Friday, November 24, 2017

Sobering Statistics From The Land Of Lincoln

Like semantics, details of personal hygiene, and references to Fox News, statistics can serve as attention scarecrow. Ever see click bait with a numerical theme? "You haven't seen Bureau Of Labor stats in thirty years? What they look like now will amaze you!"

Our national debt numbers are so grim that they result in collective numbness. Pile on unfunded federal entitlements, college debt that exceeds a trillion and one can understand why one would rather view current pics of the surviving members of The Manson Family. The economic forecast is so bleak as to  make one ask, "What could be worse?" 

Statistics usually come in 2 sizes: Bad and Worse. As bad as our national numbers might be, they are much worse in Illinois:

Unfunded state and local government retirement debt is more than $260 billion and rising. 

Unfunded pension liabilities for the nation’s highest-paid government workers (overtime starts at 37.5 hours) are $130 billion and are projected to increase for at least through the next decade. 

Nearly 25 percent of the state’s general funds go to retirees (many living in Texas and Florida). 

Vendors are owed $9.5 billion. 

Every five minutes the population — down 1.22 million in 16 years — declines as another person, and an average of $30,000 more in taxable income, flees the nation’s highest combined state and local taxes. 

Those leaving are earning $19,600 more than those moving in. 

The work force has shrunk by 97,000 this year. 

There has not been an honestly balanced budget — a constitutional requirement — since 2001. 

The latest tax increase, forced by the legislature to end a two-year budget impasse, will raise more than $4 billion, but another $1.7 billion deficit has already appeared.

There has not been a balanced budget despite a constitutional mandate. A lesson for all of us, I think.

The stats come from an interesting article from "Los Angeles Daily News" website about the Illinois reformers battling The Blue Mafia.

Monday, November 20, 2017

One Of The Biggest Economic Stories Ever Goes Unreported By MSM

If you follow the MSM, you missed a big story. Well, Selena Zito and "New York Post picked it up. But everyone else missed it.

Glen Dale, W. Va. — Bad news travels fast. Good news, meanwhile, doesn’t seem to travel at all.
Last weekend in Beijing, as part of his 12-day trip to Asia, President Trump announced that the US and China had signed an $83.7 billion memorandum of understanding to create a number of petrochemical projects in West Virginia over the next 20 years.
If the agreement holds tight, it is an economic game changer for the state.
And yet, speaking to the locals here, you wouldn’t even know it had happened.
The BBC and CNN covered the news in their business sections, while The New York Times picked up a short story by The Associated Press on the deal. The stories’ headlines were muted; their placement low-key.
“One would have suspected that the prospect of an investment this large — nearly three times the total annual budget for the department of energy — would have been front-page news,” said Paul Sracic, political-science professor at nearby Youngstown State University.

Sunday, November 19, 2017

The Monkey On My Back: I Watch RT's 10 + Hours Of Election Night Coverage

I struggle with living in the past. Should not be fettered by the hooks of yesterday.

Point taken, angel on shoulder but this is more alluring than that which we call entertainment. It is more enlightening than that which we call education.

This is more than nostalgia. So much more. It is all about bias, propaganda and ultimately failed propaganda. The changes in vocal tones and body language. The tears. The dark prophecies. The finger-pointing.They are all different and yet, they are all the same. An enduring art form.

To date I have watched in entirety, the 2016 coverage of the following networks:

1. PBS
2. ABC...very splashy and bright.
3. CBS
5. Fox News
6. CNN
7. The Young Turks
8. RT (Full disclosure. I still have a couple of hours to go.)

I have watched snippets of NBC's coverage but I have not watched it wall to wall.

Comments about RT's coverage: If this was radio, RT would be either an oldies station or a Doctor Demento-style salute to novelty acts. Ed Schulz is flanked by Jesse Ventura and they drag out Ron Paul and Ralph Nader. They bring on Lefties to parrot the same cliches they parrot on every other station. The hits keep coming all night long.

