Flash to Obama–GW has been Gone for Almost 2 years!

WAAAAH! It is Bush's Fault...

Good Grief!  If Obama was a two-year old and was blaming his siblings, classmates, cousins, acquaintances, and everyone else around him for not doing his homework, you would take him to the shed.  I guess community organizers always use the blame game in their organizing so it is no wonder he is continuing to do so.  Unfortunately, we cannot wait for him to grow up.  Gray hair does not necessarily indicate maturity.  It indicates that the pigmentation in your hair is gone.  Period!   

Perhaps we can send him to an AA meeting where he can learn the 12 steps.  AWARENESS might just help.  Obama, you ARE the PRESIDENT.  Not due to any help from me.  Deal with the issues or resign.  BUT, you have to take Biden and Pelosi with you!  The words PRESIDENT BIDEN OR PRESIDENT PELOSI frankly aren’t awe-inspiring either.  That would leave Daniel Inouye of Hawaii since he is the President Pro Tempore of the US Senate which is next in line.  (Robert Byrd was before his death)  Pretty scary line up but it gets a bit worse.  If Dan does not want the job, Hillary is next.  May the Lord guide and keep us.  Do you want to know who would be after “Hill”, that’s right, little Timmy Geithner then Robert Gates, then our all time favorite, the 911 kid himself, Eric Holder.  Did we just wake up in He.. or what?   

 Obama.  Here are a couple of tips for some of the crisis that you have missed so far:   

  • Gulf Oil Disaster:  Take responsibility; form a partnership, with oversight, with BP to insure the cleanup and the business interruption issues are handled.  Kill the dumb idea of the drilling moratorium.
  • Economy:  Take responsibility that you were wrong in your approach and that you are going to burn all of your statues of John Maynard Keynes and buy one of Milton Friedman’s books instead.  Lower Taxes; Lower bank reserve requirements; Get banks out of the Real Estate business again (Sorry Barney, you will have to find another toy); quit monetizing the debt; AND QUIT SPENDING.  NO One is too big to fail, especially you…!  Business is good, get it!  Contrary to the popular belief that government does not produce a product, government does produce a great deal of methane.  We have had enough gas out of you, Reid and the wicked witch of Marin County.
  • Cap and Tax:  Get out of the hydro carbon business.  The world since the industrial revolution has run on oil and will for quite some time into the future.  Shut down the EPA except for only vital oversight on meaningful monitoring.  Tell Gore to go back to Sweden or Norway and get his massages there.  CAP cap and tax.
  • Education:  Let local school districts be responsible for their budgets, which teachers they hire and keep, their building maintenance, and every other facet of education.  The taxpayers live with their school boards as neighbors.  We know where to find our board members and can hold them responsible.  BTW, if you truly care about minorities, and you want to “invest” in education, open vouchers up to everyone, everywhere.  The black leadership in this country is pathetic if they allow you, a black President, to keep withholding vouchers from the black community and damning these children to sub standard education and eliminate their opportunity for personal betterment.
  • Michelle’s Vacation:  Try putting your ( and Michelle’s) money (mostly ours anyway) where your rather substantial mouth is.  VACATION IN THE GULF COAST AND SET AN EXAMPLE OF LEADERSHIP.   I guess you did NOT attend any leadership classes at Harvard.  That’s right, Community Organizers don’t lead, they blame.
  • Housing:  Many of the middle and upper middle class who qualified for their mortgages the old fashion way, documented income, 20-30% down payment, good job, etc., are now facing short sales or foreclosure due this prolonged recession that you are perpetuating.  They have seen equity melt away to nothing and even go negative.  Most of us will survive ultimately through hard work and help from those around us.  But, if you took any time off from golf yesterday at all and watched the scene in Atlanta where over 13,000 homeless or near homeless people waited in high heat and humidity for just an application for public housing, then you may have an inkling of the impact of your policies, and those of Chris Dodd and Barney Frank, in absolutely ruining the housing market.  Looking at the crowd, there appeared to be a large number of African-Americans standing in line.  Do you not have any empathy for even half of your heritage?  Even Clinton “Felt our Pain”.  You are just NUMB or simply do not care or both!  We realize your ideology dictates that the economy must be emasculated in order to achieve your ultimate “Redistribution of Wealth” but unless you are sub-human, you cannot possibly watch the news and continue on your present course.
  • Bailouts:  STOP
  • Unions:  Tell Andy Stern/SEIU to work for their own membership.  Unfortunately, you have another job now.  Quit pandering to the unions at our expense.
  • Islamic Republic of Afghanistan:  I used their full name in case you did not know what you are dealing with.  That means that their religion and their state are the same thing.  The Taliban and the Government are part of the same being.  Either let General Petraeus win the war or get out.  You cannot reform this country unless you overthrow the government itself.  But wait, we created it or at least remodeled it!  By the way, if you want to play video games, buy a Game Boy.  Using drones to kill the bad and good guys is not real manly and not all the accurate.
  • Republic of Iraq:  Note the missing adjective in their name?  I hope you are not snatching defeat out of the jaws of success!  I hope there will be more than bean counters left behind.  Do the words South Vietnam mean anything to you other than a protest movement your mother used to join?  I hope we do not see millions being slaughtered as we exit stage right.  I guess you can always blame Bush!
  • Islamic Republic of Arizona: (Just checking to see if you are paying attention.  Any lefties reading this just said, “right on, dude, Arizona is a terrorist state”) Quit suing our own states.  Other than Castro and sometimes Chavez, you don’t have a lot of friends out there.  You need all of the friends you can get.  See, States are part of the United States of America.  There are 50 of them, not 57, that’s ketchup.  The governors of those States are somewhat like you except are smaller and don’t have a teleprompter.  They are the good guys…  When you sue them, we have to pay for your attorneys and their attorneys.  Is that the point?
  • Mexico:  Since the drug cartel has now assumed taxing authority in Mexico, I am not sure what Calderon is doing other than suing Arizona.  Maybe his new position is the attorney for the cartel?  You may want to remind him that as of today, Mexico is not the 51st state and as such he should mind his own business.  After all, his own people would rather risk being raped in a hot desert or die of thirst in a hot desert, than stay in his paradise.  Maybe he has a few chores he should attend to at home?
  • George Soros:  Can you ask, nicely, if Mr. Soros can take a break for a while.  He has enough of our money and assets.  You had the FDIC shut down IndyMac Bank so Soros could buy that for pennies on the dollar (with Chuckie Schumer’s help); You gave Brazil $20B to invest in their off shore drilling, then called for a moratorium for US drilling so they could find some rigs; but you forgot to tell the American people that Soros’ investment company owns a chunk of the largest Oil Company in Brazil.  Darn teleprompters.  you just can’t trust them with the details…
  • Ground Zero:  Grow a pair, we lost over 3,000 people there.  Oh I forgot, you just appointed the Imam to represent the US in Islamic countries.  Why not!
  • Lockerbie:  Just tell us the truth.  If you minimized the value of 270 human beings just tell us.  Don’t keep blaming the Scots and the Brits.  Some of us like them.

