June 18, 2007

Couldn’t Help But Notice (061807)

Sarkozy’s majority ended up not being as big as his party hoped for. The result is being spun by the media as a fearful response to his “radical agenda.” No way. Here’s why:

The Socialists spent the second-round campaign week fanning fears that Francois Fillon, the Prime Minister, was aiming to raise value added tax by two percentage points.

….. The Socialists, led by Ségolène Royal to presidential defeat last month, were partially saved by hostility to Mr Fillon’s plans for a “social VAT”, which emerged after the first round. The Government is considering raising VAT to finance cuts in payroll taxes designed to give a boost to business.

It’s much more correct to conclude that French voters reacted negatively to shifting the tax burden around, and instead want real tax cuts and reductions in the size and scope of their overbearing government. If Fillon’s proposal reflects Sarko’s thinking, the new administration is setting itself up for a mediocre term.

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A fringe benefit of Sarkozy’s win is that the French public has been spared what might have been a gossip columnist’s dream come true if Socialist Segolene Royal had instead prevailed.

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Star Parker opines on the NAACP’s continuing slide into irrelevance. She correctly cites most of the factors behind it:

The NAACP’s “social justice” agenda today is simply a boilerplate program of the political left.

The crisis in black America is poverty and a growing underclass — about 25 percent of our black population — whose problems largely stem from lifestyle rather than oppression. It is a social and moral crisis.

….. Ironically, one institution that does need dismantling, the NAACP works to defend. And that is our public school system.

Yet, the NAACP fights school choice. For reasons perhaps someone else can explain, the agenda of the political left is more important to the NAACP today than honest scrutiny of the real needs of its own community and serving those needs.

But Parker missed what may very well be seen as the final nail in the NAACP’s coffin if it ever comes to that. I don’t believe it’s a coincidence that the organization’s bleeding has accelerated since its embrace of abortion in 2004.

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If you spent the weekend blissfully ignorant of the State of Ohio data theft that took place over the June 9-10 weekend and was first revealed late last week, here’s the latest.

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This exemplifies why so many utilities are cynically embracing globaloney and globalarmism:

Britain’s electricity generators could make windfall profits of about £1.5bn a year from the European Union’s emissions trading scheme, industry estimates suggest, raising further questions about the operation of the programme intended to combat global warming.

Across Europe, the profits could add up to about €20bn (£13.6bn) a year.

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Though it will be an expensive undertaking, the good news is that Susette Kelo’s house will be moved (link requires free registration, and a paid subscription shortly thereafter; HT to Day reporter Elaine Stoll for the link):

The house will be preserved in its entirety and relocated to 36 Franklin St., Institute Senior Attorney Scott Bullock said Thursday. There, he said, it will stand testament to the struggle of Kelo and the neighbors who joined her in a lawsuit — Kelo v. City of New London — that sought to save their homes and prevent future seizures of private property for economic development.

….. in the next few months it will be disassembled “piece by piece,” down to single studs and floor joists, trucked away, and stored in pieces.

The bad news, Connecticut Representative Toni Boucher explains, is that the Nutmeg State’s new eminent domain bill accomplishes very little:

I don’t want people to believe the new law will protect the taking of property for a private development purpose.

….. any eminent domain proceeding is (still) weighted heavily in favor of the government and forbids an independent third party to determine the validity of the property claim.

Eastern and Southeastern Ohio: Where the Congressional Carpetbaggin’ Is Apparently Easy

Filed under: Economy,Taxes & Government — Tom @ 6:06 am

Apparently a lot of Eastern and Southeastern Ohio voters either don’t care about where their congressmen and congressional candidates live (which would run counter to nationally surveyed sentiments), or simply haven’t found out.

Last week, there was the announcement (HT Stark Politics) that Democrat John Boccieri, who lives in Ohio’s 6th Congressional District just a few miles from the Ohio-Pennsylvania border, is running for Congress ….. in the 16th (the link on the small map is to a full map of all Ohio congressional districts):

OHeastCentralCong0607

According to Mapquest, the 16th’s easternmost border is about 30 miles and a 40-minute drive from where Boccieri lives, and its westernmost border in Ashland County is about 110 miles and two hours away.

Boccieri is probably not running in the 6th because that District’s incumbent is Democrat Charlie Wilson, who lives in ….. the 18th district, “in a small sliver of Belmont County represented by (Zack) Space.”

The 6th District’s congressman before Wilson was now-Governor Ted Strickland. By all accounts, Strickland spent the large majority of his time during 2003 through 2006 in ….. a condominium in Columbus. Strickland’s right to claim that he lived in the 6th District’s Columbiana County was shaky enough that he decided to vote early in last year’s gubernatorial election to head off the residency questions and formal challenge that had surfaced. In the process, Strickland became perhaps the first major party gubernatorial candidate in American history not to cast his or her vote on Election Day. So it seems quite fitting that Ted was on hand for Boccieri’s announcement.

In his 2006 congressional campaign for the 6th District seat, nonresident Wilson emphasized how poor the economy was in the District, even though it had been “represented” for four years (and parts for 12 years) by ….. fellow party member Strickland.

