September 30, 2011

It starts at home

This video hit a nerve with me.  What appears to be a high school teacher has two kids squaring off in his classroom.  The brave man gets between them and speaks a whole lotta truth, including the line, 'Whatever made you believe you could...?'.

Amen to that.  Where in the hell is the sense of entitlement coming from?  Watch my nominee for teacher of the millenium:



Take note that this appears to be a pretty average, nicely diverse, well equipped, high school class. 

I have two teenagers, so I get the whole 'the universe revolves around me and my problems' mentality that permeates high school halls.  I'm not too old to remember the tension and excitement when somebody was going to fight after school over some perceived slight or insult.  Back then we had a decent amount of respect for our elders.  Enough to break the rules quietly, after school, in the shadows, in whispers.  When did it cross the line?  When did kids become so self-absorbed to think that they can interrupt an adult, highjack an entire classroom of kids, and put their ego-fueled bullshit issue on full display?

I spent yesterday with my 4-year old on a field trip to an apple orchard.  There were about 100 pre-school children in attendance from several different cities.  In my opinion, the display seen in the video above is the result of over-indulgent, inconsistent, materialistic, doting parents that have set no boundaries, expectations or consequences for their children's behavior.  In many ways the parents are just as infuriating as the little brats themselves.

I will put a spoiled upper middle class brat up against any inner-city, broken family life, drug and gang fueled neighborhood, sob story of a kid any day.  Guess who will most often be the most poorly behaved?  Hint: it's the kid with his name embroidered on his Pottery Barn Kids lunch tote.

I stood by, humiliated, while parents and pre-school 'educators' behaved little better than their precious little terrors.  They certainly never entertained the thought of correcting bad behavior, they instead make excuses about how little Johnny is 'curious' when he continually interrupts the adult speaking with his asinine questions and comments.

You could have peeled my lower jaw off the floor as we filed into a room filled with various apple processing equipment, some of it potentially dangerous, and were told to stay behind a clearly marked line on the floor - only to have numerous parents blatantly tell their children to move up if they couldn't see from behind the line.  WTF is wrong with you people?

100 kids, eight groups moving through the various learning stations on the tour, in what is certainly a carefully timed event before the next group shows up, and what does Crash's teaching team do?  They demand individual pictures of each kid at several stops.  All the kids had picked an apple off of a tree, but the teachers wanted a picture of each kid doing it for their scrapbooks.  Our tour guide stood by helpless as the preschool director and teachers lined the kids up by an apple tree and had each of them hold their apple up by a branch, recreating the act of picking the fruit.  All 46 kids.  I shit you not.

I love my kids.  I really should do a better job of documenting their youth through photos and videos, but GMAFB.  I would never stop a guided tour in its tracks for that purpose.

This mentality is teaching kids to be narcissistic, egotistical, entitled little twerps.  I don't ever presume to discipline another person's child, but am thankful to have a small circle of friends that share similar parenting styles and can be counted on to hold my children to the same level of accountability, and vice versa.

Video from LiveLeak.

September 29, 2011

How low can you go?

Judging by this email, Blowie's going rate has dropped to $3.  Three bucks is supposedly all it takes to be entered into a contest to have dinner with Blowie. 
From: Michelle Obama [mailto:info@barackobama.com]
Sent: Wednesday, September 28, 2011 2:34 PM
To:
Subject: These dinners
XXXX —
Not everyone knows how to prepare for a dinner like this. As someone who's eaten countless meals with my husband, I want to tell you the one thing to do if you're selected to join him...
Just relax. Barack wants this dinner to be fun, and he really loves getting to know supporters like you.
I hope you'll take him up on it before Friday's deadline.
Will you donate $3 or more today and be entered to have dinner with Barack?
These dinners mean a lot to Barack. They're a chance for him to talk with a few of the people who are driving the campaign — and a chance for him to say thank you.
So come prepared to tell your story, and say whatever's on your mind.
Don't miss the opportunity to be there. Donate $3 today, before the September 30th deadline:
https://donate.barackobama.com/Dinner
Thanks,
Michelle
If a single $3 donor gets chosen for dinner with the president, I will vote for Blowie next year.  There is no f'ing way that some $3 'donor' gets the 'prize'.  I dare you to find one.  Hell, try to find someone that has donated less than $10,000 that gets to have dinner with Blowie.  Do they think we are stupid?  Do they think we believe that this is a random drawing?  Do they think we don't see how narcissistic Blowie is?  No way the guy entertains the thought of speaking to a $3 donor, much less having dinner with one.  

September 28, 2011

Searching for facts

Boom has a recurring assignment in her economics class this year.  Every couple of weeks she is supposed to find an article and write a commentary on it.  The rubric details the goals of; explaining the linkages between the extract and an economic theory, demonstration of economic insights into the implications of the extract and providing evidence of the student's ability to evaluate current events from the point of view of an economist.  The commentary should contain; appropriate use of economic terminology, definitions of economic terms, proper application of economic theories and in-depth analysis of the material. 

Sounds like fun, huh?

The biggest issue she is having is finding appropriate material.  By and large, the extract itself should contain little to no commentary.  I challenge you to find an (economy focused) article that isn't, mostly, an opinion piece.  When did our media become so laser-focused on making a point, rather than delivering the information?

Ultimately, Boom has to have four of these commentaries for her official portfolio.  She has had one year of micro and is about 1/3 of the way through the macro portion and can even make a decent point beyond those parameters with some assistance, so if you come across an article based on information rather than journalism school analysis or pseudo celebrity opinion - please, send the link our way.

September 27, 2011

It was the red-haired girl

Not to poke fun at someone's misfortune, but this was too fun to pass up:
The head of Office Depot Inc.'s international division was fired, effective Monday, for having an "improper relationship" with a co-worker, the company said.
Office Depot said the fired executive was Charlie Brown. It did not identify the other employee or describe that person's job title or fate.
Peppermint Patty?  Lucy?  Ooooh, maybe it was Linus.

September 26, 2011

The $1 Cupcakes

Reading several articles about the frantic and demonizing emails being sent to Democratic supporters inspired me to click on over to the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee website.  I ended up on the 'Frontline Democrats' page, which is seemingly the top 15 Democratic seats that the DCCC is most concerned with keeping.

Click on over and see if you are struck by any similarities among the candidates.  Anything notable, or perhaps notably lacking among the field?  I am not talking about the apparently dismal fundraising efforts (5 supporters and $5,085 when I visited), but more general terms.  If they haven't yet rectified the missing photo situation by the time you read this, I can offer a bit of a hint.  Kathy Hochul is white.

So then I clicked on over to the Senate Democrat member page.  This is what I found (the members were listed in alphabetical order):
Hawaiian, 5 white males, white female, white male, white female, 6 white males, white female, Al Franken, 2 white females, white male, Hawaiian, 2 white males, white female, white male, white female, 5 white males, white female, 2 white males, 2 white females, 8 white males, 2 white females and 7 white males.
Where's that famous Democratic Diversity? 

