February 21, 2012

Berkeley Man Murdered After ‘Pre-Occupied’ Police Fail to Respond to Initial ‘Non-Emergency’ 911 Call

BerkeleyMurderOccupy0212A man in Berkeley has died as the result of a violent crime. A contributing factor to his death was a failure by the police to respond to a 911 called which was deemed a “non-emergency.” The police were in a posture of only responding to “emergency” calls because “were preparing for an Occupy protest headed to UC Berkeley from Oakland.”

It will be interesting to see if this gets covered by the establishment press outside of Northern California, especially now that Drudge had it in his headlines during much of the day. Here is part of the original report from KCBS in San Francisco:

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While Beating Up Republicans, Press Lets Obama Super-Sized Fib About His Job-Creation Record Pass

Since when does a “few” mean thirteen? The answer appears to be: “When Barack Obama says it does, and when the press won’t call him in it.”

Rush Limbaugh today talked about a January 25 speech President Barack Obama made at Conveyor Engineering and Manufacturing in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, and pointed to a particular segment demonstrating in his view that Obama was deliberately “downsizing the American Dream.” When I went to the actual speech at the White House’s web site, I found a statement the President made about his administration’s jobs record which was quite problematic (i.e., false), and which, despite the press’s rips at Republican candidates who dare question the specifics of Obama’s economic performance or the legitimacy of the economic recovery in general, received no press coverage I could locate:
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Kudlow Gets a Romney Leak on ‘A Bolder Romney Tax-Cut Plan’

Filed under: Economy,Taxes & Government — Tom @ 1:16 pm

At National Review, just an hour ago:

Team Romney tells me there will be a bolder tax-cut plan released either at the debate tomorrow night (if Mitt gets it in) or more formally at his Detroit Economic Club speech on Friday. I’m embargoed from releasing details until tomorrow. But I can say that the new plan will be across-the-board with supply-side incentives from rate reduction, and that it will help small-business owners as well as everyone else.

For cryin’ out loud, Larry.

Mitt Romney has had five years to come up with something.

What he came up with several months ago was a 59-point plan which James Pethokoukis correctly criticized for its insufferable mediocrity two weeks ago.

Anyone with an ounce of sense recognizes Romney’s gambit as an act of desperation.

How Will AP’s Borenstein Respond to Peter Gleick’s Admission That He Stole Documents From Heartland?

The Associated Press’s Seth Borenstein, his wire service, and most of the globaloney-advocating establishment press have a problem.

Peter Gleick, described in a related UK Guardian story as “a water scientist and president of the Pacific Institute,” said last week that he “obtained” documents from the Heartland Institute about its strategy to, in part and in Borenstein’s words, (from his 1,000-word dispatch), “teach schoolchildren skepticism about global warming.” Now, Gleick has admitted that he stole them (Gleick’s description: “I solicited and received additional materials directly … under someone else’s name”). Oops. It get worse for Borenstein and the wire service on at least two levels.

First, Heartland claims, with others’ support, that a key two-page “2012 Heartland Climate Strategy” memo Gleick posted is a fake. Heartland’s contention seems reasonable to cap-and-trade supporter Megan McArdle at the Atlantic. McArdle listed seven good reasons to doubt the memo’s authenticity and followed that enumeration with a “section-by-section analysis of what makes me uncomfortable.” Friday afternoon, Ross Kaminsky at the American Spectator wrote that “all evidence so far supports Heartland’s emphatic assertion that the document is a forgery.” There is heavy suspicion is that Gleick himself wrote it.

Second, and arguably more problematic for Borenstein, one of his compadres in global-warming uber alles reporting, Andrew Revikin at the New York Times Dot Earth blog, has pointedly abandoned ship (bolds are mine):

Peter H. Gleick, a water and climate analyst who has been studying aspects of global warming for more than two decades, in recent years became an aggressive critic of organizations and individuals casting doubt on the seriousness of greenhouse-driven climate change. He used blogs, congressional testimony, group letters and other means to make his case.

