Tuesday, November 30, 2010
Leaks damage those who seek control of truth most, as the apparatus of that control is exposed by truth.
I tend to believe the truth is most damaging to governments with too much power. If our government were not so large, were not so invasive, and instead governed within its limits, these leaks would never had cause to exist. Ask yourself --- Could similar leaks have occurred within the first 50 years of this nation's founding?
Consider the Soviet Union. Most of us came of age with the USSR as a question mark behind an iron curtain, or more accurately, a government so pervasive that all truth was controlled.
In short, free nations of limited powers have few if any instances of the truth leaking as truth is privately held rather than a government controlled commodity with which to herd the citizenry.
Earmarks seem to have been inoculated from the public's will by politicians in need of currying votes through the use of the electorate's money. Additionally, earmarks have become rife with wasteful spending, spending at a time when Keynesian Theory is falling from favor; at a time when all Gov. spending has become suspect.
A new congress will soon convene and the topic of an earmarks ban is near the top of the list.
This past Nov.2 we saw, with the help of the TeaParty, the election of many new representatives. Renee Ellmers is one of those representatives.
Where is she now on the issue of Earmarks? Disturbingly she seems to have found a home in equivocation.
According to newsobserver.com,
Rep.-elect Renee Ellmers of North Carolina said the litmus test will involve how many exceptions the House carves out - for transportation projects, for example, or for defense earmarks.
"We're saying this is what we've heard from the American people," said Ellmers, a Dunn Republican. "But will we be able to hold to this? Because this is what is going to determine the seriousness."
Bans don't require a "litmus test" or "buts". Disappointment, though, can be built on such hedging ... and I feel a foundation for disappointment is being laid. Sigh.
Renee Ellmers was not alone in commenting on the issue of banning earmarks in the next congress. Rep. Brad Miller, in his search for future relevance in the face of his beloved yet diminished Keynesian mistakes, seemed intent on keeping the spirit of the defrocked Alan Greyson alive by deriding the current movement toward national solvency.
According to charlotteobsever.com Brad Miller had this to say,
"Right now, it's a sound bite in search of substance," said U.S. Rep. Brad Miller, a Raleigh Democrat who sponsored $26.7 million in earmarks last year.
No surprises from Rep. Brad Miller. Our debt is his friend.
Sorry, I forgot my links. Fixed.
Friday, November 26, 2010
Thursday, November 25, 2010
Rep. Brad Miller's Love of the Failure of Government Involvement in Business - The Prospect Hill and Elm Street Center Boondoggles....
If there is a theme that is plainly evident concerning the nexus of governance and business, it is that government involvement in business is either the result of poor business practices or, more traditionally, poor business practices are the result of government involvement.
If GM and Chrysler had been sound would government have so easily and so heavily gotten involved with them? Ford's example lays bare the obvious answer to that question. Ford successfully navigated the market downturn of late 2008 without a government bailout as a result of proper business practices .
If the US Postal Service were not run by government would the business of shuffling mail be unprofitable? FedEx and UPS lay bare the obvious answer to this question as well. FedEx and UPS are profitable while the USPS is currently losing billions.
Not to be forgotten, though, is government involvement in starting up businesses that private sources of funding reject as unprofitable. On a national level the corn-gas debacle comes to mind as an obvious example of this due to the recent revelations by Al Gore that his support for the debacle was political rather than scientific.
A more local example is Brad Miller's proposal to help round up government funding in lieu of a private investment group's failure to find private funding for a 180-room hotel in Greensboro North Carolina on the site of Elm Street Center. The search for funding was based on market research dating from 2008 (pre great recession) that concluded that the Greensboro market could support such a hotel. Funding from private resources has proven difficult.
Kaplan has been interested in building a hotel on the site of Elm Street Center, a convention and ballroom space, since 2008, when he got the results of a study saying this market would support a luxury hotel downtown.
Rep. Brad Miller, though, chooses to overlook the dated market study:
“We’re still working diligently as if (the deal) could close, but realistically we don’t think we’ll get it all put together,” Randall Kaplan said Monday.
That is, unless the deadline for the federal program can be extended into 2011.
There’s a chance that could happen. Late Monday, U.S. Rep. Brad Miller, a Raleigh Democrat whose district covers parts of Greensboro, agreed to co-sponsor a bill that would extend parts of the federal stimulus bill, including the bond financing, into 2011.
The mixing of government in a business is a sign that that business or its idea should be buried. Period.
A good socialist would disagree and Rep. Brad Miller does in the following.
In another local example of government involvement in what should be a private venture, Rep. Brad Miller lavishes praise on the project. According to The News of Orange County:
Debra Markley, project coordinator for Piedmont Health Services, which oversees the Prospect Hill center, said the two-story building will likely be completed in about nine months.
The facility, which is largely being paid for with federal stimulus money, will be more efficient that Prospect Hill’s current 20-year-old building.
So, a twenty year old building was not good enough, not efficient enough - likely due to government regulation?- and just absolutely had to be replaced. And "Jim Yong, manager of facilities and planning, said the new office will be designed in a circular fashion, making it easier to navigate for patients."
According to Rep. Brad Miller the current facility functions just fine:
Rep. Brad Miller said Prospect Hill Community Health Center, which offers medical and dental services, along with an in-house pharmacy, should serve as an example to other communities.
But despite this praise, government funding (federal stimulus money) was rounded up by Brad Miller to replace the currently fully functioning facility. The total cost of this is absent in the article, however the amount can be found here:
...$1.1 million, will go toward building a new facility in Prospect Hill, which is immediately north of the Orange County line in southernmost Caswell County, said Brian Toomey, the executive director of Piedmont Health Services.
What did Brad Miller have to say of his boondoggle?
“It saves us a lot of money. This is how health care should work in this country. Period,” Miller said.
In other words -- government and business in cahoots is the way to go, or more accurately, socialism is the way to go. Period.
This the sad state of Brad Miller's immoral governance.
Monday, November 22, 2010
Rep. Brad Miller's extreme makeover has begun.
In previous cycles Rep. Brad Miller won his district by large margins. (approx. 70 - 30) His most recent race against Bill Randall this past Nov 2, though, was won on the back of his self drawn gerrymandered district. Miller won 55-45. This represents a massive loss in support and the effectiveness of the Tea Party.
But with the NC State legislature under Republican control for the first time in over 100 years his gerrymandered seat is in jeopardy as his party no longer has control over districting. This has not gone unnoticed by Miller and he seems to have come to the conclusion that he must recast his past immoral governance.
He asks us to forget his votes and listen to his words.
FireDogLake quoted Miller as saying:
I do not place a high priority on protecting the solvency of the banks if they are. insolvent.His bank favoring votes tell a different tale:
- $13 trillion according to PBS in financial bailouts from our pockets and the pockets of our children to the coffers of the largest banks.
- HR 3808 - A bill that, had it not been vetoed, would have given the banks a quick way out of their chain of title and notarizing problems with MERS at the people's expense.
Friday, November 19, 2010
One of my fears during our family's Grizzwald like great western trip "out west" was that of over heating. In no place was this more true than when we climbed out of Death Valley. At the time the Sienna had around 210,000 miles on the odo, we had our 1200lb camper in tow, it was 120 degrees and the climb out of the valley required an assent of over a mile. We were forced to stop four or five times to let the engine cool. Fortunately the high coolant temperatures and resultant high pressures did not cause any failures.
But now, a little over a year latter, my radiator has failed. It is of the newer plastic / aluminum variety and it developed a crack along the upper plastic portion near the radiator hose. The convenient location, the wait required for shipping the new radiator, and curiosity prompted me to try a patch type of fix. The most familiar is JB Weld, but there are other products that are formulated for plastic radiators. It worked! .... for about 3 weeks. The stuff is, after all, just a patch, but as a patch it proved itself and has become a valuable addition to the travel emergency tool box.
On to the fix...
With the expected failure of the patch it was time to install the new radiator.
- 10mm ratchet
- 12mm ratchet
- channel lock pliers
I began by draining the coolant into a pan I normally use for oil changes. I used the petcock located at the bottom corner (pass. side) of the radiator.
While the coolant was draining I removed the wires that powered the cooling fans; there was one connector on each side of the radiator corresponding to each fan.
I then turned to the transmission oil lines. They are much smaller than the big radiator hoses. For those of you who don't know, the radiator often performs double duty in that it not only cools the coolant, but the transmission fluid as well. Rather than remove the hoses where they connected to the radiator, I opted to remove them from the other end so as to eliminate transmission fluid from leaking from the radiator. I used the pliers to remove the spring clamps that held them on. Once loose I bent the rubber hoses around and tucked the open ends into the fan blades so that they were above the level of the oil in the radiator thereby keeping the transmission fluid from dripping.
By this time the coolant had been reduced to a slow drip so I closed the petcock and turned to removing the two large radiator hoses. One was easily seen at the top of the radiator and the other was at the bottom (driver's side) of the radiator. Both were easy to reach. The channel locks easily allowed me to slide the hose clamps away from the radiator and down the hose. With a slight tug both the hoses easily slipped off the radiator.
Finally, with the 12mm ratchet, I removed the clamps that held the radiator in place. It offered no resistance as it lifted up and out with the two cooling fans attached. There are two rubber grommets that the radiator sits in at the bottom. They can either stick to the radiator as they did in mine, stick to the hole they sit in on the van or they can fall free and roll away. Keep an eye out.
I laid the two radiators side by side on the driveway and began transferring a few items from the old one to the new one. The two fans unbolted from the old radiator with the 10mm socket. I also transferred the hoses.
Instillation of the new radiator was the reverse of the above. Do not use the traditional green antifreeze as it will cause the new plastic radiators to fail.
A couple of related bits of info:
- The radiator was bought through ebay for $75 (shipping included) I had my doubts, but everything matched and it was a drop in replacement. You might prefer a Toyota part as the quality will be higher, but the cost will be higher as well.
- When you choose your antifreeze get the type that is formulated for plastic radiators. There is also a one size fits all formulation as well. Avoid the traditional green stuff as it will degrade the plastic that the radiator is constructed of.
- I did the final bit if filling of the cooling system with the car running. I first filled it as much as I could, then I started the car. As the car warmed the coolant began to flow allowing bubbles to escape from the cooling system. I added coolant as needed.
- The whole job took less than 45 minutes and I recommend it for anyone with a pare of channel lock pliers, a 10mm socket, a 12mm socket, and a ratchet.
- Easy Peasy.
I am currently engaged in a Snoopy Happy Dance for Renee Ellmers.
State Board of Elections director Gary Bartlett said Friday that a recount in the 2nd Congressional District has found that Ellmers defeated Democratic Rep. Bob Etheridge by about 1,500 votes.
Wednesday, November 17, 2010
Over at Swing State Project they are discussing NC redistricting which includes images of redrawn districts.
1 Heath Shuler: 11
4 blue districts: 1, 4, 7, 12
8 red districts: 2, 3, 5, 6, 8, 9, 10, 13
There are other examples at the link above.
Although I like the higher number of republican districts, I have a problem with the fact that scant attention is being paid to county lines. The NC Constitution requires that districts be drawn along county lines in an effort to curb gerrymandering. I would prefer discussion that leans toward more honest representation. Gerrymandering disenfranchises citizens of both parties. Currently there are democrats in districts that favor republicans who's votes are essentially voided by gerrymandering, the same is true of republicans citizens in districts like Brad Miller's.
Admittedly, I am torn. Although retribution for the current unlawful districts with new districts that favor republicans would be sweet, I prefer honest districting along county lines.
At some point the democrats will be voted back into power and it would be nice if republicans had reinstated a belief among the citizenry in following the NC Constitution's requirement that districts be drawn along the county lines.
In short Republicans should break the cycle of gerrymandering and be stuck with the moniker of fair districting.
Monday, November 15, 2010
Saturday, November 13, 2010
Wednesday, November 3, 2010
Of course, it is the shift in the NC legislature that brings on a happy dance. For a 4 years in the mid 90's the NC house was Republican. With that exception the NC House and senate have been under continuous Democrat control.
“This is the first time since 1898 that we’ve had control.”
Phil Berger living near Eden NC is poised to become the president of the NC senate and is intent on tackling the NC budget deficit left by the Democrat leadership.
When asked how the North Carolina budget problems would be fixed without raising taxes, Berger said that the Republican leaders want to reduce the size of North Carolina government.Ole!
We have had some good wins, but we must move forward and for right now that means, get local. One local issue the citizens of NC have to contend with is a blatant infringement of the NC Constitution regarding districting.
The NC constitution requires congressional and senate districts to follow county lines in an effort to stem gerrymandering.
Article II Section 3 paragraph 3 States: No County shall be divided in the formation of a senate district.
Article II Section 5 Paragraph 3 States: No County shall be divided in the formation of a representative district.
But, Brad Miller ignored the NC Constitution not only when he helped draw the many districts across NC, but also his own gerrymandered district following the 2000 census. Brad Miller, it seems, has a penchant for disenfranchising voters of both parties for his benefit.
According to western.ncfreedom.us:
Division of Counties Must Be Minimized:
Article II of the State Constitution says that in drawing State House and Senate districts, no county shall be divided. In 1981, the US Department of Justice said that requirement was inconsistent with the Voting Rights Act, so the General Assembly disregarded it for 21 years. Then in 2002 the State Supreme Court in the case of Stephenson v. Bartlett said the “Whole County Provision”, found in the State Constitution must be honored to the extent it can be honored, consistent with the Voting Rights Act and other State and federal precepts. The Stephenson decision for the first time said the equal protection clause of the State Constitution contained a presumption for single-member legislative districts, and that presumption should be a limitation on the Whole County Provision. The US Justice Department approved the Stephenson opinion and withdrew its 1981 objection to the Whole County Provision. The Court in Stephenson prescribed a step-by-step method for harmonizing the Whole County Provision with the other laws.
- First, the General Assembly should draw the districts required by the Voting Rights Act.
- Second, it should take all the counties with just the right population to be single-member districts and make them one-county single-member districts.
- Third, it should take all the counties that have just the right populations for one or more districts and divide those counties into compact single-member districts.
- Fourth, for the remaining counties it should group them into clusters of counties and divide the clusters into compact single-member districts, crossing county lines within the cluster as little as possible.
It is time the citizens of NC hold our state's constitution to the feet of those who draw the congressional districts.
TeaParty, lets crush NC gerrymandering.
Tuesday, November 2, 2010
NC Legislature History Made Tonight -- Senate and House Go Republican for the First Time in Over 100 Years....
NC State Election Board:
Senate - 31 of 50 Seats Republican
House - 67 of 120 Seats Republican
That a double win folks.
First time in over 100 years!
Plus Renee Ellmers and no more Bob Etheridge!
North Carolina Board of Elections
Ellmers 91,920 (49.5)
Etheridge 89,821 (48.5)
NC State Board of Elections
Renee Ellmers -- 48.95% with 85,408 votes
Bob Etheridge -- 49.21% with 85,857 votes
449 votes between and 5 of 10 counties reporting.
Control of the North Carolina's State Senate and House is an imperative if we want properly competitive districts drawn. In an election as powerful as this we are still stuck with the socialists like Bob Etheridge, David Price, GK Butterfield, and Brad Miller.
The Dems have had control of the House for nearly 100 years and the Senate for over 100 years.
With Republican control, adherence to the NC. Constitution which requires not dividing counties when drawing districts, will result in fairer elections.
100 years is long enough.
NC State Board of Elections:
Current count: (10:00PM)
House - 67 of 120 seats (Republican Favor)
Senate - 30 of 50 seats (Republican Favor)
House - 66 of 120 seats (Republican Favor)
Senate - 31 of 50 seats (Republican Favor)
I hope to be wrong as the Democrat areas of Miller's district post results early, but Miller appears to be holding as does Butterfield and Bob Etheridge.
David Price, on the other hand is down.
Watch the NC State house and senate. If they flip we can draw some constitutional districts. (NC. constitution.)
Enthusiasm Gap Poll Favoring Bill Randall, Renee Ellmers, BJ Lawson, Ashley Woolard Over Brad Miller, Bob Etheridge, David Price, GK Butterfield...
Enthusiasm Gap 19 points.
The result of governance through broken consent.
MICKEY KAUS: Countdown To Demageddon. “You have to wonder if the Dems, when they were designing the health reform, planned for the possibility that they’d lose control of Congress. Or did they create a system that needed constant legislative upkeep—confident that they would be in charge to perform it? That may have been Pelosi’s most damaging hubris.”
Rasmussen Confirms Gallup's Poll on the Precarious Seats of Rep. Brad Miller, David Price, Bob Etheridge and GK Butterfield...
Rasmussen confirms Gallup's numbers that haven't been seen in generations in the previous post with Republicans +12 in generic polling. Gallup calls for between 10 and 15.
What would these numbers be if Republicans had not governed so poorly prior to Pelosi?
Monday, November 1, 2010
Severe Poll Turnout Trouble for Rep. Brad Miller (NC-13), David Price (NC-4), Bob Etheridge (NC-2), GK Butterfield (NC-1)...
Bye, Brad Miller
Bye, David Price
Bye, Bob Etheridge
Taking Gallup's final survey's margin of error into account, the historical model predicts that the Republicans could gain anywhere from 60 seats on up, with gains well beyond that possible.
It should be noted, however, that this year's 15-point gap in favor of the Republican candidates among likely voters is unprecedented in Gallup polling and could result in the largest Republican margin in House voting in several generations. This means that seat projections have moved into uncharted territory, in which past relationships between the national two-party vote and the number of seats won may not be maintained.
- Week 3 --A trend has been born with week three...Advantage Republican.
- Week 4 -- The trend has been sustained, though with modest weakening ... Advantage still Republican:
Week 5 -- Last poll by Gallup before the Nov 2 election found here. Advantage remains Republican with extremely modest slide back in the Republican direction. The weakening seen in week 4 has been stemmed.
Under the high voter turnout:
Week (5): 42 /52
Week (4): 43 /52
Week (3): 42 / 53
Week (2): 41 / 53
Week (1): 40 / 53
Under the low voter turnout:
Week (5): 40 / 55
Week (4): 41 / 55
Week (3): 39 / 56
Week (2): 39 / 56
Week (1): 38 / 56
For reference to Gallup's predictive ability I give this via Morning Jay of weeklystandard.com:
Finally, if you assume Brad Miller, David Price, and Bob Etheridge are in "safe" seats, then think again. RCP puts Ethridge in "Leans Dem." and both Miller and Price in "Likely Dem."
The point is, these guys are weak, none have a "safe" seat, so don't let yourself be convinced otherwise and let inertia get the better of you.
-- GO VOTE!
-- GO VOTE!