September 17, 2010

Your Weekly Rob Portman Counterpoint, Probable Final Edition

Filed under: Economy,Taxes & Government — Tom @ 12:15 pm

I need to get in the last of my weekly words about Rob Portman before his BizzyBlog ad expires in a couple of days (he could renew, I suppose, in which case I’ll keep this going).

If Team Portman is feeling confident, it would be hard to blame them.

After all, thanks to Ohio’s awful economy, its pathetic governance during the past four years, and the arrival of what may turn out to be the most significant grassroots political movement in American history, Portman is sitting on what the polls are saying is a double-digit lead, including a 20-pointer from Quinnipiac.

Portman has managed to philosophically coast without breaking a sweat since he began his campaign early last year. With the kind of lead he has and Lugubrious Lee Fisher as his opponent, he probably won’t have to.

If that’s the case, those considering a vote for Portman will have to make up their mind whether not being Lee Fisher is enough to overcome, just for starters:

Portman has never addressed these material weaknesses.

And let’s face something else that is unpleasant to contemplate: Rob Portman’s “insider” attitude and outlook have the potential to corrupt the new crop of senators who will be arriving in Washington in January. That’s the absolute last thing we need.

Rob Portman is campaigning as if he’s entitled to our vote instead of having to earn it. He appears to be on his way to getting away with this strategy with an electoral majority. As of this moment, I won’t be among them. You still have to show me something, pal, and you haven’t.

Here’s a hint, Rob: Tell us specifically where agree and disagree with Paul Ryan’s Roadmap.

Latest Pajamas Media Column (‘The Teen Workplace Disengagement Epidemic’) Is Up

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

It’s here.

The subheadline:

In July, far more than half weren’t even trying to find work. Why?

It will go up here at BizzyBlog on Sunday morning (link won’t work until then) after the blackout expires.

The column has already generated quite a few comments, even this early in the morning.

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Related:

August’s teen employment-population ratio (not seasonally adjusted) came in at 28.8%.

That’s another all-time low compared to all other Augusts from 1948 to 2009:

TeenEmploymentPopulationRatio0810

It’s the fourth consecutive record low.

The stat never came in below 47% for any August from 1948 until 2000. It seriously dropped during the downturn year of 2001, and never came back. It has absolutely cratered during the past two Augusts, a two-year period severely impacted by the POR (Pelosi-Obama-Reid) Economy.

But, as the column demonstrates, this is about a lot more than the economy. Something’s happening here. That it’s really not a good thing should be pretty clear.

Lucid Links (091710, Morning)

Filed under: Lucid Links — Tom @ 8:37 am

At BigGovernment.com:

“Shock Audio: Facing ‘Obligations’ From Leadership, Democrat Congresswoman Leaves Voicemail for Lobbyist Cash”

The “Congresswoman” is actually DC Delegate Eleanor Holmes Norton, who isn’t one of the 435 members of the House of Representatives, and doesn’t get to vote on final bills.

That clarification aside, the only other thing inaccurate about the headline is the word “Shock.”

Update: Holmes defends

Her campaign also mentioned that Norton “is a longtime supporter of public financing of campaigns, but barring that, candidates from all parties regularly raise funds in calls by first identifying who they are and what they have done.”

In a voicemail message?

If you have to remind a friendly contributor of who you are what you have done, it may be an indication that you really haven’t done much.

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From LA’s City Controller (small PDF; HT Patterico):

CITY CONTROLLER RELEASES AUDITS OF HOW LOS ANGELES HAS USED FEDERAL STIMULUS MONEY
$111 Million in ARRA Funds Has Only Created 55 Jobs So Far

It’s even worse than that, if you look at the second paragraph of City Controller Wendy Greuel’s press release, and it’s not just a failure to properly round:

DPW has received $70.65 million and created or retained 45.46 jobs, though they are expected to create 238 jobs overall (the fraction of a job created or retained correlates to the number of actual hours works). LADOT has been awarded $40.8 million and created or retained 9 jobs, though they are expected to create 26 jobs overall. Overall, the Departments have received $111 million in federal stimulus funds out of the $594 million the City has been awarded so far and created or retained 54.46 jobs.

What slop. It’s possible that the $111 million has “created” nothing.

Greuel is a Democrat who appears to be doing a decent job of sniffing out waste and inefficiency. Here’s a home-run suggestion that would make her an instant national hero: Demand that the City reject the remaining $483 million in stimulus ($594 promised less $111 million received). They’re obviously incapable of accomplishing anything meaningful with the funds.

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Speaking of rejecting stimulus funds, here’s Warren County (Ohio) Commissioner Mike Kilburn’s take on taking stimulus money:

While some may argue that if the county doesn’t take stimulus money, another jurisdiction will, longtime Republican county commissioner Mike Kilburn said that’s the wrong way of looking at it since the funds are borrowed money and not tangible.

“It’s a big lie and it’s just taken this country down the wrong road,” he said. “I will not participate in driving this train off this track.”

… Kilburn, first elected in 1982, always votes no when it comes to stimulus dollars.

The country needs more Mike Kilburns.

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Within 24 hours of Christine O’Donnell’s win in Delaware’s GOP U.S. Senate primary, Harry Reid greatly improved her chances in the general election — twice:

Reid: Coons, ‘my pet,’ will win

But Reid said (New Castle County executive Mike) Coons would have won even if Rep. Mike Castle (R) had prevailed over O’Donnell.

“I’m going to be very honest with you — Chris Coons, everybody knows him in the Democratic caucus. He’s my pet. He’s my favorite candidate,” Reid said.

“Let me tell you about him: A graduate of Yale Divinity School. Yale Law School. A two-time national debate champion. He represents two-thirds of the state now, in an elected capacity. I don’t know if you’ve ever seen him or heard him speak, but he is a dynamic speaker. I don’t mean loud or long; he’s a communicator. So that’s how I feel about Delaware. I’ve always thought Chris Coons is going to win. I told him that and I tried to get him to run. I’m glad he’s running. I just think the world of him. He’s my pet.”

I don’t expect that Mike “I’m a bearded Marxist” Coon would be an independent voice for the people of Delaware in the U.S. Senate.

Update: Then there’s this

He uses the AAA bond rating of the County as proof of his fiscal conservatism but what he doesn’t tell you is that he raised taxes 3 times since he took the reigns in 2005.

In 2006 Chris proposed a 5% increase in property taxes that his Democrat controlled County Council passed instead of cutting spending.

Just a year later in 2007, Coons again had to initiate a tax increase. This time the bill was blown up by 17.5%. Again, he chose to raise taxes instead of working to reduce the cost of county government.

In 2009, amidst the height of “the worst recession since the Great Depression” Chris Coons brought yet ANOTHER tax increase to his Democratically controlled County Council. The result was a 25% increase in property taxes and not a DIME cut from the budget.

Looks like this is another Democrat who has never met a tax increase he doesn’t like.

Update 2: Statewide turnout in 2008 was 68%. Tuesday’s O’Donnell-Castle primary race drew almost double the turnout expected. If a large portion of the 32% who didn’t show up in 2008 come out this fall, it won’t be to support the Washington status quo.

Positivity: GI will be first living Medal of Honor winner from Afghan war

Filed under: Positivity,US & Allied Military — Tom @ 7:07 am

From Washington:

September 11, 2010

An Army sergeant who exposed himself to intense enemy fire in an effort to save comrades in Afghanistan will be awarded the Medal of Honor, the nation’s highest military decoration, the White House announced Friday.

Army Staff Sgt. Salvatore Giunta, 25, will become the first living recipient of the Medal of Honor from the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq. Six medals of honor have been awarded posthumously from those conflicts.

Giunta will receive the award for his actions in response to an ambush in Afghanistan’s dangerous Korengal Valley on Oct. 25, 2007. Two U.S. soldiers were killed in the ambush and several others were wounded.

Giunta of Hiawatha, Iowa, was serving at the time as a team leader in Company B, 2nd Battalion, 503rd Infantry Regiment when his squad was ambushed by insurgents, according to an account provided by the Army. His rank was specialist at the time.

Intense enemy fire from insurgents split Giunta’s team from the rest of his squad. Giunta was knocked down when a bullet hit him in his armored chest plate. He immediately charged straight into enemy fire in order to pull a comrade back to cover.

As he attempted to link his team with the rest of the squad, he saw insurgents drag a badly wounded colleague off the battlefield.

Go here for the rest of the story.