Now, Gleick has admitted to an act that leaves his reputation in ruins and threatens to undercut the cause he spent so much time pursuing.

… Another question, of course, is who wrote the climate strategy document that Gleick now says was mailed to him. His admitted acts of deception in acquiring the cache of authentic Heartland documents surely will sustain suspicion that he created the summary, which Heartland’s leadership insists is fake.

One way or the other, Gleick’s use of deception in pursuit of his cause after years of calling out climate deception has destroyed his credibility and harmed others. (Some of the released documents contain information about Heartland employees that has no bearing on the climate fight.) That is his personal tragedy and shame (and I’m sure devastating for his colleagues, friends and family).

Spin that, Seth.

A search on Gleick’s name at the AP’s national site at 11:45 a.m. ET came up empty. This means that Borenstein has not only not addressed this matter for about 18 hours, he also kept Gleick’s name (and, upon further review, Gleick’s organization, the Pacific Institute) out of his original 1000-word report last week. That glaring omission relating to who obtained the documents and how — something any Journalism 101 student would know needs to be reported if known — causes me to believe that Borenstein, who infamously dismissed the Climategate emails showing that globaloney advocates were pulling their hair out behind the curtain because the world wasn’t cooperating with their models while publicly insisting on their “settled science,” already suspected that Gleick had credibility problems, and didn’t want to be caught giving a bad guy credit. This would mean that despite the suspicious source, Borenstein couldn’t resist taking gratuitous shots at Heartland.

That’s not journalism, Seth.

As they say, “Developing …”

Cross-posted at NewsBusters.org.

Excerpt of the Day: McGurn on Social Issues Hypocrisy

Filed under: Activism,Quotes, Etc. of the Day,Taxes & Government — Tom @ 9:51 am

William McGurn, in today’s Wall Street Journal:

When Barack Obama was campaigning for president in 2008, he declared that marriage is between a man and a woman. For the most part, his position was treated as a nonissue.

Now Rick Santorum is campaigning for president. He too says that marriage is between a man and a woman. What a different reaction he gets.

There’s no mystery why. Mr. Santorum is attacked because everyone understands that he means what he says.

President Obama, by contrast, gets a pass because everyone understands—nudge nudge, wink wink—that he’s not telling the truth. The press understands that this is just one of those things a Democratic candidate has to say so he doesn’t rile up the great unwashed.

It’s arguably the most glaring double standard in American life today.

Evidence that Obama didn’t mean what he said: “Obama Administration Declares DOMA Unconstitutional, Won’t Defend it in Court.”

The “states’ rights” argument ultimately ends up pinning the tail on the RINO elephant known as Mitt Romney for creating the pretext under which the Obama administration is pushing same-sex marriage while “only” arguing about one law.

Latest Pajamas Media Post (‘Santorumentum Visits Brown County, Ohio’) Is Up

It’s here.

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

Also, see this item from yesterday: “Explaining Santorumentum.”

Rick Snyder ‘Positively’ Imperils Michigan’s Recovery

Filed under: Economy,General,Taxes & Government — Tom @ 8:59 am

A really bad idea: $1.4 billion in tax increases.

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Note: This column went up at PJ Media and was teased here at BizzyBlog on Sunday.

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After a decade as the nation’s economic basket case, the news out of Michigan during the past year has been relatively decent.

After ten disastrous years, two under decidedly un-conservative Republican John Engler followed by eight under Democrat Jennifer Granholm, almost anything would look good. The state still has a long, long way to go, which makes it absolutely appalling that the big agenda item right now in Lansing is how to raise gas taxes and vehicle registration fees in a “bipartisan,” politically survivable way.

