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 March, 2011

March 31, 2011

Eating the rich

by @ 18:42. Filed under Politics - National.

In case you, like me, missed Iowahawk’s explanation of how we can get through 2011 on a mere $10 billion a day, Bill Whittle has you covered with a video version…

Of course, as Bill points out, what happens in 2012 when we need $11 billion a day and the rich are gone?

Lawgiver-In-Black Sumi has declared La Follette the Übergovernor

That is the net effect of the latest pronouncement from Dane County Circuit Judge Judge Maryann Sumi, who has also declared herself superior to the Wisconsin Supreme Court, which back in 1943 declared that no court has jurisdiction over the publication of an act, even if that act was, arguably, passed in a manner contrary to the state constitution.

March 29, 2011

Tax the rich? We’ve already tried that – part 2

by @ 19:22. Filed under Politics, Taxes.

(H/T – Lance Burri, just because I don’t think a million hits is enough for him, or is it the fact that he used the eggs-in-a-basket analogy)

If I had paid attention on Saturday, I probably would have done this as the Weekend Hot Read. Robert Frank of The Wall Street Journal used the collapse of the rich and the resulting collapse of various states’ tax revenues as the topic of the WSJ’s Saturday Essay. I’ll take a larger chunk than Lance did to get you to read the entire thing:

The story of (Brad) Williams, the former chief economist and forecaster for the California Legislative Analyst’s Office, shows just how vulnerable states have become to the income shocks among the rich, and why reform has proven difficult.

In the mid-1990s, shortly after taking the job, Mr. Williams discovered he had a problem. Part of his job was to help state politicians plan their budgets and tax projections….

Historically, California’s tax revenues tracked the broader state economy. Yet in the mid-1990s, Mr. Williams noticed that they had started to diverge. Employment was barely growing while income-tax revenue was soaring.

“It was like we suddenly had two different economies,” Mr. Williams said. “There was the California economy and then there were personal income taxes.”

In all his years of forecasting, he had rarely encountered such a puzzle. He did some economic sleuthing and discovered that most of the growth was coming from a small group of high earners. The average incomes of the top 20% of Californian earners (households making $95,000 in 1998) jumped by an inflation-adjusted 75% between 1980 and 1998, while incomes for the rest of the state grew by less than 3% over the same period. Capital-gains realizations—largely stock sales—quadrupled between 1994 and 1999, to nearly $80 billion.

Mr. Williams reported his findings in early 2000, in a report called “California’s Changing Income Distribution,” which was widely circulated in the state capital. He wrote that state tax collections would be “subject to more volatility than in the past.”

The essay goes on to note how the states that became most-addicted to the outsized increased revenue from the high-income earners, have become the worst economic basket cases as the POR Economy (™ Tom Blumer) decimated those same people.

$100,000 per commuting beneficiary is still too much

by @ 18:12. Filed under Choo-choos, Politics - Wisconsin.

I’m disappointed to learn that Scott Walker has applied for at least $150 million in Porkulus funds for the Hiawatha Milwaukee-to-Madison line to turn that into a “bit faster than car speed” line. Despite it being one of Amtrak’s top 10 lines and setting a new ridership record of 783,060 riders one-way passenger trips in FY2010 , it still needed a $5.5 million subsidy (90% covered by OtherPeoplesMoney in the form of federal money with a very-minor Illinois contribution) last year.

Once one strips away the 100 people per weekend day from even the projected 850,000 one-way passenger trips, that leaves roughly 1,500 daily commuters who rather like the idea of paying less for getting down to where they really want to be than the average parking rate in downtown Chicago while sucking the difference between what they pay and what it costs out of your pocketbook.

Cash for Clunkers II – Electric Boogaloo

by @ 10:58. Filed under Business, Politics - National.

Kerry Picket caught a change to the $7500-per-electric vehicle giveaway to Government Motors being pushed by Michigan Democrat Senator Debbie Stabenow in a proposed bill and President Barack Obama in his 2012 budget. To wit, instead of a tax credit of $7,500 for buying the Chevy Volt (and the all-electric Nissan Leaf), that $7,500 would be taken off at the dealer, with the dealer hoping to get compensated by the government at a later date. If you don’t believe Kerry’s and my assertion that it is Cash for Clunkers II, allow me to lift a couple paragraphs from the story:

In fact, Department of Energy’s David Sandalow told Bloomberg News in February the insta-credit would operate the “same way the 2009 ‘Cash for Clunkers’ program worked.”

The Detroit News reported Vice President Joe Biden said at an Indiana battery assembly plant, “You won’t have to wait,’ it would be like the cash-for-clunkers program.”

