The disconnect between DC and Main Street has always been an issue, but lately it has been even greater than usual. DC economists will tell you all day long that there is no inflation, but the reality on Main Street.....
Writer Jen Singer, the mother of two teenage boys, wrestles with her grocery list every week to keep the household budget from getting away from her.
"I'd like the government to stop by my house, come food shopping with me and see where the real costs are," she said.
The adage "An apple a day keeps the doctor away" is impossible thanks to apple prices, she said.
"We go through one of these every few days," she said, holding a loaf of bread. "It's a big part of my take home pay."
It's is not her imagination. While the government says prices are up 6.4 percent since 2011, chicken is up 18.4 percent, ground beef is up 16.8 percent and bacon has skyrocketed up 22.8 percent, making it a holiday when it's on sale...
..."The things that are going up in price are the things I absolutely need to buy," she said. "It's the meat, it's the milk, it's the eggs and it's getting out of hand."
An interesting little kerfluffle has arisen in my neck of the woods.
The Granite School District Police Department has issued military-grade AR-15 rifles to all of its officers.
The department bought the guns from the U.S. Military surplus system in an effort to better help officers keep children safe.
Since the 1999 Columbine High School shooting in Colorado, law enforcement officers said they have had to change the way they protect schools.
“Over the past 20 years law enforcement across the country has had to respond to the shootings in the malls, the shootings in schools, the shootings in theaters,” said Granite School District Police Chief Randy Johnson. “And to be able to effectively protect the public, we need to be able to match the weapon that is being used by the person that’s attempting to do harm. Most often a long gun is being used by these perpetrators.”
Johnson said the weapons are just a small part of the plan to keep students safe. The department has also been installing a high-tech camera system in all of the district’s schools so it can monitor what is going on from a dispatch center.
Remember the days Democrats spent bemoaning the loss of civil liberties caused by the US Patriot Act? Good times, good times....
The sainted Amy of Hennepin County (aka Sen. Amy Klobuchar) is pushing a bill that would require (a democrats favorite word to be sure) that all cell phone manufacturers install a "kill switch".
On Thursday, U.S. Sen. Amy Klobuchar introduced a bill that would mandate the creation of “kill switch” technology in new cellphones. While the intent of this bill is to deter theft, its effect would be to create a powerful new tool that would erode civil liberties and make cellphones a more appealing target for hackers.
The proposal is intended to eliminate the market for stolen cellphones. As the thinking goes, since thieves could not sell a disabled phone, the incentive to steal them would be removed and thefts would decline. But mandating the creation of new technology often has unintended consequences.
To be fair, St. Amy did support the US Patriot Act so she is being consistent....on this issue.
And oh those PESTY unintended consequences.....they are a plenty in this bill.
This bill would take the freedom to communicate away from the consumer and place it in the hands of a telecommunications carrier.
Well apparently Mayor De Blasio is starting to feel the heat on his head long crusade to destroy legal jobs in New York. De Blasio, who has long claimed that the New York Carriage horses are kept in deplorable conditions - even though he has never stepped foot into any of the stables, is going to visit the stables he is looking to close.
Facing mounting criticism for refusing to even see the horses he proposes banning from the city, New York Mayor Bill de Blasio Thursday finally promised to go and see the animals in their stables.
But don't expect stupid things like FACTS to change the Mayor's mind. When it comes to the issue, his mind was already made up.
He also promised that he wouldn't change his mind about the ban, no matter what he sees there.
So it's all for show?
Jon Katz called up one former journalistic colleagues to find out why, with all the other problems facing New York City, De Blasio is focusing on this tiny non problem. The answer is not surprising to anyone who is not a progressive.
This is what she said: "You have to understand that the mayor comes from Park Slope, Brooklyn," he said, "not just a progressive place, but one of the most knee-jerk progressive places in the country. Most people there actually believe that it is cruel for animals to work, their whole idea of animals is rescuing them, nobody has any animals there besides dogs and cats and they think it ought to be a crime to buy a dog from a breeder. They are ideologues, not animal lovers."
