February 25, 2010

Latest Excuse For Job Loss Numbers? Snow

Are you frikkin kidding me? The latest excuse, put forth by the state media for the of course unexpected decline in job numbers is snow.

The number of new claims for unemployment benefits jumped unexpectedly last week as heavy snows caused layoffs to rise.

Now who could have predicted that the northeast would have snow in the winter? Certainly not the climate change advocates who for a long time have given dire predictions of snowless winters. So I guess that leads to the obvious question, could our current employment situation actually be helped if there was actual global warming?

Folks I warned of continued layoffs in the first quarter of 2010 last year, when some economists looking through their rose colored glasses were talking of an economy that was turning around. In fact as this article points out, economists say the economy has been improving for six months.

The economy has grown for six months but is not yet spurring new hiring. Many economists point out that the current recovery is weak compared to the aftermath of previous deep recessions.

I am not quite sure what they are using to say the economy is improving, but I can tell you that the general atmosphere in the business world is that there is just too much uncertainty, mostly linked to wondering which portion of private sector business is going to be targeted next by the political class to be public enemy number one. There is a ton of uneasiness related to all of the legislation pending or being bandied about in DC, whether it is the health care takeover, punishing companies with profits that some liberal considers to be extreme, or any of the various environmental measures being contemplated.

There is just too much fear in the private sector and a still tight credit market to promote any sort of expansion or risk taking by private business. Amazing ain't it that nobody seems offended by obscene profits being posted by Google or Microsoft.

So let's blame the snow instead of the real reasons. I can't wait until Congress subpoenas Frosty the Snowman to come testify in defense of the obscene levels of snowfall while he was taking exotic vacations to the North Pole. Sounds about as reasonable as their pursuit of a playoff in college football and steroids in baseball.

posted by Just A Grunt @ 9:32 AM

February 23, 2010

FAIL… White House Can’t Find GOP Health Care Bill That’s On Their Website

From ABC today: “The White House challenged the GOP this morning to offer a single health care proposal and post its legislation.”
From The Hill: “White House offers to post GOP health plan”
From the White House: “Will the Republicans Post Their Health Care Plan… And When”

Umm… Look on your website. It’s linked on WhiteHouse.gov.

But don’t expect the state-run media to find it.
Michelle Malkin posted this graphic from Save Jersey blog:

It’s linked right on their website.

And think how well our health care will be run if these yahoo's continue.

February 20, 2010

Boyne Mountain Resurrects Tom Symons' Famous Martini

To my surprise whist paging through last months issue of Traverse I stumbled across this article about my mothers cousin, Tom Symons. The Tom Symons of Symons General Store in Petosky fame. The stories I've heard about Tom make this as believable as the sun rising in the east and setting in the west.

Not being a martini drinker myself, I'm tempted to give this a try for old times sake. Sounds like a perfect "docktail" idea for a Saturday at Lakeside.

Tom Symons may be gone, but the martini he and his friend Bill Harber made for 30 friends or so at the end of a Boyne Mountain ski day has been resurrected at the Snowflake Lounge.

Tom Symons, a legend at Boyne Mountain is gone, but his martini recipe lives on. Symons and his friend Bill Harber were weekend ski patrol and roommates at Boyne Mountain back in the 1940’s and 50’s.Their après-slopes cocktail hour was so famous, the Boyne folks resurrected it at the Mountain’s 60th anniversary celebration last year, turning a guest room off the Snowflake Lounge into a martini lounge à la Symons. Pay tribute yourself by taking Symons’s martini recipe for the masses on your next ski vacation.

TOM SYMONS MARTINI (as told to Molly Kircher by Bill Harber)
Serves 30.

1 gallon vodka
1 pint vermouth
1 food service sized jar of olives
1 snowbank
1 Stack of hotel room disposable cups

In the morning before heading out to ski, pour the olives into disposable cups. Then pour the gallon of vodka into the olive jar and place it in a nearby snowbank. While you ski all day, make a point of finding interesting people and give them your room number for cocktails before dinner. After skiing, return to your room, shower, dress for dinner and prepare for the arrival of the invited guests. Retrieve your vodka, turn on your Frank Sinatra lounge music, and make a show of pouring the ice-cold vodka into the disposable cups with several olives and a wave of the vermouth on top.

February 16, 2010

RI school superintendent fires entire staff at failing school

Every now and then a true hero steps forward and does the right thing. Let's hope someone in Michigan reads this and does the same thing. Good for her.

The situation already looked explosive. A Rhode Island high school had a 50% failure rate in a depressed town with high unemployment and a median wage of $22,000 per family. The union representing the teachers, who averaged over $70,000 per year in income, refused the superintendent’s plans to improve the school by extending the work day by 25 minutes and requiring teachers to provide tutoring on a rotating basis. The superintendent summoned her inner Reagan and fired them all, from the administrators to the last instructor (via Instapundit):

Her plan calls for teachers at a local high school to work 25 minutes longer per day, each lunch with students once in a while, and help with tutoring. The teachers’ union has refused to accept these apparently onerous demands.
The teachers at the high school make $70,000-$78,000, as compared to a median income in the town of $22,000. This exemplifies a nationwide trend in which public sector workers make far more than their private-sector counterparts (with better benefits).
The school superintendent has responded to the union’s stubbornness by firing every teacher and administrator at the school.

Let’s agree on a few things first. The 50% failure rate is certainly abysmal, but considering the poverty in the town, perhaps not completely related to academics. That kind of poverty creates pressure on employment-age teens to find work, although in this economy, the work would be hard to find. There may also be families escaping from the area to find work elsewhere; that may or may not have an impact on graduation rates. As for the salaries of the teachers, one has to view that in terms of competitive labor, as getting good teachers will necessarily cost more than getting cheap teachers, and probably would have an impact on those graduation rates, with all other things being equal.
However, it’s hard not to draw the conclusion that the teachers and administration at this school are a big part of the problem. Asking teachers making three times the average of the town’s median income to contribute an extra 25 minutes a day to rescue students in obvious failure does not seem like an outrageous request. The two-week summer training period may have infringed on their vacation plans, but their school faced an existential crisis, and their students were being doomed to a lifetime of competitive handicaps. One may have thought that teachers and administrators would have a sense of mission, rather than a sense of entitlement, especially considering the failure to which they had all contributed at least in part.
This is a good argument for getting unions out of the public-employee business altogether. Not only does the marriage of unions and the public sector create too much of an impulse to expand bureaucracies, it twists the priorities away from public service and towards entitlement thinking. To their credit, most educators, law enforcement, and emergency response personnel successfully resist that impulse, but this jaw-dropping standoff in Rhode Island shows that it does exist.

Democrat Congressman Steers Taxpayer Money to Convicted Drug Dealers

You can't make this stuff up folks

There's still time to put a stop to this madness, but with Nancy Pelosi and her merry band of spenders still in charge of Congress, they'll probably increase the funding for these drug delears. With that clown Eric Holder at the head of Justice, expect him to give the green light.
A controversial Queens congressman has steered $290,000 in taxpayer money to two convicted drug dealers for their nonprofit group - which has virtually no assets.

Rep. Gregory Meeks has sponsored - and Congress has appropriated - the money to brothers Lance and Todd Feurtado for their King of Kings Foundation to warn kids of the dangers of drugs.

The brothers also have the support of Meeks' mentor, the Rev. Floyd Flake, and another Flake protege, state Senate President Malcolm Smith (D-Queens), who steered them an additional $25,000.

Lance Feurtado says the money would pay for 150, 45-minute anti-drug, anti-gang presentations the brothers give at libraries and community centers. That's about $2,000 a talk.

The brothers have not gotten the congressional money yet because the Justice Department would have to approve it as part of an anti-gang initiative. Ironically, the brothers made a video that criticizes the department, claiming the feds used illegal tactics to bring them down.
So they get to bash The Man while being supported by him. Wonderful

February 15, 2010

FAIL… Just 6% of Americans Believe Obama’s $787 Billion Stimulus Created Jobs

In December the Obama Administration announced they had “saved or created” 1.1 million jobs.
In January the Obama Administration announced they had “saved or created” 2 million jobs.
Too bad for Obama that Americans aren’t buying his “saved or created” nonsense.

Just 6% of Americans believe the $787 “stimulus” boondoggle created any jobs according to a recent New York Times/CBS poll.

Just 6%.

It must be Bush’s fault.

Appalachian Bigotry

Susie Lee done fell in love,
she planned to marry Joe.
She was so happy 'bout it all,
she told her Pappy so.

Pappy told her, Susie gal,
You'll have to find another.
I'd just as soon yo' Ma don't know,
But Joe is yo' half brother.

So Susie put aside her Joe
and planned to marry Will.
But after telling Pappy this,
he said, 'There's trouble still.'

You can't marry Will, my gal,
And please don't tell yo' mother.
But Will and Joe, and several mo'
I know is yo' half brother.

But Mama knew and said, 'My child,
just do what makes yo' happy.
Marry Will or marry Joe;
you ain't no kin to Pappy.'

Thanks to the PrivateCaller clan for this one.

And since I was at Wall Mart today, don't ask why, I felt it was proper to post this.

Al Gore, Call Your Agent: It Really May Be Time to Give Back That Oscar

It's President Day, let your imagination run wild.....

This one needs no introduction:

As for other presidents, use your imagination....!

P.S. comments are back on

February 11, 2010

The Administration, Rebutted

Senator Jeff Sessions takes John Brennan to task for his op-ed claiming that giving a terrorist a lawyer and telling him he can remain silent doesn't impair our ability to gather intelligence

In what must seem a bitter irony to many who voted for Obama, the administration is now at great pains to justify its anti-terrorism policies by claiming that they are the same as those of the once-dreaded Bush administration. Most recently, press secretary Robert Gibbs, speaking on MSNBC this morning, invoked the fact that the Bush administration ultimately prosecuted Jose Padilla in a civilian court. Not only that, Gibbs said, "Jose Padilla was made an enemy combatant so that we could get him to talk. And guess what happened when we made him an enemy combatant, he didn't talk. He did talk when he was transferred back into a civilian court."

This was a lie, plain and simple, as Tom Joscelyn explains:

In fact, Jose Padilla only started cooperating once he was transferred into the military's custody and interrogated.

Jose Padilla was arrested at the Chicago's O'Hare International Airport on May 8, 2002. At the time, U.S. authorities had multiple reasons to be suspicious of him. Most importantly, senior al Qaeda operative Abu Zubaydah had been taken into custody in late March 2002 and provided information to authorities that led to the identification of both Padilla and his would-be accomplice, Binyam Mohamed. The two were identified as al Qaeda recruits who had been tasked with a mission inside the U.S.--namely, an attack on a high-rise apartment building.

Thus, when Padilla was initially detained by the FBI in May 2002 authorities knew he was up to no good. The FBI questioned Padilla for several hours but got nowhere. A copy of the FBI's 302 memo written after the initial questioning of Padilla shows that al Qaeda's man gave the bureau nothing. Padilla talked about his personal history but said nothing about his real intentions or his nefarious friends.

The FBI even offered to put Padilla up in a hotel so they could continue their conversation. But when the agents tried to turn the conversation towards Padilla's al Qaeda ties, he shut down the interview. "He stood up and told me the interview was over and it was time for him to go," Fincher recalled during testimony.

Padilla was then read a Miranda warning, arrested on a material witness warrant and transferred to the Metropolitan Correctional Center (MCC) in New York.

There he stayed for one month without giving up anything of importance to the FBI. During that time...the Bush administration weighed its options, ultimately deciding to designate Padilla an enemy combatant. After Padilla was transferred to the brig on June 9, 2002, the leading newspapers noted the chief reason for the move: Padilla wasn't cooperating with authorities.

"Officials said Padilla has refused to cooperate since his arrest," the Los Angeles Times reported. The New York Times elaborated: "Officials have justified his detention [in military custody] by saying he is considered to be an enemy combatant. He has refused to cooperate with the authorities who have questioned him." ...

Padilla would ultimately talk. But, contrary to Gibbs and Brennan, it wasn't until he was placed in the military's custody--not when he was returned to the civilian court system.

On June 1, 2004, the Defense Department released a memo summarizing what was known about Padilla both before and after he was transferred into the military's custody. The second page of the memo contains two paragraphs concerning what authorities had learned about Padilla up until June 9, 2002, the day he was transferred into the military's custody. As the aforementioned press accounts make clear, authorities had garnered no information from Padilla himself. The DoD cited "intelligence information" and "our information" but no admissions by Padilla. Nearly all of the information on Padilla up until that point came from other al Qaeda detainees and sources.

The memo then reads: "Since that time [June 9, 2002], additional and more detailed intelligence information about Jose Padilla has been developed and made available in unclassified form."

That additional information includes several pages of unclassified intelligence, including a number of admissions by Padilla, which were corroborated by other detainees.

Joscelyn goes on to chronicle the significant admissions that Padilla made after he was transferred to military custody.

Dishonesty has become the hallmark of the Obama administration. Obama and his cohorts know that most people have neither the time nor the inclination to research the truth of their public statements. Knowing, too, that the press is compliant, Obama believes that he and his subordinates can get away with just about any whopper they choose to tell. Perhaps so. Yet, in just one year the American public has lost confidence in the administration's credibility. The sort of wanton fabrication that Obama, Gibbs, Brennan and others in the administration are engaged in can only accelerate that process.

UPDATE: Andy McCarthy explains further why the Padilla case illustrates the opposite of what the administration claims, i.e., "the limitations and inadequacies of the civilian justice system as applied to enemy combatants."

