Saturday, January 31, 2009
FOX News/Opinion Dynamics Poll. Jan. 27-28, 2009. N=900 registered
voters nationwide. MoE ± 3.
"Many different ideas are being considered for how best to stimulate
the economy. Do you think the economic stimulus plan should focus
mainly on using taxpayer dollars to increase government spending on
new programs and infrastructure projects or mainly on cutting taxes
for businesses and individuals?"
Spending.....................Tax Cuts................Both (vol.)...............Unsure
Many doctors and diabetes advocates are outraged. Scores of lay people — babysitters, siblings, grandparents — regularly administer insulin, and they see no reason why trained, nonmedical school staff, like teachers or clerks, should not be allowed to help students. They fear the massive shortage of school nurses means children are not getting insulin shots in a timely manner. And they say diabetes is being used as a political tool to force school districts to hire more nurses — an unlikely scenario given the state's $42 billion budget deficit.
But several nursing associations sued to overturn the agreement, arguing that California's Nurse Practice Act states that only licensed nurses can administer insulin. In November, a judge agreed.
The California School Nurses Organization said the ruling allowed parents peace of mind knowing that only "trained and highly skilled nurses" will be administering "a dangerous medication such as insulin."
ABC News has obtained the Senate Finance Committee Report on Tom Daschle's nomination to be Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services, which indicates that Daschle's tax problems were even more substantial than earlier reported.
The report indicates that Daschle's failure to pay more than $101,000 taxes on the car and driver a wealthy friend let him use from 2005 through 2007 is not the only tax issue the former Senate Majority Leader has been dealing with since his December nomination prompted a more thorough examination of his income tax returns.
Mr. Daschle also didn't report $83,333 in consulting income in 2007.
At that point, Ramsey said, the pilot spoke over the intercom and told the passengers to brace for impact. The man next to her told Ramsey to lean over, put her head down and hold on really tight because it would get rough.
“I held on to my seat and opened my phone to the picture of my 2-year-old grandson, Jack, in a Santa outfit and said ‘Dear God, please don’t take me today. Get me home’,” Ramsey said. “I heard a lot of other people praying. When we landed, it was wonderful.”
Ramsey said she unclipped her seat belt and noticed the man and woman in her row had already left. She said people were pushing and the walkway was packed, so she turned around, grabbed her seat cushion and climbed over two rows of seats to get to the exit, where a man let her out in front of him.
“I was on the wing,” Ramsey continued. “There was an inflatable boat, but it was twisted. I slid into the water and it was waist-high, and a man grabbed me, pulled me back up and said ‘I won’t let you fall.’ I called my husband on my cell phone and told him what happened and that I was OK.”
Ramsey said the water was scary at that point, because she was cold from sliding in earlier and couldn’t feel her legs. She held on to the pants waist of the man in front of her and they baby-stepped to the end of the wing so they could get on an approaching ferry.
As the boat came toward them, Ramsey said, she feared it would knock them off the wing. The man pulled her to him so she wouldn’t fall off, and Ramsey reached up and grabbed a net hanging from the boat, climbing up with her arms because she couldn’t fit her shoes into the net.
Finally, she stuck her shoes in the holes, but they got stuck and she had to leave them there. Ramsey said a lady in the water grabbed her leg and almost made her lose her grip on the net, but she felt two hands push her up from behind while someone grabbed her from above and pulled her into the boat.
Friday, January 30, 2009
Daschle "told committee staff he had grown used to having a car and driver as majority leader and did not think to report the perk on his taxes, according to staff members."
Former Senate Majority Leader Tom Daschle, President Barack Obama’s nominee for the secretary of Health and Human Services, paid around $100,000 in back taxes after his nomination to pay for a car and driver he was supplied but didn’t report as income, according to documents being prepared by the Senate Finance Committee.
Daschle also took two vacation trips aboard a $30 million corporate jet belonging to nonprofit lender EduCap, which faces a separate probe by the Finance Committee into its tax status.
Which Senate Republicans have voted the most often with the Obama Administration so far?
Yes, the Senate is actually voting on stuff. Not a lot of stuff, but there are perhaps seven nontrivial votes for us to chew over. These include confirmation votes for Tim Geithner and Hillary Clinton, the bailout extension, both a cloture vote and an up-and-down vote the Ledbetter Fair Pay Act, and both a cloture vote and an up-and-down vote on the Omnibus Public Land Management Act.
