Monday, August 15, 2011

Where Are The Jobs?

President Obama has finally promised to give us his vision of a plan to increase employment in this country. Only problem is... his vision will not be forthcoming until the end of summer.

The question is, will the Republicans kill the plan by blocking it in the House or will they kill it by use of the unconstitutional fake filibuster in the Senate?

One way or the other, any program proposed by the President will be Dead on Arrival, courtesy of his Republican opponents.

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Sunday, August 14, 2011

The Killer Iowans

Well, the good people arrogant yokels of Iowa, who feel like it's their God-given right to be first in the presidential nominating process each and every four years, have murdered the candidacy of Tim Pawlenty.

It's sad that folks in the 47 states who for decades haven't hadn't a say in who the Republican nominee is, (Like it or not, the truth is that those few who live in Iowa, New Hampshire, and South Carolina get to decide for the rest of us who the Republican nominee is) won't get to hear Pawlenty's message.

As they have so many times before, Iowa's self-righteous rustics have saved all the rest of us from having to make the decision about whether or not a presidential wannabee had anything to offer the 95% of us who do not live in those three puny states.

On a positive note, it looks as though top-tier candidate Michele Bachmann is going to have to pretend to enjoy eating rube-food for at least a few more months.






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Thursday, May 19, 2011

Lottery Winner Gets Food Stamps

Have you heard about Leroy Fick?
A Michigan man who won $2 million in a state lottery game continues to collect food stamps 11 months after striking it rich.

And there's nothing the state can do about it, at least for now.

Leroy Fick, 59, of Auburn won $2 million in the state lottery TV show "Make Me Rich!" last June. But the state's Department of Human Services determined he was still eligible for food stamps, Fick's attorney, John Wilson of Midland, said Tuesday.

Eligibility for food stamps is based on gross income and follows federal guidelines; lottery winnings are considered liquid assets and don't count as income. As long as Fick's gross income stays below the eligibility requirement for food stamps, he can receive them, even if he has a million dollars in the bank.

Food stamps are paid for through tax dollars and are meant to help support low-income families.

"If you're going to try to make me feel bad, you're not going to do it," Fick told WNEM-TV in Saginaw on Monday.

Wilson said Fick told the DHS officials he'd won $2 million but was told he could keep using the Bridge Card issued to him to buy groceries.

Fick could not be reached for comment Tuesday.

Al Kimichik, director of the office of inspector general for DHS, said the department could not comment on individual cases but that it this week began the process of requesting a waiver from the federal government to close the lottery loophole. If it is granted, assets would be counted in determining food stamp eligibility.

Though the food stamp program is federal and states must follow U.S. guidelines, states sometimes request waivers of rules. Michigan was granted a waiver recently to stop college students from qualifying for food stamps.

"For Leroy Fick to continue to use a Bridge Card, paid for by the taxpayers, after winning the lottery, is obscene," said Sen. Rick Jones, R-Grand Ledge. "What a waste of taxpayer money."

Jones contacted DHS officials Monday about Fick's case, and was told the department's hands were tied by federal regulations.

"There is no liquid asset requirement for getting food stamps," Jones said. "The department is asking the federal government for an immediate change (in policy). They're hoping this case will help the federal government act."

Until then, Fick can collect food stamps and keep his lottery winnings in the bank.

"I am not going to sit and debate the ethics of this," Wilson said. "But from his standpoint, he did what he was supposed to do -- he informed the state, and the state said he could keep using the card. The problem is with the state."

I guess working hard for a living and paying our taxes is just something for those of us who are too naive to figure-out a way of getting money for nothing.

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Saturday, March 26, 2011

Time Warner Cable Sucks!

Even though my take-home pay as a public school classroom teacher has gone down for each of the past four years, (soon to be five) Time Warner Cable continues to increase their fees every six months or so.

It's now gone up another 5%.

Long ago we gave up our H.B.O. and all other so-called "premium" services.

We're now down to Time Warner's basic package, which they have the nerve to call "Classic Cable." And since we live in a desert wasteland, going without some sort of cable television isn't really a viable option.

