Monday, November 23, 2009

Universal Healthcare

So, is anyone else tired of the crap argumentative finger pointing in congress?
These are the real questions (they do show my ignorance in this topic):
Does the current healthcare system work?
What are the problems with its current state?
How many people need healthcare that can't afford it?
How many people can afford it but would be better off with something else?
Is the uninsured number being overstated?
What percent of the population is uninsured?
Is healthcare something that should be guaranteed?
Can we require that doctors take the Hippocratic oath to treat everyone to the best of their ability even if they can't expect payment?
Is the insurance industry over/under regulated?
Feel free to answer any relevent questions that I haven't asked, too.
Thank you

Thursday, July 09, 2009

Another Republican Caught!

Yet another Republicans' cheating heart has made them weak. While the Democrats are doing everything in their power to NOT come together on health care, the Republicans keep shooting themselves in the foot when it comes to moral values.

With the President's approval ratings slipping, the Republicans continue to prove they cannot be trusted with their own wives, much less the government.

John Ensign (R-Nevada) admitted to an extramarital affair last month, but it has now come to light that he even had his own parents pay the family of his mistress nearly $100,000.

Perhaps the continuous Republican bumbling in the ethics and trustworthy department will allow us to finally get something done about our health care system and begin reducing the effects of global warming.

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Friday, June 26, 2009

Hypocrisy here, Hypocrisy there, Hypocrisy everywhere!

Not everyone loves the sound of a beating drum as much as I do. The constant "thump, thump, thump" can be both soothing and exciting depending on context. The sound of the drums I hear lately have been to disagree with anything and everything President Obama does, says or has someone do. While the constant vitriol spewed from the Right may sound like a beating drum to some, it actually convinces others. Should that scare us? Yes it should.

When you have the likes of Rush Limbaugh and Sean Hannity saying that OTHER PEOPLE are spewing forth hate speech and venomous lies, you know things have gotten bad.

But, even through all of this the Democrats manage to push forward and, for the most part, stay true to their roots. Not only have they done that, but they have continued to keep poll numbers to manageable levels and, once again, continue to let the Republicans shoot themselves in the foot.


Back in the Mark Foley days when you had scandal after scandal with the likes of Ted Haggard, Larry Craig, Bob Allen and Glenn Murphy Jr., you saw the Republican Party falter and lose favor amongst average Americans. This cost them the congress in 2006 and likely had a lot to do with the Obama victory in 2008. You would think that after all of the scandals that broke, you'd have someone over at the RNC send something out to all Republicans saying "CEASE AND DESIST ALL IMMORAL AND/OR SCANDALOUS ACTIVITY." I mean it would have been for the sake of the party, right? Alas, if a memo like that did go out, not everyone got it.
The Dems had themselves a hard time with John Edwards doing the really sh*tty thing he did to his wife, who happens to be a great person. The sense of morality began to lean in the Republicans favor again (how this happened is BEYOND me) and people were actually starting to forget all of the Republican sex scandals of the past (many involving man on man action).
Now enter Mark Sanford and John Ensign.
Will the hypocrisy ever end?

Friday, June 12, 2009

How I would save America

With Obama still with good approval numbers after an incredible speech to the Muslim world, yet another right wing lunatic decides to cash in on all the lunatic fringe comments from the lunatic wing of the right wing party by shooting a security guard in the name of white supremacy.

You also have the Right in a CANNOT WIN battle against Obama's new Chief Justice nominee, Sonia Sotomayer. Calling her a racist, while simultaneously inferring that she was only picked because she's Hispanic (a subtle racist comment in itself).

Either way, there is a lot for Progressives to be happy about. With a new health care plan being debated, the rightwing being led by Rush Limbaugh, Fox News being led by Glenn Beck (interesting fact: Glenn Beck converted TO Mormonism...a religion that, let's face it, is full of good intentions, but base their entire stance on an absolute false prophet - Joseph Smith) and Obama getting high marks in all areas of the country, we all have a reason to smile and be glad to be Progressive. Okay enough with the run-on sentences...down to business.

How I Would Save America:

I think 2 things can easily and quickly save this countries economy. I know many of you will cry socialism or that this is unfair economic practices, but let's be clear...these dire times require a dire solution.

