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Well, they're "sorta, kinda" indexing me anyway. It's on a 24 hour tape delay or something. So I never get picked up by Memeorandum because they pull from Technorati and Technorati has stuff I posted yesterday listed as my latest blog entry. And that's old news to Memeorandum.
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#VRWC Twitter feed:
Your president cares. Barry's planning to tour Paterson on Sunday to survey the damage left by Hurricane Irene.
Because all the roads in and around the Passaic River aren't closed yet.
When El Jefe flits into town everything shuts down. So the few roads that are open, won't be for most of Sunday. That sounds mighty helpful.
Maybe he plans to hold his arms aloft and part the flooded river. Or, he'll just walk across on the water. I hope he brings his nameplate, in case anyone doesn't realize he's here to Take Charge.
I agree with Frank J. that he could be productively replaced with a sack of hammers. As he says, it's not even close.
I'm sure it's merely a coincidence that our governor is a Republican while their governors are both Democrats.
You're doin' a heckuva job Barry.
The New York Times is here to set you straight.
After weeks of internal debate, White House officials adopted the communications documents to shape public events and official statements, and they sought to strike a delicate balance between messages designed for these two very important but very different audiences on a day when the world's attention will be focused on President Obama, his leadership team and his nation.
JammieWearingFool says, "It's all about The O!"
Wait, what? The world will be focused on Obama? Really? His leadership team? Huh? What leadership? His nation? What, does he own the United States or something?
Narcissism writ large. At least now we know why clergy and first responders are being excluded from Mike Bloomberg's Super Colossal, Low-Salt 9/11 Memorial and Networking Event — they're not a part of the Obama leadership team.
Hey Barry, there ain't no "O" in "team."
Further diluting the solemnity of our remembrance ceremonies, the guidelines call for lumping 9/11 in with all other victims of terrorism worldwide:
"As we commemorate the citizens of over 90 countries who perished in the 9/11 attacks, we honor all victims of terrorism, in every nation around the world," the guidelines state. "We honor and celebrate the resilience of individuals, families, and communities on every continent, whether in New York or Nairobi, Bali or Belfast, Mumbai or Manila, or Lahore or London."
Is it just me, or did anyone else notice a glaring omission in that victims of terrorism world tour guide? I mean, it's not like one particular nation has been bearing the brunt of Islamic terrorism for going on an entire century now, right? I'm sure omitting Jerusalem and Tel Aviv from the mix was just an oversight.
After all, it isn't as if not Obama's comrades in
the progressive, neo-communist left are biased against Israel or
Thou shalt not mock the Hurricane Gods.
Not even an hour after I posted my sarcastic reaction to all the hurricane hype a neighbor's tree went toppling over in the wind, taking out the power for our entire neighborhood.
We live in a small town. The mayor came by to deliver the bad news in person. PSE&G won't be here for at least 5 to 7 days.
Got that? In the 21st century, with President Obama personally manning the hurricane response command center, it will take five to seven days to restore power for 30+ homes.
I must live in the United States of Zimbabwe. What kind of third world hell-hole has New Jersey become?
But, Chez WyBlog is nothing if not resourceful. A few phone calls later and a borrowed generator was humming away in my garage.
I hooked up a fridge, TV, Wi-Fi, and a few lights. It's not the Ritz, but it ain't Zimbabwe either.
UPDATE 29 Aug 2011 11:01:
And PSE&G is here!
The power is back on for most of us, a few homes nearby to where trees took out the transformers might not be hooked up until tonight. Let's hear it for the electricity dudes! Bravo!
And as I understand that Mayor Ann Dassing and Councilman John Coyle "made a few calls" on our behalf it's my pleasure to send them some WyBlog love too. You guys rock!
The generator is now on its way to another friend whose power went out, at 4:00 AM this morning, long after Irene supposedly hopped a train to Maine. PSE&G told him "September 4th." Yikes, let's hope they're just being overly pessimistic like with the estimate they gave me.
Friends With Generators — they're the best kind of friends!
There are leaves everywhere. And branches. Lots of branches, some even big enough to require using two hands to carry them away.
Yeah, it might take me a whole hour to clean up the devastation.
How do you spell "hype?" Because I spell it I-R-E-N-E.
I guess Barry is gonna come help them cart away the downed trees. That's our president, he's Large And In Charge!
Aurelius from Pundit Press picked me as the latest subject for their ongoing blogger interview series. He emailed a list of questions, and the results are now posted for all the world to see.
It's pretty cool, like WyBlog unplugged, now with extra snark. Thanks guys!
Al Gore emerged from his Man Cave last night to proclaim that eating meat leads to Global Warming.
Ergo, since eating meat causes global warming, and global warming caused Hurricane Irene, the only logical conclusion is: Eating meat caused Hurricane Irene!
Man, I love science. And meat. God help me, I'm still going to eat meat. There's a nice juicy pork roast on the agenda for this evening. Sorry East Coast, if the wind tonight feels just a little stronger than Jim Cantore says it should, you can blame me.
So, how did President Obama's job creation agenda fare this week?
Let's see. To get things started, a guy named Jobs laid himself off. I didn't know there was an app for that.
Weekly initial jobless claims "unexpectedly" rose again too. Well hey, no one expected to see Steve Jobs in the unemployment line…
Not that Barry isn't trying to create new jobs. A green jobs initiative in Nevada sounds like money well spent:
A federal stimulus grant of nearly $500,000 to grow trees and stimulate the economy in Nevada yielded a whopping 1.72 jobs, according to government statistics.
They pay their tree guys pretty well in Nevada eh?
Unaccustomed to such success the Green lobby quickly moved to counter this mini economic boom by loudly coming out in opposition to the proposed Keystone XL pipeline. It's a project which could create more than 20,000 new jobs, so of course it has to be sacrificed to Mother Gaia. You filthy fossil-fuel-burning capitalists need to freeze in the dark! The whooping cranes demand it.
Are Green Jobs compatible with diversity? Because a new Obama Administration Executive Order specifies that when the government is hiring, people of pallor need not apply. It's social justice. Or something.
Social justice, environmental justice, economic justice, where does a budding activist find the time?
But apparently more affirmative action is needed because Rep. Frederica Wilson (D-FL) says that the root cause of black unemployment is racism. I'll note that black unemployment is highest in blue states and urban locales where the political leadership is nearly 100% liberal Democrats. So, liberal Democrats are racists? Who knew!
While the president gears up for some hurricane golf details of his much anticipated renewed focus on job creation have started to leak out. More Stimulus! He's going to take over Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, dump another umpteen gazillion borrowed dollars into propping up the mortgage market, and sit back to whistle Happy Days Are Here Again.
Because nothing succeeds like redoing the stuff that didn't work last time!
Wrapping up, here's
an interesting chart showing all of Barry's promises about jobs, jobs,
jobs vs the unemployment rate as it stood when he made each statement. The
implication is quite clear. It's all the teleprompter's fault.
It really could be The Storm Of The Century. Hurricane Irene seems to have painted a bullseye on New Jersey and she's not wavering from the path. The projected storm track shows an almost direct hit on the Jersey shore. Gov. Chris Christie just signed an order calling up the National Guard.
Yeah, Irene means business. Don't screw around. Get ready for high winds, torrential rains, flash flooding, downed trees and power lines, and general mayhem starting Saturday and continuing through Sunday afternoon. Prepare, and then hunker down.
Here's Irene, she'll rock you like a hurricane.
A few tips.
Top off the gas tank in your car
ATMs will not work, get your cash now
Get your flashlights and batteries
Have a hand-cranked radio
If you take prescription drugs, fill them now
Have a first aid kit
Have adequate food and water; enough for 5 days
Know the emergency evacuation routes around your town
Now listen up. There's a reason Gov. Christie said "don't go to the shore this weekend." Irene is not just another big rainstorm.
Irene doesn't look that bad; what's the big deal? The hurricane doesn't yet have the classic appearance of a monster storm on satellite, because she probably just went through, or is going through, an eyewall replacement cycle (the details are a bit murky at the moment). But it's quite likely she will develop that classic appearance in the next 24 hours or so. When she does, people will suddenly start to panic, just as they did in 2005 when Hurricane Katrina developed overnight into a Category Five — precisely as had been predicted, yet many folks ignored those predictions until they could see the result with their own eyes. That's foolish. The day to begin worrying, and more importantly, preparing, is not tomorrow. It's today.
OK. so how bad can it get? This bad.
Back in 1938, long before satellites, radar, the hurricane hunters, and the modern weather forecasting system, the great New England hurricane of 1938 roared northwards into Long Island, New York at 60 mph, pushing a 15-foot storm surge to the coast. Hundreds of Americans died in this greatest Northeast U.S. hurricane on record, the only Category 3 storm to hit the Northeast since the Great Hurricane of 1815. Since 1938, there have been a number of significant hurricanes in the Northeast — the Great Atlantic hurricane of 1944, Hazel of 1954, Diane of 1955, Donna of 1960, Gloria of 1985, Bob of 1991, and Floyd of 1999 — but none of these were as formidable as the great 1938 storm. Today, we have a hurricane over the Bahamas — Hurricane Irene — that threatens to be the Northeast's most dangerous storm since the 1938 hurricane. We've all been watching the computer models, which have been steadily moving their forecast tracks for Irene more to the east — first into Florida, then Georgia, then South Carolina, then North Carolina, then offshore of North Carolina — and it seemed that this storm would do what so many many storms have done in the past, brush the Outer Banks of North Carolina, then head out to sea. Irene will not do that. Irene will likely hit Eastern North Carolina, but the storm is going northwards after that, and may deliver an extremely destructive blow to the mid-Atlantic and New England states. I am most concerned about the storm surge danger to North Carolina, Virginia, Maryland, Delaware, New Jersey, New York, and the rest of the New England coast. Irene is capable of inundating portions of the coast under 10 - 15 feet of water, to the highest storm surge depths ever recorded. I strongly recommend that all residents of the mid-Atlantic and New England coast familiarize themselves with their storm surge risk.
My favorite Jersey shore vacation spot is Long Beach Island. The highest point on LBI is 8 feet above sea level. A 15 foot storm surge will swamp the entire island. In fact the National Weather Service interactive storm surge map shows that a Category 2 storm following Irene's projected path will flood the entire New Jersey coastline from Cape May to Sandy Hook. Every barrier island could be completely under water.
Irene is an extremely dangerous storm for an area that has no experience with hurricanes, and I strongly urge you to evacuate from the coast if an evacuation is ordered by local officials.
Don't screw around. This means you.
All of Cape May County, as well as Long Beach Island in Ocean County, are under mandatory evacuation orders requiring residents and tourists to leave starting 8 a.m. Friday.
Get out. Get out now. If you're not sure where to go, Southern Regional High School in Manahawkin will have an emergency shelter ready on Friday morning.
To help facilitate the evacuation, the Cape May County Bridge Commission suspended tolls on all Ocean Drive bridges beginning 8 a.m. Friday. Tolls on the Garden State Parkway south of the Raritan River, and on the Atlantic City Expressway, will be suspended at that time as well.
New York Governor Andrew Cuomo has also declared a state of emergency. It's a preparatory step, but one that is needed if they're going to issue evacuation orders and/or mobilize the National Guard.
Irene is now the same size as hurricane Katrina was when it made landfall in Louisiana. The storm continues to gain strength and the projected track hasn't changed much in the past 12 hours. She's comin' right for us.
The game was originally scheduled for 7 PM. But if you've been paying attention
you'll realize that 7 PM is just about when hurricane Irene will be barreling
New Meadowlands Met Life Stadium.
Kickoff is now 7:00 PM on Monday night. Which means both teams will only have 3 days to prepare for Thursday's pre-season finales. That's not as bad as it sounds, the last pre-season game is traditionally reserved for the second and third string players. Starters will play Monday night and then rest up for their regular season openers on September 11th. Final cuts are due next Saturday so performance in Thursday's games by players on the cusp will be key to whether or not they make the 53 man rosters.
Atlantic City casinos are closed until further notice.
NJ Transit trains and buses will stop running at noon tomorrow (Saturday 8/27). PATH service will also cease at that time. All NYC metropolitan airports will also close to incoming flights at noon Saturday. Most outgoing flights have already been canceled.
The Garden State Parkway southbound is closed below exit 98.
Mandatory evacuations are now in effect for all residents of Atlantic, Cape May, Monmouth, and Ocean counties.
In North Jersey, residents of Hoboken as well as low-lying parts of Jersey City and Bayonne are being asked to voluntarily evacuate.
Now listen up. Are you reading this while sitting at home in the evacuation zone? And are you thinking, this is nuts? Do you remember the idiots who stayed behind in New Orleans during hurricane Katrina? Dudes, get out of Dodge!
And of course that religion is The Religion of Peace™
In his fiercest defense yet of the mosque proposed near Ground Zero, Mayor Bloomberg declared yesterday that it must be allowed to proceed because the government "shouldn't be in the business of picking" one religion over another.
But his government is most certaily involved in the business of picking one religion over another: Clergy Banned From 9/11 Ceremony.
Religious leaders are calling on Mayor Michael Bloomberg to reverse course and offer clergy a role in the ceremony commemorating the 10th anniversary of the terrorist attack on the World Trade Center.
No prayer, just the looming presence of Iman Rauf's Ground Zero Death to America Victory Mosque overshadowing the solemnity of the remembrance ceremonies. And of course no acknowledgement of the void where Saint Nicholas Church ought to stand. Destroyed in the attacks, it's rebirth languishes beneath NYC and Port Authority red tape. Red tape which magically fails to impede construction of a new house of worship, one that is dedicated to the ideology which spawned 9/11 in the first place.
Because in Bloombergistan they are not involved in the business of picking one religion over another.
Audible farting has been banned for some Marines downrange because it offends the Afghans.
Coming next week, a ban on waving their private parts at the Afghans' aunties.
At least one in ten midsize to big employers will definitely ditch their health care plans once federal insurance exchanges start in 2014. A survey conducted last month by large benefits consultant Towers Watson shows an additional 20% of employers are "unsure" of what they'll do.
The studies suggest that some employers, especially retailers or those offering low wages, feel they will be better off paying fines and taxes than continuing to provide benefits that eat up a growing portion of their budget every year.
Then there's the implicit pay cut that occurs when folks start shelling out for their own health insurance. Who's up for that?
Some congressional Republicans are reluctant to endorse another one-year extension of President Obama's 2% payroll tax cut.
At issue is the expiring cut to the obscure but impactful "payroll tax," a tax reduction approved with little fanfare as part of a broader tax deal late last year. Normally, workers pay 6.2 percent of their income into a Social Security fund, with employers paying a matching 6.2 percent.
But this year, workers' share has been cut a full 2 percentage points. That means an extra $1,000 in the pocket of a taxpayer who is earning $50,000 this year, up to a total savings of $2,136 for those who make $106,800 or more -- the threshold beyond which earnings are not taxed for Social Security.
Barry plans to extend this tax cut for another year as part of his I'm-back-from-vacation-and-ready-to-start-working jobs creation agenda. But the GOP wants broader-based tax cuts which fall on job-creators rather than on employees. They contend that most people don't understand the payroll tax and don't realize they're paying it in the first place.
OK, so educate them. By cutting the payroll tax the Democrats essentially conceded the idea that Social Security is some kind of pension plan with a dedicated fund behind it. The payroll tax isn't at all similar to a 401(k) investment, it just goes into the black hole of the federal budget. And then Congress votes on how much retirees receive each month. You know, like welfare.
People ought to be able to understand that and be down with the idea of cutting the tax. Starve the beast and all.
But on the other hand if folks want to believe that we do indeed "earn" the retirement benefit, then it stands to reason that paying less in equals a smaller future payout. What if the GOP proposed making the payroll tax cut permanent, and then tacked on a corresponding reduction in future retirees' Social Security benefits? We'll see your tax cut, and raise you with a plan to save Social Security!. Let's see the Democrats try to wiggle their way out of that one!
Two can play the tax cut game. The GOP should embrace a little advice from
General George S. Patton — L'audace, l'audace, toujours l'audace!
They're spinning it as a "streamlining of unnecessary regulations." OK. It was probably the most unnecessary regulation in the history of our Republic. And now the Fairness Doctrine is finally dead and buried.
"The elimination of the obsolete Fairness Doctrine regulations will remove an unnecessary distraction. As I have said, striking this from our books ensures there can be no mistake that what has long been a dead letter remains dead," [FCC Chairman Julius] Genachowski said in a statement.
"The Fairness Doctrine holds the potential to chill free speech and the free flow of ideas and was properly abandoned over two decades ago. I am pleased we are removing these and other obsolete rules from our books."
In recent years some Democrats have petitioned the FCC to reinstate the Fairness Doctrine to counter what they laughable contend is an unfair advantage enjoyed by conservative talk radio and Fox News. Yeah, having to compete for listeners is a bitch, and if everyone were forced to watch MSNBC we'd all be better off. Or something.
If you'll permit me a slight digression. The Fairness Doctrine is at least partially responsible for cementing my conservative beliefs. How? Because for four years of college radio I did a weekly news and interview show, after which I had to recite this disclaimer:
The opinions expressed in the preceding program do not necessarily reflect the views of Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, the Rensselaer Union, or the staff and management of WRPI. Responsible parties with an opposing viewpoint may request time for a rebuttal.
Not that we talked about anything truly controversial; usually the guest was some minor university functionary, on to discuss the finer nuances of the new parking permit system or the like, although we did score an hour with Miss USA once which was pretty sweet.
But no matter. Within 5 minutes of me signing off the studio phone would ring. It'd be the Lyndon LaRouche loons again — or the NYPIRG nuts — demanding another half hour of free air time to peddle their nutjob conspiracy theories. And we had to give it to them too. Fairness and all. They worked the system for all it was worth, not that anybody listened!
And the more I thought about it, the more I realized just how unfair this rule actually was. These weren't RPI students, they were generally SUNY dropouts who rarely bathed and babbled on semi-coherently about fusion power and/or some kind of New World Order. My student activity fees paid for the radio station, these usurpers didn't pay anything. And they got to commandeer half of my weekly show?
