Monday, March 30, 2009
Headline from WSJ: Government Forces Out Wagoner at GM. Betcha he's REALLY regretting that private jet trip to DC to beg for stimulus pork. He would have been better off filing for bankruptcy, at least he might still have a job. The look on his face says it all.
Meanwhile, we have to ask, "How do Obama's early economic moves differ in any significant way from the way Hugo Chavez started his regime?"
On the bright side, I just don't see many more execs running to DC to beg for a bail out. Could be wrong, will keep you posted.
Saturday, March 28, 2009
Howard moved into the national limelight as never before after the murder of Emmett Till in August 1955 and the trial of his killers, J.W. Milam and Roy Bryant in September. He was heavily involved in the search for evidence and gave over his home to be a “black command center” for witnesses and journalists.
Unfortunately, the white jury acquitted the killers, thinking that the black man. From the book:
Quite simply, [the jury] regarded killing a black male for insulting a white woman as not serious enough to merit the prescribed punishment.But because of the publicity generated by Dr. Howard, the Till case helped launch the civil rights movement. Further, Dr. Howard understood the connection between economic rights and personal liberty.
In 1954, when segregationists started pressuring banks and retailers to freeze civil rights activists’ credit, Howard convinced the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP), as well as various black churches and other affected groups, to deposit their money in the black-owned Tri-State Bank of Memphis (where Howard was a board member), allowing African Americans to flex some of their growing economic muscle in the fight against Jim Crow.
Howard also understood the relationship between tyranny and gun control and kept his household protected from white supremacists with a submachine gun and a pistol in his waistband. The first gun control laws in America were actually imposed in the post-Reconstruction South, where they were tied to rolling back the rights that blacks had been granted as an outcome of the Civil War and the 14th and 15th amendments. (As an aside, many odious pieces of the liberal orthodoxy; gun control, prevailing wage laws and discriminatory policies towards private schools, for examples, have their origins in racist and bigoted motives.)
Finally I leave you with two of my favorite quotes from the good doctor:
He wished “one bomb could be fashioned that would blow every Communist in America right back to Russia where they belong.”
“There is not a thing wrong with Mississippi today that real Jeffersonian democracy and the religion of Jesus Christ cannot solve.”And the country for that matter. Amen to that doctor.
Saturday, March 21, 2009
I know I’m not the faithful blogger. Life sweeps in, sweeps me away, and I forget. Then, I have SO many flippin stories to tell of so many ways God is working I don’t know which one to share. My brain overloads. Two (or three) weeks go by and blog shame begins to set in, making it even harder to blog.
I don't know if that is exactly my problem, but I do know that blogging seems to emotionally exhausting at times and I just let it slide. My thanks to Dean, 'Dawg and KT for encouraging me to get posting again. Dean suggested that the Freedom Coalition Agenda needs an environmental plank. I agree. I was thinking of staring with the following quote: "...the largest polluter in the United States is: the United States government." Wouldn't mind hearing what you think.
Sunday, March 15, 2009
Not taxing this benefit amounts to a subsidy of insurance plans. Further, the more gold plated the plan the greater the tax-subsidy. This was the thinking of the McCain team when they looked at the issue. From the NYT article:
They, like other proponents, cite evidence that tax-free benefits encourage what Mr. McCain called “gold-plated” policies, resulting in inefficient and costly demands for health care and pressure on employers to hold down workers’ pay as insurance expenses rise. And, they say, the policy discriminates against those — many of whom are low-income workers — who do not have employer-provided coverage.
Further, much of what ails the provisioning of health care stems from two related phenomena, third party payer and lack of tranparency. To solve these problems, Americans need to pay more for their health care out of pocket, so they have some "skin in the game." This will bring market pressure to bear to rate health care providers and cause them to bill in ways that real people, as opposed to insurance accountants can understand. I fully sympathize that people struggling to make ends meet would have a hard time with such a proposal. This is why I think that catastrophic caps should be encouraged. For example, the individual pays out of pocket until total expenses hit, say $3000, and then the insurance kicks in to pay the rest. Too help incenctivize such a system, the employee would keep the difference below $3000, but pay taxes on it.
Such a system will change behavior and cause people to shop around for health care. I guarantee it would drive down health care costs. Believe it or not, we already have such a system in place for part of the health care industry. Professor Perry, at Carpe Diem, has a fascinating article about how the cost of cosmetic surgery has fallen over time, even as procedures have improved.
BUT, and it's a big BUT, much like my own, as long as Obama is touting taxing health benefits to pay for socialized medicine, No Sale! Just like McCain proposed, but the media ignored, any such taxing of benefits must be offset by a reduction in the income tax so that government doesn't grow as a result.
Wednesday, March 11, 2009
On another potentially controversial matter, the president also issued a "signing statement" with the bill, saying several of its provisions raised constitutional concerns and would be taken merely as suggestions. He has criticized President George W. Bush for often using such statements to claim the right to ignore portions of new laws, and on Monday he said his administration wouldn't follow those issued by Bush unless authorized by the new attorney general.I need to take a quick break to see how this is playing over at Daily Kos, where vituperative criticisms of signing statements were logged during the Bush years.
OK, I'm back and admit to being somewhat shocked. First, most of the Daily Kooks have chosen to ignore the whole "signing statement" imbroglio. However, I found two interesting articles. The first, pretty much lambastes Obama for a heap of constitutional violations including the signing statement. Pretty amazing, but of course that post is not popular with the readers. The second article, states that Obama's position on signing statements is different from Bush's. This article asserts that unlike Bush, Obama's signing statements only indicate the potential for a constitutional concern. However, no evidence is supplied that Bush issued statements for any different reason.
A little historical context on the whole thing is available at Wikipedia, of course. Key facts: Signing statements have been around since James Monroe. Their use has accelerated over the last generation. George Bush was not a pioneer in their use, but certainly engendered more controversy by the way he used them.
In B-Daddy's opinion, the practice undermines the constitution. If the President thinks a provision of a law is unconstitutional, he needs to veto the whole thing.
"I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will faithfully execute the office of President of the United States, and will to the best of my ability, preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States."Will that slow down the pace of legislation? You betcha. Is that a bad thing? No way!
And of course the left is generally hypocritical in their hysterical criticism of Bush over this and their silence or acquiesence when Obama does it.
Tuesday, March 10, 2009
Democrats respond that secret ballots play into the hands of corporate anti-labor campaigns because secret-ballot elections cost more and are more time consuming for unions who must often compete with companies with deeper pockets.Here's a pop quiz: What do you call a regime that changes the rules of elections until it gets the results it wants? A dictatorship. Essentially the Democrat argument is that since unions haven't been winning elections, the rules should be changed, and hey who needs elections anyway, when we know the result that we want. This move was certainly predictable and predicted.
Friday, March 6, 2009
Wednesday, March 4, 2009
Play the YouTube embed to hear Obama criticize Bush for telling Americans to go shopping after 9/11. Today we are faced with a crisis of our own making. But Obama is keeping up his theme of continuing the Bush policies by encouraging some shopping of his own. Unfortunately, Obama is telling congressional Democrats to do the shopping, so we're unlikely to pick up any swag that we might enjoy, like that ipod I shelled out five bucks trying to win from my nephew's school fund-raiser raffle. This from Maureen Dowd no less:
"In one of his disturbing spells of passivity, President Obama decided not to fight Congress and live up to his own no-earmark pledge from the campaign."
From the same article, here is a partial list of democrat goodies:
• $2.1 million for the Center for Grape Genetics in New York. “quick peel me a grape,” McCain twittered.
• $1.7 million for a honey bee factory in Weslaco, Tex.
• $1.7 million for pig odor research in Iowa.
• $1 million for Mormon cricket control in Utah. “Is that the species of cricket or a game played by the brits?” McCain tweeted.
• $819,000 for catfish genetics research in Alabama.• $650,000 for beaver management in North Carolina and Mississippi.
For a second, I misread that last one as "beer management" and was wondering why the heck they needed to manage beers for those rednecks, they seemed to do fine on their own. But then I saw it was beaver management and it all made sense.
McCain let rip on tweeter over this pokulus and Obama breaking another promise; good for him. Turns out he can use technology after all.
Tuesday, March 3, 2009
President Barack Obama and the Democrat-controlled Congress are considering sweeping legislation that will provide new benefits for many Americans. The Americans With No Abilities Act (AWNAA) is being hailed as a major legislative goal by advocates of the millions of Americans who lack any real skills or ambition.
"Roughly 50 percent of Americans do not possess the competence and drive necessary to carve out a meaningful role for themselves in society," said California Senator Barbara Boxer. "We can no longer stand by and allow People of Inability to be ridiculed and passed over. With this legislation, employers will no longer be able to grant special favors to a small group of workers, simply because they have some idea of what they are doing."
In a Capitol Hill press conference, House Majority Leader Nancy Pelosi and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid pointed to the success of the U.S. Postal Service, which has a long-standing policy of providing opportunity without regard to performance. Approximately 74 percent of postal employees lack any job skills, making this agency the single largest U.S employer of Persons of Inability.
Private-sector industries with good records of non-discrimination against the Inept include retail sales (72%), the airline industry (68%), and home improvement 'warehouse' stores (65%). At the state government level, the Department of Motor Vehicles also has an excellent record of hiring Persons of Inability (63%). Under The Americans With No Abilities Act, more than 25 million "middle man" positions will be created, with important-sounding titles but little real responsibility, thus providing an illusory sense of purpose and performance.
Mandatory non-performance-based raises and promotions will be given so as to guarantee upward mobility for even the most unremarkable employees. The legislation provides substantial tax breaks to corporations that promote a significant number of Persons of Inability into middle-management positions, and gives a tax credit to small and medium-sized businesses that agree to hire one clueless worker for every two talented hires.
Finally, the AWNAA contains tough new measures to make it more difficult to discriminate against the non-abled, banning, for example, discriminatory interview questions such as, 'Do you have any skills or experience that relate to this job?'
'As a Non-abled person, I can't be expected to keep up with people who have something going for them,' said Mary Lou Gertz, who lost her position as a lug-nut twister at the GM plant in Flint , Michigan , due to her inability to remember 'rightey tightey, lefty loosey.' 'This new law should be real good for people like me,' Gertz added. With the passage of this bill, Gertz and millions of other untalented citizens will finally see a light at the end of the tunnel.
Said Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL), "As a Senator with no abilities, I believe the same privileges that elected officials enjoy ought to be extended to every American with no abilities. It is our duty as lawmakers to provide each and every American citizen, regardless of his or her inadequacy, with some sort of space to take up in this great nation and a good salary for doing so."
Of course it's all satire. I believe it was lifted from a 1999 article in The Onion, but updated with today's political names. Sadly, it seems even more likely to pass today.
Sunday, March 1, 2009
Additionally, I have wanted to be more original in my postings, and not just repeat the libertarian/conservative views you can read elsewhere. That has proved a challenge, but I promise to eventually get back at it.
In the meantime, we can at least have some music. I've posted an update on a tune Pops played from time to time. I look forward to hearing what he thinks of the "modern" version.