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 November, 2011

November 30, 2011

Must See Wednesday – Bill Whittle explains the fundamental difference between the Tea Party Movement and the Occupy Movement

by @ 15:26. Tags:
Filed under Politics - National.

Bill Whittle just destroys the myth that there is anything in common between the Tea Party Movement and the Occupy Movement in 5:50…

I could try to summarize it, but all I would be doing is messing with near-perfection.

November 27, 2011

At what point is it a pattern? – Burning Volt edition

by @ 9:00. Filed under Business.

Last week, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration attempted to replicate the Volt Flambe by crash-testing 3 Volt battery packs. They were successful:

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration said Friday that three Volt battery packs were crash-tested last week. In one instance, the battery caught fire afterward, and in another the battery emitted smoke and sparks.

In response, the NHTSA has opened a formal investigation. Paging Ralph Nader. Unlike your smear of the Chevrolet Corvair, you could honestly write “Unsafe At Any Speed” about the Pin…er, Volt.

November 26, 2011

GOP members of the Super Committee – We were willing to give the Dems 89% of the tax revenues, and 91% of the tax hikes, they wanted

by @ 22:48. Filed under Budget Chop, Politics - National, Taxes.

In an editorial in the Washington Post, the Republican members of the failed Super Committee ripped the Democrats for insisting on no less than $1,000,000,000,000 in additional taxes between FY2012 and FY2021 versus the Congressional Budget Office extended-baseline between 2012 and 2021. They also admitted that the $250,000,000,000 in additional taxes versus the CBO extended-baseline proposed by Sen. Pat Toomey (Real Disappointment-Pennsylvania) was but half of the additional tax increase they were willing to give the Democrats.

Before I get to the details of that, however, I do have to deal with the disingenuous part of the op-ed:

Why do Republicans believe our proposal is preferable to the automatic 2013 rate increases? Apart from the fact that our economy could not withstand the almost $4 trillion tax increase, it would directly and adversely affect small-business investment decisions. Business decisions are highly sensitive to the rates of the capital gains, dividends and death tax, as well as marginal tax rates. That’s why Republicans would leave them alone and raise revenue instead by limiting personal itemized deductions and credits that have much less impact on investment decisions by small-business owners.

That $3,949,000,000,000 tax increase from not extending the parts of current tax policy the Republicans wanted extended, as well as another $761,000,000,000 tax increase from expiring/expired tax policy the GOP didn’t mind seeing expire, was already baked into the “debt deal” that created the Super Committee. While the method of getting the $39,221,000,000,000 in revenue the CBO August 2011 baseline anticipates between FY2012 and FY2021 was not specified in the “debt deal”, the fact that the CBO extended-baseline is the starting point means that the end result, and its attendant $4,710,000,000,000 tax increase, has been stipulated to by anybody talking about “additional” tax revenues.

As for the “much less impact”, that’s a bunch of Bravo Sierra. The “rich” and “near-rich” aren’t exactly dumb; they would have quickly realized that what the federal government put in their right pocket, they vacuumed out the left at a faster rate, and the non-profits who depend on donations from the “rich” and “near-rich” would have been hit hardest.

Now to the other third of the GOP betrayal on taxes:

The essence of the plan was to dramatically reduce the deductions and credits wealthier taxpayers can claim to reduce their tax liability. That would generate enough revenue to both permanently reduce marginal rates for all taxpayers and provide more than $250 billion for deficit reduction. Added to other receipts, taxes and fees, the Republican plan amounted to more than $500 billion in deficit reduction revenue and $900 billion in spending reductions.

In order for an amount to be counted as “deficit reduction revenue”, it would have to make the FY2012-FY2021 revenue number larger than $39,221,000,000,000. Fortunately, since the resulting reduction in debt service is also scored for the purposes of debt reduction, any tax hike is slightly less than the amount of deficit reduction. While I haven’t seen any actual scoring of the final GOP plan, assuming it would raise taxes equally each year on an inflation-adusted basis, it would need to result in roughly $478,000,000,000 in new taxes beyond what was already baked in.

