Transformation

“California’s new municipal bankruptcy law could be put to the test in its first trial, as the rumor mill is churning that the city of Stockton is preparing to file for bankruptcy. You may recall that under AB 506, local governments are now required to deal with a “neutral evaluator” for at least 60 days before seeking bankruptcy court protection. That being said, this mediation process can be avoided if a municipality declares a financial emergency.”

Unions, who would lose their sweetheart contracts and control of those making personnel decisions, can use the “neutral” evaluator to continue their gripe on the wallets of the citizens of Stockton.  Instead of the fiscal crisis being the deciding factor, it will be the control of special interests and unions.

The local government is facing a $20 million deficit in the next fiscal year. Stockton has also been voted the “most miserable” city in America, TWICE.

But you mess with the Public Sector Unions and their fat-cat, not “greedy” overly indulgent benefits and you’re asking for the gate of hell to open and the hounds to devour your carcass whole!

The city consented to a wide variety of bond agreements that have contributed to its increasing debt, but officials say that generous retirement health benefits and the increasing costs of maintaining them also threaten to cripple the city with insolvency. The city estimates that it will pay $9 million in retiree health care benefits in the 2012 fiscal year, and that the amount will double over the next 10 years.

Much of the harshest criticism of the current city administration has come from the police union, which has accused Mr. Deis of manipulating numbers. The union paid for billboards that proclaimed “Welcome to the 2nd most dangerous city in California: Stop laying off cops!” and included a running tally of murders in the city and Mr. Deis’s (City Manager) telephone number, against a background depicting spatters of blood. Mr. Deis accused the union of harassing him after it bought a house next door to his. The union said the purchase was an investment and not intended to antagonize Mr. Deis.

Uh, huh..sure..whatever you say….

Denise Jefferson, a former city planner and the executive director of the Miracle Mile Improvement District, said previous administrations had ignored signs of problems for years, despite internal criticism from employees.

Everyone kept pretending that the problems were something the next generation could clean up, but there’s no way to clean this up anymore,” she said. “In high times everyone wants to grow, but the growth we had was never something we could sustain. We played the game, and now there’s no longer a game to play.”

Does this Sound like Congress and The President, anyone? 😦

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi told The Daily Caller that federal employees should not have to “carry an undue burden” by paying more into their pensions to fund legislation that would extend the payroll tax cut and unemployment insurance for a full year.

Congressional negotiators had reportedlyconsidered requiring all federal employees to contribute an additional 1.5 percent into their pensions to partially pay for a package that would extend the payroll tax cut and unemployment benefits. At this point, they have agreed to require only new federal employees to put an additional 2.3 percent of their salaries toward pensions.

Pelosi also praised President Obama’s leadership in advocating for the payroll tax cut portion of the approximately $150 billion package without paying for it through spending cuts elsewhere.

“The payroll tax cut unpaid for, I think, responds to the argument that we have been making: Why are we paying for this when we don’t pay for tax cuts for the wealthiest people in our country? I just think this was something that happened because the public was fully aware of it and I salute the president for his leadership,” Pelosi said.

And: Tim Geithner said that the “most fortunate Americans” should pay more in taxes for the “privilege of being an American.”

Now that’s “shared Sacrifice”. 🙂

Oh, and being an American is now a “privilege”. 😦

So all rights are now “privileges” granted by a benevolent government. 🙂

I know I feel better….

Oh and this:

Democrats have a message for American job creators: Nice business you have there.  It would be a real shame if you donated to Republicans and something…unfortunate were to happen to it:

Democrats on K Street are warning their corporate clients: Give to Republican challengers in the 2012 election, and you’ll regret it come tax reform time. Lobbyists are getting that message from allies of powerful Democrats such as Senate Finance Chairman Max Baucus (D-Mont.), who is closely watching support for Rep. Denny Rehberg, a Republican challenging Sen. Jon Tester (D-Mont.). Baucus supporters fear that if Rehberg ousts Tester, Baucus could be next to face a serious Republican challenge in the state.

