, the whole country gets to see that now. It's at least conceivable they set up their own defeat in '96, isn't it?"
-- CNN's Mary Tillotson, election night 1994.

"You're aligned to a party which owes many of its victories to the so-called religious right and other conservative extremists who are historically insensitive to minority concerns. That doesn't bother you?"
-- Today co-host Bryant Gumbel to black Republican U. S. Rep.-elect J.C. Watts, November 9th, 1994

"This is a rotten time to be black. Blacks are just going to take it in the chops....Their programs are going to get eviscerated and affirmative action is going to go right down the tubes...Politics have moved right because a lot of middle-class people thought they were taking my money and giving it to poor black people, and they didn't like it and they want their money back."
-- Newsweek Washington Bureau Chief Evan Thomas on Inside Washington, November 12th 1994.

Looks like the media sometimes doesn't agree with certain elections. Sphere: Related Content

Friday, May 15, 2009

Around the Web

Dead People Get Stimulus Checks

One guy died 34 years ago, and he left the United States in 1933. He was never even part of the Social Security system. Wonders never cease. Many people are wondering about his voting record all these years too.

Pakistani President Asif Ali Zardari thinks Osama is dead.

Zardari also reiterated his belief that bin Laden is dead. "I have a strong feeling and I have reason to believe that because I've asked my counterparts in the American intelligence agencies and they have not heard of him since seven years."

Angelo M. Codevilla from The American Spectator thinks so too: Osama Bin Elvis

All the evidence suggests Elvis Presley is more alive today than Osama bin Laden. But tell that to the CIA and all the other misconceptualizers of the War on Terror.

Seven years after Osama bin Laden's last verifiable appearance among the living, there is more evidence for Elvis's presence among us than for his.

Angelo Codevilla bashes our entire intelligence structure in that article.

George Will: Tincture of Lawlessness

The Obama administration's agenda of maximizing dependency involves political favoritism cloaked in the raiment of "economic planning" and "social justice" that somehow produce results superior to what markets produce when freedom allows merit to manifest itself, and incompetence to fail. The administration's central activity -- the political allocation of wealth and opportunity -- is not merely susceptible to corruption, it is corruption.

It is corruption. Well said George.

The Secret of the Curve Ball


From Powerline:

Documents Confirm Treasury Bullied Banks

Thanks George! You set the table.

Powerline quotes Bill Otis on torture investigations:

All you have to do is read a few 5-4 Supreme Court opinions to understand that the most adroit of lawyers can come to wildly differing conclusions on matters of life and death and of national security. Should we impeach the dissenters in Hamdan v. Rumsfeld, the same way the Left wants to impeach Bybee? The Post thinks the death penalty is also "immoral." So maybe we should investigate those in the Criminal Division who approve seeking it.

At some point we need to say out loud what's really going on here: This is not "accountability." It's revenge, plain and simple. . .borne of. . .thug impulses. . . This is banana republic stuff. The Post says that Yoo and Bybee should not be punished on the basis of "policy disagreements," but exactly such punishment is what this is all about.

Mark Steyn: Live Free or Die

The bailout and the stimulus and the budget and the trillion-dollar deficits are not merely massive transfers from the most dynamic and productive sector to the least dynamic and productive. When governments annex a huge chunk of the economy, they also annex a huge chunk of individual liberty. You fundamentally change the relationship between the citizen and the state into something closer to that of junkie and pusher—and you make it very difficult ever to change back. Americans face a choice: They can rediscover the animating principles of the American idea—of limited government, a self-reliant citizenry, and the opportunities to exploit your talents to the fullest—or they can join most of the rest of the Western world in terminal decline. To rekindle the spark of liberty once it dies is very difficult. The inertia, the ennui, the fatalism is more pathetic than the demographic decline and fiscal profligacy of the social democratic state, because it's subtler and less tangible.

