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.

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Archive for July, 2008

July 31, 2008

McCain’s Racine townhall meeting – 7/31/2008

by @ 15:03. Filed under Politics - National.

I got back from the John McCain townhall meeting a while ago, and I just got done pulling audio and pics off the voice recorder and camera. It’s a case of 2 steps forward, 1 step back.

Before the fun, a couple of quick notes:

– The batteries in the camera pretty much died just before the McCains entered. I did manage to coax a couple more pics out of them, but they may not be the usual quality.
– I ran into Pete Fanning on my way out, which made things a lot better.

Without further comment, click away for the audio.

Some pics (click for the full-sized version, and be advised that they may not be the usual high quality):


John McCain taking questions from the crowd


The warm-up band


RPW chair Reince Priebus warming up the crowd


Milwaukee County Executive Scott Walker and RPW chair Reince Priebus talking


CNN camera; potential Photoshop candidate


Press Row

He Lies Like a Bear Rug!

by @ 12:59. Filed under Politics - National.

Obama and McCain have gone back and forth now over Obama’s remarks in which he accused McCain of fear mongering with:

Nobody thinks that Bush and McCain have a real answer to the challenges we face. So what they’re going to try to do is make you scared of me,” Obama said. “You know, `he’s not patriotic enough, he’s got a funny name,’ you know, `he doesn’t look like all those other presidents on the dollar bills.

McCain’s campaign responded by essentially calling Obama a race baiter:

played the race card, and he played it from the bottom of the deck,” McCain campaign manager Rick Davis said in a statement. He called Obama’s remarks “divisive, negative, shameful and wrong.

In an attempt to avoid the notion that he continues to introduce his race into the debate, an Obama spokesman, Robert Gibbs responded with:

What Barack Obama was talking about was that he didn’t get here after spending decades in Washington,” Gibbs said. “There is nothing more to this than the fact that he was describing that he was new to the political scene. He was referring to the fact that he didn’t come into the race with the history of others. It is not about race.”

So Barack is saying that the Presidents on currency were representative of people who had been in Washington for decades? Shall we check?

Washington – on the $1
Washington didn’t exist before Washington was President….nope, Barack, not this one.
Thomas Jefferson – on the $2
Jefferson was Secretary of State for 4 years and VP for for years before he became President…less than a decade…nope Barack, not this one.
Abraham Lincoln – on the $5
Lincoln was not in Washington prior to being President…nope, Barack, not this one.
Alexander Hamilton – on the $10
Never was President….nope, Barack, not this one.
Andrew Jackson – on the $20
Jackson was a US Representative for 1 year and a Senator for about 2 years before being elected President….nope Barack, not this one.
Ulysses S. Grant – on the $50
No elected office prior to President…not Barack, not this one.
Benjamin Franklin – on the $100
Never was President….nope, Barack, not this one.

Not one of the men, on currently traded paper currency, fits the description that Barack tried to use…NOT ONE, NOT CLOSE!   So Barack, what was it you were actually trying to say? Are you that ignorant of facts that you will make statements that any 4th grader would know to be false, in a vain attempt to deflect your obvious and continual introduction of race baiting into your campaign?

Memo to David Plouffe:

If you are interested in having Obama elected, make sure that he no longer gets put into situations where he has to speak extemporaneously, especially when he has his dander up. Fill his pocket with a bunch of note cards that say “Um,” “Ah,” or “I mean”. That seems to qualify as great insight and news worthy for the MSM…He need say no more!

Update: (Thanks Headless, I need to do a better job of putting as much into proofreading as fisking!)

Well, We Know One Thing that isn’t Underinflated!

by @ 5:47. Filed under Politics - National.

Barack Obama’s solution for our energy crisis….Inflate your tires!


Obama
by krs601

Let’s see…

The average US car gets approximately 20 MPG.
A quick look has some articles saying properly inflated tires could increase your fuel economy by 3%.
Similar look says about the same for engine tune up.
So…we get 6% improvement by implementing Obama’s suggestion
We now get 21.2 MPG
Average annual passenger miles for a car are 12,500

12,500 miles / 20 MPG = 625 gallons @ $4/gallon = $2,500
12,500 miles / 21.2 MPG = 590 gallons @ $4/gallon = $2,358
12,500 miles / 20 MPG = 625 gallons @ $3/gallon = $1,875

I’ll take the lower fuel price, thank you!

How about another look:
Last report, there were about 251M vehicles on the road in the US

251M * 35 gallon/year savings = 8.785B gallons of gas.
There are about 42 gallons of gas/barrel of oil.
8.785B gallons / 42 = 209.2M Barrels/365 days = 573,000 barrels/day, even the extremely conservative estimate by the EIA says ANWR alone would produce 780,000 barrels/day. Other estimates run as high as 1.4M barrels/day.

I can’t wait for the McCain/Obama debates. Once Obama gets forced off generalities and platitudes and is required to talk specifics, he’s lost…that is when he isn’t filling air time with “Ah,” “Um,” or “I mean.”

July 30, 2008

Saying He has Hubris May be a Compliment!

by @ 9:47. Filed under Politics - National.

The Washington Post  thinks Barack Obama may have a problem with hubris.

In a meeting yesterday with House members Obama was reported to have said:

“This is the moment . . . that the world is waiting for,” adding: “I have become a symbol of the possibility of America returning to our best traditions.”

What wasn’t reported on were Barack’s comments following that:

Once more Barack addressed the crowd. he said, I am the Light of the world. He who follows Me will not be walking in the dark, but will have the Light which is Life.

Whereupon Republican skeptics told him, you are testifying on your own behalf; your testimony is not valid and is worthless.

Barack answered, Even if I do testify on my own behalf, my testimony is true and reliable and valid, for I know where I came from and where I am going; but you do not know where I come from or where I am going.

You [set yourself up to] judge according to the flesh (by what you see). [You condemn by external, human standards.] I do not [set myself up to] judge or condemn or sentence anyone.

Yet even if I do judge, my judgment is true [my decision is right]; for I am not alone [in making it], but [there are two of Us] I and the Angry Michelle, Who sent Me.

In your [own] Law it is written that the testimony (evidence) of two persons is reliable and valid.

I am One [of the two] bearing testimony concerning myself; and Angry Michelle, who sent Me, she also testifies about me.

Then they said to him, Where is this Angry Michelle of Yours? Barack answered, you know my Angry Michelle as little as you know me. If you knew me, you would know my Angry Michelle.

(Read John 8:12-19 if you don’t quite get it)

Obama left hubris behind long ago. I’m beginning to think he needs an intervention of some kind to reattach him to reality.

“Recession” or “Healthy Correction”

by @ 8:46. Filed under Presstitute Follies.

As the various stock indexes dropped 20% Reuters and other news agencies were reporting that the country was in fact in a recession.

This morning, as oil has dropped nearly 20%, Reuters runs this headline and opening paragraph:

As oil nears 20 percent “bear” market, bulls unfazed

SINGAPORE (Reuters) – As the rout in oil prices nears the 20 percent mark that for stocks would signal a bear market, many analysts offer a word of caution — don’t mistake a healthy correction for the end of a multi-year bull trend.

If I read this right, news that is generally bad for the economy is a recession, news that is good for the economy is a “healthy correction.”

Uh huh

…..But if You Paid me More!

by @ 5:17. Filed under Compassionate Lieberals.

In one of my business roles I was a marketing manager.   Part of my responsibility was to develop compensation plans that motivated our sales force to sell the right quantity and mix of products.   It was always a balancing act as I had to be accountable for marketing budgets i.e. I couldn’t just spend anything I wanted, but I still needed to find the right incentive points for our sales force.  

