Numbers, Numbing, & Numbnuts

Today was supposed to be a fun day. We were planning on attending a camera club field trip, but all three boys were up late into the night excited about the pending snowfall. The snow began to fall around 2am, lightly. Very lightly. Tiny, almost microscopic snow flurries were drifting down onto our deck.

We woke in the morning, to no snow. None. Nada. Zilch. So there we were with three boys who all had less than 5 hours sleep. The heck if I was going to try to take them anywhere.

We’re waiting now for the annual Christmas parade in our small town. The boys love seeing all the different police cars and fire trucks, as well as all of the floats from the different civic and church organizations. I’m planning to take video of the entire parade, which usually lasts about 10 minutes or so.

Here are some thoughts to get you through until tomorrow, when you’ll be able to see my awesome small town Christmas parade video.

Thought #1

The numbers just don’t add up.

President Obama told us that unemployment would peak at 7.9% if the stimulus was passed. The stimulus passed and now unemployment is sitting at 10%.

More than 2.3 million people have stopped looking for work because of the economy, because more than 2.6 million jobs have been lost since the stimulus was passed.

Want to see more numbers? Check it out.

Thought #2

The Obama administration is sticking their heads in the sand again.

The U.N.’s decision this week to investigate whether some of its climate change research had been manipulated constitutes a “direct rebuke” of the Obama administration, Rep. Darrell Issa (R-Calif.) said Friday.

The White House’s unwillingness to open a similar inquiry could now only be characterized as “a sad abdication of their responsibility to ensure that U.S. policies are not driven by corrupted science and data,” the congressman added.

We have evidence that climate data has been tampered with. Raw data has been destroyed, so we have no evidence that man-made global warming even exists. Wouldn’t it be prudent to investigate the events that led up to the deception and the fraud, to find out (a) who is responsible and why, (b) if man is actually having any effect on the Earth’s climate, and (c) what we can do in the future so a handful of over-zealous scientists don’t control all of the raw data that is used to support their own falsified scientific theories?

Thought #3

Would Comcast stoop so low as to blatantly pander the President and Congress to win approval of the Comcast/NBC deal?

Now Comcast is a big company, with about 100,000 employees. I’m sure health care costs have a big impact on their bottom line. But the bottom line impact on Roberts’ personal net worth will be much greater if the federal government, with a big say-so from the US Senate, approves the $13 billion deal.

So Roberts’ heartfelt letter to the president in support of the Democrats’ singular policy issue was the first action he took in what is expected to be a twelve-month regulatory review process. This is an action with absolutely no relevance to the vast intricacies of the merger, but a move that sets a new standard for blatant pandering aimed at a group of people for whom pandering is the new coin of the realm.

Heck, I’ve seen politicians supporting the socialist agenda and American citizens actually supporting that agenda, I’ve seen the women Tiger Woods was with when he allegedly cheated on his wife, none of which are hotter than his wife, and I’ve seen family members show their true colors and take it out on my children, so nothing, and I mean nothing that happens now will ever really surprise me.

Thought #4

What is NASA hiding?

Chris Horner, a senior fellow at the Competitive Enterprise Institute, said NASA has refused for two years to provide information under the Freedom of Information Act that would show how the agency has shaped its climate data and would explain why the agency has repeatedly had to correct its data going as far back as the 1930s.

“I assume that what is there is highly damaging,” Mr. Horner said. “These guys are quite clearly bound and determined not to reveal their internal discussions about this.”

The numbers matter. Under pressure in 2007, NASA recalculated its data and found that 1934, not 1998, was the hottest year in its records for the contiguous 48 states. NASA later changed that data again, and now 1998 and 2006 are tied for first, with 1934 slightly cooler.

Something tells me, now that the Climategate scandal has broken, we’re going to see another recalculation or two.

Do You Feel Stimulated Yet?

I’m sure by now you’ve heard about the thousands and thousands of jobs that Barack Obama’s stimulus bill has created, haven’t you? If not, here’s a refresher.

Before I begin with all the “regular jobs”, you may want to take a look at recovery.gov. The Obama administration paid $9.5 million for a redesign of that website. I bet that web developer is stimulated.

Now let’s look at some real job stimuli, or at least what the Obama administration wants you to think was job stimuli.

Obama Administration Lie: Talladega County, Alabama received $42,141 in stimulus funds from the Department of Justice which saved or created 5,000 jobs.

Reality Check: According to Talladega County ad­ministrator Wayne Hall, all of that money was used to purchase computers, not the creation of jobs.

Obama Administration Lie: Shelton State Community College in Tuscaloosa, Alabama received $27,502 from the General Accounting Office which saved or created 14,500 jobs.

Reality Check: Shelton State employs 360 full-time and 300 part-time employees. Where do the other 13,840 people work now?

Obama Administration Lie: Arizona’s 15th congressional district received $761,420 to save or create 30 jobs.

Reality Check: There is no Arizona 15th district. Arizona has just eight congressional districts.

With all the errors, the apparent use of fuzzy math, and the creation of fictitious congressional districts, I decided to look at the summary for all congressional districts in Georgia (we have 13).

If you click the image to your left you will see all of Georgia’s congressional districts listed in the order of stimulus funds received. You will also notice a few more congressional districts than we actually have.

It appears, according to recovery.gov, that Georgia’s fictitious congressional districts 00, 86, 25, 21, 19, 14, and 27 received $6,217,770 in stimulus funds and 1 job was created in that fictitious 00th district.

Where exactly did that money go? We know for a fact the districts don’t exist, so whose pockets were stimulated with those funds? What disturbs me more than the fact they cannot account for any of the funds already spent, they are actually talking about a second stimulus “jobs” package.

Are they kidding?

First they give billions of dollars in TARP funds to banks and other financial firms with no guarantee that we will ever see that money again. Next, they give billions of dollars to automakers, again with no guarantees. And now, they cannot account for all of the stimulus money they have spent yet they want the American people to “pay back” the tax credit they received this year.

More than 15 million taxpayers could unexpectedly owe taxes when they file their federal returns next spring because the government was too generous with their new Making Work Pay tax credit.

Taxpayers are at risk if they have more than one job, are married and both spouses work, or receive Social Security benefits while also earning taxable wages, according to a report Monday by the Treasury Department’s inspector general for tax administration.

“While implementing a credit through reduced withholding is an effective way to provide economic stimulus evenly throughout the year, it is difficult to account for everyone’s circumstances,” said J. Russell George, the Treasury inspector general for tax administration. “More than 10 percent of all taxpayers who file individual tax returns for 2009 could owe additional taxes.”

That’s right, they spent the earlier part of this year stimulating you just so they could make it easier to screw you before the end of the year.

Taking TARP, the auto bailouts, and the stimulus package into account, how do you think government controlled health care is going to go over? I’ll give you an idea.

 

Don’t go around saying the world owes you a living. The world owes you nothing. It was here first.
Mark Twain

Protocol, Perception, Procrastinating, & Pretenders

Thought #1

Instead of coming up with some nonsensical excuse for explaining why the leader of the free world bowed in submission to the Emperor of Japan, the Obama Administration has decided that doing so was an act of protocol.

A senior administration official said President Barack Obama was simply observing protocol when he bowed to Japanese Emperor Akihito and Empress Michiko upon arriving at the Imperial Palace in Tokyo on Saturday.

Who’s the moron that added “The President shall bow to all foreign leaders in a symbolic gesture of submission and capitulation” to the administration protocol books? It seems to me that Barack Obama is the only world leader that symbolizes submission and capitulation while meeting other world leaders.

Thought #2

According to the CDC, swine Mexican flu has infected 22 million Americans and killed roughly 4,000 of them.

Swine flu has sickened about 22 million Americans since April and killed nearly 4,000, including 540 children, according to startling federal estimates released Thursday.

That’s a death rate of 0.00018182 or 0.01812 percent. In simpler terms, 1.812 people out of every 10,000 infected will die from swine Mexican flu.

Now there’s word of a new “pneumonic plague” sweeping across Europe that’s more deadly than H1N1.

A deadly plague could sweep across Europe, doctors fear, after an outbreak of a virus in Ukraine plunged the country and its neighbours into a state of panic.

A cocktail of three flu viruses are reported to have mutated into a single pneumonic plague, which it is believed may be far more dangerous than swine flu. The death toll has reached 189 and more than 1 million people have been infected, most of them in the nine regions of Western Ukraine.

Whoa. 189 people are dead, out of one million. That puts the death rate for this “deadly plague” at 0.000189 or 0.0189 percent. Yes, it’s true. This pneumonic plague kills 1.89 people out of every 10,000 infected.

The new scary plague will kill 0.078 more people per 10,000 infected than Swine Mexican Flu. For you mathematically challenged people out there that’s equal to 7.8 people per million. We’re talking a death rate less than one-fiftieth of one percent, and just so we all keep one foot on the ground, let’s remember a few things.

  • the survival rate for all cancers diagnosed from 1996-2004 (after five years) is just 66%. That puts the death rate at 34%.
  • in 2005, coronary heart disease death rates per 100,000 people were 187.7 for white males and 213.9 for black males; and 110.0 for white females and 140.9 for black females, which puts the lowest death rate for coronary heart disease at 0.11 percent or 11 deaths per 10,000 people.

So the next time someone starts talking about these “super bugs” and “deadly plagues” take a moment to step back and look at the whole story. It might not be as bleak as they want you to think it is.

Thought #3

Barack Obama seems to have forgotten, yet again, words that have come from his own mouth.

In November of 2008, while running for President, Barack Obama said the following while addressing a group of bipartisan governors and talking about climate change and reducing emissions.

Delay is no longer an option. Denial is no longer an acceptable response.

Candidate Barack Obama made it clear that delay was no longer an option, but today, one year and one election later, President Barack Obama and other world leaders made it clear that delay is the only option.

U.S. President Barack Obama and other world leaders on Sunday supported delaying a legally binding climate pact until 2010 or even later, but European negotiators said the move did not imply weaker action.

Some argued that legal technicalities might otherwise distract the talks in Copenhagen and it was better to focus on the core issue of cutting climate-warming emissions.

Great job, Mr. President. You’ve proven once again that we cannot rely on a single word that comes out of your mouth.

Thought #4

What happens when a presidential administration and recipients of stimulus funds pretend to create jobs?

More than ten percent of the jobs the Obama administration has claimed were “created or saved” by the $787 billion stimulus package are doubtful or imaginary, according to reports compiled from eleven major newspapers and the Associated Press.

I haven’t really paid attention to many AP “investigations” since Barack Obama was elected because their reporting has been so biased it just didn’t warrant wasting my time to read what they had to say. What’s different this time?

It seems that eleven major newspapers actually did some groundwork (formerly known as “journalism”) and started asking questions.

For example, in South Carolina,

“The Greenville Housing Authority “saved or created” 118 jobs by use of federal stimulus money, according to the Obama administration. Not bad for an agency that has 35 employees.”

And in Harry Reid’s neck of the woods,

At least 4,000 of the supposedly created jobs in Nevada government — and possibly hundreds more — have been called into question in the light of reports that local governments were “told to take the amount of stimulus money they received and divide it by $92,000, the theoretical average wage and benefits of a job.” The Nevada Department of Education divided by $66,681 and the state’s higher education system used a figure of $45,000 when each estimated 2,000 jobs “saved.”

Thank goodness someone is finally questioning what this administration is claiming to have accomplished. When all is said and done, I’m pretty sure the following will be a complete (and unedited) list of the Obama administration’s accomplishments:

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

 

Friday Night Thoughts

I was sitting here relaxing tonight, when I heard that Nancy Pelosi will be putting HR 3962 up for a vote sometime this weekend. Wonderful, it’s not like I had planned a busy weekend bird watching, stopping by the Instant Tea tomorrow, or celebrating my wife’s birthday either. Sheesh. Thanks Nancy.

Thought #1

There was a “house call” in Washington yesterday and thousands of protestors showed up again to protest the current health care reform bill. It seems some of the protestors that showed up in Washington couldn’t control themselves and got themselves arrested.

The health care debate got ugly in Washington this morning. Connecticut Senator Joe Lieberman was the target of protesters today — some of whom were arrested.

The protests took place in the waiting area of Lieberman’s office inside the Hart Office Building.

About 20 protesters, carrying signs, took over the waiting room, many sitting on the floor. They told police they were not taking over the office, but rather waiting to see the senator.

Before I go any further, let me make something clear. It was not these protestors,

or these protestors.

In fact, the only protestors who got arrested were those who showed up to protest the fact that Rep. Joseph Lieberman (I-CT) said he would take part in a Republican filibuster of any health care bill he does not agree with. These protestors were not part of the ‘House Call’.

 
Thought #2

This is President Obama’s economy now.

 
Thought #3

Have you pondered the actual costs of the health care proposals in the House?

Thought #4

When has Nancy Pelosi actualy kept a promise she made?

Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s office tells THE WEEKLY STANDARD that the speaker will not allow the final language of the health care to be posted online for 72 hours before bringing the bill to a vote on the House floor, despite her September 24 statement that she was “absolutely” committed to doing so.

Thought #5

Some stories do have a happy ending.

A 1965 Volkswagen van stolen 35 years ago in Spokane, Washington, was found by customs agents in a shipping container in the Los Angeles port last month, a U.S. Customs and Border Protection official said.

The original owner should get the vehicle back, if you ask me.

Blowouts, Bailouts, Budgets, & Bites

I had a completely different post in mind for tonight, but thanks to my DISH Network DVR crapping out on my 2 hour recording, and C-SPAN having some sort of archive issue, I am unable to put together the video clip for the post I wanted to do. Because of this techno-glitch, I will postpone that post until tomorrow night and give you some more random thoughts about some interesting topics tonight.

One quick side note before I begin though. A while back I posted about some family issues going on, and although I have no intention of discussing the heart of the issue any longer, I have to mention something I find completely ironic (and a bit hypocritical).

Ever since the “blowout” we haven’t heard a word from the family members in question. No phone calls, no email, nothing. It’s clear that we are being “put in our place” based on the complete lack of communication from those family members. To be honest, I could care less, but eventually our three kids are going to notice that these family members haven’t been in contact with them. It’s a shame really, because no matter what happened with us, they shouldn’t take it out on our kids, but anyway, I digress.

At the end of the “blowout” I was told,

I am highly educated and not as stupid as you seem to think I am. I think you are both just crazy.

Go watch your fox news and hang out with your crazy right wing conservative friends. I’m sure they will all agree with everything you say.

Yet, almost every day since the “blowout”, I’ve had one specific visitor here, on this page, from the same IP address originating from the place of employment of one of those family members. It’s funny too, because they always enter the site by performing a Google search for “101 dead armadillos”. It’s like they can’t remember the url of the site or something (yes, for those less educated than others, that was sarcasm). It’s clear that this family member is still watching my blog, still reading my words, still listening to my opinions, and well, still hanging out with their crazy right wing relative, even if they are choosing to do so from the shadows.

Anyway, I just wanted them to know I know they are here. They may think I am crazy, but I too am highly educated, I just don’t choose to call people names, insult them, stereotype them, or hide in the shadows. Lord knows I have plenty of ammunition if I wanted to start attacking them, but as an educated person, I am also capable of making the decision to remain civil.

So, with that said, let’s talk about some of the stuff that happened today…

Thought #1

It looks like all of those crazy right wing conservatives who said we wouldn’t see a dime in return for the $700 billion bailouts weren’t so crazy after all.

U.S. taxpayers are “extremely unlikely” to earn any return on the $700 billion government program to invest in banks and other companies as the financial system teetered on the edge of collapse, a quarterly audit said.

In a report to Congress, the Troubled Asset Relief Program watchdog Neil Barofsky said that recouping the billions of dollars given to insurer American International Group Inc. and automakers General Motors Co. and Chrysler LLC “is far from certain.” He also noted that $50 billion set aside for helping struggling homeowners lower their mortgage payments will yield “no direct return.”

Funny. This is something you just don’t hear about on those other cable news outlets. Too bad Fox News isn’t a “White House sanctioned news organization”, President Obama could have saved the American people $700 billion if he had just changed the channel. Maybe we could all chip in to send President Obama a new remote control or something. Naw. I am sure the White House has plenty of control, remote or not. Right?

Thought #2

The White House isn’t doing so good controlling the number of jobs created by the 2009 stimulus package. If you don’t watch Fox News you may want to brace yourself for this one.

According to the data, 49 States and the District of Columbia have lost jobs since stimulus was enacted. Only North Dakota has seen net job creation following the February 2009 stimulus. While President Obama claimed the result of his stimulus bill would be the creation of 3.5 million jobs, the Nation has already lost a total of 2.7 million – a difference of 6.2 million jobs. To see how stimulus has failed your state, see the table below.

Barack Obama promised to create 3.5 million jobs but we’ve lost 2.7 million jobs. That seems to be a difference of 6,168,600 jobs. Wow. How do you miss the mark by that much? Is Maxwell Smart working in the Obama administration? (Sorry, that was a bit of czar-chasm) on my part).

Thought #3

Although the health legislation sponsored by Senate Finance Committee chairman Max Baucus (D-MT) claims to reduce the budget deficit by $81 billion over the next ten years, the non-partisan Congressional Budget Office has something different to say.

CBO breaks down the Baucus plan’s budgetary effects into those occurring “on budget” (where the substantive policy changes are) and those “off budget” (meaning through the Social Security program). The Baucus plan’s on-budget provisions would reduce the ten-year budget deficit by a tiny $1 billion and in 2019 would increase borrowing by $6 billion. In the real world, where entitlement costs rise faster than projected and Congress fails to implement promised cuts to Medicare spending, the Baucus plan will doubtless generate significant deficits.

Meanwhile, the Baucus plan’s fiscal skullduggery takes place off-budget. Social Security revenues would increase by $80 billion over ten years, with an $18 billon increase in 2019 alone. Around 3 million individuals would leave employer-sponsored health coverage — which is exempt from taxes — to purchase insurance through a subsidized “exchange.” Leaving employer-sponsored coverage would raise workers’ taxable wages and thereby boost Social Security revenues. Millions more would trade a portion of their insurance benefits for higher wages to avoid a new tax on high-cost policies. By skimming the new Social Security taxes, the Baucus plan appears to significantly cut the deficit when, in truth, it balances only by the skin of its teeth.

This is perhaps the clearest example of “raiding the trust fund” on record.

Oh my goodness. Does this mean that the entire Baucus plan depends on the creation of new (additional) Social Security surpluses to offset the higher spending on health care? Wow. Who, in this world of educated persons, would think that politicians in Washington, on the left side of the aisle, could do something so… so… crazy? I know, that’s just too far-fetched to be believable, isn’t it?

Thought #4

Have you ever wondered who owns our debt? Click here to see a nice graphic which represents our national debt and the percentage owned by each group. Yeah, I know I could have snatched the image so you could read it here, but I want you to get your exercise by clicking that mouse today. It’s important to keep your motor reflexes functioning in case you ever get accused of not being able to change the channel or something.

 

A man begins cutting his wisdom teeth the first time he bites off more than he can chew.
Herb Caen

Rumors, Relevance, Recalculations, & Reform

Have you ever wondered just how hypocritical Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi is? I’ll have a post tomorrow night showing just how narrow minded and nasty Nanny State Nancy can really be. (Yes, that was a teaser).

Thought #1

So the rumor I heard was true. The Baucus Plan, aka SB 1796, aka “America’s Healthy Future Act of 2009” was released today. I have a link for it over in the sidebar, and I am searching for an HTML version to post on the page.

The bill weighs in at 1,502 pages and if you watch the video from Thought #3 you will see why the bill will transform from the released version almost immediately. Word has it that the House and the Senate want to wrap up the debate over Health Care Reform and shove it down our throats within the next couple weeks.

I guess I better get to reading this bill huh?

Thought #2

On September 14, 2006, he said,

We need a new policy – the one the president promised when we went into Afghanistan in the first place. Where NATO allies have pledged troops and assistance to Afghanistan, they must follow through. But the United States must lead by example by sending in at least five thousand additional American troops. More elite Special Forces troops, the best counter-insurgency units in the world; more civil affairs forces; and more experienced intelligence units. More predator drones to find the enemy, more helicopters to allow rapid deployments to confront them, and more heavy combat equipment to make sure we can crush the terrorists.

Now, on October 18, 2009, he says,

I don’t see how President Obama can make a decision about the committing of our additional forces or even the further fulfillment of our mission that’s here today without an adequate government in place or knowledge about what that government’s going to be.

Counting the numbers of troops is not going to define our success here.

Not that you needed a reminder nor an example of how Sen. John Kerry (D-MA) has made himself irrelevant when it comes to American politics.

Thought #3

Harry Reid and the Chamber of Secrets.

Thought #4

The other day I asked How Much Is Your Job Worth? It turns out, my numbers were pretty low.

In my post I quoted CNN, which was my first mistake, and it turns out that jobs created by the stimulus do not cost the American Taxpayer $71,500 each. They actually cost us $526,610 each. I won’t make that mistake again.

With $16 billion in federal contracts awarded, each job created in the past seven months cost $526,610. These federal jobs are directly paid for with taxpayer dollars and, as such, do not reflect growth in the real private-sector economy. If the cost per government job remains the same, the $787 “stimulus” could possibly produce 208,000 jobs in eight months-compared to the 263,000 jobs lost in the month of September alone.

Thought #5

If any of the Health Care Reform bills pass both houses, land on the President’s desk, and are signed into law, the Secretary of Health and Human Services, Kathleen Sebelius will be instrumental in shaping the implementation of that reform and she alone will be responsible for creating a level playing field between any government plan and private insurance companies.

Here she is talking in 2007 about health care reform. See if you can figure out how “level” that “playing field” is going to be with a single payer system.