Saturday, May 31, 2014

On Climate Change: Obama Wants To Save A World That Doesn't Want To Be Saved

Next week, Obama plans to announce a slew of new EPA regulations that are intended to dramatically reduce carbon emissions; and, as promised, he is going it alone because Congress won't act.  As a result, every American is going to see their energy bills increase and products that heavily depend on electrical energy for their creation will begin to cost us more.  This at a time when we are in the midst of one of the worst economic recoveries in the history of the U.S..

What the President doesn't seem to understand is that, while we are cutting CO2 emissions, the rest of the world isn't.  Further, there is a complete disconnect from increased CO2 levels causing increased global warming. Proof of this comes from just four charts.

The first shows how dramatically the U.S. has cut its overall emissions despite not signing the Kyoto Treaty or implementing a Carbon Tax:
Those results are more significant when you look at CO2 emission on a per capita basis:
This chart shows that the current per-person footprint of the average American is equal to that of 1964; and, if the decline continues as projected, we should go below 1950's levels by 2040.

So, one would think that with all the CO2 reductions by the United States -- the country that uses 25% of all the world's oil -- there would be a significant drop in global levels.  But, that is simply not true.  Instead global CO2 emissions have continued to rise at a steady rate of about 2% per year:

The fact is that we are beating ourselves up trying to save the world from increasing CO2 levels when, in fact, the world doesn't seem to want to save itself.  For every ton of CO2 that we eliminate, the world just keeps adding additional tons that more than offset that gain. More importantly, despite the consistent rise in CO2 levels, the earth has stopped warming for the last 18 years.

The only reason Obama is rolling out these new restrictions is because this is his 5th year in office. He  needs his political base to come out in droves to vote in the fall. In his first two years in office, he could have easily done something because he had both Houses of Congress in his back pocket.  Yet, only now has he decided to act because our "mixed" Congress (a Congress of supposed inaction) is forcing him to go it alone.  I personally hope Americans come out in droves to throw the Democrats out of office and use a solidly Republican House and Senate as a hammer to stop this President and his lawless and economy killing actions.


Obama to unveil historic climate change plan to cut US carbon pollution: Proposed regulations could cut carbon pollution by up to 25%:

No global warming for 17 years 8 months:

Friday, May 30, 2014

The Questionable Sincerity of Senators Calling For the Redskins Name Change

Recently, 49 Senators -- all Democrats -- signed a letter that was sent to the NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell urging that the Washington Redskins football team change its name.  Not one Republican was even asked to sign that letter.  Thus, making it seem that "only" the Democrats are concerned that the name "Redskins" is is considered demeaning to Native Americans.

This change-the-Redskins-name demand has been around for years; but, only now, when it appears that the control of the Senate may shift over to the Republicans in the Fall, are the Senate Democrats suddenly concerned over Capitol Hill's local football team's name. I guess, along with the war on women, we are now somehow to believe that Republicans are also at war with Native Americans.

Somebody ought to tell these Senators that most people don't consider the name to be a slur and don't think it should be changed. Further, some tribes, themselves, call their football teams "Redskins."  A Navajo reservation high school in Arizona proudly wears this jersey when on the football field:
No football team in this country wants to go by a term that insults people.  Instead, they carefully choose names that suggest courage, and that demand physical respect, from their opponents.  Notre Dame doesn't seek to demean Irishmen by somehow implying they fight all the time.  Instead, the name implies that, when given a challenge, the Irish will fight to win. Similarly, I think, like a lot of Americans, the name "Redskins" implies strength and the ability to win when facing off against another team. For those reasons, the name could actually be considered a compliment; not hateful or racist as some would claim.


Redskins say name 'respectful,' suggest Senate Dems don't have all the facts:

How Many Native Americans Think ‘Redskins’ is a Slur?:

Red Mesa High School:

Thursday, May 29, 2014

Russia's Foolish Attempts To Foil Our Space Program

On May 13, Dmitry Rogozin, the bureaucrat who leads Russia's defense industry, announced two retaliatory actions against the U.S. in response to the sanctions being placed on Russia over the Ukraine crisis.  First, Russia will no longer allow Americans to ride on their rockets in order to gain access to the International Space Station (ISS) after 2020.  Secondly, effective immediately, Russia will stop selling their RD-180 and NK-33 rocket engines to American companies which are currently being used to launch commercial and military satellites.

Certainly, this announcement seems to spell the end of our involvement in the International Space Station after 2020 because, since the ending of our Space Shuttle program in 2011, the U.S. has had no manned space capability.  This is a result of Obama killing Shuttle replacement as a budget cutting effort in 2010.  In actuality, America is scheduled to return to manned low-earth orbit missions in 2017 in a NASA program called Commercial Crew Program (CCP).

Unlike the original replacement program, which would have been fully NASA funded and controlled, the CCP is intended to be more of a civilian based system.   The program has two crew vehicles: a CST-100 capsule and the Dream Chaser space plane.  In terms of launch vehicles, both crew vehicles are capable of being launched by either the Atlas V, Delta IV, or the Falcon 9 rockets.  Of those, only the Atlas V rocket uses the embargoed Russian engines. Even so, the makers of Atlas V still have enough stockpiled Russian engines to keep that vehicle operating for another two years.  Beyond that, I am quite sure that the Atlas V will be retrofitted with U.S. made engines; once the Russian supplies are depleted.

In essence, Russia's attempts at retaliation are quite foolish.  My guess is that Putin cooked this whole thing up for public consumption in mother Russia.  This way, he is seen as a strong leader,  capable of taking strong actions against Obama and his sanctions.


Russia casts doubt on US' future with the ISS over Ukraine sanctions:

NASA's Commercial Crew Program:


Dream Chaser:

ATLAS V Rocket:

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Guns and the Mental Health System that Jack Built

Following the recent Santa Barbara shooting rampage, many seem outraged that someone so mentally unstable could be able to buy a gun. In fact, the police visited his apartment over issues that could possibly be related to mental illness but did nothing about it.  That's because, in this country, someone must commit an actual crime in order to be held for mental observation. It wasn't always this way.

Prior to 1963, anyone suspected of having serious mental health issues could be held for observation against their will.  If found to be dangerous to either themselves or others, they would be institutionalized at any one of the numerous state-run mental facilities across the country.  Now with institutionalization, there were abuses.  Some people were improperly diagnosed and falsely held.  Others, while being treated, suffered physical abuse from hospital staff.  Then all those abuses were sensationalized in news stories, films, and documentaries.  So, in 1955, the Democrat-led Congress commissioned a study of  mental health treatment.  In 1961, the results of that study and recommendation's were submitted to both Congress and the then-President Jack Kennedy.  Just like ObamaCare, the recommendation was that the current system of treating mental illness should be scrapped and replaced with a Federally-mandated system. So, Kennedy, as part of his New Frontier initiative, urged his fellow Democrats, who controlled both Houses of Congress, to pass into law the Community Mental Health Act (CMHA).  The CMHA was ultimately passed and signed into law by  Kennedy in 1963.

