Mar 28 2010

Obama Administration “Focused Like A Laser” On Absolute Nonsense

One of the primary tell-tale signs that liberals are just not mentally capable of dealing in the real world is their fascination and distraction with silly feel-good ideas. In order to convince themselves they are as relevant as the real movers and shakers in the world (a group of which I am not a member) they boil life down to simpleton concepts, solve some inane and useless aspect of this fantasy world, then pretend anyone who doesn’t get their brilliance is evil incarnate.

Today we have some breaking news out of the Department of Transportation which illustrates this behavior quite nicely. The question has arisen as to what is should be a FEDERAL transportation priority, especially in these tough economic times with growing underemployment (of which ‘unemployment” is just one sub group of economic suffering). The answer from DOT was disturbingly “bicycles”:

Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood has announced a “major policy revision” that aims to give bicycling and walking the same policy and economic consideration as driving.

“Today I want to announce a sea change,” he wrote on his blog last week. “This is the end of favoring motorized transportation at the expense of nonmotorized.”

“Treating bicycles and other nonmotorized transportation as equal to motorized transportation would cause an economic catastrophe,” warned Carter Wood, a senior adviser at the National Association of Manufacturers. “If put it into effect, the policy would more than undermine any effort the Obama Administration has made toward jobs. You can’t have jobs without the efficient movement of freight.”

Now I have to confess to having been bit by the bicycle bug when I taught our twins how to ride their bikes a few years ago. Prior to that I hadn’t touched my cheap Target-Special bicycle except to move it off the wall to get something in the garage. Now I have a medium priced hybrid by Specialized, lock-in shoes and a desire to get out and do 20-25 miles (minimum) a a couple times a week. We have outfitted the entire family with decent bikes so we can ride 20-24 mile round trip to have a meal in nearby towns. I am fortunate to live a short 2 miles along a scenic path to the WO&D trail, which provides me a 50 mile ride (round trip) to either Purceville in the hills of VA or to downtown DC along the Potomac river.

I have done both – once. Sadly I picked biking up late life and it is a struggle to undo decades of inconsistent exercise. I love biking (except when I am on my Yamaha 1300).

So while I am enthusiastic about more and better trails – this is not a federal priority. It is a waste of time and money. It is another case of the Obama administration doing nothing while pretending to be saving the world.

Bicycles will not move freight or large numbers of people over distances. They are fair-weather, leisure entertainment. America is too vast to commute like The Netherlands. Bikes are also quite accident prone. Unlike cars – where you can safely transport your kids to school and your baby to the doctor’s office – bicycles cause a lot of injuries. Injuries which require medical attention. Those of us who bike know of many stories regarding serious injuries going 10 miles an hour on a path where rocks and trees lay about waiting for their next flesh and blood victim.

Every dime and second wasted on this nonsense is effort not being applied to the real challenges of our economy. Bicycle paths are local issues to be dealt with using local money. LaHood has no business messing with topic and ignoring America’s issue #1 – JOBS!

And I mean good jobs, not ‘get by’ jobs or ‘multiple part time’ jobs. I mean career jobs.

February was an interesting month on the job front. A grand total of 16 states still have unemployment (U3) above 10% (NJ was able to drop off this list recently). 26 states are still running over the 9% unemployment mark President Obama, Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid promised they would stay below if we passed their Economic Stimulus Package back in February 2009.

The stimulus bill was another liberal fantasy that failed to produce results as predicted by anyone living in the real world. Government is too bloated and lethargic to ‘stimulate’ anything, proven by the fact over 85% of the “shovel ready jobs” money is still stuck in the bowels of the federal bureaucracy.

Worse yet, February had 8 states hitting record high unemployment rates, 9 have had records since the stimulus bill passed. LaHood’s bicycle madness is not going to help that little statistic. A look at the worse 17 states in the nation shows very little if any change in the trajectory of the economy using unemployment as the metric.

Click to enlarge image. The dashed light blue vertical line is when the stimulus bill was passed, the solid horizontal line is the 9% level the liberals promised we would never breach. But unemployment (3) is not the only metric we have. Underemployment (u6) is another valuable metric, and it is inching upwards again and now sits at 16.8%.

