Tail Feathers: A quick look at the news

First the good news: According to Newsmax John McCain has said he will not seek the Republican nomination for president again. Did I miss something? Has anyone asked Johnny boy to run again? If I recall correctly there were not too many enamored with his first go around. So who is it exactly that wants John McCain to run for President again? ANYONE? Raise your hand if you want Ol’ Johnny to run for President….

McCain: I Won’t Run for President Again

Arizona Sen. John McCain says he will not seek the Republican nomination for president again. “Oh, I’m too . . . I’m afraid it’s not a viable option,” McCain, 77, said Monday on Fox Business Network‘s “Cavuto.” He is, however, “seriously considering” another run for his Senate seat, which he’s held since 1987.


Now for the bad news John is thinking about running for the Senate again. How about we all throw you a nice retirement party instead? I’ll bring the cupcakes.

From the DO AS I SAY but not as I do department:

Senator: CIA Inappropriately Perused Documents on Secure Computer Network

In an effort to promote transparency and accountability, the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) provided “secure” computers to congressional staffers on the Senate Intelligence Committee to investigate the agency’s detention and interrogation program established in the post-9/11 era.  Townhall

You see folks it is only okay for the government to spy on you, we are never allowed to take a peek to see what these folks are up to. So what is good for the goose is not good for the gander apparently.

Remember how Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker was vilified from his budget proposals? Well guess what they actually worked.

Surplus: Wisconsin Legislature Passes Walker Tax Cuts Package

Why, it’s almost as if responsible, conservative governance works: Wisconsin will sell $294.8 million in general-obligation refunding bonds this week in a negotiated sale as the state projects a budget surplus of almost $1 billion. Surging tax revenue is driving improved fiscal performance in Wisconsin, with a population of 5.7 million.


The democrats where up in arms I believe not so much that they thought the plans would fail but that they knew they would actually work and this is what they were terrified of. Once the people realized that taxing and spending, and big labor union contracts was damaging to their economic futures Wisconsin’s would abandon the labor unions and the democrat party policies. And they were right about that.

From the “while you were sleeping department”

While most of us where sleeping or otherwise engaged in meaningful pursuits, a number of democrats took to the floor of the house to talk about ‘Climate Change”. They are so desperate to get the country to believe in this fallacy that they thought an all-night gabfest would bolster their position.

With real climate change legislation all but dead in Congress, the senators involved in Monday’s climate-fest just want to get to a point where lawmakers can agree that climate change is a scientific fact.

Senate Dem’s stage climate all-nighter | TheHill

2 days ago … Senate Democrats want lawmakers to agree that climate change is a scientific fact. … will be among those participating in the talk-a-thon on the Senate … senators signed up for the all-night climate-fest, but Democrats hope to …


Well you have to admire their tenacity to insist that the globe is warming while most of the United States has been in the deep freeze since the start of the year. Not to be deterred however, these brave souls soldiered on to persuade America that the SCIENCE is settled, Climate Change is for real.
But when it comes to REAL SCIENCE, federal agencies are not above fudging the numbers a bit to [prove their points] even going so far as to making stuff up to further their agendas.
The last story for this week is federal bureaucrats could bring the U.S. Energy boom to a screeching halt by using 2 chickens the Sage Grouse and the Prairie Chicken.

Federal officials often use flawed or falsified results to support decisions to expand the endangered species list, according to a recently published congressional working group report.

“Many reports and studies used to justify ESA decisions have been found to have mathematical errors, missing data, errors of omission, biased sampling, undocumented methods, simulated data in place of more accurate empirical data, discrepancies between reported results and data, inaccurate mapping, selective use of data, subjective interpretation of results, fabricated data substituted for missing data, and even no data at all,” the Washington Examiner reported in a Feb. 3 news story.

How two chickens and federal bureaucrats could bring the U.S. energy boom to a screeching halt

Federal officials often use flawed or falsified data to support decisions to expand the endangered species list, according to a recently published congressional working group report.

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So how does two species of chickens halt the energy boom? Because inclusion of two of the species involved — the Sage Grouse and Prairie Chicken, both found predominantly in western states, including Texas and the Dakotas — could halt the U.S. energy boom in its tracks.

Why? Because putting the birds on the endangered species list empowers federal bureaucrats to limit use of millions of acres of privately owned lands, thus effectively taking them out of energy exploration and development. In other words the feds come and take control of private property.
Tell me again how BIG GOVERNMENT is for the “working man?”

There you have it folks this week’s edition of Tail Feathers, a quick take of news that caught the eagle eye. Until next time. Safe journeys.

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Wisconsin School Proves Walker’s Policies Actually Work

The sky will fall, Armageddon was sure to come, the end was near, this will be a disaster for our schools and our children, where the doomsday cries of those who opposed Scott Walker’s reforms in Wisconsin. All this was before the law was passed and enacted. Before ink was put to paper, before democrats returned from MIA status to block the bill’s passage. All these negative reports came fast and furious in an attempt to overturn the voter’s will in Wisconsin. Well now that the law is actually passed and enacted at least one school district in Wisconsin is raving about the positive impact the new legislation has had on their bottom line. At least for the Kaukauna School District the new law was the salvation needed. In other words the UNION THUGS along with the Democrats LIED to the voters.

Could it be the changes enacted in Wisconsin will actually work in other districts across the country? They can and they will, this is why the unions and the democrats who are bought and paid for by the unions fight so hard for education reform.

Amplify’d from washingtonexaminer.com

The Kaukauna School District, in the Fox River Valley of Wisconsin near Appleton, has about 4,200 students and about 400 employees. It has struggled in recent times and this year faced a deficit of $400,000. But after the law went into effect, at 12:01 a.m. Wednesday, school officials put in place new policies they estimate will turn that $400,000 deficit into a $1.5 million surplus. And it’s all because of the very provisions that union leaders predicted would be disastrous.

In the past, teachers and other staff at Kaukauna were required to pay 10 percent of the cost of their health insurance coverage and none of their pension costs. Now, they’ll pay 12.6 percent of the cost of their coverage (still well below rates in much of the private sector) and also contribute 5.8 percent of salary to their pensions. The changes will save the school board an estimated $1.2 million this year, according to board President Todd Arnoldussen.

Of course, Wisconsin unions had offered to make benefit concessions during the budget fight. Wouldn’t Kaukauna’s money problems have been solved if Walker had just accepted those concessions and not demanded cutbacks in collective bargaining powers?

“The monetary part of it is not the entire issue,” says Arnoldussen, a political independent who won a spot on the board in a nonpartisan election. Indeed, some of the most important improvements in Kaukauna’s outlook are because of the new limits on collective bargaining.

In the past, Kaukauna’s agreement with the teachers union required the school district to purchase health insurance coverage from something called WEA Trust — a company created by the Wisconsin teachers union. “It was in the collective bargaining agreement that we could only negotiate with them,” says Arnoldussen. “Well, you know what happens when you can only negotiate with one vendor.” This year, WEA Trust told Kaukauna that it would face a significant increase in premiums.

Now, the collective bargaining agreement is gone, and the school district is free to shop around for coverage. And all of a sudden, WEA Trust has changed its position. “With these changes, the schools could go out for bids, and lo and behold, WEA Trust said, ‘We can match the lowest bid,'” says Republican state Rep. Jim Steineke, who represents the area and supports the Walker changes. At least for the moment, Kaukauna is staying with WEA Trust, but saving substantial amounts of money.

Then there are work rules. “In the collective bargaining agreement, high school teachers only had to teach five periods a day, out of seven,” says Arnoldussen. “Now, they’re going to teach six.” In addition, the collective bargaining agreement specified that teachers had to be in the school 37 1/2 hours a week. Now, it will be 40 hours.

The changes mean Kaukauna can reduce the size of its classes — from 31 students to 26 students in high school and from 26 students to 23 students in elementary school. In addition, there will be more teacher time for one-on-one sessions with troubled students. Those changes would not have been possible without the much-maligned changes in collective bargaining.

Teachers’ salaries will stay “relatively the same,” Arnoldussen says, except for higher pension and health care payments. (The top salary is around $80,000 per year, with about $35,000 in additional benefits, for 184 days of work per year — summers off.) Finally, the money saved will be used to hire a few more teachers and institute merit pay.

In the Kaukauna schools, the world is not only not falling apart — it’s getting better.