I remember on more than one occasion, talking with a sales director about a compensation plan and being told that the sales reps wouldn’t be able to sell what we wanted them to.   During the course of those discussions, the sales director would usually get around to telling me that if I paid the sales reps more they would perform better.   My typical response was questioning whether the issue was one of motivation i.e. they won’t do it unless they get paid more or one of ability i.e. they “can’t “do it unless they got paid more.   As you can imagine our sharp sales directors quickly saw that their attempt to increase payment had come back to either paint their abilities to manage their teams in a poor light.

I tell you this story because we have some of the same coming from some elected officials in Minnesota as a solution in how to ensure that bridge inspections are done properly.   In the Star and Tribune’s article titled:

DFLers want more frequent bridge inspections

(hey, I didn’t make this a partisan issue, the paper did), Sen. Jim Carlson amongst others, has determined that one of the things that will make bridges safer is to pay the engineers more.

I’ve got to ask Sen. Carlson the same question I asked my sales director….will increasing their pay get the engineers to do better inspections? If so, maybe we have the wrong inspectors or the wrong folks managing the inspectors.

Sen. Carlson and company have some other suggestions.

First, they want to ensure that every bridge in the state is inspected each year. Let me clarify that I’m all for safety. However, no matter how many times you inspect a bridge, stuff happens. In fact, based on what we know today, the 35W bridge collapse wasn’t due to an issue of not being inspected but what was being done with the information from at least some of the inspections along the way.

The NTSB has national standards for bridge inspections. Those standards call for inspections every two years with some being inspected annually and some going as long as four years. The inspection frequency is determined based on utilization, length, age and other factors of the bridge. Doesn’t that seem to make some sense? Think about it, a new bridge that is small and has minor traffic, does it really make sense to inspect those as frequently as a bridge that the 35W bridge that has high traffic, and is known to have problems?

Perhaps the most important paradigm shifting suggestion coming from Sen. Carlson and his supporters is to:

formally include safety in the department’s statutory mission

Wow, that should certainly improve inspections! I wonder what they thought the inspections were about before; to make sure no one had stolen a bridge?

July 29, 2008

Favre applies for reinstatement. End-game coming?

by @ 22:40. Filed under Sports.

Cross-posted at TheWisconsinSportsBar.

The NFL has confirmed an NFL Network report that it received a request from Brett Favre for reinstatement. Once Commissioner Roger Goodell approves the request, the Packers will have but 24 hours to reinstate him, complete a trade, or give him his outright release. Unless Goodell dwaddles, which I cannot discount, I expect that approval to happen tomorrow, with the reinstate/trade/release clock running out on Thursday.

The problem with the trade third is nobody outside the NFC North, where Ted Thompson desperately doesn’t want to see Favre end up, is willing to give up a third-rounder plus a defensive tackle for a diva whose current contract is for $12 million this year, $13 million next year and $14 million in 2010. This is despite reports of Goodell’s involvement in trade talks.

If the trade talks continue to sputter, I expect Thompson to “reinstate” Favre and promptly find a way to keep him off the active roster and out of training camp in order to preserve his lifelong dream of being the guy who retired Favre. That is likely to result in a grievance.

Barring the miracle trade, this one’s going to get even uglier.

Revisions/extensions (4:44 pm 7/30/2008) - The Green Bay Press-Gazette has a couple of more developments:

– Packers President/CEO Mark Murphy met with both Favre and agent James “Bus” Cook today, and during a short break, Cook said things “were going well”.
– The NFL announced that it would not take action on Favre’s reinstatement letter today to allow the team and Favre more time for the two sides to work out a solution.

Drill Here, Drill Now Tuesday – 7/29/2008

by @ 13:09. Filed under Energy.

This idea was started by Jessi at Wake Up America. It will appear here every Tuesday (whether I’m here or not; the only difference is I won’t be able to update the current gas price while on vacation) until Congress wakes up and allows a lot more domestic drilling (I’m not talking about just ANWR, or just off the Florida coast where Cuba, Red China and Brazil are preparing to drink our milkshake, or just the shale fields in the Rockies).

My Gas Price (south suburban Milwaukee County, Wisconsin): $3.729/gallon cash // $3.779/gallon credit for regular unleaded

America needs to drill here drill now. America is having a energy crisis, and we need to do something now!

Urge Congress to pass a bill to drill in America, where the United States has vast oil and gas resources onshore and offshore that are currently illegal to develop and therefore inaccessible.

U.S. law prohibits the development of approximately 38 billion barrels of undeveloped oil resources (19 billion barrels onshore and 18.92 billion offshore).

U.S. law prohibits the development of approximately 180 trillion cubic feet of undeveloped natural gas resources (94.5 trillion cubic feet onshore and 85.7 trillion cubic feet offshore).

Also…

CONGRESS RECENTLY VOTED TO MAKE IT ILLEGAL TO DEVELOP U.S. OIL SHALE RESOURCES

With oil prices at an all-time high, Americans are facing escalating gas, diesel, and aircraft fuel increases. Oil prices are projected to increase further.

Congress, however, has made it illegal to develop vast domestic oil resources in large parts of the United States.

The most startling Congressional prohibition on domestic oil production concerns the recently enacted ban on the development of oil shale resources in parts of Colorado, Utah, and Wyoming in the Green River Formation. According to a Rand Study estimate, this reserve contains over one trillion barrels of oil, with 800 billion barrels fully recoverable, or three times the current oil reserves as Saudi Arabia.

SIGN THE PETITION (if you haven’t already)!

Eggs on the road – the next few days

by @ 12:46. Filed under Miscellaneous.

Tonight – Smog ‘n Blog (‘n Grog), Nice Ash, 327 W. Main in Waukesha, 8 pm. Do note the time and location change. I won’t be there long as I don’t participate in the Smog portion, but Nice Ash does have a bar, so I’ll be there.

Thursday – John McCain townhall meeting, Racine Civic Centre Memorial Hall, 5 Fifth St., Racine, 10 am. I wonder if they have wi-fi.

The Morning Scramble – 7/29/2008

by @ 12:11. Filed under The Morning Scramble.