One K-Streeter close to the Baucus operation said the senator considers a gift to Rehberg a contribution against him. Another Democratic lobbyist told a client to take his name off a Rehberg fundraising event because it would be hurtful to his company, according to sources. The case K-Streeters are making to their clients: It will be a hard sell next year to get Baucus’s support on business-friendly tax perks set to expire or the Bush-era tax cuts that must get through his committee.

Nothing like a Little Chicago-Style Blackmail to be “fair”. 🙂

{House Majority Leader Reid} has also been vocal at his weekly breakfast fundraisers — telling attendees that it’s important for Democrats to maintain the majority and support all of the Democratic candidates and take a broad view in political giving, according to sources familiar with the discussions. “Everybody is watching right now,” said Democratic consultant Penny Lee of Venn Strategies, noting that the majority in the Senate could be in play by just one or two seats. The former adviser to Reid said the Nevada Democrat has a special interest in Republican Sen. Dean Heller’s seat in Nevada, “but he’s also keeping a larger watch to see what happens.”
Ah yes, the ole’ electoral “broad view.”  Allow me to summarize: “Republican X might represent your interests better than that Democrat Y — who will probably vote to raise your cost of doing business, then demonize you in the press — but we Democrats have long memories and will use our power to retaliate against any perceived affront, so act accordingly.” (Guy Benson)

In short, Democrats are petty, vindictive, partisans and they will get their revenge in the most childish way possible if you cross them. 🙂

That’s the real “hot topic” here — whether a majority of citizens, in America as elsewhere in the West, are willing to “leave it up to the government” to make decisions on everything that matters.

And if the government has the “right” to dictate that you.

The Democrats surely think so.

Everything flows from the generous “compassion” of the government and the power to be the supreme being that should be worshiped for it greatness.

“There are those in the Oval Office who believe that’s not the case, that rights do, in fact, come from the government, and they have gone around convincing the American people that they can give you rights. We see what happens when government gives you rights. When government gives you rights, government can take away those rights. When government gives you rights, they can coerce you in doing things in exercising the rights that they gave you.”–Candidate Rick Santorum

Like Mandates that say you must do it because the Government says so.

Mark Steyn: The transformation of “human rights” from restraints upon state power into a pretext for state power is nicely encapsulated in the language of Article 14 of the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union, which states that everyone has the right “to receive free compulsory education.” Got that? You have the human right to be forced to do something by the government.

And So It Continues My Subjects. This is Big Brother Obama signing off for today… 🙂

Political Cartoons by Bob Gorrell

Political Cartoons by Ken Catalino

Welcome to Armageddon

Welcome to Armageddon Day, Aug 2nd. 🙂

“Any doubts that this country has an insular, inept, and cataclysmically dysfunctional political class were erased long ago, but it bears repeating that only in certain elite precincts could any of the debt ‘deals’ discussed over the last month be seen as anything but a juvenile, cosmetic solution to a real and titanic problem. That problem isn’t going away simply because the political crisis may be pushed (the president hopes) beyond the 2012 election…

“Members of the political class pat themselves on their backs for coming up with a deal that is ‘the best deal they could get.’ The dominant media coo about the statesmanship and sobriety that supposedly pulled the nation from the economic brink, permitting us all to return to our mundane pursuits. But the spending will increase and the liabilities will mount. The day of fiscal reckoning will continue to approach.”

Under the latest “deal,” we are told, federal spending will be cut approximately $2.7 trillion. That’s false. We’re going to pretend to cut $2.7 trillion, which is somehow meant to be a greater achievement than pretending to cut $1.5 trillion, but not as great as pretending to cut $4 trillion, which is what the rating agencies would prefer. In reality (that benighted realm that exists outside the District of Columbia), spending will increase by about $6,000,000,000,000. (Peter Kirsanow).

It’s a Political Solution, NOT an economic one. Which is all Washington and their attendant monetary drug addicts and co-dependent partisans understand.