Time Warner Cable screws our family out of $68.53 each and every month.

That's over $822.00 per year for "basic" cable television.

Bastards.

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Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Birther Hypocrisy

Once again, the wingnut birther conspiracy idiots are hollering about President Obama's alleged foreign birth.

Isn't it funny how these same birthers never have anything to say about the fact that their hero John McCain really was born overseas? It's true. You can look it up and see for yourself.

You can bet your last inflated paper dollar that if John McCain had been selected president by the electoral college, those looney-tooney birthers would not have had a damn thing to say about his birth outside of the United States.

Show me a wingnut birther and I'll show you a teabagging hypocrite every single time.

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Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Davos: The Bankers' Yearly Junket

So. Here we go yet again.

While working folks all over our country are experiencing losses of income not seen since the Great Depression, the world's bankers, financiers, Wall Street types, and others who don't work for their money but whose money works for them, are traveling to Davos, Switzerland. It's time for their annual convention of back-slapping and mutual admiration amidst the type of unbelievable five-star luxury that most of us in the real world can only dream of.

And since these well-paid clowns will invariably deduct everything from booze to hookers on their taxes as so-called "business expenses" it's also a taxpayer-subsidized junket.

Unlike the Great Depression, the Great Recession doesn't seem to have made any paupers out of millionaires.

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Sunday, January 02, 2011

The People's Republic Of California Strikes Again!

In our latest instance of Political Correctism run amok, we have the government of the People's Republic of California outlawing the dear old traditional 100 watt light bulb.

This needless new regulation has been brought to you by the same folks who also took it upon themselves to outlaw letting kids ride in the back of pick-up trucks but allows employers to require people to work on Christmas Day without paying them any extra wages whatsoever.

Oh yeah. Happy New Year from the Wonks.

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Monday, December 06, 2010

The UnSchool

Did you hear the one about the school where the students are in charge and the parents pay $6000 for the privilege?

The thing about students not taking standardized tests kinda hit me right between the grade books.

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Sunday, December 05, 2010

World's Record

A train has set a world speed record in --- you guessed it--- China:
BEIJING (AP) - A Chinese passenger train hit a record speed of 302 miles per hour (486 kilometers per hour) Friday during a test run of a yet-to-be opened link between Beijing and Shanghai, state media said.

The Xinhua News Agency said it was the fastest speed recorded by an unmodified conventional commercial train. Other types of trains in other countries have traveled faster.

A specially modified French TGV train reached 357.2 mph (574.8 kph) during a 2007 test, while a Japanese magnetically levitated train sped to 361 mph (581 kph) in 2003.

State television footage showed the sleek white train whipping past green farm fields in eastern China. It reached the top speed on a segment of the 824-mile (1,318-kilometer) -long line between Zaozhuang city in Shandong province and Bengbu city in Anhui province, Xinhua said.

The line is due to open in 2012 and will halve the current travel time between the capital Beijing and Shanghai to five hours.

The project costs $32.5 billion and is part of a massive government effort to link many of China's cities by high-speed rail and reduce overcrowding on heavily used lines.

China already has the world's longest high-speed rail network, and it plans to cover 8,125 miles (13,000 kilometers) by 2012 and 10,000 miles (16,000 kilometers) by 2020.

The drive to develop high-speed rail technology rivals China's space program in terms of national pride and importance. Railway officials say they want to reach speeds over 500 kph (312 mph).

I can remember when America used to set all types of records.

Whatever happened? And why don't we make things any more?

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Monday, November 29, 2010

Cluster Fox Gets Simpsonized

Amen!

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Federal Employees To Learn A Basic Truth

President Obama has indicated that Federal Employees will now have a two-year wage freeze.

Apparently, the freeze also includes the traditional "automatic" cost-of-living increase that was to have been 1.4% this year. (As always, this freeze won't include the U.S. Congress, they'll get their COLA.)

Teachers in our school district never get a "cost of living" increase.

Welcome to our world, federal employees!

EdWonk's Note to federal workers: Unlike the teachers in our district, at least your take-home pay isn't going to be cut, so your paycheck isn't getting smaller like mine has for years...

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