Congressman apologizes for being offensive to Munchkins. Fixes it by referring to them as “abnormal.” Plus cornball brothers and Bizarro Jesus!
There’s some strange stuff in the news today, and because I’m bored, I’m going to show them to you. First, Rob Parker of Detroit Free Press fame, goes on ESPN to question RGIII’s blackness.
“Let me say this, I’m uncomfortable where we just went.” Aaaaand cut. Classic. Next thing you know, RGIII will be doing stuff like playing golf and having sex with non-black hookers. Reminds of this guy…
That guy doesn’t have dreads though.
Next up, a guy who may or may not look like Jesus, but looks a lot like what a bunch of people think Jesus might have looked like, gets removed from a darts competition because the ridiculously large crowd of darts-loving drunk Brits can’t keep their stuff together. Apparently their chants of “Stand up if you love Jesus” was too distracting to the players. As such, “Jesus” was removed:
If that guy was really Jesus, he would have calmed the crowd, while simultaneously tossing 10 consecutive bulls-eyes. Just sayin’.
And last but not least, Dem. Rep. Hank Johnson of Georgia, spends over five minutes in an empty room, apologizing for call vertically-challenged people “midgets,” apparently at the request of bat-s**t-crazy Illinois Rep. Jan Schakowsky. He fixes the problem by calling them “abnormally small.”
I like how it’s just Johnson, Schakowsky, and the court reporter.
This would be surprising if Johnson wasn’t the same guy who worried about Guam tipping over a few years ago due to over-population. Here’s that flashback.
Not anticipated to happen. That’s good.
Chris Christie missed the point. During his RNC speech, he said, and I’m paraphrasing here, Republicans are for teachers, while Democracts are for teachers’ unions. I’m not sure that’s the issue. Instead, it’s whether public school teachers care more about the kids than their union, and whether our opinion matters. Now, they’ll tell you the answer is obviously the kids. They’ll tell you that they simply need the proper support to be able to adequtely teach our children. And as they’re telling you this, your right eye will be gouged by their growing noses.
The Chicago Public School Teachers went on strike today, leaving 400,000 students to do whatever it is students do when they have nothing to do. Sounds like a great idea. Why did the teachers go on strike? I’m not entirely sure, but I think it has something to do with a longer school day or larger class sizes, or something. Their little “On Strike” signs say they’re looking for a fair contract though. Hmmm…fair. Dems LUV that word. What is fair? Well, CPS teachers already earn an average of $76,000/year, not counting benefits. What is the city offering in the new deal that is so “unfair?” A friggin’ 16% increase in pay! CPS teachers can say whatever they want, but they can’t legitimately claim this is about “fairness” or students.
We here at Why Not Nashville? don’t hate many things, but we do hate public schools. We hate that they get so much government money, while failing to succeed in educating kids. We hate that we have no school choice, unless we want to pay extra for a private school. We hate the ridiculous amount of money public school teachers make (plus benefits), considering they don’t work roughly four months of the year. We hate that that they’ve taken God and values out of education, and then whine that the kids simply don’t listen. Public schools are a gigantic drain on our society and yet they continue.
Not to get off-track here, but you know what amazes me? The fact that private unions support public employee unions like teachers’ unions. The private unions were against Scott Walker just as much as the public unions. Why? Contrary to what you might think, we like private employee unions, and support a worker’s right to join a union. That’s called freedom. Private employee unions have a presumed interest in not bleeding their employers dry, because then their employers go bye-bye. Employers have an interest in hiring employees from private unions, especially in the construction sector, because the employees are trained. We also support a private company’s right to hire whomever it wants to though, at whatever salary, because that’s, you guessed it, freedom.
Public employee unions are not private employee unions. In reality, the two have virtually nothing in common except the word “union.” In fact, if I were a member of a private union, I’d run away from supporting a public union. Public employees are paid by the taxpayer, although the taxpayer never has a seat at the negotiation table. Also, public employees are supposed to be performing “essential services,” which we can’t go without, right? If that’s true, why can they simply stop working? Should the entire police force get to take some time off to strike? The very thought of it is absurd. But yet it happens. Public employee unions also pay the politicians they’re negotiating with in the form of campaign contributions. How hard to do you think a politician is going to negotiate with the union that just financed his election?
Don’t believe me about that last part? You think the politician has the best interests of the people in mind? Just look at the CPS negotiations. Illinois is in massive debt. The City of Chicago is in massive debt; the City negotiators admit it. So what do they do to satiate the greed, er, demand for fairness on the part of the teachers? Offer a 16% raise, which will have to either be borrowed or stolen from the taxpayer.
A few months ago, the Illinois legislature was trying to figure out how to deal with Illinois’s debt, which has been caused, almost in its entirety, by unfunded public employee pensions. The Dems’ suggestion? Force all counties, other than Cook, to raise property taxes. That’s their answer. Not, hey, let’s reform the system…or simply face the reality that we can’t pay for everything. Nope. It’s “Let’s take more from the people.” It’s insane. And you know what? A majority of this state agrees with the friggin’ teachers! Is everyone retarded (and I mean that literally)?
Fyi…Charter schools and private schools are open for business though. ‘Nuf said.
Well, now I’m truly astonished. It seems that the teachers are striking primarily because they don’t want their job performance evaluated, in part, by the results of standardized testing.
Chicago public school teachers went on strike on Monday and one of the major issues behind the strike is a new system Chicago plans to use for evaluating public school teachers in which student improvement on standardized tests will count for 40 percent of a teacher’s evaluation. Until now, the evaluations of Chicago public school teachers have been based on what a Chicago Sun Times editorial called a “’meaningless checklist.’”
So, in other words, the teachers don’t want an objective way to be evaluated; they’d rather have the wink and nod method. This just keeps getting better – or worse – depending on how you look at it. Of course, if the Chicago Public Schools were actually graduating people that could, you know, read, then maybe we wouldn’t be having this conversation.
With these NAEP test results, only 19 percent of Chicago public school 8th graders rated proficient in reading while another 2 percent rated advanced—for a total of 21 percent who rated proficient or better.
Let’s face it. The public school system, especially in the inner city, is so broke, it simply isn’t salvageable. Here we have teachers striking, while their students are wandering the already crime-riddled streets of Chicago, after they turned down a 16% raise that isn’t “fair”…all because they don’t want to be evaluated. And yes, I hear you my in-the-closet-liberal friends…”but it isn’t fair to the teachers to be evaluated like this…the kids have such poor home lives…etc.” Look, these teachers voluntarily sent their resumes to inner city schools. So no, I don’t care that they have a harder job than a teacher at a public school in the leafy suburbs north of Chicago.
Here’s what should happen. All of the teachers who are currently on strike should lose their jobs, and then have to apply for them along with all the other teachers that the libs tell me are unemployed because of Scott Walker. But they won’t. Because everyone involved in this fiasco is being paid with tax dollars, so they don’t actually have to get anything constructive done.
Governor Scott Walker is undergoing his recall election today in Wisconsin. As many of you know by now, Walker and the newly-elected Republican majority in the Wisconsin legislature passed legislation severely limiting the public employee unions’ ability to collectively bargain. As a result of not having complete control of Wisconsin for the first time since, well, ever, the Democrats bussed in a bunch of angry people to come up with clever chants and take up space. They’ve also been hot on the “Recall Walker” trail since the day the collective-bargaining legislation was passed, which occurred while all of the Democratic Senators had run away to Rockford, Illinois. Who knew Wisconsinites could be so interesting?
We explained why public employees, as opposed to private employee unions, shouldn’t have the right to collectively bargain earlier in this blog. Simply put, unless every taxpayer is sitting across the table from the union rep, it isn’t really collective bargaining, since the taxpayers are paying for everything.
I expect Walker to win today. And then I expect the Democrats to both ask for a recount while simultaneously arguing the election was stolen by expensive television commercials. The reason why Walker will win is very simple: he’s done a good job. Before Walker and a Republican legislature were elected, the state was in debt. One year after the Republicans took control of everything, it will have a surplus.
But the state Department of Revenue now estimates that the state will take in about $265 million more than the bureau expected, which should translate to a $275.1 million surplus on June 30, and a $154.5 million surplus on June 30, 2013, Department of Administration Secretary Mike Huebsch wrote in a letter to Walker.
That’s a pretty impressive turnaround in one year. What’s more,
State law requires that if revenue exceeds initial projections, half of the surplus must be deposited in the state’s rainy day fund. If Walker’s projections hold, about $45.4 million would go into that fund after June 30.
That would mark the first time in state history that state officials have added to the fund in consecutive years, DOA spokeswoman Jocelyn Webster said. The Walker administration added $14.78 million at the close of the 2011 fiscal year, she said.
In other words, if the people of Wisconsin actually throw Walker out, then they get what they deserve.
Speaking of people who get what they deserve, let’s look at Illinois. It’s not just the results that should get Walker re-elected, it’s the trainwreck that keeps on keepin’ on down south. Unlike Wisconsin, public employee unions basically run the place in Illinois, and their desires go almost entirely unchecked. As a result, the state is $83 billion in the hole on their pensions, which is the worst in the country. No one seems to care. In other news, a recent poll revealed that 67% of Illinois residents expect it to rain money sometime in the near future.
Walker eliminated the deficit by cutting spending. Illinois Dems hope to solve the problem by increasing property taxes in the Chicago suburbs and downstate in order to pay for teacher pensions. This plan only failed because the Democratic governor discovered a map which reveals Illinois extends beyond Chicago.
