Thoughts On A Sunday

We had quite a bit of melting over the past two days which helped clean up the remains of the last heavy, wet snowfall we experienced a few days ago. However this morning we woke to an inch of new snow, though it is lighter this time around, something cleaned up with a broom rather than a shovel or snowblower.


I had hopes that New Hampshire's new governor, Maggie Hassan, would follow more closely in the footsteps of her predecessor, John Lynch, keeping an eye on both state expenditures and revenues. (Not that Lynch did all that great a job of it.) Those hopes were dashed when she submitted a budget that included $80 million of revenues from casino licensing fees. The only problem? New Hampshire law does not allow casino gambling. The second problem? Even if gambling were expanded by the legislature during this session, it's highly likely those revenues would not be seen until the next budget cycle two years from now.

So like her history in the state senate, she is pushing for spending based upon revenues that don't exist. The last time this happened the state ended up with an $800 million structural deficit because the then Democrat majority House and Senate based their spending upon unrealistic and overly optimistic revenue projections. Fortunately this time around the state Senate is held by Republicans and they've already stated they won't let this budget go through as written. There's also been push back in the Democrat majority House, meaning the budget proposal is in trouble, and rightfully so.


Has Bob Woodward's characterization as a Beltway villain merely the first crack in the veneer of the infallible and unquestionable White House (or should we say of the fellow presently residing there)?

Once the President loses his in-the-pocket MSM, he's toast. The efforts of his staff to keep the media in line are now showing themselves for the bullying and threatening tactics they are. No president since Nixon has tried that and it didn't work then. (You have to remember it was Woodward and Bernstein who brought down Nixon, forcing him to resign.) With all of the new media outlets out there, it's less likely to work this time because there are too many eyes and ears that cannot be controlled by the White House thugs. This shows the President is following the Chicago Politics Playbook...and failing.

It's about frickin' time.


Glenn Reynolds has more on the Bob Woodward story and the White House attempt to silence dissent.


Bogie links to some posts that explain why gas prices jumped up so much over the past month or so...and it's not because of the “greedy oil companies.” Instead, you can lay the blame on a number of government agencies and union-friendly laws that severely limit shipping capacity.


Fifty signs the US health care system is about to collapse.

Frankly, we'd be better off if we limited health insurance to cover catastrophic health care and return the routine medical care to cash only. Costs for most health care would plummet because it would get both the government and the insurance companies out of the way, eliminate the need to do all the paperwork that goes with it.

(H/T Viking Pundit)


David Starr writes about a proposes gas tax hike here in New Hampshire, the funds to be used to widen sections of Interstate 93 and to repair a number of bridges on the state's Red List.

If the problem was that the present gas tax didn't provide enough money for the state Highway Fund to do these things, I would have no issue with raising the tax. It's understood that gas tax revenues have actually fallen off as people drive vehicles that have better fuel economy and drive less because of high gas prices. But the real problem is that the state legislature has been raiding the Highway Fund to pay for non-highway costs.

The New Hampshire state constitution mandates that all funds from gas taxes, registration and licensing fees must go into the Highway Fund and that the fund must be used for building and maintaining the state's highways and bridges and for patrolling and law enforcement by the State Police. But the legislature has decided that all kinds of state functions that have nothing to do with our highways somehow fall under the umbrella of the intent of the Highway Fund and have used up to 40% of the money in the fund to pay for them. (I don't see how Family Court falls under coverage of the Highway Fund and no one has been able to explain it to me.)

If the legislature would stop violating the intent of the Highway Fund amendment of the state constitution there would be more than enough money available to fund the projects needed to upgrade and maintain our highways. But we know that won't happen.


Here's a chart that explains the sequestration in easy to understand graphic.


Like this is going to make anyone want to let their kids go to a public school.

A teen in Florida was suspended from school because he disarmed another student who was pointing a loaded gun at a schoolmate.

I suppose he should have let the kid shoot instead.

As one commenter to the story posted:

His crimes are obvious:
1) he stopped a shooting
2) He saved a kid from being killed.

Liberals love shootings and dead kids. It helps them push their political agenda forward.

I'd say that about sums it up.


In this piece about the gullibility of some of the American people, particularly in regards to the sequester, there's this gem that is something we should be repeating to ourselves over and over again like a mantra:

Democrats like to pretend that every last penny of government spending is wise, benevolent, and essential. My guess is that perhaps 15 percent of discretionary spending meets all three of those criteria, but we’ll never know, because government programs are rarely evaluated for effectiveness, efficiency, or necessity.

At the federal level there are so many programs and agencies that provide duplicate services that it can't help but to waste taxpayer money. Redundancy is fine for critical systems that do things like keep airplanes and spacecraft flying, but not for government.

As I like to remind people that seem to have way too much faith in the government, government is neither smart enough or wise enough to run our lives. It is, after all, made up of people with the same flaws, problems, and idiosyncrasies as the rest of us. They are neither more competent or 'caring' than everyone else. In some cases, they are less so which is why the have government jobs to begin with.


And that's the news from Lake Winnipesaukee, where sugaring is running in earnest, the weather is a bit schizophrenic, and where Daylight Savings Time is just around the corner.