Thursday, February 23, 2012

Nevada... Legislating Tomorrow Today!

Courtesy of Car and Driver Magazine
Not wanting to be 'left in the dust' by other uber-Progressive States Nevada has decided to write legislation to manage...

TECHNOLOGY WHICH DOESN'T YET EXIST


Yes, you read that correctly.  The lone State of the Union offering legalized pay-for-play-sex (a.k.a.: 'The World's Oldest Profession') has moved aggressively to be also the only State to write legislation for 'Driveless Automobiles'.  As in:  Writing legislation, in advance, for technology which does not exist today. 

According to USAToday online:
The state of Nevada is preparing for the day when self-driving cars move from the world of sci-fi to real life, the Associated Press reports. It recently became the first state to create regulations for companies interested in testing self-driven cars on public roads.

The state acknowledges that automakers aren't close to getting this technology to market, but Nevada wants to have laws in place when -- and if -- it happens. Regulations approved by state officials include requiring companies to secure a bond of $1 million to $3 million, detail their specific plans and intended test locations, and provide all collected data to the state. Nevada also requires that during testing, two passengers will always be in the car, in case one needs to override the controls.

If cars like these ever hit the market, Nevada's regulations also stipulate that people operating them need to have a special license and the cars have to contain a "black box," a type of data collector. 
Yes, in a bold move, the State of Nevada chunks a stake into the ground telling 'Driveless Car' manufacturers, "If you're going to put one of them things on our roads, you're going to:

a.  Buy an up-front insurance policy if you kill anyone, or break anything

b.  'Partner' with the State by providing your plans, intentions, and any results from your testing.  But don't worry, you're only sharing your confidential testing information with government workers - your secrets are safe with them!

c.  Provide a 'Designated Driver' while the vehicle is traveling anywhere within the State of Nevada

Okay, here's the thing:   Harry Reid's home state is telling the world they have time to legislate 'stuff which does not exist', but they do not have time to address the following?: 

BusinessInsider.com 02/25/2011: 
Falling property values in Las Vegas led all three major ratings agencies to take negative actions on the area's school district this week, Bond Buyer reports.

The decisions come as the Clark County School District - the nation's fifth largest school system - gets ready to sell $100 million in refunding bonds next week. The district, which covers all of Las Vegas, owes more than $4 billion in debt.

Nevada's budget woes have added to the school district's financial struggles. State funding
is the school district's primary source of revenue.


LAS VEGAS (FOX5) 02/23/2012:     
Prescription drug abuse is the fastest growing drug problem we face in Nevada according to the DEA.

"We are four percent of the world's population the United States, yet we consume 40 percent of the world's pharmaceutical drugs," said Paul Rosario, DEA Special Agent In Charge in the Las Vegas district office.

Prescription drugs are killing Las Vegas. A look at the numbers from the Clark County Coroner's office over the last five years reveals a total of 1,611 deaths from prescription drug overdoses.

"That is more than methamphetamine, heroin and cocaine combined," said Rosario.
Last year in Clark County, 190 were killed by overdoses of meth, cocaine, or heroin; 178 were killed in car accidents.  (Moos Note:  Oh, so THIS is why they need driveless cars in the state...) 

Rosario's office has an eight-man task force, regulatory and undercover, to specifically attack the spread of prescription drug abuse in Nevada.

Rosario says the root of this killer is often a professional. "Many times, many times it's a doctor or a pharmacist," he said.



Unemployment Rate In Nevada, December, 2011:  13%  (Source: BLS)
Yes, when it comes to unemployment, Nevada is LEADING the Nation!!!

So Nevada lawmakers cannot figure out how to pay for schools, reduce prescription drug abuse, or pass legislation to encourage employers to create jobs, but they DO have time to investigate, initiate, and legislate STUFF that doesn't exist yet?  

Super.  Groovy.  Cool.

Other interesting Nevada Factoids courtesy of your 'Moo Media' Outlet...

  • In 1899 Charles Fey invented a slot machine named the Liberty Bell. The device became the model for all slots to follow.
  • Bertha was a performing elephant that entertained for 37 years at John Ascuaga's Nugget casino located in Sparks. She was 48 years old when she died.
  • While Samuel Clemens took the pen-name "Mark Twain" as a reporter working for the "Territorial Enterprise," he began his writing career as a reporter in the Midwest some years before moving to Virginia City in 1862.
  • In Death Valley, the Kangaroo Rat can live its entire life without drinking a drop of liquid.
  • The ichthyosaur is Nevada's official state fossil (Moos Note:  Harry Reid has long been considered a close second runner-up as the replacement for the current State Dinosaur).
  • Austin's oldest church, St. Augustine, requires the establishment's bells in the tower to be rung by pulling a rope located in the men's restroom.
  • Nevada has more mountain ranges than any other state, with its highest point at the 13,145 foot top of Boundary Peak near the west-central border.
  • The longest running show in Las Vegas is the Follies Bergere at the Tropicana Hotel and Casino. It opened in 1959. The production numbers in "Showgirls" were written specifically for the Paul Verhoeven film and shot in the Horizon Hotel at Lake Tahoe. The bulk of the movie used locations located at the Luxor and the Forum Shops at Caesars.
  • Misfits Flats off Highway 50 near Stagecoach takes its name from the John Huston film. Huston used the privately owned area to film a complicated wild horse round up with Clark Gable, Marilyn Monroe, Montgomery Clift and Eli Wallach.
  • Nevada is the largest gold-producing state in the nation. It is second in the world behind South Africa.
  • The Virginia City steam train still operates and was featured in the Imax project "Mark Twain's America." The "steam train" is a modern-day tourist train and does not link back to the original Virginia & Truckee RR which had its last run to Virginia City in 1938.
  • Nevada is the only state with an entire museum devoted to the life and time of entertainer Liberace.  (Moos Note:  'Oh, yeah, hold me back!')
  • Area 51 is acknowledged with State Route 375 officially christened "The Extraterrestrial Highway" in a ceremony featuring the director and cast of the movie "Independence Day." The highway runs between Alamo and Tonopah. There is a tiny restaurant stop at the Little Ale' Inn at Rachel.

Rumor has it that Nevada State Legislators are currently working on a series of bills to curtail the Illegal Immigration of Aliens (Space Aliens).  Additionally, large interstellar docking stations are secretly being built atop casinos along the Vegas strip to accommodate the travel needs of wayward space travelers.  

No word as yet if the Nevada State Legislature will provide dietary guidelines to 'All-You-Can-Eat-Buffets' along the Strip regarding alien nutritional guidelines.  The assumption here is that the Aliens will most likely dine upon the drug-addled brains of the homeless currently lining the streets and scurrying through the alleyways of Vegas.  

More details will be forthcoming as they are announced by the progressive leadership of the Great State of Nevada.


Alien prostitutes?  Hmm, sounds like another post for another day...


Only in Nevada!!!  ( I smell "Marketing Campaign!" )

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Tin Men

Tin men & women - those friendly, patriotic, business-savvy, and freedom-loving men and women of the UAW are here.  Go with them now...  Become part of their machine, lest they stomp you (as friendly, patriotically, and freedom-lovingly as possible) into Mechanically-Separated 'Meat Product'.

Oh, and thanks for the $50 BILLION loan...

On Friday I speculated (yes, I 'speculate' in public) as to why President Obama would want to increase the existing $7,500 Tax Credit on Electric Vehicles to $10,000.  IF the Chevrolet Volt is as good as GM says it is, people should be flocking to put down the $46,000 required to be one of the first kids on the block to own one. 

Will this increased Tax Credit ever see the light of day?  No, probably not.  Why?  Because the provision was in the President's Budget submitted to Congress last week.  

That question you are probably asking yourself is, "Why won't the legislation move forward - what's preventing the President's Budget from being approved?"  Excellent, question thanks for asking! 

Well, that's because the Democratically-led Senate will not VOTE on the Obama budget submitted by the Democratically-led Executive Branch.  It's TOXIC (and when other Democratic lawmakers realize this, um, it's really bad). 

The interesting thing is that John Boehner, the Republican Speaker of the House, DOES want to vote on the President's Budget. 

Why?  Because "It's TOXIC."  So much so that Boehner wants the Bill discussed so all Americans can hear what the President believes THEY ought to be spending THEIR money on.  Since Congress hasn't passed a Constitutionally-Required Budget in over 1,000 days (that's over 8,500 days in 'dog days'), sure, what the heck, might as well vote on the Deficit-reducing, pro-Business, OWS-loving, and freedoms-reducing Obama Budget, right?  At least it's something with 'Budget' in the title...  

Huh, what's that?  Sheesh, what's with all the questions today?  Now you want to know why the Congress hasn't proposed a Budget in over three years? 

Because for the two years the Democrats held the House and Senate, they were much too busy passing important life-altering legislation than to worry about, you know...  Budgets.  Health care needed fixing, Osama Bin-Laden needed to be killed (President Obama did this himself), the Economy needed to be trashed, and the military needed to be reduced, you know, since President Obama personally killed OBL.  

And now that the Republican House Leadership has passed and submitted multiple Budgets to the Senate, Harry Reid won't allow votes on them.  If nothing else, Harry Reid is consistent.    

But alas, I have once again fallen victim to my own 'trackless' train of thought.  Let's get back to the good stuff, shall we???

So why is the President hawking the $10,000 EV ('Electric Vehicle') Tax Credit in his proposed budget?  It's a financial 'Shout Out' to the Union Workers who continue to benefit from President Obama's legislative decisions from a few years back.  The credit may never see the light of day, but gosh golly, would a Republican throw the UAW dogs a 'virtual bone' like this?  Yeah, probably. 

Why?  AGAIN WITH THE QUESTIONS!?!?!   Yikes!  Because not all Republicans are Conservative, of course.  And when you're a moderate, a liberal, or a progressive, you 'Dance with the one who brung you' regardless of WHO you are.    

However, if you get a REALLY Liberal Democrat President in the White House, you know he's going to give to the Unions what they want to garner their support...  Anything.

Even once-independent car companies.

Check out the following from the homepage of the UAW website:

OWS, Solidarity and Family Scholarship Values - It's all here!!!


And how will these union-owned institutions repay the American people who loaned them $70+ BILLION dollars?  According to the Wall Street Journal's Sharon Terlep:

General Motors Co. is freezing the pay of its 26,000 U.S. salaried employees and will eliminate its traditional pension contribution for those salaried workers who still receive them in moves to reduce financial risks and cut costs.

The Detroit company also will shrink the 2011 bonus for all salaried U.S. workers because it failed to meet its financial goals last year, people familiar with the matter said.


The changes come as GM prepares to disclose on Thursday a record annual profit of around $8 billion for 2011...
...

The company will pay smaller annual bonuses to most white-collar (non-union) workers despite an expected record profit because net income is only one factor in determining payouts…

The auto maker’s 48,500 United Auto Workers-represented hourly workers receive bonuses under a different formula, which hinges on profitability and quality.




Next up, an article from 'Sweetness & Light' quoting the Associated Press and discussing the projected bonuses provided to Union Workers at GM.  Employees in a Union-Run Business (still owned  are apparently NOT equal in the eyes of Union Leadership.  (Okay, not really a surprise, but it does provide additional validation for the whole "Power corrupts, absolute power corrupts absolutely" quote). 

I wonder, how many Americans know that THEY still own 27% of the 'New GM'?  And if so, would they approve of the bonuses paid ONLY to Union Thugs (um, workers, I meant skilled-workers) in lieu of their getting repaid the still outstanding multi-Billion dollar debt to taxpayers?  I wonder...

Okay, here we go, from Sweetness & Light (their commentary is in RED): 

DETROIT (AP) – General Motors earned its largest profit ever in 2011, two years after it nearly collapsed into financial ruin… The 103-year-old company made $7.6 billion in 2011, up 62% from 2010.
 
Mind you, since 27% of GM is still owned by the government, these figures are, in effect, coming from the Obama administration as well as the United Auto Workers. So they are probably as accurate as the current unemployment numbers.


GM also said Thursday that its 47,500 blue-collar workers in the U.S. will get $7,000 profit-sharing checks in March. The checks are based on North American performance and are a record for the company...

...

GM is a vastly different company than it was then. It’s smaller and has less debt, and its contract with the United Auto Workers is less costly…
Yes, the UAW’s pension fund was bailed out, and the union was given the company they destroyed, in exchange for a "less costly" contract.


That is what is known as "fairness."

But it took a government bailout and a trip through bankruptcy protection in 2009 to cut its bloated costs. The restructured company was able to make record profit last year, even though U.S. auto sales were near historic lows at 12.8 million cars and trucks…

Again, these profit reports are coming from the Obama administration. And who knows how much they have been ‘seasonally adjusted’ to give Obama something to crow about?

Also bear in mind that GM will not have to pay any federal taxes for the next ten years. (Which was another payback to the UAW for their loyal support of Obama and the Democrat party.)

So, even though General Motors has made the biggest profit in its history, it will pay less tax than Warren Buffet’s secretary. — Where is the outrage?


Where's the outrage?

Oh, it's coming.  Oh, but it's not from you. 

It's from them, the Tin Men and Women of the UAW and their Brother and Sister Union organizations. 

Check out the UAW.org website homepage today...




The 99% Spring is coming because, they say, "The 1% have stolen our democracy - That's why we're starting the 99% Spring".  Shoot, based upon what I've read, it occurs to me that the only stealing going on from this bunch is FROM the 99%.  And, thanks to the Obama Administration we're funding 27% of their springtime events on behalf of GM. 

Get ready for the 99% Spring.  It's gonna get weird.  

I wonder if anyone will talk about it?

I know a few folks. 

See ya.


  












 



    

    

Friday, February 17, 2012

President Obama's Tax Cut for... Wealthiest Americans


A story of horror.


A story of wealth.


A story of insider-trading and price-fixing.


A story of a philosopy - and, a car...


Yes, as surely as Carol Anne stares into the electric static glow of the unplugged (yet somehow strangely still 'on') television set - say it with me now,  "They're here..."

And, they're NOT going away. 



DETROIT FREE PRESS, FEBRUARY 15, 2012:    The budget President Barack Obama proposed Monday would increase the tax credit for buyers of electric vehicles -- from the $7,500 maximum to a $10,000 maximum -- and expand the credit to other "advanced technology vehicles."

Under the proposal, the tax credit would apply to vehicles that operate primarily using an alternative to gasoline, as long as that technology is not currently widespread in the U.S. The preliminary budget document, from the U.S. Treasury's website, lacks details about the vehicles that would qualify.

The amount of the tax credit would vary by the fuel efficiency of the vehicle, but would be at least $7,500 for electric vehicles.

...

The budget is for the fiscal year starting Oct. 1 and is not expected to pass Congress. Republicans control the House and are attempting to take back the presidency from Obama in the November election.

Still, the proposal shows Obama's continued support for subsidizing electric vehicle purchases, despite the controversy surrounding the government's recent investigation into the Chevrolet Volt and the car's slower-than-expected sales.

Critics have said the administration is propping up the Volt because of its ownership stake in General Motors. Some have also suggested the tax credit is a tax break for the rich; GM has touted its well-off Volt buyers, since the automaker wants more buyers who will pay for technology. Still, the expansion of the tax credit could also make electric vehicles less expensive or include buyers of less-expensive technology.

Okay, a couple of things:



  1. As discussed in prior posts, the Chevrolet Volt will cost the average American approximately $46,000.  The vehicle currently has a $7,500 tax credit associated with it.
  2. With a price tag this steep, the Chevrolet Volt is out of reach for MOST Americans (payment over 60 months at 4.88% financing = $870 per month (assuming you receive a tax Credit, which has NO impact on your initial purchase price))
  3. In 2011, General Motors sold fewer than 8,000 Chevrolet Volts for the full year.  Missing its sales objective in the first year by over 20%
  4. Chevrolet initially claimed they missed their sales targets because of 'availability' issues, where supply couldn't keep up with massive demand for the product - however, having just done another NEW Volt search on cars.com, I find that there are over 1,400 Volts in stock within 500 miles of my home.  No, NOT a 'supply' problem - perhaps a 'Demand' issue?
  5. If I purchase a 2012 Ford Focus I'll get 28 local and 38 highway MPG on regular gas running about $3.85 per gallon in NY.  All this for an investment of about $22,000.  No tax rebates, no credits, just an honest supply / demand economic transaction from one private party to another
  6. Purchasing the 2x as expensive Chevrolet Volt will get me (according to cars.com)...


 

A whopping 93 MPG!!!  (For approximately 45 miles per charge - after which I need to fire up the gasoline engine requiring PREMIUM Unleaded, at $4.39 per gallon). 

Then, while in 'gas mode' I'll bask in the carbon-monoxide joy of 36 MPG highway - yes, '2' fewer MPG than the 'bargain basement' Focus would get me while burning REGULAR gas. 

So WHY would the President propose a TAX CREDIT for the wealthiest Americans (the only ones who could afford this dog???)

Because HE wants to - it's HIS money. 

And when you're a guy like President Obama, it's the ONLY reason you need.

But there ARE more reasons, but I have no time to discuss them today - I'm burning daylight and when you are lucky enough to have a job during the "Obama Recovery", you want to keep it. 

Because unlike Chevrolet Volts, when it comes to 'jobs', they're not just laying around waiting for you to pick one up. 

Have a nice day folks, I will wrap this up this weekend.

Be nice to each other - we're all we've got...


Thursday, February 16, 2012

Eat Me Too

Happy Birthday - Whoever You Are!
No, this photo nothing to do with today's post, but I woke this morning thinking of cake.
And look, here it is...
Last night around 10:30 I finished writing "Eat Me".  A tale of children, the USDA, mold-encrusted applesauce (fed to the children under the watchful eye of the USDA) and mechanically-separated chicken food 'product'.  Perhaps this is why I awoke thinking of 'cake'?  Yeah, could be...  

Looking for something else 'completely different' this morning to ponder upon, I found this...

From Myrtle Beach Online, December 01, 2011: 

CHARLESTON -- Secretary of Health and Human Services Kathleen Sebelius said Thursday that America’s health is a matter of national security and that she’s optimistic the Supreme Court will uphold the nation’s health care reform law.

During a visit to the South Carolina coast, Sebelius spoke with a black nurses group [Question:  Were Caucasian, Hispanic, Oriental, or Panamanian Nurses not allowed to attend?] and then was to attend a conference on improving access to health care.

The nation’s health “really is an issue of national security,” she told the nurses group, adding that a healthy, productive work force “is an essential part of our prosperity.”

[Moos Note:  Then, by extension of Kathleen Sebelius' logic, FAT people are a threat to our National Security?  Quick, someone get Richard Simmons on the phone - I need to be 'Sweatin' to the Oldies' with the rest of those spooky-looking folks in his ads from a few years' back.  I used to be big and strong, now I'm just, pretty much, BIG.  Maybe I ought to take Bossie for a walk today once the snow turns back to rain?]
...

She said keeping people healthy means less drain on paying for health care.

“Seven out of 10 deaths are caused by chronic disease conditions and 70 cents of every health care dollar is spent treating chronic diseases,” she said. “We spend eight cents - less than a dime - keeping people healthy in the first place.” 

Sebelius also said she’s optimistic the health care reform bill will be upheld by the high court, noting appeals courts have ruled both ways.

“I am optimistic it stands on solid constitutional grounds and that we will be able to get the green light and move forward,” she said.

I do find this last statement more than a 'little bit ironic' (or 'misleading' if you prefer) that Kathleen Sebelius is under the impression that once the Feds 'get the green light' they can 'move forward'.  Knowing that ObamaCare has been 'in process' since Congress passed this debacle back in 2009 - what parts of the legislation's impact has SHE missed?  A fair question as she's been a HUGE proponent for the past bunch of years.  And wait, won't she kind of, sort of, be responsible for running the program, or is that the IRS?  I get so confused... 

But hey, that's just my opinion.  What do I know?

Next, I found a related story on the New York Times Online dated, February 13, 2012:

Dr. Jodi Sterle, an expert on human reproductive management at Iowa State University, said no easy options when it comes to human dietary needs because feeding people is complicated by their hierarchical nature. “When they are raised in large community settings, there is competition for food, water and space, and especially for food,” she said.

Researchers have tried a method called trickle feeding, in which small amounts of food are put onto plates throughout the day, but dominant personality types tend to camp out by the table and push more passive humans away.

Another method uses a microchip embedded in an ear tag to manage the subject’s diet and feed him / her in a “cafeteria,” but people sometimes find ways of overcoming that technology, too. “Basically, there’s no science that provides the perfect answer right now,” Dr. Sterle said.

Kathleen Sebelius, head of Health and Human Services, said in a statement that it supported alternative feeding efforts to contain obesity. “Legislative leadership has expressed a desire to see changes in how people are raised,” she said. “Nutritionists and dietitian's are responding and modifying their recommendations accordingly.”
 

Oops, I am sow sorry, the section above was pulled from a New York Times' article addressing McDonald's commitment to not purchase pork from suppliers who do not treat their 'pigs' humanely.

How could I have possibly confused the care and treatment of cloven-footed livestock with anything the Obama Administration is doing to make our lives 'better'?  My sincerest apologies to any swine I may have offended.

I get the impression (and this must just be ME) that Kathleen Sebelius, the HHS, and members of Congress perceive us to be a lot like your garden-variety swine. 

  • They tell us what we can eat. 
  • They tell us what we can drink.
  • They tell us what we can smoke (and if we dare smoke, how much we'll pay for it)
  • They tell us that our exhalations include 'harmful greenhouse gases'
  • They tell us, in general, how we can live


The major differences between our two species?

  • Pigs don't vote
  • Pigs don't pay taxes
  • Pigs don't drive (well, at least they don't drive 'well')
  • Pigs don't believe in inter-species dating
  • Pigs are almost always happy (Including the moment when the nationa buyer for McDonalds calls to place that really HUGE bacon order)
  • Pigs don't 'occupy' other pigs property based upon envy or hatred towards other, more-successful, pigs

You may call me a pig.  You may call me a cow.  You may call me a low-down rotten sow...

Just don't call me now.

I'm going to work. 

Have a nice day folks.

Oh, and for the record?  I only changed eight words in the article above from the NY Times discussing the care and feeding of pigs.  Swap a few words regarding animal husbandry, apply it to humans, and anyone can be a Progressive Liberal Democrat. 

Not that there's anything wrong with THAT. 







Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Eat Me


Part 1:  Eat our nuggets...

Raeford, North Carolina, January 30, 2012 -  A pre-schooler at West Hoke Elementary School did not eat the lunch her mother prepared for her. 

No big news here, right? 

Sometimes kids get picky. 

Sometimes kids get stubborn. 

Sometimes kids get Chicken Nuggets. 

Yeah, sometimes kids get to eat stuff that begins 'life' as THIS...

Mechanically-Separated Chicken for...
McNuggets!!!  Yumm-o!


In this instance, the child in question didn't want to eat Chicken Nuggets.  In fact, she didn't eat her intended lunch because it was taken away from her by the Inspector working for the Division of Child Development and Early Education - Department of Health and Human Services. 

Why?

Because the child's homemade Turkey and Swiss sandwich, banana, potato chips and apple juice did not meet published USDA guidelines.  Yup, this being the case, the 'lunch box inspector' deemed the meal provided for the child by her Mother to be 'nutritionally-challenged' and the inspector supplemented the meal by providing the girl three Chicken Nuggets (made from the pink 'goo' illustrated above).

To add insult to injury, the school then charged the parent $1.25 for the 'yummy' deep-fried mechanically-separated meat product it provided to her child (without the Mom's approval, consent, or knowledge in advance). 

But don't worry, it's really for the best.  No one takes care of you like the USDA - right?  Yeah, right. 

For the complete story, you can read it online here:  Carolina Journal Online

This, it turns out, is but Part One of the story. 

However, like they say on television at 2am Saturday morning, "But wait, there's more!!!"

Yes, more.   

More begins now.  

Part II: Green Applesauce - Eat it, eat it, yes you will...
(Do not read the following while eating, drinking, or operating heavy machinery.) 


MSNBC Online: November 4, 2011

FDA: Moldy applesauce repackaged by school lunch supplier

A Washington state fruit processor that supplies the nation’s schools and a baby food maker is under scrutiny by federal health regulators for repackaging applesauce contaminated with several kinds of potentially dangerous, multi-colored molds, msnbc.com has learned.

Food and Drug Administration officials this week posted a warning letter to Snokist Growers of Yakima, Wash., saying the company cannot ensure the safety of moldy applesauce and fruit puree that has been reconditioned for human consumption.


Products recalled earlier this year by Snokist were blamed for illnesses of nine North Carolina children who became sick after eating applesauce at school.


The latest warning came after FDA officials said Snokist failed to adequately address problems identified during a June inspection in which regulators found large, laminated bags of fruit products that were supposed to be sealed and sterile, but instead were broken open and tainted with white, brown, blue, blue-green and black mold. Some of the compromised bags were bloated and one had “a strong fermented odor,” the report said.

The FDA’s letter identified at least eight instances last year in which Snokist had reprocessed the moldy applesauce into canned goods for human consumption.  The inspection report said Snokist documents showed the company had reprocessed mold-contaminated applesauce at least 13 times between January 2008 and May 2011, repackaging food into 15-ounce cans, 106-ounce-cans, 300-gallon bags and 4.2-ounce, single-serve cups.


Cinammon on top? 
Or 'Commonous Mouldus Nasteus'?

On one hand (Part I), North Carolina elementary school food service folks are taking food away from 'small humans' in an effort to assure that they receive the daily-nutrional value required by the USDA.  This, regardless of what their parents pack for them.  Because when it comes to raising a child, "It takes a Bureaucracy". 

On the other hand (Part II), since North Carolina schools are buying prepared food 'in bulk' from the low-cost bidder, well, you HAVE to expect a little mold in your food.  I'm not sure how the USDA feels about this, but I'm sure that IF they had known about it...

Huh, what's that?

The USDA DID know about it?

KING5.com: Federal Inspectors Told to Ignore Moldy Food At Local Plant, February 13, 2012

The KING 5 Investigators have learned that federal inspectors complained for years about significant food safety violations at a Yakima plant but their superiors didn’t put a stop to it.

"I thought it was terrible because I have never seen anything like that in my life," said Jerry Pierce, a recently retired U.S. Department of Agriculture inspector who was assigned to the Snokist Growers plant in 2008. He said he watched Snokist employees “reprocess” and sell applesauce that belonged in the garbage bin.

“It's appalling that the company would take those measures just to make a few dollars," said Wendy Alguard, the USDA inspector who worked at Snokist from 2009 until the summer of last year.

Snokist Growers is a century-old cannery that processes and packages 50,000 tons of cherries, apples, pears and plums each year. The inspectors say that leaks in the packaging would cause 300 gallon bags of applesauce to spoil. Snokist would scrape thick mold off the top of the spoiled applesauce, heat-treat the remaining product and then send it down the production line for sale to the public.


The KING 5 Investigators obtained public records showing Snokist reprocessed more than 23,000 gallons of moldy applesauce in the year 2010 alone. Other records show Snokist's own consultant concluded in 2009 that the mold in applesauce "would not be eliminated by your firm's thermal process." Records show the company continued selling it to customers.

The inspectors (Moos Note: yes, the USDA Inspectors) say they repeatedly told their boss about the moldy applesauce.

"I guess they promised my boss they wouldn't do it again and within a week they were doing it again,” said Pierce.

"I had contact with my boss many times and he basically told me to mind my own business," said Alguard.
 
The USDA had inspectors in Snokist’s plant because the company is a major supplier to the national school lunch program. The USDA grades and certifies food deemed acceptable for school lunches. Alguard and Pierce say they did their best to make sure that reprocessed applesauce didn’t get into school lunch food.


Boys, girls, Moms and Dads, sit back and relax knowing that the USDA knows what's best for you and your kids...

Deep-fried chicken nuggets and moldy applesauce


Bon App├ętit!!!
Just be sure to pay the helpful SEIU Cafeteria Worker on the way out...  Assuming, of course, that she's not on strike at the time. 

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Darn Catholics



Last Friday President Obama told Catholics that he 'compromised' with the Church by 'caving' in to the Church's desire to NOT pay for contraceptives, morning-after abortion pills, and, presumably, out-right genocide of any type.  The issue, according to the President, was a matter of interpretation by Catholics and other religious leaders who opposed the legislation as a violation of the First Amendment of the Constitution.  The actual reason for the dust-up in the Press and the Pulpit was due to the fact that, "They" just didn't 'get it'.  This isn't a matter of Constitutional breach, it's simply a 'misunderstanding'.  


So the President offered a compromise:  They would not have to provide contraception in their health plans, but female employees wanting coverage could obtain it directly from the insurance companies. The arrangement would not add any cost to the employee’s premium, the argument being that prevention of childbirth is cheaper than childbirth.


In their statement, however, the bishops say that among the groups needing “clear protection” from the contraception mandate are “religious and secular for-profit employers.” That would sweep in a far larger variety of organizations.

Richard M. Doerflinger, an official of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, was asked whether that meant that a Catholic owner of a sporting-goods store who believed that use of birth-control pills is immoral should be able to offer health insurance excluding that coverage. He said it did.
 

“That person should have the freedom to choose the health plan that does not violate his convictions. It doesn’t mean he will be able to find it, but the government shouldn’t have anything to say about it,” Doerflinger said Saturday.

In addition, religiously affiliated insurance companies are not exempt from the mandate. Friday’s announcement also left unresolved what a Catholic-affiliated organization that self-insures and objects to contraception would do, as there is no insurance company to provide coverage directly to employees. 
  (
Source:  Washington Post)




So what's a Petulant Progressive President to do?  What he always does when someone stands in his way...  He clears the field.

Yes, bust out the torches, rouse the malcontents, and grab them pitchforks!  It's time to destroy the Catholic Church.  

Seriously, what good are 'Minions' if you're not going to use them?  Oh, look, here comes a useful Minion now, writing for Reuters!


Reuters, 02/13/2012:  "Monsignors' mutiny" revealed by Vatican leaks

VATICAN CITY (Reuters) - Call it Conspiracy City. Call it Scandal City. Call it Leak City. These days the holy city has been in the news for anything but holy reasons.

"It is a total mess," said one high-ranking Vatican official who spoke, like all others, on the condition of anonymity.

The Machiavellian maneuvering and machinations that have come to light in the Vatican recently are worthy of a novel about a sinister power struggle at a medieval court.

Senior church officials interviewed this month said almost daily embarrassments that have put the Vatican on the defensive could force Pope Benedict to act to clean up the image of its administration - at a time when the church faces a deeper crisis of authority and relevance in the wider world.

Some of those sources said the outcome of a power struggle inside the Holy See may even have a longer-term effect, on the choice of the man to succeed Benedict when he dies.

From leaked letters by an archbishop who was transferred after he blew the whistle on what he saw as a web of corruption and cronyism, to a leaked poison pen memo which puts a number of cardinals in a bad light, to new suspicions about its bank, Vatican spokesmen have had their work cut out responding.


The flurry of leaks has come at an embarrassing time - just before a usually joyful ceremony this week known as a consistory, when Benedict will admit more prelates into the College of Cardinals, the exclusive men's club that will one day pick the next Roman Catholic leader from among their own ranks.

"This consistory will be taking place in an atmosphere that is certainly not very glorious or exalting," said one bishop with direct knowledge of Vatican affairs.

The sources agreed that the leaks were part of an internal campaign - a sort of "mutiny of the monsignors" - against the pope's right-hand man, Secretary of State Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone.

Bertone, 77, has a reputation as a heavy-handed administrator and power-broker whose style has alienated many in the Curia, the bureaucracy that runs the central administration of the 1.3 billion-strong Roman Catholic Church.

He came to the job, traditionally occupied by a career diplomat, in 2006 with no experience of working in the church's diplomatic corps, which manages its international relations. Benedict chose him, rather, because he had worked under the future pontiff, then Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, in the Vatican's powerful doctrinal office.


...


The Vatican sources said some cardinals asked the pope to replace Bertone because of administrative lapses, including the failure to warn the pope that a renegade bishop re-admitted to the Church in 2009 was a well-known Holocaust denier.

But they said the pope, at 84 and increasingly showing the signs of his age, is not eager to break in a new right-hand man.

"It's so complicated and the pope is so helpless," said the monsignor.

The bishop said: "The pope is very isolated. He lives in his own world and some say the information he receives is filtered. He is interested in his books and his sermons but he is not very interested in government."


Blah, blah, blah, yada, yada, yada...

So, according to Reuters and the Obama Administration, the Catholic Church has 'internal' issues, they certainly do NOT have an issue with the Executive and Legislative Branchs' 'perceived' violation of the First Amendment - that would be CRAZY...

Yup.  Crazy (with a capital CRAZE) 

And to make matters even more interesting, Jack Lew, President Obama's Chief of Staff, announced to the world that "the White House had done enough to appease religious critics". 


Washington Examiner, February 13, 2012:   HHS mandate shows fight in Catholic Church

President Obama's chief of staff said that the contraception mandate will not be revised any further, despite opposition from church groups, and he dismissed ongoing critics as revealing internal division within the Roman Catholic Church.

"I can't speak to differences within the Catholic Church," White House Chief of Staff Jack Lew said on Fox News Sunday when reminded that "the most powerful statement by the Catholic Church in this country" was a denunciation of Obama's attempt at accomodation. "I would point to the statement put out by the Catholic Health Association, which knows a fair amount about what it requires to  [provide] health care in this country," he added.

Lew argued that "people can disagree" with the Health and Human Services (HHS) mandate "on the margins," but declared that the White House had done enough to appease religious critics. "I think what the president announced on Friday is a balanced approach that meets the concerns raised both in terms of access to health care and in terms of protecting religious liberties," Lew said.



That's right, the White House has "done enough to appease religious critics"...  Requiring insurance companies to give contraceptives away for FREE to anyone asking?  Why, that's tried and true old-fashioned-Obama-giving-more-of-other-people's-money-away-solution (just please don't ask who's going to be paying for these 'contraceptives' in their insurance premiums - that could get messy). 

As a card-carrying Catholic, I feel the need to turn the other cheek to President Obama's continuing assaults to our liberty, our religion and our God-Given right to bare our cartoon butts in our blog posts...



  So help me 'Bart'.



Thursday, February 9, 2012

Depend


de·pend  [dih-pend]
verb (used without object)

1.  to rely; place trust (usually followed by on  or upon ): You may depend on the accuracy of the report.

2.  to rely for support, maintenance, help, etc. (usually followed by on  or upon ): Children depend on their parents, just as approximately 50% of households depend upon the Federal Government for subsidies.

3.  to be conditioned or contingent (usually followed by on  or upon ): America's success depends upon  the effort and ability (by roughly half of the population) to pay for the other half's lifestyle.

4.  to be undetermined or pending: the United States may become Europe or it may not, it all depends.

Yes.  It all 'Depends'.

I came across an article yesterday while eating lunch which gave me pause.  Surprisingly, it wasn't about Newt Gingrich, Mitt Romney, or Rick Santorum's status in the polls.  The aforementioned are 'temporary conditions', susceptible to the whims of marketing, Presidential Politics, the National 'mood', and mutually-assured personal destruction. 

The article I read had deeper roots. 

Evil.  Nasty.  Roots.

Excerpted from Investor's Business Daily Online:  The American public's dependence on the federal government shot up 23% in just two years under President Obama, with 67 million now relying on some federal program, according to a newly released study by the Heritage Foundation.

The conservative think tank's annual Index of Dependence on Government tracks money spent on housing, health, welfare, education subsidies and other federal programs that were "traditionally provided to needy people by local organizations and families."




Source:  Investors Business Daily Online
(I added the Dotted red line above to depict the Dependency Index since LBJ launched his 'Great Society'
The Solid red line shows the end of the Bush term and the beginning of the Obama Administration)

The increase under Obama is the biggest two-year jump since Jimmy Carter was president, the data show.

The rise was driven mainly by increases in housing subsidies, an expansion in Medicaid and changes to the welfare system, along with a sharp rise in food stamps, the study found.

"You can't get around the fact that policy decisions made over the past two years, on top of those made over the past several decades, are having a large effect on the pace of growth of the index," said William Beach, who authored the Heritage study.

Dependence on the government has climbed steadily since 1962, when the index stood at 19. By 1980, the index had risen to 100. It stood at 294 in 2010, the last year for which the data are available. The D.C.-based Heritage Foundation has produced the index for nine years.

...

The report also found that spending on "dependence programs" accounts for more than 70% of the federal budget. That, too, is up dramatically. In 1990, for example, the figure stood at 48.5%, and in 1962 just over a quarter of federal spending went to dependence programs.

At the same time, fewer Americans pay income taxes, the report notes. Almost half (49.5%) didn't pay income taxes in 2009, the latest year for which the researchers have data. Back in the late 1960s, only 12% of Americans escaped the income tax burden.

Other findings:

The number of people dependent on the federal government shot up 7.5% over the past two years.

In 2010, for the first time ever, average spending on dependence programs per recipient exceeded the country's per-capita disposable income. 

The truly 'spooky' part of this article is that only the first two years of the Obama Administration are tracked, and reported here.  Another year has passed since these numbers were reported. 


Yes, I know there are people reading this who will say, "Yeah, but Moos, this period represents the Economy President Obama INHERITED from President Bush.  These numbers are NOT the current President's fault!  It's President Bush's FAULT - it's all his FAULT!" 

[This, of course would be followed by a series of grunting noises, wildly flailing hands, and spittle flying in almost all directions at once as the 'True Believer' of the President works him (or her) self into a full 'lather'.] 

Okay, I understand your desire to cling to the failed Obama policies of the recent past, but let me ask you this:  "How do YOU explain the following chart of US Workers NOT participating in the work force?" 


The following chart tracks the number of "Persons NOT in the Labor Force" through January 2012.  That 'straight up' line over to the right of the chart represents the 1.2 MILLION people the BLS 'Discarded' to get President Obama's (published) Unemployment Rate down to 8.3%


Source:  ZeroHedge.com
Why are the 1.2 MILLION 'eliminated workers' from the work force important?  Read on my friend, read on...


Source:  ZeroHedge Online...  A month ago, we joked when we said that for Obama to get the unemployment rate to negative by election time, all he has to do is to crush the labor force participation rate to about 55%. Looks like the good folks at the BLS heard us: it appears that the people not in the labor force exploded by an unprecedented record 1.2 million.

No, that's not a typo: 1.2 million people dropped out of the labor force in one month! So as the labor force increased from 153.9 million to 154.4 million, the non institutional population increased by 242.3 million meaning, those not in the labor force surged from 86.7 million to 87.9 million.

Which means that the civilian labor force tumbled to a fresh 30 year low of 63.7% as the BLS is seriously planning on eliminating nearly half of the available labor pool from the unemployment calculation. 


So, if you believe that the President 'Inherited' the bad economy, how do YOU explain the fact that while adding MILLIONS of Americans (in spite of the best efforts of Planned Parenthood, Unions, and Democrats to reduce our population ) over the past 30 years -- the Civilian Labor Force has shrunken to its lowest level during the same 30 year period?

'Fuzzy Math', or Federally-Sponsored Deceit? 

You pick. 

Oh, and while I'm asking the questions which no one seems to be able or willing to answer, let me ask you yet another question:  "Will America survive another four years of President Obama's rule?"

Well, it Depends. 


Depends on if he stays or goes, and what the Congress looks like following the upcoming elections. 

Because once again - you get to pick.  In November, 2012, you get the opportunity to fix the problem OR grow it.  Your call.

Have a nice day folks. 


Monday, February 6, 2012

Newer Dogs - Older Tricks...

The following post was updated most-recently on December 3, 2011 when the Unemployment Rate 

'Unexpectedly' fell to 8.5% after the economy had 'Unexpectedly' shed 315,000 workers out of the U.S. Workforce.

This past week the Bureau of Labor Statistics released the numbers for January. Once again the Unemployment Number fell 'Unexpectedly'. The most 'Unexpected' component of the most recent number is that an additional 1.2 MILLION U.S. Workers have 'Disappeared' from the U.S. Workforce.

QUESTIONS:
  1. Are U.S. Workers REALLY disappearing at a rate of 38,710 per day?
  2. Are aliens AMONG U.S.?
  3. If folks falling 'out of the workforce' ARE, in fact, disappearing in bulk... why IS the unemployment rate still so HIGH???
All questions will be answered, but you'll need to re-think logic as you have always known it.

At the signpost up ahead, it's the Third-Edition of "America Loses Several Hundred Thousand Jobs" post. Good luck, you're going in.

p.s.: Wherever 315,000 'missing Americans' was mentioned in the earlier post, I have increased this number by a factor of 4 to support the most recently announced 1.2 MILLION missing American Worker figure quoted last week. 

(If all these people are gone... Can I have one of their cars???)

Heard around the Blogyard...  
Madison asks, "Psst, Bossie, have you seen Buttercup lately?"  

"Nah, I thought she was with YOU...", says Bossie.  

"That's weird, I found her stall empty and she didn't touch her dinner last night."  

"Maybe she's over with Ferdinand's "gettin' busy"?", asks Bossie.  

"Nah, that Ferdinand's a freak, hanging out under the cork tree all day. Buttercup says he makes her uncomfortable. That bull's so dang peaceful - you'd hardly think he was a bull. He's more like a Golden Retriever." Madison says.  

"With horns!", shouts Bossie.  

"It's a shame, the poor boy doesn't know how to use them." Madison laughs as she trots away. The blogyard fades away as today's post begins anew...  

Yes, it's true. Disappearances like the one above have taken place all across America during the past thirty days. Is anyone talking about it? NOOOOOOOOOO! And why not?  

It's a conspiracy man. An inter-galactic conspiracy of Biblical proportions!!!  
 (Obligatory Right-Wing Rant Section to make left-leaning readers feel more at home)  

Huh? How do I know that people are being sucked off the planet? The nice folks at the Bureau of Labor Statistics told me so, that's how. Yeah, they reported yesterday that 1,200,000 people were 'OUT' of the workforce. 

With fewer people 'IN' the workforce it means that the unemployment rate MUST go down. Right? Fewer people 'ready, willing, and able' to work makes YOUR employment opportunities that much better!!!  

Yeah, so what what happened to roughly 1.2 MILLION US Workers (since last month)?  

Two words for you: "Space-Alien Abduction"! (Joke, that's four words, if you, um, count the hyphen.) Yeah, could be, but the actual 'disappearing workers' thing from the BLS IS two words, the first word begins with 'Bull' and the second word ends with '__ __ it'.  
(Fill in your own blanks on this one.)  

From the Bloomberg article found online: U.S. Jobless Rate Unexpectedly Declines to 8.3% President Barack Obama said the drop in the jobless rate is a sign the recovery is getting stronger, and extending a cut in the payroll tax will provide more fuel for the economy. He went on to say, "Let me be clear, if we clap REALLY REALLY hard; the Fairies who control our Economy will be once again healthy enough to reduce our employment rate to 5.5% like it was when GW Bush left office."

While the last quote above is NOT, hmm, let's say 'factually attributable to the President', I do believe that President Obama believes in Fairies. 

Why? Because Fairies believe in President Obama. of course! Yes, the wee folk who flit from tree to tree spreading magical goodness across the land believe in President Barack Hussein Obama.  

Unfortunately, he lost the Minotaur vote yesterday when the Senate said 'Bestiality' was pretty much cool from a legislative perspective. And as we all know, Minotaurs have no use for, well, you know... "Hey buddy, get off my _ _ _!" 

No, the bestiality thing is not cool with minotaurs - at all. Mermaids, to date, have been relatively quiet on the subject of the President's re-election chances, but King Neptune is still really P/O'd about that Gulf spill from Earth Day, 2010. Yes, President Obama, you will receive NO Mermen votes in November of 2012 (outside of Illinois, of course. Dead Mermen (and others) vote Democratic up there).

So, the unemployment fantasy continues its onward trek towards November, 2012.  For the past six months I've heard that no President has ever been elected with an unemployment rate of greater than 8% and now, magically, improbably, and unexpectedly, the rate drops a full three-tenths of a percent to 8.3% because...  

1,200,000 People have disappeared from the work force. And, 243,000 Jobs were added (most, admittedly, from part time, seasonal employment according to the article quoted).  

Stunning, isn't it? Did you see THAT coming? Actually, I did. (Nana-nana-boo-boo!)  

I even wrote about how the Department of Bureau and Labor Statistics gets all 'jiggy' with numbers when it needs to. And, a long time ago, back in February 10, 2010 (this seems a REALLY long time ago when measured in "Obama Years" I wrote...  

When the most recent unemployment rate was announced (dropping the Unemployment from 9.4% to 9.0% with VIRTUALLY no job growth) you may have wondered, "How could this BE? How could the economy not add jobs but the unemployment rate went DOWN???"

Well, it's a 'Math Thing' again. It works like this:  

EXAMPLE A: If you have 900 people employed, your unemployment rate is 10%.  

EXAMPLE B: Now assume that the number of 'total jobs' available DROPS to 925. If you have 850 people employed, your unemployment rate is 8.1% So, even though you have FEWER people working, your unemployment rate goes DOWN.

This, and the following, accounts for our most recent reduction in the percentage of unemployed. Confused yet? Oh, you will be... Trust me... You can read it in its entirety by clicking HERE.  

But after all, today is a Monday, and reading this fact-based series of Mathematical exercises will only make you sad. Upon reading, you'll learn that everything in Washington in a shell game.  
And in DC... They hold your nuts in their hands. Turn your head and cough.

It's all you can do until November 2012. THEN, the nuts will be in your hands, won't they?  

Oh yes, they will, and get ready to squeeze them hard. As we wrap today's exchange, I want to confirm that no Minotaurs were injured in the generation of today's post.  

However, this woman? She's in BIG trouble...