Archive for the ‘Welfare State’ Category

Texas vs. California Update for December 17, 2014

Wednesday, December 17th, 2014

Time for another Texas vs. California update:

  • California’s unfunded health care obligations for retired employees hits $72 billion. (Hat tip: Pension Tsunami.)
  • Meanwhile, the state comptroller says that California’s unfunded pension liabilities has hit $198 billion. (Ditto.)
  • California may extend benefits to illegal aliens taking advantage of Obama’s amnesty.
  • Speaking of which, both California and Texas are on the hook for providing education for illegal alien children. “Today, those figures are $14.4 billion for California and $8.5 billion for the Lone Star state.”
  • California will go broke if it doesn’t adopt pension reform.
  • Lessons for California from Texas’ boom.
  • Costa Mesa police union tries to pin false DUI charge on City Councilman. Hilarity ensues. (Hat tip: Dwight.) And what caused the police union to go after him? Pension reform.
  • Pension spiking widespread in Cosa Contra County. (Hat tip: Pension Tsunami.)
  • California’s high speed rail boondoggle won’t work with the current tracks.
  • Health industry software company vitaTrackr announces relocation of its headquarters from Baltimore to Austin.
  • Builders FirstSource announces expansion in San Antonio and Conroe.
  • LinkSwarm for December 12, 2014

    Friday, December 12th, 2014

    You might not know from scanning the headlines of what the mainstream media wants to focus on, but there’s been a lot of liberal meltdown this week, among the MSM themselves especially:

  • Social Security to become insolvent in 2024. Thanks Obama! (Hat tip: Pension Tsunami.)
  • The Gruber hearings: More “I don’t remember” than a Peter Gabriel video.
  • Wendy Davis earns Texas Monthly‘s Bum Steer of the Year. You know a Democrat had to have an epic train wreck when the lefty sorts over there are pretty much forced to put them on the cover…
  • Rapes by Democratic bundler Terry Bean or Democratic Capitol Hill staffer Donny Ray Williams? “Meh.” “The Press isn’t all that interested in stories that reflect badly on Democrats.”
  • Feminists prefer narrative to truth. “There is nothing that is nice or kind or empathetic about the subordination of truth to narrative.”
  • More on the same theme: “When questions first emerged, a number of people treated quashing those questions as the moral equivalent of war, attacking the questioners as if being skeptical of a story was itself wrong — rather than exactly the spirit of inquiry that makes science, and public debate, work…When we get wedded to our narratives, we become blind.”
  • “After four years of disastrous liberal Democratic rule, led by President Obama, the desperation of the left is now contributing to its own decline. And it’s not just recent defeats at the ballot box: The Democrats’ systematic overreach is destroying the credibility of their messengers and belittling the causes they want to promote; making it harder for them to identify and solve real problems.”
  • 35 federal agencies plan to share your health data. What could possibly go wrong?
  • Feminists have used Title IX as a far-reaching tool to reorganize higher education to their ideological agenda.
  • “How feminism left me.”
  • We have a strong candidate for Most Clueless Example of Liberal White Female Privilege On Salon. Granted, it’s a target-rich environment…
  • Obama official who enabled illegal alien flood is resigning in advance of hearings How convenient…
  • “It is now clear beyond all reasonable doubt that Hitler and his associates believed they were socialists, and that others, including democratic socialists, thought so too.”
  • How 401Ks are killing off defined-pension plans. (Hat tip: Pension Tsunami.)
  • #GamerGate is winning. “The ‘gamergate’ controversy cost Gawker Media ‘seven figures’ in lost advertising revenue, the company’s head of advertising Andrew Gorenstein said at an all-hands meeting on Wednesday afternoon.”
  • “All lives matter.” “APOLOGIZE!” WTF? Congratulations, Social Justice Warriors. You’re now officially a cult.
  • ISIS beheads four children for refusing to convert to Islam.
  • Joe Biden lectures Ayaan Hirsi Ali on Islam, which is like Kayne West lecturing Stephen Hawking on quantum physics.
  • Indonesia editor to face blasphemy charges for mocking ISIS. (Hat tip: Jihad Watch.)
  • India judge decides that country’s Child Marriage Act doesn’t apply to the Religion of Peace. (Hat tip: Jihad Watch.)
  • Yet he who has never had a snake-throwing fight at a Tim Hortons cast the first stone. (Hat tip: Bill Crider.)
  • “Man With Gender Studies Degree Terrorizes Party”. (Hat tip: Instapundit.)
  • And I’m not covering the CROmnibus debacle yet because I haven’t even read the summary of the summary of the summary of what’s in that monster…

