1. JKB says

    I just came across a couple interesting items.
    David Hardy over at Arms and the Law posts about the NY Times using their clout with a state agency to condemn the properties without ever making an offer to the owners when they built their new building.  Not exactly the type of thing they avoid demonizing in other corporate doings.
    One architectural report explains, “The New York Times Company wants a headquarters building that befits its position in the media industry, in the city, and in the world.” A Times spokesman explained it had a it had a duty to seek profits for its shareholders: “as long as these kinds of incentives continue to exist, it is incumbent upon us, as a publicly held company, to seek the benefit of those incentives for our shareholders.”
    Here’s another item on the opposition to America’s independence from Middle East oil:
    Pipeline Officials Invited Back To Bethel. There’s No Way Anyone Will Listen To Them, But Selectmen Hope Local Shopkeepers Might Be Able To Sell Them A Slim Jim Or A Dasani Or Something | The Rumford Meteor 
    The headline is the humor of the Rumford Meteor but the underlying story is about opposition to reversing a flow of an existing pipeline to bring oil sands oil into the US from Canada.  Check out this logic:
     Resolution supporters worry PMPL might reverse the flow in order to carry diluted bitumen (“tar sands”) oil from Canada to Portland, and that the composition of that oil would increase the likelihood of a pipeline break or spill. 

  2. Mike Devx says

    open thread comment…  Jay Nordlinger has a post at The Corner that contains this question (cut and paste)
    I have a question: Why are Democrats willing to go to the mat for a Republican who has shown himself to be — what should we say? Not very impressive, at least in a confirmation hearing?
    1) To make the Republican party look bad?
    2) Because he is Obama’s choice, and Obama is the One?
    3) Because he has expressed antipathy to Israel?
    4) Because he has advocated almost the softest possible line toward Iran and its satellites (Hezbollah, Hamas)?
    5) Because the conservatives are against him, and therefore the Left must be for him?
    6) Because a Republican war hero is just the right man to preside over the gutting of the Defense Department?
    Interesting question, isn’t it?  WHY are the Democrats going to the mat to promote an under-performing and highly flawed *Republican* ???

  3. Mike Devx says

    My favorite quote of the day (so far).  Via instapundit:
    P. J. O’Rourke famously quipped that “giving money and power to government is like giving whiskey and car keys to teenage boys.”
    Unrelated, I just had an odd thought:  Is Sandra Fluke the Cindy Sheehan of her generation?
    (raised to public prominence all out of proportion to actual worth; and in the end even her supporters will end up wishing she would just GO AWAY.)

  4. Mike Devx says

    And yet more fun with open threads.  (Have I said I like open threads?  :-)
    Here’s one on sequestration.  I got this from Ace of Spades:
    Unemployment has been around 8% (officially, it’s higher) for 4 years. While private sector workers lost their jobs the size of the federal civilian workforce has grown under Obama.
    Now that the pain (relatively slight) is hitting the bureaucrats, hold on a minute, now we have a crisis!
    I want the size, scope and power of the national government shrunk drastically.  The effects of sequestatration are a drop in the bucket compared to what I want to see!  The problem with sequestration is twofold:
    – It is a blunt instrument where we’d prefer to see a scalpel used judiciously.  Poorly managed, some services will be unexpectedly stopped in an unplanned manner.  
    – It is not “fair”, because it hits different departments differently.  Even among conservatives, some of our own sacred cows get gored more than other areas we’d rather see cut.  So we’re not too happy about sequestration “cuts” either.
    So here’s my thought!  OK, let’s make sequestration fairer.  Please identify which department sequestration cuts the worst.  And then cut all the OTHER departments more severely, to match it!  That would be fair!
    And I’d be even happier.  Sequestration is a drop in the bucket compared to what is needed.  I can’t concern myself very much over sequestration.  Let it happen.