One Republican, Olympia Snowe of Maine, has taken the administration's position on all seven votes, as indicated by a blue square in chart below. Two, David Vitter of Louisiana and Jim DeMint of South Carolina, have gone 7-for-7 in opposing the administration (as denoted in red). A couple more thoughts follow after the graphic.
Here is the Home Page
Thanks to Shaka Mitchell at TCPR for the heads up. This is an interesting collaboration of friends unaffiliated with any organization.
PRINCETON, NJ -- An analysis of more than 350,000 interviews conducted by Gallup in 2008 finds Mississippi, Alabama, South Carolina, Tennessee, Louisiana, and Arkansas to be the most religious states in the nation. Vermont, New Hampshire, Maine, and Massachusetts are the least religious states.
Who is to blame? The School Board will, of course, self-righteously wag their fingers at the parents and "the public." However, the school board will refuse to give up their power so PARENTS can make the decisions about which school their children attend. Will the school board advocate more charter schools or true school choice via tax credits or vouchers? Of course not.
Meanwhile, Barack Obama and Phil Bredesen and Karl Dean happily deny most parents the educational choices which they demand for their own children.
Parents are indifferent about a system that offers them no real power or control? Yup.
Mays said getting more community, parent involvement and interest in the schools is a challenge, but more people should make an effort to keep current of school issues.
"People need to be in attendance of not just board meetings, but committee meetings as well," Mays said. "Jackson-Madison County Schools has the potential of being tops in the state. It's just a matter of more people getting involved."
Thursday, January 29, 2009
They are happy to show up for photo ops and take credit for "job creation" when they bribe companies with millions of taxpayer funded corporate welfare...so surely they will be happy to acknowledge when these jobs go away.
“What we announced to our employees is we are closing production of new PCs,” says Dell spokesman Ken Bissell. “We’re ceasing new-build in Nashville altogether.”
As we noted before , one of Obama’s pledges on change.gov, his transition Web site, was to "not sign any non-emergency bill without giving the American public an opportunity to review and comment on the White House Web site for five days."
But that didn’t happen with the Ledbetter bill. Obama’s had his hands on it for two days, but the first chance Americans got to comment on it on the White House Web site was today, after the president had already signed it into law . We’ve put in calls to the White House and are waiting to hear back for an explanation.
The bill, which was first introduced in the House and Senate three weeks ago, was mentioned in a blog post  on the White House Web site on Jan. 25, but it simply pointed out that, hey, here’s a bill coming up, and directed readers to check it out on THOMAS , the government’s legislation-tracking Web site. There wasn’t an opportunity for the public to make comments there either.
Ellen Miller, the executive director of transparency watchdog Sunlight Foundation  told ProPublica, "This is a very specific promise that the campaign made that hasn’t been fulfilled." Noting that she was willing to cut a new administration some slack, she added, "This just strikes me as a day one promise, and they knew this bill was coming down the pipe and that it would be the first one he signed. To not have some system for posting the legislation online is shocking."
This news comes after Barry pleaded guilty in 2005 to two misdemeanor tax charges and admitted to not filing his taxes from 1999 to 2004. So he didn't pay most of the taxes he owed on more than $500,000 in income. Big whoop, right? If the nation's treasury secretary can't figure out this whole taxes thing, who can?
Barry, who now makes more than $92,000 per year as a council member, had no comment for the Post and didn't let on to when he might file his taxes.
But do the math, and you can begin to understand how really botched this bailout has been. Since October, the government has deposited $165 billion into the accounts of the nation's eight largest banks. Yet those same financial firms are now worth $418 billion less than they were four months ago. And the Congressional Budget Office estimates that the government's preferred shares are worth at least $20 billion less. In Wall Street terms, that's throwing good money after bad. All told, the government's annualized rate of return on its investment in the nation's largest banks is -1,096%. That's well beyond Bernie Madoff territory; he topped out at a mere -100%.
In October 2007, Governor Granholm shoved over $3 billion in new taxes down the throats of Michiganders telling them it would solve the state’s budget crises and turn Michigan around. However, in order to pass her tax hike, she needed bipartisan support - and she found it in former republican State Representative Ed Gaffney. Well, last week the term-limited legislator finally received his thank you note from the governor – attached to a big, fat $82,000 a year appointment to the state Liquor Control Commission.
After a private meeting with Governor Granholm in 2007, former Representative Gaffney was one of only two republicans to vote for her “temporary” 12% increase in the Michigan personal income tax, which brought over $750 million into state coffers last year.
