No Runny Eggs

The repository of one hard-boiled egg from the south suburbs of Milwaukee, Wisconsin (and the occassional guest-blogger). The ramblings within may or may not offend, shock and awe you, but they are what I (or my guest-bloggers) think.

Day by Day cartoon

Archive for June, 2007

June 29, 2007

Last blog standing

by @ 18:41. Filed under Politics - Wisconsin, The Blog.

(H/T – Owen)

It seems the hacks at the Wisconsin Department of Veterans Affairs got their collective panties in a wad when they found out one of their employees was reading blogs on state time, so they cut off access to no less than 202 websites (as compiled by Political Capital) for the employees of the DOVA and the residents of the veterans’ homes run by the state, spanning the spectrum of the Cheddarsphere and even some Wisconsin media websites. While the ancient Blogger version of NRE is on the banned list, I don’t seem to see the current version on that list. Of course, since DOVA has spent over $35,000 so far to replicate the ChiCom web experience, I wouldn’t be surprised if they did get this place on the banned list.

June 28, 2007

Amnesty dead, Volume 2

by @ 11:57. Filed under Immigration, Politics - National.

shamnestykillsm.jpg
(Pic courtesy Michelle Malkin, who would look good in that yellow tracksuit, via David Lunde)

I have good news and I have bad news regarding illegal immigration and the integrity of the southern border. The good news is that the amnesty/faux border security/faux anti-illegal-immigration bill failed to get final cloture 46-53 (no, that is not a misprint; 53 voted against allowing the final vote). That means the 12 20 however many million illegal aliens who are here plus however many million that would have snuck across the border between now and the end of the amnesty period and grabbed some forged documentation to claim their ill-gotten amnesty (H/T – Ace) because the detention-and-deportation process would have been shut down won’t get a path to citizenship. That means that a hideously-expensive microscopic “virtual” fence that would be not only easy to avoid, but almost certainly not defended (based on current lack of enforcement encouraged on the southern border) won’t be built. That means that hordes of “guest workers”, which has turned into the bane of Europe (side note, a lot of those Euro-Islamokazis instrumental in the slow-mo Caliphate-ization of Europe grew roots through that program) won’t be invited here to overstay their visas and become illegal again.

The bad news is that we’re back to the status quo; the same almost-complete lack of enforcement of the current immigration laws and borders that led us into this self-made “crisis”. We’re still going to have millions of illegal aliens here, and millions more walking across an invisible border, with an executive branch more interested in persecuting those few border agents who believe there should be a southern border than pursuing those who flaunt said border. The Cheddarsphere’s blogfather, Charlie Sykes, just said on his show that there will be political blowback in the form of the Unfairness Doctrine (side note; the bipartisan members of the federal P-I-G would’ve found another excuse to try to bring it back, and amnesty’s failure will not increase the chances of them being successful). The Cassandra-ish Wall Street Journal thinks that amnesty’s defeat (written yesterday) will make the Republican Party a minority party again (Really? I’ll come back to this one in a while because it does deserve a full-court fisking).

As for me, I’ll take the Hattori Hanzo sword to the neck of this thing and take the tsunami for (hopefully) just another 19 months. The alternative was much worse. Allow me to explain said alternative, especially for the edification of those few of you who thought that the McShame-Swimmer-Bush Amnesty Act was a good idea:
- The immediate loss of somewhere north of 12 million voters for the Republican Party, especially for those that supported amnesty, because they would have seen this as the final betrayal. After the 2008 slaughter, we would re-enter the 1850s politically, when there was no credible challenge to the Democratic Party. Unlike the 1850s, and unlike the late 1970s, I doubt the Dhimms will repeat the mistakes of allowing an opposition party enough air to breathe and get traction.
- Eventual American citizenship given to the 12 million 20 million illegal aliens most of Mexico’s population plus assorted others. For those that think that Republicans can battle for their votes by running on conservative values, guess again. Even the “conservative” party in Mexico advocates a larger role of government, especially federal government, than what currently exists here. That the Mexican government fails to deliver on said pandering is one of the major reasons why they head north, and woe be the party that doesn’t pander.
- The eventual breakup of the Union. The removal of the Southwest from the United States is, after all, the stated goal of La Raza, the major “Hispanic” partner of El Jefe Jorge Bush, Swimmer Kennedy, and the leadership of both parties.

