Michael Medved covers some of the newer information regarding the Texas church shooters biography. One nugget is that Devin Kelley escaped a mental health facility and was plotting on bringing harm to Air Force officials. Here is the Gray Ladies article.
Senator Rand Paul gives a passionate speech about how congress should send money to Hurricane Harvey survivors but shouldn’t increase the debt to pay for it. Paul makes the case that the US should stop sending money to foreign countries before we pay for our problems. Paul believes Congress continually votes with their hearts and not their heads.
- “We wanted to provide help to the people of hurricane Harvey by using the swamp buggies to take supplies to the people that did not leave their homes. We took things like diapers, food, water, baby wipes, etc. We were able to go places that boats and most vehicles could not. HOWEVER, WE WERE NOT ALLOWED TO DO SO.”
THE DAILY MAIL has more:
DAILY CALLER has a story that will pick up steam across the Net:
Texas Tech’s new student political organization PoliTech goes to campus to see how much our students know about their nation’s politics! You might be surprised.
Before posting the Breitbart link, I wish to say the biologist, Brent Ortego, in the above story is wrong… because a canine doesn’t use it’s front paws like this. Here is more:
In the rural town of Ratcliffe, Texas, a couple believes they caught a mythical chupacabra.
According to numerous reports, Bubba Stock captured the creature on Sunday evening. The creature was eating corn in a tree at the time. Bubba’s wife, Jackie Stock, told local media outlet ABC7, “He told me to come look, and I said, ‘Bubba, that looks like a baby chupacabra.'”
The captured animal is hairless, blue-eyed, and growls.
KFOR-TV reported that Wildlife Diversity Biologist Brent Ortego thinks the creature is a dog or coyote with mange, a skin disease that causes animals to lose hair. Others have said the creature is likely a raccoon. But many Ratcliffe residents believe it could be an actual chupacabra.
According to local reports, resident Arlen Parma is puzzled by the animal’s growl.
“A raccoon don’t make that noise, or a possum,” Parma contended. “What makes that noise? I guess a Chupacabra does, I don’t know.”
My bet is that it is a raccoon with mange.
The latest evidence of that detachment from reality came online Saturday evening at the New York Times, and appeared in today’s print edition. Writer James McAuley, described as “a Marshall scholar studying history at the University of Oxford,” wrote that Dallas collectively “willed the death of the president,” and that it has prospered disproportionately in the subsequent 50 years because of “pretending to forget.”
To give readers an idea of where McAuley is coming from when he isn’t engaging in dishonest guilt by association, he considers the financial meltdown of 2007-2008 a failure of the “neoliberal paradigm” of Ronald Reagan and Margaret Thatcher (yes, he calls them “neoliberals”). Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, the U.S. government-sponsored enterprises whose mismanagement and comprehensive frauds by design actually caused the meltdown, are apparently irrelevant.
McAuley brings some personal issues into his anti-Dallas rant, as seen in the latter portions of the excerpts below. But what’s unreal is the late-in-the-game sentence which contradicts his opening premise (bolds and numbered tags are mine):
The weekend produced a spate of dang-this-is-bad articles on the economic situation in California. Steven Greenhut’s for the Orange County Register is entitled “California to middle class: drop dead.” At The Daily Beast, Joel Kotkin laments that “As California Collapses, Obama Follows its Lead.” (H/t – and a “Read it, people!” shout-out – to Ed Driscoll at PJM.)
But what does all this look like in terms of numbers? What’s the how much and where and whom of the Golden State collapse? Perhaps the most interesting and telling thing is that it really is as bad as it looks. And the reasons are pretty much what you’d expect. Here’s the California story, in numbers.
According to a March 2012 report, 855,000 is how many private-sector jobs California has lost since the recession started four years ago. (H/t: California Political News & Views.) The state today enjoys an unemployment rate of 11%, compared with the official national average of 8.3%
Texas, by contrast, has added 139,800 jobs, posting the biggest absolute gain among the 50 states. (California’s is the biggest absolute loss.) Texas’ unemployment rate is 7.1%.
But we were talking about California. How does California rank in terms of the average state and local tax burden? According to the Tax Foundation, in 2009, California had the 6th heaviest tax burden in the nation, at 10.6%. (New Jersey was #1, followed by New York at #2.) That’s the in-state tax burden, of course. Federal taxes are on top of that.
Of course, business climate comprises more than the average individual tax burden. The Tax Foundation looks at five forms of taxation – corporate tax, individual income tax, sales tax, property tax, and unemployment insurance tax – to index the business climates of the 50 states. By this combined measure, the Tax Foundation ranks California 48th in business climate. (New York is 49th, and New Jersey 50th.)
State regulatory environment? George Mason University’s Mercatus Center ranks the Golden State 48th in the nation. New Jersey and New York are numbers 49 and 50, respectively.
How about other business costs? California had the 5th highest state premium ranking for worker compensation insurance costs in 2010 (although the state’s position improved slightly in 2011 due to other states raising their state premiums).
