tvm's blog

"Morning after pill" for minors being considered in the Assembly Health Committee today

THE  PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF NEW YORK, REPRESENTED IN SENATE AND ASSEMBLY, DO ENACT AS FOLLOWS:

  1    Section 1. Short title. This act shall be known and may  be  cited  as

  2  the "unintended pregnancy prevention act".

  3    S  2.  Legislative  findings. The United States Food and Drug Adminis-

  4  tration (FDA) has declared emergency contraceptive pills to be safe  and

  5  effective in preventing pregnancy when used within 72 hours after unpro-

  6  tected  intercourse. The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecolo-

  7  gists and the American College of Nurse-Midwives  state  that  emergency

  8  contraception  (EC)  is  so  safe, and using it quickly is so important,

  9  that it should be available over the counter,  without  a  prescription.

10  They also emphasize the need for unimpeded access to EC for all women of

11  reproductive  age.  However,  although  there  are no medical reasons to

12  limit provision of EC, the FDA only approved non-prescription access for

13  women 18 years and older....

The complete text of the bill as well as other info may be found here.

(h/t Jim & Tom)

Oh, and by the way...repeal doesn't increase the deficit

From Heritage earlier this month:

When now-House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D–CA) was sworn in as Speaker on January 4, 2007, the national debt stood at $8.67 trillion. By the time Pelosi surrendered the gavel to Speaker John Boehner (R–OH)..., the national debt stood at $14.01 trillion. At $5.34 trillion, that means Speaker Pelosi added more than $1 trillion in debt per year during her tenure as Speaker. And yet she has the audacity to tell reporters...: “Deficit reduction has been a high priority for us. It is our mantra, pay-as-you-go.”

Only someone so out of touch with reality that they could claim that “deficit reduction” has been their “highest priority” while simultaneously adding more than $1 trillion a year to the debt could possibly claim that repealing Obamacare would add to the debt. But that is exactly what Pelosi wants us to believe. Also... she claimed that repealing Obamacare would do “very serious violence to the national debt and deficit.” Nothing could be further from the truth.

And more recently from Heritage, via Human Events (h/t Tom):

...The House will soon consider H.R. 2, a measure to fully repeal ObamaCare. According to the Congressional Budget Office (CBO), it would increase the deficit by $145 billion between 2012 and 2019.

This projection is based on CBO’s March 2010 report. But though the March report said the new law would decrease federal deficits, this was never really going to be the case. Repealing the law wouldn’t increase the deficit at all. CBO does respectable work, but their analysts have their hands tied by certain assumptions which significantly change the outlook they provide.
 
First, CBO is required to assume that current law will be enacted as written, even in cases where this seems improbable at best....
 
....Second, CBO must ignore budget gimmicks written into the legislation, including hundreds of billions in double-counted savings, [....which is] akin to trying to make a mortgage payment and buy a Macbook with the same paycheck: In the real world, you can spend money only once....
 
....ObamaCare won’t reduce the deficit, so repeal doesn’t need to be offset. Repeal is in keeping with the spirit of PAYGO, which exists to encourage long-term deficit reduction. Moreover, PAYGO requires deficit neutrality only over a 10-year budget window, so legislation can create savings in one decade but run trillions in deficits the next and still meet PAYGO requirements. The loopholes of 10-year scoring weren’t lost on the 111th Congress -- the costliest provisions of Obamacare don’t go into effect until 2014, so the CBO score includes only six years of heavy spending....
There's more—read it all, as they say, but you get the idea.
 
Memo to House Republicans: You are in charge of the House. Your new majority is 242-193.
 
Once again, tell Richard Hanna your thoughts through his House web site.

The value of an education

In an area that tends to be education-centric thanks to the nature of major employers in the county, it's not unreasonable to ask what exactly is the value of a four-year degree these days.  I've had conversations with fairly recent (as in the last few years) college graduates that have caused me to wonder, "You have a bachelor's degree?" Well, apparently the evidence is no longer just anecdotal:

Report: First two years of college show small gains

By Mary Beth Marklein, USA TODAY

Nearly half of the nation's undergraduates show almost no gains in learning in their first two years of college, in large part because colleges don't make academics a priority, a new report shows.

I don't think the situation improves much thereafter, frankly, but you can read the whole thing.

