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 December, 2010

December 31, 2010

Was PlaceboCare designed by the POR team or Henry Ford?

I’m actually beginning to think Henry Ford offered more options on the Model T than PlaceboCare does. George Scoville lists just some of the items that, as of tomorrow, will no longer be able to be purchased with Health Savings Account money without a prescription:

  • Acid controllers
  • Acne medicine
  • Aids for indigestion
  • Allergy and sinus medicine
  • Anti-diarrhea medicine
  • Baby rash ointment
  • Cold and flu medicine
  • Eye drops
  • Feminine anti-fungal or anti-itch products
  • Hemorrhoid treatment
  • Laxatives or stool softeners
  • Lice treatments
  • Motion sickness medicines
  • Nasal sprays or drops
  • Ointments for cuts, burns or rashes
  • Pain relievers, such as aspirin or ibuprofen

“Strangely” enough, birth control, reading glasses (of course, Congress can’t read, so it won’t help them) and contact lens solutions can still be bought over-the-counter with HSA money.

December 29, 2010

Best comment surrounding the Birther horse manure

by @ 22:34. Filed under Politics - National.

This gem from James Wigderson on the desire of incoming Hawaii governor and Obama family friend Neil Ambercrombie (D) to unseal Barack Obama’s birth certificate is priceless:

I think some people will just remain convinced that Obama isn’t a citizen even if the afterbirth can be produced with a chain of custody documenting the source, DNA tests, and video of the birth with a “Welcome to Hawaii” sign in the background. Oh yeah, and Don Ho playing the music on the video soundtrack.

The sad thing is, that isn’t just comedic gold.

It’s good to be king…just for a while – Milwaukee County edition

by @ 21:46. Filed under NRE Polls, Thug Holloway.

Noted slumlord and abuser of fellow Milwaukee County Supervisors Lee Holloway is now acting Milwaukee County Executive, and he hasn’t disappointed those who expected new lows to be set. Despite the 30-day tag on his rule (or at least this stage of his rule), he wasn’t satisfied with just one judge administering the oath of office, inviting disgraced former County Executive F.(U.) Thomas Ament (the guy who signed into law the multi-million-dollar pension grab in 2000 that, when it finally came to light in 2002, cost him and several supervisors their jobs in recall elections) to the ceremony as an honored friend, or summarily firing the housing director (highly ironic since Holloway and his wife are facing legal action from the city of Milwaukee for numerous code violatoins on rental property they own), or laying out a massive tax-and-spend agenda that will by necessity take far more than either the 30 days he has before he has to name an “interim” County Exec (most-likely himself because he temporarily gave up the Board Chairmanship) or the 3 1/2 months before an elected replacement takes office (yes, he’s running). The latest is the revelation that he assembled a 32-member transition team.

Revisions/extensions (7:03 am 12/30/2010) – In the 5 o’clock hour, WISN-AM’s Jerry Bott and Ken Herrera pointed out that, in Holloway’s announcement that he was running for the remainder of the term, he used street putdowns on his potential challengers, conservative and ultra-liberal alike. Since nobody hit the poll yet, I simply added it to the poll.

I guess it’s time for a new NRE Poll…

What is the most outrageous aspect of Lee Holloway's assumption of the powers of Milwaukee County Executive?

Up to 1 answer(s) was/were allowed

  • Despite the city of Milwaukee taking legal action against him for numerous code violations at his rental properties, he fired the county housing director. (38%, 5 Vote(s))
  • He invited disgraced former executive F.(U.) Thomas Ament to the swearing-in ceremony as an honored friend. (31%, 4 Vote(s))
  • Despite the 30-day nature of the "acting" title, he requires 32 people in his transition office. (23%, 3 Vote(s))
  • He laid out a massive tax-and-spend agenda that will take far longer than the 30 days he has as acting exec or the 3 1/2 months before an elected replacement takes office. (8%, 1 Vote(s))
  • He needed not one, but two judges to administer the oath. (0%, 0 Vote(s))
  • He couldn't pass up using street putdowns of all his potential challengers. (0%, 0 Vote(s))

Total Voters: 13

Loading ... Loading ...

It’s also time for some appropriate music…

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Wednesday’s Hot Read – The Chilean Model

by @ 8:46. Filed under Social Security crater.

(H/T – Fausta)

The Investor’s Business Daily editorial board noted the phenominal success story that the privatized Chilean social security system has become:

(Then-labor minister Jose) Pinera’s proposal began with scrapping the payroll tax on the country’s social security system and inviting all workers to take the money they were contributing and move it into a private pension.

