Sunday, May 6, 2012

U.S. Debt Reaches 100 Percent of Country's GDP

FOXNEWS ^ | August 04, 2011 |

The U.S. debt surpassed 100 percent of gross domestic product after the government's debt ceiling was lifted, Treasury figures showed Wednesday, according to AFP.

The debt, which had been in somewhat of a holding pattern over the past several weeks, rose $238 billion after President Obama signed the debt-ceiling deal into law Tuesday to avoid the country's first-ever default.

The package is designed to carve $2.4 trillion from the deficit over the next decade. But in the near term, it granted Washington an increase in its borrowing authority worth the same amount.
With that authority, the public debt has climbed to $14.58 trillion, putting it just over the $14.53 trillion size of the country's economy in 2010.

As the country moves into a league with deep-in-the-red nations like Italy and Belgium, fiscal conservatives say the fight to cut spending is far from over.
Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell warned Tuesday that Washington will have another fierce debate over spending the next time the debt ceiling is reached -- expected to be in early 2013. McConnell said Washington should welcome, not fear, that debate.
Bipartisan lawmakers are also expected to get to work soon on a joint committee formed by the newly signed debt-ceiling deal. That committee is tasked with finding about $1.5 trillion in deficit savings, to complement the $900 billion in cuts enacted by the first phase of the bill.
The nation's current deficits were exacerbated by the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, but are also driven in large part by entitlement programs that will not shrink without fundamental changes to their structure -- officials point as well to lost revenue from the recession, tax breaks and increased domestic spending as contributors to the current deficit hole.
(Excerpt) Read more at ...

Scrapped SNL skit mocks Obama for taking credit for bin Laden killing

The Daily Caller ^ | 5/6/12 | Gregg Re

The Daily Caller has obtained a scrapped skit authored by comedian Jim Downey, intended for airing at the opening of last night’s “Saturday Night Live” on NBC.

In the skit, which was not aired, President Barack Obama addresses Americans soon after the first anniversary of the killing of Osama bin Laden — and the president makes sure to remind viewers that all credit for the raid on the terrorist leader’s compound belonged to him.

“I hope you had a safe and joyous first anniversary of his killing,” the president, portrayed by Fred Armisen, begins.

“Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to be at home this year, as I had to fly to Afghanistan, to remind President Karzai that, exactly one year ago, we killed Osama bin Laden, and that the decision to do so was a gutsy one,” the president continues. “And was mine.”

(Excerpt) Read more at ...

Democrats (Negros) Loot Detroit As Nation Sleeps!

American Interest ^ | May 5, 2012 | Walter Russel Mead

Few readers will be surprised to learn that decades of incompetence and entrenched corruption in Detroit’s government have not only helped wreck the city; firms linked to former Democratic mayor Kwame Kilpatrick also looted the pension fund.
The latest scandal, which leaves even hardened observers of the abysmal Democratic machine that has run the city into the ground bemused, involves a real estate firm which gave the felonious mayor massages, golf outings, trips in chartered jets and other perks as this enemy of the people went about his hypocritical business of pretending to care about the poor while robbing them blind. The firm, apparently run by a sleazy low class crook named by the reprehensible Kilpatrick to be the Treasurer of what was left of Detroit’s finances, used Detroit pension funds to buy a couple of California strip malls. Title to the properties was never transferred to the pension funds, and they seem to be out $3.1 million.
Kilpatrick’s partner in slime is his ex-college frat brother Jeffrey Beasley, who is accused of taking bribes and kickbacks as he made bad investments that cost pension funds $84 million. Overall, a Detroit Free Press investigation estimates that corrupt and incompetent trustees appointed by Democratic officials over many years in Detroit are responsible for almost half a billion dollars in investments gone wrong.
I honestly don’t know why there is so little national outrage about this despicable crew and the terrible damage they have done. The ultimate victims of the crime are Detroit’s poor and the middle class and lower middle class, mostly African-American municipal workers who may face serious financial losses in old age.
The 41 year old Kwame Kilpatrick may well be the worst and most destructive American of his generation; his two terms as Mayor of Detroit are among the most sordid and stomach churning episodes in the storied history of American municipal corruption. Now under federal indictment for, essentially, running Detroit City Hall as a criminal enterprise, Kilpatrick reportedly turned down a plea bargain that included a 15 year prison term. Insiders say that since the maximum time for the charges he faces was 18 years, the offer from the prosecutors indicates strong confidence in their case. Indicted with him was his father; it’s nice to think that father and son will have some quality time in the can.
We must all hope for mercy in this world and the next and VM doesn’t exactly wish the worst on these people, but if between the civil penalties, fines and lawsuits from those they have wronged Kilpatrick and company are picked so clean that they have to depend on their prison earnings for snack money in jail, helping them out won’t be at the top of our charitable giving list. And one thing Michigan legislators should check is whether the state has a nice harsh pension forfeiture law.
These judgments are always subjective, but it seems to me that there is not nearly enough national publicity about and outrage over the crimes of Kwame Kilpatrick. If a white or Asian Republican pol had looted fire and police pension funds, blighted the lives of a generation of minority kids and helped do more damage to a great American city than Hurricane Katrina, I don’t think this would be primarily a local news story. I would expect that the scandal would grip the nation, and there would be wall to wall national media coverage.
As there should be.
As it is, an eerie silence envelopes the subject. Outside the Michigan area, only the most dedicated news hounds and political junkies follow this story.
Three factors seem to be at work. One is quite simply financial; falling newsroom budgets in the MSM mean that it is harder for national papers and legacy networks to cover the country.
The second factor is more disturbing: there is a pervasive national sense of ennui and despair about urban areas in which African Americans are the majority. ‘We’ expect decline, decay and corruption in these places, so the Kilpatrick story strikes many editors and journalists as just another ‘dog bites man’ story: not news. Cory Booker is news; Kwame Kilpatrick isn’t.
That ennui and despair intensify when the subject is Detroit. Frankly, while the genteel world hates the thought of being racist, in reality there is a widespread belief in even the most liberal and well educated portions of the white upper middle class that nothing much better can happen in Detroit. I don’t believe that, and this is one of the reasons the city’s decline makes me angry as well as sad. Lax law enforcement and oversight from federal and state authorities allowed a climate of unrestrained corruption to grow up in Detroit over many years.
Putting a lot more people in jail much earlier in their careers, and instilling a healthy fear of the law in Detroit’s political class would have slowed the decline at least, and might well have created openings for better politicians to emerge. The failure of Detroit’s political class must also be seen as a dramatic failure of national and state law enforcement. The horses had been out of this stable for a long time before the authorities showed up with padlocks in hand. One hopes that the Department of Justice will move aggressively to target big city machines for investigation before more Detroits pop up. Similarly, state governors might want to suggest to their attorneys general that corruption bears watching. Michigan taxpayers are going to be stuck with huge bills as the state struggles to cope with the consequences of misrule in Detroit; smart governors might not want to wait until their cities collapse.
Finally, there is a disconnect between important local news and our national news culture today. The New York Times does a lousy job covering New York city and New York State; in the rarefied world of Times readers, local news is dull. Many of our national news editors and writers see themselves as cosmopolitan citizens of the world, interested in much more exciting and important things than the grubby realities of local and municipal life.
In this, the journalists faithfully reflect the thinking of many members of the genteel upper middle class; it is a kind of weird Platonic vision of reality in which the ‘lower’, grubby levels of politics and national life count for less than the ‘higher’, ‘nobler’ levels. Call it the gentrification of news; before Ivy Leaguers filled the newsrooms, American papers focused on the nuts and bolts of life. Now, they are much too highfalutin and hoity-toity for crime and city hall reporters to be the cocks of the walk.
Thus, even as interest in and reporting on the economic and social meltdown of so many once prosperous American cities and states ebbs, the ‘aristocracy’ of the press corps intensifies its endless and endlessly overdone coverage of the national election cycle. Very little that is said or done in either the Romney or Obama campaigns right now has much to do with what voters will be thinking about and voting on six months from now. But that doesn’t stop the legacy press from obsessing about it while ignoring far more consequential developments taking place on every side.
Detroit doesn’t matter all that much to the New York Times and many of its readers for the same reasons that Albany, Queens, Buffalo and Schenectady don’t matter. The new American elite wants to live and think as if it has transcended all that dreary provincial mess and lives on high in a world of Big Ideas and Global Issues. Mrs. Jellyby is much more interested in visionary programs to uplift the inhabitants of Borrio-Boola-Gha than on making sure her own children are well dressed and well cared for.
(At the American Interest we are trying to change this pattern. Go here to read a review of some recent books on Detroit by John G. Rodwan that appears in our May/June print issue.)
There is something profoundly wrong with an American political culture that accepts chronic misgovernment in major cities as OK. It is not OK; the people who do these things may call themselves liberal Democrats and wear the mantle of defenders of the poor, but over and over their actions place them among the most cold blooded enemies and oppressors of the weak.
American cities have been festering pits of graft and bad governance since at least the early 19th century, but there is a difference between the “honest graft” of Tammany Hall and the nihilistic destruction practiced by some of today’s urban machines. Today’s situation, in which some city machines are so dysfunctional that the parasite is literally killing the host (and not just in Detroit), is new and, again, the most vulnerable in our society suffer the worst consequences. Minority children are the greatest ultimate victims of this loathsome corruption: they attend horrible schools and grow up in decaying, unsafe urban landscapes where there is no growth, no jobs and no opportunity for the young.
How is it anything but racist not to care about that — and not to burn with the desire to put the scabrous thugs who misgovern our cities and waste our social funds in prison where they belong?