Tuesday, I mentioned my friend Gary Gross' posts on how Democrats policies are hurting working union members in MN. But it's not just politicians that are killing jobs for the rank and file - it's Union LEADERSHIP - working in concert with Democrat politicians that are working to kill jobs for the rank and file.
Bill de Blasio has vowed to abolish Central Park carriage horses if elected mayor — but that didn’t stop the union that represents carriage drivers from endorsing his campaign on Wednesday.
Now the man that THEY HELPED ELECT is trying to put their members out of work. And it is not like they didn't know about DiBlasio's crusade against the carriage drivers - it was part of his campaign.
Of course, now that they got him elected, the Teamsters are promising to fight DiBlasio's efforts.
For now, the local Teamsters chapter is making a calculated decision to oppose replacement of the carriages but not to fight the proposed vintage electric cars themselves, said Demos Demopoulos, secretary/treasurer and executive officer of Teamsters Local #553.
“We are against the thought of the electric car replacing the horse carriage industry,” said Demopoulos, dismissing the idea that the horse-carriage drivers could be attracted to jobs created by the car program.
”These are all horse people,” he said. “This is what they do.”
Mayor DeBlasio is pulling out all of the stops in his quest to ban the Central Park Carriage trade. We have already shown that, but his campaign to ban the horses also shows a larger character of the far left - an extreme form of "the end justifies the means" that has long term adverse implications. In their headlong plunge to do anything to harass the drivers out of business he is using the police to hound them off the roads.....
If Mayor de Blasio insists on destroying a world-renowned tourist attraction that provides livelihoods for a few hundred workers, the least he can do is act openly and through the law.
That doesn’t appear to have been the case Thursday, when an NYPD officer told horse-and-carriage drivers at Central Park they couldn’t operate because of weather conditions — namely, icy roads. About 30 horses were sent back to the stables.
What makes the order so fishy is that the only living creatures in New York that were affected by this danger were horses. In other words, it didn’t apply to children who made their way to schools, apartment dwellers who walked their dogs, tourists bused to their destinations and so forth.
One driver, Christina Hansen, says she saw virtually no ice or snow anywhere on the roads.
...or mob protests, the campaign to deprive the carriage drivers of their livelihood is relentless. Jon Katz, in his continued series on the war on the carriage horses, takes a look at the bigger picture....
The politicians and people described as animal rights activists in New York City have formed something of a new media mob, they are after the Carriage Horse Industry, they are criminalizing the ideas, behaviors, beliefs and practices that are hundreds, if not thousands of years old, and they are doing it in the ugliest, least compassionate and most unthinking possible way.
Throughout American history, there have been these kinds of cultural and political hysterias, from the Salem witches to the Communists to the Japanese-Americans corralled into prison camps during World War II. This new one tends to view animals narrowly, not as equals but as dependents, creatures in need of pity and rescue and saving from the deprivations of people. And the people who have a different view of animals must then be abusers, monsters and criminals.
In every state where Progressive Liberals have control a similar agenda is being pushed through against the people's will. That agenda includes radical environmental policy and radical gun control. Now the lefts union supporters are starting to see that the progressive left cares more about their agenda, than the do the working man.
My friend Gary Gross has been doing a magnificent job of showing how the radical environmental agenda is hurting union jobs in Minnesota. Now we are seeing where their radical gun policies are hurting union jobs in New York - thanks to the NY SAFE Act.
A union official said Saturday the Remington Arms Co.'s decision to open a manufacturing plant in Alabama does not bode well for Ilion, and he's blaming New York's SAFE Act restrictions on assault weapons.
Now I am all for some common sense means of keeping guns out of the hands of people with mental illness (like the WV Shooter) but the NY SAFE Act was one of those punitive pieces of legislation designed to punish law abiding gun owners. It also was passed (like many pieces of progressive legislation) with the assumption that businesses would just bend over and take it. Remington has apparently decided otherwise.
AL.com reported Saturday that the Huntsville facility could employ up to 2,000 people. It said details could be revealed on Monday about plans for a Remington facility in a former Chrysler plant near Huntsville International Airport.