January 27, 2009 (Computerworld) The world's six largest computer drive makers today published the final specifications(download PDF) for a single, full-disk encryption standard that can be used across all hard disk drives, solid state drives (SSD) and encryption key management applications. Once enabled, any disk that uses the specification will be locked without a password -- and the password will be needed even before a computer boots.
The three The Trusted Computing Group (TCG) specifications cover storage devices in consumer laptops and desktop computers as well as enterprise-class drives used in servers and disk storage arrays.
They shared their sad stories the other night at an informal gathering of Dating a Banker Anonymous, a support group founded in November to help women cope with the inevitable relationship fallout from, say, the collapse of Lehman Brothers or the Dow’s shedding 777 points in a single day, as it did on Sept. 29.In addition to meeting once or twice weekly for brunch or drinks at a bar or restaurant, the group has a blog, billed as “free from the scrutiny of feminists,” that invites women to join “if your monthly Bergdorf’s allowance has been halved and bottle service has all but disappeared from your life.”
Wednesday, January 28, 2009
We are building a user-friendly educational ecosystem that will give internet users around the world the ability to easily find, interact with, and learn from full video courses and lectures from the world’s leading scholars. Our goal is to bring the best content together in one place and create an environment that in which that content is remarkably easy to use and in which user contributions make existing content increasingly valuable.
We invite those who share our passion to explore our website, participate in our online community, and help us continue to find new ways to make learning easier for everyone.
Link HT: Insty
People…. Get mad,,,,,, get angry,,,, get involved!!! They survival of this country may depend on citizen action to regain control of our out-of-control government!!!! I'm not counting on President Obama to solve our problems. He was the third highest recipient of campaign contributions from Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac in the last 10 years behind Chris Dodd(D) and John Kerry(D), and he was only in the senate for 4 years. Fannie and Freddie have received many billions of dollars of "bail-out" money and are wanting/needing more.
Anybody want to join me for a taxpayer march on Washington???
The court ruled Tuesday the teammate can’t be sued because Wisconsin law prevents participants in contact sports, including cheerleading, from suing each other for unintentional injuries. That overturns a lower court’s decision.
The court also upheld a decision that the district can’t be sued for the coach’s lack of supervision.
The Los Angeles teachers union and the city's school district are battling over a district practice that, a Times' analysis suggests, contributes to higher scores on state tests.
The practice is "periodic assessments," a bureaucratic name for exams administered by the Los Angeles Unified School District. The goal is to give teachers insight into what students need to learn while there remains time in the current school year to adjust instruction.The union Tuesday directed teachers to refuse to give them to students on the grounds that the tests are costly and counterproductive.
Smoky Mtns WebCam
Adventure Science Museum WebCam Nashville
AutoZone Park in Memphis WebCam
Sparta TN WebCam (between Nashville and Knoxville)
Graceland WebCam in Memphis
Sewanee University WebCam
City of Oak Ridge WebCams
Tuesday, January 27, 2009
"2 be, or nt 2 be: tht's the q:
Whether 'tis nblr in the mnd 2 sffr
The slngs & rrws of trgs frtn,
Or 2 tk rms gnst a sea of trbls,
by ppsng end thm? 2 die: 2 zzz;
No mr & by a zzz 2 say we end
The hrt-ache & the thsnd ntrl shcks
That flsh is hr 2, 'tis a cnsmmtn
Devoutly 2 be wsh'd. 2 die, 2 zzz;"
The customers, in this case, are the farmers and agribusinesses. The suppliers of the services performed for these customers are taxpayers, for it's the taxpayers who possess the ultimate asset -- money -- that farmers and agribusinesses lust after. And the intermediaries who oblige the suppliers to satisfy the base lusts of the customers are politicians. Just as pimps facilitate their customers' access to prostitutes' assets, politicians facilitate their customers' access to taxpayers' assets.
Newspapers may be struggling these days but it's not for lack of web traffic, at least for the top ten newspaper sites. According to Nielsen Online, web traffic to the top 10 sites grew by an average of 16% in December 2008. Only one of the top 10 properties, Boston.com, saw a decline in web traffic:
So, it sounds like this laser, which is probably a couple kilowatts, isn’t exactly vaporizing the UAVs on contact. But the big advantage is that the laser beam is invisible, so there’s no way to track the destruction of a UAV back to the Avenger platform.
