Saturday, July 26, 2008

A "Sanctuary City" for illegal alien murderers

Gavin Newsom and the rest of them on the Board of Supervisors deserve to go to hell:
Three good men are dead thanks largely to San Francisco's outrageous sanctuary-city policy, which forbids city authorities from notifying federal immigration authorities when they arrest illegal aliens for crimes they commit, and it's time for President Bush to crack down on all the cities in the United States that follow this absurd policy.

But given President Milquetoast's approach to the borders, he won't.

Friday, July 25, 2008

200,000 State Workers Facing Pay Cuts???

Or so says KCRA News.

Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger is threatening to defer wages for 200,000 state employees, paying them federal minimum wage until lawmakers reach a budget deal.
But the plan has state workers upset with the Schwarzenegger.

"He's turning a budget process into a budget catastrophe," said Yvonne Walker, president of the Service Employees International Union.

SEIU workers are expected to hold a rally at the Capitol as soon as noon today.

A spokesman for the governor, Aaron McLear, said the idea is one of several options Schwarzenegger is considering as California faces a cash shortfall.

"Everybody agrees that we're going to run out of cash very soon," McLear said.

The governor is contemplating signing an executive order next week that would pay state workers the federal minimum of $6.55 an hour. That amount is $1.45 an hour less than California's minimum wage.

This move, along with some other measures, would possibly save the state $500 million a month in the near term.

But state workers said they would suffer.

"I'm already really struggling, and it's all I can do to get by each month," one worker said.

Some speculated that the plan may just be a bluff by the governor to get lawmakers to resolve the lingering budget battle.

"That makes me even more angry, because the reality is, why would you have people going through this kind of panic if it's not something that's real?" Walker added.

But the governor's staff said the plan is not a ploy, adding that the state faces a very real money crunch.
This wasn't a good move by the Governator. He is seen as taking his frustrations with the Demunists in the Legislature out upon the hapless state employees. Then again, the Governator championed an irresponsbile orgy of bond spending and implemented what will be costly and utterly phony programs to stop the "climate change" hoax, so I have no sympathy for him either.


1. Why was there no State “hiring freeze” months ago? A state hiring freeze means no new positions. There *are* actual new hires in some places here and there, but the State workforce shrinks due to attrition. This tactic has been done by Governors again and again. Governor Wilson had one in place for most of his term! Yet only now is Ah-nold implementing one? Where has he been all these months? It had been clear for some time that the state wasn't going to balance its budget.

2. Why are there no "Overhead Savings" moves. Keep paying the non-essential state employees, but send them home, shut the buildings and other facilities down, and still save money on overhead. The state employees might actually love Ah-nold for this paid vacation. (This method of “cutting programs” was actually suggested back in the heady days of the Gingrich Revolution so that the Federal civil service would not object).

Meanwhile, Demunist State Controller John Chiang is posing as protector of the hapless state workers:

I will urge the Governor to rethink his proposal and work with us to ensure we manage our state finances in a responsible, realistic and honest manner.


For these many reasons, I have no intention of complying with the Order and continue to encourage you to work with the Legislature...

Gee Johnny, you're not a legislator, you're the Controller. Ah-nold has to work with the Legislature to pass a budget, and how can Ah-nold do that when the Demunist leaders of the Legislature have recessed themselves until next week?

Not only is John Chiang just plain wrong about the governor's authority to make pay cuts (state employees are part of the Executive branch), his pompous arrogance is revolting.

Not that this lets Ah-nold off the hook.

Sigh. Between Commiecrat legislative leaders, a RINO Republican Governor who fiddled with frivolous bonds while the situation got worse and worse, and the occassional pompous blowhards like John Chiang, we are truly screwed.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

"The Surge" and the media

Ace has a great post on this.

This isn't entirely new. The liberal media didn't want to admit that the "devastating arms race" defeated the Soviets either, and that peace through strength actually worked.

Then the libmedia spin was "the Soviets were falling apart anyway", even though those who predicted the Soviet collapse in the '80s were ridiculed by the very same libmedia.

Remember how Gorbachev ended the Cold War (snicker)?

Even better: "The Democrats were behind Reagan every step of the way".

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Quit Blaming 'Speculators' (futures and options traders)

Economist Walter Williams had a great column on this. I quote the best part of it:

Congressional attacks on speculation do not alter the oil market's fundamental demand and supply conditions. What would lower the long-term price of oil is for Congress to permit exploration for the estimated billions upon billions of barrels of oil domestically available, not to mention the estimated trillion-plus barrels of shale oil in Wyoming, Colorado and Utah. Some politicians pooh-pooh calls for drilling, saying it would take five or 10 years to recover the oil. I guarantee you we would begin to see a reduction in today's prices even if it took five to 10 years for us to get the first barrel. Put yourself in the place of an OPEC member knowing there would be a greater supply of U.S. oil five or 10 years, hence maybe driving oil prices lower to say $40 a barrel. What will you want to do now while oil is $130 a barrel? You would want to sell as much oil now and OPEC's collective efforts to do so would put downward pressures on current oil prices. Right now the U.S. Congress is OPEC's
staunchest ally.

Why did crude oil futures run up? Because futures contract traders (rightly) believed long-term demand would continue to outstrip supply, leading to an increase in price. This is why all it took was President Bush getting rid of the executive order banning U.S. offshore drilling to give the market the perception that we were about to get serious and increase the supply a little, to drive the price back down a little. If it took crude oil futures topping $145/barrel and gasoline hitting $4.50 per gallon to get our weenie politicians off their asses and allow us to go after our own natural resources, and "the speculators" were 100% at fault for driving prices to these levels, then they should be given medals and have heroic folk songs written about them.

Now I can just hear some of you quibbling about lowering demand rather than raising supply. In a world of growing Chinese, East Indian and other oil demand, fat chance, no matter how much it may make you feel good to conserve. Not that effective fuel substitutions wouldn't be a bad idea. (Hint: try making ethanol from sugarcane, not corn). But just look around your desk or walk around your house and count all the petroleum derived plastic and vinyl parts--we need petroleum, and we will for a long time to come.

With commodities, both buyers and sellers are absolutely necessary components of a functioning market. What it comes down to at the end of the day is that the nefarious and shadowy "Speculator" is an easy target for demagogic eco-weenie politician to blame for high gas prices in an election year since most of the public has no idea what one is.

Make no mistake that these crypto totalitarians are secretly desiring price and other controls on us, and "speculator" demagogery is useful in this aim. They tried demonizing the oil companies for years, but it has become apparent to all that oil companies are small fry compared to many "oil governments". Funny now nationalized oil companies always escape such criticism, isn't it?

Seriously, folks, the futures and options trading market for oil is NO different than the ones for gold, silver, wheat, pork bellies, or frozen concentrated orange juice (for those of you who remember the comedy "Trading Spaces").

Do airlines hedging their exposure to jet fuel costs ever plan to take delivery of the barrels of crude oil they order? Too funny that it was these liberal political asshats petioning the public to remove "the speculator" from the markets. Speculator defined as one not taking possession of physical barrels. (And yes, for every airline or trucking company trying to hedge against future oil price spikes, there's a so called "evil speculator" who has to buy or sell in the opposite direction.)