June 27, 2007

Before-I-forget ch-ch-ch-ch-changes

by @ 20:31. Filed under The Blog.

The Silent One has moved silent E speaks off of Blogger and onto a server running the full-blown version of WordPress. Please update your blogrolls and feed readers accordingly (and don’t be like me and send everybody to a single post :-)

Done modifying the theme (almost)

by @ 20:25. Filed under Miscellaneous, The Blog.

I did get widgets up and running on Journalized, and the code is on the way to the man in charge of the theme, Mike Little. I can’t get a good in-template fix for WP’s default search (it truly is butt-ugly, with no title), meta (no customization possible), and blogroll (again, no customization possible), so while I’m running the code here with WP 2.2.1, I’m only running widgets on the right sidebar at the moment (’tis different from what I told Mike when I forwarded the code). I don’t believe I broke anything with 2.0.x or 1.5.x (I’m less-sure with 1.5 than I am with 2.0), but I don’t have a way to test it.

I’ll probably get some of my grips fixed for tomorrow, even if I have to go the plug-in route. It will be good to be able to move stuff around without jury-rigging the hard-coding :-)

More blogging work; excuse the mess

by @ 15:23. Filed under Miscellaneous.

I’ve got Journalized fully WP 2.1-compliant now. On to making it widget-friendly to make it 2.2-compliant.

June 26, 2007

Senate Stupidity part 2 – the Dhimms, especially Kohl, want blood for oil

by @ 16:33. Filed under Politics - National, War.

No, I am not making this one up. Nobody’s Senator introduced an amendment to the “CLEAN Energy Act” to make OPEC “illegal” (scroll down for the text). The money line – A foreign state engaged in conduct in violation of subsection (a) shall not be immune under the doctrine of sovereign immunity from the jurisdiction or judgments of the courts of the United States in any action brought to enforce this section.

It flew through the Senate 70-23, and it’s part of the bill pending the conference committee. A question for Nobody’s Senator, Russ el-Slimeroad, Hitlery Rotten Von Der Schlikmeister, Osama Hussein Obama, and the other 66 who voted for this; what happens if this is found Constitutional, we seize the assets of OPEC’s members, and they shut off the spigot in retaliation? Or better yet, those international forums you’re so fond of says we can’t seize those assets because it violates “international law”? Are you going to accept $20/gallon gas, are you going to open up drilling to replace the 50% of oil we won’t get anymore, or are you going to send the military on a blood-for-oil quest?

Senate Stupidity, part 1 – the state Senate and double-plus taxes

by @ 16:15. Filed under Politics - Wisconsin, Taxes.

Or, if you prefer, “The state Senate wants to raise your taxes $1.74 billion $2.1 billion $2.6 billion more than $34 billion over the next 2 years”. By comparison, Doyle’s budget, which included that (not-quite-acknowledged) $2.6 billion 2-year increase, anticipated taking in $26.5 billion in taxes.

Item #1 – THE BIG ONE, the “universal health care” item (thanks to WisPolitics for the link to the document). This $30+ billion (over the 2 years) boondoggle is to be funded by a massive payroll/self-employment/income tax (depending on a person’s source of income):

- From employees who have Social Security taxes withheld and are under 65, 4% of the amount subject to the Social Security tax (the document says between 2% and 4%, published reports say 4%) unless they’re close to the poverty line (those earning under 150% of the poverty line pay nothing, those without dependents earning between 150% and 200% and those with dependents earning between 150% and 300% a sliding scale between 0% and 4%).
- From the self-employed, between 9% and 10% of the amount subject to the Social Security tax.
- From those who don’t pay Social Security taxes and are eligible for the boondoggle, 10% of their adjusted gross income up to the maximum amount that would be subject to the Social Security tax.
- From employers (which means, from employees), 10.5% of the portion of their payrolls subject to the Social Security tax.