That brought the total amount of taxes the Republicans were willing to offer to $39,699,000,000,000, a $5,188,000,000,000 increase from extending current policy, and (using static analysis) a tax take of 20.9% of GDP in FY2020 (where it would be in FY2021 with no tax-code changes and no economic collapse) and 21.1% of GDP in 2021, both new national records. That, however, was not enough for the Democrats. From the op-ed one last time:

At no time in the negotiations did the Democratic committee members drop their insistence that, one way or the other, any deal had to include a trillion dollars in new taxes.

Adding $1,000,000,000,000 to the CBO extended-baseline revenue would bring taxes to $40,221,000,000,000, a $5,710,000,000,000 increase from extending current policy. Assuming the economy doesn’t enter a recession like it has the 5 times since World War II that the federal tax take broached the 19% GDP barrier, the new national record of 20.9% GDP would have been reached in FY2017, and reset every year thereafter with it hitting 21.3% GDP in FY2021.

As for the percentages in the title, the GOP offered up just shy of 89.5% of the tax revenues and, compared to extending current tax policy, 90.9% of the tax increases, the Democrats demanded. Indeed, the GOP continued its decade-long assault on the near-rich by targeting them and only them for removal of tax deductions while holding the poor essentially harmless, and the ‘Rats couldn’t hear them over Queen’s “I Want It All”.

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Revisions/extensions (8:42 am 11/28/2011) - Emperor Misha links and has a kick-ass close:

So yeah, the collapse of the StuporCommittee was really the best thing that could have happened and, furthermore, it is pretty clear to us that there is a LOT more housecleaning that needs to be done in the GOP next year.

November 24, 2011

The annual Egg Turkey Day Proclamation – 2011 Edition

by @ 11:49. Tags:
Filed under Miscellaneous.

Whereas the turkey is the offical bird of Thanksgiving, and

Whereas turkey is a delicious meat, and

Whereas turkey breast contains more protein and less fat and sodium than chicken breast,

Now therefore I hereby decree that a nameless, pictureless turkey be given a thorough plucking and a complete basting, and warmed to a sufficient temperature for human consumption, and further decree that turkey be thoroughly enjoyed until all of the meat be eaten.

-steveegg

Now, go eat!

November 19, 2011

The Family Leader “Thanksgiving Family Forum” (or the Not Romney Debate) drunkblog

by @ 15:18. Filed under 2012 Presidential Contest.

Today’s sponsor, The Family Leader, is starting this one a bit early at 4 pm Central. Since there’s no TV coverage, CitizenLink was kind enough to provide a webcast (embedded below for your convenience). As always, we’ll be using CoverItLive, so you don’t have to refresh anything to keep up, and also so you don’t have to reload the embed.

Neither of the Mormons will be part of this one; Romney because he declined, Huntsman because he wasn’t invited. Newt Gingrich has become this week’s Not-Romney flavor, mostly because of his performances in these debates. Let’s see if one of the other also-rans can rise to claim the mantle of Next-In-Line™ for the 2016 campaign (assuming, of course, the absent Next-In-Line™ doesn’t win in just under a year).

November 17, 2011

Thursday Hot Read – Tim Nerenz’ “Bring It”

by @ 1:15. Filed under Politics - Wisconsin.

(H/T – Chris)

Dr. Tim Nerenz puts the Democrats’ attempt to re-create the Kingdom of Dane through Recall Madness on its hindquarters:

They are at it again in Wisconsin. The perpetual hissy fit that is the Union Democrat Party in this state has launched its campaign to recall Governor Scott Walker. The rallying cry of Walker’s Republican supporters is “I stand with Scott Walker”.

Well, not me. I don’t stand with Scott Walker.