    Venezuela Takes The Express Lane To The Dustheap Of History

    Thursday, December 11th, 2014

    There’s been a lot of talk of how low oil prices are screwing Russia, but Venezuela is, if anything, more screwed thanks to the Magic Power of Socialism™:

    U.S. currency is vital to Venezuela, which imports as much as 80% of what it consumes; 96% of its exports are petroleum products…In effect, the one-third decline in the price of oil means that the state oil company must either raise or divert enough production because Venezuela effectively owes China 67 million barrels of oil, roughly 27 million more than it did before, for this loan alone. And there are billions of dollars in other loans to consider.

    And the outlook for the immediate future is equally grim:

    Venezuela’s economy is expected to contract in 2014 and 2015, and even though it’s already recognized as the 14th least competitive economy in the world (according to the World Economic Forum) and the eighth-worst economy for doing business (according to The World Bank), [President Nicolas] Maduro’s laws seem to discourage private investments even more. The new laws reinforce bureaucracy and the difficulty of doing business in the country, particularly in the area of taxes.

    “Increasing numbers of low-income Venezuelans are souring on Maduro as they suffer a declining economy, the highest inflation in the Americas, chronic shortages of basic goods and one of the world’s highest murder rates.”

    If Venezuela’s economy collapses, they might take Cuba down with them, since the Castro brothers are so heavily dependent on Venezuelan oil subsidies to prop up their own moribund economy.

    Compounding Venezuela’s crises is the fact that it’s probably going to default on its bonds. So they’re finally reaching the point in socialism where the run out of other people’s money. Next to that singular problem, U.S. sanctions on government Venezuelan officials for killing protestors are a trivial irritation…

    LinkSwarm for November 28, 2014

    Friday, November 28th, 2014

    Here’s a small LinkSwarm to tide you over for Black Friday:

  • 62% of voters oppose Obama’s illegal alien amnesty.
  • Barack Obama: Troll in Chief.
  • “If you want to see the end point of Barack Obama’s shining path, visit Detroit.”

    The Democrats, if they had any remaining intellectual honesty, would hold their convention in Detroit. Democratic leadership, Democratic unions and the Democratic policies that empower them, Democrat-dominated school bureaucracies, Democrat-style law enforcement, Democratic levels of taxation and spending, the politics of protest and grievance in the classical Democratic mode — all of these have made Detroit what it is today: an unwholesome slop-pail of woe and degradation that does not seem to belong in North America, a craptastical crater groaning with misery, a city-shaped void in what once was the industrial soul of the nation. If you want to see the end point of Barack Obama’s shining path, visit Detroit.

  • “The group toward whom [Obama]‘s shown the greatest contempt, however, is low-skilled American workers, particularly blacks.”
  • “At what point do we stop enabling the grievance industry to override our core constitutional protections?”
  • Did Obama prevent Missouri from deploying the National Guard to prevent Ferguson rioting?
  • Communist agitators stirring up a civil rights protest sounds like a bad ‘60s flashback, but that’s just what happened last week in Ferguson.”
  • Jim Webb’s career show’s how badly Democrats have been hollowed-up in the Obama era:

    Consider: There will be only five red-state Senate Democrats left in the next Congress if, as expected, Sen. Mary Landrieu is defeated in next month’s runoff. Even more striking, there will be only five House Democrats left representing districts that Mitt Romney carried in 2012. The once-influential Blue Dog Caucus of fiscally hawkish Democrats is all but extinct. Republicans now boast twice as many blue-state senators (10) and five times as many blue-district representatives (25) than their Democratic counterparts in red territory.

    While lots of ink has been spilled charting the GOP’s drift rightward, the Democratic Party’s move toward ideological homogeneity has been shorter and swifter.

    (Hat tip: Instapundit, who notes “The Democratic Party has become an aging, regional party with a diversity problem.”)

