Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Taxing the Dead

It is often been asserted that the only two sure things are death and taxes. The current Democratic caucus is making every effort to combine them to avoid any confusion. There have been various arguments put forth regarding the level at which estates should be taxed but whether the act of dying should trigger a tax is rarely discussed.
Newsday informs us that through industry, intelligence and luck – not to mention sacrifice and good choices – some people amass “fortunes” of various sizes. In their opinion, this means that anyone who accomplishes this is justifiably required to contribute a portion of it to everyone else. Their sole reason is because they should. They even attempt to make this less awful “smart estate planners can avoid much of its sting”. So, passing tax on people who can avoid it actually makes sense to the collective economic wisdom of the editors.

Say a guy builds a business manufacturing widgets. After a while he owns a building, the land it’s on, specialized machinery, support equipment, and employs 100 people paying their salary and benefits. Then he dies. The government says his heirs have the absolute right to continue the business - if they give the government $3,000,000. The value any business is mostly in the plant, equipment, trade name and patents so the heirs don’t have $3,000,000 in cash available. The result is the business closes or is sold to a competitor, jobs are lost and Congress has achieved their aim of insuring that no one gets “richer”. Meanwhile, there is still a demand for widgets. The heirs start another business selling the same widgets but these are imported from China. This time the business has no concrete value and nothing to tax except current income. Unfortunately, there are no US employees either. And people wonder why we lost jobs.

So goes the "logic" of the economic loonies.

A Stimulating Idea

There needs to be some level of safety net for the unemployed -- after all the government caused the problem in the first place. But the Democratic House supports never ending and unfunded benefits to the unemployed based on the assumption that this is a great stimulus to the economy - to them almost as good as raising taxes. They assume two things:

One premise is that the wealthy will not spend any money they get to keep in reduced taxes. The theory is that they will not spend on consumption but will only save it. (Which is a stimulating factor too.) Their conclusion is that people who have disposable income will not spend it on electronics, dining out, cars and other symbols of wealth. (?)
A second premise is that people who are getting the small unemployment checks will stimulate the economy by their spending. People in this situation have limited disposable income. They are buying – or should be buying – only what they absolutely need. But the conclusion is that unemployment benefits will stimulate the economy. (?)
So their economic analysis concludes that people with no money can stimulate the economy more than people who have money to spend.
Why are we listening to these idiots?

Yell at them

Sent this to John Boehner:

Thanks to the work of many people we achieved the biggest swing in the House in 60 years. The question to be answered now is: so what? The overall result has been is no appreciable difference in how Congressional business is conducted. This is from an AP article:
Obama has his Departmental Secretaries “reaching out” to the Republican incoming committee chairs and at least one of chairman has already been impressed by this effort.
“It’s very smart,” said Rep. John Mica (R-Fla.), the incoming chairman of the Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, of the White House outreach. … Mica met with Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood, a former House Republican colleague. "I know Ray and I have a lot of confidence in dealing with him.”
The day after meeting with Mica, LaHood announced that the Transportation Department will kick in an additional $342 million for SunRail, a commuter rail project for central Florida strongly backed by Mica... Florida is expected to be a key battleground in Obama’s 2012 reelection run.

This is the same type of earmark (bribe) as the one Landrieu got to vote for Obamacare and is exactly the type of thing we were all motivated to end.

The first positive action that could have been taken was the appointment of chairs that actually understand what happened in November. These appointments could have meant something; certainly more than the symbolic, non- binding, voluntary pledge to end earmarks. But we got the symbolism, a liberal dose of seniority, and no real action. Half of the incoming House committee chairmen do not deserve their positions by any rational evaluation of their past actions vs. the November results. The new Majority Leader in the House is allowing business to be conducted in ways that are indistinguishable from his predecessor. But you keep saying, even in the face of actions like Mica's, that everything is changed.
A repeat of the disastrous display by the 2000-2006 Republican Congress will lead to the collapse of Republican Party as a national option. The motivation to volunteer/donate in the political process is not to elect the lesser of two evils.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Democrats can't do arithmetic

The “rich get richer” argument in the Sunday Newsday has been around for as long as there have been demagogues. It is has been repeated enough to become urban legend but it just does not stand up to a little arithmetic.

The comparison between the top and bottom tiers will always be between people who have little or no wealth and people whose wealth continues to grow. You are comparing something that is by definition close to zero with something that continues to grow. By the laws of arithmetic, the gap between the two groups must continue to get larger.

It is simply intellectually dishonest to continue to make this argument.

The lowest category of category of wealth is always going to contain most recent high school/college graduates, immigrants, drop outs, newly-weds, unwed mothers, etc. In short, people with little or no wealth. The question is whether they stay there over time. As people work, earn, and save, history has shown they go up the economic ladder to be replaced in the lowest category by new people who have little or no wealth. On the other hand, people who are “rich” will be earning more, saving more and generally increasing their wealth at a faster rate (or at least in larger absolute terms) than people who are just starting out. This category is further distorted by the people (Steve Jobs) who started a business that raised them into the highest category.

Going the wrong way

Drunks keep driving the wrong way on the LIE and the Parkways. There is a campaign to resolve the situation by making it harder for drunks to get on the highway going the wrong way. The spend-more-money solution is for unspecified (but probably costly road modifications and undefined engineering solutions. But in what may be a first a DOT spokesman didn’t go for the tax increase and said, “…roads are perfectly safe if you are alert, sober and follow the rules of the road.” True enough, but we are all at risk from people who are not alert, sober and follow the rules. So what to do?

A common thread of all these incidents is that the drunks are really whacked - at least twice the legal (.08) limit – and some have been on drugs on top of that.. Many of these people also have prior DWIs and suspended licenses. The problem is that when these people do get before a judge, jail time has been an exception. (Killing someone has recently be getting more time but 3-4 years for killing someone has not historically unusual.).

How about:
DWI gets jail time for the first offense and you have to pay to have a breathalyzer installed on your car.
Getting caught subverting the breathalyzer (driving a different car, etc) gets a more jail time.
Multiple offenses gets more jail time, impounded car, more fines,etc.
Killing someone while driving drunk is murder and is punished accordingly.
Raise the limit for DWI. (.08 is two beers with dinner)

Teaching Sacrifice

The current economic has everyone sacrificing. Many companies have cut staff, reduced or eliminated salary increases, are not hiring, dropping benefits and doing what they can to weather the storm.

Yesterday, Deer Park teachers announced their part of the sacrifice. They were contractually due for a 3% raise for the next school year. The Deer Park Superintendent proudly announced that they will not be getting that raise. Due to her superior negotiating skills these teachers will instead be getting a 4.85% raise next school year. Step increases are not mentioned as part of the sacrifice.
This is what passes for “sacrifice” to the Teachers Union and for great negotiating by those responsible. The idiot Superintendent even called this a “savings”. Compared to what?

Fairness requires that it be noted that this type of sacrifice is not confined to Deer Park. Similar sacrifices have been made by teachers all over Long Island

Pension returns

Public pensions are guaranteed a rate of return in excess of the historic return on prudent pension investments. When such unreasonable returns are not achieved, the municipality in question is required to make up the difference. Not being able to just print more dollars (the Federal answer), states, towns and villages get to raise taxes. This benefit is made even more unsound since these guys get to pad their pension pay out in the final working years with unused vacation and sick time and extra overtime. So the unrealistic funding assumption that is supposed to pay for their retirement benefits are made completely impossible since their actual retirement benefits are calculated on an inflated salaries that were never part of the funding process in the first place. This is not a sustainable system.

Bernake raises gas prices

Big noise over the rising gas prices. Nobody wants to talk about it but a big reason for this increase is the policy of the First Dope. He has declared the Gulf waters off limits to drilling and exploration. The next step will be to announce that the potential supply of domestic oil is at an all time low. That will be because if the oil companies are not allowed to look for oil, they are unlikely to find it. If they don’t find potential oil fields our “proven” reserves go down.

But the main reason the price is going up is that the dollar is losing its value. The Dope-in-Chief at the Fed keeps announcing that he is printing more money. Notice that oil is not getting any more expensive to those who buy with most other currencies.

Trade Lesson:

Suppose you are Abdul and have 1,000 barrels of oil to sell every month. You are happy to sell it for $60 a barrel and get $60,000. Abdul uses that money used to buy 3,000 widgets from China which he sells for $40 each. He is making $120,000/month until Bernake prints $600,000,000. The normal price of $60,000 now only buys 2,500 widgets which still sell for $40. But that only grosses $100,000 $20,000 less than before. And the $100,000 buys less stuff than it used to. The test question is, what do you do? The answer is, of course, you raise you prices.

Meanwhile the papers are talking about refineries that are closed for repairs. They bury the weakened dollar at the end of the story if it gets in at all.

Living Long and Prospering

The National Center for Health Services announced that US life expectancy has declined by about a month. With rates in other countries rising, this is being cited as an indication of the worsening state of health care in the US. It is not. The real US life expectancy is actually higher than almost every nation. Three things bring the announced rate down.
The US counts infant mortality from day 1 - most other nations do not count for up to a week; no other nation has our ridiculous number of deaths via automobile accident; and the #1 cause of black male (16-30) deaths is from shooting each other.
These things have nothing to do with the quality of health care but have a major effect on reducing the average life expectancy here.