I’m still running at half speed, but so is Joe Walsh…

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  • Before this thing goes downhill, a PSA – Jessi is trying to start a new Tuesday meme on energy. I’ll fully-bite momentarily, but note right now that gas is $3.729/gallon (cold, hard cash only) for regular unleaded at a Mobil close to the bunker.
  • Moron Pundit lands a right cross to Barack Obama’s plan to fast-track alternative fuel sources to reduce the price of gas.
  • Dave in Texas found some Pubbies with enough spine to remind voters that Obama is a leading part of the Drill-Nothing Congress that has the lowest approval ratings EVAH! Odds are high that John McCain will repudiate this by the end of today.
  • Paleo-Pat enters the “It Has Begun” realm, as he found that servers tied to Obama’s campaign appear to have been used in a DOS attack of somebody not drinking the Obamination Kool-Aid. Whether it was somebody in Obama’s campaign or a cracker who made it look like the attack came from there, I believe it’s time to review the backup plans.
  • Owen found Obama’s plan for Social “Security” tax hikes lacking in details. Bonus coverage – do read Steve Austin’s comments.
  • Jim Hoft found some Iraqi officials who highly-doubt Obama’s committment to victory in Iraq. The money quote (from an unnamed Iraqi official) – “As far as he is concerned, this is Bush’s war and must end in lack of success, if not actual defeat.”
  • Ed Morrissey found another PUMA – Richard Cohen. I’m starting to get the feeling that the Obamination Express just might not make it to Invesco Field; do remember his margin of “victory” is the sole result of superdelegates who can still change their minds, some for the second time.
  • VP Speculation, Obama Edition, Part I – Lawhawk opens the bidding process with Virginia Governor Timothy Kaine, with mention of a few others. Of note, the only other executive mentioned is the sole bone tossed to the estrogen portion of the PUMAs.
  • VP Speculation, Obama Edition, Part II – Jim Geraghty knocks down Kaine’s chances.
  • VP Speculation, McCain Edition, Part I – I’m going back a few days, but I do have to give credit for this one where it’s due; Matt Wolking pumps up Eric Cantor. Personally, I believe it’s an intriguing pick.
  • VP Speculation, McCain Edition, Part II – The Vintage one dug up a likely disqualifier for everybody’s favorite Alaskan mother-of-five. The source is so old, that it mentions only 4 of Sarah Palin’s children.
  • VP Speculation, McCain Edition, Part III – Katie Favazza found The Wall Street Journal playing the age card on John Thune. Never mind he’s older than Obama by a matter of months, never mind he’s been in DC since 1997, and never mind that, as of right now, both he and WSJ fair-haired boy Tim Pawlenty are the same age. I wonder what they’d say about my Congresscritter.
  • VP Speculation, McCain Edition, Part IV – Matt Lewis updates his conservative guide to VP picks (which I believe I forgot to link to yesterday) with Rob Portman and the aforementioned Cantor.
  • VP Speculation, McCain Edition, Part V – Jim Geraghty updates his earlier report that it was going to be Pawlenty by noting that it was a Minnesota insider, and Pawlenty’s schedule hasn’t been reshuffled. Bonus coverage – that pick isn’t coming soon, which in my humble opinion, is the smart move.
  • VP Speculation, McCain Edition, Part VI (last one for this Scramble, I promise) – John Hawkins gathered up almost all the “hot” names and created a poll. To be honest, the only ones that even pique my interest are Palin and Thune, and there are reasons why I don’t particularily like the options.
  • Patrick Casey scores the Coburn-Reid battle over pork 1-0 Good Guy. The News Organization That Cannot Be Quoted™ tried to beg to differ, but only exposed their rank partisanship.
  • I join Bull Dog Pundit in thanking Sen. Coburn.
  • Nate Beeler cues up “Holiday Road” for the do-nothing Congress.
  • The Vintage one has set up a shiny new place to promote conservative candidates – Down The Ticket. Those of you thinking about staying home because you’re even more disgusted with McCain and the “R”NC than I am (and that takes some doing; trust me), do remember there are 535 House seats and 33 Senate seats up this year, along with various local elections (the entire Wisconsin Assembly and just-under-half of the Senate for me).
  • Jim Hoft found one of the Presidential candidates (unnamed, but I’ll wager it was a DhimmiRAT, with minor covering action on Ron Paul-Nut) giving aid and comfort to sworn-enemy Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad when Ahmadhimmijob was here last year.
  • Lady Logician explains why the ‘Rats are mind-numbed robots; it’s the Stepford Affliction.
  • Flip can’t follow Nancy Pelosi’s logic in demanding perpetual foreign oil dependency. News flash; she and her fellow envirowhackos want a 90% drop in the use of oil, specifically, the 90% not used by them.
  • Ed Morrissey asks whether the ‘Rats are beginning to crack on drilling. It truly is scary when Harry Reid is the voice sounding somewhat-sane.
  • Robert Bluey is amazed that Jerry Nadler only wants to go back to the 18th Century. Guess nobody told Nadler what powered the ships of the 18th Century, especially the latter part.
  • Dave in Texas continues the AoSHQ tradition of beautiful headlines on news of dead Islamokazis. To quote Uncle Jimbo, “Predator sends Hellfire, now it’s all bad (all bad).”
  • Ray Robinson has some analysis on the Taliban that you won’t hear from the LeftStreamMedia – namely, it’s the fact that we’re more forward-deployed than in the past that makes it seem like there’s a Taliban “resurgance”. Bonus news – we’re starting to get the various tribes to turn against the Taliban/Al Qaeda.
  • Of course, it’s not all good news in South Asia; lawhawk reports on a 12-hour firefight between Pakistan and India over control of Kashmir.
  • William Teach found the third of Muslims who believe it’s okay to be murdering Islamokazis and their sycophant dhimmitude supporters blaming the messanger. After all, they do share a common goal of wiping out Christianity. It is a pity that the sycophants are unable to recognize that the Islamokazis want them dead as well.
  • Jim H. Ainsworth introduces us to the long, sordid history of Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, and their equally-ill-conceived siblings.
  • Uncle Jimbo found a school/business partnership that works for poor kids.
  • J. Gravelle reminds us that all meat is “organic”. I do wholeheartedly agree with him on what is “artificial, unnatural, and bad for you”.
  • Dad29 reports that it’s Round 2 for Dick Heller. Guess we’re going to get a slow-motion double-tap.

I told you I was running at half-speed. I would’ve normally had this up an hour ago with even more links and thus still in the morning. Oh well; at least it’s not mourning.

Unintended Consequences

by @ 5:17. Filed under Energy.

Today you get a double dose!

First this article from the WSJ:

Gas Conservation Threatens Road Funding

As the Left continues to cheer the return to the 18th century where carbon fuels don’t exist for transportation, they find a problem. When fuel gets expensive, people buy less of it. When people buy less fuel they pay less taxes for fuel. Less taxes paid means less taxes for the govt. to spend! Right now the Highway trust fund will take in about $3B less than it plans to spend. Oops!

If the national problem isn’t enough, the average state tax is about 150% of the Federal tax. That would suggest the States will be finding themselves short about $4.5B.

Any bets on the number of state fuel tax increases that will be imposed in the next year?

For our second “be careful what you wish for,” we go to the Rochester Postbulletin  for a lament over the lack of B-99 biodiesel.

A year ago B-99 (99% biofuel diesel) was available at a couple of area stations for a price comparable to oil based diesel. B-99 is made from soybeans. Unfortunately, as the price of corn skyrocketed due to the increased demand required for ethanol, more farmers moved from soybeans to corn. The result is that along with corn, soybean prices have soared. B-99, if available at all, is now significantly more expensive that good, old fashioned, oil based diesel. Even the Greenies in the article say they won’t pay more than $.10 a gallon extra to be green.

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, our economy is based on inexpensive energy! That’s not rocket science, that’s common sense if you pick your head up and look outside of the Washington or any State Capital’s beltway. Rapidly and dramatically increased energy prices have implications that the Greens and too many in Washington either don’t want to understand or are intentionally allowing to continue.

I know many on the right are still not comfortable with McCain but remember this. As you go to the polls in just over 3 months, be careful who you vote for. Your vote also could have unintended consequences.

July 28, 2008

The Morni…er, Afternoon Scramble – 7/28/2008

by @ 17:08. Filed under The Morning Scramble.

Once again, I’m extremely late with this. Sorry about that; haven’t been feeling good since Ned Yost decided he didn’t like 1st place and Hen¢AR and Goodyear decided they didn’t like teams not owned by Hendrick Motorsports….

