Of what is she afraid?

When a Democrat loses The Washington Post, she’s just plain toast!

40 painful seconds of Alison Lundergan Grimes refusing to say whether she voted for President Obama
By Philip Bump | October 9 at 4:56 PM

Alison Lundergan Grimes (D), who is trying to unseat Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R) this fall, appeared before the Louisville Courier-Journal editorial board on Thursday to make her pitch for their endorsement. The life-long Democrat, whose father represented Kentucky for the party in the state House and who herself has been on the ballot in the state on the Democratic ticket, was asked a simple question. Did she vote for President Obama in 2008 and 2012?

And she didn’t answer. Repeatedly.

In an interesting nod to the times, the interview was streamed live, meaning that it took no time at all for Republicans to clip the non-answer and put it online.

More at the link.

The Post article noted that President Obama is deeply unpopular in the Bluegrass State, and he never has been; in 2012, he received only 37.8% of the votes cast for president in Kentucky, even worse than the 41.2% he received in 2008. But Mrs Grimes, already an elected official as a Democrat — she’s the Secretary of State — would simply be assumed to have voted for the President, had the question not been asked. There wouldn’t have been any real damage to her prospects had she said that yes, she had voted for Mr Obama, and it could only have helped her in Kentucky to say that she had voted for someone else. The greatest potential damage was from what she did: refuse to answer, and looked scared at the time.

There are people in Kentucky who say that Mitch McConnell has been in office for too long, and that’s a valid position to hold. Trouble is, if someone wants to vote him out for that reason — and the Democrats have been running commercials promoting that reason — you still have to look at the only alternative, and that would be Mrs Grimes.

For someone who says that she’s going to stand strong for Kentuckians, she sure didn’t look very strong.

Today’s Muddled East Warring Outbreaks has its Roots in the Armistice of WW1

I received an email the other day from a Think Tank on World events. The group is called STRATFOR and tackles all types of Issues on World Problems. I dod not get the big in depth reports mostly made for International Businesses and other interests that have reasons to know what goes on in the world for News Analysis, Financial Decisions, International Corporations and others on an in depth need to know. For me, it’s sort of a casual curiosity of why things may go bump in the night. However, in the last few days this one report came through on the Muddled East and it instantly made things clearer as to why I instinctively have labeled the area “The Muddled East” for years.

First off over the centuries Islam has been at war with the West. Their extent ranged at one time from the Pyrenees Mountains in the west between France and Spain, and in the east from Instanbul to Vienna and Eastwards. By 1492 they were out of Spain, and later pushed to the Balkans. By the late 19th Century what was left was the Ottoman Empire/Caliphate. By World War1 it was somewhat worn out. In WW1 it hitched its wagon to the equally Austro-Hungarian Empire. Unfortunately, they lost that bet.

While Germany was being pounded at Versailles, Turkey or the Ottomans ware waiting their turn at the table. They went to the Table with DEMANDS. They were told they LOST and was handed their Treaty and told to SIGN. They did, but hated it since their crumbling Empire was sliced and diced to where it is or being contested today. So, the reality was there was a treaty, but in the Muddled East was there PEACE.

Since the same wagons were rehitched in WW2, the outcome was worse since Israel was introduced into the Muddled area. So, after I read the following report, and watched Turkey in the last few days just watching ISIS come to the Syrian-Turkey border, but not crossing it, Turkey in a “Humanitarian” effort sat on its ASS. Apparently, the ghost of the WW1 is still alive and muddling the more than usual Muddled East.

Turkey, the Kurds and Iraq: The Prize and Peril of Kirkuk
Geopolitical Weekly
TUESDAY, OCTOBER 7, 2014

By Reva Bhalla

In June 1919, aboard an Allied warship en route to Paris, sat Damat Ferid Pasha, the Grand Vizier of a crumbling Ottoman Empire. The elderly statesman, donning an iconic red fez and boasting an impeccably groomed mustache, held in his hands a memorandum that he was to present to the Allied powers at the Quai d’Orsay. The negotiations on postwar reparations started five months earlier, but the Ottoman delegation was prepared to make the most of its tardy invitation to the talks. As he journeyed across the Mediterranean that summer toward the French shore, Damat Ferid mentally rehearsed the list of demands he would make to the Allied powers during his last-ditch effort to hold the empire together.

Read it all here:
http://www.stratfor.com/weekly/turkey-kurds-and-iraq-prize-and-peril-kirkuk#axzz3Fbo2JIBv

Anyway, it’s not a pretty picture, and let’s not get started on Obola

Democrisy!

Democrats must think that their voters are just plain too stupid not to notice stuff like this. Given the results of the 2008 and 2012 elections, they may be right!

Obama slams billionaires at the home of a guy named Rich Richman
By Richard Johnson | October 8, 2014 | 5:09 pm

President Obama blasted Republicans as the party of “billionaires” on Tuesday while mingling with high-rollers at the $26 million estate of Rich Richman — yes, that’s his real name — in Greenwich, Conn.

Richman, who built his $10 billion company developing rental housing, lives in the Conyers Farm area, where the minimum lot size is 10 acres. Twenty-five donors paid $32,400 each to get their photo taken with the president. Others paid $10,000 for dinner.

While Obama was schmoozing — and the press pool was playing billiards in the basement — he was also soliciting donations for House Democrats in an e-mail.

“If Republicans win, we know who they’ll be fighting for,” Obama said. “Once again, the interests of billionaires will come before the needs of the middle class.”

Obama arrived from New York City — where he had attended a fundraiser with hedge-fund billionaires George Soros and Paul Tudor Jones — in a convoy of four helicopters that landed at the Greenwich Polo Club.

A bit more at the link.

You know the real difference between Democrats and Republicans? Democrats think that being a billionaire is bad, bad, bad! and they want to enact policies that would prevent more people from becoming billionaires, and keep the people who are already billionaires wealthy, while Republicans love billionaires so much that they want to see more people become billionaires.

But the Democrats know that there are just so many stupid, stupid voters, who will listen to what they say and never look at what they do, for them to win a lot of elections.

California Girls

“California Girls”

Well East coast girls are hip
I really dig those styles they wear
And the Southern girls with the way they talk
They knock me out when I’m down there

The Mid-West farmer’s daughters really make you feel alright
And the Northern girls with the way they kiss
They keep their boyfriends warm at night

I wish they all could be California
I wish they all could be California
I wish they all could be California girls

The West coast has the sunshine
And the girls all get so tanned
I dig a french bikini on Hawaii island
Dolls by a palm tree in the sand

I been all around this great big world
And I seen all kinds of girls
Yeah, but I couldn’t wait to get back in the states
Back to the cutest girls in the world

I wish they all could be California
I wish they all could be California
I wish they all could be California girls

Really, we knew this all along

Alison Lundergan Grimes preparing to shoot herself in the foot

From the Gateway Pundit:

O’Keefe Strikes Again! Senate Campaign For Democrat Alison Grimes Admits She’s Lying To Get Elected!
Posted by Andrew Marcus on Monday, October 6, 2014, 10:32 AM

James O’keefe strikes again, this time in Kentucky.

O’Keefe’s undercover investigators documented systemic admissions of deceit when it comes to  Kentucky Democrat Alison Grimes’ position on the coal industry. Publicly Grimes says she disagrees with President Obama and supports coal. Privately, her entire campaign says she’s lying about that just to get elected!

Progressives Today asked O’Keefe about the investigation and he reports that his investigators “couldn’t find a single staffer who thought she wasn’t lying.”

O’Keefe also tells Progressives Today that his investigation into Grimes’ office has been on-going since June and that “We have much more on Grimes and it get’s worse. Much worse.”

Watch the video at Progressives Today. It’s some of O’Keefe’s best work to date!

And here’s the video:

From Progressives Today:

NRO has some of the more blatant quotes from the video:

“You know she has to say that,” said Juanita Rodriguez, a Warren County Democratic operative. “Because in Kentucky if you don’t support the coal industry, you are dead . . . It’s a lying game, unfortunately.”

“If we can get her elected, do you think she is going to do the right thing and she’s gonna try to wipe out that coal industry and go for better resources?” one of the reporters asked Fayette County Democratic Committee member Gina Bess.

“I absolutely think she is,” Bess replied.

Progressives Today asked O’Keefe about the investigation and he reports that his investigators “couldn’t find a single staffer who thought she wasn’t lying.”

A bit more at the link.

Now, to be fair — or at least as fair as I wish to be concerning Kentucky Secretary of State Grimes — Mr O’Keefe didn’t catch the candidate herself saying these things; he caught some of her soon-to-be-unemployed campaign staffers, along with other Democratic operatives in the Bluegrass State.

The First Street Journal has pointed it out before: even if Mrs Grimes believes exactly what she says she believes, even if she really does mean everything she says in her campaign, if she is elected, her very first votes will be to give greater power to those Democrats who do not believe the things she claims she does, who would work to curtail our Second Amendment rights, and who would work to harm the coal industry. The tapes by James O’Keefe simply add evidence that she doesn’t believe what she says.

Now, what does Mr O’Keefe’s tape really mean?  For the dyed-in-the-wool, yellow dog Democrats, not much: they’ll vote for Mrs Grimes anyway.  For the liberals in Kentucky, still not much: they always hoped that she was lying, and they’ll vote for her, too.  Where the tapes might make a difference is among the conservative Democrats, and there are a lot of them in Kentucky, the people who elected a moderate-to-conservative Democrat majority to the state House of Representatives, but who take a dim view of the more liberal politics of the Democratic Party in Washington, the people who like their local Democrats to be honest.

If I Were The Devil – by Paul Harvey

Paul Harvey predated Rush Limbaugh by a decade or more. However, I always thought his 5 minute commentaries at times made more sense than an hour of Rush. We did not have talk radio in the 60′s, but we had Paul Harvey and his noon time comments. His “rest of the story” comments were good stories of good people. However, reading this today rings true and worse in the following 50 years:

The oldest genuine Paul Harvey version of this piece we’ve found so far appeared in his newspaper column in 1964: (Snopes)

If I Were the Devil

If I were the Prince of Darkness I would want to engulf the whole earth in darkness.

I’d have a third of its real estate and four-fifths of its population, but I would not be happy until I had seized the ripest apple on the tree.

So I should set about however necessary, to take over the United States.

I would begin with a campaign of whispers.

With the wisdom of a serpent, I would whispers to you as I whispered to Eve, “Do as you please.”

To the young I would whisper “The Bible is a myth.” I would convince them that “man created God,” instead of the other way around. I would confide that “what is bad is good and what is good is square.”

In the ears of the young married I would whisper that work is debasing, that cocktail parties are good for you. I would caution them not to be “extreme” in religion, in patriotism, in moral conduct.

And the old I would teach to pray — to say after me — “Our father which are in Washington.”

Then I’d get organized.

I’d educate authors in how to make lurid literature exciting so that anything else would appear dull, uninteresting.

I’d threaten TV with dirtier movies, and vice-versa.

I’d infiltrate unions and urge more loafing, less work. Idle hands usually work for me.

I’d peddle narcotics to whom I could, I’d sell alcohol to ladies and gentlemen of distinction, I’d tranquilize the rest with pills.

If I were the Devil, I would encourage schools to refine young intellects, but neglect to discipline emotions; let those run wild.

I’d designate an atheist to front for me before the highest courts and I’d get preachers to say, “She’s right.”

With flattery and promises of power I would get the courts to vote against God and in favor of pornography.

Thus I would evict God from the courthouse, then from the schoolhouse, then from the Houses of Congress.

Then in his own churches I’d substitute psychology for religion and deify science.

If I were Satan I’d make the symbol of Easter an egg

And the symbol of Christmas a bottle.

If I were the Devil I’d take from those who have and give to those who wanted until I had killed the incentive of the ambitious. Then my police state would force everybody back to work.

Then I would separate families, putting children in uniform, women in coal mines and objectors in slave-labor camps.

If I were Satan I’d just keep doing what I’m doing and the whole world go to hell as sure as the Devil.

Does this sound familiar. Paul Harvey wrote it in 1964, it could just as well been written in 2014.

Hidden taxes

Photo taken at a BP gasoline station, in Flatwoods, West Virginia, on Saturday, 27 September 2014. Click to enlarge.

Photo taken at a BP gasoline station, in Flatwoods, West Virginia, on Saturday, 27 September 2014. Click to enlarge.

Do you remember when stickers like this were common on gasoline pumps? I do: growing up in Kentucky, I used to see them all the time. These days, they are rare, rare, rare!

And that’s why I decided to take the picture at the right. The total price of the fuel was $3.35 per gallon, far more than we ought to be paying, but even that is down from a few months ago. But, at least at the BP station at which I fueled up my Ford F-150 on my trip to the Bluegrass State, the station management informed its customers just how much they are paying in fuel taxes. From the Tax Foundation:

Map of State Gasoline Tax Rates in 2014
By Richard Borean, Scott Drenkard | June 3, 2014

This week’s tax map takes a look at state gasoline tax rates, using data from a recent report by the American Petroleum Institute. California is in 1st place with the highest rate of 52.89 cents per gallon, and is followed closely by New York (49.86 cents/gallon), Connecticut (49.3 cents/gallon), and Hawaii (48.05 cents/gallon). On the other end of the spectrum, Alaska has the lowest rate at 12.4 cents per gallon, but New Jersey (14.5 cents/gallon) and South Carolina (16.75 cents/gallon) aren’t far behind. These rates do not include the additional 18.4 cent federal excise tax.

Gas taxes are generally used to fund transportation infrastructure maintenance and new projects. While gas taxes are not a perfect user fee like tolls, they are generally more favorable than other taxes because they at least loosely connect the users of roads with the costs of enjoying them. However, some of our recent analysis shows that many states do not rely on gas taxes and tolls as much as they could, and instead fund substantial amounts of transportation from other sources like income and sales taxes.

Map copyrighted by the Tax Foundation; republished in accordance with their copyright policy. Click to enlarge

The editor of The First Street Journal actually approves of the concept of fuel taxes, because, as the Tax Foundation article noted, they are at least reasonably related to the public’s use of the roads, highways and bridges that they are meant to fund. Nor does the editor have a problem with toll roads, because the tolls paid are used to build and maintain the roads. At least locally, the Turnpike Commission1 does a pretty good job of maintaining the Northeast Extension of the Pennsylvania Turnpike, a road my wife uses to go to work. I would note, however, that Kentucky removed the tolls from the Mountain Parkway in 1985, when the toll revenue bonds were paid off, but now Governor Steve Beshear (D-KY) has proposed a widening project which would be paid for, in part, by restoring tolls, but Kentucky funds road maintenance for the Mountain Parkway through it’s normal state highway spending.

But, that I have no problem with the idea of fuel taxes, or something reasonably related to highway usage, to pay for highway maintenance does not mean that I approve of the fact that most people don’t really get to see how much they are being taxed for the roads. What this station in West Virginia did ought to be done at every filling station, in every state, so the the public can see how much they are being taxed. It’s a dirty little secret among politicians: they don’t want the public to see how much they are being taxed, so they try to hide as many of the taxes as they can. For instance, the tax on diesel fuel is higher than the tax on gasoline: the federal tax of 24.4¢ per gallon is 6¢ higher than the federal tax on gasoline, and many states tax diesel fuel at higher rates as well. In Pennsylvania, the state tax on diesel fuel is 52.1¢ per gallon, bringing the total tax on diesel to 76.5¢ per gallon, second highest in the nation (behind Connecticut’s 79.3¢). Most people in the Keystone State don’t buy over-the-road diesel fuel directly, but virtually everything that Americans buy is transported, usually more than once in the raw materials-to-production-to-sale point, by diesel-fueled trucks; all of the costs of bringing goods to the market are included in the sale price, and that means that American consumers are paying those higher diesel fuel taxes, simply a few steps removed. We see the direct sales tax imposed, on register receipts, but very few people think about the taxes which are hidden in the final sales prices. We have previously noted the damaging effects of individual state corporate taxes, and the penchant for the Democrats to talk about taxes on those evil ol’ corporations,2 in their attempts to hide from he public just how much they are really being taxed.

We have to pay taxes: the government provides many necessary — and, unfortunately, many unnecessary — services, and these services require taxpayer dollars to be provided. But for too long our politicians, Republican and Democrat alike, have looked for ways to conceal from the voters just how heavily they are being taxed. The sticker I photographed on that fuel pump in West Virginia is a start, but we need an informed electorate to see just how highly they are being taxed.

  1. There are charges of graft and corruption amongst the commissioners.
  2. You know, corporations and other private businesses, the wicked companies which provide the jobs for three-quarters of all working Americans.

From Around the Blogroll

Your Editor was in Kentucky, doing some work on our new retirement house, preparing it for the renters, and he took a couple of pictures.

Yeah, it needs some work, but doesn't every home?  (Click to enlarge)

Yeah, it needs some work, but doesn’t every home? No, this is not the house we bought! (Click to enlarge)

More pictures below the fold, along with the From Around the Blogroll listings!

Continue reading ‘From Around the Blogroll’ »

Rule 5 Blogging: Basic Training and an #Ebola Rant

It’s the weekend and time, once again, for THE FIRST STREET JOURNAL’S version of Rule 5 Blogging. Robert Stacey Stacy McCain described Rule 5 as posting photos of pretty women somewhat déshabillé, but, on this site, our Rule 5 Blogging doesn’t put up pictures of Megan Fox in her summer clothes, but women, in full military gear, serving their countries in the armed forces. The terribly sexist authors on this site celebrate strong women, women who can take care of themselves and take care of others, women who have been willing to put their lives on the line in some not-so-friendly places, women who truly do have the “We can do it!” attitude. This week: basic training!

The Army is sending 1,400 troops, about half of whom will be combat engineers, to Liberia, as part of the mission to contain the spread of the ebola virus and ebola hemorrhagic fever. But, when I look at how soldiers are trained, and the missions of the soldiers to be sent, the obvious question is: is this a proper and reasonable use of our soldiers?

Combat engineers are trained to build the support structures for the infantry to defend against, and advance upon, the enemy; what does this have to do with fighting the spread of ebola? Our soldiers are trained to fight other soldiers, to overmaster them and win; just what training do they really receive in defending against a microscopic virus? The military mission “will include building 17 100-bed hospital facilities and a health care facility for infected physicians and health care workers,” according to the linked story, but we will still be sending our troops into an area in which the ebola virus is spreading rapidly, on a mission which will put their lives in danger, though the President has declined to place restrictions on travel into the United States from the countries where ebola is a problem.

The goal is: don’t let your boots touch the ground! (Click to enlarge)

Continue reading ‘Rule 5 Blogging: Basic Training and an #Ebola Rant’ »

Small Businesses Debate Minimum Wage Increase

Small Businesses Debate Minimum Wage Increase

With several cities and even federal government entities discussing minimum wage increases, small businesses are starting to crunch the numbers. Even the most well-meaning entrepreneur such as Glen Gonzalez can’t make every budget work with higher minimum wages. This economic debate has more than just two sides, however, making it a hot topic until changes occur to local laws.

Skills Versus Value

One of the main concerns regarding wage hikes is skills compared to value. If a fast food worker is paid $13 per hour, for example, their skill set should reflect that hourly wage. For many limited-skill workers, there isn’t a real justification for the wage hike except for cost of living. With their wage increase, other skilled workers may force employers’ hands to increase their specific wage because of perceived value to the company. This domino effect could actually hurt both small- and medium-size businesses.

Quality Productivity

The flip side to this argument is enhanced work ethic. When a worker feels valued with a higher wage, they’re more inclined to work harder and faster in the same time period. Beds could be made faster or food served more rapidly, depending on the industry. This effort only reflects positively on the employer, boosting their profit margin with returning customers and stellar services. The wage increase could even be covered by more business walking in the door, making the debate a moot subject.

Balancing the Ledger

Small business owners argue that higher minimum wages only force them to make creative employee schedules, including layoffs and decreased hours each week. Unlike large corporations, small businesses don’t have the ample loans and credit to float through a month until customers pay bills. Cash flow is tight, making payroll one of the largest debts on the books. Some owners believe a higher minimum wage could actually put them out of business, contributing to unemployment rates and poor local economic conditions.

Economy Boost

Assuming businesses can hold onto their employees with better work ethic as a result, higher earnings spread across the local economy. With more money to spend, minimum wage earners could boost local business profits by purchasing a car or a new bedroom set. Even small expenditures at the grocery contribute to better lives for employees, employers and local residents. Earners may eventually be able to buy a home, lifting property values higher and contributing to lucrative funds for local schools.

Workers Want to Stay

Business owners know that taking care of employees is the best way to keep them at their current positions. When employers have high turnover rates, their costs soar because of recruiting, interviewing and training necessities. Workers earning a solid wage with familiar job duties are more inclined to stay put than to strike out to another job interview. Companies with loyal employees show that employers treat them like humans instead of as a number. Although you can’t stop everyone from seeking other career opportunities, higher pay is a strong reason to stay.

A reasonable quality of life is a right that everyone should have, but small businesses are still concerned for their bottom line. It will only take time to see how these economic changes will turn out. Ideally, businesses will find a way to keep all their employees and still break even. It may be some time before lucrative profits can actually make their way into entrepreneurs’ pockets.