California ranks 7th highest in electric utility costs, with Hawaii being the highest, followed by Connecticut and Alaska.
According to the Small Business & Entrepreneurship Council, California has the third-highest per-gallon gasoline tax (Connecticut and New York are #1 and #2) and by far the highest tax on diesel, at 52.5 cents per gallon. (Some numbers below also come from the SB&EC report.)
California perennially has the second-highest gasoline prices at the pump (Hawaii is #1), although the state has regularly been ranked 3rd or 4th in oil production in recent years. (In the past week the statewide average was $4.15 for a gallon of regular, down from $4.36 a month ago.) In spite of having the third largest oil and gas reserves of any state in the nation, California is ranked dead last among all US jurisdictions for global oil investment. The fact that California hasn’t issued a new offshore drilling permit for over 30 years is undoubtedly a factor, as is the fact that the Monterey Shale Oil Field, which holds 64% of all the recoverable shale oil in the United States, is hamstrung by lawsuits, a typical condition in the state for both drilling and refining operations.
In spite of the state’s natural bounty, California produces only 37% of its statewide oil consumption. The rest comes from other states and countries, at added expense.
In terms of the employer burden of health-insurance mandates, California is 9th among the 50 states and the District of Columbia. (Rhode Island, Maryland, and Minnesota have the highest burdens.)
Meanwhile, California ranks 4th highest in state and local government spending per capita. The District of Columbia is the highest, followed by Alaska, Wyoming, and New York.
Ah, yes, state spending. California has by far the largest debt of any US state, at around $612 billion with state and local debt and pension liabilities included. In terms of raw numbers, New York posts a pathetic second place with only $305 billion. The size of California’s population allows the Golden State to slip to only 7th place in terms of per capita state and local debt. The District of Columbia walks off with another prize in this category, having on the books 85% more debt per capita than the 50-state average.
The California debt spiral is due in part to the steep decline in state tax revenues. The 22% year-on-year decline observed in February 2012 doesn’t tell the whole story either; California had already posted dramatic revenue losses in business and property taxes between 2007 and 2010. Business-tax revenues dropped 18% in that period, and property-tax revenues fell 30% due to the real estate market crash.
Let’s talk population trends. Many readers are familiar with the arresting Golden State statistics cited by a Wall Street Journal article in March:
The establishment press will never tell their readers, listeners and viewers that the five best-performing states in job growth through the first eleven months of this year, as well as nine of the top eleven, have relatively conservative Republicans occupying their respective governors’ mansions. If these eleven star performers had only performed as well as the rest of the nation, over 300,000 fewer people would be working, and the unemployment rate would be at least 0.2% higher.
As will be seen after the jump, the list, based on date released today by Uncle Sam’s Bureau of Labor Statistics, includes several against which the Obama administration has undertaken significant job-killing or job-deferring actions (i.e., these states have outperformed despite the handicaps, and would have done much better without them):
I wanted to say something about Rachel Maddow’s “debunking” of Texas jobs,
and that is that she skews her stats on this a bit. Firstly however, minimum wage laws (which play a part in this waxing of the numbers) play a big roll in keeping people unemployed. This isn’t my main point however, here are some points made elswhere:
But there’s no escaping it. The number is real. Which means that if you care about putting people back to work at a time when nearly 14 million in this country are unemployed, maybe Texas has something to teach us.
Unfortunately, that’s not the posture many commentators have taken. Instead, when the data from Texas emerged — touted first by Richard Fisher, president of the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas — conservatives were quick to celebrate, embracing the jobs tally as powerful evidence of the superiority of Republican ideas as well as proof that Texas Gov. Rick Perry would make a good president. But that’s overly simplistic.
Meanwhile, those on the liberal end of the spectrum immediately set out to shoot the numbers down. MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow, for instance, held up a giant bologna and mocked the notion of a “Texas miracle.” That view, however, is too cavalier….
To be sure, Texas is not without lots of problems. And its remarkable employment growth is not without attendant concerns. But for those on the left to dismiss the state’s jobs story out of hand, just because Republicans have embraced it as a showpiece, is counterproductive and foolish.
While the LA Times article struggled a bit, but ended up shining at the end, the following is what Maddow and the LA Times writer didn’t fully account for:
In her column for The Daily, Reason Foundation’s Shikha Dalmia delves into Gov. Rick Perry’s record and writes that Texas “has one of the lightest personal tax burdens in the country and a low cost of living, which are hugely attractive to out-of-work Americans. Their flocking to the state has bumped up Texas’ unemployment rate to 8 percent, prompting Rachel Maddow to jeer on the air that Perry’s jobs record is not a whole lot better than many other states. What she refuses to see is that while in those states high unemployment is due to anemic job growth, in Texas it is due to robust population growth. If anything, Texas offers proof that people prefer jobs, even low-paying ones, to lavish social benefits — repudiating the liberal tax-and-spend economic model.