NASCAR driver Jeff Gordon gets some sweet revenge

Just about a year ago, Spellchek brought you this classic punk’d video – https://spellchek.wordpress.com/2013/03/14/absolute-greatness-nascar-driver-jeff-gordon-punks-car-salesman-on-test-drive/.

Some called fake, such as a Jalopnik writer. Gordon exacted his revenge for doubting him.

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Michigan taxpayers to be tapped for a new jobs program at a cost of over a quarter million dollars per job

The crony-corporatists are at it again. The Michigan Economic Development Corporation(MEDC) has announced millions in grants, loans and other incentives – http://www.michiganbusiness.org/press-releases/rare-isotope-facility,-new-business-expansions,-community-revitalization-projects-gain-state-approval/.

The Michigan Economic Development Corporation today announced Michigan Strategic Fund approval of economic development and community revitalization projects that in total will generate $362 million in new capital investment and create 1,444 new jobs in Michigan.

The trusty calculator tells us that the taxpayers in Michigan are spending over a quarter of a million dollars per job created. $250,692.52 to be precise. The good news? That’s better than the Obama stimulus which cost taxpayers $278,000.00 per job created – http://www.weeklystandard.com/blogs/obama-s-economists-stimulus-has-cost-278000-job_576014.html.

So Michigan taxpayers may sleep a little better at night knowing their spendaholic government is slightly more efficient than the feds at redistributing wealth.

The MEDC has a less than stellar record when it comes to delivering the goods. They also rely upon hand-picking the winners and losers in the freebies giveaway program. A report issued by the Mackinac Center for Public Policy illustrated just how inefficient the MEDC is – http://www.mackinac.org/11162.

The Michigan Senate voted to allow the MEDC to award more special favors and subsidies to hand-picked companies — rather than reforming the state’s tax, regulatory and labor climate in a way that would benefit all businesses — despite the fact that Center research shows fewer than one-third of the jobs promised by the MEDC come to fruition. The study also found that every $1 million in manufacturing tax credits given in a particular Michigan county is associated with the loss of 95 manufacturing jobs in that county. The Senate approved the additional money despite the fact the MEDC used up its allotment of tax credits for 2009 several months ago.

In the decade since the MEDC was created, Michigan has fallen from 16th to 41st among states in per capita GDP and is the only state with a negative GDP growth. Per capita personal income among the states has fallen from 16th to 34th and is now 11.2 percent below the national average, the lowest point it has been since the Great Depression.

Spending taxpayer money is at the top of the headlines here in Michigan because the state has a projected $1 billion dollar(give or take a few hundred million depending on who you ask) surplus coming in the next few years. Here’s where the standard left/right politics get amusing. The left is howling that a budget surplus is due to extreme austerity measures enacted by Gov. Snyder. The infrastructure is crumbling, schools are failing, roads are a disaster, etc., etc., etc. The only problem with that is the same situation existed prior to any cuts implemented by Snyder.

The right tells us that a tax surplus needs to be returned to taxpayers. The left views a tax surplus as ‘stolen’ money from the taxpayers and they agree it should be returned. Just not in the form of a tax refund. Rather they prefer it to be spent on big government. Here’s the democrat challenger to Gov. Snyder stating these very points – http://www.mlive.com/opinion/index.ssf/2014/01/guest_column_michigans_budget.html.

I guess it’s good that we can say the left and right agree upon something. That being a tax surplus was money stolen from the taxpayer. On the surface, the differences appear to be stark. The left thinks a surplus should be returned through a redistribution program such as the MEDC or some other infrastructure crony-corporatist arrangement. The right says give the taxpayers their money back directly through a tax cut. Unfortunately, here’s where Snyder shows his true big government, crony-corporatist roots and parts ways with the message from the right. He’s on-board with the MEDC and the way they conduct business since he overhauled it.

The MEDC or the prior MEGA under former Gov. Granholm have both shown to be failures. They never deliver on what was promised. They cost far, far too much for the number of jobs created. They reward only certain hand-picked companies on the inside of the Lansing gravy-train.

Tis the reason states like Michigan never escape the boom-bust cycle. They simply can’t get out of the way when government should, preferring to insert themselves on the way up to limit growth and on the way down as well to ensure to protract any downturn. I like to call it shampoo government. As the instructions say, lather-rinse-repeat. And so Michigan will.

Why is Ukraine collapsing now? A picture tells the story

Spellchek has been a longtime proponent of natural resources being the driver for an ever increasing number of global conflicts. Todays example comes via Zero Hedge – http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2014-02-20/ukraine-situation-explained-one-map.

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Most detractors of the natural resources theory simply discount it as conspiratorial extremism. In failing to take a look at the big picture, they miss the mark by determining that the big global players don’t invade and confiscate the natural resources. Recent examples being Iraq and Afghanistan. America hasn’t simply lined up the oil tankers and made off with the spoils of war.

Investigate just a bit more and you discover that access and monopolies play an even more vital role when it comes to natural resources. Natural resources are all global commodities and prices are set on the global markets. Allow one of your adversaries to control the pipelines or shipping channels and they can artificially manipulate supply and price.

Destabilizing a country or region purposely may seem a bit radical simply to keep the laws of supply and demand functioning, but it’s actually a frontline policy of national defense. It’s an egregious error to believe that a nation, even a superpower, can simply invade and conquer their way to controlling the world’s precious assets. History is littered with examples of those failures.

Rather an approach similar to the Cold War is preferable. Play defense instead of offense and ensure that a strong supply chain will achieve an even better and more long-lasting effect.

Ukraine fits the bill nicely. Just as Iraq did. And Afghanistan did. And Syria will.

Obama admits to distorting the truth about Obamacare sign-ups

Here is the President of the United States at the 2014 State of the Union address talking about the virtues of Obamacare. Skip ahead to about the 1:20 mark and you’ll hear Obama tell you that “more than 9 million Americans have signed up for private health insurance or Medicaid coverage“. The devil is in the details, isn’t it? Obama floats the 9 million number (bigger is better, right?) only because he includes Medicaid, which isn’t at all the issue Obamacare was supposed to address. Remember, it was those uninsured we were after?

Skip ahead to Superbowl Sunday and the Obama interview with Bill O’Reilly from FOX news. Skip ahead to the :45 mark and you’ll hear Obama revert to the 3 million number for sign-ups which is the number he used in the SOTU address just for young people under 26 alone.

Of course, twisting words for political gain is politics 101, but even Obama knows when to tread lightly. At the SOTU, he had the stage and wasn’t going to be called out on anything he said. Not even afterward by his adoring media. But in front of O’Reilly, he likely knew he wouldn’t get away with such a distortion, so he dialed it back.

Hard to believe we live in an era where video evidence exists that convicts politicians of the lies they peddle, yet they still operate with near immunity. Obama knows full well signing up for Medicaid is entirely different than the sign-up numbers being floated for Obamacare alone, yet you don’t hear a peep in the media about it. Guess I’m a racist for pointing it out.

Seattle 43 Denver 8 in Super Bowl XLVIII

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People may forget that the Denver Broncos were the Buffalo Bills before the Buffalo Bills. They lost their first 4 attempts at the Super Bowl. Now with 5 losses in 7 attempts, they are in sole possession of the most losses in Super Bowl history. Still better than the Bills with 2 wins and they never lost 4 in a row, but not pretty to say the least.