Monday, December 26, 2005

Why conservatives loathe bureaucracy...

Or the UN for that matter. A Financial Times investigation of UN Tsunami funds shows that about 1/3 was used for "overhead" costs.
The Financial Times says its two-month investigation showed the money appears to have been spent on administration, staff and related costs. The $590 million was part of the United Nation's $1.1 billion disaster flash appeal.

Sunday, December 25, 2005

Saturday, December 24, 2005

Merry Christmas

and Happy Holidays!

Wednesday, December 21, 2005

Great Read!

This article (not sure if registration is required) today from The New Republic is as excellent of a synopsis of large city/labor relations today. The basic premise is that labor's domination over democratic politicians in cities across the country has accumulated into a hostage situation with the public worker unions holding the cities hostage. Particularly relevant given the situation in NYC today and an even more important reason for Bloomberg to stand strong-for the rest of the country!

Unity in the ODP ranks?

One would think they would be unifying with the chances they have for 2006. This says otherwise. Seems there were some unhappy people after the recent Chairman elections.

Any disunity is a good thing for us. We might need it.

Happy Birthday Nathan!

In other news...

GOP Passes Spending Cuts

Almost $40 billion in cuts. That is less than 2% of the entire Federal budget. REVISION: If you read further down the page, you realize this is over a 5 year time period. That is less than one-half of one percent of the entire budget. This is a lame attempt to reign in spending. I was going to give credit to the GOP for at least trying something until I found out it was over 5 years. This is like going on a $10,000 shopping spree, taking back two T-shirts, then claiming that you are conservative.

More unbelievable is Harry Reid: "an ideologically driven, extreme, radical budget."

Tuesday, December 20, 2005

STRIKE

Well, it was a long commute to work today (about 3 hours or so). To my surprise the transit workers have actually decided strike. You can read a short description of the reasons here. The MTA really bumped their offer to no avail.

The lines everywhere were long. Moods were angry/frustrated. I have a better plan of attack for tomorrow.

At this point I have no idea how long this is going to last, but I'm glad to get the heck out of Dodge tomorrow.

Bush on the Offensive

I'm glad to see the President's numbers rising again.

Finally, it appears the guys in the West Wing have awoken and realized that the President has been battered for last 10 months without a strong defense. It's great to see the President controlling news cycle after news cycle with speeches, press conferences and public appearances. The MSM didn't want to highlight the success of the Iraqi elections until the President pushed the issues. They'd rather talk about how the President may have broken the law, in their opinion, with the controversial NSA wiretaps (which are legal, in my opinion).

In other news, it appears more and more as though Tom Delay may be ousted by the Republican House Members. While it's ignored outside the beltway, media outlets such as Roll Call and Congressional Quarterly continue to focus on two people, Roy Blunt and John Boehner as the only two potential replacements.

Members have commented that odds are 50/50 that there will be leadership elections come January after the Holiday Recess.

Monday, December 19, 2005

Finally!




It has been a long time since any major sports coach has been doused by Gatorade in this city (at least to my recollection). It is certainly time to celebrate. I wish this could have happened while I was still in Cincy but I am looking forward to being home for the next two games and watching them at home (rather than with all the rabid Steelers fans in NYC).

Thursday, December 15, 2005

What!?!

Tomorrow I am facing a possible strike of the subway/bus workers here in NYC. Not really sure how/if I am going to get to work. Among the sticking points in negotiations, from today's NYTIMES:

The union wants 8 percent raises for its members for each of three years. Late in the day, the union signaled that it would accept lower raises if the agency would lower disciplinary actions against employees by 25 percent. The union did not specify by how much lower it would be willing to go.

Going into today, the M.T.A. had offered a 6 percent raise over 27 months. On pensions, a major sticking point, the authority wants to raise the retirement age for newly hired employees to 62 after 30 years of service, while the union wants to lower it to age 50 after 20 years of service. At present, transit workers can retire at age 55, after 25 years of work, with a pension equal to half their annual pay - which averages $55,000, including overtime.


WHAT!?!

Lower disciplinary actions? Retire at the age of 50? Who are these people?


UPDATE: Another sticking point. Increasing MTA employees health care contributions by 1%...from 0%!

Monday, December 12, 2005

"You know, you made an offer. It might be that I might change my mind someday."

Who said this? Representative John Murtha on videotape in the 1980s. The context? A sting operation which caught several Congressmen taking bribes. Murtha went to the townhouse of an "Arab businessman" and listened to their offer. That was his response. Only a handful of Congressmen took the chance to listen to the offer, of those only all were indicted but Murtha, who ambiguously turned down the bribe.

While Murtha is certainly no coward and an America war hero...I would say this paints him a bit more fallible of a picture, much more fallible than the picture painted by the media.

Thursday, December 08, 2005

Air Marshalls On Leave for Doing Jobs

Apparently the Air Marshalls who shot a man who was reaching for a bag that he claimed had a bomb in it are on leave pending an investigation. I hope and am fairly certain that they will not be reprimanded, but why do they need to go on leave? They followed the code.

Imagine if this had been a minority or even Arab person. Voices calling foul would be ringing much louder.

Monday, December 05, 2005

Thank God for Dean

"the idea that we're going to win the war in Iraq is an idea which is just plain wrong," WOW... Hillary and Lieberman were trying to pull there party towards the rational middle, and Dean, their fearless leader, swoops in and reminds the world that Democrats are liberal wacko's who can't be trusted with our military. How can you tell our troops not only that we shouldn't have gone to war, but that they are going to lose? Is he really that dumb? Does he really hate America and the troops that much? I am honestly a little nervous about '06 and '08 but with Dean around I feel better.

Government Waste

We know that there are plenty of examples of government waste. The bridge to nowhere is often cited, and yesterday on Meet the Press I heard them talking about using Homeland Security money to air condition garbage trucks. But I have never seen a comprehensive list detailing all of the money our federal government wastes. It would be nice to see some prominent politicians, journalists, economists, businesspeople, etc get behind such a study. Hire a company - or a few companies - to research every entity within the government and then release an all-encompassing report to the American people. This would have to be marketed as a major study supported by a large, diverse group of people. Surely that would get politicians (and citzens) to think twice before wasting more money.

Or would it? Either way it is something that should be done.