Archive for February, 2011
These are my links for February 28th from 18:39 to 19:04:
These are my links for February 28th from 18:00 to 18:10:
- Low-flow toilets cause a stink in San Francisco – San Francisco's big push for low-flow toilets has turned into a multimillion-dollar plumbing stink.
Skimping on toilet water has resulted in more sludge backing up inside the sewer pipes, said Tyrone Jue, spokesman for the city Public Utilities Commission. That has created a rotten-egg stench near AT&T Park and elsewhere, especially during the dry summer months.
The city has already spent $100 million over the past five years to upgrade its sewer system and sewage plants, in part to combat the odor problem.
Now officials are stocking up on a $14 million, three-year supply of highly concentrated sodium hypochlorite – better known as bleach – to act as an odor eater and to disinfect the city's treated water before it's dumped into the bay. It will also be used to sanitize drinking water.
That translates into 8.5 million pounds of bleach either being poured down city drains or into the drinking water supply every year.
Not everybody thinks it's a good idea.
A Don't Bleach Our Bay alert has just gone out from eco-blogger Adam Lowry who argues the city would be much better off using a disinfectant like hydrogen peroxide – or better yet, a solution that would naturally break down the bacteria.
As for whether the supposedly environmentally friendly, low-flow toilets are worth the trouble? Well, according to Jue, they have helped trim San Francisco's annual water consumption by about 20 million gallons.
The unintended consequences of environmental political correctness.
Or how about an error in judgment?
- Wisconsin Sarcasm – Gov. Scott Walker’s Response to President Obama – Dripping statement from Walker spox mocks president’s “misunderstanding” of budget repair bill debate.
Statement in Response to President Obama’s Misunderstanding
Madison– Today President Obama again weighed in against Governor Walker’s proposal to balance the state’s budget deficit by having state government workers contribute a modest amount toward their own pensions and pay 12.6 percent toward their healthcare premiums.
In response to the President’s comments, the Governor’s Press Secretary Cullen Werwie issued the following statement:
I'm sure the President knows that most federal employees do not have collective bargaining for wages and benefits while our plan allows it for base pay. And I'm sure the President knows that the average federal worker pays twice as much for health insurance as what we are asking for in Wisconsin. At least I would hope he knows these facts.
Furthermore, I’m sure the President knows that we have repeatedly praised the more than 300,000 government workers who come to work every day in Wisconsin.
I’m sure that President Obama simply misunderstands the issues in Wisconsin, and isn’t acting like the union bosses in saying one thing and doing another.
Back at you pal…..
- Scott Walker responds to Obama: You sound a little like a union boss, you know that? – Oh, now, no he doesn’t. Union bosses are known for making thinly veiled violent threats, like the time his pal Trumka reacted to a strikebreaker being shot dead with a wink-wink about not playing with matches if you don’t want your fingers burned. The One doesn’t say stuff like that; he sits back and lets other people say it, then does his above-the-fray shtick by pleading for civility towards those on his side. Much more nuanced.
Walker’s office issued this statement:
“I’m sure the President knows that most federal employees do not have collective bargaining for wages and benefits while our plan allows it for base pay. And I’m sure the President knows that the average federal worker pays twice as much for health insurance as what we are asking for in Wisconsin. At least I would hope he knows these facts.
“Furthermore, I’m sure the President knows that we have repeatedly praised the more than 300,000 government workers who come to work every day in Wisconsin.
“I’m sure that President Obama simply misunderstands the issues in Wisconsin, and isn’t acting like the union bosses in saying one thing and doing another.”
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Charles Koch of Koch Industries
A piece in tomorrow’s Wall Street Journal lays it out.
Years of tremendous overspending by federal, state and local governments have brought us face-to-face with an economic crisis. Federal spending will total at least $3.8 trillion this year—double what it was 10 years ago. And unlike in 2001, when there was a small federal surplus, this year’s projected budget deficit is more than $1.6 trillion.
Several trillions more in debt have been accumulated by state and local governments. States are looking at a combined total of more than $130 billion in budget shortfalls this year. Next year, they will be in even worse shape as most so-called stimulus payments end.
For many years, I, my family and our company have contributed to a variety of intellectual and political causes working to solve these problems. Because of our activism, we’ve been vilified by various groups. Despite this criticism, we’re determined to keep contributing and standing up for those politicians, like Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker, who are taking these challenges seriously.
Both Democrats and Republicans have done a poor job of managing our finances. They’ve raised debt ceilings, floated bond issues, and delayed tough decisions.
In spite of looming bankruptcy, President Obama and many in Congress have tiptoed around the issue of overspending by suggesting relatively minor cuts in mostly discretionary items. There have been few serious proposals for necessary cuts in military and entitlement programs, even though these account for about three-fourths of all federal spending.
Yes, some House leaders have suggested cutting spending to 2008 levels. But getting back to a balanced budget would mean a return to at least 2003 spending levels—and would still leave us with the problem of paying off our enormous debts.