Nope. I stand for the right to work. I stand against compulsory unionization. I stand for the right of every employee to join a union, and for the equal right of every employee to work free of union impairment. I stand for the right of every union to collect its own dues directly from its members. I stand for the right of every business owner to deal directly with his/her employees or to work through an intermediary as he or she sees fit. I stand for the right of any business to refrain from political activity altogether without being targeted for boycotts by extortionists.

I don’t stand with Scott Walker. Scott Walker stands with me….

The Democrat Party in the state of Wisconsin believes they have a Divine right to rule; perhaps it explains why so many are hostile to real Divinity. It is inconceivable to them that the citizens of this state would have decided to give the Republicans an opportunity to fix what the Democrats could not or would not. It is humiliating to them that their coarse and unrefined rivals achieved in just a few months what they could not do in a decade. Their panic is understandable, but that does not make it actionable for the rest of us.

I can’t say whether or not I would vote to re-elect Scott Walker. If he is to win over libertarians, he has a lot of ground to cover between now and the next election for Governor, which is not until 2014. This recall process is not an election; it is a subversion of an election, and I will not vote to subvert elections. The reasons for or against this recall are irrelevant; every assassin has reasons. This is a contract hit; the motivation is money, and it is the taxpayer who will pay the contract.

Do read it all.

November 16, 2011

$15,033,607,255,920.32

by @ 21:29. Filed under Budget Chop, Politics - National.

Yesterday (yes, yesterday, even though the announcement was today), the gross public debt outstanding crossed the $15 trillion mark. Congressman Paul Ryan (R-WI, and my Congresscritter), marked the occassion with a video…

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From the ABC News story on this (H/T – Allahpundit):

The debt has expanded at an alarming pace, from $7.5 trillion in 2004 and $5.6 trillion in 2000. At the current rate, Debtclock.org reckons that the debt will top $23 trillion in 2015, though the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office puts the estimate at $17.6 trillion.

Back in August after a protracted fight, Congress voted to raised the national-debt ceiling by $2.7 trillion to $17 trillion, while requiring $2.7 trillion in deficit reduction by 2021.

It also represents an increase from $10.7 trillion at the end of 2008 and $10.9 trillion from the point Obama signed the FY2009 appropriations back in March 2009.

Point of order; there never was $2.7 trillion in deficit reduction demanded by, or even suggested by, Congress’ passing of the Budget “Control” Act. The Congressional Budget Office scored an initial $895 billion (or if you prefer, $0.895 trillion) of “deficit reduction” (versus a “modified” baseline that assumed a $1 trillion reduction in the spending on the Global War on Terror that everybody else assumed), with an additional $1.2 trillion of “guaranteed” “cuts”. Even if one includes the SuperDuperÜber Committee’s goal of $1.5 trillion of “deficit reduction”, that only brings the total to just under $2.4 trillion. I will note, however, that the CBO assumed a lower interest rate in their August review than they did in March, which combined with other “tecnhical” changes resulted in a $0.329 trillion chop in the projected 10-year deficit.

Speaking of the Budget “Control” Act, here’s the real reason why the “clean” (i.e. no spending limits/no supermajority to raise taxes) “Balanced” Budget Amendment is getting consideration – as long as the amendment is titled “Joint resolution proposing a balanced budget amendment to the Constitution of the United States”, the debt ceiling can go up by another $1.5 trillion regardless of what the SuperDuperÜber Committee does (or more-likely, doesn’t do).

November 11, 2011

SEIU siphons Medicaid funds from recipients in Michigan

by @ 17:43. Filed under Health, Politics.

The Washington Examiner explains how Michigan Democrats and the SEIU (though I repeat myself) conspired to make those who accept Meicaid payments to help pay for the health care of their disabled adult children “state employees”, with the requisite $30/month kickba…er, dues payment to the SEIU automatically deducted from the Medicaid payment.

We came quite close to having the same thing happen in Wisconsin. One of the things the Democrats did shortly after they seized control of the Assembly following the 2008 elections (and thus the entirety of the lawmaking apparatus) was ram through union recognition of “independent home care workers”. They came within a defection of the then-Senate Democrat/Majority leader of ratifying said contract.

Crash and burn – Volt edition

by @ 12:26. Filed under Business.

Jalopnik reports that, 3 weeks after a Chevrolet Volt was whacked in a side-impact test by the NHTSA, it burst into flames.

I’ll chalk that up to the impact creating a an electrical short, which would allow the lithium-ion battery pack to heat up to ignition. Seems a high price to pay to get maybe 35 miles on electricity alone (which itself is a 12.5% reduction from the earlier claims).

Revisions/extensions (9:09 am 11/12/2011) - The Detroit Free Press has a few new details (H/T – Hot Air Headlines):

- This was the 20-mph side-impact test, or something you would expect at your local neighborhood roundabout.
- The battery on the Ford Pint…er, Chevy Volt was punctured. The Bloomberg story on this (H/T – Dad29) notes that metal piercing a lithium-ion battery will do exactly what happened, right down to a small puncture resulting in a fire days or weeks later.
- The NHTSA didn’t follow the Government Motors-recommended procedure of fully-discharging the battery…because GM never told the NHTSA about it.

Unlike NBC’s smear of the 1973-1997 Chevrolet/GMC full-sized pickups and their “‘explode-on-contact’ saddlebag” gas tanks, nobody needs explosives to brew up a Volt. They could either take a car to its side at a relatively-low speed or simply charge it up to 110% (yes, there have been fires involving Volts being charged).

Veterans Day 2011

by @ 0:05. Filed under History, Military.

I may have been too silent the last few weeks dealing with and finally (I think) whipping an ugly cold so I could make it to BlogCon, but it’s the 11th of November (or at least it is back in Wisconsin). That means it’s Veterans Day, the day to thank those who served in the armed forces of the United States.

Thank you, vets, for preserving the freedoms we have.

November 9, 2011

CNBC GOP Debate

by @ 18:56. Filed under Miscellaneous.

Why not?

November 6, 2011

If you didn’t set your clocks back, the EBS has a message for you

by @ 8:04. Filed under Miscellaneous.

This is the Emergency Blogging System. It has been activated because Steve forgot to tell you this last night. Unlike the EAS activation set to interrupt Rush Limbaugh later this week, this is not a test.

For those of you in the US (and not in those parts that don’t observe Daylight Saving), Daylight Saving Time ended at 2 am local time. 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 had the time changed for Daylight Savings, you need to change it back to Standard Time (Central UTC -6, Mountain UTC -7, Eastern UTC -5, Pacific UTC -8, 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.

Again, this is not a test. Had this been a test, you wouldn’t have been given official news, instructions or information. This concludes this broadcast of the Emergency Blogging System.

November 5, 2011

Cain/Gingrich Debate

Yah didn’t think we’d miss one of these did you?

Steve and I will be drunk blogging the Lincoln/Douglas style debate tonight. The debate starts at 7 PM central and is covered on CSPAN.

Prior to this week, this debate while interesting, would have been missed by a lot of people due to the LSU/Alabama game. Instead, I think a lot of people will watch to see whether Cain can get back on his game and whether he can go toe to toe with Newt. On the other side, there fair evidence that Newt is “Plan B” for many Cain supporters. This may be Newt’s one chance to kick a leg out of the Cain campaign’s wobbling stool and pick up some momentum.

November 3, 2011

Time for an Adult to be President

I’ve seen numerous blog posts and tweets complaining about the GOP Presidential debates.  Some complain that there are too many and we’re getting the same answers over and over again (did you know Michele Bachmann was a foster mom?).  Some complain that there are too many candidates involved and it dilutes the ability to answer questions.  Yet others complain that either the format or the fact that most of the questioners are from the hard left, puts the candidates at an automatic disadvantage in communicating their positions.

To some extent, all of the gripes about the debates have some validity. However, I think the complaints miss an important point.

