Saturday, July 31, 2010

The MIchurian Candidates

Too clever by half?

Michigan's fake "Tea Party" operation (background here, if you need it) seems to have stumbled in its attempt to deceive voters in November.  


They, where 'they' means Democrats to an extent still being determined, can't run on their own ideas and platforms so they have to be dishonest about who they are.  Fortunately, they appear less than competent at it.

From The Detroit News: GOP lawyers join in as battle of tea parties heats up
[Oakland] County [Democratic] party Chairman Mike McGuinness said operations director Jason Bauer may have crossed the line when he notarized many of the affidavits filed by 23 candidates trying to get on the November ballot as members of the newly formed Tea Party. Some of them filed in what are expected to be close congressional or state legislative races.
"May have" crossed the line?  At best he betrayed the Democrats, at worst he revealed Democrats are connected to the plot.  But it gets worse:  Many of the affidavits appear to have been notarized before the MIchurian candidates were even nominated:  Tea Party Candidate Identity Statements Could Be Invalid
The mysterious Tea Party candidates could face legal challenges because many of the candidates appear to have filled out their affidavits saying they accepted the party nomination before the convention was held, one election expert said.

Of the 20 affidavits reviewed by Michigan Capitol Confidential, all but one was signed before the reported July 24 date of the Tea Party Convention in Saginaw.

The Affidavit of Identity and Receipt of Filing has a section that asks the filer to acknowledge by checking a box that they have "certification of party nomination and certification of acceptance."

Since candidates are nominated at the party convention, a candidate couldn't check that box until after nominated.
If, as seems likely, the affidavits notarized by Jason Bauer are some of the same ones signed before the events being affirmed had occurred, what are the consequences for his public notary license?
 


Incompetence Update: 1:45PM
Two Michigan Tea Party Candidates Removed from Ballot Because They are Under Age 21

Friday, July 30, 2010

More Electric Vehicle news

When you've lost the New York Times, well you've lost an elitist institution most of whose members wouldn't have bought a Volt in any event.
So the future of General Motors (and the $50 billion taxpayer investment in it) now depends on a vehicle that costs $41,000 but offers the performance and interior space of a $15,000 economy car. The company is moving forward on a second generation of Volts aimed at eliminating the initial model’s considerable shortcomings. (In truth, the first-generation Volt was as good as written off inside G.M., which decided to cut its 2011 production volume to a mere 10,000 units rather than the initial plan for 60,000.) Yet G.M. seemingly has no plan for turning its low-volume “eco-flagship” into a mass-market icon like the Prius.

Quantifying just how much taxpayer money will have been wasted on the hastily developed Volt is no easy feat. Start with the $50 billion bailout (without which none of this would have been necessary), add $240 million in Energy Department grants doled out to G.M. last summer, $150 million in federal money to the Volt’s Korean battery supplier, up to $1.5 billion in tax breaks for purchasers and other consumer incentives, and some significant portion of the $14 billion loan G.M. got in 2008 for “retooling” its plants, and you’ve got some idea of how much taxpayer cash is built into every Volt.
Yep, electric cars are a way to create jobs: for Federal bureaucrats. If that money had been left in private hands, and only 10% of it went to new car purchases, it would have created more jobs for autoworkers than is the case. Not to mention all the other industries that could have benefited.

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Electric Vehicle news

Not good. Kenneth P. Green, at The American Enterprise Blog, crunches some numbers on the $41,000 Chevy Volt. Read the whole thing, but here are some highlights:
[The Volt is] more than twice as expensive as a comparable gasoline-driven car. ...[T]he government will give each ...[buyer] a $7,500 subsidy, and another grand if they install their own charger at home (apartment owners ... get to subsidize homeowners with this one). President Obama wants a million electric cars on the road by 2015, ...[so], it’s safe to assume the subsidy would remain, sucking only $8.5 billion dollars out of taxpayers coffers...

Of course, that’s only the direct subsidies... 80 percent of vehicles aren’t parked in the garage of the person who owns them, which means there are going to have to be a lot of public charging stations built at taxpayer expense. And the gasoline that electric owners don’t consume also takes tax revenue out of the Highway Trust Fund, meaning that if there is massive penetration of cars that don’t use gasoline, some other way will have to be found to maintain transportation infrastructure.
Skyrocketing electricity rates, maybe?

Summary: There will be a Synfuels-like perpetual subsidy for a few hundred jobs. The Feds bought GM, forced it to bring the Volt to market ASAP and are propping up the experiment with your tax dollars throughout the manufacturing and sales cycle. You pay to build them and you pay people to buy them.

Meanwhile, technology marches on. Toshiba has announced it will begin production (in Japan) next year of a competing type of battery for Electric Vehicles, the SCiB (Super Charge Ion Battery). It has some advantages over the batteries planned to be built in Michigan by LG Chem and A123.
The battery's specs claim 6,000+ charge/deep-discharge cycles with minor capacity loss, safe rapid charging to 90% in 5 minutes, and enhanced safety regarding overheating or shorting out. It could make its way into electric vehicles before long.
Is this a battery that can be built, without retooling, in the Michigan plants being subsidized by government? Will the innovation have to be licensed from Toshiba? I don't know, and I'm sure neither our Governor nor the President do either.

Partisan deception

Jason Gillman at Michigan Taxes Too Much and also at Right Michigan has almost certainly discovered the identity of one of the dezinformatsiya operatives/candidates of the false flag political cell named Michigan "Tea Party."  The man, Jason H. Bauer, is an Oakland County Democrat party official.

There is no post on this by Mr. Gillman at either site as I write. I learned about it here. Please visit Mr. Gillman's sites. It is his story and he deserves the traffic. Both sites linked above are included in TOC's blogroll.

This new political party, almost certainly set up by Democrats with assistance from a Soros friendly political consulting firm in California, will be an indication on your ballot NOT to vote for the agent whose name appears opposite the false party label.

As mentioned here,  people who support tea party ideas are NOT a political party and do not aspire to be.  The people behind the Michigan Tea Party want to steal the brand while rejecting the ideals.


Despicable.

Update 12:40PM 29-July
Should have read below the fold. See also.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Entitlements

Rep. Barney Frank causes scene demanding discount

He was demanding a $1 senior citizen discount on a ferry ride to

"Fire Island's popular gay haunt, The Pines...

