Canaries and coal mines

So the French have no stomach for austerity measures. Do we? This would seem a good gauge: if we aren’t capable of cutting the truly unnecessary, then those who feel robbed of their free goodies will rise up a la Cloward-Piven to ensure future reward. Via Hot Air, a test of intestinal fortitude for the GOP:

Say — how’d you like to get a free cellphone?  No strings attached, no contracts, and no payments ever.  Don’t stop at one phone, either — get two, three, five, ten, twenty or more!  The cost is covered by people who are dumb enough to pay for their own cell phones … like you and me.  We’ve been doing it for a decade or more, and it’s now costing us over a billion dollars a year, as Rep. Tim Griffin (R-AR) argues as he fights to bring the program to a halt.

Griffin doesn’t plan on cutting the subsidized landline access–which doeshave safety implications–but cellular only. Even then, will the GOP survive the onslaught of taking-granny’s-phone-away media? Or are we finally able to stand up to false vilification?


“Like, YAY” generation willing to trade “like, liberty” for that pack of free birth control pills

I can’t shake this out of my head.

Pundette posted this gem among many yesterday of a college crowd’s response to a Romney rally [emphasis hers]:

But there was no indication that Romney’s message resonated. Some of those watching called out “Obama 2012.” The first question was pointed: “So you’re all for like, yay, freedom, and all this stuff,” a woman said. “And yay, like pursuit of happiness. You know what would make me happy? Free birth control.”

Young white college gals ain’t so different from the black folks who wanted the free Obama money. Except they’re willing to sell their liberty for easy sex.

Read the rest and wince at what 40 years of like, feminist drivel and like, abysmal education systems have wrought: young ladies willing to prostitute themselves, for like, free!

(On a side note, I wonder what the young lady in question would say if she like, thought about the consequences of “free” birth control so freely given by the state. Like what happens when those free pills don’t work and you’re forced into free abortions? Or forced sterilization? I’m sure she doesn’t worry about such like, atrocities now, but maybe if she read the news she would. Or maybe not.)

Related: Allahpundit‘s palate cleanser isn’t a far stretch for the “like, yay” generation, Onion or not.

Supercuts stylishly affordable

Oh, how the mighty have fallen.

Apparently John Edwards coifs his mane at Supercuts for $12.95 these days, a far cry from the $1,250 he spent per cut during the heady days of the ’08 campaign.

And as Styleite notes, his hair looks no different.


Change: “the job prospects for bachelor’s degree holders fell last year to the lowest level in more than a decade.”

Lesson learned for college kids? Will they know to blame GW for their employment woes? I’m sure. Via memeorandum, the AP reports:

The college class of 2012 is in for a rude welcome to the world of work.

A weak labor market already has left half of young college graduates either jobless or underemployed in positions that don’t fully use their skills and knowledge.

Young adults with bachelor’s degrees are increasingly scraping by in lower-wage jobs — waiter or waitress, bartender, retail clerk or receptionist, for example — and that’s confounding their hopes a degree would pay off despite higher tuition and mounting student loans.

An analysis of government data conducted for The Associated Press lays bare the highly uneven prospects for holders of bachelor’s degrees.

Opportunities for college graduates vary widely.

While there’s strong demand in science, education and health fields, arts and humanities flounder. Median wages for those with bachelor’s degrees are down from 2000, hit by technological changes that are eliminating midlevel jobs such as bank tellers. Most future job openings are projected to be in lower-skilled positions such as home health aides, who can provide personalized attention as the U.S. population ages.

We know a wonderful young man about to graduate from a major state  university. He’s fortunate enough, however, to be leaving school debt-free thanks to a ROTC scholarship. And oh, he’s guaranteed a job as a newly-minted 2nd Lieutenant in the Army with an in-demand BS.

He didn’t vote for Obama, either. Go figure, eh? The kids willing to work for what they want–rather than taking the liberal bait that they’re owed something–are the ones who will emerge successful and debt-free. If only we could all be so savvy.

More from the article:

Taking underemployment into consideration, the job prospects for bachelor’s degree holders fell last year to the lowest level in more than a decade.

“I don’t even know what I’m looking for,” says Michael Bledsoe, who described months of fruitless job searches as he served customers at a Seattle coffeehouse. The 23-year-old graduated in 2010 with a creative writing degree.

Initially hopeful that his college education would create opportunities, Bledsoe languished for three months before finally taking a job as a barista, a position he has held for the last two years. In the beginning he sent three or four resumes day. But, Bledsoe said, employers questioned his lack of experience or the practical worth of his major. Now he sends a resume once every two weeks or so.

Bledsoe, currently making just above minimum wage, says he got financial help from his parents to help pay off student loans. He is now mulling whether to go to graduate school, seeing few other options to advance his career. “There is not much out there, it seems,” he said.

Emphasis my own. What a shame no one told Bledsoe that the practical worth of his major amounted to next to nothing. He is pictured with a nose ring and giant gauges in his ears. Call me old-fashioned, but I wonder how his appearance plays into his inability to garner more than a minimum wage job. (Hint: remove the jewelry, dude!) Further, he asked his parents for money to pay his loans rather than trying to find another low-paying job. No wonder it sounds like a great idea to stack up more debt! Go get that MFA!

Spreading that wealth

Bits and pieces. Via Washington Examiner, Obama obfuscates his intent:

President Obama, who famously called for tax increases on the wealthy to “spread the wealth around,” denied today that his tax increases on the rich are an attempt to “redistribute wealth.”

“So these investments — in things like education and research and health care — they haven’t been made as some grand scheme to redistribute wealth from one group to another,” the president said today at Florida Atlantic University. “This is not some socialist dream,” Obama added, as he called for tax increases on millionaires today to pay for those investments.

A reminder:

When he advocated the same plan in 2008, though, Obama described this “spread the wealth around” policy.  “I’m gonna cut taxes a little bit more for the folks who are most in need and for the 5 percent of the folks who are doing very well – even though they’ve been working hard and I appreciate that – I just want to make sure they’re paying a little bit more in order to pay for those other tax cuts,” he told Samuel Wurzelbacher (aka Joe the Plumber), who is now running for Congress.

Too bad that wealth doesn’t run very deep. Allahpundit: Just a reminder: “Buffett Rule” that Obama won’t stop talking about is aimed mainly at around 400 taxpayers.

400. But who’s counting when all we’re doing is stripping their money away to help others sit on their duffs. Chris Christie nailed it:

Christie said he hasn’t seen a less optimistic period in the country in his lifetime.

“Government’s telling them stop dreaming, stop striving, we’ll take care of you,” he said at a theater at the New York Historical Society. “We’re turning into a paternalistic entitlement society. That will not just bankrupt us financially, it will bankrupt us morally.”

“We’ll have a bunch of people sitting on a couch waiting for their next government check,” Christie said.

It already has bankrupted us morally. Half of the populace takes from the other and is still allowed to vote for more handouts. I’d call that bankrupt.

Is Romney strong enough to make the necessary contrast with redistributionist Obama? Oremus.


White House scrubs story of Malia’s jaunt to Mexico for all the wrong reasons

It’s not the security threat. The press treatment of the Bush twins proves that.

It’s the moolah.

Everyone knows how much money Michelle likes to spend on her little jaunts outside the White House. The apple doesn’t fall too far from the tree, eh? It’s not that Americans are warned against all travel to Mexico. It’s the 25 Secret Service agents and 3 armored vehicles that accompanied the young Obama. No wonder the other parents let their kids go on a “school trip.” They had security provided by yokels like you and me.


When do facts ever matter to liberal (Congressmen, no less)?

Charlie Rangel can’t help himself. Via Hot Air, a choice tidbit of liberal nonsense from The Hill:

Rep. Charlie Rangel (D-NY) on Wednesday called for the redistribution of America’s riches and hammered the wealthy for benefitting from a war effort fought by the poor and middle class.…

Rangel offered no specific remedy for adjusting those figures during his comments on the House floor, but argued further that the wealthiest one percent have the added benefit of not needing to get involved in military service.

“Why is it that we know, or that we can suspect, that in this war where we lost so many lives, that so many people have been wounded, that our brave men and women coming home will subject themselves with a lack of funds to deal with their physical or mental problems?” he asked. “Any yet we somehow know that that 1 percent was not involved in defending our great nation.”

“We can almost know without any investigation that the wealthiest of Americans never found themselves protecting our flag,” he added.

Truth matters not to liberals, especially when invoking the 99%. They want socialism because it’s the greatest. Who cares about truth? When confronted with it, they deny vociferously.

In Rangel’s case, The Heritage Foundation has debunked this mythology for years. A refresher from last month:

Who serves? It isn’t the poorest of the poor with no other option

Quite the contrary. From the WSJ [emphasis mine]:

In 2008, using data provided by the Defense Department, the Heritage Foundation found that only 11% of enlisted military recruits in 2007 came from the poorest one-fifth, or quintile, of American neighborhoods (as of the 2000 Census), while 25% came from the wealthiest quintile. Heritage reported that “these trends are even more pronounced in the Army Reserve Officer Training Corps (ROTC) program, in which 40% of enrollees come from the wealthiest neighborhoods, a number that has increased substantially over the past four years.

Indeed, the Heritage report showed that “low-income families are underrepresented in the military and high-income families are overrepresented. Individuals from the bottom household income quintile make up 20.0 percent of Americans who are age 18-24 years old but only 10.6 percent of the 2006 recruits and 10.7 percent of the 2007 recruits. Individuals in the top two quintiles make up 40.0 percent of the population, but 49.3 percent of the recruits in both years.

Go figure. I guess Rangel doesn’t read The Journal. Nor does he–or any liberal for that matter–care about the blatant lie of perpetuating demonstrated untruths on the House floor no less.  Never forget the mantra of liberalism: All’s fair in the name of wealth redistribution

H/t: Pundette.

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Welfare dead-end

In Greece, the sky is falling:

“No one warned us,” she said. “I have no hope, not for myself, not for my children, and I am only 50.” But she said some things still make her laugh. “I can’t get it into my mind that my life is such a mess,” she said. “It’s a joke.”

When you’re raised to believe the government provides everything, it’s disastrous to realize that a government cannot.

Beyond the public-sector wage cuts, in recent months the government has also imposed a “solidarity tax” ranging from 1 to 4 percent of income on all workers and an additional tax on self-employed workers, who make up the bulk of the economy. It has also raised its value-added taxon many goods and services, including food, to 23 percent from 13 percent.

The economy is flagging, and it is not uncommon for even private-sector workers to see pay cuts of 30 percent or more, sometimes in exchange for a reduction in working hours.

The tax hike most bothersome to Greeks is the new property tax.

Most worrisome, the headline in the NYT: Worried Greeks Fear Collapse of Middle Class Welfare State

Don’t liberals get a clue from this? It’s not sustainable. Never has been. Never will be. Mark Steyn:

Greece is reported to be within weeks if not days of default. There are two likely outcomes to this scenario: 1) Greece will default. 2) Germany and the Eurocrats will decide that default would be too embarrassing for the EU’s pretentions and will throw whatever sum of money is necessary into the great sucking maw of toxic ouzo to stave it off a while longer.

But Option Two doesn’t alter the underlying reality — that, if words have any meaning, Greece is insolvent, and given its rapidly aging population (100 grandparents have 42 grandchildren) is unlikely to be non-insolvent under any conceivable scenario, no matter how tightly German taxpayers are squeezed to pay for it. By the same measure, so are many other Western nations

We face the same fate if we cannot cut the size and scope of government and entitlements. Kinda wild, ain’t it, that we could follow Greece down the black hole of welfare? And we thought we weren’t a socialist nation. Guess we’ve spent like one, no?

H/t: Hot Air headlines

Linked by Pundette as a “Recommended Read.” Thanks!

Liberalism gone wild: how to reduce the stigma of free lunch

Why everyone receives one, of course, regardless of need.

This is no joke from the Detroit Free Press:

All Detroit Public Schools students will receive free breakfast, lunch and snacks in an effort to remove the stigma of being from a low-income family.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture program chose Michigan as one of three states to participate in the pilot program. Charter schools and districts in Michigan can participate if at least 40% of students are eligible for public assistance.

Who needs to pay for meals, eh? The line moves much faster when you don’t have to whip out a wallet.

“One of the primary goals of this program is to eliminate the stigma that students feel when they get a free lunch, as opposed to paying cash,” said DPS Chief Operating Officer Mark Schrupp. “Some students would skip important meals to avoid being identified as low-income. Now, all students will walk through a lunch line and not have to pay. Low-income students will not be easily identifiable and will be less likely to skip meals.”

Although not required to participate, parents are still being asked to fill out a survey that includes income analysis to ensure that children, schools and the district will continue to receive millions of dollars in benefits and resources from the state and federal governments, as well as private grants. Program funding dependent on the surveys includes tutoring, after-school programs, field trips, technology and equipment, DDOT bus cards, free college testing, enrichment activities and others.

The never-ending flow of other people’s money, now to those who don’t even need it.

Why am I not surprised? That free Obama money, making the rounds.

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“Why study Cervantes, Voltaire, or Goethe when you can contemplate yourself?”

So says Heather Mac Donald, who argues “diversity” in higher education is code for narcissism. She writes:

UC San Diego is adding diversity fat even as it snuffs out substantive academic programs. In March, the Academic Senate decided that the school would no longer offer a master’s degree in electrical and computer engineering; it also eliminated a master’s program in comparative literature and courses in French, German, Spanish, and English literature. At the same time, the body mandated a new campus-wide diversity requirement for graduation. The cultivation of “a student’s understanding of her or his identity,” as the diversity requirement proposal put it, would focus on “African Americans, Asian Americans, Pacific Islanders, Hispanics, Chicanos, Latinos, Native Americans, or other groups” through the “framework” of “race, ethnicity, gender, religion, sexuality, language, ability/disability, class or age.” Training computer scientists to compete with the growing technical prowess of China and India, apparently, can wait. More pressing is guaranteeing that students graduate from UCSD having fully explored their “identity.”

Identity exploration costs a pretty penny, too. Near-penniless UC schools cut real degrees to lavishly fund “diversity” offerings:

Not only have diversity sinecures been protected from budget cuts, their numbers are actually growing. The University of California at San Diego, for example, is creating a new full-time “vice chancellor for equity, diversity, and inclusion.” This position would augment UC San Diego’s already massive diversity apparatus, which includes the Chancellor’s Diversity Office, the associate vice chancellor for faculty equity, the assistant vice chancellor for diversity, the faculty equity advisors, the graduate diversity coordinators, the staff diversity liaison, the undergraduate student diversity liaison, the graduate student diversity liaison, the chief diversity officer, the director of development for diversity initiatives, the Office of Academic Diversity and Equal Opportunity, the Committee on Gender Identity and Sexual Orientation Issues, the Committee on the Status of Women, the Campus Council on Climate, Culture and Inclusion, the Diversity Council, and the directors of the Cross-Cultural Center, the Lesbian Gay Bisexual Transgender Resource Center, and the Women’s Center.

Let us all bow before the altar of race, class and gender studies. Because it’s all so important. To whom? Ah, to those whose pockets are lined by it. Much like the Al Gores of the world who profit by screaming the sky is falling overheating. Or cooling. Depends on how much money is involved, I guess.

Read the rest. Bureaucrats protect themselves at taxpayer expense. Always.

h/t Instapundit, whose link “Higher Education Bubble” link has mysteriously 404’d.