  5. Mike Devx says

    Today in Sequestration News!
    LaHood, supposedly a Republican, in charge of the FAA, said that due to sequestration, they are going to furlough a bunch of air traffic controllers, causing widespread chaos in the air traveler system.
    In related news, my person household was just hit with sequestration.  I have to make a 2% cut in my annual budget, just like the government does.  I’ve been receiving 5% annual increases in my budget for the last several years, so, oh oh oh oh oh! Where to cut?  Where to cut that 2%, after I’ve been receiving 5% increases for so many years?
    So I gathered my family together, and I told them, no more food.  We’re going to starve and die over the next few weeks.  “There! That’ll show everybody!” I muttered furiously.
    “But that’s more than 2%!” my family protested.  “I don’t care!” I responded with grim satisfaction.  I’m going to show everybody not to mess with me!  We’ll starve, and we’ll die.  The dog goes first.”

  6. Ron19 says

    If you make, say, $2,500/month, your 2% is $50/month.
    Income taxes, state taxes, sales taxes, unemployment, health insurance, life insurance, home maintenance, mortgage or rent, etc., do not go down.  Those things stay the same.
    So what does that $50/month come out of for you?  Your retirement fund?  Your grocery bill?
    If it costs $50 to take the family or grandkids out to dinner or a movie, well, the government just told you to stay home, you can’t do that.  Birthday presents for your parents, spouse, and children?  Send them an email.
    Fill up the gas tank to drive out into the country or to another city to visit some friends?  Nope, maybe you still have some minutes left on your cell phone, which probably costs $50/month.
    $600/year?  What vacation or weekend getaway?
    Pick one or more of the above.
    That 2%/$50 doesn’t come out of your base pay and all your expenses, it comes out full strength from your discretionary spending.

  7. SADIE says

    I am not a math maven, but my understanding of sequestration (sounds like a great name for a race horse) is that the 2.5% “threat” is over a ten-year period.

  8. Mike Devx says

    More fun with sequestration!  My Sequestration Thought For The Day:
    Ray LaHood’s budget at DOT under sequestration is going UP $600 million.  He’d lose $1 billion of a planned $1.6 billion *increase*.   The key concept: THERE IS NO CUT.  There is only a reduction of the increase.
    So this poor, befuddled soul is required to wonder, how much can change on one year at the DOT?  If they didn’t have to furlough a whole bunch of air traffic controllers last year, and they didn’t have to shut down a whole bunch of air traffic control towers last year… 
    why, when they are given $600 million more to play with this year, will they HAVE to shut down air traffic control towers and furlough employees?
    Even in defense, where sequestration is hitting the hardest, there are only cuts in the yearly increases, not actual cuts.
    The same is true almost everywhere you look.  The sequestration “cuts” are almost always merely reductions in increases, not actual cuts.  Under the Obama Admin, the federal budget has grown by at least 28% in four to five years.  And we’re told that a 2% “cut” will be utterly catastrophic?
    Puh-leeze.  We are being railroaded.  And they are making sure that every “cut” they have to make will result in the most visible obvious pain possible.  Having trouble with your own house budget?  Well, it’s clear: Turn off the heat!  And refuse to feed the family dog, so that it starves to death within two weeks, so that little Buffy cries while it dies.  But cancel that bi-weekly hairdressing appointment at the $200 per haircut salon?  Never!
    The national government needs to be cut by a third.  And here we are, being programmed to accept the fact that we can’t even cut into its yearly INCREASES.  After enlarging it by 28% over the last four years.
    I suppose the GOP is trying, in its usual, very very quiet, legislative bean-counter manner, to hold the line somewhere.  But what is its *message*?  Don’t say anything to rock the boat!  Don’t say anything that might rile the Left!   The GOP message is severely muted.  If its message were a human body it would have no pulse and be in danger of brain-death.  There is no message.  Or not much of one.  They fail time and time again at delivering any message with core conservative principles.  If you can’t fight the cultural battle, if all you want to do is quietly bean-count, you’re doomed to lose.
    In sum, we are being railroaded.  And the GOP is perfectly fine with it.  the Democrat Left, on the other hand, must be ecstatic.  Happy Feet Time!  Yet another big win for them.

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