Rick Esenberg has an excellent analysis of what this will do to the labor market. I’ll be back later to add to that.

Item #2 – A reinstituted “combined reporting” requirement that would raise business taxes $180 million over the next 2 years by making Wisconsin subsidiaries pay taxes on what their parent company makes outside of Wisconsin. The excuse from Judy Robson is that everybody else does it. Hey Judy, if everybody else was jumping off the bluff at the end of Oakwood Rd., would you be jumping too?

Item #3 – Remove the property tax exemption for ATM machines. Oh goody; now the fees at the ATMs will go up even more.

Item #4 – Increase heavy truck registration 10%, bring in an additional $53.4 million to the Craps Slus…er, Transportation Fund over the next 2 years, just because those taxes haven’t been jacked up in a decade.

Item #5 – Reward the Regional Transit Authority’s wasting of all but $50,000 of its $2 rental car fee on lobbyists by increasing that to $15.

The ‘Rats are well on their way to ensuring there is zero after-tax disposable income.

Been working on something

by @ 14:52. Filed under The Blog.

Sorry about the lack of posts, but I’ve been trying to widgetize my theme, Journalized. Since Mike Little, the author, has made this theme so powerful through some pre-WP 2.1 tricks (a big example is I can select having 0, 1 or 2 columns through a dialogue box), it’s not exactly easy.

Time to take a break from that and highlight Senate stupidity.

June 23, 2007

June is the season for blogging changes, part 12,224,039

by @ 14:09. Filed under Miscellaneous.

Pete Fanning has finally finished his move of PeteRepublic off of TypePad to WordPress. While your rolls won’t need to be changed, your feeds will, even if you changed them earlier. Also, at least at the moment, you’ll want to try to go through your posts and his blog to match up the new URLs to the old.

Revisions/extensions (11:08 pm 6/23/2007) – Most of your old links to PeteRepublic will work. Some won’t because of how WordPress creates the post slug versus how Movable Type does. If you did change the URLs to how I have them (/?p=xxx), they’ll still work too.

June 22, 2007

Mark this date on your calendars – 6/26/2007 (maybe) – UPDATE – or maybe not

by @ 21:02. Filed under Politics - National.

(H/T – Ian)

WSMV-TV out of Nashville is quoting an unnamed source close to the Fred Thompson exploratory committee saying that Thompson will announce his candidacy for the Republican Presidential nomination at the Fall School building on Tuesday. That building, according to that source, will serve as the campaign’s national headquarters, with the lease already signed. Meanwhile, other unnamed sources in that exploratory committee are denying this, and Tennessee Republican Party Chair (former Thompson chief of staff) Bob Davis said, “There will not be an annoucement Tuesday.”

Revisions/extensions (10:05 pm 6/22/2007) – Per RedState, it’s not THE announcement. That’ll learn me to trust a presstitute that trusts a single anonymous source.

Troha cuts a deal, multiple heads of executive branches sweating

WTMJ-AM just reported that Dennis Troha has reached a plea deal with US Attorney Steve Biskupic to plead guilty to a pair of misdemeanor charges of conspiring to violate federal campaign laws, admit to also violating state election laws, and cooperate with the FBI in exchange for the dropping of pending federal mail fraud and federal false statement charges and the non-pursuance of potential state charges against Troha. WisPolitics put up statements from both Biskupic’s office and Troha.

This brings up a few interesting questions:

- Why would Troha cut a deal when a quarter of the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals is handing out “get out of jail free” cards to those engaged in political corruption?
- We know one of the potential targets now sweating; Jim “Craps” Doyle (WEAC/Potawatomi-For Sale). What we didn’t know until today is the other potential target; George Bush. You think that’s why the White House wanted Biskupic out? Oh, where’s the apologies for Biskupic being “partisan”?
- Related to that, how nice that the presstitutes have shown up to that party late, and are now loudly pronouncing their presence by putting Bush before Doyle.

A very-special Thursday Open Thread – on Friday and Saturday

by @ 5:56. Filed under Open Thread Thursday.

Seeing I’ll be at the track today and tomorrow, I won’t be here. Post away; I don’t have enough comments ;-)

June 21, 2007

Today’s Constitutional lesson

by @ 18:03. Filed under Immigration, Politics - National.

Revisons/extensions (6:10 pm 6/21/2007) – Since I did an unintentional pingback to the full post, I may as well add my two cents. Isn’t Mikey Chertoff one of those that called those of us who oppose the amnesty-first/enforcement-never bill racists? Pot, kettle. Kettle, black. With the introductions done, let’s carry on with the lesson, which should frighten Chertoff, McCain, Bush, Kennedy, Reid, and all the others that support amnesty.

Travis McGee, commenting at Michelle Malkin’s blog, provides it (emphasis in the original):

U.S. Constitution, Article 4 Section 4:"The United States shall guarantee to every State in this Union a Republican Form of Government, and shall protect each of them against Invasion;"
Invasion: \In*va"sion\, n. [L. invasio: cf. F. invasion. See Invade.] [1913 Webster] 1. The act of invading; the act of encroaching upon the rights or possessions of another; encroachment; trespass.

Protecting the border is part of protecting the States from invasion. Assimilating countless millions who will turn around and attempt to take the Southwest, especially without ensuring that countless millions more with the same goal don’t come here, is not.

Summer started today, do you know the signs?

by @ 17:46. Filed under Miscellaneous.

If you don’t, or even if you do, the Unreal one has them. For the record, I’m taking 30-50 deaths and over 50 shootings between yesterday through the end of September, and I’ll probably be low.

What Congress thinks of us

by @ 17:14. Filed under Politics - National.

(H/T – Instapundit)

Before I begin, allow me to give the customary warning – due to adult language, reader discretion is advised.

Brian C. Ledbetter at Snapped Shot dug up a certain web site that is exclusive to Capitol Hill types (warning; very strong language) to allow them to vent anonymously. Let’s start off with something moderately-innoculous:

Yes, the Metro in July. Honestly, is there some kind of charter that says that you must be 50 lbs overweight, dress in clothes that don’t fit, and reek to high hell from all the sweat generated by walking five feet before you are allowed to tour this city. Also, don’t flock like lemmings to the one escalator that is working, walk up the stairs, to the left at all times, and don’t crowed around the doors, the rest of us would kike to get on as well.

6/21/2007 – 10:21 am

That’s one of the tamer ones. Here’s what they think of us exercising our First Amendment rights to petition Congress:

Senate staffers: Please tell your members to vote in favor
of the immigration bill"¦.so these ignorant fuckers will stop calling us!!!!

6/21/2007 – 9:35 am

I’ll wager the same is being said about Owen at the state Capitol. I can only hope to get that kind of notoriety (though today was a good step).

This sequence of three almost-consecutive posts is illuminating, especially since the bosses of these asshats get free access to the mail and can only get fired if they get voted out (italics in the original):

letters, letters, letters–lets raise stamp prices to 5 bucks a pop–that’ll stop people from writing to their reps!

6/19/2007 – 9:50 am

lets raise stamp prices to 5 bucks a pop–that’ll stop people from writing to their reps! Good idea. Now how do we deal with emails?

6/19/2007 – 10:01 am

lets raise stamp prices to 5 bucks a pop–that’ll stop people from writing to their reps!Hear, Hear. Now if only we could stop people from voting, we might have something!

