Wednesday, March 31, 2010
Tuesday, March 30, 2010
As an added bonus, this anonymous Census Corps emailer also enlightens us about even more Census Bureau titles and jobs -- Census Enumerator and Census Quality Controller. Plus, we get a vivid description of our government at work, teaching the masses in the heretofore unknown bastion of higher education, Census University!
By Michelle Malkin • March 30, 2010 04:10 PM
If even half of what this anonymous reader who e-mailed about his experience as a Census worker is true, imagine the squandering of tax dollars taking place on a mass scale. Crikey.
I would first like to apologize for stealing your tax dollars, but if it wasn’t me, it would be someone else. I am an underemployed 20-something Tea Partier, and after reading about how much government waste was going to the 2010 census, I figured that I might as well “git me some of dat Obama money” until I find something more solid.
…I’m currently in my second tour of “temporary employment” with the Bureau….I’m not participating in or approving of what the census data I collect could likely be used for, but all I am is data entry at the moment.
Last summer I participated in the ‘address canvassing’ (AC) project. What this entailed was walking around a neighborhood, literally door to door, with a little hand held computer. My job was not to enter addresses so that these people could receive their form, but to make sure that the addresses that the first wave of people put into the system and appeared on the computer was actually there. 99% were. Sure there were a few missing that you did have to manually enter, but out of the thousands of address that I checked, we’re talking 20 or less that had to be manually entered. I didn’t have to knock on any doors or ask any questions, unless someone came out and was angry that I was walking around the neighborhood looking at pretty address numbers on door frames. If they were mad, I gave them a little sheet that explained the confidentiality of the census. But mostly, it was me getting paid $15.25/hour plus mileage to take my dog for a walk and pushing a few buttons.
In an average suburban neighborhood where the houses are somewhat close to each other, it was no problem to do about 35-40 addresses per hour once you learned how to quickly enter data into the computer. The census said that I should be doing about 12-15 per hour. My direct bosses told me that I should NOT be doing 35-40 because it was making them and other people look bad. So instead of walking at a snails pace, I just did my 35-40/hour and doubled my time when I submitted my hours. Again, sorry for the tax dollar grab, but I was told not to be so darned efficient or else I’d be cut!
To recap: A first wave of people spent god knows how many hours finding the addresses on every street in America. I’m in the second wave, making sure they did their jobs. Then there were people (Quality Control), who were the third wave, making sure I did my job! I was not fortunate enough to get a QC position.
Let me get into another area. Training. To do the above job, I could have been trained in a single morning learning computer functions and mapping, maybe a little bit of recap after a lunch break. No way it should have gone longer than 5 or 6 hours, being generous. Turn on the computer, find your area that you were assigned, learn how to enter the different kinds of dwellings, and how to use a stylus. But no. We were subjected to a 5 day, 40 hour training period that made me want to tear my hair out. Because what I, a college educated non-moron, could have learned in 5 hours, 80% of my class of trainees were aggravatingly slow and confused by the process. Old people, high school dropouts, flat-out idiots. The census takes all comers. Oh and the stupid questions they ask! Thinking back gives me nightmares. I’m really not turning my nose up at these people, but it just saddened me to see good people struggling with such a menial task.
So much time was wasted on the first day, for the rest of the days, I just sat in the back reading the paper, books, staring at the ceiling. At the end of the training, you are given a written test. You have one hour to complete the exam and only need to get 60%. I flew through it in 15 minutes, missed one question, and was a full-fledged graduate of Census university. For $15.25/hour, plus my mileage at 50 cents per mile to a facility which was round trip about 80 miles. So training alone wasted about 35 hours and 320 miles. That’s about $700 right there. Thanks, taxpayers!
Now to my second wave, which is something called Group Quarters Enumeration. This is something I could have learned to do over breakfast. We got a 3 day training. This one is going to places considered group quarters, i.e. nursing homes, soup kitchens, churches where priests live, and the like. Not apartment buildings or anything like that. And of course homeless, people, let’s not forget that.
This one is about to start. My first assignment is a [redacted] in which I have just learned there are no inhabitants who live there full-time or the majority of the time. After talking this over with my boss and feeling cheated that I’m losing hours since there’s nobody to distribute census forms to, I have been told to drive to this [place] (25 minutes from my house), confirm in person, and drive back. Credit me with half an hour there, half an hour back, and half an hour confirming, and I’m getting an 1.5 hours plus the mileage. What a wonderful use of funds!
Why didn't I think about doing this?!?!