Workers would be free to choose the fund, how much to put in, and at what age they would retire, with a minimal safety net built into the design. Past contributions would be refunded to workers by government bond. And anyone who didn’t like the idea was free to remain with the system as it was. It was a huge success: 95% of Chile’s workers chose the private system.

Pinera told the public to expect a compounded 4% rate of return under the private plan. But as of 2010, the average annual rate of return was 9.23%, far higher than promised.

By contrast, the U.S. social security system, which today accounts for a quarter of the U.S. government budget, is slated to give retiring workers in the next decade a 1% to 2% rate of return. And those entering the system today will see a negative return.

In order to compare apples to apples, one has to compare the rate of return to inflation. The bad news is Chile’s inflation averaged 10.72% between 1981 and 2009, which means the 9.23% rate of return only covered 98.7% of inflation. The ugly news is that is still better than the SocSecurity rate of return compared to the likely rate of inflation over the next decade, in which the rate of return is expected to cover barely 98% of inflation.

Let’s move to the effect on government finances:

Chile’s implicit pension debt fell to just 6% of GNP — compared with 100% in the U.S., 300% in France and 450% in Italy, leaving Chile with no net debt.

Better still, the accumulated savings in the pension funds fueled Chile’s spectacular economic ascent, taking real incomes from about $4,000 per capita in the early 1980s to $15,000 today, and GDP to the 6% range most years for nearly 20 years.

That, folks, is the real payoff; a government and a people able to weather economic storms that is sinking the rest of the world. Even when one takes out the dysfunctional Disability Insurance, the cost of providing the benefits of the Old-Age and Survivors Insurance (including a transfer of funds to cover railroad retirees) outstripped the taxes paid by $2.14 billion on $577 billion of benefit payouts, and $6.06 billion on $580 billion in total program cost, in FY2010. That’s $6.06 billion that, because of the nature of the “Trust Funds”, the Treasury had to borrow, which gives the lie to the accounting trick that counts “interest earned” by said “Trust Funds” as income into Social Security.

With the level of publicly-held debt rapidly approaching 100% of GDP, and current trends showing that increasing at an exponential rate, how long can it be before everybody stops buying US Treasuries? The first time that happens, the value of those “Trust Funds” will be $0.00, and we’ll be up a swollen Shit Creek without a paddle.

December 28, 2010

Tuesday Hot Read – James Wigderson’s “Debating Doyle’s Legacy”

by @ 17:10. Filed under Politics - Wisconsin.

Over at the MacIver Institute, James Wigderson took an extended look at the utter failure that has been the Jim Doyle governorship. The lengthy explanations, which range from taxes to education, from budgets to various flip-flops big and small, need to be read, but three sentences sum them all up quite nicely:

Doyle spent much of his time as governor not living up to the political statements he made. From big issues to small issues, he disappointed and frustrated friend and foe alike. The Doyle motto seemed to be what Rush Limbaugh once described as the strategy of the Clinton White House years, “How do we fool them today?”

As Michelle Malkin says, DLTDHYOTWO, Craps.

It is Bear Week

by @ 16:55. Filed under Sports.

Yes, Duh Bears still suck (video H/T – Jib)

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Duh Bears may have backed into the NFC North title, but they will end the season with a two-game losing streak, starting on Sunday against the Packers.

Just as a reminder, come on over to Papa’s starting 45 minutes before kickoff (or 2:30 pm) and celebrate both Christmas and a trip to the playoffs for the Pack with the extended Drinking Right crew.

December 27, 2010

They told me if…PlaceboCare Death Panel edition

by @ 13:52. Filed under Health Care Reform, Politics - National.

(H/T – Ed Morrissey)

Shortly after the mandatory every-5-year “Just die already” speech was stripped from PlaceboCare because of the backlash led by former Alaska governor Sarah Palin, the New York Times reports that, not only did the Obama administration slip it back in administratively via the same mechanism that forces every state to have drinking age of 21 and primary enforcement of mandatory seat belt laws (the dangling of money), but that instead of getting the speech every five years, you’ll get it annually.

Jimmie Bise has a lot more wrapup, while WISN-AM’s Mark Belling, filling in for Rush Limbaugh, has been hammering home the fact that, even though it is officially even more “voluntary” as said federal drinking age, it is as much a mandate. There is no distinction between offering extra money to force a decision and withholding money to force said decision.

Remember when Teh Won said that doctors took out tonsils for profit? They told me, if I voted for Palin, doctors would profit from telling me to die. AND THEY WERE RIGHT!

Update by Shoebox:

The Death Panels are only half of the story. In the past week, Sebelius and her pack of flying monkeys have also issued rules (all as part of Placebocare), that requires any insurance company who dares raise rates more than 10%, to face a health care inquisition.