The First Dope is trying to convince the more wacky Democrats that he didn’t betray them in their effort at class warfare. The Dope agrees that avoiding the scheduled tax increases will contribute to job growth and by extension tax revenue increases as well as cost savings in unemployment benefits. (He did what?) The really liberal Democrats don’t care about that part. Their main goal is to continue harping on the “gives too much to the wealthy” mantra. Class warfare over policy . The conclusion is that it is more important to the Democrats to extract money from the people they consider rich than it is to create jobs.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Democratic Economics

Steve Israel is today’s dope. He is campaigning to get the federal government to return 100% of the taxes New Yorkers pay to the Feds. His statement is that “No one should be paying more than they get.” He has even collected the support of the LIA and some local economist.
Third grade arithmetic: when the amount of taxes paid to the government equals the amount of money the government returns to the states, the difference is zero. But some portion of government revenue goes to pay Representative Israel’s salary, to pay for the SBA grant the “economist” got, to pay TSA workers to grab people’s genitals airports, and to pay for wars and other Gov’t overhead. The Fed could simply print more dollars to make up the difference but that is neither permanent solution nor a good idea.

It is no surprise that Steve Israel is another in a long line of Democrats that have no idea what they are talking about

Village Idiots

The Village Idiots of Glen Cove – lead by Mayor Suozzi - have determined that it is the stores’ fault that people steal shopping carts and leave them around where the Town has to clean them up. Their solution is to fine the stores because people steal from them. This actually makes sense to them. The fine is $250 per cart and they figure to get $20,000/year.

Good plan - ignore the people who steal stuff and pass a law that punishes the stores that are targets of the theft. Who would have guessed that the idiots who thought this one up are “lifelong Democrats”?

Media Accuracy

The Headline was “Republicans block meals for needy kids”. The media was in a snit. Michelle was “lobbying furiously”. The reason was “House Democrats said the GOP amendment, which would have required a background checks for child care workers, was an effort to kill the bill. Running background checks on people employed in these jobs should be considered a good thing. What would be the downside of preventing felons, child abusers, and Islamoterrorists from working in the child care industry? The Democrats and the media seem to think that such a check would be a problem. Why?

Friday, December 3, 2010

The Nanny State - Parenting Division

The Transportation Safety Department has thought of a new way to spend your money. They propose that all cars and SUVs be equipped with rear facing cameras starting in 2014. The idea is to prevent the “busy parents juggling careers and children” from not running over their “toddlers who get behind a parked car, not realizing the inherent dangers”.
Now it is very sad that people are dying because their parents are not paying any attention when they back up. Unfortunately, these things are caused because someone didn’t pay attention. Exactly how will another camera change that? According to these do-gooders, the same people who don’t pay attention to where their kid is before backing up will now pay attention to where their kid because they will now magically look where they should have been looking before. Why, because it is now easier not to run over your kid? Please!!! It was easy not to do that before. Just pay attention to where your toddler is when you back up. And that is free. But your nanny state thinks that juggling a career is just too difficult to handle without federal intervention.
This new advantage will increase the cost of a new car a $1,000 or so for something that most people don’t need.
The “do it for the kids” crowd will be bleeding their hearts out to save the kids from parents who don’t pay any attention to their role as parents. In the meantime, this is a tax. Not a just tax on people who are “rich”; it is a tax on everyone who buys a car. It will hurt car sales, decrease jobs and put your spending decisions in the Government’s hands.
If you want to buy the camera option, go ahead. Don’t make everyone else do so

Your Government Inaction

The Off Track Betting Corp in NYC is asking for a Bailout from the State. The Nassau and Suffolk editions are right behind them in line. In another demonstration of complete incompetence, the government can’t even avoid losses while running a gambling business!! Any profit from the business would be completely out of the question. How much on an incompetent idiot do you have to be to lose money doing this? Of course, it does not top the Government's performance in not being able to run a whore house in Nevada
There are people who have been successfully profiting in these businesses for years. Maybe they would help if asked nicely.

Michelle wins one

The lame duck House passed a federal bill that covers what local schools do to feed students. Michelle Obama is thrilled.
The bill apparently will create jobs too. There is a provision in the bill that the Department of Agriculture will determine how often schools can run fund raising bake sales. Agriculture is also charged with determining whether the foods that parents cook and bring to them for sale meet federal standards for being healthy enough. Looks like each school district will be getting a Bake Sale Czar. There is no word on how to get approval for a sale, or how the food that is prepared in each home will be monitored before it gets to the sale. More inspectors will be needed to taste brownies – if they are allowed. This will be a big help.


The LIE was expanded to add a special lane only for cars with multiple passengers. It has been finished for several years. Someone thought this was a great idea and everyone’s taxes paid for it. It is now time to evaluate what has happened. Doing major project like this ought to have an evaluation when they are completed. Were the expected benefits actually achieved? Were there any unexpected benefits? How about the downside? Are there more accidents because of it? Did it help at all?
There are good ideas and bad one. When something like this is done, we ought to find out whether it works as planned. We should be learning who has good ideas and who doesn’t; who gets things done and doesn’t. And act accordingly.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Senior Discounts

A member of Newsday’s editorial board questioned senior discounts. His arguments about might be valid with for public companies like the MTA. For them, subsidizing anyone - even students – is a debatable policy. The rest of his contention seems to be that private companies should not be allowed to maximize their opportunities. He does not seem to be aware of the profit motive involved. These discounts are not being done to promote social policy.
Take the movie house. An empty seat for a show is a lost opportunity to generate revenue. It is clearly better for them to fill that otherwise empty seat for a dollar less than to have it be empty. If they were selling all their seats they would have no incentive to cut prices to attract more people. As he says, some Yankee games have discounts. That deal is not available for a Yank/Red Sox game. Wonder why?
These companies are trying to get more people to use their services when they are not at peak. The stereotype of seniors going to dinner and movies early (and riding the LIRR off peak) is demonstrably true.
The astounding information that NYS provides a break to seniors who “meet certain income requirements” is no more out of line than that there are NYS residents of all ages who are not taxed because of “certain income requirements”. Real money is involved in both cases.
No wonder the Newsday editorials are so dopey.

Electric Cars

These things may well be the wave of the future but the question is whether the future is now. Doesn’t look like it. This GM beauty will go about 40 miles per charge. The charge time is about 10 hours on a 120 volt line and 4 hours on a 240 line. Installing a 240 v line into your garage is extra. Another thing that seems to have popped up is the impact on the power lines of having a cluster of these things in the same area. But that stuff will eventually be resolved and as supporters say: “We’ve got to start somewhere.”
Right, but how about starting with stuff that actually works? Not with an over-priced, small (four seat) car that is inconvenient to operate. If someone wants to overpay for a product they want that is their choice but supporting uneconomic choices with everyone else's tax money doesn't seem quite right.
It is just difficult to name another product that has to be sold based upon deceptive advertising that our current nanny state would allow on the market. How about a ladder where only the first two rungs would support you; almost sterile band-aids; soda made with water that was pretty clean; or flat screen TVs that had to be recharged after each hour of viewing? But maybe that last one would improve literacy rates.

Conservative Slant?

Fox News - object of derision because of its perceived conservative slant had a beauty Sunday. They were promoting the web site of a recent Northeastern graduate who had $200,000 in student loans. The website was asking for donations so she would be able to pay off the debt. She apparently had a job (not the one she wanted) but still found it difficult to pay her loan. The idiot Fox anchor was promoting this as a good thing to do. The woman chose to go to Northeastern; she chose to take out the loans to pay for it; she was bright enough to get into the school but not bright enough to determine that she couldn’t afford it. She blames this mess on the fact the she bought into the myth that you should go to the best school that you can. The part about the best school you can afford was missed in her thought process. And now she has determined that it should be everyone else’s problem. She is looking for people who are dopey enough to reward behavior that should not be encouraged. Don’t blame her for trying – maybe she was taught in her Northeastern Marketing class that taking advantage of the gullible was a valid fund raising technique.
The main issue is the moronic anchor guy who supports this drivel. He seems to have missed the issue of personal responsibility completely. Suppose she bought a BMW and now she can’t afford the payments. Her original options were to buy a BMW, NOT to buy a car, or to buy a different car for less than half the price. The last two would leave her with more manageable debt. But a BMW is better, faster, and cooler. Not anyone’s problem but hers. And clearly she would have trouble finding people who would donate for that.
This guy proposed that everyone in this audience send the woman a dime and the debt would be paid. Maybe he should try and solve everyone’s financial problems and suggest that everyone should send everyone else one dollar. The end result of such a dopey plan is that everyone would wind up with exactly what they started with. Bet that would make sense to him though.

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Get Ready, Get Set, Blow it

The Republicans are jubilant in their recent victories; Conservatives and Tea Party people see a new dawn. Democrats are morose. Sounds like a mirror image of two years ago. Things can change quickly.
The Democrats blew it by doing what Obama said they would do all along - redistribute income. The question now is whether the Republicans/Conservatives/Tea Party people can do or at least try to do what they were elected to do. The indications are that they will not be able to do anything. That is not surprising given they only hold one house and the other guys hold the other house and the veto pen. But can they convince the American people that the steps that the current Administration are taking on the economy are the wrong ones and that the cutting taxes and spending are the right ones? The indications look like the answer is they won't even be trying.

Winning elections is more one of public perception than having great public policy. For better or worse, the last Presidential election was run with a guy who promoted Hope and Change against a guy who was closely associated with a very unpopular President. The recent Congressional elections were a mirror image. An unpopular President’s party got “shellacked” based upon their policies. That is good for the Republicans if they use it. But…

1. Republican leadership Senators have come out in favor of earmarks. The public perception of the Republican policy is that when the other guy has the gavel, earmarks are wrong but when Republicans have the gavel we really need them. This despite the fact that recent election used earmarks as a platform to spank the Democratic candidates and energize their faithful. Bad start Mitch. Another step back but this can be a big PR gain if they do it right.

