usa-china

By John Ruberry

Building upon Peter Ingemi’s RH’s spectacular Trump’s China Call is a Deliberate Overreach from yesterday, it’s my turn to add my two yuan into the discusssion.

The media loves to dismiss Donald Trump as a showman–as if there was no showmanship with Barack Obama–but those under 45 first encountered our next president as a real estate developer, albeit a flashy one. Developers are many things, including, yes, deal makers, as well as a negotiators. In regards to that last one, when you are sitting across someone you are negotiating with, or as it usually turns out, haggling with, a strategy that has worked since the Babylonian era is to get the person sitting on the other side of the table from you off of his script and on to yours. One tactic is known as “getting-yourself-inside-their-heads.”

And that’s something that Trump may have accomplished by accepting a telephone call last week from the president of Taiwan, Tsai Ing-wen, which has caused a kerfuffle. Because the United States recognizes communist China as the legitimate government off all of China, including Taiwan, a president hasn’t spoken to a Taiwanese leader since 1979. Of course we still have extensive trade relations with the island nation–oops, breakaway province–and we still sell Taiwan weapons. If they are ever fired in defense it would very likely be against the Chicomms.

Oh, Taiwan and China are major trading partners.

Trying to understand international relations is a descent into madness.

Trump made the re-negotiation of what he calls bad trade deals a central campaign promise. Of course those bad deals with China, if they really are awful, are good ones for the Chinese. If Hillary Clinton won last month’s presidential election China could look forward to at least four more years of crony socialism from the former secretary of state. Since then China has been bracing itself for a return to the bargaining table, preparing for difficult deal making with this New York capitalist.

John "Lee" Ruberry of the Magnificent Seven
John “Lee” Ruberry of the Magnificent Seven

But Trump, who was a very good baseball player when he was young, threw a curve ball at the Chinese.

He accepted a phone call.

He got inside their heads.

Trump knows what he’s doing.

John Ruberry regularly blogs at Marathon Pundit.

Update (DTG): I’d like to take credit for the piece that John is referring to but that one was written by RH (NG36B) one of the newest additions to our magnificent 7 writers. I’m delighted to have both John & RH on the team

The shock still hasn’t worn off on the left. Donald Trump’s and the GOP Senate’s unexpected victories on Tuesday derailed many of the plans the liberals had for the next two years and they’re not taking the news well. They’re going to be angry for a while. On the right, it’s imperative that we start focusing on the one thing that was absent throughout the election cycle: discussion of issues.

This long campaign season was flooded with scandals and controversies that often left the actual issues facing everyday Americans on the sidelines. What are we going to do to fix the national debt? If Obamacare can be replaced, what will the replacement look like? Is abortion going to find its way onto the agenda or are we simply supposed to let Trump plug in conservative judges and call it a day?

How are we going to defend the nation against further cyberattacks? What do we do to keep terrorists out of the country? How do we prevent homegrown terrorists from being indoctrinated and potent? Is there a viable solution to the refugee crisis around the world?

How do we really increase jobs without embracing the short term solution of “fair” trade? Will we be able to prevent an increase in the federal minimum wage or will the GOP succumb to pressure? How are we going to address our oil dependency on the Middle East?

I can continue to list dozens of issues that need to not only be discussed but that also need real solutions. In every case above, there are huge question marks because we’ve never received a proper answer, at least not a consistent one. Paul Ryan has offered some solutions but most wouldn’t work while the others would be impractical (though I haven’t examined their proposed solution for healthcare at this point). What about from the White House? There was a lot of necessary ambiguity during the campaign on all of these issues. For example, Trump has both supported and opposed a national minimum wage hike. His most recent answer was to consider a $10 federal minimum wage. Is that still on the table? Would Congress sign off on that? Can we talk them out of it?

The GOP got its wish. Mission accomplished. Now, it’s time to lay out plans. We have two years to prove that the Republican plan can work. Folks, that isn’t a lot of time. Obama accomplished nothing in his two years with control of the House and Senate. Trump can’t make the same mistake or he’ll suffer the same fate of losing control of at least one if not both chambers in 2018. Please don’t tell me to give them room to breath. We’re already behind the eight ball and the clock is ticking.

trump-for-america-bw-and-colorBy John Ruberry

I haven’t read all of the thousands of John Podesta emails hacked by Wikileaks–has anyone yet?–but what I have read they betray a Democratic Party obsessed with two things: Money and power.

Liberal writer Thomas Frank, in his second great (gasp!) Guardian column in less than a week, accurately portrays the modern Democratic Party:

Let us start with the Democrats. Were you to draw a Venn diagram of the three groups whose interaction defines the modern-day Democratic party – liberals, meritocrats and plutocrats – the space where they intersect would be an island seven miles off the coast of Massachusetts called Martha’s Vineyard.

I’m going to drive the point home by reminding you that John F. Kennedy Jr, who was a liberal, meritocrat, and a plutocrat, was flying to Martha’s Vineyard to attend a cousin’s wedding when the airplane he was piloting crashed into the Atlantic. The Vineyard is Barack Obama’s favorite vacation spot–he’s been there seven times while president. Martha’s Vineyard the playground of the Democrat elitists. Bill and Hillary Clinton have vacationed there several times. In August her campaign held a $100,000-per-couple fundraiser on the island, just days after a devastating flood struck Louisiana.

In those Podesta emails, I haven’t so far found any mention of blacks, unless it’s about the black vote, the group that Democrats claim to champion more than anyone. But other than voting en masse for the Democrats and celebrity campaign appearances by people like Jay-Z, African-Americans otherwise aren’t much use for the Democrats.

Blue collar workers, a section of the electoral pie that has been shrinking for decades, appear to be missing from the Podesta emails too. They are also absent from Martha’s Vineyard, from what I hear, unless they are modern George Wilsons from The Great Gatsby, dutifully repairing plutocrats’ Teslas. The working class, once the biggest chunk of the FDR coalition, is heading towards the Republican Party. Perhaps a majority of them are inside the GOP tent already. And you won’t find what Michael Moore calls “the forgotten working stiff” on any vacation, because the leftist flamethrower pointed out last month his stiff hasn’t “had a real vacation in years.”

Some blacks besides the First Family “holiday” on the Vineyard, but in a 2009 article in New York magazine, Touré dismissed them as African-Americans who are “the only ones,” such as the only black in the room, neighborhood, or workplace.

“No man is an island entire of itself,” John Donne wrote nearly 400 years ago, “every man is a piece of the continent, a part of the main.” Unless of course you are a member of the Democrat elite. An island accessible only by boats and airplanes is a fitting hangout for them.

Which leaves “the leftover people” for the Republicans. Sure, the elitists will blame the decline in unionization of the blue collar work force as why the leftovers have fallen behind.

Maybe.

Also discovered in Podesta’s WikiLeaks cache was an email from Google CEO Eric Schmidt, who advised the Clinton campaign to choose a city outside of Washington for its headquarters because they would be better positioned to hire “low paid permanent employees.” And just what wage does Schmidt view as low paid? Is it less than the $15 minimum wage that Democrats call for?

John "Lee" Ruberry of the Magnificent Seven
John “Lee” Ruberry of the Magnificent Seven

Oh, if Schmidt really believes every verse in the Democratic mantra, then why isn’t Google unionized?

So, no, the Democratic Party isn’t the champion of “the little guy” anymore, just as Martha’s Vineyard isn’t a vacation destination for blacks living in Boston’s impoverished Dorchester neighborhood. Ironically it’s a billionaire from Manhattan who, at least this autumn, has made “the little guy” feel at home within the Republican Party.

John Ruberry, whose closest brush with Martha’s Vineyard has been South Boston, regularly blogs at Marathon Pundit.

220px-fort_calhoun_power_plant_1Fort Calhoun Nuclear Plant, another victim of the anti-nuclear movement

This week, covered up by election coverage, the Fort Calhoun Nuclear Power Plant closed down for good. Somewhere, a whole bunch of anti-nuclear activists are cheering. To replace Fort Calhoun, Omaha Power will instead use coal fired plants in Nebraska City, unless of course the future President Clinton shuts down coal, in which case Omaha will just not have enough power.

Fort Calhoun’s problems are just the surface of a growing threat to the future of nuclear energy in America. More nuclear plants are closing, and we aren’t building replacements. The soaring cost of nuclear regulation is piling on to what should be cheap power. The building of nuclear plants requires high level engineering work, something that normally brings in stable, long-term and high paying jobs.

But not anymore. I keep in touch with a headhunter that places nuclear-trained officers (like myself) into jobs after they leave the Navy. He sent a very depressing email to his distribution group, where he declared that he would no longer place officers in the commercial nuclear field:

The promise of cheap power via commercial nuclear was supposed to be its big advantage.  It was once even touted as “too cheap to meter!”  But it is economics that are now killing the industry.  Utilities are deciding it’s less expensive to close plants that are already operating than continue their operation.  Think about that:  it’s more economical to idle billions of dollars worth of existing infrastructure and spend the money to be build new generation facilities.  That’s crazy and a powerful indication of how uncompetitive commercial nuclear power has become.

We at -redacted- believe that strong professional successful Navy Officers should now avoid jobs and careers in commercial nuclear power and are suspending our relationships with our corporate clients in that sector.  If a career in commercial nuclear power is your focus, we will not be a good career transition resource for you.

Recent and future nuclear power plant closings and changes:

  • San Onofre in CA closing
  • Diablo Canyon in CA closing
  • Crystal River in FL closing
  • Vermont Yankee in VT closing
  • Pilgrim in MA closing
  • Kewaunee in WI closing
  • Harris in SC, 2 plants cancelled
  • Levy County in FL shifting from nuclear to natural gas
  • Comanche Peak in TX, 2 plants cancelled
  • Quad Cities in IL closing
  • Clinton in IA closing
  • Oyster Creek in NJ closing
  • And more are coming…

I have a former Naval Officer friend that worked at San Onofre who confirmed all this bad news. She has since left with her husband for a completely different career field.

pm2anuclearpowerplantModular nuclear plant? That’s so 1960’s

Meanwhile, China is rapidly building nuclear capacity, growing their engineering base in the process. Now they have designed a small reactor capable of providing 6 MW of power, enough to power a small island (South China Sea anyone?). Although the media is touting this as an accomplishment, it’s not. The Army built a number of small reactors, the Navy currently operates reactors on its submarines and aircraft carriers, and even the Air Force attempted to make nuclear powered aircraft. And this was back in the 60’s and 70’s. If we had continued investing in nuclear power, we could have closed our dirty coal plants and lowered electricity costs, perhaps enabling us to build the renewable energy sources for long-term electrical generation. Instead, we’re taking a second seat to China.


This post is the opinion of the author and does not reflect the views of the Department of Defense, Department of the Navy, or any other government agency.


If you enjoyed this article, check out my blog and perhaps buy my kids book. And, instead of paying 5 dollars for a latte from Starbucks that they’ll use to fund Planned Parenthood, you should consider sending that to Da Tech Guy’s Tip Jar instead.

Lastly, please say a prayer for all the families of the engineers affected by Fort Calhoun’s shutdown. They now have to find new employment, and it’ll be hard on them for the next few years.

As you may or may not know I have a “day” job (actually an overnight job) that I was forced to pick up when DaTipJar started falling in a bad economy. I’ve been there since last November other than a brief 3 week period that I was laid off.

A large amount of our work comes during the Christmas season and as a rule hours and staffing increases to deal with the additional volume.

Lately we’ve had a huge surge in work that has kept us busy that is much earlier than expected.

While we’ve all been grateful for this there seemed to be no rational explanation for it until I spoke to a co-worker who told me of a relative who despite having tickets to see the Carolina Panthers play this weekend, decided to give it a miss due to fear of the protesters and violence.

That’s when it hit me.

All over the country we are seeing Terror attacks at malls, black lives matter protests, looting and roads blocked and innocent pedestrians and drivers in danger by violent thugs.

Given that fact why bother to go out and put yourself at risk when you can order product online from the safety and security of your home. Not only is there no physical risk but even if a riot means a trailer carrying your product is burned or looted it is the company’s responsibility to replace it.

Granted the actual chance of getting caught up in any of these things is very very low but when you are ordering product online from your home, the chances go from low to zero.

And thus I’m guaranteed a full 40 hour work week or more for the foreseeable future, although for myself I don’t think the price of riots and terrorism is a price worth paying to get it.

Hillary Clinton represents an existential threat to the nation. She would perpetuate the liberal dumbing down of America, attempt to load the courts with more leftists, and redefine our unalienable rights to match the progressive agenda. Under no circumstances would I endorse or even remotely consider voting for her.

That’s the preface necessary to set the stage for dissent. As I wrote previously, questioning Trump’s policies will not make you a #NeverTrump Clinton supporter. We can see Trump as a leftward lurch by the GOP or we can view him as an opportunity to take a malleable candidate and show him why fiscal conservatism is the right direction for America if we want to thrive today and be sustained into the future. I’ve held to the hope that the latter can come to pass but recent trends point to the former being the more likely scenario.