Now, it’s clear that no one in the Obama abomination administration has any economic training.  If they did, they would recognize that there is a very bright light heading towards them from the opposite end of the tunnel and it’s not the end of the tunnel. 

Econ 101, whether macro or micro, will tell you that if you remove the ability for prices to reflect increasing costs, the result is a restriction on the amount of the service or good offered.  If you doubt this, simply look at any attempt to set prices and you will note that in time, the good or service for which the price is artificially set, either becomes so poor in quality (an attempt to reduce the costs) or has severe shortages in the amount offered so as not to any longer resemble the original product or service.  I wonder which, poor quality or less availability, the Obama administration is targeting under Placebocare?

So, to sum it all up, under Placebocare we have people “counseling” about how to end your life without any of the “expensive” treatments.  And, you have a limit on the amount of premium increases.  Sounds like those two go hand in hand don’t you think?

Drinking Right Christmas Party

by @ 11:02. Tags:
Filed under Miscellaneous.

Revisions/extensions (11:02 am 12/27/2010) – The NFL decided that, since the Packers-Bears game has playoff consequences, that they would move it to 3:15 pm. Accordingly, the start time has been moved to 2:30 pm, and this post has been bumped to the top to reflect this.

Fred has all the details on the Drinking Right Christmas Party, scheduled for Bust the Bears Sunday, January 2, 2011.

Our Cheddarsphere Christmas party this year will be on Sunday, January the 2nd, from noon 2:30 pm until whenever at Papa’s Social Club, 7718 W. Burleigh Milwaukee .

Just like last year we’ll be collecting predictions from the attendees for the coming year. (I’ll be reposting last years predictions soon so we can see how we did.)

The Packers will be facing the Bears on the big screens. This game could very easily determine the NFC North Division Champion, come and watch it with friends!

Our White Elephant half-time gift exchange will also be revised for a third straight year, just bring a gift to participate.

Of course, we might not be watching the game at noon if it has NFC North championship (or other playoff) implications – NBC will be guaranteed a game with playoff implications, and even if NBC doesn’t take the game, Fox may well make it the 3:15 game. Well, Fox has made it the 3:15 game, so we’re starting a bit later.

In any case, head on over to Real Debate Wisconsin to RSVP.

December 25, 2010

Have a blessed Christmas

by @ 0:01. Tags:
Filed under Miscellaneous.

Shoebox gave St. John’s account of Jesus’ birth a bit earlier, so I’ll go with St. Luke’s account once again (Luke 2:1-12, NIV):

In those days Caesar Augustus issued a decree that a census should be taken of the entire Roman world. (This was the first census that took place while Quirinius was governor of Syria.) And everyone went to his own town to register.

So Joseph also went up from the town of Nazareth in Galilee to Judea, to Bethlehem, the town of David, because he belonged to the house and line of David. He went there to register with Mary, who was pledged to be married to him and was expecting a child. While they were there, the time came for the baby to be born, and she gave birth to her firstborn, a son. She wrapped him in cloths and placed him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn.

And there were shepherds living out in the fields nearby, keeping watch over their flocks at night. An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. But the angel said to them, "Do not be afraid. I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is Christ the Lord. This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger."

Have a blessed Christmas.

December 24, 2010

Merry Christmas

by @ 5:39. Filed under Miscellaneous.

John 1
The Word Became Flesh

1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2 He was with God in the beginning. 3 Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made. 4 In him was life, and that life was the light of all mankind. 5 The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome[a] it.
6 There was a man sent from God whose name was John. 7 He came as a witness to testify concerning that light, so that through him all might believe. 8 He himself was not the light; he came only as a witness to the light.

9 The true light that gives light to everyone was coming into the world. 10 He was in the world, and though the world was made through him, the world did not recognize him. 11 He came to that which was his own, but his own did not receive him. 12 Yet to all who did receive him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God— 13 children born not of natural descent, nor of human decision or a husband’s will, but born of God.

14 The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the one and only Son, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth.

I love John’s description of the coming of Christ.

The word “word,” gets roughly translated as “breath” meaning the being or essence of ones being. Read back through this passage using “breath” or “essence” in the place of “Word.” Note how John lays out how personal, how it was from His core that Jesus came for us. A rewrite of the 14th verse might be:

“God’s essence, God’s being, became flesh and dwelt among us.”

May God’s essence, God’s being be the focus of your joy this Christmas!

