Friday, April 30, 2010

Headline of the day, from the WSJ:

Geithner: ‘I Never Had A Real Job’

Thanks for clearing that up.

And just for the record, some folks consider tax-evasion a F/T job. Just ask the Gambinos.
Thursday, April 29, 2010

BP Oil

While I generally favor additional offshore oil exploration, the recent BP Oil rig explosion is going to really set back the movement. It is also a slap in the face of another commonly-used argument, which is that since the US is going to consume "x" amount of oil anyway, better to have it drilled here since we use safer and more environmentally-benign equipment compared to other foreign countries.

One possible saving point may be that this particular well did not use a final, remote-controlled cut-off switch. The efficacy of such switches above and beyond the normal safety mechanisms is apparently unclear, but may be the one argument that could be used to save the cause for more offshore drilling. Otherwise, this event may have a chilling effect on any near-term expansion.
Monday, April 26, 2010

This Looks About Right

Friday, April 23, 2010

Health Care

Well well well, what do you know? Looks like Obama's health care bill will indeed raise costs, not control and lower them as he promised. The review by economic experts at the health and human services department confirmed that costs will go up. This review was, in the words of msnbc, "...the first comprehensive look by neutral experts." Given that such a negative piece towards Obama appeared on MSDNC, it must be true and quite bad.
Monday, April 19, 2010

Supreme Court possibilities

So the W.H. is floating Elena Kagan, Janet Napolitano, Diane Wood, and Merrick Garland as possible nominees.

My money is on Wood, FWIW.
Friday, April 16, 2010

Time for my very first link

to Yahoo! Health.

But I actually think, more than politics, sports, or just my own general sexiness, this article holds great wisdom that will lead to more joy in your life.
Thursday, April 15, 2010

Big News

ICYMI: The AP sent this blockbuster over the wires earlier.
Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Chris Christie off to a great start.

The odds are stacked so long against Christie winning the battle, but he's taking on the dominant paradigm in Jersey: unions squeezing cash out of the state for higher wages that lead to higher union dues that get spent on political campaigns that attack Republicans so that more Dems get elected so that the unions can squeeze more cash out of the state. Got that?

Here's Christie going right after the beast [N.B. not ManBeast] early in his term. Quotes are from a very favorable article (for Christie) that was printed in the WSJ:

Your policies favor the rich. "We have the worst unemployment in the region and the highest taxes in America, and that's no coincidence."

Why not renew the 'millionaire's tax'? "The top 1% of taxpayers in New Jersey pay 40% of the income tax. In addition, we've got a situation where that tax applies to small businesses. I'm simply not going to put my foot on the back of the neck of small business while I want them to try to grow jobs by giving more revenue to New Jersey."

Budget cuts are unfair. "One state retiree, 49 years old, paid, over the course of his entire career, a total of $124,000 towards his retirement pension and health benefits. What will we pay him? $3.3 million in pension payments over his life, and nearly $500,000 for health care benefits—a total of $3.8 million on a $120,000 investment. Is that fair?"

State budget cuts only shift the pain to our towns. "[L]et's remember this, in 2009 the private sector in New Jersey lost 121,000 jobs. In 2009, municipalities and school boards added 11,300 jobs. Now that's just outrageous. And they're going to have to start to lay some people off, not continue to hire at the pace they hired in 2009 in the middle of a recession."
Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Pataki FAIL

See here.
Monday, April 12, 2010

This One's for Fredo

A new Duke rule basically says you can be a rapist if you have mutually consentual sex if you're considered powerful on campus.

47% of Americans Will Pay No Federal Income Tax

How long can this be sustained? How far will it go? Mark Stein paints as scary picture.
Thursday, April 08, 2010

Seriously? Really?

I honestly think we may have to start taking away people's right to vote if they put individuals like this into political office...