Post title hint from the price structure at the UCBerkeley GOP club diversity bake sale.

Monday Night Football Bonus

My stat counter is spinning madly with searches related to the Redskins/cowgirls rivalry.  My bud Tina has been posting some great graphics on Facebook the past week, which have all mysteriously found their way to my husband's email inbox.  I will share those, as well as some old favorites with the rest of you:

Oh.No.You.Didn't. FOD v2

What a dipshit.
At an event in Woodside, Calif., Obama took a direct shot at one of his potential GOP opponents, Texas Gov. Rick Perry. Without mentioning him by name Obama mocked Perry as "a governor whose state is on fire, denying climate change."
Perry spokesman Ray Sullivan responded, "It's outrageous President Obama would use the burning of 1,500 homes, the worst fires in state history, as a political attack."
FUBHO.  I got news for you, the most recent fires struck right at the heart of your Texas base.  You just made fun of their homes, pets, memories and some lives being lost.  Douche.
And in the interest of the big picture truth, there were over 1,500 homes lost in the Bastrop fires, but the statewide totals are higher (and this report is from last week, we have had new fires since, which you can follow here):

Texas Fires 2011 Fact Sheet
(All figures are from Nov 15, 2010 to September 23, 2011, unless noted)
Days on Incident: 311
Personnel currently on incident: 1,346
States that have sent firefighters or other personnel:
49 plus District of Columbia, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands
Total fires in Texas since Nov. 15, 2010: 23,519
Total acres burned in Texas since Nov. 15, 2010: 3,795,280
(Exceeds previous record of 2,105,361 acres set in 2005-2006)
Fires in Texas in 2011: 21,480
Fires nationally in 2011: 59,048
Proportion of total national fires in 2011 that occurred in Texas: 36.3%
Acres burned in Texas in 2011: 3,795,280
Acres burned nationally in 2011: 7,679,998
Proportion of total national acres that burned in Texas: 49.4%
Ten-year U.S. national average acres burned: 6,325,548
The 4 largest wildfires in Texas history occurred in April 2011.
Texas counties where Texas Forest Service has fought wildfires: 192 of 254
Homes and structures saved:49,789
Homes saved: 34,756
Homes and structures lost:7,488
Homes lost: 2,742
Texas counties with burn bans: 248 of 254
(exceeds previous record of 221 set in 2006)

H/T to JammieWearingFool, where I saw the Blowie quote first.

FOD

September 25, 2011

Pot, BASE jumping and aliens

In yet another stunning example of idiocy, Blowie's 'We the People' website went live last week. While I predicted a landslide of petitions demanding that Blowie resign, the top signature getters are much more entertaining - and realistic. 

If you recall, this site was set up for 'the people to be heard'.  Any petition garnering 5,000 signatures is guaranteed review by the administration and an official response. 

Look at the top signature getting petition, with 6 times the signers needed to meet the threshold:
"Legalize and regulate marijuana in a manner similar to alcohol"
Do you think they saw that coming?  Now, the first major flaw in this petition system is the lack of directing or requiring people to first check and see if anyone else has already created a petition with the same basic issue.  In these first 4 days of the site, the administration owes 'official' responses to five other marijuana legalization-related petition creators.

There are, as expected, the wacko petitions:
PETA filed something that is titled 'Stop Animal Homelessness at its Roots' which amounts to their demand for a mandatory national spay and neuter law. 
Typical lib reaction, to craft an overreaching law instead of focusing on the irresponsible breeders.  It cracks me up that they are against compassionate euthanasia of animals, but want to require that all animals undergo a surgical procedure.
Call an investigation into the allegations of prosecutorial and judicial misconduct in the case of Sholom Rubashkin
Though not very familiar with the case, a quick review of the wiki, and noting that the corporation involved plead guilty to a huge chunk of some of the original charges, as well as noting that the names Wasserman-Schultz and Jackson Lee are involved, lead me to conclude this is bunk.

There are a couple of 'remove Under God' from the pledge and currency petitions.  Screw you.  God can be whatever you want it to be.

Someone named Robert obviously is sitting naked in front of his computer in Staten Island, New York, fondling himself over the thought of stimulating the economy by forgiving all student debt.  To be precise:
Forgive Student Loan Debt to Stimulate the Economy and Usher in a New Era of Innovation, Entrepreneurship and Prosperity
If that's the best idea your college education could come up with, you should have to pay back double what you were loaned.  Clearly not an economics major.  'Forgiving' the debt may put money back in Robert's pocket, but he seems to forget that that loan paid for all of the things necessary to educate him - must be a magic money tree at NYU.
propose legislation that would make all federal election days national holidays to increase voter turnout
Okay, I promise to vote, not sleep in, drink beer, go to the lake, spend the day with my family...

I was unaware that the Japanese have a thing for American kids:
PUBLICLY press Japan for the return of Abducted US Children and provide transparent dialogs with Japan on this issue
There are several issues that are clearly a matter of national importance:
Allow BASE Jumping in National Parks
And, you knew it was in there somewhere:
Immediately disclose the government's knowledge of and communications with extraterrestrial beings
Hurry, they need 3,000 more signatures.  I know you want your name associated with this 

September 24, 2011

Better than the comics

I love the little humorous surprises that arrive in my email inbox.  This week it was an invitation from LinkedIn to ask the president a question for their big town hall doohickey on Monday.  I am not sure if this link will work for you if you aren't a LinkedIn member and signed in.  It might not work even if you are.  LinkedIn is pretty innocuous, so the free sign up might even be worth the laugh.  Outside the link, just going to LinkedIn and looking for the 'Putting America Back to Work in 2011' group will get you to the right place.  Blowie's face is all over it as well.

Back to the funny part.  The questions being posted are quite entertaining, from both ends of the spectrum.
Mr President, when are you going to resign?

Why have there been no indictments, convictions or imprisonment after the massive financial fraud that led to the meltdown of 2008?

Why do we not see you encouraging Americans to buy American-made products with the same fervor and gusto we see you asking them to tell Congress to "Pass this Bill"?

Why do we see the likes of GE’s CEO seated next to the First Lady at the last Joint Session of Congress – when GE has shipped 20% of its U.S. manufacturing jobs overseas since you took office?  
Mr President, if Obamacare is right for America, why did Congress get a waiver?
Mr. President - Will you ever relax your monster arrogant ego long enough to admit that your socialist policies have made you the worst president in the last 100 years? 
Of course, there are the Blowie-lovers as well, but they don't get space on my blog.  For an administration that supposedly is so social media savvy, I can't believe they keep opening themselves up to these very public scenarios.  Idiots.  I think that there was a time when his supporters could be attacked via social media and the result was that they became more bold in their support.  Today, I think that more and more of them will slink off quietly and stop defending him.  Now, if we can just get them to stay home on election day.

September 23, 2011

Defending Rick

I am not Ricky's biggest fan.  I do think that, out of the current field of candidates, he has the best shot at taking out Blowie next fall.