Federal data indicate how urgently we need reform: The unfunded liabilities of Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid already exceed $106 trillion. That’s well over $300,000 for every man, woman and child in America (and exceeds the combined value of every U.S. bank account, stock certificate, building and piece of personal or public property).
The Congressional Budget Office has warned that the interest on our federal debt is “poised to skyrocket.” Even Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke is sounding alarms. Yet the White House insists that substantial spending cuts would hurt the economy and increase unemployment.
Read the rest here.
These are my links for February 28th from 15:42 to 16:54:
- Obama flies workout trainer out to D.C. often, increases carbon footprint - Washington may be the nation’s capital — and one of America’s fittest cities — but its trainers apparently don’t cut it for President Barack Obama, who frequently flies his personal fitness instructor from Chicago to D.C., reports the New York Times.
Cited as the mastermind behind first lady Michelle Obama’s “famously toned arms,” trainer Cornell McClellan has managed the Obamas’ workout routines for more than a decade. The owner of Naturally Fit, a Chicago-based personal training and wellness center, McClellan spends part of his week in D.C. at the president’s request.
“It was an easy sell for me, because I thought of it as kind of a duty, to serve the president,” McClellan said.
McClellan usually works with the Obamas in early morning sessions at the White House gym. The first lady and president both attempt to work out for at least an hour each day, and Mr. McClellan says he typically sees them two to four times a week, depending on their other duties.
Obama may be just a little hypocritical here?
- Is the U.S. Immigration Debate Going in the Right Direction? – New Mexico Gov. Susana Martinez, a Republican who became the state’s first Latina governor after the November elections, rescinded an executive order by former Gov. Bill Richardson that prohibited law enforcement officials from asking people about their immigration status for the sole purpose of determining if the individual had violated immigration laws. Opponents have likened the bill to Arizona’s SB1070 and claim the order will lead to racial profiling. Will other states follow suit and enact similar legislation? Is comprehensive immigration reform likely to be addressed this year and, if so, what would that consist of?
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There will be NO comprehensive immigration reform unless Obama is re-elected and the Democrats win 60 plus members of the U.S. Senate.
This means there will be none in the foreseeable future.
- Mark Steyn: STATES OF THE UNIONS – You don’t have to go to Athens to find “public servants” happy to take it out on the public. In Madison, politicized doctors provide fake sick notes for politicized teachers to skip class. In New York’s Christmas snowstorm, Sanitation Department plough drivers are unable to clear the streets, with fatal consequences for some residents. On the other hand, they did manage to clear the snow from outside the Staten Island home of Sanitation Dept head honcho John Doherty, while leaving all surrounding streets pristinely clogged. Three hundred Sanitation Department workers have salaries of over $100,000 per year. In retirement, you get a pension of 66 grand per annum plus excellent health benefits, all inflation proofed.
That’s what “collective bargaining” is about: It enables unions rather than citizens to set the price of government. It is, thus, a direct assault on republican democracy, and it needs to be destroyed. Unlovely as they are, the Greek rioters and the snarling thugs of Madison are the logical end point of the advanced social democratic state: not an oppressed underclass, but a spoiled overclass, rioting in defense of its privileges and insisting on more subsidy, more benefits, more featherbedding, more government.
Big Unions fund Big Government. The union slices off two per cent of the workers’ pay and sluices it to the Democratic Party, which uses it to grow government, which also grows unions, which thereby grows the number of two-per-cent contributions, which thereby grows the Democratic Party, which thereby grows government… Repeat until bankruptcy. Or bailout.
In his pithiest maxim, John Maynard Keynes, the most influential economist of the 20th century social-democratic state and the patron saint of “stimulus”, offered a characteristically offhand dismissal of any obligation to the future: “In the long run we are all dead.” The Greek and Wisconsin bullies are Keynesians to a man: The mob is demanding the right to carry on suspending reality until they’re all dead. After that, who cares?
If the new class war is between “public servants” and the rest of us, some countries no longer have enough of “the rest of us” even to put up a fight. That’s why you can’t wait to fight in the last ditch. The longer you wait to stand up against the “public service” unions, the less your chance of winning.
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There is a class war between public servants and the rest of the taxpaying public.
Mark Steyn illuminates the conflict in this piece.
- Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniels Is Tough On Budgets : NPR’s Interview – n 2005 on his first day in office, Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniels signed an order ending collective bargaining with public employee unions. He said it freed him to turn over some state jobs to private contractors.
Daniels was able to put his state’s finances in order just as other states headed for trouble. Now, that’s a big part of his reputation, and some Republicans are promoting him as a possible presidential candidate.
Yet as he looks back on that budget-cutting moment with NPR’s Steve Inskeep, Daniels says that he also added government jobs in the child welfare system.
Mitch Daniels is a former budget director to President Bush. He won re-election as governor at the same time Indiana was carried by President Obama. Currently, he’s pushing contentious conservative plans. Just last week, Democrats walked out of the Indiana state Legislature protesting a range of Daniels’ plans, including government vouchers for private schools.
Read the full transcript of Steve Inskeep’s interview with Gov. Mitch Daniels below.
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