July 1, 2010

At WEOZ: ‘Good, Not-So-Good, and Bad News on Federal Receipts’

Filed under: Economy,Taxes & Government — Tom @ 5:44 pm

It’s here.

I’ll update this post after digesting the June 30 Daily Treasury Statement much later this evening.

Update: Here’s a revised table based on the actuals in the aforementioned Statement and an estimate for other receipts:

USTjune2010RecsAsOfLastDTS

Specifically identified receipts came in at $227.6 billion, or $2.6 billion higher than the $225 billion I estimated my WEOZ post, primarily because of very strong final-day withheld tax collections. It’s interesting that withheld taxes are coming in at a quite decent level, given that employment hasn’t gone up that much. 400,000 or so Census workers don’t explain how those collections are pretty close to where they were in 2008, when the economy was not in a recession as normal people define it. This could (emphasis could) be a rich-are-getting richer phenomenon, something people don’t expect to happen during a recession.

I may be guessing high on other receipts because the administration is starting to count payments from the Federal Reserve  relating to TARP and other loans as “receipts.” I will try to get my arms around specific amounts when the Monthly Treasury Statement comes out on July 13. Receipts from the Fed are making total collections look a bit better than they really are because they’re commingled with collections from regular government operations. This type of remittance really should be treated as a reduction in interest expense, because the government had to borrow the money to be able to “lend” or “invest” it to the banks and the bailed-out auto companies. Public company financial statements segregate financing activities from regular operations in their cash flow and income statements. The government should too.

Lickety-Split Links (070110, Afternoon)

Filed under: Lucid Links — Tom @ 2:54 pm

So much news, so little time and space …

  • Via Reuters – “New claims for state jobless benefits unexpectedly rose last week, while manufacturing activity and employment slowed in June, heightening fears the U.S. economic recovery is stalling.” In a rare item of press coverage about which Obamanomics defenders can justifiably complain, the wire service’s manufacturing characterization is incorrect. The correct term for what the Institute of Supply Management reported is “expanded less briskly.” But the stickiness of unemployment claims at a level well above what would indicate genuine recovery in the job market is very troubling, and also doesn’t bode well for tomorrow’s Employment Situation Report.
  • While the unemployment claims news was supposedly (cough, cough) “unexpected,” Doug Powers at Michelle Malkin’s place notes that the press obits for Robert Byrd downplaying his KKK past and the NAACP’s complete avoidance of his ardent, filibustering opposition to the 1964 Civil Rights Act have been utterly predictable.
  • Projection? — “Comparing GOP tactics to the fast-striking forces of Nazi Germany, Biden warns in a message sent by the DCCC today: ‘As things heat up, you can expect House Democrats will be hit with a GOP blitzkrieg of vicious Swift-Boat-style attack ads, Karl Rove-inspired knockout tactics, thinly veiled attempts at character assassination and tea party disruptions.’”
  • “Gay Soldiers subpoena Obama” — If successful (of course they won’t be), just for the heck of it they ought to ask Dear Leader under oath where he was born.
  • Who knew being a “traditional welfare” recipient in California could be so very muchfun“? The fundamental lesson the government refuses to learn: Money is fungible.
  • “Inversion of Reality” Watch — “DOJ Slimes Whistleblower Adams in Panthergate Case.” The sub-head: The DOJ responds to Adams with a blatant lie, claiming (J. Christian) Adams is ‘disgruntled’ after being ‘unhappy with his position.’ Adams was actually given a promotion on April 28.” Richard Fernandez: DOJ’s move to dismiss an open-and-shut case is “A Pure Exercise in the Abuse of Power.”
  • Doug Ross: “Oops! 2002 Document: In Case of Spill, Thad Allen Indicated That Coast Guard Incident Commander (Future Thad Allen) Should Waive Jones Act”
  • Unless one thinks it’s all made-up (highly unlikely), it’s impossible to read this item from the Financial Post without admitting to the possibility that the government may have deliberately allowed the BP spill to spread.
  • Also from Doug Ross: “Gee, What a Surprise: Under Oath, Union Official Says Obama Lied About Blago Contacts.” I’m still not convinced that the meeting twice alluded to by a Quincy, Illinois newspaper (covered here and here, with links to copies of the original reports before they were pulled) — reports that were abruptly pulled by its editor when the kitchen got too hot — didn’t happen.
  • Deluded globaloney sympathizer to alleged victim of Al Gore assault in 2006 — “Suck it up; otherwise, the world’s going to be destroyed from global warming.”
  • Also relating to the Gore case, “Police say that, back in 2007, they released the initial three-page report regarding the incident after receiving a public records request from the Portland Tribune.” This is a more egregious instance of journalistic malpractice than originally understood. It isn’t just that they “found out” about the incident through the rumor mill. They had a confirmation from law enforcement that an alleged incident had occurred. By definition in connection with a well-known public figure, this was news.
  • From the “Guaranteed Little If Any Press Coverage” Dept.Hyde Park neighbor of Obama in Chicago “claims Jews for centuries have worked to financially undermine Black people.”
  • Finally, certain people are feeling burned today — and it’s not from the sunlight.

With ‘Friends’ Like This …

Filed under: 2nd Amendment,Activism,Health Care,Taxes & Government — Tom @ 11:06 am

At Red State:

Eric Cantor and John Boehner Don’t Really Want to Repeal Obamacare
They just want to play politics with the issue without actually doing anything.

