Sunday, April 18, 2010

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Queen Pelosi

Nancy Pelosi is the Queen of the United States. If you don't believe it, ask her.

The size of jet used by previous speakers of the House were inadequate. She demanded a larger jet. And that's not enough. Some weekends she reserves its use, then let's it sit idle, while preventing its use by others. Queen? [Looking for link. Regard as rumor for now.

And not just for herself, but for her children and grandchildren.

She went to a Demo fundraiser in Florida Friday and the security detail outnumbered the 18 guests present. The Palm Beach locals report:
When she showed up for a private dinner in Palm Beach, Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi walked into the home of businessman and Democratic moneyman George Cloutier with a security detail 12 strong, mostly US Capitol Police.

There were four additional Palm Beach cops. And two sheriff’s deputies.

Oh, yes! Two police boats in the Atlantic Ocean, across the street from Cloutier’s house.

And with 18 guests at the dinner last weekend, the wingding had fewer guests than lawmen!
The quoted text above has lots of links in the original, so you can verify if you don't believe it.

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Where is the Iceland volcano impacting?

I found a site about presenting information in newspapers that shows several maps of the volcano's ash cloud. So you can see that Ireland is little impacted. France is not so bad. But northern Great Britain and all Scandinavia are clobbered.

What's Next: Innovation in Newspapers

Also at the same site: Are the civil aviation decision makers being far too cautious and closing too large a space? Link
Who’s in charge in this mess?

Nobody except the Mandarins!

Look below at the last map released by the British Met Office.

As you can see, no ashes over the UK.

So why the airplanes cannot fly?
Third, NY Times has a detailed map and the impact for each airport. This is Saturday's situation and it's much worse than Friday.

New York Times

Fourth, BBC has some maps.

No one has collected $100,000 for N-word evidence

Congressman John Lewis claimed that March 21, the day Obama's health care takeover passed, he, Emanuel Cleaver, Jesse Jackson, Jr., and other black congressmen had the N-word shouted at them as they passed through a crowd outside the US Capitol building.

But the evening news reporting this showed no video. Where is the tape? Andrew Breitbart offered $10,000, then upped it to $100,000, for a single video recording of the claim. Congressman Lewis got real quiet. Sound Politics

Another witness was found - Rep. Heath Schuler of North Carolina - reported by Associated Press. Did AP talk to their source to verify the story? No. But James Taranto did:

James Taranto at WSJ
It may be the most celebrated missing recording since Watergate: the nonexistent or unaccounted-for video of the tea-party protesters at the Capitol who three black congressmen claim yelled racial slurs at them on March 20, the eve of ObamaCare's enactment. Jesse Washington, who covers the race beat for the Associated Press, tries to get to the bottom of things. Although he falls well short of establishing the truth or falsehood of the allegation, he comes up with some interesting findings along the way.

First, there turns out to have been at least one report of a corroborating witness to the alleged slurs. Washington notes that in its March 23 edition, the Hendersonville (N.C.) Times-News published this interview with Heath Shuler, the local congressman, a Democrat who voted against ObamaCare:

Shuler was walking with Rep. Emanuel Cleaver, an African-American, toward the Capitol building when the crowd starting yelling racial epithets at Cleaver, who was a civil rights activist in the 1970s. They even spat at him.
"It was the most horrible display of protesting I have ever seen in my life," Shuler said.
Multiple members of Congress reported racial epithets being shouted at African-American members over the weekend.
"It breaks your heart that the way they display their anger is to spit on a member and use that kind of language," Shuler said. [end quote]

But when we phoned Shuler's office this afternoon, press secretary Julie Fishman told us the local reporter misunderstood. According to Fishman, Shuler's comments to the Times-News referred to the general tenor of the protests, not to the black congressmen's specific allegations.

Fishman said that Shuler was not walking with Cleaver and did not hear the "N-word." ...
There are videos of the event. They just don't show what John Lewis claimed.

Friday, April 16, 2010

People want limited government and liberty - tea parties

There were tea party gatherings around the state Thursday. In Olympia: There were 2,500 to 3,000 at the Capitol.

Seattle Times
reported "several hundred" gathered at Westlake Park in Seattle. A good crowd in Everett.

I was at the Bellevue event. I estimate the crowd at City Hall was at least 300. The crowd was respectful, responding to the speakers' calls for limited spending, lower taxes, less government intrusion and end to one-party rule in Olympia. There were signs on all the big topics with plenty of humor. Against ObamaCare. Against the Mom in Tennis Shoes Patty Murray. "Don't tread on me" flags. A crew from KIRO 7 spent at least five minutes interviewing an over-65 couple with a sign "Cut taxes, not deals."

Spokane had at least 3,000.

Boise reported 2,000.

The photo. This woman was dragging this huge ball on a chain labeled "Tax [something]" at Bellevue.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

State can't afford accountability

A million here $10 million there... But Washington can't afford $11,000 for accountability of how the millions and billions are spent.

Well... Washington can afford it, but our elected Legislature lead by Sen. Lisa Brown, Rep. Frank Chopp and Christine Gregoire won't pay the pittance. They don't want accountability for how your money is spent.

Evergreen Freedom Foundation
Government accountability was a casualty in this year's budget crisis. The legislature, which was frequently criticized this session for its lack of transparency, had a final flip of the bird for the public.

The legislature's operating budget cut the funding for the Attorney General's Public Records Exemptions Accountability Committee (also known as the "Sunshine Committee"), which makes recommendations to the legislature for making government more open. There was talk in the legislature of eliminating the committee altogether, but they settled on a funding cut. The budget eliminated $11,000 that had been budgeted for the committee's 2011 operations. Janelle Guthrie, the AG's communications director, told me the AG's office will cover the costs from other parts of its budget.
It's so hard to find money for something you don't want.

This is in addition to killing I-960's provisions to shine light the effects of tax increases and who votes for them. Sound Politics - Seattle Times

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Blog migration! Will affect you

Blogger (Google) is ending the method I have been using to maintain the files in this blog. I will be migrating to their new method this week.

This change will involve the blog being at a new URL within my domain. So your bookmarks will have to change. There might be redirection of the old for a while, but don't depend on it.
If there is a problem I doubt it will affect current and new content. But old content, especially links to photos might be a problem.

Tax Day tea parties

Thursday April 15 come out and tell elected officials that you don't like raising taxes to pay for irresponsible spending - green buildings that don't save energy, pay increases during the recession and ever-increasing costs for every program with little consideration of alternate approaches like contracting out state services. Tax increases raise the cost of doing business, discourage investment and cost jobs.

Washington State Tea Party Movement lists events in

Olympia noon to 3:00

Bellevue 11:30 to 2:00

Seattle 5:30 to 7:30

Also Anacortes, Bellingham, Everett/Snohomish County, Moses Lake,
Mt. Vernon, Okanogan, Prosser, Sequim, Spokane, Tri-Cities/Richland, and Walla Walla.

Note: Clarkston/Lewiston and Yakima had events on April 10.

See WS Tea Party Movement for details.

Monday, April 12, 2010

Debt and tax increases for what? Updated

Update 4/14: The legislature reduced the size of the "green schools" funding.

What is so essential that our Legislature in desperation was forced, forced to raise many taxes and go farther into debt? - Tax increases that will increase the cost of business and cost jobs.

First, the debt. This isn't just spending more than we are taking in, but choosing to go further into debt. You thought our Legislature had to balance the budget every year. I thought so too. But they didn't.

HB 2561 will create $850 $500 million in new debt to pay for energy retrofits at schools in Washington. Given the past record of "green" projects like this for $850 $500 million in debt we can expect energy savings of maybe $200 million, maybe zero. Remember the track record of Seattle's new City Hall? Seattle P-I
Seattle's new City Hall was designed with the environment in mind, using the most energy-efficient technologies. ... It also uses 15 percent to 50 percent more electricity some months than the older, larger building it replaced, according to Seattle City Light utility bills. [Some months use about the same amount.]
So there goes $850 $500 million with the net benefit of bragging rights at conferences. And it's a debt burden on our future.

What else?

State employees pay about 11% of the cost of their health care. After this belt tightening they will be paying ... less than 12%.

Many state employees get pay increases despite - or causing - the deficit that "required" raising taxes. The unions say those aren't pay increases, but step increases. They raise the employees pay. Isn't that an increase? [I haven't been able to verify if this is in the not-yet-final budget, though it was in every precedent.] Sound Politics 3/19/10


Richard Davis asks why our Washington leaders are on auto pilot when so much has changed. They should be picking apart state programs to root out those that once made sense, but no longer do. So they can spend our limited funds on our current priorities. In Tacoma News Tribune:
... I’m thinking about lawmakers’ capacity to fool themselves about the state’s fiscal future. The inability to confront the new economic realities, of course, took the Legislature into extra innings, with most of the players picking flowers in the outfield.
My impatience stems from this: The longest and deepest recession since World War II has yet to produce a fundamental reappraisal of the services state and local governments can realistically afford in the coming decade. Instead, the majority continues to treat the budget crisis as a spasm, a temporary contraction that will soon pass.

Rather than reset, lawmakers have again bet on the come. Sen. Joe Zarelli, R-Ridgefield, recently released a report identifying $8 billion in future costs stemming from budget decisions made by the 2009 and 2010 legislatures.

While suspending the Initiative 728 “class size” initiative, lawmakers promise to restore it with interest next year. Ditto the I-732 cost-of-living pay hikes for teachers. And their failure to adequately fund pension obligations increases costs in coming years.

As they duck current obligations, they commit themselves to new spending in the future. Among them: more taxpayer support for state employee health care, expanded early learning programs, and increased state aid to schools with low property tax bases.
Davis concludes:
State government is doing too much and paying too much to do it. It can’t go on forever. So when will it stop?

Friday, April 09, 2010

New course on conservatism at U Virginia

Students demanded it and made it happen at UVA. Virginia Gazette

CHARLOTTESVILLE -- Conservative college students across the country are met with faculty and administration not simply in disagreement with them but openly hostile to their principles. But after a year's struggle, a group of students working with at the University of Virginia have successfully placed a class on conservatism in their school's catalogue, and they expect the 40 seats available to quickly be filled.

"The idea originally came about when we found out that our university annually sponsors a class called Modern Liberalism," said Wes Siler, a student activist leader at UVA who worked with fellow students Rick Eberstadt, and Keenan Davis to start the for-credit course. "We thought, 'Why not balance the spectrum and have a class devoted to Modern Conservatism as well?

As news of the course spread on campus, the student planners received responses from 11 professors eager to support their endeavors. The class is currently scheduled to seat 40 students, but based on early interest the limit may be raised to 100.

"More than 40 students quickly joined a Facebook group we made for the course – and this happened before we began any official promotion. There's clearly a high demand from many students on campus for an education in conservatism," said Eberstadt.

Over the summer, the three students plan to encourage students at other universities to host their own class on conservatism, contacting them through, an online hub for conservative and libertarian student activists.

" has been very instrumental in our success," said Eberstadt. "The Campus Reform staff has provided us solid support and guidance throughout our fight, and we hope to work with them to make this a national movement."

The students are optimistic about these plans based on their success at UVA. "There is a huge need for students to hear the different perspectives of conservative belief and the ideas that are normally disregarded in the university classroom," said Siler. "We are changing this at our university, and we hope to inspire students around the country to do the same."

The course will be worth two credits and meet once per week. The syllabus features a wide variety of authors, including Edmund Burke, Russell Kirk, Fredrick Hayek, Milton Friedman, Ronald Reagan, and George W. Bush. These authors and public figures, the students say, represent a canon of political and social thought that does not receive serious consideration in much of academia today. ...

Gregoire and Demos helping Idaho even more

Christine Gregoire and her molasses Democrats finally agreed on their beloved tax increases after 26 days. Though EFF WA sees signs of continued discontent. And who benefits? Idaho.
A business-and-occupation tax surcharge would raise the single largest amount of money, about $246 million through June 2011. It would increase from 1.5 percent to 1.8 percent the B&O tax paid by service businesses, with exemptions for hospitals and research and development. A tax credit for small businesses would be doubled. Seattle Times
Increase the taxes that hurt businesses. That will reduce the creation of jobs. That must be their thinking? What did they do about their increases in spending and pay increases for state employees during those 26 days? Nothing, of course.

Gov. Otter of Idaho didn't expect more help so soon. Actually, he did, but still can't believe it. He welcomed Areva, a $3 billion plant and up to 400 jobs in March.

ObamaCare: You are fired, Stupak

Harry Reid is telling the press that he feels the love since he and Pelosi broke their own rules to push ObamaCare through.

Rep. Bart Stupak is feeling the heat, so he has decided to spend more time with his family. He was Obama's hero who traded his pro-life principles for a meaningless executive order; the law of Congress overrules an executive order countering it. Now we know what "prolife Democrat" means = a vote for max-abortion Boss Pelosi. WADC Post
Stupak is expected to formalize it at a press conference at 12:30 pm in Marquette, Mich.

Sources familiar with Stupak's thinking describe him as exhausted and burned out from the long fight over health care in which he emerged as the leading voice of pro-life Democrats wary about the possibility that the legislation would allow federal funds to be spent on abortions.

Stupak eventually voted for the final bill after Obama signed an executive order re-affirming the idea that no funds from the legislation would go toward abortions. In the wake of that vote he was treated as a hero within the Democratic caucus, but the reaction toward him from activists on the right and left was significantly more vitriolic.
Who is next?

Via Patterico.