May 6, 2009

April 2009 Federal Receipts Update: Down 35%, Pending Final Monthly Report

Filed under: Business Moves,Economy,Taxes & Government — Tom @ 2:15 pm

Here is how the daily statement came in for April 30, 2009 vs. April 30, 2008:


Last Friday, I said that “it appears that April 2009 POR (Pelosi-Obama-Reid) Economy receipts might just get to $260 – $265 billion instead of the $250 billion I thought more likely earlier in the week.” It looks like $265 billion or a bit less will be the result, if other receipts trail last year’s by about 12%; it appears from a cursory review they are on track to do just that.

A 3.3% contraction in the economy during the previous three quarters (not annualized) doesn’t lead, and never has led, to a 35%-plus contraction in receipts — unless there’s more going on, as there has been, than the contraction itself.

Treasury’s Monthly Statement will come out next Tuesday.

Cincinnati’s Latest Reason for Voting With Your Feet to Leave (With Accompanying Media Selectivity)

Filed under: Education,MSM Biz/Other Bias,Taxes & Government — Tom @ 1:06 pm

From Thursday’s Cincinnati Enquirer, updating a previous item Matt at Weapons of Mass Discussion brought up on Saturday:

Charges against youths dismissed

UPDATE: The robbery case against three teenagers accused of attacking a woman outside the Westwood library in January was dismissed Friday morning.

Prosecutors dismissed the charge against one boy, admitting they did not have enough evidence to go forward.

When the 18-year-old victim failed to show up for the boys’ trial in Hamilton County Juvenile Court, Magistrate Elizabeth Igoe dismissed the case against his co-defendants, who also faced robbery charges. Igoe said charges could be re-filed if the witness decides to go forward with the case.

Police say the boys are part of a Westwood gang called the McFarland boys in which boys roamed in packs randomly attacking victims to gain status in the gang. In all, 10 juveniles were arrested.

Two others, including the group’s ringleader, were sent to juvenile prison on robbery charges. But the cases have proved difficult to prosecute. Three other boys had cased against them dismissed when victims in those cases failed to show up for court. Another got probation and another wasn’t formally charged.

That would make six juveniles (three in the current story and three others noted in the final excerpted paragraph) who have not been tried because of victim no-shows. In the absence of contrary evidence, one would have to believe that the no-shows are occurring because of fears of retaliation.

As to the bolded description of the gang — Uh, excuse me, the previous in-depth story on the McFarland Boys, carried immediately below the Update, told us that the attacks have been anything but “random,” and included a couple of useful facts about the most recent victim who didn’t appear in court:

The boys roamed in a pack, drawing power from their numbers.

They targeted white victims because they believed white people would only call police after being attacked. Black victims, they reasoned, would gather family members and retaliate.

Their victims included a 5-foot-1, 130-pound deaf woman they followed out the Westwood library, a Harrison Avenue businessman who came to the aid of a teenager under attack and a man who had a concealed carry permit and scared them off with his gun.

So what we have here is a situation where a criminal gang of pre-teen and teen-aged punks runs rampant with near impunity in a situation so out of control that victims won’t come forward.

As a result of this, if you happen to live in the formerly nearly crime-free Cincinnati neighborhood known as Westwood, and decide that it would be a good idea for you and your family to leave for a safer area outside of the city (and safer/better schools, given that this gang did much of their planning while in school), and one that probably has lower taxes to boot, that would seem pretty rational, wouldn’t it? Especially if you have kids or a physically weaker spouse you have promised to protect, it would also seem to be pretty responsible.

But it would appear, according to at least one pathetic Ohio blogger on the far left, that by deciding based on your circumstances that moving out would be the rational and responsible thing to do, and carrying through with it — especially, in this case, if you and your family happen to be white and aren’t relishing the thought of becoming the McFarland Gang’s next “random” targets — you’re all just a bunch of racists.

How sad. And how typical.

As described in last week’s PJM/BizzyBlog column, high crime, lousy schools, and high taxes have led hundreds of thousands of Ohioans from a wide variety of ethnic backgrounds to leave Ohio’s largest cities — which is why all but one of them have populations much smaller than they were several decades ago. Asserting that it’s all about racism is itself a racist smear on those who have voted with their feet for the reasons just stated. Hundreds of thousands of apologies are owed, and will surely never arrive.

Voting with your feet also has a positive side-effect: It puts some distance between you, your family, and many such poisonous attitudes, which sadly seem to dominate urban politics, further accelerating the affected cities’ declines.

Lucid Links (050609, Morning)

Filed under: Lucid Links — Tom @ 10:01 am

Noteworthy Net-Worthies:

Last Friday, the National Review’s Andrew McCarthy publicly let it be known that he wouldn’t let himself get used as window-dressing by Eric Holder’s Task Force on Detention Policy. That decision looks even smarter today, in light of the fact that the ever-benevolent Obama administration “only” wants to go after the law licenses of the lawyers who “played key roles in crafting the legal justification for techniques critics call torture” by referring complaints to their state bar associations. No one has yet addressed how they can be torture if we subject our own servicemen to many of the same techniques as part of their training.

Michael Barone, in a read-the-whole-thing column (HT Instapundit), on who is credible in the Chrysler bankruptcy battle, and more — “Lauria is a reputable lawyer and a contributor to Democratic candidates. He has no motive to lie. The White House does. …. The White House, presumably car czar Steven Rattner and deputy Ron Bloom, is seeking to transfer the property of one group of people to another group that is politically favored. In the process, it is setting aside basic property rights in favor of rewarding the United Auto Workers for the support the union has given the Democratic Party. The only possible limit on the White House’s power is the bankruptcy judge, who might not go along.” That’s not looking good.

The New York Timesforgets” (HT PJ Gladnick at NewsBusters) that very unpopular New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin is a Democrat.

Historical revisionism refutedBill Whittle at PJTV rips Jon Stewart’s claim that Harry Truman was a war criminal for dropping the atomic bombs on Japan to shreds, and incinerates the shreds (Update, May 21 — The print version is here). Yes, Stewart has apologized for the claim, but IMO he did it to save his career, not because he has any legitimate remorse.

Anyone else catch the wicked irony in the name of Chrysler’s corporate savior?

The Non-TARP Lenders Aren’t Making Stories of White House Pressure Up; That Means Establishment Media Will Investigate, Right? Not So Far

ObamaConcerned0509.jpg(Originally posted just after midnight; moved to the top because of the matter’s importance.)


As of early Tuesday evening, according to a report by Liz Moyer at Forbes, the latest news on the Chrysler bankruptcy filing is that:

  • The recalcitrant non-TARP lenders who would not agree to the deal the government attempted to force on are now attempting to challenge the deal the government and Chrysler have proposed in bankruptcy court.
  • These lenders want to keep their identities hidden.
  • In court documents, they have said that “intensifying pressure and name calling by the government threatened to harm them if their identities became public.”
  • Bankruptcy judge Arthur Gonzalez “isn’t buying it,” and has given the lenders until 10 a.m. tomorrow morning to identify themselves or (though not specifically stated) they will apparently lose their standing in court.

Meanwhile, John Carney at The Business Insider today expanded on what the lenders’ lawyer Tom Lauria first brought out on WJR Radio on Friday, when Lauria told talk-show host Frank Beckmann that “One of my clients was directly threatened by the White House.”

Carney’s read-the-whole-thing report (HT Hot Air) goes further:

….. Although the focus has so been on allegations that the White House threatened Perella Weinberg, sources familiar with the matter say that other firms felt they were threatened as well. None of the sources would agree to speak except on the condition of anonymity, citing fear of political repercussions.

The sources, who represent creditors to Chrysler, say they were taken aback by the hardball tactics that the Obama administration employed to cajole them into acquiescing to plans to restructure Chrysler. One person described the administration as the most shocking “end justifies the means” group they have ever encountered.  Another characterized Obama was “the most dangerous smooth talker on the planet- and I knew Kissinger.” Both were voters for Obama in the last election.

One participant in negotiations said that the administration’s tactic was to present what one described as a  “madman theory of the presidency” in which the President is someone to be feared because he was willing to do anything to get his way. The person said this threat was taken very seriously by his firm.

….. These allegations add to the picture of an administration willing to use intimidation to win over support for its Chrysler plans–and then categorically deny it.

Clifford S. Asness, who in a public letter at the Business Insider, rips the administration’s tactics, and expresses an understanding that “one by one the managers and banks are said to be caving to the President’s wishes out of justifiable fear.”

So …. the national press is all over this outrage of executive overreach, right?

Uh, not exactly.

The AP had nothing to say about the alleged threats to non-TARP lenders as of an 11:11 p.m. report, submitting this bland recital (saved here for future reference):

Judge Arthur Gonzales says the procedures proposed by Chrysler’s lawyers represent a “clear and orderly process.”

Attorneys for Auburn Hills, Mich.-based Chrysler LLC argued that the automaker had essentially been up for sale for most of the last two years and a speedy sale was needed in order to preserve the value of the company’s assets.

But those representing a dissident group of Chrysler lenders said more time was needed for other potential buyers to do the research they needed to make an appropriate offer.

A 5:43 p.m. AP story is about how some elements of Chrysler’s latest concessions agreement with the United Auto Workers union might be helpful to General Motors as it enters the financial netherworld.

Zzzzz, ….. Zzzzz. Oh, I’m sorry.

The New York Times, in a report by Michael J. de la Merced and Jonathan D. Glater, does note the threats and Gonzales’s ruling, and has the following at its second-last paragraph.

When the debtholders, calling themselves the Committee of Non-TARP Lenders, made their first public statement last Thursday, they said their group consisted of about 20 investment firms holding about $1 billion. According to their motion to file under seal, the group now claims about $300 million in holdings.

de la Merced and Glater were apparently not curious about the possible reasons why the amount involved, and presumably the number of holders, is significantly lower than it was just a few days ago.

Maybe it’s because the threats are real, guys.

Cross-posted at

Positivity: Hero firefighter saving lives on and off duty

Filed under: Positivity — Tom @ 5:58 am

From Las Vegas, Nevada and Cathedral City, California:

May 1, 2009

Like any modern-day hero, Rick West can instantly put aside whatever he’s doing to help someone in need — even on his wedding anniversary.

During a recent celebration with his wife in a Las Vegas restaurant, the Cathedral City firefighter/paramedic noticed a fellow diner clutching at his throat and darted from his chair.

“It was instinctive, I guess,” West said.

He started performing “rescue breathing” and remained by the diner’s side until emergency paramedics arrived.

West’s desire to help others is one of the reasons he was recently recognized as the Cathedral City Firefighter of the Year.

“When you are off duty, you look like just everybody else. There’s nothing that says firefighter over your head,” said Cathedral City Fire Chief William Soqui. “West could have sat there, ate his dinner and not (done) anything.”

West was also instrumental in standardizing the self-contained breathing apparatus firefighters use. Soqui recalled that when he first came on board as chief in 2006, Cathedral City firefighters were using outdated models not compatible with the Palm Springs or Riverside County fire departments.

“We took an old, beat-up Volkswagon and bought a brand new Porsche,” West said about the change.

Through West’s help, the department was able to get the apparatus needed, Soqui said. Getting the apparatus involved more than just buying the equipment.

It was a long process that also included training firefighters and testing the equipment to fit each individual’s body.

West was nominated by his peers for the yearly award. ….

Go here for the rest of the story.