December 6, 2005

Other NY Papers in a Snooze While The New York Daily (Does) News

The NY Daily News series on 9/11 aid money waste, fraud, and abuse continues today with three new stories:
- Plenty of Hands Stirring the Pot
- Ground Zero: $2.7 B Money Pot
- Mike (Bloomberg) Adds to Call for Big Probe

The Bloomberg story is the second example of a New York-area politician calling for an investigation into the spending of 9/11 aid funds; Republican Peter King, Chairman of the House Homeland Security Committee, called for an investigation on Monday.

Once the politicians start making statements, the “not invented here” the town’s other newspapers may have about the story should evaporate, and they at least have to report the calls for investigation as the result of reports “in another newspaper.” Right?

Wrong. Not in The New York Post (requires registration) — search on “Bloomberg,” then on “Peter King” (in quotes), then on “Pete King” (in quotes) revealed nothing relevant.

Not in The New York Times, either (requires registration) — “Bloomberg” [go 2 or 3 pages through results], “Peter King”, and “Pete King”).

Crooked contracters and politicians in The Big Apple are relieved.

A Few Questions Before the Anderson Twp. GOP Ambu.., Er, Meeting Wednesday Night

Filed under: OH-02 US House,Taxes & Government — Tom @ 12:29 pm

BizzyBlog will be there. A stellar lineup of declared GOP candidates for various offices in Ohio will speak.

Initial indications are that I may be the only person who generally likes both Jean Schmidt and Tom Brinkman in attendance. Before I’m banished to a hermetically sealed chamber in the back of the room as a result, I’m hoping to clear up a few questions:

  • On Jean Schmidt’s 2005 “Let Them Eat Cake Award” (warning: R-Rated Content) ” for “the politician who best displays blithe ignorance of the plight of the beleaguered over-taxed payers of Cincinnati and Hamilton County”–What tax and/or spending increases did she vote for in 2005? (sorry folks, the congressional pay raise, which is less than inflation and was made semi-automatic in the days of [ahem] Willis Gradison, doesn’t count–Oh, and did I forget to mention that Steve Chabot and Geoff Davis voted for the $280 billion-plus pork-laden Highway Bill?)
  • In her Cunningham interview two weeks ago and at her town meeting this past Saturday, Jean Schmidt stated that 80,000 terrorists have been killed (I don’t recall the time period specified). The closest I can get is 50,000 from the Brookings Institution. What’s the support for the 80,000 figure?
  • Tell me who Bob McEwen will work for if he somehow, after 12 years of insisting on calling himself a “Congressman,” actually becomes a congressman. His past Advantage Associates clients and associates from China, undemocratic Mideast nations, or who-knows-where? Arch-socialist and fellow “Advantage Team Member” Ron Dellums (more background here)? His Amway/Quixtar keep-this-out-of-court buds? James “find Bob a job” Dobson (go to end of article)? Exactly where do the people of the 2nd District fit into this?
  • How are the outbreaks of Schmidt Derangement Syndrome (SDS) and Brinkman COASTal Complex (BCC) that are running rampant throughout the District spreading, and do we need a districtwide quarantine?

Just in Case You’re Wondering (Wholly Toledo Revisited)

Filed under: MSM Biz/Other Bias — Tom @ 9:32 am

This lying headline and subheadline has never been removed:

toledo

Link to story.
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I Really Didn’t (and Should Have) Seen This Coming

Ford and GM have their hands out to Uncle Sam–i.e., you and me (probably requires registration; HT Club for Growth):

Automakers Are Lining Up Aid, But Just Don’t Call It a Bailout

Troubled U.S. automakers and their allies on Capitol Hill are seeking billions of dollars in aid from the federal government ranging from health coverage for their workers to extra tax write-offs for themselves.

They’re also asking for one rhetorical favor: Please don’t call the requests a bailout.

“I don’t view it as a bailout,” Sen. Carl M. Levin (D-Mich.) said.

“We’re not looking for a bailout,” agreed William C. Ford Jr., chairman of Ford Motor Co.

The “B” word has been taboo ever since Chrysler Corp., faced with impending insolvency, sought and narrowly won $1.5 billion in loan guarantees from Washington in 1979 and 1980. The company eventually borrowed $1.2 billion and repaid the loans in 1983, seven years earlier than was required.

Nonetheless, the notion of the American taxpayer saving a company with a large and quick fix has pretty much gone out of style and has not been repeated since, with the exception of loan guarantees to airlines after 9/11. Even though General Motors Corp. and its rival Ford Motor now face serious financial straits, both are studiously avoiding public condemnation by spreading their aid requests widely among many types of government policies.