6/19/2007 – 10:08 am

No rant is complete without the obligatory pro-Islamokazi post:

God bless Dennis Kucinich. I’m glad someone has the balls to go down to the House floor and defend the much maligned and misunderstood President of Iran, whatever his name is. Good peeps defending the honor of other good peeps. That’s what it’s all about.

6/18/2007 – 4:42 pm

Let’s see; a racist bigot who wishes you, me, the dumbass staffer, and everybody who isn’t a Shi’ite-flavored Islamokazi dead with delusions of being the second coming of Xerxes, who likely had a hand in the Iran hostage crisis. Yeah, he’s just “misunderstood” </sarcasm_moonbatty>

This is just screaming for a Friday Freefly.

Gallup polls (that’s right, POLLS with an “S”) revisited

by @ 16:21. Filed under Politics - National.

I don’t know how so many people somehow got the 2007 Confidence in Institutions poll and the June 2007 Congressional approval poll mixed up. Maybe it was the same-day release of the Congressional numbers for both; maybe it was the focus on the former poll, and maybe it was wishful thinking. I can only hope it wasn’t me; I did put both in the same post and then focused on the Confidence poll. We need to tighten up before the mid-20s approval July numbers come out; otherwise, you’ll be wondering how Congress got its groove back when it didn’t, and I’ll be out here spitting into the hurricane.

Let’s go over the approval numbers again. 24% of those surveyed by Gallup approved of the job that Congress is doing a good job, and 71% disapproved. That spread was not matched by the Pubbies until after the November election. Surprisingly, nay, shockingly, approval among fellow Dems was only 29%. That’s right; not even 1 in 3 Dems support their own party. That is not exactly a new phenominon either; at no point this year did a majority of Dems support their own party’s performance in Congress.

Welcome, state employees/politicians

by @ 15:42. Filed under Miscellaneous.

I sure seem to have picked up your attention. So, what did I get right or wrong (as your persuasion may be)?

Comments are open, but I do ask that you don’t fudge too much; I seem to remember some joker who thought using a Quaker Oats e-mail address was cute.

A bridge too far

by @ 13:31. Filed under The Blog.

I’ve been trying to get the trackbacks and feedbacks separated from the main comments. Unfortunately, every trick I’ve been able to dredge up on the web has been a dead end, and some of them temporarily broke the comments. I finally decided to make trackbacks and pingbacks just a little more noticeable.

I’ve also upgraded to 2.2.1, which necessitated a re-hack of my feed-generating files. Those went off-line for a bit, but they’re back.

Sorry about that.

Gallup confidence poll, part 3

by @ 9:17. Filed under Miscellaneous.

I decided to do some rough analysis of the Gallup Confidence in Institutions poll mentioned below, and we are becoming far more cynical across the board. First, I decided to average out the confidence among the “core” institutions asked about most of the years the survey was around (biannual 1973-1983, annual 1984-present). This includes church/organized religion (in every survey), the military (in every survey except 1973), the Supreme Court (in every survey), banks (in every survey since 1979), public schools (in every survey except 1975), newspapers (in every survey except 1975 and 1977), Congress (in every survey except 1987), organized labor (in every survey except 1989), the Presidency (in every survey since 1991), TV news (in since 1993) and big business (in every survey except 1987 and 1989). I did that to avoid some “one-year-wonders”, like Wall Street, power utilities and small business, as well as items that are at best moderately related to the early years such as the medical system as a whole, HMOs and the police (all added in 1993 or later). Let’s trace the decline of confidence, from the “most-confident” year to the “least-confident” year (note; except as noted, the years listed include at least 9 of the 11 categories outlined above):

