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.

Archive for November, 2009

November 30, 2009

Say What?

Newsmax is reporting the Mike Huckabee is leaning against being involved with the 2012 Presidential contest:

Former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee says he’s leaning slightly against running for president in 2012 but says it’s far too early to say what he will do.

I think this is nothing but publicity for Huckabee.  But, if true, I welcome the announcement. 

Huckabee is the kind of “conservative” who would give President George W. Bush a bad name.  The only things that I’m convinced that Huckabee is conservative on are abortion and gay marriage.  Everything else seems to be up for pragmatic adjustments.  However, what flavor of conservative Huckabee is or isn’t, is not why I write.

Huckabee has provided several reasons or markers, for why he won’t run, or might yet run, for President:

  • It depends upon on the 2010 elections turn out
  • Whether the party will unite behind him
  • The status of his weekly TV program.

He’s kidding, right?

Running for President, or any political office for that matter, is not something you do on a lark.  These are grueling, all encompassing endeavors, not only for the candidate but also for their family and friends.  Having seen first hand, the sacrifice required to participate in a simple intraparty election, I would never counsel anyone to run for an office that they weren’t personally convicted and committed that their ideas and leadership were best for their constituents and the office.  But, that doesn’t seem to even enter Huckabee’s mind.

Depending upon the 2010 election– If you think you’ve got the best ideas for the country, what difference could this make?  Is Huckabee saying that if the Republicans make gains in 2010 that his ideas become irrelevant?  If so, his ideas are already irrelevant.  Or, is he saying that if the Republicans don’t do well in 2010 that he “won’t play” because it’s too big a challenge? 

There is only one valid take Huckabee might have, that I could agree with his reasoning.   If Republicans make big gains in 2010, and the force behind that change is the tea party activists, Huckabee would not be the likely nominee as he wouldn’t get the support of most tea party activists.

Whether the party will unite behind him– ummmmm, isn’t this what the nomination process is all about?  Did John McCain really think the party was united behind him in 2008?  I suppose that it’s possible that his political ego convinced him that they were.  If so, it’s just one more reason why McCain never got united support. 

A leader will create unity where none exists.  They do this by casting a vision and helping others understand and see how that vision is the best for accomplishing the goal or task that confronts them.  If Huckabee is unable to create unity, not only will he not be the nominee, he shouldn’t be.  Again, looking back at 2008, McCain was beat as much by a competent opponent as by his own incompetency in regularly sticking his finger in the eye of core conservatives and keeping them from unifying with the party even if they wanted to.

Dependent upon his TV show – This is hilarious!  Is he suggesting that if his show is doing well he isn’t interested in being President?  Or, is he saying that if he bombs on TV, being President sounds like a good interim job while he finds another media gig?

Personally, I’ve never understood the appeal of Mike Huckabee.  I’ve always thought him to be a populist who didn’t have any real core convictions.  There have been many who’ve tried to convince me that Huckabee was a serious candidate.  The next time someone tries to do that, I’ll point them to this article and respond, “Say What?”

November 26, 2009

More blessing counting

by @ 11:54. Tags:
Filed under The Morning Scramble.

Shoebox already listed what he is thankful for, but I do need to add my own list since the cook in my family (my older sister) is spending the day with her husband’s family (don’t worry; my overstuffing commences Sunday):

  • The Triune God – God the Father who created everything and who is the source of all blessings; God the Son, Jesus Christ, who did what I could not, atone for my sins so I could have a relationship with God; and God the Holy Spirit, who created faith in me.
  • My family, who I wouldn’t trade for any other family.
  • My friends (yes, I do have some), there through thick and thin.
  • Shoebox and the guest-bloggers, who have carried this place
  • Our readers, without whom this would be an echo chamber (chamber, chamber, chamber, just kidding).

It won’t be morning by the time I’m done rolling through the more-stuffed-than-a-turduckhen feed reader, but it’s time for a return of the Scramble so I can thank those friends.  No, I don’t have a song for today; instead, I bring you Tom McMahon’s bracket to introduce a reverse-order Scramble Special:

Counting My Blessings

by @ 5:15. Filed under Miscellaneous.

Dear Readers,

Mrs. Shoebox and I along with Thing1, Thing2 and Grandpa and Grandma Shoebox, are heading across the great Midwest to spend this holiday with the extended Shoebox family.

Along with the start of the annual increase of my caloric intake, I’ll be spending some time reflecting this weekend.

There are many things for me to be thankful for:

  1. I have a Savior who loves me and through His death has provided me reconciliation with my Heavenly Father.
  2. I have a wife who loves me as I am and in spite of my many shortcomings.
  3. I have two sons who are funny, bright, energetic and quickly headed to becoming young men
  4. While we face challenges, we still live in the greatest country on the planet.  I’m going to work hard in the next year to help keep it that way.

Finally, I’m thankful for you, our reader. 

As the airlines say “I know you have choices.”  I appreciate that you spend part of your time reading this site and are interested in the things we have to say.  I’m always appreciate of the comments, supportive or not so much, I read them all.  While I’ve met none of you, I’ve gained a number of friendships from my posting on this site.  I look forward to making even more friends in the next year.