I find it odd to be in this position of defending the guy, but it seems, this morning, that even the more 'fair and balanced' news sources have joined in the gang bang of Governor Goodhair.  I don't think it excessive to expect a little journalistic integrity, a little background research, when penning articles about inflammatory subjects, like immigration.

The news outlets are all running with headlines about Perry's stance on providing in-state tuition to children of illegal immigrants.  Ricky should talk less about the compassion part of the argument and more about the standards required to qualify for the in-state tuition rate.

First, we are talking about the TUITION RATE.  Did you hear that, all you wankers screaming about Perry giving illegals a free college education?  This isn't a free ride, it is a pricing scale.  I don't personally agree with it, but that shouldn't cloud the truth. 

Children of illegal immigrants don't just show up and get the in-state tuition rate.  They have to apply and get accepted to college, just like everyone else.  Once accepted, there are several qualifying factors before the rate is granted.

These students must have lived in Texas for at least three years as of the date of high school graduation.  They must be a resident of Texas for at least 12 months preceding enrollment in college.  They must graduate from a Texas high school, or receive their GED in the state.  They can't swim across and go straight to college the next month.

They are required to apply for permanent resident status.

Let's not overlook the fact that all this paperwork, residency requirements and affidavit filing provide a heck of a paper trail to where the illegal immigrant parents can be found.

For all those worried that little Jose is displacing little Johnny at UT, it is an interesting note that 'non-citizen' enrollment accounts for only 1%. of the student population in Texas.  About 70% of those that qualify under this program are attending community colleges.  I say 'non-citizen' because the law applies not only to illegal immigrants, but to non-immigrant, visa holding international students, children of ambassadors and diplomats residing in Texas and their employees.

I don't support this program.  I really, really, hate that our state and the various colleges have awarded over $30 million in financial aid to people that attend college under this program.  Regardless of my opinion, facts are paramount to the discussion, yet something that the media has been short on.

September 22, 2011

Stupid Parent Tricks

Boom is a senior this year and determined to attend college away from home, despite several good universities being within daily driving distance from our home.  I can't blame her, in fact, she needs to go away and get some independence.  She has already been accepted to Kansas State University, which was a bit of a shock.  She filled out the brief online application on a Saturday and had an acceptance letter in the mailbox by the next Thursday.  They didn't ask for a resume, letters of recommendation or even a transcript.  She had previously sent her SAT scores and that, apparently, is enough for them.

Boom really wants to be an Aggie, and the only thing that will change that path would be an amazing scholarship offer to another school.  KSU is in the running for that, as they will guarantee a slot in grad (vet) school if she completes her undergrad work there.  That is a sweet offer, knowing that she won't have to go through this whole application and waiting game four years from now. 

All this college planning and applying have really brought home the fact that this is our last year to have her at home.  She isn't nearly the social animal that I was at her age (THANK GOD), so we haven't battled much over time with friends versus time with family.  The biggest challenge around here is time unique to each of the four kids.  So when Boom came home and asked if I would play indoor soccer with her this fall, I foolishly agreed.

Despite being in the 'Take It Easy' league, our ragtag group of moms and senior daughters run our asses ragged every Wednesday night.  Last night our game was at 10pm, gah.  We have a perfect record (all losses).  First game out, I subbed in and ran full-tilt down the field toward the ball and an oncoming opponent.  We reached the ball at the exact same time, cocked our kicking legs back and both tried to drill the ball.  What resulted was basically blunt force trauma on the ball (and our bodies) as our forward momentum was abruptly cancelled out by the velocity of the opposing force.  It made a rather impressive noise, one of those things that causes the onlookers to verbally react.  It was an awesome display of competitiveness and strength.  It wrecked my right knee.  The one that has been surgically repaired twice before. 

Not being one to quit, I am soldiering on for the duration of the season.  God is finding favor in my dedication, as he has aided my delay in getting a professional opinion by making sure that my 'old' orthopedic surgeon's office takes its sweet time finding my records to send to the 'new' ortho.  The new ortho won't see me until he has reviewed the records.  I Google-diagnosed my injury and have determined that, while continued play might hurt like hell, it isn't doing much more damage.

This is the senior-in-high-school-child induced version of mom guilt.  I can't bear the thought of dropping out of our swan song activity together.  Plus, I have really shiny-cool cleats that would go to waste. 

The beauty of the indoor soccer place is in the bar serving the spectator area.  Next season will probably find me there, post-surgical knee in a brace, Shiner in hand, assuming the role of head cheerleader. Good Times.

September 21, 2011

On Rick Perry's compassion...

...and why Michele Bachmann can go f*ck herself.

Last week Michele Wild Eyes Bachmann went off on some moronic tirade about how a vaccine for the Human Papillomavirus (HPV) causes girls to become promiscuous and causes mental retardation. Apparently, she had quite the dose of it.

She is, of course, backing the hell up from those remarks now, saying that she has 'heard' that those things happen. She doesn't 'mean' that they are absolutely true. Huh?

No matter your personal thoughts on this cancer vaccine, it is easy to understand why Rick Perry wanted to make it mandatory.  He wanted to save lives.  He wanted to enact a law that would have the effect of making the vaccine more available to the general public. If it is a required vaccine, insurance has to cover it. Health departments have to administer it. Otherwise, it is an expense to be borne by the consumer.

Perry had every opportunity to plead his case during last week's debate and the resultant round of follow up interviews and press releases. He exercised an enormous measure of restraint, and I learned just how much from a local news item.  What you never heard him say was 'Heather Burcham'. He never trotted out the dead woman that was the driving force behind his push to make HPV accessible and affordable. He hasn't hit the road with members of her family or posted pictures of Heather's last months. He has never mentioned spending time with her or speaking at her memorial service where he said:
I think Heather would tell all of us that strive to live a successful life that, more than that, we should strive to live a significant life. Success is measured by the world’s standards, significance is measured by God’s. Heather’s life was short but significant. Many of her dreams were not realized, but because of her, I believe others’ dreams will be realized. She has only begun to symbolize the importance of preventative healthcare for millions of young girls. And though some could not see the benefits of the HPV vaccine through the prism of politics, some day they will. Someday they will recognize that this could happen to anyone’s daughter, even their own. Someday they will respond with compassion when they once responded with ignorance. And, someday, they will come to a place where they recognize the paramount issue is whether we will choose life, and protect life, without regard to what mistakes, if any, have been made in the past.
Rick Perry has resisted further politicizing a young woman's death during the most important campaign of his life.  That is one hell of a show of integrity and class.  Makes me proud to be a Texan today.   Wish Bachmann would come around here so I could show her what a Texas ass kicking looks like.

September 20, 2011

They should just give them half of my pizza

This video is linked at the top of Drudge this morning. 



I know I rant about the misuse and abuse of welfare and food stamps more than you probably care to hear about, but it is in my face more and more each day.

