Monday, January 31, 2011
Sunday, January 30, 2011
Enjoy your Socialist Super Bowl next Sunday, comrades!
New Rule: Americans Must Realize What Makes NFL Football So Great: Socialism
By Bill Maher
January 28, 2011 | Huffington Post
Wednesday, January 26, 2011
Tuesday, January 25, 2011
Darnit, white people work their whole lives and pay huge taxes to live in school districts with top-notch schools; and doggonit if some out-of-district black mother is going to defraud her way into an education her kids didn't earn! Of course the real answer is school choice, so this kind of thing happens transparently.
In fact, white parents in expensive suburbs are just dying to give black parents the choice to send their kids to school with their white children, as long as it's via school vouchers. You know, to diversify them and stuff. Not to mention to spur school competition, or something.
When is Big Gubument going to wake up and realize the solution to bad majority-minority schools is to give all those minorities the choice to study with white kids in the suburbs, preferably in exclusive private schools, via government vouchers? It's common sense! I feel like Todd Palin here, pointing out the blindingly obvious.
Black Mother Jailed For Sending Kids to White School District
By James Quin
January 24, 2011 | Anti-Kryptos
Nevertheless, a revival of our old-fashioned Western frontier stoicism might not be a bad thing.
January 24, 2011 | Vanity Fair
Russians have a healthy attitude towards literature. As barbarians they expect it to shake them, to shock them, to thrill them. As Lolita didn't shock them, they throw it away with a deep contempt. The fact is that Russians are very insensitive people, with a low level of sensitivity. In order to move, to touch them, one must hurt their sensitivity, to wound their stone-made Russian souls. That is the task not for literature, but for mass-murderers, for the rapists of children, for the civil war, for the Hitler's invasion. Russians were not moved by "White House" massacre of 1993, they were not touched by [Chechen guerrilla leader] Basayev's assault on Budyonnovsk in 1995. Mass-murderer Andrei Chikatilo have winned their interest, yes, indeed Russian punk band call itself "Chikatilo Blues." But Russians were not moved at all by old-fashioned seduction of intellectual Humbert Humbert by teenager Lolita, as it is no shock for them, no big deal.
Monday, January 24, 2011
Saturday, January 22, 2011
Friday, January 21, 2011
Nice activism. If only taxpayers would stand up and ask the same questions!
January 19, 2011 | Firedoglake
How the financial elite have dismantled the American middle class – top 1 percent share of wealth at levels not seen since the Great Depression. Goldman Sachs offering average bonuses of $430,000 while a record 43,200,000 Americans receive food stamps.
Posted by mybudget360
January 21, 2011
January 18, 2011 | Bloomberg
January 18, 2011 | Huffington Post
• Americans overwhelmingly believe that its time to close the loopholes that make it possible for people to buy guns without background checks: 86% of Americans and 81% of gun owners support requiring all gun buyers to pass a background check, no matter where they buy the gun and no matter who they buy it from.
Wednesday, January 19, 2011
- Faster-growing areas did not have lower unemployment rates.
- Faster-growing areas tended to have lower per capita income than slower-growing areas. Per capita income in 2009 tended to decline almost $2,500 for each 1% increase in growth rate.
- Residents of faster-growing areas had greater income declines during the recession.
- Faster-growing areas tended to have higher poverty rates.
No, it's all B.S. As if Republicans were perennial underdogs. As if some stiff-collared Republicans were holding the party down. P-shaw! The GOP is all about stiff collars and established wealth! This is like Democrats lamenting "bad unions." Nobody would buy it for a second! But somehow Rush Limbaugh gets away with this crap.
He has no conscience. Do his listeners? Really, he ought to be ashamed. (But he's too damn rich at your expense to care, ha, ha, ha.....)
Saturday, January 15, 2011
Wednesday, January 12, 2011
First, let's remember that the USPS receives zero federal support. That's right. Zero. If you're worried about massive potential federal bailouts, turn your sights back onto the TBTF mega-banks on Wall Street. As usual, the Right is trying to distract you from the real villains.
Second, unlike any other public or private corporation in the U.S., it is mandated by Congress to fully fund its future pension obligations -- $5.5 billion a year for future retirees. The USPS reported a net loss of $8.5 billion for the fiscal year ending Sep. 30, 2010. The USPS's forecast "bankruptcy" is due mainly to its announcement that it cannot make its required $5.5 billion payment for future retiree health benefits due in September 2011. The USPS projects another $1.5 billion in costs it cannot cover in 2011.