But "the staff and management of WRPI" was scared to death of the FCC. So the kooks got free reign. There was one time we turned the tables though. During the height of Jimmy Carter's OPEC oil crisis, when gas lines were everywhere, we booked a Texas oil man to come on and talk about the need to increase domestic production.
Naturally the NYPIRG nuts would want "equal time," so we gave it to them, by pre-emptively scheduling them both for the same hour. And the fellow from Texas eviscerated their idiotic econut arguments in five minutes flat. They stormed out of the studio in a huff threatening to report us to the FCC for treating them "unfairly."
Nothing came of it of course. But it was my first, but alas not my last, taste of liberal intolerance. The oil man turned out to be hoot, and we had one of our best hours of radio thanks to him. Jimmy Carter lost the 1980 presidential election to Ronald Reagan, I graduated and got a Real Job, and all these years later here I am still butting heads with liberal fascists.
At least for the moment though I can do it without fear of governmental interference now that the FCC has finally trashed the Fairness Doctrine. God Bless the First Amendment.
I could summarize my review in three words: Read. This. Book.
Or if I expanded it just a little — Read this book, today.
I haven't had this much fun reading a book in a very long time. John Bascom joins a very elite group of political satirists who can command an audience with exactly the right turns of phrase. The running malapropisms gag alone will keep you stitched up. I laughed and guffawed and hit an OMFG moment on practically every page.
Caine's Pestilence is a masterstroke of satirical genius. Nancy Pelosi as president? The underlying scenario is frighteningly authentic. A nation of sheep led by the nose to expect their government to satisfy their every whim? Don't we already have that? Bascom posits a reaction to an accidental event which threatens to overturn the welfare state apple cart that reads like it was reported by The New York Times.
And what a welfare state it is! The country has ratified a Fundamental Human Needs Amendment codifying every liberal shibbeloth as the supreme law of the land. All women are entitled to free cosmetic surgery! Collectivization is the order of the day as wealth is confiscated to fund mountains of social programs. All broadcast news is produced by the FCC — the Fair Communications Commission — under the control of Keith Olbermann and Rachel Maddow. Fox News is illegal. George W. Bush is serving a life sentence for war crimes.
Yeah, Bascom's depiction of our dystopian progressive future is quite believable. I couldn't put it down.
John Caine is a mild-mannered banker thrust into a maelstrom of Washington, DC political intrigue. As his wife is seduced by the siren song of a "self help" guru whose real agenda is to subjugate her will to that of the nanny state John immerses himself in work. And starts tinkering in a makeshift basement laboratory using surplus bio-engineering equipment he surrepticiously borrows from his new job.
Events have a way of escalating in unforeseen directions and Caine's experiments soon lead to a confrontation with the full power of an omnipresent bureaucracy. He's convicted of Domestic Terrorism and sentenced to death by hanging.
Caine's Pestilence is his memoirs, written inside his cell on death row, completed only hours before his appointment with the gallows. Is John Caine a hero? Not exactly. Nor is he a villian. He's just an ordinary man, swept up in a vortex of extraordinary events.
I won't give away the ending, but I will say it was satisfying, in a way that many thrillers are not. It was believable and not contrived to tie up the loose ends in a nice neat bow. With his debut novel John Bascom hits a home run.
And in case I didn't mention it yet, read this book!
John Bascom submitted a
guest post to the blog while I was on vacation. I asked if I could review
his novel and he graciously sent me a signed copy. Yeah, it's a keeper.
It was a great day to be hanging out at the pool.
Other Rule 5 goodness via a quick trip through the ole blogroll...
Gator Doug has a Silvan Krispin slideshow.
Bob Belvedere brings us the lovely and talented Wendy Fiore.
Fishersville Mike questions the, er credentials of an uptight Wall Street consultant.
BigFurHat notes that tomorrow is Raelian Go Topless Day. Briefly NSFW. Definitely strange.
William Teach wants to check your perceptive skills. Yes class, this material will be on the final exam.
Eye of Polyphemus dreams of Kristen Bell.
Reaganite Republican traveled to Romania and brought back Alexandra Stan.
Proof spent Friday night with Brooke Hogan.
Randy got knocked out by Carissa Rosario.
Lance is hoping for some kind of NASCAR cat fight.
Last but not least, Theo reminds us that Saturday night is bath night. Of course it is.
UPDATE 21 Aug 2011 11:47:
The Classic Liberal enlists Maggie Grace to defend capitalism. To the ramparts!
Serr8d found the secret to Candice Swanepoel.
When a judge has to order you not to throw feces you've pretty much lost the messaging war. So, with their tails between their legs (and a nice two week vacation under their tool belts) striking Verizon workers will return to work on Tuesday, while negotiations continue with management.
"The major issues remain to be discussed, but overall, issues now are focused and narrowed," the Communications Workers of America and the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers said in a statement.
Meanwhile, Verizon's version of Baghdad Bob had this to say:
Marc Reed, Verizon's executive vice president of human resources, credited the company's managers with "ably meeting the needs of our customers" during the 14-day strike. This enabled the company to "withstand the strike without significant disruption to customer service," he said.
Nice game face Marc. Now here's the reality. My buddy moved his store to a new location while you were "ably meeting the needs" of your customers. He scheduled his service transfer before the strike. On the day he moved Verizon called, saying they couldn't get him hooked up for at least ninety days. But in a masterstroke of par-for-the-course incompetence they'd gone ahead and disconnected the phones at his old location. And to really screw him over they decommissioned his phone number too, returning it to the "free pool" since there was no new location to transfer it to. People who call him now get a recording saying the number has been disconnected and there is no new number. You know, like he's out of business.
But I suppose that isn't a "significant disruption to customer service", eh Marc?
They don't have to care, they're The Phone Company.
On the other hand, pissed off customers have a way of — how did the unions put it? — focusing the issues. A day late and a dollar short to be sure, but hey, there's always Comcast.
(More at Memeorandum)
Chris Christie, who still isn't running for president, says that raising tolls on our Hudson River crossings is not a "tax hike."
"It's a user fee," Christie said at a press conference today. "It's not a tax. I know what a tax is and what it looks like."
He added, "You can look at a pig and call it a horse and if lots of people call it a horse, it's still a pig."
You can look at a pig and call it the Port Authority too. Especially their police force where sergeants can make more than $260,000 per year. The overtime, it flows like water down the Hudson River, it does. And our user fees, they flow like water too, down the drain into a bottomless pit which one day might be the World Trade Center Memorial Garden and Victory Mosque.
So here's Chris Christie, who once vetoed free EZ-Pass trips to and from work for employees of a South Jersey bridge authority, turning a blind eye to rampant overtime abuse while dissembling about whether exhorbitant tolls are or are not taxes. That free EZ Pass perk didn't come close to costing what the Port Authority pays one of it's overpriced police sergeants, let alone the $85.7 million in overtime they all racked up last year.
Tell me again why he's presidential material?
Coincidentally, today kicks off
Bridge and Tunnel Boycott Weekend. Just say NO to increased
taxes tolls. And to politicians who piss down our backs
and tell us it's raining.
As promised last Friday, I'm checking back in to see how Barry's doing in the job creation department. Yeah, I know, he's taking a little vacay time to wind down after the Magical Misery Bus Tour, but he's supposed to be working on a plan...
Speaking of the Obama family vacation, those his and hers jets were a nice touch, eh? I think they're on special in the Neiman Marcus Christmas catalog. I know I'm asking Santa for a pair, how about you?
It's too bad Barry didn't choose Atlanta for his vacation destination. Thousands of unemployed people braved the sweltering temperatures to camp out in their business suits and office heels just for the chance to attend a job fair. The unemployment rate in Georgia is at 10.1 percent; among the state's African-Americans it's 15.9%. Ouch.
Well, while they're downtown the folks in line might as well drop by the Food Stamp Office. According to Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack more people on food stamps means more jobs. Well sure, from his perspective that's probably (and sadly) true. Calling all bureaucrats, Job Fair at Tom Vilsack's house...
And since we're on the subject of government jobs I have good news! The Obama team's non-stop push to regulate every aspect of our lives has had one salutory effect — the demand for regulatory jobs is at an all-time high. Yup, 'tis true. The federal government is hiring nanny-state bureaucrats just as fast as their little fingers can fill out the requisition forms.
Get ready to pay more taxes kids, because when the government has extra mouths to feed you've gotta pick up the tab!
Hey, it's a start.
Who needs Congress when you're Barack Obama? With the stroke of his pen illegal aliens can now live the DREAM Act.
The Obama Administration today announced a virtual amnesty-by-decree for hundreds of thousands of illegal aliens, whose deportations will be "indefinitely delayed". In addition, Obama finally announced a jobs program — but for ILLEGAL ALIENS, not citizens — as those 300,000 illegals will also become eligible for "work permits."
This action represents an administrative end-run around Congress, which twice rejected the 'DREAM Act' in 2010.
Estados Unidos Aztlan! Of course nobody is
actually hiring, so take your brand new work permits right down to the
unemployment office. It's the first door on the left. And remember to
vote Democratic, it's easier than getting a job!
So, this morning Lance piled on the bus jokes bandwagon, a little late, but still funny.