No word if the dealers will have to run glass through the engines of any cars traded in for the overpriced glorified golf carts, or whether the compensation for the dealers would be any faster than it was for the first Cash for Clunkers.

It’s also worth noting that Government Motors is currently trading at somewhere under $31/share. If the Treasury could dump its remaining 33.3% of Government Motors now, it will have lost over $13 billion on the venture, most of it transferred to the UAW.

Revisions/extensions (11:31 am 3/29/2011) - There’s more discussion at Sister Toldjah, who suggested a new liberal motto (“If at first you don’t succeed, fail, fail again”), The PJ Tattler from Bryan Preston, who noted all the Dem-supporting groups who will also be bailed out, and Memeorandum (just because I haven’t linked there lately).

Reinforcing the “Act 10 is law” argument

by @ 0:36. Filed under Politics - Wisconsin.

Yesterday, the Wisconsin Department of Justice filed motions for both the repeal of Judge Maryann Sumi’s temporary restraining order and the withdrawal of its emergency appeal of the case because it asserts Act 10 is now in force and has been since Saturday. I’ll provide the Cliff’s Notes version:

  • With regard to the actual publication of an act, the Secretary of State has but one role – within one working day (i.e., a weekday that is not a state-recognized holiday) of the deposit of an act in his office, designate a date of publishment that is within 10 working days of its enactment. It is the Legislative Reference Bureau, which must publish on that designated date, or if there is no date designated, within that same 10 working-day window, that accomplishes the publication.

    As there is no statutory mechanism for that date to be changed after the first working day after deposit has passed, the “good faith” attempt by Doug La Follette to rescind the assigned date following Sumi’s TRO does not have any statutory weight.

  • As Dane County DA Ismael Ozanne failed to name the Legislative Reference Bureau in his attempt to overturn established case law barring judicial restraint on the publication of an act, it published the act in accordance with state law, and “(t)hat bell cannot be unrung now”.
  • As for the argument that it is a post-publication notice (one that can be as late as 10 days after the date of publication set by the Secretary of State and the act of publication by the Legislative Reference Bureau) by the Secretary of State in the official state newspaper, the Wisconsin State Journal, that is publication for the purposes of the constitutional requirement to publish, the DOJ notes the distinction in the state statutes between the actual publication of the act and a post-publication notice that includes the date of publication to knock that argument down.
  • As for the argument that a failure by the Secretary of State to designate a date of publishment (or specifically in this case, attempt a recession of designation), the DOJ asserts that, when the various mandates on the publication of an act are read together, the intent of the Legislature was that, unless specified in the act, it is to take effect no later than the day after ten working days after enactment, with a Secretary of State-exercised option to make that date earlier. I’ll quote from the request if this is not the case (emphasis in the original):

    To read these statutes any other way would permit a Secretary of State to delay publication of the act, thus granting far more power to the office of the Secretary of State than the Legislature intended when it imposed a series of ministerial, non-discretionary duties on the office. It would also effectively nullify the statutory directive to LRB to publish acts based upon the time the governor approves of a bill, and not when the Secretary of State acts. And most significantly, it would deprive the legislative of its prerogative to pass laws and put them into force. Goodland, 243 Wis. at 468 (“If a court can intervene and prohibit publication of an act, the court determines what shall be law and not the legislature…. This it may not do.”)

The ball is now squarely in Sumi’s court (no pun intended). If she were honest in her opposition to the act, she would vacate the existing TRO and replace it with one that blocks enforcement. Something tells me, however, she is going to try to retain her ill-conceived seizure of power for herself, the remainder of the liberal wing of the judiciary, and Doug La Follette.

March 27, 2011

Trog gets a million hits, is the worse for wear

by @ 18:38. Filed under Miscellaneous.

Or at least half of that is true. Lance Burri has joined the Million Hit Club, mostly because he is a shameless self-promoter who throws just anything up (and by anything, I mean many, many pictures of Danica Patrick).

But seriously, if you’re not reading the Troglopundit, you’re missing a lot. Lance really is THAT GOOD.

March 25, 2011

The Dems and Sumi enjoined the wrong entity – UPDATE – Or did they?

by @ 17:41. Filed under Politics - Wisconsin.

The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reports that despite the injunction placed on Democrat Secretary of State Doug La Follette prohibiting him from publishing Wisconsin Act 10, the non-partisan Legislative Reference Bureau has published it. Perhaps a review of Wisconsin Statute Chapter 35.095(3) is in order:

(3) PUBLICATION. (a) The legislative reference bureau shall publish every act and every portion of an act which is enacted by the legislature over the governor’s partial veto within 10 working days after its date of enactment.
(b) The secretary of state shall designate a date of publication for each act and every portion of an act which is enacted by the legislature over the governor’s partial veto. The date of publication may not be more than 10 working days after the date of enactment.
(c) Copies of each act or portion of an act enacted by the legislature over the governor’s partial veto shall be available on or before its date of publication to subscribers under s. 35.87 who pick up their documents. At appropriate intervals, the officer designated under s. 35.87 shall certify to the secretary of state that each act or portion of an act was available to subscribers on or before its date of publication.

Prior to the injunction, La Follette designated today as the date of publication of Act 10. At that point, his role over the publication of Act 10 ended. Therefore, as of tomorrow, Act 10 is the law of Wisconsin.

I will note that there is now another act of notification La Follette must do according to statute. According to Wisconsin Statute Chapter 14.38(10)(c), he must “(p)ublish in the official state newspaper within 10 days after
the date of publication of an act a notice certifying the number of each act, the number of the bill from which it originated, the date of publication and the relating clause. Each certificate shall also contain a notice of where the full text of each act can be obtained.” That notification, however, does not affect whether the law can be enforced.

Revisions/extensions (10:53 pm 3/25/2011) - I’ve been gone a few hours, and some further things have fallen into place. First, I’d like to thank Allahpundit for linking here. Much appreciated, AP.

While I was out, the gang at WisPolitics (and specifically, the Budget Blog) have been busy throwing cold water on the matter. First, they dug up a letter sent by La Follette to the LRB telling them to not publish Act 10 today or on any date until he sets a new date.

That throws into doubt whether the bill, even though it is published, can take effect. In a letter to Assembly minority leader Peter Barca (D-Kenosha), Wisconsin Legislative Council staff attorney Scott Grosz noted that State Statute Section 991.11 “states that every act that does not expressly prescribe the time when it takes effect shall take effect on the day after its date of publication as designated under s. 35.095 (3) (b), Stats.” Indeed, Grosz cited LRB chief Steve Miller as saying that Act 10 will not take effect tomorrow because of a lack of date from either La Follette or a specific written date in the Act.

R&E part 2 (7:35 am 3/26/2011) - Rick Esenberg weighed in on the matter late last night (or at least later than my feed reader’s last update from Shark and Shepherd – Google #FAIL). For those of you hopping in here from Hot Air, Esenberg is a faculty member at Marquette University Law School and a lawyer. The money quote from Esenberg, who is of the opinion that it is law as of today:

One’s initial reaction is that it has been satisfied. The Secretary is required to designate a publication date and he did so. The “publication activity” then becomes the responsibility of the LRB. But Secretary LaFollette did attempt to rescind his designation of the publication date. The issue now becomes whether that means anything.

The statute does not say that he has the power to rescind the publication date. Indeed the statutory framework does not seem to contemplate that there can be a publication date that is distinct from the date that the LRB publishes. There is a single date that is to be specified by the Secretary but that, in any event, must be accomplished by the LRB within ten days of enactment. The best reading of 35.095(3)(a)and (b) is that there is a single date of publication because there is no act of publication that is required of the Secretary to make the law become effective. The LRB seems to think that the Secretary has some further publication obligation that is related to the Act’s effectiveness. But there does not seem to be anything that can fairly be called that. All he can do is pick another day for something that the LRB had to do by today.

The Secretary is supposed to inform the LRB of its obligation. The LRB is supposed to carry it out. If you want to stop publication (which, under Goodland, a court may not do), you had better sue the LRB.

In any event, Secretary LaFollette was not ordered to rescind his designation of a publication date by Judge Sumi. Her order only enjoins him from doing something – publishing – that he had no power to do. Perhaps recission of the date is to be implied from her order but one would have expected both the DA and the judge to be more precise about that.

At the end of the day, it’s possible to argue that the law will not go into effect tomorrow but the greater likelihood is that it will.

R&E part 2 (12:37 am 3/29/2011) - I posted some non-lawyer analysis of the Department of Justice motion to vacate the TRO, specifically dealing with the alternative world where the Secretary of State is an Übergovernor and the judiciary is the Überlegislature.

March 24, 2011

59% of insiders think we’re rubes

by @ 17:49. Filed under Politics - National.

(H/T – Allahpundit via Dad29)

Rasmussen Reports, from time to time, has noted the difference between the ruling class and the rest of us. Today, National Journal has followed suit. One of the questions in their current Political Insiders Poll was, “On balance, doe sthe public know enough about the issues facing Washington to form wise opinions about what should be done?” 59% of those surveyed, including 71% of Democrats and 47% of Republicans, said, “No.”

At the end of the article, National Journal listed a sampling of answers from all four parts of the partisan portion of the sample. Before I list a couple of them related to entitlements, I’ll quote an anonymous Democrat operative, “Though we claim to represent ‘the people’ we are much more likely to doubt their ability to understand public policy. Republicans don’t represent the people’s interests, but have more confidence in them.”

I’ll let you guess the party on these “gems”:

  • “Although the real proof of this will be when entitlements are under the knife.”
  • “Although the real proof of this will be when entitlements are under the knife.”
  • “They don’t know that Social Security and Medicare are going broke.”

Stall tactics – appellate edition

The 4th District Court of Appeals left in place Judge Lawgiver-In-Black Maryann Sumi’s temporary restraining order preventing publication of the budget repair bill while certifying to the Wisconsin Supreme Court a pair of questions relating to said temporary restraining order:

  1. Whether striking down a legislative act—also known as voiding—is an available remedy for a violation of the Open Meetings Law by the legislature or a subunit thereof.
  2. Whether a court has the authority to enjoin the secretary of state’s publication of an act before it becomes law.

It is a given that the members of the 3-person panel, Brian Blanchard, Paul Higginbotham and Paul Lundsten, are stalling until the remainder of the local units of government finish rushing to completion contracts that are unnecessarily benefitial to the unions. The only question is, in voting “present”, Blanchard, Higginbotham and Lundsten are simply afraid of the voters in Madison (the main area served by the 4th District) or are trying to stoke the anti-Prosser flames a bit higher by forcing the Supreme Court to deliver the smackdown.

March 23, 2011

Beauty 1, Beast 0

by @ 21:18. Filed under Law and order.

(H/T – Dad29)

Fox News reports that Meghan Brown, the 2009 Miss Tierra Verde (Florida), successfully defended herself against a home invader, shooting the goblin dead. From the article:

(Alber Franklin) Hill (, a four-time convict,) barged into the home at around 3 a.m. after Brown responded to a knock at the front door, according to a police report. He allegedly grabbed the 110-pound Brown around her nose and mouth and dragged her to an upstairs bedroom.

The woman’s fiance, Robert Planthaber, said in an interview that he was quickly awakened by the altercation and ran to Brown’s side.

“I attacked him and took a severe beating to the head,” Planthaber told FoxNews.com. “But I got him off of her long enough for her to scramble to the room where she keeps her pink .38 special.”

Brown, who reigned as the 2009 Miss Tierra Verde, snatched her gun from a nearby bedroom and shot the suspect several times – hitting him in the chest, groin, thigh and back, her fiance said. Hill was pronounced dead at the scene.

March 22, 2011

Tax the rich? We’ve already tried that.

by @ 19:44. Filed under Politics - National, Taxes.

(H/T – Allahpundit)

Scott A. Hodge of the Tax Foundation pointed out that the tax burden in the United States during the mid-2000s (specifically, 2005) was the most-progressive in the industrialized world. Specifically, while the richest 10% of Americans had, according to the OECD, 33.5% of the market income (3rd in the industrialized world), they paid 45.1% of the taxes (highest in the industrialized world). For those of you wondering, the tax take includes both income and social insurance taxes (and judging by the numbers, also state/local taxes). To put it another way, those in the top 10% paid a ratio of taxes to income of 1.35, easily the highest among industrialized nations, and far higher than the average of 1.11.

Further, during his testimony to Congress last week, Hodge pointed out that, again according to the OECD, low-income Americans had the lowest tax burden of any industrialized nation.

Let’s relate that to the federal income tax. One of the things the IRS does is offer statistical releases of tax data. One series of tables breaks down the returns with a positive Adjusted Gross Income by AGI and taxes paid. In 2005, those in the top 10% of filers had 46.4% of AGI and paid 70.3% of income taxes. The ratio of taxes-to-income was 1.51. Meanwhile, the bottom 50% of filers with positive AGIs (which I note again because there are those who through various means had negatifve AGIs) had 12.8% of income and paid 3.1% of income taxes, for a taxes-to-income ratio of 0.24.

Fast forward to 2008, when once again the bottom 50% of earners had 12.8% of income. Their share of the income taxes dropped to 2.7%, reducing the taxes-to-income ratio to 0.21. Meanwhile, the top 10% saw their share of the income drop to 34.7%, but their share of the income taxes only dropped to 69.9%. That caused the taxes-to-income ratio to increase to 1.69.

March 17, 2011

Reid on SocSecurity – I’m getting mine, you won’t be getting yours

by @ 19:28. Filed under Social Security crater.