A recent poll should shock every fiscal conservative in the Republican Party. 85% of Republicans surveyed said that free trade has cost the U.S. more jobs than it has created, compared to 54% of Democrats. Let that sink in. The party of Reagan that has witnessed the tremendous benefits of a free market economy and the absolute need for free trade as a hallmark of our fiscal plan has reversed its perspective in a single election cycle. I don’t care how charismatic of a salesman someone is – this should not have been even remotely possible.

There’s a difference between believing that our current free trade agreements can be improved and believing that free trade is bad. Free trade is not bad. It has always been the driving force for our economic prosperity. Today’s communication and infrastructural advancements make this the perfect opportunity to take advantage of trade in ways that we have never been available to us.

More importantly, we are no longer the only consumers nor are we the primary producers. The global economy is expanding and the United States needs to lead it, not break away from it. The fear of globalism is a righteous fear. It’s the primary reason that we need to maintain as much control of global trade or risk losing our place as the main benefactors.

Here’s a short video from 2010 that explains it quite nicely:

The biggest argument against free trade is that it means more jobs are sent overseas. This is a fundamental misunderstanding of economics. In a thriving free market economy driven by free trade, the “loss” of jobs is an opportunity to replace low-yield employment with higher-yield employment. As companies rightfully send certain jobs, particularly manufacturing jobs, to places where they can be done more cost effectively, the nation’s economy becomes more stable. With stability comes the creation of more industries and increased domestic employment requirements within those industries. Jobs aren’t lost. They are traded. They are replaced. As a consumer-driven nation, the need for better employees rises with free trade. As a technology-driven nation, the need for higher-skilled employees rises with free trade as well.

“Fair” trade is part of an anti-growth economic system. It’s a short-term bandaid that forces companies to keep jobs and production facilities in the United States. This concept is being sold as a good thing. Unfortunately, it’s only a good thing in the beginning. As revenues dry up due to increased production expenditures, costs of goods rise for consumers. Whether through tariffs or forced domestication of production, the benefits for a few are taken from the wallets of the masses. For example, let’s say Apple was forced through tariffs or mandates to produce the iPhone in the United States. That would bring a huge number of jobs back; over a million people contribute in some way to iPhone production worldwide. It’s a win, right? The problem is that production costs would skyrocket. The already-overpriced iPhone would need to retail over $2000 to make up some of the difference. As sales volume drops, so too would jobs.

If you’re thinking that Apple makes enough money already and should bring those jobs to the United States without raising prices, you’ve already taken your first steps towards a socialist mentality.

The GOP has been more responsible over the years when it comes to fiscal planning… at least that’s what we’ve been led to believe. I contend that the GOP isn’t pushing to the left because of Trump. Instead, it has always wanted to be the moderate populist party for the sake of winning elections rather than a party that believes in the tenets of fiscal conservatism.

The shift away from free trade is reminiscent of a lesson in George Orwell’s 1984 that doesn’t get as much attention as others. In the dystopian novel, we learn of the dangers of an overreaching government and how “Big Brother” can make our lives miserable for the sake of a perceived good to the oligarchy. We all know about doublespeak. What gets less attention is the lesson of controlled perceptions. In the book, Oceania is in a constant state of war with either Eurasia or Eastasia. The question of who the enemy is at any given moment is dictated by the leaders and maintained in false perpetuity, including in the past. If Oceania is at war with Eurasia at any given moment, it has always been at war with Eurasia. If the government shifts and declares that they are at war with Eastasia, then they have always been at war with Eastasia and have never been at war with Eurasia. Attempts to say otherwise are punished.

Somehow, the electorate is believing the manufactured reality that the Republican Party is now against free trade. If you were to question some of the 85% of Republicans who believe this, I would wager that a majority would say that the party has always been against it. Sadly, they may be inadvertently correct.

The movement to a nationwide $15 hourly minimum wage rolls right along, no matter what reality commands.

A lot of it has to do with organized labor, where many salary agreements are pegged to the minimum wage. Some of it has to do with “social justice”, where utopian views cloud reality, such as this (emphasis added):

it might take time for employers of many low-skill workers to learn how to economize on their labor costs, but they will over time, since the incentives to do so are much larger – and that would be bad news for the very low-skill workers the higher minimum wage is designed to help. For instance, fast-food workers might be more easily replaced by robots.

Hello, Marta

In the back kitchen of Mountain View’s newest pizzeria, Marta works tirelessly, spreading marinara sauce on uncooked pies. She doesn’t complain, takes no breaks, and has never needed a sick day. She works for free.

Marta also does not require mandated paid leave, payroll tax paperwork, and you don’t need to worry about checking her credit rating or her criminal record, or spend money on marijuana or drug screening.

Why?

Marta is one of two robots working at Zume Pizza, a secretive food delivery startup trying to make a more profitable pizza through machines.

Not only that, Marta can produce 100% consistent quality control, which includes “an artisanal touch,”

“We created her to spread your sauce perfectly, but not too perfectly, so the pizza still looks like an artisan product,” Garden said.

And to appeal to people like me, who would love a taco truck on Monday, a gyro truck on Tuesday, and a pastrami on rye truck on Wednesday (emphasis added),

In August, Zume wants to start cooking its pizzas in the startup’s patented delivery trucks. Each truck has 56 ovens that can be turned on and off remotely. Garden can barely contain his excitement for what comes next: “The robots will load all these individual ovens with different menu items. Then the truck will circle the neighborhood. At precisely 3 minutes and 15 seconds before arriving at the customer’s location, the cloud commands the oven to turn on and–” Garden made the symbol of a large explosion emanating from his brain– “BOOM, the customer gets a fresh, out-the-oven pizza delivered to their door.”

Zume’s fresh Lucky Bueno pizza, “a spicy pie with roasted garlic, Calabrian chili and soppressata”, delivered to your house for $18. Count me in!

There’s a basic economics lesson behind all of this.

The thing is, unless you have hands-on experience in the real business world, odds are, the lesson is lost on you.

Fausta Rodriguez Wertz writes on U.S, and Latin American politics, news, and culture at Fausta’s Blog.

Southwest Detroit
Abandoned home in Southwest Detroit

By John Ruberry

Yesterday Donald Trump continued his outreach to black and inner city voters by speaking at Great Faith Ministries in Detroit’s Barton-McFarland neighborhood. Even on the Motor City’s low standards this is an especially depressed part of the city, three years ago the area just east of Barton-McFarland was named the most dangerous neighborhood in the United States.

Rather than focusing on over fifty years of Democratic failure in the Motor City–Detroit has not had a Republican mayor since 1963, Trump uncharacteristically took a modest tone at Great Faith.

“But today I just want to let you know that I am here to listen to you, and I’ve been doing that and we had a fantastic interview with Bishop [Wayne T.] Jackson.” Trump said from the pulpit. “It was really an amazing interview. He’s better than the people who do that professionally. It’s true, it’s true. He’s better.”

“Our nation is divided. We talk past each other and not to each other.” Trump continued. “And those who seek office do not do enough to step into the community and learn what is going on. They don’t know — they have no clue. I’m here today to learn, so that we can together remedy injustice in any form, and so that we can also remedy economics so that the African-American community can benefit economically through jobs and income and so many other different ways.”

When is the last time Hillary Clinton, in one of her increasingly infrequently public campaign appearances, said she was there to learn?

Trump decried the sidelining so many African America youths with “unfulfilled potential…tremendous potential,” adding, “Our whole country loses out when we’re unable to harness the brilliance and the energy of these folks.”

When Trump was finished speaking he received a standing ovation.Trump Pence

Donald Trump will not win a majority of the black vote in 2016. He won’t even come close. But unlike recent Republican nominees, the political newcomer is campaigning outside of his party’s comfort zone. As a political newcomer, Trump doesn’t reflexively subdivide Americans into different voting blocs. There is too much this-is-a-black-problem-in-the-ghetto type of thinking in this country. What’s wrong in the inner city is an American problem.

Trump gets it.

Related post:

I walked its streets–the tragedy of Detroit

John Ruberry regularly blogs at Marathon Pundit.

Day Four in Denver and the last day of Amplify Choice started with a Bus Trip to a pair of charter Schools in the Denver area and me being me I took advantage of the time waiting for the bus after mass to interview bloggers Art Gallagher

and Mark Lerner

some bloggers during the wait for the bus

and then on the bus to interview Aaron Gardner

Once we got to STRIVE Prep the CEO Chris Gibbons gave us a presentation

Chris Gibbons of STRIVE Prep
Chris Gibbons of STRIVE Prep

He discussed STRIVE, how they operated, the various cost saving functions (for example the multiple schools shared a single administration, cafeteria and gym) The college acceptance rate (97%) and took multiple questions from the audience.

When the presentation was done I interviewed the community outreach manager for STRIVE

I was very impressed at the idea that even though there is a waiting list for all the grades for the school that they go door to door to recruit students so the whole community knows the possibilities.

We then headed or the next school when Will Franklin who I interviewed the day before produced a Drone with a camera on it from his backpack to take aerial photos of the schools.

We then walked to the nearly adjacent Denver School of Science and technology, Where we were given a brief introduction of their methods

As we were going upstairs for our final presentation I spoke to one of their graduates Shelia who was college bound.

once upstairs we had a second presentation where questions were taken. Here is a brief excerpt.

at the end Shelia and two other students who had graduated and had internships in companies also took questions.

The three wise young women
The three wise young women

All three where immigrants or children of immigrants and all had excelled. What impressed me the most was when I asked the responsibilities of a work environment was not unfamiliar thanks to the expectations from their time at the School of Science and Technology.

This officially concluded Amplify choice but there was still the bus trip back and there were still interviews to get one on the way back to the bus with Rich Eber:

And one on the bus with blogger and radio talk host Abdul Hakeem Shabazz

When we got back to the hotel those staying for the box lunch stayed. Others were heading to Union Station and their outgoing fights including Darvio Morrow who would be my last very brief interview of Amplify choice cut off by loud cleaning and the impending bus trip.

But there was no more time, the bus was leaving, Amplify choice was done, it was time for Redstate


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Jim Hacker:  I understand that one of your officials spends all his time paying farmers to produce masses of surplus food while someone in the next office pays people to destroy the surplus.

Maurice:  That’s not True!

Sir Humphrey Appleby:  No?

Maurice:  He’s not in the same office, he’s not even on the same floor!

Yes Minister Party Games 1984

Earlier today I had a post up noting a WW 2 vet talking about his decision vote for Brexit.

While everyone rightly talks about immigration people might not realize the old gentleman might have decided it was time to leave, because of stuff like this:

The EU is poised to ban high-powered appliances such as kettles, toasters, hair-dryers within months of Britain’s referendum vote, despite senior officials admitting the plan has brought them “ridicule”.

and this

A sales ban on high-powered vacuum cleaners and inefficient electric ovens in 2014 sparked a public outcry in Britain. 

Oh and one interesting note to this story

The plans have been ready for many months, but were shelved for fear of undermining the referendum campaign if they were perceived as an assault on the British staples of tea and toast.

You know I thought young people didn’t like folks telling them what to do.


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Today I saw the Market Basket Movie food fight, several thought:

  1. The Movie focused a lot on the distribution crew, which makes sense, they took the biggest risks and without their willingness to take the big hit, none of this stuff works.
  2. The film talked a bit about the June vs December business, thoughts to the contrary I do believe that Arthur S would have won if he made his move in the Winter not only because it would have squeezed the workers harder but it would have meant there would have been no pressure on Pols to move.

  3. Some of the strategies of the work slowdown were simply brilliant and simply involved applying the skills the management team already had. It also pointed to the power of social media

  4. Seeing Maggie Hassan on the screen talking about the layoffs that prompts the pols to get involved was greatly frustrating to me as it reminded me of the missed opportunity of the GOP to get behind these people in a work action that was basically Pro-capitalism

  5. The movie didn’t touch at all on the attempts of the unions to get involved and unionize the workers and the employees decision to tell them to get stuffed. That is a significant part of the story and its exclusion needs an explanation.

  6. The willingness of customers to boycott really did a lot to win the day, it’s shows what a difference customer choice makes.

  7. Finally the single most important point of the movie is the Market Basket culture, it’s of hard word and dedication rather than entitlement. That culture is why they won, why they recovered and is the thing to celebrate.

On the way out of the picture I interviewed one of the people who saw it with me

The one odd thing to me was opening at 1:20 PM. It means that any Market Basket worker on 1st shift or 2nd shift couldn’t go to see it.

Haven’t done an “Under the Fedora” piece for a while so here goes.

The Difference between a national story and a local story is illustrated in Minneapolis:

A woman was sexually assaulted by a group of four men and a teenager while walking along a south Minneapolis street Saturday evening, according to a safety advisory issued by Minneapolis police.

The victim was walking in the Lyndale neighborhood around 9 p.m. when a car full of men called her over to their vehicle. They spoke briefly and she continued walking, police said.

A short time later, the five men returned and approached her on foot. They forced the woman to go to an area near 32nd Street and Blaisdell Avenue S., where they sexually assaulted her, police said.

Now this is definitely a local story and not a national one, why because of this sentence

Police released the following descriptions for the five, all identified as Somalis, with dark complexions.

Yup nothing to see here USA move along.