Thinking back, I now realize that everything I needed to know I learned by the end of 8th grade. Really. High school (and I attended one of the specialized public high schools in NYC that you had to take an entrance exam to get into) and college (the college also served as the convent for the same sisters that taught me through the 8th grade—and they were not a bunch of habited nimrods, but highly intelligent and degree-laden women who taught courses at the college as well as the classes in our otherwise quite typical and unexceptional parochial school) were just the icing on the cake.  Isn't that the way it should be, for everybody, everywhere? Instead we are, societally speaking, like food photographers who take pictures of luscious-looking "cakes" whose fondant décor has been carefully applied to a cardboard base. And at great expense, in terms of both money and opportunity cost.  Honestly, now—does this make sense?

A person can develop la grippe

I've been sick, so this is all you get today. Enjoy:

Compare & contrast

The three states in the worst shape financially are California, Illinois, and...New York.  From today's Ithaca Journal USA Today page:
Illinois enacts tax increases to cut $15 billion deficit
CHICAGO — Debate is raging across Illinois about tax increases passed this week by a lame-duck General Assembly: Are they job killers that will drive employers away or a vital step toward erasing a $15 billion budget shortfall?

The latter, says Ron Howell, executive director of Recovery Resources, a non-profit substance-abuse treatment center in Quincy struggling with a 30% cut in state funding and a 90-day lag time for state reimbursements.

"The bigger the (state budget) hole gets, the bigger the problem becomes," he says.

In Danville, though, owner Bob Watson of Watson Tire and Automotive Service says he might scratch his plan to hire another worker and may even consider a move 5 miles away to Indiana.

"I have to live on what I make," he says, "and so should the government."

Gov. Pat Quinn, a Democrat, signed the legislation Thursday. The measure could add $6.8 billion a year to revenue by temporarily raising income taxes from 3% to 5% and increasing the corporate tax rate from 4.8% to 7%.

Quinn says the increases are necessary to stop the state from "careening towards bankruptcy."....

Interestingly, the New York Times reported that same story this way:

Illinois Legislators Approve 66% Tax Increase

By MONICA DAVEY

Published: January 12, 2011 

CHICAGO — With only hours left before new state lawmakers were to take over, Illinois’s State Legislature narrowly approved early on Wednesday an increase of about 66 percent in the state’s income tax rate.

The vast size of the increase, the rarity of such increases here — the last one came two decades ago — and the hour of the vote (in the wee hours of Wednesday) all reflected the urgency and depth of this state’s fiscal crisis.

Even grudging supporters of the tax increase, which won no Republican support in a state capital controlled by Democrats, voiced a desperate sense of regret over the circumstances in which Illinois finds itself. State Representative Elaine Nekritz, a Democrat who voted for the increase, described her decision as an alternative “between bad and worse.” Another Democrat cautioned his colleagues: “We don’t have a better choice today.”...

Creates a very different impression from the first version, doesn't it?  

A couple of things come to mind: first, particularly where numbers, percentages, etc., are concerned, beware of spin and use common sense. The other side is banking on our "innumeracy" to cloud the issues.

Secondly, this probably isn't going to end well for Illinois (from John Kass's column in the Chicago Trib, via Pundit & Pundette):

They forgot to earmark some extra funds for that great, big wall.

You know, that wall they're going to need, 60 feet high, the one with razor wire on top and guard towers, equipped with police dogs and surrounded by an acid-filled moat.
 

The wall they're going to have to build around the entire state, to keep desperate taxpayers from fleeing to Indiana,Wisconsin and other places that want jobs and businesses and people who work hard for a living.

Something to keep in mind, NYS leaders.

And as for "Pundit and Pundette": we only wish we'd thought of it first.

Calendar girl

Reminded of Neil Sedaka (if so, you're probably at least as old as I am)? Maybe you're reminded of Calendar Girls, that movie with Helen Mirren a few years back about a group of English ladies who try to raise funds for the local hospital by posing in the—well, never mind.  Back when this post had a point, the point was that there is a calendar feature on this blog (it's up there, in the red bar) which I do try to update once in a while. It's only as useful as the info that's there, so if you've got town, county, or state items that would be appropriate for posting on this blog's calendar, do let us know.  Thanks!

