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February 26, 2011

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Rob Crawford

Does Krugman even write his own columns anymore, or does the SEIU reprint their stuff under his byline?

And, really, who cares? We knew what was going to be in his column before it was even delivered to the paper: Republicans bad, Democrats good.

stan

Students planning on becoming teachers after college have been scoring at the bottom of the category rankings of those taking standardized tests (SAT and ACT) for decades.

If the avg teacher working 9 months a year with almost total job security makes the same as the avg college grad in the private sector working 12 months, the teachers are being enormously overpaid (probably double).

Danube of Thought

The phrase "without benefits" blows up any analysis. The healthcare premiums and guaranteed defined-benefit pensions are the public-sector goodies that are bleeding the taxpayers dry. The poor stiffs in the private sector don't get that stuff.

clarice

we dare to note it. I cannot put my fingers on it, but recall reading that when one considers benefits wisconsin state workers earn almost twice what the average Wisconsin taxpayer does.

DebinNC

I bet it's the 74% of their salary benefit package that WI public employees enjoy that sets them apart from their brethren in most other states. Even in WI, private sphere employees benefits average 23% of their salary.

Gmax

I am shocked earnest Paul had time to write a column, since I fully expected him to be pulling shift on the picket lines at the Capitol in Madison!

Gmax

I am immensely proud to note that Texas is near the bottom of both columns of the chart. I wonder, could it be possible, just maybe, probably not, but still, one of the reasons why nearly all of the current job creation is happening in Texas? Perish the thought.

Porchlight

A friend posted this on his Facebook page via the Facebook group Americans Against The Tea Party:

Forbes: The Wisconsin Lie Exposed: Taxpayers Actually Contribute Nothing To Public Employee Pensions

I don't get it. The author's argument is that pensions and health benefits are deferred compensation - that this is money that the employee is not taking in salary.

But the taxpayer foots 100% of the bill regardless of whether the money goes directly into the employee's bank account or is channeled into the pensions, correct?

And as commenters point out, the taxpayer is also expected to make up the difference when there is a shortfall.

Ignatz

--Per their chart, high school grads on the Wisconsin payroll earn 11.3% more than their private sector counterparts, without counting benefits.--

Here's the reality of just how bad public employee compensation has gotten, via a detailed, fact filled column by Jeff Jacoby from Oct 2010, that contains none of the silliness of not including benefits nor any of Krugman's characteristic state propaganda. Well worth the read and probably worth bookmarking as a reference.
When you consider many public employees can retire at 50-55 and the virtual tenure they are granted they should be making less, a lot less, than their private counterparts.

Ignatz

Porch,
This dude at NRO answers that Forbes guy's article and tells him he doesn't know what he's talking about.

Porchlight

Thanks, Ignatz. The NRO guy said a correction post is probably coming soon from Ungar - I think he's right. Ungar was slugging it out in the comments too, and backpedaling a little bit here and there.

I also liked one NRO commenter's use of 'deficit denialism.' Might have to steal that.

narciso

Relying on that 'Pulitzer prize winning NY Times reporter,' credentialed moron extraordinaire, who doesn't think we pay enough taxes, was the first mistake

Porchlight

David Cay Johnston, who wrote the article the Forbes guy based his column on, also participates in the NRO comments. He seems to have a rather high opinion of himself and his work.

Frau Steingehirn

Now, how can TM's truth be shouted to the union power? (I hate that hackneyed phrase, too, but had to use it after watching all the useful idiots lying, some knowingly, while trashing the WI capitol building.)

narciso

If he's not a Journolister, he certainly 'plays one on TV', in the LUN

narciso

I think I'm ready to render my verdict, based on this last LUN

caro

It occurs to me that the Wisconsin Fleebaggers should have to pay for the capitol cleanup out of the salaries that they have to pick up in person. If they had been there to do their jobs over a week ago, the damage and filth would be much less.

Neo

Leave it to National Geographic to figure out how Iran could save us all from AGW.

Pagar

When reading about David Cay Johnston, keep the LUN in mind.

He may have some Obama type background.


"But a quick review of his many biographical statements available online shows Johnston is not being forthcoming about his educational background."

maryrose

Hear Hear caro!

maryrose

aro:
I hope your leg is healing quickly.
Happy Birthday,belatedly Bob S.

maryrose

Sorry. should have been caro.

daddy

Don't know if it's been mentioned so far today, but here's Rand Paul on Letterman's Show earlier this week. Link.

Letterman claims we need to tax the rich and send more money to schools and teachers. At just around 10 minutes Rand Paul explains that money isn't the answer. He says the current Teacher in Wisconsin makes $89,000, to which Letterman immediately responds "they should be making twice that much", at which point the audience applauds.

So what that means is that Letterman and his loony audience think the average public school teacher in Wisconsin should be making $178,000.

But it's not about the teachers. It's all about the children.

Extraneus

He seems to have a rather high opinion of himself and his work.

I think the "Cay" in David Cay Johnston was the tip-off there.

Danube of Thought

The Johnson/Schneider analysis is pure semantics. It simply elects to include as "wages" the money contributed to the two systems. Fair enough, but if you do so then you have to call the average "wage" for nine months' work $89,000.

And it is inescapable that out of every dollar paid in any form to Wisconsin teachers, 100 cents comes from the taxpayer.

LouP

I wanted to read the details of those studies. Lots and lots of statistics and percentages but no details of where it was all coming from. I began to think I was getting a snow job.

So I looked up the author of one of those stories and her biography...

