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A new RNC Chair. YAY!!!!!

December 31, 2010 Leave a comment

Republican Elephant

Well, maybe YAY!!!!!

The best part about January 15 will be almost certainty that Michael Steele will be fading off into the woodwork, hopefully NEVER to be seen again at or near the RNC.  I would suggest that the new head of the RNC get a restraining order to keep Steele at least 500 miles away from any Republican function, which will pretty much require him to move to Guam.  But hey, I’m sure he’ll be welcomed there given the RNC cash he shipped off to Guam to buy the votes of their RNC Committee Members.  That money might have made a difference in getting Jesse Kelly elected in a squeeker in AZ08 but hey, no hard feelings Mike.  On second thought, yeah, I do have hard feelings.  You were an affirmative action hire and guess what.  You turned out like all affirmative action hires – including the one currently sitting in the White House – a freaking disaster.  Oh well, that’s water under the bridge and it’s time to move on and boot your incompetent butt out onto the pavement.

So the question becomes, If not Mikie, who?

Well, the Chairman of the Wisconsin Republican Party, a fella by the unbelievable name of Reince Priebus (really!) is howling from the rooftops to the effect that he’s gonna have the job locked down in a few days.  He’s got some interesting qualifications, being Chair of the Wisconsin Republicans and he was also the General Counsel for the RNC.  While Mikie was Chair.  Priebus is running hard for the job and apparently has 24 votes committed.

It looks like it might turn out that Priebus is nothing more than a Steele retread.  As it turns out, a whole bunch of stuff is starting to steamroll down the mountain at him and there’s a school of thought that says he is nothing more than Mikie’s chosen replacement.  There are three interesting things that have popped up in the last couple of days, the first being the work being done by Priebus as an attorney and the work of his current law firm.  He was a clerk for the LA NAACP chapter while in law school, a job he sought because apparently he values diversity and in 2003 he was working to confiscate property of a small business through eminent domain.  His current law firm spent the last year actively working on ObamaCare.  Now I’ll be the first to say that none of those things are knock-outs for the RNC job, but they certainly raise questions about where Priebus is coming from and whether he’s thinking out of the right side or the left side of his brain.

Next is a statement released by the Wisconsin Republican Liberty Caucus, a state-wide Tea Party organization in Wisconsin…

Wisconsin RLC: Reince Priebus Should Not Be National Chairman of the Republican Party
December 6th, 2010

Republican Liberty Caucus of Wisconsin: Reince Priebus Should Not Be National Chairman of the Republican Party

For Immediate Release: December 6, 2010
Contact: Michael S. Murphy, Chairman

MILWAUKEE, WI. — The Republican Liberty Caucus of Wisconsin, a state affiliate of the Republican Liberty Caucus, encourages Republican Party leaders to look to candidates other than Wisconsin Republican Party Chair Reince Priebus to lead the Republican National Committee in the coming cycle.  “Mr. Priebus wants to take credit for a successful election night on Nov. 2, but it was actually Democrat policies and the over 65 grassroots Tea Party groups in the state of Wisconsin that made the real difference,” said Republican Liberty Caucus of Wisconsin Chairman Michael S. Murphy.

As a grassroots network of concerned citizens dedicated to upholding of individual liberty, limited government, and free enterprise within the Republican Party, the Republican Liberty Caucus questions Mr. Priebus’s commitment to core constitutional principles as well as the rule changes that disenfranchised Wisconsin GOP primary voters under his watch.

This is of particular concern to me because we need the new RNC Chair to be someone who can actively work well with Tea Party groups around the nation.  Mr. Priebus doesn’t seem to be that person.

Third, from Politico, is an email that Connecticut RNC Chair Chris Healy is sending out to RNC members.  Basically, he’s saying Priebus was Steele’s go-to-guy at the RNC.

As the race for the Chairmanship enters its final stages, it is critical we focus on the tasks ahead but also review how we got here through the tangled relationship of Wisconsin Chairman Reince Preibus [sic] and RNC Chairman Michael Steele.