 Mr. President, I’ll try to come up with more suggestions.  Since you will be golfing this weekend at Martha’s Vineyard you won’t need them anyway until next week.    

 RD Pierini

Dingy Harry (Reid) is as Dumb as Dirt when it comes to Hispanic Culture

Dingy Harry Reid said on Tuesday, August 10th,    

“I don’t know how anyone of Hispanic heritage could be a Republican.” 

Help Harry Get a New Job on Nov 2

Oh Really, let’s compare moral values between the Hispanics I grew up with and associate with today:

  • The majority of Hispanics are Catholic or members of other Christian Denominations
    • Democrat policy platforms on Abortion, Gay Rights, and other social issues are opposed by most Hispanics.  The majority of Hispanics are Pro Family
    • Democrat policy platforms that support the breakup of nuclear families by forcing single parent households through welfare regulations are the antithesis to Hispanic Family values.  Hispanic families have strong parental values and their norm is a father and a mother raising their children and sometimes grandchildren together.
    • The Republican party is predominantly Christian with strong platforms in support the of sanctity of life and core family values.
  • The Majority of Hispanics who want to work in the US want to do so legally.
    • Democrat policy platforms have eliminated the old guest worker programs (Bracero Program, 1942-1964) due to Union pressure.   Their policy is to have no policy regarding the immigration of guest workers and to force those who need to come to this country to do so illegally.  Most Hispanics are very, very ethical and hate to have to come into this country illegally.  It is against their personal and religious beliefs.  The Congressional Democrats, and a whole lot of Republicans, have failed in creating a three-tiered immigration system within the Americas.  It should include:
      • A method of coming into the US on a guest worker basis with specified and controlled entrance and exit dates.
      • A method of applying for permanent citizenship within the US with some common sense quotas, background checks, and regulations.
      • A method of coming into the US on an Education Visa with specified and controlled entrance and exit dates.
    • The majority of Hispanics would support this type of system and adhere to is provisions.  For those that do not, we have our deportation policies that should be enforced along with solid border security.
    • You can bet everything you have if the Democrat party did not think they had the votes of the Hispanic Community they would drop them like a hot potato.  The immigration issue is contrary to their Union Support.  The Unions do not want to compete against illegals in the work place.
    • The Republican Party platform is in support of a legal, safe, orderly and humane immigration policy that includes border security.
  •  The Majority of the Hispanics are anti-abortion and believe it is murder.
    • Democrat policy platforms are strong pro-choice
    • Republican policy platforms are strong pro-life
  • The Majority of the Hispanics believe that marriage is between a man and a woman. 
    • They support civil unions that guarantee other types of couples the right to equal civil protection under the law.
    • The Democratic policy platform is unclear. 
    • The Republican platform supports the concept that marriage is between a man and a woman.  It also supports civil unions.
  • The Majority of Hispanics have strong work ethics with no need for unions and strong-arm collective bargaining. 
    • They just want to work and support their family.
    • Their union is their family.
    • The Democrat platform and policy is strongly pro union.
    • The Republican platform and policy supports the rights of workers to collective bargaining as long as the employees are protected from undue pressure from either the unions or the employer during the union vote process.

The bad news is that Republicans are the world’s worst sales people when it comes to policy. 

They allow Obama, Reid, Pelosi, Lindsay Graham and John McCain to frame the debate or worse yet,

the Republicans try to Out-Democrat the Democrats.  Brilliant!

Keep it simple. 

State our principles and values and let the chips fall where they may. 

If Hispanics do not agree with our principles and values, It is guaranteed that you cannot go left of the Left…! 

PS:  I will have a separate blog on my disagreement with Cardinal Mahoney’s position on illegal immigration.  I am a practicing Catholic and have taken a stong counter position to the Cardinal’s positions on this since the late 1960’s.    

RD Pierini

Obama’s Dividing of America-The Role of Unions

The Topics:

Federal Employees’ Total Compensation $51,000 Higher than Private Sector!

Senate Bill 3194

$26 Billion Dollar “Emergency” Teacher-Police-Fire Union Bailout

Obamacare

You must have a little more to give...

Yesterday the headlines were all about the growing disparity between the public sector (government) and private sector (business) salaries and wages.  The real headline should have been that Obama and this Congress is rapidly turning over this country to the Unions.  The unions in turn are returning millions back to these politicians to insure their re-election.  It is a vicious circle and if gone unchecked will insure the eventual total decline and failure of this country.  Obama and the Congress are rapid firing so many issues simultaneously at you it is difficult to step back and connect the dots.  Yesterday’s vote on the $26B “Emergency” funding for the Teachers, Police and Fire Fighter unions; the eventual passage of SB 3194; and Obamacare all have the same goal in common, get members, money and power to the public sector unions.  These unions are the fastest growing union movement in America today.   

$26B Union Bailout:

               Why did this have to take place in an emergency session of Congress?  Why was Obama already schedules ahead of time to make speeches in support of this bailout?  If Obama is the smartest president we have ever had and if this was some kind of an emergency, why didn’t anyone see this coming?  Ah, the democrats did.  The entire bailout was to funnel taxpayer money into democrat re-election coffers.  How, simple:  

  • $26B goes out to Federal, State, County and City agencies to fund payments to their Union Pension funds, pay teacher, fire and police salaries AND TO INCREASE UNION DUES BACK TO THE UNIONS.  The unions, in turn, skim off some of the dues into their PACs, political action committees, and then give the money to threatened democratic candidates for the midterm elections.  Sick?  Yes.  Immoral? Yes.  Illegal, not with this Administration and Congress.  Consider if only 1% of the $26B is returned back to the democrats, this would amount to $260,000,000 ($260 Million); if 5% finds its way back into the democrat candidates paws, this amounts to $1,300,000,000. ($1.3Billion)  They only have a little over 2 months left until the election so that is a lot of money to spend in a very short period of time.  If there are 100 races that need funding, this would amount to between $2.6M and $13M PER RACE! That is more than most congressional candidates spend in the general election.

