Irene is working its way up the east coast of the United States, and every state along the way is preparing or enduring the storm. North Carolina Governor Pardue has declared a state emergency, and because of a law passed a few years back, made it illegal to carry a concealed weapon east of I-95. She's not making this happen, the Democrat-controlled state legislature made it happen with N.C. Gen. Stat. § 14-288.7, as the Confederate Yankee
points out. All I can say is an emergency or disaster is the last time you should even consider taking gun rights away. Pack a holster and pistol in plain sight, that's legal nearly everywhere in the nation.
Schlafly has a few sobering thoughts on food stamps under the Food Stamp President at Eagle Forum
35 states have abolished testing of how much money people have. The food stamp program has become a magnet for abuses and absurdities. The number of food-stamp recipients has soared from 26 million in 2007 to 44 million today, and costs have risen from $33 billion to $77 billion. The U.S. Department of Agriculture now has only 40 inspectors to oversee 200,000 merchants that accept food stamps.
Like the FCC which has scant personnel to oversee large areas of the country, the D of A has more people than ever in America's history to try to check on, and states are making it easier than ever to get food stamps. In the past, shame and a sense of dignity would prevent millionaires from even considering food stamps, but these days?
General Holder has demonstrated abundantly that he views his job not as one concerned with justice, but one concerned with social
justice - that is, addressing perceived former grievances to balance the scales and help out disadvantaged minorities. So he sues Arizona for trying to enforce federal laws, blows off voter intimidation by blacks, and goes after inspectors general for doing their job because it hurts an Obama buddy. And as Hans VonSpakovsky notes at Pajamas Media
, he's packing the Department of Justice with radicals just like him. Well you can't have those pesky whistle blowers who don't see things your way, I guess.
content to rest on its business and agriculture-destroying laurels, the EPA has been busy with utilities. A recent report
states that new rules would increase utility rates by double what the EPA estimates - almost 7% more a year. The EPA claims these changes will clean up the air and save money in welfare and medicare claims, but there's no evidence
that supports their claim. In fact, the air pollution scare has been pretty well debunked
by recent studies.
in 1913 The US Department of Labor was intended to oversee unions and businesses to ensure equity and fairness, justice and ethical behavior by both parties. Under President Obama, it seems little more than an arm to defend, support, and assist the preservation of unions. The latest move by Labor Secretary Hilda Solis is to redefine "employer" to exclude unions. Don Loos explains at Big Government
When the Labor Management Reporting and Disclosure Act (LMRDA) passed, Congress defined the term “Employer” very broadly as “any employer or any group or association of employers engaged in an industry affecting commerce … an employer within the meaning of any law of the United States relating to the employment of any employees.” (Emphasis added)intends to exclude all labor unions from the definition of employer, no matter how many employees the union has. There is one exception to DOL’s proposed rule, and that is that if the union is trying to organize employees of another union or influence its own employees, then the word “Employer” would pertain to union bosses.
In other words, if unions hire or employ anyone, they wouldn't be defined as labor. Its going to take years just to undo all the damage this administration is doing at the executive level.
some states such as Texas and Wisconsin are adding jobs rapidly under Republican governments, states like Illinois are hemorrhaging jobs under Democrats. At the Illinois Policy Institute
, they note:
Illinois lost more jobs during the month of July than any other state in the nation, according to the most recent Bureau of Labor Statistics report. After losing 7,200 jobs in June, Illinois lost an additional 24,900 non-farm payroll jobs in July. The report also said Illinois’s unemployment rate climbed to 9.5 percent. This marks the third consecutive month of increases in the unemployment rate.
The recent plunge started January 1, 2010, the very moment the state's tax increases went into effect
. Its almost as if the Laffer Curve is real or something.
year, Seattle has a "Hemp" Festival allegedly glorifying the wonders of this 19th century material, but is actually just a pot festival
. The cops have always just ignored the place, and since the King county officials have made it clear they won't prosecute pot possession charges, there's no point busting anyone there anyway. A Seattle Times reporter went there and showed how absurdly easy
it is to get a medical dispensation to buy marijuana. And that's the whole point of the "medical" marijuana movement, it has nothing to do with any medicinal benefits of the drug, its just a back door way to get it legalized.
Department of Health and Human Services has put out a new guide
on sex and kids, and among their claims are that children are sexual creatures, that its common for teens to experiment with homosexuality, and that parents should not be concerned about this. I don't know where these people went to school but it was not
normal or common for kids to experiment with homosexual activity when I was in school, it was frankly rare for any of us to experience any
sexual activity that involved someone else. Maybe times have changed but I seriously doubt by that much.