The candidates are making their case, and let’s hope there is more than the usual banter and endless metaphors and overripe cliché’s when the candidates meet on Monday. As we listen, it is essential that each of us examine the role each of us played over the last two years.

This would apply in particular to Chairman Preibus, who was until a few weeks ago, the Chief Counsel to our Party and Chairman Steele’s wingman throughout his stormy tenure. At no time until he chose to run did Preibus issue any directive, memo or public utterance on Steele’s disastrous tenure. Now he wishes to walk into breach and rescue us from Chairman Steele, his legions and supporters who have done quite well for themselves at the expense of our Party.

When Steele was elected Chairman, he had good will, eager groups of employees and supporters and $22 million in the bank. Chairman Steele chose Preibus to be his General Counsel, an unpaid appointed post, which is supposed to keep an eye on all legal and policy matters that the committee embarks on. Reince earned this spot by being Steele’s campaign manager. During the campaign, up to the vote in D.C., they were inseparable. Indeed, they remained in firm allegiance during Steele’s tenure and often, Preibus was dispatched to put out fires.

You can read the whole email at Politico.  Bottom line though, Steele and Priebus were joined at the hip.

Given the evidence that I’m looking at right now, I have to say that Reince Priebus is not the person we want replacing Michael Steele.  Looks to me like we’ll just get more of the same and that’s the last thing we need.  Steele took over the RNC at a time when it’s credibility with conservatives was at an all time low.  Steele did the impossible, he drove it down even further.  We don’t need more of the same.  I don’t have a candidate that I’m endorsing, although I do like Saul Anuzis, but right now I am in the “Oust Steele & Stop Priebus” mode.  I will be contacting the four RNC voting members from my home state, Arizona, and I would urge you to do the same.  If you don’t have current contact information for the RNC voting members in your state, please leave a comment and I will get the information, with a current email address, to you.

Public Employees… ya gotta love ’em.

December 31, 2010 1 comment

Snoozing Sanitation Worker - NY Post

Or not!

So, we all know about the global warming caused disaster on the east coast, and that would be last week’s snow storm. You’ve probably also read about the disaster on top of the disaster that occurred in New York City. In case you missed it, a whole bunch of streets didn’t get plowed and the city pretty much came to a standstill. A whole bunch of politicians were looking for Mayor Bloomberg’s scalp. As an aside, after having spent a major chunk of my adult life in the northeast, when the streets don’t get plowed all hell breaks loose. Think of the Yankees having a losing season and you’ve got a pretty good idea of the public reaction.

Well, according to today’s New York Post, there may be a tad more to the story than just some inefficiencies or screw-ups by the Bloomberg Administration. A historical note here, derived from the Post article: it appears as though the NYC Sanitation Department – the folks who do the snow removal – have been the recipient of some budget reductions that have led to demotions and some attrition. Apparently the tough economic times in flyover country extend to the Big Apple as well. Guess what? Come on guess… OK, I know you’d have gotten it, but I can’t wait forever. The snow storm appears to have been PAYBACK TIME!!!!!!!!

Selfish Sanitation Department bosses from the snow-slammed outer boroughs ordered their drivers to snarl the blizzard cleanup to protest budget cuts — a disastrous move that turned streets into a minefield for emergency-services vehicles, The Post has learned.
[…]
“They sent a message to the rest of the city that these particular labor issues are more important,” said City Councilman Dan Halloran (R-Queens), who was visited yesterday by a group of guilt-ridden sanitation workers who confessed the shameless plot.
[…]
The snitches “didn’t want to be identified because they were afraid of retaliation,” Halloran said.

