March 24, 2010

Well, There It Is: It’s All About Control (Update: Statist Health Care and Car-Buying)

Filed under: Economy,Health Care,Life-Based News,Taxes & Government — Tom @ 11:43 am

Of course, it’s about “control(ling) the people.” Anyone who has studied and followed the far left has known this for decades.

But John Dingell just said so. Anyone who hears this clip can no longer claim ignorance.

Answering a brilliant left-imitating rhetorical question from Paul W. Smith (more info here) at Detroit’s WJR, Dingell explains why many ObamaCare items don’t take effect until 2014 (HTs to Michelle Malkin and Hot Air):

Partial Transcript:

Paul W. Smith: Are we readly to let 72,000 more people die in our country, if 18,000 died, or whatever the number is, a figure that anyone comes up with, per year because of a lack of health insurance or health care, when this bill doesn’t basically take effect until 2014?

John Dingell: Paul W, we’re not ready to be doing it. But let me remind you that this has been going on for years. We are bringing it to a halt. The harsh fact of the matter is when you’re going to pass legislation that will cover 300 [million] American people in different ways it takes a long time to do the necessary administrative steps that have to be taken to put the legislation together to control the people.

The rest of what Dingell says has to do with the GOP’s supposed lack of alternatives. Horse manure.

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UPDATE: Especially since Mr. Dingell is from Michigan, here’s a question — How can anyone with a freedom-loving conscience conceivably defend buying a new car from General Motors or Chrysler? It’s one thing to bit the hand that feeds you; it’s quite another to effectively feed the hand that has said that it will control you — and in fact has said that the only thing stopping it from controlling you right now is the administrative difficulty of making that control airtight.

Weather or Not, Housing Market Results Are Still Cold as Ice

Filed under: Business Moves,Economy,Taxes & Government — Tom @ 11:04 am

Via the Associated Press today (“New home sales drop in Feb. to new low”) — Surprise, surprise (NOT):

Sales of new homes fell unexpectedly to the lowest level on record in February as stormy winter weather kept buyers on the sidelines. The weak results make clear the difficulties facing the housing industry as it tries to recover from the worst slump in decades.

The Commerce Department reported Wednesday that new home sales fell 2.2 percent last month to a seasonally adjusted annual sales pace of 308,000.

It was the fourth consecutive month of declines and the worst showing on records dating to 1963. January’s results, meanwhile, were revised upward slightly to a pace of 315,000.

Economists surveyed by Thomson Reuters had expected February sales would rise to an annual rate of 320,000.

… Some homebuilders say their outlook is getting better, but the recovery is not a strong one.

At InvestmentAdvisor.com today, concerning yesterday’s existing home sales report (“Existing Home Sales Fell Slightly in February; Supply of houses took a big jump over January”):

In a sign that the fragile housing market is still searching for its footing, sales of existing homes fell slightly in February. The National Association of Retailers (NAR) said Tuesday, March 23, that sales of existing homes dropped 0.6% in February from January, to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 5.02 million.

Buyers did not seem enticed by average national rates on 30-year mortgages that dipped to 4.99%, according to Freddie Mac, nor by the government’s tax credit for purchases of homes.

But widespread storms in February likely dampened sales, according to Lawrence Yun, NAR chief economist. “Some closings were simply postponed by winter storms, but buyers couldn’t get out to look at homes in some areas and that should negatively impact near-term contract activity,” he said in a statement.

Another disturbing bit of news was the large jump in housing inventory at the end of February, which rose 9.5% to 3.59 million existing homes, which represents a supply of 8.6 months, up from a 7.8-month supply in January.

According to Michael Alfstad, president and CEO of the advisory firm Alfstad Capital in Seattle, there was darker news buried in that particular set of numbers.

“The existing inventory increase was a bit misleading because that doesn’t track the shadow inventory, all the homes in foreclosure or owned by financial institutions, and that number continues to grow,” Alfstad said in an interview. “From a market participation standpoint, the housing numbers today have definitely turned a corner – they’re getting worse rather than getting better.”

The weather-related whining brings to mind a TV ad that will forever live in infamy:

Maybe the Obamabots need to consult with Jeff Skilling and other former Enron execs about weatherproofing economic results.

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Related: Rebound? What Rebound?

Lucid and Lightning Links (032410, Morning)

Filed under: Lucid Links — Tom @ 9:51 am

Lucid Links:

As you read this, imagine how different things might be in the Buckeye State if Ohio’s Republicans or Democrats used the same procedure to select their candidates as Utah.

Here’s the first paragraph:

Here is the report on Caucus night here in Utah. Here in Utah we elect delegates to the Republican convention. At convention, if a candidate gets 60% of the delegate vote, they immediately advance to general election with NO primary. This levels the playing field so candidates with relatively little money can challenge an entrenched incumbent.

The rest of the reader’s e-mail to Instapundit notes how the process served as a de facto and richly deserved advance humiliation of RINO U.S. Senator “Toxic Bob” Bennett. But note that the delegates going to the convention are NOT formally committed to a given candidate.

At the convention itself, there’s a multi-ballot process that serves to gradually eliminate minor contenders (exemplified here).