Read more at washingtonexaminer.com


Thank God for Fathers

A Father’s Day message

See, I am sending you Elijah the prophet before the day of the Lord comes, that great day, greatly to be feared. And by him the hearts of fathers will be turned to their children, and the hearts of children to their fathers; for fear that I may come and put the earth under a curse. Malachi 4:5-6 (BBE)

Modern societal trends teach that religion is only for those who are superstitious, weak-minded, and/or closed-minded and old-fashioned. These purveyors of the secularization of modern culture are doing everything possible to remove ’religion’ from the public discourse. There is intolerance for anything biblical or religion based by those who are in positions of authority to effect societal and cultural revision. Secular humanists disparage Bible reading probably because any serious study of the Bible often leads us to see the limitations of a humanist approach to problem solving. In the pages of scripture we find the futilities of human nature and its pages are filled with the tragic examples of societies which had rejected the wisdom found in those very pages.

An example of such failed policies is: Welfare reform. The last major revisions, those of 1996, were successful, despite liberal predictions of disaster. Work requirements pushed parents without young children to change attitudes and improve employability. But single moms with kids make up the largest part of our national poverty problem, and it’s exceptionally hard for one person without backup to grow a career and grow children at the same time.

In 1995 Kenosha Wisconsin was the shiny face of state-level welfare reform: Twelve state delegations, dozens of reporters, and welfare bureaucrats from all over, including Tanzania, came and marveled at the advancements Kenosha made to its welfare program; however, on the walls of two large training rooms were signs proclaiming, “A family doesn’t need a man to be whole,” and “Stop waiting for Prince Charming, his horse broke down.”

In 1996 the Kenosha job center director won praise for saying that he told welfare recipients “straight-out that marriage is not the answer.” They didn’t realize that work requirements are necessary but not enough. From 1996 to 2001 Wisconsin-style welfare reform did move hundreds of thousands of people toward economic independence. But others stayed stuck, and in 2003 the Manhattan Institute organized a conference that asked, “Whither Welfare Reform? Lessons from the Wisconsin Experience.”

At the conference NYU professor Lawrence Mead argued that “we must find a way to get the fathers involved.” New York Times welfare specialist Jason DeParle said the “biggest surprise” to him as he wrote about poor communities was “just how much yearning there was among the kids and their mothers for the fathers.”

There is reason for hope. Since God, through the prophet Malachi said that God would send Elijah the prophet before the day of the Lord comes, that great day, greatly to be feared. And by him the hearts of fathers will be turned to their children, and the hearts of children to their fathers; for fear that I may come and put the earth under a curse. None of this then is a surprise to those with a biblical worldview. This yearning of children for fathers is a sign that God still cares for the fatherless. The second part of this equation however is the turning of father’s hearts back to caring for their children.

With over 40 percent of children born out-of-wedlock, we seem on the path to destruction. Can government (our modern god) do something to help? Not according to Jason Turner, who led the welfare reform campaign in Wisconsin and then took it to New York City, who stated sadly, “There is no solution that I can think of that will fundamentally affect men at the moment.” Government is not the solution to the problem, government programs are the problem. In fact most of the policies affecting those trapped in poverty are designed to penalize those who choose marriage.

Research has clearly shown that marriage and an intact family structure are associated with better financial prospects and a significant decrease in the likelihood of living in poverty. In fact, single-parent households are nearly six times as likely to be poor as married-parent families.

The federal government operates over 70 means-tested welfare programs that give cash, food, housing, medical care, and targeted social services to poor and low-income persons. In fiscal year 2010, federal and state governments spent over $400 billion on means-tested welfare for low-income families with children. Roughly three-quarters of this welfare help, or $300 billion, went to single-parent families. Most non-marital births are now paid for by the taxpayers through the Medicaid system, and a variety of assistance will continue to be given to the mother and child for nearly two decades after the child is born.

Yet, the positive ramifications of an intact family extend beyond today’s circumstances to benefits in the future as well, given that the behavior of children tends to mimic that of their parents, increasing the likelihood of successful marriages among generations to come. Conversely, children who experience parental divorce are themselves more likely to divorce or experience greater discord in their own marriages.

In addition, the intact family can serve as a buffer against youth risk behavior such as substance abuse and sexual activity at an early age, improving children’s prospects for the future and promoting a healthy civil society. Youths living with both parents are also more likely to enjoy a higher quality of psychological and emotional health and are less likely to develop problem behavior. And children in intact families trend toward  higher levels of academic achievement and educational attainment, enhancing both their own chances of success and their potential for contributing to the common welfare.

Fathers remain America’s strongest anti-poverty weapon, yet marriage continues to decline. As husbands disappear from the home, poverty and welfare dependence will increase, and children and parents will suffer as a result. Marriage is highly beneficial to children, adults, and society; it needs to be encouraged and strengthened. Under current government policies, however, marriage is either ignored or undermined. This needs to change or the prophecy declared in Malachi will come to pass and the earth will be placed under a curse.

Still, I know from reading the Bible Jesus changes lives and God still cares for the fatherless and is sending forth the Spirit of Elijah to rekindle the father child relationship. Social science notwithstanding, the Bible still holds the answer to lives problems if we are wise enough and brave enough to heed its advice.

Just another view from the nest.

But those who are waiting for the Lord will have new strength; they will get wings like eagles: running, they will not be tired, and walking, they will have no weariness. Isaiah 40:31 Open Link in New Window (BBE)

Along for the journey

Indiana Latest State to Battle the Federal Government

Indiana appears to be the next state to challenge federal law by passing a law of their own. Like Arizona on Immigration, Wisconsin on public sector unions, Florida on Obamacare, Indiana is taking on Taxpayer funded Abortions.

State officials in Indiana say they will defy the decision by the Obama administration asking it to not proceed with implementing a new pro-life state law that would revoke taxpayer funding for the Planned Parenthood abortion business.

Governor Mitch Daniels (a republican) signed the law , which would cut off anywhere from $2 million to $3 million the Planned Parenthood abortion business receives in federal funds via the Indiana government through Medicaid . Daniels said that “any organization affected by this provision can resume receiving taxpayer dollars immediately by ceasing or separating its operations that perform abortions.”

Like all other federal programs however, the feds like to have the last word. What they can not get passed through legislation they force upon the American people through the many agencies in the bloated federal government.

However, the Obama administration told the state it can’t implement the new law, with Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services Administrator Donald Berwick denying a request to deny funds saying the federal Medicaid law stipulates that states can’t exclude providers based on the services they provide.

See a pattern here? A state passes a law that the federal government does not like and the federal government steps in to threaten the state and force them to comply.

Planned Parenthood challenged the constitutionality of the law and filed a lawsuit in U.S. District Court in Indianapolis just hours after Daniels signed the legislation into law. It alleges the law would violate contracts already in place between it and the state and that it forces Planned Parenthood to choose between doing abortions and getting taxpayer funding.

On the heels of the federal government strong-arm tactics lawsuits are filed by the various special interest groups, all designed to force states to spend even more taxpayer money to fight off the federal government. The federal government has gotten way out of hand. They have usurped their limited constitutional powers and have set themselves up as supreme rulers.

“The Obama administration appears to be intent on trying to force Indiana to subsidize the business of abortion in direct contrast to the desires of the state legislature and the people of Indiana.  Indiana must refuse to be bullied by the federal government and must challenge this politically-charged determination with full vigor.  The state of Indiana has a right to determine how it will manage its Medicaid program and to select the providers it will partner with.  Planned Parenthood is not entitled to public funding,” he said.

The people voted in 2010 and sent a strong message to Washington that "we the people" are still in charge of America. They sent a loud message that they were not happy with the direction the Federal government was taking the country and they voted to replace state and local leadership hoping they will be more responsive to the ‘will of the people’. Arizona, Florida, Indiana, Wisconsin all seem to have gotten the message and are working hard to return the country back to the people. At each step of the journey the federal government is spending taxpayer money to fight against the tax payers.

There are more of us then there are of you so be warned, things are about to get very interesting for 2012.

Dem Govs Unclear on Whether Voters Should Have Say in Public Employee Pay Hikes

Democratic governors were critical of how Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker is handling the showdown with the public employees union in his state, but were ambiguous about whether they could support Walker’s proposal to allow voters to approve or disapprove by referendum any pay raise for public employees – including teachers – that exceeds the rate of inflation.

Why should the taxpayers have a say in what public sector union members make, it is not like they are paying their salaries or anything, Oh wait they actually are paying their salaries, perhaps then they should have a say in how much they think they should get paid.