And from last night, via a Facebook friend, I found this:
Sarah Palin has a red, white, and blue bus with the Constitution on it.
Obama has a black bus made in Canada.
Ron Paul has a short bus.
To which I added, "Rick Perry is driving the bus."
It sounded like such a great idea too. New Jersey would encourage the buildout of solar energy projects by issuing renewable energy credits, which could be sold to other energy producers who didn't jump on the green power bandwagon.
Why would they buy these credits? Because the government forces them to pay a Solar Alternative Compliance Payment (SACP), that's why. Each time a solar energy producer generates 1,000 kWh of electricity a Solar Renewable Energy Credit (SREC) is issued by the state. The saps in the SACP program must buy these credits, in a "market" administered by the Board of Public Utilities.
In the beginning, when there were relatively few solar producers and quite a lot of legacy providers, the price of SRECs was high. At $600 per SREC it covered most of the cost associated with building and running your own backyard solar farm.
But then a funny thing happened. Solar farms sprang up like weeds. As more providers entered the renewable energy market the state kept issuing those SRECs. A glut of SRECs sent their market price plummeting. Last year it was $300 per credit, yesterday the price was $151.
What's a budding solar entrepreneur to do? He can't break ever at $151 per SREC! So it's the government to the rescue…
Commissioners at the Board of Public Utilities said today they want to look into creating a floor price for solar power subsidy credits after the state's massive solar buildout resulted in a big price drop.
The price drop has already stopped some solar projects from getting financing in the last few weeks, according to BPU president Lee Solomon.
"It's been very hard to get the financial markets to back projects," Solomon said. "It's important to give them an assurance it won't go down to zero."
Yes, it's important for us to subsidize boondoggles. In the Real World this is known as Price Fixing and it's supposed to be illegal.
I'm reminded of a Ronald Reagan quote:
"Government's view of the economy could be summed up in a few short phrases: If it moves, tax it. If it keeps moving, regulate it. And if it stops moving, subsidize it."
Who needs "markets" when there's a bureaucrat setting the price?
Green power should stand on its own merits. It won't, of course. We all get to pay more for electricity so liberals can feel good about saving the planet.
At Orly Airport outside of Paris you'll be called to board your flight by a hologram. Not content to sneer at you in person, the French are experimenting with a "virtual" boarding agent.
The pilot project at Paris' Orly airport began last month, and has so far been met with a mix of amusement and surprise by travelers, who frequently try to touch and speak with the strikingly life-like video images that greet them and direct them to their boarding gate.
The images materialize seemingly out of thin air when a boarding agent -- a real live human -- presses a button to signal the start of boarding.
"Bonjour! I invite you to go to your boarding gate. Paris Airports wishes you a bon voyage," the image appears to say, while the name of the destination flashes in front of him.
Because there's nothing like that non-human touch to make you feel really special. And think I was kidding about the sneer? Check out the picture.
"Now, get on your plane or I shall taunt you a second time..."
In August 2009 President Obama appointed Regina Dugan as director of the Pentagon's Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA).
Soon thereafter DARPA awarded millions of dollars worth of contracts to her family firm, which in turn owes her at least a quarter-million dollars.
The Pentagon's Inspector General is launching an audit of those deals — and of every other research contract Darpa has signed during Dugan's two-year tenure.
The probe isn't itself an accusation of wrongdoing; just an investigation to see if any occurred. Darpa representatives have insisted that the agency acted properly in its dealings with RedXDefense — the bomb detection firm Dugan co-founded with her father, Vince Dugan. She recused herself from any decisions involving the company, they say, and RedXDefense won its $1.7 million in research contracts from Darpa fair and square.
DARPA used to have a rule requiring all employees to divest themselves of stock in companies the agency did business with.
Regina Dugan rescinded that rule.
And then the company she owns just happened to get themselves some nice fat contracts.
Also picked up by Wombat-socho for Live At Five at The Other McCain!
My wife posted this link on Facebook earlier today. And it got me to thinking about Ron Paul.
Pay Pal founder and early Facebook investor Peter Thiel has given $1.25 million to an initiative to create floating libertarian countries in international waters.
Thiel has been a big backer of the Seasteading Institute, which seeks to build sovereign nations on oil rig-like platforms to occupy waters beyond the reach of law-of-the-sea treaties. The idea is for these countries to start from scratch--free from the laws, regulations, and moral codes of any existing place. Details says the experiment would be "a kind of floating petri dish for implementing policies that libertarians, stymied by indifference at the voting booths, have been unable to advance: no welfare, looser building codes, no minimum wage, and few restrictions on weapons."
It's a Ronulan wet dream!
Instead of wasting our time with his presidential aspirations the Libertarian Messiah can start his own country! Gold standard? Check! (And no pesky Federal Reserve and their fractional-reserve banking either, just cold, hard cash.) All the dope you wanna smoke too. No standing army though, but Stormfront will be waiting in the wings…
Security might be a problem though, what with all that gold laying around.
Past natural disasters, the main predator for this idea will be other countries which are envious of the prosperity. Are you a petty megalomaniac who was snubbed by a Seasteading leader? Get yourself a diesel-electric boat and slide a torpedo into it. Cheap, anonymous retribution. Even the mere threat of such will trigger the clanging sound of sphincters slamming shut.
Maybe Iran will lend him a hand. But there's a price to pay for that too.
Either way it'll be fun to watch the paleo-libertarians get mugged by reality.
What our nation needs is a new government agency! That's the latest Obama plan to get America working again. He's going to create a Department of Jobs.
A new department -- potentially merging the Commerce Department, the office of the U. S. Trade Representative and some economic divisions at the State Department -- is an idea first brought up by the president during the State of the Union address earlier this year.
Unless he gets Steve Jobs to run it, and maybe hire everyone who's unemployed, I don't really see the point.
Then since he's got Reorg Fever, while he's consolidating over here, look yonder and he's busy dismembering Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac over there.
According to The Washington Post, one of the options is to restructure Fannie and Freddie as public utilities managed by a government regulator. Or the two mortgage giants could be closed and replaced with numerous successors that would have their mortgage-backed securities guaranteed by the government in exchange for a fee, the newspaper reported.
Oh great, thousands of little Fannies and Freddies rampaging hither and yon, hiring every homosexual who's ever shaken hands with Barney Frank.
Jobs! For bureaucrats' boyfriends! Because the world needs more unionized government employees.
Whatever way you slice it, Barry's got nuthin'.
Meanwhile, a new generation of community organizers have hatched a plan to boycott Barry's Magical Misery Bus Tour.
With unemployment exacting an outsize toll on African-American men and women, a coalition of community groups sees it as a crucial civil rights issue emerging from the country's economic woe.
Flanking a statue of Abraham Lincoln outside the Essex County Courthouse, activists are starting a 381-day protest modeled after one of the most famous battles of the Civil Rights era — the Montgomery bus boycott in 1955-56.
Today's activists are calling on President Obama and Congress to institute a jobs program akin to the Works Progress Administration of the Great Depression. The WPA employed millions of unskilled Americans in public works jobs.
OK, not exactly. They're demanding he implement the ultimate Keynesian solution. Employ one group of workers to dig a hole, and another to fill it in again. Everyone works for the government!
Well, except the layabouts. They'll still get their checks, right? Barry wouldn't dare cut welfare or social security or any of the 67,412 other wealth-redistribution programs administered by the Department of Redundancy Department, would he?
Of course not. Like Tom Vilsack says,
putting folks on the dole creates jobs too!
Yesterday in Iowa Obama blamed "bad luck" for the country's dismal economy.
"We had reversed the recession, avoided a depression, gotten the economy moving again," Obama told a crowd in Decorah, Iowa. "But over the last six months we've had a run of bad luck."
On the plus side, at least he's stopped blaming George W. Bush!
Paul Krugman has a sure-fire plan to put Americans back to work. He wants us to prepare for an invasion.
By space aliens.
I checked the date; no, it's not April 1st.
Apparently, there's nothing like a little inter-galactic war to get the economy humming again.
Finally, some aliens the liberals won't give drivers licenses to!
If we send a captured space alien to Guantanamo Bay will he be entitled to an alien lawyer? Can we even read him his Miranda Rights if none of the guys who arrested him know how to speak Klingon?
There ya go Barry, Herr Doktor Professor Krugman has provided your job creation idea of the week.
You can call it "Plan 9 From Outer Space."
Oddly enough, after this interview was over, space aliens did show up, but it was only to cancel their subscription to the New York Times. Unfortunately though, the aliens were exposed to our Krugmanized economic atmosphere for too long, which resulted in three of them getting laid off before they could make it back to the spaceship.
Now that's funny.
Warren Buffett is back with his "please tax me more" inanity. This time it's an op-ed in The New York Times. One of my liberal-leaning Facebook buds sent me the link this morning.
I've already covered the you-can-pay-more-anytime-you-want angle. But it's worth repeating.
Anyone who wants to can voluntarily pay more taxes anytime they want! Simply make your check payable to "Bureau of the Public Debt" and mail it to the IRS. No muss, no fuss, no tax increase necessary.
In fact, this morning on MSNBC Pat Buchanan challenged Warren Buffett to do just that.