So what have we learned? Wisconsin solved its deficit problem by cutting spending. Much of that cut resulted from eliminating collective bargaining for public employee unions, and forcing said employees to contribute more to their own pensions and benefits. This has resulted in school districts actually hiring more teachers. Illinois, on the other hand, continues in its nation-leading debt, largely due to pensions it can’t afford while it refuses to make any changes to the status quo. This stance will ultimately lead to increased taxes, unless Illinois begins to print its own money, which isn’t likely to be accepted as legal tender at Meijer. This will, in turn, cause me to move to Wisconsin, which may have been the Dems’ goal all along. I am, after all, very important.
I have found, during my relatively young life, that some people are less gifted in terms of common sense than others. I’ve known people that are really “smart,” but couldn’t find their way out of a paper bag, if you know what I mean. These sorts of people have taken over almost every level of government in my home state of Illinois. I moved here from another blackhole of government suck: California. And I moved there from the greatest state in the union: Michigan, as it was being destroyed by its government. Hey, maybe I’m the problem.
Lots of people are leaving Illinois. Don’t believe me? Try Googling “population leaving Illinois.” Like many states, Illinois has a budget problem. Unlike many states, however, our democrat governor and democrat-controlled legislature chose to double state income tax and increase the corporate tax rate by 45%. The (totally expected) result: more people and companies are leaving, and taking their tax revenue with them. Oh, and let’s not forget about the property taxes that make me wonder if my neighbor’s house is obscuring my ocean-front view.
And now what? Well here in Illinois, in addition to taxes, we have these things called “tollways.” They’re basically highways that require you to pay to use them. Great idea right? Only if you’re into sending your money to a government slush fund to be used for buying votes (Blago wasn’t an exception; he was the rule). The original toll system was designed to pay for the creation of the tollways. Which were largely completed in the 1980’s. In other words, the tolls have been paid for. But we’re still paying. Like a bunch of idiots.
Recently, the god-like Tollway Authority Board of Directors, which consists of the governor and others appointed by the governor, decided we needed more tollways. So it decided, all by itself, to initiate a $12 billion, 15-year capitol program, to build more tollways. To pay for it, we citizens of northeast Illinois get our tolls almost doubled.
Let me be clear: THIS IS CRAP! The entire basis for this boondoggle is “it’ll create jobs.” Pants. on. Fire. What it will actually do is take my money and use it to line the pockets of political insiders and the union bosses that’ll build the damn roads.
A sampling of the lunacy that’s out there:
‘We are confident that the vast majority of customers and communities we serve stand behind us in support of this 15-year investment in the Illinois Tollway’s future,’ said Kristi Lafleur, executive director of the Illinois Tollway, in a news release. ‘Now is the time to move forward with these critical infrastructure improvements to provide congestion relief on the tollway and coordination with the other transportation and transit agencies to do something new and innovative with an eye to the region’s future transportation needs.’
Moron. Ms. Lefleur’s last name should have been your first indication that she’s completely untrustworthy and has bad teeth. “Vast majority of customers?” Really? The only way the “vast majority” is standing behind you is to get into their cars before running you over. Common sense people. Is now really the best time to increase the cost of doing business? Congestion? I’ll buy into your congestion theory right after the Illinois Dept. of Transportation stops taking up entire lanes of traffic for months with construction barrels, WHILE THERE’S NO CONSTRUCTION ACTUALLY TAKING PLACE.
‘My heart goes out to those going through tough times and that have lost jobs. One side effect of this is that it will enhance the economy in northern Illinois over 15 years,’ said Naperville Mayor and tollway Director George Pradel, who voted for the toll increase.
Moron. Do you really think charging someone MORE to drive to work is going to improve their life? Seriously? How exactly will this enhance the economy in northern Illinois? By forcing people to pay more to go out to dinner? I think I’ll stay in, thanks. And where are they going to build the damn tollways anyway? Every available piece of land is a friggin’ nature preserve or dog park. I’ll guarantee you that Mayor Pradel will be getting a nice little envelope for his re-election campaign from one of his construction pals.
The plan had critics, but it also had supporters beyond the construction companies that were touting the 120,000 jobs that the Illinois Tollway estimated will be created by the program…On the Illinois Tollway’s website, the list of the capital plan’s supporters runs deep. Among them were the Kane/Kendall Council of Mayors, AAA Chicago, the Illinois Chamber of Commerce and many labor unions.
Hmmm…who do I see on that list? A whole bunch of groups that will benefit financially from the program, without experiencing any of the pain.
‘There will be some people unhappy with it,’ Aurora Mayor and tollway Director Tom Weisner said. He added, ‘this country’s been a world leader because of the interstate system built 50 years ago. If you don’t make infrastructure investments, you will be sorry.’
Maybe I should amend my home page about why I became a conservative. See, I was born and raised in Michigan, and its economy has been in the toilet even when the rest of the country was doing well. Then I moved to California, which is now practically bankrupt. Now I live in Illinois, which is even worse than California when it comes to fiscal discipline. All three of these states are democratic hell-holes, and, not coincidentally, entitlement black-holes. Spending on every human interest story and after-school special that held out its hand was able to be ignored when the economy was good. Now that the economy continues to lag, the lunacy of the left is revealed.
A New York Times article today provides a revealing look at just how dependent we have apparently become on those government entitlements. Illinois is currently $5.01 billion in the red. Comptroller Dan Hynes states,
‘This is not some esoteric budget issue; we are not paying bills for absolutely essential services,’ he says. ‘That is obscene.’
Hynes is right–it is obscene. But not because we aren’t paying for “essential services.” The amount of money this state has committed to paying for practically everything is what’s obscene. A goal of government has never been to become a major part of the economy. Many complain about companies being “too big to fail,” but few complain about the government being too big to fail. In addition to its own budgetary boondoggle, Illinois is also a microcosm of the federal government spending too much on too many so-called “essential services.” Make no mistake, there are legitimate governmental functions out there that should be receiving tax dollars…but we’ve moved far past them.
Someone needs to run for office and actually take a stand against run-away government spending, instead of just saying it. Someone needs to say no to the human interest stories. Someone needs to remind this country of what it is, not what it has become. Essential services don’t include public education. They don’t include endless unemployment benefits. They don’t include corporate subsidies. They don’t include housing subsidies. They don’t include this:
The Community Counseling Centers of Chicago is another of those workaday groups that are like the stitches on a baseball, holding together poor and working-class neighborhoods. With an annual budget of $16 million, the agency tends to families torn by crime and violence as well as people who are psychologically stressed and abusing drugs.
‘Two weeks ago, I had days to meet my $420,000 payroll and all I was looking at was a $200,000 line of credit from a bank,’ recalled [Chief Administrative Officer John] Troy.
$16 million a year? For community center? You don’t think that’s being mismanaged at all? There are entire cities that run on that budget. $420,000 in payroll? Again, for a community center? Now I know why our president was a community organizer. Instead of implementing some sort of fiscal restraint years ago on programs like this, Illinois citizens in towns like Carbondale, many of whom have never even been to Chicago, are now having money taken out of their pockets for this $16 million per year monstrosity. Why? Because no one has the guts to stand up to those who spit out the “these people need help” meme.
Legislators this year raised the retirement age and slashed benefits. Though changes apply only to future employees, the legislature claimed immediate savings.
“Savings upfront and reforms down the road,” said Mr. Hynes, the state comptroller. “It’s just bad habits and bad practices.”
I’m not exactly sure what Hynes is trying to say here, but Illinois’ problems go well beyond “bad habits and bad practices.” Illinois, like California and Michigan, has placed an overwhelmingly heavy burden on the majority of the population for the benefit of the “those in need of help” minority. Of course, since no one actually attempts to define who those people are, and what constitutes “need,” the government just throws more and more money at them. Illinois’ budget disaster is largely the result of arbitrary determinations of need, made by those running for office. That’s the exact opposite of good government.
More broadly, Illinois is caught between blue state convictions about social safety nets and a red state aversion to taxes. For years, the Democratic-controlled legislature has passed budgets that are, in effect, in deficit. Lawmakers routinely skip around the state’s balanced-budget law, with few consequences. (Republicans are near monolithic in voting against any tax increases and borrowings. When one broke ranks to try to keep the pension solvent, he was stripped of a committee position, reducing his pay and pension.)
This is where the New York Times goes from reporting the news to offering its opinions. Illinois isn’t “caught between blue state convictions about safety social safety nets and a red state aversion to taxes.” It’s caught between the corrupt political machine in Chicago, which is driven entirely by a small group of liberals, and the rest of the state. And those monolithic Republicans? The article fails to mention that they are in the perpetual minority in the Illinois legislature. The implication that Republicans have some hand in the budget crisis is laughable.
Of course, the response of Mr. Hynes, as it is with all liberals, isn’t to cut spending…it’s to raise taxes.
‘Only the most delusional people think you can solve this without raising taxes,’ he said.
Well Mr. Hynes, and by extension, Mr. Obama, you’re delusional to think that raising taxes will improve anything. We would still have government full of corrupt politicians who vote themselves raises and refuse to cut spending because it might cost them votes. How much in governmental salary are you making Mr. Hynes? How about Mayor Daley? Governor Quinn? Before government employees, who are paid with my taxes, stick their hands in my pockets again, why don’t they do their part?
On this Fourth of July, remember that we don’t depend on the government, but it does depend on us. Even better, remember it in November. In the meantime, I will continue to pressure my wife into a new move…to South Dakota.