Author, journalist, conservative, libertarian(ish)

Daily Constitutional

view:  full / summary

Good news for Walker in new poll

Posted by richardmoore on March 9, 2012 at 1:20 AM

Rasmussen: 54% in Wisconsin Oppose Recall of GOP Governor Walker


Most Wisconsin voters approve of the job embattled Governor Scott Walker is doing and oppose the effort to recall him from office before the next election.


A new Rasmussen Reports telephone survey finds that 52% of Likely Wisconsin Voters at least somewhat approve of Walker’s job performance to date, while 46% at least somewhat disapprove. These findings include 40% who Strongly Approve of how the Republican governor is doing and just as many (40%) who Strongly Disapprove.

Wisconsin January unemployment rate drops to 6.9 percent

Posted by richardmoore on March 8, 2012 at 2:00 PM

State gains an estimated 15,700 private-sector jobs between Dec. ’11 and Jan. ‘12


The Department of Workforce Development (DWD) today released the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) preliminary data for January 2012, showing Wisconsin’s unemployment rate dropped to 6.9 percent from a revised 7.0 percent in December 2011 and 7.7 percent in January 2011.


Wisconsin’s preliminary January unemployment rate of 6.9 percent is now the lowest it has been since December of 2008, and it remains well below the national rate.


Wisconsin also added 15,700 private-sector jobs on a preliminary basis from December 2011 to January 2012.

Regulatory reform, pier legislation passes Senate

Posted by richardmoore on March 8, 2012 at 11:45 AM

The Wisconsin state Senate has passed a measure to streamline various DNR waterway permits and to remove burdensome regulations placed on pier owners.


According to the measure, all existing piers would be exempt from regulation so long as they do not impede navigation or infringe on the rights of other pier owners. In addition, pier owners will no longer have to register their pier with the DNR. New piers would be able to have a loading platform of no more then 200 square feet without a permit, property owners will have the right to place a pier, so long as they work with the DNR on the size, shape, and location of the pier if placed in a sensitive area.

Jobless claims up; mainstream media says not to worry

Posted by richardmoore on March 8, 2012 at 11:10 AM

Here's what the Labor Department says: Initial claims for state unemployment benefits increased 8,000 to a seasonally adjusted 362,000.

But, of course, this does not sit well with the mainstream media, which must paint a rosy economic picture to help President Obama. So here's how Reuters reported it:


"The number of Americans filing new claims for jobless benefits rose last week, a government report showed on Thursday, but not enough to change perceptions that the labor market was strengthening."


Whose perceptions? That of the mainstream media, that's who.

Paul finishes second in Washington

Posted by richardmoore on March 4, 2012 at 8:40 AM

Ron Paul vaulted past Rick Santorum in yesterday's Washington state caucuses, winning 25 percent of the vote and second place.

Paul's success – and the growth of the libertarian movement inside the GOP – continues to be one of the year's better storylines. After yesterday, Paul has garnered 434,103 votes, and that's almost twice as many as he had at this stage of the race in 2008.

What's key? One thing is, as Paul himself said, consistency. Republican voters and independents especially are getting tired of big-government establishment Republicans who talk about getting government out of our lives, and then endorse big-government military adventurism and spending or big government imposed moralism, or both. Paul says get the government out of our lives, period.

Second, many disillusioned young people seem to be rediscovering liberty. Young people are looking more and more at libertarianism rather than the failed liberalism of the Democratic Party. That bodes well for the future, and it's the best thing to come out of the 2012 presidential contest so far.

Technically speaking, ObamaCare costs soar

Posted by richardmoore on March 2, 2012 at 3:40 PM

Ouch. OIbamaCare just got more expensive . . . . AGAIN!

Last year, the Obama administration estimated that federal subsidies for states to create so-called health-care exchanges would total $367 billion between 2014 and 2021. Now, in his new 2013 budget, the president estimates the cost at $478 billion over the same period, a whopping $111-billion increase, or 30.2 percent.

According to the Associated Press, the administration blames the increase on “budget technicalities.” That’s a lot of technicalities.

And that's not all, folks. Even before this revision, other economists have been saying the administration is hiding as much as $50 billion a year in costs – that’s $500 billion over 10 years – because their modeling neglects the cost of insuring many employees’ spouses and children, according to an analysis from National Bureau of Economic Research issued last August.