Before Republican Governor Rick Snyder’s January 1, 2011 inauguration, the Wolverine State’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate had been two or more points higher than the rest of the nation since 2005, peaking at 14.1% in the summer of 2009 shortly after the recession’s official end. In December 2011, the rate was a still unacceptable 9.3%, but less than a point higher than the rest of the U.S.

The easy, breezy leftist explanation for this improvement is that Uncle Sam bailed out General Motors and Chrysler while “saving” the auto industry. The evidence that those decisions represent the source of the state’s nascent turnaround is mixed at best. After losing 195,000 jobs during Engler’s final two years and 637,000 during Granholm’s first seven, the state only picked up 37,000 by the end of 2010, over eighteen months after over $80 billion in bailout money was disbursed. In 2011, after Snyder’s arrival, total employment increased by over 66,000 jobs, as private-sector additions of 81,000 offset long overdue but still too modest decreases in the public sector. Over 52,000 jobs were added in “Private Service Providing,” while all forms of manufacturing accounted for less than 28,000. Additionally, Metro Detroit’s unemployment rate was 10.5% in December, while the rate in the somewhat less auto-dependent rest of the state was 8.3%, a bit below the year-end U.S. rate, lower than Midwestern neighbors Indiana (9.0%) and Illinois (9.8%), and barely higher than Ohio’s 8.1%.

An apparent change in Snyder’s attitude (or one he kept concealed from voters in 2010) threatens Michigan’s progress. Even though they are still outperforming his state, Rick doesn’t like much of what he’s seen in Wisconsin, Indiana, and Ohio. He recently told the Associated Press that he wants to avoid “the divisiveness, the hard feelings” seen in nearby states. Apparently, attaining Wisconsin’s 7.1% unemployment rate, largely maintained as a result of public-sector and collective-bargaining reforms, isn’t worth the effort if it means that opponents might try to recall you, as they are attempting to do to Badger State Governor Scott Walker. Indiana’s bold move under the leadership of Governor Mitch Daniels to become a right-to-work state is apparently too dangerous to try in Michigan, even though overall union membership there has fallen by 18% (from 22.1% of those employed to 18.3%) in the past decade, and despite the fact that a recent poll found that voters in more liberal Minnesota (including a plurality of Democrats) favor such legislation by a 55%-24% margin. For “Don’t Rock the Boat” Rick, attempting meaningful public-sector employee reform and failing thus far, as John Kasich has done while otherwise improving the fiscal and economic situation in Ohio, doesn’t warrant the political risk.

Snyder, who campaigned in 2010 as a self-described “Tough Nerd,” has apparently now decided that going soft is his best path to reelection in 2014. He now professes to prefer an approach of “relentless positive action.” One result of this new outlook is that he and his GOP-dominated legislature are “positively” on the brink of returning to the tax-and-spend, go-along-get-along ways of the Engler years. Another is that he has endorsed Mitt Romney in Michigan’s February 28 Republican primary. As governor of Massachusetts, Romney “positively” did much of what Snyder is now pursuing, havingraised taxes and fees by over $700 million per year during his single four-year term. That Romney would from all indications have been trounced had he attempted reelection in the Bay State seems not to matter.

As much opprobrium as Jennifer Granholm deserves for her miserable 2003-2010 stewardship, it was a free-spending frenzy at last century’s turn led by Engler and GOP-controlled legislatures which set Michigan up for its awful rest of the decade:

MichiganSpending2000to2013

(Sources: Fiscal Year 2013 Executive Budget Page C-38; Fiscal Year 2012 Executive Budget Page C-28)

Engler, who was also “on a spending spree” for years preceding those shown, blew the lid off in fiscal 2001 and 2002. Granholm was naturally happy to sustain Engler’s previous profligacy and build on it. While the state lost over 2% of its population during the last half of the previous decade, “Spend Every Penny Jenny” and pliant Republican lawmakers increased spending by almost 5% in real terms even as Michigan’s economy went into free-fall. The spending level-off anticipated during the current and next two fiscal years under Snyder hardly makes up for what transpired during the previous eleven. Yet the writers of a recent New York Times story on the state’s reported $471 million surplus wondered “whether it is safe to start spending again.”