2. Committee Chair Appointments. This will be a big one. Some of the people at the top of the list for key positions don’t get it. If leadership just follows the “oldest guy wins” philosophy, most of this will be for naught. The majority of the public will not make a distinction between the “good” Republicans that are trying and the old boys who want to keep the sugar flowing. All Republicans will lose – for the second time and we are in a two strikes and you’re out situation. If they blow it again, it will take a real calamity by the Dems before they get another chance. An avoidable disaster but we shall see.

3. Talk Radio. Much of what these guys say is sound economics; they are also equally adept at saying dopey things. Look at Hannity. He likes to preach to the choir (killing talking to Ida from South Carolina about how they are both “Great Americans”) and has programmed reactions. The “Blue Ribboned Panel” recommended cutting almost everything to balance the budget. Hannity immediately takes any cuts to the Defense budget off the table. Apparently, there is not one military base – foreign or domestic – that has one marching band that could do with one less tuba player. On the larger scale, whether there are opportunities in the huge Defense budget to cut obsolete, useless or bloated programs is not to be considered in Hannity's world. There is a difference between sound defense and unlimited spending. He needs an about face here.

4. Joe Miller in Alaska is contesting an election he appears to have lost. The Republicans lost the PR battle in the Florida “hanging chad” election. Whether they were right or not, that is what happened in the media. Miller is reinforcing that image to the public that the Republican plan is to steal elections. Unless he can better demonstrate a case, even if he wins, the Republicans get hurt. Time to give up Joe. Over all, a step backward for the Republicans no matter what.

5. The Social Conservatives will get restless. The election had nothing to do with “social values”. Whether Frank marries George and/or the both serve in the military has no effect upon jobs being created. The new guys will pick a fight over this one and the Republicans will alienate a few more percent of the people. Another lost PR opportunity.

6. Goals. The NYS conservative Party ran a poll asking what the first thing the newly elected representative should vote on. Repealing the Health Care bill took first with 38%; second was decreasing spending at 30%. The Republican Party stood by while the media and the First Dope branded them as the Party of NO. So after winning 60+ seats their first goals will be to say no again. Who the hell does there PR? How about a goal of REPLACING ObamaCare?

7. Goals II. Hannity again. He starts his show everyday announcing that the Stop Obama/Pelosi/Reid Express has come to a halt and the next step is to see that Obama is a one term president. That most certainly is not the next step. The thing to do is to continue to expand the percentage of the voting population that understand that A) Democratic policies and wrong for the economy and that B) Republicans have sensible, workable and historically successful solutions to the problems that plague us. If those two things are accomplished, the next election will take care of itself.

8. Hannity Redux. Not to pick on him (he deserves it) but one that is personally annoying is that he spent a good part of Election Day – while polls were still open in NY and everywhere else – trumpeting a huge Republican victory. Think about that. Someone you follow says that your candidate has already won. Do you get off your butt and go vote or stay on the couch? He contributed to lowering the Republican tally. Good job, Sean. You are marching the wrong way.

9. There will be more

Judicial Insanity

Last year, a Riverhead judge decided to eliminate the mortgage debt of an East Patchogue couple - all of it principal, years unpaid interest, fees, charges everything. He completely discharged the debt and gave them clear title to the house that was security for the loan that they did not repay. There were no allegations that the lenders did anything illegal, only that they were aggressive in collecting on a valid debt and recovering the security that was pledged on a the loan. Three things are clear: the couple owed the money; they had not paid it back; and the lender wanted their money to be paid back or wanted their security (the house). The judge's decision to void the loan was based upon his perception that the lender imposed "mortifying abuse against Defendant" - they were were mean.

Fortunately, a higher court reversed this madness noting that it was not based upon anything.

The newspaper article announcing the reversal mentioned only a Riverhead judge and avoided any mention of the idiot’s name. But his name is something that everyone should know. His name is Jeffrey A. Spinner and claims to be a registered Conservative. What is worse, he had the Conservative line last time he ran.

Economic Insanity

A woman wrote into the paper with a two part solution to all our economic problems. Her first step is for everyone to stop buying things (she singles out video stuff and make-up)that she considers a waste of money. Her plan is for reinvigorating a consumer economy is for consumers to stop consuming! People should spend within their means but to stop spending on entire industries will: put those industries out of business, make thousands more people unemployed, and remove more people from the tax rolls. The second part of her plan assumes that all this money that would not be spent by consumers on what they want to buy should be sent to the government to use as they see fit. Brilliant! It is a large part of the problem that this dope is allowed to vote.
This level of economic analysis is equivalent to suggesting that the minimum wage be raised to $100 an hour so that everyone makes over $200,000 a year.

Paying for Health insurance

The Obamoids have announced that 85% of health insurance premiums have to be spent on health services. The other 15% can be used to cover those pesky things like Rent, salaries and benefits to employees, electricity, heat, marketing/advertising, general administrative costs, and the twin evils of “executive bonuses” and profits. This comes from a group of people who have no experience running a company, meeting a payroll, or dealing with revenues that are dependent upon market forces. When they run out of money their plan is to print more. The result of this effort will be to put private companies out of business so that the government is the font of all health services. You will be going to the guys who run the Post Office to fund your knee replacement. That will work well.

Unemployment benefits

Last week’s vote against extending benefits without funding it was the right vote for the Republicans but another step along their road to becoming a permanent minority party. Pelosi brought a bill to the floor to vote for extending benefits – no conditions. She put the Republicans in a position where they could not get any reduction in other spending to “pay” for it. Good politics by her - everything happened according to her plan. The Republicans come off like the Grinch; the Democrats are the friends of the (non)-working man. Wanting to fund the extension by not spending (wasting?) money elsewhere was the right thing to do. The Republicans problem is that they do the right thing and stop. No campaign to announce why they took the position; no effort to publicize Pelosi’s political machinations. They didn’t even make the point of their support for the extension. Marketing is not their strong point.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Senior Bankruptcy

Newsday guy wrote an article about all the poor seniors who are filing bankruptcy because they have excessive credit card debt. No sympathy here.
Apparently, 67 percent of the senior bankruptcy filings are citing problems tied to credit cards. What could those problems be? The news flash is that they borrowed more money than they could afford to pay back. The Newsday defense is that they were “deluged with applications in the mail, and cards are [were?] easy to get” is a joke. This defense was once simply dismissed by mothers all over the country with the observation that just because the other guy jumps off the bridge you should not do it too. But now more specifics are required. Neither the Banks, BMW, Lexus, nor any one else has the power to make American citizens buy anything against their will. (Excepting of course President Obama’s requirement that everyone must buy medical insurance.) Marketing pitches for a variety of products are a part of every day life for all of us. People who bought more stuff than they could afford and borrowed money to do so, simply did a stupid thing. But their problems are not mine or anyone else’s who has people managed to reach “seniorhood” while living within their not very munificent means. To single out seniors like this is condesending. It can reasonably be assumed that bankruptcy filings are up for every demographic group. For the most part, the reasons are the same - people voluntarily entered into more debt than they could pay back. You could have written exactly the same piece using race in lieu of age and you would have been castigated severely. But you generated this puff piece to rail at banks that lent people money and actually want it back with the agreed to interest. Waste of ink.


Tuesday, November 16, 2010


The earmark defenders are trying to convince everyone that earmarks only account for about $9 billion in spending. That depends. Earmarks are bribes. The system works like this: I’ll put your earmarks in my bill if you vote for it. Then, you put my earmarks in your bill and I’ll vote for that. They both get their earmarks and the taxpayer pays for A.) the bribes (earmarks) necessary to collect votes for these bills, and B.) for the bills that wouldn’t have passed without bribes. Think the total is still $9 billion?


Guilty verdict by a group of his peers. Big surprise. But the charges are misleading. Not paying income tax is a federal crime - let’s see where that goes; not reporting assets is internal to Congress (slap/slap – but where did all that money come from and is there more?); you are supposed to own one rent controlled building and he owned 4 – probably fraud. The big one here is hiding behind the “using government stationary” charge. That means he was soliciting money from companies that had issues before his committee - the one that gives out all the money. In simpler terms the deal is: Your Company donates money to my cause and I pass the earmarked legislation that helps your Company. In more blunt language that is a bribe – felony.
It took minutes for 4 Democrats and 4 Republicans to see that he was guilty and see through his ridiculous efforts to postpone the verdict. Incredibly, there are still people who are defending him with excuses ranging from “everybody does it”, through “he didn’t do it maliciously”, to that old standard of “RACISM”. Sorry Charlie – doesn’t wash. Now wait until we hear Maxine Waters scream.

Friday, November 12, 2010

Privatizing Social Security

The term makes Seniors crazy and makes politicians run the other way. The Democrats media have successfully demonized the word so that no rational discussion can be had. That has to change. The Presidential commissions answer to this part of the problem is to raise the age and tax people more. This only puts the program at odds with the demographics of the country. If there is an inescapable truth, it is that you can’t beat demographics. The answer lies in 6th grade arithmetic.
First some facts:
1. The Social Security Trust fund is not real and has not been for 40 years. President Lyndon (Great Society) Johnson decided, and all the Democrats went along, that FICA tax receipts should get added to all the other tax receipts and get spent. The SS trust fund contains IOUs from the government promising to pay itself the Social Security contributions of the population. Suppose you put $100 a week in an envelope for your retirement; you take it out immediately, replace it with an IOU to yourself for $100 and spend the money. After working for 40 years, how much money is in the envelope? Right, and that is where we are.
2. The return on the Social Security Trust fund is 0%.
3. All your Social Security contributions, the ones that the government has already spent, are not yours.
4. Social Security Contributions that come out of your paycheck each week are matched (100%) by your employer.
5. There is no plan for privatizing Social Security that calls for making any specific investment that “helps” Wall Street. These plans have limitations on what investments can be made to limit speculation (same as IRAs). You can’t buy baseball cards, stock options, Picassos, etc.
6. Back to the arithmetic. Put $1,000 a year into a CD/Municipal Bond that pays 5% (hard to do now but certainly not historically great return). Do that for 40 years. At the end of 40 years, your total contribution has been $40,000. However, thanks to the effect of compound interest, you have an account with about $120,000. Three times what you put in.

The people who object to any privatization plan first make an effort to scare people who are currently on or close to receiving Social Security. No privatization plan changes their benefits. The only issue remotely impacting these people (I am one of them.) is funding to.
Another objection is that it gives money to the Wall Street guys. Wrong. Under any of these plans, Social Security contributions are your property, all plans call for it to be a voluntary program and under your basic control. What you do with the money is your business, again, within safety and soundness restrictions. There is absolutely nothing in any of the proposals that says it must be in the stock market. As with IRAs, precious metals, CDs and municipal/corporate bonds are all valid investments.

Look at the arithmetic again. Money triples over 40 years at 5%. Current FICA levels are about 13.5% counting employee and employer. Someone making $50,000 contributes a total of $6,750 a year. Doing that for 40 years at 5% gets you just over $800,000. It is yours. The interest that throws off would be more than your get from Social Security, even without touching the principal. You can do what you want with it. Give some to your kids. And you would not contribute one more penny that you are contributing now. By the way, the guy who makes $25,000 winds up with about $400,000. If you actually get a raise someday, the return is even better.

Now why does this happen. The comparison between the current plan and privatization is easy. One gets a 0% return and one gets the marvelous impact of compound interest.

The only real issue to doing this is funding the current system until it is replaced. The flippant answer to that is that we can’t fund the current system now. Not helpful but it shows what are options are. We have to do something besides continually raising retirement age and contribution levels. The effort needs to be put toward figuring out how to do the transition, not continually bandaging a system that was fraud when Bernie Madoff did it.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Starting Somewhere

A big news story about Federal, State and Local governments giving $17,000 in tax credit to people who by a certain ($32,000)electric car. The rationale is that “you have to start somewhere”. The issue is where to start. The premise here is that tax incentives for individual people to buy a product that you want them to buy is a good thing. (This is otherwise known as income redistribution. You take tax money from everyone and give it only to people who buy the product you - the Government - wants you to buy. This incentive means raising taxes.
Another form of incentive is not getting in the way of people who develop stuff that can be turned into a profitable enterprise - like the Model T – how much government help did old Henry get?
The argument is in which process is better:
This one gives the makers of this car the ability to sell their product at prices where the company cannot make a profit. Why? Because the government says this is the product we want to push. Not A FUNCTION OF GOVERNMENT. What happens when the tax breaks are withdrawn? Sales fall. Is the government supposed to bail out the business? The logic will be that we have to bail out the business to save the jobs that we created that were unsustainable. Who gets to pay for that bail out?

The other plan is to leave these companies alone. Good ideas are good ideas and will rise to popularity is they are allowed to. So it costs more now - so what. What did the first PCs and cell phones and the Model T cost in today’s dollars. There were ridiculously expensive but people bought them and they became less expensive. Businesses build new stuff because they see a market need and try to fill it and make a profit. A risk /reward issue. There is a risk, and as the potential gain becomes less and less it becomes less worth it to take the risk. The larger the chunk that the government will take the less likely that people will take the risk.

The primary argument against cutting taxes to is that it will create greater deficits. (The problem with all the government (CBO) calculations about tax cuts is that they are by law required to calculate tax projections based upon people not changing their behavior. For example, if the raise the taxes on a pack of cigarettes by $2, the figure that they will get another $2 for every pack of cigarettes currently sold. But people will buy fewer packs so their calcs are always wrong and wrong in ways that show tax increase lower deficits.) Behavior changes; risk takers take greater risks and tax receipts increase, look up what happened under Kennedy and Reagan. Receipts increased after the tax cuts. The problem was that Congress just spent that money and more.

So let people build whatever kind of cars they want and let people buy them. Without the government.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010


Meanwhile, with the help of the media, the race for the 2012 Republican Presidential nomination is already in full swing. Primaries are the way it is supposed to happen. The key will be to do two things: have a primary season with a minimum of bloodshed and wind up with a candidate that does not start out with built in negatives that have to be overcome. Elections are won and lost buy the Party that can attract the 20% of the people in the middle of the spectrum. Most of these people are not political junkies - sound bites, 30 second interviews, campaign slogans and headlines are their news. Getting negatively branded in the minds of this group is an irrevocable injury. It is not hard to determine who fits into this group. Doesn’t mean that these people need to disappear, just means they would not make good candidates. Fund raising, cheer leading and endorsements are valid mission for whoever can do it well. It also does not mean that the chosen Republican candidate has to move compromise anything from a policy stand point. It does mean that two people can run on exactly the same policies and make the same and one can get elected and the other would have no chance.

Keeping the ol' boys around

Newsday has an article showing the depth of their typical analysis. The issue was the Republican promise to stop earmark spending and how much money will be “lost” to LI as when this practice stops. They listed about $18 million of $65 million in earmarks that the local Democratic will admit to obtaining. To say that this was a somewhat shortsighted analysis is an understatement. Some things to consider:
These 6 people got this money but there were another 529 people in Congress trying to feed at the same trough - a trough that is 41% filled with borrowed money – mostly from China.
The rest comes from taxes. Of all the tax money that goes to Washington, a higher percentage of that money comes from LI than the percentage of the earmark money LI gets back. Seems like a bad deal to me.
It can be debated as to whether all of the recipients of this largesse are properly objects of the federal government.
Finally, this is the tip of the iceberg. The use of earmarks is well established as a means for obtaining votes in Congress that are not otherwise available. The game is You-vote- for-my-money-wasting-bill-that-you-don’t-like-but-contains-your-earmark-and-I-will-vote-for-your-bill-that-I-don’t-like-but-contians-my-earmark. No one sponsors a bill with their own earmarks and the tradeoff protects everyone. The amount of money that is spent on bills that only pass because of this is incalculable. It is not just the earmarked money.

Creation Myth

There is a movie coming out that claims to be about why the mortgage industry collapsed. They managed “explain” the securitization process and leaves out Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac and the other government agencies responsible for 90% of the mortgage securitization market. The government invented subprime mortgages and pushed them on the banks. Where do they think the banks were laying off most of these crappy loans? On the government! Banks knew the loans were subprime and that is why none of the banks kept them in their portfolios - the government was buying and guaranteeing them (through the agencies which have the full faith and credit of the US treasury.) There was a no risk to Banks BECAUSE OF THE GOVERNMENT. That made them prime loans to the banks.
And have these agencies stopped this ridiculous practice. Nope. They are still offering balloon teaser rate loans and subprime documentation. Without acknowledging the reason for it, the situation will never get fixed.

Don't Stop Now, It worked so well

The current economic situation is the direct result of Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae pushing subprime mortgages as a social policy. People borrowed more than they could repay and created the bubble. When the teaser rates these agencies offered went up, the bubble popped and things went to hell. As long as people insist on blaming Bush, Republicans and Banks, the situation will not be resolved. Obama’s vaunted Financial Reform doesn’t even mention Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae - no solutions there.

The Art of Compromise

This election has taught us that losers want to compromise. The Democratic leadership from the First Dope on down wants to compromise (a little); the media - after supporting every one sided thing that the Democrats wanted to do – thinks it is only right to compromise. After all its suggestions were ignored, after being accused of being “enemies”, being told to “sit in the back of the bus saying”, being branded as the “ Party of NO” and overwhelming winning the election, what are the Republicans to do? It remains to be seen what the definition of “compromise” is. If the Democrats waste $1,000,000,000,000 on a stimulus package that doesn’t work, is it a compromise to waste only $500,000,000,000? That meets them half way. The media will see things like this as a viable effort at a compromise. It’s not.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Fair and Balanced

Yahoo has a story about the campaign ads getting negative. Their example are instructive. A Democrat in Kansas has an ad claiming that the Republican favors a mosque in NY (He does not; the NYC mosque was not mentioned in this campaign until this ad). It is clearly a negative ad; just as clearly a lie. Another example is in Connecticut. The Democratic candidate for Senator has mentioned his service in Vietnam several times. The Republican ad points out that the guy did not serve in Vietnam - which the Democrat has since admitted. Yahoo claims this is a negative ad. It is not the most positive ad but what is a candidate to do when your opponent lies?
The similarity is that in both ads there were lies involved. In both cases it is the Democrat that is lying. Did the moron forget that he did not really serve in Vietnam? Or that the mosque is not an issue in Kansas?
We can all agree that purposely misrepresenting your opponent’s position is a negative ad or worse. Is that the same as pointing out that your opponent lied in his speech? (Not "misspoke"; lied.) This Yahoo writer seems to think so. Sounds like he is angling for a job at NPR.