In Christ,
Shoebox

December 23, 2010

Budget Chop – Bureau of Ocean Energy Management

During his 2010 victory lap yesterday, President Obama laid out his priority for 2011:

Asked about the often-used car in the ditch analogy, Obama said that the “car [the economy in the analogy] is on level ground.” He spoke about a new direction for the government’s economic focus: “We now have to pivot and focus on jobs and growth,” and education, innovation, and R & D.

While Obama’s lips may be saying “yes, yes,” his double crossed fingers are saying, “no, no!”

Gulf oil drilling jobs continue to be decimated as Obama via the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, works to interfere with, delay or halt altogether, permits for drilling. Most people are aware that Obama has denied an expansion of drilling areas and has delayed permits for new deep water rigs. What folks aren’t aware of is that even in areas where drilling is allowed, even in shallow water, the Bureau has implemented a plan that some would interpret as down right hostile towards all drilling efforts.

While you might think the Bureau is taking time advancing permits to ensure that safety comes first, they’re not. They are doing mostly what bureaucracies do, create process for no end result benefit:

Yet regulators have tightened processes so much that permit applications are being returned six and seven times for more information, says Randall Stilley, Seahawk’s chief exec­utive. One operator con­fided its last rejection was because the application contained two font sizes, he said.

(emphasis mine)

I’m a big believer in pay for performance i.e. if you perform well, you get paid more. I think we should use this type of approach to government agencies. Going forward, I would propose that Congress cut the budget for the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management. After all, how many people should it take to just say “no” to every inquiry of permitting for an ocean drilling rig?

December 20, 2010

The Budget Chop

Reports are circulating that Republicans and someone on the Democrat side (who is in charge there anymore?) have agreed to a clean continuing resolution bill that will extend the current budget levels into sometime in the first quarter of 2011.  All in all, that’s probably good news.  I don’t trust the current set of Republicans to actually have a spine and argue with any Democrats over budget levels.  I certainly don’t have any hope that the current bunch could actually cut the budget.  I lay all of my hopes on the incoming freshman class.  I hope I’m not disappointed.

However, I don’t think it’s fair to toss these freshmen to the wolves.  

As part or our ongoing public service efforts to provide clear, conservative thinking, we here at NRE have decided to start providing crib notes for the freshmen class on where, what and how to cut the federal budget.  This post is the first in the series.

Janet Napolitano announced today that the Department of Homeland Security, along with it being ever vigilant in finding new ways to amuse terrorists and piss off non Muslim air travelers, is taking on a new task.  DHS is making contingency plans in the event that climate change impacts domestic security.  Under the banner of “evironmental justice,” Napolitano has DHS making plans of what to do if oceans rise, glaciers melt or some change in weather occurs. 

As if it wasn’t bad enough that Napolitano wasted DHS time on this nonsense, she also included other executive staff. White House Council on Environmental Quality Chair Nancy Sutley, EPA Administrator Lisa P. Jackson, Attorney General Eric Holder, Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar, Secretary of Labor Hilda Solis, and Secretary of Health and Human Services Kathleen Sebelius were all included as speakers for the event.

Hey Freshmen, if Napolitano has enough people with enough time to worry about such things as “evironmental justice,” regardless of what the real focus is, she has too many people with too much time in her budget! DHS should be the first agency to experience significant budget cuts!

As I said, we’ll be pointing out budget chop items as we find them. My plan is to get a neato graphic that can be added to highlight the budget chop posts. I don’t have it yet. In the meantime, let’s see if this sets the mood:

December 19, 2010

Coming in January – the 2010 NRE Awards

by @ 12:07. Filed under NRE Awards.

If we’re closing in on Christmas, we’re closing in on the 2010 NRE Awards. Unless somebody comes up with a new category or two, we’re going to go with the same schedule as last year, with the first nominees coming out on January 1, to allow for the fact that some things can happen all the way up until midnight.

The full tentative schedule is:

Jackass of the Year – January 1
Thank You for Existing – January 2
Dumbest Thing Said – January 3
News Story of the Year – January 4
Person of the Year – January 5

If we add to this, at a minimum the Person of the Year will be pushed back so it is the crown jewel. We haven’t yet decided on whether we’ll also do a “decade” award series, partly because this place wasn’t around in 2001.

December 16, 2010

Musings

by @ 19:15. Filed under Miscellaneous.

I haven’t got time for a fully thought through post but here are a few random shots:

  • When will Boehner or McConnell step up to a mic and say, “Read my lips, no new spending!”

 

  • Congress has become nothing more for a social club.  Elected members worry more about what other members think than standing for their own principles.  Each incoming congressional freshman should put a sign on their office door that says, “If you are here to convince me of your position on an issue, please know that I am not here to satisfy your social needs, I am here to hold to my principles on behalf of those I represent.”