Have a great holiday!  Enjoy your family and friends.  I know I will!


November 25, 2009

Maybe, Just Maybe….

by @ 19:07. Filed under Health Care Reform, Politics - National.

Poll after poll has shown that Placebocare is not supported by the majority of Americans.  One segment that inexplicably hadn’t moved to the anti Placebocare side has been the youth.  In fact, youth are one of the few segments that have consistently supported Placebocare.  In a Rasmussen poll this week, while overall support for Placebocare had dropped to 38%, the poll found that a majority of those under 30 continued to support Placebocare.

As I said earlier, the support amongst those under 30 is inexplicable.  Why?  Because those under 30 are the group most likely to feel the impact of Placebocare.

The under 30 group is the most likely not to carry insurance.  Under Placebocare, if you don’t have insurance you will be subject to fines, or in the House version, jail time.  Also, several studies have shown that for those who do have insurance, those under 30 will likely see significant increases in the cost of their insurance.  I referenced some of those studies here.

As long as Placebocare continues to have about a 40% support in the country, people like President Obama, Harry Reid, Nancy Pelosi and other tone deaf politicians, will maintain an effort to enact Placebocare under the guise of “demand.”  With all other age groups decidedly against Placebocare, if the under 30 group breaks its support, overall support will drop below 30% and that would likely be a death blow for Placebocare. 

That begs the question, “How to we move the folks under 30?”  Dick Morris and the League of American Voters may have found the answer.

Morris and the League have developed a commercial specifically targeted at the youth.  The commercial was played in the States of several key Democrat Senators just prior to the Senate vote of last weekend.  The results?  Prior to the commercial, the under 30 crowd in these states supported Placebocare 58% to 30% against.  After the commercial ran, the same age groups in the same states shifted to a 25% and 65% against Placebocare.

Hokey smoke Rocky! That’s a HUGE change. A change like that nationally would stop Placebocare in its tracks. So, what was the silver bullet in the message that got this dramatic change? Watch:

Turns out that those under 30 don’t like being taxed or penalized anymore than those over 30. Is it possible that those under 30 are just as economically rational as other age groups once they have the truth about how Placebocare will impact them? YUP!

Now that the Senate bill will enter debate it will be harder and harder for the Democrats to hide behind the “that’s not in the bill” argument using the “it’s not written yet” guise.  Both the House and Senate plans are in written form and both have horrendous implications for the young people of our country.  The longer the debate goes on, the more time to make sure that people have the information about what really is in the bill.  Time is not the Democrat’s best friend when it comes to Placebocare.

The annual Egg Turkey Execution Proclamation – 2009 edition

by @ 12:49. 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.


Happy Thanksgiving, everybody. May you be thoroughly stuffed with family.

November 24, 2009

Obama’s polling continues to crater

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

A couple days after Gallup’s 3-day tracking poll of adults showed a dip of President Obama’s job approval index below 50% (H/T – Ed Morrissey), Rasmussen Reports’ 3-day tracking poll of likely voters has Obama further under water than he’s ever been:

  • The Rasmussen Presidential Approval Index hit a new low of -15, with 42% strongly disapproving of Obama’s job performance (a new high) and 27% strongly approving of same (just off the all-time low of 26% set 10/22 and tied 11/18).
  • Overall, the split was 54% disapproval (also a new high) and 45% approval (a new low).
  • Among independents, the Presidential Approval Index was -35 (51% strong disapproval, 16% strong approval).

Byron York took a look at the Gallup weekly internals, and found that Obama had majority approval from only the under-30 crowd, the lower-class (those making under $24,000 per year), and minorities. As Ed said, “It’s basically a portrait of the hard Left, which is exactly what his agenda represents, and the only political core he’s got.”

Constructing an off-ramp to defeat

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

(H/T – DrewM)

So President Obama has supposedly decided on sending 34,000 additional troops to Afghanistan, far short of either the “low-risk” 80,000 or “medium-risk” 40,000 commanding General Stanley McChrystal had requested. Moreover, the term “off-ramp” has entered the lexicon, with triggers for a full retreat-and-defeat starting to kick in June 2010. Do make sure you head over to Ace of Spades HQ for an explanation of how 34,000 was the final number, a special offer from K-Tel Productions, and assorted “off-ramp” references.

In related Afghan news, with a hat-tip to Uncle Jimbo,there appears to be an Anbar-style awakening against the Taliban. As Uncle Jimbo said, we need to make sure that the Taliban doesn’t roll them up in the pushback, like the Taliban did to the Pakistani tribes that rose up against them.

November 22, 2009

Live From New York!

by @ 19:26. Filed under Obama worship, Politics - National.

It’s been years since I’ve watched SNL on a regular basis.  Part of it is it’s on late at night.  But, most of it is due to the fact that their politics and mind haven’t aligned for years.  As a result, I don’t find much of their stuff as funny as they think it is…..Until now!

I’m reconsidering staying up late on Saturday nights!

November 21, 2009

Old Dogs…

by @ 11:05. Filed under Global "Warming", Politics - National.

No, I’m not referring to the new movie out starring Robin Williams, Seth Green and John Travolta!

Of the many reasons that I was opposed to John McCain’s nomination last year, one that stood out towards the top, was McCain’s position on Global Warming.  You may remember that McCain was one of the authors of the Lieberman McCain Climate Stewardship Act, more commonly known as the McCain/Leiberman bill.  The bill assumed that carbon dioxide was the cause for global warming.  It further assumed that by limiting or capping the amount of carbon dioxide released, the earth would cease its warming trend.  The method for “capping” the gas was to provide a series of disincentives for creating the gas through a mechanism known as cap and trade.  Fortunately, the bill was unable to pass the Senate in 2003 and subsequent attempts to pass similar legislation have also failed in the Senate.

Earlier this year the House passed its version of Cap and Trade legislation.  Thus far, the Senate has not offered a bill for debate that would marry with the House bill and allow Cap and Trade to move forward. 

While Cap and Trade is generally not supported by Republicans because they know the global warming science is junk and that Cap and Trade is just one more way for government to regulate significant portions of our liberty, there are a few Republicans who have sided with the alarmists.  Lindsey Graham has always looked to support Can and Trade and until recently, so did John McCain.

Huh?  Until recently you say?  Yup!

Politico is reporting that John McCain has done an about face on Cap and Trade:

McCain has emerged as a vocal opponent of the climate bill — a major reversal for the self-proclaimed maverick who once made defying his party on global warming a signature issue of his career.


McCain refers to the bill as “cap and tax,” calls the climate legislation that passed the House in June “a 1,400-page monstrosity” and dismisses a cap-and-trade proposal included in the White House budget as “a government slush fund.”

The Politico article goes on to attempt to figure out why McCain has changed.  Most of the article is focused on McCain’s staff changes, arguing that the new staff doesn’t have the history or passion for the global warming issue.  They get quotes from a professor, lobbyists, former aides and even Graham himself that express their confusion over McCain’s change in position. 

Maybe, just maybe, I was wrong about McCain.  Maybe, John McCain can be the Right’s most notable example of an old dog learning new tricks….maybe.

Most of the piece on the suggestive picture that McCain’s change is the oddity not that other folks who still buy into a theory who’s only truth is that by its perpetuation, Al Gore increases his income, are the oddity. However, in the near middle of the piece, as an almost throw away paragraph, The Politico hits on this:

Arizona politics could be another factor. Republicans hope to use the cap-and-trade bill to attack Democrats on economic issues by saying it will raise electricity costs for businesses and spike electric bills. Those attacks could resonate in Arizona, which has one of the highest unemployment rates in the country.

In a poll released by Rasmussen this week, McCain is leading J.D. Hayworth by only 2%, within the margin of error, in an Arizona Republican primary for McCain’s Senate seat.  In an earlier poll, Rasmussen found that 61% of Arizona Republican voters believe that McCain had lost touch with the Republican party.

Learning new tricks?  Probably.  However, I don’t believe for a minute that the “new trick” is a core change in belief of global warming.  

In last year’s Presidential election, McCain saw what happens when the Republican base abandons you.  What was a problem in a Presidential election would be political death to McCain in an Arizona primary.  With the rise of the teaparty movement and the subsequent desire for candidates who are more conservative, McCain has a problem.  In a state where illegal immigration is a significant issue and you supported amnesty, where the independence of the wild west still lives and you supported McCain/Feingold to limit free speech, McCain has a problem.  He can’t undo McCain/Feingold and no legislation is pending to “correct” his position on amnesty.  John McCain has thrown Cap and Trade under the bus in an effort to establish some conservative bona fides and keep the the torches and pitchforks at bay.

Old dog and new tricks?  Nope.  Just the same old dog using the same old political tricks in an attempt to keep his cushy job!

November 20, 2009

PlaceboCare pic of the day

by @ 12:19. Filed under Health Care Reform, Politics - National.

As Tom McMahon asks in today’s 4-Block, “How sick is this?”

Can You Blame Them?

by @ 5:15. Filed under Obama worship, Politics - National.

There were several articles this week about recent polls that show Independents are abandoning Obama as they are sensing the impending sinking of the USS Democrat.  One such article is this one from the Politico.

Amongst the stats that have the Democrats concerned are insights like this:

A Gallup Poll released last week offered a disturbing glimpse about the state of play: just 14 percent of independents approve of the job Congress is doing, the lowest figure all year. In just the past few days alone, surveys have shown Democratic incumbents trailing Republicans among independent voters by double-digit margins in competitive statewide contests in places as varied as Connecticut, Ohio and Iowa.


In another article, Obama is called “radioactive!”

Many watchers of House politics are tempted to downplay the potential for real races in these districts after taking one look at immediate past election history. How could Republicans possibly threaten the likes of Skelton or Spratt, both of whom won more than 62 percent of the vote in 2008? Or Gordon, Tanner, or Boucher, all of whom were unopposed last year? But that was before they were saddled with a sitting Democratic president who is beyond radioactive in their districts. History is history.