WASHINGTON – President Barack Obama says he believes the Tea Party is built around a "core group" of people who question whether he is a U.S. citizen and believe he is a socialist.
But beyond that, Obama tells NBC he recognizes the movement involves "folks who have legitimate concerns" about the national debt and whether the government is taking on too many difficult issues simultaneously.
In an interview broadcast Tuesday on NBC's "Today" show, Obama said he feels "there's still going to be a group at their core that question my legitimacy." But he said he didn't want to paint Tea Party activists "in broad brushes" and he hopes to win over members who have "mainstream, legitimate concerns."
Saturday, March 27, 2010
Friday, March 26, 2010
Does anyone else smell another sternly-worded letter coming forth?
Thursday, March 25, 2010
So, the not-so-young-anymore president is back on the campaign trail -- his very, very favorite place to be -- to campaign for the healthcare reform bill which he has already signed into law.
What am I missing here? It's already through Congress (for the most part) and well on its way to litigation (thank you, Louisiana, et al!). What does he really hope to accomplish with this latest road trip?
I get this visual of him talking and talking and talking about the same ol' mischaracterizations with his eyes closed and his fingers in his ears. He can't hear us, but if he keeps talking long enough, we'll finally give in and accept his version of the song, wrong lyrics and all.
Also -- not that I'm really complaining -- but today he's in Iowa. Last week he was in Ohio. He's been in Pennsylvania and New York and Michigan and Colorado.
Does he ever go anywhere south of the Mason-Dixon line to speak to the adoring throngs?
Like I said -- not that I'm down here in New Orleans, complaining . . . .
Tuesday, March 23, 2010
The Arkansas Democrat-Gazette reports today that there are more Census shenanigans afoot in northwest Arkansas. It seems that several folks in Springdale, Arkansas, have received personalized, bar-coded Census forms that list Fayetteville as their town of residence. Trust me -- there is little love lost between Fayetteville and Springdale, so the Springdale mayor is all over it making sure that Springdale won't come up short.
Nonetheless, several folks were perplexed by the Census foul-up and contacted the Census Bureau to get some answers. Carl Henson, a Census office manager, said, "he does not know how many questionnaires were listed under 'Fayetteville' addresses, and . . . doesn’t know how Fayetteville made it onto the Springdale forms. 'It would be very unprofessional for me to speculate on that.'”
So, it looks like we now have federal employees whose "profession" is "Census Expert."
Bar-codes being bar-codes, and Springdale's mayor aside, there is little likelihood that Fayetteville will be glomming onto a bunch of Springdale's "federal funding" because the zip code will be the ultimate arbiter. But, there is something else that troubles me a little bit more -- at least one lady in Springdale received two incorrectly addressed sets of forms and she sent them both in, appending a note to the second form notifying the Census Professionals that she received 2 forms, filled out 2 forms, and mailed in 2 forms. She said the whole experience left her "less than confident in the process."
Monday, March 22, 2010
Tuesday, December 8, 2009
Moogie's Fun and Revolutionary Plan for Public Service Reform in D.C.
In a moment of blinding clarity, I have stumbled upon what could be the salvation of our nation and our Republic.
We have to chunk out our system of federal elections and start over from scratch.
The states may continue to do whatever they please for intra-state elections pursuant to the Tenth Amendment, and that'll get the Feds off their backs for a whole lot of stuff, primarily because the Feds will have been forced to acknowledge and abide by the Tenth Amendment. If folks don't like what policies their state is enacting in connection with a particular issue, like, say, same-sex marriage, then they are free either to try to effect change in their state through legislation or move to another state whose laws more closely reflect their beliefs. Hello, Republic! A confederation of independent states who are free to follow the will of their citizens, not the sometime-well-intentioned-but-often-cuckoo citizens of Soviet Socialist Massachusetts or Pelosi-world.
You may not be aware of the fact that I was -- fairly recently -- a strong opponent of term limits. I believed institutional memory to be a very important component of orderly government -- we shouldn't have to re-invent the wheel time after time after time simply because no one was in Congress or the Governor's mansion who could remember what happened the last time someone came up with the same bone-headed idea, or how badly its implementation failed. Today, I simply don't care. There are too many bone-headed ideas floating around this ol' world to prevent their redundancy, so opposing term limits is no longer on my radar.
The notion of needing to devise some reasonable facsimile of term limits brought me to the election of our Republics' representatives in D.C. -- so, let's just get all Constitutional about it and return to the Founding Fathers' notion of true "public servants" in which people are called to serve their fellow citizens for a brief amount of time, not to make a career of meddling in the lives of every citizen.