The 81% Tax Increase

Present Values of unfunded liability connected to Social Security and Medicare:

Social Security: 17.5 Trillion
Medicare: 36.4 Trillion
Medicare Part B: 37 Trillion
Medicare Part D: 15.5 Trillion

To put it another way, the total unfunded indebtedness of Social Security and Medicare comes to $106.4 trillion. That is how much larger the nation's capital stock would have to be today, all of it owned by the Social Security and Medicare trust funds, to generate enough income to pay all the benefits that have been promised over and above future payroll taxes. But the nation's total private net worth is only $51.5 trillion, according to the Federal Reserve. In effect, we have promised the elderly benefits equal to more than twice the nation's total wealth on top of the payroll tax.

How popular will FDR be once his gift to us breaks the whole system? Sphere: Related Content

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Jobs Created or Saved

From voluntaryxchange:

The NYTimes is quoted:

Nearly three months after President Obama approved a $787 billion economic stimulus package, intended to create or save jobs, the federal government has paid out less than 6 percent of the money, largely in the form of social service payments to states.

This leads to:

Here’s Joe Biden’s unusual math:

Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr., who writes in a report on the stimulus bill to be released this week that it remains “ahead of schedule” …

“We’re 85 days into a two-year program here …

Let’s see: 85 days out of 730 is 11.6%, yet they’ve only spent $45.6B out of $787B or 5.7%. How’s that ahead of schedule?

I wonder what all the rush was in approving a bill that nobody had read?


Of course, there’s also the promises:

… Federal I.O.U.’s — the government has made $88 billion worth of commitments so far …

If we count these, they’re actually ahead of schedule.

What I wonder though is why we should count the I.O.U.’s of institutions that are directly connected to the ability to print money! I understand the macroeconomics and institutional constraints here on that connection, but my point is more philosophical: we’re not talking about uncashed checks here, but rather unwritten ones. Would you count that?

Then there’s this frightening prospect:

… A federal government that has often been caricatured as profligate has begun trying to spend money as quickly as possible and has become fixated, to use the new Washington catch phrase, with “getting money out the door.”

And yet they don’t seem to be able to do it.

My that does frighten me. They can't get money out the door fast enough. It reminds me of George Bush shipping pallets of US Dollars to Iraq. Bush wanted that money in circulation. They can't account for untold sums of money. They were giving it to people and telling it to spend it. Those numbers however harsh still pale in comparison to the Stimulus bill, which in total amounts to about all we have spent in Iraq to date.

And then we have the breakdown:

Then there’s job saving:

There has been skepticism of the administration’s claim of creating or saving 150,000 jobs.

There are worse things than skepticism: in particular, a lack of awareness of irrelevance.

Let’s take that figure at face value. What we’ve seen over the last 6 months is the economy losing about 600K (net) jobs per month, and the unemployment rate going up by about 0.4% in each of those months. So, 150K jobs translates into a change of 0.1% in the unemployment rate.

You read that correctly. The recession itself has increased the rate of unemployment by about 3% in the last 9 months, and the Obama administration is crowing about averting the loss of 1 out of every 30 of those jobs.

And … what bloggers do is the arithmetic that journalists can’t or won’t. The administration is claiming to have spent $45.6B to save 150K jobs. The magic of a dollar-store hand calculator shows that this is $300,000 per job.

But they’re the one who want us to count their I.O.U.’s to, and if we do it’s closer to $900,000 per job saved.

I think David makes some great points here all around. The stimulus bill really isn't working, and even if it is working it is a collasal waste of resources. Amazing really that this can happen. I wasn't a Bush fan, but I think they called him the worst President...ever a bit too early in the game. This Congress has really outdone itself with the spending, and Obama is taking credit for all this as creating or saving jobs.

Here is Greg Mankiw on Measuring Jobs Created or Saved

Here is the question I would have asked: "Going forward, what macroeconomic data would you have to observe before you concluded that the stimulus bill has been a failure? Or will you conclude, no matter how bad things get, that the economy would have been in even worse shape without the stimulus? And if the latter is the case, aren't these quarterly reports just a bit surreal?"

Surreal indeed. These guys make George Orwell look like a piker. Sphere: Related Content

Monday, May 11, 2009

The Politics of Fear

From The LA Times:

SEIU may be linked to ultimatum on withholding stimulus funds

California Secretary of Health and Human Services Kim Belshe said she could not recall another instance in which the federal government invited a significant stakeholder group into such government-to-government negotiations.

"The involvement of a stakeholder in this kind of state-federal deliberative process is unusual at best," she said. "This was really atypical and outside any norm I am familiar with."

In addition to several state and federal officials, participants in the April 15 conference call included an SEIU associate general counsel in Washington, a lobbyist for SEIU in California and a representative from SEIU's policy staff in California, according to a list provided by the Schwarzenegger administration.


White House representatives did not respond to requests for comment.

During the conference call, state officials say, they were asked to defend the $74-million cut scheduled to take effect July 1. The cut lowers the state's maximum contribution to home health workers' pay from $12.10 per hour to $10.10.

The California officials on the call, who requested anonymity for fear of antagonizing the Obama administration, said they needed the savings to help balance the state budget.


Is this the dreaded "Politics of Fear" that the Democrats are so fond of talking about? The tarp lenders routinely cave to demands and get in line quite quickly. Even non-tarp bondholders of automotive companies have fallen in line. People don't want to go on the record if they voice an opinion against the Will of the Messiah.

What a strange transformation indeed. I guess dissent isn't the highest form of patriotism after all. Sphere: Related Content

Hugh Hewitt & Mark Steyn

Read this the other day and kept thinking back to this Steyn passage:

Hugh Hewitt: Well now, this all is a roundabout way of coming, because I’m trying to figure this out, I’m spending the month of May on American medicine, asking doctors, posting their e-mails at, why do the Democrats want to do this? We have no evidence that it works anywhere. They call it a government option, but it’s really single payer, and it really means rationing. Everywhere you try it, you just mentioned Bulgaria, Great Britain and Canada, it is a disaster. Why do they want to do it?

Mark Steyn: Well, what is does is, if you’re a Democrat, what it does is it changes the relationship between the citizen and the state. It alters the equation. If you provide government health care, then suddenly all the elections, they’re not thought about war and foreign policy, or even big economic questions. They’re suddenly fought about government services, and the level of government services, and that’s all they’re about, because once you get government health care, the citizens’ dependency on government as provider is so fundamentally changed that in effect, every election is fought on left wing terms. And for the Democratic Party, that is a huge, transformative advantage.


Scary stuff from Steyn. I like his insight on this. I do think it will change the relationship between citizen and state. I also think it will change the doctor/patient relationship. Sphere: Related Content

David Frum

Writes this:

David Frum: Quick fix today, crisis tomorrow in Obama's White House

In barely four months, Barack Obama has nudged the United States toward a future in which government will be bigger and more assertive -- where taxes will be higher and government unions more powerful -- where legal rights are less secure and contracts more uncertain.

In California, he is pushing a state toward the fiscal edge in order to favour a union ally. At Chrysler, he has put at risk the security of every contract in the country to please another union.

Meanwhile, his administration is planning changes to the regulation of finance that are likely to leave the United States less dynamic and less innovative in the years ahead -- at the same time as taxes rise and educational levels decline.


I like the way he ties it together. He also pointed out how disturbing it was that the TARP banks went right on along with the Chrysler plan without so much as a yelp. They were giving away their clients money and didn't even register a complaint. That hit home. Sphere: Related Content

50% of NYC Black Males Are Unemployed

"The President Addresses African-American Unemployment?

Andre Showell, BET Correspondent asked: As the entire nation tries to climb out of this deep recession, in communities of color, the circumstances are far worse. The black unemployment rate, as you know, is in the double digits. And in New York City, for example, the black unemployment rate for men is near 50 percent.

This was a question asked to Obama during a national news conference marking his 100 days in office. I don't know why 100 days deserved another press conference, but the question is interesting.

Is this question playing with the facts? If you google for media reaction, you won't find the news media disputing the facts or backing up the numbers. Are close to 50% of black men in New York City unemployed? Does that include people that are currently incarcerated? How does BET come up with these facts to base the question?

If that is true, it is an unbelievable number of people. Yet the question itself bascially went unquestioned. I am not talking about Obama. He didn't ask the question. It isn't his fault. He answered in a politically corrected way that made people happy. And it isn't Obama's job to be the fact checker for BET. He shouldn't have to correct the questioner. I don't fault Obama.