Wilson’s congressional web site fittingly reflects his absentee status. More than seven months after his election, Charlie’s congressional web site still has pages that are under construction or empty (here, here, an “uneventful” calendar here, and an “insert text here” privacy policy). Perhaps he hasn’t yet visited the 6th District enough to know that the Internet arrived there many years ago.

The carpetbagging disease in Eastern and Southeastern Ohio is apparently bi-partisan, as Republican Jimmy Stewart of Albany has his eyes on running in the 18th District, which HE doesn’t live in. And we of course can’t forget the “legacy” of Republican Bob McEwen, who must have acquired the carpetbagging virus while he represented portions of Southeastern Ohio during his 12 years in Congress from 1981-1993. Fortunately, his attempt to spread the virus here to Southwestern Ohio failed spectacularly — though in April of last year, he did set the example of voting early to head off a disqualification challenge that Strickland imitated six months later.

Boy, I thought things were weird here in Southwestern Ohio. Well ….. they really are, but in a different way. That’s the subject of a different post (immediately below this one if you’re on the home page).

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Potential Carpetbagging Update: I have it on good authority that Paul Phillips, who as of a month ago said that “he’s starting to raise money for a campaign and has found a receptive audience for his candidacy with state and national Republicans” for the 18th District seat, has some “issues.”

Specifically, my source tells me that Phillips “bought a house in June of 2006 in Beavercreek in Greene County which is in the 7th District. He renewed his license plates at that house in February 2007 and still lives there. He says that he has relocated to Chillicothe, but owns no property in that district.”

Greene County is east of Dayton, and quite a distance from the 18th District.

If, as I understand it, you grew up in the area and want to return, there’s still time to get it right, Paul — but not much.

Dayton Mayor to City Employees: You Belong to Me

Filed under: Taxes & Government — Tom @ 6:05 am

Where the problem in Eastern and Southeastern Ohio is that politicians running for Congress don’t care about living in the district they represent or wish to represent, there is a different type of residency problem in Southwestern Ohio. Here, one big-city government wants to force municipal employees to live in the city — despite state law, upheld so far in court, that doing so is, well, unlawful. The City of Cincinnati, which has been in a decades-long tug of war with city employees (and which I believe still requires employees to live in Hamilton County, but not the city itself), is surely watching to see if circumventing the law and wearing down employees who challenge the plantation owner will work.

Making a situation first noted on June 7 even worse, Dayton’s Mayor Rhine McLin and her government have apparently gone off the deep end on this (link may require free registration), both with political rhetoric and taxpayer funds:

….. the city (recently) lost a battle in Montgomery County Common Pleas Court to require that all city employees reside within Dayton’s boundaries.

The city had sued the state, claiming a new law curtailing residency requirements violated the city’s home rule provision.

Dayton officials sought to have the state law deemed unconstitutional. That didn’t happen.

Dayton Mayor Rhine McLin said the city will appeal the decision and that employees move out of town at their own risk.

“If you are a city employee and you choose to move out of the city, you will be terminated,” McLin said. “It will be up to you to fight your way back.”

….. The city pays a private investigator, Cincinnati-based CalCrim, an average of $4,500 per investigation to follow up on one to 20 tips per year regarding possible employee residency violations.

A majority of the tips prove to be false, said Brent McKenzie, employee relations manager for the city.

In 2005, the city earmarked up to $108,600 for the investigations and $103,000 in 2006.

The earlier section of the article reports on an employee who is moving out of the city and expects to be fired for it. I would think that he could get a restraining order if such an attempt is made, because at this point the mayor is engaging in an objectively unlawful power play. But of course, that requires money, which the employee surely has a limited supply of, while the City appears willing to expend any and all resources necessary to keep itself above the law.

Based on the previous post about carpetbagging congressmen and congressional candidates in other parts of Ohio, perhaps the employee’s best strategy would be to declare himself a candidate for the US House. Then he can tell the Mayor that his declaration gives him the right to live anywhere in the state.

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UPDATE, June 21: The employee has been fired, and is challenging.

Positivity: Giving thanks for gift of life

Filed under: Positivity — Tom @ 5:56 am

From the Canadian side of Niagara Falls:

Blood transfusions, marrow saved mom
Jun 08, 2007

Jennifer Rogers was 20, a college student and a new mom when doctors told her she had only a 50 per cent chance of staying alive.
Rogers had aplastic anemia, a condition in which her body could not produce enough blood to survive. She was told that without a bone marrow transplant she would die within two years. With one, she had only a coin flip’s chance of surviving the condition.

“I had a one-year-old daughter. I was like, “What the hell? What kind of choice is that?’ ” she said as she thought back to 2005 when her life was turned upside-down. “What other 20-year-old is faced with this?”

For months, Rogers visited McMaster Hospital in Hamilton several times a week to receive blood transfusions before she had a successful bone marrow transplant in March 2006.

Rogers, now 21, was forced to write a will before the transplant. She says she is extremely lucky to be alive.

“I can’t put it into words at all,” she says.

Go here for the rest of the story.