We can retain the Constitutional requirements for eligibility to serve (e.g., age, natural-born citizenship, residency) -- they're pretty sensible. But as for the actual "election" -- there will be no further federal elections.
We're going to have a National Public Service Lottery.
Every eligible U.S. voter (eligibility to be determined by each state) will be required to purchase two lottery tickets: one each in the POTUS/VPOTUS Scratch-off in which only two tickets have all the magic numbers (indexed to population or voter registration; details and cost to be worked out later), but the Presidential Powerball Number on one ticket wins the White House and the runner-up moves into One Observatory Circle at the U.S. Naval Observatory as VPOTUS, both for the Constitutional term of four years. No one may win the POTUS/VPOTUS Scratch-off more than two terms in a row.
Additionally, the eligible voters of each state and territory will be required to purchase similar lottery tickets for Senator (lotteries to be staggered to accommodate rotating 6-year terms) and Representative: one winner per slot per state.
Of course, we'd have to do away with the Electoral College and replace it with a Commission of Electoral Inspection to determine the qualifications and eligibility of winners. The Commission could be composed of 3 members (to have a tie-breaker), appointed, one apiece, by the President, The Senate, and the House of Representatives. Vacancies occurring in Congressional office could be filled by vote of the vacant office's State Senate; presidential succession would be in effect until the following lottery.
Would there be a chance for cheating or corruption? Of course. Is there now?!?! (Hello, ACORN.) Would some mind-numbingly unqualified folks win the Public Service Lottery? Um, duh -- but what's the difference between that and the current system?
Could the loss of institutional memory be regretted, especially in the House of Representatives? Most probably. But, tinkering with the details could find a reasonable compromise to extend and rotate terms in the House, so let's not throw this idea out without trying it.
It's fun! It's a revenue generator! It's a regular fruit-basket turnover in D.C.!! It's Moogie's Revolutionary Plan for Public Service Reform in D.C.!
I've given you the bones -- now, hammer out the details.
Labels: Congress, Constitution, Constitutional Convention, D.C., Elections, Lottery, Tenth Amendment, Young President
Sunday, March 21, 2010
Saturday, March 20, 2010
I saw this at Moonbattery and had to re-post it, if only so I can remember it in days to come. Almost as educational as Schoolhouse Rock!
Things that I found helpful by living this long:
1. The purpose of fighting is to win.
2. The sword is more important than the shield, and skill is more important than either.... The final weapon is the brain. All else is supplemental.
3. Don't pick a fight with an old man. If he is too old to fight, he'll just kill you.
4. If you find yourself in a fair fight, your tactics suck.
5. I carry a gun because a cop is too heavy.
6. When seconds count, the cops are just minutes away.
7. A reporter did a human-interest piece on the Texas Rangers. The reporter recognized the Colt Model 1911 the Ranger was carrying and asked him 'Why do you carry a 45?' The Ranger responded, 'Because they don't make a 46.'
8. The old sheriff was attending an awards dinner when a lady commented on his wearing his sidearm. 'Sheriff, I see you have your pistol. Are you expecting trouble?' 'No Ma'am. If I were expecting trouble, I would have brought my shotgun.'
9. Beware the man who only carries one gun. HE PROBABLY KNOWS HOW TO USE IT!!!
But wait, there's more!
I was once asked by a lady visiting if I had a gun in the house. I said I did. She said "Well I certainly hope it isn't loaded!" To which I said, "Of course it's loaded, it can't work without bullets!" She then asked, "Are you really that afraid of someone evil coming into your house?" My reply was, “No not at all. I'm not really afraid of the house catching fire either, but I have fire extinguishers around, and they are all loaded too."
Since Congress seems to be ignoring all the rest of them, especially the Ninth and Tenth, I thought I'd remind us that, so far, we still seem to have the Second Amendment.
Hang in there, mes amis, it ain't over 'til it's over. And Happy First Day of Spring!
Friday, March 19, 2010
Thursday, March 18, 2010
I'm not one to find humor in the misfortune of others, but sometimes it just slaps you upside the head and begs to be shared with the world at large.
I got a phone call this morning from a long-lost friend, whom we shall refer to as "Law School Buddy" ("LSB"). We haven't seen him in years, but I recently re-connected with him via Facebook. I was really happy to have found him because he was in our wedding nearly 32 years ago and it's just good to know that he's alive and doing well. It turns out to have been a happy-making experience for him, too, as you shall see.
It seems that his son, LSB Jr., is down here with some classmates in New Orleans during college spring break doing good works with Habitat for Humanity. And, it seems that Junior and his buddies went to the Quarter last night for a little R &R as a reward for all their hard work.
After "boys will be boys" and all that jazz, it seems that one of Junior's comrades -- let's call him Dumb Ass -- became seriously over-served. He was so over-served (and engaging in some of the less than genteel behavior that often accompanies over-servement) that one of New Orleans' Finest, a mounted patrolman, sternly suggested that DA return to his hotel to sleep it off. DA took offense to that suggestion and, in an effort to make the officer aware of his dissatisfaction with said officer's suggestion, he also took a drunken, college-boy roundhouse swing at said cop.
See where we're heading?
So, LSB called me to get a little help locating a New Orleans jailhouse lawyer, giving me just the barest outline of the facts and Junior's cell phone number. After I talked to Junior the first time (and ascertained that he was in the clear and in one piece) it was hard to keep a straight face. Herewith is a little paraphrasing of that conversation:
Moogie: "So, what are the charges filed against DA?"
Junior: "Public intoxication, resisting arrest, and cruelty to animals."
Moogie:"Cruelty to animals? You mean he punched the horse, too?!?!"
Junior:"No, ma'am. He missed the cop and hit the horse instead."
Moogie:"Mmphhh . . . !"
It's hard to imagine, but we've lived in New Orleans for over a decade now and have yet to need the assistance of a criminal lawyer. Neither of us is licensed in Louisiana, so Pepper made some calls and I sent an email to a local attorney friend to get his recommendation. Here's the email:
"A friend's son is down here on spring break and one of his buddies got really messed up last night. (There's a surprise!) He swung at a cop and hit the horse instead. I know -- stop laughing. Anyway, he's charged with public intox, resisting arrest, and cruelty to animals. I know -- stop laughing. When our friend called, he said the kid had hit a cop -- I'm not sure which is worse.
Can you recommend a good criminal lawyer?"
Wednesday, March 17, 2010
Even in his zeal to round up votes in both chambers of Congress, we haven't heard yet from Harry Reid how grateful he is that his wife and daughter had adequate health insurance after their scary rear-end car accident last week.
Why do you suppose that is?
Does he wish to distract the voting public from focusing on the notion that:
Just some ruminations in cyberspace, you know?
Whichever, he's an ignoble SOB and I'm happy that his family will make a full recovery.
This is just too cute -- I stole it from Blog-buddy Buck. It reminds me a bit of how the bachelorette partiers approached the Irish Channel Parade last Saturday. Such glee and childlike abandon!
But no kegs. Kegs are too much responsibility. And waaay too heavy.
Happy wearin' o' the green!
Tuesday, March 16, 2010
Monday, March 15, 2010
Saturday, March 13, 2010
Hence, this post will be short and sweet. It's inspired by Cokie and Steven Roberts' recent column about the budgetary crisis.
Dontcha just love his expression? Heh.
Now -- back to the kitchen.
Thursday, March 11, 2010
I guess some folks in Congress have just blocked out the memory of the healthcare Town Halls of last summer. Here's a gentle reminder:
WE'RE STILL HERE, WE STILL OPPOSE A HEALTHCARE JUGGERNAUT THAT MANDATES THE PURCHASE OF AN INSURANCE PRODUCT, AND WE STILL VOTE (NOT TO MENTION WE STILL MAKE CAMPAIGN CONTRIBUTIONS).
You tell 'em, St. Louis!
H/T to Moonbattery
Wednesday, March 10, 2010
Madame Secretary of State Hillary Clinton (presumably at the sneaky behest of the Young President) is taking steps to recognize the Honduran government as legitimate, and to restore its monetary aid from the United States.
A few months back, the Administration adopted a position (as Moogie noted) that strongly denounced as a "coup" the actions of the Honduran Supreme Court, its Attorney General, and its military in peacefully deposing then-President Zelaya -- a position that just coincidentally rolled in lock-step with that of former BFFs Chavez, Ortega, and those Krazy Castro Boyz. Of course, that was back when the Latin Connection was still wooing the Young President and blowing in his ear.
The romance must be cooling off quickly. I guess that leaves poor ol' Hillary to put on the Emily Litella face for the rest of the world: "Oops. Never mind."
Tuesday, March 9, 2010
Oh, the carnage.