But what about the question?

In the 2000 census the unemployment rate for black men in NYC was 15.1%. That is high compared to national averages. It is way too high.

The Fiscal Policy Institiute had a study "New York City Unemployment in 2009--The Emerging Crisis" and they pegged black unemployment at 9.2% in 2008.

How did this number spiral to 50%? Or close to 50% And who is to blame? The is one astounding number.

I think that number is exagerated. I think it is played up for political purposes. I think it has little to do with reality. But if I am wrong, we all need to know. If 50% of the black men living in New York City are unemployed, we all need to know. It changes the dynamics.


Is New York City more racist than other parts of the country?

They vote consistently liberal and they are politically liberal to the core. How could this happen in New York City? How could 50% of black men be unemployed in the most convincingly liberal city in America? Cincinnati is sometimes viewed as backward, but we don't even approach those rates.

I don't believe NYC has those unemployment rates for black mean. I think that data does not exist. I think it is politically correct garbage that nobody every responds to out of courtesy.

The City of Cincinnati currently has 25,000 of Ohio's total of 16,165 homeless. Is it possible to have almost double the amount of your total states homeless population? The numbers say so. How can you have that many homeless? One way is to make up statistics.

Sphere: Related Content

Sunday, May 10, 2009

James Carville Says Dem Control for 40 More Years...

I love to hate James Carville. I think FOX should put him and Hannity on a show together. It would be a cagematch every night. I never thought I would miss Alan Colmes. I think Hannity has attained a level of success where he gets to dictate the shots. People are probably afraid to tell him that some elements of his new show aren't working all that great.

My favorite show for news is Morning Joe on MSNBC. They keep it lively, fast paced and have a nice diversity of opinions and issues.

Not that any of the above blather has anything to do than the Great Satan himself, James Carville:

Excerpt: '40 More Years'

Here is a quote:

When future historians begin to examine the absolutely disastrous events during the term of President Bush, from massive incompetence to blatant falsehoods and the trampling of the Constitution to the savaging of the good name of the United States around the world, they will look for one of these events.

The stealing of the election of 2000 in Florida is going to be a leading qualifier. But it isn't the one to focus on, for several reasons. (After all, there's really nothing that unusual in people resorting to the courts to try to win an election that they didn't win in the first place.)

Two events occurred within a sixty-day time frame that really set the stage for the current state of America and, more to the point, the sorry state of the Republican Party.

As smart as Carville is, I was struck that he is still complaining about the "stolen election" of 2000.

He then goes on to list two "critical" events that "really set the stage for the current state of America". One was a memo which he doesn't even have a copy. The memo said that to win elections your money is better spent rallying your own base than trying to persuade someone else. The other critical thing that happened was the White House leaking that Clintonites leaving had trashed the White House.

I wonder if Carville is guilty of his own logic. When he speaks of the Stolen Election of 2000, isn't that preaching to the choir? Isn't that rallying the base? And if the election was stolen, isn't that a bigger issue than people taking the W keys off of keyboards?

Carville may be right about one thing, it could be a long time coming for the Republicans to regain credibility. They lost 2006 & 2008, and they deserved to lose. Democrats are in power not because they advanced a great agenda or came up with any new ideas, they are in power because they ran against George Bush. It may well be that in a couple of years Obama makes George Bush look pretty good. I never thought I would miss him myself. The new administration has dusted off every old idea on the left and put a new shine on them with Obama's craftsmanship. Once the honeymoon is over and people start feeling the pain I think a day of reckoning will come for the Democrats. At least I can only hope.

I once thought that the Republican Revolution would be great for Democrats because it would clean out the old rubbish and give them new leaders and new ideas for a new century. They have the new leaders, what is missing is the new ideas.

I don't like the fact that the Christian Right is always played up, and I am a Christian. When Christians voted reliably for Democrats it wasn't like there was a huge fear of this country being a theocracy.

