Does the Obama Jobs Plan Pass
The Sandwich Board Sign Man
Litmus Test?

Posted by Rob Barton in , , , , , ,

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This guy is the anti-Joe the Plumber. His name is Paul Nawrocki, the Sandwich Board Man, and he is the face of Unemployed America.

Recently, Barack Obama released details of his plan to create 2.5 million new jobs. Think along the lines of using a tire pressure gauge to stop global warming. Let's see if maybe the former toy company exec would be interested:

First, he wants to replace the heating and air conditioning systems of government buildings with more efficient models. In order for Paul Nawrocki to do this he would have to be retrained from executive to HVAC repairman. I just don't see it.

Second, he wants to replace the light bulbs in all the government buildings with fluorescent squiggly bulbs. I just can't see Paul Nawrocki being a janitor/maintenance man.

Note: His O-liness claims that the preceding items would save the government "billions of dollars". I have an idea. Let's get all of the banks, mortgage companies, credit card companies, automobile manufacturers, and state governments to use fans in the summer and to wear an extra sweater in the winter. We could be out of the Bailout Crisis in the span of two years!

Third, Obama says that millions of new jobs would also come from "the single largest new investment in our national infrastructure since the creation of the federal highway system in the 1950s."

Notice that he says, "millions of jobs" for the part about the infrastructure. For a plan that generates 2.5 million jobs that would mean a half million hvac technicians and janitors and a two million member road crew. Can you see Paul Nowraki in any of these jobs?

The Sandwich Board Sign Man  

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How bad is this? A 'sign' of the times?

Does this guy really think that he is going to get another executive job by walking around all day with a sandwich board? The people that do things like hire executives are way up high in the skyscrapers seen in the video. Rest assured that, were it not for CNN, they would have never seen him. Of course, if we don't bail out the auto industry, we'll be seeing lots of these sandwich board execs milling around the streets in Detroit.

Vallejo Woes Go Further Than Unions  

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An article at Right Wing News about Vallejo, CA says that union deals for fire department retirees is a big part of the reason that Vallejo has declared bankruptcy. The main cause of Vallejo's failing is that they have followed the Democratic playbook to the letter. Anti-military, anti-business, anti-industry, and pro-union policies have led to Vallejo's downfall, and now, other cities across the country will be watching this town's bankruptcy proceedings very closely.

The start of Vallejo's woes came in 1996 when the Mare Island Naval Shipyard was closed. At the time of its closing there were 9,000 civilian employees.

In 1994, Wal-Mart proposed building a supercenter in Vallejo. Company officials at the time estimated that the store would provide about 400 jobs and would generate somewhere near $600,000 annually in sales taxes.

Area residents, of course, fought the construction by forming VALLEJOANS FOR RESPONSIBLE GROWTH. In an open letter to Lee Scott, they state their case for opposing the Wal-Mart:

Dear Mr. Scott:

This is an open letter – i.e., copies to the press - on behalf of the hundreds of Vallejoans, who have already signed our petition to this effect. I would like to inform you that Vallejoans for Responsible Growth:

Opposes any Wal-Mart “Supercenter” within the Vallejo city limits
and, in particular, at the old K-Mart site at Sonoma Boulevard and Redwood Street.

Urges Strict Adherence to the White Slough Specific Area Plan as approved by the Vallejo City Council on November 28, 1995 and the Solano County Board of Supervisors on January 9, 1996.

Simply put, a Wal-Mart “Supercenter” does not, in our view, comport with the economic interests of our city, proper land use, nor our vision of Vallejo as a desirable place to live in and to visit. We will do all in our power to ensure that Vallejo remains “Supercenter”-free.

Local citizens argued that there was no need for a Wal-Mart there because there was one four miles up the road in American Canyon.

Cut to four years later:

After four years of wrangling with the city and vocal opponents, Wal-Mart on Friday withdrew its application to build a supercenter in Vallejo’s White Slough area, a company spokesman said.

“Wal-Mart had hoped to open a new store in Vallejo, but current growth plans, coupled with the increased costs since the project was first proposed in 2004, have made the project infeasible at this time,” spokesman Kevin Loscotoff said.

The growth plan for Vallejo has been referred to as largely residential. The planners did not set aside any tracts of land for industrial or commercial business. When you have a town full of residents, and no business to speak of, then the main source of revenue for your town has to come from personal property tax. When the value of homes plummets, then the money cannot be collected.

As for the American Canyon store, acording to The American Canyon Eagle:

One year after the opening of the Wal-Mart Supercenter in American Canyon, business is good for the retail giant according to store manager Mike Sellick.

“We’ve exceeded all our (sales) goals,” Sellick said last week.

Mayor Leon Garcia pointed to the burgeoning growth of retail in American Canyon, and associated sales tax revenue, as a big reason for the city’s financial stability.

“It’s huge,” Garcia said of the store’s economic impact. “Development of Napa Junction took off, consequently we’re on an even keel. We’re on sound footing as a result.”

Obama on Mt Rushmore  

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I caught this post at Right Wing News

In the entire history of our country, I'm not sure there has ever been a presidential honeymoon period as tender and loving as the one that Barack Obama is experiencing today.

In Perry County, Alabama they have already voted to create a paid holiday called "Barack Obama Day." That's an honor not bestowed on "lesser Presidents" like George Washington, Abraham Lincoln, Ronald Reagan, and Teddy Roosevelt -- whose accomplishments, though great, surely will not eclipse those of "President Government" after his time in office. But, that's just a county holiday. Topeka activist Sonny Scroggins, with the support of the NAACP, is actually working on a national holiday for Obama.

Given the way that our mainstream media is fawning over Barack Obama, we shouldn't expect much resistance to the idea of creating a holiday to honor a man whose only real accomplishment so far is winning elections.

For example, MSNBC anchor Alex Witt was so taken with Obama that she was shocked that the mere fact that he was elected didn't end terrorism worldwide,

..."There are many who suggested that with the outgoing Bush administration and the incoming Obama administration there would be something of a lull in terrorism attacks. There had been such a global outpouring of affection, respect, hope, with the new administration coming in, that precisely these kinds of attacks, it was thought -- at least hoped -- would be dampered down."

Then there's Chris Matthews who said it is his "job" to make "this new presidency work," a sentiment that seems to be widely shared in the media, even if most of them aren't foolish enough to share that view of their "job description" with their audience.

That's part of the reason why Obama's hard core supporters, which would include most members of the mainstream media, haven't had much to say about the fact that he has already started rapidly backing off his campaign promises on everything from the windfall profits tax to the Bush tax cuts, to a rapid withdrawal from Iraq. Of course, many of Obama's supporters were so ignorant of what he stands for that they probably have no idea he's breaking his promises in the first place.

Heck, the Presidential honeymoon has gotten so gushy that even a lot of conservatives have been writing mash notes to Obama of late because some of his cabinet picks aren't to the left of Michael Moore. Of course, the real question about his cabinet at this point is what's Dennis Kucinich doing these days? After all, since Obama seems to be trying to bring everybody who ran against him into his administration, he might as well create a Department of Peace for Kucinich to run, put Chris Dodd in charge of HUD, and hire John Edwards to be Bill Clinton's wingman at sorority parties. Speaking of the Clintons, with all the Clinton staffers Obama is hiring, you have to wonder how many of these people will ultimately be loyal to Hopey McChange and how many of them will secretly support Slick Willie and the Wicked Witch of New York? The first time something goes wrong overseas and either the Secretary of State or the President has to take the blame, the leaks will tell you where the staffers' loyalties really lie.

But, that brings us back to the crux of the matter: Barack Obama hasn't actually started governing yet. We have a rookie senator who's never made a tough decision in his adult life getting ready to enter the White House in what may be the toughest time to lead the country since Jimmy Carter was wrapping the country around a telephone poll.

The economy is now officially in the toilet and is likely to remain so for at least a year or two -- and the bailouts? They've just started and they're already unpopular. How is that corporate welfare on steroids going to look as more and more companies come to Congress with their begging bowls? How about when we're running trillion dollar deficits? What happens after the unemployment rate cracks 8%, large numbers of Americans are really worried about paying their bills, and they're reading about the latest round of hand-outs to companies? How can Obama possibly fulfill his campaign promises, many of which are staggeringly expensive, when the country is in a recession and the government is running record deficits? It's not a pretty picture.

We're also still in the midst of a global war on terror. In Iraq we're winning, but Obama has to finish the job or be "the President who lost the war." In Afghanistan, things aren't going as well, but Obama has promised to get us back on the right track. Plus, we can't forget that Al-Qaeda is looking to hit the homeland, Iran getting perilously close to a nuclear weapon, our ongoing negotiations to disarm North Korea -- and Obama's squawking, bratty liberal base that will demand we forego necessary security measures, get out of Iraq and Afghanistan ASAP, and oppose military action against foes of the United States -- while demanding we send the troops to places where no American interests are at stake.

Speaking of Obama's base, they may be quiet now, but they certainly will not remain so. They're looking at the size of the Democratic majority in Congress and expecting Obama to dramatically tilt the country to the left. Woe be unto him if he doesn't meet those expectations. Meanwhile, the Democrats who have to run in red states or districts will urge Obama to remain in the center, lest the party take a beating in 2010. Then there are the competing Democratic interest groups and the people who projected their own hopes and dreams onto Obama and now expect him to pay up. Remember the Obama supporter who famously said she was backing him because,

"I won't have to worry about putting gas in my car, I won't have to worry about paying my mortgage. You know, If I help him, he's gonna help me."

That's the problem with promising to be all things to all people in order to get elected: if you actually win that way, they expect you to pay up.

On January 20, 2009 -- Barack Obama is going to face an extraordinarily difficult situation that would test the most capable of Presidents. It's not quite a "I wouldn't wish it on my worst enemy" spot, but it's going to be tougher than a Waffle House steak, particularly so for Obama because you can't vote "present" in the White House.

So, before we carve Barack Obama's face right there on Mt. Rushmore beside of Abe Lincoln, perhaps we should wait to see if he's as good at tackling this country's very real problems as he is at raising money, reading speeches off a teleprompter, and chucking his former friends and allies under the bus.

I thought it went rather well with this video from Youtube:

There is Only One President at a Time  

Posted by Rob Barton in , ,

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This has been the hallmark, so far, of the incoming Obama administration. It's probably the only thing that I agree with him on so far. Obama has been one of the most public Presidents-elect that we have had.

Section 1. The terms of the President and Vice President shall end at noon on the 20th day of January, and the terms of Senators and Representatives at noon on the 3d day of January, of the years in which such terms would have ended if this article had not been ratified; and the terms of their successors shall then begin.

That is what the Constitution says, and I want to congratulate Obama for his (possibly) first originalist interpretation of the Constitution. (It will probably be the last.)

Members of Congress, though, are not happy with this.

"He's going to have to be more assertive than he's been," House Financial Services Committee Chairman Barney Frank, D-Mass., told consumer advocates Thursday.

"At a time of great crisis with mortgage foreclosures and autos, he says we only have one president at a time," Frank said. "I'm afraid that overstates the number of presidents we have. He's got to remedy that situation."

Overstating the number of presidents? So, we have no president? Good one, Frank.

Frankly, I can't blame Bush for choosing the path of inaction, if that were the path he was following. Just because he doesn't want to use money set aside to bail out the mortgage and banking industry for bailing out the auto industry doesn't mean that he is taking the path of inaction.

Frank goes on to say, "Having lived with this very right wing Republican group that runs the House most of the time, the notion of trying to deal with them as if we could be post-partisan gives me post-partisan depression,"

In case Frank mised it, the Democrats have had control of the House for most of the last 50 years. He also points out the Democrat strategy. There is no way that there will be any 'reaching across the aisle' during the next two years. The only reaching that I foresee will be by RINO's attempting to save their jobs when the conservative backlash hits at the next Congressional election.

Homeowner Bailout: Actually Another ARM  

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CNN) -- When struggling homeowner Eddie Morrison heard about the government's $700 billion bailout plan for banks and Wall Street firms, he felt left out.

But the Morrisons were saved when their mortgage holder, California-based IndyMac, was seized by federal regulators recently. The new administrator of the failing bank, Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. Chairman Sheila Bair, put a freeze on foreclosures, giving people such as the Morrisons a chance to create a loan payment they can afford.

Bair has proposed giving homeowners who are 60 days late on their mortgage a chance to reduce high interest rates and extend the length of the loan if they qualify.

But the Morrisons say they like the plan. Bair's IndyMac loan-modification program dropped their payment from $3,200 per month to $1,900 per month for five years. After that, the payments start to go back up.

After that, the payments start to go back up. So, in other words, the solution to the mortgage crises is not actually solving the problem, but delaying it for five years. Just in time for His O-liness to be voted out of office, essentially laying the blame at the feet of Obama's successor. If Obama does get re-elected, then just extend the time for another few years.

Way to solve the problem, huh? Solve it for the democrats, anyway.

The Big Three Bailout  

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The CEO's were back in Congress, begging for their bailout again. If they were going to get it all along, why did we have to go through the big show last week?

The first proposed bailout was supposed to be $25 billion. Now it's up to $34 billion.

Here's what really happened last week:

Barney Frank: "I can't believe that you guyth all flew in on private jetth! You guyth have thome nerve! We can't give you billionth of dollarth when you guyth are flying in on private jetth. You guyth need to fly back home, and come back in carth. Preferably oneth that don't uthe much gatholine."

Essentially, they were saying, "You guys have wasteful attitudes, but, if you waste the jet fuel on the ride home, then hop in a car and come back a little later, we'll give you $9 billion more dollars."

Kudos to Mark Sanford and Rick Perry  

Posted by Rob Barton

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I'm glad to see that at least two governors in this country have the good sense to tell his O-liness no to the bailout of states. Governors Mark Sanford and Rick Perry refused to accept state bailout money from the future President of the Socialist States of America. I guess that they realize that while things may be a little tighter now, they are not nearly as tight as they will be when all sorts of green strings are found dangling from the bait bribe bailout.

I am surprised that there were only two. I know that Palin was there, and I think Jindall was, too. That should have been at least four. I'll do a little more research and find out what they said about a state bailout.

Let's see, $34 billion for the states? What's the total up to now?

More Black Friday News  

Posted by Rob Barton

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More like Cyber Monday news, really. Cyber Monday, the Monday after Thanksgiving and the unofficial kickoff to the online holiday shopping season, posted sales for online retailers that were up 15%. This marks the largest increase since statistics were started six years ago. The naysayers in the drive-by's claimed that the 3% increase for brick and mortar stores could only amount to a poor fourth quarter for retailers. I guess that what they don't realize is that all brick and mortar stores now have an online component, and some sales are siphoned off of the stores through the website. It's kind of like when you squeeze a balloon. The air(money) runs from one end of the balloon (brick and mortar stores) and goes to the other end (websites), while the actual air inside the balloon has not changed.

See Also:
MSM distorts Black Friday figures

So, who was right about Black Friday?
I am still predicting a holly, jolly Christmas for smart retailers.

Note: The comments section is not working right now. Seems to be a problem with blogger. As soon as they get it fixed, so will I. If you click on my name and email your comments, I will post them here for you.

So, who was right about Black Friday?  

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The first story appeared in my google reader at about three o'clock Friday morning. The headline read Shoppers Seek Deals, Buy Less on Black Friday. This prompted me to post my first ever post because I had finally had it with the mainstream media and their distortions of truth to suit their liberal agenda. They want us to think that we are poor, that we need the government to solve our problems. Well, let me tell you - that story appeared at three o'clock in the morning, well before anyone had really started selling anything! Now, the same story did appear in my reader several times that day, which I took for updates even though I didn't see anything different. If you look it up now, I think the time on the story is something like 6:30 pm.

Anyway, here is what they had to say then:

SAN FRANCISCO/NEW YORK (Reuters) - Shoppers lured by money-saving deals filled U.S. stores on Friday, but the annual kick-off to holiday shopping appeared weaker this year as worries about a deep recession kept purchases down.

Then I see this in a post over at Conservatism Today:

Sales rose to $10.6 billion, the Chicago-based company said in a statement. The increase was the smallest since a decline of 0.9 percent in 2005 and compares with a jump of 8.3 percent last year. “So far, so good,” said Craig Johnson, president of Customer Growth Partners LLC, a retail consulting firm based in New Canaan, Connecticut. “But a decent Black Friday figure doesn’t predict the whole season. The question is, how much momentum we can keep” in this “challenging” economic environment, Johnson said.

U.S. retailers are making earlier and deeper price cuts to lure Christmas shoppers, who are coping with the shrinking values of homes and stock holdings along with increasing joblessness. The season can account for as much as a third of annual profit.

November and December sales at U.S. stores open at least a year may rise 1 percent, the smallest gain since 2002, according to the International Council of Shopping Centers, a New York- based trade group.

Well, a 3% increase may not be as big as when the economy is growing, but we'll take it. It is, after all better than we did last year. The weak overall weekend, though, should not be attributed to the tight economy. It seems that last year, the first of the month fell on the Saturday after Thanksgiving. This year it waited until Monday. Anyone in retail can tell you that they do more business at the first of the month than any other time during the month. What I am looking forward to is the end of this week, when we are already past the first of the month last year. I am willing to bet that there are small increases to go around.

See also:
More Black Friday News
MSM distorts Black Friday figures

The first thing I did  

Posted by Rob Barton

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The very first thing that I did that got me to start this blog was making these videos just before the election:

This first one was really practice for the second, but I thought it was pretty funny and put it up anyway

then I did this one, not any kind of funny, but I was a little further up the learning curve

drop me an e-mail and let me know what you thought of them.

They Were After Westerners?  

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LONDON (AP) -- The attack on India's financial capital bears all the trademarks of al-Qaida - simultaneous assaults meant to kill scores of Westerners in iconic buildings - but clues so far point to homegrown Indian terrorists, global intelligence officials said Thursday.

Meant to kill scores of Westerners? Well, as of today, there are six Americans dead and a few from England, and some from other countries, but as of this writing, the death toll in the Mumbai incident is 174.

One hundred seventy four and only six Americans? If they were trying to kill americans then six out of 174 is a piss poor ratio if you ask me.

Now when I arrived home and heard the news of the attacks, a quick Google search showed that the Deccan Mujahideen were claiming responsibility. One more search of "Deccan Mujahideen" revealed this article dated Sept 15, 2008:

Next Mumbai: Indian Mujahideen

The Indian Mujahideen, which has claimed responsibility for the Delhi, Ahmedabad, Bangalore and Jaipur blasts killing at least 130 people in a span of four months, has now threatened to carry out attacks in Mumbai, report Agencies.

Accusing Mumbai Police’s ATS of harassing Muslims, Indian Mujahideen said in its email that it was closely watching the ATS.

“You should know that your acts are not at all left unnoticed; rather we are closely keeping an eye on you and just waiting for the right time to execute your bloodshed. We are aware of your recent raids at Ansarnagar, Mograpada in Andheri and the harassment and trouble you created there for the Muslims,” the group said in the email they sent to various media houses on Saturday evening.

“You threatened to murder them and your mischief went to such an extent that you even dared to abuse and insult Maulana Mahmood-ul-Hasan Qasmi and even misbehaved with the Muslim women and children there,” the email said.

“If this is the degree your arrogance has reached, and if you think that by these stunts you can scare us, then let the Indian Mujahideen warn all the people of Mumbai that whatever deadly attacks Mumbaikars will face in future, their responsibility would lie with the Mumbai ATS and their guardians – Vilasrao Deshmukh and R R Patil,” the email said. “You are already on our hit-list and this time very very seriously.”

The terror outfit also threatened to target a senior Rajasthan police official. “All the Mujahideen who shook Jaipur are absolutely safe and secure, and are preparing for our next targets, one of which is A K Jain – the DIG of Rajasthan,” claimed Indian Mujahideen.

Jain has been instrumental in arresting several SIMI members in Rajasthan in connection with the May 13 serial blasts in Jaipur. The mail bears two signatures at the end – Guru Alhindi and al-Arbi.

It took about four or five minutes of reading and two very simple google searches to find this out. I would have hoped that a journalist would have had better sources, or at least the wherewithal to do at least what I did in five minutes. Of course, maybe I should give them a break. I did have to go to about the third page of search results to find something not related to the news that day.