Tuesday, June 30, 2009
Saturday, June 27, 2009
Article I, Section I is often cited by liberty lovers because it says "the people...have an unalienable and indefeasible right to alter, reform, or abolish the government in such manner as they may think proper."
Article I, Section II goes even further, condemning anyone who does not resist arbitrary power and oppression.
The authors of the Tennessee Constitution lay a heavy trip on us folks just trying to make our way in this crazy world.
Sec. 1. All power inherent in the people — Government under their control. —
That all power is inherent in the people, and all free governments are founded on their authority, and instituted for their peace, safety, and happiness; for the advancement of those ends they have at all times, an unalienable and indefeasible right to alter, reform, or abolish the government in such manner as they may think proper.
Sec. 2. Doctrine of nonresistance condemned. —
That government being instituted for the common benefit, the doctrine of non-resistance against arbitrary power and oppression is absurd, slavish, and destructive of the good and happiness of mankind.
Monday, June 22, 2009
WASHINGTON — Most of the $2.2 billion in economic stimulus money for Army Corps of Engineers construction projects will be spent in the home districts of members of Congress who oversee the corps' funding, a USA TODAY analysis found.
McDermott's request on behalf of The Rainier Club would match the $250,000 raised by club members to cover renovations at the club's 105-year-old brick building on Fourth Avenue in downtown Seattle.
Saturday, June 20, 2009
Every day, Congress relies more and more on the Internet to communicate with the world. Legistalker makes it easy for you to stay on top of what your elected officials say and how they vote.
Enter a name, or select an agency, job title or location to begin your search. Not all fields need to be filled out. The results will show the adjusted base salary and any merit award from federal fiscal year 2008. On the results page, you may click on a column heading to sort the results.
Employees involved in security work, the FBI, CIA, Defense Department, nuclear materials, IRS, and jobs essential to national security are excluded. The list contains about 70 percent of executive branch employees, but not all departments report to the Office of Personnel Management. This list does not cover the White House, Congress, the Postal Service, and independent agencies and commissions.
The American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees is touting the findings of a new study as proof that California can raise taxes to balance its budget.
AFSCME notes that the study by Public Policy Institute of California indicates that the state's enterprise zone program, which gives tax incentives to businesses to spur job creation in certain economically distressed areas, "has no effect on job or business creation."
CBS News/New York Times Poll. June 12-16, 2009. N=895 adults nationwide. MoE ± 3.
"So far, do you think Barack Obama's policies have made the economy better, made the economy worse, or haven't his policies had any effect on the economy yet?"
Better Worse No Effect Unsure % % % %
32 15 48 5
"As you may know, the budget deficit is the shortfall when the amount of money the government spends is more than the amount of money it takes in. How much have you heard or read about the federal government's current budget deficit: a lot, some, not much, or nothing at all?"
A Lot Some Not Much Nothing % % % %
38 36 20 6
"Which comes closer to your own view? The federal government should spend money to stimulate the national economy, even if it means increasing the budget deficit, OR the federal government should NOT spend money to stimulate the national economy and should instead focus on reducing the budget deficit."
Unsure % % %
41 52 7
"So far, do you think the Obama Administration has developed a clear plan for dealing with the current budget deficit, or hasn't it developed one yet?"
Has a Plan Doesn't Have
a Plan Yet
Unsure % % %
30 60 10
These controls have backfired with a vengeance -- businessmen, companies and private citizens transferred some $72.7 billion out of Venezuela over the last six years -- nearly double the outflow of the previous six years, according to the Central Bank -- distorting the economy, fueling inflation and discouraging private investment.
Link HT: Danny Newton
Spain's central bank told the government on Tuesday (16 June) there is no room for further spending measures above those already announced, and warned that the country's rising budget deficit could hamper growth when a global upturn arrives.
"We have to stop public sector debt becoming an obstacle when the Spanish economy is in a better condition to grow," said central bank governor Miguel Angel Fernandez Ordonez in a speech accompanying the Bank of Spain's annual report.
Friday, June 19, 2009
The tax options include:
- Increasing the price of soda and other sugary drinks by 10 cents a can.
- Applying a potential 2 percent income tax increase to single taxpayers earning more than $200,000 a year and households earning more than $250,000.
- A new employer payroll tax could target 3 percent of employers' health care expenditures.
- Taxing employer-provided health insurance benefits above certain levels - a less likely option but one that still is in the running.