One by one as the various candidates have flashed, or surged or gained viability, they’ve gotten scrutiny and vetting that Barack Obama avoided for an entire campaign.

The scrutiny has told us much about these top tier candidates. It’s shown us that Mitt Romney is not a conservative, is unrepentant in his implementation of Romneycare and has had more positions on more issues than John Kerry, who served in Vietnam. If it weren’t for the long tradition of the GOP nominating the “next in line,” Romney would already be a footnote in this campaign.

The scrutiny has shown us that the great anticipation of Rick Perry (I’ll admit, I thought he could be a contender at one point) was all about anticipation and nothing about substance. Perry is probably a very smart guy but he is unable to convey that in any of the debates. Combine this with Perry’s penchant for answering questions from a Texas context rather than an American context and it’s no wonder he’s having a tough time recovering from what should have been some easily recoverable early issues of Gardisil and the tuition break for illegals. I’m beginning to believe that Perry had so many people clamoring for him to enter the race that he thought he didn’t need to work at the campaign. I think he believed he was a shoe in for merely showing up. At least that’s what his on going sputtering suggests to me.

Once Romney and Perry sputtered, attention turned to Herman Cain. Again, in candor, I liked a lot of what I heard from Cain. His business experience clearly comes through as he consistently gives specific, actionable recommendations for many of the issues facing the country. However, like the previous two, a bit of time in the spot light has shown Cain to be lacking in the ability to close the deal.

I like the fact that Cain comes from outside of politics. However, it’s this very issue that is his weak spot. Cain seems unaware of the realities of what it takes to get through a campaign and engage a governmental bureaucracy that will be anything but friendly to change from an outsider. From his numerous “I didn’t say that,” responses, the non denial denial of the alleged harassment claims and subsequent inability to handle the media issue, to his 9-9-9 plan that would require a hurculean effort to move through Congress but is only a transition plan to a flat tax plan, Cain just seems like he’s not ready for big league politics.

My point in this is not to say I won’t vote for any of these 3 gentlemen. In comparison to Obama, any of them would be superior. My point is two fold: First, the debates have given us a chance to see each of these candidates hit first place, get some vetting and see how they react. In this, we have gotten a better sense of how each of them would handle a bare knuckle contest with Barack Obama. Second, I think we all realize that regardless of who we end up nominating, there is no Reagan in the mix. In fact, the best we’re going to get out of this year’s candidate slate is one fairly flawed endorsee.

Given the realities that I’ve noted, I’ve decided that the candidate who will get my support in the primary is Newt Gingrich. Ok, I hear the groans. Come on, honestly, is there a debate that you’ve watched that you didn’t walk away saying something like, “Geez, Newt is the only one that sounds like he knows what he’s doing,” or “I don’t think he can get elected but Newt should be a VP or at least on someone’s cabinet.” I know you I have and I’m betting you have said or thought those things. Yes, Newt is flawed, but show me a candidate who isn’t AND show me a candidate at this point who isn’t SERIOUSLY flawed! Really, you think Mitt isn’t a seriously flawed candidate? Whether any of the allegations against him are true or not, Herman Cain has proven he is not ready to play in the big leagues of professional government mud wrestling. Perry? Puhlease!

My support for Newt is two fold: First, he’s the smartest guy in the group and with nearly no exception, has a policy answer that is conservative (OK, we have to work on his answer to ethanol a bit). Second, for all of Newts character flaws, they’ve already been vetted. Newt has been in the limelight so long I doubt there are any October surprises to let loose on him.

At the end of the day I don’t think it is OK to just beat Obama. Yes, that is the first step but we need to have something more. We don’t need someone who can just beat Obama, we need someone who can fundamentally change what is happening in Washington. We need to dismantle the EPA, reign in or eliminate the Department of Education, defang the Depart of the Interior, so on, so on, so on. I think the only person who has the knowledge of DC workings and the intellect to maneuver through or around them and that is Newt Gingrich. While he may not be your first choice, I’ll bet in your heart of hearts, you know that’s right.

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