A couple of state rankings have come out in recent weeks - you know, the "Best States/Worst States" kind of fluff rankings. Scott Rasmussen (of the Rasmussen polling firm) took the most prominent of the recent rankings (from Politico) to task over at Real Clear Politics.
A theoretical listing of the best states put together by a publication for Washington insiders rates New Hampshire as the best state in the union, and finds that nine of the 10 worst states are in the American South.
However, if you look at Census Bureau data showing where Americans move to and from, five of the top seven states are from the South, and the worst states are New York, Illinois and California. Nine of the 10 worst states by this measure come from either the Northeast or Midwest.
The Politico piece he is referring to is here and the Census Bureau data is here if you want to dig through the dry reports. Business Insider has a map compiled of data gathered by United Van Lines here for a snapshot. The bottom line of all the reports? People are leaving blue states (Illinois, Michigan, New York and New Jersey) for red states like Texas, Tennessee and the Carolinas.
So why the discrepancy?
What's going on? Why are people moving to states that rate low on the Politico scale of good states and moving away from those Politico rates highly?
There are two possible explanations. Either the Politico rankings are wrong or the American people are stupid.
HB00097 is one of those bills that I really want to support. I mean, it does go after another type of legislation that I truly abhor - Breed Specific Legislation. For those that don't know Breed Specific Legislation (or BSL) is legislation designed to make it illegal to own a specific type of dog - usually pit bull type dogs and other so called "bully" breeds. The language is short and sweet...
...Section 1. Section 10-8-65 is amended to read:
29 10-8-65. Dogs -- License and tax -- Destruction, sale, or other disposal.
30 [They] Subject to Section 18-2-1 , a municipality may license, tax, regulate, or prohibit
31 the keeping of dogs, and authorize the destruction, sale, or other disposal of the same when at
32 large contrary to ordinance.
33 Section 2. Section 18-2-1 is enacted to read:
34 18-2-1. Regulation of dogs by a municipality.
35 (1) A municipality may not adopt or enforce a breed-specific rule, regulation, policy, or
36 ordinance regarding dogs.
37 (2) Any breed-specific rule, regulation, policy, or ordinance regarding dogs is void.
I have LONG been opponent of BSL. BSL is a violation of the dog owners right to due process (if they own an effected dog) and could be considered an illegal taking under the 4th Amendment. If the dog owner owns an effected dog and they have done the proper due diligence (training, socialization and making sure that they dog is not running loose or out of control unsupervised), if they have shown that their dog is a canine good citizen, what right does the municipality have to come in and say that the dog is a menace and needs to be regulated out of town. Most of the time, the owners of the dogs that the municipality is so worried about are already in violation of numerous EXISTING ordinances (leash laws for example) why enact another law?
However, HB00097 IS the wrong way to go about rectifying the injustices of BSL. It is a solution in search of a problem. Only 12 cities in Utah have breed bans in place. There is currently no rush of municipalities looking to add breed specific bans, so there is no real need to prevent other cities from being stupid.
A better idea came from a September 2013 interview in City Weekly.
I love animals - dogs, cats, horses, deer, moose....domestic, wild, it does not matter. I also believe (as part of my Judeo/Christian upbringing) that it is mankind's duty to be good stewards of the earth - especially the animals because they are vulnerable. Now taking care of them means making sure that their lives are healthy and have meaning. Meaning for a domestic cat is different from (say) my herding dogs or....a working horse. Groups like PeTA have never understood that animals bred to "do something" suffer when they have nothing to do. Which is why they are pushing hard to do away with all "use" of animals - like carriage horses. While there have been abuses, that does not mean all carriage horse drivers are abusive. The debate that is happening here in Salt Lake in the aftermath of Jerry the horses death, is writ large in New York City where new Mayor Bill DeBlasio has equated pulling a carriage to.....WATERBOARDING?!?!?!?!?!
I got to see the new mayor of New York, Bill DeBlasio on Jon Stewart's "Daily Show" last night, it was the first time I had seen the mayor speak about his intention to ban the carriage horses from New York City, I was interested to hear what he had to say and wanted to be open-minded about it. I hoped he would explain his feelings in a way I could grasp them. I think the best way to handle what he did say was to simply pass it along to you – you can see it for yourself here, the extended interview Part 2 and make up your own mind.
The conversation about the horses was quite brief, neither the mayor nor Stewart seemed to want to delve into it too much, but the mayor did say this about the issue: "the waterboarding of the horses has to stop."
Jon Katz, for those that don't know, is a former journalist and author of the Dogs of Bedlam Farms books. He has a genuine respect for all animals, but he does not anthropomorphize them. He attempts to understand his animals on their level and in the process brings these animals and how they relate to humans to beautiful and sometimes painful clarity.
For the record, Katz reminds us of the definition of "waterboarding".
Life has been busy (still) but I wanted to post a round up of (un)Affordable Care Act stories that have popped up in the last few days.
First we have this from a woman whom the (un)Affordable Care Act was supposed to help.
I suffer from a difficult chronic illness called lupus, an autoimmune disease with devastating symptoms that strike when you least expect them. At age 40, my life is filled with visits to doctors, specialists and the emergency room. While paying for this care is expensive, I have no other choice.
Prior to ObamaCare, I bought my health insurance through CoverTN, a program run by the state of Tennessee....
My plan was canceled last fall. According to the regulators behind ObamaCare, it was a subpar plan that should no longer be sold to consumers....
This wasn’t my insurer’s fault at all. CoverTN actually fought for me to keep my health care. After I received my cancellation notice, the folks at CoverTN requested that the federal government give them a waiver, which would let them grandfather my plan into ObamaCare. Their request was rejected....
... My new plan costs me $373 a month, even after a small subsidy.
There is so much going on right now that it is hard to choose what to comment on. However, in honor of tonight's State of The Union address (which I will miss due to a prior obligation), I thought it only fitting to bring you Peggy Noonan's latest.
In a State of the Union a president tries to put his stamp on things. Here we are, here's where we're going, all roads lead forward. We can face whatever test, meet whatever challenge, united in the desire that we be the greatest nation in the history of man . . .
...What great moments this tradition has given us.
Well. History still beckons, waiting to be made. The great unstated question of today: Can America come back, reclaim her old spirit, confidence and joy, can we make things again, build them, grow, create, push out into the new?
And here I think: Oh dear.
What makes this column so harsh is that Ms. Noonan was an enthusiastic Obama supporter during both campaigns but especially 2008.
Behold the modern liberal feminist. The paragon of choice....
Every time I hear someone say that feminism is about validating every choice a woman makes I have to fight back vomit.
Do people really think that a stay at home mom is really on equal footing with a woman who works and takes care of herself? There’s no way those two things are the same. It’s hard for me to believe it’s not just verbally placating these people so they don’t get in trouble with the mommy bloggers.
Having kids and getting married are considered life milestones. We have baby showers and wedding parties as if it’s a huge accomplishment and cause for celebration to be able to get knocked up or find someone to walk down the aisle with. These aren’t accomplishments, they are actually super easy tasks, literally anyone can do them. They are the most common thing, ever, in the history of the world. They are, by definition, average. And here’s the thing, why on earth are we settling for average?
If women can do anything, why are we still content with applauding them for doing nothing?
...as long as the choice is her choice anyway...
Ms. Glass, like many liberals, want everyone to make the choices she has made and when they dare to show minds of their own and make other choices, they subject them to scorn and derision. Now I have to admit that there are many stay at home moms who do the same thing to those that choose to work. That IS what the "mommy wars" are all about.
On the other side of the coin is Matt Walsh. His response (in defense of his wife's choice to be a stay at home mom) puts it much better than I could.
Today is not going to be conducive for posting but given today is the 41st anniversary of the Roe v. Wade decision and given the post about Governor Cuomo's intolerance for a pro life opinion, I thought this Marist poll was worth noting.