Please note, gentle reader, that these folks are not “whistleblowers” they are “snitches”. And, having dealt with various unions around the country and having been licensed to carry a fire arm as a result, I can guarantee you there will be “retaliation”. These folks will be lucky to escape with their lives and their jobs. Seriously.  You should also note that the Lefty blogs – and I refuse to publish links to the DailyCrass – are going absolutely berserk over the fact that the whistleblowers went to a CONSERVATIVE Rethuglican City Councilman.  Of course they did.  Had they gone to one of the majority party reps, the sanitation workers union would have been waiting in the outer office when they left.  These guys weren’t STOOPID.

Maybe – although I’m not holding my breath – this incident will provide appropriate incentive for NYC to take a look at privatizing it’s sanitation department. Now let me note, it is NYC and if – IF – the department is contracted out, the job will go to one of the NY Mafia families. But I guarantee you THEY wouldn’t let the snow pile up.

Why Obama doesn’t know the economy is bad…

December 30, 2010 1 comment

Half million dollar house in Salinas, Californ...

Image via Wikipedia

Bottom line, he lives in a cave.

Now I’ll be the first to admit that it’s a very nice cave, but it’s a cave nonetheless.

One of the indicators of just how tough things are out in the real world is the real estate market.  It’s in the tank, but I didn’t have to tell you that, we don’t have readers from DC.  Not only is it in the tank, it’s not turning around anytime soon, and in the opinion of your humble correspondent, there’s probably another 25% downside in major real estate markets and nothing good will happen for at least five years AFTER the feds quit trying to manipulate the market.  Let me quickly cite some reasons for my opinion.

  1. In major markets around the country the inventory of homes for sale on MLS is about 16 months.  That’s homes currently listed for sale.  A stable inventory, historically, is about 5 months.
  2. In those same markets, servicing banks are holding inventories of “real estate owned” (REO) on their books that are NOT listed on MLS in numbers that range from about 50% to 100% of the MLS listings.  Those properties are called “shadow inventory”.
  3. If you are unable to make your mortgage payments and your home goes into default, in “normal” times the foreclosure process – which varies somewhat by state – takes about seven months from the time you miss your first payment until the “trustee sale” of the property and eviction.  Right now, it’s not at all unusual for people to live in a house for two years or more without making a payment.  Bottom line, banks don’t want more inventory but those loans will not “cure”, eventually they will go through the process and should be considered part of the “shadow inventory”.  I’m guessing, but those numbers are probably about equal to the lenders’ current REO.
  4. Based on current lending rules, people with a foreclosure or bankruptcy are off the market in terms of being able to get a new mortgage for about five years.
  5. At least 25% of current homeowners are upside-down on their homes, they owe more than the home is worth.  That means those homes are non-salable and those homeowners are off the market – probably indefinitely – in terms of being able to either “move up” or “downsize”.  They are also handcuffed if they are thinking about a career move that would require relocation.
  6. Potential buyers who are unable to document their income via a W2 or their 1040s are now off the market without regard to their credit score.
  7. If you haven’t had a job for a while – like maybe 99 weeks – even if you manage to find one, you’re not likely to get a mortgage any time soon for a whole raft of reasons.

Bottom line to all of this is the real inventory of available housing is probably two-and-one-half to three times the apparent inventory and the pool of qualified buyers is shrinking.

So, what does that have to do with Obama’s understanding of the economy?  Well, yesterday’s Washington Post had this interesting little snippet…

By Dina ElBoghdady
Washington Post Staff Writer
Wednesday, December 29, 2010; 12:56 AM

The Washington region posted the highest year-over-year home price gains in the nation this fall, as real estate values slumped in nearly every other metropolitan area, a key housing report said Tuesday.

A healthy job market, particularly for high-salaried workers, buoyed demand and prices for housing in the D.C. area, local economists said. Home values climbed 3.7 percent in Washington in October from a year earlier, making it one of only four regions nationally to avoid a dip in prices, the Standard & Poor’s Case-Shiller home-price index said.

But hopefully that’s likely to change. (See how cleverly I put in the “hope & change” reference?)

It is unclear how long the region will be able to buck the national trend. One of the anchors of the local job market – private government contractors – may face significant cutbacks over the next several years as the Obama administration has vowed to rein in defense spending. But many economists expect that the local housing market is strong enough to weather layoffs now that prices appear to have stabilized.