PAT BUCHANAN: No, I'm writing a note to Warren Buffett. But look, I'm a little fed up with these people who come on, you know, their big op-eds, all these admonitions. Why doesn't he set an example and send a check for $5 billion to the federal government? He's got about $40 billion. You get all this noise from these big rich folks. Let them send checks and set an example instead of writing op-eds.
They write op-eds because they aren't serious. But when I pointed out this hypocrisy on my buddy's Facebook page, another of his friends chimed in:
He's got the right, or should I say, correct, idea in my opinion. He's also a very decent man. Maybe you could learn a thing or two from him, but probably not since greedy minds are closed.
Yes, I could indeed learn a thing or two from Warren Buffett. Like how to avoid paying taxes. What, do you think Warren got rich by sending big checks to Uncle Sam? Hell, no! He got rich because he has an army of accountants to find loopholes and legions of lobbyists to ensure that his investments always receive the most favorable tax treatment.
What Warren Buffett really wants is for everyone else to pay more taxes. Besides, Tax The Rich doesn't work. Obama could take every last dime they have and it still wouldn't pay for even one year's worth of federal spending.
The only way, The! Only! Way!, to increase tax revenues is to grow the economy. When more people are working and earning money and starting businesses aggregate tax revenues will go up. A lot.
Warren Buffett knows this. But if he said it the Times wouldn't publish his op-ed, nor would he get his own Memeorandum thread.
Here's a fun fact. Warren Buffett has already structured his estate so that his entire fortune goes to charity when he dies. Uncle Sam won't get five cents in estate tax revenue from him! Does that sound like a guy who wants to pay more taxes?
Go ahead Warren, be a Big Shot. Write a check. And then, STFU.
To recap the weekend…T-Paw is out, Rick Perry is in.
More importantly, Ron Paul didn't.
Sarah Palin's coming to town. You better watch out…
39 percent of America is still smoking crack.
The Classic Liberal recently channeled Murrary Rothbard on what it means to be a Libertarian, and more importantly a champion for Liberty. It's worth a read, as CL expects we'll see within it an inspiration for today's Conservative movement. Mind Numbed Robot pulled out the money quote:
"I have need to be all on fire, for I have mountains of ice about me to melt." It is this spirit that must mark the man truly dedicated to the cause of liberty.
To Rothbard a dedication to Liberty is akin to a passion for justice, and more importantly the need to eradicate all forms of injustice, the greatest of which is poverty. He cites an historical example:
Let us take an example: England's centuries-long occupation and brutal oppression of the Irish people. Now if, in 1900, we had looked at the state of Ireland, and we had considered the poverty of the Irish people, we would have had to say: poverty could be improved by the English getting out and removing their land monopolies, but the ultimate elimination of poverty in Ireland, under the best of conditions, would take time and be subject to the workings of economic law. But the goal of ending English oppression — that could have been done by the instantaneous action of men's will: by the English simply deciding to pull out of the country.
Which begets the question, "Would you push the button?"
The true test, then, is the button-pushing test: if we could push the button for instantaneous abolition of unjust invasions of liberty, would we do it?
And the consensus among my friends in #vrwc is not just "yes," but Hell yes!
But as I read the same passage I thought, where else have I heard a similar tale of oppressive woe and promise of economic liberty? Ah yes, the Palestinians. Re-read Rothbard's Irish example, but fast-forward to 1947 while substituting "Palestinian" for "Irish" and "Israel" for "England."
Still wanna push that button?
And for that matter, the IRA aren't choir boys either.
Oppression causes poverty? This is some sort of conservative principle? Didn't Lyndon Johnson say pretty much the same thing?
Murray Rothbard, meet Robert A. Heinlein:
Throughout history, poverty is the normal condition of man. Advances which permit this norm to be exceeded — here and there, now and then — are the work of an extremely small minority, frequently despised, often condemned, and almost always opposed by all right-thinking people. Whenever this tiny minority is kept from creating, or (as sometimes happens) is driven out of a society, the people then slip back into abject poverty.
This is known as "bad luck."
There is no "luck" button.
Every week, yes folks every single week from now on, President Obama is going to deliver new ideas to create jobs. It's The Idea Of The Week Club!
I know he's just getting started, but let's see what this week's ideas are.
New, stricter fuel-economy standards for heavy trucks which will force thousands of long-haul truckers out of business and significantly increase expenses on all trucking companies.
Nope, no new jobs there. But the Department of Transportation is on a roll.
All farmers must get commercial drivers licences. New regulations introduced by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, which is a part of DOT, reclassify all farm vehicles and implements as Commercial Motor Vehicles. Everybody on the farm who drives a tractor now needs a CDL.
Your riding mower has to display a US DOT number. And don't forget to log your miles. In triplicate. Ray LaHood wants to know how many hours you worked each month too.
The EPA is plowing forward with new Maximum Achievable Control Technology (MACT) mandates. The regulations would force coal energy plants to install giant scrubber-like materials inside smokestacks to capture and cleanse carbon particles before their atmospheric release.
The upgrade cost would fall on company employees and coal miners in the form of layoffs, as well as on businesses, which could expect to pay more for energy.
Hmmm. Not a lot of job creation in that department. But Gaia is happy!
New federal regulations are strangling New Hampshire's fishing fleet. Under the old regulations Captain Neil Pike ran 3 boats a day alongside 25 to 30 others from the small harbor in Seabrook, NH. New "catch-share" standards imposed earlier this year limit his annual haul so dramatically he's cut back to fishing from 2 boats, 3 days a week, and he sees only a handful of others still trying to eke out a living from the sea. His net income is down by more than half.
Doesn't sound like he'll be hiring anyone.
The Labor Department plans to remove the "companionship exemption" from the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). This exemption from minimum wage and overtime requirements for some personal care assistants was affirmed by the U.S. Supreme Court. Oftentimes an elderly or infirm person merely needs someone else in the house in order to remain independent. Live-in and sleep-over time provides family members with a vital respite while requiring little or no actual "work." Dramatically increasing the cost of these services would tend to price most caregivers out of the market.
Your babysitter wants a union.
The FDA has reclassified walnuts as a "drug." Diamond Foods sells walnuts, which they tout as good for you. The FDA sent them a "cease and desist" letter. "Because of these intended uses, your walnut products are drugs ... Your walnut products are also new drugs ... [Therefore] they may not be legally marketed in the United States without an approved new drug application." Oh, and since there are no instructions on the package as to how to eat a walnut, they wrote, "the labeling for these drugs fails to bear adequate directions for use."
The nuts at the FDA are off the wall.
On the plus side, this last example might just create some new jobs. For lawyers.
Keep up the good work Barry! I'll check back next week and let you guys know
if he has any more job
crushing creating ideas. I'm sure
they'll be doozies!
Think about it: you so look forward to twisting off that first bottlecap, that first long swig, and soon you're relaxed and happy and having a great time. But sooner or later, you wake up with a splitting headache, lying next to somebody you'd swear looked a lot different when you met her.
Heh. He's on a roll, read the whole thing. I'll wait.
One of the duties of a father is to teach his daughter the songs and traditions of his ancestors. And to that end I recently helped Sophie to learn my favorite variation of the Beer Barrel Polka:
In Heaven there is no beer
That's why we drink it here
And when we're gone from here
Our friends will be drinking all our beer
Much to the chagrin of her counselors, when it was her turn to lead a camp fire song, guess what song she chose? It sure was a hit with the other nine and ten year olds though! That's my girl!
So, nobody ever taught this song to Rick Santorum? Everybody, sing along!
Oh, wait. That wasn't an actual quote. It's what some whiny homosexuals said that he said. Because he was trying to make a point about same-sex marriage.
"It's like saying this glass of water is a glass of beer. Well, you can call it a glass of beer, but it's not a glass of beer. It's a glass of water. And water is what water is. Marriage is what marriage is," he said.
So if marriage is like water, same-sex marriage is oil and water. Or rather, beer and water. Can't mix. That makes sense.
Now do you see the problem? Crummy visual aids! He didn't have any beer handy.
Somebody get that man a six pack of Yuengling.
A Muslim-American Army private was indicted yesterday on charges he intended to use firearms and explosives to kill American soldiers at Fort Hood. You remember Fort Hood, where another Muslim-American bent on jihad infiltrated our armed forces and killed 13 soldiers who were about to be deployed to Iraq and Afghanistan.
But wait, here's the best part. This kid who was arrested before he could murder the Real Patriots serving alongside him? He claimed to be a pacifist. Pfc. Naser Jason Abdo was approved as a conscientious objector after citing his Muslim beliefs.
Which would be the belief that it's forbidden by Allah for one Muslim to kill another. Even in a war. But killing American infidels? That's sanctioned by the Koran! It's his holy duty! The Palestinians are gonna pin a medal on him.
And yet there are people who wonder why I never take that Religion of Peace™ shit seriously.
An IBEW local 827 striker used his daughter as a human shield to prevent an oncoming Verizon truck — presumably carrying non-union employees — from crossing his picket line.