On Saturday, my kids mentioned how good pizza sounded, since we hadn't had it in several weeks.  We have two go-to pizza places that we like.  One is an honest-to-God Italian owned restaurant and the other is Papa Murphy's.  The Papa Murphy's concept, if you are unfamiliar, is of the take and bake variety.  That works out for us on days when we are out and about earlier in the day - we can pick it up and take it home to bake when we are ready.  I think we share some common ground with other families in that pizza is often a quick meal on hectic evenings.  We don't have it too often (since the local delivery place SUCKS), but like all meals out, it is a bit of a treat.  (Treat = budget hit).

As much as I love Papa Murphy's, I saw red when we pulled up and there, smack in the middle of the door, was the EBT sticker.  My family negotiated away other budgeted entertainment dollars to splurge on pizza and some deadbeat can come get the same meal - on my dime?  WTF?

The video is funny/disturbing unto itself.  What took the wind out of my sails was the number of similar videos in the YouTube suggestion sidebar.  There is a cottage industry born of making songs and videos about freakin' welfare.  Shoot me now.

September 19, 2011

FOD - SAAAAAAASQUAAAAAAAAATCH! Edition

Loving the Michelle Obama take off of Attaaaaaaack Waaaaaaaatch, as stolen from CenTexTim, who got it somewhere else.

I really don't care what she said (though I am of the belief that it wasn't benign).  What really gets under my skin is the facial expression.  The smirk.  The uppity 'hmph' and pursing of lips.  At a friggin' memorial on the anniversary of 9/11.  I cannot think of a single thing that might have happened at that moment wherein her reaction would have been appropriate. 

September 18, 2011

My Obituary

I was taken aback at seeing my obituary in the paper this weekend.  Well, not really mine, but that of Malcom Wallop, a former Republican senator from Big Horn, Wyoming.

In the mid-eighties I took part in a Model Senate program at my school.  I am not sure how the parts were assigned, but I imagine that there was some sort of randomized drawing and each school that was participating got a number of names adequate to cover their student participants.  When the teacher announced that I would play the part of Malcolm Wallop, I was a little disappointed.  I was a young teenage girl living in Kansas.  If the last name wasn't Dole or Kassebaum, it was completely foreign to me.

Luckily, the Model Senate process is to learn about the person you are representing; know their positions and how they would vote.  Senator Wallop was a stand up guy and, as it turned out, a memorable person to portray.  Wallop was a staunch supporter of Star Wars and I remember learning quite a bit about strategic defense.

Senator Wallop died at the age of 78 last Wednesday.  That seems young to me - considering how old he seemed to be when I was him for two days at a Model Senate convention.  Rest in peace, Senator, being you for a bit was a learning experience that I haven't forgotten.

September 17, 2011

Mortality Fascinated, by God

Once upon a time 'we' were bitterly clinging to our guns and religion.

Then 'we' were the people who had driven the car into the ditch.

There was also that thing about the broom and mop.  I am not sure I get that, except it sounds like 'we' were the supervisors:
"We got our mops and our brooms out here and were cleaning stuff out and they're sitting there saying, 'Hold the broom better, that's not how you mop, don't tell me how to mop,'" Obama said, continuing to rib Republicans. "Pick up a mop! Do some work on behalf of the American people to solve some of these problems."
Just when I was thinking that it was time for something new, James Carville comes to the rescue.  I love me some James Carville.  I know he is a hot mess of a liberal wanker, but Lordy, that Cajun accent.  Ooo-wee.  So, Chester James Carville opened that silver-tongued Cajun pie hole of his this week and let loose with a whole slew of campaign phrases for the libtards.  Alert the Cafe Press and start the screen printing machine.  According to Jimmy Baby, those of us on his right are:
creationism-loving
global-warming-denying
immigration-bashing
Social-Security-cutting
clean-air-hating
mortality-fascinated
Wall-Street-protecting  
I love ya James, but is it any wonder that the last three campaigns you worked on were in Afghanistan, Colombia and Buenos Aires?  If American ideals are so distasteful to you, there are a few Mexican border towns that need an election consultant.

September 16, 2011

I Support the American Jobs Act of 2011

I repeat, I support the American Jobs Act of 2011 and implore our lawmakers to fast-track the bill and get it passed immediately.

Lest you remain confused about whose site you have stumbled upon, I will clarify; I support the American Jobs Act of 2011, as filed by Texas Representative Louie Gohmert of Tyler, Texas.  Representative Gohmert was patient and waited almost a week for someone, anyone, to file Blowie's proposals as a bill.

No dimocrat stepped up, so Gohmert has filed his own legislation that shares a title with the plan presented by Blowie last week.  BWAHAHAHAHA!

Gohmert's plan is simple and would certainly spur some economic growth and create jobs immediately. 
A BILL To amend the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 to repeal the corporate income tax.
Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled,
SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE.
This Act may be cited as the ''American Jobs Act of 2011''.
SEC. 2. REPEAL OF CORPORATE INCOME TAX.
(a) IN GENERAL.—Subsection (b) of section 11 of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 is amended to read as follows:
(b) "AMOUNT OF TAX.—The amount of the tax imposed by subsection (a) shall be zero percent of taxable income.''.
(b) REPEAL OF ALTERNATIVE MINIMUM TAX FOR CORPORATIONS.—Subparagraph (B) of section 55(b)(1) of such Code is amended to read as follows:
(B) CORPORATIONS.—In the case of a corporation, the tentative minimum tax for the taxable year is zero.''.
(c) CONFORMING AMENDMENTS.— (1) Paragraphs (1) and (2) of section 1445(e)
of such Code are each amended by striking ''35 percent'' and inserting ''0 percent''.
(2) Subparagraph (A) of section 7518(g)(6) of such Code is amended by striking ''34 percent'' and inserting ''0 percent''.
(3) Paragraph (2) of section 53511(f) of title 46, United States Code, is mended by striking ''34 percent'' and inserting ''0 percent''.
(d) EFFECTIVE DATE.—The amendments made by section shall apply to taxable years beginning after this December 31, 2011, except that the amendments made by subsection (c) shall take effect on such date.
While the article points out that there is nothing prohibiting two bills from sharing the same title, there is no way that the dims or Blowie would allow that.  I can't wait to see the spin on this one.

September 15, 2011

Tell me where it hurts

The WSJ did a story and a fun interactive piece on the new federally mandated medical billing codes, that result in 140,000 codes to describe various medical conditions and treatments when 18,000 codes used to suffice.  Go here and play around with the search feature, see how many ridiculous - yet detailed enough for gummint work - codes the medical community is now forced to use via regulation.
It will also have a code for recording that a patient's injury occurred in a chicken coop. (See code.)
Indeed, health plans may never again wonder where a patient got hurt. There are codes for injuries in opera houses (see code), art galleries (see code), squash courts (see code) and nine locations in and around a mobile home (see codes), from the bathroom to the bedroom...
Some codes could seem downright insulting: R46.1 is "bizarre personal appearance (see code)," while R46.0 is "very low level of personal hygiene (see code)." 
Lowering the Bar highlighted the NINE different codes for injuries caused by turtles, ranging from bitten by turtle to struck by turtle to other contact with turtle.  Who knew that turtles were so dangerous?  They also show the 21 spacecraft related injuries.