“Economists expect…” Heh. Given that every report issued by the government’s economists for the last two years have contained the word “unexpected” I’m not putting money down on this guess. Hey Barack. Welcome to the real world.

Railing about utter stupidity.

December 29, 2010 2 comments

Metro Light Rail (testing)

Image by CWaterhouse via Flickr

And I’m talking about commuter light rail.

In the world of government foisting stupid economic decisions off on tax payers who are clueless, nothing will ever top light rail.  In the interest of full disclosure, I ride the Phoenix light rail system every day and it’s a great ride.  I also happen live and work within walking distance of the line, something that probably 2% of Phoenicians can say.  And while it happens to work great for me right now, it’s still a fools errand.  Rail systems are rife with what would be called fraud and whole variety of other names that define serious criminal behavior if it was fronted by private enterprise instead of the government.  Kind of like social security.  I’m going to discuss two systems today, the Phoenix Metro Light Rail which is currently in operation and is expanding, and a new light rail system that is being proposed for Metro DC.  I’m not going to talk about other existing systems and the disasters they are – Miami and LA for two – nor am I going to discuss the Harry Reid memorial high speed rail plans, which make commuter light rail look like the bargain of the century.  You can look them up yourself if you have a really strong stomach or a large pantry of alcohol.

Things like cost overruns.  Remember all the screeching from The Left about military cost overruns on stuff that can’t really be predicted, like war?  Well, they’re curiously silent about cost overruns on stuff that is really straightforward, like rail line construction.  Oh, and operation.  And then there’s those pesky estimates of ridership.

So, with respect to the Phoenix system, the first phase of it encompassed a 20 mile stretch from kinda North Phoenix past the airport, through Tempe (ASU) and on to Mesa.  For those not familiar with Metro Phoenix, it’s essentially Maricopa County, home to almost 4 million people, it’s larger than at 24 states and is not a commuter friendly place.  It’s an hour’s drive on a weekend from one end to the other, make that two hours during the week and there is no real central corridor for business, there are business parks spread at random through the county.  That means, unlike major eastern metro areas where people live in concentrated areas of housing and work in business concentrated areas, Phoenix housing and business is spread all over the 9,200 square miles of the county making a fixed rail transportation system inefficient because there is no centralization to build from.

OK, so let’s look at the construction of the Phoenix system.  The initial cost estimates for Phase I were touted by the mayor to be about $500MM for 20 miles of track, stations and trains.  The cost came in at $1.4B.  That’s an oopsie.  Now to be clear, there are no tunnels, no bridges, just ripping up streets and laying rails and putting electrical towers along the line to power the trains (yes Virginia, they’re eco-friendly non-fossil fuel vehicles).  The trains were bought from a German firm who bid on the contract.  There’s nothing unique or difficult here gentle reader but the government agencies who figured the initial cost – like maybe to sell the project to an unsuspecting public – missed it by a factor of about three.  Oh well, it’s federal money, not “ours”.  Well, sort of.  The feds paid for half.  Phoenix and Mesa paid for 40% and a Prop400 sales tax for “transportation” paid for the rest.  So, for those of you who don’t live in Phoenix, thanks suckers.

So much for construction.  Let’s talk about operating cost.  Keep in mind that Phoenix bought the trains from a German firm that sells these critters all over the world.  Not a new design and no fancy stuff, just off the rack train cars.  They have electric motors and run on a fixed schedule, no joy-riding or taking side trips.  Should be fairly easy to calculate the operating cost right?  Ahhh, nope.

Unfortunately, it took massive energy bills to learn the lesson. Metro spent $1.2 million on power in its first six months of operation. That is 40 percent more than projected.

But fear not, the government has the situation well in hand. They’re going to turn up the air conditioning to 78 degrees. That will fix everything. No discussion of the fact that a three car train (most are two) uses about the same amount of electricity for one run as it takes to keep a 20 story office building open for one day. Trains run every 10 minutes.

As to who actually pays to operate the system, you’re gonna love this. Keep in mind that this estimate was prior to actual start up and costs have increased both significantly and, of course, unexpectedly.

The bulk of the operations budget, more than $159 million, comes from fares and cities. That money goes to everything from taking care of trains to paying the salaries of train operators to running Metro’s office.

Fares are expected to account for $44.81 million during the next five years.

Got that? The folks who ride (me) are paying about 30% of the operating cost. The rest comes from city and state taxes. And TARP when you can get it. Bottom line, while the construction cost overruns are criminal, they are at least one time hits. Big hits, but only one time. The operating cost is where they really nail you. Kinda like the cost of retirement for a city employee. They underestimated the operating cost and typically overestimate ridership. And when a “special” tax is collected, the revenue is almost always less than was projected as is the case for Prop400. Bottom line, city property tax payers get hammered and the fools go looking for “other” sources of revenue to support the white elephant that is firmly in place.

Now then, a quick note about the Metro DC boondoggle from the Washington Examiner.

What if they built a $6 billion Metrorail extension and nobody came?

That’s not just a rhetorical question. Last week, the Federal Transit Administration announced advanced payments for a number of its New Starts projects. On the list was Dulles Rail, which will be receiving $19.7 million (out of the total federal share of $900 million) for Phase 1 — an 11.7-mile Metrorail extension now under construction, which will run from West Falls Church to Wiehle Avenue in Reston.

According to the FTA’s own press release, “The extension is projected to serve 85,700 daily riders by 2030, including an estimated 10,000 new daily transit riders.”

Since Phase 1 of Dulles Rail will cost a minimum of $3.1 billion, that comes out to $310,000 for each new rider. Taxpayers would be better off financially giving each of them a brand new Lamborghini Gallardo (MSRP $237,600) or his and hers matching Tesla Roadsters (MSRP $109,000) instead.

Remember our comment about a criminal job of estimating to sell a project to unsuspecting tax payers? Get this…

First, the Silver Line is supposed to entice tens of thousands of commuters to leave their cars at home and take Metro to work at Tysons Corner, the nation’s 12th largest job center. But the latest FTA ridership projection does not reflect a major shift from cars to mass transit.

Second, that 10,000 figure is just a third of the estimate contained in the 2004 Dulles Rail Environmental Impact Statement, which predicted at least 29,100 new riders. This means that the Fairfax Board of Supervisors approved much higher densities around the four Tysons Corner Metro stations based on what now appears to be an erroneous assumption. And if only a third of the expected increase in new ridership materializes, only a third of the projected benefits of Dulles Rail will be realized.

Third, the latest new ridership figure is even less than the 13,600 new daily riders projected by 2020 for a 23-mile bus rapid transit project that was initially submitted by the Virginia Department of Rail and Public Transportation in November 2000, but later abandoned in favor of heavy rail even though Metrorail will cost taxpayers $288,875 more for each new rider.

Read the whole article if you have a strong stomach or alcohol left from phase one. Bottom line, we didn’t even get kissed. I hope Darryl Issa has time to look into this, or at least I hope somebody makes time to look into it. And the high speed rail fiasco. And, a strong stomach or alcohol will not suffice for that link. You’ll need hard drugs.

It’s a war folks. A REAL war…

December 28, 2010 1 comment

No prisoners!

And to quote Lawrence of Arabia, “No prisoners!”  Because there will be none.

The Christmas Day editorial in the New York Times lays out the battle ground and Al Qaeda isn’t one of the combatants.  In fact, in this war Al Qaeda poses no threat.  This time it’s face off between the folks who think government knows best and the peasants should pay for it and, of course, the peasants who pay.

It actually looks like The Times is having a “Come to Jesus” moment – appropriate for Christmas Day – with respect to spending by governments.  The interesting part is that it’s not federal spending that is driving the train wreck, it’s the states.  This is happening for a couple of reasons.  First of all, many states have constitutional amendments that require a balanced budget.  Secondly, states can’t print money, although I’d quibble about that one with their ability – and that of municipalities – to issue bonds.  And those puppies are a who ‘nother story.  Think mortgage/housing times ten.  But we’ll save that for another day.  The bottom line for today is that the states and cities have spent themselves into a big hole and The Times is calling for a bigger backhoe.  Here are some lowlights from the article…

For most of this year, the state of Illinois has lacked the money to pay its bills. Some of its employees have been evicted from their offices for nonpayment of rent, social service groups have laid off hundreds of workers while waiting for checks, pharmacies have closed for lack of Medicaid payments. Faced with $4.5 billion in overdue payments…
[…]
Starved for revenue and accustomed to decades of overspending, many states have been overwhelmed. They are facing shortfalls of $140 billion next year. Even before the downturn, states jeopardized their futures by accumulating trillions in debt that they swept into some far-off future.

But that future is not so distant, and the crushing debt has made recovery far more difficult to achieve. As The Times reported, Illinois, California and several other states are at increasing risk of being the first states to default since the 1930s.
[…]
The most immediate cause of the states’ problems is the decline in tax revenue caused by the downturn, just as the demand for services has increased.
[…]
Many conservatives have said the revenue decline is a good incentive for states to cut their spending. That is precisely what almost all states have done, because they are legally barred from running deficits. State spending fell by 3.8 percent in the 2009 fiscal year and 7.3 percent more in the 2010 fiscal year, the only significant declines since at least the 1970s, even as the cost of education and health care rose.
[…]
But cutting spending will not affect the heaviest burden: the accumulated debt that comes from passing off the biggest problems to future generations. States and cities have nearly $3 trillion in outstanding bonds, and more than $3.5 trillion in shortfalls to pensions. Promised health benefits alone are more than $500 billion.
[…]
states are going to have to acknowledge that more effective, targeted tax increases are inevitable, and can be achieved if they are structured properly. Governors also must explain to voters that they have cut spending. The nation’s richest taxpayers just got a windfall in the federal tax deal extorted from President Obama by Republican senators. States should not shy away from asking for more help from those most able to pay.
[…]
states are going to have to acknowledge that more effective, targeted tax increases are inevitable, and can be achieved if they are structured properly. Governors also must explain to voters that they have cut spending. The nation’s richest taxpayers just got a windfall in the federal tax deal extorted from President Obama by Republican senators. States should not shy away from asking for more help from those most able to pay.

OK, so I hope you’ve got a good picture of the battle lines. Please note that The Times makes passing reference to “cutting spending” but the concept of reducing the size and reach of government is nowhere to be found in the discussion. And you can bet your last nickle that the talking points for this editorial came straight from the staff lounge at the DNC. There is no discussion of the hundreds of billions spent by the states every year because the federal government abrogates it’s responsibility on immigration law.  Hopefully, thanks to men of courage like Representative Lamar Smith, that will begin to be addressed in the 112th Congress.  There’s barely a peep from The Times – one line thank you – that collaboration between elected officials and unions is a major part of the problem, and even in that admission they can’t miss an opportunity to take a pot shot at Chris Christie.  And the real crime in this editorial is the pap about windfall tax deals “extorted from President Obama”.  Just who the hell does the New York Times think pays the taxes.  Keep in the back of your mind that in addition to the following chart on personal income tax, the US has the highest corporate tax rate in the developed nations. According to the National Taxpayers Union, the tax distribution looks like this…

Personal Income Tax paid in 2008 by Adjusted Gross Income

% by AGI AGI Threshold % Tax Paid Incremental Tax %

Top 1%

$380,154

38%

38%

Top 5%

$159,619

59%

21%

Top 10%

$113,799

70%

11%

Top 25%

$67,280

86%

16%

Top 50%

$33,048

97%

11%

Bottom 50%

less than $33,048

100%

3%

Percentages have been rounded.