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  • We’ll reverse the order of proceedings today, and start with something light – Janet Evans says to watch for the 4-day school week. France, here we come!
  • Zip pays attention to what Al Qaeda is saying. Do remember their goal is 300,000,000 dead Americans (give or take the number that express 150% fealty to them).
  • Michelle Malkin caught the DNC paying Envirowhacko Carbon Credits to a school district whose wind turbine produces no electricity. I wonder how much of a cut Algore Goracle got out of it.
  • MataHarley asks whether the electric-car “cure” is worse than the Gorebal “Warming problem”. If you thought the “science” was shaky on CO2, wait until you check out the lack-of-science on H2O.
  • Dad29 proves, using the Governor’s Gorbebal “Warming” task force’s report, that Gorebal “Warming” is all about the return to the 13th Century, with a big, fat heaping, steaming pile of Communism thrown in for good measure.
  • Shoebox found Minneapolis’ mayor finding a “better” use for $500,000 than either road repairs or taxpayers’ pockets – 10 custom-built artsy-fartsy bubblers (that’s drinking fountains for those of you outside the Milwaukee area). The individual cost is something north of 10 times the most-expensive ADA-compliant/freeze-resistant standard-construction fountain I could find in a quick search of the Web (and that is a dual-bubbler design).
  • Lance Burri laughs at both the ‘Rats of Wisconsin’s First Congressional District and the local paint-catcher. $77,500 in a four-way primary race for Congress against $1,200,000 to be spent in at least 2 media markets (specifically, the 2 most-expensive based-in-state ones) when there are Assembly candidates raising more cash (while covering less than a tenth of the area) is pathetic.
  • Matt Naugle caught an Ohio ‘Rat sending a look-alike to a parade.
  • Swint asks how John McCain is so close in the polls.
  • A brief dip into the Obamination Watch since it fits here – Dr. Melissa Clouthier asks whether Obama peaked too early. Do remember to vote in her poll.
  • How close? How early? How much of a backlash? Jim Hoft found McCain up by 4 points among likely voters.
  • Guess it’s 2 steps forward, 2 steps back at NRE today – Allahpundit notes McCain’s most-powerful arrow is now out of the quiver and on the ground broken as McCain signs onto Barack Obama’s 16-months timeline with presstitute-ignored qualifications. It’s only fitting that Wile E. Coyote (super genius) calls Arizona home.
  • Slublog wonders whether McCain’s support of the Fannie/Freddie bailout means that the other powerful arrow in McCain’s quiver, his opposition to excessive government spending, is also broken on the ground. Sure looks like it.
  • Michelle Malkin caught the American presstitutes applying Great Circus Parade Math (for those outside Milwaukee, that’s presstitutes greatly inflating the crowd estimates to prop up a favored item) to Obama’s Berlin speech.
  • Eric dubs Obama the Hannah Montana of politics.
  • Jon Ham found an organization lifted up out of the wheel wells of the Obamination Express – Blackwater. That’s right, eeeeeevil Blackwater provided security for the Iraq portion of the Obamination World Tour.
  • Rick Moran lists the top ten things about Obama that creep him out.

Let’s see what tomorrow brings.

Mayor R.T. Rybak plays Carnac

by @ 5:55. Filed under Politics - Minnesota.

Days after the 35W bridge collapse in Minneapolis, Mayor R.T. Rybak announced that he needed to delay release of his budget proposal because the impacts of the collapse were unknown and expected to strain the city:

"At a time when investing in public safety and transportation infrastructure are as important as ever, we need to know more about all the pressures on our fiscal outlook," Mayor Rybak added. "The I-35W Bridge collapse has affected our City in ways we are just beginning to understand."

Four months later as his budget was approved by the council, Mayor Rybak lamented that the $1.4B budget didn’t have room in it to keep up with deteriorating infrastructure:

"We are nowhere near where we need to be in terms of investment in basic city infrastructure," Rybak said. "Our city, our state and our nation have not invested as we must in roads, bridges and transit – and our lack of investment has serious consequences."

Mayor Rybak recommended City Bridge Repair and Rehabilitation be more than doubled in 2008 and increased over five years from $950,000 to $1,450,000.

A few months later, Rybak congratulated the Minnesota Legislature for overriding Gov. Pawlenty’s veto of the largest tax increase in Minnesota history:

Choosing leadership over partisanship, today the Legislature stood strong for a transportation solution that will help strengthen our economy and grow needed jobs in our state.

Facing economic uncertainty and 1 million more people expected to move to our region over the next two decades, the Legislature put years of political divide aside and instead chose to stand up for a fair and balanced solution to our transportation neglect.

Poor Mayor Rybak, can’t find $500,000 in a $1.4B budget to do needed road and bridge repairs. he couldn’t find $500K for that but he could find it for this:

Designs for a series of 10 drinking fountains to be installed in Minneapolis to honor the city’s connection to water were unveiled Tuesday.

Yup, 10 designer drinking fountains at $50K each! But wait! Before you heckle Mayor Rybak over his spending prioities you need to understand that these aren’t any old fountains, they are “Art!”

Arts advocates say the project — half from property taxes, half from water charges — is a continuation of the city’s ongoing public arts program, which has brought the city projects ranging from an oversized bunny sculpture at E. Minnehaha Parkway and Portland Av. S. to artist-designed manhole covers.

Yeah, that’s what I want, an oversized bunny sculpture and artist designed manhole covers! That will certainly move Minneapolis right to the top of the “Greatest Cities in the World” list!

Mayor Rybak, in his wisdom, understands the importance of these fountains:

The good news is people are talking about water in Minneapolis again,” Rybak said before the unveiling, a reference to the criticism he’s taken for the cost of the fountains.

I’m sure for Minneapolis tax payers, “Talking about water” is every bit as important as talking about $4 gas, 8% increases in city tax levies and 28% increase in gas taxes.

It’s good to know that Mayor Rybak understands the prioriities of Minneapolis tax payers!

Do Democrats have a debilitating genetic disease?

by @ 5:28. Filed under Politics - Minnesota.

Ever since the original inkling that the St. Paul Ford plant might be closed, various elected officials have been meeting with Ford in an attempt to change their mind.   Financial incentives (read that: tax reductions) had been discussed with Ford in an attempt to change their mind about closing the plant but none had appeared to provide enough incentive to keep the plant open.

On Thursday of last week, the city of St. Paul and the State of Minnesota received some very welcome news.   The St. Paul Ford plant which had originally been scheduled to close in 2008 got a reprieve until 2011.   The St. Paul Ford plant makes the Ranger truck for Ford and while sales had been down, the increased price of gas had created a resurgence in demand for the vehicle.

In the article that covered the closing reprieve, even one of the most notorious Minnesota tax and spenders (read that DFL/Democrat) is wanting to be on the “financial incentive” band wagon:

“This decision gives us a little breathing room to address the long-term viability of the plant,” said Rep. Frank Hornstein, DFL-Minneapolis, chairman of the Minnesota House Transportation and Transit Policy Subcommittee.

“We must act decisively on a package of incentives that enables Ford to produce the kind of fuel-efficient vehicles in St. Paul that will keep the plant thriving now and in the future,” Hornstein said. “We have been in conversations with Ford and we are confident that we can work together toward both short- and long-term solutions to keep jobs in St. Paul.”

So far, Ford has only indicated an interest in short-term incentives, Hornstein said. “They would like to see something similar to what exists in Kentucky and Michigan, which is kind of a payroll tax deferral,” he explained.

So here’s my question:
Rep. Hornstein has concluded that lowering taxes for Ford might cause them to keep jobs in Minnesota. What part of that and being the Coauthor of the bill that provided for the largest tax increase in the State of Minnesota’s history make sense?

Wait, there’s more….From his website  under “Priorities” Rep. Hornstein gives us these:

BUDGET

2008 Budget Debate

  • Promote more progressive income tax policies and roll-back tax breaks for the most wealthy.
  • Close corporate tax loopholes.

Rep. Hornstein is a Democrat so we all know that by definition he wouldn’t do anything to take jobs away, right?

Rep. Hornstein coauthored and was committee chair for the largest tax hike in Minnesota history.
Rep. Hornstein believes income taxes should be higher, dramatically so for higher incomes.
Rep. Hornstein believes “corporate tax loopholes” should be closed.

Obviously Rep. Hornstein doesn’t think any of the above negatively impacts jobs but yet….
Rep. Hornstein believes Ford Motor Company should receive tax incentives (lower their taxes) as a way to keep those jobs here.

Rep. Hornstein’s positions leave me with one of two conclusions. Either

Rep. Hornstein is logically unsound to the point that he is unable to see the severe inconsistencies in very simple positions.

Or.

Because the Ford Plant is in Rep. Hornstein’s district he is willing to bypass his principles to pander to his constituents.

Neither of the above options should make constituents of Rep. Hornstein supportive of his reelection.

Rep. Hornstein is not the only Democrat with this problem. Every one of them run to providing “incentives” the minute they hear that jobs are leaving. I’m beginning to think that Democrats have some kind of a debilitating genetic mutation that allows them to choose government greed over an expanding job base.   If only they would recognize that the high taxes that they are all in favor of, are removing jobs from Minnesota each and every day.

