Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Obama's Income/Spending Inequality Through A Reality Lens

Image Credit: Ed Driscoll.com via PJMedia

Obama's Income/Spending Inequality Through A Reality Lens

The White House starts State of the Union Address day with executive action: an announcement that will raise the minimum wage from $7.25 to $10.10 for new federal contract workers. That tees up a 9 p.m. State of the Union Address speech that is expected to have a heavy emphasis on executive actions to strengthen the economy and help the middle class.

Expect President Obama spotlight ways to create opportunity by laying out proposals for an increase in jobs, manufacturing, retirement security, energy, skills development, and education - with a nod to promising to try to work with Congress to do more.

But the reality key to all of this 44th President's actions is to expand his inequality agenda by spending, and digitally printing even more money ($75 Billion per month in "quantitative easing") to perpetuate the real inequality of government power over the productive power of individual lives.

Less Democrat | Less Republican | More Constitution. Image Credit: tenthamendmentcenter.com

This excerpted and edited from PJ Media - 

The Economic State of the Union Is Weak
by Tom Blumer - PJ Media

When President Barack Obama delivers his State of the Union speech on Tuesday, he will surely contend — as he did in 2013, 2012, 2011, and 2010 — that “our union” is “stronger,” “getting stronger,” or at least “strong.”

It is no such thing.
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The five highest annual deficits the nation has ever incurred have been on Obama’s watch. ----
The national debt, at $17.27 trillion as of January 22, has increased by a jaw-dropping $6.6 trillion since he was first inaugurated. That this year’s deficit will be less than half of the official $1.4 trillion recorded in fiscal 2009 means, in his mind, that we can ramp up spending again. Outlays for the federal government’s operations plus interest are on track to remain above $3.5 trillion this year. That’s a ridiculous 30 percent above fiscal 2007, and virtually unchanged from fiscal 2009, when the so-called stimulus package was sold as a largely temporary spending ramp-up.

In his 2012 speech, Obama admitted that “the recovery is still fragile.” Two years later, in most of the U.S., it still hasn’t happened.
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In its recently released 2013 County Tracker based on late 2013 data, the National Association of Counties (NACo) echoed Obama’s early 2012 statement. Noting that the “recovery is still fragile in some parts of the country,”the NACo report described a still dismal situation:

About half of U.S. county economies had no recession or recovered their economic output (GDP) lost during the recession by 2013, most of them in the South. About 800 county economies, mostly in the South and Midwest, had no drops in employment over the last decade or were above their pre-recession levels in 2013.
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Given that the U.S. has 3,069 counties (Connecticut and Rhode Island, which are two of the country’s worst economic basket cases, don’t have county governments), that paragraph’s second statement is much more troubling. Only about 26 percent of them (800 divided by 3,069) have returned to or exceeded their previous employment levels. In other words, almost three-fourths haven’t.


CountyEmploymentRecoveryMap2013

The above National Association of Counties map shows us that 15 states have seen fewer than 20 percent of their counties achieve employment recovery, and that four of those have failed to get to even 10 percent.
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So what will Obama suggest to get the country back on track? Nothing which has a realistic chance of accomplishing anything.

More spending and stimulus, which might as well be the only page in the left’s and the Fed’s (but I’m probably repeating myself) macroeconomic play books, haven’t been the answers for the past five years. Why does any sane person believe they will somehow get us over the hump now?

An Obama-supported raise in the minimum wage to $10.10 will only throw more people, perhaps as many as 1 million, into unemployment lines while preventing new entries into the workforce – all at a time when labor force participation is at a 35-year low.
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No one has to recite any of the statistics noted above to the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and its friends in Washington. They know, and they obviously don’t care. If they did, they wouldn’t be pushing mightily to make 2014 their make-or-break year to pass economically ruinous illegal-immigrant amnesty. But to their eternal shame, they are.

Throw the ongoing and deepening confusion and chaos of Obamacare and the administration’s apparent nonchalant attitude as it crumbles into the mix, and the one thing you don’t have is a recipe for the economy to have anything resembling a strong year.

It’s impossible to know, but it may be that the stock market has finally caught on to what should have been obvious all along, as it shed about 3 percent of its value in last week’s final two days. One thing we do know is what CNBC’s Rick Santelli stated Friday afternoon: government and central bank strategies based on endless stimulus and artificial money creation “can’t go on forever.”

[Reference Here]

The main purpose of what was written in the founding documents of the United States was to protect the interests of both the smallest and the largest special interest groups that live here in this country - the individual. The United States Constitution, the Bill-Of-Rights, and the Rule-Of-Law combined with a power structure that broke down power in three separate and distinct branches so as to insure that the strongest level of power could be retained by the individual.

Unchecked and assumed powers to spend the monies collected from individuals, manufacture additional monies without a value basis, and expand the scope and power of government through regulations created by bureaucracies backed through the powers granted to the Internal Revenue Service (taxes) have tipped the balance of power in favor of the government.

Raising the minimum wage from $7.25 to $10.10 (a 28.2% increase in an anemic 2% growth economy) for new federal contract workers does very little except have this government spend even more money without the proper authority from the body that is Constitutionally responsible for spending, the House of Representatives.

Only 62% of able-bodied individuals are participating in the labor force (over 13% real unemployment when the available labor force is considered) due to the lack of jobs being created through the inequality of government growth over individual freedom to create and produce goods and services.

The issue around the inequality of income is the ability to retain what little income that is earned when we are governed by an entity that has run up nearly $7 Trillion of additional United States debt (Total debt = $17 Trillion - an overall 40% increase) in just five short years of this country's 237 years of operation.

The middle class in the United States remains under assault with the push by both political parties for "comprehensive immigration reform" which has its political strength from large businesses (who give big political donations) for even cheaper labor and an increase in the voter base through amnesty paths to citizenship.

This political activity, executive power minimum wage increases and the push for increased immigration, does not make sense in the face of the lowest labor participation rate since the late 1970's combined with the largest unemployment rate in a half a century.

Post State of the Union address UPDATE:

Utah Senator Mike Lee's Best Point In His Response To President Obama's SOTU Address:

Senator Lee offered a populist Republican explanation of economic inequality ...

“This inequality crisis presents itself in three principal forms: immobility among the poor, who are being trapped in poverty by big-government programs; insecurity in the middle class, where families are struggling just to get by and can’t seem to get ahead; and cronyist privilege at the top, where political and economic insiders twist the immense power of the federal government to profit at the expense of everyone else.

… [Inequality is - through example] guaranteeing insurance companies taxpayer bailouts if Obamacare cuts into their profits.

Inequality is blocking thousands of middle-class jobs in the energy industry as a favor to partisan donors and radical environmental activists.

… But where does this new inequality come from? From GOVERNMENT — every time it takes rights and opportunities away from the American people and gives them instead to politicians, bureaucrats and special interests.”
[Reference Here]

... notes from The EDJE

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

What Happens When Pack-Like American Media Is Not Unbiased Or Free?

NBC Nightly News host Brian Williams immediately spun the story as a political pitfall for the possible presidential contender: "In a jam. A big problem for a man with big ambitions. Tonight, how a traffic nightmare on the world's busiest bridge has spilled into a full blown scandal with the power to damage Chris Christie's political future." Image Credit: MRCTV

What Happens When Pack-Like American Media Is Not Unbiased Or Free?

Information released last week about a possible scandal in the timing and reality of a traffic study leading to the entrance of a main transportation bridge spanning from Ft. Lee, New Jersey to Manhattan, New York had the American media complex working overtime.

The issue raised additional attention because the traffic study/lane closure actions involved New Jersey Republican Governor, Chris Christie, thought of by the media elite as a front-runner for the Republican political party nominee for President of the United States in 2016 against the assumed Democrat political party, former First Lady, Senator, and Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton.

Emails were discovered that placed the lane closures in Ft. Lee, New Jersey as a trumped-up action for payback to the Democrat Mayor of Ft. Lee for not endorsing Chris Cristie's second term run for Governor.

As a result, EMT response to a missing child and a heart attack victim were delayed.  Even after being informed of the EMT problems his traffic study/lane closure actions were causing, it was asserted that an angry Governor Christie refused to lift his vindictive blockade.

In a series of emails, Christie’s deputy chief of staff Bridge Anne Kelly discussed the closures weeks before they occurred, and appears to suggest that the closures were politically motivated.

“Time for some traffic problems in Fort Lee,” Kelly wrote to David Wildstein, a Christie’s appointee to the Port Authority of New York & New Jersey. ”Got it,” Wildstein replied.

How Democrats React graphic. Image Credit: The Patriot Post

This excerpted and edited from NewsBusters -

There's Already 17 Times More Coverage on Christie Scandal Than in Last Six Months of IRS

By Scott Whitlock

In less than 24 hours [after these assertions came to light, and after Gov. Christie held a 2 hour news conference],the big three networks devoted 17 times more coverage to a traffic scandal involving Chris Christie than they've allowed in the last six months to Barack Obama's Internal Revenue Service controversy. Since the story broke on Wednesday that aides to the New Jersey governor punished a local mayor's lack of endorsement with a massive traffic jam, ABC, CBS and NBC have responded with 34 minutes and 28 seconds of coverage. Since July 1, these same networks managed a scant two minutes and eight seconds for the IRS targeting of Tea Party groups.

In contrast, journalists such as Good Morning America's George Stephanopoulos pounced on the developing Christie story. The GMA host opened the program on Thursday by announcing, "Chris Christie in crisis. Calls at this hour for the feds to step in, investigate the explosive e-mails."

Stephanopoulos later wondered, "One of the big questions right now, how much has it hampered his White House prospects?" Guest Matt Dowd insisted that, on a scale from one to ten, the controversy was already at a "four or five."

On the CBS Evening News, anchor Scott Pelley sounded a similar alarm: "Tonight, a potential presidential candidate caught up in scandal. E-mails show massive New Jersey traffic jams were engineered by aides to Governor Chris Christie as political payback."

Since Wednesday night, NBC included six reports over 14 minutes and 14 seconds. CBS devoted five reports over 12 minutes and 27 seconds. ABC managed 4 stories over seven minutes and 47 seconds.

As a comparison over the last six months, NBC featured a scant five seconds on updating the IRS story. CBS responded with a minute and 41 seconds. ABC produced a meager 22 seconds.

Although the media downplayed the IRS controversy from July through December (it first broke in May), it's not as though there wasn't much happening. As the Media Research Center documented, many potential story leads developed.

In December, House investigator Darrell Issa announced that the FBI and IRS chief counsel is stonewalling the investigation. In October, newly obtained e-mails showed that the scandal-plagued Lois Lerner, the woman at the center of the controversy, illegally gave Tea Party tax info to the FEC. That same month, it came out that an IRS official may have given confidential information to the White House.

These stories were buried by ABC, CBS and NBC, the same networks that have immediately deluged Republican Chris Christie, a 2016 contender, with coverage for his scandal.
[Reference Here]

The American media complex is neither Free or Unbiased.

Most people who listen to, or read information dispatches from AP, Reuters, NBC, CBS, ABC, The New York Times, BBC, and etc. do not know that they are getting their information from employees that all work from offices that can only be understood as a complex. The media complex, centered in the middle of the island of Manhattan, New York, is a four square block area above and below ground level around Rockefeller Center. The people who work for any of these organizations work just around the corner from each other, usually go to lunch and dinner with each other, foster professional relationships for future job opportunities, and to a high 80 to 90 percentile, vote for much the same large central government policies and politicians as America's Democrat Political Party embraces.

It is this herd-mentality and herd-proximity that has diluted the hallmark values of a free and open press. The Gov. Christie flap is just puts a magnifying glass on the level of bias and lack of freedom upon which an organization has to investigate, produce information, and broadcast it in a sufficient volume so that all citizens become informed.

This excerpted and edited from PJ Media -

No, Those de Blasio-as-Bane Parodies Make No Sense Whatsoever

Ed Driscoll - PJ Media - January 13th, 2014 - 1:25 pm

Plus #Bridgegate, Gotham City-style, when “De Blasio’s handpicked City Council speaker blocked the Brooklyn Bridge with Occupy Wall Street,” the Daily Caller reports today:

Democratic New York City mayor Bill de Blasio’s handpicked City Council speaker was arrested for blocking traffic on the Brooklyn Bridge while participating in a union-organized Occupy Wall Street protest.

The incident occurred a little more than two years before de Blasio railed against the “immoral” and “not mature” actions of New Jersey governor Chris Christie’s aides in conducting a disruptive “traffic study” on the George Washington Bridge for apparently political reasons.

Melissa Mark-Viverito, who became Council speaker last week after de Blasio and his aides lobbied Council members on her behalf, was arrested on November 17, 2011 while sitting with a group on the approach to the Brooklyn Bridge chanting “We are the 99 percent” and “All day! All week! Occupy Wall Street!”

Mark-Viverito, an eighth-district City councilwoman, and her group only remained in their position for a “few minutes” before they were arrested, but Mark-Viverito noted that “we probably would have been there you know 16, 17 hours.” SEIU 1199 president George Gresham was also part of the group.
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Meanwhile, back in New Jersey, Ed Morrissey notes that the Feds may be probing Chris Christie over the use of Hurricane Sandy relief funds:

Christie burned a lot of bridges in that debate, and in his embrace (literally) of Obama in those final days of the 2012 election.  Ironically, it’s the Obama administration that is widening its probe into the use of those funds now. Don’t expect too many Republicans to rush to Christie’s side in this fight, except to point out that the $2.2 million difference between the two advertising campaign proposals amounts to 0.041% of the porkfest Barack Obama and Chris Christie demanded from Congress for Sandy relief.  There may be a lot of reasons why victims haven’t seen their Sandy aid yet, but this ad campaign isn’t one of them.

George H.W. Bush tried to make nice with Democrats in 1990 by giving in to a tax increase, only to have Bill Clinton(!) call him a liar and use Bush’s rhetoric successfully against him during the 1992 campaign:

John McCain spent virtually his entire career in politics playing the role of iconoclastic “Maverick,” which meant frequently siding with Democrats and pulling the rug out from Republicans, only to discover in 2008 that at election time, the media wing of the Democrat party plays hardball, for keeps, and in the midst of fullblown hopenchange fever cheerfully devoured his presidential campaign in 2008 without batting an eye. Similarly, Chris Christie has all too often as governor of New Jersey embraced Obama and offered very few coattails to his fellow Republicans, particularly when it mattered in the fall of 2012 during the Romney campaign. He too is in the process of having his presidential hopes devoured by the media left.

Charlie Brown never learned that Lucy will always pull the football away; why don’t Republicans ever learn that however much they cozy up to the left, they will eventually be fatally stung. It is the nature of the scorpion.
[Reference Here]

Perspective is everything. One has to stick one's head out from under the Media Complex rock that it is 'imposed' under via the traditional methods and look around in order to begin to find something that is more in-depth than the herd-media-news we get so easily.

... notes from The EDJE

Monday, January 06, 2014

An American Open Wheel Ladder Series 2013 Season Yearbook

Book Cover Design - The Ladder 2013 Yearbook: Lights - Pro Mazda - USF2000. Image Credit: Ron Bijlsma and Tony DiZinno (2013)

An American Open Wheel Ladder Series 2013 Season Yearbook

What happens when one takes two very intense and busy motorsports Documentarians, put them out to engage and relate to all of the effort that goes into the three open wheel racing series that hold their seasons in North America, have them take all of their digital assets and arrange them into one reference resource?

What's created is a colorful, page turning book that goes by the title "The Ladder 2013 Yearbook: Lights - Pro Mazda - USF2000" with the tagline, Capturing the next generation of American open wheel talent, produced by Ron Bijlsma and Tony DiZinno.

In this recap, Ron and Tony look at the Firestone Indy Lights Series, Pro Mazda Championship Presented by Cooper Tires and the USF2000 National Championship Presented by Cooper Tires/Powered by Mazda seasons. The three divisions are all part of the Mazda Road to Indy ladder, where graduates from all three series have eventually gone on to race in the IndyCar Series, the top level of open wheel racing series in North America, or continue driving in other top level motorsports series.


In 300-plus pages, through Ron Bijlsma’s captivating photography and through Tony DiZinno's captivating words, the Ladder 2013 Yearbook attempts to tell the stories of each race weekend, the people who made their name and impact on the field, and produced starring roles.

Page Design - Teams & Drivers - 1. Image Credit: Ron Bijlsma and Tony DiZinno (2013)

In 2008, a similar effort was undertaken as a documentary by the title of "Driven To Race" by Cargo Productions (2010). Jeff Krueger and Brian Spillane of Cargo Productions were able to edit down 150 hours of footage shot across the United States and Canada and produce a still available feature-length documentary that followed only eight ambitious, young male and female drivers from around the world as they competed for the one thing that will move them up the ladder to a career in professional racing. The film focused, however, on only one of the established ladder series that was known then as Star Mazda Series ... the modern day Pro Mazda Series.

The Ladder 2013 Yearbook: Lights - Pro Mazda - USF2000, however, is much more expansive. As a book, one can refer to it on a whim, at random times, and can serve as an invaluable resource that provides unmatched, comprehensive coverage on the entire 2013 season of three open wheel racing series.

Page Design - Series Round Text & Results - 2. Image Credit: Ron Bijlsma and Tony DiZinno (2013)

Between March and October 2013, Ron and Tony traveled around the U.S. and Canada to a wide variety of circuits. Ovals such as the historic Indianapolis Motor Speedway and Milwaukee Mile were joined by classic road courses such as Sebring International Raceway and the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course, the brand, spanking new Circuit of the Americas in Austin and diverse street circuits in St. Petersburg, Long Beach, Toronto, Baltimore and more.

Through this backdrop and through the three ladder series, Ron Bijlsma and Tony DiZinno were able to capture a season’s memorable moments, and have this effort serve as a keepsake for all participants - drivers, teams, media, sponsors and fans alike - by providing a detailed look at the young talent racing in the American open wheel ladder system with The Ladder 2013 Yearbook.

To reserve your made to order copy, your order has to be made no later than January 20th 2013 or this project becomes stalled and unable to be available for your reference. In this New Media age one learns early on that not only does one become self-taught about modern internet communications, but one has to become self-published. Ron Bijlsma and Tony DiZinno have their digital assets edited down into 320 pages of a book that is ready to go to print but need the orders (or support pledges) in-house before the minimum production run can happen.

Please Order Or Pledge Support Now - "The Ladder 2013 Yearbook: Lights - Pro Mazda - USF2000" - and aid in the expansion of information on Ladder concept supported racing.

Page Design - Series Round Introduction - 1. Image Credit: Ron Bijlsma and Tony DiZinno (2013)

The biggest challenge in producing a yearbook like this is actually already behind Ron Bijlsma and Tony DiZinno; the commitment of covering all 42 races and all the challenges that come with it are now met. This Kickstarter approach is literally set up to get to the final challenge of getting the book from their minds and laptops onto paper.

Ron Bijlsma and Tony DiZinno are proud that it will be a self-published project which will allow for independence and total creative control over the book.

The biggest risk with this book project, of course, is that if the minimum threshold is not met, the book will not be printed.

AGAIN - Please Order Or Pledge Support Now - "The Ladder 2013 Yearbook: Lights - Pro Mazda - USF2000" - and help produce a memorable slice of motor culture history.

... notes from The EDJE