Anyone who thinks RT aided the Trump campaign should slam their skulls with a rubber mallet in hopes of elevating their IQ. They start out somewhat evenhanded but as the grapes sour, the leopards show their spots. With Ed Schulz at anchor, a pundit too radical for MSNBC, one can expect--and they receive--a hearty dose of extreme Leftism. It is also interesting to note that RT was not allowed inside Trump headquarters. They were forced to report from curbside.

Saturday, November 18, 2017

Please, Let Us Not Refight The Battle Of Whitewater

Some people say that Timothy McVeigh killed the Conservative Movement in the 90's. I am of the firm belief that Kenneth Starr did more damage to the Republican Party than the philosophically-stunted terrorist whose delicate psyche was traumatized by what he had witnessed in the first Iraq War.

One of the reasons to take the political high road is that it tends to be more successful than the sewer express. MAGA is the political high road. Trump's pugnacious nature prompted him to "punch down" but the Donald is an instinctive counter puncher. He did not lead with sleaze. His message, a message the Democratmedia never understood or never acknowledged, was one of hope and optimism. Morning in America if we let the sun rise.

Hillary was negative from the get go. Access Hollywood, fabricated gropees from the distant past, claims of pedophilia, racism, misogyny, Islamophobia, basket of deplorables, and on and on and on. Hillary put on her pith helmet and discovered a tribe called the alt-right that most of us had never heard of. Sixteen degrees of separation later, she laid the alt-right at Donald Trump's footstep. Hillary's habitual bitterness only resonated with bitter minds and by the grace of God this country was delivered from evil.

Barack Obama is perhaps the sleaziest human being America has ever produced but his fabricated persona usually took the high road. With 99+ per cent of the news media trashing Hillary and McCain and Romney, Obama was free to babble empty verbiage about hope and change with his skull illuminated by a bright, swirling halo. His zombies saw their deity take the high, if not celestial road to destiny and deliverance. Yeswecan!

Before Obama, George Bush won two elections hiking a pike elevated slightly above Dan Rather and the Democrats. And in the 90's Bill Clinton's approval ratings would be bolstered by Kenneth Starr's sleazy-ass evil character-assassinating fishing expedition. Let us revisit Mr. Peepers later and now return to this nascent century.

The sewer makes people stupid. I did not jump on the trash Harvey Weinstein bandwagon. I prefer to discuss and advance principles rather than promoting and sniping at proper nouns. I was reluctant to play toilet referee but I suppose I have to in order to establish that sewer politics makes people stupid.

Harvey Weinstein's many and varied accusations range from the expected to the not surprising to the understandable to the harder to understand to the downright gross to the possibly criminal to the flagrantly felonious.  But no one in the press is making such distinctions. The broadside brush of "sexual misconduct" is the only tool the painter brought to the job.

Bear with me for a moment while we examine (eeeee) the antics of one Louis C. K. Like Congressman Danger, Mr. K almost succeeds in making gropers wholesome by comparison. If I were Ben Affleck, I would be screaming bloody murder at my name being mentioned in the same article as this porn circus geek. Ever the exhibitionist, K publicly apologized to his victims, no doubt getting excited at his rehashing of events. K is the kind of guy who gives perverts a bad name but he has resolved one pop culture issue: Louis C. K. is indeed a funny man.

I actually feel sorry for Al Franken. Given his political status, his fake gropes and practice kisses and adolescent attitude have made him the top news item of the week. If Franken's bone chips can be reassembled into a skeleton, every public figure is in trouble. I hereby issue more warnings about the sewer. Stupidity and false equivalency prevail. Tread lightly.

Which brings us to Roy Moore. I dismiss outright claims made by "The Washington Post", Gloria Allred, the Democrat attack machine, Judas McCain, Mitt the (if only I could find a word to rhyme) Romney and the rest of the GOP establishment. I don't care if they produce 600 women from 38 years ago. These allegations are about as credible as Judas McCain's PROMISE to repeal Obamacare. This is as bogus as the appointing of a special prosecutor to investigate Donald Trump in the total, complete and absolute absence of evidence of criminal activity while his opponents have long, lucrative and suspicious relationships with the Kremlin. If Moore is defeated, the issue-deficient Democrats will make character assassination a staple of every election.