Boeing says that UAVs are posing an increasing threat (whether direct or indirect) to US troops, which will make the Laser Avenger relevant in the near future.
Sooo...the General Assembly, under pressure from lawyers, decided NOT to elect the judges. They decided, instead, to have lawyers create a commission to be the gatekeeper. This commission decides who can be considered to be a judge.
The Commission procedure for choosing judges is COMPLETELY unconstitutional and should be eliminated IMMEDIATELY in favor of the procedure explicitly set out in the Tennessee Constitution.
“Who are we to say that what we now have is ‘merit selection’ or ‘merit-based?” Norris said. “The ultimate arbiters of the merit of anyone to administer justice in Tennessee are the people of Tennessee; not those appointed to commissions; not those elected to preside over the commissions others appoint.
"developing a national strategy for combating anti-government/anti-tax efforts"We, the taxpayers, are funding our own opposition. Those in NACO believe you, the taxpayers, should NOT be the final judge of the size and scope and burden of government.
Monday, January 26, 2009
Here are just a few of the tweets. Our politicians have turned us all into beggars. This is sad.
A group of University of Tennessee students will ask UT President John Petersen to support lobbying efforts for a slice of a proposed federal stimulus package to offset state funding cuts.
Members of the Students for a Just University student government party at the school will ask Petersen Tuesday to sign a petition to Gov. Phil Bredesen, asking that he promote the federal stimulus package and support a state income tax.
Senators Alexander and Corker will, I am sure, be warriors for freedom and oppose such a plan...Yea, Right.
“The case for full nationalization is far stronger now than it was a few months ago,” said Adam S. Posen, the deputy director of the Peterson Institute for International Economics. “If you don’t own the majority, you don’t get to fire the management, to wipe out the shareholders, to declare that you are just going to take the losses and start over. It’s the mistake the Japanese made in the ’90s.”
“I would guess that sometime in the next few weeks, President Obama and Tim Geithner,” he said, referring to the nominee for Treasury secretary, “will have to come out and say, ‘It’s much worse than we thought,’ and just bite the bullet.”
WASHINGTON – President Barack Obama's ban on earmarks in the $825 billion economic stimulus bill doesn't mean interest groups, lobbyists and lawmakers won't be able to funnel money to pet projects.
They're just working around it — and perhaps inadvertently making the process more secretive.
The projects run the gamut: a Metrolink station that needs building in Placentia, Calif.; a stretch of beach in Sandy Hook, N.J., that could really use some more sand; a water park in Miami.
There are thousands of projects like those that once would have been gotten money upfront but now are left to scramble for dollars at the back end of the process as "ready to go" jobs eligible for the stimulus plan.
The result, as The Associated Press learned in interviews with more than a dozen lawmakers, lobbyists and state and local officials, is a shadowy lobbying effort that may make it difficult to discern how hundreds of billions in federal money will be parceled out.
Link HT: TaxProf
And even brothel owners who support the idea of being taxed by the state are not as worried as Mr. Flint is that the Legislature might ban the business. James Davis, owner of the Shady Lady Ranch in Scotty’s Junction, said legislators from the smaller counties would never allow the state to eliminate one of their few reliable sources of local tax revenue.
Ms. Buckley said she suspected that Mr. Flint’s motive was to first have the industry taxed by the state and then build a case for legalizing it in the larger counties. And Mr. Flint acknowledged that he hoped he could show the Legislature how much money the state is losing by not regulating and taxing the booming illegal prostitution industry in Las Vegas. (The closest legal brothels to the Strip are more than 60 miles away in Nye County.)
Sunday, January 25, 2009
Yea, that's the ticket...and then the politicians will claim we need to bailout even more companies, etc etc etc.
But cap-and-trade would amount to a tax, raising energy costs. And several independent studies have suggested that emissions limits could be a drag on economic growth, a concern raised frequently by opponents of climate change legislation.
"The whole economic issue will be front and center in the debate on this . . . on both sides," said Eileen Claussen, president of the Pew Center on Global Climate Change, who has discussed Obama's global warming plans with senior administration officials.
Polls show voters increasingly losing interest in global warming. By pressing ahead, Obama would be sticking with a program that he said during the campaign would be a high priority of his presidency.
Thank you Lamar Alexander and Bob Corker...hey, at least you "did something."
What's left? Most of high-tech, entertainment, hospitality, retail, and commodities. So far, at least, we taxpayers are not propping them up. And when the economy turns up -- perhaps as soon as next year, most likely later -- these sectors have a good chance of rebounding.
