Morning Reads 10 June 2013

Good morning everyone. I’m still in the Bayou and using a mobile hotspot so the links are still mostly mobile links. On the upside, mobile links have much fewer ads.

 

Georgia

Two examples of fiscal conservatives, though one isn’t all that conservative when it comes to spending other people’s money.

The Northeast Georgia Food Bank is closer than ever to eliminating hunger in it’s 14 county service area.

Just in case you don’t know Paul Broun.

Or Jack Kingston.

Some people really don’t like baseball.

 

National/International

A government consultant is claiming responsibility for leaking the recent NSA leak.

Speaking of the leak, it looks like the government will be giving us some more information.

Some positive consequences of immigration reform.

Nelson Mandela isn’t doing too well.

Maybe there is hope for al-Maliki.

In case you’re interested in tennis or play trivia.

 

Everything Else

We knew this was going to happen.

Well this is an interesting proposal.

Really? You arrested a couple of goats?

31 comments

  1. greencracker says:

    Re leaky consultant: Uh, why does a consultant have access to all this data? Yea, he used to work for NSA … but … a wise intel agency would keep this kind of data with staffers, lifers, vetted, psychologically dependable people who don’t hop jobs and leak data.

    This adds to my theory that there is no grand conspiracy — evidence #1,573: this NSA ineptness.

    • Charlie says:

      This gets near the field of my day job, that of government contracting.

      Most jobs done today by the Federal Government are done by contractors. That’s just the way it is.

      Federal pay scales often don’t support what most of these guys would make in the private sector. While many things that are contracted out are routine and mundane, the kind of money available to someone who can achieve TS/SCI credentials is large, and each of these contractors likely makes a good bit more than any of the federal employees who oversee them.

      Look at all the stories you see about the number of federal employees making over six figures in the DC area. If you wanted to bring these jobs in house, you would see that number grow significantly in both number and average pay.

    • George Chidi says:

      When I was in the Army, we knew that folks at language school who managed to get their Top Secret/Special Compartmentalized clearance were going to be just fine even if they failed out of the program. That was the golden ticket to a $75,000 a year job mopping floors at Langley, even if everything else got screwed up.

      But the only people could earn the clearance easily were 19-year-old white kids from suburbia or farm country, usually from a conservative religious household, with no foreign-born family members, no history of foreign residency, no close family members in legal or financial trouble, and no meaningful financial trouble themselves. I was a year at the Presidio on a vanilla secret clearance because my father was born in Nigeria and lived abroad, and was never granted the TS/SC.

      We think about these guys with clearances as the most stable and trustworthy of the lot, but that’s not really true. All it means is that they’ve done obviously wrong to flag them for a clearance officer’s review. They fit a profile. There’s no deep testing. Polygraph is worse than useless. It’s more security theater.

      • greencracker says:

        True story:
        After college, I applied at NSA. They brought me to DC for an interview.

        They said, “Hm, we think you’re worth doing a background check on.”
        Me: “Well, you know I’m engaged to a foreigner, right? So, if that’s a deal-killer, let’s kill it now.”
        Them: “No, that’s not a deal-killer. We’ll get to work.”

        So after interviewing everyone I know (and asking them if I use “nose candy”) at who knows what cost, they said I failed the background check.

        For being engaged to a foreigner.

        From a safe country too! Singapore!? They still thank us for Vietnam!!

        In retrospect, I’m glad I don’t work at NSA.

        • greencracker says:

          George’s story about NSA wanting only white conservative kids clicks.

          Back then, me and soon-to-be Mr. Greencracker had a good laugh. Really, NSA, you don’t want someone in intel who’s got actual overseas experience, who is somewhat, say, globalized? Who knows Chinese culture better than any book can teach? Who’s used to living among foreigners?

          Feh.

      • sockpuppet says:

        “Federal pay scales often don’t support what most of these guys would make in the private sector. If you wanted to bring these jobs in house, you would see that number grow significantly in both number and average pay.”

        Don’t let that major talking point for conservative blogs and talk radio types get out. The idea that government employees are paid more and living better than the rest of us is a huge part of their rhetoric. Especially since a great many of them associate “government employee” with “city of Atlanta bureaucrat” and not “Forsyth County fireman.”

    • sockpuppet says:

      Pardon me, but exactly what makes Josh Barro “center right” or even “center”? On what issue do you disagree with Josh Barro on? Are you calling yourself “center right” now? If that be the case, then who is the “far left”? Does the “far left” even exist in America in your world?

      The main problem with the GOP is that they have abandoned – or more accurately poorly understood – Reagan conservatism. The GOP has traded Bush corporatism for Reagan conservatism and now mistakes them for one and the same. For example: Reagan broke up “too big to fail” when it was AT&T and would have done the same to the banks. Reagan lived through the great depression and not long after the Rockefeller era with Standard Oil, so he would have never repealed Glass–Steagall because he knew that big business was no more trustworthy than big government. Reagan put tons of Wall Street crooks in jail for white collar crime during his era and was proud of it. He made going after corporate malfeasance a major emphasis of his administration. (He just never got credit for it. The movie “Wall Street” by Oliver Stone with Charlie Sheen failed to point out that it was the Reagan administration that took down Gordon Gekko, not Eliot Spitzer, though Spitzer did do a great job battling Wall Street corruption as New York AG.)

      The GOP merely has to dump their neocon economic and foreign policy (if you think that Reagan would have occupied Afghanistan and Iraq to impose democracy on a populace that doesn’t want it you’re nuts) and go back to policy that is both popular and workable. Doing that plus abandoning the southern strategy politics is the right course, not using the New Labour Party in Britain, which for all the hype was actually to the left of the DLC, as the guide.

      By the way, for all the claims that this “center-right” guy is making about how great Europe does things … I guess he isn’t noticing the economic collapse of the Euro-zone right now. Even the nations that were doing pretty good, like Germany, have seen their economies contract in the last 2 quarters. Oh, and the Britain whose policies that “work” he described is in the throes of a double-dip recession. A double-dip recession that we avoided.

      As a matter of fact, the biggest problem with the American economy right now isn’t Obama’s policies (of which I am not a fan) but rather how the European economy is dragging our economy down and the world economy with it. If the EU were a flat line – meaning no positive contribution to the world GNP but no negative either, and of course if their banking system weren’t a complete and total mess – then our unemployment rate would be half a point lower. If the EU were actually contributing to the global economy, our unemployment rate would be near 7% and possibly below it.

      So not only is this guy not “center right”, he also isn’t even accurate. Socialism is unpopular because it doesn’t work? Please. Where would that be. Certainly not France, where the Socialist Party is the prime minister, his party – and parties further to the left of his – control Parliament, and he is talking up a program of nationalizing industries and significantly increased tax rates on higher incomes, and – wait for it! – much more welfare spending. That’s right, in a country that is already flat broke and before then was economically stagnant. And socialism is so popular in Greece, Spain and plenty of other places in the EU that folks are willing to take to the streets in violent protest/riots/vandalism – you know, the stuff that the Tea Party was accused of but never actually did – to preserve it.

      Please, the next time you trumpet someone else who claims to be “a former Republican” or “former conservative”, fact-check his claims.

      • Dave Bearse says:

        The consensus was that Barro was center right. I concede that doesn’t appear to be the case anymore. The tent…. it keeps getting smaller with folks being kicked out or leaving on their own.

        Europe’s troubles are largely a combination of austerity, and the rigidity of the Euro across national boundaries. Scandinavian nations are the most socialist nations in Europe, and with their own currencies are doing fine.

          • Dave Bearse says:

            I only skimmed the article, but it seemed to deal more with social spending delivery than socialism or socialistic spending. Scandinavian country ranks among 34 nations per OECD:

            #2 Denmark
            #4 Finland
            #6 Sweden
            Norway in the bottom half of the list.

            Denmark, Sweden and Norway have their own currencies.

            fhttp://www.oecd-ilibrary.org/social-issues-migration-health/government-social-spending_20743904-table1

            • It talked about how a number of things that used to be socialized – telecom, energy generation, etc. – used to be socialized but have been opened up to the free market.

              And yes, I forgot about Denmark. Just for reference, the combined populations of Sweden + Norway + Finland + Denmark = approximately the same population of Texas. I know some people say that Georgia is like a sauna outside in the summertime with all of our humidity, but most Georgians (to take that a step further, most Americans) I know aren’t ready to adopt the Scandinavian sauna etiquette. As I said, there’s a huge culture difference between Scandinavia and the US.

  2. sockpuppet says:

    “come as you are”

    That isn’t what the verse means, David, and you know it. Feel free to disagree with Baptist theology because it is your right – and please know that Baptist movement was founded on religious freedom and separation between church and state – but don’t distort the basis for their beliefs. Incidentally, I have no idea why any libertarian would have any problem with what the Baptists are doing … it is freedom of association based on freedom of conscience. So is the issue libertarianism – freedom – or is it being socially liberal? There is a difference. Actual libertarians don’t promote social liberalism because they have no agenda other than freedom. So stating that the government should not recognize any distinctions when it comes to sexuality is totally different from claiming that private institutions follow the lead of the government. If private institutions are to behave the same as the government, then why have private institutions to begin with? Just let the government do everything in that case.

    • Some background: First, I grew up in a Baptist church that was a member of the SBC. Secondly, I grew up as a cub scout and then boy scout. I attained the rank of First Class.

      Not everything I post has to do with government involvement. This is a case where it has nothing to do with limited government (ie libertarianism), but rather an organization that I grew up in and believe in. The Boy Scouts of America (BSA) at least in my experience never even touched on issues relating to sexuality / sexual preferences except at leadership meetings where kids / scouts weren’t present. (Even then it was only about child protection from potential adult abuse and signs to look for.) I had no idea they even excluded homosexual members. Why? We were busier talking about first aid, camping, tying knots, archery, helping others, and a variety of other topics. It is my opinion that the BSA will continue to operate as it previously has and that sexual preferences just won’t really matter – as they haven’t for years.

      It is also my opinion that the SBC has many issues. They want to cherry pick from the Bible which parts they want to focus on and which they want to ignore. Again, this has nothing to do with politics. The SBC is free to throw as many Boy Scout troops on the street as they want – it is and should be their right to associate with anyone they want. I’m just saying I don’t think it’s in line with Jesus’ teachings. I’m just looking forward to seeing the SBC come out with a statement that women must start covering their heads when praying. (See 1 Corinthians 11:4-6.)

      • Harry says:

        The State should encourage strong families – that’s what we don’t have when 86% of black households are single parents. Socialism and homosexuals can’t build strong families, IMHO. “(Intellectual) honesty is all you need.” – Cass Elliot. (Not meaning “you” personally.)

          • Harry says:

            You mean tax incentives? I’m fine with allowing for personal exemptions and crumb-cruncher tax credits under the current scheme. However, WIC and SNAP in their present form are counterproductive and unsustainable.

            • However you define “The State should encourage strong families”. I was writing in response to your statement.

              While I’m no fan of socialism, I don’t think it has any bearing on “strong families”. I also think homosexuals can build strong families. (See Zach Wahls.) I just typically find that any time the government “encourages” anything, there’s a cost and / or revenues (taxes / fees / whatever term you want to use) associated with it. Personally I think the government should quit encouraging things and let personal / individual responsibility work its course.

              • Harry says:

                Nice in theory but as long as there are governments they’ll produce winners and losers. I support policies that put families first.

                • Ellynn says:

                  So as a respondsible single straight childless person who’s only tax credit is her house payment and state taxes (and who is not a socialist), I would fit into your grand theory where…?

                  • Harry says:

                    You would expect to be supported by a more stable and responsible younger generation, whether they’re your kids or not.

Comments are closed.