This recreational fishing ban thing is a joke, right?
UPDATE: The teams appear to be lining up on the great fishing debate. I'd love to see my brother-in-law's face right about when the fishin' ban is anounced. H/T to Shay.
Monday, March 8, 2010
As the late Adrian Rogers said, "you cannot multiply wealth by dividing it."
An economics professor at a local college made a statement that he had never failed a single student before, but had once failed an entire class.
That class had insisted that Obama's socialism worked and that no one would be poor and no one would be rich, a great equalizer.
The professor then said, "OK, we will have an experiment in this class on Obama's plan". All grades would be averaged and everyone would receive the same grade so no one would fail and no one would receive an A.
After the first test, the grades were averaged and everyone got a B. The students who studied hard were upset and the students who studied little were happy.
As the second test rolled around, the students who studied little had studied even less and the ones who studied hard decided they wanted a free ride too so they studied little. The second test average was a D! No one was happy.
When the 3rd test rolled around, the average was an F.
The scores never increased as bickering, blame and name-calling all resulted in hard feelings and no one would study for the benefit of anyone else.
All failed, to their great surprise, and the professor told them that socialism would also ultimately fail because when the reward is great, the effort to succeed is great but when government takes all the reward away, no one will try or want to succeed.
Could not be any simpler than that. (Please pass this on)
And, remember, there is a mid-term election in 2010!
Sunday, March 7, 2010
Finally! I finally remembered to post pictures of the Sophie B. Wright Charter School marching band!
Saturday, March 6, 2010
This is absolutely erudite, profound, and downright funny. I wondered what Victoria Jackson had been up to since her Saturday Night Live days!
I also wonder how many black helicopters and guys in dark glasses with squiggly things coming out of their ears are monitoring her movements these days.
Friday, March 5, 2010
Wednesday, March 3, 2010
Tuesday, March 2, 2010
Remember his brother, Mose Jefferson? The one now awaiting sentencing for bribing a public official? The one scheduled for another trial in March for mail fraud, looting charities set up to access public funds to assist the impoverished, and a number of other naughtinesses?
Meet their sister, Betty Jefferson, 4th District Assessor for Orleans Parish, the lady in regal purple pictured above. Last Wednesday, she and her daughter, Angela Coleman, pleaded guilty to the federal raps of conspiracy to commit mail fraud, aggravated identity theft, money laundering and tax evasion.
The fun part? Ms. Jefferson and her offspring (obviously, the tainted nut doesn't fall far from the poison tree) will be testifying against good ol' Mose and his gal-pal, Renee Gill-Pratt, former state legislator and City Council member, in that March trial.
Yet another sister, Brenda Foster, pleaded guilty in 2008 in the upcoming foray into federal court, and agreed then to testify against Mose and Renee.
What a charming southern family. Wouldn't you just love to invite them all over for sweet tea and a spirited game of Backgammon? After you locked up all the family silver and heirlooms?
One Times-Picayune columnist, Stephanie Grace, echoed my feelings in her Sunday op-ed piece entitled, "Predatory Jeffersons": this family is nothing more than a band of amoral brigands aiming to "spread the wealth" from the public and the poor by channeling it to themselves. Her two closing paragraphs nail it:
In short, legal documents in this case paint a picture of a family willing to betray anyone and everyone around them, from their closest friends to their poorest constituents, for their own gain.
Whatever else Bill and Mose Jefferson did, that will be the final word on
the family's political legacy.
The scary part? Dollar Bill has five daughters, all Ivy League educated, and at least one of whom has already dabbled in politics.
Run for the hills and hide your assets!
Monday, March 1, 2010
The "Burning Opera House" weighed 35 pounds, but the designer had it perfectly balanced so he barely noticed it at all. Note the "fire hose" -- the gilded, sequined and slightly suggestive fire hose. We were on the edge of St. Ann's, after all (as the intolerant, God-hates-you protesters with bullhorns noted. They apparently haven't met the loving God of the New Testament, preferring the spiteful and wrathful Old Testament God-- kind of like them. Didn't they hear that Jesus died to wipe away the sins of His children? But I digress . . . .)!
The zebra/giraffe wasn't quite so lucky in the weight department -- he had to stop and set down the menagerie every now and then because it was so heavy!
Unlike Moogie (see previous post), the lady in turquoise tights apparently hadn't lost her asp.
Sorry. I couldn't resist.
I don't know which is more fun in the Quarter -- Halloween or Mardi Gras Day!