Nations head Ban Ki-Moon took a break from global warming hysteria to call for "austerity" in the UN offices, and told everyone they needed to cut their budgets
. Then the UN proceeded to give staffers a 2% raise. The highest paid officials in the New York UN building make about 40% more than their equivalent in the US government (because they pay no taxes), so maybe he had a point.
are notoriously insane in their prices. I know pretty well what it costs to print a book at this point, and at no point does it remotely approach $100, even for a big fat book with color. Yet that's not even expensive for a text book. Which is probably why pirated e-books are gaining in popularity, so much so that there are websites set up
to sell them out in the open. Back when students didn't have really any alternative, maybe this business model worked but now? Publishers are cutting their own throats.
have found a new procedure that uses stem cells successfully. They can grow cartilage
using stem cells, which can be very useful for reconstructive surgery. Again, this is from adult
stem cells, not embryonic.
I'm opposed to tax hikes but there are ways the taxes can go up which wouldn't necessarily be bad. For example, some loopholes and deductions are a bit silly or counterproductive, and Viral Acharya suggests that the Mortgage Interest Deduction is just such a one. Created to help everyone achieve the American dream of a house and car, Instapundit
relates how this actually hurts the dream:
“One the one hand you are actually getting all your subsidies, but you are actually paying more for the property you would have liked to consume,” says Acharya. “Therefore the real subsidy goes only [to those] at the very top. It is for people who are buying a second house. It is for people who are buying more land than they would otherwise.”
Not only have government subsidies failed to really help everyday people, except to “prop up the housing market artificially,” says Acharya, but the big question also remains: Who’s paying for all these subsidies? “It’s sort of a Ponzi scheme, because the current generation is reaping all its benefits, but we’re basically scaling up our government debt in response, and someone else is going to pay for it down the road.”
Basically its driving up house prices, which means the deduction doesn't accomplish anything but lower tax revenues.
Obama called for the executive department to find ways to cut spending last year, and this year the plan has finally been announced. Overall, the proposed, anticipated, and potential plans would save about $4 billion dollars a year, should they ever be actually implemented. At this rate, they might take effect in 2013. While this is always welcome news - I'll take any cuts I can get from the federal government - and four billion dollars sounds like a lot, we're bleeding more than a trillion dollars a month in debt. That's like announcing you'll cut back your spending by not buying a stick of gum once a year.
time some leftist claims that its the war on terror that created the debt, point them at this news story from 2006 in USA Today
Pentagon spending in February, the most recent month available, was $6.7 billion in Afghanistan compared with $5.5 billion in Iraq. As recently as fiscal year 2008, Iraq was three times as expensive; in 2009, it was twice as costly.
At their most expensive the combined war efforts cost around $180 billion a year. That's a lot, but its a drop in the bucket compared to the other spending, particularly as its increased lately. Congress dropped a trillion dollars
on the debt scales in one bill in February of 2009 alone with the "stimulus" package.
often told that poor and rural people are a bunch of ignorant bible thumping hicks, while urban people are sophisticated, learned, and atheist. According to a recent study, the opposite appears to be true
According to the American Sociological Association, the uneducated and the poor (often of course the same people) are dropping God like a hot brick; the ‘bitter clingers’ are increasingly better educated and more affluent than the unchurched.
Now, I'm not exactly trusting of polls in general and sociologists in specific but this is a humorous reversal for the poll- and sociologist-trusting leftist. If true, it means that poor people are cutting themselves off from a network of charitable and private assistance.
National Association of Business Economics overwhelmingly (93%) believes
that spending cuts, not mere tax increases, are the way out of the debt. Its almost as if they understand how to balance a budget and manage finances or something. In fact, the majority believe that spending cuts alone
are the best way to handle it.
is this an issue now, and not before? Well, CBS has the answer
The debt was $10.626 trillion on the day Mr. Obama took office. The latest calculation from Treasury shows the debt has now hit $14.639 trillion.
It's the most rapid increase in the debt under any U.S. president.
The national debt increased $4.9 trillion during the eight-year presidency of George W. Bush. The debt now is rising at a pace to surpass that amount during Mr. Obama's four-year term.
The debt was unthinkable under President Bush, and it got worse, faster, and with even less cause, under President Obama. And he keeps telling everyone how he wants to spend even more
the percentage of young people employed is the lowest ever
since the US government started keeping track of groups in 1948. Only 48.8 percent of young people ages 16-24 were employed in July. It is not clear how many aren't trying to find work, are between jobs, or gave up.
is still out there, even if its not a hot topic any longer. Since President Obama was elected, the news has pretty well dropped the topic and even tries very hard to downplay or redefine terrorist activity. However in 2010 alone
, more than 11,000 terrorist attacks in 72 countries took place worldwide, according to the annual US report on terrorism. Almost 50,000 people died from these attacks.
he left on a vacation, President Obama promised a "very specific
" plan to improve the US economy and create jobs when he got back. No rush. Now, while he's still on vacation, Obama's team is backtracking, claiming its just an outline
now. Most folks are probably wondering where this great set of ideas was say, 2 1/2 years ago.
Will Happer notes something most people already know: increased CO2 actually helps plants. In contrast to the alarmist cries of CO2 doom, he notes a few facts that would be good to remember, courtesy The Hockey Schtick