U6 includes the unemployed and those in substandard situations (e.g.,  part time jobs to get by, etc). No hint of recovery here either. Not sure how bike paths will turn this around.

If there was a recovery under way, we would expect to see other indications as well, such as the rolls of the Emergency Unemployment Compensation (EUC) benefits starting to shrink. No such luck.

The EUC rolls have sky rocketed since the stimulus bill was passed, adding around 4 million people and reaching nearly 6 million in total – a tripling of the rolls. That is the real, measureable result of the stimulus bill:  a big fat nothing.

What is shrinking is the work force, as a percentage of total population.

The only reason we have not seen greater unemployment is because the U3 metric doesn’t take into account the fact people are just dropping out of the work force all together.  Unlike the above ratio, the number of people in the country is not dropping but rising. The only way to see the above results is for fewer and fewer of us to find work and we just give up. If we corrected U3 for this phenomena our unemployment would be closer to 11% instead of the 9.7% it rests at now.

When we look at the economic damage done over the last year by the liberals taking this nation down the dead end and useless path of government spending, and we recall their fixation with controlling our private health care and doing to it what they did with Medicare and Medicaid (both bankrupt now) it is pretty bad.

But LaHood’s pronouncement that the end of personal powered transportation is over and now DoT is going to focus like a laser on bike trails and lanes just underscores how insane the people in DC really are. My only suggestion to this madness is we provide the current Mad Hatters in DC a rental bike to move their sorry asses out of DC come November.

That would be very green of us, IMHO.

19 responses so far

19 Responses to “Obama Administration “Focused Like A Laser” On Absolute Nonsense”

  1. […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by AJ Strata. AJ Strata said: new: Obama Administration "Focused Like A Laser" On Absolute Nonsense […]

  2. kathie says:

    I guess Obama will need to rethink how many more billions we should pour into the 2 auto companies that are failing.

  3. Wilbur Post says:

    Yeah, that’s a hot one! Spend billions to prop up two car companies and then tell people you don’t want them to drive. You know, this brings up an interesting question; does Obama go out of his way to hire idiots or do these people simply become stupid after joining up with him?

  4. […] The Strata-Sphere – Obama Administration “Focused Like A Laser” On Absolute Nonsense […]

  5. crosspatch says:

    “America is too vast to commute like The Netherlands.”

    Obama and the people who surround him seem to think like urbanites who have never lived outside of a major city. They have no concept of people who commute over 50 miles each way to work or who must travel 30 miles or more to the nearest grocery store or doctor.

    Tell the rural poor that their car is no longer “good enough” and they must buy a new one. Telling rural people to use public transport is a “let them eat cake” moment. There is no public transport in rural areas.

    If Obama wanted to engage in a program that would actually improve the economy, I can think of one. A national high-speed rail road bed sort of along the lines of the Interstate Highway System. Rather than having the railroad lines own the roads, they would be public owned and available for use by any railroad company. Building and maintaining right of way is the largest barrier of entry for competition in railroads. If you remove that barrier of entry, companies could start up that move goods and people and concentrate on their rolling stock and not the road.

    We would see incredible competition as freight and passenger lines formed to move goods across the nation again by rail. Electrify the entire system and power it with nuclear energy and we have a national transport system that is immune to oil boycotts or other disruptions of petroleum supplies.

    But no, they pander to the urbanites because A: that is what they are and B: that is where the votes are. The one or two major cities of a state control the elections of President and Senate. We need to change that, too, but that would be another topic.

  6. But LaHood’s pronouncement that the era of personal powered transportation is over and…

    We arrive, yet again, at the subject of control.

    The personal auto gives just too much autonomy to individuals, and as such, is anathema to those who cannot stand the idea that you might do something without asking their permission first.

  7. WWS says:

    Meanwhile, Michael Steele has been caught spending RNC money on sex club parties.

    Are we finally ready to admit that Steele is a tragic mistake who needs to be dumped immediately?

  8. crosspatch says:

    WWS, your wording is misleading. Actually:

    “a bondage-themed nightclub featuring topless women dancers imitating lesbian sex.”