The key question is whether “affordable” as defined in the law and which is essential to qualifying for subsidies refers to single coverage or family coverage in determining an employer’s mandated coverage requirement and workers’ (and their dependents’) access to subsidized exchange coverage, the paper states. If affordability refers to affordable family coverage, then as many as 1.3 million additional people will qualify for subsidies at an extra cost of about $50 billion annually.

Here’s the rub: The administration will probably going with a family affordability rule to cover as many people as possible, but it goes with the single coverage definition when it releases cost estimates to the public.


Winter storm warning

Posted by richardmoore on March 2, 2012 at 3:10 PM


Potentially Dangerous Travel Conditions Developing

Potentially dangerous travel conditions could develop during the afternoon rush hour in south and southeast Wisconsin including Madison, Milwaukee and the Fox River Valley as an intense winter storm moves through the state. Motorists may want to consider adjusting any travel plans for this afternoon and evening.

Heavy snowfall rates, reduced visibilities and strong winds could make travel difficult between 4pm and 10pm. A Winter Storm Warning is in effect in southern and eastern Wisconsin for Friday with 6-8 inches of snow or more possible.

More Big Government Shenanigans

Posted by richardmoore on March 2, 2012 at 2:50 PM

This time with OWI funds.

Every time someone gets convicted of drunken driving, the state gets a chuck of money from a "Driver Improvement Surcharge" -- to the tune of $18 million over the last four years. The money is supposed to oay for various drug and alcohol abuse programs and to fund a Safe Drive program. But there are a number of problems.

First, Safe Drive. The state spent $398,200 last year to give people rides home from bars when they were too intoxicated to drive. Supposedly, the state provided about 65,000 rides. The problem is, the program is administered by the Tavern League, which collects the money on its members' behalf, and so the state doesn't know how many establishments requested reimbursement for rides, or where they are located. A woeful lack of accountability.

More important, of the $18 million collected, the state faied to spend $875,000 of it (about 9.7 percent) on anything, and instead lapsed the money into the general fund to help balance the budget.  This means the fines (or fees) are excessive and, when used for purposes other than intended, create new revenue streams that encourage government to keep spending rather than cut back.

Safe Ride is a perfect example. Since 2007, when the Legislature raised the take for the program to 9.75 percent of its  surcharge revenue from 3.76 percent, the program has raked in $1.6 million, but spent only $983,100. The remaining $631,000 went to the general fund. Clearly, the Legislature didn't need to triple the revenue stream for the program and should have known so from use pattners. So it smells of a back door budget fix. Again, as long as government can keep creating new revenue sources, it doiesn;t have to tighten its belt.

In any event, the surcharge doesn't work. We have more drunken driving convictions than ever. Part of the reason for that is the lack of tough DUI laws that would put repeat offenders behind bars where they belong. But part of it is likely due to the surcharge itself, which has grown from $300 in 1996 to $365 today, with the state taking an ever larger portion. That's a hefty revenue stream, and puts presure on law enforcement to meet and up their quotas of arrests, just to keep the money coming in.

So here's to the DUI Driver Improvement Surcharge – another big government cash cow

The happiest workers of all

Posted by richardmoore on March 1, 2012 at 4:50 PM

The company CareerBliss has compiled for MSNBC a list of the happiest and unhappiest industries to work in, based on more than 43,000 independent employee reviews.

And wouldn’t you know it, the “most blissful employees of all” work for the government.

Of course they do! No surprise here. But you really have to laugh when you hear Heidi Golledge, chief executive of CareerBliss, offer up her explanation of why that is so.

“Many folks in government feel truly happy because they feel they are giving something back to their country,” Golledge says. “Additionally, they are part of a larger structure, so they know what they should be doing and when, and they feel good about the hierarchy.”

Wow! No, with all due respect, they are happy because they are taking a disproportionate share of wealth FROM the country’s taxpayers, in the form bloated wages and benefits. Anybody who thinks it’s about giving something back should just look at public-sector union behavior here in Wisconsin. They no doubt feel good about the hierarchy, though, if by hierarchy she means the bureaucracy through which these workers accumulate power and run our lives. Leave it to the mainstream media!

Andrew Breitbart dead

Posted by richardmoore on March 1, 2012 at 11:35 AM

Politico reporting that Andrew Breitbart, the conservative journalist and activist, has died suddenly at the age of 43.