Friday Follies for March 30, 2012

It’s been a while since I’ve posted Friday Follies. Since I have no single topic today, it’s time revisit the Follies.
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Heard on the Morning Radio. Inflation, as it is currently calculated is around 3%.  If the rules that existed during the Clinton Administration in the 1990s were used to calculate inflation, today’s inflation rate would be 6%.  If the rules that existed during the Reagan Administration in the 1980s were used to calculate inflation, today’s inflation rate would be 11%.

If we want truth in government, and by extension in government reports, let’s use a standard set of rules that doesn’t mislead the public. Let’s return to Reagan’s rules and make sure we really know how much the democrats have screwed us.

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Obama wants us to be just like the Euros. He thinks European-style socialism must come to the US.  After all, everyone knows the Euros always knows best.

Then we see something like this and I’m glad the Euro idiots are over there instead of over here.

Dim Bulb: Jean-Luc Melenchon

Who: French presidential candidate Jean-Luc Melenchon.

What: He is calling for a 100 percent tax rate on all annual income over 1 million euros.

Why it’s dim: Let us count the way! But at the very least, this is a great way to get rich people to change their residency to other countries. Spain is beautiful this time of year, and its government could use a few additional high-income taxpayers.

Cure: A bit of economic common sense among politicians.

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For you local readers, the Raymore City Council finally repealed the city’s Business Excise Tax on a vote of 6 to 2. Mayoral candidate Pete Kerckhoff and Councilman candidate Charlene Hubach voted to retain the tax. 

I think it’s important to remember who voted to retain an unneeded tax whose revenues, according to Mayor Pro Tem Jeff Adams, isn’t budgeted.  Jeff Adams is also a candidate for Mayor.

The Raymore City Council repealed the city’s wheel tax earlier this year.  I’m glad the city is allowing Raymore’s residents to keep more of their own money instead of finding new ways to spend the unneeded revenue.

Raymore is fortunate that in addition to fully funding our annual budget, the city also has an emergency fund twice as large as required by statute.

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Obama’s attempt to punish the oil industry failed yesterday in the Senate on a vote of 51-47. The democrat lie about ending “subsidies” to the oil industry didn’t pass muster.  The reality is that there are NO subsidies.  The bill proposed by Obama and the dems would punish the oil industry by disallowing tax credits and deductions that are allowed to ALL business entities. The so-called subsidy was allowing the oil industry to keep their own money.

The dems knew the bill would fail.  It was just an effort to retain support for their class warfare advocates.

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A state liberal judge decided Missouri’s constitution admendment, “unfair and insufficient.” The judge’s decision is filled with inconsistencies.

Court says ‘no’ to voter photo I.D. ballot measure

A Cole County judge has struck down a measure that would only let voters with a photo identification cast a ballot.
Circuit Judge Pat Joyce called the proposal — which would be put to a vote of the people this November – ”insufficient and unfair.”
According to court documents, she says the ballot summary includes the phrase “Voter Protection Act” even though the phrase never actually appears in the constitutional amendment. Secondly, the summary says the amendment would allow the General Assembly establish an early voting period, when in fact the amendment would “restrict the time period during which advance voting may occur.”
She has sent the measure back to the legislature to fix it — “Because significant change are required here and policy choices need to be made as to how to reallocate the words in a revised summary statement, the Court chooses to vacate the summary statement and to provide the General Assembly an opportunity to revise it.”
The ballot title approved by the Legislature asks voters: “Shall the Missouri Constitution be amended to adopt the Voter Protection Act and allow the General Assembly to provide by general law for advance voting prior to election day, voter photo identification requirements, and voter requirements based on whether one appears to vote in person or by absentee ballot?”

Judge Joyce must have very good eyes to see words that don’t exist in the text of the amendment.  If there is any way to impeach a state judge, Judge Joyce should be first on the list to be removed from the bench for bias and incompetency.                                                       

Crunch! Crunch!

When Mrs. Crucis and I drove to Jeff City on Tuesday for the rally, I kept an eye out for changes. The last time I drove that route was several decades ago.  For the most part, the route has not changed since the late 1970s and early 1980s.  
Thirty years ago, I traveled across a number of states installing, maintaining and repairing computer systems.  Several of these systems were in Jeff City, operated by several state agencies. I drove that section of US-50 from Kansas City to Jeff City several times a month. One of those trips occurred during the annual Missouri Box Turtle migration.

One stretch of US-50, just east of Sedalia, was two-lane. It still is today and, if my memory is correct, virtually unchanged since the early 1980s. As we drove over those few miles of highway, I turned to my wife and said, “Crunch! Crunch!”

Three-toed Box Turtle

You see, on one of those trips to Jeff City way back then, coincided with the annual Box Turtle migration.  Most of the time, the number of turtles migrating is slight. You see a few here, a few there, no big deal.

On that day, back in the early 1980s, it was a big deal.  For a distance of a mile or more, the highway was covered, yes literally covered with box turtles attemping to cross the highway.  In my estimation, few turtles made it across that two-lane stretch of highway alive.

As far as the eye could see, in both directions, the carcasses of dead—mashed box turtles littered the highway. You have heard the expression, “Slicker than snot!”  Let me assure you, the innards of mashed box turtles are truly “slicker than snot!”

The highway could not have been more slick than if someone had dumped thousands of gallons of grease all over the pavement.  My first sight of that piece of highway were the emergency lights of police, ambulances, firetrucks, wreckers and more law-enforcement vehicles than I’d ever seen before in one spot.  Cars were off both sides of the highway. Some down in ditches, others upside down, on their sides, a tractor trailer rig was off into a small creek, all of the distruction caused by a small box turtle that rarely grew more than 6-7″ across.  Thousands of box turtles.  Maybe tens of thousands of dead, mashed box turtles.

I was stopped just short of the scene for a half-hour or so while wreckers pulled cars, trucks and tractors from the ditches and creeks along the highway.  Finally, a path was cleared and a few cars were allowed through.  A Highway Patrolman told me as he waved me forward, “No faster than 5 miles-per-hour!”

It was a wise order.

I slowly drove through and around the wrecked cars and trucks.  As I did, I drove over the remains of the box turtles, some still alive or only slightly injured but unable to move.

“Crunch! Crunch!”

I’m glad it was only a “Crunch!”  A pick-up ahead of me ran over an intact turtle.  It went, “Pop!”

I don’t think I drove over any living turtle.  I think.

Since that day, I can’t drive through that mile or so of highway without remembering, “Crunch! Crunch!”

Hands Off our Healthcare — Recap

Mrs. Crucis and I took the day off yesterday and went to Jefferson City to attend the “Hands Off our Healthcare” rally sponsored by the Americans for Prosperity. We left home around 7AM and arrived in Jeff City a few minutes after 10AM.  It was a nice partly-sunny drive.

I had not been in Jeff City for a long time.  Back several years ago, in my computer fixin’ days, I drove to Jeff City several times a month to fix computer systems operated by a number of state agencies.

I had forgotten Jeff City is built on hilly bluffs overlooking the Missouri River.

The rally was to be held in the Capitol Plaza Hotel.  We discovered when we arrived that all the parking near the hotel was taken.  In addition to the AFP rally, there were two other rallies being held at the same time.  One a reaffirmation of religious freedom was being held inside the Capitol in the Rotunda.  Another, made up of union goo…,uh union members was meeting on the south steps of the Capitol building.  The unionistas had been bussed in from as far away as Mt. Vernon, IL according to a bus from festooned with union banners.

We finally found a place to park about a half mile from the hotel.  It seemed that no matter which route we took, it was uphill. Steep hills at that.

We arrived at the hotel, signed in, picked up name tags, AFP ribbon and tickets for lunch.  We looked around for familiar faces and spotted a ‘Pub friend who was working for state Senator Scott Rupp.  Senator Rupp is running for Missouri Secretary of State.

The Jeff City rally was being coordinated with other AFP rally sites across the country.  After we heard from the Missouri AFP director, political leaders, and our guest speaker, Dr. Milton Wolf, we would join via video with the Washington, DC rally.

I have to say that I was impressed with several of the folks running for state office like Ed Martin (Atty Gen’l), Scott Rupp (Sect’y State) and Bill Randles and Dave Spence (Gov).  The jewel of the session was Dr. Milton Wolf, Barack Obama’s cousin.  We had heard Dr. Wolf speak at other Tea Party rallies. It was good to hear him again.

We left a bit before 2PM and walked the two blocks, uphill (groan), to the Capitol Plaza.  Most of the pedestrians appeared to be state employees judging from the ID cards hanging about them.  We continued walking upward across the front of the Missouri Supreme Court building and took a few photos of the Capitol and the union rally on the southern steps.

I estimated the unionistas numbered around 400. Busses were rolling up and loading people who were leaving while other busses rolled up to unload more.  It seemed a constant flux attempting to maintain the numbers.  While Mrs Crucis took some photos, I could hear a few comments from the union rally PA.  One comment that stuck in my mind was,”…there are a few republicans that vote with us and aren’t evil but most of them are that—evil.” It is important to report such comments when we hear them.  We must never forget whom we oppose nor why.

I’m glad we went. We had a great time. Several of the political candidates sat at our table while waiting to speak. We had met some of them before, such as Scott Rupp, and others, like Bill Randles, for the first time.

It was a good day.                   

Taking the day off

Mrs. Crucis and I are going to an Anti-Obamacare rally in Jeff City today.  We may even stop by a pawn shop or three on the way back.  We like doing that.  I found my 1972 Colt Combat Commander last summer at a pawn shop.  Usually you don’t find anything. Sometimes you’ll find a jewel.

If I have time and opportunity, I’ll post a quick update.


We’ll be back tomorrow. Y’all have a great day.

Obamacare has its day in Court.

After two years, the travesty of governmental tyranny will have its day in court.  There will be a total of six hours of arguments.  It’s been decades, perhaps since before WW2, that amount of time has been allocated for argument.

The arguments will be spread over three days. Four of the issues are: The Individual Mandate, Expanded Medicaid Requirements to the States, Is the Fine associated with the Individual Mandate a Penalty or a Tax, and Severability.

A PDF summary of the issues can be found here.

That last item, or the lack of it, is critical.  Usually, in large bills such as Obamacare, there is a clause that states that if any part of the bill is later deemed unconstitutional, the rest of the bill can still stand, i.e., if the individual mandate is unconstitutional, all the rest of Obamacare, the death panels, the insurance pools, pushing more unfunded medicaid cost to the states, the rape of Medicare, with severability, all that still stands.

The democrats screwed up.  There is no explicit severability in Obamacare. Therefore if any part of Obamacare is unconstitutional, the entire bill is unconstitutional. So we all hope.  We want that.  It’s the last nail in the coffin of Obamacare.

Obama’s minions will argue that severability, while not explicitly written into Obamacare, was implied. Therefore Obamacare may remain even if parts of it is unconstitutional.  The other side will argue that if the authors of the bill thought severability would be an issue, they should have said so.

Most folks around the country appear to think it’s a done deal—that Obamacare will be declared unconstitutional and the whole thing will be repealed.  Constitutional lawyers and other knowledgeable experts aren’t so confident.

Is the SCOTUS Deck Already Stacked Against Obamacare?

Rick Ungar, Contributor
I know what you’re thinking.
When it comes to how the Supremes are likely to vote on the constitutionality of Obamacare, all this back and forth over the fine and complicated points of law is little more than a useless exercise in legal mumbo jumbo.
At the end of the day, the Supreme Court Justices will vote their politics and ideology—not the law.
At least that is what’s on your mind if you are one of the 75 percent of all Americans who, according to a recent Bloomberg Poll, believe that our Supreme Court is all about fulfilling the ideological political agenda of the president and party who handed the Justices their lifetime appointments and not about deciding the issues on their legal merits or an objective interpretation of the Constitution.
I don’t know about you, but I find this verdict to be extremely depressing.
Of the 75 percent polled who believe that politics will have an impact on how the Court comes down on this week’s review of the Affordable Care Act, those who call themselves politically independent were the most skeptical as 80 percent of these folks think that the politics will creep into the court’s rulings. Republicans were just slightly less cynical with 74 percent of the GOPers answering the survey responding that politics is definitely in play.
Oddly, considering that the Court skews to the conservative side these days, only 65 percent of Democrats polled believe that the Court’s decision will be tinged with ideological considerations.
The good news is that the Supreme Court may be feeling your cynicism and looking to go out of its way to avoid the appearance of political creep.

It’s an interesting argument. I’m unsure I agree. Regardless how careful SCOTUS acts, it will be viewed as partisan from one side or the other. All too often, I’ve seen common knowledge end up with uncommon results.

Don’t get me wrong. I’d love to see the whole kit ‘n kaboodle struck down.  The Frank-Dodd Banking Act too and a number of other liberal acts going back to the creation of the NLRB.

But I’m not going to hold my breath.  It’s not a sure thing.

I note one change announced in the last few days is that audio, perhaps video as well, of the arguments will be released at the end of each day.  Usually those records are not released until the end of the year or at the end of the judicial term a number of months down the road.

Whatever the reason, you can be assured that over the next few days, the speculation, analysis, re-analysis, the pundits spouting forth on one item or another, will splash across the media and not one will know the final decision for months when, in its own good time, SCOTUS speaks.

Already, I can hear the spinmeisters spooling up to speed, getting ready.  

In the end, my guess will be as good as theirs. Frankly, I doubt we’ll get everything. But I’m still hoping the lack of severability will kill the monster.

Cartoons of the Week, Friday, Marchg 23, 2012

I had a full day yesterday doing errands and working on the computer of a church member.  Consequently, I overslept this morning.  I have more errands today and don’t have time to do my usual research for a daily post.  

So, I’ll punt.
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It’s Cartoons of the Week time! If you understand the message below, you may not recognize the character.  This is for you who are old enough to remember the Dobie Gillis Show.

Yes, work.  Nothing in life, contrary to Obama, democrats and socialists, is free. Everything has a cost and sooner or later, the bills come due.  For America’s welfare state, that time is coming soon.

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The left continues to attack Rush Limbaugh while ignoring the obscene statements from Bill Maher, Keith Olbmerman, Jon Stewart, Dave Letterman and a host of other liberals.  They have called conservative women much, much worse even to the extent of advocating rape of Sarah Palin’s daughter.  But have one conservative describe a liberal political activist by her proper name and the flood gates open.

The liberals are trying to get Limbaugh kicked off the air.  At the same time, they have accepted a million dollar donation from Bill Maher to Obama’s PAC and refuse to send it back.  Pure hypocrisy. It’s what we should expect from the left.


Michael Ramirez’ opinion on the matter is next.

You all have a great weekend, hear? The NRA Annual Meeting is less than a month away.

Raymore City Politics

In a couple of weeks, my town will be having elections for the city council, mayor and school board. Last night our Chamber of Commerce hosted a “meet your candidates” session for the city council, mayor and the local school board.  It had been some time since I went to one of these events.  I didn’t really have a dog in this race. My ward councilman is unopposed.

I no longer have school age children. My daughter is grown and her three kids live in another county. They also attend a private school to boot. I admit I haven’t paid much attention to local board issues—other than the sea of red ink glowing over the horizon.

The host presented three questions to the council candidates and mayoral candidates. The questions ranged from TIF, to Services vs. Taxes, to a city community center. The nature of the council over the last several years, said one candidate, has significantly tilted toward fiscal conservatism.  State law requires an emergency fund equal to 20% of the city’s budget.  Our city has gone past that and has a 40% pad.  In short, our town is revenue rich.

A spending junkie’s paradise.

The tone of the responses started with the first candidate Jeff Cox who is running unopposed.  Concerning TIF, he presented a short review of current activities and the need to be very judicial when determining when TIF would be appropriate and when it wouldn’t.  Any long-term gains from made from agreeing to a TIF project must be balanced with the short-term cost. Most important to TIF is the determination if there will be a long-term gain. The other candidates, who also expressed conservative viewpoints, agreed with that opening to the discussion.

The problem I had was that all the candidates were, or wanted to appear to be, fiscal conservatives.  I’m a bit skeptical that every candidate would agree to a conservative philosophy.  That appearance pegs the needle on my Skeptic’s meter.  I will applaud if I’m wrong because it portents a strong future for our city.

Another question pertained to the creation of a city community center.  Our sister-city three miles down the road built a fitness-type center a number of years ago costing in the neighborhood of $28 Million dollars.  One candidate said the center was paying for itself after three years of operation.  That’s good.  The down side in the initial outlay by the city.

Frankly, we aren’t as large as our sister city.  We cannot approve such a grand project without going heavily in debt—revenue surplus or not.  As I listened I became aware I was witnessing an example of spending addiction.  We have a surplus in the city coffers.  Some people in the community have a tendency to, “see a dollar, spend two dollars.”

The driver for the community center is the closing of the community room in city hall. The room will be ceded to the police department. The department as added three new officers and they need the room. The search now is for a facility to replace that community room.

As an aside, I note that the neighboring Mazuma Credit Union has a room available free to the public and it is approximately the same size as the community room in city hall.  Perhaps people wanting to use the city hall room could, temporarily, be directed to Mazuma?

There are always options available if people would use them.  Personally, I think the city does need a community center…a limited one…when we can afford it.  We don’t need a full-blown fitness center with a workout room, indoor pool, basket ball court and more.  For the size of our city, that would be a waste.  There are options available.  At a personal cost.  

If a fitness center is the desire, we have one only a couple hundred yards from city hall.  It’s open to all—for a fee. You see, it’s a business, not a city owned facility.

Ah, that’s the kicker. It’s always more attractive to have someone else pay or provide a subsidy instead of personally taking the funds from your own pocket.

From the responses, I doubt we’ll go into debt for a community center. Yes, doing some pre-planning, scope and cost reviews is appropriate.  Perhaps, too, we could set aside some small funds to pay for a knowledgeable consultant.  But going beyond that, with our current economy, is not needed and frankly would be fiscally foolish.

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As I said, I don’t have kids in the local schools. I’m not that knowledgeable about their situation.  I do note that several years ago the district was fully funded and had a nice reserve.  Then they built a new stadium with those reserves and now they’re in trouble.  Another example of spending addiction?  Perhaps.  I did note that not a single board candidate disavowed a tax increase as a solution to their problems.

The last time, a couple of years ago, they attempted to pass a levy increase, the effort failed miserably.  I don’t think public sentiment has changed since then.  I would strongly suggest the new board research other alternatives to their budget woes than assuming a tax increase can be passed.

All in all, it was an informative session.  The politicos had a opportunity to meet the public and put on record their views to questions.  I noted several candidates, when asked hard questions, talked a lot but said little.  I’m sure I’m not the only one to notice.