Over at Stacy McCain’s site there is a story about another alleged rape:

Nor are people thinking about what they are doing in the real world in an age where everybody’s cellphone has a video camera, where anything a guy does in his dating relationships may become the subject of an online rant by an angry ex-girlfriend, where a guy meets a girl at a party and has what seems to him a consensual hookup only to discover, nearly two years later, that she’s telling the world that he’s a rapist.

Rosie’s account of that night is a classic “he-said/she-said” situation. Her story of that (allegedly) “horrific” June 2014 encounter seems entirely plausible, and Jason Lee Weight’s (alleged) behavior is indefensible. Rosie says she filed a report with police “a long time after” this encounter, but a lack of evidence made prosecution impossible.

But his main point is more cultural in terms of a warning to young men who do their thinking below the waist.

What you need me for is to explain the meaning of “crazy.” If a guy meets a girl at a party, how does he know if she’s crazy? Well, if he says “let’s go back to my place” and she says “yes,” that’s probably a sign she’s crazy. No sane girl would say yes to such an invitation. The dude might have herpes. He might be a rapist.

She barely knows this guy and she’s leaving the party with him? Crazy. Then she goes back to his place, goes to his bedroom, takes off all her clothes and thinks he’s not going to have sex with her? Crazy.

This is what I’ve explained to my sons. There is a direct correlation between (a) a woman’s willingness to engage in casual sex, and (b) a woman being crazy. As a general rule, the quicker she drops her pants, the crazier she is. Every guy is prone to believe that his own personal charm suffices to explain why this woman he just met is willing to leave the party with him for a quick hookup. “He shoots! He scores!”

Yeah, he’s a natural-born winner. The ladies can’t resist him.

That’s what he’s telling himself anyway, as he blazes past the flashing yellow lights and warning signs: “CAUTION: CRAZY WOMAN.”

The Greeks called it hubris, this arrogance that leads a man to destruction.

My father’s “if she’s good enough to sleep with, she’s good enough to marry.”

Speaking of this topic yesterday I attended one of the national rallies to defund planned parenthood  parenthood,  and for the first time in Fitchburg we had a number of counter protesters, mostly Bernie Sanders fans, who had signs calling for free condoms etc.

As a pair of them were leaving, both college age women they passed by me closes and shouted how they would be having a ton of abortions.

It occurs to me that these are the woman that the Pump and Dump crowd that Stacy McCain has referred to are counting on and in a very few years we might see one of them on feminist tumbler making the same charges that Rosie did.

As I said many years ago:

In short men.  It’s been a long fight but the sexual revolution is over…

….We WON!

While our friends on the left insist that men not have to pay a price to enjoy the favors of a woman, there are some thing that they believe deserve swift punishment:

Ciccotta first encountered trouble at Bucknell when, as president of the College Republicans, he invited Milo Yiannopoulos to speak on campus.

The visit from Yiannopoulos, whose tour of US campuses has caused easily-offended leftwing students to organize therapy sessions in his wake, led to panic from Bucknell administrators and faculty, who organized a range of bizarre restrictions on the event.

The college Republicans were prohibited from filming the talk, and students were not allowed to ask Milo any questions verbally — they had to be scribbled on the back of index cards. Yiannopoulos was also prohibited from speaking to students one-on-one after the event and was escorted out of the building by campus officials as soon as his talk concluded.

After organizing the event, Ciccotta faced a backlash from Bucknell’s faculty. After suggesting, in a private meeting, that the event with Milo had been Bucknell’s “best ever,” he was told by the college’s Student Media Advisor that his attitude would “isolate” the people who worked under him at the college’s radio station.

He was later threatened with having his position as host of a political talk show on campus taken away over an alleged “conflict of interest.”

After all there is nothing worse than being a conservative.

There are very few things less surprising than conservatives being punished on campus for being conservative, this is one of them via the lonely conservative:

Good grief, thanks to Obamacare health insurance rates have been skyrocketing for years. Instead of leveling out, it’s only going to get worse. That’s coming from the woman who helped the implement the train wreck.

ObamaCare rates will skyrocket next year, according to its former chief. Enrollment is tumbling this year. And a big insurer is quitting most exchanges. That’s what we learned in just the past few days.

Marilyn Tavenner, CEO of America’s Health Insurance Plans, revealed that she expects ObamaCare premium hikes “to be higher than we saw previous years,” including last year, which saw double-digit rate increases across the country.

and here is another via Instapundit and Weasel zippers

Gotta love leftist hypocrisy.

Via Investors:

Labor Markets: Hundreds of employees at the University of California at Berkeley are getting schooled in basic economics, as the $15 minimum wage just cost them their jobs. Too bad liberal elites “fighting for $15” don’t get it.

A week after California Gov. Jerry Brown signed the state’s $15 minimum wage boost into law, UC Berkeley Chancellor Nicholas Dirks sent a memo to employees announcing that 500 jobs were getting cut.

Glenn uses he word:  Unexpectedly here I suspect that the same could be used to suggest that most of the leaders of those pushing for a $15 an hour minimum wage have positions that will never be lost because of the wage hike.

People have accused Curt Schilling of many things but there is one change that he have convicted himself out of his own mouth affairaphobic!

Speaking to Bannon, Schilling said, “I’m not transphobic, I’m not homophobic.” He added, “As long as you’re not sleeping with my wife, I don’t care who you sleep with.”

How DARE Curt Schilling advocating restricting the sexual freedom of people to exclude the choice of having sex with his wife on the trivial grounds that he’s married to her?  But I’m not worried in a few years will have laws on the books that will protect the rights of people who wish to have sex with people outside of their marriage from financial penalties from angry spouses and anyone who things otherwise will be branded as a bigot by the media.

Finally there is an interesting debate at PJ Media concerning a parent who took her kids to Dairy Queen and then immediately threw away her kids ice cream when they failed to thank the person who gave it to them.

I think it’s the mother’s call here but I guarantee you there is a near 0% chance that they will neglect to say “Thank you” on their next ice cream run.

This was kinda fun, maybe we’ll do it again next week.

One of my relatives works at a company in south Florida which hired a large number of foreign workers.

This relative majored in math, one of the much-touted STEM disciplines – Science, Technology, Engineering and Math – to which the Obama administration credits itself for commitments adding to over $1 billion in financial and in-kind support. My relative has stayed in the technology field for an entire career, most of which in this company.

Here’s the thing: This relative is one of the remaining few people who have been there for more than five years, after whole departments’ worth of personnel were laid off. The people laid off were instructed, as part of their severance “deal”, to train their replacements. Unlike Disney, however, the company has not instructed any local contractors or businesses to not hire the workers that had been laid off for one year.

The local economy, however, is  not expanding fast enough to provide jobs for the people who were displaced. Nationally, the real unemployment rate, the U-6, which counts the unemployed, the underemployed and the discouraged, hovers around 10%, above pre-recession levels.

All the imported staff came in as H-1B visa workers. Now we see this,

Over at The Politico we’re told former Fed Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan is pushing for more H-1B visa workers.  The H-1Bs are the high skilled or special skilled foreign workers. He told a group at a foreign relations event that it would grow the economy.  These are high paying jobs and Greenspan is adamant the country needs more of these workers.  But flip over to The Hill  and we find a massive funding bill is before Congress and a part of it  could more than triple the number of H-2B visas .  H-2Bs are for the “foreign workers seeking jobs at hotels, theme parks, ski resorts, golf courses, landscaping businesses, restaurants and bars”.  These jobs are on the lower pay end. Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-AL) 80% (R-AL) says the number of H-2Bs could grow to 250,000. C’mon, our high end jobs AND our lower skilled jobs!?  What are these people saying? America needs foreign workers to do everything?

Importing lower-paid labor inherently depresses wages, which, in theory (to use Ace’s term)

makes our corporations More Globally Competitive (TM).

The cost is not measured only in wages: Ace goes on,

Now, the various American workers displaced by the foreign ones will go, of course, on welfare (after their unemployment insurance runs out, of course). Those costs will be borne by you, the American taxpayer.

Not only will those costs be borne by you, but so will all the knock-on costs. People stripped of their work are also stripped of their dignity. Work is a tangible connection, reinforced every hour of every day of every week, between present labor and good habits and future gain.

When you take away a man’s job, you also take away his daily reminder that good habits, industriousness, virtue, self-restraint, etc. in the current moment will make him wealthier in future moments.

When you take away a man’s job, then, you turn him on a path of social pathology. No longer does he have tangible unmissable daily lesson in the direct connection between actions taken in the moment and results which are born in the future. Now he lives his life day by day, welfare check to welfare check, morally adrift, the vital connective tissue of today to tomorrow severed and cauterized.

Thus, taking a man or woman who is gainfully employed and putting him or her on welfare not only imposes direct costs on society — we now all have to pay to put bread in this person’s mouth, when, previously, this person was putting the bread in his or her own mouth — but we now see that person descend into a spiral of anti-social and criminal tendencies.

Drug use, unprotected sex resulting in either little-cared-for children or abortions, petty crime, major crime.

We pay, as a society, for all those fresh costs too.

Read the whole thing.

So I ask again, Just how many more foreign workers?

Fausta Rodriguez Wertz writes on U.S. and Latin American politics, news and culture at Fausta’s Blog.

it’s entirely possible.  At least for those of us who are paying attention.

I apologize for my long absence.  I attribute it to PTSD.

The Mayo Clinic describes PTSD as:

Post-traumatic stress disorder symptoms may start within three months of a traumatic event, but sometimes symptoms may not appear until years after the event. These symptoms cause significant problems in social or work situations and in relationships.

PTSD symptoms are generally grouped into four types: intrusive memories, avoidance, negative changes in thinking and mood, or changes in emotional reactions. source

A traumatic event doesn’t have to originate on the battlefield. I would categorize the re-election of Obama as a traumatic event.  Re-read the symptoms, and tell me they don’t apply to what’s going on in this country.  I’m going to stick to national rather than international events so we’re not too overwhelmed.

We are daily bombarded by bad news and intrusive government.  The millions of people who are out of work with no impending prospects for a job are most certainly suffering a traumatic event.  House foreclosed?  I’d call that pretty traumatic.  How about losing your health insurance or having your rates skyrocket?

People are becoming more reluctant to express an opinion for fear of the politically correct social justice warriors ruining their lives – both economically and socially.

Schools no longer teach children, but instead try to indoctrinate them into a progressive world view.  When they’re not compliant enough, the parents are threatened and coerced into giving them dangerous drugs.  In every case of the recent mass shootings, the perpetrators had been taking psychotropic drugs.

The religious freedoms of Christians are being stomped on by a cabal of atheistic progressives. Less than a week ago, Obama had this to say:

“How do you reconcile the idea of faith being really important to you and you caring a lot about taking faith seriously with the fact that, at least in our democracy and our civic discourse, it seems as if folks who take religion the most seriously sometimes are also those who are suspicious of those not like them?”

“You’ve struggled with the fact that here in the United States, sometimes Christian interpretation seems to posit an ‘us versus them,’ and those are sometimes the loudest voices.” source

Get it?  If you’re a Christian and concerned about the direction the country is taking, you are now labeled “suspicious.”

Every day, we are lied to by the political class with the help of the MSM. Only the most secluded people are not aware the economy is in the toilet.  A trip to the grocery store can be traumatic due to inflation.  I’d call ground beef priced at well over $4.00 per pound traumatic.

Some of us are reacting to what is going on using avoidance:

  • Trying to avoid thinking or talking about the traumatic event.
  • Avoiding places, activities or people that remind you of the traumatic event.

Or these other symptoms from the Mayo clinic:

Negative changes in thinking and mood

Symptoms of negative changes in thinking and mood may include:

  • Negative feelings about yourself or other people.
  • Inability to experience positive emotions.
  • Feeling emotionally numb.
  • Lack of interest in activities you once enjoyed.
  • Hopelessness about the future.

Changes in emotional reactions

Symptoms of changes in emotional reactions (also called arousal symptoms) may include:

  • Irritability, angry outbursts or aggressive behavior.
  • Always being on guard for danger.
  • Self-destructive behavior, such as drinking too much or driving too fast.
  • Trouble concentrating.
  • Trouble sleeping.

Now that I’ve contributed to your PTSD with all this gloom and doom, allow me to make some suggestions.

How to deal with PTSD of this type:

I’m not a doctor, and don’t even play one on TV, but I do have coping skills for you to use.

  1.  Prayer can change your life.  Find some time every day to connect with God.
  2. Take care of yourself.  Eat a balanced diet, go for a walk every day, and get plenty of sleep. If possible, take a short nap in the afternoon.  Get dressed everyday, even if you’re not going anywhere.
  3. Incorporate routine into your day.  Try to go to bed at the same time, and arise at the same time.  Have a daily and weekly schedule, but don’t worry if unforeseen events upset your routine.
  4. If you’re job hunting, make a list of all the places you’d like to work, get dressed in your best interview clothes, and show up.  Ask to speak to the person in charge of the department in which you’d like to work, or the owner of the business if it is a smaller one.  I never, ever got a job by submitting an online application.  One time I showed up at a place that required on-line applications.  The manager liked me and took me into the back room to fill out the application on their computer, and the next day I started work.  Remember, the very worst thing that could happen is they say no.  Go to the next place on the list.
  5. If you’re a stay-at-home mom (the best kind in my opinion), learn how to save money by shopping smart.  There’s a gazillion places on the web to help you.
  6. Find a special friend to share your worries with.  It’s the cheap version of expensive talk therapy.  Don’t forget to help them with their worries.  Helping other people is very therapeutic.
  7. I’m not a big believer in medication for anxiety and stress, and think it should be avoided when possible.  Try some natural remedies.  If things are really spiraling out of control, talk to your doctor before going the drug route.  In some cases it is a necessary path to follow.