But the others -- the ones the government is coming to own or manage -- are less likely to rebound as quickly, if ever. If anyone has a good argument for why the shareholders of these losers should not be cleaned out first, and their creditors and executives and directors second -- before taxpayers get stuck with the astonishingly-large bill -- I would like to hear it.
It's called Lemon Socialism. Taxpayers support the lemons. Capitalism is reserved for the winners.
Saturday, January 24, 2009
These are just people with huge egos. Other than that particular behavioral tendency, they have NO special qualifications for this task. NONE!
The abysmal failure of centrally planned economies is evidence enough to avoid this fiasco. WHY do we stride so blindly into this abyss?
If you do something, anything, to "solve" a problem and,
1-Things get better, then you can claim credit no matter how irrelevant and unrelated your "solution."
2-Things get worse, then you simply push to spend more taxpayer money because, clearly, you didn't spend "enough" the first time.
Link via Insty
As the Ford Motor Company prepares to cash its first multi-billion dollar corporate welfare check and hand part of it over to the union, it’s easy to forget that almost exactly a century ago, this multi-billion dollar behemoth with 240,000 employees was just another young small business with big dreams about to launch its next product.
While many small businesses fail, including Henry Ford’s first two attempts, a precious few survive, thrive, and then change the world, creating hundreds of thousands of jobs in the process. Just about all of the great American companies were once mere dreams in the mind of an entrepreneur. Microsoft, Apple, Intel, McDonald’s, and WalMart are but a few examples.
WASHINGTON – Senior citizens receiving Social Security would get a bonus payment of $300 under the Senate version of President Barack Obama's economic recovery plan.
The $820 billion Senate measure includes tax cuts and spending proposals totaling $455 billion under the plan released Friday by Finance Committee Chairman Max Baucus, D-Mont., in anticipation of a panel vote on Tuesday. That $455 billion measure will be paired on the Senate floor with about $365 billion in further spending proposed by the Appropriations Committee.
Who will Congress listen to the most as they work on an economic recovery plan—taxpayers, lobbyists, or Barack Obama?
Source: Rasmussen Reports
Methodology: Telephone interviews with 1,000 American adults, conducted on Jan. 10 and Jan. 11, 2009. Margin of error is 3 per cent.
I think a threshold or tipping point exists in the ratio between the political power of those who pay taxes and those who consume taxes directly. After that tipping point is reached, those who pay taxes become the economic slaves of those who consume taxes.
I think California has passed that point. [h/t Instapundit] Tax consumers now control the state government and can vote themselves almost any level of personal income and benefits they wish while taxpayers cannot muster the political capital to defend themselves.
Friday, January 23, 2009
Our site will feature profiles of a select group of government officials, including members of the new presidential administration, legislators, senior Congressional aides and committee staff, and experts at think tanks and interest groups who influence how policy is made. Each profile focuses on an individual’s policy experience and involvement with specific areas of government decision-making, from health care to telecommunications to financial services to national security.
For now, the profiles on WhoRunsGov are all compiled and edited by in-house staff, but they plan on moving to a “moderated wiki” in the future, meaning that the public will be able to submit suggestions for profile revisions which will be subject to staff review. Check out a few of the profiles to get a sense of the kind of information that’s on the site – Kirsten Gillibrand, Timothy Geithner, Peter Orszag, Gen. James L. Jones, Richard C. Holbrooke...
Accompanying the launch of the site is a new blog – The Plum Line – written by former Talking Points Memo blogger Greg Sargent. The goal of the blog, so says Sargent, is to “chronicle the new D.C order – as perceived and experienced by the people building it, as well as by the people who are resisting or at least coming to terms with it.” It should be an excellent blog for getting an insider view into the messy world of policy creation in D.C. I recommend grabbing the RSS feed.
Overall, it looks like a good site with some unique information, though I agree with Marshall Kirkpatrick at ReadWriteWeb that there is some room for improvement in areas of data integration and interactivity. Check out Marshall’s review of WhoRunsGov and his list of five similar projects that he thinks are doing it better (thanks for the mention, Marshall!).
And don’t forget to check out the awesome new LittleSis.org – an involuntary facebook of powerful Americans.