OK, so the US currently has the highest corporate tax rates in the real world and when it comes to personal income tax, the the people who actually produce the most pay 70%+ of the taxes collected and half of the people who file pay essentially zip.  And let’s not forget that Democrats are continually whining about a lack of progressiveness in our tax system.  And that we don’t collect enough taxes.  And nary a word is said from the left about spending too darn much money even though The Times even gets that part – see the blue quote above.  And yes, it’s blue for a reason.

I do have some strategy for fixing this, but this particular diary isn’t the place to haul that out.  This diary is simply to put us on notice that it’s finally Game ON!!  We’ll see where it goes from here, but one thing I can guarantee you, there will be blood in the streets.  Let’s hope it’s just political blood, but I wouldn’t be surprised by much of anything when push comes to shove.  There is one thing that neither The Times nor the Democrats get, and that’s an important thing.  At the local level when taxpayers are asked to pay more, they say “NO” about every time.  Even, and especially in deep blue states.

Moving in the right direction on immigration.

December 28, 2010 1 comment

Rep Smith and Rep King you’re doing the Lord’s work!

Politico has a great article that I think shows that Washington Republicans may be about to get something right.  And they’re going to address a serious problem and actually do something that will make the problem less of a problem.  In addition, it will establish that criminal behavior is criminal behavior and should be treated as such.

To digress just a tad, I am a great believer in a couple of things.  The first is winning by incrementalism.  In other words, when attacking a big issue you’re not likely to get a clear win in one felled swoop.  You usually can, however, pick off a bunch of low hanging fruit that, if done right will build a solid foundation for moving toward other wins on the issue and you will also build credibility as you move ahead one win at a time.  The second thing is directly related to the subject of this post, illegal immigration.  I was – and am – opposed to SB1070 here in Arizona.  I’ll support it because it’s passed the Legislature, been signed by the Governor and is currently being adjudicated through the Courts now, and I hope Arizona wins.  I do believe there was a simpler and much less controversial way to achieve the same result – making life difficult for illegal aliens to they’ll go elsewhere.  Don’t go after them directly, go after the people who employ them illegally, go after those who provide them housing, go after those who provide them government benefits.  Take away jobs, housing and the “safety net” and you don’t much have to worry about THEM.  They’ll go elsewhere.  Do it nationally, they might even go home.  Or to Canada.  Either works for me.

OK, that said, Representative Smith made my day with this…

After weeks of speculation that he would pursue a scorched-earth immigration agenda, Smith detailed his to-do list for the first time in an interview with POLITICO — and it’s an early but important signal that the new House Republican majority plans to attack the issue of immigration through the prism of jobs, rather than red meat for the base.

Smith’s first two hearings will focus on expanding E-Verify, a voluntary electronic system for checking the immigration status of workers that President Barack Obama supports and scrutinizing the administration’s record on worksite enforcement.

“They are what I call 70 percent issues — 70 percent or more of the American people support those efforts,” Smith said. “I think they are popular across the board, and I think they will be appreciated by all American workers regardless of their ethnicity or background or anything else.”

And exactly right you are Rep. Smith. This will be enforcement that works and you’ll also have the opportunity to make sure that the Administration actually enforces new laws in this area, although to be fair, Obama’s Administration is doing more on workplace enforcement than his predecessor, and doing a pretty good job at it.

This also means that the “touchy” stuff like “birthright citizenship” won’t be talked about seriously. And that is fine with me because guess what. On January 5 a delegation from the Arizona Legislature will be in Washington talking about that very subject and they plan to enact legislation here in Arizona this year that will address it. Then the Department of Justice can take us to court again. Bottom line, birthright citizenship will get talked about a whole lot and when these subjects are discussed, the conservative opinion nearly always prevails with the American people. Remember SB1070? All the hyperventilating about it by community activists. Well, about 60% of the American people support it and wish their state would enact something similar. And there are, I think, seven states considering SB1070 type of legislation.

