Friday, February 4, 2011

Pre Super Bowl Post

Texas has some fiscal problems as does almost every other state and this one is federal mandates for Medicare. The federal government is great at mandating and then pulling the diminishing the funds - same thing happens on the state level as educational mandates are a big one with that. Governor Perry in Texas knows what other governors know and that is to fund the mandates you cut in other areas so aide to communities, education, social services and just about anything else on the budget will get a shave.

Health Care may be on life support if the SCOTUS sides with the lower courts. Republicans want three big changes and all are virtually opt outs such as allowing states and employers to opt out and gutting some of the Medicaid mandates. As far as opt outs a boat load have already been issued by the administration to various businesses/unions.

On Monday evening BOS member Steve Spataro mentioned both monies received and condition of buildings at the Middleboro History Museum. The gift bequeathed to the Association was under the $250,000 but close to that - why quibble? Already half that money has been directed into maintaining the buildings and some information is available on the side bar via link to the MHA. What it comes to is a lot more is needed. The buildings need HVAC to preserve artifacts and documents which are deteriorating rapidly. And when I say HVAC there is none. No heat or A/C and plumbing that is great if this was the 19th century. I’m sure the MHA will apply for funds from the CPA since they receive zero from the town, Pierce Trust or anything else of note for either operating expenses or maintenance of property. Just insurance alone represents about half the annual budget. They receive yearly grants from the Cultural Arts Council and one yearly grant of $500 from the Maxim Trust and the CAC grant goes to funding educational programs or entertainment such as the Ice Cream Social. When Spataro said they were faced with a choice of losing a building he was correct. The Wood gift prevented that - for now.

New York state has slashed their budget and a major fallout is NYC and the sub plot is the layoff of up to 20,000 teachers in NYC. Everything that is negative about a union can be summed up by NYC. There are teachers who have been removed from the classroom yet report for duty each day and are sequestered away with literally nothing to do. Many have been in this routine for years but the powerful union keeps them on the payroll. Be interesting to see if Mayor Bloomberg manages to take on the union in attempting something besides years of service as a determining factor for employment.

Somalia pirates are reported to be torturing captives. It is unconfirmed if the method is playing taped BOS meetings.

Another few snow days and April school vacation just may get dented.

David Stern is a Florida attorney who has made millions on the foreclosure process. So just what is DJSP Enterprises? That is the part of his firm that has gone public. Woe for some and profit for others except that the profit was just not there including a grand name from the Nemasket past - General Wesley Clark. Stern calls his yacht the Misunderstood. Yeah…lawyers are misunderstood. DJSP Enterprises has lost a yacht load of money.

Is that bunker they use in Massachusetts for emergencies a former Nike site? They are scattered throughout the southern part of the state and one in Rehoboth was being used by a private company to store computer file backups.

Tri-Valley college in California was nothing more than a front for illegal immigration. Ninety-five percent of the students were from India and the government finally figured it out that something was wrong. The Indian government has asked the United States for leniency on the “students.” From my own personal experience those from India appear to fall into several groups: Doctors, dentist, small business owners. engineers and computer professionals and maybe the occasional cab driver. Back when I attended Northeastern the School of Engineering was like a trip to India. What amazed me was the ability they had to pick up all the language quirks in what we call English.

The snow pile on the side of our driveway has now reached about eight feet. I am thinking about possibly installing a ski lift and picking up some extra cash. I long ago gave up trying not to toss snow on the bird bath.

Pitchers and catchers report to Ft. Myers in a few weeks.

I bought a snow roof rake. Works well. About $40 at Lowe’s and actually not made in China.

How can a politician be pro-jobs and anti-business at the same time? Seems many do exactly that.

My wife - The Lovely Cynthia - is always watching Dr. Oz and The Doctors on TV and what I notice is that both shows show a bundle of products that they hustle.

The above shows and Dr. Phil can all trace their roots to Harpo Productions and Oprah Winfrey. Great book on Oprah by Kitty Kelly. Love that gossip.

Punxsutawney Phil is just plain idiotic but it did result in a great movie - Groundhog Day.