What this law did was to completely change how the severely mentally ill were treated. First of all, it was supposed to create numerous Community Mental Health Centers so that patients could live and work in their communities while getting care at one of these centers.  Secondly, no longer could anyone be mandatorily institutionalized unless it was proven that they had actually done harm to themselves or someone else.

As a result of this law, 90% of all the existing state-run mental facilities were shuttered.  As for the Community Centers, only about 50% were built and, of those, many were severely understaffed; all for lack of Federal funding.  But, the biggest problem with the concept of community centers is the fact that many,  mental patients don't think their ill.  As a consequence, they won't voluntarily seek help or take medication.  That is one reason why we have so many homeless people living on our city streets.

So, when you hear Democrats calling for better mental health screening for people seeking to buy guns, they have only themselves to blame for the lack of that screening.  The Santa Barbara shooter definitely had mental issues because, as reported, he was being treated by multiple therapists for many years. So, somehow saying that our nation's police should have better recognized the problem and done something about it is simply a "cop" out.  However, if it was pre-1963, he probably would have been institutionalized; or, at least, categorized as someone who was dangerous to himself and others, and therefore not able to buy a gun.

This situation proves, just like ObamaCare, that the Federal government has no place being involved in healthcare.

After Santa Barbara Killings, Questions About Police Dealing With Mental Health Issues:

Community Mental Health Act of 1963:

"He was being treated by multiple therapists, according to the lawyer, and had been diagnosed as “a high-functioning patient with Asperger syndrome.”:

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

The President's Plausible Deniablity Excuse Is Getting Quite Tiring

For decades, the CIA has practiced something called Plausible Deniability, whereby their operatives in the field are given just enough information to accomplish their mission. This way, if they were to be captured or interrogated, they could easily deny any knowledge of the broader reasons for their activities or who else might be involved.

Then, there's a tactic in business called "mushroom management."  In this case, employees are treated like mushrooms:  Kept in the dark and fed shit. The shit being little or no information or even misinformation so that management would be insulated from any potential whistle blowing or leaks regarding other secret activities.

When it comes to Obama's White House, it seems that the exact "inverse" of these two tactics is being practiced.  Whenever a scandal breaks, the President acts as if he's the last to know and as if he is the "operative" and, not the boss, but the employee who is being kept in the dark.

When the Veteran's Affairs (VA) scandal broke, Press Secretary, Jay Carney, said that the first Obama heard of the backlog was when CNN aired a report on April 23rd of this year.  This, despite the fact that he had given speeches, going all the way back to 2007, where he excoriated the poor conditions at VA hospitals. He also denied any prior knowledge of the NSA spying activities when that story broke.  Thus we got the excuse that the first he heard of it was when the press heard of it.  The same with "Fast and Furious" and the IRS scandals.  It's as if the President never gets a daily briefing. Or, if he does, he is being shielded from what's really going on so he always has the "plausible deniability" excuse.

If the President isn't getting briefed, it clearly shows his incompetence as a leader.  It reveals his failure to pick reliable and competent staff and cabinet members whose primary responsibility is to keep him apprised of important activities or problems. Then too, I could easily believe that he actually is being informed but, when things blow up, merely assumes that we are all so dumb that we will just believe and accept his Sgt. Schultz, "I-know-nothing" excuse.  Sadly, all too many "do" believe him.


Definition: Plausible Deniability:

Definition: Mushroom Management:

President Barack Obama first learned through news reports on CNN:

 Obama Administration Was Reportedly Warned in 2008 of VA’s Long Wait Times, Questionable Records:

Obama 2007: It's Time To End The Deplorable Conditions At Some VA Hospitals:

 V.A. Accusations Aggravate Woes of White House:

Monday, May 26, 2014

The VA Scandal Shouldn't Be A Surprise And It Portends The Future With ObamaCare

For decades, liberal politicians have pushed for a complete government takeover of this nation's healthcare system.  However, the general population of Americans and their representative politicians wanted nothing to do with that.  They understood that a government run healthcare system would have all the typical problems -- waste, fraud, abuse, and heavy handedness -- relative to every government run system. But, despite the wishes of most Americans, the Democrats and Barack Obama went ahead and passed ObamaCare into law.  In 2010, they were punished for such action with a sweeping defeat that reversed their majority rule in the House of Representatives.  Now, in 2014, their control of the Senate is in jeopardy again, thanks to ObamaCare.  The botched rollout; the cancellations; and, the fact that people were losing their doctors and hospitals while paying higher prices for their insurance re-emphasized why most Americans dreaded any government involvement in their healthcare. 

While still trying to distance themselves from ObamaCare and all its problems, several in-jeopardy Senate Democrats find themselves with another reason for their voters to oust them in the Fall.  Again, because of healthcare.  This time it's the VA hospital wait-list scandal; proving once more how crass and incompetent a government-run system can be.  Our veterans have literally died in the process of waiting, but, this wait-time scandal should not be a surprise. It is a common problem wherever the government is controlling healthcare.

In Britain, they have a fully socialized system called the National Health Service (NHS). The Democrats love to point to the NHS as a perfect example because it is universal and because it has been able to control costs. It has the lowest cost-per-capita of any other industrialized country in the world.  But, the penalty for such cost control is long wait times and, in some cases, results in death.

The very charter of the NHS legally guarantees that a patient should be able to get advanced care (access to specialists, surgery, hospitalization, or advanced testing) in no less than 18 weeks (nearly 4-1/2 months) after being referred by a primary care physician; access to which is, in itself,  an average wait of about one week.  The usual wait time for surgery is 15 weeks or just over 3-1/2 months with over 500 patients at any given time waiting longer than a year.  If you're injured, the typical wait is 4 hours in the emergency room.  Of course, if you are dying and you just can't wait, the NHS says you can always pay out-of-pocket for private access to any healthcare provider.  Maybe these are the reasons that Britain trails the rest of the world in cancer survival rates.  Now, despite all these problems, the Brits seem to love their NHS.  I  don't think most Americans would be so forgiving.

Now, you don't actually have to go to Britain to see long wait times as a result of government control.  In this country we have the literal blueprint of ObamaCare in the state of Massachusetts. It is something that is informally called RomneyCare.  Thanks to that healthcare system, a city like Boston has the longest wait times in the country for both seeing a primary care physician or receiving advanced care:

In the very place that Americans railed against government intervention in their lives in what we know today as the Boston Tea Party, Bostonians now wait, on average, 45.4 days to see a primary care physician and another 66 days for advanced care.  Thus as a blueprint for ObamaCare, RomneyCare is also the blueprint for what is happening at the VA and in Britain.