1975 – 47.8% (this includes includes 6 of the 11 categories)
1979 – 47.8% (a bit lower than 1975, but rounding makes it look like a tie)
1977 – 47.6% (includes only 7 categories)
1987 – 47.4% (includes only 7 categories)
1989 – 46.3% (includes only 6 categories)
1985 – 46.1%
1991 – 45.3%
1986 – 45.2%
1988 – 44.8%
1984 – 43.7%
1973 – 43.6% (includes only 7 categories)
2003 – 42.8% (the best year that includes all 11 categories)
2004 – 42.3%
2002 – 42.0%
2001 – 41.5%
1998 – 41.3%
1990 and 1999 – 41.3% (this is a tie)
1990 and 2000 – 40.8% (this is another tie)
1981 – 40.0%
1997 – 39.9%
1993 – 38.9%
1996 – 38.7%
1995 – 38.5%
2005 – 38.4%
1992 – 37.3%
2006 – 36.9%
1994 – 36.4%
2007 – 31.3%

There’s a few things that do jump out, but they’re too much to discuss in the main post. Do notice where 2007 is, and by what margin.

Next, let’s take a look at the individual categories:

- The Supreme Court, public schools, newspapers, Congress, TV news, organized labor, the Presidency, the medical system as a whole (in since 1993), and big business (tied with 2006) all had their worst years ever.
- Religion, police (in since 1993) and HMOs (in since 1999) posted their 2nd-worst performances ever, with the police tying its 1994 and 2000 performances and HMOs tying their 2001 and 2006 performances (religion did worse in 2002, police did worse in 1993, and HMOs did worse in 2002).
- The justice system (in since 1993) tied with 1996 and 1997 for its 3rd-worst performance (it did worse in 1994).
- Banks, which is still below its historic 44.8% average, does manage to stay out of the bottom 5.
- The military does still beat its historic 65.7% confidence average.

I don’t know where to begin, so pipe up if you have an idea. Oh, this will replace Open Thread Thursday this week.

Gallup confidence poll, part 2

by @ 7:59. Filed under Miscellaneous.

If you’re either a night owl or an early bird, you may have heard me reference the 2007 Gallup Confidence in Institutions poll. The 2007 analysis is now up, and my suspicion of a cynical trend is right. First, the full 2007 numbers of those having a “great deal” or “quite a lot” of confidence:
- The military, down to 69% from 73% in 2006
- Small business, a “new” institution debuting at 59%
- The police, down to 54% from 58%
- Church/organized religion, down to 46% from 52%
- Banks, down to 41% from 49%
- SCOTUS, down to 34% from 40%
- Public schools, down to 33% from 37%
- The medical system, down to 31% from 38%
- The Presidency, down to 25% from 33%
- Television news, down to 23% from 31%
- Newspapers, down to 22% from 30%
- The criminal justice system, down to 19% from 25%
- Organized labor, down to 19% from 24%
- Big business, unchanged from 2006 at 18%
- HMOs, unchanged from 2006 at 15%
- Congress, down to 14% from 19%

Next, something they didn’t do this year, but did last year, the full history of the trend:

A.

B.

C.

D.

E.

F.

G.

H.

I.

J.

K.

L.

M.

N.

O.

P.

Q.

R.

S.

%

%

%

%

%

%

%

%

%

%

%

%

%

%

%

%

%

%

%

2007

46

69

34

41

33

22

14

23

19

25

54

31

19

18

15

59

2006

52

73

40

49

37

30

19

31

24

33

58

38

25

18

15

2005

53

74

41

49

37

28

22

28

24

44

63

42

26

22

17

2004

53

75

46

53

41

30

30

30

31

52

64

44

34

24

18

2003

50

82

47

50

40

33

29

35

28

55

61

44

29

22

17

2002

45

79

50

47

38

35

29

35

26

58

59

38

27

20

13

19

2001

60

66

50

44

38

36

26

34

26

48

57

40

28

15

28

37

2000

56

64

47

46

37

37

24

36

25

42

54

40

24

29

16

1999

58

68

49

43

36

33

26

34

28

49

57

40

23

30

17

1998

59

64

50

40

37

33

28

34

26

53

58

40

24

30

1997

56

60

50

41

40

35

22

34

23

49

59

38

19

28

1996

57

66

45

44

38

32

20

36

25

39

60

42

19

24

1995

57

64

44

43

40

30

21

33

26

45

58

41

20

21

1994

54

64

42

35

34

29

18

35

26

38

54

36

15

26

1993

53

68

44

37

39

31

18

46

26

43

52

34

17

22

1991

56

69

39

30

35

32

18

22

50

22

1991

59

85

48

32

44

32

30

25

72

26

1990

56

68

47

36

45

39

24

27

25

1989

52

63

46

42

43

32

1988

59

68

56

49

49

36

35

26

25

1987

61

61

52

51

50

31

26

1986

57

63

54

49

49

37

41

29

28

1985

66

61

56

51

48

35

39

28

31

1984

64

58

51

51

47

34

29

30

29

1983

62

53

42

51

39

38

28

26

28

1981

64

50

46

46

42

35

29

28

20

1979

65

54

45

60

53

51

34

36

32

1977

64

57

46

54

40

39

33

1975

68

58

49

40

38

34

1973

66

44

58

39

42

30

26

KEY:

A.

The church or organized religion

G.

Congress

M.

The criminal justice system

B.

The Military

H.

Television News

N.

Big business

C.

The U.S. Supreme Court

I.

Organized labor

O.

Health Maintenance Organizations (HMOs)

D.

Banks

J.

The Presidency

P.

The electric power utilities

E.

The public schools

K.

The police

Q.

Faith-based charitable organizations

F.

Newspapers

L.

The Medical system

R.

Wall Street

S.

Small business

Damn, but I thought the DhimmiRATs were supposed to fix everything. I mean, they run Congress, run the media, run the unions, and run the schools; yet those institutions took some of the hardest hits.

WTMJ RSS feeds revisited

by @ 6:50. Filed under Miscellaneous.

Now that Google Reader can find the WTMJ feeds, my biggest complaint about Charlie’s and Jeff’s feeds is that their posts do not display any kind of description beyond the title. Well, after looking through both the TV end’s various RSS feeds and Bill Michaels’ feed, I figured out it’s not just the software, because they’re pushing through one-sentence descriptions. While it’s true that, unlike WordPress, that excerpt isn’t automatically generated, it sure looks like an option.

‘Tisn’t an issue with me because SharpReader can ignore simple excerpts and open up the whole page for me just like it would be in Internet Explorer, but those that use, say, Google Reader don’t have that option.

Sliding polls, federal style

by @ 0:33. Filed under Immigration, Politics - National.

(H/Ts – Ace for the Zogby Interactive, Jessica for one of the Gallup polls)

Normally, I wouldn’t touch the Zogby Interactive polls with a 2,000-mile pole because it is a flawed sample of self-selected Internet users, but when you see 3% approval of Congress’ handling of immigration “reform” and 9% approval of El Jefe Bush’s handling of it, as well as incredibly-low approval and confidence numbers for Congress (more on that in a bit), it’s news. Of course, you could say that the self-selected group is more-representative of those that care enough to vote, but the limiting factor is the fact that it is an Internet-only service.

The remainder of the poll is quite interesting. McShame-Swimmer-Bush Amesty is supported by only 38% (not surprisingly, mostly by those that see amnesty and “guest”-workers as the most-important elements of immigration “reform”), while 64% want “reform” to be more-restrictive than current law. In the “what first” question, 42% want enforcement of current laws first, 29% want border security first (tied with enforcement at 44% among self-identied Republicans), and 23% want amnesty first (tied with enforcement at 37% among self-identified Democrats). 69% want to compel states and local governments to help enforce the border (I presume this includes no “sanctuary cities”), 37% want mass deportations, and only just one in four (don’t have a specific percentage) favor allowing the illegals to stay if they have jobs and pass background checks.