 

  • The 111th Congress is dead, it just doesn’t know it.  Where are those death panels when you need them?

 

  • While not scientific, I spoke with several recruitment/temporary agencies in the mid Ohio valley this week.  The consensus is that things are improving…slightly, but improving.  They typically see a lull from Thanksgiving until after the first of the year.  This year, their activity is picking up over the holidays.

Thursday Historical Read – Michelle Malkin’s “Boston Tea Party: 237th anniversary”

by @ 10:06. Tags:
Filed under History, Politics - National.

237 years ago today, a bunch of soon-to-be-ex-colonists protested the Tea Act by dumping a bunch of tea into Boston Harbor. Michelle Malkin takes a look back, and brings it into the present…

On December 16, 1773, the taxpayers of Boston had had enough.

The Boston Tea Party Ship & Museum website recounts the story:

On the cold evening of December 16, 1773, a large band of patriots, disguised as Mohawk Indians, burst from the South Meeting House with the spirit of freedom burning in their eyes. The patriots headed towards Griffin’s Wharf and the three ships. Quickly, quietly, and in an orderly manner, the Sons of Liberty boarded each of the tea ships. Once on board, the patriots went to work striking the chests with axes and hatchets. Thousands of spectators watched in silence. Only the sounds of ax blades splitting wood rang out from Boston Harbor. Once the crates were open, the patriots dumped the tea into the sea.

The bipartisan Party-In-Government, complete with Scott Brown (who wouldn’t be in the Senate if it weren’t for the Tea Party Movement), is doubling tripling down on stupid. Guess it’s time to increase the skeer on Congress, even as the foes of liberty increase their violence against us…

Make sure to commemorate the anniversary by picking up the phone and making yourselves heard in Washington as the tax-and-looters carry on.

Capitol switchboard: 202-224-3121. If you don’t, no one will.

DOWN GOES PALIN!

by @ 7:36. Filed under 2012 Presidential Contest.

Over the course of the past week, Erick Erickson has been running a tournament-style poll for who the RedState faithful want to see as the 2012 GOP Presidential nominee. Yesterday saw the final round end, and, believe it or not, Sarah Palin did not finish first. Allow me to recap the brackets before I tell you who knocked off Palin (which is why I bit.ly’ed the link; it would otherwise have told you who won the poll):

Round 1
– Herman Cain beat Donald Trump in The Businessmen matchup
– David Petraeus beat Jeb Bush in The Wild Cards matchup
– John Bolton beat John Thune in The Johns matchup
– Mike Pence beat Mike Huckabee in The Mikes matchup
– Tim Pawlenty beat Mitt Romney in The Northern Governors matchup
– Haley Barbour beat Rick Perry in The Southern Governors matchup
– Sarah Palin beat Mitch Daniels in The Other Governors matchup
– Rick Santorum beat Newt Gingrich in The Former Politicos matchup

Round 2
– Herman Cain beat David Petraeus in the Business v. Wild Card matchup
– Mike Pence beat John Bolton in the John v. Mike matchup
– Haley Barbour beat Tim Pawlenty in the North v. South matchup
– Sarah Palin beat Rick Santorum in the Other v. Former matchup

Semi-finals
– Herman Cain beat Mike Pence
– Sarah Palin beat Haley Barbour

And now, the final – Herman Cain knocked off Sarah Palin, 8,900-8,100. I am surprised, even though I have met Cain and was flat-out impressed by him, much like the rest of blog row at the 2010 Defending the American Dream Summit. There are that Cain’s entry into the race will happen on Friday; he already snagged Mark Block away from Americans for Prosperity’s Wisconsin chapter after Block turned it from a 300-member group in 2007 into a 90,000+-member group now.

December 15, 2010

Sprung convict deciding vote on 16 of 17 state labor contracts – UPDATE – Freshly-ex Senate Majority Leader a surprise roadblock – UPDATE – Not dead yet? – FINAL UPDATE – It’s dead, Jim

by @ 21:27. Filed under Politics - Wisconsin.

Mere hours after being sprung from the Chippewa County jail where he was and will continue to be serving a 60-day Huber sentence after being convicted on his fourth DUI, soon-to-be-ex Assemblyman Jeff Wood (“I” who caucuses with the Democrats) became the 48th and deciding vote on 16 of the 17 state labor contracts soon-to-be-ex governor Jim Doyle and his fellow Democrats, including the soon-to-be-ex-members/leaders of both houses of the Legislature, are rushing through to tie the hands of the incoming Republicans.