Senate Bill 3194:

               This is the bill dingy Harry (Reid) is hand carrying through the Senate and it is potentially the most damaging bill to our States since Obamacare.  (Amazing, Obamacare seems like such a long time ago)  Why, IT FORCES EVERY STATE, COUNTY AND CITY employee to be represented in collective bargaining agreements.  This means that every STATE, COUNTY AND CITY worker or teacher will be a member of the “Obama National Public Employee Union”.  Take the mere $26B bailout above and multiply it 1,000 fold and you are still not close to the political power, ie money, this bill will create for the progressive movement of the left.   

               Take a quick look at California.  The unions began to choke California back in the 1970’s under the “guidance” of Jerry Moonbeam Brown.  Legislation like the Rodda Act that forced teachers to unionize and other such legislation enabling the unionization of the public sector work force in California are huge contributors to the deficit of this state.  The unfunded liability of the public sector unions alone is estimated to be almost a trillion dollars.  Much of the $26B bailout above will go to California to help the Brown and Boxer campaigns that are both in trouble.   

Public Sector Employees Compensation Is Almost Double that of the Private Sector: ($111,000 vs 60,000)

 The headlines today pointed out that Federal employees’ total compensation (wages and benefits) is $51,000 higher than the private sector.  Why would the average total compensation for Federal workers be $111,000/year while the private sector average total compensation is $60,000?  There are two underlying causal factors  

  1. Government, Congress and the Administrations protect their own workers
  2. Tight Union control over the Federal (and local government) employees.

The disparity in compensation is not defendable. Period.  There is no greater risk in working for the government, quite the contrary.  Longevity is orders of magnitude higher in the public sector when compared to the private sector.  Benefits in the public sector are much more generous in the public sector versus the private sector.  Follow the money.  The higher the compensation that is paid to the public employees the more employees you can attract; and the more union dues that can be paid to unions;  and the more union dues that can be funneled to progressive democrat candidates.  Also, you create a new “class” in the US that is a somewhat monolithic voting block and a cohesive political force.  More on the class in a bit.  

               The bottom line with Federal employee compensation is this.  When you compare like job to like job, BLS (Bureau of Labor Statistics) data indicates that there is at least a $14K difference in salary per position.  Multiply this by the 2.7M federal workers and this comes out to $37,800,000,000!  Yes, that is BILLION!  Do the normal 10 year projection that the CBO like and you come up with almost $400 Billion Dollars.  Even in Washington speak that is a lot of cash.  This is just for Federal, non military Federal workers.  I think I learned in economics 1A that the private sector produces goods and services while the public sector merely diverts capital from the private sector so does not create any tangible products.  

Management OVERHEAD in the Federal Government Is DOUBLE that in the Private Sector:

If you look at the BLS job classifications and their comparison to private industry, you will find that there are twice as many “management” positions in government than that in the private sector.   

GOVERNMENT MANAGEMENT POSITIONS MAKE UP 66.9% OF ITS WORKFORCE WHILE THE PRIVATE SECTOR ONLY ALLOCATIONS 30.1% OF ITS POSITIONS TO MANAGEMENT POSITIONS.  

The private sector could not come close to making a profit with this excessive overhead.  Are the government processes so difficult as to require twice the management oversight? No, private companies do the same work every day.  Does the high level of government overhead produce smooth running government agencies?  Yea right, look a the Post Office, Medicare, Medicaid, the DMV, etc. etc..  The overhead can only be attributed to the need to create a large class of priveledged (hightly compensated) bureaucrats to control the federal employees and to provide the administration with a large and loyal political force.  

Obamacare:

               Why is this part of the discussion of Unions and public sector compensation?  Because this is the single largest gift to SEIU and other private and public sector unions EVER!  Every healthcare worker; every healthcare supplier; every healthcare facility will be union eventually.  It will start relatively slowly, probably a few days with this bunch, then Congress (if controlled by the progressive democrat party) will find an emergency to create another SB 3194 that will make it mandatory for anyone who is involved in any capacity to be unionized.  This will include hospitals, day care (already is a law in some states), drug companies, EMT (already are in many states and will be under 3194), nurses, doctors, candy stripers etc..  This will create another union “class” that will be formidable in terms of political clout, contributions, and most of all, contribute a huge pool of voters.   

               Obama and the progressives focused on healthcare because it is 1/6th of our economy.  If they control it, this is a huge chunk of political power.  The unions will play a vital role in controlling the human resources of healthcare and your lives.  

    

The End Results:

               Why/how is all of this interconnected?  The goals of left in the unionization of America are fairly simple:  

  • Democrat Voting Bloc:  Create a monolithic (or close to it) voting bloc that is formidable and one that contributes solely to the cause of the progressive democrat party through union dues that are channeled to union PACs then to the democrat candidates.  The idea of tenure for teachers will permeate this entire group of public employees granting them lifetime membership to this club.
  • Obama Class Warfare:  To create a new powerful CLASS of citizens that can be used against their private sector counterparts.  You saw and heard this already today.  There were public employees calling into talk shows complaining that they (the public employee) did in fact create value and earned their wages.  This should not be the debate.  The debate should be how little government (work force) we can get by with and how can we even out the compensation. 
    1. We have seen Obama and the left use racism; black against white; Hispanic against white; etc.
    2. We have seen Obama and the left use class warfare:  Wall Street vs Main Street;
    3. We have seen Obama and the left use group warfare;  Big Phama, Health Insurance Companies; Doctors; Big hospitals; Big Oil; Big Automakers; Big Business versus the average citizen. 
    4. Muslim versus Christian

The power that Obama gains in dividing us and conquering us group by group is immense and one that can and will be used to conquer us, by our own actions.  Don’t take the bait.  Don’t assume someone or something is bad just because a politician says it is.  Question the motive.  We all hat paying premiums or being told something is not included in what we think we have paid for.  That is no reason for the power of the federal government to come down and crush or take over that person or company.  WE HAVE LAWS FOR THAT.  