'Julia': Cradle to grave under Obama rule

washington times ^ | 5-4-12 | Rich Lowry

In the competition for the creepiest campaign material of 2012, we may already have a winner. It is “The Life of Julia,” the Obama reelection team’s cartoon chronicle of a fictional woman who is dependent on government at every step of her life. …

The Obama campaign revives the concept of “cradle to grave” as it highlights Obama-supported programs that take care of Julia from age 3 to her retirement at age 67.

(Excerpt) Read more at ...

The Socialist Party of America announced in their October 2009 newsletter that 70 Congressional democrats currently belong to their caucus.

This admission was recently posted on
American Socialist Voter–
Q: How many members of the U.S. Congress are also members of the DSA?
A: Seventy
Q: How many of the DSA members sit on the Judiciary Committee?
A: Eleven: John Conyers [Chairman of the Judiciary Committee], Tammy Baldwin, Jerrold Nadler, Luis Gutierrez,
Melvin Watt, Maxine Waters, Hank Johnson, Steve Cohen, Barbara Lee, Robert Wexler, Linda Sanchez [there are 23 Democrats on the Judiciary Committee of which eleven, almost half, are now members of the DSA].

Q: Who are these members of 111th Congress?
A: See the listing below
Hon. Raúl M. Grijalva (AZ-07)
Hon. Lynn Woolsey (CA-06)
Vice Chairs
Hon. Diane Watson (CA-33)
Hon. Sheila Jackson-Lee (TX-18)
Hon. Mazie Hirono (HI-02)
Hon. Dennis Kucinich (OH-10)
Senate Members
Hon. Bernie Sanders (VT)
House Members
Hon. Neil Abercrombie (HI-01)
Hon. Tammy Baldwin (WI-02)
Hon. Xavier Becerra (CA-31)
Hon. Madeleine Bordallo (GU-AL)
Hon. Robert Brady (PA-01)
Hon. Corrine Brown (FL-03)
Hon. Michael Capuano (MA-08)
Hon. André Carson (IN-07)
Hon. Donna Christensen (VI-AL)
Hon. Yvette Clarke (NY-11)
Hon. William “Lacy” Clay (MO-01)
Hon. Emanuel Cleaver (MO-05)
Hon. Steve Cohen (TN-09)
Hon. John Conyers (MI-14)
Hon. Elijah Cummings (MD-07)
Hon. Danny Davis (IL-07)
Hon. Peter DeFazio (OR-04)
Hon. Rosa DeLauro (CT-03)
Rep. Donna F. Edwards (MD-04)
Hon. Keith Ellison (MN-05)
Hon. Sam Farr (CA-17)
Hon. Chaka Fattah (PA-02)
Hon. Bob Filner (CA-51)
Hon. Barney Frank (MA-04)
Hon. Marcia L. Fudge (OH-11)
Hon. Alan Grayson (FL-08)
Hon. Luis Gutierrez (IL-04)
Hon. John Hall (NY-19)
Hon. Phil Hare (IL-17)
Hon. Maurice Hinchey (NY-22)
Hon. Michael Honda (CA-15)
Hon. Jesse Jackson, Jr. (IL-02)
Hon. Eddie Bernice Johnson (TX-30)
Hon. Hank Johnson (GA-04)
Hon. Marcy Kaptur (OH-09)
Hon. Carolyn Kilpatrick (MI-13)
Hon. Barbara Lee (CA-09)
Hon. John Lewis (GA-05)
Hon. David Loebsack (IA-02)
Hon. Ben R. Lujan (NM-3)
Hon. Carolyn Maloney (NY-14)
Hon. Ed Markey (MA-07)
Hon. Jim McDermott (WA-07)
Hon. James McGovern (MA-03)
Hon. George Miller (CA-07)
Hon. Gwen Moore (WI-04)
Hon. Jerrold Nadler (NY-08)
Hon. Eleanor Holmes-Norton (DC-AL)
Hon. John Olver (MA-01)
Hon. Ed Pastor (AZ-04)
Hon. Donald Payne (NJ-10)
Hon. Chellie Pingree (ME-01)
Hon. Charles Rangel (NY-15)
Hon. Laura Richardson (CA-37)
Hon. Lucille Roybal-Allard (CA-34)
Hon. Bobby Rush (IL-01)
Hon. Linda Sánchez (CA-47)
Hon. Jan Schakowsky (IL-09)
Hon. José Serrano (NY-16)
Hon. Louise Slaughter (NY-28)
Hon. Pete Stark (CA-13)
Hon. Bennie Thompson (MS-02)
Hon. John Tierney (MA-06)
Hon. Nydia Velazquez (NY-12)
Hon. Maxine Waters (CA-35)
Hon. Mel Watt (NC-12)
Hon. Henry Waxman (CA-30)
Hon. Peter Welch (VT-AL)
Hon. Robert Wexler (FL-19)

'Goober Pyle' actor George Lindsey dies

By Alan Duke, CNN

George Lindsey, the actor who portrayed the country-bumpkin mechanic Goober Pyle on "The Andy Griffith Show," died Sunday. He was 83. 
George Lindsey, the actor who portrayed the country-bumpkin mechanic Goober Pyle on "The Andy Griffith Show," died Sunday. He was 83.

  • George Lindsey joined the hit sitcom "The Andy Griffith Show" in 1964
  • Lindsey continued as Goober on the sequel series "Mayberry R.F.D." for three years
  • He embraced the Goober character for another 20 years on TV's "Hee Haw"
  • Goober Pyle's character was the cousin of series original Gomer Pyle
Los Angeles (CNN) -- George Lindsey, the actor who portrayed the country-bumpkin mechanic Goober Pyle on "The Andy Griffith Show," died Sunday after a brief illness, his family said. He was 83.
Lindsey's character Goober Pyle joined the hit sitcom in 1964 as the cousin of Gomer Pyle, played by Jim Nabors. When the show ended four seasons later, Lindsey continued as Goober for three years on the sequel series "Mayberry R.F.D."
"George often told me his fondest memories of his life in show business were the years he spent working on 'The Andy Griffith Show' and 'Mayberry R.F.D.'" said Andy Griffith. "They were for me, too."
The Fairfield, Alabama, native never escaped the stereotyping that the role brought him. He embraced it for another 20 years as a regular on TV's "Hee Haw," by wearing the familiar hat and clothes of Goober, and carried the character on the road for decades of stand-up comedy shows.
Lindsey auditioned for the Gomer Pyle role when the show started in 1962, but he was edged out by Nabors, the family's obituary said. When he saw that first episode on TV featuring Nabors as Gomer, he kicked his television screen because he was upset for losing the part.
"Not only that, but now I didn't have a TV to watch 'Ben Casey' on," Lindsey wrote in his autobiography. He was finally added to the cast as Goober, eventually taking over the job of running Mayberry's gas station when Gomer joined the Marines with his own spinoff show, "Gomer Pyle, U.S.M.C."
Lindsey turned to acting after a stint the U.S. Air Force and then as a high school teacher. He studied at the American Theater Wing in New York for two years while working as a comedian in nightclubs and coffeehouses. An agent from the William Morris Agency saw his work and signed him.
That representation led to stage roles, including the production of "All American" at Broadway's Winter Garden Theatre.
Lindsey moved to Los Angeles, where his work was mostly in westerns, such as "The Rifleman" and "Gunsmoke." He also acted in the "The Real McCoys," "The Twilight Zone" and several Disney productions. He was cast in three episodes of "Alfred Hitchcock Hour."
An obituary released by the Nashville funeral home handling Lindsey's arrangements said the actor often joked about what he wanted written on his tombstone
"One choice goes for the joke: 'I told you I was sick.' The other goes for the heart: 'I hope I made you laugh.' "
Lindsey is survived by his son George Lindsey Jr., daughter Camden Jo Lindsey Gardner, and two grandsons.

When bullies grow up, they can always run teachers unions!

Washington Examiner ^ | April 26, 2012 | Joy Pullman

Earlier this month, the presidents of America's two largest teachers unions co-hosted a screening of the new documentary "Bully." The movie, of course, aims to combat bullying of schoolchildren.
But even as they publicly eschew bullying, these unions and their locals across the nation bully teachers and competing organizations to maintain membership and power. I have published a new report on the details of this ugly trend in School Reform News.

In February, a Utah teacher named Cole Kelly testified in favor of a bill that would penalize school districts for not granting all teacher organizations -- not just unions, but also other professional organizations -- equal access to teachers. A week later, he was released from his position as athletic director, which for school districts is tantamount to firing. His principal admitted she approved of his job performance but had released him because of pressure.

Subsequently, other teachers texted Kelly to say they agreed with him but were afraid of being fired if they spoke out or left their union. He is contesting his release.

This spring, a Colorado teacher emailed the state director of a nonunion teachers association, explaining why she wouldn't publicly speak for a bill extending the state's two-week window for ending union membership.
"They [the state union] are a large and powerful organization," she wrote. "I want to speak out against them, but I am afraid of the repercussions that I will face as a result and the possibility of them doing something to make me lose my job."
At a new teacher orientation in Jacksonville, Fla., a union representative heard a presentation by a nonunion group. She walked onto the stage before 600 teachers, accused the presenter of being "a desperate former teacher" and stalked about the room ripping up the competition's fliers, said Tim Farmer, membership director for the Professional Association of Colorado Educators.
These are not isolated incidents. Teachers unions engage in repeated, unashamed aggression against dissenting teachers and competitor organizations. In regular legislation-tracking for School Reform News, I have uncovered many examples of such behavior across the country. Some are as outrageous as the ones above, while others are mere annoyances. They all, however, represent a consistent effort to intimidate teachers and suppress ideas that might threaten their agenda.
"This is everywhere," said Alexandra Schroeck, communications director for the American Association of Educators, the largest nonunion teachers association. AAE offers teachers liability insurance, professional development grants and legal representation in employment disputes, but it does not engage in collective bargaining or political activism. Its fees are approximately $15 per month, whereas union dues are often $50 per month or more. Like other nonunion teachers organizations, such as Educators4Excellence in New York and the California Teacher Empowerment Network, AAE has been growing, but it constantly runs up against unethical and sometimes illegal union-influenced resistance.
In Utah, for example, a refusal to allow all teachers associations equal access to privileges like payroll deductions, teacher in-services and orientation, and committees (often a union, but no other teachers association, is guaranteed a seat or several) is illegal. Rather than granting access, many principals and superintendents just ignore phone calls and emails requesting it to avoid admitting they are breaking the law, said the state's AAE membership director, Charity Smith.
This year, Smith said, a large male union representative met her at her presentation to a group of teachers and demanded she reveal whom she had talked to, where she was planning to visit next, and her home address. Teachers have whispered to her they were interested in leaving the union but couldn't talk about it openly at school, slipping her their email addresses for later communication. All the states the report covers are right-to-work states, but this is not preventing such persecution.
Teachers unions proclaim to the public that they represent teachers. They also say they are against bullying. My research provides important context for both claims.
Joy Pullmann is managing editor of School Reform News and an education research fellow at the Heartland Institute.



A college professor prepared a final exam for his students. The test questions were divided into three categories, and the students were instructed to choose questions from only one of the categories. 

The first category of questions was the hardest and worth fifty points. The second, which was easier, was worth forty points. The third, the simplest, was worth thirty points.

Upon completion of the test, students who had chosen the hardest fifty-point questions were given As. The students who had chosen the forty-point questions received Bs. Those who had settled for the easiest thirty-pointers were given Cs.

Some of the students were frustrated with the grading of their papers and asked the professor what he was looking for. The professor leaned over the podium, smiled, and explained, 'I wasn’t testing your book knowledge. I was testing your aim.'"

Robert Kriegel put it this way: "The key is to have a dream that inspires you to go beyond your limits."

Obama Knew About OBL’s Hideout in Abbottabad Since Summer of 2010 (Video)

Gateway Pundit ^ | May 5, 2012 | Jim Hoft

General Jack Keane (Retired), the former Vice Chief of Staff of the Army, told Mike Huckabee tonight that Barack Obama knew about Osama Bin Laden’s hideout since the summer of 2010. But Barack Obama refused to act for several months. He wanted absolute proof first that Osama was living there. It wasn’t until May of 2011 that he agreed to attack Bin Laden’s compound, almost a year later.

This follows the news from yesterday that the Obama Administration drafted a memo to protect the president from blame if the mission to kill or capture Osama Bin Laden would have failed.

HuffPo Writers Declare That 'CNN Is Terrible' But Avoid the Real Reason Why

NewsBusters ^ | May 5, 2012 | P.J. Gladnick

"CNN Is Terrible. Here's Why."

That is the headline on a Huffington Post story written by Jason Linkins and Elyse Siegel. They are certainly correct that "CNN is terrible" but as to the why they present only cosmetic or minor problems. The big why as to why CNN terrible, namely liberal bias, is left unmentioned in their article. They start out on the right track with amusing observations of just how terrible CNN is:

CNN is terrible. A God-awful, wall-to-wall, epic mess. And now, they have, in their hands, the clearest sign yet of how bad things have actually gotten. This past April, CNN posted its lowest ratings in 10 years. The New York Times' Brian Stelter recently noted the slim upside, writing, "people tune in to CNN, the same way they hurry to a hospital when they think they are having a heart attack." But what news channel does CNN have to tune in to, to learn the gory details of its own longrunning, sad disaster? Good news: we are that news channel.