The only contract that passed by more than the “margin of Wood” (i.e., a 49-46 margin instead of a 48-47 one the other 16 contracts were passed by) was one with the SEIU for independent home-care workers for FY2012-FY2013 (AB995 on your scoresheet). “Interestingly”, that contract, the only one that is for the period beyond June 30, 2011, is expected to cost the state an additional $622,400 per year beyond what was budgeted for FY2010-FY2011 (so much for “no pay increases” in this basket of dead-duck contracts).

As I type this, the Senate deadlocked on the first of the contracts, with soon-to-be-ex Senator/Senate Majority Leader Russ Decker providing the deadlocking vote. According to WisPolitics’ Quorom Call, Decker said that the voters “want someone else to make these decisions.” Joining Decker in opposition were the 14 present Republicans (Luther Olsen is in California and refused to cut short a family vacation) and soon-to-be-ex-Senator Jeff Plale. Of course, Decker also was likely the deciding vote to bring the Senate into this extraordinary session, as the Democrats hold a 3-2 margin in the Senate Organization Committee

Revisions/extensions (9:48 pm 12/15/2010) - The twin ex-es Decker is facing became “un-twinned” as his fellow Dems threw him under the bus in favor of assistant leader Dave Hansen. It didn’t have the intended effect as Decker continues to vote against the rammed-through contracts. They’re up through the 11th contract now, and all 11 have gone down by identical 16-16 votes.

R&E part 2 (10:00 pm 12/15/2010) - And all 17 contracts went down by identical 16-16 votes. BWAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!!!!!!!!!

R&E part 3 (1:45 am 12/16/2010) - WisPolitics’ Quorum Call is reporting that the freshly-minted temporary Senate Dem leader, Dave Hansen and Senate President Fred Risser are planning on bringing the Senate back in session at 10 am today because, since it was a tie vote, anybody can call for a reconsideration. Meanwhile, the person who will be the Senate Dem leader in the next Legislature, Mark Miller, told Republican leader Scott Fitzgerald that the Senate wouldn’t be on the floor Thursday. How much do you want to bet that Risser and company are trying to get a second Republican (or Plale or Decker) to disappear from Madison?

R&E part 4 (10:43 am 12/16/2010) - The message on the Senate InSession site now reads, “THE WISCONSIN STATE SENATE STANDS ADJOURNED PURSUANT TO SENATE JOINT RESOLUTION 1″. It’s over! To celebrate, allow me to break out the best part of the original Star Trek…

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December 14, 2010

Tuesday Hot Read – Pamela Gorman’s “The Dream Act- Unsafe for Children”

by @ 11:51. Filed under Immigration, Politics - National.

(H/T – Brian Fojtik)

Pamela Gorman found a rather disturbing loophole in the DREAM Bill (unless it becomes law, it’s not an Act, except in stupidity):

The bill has a section that specifically allows the offspring of illegal aliens to opt out of the military and education requirements for citizenship. And, if you actually read it, you would see that the opt out requires little more than a letter stating that fulfilling the requirements of the law would present a “hardship.” Because the bill offers no definition of what is means by “hardship,” it is virtually impossible for a court to later have clear direction in determining what constitutes a life situation that prevents the young person from properly meeting the requirements of the law. Additionally, it could be determined on a subjective case-by-case (read: politically motivated) basis by the government agency employee who receives the letter of excuse.

Yep; you read that right – pure, no-committment-required amnesty.

Delivering the purple package

by @ 10:44. Filed under Law and order.

Both Whitefish Bay Now and WITI-TV are reporting on a USPS carrier who delivered some mail naked the other Saturday. If one combines the two sources, it turns into a he-said/she-said deal on whether she dared him to deliver mail naked.

What was he thinking? Oh, that’s right. He’s a unionized government employee; as such, he is likely to end up in the TSA after a lengthy investigation.

December Drinking Right – 12-hour warning

This is the Emergency Blogging System. It has been activated because it is just too cold for Steve to blog.

The December edition of Drinking Right will commence at 19:00 (7 pm for those of you who don’t see the wisdom of a 24-hour clock) at Papa’s Social Club, 7718 W Burleigh in Milwaukee. Word on the street is that AFP New Media director Erik Telford will be dropping in.

Also, don’t forget about the Drinking Right Christmas Party on 1/2/2011 at noon. Because the Packers stink and there will be no playoff implications, the game will be at noon.

December 13, 2010

It’s For the Children’s…..Security

by @ 21:05. Filed under Miscellaneous.

Today, Michelle Obama got her wish and the nanny state expanded.  Congress passed the “Healthy- Hunger free kids act.”  For $4.5 billion we now get an extra $.06 of support for school lunches and federal government support for an after school meal.  Oh, but you also get mandates for school gardens, no doubt to grow arugula, and to “buy local!”  What a waste!

In her comments today, Michelle actually referenced comments from some military folks who attempted to tie obese kids to a military readiness issue.  I wonder if Michelle will be equally concerned about making sure that all school kids get gun training?

In honor of Michelle’s on going quest to ensure that we all eat only what she tells us to, I have penned a song.

To be sung to the tune of the Beatles “Michelle”
Michelle, cow bell
These are words that go together well
Large Michelle

Michelle, cow bell
Can’t we keep our fast food that is swell
Large Michelle?

I love it, I love it, I love it
That’s all I want to say
I wish you’d go away
And leave my food choice up to me and
Not Uncle Sam.

Michelle, cow bell
I’m sure you love French ‘cause they do what
Ever their told

I need to, I need to, I need to.
I need to make you see
Oh what fries mean to me.
Until I do I’m hoping you will
Quit dogging me.

I love food….

I want more, I want more, I want more.
I think you know by now
I’ll get to food somehow
No chide from you will shrink my waist so
Nag on Barack.

Michelle, cow bell
French toast, French bread, French fries, French croissant
All foods that you loathe

Don’t touch any of the food I love
Or you’ll lose your hand, my Michelle.

In case you need a little help with the tune:

“Take him to Detroit.”

by @ 16:48. Filed under Politics.

(H/T – Ace)

It must be “Kentucky Fried Movie” month. The Wall Street Journal reported on a plan by Detroit mayor Dave Bing (Democrat) to strip at least 20% of Detroit of basic services such as road repair, street lights, garbage pickup and police patrols. Could it really be worse than this Steven Crowder PJTV classic?…

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Meanwhile, we’ll be paying for 45% of the interest on $100 million in bonds just floated by Detroit for a new police/fire headquarters. That, and a whole lot more on the tragedy of errors that is Detroit, is courtesy Mike Shedlock, whose piece I recommend reading. How long before this little bit from “Kentucky Fried Movie” won’t be hyperbole?…

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December 12, 2010

Recommended Reading (12/12/10)

by @ 21:55. Filed under Miscellaneous.

Here are, in my view, interesting, noteworthy columns and articles from the past week that I highly recommend (You will note that on occasion, I do not endorse the opinions of the author and may point that out. Despite my disagreements, I still feel the piece is worth a read).

Time to think the unthinkable: A Democratic primary challenge to Obama’s re-election

“It is time for Progressives to stop ‘whining’ and arguing among themselves about whether President Obama will or will not do this or that. Obama is no different than any other President, nominated by his national party. He was elected with the hard work and 24/7 commitment of persons who believed and enlisted in his campaign for ‘Hope’ and ‘Change.’

You don’t have to be a rocket scientist nor have a PhD in political science and sociology to see clearly that Obama has abandoned much of the base that elected him. He has done this because he no longer respects, fears or believes those persons who elected him have any alternative, but to accept what he does, whether they like it or not.”

What to cut

Congress should enact government-wide spending caps that gradually return spending to 20 percent or less of GDP. After a $727 billion spending increase since 2007, there is no shortage of programs to cut to meet that 20 percent target. The 112th Congress should target programs based on their economic impact, their cost, and the feasibility of reforming them. It should build credibility with the public by including cuts in the federal government’s spending on itself, unpopular earmarks, and even traditional conservative spending programs. Conservatives could begin with the following twelve projects…”

A nude awakening-TSA screening and privacy

“The TSA continues to advocate a model of security based upon overreaction. Ineffectual peripheral threats relating to liquid explosives, shoe bombs or printer cartridges coincide with rapid changes to the terrorist alert level (as if the risk of terrorism increases after a failed plot!) and reactionary modifications to security protocol, resulting in the loss of millions in governmental revenue, inconvenience for passengers and the abatement of fundamental liberty.

The fundamental problem is that terrorism is innovative while TSA policy is reactive. The TSA modifies its protocol on the basis of terrorist plots that have already happened, while an intelligent terrorist knows not to duplicate the failed efforts of past terrorists.”

Last state budget bill contained $39.2 million in earmarks

“With all the talk about banning earmarks in the new Congress, it’s easy to focus on the national and forget the local, but it turns out the porksters in Madison have been wallowing in the earmark mud just as much as those in Washington have been.

In fact, even as the state battled an approximately $6 billion shortfall going into the last budget cycle, lawmakers managed to successfully insert $39.2 million in earmarks in the 2009-11 state budget bill.

