April 11, 2007

Couldn’t Help But Notice (041107)

My guess is that the more the left nutrootsters try to marginalize Fox News (and steamroll traditional lib constituencies in the process), the more viewers Fox will attract. Roger Ailes et al will continue laughing — all the way to the bank. Jay Tea and Lorie Byrd at Wizbang have more here and here, respectively.

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Why is Michelle Malkin a rare voice in the wilderness denouncing the misogynism of rap music? Where is NOW? Nearly AWOL. Denouncing the degradation ought to be one of their top priorities. The visibility of hustlers like Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson in the Don Imus situation starkly contrasts to their near-silence over the rap’s dehumanization of mostly African-American women (Malkin: “One dumb radio/television shock jock’s insult is a drop in the ocean of barbaric filth and anti-female hatred on the radio.”). Way too many on the Left appear to lack the will to do anything to alienate these woman-haters and their fans into not voting for their candidates.

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Got this e-mail “tease” from the Dayton Daily News over the weekend:

DDNtease0407

Though the tease gives the impression that the article is to be about some kind of controversy, it ends up instead covering how a local station’s 19-year newsroom veteran has decided to be a stay-at-home mom.

The DDN could have communicated the essence of the story better in its tease. I wonder (no, not really) why they didn’t?

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What would Nelson Mandela say? When it comes to Zimbabwean thug Robert Mugabe, apparently not much:

Mandela criticised Mugabe’s govenment in 2000, but since around 2003, in his retirement, Mandela has been silent on Zimbabwe and other international and domestic issues. This has led to Mandela being criticised for not using his influence to more effect to persuade Mugabe to moderate his policies.

This silence on Mandela’s part would perhaps be understandable if South African Thabo Mbeki and other leaders in Africa were picking up the slack. But they’re not.

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Ohio Republicans need an ABM treaty to call their own — Based on this news, which I think I am properly interpreting as a threat (“It’s no secret that I’ve always, for a long time, been interested in running for governor”; HT RAB), that would be an “Anyone But Mike (DeWine)” treaty.

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Definitely needed: freemelissab.com (HT NixGuy). Go there, and quickly catch up on one of the most important family rights stories so far this century — and give some of the identified contacts a civil but strident piece of your mind.

So Where Do They Go …..

….. to get their reputations back?

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UPDATE, April 12: And there is no longer any reason in the world to embargo the name (HT Ace) of the false accuser, Crystal Gail Mangum.

Another Tip of the Public-Retirement System Iceberg Is Revealed

Filed under: Economy,Soc. Sec. & Retirement,Taxes & Government — Tom @ 6:08 am

From an AP report last week based on a New York Times article (Times link requires free registration and may not be available in a couple of weeks):

New Jersey has diverted billions of dollars from its public worker pension fund into other purposes over the last 15 years using unorthodox transactions authorized by lawmakers and governors from both political parties, The New York Times reported in Wednesday newspapers.

For years the state has been contributing less money into its pension fund than it should. However, The New York Times said its analysis shows New Jersey overstated what it has claimed to have contributed, raising concern about how much money is in the pension fund — the nation’s ninth largest, with reported assets of $79 billion.

The New York Times analysis said the state recorded investment gains immediately when the markets went up, then delayed recording losses when the markets went down. It reported money to pay for health care costs as contributions to the pension fund and claimed it had excess assets that allowed it to divert pension contributions to other uses, such as aid to poor schools.

….. If New Jersey violated federal securities, tax or other rules, it could be forced to make up some of the contributions, the newspaper explained.

The Internal Revenue Service has specific rules against mixing pension money with money for other uses, while federal securities law requires bond issuers to provide complete and accurate financial information.

There would be one word to describe the ultimate address of private company executives and accounting types if they engaged in these kinds of shenanigans: Prison.

Given the fact that it is written into the Garden State’s constitution(!) that the state “cannot reduce earned pension benefits,” this has all the makings of fiscal train wreck.

I would not be at all surprised to learn that New Jersey’s situation is only one of many similar ones throughout the country.

On Employee Health: Good Ideas That Could Turn Bad

Filed under: Business Moves,Privacy/ID Theft — Tom @ 6:03 am

This idea has surface appeal, but also the potential for coercion and undue peer pressure:

Kronos Optimal Health Co. in Phoenix is reaching out to companies to help get their employees healthy.

The company has figured out a way to calculate the annual health care costs of overweight employees, and how to help reduce those costs through various corporate wellness programs.

….. Rather than having employers pay up front for Kronos’ wellness program, Lazar recommends having employees pay the $150 fee, with the potential of earning it back after successful completion.

The article doesn’t address whether or not overweight employees are going to be forced, or strongly “encouraged,” to get into the wellness programs. If they are, I would say that Kronos and its client companies are out of bounds.

In a way, it’s already starting:

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — WellPoint Inc. employees will have a personal stake in the health of the company’s customers, thanks to a new plan that ties a portion of their annual bonuses to it.

The nation’s largest health insurer unveiled a plan Tuesday to link 5 percent of every annual bonus to a new measurement called the Member Health Index.

The index will monitor 20 different clinical areas to determine whether patient care is improving.

Could one way of improving “the health of the company’s customers” be to exclude companies in certain industries, or with certain demographic profiles? Or “encouraging” unhealthy members to get coverage at their spouse’s place of work instead of their own?

This idea seems to have a lot of potential for abuse.

Positivity: Eddie Robinson’s players huddle up for last goodbye

Filed under: Positivity — Tom @ 5:58 am

From Baton Rouge, the reunion to honor a man who was, at the time he retired, college football’s winningest coach was a special day indeed:

April 10, 2007

Memories, tears flow throughout emotional reunion for proteges of late coach
By Nick Deriso

BATON ROUGE — Former players made a gathering to mark Eddie Robinson’s legendary 57-year career at Grambling into a lively reunion that crossed generations.

Members of Robinson teams from 1941-97 met for a private event before the general public was allowed into the state capitol for an all-day memorial, something typically reserved for heads of state.

“I’m so happy this happened for Coach,” said Frank Lewis, a wide receiver and running back at Grambling in the late 1960s. “Coach was so special. He deserves it.”

Read the whole thing.