Fifty years ago there was an election issue about John Kennedy and his religion. The suspicion was that he would let his religion overcome his allegiance to the Constitution. He resolved it with a speech in Houston where he said – among other things: “I do not speak for my church on public matters; and the church does not speak for me...” and that he would do what “…my conscience tells me to be in the national interest, and without regard to outside religious pressure or dictates. And no power or threat of punishment could cause me to decide otherwise.”
Kennedy was running for President and would obviously have had greater responsibilities than the average citizen. But is it too much to expect that every citizen will do what their conscience tells them?
The current public debate is about how people feel when Moslems get on the plane their taking and where mosques are built. The PC crowd wants it emphasized that it is the radical elements of Islam that are causing all the trouble, Islam is the religion of Peace, etc. But is it? Would Rauf or any of the “moderate” Islamic spokesmen say what Kennedy said? Their answer would clearly be a resounding “No”.

Friday, October 22, 2010

TV Wars

I want to watch the World Series and the Giants and other Fox stuff. But right now I am out of luck. Fox and Cablevision are arguing about how much Cablevision should pay Fox to broadcast the station over their cable network. Cablevision’s customers are not happy and both corporations are issuing statements that it the other guy’s fault. Local politicians are jumping in – including US Senators – calling for Binding Arbitration. Sounds fair to many people but look closer.
One company (Fox) is willing to sell its product; Cablevision wants to buy it. They just don’t agree on the price.
In a rational world when the seller and buyer don’t agree on a price, the sale doesn’t happen. If you don’t want to buy the widget because you don’t want to spend the money, you don’t buy it.
In our current bizarre world, there are calls for Binding Arbitration. That means, some other guy listens to both sides and decides what price Fox should pay cablevision. Back to the real world, suppose you are selling you widgets and a potential buyer does not want to meet your price. The options are that you (and the potential buyer) either make a deal or walk away. What are the chances you would let a stranger set the price for selling (or buying) your product? In that situation, who is running your business? Mr. Stranger is determining how much you “should” sell your product for; he is determining how much is a “fair” profit – if he believes in profits; and telling the buyer how much he should be spending. And Mr. Stranger bases his decision on what? - Other profits for the seller? How much money the buyer has? Whim? Bribes? His desire to see the Giants play?
This is absurd. People should buy or sell things based upon the value they put on the product and not what some other guy says is “fair”.

Friday, October 15, 2010

Out of his depth

With little fanfare, the First Dope has lifted the ban on drilling in the gulf. The ban was supposed to last until December but he needs votes so whatever is supposed to happen is irrelevant. The problem is that – by Government estimates - 10,000 lost their jobs because of the ban. (What are the odds that their number is too low?) It seems that the oil rigs involved are valuable, moveable, and don’t make any money when there are not in use. It is a surprise to no one except the Administration that many of the rigs have left the Gulf. Whether they come back to deal with the additional levels of paperwork the Administration now requires is not yet know – at least not known to the Administration.
The elephant in the room is why the drilling in the Gulf is going on anyway. It would make the environmentalists happy if were to go any, it would make the oil companies happy not to have lay out the additional costs for deep water drilling, and it would make the customers happy if it were cheaper to obtain domestic oil. This is too easy. Drill on land. There are lots of reserves under land that the Administration is keeping off limits. Drilling in these areas can be controlled, is cheaper for everyone, is safer, is domestic and if anything does go wrong can be fixed sooner than the months the under water accident took to resolve

Spinning Social Security

Newsday is nothing if not a reliable mouthpiece for all things related to the Democratic party.
A recent editorial on the 2011 cost of living adjustment to Social Security that is not going to happen was devoted to telling everyone that this was good news. By some measurement known only to the Feds and Newsday editorial writers, these wizards have determined that prices have declined. Of course, no one in their bizarro world will disclose where they buy their gas, heating oil or food so maybe there is a planet where prices are falling.
And in a final display of their economic intelligence level, the last line of the editorial is quoted here with out comment.
“A true cost of living adjustment, after all, would sometimes mean a smaller check.”

Blending for Oil

The EPA struck another blow to sanity by raising the allowable limit of Ethanol mixed with gas to 15%. They determined that the new limit does not harm the emission controls equipment current being produced nor would it harm engine performance. The cars guys I know all say the opposite but they actually work on engines unlike the EPA guys who specialize in pushing paper and making stuff up.

The political reason for this (does the First Dope ever have any other reason)is the ruling helps farmers get more money for their corn but will increase the costs of food. Now pretty much everyone buys food and will be adversely impacted by this so the exact political calculus behind the ruling is murky. The news article concedes that there is a “broad coalition” of groups against this ruling – unusual allies including environmentalists, car companies, food companies, and cattle ranchers. They left out people who will be paying more to eat stuff.

Seems like more rigid ideology: Don’t care what it means, got to have those renewable resources - no matter what.


The AP has broken a big news story again. Their headline was “Palin PAC gives big to conservatives”. Wonder where they thought it should go.

The Brookings Institute tried to top them with their study of immigration and income levels. The study noted that in the areas with large increase of Hispanic immigrants, income levels dropped. One area noted as a “bright spot” was Washington, DC. Apparently, the incomes there are rising thanks to “steady demand” for government workers.
The foremost Democratic think(?)-tank sees no problem here. That is the problem.

Last week the American Postal Workers Union had to postpone its national election of officers because so many of the ballots were lost in the mail. No comment could be adequate

Friday, October 8, 2010

A likely story

The house organ for the White House – otherwise know as the AP – released a story that the economy is "likely" creating jobs! Likely? This is a refinement of the First Dope's favorite economic stat: "Jobs saved". Jobs saved is a pie in the sky, make believe number that can be neither proven nor refuted with any accuracy. His press releases touting the success of his stimulus programs usually track jobs created and jobs saved. This made up number will now include jobs that are likely to be created. Of course, they will continue to only give one number. Think they rely mostly on jobs saved and likely to be created?
This sophisticated economic statistical analysis is the norm for the AP parrots. There is a difference between “the sun is likely come up tomorrow” and “it is likely that the unemployment rate is 3% next week” but the wizards at AP doesn’t seem to see this subtle difference.
How can people with opposing thumbs continue to buy this crap? Vote accordingly.

Monday, October 4, 2010

Getting Stuff from the Government

Newsday reports that NY will get 2.3% of the Administration’s latest redistribution plan. The program has enough problems but the idea that NY will “get” anything from this program is a joke. First, over half the money that this Administration is spending is borrowed. Second, the potion that is not borrowed is collected from citizens and run through the Washington administrative process that is most effective in reducing the amount available to spend on any project. Third, more than 2.3% of the Federal tax income is collected from NY. So, for the money that is not borrowed we are “getting” back less than we send to Washington. It would be way more efficient for every project that is not a Constitutional responsibility of the Federal government for the money just not to be collected in the first place.

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Rutgers Suicide

A gay guy killed himself after his non-gay roommate posted a video of his gay sexual encounter. The media is crazed and wants to try the posters for a hate crime. Lots of other emotional response on the campus where this happened.
First, it is unfortunate that the guy is dead. Suicide never solved anything. Second, the guy was gay. His business entirely.
The hate crime stuff is really dopey. Did the guy kill himself because people found out he was gay? Was he embarrassed? Why? Because he was gay? Suppose he was embarrassed to be short, left handed, a Met Fan. Being embarrassed is not a good reason for suicide - not that there is one. Sexual orientation comes out eventually anyway. If that was the reason, it was a suicide waiting to happen.
Turn it around. Suppose the video showed him and a girl and he would be embarrassed if his mother saw it.
Is the poster guilt of anything but bad taste?

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Democrats swing the other way

It is not only Barney. A bunch of Democrats (is it a bunch, a pride, no they are not lions; a murder, like crows. That’s it. A murder of Democrats) – 47 exactly – has determined that the much discussed current tax rates should continue after January first.
What is happening here? Have these 47 former followers of the First Dope suddenly come to the realization that their economic expertise has been incorrect? Not only are admitting being wrong but their letter to Ms Pelosi says “Raising taxes on capital gains and dividends could discourage individuals from saving and investing.” The murder is admitting that the Republicans are right. The Republicans have been saying that for years and suddenly these former Kool-aid drinkers are agreeing. What could have happened to cause that? Perhaps there is hope for the US educational system. More likely, these guys see the writing on the wall. The people who pay taxes are tired of getting the short end of the stick and will be heard at the polls. So, like any clever murder, they change tactics and are campaigning against everything they have done in the past.
But it probably won’t work. After buying into the campaign slogans for years, their former constituents will be outraged that their patrons are now supporting “tax breaks for the rich”. These guys will lose the support of the confirmed Kool-aid drinkers. And will the oppressed tax paying public buy their new and tax and spend stance? After the orgy of spending and dopey programs that has come out of Congress for the past 4 years (They took over Congress in 2006 - before the crash.), no one will be signing up for that one. The short analysis is they will lose their supporters and not gain any new adherents. Brilliant move.
While a good part of the Democratic majority completely switches their economic philosophy overnight and contradicts everything that they have been saying, the First Dope announces that Republicans are the liars. Who is the pot and who is the kettle? Incredible.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Haitian Charity

Newsday latest editorial proposes fast tracking Haitian visas so that Haitians can come to the States, get jobs and send the money back to Haiti. The major problem is: What jobs are they going to get? If they get a job, it is the underlying assumption that it is one of those jobs that currently unemployed citizens do not want – whatever those jobs are. The editorial further proposes that that these Haitians take the money out of the local economy and send it somewhere else. The result will be that Government services will be further strained by people who the plan is contribute nothing to the local economy. Except for that, this is plan is exactly the same as calling for jobs to be outsourced to Haiti. Another brilliant idea from the folks who will be supporting anyone who supports President Obama in the coming elections.

MTA saves money

The MTA is to be congratulated – sort of – for trying to reduce overtime at the LIRR. But let us not get carried away with praising them. The largest causes of overtime are noted as people padding the salary just before retirement, unnecessary sick leave, and doing things that limit productivity. That the MTA management has awoken to do something about this is good. The fact that this stuff has been going on for years with their tacit approval is not.

Friday, September 24, 2010

Saving the World

One of the accomplishments of the recent UN meeting was that “Nations pledge $40B in aid to poor”. That is just fine. However, it would be interesting to determine just which nations are doing the pledging. Since it is the UN the guess is that about 60% of the pledged money will come from the United States and The First Dope has promised to honor the pledge. That is the normal process anyway. It remains to be seen whether the other countries will honor their pledges and which countries even made pledges in the first place.
The United States is broke. For any money that we contribute to anything, most of it has to be borrowed. Where is this money going to go? Countries where people make $1.25 a day says story. Like China? So we are borrowing money from China to send money through the UN (where whatever we contribute will be reduced by administrative costs for high living functionaries, bribes, and general waste) back to China to give to their citizens. That makes sense. Or maybe the aid will go to the many Muslim countries where we are so beloved. These countries are receiving our payments for their oil – and gracefully letting the US take care of their fellow followers of the Prophet. Or maybe the $1.25/day people are in countries that send us their excess populations as illegal aliens.
And at the end of the UN meeting The First Dope will switch his attention to resolving the problems in the Sudan. Priorities are important

Health Care Savings

The latest group to look at the Health Care bill has determined that “Many face double-digit hikes in Medicare drug premiums”. Their study says that 70% of seniors will have average increases of 10% in their premiums. It is reasonable to wonder what other bad things are going to come out now that people are able to read this bill and why:
1.) We were assured by people who admittedly did not read the bill that it would save everyone money. 2.) None of the people who actually voted for this bill are campaigning based upon their support for it.
3.) Why we should vote for any of the above people.
4.) Since there is an election going on, why don’t any of the supporters tell us about the good things that will result from this bill.

Where to Look?

Janet Napolitano has managed to figure out that the Islamoterrorists are recruiting inside the US. Now someone probably told her this but how she figured it out is not relevant. Regardless, how and where these terrorists are doing their recruiting has become a big problem for Homeland Security and its many sub-agencies. According to the White House mouthpiece (The AP) it is just hard for them to find these recruiters because they are recruiting US citizens.
Remember when these wizards took over and “increased” their vigilance and airports. In the name of keeping the vigilance politically correct. My mother and her artificial hip got more scrutiny when boarding a plane than Mohammed al-BombThrower. Now that this new recruiting operation has been determine, this is another opportunity for Homeland Security to insure that assorted Christian and Jewish places of worship are as tightly monitored as places where people might congregate who want to blow things up - like mosques maybe. The Homeland Security “How to Catch a Terrorist for Dummies” manual should include the general instruction that you look for cabbage in the cabbage patch.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Mosque Money

The Office of the Comptroller of NYC (Democrat) announced that an application to fund the ground zero mosque with tax free bonds would be approved. The people who support this atrocity would also build it with public support. Some things to note: almost every public figure that supports this is a Democrat; everyone who will not take a stand is a Democrat; almost every public figure who opposes it is a Republican or Conservative. Vote accordingly

Jimmy Carter

When will this guy go away? He has two claims to fame: up until two years ago he was in the short list of the worst Presidents in history and he gets involved as a mediator in things that do no credit to the country - sort of white Jesse Jackson.
Now he claims that he was the original tea party candidate. He was the outsider in his election run. He was an outsider but not because of any political policy differences. He ran as not being Gerry Ford- just as The First Dope’s campaign was basically “I am not George Bush”. Not the same thing. His expert analysis of his Presidency is that he tried to do too much and over burdened Congress. He regrets that Ted Kennedy’s run and the Iran hostage crisis (which he caused and completely mismanaged) cost him the 1980 election which he would have won without those two events. The guy continues to be delusional. He carried 5 states and just barely lost in a landslide to some guy named Reagan

The Incredible AP

A new health care poll is incorrectly reported by the AP. They are reporting that most Americans Incorrectly think that the Health Care bill will raise taxes. Perhaps these guys are referring to another health care bill that will not raise taxes but the one we are currently stuck with certainly does. No Democrats – the people that voted for this atrocity – are proudly proclaiming their support of this bill as an accomplishment during their election campaigns. Wonder why? Could it be that now that they passed it they got around to reading it? These guys screwed up, they know it and they are running as hard as they can the other way. Steve Israel (D-NY) is trying to convince people he is a Washington outsider. Good luck Steve. Most of the other Democratic candidacies are based upon throwing mud at their opponents. They want no part of defending their actions or debating policy. The First Dope has been reduced to announcing that he will only be campaigning in “urban areas” (a double super secret Democratic code word that no one is supposed to understand). There have been no requests for campaign photo ops with The Dope. The most positive news announced by the National Democrat Committee has been their new logo – nicknamed the “Down Button”

General Powell's hired help

We are instructed by Colin Powell that illegal immigrants did a fine job fixing up his house; that Republicans must not become anti-immigration and it is not enough to call for controlled federal spending and adherence to the Constitution.
This is to instruct General Powell that hiring illegal immigrants is illegal; that the Republican Party has never made any statement that denies the benefits of legal immigration; and it is most certainly enough to call for controlled federal spending and adherence to the Constitution. Following that path would have a huge positive impact. If he does not understand that he has no business making believe that he is a Republican.

The AP whines again

In the last few weeks, the AP has touted; the end of the recession; the disappearance of all the oil in the gulf; the decrease in illegal immigration; and praised the less that 1% decrease in new jobless claims. All of these things are – in their minds - triumphs of The First Dope’s policies. Never mind that the recession supposedly ended before any of his policies were enacted; the oil claim is violently scientifically disputed; illegal immigrants don’t want to be counted and are hiding so any decrease is a guess; and the unemployment rate is going up to 10%. They also criticize everyone who won a Republican primary winner.
They covered a conference of US/Mexican governors that announce that there should be immigration reform. Yes there should be but calling for a path to legalization for the current illegals is not it. The story only quotes Bill Richardson and some other Mexican governors because no other US governors attended. So only people who support amnesty have a meeting to promote amnesty and the AP announces that the result of the meeting was a “Push for immigration reform”. Despite it all the AP continues to claim the mantle of being the fair and balanced ones.
We can only hope that someday they will become immune to the Kool-Aid they are drinking

Redistribution tries again

An opinion piece in the Newsday calls The First Dope’s efforts to stem the foreclosure tide “ineffective” – accurate and kind at the same time. Neil Baron, who Newsday calls a former Reagan appointee, has a solution: reduce the outstanding principal on mortgage loans to at or near current value. He does not specify the criteria for doing this, only that people who can pay their existing mortgage would not qualify for the reduction. Mr. Baron admits that this would incense the people who have been responsible in their borrowings and would not be helped, even criticizing Republicans who he anticipates would stoke the outrage.
In Mr. Baron’s world, he justifies this with an Orwellian double think: By helping those who were irresponsible, the plan actually helps those who are not eligible for help because lowering the foreclosure rate is good for everyone. And somehow this would all save taxpayer money.

Local Houses

There is a big fight in Huntington Station about an “affordable housing” project. The general outline is that the builder wants to put up almost 500 “units’ on a piece of property near the Huntington Railroad station. This project is opposed by people who see their property values decline because of it; project bad results in several areas for the school system; and see that crime will increase. The supporters of the project see improvements in the transit situation (?), call the projected crime fears “baseless”, and criticize the Town Board for opposing it after initially supporting it. (This last is a joke. The Town Board is actually being criticized for listening to its constituents. It’s not because they really oppose the project but it’s a start.)
The supporters would have a better case if they could demonstrate where there is any affordable housing project anywhere that has not resulted in an increase in crime in the local area. The type of project that does result in less crime is usually criticized for gentrifying the area. These are the ones that result in housing that is only affordable to people who actually pay full price for the property and have an interest in taking care of it. “Only” 25% of this project would be in the affordable category is ridiculous. So, only 25% of the units would be held by people who have no stake in taking care of it and would be living in housing that they can’t afford without government help. That is what caused our current problem. Continuing to do the thing that caused the problem is probably not the solution and it will not help the value of the other 75%.
There is a nearby project that was once considered “affordable housing” that can be used to see what happens over time to these great ideas. It is a rental property that was once called Winoka Village. Anyone want to live near projects like that? There are many other such projects all over NYC. None of them have been successful.

Stimulated Yet?

The First Dope just does not get it. He is calling for another $20 Billion. Of course, the Treasury does not have the money but it did not have the money for the last three stimulus bills. Those last three bills did manage stimulated people to vote against most of the people who supported them. That is something and a change in Congress will eventually create jobs but this won’t. About half of the money of is going to support municipal union pension and health programs for the Post Office and to settle lawsuits against the government. There is no announcement of which lawsuits, who is suing and why – sounds like another round of redistribution. As a rough estimate, these two things together will stimulate approximately no (zero) jobs.
The main plan is to put all of this junk into a funding bill to keep the government funded so it can continue to operate. They did this under Clinton and made political hay because Newt and the boys opposed all of the attached spending. The media responded by blaming Newt. This time there is a different sentiment. Exactly how bad would it be if Federal offices closed for a few days. This might be viewed a bit differently how.

Not Fair

Bush talked about “Mission Accomplished”. Probably a mistake and he heard about it a lot in the media. With equal fanfare (except for the plane) the First Dope ended combat missions in Iraq. Except there are still 5,000 people there being shot at. The couple of fights that the “non-combat” troops have been in have been reported in small article a couple dozen pages back – if the paper reports then at all. Tell me again about who is fair and balanced.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Support your local lender

A group of central banks got together and came up with a new set of rules to “prevent another financial collapse without impeding the fragile economic recovery.”