Frank made news last year when he was spotted looking uncomfortable around a bevy of topless, well-built men at the Pines Annual Ascension Beach Party."
Bevy of MEN? Topless men!? And well-built. Imagine finding well-built men on a gay beach... and TOPLESS. Who'da thunk it.

What I want to know is how, exactly, was it determined the Congressman was "uncomfortable?" Or maybe I don't.

If only the Congressman would pinch pennies like that when on our dime... Oh. Wait. That dollar IS on our dime from his $200K salary. Once again Congessman Frank is protecting the taxpayer.

Of course, it does reduce public service revenue at the local level, where people continually elect him. So they deserve it.

The other bright spot is that while he's whining about his maltreatment he's not passing any legislation.  Which reminds me to be amazed that there is not a provision in the Dodd-Frank financial reform bill to specifically ensure a "personal waterborne-transportation deficit reduction in regard to the Chairman of the House Committee on Financial Services when travelling, for recreational purposes, to locations where diverse sexual orientation is commonplace." Without such provisions, how does it get to 2500 pages?

Two words Mr. Chairman; "impulse control." This applies to both reports.

1- If you've just gotta have that dollar discount to avoid a spectacular pouting fit, pass a law giving you your own Navy. Hell, Hillary is about to get her own private Army after we take US troops out of Iraq.

2- If you can't handle autonomic impulses, avoid situations where the impulse, ah, rises.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Coming to a health care system near you

TOC noted this on Sunday:
Obesity Rating for Every American Must Be Included in Stimulus-Mandated Electronic Health Records, Says HHS

Then this popped up:
Germany Weighs Tax on the Obese

Marco Wanderwitz, a conservative member of parliament for the German state of Saxony, said it is unfair and unsustainable for the taxpayer to carry the entire cost of treating obesity-related illnesses in the public health system.
Right. Force the taxpayers to fund health care, giving government a financial interest which is parlayed into reasons government has to protect the taxpayers from the costs: "Since we can't afford this entitlement we passed, and we're not going to repeal it, we have to raise taxes on those with the wrong obesity profile.  It's not rationing, though."

In Germany, teachers have a suggested plan to satisfy the government's need to know your weight.

The German teachers association recently called for school kids to be weighed each day, The Daily Telegraph said.

The fat kids could then be reported to social services, who could send them to health clinics.
And put the parents on a list. And issue badges.

Do you consider it possible that this scenario will be applied here once all Americans' BMI is recorded and government costs for health care become even more unsustainable?

Neveready



Veronique de Rugy, NRO: Life Saver: The Battery?
I do see the immediate benefit for the factory owner that will receive the stimulus money, but this money has direct and indirect costs that will ultimately hurt the economy. First, let's remember that this money doesn't fall from the sky; in order to spend it, Obama needs to either tax Americans or borrow money (that, or print money), which means less capital for private businesses and potentially higher interest rates in our future. For that factory owner to get his cash, others have to give it up.

Second, you have seen the data but it bears repeating: According to Harvard economist Robert Barro, $1 spent in government spending means that the economy will skrink by $1.10.
Anne E. Kornblut and Peter Whoriskey, WaPo: Obama pours energy into electric-car batteries, but will it jump-start industry?
...the administration's $2.4 billion investment in the development of batteries and other electric-car technology in the United States is an enormous bet on a product that has yet to gain broad commercial success. Major manufacturers have yet to sell electric cars in the United States. Hybrids, though they have been around for a decade, represent less than 1 percent of the nation's roughly 250 million-vehicle fleet.

"The battery story is highly questionable," said Menahem Anderman, the founder and chief executive of Total Battery Consulting. "Basically, there's really no proven market, neither electric vehicle nor plug-in hybrid electric vehicle -- and there's really no battery company in the United States that has a verified product."

Although U.S. battery makers could export their products, the global market is glutted, according to analysts. Anderman said global capacity to build car batteries in 2014 will be three times greater than demand that year.

...in 2015, the domestic capacity to build batteries will be more than twice the demand.

Monday, July 26, 2010

Aunt Shirley's Cabin

Dan Riehl on Shirley Sherrod's family.

Read it. And watch the videos, too.

I'd say the reason Ms Sherrod had no Sunday TV interviews is becoming more obvious. The MSM can only afford to give her 5 of her 15 minutes, or the "narrative" will not simply disintegrate, but be forced into a 180.

Grid not threatened

So far, electric vehicle demand is not as frenzied as some have predicted.

Leaf far from sold out, Nissan encourages more pre-orders
 

What risk does a "pre-order" entail? A $99 refundable deposit.  Low barrier for early adopters, I think. 

Still, Nissan has only a little over 16,000 of the 25,000 US orders they targeted by December, even though it appears a big benefit of reserving your Leaf now is avoiding a $2,000 plus charge for the installation for your home charging equipment. 

Worse for Nissan, some potential early adopters are unhappy about the requirement to have their home audited to make sure its electrical system can handle the charging equipment. To be fair, this charging station is an optional item, but it sounds like you'll wish you have it if you buy a Leaf.  How else to justify $2,000+?   And that low price only if your house wiring doesn't need an upgrade.

In other EV news Jay Leno classifies the Chevy Volt he was loaned by GM as similar to a Cobalt or a Camry. This makes me seriously doubt Jay Leno has driven both a Cobalt and a Camry, but it's faint damnation in any case. Then again, the battery powered range of a Volt is about 40 miles and the price is estimated in the mid-30's.  A Prius killer it is seems not to be.

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Texas invaded?

Los Zetas drug cartel seizes 2 U.S. ranches in Texas
Word broke late last night that Laredo police have requested help from the federal government regarding the incursion by the Los Zetas [Mexican drug cartels].
Good luck with that.  This is the sort of thing Eric Holder is suing Arizona about, he's afraid of interference with his boss's enforcement of U.S. law.  It is important to note that the federal government in question is not that of Mexico.  

The White House reacted by calling for a dictionary containing the word "sovereign," and urging Texas authorities to avoid profiling the undocumented visitors.


Update: 5:25PM
Well, the headline question seems to be answered.  Doesn't seem to be a happening thing.

Good news from the regime

Well, not for you, of course.  For you, it's just less and less freedom, higher costs and more difficult to arrange loans.

White House Backs Bill to Collect Employee Pay Information from Businesses

Currency tax: A way to invest in our future (Rep. Pete Stark)

Gold Coin Sellers Angered by New Tax Law

Did The Credit Agencies Just Go Extinct?

Obesity Rating for Every American Must Be Included in Stimulus-Mandated Electronic Health Records, Says HHS

'A Commandeering of the People'

Angelo M. Codevilla provides a framework for understanding why the regime class passes such laws and imposes such regulations, and how they get away with it: America's Ruling Class -- And the Perils of Revolution

Quite long, but worth it.

Saturday, July 24, 2010

She's seen the bus from both sides now

Once and future (?) USDA official Shirley Sherrod is using her 15 minutes of fame to make us wonder if her epiphany regarding race was, perhaps, incomplete or insincere. Is she morphing into a combination of Jeremiah Wright and Cindy Sheehan?

The Obama administration threw Sherrod under the bus in record time, then quickly apologized and rehabilitated her. However, this CNN interview did not show her in the best light.


For example, when she says she didn't get, and didn't really need, an apology from the president because "He's the president of the United States," ask yourself if she would have said the same thing if George Bush were still in that office.  She goes on to say that Andrew Brietbart only released the video because "He was after a black president."  Based on the record, everyone's pigmentation, not just the President's, matters more to Ms Sherrod than it does to Mr. Brietbart.

Dan Riehl, at Human Events:

Sherrod says, "I haven't seen such mean-spirited people as I have seen lately over this issue, healthcare. Some of the racism we thought was buried, didn't it surface."

In Sherrod's world, no one is allowed to object to a significant Obama-supported policy change impacting the healthcare of all Americans without being labeled a racist.
See also.

Friday, July 23, 2010

Smoke on the water sculpture

In Ann Arbor firefighters are losing jobs because the city has a huge deficit, but the city is spending more than $850,000 on a water sculpture.

I'll repeat: "When the taxpayer suffers significant economic reverses, police and fire protection are among the first services to be threatened by the adminocrat/union axis."

Add "arrogant and privileged" to that.

While there's no evidence at the link that the firefighters union contract(s) represent an imbalanced contribution to the budget deficit, one has to wonder.

All is not lost, though. If you have a fire in something mobile, like your car, you could drive it into the water sculpture.

They're cutting essential public services in Oakland, CA and in Ingham County, MI, too.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Manufacturing a crisis

American manufacturing jobs are declining. Many politicians agree on the cause: greedy corporations moving jobs to countries with inferior wages, non-existent environmental standards, terrible working conditions and minimal social safety nets.

Desperately poor 3rd world people may be overjoyed to have these jobs, but American workers are being savaged. As Senator John Kerry pointed out, it is time to stop “Benedict Arnold” corporations from “exporting” jobs.

This reasoning is nonsense, of course. When Kerry asked, “Why can’t we keep manufacturing jobs in America?” he asked the wrong question. The right question is, “What is an American job and how can we create one?”

An ‘American job’ is a job that can be performed more productively in America than in some other place. That’s how we 'own' that job, and prevent its 'export'. We don't own it because of government subsidy, which is simply taxing one category of employment to prop up another. Preserving American manufacturing jobs, via grants and tax incentives funded by capital borrowed from China, is not simply a recipe for failure, it's ultimately impossible.

The battle over manufacturing job loss is already over. Though protectionist demagogues would like it otherwise, only about 0.6% of manufacturing job loss correlates with foreign manufacturing. The rest is due to productivity improvement, and if American productivity had not risen - requiring fewer worker-hours to produce a given product - the United States would by now have become a 3rd world country.

If you are not convinced of that, then let’s just legislate away the decline in manufacturing jobs. We’ll decree that all jobs must follow the rules of soccer: You can’t use your hands. This will place us at some competitive disadvantage with the rest of the world, but never mind that, we would need a lot more manufacturing workers to keep production steady.

Manufacturing employment decline is due primarily to productivity increases. It finds a parallel in the decline of agricultural employment. 100 years ago 40% of workers worked in agriculture. If that ratio had continued, 54 million of us would be farmers today. Instead, 25% of Americans are employed in jobs that didn’t exist in 1967. How could we have filled these jobs if farming hadn't become more efficient?

Of approximately 135 million American workers in 2003, around 12% earned a living in manufacturing (vs. 24% in 1970), and fewer than 2.8 million were employed in agriculture. Nonetheless, we lead the world in manufacturing and our agricultural industry places 3rd. We sell more manufactured goods than anybody, and we feed a lot of people everywhere.

So, those manufacturing jobs weren't exported; they ceased to exist - worldwide. Between 1995 and 2002, the world’s 20 largest economies experienced an 11% net loss in manufacturing jobs - a decline of 22 million workers. The United States lost about 2 million manufacturing jobs - also an 11% decline. In that same time frame manufacturing output in those 20 countries increased by 30 percent.

Contemporaneously, China lost 15 million manufacturing jobs - a 15% drop. I guess if the United States hadn't been exporting jobs, China would have lost 17 million.

The only argument left to those in favor of government subsidies seems to be that manufacturing jobs are even more precious now than before all this disruptive productivity improvement. Therefore, governments should heavily subsidize their best-loved manufacturing niche, each government trying to outbid the others. That could be argued, but it is easy to see why it would be just as stupid as subsidizing 54 million of us to be farmers.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

The 44 crimes Oakland can afford

I noted that police in Oakland, California have said they will no longer respond to 44 types of crime after the city was forced to lay off 80 officers for budgetary reasons.  My take; "When the taxpayer suffers significant economic reverses, police and fire protection are among the first services to be threatened by the adminocrat/union axis."

I also speculated that the benefits were probably "Cadillac." Well, RTWT, but here's a look at Oakland police compensation and benefits:

  • total compensation for an OPD employee averages $162,000 per year
  • high end health plan premium paid entirely by the city
  • the city pays the entire pension contribution - 9% of salary and overtime

Update 11:05AM

Why Would 80 Police Officers Cost Oakland $100 Million?

Little noticed in the story of the Oakland police layoffs and the city's ensuing crime spree is that less than six years ago Oaktown voters approved a tax specifically to pay for more cops.
I find this uncomfortably close to a proposal by the Ingham County Commissioners for additonal taxation to continue rural patrols.

Monday, July 19, 2010

Default and battery

Lithicus,

I think this discussion merits more visibility than just an addition to the comment thread on the post wherein I complained (also here) about the subsidization of battery manufacture in Michigan, so I am replying here. 


You wrote:
In a ideal world, government would not get involved in free enterprise. I'm no fan of picking winners and losers either. The invisible hand is far better at that.

But we don't live in a ideal world. Michigan has a strong interest in bringing jobs back to its economy, and encouraging new industries. The federal government has an interest in shifting us away from foreign oil.

If government did nothing, battery production and jobs would stay in Asia. A123 already has production facilities in China and Korea. The only reason they are now expanding in Michigan and Massachusetts is because tax breaks made it economically competitive. That is the unfortunate reality of the non-ideal global economy we live in.

If I understand you correctly, government should remain on the sidelines, do nothing to encourage development of the alternative energy industry or jobs. Am I representing your views correctly?

I am not a shill for corporatists, far from it. I'm simply someone who want [sic] to see us transition to electric vehicles as quickly as possible, and lithium-ion batteries are a technology that makes that possible.

Once it becomes a mass market, battery subsidies will not be required. But at this point government can play a role, can build some roads into the wilderness, can help promote the general welfare.

We are about to see explosive growth in the EV industry, and our elected officials want some of that growth to occur in the US. As much as I would prefer the purity of free markets, I can't fault them for that.
You approvingly refer to Adam Smith. Let me remind you of what that means:

From Book II, Chapter III of The Wealth Of Nations:

It is the highest impertinence and presumption, therefore, in kings and ministers, to pretend to watch over the economy of private people, and to restrain their expence, either by sumptuary laws, or by prohibiting the importation of foreign luxuries. They are themselves always, and without any exception, the greatest spendthrifts in the society. Let them look well after their own expence, and they may safely trust private people with theirs. If their own extravagance does not ruin the state, that of their subjects never will.
Book IV, Chapter I
We do not, however, reckon that trade disadvantageous which consists in the exchange of the hard-ware of England for the wines of France; and yet hard-ware is a very durable commodity, and were it not for this continual exportation, might too be accumulated for ages together, to the incredible augmentation of the pots and pans of the country. But it readily occurs that the number of such utensils is in every country necessarily limited by the use which there is for them; that it would be absurd to have more pots and pans than were necessary for cooking the victuals usually consumed there; and that if the quantity of victuals were to increase, the number of pots and pans would readily increase along with it, apart of the increased quantity of victuals being employed in purchasing them, or in maintaining an additional number of workman whose business it was to make them.
Book IV, Chapter II
By means of glasses, hotbeds, and hotwalls, very good grapes can be raised in Scotland, and very good wine too can be made of them at about thirty times the expense for which at least equally good can be brought from foreign countries. Would it be a reasonable law to prohibit the importation of all foreign wines, merely to encourage the making of claret and burgundy in Scotland?
Book IV, Chapter VIII
It cannot be very difficult to determine who have been the contrivers of this whole mercantile system; not the consumers, we may believe, whose interest has been entirely neglected; but the producers, whose interests has been so carefully attended to; and among this later class our merchants and manufactures have been by far the principal architects. In the mercantile regulations, which have been taken notice of in this chapter, the interest of our manufacturers has been most peculiarly attended to; and the interest, not so much of the consumers, as that of some other sets of producers, has been sacrificed to it.
So. If you misrepresent my views, it is only by not going far enough. I do indeed mean, "If it is less expensive to manufacture batteries in Asia, then that is exactly what should be encouraged."  Adam Smith agrees, and so should you if your objective is to rapidly increase market penetration of electric cars.

What you could be promoting to more effect is the manufacture of nuclear generating stations in order to "fuel" the many electric vehicles you see on the horizon. This could be done by petitioning the general government to get its regulatory house in order so that such plants may be constructed more quickly. (I suggest 'Nucleus' as a handle.)

Imagine the consumer anger if their new electric cars can only be charged on days matching the last number in their license plate - and certainly not at home. Imagine the objections of the Envirostatists if we have to build dozens of coal plants in short order. These are outcomes detrimental to the success of electric vehicles.

You mention that the general government wants to wean us from foreign oil. If this is true it represents nearly half-a-century of failed intervention and wasted treasure.

If this were true we'd be drilling in ANWR and off the coasts of Lake Michigan and Florida, and the regulations for extraction of natural gas from shale deposits would be far less onerous. Your faith in government is, to be charitable, misplaced.

Remember Jimmy Carter's Synfuels Corporation? Congress killed it in 1986 after it consumed several billion dollars in order to produce nothing. This wasteful agency lasted only (?) 6 years, but Carter's legacylation still costs us a billion a year in tax credits.

You appear to imagine that union labor in Michigan can contribute to your goal even though only "tax breaks made it economically competitive". In perpetuity? We already have more than sufficient evidence that this is not a realistic expectation.

You seem to understand that A123 has been involved with government in a dance of extortion and bribery wherein the moral questions are sufficiently, and intentionally, confused so as to excuse both parties from public approbation. This sleight is accomplished via the euphemism "public funding."

If Michigan actually has a "strong interest" in creating jobs, it should let the jobs be created. That is, it should pass right to work legislation, eliminate corporate income tax and cease picking loser after loser.  You might have at least a pragmatic point if a "winner" had ever been selected.  But there's no example.  Let's take subsidies for the film industry...  Sorry, I digress.

Charged against Michigan in the area of "encourag[ing] development of alternate energy," must be the twin debacles of ethanol (local and national bankruptcies abound, while we continue to apply devastating tariffs on Brazilian ethanol) and windmill manufacturing (which represents nothing not easily duplicated at lower cost by those pesky Asians).

So, in the case of batteries, I would like you to tell me how the short-sale of capital to Asian lenders can permanently improve domestic labor prospects. In other words, is borrowing from China to temporarily fund US jobs a good idea? If so, is the assertion that it is a good idea because these are "technology" jobs in a world where technologies are frequently outmoded? Please include your detailed thoughts on this Mackinac Center for Public Policy analysis when replying.

The non-ideal global economy could move closer to the ideal global economy if the government would cease to line the pockets of corporatists at the behest of their lobbyists.

So I, for one, do fault them for that.

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Finding out what's in it

Changing Stance, Administration Now Defends Insurance Mandate as a Tax
When Congress required most Americans to obtain health insurance or pay a penalty, Democrats denied that they were creating a new tax. But in court, the Obama administration and its allies now defend the requirement as an exercise of the government’s “power to lay and collect taxes.”

...“For us to say that you’ve got to take a responsibility to get health insurance is absolutely not a tax increase,” the president said last September,
He forgot to add, "Until we have to defend it in court." Of course, the question is semantic, whatever term is used.

Insurers Push Plans Limiting Patient Choice of Doctors

The relentlessly rising cost of health insurance is prompting some small Massachusetts companies to drop coverage for their workers and encourage them to sign up for state-subsidized care instead,...

Since April 1, the date many insurance contracts are renewed for small businesses, the owners of about 90 small companies terminated their insurance plans with Braintree-based broker Jeff Rich and indicated in a follow-up survey that they were relying on publicly-funded insurance for their employees.

"Publicly-funded" may be the most dangerous phrase in the English language. Of course, you'll be able to keep your doctor and your current health insurance under a Federal plan. The president said so.

Lost in Taxation

[W]ith ObamaCare, the agency [IRS] is now responsible for "the most extensive social benefit program the IRS has been asked to implement in recent history." And without "sufficient funding" it won't be able to discharge these new duties...

Well, well. Republicans argued during the health debate that the IRS would have to hire hundreds of new agents and staff to enforce ObamaCare. They were brushed off by Democrats and the press corps as if they believed the President was born on the moon.
No. That's Hawaii.

I can't wait to find out what's in the financial "reform" legislation.

Saturday, July 17, 2010

We're well shut of Lee Bollinger

Not that that has materially improved the intellectual diversity of the University of Michigan.  Still, Bollinger's recent plea to bail out print media, at least, won't be associated with UofM.

Via PajamasMedia and Frank J. Tipler: Columbia U.’s Bollinger Oblivious on MSM Bailout 

His argument is so obviously false that he himself, in his own article, cannot avoid providing the facts needed to refute it. For example, Bollinger writes:
There are examples of other institutions in the U.S. where state support does not translate into official control. The most compelling are our public universities
RTWT

Apparently, Bollinger has no clue why Hillsdale College does not accept any money from the Feds. 

Bailing out any media is a violation of the First Amendment.

Batteries are very expensive

It isn't just LG Chem, the South Korean company mentioned yesterday, getting free money for making batteries that the market obviously doesn't want. It's also A123 Systems, based in Massachusetts.
In 2009, the [Michigan] Legislature authorized $100 million "refundable" business tax credits for both A123 Systems and LG Chem.* "Refundable" means that the state will send the companies a check for however much of the credit remains after it cancels any Michigan Business Tax liability.

...According to documents it filed with the federal Securities and Exchange Commission, Massachusetts-based A123 Systems is the beneficiary of a raft of other tax breaks and subsidies provided by Michigan taxpayers, including an outright $10 million grant authorized in March of 2009, another $4 million grant in the form of forgiveness for a state loan, a $2 million "marketing" grant, and as much as $25 million in additional tax credits depending on how many workers it hires, up to a maximum of 300 jobs.
Why not just give the money to 300 individuals? They could invest their share and never have to work. Their investment decisions would be better than those of the government and would thereby create more jobs.

Friday, July 16, 2010

The Warping of Constitutional Space

Theblogprof notes that Obama visited our fair state yesterday to bolster Jennie's chances for re-election... What? Term limited?   Oh.  Right.

Well, maybe the President needed the practice.  Democrats who are running for office this fall can't risk close association with him.  How he risks association with Ms Granholm is explained by the fact that he's not up for re-election until 2012, by which time no one will admit to remembering her name, and that he polls even worse than she does.

Anyway, the point of the Presidential trip was less about jobs than to trumpet a federal subsidy for the possible opening of a South Korean manufacturing business making batteries possibly to be sold in automobiles for which foreseeable demand ranges from minuscule to non-existent.  

It wasn't about jobs.  It was about the power of the federal government to dispense money and its dedication to a fantasy world.  Despite the fact that jobs remain hard to find for the unemployed, the feds can find them easily and everywhere.  Moreover, they can magically connect those jobs to their own efforts and expenditure.

The job salvation/creation program has to get its numbers somewhere, and lately it's been very light on the creation side of the messianic equation, so why not borrow jobs from the future? The theblogprof's complaint:
A $151.4 million giveaway for the possibility of 300 jobs - sometime in the future. That amounts to $504,667 per promised future job.
...means he's missing the President's more nuanced point: Temporal job creation shifting.

Since the science of temporal job shifting is uncertain, it could turn out to be only 151 jobs.  Or none.  Though I guess that's been the President's point for as long as he's been talking about jobs.  Who knows, right?  Well, I think I do.  It's related to his interpretation of Einstein's theory of relativity.  

I got A's in high school physics and have read quite a bit since, so let me try to explain the President's thinking.  It isn't simple, even for me, so you'll have to concentrate here just a bit.  

There is some background that can help. It can found in a paper described to the WaPo by David Axelrod as one that Obama "worked on with [Harvard professor] Larry Tribe" which deals with "the legal implications of Einstein's theory of relativity."  While you can download a copy here, for our purposes all you need know, fortunately, is the title: The Curvature of Constitutional Space.  Says a lot, doesn't it?

In the interests of fairness and balance, let us note there are critics (with PhDs in physics) who suggest that if the paper proves anything, it would be that Professor Tribe and student Obama brought to it an abysmal ignorance of physics. 

Still, you need be concerned with neither legal nor physical questions.   Here is the condensed version of how Obama's thinking applies to a Korean owned battery factory in that universe where, like ours, the rules of law may be suspended by executive fiat but where physical reality is, ah, somewhat different from our own:

  1. There could be as many as 300 new private-sector jobs sometime in the future - at a cost of $500,000 each.
  2. There could be none - at a cost of $151 million.
  3. There could even be less than none, because we are redistributing a lot of money that could otherwise have been invested by individual Americans in businesses of their choice and/or in products they want today.
  4. From the foregoing, it is clear that we could lose many other jobs if we do not spend $500,000 for every job we are not certain we will create in the future.
  5. Assume many equals 4.
  6. If the government spends $500,000 to create each potential future private sector job when it could, instead, have given a $500,000 tax cut for every job actually created in present time - we will all be better off.  (At the very least, there will be many new positions in Federal government regulatory agencies.)
  7. Finally, if we lose the 4 jobs we assumed in point 5 we would lose (4x300) 1200 jobs.
From this, it becomes simple: Creating 0 jobs = 0. Losing 1200 jobs = -1200. By creating 0 jobs for a mere $151 million, the government has actually offered salvation to 1200 jobs.  Whoa!?  So maybe theblogprof was right in the first place.  It was about jobs.  Well, you can't tell until you do the alternate universe math.

Even so, the thing I don't understand is why the president didn't hold out for China to get the free money (in reference to the US$ I use the term money in an increasingly loose fashion every time I say it). Surely we need China's good will more than that of the South Koreans.  I mean, the Feds are so good at trading with South Korea that we already have them paying less than half the cost of maintaining the 25,000 US soldiers, sailors and Marines we deploy to defend their country.


So, let's build those batteries, because $151 million used to be a terrible thing to waste.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Wallflower at the 10-Step Dance

Victor Davis Hanson - A Ten-Step Reset Regimen for the President

The NRA and Senator Reid

The NRA is waffling conflicted about whether to endorse Senator Harry Reid for re-election.  I have sent the following letter to express my disapproval:
I understand the argument the NRA is making regarding Senate Majority Harry Reid and I reject it as cynical in the utmost. Senator Reid may support the 2nd Amendment, but no one in the Senate has done more to trash the remaining 9 in the Bill of Rights.

I am not a single issue voter and I fear neither Charles Schumer nor Dick Durbin as Majority Leader precisely because I have confidence in candidates like Sharon Angle and in the NRA. Please confirm my confidence in the NRA by rejecting Senator Reid.

If the NRA endorses Harry Reid you will lose me as a member. I will be able to say, "No, I did not belong to any organization which supported the man who called the War on Terror 'lost,' jammed the biggest entitlement in history through the Senate using immoral means, denied that any illegal immigrants are employed in Nevada's construction industry, called George Bush a liar, and can generally only be regarded as a nefarious hyper-partisan liar himself."

I urge you to endorse Ms Angle. While a non-endorsement is preferable to an endorsement of Senator Reid, it would still cause me to do some serious thinking about my membership.
YMMV

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

See no evil. Hear no evil. But, hey, send us an online report.

Suffer These Crimes in Oakland? Don't Call the Cops
[Oakland, CA Police] Chief Anthony Batts listed exactly 44 situations that his officers will no longer respond to and they include grand theft, burglary, car wrecks, identity theft and vandalism. He says if you live and Oakland and one of the above happens to you, you need to let police know on-line.
Other crimes where Oakland Police are saying "don't call us, we'll call you" include:
  • possession of forged notes [I think that means counterfeit currency]
  • pass fictitious check
  • obtain money by false voucher
  • fraudulent use of access cards
And two items that just had to be on the list of crimes to which Oakland Police will not respond:
  • extortion
  • attempted extortion
That last makes eminent sense, since it would be unseemly for Oakland police to suppress attempted extortion, when they are collaborating with the City government to practice it. 

So, to all the Progressives out there who natter incessantly, "Well, do those small government tea party fools want to go without police protection?": You're trumped. When the taxpayer suffers significant economic reverses, police and fire protection are among the first services to be threatened by the adminocrat/union axis:

The sticking point in negotiations appears to be job security. The city council asked OPD officers to pay nine percent of their salary toward their pensions, which would save the city about $7.8 million toward a multi-million dollar deficit. The police union agreed, as long as the city could promise no layoffs for three years.
What do you bet those are 'defined benefit' and not 'defined contribution' pensions? I'll give even odds that the pensions, as currently constituted, pay 75% of highest (or last) salary and do so for life after 30 years service.  I'll bet the retirees also have high-quality health insurance coverage, and that it costs them little to nothing.


Oakland residents can hope that they will not experience any of the recent unrest going forward, because:
Most of the officers who will be affected by the layoffs were on the streets of Oakland when Johannes Mehserle's involuntary manslaughter conviction caused riots last Thursday.
And they won't be next time because they couldn't get 3 year employment guarantees.  Oh well, if they didn't get such guarantees in exchange for contributing a piddling amount to pensions compared to private sector employees, in order to obtain superb benefits unavailable to private sector employees, then I guess they'll just have to find happiness in not being on the streets during the next riot.

Locally, there is a parallel:  Ingham County is threatening to withdraw rural police patrols unless rural residents vote to pay more taxes specifically for the Ingham County Sheriff's Department. County Comissioners seem to be saying, "The contract is up, and we are raising our prices for policing, for rural residents only."  There has been no cogent explanation of how this essential service came to be on the chopping block compared to other services "offered" by the County.  There's been no suggestion of an across the board cut in spending, for example.  That suggestion failed to materialize even while part-time employees of the County Road Commission continue to have Cadillac health insurance benefits and a few County employees recently received 20% raises.  Match that in the private sector.


I wonder just what what part of "County" the Ingham County Commissioners fail to grasp? What is the point of the Ingham County Sheriff's Department if it does not patrol the County, and where is my tax cut when the County ceases to provide services for which I contracted? 

Apparently, my savings are in the Commissioners concession to forgo raising my taxes if I give up the service.  I don't like their attitude, so the question of replacing the ICSD in toto should be on our ballot.  Ingham County can submit a bid.

When local governments ante up on the protection racket, it increasingly seems you'd be better off on your own.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

In the news?

John Hinderaker - Eric Holder's Buddy
The biggest scandal in the news these days is the explicitly racist law enforcement policy that has been adopted by the Department of Justice under Eric Holder.
Well, I don't know about "in the news," but the rest of that sentence is correct.

Day by Day

If you enjoy Day by Day and want to encourage Chris Muir to continue publishing it, you can do so here.

Monday, July 12, 2010

Results count

J. Christian Adams relates yet another DOJ action with racially biased results. I state it this way because Mr. Adams takes some care to say he does not mean the DOJ is racist:
Let’s get one thing straight: enforcing voting laws in a racially unfair way is not necessarily racist. Just because some are hostile to equal enforcement of the law does not mean that racism lurks in their hearts. Judge Alex Kozinski wrote of this distinction in a voting rights case, Garza v. Los Angeles. Simply, one can take actions which intentionally harm someone because of their race even if the actor does not hold racial animus in their heart towards that race. The intentional action, such as not equally enforcing the law, is racially discriminatory, even if it is not motivated by racism. Thus, I have never claimed that the unequal enforcement of these voting laws means anyone at the Justice Department is racist, as some have lazily characterized my columns. This is obviously a rhetorical snare laid by the defenders of the Department’s unequal enforcement policies — a snare Judge Kozinski’s thoughtful opinion allows reasonable people to entirely avoid.
I disagree.  I do not think the intentions are exculpatory of the results, here no more than they are for statist policies in general.  Claiming you meant to make health care cheap and universal does not excuse making it more expensive and less effective, for example.

Even under Mr. Adams formulation, however, we can say that when President Barack Obama's Department of Justice employs Julie Fernandes to call for ignoring voter ID laws, ignores Ike Brown's ugly tactics and drops the Philly New Black Panthers case, it is acting in a racist manner.

Mr. Adams formerly was employed by the Voting Rights Section at the U.S. Department of Justice. His website is here, should you wish further insight into the workings of the Obama/Holder DOJ.

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Learning from Canada

The Truth, If You Can Stand To Read It

TOC has noted many instances where Canada serves as a bad example, and a few where we should follow our Northern neighbor's lead. This is one of the latter, and it's a big one.

H/T Small Dead Animals

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Bernie Sanders is not surprised

55 Percent of Likely Voters Find ‘Socialist’ an Accurate Label of Obama?

Fair enough, but given the Cambridge Police/Professor Gates incident, Obama's description of his grandmother as a "typical white person," his 20 years in an overtly racist church, his chumminess with Louis Farrakhan and, importantly, the Black Panther/DOJ voter intimidation scandal now in progress - I'd like to see a poll about "racist."

Difficulties abound.  Since we've been told by the MSM and the Democrats that 'socialist' is a racist codeword when applied to Obama, designing the polling questions would be very difficult. 


Consider: If the codeword claim is accurate, then fifty-five percent of Americans are racists; QED. We can therefore speculate that, at least for Obama partisans, more than fifty-five percent of Americans think Obama is a racist, because 1) fifty-five percent is now a racism baseline and, 2) there have to be a few people who don't think Obama is a socialist, but would say that he is a racist.

Thursday, July 08, 2010

A Circle of Wagons

Britain's University of East Anglia hired some experts to examine possible scientific misconduct by scientists employed at Britain's University of East Anglia Climate Research Unit. The investigation was mounted when a slew of internal emails cast doubt on the scientists' theories and characters.

What is not in question: The University of East Anglia CRU scientists had consistently refused to share their data or methods, had arranged for computer programs to be written to manipulate that data in ways favorable to their predetermined conclusions, had conspired to prevent alternate views from publication and, thereby, had generally dismissed the scientific method.

Nonetheless, the experts hired by the University of East Anglia to examine the practices of the scientists hired by the University of East Anglia reported that the core of global-warming research conducted by the scientists was on the up-and-up:

The issue involved an effort to reconstruct the climate history of the past several thousand years using indirect indicators like the size of tree rings and the growth rate of corals. The C.R.U. researchers, leaders in that type of work, were trying in 1999 to produce a long-term temperature chart that could be used in a United Nations publication. [The very IPCC publication whose errors become increasingly rife with age.]

But they were dogged by a problem: Since around 1960, for mysterious reasons, trees have stopped responding to temperature increases in the same way they apparently did in previous centuries. If plotted on a chart, tree rings from 1960 forward appear to show declining temperatures, something that scientists know from thermometer readings is not accurate.

Most scientific papers have dealt with this problem by ending their charts in 1960 or by grafting modern thermometer measurements onto the historical reconstructions.
It is true that most scientific papers followed that dogma. The authors of "most" papers were, of course, kowtowing to the East Anglia potentates and the funding thereby determined. 


CRU gurus were not mystified by trees that suddenly "stopped responding to temperature increases in the same way they apparently did in previous centuries" because the "science was settled."  They didn't wonder why their best guesses about global temperatures circa 1100AD - extrapolated from the width of growth rings in half-a-dozen tree fossils from Siberia - failed to agree with modern metrics.  If the data did not fit the theory, the data was the problem.  They just changed it.  The comments in the computer programs are definitive.


The East Anglia scientists said "Hide the decline," and the review panel agreed.   In the former case it was about climate models.  In the latter, about the integrity of science.

Wednesday, July 07, 2010

AZ to DC

A letter I would like Governor Brewer to send to President Obama.

Mr. President,

Yesterday you elected to sue the State of Arizona, claiming that our enforcement of an Arizona law will impede Federal enforcement of a nearly identical Federal law.

We are disappointed. We hoped you would welcome the assistance, since the general government has clearly not been up to the task for quite some time. You, sir, have called our law unenforceable. I must presume you have taken your own advice on this matter, since you do not even attempt the enforcement which is your responsibility as head of the Executive Branch of the United States.  One wonders how our unenforceable law can conflict with a law not being enforced.

We are surprised. The suit contains no mention of civil rights violations despite many recent speeches wherein you have subtly impugned over 60% of Americans and over 70% of Arizonans as racists. But you do not charge that Arizona intends to discriminate against any entity – except the general government, and only then where it has proved incompetent. 

We find it ironic. This suit comes while your Justice Department is coming under siege for punting on a voter intimidation case because of the perpetrators' race.

Sadly, we find it consistent. Your response to the oil spewing into the Gulf of Mexico has been characterized by picayune regulation and fawning to special interests. Among other items, I refer to the EPA and Coast Guard interference with skimmers and your personal refusal to offend your union friends by suspending the Jones Act.  Oh, and I already mentioned incompetent.

You cannot think my reference to race gratuitous, since it was your claim against Arizona, though you've wisely dropped it; political purpose accomplished. You may, however, object to any comparison with the oil spill. Let me tie it together for you: There is a hole in the seabed in the Gulf. There is a hole in our border with Mexico. Mr. President –
Plug the Damn Holes!

With
All Due Respect,

Jan Brewer

Governor of the Great State of Arizona

Rusted shut

Michael Steele, chairman of the Republican National Committee on the Battle of Afghanistan:
This was a war of Obama's choosing. This is not something the United States has actively prosecuted or wanted to engage in.
I have called for Mr. Steele's resignation in the past for lesser transgressions, but this transcendent, revisionist, venal idiocy must be the clarion call for the RNC. 

No man possessed of this degree of tone deaf hyper-partisan ignorance should occupy any position, much less one of prominence, in any political capacity. Far from disrupting RNC strategy, if there is any, and light-years away from confusing voters; Mr. Steele's firing would unify and encourage all voters not mind-melded to Obamunism. If Mr. Steele continues as head of the RNC it will speak volumes about the GOP.  

We have alternatives.

Tuesday, July 06, 2010

Drudgery

Matt Drudge reports: "BIG SIS BLOCKS WEBSITES WITH 'CONTROVERSIAL OPINIONS',"  hinting that Janet Napolitano is censoring the internet.  Napolitano is mostly incompetent, but in this case that burden falls entirely on Drudge. 