What I don't like is how Republicans have become a party of big government. Once you take the limited government and fiscal responsibility aspects of Republicanism out, very little of it appeals to me. It makes the right look like the only thing it stands for is stopping gays from getting married and opposing abortion. That isn't much of a platform.

Republicans should fear the coming demographics of tomorrow. Republicans have been labeled as a White Mans party. People openly call them racist and some of that has stuck. I watched Corey Booker's documentary and people called him Republican as a vicious attack. It sounds like Republican is one of the worst things you can call someone int he black community. People don't slur Republicans, REPUBLICANS IS THE SLUR.

I hear a lot of talk about the Southern Strategy and racist republicans. When that becomes part of the conventional wisdom the party could be in the wilderness for decades. To me perhaps the real Southern Strategy is branding Republicans a bunch of white hate-filled racists. When you look at the way many black people view Republicans it is distrubing. Who wants to be a part of that? Sphere: Related Content

Dick Durban is an Idiot

I steal from Jay P Greene's blog, and if he wants to he can sue me:

The Washington Post has an excellent forum today on DC vouchers despite Obama and Duncan’s sincere wish that this issue would go away already. A series of folks were asked to provide their thoughts on the controversy, which contains a lot of material for thought and comment.

But for now I’d like to concentrate on what Sen. Dick Durbin, who led the union’s charge to kill D.C. vouchers, had to say:

“Most problematic, the Education Department’s recent report could not show that voucher students are performing better than their public school counterparts.”

After reading this I had to ask myself — is he stupid or lying? Of course, when it comes to an Illinois pol, like Durbin, one doesn’t have to choose. He could be both.

The Education Department’s report not only could show that voucher students are performing better than their public school counterparts; it did show exactly that. Unless we are parsing what the meaning of the word is… is, Durbin’s statement suggests that he either didn’t understand the report or that he is willfully distorting its findings.

Of course, both could be true.

Vouchers will be the next civil rights movement. We need to get the gay thing out of the way and let people live however they want to live and God Bless them. After that agenda it will all become obvious. Vouchers and school choice will become American as Apple f'in pie. The people that don't see this are on the wrong side of history, and soon they will know it. Sphere: Related Content

Friday, May 8, 2009

The Audacity of Hope

U.S. threatens to rescind stimulus money over wage cuts

The Obama administration is threatening to rescind billions of dollars in federal stimulus money if Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger and state lawmakers do not restore wage cuts to unionized home healthcare workers approved in February as part of the budget.

Schwarzenegger's office was advised this week by federal health officials that the wage reduction, which will save California $74 million, violates provisions of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. Failure to revoke the scheduled wage cut before it takes effect July 1 could cost California $6.8 billion in stimulus money, according to state officials.

The news comes as state lawmakers are already facing a severe cash crisis, with the state at risk of running out of money in July.

The wages at issue involve workers who care for some 440,000 low-income disabled and elderly Californians. The workers, who collectively contribute millions of dollars in dues each month to the influential Service Employees International Union and the United Domestic Workers, will see the state's contribution to their wages cut from a maximum of $12.10 per hour to a maximum of $10.10.

The SEIU said in a statement that it had asked the Obama administration for the ruling.

Nothing like the letting the Unions have their say. More evidence of Obama's "new" type of politics that will bring us all together. In his world we actually are "All Socialists Now".

On tax day this year (April 15, 2009), Barack Obama gave a speech where "he pledged to stop giving tax breaks to companies that outsource jobs overseas". It echoed a theme that he had repeatedly pledged during his campaign.

Today this hit the news:

Under Restructuring, GM To Build More Cars Overseas

The U.S. government is pouring billions into General Motors in hopes of reviving the domestic economy, but when the automaker completes its restructuring plan, many of the company’s new jobs will be filled by workers overseas.

According to an outline the company has been sharing privately with Washington legislators, the number of cars that GM sells in the United States and builds in Mexico, China and South Korea will roughly double.

So Obama doesn't actually want tax breakes for companies to outsource jobs. No, no, apparently he is more in favor of direct subsidies instead!

We are giving GM 16 billion to outsource jobs. Wonder what would happen if Bush had done that. And we just gave Chrysler 10 billion so we could give the company to the Italians. It is all making sense now. Obama can't give our money or our jobs away fast enough. Sphere: Related Content

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

A Fascist Rose By Any Other Name

Micky Kaus has this:

And there is something creepy in the way many analysts simply accept that, of course, banks receiving TARP funds must now do Obama's bidding on unrelated matters like the Chrysler bankruptcy. This is a long way from JFK using his presidential power to face down a steel price hike--a long way toward an unpleasant economic model that creates at least the potential for political thuggery, that preserves capitalism's inequalities without its freedoms and efficiencies. Let's not give it a name. ...

I like the way he went about it. Calling it Fascism is only going to have people dismiss it out of hand. Asking what you would call a situation like this leads people to the logical conclusion.

Michael Barone has this:

Think carefully about what’s happening here. The White House, presumably car czar Steven Rattner and deputy Ron Bloom, is seeking to transfer the property of one group of people to another group that is politically favored. In the process, it is setting aside basic property rights in favor of rewarding the United Auto Workers for the support the union has given the Democratic Party. The only possible limit on the White House’s power is the bankruptcy judge, who might not go along.

Michigan politicians of both parties joined Obama in denouncing the holdout bondholders. They point to the sad plight of UAW retirees not getting full payment of the health care benefits the union negotiated with Chrysler. But the plight of the beneficiaries of the pension funds represented by the bondholders is sad too. Ordinarily you would expect these claims to be weighed and determined by the rule of law. But not apparently in this administration.

Obama’s attitude toward the rule of law is apparent in the words he used to describe what he is looking for in a nominee to replace Justice David Souter. He wants “someone who understands justice is not just about some abstract legal theory,” he said, but someone who has “empathy.” In other words, judges should decide cases so that the right people win, not according to the rule of law.

The Chrysler negotiations will not be the last occasion for this administration to engage in bailout favoritism and crony capitalism. There’s a May 31 deadline to come up with a settlement for General Motors. And there will be others. In the meantime, who is going to buy bonds from unionized companies if the government is going to take their money away and give it to the union? We have just seen an episode of Gangster Government. It is likely to be part of a continuing series.

Gangster Government. Coming to a theatre near you.

You saw what happended with the ACORN bus tours of AIG execs. You see them threatening bond holders of Chrysler. You hear him tell CEO's that his administration is the only thing standing between them and "the pitchforks". He is willing to take whoever's property he wants. As some of the Chysler bondholders have said, Obama's administration is all "The End Justifies The Means".

We live in interesting times. I hope none of you contributed to the wrong political party. I always thought it was a bad idea to put all that info into a database. You don't want to be on the wrong side or you will be first against the wall when the revolution comes. Sphere: Related Content

Monday, May 4, 2009


I got an email notice that my blog has been singled out as spam by the blogger super-computer.

If this isn't a sign that I should give up blogging. Some automated classifier has looked at this blog and determined statistically that it is pure garbage.

I thought I had an original thought now and again. The cyber Gods want to put a cyber bullet in my head. Sphere: Related Content

Specter: GOP priorities contributed to Kemp death

Specter: GOP priorities contributed to Kemp death

By Tom LoBianco (Contact) Sunday, May 3, 2009

Sen. Arlen Specter, Pennsylvania Democrat, said part of the reason he left the Republican Party last week was disillusionment with its healthcare priorities, and suggested that had the Republicans taken a more moderate track, Jack Kemp may have won his battle with cancer.

Mr. Specter, responding to a question from CBS's Bob Schieffer over whether he had let down Pennsylvanians who wanted a Republican to represent them, said he felt his priorities were more in line with those of the Democrats.

"Well, I was sorry to disappoint many people. Frankly, I was disappointed that the Republican Party didn't want me as their candidate," Mr. Specter said on CBS's "Face the Nation." "But as a matter of principle, I'm becoming much more comfortable with the Democrats' approach. And one of the items that I'm working on, Bob, is funding for medical research."

Mr. Specter continued: "If we had pursued what President Nixon declared in 1970 as the war on cancer, we would have cured many strains. I think Jack Kemp would be alive today.