July 25, 2008

AFP-WI presents Hot Air Tour/2nd Annual Taxpayer Tailgate

by @ 12:21. Filed under Global "Warming", Sports.

Revisions/extensions part 2 (12:21 pm 7/25/2008) - Re-bumped to the top. There are a couple of notes:

– As of 12:09 pm, there are only 20 game tickets left on this deal. The Milwaukee Brewers ticket office only has single-seat tickets in higher-priced locations (starting at $18) and standing-room-only tickets ($17 per) left for tomorrow night’s game.

The Hot Air Tour portion has been moved to AFP-WI’s parking lot, 1126 S. 70th St. in West Allis. That will start at 1:30 pm, with the Taxpayer Tailgate, still in Miller Park’s Mets parking lot, starting at 3 pm.

Revisions/extensions (1:07 pm 7/19/2008) - Bumped back to the top (originally posted on July 9 at 11:45 am)

Americans for Prosperity-Wisconsin is bringing the Hot Air Tour to Milwaukee as part of its 2nd annual Taxpayer Tailgate on Saturday, July 26. Both the tailgate and the Hot Air Tour begin at 1:30 pm, with the game starting at 6.

Tickets to the triple-package deal are $21, tickets to the tailgate and Hot Air Tour are $10, and tickets to just the Hot Air Tour are free. Do click the pic to register.

The Drive to Five (Percent) continues

by @ 11:29. Filed under Energy, Politics - National.

(H/T – Ed Morrissey)

The Senate failed to invoke cloture on an ‘Rat attempt to close the American oil futures markets after Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) attempted to ram it through without addressing the one item that would actually have a positive-for-consumers effect on oil prices – drilling oil here. In response, not only did the Dingy One pull the bill, he lashed out at the media for not giving him the same number of tongue-baths as they give Barack Obama.

Let there be a Senate shutdown. That’ll get Congressional approval ratings down to 5 percent.

The Morning Scramble, part 2 – 7/25/2008

by @ 11:13. Filed under The Morning Scramble.

There’s just so much goodness in my feed reader from yesterday, I couldn’t do just one portion of the Scramble. It’s a good thing that Pink Floyd agrees that some things just require multiple parts…

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  • On to the energy and envirowhacko portion – Robert brings news that we may have more oil than we thought.
  • James Wigderson says, “Don’t panic.” I can picture Lt. Frank Drebin standing before a broken CFL doing that as the hazmat crew seals off the house for a couple weeks.
  • Kathy Carpenter confesses to being a CFL disposal criminal for not calling in the hazmat crew.
  • John Hawkins explodes the myth that T. Boone Pickens is peddling wind and natural gas for environmental reasons; Pickens has massive investments in both wind farms and natural gas holdings.
  • Flashy does the math on the No Drilling crowd. The only question is which century they want us in; the 13th or the 8th?
  • Van Helsing finds the green fad on Madison Ave. running out of steam. I guess I now have to state this – “How are we winning the scientific and public opinion battles and losing the political war on Gorebal ‘Warming’?”
  • Charlie Sykes relays a Jim Ott shredding of Jim Doyle’s handpicked Gorebal “Warming” Task Force. Do recall that, before he went to the Legislature, he was a meterologist for 30 years, and that he is still a member of the American Meteoroligist Society despite the worst efforts of High Priestess “Dr.” Heidi Cullen.
  • Little Miss Sunshine’s blood is boiling over Newsweek’s shameless use of the oh-so-endangered-Canada-hunts-them-for-sport polar bear to try to prop up Gorebal “Warming”. Somehow, I doubt 20,000 polar bears can fit into any “basketball arena” smaller than the RCA Dome.
  • I probably should have put this in part 1 along with the rest of the Obamination Watch, but somehow I filed it under Presstitute Follies – Trail-Mix is keeping a running total of the slant of the stories from The News Organization That Cannot Be Quoted™. I’m shocked, SHOCKED that it’s Barack Obama +28, John McCain -21.
  • Patrick Hynes found a nexus between the nutroots and the presstitutes. Guess it truly is NOD’s “One vision, one purpose.”
  • Gopfolk laughs at the Washington Post’s partner. Birds of a feather….
  • Ed Lasky is laughing at the pending slash of NYT bonds to “junk” status.
  • American Pundit caught CNN manufacturing a disgruntled “College Republican”.
  • Wendy wonders just how WTMJ-TV will fill 3 1/2 hours of local news surrounding the NBC Nightly Propaganda. Stand by for even more Gorebal “Warming” Bravo Sierra now that Ott no longer works there.
  • Ace found out how the Columbians managed to fool FARC so completely; they pretended to be presstitutes. Specifically, they were masquerading as Che-shirt-wearing presstitutes.
  • Daniel notes that the terrorist-sympathizing majority on SCOTUS is out of touch with the rest of the country.
  • Uncle Jimbo starts the countdown clock on Iran after they threw out the nuclear inspectors. Yep, that worked out real well for Saddam Hussein.
  • Mary Katharine Ham asserts that the West is in its last stand in Israel.
  • Kat reports things are going well in Basra, and reminds us that it’s the beginning of the end.
  • William Teach exposes the surrender monkeys who are willing to give up in the south Asia theater, where both candidates want to redouble our efforts.
  • Sean M. has the latest episode of Failed Brittania; the “Conservative” Party wants Sharia law for bicycle thieves.
  • Zip found the local Six Flags (Great America Dhimmiland) conducting a “Muslim” day. Guess Cedar Point isn’t too far of a drive after all.
  • On to the rest of the news – TexasFred found Wilmette, Illinois accepting the reality of the 2nd Amendment.
  • Bill Quick declares victory now that a study claims there is no difference between boys and girls in math. I have two doses of bad news – it’s a result of the dumbing-down of math, and the forces that are assaulting the hard sciences aren’t satisfied with gender parity.
  • Dr. Melissa Clouthier summarizes the arguments on the new media war.
  • Kim Zigfried has today’s episode of the Return of the Soviet Union. Guess McCain was right about what is in Mad Vladimir Putin’s eyes – “KGB”.

Maybe I need to start cutting back on this.

The Morning Scramble, part 1 – 7/25/2008

by @ 10:17. Filed under The Morning Scramble.

This is going to be extra-filling today after yesterday’s light fare, so I’m going with a 2-parter. I hereby dedicate the first-half song to Uncle Jimbo and his search for a new avatar for Blackfive’s newest contributor, Driven…