And this is the man who replaced Cynthia McKinney--best known for her confrontation where she hit a United States Capitol Police officer after he stopped her because she was not wearing the proper ID when she circumvented the metal detectors at the Capitol (run-on sentence alert). Anyways, Johnson's wiki entry (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hank_Johnson) details a background of someone who really should have known better...
Monday, April 05, 2010

Too Funny

Somehow I missed this last Thursday, but it's so funny.

My Hope Rests With Justice Kennedy

As all occobs contributors know, Justice Anthony Kennedy is often the swing vote in 5-4 decisions. The count is now up to 16 states suing the federal government over the health care bill. The only remotely plausible argument for constitutionality of requiring citizens to purchase a commercial product is the commerce clause. It states:


[The Congress shall have power] To regulate Commerce with foreign Nations, and
among the several States, and with the Indian tribes;
Let's analyze. Obviously we're not talking about foreign nations or Indian tribes, so the pundits must be referring to regulating Commerce among the several States. My understanding is that this is usually applied to transactions between at least two states. Since the bill requires an individual to purchase a commercial product that he can only buy within the state he resides, I can't understand how the commerce clause allows the requirement of this bill. I'm cautiously optimistic that the Supreme Court will make the same finding, but Kennedy is the buggest question mark.

If the Supreme court allows the requirement, I anticipate someone will attempt to buy insurance across state lines as a challenge to the current restriction with the commerce clause a justification. Perhaps opening the market across state lines can be a small victory.


Also, Michele Bachmann seems pretty awesome.
Friday, April 02, 2010

Further Down the Path to Socialism

How many people can you support? According to Rep. Paul Ryan, "three out of ten American families are supporting themselves plus - through government - supplying or supplementing the incomes of seven other households". The speech this was taken from (linked above) is worth a full read.

How Will the Census Effect Congress?

According to CNN, there may be shifts in the House as a result of the census. Here's how it might play out.

Provo, Utah: 47% growth. +1 seat for Utah for a total of 4
Raleigh, N.C.: 41% growth. No change in congress
Las Vegas, NV: 38% growth. +1 seat for Nevada for a total of 4
Austin, TX: 36% growth. +3 seats for Texas (or more) for a total of 35
Phoenix, AZ: 34% growth. +1 seat for AZ for a total of 9

New Orleans, LA: 10% loss. -1 seat for LA for a total of 6
Youngstown, OH: 7% loss. -2 seats for OH, down to 16
Buffalo, NY: 4% loss. -1 seat for NY, dropping to 28
Pittsburgh, PA: 3% loss. -1 seat for PA, for a total of 18
Cleveland, OH: 3% loss. -2 for OH as above.

Ok. UT is the reddest state, so that'll be a +1 for R. So TX is a pretty good bet for the R column. So that's +3. The NV could go either way, but I'll bet D since it's Vegas: +1 D. The AZ could go either way, but D is a pretty good bet there since it's Phoenix. So that's +3 R, +2 D so far.

LA will be a -1 R. Youngstown -1 D. Cleveland -1 D. Buffalo -1 R. Pittsburgh -1 D. So -2 R, -3 D.

So my best guess is a net of +1 R, -1 D. But best case is probably +3 R, -3 D.
Thursday, April 01, 2010

Big Surprise - Dem Unemployment Augmentation Encourages People Not To Work

If only we could convince the usually well-meaning liberals to think about their policies all the way to inevitable conclusions, they might understand many of the policies they push actually have the opposite of the intended consequences. Take Mark Krawiec as an example. He lost his job, and instead of milking unemployment for as long as he could, he took whatever job he could get. It was a temporary job, so when it ended, he had to go back onunemployment. Unfortunately for Mark, he ended up getting less than half of what he previously received on unemployment as a consequence.

Minimum wage is in the same category, because it assumes businesses will employee the same number of people at the new higher wage. We'll be able to add the new healthcare plan very soon.

Notice I qualified liberals in the first sentence with well-meaning. There are some that know very well the consequences and have a much different (political) goal in mind.

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Always sniffing for the truth

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