And lastly, have faith and hope.  Not the false “hope” that Obama peddled to an unsuspecting public.  Real hope.

Hope is the theological virtue by which we desire the kingdom of heaven and eternal life as our happiness, placing our trust in Christ’s promises and relying not on our own strength, but on the help of the grace of the Holy Spirit.

The virtue of hope responds to the aspiration to happiness which God has placed in the heart of every man; it takes up the hopes that inspire men’s activities and purifies them so as to order them to the Kingdom of heaven; it keeps man from discouragement; it sustains him during times of abandonment; it opens up his heart in expectation of eternal beatitude. Buoyed up by hope, he is preserved from selfishness and led to the happiness that flows from charity.

Have a wonderful and holy Sunday.

Adrienne blogs at Adrienne’s Corner combining politics, religion, food, and cats.  Sometimes she even makes sense.

Hey Ferguson has discovered the liberal recipe for success:

START:  With a young thug who robs a store, assaults the clerk and charges a police officer getting killed in a progress.

ADD: A fabricated story about “Hands up”. Radical advocates looking to provoke a racial incident.

MIX IN:   A media and White House looking to increase tensions for political reasons

BAKE:   With Riots and violence excused by the left due to oppression

When it’s all done here is what it yields:

Ferguson, Mo. lost its investment-grade rating Thursday when Moody’s Investors Service dropped its rating four notches in a sign of the financial fallout from the fatal 2014 police shooting of Michael Brown.

Four Notches, not one, not two, not three but four from Aa3 to Ba1.

The once plentiful reserves of the city northwest of St. Louis are dwindling and the city could be headed toward insolvency as soon as 2017, Moody’s said.

“Key drivers of this precipitous drop are declining key revenues, unbudgeted expenditures, and escalating expenses related to ongoing litigation and the Department of Justice consent decree currently under negotiation,” Moody’s wrote

You mean to say riots, arson and attacks on police might discourage business and investment and be a detriment to the solvency of a city?  Who knew!

 

 

By Steve Eggleston

I’ve been struggling to understand why the Left is happy with the worst post-recession recovery since before the Great Depression. Then I happened upon this MacIver Institute story on a Milwaukee Area Technical College economics professor who also is the director of the local chapter of something called the Center of the Advancement of the Steady State Economy while catching up on my e-mail before crossing into Canada for my annual Canadian fishing trip.

Everything the Left, and especially Barack Obama, has done and called for in the last several years suddenly clicked when I read over MacIver’s reporting on CAASE. The cornerstone of this vision “truly green economy” is a “stabilized” population. Given the human drive to procreate, guess what needs to be heavily utilized to have zero population growth. If you said “abortion on demand”, give yourself a pat on the back.

That, however, is but a small part of what Obama calls a “fundamental transformation”. Another key element is both a mandated minimum and a mandated maximum income. Any wonder why there’s both a push for a $15/hour minimum wage and a war on “unequal” CEO pay?

CAASE also calls for a 30-hour workweek. Not at all coincidentally, that is the PlaceboCare definition of “full time”.

Small, densely-populated cities (which, ironically, is the primary cause of any human-derived change in climate in the form of the urban heat island) with bicycles as the primary mode of individual transportation is also a goal of CAASE. It isn’t exactly a coincidence that a key feature in new street construction is dedicated bicycle lanes.

Name a company and we could get them. Except one. We were never able to get a Market Basket employee to jump ship.

Arthur (Jay) DiGeronimo Jr.

Lorenzo: The saddest thing in life is wasted talent.

A Bronx Tale 1993

 

 

One year ago at this time the one and only story in New England was the Market Basket Strike.

For those of you from outside the area basically there was a power struggle between two cousins both named Arthur Demoulas.  One Arthur T who was deeply involved in the day to day operations of the highly profitable company and treated his workers and managers so well that when the majority of 9 person Board of Directors,  despite high profits in bad times  headed by supporters of his cousin Arthur S finally succeeded in forcing out his cousin,  the workers went on “strike” in support of Arthur T.

Within a short time the shelves started to go empty and the workers started protesting (off the clock).

It was the most unusual protest in US history to wit:

I’ve heard this sentiment from every Market Basket person I’ve talked to from managers to baggers they don’t want a union and it was made plain during the protest

When word got out at a Friday rally at Market Basket headquarters that representatives of an unidentified union were passing out cards to protesting employees, it was Trainor who responded: “Really, do you think we need a union?” The crowd responded with a resounding “no.”

“There is no union in this country that’s stronger than this crowd right here,” Trainor said. “So take your cards and go home.”

So basically you have a workforce not complaining about wages, not complaining about working conditions, not calling for a union but instead protesting against business decisions that they believe will hurt long term profitability.

There is one way to describe a protest like that: Pro Capitalist.

It was like covering a tea party rally.  It’s why I suspect they were getting flak from some left wing sites and the overwhelmingly Democrat state legislature was slow to fall behind them.

I saw a huge opportunity here for the GOP

If I was Rick Santorum I’d be in Massachusetts at the next rally. If I was Reince Priebus I’d be asking why Elizabeth Warren & the left are AWOL and suggest it is due to being owned by the unions.

And if I was Kirsten Hughes I’d run through that gap in the line the left has left unguarded and I’d go all in for the Market Basket Workers and vividly illustrate the GOP’s support for the working man.

However the GOP did nothing.

Eventually vendors started scooting ,  20,000 layoffs came, and viola:

Suddenly the prospect of 20,000 to 40,000 voters in two states controlled by Democrats going to the polls angry with an election less than 90 days away was a reality.

And so Governor Patrick and Gov Hassan of New Hampshire decided to get involved.

In the end, a year ago this month Arthur S sold out to his cousin Arthur T.  Within a few days the stores were re-stocked  and Arthur T was back in the stores greeting customers who waited in lines to shake his hand.

And it’s thriving:

The company is on track to record total revenues of about $4.8 billion in 2015, top executives say, the most in its nearly 100-year history. It is also in expansion mode, opening five new stores in the last year, some with upscale accents such as massive gourmet cheese islands, expanded organic food offerings, and outdoor cafe seating. Two new stores are under construction in Plymouth, Mass., and Rochester, N.H.

Now imagine for a second if the GOP had taken my advice, There are twelve GOP candidates polling at under 10% in NH.  What if Lindsey Graham had given kudos to the Market Basket Workers on the senate floor.  Picture if Rick Perry saying Arthur T would be a hit in Texas.  Imagine Carly Fiorina noting him as an example of a CEO who gets it.  Think of Scott Walker using Market Basket to compare Union vs Non-Union shops.  Ponder Rand Paul praising the Market Basket low-no debt model.

What if in 2014 Chris Christie came to NH and used Arthur T as an example of hands on management or Ben Carson showed up describing it as the difference between doing and saying or Ted Cruz giving a speech talking about Market Basket as a non-government success story.

And I didn’t even mention Rick Santorum.  Could you see Rick Santorum at a Market Basket rally in 2014 saying they are the model of how to create success in America.  It was a story absolutely tailor-made for his campaign.

What would any of these guys give to have the chance to go back a year and knowing what they know now, give that speech?  Where might they be in the polls today?  A non-union, pro capitalist, anti debt, tea party like labor action and we just let it go.  There is nothing more frustrating than seeing an opportunity like that a wasted.

Sigh if only.

Postscript, I was searching on the net and I did find one presidential candidate that noted the end of the Market Basket strike on his web site an tweeted about it at the time.

By an odd coincidence he happens to be leading in NH by 7 pts in the latest Boston Herald poll.

By John Ruberry

Last week in this space I wrote about President Obama’s war on the suburbs. But there is more to Obama’s agenda. It’s a war on the majority–or if you prefer–a war on white people.

The New York Post outlined this move last week:

Unbeknown to most Americans, Obama’s racial bean counters are furiously mining data on their health, home loans, credit cards, places of work, neighborhoods, even how their kids are disciplined in school — all to document “inequalities” between minorities and whites.

This Orwellian-style stockpile of statistics includes a vast and permanent network of discrimination databases, which Obama already is using to make “disparate impact” cases against: banks that don’t make enough prime loans to minorities; schools that suspend too many blacks; cities that don’t offer enough Section 8 and other low-income housing for minorities; and employers who turn down African-Americans for jobs due to criminal backgrounds.

Big Brother Barack wants the databases operational before he leaves office, and much of the data in them will be posted online.

So civil-rights attorneys and urban activist groups will be able to exploit them to show patterns of “racial disparities” and “segregation,” even if no other evidence of discrimination exists.

When governments collect data their intentions are not always benign. William the Conqueror did not authorize the Domesday Day Book–the most extensive collection of economic data during the Middle Ages–out of curiosity. The English king was seeking taxing possibilities. Fear of new and additional taxes by the populace prevented the Russian Empire–a totalitarian state, I need to emphasize–from conducting its only census until 1897.

The Post writer superbly summarized Obama’s goal in his racial data mining. By attacking the majority culture–white Americans–the most liberal president ever hopes to continue “fundamentally transforming the United States of America” and to “spread the wealth around” even while he is walking the streets of Chicago in retirement with a Republican successor in the White House. Most federal agencies, particularly activist ones such as the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division, are dominated by hard-core leftists who enjoy civil service protection. Another president can only fire the top officials.

Meanwhile amid this so-called institutional racism, Asian Americans may soon surpass whites in terms of wealth.

Congress can perhaps prevent this assault on most Americans by blocking funding on Obama’s twisted fairness scheme. But the Republican majorities in the House and Senate don’t seem interested in challenging Obama–campaign promises notwithstanding.

John Ruberry regularly blogs at Marathon Pundit.

I remember back in the 80’s I was talking to a friend who thought I was being an alarmist when I said that the same internet connection that allows a person on the net could be used by someone else to either read or control your home machine.  Well time for me to be an alarmist again.

There is an update to the story concerning that car hack I wrote about a few days
ago

Chrysler said Friday it was recalling roughly 1.4 million vehicles after security researchers exposed a flaw that allowed hackers to kill transmissions remotely.

The recall affects several models of Dodge, Jeep and Chrysler cars.

The company maintained it was conducting the recall “out of an abundance of caution” and not because of any reports that hackers had actually exploited the security defects.

I don’t think people realize just how bad this is and what it’s going to mean consider:

As any person who owns a computer know, systems are constantly being updated to close hacking hole that are discovered. While some are discovered by the companies internal security systems others are discovered after there are actual victims of a vulnerability.

Are manufacturers going to recall cars every time they need to install a security patch?

Furthermore as anyone who has either upgraded or had a system update there is occasion when said update crashes.  And while losing data you need might seem like a matter of life and death due to a software crash, if such said software crash takes place in a moving vehicle it may become an actual matter of life and death for those in said car and those around them.

And such hacks don’t have to come direct from the net, consider as more cars are setup to sync with various devices it’ entirely probable that malicious code on said devices could be designed to migrate to the purpose of

1. Hacking a car’s software

2. using the car’s net interface to notify said hacker of the specific vehicle is hacked.

Can you imagine a ransomeware on a car?  Pay me or pay the dealer who has to re-initialize all the software.  Or even worse.  Your son or daughter is driving and you get an email  pay or their car swerves into traffic.  You’re given a few minutes to approve what are you going to do?

There in one obvious solution.  There is absolutely no reason why an open system of convenience can not be completely independent of any critical systems.  That should be the case, that way any hack would only have the effect of inconvenience.

Personally I’d just as soon keep all of a car’s computers closed systems.

Expect to see a lot more of this.

 

Hugo Chávez, back when he was alive, seized farms from their rightful owners in the interest of his “Bolivarian revolution.” He started small,

A group of red shirt-wearing Chavista thugs show up at a farm and seize the farm in the name of the government, under the pretext that the 103 hectare [254 acres] farm is “idle land” and that the law allows them to take it over for “food production.”

And worked his way up,

Hugo Chávez, the president of Venezuela, ‘has ordered the confiscation of 717,000 acres from a British company amid a disagreement over compensation for earlier seizures of ranchland from the firm.

717,000 acres is nearly the area of the state of Rhode Island (776,957 acres). Soon enough, Hugo ran out of land to seize.

The results are food shortages, rationing, black markets, empty store shelves, and long lines, as it still happens in Cuba, and as it happened in the Soviet Union and its satellites, and in every other Communist state.

Since of course the Venezuelan regime is not going to recognize the fact that Communism doesn’t work, they blame everyone else (another Communist trait), including hoarders,

In March, Venezuelans were so worried about food shortages and diminishing stocks of basic goods, fingerprint scanners were installed in supermarkets in an attempt to crack down on hoarding.

Now, looking at that statement, a couple of things stand out:

  • Individual Venezuelans weren’t the ones installing fingerprint scanners; it was the Communist regime.
  • Venezuela’s shortages are not caused by hoarders; its shortages are caused by failed economic policy. For instance, if I felt a need to hoard toilet paper, I could drive to Costco and spend $200 on a year’s supply, and Costco would still not run out.
  • Venezuelans’ rights are down to nothing – the government even keeps count of their grocery purchases and penalizes those who don’t meet the criteria.

Now

Farmers and manufacturers who produce milk, pasta, oil, rice, sugar and flour have been told to supply between 30 per cent and 100 per cent of their products to the state stores.

“Told to supply” means “to hand over.”

You’re probably thinking, “But Fausta, we have bigger things to worry about: ISIS, border crime, Iran nuclear deals. Why are you carping about Venezuela?”

Because, my friends, Venezuela is showing that free markets and free peoples go together:

markets—the mind of free millions—allocate scarce resources more efficiently and fairly than do committees in Congress; that the collusion of government with either big business or big labor stifles competition and leads to political cynicism; that government will be respected more when it does a few things well rather than too many poorly; and that innovation and human progress spring not from bureaucratic elites but from the genius of individuals.

That is what dictatorships – whether they name their agendas “Bolivarian revolution”, Marxist, Communist, or whatever new term –  don’t want you to know: free markets, free peoples.

Fausta Rodriguez Wertz writes on U.S. and Latin American politics, news and culture at Fausta’s Blog

 

 

 

 

Morton Grove Gazebo on Christmas Day
Morton Grove Gazebo on
Christmas Day in 2013

By John Ruberry

Obscured by liberal attacks on the Confederate battle flag is the Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing Rule announced earlier this month by US Housing and Urban Development Secretary Julian Castro.

HUD will review racial demographics in suburbs such as mine, Morton Grove, Illinois, and look for what it may view as patterns of segregation. HUD will propose solutions, mainly adding affordable housing for minorities. If the town balks, federal funding will be yanked because HUD says the municipality will be in violation of the Fair Housing Act.

Ouch.

Already the Obama administration is collecting sensitive racial data with the likely goal that this “spreading the wealth around” survives beyond Obama’s departure from the White House in 18 months.

Old Ruberry home in Roseland
Old Ruberry home in Roseland in 2008

The federal record on integration is a bad one. The first house I lived in was in Chicago’s then-all white Roseland neighborhood. We moved out in 1968. And because unscrupulous real estate agents were engaged in panic-peddling based upon race fears, my parents sold their home at a loss, although to be fair our suburban home was a much better one. Three years later we visited the old neighborhood–it was then nearly all-black–and about one-third of the houses, including our bungalow, were boarded up. All of these home were in default of Federal Housing Administration loans as the orange signs on each house informed us. Roseland never recovered. Fifteen years later Barack Obama worked as a community organizer there–yet Roseland remains poverty-stricken and a high crime area. In fact, early this morning two men were shot while riding in a van in the unhappy neighborhood.

It was in the 1970s that the federal government pursued school busing to integrate urban public schools. For a brief period they were–until white families moved to the suburbs or sent their children to expensive private schools.

By the late 1990s, newly married and a father, I lived with my wife and daughter in a marginally dangerous Chicago neighborhood so we could save money for a decent down payment on a suburban home. Mrs. Marathon Pundit and I did not want to raise our daughter in such a place nor subject her to Chicago’s wretched schools. The suburb we live in is integrated–it is 30 percent Asian-American. But our black and Hispanic population is negligible.

Abandoned Detroit home
Abandoned Detroit home earlier this month

Will HUD bureaucrats try to fix this “inequity” by decimating suburbs such as mine? The federal government’s record on such “repairs” is a bad one.

I’ll leave the final words to Nolan Finley of the Detroit News:

Housing is one of the more difficult markets to manipulate for social outcomes. Homeowners always have the option of packing up and moving on when the nature of their communities no longer meets their needs. They won’t be trapped by government mandates in communities where they don’t feel comfortable.

It’s a nice thought that there can be suburbs where $1 million estates sit right next to $800 a month apartments, and everybody gets along just fine. The reality is that efforts to coerce economic diversity in housing almost always end up destroying neighborhoods.

John Ruberry regularly blogs at Marathon Pundit.

Drudge reports there are riots in Greece:

The fighting between citizens and police tonight seems to be the first incident of large-scale violence on the streets of Athens since this crisis began.

These riots are preceding a key vote on the latest bailout

Greek politicians are in parliament tonight, and will soon vote on whether to accept the terms of the bailout deal that was agreed upon by Greece and other Eurozone leaders on Sunday night.

The vote passed

Greece’s Parliament has approved an austerity bill demanded by bailout creditors, despite a significant level of dissent from the governing leftist Syriza party.

The bill to impose sweeping tax hikes and spending cuts was approved with the support of three pro-European opposition parties.

Now lets state right off that it is the riots own responsibility for rioting but lets point out something rather obvious.

When things came to a head what did the PM of Greece do:

Did he decide:  “I’m going to try to make a deal so we can stay in the Euro.”

Did he decide:  “You know I think we’ll do better out of the Euro.”

Nope he decided to hold a referendum so he wouldn’t have to make a decision that might make someone mad.

So Greece has the vote and by an over 20 point margin the country reject new austerity plans.

So after this vote does he respect the will of the people and negotiate an exit from the Euro with an eye toward revealing the Drachma and starting afresh…..

NO!   He makes a deal imposing the exact type of stuff that the voters rejected and lo and behold you get riots.

Now there is of course no guarantee that austerity measures sans an election would not produce riots, furthermore there are plenty of people who think that was the right move and suspected that an exit from the Euro might have led to disaster both for the Greeks and the EU.

Mind you I’m not one of them but it’s a valid opinion and if the leader of Greece thought it was the right move it was his duty to do it.

But if you’re going to do that don’t mislead your people by holding a referendum and then completely ignore the result.  It’s an insult to your people and when in a democracy you ignore the will of the people the trouble you get will be your own damn fault.

if personal experience is any indication, yes.

While we wait to see what Congress is planning to do about the no-good, very bad Iran deal, let’s talk about something a bit closer to home.

I do the majority of my shopping online, and get cold chills at the thought of any kind of cyber-attack on the internet.

Today, I read several articles, all claiming that retailers are hurting in a very big way, and many major outlets will be closing their stores.  If true,  what will happen to the people who will no longer have jobs?

Several weeks ago, I stopped by Macy’s to purchase my favorite Clinque lipstick.  As I rarely go into major retail stores, I was shocked at the high prices on the merchandise.

I headed to the Clinque counter and searched around for my lipstick.  After about 10 minutes, someone finally approached to help me, only to tell me that the lipstick was probably discontinued.  She wasn’t a Clinque lady, and appeared to be trying to oversee three or four counters at once.  I saw no other sales people.  After looking it up in the computer, she said that it showed there were three lipsticks of that shade, but had no idea of where they were.  She said that they may be on the delivery truck, which was due in about three days.  Out came a tiny piece of scrap paper in which to take down my number.  I knew right then that I would not get a phone call when the truck arrived.

Understand this; I am in no way blaming her.  Retail work is endless and hard.  The store was understaffed, and for good reason.  There were almost no customers.

After checking online, I ascertained that the lipstick could be purchased directly from Clinque, who gave me, as a first time online buyer, a $10.00 off coupon, and free shipping.

I also needed some makeup from Ulta.  My last experience there was horrible.  No one to help you find anything, and the makeup was completely disorganized due to customers pawing through it.  I headed to Ulta online, picked out my products, and was also offered free shipping.

Lest you think I only buy makeup, the next example is from Walmart, where I hoped to purchase some Calms Forte, a natural sleep aid.  It was out of stock.

I found the Calms Forte at Puritan Pride online, and purchased 2 bottles of 100 each for $13.98 with, wait for it, free shipping.  The same amount of pills at Walmart would have cost about $37.00.

One of the articles I read today was Major Chain Stores Shutting Down as America Faces “Birth Pangs of Retail Apocalypse” which listed among them Macy’s, as well as other big retailers.

There’s several reasons for this, and the major reason, contrary to Obama telling us how wonderful everything is, people don’t have any money.  It’s as simple as that.

Do you really think that the over 45 million people on food stamps are buying $200.00 purses at Macy’s?

Unemployment 5.5%?  Even Bernie Sanders, the darling socialist of the libtards, says it more like 10.5%.  That should make some heads explode.

You can see a list of the 6,000 closings expected this year at Natural News.  Where are all those displaced workers going to find jobs?

Anyone who thinks that we’re not in a depression isn’t paying attention.

And anyone who is not paying attention, is not preparing.  Which are you?

 

Adrienne blogs at Adrienne’s Corner ( ya just can’t find a more captivating blog title), where she goes on periodic rants, and writes about whatever pops into her little flea brain. 

 

Detroit city limit
8 Mile Road

By John Ruberry

I spent most of last week slowly driving–to avoid potholes–and walking the streets of Detroit. Yes, I took in some time downtown, but most of my travels were in the forsaken neighborhoods far from the casinos and the sports stadiums.

When Detroit celebrated its 250th anniversary in 1951–it enjoyed the highest standard of living of any city in the world. Its population was 1.8 million. Now there are barely 700,000 Detroiters. Motown is at the top or near the top of all American cities in poverty and crime rates.

What went wrong? Detroit’s apologists quickly name off what they believe are causes, such as the building of the interstate highway system and the resulting suburbanization, as well as the decline of the American automobile industry. Almost all northern industrial cities were impacted by the former but they managed, with varying levels of success, to claw back or at least stop the bleeding in the 1990s. But by 2000, Detroit became the first United States city that once exceeded 1 million residents to have fewer than that landmark figure.

Burned out Detroit
Burned-out home

As for the car business, Michigan doesn’t have a single foreign-owned automobile plant, unless you count Fiat-owned Chrysler. The states on Michigan’s southern border, Indiana and Ohio, together host five foreign-owned car factories. You can attribute Michigan’s absence from this late 20th century manufacturing shift to muscle from the United Auto Workers and compliant Democratic politicians.

As for the latter, from 1974 until 1994, Coleman Young, a onetime member of the Communist Party, was Detroit’s mayor. His acidic rhetoric convinced many of Detroit’s remaining white residents as well as many businesses to flee to the suburbs--where they were unable to escape Young’s demonizations. While no government funds were used to build the gorgeous but money-losing Renaissance Center, he was among its biggest cheerleaders. Young was a strong proponent of massive Stalin-esqe public works projects such the also beautiful People Mover trains downtown that was expensive to build and is expensive to maintain–and it doesn’t move very many people.

Packard MP
Author at Packard plant

In 2013 Detroit declared bankruptcy.

The neighborhoods outside Detroit are pathetic sights. Vacant lots and abandoned homes dominate most streets. Retail stores are non-existent. Even better districts such as Corktown and Boston-Edison have boarded-up homes on every block. Residents usually walk on the streets as opposed to sidewalks because the walkways are often in worse shape than the roads–and they are sometimes overwhelmed by vegetation.

Outside of the world’s largest abandoned factory, the Packard plant, a man pulled up in his old Pontiac Grand Am and told me, “I hope you’re a publicist. Because the world needs to know how bad it is in Detroit beyond Packard. All the schools in this neighborhood are closed.”

I promised that I would tell the world–and I’m a man of my word.

John Ruberry regularly blogs at Marathon Pundit.

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By A.P. Dillon

Imagine what it would be like to not be able to choose where you want to live, raise your children or retire.  Imagine the government has decided for you.

Imagine a federal agency who can dictate where and what type of housing can be built based on race, ethnicity and ‘economic fairness’.

Imagine this agency can force municipalities to have quotas of certain housing and dictate where that housing is placed all because they took federal grant money.

Stop imagining.

Meet President Obama’s final solution to his war on suburbia which will ‘fundamentally transform America’, the HUD Rule on Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing (AFFH).

This rule is basically forced economic integration. It’s making sure everyone gets their ‘fair share’ — or in this case, their fair house as determined by HUD.

This is the federal government engaged in social engineering, the consequences of which will ripple through politics, voting, taxes and education, and that’s just for starters. Consider how this will play out with amnesty and illegal immigration?

How have you never heard of this before? Our absent media strike again. This rule is so explosive, one has to entertain the media has been absent on purpose. It wouldn’t be the first time a national landscape game changer went unreported on — try finding media reports on Common Core prior to 2010.

The Sales Job Begins
(a.k.a You Will Be Made To Care, Housing Edition)

The absent media will now begin engaging in their appointed roles as sales persons for Obama’s radical policies.

The secretary of HUD, Julian Castro, said this in his statement released yesterday:

“As a former mayor, I know firsthand that strong communities are vital to the well-being and prosperity of families,” said HUD Secretary Julián Castro. “Unfortunately, too many Americans find their dreams limited by where they come from, and a ZIP code should never determine a child’s future.  This important step will give local leaders the tools they need to provide all Americans with access to safe, affordable housing in communities that are rich with opportunity.”

Got that? You don’t need to work for what you want. The American Dream will be given to you by the government… because it’s only fair.  This is a power grab; centralized control maneuver based on radical priorities which run counter to the definition of a free society.

Stanley Kurtz an article from yesterday about AFFH at National Review Online. Please go read it.

In the article, Kurtz notes that Julian Castro is being seen as a potential running mate for Hillary Clinton. Team Hillary might not be interested though, according to Hot Air.

Kurtz has written about Obama’s War on the suburbs for a number of years. In fact, three years ago he wrote the book, Spreading the Wealth: How Obama Is Robbing the Suburbs to Pay for the Cities.

Kurtz’s July 8th article also mentions a Washington Post article, which focuses mainly on race. The Washington Post article also picks up the ‘Civil Rights’ theme, quoting the Sherrilyn Ifill who is president of the NCAAP’s Legal and Education Defense fund, “Housing discrimination is the unfinished business of civil rights,”.

Towns will be data sets, people will just be numbers
Reading the AFFH rule document, it seems clear that towns will become data sets and people will be just numbers within them.  This looks like trying to force outcomes based on data but that data can and likely will be manipulated, skewed and cherry-picked.

That turns the attention to data sources. The census is mentioned, but for a social engineering job as vast and far-reaching as this, HUD will need more data. They’ll need access to a wide range of databases from every government agency one can think of.

HUD needs data that will get planning ahead of the curve, though. HUD will eventually want to predict what areas needs more ‘fairness’. One set of databases I can think of which will allow for that level of prediction is the Statewide Longitudinal Database System or SLDS for short.

The short version: states took the federal Race To The Top grant money and then had to build a database system that reports back to the fed.  These SLDS’s track every single school child from the moment they enter the public school system.

The data these SLDS’s contain would arguably allow HUD to predetermine cities and towns just like Common Core and it’s tests are predetermining the futures and jobs of children.

We’ve seen this movie before
If you don’t believe our cities and towns can be engineered by the government, you’re nuts.

Consider the rulings the Supreme Court has made in the last month alone. Factor in that recently the SCOTUS upheld a circuit court’s earlier ruling which said that disparate impact is applicable to the Fair Housing Act.

What does that mean? That means that borrowers who feel they were discriminated against can bring a class-action lawsuit against the lender(s) regardless of whether that lender(s) policies are found to be purposefully discriminatory.

Through AFFH, the Capitol will have its way with Panem.

DM7 small LL1885A.P. Dillon resides in the Triangle area of North Carolina and is the founder of LadyLiberty1885.com.
Her current and past writing can also be found at IJ Review, StopCommonCoreNC.org, Heartland.org and Watchdog Wire NC.
Catch her on Twitter: @LadyLiberty1885

One year ago drivers in the United States in general got an unexpected gift from the laws of supply and demand.  The US fracking boom which has caused the US to become the #1 energy producer in the world forced a reaction by the Saudi’s that dropped the price of fuel in the US in general putting money in everyone’s pocket that they didn’t expect, not just for drivers but for everybody who buys a product delivered by a truck.

As I noted in a piece earlier this year on Watchdog rather than celebrate this drop the Obama administration and others have tried to reverse this trend

These new rules, along with taxes proposed in various states, have the potential to do what the Saudis have to this point been unable to do: curtail the energy boom that has been the engine of the recovery thus far.  As Investors Business Daily  wrote “This war-on-shale action mirrors the administration’s war on coal, with EPA rules impossible to meet economically and sometimes requiring technology that doesn’t even exist.”

And to be sure Gas prices have slowly started to increase again.  The station where I fill up dropped to $1.99 a gal at their low and was charging $2.53 as of my last fill-up.

ma-gas-price-chart 10 year
With a national election on the horizon and terror threats in the news many in the state might have forgotten the fight that prevented annual automatic gas tax hikes for going into effect.This price increase hasn’t caused an angry reaction most likely because those now paying an average of $2.71 were paying nearly a dollar gallon more a year ago. ma-gas-price-table But if you’re a Massachusetts consumer grateful about that .90 a gallon you’re not paying this year, make sure you remember a debt of gratitude you owe to a few other people.

In 2013 The Mass legislature passed a .03 increase in the State Gas tax and included with the flat increase indexing the tax to inflation meaning we would get a tax increase every single year without a vote by the legislature.  As I put it at the time:

We get one chance to stop the indexing of gas tax increases forever, just one because if this budget is passed with the indexed tax it will not only never be repealed but it will be used as a political tool for years to come

I could see a bunch of 81-79 votes for repeal with every pol in electoral trouble voting with that 79 &beating their breast over the failure to repeal the tax.

Luckily for the state some people didn’t take it sitting down Mass GOP chair Kristen Hughes stood out with Tea Party members in 2013 publicizing that gas tax indexing.

and former GOP Congressional Candidate Marty Lamb who derided the attempt to increase gas taxes “to infinity and beyond”.

They had an uphill fight.   They were opposed by the Boston Globe and the Governor Patrick who were very well-funded.  In fact the No on one committee raised 2.9 Million dollars and spent 2.6 Million to save the indexed gas tax while The Committee to Tank the Automatic Gas Tax managed to raise only $98K spending 3.7% of their opponents.

Instead of big names they relied on a group of hard working grass roots activists and it paid off.  Despite being outspent nearly 30-1, the opposition of the largest paper in the state and then Governor Deval Patrick the group managed an improbable 53-47 victory leading to Holly Robichaud and Tank the Gas Tax being awarded the “Ballot Measure Campaign of the Year” by the American Association of Political Consultants

But the real winners are the Massachusetts drivers and consumers who are not dealing with an extra tax increase on Gasoline every single year.  Each one of them owes Ms. Robichaud, Mr. Lamb, Ms. Hughes and all those activists who gave freely of their time to keep the government out of their pockets a debt of gratitude

After the repeal passed I gave a warning:

The folks at the statehouse will learn from that result and be smarter next time. They’ll make small gradual changes, and reach into your wallet more subtlety, not stealing over their weight or attracting attention.

Let’s hope that if they do there are people ready to take up the fight once more.  Big Government is never stopped by accident, it comes from hard work.

it depends.

If your life-long ambition is to be a doctor, lawyer, or engineer, a college education is unavoidable.  But what if you just want to earn a decent living?

Several weeks ago, my car was at the local dealership to have its timing belt replaced – something that is done at the 60K mark.  The technician who had originally told the the service guy that my 2008 Hyundai had a belt rather than a chain discovered that the 2008 model year was split between belts and chains.  My car was in the second half of the year and had a chain, which never needs replacing,  saving me about $300.00.  The dealership, bless their hearts, washed my car for me anyway.

When I picked up my car, I met the young technician who worked on my car.  Scott was 28 years old, personable, soft spoken, and clearly loved his job. Okay – he was cute, too.

He used to work at a Hyundai dealership, but was caught off guard by that model year being split between chains and belts.

He’s been an auto technician for 8 years.  I asked him if he went to school for his career and he named a well-known technical college.  Never one to be shy, I further inquired as to the cost.  Surprisingly, it was $28K for the entire course. That’s equivalent to what many people spend for one year in a 4-year college, often graduating with a completely useless degree, and as much as $80K to $100K in school loan debt.  It’s takes a long time to pay off that kind of debt when you’re working as a barista at Starbucks.

So at the age of 20 or 21, Scott was already earning a very good income, while the future barista was still having the “experience of a lifetime” in a 4-year college.  In terms of salary, Scott earned about $150K, not counting benefits, during those 3 extra years and was doing something he loved.

So why this insistence that everyone must go to college?

Mike Rowe, who runs the mikeroweWORKS Foundation, awards scholarships to students pursuing a career in the skilled trades.  He was also the host of the former TV show “Dirty Jobs”, and continues to try raising awareness of what we call “blue collar” jobs.

Just a few days ago, a person wrote a letter to Mike, deriding his approach to “work ethic”, calling it “right wing propaganda.”

Mike’s reply was epic.

A few excerpts:

You wrote that, “people want to work.” In my travels, I’ve met a lot of hard-working individuals, and I’ve been singing their praises for the last 12 years. But I’ve seen nothing that would lead me to agree with your generalization. From what I’ve seen of the species, and what I know of myself, most people – given the choice – would prefer NOT to work. In fact, on Dirty Jobs, I saw Help Wanted signs in every state, even at the height of the recession. Is it possible you see the existence of so many unfilled jobs as a challenge to your basic understanding of what makes people tick?

Last week at a policy conference in Mackinac, I talked to several hiring managers from a few of the largest companies in Michigan. They all told me the same thing – the biggest under reported challenge in finding good help, (aside from the inability to “piss clean,”) is an overwhelming lack of “soft skills.” That’s a polite way of saying that many applicants don’t tuck their shirts in, or pull their pants up, or look you in the eye, or say things like “please” and “thank you.” This is not a Michigan problem – this is a national crisis. We’re churning out a generation of poorly educated people with no skill, no ambition, no guidance, and no realistic expectations of what it means to go to work. source

So back to my question: Why this insistence that everyone must go to college?

Obama would like everyone to have a free community college education, otherwise known as high school grades 13 and 14. Why?  And who’s going to pay for this?

High schools also base much of their success on how many of their graduates go on to college.  Why?

Who benefits by the student loan industry?  Mike mentioned the staggering figure of 1.2 trillion dollars of outstanding student loans.

Our government, by backing these loans, is not only creating future generations of debt slaves, but making the cost of college skyrocket.

Don’t fall for it.  If you’re a parent, teach your children skills that may inflame a hankering for a specific trade. Don’t denigrate “blue collar trades”, because when your plumbing goes south, your electric panel breaks,  you need a new garage, or even a haircut, you won’t be calling that barista who has a degree in women’s studies.

 

Adrienne blogs at Adrienne’s Corner on any number of subjects – most of which she knows nothing about. 

 

By A.P. Dillon

Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina just announced a big rate hike. The reason?

Obamacare.

Grandfathered plans will see a double-digit hike around 13.5%, but those who have plans transitioned under Obamacare are going to have a coronary. Their rates will jump anywhere from 19.2% to 25.7%.

“Affordable HealthCare Act”. ‘A Family of four will see a reduction of $2500’.  Riiiiight. 

Triad Business Journal Reported:

Customers with so-called “transitional plans” — those plans purchased after the passage of the ACA and allowed to be continued by the Obama administration in 2013 — will see the highest jump, with an average increase of 19.2 percent.

WRAL also reported:

Blue Cross Blue Shield of North Carolina has asked state regulators for a 25.7 percent average rate increase on individual insurance plans purchased under the Affordable Care Act for 2016.

Gee, if only someone had warned the people this would happen. Oh wait.. someone did.

North Carolina Senator Thom Tillis, who beat Obamacare supporting incumbant Kay Hagan in 2014,  issued a statement. In the statement, Tillis called for an ‘off-ramp’ from Obamacare:

“Today’s announcement that North Carolinians covered under the President’s healthcare law will be hit with more crushing premium rate increases is yet another confirmation that the Affordable Care Act is not affordable and is creating hardship for millions of families. Hardworking Americans deserve an off-ramp from ObamaCare to a patient-directed healthcare market that will control costs and give them more freedom to make their own healthcare decisions.”

These hikes are hitting in other states, not just North Carolina.

Tennessee has it worse, Blue Cross is spiking rates up to 36% next year. New Mexico is getting slammed with a 51% hike.  In Michigan, a hike by Blue Cross of over 11% is sought, amongst other insurers that seek up to a 37% increase.

Hawaii, whose Obamacare exchange is imploding, will see a huge hike – 49%.

Wall Street Journal reports hefty increases in multiple states, the average of which is 29% or more.  The Wall Street Journal also notes these hikes must be justified to the Obama administration.

Flashback to 2010: Feds fire warning shot to health insurers
Flashback to 2012: Insurance Industry Warns Of Higher Rates Due to Obamacare

Reminder, this past March, President Obama taunted those who criticized Obamacare. Gee, Mr. President, We Told You So.

 

DM7 small LL1885A.P. Dillon resides in the Triangle area of North Carolina and is the founder of LadyLiberty1885.com.
Her current and past writing can also be found at IJ Review, StopCommonCoreNC.org and Watchdog Wire NC.
Catch her on Twitter: @LadyLiberty1885

By Steve Eggleston

Last month, the Bureau of Economic Analysis estimated that real GDP in the first quarter of 2015 increased by an annualized 0.2%. In the second of three regular looks, which incorporated most of the economic data from March, and to a lesser extent February, that wasn’t available last month, the BEA revised that to a 0.7% decline. When rounded to the nearest hundredth of a percentage point instead of the nearest tenth, GDP change went from +0.25% to -0.75%. If that holds up in next month’s final revision, it will be the second consecutive 1st-quarter drop and the third 1st-quater drop after the Great Recession “ended”.

The biggest reasons for the downward revision were the change in private inventories and net exports. In the first look, change in private inventories gave GDP a 0.74 percentage-point boost, with the change in non-farm inventories giving a 0.76 percentage-point boost. In the second look, the overall change in inventories only gave a 0.33 percentage-point boost, with the change in non-farm inventories giving a 0.36 percentage-point boost. It wasn’t because people spent signficiantly more on goods – the goods portion of personal consumption expenditures went from contributing +0.05 percentage points to GDP change to +0.10 percentage points.

Most of that increased spending appears to have gone toward imported goods – net exports went from taking only 1.25 percentage points away from GDP growth to taking 1.90 percentage points away from GDP growth, driven mostly by a growth in imports. The business press put the blame for that on the reopening of the West Coast ports after an extended work slowdown/work stoppage and the strength of the dollar.