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  • Before I get into the heart of the extra-heavy Scramble, a PSA – The Game is organizing a charity golf outing to benefit his sister-in-law, who has breast cancer.
  • I don’t think we’re going to run out of Obamination targets anytime soon. Slublog offers in SluShop form the Obama campaign a few more places besides the Western Wall in Jerusalem to put campaign symbols.
  • Ace found nothing but deafening silence on Barack Obama’s newest warlike pledges.
  • Dad29 caught Time, the official magazine of the Obamination Express, blaming the lack of a poll bump on racism.
  • Jib has two questions for Obama.
  • Ace also found the German campaign rally pic of the day. That is not, by the way, a SluShop.
  • Sister Toldjah explains the cancelled Obama visit to wounded troops at a pair of American bases in Germany as the result of the trip being a campaign function. So many questions, so little time.
  • Uncle Jimbo defends the dropping of the trip because it was inappropriate to mix campaigning with troop-visits.
  • John McCormack explodes that canard with a bit of Colorado Springs history.
  • Moe Lane deduced Obama’s priorities list. Shopping came before the troops. I’m shocked, SHOCKED!
  • Ace figured out that it was because Obama couldn’t bring his sychophant presstitutes along.
  • Jon Ham has the definitive observations on the Berlin speech.
  • Jim Geraghty plays “Name That Source” with said speech and “We Are the World”.
  • Mary Katharine Ham plays “One of these things is not like the other”.
  • On a related note, her dad was the only one to catch a rather embarrassing error by Der Spiegel; the copy editor confused Ramstein Air Base with the group Rammstein.
  • D.M. Giangreco caught another Obamination Gaffe. When it comes to the history of the Berlin Airlift, I’ll trust the co-author of Airbridge to Berlin: The Berlin Crisis of 1948, Its Origins and Aftermath over a politician.
  • CDR Salamder and his wife found (created, actualy) the draft of Germany’s memorial to Obama.
  • Ed Morrissey found that “non-political” Berlin speech wasn’t so “non-political” after all. I’m shocked, SHOCKED that it would be a political speech.
  • After all, that promotional poster that Good Lt. found had an uncanny resemblance to a Soviet-era Lenin poster was paid for by the campaign.
  • GayPatriotWest quotes Ronald Reagan over Obama’s attempt to rewrite his history on the Surge.
  • Allahpundit notes another presstitute is about to be thrown under the Obamination Presstitute Express for daring to bring to light the fear amongst the presstitutes to look into Obama’s life.
  • Bill Quick found another proud supporter of Obama; a guy who was just executed for chasing down and holding down someone while another beat him to death.
  • Jim Hoft notes that death threats by Obamination supporters that are serious enough to warrant arrests have begun.
  • Jackboot discovered that the presstitute love for the Obamiantion isn’t universal, as the Brits deliver some serious satire.
  • Russ Vaughn puts the presstitute love for Obama to lyrics.
  • Dad29 reports that Obama, fresh from the declaration by the presstitutes and Obama himself that he already is the 44th President, is putting together his post-election transition team.
  • More Gateway Pundit – he found the Iranians pleased with Obama’s National Security Advisor. After all, Zbigniew Brezezinski has been appeasing them since the Peanut Farmer.
  • Last Obamination item – Zip lists the demands of the Muslims for Obama. He’ll implement at least half of them in the first year.
  • That doesn’t mean I’m done – Sean Hackbarth takes a critical look at the coming McCain Money Bomb.
  • Shoebox has a memo that John McCain and his campaign should read.
  • More “It has begun” from Jim Hoft – he found The News Organization That Cannot Be Quoted™ trying to begin the McCain Is Too Old meme.
  • Time for the rest of the political news of the day – The Vintage one is saddened that the only soiled pants on the protestors at the DNC convention will be from natural causes.
  • Ed Lasky says to prepare for a repeat of the tossing of military votes at the insistence of the ‘Rats.
  • Emperor Misha I cheers the finding of a pair of gumballs by the Pubbie members of the Senate. We’ll see whether it’s real when it comes time to keep up a filibuster of the attempt to nationalize Freddie Mac/Fannie Mae, and give lots of taxpayer money to ‘Rat constituencies.
  • Nancy Coppock outlines that attempt by the bipartisan Party-In-Government to ram that through.
  • Lawhawk caught New York Governor Eliot Spitzer (D) following Jim “Craps” Doyle’s (WEAC/Potawatomi-For Sale) playbook on ethics. I wonder when he calls for sole control over the Public Integrity Commission like Doyle has over both the now-dissolved State Ethics and Elections Boards.
  • Justin Phillips found Rep. Sheldon Wasserman (D), fresh from his embarrassment on the links at the hands of his opponent, Sen. Alberta Darling (R), once again playing the “bad health” card, this time personally. Even as I type, Charlie Sykes is recounting how Wasserman swore up and down he repudiated the use of the bad health card the last time this came up. Stay classy, Sheldon.
  • Rizzuto dug up some rather interesting information on the DNC head of religious outreach/DNC Convention chair. I won’t spoil the surprise by mentioning it here, but I’m not the least bit surprised.
  • Plebian counted bumper stickers on his trip out West.
  • Kate reports on another candidate for the Harrassers in Government portion of the roll – the Memphis Police Department.
  • Ace gives President Bush some advice. Do not miss yet another SluShop.
  • John Hawkins dips into the memory hole to recall what the ‘Rats said about the Surge.
  • I guess I could call this the transition item – Michelle Malkin found the only place the ‘Rats want to drill – your wallet. Do note what every single ‘Rat believes is the solution – buy more Venezuelan heavy oil.

Stay tuned; part 2 is next.

Memo to McCain:

by @ 5:53. Filed under Politics - National.

Dear Senator McCain,

I just reviewed the latest Quinnipiac poll  information.   You should be very happy with the latest results.   In June, this poll showed you 17 points behind Obama in Minnesota.    The latest poll shows you trailing by 2 points and within the margin of error.

Frankly, I could never figure out the 17 point deficit from the June poll.   I know we have a pretty odd electorate here but I  couldn’t rationalize that kind of a deficit when we have  an extremely motivated “right of center” group as a result of over reaching by the State’s Democrats during the last legislative session.

While you’ve closed the gap on the overall vote, there was one issue in the poll that  stuck out like a Vikings fan at a Packer game.  

Before I address the issue, let me say that I’ll admit up front that I’ve never run for the office of President of the United States.   Heck, I’ve never even managed a political campaign.   I have however been pretty successful in my business career and a big portion of that required me to negotiate numerous contracts.   The contracts I negotiated were of a nature that I could only get them agreed to if I could convince the other parties to agree with my view of the future and the possibilities that could exist if my strategy was successful.   My point is that while I haven’t managed a campaign, I do have experience in molding people’s views and expectations and getting them to buy into a strategic view.

So here’s the issue:   When asked:

Regardless of whom you support, which candidate for President – Barack Obama or John McCain – has the best program for helping solve the energy crisis and making America less dependent on foreign oil?

The response in each of the 4 states polled was Barack Obama (OK, you tied in Colorado).

Senator McCain, what the heck? How can the candidate of No drilling, No nuclear, We get more than our fair share and need to cut back and we’re going to rely on “Alternate energy resources” that are nothing more than wishful thinking, have convinced more people than you that he has an “energy policy”, let alone an “energy policy” that would solve anything or make us less dependent of foreign oil? Interestingly enough, Quinnipiac gives us that answer too.

When asked:

Regarding the upcoming presidential election, would you rather the new president – Focus more on development of new sources of oil, natural gas, or nuclear power which some say could be a risk to the environment or Focus more on wind, solar, and biofuels, which some say could take longer to produce significant amounts of energy?

A significant majority of Democrats and Independents go for wind, solar and biofuels.

When asked:

Regarding the upcoming presidential election, would you rather the new president – Focus more on development of new sources of oil and natural gas or Focus more on conserving energy?

A majority of Democrats and Independents say the focus should be on conserving energy.

Unfortunately, a majority of the American people have bought into the guilt ridden, save the world solution for energy indepence that says we burn our food and put on more clothes when it’s cold. We’ve seen the impact of the first in our rising food costs and we saw the impact on the US and world economy when we tried the latter with Jimmah Carter….neither is a solution!

One last thing from the poll. When asked:

Which is more important to you when you decide how to vote for President – A candidate’s position on energy policy or A candidate’s position on the war in Iraq?

The response was that energy is more important than Iraq as the issue that will decide this year’s election.

Senator McCain, you have done yeoman’s work on Iraq. Your vision and perseverance, along with the amazing capabilities of US troops, have accomplished what many would have thought impossible; Iraq is not the leading issue of the 2008 election. Further, except for the few holdouts who want to see the US with a black eye, Americans see you as the candidate responsible for this success and who will continue to keep us safe. With Iraq improving and no longer the issue at the forefront, the implications of high gas prices and refusal to increase energy capacity with known, obtainable resources needs to become your focus.