February 9, 2010


Lavish Congressional Health Plan cannot keep John Murtha alive: White House calls it a clear sign that bureaucratic, inefficient Obamacare is needed for the rest of us.
"What the hell was I not paying you people for?"

According to WH Spokesman Robert Gibbs: "The President feels very strongly that under Obamacare we could have killed Congressman Murtha for a lot less money and resources and made a significant contribution to reducing both the VA budget crisis and the deficit with the balance, as well as creating a job in the late Congressman's district."

Gibbs went on to say an Obama t-shirt had been sent to the Murtha family for the viewing.

February 8, 2010

Magazine Circulation Craters, Experts Baffled

I can't quite put my finger on a possible reason why except maybe their product is no longer worth the paper it's printed on. In the case of Time and Newsweek, they may want to serious consider pulling the plug considering their anemic numbers.

February 5, 2010

Breaking: Unemployment at 9.7% – New Counting Method Saved or Created 541,000 Jobs

Fuzzy Math?

US Loses Another 20,000 Jobs But Unemployment Rate Drops to 9.7%

It’s an Obama world. Up is down. Square is round. Trucks are jokes. And, losing 20,000 jobs actually brings down the unemployment rate.

The US lost another 20,000 jobs in January but the unemployment rate dropped to 9.7% The new counting methods saved or created 541,000 jobs.
The AP reported:

The unemployment rate dropped unexpectedly in January to 9.7 percent from 10 percent while employers shed 20,000 jobs, the government said Friday.

The rate dropped because a survey of households found the number of employed Americans rose by 541,000, the Labor Department said. The job losses are calculated from a separate survey of employers.

The report also included an annual revision to the estimates of total payrolls, which showed there were 930,000 fewer jobs last March than previously estimated. The department also revised down its estimates for April through October of last year, adding another 433,000 job losses.

The November figure was revised higher, however, to show a gain of 64,000 jobs.

All told, the Great Recession has eliminated 8.4 million jobs, the department said. That’s the most of any recession since World War II as a proportion of total payrolls.

Ok, so here is my feeble attempt to figure out how more jobs lost = a drop in the unemployment rate, or something like that:

February 2, 2010

Barack Obama: "George Bush has been sneaking back into Washington...

...and adding stuff to the laws'n'stuff while the decent folk were sleeping." Take for example this passage from his "discussion" with the GOP congressmembers that somehow didn't get a lot of press...

"If you look at the package that we've presented -- and there's some stray cats and dogs that got in there that we were eliminating, we were in the process of eliminating. For example, we said from the start that it was going to be important for us to be consistent in saying to people if you can have your -- if you want to keep the health insurance you got, you can keep it, that you're not going to have anybody getting in between you and your doctor in your decision making. And I think that some of the provisions that got snuck in might have violated that pledge."

Now on earth could that have happened if EEEEEVILE GEORGE BUSH hadn't been sneaking back into the Congressmen's offices by night and adding stuff when nobody was looking? Surely the Democrats of the most open and transparent Administration EVER would NEVER have been going behind the back of Barack Obama to undercut his agenda! Why, he's the President!

"Look harder, everyone! George Bush could be anywhere!"
And don't tell me George Bush wouldn't pull a stunt like that. Look at all the other things he's done when Barack Obama wasn't looking:

George Bush pimped Barney Frank to the head of Fannie Mae and forced that poor misunderstood gay man to hawk his garbage, unrecoverable mortgages to the banks.

He threatened to kill Chris Dodd's kitten unless he took that Countrywide mortgage.

George Bush hacked the .doc file to the Stimulus Bill and changed the words 'DON'T spend' to 'spend'...every time.

He broke into the Nancy Pelosi's office on Christmas Eve and stole the real vote tallies on the Health Care Bill. The truth is, NO Democrat voted for it ('C'mon, guys, we haven't even read this turkey!'), but George Bush is just that evil.

When Barack Obama was pondering the future of a peaceful Afghanistan, George Bush locked him out in the Rose Garden and used his bootleg Presidential seal to send 35,000 more troops to Afghanistan. (He would have sent the whole 40,000 but Dick Cheney convinced him fiddling with the number would piss off the left AND the right).

"Dammit, Bush, you put those Marines down right this minute!"

When Obama visited Japan, Bush told him to bend over and pretend to barf on the Emperor's shoes.

"They really love that kind of down-home humoratin'!"

The man's like a freaking Texas Ninja! There's just no keeping him out! Plainly, George Bush should never be allowed anywhere near Washington DC or the Obama White House again. Those folks are just too damned naive and impressionable...