But it’s only math. It’s not like Democrats actually understand it or the Republican really want to fix it. Money is blood Washington and they aren’t going to slit their wrists, just ours. But we’ll feel good doing it, at least they hope so.

“The first part of this agreement will cut about $1 trillion in spending over the next 10 years….The result would be the lowest level of annual domestic spending since Dwight Eisenhower was president.”

Do you smell a new Democrat Talking Point? 🙂

The Weekly Standard apparently has more people that understand both math and history:

Under Eisenhower, non-defense spending averaged 7.5 percent of GDP. In the pre-Obama era, the all-time record for non-defense spending was 17.7 percent of GDP, set 20 years ago (in 1991) under the first President Bush. This year, under Obama, the tally for non-defense spending will be an estimated 20.2 percent of GDP, and under the proposed debt-ceiling agreement, non-defense spending would eclipse the pre-Obama record every single year for the foreseeable future. (Meanwhile, defense spending has dropped markedly as a percentage of total federal spending and will soon drop far more.)

So perhaps what Obama meant to say was, “Under this agreement, domestic spending will remain higher throughout the next decade than it ever was before I took office, easily doubling domestic spending during the Eisenhower administration — even as a percentage of GDP.”

Well, if they could do math and history at the White House, that is. (townhall.com)

By the way, even if Obama meant discretionary spending, he’d still be wrong:

But We still have our Dear leader. The one who was very close to just raising the Debt Ceiling because, He personally, felt like it. His idea of a take charge attitude is not lead, but to dictate.

Last week, when President Barack Obama spoke to the National Council of La Raza (“The Race”), he said something that should alarm every American. He confessed that he’d like to “bypass Congress and change the laws” on his own. He added, “Believe me; the idea of doing things on my own is very tempting. I promise you.”

He doesn’t need to promise us. We believe him, because we’ve been watching his rogue behavior since the moment he entered office.

Way back in February 2010, even The New York Times unveiled his modus operandi, in its report “Obama Making Plans to Use Executive Power.” It summarized, “With much of his legislative agenda stalled in Congress, President Obama and his team are preparing an array of actions using his executive power to advance energy, environmental, fiscal and other domestic policy priorities.”

Obama’s unauthorized war in Libya was just one more wayward decision in a long line of executive-power-run-amok choices, taken despite the fact that top Pentagon lawyers considered his unilateral Libyan invasion to be illegal “hostilities.” And according to congressional testimony, his own lawyers in the Office of Legal Counsel were asked to soft-pedal their views so as to curb any further violation allegations.

What alarms me is that these perversions of power are coming from not only the highest office in the land but also Obama’s advisers and team (including his lawyers). In his speech to the National Council of La Raza, the president also explained that he was taking his cues from others: “I know some people want me to bypass Congress and change the laws on my own.”

Of course, Obama knew that to do so at the outset of the debt debates would have ensured his political downfall. On the other hand, swooping down in the last hour on Capitol Hill from 1600 Pennsylvania Ave. with his Democratic majority in the Senate to save the economy from hopeless partisan gridlock would surely put him on the front page of Savior Daily!

Speaking of the press, what’s equally tragic is that the Obama-mania media are jumping on the executive-power runaway express. Just this past Thursday, CNN’s website ran an article by Jack Balkin, a constitutional law expert at Yale, titled “3 ways Obama could bypass Congress.” (Do you think CNN would have extended the same clemency from Congress to former President George W. Bush?)

As The New York Times reported at the beginning of last year, Obama’s exploits to bypass Congress are intended to “advance energy, environmental, fiscal and other domestic policy priorities.” We now can add America’s border problems to those, as Obama also elaborated last week that the temptation to bypass Congress includes “not just immigration reform.” No wonder the crowd began to chant “Yes, we can!” (Tragically, it seems that too many citizens want a (SET ITAL) Fuhrer (END ITAL) more than they do a president.)