Meanwhile, according to an audit conducted by the Postal Service Office of Inspector General, the Postal Service has been overcharged $75 billion to its Civil Service Retirement System pension fund. It already has $35 billion set aside in its retiree pension fund, enough to last decades.
Next, can "free-market" guy Newt really say that 44 cents is the market price to send a letter anywhere in the 50 states that has a mailbox within 2-5 days? What do you think the market price of sending a letter via FedEx, UPS, or DHL is? The answer is, "It depends," but for the USPS, which is mandated by Congress to provide universal delivery service across the USA, including on Saturdays, and at the same time requires Congressional approval to change its prices, the answer is, "It cannot depend." The USPS is allowed to raise the price of first-class stamps in line with inflation, so it could raise the price to 45 cents this year without Congressional approval. Congress declined a 2-cent increase in Fall 2010. Moreover, the USPS estimates that if it was allowed to make adjustable delivery schedules it could save $3.1 billion per year, but it needs Congressional approval to do so.
Gingrich conveniently failed to mention that postal workers are not allowed to strike when labor negotations are at an impasse, as private unions are. That's mandated by Congress.
Next, Gingrich failed to mention that the USPS cut back staff by 12 percent from 2008-2010. Yes, they had to pay out inducements to convince some staff to retire early, but it will realize more savings as time goes on. Labor costs have dropped about 6 percent since the 1970s, while the cost of postage has stayed below the inflation rate and taxpayer help has been totally phased out.
Next, Gingrich failed to mention that as the economy goes, so goes postal volume. Since the USPS is dependent on sales for all its revenue, it's having a revenue crisis. At the same time, yes, its "standby hours" rule has required it to pay employees who would otherwise be busy with normal mail volume: $50 million in 2010, which is still 40 percent less standby pay than in 2009.
Finally, Gingrich failed to mention that there are 4 different unions which represent different types of USPS workers, not one.
The bottom line is that Newt Gingrich is a political hack posing as a "big thinker" who loves nothing more than taking a complicated problem and boiling it down to one thing: a greedy union. People like Gingrich abhor complexity and have no patience for facts. Gingrich really does make you dumber.
Anyone who has had to hunt around for 1 or 2 cent stamps to add to their old stamps after an increase may consider this good news.
However, consider the implications of this action. The Post Office is currently experiencing a severe budget deficit and has been unable to gain approval for a postal rate increase. In addition, they are threatening to stop delivering mail on Saturdays as a way to cut costs. As Peter Schiff astutely points out in this interview with The Daily Bell, the Post Office is trying to solve their short term revenue problems at the cost of even bigger problems down the road.
The Post Office will try to use any short term increase in sales from these forever stamps to solve their immediate fiscal problems. But if the Post Office is already having trouble operating at full capacity with current prices, imagine how difficult it will be to do so in five or ten years after inflation has pushed their costs up AND they are selling even fewer stamps because so many people already purchased them in the past.
In fact, this move is setting the stage for a future taxpayer bailout of the Post Office because it virtually guarantees its future bankruptcy.
The low price of stamps is not the reason why the Post Office is facing such huge deficits. The Post Office is seeking a 5.6% increase in the price of stamps despite an inflation rate of just 0.6%.
Instead, the Post Office is facing budget shortfalls because it is unwilling to engage in the necessary reform of its operations necessary in the modern economy.
As I discussed in To Save America, which is now out in an updated paperback version, the Post Office's union work rules require it to pay a large group of employees more than a million dollars a week to do nothing. Instead of being able to lay off redundant workers, the Post Office (and by extension, every American who uses the mail) keeps them on salary through a program called "standby time."
If the Post Office really wants to solve its fiscal challenges, it needs to engage in the difficult work of reforming its operating procedures, including its suffocating and costly union work rules like "standby time."
Your friend [No, enemy! - J],
Monday, January 10, 2011
Sunday, January 9, 2011
Saturday, January 8, 2011
Friday, January 7, 2011
January 5, 2011 | Huffington Post
January 6, 2011 | New York Times
January 6, 2010
First, take a look at the number of problem institutions:
Over $7.4 trillion in deposits are on the banking balance sheets. Keep in mind these are liabilities to banks, not assets. Yet the FDIC with an insolvent fund is backing these up. Banks are also offering close to zero percent in interest rates on savings accounts so this idle money is being slowly devoured by inflation which is a hidden tax by the Federal Reserve. Notice how gas is up over $3 a gallon? Notice how grocery food isn't getting cheaper? How about college costs? Healthcare? Housing has gotten cheaper but it is still too expensive given the amount of money Americans have with 100 million Americans making $39,999 or less a year: