Archive

Monthly Archives: April 2012

Obviously, that’s not what this bear is doing, but it looks kinda like it. He’s been tranquilized. Read about it here

Advertisements

The first sentence of Jammie Wearing Fool’s post has the salient question:

Can we still blame Bush or has the statute of limitations set in yet?

U.S. economic growth cooled in the first quarter as businesses cut back on investment and restocked shelves at a moderate pace, but stronger demand for automobiles softened the blow.

Gross domestic product expanded at a 2.2 percent annual rate, the Commerce Department said on Friday in its advance estimate, moderating from the fourth quarter’s 3 percent rate.

While that was below economists’ expectations for a 2.5 percent pace, a surge in consumer spending took some of the sting from the report. However, growth was still stronger than analysts’ predictions early in the quarter for an expansion below 1.5 percent.

So it was below expectations but still stronger than the predictions. Sure, keep believing that.

You know what this story needs? A reminder of how cool Obama is.

via Unexpected! GDP Plunges to Pitiful 2.2% | Jammie Wearing Fools.

Andrew Klavan and Bill Whittle lampoon Davis Guggenheim’s Obama love-fest video. It’s funny, alright, but sad when you consider the damage done.

Here’s more on the misrepresentations made about ObamaCare in Guggenheim’s encomium:

‘The Road We’ve Traveled:’ A misleading account of Obama’s mother and her insurance dispute

If you want to see why “Traveled” is such a love-in for Obama, check out Guggenheim’s assessment of the film: “the only negative about it was that I couldn’t put enough postives in” (in 17 minutes) Argh.

I haven’t posted about TSA security theater idiocy in a while. That’s not to say there haven’t been plenty of stories about the stupid stuff they do in the name of keeping air travel “safe”, I just kind of get accustomed to seeing stories about their crap. This week, however, they’ve been scoring big points for themselves by identifying little girls as potential terrorists. Early in the week, agents in Wichita accused a four year-old  girl of having a gun because she hugged her grandma (who was obviously trying to sneak a gun past security).

Now, they’ve struck again, this time harrassing a developmentally disabled girl with cerebral palsy:

Traveling from New York’s John F. Kennedy International Airport to Florida, the Frank family was yanked out of line as it boarded the plane in a dispute over how 7-year-old Dina had been screened. The little girl, who has cerebral palsy, walks with crutches and leg braces.

Airline Security Threat Dina Frank, Age 7 (Family Photo)

“They make our lives completely difficult,” said her father, Dr. Joshua Frank, a Long Island pediatrician. “She’s not a threat to national security.”

Flying is always difficult for the family, but this week was particularly dreadful, Frank and his wife, Marcy, said.

With her crutches and orthotics, Dina cannot walk through metal detectors and instead is patted down by security agents. The girl, who is also developmentally disabled, is often frightened by the procedure, her father said.

Marcy Frank usually asks the agents to introduce themselves to her daughter, but those on duty on Monday were exceptionally aggressive, Joshua Frank said, and he began to videotape them with his iPhone.

“And the woman started screaming at me and cursing me and threatening me,” he said.

Eventually, a supervisor decided it was sufficient to inspect Dina’s crutches and allowed the family to leave for the gate.

They were there for an hour before the agents reappeared with a manager to tell them that proper protocol had not been followed, and that Dina had to be screened after all, the Franks said. After initially offering to pat her down at the gate, they insisted she return to the security area, Joshua Frank said.

“So then I got aggravated,” he said.

He should be aggravated. A lot of us should be aggravated about the ridiculous lack of common sense employed by these troglodytes masquerading as “security” officers. I sure hope the new president makes it a priority to do something about this tragic waste of taxpayer dollars.

Read the rest at The Daily

A U.S. Senator from Delaware (I don’t need to tell you the party) thinks the way to save the rapidly deteriorating U.S. Postal Service is with windmills. I kid you not:

The Postal Service has got a lot of problems, but the age of their delivery vehicles is likely not one of them. Rather, it’s shrinking demand for their services, and the heavily unionized workforce that averages $83,000 per year in compensation (from Downsizing Government):

The troubles at the Postal Service are legion. Demand is down, thanks to alternatives such as e-mail, text messaging and other electronic communication tools. The Postal Service admits that first-class mail volume (which accounts for more than half its revenues) peaked in 2006.

Then there’s the massive and heavily unionized workforce. With more than 600,000 career employees, the Postal Service has the second largest workforce behind Walmart, 85 percent of whom are covered by collective bargaining agreements. That’s driven average compensation for Postal Service workers to $83,000 per year. Today, compensation and benefits account for almost 80 percent of the Postal Service’s costs, a figure that hasn’t changed in years “despite major advances in technology and the automation of postal operations,” notes the Government Accountability Office.

On top of that, as a government enterprise, the Postal Service is subject to congressional meddling. Last year, for example, the Postal Service proposed consolidating 3,000 postal outlets, but following a congressional outcry, the number under consideration was cut to a derisory 157. UPS and FedEx, it’s worth noting, don’t share the Postal Service’s bleak future because they don’t face the same constraints as a government enterprise.

Even the band-aids the Postal Service is proposing today — mail delivery reduced to five days, longer delivery times and increased postage-stamp prices — aren’t likely to get congressional approval. Moreover, such measures will only push Americans further away from physical letter delivery and toward greater use of electronic tools.

A better approach would be for lawmakers to follow the lead of other countries and privatize the post office.

I don’t see how that’s going to happen, with unions having so much influence over soft-headed politicians like Mr. Carper. I love how he talks romantically about the offshore windmill farms generating all this excess energy to be store in batteries. I suppose this would be fine for mail trucks near the coast, but what about the ones elsewhere? Where will they get electricity to charge their batteries? From coal, perhaps?

One other problem: those offshore wind farms don’t exist (for the most part), and I’m not sure the U.S.P.S. will be around long enough for them to be built.

(H/T Weasel Zippers)