Friday, March 30, 2012

Club For Growth - Conservatives Disappointed in Paul Ryan's Budget Proposal

Google Club For Growth and get the whole story. Basically, the conservative group says, "We are right on the economics of the plan because we are demanding that the GOP follow through on spending cuts it promised to make NOW, not in the future. We are right on politics, because the GOP gave voters its word. Now the Republicans are breaking that promise and cultivating seeds of distrust with the American public."

Watching the type of spending local elected officials support, I do not see much change in spending no matter what party gets elected. Why I support the ouster of Obama and his ilk is because they have made too many commitments to non-profit organizations (the public sector including the federal government) and compassion driven organizations; mostly welfare, belligerent unions, all who continually ask for more such as foreign governments who laugh behind our backs as we unload train loads of cash and credit.

What most people who think somewhat similar to me want is more privatization of government, greater growth in the private sector CREATING NOT SPENDING more money to support the working class, less stringent regulation, continued development of fossil fuels while continuing to develop sensible alternate energy (think Solandra) sp , reduction of the public debt, level playing fields, politicians that worry less about being reelected than offending their big supporters, less overall taxes, less crime and more employment in the private sector and overall security.

Plus an opportunity to learn how to make a better life for themselves without this better life at the expensive of their peers.

J.C. Penny CEO Paid $53.3 Million In Compensation Last Year

And no, he is not worth anywhere near this figure. I will never buy any item from this company again.

Keeping Black Folks Enslaved On the Obama Plantation

Google this title and read what Mark Alexander of the Patriot Post says what Obama and his ilk are talking about on the shooting of the "kid"while ignoring the larger black crime issues.

Larger issues? Look at Chicago's shootings of blacks shooting each other, Blacks dropping out of school because they "don't want to work for the white man". How about most of these drop-outs don't want to work at all. They all want to be drug dealers or 'entertainers' if they can spell the word.

Cowardly Democrats Serving?? in Springfield, Il.

From the Boston Globe.


By and large, politicians are not willing to tackle the unsustainable costs they’ve created. Consider Illinois public employee pensions.
Public employee pensions have been a state expense. Therefore, a big chunk of legacy costs don’t need to be shown on school district books. But new legislation proposed by Senate Democrats seeks to change that. They want local school districts to bear that burden.
The problem? On third of Illinois school districts are already on “financial watch lists,” according to the New York Times. So the geniuses in Springfield are proposing to increase the weight because it is likely much easier to raise property taxes in local communities than it is to reform spending or raise state taxes in Springfield.
These are state politicians – many elected with financial assistance from the unions – punting to school boards. The state school boards association, of course, is resisting because it estimates an additional $800 million in costs for local school budgets with already-thin margins. Ben Schwarm, the association’s executive director, was quoted as saying:
“On the heels of an income tax increase last year and taxpayers’ looking at the fact that the state still has a huge budget deficit — and then they’re looking at a cut to education or a property tax increase — a lot of taxpayers are going to look at it and think it’s not the best idea.”
There are politicians on both sides of the aisle willing to seriously tackle these problems. But the obnoxious unions aren’t willing to give an inch, and overreact – intentionally – anytime Democrats propose even meager reform.
That’s why they’re traveling to Milwaukee, Wisconsin today to protest an appearance by Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel, who so far has been bold on school reform. Unions will attack anyone – Republican or Democrat – that dares cross them.
Illinois’ problem is grave. Champion News reports the 100 highest-paid school employees will pull down $1 billion in pension payments when they retire. The debate is not whether or not these government employees deserve this type of compensation, but whether it’s affordable, and whether politicians have the intestinal fortitude to fix the mess they created.

View Full Article
Tags: Education and Schools , Unions , Illinois , Politicians , Pensions

Kyle Olson
Kyle is Founder and CEO

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Kitty Werthmann and the Rising of Fascism to America

Google this brave lady for more about her efforts to warn this country of a future I long ago warned my readers, was coming.


America truly is the Greatest Country in the World

Kitty Werthmann is 85 years old. This is a SCARY piece of HISTORY. Read & perhaps learn something new from HISTORY and "CHANGE".

America truly is the Greatest Country in the World.By: Kitty Werthmann

What I am about to tell you is something you've probably never heard or will ever read in history books. I believe that I am an eyewitness to history. I cannot tell you that Hitler took Austria by tanks and guns; it would distort history. We elected him by a landslide - 98% of the vote.. I've never read that in any American publications. Everyone thinks that Hitler just rolled in with his tanks and took Austria by force.

In 1938, Austria was in deep Depression. Nearly one-third of our workforce was unemployed. We had 25% inflation and 25% bank loan interest rates. Farmers and business people were declaring bankruptcy daily. Young people were going from house to house begging for food. Not that they didn't want to work; there simply weren't any jobs. My mother was a Christian woman and believed in helping people in need. Every day we cooked a big kettle of soup and baked bread to feed those poor, hungry people - about 30 daily.The Communist Party and the National Socialist Party were fighting each other.. Blocks and blocks of cities like Vienna , Linz , and Graz were destroyed. The people became desperate and petitioned the government to let them decide what kind of government they wanted.We looked to our neighbor on the north, Germany , where Hitler had been in power since 1933. We had been told that they didn't have unemployment or crime, and they had a high standard of living. Nothing was ever said about persecution of any group -- Jewish or otherwise. We were led to believe that everyone was happy. We wanted the same way of life in Austria .. We were promised that a vote for Hitler would mean the end of unemployment and help for the family. Hitler also said that businesses would be assisted, and farmers would get their farms back. Ninety-eight percent of the population voted to annex Austria to Germany and have Hitler for our ruler. We were overjoyed, and for three days we danced in the streets and had candlelight parades. The new government opened up big field kitchens and everyone was fed.After the election, German officials were appointed, and like a miracle, we suddenly had law and order. Three or four weeks later, everyone was employed. The government made sure that a lot of work was created through the Public Work Service.Hitler decided we should have equal rights for women. Before this, it was a custom that married Austrian women did not work outside the home. An able-bodied husband would be looked down on if he couldn't support his family. Many women in the teaching profession were elated that they could retain the jobs they previously had been required to give up for marriage.

Hitler Targets Education - Eliminates Religious Instruction for Children: Our education was nationalized. I attended a very good public school. The population was predominantly Catholic, so we had religion in our schools. The day we elected Hitler (March 13, 1938), I walked into my schoolroom to find the crucifix replaced by Hitler's picture hanging next to a Nazi flag. Our teacher, a very devout woman, stood up and told the class we wouldn't pray or have religion anymore. Instead, we sang "Deutschland, Deutschland, Uber Alles," and had physical education. Sunday became National Youth Day with compulsory attendance. Parents were not pleased about the sudden change in curriculum. They were told that if they did not send us, they would receive a stiff letter of warning the first time. The second time they would be fined the equivalent of $300, and the third time they would be subject to jail. The first two hours consisted of political indoctrination. The rest of the day we had sports. As time went along, we loved it. Oh, we had so much fun and got our sports equipment free. We would go home and gleefully tell our parents about the wonderful time we had. My mother was very unhappy. When the next term started, she took me out of public school and put me in a convent. I told her she couldn't do that and she told me that someday when I grew up, I would be grateful. There was a very good curriculum, but hardly any fun - no sports, and no political indoctrination. I hated it at first but felt I could tolerate it. Every once in a while, on holidays, I went home. I would go back to my old friends and ask what was going on and what they were doing. Their loose lifestyle was very alarming to me. They lived without religion. By that time unwed mothers were glorified for having a baby for Hitler. It seemed strange to me that our society changed so suddenly. As time went along, I realized what a great deed my mother did so that I wasn't exposed to that kind of humanistic philosophy.

Equal Rights Hits Home: In 1939, the war started and a food bank was established. All food was rationed and could only be purchased using food stamps. At the same time, a full-employment law was passed which meant if you didn't work, you didn't get a ration card, and if you didn't have a card, you starved to death. Women who stayed home to raise their families didn't have any marketable skills and often had to take jobs more suited for men. Soon after this, the draft was implemented. It was compulsory for young people, male and female, to give one year to the labor corps. During the day, the girls worked on the farms, and at night they returned to their barracks for military training just like the boys. They were trained to be anti-aircraft gunners and participated in the signal corps. After the labor corps, they were not discharged but were used in the front lines.

When I go back to Austria to visit my family and friends, most of these women are emotional cripples because they just were not equipped to handle the horrors of combat. Three months before I turned 18, I was severely injured in an air raid attack. I nearly had a leg amputated, so I was spared having to go into the labor corps and into military service. Hitler Restructured the Family Through Daycare:When the mothers had to go out into the work force, the government immediately established child care centers. You could take your children ages 4 weeks to school age and leave them there around-the-clock, 7 days a week, under the total care of the government. The state raised a whole generation of children.. There were no motherly women to take care of the children, just people highly trained in child psychology. By this time, no one talked about equal rights. We knew we had been had.

Health Care and Small Business Suffer Under Government Controls: Before Hitler, we had very good medical care. Many American doctors trained at the University of Vienna . After Hitler, health care was socialized, free for everyone. Doctors were salaried by the government. The problem was, since it was free, the people were going to the doctors for everything. When the good doctor arrived at his office at 8 a.m., 40 people were already waiting and, at the same time, the hospitals were full. If you needed elective surgery, you had to wait a year or two for your turn. There was no money for research as it was poured into socialized medicine. Research at the medical schools literally stopped, so the best doctors left Austria and emigrated to other countries.As for healthcare, our tax rates went up to 80% of our income. Newlyweds immediately received a $1,000 loan from the government to establish a household. We had big programs for families. All day care and education were free. High schools were taken over by the government and college tuition was subsidized. Everyone was entitled to free handouts, such as food stamps, clothing, and housing. We had another agency designed to monitor business. My brother-in-law owned a restaurant that had square tables. Government officials told him he had to replace them with round tables because people might bump themselves on the corners. Then they said he had to have additional bathroom facilities. It was just a small dairy business with a snack bar. He couldn't meet all the demands. Soon, he went out of business. If the government owned the large businesses and not many small ones existed, it could be in control. We had consumer protection. We were told how to shop and what to buy. Free enterprise was essentially abolished. We had a planning agency specially designed for farmers. The agents would go to the farms, count the live-stock, then tell the farmers what to produce, and how to produce it. "Mercy Killing"

Redefined: In 1944, I was a student teacher in a small village in the Alps . The villagers were surrounded by mountain passes which, in the winter, were closed off with snow, causing people to be isolated. So people intermarried and offspring were sometimes retarded. When I arrived, I was told there were 15 mentally retarded adults, but they were all useful and did good manual work. I knew one, named Vincent, very well. He was a janitor of the school. One day I looked out the window and saw Vincent and others getting into a van. I asked my superior where they were going.. She said to an institution where the State Health Department would teach them a trade, and to read and write. The families were required to sign papers with a little clause that they could not visit for 6 months. They were told visits would interfere with the program and might cause homesickness.As time passed, letters started to dribble back saying these people died a natural, merciful death. The villagers were not fooled. We suspected what was happening. Those people left in excellent physical health and all died within 6 months.. We called this euthanasia.

The Final Steps - Gun Laws:Next came gun registration.. People were getting injured by guns. Hitler said that the real way to catch criminals (we still had a few) was by matching serial numbers on guns. Most citizens were law abiding and dutifully marched to the police station to register their firearms. Not long after-wards, the police said that it was best for everyone to turn in their guns. The authorities already knew who had them, so it was futile not to comply voluntarily.No more freedom of speech. Anyone who said something against the government was taken away. We knew many people who were arrested, not only Jews, but also priests and ministers who spoke up. Totalitarianism didn't come quickly, it took 5 years from 1938 until 1943, to realize full dictatorship in Austria . Had it happened overnight, my countrymen would have fought to the last breath. Instead, we had creeping gradualism Now, our only weapons were broom handles. The whole idea sounds almost unbelievable that the state, little by little eroded our freedom.

After World War II, Russian troops occupied Austria . Women were raped, preteen to elderly. The press never wrote about this either. When the Soviets left in 1955, they took everything that they could, dismantling whole factories in the process. They sawed down whole orchards of fruit, and what they couldn't destroy, they burned. We called it The Burned Earth. Most of the population barricaded themselves in their houses. Women hid in their cellars for 6 weeks as the troops mobilized. Those who couldn't, paid the price. There is a monument in Vienna today, dedicated to those women who were massacred by the Russians.

This is an eye witness account."It's true..those of us who sailed past the Statue of Liberty came to a country of unbelievable freedom and opportunity. America Truly is the Greatest Country in the World. Don't Let Freedom Slip Away"After America , There is No Place to Go"Please forward this message to other voters who may not have it.
After America , There is No Place to Go"

The author of this article lives in South Dakota and is very active in attempting to maintain our freedom. I encourage everybody to read this article and pass it along. I see so many parallels in this country, are we going to sit by and watch it happen? Spread the word; also contact your congressional reps; vote them out if they don’t do what they should. If you don’t want to be bothered, then you’re part of the problem! Google Kitty Werthmann and you will see articles and videos.

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Scary Obituary

Passed to me by a friend. Wake up, America. Merle

Not new info...just forgotten. We better start remembering!!!

Scary Obituary

In 1887 Alexander Tyler, a Scottish history professor at the University of Edinburgh ,
had this to say about the fall of the Athenian Republic some 2,000 years prior: "A democracy is always temporary in nature; it simply cannot exist as a permanent
form of government.
A democracy will continue to exist up until the time that voters discover that they can
vote themselves generous gifts from the public treasury.
From that moment on, the majority always votes for the candidates who promise the
most benefits from the public treasury, with the result that every democracy will finally
collapse over loose fiscal policy, (which is) always followed by a dictatorship." "The average age of the world's greatest civilizations from the beginning of history, has
been about 200 years.
During those 200 years, these nations always progressed through the following sequence: From bondage to spiritual faith; From spiritual faith to great courage; From courage to liberty; From liberty to abundance; From abundance to complacency; From complacency to apathy; From apathy to dependence; From dependence back into bondage."The Obituary follows:Born 1776, Died 2012 It doesn't hurt to read this several times. Professor Joseph Olson of Hamline University School of Law in St. Paul , Minnesota ,
points out some interesting facts concerning the last Presidential election: Number of States won by: Obama: 19 McCain: 29 Square miles of land won by: Obama: 580,000 McCain: 2,427,000 Population of counties won by: Obama: 127 million McCain: 143 million Murder rate per 100,000 residents in counties won by: Obama: 13.2 McCain: 2.1 Professor Olson adds: "In aggregate, the map of the territory McCain won wasmostly the land owned by the taxpaying citizens of the country.Obama territory mostly encompassed those citizens living in low incometenements and living off various forms of government welfare..."Olson believes the United States is now somewhere between the"complacency and apathy" phase of Professor Tyler's definition of democracy,with some forty percent of the nation's population already having reachedthe "governmental dependency" phase.If Congress grants amnesty and citizenship to twenty million criminalinvaders called illegal's - and they vote - then we can say goodbye to theUSA in fewer than five years. If you are in favor of this, then by all means, delete this message.If you are not, then pass this along to help everyone realize just how much is at
stake, knowing that apathy is the greatest danger to our freedom..This is truly scary!
Of course we are not a democracy, we are a Constitutional Republic .
Someone should point this out to Obama.
Of course we know he and too many others pay little attention to The Constitution.

There couldn't be more at stake than on Nov 6, 2012.If you are as concerned as I am please pass this along.

"Drudge Report on White House Salaries"- Look it up

Passed on to me by a friend. But I could not download the names and figures to this blog. And this was during the recession. I haven't seen recent reports but I suggest most staffers got substantial raises last year so they can give more money for his election campaign. And work harder to convince their friends and family to work harder to finance his campaign.

Sure way to get votes is to dole out more taxpayers money.


And they keep saying that seniors on Social Security are on the dole. This absolutely makes my blood boil.

Remember this next November!
The info below is from the Drudge Report.
Remember: NO Cost of Living Adjustment for seniors for THREE years!





Sent to me by a friend - how true.


We need to show more sympathy for these people. * They travel miles in the heat. * They risk their lives crossing a border. * They don't get paid enough wages. * They do jobs that others won't do or are afraid to do. * They live in crowded conditions among a people who speak a different language. * They rarely see their families, and they face adversity all day ~ every day..

I'm not talking about illegals ~
I'm talking about our troops!
Doesn'tit seem strange that so many are willing to lavish all kinds of social benefits on illegals, but don't support our troops?

Wouldn'tit be great if we took the $360,000,000,000 (that's billion) we spend on illegals every year, and spend it on our troops!!!
Please pass this on; this is worth the short time it takes.
A veteran is someone who, at one point in their life, wrote a blank check made payable to The United States ofAmerica for any amount, up to and including their life.

Monday, March 26, 2012

Irony Or Stupidity?

Sent to me by my Sister-in-Law Dale Bower..

Add greed. I found out in my long life that Departments, Committees, etc. need always to be doing something, stupid or not, to justify their existence.

Also, "Compassion" may be the worst misunderstood word in the dictionary.


The the Department of Agriculture, through the food stamp program is distributing the greatest amount of food stamps ever. Meanwhile, the Department of Agriculture, through the Park Service demands us to "Not Feed the Animals" because the animals will grow dependent and not learn to take care of themselves. Irony or stupidity. You decide....

Mosques Being Rebuilt Overseas With U.S. Taxpayer Dollars

The U.S State Department is rebuilding mosques overseas with more than a billion dollars? Supposedly to show our love for Islam.

Please, voters, get out in November to stop some of this craziness going on in our administration and congress.

Love toward those whose bent is to turn this country into an Islamic state is not by throwing money to them. It is another sign of weakness led by Obama and his ilk.

Look at all the money we have thrown to almost every foreign country over the past decade along with the billions thrown to an education system that turns out graduates now in power giving your money away.

I warned quite a while ago that those of you who pay taxes would see a gradual rate in the amount you pay in taxes while your earnings would flatten out or go down.

I didn't have to be much a prophet when I said in my blogs, "you haven't seen anything yet" and now especially if you vote the big spenders back into office.

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Vote For ANY Republican

I said I wouldn't vote for Santorum even though he has backed off on some of his criticism of Romney as reported in the news today. He will not be selected by the people so not to worry.

The more this man called Obama tries to destroy this country, and he will if given four and half more years to do it, the more I will tell every Republican, no matter who is nominated, maybe Ryan, to vote Republican.

If you read the WSJ today you will read about how a Democrat elected official in Rhode Island is even getting some of the Democrat union workers, not the union bosses, to understand there may not be any pension money in 20 years or so for those who are contributing today. If we keep traveling the path that Obama and his ilk are seemingly successfully leading the voters in this country.

More, government spending, more federal departments and resulting hiring of public workers, the accelerated bashing of big business and wealthy people (except those who toe his line' like Warren Buffett) the faster we slide into becoming a Socialist country or even worse, a Marxist country.

As Rep. Tim Scott, Republican from S. Carolina said, "I'm not really against unions, I'm pro-worker". If only public union and some private union workers only understood this, they would vote for a change, almost any change, to stop the damage to our nations future and do it in the November elections.

Some sacrifices must be made now to prevent disaster in the future.

Thursday, March 22, 2012

2010 Ethnic Growth Figures-New York Times

White -6%
Black + 12%
Hispanics +86%
Asian +13%

All other non-white - 69%

Wouln't hurt for whites to pay attention.

Monday, March 19, 2012

Being "Green" Means 'Young and Dumb'??

Sent to me by a friend. Back "then" most older people thought young people were "green and dumb". Still applies to a lot of young "smarter than we oldies" young people.

We'll see in time.


Thought u would appreciate this
And I didn’t realize how green we really were back when!!!

Good Old Timer's Rant

Being Green

Checking out at the store, the young cashier suggested to the older woman, that she should bring her own grocery bags because plastic bags weren't good for the environment.The woman apologized and explained, "We didn't have this green thing back in my earlier days."The young clerk responded, "That's our problem today. Your generation did not care enough to save our environment for future generations."

She was right -- our generation didn't have the green thing in its day.Back then, we returned milk bottles, soda bottles and beer bottles to the store. The store sent them back to the plant to be washed and sterilized and refilled, so it could use the same bottles over and over. So they really were recycled.

But we didn't have the green thing back in our day.
Grocery stores bagged our groceries in brown paper bags, that we reused for numerous things, most memorable besides household garbage bags, was the use of brown paper bags as book covers for our school books. This was to ensure that public property, (the books provided for our use by the school) was not defaced by our scribblings. Then we were able to personalize our books on the brown paper bags.

But too bad we didn't do the green thing back then.We walked up stairs, because we didn't have an escalator in every store and office building. We walked to the grocery store and didn't climb into a 300-horsepower machine every time we had to go two blocks.

But she was right. We didn't have the green thing in our day.Back then, we washed the baby's diapers because we didn't have the throw-away kind. We dried clothes on a line, not in an energy gobbling machine burning up 220 volts -- wind and solar power really did dry our clothes back in our early days. Kids got hand-me-down clothes from their brothers or sisters, not always brand-new clothing.

But that young lady is right; we didn't have the green thing back in our day.Back then, we had one TV, or radio, in the house -- not a TV in every room. And the TV had a small screen the size of a handkerchief (remember them?), not a screen the size of the state of Montana. In the kitchen, we blended and stirred by hand because we didn't have electric machines to do everything for us. When we packaged a fragile item to send in the mail, we used wadded up old newspapers to cushion it, not Styrofoam or plastic bubble wrap. Back then, we didn't fire up an engine and burn gasoline just to cut the lawn. We used a push mower that ran on human power. We exercised by working so we didn't need to go to a health club to run on treadmills that operate on electricity.

But she's right; we didn't have the green thing back then.We drank from a fountain when we were thirsty instead of using a cup or a plastic bottle every time we had a drink of water. We refilled writing pens with ink instead of buying a new pen, and we replaced the razor blades in a razor instead of throwing away the whole razor just because the blade got dull.

But we didn't have the green thing back then.Back then, people took the streetcar or a bus and kids rode their bikes to school or walked instead of turning their moms into a 24-hour taxi service. We had one electrical outlet in a room, not an entire bank of sockets to power a dozen appliances. And we didn't need a computerized gadget to receive a signal beamed from satellites 23,000 miles out in space in order to find the nearest burger joint.But isn't it sad the current generation laments how wasteful we old folks were just because we didn't have the green thing back then?Please forward this on to another selfish old person who needs a lesson in conservation from a smart ass young person...We don't like being old in the first place,

No Santorum as My President

The more I listen to this good-looking, rather charming Republican chastise Romney instead of calling more attention to the obvious failures of Obama, the more I feel his election would not be in the best interests of the majority of citizens in this country.

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Photo ID Before Voting? You Bet

The only group that consistently opposes this action, is the bosses of the Democrat party. Why else?, when you need a photo ID for so many others reasons with a direct effect on the the protection of this country.

Why are the Democrat bosses led by Obama, opposed? I ask the question in jest. Let those who oppose, act stupid, not the rest of us.

Friday, March 16, 2012

Liberal Left Attacks on Limbaugh While Obama Lover Scumbags Go Unchallenged

I don't listen or read Rush Limbaugh but I resent the left's attack on free speech largely because he is ONE VOICE ONLY. among thousands of others, for the Republican and Tea Party and Independents, while the left has scumbags like Bill Maher, etc. and the liberal media just smiles and says vote for Obama for another term, give union bosses more power and pensions that amount up to 80% of the union retirees total salary.

As to pensions, just click on the "Search" bar at the right had side above my profile. I don't blame the people who receive fabulous government pensions, I detest the politicians who granted them.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Peoria's Best, Ho, Ho, Protest and Don't Even Know the "Score"

"Stand Up Peoria" folks want a guaranteed future. Ho, ho, ho, and ho. Sounds like they all would like the U.S. to be a Socialist country.

Bet every one of them voted for Obama and will vote for him again. Or voted Democrat or didn't vote at all. What do they like about Obama? Obama has his hand in the pockets of everybody who has earned their money honestly or at least in accordance with the law while putting that money in the pockets of those who want "a guaranteed future".

Maybe part of those who would vote for Blago AFTER he gets out of prison.

Such a sorry sounding group.

So sad.

Santorum Too Much a Right-Winger

The man has no chance of winning. Neither does Romney. Newt will always have some good ideas but has no chance of being nominated by the Republicans. Paul is a conservative but too far out of favor with the Republican kingmakers.

I reiterate. If no saviour is going to come forward in Tampa, Republican big money should go to trying to hold the House and win the Senate.

Are any of the members of the Republican good old boys and girls club listening or even thinking clearly? Probably, but they are going to be just like the Titanic.

Sobeit. I may sit out my first presidential election in memory.

So sad.

Ineffective Teachers - A Better Way to Handle

The New York system appraisal is unfortunate. Perhaps Peoria could follow successful systems described below. Some please pass this on to Lathan.


Editorial: More on the scarlet letter frenzy
By Sandi Jacobs
As we discussed in our recent blog post [ ], we view the public reporting of individual teachers' evaluation ratings as unfortunate scarlet letter policies that are ultimately bad for the profession. In the aftermath of the public release of NYC's value-added data last week, we decided that the matter was worth revisiting.
First and foremost, if a teacher consistently isn't cutting it in the classroom, then school districts should have the legal wherewithal (not to mention the fortitude) to dismiss that teacher. While it's true that too many states currently don't make it clear enough that a teacher can be dismissed for ineffective classroom performance, this is an issue that should be taken up in states' dismissal policies, not in the form of parental notification policies that in effect use shame to passive-aggressively push poor performers out of the classroom.
Some states--including Florida and Indiana--are now requiring that parents receive notice if their children are taught by ineffective teachers. We know these policies are not based on a desire to humiliate low-performing teachers but on a belief that the "consumer" should be informed. However, as is the nature of public school, parents aren't consumers at the teacher level; they are generally not able to hand-pick their child's teacher each year. Thus, releasing poor performers' ratings--or high-performing teachers' ratings, for that matter--is opening a Pandora's box that is sure to set schools and districts spinning.
The situation in New York City is especially unfortunate because the value-added data that have been released were never intended to stand alone--let alone, be published--as a teacher's rating. Much has been documented about how flawed the data are--there was insufficient roster verification, for starters. But even if the data were rock solid, publishing just one evaluation metric in isolation will always paint an incomplete picture of teacher performance. These kinds of actions only reinforce the belief that too many teachers already have: that the part and parcel purpose of these new evaluation systems is just to fire a lot of teachers.
But we don't believe that is the purpose of teacher evaluation or the intention of the new generation of systems coming online. Yes, they should provide districts and principals with data that should help them to make informed HR decisions. And it's those actions that should give parents assurance that their children have effective teachers. But ultimately, if we see the crux of teacher evaluation as being a means to help all teachers grow and improve, then the reality is that some students are going to have to be in those classrooms while lower-performing teachers are trying to get better. And teachers need to be able to go to the supermarket without their job performance being public knowledge while they are trying to grow and improve.
We think Rhode Island is on a better path. The state's districts have the responsibility of ensuring that no student is placed with an ineffective teacher two years in a row. Combined with policy that clearly ties ineffective ratings to dismissal and prevents the awarding of tenure to teachers with ineffective ratings, this approach can give parents and the public confidence about the state's teaching force.
See also:
Teacher quality widely diffused, ratings indicate:
Shame is not the solution:
Jerry P. BeckerDept. of Curriculum & InstructionSouthern Illinois University625 Wham DriveMail Code 4610Carbondale, IL 62901-4610Phone: (618) 453-4241 [O] (618) 457-8903 [H]Fax: (618) 453-4244E-mail:

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Republican Candidates Need to Find a Subject That Appeals to Most Voters

"And do you imaginethat once a thing has been said, it is enough? It has to be dinned into people; it has to be said over and over again". ( Russian intellect, Alexander Hergen)

Where is Joe or Where Has He Been?

I suggest V-P Biden will be replaced by a woman; younger and white with a successful business background. Who? Someone who starts popping up in the news and will be appearing frequently near Obama.


Monday, March 12, 2012

John Sharp, JS Reporter, Writes About the Planned New Marriott in Peoria

For nearly 40 months, Peorians have been hearing the name "Marriott" paired with "Downtown."
The only problem, there is no Marriott Hotel Downtown connected to the Peoria Civic Center.
That could all change this month, once the final details involving a lease agreement between the developer, EM Properties, and the Catholic Diocese of Peoria are settled.
After that happens, and a closing goes as scheduled, the city could showcase its new 284-room refurbished Hotel Pere Marquette with the Marriott name attached during the 2013 Illinois High School Association March Madness tournaments.
"It will be nice for our four-star Marriott Pere to open and re-establish the bar for superior quality in service in Downtown Peoria," Mayor Jim Ardis said. "Having our hotel attached to our Civic Center was critical and having the top name in the business on the hotel was even more important."
The taxpayers' commitment on the Downtown project includes a $32.5 million bond and a $7 million loan to the developer.
For that investment, Peoria gets a full-service, luxury Marriott hotel backed by a lot of faith from city taxpayers that the Maryland-based corporation can provide a return suitable to satisfying bond repayments for the next 23 years.
"I think having a Marriott flag with a four-star hotel attached to it is going to be a huge drawing card," 3rd District City Councilman Timothy Riggenbach said. "I think there are a lot of different benefits it will bring that you can't really put down on paper."
Corporate profile
Marriott International Inc. is a Bethesda, Md., Fortune 500 company that employs 129,000 people - slightly more, corporate-wide, than the 115,000 population of the city of Peoria - generating $12.3 billion worldwide in 2011, with a net income of $435 million.
Its stock sells at about $35 a share, or lower than competitor Starwood Hotels & Resorts (which includes Sheraton and its Four Points hotels), which sells at $54 a share, though Starwood's annual revenue is considerably less. Hyatt Hotels, which sell at about $40 a share, generated about $990 million in revenue.
Marriott's corporate ownership has been steady, with J.W. Marriott Jr. serving as CEO since 1972 (his father first began the business, as a root beer stand, in 1927).
"I think they are a top tier brand," said Thomas Maier, assistant professor of leadership and revenue analytics at DePaul University's School of Hospitality Leadership. "I think there is a synergy between the brand loyalty and recognition and . . . it will be a combination of reasons people will want to go to Peoria for a meeting."
The corporation operates about 3,500 hotels and 600,000 rooms, or about 9 percent of all hotel rooms in the U.S. It ranks third or fourth in online listings of the largest hotel chains, operating fewer properties than Wyndham Worldwide, but more than Starwood and Hyatt. The Chicago-based equity analyst company Morningstar places Marriott International at No. 2 in the U.S.
"Marriott, of course, is a well-recognized brand in terms of the number of rooms they have and their rankings," said Kara Wolfe, associate professor and director of the hospitality leadership program at Bradley University.
While the area already has Marriott properties in Peoria and East Peoria, it doesn't have any hotel property like what is anticipated to be connected to the Civic Center. The $92.8 million complex will have 401 rooms, making it the largest hotel property in the area.
The new Marriott complex includes a $23.5 million renovation of the Hotel Pere Marquette and the construction of a 117-room, $14.2 million Marriott Courtyard where Big Al's strip bar and its adjoined taverns are located.
Once closing takes place, renovation work is expected to commence immediately inside the Pere Marquette so it can open by March 1, 2013. If not, the city could get $41,000 a month from EM Properties.
Construction also is expected to begin shortly on the new Big Al's on Jefferson Avenue across from the Peoria Civic Center. It will replace the current venue on Main Street, which will be demolished for the new Marriott Courtyard.
The overall project has arguably been the most talked about and scrutinized development in Downtown Peoria, aside from the museum project, since the Peoria Civic Center's development in the late 1970s.
There have been multiple blown deadlines and three redevelopment agreements have evolved since the first Marriott Hotel design was introduced in 2008. It was redesigned into the present look - two hotel towers along Main Street connected via a $6.3 million skywalk and parking garage - in 2010.
Once at $102 million, the project's costs have been lowered to $92.8 million largely because a $9 million developer's fee was cut.
Financing had been difficult during the recent economic recession when EM Properties' Gary Matthews was trying to finalize the deal.
The Marriott name isn't immune to economic recessions, either.
According to a Feb. 15 Morningstar analysis, the company's North America hotels generated more than 80 percent of hotel revenue in 2010, "exposing the company to an economic downturn in North America to a greater extent than competitors." Morningstar is predicting revenues per available room - which had grown industry-wide from 2010 to 2011 - to contract in 2013 or 2014.
"In the event that nonfarm payrolls in the U.S. start to decline and the economy contracts, Marriott stands to experience a deterioration in financial results," according to the analysis, written by stock analyst Chad Mollman.
Mollman, though, recognized something that Peoria city officials and Matthews have been touting since the Marriott name was first attached to the property - the company's loyalty program called "Marriott Rewards," which offers travel and leisure discounts.
"People, when they are talking about loyalty programs, are looking at the value perception," Maier said. "With Marriott, with their different product experiences that you can have with resorts and vacation ownership, they have opportunities and partnerships with many vendors and product lines that provide a good value."
A corporate spokesperson did not return a call for comment from the Journal Star, but Ardis said the company has been "wowed" by the Civic Center and its convention and theater components. He said Marriott representatives have visited Peoria "many times" since the project was first introduced.
Boosting Downtown
Peorians who are skeptical the Marriott's brand can't sell should look to Normal, where a much smaller Marriott property has served as an anchor to a downtown-related redevelopment project.
That project, much like the Peoria hotel, is partially financed by the municipal government.
It is somewhat similar in its deal as East Peoria's agreement with hotelier John Q. Hammons for the Embassy Suites and Conference Center, which opened in early 2008. The more than $60 million project was constructed with taxpayers' assistance; $25 million in land, infrastructure and conference center construction paid back through taxes generated by the hotel and center.
The Normal project, also a John Q. Hammons development, required taxpayers in Normal to contribute $21.6 million toward a $60 million complex. One of the main public benefits, officials said, is that a conference center attached to the hotel is utilized by local and public organizations.
"Whenever we are talking about the Marriott, it's generally nothing but positive things," said Joe Tulley, marketing manager with the Uptown renewal project with the town of Normal. "It hasn't been a super long time since it's been (built), but you'd almost have to be blind not to see the impact."
Normal officials approved spending $3 million in acquiring property, $12.5 million to build the conference center, and $6.1 million on a parking deck and hotel. It opened in 2009.
The Uptown area has experienced a renewal of sorts, with the addition of the Children's Discovery Museum and the opening of boutique shops and restaurants near the town's Amtrak station.
The Marriott property, according to Normal officials, serves as an anchor to that development.
"The city fathers got together and decided this area was a downtrodden campus town with commercial buildings in disrepair," Tulley said. "They put together this vision, and the Marriott is part of it."
While the Marriott project in Peoria isn't necessarily an anchor because of its distance from the Warehouse District, the city wants to redevelop that area in a similar fashion as the Uptown project with shops, bars and restaurants. The Warehouse District will be anchored by the Peoria Riverfront Museum and Caterpillar Experience Visitors Center.
"Peorians and all central Illinoisans will be proud of the new Marriott complex when it is finished," Ardis said. "I'm thankful for those who have supported it through very difficult times."

John Sharp can be reached at 686-3282 or Follow him on Twitter @JohnSharp99.

Oklahoma, Yes!

Passed on to me by a friend. But please don't think I am a right wing Republican. I am a reasonably conservative Independent who generally favors most Republicans and definitely want a change in Illinois and Washington.


"IN GOD WE TRUST" With YOUR help, my attainable goal is to replace every "corrupt" politician in Washington. Oklahoma is the only state that Obama did not carry one precinct in the last election. While everyone is focusing on Arizona 's new law, look what Oklahoma has been doing!!!! CITIZEN WOODMAN An update from Oklahoma: Oklahoma law passed, 37 to 9, had a few liberals in the mix, an amendment to place the Ten Commandments on the front entrance to the state capitol. The feds in D.C., along with the ACLU, said it would be a mistake. Hey this is a conservative state, based on Christian values...! HB 1330Guess what.......... Oklahoma did it anyway. Oklahoma recently passed a law in the state to incarcerate all illegal immigrants, and ship them back to where they came from unless they want to get a green card and become an American citizen. They all scattered. HB 1804. Hope we didn't send any of them to your state. This was against the advice of the Federal Government, and the ACLU, they said it would be a mistake. Guess what.......... Oklahoma did it anyway. Recently we passed a law to include DNA samples from any and all illegals to the Oklahoma database, for criminal investigative purposes. Pelosi said it was unconstitutional SB 1102.Guess what......... Oklahoma did it anyway. Several weeks ago, we passed a law, declaring Oklahoma as a Sovereign state, not under the Federal Government directives. Joining Texas, Montana and Utah as the only states to do so. More states are likely to follow: Louisiana, Alabama, Georgia, the Carolinas, Tennessee, Kentucky, Missouri, Arkansas, West Virginia, Mississippi, Florida. Save your confederate money, it appears the South is about to rise up once again. HJR 1003The federal Government has made bold steps to take away our guns. Oklahoma, a week ago, passed a law confirming people in this state have the right to bear arms and transport them in their vehicles. I'm sure that was a set back for the criminals. The Liberals didn't like it -- But .... Guess what........... Oklahoma did it anyway. Just this month, the state has voted and passed a law that ALL driver's license exams will be printed in English, and only English, and no other language. They have been called racist for doing this, but the fact is that ALL of the road signs are in English only. If you want to drive in Oklahoma, you must read and write English. Really simple.By the way, the Liberals don't like any of this either. Guess what...who cares... Oklahoma is doing it anyway. If you like it, pass it on, if you don't then delete it.

Friday, March 09, 2012

The Senate in "Inaction"

Forwarded to me by a friend. Please read.


NOT ONE!! Democrat or Democrat-leaning Independent has any right anymore, to whine and complain about what it's costing them to fill up their vehicles!! The bleeping idiots in Congress and the idiot in OUR White House they keep electing, ARE THE ENEMIES.

March 8, 2012
By Tiffany Gabbay

WASHINGTON (AP) - The Senate killed Republican-backed attempts to overturn several of President Barack Obama's environmental and energy policies Thursday as lawmakers worked against a March 31 deadline to keep aid flowing to more than 100,000 transportation construction projects around the country.
The two-year, $109 billion transportation bill before the Senate has wide, bipartisan support, but has become a magnet for lawmakers' favorite causes and partisan gamesmanship. Among the amendments batted aside were GOP proposals to bypass Obama's concerns about the Keystone XL oil pipeline, to delay tougher air pollution standards for industrial boilers and to expand offshore oil drilling.
Action on those and other amendments came under an agreement between Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., and Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., aimed at clearing the way for passage of the transportation bill next week.
Obama lobbied some Senate Democrats by telephone ahead of the Keystone vote, urging them to oppose an amendment by Sen. John Hoeven, R-N.D., that would have prevented the president from intervening in decisions related to construction of the pipeline and would have speeded its approval. Pointing to the administration's environmental concerns about the project, which would carry tar sands oil from Canada to the Texas Gulf Coast, Republicans accused Obama of standing in the way greater oil supplies at a time when Americans are coping with rising gasoline prices.
But some Democrats, especially those from oil producing states, were torn between support for the pipeline and their support for the president. The amendment was defeated 56-42, even though 11 Democrats broke ranks to support it. Sixty votes were needed for passage.
Republican leaders jumped on the White House lobbying.
"Most Americans strongly support building this pipeline and the jobs that would come with it," McConnell said in a statement.
The president's lobbying against the Keystone provision came "a week after the president signaled to me and to Sen. McConnell that he might be willing to work with us on some bipartisan steps forward on energy legislation that the American people support," House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, told reporters. "If we're going to have bipartisan action on energy, the Keystone pipeline is an obvious place to start."
White House spokesman Jay Carney said Obama felt it was "wrong to play politics" with the pipeline, especially since the company behind the project has said it still was working on a final route that might satisfy environmental concerns. He also said it was "false advertising" to suggest the amendment would have any impact on gasoline prices.
Also defeated was an amendment by Sen. Susan Collins, R-Maine, which would have forced the Environmental Protection Agency to rewrite a rule requiring boiler operators to install modern emissions controls. Boilers are the second-largest source of toxic mercury emissions after coal-fired power plants. Collins said the EPA's rule would drive some manufacturers out of business.
And the Senate turned down an amendment to expand offshore oil drilling even though its sponsor, Sen. David Vitter D-La., contended it would increase domestic energy supplies and reduce gas prices.
The transportation bill itself would overhaul federal transportation programs, including boosting aid to highway and transit programs, streamline some environmental regulations in order to speed up approval of projects and consolidate dozens of programs.
Lawmakers are under pressure to act quickly because the government's authority to collect about $110 million a day in federal gasoline and diesel taxes and to spend money out of the trust fund that pays for highway and transit programs expires at the end of the month. Chris Bertram, a Transportation Department official, said that if Congress doesn't meet the deadline, aid to about 130,000 transportation projects around the country will be disrupted and federal workers who send that money to states will be furloughed.
The construction industry, already suffering 17.7 percent unemployment at the end of January, would be especially hurt.
House Republicans crafted their own five-year, $260 billion bill, but they've been unable to marshal the support of rank-and-file lawmakers behind it. Conservatives say it spends too much money, while moderates say it would penalize union workers and undermine environmental provisions.
Boehner conceded Thursday that for the moment the House's best option is to take up the Senate bill after it passes - "or something like it" - although GOP leaders were still talking to their members in the hope of resurrecting their bill.
The inability of House Republicans to pass a highway bill of their own is an example of a paralysis that has struck several times in the past year. Last summer, an impasse over labor issues and subsidies for rural airports led to a two-week shutdown of non-essential Federal Aviation Administration operations.
In December, Boehner overrode his own rank-and-file when he agreed to a deal to extend the Social Security payroll tax cut after most lawmakers had gone home.

Click Here!

Amtrak - Buy a Ticket and Travel Twice the Distance at More Money Than an Airplane Ticket

I recently thought it might be intererting to buy a ticket from Sarasota to Bloomington, Il. Here is where I would have traveled: Bus from Sarasota to Orlando, from Orlando to Washington, D.C., from D.C. to Chicago and from Chicago to Bloomington. Time span - 2 days in coach.

Responsible for your own baggage transfer from the bus.

Cost, as a senior $326.40. Cancellation fee $32.64.

Air Trans - Sarasota to Bloomington, $220.00, Time span approximately 6 hours without the responsibility of baggage transfer.

When I called to cancel Amtrak, I was put on indefinite hold although I could hear conversations in the background,

No wonder Amtrak is a financial disaster. And our local government leaders think Amtrak in Peoria would be the greatest thing to hit Peoria since FireFly.

Matthew Woodmancy's Criminal Record

Democrat political candidate Mathew Woodmancy has a lengthy record of malfeasance. It does not surprise me that the Democrats would put up a man with a startling record of theft. Go to "The Peoria Chronicle" blog site for a more complete record.

Remember that a poll taken not too long ago showed that 30% of the voters in Illinois would have voted again for Blago.

Wednesday, March 07, 2012

Governor Jan Brewer of Arizina - She is a Keeper!!

Subject: Arizona Governor vs the Pheonix Suns Owner

Regards, Bill & Bonnie

Forwarded to me by a friend.

Most politicians lack guts this close to an election.

Go Jan.


Arizona Governor Jan Brewer vs the Phoenix Suns owner

The owner of the Phoenix Suns basketball team, Robert Sarver, came out strongly opposing AZ's new immigration laws.Arizona's Governor, Jan Brewer,
released the following statement in response to Sarver's criticism of the new law: "What if the owners of the Suns discovered that hordes of people were sneaking into games without paying? What if they had a good idea who the gate-crashers are but the ushers and security personnel were not allowed to ask these folks to produce their ticket stubs, thus non-paying attendees couldn't be ejected.
Furthermore, what if Suns' ownership was expected to provide those who sneaked in with complimentary eats and drink?
And what if, on those days when a gate-crasher became ill or injured, the Suns had to provide free medical care and shelter?" Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer

Tuesday, March 06, 2012

Peoria City Council Puts Property Taxpayers Between a "Rock and a Hard Spot"

With the stock market facing a sharp decline, properties in Peoria County overtaxed, local sales taxes near nationwide highs and the entire world economy "iffy", with more concern about the $38 million loan guaranteed by the taxpayers if the $98 million Marriott Courtyard is built, with the ballpark losing 6 figures yearly, with pressure to build and staff with public dollars, a 30,000 sq. ft. Minority Opportunity Center and the $32 million dollar library project once completed soon requiring a larger operating budget, the Civic Center losing over $4 million a year, I repeat what I wrote several years ago in a "letter to the editor" that some of those public dollar supported projects had better turn out to be golden and unless the philanthropists loosen their purses,that many Peorians may get what they suspected all along, more taxes.

When Dad said 'never borrow more than you can eventually pay back', he was talking about the private sector, not the public sector that can print more money, raise taxes, fines,and fees. etc. Note that all of the above mentioned projects, adding the zoo expansion and the new nursing home, were built or are being built with the support of many unwilling taxpayers and some of those 'willing' may encounter some unexpected consequences.

The City manager says the Marriott would break even with only a 50% occupancy during its lifetime.

Hmmm, and good luck. Never forget that the shrewd, including most politicians, make money no matter the state of the economy.

Sunday, March 04, 2012

SS An Entitlement?

Forwarded to me by a friend. I'm passing on as written and not checking all the numbers. I do know this. I contribted to SS until I was 85. That the goverment failed to properly invest all the billions collected is a symptom of what is wrong with the politicians we send to our federal and state governments.

Don't insinuate we contributors, Republicans, Democrats, Independents and those who don't vote aren't entitled to the checks we receive now called "federal benefit payment" checks, I do not know as I am on direct deposit also.


I am passing this along, but I do have to say, with direct deposit, I am not sure what it says on the check. The unthinking ....... in Congress should recognize that WE did pay for this, and it is not a Benefit. It is the pay back that we deserve since we trusted the Federal Govt to invest this so that there would be money to pay us back when we needed it (Retirement). It was not supposed to become part of the general fund for Congress to so with as they pleased. The Congress should go back and Ask FDR how it was supposed to be used, he designed it and recgonized that the elderly would need it later in life..
Have you noticed, your Social Security check is now referred to as"federal benefit payment"? I'll be part of the one percent, to forward this, our government gets away with way too much in all areas of our lives, while they live lavishly on their grossly overpaid incomes! KEEP passing THIS AROUND UNTIL EVERY ONE HAS READ IT..... SOMETHING TO THINK ABOUT *THE THING WRONG WITH THEIR CALCULATION IS THEY FORGOT TO FIGURE IN THE PEOPLE WHO DIED BEFORE THEY COLLECTED THEIR SOCIAL SECURITY!!!! WHERE DID THAT MONEY GO????????????? This was sent to me, I am forwarding it because it does touch a nerve in me. This is another example of what Rick Perry called "TREASON in high places" !!! Get angry and pass this on! Remember, not only did you contribute to Social Security but your employer did too. It totaled 15% of your income before taxes. If you averaged only $30K over your working life, that's close to $220,500. If you calculate the future value of $4,500 per year (yours & your employer's contribution) at a simple 5% (less than what the government pays on the money that it borrows), after 49 years of working you'd have $892,919.98. If you took out only 3% per year, you'd receive $26,787.60 per year and it would last better than 30 years (until you're 95 if you retire at age 65) and that's with no interest paid on that final amount on deposit! If you bought an annuity and it paid 4% per year, you'd have a lifetime income of $2,976.40 per month. The folks in Washington have pulled off a bigger Ponzi scheme than Bernie Madhoff ever had. Entitlement my butt, I paid cash for my social security insurance!!!! Just because they borrowed the money, doesn't make my benefits some kind of charity or handout!! Congressional benefits ---- free healthcare, outrageous retirement packages, 67 paid holidays, three weeks paid vacation, unlimited paid sick days, now that's welfare, and they have the nerve to call my social security retirement entitlements? We're "broke" and can't help our own Seniors, Veterans, Orphans, Homeless. In the last months we have provided aid to Haiti, Chile , and Turkey, Pakistan, the Saudi's, and the list goes on and on ...... Literally, BILLIONS of DOLLARS!!! Yearly. Our retired seniors living on a 'fixed income' receive no aid nor do they get any breaks while our government and religious organizations pour Hundreds of Billions of $$$$$$'s and Tons of Food to Foreign Countries! They call Social Security and Medicare an entitlement even though most of us have been paying for it all our working lives and now when [UTF-8?]it̢۪s time for us to collect, the government is running out of money. Why did the government borrow from it in the first place? Imagine if the *GOVERNMENT* gave 'US' the same support they give to other countries. Sad isn't it? 99% of people won't have the guts to forward this. I'm one of the 1% -- I Just Did.

Frank And Dodd - Major Democrat Phonies

2010 or 2012, the story remains the same.


Dismantling America
Thomas Sowell – 2010

Cheap Political Theater

Death threats to executives at AIG, because of the bonuses they received are one more sign of the utter degeneration of politics in our time.

Congressman Barney Frank has threatened to summon these executives before his committee and force them to reveal their home addresses – which would of course put their wives and children at the mercy of whatever kooks might want to literally take a shot at them.

Whatever the political or economic issues involved, this is not the way such issues should be resolved in America. We are not yet a banana republic, though that is the direction which some of our politicians are taking us – especially those politicians who make a lot of noise about “compassion” and “social justice.”

What makes this all the more painfully ironic is that it is precisely those members of Congress who have had the most to do with creating the risks that led to the current economic crisis who are making the most noise against others, and summoning people before their committee to be brow beaten and humiliated on nationwide television.

No one pushed harder than Congressman Barney Frank to force banks and other financial institutions to reduce their mortgage lending standards, in order to meet government-set goals for more home ownership. Those lower mortgage lending standards are at the heart of the increased riskiness of the mortgage market and of the collapse of Wall Street securities based on those risky mortgages.

Senator Christopher Dodd has played the same role in the Senate as Barney Frank played in the House of Representatives. Now both are summoning government employees and the officials of financial institutions before their committees to be lambasted in front of the media.

Dodd and Frank know that the best defense is a good offense. Both know how hard it would be to defend their own roles in the housing debacle, so they go on the offensive against others who are in no position to reply in kind, given the vindictive powers of Congress.

This political theater is in one sense cheap beyond words. In another sense, it is costly beyond words.

It is cheap because the politicians who are creating this distraction from their own role also voted for the very legislation that enabled contracted bonuses to be paid by companies like AIG that received government bailout money. If members of Congress can’t be bothered to read the laws they pass, then they have no basis for whipping up lynch mob outrage against people who did read the law and acted within the law.

Just as everyone seemed to be a military expert a couple of years ago, when it was chic to say that the “surge” in Iraq would not work, so today everyone seems to be an expert on executive pay.

Whether the particular executives who received bonuses were the ones responsible for AIG’s problems, or were among those who warned against those problems, is something that those of us on the outside don’t know. That includes those in politics and the media who are making the loudest noise.

The politicians claim to be protecting the taxpayers’ money. But having politicians trying to micro-manage any business is far more likely to make those businesses lose more money, including the taxpayers’ money.

Securities based on risky mortgages are what toppled financial institutions but it was the government that made the mortgages risky in the first place, by making home-ownership statistics the holy grail, of which everything else was to be sacrificed, including commonsense standards for making home loans.

Politicians and bureaucrats micro-managing the mortgage sector of the economy is precisely how today’s economic disaster began. Why anyone would think that their micro-managing the automobile industry, or executive pay across a wide sweep of other industries, is likely to make things better in the economy is a mystery.

Their real point is to pander to envy and resentment against people who make a lot of money. Envy is always referred to by its political alias, “social justice.” But to put the lives of the wives and children of executives at risk for the sake of Beltway grandstanding shows how low our political saviors have sunk.

Saturday, March 03, 2012

Museum Folks in D.C. Begging For More Money?

So says "Dennis in Peoria" on a comment on the Peoria Chronicle blog site. These people have no regard for the average citizens pocketbook yet complain that government spending is out of control. I consistenly maintanied that those who wanted a new museum should pay for it.

Maybe some of the Cat insiders who recently sold around 250,000 Cat shares; mainly insiders like Buda, Lavin, Wunning and Rapp will kick some of their large profits into the kitty.

And don't forget, if you are a Peoria County resident, you get 15% discount on admission. Or will that promise be broken same as many other promises made like an IMAX?

Incidently, IMAX stock, some of which I own, is up about 35% in the last few months.

Spending of tax dollars up for non-priority projects, of course, it is. Both by Democrats, (mainly) and Republicans.

Peoria Riverfront Museum Endowment Fund

A recent press release from the museum folks claim that all but about a million dollars has been raised to meet endowment fund goals. If you recall ex-mayor Dave Ransburg claimed that he would personally raise $10 million dollars. I believe if Ransburg did raise this money from the PRIVATE sector, announcements would have been made in our local newspaper. If big donations were made by the private sector and made public, I admit I might have missed them.

But I suspect this what happened. In December of 2010, the endowment fund showed approximately $2 million in cash and pledges. But if you recall, one of blogs about that time, reported that the county administrator was pushing a deal in which approximately $6 million could be taken out of the sales tax collections and given to the museum people to use as they wished, including funding the endowment. So add up $2 million on hand plus $6 million transferred and tranferred again; this six million taxpayer funded, makes $8 million plus the million still needed with a request again by the taxpayers to buy bricks, etc., would indicate Ransburg raised a million or so, not $10 million he promised.

Or was it more government money?

Also I might remind my readers, that the local major bank president said the endowment would need to be $16 million and with today's smaller rate of return on investments, I suggest the figure needed to be nearer $18 million.

Even with Pro-Bass and possibly a new hotel, I still stand by my predictions. Maybe with more transparency from the museum committee headed by Ransburg, we would not have to guess, even educationally, about what amount the taxpayer is funding for this yearly 360,000 visitor project. Again, a reminder, museum backers claimed that most of the money for the museum would be raised by private donations. Last figure available indicate that approximately 72% of the cost is and will be funded by the public.

A last reminder. The museum backers raised over $600,000 to support the referendum and with hardly any strong opposition still won by only 400 votes out of 30, 000 votes cast.


Sarasota Visitors Beware

Sarasota, as much of Florida has an unstable financial environment. In order to help replenish the city and county coffers, cops are out in force. Warnings among friends are being passed around that motorcycle cops, mass vehicle stops, unmarked cars, speed traps and cameras on every major intersection. In the last two days, I have seen over 15 vehicles pulled over including a car behind me exiting a shopping mall. Infractions include not letting the nose of your vehicle protrude more than a couple of inches past intersection white lines that are set back farther than white lines, in say, Peoria, Il.

No ticket yet for me. I heard this morning that St. Petersburg is following the same tactics. The biggest accident area is Rt. 75 between Tampa and Naples where people drive like mad people with so many deaths that only large numbers killed at one time are reported in the local newspapers. Yet, I can drive 75 hardly ever seeing a State Patrol Car. Probably out arresting marijuana users.

I am in favor of motor vehicle law enforcement but I do not like enforcement overkill, Nice city, Sarasota, but short of money apparently because of huge public pensions, entitlements and federal government mandated programs. And because politicians, once elected, love to spend taxpayer dollars.

Volts Not "Flying" Off Dealers Inventory

Another one of Obama and the radical environmentalists efforts to punish "big oil" has hit a roadblock as I and most sane people expected. "GM suspends production of its plug-in, Volt" reads today newspapers. Why, because dealers have inventories that aren't moving. If these cars are not selling except to the above mentioned buyers, maybe Obama and the Democrat unions will figure a way to force buyers to buy just like Obamacare.

Remember, all you Government Motors buyers, this company was financed with more than $80 billion of your tax dollars helping to add to the $16+ trillion of national debt.

Plug in electric vehicles, need to be plugged in places that plugs will easily fit at no cost to service stations and a wiser vehicle buyer. Remember, electric cars that supposedly need little gasoline do not contribute to financing highway upkeep.