Monthly Archives: May 2012

The Recovery That Wasn’t

Great, great piece by John Merline over at about the “recovery” that we keep hearing about. Calling this a recovery is like calling me a pro hockey player: you can say it all day long, but it doesn’t make it true.

A quick highlight:

In his recent speeches on the campaign trail and at official functions, President Obama typically touts the fact that over the past two years, the economy has created more than 4 million new jobs, with more than 1 million in the past six months alone.

At a fundraiser last month, he called this “extraordinary progress.”

But the economic recovery that Obama has presided over has been far from extraordinary. It hasn’t even been ordinary.


The current recovery is so slow, in fact, that it just barely beats GDP growth 11 quarters after the 1980 recession ended — even though there was the intervening long and painful 1981-82 recession. And unless GDP shoots up in Q2, the current recovery will soon be the absolute worst since the Great Depression.


“Unlike previous recoveries, we actually saw household incomes drop faster during the recovery than they did during the recession itself,” said Gordon Green, who co-founded Sentier.

Be sure to read the whole thing.

Any questions?

Click on the graphic to view full size….

Stix Blog Backup

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Drowning in Regulations

I think our federal government has truly lost its mind.


A new final rule from the Justice Department gives operators of existing pools and spas more time, until Jan. 31, 2013, to meet sections 242 and 1009 of the 2010 Americans with Disabilities Act Standards for Accessible Design. Those two sections say pools with 300 linear feet of pool wall or more must have two accessible means of entry (a pool lift or sloped entry) and smaller pools must have at least one, as well as what is required for these –- location, size of the seat, lifting capacity, etc.

This requirement has been controversial, as shown by the volume of 1,915 comments submitted to DOJ, and the agency previously proposed delaying the compliance date from March 15, 2012, to Sept. 17, 2012. January 2013 was chosen because some comments showed a significant misunderstanding of the requirements among pool owners and operators, according to the May 21 final rule.

Many owners and operators believed portable lifts would comply, but that’s not correct because ADA applies only to fixed and built-in elements, according to DOJ.

Let’s see: all public pools, hotels, and public/private pools need to install permanent lifts? And this is critical why exactly? Many of these pools just barely stay in business as it is, and this will hardly help matters. These lifts aren’t particularly cheap, after all.


About 310,000 public pools nationwide could require a lift, Hatfield said. She estimated manufacturers can produce between 2,500 and 5,000 lifts per month as of May.

Lifts can cost between $3,500 and $6,500; installation may nearly double that cost.

Well, maybe people could simply ignore the new regs and just pay the fine?

Or maybe not:

Pools that failed to comply with the regulation would face a fine of at least  $100,000.

Good grief.


Ok, I give up. The government must want to put half of the lifeguards, pool boys, swim instructors and even pool maintainance & chemical companies out of business. Hoteliers are going to get hit hard as they struggle in a moribund economy, since there are 85,000 lodging-operated swimming pools in the U.S.. Hotels also have an added concern: if they install a sloped entry rather than a lift, it will require extensive (and very expensive) renovation. If they install a lift (permanent only, remember), they will now have to employ a lifeguard there, since the fixed chair lifts present a safety hazard because of the likelihood that children will play on them:

“Most hotel pools don’t have lifeguards, so anybody can use [a permanent chair lift], climb on it and damage it,” said Kevin Maher, the AH&LA’s senior vice president for governmental affairs. “You’re essentially putting a diving board at the shallow end of the pool, and that’s a huge concern.”

Also, I notice that compliance with this regulation has conveniently been moved to after the election. Of course, that’s probably just a coincidence…….


Obama’s America: making the country great, one idiotic, suffocating, mind-numbing, business-killing mandate at a time.

Need a break?

So do I.


Arizona vs. the United States Government — again

Have you noticed that Arizona seems to get just a weeeee more attention from the Federal Government than anybody else? It’s almost like they’re being told, “Hey, nice state youse got here. Be a shame if sumthin happened to it….”