The rules require that the banks hold more in reserves and keep a larger contingency buffer. That means that a bank that wants to lend as much as it is legally allowed to lend, can now lend less than it did before these rules. So, bank profit margins will go down. It apparently judged as a good thing to limit profits.

Another indication that there is something wrong here is that our First Dope supports these regulations. They are basically a mirror of the rules the US Fed put out during the summer. Those are the rules that completely ignored Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae – the agencies that were responsible for the collapse in the first place

Not a Quota

Another example of what passes for equality is the recent ruling about the NYC fireman’s test. The judge involved noted that the percentage of people who passed the test did not reflect the percentage breakdown of the racial composition of the test takers. It is apparently illegal for more white people to score well on a test that minorities. The judge's primary solution is to take some low scoring whites off the list and replace them with “high scoring” minorities. It turns out that these are the “high scoring” minorities that scored lower than the whites that they will be replacing. That would mean that they scored the highest of all the lower scoring people on the test but only if they were minorities. Must be some legal reasoning here that converts that to actual intelligible and logical thought. The judge says that this would only “resemble racial hiring quotas”. Look like a duck, quacks like a duck.


The current Congress is still pushing home ownership for everyone regardless of affordability. In their latest brainstorm they have restructured the FHA fees. These are the FHA loans that require at least 3.5% down. To make it even easier, Congress has cut the upfront fees by over 50% - from 2.25% of the loan to 1%. That means an up front savings of $2500 on a $200,000 loan which can be spread over the 30year life of the loan. These same economic wizards have also raised the annual fee for the loan from .55% to .9%. So the monthly fee goes up about $60 on the same loan. The net result is that after ten years, Mr. Homeowner will pay about 3 times as much as he does now. They think this is a good deal!

Another economic triumph from the geniuses who have brought you 105% mortgage loans and eliminated income requirements; the cash for clunkers program that is responsible for increasing the cost of a used car by 10; the many Stimulus programs that have managed to move the unemployment rate from 8% to 9.6% at a cost of only $850 billion dollars; and on and on.

The First Dope says he needs more time. It will apparently take him the same amount of time as it took Castro to figure out that it won’t work. But I don’t have 51 years to wait.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Our nuts and their nuts

This supposed pastor in Florida who wants to burn the Koran is dead wrong. He is a nut and there is no way his planned bonfire can be the right thing to do.

Given that, it is truly unfortunate that he has become the face (at least the media face) of people who have legitimate concerns about what is in fact a war with radical Islam. Let's keep in context that he and his 50 supposed followers are an almost non-existent percentage of the 350 million people in the US. The estimate of radical Islamists is 10% of over a billion people – over 100 million. This guy has no visible support except for his media releases and the dopey media people that have published them.

While there is no ground swell of agreement with this dope, there is an underlying discontent. The people that are most vigorously censoring this pastor for his non-politically correct stance are the same ones who have in the past justified and supported using public funds for such displays as a crucifix in urine and dung portraits of other Christian scenes. There is an inconsistency in how these things are viewed that makes it clear that political correctness does not apply across the entire spectrum of religious beliefs. That really annoys some people. Both burning the Koran and a urine soaked crucifix are inappropriate and both sides are wrong in seeing that only “their” opinion is correct. If anyone at least took the same position in both cases it would be more defensible.

There are legitimate actions that can be taken to protest things like building the mosque in Manhattan. This is not one of them.

If this book burning goes as scheduled, the hope is that his “church” catches fire. The “eye for an eye” idea is in both Books.

Friday, September 3, 2010

Lies and Damn Lies

The First Dope is constantly fighting against the dreaded “Tax cuts for the wealthy”. So let’s do some arithmetic.
Bush cut the tax rates for middle income people by substantially more than they did for the highest bracket. The higher bracket went down from 39% to 35% (Less than a 10% reduction.) At the lowest level, the Bush reduction lowered the rate from 15% to 10%. That is a 50% reduction in their tax liability. (This is for the people who actually pay taxes. Almost 50% of the people don’t pay anything.)

The Democratic spin is that the wealthy got a bigger tax cut. They analyze this by saying that a guy making $500,000 a year with no deductions pays $175,000 ($500,000 x .35) instead of $195,000 ($500000 x .35). He gets a $20,000 tax cut. The guy who makes $60,000 pays $9000 at 15% and $6000 at 10% so he only saves $3000. So the “wealthy” guy saves more in absolute dollars than the middle guy. Mr. Wealthy Guy makes about 8 times what the other guy does but paid 22 times what the middle guy pays before the Bush tax cuts. After the tax cuts, he still makes 8 times the salary but after the Bush tax cuts he pays 29 times the taxes.
It is of course impossible for the middle class guy to save $20,000 on the tax cuts because he never would have paid that much. Tax cuts in the progressive system that we have can never favor the little guy in absolute dollars unless we just redistribute everything.
The Dems have been spinning this for years but the whole “tax cuts for the wealthy” thing is a statistical lie.

The Perfect Storm

Indications are that consumer confidence in the economy is getting stronger, the Stock Market is trending up, and the banks and large corporations are making money. Meanwhile, the unemployment stays at 9.5% (at least) with no indication of improvement.
This is the perfect storm for the First Dope. He and the Democrats have worked diligently over the past few years to cast the banks, the Stock Market, corporations and anyone who actually wants to make a profit as the bad guy.
The result has been that companies have learned to cope (make a profit) with fewer employees and have no interest in adding staff with the current uncertainty in health costs, regulations and taxes. The Stock Market will react to profits as they always do. Consumer confidence is increasing in tandem with the likelihood that there will be a change in the political machinery.
As these things continue to snowball, all the Democratic bogeymen will continue to do well. This is not what the Democrats want to see with the unemployment rate stuck where it is. The people that they court won't be happy.

What can their spin be: (pick one)
All our programs made money for all the people we said were bad guys but there are still no jobs.
Another trillion in stimulus will do it.
Wait until the Health Care Bill takes effect.
We have turned the corner.
It is the Fall of Recovery. (Think about that one)
The Party of No is hindering us.
If people only stop clinging to their Bibles and Guns we would be ok

Whatever they do it will be accompanied by the ever present, it is Bush’s fault

Titles and Taxes

There is a new NYS tax on Title companies. These companies now have to pay a tax (about 10%) on searches that are the basis of their business. The law further specifies that this additional tax cannot be passed on to the customer.
This is a clear example of the stupidity of our current legislators.
First, any business functions on obtaining raw materials, does something with and resells the new product. Our legislative wizards have determined that even though a company’s cost of raw materials has increased, the companies prices must remain the same. Brilliant! If this were applied universally, there would be no businesses. The economic stupidity involved is beyond comprehension.
Of course, since these companies are legally prohibited for adding this cost to their bill, the cost will just be buried somewhere else and the customer will pay anyway. Such business acumen would apparently be a surprise to our legislative wizards. But to prevent business from trying to survive, hordes of new state employees will be needed to avoid the potential calamity of a business trying to stay profitable.
It is difficult to determine how things such as this will help improve the business climate, home sales or the state budget situation.


The Washington Post reports that “Life’s gotten pretty miserable for [illegal] immigrants in the United States”. They note that “the increased scrutiny has been stressful”. That is offered as the reason that illegal immigration is slowing down. Good, living outside the law should be stressful.
This is something like the Gulf oil leak. First, you stop the leak, then you clean up the mess. Arizona and the states that are doing the same thing have taken the lead in plugging the leak. (The Administration has done nothing positive.) As we have seen, it is possible to plug a massive leak. The plugging and the cleanup continue

Smoking Signals

The courts have told us that the NYS cigarette tax cannot be collected from Indian reservation stores because doing so would be “undermining Indian sovereignty”. The whole idea of these reservations not being part of the USA is a separate argument.
Ignore that and assume Indian sovereignty. Why is any money going to these “foreign” countries? Aside from being able to open a new casino and take part in the profits, the only thing the reservations do is keep people on a permanent regimen of government benefits.
Some people have as many cousins as these tribes have members. This is another bad PC joke

Please stop

WFB used to say the point was to stand athwart history yelling stop. That has never been more important. The First Dope continues to float trial balloons of his different ideas for “boosting” the economy. Not that because of the level of success achieved by his previous efforts, the word “stimulus” has been banned. The White House didn’t really say anything other than they would do something but it would not be a “second stimulus”. That is something like the previous injunction to “to pass the bill so we can find out what is in it”. Some Democrats are reported to be running the other way. Rats and a sinking ship would be a proper metaphor.

Which is the (civil) servant

There are many things that can be said about the excessive salary and benefit deals politicians gave municipal employees as a reward for their support but the most egregious is requirement that governs the funding of their pension funds.
Past administrations have given in to the demand that the return on investment is at a guaranteed rate. Whether that guaranteed rate is set at the proper level is one issue another is what happens if there were to be an excess. We, the taxpayers, are on the hook for hundreds of millions (just on LI) to make up for the recent investment shortfall. Someday, we all devotedly hope, these pension fund investments are going to grow. When they grow, they will generate more money because taxpayers funded the current shortfall. So these pension funds benefit from funding a one year shortfall and get the compounded benefit of that shortfall. Does anyone think that will mean that the funds give money back to the state? Of course not. What will happen is that the benefits distributed to the pensioners will increase beyond there already generous levels. All funded by the taxpayer.