Taken together, however, the components of their wish list would cost tens of billions — far more than Chrysler ever dared to seek.

With pleadings that large, breaking the requests into smaller pieces makes a great deal of legislative sense, and industry and labor leaders hope that several relief packages could begin to move in Congress next year. The outlook is uncertain, especially given the size of the federal budget deficit, but auto industry representatives said they were optimistic that at least some of their proposals would succeed.

They want subsidies for making hybrids, retraining payments, dumping healthcare liabilities on taxpayers, and much more. CFG calls it “disgusting.” Definitely–and anyone who thinks this is going to work out like Chrysler did is in a dream world.

Now I Get It: Shoppers Are Drugged

Tara Parker-Pope’s Health Journal in Tuesday’s Wall Street Journal (subscription required) gets to the science behind “retail therapy”:

Science is now discovering what ….. many consumers have known all along: Shopping makes you feel good. A growing body of brain research shows how shopping activates key areas of the brain, boosting our mood and making us feel better — at least for a little while. Peering into a decorated holiday window or finding a hard-to-find toy appears to tap into the brain’s reward center, triggering the release of brain chemicals that give you a “shopping high.” Understanding the way your brain responds to shopping can help you make sense of the highs and lows of holiday shopping, avoid buyer’s remorse and lower your risk for overspending.

Much of the joy of holiday shopping can be traced to the brain chemical dopamine. Dopamine plays a crucial role in our mental and physical health. The brains of people with Parkinson’s disease, for instance, contain almost no dopamine. Dopamine also plays a role in drug use and other addictive behaviors. Dopamine is associated with feelings of pleasure and satisfaction, and it’s released when we experience something new, exciting or challenging. And for many people, shopping is all those things.

“You’re seeing things you haven’t seen; you’re trying on clothes you haven’t tried on before,” says Gregory Berns, an Emory University neuroscientist and author of “Satisfaction: The Science of Finding True Fulfillment.”

….. MRI studies of brain activity suggest that surges in dopamine levels are linked much more with anticipation of an experience rather than the actual experience — which may explain why people get so much pleasure out of window-shopping or hunting for bargains.

Dopamine can cause someone to get caught up in the shopping moment and make bad decisions. Dr. Berns of Emory says dopamine may help explain why someone buys shoes they never wear. “You see the shoes and get this burst of dopamine,” says Dr. Berns. Dopamine, he says, “motivates you to seal the deal and buy them. It’s like a fuel injector for action, but once they’re bought it’s almost a let down.”

Seems making dopamine available as an over-the-counter drug might save a lot of people a lot of money.

I Wonder Why This Is Happening?

After cutting 85 newsroom jobs in November, The LA Times is in yet another round of cuts:

Tribune’s (TRB:NYSE) Los Angeles Times newspaper said it would cut 110 jobs in closing a Chatsworth, Calif., printing plant.

The Chicago-based publisher said the move will allow it to consolidate production at three of its most modern and efficient facilities in downtown Los Angeles, Costa Mesa and Irwindale.

The news comes just days after Tribune said national advertising revenue declined 6% from a year ago in November, due in large partto a soft period at the Los Angeles Times.

“We deeply regret the impact this consolidation will have on employees, but the reality is that The Times has invested $500 million to modernize and build new facilities and expand color capacity since the Chatsworth plant became operational in 1983,” said Mark H. Kurtich, Times senior vice president, operations. “The three more modern plants are fully capable of handling the current and future needs of Times readers and advertisers.”

Chronicling the Times’ coverage lapses and over-the-top bias over just the past two years would require dozens of posts I’m not in the mood for. Now Rolling Stone Magazine believes there’s yet another scandal at The Times–and this one’s Notorious(ly) B.I.G.

At this rate, my laser printer will be able to handle the needs of The Times’ few dozen remaining subscribers in about, oh, 15 years.

Positivity: Women Rescued After Cable-Car Ordeal (South Africa)

Filed under: Positivity — Tom @ 6:12 am

A harrowing experience turns out well:

(more…)

Cut-and-Run Democrats: The Gift to Jean Schmidt That Just Keeps on Giving

Filed under: MSM Biz/Other Bias,OH-02 US House,Taxes & Government — Tom @ 12:01 am

Dean

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UPDATE: I sense a meme–Yippee-Ki-Yay! also calls Dean “the gift that keeps on giving” (HT Michelle Malkin). Also, Captain Ed notes that the WORMs (Worn-Out Reactionary Media, known to most as The Mainstream Media) won’t touch the Dean WOAI interview remarks.
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Dec. 6: Outside the Beltway Jammer.