Several weeks back, we covered a totally wacko case where the Federal Government wouldn’t allow Tombstone, AZ to use modern technology to repair damage to the town (“Have a Nice Day!“). We’ve all watched the ongoing immigration battle. Plus President Thin-Skin isn’t exactly best buddies with Governor Jan Brewer. And there’s the whole Fast N’ Furious thing. And Sheriff Joe Arpaio is probably not on the White House Christmas Card list, either.

And even with all that, …..this is crazy.


A new state law and a bill introduced in Congress are meant to defend Arizona agencies from being punished for federal dust-pollution violations stemming from massive natural dust events, such as haboobs.

Failure to prove compliance with federal air-quality standards could jeopardize federal funding for transportation projects in the state.

The new law ensures each city, town and county documents whether they are in compliance with EPA standards.

…U.S. Rep. Jeff Flake has (also) introduced a bill in the U.S. House of Representatives intended to help states prove more efficiently and effectively that their violations of dust-pollution standards qualify as “exceptional events” — meaning that while proper controls are in place, violations still occur because of natural events beyond a state’s control.


“It’s pretty severe,” Flake said. “This is something that I think everyone recognizes — Republican or Democrat — that it’s just bureaucracy run amok. And we’ve gotta fix it.”

OK, so Arizona, which is largely made up of desert, is having to defend itself from our oh-so-benevolent Federal Government, which is trying to cite them for…..dust violations???

DUST violations?

The massive dust storms that rolled through the Valley in 2011 have led to a record number of dust-pollution violations at air-quality monitors across Maricopa County. In many cases, multiple violations happened on the same day, but at different monitor locations.

Just when I think they can’t shock me anymore, they do it.

So what’s next: the Feds punishing Colorado because their mountains are too tall and they aren’t Americans with Disabilities Act compliant? Or maybe finding Montana excessively forested (exceeding Federal forest fire risk tolerances)? Or maybe Kansas should be punished next, since they don’t have enough trees, and thusly aren’t “doing their fair share” in the fight against CO2?

Really, I have only two concerns at this point.

  1. That Arizona will somehow lose this battle against this idiotic regulation, and
  2. That if Arizona does manage to win, the Feds will then find them in violation of their soon-to-be-released regulations monitoring Excessive Canyon Size.

Hey, it’s no crazier than trying to regulate dust storms.

This will make you Smile….

The world needs more people like this boy….


As the expression goes , Read it and weep.

“Brendan Haas earned a prize any young kid would appreciate — an all-expenses paid trip to Disney World. Instead of going, though, the Massachusetts boy gave the vacation to the family of a soldier killed in Afghanistan.”

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Planned Parenthood and Gender-based Abortions

****I’m honestly horrified by this. I have no words….


Yesterday, The Hill reported that: “The House will vote this week on legislation imposing criminal penalties on anyone performing an abortion based on the sex of the child,… [read more]” Here is a related story from ThinkProgress.

Incidentally, Live Action launched a new website, Protect Our, and released the following video yesterday, revealing Planned Parenthood’s involvement in targeting baby girls for abortion:

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U.S. Bishops prepare Catholics for Civil Disobedience

Kudos to Mr. Jeffrey for this article.

“Religion is Free,…or NOTHING is Free”.

Letting Freedom Ring

By Terence P.  Jeffrey via CNS News

( – Having organized 43 plaintiffs—including the archdioceses of New York  and Washington and the University of Notre Dame—to file 12 different  lawsuits against the Obama administration last Monday alleging the  administration is violating the religious freedom of Catholics, the  Catholic bishops of the United States are now preparing Catholics for  what may be the most massive campaign of civil disobedience in this  country since the Civil Rights Movement of the 1950s and early 1960s.

“Some unjust laws impose such injustices on individuals and  organizations that disobeying the laws may be justified,” the bishops  state in a document developed to be inserted into church bulletins in  Catholic parishes around the country in June.

“Every effort must be made to repeal them,” the bishops say in the  document, which is already posted on the website of the U.S. Conference  of Catholic Bishops

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