  •       Control over the States:
    1. Federalism will eventually disappear when the Federal government forces States to unionize and build huge deficits and unfunded liabilities like those seen in California and other states.  Obamacare will create even more unfunded mandates onto the already strapped States and increase their insolvency. Once the Federal government comes in and assumes control over the finances of a state, that state will in essence become a ward of the state or more like a District like Washington DC.  
    2. Federalism will eventually disappear if the union money can insure the re-election of progressive democrats like Jerry Brown and Barbara Boxer.  This will create a cancer within the states whereby these officials will work with the Federal Government to allow for the eventual takeover of the State by the Federal Government.  THE POTENTIAL FOR THE STATES TO CALL FOR A CONSTITUTION CONVENTION, AS WRITTEN IN ARTICLE V OF THE US CONSTITUTION, TO COUNTER BALANCE AGAINST FEDERAL POWER WILL BE SORELY DIMINISHED.  THE POSSIBILITY OF A FORCING A CONSTITUTIONAL CONVENTION WILL BE LOST.  Lights out…

Anthony Walton said:  

“America’s greatest strength, and its greatest weakness, is our belief in second chances, our belief that we can always start over, that things can be made better.”

 Our second chance is on November 2nd, 2010.  We have to start to reclaim this nation…

 

RD Pierini

August 8th – The Week that Was… Thank the Lord!

                 

Madison: Rolling over in your grave yet?

 Trying to get your arms around the past 7 days or so is mind boggling.  Keeping up with this Administration is like trying to stand on a train platform and try to read a sign inside of the passenger car as the train passes at 100 MPH!  Too much, too fast, with no deliberation.  Before we start, I have to share a quote from James Madison regarding why he thought the requirements for a Senator should be more stringent that those for a House of Representative member.  He said and I paraphrase, the “senatorial trust” called for a “greater extent of information and stability of character”.  Is that a hoot with the bunch we have in the Senate and what does it say about House members…?  Oh yea, Nancy Pelosi thinks that we have 500,000,000 workers in the US.  Obviously Madison would have made the requirement even tougher if he had meet Dingy Harry Reid and his band of persons of stable character…  I digress

Social Update-Michelle My Bell in Spain, AKA, “Evita II”:

               It is heart wrenching to see just how much the Obama’s care for the feelings of the average citizen of the US.  Clinton felt our pain, and probably a few more parts of Lewinsky,  but the Obamas just don’t care at all.  I was so glad to see the Michelle was able to squeeze in 40 of her friends on a wee vacation to Spain, a country which is not all that keen on other “persons of color”.  Of course the spin is that we are only paying $375,000 for the trip and that Big O sprang for the rest and the guests paid for their own room and board.  I don’t know about you but if have not see the tail lights of a turnip truck lately so I don’t think I just fell off of one.  But, lets assume that our part of the tab was only $375K

 That would have paid one weeks of unemployment for 1,000 US citizens! 

For everyone struggling to feed your kids, aren’t you glad she is in the White House!  This is one of several vacations in less than 2 years.  How many vacations do you take during a recession?

Proposition 8 Overturned in California:

               Another one of the goalies for the left, Judge Vaughn Walker in California, called 7,000,000 Californians homophobes for voting for Proposition 8 and has set up the case for the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals for either overturning his ruling or upholding it; “ever see grease go through a goose”?  This will fly through the 9th group and will have to be appealed to the US Supreme Court.  Then, the one man with all of the chips, Justice Anthony Kennedy will most likely cast the deciding vote in SCOTUS.  Kennedy cast the deciding vote in the Sodomy case of Lawrence v Texas and set up many of the arguments for gay marriage that Walker used to the fullest extent.  More later…

Arizona 1070 Overturned:  (A little more than a week)

               Talk about a left “Touchy Feely” decision!  Judge Susan Bolton based her decision on; well they might;  the policy probably will; and a whole host of “what ifs” and “maybes”.  The good news is that she forgot to enjoin Arizona Law Enforcement not to round up and turn over illegal aliens to ICE.  Good old “pink undies for the inmates” Sheriff Joe Arpaio thanked Susan and went on about his business as usual.  Good for you Joe.  Someone has to stick up for our citizens if Obama won’t.  Maybe you can put Obama’s picture bowing to someone next to the warning signs for US citizens, (Some of the warning signs are 60 miles from the boarder), so the illegals can feel more welcome.  Of course this case is being appealed by the State of Arizona and its true patriot governor, Jan Brewer to the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals, AKA, Grease through the Goose for the Left.

Alena Kagan Anointed (Confirmed)

               Old hard case Lindsay, AKA never saw a liberal judge I couldn’t support, helped push her confirmation through first in committee then in the floor vote.  He was joined by those other stalwart supporters of strict construction, Dick (no bullets) Lugar, Susan (Tom) Collins, Olympia (not the beer) Snowe, and that other guy from New Hampshire, oh yea, Gregg, that calls himself a republican.  (I just don’t think he can read and keeps sitting on the wrong side of the chamber)  Even Scott Brown, who introduced her to the committee with John (Swift Yacht) Kerry, did not vote to confirm.  Guys, she will be around for a long time and her credentials put her on par with other greats like Harriet Meyers.  Third Way President Jon Cowan remarked, “Justice Kagan’s confirmation was among the smoothest we’ve ever witnessed, due to her impeccable record, her unmatched intellect, and her moderate worldview.” 3 What?  It is the lack of principals by the Republican Party that got her in, not her “unmatched intellect”, compared to what?

 
 

Sharron-Please Beat Dingy Harry!

Senate Bill 3194:  Collective Bargaining Mandate for States for Police, Fire and EMT Workers:

               Think that old Harry Reid doesn’t work for his keep?  Forget it.  The union support for his campaign against Sharron Angle (http://sharronangle.com/) is being repaid for Reid sliding through 3194.  Bottom line of the bill is that States, counties, cities etc must allow their police, fire, and EMT personal to be unionized.  In essence, everyone will get to join in the same fun as California.  Welcome to the world of deficit budgets and payments to retired police and fire personnel while cutting full time staff.  Obama loves this one as his friends like Andy Stern (SEIU) and those at the AFL-CIO, AFSME, etc paid him, and Reid, a lot of cash to make sure this happens.  Congratulations unions, you have politicians that care as little for the workers as you do but know which side their bread is buttered.