Independents leaving so fast that it is causing normally safe Democrat districts to be in play?  Why?  What has caused the Independents, the folks how a year ago overwhelmingly voted for “hope and change” to do an about face?

Rasmussen released an interesting poll today.  The poll shows that unemployment amongst Democrats and Independents are unemployed at a rate much higher than that of Republicans:

Data from Rasmussen Reports national telephone surveys shows that 15.0% of Democrats in the workforce are currently unemployed and looking for a job. Among adults not affiliated with either major party, that number is 15.6% while just 9.9% of Republicans are in the same situation.

If that wasn’t bad enough, the rate of decline for Independents, has been much higher this year than for Democrats or Republicans:

Among those not affiliated with either major party, unemployment has grown by more than two percentage points from 13.3% in February to 15.6% now.

Hmmmm, I guess if I were an independent who voted for Obama’s “change” and the only change I see is an increase in unemployment for people like myself, that is higher than that of the folks around me, I might be a bit hacked off as well.

Keep up the good work Mr. President.  We’ll see whose Party is “The big tent party” in 2010!


November 19, 2009

Delays have consequences, DOT edition

by @ 19:02. Filed under Politics - Wisconsin, Transportation.

A few years ago, Governor Jim “Craps” Doyle (WEAC/HoChunk-For Sale) and Milwaukee Mayor Tom “Milk Carton” Barrett conspired to delay the rebuilding of the Zoo Interchange, which links I-94, the northwest terminus of I-894, and US-45, in order to focus on rebuilding and widening the stretch of I-94 between the Mitchell Interchange (just north of the airport, which links I-94/US-41, the southeast terminus of I-894, and I-43) and the Wisconsin-Illinois state line. Indeed, with the effective elimination of funding for engineering work in the FY2010-2011 budget, the delayed target start date of 2014 was considered ambitious.

In August, the Department of Transportation placed weight limits on three of the bridges in the interchange due to deterioration:

– The northbound US-45 bridge over eastbound I-94 – 30 tons (3/4ths of the 40-ton national legal limit)
– The bridge connecting southbound US-45 and eastbound I-94 over westbound I-94 and US-45 – 35 tons
– The bridge connecting northbound I-894/US-45 to westbound I-94 over eastbound I-94 and southbound I-894/US-45 – 40 tons (which precludes use by any trucks with overweight permits)

Now, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel is reporting that the DOT has issued a call for bids for the emergency replacement of those three bridges because follow-up inspections revealed that the three structures wouldn’t last until even 2012 as the supports are cracked and corroded. The estimated cost is somewhere between $12 million and $22 million, depending on how the replacements are done, with anticipated completion by Memorial Day weekend 2010.

Complicating matters are the closure requirements:

– No closures affecting more than one bridge at any time
– Except for a single weekend full closure per bridge, all shoulder or single-lane closures must be between 11 pm and 5 am

Given the other bridges in and just south of the interchange are of the same age, I have to wonder whether they’ll last until they’re replaced sometime after 2014.

Roll bloat – more logic

by @ 16:03. Filed under The Blog.

We’re somewhere near 400 blogs on that bloated roll to your right (and over 400 feeds in my overstuffed feed reader), but there’s always room for more quality places as we find them. One of those is Soapbox Jill’s Liberty’s Logic.

Caption Of The Day Contest

Here’s the photo from Drudge:

Health Care Overhaul

Post up your best caption for the picture.

Here’s mine:

Reid needs support for his lower back pain after carrying the 2074 page Senate health care bill into the chamber.

Update:  OK, how about “NO!  When doing the Senate two step, you put one hand on my shoulder, the other on my waist!”

November 18, 2009

What, Me Worry?

President Obama is now the Alfred E. Neuman of US Politics

AP: Obama, Holder predict conviction in 9/11 case

Ummmm…wasn’t this the same administration who said unemployment wouldn’t go over 8%?

I wonder if this will be another opportunity for Vice President Biden to tell us, after the fact, that the situation was “worse than expected?”

It’s time for the 2009 Weblog Awards nominations

by @ 10:49. Filed under Miscellaneous.

Actually, it’s almost too late since they close Friday, but I thought I would bring it to your attention. The nominations are now open for the 2009 Weblog Awards, so go forth and nominate your favorite blogs (and if I catch you nominating this place, I’m going to disown you).

Melt the phones – Milwaukee County edition

by @ 7:41. Filed under Politics - Milwaukee County, Taxes.

Milwaukee County Executive Scott Walker issued on Monday 35 line-item vetoes that, taken together, more-than-fully reverse the County Board’s decisions to raise the property tax levy 3.8% and make county government even less efficient. The Board will be meeting at 1:30 pm today at the County Courthouse (901 N. 9th St. Room 201) to consider overriding those vetoes.

Since it takes a 2/3rds vote to override a particular veto, and the budget as a whole was passed on a mere 10-9 vote, there is hope that we will get a zero-levy-increase budget. However, unless your Supervisor hears from you at 278-4222, they will likely regress to the mean. If you don’t know who your Supervisor is, head here for a map of the districts.