(H/T – Ed Morrissey)

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) said that he won’t take a look at making Social Security solvent for at least 20 years. Ed has already done a fine job knocking holes in that statement, but I have a couple of wrecking balls to deliver as well. I’ll let Ed handle the set-up:

Why take action now, if the “solvency” of Social Security won’t be at issue until 2037? In the first place, that’s debatable in and of itself. The SSA has slipped into red ink on a monthly basis six years earlier than projected by Peter Orszag in 2008, when he ran the Congressional Budget Office, which means that the extended projections are certainly questionable. The “fund” has no cash on hand, either; it consists of Treasuries that SSA received so Congress could spend the money over the last few decades. When SSA starts cashing those Treasuries, as it has to do now to cover monthly deficits, the federal government has to sell more bonds to cover the cost.

Since Ed quotes extensively Charles Blahous, author of Social Security: The Unfinished Work, and Blahous used the 2009 Trustees Report for the basis of his book, I’ll use that as well. In combined terms, between 2011 and 2030, using the intermediate case scenario, the combined OASDI trust funds will spend $3,482 billion (or if you prefer, $3.48 trillion) more than they take in. Through 2036, the last full year of “solvency” for the combined funds, that figure jumps to $7,167 billion. As Ed notes, that’s money the Treasury will have to borrow, or at least try to borrow.

The bad news is the actuaries that put together that report “sort of” missed on the near-term predictions. Instead of the combined trust funds running a $37 billion cash surplus between 2009 and 2010, they ran a $45 billion cash deficit. If one adjusts the future predictions to reflect the past 2 years of poor performance, the “drop dead” date drops to 2029.

The ugly news is that there is no combined OASDI trust fund. The two parts of Social Security, the Old-Age and Survivors Insurance and Disability Insurance, are two separate entities, and the smaller Disability Insurance fund will reach exhaustion before the end of this decade. At that point, those on federal disability will be taking a significant cut in benefits, on the order of 15%-25%, because neither of the programs are currently authorized to borrow to meet costs.

Thursday Hot Read – Tom Blumer’s “Equal Recall”

by @ 18:15. Filed under Politics - Wisconsin.

I’m actually doing a bit of a homer nod here because I am the e-mailer in question. Tom Blumer wrote about how the duelling recall efforts are playing nationwide, and the fact that, to the LeftStreamMedia, the only recalls that are happening are being organized by the Democrats. With a modification for events that happened since I sent the e-mail Monday night (specifically, a DailyKos/PPP poll) as relayed by WisPolitics’ JR Ross on Jay Weber’s show yesterday, here’s my take on who is actually vulnerable, in order of decreasing vulnerability (updates in italics, some of the original text was edited by Tom):

- Dan Kapanke (R-32nd) – Given the two college towns (La Crosse, Eau Claire) and the Mississippi River shoreline in his district, I don’t know how he ever won election. Indeed, he was beaten in the Congressional race in November. Ignore the fact that there were, until Mike Huebsch was chosen as Administration secretary, 2 Republican Assemblymen out of the 3 Assembly districts that make up the Senate district – both of them were liberal “Republicans”, and the one that is still in the Assembly voted against the budget repair bill. Further, Kapanke has been the target of multiple incidents of personal property damage.

- Jim Holperin (D-12th) – His district is the mirror opposite of Kapanke’s. All three Assemblymen in the district are Republicans. It also is one of 4 districts where there is a local effort, and it’s the one that has had the most threats directed against it (to the point where one business ordered the recall organizers to not set up there after receiving threats, and not the boycott variety).

- Dave Hansen (D-30th) – The district is slightly less Republican than Holperin’s, but once again, all three Assemblymen are Republicans. Again, there is an active local recall committee.

- Randy Hopper (R-18th) – On paper, he “shouldn’t” be vulnerable. In generic terms, the district is middle-of-the-R spectrum. However, the district is home to several prisons (think corrections officers), and Hopper is not particularly well-liked, especially by his soon-to-be-ex.

- Robert Wirch (D-22nd) – Despite the fact that 2 of the 3 Assemblymen are Democrats, this district is a toss-up. The top-line races were virtually identical to the statewide races. Once again, there is a local group at work.

Luther Olsen (R-14th) – I didn’t have this on my radar initially, but a DailyKos/PPP poll seems to suggest he’s vulnerable to the generic Dem. Much like the neighboring Hopper’s district, on paper, Olsen really “shouldn’t” be vulnerable. The fact that Olsen is “not exactly” a conservative, however, points to one of two things, both potentially troubling for Olsen – either the district is more liberal than the “top-line” races suggest, or Olsen could be vulnerable to a challenge from his right.