Mr. Smith in Washington has his strategy down pat and his tactics are solid. Remember, we’ve got a 9.8% unemployment rate, unless you count the folks who’ve stopped looking and then it’s about 17%. When asked about birthright citizenship, Smith said this…

“That is later on in this Congress; that is not our initial focus,” Smith said. “We don’t have any specific plans now in the early months to move on these issues. The focus is on creating jobs and protecting jobs.”
[…]
Roy Beck, executive director of NumbersUSA, which favors tighter restrictions on legal and illegal immigration, said Smith’s focus on E-Verify and worksite enforcement will do as much as anything else to bring order to the system.

“We think there are a lot of issues in the Internet world that people get really excited about, and in many ways, it is a side show,” Beck said, referring specifically to cutting off benefits for illegal immigrants. “It is not as important as one thing, which is taking away the jobs. So if Lamar Smith is going to focus on keeping illegal aliens out of the jobs, that is more important than all the illegal immigration stuff put together.”

From a political standpoint, framing immigration as a jobs issue makes sense, Camarota said.

“Democrats have to essentially argue it is a good idea to leave those 7 million illegal immigrants in those jobs,” Camarota said. “It puts Democrats on the defensive.”

Got that? Good for the country. A positive step getting the unemployed back to work. Bad for Democrats. Sounds like heaven to me.

Give ’em hell Mr. Smith.

We have to pass the bill so we can find out what’s in it.

December 28, 2010 Leave a comment

Nancy Pelosi

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You betcha Nancy.

And the Washington Post makes just of the million or so points relative to that stupid statement that underlines why you are about to be the “former” Speaker of the House.  And Ms. Pelosi, you know you’re in deep doo-doo when the Washington Post calls you out, even when they do it circumspectly.  The really amazing thing to me is that when you made that idiotic statement I believe that you actually didn’t see anything amiss with it.

Oh well, anyway, gee, we’ve seemed to find all kinds of stuff in that bill that you and President Obama told us wasn’t there.  Like DeathPanels.  Again.  I’d produce a short – no, actually a long – list of “unexpected” stuff but our readers already know about most of it which is why a whole bunch of your colleagues are looking for lobbying jobs (heaven knows they can’t go back to their districts and get real jobs).  So, I’ll just pounce on the latest one.  Call it taking advantage of low-hanging fruit by a lazy old guy.

One of the first parts of the new health care law ready for consumers – special health plans devoted to the insurance industry’s rejects – is attracting only a fraction of the predicted customers… At the same time, since the plans opened for business in the late summer and early fall, the medical bills so far are, in at least a few states, much higher than anticipated, raising the question of whether $5 billion that Congress has devoted to the program could run out even if relatively few people join.

Hence the inclusion of this story in the “Unexpected Stuff” category. Your involvement in the legislation is what put it in the “Criminal Legislative Action” category. But we digress.

Last spring, the Medicare program’s chief actuary predicted that 375,000 people would sign up by the end of 2010. In early November, the Health and Human Services Department reported that just 8,000 people had enrolled.
[…]
Montana is one of a few states in which the medical bills from those who have joined are huge. New Hampshire’s plan has only about 80 members, but they already have spent nearly double the $650,000 the state was allotted in federal money to help run the program…

Feel free to read the rest of the article. It’s full of pap and smears from government bureaucrats and fools. Oops there’s a redundancy. Anyway, let’s get to the bottom line. Big government program offered up to “help the helpless”. We’re told there’s a bazillion of them. Gee, a couple of them show up to get their FREE!!!! MONEY!!!!! And it turns out that the couple that show up will probably cost more than the bazillion were going to cost. Well gosh, that sure was unexpected.

Now then gentle reader, please remember that these folks who screwed up this little computation are the same ones who are handing out twenty year projections showing how much of your money they are going to save with this albatross.

At this point, I just have two pieces of simple advice:

  • Vote Republican. Down the line.
  • Buy ammunition in case lots.