My Supervisor, Paul Cesarz, already knows I expect him to uphold all 35 vetoes. Does your Supervisor know? The sentence of the day is, “Be polite, but be equally firm in your request that the vetoes be upheld.”

Come On Down!

by @ 5:40. Filed under Politics - National.

Is there anyone getting more press coverage in the past 10 days or so than Sarah Palin?  Ever since she began her publicity tour for her book, right, left and every ideology in between has been writing or reporting (even if they have to make stuff up) on Sarah Palin.  Just today, there was this interview by and this article about an interview Palin had with Barbara Walters.

With her history and now the attention that Palin has received, comes the natural question; what do you think of Sarah Palin?  I’ll bet I’ve been asked this very question no less than a dozen times since this past weekend.

First, what I observed in the two articles I referenced.

It’s clear that Sarah Palin has a good temperament for media and, more importantly, has learned from her past experiences.  When asked about Obama’s Nobel Peace prize, rather than snarking about how stupid it was, she gave a response that left and right alike can agree on.  She didn’t say he shouldn’t have gotten it or hadn’t done anything, at least not in those words.  She commented that, while the prize may be warranted someday, it was “premature”. 

In another incident, when asked about the hatchet job Newsweek did on her, she didn’t strike out or complain about the “biased” media.  Rather, she talked about feeling a need to apologize to her family for the cruddy work that Newsweek had done.  Again, she has learned that whining about what she can’t control doesn’t get her any credit.  There are other ways to drive home her point without making it sound like a grade school playground incident.

Another thing I observed in these articles and that I’ve heard in live interviews, is her ability to accept levels of reality that other politicians seem incapable of.  A good example is in the Walters interview when she was asked if they could have won the election had she been allowed to “be Sarah” throught the Presidential campaign.  Her response was “no”, that the economy was a bigger issue than they could overcome. 

So, what DO I think of Sarah Palin?

 She has a unique ability to connect with the conservative ethos.  Also, by not holding an office, she doesn’t have the issue of having to be “politically correct” in her answers.  The policy issues she has addressed have been done hitting on key issues and again, with answers that immediately resonate with those who find her appealing.

I don’t know that Sarah Palin will ever become a nominee for President.  That said, it seems clearer and clearer that she has the ability to be a national leader.  I believe the Republican establishment ignores or in some cases, makes fun of her, at their own risk.  While Palin may only resonate with 15% or so of the Republican voters, that’s 15% that no Republican nominee can afford to lose.  Don’t believe me?  Ask John McCain what his campaign looked like before he named Palin as his running mate!

In her interview with Walters, Palin is asked whether she will play a major role.  Her reply was:

“If people will have me, I will.”

If it were up to me, I’d respond with the favorite line from the Price is Right; Sarah Palin, come on down!

November 17, 2009

It’s over 9,00…er, 1,000,00…er, $12,000,000,000,000

by @ 21:15. Filed under Economy, Politics - National.

That’s right; at the end of the business day on November 16, 2009, the national debt topped $12 trillion for the first time in history. Things only get worse when one looks at the growing rate of the debt:

  • Over his first 300 days (209 business days at the Treasury), Obama presided over a $1,404,422,137,377.00 increase in the national debt. That’s right; 11.67 cents of every dollar of debt is on him.
  • Speaking of that $1.4 trillion increase in debt on Obama’s watch, that is a 13.22% increase over that 300 days, or 14.38% on an annual basis.
  • On a year-to-year basis, the 163 biggest increases of the debt in absolute dollars since January 1993-January 1994, and 144 biggest increases of the debt in percentage terms, had 2009 ending dates, including a high of $2.167 trillion (22.76%) between 9/16/2008 and 9/15/2009, with Obama responsible for $1.207 trillion of that.
  • On a quarterly basis, the 1st ($427 billion, 3.99% increase), 2nd ($418 billion, 3.76% increase) and 3rd ($365 billion, 3.16% increase) quarters of 2009 were the 3rd, 4th, and 5th-largest increases in absolute size, and 3rd, 4th and 7th-largest increases in percentage terms, of the debt since 1993. They trailed, in order, the 4th quarter of 2008 and the 3rd quarter of 2008, with 2nd quarter of 2003 and the 4th quarter of 2003 having the 5th and 6th-largest percentage increases. Do remember that, while Obama was not in the Senate for No Child Left Behind and Medicare Part D, he was there to vote for TARP.
  • On an absolute basis, six months (February, March, April, June, July and August) had increases in the debt that were in the top 10 since 1993.
  • Perhaps the scariest bit of news – the debt is almost certainly higher than total personal income. The Bureau of Economic Analysis pegged personal income at $11.956 trillion in the third quarter of this year and declining, while the debt stood at $11.910 trillion on 9/30/2009. While the debt is still barely under the $14.302 trillion the GDP was estimated to be in the third quarter, it is also catching that.

No wonder why Obama is bowing, groveling, and otherwise licking the boots of any foreign leader perceived to have money.