The primary reason for long wait times is because the profit incentive is missing.   Healthcare service providers in the NHS are all being paid by the government at a set salary for their particular skill level, and they will always be paid the same; no matter how many patients they see or don't see.  The same is true in the VA hospital system.  Also, in both systems, physicians and hospitals are themselves shielded from malpractice lawsuits because the government is held responsible.  Thus, if someone dies as a result of care being delayed, the doctors and administrators have no liability.  Now, this is not to say that there aren't caring and dedicated people in both the NHS or the VA, but the healthcare in these government run facilities can't hold a candle to the average non-government system in this country.


Your rights in the NHS: Guide to NHS waiting times:

NHS waiting lists are at highest for 6 years with 2.8m waiting for surgery or other hospital procedures:

Patients will wait at least a week to see GP in 2014, it is claimed:

NHS delays operations 'as it waits for patients to die or go private':

Britain trails in cancer survival rates:
In cities, the average doctor wait-time is 18.5 days:

Malpractice Payouts to U.S. Veterans Reach 12-Year High:

Friday, May 23, 2014

Biden: "Bin Laden is Dead and GM is alive!" GM alive?

As of this writing and since the beginning of the year, GM has recalled 15.4 million vehicles.  To put it into perspective, that's the equivalent of recalling every single vehicle it sold in the U.S. in the last 5-1/2 years; or, just about as long as Obama has been in office.  I heard this sarcastic comment on television the other day: "Are there any cars left to recall?" 

Throughout the 2012 election cycle, we heard this slogan from Joe Biden while hyping Obama's first term in office: "Bin Laden is dead and GM is Alive!"  Well, that was long before years of hidden, widespread defective production and its related deaths and injuries all came to light.

Today, GM 's bottom line is being heavily impacted by the cost of repairing all these trucks and cars.  Yet to come are the settling of hundreds of potential lawsuits.  But, more importantly, all the recalls are painting GM vehicles as both defective and unsafe.  That kind of bad publicity could very easily hurt sales and, potentially, drive the company towards bankruptcy once again.  To say GM is alive might be quite a stretch.

Maybe Biden's new slogan should be: "Bin Laden is dead and so are some GM owners!" And, well...  While Bin Laden might be dead, his legacy -- Al Qaeda -- continues to grow.

Yes, Joe Biden's uber-intelligence just proves he should (?) be our next President!  Please, Joe, run!  You're every conservative's dream.


U.S. safety watchdog says 303 deaths linked to recalled GM cars:

Al Qaeda controls more territory than ever in Middle East:

GM recalls another 2.6 million vehicles, doubles second-quarter charge:

GM Auto Sales Numbers:

Thursday, May 22, 2014

The VA Scandal Exposes A Common Government Problem: Bad Management

I think most knowledgeable people on Capitol Hill agree that the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) has had a backlog of problems for years; if not decades.  So, the full burden of the problem should not be leveled just against the current President.

What makes the current scandal so egregious, however, is the fact that the backlog problems were being fictitiously cleared up by creating two sets of books.  One set, the real-but-pared-down waiting list of  patients, was the one used to roll the statistics upwards to VA management to show that the backlog situation was being well controlled.  Another set was kept secretly and it contained the names of veterans who, for whatever reasons, were intentionally excluded from the official waiting list; and, these people just sat in limbo until some died.  Let me repeat: people died.  For that, Obama and his VA chief, Eric Shinseki, must take responsibility.

It seems like, whenever there is a scandal associated with government, the person at the top of the agency or department involved, was put there solely on the basis of political patronage.  With all the known problems associated with the VA, Obama should have appointed someone who had a track record as a problem solver.  Perhaps, some corporate executive that had turned a failing corporation around. Even a current or former hospital adminstrator would have been a better pick.  At least, then, the person running the VA would have some experience with how hospitals should be run.

Instead, Obama put Eric Shinseki in charge.  And, why?  He was the first high ranking military person to speak out against George Bush's intent to invade Iraq.  Thus, as a darling of the left, the President desperately had to find a job for him in his new cabinet; and, it didn't matter if he really knew anything about the job.

The same could be said about Kathleen Sibelius and the failed roll out of ObamaCare and its website. It just seemed like Obama was hell bent on putting her in some job; any job.  First, she was rumored to be on the short list to be picked as his running mate.  Then, after he won, she was considered to be in the front runner for Secretary of Commerce.  Only, after Tom Daschle was forced to decline the HHS slot (due to another scandal) did Sibelius get the job.  How's that for always being second best?

Also, there's Hillary Clinton when, as head of the State Department, her incompetence lead to the deaths of Ambassador Stevens and three others at Benghazi.  In 4 years as Secretary of State, she has nearly zero accomplishments to speak of.  She was only thrown that huge bone of a job because she lost the presidential primary to Barack Obama.

I just wish that the practice of political patronage and bad management would end.  The U.S. government is too large and too complex to have the "cabin boy" at the helm of such critical Departments like the VA.  Political payback is a so ingrained in our political system that I don't see it ever ending unless the people "get mad as hell" instead of getting a feigned "mad as hell" from the very President who put Shinseki in charge and who, obviously, has yet to roll a single head over the scandal.


Dec. 2008: Veterans Resource Network: Eric Shinseki (unqualified); Obama's Pick For VA Secretary:

Wikipedia: Kathleen Sibelius:

Report: State Dept Ignored Hundreds of Warnings of Benghazi Attack:

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Retailers Are Signalling Economic Woes For 2014

In the first quarter of this year, the nation's economy, as measured by Gross Domestic Product (GDP), grew at a barely measurable rate of one-tenth of one percent. That was a 93% miss from the 1.5% that the economists were originally projecting.  In defense of this horrible number, the Obama Administration blamed the lack of economic growth on low consumer spending; all because of the bad weather in the Northeast and Midwest in January through March of this year.

However, having lived in the Midwest for many years, the forecast of a bad storm actually forces store shelves to be emptied.  People buy things they otherwise might not buy; like snow blowers, generators, space heaters and a whole host of other products.  They stock up on food and water.  And, after the storm has passed, consumers replenish what they used and typically buy the things they weren't able to   during the storm.  So, typically, the economic impact is not that significant; especially since most of the rest of the country is unaffected by any regional activity.

The problem with the "bad weather" excuse is that it ignores a deeper problem that is hurting our economy.  That problem that consumers aren't buying like they used to. The major retailers such as Wal-Mart, Kroger, Target and Macy's are all seeing changes in buying habits.  People aren't splurging on non-essential products.  In fact, they also aren't buying as much food. Wal-Mart, despite having lower grocery pricing than their competitors, has consistently seen a drop in grocery revenues.  Last quarter, grocery sales, among all the stores that were in operation a year or more, dropped nearly 1%.

