May 2011

The DNC may want ti rethink naming Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz after her remarks last week about illegal immigration and its effect on the economy.

Wasserman Schultz: We have twelve million undocumented immigrants in this country that ah, that are part of the backbone of our economy. And that is not only a reality but a necessity. And that it would be harmful if something… The Republican solutions that I’ve seen in the last three years is to that we should just pack them all up and ship them back to their own countries. And in fact it should be a crime and that we should arrest them all. That was in legislation that James Sensenbrenner advanced a couple of years ago.

That’s the first time I’ve heard anyone on the left call illegal immigrants part of the backbone of our economy.  What planet is she on?

Our economy will do just fine thank you without the benefit of illegal immigrants.

As for deporting undocumented workers as Wasserman Schultz likes to call them, for some reason she just can’t understand why they should face deportation just because they lack proper documentation.

What part of illegal immigration doesn’t she understand?

If this is the best the DNC can offer then their hopes of making any progress in the 2012 Congressional elections is in deep trouble.

New DNC Chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz criticized Republican presidential candidates who opposed President Obama’s bailout of the auto industry may need to be hoisted by her own petard:

“If it were up to the candidates for president on the Republican side we would be driving foreign cars. They would have let the auto industry in America go down the tubes.”

That’s all well and fine except that according to the L.A. Times, Michael O’Brien of The Hill discovered that Wasserman Schultz owns a Japanese car.


In case you missed the new commercial from the NRSC about Obama’s energy plan here it is.

Obama and the Democrats don’t care how much it costs consumers they are determined to foist their green energy plans on all of us.

Nothing like seeing Obama being hoisted by his own petard.

The Montgomery County Council just can’t tear itself away from the little blue pill as they voted to keep funding its use for county government workers though in a more limited fashion than in the past.

According to the Examiner the council over the objections of County Executive Isiah Leggett voted to fund six doses of the drug each month for county workers which is a change from the unlimited supply they had access to before.

Leggett a Democrat had argued that “lifestyle drugs” such as viagra which cost the county $400,000 last year should be eliminated to help close a $300 million budget shortfall.

But County Council member  Marc Elrich (D-At Large)  disagreed with Leggett  and told the Examiner that  it was a  quality of life issue which can affect relationships.

Because we know that relationships and in this case sexual relationships are far more important than being fiscally responsible and serving the taxpayers of Montgomery County which is what Elrich and his fellow council members were elected to do.

At least I’ll know that if my taxes go up in the future that I’ll be doing my part to keep county workers happy, very happy.

First Lady Michelle Obama may be on a crusade to fight obesity but it doesn’t mean that she doesn’t love food as evidenced by this ABC News report on the White House reception celebrating Cinco de Mayo.

The president called Cinco de Mayo a chance to commemorate the shared heritage between Mexicans and Americans. “It’s a day for remembering that America is a richer, stronger, more vibrant place thanks to the contributions of Mexican Americans to the life of this nation.”

The crowd learned a little tidbit about the first lady, courtesy of her husband.

Said Obama: “I asked Michelle the other day, I said, ‘What’s your favorite food’ — because we were sitting around with the girls. She said, ‘Ah, Mexican food.’”

The crowd loved the news.

“You do not want to be between Michelle and a tamale,” joked the president.  “It’s true. It’s true. But she’s moving, though, so she can afford to have as many tamales as she wants,” said Obama in a nod to his wife’s “Let’s Move” healthy campaign.

And no doubt Michelle has eaten quite a few tamales in her day.

The thought of Michelle Obama bearing down on a plate of tamales reminds me of Baltimore Ravens  linebacker Ray Lewis making a beeline for a quarterback.  Get out of the way.

Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer who has become a hero to those fighting illegal immigration took issue with President Obama’s “jokes” about border control this week.

Brewer was visibly angry with Obama and basically called him a pea brain when it comes to understanding border control.

Fight, Fight, Fight.

The obesity police are at it again and this time their target it’s chocolate milk in school lunches that may face the firing squad all in the name of political correctness.

Chocolate milk has the unfortunate distinction of containing far more sugar than white milk and that has anti-fat advocates up in arms as they try to pressure school systems to drop the very popular drink.

Flavored milk, mostly chocolate and strawberry represent 70 percent of all milk consumed by schools according to the Milk Processors Education Program and despite the sugar content still remains an important part of students diets.

The group says that when flavored milk is removed from the menu consumption drops 35 percent and for many children school is the only place they get any milk.

Not everyone is on the ban chocolate milk bandwagon though.  The School Nutrition Association, American Academy of Pediatrics, American Dietetic Association, American Heart Association, and National Medical Association, say that the nutritional value of flavored low-fat or skim milk outweighs the harm of added sugar.

The added sugar doesn’t diminish the fact that milk contains nine essential nutrients including calcium, vitamin D and protein.

In a  joint statement from those groups they point to studies that show children who drink fat-free, flavored milk meet more of their nutrient needs and are not heavier than non-milk drinkers.

