Friday, May 29, 2009

Sotomayor cites poor wording

Judge Sonia Sotomayor, President Obama's pick for the Supreme Court, believes she used a poor choice of words when she indicated a Hispanic woman would make a better judge than a white man, the White House said Friday.

White House press secretary Robert Gibbs said that he believes after having conversations with "people who have talked to her," that Sotomayor would do a better job of articulating her belief that "your experiences impact your understanding."

"I think she'd say that her word choice was poor," Gibbs said.

In her 2001 remarks, which have led many on the right to call her a racist, Sotomayor said, "I would hope that a wise Latina woman, with the richness of her experiences, would more often than not reach a better conclusion than a white male who hasn't lived that life."
Given a chance to clarify those remarks, Sotomayor said "I did not mean to offend, but it is known that Hispanic females possess an intrinsic aptitude which explains why these women have excelled in the judiciary."

Larry Summers
could not be reached for comment.

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Smoke Day, one day later

Smoke Day V was another great success. We fought off scattered morning showers and could not have asked for a more beautiful afternoon for the party.

Our neighbors did most of the party organizing, leaving my wife and I free to cook. I also had a couple of experienced barbecuing friends show up, and their help made my job much easier.

One of the first things served was my famous Redneck Sushi. It was fantastic and disappeared in an instant.

Here is my friend Brad preparing a batch of Big Bob Gibson chicken for our guests. That was only a small part of the over 170 pounds of meat and poultry that was cooked.

Mrs. Headless featured pies for our Smoke Day dessert. She offered over 30 different varieties. All homemade. All from scratch.

My smoker array. Four Weber Smokey Mountain cookers and two Weber kettles got the job done.

You are invited again next year. Just bring beer.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

A solution to the WI budget hole

Don Surber had a post on Monday about the disparity between state government workers' pay versus that of private sector workers.
The average state government worker makes $50,350. The average private sector worker makes $43,889. That is a 14% difference.

And don’t get me started on fringe benefits.

The Las Vegas Sun had a story on Sunday comparing what state workers in Nevada compared to what state employees make in other states.

That’s not the question.

How much do they make compared to the people in Nevada who don’t work for the state. That is the pool of workers from which the state of Nevada hires.

State workers there make $54,831 a year.

Private sector workers make $42,825 a year.

State workers in Nevada make 28% more in pay alone. Plus better benefits — more state holidays, more sick leave, earlier retirement, defined benefits retirement — than the people in the private sector.

That makes no sense. These are mainly clerical jobs.

But in state after state, that is the case. Taxpayers make less than their employees.

In California, state workers make $66,928 a year.

Everyone else averages $50,182 a year.

That’s a 33% difference.

Is it any wonder that California state government is running up a $42 billion deficit?

Wow, 33% more than private jobs!

I had to check where Wisconsin stacks up. Darned if we don't make California look like misers.

Our under-compensated state employees make $16,974 more than private sector. And because WI private employees make significantly less than those in California, our discrepancy is 45.4% more being paid to our public servants. Only Iowa is worse.

Doing some simple math, if Wisconsin state employees were only paid the national average of $6,461 more than private workers, our $6+ billion dollar deficit would quickly evaporate.

Here's the list.

Disparity in state versus private employee pay
U.S. average $6,461 14.7%
1 New York ($691) -1.2%
2 Missouri ($322) -0.8%
3 Georgia $700 1.7%
4 Texas $1,443 3.3%
5 Virginia $1,823 4.0%
6 Massachusetts $1,867 3.4%
7 Delaware $2,154 4.7%
8 Tennessee $2,918 7.6%
9 Maryland $3,352 7.0%
10 Wyoming $3,639 9.4%
11 Connecticut $4,108 7.2%
12 West Virginia $4,270 12.7%
13 Florida $4,457 11.3%
14 New Hampshire $4,585 10.6%
15 South Carolina $4,651 13.3%
16 North Carolina $5,269 13.7%
17 Arkansas $5,535 16.6%
18 Louisiana $5,543 14.7%
19 Washington $5,893 12.8%
20 Arizona $5,919 14.4%
21 Nebraska $6,083 17.2%
22 New Mexico $6,135 17.1%
23 Hawaii $6,357 15.7%
24 Kentucky $6,472 18.0%
25 Pennsylvania $6,511 15.4%
26 Mississippi $6,853 21.5%
27 Oklahoma $7,188 20.5%
28 Indiana $7,266 19.7%
29 North Dakota $7,387 22.6%
30 Kansas $7,490 20.4%
31 Alabama $7,822 21.3%
32 Oregon $9,015 23.3%
33 Illinois $9,522 20.3%
34 Alaska $9,526 21.5%
35 Utah $9,962 27.1%
36 New Jersey $10,316 19.5%
37 South Dakota $10,336 33.0%
38 Maine $10,473 30.2%
39 Colorado $10,812 24.1%
40 Nevada $12,006 28.0%
41 Michigan $12,276 28.7%
42 Montana $12,589 39.2%
43 Minnesota $13,153 30.3%
44 Ohio $13,297 33.9%
45 Vermont $13,321 37.0%
46 Idaho $13,593 40.9%
47 Rhode Island $15,469 37.7%
48 California $16,746 33.4%
49 Wisconsin $16,974 45.4%
50 Iowa $23,027 65.8%

Friday, May 15, 2009

The next smoking ban

I don't think it was a coincidence that this was published in the Journal-Sentinel on the day after the Wisconsin smoking ban was passed.

The science run: Gas vs. charcoal

Worrying about climate change while cooking those brats on your charcoal grill?

Scientists say if you are, you might think of switching to a propane grill.

That's because propane is more environmentally friendly than carbon (sic - Ms. Rust meant charcoal).

Eric Johnson, lead author of Elsevier's Environmental Impact Assessment Review, reported that the carbon footprint for charcoal grilling is almost three times as large as that for liquid petroleum gas grilling.

The differences come in large part by how the grills work. Propane grills are like conventional ovens - they have power ratings and can easily be switched on and off. Charcoal grills, however, can't be switched on and off easily, and fuel consumption is difficult to regulate.

Mr. Johnson is absolutely ignorant about how my charcoal grills and smokers work. I maintain pinpoint control of temperature and I can quickly snuff out the coals by controlling air flow. It will burn minimally longer than my gasser after I finish cooking.

Like Dad29 exposed with bisphenol-A, the MJS is latching onto more junk science as they start their next witch hunt. Yesterday tobacco is banned, tomorrow it will be charcoal.

Monday, May 11, 2009

Cut to the bone

This is being circulated around Wisconsin state government.

The photo characterizes their modified first response unit after budget cuts impacted station staffing and equipment.

I can see a similar proposal for the state budget cuts!
Oh my!

Our poor, poor pitiful government employees. Having to get by with only 37.2% more spending than they had in 2003.

Wednesday, May 06, 2009

Belling knows brats

Boiling bratwurst is evil.

You don't do it for the same reason you do not boil ribs. It cooks the flavor out of them. I performed a scientific test to prove this hypothesis.

Stop it. And don't ever think of doing it again.