Massport is in the news as the Boston Herald reported several parking lot attendants earned in excess of a $100,000 last year. The base pay is about $54,000 so that OT adds up. The duties included helping folks find their cars, fix flats, dust snow off cars, jump start and man the booths. There have been many articles through the years on the amount of OT that is so prevalent with Massport so just think about that the next time you have to park at Fortress Logan.

Notice all the flights getting cancelled? Jet Blue wiped out their whole schedule. Airlines are now subject to fines and penalties especially when passengers are confined to the tarmac so why risk say $29,000 a passenger? Just cancel everything and charge no fees for rebooking.

Residency requirements became some type of minor issue at the BOS meeting but as it turns out there happens to be a significant number of department heads who reside in town. Such a requirement could potential drain off applications who view it as too disruptive and burdensome to move. Uprooting from a community - especially if you have young children - could put a real damper on filling out an application and forwarding a resume to Middleboro.

The stock market presents an interesting visual as the end of the trading days nears with some rather rapid fluctuations either up or down as computer programs, day traders, short sellers and foreign investors all kick in the last thirty minutes or so. Volume also goes a bit wild.


bogofree said...

Follow-up on the post. The Arts Council gave the MHA $700 for the coming year for Civil War re-inactors in May and Lakeville Arts gave $100.

Hannaford said...

National Health Care, as it is currently conscrewed, may be on life support. What does that mean for our beloved state system? Eventually, the fiscal system that conscrewed is swimming in will lose its bouyant properties. It can't keep the log jam from drawing flies. There is too much money and power involved for you and I to delouse the odor.

Family Guy said...

From what I have been able to determine the buoyant properties happen to be found in that dwindling resource known as the taxpayer.

When one examines the Obama plan it appears to have one surprise after another embedded within the thousand or so pages and those surprises usually mean taking a bigger chunk out of my wallet and placing it in the hands of those who have contributed little or nothing to society.

North Slope Rigger said...

As a retired union guy I have health benefits but even those are starting to get nicked as my co-pay has gone from $5 to $25. In another few years I have to get medicare as that is mandatory the way our program is written. At one time you could stay on the policy forever without medicare. No more.

I can see the need for reform and I am far right wing but the way this was done was a joke only a costly joke.

Steelers 24 and GB 20.

Suo Mynona said...

This is tucked into the health reform. From the National Association of Realtors:$FILE/government_affairs_health_ref_med_tax.pdf

bogofree said...


Excellent link and some of that was covered in a column just the other day in The Herald. Again this is foot in the door legislation. Watch those exclusions drop through the years.

I had posted on a conversation I had during a visit to Texas about ten months ago where I ran with someone who was "rich." His AGI was $300,000 yet he said they had two cars that were ten years old, were paying a full ride for two kids in college, he and his wife were working 70 hours a week, his small business was one of constantly dealing with government mandates and intrusive (to him) government overseers. He had a comfortable lifestyle buy said he busted his arse to get it and continues to do so.

Now 300K a year may generate little sympathy from most until you realize that a teacher married to a police officer could actually get close to that magic number. Seems like the burden - again - is falling on the "rich."

bogofree said...

Interesting health care column by conservative Michael Graham.

anonymous said...

Frawley has figured it out with two great words on his site: "Free" and "Pizza."

Suo Mynona said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Suo Mynona said...

Bogo you link shows the sword is double sided.

Is it too late for our country to realize that our vanishing great middle-class coincides with the demise of our manufacturing sector, one-sided trade agreements, and having become the country with the highest corporate tax rate?

We are being reversed engineered into oblivion.

Not everyone can push paper or make keystrokes to earn a decent wage and health care.

bogofree said...

Does this mean I will not get that Wal-Mart greeter job?

Suo Mynona said...

You would scare the kids

bogofree said...

I'd also "hit" on the ladies.

Hannaford said...

Suo: Aha, you turned over a nugget: "our vanishing great middle-class coincides with the demise of our manufacturing sector" Technology may have changed, but the principles which previously bouyed up our manufacturing sector are still there, waiting to be reapplied. So, please take a swing!

bogofree said...

The latest report shows that the United States still has a slight edge over China in manufacturing. Wait until the 2011 figures come in.