Archive

Monthly Archives: January 2013

This group hasn’t held a meeting since February of last year. So much for Wile E. Obama and the ACME Economic Destruction Co.’s “laser focus” on jobs. I think the economy is doing exactly as well as Obama wants it to, which is to say not very well at all.

President Barack Obama will let his jobs council expire this week without renewing its charter, winding down one source of input from the business community even as unemployment remains stubbornly high.

When Obama in January 2011 formed his Council on Jobs and Competitiveness, unemployment was hovering above 9 percent. Two years later, more than 12 million people in the U.S. are out of work. The unemployment rate has fallen to 7.8 percent, but both parties agree that’s still too high.

A provision in Obama’s executive order establishing the council says it sunsets on Thursday. A White House official said the president does not plan to extend it.

Officials said the president always intended for the council to fulfill its mission and then wind down, and said Obama would continue to actively engage and seek input from business leaders about ways to accelerate job-creation and economic growth. Among the steps Obama plans to pursue are expedited permits for infrastructure projects, plus programs to boost entrepreneurship and workforce development.

Even before it was clear whether Obama would renew the jobs council, Republicans seized on its likely expiration as evidence the president has devoted insufficient attention to creating jobs, which polling shows remains a top priority for Americans. The Republican National Committee dubbed it part of “the failed Obama record,” while the House Republicans’ campaign committee, in an online petition, accused Obama of laying off his own jobs council.

Adding to the concern about the job market’s continued vulnerability, the Commerce Department said Wednesday that the U.S. economy shrank at an annual rate of 0.1 percent from October through December of last year, the first quarterly drop since 2009. The Federal Reserve said the economy appears to have “paused in recent months.”

The jobs council was a successor to another economic advisory board Obama created at the onset of his presidency. The panel was chaired by General Electric CEO Jeff Immelt and was composed of prominent business leaders and economists. Immelt said Thursday that progress has been made on implementing 90 percent of the council’s recommendations.

Obama met with the council only a handful of times. During the last meeting, in February 2012, the president and the council highlighted an engineering education initiative alongside school deans.

via The Associated Press: Obama’s jobs council shutting down Thursday.

This is a really great design for a stamp – not that I use many of them anymore. As an aside, the site I saw this on (Uncrate) had a link to the USPS site (which I won’t bother you with). In characteristic postal “service” fashion, I can find absolutely no mention of the stamp anywhere, not in the search, the shopping site, nowhere. Oh well, Uncrate got a picture of it from somewhere, and here it is.

johnny cash postage stamp

This makes a lot of sense to me. I’m afraid, though, that the libs will never go for it.

Last year I visited a gun shop in Waukegan and applied for an Illinois state firearm owner identification (or, as it’s known around these parts, a FOID card). Not that I’m planning a duck hunt or school massacre; I don’t even own a firearm. I find they clash with my wardrobe. I was just exercising a right, and curious about what was involved in doing so.

After wading through a battery of question about my citizenship, date/place of birth, felony convictions, and history of mental illness, I sat down for a glamour Polaroid shot, and the nice folks at the gun shop mailed the application on my behalf to Springfield for the mandatory background check. A scant 8 weeks later, I was delighted to receive a laminated card from the state of Illinois certifying that I am sufficiently naturalized, conviction-free, sane, and photogenic to own/purchase a gun in the state*.

Not only did this experience give me a second form of photo ID, it gave me an epiphany: that application form for owning a gun could double as a dandy Illinois voter registration form. After all, if you are too unnaturalized, young, criminal, nuts and/or camera shy to own a gun, what business do you have in a voting booth? Therefore:

Resolved: the eligibility criteria for voting should be exactly the same as the eligibility criteria for owning a gun.

Feel free to explain why not.

*offer void in city of Chicago

via A Modest Proposal.

So says WH spokesclown Jay Carney, as reported by Mark Knoller of CBS News. Never mind that little GDP contraction in Q4.

 

Haven’t they been saying this for about three years? You know, the “summers of wreckovery?” I don’t know about you, but I’m not holding my breath. The White House, of course, blames somebody else. This time, it’s Congress:

Some of the fiscal issues that may have weighed on the economy in the fourth quarter of 2012 were resolved with the passage of the American Taxpayer Relief Act in early January, which provided more than 98 percent of Americans and 97 percent of small businesses with the certainty that their income taxes will not rise. Today’s report is a reminder of the importance of the need for Congress to act to avoid self-inflicted wounds to the economy.  The Administration continues to urge Congress to move toward a sustainable federal budget in a responsible way that balances revenue and spending, and replaces the sequester, while making critical investments in the economy that promote growth and job creation and protect our most vulnerable citizens.

Hahahaha. Federal budget? Wile E. Obama’s ACME Economic Destruction Co. cohorts haven’t proposed a budget in three and a half years. Oh, and there are NO critical moves that the government can ever make that will promote job growth – excepting, that is, to stop trying and get out of the way.

Not just cool looking, it’s a functional (though small) set of tools you carry on your finger. It’s custom made, so it’s not cheap ($385). From Bruce Boone’s Etsy shop:titanium-utility-ring-xl-thumb-630xauto-26429

This is one of the most unique rings ever produced. Crafted from aerospace grade titanium, it is a comfortable and smart looking ring. Hidden inside is an assortment of useful tools. It has a working bottle opener, a straight blade perfect for cutting packing tape or fishing line, a serrated blade for tougher things like nylon strapping or those tough to open electronics heat sealed packages, a saw for cutting plastic and wood, and it has a comb! Although the comb is tiny, it actually does a surprisingly good job on the ‘stache or head! You would be amazed at just how handy this ring is.

The ring is custom made in exactly your size. The width remains at 9mm. The Brushed finish seems to work best, so I left off those options. The inside of the ring gets a polished finish for comfort. Although the ring can be engraved, the internal lines will affect the letters a bit. I recommend the Roman font if you will be engraving inside. There are brass rivets that hold the plates together, and they add a touch of class.

This utility ring is not to be confused with a toy. It is a finely engineered and crafted piece of functional art that anyone would be proud to wear.

It sure does seem like every bit of bad economic news we get anymore is “unexpected.” When are economists going to expect that we’ll see little or no growth so long as the Obama administration continues to do everything they can to squash economic growth? My guess is they won’t.

U.S. economic momentum screeched to a halt in the final months of 2012, as lawmakers struggle to reach a deal on tax increases and budget cuts likely led businesses to pare inventories and the government to cut spending. The nation’s gross domestic product shrank for the first time in 3 1/2 years during the fourth quarter, declining at an annual rate of 0.1% between October and December, the Commerce Department said Wednesday.It was the first time the broad measure of all goods and services produced by the economy contracted since the recovery from the financial crisis began. Economists surveyed by Dow Jones Newswires had expected 1.0% annualized growth. A one quarter contraction of economic output doesn’t mean the economy is formally in recession, but it is unusual for such contractions to happen in the middle of economic expansions. In fact, it has only happened one time in the past fifty years.  The decline reflects worries about the so-called fiscal cliff. The economy reversed from a 3.1% pace of growth in the third quarter largely because federal government spending fell by 15% and private business, likely fearing slack in demand, let inventories dwindle.

via U.S. Economy Contracts in Fourth Quarter – WSJ.com.