UPDATE: NO 'Stache in Albany on January 25th

UPDATE (1/20): Heartache! There'll be no 'Stache in Mudville next week after all.  Now the scheduled speaker is slated to be Chuck Cunningham, Director of Public Affairs for the NRA.  No offense to Chuck, but...bummer.


From Dave Henderson's Outdoors column in the Ithaca Journal:

Bus To Albany

I haven't heard of any groups chartering buses from this area for the Jan. 25 second Annual Sportsmen & Outdoor Recreation Legislative Awareness Day in Albany, but you can catch a bus at the Gander Mountain store in Cicero that morning.

The Oswego County Federation of Sportsman's clubs is sponsoring the bus, which will make a 5:30 a.m. pick-up. The bus will leave Albany at 2 p.m....

NRA head Wayne LaPierre will not be the speaker this year. In his place will be former U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations John Bolton. (emphasis mine)

 

Whoa!  Much bigger deal than Wayne LaPierre, frankly.  Methinks perhaps the 'Stache is running for President in 2012.

An earlier post on this event is here, and it also is listed on our calendar.

" Facts are stubborn things;...

Tags:

...and whatever may be our wishes, our inclinations, or the dictates of our passions, they cannot alter the state of facts and evidence."— John Adams, speaking as the defense attorney for the Boston residents—no, wait!—for the British redcoats who had fired into the crowd at the Boston Massacre

In the wake of the AZ shooting, Washington Post cartoonist Jeff Danziger published this cartoon:

As blogger Ed Frank writes, "It’s one thing to hastily jump to conclusions before the facts are known, but it’s another to stick to those hasty conclusions in the face of contradictory facts." Frank was sufficiently troubled by the clear implication of the cartoon that he wrote to Danziger, and reproduced the exchange (with Danziger's permission) in his blog, Frank Strategies (via Hot Air).  As you read the whole post, notice how quickly Danziger's justifications descend into complete moonbattery.  But perhaps I repeat myself—lefty "justifications" and "moonbattery" often end up being identical.  But we're the nutty ones.

Poet's Landing decision reached

Follow-up to an earlier post:  Last night, the Dryden Village Planning Board approved the Poet's Landing development, with conditions.  Two members voted "yes, reluctantly." (h/t Kathy)

Here's tomorrow's Journal news today:

Dryden planning board OKs controversial new development

BY AARON MUNZER •CORRESPONDENT • JANUARY 6, 2011, 11:05 PM

DRYDEN - The village planning board unanimously approved a preliminary site plan review of the controversial Poet's Landing housing development at its regular meeting Thursday evening. 

The proposed neighborhood, which will have subsidized low-income housing, will comprise 10 apartment buildings and a larger seniors complex with a total of 144 units, at 111 Freeville Road, on 11 acres of a 45-acre parcel that includes wetlands across from Dryden High School.

Although the board's vote was unanimous, member Les Cleland said he voted yes reluctantly, based on the fact that the development will add traffic near the high school and will have an effect on "the safety of children who will have to cross the street, and children walking from the village." ...

About two dozen residents were at the meeting, and most were unhappy with the project, for either safety concerns based on its proximity to the high school, or because of the possibility it could make flooding worse...

To mitigate safety concerns, the project will include a cross walk, signs and flashing yellow lights at the intersection between the high school and the development, and a large holding pond to keep runoff from contributing to flooding, said Gene German, chairman of the board.

In addition, the developers, Rochester-based Conifer Realty, will have other conditions to fulfill, including an additional, independent stormwater study to determine if the project will increase the risk that nearby Egypt Creek could flood during storms. The project has been before the planning board for at least a year, German said, and said the conditions "had gone far enough" for his satisfaction.

Mayor Randy Sterling, who was present at the meeting, said he supported the board's decision and that the new development will provide the area with working-class housing.

"We have no new developments right now," he said. "Dryden needs this."...

Uh-bridged

If you love unabridged books in general, and Mark Twain in particular (there actually is a local connection here), this is for you:

UPDATE: Over there on the left is a link to a very nice, relatively inexpensive, hardback, unabridged, uncensored edition of both Huck Finn and Tom Sawyer together for your consideration (while you still have the option of considering it). I must admit that I do like the convenience of reading a book on my iPod, but, error or not, Amazon giveth and Amazon taketh away. Physical books are so, well, physical and thus much more difficult to chuck down the memory hole. If they want my books, they're going to have to come pry them from my cold, dead hands.

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