It’s clear from the poll that the American people do not understand the difference between Mr. Obama and your positions on energy. May I be so bold as to suggest the following points for you to educate the American people on:

  • creating Biofuels via the use of food products has a more severe impact on the US and world economy than does oil dependence on the Middle East.   First, we can’t grow enough corn to make a meaningful dent in oil.   Second, every incremental bushel we use for fuel means increased prices for food.   If you are concerned about food riots caused by increased corn prices, wait until we use 4X the current amount of corn for biofuels.
  • If “We can’t drill our way out of our energy problem,” how will taking oil out of the SPRO reduce gas prices?   The effect that either of these actions has is to increase the oil supply on the market.   The only way drilling can’t solve our energy problem is if there wasn’t anything to drill for.   Which leads me to…
  • We have enough accessible oil resources to supply us for 200 years plus.   Estimates including continental shelf, oil shale and Alaska could easily provide 200 years of oil for the US.   In fact, these estimates could well be conservative as just this week, 90 billion barrels of oil and 1,669 trillion cubic feet of natural gas were determined to be in the Arctic….energy that was on no one’s tally sheet just one week ago.
  • The reason that Americans believe “alternative” fuels to be an answer is that they’ve bought into the nonsense that “carbon based fuels” are making our planet unlivable.   You have to “evolve” your position on global warming especially in light of continuing science showing that manmade global warming is at best wrong and at worst a hoax intended to socialize the world economies by virtue of taxing industry and productivity.
  • Finally, there is clear, indisputable evidence that our economy is dependent upon energy.   Arguments for conservation often include the fact that we use significantly more oil/energy than any other country.   That’s true.   What’s also true is that our GDP is the highest in the world.   When you compare the GDP/capita with energy usage/capita as Frank van Mierlo did, it’s clear that our economy and energy are directly linked:

The only way for Americans to believe that Obama’s energy policies are the right ones are for them to also believe that their family should have a significantly lower standard of living than they currently have.

I understand this final concept isn’t one that everyone will pick up on quickly, it will take some clear consistent talk to get the message across.   In the end, the effort will be worth it.   As we learned with our current President, having lofty goals without the ability to effectively communicate them leaves an electorate confused and distrustful.   However, as we saw with “The Great Communicator,” the American people will go through walls if they see and understand the goal and the path to get it accomplished.

Senator, POTUS, World President and now President of the Universe

by @ 5:27. Filed under Miscellaneous.

In an interview with Kerrang! radio, former Apollo astronaut and one of the few earthlings to have walked on the moon, Dr. Edgar Mitchell, said that aliens had visited earth and that soon, the details of these visits would be known.

And he says extra-terrestrials have visited Earth on several occasions – but the alien contact has been repeatedly covered up by governments for six decades.

Dr Mitchell, 77, said during a radio interview that sources at the space agency who had had contact with aliens described the beings as ‘little people who look strange to us.’

Later in the interview, Dr. Mitchell made an ominous observation about our ability as a race to defend ourselves:

Chillingly, he claimed our technology is “not nearly as sophisticated” as theirs and “had they been hostile”, he warned “we would be been gone by now”.

Upon hearing Dr. Mitchell’s description that the aliens had “the traditional image of a small frame, large eyes and head,” Barack Obama said “I mean think about it, they’re tiny beings. They don’t pose a serious threat to Earth!” Which he quickly followed by saying, “Even so, upon their arrival, I will meet with them without preconditions.”

July 24, 2008

WPRI understates how much the minimum markup law costs

by @ 19:12. Filed under Business, Politics - Wisconsin.

By now, you should have seen the press reports (this one from the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel is representative) on the Wisconsin Policy Research Institute’s study that states the minimum markup law on gasoline costs us 8 cents a gallon. Some of you may even have taken the time to read the report itself. I hate to do this to Christian Schneider, but the report actually understates how much the minimum markup law is costing us, as it is far closer to 18 cents/gallon.

Allow me to explain how it was understated. The report references a 1999 WPRI report that states at that time, when gasoline was $1.27/gallon, the minimum markup law cost between 2 and 3 cents per gallon. Despite noting earlier in the report that, due to the fact that the markup law is a percentage of the price, its growth is independent of the costs of doing business, Christian uses the simplistic multiple of the current cost of gasoline now versus its cost in 1999 to state that the effect is only 8 cents.

A more-accurate estimate that is based on the earlier WPRI report would take into account not only the increase in the cost of gasoline, but the actual increase in cost of doing business. The Bureau of Labor Statistics does have a statistic called the Employment Cost Index, which is a better measure of how much it costs to run a business than the Consumer Price Index as wages tend to go up faster than prices. I don’t have the time to include increased taxes and property costs, or attempt to figure out how other goods and services offered by the gas stations interact, or even to adjust this for the increase in the amount of gasoline sold in 2008 versus 1999, but the ECI should yield a rather close estimate in the increase in the cost of doing business.

Before I get to the ECI, I need to establish what the “fair” markup was in 1999. I don’t have the report from that year handy, and the new report doesn’t explicitly mention what it is. However, I do have enough information to infer what that is. Gasoline was $1.27/gallon, the “excess” markup was between 2 and 3 cents per gallon (I’ll be generous to the protectionists and use the lower 2 cents), and the mandated markup was 9.18%. That made the minimum markup $0.107 cents/gallon, and the “fair” markup a maximum of $0.087 cents/gallon.

Back to the ECI; I am choosing to use the current-dollar version as it does not attempt to factor out inflation, and I need to include the effects of inflation. Since the BLS changed the definitions of the various categories of employees, including “service occupations”, at the end of 2005, and reports using the current definitions only go back to 2001, I have to note there may well be a discrepancy in this. Specifically, the report using the old definition had an ECI for service occupations of 84.8 in March 2001 (with a base of 100.0 in December 2005), while the report using the current definition and the same base of 100.0 in December 2005 had an ECI for service occupations of 85.5. Since I’m all about simplicity, I’ll otherwise ignore that discrepancy.

In March 1999, the ECI for service occupations was 78.9. In March 2008 (the last quarter the figures are available), it was 108.4. That translates to a 37.4% increase in the ECI.

Now, I can estimate what the “fair” markup per gallon of gasoline should be in 2008. Multiplying the 1999 “fair” markup by the increased cost of employment yields an estimated “fair” markup of 12.0 cents/gallon.

With that established, figuring out how much the minimum markup law costs us is a simple matter of subtracting the “fair” markup from the mandated markup. That mandated markup is, at a price of $4.07/gallon, 30.2 cents per gallon. Subtracting the 12.0 cents per gallon the station needs to stay in business means that the minimum markup law is costing us 18.2 cents per gallon.

Even if one were to accept the premise that gas stations needed the entire 10.7 cents/gallon in 1999, the minimum markup law is costing us significantly. The increased cost of business only brings up the necessary markup to 14.7 cents/gallon, which would mean the minimum markup law is costing us 15.5 cents/gallon.

Now, who wouldn’t like a 15-18 cent drop in the price of a gallon of gas? Gov. Jim Doyle supports the repeal of the minimum markup law, even though he believes it wouldn’t do anything to gas prices. The Wisconsin Institute for Leadership issued a call to Doyle for a special session, and Representatives Bill Kramer and Leah Vukmir joined WIL’s call. Now that a repeal of the minimum markup law has been demonstrated that not will have a significant and positive impact on gasoline prices, it is past time to repeal it. Every day that it remains on the books, it costs Wisconsin residents even more money.