"Before coming to the Center, she served as Assistant Research Director of the Service Employees International Union in Washington, D.C. Prior to that, she was a staff member of the Joint Finance Committee for the State of Wisconsin Legislature specializing in property taxes and state aid to local governments.

"She holds an M.A. in Political Science from the University of Chicago."

Snow job?, aye. Bias?, aye. Political BS?, aye. Qualified for this kind of research? Nay

Rick Ballard

It would be interesting to see Walker test the hypothesis by passing a law relieving the state of Wisconsin from any responsibility for paying for shortfalls in medical care or pension funding. Convert all benefit payments to wages and let the union members sort out their spending choices.

Jim Rhoads a/k/a vjnjagvet

Wassup with Forbes that it gives space to David Cay?

Jane

Does anyone know if any of the rallies in "all 57 states" have had large turnouts?

Jack is Back!

Forbes like the WSJ has a true separation of news and editoral policy. Even Fox has Shep, Colmes, Powers, Williams and Geraldo.

Pops

If the Wisconsin teachers are paid so poorly, I suggest the Republicans and the Governor could help out. For starters, since they don't have money for vacations and stuff like that, they should remain in school 12 months of the year. This would greatly reduce the amount of their pay they spend with all the free time over the summer.

They can spend the time at school tutoring kids who are performing poorly, generating new teaching ideas and perhaps even discussing ways their union could reduce costs on the taxpayers.

Next, the Governor should apoint a pay master like Obama did for businesses to help work out appropriate compensation. For instance, perhaps there should be fewer Lexus SUVs and more Chevy sedans in the teacher parking lot. Perhaps looking at those big houses and new cars the teachers somehow manage to afford. A good pay master could generate more income for them simply by helping them live more mmodestly - which also will help with AGW.

They could also help find lower cost healthcare plans then the Union kick-backed cadillac plans, etc. etc.

perhaps they could even review all the materials they sent home the past year and correct the mispellings, wrong information ,etc, so parents aren't driven crazy next year.

Pops

I do love how government employee unions compare themselves, who do nothing but rake in tax money, to private businesses who actually pay their own employees, manage their own bottom line and can't keep going back to an endless pot of money for more and more goodies.

I am sure the paper business that supplies the schools would love to have all their employees to be employees of the State. Imagine if they worked as fast as the DMV and just as efficient. Of course if they were state union employees you'd have to tolerate not getting paper for a few days, and then when it arrives, your order is wrong, then they have to send it back, but if you do, you won't get any for another two weeks so you put up with the copier getting jambed up because the unioned paper sucks.
But you can't fire anyone, and of course, all the paper suppliers would get the whole summer off, etc. etc.

Pops

Of course the Unions always tell us we get the best of the best with Unions, especially in places like Wisconsin.
But here's what you actually get:

Todd Strang, Union teacher of Wisconsin:

Todd M. Strang of Shullsburg, Wisconsin, charged with 2 counts of having sexual intercourse with a high school student while he was employed as a teacher at that same high school. The allegations are felony charges that carry a maximum penalty of fines of $10,000 and 10 years imprisonment for each count.
----------------------------------------

Gilberto Brown, union teacher of Wisconsin:

A warrant has been issued for an assistant principal in Milwaukee accused of sexually assaulting a 14-year-old boy.

Fifty-four-year-old Gilberto Brown was charged Tuesday with sexual assault of a child, repeated acts, with fewer than three violations.

The warrant says the teen told investigators he was 14 when he began spending nights at Brown’s apartment, where the assaults occurred.

--------------------------------------------Daniel Markofski, union teacher, Wisconsin:

Daniel Markofski, 48, was sentenced to one year in prison and 18 months of extended supervision on two felony counts of exposing a child to harmful material and a misdemeanor county of committing a sex act with a child 16 or older. Markofski was charged in April, after police said they found him watching pornography with two teenage girls at a Super-8 Motel in Glendale, Wis. The girls, now ages 16 and 17, were in various states of undress, according to police reports.
----------------------------------
And its not just the unionized boys either:
Kelly Marie Sweet, union teacher, wisconsin:

Former math teacher Kelly Marie Sweet pleaded guilty today to having sexual contact with a 14-year-old student. She was sentenced to serve 25 days in jail and placed on two years of probation.

Sweet, 27, has also permanently relinquished her Wisconsin teaching license. She was ordered to register as a sex offender for the duration of her probation.

Sweet was originally charged with second-degree sexual assault of a child, which is a felony punishable by up to 40 years in prison. In a plea agreement, the charge was amended to fourth-degree sexual assault, which is a misdemeanor.
---------------------------------

Of course, union teachers do like the perks of the job:
Dennis James Graveldinger, union teacher
A judge has sentenced a Grandville Middle School science teacher to a year's probation for obscene disorderly conduct in a public locker room. Dennis James Graveldinger, pleaded no contest Wednesday to obscene disorderly conduct and was sentenced the same day by Hudsonville District Judge Ken Post.

Graveldinger was masturbating in the men's locker room in the fieldhouse at Grand Valley State University in Allendale Township according to a Grand Valley Police Department report and court records.

I could go on there are so many more. sadly


Jack is Back!

I come out of the Engineering-Construction business where the biggest number one problem with unions is work rules which significantly affect productivity, planning and tasking. Does anyone know if teachers and other pulic unions have same strain on effeciecy and productivity? I am aware of "rubber rooms" like in New York but in general is there something in rules you can eliminate or revise beside the bennies?

matt

we've seen this movie before. It was called the Eastern Bloc. "You pretend to pay us. We pretend to work."

