Monday, May 30, 2011
5/7 It’s is truly interesting how the Obama Administration has embraced practically every facet of the Bush Administration and yet continues to blame his policies for our economic conundrums. Case and point is a job counting gimmick called the Birth-Death adjustment. This was a phantom job producing adjustment scorned by the Democrats under Bush and now embraced by the Obama Administration. The B-D adjustment is supposed to take into account business start-ups and those that close down. Unfortunately, the B-D adjustment is notoriously inaccurate in a recession, as new business starts are optimistically guessed upon and those that die are poorly counted. As an example, in the April 2011 job numbers, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported 244,000 new jobs, of which 175,000 were made up using the B-D adjustment. This is one reason the BLS can claim job growth yet the unemployment percentage continues to increase; they are phantom jobs with phantom paychecks.
5/12 There seems to be little doubt what President Obama wants the American people to concentrate on. The whole Birther conspiracy has seemed propagated from the White House ever since Obama was elected. How else can you explain the Presidents lack of response until recently and the release of a document that was obviously designed to look other than authentic? Next we have the assassination of Osama bin Laden. While both the CIA (probably at the direction of Bush 43) and British MI5 had placed bin Laden on the back burner, while Obama instructed Leon Panetta and the CIA to find and kill him. Surely a worthy endeavor, but the mystery around the identification, including the burial at sea and the public conundrum to not show his face, leads one to believe that these decisions were made for the sole purpose of, like the Birther conspiracy, to keep the public distracted.
5/28 I’m sure Micheal Bihn was quite serious with his letter that the presence of Ring-Necked Doves in Santa Cruz was the result of global warming. Unfortunately there are a few problems with this logic. First, even those that profess the theory of global warming admit there has been no appreciable warming in the last 10 years. Second, Ring-Necked Doves are not indigenous to California, not even the United States; they are native to Africa. You see these are the doves most used for weddings and other similar celebrations. While Bihn is correct that some feral flocks have been spotted in some warm area of the country including Florida and Southern California, they are not a migratory bird and prefer very warm weather similar to their native Africa. Most Ring-Neck Doves show up after they have been released during a wedding and get lost. Thus many of these released birds die or are killed in a relatively short time by predators; so enjoy them while they last.
5/29 If one were to listen to Paul Krugman and David Brooks, one would think that a single House election in New York (26th Assembly district) is a death knell for Paul Ryan and his Medicare reform bill. What is only casually mentioned is there was a third party candidate Jack Davis that split the Republican vote. Now if this election was a referendum on the Ryan plan, then one would think Davis was opposed to the Ryan plan, but this where the issue becomes convoluted. Indeed Davis was opposed to the Ryan plan, but the Democrats spent millions in ads criticizing him for backing it. So one has to ask, were those who voted for Davis, voting for the Davis that backed the Ryan plan or the Davis that opposed it. Either way, it is difficult to determine exactly why anyone voted for Davis or what if anything this election meant in regards to Medicare reform.
5/29 On it’s face John Beisner’s complaint that Republicans prefer to let suspected terrorists buy guns seems legitimate, since they killed a bill in the Senate that would have prohibited anyone on the Terrorists Watch List from buying a firearm. However, if you look a little deeper you will understand. You see the Terrorists Watch List has quickly become an arbitrary list that contains the name of over 1 million Americans. Many of these names have been placed on the list simply because certain Intelligence officers have a quota that they must add a certain amount of names a month. The list has been criticized on civil liberties and due process grounds, due in part to the potential for ethnic, religious, economic, political, or racial profiling and discrimination. Further, if you have been placed on the list, there is no mechanism to have it removed or even explain why it was placed there in the first place. If we have learned anything it’s usually an overreaching government that places your name on an involuntary list.
Based on your graph of Union membership, it appears unions have been on a slow downward trend since the 1950 (certainly before union labor went overseas). Lets not forget that up until this year the US was the largest industrial producer in the world and is still a close second to China (BTW the size of the middle class in China is 15% of the population or 197 million workers; in the US it's 91%. So there is still a lot off have-not cheap labor in China). The slow decline of unions in the private sector was the eventual result of "employee centered management" (ECM). When employees were viewed as replaceable cogs, unions had social value. However once the advantages of ECM become apparent (pioneered by Henry Ford) private sector unions became redundant and a huge impediment, managing to keep a hold through political contributions and graft. Seeing the writing on the wall, unions migrated to the public sector, were the concept of labor and management is often blurred and there is also a lack of traditional adversarial relationships. Collective bargaining in the public sector has been disastrous to State and local governments (it does not exist for federal employees) and while there will be a lot of kicking and screaming, the days of unions in the public sector are numbered.
Thursday, May 26, 2011
Now if this election was a referendum on the Ryan plan, then one would think Davis was opposed to the Ryan plan, but this where the issue becomes convoluted. Indeed Davis said he is opposed to the Ryan plan, but Hochul and the Democrats have spent millions in ads criticizing him for backing it; a tactic obviously designed to keep the conservative Democrats in her court. So one has to ask, were those who voted for Davis, voting for the Davis that backed the Ryan plan or the Davis that opposed it. Either way, it is difficult to determine exactly why anyone voted for Davis. But and if you add the Republican and Tea Party votes, we find that conservatives won the election 52%/ 47%. So at best, Davis confused the electorate, and at worse, he was a Democrat in Tea Party clothing hoping to spit the Republican vote.
So no, Kathy Hochul is not Scott Brown, but John Davis does resemble Ross Perot.
Tuesday, May 24, 2011
It doubt there has ever been a Presidency like Obama’s that has tied itself so closely to another; that being Bush 43. In fact one could say it is a self-inflicted wound that has caused the Obama legacy to be forever in the shadow of Bush 43. Certainly this was not the intention of the Obama administration, but with it’s endless “blame Bush” diatribes, yet the continued comparisons, Obama seems to be less his own president, but a liberal response to Bush 43. One has to wonder how the American left feels when every time the President states a controversial policy, be justifies it by saying that it was no different than what Bush espoused; wasn’t Obama supposed to be different? What really exposes this conundrum is this occurs even when it is not true! The most recent example is Obama and the liberal press, saying that his peace plan for Israel to return to the 1967 borders. The reality was Bush said the opposite, calling the idea “unrealistic”. In the final analysis, the Obama presidency may appear as nothing more than a footnote to that of George W Bush.
Friday, May 6, 2011
From the TV show "The View", "President Bush tried, President Clinton tried, but Barack Obama was the one who had the courage and the guts and the coolness (in ordering the assassination of terrorist Osama bin Laden)”. While one might agree that Clinton did not order the death of Osama bin Laden, it might be noted that bin Laden was no more than an unindicted co-conspirator in the 1993 World Trade Center bombing at the time. Since we are talking political courage here and not the kind that involves personnel safety (that courage is left to the Navy SEALS), then few would classify Bush’s failure to eliminate bin Laden as one of a lack of political courage. There is no one that presumes Bush would not have benefited politically by bin Laden’s assassination, so the only political courage shown was that of President Obama; the political courage of the recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize, who has previously claimed sweeping power to target and kill U.S. citizens anywhere in the world, escalated one war, started another and authorized the killing of 3 pirates. So how does the recent assassination of a high value terrorist’s leader equate to political courage? Your guess is as good as mine.