FISCAL 2007: BUSH
AGENCY FOIA PROCESSED DENIED GRANTED FULLY
Defense 78,392 3% 48%
Interior 5,437 3% 47%
Justice 53,889 3% 41%
State 4,792 4% 9%
Treasury 28,785 1.6% 52%
FISCAL 1998: CLINTON
AGENCY FOIA PROCESSED DENIED GRANTED FULLY
Defense 106,191 2% 61%
Interior 5,002 5% 64%
Justice 195,105 1.6% 33%
State 2,317 4% 28%
Treasury 1,775 2% 59%
She used the term "free" or "freedom" 17 times in the 14-minute speech.
To Brewer, that freedom means low taxes, less government regulation, more school choice and the ability to attend college "at a cost that will not leave (students) in a crushing debt."
She mocked President Barack Obama's major economic-stimulus plan, saying, "My transition team and I are not sitting idle while the new government in Washington plans another trillion dollars in deficit spending." She said her aim in Arizona will be to "call forth the creativity, determination and entrepreneurial spirit that made these United States the most prosperous great power in the history of the world."
Brewer's address was well-received by a mostly conservative crowd. Her observation that "government is going to get smaller" drew some of the day's biggest applause.
The proposal by Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger would raise the tax on wine from 4 cents for a 750-milliliter bottle to 29.6 cents.
“It’s like shooting Charles Shaw in the eye. The profit margin is already so low we will have to raise the price,” said Franzia, chief executive of Bronco Wine Co., which owns the brand.
The excise tax, a levy on a specific good, often at the producer or supplier level and folded into the retail price, differs from a sales tax, which is paid directly by consumers.
But Franzia and the rest of California’s wine industry are fighting to derail the tax increase, which is part of Schwarzenegger’s plan to close California’s $41.6 billion budget gap. The wine industry’s main trade organization and other business groups have suggested any tax increases should not single out industries.
Thursday, January 22, 2009
Federal agents raided the offices of a Western Pennsylvania defense contractor that has received millions in federal earmarks at the request of Rep. John Murtha, according to local media reports.The offices of Kuchera Industries and Kuchera Defense Systems were shuttered for the day following the raids, the chief financial officer told the Johnstown Tribune-Democrat. The companies' phone system says they will open again Friday morning, and e-mails sent to top company officials went unanswered.
Troubled OneUnited Bank in Boston didn't look much like a candidate for aid from the Treasury Department's bank bailout fund last fall.
The Treasury had said it would give money only to healthy banks, to jump-start lending. But OneUnited had seen most of its capital evaporate. Moreover, it was under attack from its regulators for allegations of poor lending practices and executive-pay abuses, including owning a Porsche for its executives' use.
Nonetheless, in December OneUnited got a $12 million injection from the Treasury's Troubled Asset Relief Program, or TARP. One apparent factor: the intercession of Rep. Barney Frank, the powerful head of the House Financial Services Committee.
Mr. Frank, by his own account, wrote into the TARP bill a provision specifically aimed at helping this particular home-state bank. And later, he acknowledges, he spoke to regulators urging that OneUnited be considered for a cash injection.
Wednesday, January 21, 2009
BRAVO!! to Principle Danny Hill.
Here's how the three-prong program works: higher expectation of students, active engagement of students and extra help opportunities.
"When you first look at it, it appears that giving an incomplete instead of zero is a lower standard when in reality it's a much higher standard. Everything we do is driven by 'we will not let you off the hook.' Every decision we make is based on higher expectations," Hill said.
Hill gave the program a name, the Intensive Care Unit. The backbone of the program is the ICU list that is maintained and posted for all eyes to see from teachers and coaches to parents. That list contains the names of students and corresponding incomplete or missing assignments.
Here are the House Committee Chairs for 105th Session
My Guess is these Committees will remain Democratic
Finance, Ways and Means - Craig Fitzhugh - D
State and Local Government - Ulysses Jones - D
Judiciary - Janis Sontany - D
My guess is these committees will have Republican Chairs
Thoughts? Email me
Tuesday, January 20, 2009
And that's when the Economic Detective was startled by a final gruesome discovery. Having focused so much on the mysterious disappearance of jobs for teens in an otherwise good year for the U.S. economy, he hadn't looked beyond those numbers except in passing, but here they were now staring him right in the face. Looking at the estimated data again for 2006, there should be around 2,681,439 individuals earning an hourly wage of $5.85 or less. But in 2007, there were just 1,729,000 individuals counted as doing so.