- Alberta Darling (R-8th) – I probably shouldn’t include this as a “vulnerable” district, but the North Shore suburbs are a bit “funny”, especially since it is right next to the UW-Milwaukee campus. The main reason the 2008 election was close was Darling had a health issue at a time that was aggressively used against her. Of note, the same DailyKos/PPP poll that suggests Olsen is vulnerable gives Darling a comfortable advantage over the generic Dem.

Sorry about the lack of posts (again)

by @ 17:39. Filed under Miscellaneous.

It hasn’t been easy for me to type the last week as the ulnar nerve in my left arm has been acting up. For those of you without medical degrees, that nerve controls the feeling in the pinky finger, which as I try to type is numb. Since I’m a “classical” typist, that means hitting the left shift key, “a”, “z”, “q”, and “1″ are problematic for me.

Oh well; I’ll live with it and eventually get used to it.

March 14, 2011

It’s the most wonderful time of the year, 2011 March Madness edition

by @ 15:34. Filed under Sports.

With the NFL and its players screwing over the 2011 season, thoughts turn to the NCAA Men’s Division I Basketball tournament. I’ve plunked down my bracket, and it isn’t kind to either Wisconsin or Marquette.

As always, I’m running a “Which #1 drops first” poll. The contenders for the dishonor are Ohio State, Kansas, Duke, and Pittsburgh. Since seconds count, do choose carefully. The poll will be, if I remember to do so, suspended while one of those teams are playing.

Which Number 1 NCAA Men's D1 Baskeball seed will lose first?

Up to 1 answer(s) was/were allowed

  • Kansas (29%, 6 Vote(s))
  • Ohio State (24%, 5 Vote(s))
  • Duke (24%, 5 Vote(s))
  • Pittsburgh (23%, 5 Vote(s))

Total Voters: 21

Loading ... Loading ...

March 13, 2011

Kicking the Can

by @ 21:54. Filed under Budget Chop, Politics - National.

At the federal and state levels, from the east coast to the west coast, in traditionally conservative and even traditionally liberal jurisdictions, the 2010 elections had one message: fix the fiscal problems!  It seems that jurisdictions that saw the biggest shifts in political ideology have taken their mandate on acted on it. 

The State of Wisconsin which ousted long time liberal Senator Russ Feingold and equally liberal Governor Jim Doyle, wasted little time in responding to voter expectations.  Governor Scott Walker and the Republican led Assembly and Senate have delivered budget changes that will benefit taxpayers not only today but into the future.

Michigan, under the new leadership of Governor Rick Snyder, is also taking steps to restore fiscal sanity to a state long led by Democrats who thought that Washington would fund them in perpetuity regardless of the outcome.  If you thought the screaming and ballyhooing in Wisconsin was entertaining, Governor Snyder has a plan that allows the State to take over failing counties and municipalities under emergency decrees.

Yes, there are signs across the country that adults are finally in charge of the checkbook.  Across the country but not in Washington, D.C.

The same “fix the fiscal mess” message that changed leadership in Wisconsin, Michigan and other states elected 6 incremental Senate seats and 63 incremental House seats.  These increases came with an expectation that a host of fiscal issues including defunding Obamacare, reducing the deficit, reigning in government mandates, fixing entitlements etc., etc., etc., would be fixed.

To date, the newly elected Congress, especially the House, has been nothing but a disappointment.  They have provided a show legislation for reversing the Obamacare mandate.  However, they have tacitly or purposely avoided all opportunities to date of defunding the mandate.  This in spite of finding a surprise $105 B implementation mandate in the Obamacare legislation!  With all that we know now, it is hard to understand why every effort and every method is not being used to starve Obamacare of every dollar it needs for implementation and management.

There seems to be no recognition by this Congress of the need to shrink the size of government.  Even though the GAO has issued a report showing massive duplication of authority of government agencies, the elimination of which has been estimated to save $100B annually, the current budget proposals show no desire to address this low hanging fruit of spending reduction.

Perhaps the most disappointing action of the short life of this Congress is their action, or rather, inaction of dealing with a budget. 

As part of their campaign promises, the House Republican leadership comitted to a $100 B spending reduction for the current fiscal year.  However, each time they go to the microphone, that number seems to slip.  At this point, the House budget has $60 B in cuts with concerns being raised that this amount is “draconian.”

Draconian?  Really?  We had a deficit of $222 B in February ALONE and someone has the audacity to think $60 B is a problem?