Also at Red State:

NRA Now Leaning Towards Endorsing Harry Reid

Multiple sources tell me the National Rifle Association is planning to endorse liberal Harry Reid against pro-gun champion Sharron Angle.

Those gentlemen and that organization are welcome to come over here and explain themselves, or to do so by e-mail on the understanding that nothing is off the record.

Dan Riehl Really Nails It, and Could Have Written the Same Things About ORPINO

Filed under: Taxes & Government — Tom @ 9:14 am

His observations from the inside should remove any doubt that the sensible, constitution-loving, sensible center-right has two sets of enemies — the gangsters who have taken over the federal government and the Republican Party establishment:

… I’m done giving the benefit of the doubt to the GOP establishment.

… (November’s elections) will be another instance of voters opting for the other guy, or the lesser of two evils. A majority of GOP wins in the fall will be more because of Democrats, than Republicans – no matter how the GOP tries to spin it.

A big part of my thinking in coming to DC was to try and help to create a synergy between the Right on-line and the establishment GOP. I had hoped to forestall anything like an insurgency from the Right by finding common ground. What I didn’t realize is that today’s GOP is interested in no such thing. It can’t hear anyone outside the Beltway echo chamber and isn’t interested in listening to them even if they could.

And I don’t believe today’s Beltway entrenched GOP is going to bring about the kind of change America needs. The leadership is weak, wasteful, misguided and out of sync with the people.

And even if they reclaim this, or that majority in the fall, we will most likely see the same old politics as usual that so frustrated the Right under Bush.

… I’ll still support candidates, but they will be fewer and further in between. And I will need to be convinced that, unlike the current establishment GOP, they mean what they say, and say what they mean. Today’s Republican Party is broken and corrupt. And they are not my friend, any more than they are yours. They are only interested in themselves.

Only a Reagan-like insurgency that throws out the current leadership and many of these corrupt careerists in Washington can ultimately save the GOP.

Today’s establishment GOP is a reasonable conservative’s enemy. They are not our friends.

Meanwhile, here’s the home page at ORPINO (the Ohio Republican Party In Name Only), the Buckeye State’s I-270 Beltway version of “broken, corrupt, and only interested in themselves”:

ORPINOhomePage070110

Just shy of one-third of the time between the May 4 primary and the November 2 election has passed. It’s barely more than 90 days before early voting begins. And yet:

  • One would think that Golden Boy (or is it Golden Bot?) Jon Husted and Dave Yost are the Party’s top-of-the-ticket candidates.
  • We still don’t know the first names of that lovely couple at the bottom right, or why they’re even taking up space.
  • Rob Portman and Josh Mandel remain invisible.
  • It’s as if ORPINO is embarrassed to show the face of Mike DeWine, the person for whom they cleared the field in the Attorney General’s race.

Taking potshots at Lee Fisher and Ted Strickland is fine, but it’s hardly a complete campaign strategy.

Paraphrasing Riehl, if they win in the fall, it will be because Ohio’s slate of Democrats was so pathetic – no matter how ORPINO tries to spin it.

And at this point it would appear that there’s a very real chance that the party’s main candidates will lose. In recent Quinnipiac polls, John Kasich and Mary Taylor trail Ted Strickland and the Invisible Woman 43-38. Lugubrious Lee Fisher leads Portman 42-40. 17 months after he declared his candidacy, a shocking 66 percent of Ohioans “don’t have enough knowledge to rate Mr. Portman.”

With their lack of support, it’s almost as if ORPINO wants them to lose.

If the folks at ORPINO really were trying to lose these key elections, or at least to make sure their results doesn’t lead to anything resembling a mandate, what would they do differently?

Positivity: Woman Meets Rescuers Who Saved Her Life

Filed under: Positivity — Tom @ 8:05 am

From Roanoke, Virginia:

06/27/10 6:46 pm

Imagine driving a car in an area you’re not familiar with, and then suddenly a passenger in your car goes into cardiac arrest. This is what Tara Williams experienced on May 16th, while driving down Route 220 with her family returning from Greensboro, North Carolina.

William’s mother Norma Anderson survived, because of the coordinated efforts of several emergency agencies. On Sunday, Anderson and her family got a chance to meet the men and women who helped save her life at the Carilion (web) Roanoke Memorial Hospital.

Anderson says the words; ‘thank you’ can’t capture just how grateful she is to these men and women who helped save her life.

“I can’t thank the rescue crews enough. I want to thank my doctor as well. I can’t thank them enough,” said Anderson.

Anderson says she has no memory of what happened on May 16th or what emergency officials did to save her. But, for her youngest daughter Williams, who was driving the car, those memories will never fade.

“It was the second worse moment of my life. My sister’s death was the worse thing. This was the second worse thing I’ve been through in my life,” said Williams.

Franklin County Sergeant Dan Hale found Anderson and jump started her heart with an automated emergency defibrillator.

“It was nice to meet her. We salute at a lot of funerals. This was a good time where we could smile and meet a person,” said Sgt. Hale.

The reunion was a humbling experience for emergency personnel and Anderson’s family.

“To see strangers who don’t even know my mother come here and say they were proud to be a part of her rescue. My heart is filled up,” said Williams.

“That’s been my most amazing call. Ever since then it’s made me think about life,” said Theresa Camm, an Emergency Medical Technician with the Franklin Co. Rescue Squad.

Go here for the rest of the story.