Going forward, every retailer is warning that their earnings are at risk this year due to a slow down in consumer spending.  Since consumer spending makes up 70% of GDP, any drop could cause the economy to stall and, as a result, fall into another recession.  If the next revision of the current GDP growth of 0.1% goes negative in a couple of weeks, it could signal the first of two quarters of negative growth which, by definition, is a recession.


Target echoes warnings about cautious consumer patterns:

Wal-Mart is hurting for shoppers: Wal-Mart woes deeper than winter snow:

Wal-Mart's biggest problem: Its customers:

Kroger...cautious in its earnings guidance for the year, citing uncertainty around the economy:

First-Quarter U.S. Economic Slump Looking Uglier by the Day:

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

The Jill Abramson Firing: A Story of Income Inequality and Gender Bias?

America's newspapers, especially those that have the most liberal editorial staff, love to write stories and opinion pieces which expose all of the nation's social ills.  This year was no exception when those same liberal news organizations, in following the Obama's politically motivated lead, decided to write an onslaught of stories regarding widespread gender bias and income inequality for women in this country.  So, its almost laughably ironic that the queen of all liberal newspapers, the New York Times (aka the Grey Lady), is ensnared in a controversy of its own gender bias and income inequality with the firing of its first-ever female Executive Editor, Jill Abramson.

Rumors are flying all over the place as to why she was fired.  The New Yorker claims she was terminated for asking to be paid equal to that of her predecessor, Bill Keller.  There's also the rumor that she was let go for stating that this White House is the most secretive she has ever seen in her many years of covering Presidents.  Then, too, feminists believe that there is proof of gender bias because it was reported by The New Yorker that she was ousted for being too "pushy" and "bossy"; two adjectives that would never be used to describe a male.  Lastly, fuel was added to the fire when she was quickly replaced by a man.

Now, I can't address issues of her management style because only the people who worked for her can; and, that has to be a consensus of many and not one or two disgruntled personnel.  Nor do I have any inside track on whether or not her White House comment was the reason for her dismissal, but I wouldn't be surprised if it wasn't partially true.  What I can address is this "equal pay for equal work" nonsense that appears to be swirling around her dismissal and which has been continually stirred up by the President and the Democrats as a means of garnering votes this coming Fall.

The concept of "equal pay for equal work" is too simplistic. It assumes that everybody will do a given job equally.  But, that is a fantasy; especially when you are talking about Abramson's Executive Editor's position at the New York Times which entails deciding what stories will be written and in what order or priority they will be given.  The concept of equal pay completely ignores self initiative and achievement, performance on the job, education and background, seniority, and so many things that determine what someone should be paid in our merit based system of pay.

First of all, there's the experience levels of Bill Keller versus Jill Abramson.  Keller was the "Times" Executive Editor for 8 years before he gave notice that he wanted to leave in 2011.  He apparently was well liked.  Jill was only on the job for 3 years; ultimately ending in a firing.  Keller was also a Pulitzer Prize winner.  So, in essence, Keller should have been paid more for his years of experience and background. That brings us to the reason why American female journalists, in general, are paid less.

According to a recently released study titled "The American Journalist in the digital Age: Key Findings," women journalists are only paid 82% of what their male counterparts are paid; and this is about the same as the general working population of women.  Now, as that report aptly points out, the disparity between men and women is only 2.4% for journalists working less than five years.  But, with 15 to 20 years of work experience, women are paid 21.4% less than men.  While the report gives no direct reason for this, another section titled "Female Journalists Tend To Leave Profession Earlier" indirectly explains the very reason for the increasing pay disparity. Simply, by leaving their profession early, they don't build up their salaries through years of compounding raises. Thus, when averaged in the aggregate, women are paid less.

Lastly, there's the issue of Abramson being replaced by a man.  This is simply ridiculous.  What this implies is that, once a woman is elevated to high level position, all successors should necessarily be  women.  Its like saying, Hillary Clinton should not be President because when Obama leaves he should be replaced by another Black.

New Yorker: Why Jill Abramson Was Fired:

Jill Abramson: 'This is the most secretive White House I have ever dealt with':

Did the NY Times Fire Jill Abramson For Being 'Bossy'?:

The American Journalist in the digital Age: Key Findings:

Equal Pay Day Theatrics: A Comedy Or A Tragedy:

Monday, May 19, 2014

Yes, Mr. President, Our Infrastructure Is In Disrepair. Why Punish America's Businesses?

On February 27th, Obama unveiled a $308 billion dollar program designed to fix and repair our aging road and rail systems.   Last week, he treated some construction workers to a burger lunch in order to, once again, hype his infrastructure bill.

To pay for it, he would stick American corporations for the bill; as if they, alone, are responsible for the problem.   By doing so, he will avoid the bad politics of increasing everyone elses gasoline expenses by increasing the federal gasoline tax; which, by the way, is supposed to cover the cost of these repairs. Instead, he can then blame businesses for the higher prices that they are sure to pass on to us. And, the biggest benefactor?  The labor unions.  A fact that he insured when, by executive order, he mandated Project Labor Agreements for all federally funded projects.

OK, maybe we need $300 billion to fix our roads and rails. But, keep in mind that this nation built its entire interstate highway system for only $425 billion (that cost being adjusted to 2006 dollars).  Before we spend billions of dollars on selectively chosen projects that might be politically expedient (and that's all Obama ever cares about), lets fix the broken funding system that is supposed to maintain this country's infrastructure.

For 20 years, the federal gasoline tax -- the one that's supposed to fund transportation (infrastructure) spending -- has stood at 18.4 cents per gallon.  Never once was it adjusted for inflation.  Right now, it should be about 30 cents a gallon, but no politician is willing to hike it to that rate with gasoline prices already so high.  At the same time, fuel efficiency has increase by nearly 12-1/2%, with the current average being 23.6 mpg. So, by adjusting the fuel tax to reflect that change, it should be at least 36 cents; or, double what it is today.

But, funding is only one of the problems.  "Going green" is another.  Instead of using the federal gasoline tax for fixing or building new infrastructure, much of it was diverted to build seldom used bike paths and to purchase too many single deck, double-deck, and flex buses that run on lightly-used, unprofitable routes.  Then, too, a lot of money has gone to replace conventional diesel buses with those that run on a much greener fuel: compressed natural gas.

So, in order to fix our infrastructure, we are faced with two simple tasks.  First, raise the gasoline tax.  It doesn't have to be done all at once.  It could be raised gradually; say by three cents a year until parity with inflation and fuel efficiency is achieved.  Then, permanently index it to inflation. Second, let's put a moratorium on "going green" and focus on fixing what is currently broken.  After all, a double-decker bus with only a handful of riders isn't very "green" now is it?