The House is expected to pass ANOTHER continuing resolution on Tuesday.  The Senate is expected to agree to that resoltution to keep the government running past Thursday.  WHY?

With a $222 B shortfall in February (that’s one single month if you went to Wisconsin public schools) and the House budget fighting to get a reduction of $60 B for the rest of the year, what’s the point?  Even if they got the House plan adopted, should we really be congratulating them and doing high fives?  NO and HELL NO!

Wisconsin, Michigan and other states finally got some adults to deal with their fiscal situations.  Where are the adults we thought we elected to the House and the Senate?  McConnell has been a known RINO and inside the beltway guy.  Second only to Obama, he decides his principals by what he believes the personal political impact to be.  While it’s only been a few months, I’m ready to throw the towel in on Boehner as well.  Rather than force the issue of really addressing a spending reduction, Boenher is allowing Congress to continue to kick the can down the road.  For what?

We have a spending problem in Washington.  We elected men and women to address this spending problem.  Every day we allow the current administration to continue to function without forcing the issue is a day that the American people say “see, you’re no different than the Democrats” and another day that spending continues without abatement.

Like Governors Scott Walker and Rick Snyder, it’s time to address the spending problem head on.  We should have no more continuing resolutions.  Let the government “shut down.” Let’s see who notices.  Let’s have the debate.

If it’s the second Sunday in March,…

by @ 8:13. Filed under The Blog.

This is the Emergency Blogging System. It has been activated just because it felt like self-activating.

That’s right, kids. You lost an hour this morning. If you still haven’t moved your clocks ahead an hour (and most-likely, if you have a WordPress-based blog, you haven’t), move them ahead one hour.

If you have a WordPress blog (whether it is on WordPress.com, a WordPress stand-alone, or WordPress MU – this includes Blogivists and Conservablogs), and you aren’t using UTC, you need to change it to Daylight Saving Time (Central UTC -5, Mountain UTC -6, Eastern UTC -4, Pacific UTC -7, and check your clock for other locales). To do so, go into your wp-admin panel, select “Settings”, and under the “General Settings” page that pops up, select the right time zone. Don’t forget to hit “save” when you’re done.

This concludes this activation of the Emergency Blogging System.

March 12, 2011

“Drill baby, drill!”, says…Bill Clinton?

by @ 16:49. Filed under Energy, Politics - National.

(H/T – Ed Morrissey)

Poltico is reporting that, at a unrecordable IHS CERAWeek conference last night, during a moderated talk with former President George W. Bush and IHS CERA president Daniel Yergin, former President Bill Clinton came out in favor of increased oil exploration:

But according to multiple people in the room, Clinton, surprisingly, agreed with Bush on many oil and gas issues, including criticism of delays in permitting offshore since last year’s Gulf of Mexico spill.

“Bush said all the things you’d expect him to say” on oil and gas issues, said Jim Noe, senior vice president at Hercules Offshore and executive director of the pro-drilling Shallow Water Energy Security Coalition. But Clinton added, “You’d be surprised to know that I agree with all that,” according to Noe and others in the room.

Clinton said there are “ridiculous delays in permitting when our economy doesn’t need it,” according to Noe and others.

“That was the most surprising thing they said,” Noe said.

The two former presidents both generally agreed on the need to get offshore drilling workers back on the job.

Clinton and Bush also agreed on the need for more domestic shale gas production, with Clinton noting that it has been done safely for years in his home state of Arkansas.

This (reportedly) comes from the President who took locking up our natural resources and turned it into an art form. Don’t forget that this came from an event where microphones were banned.

March 11, 2011

The last, desperate, gasp to delay the budget repair bill

by @ 17:26. Filed under Politics - Wisconsin.

H/T – Kevin Binversie)

WisPolitics is reporting that Secretary of State Doug La Follette will be taking the full “10 working days” (which excludes Saturdays, Sundays, and holidays per state statute section 35.095 (1) (c)) he has under state statute section 35.095 (3) (b) to publish what is now Wisconsin Act 10. Since the state Constitution states no act is in force until it’s published, that gives the unionistas and their bought-and-paid-for local units of government two more weeks to ram through sweetheart deals.

I wish David King had been able to make it a clean sweep.

“Shut up!”, they explained, MATC edition

by @ 10:33. Filed under Politics - Milwaukee County.