A commenter on the Hot Air GDP post wondered how the fifth quarter of negative real GDP growth during the Obama Presidency, and the third since the Great Recession ended, compares to previous Presidencies. There are a few ways to look at that:

– 5 negative real GDP quarters (over 25 quarters) are tied with George W. Bush’s 5 negative quarters (over 32 quarters) and Richard Nixon’s 5 negative quarters (over 22 quarters) for the second-most among Presidents since 1953. Dwight Eisenhower, the first President whose term was entirely covered by quarterly GDP estimates, had 11 negative quarters (over 32 quarters), and 8 negative quarters over his Presidency’s first 25 quarters. Also, GDP shrank in each of the first 3 quarters of Gerald Ford’s Presidency following Nixon’s resignation.

– However, the economy under Obama has been historically weak, with the worst first-25-quarter performance of the 5 modern-era 2-term Presidents, plus the Nixon-Ford and John Kennedy-Lyndon Johnson administrations. Real GDP grew at an annualized 1.77% over Obama’s first 25 months, a far cry from Nixon/Ford’s 2.20% (2nd-worst combined administration) or George W. Bush’s 2.42%. Despite 8 negative quarters, Eisenhower’s economy saw an annualized 2.66% GDP growth in his first 25 months.

– While it is true that the Great Recession pushed annualized real GDP growth throughout George W. Bush’s Presidency down to 1.76% (or 0.01 percentage points below Obama’s 25-quarter mark), nominal (current-dollar) GDP grew at a far better rate during Bush’s 8 years even with the Great Recession and the “recession” of 2001 – +4.12% annualized for Bush versus +3.15% annualized for Obama.

– Lest one thinks taking out the Great Recession helps Obama in this category, guess again. Even though several earlier recoveries were broken up by recessions, each quarter that was 23 quarters after the end of every post-World War II recession had much better real GDP growth than the current 2.19% annualized post-Great Recession growth. The second-weakest recovery, from the 2001 “recession” clocked in with 2.79% annualized growth over the 23 quarters after the “recession” ended. The 1957-1958 recession, which had the second-largest post-WWII GDP drop behind the Great Recession (-3.7% to -4.3%), had an annualized growth of 4.62% in the 23 quarters following it despite the recession of 1960 being in the middle of that.

– There was only one other time there were 3 quarters of real GDP decline between recessions – between the recession of 1953-1954 and the recession of 1957-1958, with declines in the 1st and 4th quarters of 1956 and the 2nd quarter of 1957. Of note, the recession of 1957-1958 began in August 1957, 2 months after the third non-recessionary GDP decline.

Speaking of nominal GDP, for only the second time since quarterly GDP estimates began in 1947, it declined outside of a recessionary period, falling by an annualized 0.87%. The only other time that happened was the first quarter of 2014, when it fell by an annualized 0.80%.

By John Ruberry

On Facebook I saw a liberal friend call the what-has-she-accomplished? attacks on Hillary Clinton “absurd.” Actually this is the best argument against HRC’s candidacy for president, although I can see why progressives are perplexed by this criticism. Libs’ minds are wired into whether people have the correct opinions and the right intentions. But of course no one cares if your trash collectors are Republicans or Democrats–you only care if that garbage is gone from your driveway once a week.

We’ve all worked with an office know-it-all, the person who can’t hack his own job but has plenty of ideas on how he can do a better job than his boss. All he–or she of course–needs is a promotion and the power to shine. On the rare occasion I’ve seen that complainer move up the ladder, the result was predictable, failure.

Because having great ideas and vision is only part of what is needed to be successful. You need to have skills to convince others that your course of action is the best–and to have patience to maintain alliances if initially confronted with failure. The concept of the philosopher-king is a myth.

Last week on MSNBC, Mark Halperin asked ten Iowa Democrats who are Hillary Clinton supporters to name one of her accomplishments while serving in the Obama administration. They couldn’t name any.

John "Lee" Ruberry
John “Lee” Ruberry

Seven years earlier on the same network, Chris Matthews asked a Texas state senator a similar question about Barack Obama–he was stumped too.

As for Obama’s record as president, we can look at a resurgent an anti-American Russia, the rise of ISIS, green energy failures, and a moribund economy. Obama’s biggest achievement is the still unpopular ObamaCare law–one that could be stripped down next month by the Supreme Court.

Americans: Do you really want four more years of an unaccomplished president? Can we afford it?

John Ruberry regularly blogs at Marathon Pundit.

My latest for Watchdog.org is now up and it’s about Uber and Mathamatics:

Former Speaker of the House Tip O’Neill had a phrase–that “all politics is local.” He also knew the pulse of the House and of the voters, what could pass and what could not. When challenged on his evaluation of a bill, he often answered, “I’ve always known how to count”–and suggested that this skill was one of the most important any person seeking a political career should have.

This came to mind when considering the legislation coming out of  Boston concerning Uber, the driving service that has been challenging Taxi services all over the county.

Gov. Charlie Baker has filed legislation to institute statewide regulations around ride-sharing companies such as Uber, Lyft and Sidecar. The move, if passed into law, could potentially give the state more regulatory control over one of the fastest-growing sectors in the economy.

You can read the rest of it here.

please.

As riots go, it was rather boring anyway. Looters were more interested in stealing toilet paper than Air Jordans.  What’s up with that?

Let’s talk instead about how prepared you are to take care of yourself in an emergency situation.

Stuff Happens

Stuff happens all the time. I’m not talking about big stuff like a nuke dropping on you.  I’m talking about ordinary everyday occurrences.

Let’s suppose the water main breaks and the repairs will take at least a week.  You’re at work when it happens and upon returning home. you head out to your local grocery store to buy some water, only to discover the shelves are empty.  Oh sure, you can head across town to another store, but is that really what you want to do after a grueling day at work?  Do you have a weeks worth of water handy?

Of course, without water the toilet won’t work.  Do you have a backup plan for waste disposal?

Another example: a bad storm knocks out the electricity for three weeks.  Do you have batteries, candles, or a way to keep warm if it’s winter?

Do you have enough food in your pantry to last at least two weeks if needed?  Look at any picture of a grocery store when a big storm is on the way, and you will see empty shelves.  It only takes a few hours to wipe out the entire store.  Is that how you want to spend your day; standing in lines to buy bread and milk?

Convenience

I’ve found that one of the most satisfying elements of basic preparedness is the convenience of not having to live in a state of panic.

I started canning again last year after having given it up as “too much work.”  Now, when I’m too tired or busy to spend a lot of time in the kitchen, I can waltz over to my pantry, grab a jar of canned chicken, and whip up chicken enchiladas or chicken salad in no time at all.  Having a jar of homemade beef stew ready to go is soul satisfying.

Saving Money

There is not one shred of doubt that the economy is in the toilet.  When the sale price for 80/20 ground beef is over $3.00, and the normal price is often close to $5.00, we’re in big trouble.

The difference between today and the Great Depression is that today the pain is hidden, so we can all go around being happy-clappy and think everything is just fine.  No, it’s not.  We have a record number of people on food stamps which is nothing more than our modern day soup lines.  Food banks are overwhelmed, and the Medicaid rolls are bulging.

The chicken I canned last autumn was purchased at rock bottom prices.  The beef stew was made with marked down roasts.  The peaches and pears were canned by the case acquired during an annual sale a local store holds every year.

You can keep your money in the bank earning 0% interest, or you can invest it in durable goods where your return will be more like 10% or more.

There are plenty of sites to help you with your preparedness.  Visit them and make your life more secure.

Cover The Basics: 8 Prepper Tools To Get You Through A Disaster

Daisy Luther at The Organic Prepper is a treasure trove of common sense, as well as The Survival Mom

 

Adrienne blogs at Adrienne’s Corner.  She is awaiting the release of her writing muse from purgatory.  So far, it’s not looking good.

 

 

 

By Steve Eggleston

Before I get to the bad news, I do have some good news, indeed the best news though it is almost 2,000 years old. Jesus Christ is risen. He is risen indeed. Have a blessed Easter.

On Friday, the Bureau of Labor Statistics released the March jobs report, and it was a stinker. The non-farm payroll increased by only 126,000 on a seasonally-adjusted basis, the fewest since December 2013. More telling, the number of employed increased by only 34,000 on a seasonally-adjusted basis, with 96,000 people leaving the workforce.

The seasonally-adjusted labor force participation rate slipped by a rounded tenth of a percent to 62.7%, tied with Decmeber 2014, October 2014, February 1978 and December 1977 for the lowest since October’s 1977’s 62.4%, though each of those 4 months had a lower LFPR when rounded to the nearest hundredth of a percent. While the employment-population ratio remained at 59.3% for the third consecutive month, it was a weaker 59.3% as it slipped from 59.35% in January to 59.34% in February and to 59.31% in March.

Lest one believes that the Great Baby Boomer Retirement spree has started, ZeroHedge has the contraindicators, even if the more-shocking contraindicator is vastly understated. Those over 55 accounted for far more than the 34,000 increase in employment over the last month, with a gain of 329,000 jobs between February and March.

The understated portion is the comparison between the official start of the Great Recession in December 2007 and last month. I can’t duplicate his math, and the differing seasonal adjustments among the age groups make comparing different months of the year problematic, so I’ll use not-seasonally-adjusted numbers and compare March 2007 (the pre-recession March high) and March 2015.

In March 2007, there were 145,323,000 people employed, 119,838,000 of them between the ages of 16 and 54 and 25,485,000 of them aged 55 and older. In March 2015, there were 147,635,000 people employed, 114,375,000 between the ages of 16 and 54 and 33,260,000 of them aged 55 and older. While there were 7,775,000 more people aged 55 and older employed last month than 8 years ago, there were 5,463,000 fewer people between the ages of 16 and 54 employed last month than in March 2007.

If one thinks that is because there are fewer young people around, guess again. There were 816,000 more people between the ages of 16 and 54 in the civilian noninstitutional population last month than in March 2007. Yes it is true that the elderly comprise the vast majority of the population increase, with 18,231,000 more people aged 55 and older in the civilian noninstitutional population.

The employment-population ratio bears that out. In March 2007, that was 73.6% for those between 16 and 54 and 37.4% for those aged 55 and older. Last month, while it slipped to 69.9% for those between 16 and 54, it rose to 38.5% for those aged 55 and older.

By Steve Eggleston

If you haven’t noticed, I’ve been missing in action the last few weeks. I’ve just been burned out. One can say the economy is, at best, stagnant only so many times before running out of ways to say it.

Unfortunately for the country, but fortunately for my writing block, the Bureau of Economic Analysis released their third and final read of 4th-quarter GDP. While the BEA found a bit of inflation between the first and third reads to avoid making the deflation indicated in the first read official, they reduced the annualized real GDP growth from 2.6% to 2.2%, which is the same as it was in the second read.

The biggest contributor to that growth is spending on health care (no, not health insurance, health care itself). Annualized spending on health care rose by $39.9 billion in current (not adjusted for inflation) dollars, and $35.3 million in constant 2009 dollars, to, respectively, $2,048.8 billion (current) and $1,836.6 billion (constant 2009). The +0.88 percentage-point contribution to the change in real GDP is the highest on record going back to 1959, and is also the largest positive single-component contributor to GDP change last quarter. It also marks the third consecutive quarter increased spending on health care contributed the largest percentage-point increase to the personal consumption expenditures portion of GDP change.

As for health insurance, there are continuing strong indications that, contrary to the claims made at the time PlaceboCare was passed, spending on health insurance also skyrocketed. There are innumerable reports of skyrocketing premium increases. Further, the larger “financial services and insurance” component of personal consumption expenditures added another +0.17 points to GDP change, after adding +0.35 points in the third quarter. The BEA should issue its estimates of net spending on health insurance in 2014 late this summer, and I’d expect another performance like last year, when it increased by $7.4 billion to $145.1 billion

The report also contains further evidence that much of the job growth over the last year would have been derided as McJobs a decade ago. Increased spending on food services and accomodations contributed +0.30 percentage points to GDP change, the third consecutive quarter it contributed at least +0.21 percentage points. The last time that category contributed more to GDP growth was the 4th quarter of 1999, and the last time the current level of growth has been sustained for at least 3 quarters was the mid-1960s.

Addendum – Tom Blumer blows up the AP meme that the PlaceboCare McEconomy is “durable”.

As everyone knows I’ve not been very shy about calling out the Establishment GOP, John Boehner or Mitch McConnell over their actions to confound conservatives.

So when they do something right it’s only fair that I give them kudos:

The Senate passed a Republican-authored budget plan early on Friday that seeks $5.1 trillion in domestic spending cuts over 10 years while boosting military funding.

This is a double whammy not only do we get cuts rather than an increase but we get a huge contrast with the Harry Reid Era:

The House passed its budget resolution on Wednesday after a similar process of debate and amendment. Some journalists might be unfamiliar with this process after six years of Democratic Party grandstanding under the cataclysmic leadership of Harry Reid, but this is called “regular order” budgeting. Reid’s decision to abandon that process was what led to several years of budgeting by brinksmanship, “fiscal cliffs,” debt-ceiling standoffs, and the like.

Reid just announced his retirement, I wonder if he didn’t want to deal with the ads that would practically write themselves?

