December 21, 2005

DeWine’s Anti-ANWR Vote Moves Two Three Local Bloggers to Endorse GOP Primary Challenger Bill Pierce

Filed under: Environment,Taxes & Government — Tom @ 8:54 pm

Senator Mike DeWine’s vote against drilling in the Arctic Wildlife National Reserve (ANWR) has moved two three local bloggers to make early endorsements of GOP Primary challenger Bill Pierce:
- Steve Kelso at A Face Made 4 Radio, A Voice Made 4 The Internet.
- Large Bill at Large Bill Pontificates.
- (Just before midnight update) NixGuy, who also has a great roundup of reactions.

Read all about it at their links.

Yawn if you must, DeWine & Co., but I do not recall seeing anywhere near the hostility to a sitting Ohio Senator within his own party that I am seeing to you in as long as I have been following politics (going back to the early 1970s), especially 4-1/2 months before the primary.

UPDATE: No word yet from Hugh “(DeWine) has never been other than a good senator and a solid Republican vote” Hewitt on the best condiments to use when eating crow (quoted comment was made at Hewitt’s blog on roughly May 24; Hewitt archives before July 1 are not accessible).

UPDATE 2: Atlas Shrugs has hit her limit: “Poach the RINOs

UPDATE 3: In a 10:57 PM ET post, Hewitt hangs tough with DeWine (just because the condiments cover up the taste doesn’t mean you’re not eating crow, sir):

Senator DeWine of my home state is no Lincoln Chafee. He gets most big votes right, though today he stumbled badly. There is no coherent argument against exploration in ANWR, so Senator DeWine enters a difficult re-election year branded as the only GOP senator as light in the thinking department as Lincoln Chafee. It isn’t an enviable place to be. If DeWine helps Judge Alito, though, all will be forgiven, though not forgotten.

Speak for yourself, Hugh.

UPDATE 4: Porkopolis has some tough, and even personal (but necessary), questions for Mr. DeWine.

Your Tax Dollars NOT at Work (for Nine Years)

Filed under: Consumer Outrage,Economy,Taxes & Government — Tom @ 4:13 pm

Those people at the Enquirer sure know how to write a gripping headline that grabs your attention (/sarcasm):

Cops asked to investigate payroll case
9 years of pay for no work
By Gregory Korte

Cincinnati City Manager David E. Rager has ordered a criminal investigation into how a city sanitation supervisor was able to keep her nearly $40,000-a-year job without doing any work for nine years.

Christine M. Wells-Hicks, 51, of Westwood, is listed on the city’s payroll as a cleaning/service supervisor in the Neighborhood Operations Division. She made $39,911 last year, according to city payroll records.

Those records show that Wells-Hicks joined the city in 1984. She was injured in a 1996 auto accident and was unable to work.

When the city denied her disability claim because her accident wasn’t work-related, she sued. That lawsuit was settled in 2002, court records show, but a copy of the settlement wasn’t available Tuesday.

Wells-Hicks’ lawyer, Carol Wood, said the settlement required the city to keep her on the payroll while officials worked to find her another job. But Wood said she would not comment on why that never happened.

“My client has done nothing wrong. She has not been interviewed,” Wood said. “Any payments to Christine Wells have been the result of a written settlement agreement among all of the parties.”

City spokeswoman Meg Olberding would not disclose details of that settlement and would not explain why the city manager referred the incident to the Police Department.

Opponents of privatizing city services should be asked this question: “When’s the last time you heard about someone at a private company getting away with being paid for not coming to work for nine years?”

Dec. 22: Outside the Beltway Jammer.

Is The AP’s Martin Crutsinger Lowballing Economic Growth Expectations?

Filed under: Biz Weak,Economy,MSM Biz/Other Bias — Tom @ 12:49 pm

On December 7, The Associated Press’s Martin Crutsinger reported on a rise in factory orders and productivity growth, and quoted an expert who predicted good times ahead:

“The momentum of growth has been very strong,” said Nariman Behravesh, chief economist at Global Insight in Lexington, Mass. “This suggests that growth in the fourth quarter of this year and early next year will remain robust.”

Two weeks later, on December 21 at 8:37 AM ET, in a report on the slight downward revision of third-quarter GDP growth from 4.3% to 4.1%, Crutsinger wrote the following, apparently for consumption by the general population, based on where it appeared (bold is mine):

Analysts believe growth has slowed substantially in the current quarter to around 3 percent, reflecting slower increases in consumer spending now that attractive auto incentives have been removed.