If this system were in place in Ohio this year with the current players:

  • Dave Yost would likely have stayed in the Attorney General’s race and kicked ORPINO (Ohio Republican Party In Name Only) candidate Mike DeWine’s keister to the curb.
  • Sandy O’Brien would have had a chance in front of a sympathetic audience to make mince-meat of Jon “I live in Columbus but pretend to represent Montgomery County” Husted in the Secretary of State contest (she may yet do so; anyone ruling it out doesn’t fully appreciate what’s going on in the grass roots, or how angry many of us are at Husted’s court-sanctioned but still bogus residency sham).
  • Tom Ganley, though his prospects were much dimmer, would have at least forced presumptive U.S. Senate nominee Rob Portman to say something of substance before September (if ever).
  • On the Dem side, Lee Fisher and Jenny Brunner would have a legitimate face-off instead of avoiding each other. Theirs is the kind of race that would likely still go to the primary ballot.

Beyond that, more concerned citizens might be inclined to run for office.

Shoot, given what happened when grass-roots Republicans had actually had their say in 2006 — even in that pre-Tea Party environment — it’s not inconceivable that then-incumbent US Senator Mike DeWine might have been taken down by Bill Pierce. At a minimum, DeWine would have had to work up a serious sweat instead of coasting on a barrel of cash and rigged big-county “endorsements.”

Maybe the percentage threshold should be different, but if/when Tea Partiers turn ORPINO back into the ORP again, a move to a process like Utah’s deserves very serious consideration.

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At the Catholic News Agency: “Prop. 8 opponents object to making disclosures already required of Prop. 8 supporters.”

The CNA item notes that an ACLU lawyer whined to the Associated Press that “A core issue in the case is whether the motivation of those who put Prop. 8 on the ballot is animus. Why people opposed Prop. 8 is not relevant.”

The full text of Prop. 8 is: “Only marriage between a man and a woman is valid or recognized in California.” Proponents’ motivation wasn’t on the ballot, and isn’t relevant either. But if they’re allowed to go there, Prop. 8 opponents should be forced to cough up info about what’s motivating them. What are they afraid of?

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Just one of surely many examples of nanny-state nonsense in ObamaCare:

A requirement tucked into the nation’s massive health care bill will make calorie counts impossible for thousands of restaurants to hide and difficult for consumers to ignore. More than 200,000 fast food and other chain restaurants will have to include calorie counts on menus, menu boards and even drive-throughs.

I daresay most of our parents always “hid” the calorie count of the delicious meals they served us when we were growing up. How did we ever survive?

If enough consumers cared about this, restaurants would be doing this voluntarily. In fact, many already do this to highlight lo-cal items for the calorie-conscious. But they don’t do it for every freaking item on the menu — and they shouldn’t have to.

If you think these nannies/ninnies are satisfied merely telling us the calorie counts in the things we eat so we might more informed decisions, look at New York City and LA, and think again. Ultimately, it ends up being an excuse to try to raise taxes.

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Lightning Links:

  • Hannah Giles at BigJournalism.com — “Farewell To the Legalized, Government-Supported Mafia Known as ACORN.”
  • Patterico is there too (“Brad Friedman’s Lies Fail to Save ACORN”) — “For once, the liars aren’t winning.”
  • And yet another BigJourno jewel, from Michael Walsh: “Congratulations, Sen. John McCain (R–Media) — You Made This Day Possible” (i.e., ObamaCare) with that “honorable campaign.”
  • Canada is not a truly free country. This proves it.

Positivity: Ground broken for St. Gianna women’s homes in Nebraska

Filed under: Life-Based News,Positivity — Tom @ 8:07 am

From Lincoln, Nebraska:

Mar 23, 2010 / 09:32 am

Last week, Bishop Fabian W. Bruskewitz of Lincoln, Nebraska, Father Christopher Kubat, the diocesan director of Catholic Social Services (CSS), Sister Jacqueline Darner, M.S., and others gathered to turn the first shovelfuls of dirt that will make way for the new 24-unit St. Gianna Women’s Homes. The secure apartment building will be comprised of 24 one-, two- and three-bedroom units that will house women and children escaping domestic abuse and the pressure to abort.

It will also include a chapel, daycare center, kitchen, exercise facility, commons area, and a small three-bedroom cloister for the Marian Sisters who will serve as caseworkers for the women living in the facility.

Father Kubat noted that the project was funded through the CSS “Expanding the Works of Mercy Campaign.” That campaign sought to raise $5 million for a number of CSS projects, and recently met that goal.

One purpose of the campaign was to consolidate Lincoln social services in a downtown location, which required purchasing and renovating its current building at 23rd and O streets. Another was to open a permanent gift and thrift store – St. Isidore – in Imperial, which opened March 8.

The campaign also acquired monies to start an endowment so that all CSS programs would have an ongoing supply of funds.

However, it was the St. Gianna Women’s Homes project that inspired the generosity of many throughout the diocese.

“Response to this project was just tremendous across the diocese,” Father Kubat said. “This is the one element that struck the heartstrings of most people.” …

Go here for the rest of the story.