Now, on to Gallup. Hit number 1 – the 24% approval rating for Congress, the lowest since the lame-duck December 2006 poll (21%) and early October poll (23% and 24%). Of particular note is the 71% disapproval (the only higher number in the past 11 months was that lame-duck December 2006 poll), and the fact that only 29% of Dems and 19% of independents approve of Congress.

Hit number 2 from Gallup – confidence in Congress is at an all-time low (since 1973, at least) at 14% (sum of those that have “a great deal of confidence” or “quite a lot of confidence”. We’ll have more info on this later today (or tomorrow if you’re in or west of the Rockies), but the tidbits are mighty intriguing. That is the lowest of the rankings this year, dropping below HMOs, and slipping to the second-lowest performance in the history of the poll (the record is 13% set by HMOs in 2002). I guess we’re getting more cynical; the top-ranking institution, the military, slipped from 73% last year to 69% this year (which still is higher than any year prior to 2002 except 1991 and 1992).

June 20, 2007

More stupid feed hacks

by @ 21:24. Filed under The Blog.

One more feed hack; you now know if I decide to make a multi-page post just by reading the feed (assuming, of course, your feed reader of choice does display everything I send down the line). How I did it is over on page 2.

If it speaks, tax it? 6 members of the JFC say so

by @ 17:48. Filed under Politics - Wisconsin, Taxes.

(H/T – the lovely, talented, and blogging again Jenna)

In what is likely the only victory for Wisconsin taxpayers, the Joint Finance Committee voted 10-6 to continue to exempt cell phone users from the state Universal Service Fund, as they have since 2001 (not to be confused with the federal Universal Service Fund; side note, the federal USF does tax cell phone users). Predictably, the tax-and-spenders at The Capital Times took exception to that. Let’s see what the state USF does:

  • Give telecommunications equipment to non-profits – Golly, isn’t it nice that the state is so damn generous with my money. Of course, if they didn’t take over 10% of what the Wisconsin economy produces, maybe those non-profits would get enough donations to cover the expense.
  • Give telecommunications equipment to “non-profit” and rural health care providers – The rural portion is duplicated by the feds. The “non-profit” portion is answered above.
  • Help subsidize telecommunications equipment for the deaf – I can’t argue with the general premise; however, this is not means-tested.
  • Low-income assistance – This is also duplicated by the feds. Further, there are some pretty damn cheap cell phone plans that don’t require credit – as an example, Net 10 offers 60 days/300 minutes of service for $30 (plus sales tax), phones for less than $40, and those unused minutes do roll over.
  • Pay-phone subsidies – This is pretty much a self-limiting “problem” as more people get cell phones. Of course, if it becomes more expensive to get cell phones, then more people are going to need pay phones.
  • “High rate” assistance – Again, duplicated by the feds. One of the main reasons for high rates is the level of taxation, including the duelling USFs.

It sure looks like it’s time to consider getting rid of the state USF, and I wouldn’t be opposed to dumping the federal USF as well.

Feed news

by @ 17:02. Filed under The Blog.

I’ve done some behind-the-scenes stuff to my feeds that aren’t in the WordPress defaults. The first is something that you won’t notice (because I do not publicize comments feeds all that much); to make my comments feed validate properly, I replaced the <author> tag in the file that generates the comments feed with <dc:creator> (I also needed to add a namespace reference to the site that hosts the specs for that tag to enable that; it’s in the main RSS 2.0 feed). It seems that the <author> tag that the default WP comment feed generator forces is supposed to have an e-mail address attached to it.

The second is something some of you may notice, at least if you can read comments directly from the main feed. Using Nick Schweitzer‘s feed as a template, I’ve figured out how to add the number of comments to the feed so some feed readers (like SharpReader, and unlike Google Reader) will tell me how many comments are on a particular post. That involved adding a namespace reference and putting the <slash:comments> tag in.

More geekspeak below the fold…
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