Pops

Of course in all the excitement, we forgot what the Democrats in Wisconsin had done in 2009 and prior.

Prior to 2009 you couldn't use student performance on standardized tests to judge teacher performance. That's right, you couldn't judge the teacher on how well the students learned the material the teacher was teaching.

It would be like the Democrats in Detroit writing a lasw saying you can't just UAW autoworkers performance on whether the car worked when it came off the assembly line.

Even Obama said that was ridiculous and the Democrats were embarrassed into changing the law - mostly to qualify for Obamas Stimulous funds.

But when they changed the law, the Democrats, in collusion with the unions still made it forbidden to factor student test data into any discipline or dismissal of teachers.
And any teacher evaluation changes would, of course have to be negotiated with unions.

Anyone else have a job where your not allowed to be judge on the quality of your product?? AL? You?

daddy

Pops,

Would also be interesting to see what obligations paywise and legal wise the Union was required to spend regarding the teachers you listed above. That topic is never mentioned.

Fer instance, I know some of our Union guys were quite upset a few years back, when leadership proposed we spend Union money on defending one of our guys (now terminated) who was caught red handed smuggling ecstasy drug into Japan.

Extraneus

These unions are going down. The metaphorical gravy train is no longer under the metaphorical radar. The more that people learn about their pensions and health care benefits -- especially the health care benefits they receive after retirement -- the madder those people are going to get.

Here's how the Wisconsin teachers' pension benefits are paid for:

•State Pension. Teachers belong to the Wisconsin state pension plan. That plan requires a 6.8% employer contribution and 6.2% from the employee. However, according to the collective-bargaining agreement in place since 1996, the district pays the employees' share as well, for a total of 13% [of wages].

•Teachers' Supplemental Pension. In addition to the state pension, Milwaukee public-school teachers receive an additional pension under a 1982 collective-bargaining agreement. The district contributes an additional 4.2% of teacher salaries to cover this second pension. Teachers contribute nothing.

17.2% of wages, none contributed by the teachers. Then there are health care benefits:

•Health care for current employees. Under the current collective- bargaining agreements, the school district pays the entire premium for medical and vision benefits, and over half the cost of dental coverage. These plans are extremely expensive.

This is partly because of Wisconsin's unique arrangement under which the teachers union is the sponsor of the group health-insurance plans. Not surprisingly, benefits are generous. The district's contributions for health insurance of active employees total 38.8% of wages. For private-sector workers nationwide, the average is 10.7%.

All they contribute to is the dental plan, and only less than half of that. Here's the lowdown on the retiree health care benefits:

•Health insurance for retirees. This benefit is rarely offered any more in private companies, and it can be quite costly. This is especially the case for teachers in many states, because the eligibility rules of their pension plans often induce them to retire in their 50s, and Medicare does not kick in until age 65. Milwaukee's plan covers the entire premium in effect at retirement, and retirees cover only the growth in premiums after they retire.

As is commonly the case, the school district's retiree health plan has not been prefunded. It has been pay-as-you-go. This has been a disaster waiting to happen, as retirees grow in number and live longer, and active employment shrinks in districts such as Milwaukee.

For fiscal year 2011, retiree enrollment in the district health plan is 36.4% of the total. In addition to the costs of these retirees' benefits, Milwaukee is, to its credit, belatedly starting to prefund the benefits of future school retirees. In all, retiree health-insurance contributions are estimated at 12.1% of salaries (of which 1.5% is prefunded).

Overall, the school district's contributions to health insurance for employees and retirees total about 50.9 cents on top of every dollar paid in wages. Together with pension and Social Security contributions, plus a few small items, one can see how the total cost of fringe benefits reaches 74.2%.

Link to the above data.

clarice

"in general is there something in rules you can eliminate or revise beside the bennies"

You can make dismissals and suspensions easier and you can demand more freedom in class sizes..sometimes there's a bubble with an extra kid of two in one section and being able to proceed without hiring an extra teacher or teacher's assistant would save a ton of money, and it would be nice to have more flexibility on non-classroom assignments like playground and cafeteria rotas.

Pops

Jack is Back,

The unon work rules in Wisconsin are not just arcane, but outdated and ridiculous. It is what happens when a bunch of union lugs spend all day thinking up new things to ask for from an endless pot of taxpayer money.

In Wisconsin, they even specify that the state/school must provide bulletin boards for the unions and how big they must be and where they should be located. In addition, all union steward work is done on the job, with State recources to include e-mail, computers, copiers, etc. etc.

Extraneus

Iran's Nuclear Program Suffers Major Setback

TEHRAN, Iran [AP] -- In a major setback to Iran's nuclear program, technicians will have to unload fuel from the country's first atomic power plant because of an unspecified safety concern, a senior government official said.

The vague explanation raised questions about whether the mysterious computer worm known as Stuxnet might have caused more damage at the Bushehr plant than previously acknowledged. Other explanations are possible for unloading the fuel rods from the reactor core of the newly completed plant, including routine technical difficulties.

Pops

And I don't think you can leave the police unions out of this discussion. The problem you have is some of these people put their union ahead of all else.

They had union thugs in Wisconsin damaging tea Party equipment and messing with the tea party people and the unionized police officers refused to do anything about it. When you put your union above public safety, it is time for you to go, period.

Extraneus

Divide and conquer, Pops?

Captain Hate

So what that means is that Letterman and his loony audience think the average public school teacher in Wisconsin should be making $178,000.

