July 13, 2009

This Is What ‘Going Galt,’ and Obama’s Induced Uncertainty and Fear, Have Led To

Filed under: Business Moves,Economy,Taxes & Government — Tom @ 4:37 pm

July 14: Welcome Instapundit readers. The host seems to have bogged down a bit, but seems to be back (grrr ….). Remember that comments are moderated. I have two somewhat-related posts and a PJM column I’m trying to get through.

Related, from July 12 at BizzyBlog, July 10 at Pajamas Media (in both cases BEFORE the release of the June 2009 Monthly Treasury Statement — “With Obamanomics, We’re Not Even $eeing Green.”

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Summarizing the past quarter’s receipts after the release of today’s Monthly Treasury Statement:

Final2Q09v2Q08

Receipts, which I had estimated would be $230 billion in June, came in at $215.4 billion. O…M…G.

Just to be clear, last year’s $866.7 billion above excludes about $78 billion in stimulus payments, which were treated (incorrectly, in my opinion) as negative receipts. Regardless of their treatment, they had nothing to do with tax collections from economic activity during the quarter. This year’s second-quarter receipts on the valid “economic activity” measurement came in almost 31% lower than last year.

More on this, and the deficit, later tonight.

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UPDATE, 11 p.m. — The AP’s Martin Crutsinger outdid himself in sloppiness and deception in his report on the deficit and his Meltdown 101 Q&A. It’s too much to get to this late at night. We’ll have at it tomorrow.

Just know that the June deficit of $94 billion is a record for the month of June by miles and miles (every June from 2008 back to 1997 shows a surplus) — and, as explained previously, effective in April of this year, retroactive to October 2008, it doesn’t even include all outlays any more.

Democrat Activist and Sex Trade ‘Guru’ Associated with OH Gov, Hillary, Others Pleads Guilty; Columbus Paper Whitewashes Ties, Timeline (See Hillary Update)

Filed under: Life-Based News,Taxes & Government — Tom @ 3:21 pm

McFaddenStrickland0709Somebody at the Columbus Dispatch has a bit of explaining to do.

Perhaps the Dispatch should engage one of those “real journalists” Ted Diaduin at the Cleveland Plain Dealer claims to have in abundant supply.

You see, Ohio Governor’s former Director of Community and Faith-Based Initiatives, one Robert “Eric” McFadden, after “years” of not getting caught, pleaded guilty last Thursday of two felonies for trying to market the “services” of a 17 year-old prostitute. Yes, a 17 year-old.

In his original report late Thursday morning on McFadden’s plea — a report no longer available at the paper’s web site even though it is listed at a relevant site search (last item listed; screen cap is here for later reference) — the Dispatch’s Bruce Cadwallader gave a barely adequate description of the facts and circumstances surrounding both McFadden’s day job and the double life that he had been leading “for years” up to his arrest in January.

But in his early-AM Friday report, which I have confirmed with a Dispatch representative is the one that went into the paper’s July 10 print edition, Cadwallader “somehow” left out the “for years” reference, giving readers a clear and incorrect impression that McFadden had only recently begun his illicit activities.

How convenient.

Here are key passages from Cadwallader’s original report (currently found in Google cache; saved here at my host for future reference) that, in the limited space available, at least tried to give readers a halfway reasonable idea of McFadden’s resume and activities:

Former state official pleads guilty to pimping charges
Robert E. McFadden ran Ohio’s faith-based initiative
Thursday, July 9, 2009 11:24 AM

A former director of Gov. Ted Strickland’s Faith-Based and Community Initiative pleaded guilty this morning to two felony counts after police said he tried to pimp a 17-year-old prostitute.

Robert E. McFadden, 46, …. pleaded guilty to two counts of compelling prostitution for computer activity he conducted between September and October last year. Five other counts of pandering obscenity and promoting prostitution were dismissed.

The pleas in Franklin County Common Pleas Court could land McFadden in prison for as long as 10 years.

….. Prosecutors said McFadden, who is free on bond, took photographs of the girl he met on an Internet chat room and then offered her services to other men on the site as a “recommended” prostitute.

Columbus vice detectives monitoring online discussions among clients of prostitutes for years said McFadden posted under the names “Sullivant Guy,” “Broad Street Guy,” “Toby” and “God O Thunder.”

Like many others on the sites, McFadden traded information about street hookers and online escorts. He would recommend some prostitutes, issue warnings about others and give advice on ways to avoid law enforcement.