The Morni…er, Afternoon Scramble/Open Thread Thursday – 7/24/2008

It’s Thursday, it’s late, and I’m glad Shoebox is back and in fine satirical form because I have no energy, so enjoy some Muddy Waters and Eric Clapton and feed me some material, please…

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  • I wish I could do a day without an Obamination Watch, but I can’t. Matt Burden has two witnesses of Barack Obama’s Afghan Adventure.
  • Lance Burri explains my view on the DNC delegate for John McCain. Do remember that the ‘Rats demand 110% fealty.
  • JammieWearingFool has the flop to the flip on the exploitation of Obama’s kids. Yes, they’re being exploited again.
  • John McCormack caught Wesley “World War III over Pristina” Clark forgetting a couple of key facts on the Surge. I guess Clark wants to get into Uncle Jimbo’s Crosshairs again.
  • Jim Hoft gives credit to Harold Ford for blasting the critics of the Surge. Expect Ford’s tombstoning to occur shortly.
  • Gopfolk charts the price of oil since Bush lifted the executive portion of the off-shore drilling ban. Not even a hurricane could save Nancy Pelosi’s lies.
  • Soren Dayton has another view on the Online War.
  • Michelle Bachmann becomes a MythBuster. That tiny portion of ANWR designated by Jimmy Carter as an energy reserve would increase the daily world oil output by roughly 1.25%, which would do a lot to bring the oil markets to the middle of the supply/demand curve and reduce the price of oil significantly.
  • Mary Katharine Ham found a movie I might actually go to the theater to see; a Zucker zing of Michael Moore. I am serious, and don’t call me Shirley.
  • John Hawkins interviewed “Save the Males” author Kathleen Parker.
  • E.M. Zanotti found a homeless guy aping the Obama campaign line. Do remember that both are campaigning for your change.
  • McQ gives kudos to Katie Couric for actually daring to question the Obamination while on their junket. The arrogant tone taken by Obama when he realized that Couric is a member of PUMA is priceless. Operation Chaos LIVES!

When a Flip is Not a Flop but is Still Wrong.

by @ 5:38. Filed under Politics - National.

Following  his stop in Iraq, Barack Obama was interviewed about what he now believes his plan for troop withdrawal in Iraq should be.

If you want to see Barack in full living color (given what I see has happened on this site while I was away, I feel it necessary to point out that my use of the term “color” is not some subterranean racism that I harbor and therefore has nothing to do with Barack’s skin color but rather with seeing the full context of his comments, facial reactions, gestures, intonations etc….glad I got that covered!) give his explanation, you can do so here:   http://www.breitbart.tv/?p=137053  .   The essence of Barack’s comments were captured by his web site a few days ago:

A Responsible, Phased Withdrawal
Barack Obama believes we must be as careful getting out of Iraq as we were careless getting in. Immediately upon taking office, Obamawill give his Secretary of Defense and military commanders a new mission in Iraq: ending the war. The removal of our troops will be responsible and phased, directed by military commanders on the ground and done in consultation with the Iraqi government. Military experts believe we can safely redeploy combat brigades from Iraq at a pace of 1 to 2 brigades a month that would remove them in 16 months. That would be the summer of 2010 – more than 7 years after the war began.

Under the Obamaplan, a residual force will remain in Iraq and in the region to conduct targeted counter-terrorism missions against al Qaeda in Iraq and to protect American diplomatic and civilian personnel. He will not build permanent bases in Iraq, but will continue efforts to train and support the Iraqi security forces as long as Iraqi leaders move toward political reconciliation and away from sectarianism.

Some writers have been calling Barack’s recent update to his web site and his corresponding interview comments a flip flop. It’s not.

Take a look at this quote from Barack back in January of 2007; comments he made while the “surge” was being discussed:

The Obama plan, called the Iraq War De-escalation Act of 2007, would begin a troop withdrawal no later than May 1, 2007, but it includes several caveats that could forestall a clean break:

It would leave a limited number of troops in place to conduct counterterrorism activities and train Iraqi forces. And the withdrawal could be temporarily suspended if the Iraqi government meets a series of benchmarks laid out by the Bush administration. That list includes a reduction in sectarian violence; the equitable distribution of oil revenue; government reforms; and democratic, Iraqi-driven reconstruction and economic development efforts. Obama’s proposal also would reverse Bush’s troop-increase plan.

Notice that both in 2007 and today, Obama wanted a complete draw down of all combat troops. He also had provisions for leaving some special forces troops. At the tactical level, Obama hasn’t flip flopped. Obama’s plan as outlined on his web site this week looks very similar to the one he laid out in January of last year. But that is also his problem.

In January of 2007 the Surge was being debated. Had Obama had his way, the Surge would have never happened . Had Obama had his way and US troops been pulled out, LAST YEAR, we would likely be sitting here today not only with an Iran that was moving towards nuclear armament but also an Iran that would be establishing agency within Iraq. Obama may be right on the tactics…after the fact, but he was wrong on the strategy!

Here’s the thing. Many folks following the Presidential race, have gotten into debating whether Barack has flipped, flopped or contorted his position  in some other fashion. I’ll admit, I personally find some of that to be an entertaining past time. However, the issue with Obama, yesterday, today and tomorrow is that he is wrong on the Strategy.

It’s fun amongst we conservatives to play “Whack an Obama” (again I feel the need to inject that the word “whack” is not generated by a subterranean racism looking to harm Obama, rather it is a reference to the carnival game often seen at Chuck E Cheese) for flipflopping. We just need to realize that if we’re attempting to address or persuade the audience who find him appealing, but are open to thinking about it, they find that kind of activity to be on the level of name calling. Have fun with the flip flops but make sure that at the core of the issue is the repetitive errancy that Obama has on every strategic position he has taken.

Ain’t This the Pot Calling the Kettle a Color That is Void of All Color

by @ 5:01. Filed under Miscellaneous.

So rapper Nas has collected over 600,000 signatures on a petition saying that FOX news is racist and not fair to Obama.

Nas’ evidence of Fox’s racism is Bill O’Reilly defending negative comments about Michelle Obama by saying “I don’t want to go on a lynching party against Michelle Obama unless there is evidence.” Also put into evidence was O’Reilly referring to Michelle Obama as “Barack’s baby mama.”

Um, 0 for 2 NAS.

In the first instance, any thinking and hearing person knows that O’Reilly’s words were in defense of Michelle Obama. I’m not even sure that his words were an unfortunate choice, as the phrase “lynching party” was not one that only applied to African Americans…does anyone remember how cattle rustlers were dealt with?

In the second, Michelle Obama was the one that got this issue started. The following clip is from Michelle’s infamous introduction of Barack.

O’Reilly and Michelle Malkin merely picking up on a turn of phrase that Michelle used. If it was racist for O’Reilly, why wasn’t it for Michelle Obama?

Finally, Yup, it took me all of 30 seconds to grab the first “song” I could find and grab Nas’ lyrics. If you want to read disrespect to women, which is what Nas seemed to be all hopped up about, just look below the fold…I refuse to show these without a warning that they are offensive!
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July 23, 2008

Paul Ryan on the Fannie Mae/Freddie Mac bailout

by @ 17:40. Filed under Business, Politics - National.

This press release from my Congressman, Paul Ryan, on House passage of H.R. 3221, the Fannie/Freddie bailout bill came into the mailbox a couple hours ago. Quoting Ryan from the press release:

My top priority is to protect the taxpayers, not the shareholders. Our current policy toward Fannie and Freddie is not only dysfunctional and rife with bad incentives, but it also has potentially disastrous consequences for taxpayers. This bailout plan aggravates the fundamental problem that led us here: Fannie and Freddie remain for-profit corporations but still enjoy a Federal guarantee at the taxpayers’ expense against any risk of loss. To force Americans already struggling to make ends meet to take on this risk is a dangerous precedent.

Congress has tuned out the voice of the taxpayer with today’s bailout bill. Since my first years in Congress, I have called for reforms in Congressional oversight of these mortgage giants, so that we could have avoided the current situation. We need to inject some commonsense into this debate, rather than set ourselves up for more taxpayer-funded bailouts in the future.

There are several other links of Ryan’s previous comments on this included in the linked press release:
Ryan on the House floor (Windows Media video)
Op-ed by Ryan and Rep. Jeb Hensarling at Politico.com on how to solve the Fannie/Freddie crisis
The House Budget Committee (Republican Caucus) analysis of Fannie Mae/Freddie Mac.
Ryan’s long history on GSE’s (dating back to 2000

It is good to know that Ryan and Hensarling aren’t alone. Michelle Malkin has Sen. Jim DeMint’s comments.

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