The Mosque at Ground Zero:

               The week would not have been complete without the last legal hurdle being overcome by the left so that Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf can build his Mosque/Community Center within 600 feet of ground Zero.  Mayor Bloomberg and his liberal friends are trying to intimidate Americans by shaming us again.  We need to have religious tolerance and allow this to be built in the spirit of healing.  The Imam, and his radical Islamic cohorts, are doing what they always do, they are “peeing on the fire hydrant” so we know who knocked down the twin towers!  How about, get old King what’s his name (Abdullah) in Saudi Arabia to approve a Catholic Church and a Jewish Synagogue first.  Or maybe old Armmmmaddinaghadda or whatever his name is (Ahmadinejad) in Iran to approve a Catholic Church and a Jewish Synagogue first?  Oh I know, we are better than that.  Are we?  I am not.  Go build it next to Yankee Stadium.  Maybe the lights will keep the Imam awake at night in the summer.

The Concluding Thought for the Week

 

The Lead Quack

Lame Duck Talk!

Everyone is concerned that if the conservatives take back congress to whatever degree, that the Lame Duck Congress will hurry to enact the balance of the left’s agenda.  I, quite frankly, am not sure what would be left for them to do by then!  The Obama Administration has become the 3rd legislative body in Washington and the Federal Courts have become the “roving” 4th legislative branch of our government. 

The real scary part of all of this is that there is only one man, Justice Anthony Kennedy that has the power to stop this train wreck!

The Ruling Class:

               The ruling class today is made up of a triangle of the President, the House and the Senate.  The House only needs 218 members to pass laws and the Senate only needs 51 to pass laws and 60 to override filibusters.  Currently the democrats control over 250 seats in the House of Representatives and technically 59 in the Senate.  I say technically 59 democrats in the Senate but the truth is that Lugar, Snows, Collins and Graham can usually be counted on to side with the left on any real conservative principals.  Not sure why they bother to caucus with the republicans at all.  So basically, between the House and the Senate you need 278 votes to pass anything and the President to rubber stamp their swill.  So, 279 people, out of over 300,000,000, control your life.  If this cast of characters does something real dumb, like pass Obamacare, create drilling moratoriums, file a lawsuit against one of the States for enforcing Federal Law, or other not so bright acts, they are pretty much totally supported by the Federal Circuit/District courts.  The 9th Circuit Court of Appeals will pretty much strike down anything that is not documented in either Mein Kampf1 or Rules for Radicals2.  So, in essence, your life, your future, your children’s lives and futures are being dictated today 279 ideologues.  Feel Better?

RD Pierini

1 An by Adolph Hitler autobiography with an exposition of his political ideology. Volume 1 of Mein Kampf was published in 1925 and Volume 2 in 1926.

2Rules for Radicals (AKA the Obama Handbook)  was written by Saul Alinsky and is available at Amazon.Com if you are thinking about changing from a conservative to a liberal.

3CBS News, August 5, 2010, Stephanie Condon; http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-503544_162-20012846-503544.html

A new, updated, Dr. Seuss book:

I do not like this Uncle Sam,  
Dr. Seuss

or how they lie and cook the books.   

I do not like when Congress steals,   

I do not like their secret deals.   

I do not like this speaker, Nan,   

I do not like this ‘YES WE CAN.’  

I do not like this spending spree,   

I’m smart, I know that nothing’s free.   

I do not like your smug replies,  

when I complain about your lies.  

I do not like this kind of hope.   

I do not like his health care scam.  

I do not like these dirty crooks,  

I do not like it, nope, nope, nope!

—-

 
 
 

   

DON’T BLAME ME  

 
I voted for the Old Grey Headed White Guy & the Hottie from Alaska! 
 

 

  

  

Picture of the Year
 

 

 

Obama Volt Version 1 – A Hybrid by any other Name!

Where do you want to go that is less than 20 miles…

I was watching and listening to the President last week praising the new Chevy Volt as the car of the future;  a breakthrough in technology; the best thing sliced bread.  Well maybe he did not say sliced bread.   After listing to the spiel, I Binged the GM Volt so I could view this ObamaMobile first hand.   After reading through the features and specifications, the light came on.  I then Binged the Toyota Prius. 

Both had an electric motor and a gas engine; 

Both got 50 MPH; 

Both featured EV (electric vehicle) mode to one degree or another;  (The Volt boasted of a 40 mile range on electric power and it only takes 6 hours to recharge the batteries!  Better plan on a long dinner before returning home)

The Prius gas engine runs on regular gas while the Volt requires premium gas;

The Volt boasts a scaled down weight of 3,500 LBS, the Prius weighs in at 3,000 LBS.  (Don’t think Barry should push this as an advancement in weight reduction technology.  GM also boasted of the new plastics technology usesd to reduce the weight.  Great, in a crash I am covered in molten plastic that has been contaminated by the cobalt in the lithium ion batteries)  

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BINGO, the Volt is just a Hybrid!!!  Brilliant!!!  Wow, Obama dusted off a brand new technology” that was first announced by Toyota on January 16th, 1992 under the code name “Earth Charter1”!  The first of the Prius cars were sold in Japan starting on December 10th, 1997, 13 years ahead of the new innovative Chevy Volt.  Oh, the Volt has one very significant feature that far surpasses the Prius, the PRICE.  The Prius costs about $24,000 while the Volt comes in at $40,000 but wait, Government Motors will arrange for a $7,500 tax credit courtesy of the American TaxpayerGee I wonder if a Prius buyer can get the same Tax Credit, NAH!!!

I have to confess that I drive a Toyota Highlander Hybrid SUV that gets 32+MPH.  I also have to confess that I think the whole hybrid concept is an exercise in environmental suicide given the size of the batteries and the absolute toxicity of the battery components.  There are no recycling capabilities or any way to safely dispose of spent batteries.  But, in “April, 2000 – The Sierra Club, the nation’s oldest and largest environmental organization, presented its “Excellence in Environmental Engineering Award” to the Prius1.”  What do I know…?

               You have to hand it to this President; he can sell snow balls in H…..!  He made a 13 year old overpriced technology sounded like the second coming.  He was right about one thing.  The Volt is the quintessential example of a product produced by a government-private sector partnership.  Barry, you may want to stick to community organizing…!

Audacity of Hope?  How about just plain AUDICITY?

RD Pierini

Postscript:  Toyota was building a plant in Mississippi to produce the Prius in the US with real, honest to God American workers and jobs.  (see http://www.insideline.com/toyota/prius/2009/toyota-suspends-work-on-us-plant-set-for-prius-manufacturing.html)  Between the recession and then the trumped up accelerator recalls, Toyota postponed the completion of the plant. 

One can hope that Volt II may actually be innovative so we, taxpayers, can recoup our forced investment in Government Motors.  But if it isn’t, the GM CEO can borrow more TARP funds to pay us back!  Maybe that is the real sequel, TARP II

1http://www.toyoland.com/prius/chronology.html

The Recovery Myth-Unemployment is a Lagging Indicator – Benefits versus Working Salaries

Real People Lose Real Jobs!

All of the talking heads are saying that employment is always a lagging indicator of whether a recession is waning.  While this is true, the level of employment impacts the ability of consumers to consume and thus has a direct relationship on the time it will take to overcome the impacts of a recession.  I hate statistics but unfortunately they need to be used to view the impact of unemployment on the spending power of consumers.  Many in Congress and this Administration say that unemployment insurance extensions will help to fund the recovery as the unemployed take their checks and spend it in the marketplace.  This is pretty absurd when viewed against facts. 

The average wage rate in the US in June was $22.50/hour1 compared to $10.13/hour for unemployment insurance payments2.  Basically this says that the purchasing power of the average unemployed citizen is cut in half.  The effect of this reduction in wages will translate in these consumers spending the bulk of the UI payments on housing and food with the latter purchases being more for commodity items versus value added food items.  It is cheaper to buy a 20# bag of rice than to buy individual rice or pasta foil pack meals.  Consumption of higher costs meats and vegetables will also suffer as well as health and beauty care items. 

The actual drop in purchasing power is  $ 28,897,892,308 PER MONTH or $346,774,707,696 per year.  This is 1/3 of a Trillion Dollars and we are not even counting those who are no longer on UI and have dropped out of the work force altogether.   

               The math is pretty basic: (The statistics are from the Bureau of Labor Statistics1,3)

IF the Unemployed were Working

               Total Unemployed in June, 2010                                16,600,000

               Non Worked hours at 160 Hours/Month                 2,336,000,000

               Average Wages Per Hour                                             $22.50                                        

               Total Gross Lost Wages/Month                          $52,560,000,000 (that’s billion)

               Total Gross Lost Wages/Year                              $630,720,000,000

 

What this same Workforce Receive in UI Benefits

               Total Unemployed in June, 2010                                       16,600,000

               Average Hourly UI Benefit                                                  $10.13

               Non Worked Hours at 160 Hours/Month                         2,336,000,000

               Total Gross Monthly UI Benefits                              $23,662,107,692

               Total Gross Annual UI Benefits                                 $283,945,292,304

Loss in Consumer Spending

               Monthly Loss                                                                 $28,897,892,308

               Annual Loss                                                                    $346,774,707,696

So, where is the “stimulus” for getting us out of the recession?

               You could argue that we are never at full employment so these numbers are inflated by half or so.  I would argue that these numbers are actually conservative given the number of people who are no longer drawing UI benefits and who have dropped out of the workforce altogether.  Some have estimated that the real unemployment percentage is closer to 18% rather than the 9.5% used above.  If you subtract 5% from the 18%, and use that number to calculate the losses, the annual loss in spending power is a staggering half a trillion dollars per year. 

               Consumer goods and other private sector companies are estimated to be sitting 2 trillion dollars in cash.  They have been able to accumulate these reserves due to cost reductions generated by massive layoffs and higher revenues generated by price increases they obtained in 2008 and before.  They are looking at this reduction in consumer purchasing power and applying the impact to their own product lines.  Flat screen TVs, new appliances, automobiles, and other “luxury” items are now out of most consumers’ budgets.  Even value added food products and restaurant dining are no longer a priority due to the reduction in disposable income.  How long the consumer goods and other private sector companies can maintain their reserves is directly related to a reduction in the unemployed. 

Companies will not spend to hire staff or expand plant and equipment due to the uncertainties caused by this Congress and this Administration.  They are looking at the government spending sprees, the massive regulations embedded into every piece of legislation that is being passed, and the competition for credit between the private and public sectors, and they see the potential for double digit inflation coupled with double digit interest rates.  IF they are doing business in states such as California that have ridiculous budget deficits, they are looking for ways to cease to do business in those states and to move to more business friendly states.  These states will undoubtedly attempt to squeeze the last drop of blood out of these businesses so the businesses will have to seek friendlier environments.  

The next time you hear a talking head telling you that unemployment is a lagging indicator that the economy is getting better, remind yourself that unemployment is not a lagging indicator but a causal factor in the recession itself.  It is a self fulfilling prophecy!

RD Pierini

1Average Hourly Wages:

http://www.bls.gov/

2State by State Unemployment Benefits for 2009

http://credit-blog.creditfyi.com/personal-finances/state-unemployment-benefits-for-2009.html

3Employment Situation Summary:

http://www.bls.gov/news.release/empsit.nr0.htm

State’s Budget Woes-Where is the Money Going?

Cost_Study_2010_Budget_Gaps_vs_Costs

Elected Officials View of Your Money!

 This article was originally written in August and we still do not have a State or Federal Budget today, almost the first of October.

          This article is being written from the perspective of an Ex-Mayor which I am.  There are a lot of expenditures at the local and state level that the average taxpayer may not be aware of.  It is important to understand some of the nuances of public sector “budgeting” and its impact on state’s deficits.  We will spend a little time talking specifically about public sector employment costs, illegal immigration budget impacts and the role of the Federal Government is turning our great nation upside down.  You will start to hear more and more of our cities declaring their “bankrupt” status.  Hopefully this discussion will include sufficient causal factors to help you understand the depth of the problems we face as individuals, public sector employees, tax payers and citizens.

Private Sector View:

               In business, it is imperative to analyze every expense in terms of whether it is a long-term hard commitment or an expense that is short-term and can be eliminated if needed due to revenue shortfalls.  Contractual obligations are scrutinized carefully so a company does not over commit itself in the event of a generalized recession or a loss of revenue that is specific to the company.  All expenditures and cash flow requirements are carefully balanced since companies cannot “print” money and have to rely on their internal cash reserves, their ability to borrow capital or issue stocks or bonds to generate cash.  The latter is tricky during economic downturns as the willingness of investors to jump in is dampened by the downturn and the investor’s analysis of whether the company will be in a position to repay the bond debt or if the stock price or dividends will provide a return to the investors. 

Unfunded Mandates on the Private Sector:

               More and more, businesses are being saddled with what are known as “Unfunded Mandates” by government entities.  Unfunded mandates are exactly what the term implies; a requirement for a company to expend capital that does not enhance the creation or delivery of the goods or services provided by the company.  For example, if the EPA requires a coal plant to install scrubbers to reduce their emissions, that cost is not funded (unfunded) by the EPA but is required by law or regulation (mandate).  That example may sound like it is beneficial to the common good” but keep in mind that businesses have to pass the cost of the unfunded mandate to its consumers.  If they do not, they will soon be out of business due to rising costs that cannot be matched with an increase in revenue.   The new health care bill that just passed has many examples of unfunded mandates.  Practically every federal bill that has passed in the past 18 months carries increasing levels of unfunded mandates for companies and their consumers.

Public Sector View:

Cities, counties, and the state governments do not scrutinize their own budget commitments in the same way.  Government entities are controlled by their legislative bodies that use the revenues they have first to insure their own re-election, build their power base, and finally to provide for their view of the “common good”.  This may sound a little cynical but unfortunately you could write volumes outlining the self-serving natures of our legislatures.  This is not isolated to one party or the other but is pervasive throughout government.  (Longevity in office further exacerbates this ill but that will be the subject of another blog)  It used to be that local governments, Cities, Counties, School Boards, were more motivated towards the common good.  This was due to the proximity of their voters.  Today the focus on the common good has deteriorated so as evidenced by the out of control City Council, staff, and employee salaries in the city of Bell, California.  But they are not alone.

               Most government entities take a very short-term view of their expenditures.  When the economy is booming, governments ratchet up their long-term commitments with no eye on what will happen when the normal economic downturns occur.  Today we are witnessing this in almost every state in the Union and certainly in the Federal Government.  The big difference with the Federal Government is that it can print money to cover its debt, hence the term “monetizing the debt”.

Public Sector Pensions, “Defined Benefit Programs”:

               Most of us in the private sector are familiar with 401K plans, or perhaps profit-sharing plans that are commonly referred to as DEFINED CONTRIBUTION Plans.  In these plans, there is NO GUARANTEE how much your retirement BENEFIT will be when you retire.  These plans only offer you assistance in building your retirement portfolio through matching funds, outright grants in profit-sharing plans, etc.  The value of your retirement nest egg is dependent on how YOU invested the money and how those investments grew or shrunk over the years.  Conversely, most government workers participate in  “Defined Benefit Programs”.  These programs are an outright, contractual GUARANTEE of to a specified retirement benefit.  In many cases involving public sector employees, the Benefit is a percentage of their salary in the final specified years of their employment.  Most of these plans have cost of living adjustments built-in.  For example, if you are a police officer making $100,000 per year during your determinant years, and your plan calls for 90% retirement benefit, you will be guaranteed to receive a $90,000 annual retirement benefit, regardless of the economy or the underlying investment the entity has made to “fund” the benefit.  In addition, many public sector employees are guaranteed specified health benefits upon retirement as well. 

These are great programs for employees but are unsustainable in the long-term, which is now!  One of the reasons is that the unions and the complicit legislatures have continuously reduced the funding requirements for the reserves to fund these liabilities.  Consequently, when an employee retires, the payments to that employee have to be paid out of the general fund rather than from a “lock box” reserve fund.  Today, there are cities and counties allocating over 50% of their police and fire annual budgets to paying retirees.  The percentage will continue to rise until all of the current fire and police employees are laid off so the retirees can be paid.  The laying off of current employees to fund retirees is happening today in the City of Oakland, California, and more recently in East St. Louis, Missouri.   This situation exists for cities, counties, school districts, and certainly for states such as California.

In California, the then governor Jerry Brown pushed and passed Senate Bill 160 (1975), the Rodda Act.  This REQUIRED school districts to negotiate with one of several unions at least every 3 YEARS.  Similar legislation was passed under Brown’s guidance for practically all public sector employees.  Since 1975, California has continued to build up backlog of unfunded liabilities and today the operating budget for California is over $25B in the red and the total unfunded liabilities are estimated to exceed $1 trillion dollars. 

Since the public sector does not produce any products but only “services”, labor is its largest budget line item.  Since the 1970s, the nation’s local governments have continued to make commitments to their employees that are unsustainable.  Salaries in the public sector are now higher than their counterparts in the private sector and the benefit packages are orders of magnitude better for the employee.  Unfortunately, public sector employees better start planning for drastic reductions in their retirement and health benefit plans.  The costs today cannot be supported.  The Federal Government bailed out the UAW when it provided taxpayer dollars to GM and Chrysler.  The Feds used much of the “Stimulus” money to date to help local entities pay their current liabilities for pension and health benefit programs.  Since the Feds are in deficit spending themselves, the Feds are merely monetizing even state and local government budget shortfalls.   To say that this is nuts, is just nuts.  It is way beyond nuts.

Unfunded Mandates on the Local Public Sector: (cities, counties & states)

               Every dime a local government receives from the Federal Government comes with strings attached and those strings are usually a requirement for “matching” funds and services at some level.  You may receive a community development block grant but the city has to put up “X” amount in matching funds.  Or, you are “guaranteed” reimbursement by the Feds for Medicaid; or for enforcing Federal Laws for drug trafficking, border security, or a whole host of other “cost/work sharing” efforts.  With each of these programs, the local entities always have to commit to a higher annual budget costs to participate in these programs.  Those cities that take community development block grants to fund their general fund expenditures are only kidding themselves.  These funds dry up or get reallocated to other programs then you are left holding your budget bag all by yourself. 

Illegal Alien Costs:

               The National Conference of State Legislatures, issued their “State Budget Update: July 2009”, that put forth some staggering budget shortfall numbers by state and what each state was spending for all of the services it had to provide to Illegal Aliens due to Federal legislation.  In 2009, California had a budget shortfall (deficit) of $19,638B.  California’s cost to support illegal Aliens for 2009 was $21,756B.  Without the costs for California to support services to Illegal Aliens, California would have had a budget Surplus of $2,117B!  If you add up all of the States’ budget shortfalls in 2009, the total amount would be $69,775B.  The total costs to support Illegal Immigrants for all States in 2009 were $81,813B.  Without the illegal Immigrant issue, the combined all States’ Budget surplus would have been $12,038B in 2009. 

               The cost of illegal immigration is draining not only cash for day-to-day services, but it is forcing premature, increased capital expenditures in the form of additional classrooms to house a 20% increase in children, additional health care facilities to handle the increased emergency room loads, etc. 

THIS IS A FAILURE OF OUR FEDERAL GOVERNMENT, GOING BACK TO AT LEAST 1986, TO PROVIDE FOR A SANE IMMIGRATION POLICY AND TO INSURE BOARDER SECURITY AND TO FORCE LOCAL ENTITIES TO FUND AND ABSORB ALL OF THE RELATED COSTS OF THEIR FAILURE…!

               We are once again being forced to consider granting amnesty to millions of people who are in this country illegally and thus perpetuating the budget shortfalls of our local governments.  We are told that amnesty is the only really charitable thing to do and that we cannot just round these people up and drive/fly them to where ever they came from. 

How about if we start with deporting every Senator, Congressman and President that has held office since 1986!

IF they were not in Washington thinking up ways to waste more of our tax dollars and drive us further into debt, we could probably allow the illegal aliens to stay!  Considering that illegal immigrants cost the local states $82B in 2009, stopping the Federal Government from spending any more money would cover that cost pretty quickly.  The $82B is roughly equal to 22 months of interest just on the “Stimulus Package” these clowns forced us to thinks was a necessity.

               It is time for local governments to step up and make the right choices.  These are going to be choices of BAD and WORSE.  Retired and current public workers are going to have to give up some of what they have rightfully expected to receive.  But, if our nation basically goes into bankruptcy, there will be even less available for you to draw.

               It is time for the Congress and the President to grow up.  You cannot continue to tax, spend, regulate and shove unfunded mandates down everyone’s throats.  Your games are now transparent to the public who is fed up with your antics.  This includes every single member of Congress and the Administration.  Even if you don’t support this out of control fiscal insanity, then we are asking what you have done to stop it.  If you have not chained yourself to the steps of the capital in protest or done something outrageous to draw continual attention to this farce, then you are also part of the problem.  A simple NO vote doesn’t cut it anymore!  We need honest, citizen legislators who will stand up for what is right; spend 2 terms in office; then go home and get a job.  The time for career politicians is over at every level of our government.  The States’ budget woes are just the tip of the iceberg.

RD Pierini

The Other Gulf Coast Oil Spill – Agriculture in California Part 1

Fallow Farmland

                The Gulf Oil Spill literally exploded onto the scene and into our lives in a dramatic explosion that resulting in 11 deaths and 17 other injuries.  It was an event of catastrophic proportions that will be felt economically and environmentally for decades.   The same is true of the eventual elimination of agriculture in the San Joaquin and Sacramento Valleys of California as well as other farming areas in the state.  The difference is that there was no explosion; no fanfare in the press; no outrage by politicians in Congress or the past and present administrations.  It started with the Federal Reclamation Act of 1902 and has slowly progressed to the point where today hundreds of thousands of acres of prime farmland lay idle.   The laying fallow of the most fertile valleys on this earth was caused, not by callous big business or careless oil giants, but by our own State and Federal Governments aided and abetted by relentless environmentalists.  

               This travesty goes virtually unnoticed by the American public today but the long-term impacts of the Federal and State water policies will impact the average American much more than the Gulf Oil crisis.   Why?  California is the sole (at least 99% of the total US production) of Almonds, Cling Peaches, Figs, Persimmons, Raisins, Sweet Rice, Artichokes, Dried Plums, Olives, Pomegranates, and Walnuts.  California also produces 95% of the nation’s canning tomatoes; over $7B (22% of the US total) of dairy products, $3B of grapes; over $2B (73% of US) of lettuce; and the list goes on.  California exports to 156 countries with an export value of over $11B.  California farmland is only 4% of the nation’s total but it produces over 13% of the nation’s total value.  The total value of the California agricultural output was $36.6B in 2007.  The real tragedy is that this amount could exceed $50-75B with a more enlightened federal and state water and land policy.  We have the land and the water; we just do not allocate them to agriculture. 

               Why?  Agriculture has no voice because there are too few farmers and thus too few votes to matter in Washington and Sacramento.  This travesty that has been caused by the Federal Government is not only hurting farmers, but generations of farm workers.  Fresno County is treading water at almost 20% unemployment with many of its smaller cities where the farm workers live peaking above 40%.  Other farm counties are tracking the same or worse.  Merced County is at 22%, Kern Country is over 18%, Stanislaus County is at 19% and so on.  

               The primary driving force behind the demise of California agriculture is the Federal Government’s water policy and lack of water allocations for the richest farmland in the world.  In upcoming installments we will explore the evolution of these and other policies that are     impacting California agriculture.  So far, the only real national news coverage has been by Sean Hannity.  My hat is off to Sean and we hope he returns… 

RD Pierini

Geithner– The Epitome of Irrelevance

What do I know???

Tim Geithner, the Secretary of the Treasury.  Alexander Hamilton, the Secretary of the Treasury.  Timmy does not quite measure up.  I just can’t picture Timmy debating the virtues of a strong central bank with Thomas Jefferson nor lobbying George Washington on the establishment of a strong centrally controlled treasury. 

 Geithner declared Sunday, “It’s responsible to let the tax cuts expire that just go to 2 percent to 3 percent of Americans, the highest earning Americans,”.  HUH?  If it is a good thing to cut tax rates on everyone else to ostensibly to increase revenues, like every other tax cut has accomplished, then why exempt the top 2 or 3 percent.  You don’t need the extra revenue in the treasury?  Oh I forgot, Geithner later explained that keeping the tax on the top 2 or 3 percent would show other nations, i.e. Europe, China, etc., that the United States is serious about cutting the deficit.  Hold the phone.  If tax increases decrease treasury revenues, how is this helping to reduce the deficit? 

Here is a novel thought, tell your Boss to quit spending money we don’t have!

               Timmy, at least be honest with yourself and the American Taxpayer, your real boss.   You and your short term boss, Obama, simply believe in, are committed to, and will push as hard as possible to redistribute wealth from the top 2 or 3% to those you believe are more deserving. 

RD Pierini

Saving our Nation through Vigilance

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