Saturday, June 12, 2010

Weekend Wrap-Up: "Business As Usual"

Once again, The Bliss Index©, dutifully provides a weekend wrap-up of news…

So much for "keeping big money out of politics" – Apparently, $5,000 gets you an hour-long breakfast (aka: healthcare shakedown) with Nancy Pelosi

You know, $5,ooo isn't all that much to pay someone to carry a big hammer around...

And that promise about keeping your own health insurance: Um, yeah, not so much. According to Investor’s Business Daily, “Internal White House documents reveal that 51% of employers may have to relinquish their current health care coverage by 2013 due to ObamaCare. That numbers soars to 66% for small-business employers.” Now is that the Hope™ or the Change® we were told about?

To be expected: From Politico, “Enviros give Obama a pass on spill - As the greatest environmental catastrophe in U.S. history has played out on Obama’s watch, the environmental movement has essentially given him a pass — all but refusing to unleash any vocal criticism against the president even as the public has grown more frustrated by Obama’s performance.”

Remember when the oil clean-up folks said they didn’t know about the oil booms that company in Maine has/offered? Yeah, um, not so much. (They knew back on May 21…)

The president visits the Gulf (looking for some ___ to kick?)...

Add Gulf oil spill fib: According to Powerline, “The administration has decreed a six-month moratorium on exploratory drilling in the Gulf, based on a report that Interior Secretary Ken Salazar wrote for President Obama. Salazar claimed that a panel of seven experts selected by the National Academy of Engineering had peer reviewed his report. It turns out, though, that the seven experts never saw the recommendation for a moratorium, and in fact oppose it.” This isn’t the first time we’ve seen Salazar for what he is

Last add Gulf oil spill fib: Remember when clean-up authorities promised that"the media will have uninhibited access?" Um, yeah, not so much – Press photo flyovers prohibited; photos in public areas (namely beaches) are verboten; media boats kept away from spill areas; journalists harassed and threatened with arrest. I guess that’s just the administration’s policies on transparency at work.

Interior Secretary Ken Salazar: at least he's getting "thumbs-up" from someone...

Add Obama Administration’s media relations: – After almost a year and a half in office, this administration has surpassed all previous presidencies in going after “leakers.” Hiding something?

I guess they were absent the day they taught about this in Econ 101: “Pension Plans Go Broke as Public Payrolls Expand.” Gee, who’d a thunk it?

From the “putting a (D) after your name doesn’t make bigotry OK” dept.: According to Taegan Goddard’s Political Wire, South Carolina State Sen. Robert Ford (D) was quoted by the Charleston Post and Courier as saying, “No white folks have an 'e' on the end of Green. The blacks after they left the plantation couldn't spell, and they threw an 'e' on the end." Ford, a Democrat, was trying to explain his view that race could have played a role in Alvin Greene's (D) surprise victory in the primary elections since he was the only black candidate in a primary with a majority of black voters.

Add bigotry/idiocy: Looks like former-California governor/hopes-to-be-governor-again Jerry Brown really stuck his jogging shoe in his mouth. Seems Brown and KCBS-AM 740 reporter Doug Sovern bumped into each other while they were out exercising and Brown let loose about his opponent, GOPer Meg Whitman. From Sovern’s Sovern Nation blog – Brown boasted about his legendary frugality. "I've only spent $200,000 so far. I have 20 million in the bank. I'm saving up for her." It's true - his stay-on-the-sidelines, bare-bones primary run cost him almost nothing, at least in California political terms. But he also fretted about the impact of all those eBay dollars in Whitman's very deep pockets. "You know, by the time she's done with me, two months from now, I'll be a child-molesting..." He let the line trail off. "She'll have people believing whatever she wants about me." Then he went off on a riff I didn't expect. "It's like Goebbels," referring to Hitler's notorious Minister of Propaganda. "Goebbels invented this kind of propaganda. He took control of the whole world. She wants to be president. That's her ambition, the first woman president. That's what this is all about." It’s one thing to oppose your political opponent, it’s entirely another (and intellectually lazy) to compare political rhetoric with the evils of Nazism.

Jerry Brown: what will he say next?

Another reason why the private sector is often a much better choice than the public (government): Costs (duh). According to the Wall Street Journal, “It costs about $12 more per hour to employ a state or local government worker. Meanwhile, a breakout of private workers showed that it cost more to employ union workers than nonunion employees. The largest share of the costs comes from wages and salaries for both sets of workers: 70.6% for private employees and 65.9% for government workers. The rest of the payment comes in the form of benefits. It costs state and local governments $3.16 per hour to pay for employees’ retirement and savings plans, compared to 96 cents for private workers. Another $4.52 goes to health insurance for public workers, compared to $2.08 for private workers. And governments spend $3 per hour for its workers’ paid leave, compared to $1.88 for private workers. Compensation for union workers cost $37.16 per hour compared to $26.67 for non-union workers.” Dear California, now do you understand?

Will this be business as usual? - Because we’ve officially got World Cup fever here at The Bliss Index©, we’ll tip our caps to the U.S. soccer (er, football) squad as it walks away from Game 1 of pool play against the Brits. It wasn’t the prettiest game and the Yanks got lucky with a ball that shouldn’t have found England’s goal - but we’ll take it. Next opponent: Slovenia (June 18).

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