  • It’s not that the Vietnamese communist leadership is good, it’s just less bad than all the other communist leaderships.
  • Ann Althouse is right: They really did choose a superbly illustrative picture for this Chuck Hagel resignation piece.
  • Only 50% of climate scientists think climate change is human induced.
  • Who should be Secretary of Defense? “America needs Dick Cheney. Now more than ever.”
  • You could read this Penny Arcade as a parable about Islam. Or trusting Obama.
  • Texas vs. California Roundup for November 26, 2014

    Wednesday, November 26th, 2014

    Who knows how many people will read this in the rush of Thanksgiving travel:

  • Texas’ economy continues to kick ass.
  • In fact, Texas set a record for new jobs for the third month in a row. (Hat tip: The Twitter feed of Texas’ incoming governor.)
  • Texas also leads the nation in oil and gas jobs created. (Hat tip: Texas’ incoming Comptroller.)
  • CalPERS retirees will soon soon outnumber active workers. (Hat tip: Pension Tsunami.)
  • California’s death by pensions.
  • Bankrupt San Bernardino caves in to CalPERS.
  • Still, court rulings make it possible that bankrupt cities may shed pension obligations in the future.
  • You know how California’s Prop 30 tax hikes in 2012 were supposed to prevent university pension hikes? Guess what? “Despite the massive tax hikes ostensibly to keep higher education affordable, the University of California Board of Regents just announced a sizable increase in tuition.” Let’s hope that students at California universities learn the proper lesson: tax hikes are never temporary.
  • Indeed, tuition will increase around $15,000 by 2019.
  • The underfunded liabilities across all California pension systems adds up to $130 billion.
  • Pension crisis divides California Democrats on UC tuition hikes.
  • Demands from union-backed environmental group torpedo plans for a Japanese-owned factory in Palmdale, California.
  • Education reform loses in California.
  • California is spending $33 million to get rid of 800 non-endangered birds.
  • Costa Mesa motel residents sue over a law requiring them to move every 30 days.
  • Some Tweets:

  • LinkSwarm for November 22, 2014

    Saturday, November 22nd, 2014

    I had an entire set of stuff lined up for yesterday’s LinkSwarm, but in the rush of amnesty-related news I managed to forget to paste it into the right file. D’oh!

    So enjoy your rare complimentary Weekend LinkSwarm!

  • Support for ObamaCare continues to decline, with the law hitting a new low in approval.”
  • Among the many acts of Gruber: Scheming to remove insurance plan deductability by subterfuge (and without offsetting tax credits).
  • How do Democrats react to near-historic loses? By reelecting their entire leadership team.
  • “Democrats did lose the South, but they didn’t lose it because of the Civil Rights Act.”(Hat tip: Ann Althouse.)
  • Last year, illegal aliens were on pace to use $650 million in welfare benefits in L.A. County alone. And that was before Obama’s new amnesty.
  • Hillary Clinton seems to view Obama’s illegal alien “dreamers” as a permanent menial labor underclass as well.
  • 30,000 of Lois Lerner’s IRS emails have been miraculously found. (Hat tip: Instapundit.)
  • Some Twitter liberals decided it was a swell idea to lie about Instapundit. There’s a technical term for these people: Morons.
  • Putin is increasingly yanking NATO’s chain.
  • GamerGate: “A new, radical and dangerously illiberal left which marinates in a hideous quagmire of resentment, smugness, vacuousness and contempt for free discussion.”
  • LinkSwarm for November 7, 2014

    Friday, November 7th, 2014

    A Friday LinkSwarm after a very eventful week…

  • So exactly when was it that the UK became the child rape capital of the Western world? First Rotherham, now Manchester.

  • Government of Burkina Faso falls. Evidently people there thought that 27 years of rule for President Blaise Compaore was more than enough…
  • Russia sends more tanks into Ukraine. Looks like we’ll dealing with the fallout of Obama’s “flexibility” for decades… (Hat tip: Jim Geraghty).
  • The Pakistani version of Axe Cop sounds a whole lot less entertaining than the American version.
  • DSCC head blames Obama for Senate loss.
  • The DSCC decides that they’ll stop pouring money down the rathole that is Mary Landrieu.
  • “Salon Writer Condemns Arithmetic As Racist.” Or how Jonathan Chait ruthlessly used his Mansplaining Male Math Privilege to oppress Jenny Kutner.
  • Because their attacks on Koch were so successful, Democrats double-down on stupid.
  • U.S. hits targets in Syria. Not ISIS, but “the Khorasan group.” For such a reportedly “small” group, we seem to be bombing them a lot…
  • Fatah and Hamas thoughtfully take a break from trying to kill Jews in order to blow each other up.
  • I’m shocked, shocked that there’s abuse and fraud in the “Obamaphone” program.
  • In addition to national and statewide outbreaks of sanity, there was even an outbreak in Austin, where voters defeated a proposal to expand Capitol Metro’s toy trains.

  • LinkSwarm for October 31, 2014

    Friday, October 31st, 2014

    Happy Halloween!

  • This week’s example of Democratic elected official defrauding a non-profit comes to you from Philadelphia congressman Chaka Fattah.
  • Democratic Representative Alan Grayson, the 17th richest man in congress, has cut off funds to estranged wife, and now both she and her kids are on welfare.
  • Former Obama champion Tina Brown now says he makes women feel unsafe.
  • Secret Service investigator into prostitution scandal resigns after his own prostitution scandal.
  • Marine veteran father banned from school after objecting to his daughters history assignment to “list the benefits of Islam.”
  • The war in Ukraine has cemented Putin’s dictatorship in Russia.
  • On the other hand, the ruble is crashing, despite rate hikes.
  • How’s that Chicago model working out?

  • High and trying to grab a cop’s gun is no way to go through life, son. Which goes a long way toward explaining why Michael Brown no longer walks among the living…
  • Japan may have a low murder rate, but as the follow chart from this piece on “haunted” apartments shows, their suicide rate dwarfs our murder and suicide rate combined.

  • Texas Tech student admits to filing false sexual assault charges. Under California’s new kangaroo courts, the student falsely accused would have already been convicted and expelled by now. (Hat tip: Instapundit.)
  • Fund managers are the fish in the game. They can’t leave the table.
  • Interesting piece on GamerGate. “The feminism of male demonization and female victimhood has become an insidious force that, despite its faux-progressive trappings, stands in the way of genuine equality. Whatever its flaws, GamerGate is a politically diverse movement of cultural resistance to this brand of toxic feminism. For that, it deserves at least two cheers.”
  • Dear Ridley Scott: Moses did not wear scale armor.
  • Links to this and previous years’ Fark scary story thread.
  • Now that’s what I call shag carpeting.
  • Texas vs. California Update for October 23, 2014

    Thursday, October 23rd, 2014

    With all this election news popping up, this may be the last Texas cs. California roundup until after November 4:

  • New poverty figures are out from the Census. To quote a Texas Public Policy Foundation email about them: “The government report shows that, when accounting for some cost of living differences from state-to-state, Texas’ poverty rate dipped 0.5 percent to 15.9, the national average. Meanwhile, California still has the nation’s highest poverty rate at 23.4 percent. ”
  • “Back in 2005, some 1,841 retirees pulled down more than $100,000 a year in pension checks from the California Public Employees’ Retirement System. By 2009, this so-called “$100K club” had more than tripled, to 6,133 members. And by the end of 2013, membership had nearly tripled again, to 16,838, according to data from CalPERS.” (Hat tip: Pension Tsunami)
  • “How CalPERS ranks: average service, high costs.” (Ditto)
  • “With the Los Angeles Unified School District Board ready to fire Superintendent John Deasy, he resigned as head of the nation’s second-largest public school system just six months after he spiked his annual salary to $384,184 with $54,184 in buy-outs.” Bonus: Deasy came from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, where he pushed Common Core.
  • The police union is suing the city of Vallejo for cuts made to their pensions during the city’s bankruptcy. if they win, they could push the city into bankruptcy again.
  • Among those 99 CalPERS pension-spiking buffs: Library Reference Desk Premium, Front Desk Assignment Premium and Audio-Visual Premium. “Hey look, I plugged the projector into my laptop! Give me a pension bonus, California taxpayers!” (Pension Tusnami again.)
  • California plows forward with drivers licenses for illegal aliens.
  • San Francisco landlords win in court: “A federal judge ruled Tuesday that San Francisco cannot solve its housing shortage by requiring landlords, through a relocation assistance ordinance, to retroactively pay massive amounts to evict tenants under California’s Ellis Act.”
  • A California athlete earning a gross of $20 million a year is down to $9,100,000 remaining after taxes and commissions.
  • Though Texas is doing better than California when it comes to pensions, there’s no reason not to move from a defined benefit plan to 401Ks for new hires.
  • Blogroll Addition: Pension Tsunami

    Wednesday, October 15th, 2014

    Since they linked to me yesterday, I’ve finally done what I’ve meant to do for a long time, namely get up off my ass and add Pension Tsunami to the Blogroll. They offer a great daily news roundup on the looming unionized public sector pension crisis that threatens to bankrupt cities and states across the country (especially California).

    I’ve also added the new “California/Pensions/Unions/Etc.” link category and moved Kausfiles there as well.

    Expect more additions to that blog category Real Soon Now.