Sunday, April 26, 2009

Obama's First 100 Days

This, from the April 24, Kiplinger Letter...

A mixed report card for the president’s first three months in office.

His biggest success: Building confidence. For the first time in years, a majority of Americans think the country is headed in the right direction. Obama’s convinced the public he’s serious about change, and has moved rapidly on a dozen fronts. Moreover, he’s followed through on several key promises: Changing policies on stem cells, interrogation techniques and the war in Iraq. Plus he won congressional approval for an economic stimulus bill in record time.

But he stumbled on appointments, is still struggling with bank policy, angered the right for being too willing to apologize abroad for past U.S. actions, swelled the deficit and is getting nowhere with Pakistan, Iran and North Korea.

He’s willing to compromise...which makes him appear weak to some, though flexible to others.

And he’s made no progress developing bipartisanship.

Expect Obama to continue to offer bold ideas and to switch gears quickly when he hears a better one…or if it becomes clear that opposition is too great. The ranking of his priorities will remain fluid, shifting as problems ebb and flow.

Ultimately, his success depends on the economy…how soon it recovers, how much it grows…though Afghanistan and Pakistan may prove decisive, too.

Hypocrisy At It's Best (or Worst)

This was passed on to numerous people by a friend iof mine in response to a post in this space suggesting politicians be required to wear uniforms similar to NASCAR, so all the voters know who is financing them. I thought it was worth sharing...

Why does this not surprise me?

A friend who publishes the local business journal suggests that politicians be required to wear sponsors' badges, like NASCAR drivers.

I would take it one step further and require that when a politician appears on TV pitching a cause, that an accompanying subtitle be inserted on the screen telling us how much money they received from that interest; when they push a teachers' bill, up comes the PAC and other money they accepted.

I suspect this would bring end to what I believe is the nearly total buying out of politicians.

We need to see how much money they accepted, what their vested, and other, interests are.

It's sickening and I have no reason to doubt what is stated below.

No more Star Kist Tuna for me .....

Snopes validated the facts below

Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi's home district includes San Francisco. Star-Kist Tuna's headquarters are in San Francisco, Pelosi's home district.

Star-Kist is owned by Del Monte Foods and is a major contributor to Pelosi. Star-Kist is the major employer in American Samoa employing 75 percent of the Samoan work force. Paul Pelosi, Nancy 's husband, owns $17 million dollars of Star-Kist stock. In January, 2007 when the minimum wage was increased from $5.15 to $7.25, Pelosi had American Samoa exempted from the increase so Del Monte would not have to pay the higher wage. This would make Del Monte products less expensive than that of its competitors.

Last week when the huge bailout bill was passed, Pelosi added an earmark to the final bill adding $33 million dollars for an "economic development credit in American Samoa" Pelosi has called the Bush Administration "CORRUPT" and many other things !!!

How do you spell "HYPOCRISY?" She's shameless!!!

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Would Boeing REALLY leave?

I just read a piece by Jon Talton in the Seattle Times where he seems to want to call Boeing's bluff about pulling up stakes on its manufacturing operation and heading for the warmer — both weatherwise as well as business friendly — climate of the right-to-work southern states. Places like South Carolina, Alabama, and Mississippi are all gearing up to compete to lure our state's largest manufacturer.

Meanwhile our Governor and Legislature continue to pass more anti-business legislation as a matter of course.

Is it just me, or are they completely clueless?

Boeing has been asking for a more competitive business climate since I've lived here — which is almost 35 years now. Location IS A CHOICE for major manufacturing corporations. We offer very little in the way reasons for major manufacturing companies like Boeing to remain here — and less every day the legislature is in session.

Each Boeing job supports more than three other jobs. Boeing leaving — whch could happen as soon as 2020 according to more than one report — would cost the state approximately 285,000 total jobs.

You can demonize Boeing, and the southern right-to-work states that will do what's necessary to entice those 285,000 jobs, all you want. But the bottom line is, if you think this state has financial problems now, just take those jobs away and all the sales tax revenue they generate, combined with 285,000 more people drawing the highest unemployment compensation in the nation, and see how much worse it gets.

Its time the Legislature and the Governor to wake up and smell the Starbucks. Someone in Olympia needs to take the time to actually do the math on the possibility of 285,000 more unemployed, and start listening more to the pro-business groups who want to save those jobs, and less to the strident labor unions who simply want "more," as well as the vocal environmental extremists who care more about trees than they do about workers and their families.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Why An Income Tax Is a Bad Idea For Washington

Senator Rosa Franklin (D-Tacoma), penned an editorial in the Kitsap Sun explaining why we need to enact an income tax. I am philosophically opposed to an income tax, but don't disagree that major tax reform is needed in this state.

That said, the state doesn't have a revenue problem. It has a spending problem. Even in this dismal economy, the state will take in substantially more in this biennium than it did in the last one. The problem is, it is still spending more than it's taking in.

Let's try trimming the taxes and onerous regulations that impede the ability of businesses to be successful and create private sector jobs — which would also mean trimming some of those almost 20,000 new state employees that have been hired in the Locke and Gregoire administrations. This alone would have a major positive impact on the budget. The problem is, so many of our legislators — not to mention the governor — are held hostage by the campaign contributions they've accepted from the powerful state employee unions.

The bottom line is legislators have flaunted the will of the people for so long, so many times, over so many issues, that voters simply have no trust in their ability to do what's right for the majority of the people — not just the special interests that bankroll their re-election.

If people trusted the legislature to not come back and break its promises to not raise taxes it would either eliminate or reduce if an income tax were enacted, this might gain some tracton with voters. The problem is, they have proven over and over that we can't, and voters are unwilling to take a chance the legislature will make their individual situations worse, not better. Based on their track record, can you blame them?

Wednesday, April 08, 2009

Legislature Trying To Rein In Sonntag

I have to wonder why, in its infinite budgeting wisdom, the State Legislature is attempting to take half the money from State Auditor Brian Sonntag's office and use it for other agencies and projects. Hard to believe, I know, but Sonntag, who keeps getting re-elected by huge margins, is perhaps this state's most trusted elected official — someone more trusted than even our Governor. Go figure...

Sonntag's performance audit program has proven to save taxpayers $10 for every tax dollar his department spends doing its job. Watching our tax dollars so diligently — which was mandated by statewide public initiative — has naturally made Sonntag less than the most popular guy at agencies like WSDOT, the Port of Seattle, my personal favorite, Sound Transit, as well as most other public and quasi-public agencies. It's also no big secret that the powerful public-employee union and education lobbyists strongly resent his watchdog approach to wasteful spending.

Governor Christine Gregoire publicly supports fellow Democrat Sonntag, while behind the scenes working in concert with key legislators to rein in his authority and budget.

Sonntag termed "absolutely unacceptable" both House and Senate budget proposals that would take $15 million in performance-audit funds — more than half of the revenue voters permanently designated for performance audits — from the State Auditor, and redirect them to self-auditing programs directed by the Governor's office and the Legislature. Sonntag called the proposals, "nothing short of an assault on what citizens expect the state to do when they gave us the authority and the funding stream to carry it out."

Whisteblowers like Sonntag aren't very popular with elected and appointed officials who prefer operating in the shadows away from public scrutiny. This is hardball dirty politics — not to mention downright fiscal stupidity — at work. The legislature should not be allowed to get away with this assault on financial accountability. Call or email your legislator today and tell them so.

Wednesday, April 01, 2009

Breaking News — Obama Resigns, Enlists in Peace Corps

Saying he is walking his talk, President Barack Obama has resigned from the Presidency, effective April 1, moved his family out of the White House and enlisted in the Peace Corps, circa 1969.

In response to the seemingly shocking transition to citizen volunteerism, pundits at CNN, Fox and MSNBC said they saw it coming and said they saw the foreshadowing on the wall when they detected a subtle secret code word slipped into all 70 of candidate Obama’s campaign paraphernalia: The word: CHANGE!

Fox News’ prime time heavyweight Bill O’Really responded to the surprise move, saying, “No surprise here. I simply applied one day for each of bumper stickers, yard signs and billboards and deduced that on day 70 of his term, Barack would simply pack his bags and join the Peace Corps or at least the Americorps. What else could he do?”

MSNBC’s Keith Uberman responded to the stunning move, stating, “Friedrich Nietzsch spelled it out for us on January 3, 1889 during what historical revisionists called a psychotic break. What really happened was Nietzsch simply had a vision just 24 years after the conclusion of the Civil War that in exactly 120 years, or 144 years from the end of the Civil War, a future global superpower with wings of eagles would see a freed slave elevated to lead that nation to embrace more changes in one month than the prior millennium, with no need to finish his term. Actually, it’s quite elementary!”

CNN’s Larry Bling said, “When I interviewed Barack and saw the way he eyeballed my suspenders, winking at me with that sly smile that he was saying he was about to suspend his campaign. After all, we know that 90% percent of all communication in nonverbal!”

But Enquiring-minded Americans, not content hearing hearsay from irrationally exuberant Lush Rimbaugh or Schlosh Hannity, and wanting to hear about the unprecedented move from the former President, locked arms across Pennsylvania Avenue, trapping the exiting Volkswagen Bus, forcing the former First Lady to stop the vehicle, allowing the populist former President to speak. Standing by the van, flashing a peace sign to the adoring crowds, Citizen Obama spoke but a single Orswellian word: “Rosebud.”

Happy April Fools Day :)

News release courtesy of Special Guests

Happy Birthday To Us

Wet Apple Media celebrates 30 years in business today!

The Kitsap Peninsula Business Journal celebrates 21 years of continuous publication today as well.

No April Fools joke — it was my warped sense of humor that made me select today in both cases.