Charlie Sykes got a hold of an e-mail circulated through MATC’s e-mail system calling for the boycott of the Shorewood Sendik’s because the owner committed the unforgivable crime of supporting Jeff Stone for Milwaukee County Executive. Below is the e-mail, complete with headers showing the misuse of MATC’s system for political purposes and multiple errors in grammar and spelling:

From: David Weingrod
To: Timothy Decker ; Charlie Dee ; John Eimes ; Amy Goldwater ; !Local-212-Full-Time-Faculty !Local-212-Full-Time-Faculty < !Local-212-Full-Time-Faculty@matc.edu>; !Local-212-Full-Time-Paraprofessionals !Local-212-Full-Time-Paraprofessionals < !Local-212-Full-Time-Paraprofessionals@matc.edu>; !Local-212-Part-Time-Faculty !Local-212-Part-Time-Faculty < !Local-212-Part-Time-Faculty@matc.edu>; !Local-212-Part-Time-Paraprofessionals !Local-212-Part-Time-Paraprofessionals < !Local-212-Part-Time-Paraprofessionals@matc.edu>; !Local-587-Full-Time !Local-587-Full-Time < !Local-587-Full-Time@matc.edu>; !Local-587-Part-Time !Local-587-Part-Time < !Local-587-Part-Time@matc.edu>; !Local-715-Full-Time !Local-715-Full-Time < !Local-715-Full-Time@matc.edu>; !Local-715-Part-Time !Local-715-Part-Time < !Local-715-Part-Time@matc.edu>; Richard Lokken ; Kevin Mulvenna ; Janet Nortrom ; Craig Smallish
Subject: Re: URGENT: Boycott Sendiks in Shorewood
Date: Fri, 11 Mar 2011 07:28:47 -0600

Many of us live near or shop at the Sendiks in Shorewood and were told that Nehring was not giving funds to union busters, unlike the other Sendik owners, Balistreris. Please go to the Shorewood manager this weekend and tell him he needs to tell John Nehring that he either pulls his support from Jeff Stone or we will have a serious boycott of Shorewood. Tell him you shop ther but no longer unless he pulls his support–publically. Monday, there will be a protest in front of 2300 E. Kensington in Shorewood where. The fundraiser for Stone starts at 5:30 or please plan to be there by 5:00. More details to follow.

Walker signs budget-repair bill, rescinds layoffs

by @ 10:13. Filed under Politics - Wisconsin.

Since I’m borrowing Milwaukee Journal Sentinel story as the initial source, I’ll also borrow their headline. With a few strokes of Gov. Scott Walker’s pen this morning, the clock has now run out on unions and local units of government attempting to get one more round of one-upsmanship upside the taxpayers’ wallets. The budget repair bill, which limits public-employee collective bargaining to base pay (except for public-safety employees) is now law.

Shortly before Walker signed the bill into law, he also rescinded the planned layoffs of 1,500 state workers slated to begin on April 1. WLUK-TV has posted (H/T – Kevin Binversie) the letters delivered to the heads of the unions informing them that the layoffs will no longer be happening.

As Jim Geraghty tweeted for an alternate headline – “Walker, Wisc. GOP save or create 1500 jobs”.

March 10, 2011

Down go the public unions

by @ 16:14. Filed under Politics - Wisconsin.

After two hours of contentious debate, punctuated by lame attempts by the Democrats to stall the inevitable, the Assembly passed the budget repair bill on a 53-47 vote. It now goes to Governor Walker for his signature, and he said he will sign it as soon as he he is legally able to. That time frame is a question of how quickly the Assembly Clerk and the Legislative Reference Bureau can enroll the bill and present it to Walker for his signature.

Last call for WEAC

by @ 10:28. Filed under Politics - Wisconsin.

(H/T – Kevin Binversie)

The Wisconsin State Journal reported just this morning that WEAC is urging school boards to rush through contracts effective through 2013 before Scott Walker is able to sign the soon-to-be-passed budget repair bill that severely restricts collective bargaining priviliges for public unions. Meanwhile, the Wisconsin Association of School Boards is urging caution for its members, pointing out that even though the generalities of how the significant reduction in shared revenue are known, the specifics are still up in the air, and that it is unwise to lock themselves into two-year contracts.

Of note, the Madison story has a number the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel did not have last week – 50-100 school districts rammed through contract extensions the last 2 weeks. While the WSJ notes that WEAC is now asking its locals to accept concessions, the early contract extensions, including the one in Racine, did not contain any.

Help find Marizela Perez

by @ 0:15. Filed under Miscellaneous.

I’m already several days late to this, but time’s wasting. Michelle Malkin’s cousin, Marizela Perez, went missing in Seattle Saturday afternoon, and she still hasn’t been found. I’m praying the tatoo Marizella has on her arm, “ay magiging maayos” (Tagalog, meaning “all will be well”), will come true quickly, and she turns up in good health.

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