Steven Hawking is hawking a new book and the story is that there is no God. I’m not a big God guy but I don’t follow Hawking (perhaps not surprisingly). He says "Because there is a law such as gravity, the universe can and will create itself from nothing,"
Now I struggled mightily to get through College Physics but gravity is the force that attracts two objects together (At least it was a long time ago but don’t think that’s changed). If that is his argument, it seems weak to me. If there is nothing (and you don’t have two things that can attract each other), there is no gravity. If there is no gravity, you can’t pin this whole thing on gravity. As Newton would say, “Quod erat demonstrandum.”
Whatever is capable of starting something from nothing is God – whether it was the guy with the long white hair who can do anything or a quantum reaction between two bits of nothing which aren’t there (huh?)

By their friends ye shall know them

Louis Farrakhan supports building the NYC mosque.

Monday, August 30, 2010


Glenn Beck has a rally. Sharpton is furious. The rally is on the 47th anniversary of the date and in the same place as MLK gave his “I have a dream” speech. Now certainly the MLK speech is justifiably memorable. But who remembered the date? Three weeks ago, it would have been interesting to have asked the population at large the date of that speech. The percentage of people who got it correct would have been less than the margin of error. It is doubtful that the people who attended Sharpton’s rally would have done much better.

Friday, August 27, 2010

Democrats aren't the only dopey ones

I attended the Republican Party committee meeting last night (8/26). I learned two things:
1. The three candidates for the Republic nomination to oppose Tim Bishop are all attractive candidates and espouse solid free market policies. Happily, the policy differences between the three are all but indistinguishable.
2. Democrats do not have a monopoly on stupidity.

The Conservative Party required their nominee to pledge that he would run regardless of the outcome of the Republican Party primary for the position. Mr. Altshuler plans on honoring his pledge. He is understandably in a bad spot and at least it is the honorable thing to do.

But if Mr. Altshuler does not win the Republican primary there will be two candidates opposing Mr. Bishop. Both will campaign on the same basic policies and on the fact that they are not Tim Bishop. Unfortunately, a candidate running only on the Conservative line will not win this election. So, a vote on the Conservative line will become a vote for Mr. Bishop! This will be of incredible benefit to Mr. Bishop’s chances for re-election since the margin of victory for this seat will almost certainly be less than the number of votes obtained on the Conservative line. Those votes must go to a candidate who can win.

The need to reverse the current economic direction is way too important and Mr. Bishop must be defeated by a candidate who has his head screwed on Right. The solution is for the Conservative Party to release Mr. Altshuler from that pledge if he does not win the Republican primary. To do otherwise is to support Mr. Bishop.

Providing Mr. Bishop with assistance in this manner is a disgrace to the Conservative Party. It can only be hoped that the Party is not doing the same thing in other election districts but if this any example that is a vain hope.

Friday, August 20, 2010

Looking the wrong way

The Obama administration has taken the position that there are so many illegal aliens that it is folly to try to do anything about them. Their plan is to make them legal aliens rewarding the people who are here illegally at the expense of other people who are waiting to get in - people who might actually have some marketable skills that do not involve a shovel or a paper hat.

Think about that. Their argument is that there are lots of them so let’s not catch any of them. There is ample proof that law enforcement does not catch all of the bank robbers, rapists pedophiles and perpetrators of assorted other illegal acts. But that is not taken as reason that because we cannot catch criminal A we should not try to catch criminal B. Doesn’t work that way.


A judge ruled that a terrorist does not have the right to a speedy trial. The basis of the decision was not spelled out but the guy was arguing that he had 6th amendment rights. A judge has finally ruled that a foreign national that tries to blow up people is not entitled to the protections of the US Constitution. Good for the judge. The bad news is that the headline of the story was “Ruling a setback for high valued detainees”. These editors seem to think thisis a setback for someone. “Ruling a victory for people who want to prosecute terrorists” seems to be more appropriate.

Pensions and the AG

Somehow it is a surprise to AG Cuomo that government workers are milking the NYS and municipal pension systems. Public sector jobs are paid 50% more than private industry in salary and benefits and this has been going on for years. They don’t contribute anything to their pension plans and can pad them at will before retiring. He also missed the part about the incredibly high percentage of them that retire as “disabled”. If someone is hurt on the job they deserve whatever they get, but when 99% of LIRR employees retire with a disability there is a problem. Or perhaps I underestimate the danger of injury from the ticket punching.

Really easy money

The Fed and the Administration want to provide more money to banks to lend to small businesses. One question needs to be asked before determining whether this makes any sense. Will the lending guidelines that will be forced upon the banks be the same as the government’s (almost non-existent) mortgage lending guidelines that created the current economic situation? Banks are supposed to lend to businesses that have an expectation of paying the loan back. Giving away money will not help anything. That does not mean they should not lend to small businesses or do so without risk. It means reasonable lending criteria. Some things are easy – like not giving mortgage credits to people in jail – but the government couldn’t manage to avoid that. Some are made harder with government interference, quotas and set asides. Banks have money; the government just has to create the situation where they can lend and small businesses can expand. Immediate write-off of capital expenses would be a start; dropping all the expenses for a new employee would be a good follow up.


Political parties are not clear indicators of anything, there being dopes on both sides. We should all be concerned with the basis of the economic message that the two groups are preaching.

Obama’s message is an appeal to class envy – the long time Democratic strategy to convince people that if the other guy has a dollar that is a dollar that you don’t have. They promote this as “fairness” since “they” have something that “you” don’t. Obviously, they do not consider this as fair. Their solution is to take it away from them (tax ‘em) and give it out. They understand that Redistribution is popular - as long as it is the other guy’s wealth that is redistributed. The Dems think that not only should “the rich” pay more in dollars because they have it, they should pay more at a higher rate because they can. Their balancing act is to convince people that anyone who makes more than they do is rich and the target of these policies.

In this model, the symbol of all things evil is Bush’s “tax cuts for the rich”. So, Obama promises to repeal that and cut taxes for everyone else. But half the people don’t pay any taxes. So, the O man gives them money from the Stimulus (Google Making Work Pay) and calls it a tax cut. That is what he means when he says he cut taxes for more than half the people. He borrowed money, gave it away to people who don’t pay taxes in the first place and called it a tax cut - an average of $8 a week for everyone involved. Anyone remember getting that? Can anyone figure out what that stimulates?

The other message is simple - economic freedom - you make what you make and you get to keep it. The premise is that economic growth and wealth creation is a good thing – even if some people make a profit (Oh the horror!) while doing so. Profits mean jobs, some jobs that make more than others, but jobs are created none the less.


Progress is a pretty good thing. The range of things that make life better and easier is constantly expanding. People invent stuff and other people improve on inventions and find new applications for products. Who could argue? Well, there is one group that has been fighting progress for hundred of years. Once they were called guilds, now they are unions. Whatever the name, their main aim is to stand as a roadblock to progress.

The union stance is that they are insuring quality products by making sure that only qualified people do whatever the job it is they are protecting. “Qualified people” of course means members of the union.

There is no doubt that the stronger the union the higher the level of wages/benefits that can be obtained from the evil capitalist employer. That is good for the union members – in the short term – and bad for everyone else.

The bottom line is that jobs change over time. Most of jobs that people have now did not exist in 1900. Had the Amalgamated Buggy Whip Makers and the United Horseshoemen of America existed you can be sure they would have been violently opposed to the automobile. That would fit their purpose but it would not help. The examples are as numerous as the inventions. Setting up organizations whose primary focus is to make sure that they oppose change thwarts the creation of new jobs, blocks efficiency which distorts the market wages and prices. All this makes progress and job creation even harder to achieve.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Obamanomics again

The First Dope announces yet another plan that is supposed to help small businesses. As usual the idea is to call the program something that everyone agrees is a good idea. The actual plan is somewhat different.

He wants to give the Small Business Administration $12 billion to states (?) to provide loans and provide banks with under $10 billion in assets another $30 billion dollars to make small business loans. The basis of the idea is to “ease the terms for loans”. Brilliant!! Another program that is designed to give money out to people based upon no known lending standards. And the money would not have to be repaid to the government based upon how many small business loans were made. Another $30 billion down the drain.

The double whammy is that they want to lower the loan standards and at the same time reward the banks for making the loans with low standards. Sound familiar? This is exactly what Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae did to mortgage lending that cause all the problems in the first place.

Keep doing the same thing and expect different results. Definition of an Idiot.

Trials & Tribulations

After years of investigation, preceded by lots of mudslinging, the Obama Justice Department has determined that it has no case against former Representative Tom Delay. The guy was hounded out of office and the Obama DoJ that would obviously love to pin something on this guy, admits they have no case. When the mud was being slung, this was prime media news. The decision to drop the case rated a few lines in the back of the paper.

The same Obama DoJ dropped the charges against the late former Ted Stevens (R. Alaska). Another guy the slandered – which was the point a few weeks before his reelection bid? They did what they wanted and he lost the election. They don’t care about the charges and just drop them. Hear that in any of the coverage of his death?

The smears that Sarah Palin was forced to defend herself against fall into exactly the same category. People on the other side generate unproven rumors about “federal investigations”. This hits the papers and the initiators are quoted as “proof”. There were no federal investigations, there were no local investigations, and there were only rumors and what turned out to be frivolous lawsuits that she had to pay personally to defend. No charges no DoJ case. Think Obama and Holder would have pursued this if there was anything there? But they didn’t.

Then we have Rangel and Waters. A Democratic House is brings these two up on charges. Note, a Democrat controlled House. That tells you something about how bad this must be. They want a speedy trial so that the Democrats still have a majority when they face their jury.