Revisions/extensions (9:35 pm 11/17/209) – For more reading, head on over to Hot Air, where Allahpundit caught a whiff of the ultimate expiration date/red lips moment trial balloon of repealing every last Bush tax cut which, with all the other non-PlaceboCare tax hikes, would represent a $3 trillion/10 years tax hike (assuming, of course, that the money doesn’t just vanish). I wonder if the White House is paying attention to my last point of confiscating every last dime every last American makes in a year not eliminating the debt.

Also, stop on in CBS News’ Mark Knoller’s place, as it was his Tweet that launched my lenghty math exercise. I do have a math lesson for Mark – Bush’s $4.899 trillion increase in the debt was over 8 years, which makes that an 8.03% annual increase. Even the second term increase of $3.014 trillion represents only a 8.70% annual increase, far less than Obama’s 14.38% annualized rate. It is, however true, that Bush’s last-year increase of $1.438 trillion, which was a 15.65% annual increase, does top Obama’s current annualized rate (just wait for PlaceboCare to hit for that score to change).

Well, How Does It Feel?

It didn’t start with the Obama administration but it has accelerated to warp speed under their watch.  What am I referring to?  Well, the government trying to tell you how to live your life, of course.

  • Smoking Bans
  • CFL light bulb
  • Banning or taxes on sugar items
  • Forced health insurance purchases
  • Carbon restrictions
  • Salary caps
  • Car manufacturing

These are all examples of where the government has stuck their nose into places they shouldn’t be or have proposed doing the same. 

If health reform and cap and trade were to pass, it’s hard to imagine an area of our lives that government wouldn’t have influence, if not the potential for dictatorial control over.

It turns out that we mere citizens are not the only ones feeling the weight of government oversight on our shoulders.  James Pethokoukis reports that China is asking detailed questions about the impact of health care reform on the US economy and deficits.  Wow, that’s got to be uncomfortable to have another nation question you on issues that should be only the business of your nation?  What ever happened to national sovereignty?  Probably the same thing that is happening to our personal liberties.

So how does it feel President Obama?

Political Jihadist

by @ 5:52. Filed under Obama worship, Politics - National.

There used to be a time where wars were fairly predictable. I don’t mean the length or who would win the war. I mean that ultimately, a war would end when one of the two sides determined that the “price” of continuing the war became higher than the one side could tolerate. Look back over the history of the US and you’ll see this is true.

The Revolutionary War, the Civil War, WWI, WWII, Korea, Vietnam and even the Cold War ended when when one of the combatants decided that the continuation of the war was not the best investment of its economic or human assets.

The notion of war and winning it, has changed with the advent of terrorists or jihadists such as Al qaeda. The loss of economic or human assets are no longer relevant except in the absolute sense. Al qaeda and its ilk are willing to fight until their last dime or human life. To compound the problem, much of Al qaeda believes that dying for their cause is no concern; they relish it.

While it sounds loony, the participation of groups like Al qaeda has made war much more complicated. How do you prevent a war if the group who has declared war on you has no fear of complete annihilation and believes that anything short of a complete acquiescence to their ideology makes you an enemy to be fought to the death? It doesn’t provide much of an opportunity for discussion, compromise or a “meeting of the minds.”

So why am I giving you these observations on the history of war?

I keep wondering how, with the significant public push back Pelosi, Obama and to a lesser extent, Reed can continue to push issues like Placebocare and cap and trade? Are they that politically deaf that they don’t understand the ramifications of “full student body left”, on the elections just past or those coming next year? Even Bill Clinton after being rebuffed from his early leftward moves, ultimately found his “happy place” and became the preeminent political pragmatist. With regards to Obama, Pelosi and Reed, the only thing that makes any sense is the notion of a Political Jihadist.

I’ve come to conclude that Obama and Pelosi believe that there is no bill too far left that will cause their political death. Obama believes that his persona and personality will carry him through any storm. Pelosi believes that representing the country’s most far left district will protect her. They believe they are protected by the political allah if you will. Beyond that, I think these two believe that if they succeed in accomplishing their far left agenda but die politically, their political death would bestow on them some political version of 72 virgins. By continuing to press left, even their political death would be worth it as they would be “martyred” and enshrined.

If my take is right, all the talk from Pelosi and Obama about “hearing Republican ideas” and bipartisanship is just as valuable as sitting down with Al qaeda to discuss the coexistence of Islam and Christianity. While that should be firmly fixed in every Republican’s mind, the group at higher risk are the Democrats themselves.

Like other jihadists, Obama and Pelosi don’t mind death, in their case, political death. Unfortunately, like other jihadist groups, the leaders easily talk about welcoming death for their cause but, when talk moves to actions it’s rare that the leaders of the movements are found with the proverbial bombs strapped on.

Don’t expect to see the jihadist leaders, Obama and Pelosi, give up on their leftward push. Do expect to see a whole lot of political bodies. When it comes to jihadist ideology every body is dispensable. Well, every body except for those of the leadership.

November 16, 2009

Catching up, the November edition

I’ve been out of steam for a while, but I think I have some now. Let’s see what I missed:

  • Tom “Milk Carton” Barrett decided to be the “savior” of the Democratic Party of Wisconsin and announced that he would be the de facto nominee for governor on Sunday. The timing was not a mistake; ever since Jim “Craps” Doyle (WEAC/HoChunk-For Sale) figured out all the money from the tribes, the unions and the lawyers, as well as 100% control over the state-level electoral process, couldn’t save his hide, the Dems have been looking for a Missiah on the level of Barack Hussein Obama II.

    Related to that, the RPW and the Walker campaign immediately seized upon Barrett’s love of tax hikes (he voted for the then-largest state tax hike in history, the still-largest federal tax hike in history, and raised taxes, created and raised mandatory fees, and imposed a then-36% increase in the wheel tax that has proven so unpopular, Beloit dropped a lower version of it) and called him Tommy the Taxer. If there’s one thing outstate Wisconsinites hate more than Milwaukee-area conservatives, it is Milwaukee tax-hiking liberals.

  • Lou Dobbs got a $8 million parting gift from CNN as they strive to be “objective” be a clone of PMSDNC (H/T – Ace).
  • The Wall Street Journal editorial board has a two-fer on PlaceboCare today – they eviscerate the Baucus version of the Death Panel (hint; if you think the upfront cuts in Medicare Advantage are the only cuts that program will sustain, you’re sorely mistaken), and then they take on a proposed radical expansion of the Medicare tax into a “progressive” as well as a general income tax to replace the proposed tax on “lavish” health benefits.
  • A week after stinking up Raymond James Stadium to give the last winless team a win, the Packers crushed the Cowpokes. Which Packers team is the real one?
  • Speaking of Obama, he and Attorney General Eric Holder decided New York was the perfect place to drag KSM and buds for a civilian trial. What could possibly go wrong from a security standpoint (other than things that preclude the DC or Northern Virginia district court handle it, like truck bombs)?

    Continuing the “what could possibly go wrong” theme, why not put them in the military commissions the Cole bombing group is going into? Last I checked, the Pentagon is a military installation. Could it be that they want KSM to walk on a technicality, or could it be that they want Al Qaeda to learn all of our methods of stuffing them the last 8 years?

  • Speaking of Club Gitmo, the latest place President Present wants to stick the detainees is in the state where he earned the nickname “Present”, specifically in a facility not exactly designed for this kind of work. Again, what could possibly go wrong with putting a bunch of Islamokazis in a generic maximum-security about 3 hours from Milwaukee and Chicago, and spitting distance from the Mississippi River and one of the lock-and-dam combos on same?

That Wasn’t The Plan!

On Friday, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services released an actuarial report that analyzed the recently passed House version of Placebocare.  Chris Frates at Politico.Com reviewed the report and pulled out some very interesting insights and conclusions.  You can read Frates’ full review here

Of the many items that Frates pulled out of the report, a few require some additional comment.

Pg. 6 – A public plan would cost 4 percent more than private plans because its utilization rules would not be as strict as the private sector.

I thought the whole purpose of Placebocare was to reduce the costs of health care?  I guess we could look at total costs but with more people coming into the health care system there is no way that is going to happen.  That only leaves a reduction on a per person basis.  This report says that not only with the public option not be cheaper than private plans, it will actually be 4 percent more expensive.  If that is the case, wouldn’t the answer be to use the existing, cheaper, private insurance and provide tax subsidies for those that need assistance?

Pg. 7 – 18 million people will remain uninsured and choose to pay the fines for not carrying insurance rather than buy coverage.

I’ve lost track of how many “uninsured” we have.  The original number of 47 million went down the tubes with the anger over insuring illegal aliens.  Let’s use a number of 35 million to be generous.  If 18 million chose to pay fines, that means only 17 million additional will be insured.  While the final tab is yet to be determined, it’s pretty safe to say that if it was fully implemented on day one, Placebocare would cost at least $1.3 trillion for the first 9 years.  Finish the math equation and that comes to nearly $8,500 per person for health insurance.  Folks, that’s PER PERSON.  A family of four would be over $30,000 PER YEAR!

My family buys its own health insurance.  We have a few health issues so we actually pay the highest rated premium that can be charged.  Even with those issues, I can tell you that we don’t pay anywhere near $30K/year for all of our insurance AND out of pocket costs for a year.  No wonder costs are increasing!

Pg 16 – “The additional demand for health services could be difficult to meet initially with existing health provider resources and could lead to price increases, cost-shifting, changes in providers’ willingness to treat patients with low-reimbursement health coverage.” Translation: A crush of newly insured patients could be a shock to the system.

Well No shit!  I’ve laid out numerous times how there is no way to change the number of insured nearly overnight, and not experience a shortage of medical personell.  What the report doesn’t address is that this won’t be an “initial” shortage.  As reimbursements are reduced, work environments pinched, some medical personell will “go Galt.”  I suspect that what we experience short term will actually be our experience for an extended period of time; it could be our permanent go forward experience.

The more information that comes out, the more it’s obvious that the promises of Placebocare expire quicker than President Obama’s campaign promises.  That is to say, they never really existed.

November 14, 2009

And Your Point Is?????

by @ 12:23. Filed under Miscellaneous.

Rasmussen has shown itself time and again to be an accurate pollster. Some might say that they lean a bit to the right in their assessment of poll results but I find that they tend to be pretty fair in their assessments. That said, every now and then I see a poll interpretation from them that I scratch my head and wonder what it is that they are trying to say. Once such poll is a recent one that they released on favorability ratings for some Minnesota politicians.

The title of the article pretty much lays out the problem I have with their analysis:

Klobuchar Bests Franken, Bachmann Among Minnesota Voters

Franken has obviously gotten national notoriety as the clown, elected Senator, who gave the Democrat’s their sixtieth vote in the Senate.  Klobuchar is our other, just as liberal but less overtly embarrassing, Senator. 

Bachmann, for those who haven’t watched any cable news or listened to any talk radio for the past year, has become a Conservative celebrity in the media.  She’s unashamedly conservative and is willing to discuss nearly any issue.  Her one short coming is that she tends to get a bit over exposed and ends up saying some things that while not inaccurate, allows the Left to paint her as “half a bubble off.” 

Bachmann is the lady who in an interview with Chris Matthewslast year, raised the question of whether then, Senator Obama, held some anti American views.  She further commented that the media should look into the views of Congress to see if any of them were anti American.  While Bachmann was dead on withboth of her assessments, the Left went nuts, twisted her comments, and made what should have been an easy re election win for Bachmann, a relatively close race for Minnesota’s sixth District, that Bachmann won.

Back to Rasmussen.

Rasmussen lays out the Franken, Klobuchar, Bachmann issue this way:

Minnesota voters give Senator Amy Klobuchar higher marks for job performance than her fellow senator Al Franken and Michele Bachmann, the congresswoman who has become a conservative lightning rod in the national health care debate.

They go on to say that Klobuchar has a favorable rating of 58% while Franken is only 50%.  They then make a comment about Bachmann’s favorability rating relative to Franken’s:

Minnesota voters give similar marks to Bachmann, who represents the 6th congressional district in the southeastern section of the state.

Rasmussen blows this on two fronts.

First, the sixth district is not in SE Minnesota.  Take a look at this map.  Minnesotans would refer to this as “Parts of central Minnesota” or perhaps “suburbs generally North of the Minneapolis/St. Paul metro, including St. Cloud.”  Minnesotans would never refer to the sixth district as SE Minnesota.  SE Minnesota is part of the first district.

OK, admittedly, that was a nit.  However, the inclusion of this inaccuracy makes me think that proper reviewing wasn’t applied to this article which allowed the real travesty of the “analysis.”

Franken and Klobuchar are Senators.  As such, every eligible voter in the State is able to vote for them in a reelection bid.  Polling “likely voters” across Minnesota is the appropriate measuring stick for these two people.  Bachmann on the other hand, represents a single district, the sixth.  To use a state wide poll to determine her favorability is about as relevant as polling likely voters of Canada and Mexico to see how Obama is fairing in a reelection bid.  Wait, now that I think about it, polling Canada and Mexico would be more relevant given Obama’s “President of the World” aspirations.

The relevant polling for Bachmann would have obviously been likely voters of the Sixth District.  The Cook Partisan Voting Index shows the Sixth District to be R+7.  While I wouldn’t argue that every Republican in the district loves Representative Bachmann, I’ll also tell that not every Democrat dislikes her.  Having spent a great deal of time in the Sixth while working on a state wide campaign this spring, I can tell you that Bachmann enjoys incredible support within the district.  Her work as a vocal supporter of the tea parties, against Placebocare and cap and trade, have done nothing but strengthen a nearly cult like support for her within the district.

I doubt that they did it intentionally, but Rasmussen painted a very tainted picture of Bachmann.  It’s this kind of poor review that can create perceptions which cause otherwise solid candidates to have to deal with non issue related nonsense. 

Rasmussen is better than this.  I hope they do a better job of using relevant polling populations in the future.

November 13, 2009

About 14 3/4 Minutes of Fame Too Long

by @ 5:11. Filed under Miscellaneous.

You may remember Carrie Prejean.  She was the young lady who was discriminated against in the Miss USA 2009 pagent because of her Christian views, which just happen to align with the majority of Americans, regarding gay marriage.  Miss Prejean became quite a celebrity following the pageant events and rightly so.

Miss Prejean has attempted to leverage her moment of fame into something more including the release of a new book.  Unfortunately, while Miss Prejean was good in her initial moment, probably because she hadn’t had time to think about it and gave an answer from her heart, in nearly every event since she’s found a way to chip away at the good will she gained from the pageant events. 

In her latest, and I hope final public appearance, Miss Prejean attempts to play some sort of diva on Larry King’s show.  When asked why she decided to settle her lawsuit rather than pursue it through the full legal course, Prejean not only refused to answer a simple question but told King he was “inappropriate” for even asking the question.

Clearly, Prejean resonated with much of the country with her pagent response and the events that followed.  Unfortunately, Prejean is trying to stretch her 15 minutes of fame beyond her capability of dealing with it.  At this point, she ought to move on to her next issue.  For this issue, her “fame” has lasted about 14 3/4 minutes too long

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