That hasn’t stopped the fat fighters from complaining and calling chocolate milk “soda in drag” by saying that fat-free strawberry flavored milk has the same sugar content as eight ounces of Coca-Cola.

That would be more accurate if kids actually drank as much milk as they do soda.

If they are so concerned about fighting obesity and reducing sugar then why don’t they just ban students from bringing anything sugary or salty from home?

I can see it now.  As each student enters school each day they must have their backpacks inspected by a team of nutritionists to make sure no fattening food passes their portal before being allowed to proceed to class.

That may sound far-fetched to some but at the rate things are going it could become reality before we know it.

The Department of Labor may have hit a new low with their explanation on Thursday as to why initial jobless claims spiked unexpectedly on Thursday when a spokesman attributed it in part to spring break.

You remember spring break don’t you?  It’s the annual Easter week break where college kids traditionally head to sunnier climes like Florida and party like there’s no tomorrow.

Up until now I never knew that tens of thousands of partying college kids were responsible for mass layoffs and therefore contributed to our unemployment problem.

But alas I’m not the only skeptic.

As Reuters reported even economists were a bit dumbfounded at the idea that this weeks spike was due to spring break:

Michael Strauss, Chief Economist of Commonfund

“The Labor Department doesn’t come out and say we messed up our seasonal factor adjustments, but they did. Their way of putting it is the claims were tied to spring break layoffs in New York. Why did we have that? Because spring break was later because of the floating nature of the Easter holiday.

“Is it going to affect payrolls number? No.”

And Marc Pado, U.S. Market Strategist for Cantor Fitzgerald also chimed in:

This weekly claims number, there is a bunch of stuff in there that is kind of screwy in that they are noting a spring break holiday in New York — I don’t know why that has an impact. The change in the benefits program and of course the disaster in Japan having impacted plants that closed down because they couldn’t get parts so those people went on jobless claims. So getting a clean number is going to be difficult. We also had a difference in some of the seasonal factors because these are seasonally adjusted and we had a late Easter this time.”

In reality aren’t any layoffs that may be caused from one week of college kids leaving school balanced out by their invasion of cities like Ft. Lauderdale?

I’m sure that restaurants, bars and hotels staffed up in anticipation of the increased demand offsetting any job losses that may have occurred in college towns across America.

Considering that spring break has been a long held tradition in this country, the idea that this one week college binge is responsible for unemployment claims spiking is ludicrous to say the least.

Then again we are dealing with n administration grasping fro straws as they try to explain away persistently high unemployment numbers that threaten their reelection chances next year.

Last night the Montgomery County (MD) County Council passed a 5-cent bag tax that they hope will help save the environment at the expense of residents’ wallets.

The tax comes on the heels of a similar measure passed last year in the District of Columbia which has reduced overall bag use but has come at a cost to the local economy according to a study by the Beacon Hill Institute and Americans for Tax Reform.

According to the study, the bag tax will result in the elimination of more than 100 local jobs and precipitate a $5.64 million decline in aggregate disposable income this year alone.

That in turn will create a sales tax revenue loss of $108,340 and a reduction in investment of $602,000 most of it in the retail sector.

The District which had expected the tax to generate $3.5 million in revenue received just $2 million in the first year as shoppers either used reusable bags or did without them altogether.

Yet the tax disproportionally affects the people who can least afford it.  D.C. residents with cars can stash reusable bags in their vehicles or carry a few items from the store to their car without a bag but that isn’t the case with those that rely on public transportation.

Residents who live in the economically deprived areas of the city are far less likely to own a reusable bag or feel like they can afford to buy one and therefore have little choice but to pay the bag tax.

And even though I don’t drink, I just can’t see patrons carrying a reusable bag into the liquor store to buy a bottle of Jack.  Maybe I’m wrong here but it’s hard to envision someone sitting in a park taking a swig from a bottle that’s in a reusable bag.

Maybe someone can manufacture a single serve size reusable bag.

Another problem with the bags is that they get dirty very fast.

At a time when hand sanitizers are ubiquitous in public places researchers found that reusable bags are “seldom if ever washed,” and found that almost all bags tested had large amounts of bacteria turning them in effect into moving Petri dishes.

This should come as no surprise to those that use the bags as they often carry far more than just basic groceries throughout the week.

And when was the last time you washed your reusable bag?

As a Montgomery County resident I will be minimally affected by the new tax as I do most of my shopping at the warehouse stores where boxes are the norm for packing groceries and other purchases but I will miss the occasional bag which serves as a trash can liner or an easy way to carry lunch to work.

But what about those that are already pinched by a sluggish economy and job market?  Also I know of at least one low price grocery store that already charges 5 cents to customers who want a bag to carry their purchases.  Are they now going to charge 10 cents?

Rather than charge twice as much for a bag they will probably just raise prices to compensate for the loss of income which hurts everybody.

The new tax won’t affect the County Council members very much as they collect their $94,000 salaries and whip out their dirty reusable bags but it will hit the pocketbooks of already overburdened taxpayers as they try to make ends meet and live the American Dream.