Why isn't Letterman in jail for having sex with workplace subordinates? According to the nags, that's tantamount to rape, no?

Extraneus

What is the basis of this hysteria?

Georgia Lawmaker's Anti-Abortion Proposal Could Punish Women for Miscarriages

A Georgia state representative has reintroduced an anti-abortion bill that would make miscarriages a felony if the mother cannot prove there was no "human involvement."

The legislation from Rep. Bobby Franklin, a Republican, would make all abortions, described as "prenatal murder," illegal based on the belief that all life begins at conception. The bill's definition of "prenatal murder" excludes miscarriages "so long as there is no human involvement whatsoever" in causing them. Anyone convicted would face the death penalty or life behind bars.

Is this even remotely possible? Sloppy writing? FoxNews.com, no less.

Rob Crawford

Extraneus -- hysteria.

Barbara

Letterman's annual salary is more than $35 million for being rude, unamusing, and stalking the hired help, so why wouldn't he think that 90 grand for a school teacher is only pocket change that should be doubled? What's it to him?

clarice

Let me take a wild stab here..that bill is going nowhere.

Captain Hate

Extraneus -- hysteria.

That report has Shemp Smith or Jerry Rivers written all over it.

Captain Hate

Barbara, you left out "a terrible interviewer". I've never seen anybody that so obviously has done no prep-work on whoever he's talking to, particularly musicians.

rse

Pops-

The idea that Obama wants some teacher pay tied to test scores is once again part of the myths surrounding the Stimulus.

Standardized tests are being eliminated. Just creating the new subjective "assessments" was about $350 million split between two consortiums. The cost of using these types of assessments is about 4 to 5 times the current annual costs in each state.

They want the teachers NOT to be teaching academic content and skills which creates unequal outcomes and fosters independence and an unacceptable spirit of individuality. The type of assessments being used will reflect whether the teacher is pushing the students to do group work and construct their own understandings from scratch and compare ideas with peers.

That's why Randi Weingarten is getting her teachers union on board with this new standard of "effectiveness". You are effective only if you are implementing outcomes based education with its affective emphasis in the classroom.

When you combine the images from Madison with an understanding that certain college of ed profs, teachers, and admins are using their monopoly power over what gets taught, by whom, and how to try to change American society through its future voters, you really get the essence of the ugliness here.

We may understand that one world government is an impractical, idiotic utopian dream but all they can see is a world where their employer, government, has more power. And it can then use that power to reward them and take on their behalf.

The power to destroy us over time-that's what we have ceded to the public unions, colleges of ed, and various professional groups all living well off our tax money and pushing policies that amount to using the schools to shackle the futures of most students.

Sorry for the rant but I know the true players internationally well enough that I read what they are really planning and why because they think only fellow believers are aware of them.

Jack is Back!

Now we know why The Won wants to be like Reagan instead of like FDR because Reagen was a union man and FDR didn't want CB for public employees. No soft shoes for Rosey.

Rick Ballard

RSE,

Thank you for the recommendation re Revel's The Last Exit to Utopia. The translator did an excellent job and Revel's comments concerning the left's reaction to the failure of the USSR were enlightening.

There's damned little education occurring in any state choosing the "assessments" which you delineate and indoctrination and training for serfs doesn't deserve much pay at all.

EddieinLA

It is true that health and pension benefits are the real budget busters with public employee unions, but their salaries are almost always underrreported. In California, the unions always lie about their current monetary compensation. I just heard a former city-councilman from El Segundo California on the John and Ken radio show who conducted an FOIA investigation into the salaries of the employees of El Segundo. He was motivated to do so after the fiasco in Bell California.

El Segundo is a city of about 16,000 people immediately south of Los Angeles International Airpot. It is the home to businesses like DirecTV and Mattel and Chevron has a huge refinery there which means that it has a great tax base with few permanent residents. It has approximately 225 employees (including police and fire depts.) and the average salary for municipal employees is over $100,000.

However, this former city councilman said that the unions have rigged the compensation so that it is difficult to accurately determine the real amount that these public employees are paid so you need to know how to phrase the FOIA request.

He listed actual employees and went through their actual compensation for 2009. He described one police officer who was a line officer, the equivalent of a buck private in the army. His reported salary was $74,000. However, he was actually paid $142,000 for that year. The actual amount included his $74,000 salary, overtime, reimbursement for unused vacation, reimbursement for unused sick days, uniform cleaing allowance, etc. When you add the present value of his pension benefit, the compensation went to $225,000. For some reason the councilman did not have the specific value of his health benefits but he said all in, his compensation exceeded $250,000.

I promise you that California unions are not the only ones who have hidden the actual compensation of their members. I guarantee that the numbers analyzed by the New York Times were lower than the actual monetary compensation that these unionists receive. That is in addition to the lavish benefits they have obtained through the exercise of raw political power.

Frau Steingehirn

we've seen this movie before. It was called the Eastern Bloc. "You pretend to pay us. We pretend to work."

Exactly, matt!

Rob Crawford

For some reason the councilman did not have the specific value of his health benefits but he said all in, his compensation exceeded $250,000.

Decertify the unions, fire them all, re-hire if needed.

glasater

Daffy's Nurse

Photobucket

narciso

Well, Captain, you forgot as Ingraham used to call him 'Is Larry King Alive', btw, Piers Morgan, one rarely hears from that anti American charlatan, who slandered British
soldiers in Basra, by allowing a phony pic
to be distributed.