But in a different story filed at 11:03 AM ET today carried at Business Week, Crutsinger’s tune changed a bit, and he revealed his source–someone different from the one he used in his story two weeks ago (bold is mine):

Analysts believe growth has slowed substantially in the current quarter to between 3 percent and 3.5 percent, reflecting slower increases in consumer spending now that attractive auto incentives have been removed.

“Other than autos, the rest of consumer spending is doing OK,” said David Wyss, chief economist at Standard & Poor’s in New York.

Perhaps Crutsinger went to Mr. Wyss because Mr. Behravesh at Global Insight was too optimistic for Crutsinger, who let his bias slip earlier in the Business Week piece (bold is mine):

The Bush administration, which has been on a concerted campaign to highlight the economy’s strong points to bolster the president’s approval ratings, said the 4.1 percent GDP growth rate was evidence of a vibrant economy.

Really? How Mr. Crutsinger knows the adminstration’s motivations, which may be to go over the heads of The Mainstream Press, which has managed to keep the current 10-quarter streak of 3%-plus GDP growth one of the best-kept secrets of the decade thus far, isn’t revealed.

Bloomberg did the homework Crutsinger should have done, or should have reported on:

The economy will expand 3.3 percent at an annual rate from October to December, the median of 72 estimates in another Bloomberg survey.

The fact that the forecasters have consistently underestimated GDP growth during most of the 10-quarter growth streak also remains an unexplained, and unreported, mystery.

(Cross-Posted at

3Q05 GDP Revised Slightly Downward

Filed under: Economy — Tom @ 10:50 am

Nov. 30 – Whoa: 3Q05 GDP Growth Revised Sharply Upward
Response: Ka-boom! (4.3%)

OK, now it’s just “Boom!” (final figure revised slightly downward to 4.1%)

Next to-be-proven-wrong prediction (from same article as downward revision):

Analysts believe growth has slowed substantially in the current quarter to around 3 percent, reflecting slower increases in consumer spending now that attractive auto incentives have been removed.

Passage of the Day: Pete du Pont on 2005′s Underachievers and Failures

Filed under: Taxes & Government — Tom @ 8:24 am

From (bolds mine):

Then there are the failing grades of 2005. The Republican Congress–House and Senate–has dismally failed to control the growth of government. Spending has grown 5.6% a year since President Bush took office–about as high as LBJ’s spending increases in the 1960s–and domestic spending has grown 7.1% a year. When Bill Clinton was president and Newt Gingrich was House speaker, congressionally approved nondefense spending was $57 billion less than the president requested; under Mr. Bush and Speaker Dennis Hastert it has been $91 billion more.

Republicans have been taking some heat for such big spending increases, so when the House adjourned early Monday morning it had agreed to cut federal spending by about $40 billion over five years, plus a one-time $8 billion defense budget cut. It sounds good, but it comes to only a 0.3% reduction in total federal spending, not exactly a significant shift from Republican spending increase policies.

One would think the president would have used his veto power to control the spending surge, but he hasn’t used it at all. (The last president to serve a full term without issuing a veto was John Quincy Adams.) For starters he should have vetoed the highway bill, which contained 6,373 pork projects costing $24 billion.

Senate and House “moderates” are part of the problem too. Maine’s Sen. Olympia Snowe opposes extending the tax cuts that have stimulated our economy, and Rhode Island’s Sen. Lincoln Chafee opposes oil refinery construction on abandoned military bases (which would increase our fuel supplies) and tax cuts. In the House it is the 25 Republican moderates who have opposed most spending reductions and tried to block ANWR oil drilling in Alaska.

But the worst failing grade for the year goes to the United Nations and Kofi Annan.
Paul Volker’s report on the Oil for Food scandal concluded that $10 billion worth of Iraqi oil was illegally smuggled to adjacent nations; that Saddam Hussein collected $229 million in bribes from 139 of 248 companies involved in the oil business, and illegal payments from 2,253 out of 3,614 firms providing humanitarian goods to Iraq. So Dennis Kozlowski stole $600 million from Tyco and got eight to 25 years in jail, while Kofi Annan supervised more than $10 billion in Oil for Food theft and will stay in his job since, in his own words, “the business of the United Nations is not reform.”

Positivity: Good Samaritan Turned Theft Victim Inspires Outpouring of Help

Filed under: Positivity — Tom @ 6:09 am

He had his truck stolen while rescuing others in a California traffic accident: