Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Last Call

The big pull from the President's State of the Union, something I totally did not expect:  a call to raise the minimum wage to $9 an hour.  Yggy:

This is an issue people have been debating politically for a long time, and it's no coincidence that perhaps the leading pro minimum wage empirical study was co-authored by Alan Kruger who's currently chairman of Obama's Council of Economic Advisors. It's interesting to think about this idea in the context of an environment where the Federal Reserve says it will allow inflation to rise to 2.5 percent, but doesn't currently expect it to reach that level. In principle a bump in low-wage worker wages could lead to exactly the kind of tolerated-but-not-expected inflation that the Fed has talked about.

And even $9 is not a living wage, but it's certainly better than $7.25.

Going to be interesting watching the GOP that hard working Americans who have minimum wage jobs are making too much money.

And Don't Let Your Spurs Hit You In The Ass On The Way Out

Democrats moving to Wyoming to follow the American Dream?  Yeah, there's a problem with that.

Over the summer, the Reverend Audette Fulbright moved with her family to Cheyenne, Wyoming. where she preaches at the Unitarian Universalist church. When the state legislature began debating a bill to allow for the carrying of concealed weapons at schools and sporting events, Fulbright wrote to lawmakers to express her concerns about guns and about fracking. 

Seems like a reasonable, civic-minded plan of action.  So she wrote this:

My husband and I moved to Wyoming not too long ago. We believed it was a good place to raise children. With the recent and reactive expansion of gun laws and the profoundly serious dangers of fracking, we find we are seriously reconsidering our decision, which is wrenching to all of us. However, the safety of our family must come first. We are waiting to see what the legislature does this session. I know of other new-to-Wyoming families in similar contemplation. Your choices matter. It would be sad to see an exodus of educated, childrearing age adults from Wyoming as a result of poor lawmaking.

Again, a reasonable letter to her state representative...unless that Wyoming state lawmaker is Republican Hans Hunt.  Her GOP state representative's response?

I'll be blunt. If you don't like the political atmosphere of Wyoming, then by all means, leave. We, who have been here a very long time (I am proudly 4th generation) are quite proud of our independent heritage. I don't expect a "mass exodus" from our state just because we're standing up for our rights. As to your comments on fracking, I would point out that you're basing your statement on "dangers" that have not been scientifically founded or proved as of yet.
It offends me to no end when liberal out-of-staters such as yourself move into Wyoming, trying to get away from where they came from, and then pompously demand that Wyoming conform to their way of thinking. We are, and will continue to be, a state which stands a head above the rest in terms of economic security. Our ability to do that is, in large part, to our "live and let live" mentality when it comes to allowing economic development, and limiting government oversight. So, to conclude, if you're so worried about what our legislature is working on, then go back home.

Big tent approach, right?  I mean, why should Republicans even bother listening to liberal constituents?  They're not going to be represented in any way, they don't donate to Republicans, they don't vote for Republicans, why should Republicans even bother to treat them as human beings, much less voting constituents?

I'm sure if I wrote to my state reps, I'd get much the same response.  Liberals aren't voters to convince, or constituents to win over, or citizens to represent, to Republicans.  We're "pompous" people who need to "go back home" to blue states where we belong.

Also, we're divisive.  Funny how that works.

Ring A Ding Dong, You Ding Dongs

The Wall Street Journal has found fraud, fraud I tell you!  Obama fraud!  Bigger than Solyndra!  Bigger than life!  "Obama fraud" that has been corrected, and was perpetrated by the nation's cell phone carriers to get free customers they profited from, but nobody cares about that because OBAMAPHONES.

The U.S. government spent about $2.2 billion last year to provide phones to low-income Americans, but a Wall Street Journal review of the program shows that a large number of those who received the phones haven't proved they are eligible to receive them.

The Lifeline program—begun in 1984 to ensure that poor people aren't cut off from jobs, families and emergency services—is funded by charges that appear on the monthly bills of every landline and wireless-phone customer. Payouts under the program have shot up from $819 million in 2008, as more wireless carriers have persuaded regulators to let them offer the service.

Suspecting that many of the new subscribers were ineligible, the Federal Communications Commission tightened the rules last year and required carriers to verify that existing subscribers were eligible. The agency estimated 15% of users would be weeded out, but far more were dropped.

A review of five top recipients of Lifeline support conducted by the FCC for the Journal showed that 41% of their more than six million subscribers either couldn't demonstrate their eligibility or didn't respond to requests for certification.

So actually, that river of endless fraud story should be entitled "FCC Stops Wireless Companies From Defrauding Taxpayers, Saves Hundreds Of Millions" but this is  the Wall Street Hournal, so we get this instead:

He got your vote; now he wants his phone back.

To recap, the government fixed the loophole after they found out cell phone companies were signing up everyone they could fine for phones on the government dime, and then charging those folks "special rates".  Hell of a scam, yes?

Hell of a phone carrier scam, not an Obama scam.  Pay attention.  You know, like the way the big banks take billions in fees for issuing SNAP benefits cards, not to mention the billions companies like Wal-Mart get from taking SNAP business.

But that would be anti-corporate, huh?


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