Columbus police learned of the activity during an online sex sting in January.

….. McFadden, a former field director for a Catholic organization, was hired by Strickland in 2007 to lead the Faith-Based office at $36 an hour and encouraged to make it easier for such organizations to compete for public funding.

He was later transferred to the Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Correction, but was laid off due to budget cuts.

Cadwallader’s write-up about 16 hours later that went into the paper’s print edition was more than a little airbrushed. Here are the first two paragraphs:

EX-STATE OFFICIAL
‘God O Thunder’ admits he was pimp
Friday, July 10, 2009 3:08 AM

His attorneys tried to suppress a search warrant of his home and tried to get his indictment dismissed on a technicality. But in the end, former state director Robert E. McFadden admitted yesterday to pimping a 17-year-old prostitute on the Internet.

McFadden, the former director of Gov. Ted Strickland’s Faith-Based and Community Initiative, pleaded guilty to two felony counts after police said he put nude photographs of the girl on a Web site to promote prostitution.

You’d think the guy almost beat the rap and is getting excessively punished for posting a couple of pics.

But it’s the noticeable omission from the following paragraph in the print story that is really hard to understand, and in my opinion impossible to defend:

Columbus police learned of the activity during an online sex sting in January. McFadden used aliases such as “Sullivant Guy,” “Broad Street Guy” and “God O Thunder,” police said.

Whatever happened to “for years”?

Only Bruce Cadwallader and his editors at the Dispatch can tell us why those two words or equivalents weren’t important to readers. But it’s pretty obvious who the omission, along with the demonstrated scrubbing of the reporter’s original report, helps.

First, it helps Hillary Clinton. According to the American Catholic (HT Say Anything), McFadden was “head of the Catholic outreach of the Clinton campaign last year.” Ouch. That’s last year, well within the realm of the Dispatch’s convenient “for years” omission. The paper appears unconcerned that it has kept the vast majority of its readers in the dark about this association.

Second, it helps Ohio Governor Ted Strickland (imagine that). Including “for years” in the print and surviving web report might have given readers the absolutely correct impression that McFadden was conducting his illegal business while still a state employee at the Ohio Department of Corrections (from October 2007 – March 2008), and before that, during his time as Strickland’s personally appointed faith-based Director (from February – August 2007). “For years,” going back from the time of McFadden’s January 2009 arrest, would put him in the business beginning in early 2007 at the very latest. It would appear that the Dispatch, by removing an originally useful time tag, would prefer that its readers not know that.

Of course, there is a strong likelihood that “for years” involves at least a couple more than two. If so, that would certainly mean that McFadden was in the prostitution business in mid- to late-2006 as either a consumer, a pimp, or both during his tenure with …. (wait for this) …. the ultra-liberal and actually heretical Catholics in Alliance for the Common Good.

McFadden was the Alliance’s Ohio Field Director during a substantial portion of 2006. In an August 13, 2006 Dispatch article about religion and liberal politics, McFadden, who at the time went by “Eric” (why the first name change, buddy?), stated that:

….. he has been dismayed to see his faith “co-opted by the religious right.”

The late Pope John Paul II condemned the Iraq war repeatedly, McFadden pointed out, yet the political debate two years ago focused largely on outlawing abortion and same-sex marriage.

“During the election cycle in 2004, our Catholic values were whittled down to four or five issues that were nonnegotiable,” McFadden said. “We want to bring other issues into the discussion.”

Anyone who knows anything about the Catholic faith knows that faithful Catholics are expressly forbidden from supporting and voting for pro-abortion candidates, regardless of their other positions on issues of war and “social justice.”

Apparently, the Dispatch isn’t concerned that readers won’t understand that McFadden was very likely active in his other life while he was with the pretend-Catholic Alliance.

Go back far enough, and you learn that McFadden was, again according to the American Catholic, the founder of Catholics for Kerry (apparently not directly associated with the John Kerry’s presidential campaign, if this book excerpt from Amy Sullivan’s “The Party Faithful” is to be believed). Depending on how far back “for years” really goes, McFadden might have been involved with prostitution back then. But the Dispatch apparently didn’t think it was important that its readers know about that either.

Readers of the Dispatch’s Friday print report who are otherwise unversed in the McFadden saga will have the absolutely incorrect impression that McFadden’s activities began in the fall of last year, months after he left the State of Ohio’s payroll.

