Keane observations about life, politics and sports.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Palin on the Rising Cost of Gasoline

Today, Sarah Palin had a Facebook post regarding the rising cost of gasoline and how President Obama's actions/decisions are contributing to the rise. Ever the optimist, Palin referred to Obama as "The $4 a gallon president." I say optimist because based on his stance on domestic drilling and past comments about preferring more expensive fuel to encourage greater reliance on mass transit, Obama is aiming for a price much higher than $4. Here is the opening paragraph, click the link above for the rest.
The $4-Per-Gallon President by Sarah Palin

Is it really any surprise that oil and gas prices are surging toward the record highs we saw in 2008 just prior to the economic collapse? Despite the President’s strange assertions in his press conference last week, his Administration is not a passive observer to the trends that have inflated oil prices to dangerous levels. His war on domestic oil and gas exploration and production has caused us pain at the pump, endangered our already sluggish economic recovery, and threatened our national security.

The evidence of the President’s anti-drilling mentality and his culpability in the high gas prices hurting Americans is there for all to see. The following is not even an exhaustive list:
Is it 2012 yet?

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Is Another Continuing Resolution Defensible?

We are about six months into the current federal fiscal year yet we are operating without a budget. When the legislature is unable to get a budget passed and signed into law, there is no authorization to continue to fund the government. When that happens the legislature passes a stop gap measure to keep essential government functions running. That measure is called a Continuing Resolution (CR). The CR is supposed to be for a short time frame while the finishing touches are put on the budget. Well, like anything with the government, it has grown to be quite different from what it originally was intended. Not only are we nearly half-way through the year for which the budget is for, but we are not close to a finished product.

A number of new members of congress are opposing the idea of approving yet another CR. They correctly believe no real effort to pass a budget will be seen as long as the CR's keep getting approved. Support those members. They need to understand that the media will by and large paint a government shutdown as a negative and will assign blame to Republicans. They should not pretend it won't happen. Instead they must get out front of the issue and educate the populace. Some people will not understand no matter how well it is explained. However, if they leave it to the media to educate the man on the street you can be certain they will misunderstand the situation. Also, don't lecture as though speaking to a masters level economics class. Stick to the basics. Make sure people understand this is a budget that should have been passed last year before the elections were held. Explain that Dems had both houses of congress, but were afraid to pass a budget that could hurt them in the mid-term elections. Explain the danger of the ever expanding debt. Don't talk trillions. To people struggling to pay for a tank of gas, a million, a billion and a trillion might as well all mean the same thing. Instead of trillions, explain how many thousands they personally owe as their share of the debt. People understand thousands.


What Unions Do To Industries Plus Number One Reason There Should Be NO Public Sector Unions

Shamelessly stolen material (h/t Don Surber):
The U.S. Postal Service will post a deficit of $8 billion this year.

That is to cover its union promises to union workers for pensions and other post-retirement benefits.

So what did postal management do?

From the Washington Post:

The U.S. Postal Service and one of its largest labor unions have reached agreement on a new 41/2-year contract that would give raises to about 205,000 workers but force them to pay more for their health insurance.

The tentative deal with the American Postal Workers Union would provide workers with a 3 1/2 percent pay increase over the life of the contract, starting with a 1 percent raise in November 2012, the union said Monday. Postal clerks, mechanics, truck drivers and maintenance staff will vote in coming weeks on the contract, which would run through May 2015.
It is one thing for a union to destroy a private company or industry as the UAW has attempted to do with the auto makers. Individuals have an option whether or not to buy a car and who to buy one from if they decide to make that purchase. Likewise, when management of a private company negotiates a deal with a union they are risking their money (or money of the shareholders they represent). However, when public sector unions negotiate their lucrative compensation packages the other side of the equation has no choice in the matter. I can decide to not buy an overly expensive car. I can not decide to refuse to pay the taxes to fund other people's generosity. A side issue in these incestuous negotiations in staffing requirements. How are decisions made on how many policemen or fire fighters are needed in a particular municipality? Those decisions are based on recommendations of "experts" who usually just happen to be former policemen or fire fighters. Any guess on whether they will err on the side of greater efficiency or on the side of greater redundancy? You got it. Have to be able to cover multiple emergencies simultaneously. Never mind the unlikelyhood of multiple fires or the fact that neighboring communities can help if it happened. Problem is people making those recommendations have no concern for the cost impact especially the long term obligations.

Some people claim that debt is a non issue since taxes haven't gone up. Ridiculous! That makes as much sense as someone telling their spouse that their credit card debt isn't an issue since they aren't currently paying it. Financial pain deferred is financial pain magnified.

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Friday, March 11, 2011

Japanese Earthquake and Pacific Tsunami

Over night a major earthquake caused massive damage to the island nation of Japan and has caused a tsunami which is moving across the Pacific Ocean. As with any event of this nature, the initial damage and death reports are meaningless. Since starting to type this post, CNBC has updated the "official" death toll twice. Sadly, we can expect that to happen many more times throughout the next several days.

Please keep the people of Japan and all those in the path of the tsunami in your prayers. We are of course focusing on major population centers like Hawaii and the United States west coast. However, there are many small islands between Japan and the United States.

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Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Call Your Congressman!

Do you have five minutes? Everybody has a few minutes to spare. Take the time to call your representative in DC. Never forget that they work for you. Doesn't matter how high and mighty they appear they still are your employee. If someone works for you then you have an obligation to occasionally give them direction and feedback.

I called my representative's office this morning and gave them my two cents on three matters that were bugging me and was able to look up the number, get through to a live voice, and get things off my chest in less than five minutes. The trick is know what you want to say. Write a couple notes and keep to your script so you don't ramble. Tell them the problem or your concern and what you'd like done.

The three things I complained about today:
1. Ridiculous & convoluted tax system. Simplify it! Give us a flat tax or national sales tax.
2. Eric Holder, the Attorney General made a blatantly racist statement this week in explaining why the Justice Department won't enforce the law evenly while he is in office. I want him to resign or be fired. My congressman can't make that happen, but he can call for it.
3. The Navy announced that a warship will be named for John Murtha, the late crooked congressman from Pennsylvania. Besides being a worthless crooked politician, in 2006 Murtha maliciously without facts accused Marines in combat of committing cold blooded murder. Nothing any more important than a latrine should be named for that wretched fool.

Will my congressman (Rep. John Boehner) fix those problems? Probably not. However, at least he knows a constituent is concerned about those issues. What he does will let me know if he listens to his constituents.

If your representative hears similar complaints from lots of constituents they are more likely to take action.

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Cranky Conservative Returns to Blogging

Paul Zummo aka The Cranky Conservative, one of the more insightful conservative bloggers took a hiatus last August. I'm glad to report he has started a new blog and is back in action. Visit his blog for commentary on sports (Mets fan), U.S. history, current events, religion (Catholic), and politics.

If you want some deeper reading, Paul also is a contributor at Almost Chosen People where he has been (slowly) reviewing the Federalist Papers.



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