That would put the Public Policy Gang's total job kill for their first minimum wage hiking spree in 2007 at least at 952,439, almost within spitting distance of 1 million jobs. That becomes well within spitting distance if you factor in population growth. No wonder the Paymaster was so concerned.
But for teens, the mystery had been solved. Now there was only one thing left to do in that case, so the Economic Detective did it. He closed the file.
Monday, January 19, 2009
East TN Newspaper search for "ash" lists 79 articles
Middle TN Newspaper search for "ash" lists 47 articles.
West TN Newspaper search for "ash" lists 17 articles.
Forget brochures or pamphlets.
The Tennessee Department of Transportation is using the internet to reach young drivers.
With social networking sites becoming more of a source for instant information, TDOT is hoping becoming a "friend"-- or a "link"-- will catch the attention of those harder to reach.
Sunday, January 18, 2009
Saturday, January 17, 2009
This is not change and it is certainly not hope, it is MUCH, MUCH more of the same ole crap.
President-elect Barack Obama was a vocal champion of rules enacted last year that prohibit companies and lobbyists from buying anything worth more than $10 for lawmakers. But well-heeled interests have found a way to circumvent the ban by partnering with "state societies" that are throwing parties to celebrate Mr. Obama's inauguration.
These Washington-based nonprofits, whose members include lawmakers, congressional aides, lobbyists and executives from a given state, aren't subject to the ethics law -- even though their social and charitable activities are paid for with corporate money.
Mr. Obama's home state of Illinois, for example, is holding its own inaugural ball on Monday, the night before Mr. Obama is sworn in. It is offering executives of Motorola Inc., Exelon Corp., and the American Road and Transportation Builders Association a chance to pay big money to dine and pose for photos with Illinois lawmakers and incoming Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood, who recently retired as congressman from the state. The price: $5,000 to $55,000, event organizers said.
Hawaii, Mr. Obama's birthplace, has invited companies and lobbyists who pay as much as $25,000 into a roped-off VIP lounge at its Tuesday night affair, where they can mingle with influential policy makers. Among the drawing cards: Hawaii Sen. Dan Inouye, the new chairman of the Senate Appropriations Committee, and Gen. Eric Shinseki, a Hawaiian tapped to lead the Veterans Affairs Department.
Were any deals cut between Odom and Williams?
What was timeline of communication between Odom and Williams?
To counteract this inherent injustice in cold winter weather, the possible trend towards Global Cooling, and Mother Nature’s ongoing lack of concern for cold Americans, our collective sense of fairness and justice requires legislation that will force all thermostats and thermometers sold in the United States to have a minimum, reasonable and fair temperature reading of 0 degrees Fahrenheit, effective immediately. As part of the new Minimum Temperature legislation, all existing thermometers and thermostats should be immediately replaced with new temperature-reading equipment with a minimum reading of 0 degrees.
Any temperatures below that minimum (e.g. -10 degrees F. or -20 degrees F.) are considered to be unfair and unconscionably low, and will be illegal and outlawed by the Minimum Temperature Law, with violations subject to penalties, fines and possible jail time for thermostat manufacturers continuing to sell thermostats with temperature readings below the government-mandated minimum temperature. Further, all news and weather reports, all TV and radio stations, and all newspapers and websites are immediately prohibited from quoting any temperatures below the federally-mandated minimum of 0 degrees F, with violations punishable by fines, penalties and jail time.
To say the recession was caused by diminished demand is to say that the recession was caused by the recession. The fact is, people are holding on to their cash because the economy is in recession and they are uncertain about the future. As we’ll see, it is exactly under these circumstances that people should be saving.
The idea that consumption needs to be stimulated is ridiculous on its face. Consumption is fun. It’s saving that takes effort. Not long ago the American people were scolded for consuming too much and saving too little. Now it’s the opposite. Will the scolds please make up their minds!
As noted, falling consumption is not the cause but rather the effect of recessions. So government-boosted demand, made possible by deficit spending and expansion of money and credit, can’t be the solution. Recessions follow ill-advised government policies that channel investment into unsustainable projects, that is, projects that conflict with economic reality, such as the government-created housing boom, which misdirected billions of dollars into finance and construction. The recession is the process of correcting the errors that government policy encouraged. This correction involves the liquidation of inappropriate projects and therefore unemployment. Resources have to be redirected to projects consistent with economic reality. But resources are not malleable Play-Doh. They are specific machines, tools, and materials in particular places whose adaptation to new projects (when possible) is not costless. Workers may need to be trained for new jobs.