I plugged 'fish' into the search window.  Three pages of comedy to be found there.  Someone, somewhere, apparently intentionally poisons themselves with toxic jelly fish (Toxic effect of contact with other jellyfish, intentional self-harm, initial encounter).

'Drowning' resulted in 375 results.  Our government isn't happy with a code or two for boat-realted accidental drowning, they feel the need to distinguish the type of boat (merchant, passenger, fishing, kayak, inflatable, sailboat, etc.) along with whether one went down with the ship, jumped, was thrown overboard or fell and whether the ship was crushed, burning, sinking, overturned or has struck another boat or object.

'Alcohol' was another eye-opening search.  Can someone help me understand why there would be codes for each specific range of blood alcohol level?  The test is the same, why must our insurance companies get that detailed amount of information?  Seems like a back door violation of the HIPPA laws.

I didn't have any luck finding a code for 'screwed by Obamacare', but I am not done looking, either.

September 14, 2011

Tilting at Windmills

For those of you landing here by mistake, or on purpose - only to be offended by what you may read about Blowie (a.k.a. your president), here is a link to your Big Brother, there's no such thing as free speech, let us nip this right in the bud, report your neighbors, Heil Obama website:

Click here to report me, mofos.


In case there was any doubt about who Obama thinks is a threat - the AttackWatch homepage is currently featuring Perry, Romney and Glenn Beck. Glenn Beck, really? Has any other presidential campaign ever addressed, in such a grand manner, the information presented by a conservative political commentator/radio host?

Divine Intervention

So last night a citizen of our fine little burg was making an asinine argument about how the town should know about unexpected expenditures in advance (yes, you read that right) - specifically in regard to the renovation of a forty-one year old building.  Apparently, some people don't get what a contingency fund is, nor do they care.  These folks must live in some sort of Utopia where nothing ever breaks, wears out or gets damaged.

To emphasize the point, the building decided to use me as an example.  Under each section of the dias/desk is a 3/4" laminate covered piece of wood - it is either MDF or particle board, I wasn't inspecting the damn thing - about 3' high by 6 or 7' long.  It serves as a cover for all the wiring for the sound and video systems.  I was mid-sentence when the board gave way and fell onto my shin, one good gash, then a scrape as I jumped, followed by a second gash when it landed for good.  The noise it made was significant enough to startle other people in the room.

Desk repair and first aid = Unexpected Expense.

It would have been funny if it didn't hurt so bad.  I didn't stop speaking, incidentally.  Lord knows I don't like to give up the floor.

September 13, 2011

Choosing names

We aren't getting much sleep around Harper House. Partly Whited's fault, as he bestowed upon us a lovely specimen of Dachshund this weekend. Whited deals heavily in the Dachshund, offering up pups as prizes for various games of chance.

We brought the little fella home on Saturday and he was pretty worn out by bedtime. We only had to listen to an hour or so (cumulative time) of puppy screeching.

Sunday night was much worse, as he was held most of the day by various children, resulting in a very well rested and used-to-being-in-a-warm-lap puppy that did not respect the silence and solitude needed for appropriate human rest. Last night was either an improvement, or we were so damned tired that we tuned him out.

A couple of factors came into play while deciding on a name for the newest addition to our menagerie. He is mostly brownish with a little white. He needs constant correction. He is trying to usurp the authority and experience of the established canines of the household. Unchecked, he would defecate anywhere. When he isn't getting the level of attention that he feels he needs, he cries. Loudly.  He was 'free' but we have spent several hundred dollars on him.  He has been over to the fence and admired the wide rear end of the chubby Scottish Terrier next door. So, we decided to name him something befitting of his personality and taste and call him little Barack.


Before Whited shows up on my front porch to repossess the dog for bestowing him with the name 'Barack', I will come clean and admit to making it up. Following in the grand Harper family tradition of all animal (and some minor human) names taken from the best Western novel ever written, Clara, Woodrow, Gus and Jake welcomed little Roscoe into the fold. The other option we were considering was 'July' but he seems more 'Roscoe'-ish. I wouldn't name a snail after the president, much less a dog. I respect nature too much.

September 12, 2011

FOD

Today, Blowie will be officially sending his latest stimulus package to Congress, thinly disguised as the 'American Jobs Act'. 

Before the bill text is released, you can brush up on the basics here, on the 'fact sheet and overview' page.  This is a comprehensive outline of the talking points that Blowie will be using as he campaigns in visits North Carolina and Ohio this week.  One of the up sides to taking a month to unveil his big plan, was that it gave some West Wing Wonks time enough to type up a state by state analysis of what this latest stimulus jobs plan will do.  You can click here to find out what great things are headed to your state.

While I would never expect Blowie to acknowledge, on the White House website, that the stimulus jobs bill has detractors, I do think it is disingenuous to dedicate a page to 'state and local officials responding to the Act' - and have every quote on the page be a glowing endorsement.  Right alongside the latest email missive from the White House, I also had one from my congressman, linking to his weekly video address, dedicated to reaction to the Jobs Act and titled, 'We Can Do Better'. 

Oh yes, we can do much better.

September 11, 2011

Not the way to honor the dead.

In reading articles about the 10th anniversary of 9/11, I was taken aback to learn that nearly 2,000 victim's families never received any remains.

And then I was horrified to learn that 6,000 unidentified human remains from the WTC site are planned to be put in the basement of the 9/11 Memorial Museum

Had I been in NYC today, I would have been with those protesting families that are now suing to get the contact information for all victim's families, so they can let them know what is planned for the unidentified remains. 

I can't stand the imagery of it - of people that were killed on impact, high in the tower, or fell or jumped dozens of stories to their deaths, being put 7 stories below ground level, in a basement.  I agree with the families that they should not have to pay an entry fee and wait for business hours to pay homage to their loved ones.

These families should have a say.  I don't know what that looks like in the end, but hopefully it is something more agreeable than this.  

We Remember

September 10, 2011

Friendly advice

If the late summer/almost fall weather has you enjoying the great outdoors in some way, especially in any capacity that might end up with a photograph (or mug shot) being taken, do yourself a favor and wear your hat right.

From Jawdrops.com

September 9, 2011

Sincerely, from David Plouffe

I can't even say 'Plouffe' without giggling.  It sounds like a word a toddler would say in place of 'poof'.  Or a missed lyric on Hee Haw, 'I searched the world over and thought I found true love.  You found another and plouffe you were gone'.  (Apologies to Buck Owens).

This just hit my inbox.  Pure comedy gold, if you ask me.  After weeks of silence, suddenly, there are frequent emails from Blowie's gang.  As the GOC talked about, this administration's answer to everything is to throw a speech at it.  And a 'plan' and, now, an email.