To be sure we likely need a lot more budget responsibility that this package produced and that’s why some people like Rand Paul voted “No” but if you are my age and lived through decades of unfettered Democrat power in congress that people under 40 might not remember the concept congress of cutting the budget,  even slightly is a huge deal.

Now granted we need a lot more cuts and we will need strong conservative to keep them honest but in the end this budget resolution means the GOP is capable of , at least slowly moving our financial house in the direction it should be in.

That’s a good sign and the leadership deserves credit for getting it done.

Yesterday I wrote about the effect of the $15 minimum wage is having on Restaurants in Seattle (no word on if Mika is taking up the Mikaburger challenge yet)

But it’s worth noting that even if the result of this minimum wage rise is the closure of business and the loss of jobs for hundreds of workers it’s still worthwhile for our friends on the left.

First of all small businessmen tend to trend toward the GOP so anything that hinders them naturally is an advantage to the left but consider the longterm effect.

As a general rule when you have hundreds of workers, all from the same industry suddenly out of work the glut of people with the same skills decreases the odds of finding a job in a similar field.  But if you are a low skill worker in a field that pays minimum wage you are now competing with every college student & high school student and other person who due to skill or circumstance can not hope to do better than minimum wage.

What does that add up to?  It adds up to public assistance, it adds up to food stamps and an increase in the state spending for the type of social programs that Democrats are constantly championing that somehow rarely manage to get said people off the dole.

And what do you get when you have hundreds of people and their families suddenly dependent on the government?  You have a ready supply of reliable votes for the Democrat cause.

And if said people fail to find any kind of work the party can even use them as activists, funding pseudo “groups” designed to get people out of the same dependence that their policies put them in.

All those people suddenly being out of work isn’t a bug for the left, it’s a feature.

Regular readers of this blog know I’m a Morning Joe fan who for many years did his writing with their show in the background.

During that time we constantly saw Mika Brzezinski defend the protesters who insisted the Minimum wage should be raised to $15.  Here is one example:

Visit NBCNews.com for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

At the time I challenged her to open up her Mika Burger franchise and I repeat that challenge today.

Mika you and a group of your progressive friends should simply open up a restaurant, have a starting pay of $15 an hour for all workers and before you can say “franchise fee” Mikaburger franchise will be all over the country resulting not only a living wage for the workers but profit for Mika & her friends that can be used for all kinds of delightful progressive causes.

In fact I’d like to suggest that Seattle be the location for the first Mikaburger franchise, because I hear in that city there is a lot less competition than there used to be:

Seattle’s $15 minimum wage law goes into effect on April 1, 2015. As that date approaches, restaurants across the city are making the financial decision to close shop. The Washington Policy Center writes that “closings have occurred across the city, from Grub in the upscale Queen Anne Hill neighborhood, to Little Uncle in gritty Pioneer Square, to the Boat Street Cafe on Western Avenue near the waterfront.”

Of course, restaurants close for a variety of reasons. But, according to Seattle Magazine, the “impending minimum wage hike to $15 per hour” is playing a “major factor.” That’s not surprising, considering “about 36% of restaurant earnings go to paying labor costs.” Seattle Magazine,

“Washington Restaurant Association’s Anthony Anton puts it this way: “It’s not a political problem; it’s a math problem.”

 

Now one might think that such news might discourage Mika & people like her but it doesn’t matter if there is snark from Twitchy:

To Hotair

McDonald’s has been experimenting with point of sale automation for taking orders and Applebee’s rolled out smart tablets at tables in multiple locations last year. The latter solution is the most interesting to me because it seems like the easiest for younger consumers to adapt to. Most of the people going out to eat in such places are already familiar with laptops, tablets and smart phones anyway. Having one waiting at the table which takes the place of not only the menu, but the waitress as well, isn’t going to come as much of a shock to the system.

To Quando.net

Welcome to the land of $17 dollar cheeseburger. And, as you can figure out fairly quickly, everything else will be more expensive too … which, of course, erodes the purchasing power of that $15 wage. More importantly, if you work for one of those establishments that is closing, your wage is $15 times zero hours, isn’t it?

These naysayers and their math are no match for the combined effects of the power of progressive thinking plus the bonus of a restaurant fronted by a liberal celebrity in a liberal city anxious to prove her right.

So Mika the field has been cleared, go boldly forward and prove us wrong!  It should be a cinch.

Shouldn’t it?

 

By Steve Eggleston

Yesterday, the Bureau of Economic Analysis released its first estimate of the 4th quarter Gross Domestic Product, and it was on the whole quite disappointing. While economists had expected real (inflation/deflation-adjusted) GDP to increase anywhere between 3.0% and 3.6% on an annualized basis, down from the previous quarter’s final 5.0% growth, it increased only 2.6%. Perhaps more troubling, nominal GDP increased by only 2.5%, a result of the implicit price deflator (the BEA’s fancy name for inflation) being -0.1%, meaning that there was deflation.

The reason I say “perhaps” is two-fold. First, it is only the 8th quarter since 1947 that there was deflation rather than inflation in terms of GDP, so there isn’t much history to go on. 3 of those have happened during the Obama Presidency (2nd and 3rd quarters of 2009 and, if it holds, the 4th quarter of 2014); the other 5 happened during the Truman Presidency (the first 3 quarters of 1949 and the first quarters of 1950 and 1952). Moreover, while most of those have been during recessions (the 3 quarters in 1949 and the 2nd quarter of 2009), the other 3 happened outside of recessions.

Second, it is important to note the driver of inflation. The BEA release notes that the price index decreased by 0.3% overall, but increased at a reduced 0.7% once energy and food are stripped out. In other words, this particular round of deflation is due to the collapsed gas prices.

That allowed personal spending to increase by 4.3% in inflation-adjusted terms, a greater increase than the 3.2% increase in the 3rd quarter. The resulting 2.87-percentage-point contribution to the change in GDP is greater than the overall 2.64-percentage-point change.

The bad news – the fact that much of the goods we buy are made overseas meant that much of that increased spending, the part that wasn’t spent on Obamacare, went out the back end of the GDP report in imports. In fact, the 8.9% increase in imports took a full 1.39 points away from the change in GDP, the largest import deduction since at least the 1st quarter of 2011.

The other big component of GDP increase was business inventory. As ZeroHedge noted, the inflation-adjusted $113 billion increase (worth +0.83 percentage points in the change to GDP) was the 2nd-largest dollar amount of this century. Something tells me that, high consumer confidence notwithstanding, that inventory increase won’t be sold at full retail and thus will deflate the GDP.

There’s more bad news on the horizon – orders for durable goods declined 3.4% in December after a massive downward adjustment to November’s read to a 2.1% decline. Given the rest of the world is teetering on the verge of a recession, the economic road is going to be bumpy.

Every now and then I see foolishness like this from our friends on the left.

It takes a special type of dishonesty or stupidity to make this argument so for the sake of those who have heard it let me demonstrate how in three steps you can become the greatest deficit hawk in history.

STEP 1: Borrow and spend more than any president in the history of history creating the biggest deficit of all time.

Step 2. In the following year borrow less than that incredible amount.

Step 3: Begin your baseline measurement from that first year when you borrowed all that money

Viola: You can now honestly claim you have cut the deficit and pretend to be fiscally responsible.

Our friends on the left use this type of nonsense because it works with the low info voter who is their base, but I suggest you don’t try this at home, because if you do it will lead to a life dodging collection agencies and eventual bankruptcy.

Mr.Spock: I see no logic in preferring Stonn over me.
T’Pring: You have become much known among our people, Spock. Almost a legend. And as the years went by, I came to know that I did not want to be the consort of a legend. But by the laws of our people, I could only divorce you by the kal-if-fee. There was also Stonn, who wanted very much to be my consort, and I wanted him. If your Captain were victor, he would not want me, and so I would have Stonn. If you were victor you would free me because I had dared to challenge, and again I would have Stonn. But if you did not free me, it would be the same. For you would be gone, and I would have your name and your property, and Stonn would still be there.
Mr. Spock: Logical. Flawlessly logical.

Star Trek Amok Time 1967

Earlier this week I strongly objected to the CRomnibus bill rushed to passage in the House on the grounds that members of congress should have the time to read a bill before it’s voted on.

But with the short term extension (Tom White’s objections not withstanding) Senators will have time to read the bill & judge it on its merits so that problem is solved.

As for the merits of the bill, there is a lot of emotion  from both the right and the left.  There is no doubt that there is a lot of junk in it that likely shouldn’t be, but I’m not worried because no matter what happens, if it’s passed, if a short term 2 month bill is passed instead or if it’s blocked, there is one thing I know for sure:

The GOP never had it so good.

Every single possibility is a positive for the GOP politically, let me explain in detail.

Possibility #1:  No bill passed government shutdown:

You might recall last year when there was a short term government shutdown all in the media declared how much it would hurt the GOP electorally, now that we have proof that this is not the case a shut down this time has several advantages:

1. It stops funding of many things that should not be by rote.

The less it pays for the smaller government becomes automatically

2. It disproportionately affects the discretionary spending that fuels the left.

Many more of the left’s priorities are non-emergency funding.  A shutdown stops them.

3. Because it affects the supporters of the left it puts pressure on Democrats to make a deal (which is likely going to be even more favorable to the right).

And the longer it goes on the more desperate they will be for a deal

4. It’s a resounding defeat for both the President & for the Establishment

And this president & this establishment NEED to be defeated.

5. It exacerbates the Democrat Civil War & forces the MSM to cover it

This is the best thing of all, by empowering the Elizabeth Warren wing of the Democrats it will create the same situation that defeated Mitt Romney in 2012 but on the left.  Warren might be able to win in a place as crazy as Massachusetts but nationally she has no appeal outside of Hollywood & the fever swamps if she doesn’t win outright she will force a Hillary or a Cuomo or a Brown even farther left and that will help a lot in 2016.

Furthermore with Warren & the Black Caucus & Warren on board the old “Evil Republicans starving kids” business for the media doesn’t wash.

6.  In three weeks the worm turns

If there is a shutdown & it goes to early January eventually the new congress will be seated meaning a new vote with a new congress that has a GOP majority in the senate.

Short Term Bill Passes 2-3 Months

This one is pretty good too because it means the following

1.  The worm has turned:

See #6 above, with GOP majorities in both houses republicans will have more leverage than before to advance their ideas and cut back Democrat priorities

2.  No Harry Reid roadblocks

Last time around Harry Reid didn’t even allow many of the GOP bills come up for a vote, this time he doesn’t have that power.

3.  Possible Democrat Filibusters:

It will be fun to see the press suddenly decide that Democrats shutting down the government is a good thing, but it will be even more fun to watch them keep it shut down because #2 & #3 from a shutdown will still apply.

4.  President shutdown government:

Ah the joy of watching an unpopular president shut down the government because he doesn’t like the spending bill would be fun, particularly if the Senate Democrats choose to back him, not only does #2 & #3 continue to apply but now such a shutdown becomes the face of the Democrat party nationally.

5.  Piecemeal bills:

Harry Reid stopped the post shutdown piecemeal approach, (funding key parts of government one bill at a time) allowing the press to ignore it, however with a GOP majority Boehner & McConnell will be in a position put bills on the President’s desk to fund the specific parts of the government that should actually be funded & have the most public support and force him to decide to sign or veto.  Because it’s the president & not Reid they can’t pretend he’s above the fray, and the more piecemeal funding of Government that is needed the more we can let the unnecessary BS fall by the wayside.

CRomnibus passes

For all the annoyance of some of the President’s stuff being funded for a year even if CRomnibus passes the GOP is in good shape.

1.  Time for a real budget:

With both houses of congress we can finally get on track for an actual budget passed by both houses and sent to the president instead of playing the shutdown game.  With a year to do it there is no reason why it shouldn’t get done.

2.  Son of CRomnibus

If for some reason we don’t get an actual budget and are stuck with son of CRomnibus all the advantages of the short term bill (1-5 above) exist .

3.  It’s primary time for the GOP & Dems:

If there is a son of CRomibus bill in October of 2015 as the primary season is beginning tit will put the maximum amount of pressure for the GOP house & Senate to appease its conservative base (that’s you dear reader) to avoid generating primary candidates.  At the time it will force Dems to do the same forcing a party that’s already devoid of moderate democrats farther to the left before an election.

4.  Obama Democrats

If you think Democrats are desperate to get away  from Barack Obama now wait till you see them as election 2016 comes closer, If the president resists a GOP bill (and he will) every incumbent Democrat & every Democrat candidate will get the chance to be directly linked to Barack Obama at the very time the party wants to forget him.

5.  Obama Presidential Candidates

If a Son of Cromnibus bill comes up as Democrats are preparing for Iowa & NH we will have some lovely shots of a likely Democrat either rejecting Barack Obama on camera (generating similar ads to the ones Ali ran in Louisiana vs Landrieu in the Black community) or embracing Barack Obama (generating ads to run just about everywhere else).  I’m sure every single Democrat is who wants to be president is just dying to have to do one or the other just before the first caucus & primaries take place.

So hate Cromnibus or love Cromnibus, either way,when it comes to politics, it’s going to be a winner for conservatives & the GOP who will have a very merry Christmas.

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