In October 2006, as Robert Eric McFadden was more than likely in the midst of a years-long side business as the self-described “guru” of Columbus prostitution while “faithfully” serving Democratic Party interests, the national press obsessed for weeks over a Republican Congressman who resigned “after being confronted with salacious e-mails and instant messages he sent to underage, male congressional pages.”

We can definitely “dispatch” with the question of whether there has been a press double standard in the treatment of Mark Foley and Robert Eric McFadden.

Cross-posted at NewsBusters.org.

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UPDATE: An NB Commenter found this handy Ohio org chart from Hillary Clinton’s campaign currently residing at George Washington University. It is partially depicted below –

HillaryOHorgChart2008

Ted Strickland was an early supporter of Hillary. I wonder if he’s the one who got McFadden his position. If so, why?

The Point Is That This Started Happening Over a Year Ago; Now It’s the POR (Pelosi-Obama-Reid) ‘Repression’

Filed under: Economy,Taxes & Government — Tom @ 10:54 am

From Doug Ross, in an e-mail he received from a mergers and acquisitions specialist:

My clients are all entrepreneurs having built successful businesses with sales of $5 million to $50 million. My prospective buyers are typically companies with sales of $50 million to $200 million. Every one of these companies (buyers and sellers) today shares these common denominators:

1. Their businesses are down 10, 20% or more.
2. They have either laid off staff or have reduced hours to 4-day weeks trying to keep key staff.
3. They have reduced their own salaries and in many cases have implemented “cross the board” salary reductions.
4. They (for the first time in their lives) have no ability to forecast beyond 4 weeks.
5. They see nothing good on the horizon that would benefit them re: sales, cost reduction, efficiency, etc.
6. In other words, they are experiencing a loss of optimism and any positive outlook on the future.

….. I am so outraged as to what is happening to our country. This is no longer a political issue [because] we will all lose. We are all casualties of the new paradigm. There will be many more as we continue into a morass that will take generations to recover, if we can. Be it “Cap and Trade”; government-run health care; TARP; bailouts; “stimulus”; business takeovers, etc.; our future is being controlled by bureaucrats and politicians who never, ever, ever ran a business and knew the “gut-check” of filling out and paying their “941’s”.

How could they know how to create a job? Throwing billions at states and municipalities with payoffs to unions, lobbyists and partisan sectors? Sadly, the worst is yet to come with job losses, cost increases, inflation, etc.

Doug’s e-mailer describes the POR (Pelosi-Obama-Reid) Economy Nancy Pelosi, Barack Obama, and Harry Reid promised/threatened, and that yours truly was able to recognize (because I’ve worked with and for businesses like the ones Doug’s e-mailer described) over a year ago. Businesspeople, entrepreneurs, and investors who picked up on the possible extent of the horrors the trio were promising/threatening at the time began reacting preemptively in anticipation of the conditions just described, taking steps they normally take when signs of a serious recession as normal people define it begins before the serious recession actually began (though the third quarter of 2008 was negative at -0.5%, it didn’t get really serious until the fourth quarter).

The ones who caught it early are the lucky (actually, prescient) ones. Those who didn’t see it soon enough are much worse off, and are sorely regretting not paying attention more closely. Nonetheless, in Month 13 of the POR Economy, now the POR Recession — no, with credit to Mark Levin, make that the POR Repression — we’re all stuck in the horrid mess.

Doug continues with his own add-on:

Who could possibly hire in this environment? The economy is flat on its back because Obama and the Democrats put it there; and their policies continue to suck the life out of the most productive members of society.

New regulations, new taxes, new health benefit dictates, forced unionization… who could possibly be hopeful in this sort of environment?

….. I’ll say it for the record: Obama is a failed president and his is a failed presidency. His Statist ideology has failed in every place and every time it’s been tried. And it’s failing now, as anyone with half a brain knew it would.

…. and they think they’re just warming up.

Lucid Links (071309, Morning)

Filed under: Lucid Links — Tom @ 8:31 am

Noteworthy Net-Worthies:

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If you thought Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s admission of previous and perhaps still-current sympathies with eugenics was bad, wait until you get a load of President Obama’s science czar John Holdren. Zombietime’s comprehensive review (HT Michelle Malkin) of a book Holdren co-authored with long since proven wrong population hysterics Paul and Anne Ehrlich. In the book, Holdren and the Ehrlich’s wrote that:

  • Women could be forced to abort their pregnancies, whether they wanted to or not;
  • The population at large could be sterilized by infertility drugs intentionally put into the nation’s drinking water or in food;
  • Single mothers and teen mothers should have their babies seized from them against their will and given away to other couples to raise;
  • People who “contribute to social deterioration” (i.e. undesirables) “can be required by law to exercise reproductive responsibility” — in other words, be compelled to have abortions or be sterilized.
  • A transnational “Planetary Regime” should assume control of the global economy and also dictate the most intimate details of Americans’ lives — using an armed international police force.