Melinda Romanoff

narc-

Piers does all of his interview preperation in front of a mirror, where he believes he does his best work.

Captain Hate

LOL narc; the "fresh out of questions" spots were always occasions for hilarity. Laura managed to get a dig in on whatever goof is replacing him already having him return from the crypt in a "How can we miss you if you won't go away" kind of way.

At least Larry had the age and multiple divorce things to contribute to his extremely tenuous contact to whatever reality his guest occupied. I have to think that way before my time in a certain area code he might've been lucid; unlike the gap-toothed, unjustifiably bitter Hoosier.

Danube of Thought

Some dude in the Harvard Crimson just unloads--and I mean unloads--on our First Lady.

narciso

When I first starting hearing him on Mutual radio, he seemed fairly coherent, but I was young and naive back then. Jim Bohannon by contrast runs a very tight shop, but I haven't
heard him in years, and Phil HEndrie, drank so much of the koolaid, that he lost his sense
of humor.

JAY963

The blue collar numbers tell the real story. When those without degrees are compared you get a fair comparison. When people with degrees are compared you get a skewed comparison. Those with degrees in the hard sciences and business make more money. They are concentrated in the private sector. Those with degrees in soft subjects (and nothing is softer than a teaching degree) make less and they are concentrated in the public sector.

narciso

OT, well not really, can we impeach this mook,
this is Menendez Bros. level of chutzpah in the LUN

Captain Hate

Whoa DoT; who said there's no evidence of wit in Harvard? And a spirited scrum in the comments for a bonus.

I'm glad that pinched shrew Rosalyn Carter (I always loved how Eleanor Clift made sure to ostentatiously pronounce it with a long "o"; as if I didn't have enough reason to find that harridan disgusting previously) is getting mention with Moochelle. There's no doubt that she contributed to "adultery of the heart's" non-stop lechery by cutting him completely off after the orgasm addict knocked her with Amy way too late in life; leading him to regularly include cringe inducing statements of "appreciation" for the consorts of whatever tinpot dictator he was trying to debase the country by sucking up to.

clarice

Yeah, I blogged that this morning at the Tatler (PJM), DoT. And the kid is dead on right.

Captain Hate

narc, that might be one area where viper Carville could be useful; other than SEC football, that is.

Minimalist Poster

glasater, I saw somewhere that the woman in the photo you posted is not, in fact, Gaddafi's nurse. Someone just took a photo from a "Ukranian" dating site.

narciso

From REza Khalili, in PJM;

According to two reports on Pars Daily News, an Iranian news website, both opposition leaders, Mir Hossein Mousavi and Mehdi Karoubi have been transferred to a secret prison in Tehran.

The source of the first report filed is from another Iranian site, “Siasat Iran, Politics of Iran,” indicating that, based on reports from inside Iran, both Mousavi and Karoubi were transferred at 3 a.m. this Friday under heavy security to a secret prison located in the Parchin Military Zone under the control of the Defense Ministry.

Shortly afterward, another report was filed indicating that the prison referred to above is located in Shahid Hemat Industrial facilities (a subordinate of Iran’s Aerospace Industries Organization (AIO); which is responsible for Iran’s liquid-fuelled ballistic missile programs and sanctioned by the United States on September 26, 2007, under Executive Order 12938 for engaging in proliferation activities).

daddy

glasater,

WoW!

Can you find a photo of her with donuts?

daddy

Narciso,

The whole Salazar thing has a Kabuki thing going on about it. He has already demonstrated that when the reports are done and the Scientists tell him X, he officially lies about it and says they told him Y. That being the case, this whole process of listening and evaluating and taking input etc, is all just a phony process of going thru the motion.

My guess is Salazar will ultimately say something that the papers will report as positive for Oil Exploration or for re-opening drilling, but at bottom there will still be some unmentioned roadblock that will effectively forestall drilling.

My view is we have to beat Obama in 2012, and then start actively pushing thru energy development as ruthlessly and unyieldingly as these bastards are doing in squelching it.

narciso

Great,a href="http://www.irishtimes.com/newspaper/world/2011/0226/1224290928849.html"
katie, bar the door,{/a}

Danube of Thought

I think this is the one. Note that the press cannot mention here without calling her "voluptuous," just as it knows of no law firm that is not "high-powered" and no lawyer who is not "prominent."

matt

Anna Nicole Ghadaffi? A'nna Ni'chole Quadaffi?
The Sweetheart of the Lion of the Desert?

Melinda Romanoff

narc-

Instead of the brackets, use the ones over the period and comma in their place.

Just like they point out in this post, but use the example in the "Edit" section below, which is in lower case.

And practice.

daddy

Bummer:(

Even a donut wouldn't help.

matt

daddy;

This a part and parcel of this administrations drive to force a "green" future upon us. Oil crises, NG fractioning; shutting down the coal industry; permitting the nuclear plants but then making sure they can't get financing.

I have sat in several global meetings in the solar industry where I have heard leading lights advocating "reducing the oil subsidy" and "making conventional energy more expensive" so that Green technologies can be competitive. It is a massive snookering of the citizenry globally. Utterly dishonest and lining the pockets of the insiders.

Melinda Romanoff

matt-

To finish your last sentence: "who in turn, regularly contribute to the sole political party that would maintain their subsidies."

narciso

In Spanish,

Melinda Romanoff

Needs more practice.

narciso

There's a saying, roughly translated

daddy

Joe Miller/Lisa Murkowskee Election update:

Lisa M has endorsed a proposed new Law being penned by our Alaskan Legislator's that will clarify that Ballot Counters should attempt to defer to Voter intent when examining Alaskan ballots.

The ADN has this story: Murkowski supports effort to clarify election law.

As usual the ADN is doing everything in its power to give you the bare minimum about the story. My question is why the hell should a new law be required when they already demonstrated that they can bastardize the old one to count votes any way they like? That being the case, why waste time changing something so it agrees with what is already established Election Procedure?

To my way of thinking, either the current Election Law as written already allows them to do what they did last election, or in essence they are now admitting they cheated last time. This whole thing stinks to high Heaven, and that's why, as usual, the ADN gives the reader the very bare minimum.

The Election Counting affair was obviously a huge stink up here; one of the biggest stories in a very long time. Well there are zero comments to the story. That is telling. The header says it was posted on the ADN on Feb 24th. I heard about the topic on talk radio, so unable to find it on the ADN I plugged "Election Law" into the ADN search block. For real fun, see if without going to the ADN search block, how long it takes you to find this story. It'll take you a good long while, and if you didn't know the story existed my bet is that you'd never find it at all.

Melinda Romanoff

The "less than" and "greater than" symbols need to be inverted, meaning "Point In" towards the text to make it appear, after enclosing the links with quotes.

And spaces must appear where they are in the examples.

Melinda Romanoff

And I'm off.

G'night all.

narciso

THe post, I've been trying to link, is from the Irish Times, based out of Manama, indicating protests are starting up in the KSA, culminating with a "day of rage", on March 11th

daddy

Matt,

At the drilling meeting last night that was one of the Anti-drilling points: "Make it so expensive that we'll have to come up with new stuff that'll be environmentally friendly."

Since then I've been trying to think of any examples if the above is true, or if instead new technology emerges independently of excessive taxation and then is capitalized on because its a better idea.

For instance, did Whale Oil become so expensive they had to discover oil, or was oil discovered independently and put the Whale Oiler's out of business? I think the latter.

Or the same mental exercise between papyrus/paper, or between gas-lights/electric-lights, or horses/cars, or trains/planes, or written books/Gutenberg's press, or abacuses/sliderules, sliderules/computers, telegraph/telephone, telephone radio/ radio/television, etc.

Off the top I can't recall an instance of humans taxing existing technology excessively into producing brilliant, better advanced alternatives. They may be out there, but I don't yet see them. Am I wrong?

narciso

This could be a clever Lovecraft style punking, read the byline, or they are nuttier
than Alvin and the Chipmunks, in the LUN

PD

"Make it so expensive that we'll have to come up with new stuff that'll be environmentally friendly."

Too much to ask that the environmentally friendly stuff be demonstrated worthwhile on its own merits, I suppose.

glasater

Got the photo from Zerohedge and if you can't believe them....

The babe in DoT's photo looks much nicer I think:)

bgates

Make it so expensive that we'll have to come up with new stuff

It's almost inevitably the case that we focus our efforts on the "make it so expensive" part of that proposition. Just once I'd like to hear somebody say something like, "We should make it so expensive that we'll have to come up with more new stuff. Personally, I'm going to work on transmission line efficiency."

I'm confused by the question of just who is supposed to be motivated by the artificially increased cost of other forms of energy. Is it the engineers and scientists? Are they all lounging about playing World of Warcraft, unaware of any interesting technical problems to work on, but ready to be seized with green fervor if only there was a $5/gal tax on gasoline? Is it the managers and business people? Aren't they supposed to be evil, and if that is so, won't they see an artificial increase in cost as an opportunity to make money the old-fashioned way - smuggling?

daddy

The Iron Dog Alaskan Sled Dog Race is over.

And the winner is....The guy just in front of Todd Palin:(

Sounds like a very exciting finish. Todd and his partner had recaptured the lead some time around Nenana, but then a broken ski requiring maintenance slowed him down and they couldn't catch the guys who passed them on the last stretch. Here's the story, and a photo you might recognize.

Next up: Iditarod!

daddy

Excuse me---The Iron Dog Snow Machine Race.


Mooses's Tooth ESB this evening. Hoppy, yet refreshing. (And plenty of it!)

jimmyk

if the above is true, or if instead new technology emerges independently of excessive taxation and then is capitalized on because its a better idea.

The idea of taxing ourselves to prosperity is yet another case of the broken windows fallacy. Somehow by making things worse we'll make them better. Even if whale oil did got more expensive, it wasn't because the government made it artificially expensive with taxes. By that logic we could hasten a cure for cancer by taxing all the current chemo drugs.

bunky

It's incredible that the Federal retirement was chnaged from a defined benefit to 401k type of plan with an employer match, I think around '86. Can you imagine what the pension liability would be now? Were the unions asleep at the switch then? TG they were.

Extraneus

Analysis: Oil prices could be game-changer for world economy

(Reuters) - Soaring oil prices are reaching levels that could threaten to brake improving but tentative global economic recovery, with an outside chance of a new recession or that most destructive of conditions, stagflation.
Pops

You can tell very easily that the left and the Democrat Wisconsin Senators are lying and what is really behind their walk out is forced unuion dues and union election buying.

If Wiscon Democrats truly believed that what they are fighting for, that what they left the state for and put everyone at risk is hard won RIGHTS. And the only people who would take away these rights are people like Hitler.

WE, THE WHY IS IT IN THE LAST 50 YEARS THE DEMOCRATS NEVER EXTENDED UNION THESE RIGHTS BEYOND THE STATE EMPLOYEE MEMBERS?

AL? AL?

If these rights are so important, why are all the rest of us excluded from having them? Why haven't the Democrats in Wiscon extended them to even their staffs in the Capitol, i they are so critical??

So Governor Walker should invite the Democrats to come back to the chamber to vote on a resolution that gives ALL CITIZENS of Wiscon these 'rights'.

Then if they did that, there wouldn't need to be special rights for just the unions.

Gee, just think Democrats, you could pass a law giving all these teachers all these rights WITHOUT REQUIRING THEM TO JOIN OR PAY A UNION.????

Ohh, but that would mean millions lost for your elections wouldn't it?

This proves the lie, that you're fighting for worker rights - because you could do that with an actual bill covering all workers in the legilator, which you have had 50 years to right and submit and vote on.

Pops

You can tell very easily that the left and the Democrat Wisconsin Senators are lying.... and what is really behind their walk out is forced unuion dues and union election buying.

If Wisconsin Democrats truly believed that what they are fighting for, that what they left the state for, and put everyone at risk is hard won RIGHTS. And the only people who would take away these rights are people like Hitler.

WELL, THEN WHY IS IT IN THE LAST 50 YEARS THE DEMOCRATS NEVER EXTENDED THESE RIGHTS BEYOND THE STATE EMPLOYEE MEMBERS?

AL? AL?

If these rights are so important, why are all the rest of us excluded from having them? Why haven't the Democrats in Wisconsin extended them to even their staffs in the Capitol, if they are SOOOO critical??

So Governor Walker should invite the Democrats to come back to the chamber to vote on a resolution that gives ALL CITIZENS of Wisconsin these 'rights'.

Then if they did that, there wouldn't need to be special rights for just the unions.

Gee, just think Democrats, you could pass a law giving all these teachers, all these rights, WITHOUT REQUIRING THEM TO JOIN OR PAY A UNION.????

Ohh, but that would mean millions lost for your elections wouldn't it?

This proves the lie, that you're fighting for worker rights - because you could do that with an actual bill covering all Wisconsin workers in the legislator, which you have had 50 years to write and submit and vote on.


You're lying and this proves it.

Pops

Funny, I found this when querying for union jobs in Wisconsin...from your friends at the SEIU:

Service Employees International Union
Organizers-in-training

To Apply: Send your résumé and BRIEF cover letter to Pamela Kieffer at resumes@seiu.catsone.com.

Job Description: SEIU, the fastest growing union in the labor movement, is hiring new organizers for its year long training and placement program. Our diverse staff helps janitors, home care aids, public employees and other health care workers bring democracy to the workplace. Join us.

Applicants should have a history of commitment to social justice.

Ability to travel, work long and irregular hours a must.

Must possess a valid driver’s license.

Women and people of color are especially invited to apply.
Positions are Nationwide.

WHEN APPLYING: Be sure to indicate that you saw this information online at UNIONJOBS.COM. Do not just say the Internet.
________________________________________

Of note was you had to have a history of commitment to "social justice"? Is that really a job qualification?

And 'women' and 'people of color' are specifically requested, thus discriminating against all others.

This would be illegal in most job advertisements.

And they insists you work long irregular hours...these employees need a union?? OH that's right, they are not allowed to organize.

clarice

Maybe they'll find people as qualified as the semi-literates who run the WH website, Pops.

Here's a rundown of last week's news


The Fierce Moral Urgency of WTF

By Clarice Feldman
Sick of carving up my hands as I wrestled with those ubiquitous clamshell packages, I bought a super duper package opening tool which promises to make this chore easier, but I nicked my skin on the clamshell packaging as I struggled to get to it.

In that minor sense, my experience mirrored Obama's week, where everything domestic and international that he touched upon only further wounded him.

The Gallup and Rasmussen polls reflect only a continuing well-deserved slide in his and his party's standing among voters who have taken good measure of his consistently rotten performance.

Over There

As the Middle East explodes, with one country after another experiencing unrest and upheaval, the White House continues its policies of dithering and then siding with our enemies.

Caroline Glick zeroed in on the preposterous U.S stance on Israel in the UN this week. We vetoed a UN resolution criminalizing Israeli policy which allows Jews to build on their own property and then permitted US Ambassador to the UN Susan Rice and Secretary of State Clinton to condemn their own veto.

Glick meticulously explains what anti-Israeli animus spurred by Obama's own unserious, benighted policies motivated the Lebanese (a wholly owned subsidiary of Iran through the terrorist organization Hezb'allah) move and what steps were available to Obama to check this ploy. She concludes that the Administration's actions may be motivated by animus toward Israel or incompetence, suggesting the latter. Whatever the reason, it makes the Administration look like clowns. (The phrase "A little song, a little dance, a little seltzer down your pants" comes to mind every time the Obama- Rice-Hillary combo is at bat.)

Just as damaging to US interests, she notes, is Obama's maltreatment of Mubarak and legitimizing of the Moslem Brotherhood, which she predicts, will create a new crisis in September when the promised elections in Egypt are scheduled to take place. She sees no happy consequence for the US after the elections under any scenario and notes that this blundering has also weakened our alliance with the Saudis.

On Libya, the picture is no different, As he did when the mullahs were murdering the protestors, Obama seemed inattentive and disinterested. Indeed, the White House could not even manage a timely evacuation of US citizens there and the White House website thinks the name of the country is "Lybia." Maybe they couldn't get planes or boats there because they couldn't find Lybia on any atlas. As we go to press the crack Obama -Rice- Clinton team has not even yet suggested that the bloody regime must be removed as a member of the UN's Human Rights Council .