No it’s not, especially if doing so requires increasing taxes and fees by $1.4 billion. The net gas-related hike would make the amount Michiganders pay their state government to fill up their vehicles the highest in the nation. Increasing the vehicle value-based registration fee, or “birthday tax,” by the proposed 67% would further unfairly hit light-mileage drivers who inflict little damage on the state’s roads.

Another reason why the proposed levies don’t make sense is that, as the Mackinac Institute notes, most of the 6% sales tax levied on gas purchases — a levy separate from the per-gallon charge at the pump — “does not go to build or repair roads.” Targeting the money to its proper place could fund needed repairs while avoiding tax increases. But making sure that happens would also involve doing something about how the sales tax is currently allocated. Apparently, timid politician Rick and his state’s RINO legislators aren’t up for that.

One potential side-effect of this dangerous exercise is that a ballot referendum on the tax hikes might increase the November turnout of instinctively tax-averse conservative voters who would also oppose President Barack Obama’s reelection. But that strategy could backfire if large numbers of currently disengaged and otherwise disheartened young voters who supported Obama in 2008 (and would again) get motivated to show up at the polls because of the looming hit to their pocketbooks.

I’d rather see Michigan’s economy avoid a double-dip. Ax the taxes, guys, and look to another Rick — Rick Santelli — for guidance on what to do about spending.

Tuesday Off-Topic (Moderated) Open Thread (022112)

Filed under: Lucid Links — Tom @ 7:15 am

Rules are here. Possible comment fodder may follow later. Other topics are also fair game.

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Positivity: 6 couples on one street married more than 50 years

Filed under: Positivity — Tom @ 5:57 am

From Elk River, Minnesota (HT Daryn Kagan):

3:15 PM, Feb 14, 2012

In Sherburne County, Minnesota Elk River is the county seat.

In Elk River, Holt Avenue and 5th Street Northwest is the love seat.

“I took one look at him and I said, ‘I’m going to marry him,” says Gayle Fox about her husband Wally.

The Foxes – who took the plunge in 1959 – count themselves among six couples on their block married more than 50 years.

Across the street live Kathy and Hartley Dahl, who were 17 and 20 when they tied the knot 52 years ago. “He’s a good man. He works hard and he cares about me,” says Kathy as she grabs her husband’s hand.

Four doors down, Henry and Marion Tembrock have also been together for 52 years. Henry says that’s partly due to his wife’s good cooking.

“That’s why I have a little extra weight on me,” he explains with a smile.

“I didn’t put it in your mouth,” says Marion, without missing a beat. Humor hasn’t hurt their marriage either.

Don Coder and his wife Joyce bring 65 years of marital bliss to the block. Both believe couples today don’t take their vows seriously enough. “We’re from the old school,” says Don. “Really old.”

But even the Coder’s 65 years can’t hold a candle to their neighbors Pearl and Ralph Stahlberg. Two days before Valentine’s Day, the Stahlbergs marked their 70th wedding anniversary.

“Happy as can be,” smiles Ralph. “Just like we were in our right minds,” adds Pearl as the couple bursts into laughter.

All six couples on the block stuck to their promise for better or worse. Roger Ostby is now living through the latter. Hannah, Roger’s wife of 64 years, is in a nursing home with Alzheimer’s disease. “She was my sweetheart then and still is, no matter what the circumstances are,” he says.

Roger visits every day. “Hannah, do you love me?” he asks, with his arm around her shoulders. On good days he gets a response. Today Hannah is too sleepy to answer.

But there is no doubting Roger still loves Hannah. “Well, I tell you I think when something like this happens where they’re vulnerable, it’s even deeper – the love you have for each other. It is for me.” …

Go here for the rest of the story.