At last we return to the sexually-curious Kenneth Starr. I would like to put those days behind us but unfortunately, some people want a do-over in The Battle of Whitewater. Some quick observations about this stain on the blue dress that is American history.

1. The Special Counsel should have been shut down when it shifted gears and focused its attention on Bill Clinton's sex life.

2. Had the Starr Commission publicized what had happened to Juanita Broaddrick and Kathleen Willey instead of the consensual relationship between Clinton and Monica Lewinsky, history might have been altered for the better.
     Note: This says something creepy about the Conservative mind. A consensual relationship is more offensive to them than a brutal, animalistic, face-bleeding rape! To this day, talk radio produces more references to Monica Lewinsky than Juanita Broaddrick. I did not follow the news as closely as I do now but I did not learn about Juanita Broaddrick until the waning days of the Clinton Presidency. Like most people, I sided with Clinton over the sexually-obsessed Kenneth Starr even though I never voted for Clinton. It's not necessarily that Conservatives are wrong so much as their priorities are whacked.
3. Nancy Pelosi was right when she said Republicans institutionalized the politics of personal destruction (I am paraphrasing) when they allowed Kenneth Starr to attack Bill Clinton on private matters.
     Note: Karma can suck sometimes.

4. The Republicans attacked Clinton personally because they were too unprincipled or cowardly to engage him on policy.

5. Bill Clinton did not publicly humiliate Monica Lewinsky. The voyeuristic Kenneth Starr did that.

6. Law and order man Kenneth Starr allowed illegal leaks of confidential grand jury testimony.
    Note: Whatever else can be said about sleazeball Robert Mueller, he did not invent hypocrisy or a blatant disrespect for the rule of law. The Mueller Commission is the continuation of a long tradition of public corruption and lawlessness.

7. Some of the sharpest political minds who keenly understand why elections are won and lost, and who were not surprised by Donald Trump's victory, still cannot understand why the public sided with Clinton over Starr.

We are going to conclude on that last point. Sorry Rush and Howie and Ann and Bennie if you are too stupid to understand these things. Here's a crib note for you. Witch hunts frequently backfire. Be careful joining the mob, be it the one chasing Roy Moore, or the one chasing Al Franken.

The sewer will make you stupid.

Sunday, November 12, 2017

The Impending Public Pension Disaster

I believe in doing that which is right and lawful. Even though I will never receive a public pension, I believe that we should (or should have) done all that we could to ensure that public pensioners receive all that they are entitled.

I am passionate that people receive that for which they contracted. I do not believe in changing the terms later for the sake of expediency or worse, for "fairness." On political issues, I am most passionate about fiscal matters. Profligacy can destroy a civilization faster than an army of foreign invaders. Chicken Little is right about some things and this is one of them.

During the Obama years I found it interesting but frustrating that every public pensioner I knew, supported Barack Obama. I tried to make the point that reckless spending threatened their financial foundation. In retrospect, I feel a bit stupid for futilely protecting the interests of those who voted against their own self-interest. They will reap what they sow but they will be too damn stupid to make the connection.

For rest of our lives, we will suffer the abuses of the Obama Administration. Not just the doubling of the national debt (with NOTHING to show for it) but the inflation of student loan debt (now exceeding $1 trillion) and perhaps most significantly, the impracticality of federal bailouts when each taxpayer already owes hundreds of thousands of dollars to Uncle Sam.

The next big bailout effort will be state and local pensions. Even if there is an appetite for someone in rural America to fund the retirement of a Chicago school administrator, the preexisting condition that is our national debt might make everything moot. This is not entirely a red state vs. blue state phenomenon. Newly red Kentucky has a massive pension problem.

Blue cities in red states, like Houston for instance, complicate the melee. Do you think that all those suburbanites whose families abandoned the dysfunctional city long ago will want to pick up the tab for someone back in the hinterland? I doubt it very much.

With the cacophony of bogus news, the "pension tsunami" has gotten little exposure. It might be too soon for the MSM, too close to Obama's occupancy. In good time this can be pinned on Donald Trump or The Freedom Caucus.

A few muted voices are whispering about the oncoming disaster. The appropriately named Pension Tsunami covers this subject in chilling detail. The ever-alert and always worthy, Zero Hedge, has contributed an eyebrow-raising article. These are both good jumping-off points.

This will get ugly. While we might snicker at the idiot who built a mansion in a flood basin (and who now demands a new mansion) there will also be countless victims who are more innocent. It would be good and noble and just to help those who will not receive that for which they worked hard and devoted their lives. Unfortunately, Pelosi, Reid, Boehner, McConnell and yes, Barack Hussein Obama, might have already burnt that candle at its other end.

We reap what we sow, even if we are too stupid to realize it.

Friday, November 10, 2017

The Ugliest Americans

UCLA basketball players LiAngelo Ball Jalen Hill and Cody Riley will likely face house arrest for shoplifting at a Louis Vuitton store in Hangzhou, China, accordingto the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. The punishment could be for 20 days and served in the hotel where they are staying. The players will also not be permitted to visit the country again.

Sports Illustrated Article:

BTW, I can remember when SI proofread its material.  Eeegads.

Is Roy Moore The Second Coming Of Ted Stevens?

The Democrat-media complex has a long history of treachery, character assassination, fake news and false accusation. Case in point, the late Ted Stevens.

The concise Stevens bio: He served in the US Senate for 38 years and was prosecuted on bogus charges prior to his reelection bid in 2008. The case would be dismissed and the prosecution team would face subsequent investigations for their unethical (read illegal) behavior but the bogus trial would cost Stevens his reelection bid and help the Dems capture a Senate super majority. Stevens would die in a plane crash in 2010 at the age of 87.

No elitist gadfly, Roy Moore, is being accused of various counts of sexual misbehavior going back 38 years. The fact that "The Washington Post" broke the story should make all of us reconsider its validity. It is reported that the journalist who broke the story has a history of check fraud. I cannot verify that. I can tell you that Roy Moore was opposed in the primaries by both the president and the GOP establishment. I can tell you that Mitch McConnell and serial back stabber, John McCain have denounced Roy Moore. Could there be two better testimonials for Moore's suitability?

Rollcall recounts the railroading of Ted Stevens:

After trial we learned that government prosecutors concealed compelling evidence from the defense. The cooperating witness did not come up with the “covering his ass” testimony until right before trial and his previous inconsistent statements were hidden from the defense. Likewise, the government concealed evidence that its star witness had suborned perjury from an underage prostitute with whom the star witness had an illegal sexual relationship. And the government concealed evidence that another witness — whom the government flew back to Alaska away from the Washington, D.C., trial after their mock cross-examination of him went poorly — had told the senator that the bills he received and promptly paid included all of the work that was done. Government prosecutors mocked Stevens when he explained that on the stand — all the while knowing that they had a witness who would have supported him, but whom they had removed from the trial.
The case was indeed about concealment, but it was government prosecutors who did the concealing. An independent investigation ordered by presiding Judge Emmet G. Sullivan found that the prosecution was “permeated by the systemic concealment of significant exculpatory evidence, which would have independently corroborated Senator Stevens’s defense and his testimony, and seriously damaged the testimony and credibility of the government’s key witness.”
Though the case was dismissed before any sentence was ever imposed (and before a conviction was entered), the prosecution of Stevens was a miscarriage of justice.
Should we believe WAPO, Shifty Mitch and Judas McCain or should we believe Judge Roy Moore? I can't vote in the Alabama special election but ti would take more than the disapproval of serial liars to abandon Roy Moore.