The story under the less misleading headline to which Drudge links: TSA to Block "Controversial Opinion" on the Web, makes it apparent that the blocking is being performed on government owned computer systems used by TSA employees:
The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) is blocking certain websites from the federal agency's computers, including halting access by staffers to any Internet pages that contain a "controversial opinion," according to an internal email obtained by CBS News.
I suppose misleading hyberbole gets hits and generates them for the CBS site, but I support "Big Sis" in blocking whatever sites are distracting TSA workers FROM DOING WHAT THEY ARE PAID TO DO!

If an employee was making dozens of hours of personal long distance phone calls on the employer's dime, no one would find the employer's objection exceptional. Why is there an assumed right to be paid to surf the net using an employer's capital investment while also risking that employer's reputation and intellectual property?  Especially for Federal employees?

For example, I doubt that the financial crisis would have been mitigated if the SEC had had the sense and technology to prohibit senior employees from visiting naughty.com, skankwire and youporn, but the agency would have been spared the embarrassment of public disclosure of what SEC employees making $100 to $200 thousand per annum think of the people whose taxes pay for their time, their offices, their benefits, their computers and their networks.

One senior attorney at SEC headquarters in Washington spent up to eight hours a day accessing Internet porn, according to the report, which has yet to be released. When he filled all the space on his government computer with pornographic images, he downloaded more to CDs and DVDs that accumulated in boxes in his offices.

An SEC accountant attempted to access porn websites 1,800 times in a two-week period and had 600 pornographic images on her computer hard drive.

Another SEC accountant used his SEC-issued computer to upload his own sexually explicit videos onto porn websites he joined.

And another SEC accountant attempted to access porn sites 16,000 times in a single month.
Sixteen thousand attempts to access prurient content from your employers' computer systems is a firing offense if only because of the time required to make the attempts, whether you succeeded or not. 

So give me a break Matt.  All surfing using employer provided infrastructure should be monitored.  Excessive personal use and any potentially embarrassing, possibly infectious or illegal internet access should be prohibited by policy and blocked by every technological means available.  The once and future Soviets still have agents here.  Do you not think Putin is planting trojans when you visit russianpussy.gov?

As far as controversial opinions go, visit The Other Club and WhiteHouse.gov on your breaks, if your employer permits.  Don't download or upload huge files or look at lots of streaming video - it steals bandwidth from your employer and thereby affects your customers' experience.

Sunday, July 04, 2010

A Letter to Senator Lindsey Graham

Senator Graham: Congratulations on the recent glowing articles in Time, The New York Times, and Huffington Post. It seems that with all that, a little criticism from ordinary folks ought roll off your back. But I guess not. We are familiar with your habit of disparaging conservative Republicans like Sharon Angle of Nevada, while praising the likes of President Obama and the late Ted Kennedy. But it is your recent lamentation on the “Tea Party” that rankles.

Have you contemplated just what makes up the object of your scorn? We are ordinary Americans who have worked, saved, nourished our children, paid taxes, and in many cases fought for our families, our freedom, and our country. We have seen our ravenous, corrupt government grow to unimaginable size and power, while trampling on our freedom and confiscating the property of our grandchildren.

You state that we will “die out” because we “don’t have a coherent vision for governing the country”. Neither did George Washington. Yet he fought against tyranny at long odds and with few comforts for seven long years. During the final years of the War of Independence he contemplated virtue. Having long believed that the essence of personal virtue was bravery, he came to understand that the essence of institutional virtue was fiscal responsibility. Can you, Senator, claim your “vision for governing” is virtuous?

Your most gratuitous and fatuous claim is that “Ronald Reagan would have a hard time getting elected as a Republican today.” Ronald Wilson Reagan was our generation’s George Washington. It is to our shame that we did not rise up and more visibly support him when he was being undermined by your beloved New York Times, Time, Tip O’Neill, and Ted Kennedy. If he were to come upon the stage today, we would step off our tractors, turn off our computers, close our tool boxes, take up our children or grandchildren in our arms and go to him at once.

Jefferson

Thomas Jefferson wrote these timeless words about Liberty:
We hold these truths to be self-evident: that all men are created equal; that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights; that among these are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.
He also wrote other words, and we may imagine their current application.

On our present General Government:

Whenever a man has cast a longing eye on offices, a rottenness begins in his conduct.

Our country is now taking so steady a course as to show by what road it will pass to destruction, to wit: by consolidation of power first, and then corruption, its necessary consequence.

I predict future happiness for Americans if they can prevent the government from wasting the labors of the people under the pretense of taking care of them.

To compel a man to furnish funds for the propagation of ideas he disbelieves and abhors is sinful and tyrannical.
On the personal responsibility of free men:
It is incumbent on every generation to pay its own debts as it goes. A principle which if acted on would save one-half the wars of the world.

Timid men prefer the calm of despotism to the tempestuous sea of liberty.

The spirit of resistance to government is so valuable on certain occasions that I wish it to be always kept alive.

It takes time to persuade men to do even what is for their own good.

It behooves every man who values liberty of conscience for himself, to resist invasions of it in the case of others: or their case may, by change of circumstances, become his own.

Do you want to know who you are? Don't ask. Act! Action will delineate and define you.
Happy Independence Day.

Saturday, July 03, 2010

Not shocked

USAToday has run a "Tea Party" story notable mostly for hewing to the MSM narrative, at the expense of more um... "nuanced" reporting.  For example:
They [tea party supporters] are overwhelmingly white and Anglo, although a scattering of Hispanics, Asian Americans and African Americans combine to make up almost one-fourth of their ranks.

...77% are non-Hispanic whites.
It would be nice if more non-non-Hispanics and non-whites could appreciate their own long term interests, but 23% is about 23 times the minority tea party support the MSM has been implying.

When you consider that 90% of Blacks and 70% of Hispanics vote Democrat in lockstep and describe themselves as Liberal you should recognize that "a scattering" is better defined by those Hispanics and Blacks who vote other than Democrat. When you combine the constant, if false, charges of racism against the tea parties, the issue of illegal immigration, the desire to protect race-based preferences and nearly a century's promotion of dependence on the general government, it's amazing there are any Blacks or Hispanics who identify with the tea partiers.

So, it should be shocking to the MSM that, according to the Census Bureau, the percentage of "white persons not Hispanic" who support the tea party concept is but 11% higher than that of the general population.

The headline could have been, "Shocked, shocked!  Tea Party only 77% racist."