You should hear how this goon talks in front of his daughter. That's some mighty fine parenting going on right there, and a stellar example he's setting for an impressionable young girl. No wonder then that the budding Leni Riefenstahl who shot it pulled the video from YouTube soon after it was uploaded. I think the intent was to personalize the union's struggle, that is until somebody realized Dad-of-the-Year doesn't exactly help their cause with such a hate-filled expletive-laden tirade.
But guess what? The Internet never forgets. LiveLeak has the video!
My last post on this strike brought the union shills out of the woodwork, mostly to call me names and tell me how stupid I am. I wonder if they'll return to defend Mr. Potty Mouth's unique interpretation of Bring Your Daughter to Work Day. I can't wait!
Things are going to get a whole lot worse before they get better. That's not my opinion; it's what Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke said today.
The Fed again slashed its economic outlook, and said it would keep rates low through 2013, indicating it may cut back its massive balance sheet at that time, an easing which expanded by Treasury purchases in a bid to keep rates low.
No more Fed stimulus until (maybe) 2013. Until then we're on our own, they're not even gonna try anything else. Not that the stuff they've done so far has done any good, but still…
Gee, what could be so special about 2013?
Well for starters, 2013 will likely see the inauguration of President Not-Barack-Obama. That alone would be cause for jubilation. And if we also see the swearing in of a few dozen more adults into both houses of Congress? Irrational exuberance might make a comeback!
So why then did
the market jump back from the abyss today? Beats me. But maybe it has
something to with Bernanke's announcement. Now that folks know his plans, or
lack thereof!, they can make plans of their own. Certainty. It's
good for the economy. And sadly it's the one thing that's still in exceedingly
He's (almost) in. According to POLITICO, Texas Governor Rick Perry intends to use a speech in South Carolina Saturday to make clear that he's running for president.
Then he'll immediately head on up to New Hampshire and Iowa.
Oh yeah, he's in.
Doctor Doofenshmirtz President Obama, Perry the
President will foil your dastardly plans! He'll deactivate your
Downgrade-inator and get this country working again! And since he's not another
establishment retread like
Mitt Romney he'll be more appealing to a wider range of voters too.
The pro-Perry ads are already popping up. Good. The media is busy tut-tutting over his prayer rally this past weekend. Feh. There's no shame in praying for a better tomorrow. It beats blaming everyone else but yourself for the train wreck around you. And Texas leads the nation in job creation, or as I heard it told, "Do you know who else inherited a crappy economy from George W. Bush? Rick Perry."
No wonder then that Obama's EPA is trying so hard to put the brakes on Rick Perry's Texas job creation machine. Can't have one of these upstart conservatives making El Jefe look bad!
But these days, El Jefe is doing a fine job of looking bad all by himself.
Barack Obama is the disease. Rick Perry is the cure. Tell your friends.
Fishersville Mike was likewise inspired. Thanks guys!
I started seeing the search queries in my server logs a couple of weeks ago. They vere all variations of "can I collect unemployment while on strike in NJ." And they found this rant from January of 2009, when the NJ State Supreme Court ruled that yes, strikers are entitled to unemployment benefits.
At 12:01 AM this morning 45,000 unionized workers at Verizon Communications went on strike. They're demanding higher wages and even more lavish benefits. And thanks to some idiotic unelected judges those of us who show up at our jobs on Monday morning will have the privilege of subsidizing their summer vacations*.
The Obama recession has emptied New Jersey's unemployment insurance fund because so many of us are involuntarily out of work. Walking away from your perfectly good job and then claiming you are "unemployed" is a lot like the kid who killed his parents and then begged for mercy because he was an orphan.
But of course labor unions aren't known for their subtlety, or their grasp of economic realities. The average union worker at Verizon takes home around $85,000 per year, along with a benefits package valued at more than $50,000. Not exactly chicken feed, eh?
For their part Verizon is promising no interruption in service. They've cross-trained management employees to step in and cover the strikers' work assignments. But I think they should go one better and fire every one of the ungrateful little whingers. You strikers wanna play at being unemployed? Why not try the Real Thing!
There are plenty of truly unemployed folks around here who'd jump at the chance to score a job paying $85K a year. And you'll note that Verizon already knows how to train your replacements. Yeah, you're not irreplaceable.
Verizon's bargaining position should reflect that reality — Nice jobs you union hacks have, it'd be a shame if we decided to give them to somebody who'll actually appreciate having one.
* Ever notice how these union featherbedders never go on strike in January? Too cold! August is the perfect time for a little R&R on the beach courtesy of us taxpayers. Isn't your union strike fund supposed to keep you in clover while you stroll the
boardwalk picket lines? What's
that? Richard Trumka gave all your dues money to Obama? Bwhahahahaha! I hope
you greedy bastards choke on your pina coladas.
UPDATE 07 Aug 2011 20:22:
Getting some good comments on this one! Keep 'em coming.
One thing though, my major beef is with the strikers believing they're entitled to unemployment compensation, not with the terms of Verizon's latest contract offer. You guys walked off the job voluntarily. Collecting unemployment is a kick in the ass to the thousands of New Jerseyans who've been laid off and seen their unemployment benefits run out.
You want a better deal with VZ? Great, work on that at the bargaining table. But striking? That's awfully selfish given the economic realities facing a whole lot of the customers you claim to care about.
A nonprofit backed by U.S. Rep. Chaka Fattah (D., Pa.) spent more than $2 million in federal funds to provide environmental education to Philadelphia high school students — including trips to a resort in the U.S. Virgin Islands.
For three years, the Caribbean-American Mission for Research, Education, and Action ran an exchange program for students at Overbrook High School and two island high schools.
The Philadelphia students and their adult chaperones stayed at the Marriott Frenchman's Reef beachfront resort, on what the hotel website calls a "luminous white sand beach framed with the majestic turquoise waters of the Caribbean."
Fattah's longtime friend James P. Baker Jr. was paid as much as $142,000 annually to run the organization, far more than usual for charities of that size. One federal audit said students on one trip spent "less than half" their time learning about the environment.
(h/t Robert Stacy McCain)
I'll bet that for every Democrat who says government spending can't be cut I can find a thousand of these boondoggles scattered hither and yon within the federal leviathon.
Is sending inner city kids on a tropical vacation a cool idea? Absolutely.
Is it something we can afford to do given the current economic and budgetary outlook? Um, no.
So before anybody starts prattling on again about "raising revenues" how about we first scour the budget and purge each and every one of these potentially worthy but non-essential line items. The times, they have a-changed. Caribbean vacations are a luxury, and the luxury fund is bone dry.
But there might be a way for those Philly high-schoolers to still enjoy a week of educational beachfront seminars, if they're willing to work a little. Ask the band kids how it's done. They sell candy, wash cars, mow lawns, rake leaves, and pretty much do whatever it takes to raise the cash to finance their trips. And you know what, they appreciate it more because they earned it.
Hey, that's a lesson that just might come in handy later on in life!
Apropos of yesterday's credit rating debacle:
Could this be the theme song for the eventual GOP nominee?
The United States lost its top-notch AAA credit rating from Standard & Poor's on Friday in an unprecedented reversal of fortune for the world's largest economy.
S&P cut the long-term U.S. credit rating by one notch to AA-plus on concerns about the government's budget deficits and rising debt burden. The move is likely to raise borrowing costs eventually for the American government, companies and consumers.
"The downgrade reflects our opinion that the fiscal consolidation plan that Congress and the Administration recently agreed to falls short of what, in our view, would be necessary to stabilize the government's medium-term debt dynamics," S&P said in a statement.
It was the Obama plan all along — destroy America. They're high-fiving each in the White House right now. Cloward and Piven are on top of the world as the United States of America is brought to its knees by Bill Ayers' Alinskyite protege.
Remember this quote from Allen West?
"I must confess, when I see anyone with an Obama 2012 bumper sticker, I recognize them as a threat to the gene pool."
Sorry Congressman, it's far more serious than that.
When I seen anyone with an Obama 2012 bumper sticker, I recognize them as a threat to the America I know and love.
Put that in your Memeorandum thread and smoke it, progressive assholes. Now we have proof that you are the enemy.
Bank of New York Mellon Corp. on Thursday took the extraordinary step of telling large clients it will charge them to hold cash.
The unusual move means some U.S. depositors will have to pay to keep big chunks of money in a bank, marking a stark new phase of the long-running global financial crisis.
Well, there is one job Obama is really focused on saving. His own.
If the government were an individual household, the only way out would be to cut spending and find new sources of wealth. Given worldwide demand for food and fuel, and given recent quite astounding new finds of natural gas and oil in the Dakotas, the eastern seaboard, offshore, the American west, Alaska, and Canada, it seems that we should be hell-bent on recovering these high-value fuels through new drilling, refineries, and pipelines, including ways to power our heavy trucks and equipment on natural gas. We should be planting acre to acre and end nonsensical biofuel subsidies and artificial limitations on irrigation deliveries to California's West Side and elsewhere in the West. We need a national manufacturing policy that prunes regulations and encourages investment here in the U.S., ceases talk of new taxes, repeals the trillion-dollar take-over of the health-care industry, and stops hectoring Boeing about opening a new facility or trying to shut down energy generation plants. Unemployment, food stamps, gargantuan debt, absorption of private companies, solar and wind subsidies, new environmental, labor, and financial regulations atop an existing labyrinth of red tape — all that has not led to new job creation or economic growth.
The banks don't want our money. The. Banks. Don't. Want. Our. Money.
Yeah, the country is in the very best of hands.
If the only tool you have is a hammer, every problem looks like a nail.
And if your only tool is "raise taxes," you might be a Democrat.
Desperate to find new sources of revenue after the debt ceiling debacle Congressional Democrats have dusted off an old and crappy idea — Tax the Internet.
A group of Democratic senators and congressmen have rolled out legislation that would raise new revenues by targeting online sales from retailers like Amazon.
These lawmakers say that states are losing billions in uncollected state and local sales tax on Internet sales and are touting an across-the-board system that would make tax collections simple.
Because what our economy needs right now is the imposition of extra costs on business resulting in higher prices for consumers!
The bill introduced by Sen. Dick Durbin, D-Ill., last week called the Main Street Fairness Act, has drawn support from several Democrats, including Sens. Tim Johnson of South Dakota, Jack Reed of Rhode Island, Reps. John Conyers of Michigan, Peter Welch of Vermont and Heath Shuler of North Carolina.
A veritable Who's-Who of tax-and-spend profligacy singing the only song they know. And that's one Orwellian name for a job-killer too, eh? The Main Street Fairness Act. Fairness for whom? You? Me? The guy who sells a few books on eBay?
Internet taxes are a nightmare for the small seller. Heck, regular in-state sales taxes are annoyingly complex enough. There is no need to impose another onerous burden on businesses, especially during a protracted recession.
Compliance and deadweight costs are expected to be as much as 17 cents for every dollar by one estimate. That's enough to drive the little guys with smaller margins out of business, which is the last thing we need with the economy slowing to a crawl.
Democrats don't care about the little guys. If they did they'd find a way to lighten our burdens rather than continually seeking to impose new and costly encumberances on every productive member of society.
Internet taxes? Just say no!
The United States is apparently one PowerPoint slide away from devolving into a total Christian theocracy.
The Air Force has suspended a course that was taught by chaplains for more than 20 years because the material included Bible passages.
The course, called "Christian Just War Theory" was taught by chaplains at Vandenberg Air Force Base and used scripture from both the Old and New Testaments to show missile launch officers that it can be moral to go to war.
But the Military Religious Freedom Foundation said the course violated the Constitutional Separation of Church and State. The organization was created to "directly battle the far-right militant radical evangelical fundamentalists" in the military.
The MRFF filed a complaint last Wednesday on behalf of 31 missile launch officers — both instructors and students.
David Smith, the spokesman for the Air Force's Air Education and Training Command, said the main purpose of the class was to help missile launch officers understand that "what they are embarking on is very difficult and you have to have a certain amount of ethics about what you are doing to do that job."
He said the class was suspended the same day the complaint was filed. The class is currently under review by Air Force officials who will determine whether or not to revise the material or end the class.
Yes, curse those Christers for caring whether or not the air crews under their command can sleep at night with one finger on the button. Because what is really important in Barack Obama's Pentagon is that no one must be offended. Ever.
So I guess those atheist whingers don't particularly like the Geneva or Hague Conventions either. Neither of those documents, nor the United Nations Charter, could exist without the underlying principles of Christian just-war theory.
Our military is comprised of hundreds of thousands of Christians and thousands of members of other faiths (and thousands of atheists as well). They come from different intellectual and spiritual traditions, and the government is emphatically not "serving" them when it essentially acts as if they — or their ideas — don't exist.
I've said it before, and I'll keep on saying it. Freedom of religion does not require freedom from religion.
Ah, but to the intellectually superior atheist mindset, religion is nothing more than mumbo-jumbo, befuddling the mind and clouding one's judgment. They cannot admit that it might have any redeeming qualities or else their entire worldview would be exposed for the empty sham that it is. Then where would they be?
So we have legions of petty nitpickers prowling the vast corridors of our nation's institutions, ever vigilant for the specter of theological armageddon. Because one rogue Christian idea, uttered from the mouth of a government employee, is sufficient to demolish the wall which keeps their minds isolated and pure. And if a Bible should find its way onto Federal property? Why that could lead to whittling the Tree of Liberty into Rosary Beads and miniature Crucifixes!
The First Commandment is thus, I am the Lord thy God; thou shalt not have strange Gods before Me. But to an atheist the State is their god, it reigns supreme, and so they apply that one commandment with fervent vigor whilst ignoring all the others.
The Air Force is hardly "establishing" a religion by recognizing that wisdom lies within the most popular book ever written. I am sure that they draw their course materials from a wide variety of sources, most of whom are not named Matthew, Mark, Luke, or John. Yet Christians rightfully find no fault whatsoever in them doing so.
I would draw a parallel with the vaunted concept of "tolerance" here, but I'm afraid I would be wasting my pixels. Atheists and their secular brethren are not interested in "tolerance," they are agents of despotic totalitarianism, determined to impose their will on us, and completely reluctant to consider any viewpoint other than their own.
Set your moral compasses to "wobbly" my friends, the U.S. military is about
to go off the rails. Father forgive them, for they know not what they do.
It's only a rumor, but these things have a way of portending reality. Turbo Tax Timmy makes no secret of his desire to crawl back under his rock on Wall Street, and now that the debt ceiling deal is done he might just find himself walking the plank to atone for the Administration's failed economic recovery.
But, who will Barry tap to replace him? More and more one name keeps popping up — Jon Corzine.
Because nobody knows more about ruining an economy and screwing over hard working taxpayers than our former governor! He was so gosh-darned good at it here in New Jersey!
I can only think of one man who could do a worse job at Treasury than Tim Geithner has done.
Yup, Jon Corzine. Which, of course, is precisely why he's a shoo-in.
I recently received this joke in an email:
A Republican and a Democrat were walking down the street when they came to a homeless person. The Republican gave the homeless person his business card and told him to come to his business for a job. He then took twenty dollars out of his pocket and gave it to the homeless person.
The Democrat was very impressed, and when they came to another homeless person, he decided to help. He walked over to the homeless person and gave him directions to the welfare office. He then reached into the Republican's pocket and gave him fifty dollars.
So true; just ask Joe Biden. I guess earning less, but giving more, makes me a terrorist in Joe's book. It's OK; unlike Joe Biden I believe that sharing good fortune should be voluntary, and certainly not confiscated at gunpoint for the amusement of the mendacious masses.
If I'm being extra philosophical this evening cut me some slack, because Zilla reminded me of the need to "pay it forward."
She's barely treading water herself but does she complain? Nope! When things looked bleakest the blogosphere rallied to her side and that's one blessing she'll never forget. And as she makes clear, there are others whose need is greater.
Please take the time to read her post describing 5 of the many people who are living on the edge of Obamanomics. Their stories are heartbreaking, all the more so because these aren't layabouts waiting for a handout, they're solid Americans who've fallen on hard times and wish desperately for the opportunity to once again earn an honest living.
If you haven't got a penny, a ha'penny will do. And if you haven't got a ha'penny, a kind word and a whispered prayer are oftentimes the difference between utter despair and the courage to stand up to face another day. Visit their blogs, say hello, and keep these fine folks in your hearts as you count your own blessings and kiss your children goodnight.
Yes, The Lord will provide. But sometimes what He provides is us,
and we have to do our part. Yes, it takes a blogosphere.
Ladies (and girls), get in line for your latest government handout — free birth control pills! And breast pumps and condoms and pap smears and of course the "morning after" pill.
The new guidelines, which the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) labeled "historic," will require new health insurance plans to include women's preventive services including FDA approved contraceptives, breast feeding support, and well-women visits — all without charging a co-payment, co-insurance or a deductible — beginning August 1, 2012.
Free stuff! From Barry and the Democrats! Vote for them!
But of course "free stuff" is not actually free. Somebody's gotta pay. And that somebody is Maggie. She's not pleased.
I learned today that I am forced to pay for your birth control and your morning-after, or a-few-days-later, abortion. Condoms included. It will all be "free" to you, because Obama said so. I'll pay for your breast pump and other breast feeding "supports." If I'm sounding bitter, I guess I shouldn't. "These historic guidelines are based on science and existing literature." Nevermind. I'm. Still. Bitter. No copays. Complete coverage. You still have time to run out and buy your condoms. Coverage starts today. There's about 4 hours left to do what you're going to do and bill it to me. Go on now. Ron Burgundy is waiting.
Yup, the bottom line is buried in the various news reports:
Of course, insurers are likely to pass the cost of free screenings to their customers through higher premiums.
Proving once again that ObamaCare won't save us money. It's more socialist cost-shifting, because according to HHS, "currently, nearly one in three women finds it difficult to pay for birth control."
Really? Maggie's not convinced, and she's on a roll:
How many of you who cannot afford your own "birth control" smoke and/or drink, have cell phones, and autos, eat lunch out, have tattoos and pierced ears, get a mani-pedi to boost your spirits, and have more than one television set? When you go out to party it's only on Ladies Free Night…right? You don't ever buy romance novels, or tabloid rags at the Super Market…right? And of course, you're not paying any income tax — so I pay that for you as well. And what's wrong with your man? He can't provide for you? Oh, I see…you don't know where to find him?…don't remember his name…never knew his name? Or how about that hubby or live-in? Bet he drinks his weight in beer. And smokes. Eats pork rinds by the gross.
C'mon Maggie, you're eviscerating feminist dogma here! Women have just as much right to cat around as men! So long as someone else pays for it. We can't have the little dears depleting their pin money, can we?
The important thing is that the government cares about women's health. They really do! They're like the Hallmark of health care — they care enough to make you pay for the very best. For someone else.
I think we're supposed to be grateful for their benevolence. It says so on page 1933 of the Affordable Care Act, right under the Pledge of Allegiance to the spirit of FDR that all our kids will be forced to learn in school in order to receive their daily allocation of government cheese.
TANSTAFBC, so BOHICA!
They broke a cardinal rule of blogging though, the wankers didn't link me (which is admittedly hard to do in their dead tree edition). But in an editorial published in Wednesday July 27th's paper the Star-Ledger quoted me verbatim. Google Blog Search says I'm the source of the quote they mocked; all the other hits are libtards echoing the S-L. Can't a guy get a little credit around here?
In January, when Gov. Chris Christie announced he was nominating Sohail Mohammed, a Muslim, to the Superior Court bench, the right-wing blogosphere went bonkers.
The internet headlines screamed: "More creeping Sharia!" and "Chris Christie has a Muslim problem!" and "Chris Christie doubles-down on Sharia-compliant judicial nominee!"
That last one? It's the headline for this post.
Rather than refute what I said, they resorted to name calling:
Insulting, racist, narrow-minded stuff from lunatics who consider themselves patriots.
Can you feel the condescending sneer? 'Cause I think I got some of it on me.
Listen up Bub. I was a Patriot before you were in diapers. And for the record I didn't "insult" Sohail Mohammed, and I most certainly did not play the race card. But I gotta say, if you hosers think I'm a "lunatic," well I consider that to be badge of honor.
Their straw man revolves around criticism of Mr. Mohammed's "religious background." Which is hogwash. I criticized his actions, his statements, and his documented affiliations. As in documented affiliations with terrorists.
None of these facts made it into their editorial.
Fact: Sohail Mohammed is a board member of the American Muslim Union, a group known to be sympathetic to terrorists.
Fact: Sohail Mohammed called the conviction of terrorism financier Sami Al-Arian a "witch hunt."
Fact: Sohail Mohammed sings the praises of the Holy Land Foundation, a documented conduit for financing Hamas. The U.S. State Department shut them down for being sponsors of terrorism.
Fact: Sohail Mohammed proclaimed the innocence of the Fort Dix Six, even after they were convicted of plotting a mass-casuality attack on the NJ army base.
Fact: Sohail Mohammed defended convicted terrorist Imam Mohammed Qatanani, and sponsored Qatanani for a Green Card even after it was proven the terrorist cum holy man lied on his application for permanent U.S. residency.
Those facts, complete with corroborating links!, are included in my original post, the one that the Star-Ledger felt no need to let their readers see for themselves.
It's an "oversight" which makes a whole lot more sense after we read another of their editorials, published yesterday, extolling the "wisdom" of Tariq Ramadan, Hamas spokes-tool and apologist for mass murder. They call him an "intellectual." Because it is apparently "Islamophobic" to suggest the Mohammedans' version of Che Guevara isn't in actuality the reincarnation of Albert Schweitzer.
This is what passes for liberal insight in 2011 America — indifference to the atrocities committed by Muslims, much like an earlier generation of progressive ideologues ignored the victims of communism while defending Alger Hiss and the Rosenbergs.
Even though the Star-Ledger's newest BFF favors the total eradication of Israel it's all good because he says he is "an agent of peace." Presumably that's the kind of peace we'll have right after the last Jew is stuffed into an oven. But hey, why quibble over details when they're busy singing Kumbaya with a bunch of "moderate" Muslims, right?
So, a modern-day Walter Duranty calls me a lunatic? Yeah, I think I'm doing something right.
UPDATE 02 Aug 2011 10:23:
The Star-Ledger might not link me, but Real Bloggers do!
Some claim that there are two kind of people: those that think there are two kinds of people, and those that don't. Me, I think that very statement is false. So, I'm not sure what kind of person that makes me. I do know some of you have labeled me "liberal", Maybe I don't salute the flag in exactly the perfect way you imagine the founding fathers originally intended. Fine. If calling me a liberal pleases you, so long as it doesn't cost me any money, abuse any kids, pollute my water, or displace the deer population from your subdivision into my cornfield, you can call me whatever you want. Sticks and stones, baby. Sticks and stones.
What I am may be uncertain, but I am most assuredly not Wysocki. I did the best I could to amuse you in his absence, but even my best efforts fall far short of his worst. I was flattered he thought I could hold the fort for him in his absence, but now that he's back I'm relieved I no longer need to live up to his standard. It's not easy being the warm up band for Springsteen, let me tell you.
I will now retire from the WyBlog front page, returning my liberal, left wing, Islamist sympathizing, pinko, pansy, one world, eggheaded ideas to the comments where you can more easily ignore them.
UPDATE 01 Aug 2011 20:01:
Wy here; please allow me to say a few words of thanks to my friend Nadz.
And no, I didn't pay him for that amazing testimonial up there! Wow, a guy could get a big head or something if he wasn't careful. Thanks bud.
You done good by the blog my friend, you carried the torch with style. Like you said, it wasn't my style, but man can not live on WyWords alone. That's why I have that blogroll down yonder! And the occasional friend who pinch-hits when I'm off recharging my batteries.
Speaking of occasional friends; Myron sends his kudos too. You know how hard he is to please, so consider yourself doubly commended.
I want to say thanks as well to all of my loyal readers (both of you…) for making Nadz feel at home here. Yeah, even you guys who were pissed off at me for pulling this little switcheroo. You kept coming back, didn't you? Hits is hits baby!
Now be forewarned; there's always next summer. Maybe I'll ask one of the whingers to trade hurling insults at Nadz from the cheap seats for a stint in the bullpen. Bring it!
On the other hand, it gives Barry plenty of borrow-and-spend wiggle room up through the 2012 presidential election, bolstering his re-electability by letting him avoid another economic policy debate.
Democratic and Republican leaders in both chambers of Congress will meet with their caucuses Monday for a hard sell of a compromise debt-reduction package that gives President Obama up to a $2.4 trillion hike in the debt limit as long as lawmakers can find an equal or greater amount in spending cuts.
Borrow more today, cut some nebulous amount tomorrow. How in the hell is that a "compromise?"
According to the president, the deal means an immediate cut of $1 trillion in government spending over a 10-year period accompanied by a $900 billion increase in the debt ceiling. That will be followed by the creation of the committee to come up with additional cuts worth at least $1.5 trillion. The debt ceiling will be raised by $1.5 trillion if the committee recommendations are approved by the end of the year.
Yippee-kai-ay, another bipartisan commission. Didn't we already try one of those?
You gotta love the sleight of hand evident in promising an immediate $1 trillion in spending cuts over a 10-year period. Pray tell, in what rainbows and unicorns fantasy land is ten years equivalent to "immediate?" Meanwhile Barry will immediately borrow another $900 billion from the Chinese, and of course send the bill for interest and expenses to our grandchildren.
As Pundette noted over the weekend, Senator Obama was quite the fiscal hawk when a Republican president was seeking to raise the debt limit.
"The fact that we are here today to debate raising America's debt limit is a
sign of leadership failure. America has a debt problem and a failure of
leadership. Americans deserve better. I, therefore, intend to oppose the
effort to increase America's debt."
— Senator Barack Obama of Illinois, March 16, 2006.
Whose "failure of leadership" should he talk about now?
The courage of their convictions changed the debate. Now Dems must move to the center to support their president--putting a band-aid over the cracks in his "post-partisan" smiley-face lying leftie facade.
I'm not convinced.
Now, you'll notice I didn't say anything about tax cuts. Speaker Boehner is pretty confident, in the PDF and his statement to his caucus, that there won't be any tax increases. The reason why is in this post by Jim Pethokoukis and hinges on the Bush tax cuts, which the CBO must score as a tax increase since they are set to expire in 2013 and that tax increase is part of the official baseline the CBO must use to score the Joint Committee's work.
That little gimmick strikes me as a dangerous gamble, as it assumes that the Joint Committee won't tack new taxes on top of the expiring taxes to get even more deficit reduction. The President is very intent on getting new taxes out of this deal (note the frequent references to shared sacrifice in the White House's Fact Sheet) and I still don't see the certainty in this agreement that prevents that from happening.
Now pay attention because the math is complicated. CBO scoring is based on current law. Bipartisan Commission V2.0 has to work within CBO scoring to achieve $1.5 trillion in spending cuts. But "current law" includes expiration of the Bush tax cuts, adding $3.5 trillion in new revenue over ten years. So even if they "cut" $1.5 trillion, Barry and the Spendthrifts are still left with $2 trillion in cold hard cash they can use to buy votes in 2012.
Still feeling optimistic? Because $2 trillion dollars buys a lot of votes from
folks who can't imagine living without their government cheese. I'd say John
Boehner just guaranteed four more years of Obamunism.