Sunday, June 14, 2009
It's a perfect Trifecta for an insecure politician trying to buy all the votes and good will he can - pretty transparent, too. These earmarks cost taxpayers about $400,000 just to neutralize his opponent's resume. Holden's re-election war chest grew by $400,000 taxpayer dollars he never reported to the Federal Election Commission.
This is how small-time Congressional back-benchers like Tim Holden spend our taxpayer money for their own benefit. District concerns are secondary to Holden's need for job security.
District voters would do well to stop this technically legal but ethically-questionable behavior by replacing Holden in 2010.
Friday, June 12, 2009
Trucks laden with a century’s worth of hazardous waste and debris would use 96, among other routes, to haul the material away. The newly resurfaced road could suffer.
“I am sure you can see the irony,” Roberts said in the letter. “Using stimulus funding to pave this road twice is clearly not in the best interest of American taxpayers, and it does not pass the Kansas common sense test.”
Federal, state and local officials have discussed the issue and are moving ahead anyway, despite possible problems down the road.
EPA spokesman Chris Whitley conceded that the timing of the projects “looks less than graceful.”
“Some might refer to this as the left hand and right hand not knowing what each other is doing,” he said. “In fact, both hands know what the other is doing. If there are repairs that will need to be made because of excessive use of the road, it will get done.”
Tuesday, June 09, 2009
Sunday, June 07, 2009
Sections 16 – 17 Increases the amount of relocation expense credit available to a headquarters facility that has invested at least $1 billion in the state. The credit is increased from $50,000 to $100,000 per job.Sections 18 – 23 Includes funds spent on computer software in determining whether a company has made the required capital investment for purposes of the data center, headquarters facility, emerging industry, and industrial machinery incentives and includes computer software when calculating the credit. Also extends the $1 billion dollar investment period for purposes of theindustrial machinery credit from a maximum of 5 years to a maximum of 7 years.Section 24 Extends the investment period for a data center from a maximum of 5 years to a maximum of 7 years.Section 25 Amends the definition of an emerging industry for purposes of the emerging industry credit by removing the specific exclusion of manufacturing and makes housekeeping changes byremoving references to industries, such as call centers, that cannot qualify for the credit.Sections 26 – 27 Amends the green energy tax credit by allowing the credit to the green energy manufacturer itself as well as separate companies that are integrated into the green energy manufacturer’s operations at its project site.
Saturday, June 06, 2009
Friday, June 05, 2009
Last week, I met the man who is really reinventing the car industry, Jay Rogers, founder of Local Motors. He is creating the platform and API for new cars that are designed collaboratively by communities and built in microfactories across the country by staffs of only 41 using almost entirely off-the-shelf parts. He says he will be profitable selling only 500 cars. He plans to build 3-5,000 of each model and he’s months away from delivering his first.
When I first looked at Local-Motors, I didn’t think it was for me. Its first model is a muscle car being built in and for the Arizona market. In a video, Rogers talks about being able to come into the microfactory to help build your own car. I try everything I can to avoid ever opening a hood or picking up a wrench. That’s why I buy Toyota (TM).
But over lunch, Rogers made clear that he is building a company and cars in harmony with the vision for a new car company I suggested in What Would Google Do?.
Thursday, June 04, 2009
Perhaps the folks at the "Open Government Initiative" assumed all 2.7 million or so federal employees (including the Postal Service) knew about their blog site and check on it everyday to find out what the important people who work there are thinking and writing.
Whatever the thought process, the White House did a great job of letting everyone know about the project and taking credit for being innovative, experimental, and edgy in their approach to using the internet and creating a 21st century government.
But, if they really wanted suggestions and not just a chance to issue press releases, the public relations folks forgot to let the millions of federal employees know how to submit their ideas. Perhaps they just wanted credit for setting up the program. Perhaps they thought their program was so important everyone in government knew how to find their blog site and was very familiar with the important work they were doing. Or, perhaps, in publicizing the program and how it would change the way government works, they just overlooked a couple of minor details.
Wednesday, June 03, 2009
After Goetz and other state budget officials briefed lawmakers this morning, House Finance Committee Chairman Craig Fitzhugh told us that another $100 million will be needed from the rainy day reserve to close this year’s budget.
The deficit has been created by low tax receipts in May, and it cannot be filled in any other way, Fitzhugh said. He added that it’s likely means revenues projections for next year will have to be lowered again, which are estimated based on receipts this year.