Among the goodies passed out by the Democratic majority – and left in the final budget act by outgoing Democratic Gov. Jim Doyle – was $500,000 for an upgrade of the Oshkosh Opera House, $5 million for the Bradley Sports Center in Milwaukee, $250,000 for the Madison Children’s Museum, another half-million dollars for the Aldo Leopold climate change laboratory, $100,000 to restore a stone barn in the town of Chase, not to mention recycling bins for the town of Wrightstown and $50,000 for a public shooting range in Eau Claire.

Even OneidaCounty got a little taste of pork, just enough perhaps to whet the appetite – $10,000 for a trail crossing.”

Locked and loaded

“’A look into the minds of the gun-toters among us.”

“I swore to myself I was not going to be defenseless ever again.”

Texting ban won’t make us safer

“In a country where we regularly affix ‘caution, hot!’ warnings to cups of coffee, is it really conceivable that government safety czars would agree that two, 3,000-pound hunks of metal could safely be maneuvered past one another on a two-lane country road in the rain by two 16-year-olds jamming out radio Top 40?) 

But as it is, driving in America is inescapable, dangerous by nature, and often so mind-numbingly routine that we look for other diversions of the eye, ear and hands. Because of this, it’s unlikely bans on texting while driving will make much of a dent in the crash numbers.”

Drip, Drip, Drip

by @ 14:52. Filed under Politics - National, Taxes.

It’s been a week since President Obama announced that he had a “deal” with Republicans to get the current tax rates extended.  At that time, the “deal” included an extension of all current tax rates for an extension of unemployment insurance and an increase (yes, an increase as the current rate is ZERO) in estate (death) taxes.  For a reason yet mystifying, the “Republican Leadership,” and I can only assume that means Boehner and McConnell, agreed to this “deal.”  They agreed even though, in their first official action, it meant that they would clearly put a “we don’t care what you say,” sign out for all grass roots activists to see.

Since last week, Obama has been looking for ways to get Democrats to sign on to the extension bill.  While Joe “This is a big F%$&ing deal,” Biden told the Democrat caucus that there would be no room for change, the Democrat caucus has been doing just that.

The first drip was the inclusion of an extension of ethanol credits for two years.  Besides the fact that even Al Gore recognizes that ethanol is bogus green science, has anyone noticed how numerous food items are either increasing in cost or being reduced in size resulting in increased costs per ounce?  Yeah, look at the items increasing.  The majority can be traced back to corn either as an ingredient, a sweetener or a food source for the product.  Continuing to extend the ethanol credits is not only bad science, it is having the unintended consequence of pushing inflation into our food supply.

The second drip was the extension of credits for “green” cars, “green” transit, “green” diesel and “green” appliances.  Suffice to say that the only thing “green” about any of these items is the money that is being shoveled into black holes that don’t return a dime in benefit!

Additional provisions have been rumored to be considered as a way to improve Democrat’s chances of supporting the bill.  You can bet that none of them would move the bill to a more fiscally responsible bill.

One drip, two drips, heck, even three drips aren’t usually enough to cause any real damage.  However, if you’re already water logged, even one drip can do you in.  The Federal budget is clearly water logged.  Any drips, even the ones already “agreed” to, are too much.  The Republican leadership can still pull back and demand a straight up or down vote on extending the tax rates.  If they don’t, we’ll all be left wondering which drip it will be that will cause the US economy to do this:

December 11, 2010

Weekend Hot Read – Dave Thompson’s “We Had an Election . . . Remember?”

by @ 20:23. Filed under Politics - National.

Incoming Minnesota State Senator (and previous candidate for Minnesota GOP chair) Dave Thompson unloaded on Le Grande Compromise on his campaign blog today:

On November 2nd, the voters sent a clear message: stop the spending already. Less than six weeks after the election, the Congressional Republican leadership has gone right back to the old playbook. They are “compromising” and giving in on bad policies when they don’t need to do so.

Extending unemployment benefits is a terrible idea. Let’s see… we really want people to go to work… so I think we’ll continue to pay them not to work. Brilliant! And of course the unemployment benefit extension will add over $56 billion to the national debt. But never mind. Concern about the national debt was for last week’s news cycle.

We all understand the need for compromise. Otto von Bismarck said, “Politics is the art of the possible.” However, the American people are troubled when politicians make unnecessary concessions on important issues. Every reasonable analyst agrees that we should not raise taxes….

Democrats supposedly haven’t grasped the message sent last November. Seems to me the Republicans are equally unaware.

There is a reason why 63% of the voters in Minnesota’s 36th Senate District sent Thompson to St. Paul – he gets it.

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