I have highlighted phrases that we will hear 72.4 million times over the next several months.  Please, please, if you are a Twitterer, make a note of the upcoming WH Twitter 'Office Hours', tell your friends, and bombard the SOBs with lots of really constructive questions.  Or insults.   

Good afternoon,
Last night President Obama walked Congress and the nation through the American Jobs Act, his plan to create jobs in America now. It's up to Congress to act on this set of bipartisan ideas that put people back to work and put more money into the pockets of working Americans.
You can watch a special enhanced version of the speech, featuring charts and other relevant information here.
Here are a few important points about how the American Jobs Act works, and why Congress should act quickly:
  • First, it provides a tax cut for small businesses, not big corporations, to help them hire and expand now and provides an additional tax cut to any business that increases wages.
  • Second, it puts people back to work, including teachers, first responders and veterans coming back from Iraq and Afghanistan, and construction workers repairing crumbling bridges, roads and more than 35,000 public schools, with projects chosen by need and impact, not earmarks and politics.
  • Third, it helps out-of-work Americans by extending unemployment benefits to help them support their families while looking for work and reforming the system with training programs that build real skills, connect to real jobs and help the long-term unemployed.
  • Fourth, it puts more money in the pockets of working and middle class Americans by cutting in half the payroll tax that comes out of every worker's paycheck, saving families an average of $1,500 a year. And it removes the barriers that exist in the current federal refinancing program (HARP) to help more Americans refinance their mortgages at historically low rates, save money and stay in their homes.
The American Jobs Act is based on ideas supported by both Democrats and Republicans, and is fully paid for by closing corporate tax loopholes and by asking the wealthiest Americans to pay their fair share. It would have an immediate impact on job and economic growth, but Congress has to act now.
You can learn more about the American Jobs Act on Whitehouse.gov.
Over the next few days there are a number of ways for you to ask questions and engage with Administration officials about the American Jobs Act including Open for Questions live panels and Twitter Office Hours.
In fact, next week, I’ll be participating in my very first White House Office Hours on Twitter, so be sure to tune in and send me your questions using the hashtag #WHChat.
Here’s a list of the full lineup of events so far:
  • Today at 4:30 p.m. EDT: Brian Deese, Deputy Director of the National Economic Council will be answering your questions on Twitter during White House Office Hours using the hashtag #WHChat.
  • Monday September 12 at 4:30 p.m. EDT: White House Office Hours on Twitter with Stephanie Cutter, Assistant to the President and Deputy Senior Advisor.
  • Tuesday, September 13 at 5:30 p.m. EDT: I’ll be answering your questions on Twitter during White House Office Hours using the hashtag #WHChat.
  • Wednesday, September 14th at 4:00 p.m. EDT: White House Office Hours with Brian Deese, Deputy Director of the National Economic council.
Sincerely,
David Plouffe
Senior Advisor to the President
P.S. After last night’s address, a few White House policy experts answered questions about the speech. Check out the video of the event: WhiteHouse.gov/JobsSpeechOFQ

Tail Wagger

Call me jaded, but I don't think it is a coincidence that Blowie's speech headlines are pushed down below news of a 'specific, credible but unconfirmed' Al Qaeda threat coinciding with the anniversary of 9/11.

Anytime that 'government officials' make contradictory statements, we should be worried AND suspect an ulterior motive.  Here are some of the more glaring contradictions:
the threat is specific to car bombs at bridges and tunnels
Americans should go about their business as usual
The president directed the counterterrorism community to redouble its efforts
the threat identified Thursday was described by one official as noteworthy for seeming "more than aspirational
there is no reason to panic or allow our spirit of freedom to be dampened
we've always been concerned about, the introduction of a radioactive isotope, a dirty bomb
it is the "origin" of the intelligence information that is causing particular concern
There's no reason for any of the rest of us to change ... our daily routines

Are you kidding me?  Be afraid, be slightly afraid.  Not necessarily of a terrorist attack - I think that is a daily part of our lives now, but be very frightened by the lack of a cohesive message to the public from our leaders.  Be afraid that the news broke just before Blowie's speech.  Nothing like a little publicity competition to dilute a story.

Blowie's speech put all of the blame where he always puts it.  On someone else's shoulders.  Ignore that he spent all his time in office getting Obamacare passed, playing golf, reforming finance, making speeches, loading iPods for the Queen and jetting off to the Vineyard or Hawaii.  Now, he hears the American people.  Now, he's ready to get down to business on jobs.  Now, Congress needs to pass a $97,835,721,649 plan immediately to spur the economy and get people back to work.  He'll let the next president figure out how to pay for that.

Of course, the terror threat gives the government another opportunity to use their favorite new phrase, 'If you see something, say something.'

I see something, it is a glimmer of hope on the horizon, a tiny sliver of light at the end of a dark tunnel.  I think Blowie made a fatal error beating the 'Congress must do this or else' drum.  Even if they pass some miraculous economy curing bill, I don't think that 13 months is enough time for enough people to see enough of an improvement in their lives to change their vote.  If Congress does not pass this, or any other bill, Americans will surely blame them, but ultimately, the bigger picture and economic nightmare will still rest on Blowie's shoulders. 

September 8, 2011

Your tax dollars for a value meal

If you live in Arizona, California, Florida or Michigan, you can sleep better tonight knowing that your state's food stamp recipients don't have to be bothered with going to the grocery store, purchasing food and preparing it at home.  These four states allow food stamps to be used at a growing list of restaurants.  Among them:
Church’s Chicken, Kentucky Fried Chicken, McDonald’s, Subway, Jack in the Box, Subway, El Pollo Loco, Papa Murphy’s Pizza, Taco Bell, Pizza Hut, Domino’s Pizza and Golden Corral.
YUM! Brands is leading a lobbying effort to get the USDA to approve food stamp usage at restaurants nationwide.  Currently, the decision lies with each state.  Clearly, YUM! sees the earnings potential of getting a Taco Bell meal, a bucket of KFC or Pizza Hut pizza into every Section 8 housing unit across America.  On your dime.

I am about worn out on the privileges that are given to the poverty stricken people of America.  The government forces me to pay taxes to fund programs that allow lazy ass unemployed welfare leeches to dine on lobster and steak, eat out at restaurants, live in cheap housing and get assistance on their utility bills to power their plasma wide screen and Xbox.  GMAFB.

This quote keeps floating around the interwebs, falsely attributed to Cicero (it is actually from a work of historical fiction about Cicero), but the author isn't really important:
The budget should be balanced, the Treasury should be refilled, public debt should be reduced, the arrogance of officialdom should be tempered and controlled, and the assistance to foreign lands should be curtailed lest Rome America become bankrupt. People must again learn to work, instead of  living on public assistance.
Yeah, when will that happen?

September 7, 2011

Men are from Anu'udrian, Women are from Planet Chamomile

Professor CenTexTim told his class one day: "Today we will experiment with a new form called the tandem story. The process is simple. Each person will pair off with the person sitting next to them.  As homework tonight, one of you will write the first paragraph of a short story.  You will e-mail your partner that paragraph and send another copy to me.  The partner will read the first paragraph and then add another paragraph to the story and send it back, also sending another copy to me.  The first person will then add a third paragraph, and so on back-and-forth.