There was actually a Senate hearing on Holdren, where he was ineffectively vetted.

I agree with Zombie that nothing short of the following would be grounds for Holdren’s continuations:

I challenge John Holdren to publicly renounce and disavow the opinions and recommendations he made in the book Ecoscience; and until he does so, I will hold him responsible for those statements.

Of course, we know Holdren won’t do that. And now, we know that President Obama doesn’t mind having a eugenics advocate as his most important “science” adviser.

I would suggest that Holdren’s presence puts some ugly context around Obama’s answer at ABC’s health care broadcast inside the White House to that woman who told the story of her 100 year-old mother who received a pacemaker because a doctor was impressed with the mother’s spirit. Obama’s response to this heartwarming story:

I don’t think that we can make judgments based on peoples’ spirit.

Translation: “Well then, die already, will ya?”

From all appearances, Barack Obama is an ideological soulmate of John Holdren.

This is the brave new world statist health care would give us, complete with people having the mindset of Obama and Holdren at the helm, no matter who happens to the President or in Congress at the time.

No thanks.

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Sonia Sotomayor’s hearings begin today. I’ve said all that needs to be said about her objective unfitness already, but part of what I wrote needs repeating:

This statement (“I would hope that a wise Latina woman with the richness of her experiences would more often than not reach a better conclusion than a white male who hasn’t lived that life”) justifies — no, it actually demands — an instant rejection of Sonia Sotomayor’s nomination. This woman clearly has a racist, sexist mindset drenched in a stereotype that is not and never has been true.

….. Sonia Sotomayor is objectively unfit to be a Supreme Court justice, or for that matter any kind of judge.

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A way-underestimated contributor to the rise in unemployment has been the rise in the minimum wage. Teen-aged unemployment is through the roof. The Wall Street Journal elaborates on the effects:

First, “a sizable majority of the studies give a relatively consistent (though not always statistically significant) indication of negative employment effects.” Second, “studies that focus on the least-skilled groups [i.e., teens, and welfare moms] provide relatively overwhelming evidence of stronger disemployment effects.”

Proponents argue that millions of workers will benefit from the bigger paychecks. But about two of every three full-time minimum-wage workers get a pay raise anyway within a year on the job. Meanwhile, those who lose their jobs or who never get a job in the first place get a minimum wage of $0.

….. (it’s estimated that) the 70-cent per-hour minimum wage hike this month would kill “about 300,000 jobs for those between the ages of 16-24.” Single working mothers would also be among those most hurt.

The mislabeled party of compassion strikes again.

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So predictable, from Tigerhawk (HT Instapundit):

Call me a cynic, but I am not in the least surprised that a couple of weeks after Barack Obama’s strong approval/disapproval ratings took a turn to the unfavorable and Obamacare is looking less like a lead pipe cinch it is suddenly time to investigate the Bush administration.

Of course. This is what authoritarians do when things start not going their way.

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Finally, on a sort-of lighter note:

The Chicago Cubs may become the first Major League Baseball team in 39 years to file for bankruptcy as Tribune Co. seeks to sell the franchise after months of negotiations.

Long-suffering Cubs fans, including yours truly, understand that this move is a mere formal confirmation of the reality we’ve been resigned to for over a century.

Cerebral Palsy Couldn’t Stop Author

Filed under: Positivity — Tom @ 6:56 am

From Clear Lake, Iowa in the Diocese of Dubuque (original PDF is here; HT Catholic News Agency):

CLEAR LAKE — When Deanna Lingenfelter was born in January of 1952, doctors told her parents she would not survive. Deanna was born three months premature and weighed just three pounds. But Helen and Harold Lingenfelter were a strong Catholic couple and never gave up hope — not even one year later, when they learned their little girl had cerebral palsy. Doctors advised them to place Deanna in an institution, but they ignored that advice and brought her home where she was raised with her five siblings.

Click on the graphic below to see a JPG of the full article in a new window or tab.

Send in the Clowns? Don’t Bother, They’re Here

At Rose’s suggestion, a good 6-month sober-upper: