Saturday, December 17, 2005

 

Anyone looking for a date to the Bob Bennett's holiday Christmas party?

We have a hottie for your here.

Act quick before a real military non-coward grabs her.

Friday, December 16, 2005

 

CPA's paint gloomy picture for most Ohioan

Someone call Pollyanna! The bean counters don't really agree that, "Our economic policies have done the trick."

The Ohio Society of CPAs have released their annual poll and although the concerns revealed in the poll aren't novel, they do show that our economic problems aren't just political fluff. An article in the Dispatch's Business section briefly, if accurately, reports that the Ohio CPAs had some dire predictions about health care, the poll offered several other insights.

And, since it is mentioned in the OSCPA's lede, let's start with health care:
One-in-five certified public accountants (CPAs) across Ohio are predicting a significant number of Ohio employers will eliminate health-care benefits for their employees in 2006. Sixty-seven percent of participants responding to The Ohio Society of CPAs 2005 Statewide Ohio Business Poll estimate that health insurance costs would rise between 10 and 20 percent in 2006 causing employers to explore new ways of controlling health-care costs.
Bad news? Pretty obvious! We can expect more families without health insurance, or having to cut back on other consumption in order to pay for a growing share of their premium. A prediction of health care inflation in the 10-20 percent range is very bad driver of this problem. The rule of thumb is that health care inflation is sustainable only if it is less than or equal to wage inflation, and, brother, we can tell you that wages ain't goin' up 10-20 percent this year.

Other results from the poll:
Twenty-six percent of Ohio CPAs expect the economy to improve in 2006. Another 26 percent expect the economy to weaken. Forty-seven percent expect the economy to maintain the current status quo.

According to participants the top deterrents to Ohio’s economic growth are:
  • Rising fuel prices (73 percent)
  • Health-care costs (72 percent)
  • Government regulations (58 percent)
  • Outsourcing (50 percent)
  • Undereducated workforce (49 percent)
We're pretty confident that the CPAs understand the effects of the fuel prices and health care cost, but we are less sure about their understanding of government "regulations" and education. The thing that caught our eye, however, is that the CPAs highlighted "Outsourcing" issue. Businesses by necessity get the accountants involved all the time in "buy or build" decisions, and this poll suggests that the numbers folks have some serious doubts about the decisions being made.

Moving on, the CPAs seem to be bearish about the job market:
When it comes to jobs, half the CPAs surveyed predict little change in job expansion. Thirty percent expect there to be fewer jobs in 2006, while 21 percent predict more jobs. Three-fourths of those responding predict small pay increases, between 1 and 3 percent, for Ohio workers. One-in-five estimate the raises will range between 4 and 6 percent.
Returning to the issue we started with, with raises in the 1-6 percent range and health care inflation in the 10-20 percent range, one can get a sense about why the CPAs see icebergs in the waters.

 

Constituents drop in at Jean's office

firedoglake has the report:
After convincing them that they had not been prodded by out-of-town agitators but were legitimate constituents, they met with Mean Jean's chief of staff.

Wednesday, December 14, 2005

 

What Pounder said

He didn't leave anything out as far as we can tell. Good job Russell

Tuesday, December 13, 2005

 

Fast on Feagler

We got an email from a Nigerian promising us millions. Turned out to be fake.

QED, we should never trust our email again.

Whatta putz.

 

Rep. Boccieri gets irate

The double standard doesn't escape John Boccieri, a returning Iraqi vet and State Rep from the 61st District (Y'town):
As I return to the Statehouse and my legislative duties, I'm so disgusted to be met with the majority party's answer for election reform. I flew the Iraqi Governing Council, members of our military who specialize in International Elections, and private groups who were fighting to ensure there were fair and safe elections in Iraq and the Middle East. Little did I know that upon my return we would have to fight for fair and safe elections here in the Midwest.

Is it ironic that we would spend so much time and money ensuring Iraqis' had the unfettered opportunity to vote, yet we would create barriers to access Democracy here in the U.S.?

We flew election ballots into Baghdad under armed guards, yet after reading The Conyers Report "What Went Wrong in Ohio" by Congressman John Conyers (D-Michigan), it appears that there were systemic problems with ensuring the safety and integrity of our own voting processes.

The legislation floating through the General Assembly is designed to frustrate and selectively disenfranchise citizens in this state from voting.

For example, my 82 year old great aunt votes regularly, and she doesn't drive nor does she have a state driver's license. She will be restricted from voting if this legislation passes because she doesn't have a driver's license or another picture ID. Even if she did have a license, if she had to move to a nursing home and her address didn't match the license, she would be unable to cast a provisional ballot. Worse yet, if she became disabled and couldn't sign her own name at the local board of elections, she would have to execute a power of attorney in order to vote.

Funny thing - all the Iraqis had to do was dip their finger in ink.

I put my life on the line and went to Iraq because my country asked me too, and the very freedoms we are attempting to deliver in Iraq are being challenged here in Ohio.

The Republican candidate for Secretary of State Representative Jim Trakas said that "Democracy shouldn't be easy," during the Ohio House debate on election reform. It is clear to me that if we don't stand up and fight for our own freedoms and rights, they will erode slowly by apathy created from a sense of inability to change our political landscape.

I will fight this legislation and any other attempt to restrict our freedoms and I need your help too.

Monday, December 12, 2005

 

ODP dog & pony show Tuesday evening in Columbus

It ain't the Westminster, but this is an important event, but we'd recommend everyone have a few drinks (coffee or whatever!) before you arrive.

More info about this forum is also here.

 

First good suggestion from Ney

He shows friends where to aim the shotgun to get that pesky squirrel off of his noggin.

 

Ney ranked 8th . . .

. . . out of the top 20 recipients of Jack Abramoff's contributions, according to the WaPo. And, he's just two slots behind Tom Delay. Imagine that!

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