Remember to re-read what has been written each time in order to keep the story coherent. There is to be absolutely NO talking outside of the e-mails and anything you wish to say must be written in the e-mail."
 

This is the story submitted by two of his students: Rebecca and Bill.

(Rebecca)     At first, Laurie couldn't decide which kind of tea she wanted. The chamomile, which used to be her favorite for lazy evenings at home, now reminded her too much of Carl, who once said, in happier times, that he liked chamomile. But she felt she must now, at all costs, keep her mind off Carl. His possessiveness was suffocating, and if she thought about him too much her asthma started acting up again. So chamomile was out of the question.

(Bill)     Meanwhile, Advance Sergeant Carl Harris, leader of the attack squadron now in orbit over Skylon 4, had more important things to think about than the neuroses of an air-headed asthmatic bimbo named Laurie with whom he had spent one sweaty night over a  year ago. "A.S. Harris to Geostation 17," he said into his transgalactic communicator.   "Polar orbit established. No sign of resistance so far..." But before he could sign off a bluish particle beam flashed out of nowhere and blasted a hole through his ship's cargo bay. The jolt from the direct hit sent him flying out of his seat and across the cockpit.

He bumped his head and died almost immediately, but not before he felt one last pang of regret for psychically brutalizing the one woman who had ever had feelings for him. Soon afterwards, Earth stopped its pointless hostilities towards the peaceful farmers of Skylon 4. "Congress Passes Law Permanently Abolishing War and Space Travel," Laurie read in her newspaper one morning. The news simultaneously excited her and bored her. She stared out the window, dreaming of her youth, when the days had passed unhurriedly and carefree, with no newspaper to read, no television to distract her from her sense of innocent wonder at all the beautiful things around her. "Why must one lose one's innocence to become a woman?" she pondered wistfully.

Little did she know, but she had less than 10 seconds to live. Thousands of miles above the city, the Anu'udrian mothership launched the first of its lithium fusion missiles. The dimwitted wimpy peaceniks who pushed the Unilateral Aerospace disarmament Treaty through the congress had left Earth a defenseless target for the hostile alien empires who were determined to destroy the human race. Within two hours after the passage of the treaty the Anu'udrian ships were on course for Earth, carrying enough firepower to pulverize the entire planet. With no one to stop them, they swiftly initiated their diabolical plan. The lithium fusion missile entered the atmosphere unimpeded. The President, in his top-secret mobile submarine headquarters on the ocean floor off the coast of Guam,felt the inconceivably massive explosion, which vaporized poor, stupid Laurie.

This is absurd. I refuse to continue this mockery of literature. My writing partner is a violent, chauvinistic semi-literate adolescent.

Yeah? Well, my writing partner is a self-centered tedious neurotic whose attempts at writing are the literary equivalent of Valium. "Oh, shall I have chamomile tea? Or shall I have some other sort of F--KING TEA???  Oh no, what am I to do?   I'm such an air headed bimbo who reads too many Danielle Steele novels!"

A$$h@le.

B*tch!

F*** YOU - YOU NEANDERTHAL!!

In your dreams, Ho. Go drink some tea.

(Professor CenTexTim)     A+ - I really liked this one.

Yet Another 'Who the Hell Are These People?' Post

Quadriplegic hit by bus sued by passengers

To be clear, the 'quadriplegic' wasn't a quadriplegic until after the bus hit her.
A woman who was paralyzed when her broken down SUV was hit by an Island Transit bus is being sued, along with the city, by bus passengers.

Marie M. Alexis Volcy, of Galveston, was injured Jan. 12 on the 61st Street bridge spanning Offatts Bayou as she prepared to get out of her stalled sport utility vehicle.

She suffered internal injuries and depended on a ventilator during her 19 weeks at the University of Texas Medical Branch. She is a quadriplegic and will require 24-hour care for the rest of her life, according to the lawsuit filed against the city Aug. 22 by her attorney, Shelly A. Sanford.
So, she gets hit by a bus, but passengers on the bus are suing her?  How can that be?  Well, enter Larry Tylka, personal injury lawsuit attorney.   Slick Mr. Tylka has sued the city, the quadriplegic and the guy who owned the SUV she was driving,  on behalf of two clients who were passengers on the bus.  Throw enough shit against a wall and some of it will stick.

The two plaintiffs suffered minor injuries, the worst being a fractured back.  Their case revolves around some sort of circular logic that if you own a vehicle, you should keep it in good enough shape that it doesn't ever break down.   If it does break down, you have a responsibility to move it out of the way and/or warn other motorists.
The lawsuit also accused Volcy and Guillaume of operating or maintaining an automobile that wasn’t mechanically sound. It blames Volcy for failing to move the SUV from the roadway after it became disabled.
This accident occurred on a six-lane bridge with no shoulder, BTW.

When, in the course of human events, did it become acceptable to just sue the hell out of every possible person and corporate entity involved in an accident?  When did our society become so freakin' selfish, irresponsible and lacking in common sense and decency, that someone being left nearly completely paralyzed isn't enough of a 'punishment', even if they are guilty of a crime?  How do these people sleep at night, knowing that they have sued a quadriplegic?

There is something about people who live near saltwater.  I think it makes them crazy.  Some are crazy good or funny, some are crazy bad and stupid.  I just wish the crazy good ones would take out the crazy bad ones.

September 6, 2011

Saying goodbye

I haven't talked much about Aunt Em, since this post back in January.  Ultimately, some other extenuating circumstances came into play that provided enough, um, encouragement for Aunt Em's Precious Son to defer his change of station and remain stateside while she entered Round 2 of treatment for metastasized ovarian cancer.

Aunt Em and Uncle Mo have been living with Precious Son and family since March.  Aunt Em made it through the chemo and her hair was just starting to grow back when a follow up scan in early August showed new tumors in the lungs and brain.  Aunt Em's life expectancy is now measured in days and hours, the doctors having done everything they can do to slow the cancer.  All that is left is to keep her comfortable, which she is fighting, wanting to remain awake and alert to spend every minute with family.

Today is likely my last visit with Aunt Em.  Each time Mr Harper and I speak of her, or after we visit, we talk about what we would do in her shoes, what it must feel like to know that the end is near.  I'll linger over the hugs as I see my kids off to school this morning, and hold on to Mr Harper an extra minute before I depart.  Facing one's own mortality is the inevitable result of days like this. 

