Monday, November 15, 2010

The Greg Marshall Show; One and Done; Don't Advertise For a Christian Roommate; All Powerful Government; Kuwait Mulling Purchase of GM Shares; Federal Pay Raises; Rotten Garfield Strip

At the request of some of my readers, I am putting on my blog the email address of Greg Marshall at 1270 AM - WMKT - on whose show I was the guest for an hour last Friday.  As a reader wrote: FYI to all, Greg's email address is: Be sure to request a repeat performance of Karen's Corner live on the radio! I sure did!  And I thank you who actually do this!


The Washington Post carries this piece: Opinion | One and done: To be a great president, Obama should not seek reelection in 2012

By Douglas E. Schoen and Patrick H. Caddell 
Sunday, November 14, 2010
 Patrick H. Caddell, who was a pollster and senior adviser to President Jimmy Carter, is a political commentator. Douglas E. Schoen, a pollster who worked for President Bill Clinton, is the author of "Mad as Hell: How the Tea Party Movement Is Fundamentally Remaking Our Two-Party System."

The Week Magazine writes: The Michigan Department of Civil Rights is investigating a woman who advertised for a "Christian roommate."  Housing official Nancy Haynes said that while people can choose to live with whomever they want, the woman's ad constituted a "discriminatory statement" that violate the Fair Housing Act.  "Our interest really lies in her getting some training, said Haynes, "so that this doesn't happen again."
From the Washington Post comes this: "Every single great idea that has marked the 21st century, the 20th century and the 19th century has required government vision and government incentive."  Joe Biden, Oct. 26 [Does he really believe this to be true?  Oh, my!]  Joe Biden, Oct. 26   General Motors, an appendage of the government, which owns 61 percent of it, is spending some of your money, dear reader, on full-page newspaper ads praising a government brainstorm - the Volt, Chevrolet's highly anticipated and prematurely celebrated (sort of) electric car. Although the situation is murky - GM and its government masters probably prefer it that way - it is unclear in what sense GM has any money that is truly its own. And the Volt is not quite an electric car, or not the sort GM deliberately misled Americans into expecting.
Mark Reuss, president of GM North America, said in a letter to the Wall Street Journal: "The early enthusiastic consumer response - more than 120,000 potential Volt customers have already signaled interest in the car, and orders have flowed since the summer - give us confidence that the Volt will succeed on its merits." Disregard the slipperiness ("signaled interest" how?) and telltale reticence (how many orders have "flowed"?). But "on its merits"? Why, then, the tax credits and other subsidies?
The Automotive Engineer in Chief - our polymathic president - says there will be a million plug-in cars in America by 2015. This will require much higher gasoline prices (perhaps $9 a gallon) and much bigger bribes: GM, which originally was expected to produce as many as 60,000 next year, now says 10,000 for all of North America.

Business Intelligence, Middle East reveals: Kuwait is considering whether to buy shares in General Motors  when the company makes an initial public offering, now that the price range has been announced, said Bader al-Saad, managing director of the country’s sovereign wealth fund, the Kuwait Investment Authority.
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- writes: Did you get a raise last year? Seventy-four percent of White House staffers did, according a Gawker analysis of the White House's annual salary reports to Congress. Probably for the great job they're doing with the economy.
Earlier this week, USA Today published an analysis of the federal workforce showing that it pays to work for the government: The number of feds earning more than $150,000 per year has increased tenfold since 2005, and the number earning above $180,000 has increased twentyfold. That prompted us to take a look at White House salaries, and it turns out that working for Barack Obama is not a bad gig.
Obama famously instituted a salary freeze for all White House staffers earning more than $100,000 on his first day in office because "during this period of economic emergency, families are tightening their belts, and so should Washington."
But there wasn't a lot of belt-tightening for the rest of the staff: We crunched the numbers and found that, of the 344 White House employees who were listed on the payroll in both White House's 2009 and 2010 salary reports, 253—or 74%—got raises in 2010. And among that lucky overwhelming majority, the average raise was 9%. And plenty of people making more than $100,000 a year did get a raise as long as a title change came with it.
From Reuters: Thursday's [Garfield] strip showed a spider warning the comic's featured cat, the lazy and overweight Garfield, that if the feline "squishes" him, an annual day of remembrance will be held in his honor.
Garfield, who frequently crushes spiders in the series, apparently is undeterred and the strip closes with a classroom of spiders being asked why they celebrate "National Stupid Day."
The cartoon drew such Internet comments as "Surely this isn't in the best of taste for Armistice Day/Veterans Day" and that Garfield creator Jim Davis "is way off the mark with this cartoon. Shame on him."  [He later apologized.]   [
A two-year ethics scandal that saw embattled Rep. Charles Rangel, D-N.Y., lose his powerful position among House Democrats but not his bid for reelection will come to a climax when he faces an ethics panel Monday on Capitol Hill.
The ethics trial promises to be a spectacle. Rangel, 80, a former New York City prosecutor, likely will represent himself as he faces the Committee on Standards of Official Conduct. The proceeding is formally called an adjudicatory hearing.
Rangel fired his legal team in late October, drawing into question whether the trial would be delayed. But the flamboyant Rangel is expected on Capitol Hill Monday to seize the opportunity to clear his name.

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