From the party that fought a war so blacks could remain 3/5th of a person…

Florida and Michigan Democrats now get 1/2 a delegate.

The committee agreed unanimously with a proposal offered early this morning from Florida DNC member Jon Ausman, under which the Sunshine State will send a full compliment of 185 delegates to Denver, all of whom will have one half of one vote.

If bureaucracy will be the death of civilization…

…then destroying bureaucracy will be its salvation


______

When the “liberal” Guardian UK is writing articles like this, there is hope for our civilization.

Once, ‘international’ sounded saintly. Now it means bureaucracy and waste

Gazing briefly at the Eurovision song contest this week I could not rid my mind of a quite different image, that of Nato’s multilateral force headquarters in Kabul. There was the same flag-waving and confusion of purpose, the same small-state rivalry and cynical balancing of interests. There was the same belief that, simply by being international, a so-called community of nations was forged.

For Eurovision and Nato, read the Olympics and Burma, read the Moscow cup final and Darfur. Read the European parliament, Fifa, the World Bank, the Organisation of African Unity, the European parliament. I was brought up to regard “international” as synonymous with saintly. It was a concept to supplant the rude nationalism of the 20th century in a worldwide concord of peace, ruled by a clerisy of selfless bureaucrats; Dag Hammersköld out of Albert Schweitzer.

The idea that any bureaucrat is “selfless” is both a joke and a lie. Bureaucracies grow because they are self-interested and corrupt. The problem with our friends on the left is that they can point to the misdeeds of corporations, most of which need to compete with rivals to survive, but ignore the misdeeds of state-funded bureaucrats, most of whom have no competition at all – and hence are more corrupt than the private sector.

One only need to look at the public education bureaucracy to see this phenomenon.

Today the word “international” suggests tailored suits, tax-free salaries, white Land Cruisers and Geneva. The Eurovision contest is run by the European Broadcasting Union with 400 staff in Switzerland, with no risk of oversight or reform.

We are all still hardwired to treat international as a good thing. In the process we have abandoned the constitutionalism and accountability that should govern any form of government if it is not to run amok. The one facet of neoconservative America that I share is frustration with the UN and related organisations’ inability to walk the talk.

The LEFT may be “hardwired” to believe internationalism is a “good thing,” but regular everyday people know better. The best thing about this article is that the writer and the paper he writes for lean left, and yet, he writes this gem..

In the process we have abandoned the constitutionalism and accountability that should govern any form of government

If more of America’s left felt this way, we would have ample grounds for finding solutions to our problems. In the meantime, the best thing you can do for your country and your state is to de-fund and destroy bureaucracy – and yes, that means putting them out of work in the public sector.

The only commentary necessary on McClellan

Newsflash!! Bush used propaganda to sell the war!!!

What president doesn’t use propaganda to sell his policies? What lefty worth his or her salt wouldn’t use propaganda to reduce support for a war they vehemently disagreed with? C’mon people!

No swans in this sewer

The New York Times’ editorial page mocked the whole genre: “There are several kinds of Washington memoirs: ‘I Reveal the Honest Truth,’ a kiss-up-and-tell designed to settle scores (nod to honesty optional). ‘I Was There at the Start,’ designed to make the author appear to be the linchpin of history. And, most tedious: ‘I Knew It Was a Terrible Mistake, but I Didn’t Mention It Until I Got a Book Contract.’

What Recession?

Job Climate for the Class of 2008 Is a Bit Warmer Than Expected

Job prospects this year, however, have been better than career counselors and recent graduates had expected. Employers are still extending offers, just not as many as last year.

Economists said the class of 2008 has been helped by employers concerned by the impending exodus of baby boomers from the work force. But they warn that the job market is going to get tougher as the full extent of the nation’s financial problems emerges, and they predict a growing inequality in access to employment between elite and lower-achieving students.

As a result of the tighter job market, applications to graduate schools and service-oriented programs abroad are expected to increase in the fall.

As Iowa Job Surplus Grows, Workers Call the Shots

“It is noticeable,” Mr. Tew, a computer programmer at EMC Insurance Companies, said of the jobs surplus. “You’re a hot commodity. Salaries go up just because companies are fighting to retain the talent they have.”

His friend Stacy Berenguel, 28, a financial advisor at Citi Smith Barney, said that while she was very conscious of talk of a national recession, some of her friends in Iowa were switching jobs over company amenities, like fitness centers. “Even when I’ve had friends laid off, they had no problem finding jobs,” she said. “So I’m willing to take financial risks, like splurging. Last weekend I went to Chicago and shopped for clothes and shoes. It was great. There were sales everywhere.”