(Excerpt) Read more at ...

Obama's 'Julia' website 'creepy' and 'demeaning'

THE HILL ^ | 5/4/2012 | JUSTIN SINK

House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) said Friday that the Obama campaign's new website — which uses a fictionalized woman named Julia to illustrate how the president's policies help female voters — is "creepy" and "demeaning."

“It suggests that this woman can’t go anywhere in life without Barack Obama’s government-centered society. It’s kind of demeaning to her,” Ryan said during a constituent meeting in Wisconsin, the National Review reports. “She must have him and his big government to depend on to go anywhere in life. It doesn’t say much about his faith in Julia.”

(Excerpt) Read more at ...

Romney's Practical Vision vs. Obama's Left-Wing Extremism

Forbes ^ | may 3, 2012 | Peter Ferrara,

In his weekly radio address on April 14, President Obama displayed his lifelong commitment to an ideological extremism of pure theory unhinged from reality. That failure of leadership is why America is in a scary downward slide that will not stop until fundamental change is made at the top.

The bottom line is that raising tax rates on investment income to finance increased government spending could not be a more confused, upside down policy to promote economic growth. It reflects only Obama's extreme, neo-Marxist ideology, which is fundamentally offended by investment income flowing to "the rich."

In sharp contrast, presumptive GOP nominee Mitt Romney in his remarks April 24 in New Hampshire displayed a keen fundamental grasp of how America's capitalist economy works, saying, "I have a very different vision of America, and of our future. It is an America driven by freedom, where free people, pursuing happiness in their own unique ways, create free enterprises that employ more and more Americans. Because there are so many enterprises that are succeeding, the competition for hard-working, educated and skilled employees is intense, and so wages and salaries rise."

(Excerpt) Read more at ...

A penny waived is a penny spurned [Canada ditches it]

Edmonton Journal. ^ | 5/5/2012 | Paula Simons

From now on, thoughts will cost a nickel

A box full of shiny pennies at Northgate Stamp and Coin in Edmonton, May 4, 2012. The last penny was struck Friday
at the Canadian Mint because it is being eliminated. Pennies aren't worth much. Even a 1859 one only goes for a few
dollars. The exception is a 1936 Canadian penny with a raised dot under the date fetches around $360,000 to $400,000.

All lovely things will have an ending,
All lovely things will fade and die;
And youth, that’s now so bravely spending,
Will beg a penny by and by.
Conrad Aiken
In the wake of the Harper government’s recent budget cuts, we’ve heard from a lot of union leaders who are concerned about job losses.
But it occurred to me this week that we hadn’t heard from the largest group of public sector employees to be eliminated by Conservative cost-cutting: the pennies.
The very last Canadian penny piece was minted this Friday.
And so, I asked a penny for her thoughts.
I turned up Penelope Copper-Coyne Lane, the president of COIN, the Canadian Organization of Integrated Numismatics, who represents the nation’s soon-to-be-rendered-redundant one cent coins.
A rubicund redhead, Penny Lane roundly denounces the elimination of her fellow COINS.
“They’ve just minted the last penny? Dreadful!” she exclaims.
“We aren’t a bunch of penny loafers, you know. We have served the Canadian public for more than 100 years, as highly effective change agents. People talk about value for money? We’ve always provided 100 cents on the dollars.”
Lane says she and her fellow pennies worked without pensions or benefits, for very low wages.
“We’ve been acting like chump change,” she huffs, “working 24/7 for penny-ante compensation. Do you want my two cents worth? I think that when the penny drops, Canadians will realize dropping the penny impoverishes them in ways they’ve not yet begun to calculate.”
Lane argues the elimination of the penny will encourage merchants to round up prices, and spur national inflation. More importantly, she says, the coin’s disappearance will erode Canadian cultural traditions, especially those dear to children.
“No more penny candy. No more penny carnivals. No more penny relays. What will Canadian kids toss into wishing wells and fountains? What will they slip into their piggy banks? And what happens every time it rains? Will it rain dimes from heaven? As if! Those skinny, stuck-up Bluenoses. Well, don’t come running to me when you don’t have two cents to rub together.”
There are, of course, many sound fiscal reasons to eliminate the penny. It costs more to mint the coins than they are currently worth. They clutter up change purses and wallets and cash register drawers. Few, if any, vending machines accept them. And in an era when so many people use debit and credit cards for daily transactions, it’s hard to rationalize spending money on minting coins many people consider a nuisance, hardly worth stooping to pick up.
But Lane insists such penny-pinching arguments represent false economy.
“It’s typical Stephen Harper penny-wise, pound-foolish logic,” she says. “I can’t make heads or tails of that kind of thinking. A penny saved is a penny earned — and if you save your pennies, Canada, you might just be able to afford Bev Oda’s orange juice budget. Or the overtime you pay to Rona Ambrose’s private driver. Take care of your pennies, and your dollars will take care of themselves. Because goodness knows, this government won’t — they can’t buy an airplane without losing track of a few billion.”
Lane knows fighting the Harper government won’t be easy — not with all of her union members about to be taken out of circulation. It’s time, she says, for some penny stock-taking.
“We’re having a bit of a meltdown,” she says. “We’ve thought about taking to the streets, like those students in Montreal — in for a penny, in for a pound, as my great-grandmother, the famous cyclist Penny Farthing, used to say. But I’m not sure that’s the best strategy. Please don’t think I’m two-faced. I’m an old-fashioned activist. That’s why they call me the Last Red Cent. But every time we try to roll out a protest, we get picked up — not by the coppers, but by these superstitious ‘loonies’ who think that if they find us, then all the day they’ll have good luck. It’s very frustrating.”
Still, pretty Penny hopes some Canadians, the nostalgic, romantic ones, the ones who value literature, language and history, might yet cherish her doomed members, might yet protect the from being rounded up, might yet keep these “bad” pennies turning up, for a little while longer.
“Without your love, life’s a melody played in a penny arcade,” she says wistfully. “I’m biased, of course. But to me, a Canada that makes no cents, makes no sense at all.”

Democrats Fantasizing About Retaking the House ^ | May 5, 2012 | Kevin Glass

After a monumental 2010 midterm election that saw them swept from power, Congressional Democrats are fantasizing again about holding the levers of the House of Representatives.
Politico's Arena has a discussion among both Democrat and Republican legislators that sees a surprising optimism for Democrats. This comes in the wake of John Boehner putting Dems' chances at about one-in-three.
Democrat Congressman Tim Ryan of Ohio thinks the Ryan budget will be the GOP's millstone, claiming they want to "dismantle" Medicare. (If only, right?) The hat-loving Rep. Frederica Wilson dips into delusion, saying that Republicans "are intentionally starving efforts to jump start the economy" - as if the GOP holding one-half of one of three government branches gives them ultimate control.
Thankfully, Rep. Tim Griffin (R-Ark.) had some sensible things to say:

Right now, we have a situation where House Republicans have proposed substantive ideas, substantive reforms, and the alternative is a blank slate. The status quo is the alternative. Democrats have no plans to save Medicare, they have no plan to reform the tax code, and they have no budget in the Senate. The president has been in office for four years and he has not proposed one substantive reform to save Medicare. What I tell people is all you have to do is talk about status quo versus reform. I think nationally that sells everywhere, because you can’t debate something that doesn’t exist. The other side is completely bankrupt of ideas.
The status quo is completely unacceptable. Right now you’ve got one team on the field ready to play and the other team just sitting on the sidelines.
And Townhall's good friend Hugh Hewitt put things succinctly:

As should the horrific employment numbers yesterday --"the second consecutive month of anemic job growth," as the New York Times put it. House Democrats prattle on about retaking that Chamber, but Democrats at every level know the economy's continued dreary slog through what should have been a boom year endangers them all. 