More than 8 in 10 Americans (84 percent) do not see the abortion debate as an all or nothing proposition, saying that laws can protect both the well-being of a woman and the life of the unborn.
Emphasis mine. Which I had always felt was the case (and told my all or nothing friends on both sides of the discussion) but now I have statistics to back it up!
Other key findings of the survey include:
• 80 percent support parental notification before a minor can obtain an abortion.
• 79 percent support a 24-hour waiting period prior to having an abortion.
• 76 percent oppose allowing abortions to be performed by non-doctors.
• 62 percent want to change laws to allow for some restrictions on abortion.
• 58 percent support showing a woman an ultrasound image of her baby at least a day before an abortion.
• 57 percent believe abortion does a woman more harm than good in the long run.
• 55 percent — including 6 in 10 Millennials (adults 18 to 32) — want continued debate on the abortion issue.
80% support parental notifications and nearly 80% support waiting periods and making abortion only done by doctors. It seems the people of New York are not so far out of the mainstream after all.
On a related note, the survey also found that more than 7 in 10 Americans (71 percent) also believe that freedom of religion should be protected above government laws.
This bodes poorly for Democrats in 2014 and 2016.
Logical Lady Peggy Noonan thinks she knows the problem with politics today.
Politicians call themselves public servants, so they should be expected to be less selfish than the average Joe ; their views and actions should be assumed to be more keenly directed toward the broad public good. But no one expects that of politicians anymore, and they know it and use the knowledge to justify being even worse than they'd normally be. "If I have the name, I might as well have the game."
They are the locus of selfishness in the modern world.
Chris Christie's problem isn't that he's a bully, it's that he's selfish. Barack Obama isn't stupid and therefore the maker of mayhem, he's selfish.
There isn't a staffer on the Hill who won't tell you 90% of members are driven by their own needs, wants and interests, not America's. The former defense secretary, Bob Gates, has written a whole book about it, and the passages in which he speaks most plainly read like a cry from the heart. The chaplain of the Senate, Barry Black, made news a few months ago because he'd taken to praying that the character of our representatives be improved. "Save us from the madness," he prayed one morning last October. "We acknowledge our transgressions, our shortcomings, our smugness, our selfishness." The single most memorable thing I ever heard from a Wall Streeter was from one of its great men, who blandly explained to me one day why certain wealthy individuals were taking an action that was both greedy and personally inconvenient to them. "Everyone wants more," he said, not in a castigating way but as one explains certain essentials to a child.
People in public life have become more grasping, and less embarrassed by it.
The forces of tolerance strike again. This time those racist Tea Partiers are forcing a minority woman out of her job for having the audacity to speak her mind.
A famed actress is facing backlash in San Francisco’s Latino community, after she voiced support for a conservative candidate for California governor.
Maria Conchita Alonso starred in a campaign ad for Assemblyman Tim Donnelly of San Bernardino County, a Tea Party favorite who is seeking the Republican nomination...
...The actress was to perform next month at the Brava Theater Center in San Francisco’s Mission District in a Spanish-language version of “The Vagina Monologues,” scheduled for a run from February 14th through 17th. The show is being produced by none other than Eliana Lopez, wife of San Francisco Sheriff Ross Mirkarimi.
“We really cannot have her in the show, unfortunately,” Lopez told KPIX 5. She said Alonso abruptly resigned from the cast on Friday, given the backlash on the immigration issue.
“Of course she has the right to say whatever she wants. But we’re in the middle of the Mission. Doing what she is doing is against what we believe,” Lopez said.
The party/ideology of tolerance strikes again. Doing what they ALWAYS accuse the right of doing AGAIN. Showing their true acceptance of diversity.......AGAIN. You see in the world of the progressives, original thought IS NOT ACCEPTED. If you don't follow the progressive party line in lock step, you will be punished. You will be ostracized. You will be shamed back into line. You either agree with us or you remain silent and in your place, peon. That is the mindset of the progressive movement. Glenn Reynolds (at Instapundit) brought out the "b" word...