Are these the voices of a nation looking at recession?

Illinois Political Class (Hastert Included) tries to turn IL into Detroit

Madigan, Blagojevich & Jones, along with Dan Cronin, Denny Hastert & Poshard, are doing all they can to turn Illinois into Detroit, what with their tax and gambling fantasies.

The fact is that the ONLY way out for Illinois is to freeze spending and pension benefit growth, and begin the 10 year process of draining the red ink these spending weasels have dunked all of us in.

Granholm’s Tax Warning

Officials in Lansing reported this month that the state faces a revenue shortfall between $350 million and $550 million next budget year. This is a major embarrassment for Governor Jennifer Granholm, the second-term Democrat who shut down the state government last year until the Legislature approved Michigan’s biggest tax hike in a generation. Her tax plan raised the state income tax rate to 4.35% from 3.9%, and increased the state’s tax on gross business receipts by 22%. Ms. Granholm argued that these new taxes would raise some $1.3 billion in new revenue that could be “invested” in social spending and new businesses and lead to a Michigan renaissance.

Ah yes! The old “we can spend our way to prosperity” trick. It didn’t work for fat and wasteful Republicans, but it will for even fatter and more wasteful Democrats.

No wonder no decent person trusts either party.

The tax hikes have done nothing but accelerate the departures of families and businesses. Michigan ranks fourth of the 50 states in declining home values, and these days about two families leave for every family that moves in. Making matters worse is that property taxes are continuing to rise by the rate of overall inflation, while home values fall. Michigan natives grumble that the only reason more people aren’t blazing a path out of the state is they can’t sell their homes. Research by former Comerica economist David Littmann finds that about the only industry still growing in Michigan is government. Ms. Granholm’s $44.8 billion budget this year further fattened agency payrolls.

Even better!! Let’s reduce unemployment by making everybody a ward of the state or a state worker. How productive!

There’s another national lesson from the Granholm tax dud. If Democrats believe that anger over the economy and high gas prices have put voters in a receptive mood for higher taxes, they should visit the Wolverine State.

Just a few weeks ago taxpayer advocates collected enough signatures in suburban Detroit for a ballot initiative to recall powerful Speaker of the House Andy Dillon, who was one of last year’s tax-hike ringleaders. Voters seem to think there would be rough justice if for once politicians, rather than workers, lose their jobs from higher taxes.

Look folks, the people running Illinois are going to do EXACTLY what they did in Michigan. They may know better, but THEY DON’T CARE. They are morally incapable of reducing spending, which is the ONLY solution to Illinois fiscal problems.

The ONLY avenue YOU have to fix Illinois before they do you like Michigan citizens, is to vote Yes for the Illinois Constitutional Convention. Only you can fix Illinois. These Bozos are incapable of it.

Barack Obama – the Butcher of Hyde Park

I’ve blogged on this before, and I’ll blog on it again and again and again. When the Black Community, which is pretty conservative on the abortion issue, gets a sense of just how radically pro-death Obama is, even they might reconsider their level of support.

Obama’s Abortion Vulnerability

Having survived Hillary Clinton’s “kitchen sink” attack strategy, Barack Obama may think there’s not much left in the kitchen for Republicans to throw at him except a few pots and pans. As he turns his attention to the general election, Obama has invited McCain to join him in debating “big issues” — national security, health care, the economy — instead of resorting to the old politics of personal attacks and negative ads. He is naive if he thinks McCain is going to allow him to set the rules of the game.

The Republicans — and I’m not talking about the nuts in the fruitcake fringe of the GOP — are going to pick up where Hillary Clinton left off in defining Obama as an elitist who doesn’t understand the concerns and values of those gun-owning, church-going Americans he described as “bitter.” They’re not going to let voters forget about his association with Bill Ayers, a leftist radical from the ’60s, or the incendiary sermons of his former pastor, the Rev. Jeremiah Wright. And they will add something new to this mix — Obama’s record on abortion.

They point out that Obama not only voted against a ban on so-called partial-birth abortion, a procedure the late Democratic Sen. Daniel Patrick Moynihan of New York once called “too close to infanticide,” but opposed a bill to protect the life of an infant who survived a late-term abortion.

Speaking against a similar bill in the Illinois Senate, Obama sounded like the constitutional law professor he was before going into politics.

“Number one,” he said, “whenever we define a pre-viable fetus as a person that is protected by the Equal Protection Clause or the other elements in the Constitution, what we’re really saying is, in fact, that they are persons that are entitled to the kinds of protections that would be provided to a child, a 9-month-old child that was delivered to term. That determination then, essentially, if it was accepted by a court, would forbid abortions to take place. I mean, it — it would essentially bar abortions, because the Equal Protection Clause does not allow somebody to kill a child, and if this were a child, this would be an anti-abortion statute.”

Nothing motivates the radical left more than the right to kill “pre-viable” humans, but even the rabid NARAL took a pass on opposing this bill. Obama, who hangs with un-repentent bombers like Bill Ayers, apparently doesn’t have a problem with denying “health care” to infants born alive in partial-birth abortions.

By the time McCain is done with him on this issue, even some die-hard liberals will feel like washing their hands after shaking Obama’s.

Barack Obama? Ick!

In the “Well Duh!” department…

Vouchers Work

Thanks to grossly dishonest TV ads run by the education establishment, California voters have rejected school choice – innovative programs allowing parents to take their kids out of troubled public schools and either move them to better public schools or provide them with subsidies to attend private schools. The basic, obvious idea that competition would lead poor schools to improve was trumped by a teachers union-led campaign that likened school choice to an assault on students, the very people it would help most.

Now along comes research that makes an empirical case that vouchers work. Princeton University economist Cecilia Elena Rouse and three colleagues took a close look at the results of Florida’s A+ voucher program from 2002-2007, aided by a massive, detailed study of practices at thousands of individual schools.

Alas, there’s a depressing twist to this story. At the behest of teachers unions, the A+ voucher program was thrown out by Florida’s notoriously liberal Supreme Court on highly dubious grounds. But before its demise, at least the program yielded hard evidence that vouchers work.

The degree to which Teacher’s Unions suck cannot be overstated. I use this site to TRY to OVERSTATE how bad teacher’s unions suck, and I fail. They suck much worse than anything I’ve stated on this site, ever. For even more proof, keep reading…
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Pensions Bankrupt EVERYTHING!

In the post below this one, you will read about how Illinois has the worst pension crisis in the 50 states. Over at Illinois Review, Ralf Seife writes a great piece as to why. He chronicles only one example of the utter piggishness of one Carol Ronen…

Soon thereafter, on March 1, 2008, Governor Blagojevich hired Ronen to work in his office. Two months later, on April 30, 2008, the former senator quit. At the annual salary the newspaper reported, Ronen earned approximately $20,000 for 39 actual work days. But what those few days of work really did for the Senator was to make her eligible for a pension that is $37,995 higher than her legislative salary would qualify. And, because the General Assembly doesn’t want any of its members to slide into poverty, there’s an automatic 3% escalator we taxpayers will have to pay as long as former Senator Ronen lives.

The reason the Republican Party of Illinois is too stupid to campaign against this devastatingly stupid greed is obvious – they were in on it, and want back in on it in the worst way. This is why you won’t see a “Republican” propose a pension fix.

Add to all this the greed of Teachers Unions and their Adminstrative cronies, and you have a real problem on your hands. If you don’t believe me, witness the bankruptcy of entire companies like United Airlines and Delphi (a large US Automotive parts supplier). Instead of investing in R& D and innovation during the last 16 “fat years,” the bloated management of many US campanies caved to the pension and job security demands of their unions, and bankrupted themselves in the process.

Now, we can see what the future holds for the entire US, as we look at nations like Japan and Greece, who are the bankrupted canaries in the Pension Coal Mine.

The ‘fiction of affluence’ has Greeks uneasy

In February, Greece was paralyzed by a nationwide general strike that shut down air travel, hospitals and public transportation. Unions were angry over plans to consolidate more than 170 different pension plans and limit early retirement. Embarrassing for Greek finance, the strike also brought trading on the stock exchange and bond markets to a standstill.

Work stoppages or slowdowns have become a recurrent feature of Greek life. One weekend this month, gas station owners quit pumping fuel to protest government regulation of transport fees, while pilots forced the cancellation of dozens of flights in a contract dispute.

Karamanlis’s government pushed the pension changes through Parliament in March, but independent observers warned that the system was still unsustainable. A low birthrate combined with generous benefits means that its cost will balloon to nearly 25 percent of gross domestic product by 2050, nearly double the average in Western Europe.

Pension bankrupted Illinois, they bankrupt entire companies, and they are bankrupting entire nations. This should come as no surprise, as the concept of a pension (that you have a right to retire for 10-30 years and live off children that your own generation has become too lazy to give birth to) is morally bankrupt on its face.

If you think about, pensions (and public pensions in particular), are the essence of “Taxation with out Representation”. It is time for another political revolution, and targeting the unfunded pension benefit should be at the center of that revolution. If a benefit isn’t funded at the time it is provided, it ought to be unconstitutional.

To argue against this common sense is morally, financially, and intellectually bankrupt.

Coinciding with the “Worst Political Class” in the Nation…

Illinois has nation’s worst pension problem

The combination of debt in terms of both money and percentage gives Illinois the infamous distinction of having the nation’s worst pension problem, according to an Associated Press review of records and interviews with experts. And there’s no solution in sight.

The staggering debt load for the five pension plans for state employees is a problem that’s remained largely in the shadows for decades. The $42 billion “unfunded liability” — the difference between the systems’ assets and what they owe employees in benefits — also is creating a real problem for state policy makers.

It’s squeezing out money for other valued needs, such as education and health care. It means the state has less money for things like child-care aid and fixing roads and schools, or paying some of the $1 billion it owes to Medicaid health care providers and others.

When you allow some one to retire at 55 with 75% of salary for life, it is bad enough. But when you allow for obscene “End of Career” bonuses to artificially raise the 4-year average, so that teachers and administrators can retire with obscenely high pensions, you are courting disaster.

The paltry “lump sum payments” into the pension system for 4 years do not come anywhere near covering the 10, 20 or 30 year cost of paying the inflated pension benefits. When the legislature was forced to end this ABUSE by capping “bonuses” (bonuses for what, BTW?) in 2005, how did the greedy education monopoly respond?

First, they got a loophole written into the cap that allowed the “district” to pay more. This precipitated the 100s of referenda, basically lying to voters about “needs”, only to use it fund payroll and pension bumps. Now, they are fighting to front-load larger (20%) bonuses BEFORE the 4-year 6% cap. Their GREED is insatiable.

I could make a theoretical case that the concept of “pensions” constitute a moral hazard that eats away at our culture. Where is it written that you should be able to live off of the next 2 generations free of charge? No wonder Europe stopped having kids. The entire continent got so self-absorbed they decided to ignore their funding system. But I digress….

Let me be concrete instead of theoretical.

The explosion in public employment, the clout of public employee unions, and their unwarrnated sense of entitlement to benefits untethered from actuarial reality ARE the problem. The Illinois Constitution compounds this problem by being one of the worst documents on record.

It guaranteed benefits, but NEVER mandated a payment mechanism to fund them. The incompetent Illinois Supreme Court compounded this error by ruling that as long as checks are received, there is no cause of action to force funding. (IL Fed. of Teachers v. Lindberg, 326 NE2d 749)

This became a license to “steal”, as politicians could reward anyone and everyone with “jobs” and benefits, all to be paid by future taxpayers. Your falling home values and rising property taxes are tied to this financial tsunami of red ink.

The “early retirement option”, “end-of-career bonuses” (For what, I ask you again!?), and loading up on payroll are all as “irresponsible” as any tax cuts bandied about by the ILL GOP. They ARE the cause the pension problem.

We need a Constitutional Convention to write a “Balanced Budget Clause” that disallows ANY debt in the calculation, and a “Pension Clause” that forces agencies to FULLY fund every benefit at the time promised.

Obama and FARC

File this with Obama and Wright, Obama and Farrakan, Obama and Hamas, Obama and Ayers….

Whether its sitting on a Foundation Board with Ayers or or being on the receiving end of Iraqi money through Rezko, Obama keeps dangerous company.

After a while, you get the feeling that these are more than just chance passings of ideological fellow travelers. Why is it that Obama is “liked” by so many of our enemies.

Obama And FARC

Terrorism: The March 1 death strike by the Colombian army against FARC warlord Raul Reyes broke open a trove of contacts in his computer. So why did the name of Barack Obama turn up there?

Admittedly, it pales compared with other material from the dead thug’s computer — such as FARC efforts to obtain uranium or Hugo Chavez’s $300 million support.

But the little Obama reference within the 15 FARC letters released by the Colombian government signals a disturbing pattern of contacts with rogue actors. It’s not the first time, and Obama has yet to distance himself.

In a Feb. 28 letter, FARC chieftain Raul Reyes cheerily reported to his inner circle that he met “two gringos” who assured him “the new president of their country will be Obama and that they are interested in your compatriots. Obama will not support ‘Plan Colombia’ nor will he sign the TLC (Free Trade Agreement).”

According to “Open Secrets“, Obama has spent $218 millions so far, and has $48 million on hand. Are we to believe that this is all American money. Trial Lawyers have been bundling donations for decades, and we all know that the practice of giving some one $2,300 to give to a campaign in probably widespread.

It is getting so even investigating Hillary ($185 million spent) and Obama’s millions is too big a project for law enforcement.