The Sad, Sorry Life of Julia ^ | May 6, 2012 | Derek Hunter

“Half of what I say is meaningless, but I say it just to reach you, Julia.” The Beatles

That song was written about a combination of John Lennon’s mother and his budding relationship with Yoko Ono. This week, with the advent of a mythical “Julia,” the Obama campaign has given that line new meaning. So much of what the campaign says is meaningless, but it is said just to fool voters. And sadly, this sort of propaganda works on an alarming number of Americans. (Sandra Fluke, anyone?)

When not appealing to people based on race, sexual orientation or through class warfare, Democrats return to their default divisive issues – genitals. Fake ones in this case, but genitals nonetheless.

The Obama campaign created a woman named “Julia,” who can be described only as an eye-less albino woman who, as she ages, wears only a skirt between the ages of 25 and 67, then goes back to pants, and seems to think her right side is her “good side” since it’s the only one she ever shows.

In addition to that, and a seeming love of pastels, Julia is a parasite on society and the antithesis of what modern feminists are supposed to be.

As a child, Julia is shuttled off to a Head Start program at age 3 that even the government says is a waste of money and makes no difference in the future academic success of children. The site touts President Obama’s commitment to Head Start, which makes sense because it’s a big government failure.

Next we see Julia at age 17, ready to take the SAT and apply to college. It’s not because she’s smart or because of her hard work, it’s because President Obama Race to the Top program dumped more cash into the coffers of teachers unions.

There’s nothing about any work put in by Julia to accomplish what she has, just information on how Mitt Romney wants to cut funding to public schools to give tax breaks to millionaires – Democrats’ default position on everything.

There’s also no mention of how the United States spends more money on education than any other country, yet our test scores for important core curricula keep falling. Or the DC Opportunity Scholarship Program so poor students in the nation’s capitol can escape some of the most expensive and least-performing schools in the country. That’s probably because President Obama has tried to end the program every year he’s been in the White House as a nod to his union patrons – even as he sends his children to one of the most exclusive private schools in the country.

At 18, Julia is ready to suckle the government teat for money for college. Her parents, who finally enter the story, get a $10,000 tax credit, and she gets a Pell Grant. The site says this “puts a college education within reach.” I don’t know what school Julia went to, but Pell Grants cover most of tuition if you don’t choose a ridiculously expensive school. Also missing from this lovely story is any sense Julia plans to pay for any of this herself. Did she qualify for scholarships? Did she work on the side? Did she take any responsibility for herself or just rely on government handouts?

When she’s 22, Julia needs some sort of surgery. They don’t say what kind, but I’m assuming parasites since she’s presumably hanging around Occupy Wall Street camps. The Obama campaign says she’s fine because of Obamacare and the ability to stay on her parents’ insurance until she’s 26. They don’t mention you could stay on your parent’s health insurance if you were in college already. No, big government had to act again to save her from worms or whatever she had.

The next year, Julia is a web designer and ready to sue her employer under the Lilly Ledbetter law because she thinks a man might be getting paid more than her, regardless of whether he’s better at the job or otherwise a more valuable employee. She made a deal. She agreed to work for a certain wage. But then she caught wind someone else made a better deal, and naturally, that entitles her to the other person’s deal.

This is fiction, of course, because there’s no way Julia finds a job right out of college in Obama’s economy. But saying “Julia is depressed, drinks a lot and moved back home hoping to get a job at McDonald’s so she can have some money beyond her food stamps” doesn’t so much convey the message they’re trying to put out here.

Somehow she graduates at 25 – even though she’s the only college student in the country working in her chosen field since age 23 – and, thanks to her hero, President Obama, is ready to start repaying her student loans. She then becomes the only student in recent history who “makes her payment on time every month.” At this point I can’t help but wonder what color the sky is on Julia’s planet.

At 27, Julia is happy again because … “Thanks to Obamacare, her health insurance is required to cover birth control and preventive care, letting Julia focus on her work rather than worry about her health.” Julia is relieved of the burden of spending $9 a month at Wal-Mart to buy her own birth control. This comes in handy if she’s sexually assaulted at an Occupy Wall Street camp, even though progressives and the media tell her the camps are perfectly safe. But don’t worry, Julia. Obamacare will cover your therapy, too!

When she turns 31, she get pregnant. Who is the father? Who knows? No one in the Obama campaign cares either. Who needs a dad when you’ve got government? Frankly, the thought of dating or marrying a woman who has no pupils and is always showing her profile seems unappealing anyway.

When her son, Zachary, is old enough to go to kindergarten, he’s shipped off to school and never, ever heard from again. Thanks to President Obama, schools are so awesome you can just give your kids to them and government will take care of the rest. Parenting is for suckers anyway. Well, not for his kids in their elite private school, but for your kids.

At 42 (and apparently childless again), Julia starts a web business with a Small Business Administration loan. Why Julia felt the need to borrow money to start a business millions of people start from home at minimal expense would be a mystery until you recall how she has relied on government to take care of her since the moment she was born. No one sacrifices for success anymore. They’re entitled to it.

The next time we hear from Julia, she is 65 and signing up for Medicare. This is funny because it assumes Medicare will still be around when Julia not only turns 25, but 65.

The real comedy hits when Julia is 67. It says, “After years of contributing to Social Security, she receives monthly benefits that help her retire comfortably, without worrying that she'll run out of savings.” There’s no talk of reform, which almost everyone sees as necessary if Medicare is to survive. President Obama doesn’t have a plan for this, of course. It just somehow magically survives. No, really. He’s that good.

This occurs even though you can’t survive on Social Security alone today. But Julia lives in a world where government takes care of you every step of the way. What color is that sky again?

Missing from all of this Julia garbage is the fact the country is broke and Julia probably speaks Chinese now since they would own everything.

Never once does it talk about how well Julia does, how successful she becomes. Mostly because she won’t in Obama’s economy, but also because success isn’t really the goal … dependence is. If she becomes wealthy, she could think for herself … she could become the enemy.

And she can’t marry because that would offend lesbians and remind the entire “gay community” that President Obama opposes gay marriage. So Julia lives a lonely life, her son long since gone and forgotten, until she gets cancer at age 71, and the descendents of the bureaucrats Obama empowered to make everyone’s health care decisions for them deem her treatment too expensive and condemn her to death in a government nursing home.

No, of course, that’s not really part of the narrative.

You know what else is not part of the narrative? That she never once stood on her own. If Republicans had created Julia, this would be cause for uproar among feminists. But if Obama said she needed to live a life of dependency, who are they to argue?

Julia’s life has replaced what 100 years ago would’ve been “the role of a man in her life” with government. Julia is not a strong woman. She’s a weak stereotype who depends on big brother for everything in her life.

According to polls, this sort of cradle-to-grave government dependency is appealing to a large percentage of women. This should bother those feminists who tell us constantly they don’t need a man; they can take care of themselves. They don’t need a man but only because they have President Obama and his trillions of dollars of progressive government to meet their every need.

You’ve come a long way, baby…full circle, in fact, right back to where you started.

Five Reasons Why Liberals Shouldn't be in Charge of Anything ^ | May 6, 2012 | John Ransom

Odin wrote: Does twit Ransom ever write anything worth reading? West Virginia voted for W twice and McCain once so some WV pols not being thrilled with Obama isn't the man-bites-dog news twitboy pretends it to be. The whining about Obama taking credit for killing bin Laden comes off as sour grapes, making the GOP appear even more infantile, if that's possible. - Obama bin Biden 2012

Dear Comrade Odin,
Apparently I do write stuff worth reading because you come back week after week.
You may not like what I write. But my advertisers don’t really care if you like it. A pageview is a pageview. And the fact that you stop to comment is very helpful, too.
And by the way, it’s not just WV pols who are walking away from Obama, it’s Democrat veteran pols like Bob Kerrey. That’s why I updated the article on Saturday.
The original article just had the West Virginia angle. But as I wrote in that first column: “Scores of Democrats running for reelection will defect from Obama before the campaign is done.”
That two very prominent liberals then defected from Obama in the same week is definitely worth reading and updating the article.
And Huffington didn’t just break a little with Obama. She called his ad “one of the most despicable things you can do."
Imagine Rush Limbaugh saying that about George W Bush in 2004.
As one reader pointed out to me on Facebook. Kerrey isn’t just a decorated veteran, he’s a Medal of Honor winner. He’s also a two-time Senator and former governor of Nebraska. His campaign for president in 1990 single-handedly put nationalized healthcare on the agenda for the Democrats. He’s got great bona-fides. If the Obama administration isn’t troubled by Kerrey and Arianna Huffington defecting on the bin Laden ad, then they are so delusional they are about to get their butts handed to them in November.
Face facts: Your guy is toast.

Who’s Fault wrote: Always enjoy your articles. But if memory serves me correctly, it was Edward Kennedy who Carter faced an insurgent bid from, not Hubert Humphrey. Please correct me if I'm wrong. THANKS! - Obama bin Biden 2012
Dear Dr. Who,
I probably should have included that Ted Kennedy was the insurgent. What I wrote though was that the insurgency came from “Hubert Humphrey progressives.”
We were both kind of a little right. But I should have been more clear.
BananaSplit38 wrote: So, Mr. Ransom dislikes President Obama. What's new? You are getting boring. Get some new material and tell us how YOU are going to resolve all of the problems of the nation instead of why you think someone else is not doing it. You must make a decent enough salary to think of something, so cut the crap talk and start coming up with some real ideas instead of your damn right wing propaganda. - Obama bin Biden 2012
Dear Comrade 38,
Newsflash: I am not running for president of the United States. Readers don’t really care what I would do to fix the problems of the nation. It would be highly presumptuous for me to have a “platform” when I’m not, you know, a candidate.
That said I do make suggestions from time to time.
Since you are like most liberals and you don’t like to undertake your own research, here some ideas that I’ve supported in the past:
1) Scrap the tax code. The tax code is the most corrupt document in the history of our Republic. The tax code, by statute, should be one page (8.5x11) long.
2) Term limits for Congress
3) All legislation should be limited to 100 pages.
4) All legislation should be limited to a single subject. We shouldn’t have unemployment benefits attached to a bill for dealing with military pay.
5) Open up oil development. We can generate about 10 million jobs in ten years along with $15 trillion in GDP just by developing domestic sources of oil.
6) Get rid of the Department of Education, shrink the EPA and Commerce Department, scrap the DHS, the Import-Export Bank, de-fund the UN and kick them out of the country.
7) Create a transparent Federal Reserve Bank, with a single mandate to ensure liquidity during bank panics.
That’s enough for one day. On the second day I would…
Kathy18 wrote: My daughter travels to West Virginia/Ohio border on construction business and she tells me how bad things are for the miners and towns in West Virginia. I believe her. - Obama bin Biden 2012
Dear Kathy,
You should believe her.
I spent a fair amount of time in 2010 as an activist in Virginia’s 9th Congressional District, which is on the border of West Virginia. To give you an idea how bad it’s become for liberals because of Obama’s war on coal, in 2010 Democrat Rep Rick Boucher, who was first elected to Congress in 1982 lost to Republican Morgan Griffith in what used to be a pretty safe seat for Boucher.
In 2008, he ran unopposed. In 2006, he got 68 percent of the vote. His lowest vote total since 1986 has been 59 percent.
That’s a sign of tough times for miners.
CaptNed wrote: I don't know. The conservative supreme court and the Bush tax cuts seems to have been a pretty darn good investment by the wealthy for the last 30 years. -Buying Obama: How the UAW Got the Best Investment Returns in History
Dear Capt Comrade,
OK. Ha!
Bush was elected president less than 12 years ago. Leave it to a liberal to “blame” Bush for 30 years of tax cuts when he was president for 8- starting 12 years ago.
You know how actors have stuntmen to fill in for the real dangerous work? Liberals should have stuntmen for economic arguments. Because it’s becoming increasingly apparent that anytime a liberal gets into an economic argument, he just hurts himself.
I really should start a list of comments from readers that prove that liberals should never be in charge of economics.
Thank you Capt Comrade. You just made number 1.
AlsoSprachGideon wrote: US got GM back in business and they make better cars thanks to "government" control. -Buying Obama: How the UAW Got the Best Investment Returns in History
Dear Comrade Gideon,
You just made number two.
Better cars than what?
I thought liberals argued that the government wasn’t really in control.
DoctorRoy wrote: That's OK tibby the Corporations want a monopoly on Capital. That's the way the game is played. -Buying Obama: How the UAW Got the Best Investment Returns in History
Dear Comrade Doctor,
OK, since we are on a roll, you made number 3.
Corporations want a monopoly on capital? Since when?
If that’s the case, where do corporations get capital to run and expand?
Pension funds control the largest amount of capital in the world, according to Investopedia, at about $10 trillion. They make up about 40 percent of all professionally managed capital. Behind those pension funds are the individual retirements of teachers and firefighters and cops and auto workers.
This is where all the liberal class-warfare nonsense falls apart.
The truth is that the only hope that the SEIUs and UAWs have for survival is if the stock market starts to perform more like their historical returns.
Even back in 2006, before the market crash, it was estimated that private pensions had a shortfall of at least half-a-trillion dollars, mostly because of over promises from pension fund managers- see unions. Since then the number has just mushroomed.
There really is no rich-versus-poor.
We are all in this boat together.
You better hope the rich do well. Otherwise, you and your union brethren are pretty much screwed.
Jim5522 wrote: Well John, guess Obama can't be as lucky as Romney is from all the enthusiastic support and endorsements he got from those he ran over in the primaries! I've only been following presidential campaigns since 1961 but I can never remember a more tepid response from a party to their presumed candidate. -The Best Reason to Vote Against Obama: Self-Defense
Dear Comrade Jim,
Well then, you’ve come to the right place.
Let me give you a history lesson.
From the Tulsa World:
President Barack Obama won Tuesday’s Oklahoma Democrat primary but didn’t appear to sweep all 45 national convention delegates that were in play.
With 1,804 of the state’s 1,961 precincts reporting, Obama had 56.43 percent of the vote.
How does a sitting president get only 56.43 percent of the vote in a primary contest to “Who?” and “Huh?”
I’m not sure I’d spend my time shedding crocodile tears for Romney, if I were you.
In 2008 in the race to NOT be George Bush, Barack Obama just barely convinced everyone that between him and John McCain, he was the least like George Bush.
In 2012, the race in the general will be to see who is the least like Barack Obama.
Romney’s got that one sewed up.
BananaSplit38 wrote Correction!!! However disliked, Presidents of the United States are NOT "kicked out" of the White House!! They are voted out of office by the American electorate and have to leave the White House. The use of the words "kicked out" might describe some South American dictatorship but this is not a banana republic. Think of it like the Armed Forces where you can't stand some officer but you have to salute him anyway. You salute the rank, and not the man. I'm voting for Romney and when he is elected, Obama will leave the White House. Quit using terms that disrespect the Presidency even though you can't stand the President. Thanks. -The Best Reason to Vote Against Obama: Self-Defense
Dear Comrade 38,
I don’t have respect for any political office.
When I meet a Congressman, I call him by his first name; same with a Senator; same with the president.
Sorry, I think most politicians, but most especially Barack Obama, think that what they think of us is much more important than what we think of them.
I have more respect for anyone with a real job than any political office, including president of the United States.
If politicians want to have my respect, they are welcome to earn it. No more hiding behind the office and the presumed dignity of the office.
I think we should pass a law that changes the title of Mr. President to Mr. Dunce and Representative So-and-So to Jerkface So-and-So see how many people apply for the jobs then.
Mac287 wrote: I suppose anyone who is not out in your real world working qualifies as unwashed, anti-American, etc. etc, etc. You are dead wrong...lots of home owners who lost their jobs to patriotic American companies who moved to China are struggling to keep those homes. -Occupy Wall Street Operates on Mayan Calendar
Dear Comrade 287,
Spacebar, man. Spacebar.
Jobs going to other countries is a problem that has been going on for a long time. When I was young, the manufacturing jobs were going to Japan; now it’s Mexico and China.
Instead of trying to pass more complex laws that make it more difficult to set up businesses, the government ought to examine why the long-term trend has been to move jobs off-shore.
The most obvious reason is that labor costs are lower off-shore.
But it would be a mistake to believe that the U.S. can’t get around those issues. Businesses will give up a little bit in labor costs for the benefits of manufacturing in a FREE country that respects property rights. Companies will make investments in countries where corruption isn’t rampant and skilled workers who take pride in their work can be found. Companies would rather be in the U.S. than anywhere else. We just have to give them reasons to be.
Imagine being a CE of a company and having to recruit people to go work in Shenzhèn.
Do you think it would be easier to find skilled managers to live in Atlanta or Shenzhèn?
That’s why the U.S. must lower corporate taxes. I’d prefer zero corporate tax, but will settle right now for a competitive corporate tax.
Drik wrote: The Mayans took page 2 of their calendar with them when they left. -Occupy Wall Street Operates on Mayan Calendar
Dear Drik,
That’s because it was part of the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit issue.
Diane502 wrote: Most people have no clue that what the Mayan calendar foretells is that Venus will eclipse the Sun on June 6, 2012, which is the beginning of the end of government as we know it. The last time this eclipse happened was 243 years ago. People moved from the age of energy into the age of matter. Cultures were brutally killed off. Governments were destroyed. The people took control of their destiny during the Revolutionary War here in our nation. We can expect a replay of those years, but of a higher ingenuity. Let's watch the show this summer as many leaders, worldwide, will disappear from the scene. The USA will benefit from this eclipse, politically. Hold on for the wild ride. -Occupy Wall Street Operates on Mayan Calendar
Dear Comrade 502,
Some bad trips just never end.
CVN65 wrote: The least comprehensible sentence that you wrote is brain hurting me and I cannot in which thoughts understand how happened that has. -Occupy Wall Street Operates on Mayan Calendar
Dear CVN,
Navy stay!
Bernanrd83 wrote: John, I know the NFL Draft is entertaining but our country is on the brink of destruction. Most of the citizenry don't appear to know that. The current administration wants nothing more than for the population's attention to be diverted from reality and you come along with this offering. - 2012 NFL Draft Recap
Dear Jerkface So-and-So,
It was either put up a gratuitous NFL Draft post, or nothing. I picked the gratuitous NFL Draft post.
I really don’t write seven days a week. You might notice that I take days off from time to time. I still like to publish something though.
But actually the post has another benefit, besides giving me a day off from writing 900 words.
One of the things that I do a little differently than other columnists is that you get a chance to know me. You know I’m a real person, with hobbies and interests, etc.
I’m not just some guy you see on Fox News. And that’s not just because I’m not on Fox News.
It’s because I give you the little extra attention, like this column, or the NFL Draft column or the column I wrote on Geo. Washington. Don’t you feel better knowing who I am?
I mean this quite sincerely when I write: I know I do.
Longball38884 wrote: Well, if lower expenses = lower prices, then how low do Nike expenses have to get before the consumers see any benefit?- New York Times Outs Apple, Enemy of the People, on Tax “Sidestep”
Dear Comrade Oddball,
You have now demonstrated reason number 4 you should never but liberals in charge of anything economic.
Price is a function of demand, not expenses. Just because you lower expenses, doesn’t mean that that translates into lower prices. It could, but it could also mean that a company devotes more money to marketing or retains more profits to reinvest in the company.
Where do you think companies get more money to hire more workers? More profits.
You’ll never see a company where profits are falling desperate to hire workers. More jobs is a function of higher profitability.
Patrick wrote: John. I guess I'm missing something here. If the NYT is losing so much money each year; how do they stay in business? - New York Times Outs Apple, Enemy of the People, on Tax “Sidestep”
Dear Comrade Pat,
They almost don’t stay in business. They came pretty close to bankruptcy in 2009.
They’ve been selling assets to fund cash flow, and doing what other capitalists do to stay afloat: lay off workers. GASP!
Here’s another shocker for you. The biggest problem for newspapers? Their pension plan. DOUBLE GASP!
Dow Jones Newswires- Pension funding requirements are hurting credit quality at three major U.S. newspaper companies, while consuming cash that could be used to invest in new opportunities or reduce debt, according to Moody's Investors Service.
Moody's said the companies--Gannett Co. (GCI), New York Times Co. (NYT) and McClatchy Co. (MNI)--have seen a four-fold jump in pension contributions in the past two years. Moody's estimates that pensions contributions consumed more than 20% of aggregate adjusted free cash flow at the three companies and the combined share is expected to increase to more than 30% this year and next year. By comparison, the amount directed toward pension plans was 7% in 2009, Moody's said.
Thirty percent of cash flow from the company is going to pensions?
That’s why the NYT imaginatively FROZE their pension plans and moved workers over to a 401k style plan where workers invest in the stock market. TRIPPLE GASP.
The Value of Our Pension and What's at Risk
DoctorRoy wrote: That was my question a couple of weeks ago. The one Ransom claimed was the dumbest question in the history of the world. If they don't actually pay tax then are they using the so called high corporate tax rate as an excuse to move offshore. - New York Times Outs Apple, Enemy of the People, on Tax “Sidestep”
Dear Comrade Doctor,
I answered this once previously.
You have now demonstrated reason number 5 why you should never but liberals in charge of anything economic.
Corporations may pass along corporate taxes to customers, but that doesn’t mean that the tax has no effect on them.
When a corporation is saddled with high taxes, they raise the price of the products they sell, which means that they sell fewer products and they do so at a lower profit margin.
You own a company- and you make a product that for ease of demonstration has 100 percent profit- and you have a choice of: 1) Staying in the U.S. and charging customers $100 for a product while paying the 35 percent tax on corporate profits and netting $65 or; 2) moving off-shore and charging customers $90 and paying 20 percent corporate profit tax (the tax in Greece) and netting $72 or; charging customers $85 for the product and paying no corporate taxes and netting $85?
Questions for you: Who is really paying the tax and what do you do if you are the owner?

What Does 'Composite Girl' Tell Us About Obama?