Hillary's toughest statement was pathetic:

"Once more is known, 'we will take appropriate steps in line with our policies, our values and our laws, but we're going to have to work in concert with the international community,' she said."

Part of me will miss Gaddafi, though, and it does appear his days are numbered even though we were too weak to do a thing to speed his departure. Think of it. With him gone, is there anyone remaining on the international stage who can match his sartorial splendor -- the clip on military fruit salad, the colorful bishts, the dazzling accessorizing and a hat collection matched only by the late Queen Mother? Not since Priscilla, Queen of the Desert, have we seen such male sartorial splendor.

I suppose the brilliant foreign policy tag team is still too busy pondering what they might do about the doped up Somali pirates, some of whom just murdered four American tourists. Perhaps -- just a suggestion now -- a firmer stance than catch and release or wait-until-they've-got-the-gun-pointed-at-the-yachtsman's-head-before-firing is called for.

Hope and Rope

So whether by design or incompetence the Administration is encouraging havoc in the Middle East, turning off our allies and encouraging our enemies, and at home it is succeeding in destroying the President's base -- public employee unions.

Like you and me, and unlike the feds, states cannot print money. They can issue bonds but there's a point where their liabilities get so great no one will buy them and they cannot claim bankruptcy protection. They can raise taxes even higher to pay their debts, though as New York and California found out, you can't chain taxpayers to your state and when you try to rob them they have a tendency to move and take their money with them.

Or you can cut your expenses. Wisconsin was in that position and needed to make some changes in the lavish benefits it was paying to its unionized public service employees (aka "the workers" or "the masses"), who on average are compensated at about twice the rate of Wisconsin taxpayers (aka "the fat cat bosses"). The vast majority of Wisconsin voters agreed with their governor, Scott Walker, who said the unions would have to take a benefits haircut.

Now, this might have interfered with the Democrat honey pot.

Unions, most of whose members are public employees, gave Democrats some $400 million in the 2008 election cycle. The American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees, the biggest public employee union, gave Democrats $90 million in the 2010 cycle. Michael Barone

So, Obama cast aside his usual strategy of dithering and voting present. With the world in flames, the economy tanking and his party's prospects shrinking, he did find time to speak out on behalf of the workers who abandoned their classrooms, forcing parents who pay their salaries to lose their own: He accused the governor of staging "an assault on unions" adding ‘public employee unions make enormous contributions to our states and our citizens."

Well, he's entitled to his opinion, but it seems to be one shared by a distinct minority, mostly the unions, their members and the recipients of their campaign contributions.

As the messy, uncivil and abusive demonstrations proceeded in Madison, 14 Democratic senators fled the state for the not so sunny shores of Illinois, outside the reach of the governor, in the hope that it would deprive him of the necessary quorum to carry out his agenda.

Walker's agenda would deprive the public employee unions of the right to bargain for fringe benefits, and the right to demand Wisconsin withhold dues money from public employees.

As to Obama's claim that these unions "make enormous contributions to our states and citizens," I haven't found evidence for anything except the fact that these unions insist on driving up costs (and taxes) and diminishing services.

In any event, feeling full of hope that with the president and media (most of whom belong to the Communications Workers Union) by their side, they would prevail, the unions continued their demands and outrageous behavior. But they were wrong; the more adamant the demonstrations and the more obviously self-serving they were, the more public opinion turned against them -- not only in Wisconsin where the Governor seems to be prevailing. The fleebaggers (as the departing senators have been tagged) are now without their salaries and facing recall petitions. Elsewhere in the Midwest where other governors are strengthening their spines at this selfish union power grab, there is an anti public employee unions movement gathering force.

But the President as we know from Valerie Jarrett, his key aide and chef de chefs, is cool and too smart and above it all to worry about the roiling waters here and abroad and the fact that 1,000 of his citizens were stuck in harm's way in Libya. It was time for another white House soiree -- Motown was the focus this time.

Unfortunately for the Obamas, we are less distracted by the shiny objects the White House dangles before us these days as the price of food and gas and electricity rise, as housing prices continue to tumble, state and local governments are awash in red ink, financing dries up, jobs disappear, and we find ourselves in growing danger from our enemies.

As the blog Michelle Obama's Mirror notes, the White House even messed up that relatively simple to organize event:

Ok - Seal at least brought some soul to the East Room (who knew? I mean, he is British and all) but Nick Jonas, John Legend and Jamie Foxx? Please. No pipes, no chops, no fly zone. And look at that sloppy "choreography." You could practically hear Berry Gordy's teeth grinding above the din.

If "The Motown story is really a metaphor for life," it doesn't look as though it ends well.

And can you envision Smokey Robinson with Sheryl Crow? If your answer is no, consider yourself lucky. As you can see, the audience was having none of it, despite what you might read in USA Today. Or the WaPo. (h/t Chick)

I sense that this might spell trouble for Big Guy: nobody seems to mind very much that the Won and his Chicago posse have screwed up the economy, the budget, the world's greatest healthcare system, the war on terror, the Middle East, (he's working on topping Jimmy Carter in this contest, as Jimmy only enabled the toppling of one ally, while Big Guy still has several left on the table -- not even counting Israel -- plus we've now got enemy ships patrolling around the Suez Canal) and foreign relations in general -- butt messin' with Motown? I don't know, -- that might raise a few eyebrows.


WTF

clarice

I apologize. I do not know how that happened. I meant only to give the link.

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Wilson/Plame