    It wasn’t a “sex club party”. It was a nightclub with women who dress up in “bondage” attire and dance suggestively.

    Now, I seem to remember 14th Street in Washington DC when politicians of all sorts would visit the strip clubs at lunchtime.

    In fact, a bunch of guys having a lunch at a “suggestive” location is pretty much the norm for a lot of guys.

    He wasn’t attending “sex club parties”. There is a huge difference. “Sex club parties” generally have sex going on. This was entertainment.

  9. Toes192 says:

    WWS… I’m not a huge fan of Mr. Steele… but… research your story more before flapping your lips…
    Kathryn Jean Lopez says…
    I asked an RNC spokesman about the story — specifically the charge that money was spent at Voyeur West Hollywood.
    The spokesman said…
    “We are investigating the expenditure in question. The story willfully and erroneously suggests that the expenditure in question was one belonging to the chairman.
    This was a reimbursement made to a non-committee staffer.
    The chairman was never at the location in question…
    he had no knowledge of the expenditure…
    , nor does he find the use of committee funds at such a location at all acceptable.
    Good reporting would make that distinction crystal clear. The committee has requested that the monies be returned to the committee and that the story be corrected so that it is accurate.”
    Personally, I can’t imagine Mr. Steele at a sex club… That’s more for sex obsessed people like me… [I wish] …
    I’d agree if you say this… whoever [if true] spent RNC $$ at a sex club should be shown the door… yesterday…

  10. crosspatch says:

    “This was a reimbursement made to a non-committee staffer.”

    And in Los Angeles, someone going to a Lesbian-themed club might not even be a man.

    It is not unusual to allow the person being met to choose the location. So for example, lets say I am a staffer looking to meet with a potential donor, I ask them where we should meet to talk, the donor picks the location.

    The implication here that Steele is some kind of pervert as WWS’s posting implied with the “sex party” statement is just plain wrong.

  11. WWS says:

    I have been properly chastened – looks like they’re backing off the story now. Teach me for jumping in and believing anything without confirmation!

  12. kathie says:

    It is part of a larger story…..thought it was interesting.
    This is referring to the AT&T story and health insurance.

    “Most of these people [in the Administration] have never had a real job in their lives. They don’t understand a thing about business, and that includes the President,” says a senior lobbyist for one of the companies that announced the charge. “My CEO sat with the President over lunch with two other CEOs, and each of them tried to explain to the President what this bill would do to our companies and the economy in general. First the President didn’t understand what they were talking about. Then he basically told my boss he was lying. Frankly my boss was embarrassed for him; he clearly had not been briefed and didn’t know what was in the bill.”

    I would say that Obama and his administration have never worked in the real world with real world consequences. Have a look at Gitmo, trying terrorists in civilian court, the auto debacle, caulking homes, home mortgages, health insurance, Israel, the list is just too long to reiterate. Obama’s problem, he thinks we all out here lie to make his life less then easy. When someone tells you he is listening, don’t believe him. He never does.

  13. crosspatch says:

    “Most of these people [in the Administration] have never had a real job in their lives. They don’t understand a thing about business …”

    There is an easy fix for that problem. Eliminate government pensions for elected officials and disqualify income from salaries derived from service in elected office from counting as Social Security earnings for purposes of retirement benefits.

    You should not be able to do nothing all your life except win elections and retire on a public pension.

  14. crosspatch says:

    Step number 1: eliminate federal pensions for all elected officials.

  15. Toes192 says:

    WWS… This makes an excellent point… Admit a mistake… move on… As a military/commercial pilot for 38 years… At 500 miles/hr any mistake is 8.333 miles behind you in one minute…
    One attaboy 4u …

  16. Terrye says:

    These people are crazy, they really are.

  17. WWS says:

    they are making me crazy, I think.

    I had a girlfriend like that once.

  18. […] on the ’shovel-ready’, ‘miracle-of-government-spending’ stimulus bill which did nothing but bankrupt the next […]

  19. crosspatch says:

    BTW, an ironic note to the strip club non-scandal:

    Hotline On Call reported Tuesday that the staff member is Allison Meyers, former director of the RNC’s “Young Eagles” program.

    Kindof had a feeling that it would turn out not to have been a man.