American Thinker ^ | May 6, 2012 | Jack Cashill

Here is what I wrote about this narrative hole in my book Deconstructing Obama: "Given Remnick's list of the allowable ways to interpret Dreams -- verifiable fact, recollection, recreation, invention, and artful shaping -- I choose 'D' for the mystery woman, 'invention.' In the absence of any contrary information, best evidence argues for a creation largely of Ayers' contrivance."

Ayers' great lost love, Diana Oughton, a Weatherwoman killed in a 1970 bomb blast, matches the brief description of this woman in Dreams even better than Cook does, right down to the "specks of green" in her eyes and a multi-generational estate with a lake in the middle. "The house was very old, her grandfather's house," Obama writes of his girlfriend's country home. "He had inherited it from his grandfather." In real life, Oughton's father's grandfather built the main house on their estate, a 20-room Victorian mansion, which is now on the national historic register.

Maraniss makes a point to establish that Cook and Obama visit a family house in the country in the fall. He concedes that it is not her father's house, but her stepfather's, and that Cook has "flecks of brown, not green, in her hazel eyes," but otherwise Cook does seem to fill the bill. In its inimitably oily way, Media Matters noticed. The discovery of Cook, the reader is told, undermines "one of the main pieces of 'evidence'" in my book. Media Matters headlined its article, "The Obama Ex-Girlfriend Conspiracy Inevitably Falls Apart." My suspicion is that Team Obama green-lit the Cook story expecting the Media Matters spin to prevail, not Politico's. The White House could not have been pleased with the results. All the e-mails I received were congratulatory.

(Excerpt) Read more at ...

Shot may top acupuncture for pain relief: Mouse study finds enzyme injection has lasting effects!

Science News ^ | April 27, 2012 | Tina Hesman Saey

Injections of an enzyme called PAP into an acupuncture point behind the knees of mice relieved pain caused by inflammation for up to six days, Julie Hurt and Mark Zylka of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill report online April 23 in Molecular Pain. That’s almost 100 times longer than pain relief from acupuncture, which typically lasts about 1½ hours.

Long-lasting pain relief “is truly important, clinically,” says Maiken Nedergaard, a neuroscientist at the University of Rochester in New York. She and colleagues previously demonstrated that inserting and manipulating acupuncture needles causes the body to release a chemical called adenosine. Adenosine acts as a local anesthetic to slow down pain messages sent to the brain, she says.

“The beauty of Mark’s study is that it takes advantage of the molecular mechanism of acupuncture and improves upon it,” Nedergaard says.

Zylka had already been studying PAP, which stands for prostatic acid phosphatase, when Nedergaard’s research on the release of adenosine during acupuncture was published. The study gave him the idea that boosting adenosine at acupuncture points, which are located where nerves contact muscle, could be a localized way to treat pain. Adenosine lasts only minutes in the human body, so injections of the chemical itself were not an option.
But Zylka knew that PAP, which produces adenosine by breaking down adenosine monophosphate or AMP, lasts a long time and can continue churning out adenosine as long as it has a supply of AMP. Muscles are a ready source of AMP, itself a breakdown product of a molecule called ATP, which cells use for energy. So Zylka and Hurt decided to inject PAP into a space behind the knee, called the popliteal fossa. In people, doctors inject anesthetics at that spot, which encompasses the Weizhong acupuncture point.
PAP injections...
(Excerpt) Read more at ...

On Jobs, Bad News Is Bad. The Good News Is Bad, Too!

KERA-AM / National Public Radio ^ | May 5, 2012 | John Ydstie

For the second month in a row, weak job growth numbers unsettled nerves in the White House and on Wall Street.

It's obvious why the number of jobs added to the economy in April was disappointing. Employment grew by just 115,000. That followed a disappointing job gain in March. Together, the March and April average was only about half the 250,000 jobs added monthly in December, January and February.
Again, economists suggested the warm winter weather might have boosted job growth during the winter months, which left fewer jobs to be added in the spring.

However, at first glance there appeared to be a silver lining in April's numbers: The unemployment rate inched down again to 8.1 percent.

"For the last couple of months we have a situation where the unemployment rate is still declining, but that's because people are leaving the workforce," says Gary Burtless, a labor economist at the Brookings Institution.

He says it's usually good news when the unemployment rate drops, because lots of people are getting hired, but that wasn't the case in April.
Some people might have left the workforce because they reached retirement age, and it's possible they weren't replaced by young people, who may have decided to stay in school because the job market is still dicey.
Yet there's no doubt many people left the workforce because they're discouraged. After months of looking, they still couldn't find a job. Kate Riley, a former health spa manager from the San Francisco Bay area, is one of them.
"I was sending out anywhere between 5 and 10 resumes weekly; was getting ignored for probably half of them, but the half that did respond the comments were very complimentary for my expertise and my experience and they did want to talk to me," she says.
In some cases Riley even went through half a dozen interviews with a potential employer. But after more than a year of looking in the spa industry, Riley, who's 61 years old, never got a job offer.
"Someone else was getting chosen because they fit the culture better and I recently realized that that was code for I'm older and it doesn't fit the image that they want to project," she says.
Last week Riley decided to stop looking.
"It was somewhat humiliating and very depressing," she says. "It was a shock to realize this isn't working, because I tend to push on and push through and last week when I just decided to stop, it was an emotional change for me."
So, after a long successful career, Riley, like a lot of people in today's job market, is going to have to find a new path.
This is WEEKEND EDITION from NPR News. I'm Scott Simon. Weak job growth numbers riled nerves in the White House and on Wall Street yesterday for the second month in a row. Now, we'll talk about the political implications in a few minutes. But first, NPR economics correspondent John Ydstie explains why a report that showed a drop in the unemployment rate was not viewed as good news.
JOHN YDSTIE, BYLINE: It's obvious why the number of jobs added to the economy in April was disappointing. Employment grew by just 115,000. That followed a disappointing job gain in March, and together, the March and April average was only about half the 250,000 jobs added monthly in December, January and February. Again, economists suggested that the warm winter weather might have boosted job growth during the winter months, which left fewer jobs to be added in the spring.
However, at first glance there appeared to be a silver lining in April's numbers - the unemployment rate inched down again to 8.1 percent. Gary Burtless, a labor economist at the Brookings Institution says it is good news when the unemployment rate drops because lots of people are getting hired, but that wasn't the case in April.
GARY BURTLESS: For the last couple of months, we have a situation where the unemployment rate is still declining, but that's because people are leaving the workforce.
YDSTIE: Now, some people might have left the workforce because they reached retirement age, and it's possible they weren't replaced by young people. They may have decided to stay in school because the job market is still dicey. But there's no doubt many people left the workforce because they're discouraged. After months of looking, they still couldn't find a job. Kate Riley, a former health spa manager from the San Francisco Bay area, is one of them.
KATE RILEY: I was sending out anywhere between five and ten resumes weekly, was getting ignored for probably half of them, but the half that did respond, the comments were very complimentary for my expertise and my experience and they did want to talk to me.
YDSTIE: In some cases Riley even went through half a dozen interviews with a potential employer. But after more than a year of looking in the spa industry, Riley, who's 61 years old, never got a job offer.
RILEY: Someone else was getting chosen because they fit the culture better and I recently realized that that was code for I'm older and it doesn't fit their image, what they want to project.
YDSTIE: So last week Riley decided to stop looking.
RILEY: Out of the job market completely.
YDSTIE: That must feel a little strange.
RILEY: It's not only strange, but it was somewhat humiliating and very depressing. It was a shock to realize this isn't working, because I tend to push on and push through and last week when I just decided to stop, it was an emotional change for me.
YDSTIE: So after a long successful career, Riley, like a lot of people in today's job market, is going to have to find a new path.