Do we really want a power-hungry rogue president who continually is tempted to bypass Congress? Will we continue to allow unilateral power to our president to follow his own political whims and desires? Do we want a supreme leader who constantly seeks ways to justify dodging our bicameral government — the very checks and balances of our republic? When he avoids Congress, is he not also trampling on the Constitution and its mandates for separation of powers and teamwork among our three branches of government?

Has the president forgotten his oath of office, “I do solemnly swear that I will faithfully execute the office of president of the United States and will, to the best of my ability, preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States”?

Mr. President, I strongly suggest you meditate upon the legal genius of Joseph Story, a justice of the U.S. Supreme Court from 1811 to 1845 (appointed by President James Madison). Justice Story wrote: “The duty imposed upon (the president) to take care, that the laws be faithfully executed, follows out the strong injunctions of his oath of office, that he will ‘preserve, protect, and defend the Constitution.’ The great object of the executive department is to accomplish this purpose.”

Wow, how Justice Story’s words fly in the face of President Obama’s thoughts about bypassing Congress.

No wonder Thomas Jefferson passionately proclaimed: “I wish it were possible to obtain a single amendment to our Constitution … taking from the federal government the power of borrowing.”

God, lead Obama not into doing-things-on-his-own temptation. (Chuck Norris)

But when you have drug addicts running the show, what else would you expect but a solution that says methadone is a good first step! 😦

Recipe for Control

I took up cooking, one, because I found I really enjoy it, but also because it’s better for me to control my own food rather than trust it to a heart attack in a box (have you read the fat & sodium contents on some of those pre-prepared meals!).

But the difference between my approach and the First Lady’s Food Police cudgel approach is I’m not preaching and I’m not trying to control other people.

She is. Just like her husband.

I often wonder who’s the more elitist, her or her husband.

“Even if we give parents all the information they need and improve school meals and build brand new supermarkets on every corner, none of that matters if when families step into a restaurant, they can’t make a healthy choice,” Mrs. Obama told them.

So we have to control you at every turn so you won’t be tempted! 😦

So, instead of speaking to parents about moderation, the first lady wants to micromanage menus, making french fries a special order item at fast-food outlets and apples the default side order of choice for kids. Butter and cream must be cut, and whole wheat pasta must replace white.

Harmless advocacy? Perhaps. But Mrs. Obama’s speeches at political rallies and conventions suggests it’s probably more. The gears of government seem to be turning to her cause.

The Department of Health and Human Services on Tuesday announced a $31 million program to combat obesity (and smoking) in eight states. It comes with a plan to go coercive: “Use price to discourage consumption of tobacco and to benefit consumption of healthy food/drinks,” the press release reads. As in price controls?

The coincidences pile up as community organizers tied quite closely to the Obama campaign, including the National Council of La Raza and the NAACP, joined the cause. To aid the effort, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation chipped in a $2 million grant.

Fascinating associates don’t you think? La Raza, a racist hispanic group and the NAACP who calls Tea Partiers racists. Fascinating…

Then there’s the anti-McDonald’s TV ad campaign just launched by the Physicians Committee for Responsibility, another pressure group with a vegetarian and animal-rights agenda. In true Alinsky style, they’ve picked a target, personalized it and laid all the problems of obesity on one fast-food operator.

The advert shows a woman weeping over the body of a man in a morgue, with the man still holding a half-eaten hamburger. Toward the end of the advert, the McDonald’s logo appears along with the tag-line “I was lovin’ it”. The commercial then urges watchers to “High cholesterol, high blood pressure, heart attacks. Tonight, make it vegetarian”.

Then you get Michael Moore who hadn’t been getting any attention lately spouting off that McDonald’s has killed more people than terrorists have.

What’s galling about all this is that Mrs. Obama’s anti-obesity campaign — like the policies pushed by her husband — presumes government has all the answers. In reality, it doesn’t.

Bu they think it does, as long as they are in control of it, that is. The Insufferably Superior Left strikes again!

Diets are a personal choice with different impacts on different people. Some children stay fit eating all the fast food they like; others can’t handle a donut. Some effective low-carbohydrate diets don’t restrict cream and butter at all, but minimize fruit. Go figure.

Micromanaging restaurant menus will only drive consumers to the junk food section at the grocery to get the goodies they crave. It won’t end childhood obesity, the causes of which are far more complex and numerous than trips to the Golden Arches.

But then you just drive the junk food purveyors out of business then and TA DA!   Instant Health! And you have Big Brother and Big Mommy to thank for it! 🙂

Like any solution imposed by big government, Mrs. Obama’s will harm business, limit choice and politicize the personal — a recipe for failure. (IBD)

You have to assume the Insufferably Superior Left actually cares. I know I don’t.

After all, her husband is frequent photographed (to look less like the elite he is) eating very unhealthy foods and he admits to being…a SMOKER!

Don’t do as I do, do as I say!

But Michelle can’t clean up her husband, oh no, she has to crusade against evil fat and salt to save you all from yourselves!

The Empress has no clothes.

She said it’s also important to change these national eating habits because they end up costing billions in additional healthcare costs.

And they want to take over your Health Care from birth to death. Hmmmm…Fascinating… 🙂

“I’m not asking any of you to make drastic changes to every single one of your recipes or to totally change the way you do business,” she said.

Not Yet, at least. 🙂

After all, when Liberals start preaching about it “being for the children” watch out!! (since they consider anyone who disagrees with them as “children” anyhow).

So how long before we “recommend” to a private business what they can serve and just force them to serve what we think is best for you?

After all, restaurants that serve crap, close. That’s business. But what if that’s all they are allowed to serve??

While suggestions that eateries serve a side of apples instead of French fries as the default side dish likely won’t go anywhere, there is another way to serve kids fewer calories. Just make the portions smaller.

Smaller portions mean less cost for the restaurant, and can help kids slim down. Charge the same, serve less food. Talk about a win-win! (Entrepeneur.com)
Exactly. The portion sizes today are about 1/3 larger than say 50 years ago.
If you can teach people to eat less, not just control what they eat, then you can lose weight!
After all, you have to burn more calories than you take in to do it.
And I fail but not as often as I used to and I have cleaned up my diet. So a lot of it is   also because of lack of proper regular exercise to on this middle-aged frame. But that’s another story…
But I don’t want to control you.
I trust with proper education and not liberal hysterics and Alinsky scare tactics that you are capable of make reasonable decisions and understand and accept the consequences of your actions.
But I also know that that part is nearly impossible in today’s liberal entitlement and evade responsibility for everything environment.
That’s what has to change. Not the menu.
“The delusion is that we all make free choices,”- Anti-soda crusader Harold Goldstein
* Obesity lawsuit instigator John “Sue the Bastards” Banzhaf lashes out: “All these platitudes about, ‘people should eat less,’ ‘responsibility,’ all this crap!”

* Marion Nestle, queen of the food scolds, thinks that “balance, moderation and exercise” have no practical importance. “I don’t support that,” she says.

* Discussing “The Politics of Food,” Skip Spitzer of the radical Pesticide Action Network maintains that “the idea of personal responsibility is a cultural construct.”

* PETA medical “expert” Neal Barnard tells tales of food addiction, arguing that “it’s high time we stopped blaming ourselves for over-eating.”

* Kelly “Big Brother” Brownell advocates “a more militant attitude about the toxic food environment, like we have about tobacco… [smoking] became so serious that society overlooked the intrusion on individual rights for the greater social good.” He also suggests that human beings have no more control over their food choices than animals in a cage.

* Margo Wootan, one of the top killjoys at the Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI), implores: “We have got to move beyond personal responsibility.” And when the World Health Organization added a single, understated sentence referencing the “exercise of individual responsibility” to its anti-obesity strategy, CSPI raged: “Obesity is not merely a matter of individual responsibility. Such suggestions are naive and simplistic.”


Here’s how noted food critic Robert Shoffner describes their philosophy: “People are children and have to be protected by Big Brother or Big Nanny from the awful free-market predators … That’s what drives these people — a desire for control of other people’s lives.” (consumerfreedom.com)
So they aren’t the Insufferably Superior are they? 🙂
You are just children who must be led to do what is best for you.
Just like the fact that the fabulously beautiful planet Bethselamin is now so worried about the cumulative erosion by ten billion visiting tourists a year that any net imbalance between the amount you eat and the amount you excrete whilst on the planet is surgically removed from your bodyweight when you leave: so every time you go to the lavatory it is vitally important to get a receipt. (Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy) 🙂

John Stossel: For what it’s worth, here is some of the research we dug up to prepare my Michelle Obama discussion:

In his article “Egg on their Faces,” Steve Malanga points out that “Government dietary advice often proves disastrous.”

Starting in the 1970s… the American Heart Association advised people to reduce drastically their consumption of eggs as part of a goal to limit total cholesterol intake to 300 milligrams a day (a single egg can have 250 milligrams). The recommendation, seconded by government and other public-health groups, prompted a sharp drop in the consumption of eggs, a food that nutritionists praise as low in calories and high in nutrients. In 2000, the AHA revised its restrictions on eggs to one a day (from a onetime low of three a week)… To what purpose? A 2004 article in The Journal of Nutrition that looked at worldwide studies of egg consumption noted that the current restrictions on eating eggs are “unwarranted for the majority of people and are not supported by scientific data.”

Furthermore:

As a recent review of the latest research in Scientific American pointed out, ever since the first set of federal guidelines appeared in 1980, Americans heard that they had to reduce their intake of saturated fat by cutting back on meat and dairy products and replacing them with carbohydrates. Americans dutifully complied. Since then, obesity has increased sharply, and the progress that the country has made against heart disease has largely come from medical breakthroughs like statin drugs, which lower cholesterol, and more effective medications to control blood pressure.

Malanga also notes that new FDA guidelines recommend a maximum of 1500 milligrams of salt daily (down from 2300).  One hypertension expert observed  that the government’s salt war is a giant uncontrolled experiment with the public’s health.

Here are a few more reasons why government shouldn’t tell us what to eat:

We’re living longer than ever! 80 yrs today vs. 57 yrs  80 yrs ago

A CDC study found that more people die every year from being underweight than overweight!  And that moderately overweight people live longer than those at normal weight.

Government was once excited about BMI index. (body-mass index) Gov Mike Huckabee had all Arkansas kids tested!  But BMI is a lousy measure of health.  According to BMI: Tom Cruise and Arnold Schwarzenegger are obese; GWBush and George Clooney are “overweight”

Calorie counts on menu boards don’t work: people STILL don’t take in fewer calories! A study at McDonald’s , Burger King, Wendy’s, and Kentucky Fried Chicken found that people ordered MORE calories after the labeling law went into effect.

What’s junk food?  Chicago’s new candy tax defines sweets that contain flour as “food” – w/o flour as “candy.”  (Hershey bar? Candy. But Kit Kats, Twix, Twizzlers –are “food”) O.j. and apple juice? More calories than Coke! (97 v 120/cup)

“Protect the children?”  Children are the responsibility of their parents. When the state assumes the role of parent, it makes children of all of us.

It’s a good sign that America has food nannies – means were so rich that these are the things we’re worried about!

The food police haven’t jailed anyone yet, but who knows 20 years down the road?  MeMe Roth suggests annual obesity screenings at school; serving soft drinks to only those over 18; child abuse laws for parents with obese kids; taxes on soda and sweetened drinks.

If the government is allowed to dictate our diet, what’s next? Do they start deciding who we’ll marry, where we’ll work?

Thomas Jefferson said “A government big enough to give you everything you want is strong enough to take everything you have.”

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