Friday, January 16, 2009
HT: Kingsport TN Govt Blog
Thursday, January 15, 2009
Thank you Senator Corker!!
Obama's team lobbied senators hard for the funding. He and Vice President-elect Joe Biden, with economic adviser Lawrence Summers and incoming White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel, have burned up the phones and the roads with calls and visits to members of Congress to ask for every possible vote.
A letter to congressional leadership also promised more stringent assurances of accountability and transparency in the use of taxpayer funds moving forward. The letter states that $50 billion to $100 billion will be committed to a sweeping effort aimed at stemming the tide of foreclosures, with a requirement that banks getting TARP funds must participate.
Sen. Jim Webb, D-Va., said Obama had called him and guaranteed him that oversight would be strong and executive compensation would be limited. Sen. Claire McCaskill, D-Mo., a staunch Obama ally, said the letter and a personal call from her friend helped.
She's giving the incoming administration "the benefit of the doubt," for now, because, "If they don't do what they say they are going to do, then they know that will be a boat load of political capital out the window."
At first, I didn’t think my Education Sector colleagues and I were going to get into Arne Duncan’s Senate confirmation hearing yesterday. Arriving at 8:00 for the 10:00 event, we were surprised to find a line of 50 people already camped out in the hallway. They were a pretty disheveled crew, and they weren’t exactly jazzed about the Duncan event. A couple were dozing off. But as 10:00 approached and the line grew to several hundred people, these early birds at the front began to disappear, replaced by well-heeled lobbyists for major education organizations, including a half dozen from the National Education Association. It turns out that the organizations hired a company to have homeless people arrive at 4 am to hold places in line for them (a thriving business on Capitol Hill, I discovered). At a rate of what one of the company’s representatives said was $30 an hour, the NEA spent over $1,000 to get its team in the room. The homeless seat-savers, of course, only saw a fraction of the fees. Perhaps they should unionize.
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Let's put these numbers in context:
- The $221,429 figure is roughly four times the average total compensation cost of employing workers in private industry, $56,305 or $27.07 per hour, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. For the sake of argument, if the entire $775 billion were going to "create" jobs, it could pay for more than 13.7 million workers in the private sector.
- The $221,429 figure is nearly 10 percent higher than the median cost of an existing single family home ($200,000 according to the National Association of Realtors). This means that for the same amount of money the government could buy outright more than 3.8 million homes. This is nearly four times the 1 million homes that were actually foreclosed on in 2008.
For every (Govt Healthcare) proposal, you should make sure you understand 1) Who is choosing the amount and quality of the care and 2) who is paying the bills and is therefore trying to pay attention to the cost of care.
What the hell does that have to do with anything, Coyote? What are you getting at? Well, perhaps I can begin my explanation by talking about something, practically anything, other than health care.
Take purchasing a car. When I need a new car, who determines what car I end up with? Why, I do. And who pays for the car and shops around for a price that makes sense in the context of the perceived value of the car? Why, I do again. The person who uses the car, the person who chooses the type and quality of the car, and the person who pays for the car are all the same person.
This clever procurement model of integrating the payer, the shopper, and the user all into a single individual is one we use for, well, just about every product and service we buy. Milk, Internet service, DVD’s, house painting, airline tickets — all the same model.
OK, lets consider a model that does not work this way. Let’s say someone just rear-ended your car and, miracle of miracles, they actually have a good, solid insurance policy that owes you for your car repairs. In this case, you will be consuming the repair services, and have the incentive to find the absolute best, cost-no-object body shop you can find to do the best, most fabulous job fixing your car, because someone else (ie the insurance company) is paying. The insurance company has a different incentive. They want to get off with as small a loss as possible, to protect their profitability as well as keeping prices low for future policy-holders. They are going to want you car fixed cheap, particularly since you are probably not even their customer. They are going to try to deliver the minimum.
Wednesday, January 14, 2009
Tuesday, January 13, 2009
A month after suing the U.S. Treasury Department for failing to respond to Freedom of Information Act requests for data regarding the financial bailout, Fox Business Network filed another suit today against the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System.
The latest suit is aimed at getting the Fed to comply with separate FOIA requests the network made for information about what institutions have received money as part of the bailout and what collateral they put up.
So far, the Fed has denied those requests, saying “multiple harms might result from disclosure,” the network said.
Monday, January 12, 2009
Pretty expensive lack of engagement at an average cost of $68,000/year.
Study HERE, article HERE