September 5, 2011

The Real Unemployment Number

The local fishwrap's front page headline this morning tells of a different unemployment number than the already troubling figure released on Friday:
The job market on Labor Day 2011 is even worse than the 9.1 percent unemployment rate suggests.
The 14 million unemployed Americans aren't competing just with one another. They must also contend with 8.8 million other people not counted as unemployed -- part-timers who want full-time work...
And the unemployed will face another source of competition once the economy improves: roughly 2.6 million people who aren't counted as unemployed because they've stopped looking for work. When they start looking again, they'll be classified as unemployed. And the unemployment rate could rise...
Combined, the 14 million officially unemployed, the "underemployed" part-timers who want full-time work and "discouraged" people who have stopped looking make up 16.2 percent of working-age Americans.
Yeouch.
I can only imagine what load of steaming crap Blowie plans to put forth on Thursday.  Here's an idea: less regulation.  Less taxation.  Fewer labor laws.  As the mother of a teenager and the friend of her employer, I know just how much of a favor he did, giving my kid a minimum wage summer job (because the law says he has to pay her that much).  He has to pay her at least $7.25 an hour, but it probably works out to be at a total cost of $9 or $10 an hour, once you factor in all the paperwork, business and tax filings, labor law compliance, posting of signs, gnashing of teeth, etc. 
Now comes the dire warning that the United States Postal Service is facing default and needs a bailout.  My dog could streamline the postal service.  Does anyone believe that 44 cents covers the cost of getting an envelope from New York to Los Angeles?  Want an object lesson in how to fix the USPS?  Look no further than Germany.  In 2000 the Deutsche Bundespost went public as Deutsche Post DHL.  DHL runs the German home delivery postal service as a division of their corporation. And they run it damn well.  Similarly, if one of the major US delivery players took over the business, nearly every corner commercial pack and post type of store becomes a post office.  More locations, more convenient hours and commercially owned/leased space which would allow the sale of thousands of pieces of USPS owned property.  
Of course, such a thing could never happen with our current level of regulation and government oversight.  It seems like the only jobs our government ever creates are those that are needed to make sure all of their I's get dotted and T's get crossed.

Happy Labor Day!

September 4, 2011

Your tax dollars at work in North Korea

These two headlines caught my attention this morning:

Big Storms Cause Money Problems for FEMA  and 

US flood aid shipment arrives in North Korea

A brief summary of each:
FEMA, the Federal Emergency Management Agency, has money trouble. It has less than $800-million dollars on hand to get through the end of the fiscal year, when ends September 30th.In the federal government's ledger books, that's not much, especially when you consider that the cost of Hurricane Irene may exceed $10-billion, and the federal government will subsidize part of that.
Note that this assessment was written before Tropical Storm Lee parked himself over the NOLA area.
And regarding the aid to North Korea:
The United States has provided a small yet symbolic shipment of emergency relief items to flood-hit North Korea, in the latest sign of thawing ties between the wartime foes.
Heavy rain and tropical storms have pounded North Korea in the past few months, leaving dozens of people dead or missing and displacing thousands of others. Washington has not responded with food aid, but pledged to provide emergency help for the flooding.
A cargo plane loaded with $900,000 worth of food, medical aid, soap, blankets and cooking kits from the United States touched down at Pyongyang's Sunan airport late Saturday...
This is a classic example of financial ed 101, that my kids first learned around a Monopoly board.  I can't buy something if I don't have the money.  I need to keep some money stashed away in case I land in jail, or have to pay a fine.  If I spend/loan/get a Chance card from hell and then land among my brother's strip of hotel-laden properties, I won't have enough money to cover my own debts.  

What the reporter termed a 'small yet symbolic shipment' could should be going to Vermont, New Jersey, Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, Missouri.  I drove through Joplin just over two weeks ago.  It is still a disaster area.  What so many have put out of their minds is still very much a real and daily challenge for those still cleaning up from the tornado.  How dare our government send $900,000 worth of aid to a foreign country - not to mention a Communist enemy of the United States - when there are so many here that could use it?

Even if there weren't a single natural disaster to recover from in the United States, where the hell does our government get off sending anything to a foreign country?  WE ARE IN DEBT.  WE HAVE 9+% UNEMPLOYMENT.  Every dime that we have should stay right here.  Screw foreign relations, especially with our freakin' enemies!  It isn't a tough sell, to point at our national debt ticker while explaining that we have nothing to give.  
One senior Capitol Hill aide tells Fox that the Obama administration likely will have to ask Congress for more money to fund FEMA's expenses through the end of this fiscal year. And with the economy so tight, that may not be an easy sell.
House Republican Majority Leader Eric Cantor said on Fox, "We will find the money if there is a need for additional monies. But..those monies are not unlimited. And what we've always said is we offset that."
Meaning spending cuts somewhere else. And that likely is setting up another battle on the Hill for this fall.
'...if there is a need...'.  In my opinion, there is never a need to spend American taxpayer's money to feed, clothe, doctor or provide any other sort of aid for another country's natural disasters.  There are voluntarily funded humanitarian organizations with the same mission and they do a better job of it.  Show me the candidate that will end this madness.  End it, not cut it, not talk about it - END IT.  That will be the person who gets my vote.

September 3, 2011

Musical Interlude

Hectic morning.  In the meantime, enjoy this song.  I remember sitting on a stool at my dad's workbench listening to this and freaking out whenever he would grind a piece of metal.  The sparks scared me, but the song always brings back fond memories of my dad.


September 2, 2011

Important Numbers

0 number of jobs added in August

- 57,000 jobs taken out of the June and July totals, after revisions were made to original numbers

9.1% unemployment

200 Dow's initial Friday morning drop after the jobs report 

73% my guess on the likelihood of Blowie getting beat next year

5.3 number of Shiners required to go from crying about the economy to laughing about it

September 1, 2011

We the People

A couple of months ago, I submitted my email trying to win the opportunity to dine with Blowie, hizownself.  I am surprised that it took over two months before I got the first email from the White House, but that could be because I didn't hit the 'donate' button along with my entry.

This morning's email is from David Plouffe, proclaiming the impending launch of an online petition-making tool called We the People.  David asked that I email ten friends to tell them all about it, but I figure a blog post and my two cents works just as well.
President Obama believes that government should be open and accountable to its citizens, and that's the goal of We the People. This online platform gives Americans a direct line to the White House on the issues and concerns that matter most to them.
Soon, anyone will be able to create or sign a petition at WhiteHouse.gov seeking action from the federal government on a range of issues. If a petition gathers enough signatures, the White House staff will review it, make sure it gets to Obama Administration policy experts, and issue an official response. President Obama will even answer a few himself.
If a petition gets 'enough' signatures, the White House will review it and take action!  There is a 5,000 person 'signature threshold' that must be met for an issue to be 'reviewed by administration' and illicit an official response.  5 grand is really all it takes for an official response and the promise for a petition's issue to be forwarded to the appropriate policy makers?

Are these people idiots?

The site hasn't even launched yet but I foresee massive cyber attacks.  I could get 5,000 'Blowie should immediately resign his post' petition signatures in an hour or less.  Then what?  Do I get an official response?  Do they forward that to policy makers as promised?  Or do they ignore the 'issues' that they don't like, regardless of how many millions of Americans will sign the petition?

I sure hope the GOP, Tea Party and every other political organization grabs hold of this and exploits it for the PR disaster it is destined to become.

Is there anyone with a brain working in the West Wing?