Obama hopes Congress will fund $300b for roads, rails:

The Gas Tax Doesn't Work Because Politicians Broke It:

Executive Order 13502: Project Labor Agreements For Federal Construction Projects:

Wikipedia: Interstate Highway System:

Cars in the U.S. are more fuel-efficient than ever:


Friday, May 16, 2014

Is a war brewing over Common Core?

On a very simplistic level, the goal of Common Core is to equally teach and test students, across the country, by grade level, in two critical areas of education: (1) language arts (reading, writing, and composition) and (2) mathematics.  I think most parents were sold Common Core on that simple basis.

But, what many parents are now just finding out is that Common Core is more about a new way of teaching.  One that supposedly teaches students to think more logically and, as a result, be more inquiring and deliberative in any conclusions that they come to.  For example, when asked what 2+2 equals, a student can't just answer with a number.  Now, that student must explain how they got to that answer; even if they got it right.  Essentially, learning by rote has gone out the window.  That is why Comedian Louis C.K. -- a very outspoken critic of Common Core -- jokingly told David Letterman, in his recent Late Show appearance, that Common Core asks stupid questions like: "Bill has three goldfish. He buys two more. How many dogs live in London?" He also said his daughters used to love math and now they just cry.

While C.K.'s example was comic exaggeration, the fact that his daughters are left frustrated, exposes the bigger problem: You can't teach logic or, for that matter, what is illogical.  Logic is an innate ability that each of us possesses in widely varying degrees.  For decades, the very foundations of mathematics, like the "times tables," were always learned by rote so that, even the least logical student, could succeed.  The best example I can give you of just how variable logic can be comes from the classic kindergarten puzzle that matches varying shaped pegs with their corresponding holes.   Some kids will do quite well at it, while others will give up in defeat.  That could be why C.K.'s daughters are left in tears.  For many parents, too, their frustration with Common Core probably hinges on their lack of strong logical skills. So, too, are why some teachers are find Common Core intolerable.

Right now there is growing anger over Common Core.  Not just from students and parents but also from some prominent teachers.  In fact, the anger level got so high in Indiana that the state just dropped it; with many other states possibly weighing that same decision.  In my opinion, Common Core is doomed to fail because it doesn't inspire students but, instead, defeats them.

Internationally, the test scores of U.S. students in math, science and language arts continue to pale in comparison to the scores of students in the other 34 leading industrialized nations; with the ranking of 34th out of 34 being a not so distant result in the next decade or so.  If we want to be number one in education in the world, we need to understand what the top countries are doing to warrant their success.

We didn't need a handful of educational elites to come up with an untested and what appears to be a failing educational process called Common Core. Because, if it turns out that it isn't really educating our children, then a whole generation, (or, possibly, generations) of children could wind up having their intellectual development lost in the process.  Are we then supposed to send millions of adults back to second grade if Common Core is determined to be a failure?

A change like this should not have been broadly adopted by 44 states unless it was proven successful in small scale pilot programs, from one-room school houses to inner city schools to upscale suburban institutions.  In doing so, much of today's anger against Common Core would have been detected early on and the system could have been adjusted accordingly.


Actually, Louis C.K. was right about Common Core:

A ridiculous Common Core test for first graders:

Open the floodgates? Indiana becomes first state to scrap Common Core:

U.S. students lag around average on international science, math and reading test:

Thursday, May 15, 2014

Why Marco Rubio Is Correct In Denying That Global Warming Is Man Made

Recently, Marco Rubio -- a U.S. Senator and possible 2016 presidential candidate -- stated that he does not believe that global warming is man made.  Immediately, the political left jumped on that statement and literally said that he had just disqualified himself from ever being President because he is clearly a climate change "denier." The problem with the political left is that they are in denial; and, so are so many so-called scientists that believe the global warming/climate change theory.  A theory  that suggests that rising man made CO2 levels are responsible for an increase in the earth's temperatures.

Clearly, they are ignoring the very definition of any scientific theory.  Wikipedia says it best:

"A scientific theory is a well-substantiated explanation of some aspect of the natural world that is acquired through the scientific method, and repeatedly confirmed through observation and experimentation."
Simply, the theory of CO2 caused global warming is neither well-substantiated nor repeatedly confirmable.  The proof comes from the simple fact that there has been no global warming for nearly 18 years.  This despite the fact that global atmospheric CO2 levels have risen 61% in the last 24 years, and continue to rise at a rate of about 2% a year.  So, in essence, the connection between CO2 and global warming is broken and climate scientists have no explanation for this.  Well, just maybe, they have no explanation because their theory is seriously flawed.  Flawed because it appears that factors other than CO2 are truly influencing temperature.

Rubio also stated that our go-it alone laws in controlling climate change aren't going to control world atmospheric CO2 levels and are only going to destroy our own economy.  Again, he's right.  As noted before, CO2 levels have risen 61% in 24 years.  At the same time, the U.S. has reduced its carbon emissions to levels that haven't been seen since 1994.  This despite the fact that our population has increased by almost 20% in those same twenty years.  In terms of reducing carbon emissions, the U.S. is the world leader.  Yet, CO2 levels continue to rise because countries such as China and India are more than offsetting any reductions in carbon dioxide by the U.S. or any other industrialized nations.

Marco Rubio Disqualifies Himself:

Marco Rubio makes a wrong turn on climate change:

Global Temperature Update: No global warming at all for 17 years 9 months:

Carbon dioxide levels now 61% higher than 1990:

 U.S. Carbon Emissions Dip To 1994 Levels:

Climatologists Can't Explain Pause In Alleged Global Warming:

U.S. Population by Year:

Surprise! Which country has had the greatest CO2 cuts since Kyoto went into effect?:

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Our Debt-to-GDP Ratio Is Less Important Than Amounts Needed To Service the Debt

A few weeks ago, the head of the Congressional Budget Office told the Senate Budget Committee that our debt, as a percent of Gross Domestic Product (GDP), is already too high by historical standards.  His department's work showed that our debt will be 74% of GDP by the end of this year and 79% by the end of 2021. He then went on to say that the current trajectory of increases is pushing us toward a fiscal crisis whereby investors would require increasingly more interest to service our increased debt.

The problem I have with simply measuring debt as a percent of GDP is that it doesn't tell the whole story.  In my opinion, a more serious issue is whether or not a country has to borrow money to pay down the interest on the debt that it has already accumulated.  This, in much the same way that a consumer gets into trouble when they continue to use their credit card while only being able to pay the minimum amount due each month.

Sadly, the U.S. is already in this economic death spiral; regardless of what our debt-to-GDP ratio is.  To that point, I present the following table that extracted its data from the President's own Office of Management and Budget (OMB) report:

* OMB Estimated in Billions of Dollars

What this simply shows is that from 2010 to 2017, the Federal government expects to take in $1.8 trillion in new revenues.  At the same time, it will spend $2.6 trillion paying down the interest on the debt.  Therefore, the Federal government will borrow nearly another $833 billion so that it can merely pay off the interest. Also make note of the fact that the borrowing grows exponentially, starting in 2015, as the spiraling debt accumulation takes effect.

One last important point.  All these numbers assume that interest rates will remain historically low with the Federal Reserve holding them between zero and one-quarter percent; and, the Fed will continue to keep those rates low as long as inflation is tame.  However, if they are forced to start raising rates because of rising inflation, then the interest on the debt payments will simply explode.  That's when this country gets into real trouble.


President's Office Of Management and Budget: Revenues (Table 1.1) and Interest on the Debt (Table 2.1):

U.S. on ‘unsustainable’ budget course: CBO:

Debt: Elemendorf comments to Senate Budget Committee:

"CBO estimates that federal debt held by the public will equal 74 percent of GDP at the end of this year and 79 percent in 2024 (the end of the current 10-year projection period). Such large and growing federal debt could have serious negative consequences, including restraining economic growth in the long term, giving policymakers less flexibility to respond to unexpected challenges, and eventually increasing the risk of a fiscal crisis (in which investors would demand high interest rates to buy the government’s debt). - See more at:
"CBO estimates that federal debt held by the public will equal 74 percent of GDP at the end of this year and 79 percent in 2024 (the end of the current 10-year projection period). Such large and growing federal debt could have serious negative consequences, including restraining economic growth in the long term, giving policymakers less flexibility to respond to unexpected challenges, and eventually increasing the risk of a fiscal crisis (in which investors would demand high interest rates to buy the government’s debt). - See more at:

Monday, May 12, 2014

Global Warming: "Hot Time, Summer In The City"

In 1966, The Lovin' Spoonful, sang the lyrics: "Hot time, summer in the city..."  In many ways those words are very prophetic.  Especially, when you look at a this chart of average temperatures for our nation's capital. 
Click on image to zoom

The reason I picked this particular chart is because it clearly challenges the alarmist belief that record setting heat waves will be hitting our major cities because of global warming.  In fact, ironically, this actually comes from a Washington Times blogger who seems to think that this proves that very point.

Since 1975, the average annual temperatures in downtown D.C., have simply meandered sideways in a range of about 57 1/2 degrees to 56 1/4. That's almost thirty years of no significant "warming."  The reason for this is simple.  By 1975, Washington was literally busting at its seams; all in response to the growth of government generated by the Kennedy/Johnson initiatives such as the Great Society.  With those initiatives came new roads, new government buildings, and sidewalks; all of which have  materials that are able to convert the sun's intense shortwave energy into hot long wave infrared energy.  Thus, in the period from 1963 to 1975, temperatures rose rapidly. But, when the building craze and city expansion slowed, so did the rise in temperatures.

To understand this better, you only need to be aware of the phenomenon of Urban Island Heat effect.  For example, I live in Las Vegas and the summer temperatures are almost always above 100 degrees.  At that point, concrete can get as hot as 145 degrees and literally burn bare feet.  You can just forget about walking barefoot on any asphalt road or driveway.  Thus was born the challenge that it is hot enough to fry an egg onthe sidewalk. Where you can walk barefoot is on a nice green lawn; where temps are significantly lower.  So, simply, many building materials, actually amplify the air temperature,  whereas plant life is able to mitigate the heat.  That's why, in the chart above, rural temperatures are much lower than those in the city.

If our cities are getting hotter, it's not because of global warming; which, by the way, stopped some 18 years ago.  It is because of increased urban sprawl with further additions of concrete, asphalt, and new and bigger buildings; thus fueling the Urban Island Heat effect.  In a city like Washington D.C., there is little room left to grow, and the chance of increasing summer heat is low.  In other cities, still expanding, expect hotter summers. There was a lot of truth to that old Lovin' Spoonful hit of 1966.

Study: Many U.S. cities unprepared for future heat waves:

Bloated Government? Federal Employment at 47-Year Low:

Urban heat island:

Is it possible to fry and egg on a sidewalk?:

Obama, TV Weathermen, Climate Change, and Dr. Easterbrook

Most of us know that, in order to sell Americans on some agenda item he's pushing, Obama likes to use people as props; especially those with individual life stories that help promote his goal.  When it was learned that doctors weren't supporting ObamaCare, he gave a Rose Garden speech surrounded by lab-coated Physicians; even though no doctor actually goes out of his office wearing a lab coat.  When it's a woman's issue, he surrounds himself with women; all with some heartfelt story to tell.  So, it's no wonder that, when releasing his latest alarmist report on Climate Change, he enlisted 8 TV Meteorologists -- led by Al Roker -- to help sell the fact that we need to act now on reducing green house gases.

The problem that I have with Al Roker and those 7 others being used in this way is that they are being  hypocritical to their own profession.  Al Roker and the rest all know that weather forecasting is an imperfect science.  Usually, a 5-day forecast can be fairly accurate. But, even so, precipitation predictions are always dealt with as "chances" of rain or snow, and, when it comes to 7 and 10-day forecasts, the accuracy of those predictions are always subject to revision.  So, with that in mind, every meteorologist worth his/her salt should be the most skeptical of people when it comes to predicting global warming and climate change.  They, more than anyone, understand that they "cannot" accurately predict temperatures 10-days out; let alone, what they will be at the end of this century. 

This is why the U.N.'s Intergovernmental Panel On Climate Change has been 95% wrong on all of their decades-out temperature forecasts because, stupidly, their computer models neglected to predict the current nearly 18 year halt in global warming.  It is also why the Hurricane Prediction Center is almost always wrong. For example, last year, they predicted an Atlantic hurricane season that would be above average in activity.  Yet, 2013 was one of the quietest on record.  Despite dire predictions of extreme weather, 2013 was also the quietest in many other areas.  There were the fewest 100 degree days than had been seen in the last 100 years.  It was one of the quietest years for tornadoes.  Antarctic ice returned to record levels; and, because the ice was getting so thick, one scientist says polar bears are at risk because they can't break through to find food.  This despite Al Gore's Inconvenient Truth movie showing polar bears struggling to survive by desperately holding onto increasingly smaller sections of  ice.

The fact is simple. Climate Change is a political ruse to push a liberal, environmental agenda and promote the also-liberal agenda of redistribution of wealth.  The core belief that increases in green house gases has been blown out of the water due to the fact that, despite rising carbon emissions, global warming has been on hold for 17 years and 9 months. Now, if you really want to know the truth about climate change, look at this chart:
As shown, temperatures are actually lower, now, than they have been in the last 1000 years.  The chart was developed by a climate scientist by the name of Dr. Don Easterbrook; and, in 1998, he was the only one to predict the current halt to global warming. What's even more significant about his prediction is the fact that it was during the very same year that the world had a record spike in temperatures, but, from that year forward, the rise abated; just as Easterbrook predicted.  Further, he predicts the trend to continue for at least two more decades.  Now, I ask you. Have you ever heard of him?  No. That's because his work is being ignored since it doesn't support the current political agendas.


Obama Uses Your TV Weather Guru to Show How Wind Blows on Climate:

On Climate Change, Would You Trust People Who Have Been 95% Wrong:

‘Least extreme U.S. weather year ever?’ 2013 shatters the record for fewest U.S. tornadoes — 15% lower than previous record — 2013 also had the fewest U.S. forest fires since 1984:

What Happened to the 2013 Atlantic Hurricane Season?:

Another Climate Embarrassment: Fewest 100+ Degree Days:

What Global Warming? Too Much Ice Endangers Polar Bears:

Global Temperature Update: No global warming at all for 17 years 9 months:

Dr. Easterbrook: Global Cooling Is Here:

Donald J. Easterbrook At ICCC4: Don J Easterbrook ICCC4

Friday, May 9, 2014

Election 2016: Hillary's HillaryCare Problem

Take a minute to watch this video:

One could easily think they were listening to two anti-ObamaCare advertisements being aired anytime since the law's passage in 2010.  After all, most of the issues are similar to the complaints that we are now hearing from those being currently impacted by its roll out.

These are ads from 1994 when Hillary Clinton -- at the direction of her husband, President Bill Clinton -- was trying to implement a healthcare reform of her own. A healthcare system that would have been even more impacting than ObamaCare because it would replace an insurance-based system with one that was taxpayer-funded and government-run.  So, the insurance industry, driven by shear survival instinct, ran these ads now collectively referred to as the "Harry and Louise" ads. They are greatly credited for forcing Hillary to back off any hopes of healthcare reform.  Now, even two decades later, that failed attempt is not so kindly referred to as HillaryCare. 

Obama and the Democrats thought they could slyly avoid a major pitfall of HillaryCare by including the insurers in the reform. As we've seen, all of the problems that were predicted in 1994 are coming true; with or without the insurers being involved and quite frankly, the way they have been treated in the roll out of ObamaCare, with all the delays and changed mandates, "Harry and Louise" may be ready for prime time again.

In 2010, the Democrats were shellacked at both the state and federal levels because of  ObamaCare.  In 2012, Mitt Romney feels he lost the election because of his opposition to ObamaCare.  Just the opposite conclusion for the GOP wins in 2010.  But Romney's problem wasn't ObamaCare so much as RomneyCare.  The voters only saw RomneyCare as the prototype of ObamaCare. Therefore it was hard to believe that Romney could validly argue for the repeal of something he was both for and had signed into law.

This is why I think Hillary will have a problem in 2016.  If, over the next two years, ObamaCare doesn't go through a complete metamorphosis that will make it more palatable to the voters, she's toast. HillaryCare will be hanging around her neck like a hangman's noose.  All that's been done is to delay damaging parts of Obamacare so Hillary will have to face them, head on, in 2016.  The Democrats seem to think the Affordable Care Act is like some fine wine that will only get better with age, but, in poll after poll, it has only lost support, making it more like a wine turning to vinegar; undrinkable by most voters. 

Mitt Romney Thinks He Lost The Election Because Of ObamaCare:

Thursday, May 8, 2014

New Federal Climate Change Study: The Need To Take Urgent Action?

This week, the Obama Administration presented a new Climate Change study which the White House science adviser, John Holdren, says is "the loudest and clearest alarm bell to date signaling the need to take urgent action."

Now, I don't know about you, but when I hear the words "urgent action" it tells me we must act immediately.  But, here's the thing.  The report that Holdren is referring to took less than a year to write and was publicly released in draft form in January 2013.  From then to now, almost a year and a half later, it was supposedly being peer reviewed and tweaked until the final version was released May 6.

If there was so much urgency, why did it take so long to say we need to act immediately?  Maybe Politics?  It's an election year and the Democrat base needs to be energized.  Obama is not about saving the planet.  He is about saving the Democrat-controlled Senate from defeat in the Fall and, while I can't prove it, the release of the report was obviously politically timed. Obama's been in office for more than 5 years -- two of which he had supermajority control of both Houses of Congress -- yet, only now, is he planning to "unilaterally" do something about climate change. This from a President who has logged more carbon polluting air miles than any other in the history of this country.


Federal report: Warming disrupts Americans' lives:

Podesta: Congress Can’t Stop Obama On Global Warming:

Obama on Climate Change: Do As I Say, Not As I Do:

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Democrats Say Investigating Benghazi A Waste of Time. Remember The Bush Years?

For months, the Democrats were willing to play along with the Republicans on the Benghazi hearings since there was no smoking gun connection to the White House.  But, as soon as a very damaging email was unearthed -- one that may finally connect the dots on the Benghazi false narrative and point to the President's own staff -- the Democrats now claim that it would be a waste of time to investigate any further.  Really?

Obviously, that email is like blood in the water and Republicans can sense that they are finally getting close to finding out the depth, breadth and real intent of those Benghazi talking points.  Their sense is that they were all politically motivated and should be exposed as such.  This is very similar to the Democrats spending so much "wasted time"  going after the Bush Administration regarding the outing of Valerie Plame, or over the supposed politically motivated dismissal of the 26 Department of Justice attorneys.  In fact, in 2006, Democrat Representatives Robert Wexler and Dennis Kucinich put all their ongoing investigations into one big failed effort to impeach Bush with a bill that had a sum total of 35 articles of impeachment.  35 articles...35 ongoing hearings.

What Goes Around Comes Around! 


Democrats dismiss new Benghazi committee as ‘a waste of time’:

Efforts to impeach George W. Bush:

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

A Single Email Finally Gives Legs To The Benghazi Coverup Story

One thing reporters can't stand is being left behind on an important story.  They have a phrase for it. They call it "being scooped."

So, it's understandable that Jon Karl of ABC News is more than just a little annoyed after finding out that, for months, he and his colleagues in the White House press corps were being lied to about the true source of the "anti-Islamic video" talking point regarding the Benghazi attack.  Watch this exchange between Press Secretary, Jay Carney, and Jon Karl over a damaging email that proves the White House was the source of this theory, and not the CIA as Carney and the Obama Administration have always asserted:

It appears the press corps has finally become an awakened giant on the coverup.  With the release of just one little smoking-gun memo/email, maybe now the truth about Benghazi and Obama's failed policies on terrorism will be exposed; and, that a massive lie was told to protect his reelection in 2012.  At risk here, too, is Hillary Clinton's potential run for the presidency in 2016 since her fingerprints are all over this one. 

It seems that, for once, Fox won't be the only news outlet dogging the Administration over Benghazi.


Jay Carney fumbles on bombshell email showing how the White House steered Benghazi terror-attack narrative toward an anti-Islam video:

Release of White House email stirs up a new controversy over Benghazi:,0,4609408.story#axzz30mJ297XB

The worst excuse ever: The Rhodes memo debacle:

White House e-mails on Benghazi stoke more questions:

Jay Carney Lies About the Benghazi Email:

The Actual Emails Regarding Benghazi:

Monday, May 5, 2014

Did Justice Roberts Kill ObamaCare By Calling The Individual Mandate A Tax?

In 2012, conservatives thought for sure that the Individual Mandate in ObamaCare would be struck down because -- for the first time ever in this country -- it would levy a penalty on Americans for not buying something.  Thus, if the individual mandate was found unconstitutional, the whole law would be nullified because it did not include a single severability clause. However the conservative Supreme Court, led by Chief Justice Roberts, upheld ObamaCare because, in their opinion, the mandate for not buying health insurance was a tax and the government has a legitimate and constitutional power to levy taxes.

Many on the right were fuming that a conservative court would do such a thing.  But, it just might be that The Supreme court had actually sealed the coffin on ObamaCare by calling the mandate a tax.  By doing so, either knowingly or unknowingly, it established that it may be unconstitutional because the law originated in the Senate instead of the House of Representatives.  This, then, was a violation under something called the Origination Clause. A clause that clearly says that any law involving an increase in revenues (taxes) must originate in the House of Representatives.

Seizing on that very nuance of constitutional law, the Pacific Legal Foundation -- on behalf of a gentleman by the name of Sissel -- has filed suit in federal courts to invalidate the Individual Mandate.  Sissel, himself, has standing in the courts because he does not have health insurance; does not want health insurance; and, is being forced to buy insurance because of the tax (the Individual Mandate).

Currently, the suit is on temporary hold in U.S. District Court in the District of Columbia; pending the outcomes of other lawsuits involving ObamaCare.  However, if it is litigated successfully in that court, the next stop would be the Supreme Court.  This time, in both a twist of irony and fate,  Roberts' court may find ObamaCare unconstitutional on the very basis that it had found it to be constitutional in 2012. 


Supreme Court upholds individual mandate, ObamaCare survives:


Tax-raising Affordable Care Act started in wrong house of Congress: Sissel v. United States Department of Health & Human Services:

Origination Clause:

Saturday, May 3, 2014

The April's Jobs Report: More A Story Of Giving Up Looking For Work

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the unemployment rate dropped from 6.7% in March to 6.3% last month.  It did so by adding only 288,000 jobs.  Of course the relative math here, doesn't make a whole lot of sense. 

If you have a labor force of 156.2 million workers in March going into April and, you multiply that by the four tenths of a percent drop in the unemployment rate, you come up with 625,000.  That's how many workers would have had to actually find work in order for the unemployment rate to drop to 6.3%.  So, obviously, something else happened in April.

That something else is the fact that 806,000 workers simply dropped out of the labor force.  Of that number, 783,000 where considered to be discouraged workers; with the remaining  23,000 being actual retirees.  By definition, a discouraged worker is a person of working age; capable of work; wanting to work; but, in the frustration of not finding a job, has just given up looking.  Because of this, the Bureau of Labor Statistic no longer considers them part of the workforce and, as a result, they are the primary reason that the unemployment rate dropped so dramatically.  In other words, twice as many workers stopped looking for a job as those who found one. 

For those who would believe that baby boomers, who are retiring at a rate of 10,000 a day are responsible for the lowering of the workforce, the so-noted 23,000 retirees hardly squares with this false belief.  The reality is that we had a true unemployment rate of 12.3% in April when that month's 9.5 million discouraged workers are taken into account.  All told, we actually have 19.2 million unemployed Americans.  Not the published 9.7 million.  This is horrible.  Especially, considering the fact that we are closing in on a day when more people will have given up looking for work than there are those who are actively pursuing it.  This has not happened since the Great Depression.  This despite the fact that the recession ended nearly 5 years ago.


April Employment Situation Report Overview:

Definition of Discouraged Worker:

April Employment Situation Report: Table A-15: Alternative Measures of Labor Underutilization:

Friday, May 2, 2014

Where's The Punishment for the NBA and the NAACP Being Complicit In Sterling's Racism?

For years, the owner of the L.A. Clippers, Donald Sterling, was a known racist.

He was a slum landlord who had been sued multiple times because of racial discrimination. One time, even by the Justice Department where he lost and was ordered to pay $2.7 million in claim settlements, and another $4.9 million in reimbursement for court costs and attorney fees.  Yet, the NBA and the NAACP turned a blind eye to what they, now think, is abhorrent racist behavior.

Just as Sterling horrified the nation, so should they be horrified that the NBA and the L.A. chapter of the NAACP ignored his racism all those years.   Ironically the NAACP was about to honor Sterling with a second Black achievement award. Why aren't these two groups being asked to answer for this.  Instead, the NBA punishes Sterling to the maximum.  In my opinion, this over-the-top punishment is only being handed out to divert attention away from their complicity all these years. It is an obvious attempt to remove the tarnish on the NBA's image.  I would also expect the NAACP to return any moneys given to them by Sterling. If not it would only appear as if Sterling had purchased his coveted achievement awards.

Donald Sterling Bio:

Daily Mail: The True Don Sterling Story:

Thursday, May 1, 2014

On The Minimum Wage Hike: Timing Is Everything

On the very day that the Senate Democrats are planning to make a show of voting for a $10.10 minimum wage,  it was reported that the economy in the first quarter only grew by one-tenth of one percent.  Just a tenth of a percent above dead stalled.
Yet, the Democrats feel obliged to further damage this already-fragile situation by hiking the minimum wage and, in so doing, force higher prices for a consumer base that has already seen its income decline for 5 straight years.
This, so 1/2 of one percent of our population or 1.6 million workers, can see their salary kicked up 41%. With this, the Democrats think they can stir up their political base as they approach the Fall elections.  And the economy be damned as they ignore how complicit the last minimum wage increase was in making this the worst recovery ever.
Now, ask yourself this. Are you going to get a 41% wage hike so you can afford the inflationary prices caused by this latest increase?  Are the working poor, those on welfare assistance, and those on fixed incomes going to benefit from it?  No.  This will only create further income inequality by weighing down those already at the bottom.


April 30: $10.10 Wage Bill Set To Die In The Senate:

April 30: US economy slowed to 0.1 percent growth rate in Q1:

Median Income Falls For 5th Year, Inequality At Record High:

Characteristics of a minimum wage worker: