Terrible Twos

Written by Yappy.

I was suddenly struck a while back by the juxtaposition of two news stories: the flap over New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie’s supposed “offramp-gate” scandal and the hue and cry over the name of the Washington Redskins football team.  Surely those of you who have watched or are watching small children know exactly what I mean?  That is, somewhere around the age of one when a child is walking well and getting into everything, you see them taking great delight in one particular discovery – the discovery that they can make things happen.  One of the favorites, if older children or parents will play, is to push on a person or thing and see it move or topple over.  This goes on, to their great delight, until the subject tires of the sport and resists, or stays toppled, at which time the child is outraged at the former, or moves on to something else in the latter. 

Liberals are exactly like that!  They will scream and kick their feet in protest (remember Gov. Dayton leading a protest against the Redskins?) and they’re still screaming about it.  They’re still screaming about Christie, too, but he isn’t playing and eventually, they will shut up and find some NEW target.  Remember how Newt Gingrich had to step down as Speaker, and as soon as he did, the liberals went after the NEXT speaker?   Hopefully, the adults will eventually learn to just say “no” to these spoiled infant despots-in-training, and we’ll all be better off for it.  We need to learn fast, however, because for most of these liberals, the “terrible twos” are the next stage, where they simply won’t do what makes sense, regardless of what the older and wiser adults may tell them.   Somebody get me a switch.

Let Us All Be Rich!

Written by Yappy.

OK, if the debate is not over whether to raise the minimum wage, but over how much, then now is the perfect time to ask the age-old question that the utopians never want to answer, which is, why not $25 per hour?  Heck, why not $100 per hour; we could all be rich!  You see, every single argument they advance as to why it should NOT be $100 per hour, other than “that’s ridiculous,” (whereupon you ask “WHY is it ridiculous?”) applies equally to any number below that, just to a lesser degree.  Surely a minimum wage of $100 per hour would find EVERYBODY out of work or disastrous inflation on prices to match, or some combination of both.  So why should $9.50 be any different other than in degree?  Kids have a tough enough time finding summer or after-school jobs as it is, so my question would be, how many people does the DFL want to put out of work?

I’m sure I’ve told this story a thousand times, but a caller to a local conservative talk show said, “I’m as conservative as anybody, but I just love to see the minimum wage go up.  I am in the automation business, and an increase in the minimum wage sends my business through the roof.”   I’ve already seen it in Europe.  Every McDonald’s you walk into, nobody takes your order; you punch what you want into the machine—it works great—and go pick it up at the counter.  Now, a US firm has announced the fully automated “burger flipper” robot, that builds and cooks your burger to your order, and the only human involved is the one loading the raw food into the machine.  It can make hundreds of burgers an hour and costs less than one year’s salary of the people it replaces.  Raise the minimum wage, and this company will make a fortune, putting millions of people out of work.  Here’s the thing.  If somebody wants to pay me $5 per hour to do a job, and I am willing to take the job at $5 per hour, who does the DFL think it is telling me I have to stay unemployed?

 

Recasting Reagan’s 11th

Written by Yappy.

Ronald Reagan famously said, “Thou shalt not speak ill of a fellow Republican,” and it became known as "Reagan's 11th commandment."   For many of my fellow Republicans, however, this sensible commandment is, as Shakespeare said, “More honored in the breech than in the observance.”  That is, it is better for us to break it than to follow it. They are partly right. Certainly we need to expect our elected officials to hold to conservative principle, but that need not and should not take the form of unbridled criticism, especially when much of that criticism is unwarranted and even works counter to our own best interests.

We elect Republicans because their principles are closer to ours than ANY Democrat’s, regardless of what Democrats may say. When it appears our elected Republicans have strayed from principle we do indeed have the right and duty to question their statements and votes, but we must also remember that every vote they take is a conflict among multiple principles, policy objectives and political considerations. Most of these criticisms, therefore, share two glaring faults. First, we tend to have imperfect information. Our representatives are the ones in the action, elected and paid to know more than we do about what is in a particular piece of legislation and what its real-world effect may be.  For example, characterizing the recent Continuing Resolution as "$1.1 trillion of pork" is so wildly deceptive as to be worthy of a Democrat talking point. Only a tiny fraction of that spending could legitimately be called pork at all, and Republicans have led the charge to eliminate these "earmarks" entirely.  In short, the criticism is invalid, and harms the Republican brand by promulgating an untruth. 

The second fault is the general one applied to all criticism, which is that you can't fairly or constructively criticize unless you offer a better alternative. The example here is the criticism that "Republicans voted not to defund Obamacare."   The statement, while true, completely (and deliberately) misses the point. Republicans did in fact vote many times to defund Obamacare in the House, and finally attached it to the "must pass" continuing resolution to keep the government open. But the U.S. Senate refused to act on that, or on any of the three or four subsequent compromises Republicans passed, while Obama shut down the government, closed national parks and told government employees to make the shutdown as painful as possible while he and his minions in the media blamed Republicans endlessly and mercilessly. Those who criticize Republicans for yielding to this outrageous Democrat extortion and slander never offer a plausible alternative course of action. All that "standing on principle" was gaining the Republicans was a rapid erosion of their poll ratings and our ability to elect Republicans in the next election cycle. 

And that is why keeping this commandment is so important.  It is because Democrats cannot win being truthful about their policy positions and are reduced to criticizing Republicans as their only strategy. When we criticize our Republican candidates unfairly we only offer Democrats more ammunition for their scurrilous attacks. Certainly they will simply make something up if we don't, but we shouldn't be helping them with “stuff” they will certainly use to persuade our conservative brethren to vote against our own best candidate.

Cutting Off Your Nose

Written by Yappy.

Newt Gingrich,  along with many others, argues that the taxpayers should not be “bailing out the big [health] insurance companies” when they inevitably lose money on their Obamacare policies.  Certainly those companies brought some of this on themselves, believing that there would be millions of new customers out there following the mandate, and bringing in large taxpayer subsidies with them.  They believed the lies and got greedy.  Still, someone must have foreseen the reality.  Why else would these massive bailouts have been written into the law in the first place? 

It is also probably true that having Republicans seek to deny these bailouts would be politically popular, but believing that such an action would be a strong blow struck against Obamacare is not.  For Republicans, it would be “cutting off your nose to spite your face.”  Obamacare doesn’t care if these companies go bankrupt and out of business.  But if the fervently-desired repeal of Obamacare is to be realized, we are going to NEED these companies to participate in the free market solution that follows.  Some would even say that denying these bailouts furthers the evil strategy of the Democrats, to bankrupt these companies and pave the way for single-payer.  That gives Democrats far too much credit for cunning, when the simpler explanation is that they were, like always, believing that whatever legislation they passed would perfectly implement their good intentions.  They really believed that they could deliver better healthcare to more people at lower cost.  That is probably why they made provisions (through subsidies) for the cost of the individual policies being much higher, and for the possibility that the insurance companies would still lose massive amounts of money.  Wait… That makes no sense!  Neither does bankrupting private companies so that government can take over.

But the poorest strategy here is making this the principle Democrat “concession” demanded in exchange for Republican agreement to raise the debt ceiling.  With Obamacare imploding, Republicans should avoid anything other than criticism, and they certainly cannot gain politically by doing something that Democrats can use to claim (falsely, of course) that Republicans “caused Obamacare to fail,” which you KNOW they will.  The reason for the GOP to fight over the debt ceiling is to somehow slow federal spending, and so the direct approach is best both logically and politically.  That is, demand a balanced budget (over ten years) be passed, or at least that a Balanced Budget Amendment pass the Senate.  People could easily understand that, and thus it would work against Democrats to oppose it.  The charge about “ruining the US credit” would start to cut both ways, for a change.  Let’s keep our nose on.

That Was Quick

Written by Yappy.

On January 1, Congress’ new law took effect, banning incandescent light bulbs and forcing us to use those hazardous CFLs in order to stop Global Warming.  Since then, the climate has been COLD.  Really COLD.  Who knew that Global Warming could be fixed so quickly and easily, and by an Act of Congress, no less!   Problem solved!

What’s The Difference?

Written by Yappy.

I have been saying for a long time that “The worst Republican is better than the best Democrat, and I can prove it.”  That proof is to do a statistical analysis of the Taxpayers League Legislative Scorecard, which is based on those fiscal issues that we [supposedly] all agree on.  In the past, my statement has clearly been true, but analysis of the 2012 scorecard requires that my statement must be qualified, thanks to two “rogue” DFLers in the House and three in the Senate.    These best Democrats are only one vote better than the worst Republicans, because of the limited number of votes scored, but that still counts.   The original statement is nonetheless true if one considers lifetime scores, with the worst Republican outscoring the best DFLer by 9 points in the House and a whopping 28 points in the Senate. 

The real difference shows up in the AVERAGE scores.  For 2012, Republicans outscored the DFL by 52 points in the Senate and 54 points in the House.  In lifetime score, Republicans outscore the DFL by 63 points in the Senate and by 65 points in the House.  My point is that those who say there isn’t a dime’s worth of difference are saying that they see no difference between a candidate likely to vote with fiscal conservatives 13% of the time and one likely to vote “right” 77% of the time.  It just seems to me that a difference that huge ought to make voting easy, and make not voting unthinkable.   

Party

Number

Statistic

2012

Lifetime

Sen/House

DFL

30

MIN

0

0

Senate

  

MAX (best DFL)

43

29

 
  

AVG

13.7

14.0

 

R

37

MIN (worst GOP)

43

57

Senate

  

MAX

100

95

 
  

AVG

66.1

76.9

 

DFL

63

MIN

0

0

House

  

MAX (best DFL)

57

43

 
  

AVG

16.6

11.9

 

R

72

MIN (worst GOP)

43

52

House

  

MAX

100

96

 
  

AVG

70.5

77.0

 

Call It What It Is

Written by Yappy.

Thank goodness those global warming activists and self-styled “researchers” have been rescued from the Antarctic sea ice, the disappearance of which they were supposedly investigating.  You would think their theory would have been disproved by the last 2 weeks they spent trapped in ice which they believed did not exist, but you would be wrong.  You see, their ship was freed when some of this ice melted in the Antarctic late summer, just as it has every summer for thousands of years.  So… More proof of global warming!   But since we’re told that our record cold weather “doesn’t say anything about climate,” neither should a couple days of fortuitous weather of the Antarctic summer say anything about “climate change.”

The big problem here is how we have allowed the Climate Alarmists to set their own definitions.  In particular, substituting the phrase “climate change” for “global warming” has allowed them to make the  ludicrous claims that our recent record-setting cold snap was caused by climate change, when the ENTIRE theory is predicated on the assumption that increased greenhouse gasses cause global WARMING.  At some point these folks should lose all credibility for saying that a theory that predicts the earth will get warmer is somehow proven when the earth gets colder!  And at some point, say after 16 years of day-to-day weather, weather DOES become “climate.”  When 23 of the 25 computer models have already fallen well outside the observed reality, it’s time to stop listening to these folks.  Maybe we should send more of them to the Antarctic for the summer.

Death Panels Are Working

Written by Yappy.

The Death Panels started working today.  Oh, not in the sense of the mental image that Sarah Palin created when she coined the term, of some beady-eyed bureaucrats in subterranean secrecy deciding who lives and who dies (perhaps based on the same criteria as the IRS uses to decide which organizations get  501 status).   But the outcome is the same.  Remember how many times we were told that “people are dying from lack of health insurance”?    If we assume that is true, then millions of people will be dying this year BECAUSE OF OBAMACARE.  

To obtain insurance starting today, people had to sign up by December 13/20/24/26 (Obama keeps moving the date) and even by their own numbers only 2 million people have Obamacare coverage.  But at least half of those didn’t sign up for Obamacare, but for Medicaid, so they don’t “count.”  And at least 10% (probably higher) of the rest weren’t properly processed through to the insurance companies, and will get a nasty surprise when they go after a prescription or to see a doctor.   Some of those will drop out because of the costs, too, because prices ARE [much] higher and there is no mechanism yet for paying the subsidies.  Being generous, then, compare that 500,000-900,000 people newly insured with the 5 MILLION that have LOST insurance because of Obamacare, or the 7 million who were supposed to be Obamacare-insured by now, or the 45 million uninsured who were supposed to be covered by Obamacare when it passed the Congress, and lastly, with the 90 million that Obama KNEW, in 2010, would lose coverage when the employer mandate kicks in this year.  The number of lives Obamacare has made “safe” will be less than 1/1000 of those who will “die for lack of health insurance”!    That’s not only a death panel; it’s a “man-caused disaster.”   Should we tolerate millions “killed” by government stupidity?

Union Recruiting at Walmart with Keith Ellison

Written by Nancy LaRoche.

Keith Ellison never misses a chance to recruit for unions. Earlier this fall, it was outside the Minnesota federal courthouse during the government shutdown. Today, it was outside a Wal-Mart in Brooklyn Center, under the guise of protesting low wages. Via WCCO:

Rep. Keith Ellison, D-Minnesota, joined the protest.

“This is a national problem of low wages. You guys being brave and courageous will help us get that change,” Ellison.

I don't think many Minnesotans are buying what they're crying. Best comments on WCCO's site:

>> Rep. Keith Ellison, D-Minnesota, joined the protest.
Really? Walmart must have really low standards for hiring.

What makes everyone so sure they are Walmart workers and not people from SEIU or the former ACORN?

Let's 'fire' the guy the the blue jacket.

Unions must be desperate for members. I'm also curious if any protesters were paid by unions to be there today. And to Representative Ellison (who represents me in the 5th District): did you mention how much you get paid to these workers? Be brave and courageous!

Find out more about "Our Walmart" and UFCW's attempts to unionize workers here. And remember workers: if you choose to unionize, your pay may go up a little - but you'll see less on your paycheck because of union dues. Somebody has to pay for those fancy t-shirts and signs. Just sayin'.

UPDATE: Big Government reports that the Walmart protests are a nationwide effort. Here's a peek into their plans, and how they're raising money:

Sasson’s group’s New York City-area Walmart event is part of a nationally organized day of action from the institutional left against nation's biggest employer. Sasson told planners, according to the audio recording obtained by Breitbart News, that left-wing organizations plan to target 2,000 Walmart locations nationwide across America on Black Friday. That is an increase from what she said were 1,200 stores that took heat from progressives on Black Friday last year.

MacKenzie Baris, a northeastern U.S. field organizer for another left-wing group, Jobs with Justice, noted that the left has raised funds off of these protests that total just under $200,000. “Online donations to support striking workers being off the job totaled $193,000,” Baris said later in the recording of last year’s fundraising numbers. “That’s individuals giving money online to support the strikers.”

(Hat tip-Sue Jeffers)

I Can Keep Mine

Written by Yappy.

Well, I got that dreaded letter from my health insurance company last week, and there is good news and bad news.  The good news is that I get to keep my existing health plan!  The bad news is that the cost is going up 20%.  Of course the really bad news is that my employer, being smarter than most, saw Obamacare coming last year, and dumped me into a subsidized group plan that, to meet Obamacare mandates, cost me roughly 70% more than I was previously paying.  And THAT was the insurance I liked and wanted to keep.  I wonder… Does Obamacare cover me if I am sick of Obamacare?

WHAT IT IS

Written by Yappy.

A number of pundits have observed (here and here) that it took less time for the US to fight and win World War II than it has to get the “simple” Obamacare website operational.   But fear not!   Barack Obama, our Master of IT IS (Information Technology and Information Systems) has said “This will be fixed,” thereby proving that he knows absolutely nothing about either.  He doesn’t know the first rule about IT project scheduling, which is that “the first 90% of the project takes 90% of the time, and the other 10% of the project takes the other 90% of the time.”   Apparently nobody told him that if you have 3-1/2 years to complete the project and don’t start testing until six weeks prior to go-live, you’re in deep kaka with the schedule.  And, like everything else liberals do, he ignored the fundamental rule of all projects, which is that you can specify the time, the cost, or the functionality, so long as you pick only TWO.  Obamacare, of course, specifies all three in self-contradictory detail, and liberals then fume because the fundamental laws of the universe do not obey their whimsical wishes.  

What is worse, in my opinion, is that Mr. Obama seems to fervently believe that his pontifications on the subject somehow alter reality.  Saying “it will get fixed” does not cause it to be fixed if it is not possible to fix it (or even if it IS).  Obamacare simply cannot work as promised—it is impossible—and everybody but Obama ought to be realizing that.  Whether it will work as written (also not possible and already proven so) or as intended (some say it was intended to drive private insurance out of existence) is another matter.  In any event, Mr. Obama’s commandment that the seas cease their rise or that a website gets “fixed” is borderline megalomaniacal madness.