Honestly, I think the guy may have lost his mind. Republicans killed Jack Kemp.

Between 1998 and 2003, the budget for the NIH doubled.


Congress nearly doubled NIH's budget -- to $27.1 billion between 1998 and 2003

Specter thinks Republicans didn't spend enough money. That is one good reason why he is no longer a republican. From the view from my window, Republicans spent money like drunken sailors. We could do for a few more big government republicans to leave the party or public service altogether.

The graph above shows the projected 2008 budget. When that budget actually came out, funding had actually been increased by $133 million...


The budget measure provides a $133 million, 0.5% increase for the NIH. The figure is adjusted for an earlier bipartisan agreement to transfer $295 million of the institutes' budget to the Global Fund to Fight Aids, Tuberculosis and Malaria. Biomedical research inflation, however, is expected to remain steady at 3.7% this year, according to the Dept. of Commerce's Bureau of Economic Analysis.

The act includes $65.6 billion in discretionary Dept. of Health and Human Services spending -- about $2.9 billion less than the version Bush vetoed on Nov. 13. Although the president said the appropriations package was more responsible than the earlier spending bills, he said he would have vetoed the measure without its $70 billion in funding for the war on terror.

Bush also chided Congress for including 9,800 special projects, or earmarks, in the legislation at a cost of nearly $10 billion. "These projects are not funded through a merit-based process and provide a vehicle for wasteful government spending," the president said.

Several interesting points here. One is that funding for research competes with other projects. If you have 10,000 earmarks costing 10 billion dollars, maybe that is one reason why you don't have the 10 billion dollars for other things, like research funding.

Another interesting point is that the NIH budget doesn't take into account funding for AIDs. Republicans and Bush put more money into AIDs than ever before. Maybe all that AIDs funding killed Jack Kemp. Maybe the Earmarks killed Jack Kemp. Maybe Arlin Specter's profligate spending crowded out private research that could have saved Mr Kemp. Does Specter have blood on his hands? No. But he is an idiot.

And what about that Aids funding?


The American government donates a substantial amount of money for the AIDS epidemic. In 2007 the United States accounted for more than 40 percent of disbursements by governments.7

In his State of the Union address in January 2003, President Bush announced the creation of PEPFAR, the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief, a commitment to significantly increase US spending on HIV/AIDS initiatives around the world.8 Planned to run for five years, PEPFAR intended to direct US$15 billion to places where it is most needed. PEPFAR was renewed in July 2008 with the intention of spending $48 billion from 2009 to 2013 on programmes to tackle HIV and AIDS as well as tuberculosis and malaria.

Looks like we are up to spending $10 billion a year on AIDs. That money has to come from somewhere.

For Specter to act like Bush and the Republicans didn't spend money is absurd. They spent way too much money. I still can't figure out why liberals didn't like Bush. Given his penchant for big government and spending you would think they would love him like one of their own.


Here is another article on funding for psoriasis. We fund some projects at the expense of others, that will always be the case as we set priorities and fight for a piece of the pie. What is interesting is that it charts growth of the NIH from 1995 to 2004. Spending went from "11.3 billion to 28 billion an increase of 148%". It must have been those fiscally conservative republicans cutting all of that spending again...

Specter is a moron.


update with a link of related interest:

The FAIR Foundation was formed because of the inequities in disease research spending by Congress and the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and because of America's organ-donor crisis. Examples of bio-medical research inequities are as follows:

The favoritism given AIDS over all other diseases, including the sixteen diseases that kill a million more Americans than AIDS annually, and,

The amounts spent on the “Health Effects of Climate Change,” "Global Warming Climate Change" and "Climate Change" are greater than the funding for each of these: brain cancer, cystic fibrosis, autism, Down Syndrome, SIDS, child leukemia, cerebral palsy, COPD, Huntington's Disease, Hodgkin’s Disease, multiple sclerosis, muscular dystrophy, uterine cancer and over six thousand other illnesses.

This site will demonstrate the need to reform the public policies used to determine funding distributions by the National Institutes of Health and the need for new organ-donor policies.
Sphere: Related Content