#1 Thing: 3.9% APR Home Mortgage rate backed by the federal government. The government needs to offer a low percentage rate to all Americans with decent credit. This will not only allow most families to re-finance their homes...but will allow families who may be on the brink of foreclosure make their monthly payments lower. This is not a system to reward bad decisions. This rate will only apply to those with good enough credit and those who have been in their homes and paying on time for years. This one change can save the entire mortgage industry and bring back construction of new homes at a record pace. This rate would NOT apply to a second home or investment property.

#2 Thing: 3.9% APR Auto Loan rate for all American cars that get over 30mpg, once again, backed by the federal government. Allowing a guaranteed low percentage rate to those with decent credit is not only smart, it will get the auto industry booming again and all of them making cars/trucks that get over 30mpg. This can not only help save the environment...but also to save working families on a budget with gas prices.

Now I'm not pretending to know the ins and outs of the mortgage industry or the auto industry. But I do know simple math. I also know my current situation. My home mortgage is at 5.9% and my auto loan is at 4.99%. In both instances this would help me.

I thought about a "#3 Thing" being a government backed credit card at 3.9% interest but then realized that's what got us into this mess to begin with. Instead we need a credit class in all of the high schools across the country.

Anyway...that's my tirade for the day...back to work!

Friday, May 15, 2009

Broken Promises, are you kidding me?

I grow weary of hearing about how Barack Obama is breaking his campaign promises.

I hear about how he isn't ending the income tax for seniors making less than $50,000 a year. I hear about how Mr. Obama promised a five day "public comment" time period before signing a bill into law. I hear about Mr. Obama already breaking his promise on Lobbyists. I even hear about President Obama breaking his promise on the $3,000 tax credit for companies that create jobs.

You know what I have to say about all of these supposed "broken promises" that Obama has been a part of? I say BAH. Forget the fact that Obama has done more to keep his promises in his first 100 days than many other presidents do in their entire terms, but we've barely given him enough time to keep promises, much less break them! Throw in the fact that some of these promises have to be approved by Congress and you're left with him TRYING to fulfill promises but getting blocked by Congress.


The latest round of "promises broken" propaganda is coming from the ACLU regarding "PictureGate" (releasing pictures that depict deplorable acts by the U.S. military towards middle east POWs). First of all, last time we released pictures (Abu Ghraib) there was a 200% surge in violence in Iraq. Now this was under the Bush Administration and the pictures were LEAKED not willingly put forth. However, this should be irrelevant since when it comes to the troops we should ALWAYS err on the side of caution.

NEVER FORGET and LEARN FROM PAST MISTAKES: 99.9% of ALL Americans think the picture on the left is HORRIFIC and DID NOT APPROVE of the circumstances. However, now is not the time to, once again, lower our status with the middle east, not to mention the entire world. Wait till our troops get out of Iraq & not release damaging pictures until that is complete. Let's hope it's soon.

Does anyone agree with me on this or am I barking up yet another oil-slicked tree?

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Arlen Specter, newly crowned Democrat

Arlen Specter is now a Democrat.

I always knew he was one of the VERY few liberal Republicans...but to totally defect to save his political career isn't doing him any favors. However, it does make the Democrats look good and we now have 60 votes. Universal Health Care here we come! Now all of Obama's ideas should be implemented.

Now we just gotta sit back and hope they work. :)

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Anger from the Right? No Way!

For all the anger you are hearing from the Republicans, it sure isn't affecting Obama's Poll numbers.

I had to take my Obama sticker off my car a couple months ago, as I actually lost a couple of PC sales with my new business because of it. One even stated, "I would rather pay $100 more for this PC than buy from a socialist." I found it odd he used the term "socialist" where I expected to hear "liberal." I suppose "liberal" doesn't have the punch that it used to and they needed another word to help instill anger and ignorance into the base.

For the record...I AM a socialist...and quite proud of it.

Why are the Republicans so angry? The venomous vitriol spilled on a daily basis is quite remarkable. Comparisons to Hitler & Stalin continue. Cries of "fascist" still ring loudly from the extreme ignorant 7-10% of the Conservative base. There are even some that say Obama's socialism will lead to fascism! hah!

I've never seen such sore losers in my life. As much as I disliked Bush & his policies...I never got this angry over it. I was still able to have civil debates with my fellow conservatives. I didn't raise my voice, curse them or not do business with them because of their party affiliation. I'd say the blood pressure for Republicans in 2009 is High to Heart Attack Immanent.

When asked why they are so angry all you get are diatribes about how he [Obama] is ruining the country or that the U.S. is heading to socialism...and in the most ignorant cases, how we are heading towards fascism (the opposite of socialism) or Civil War.

While this all seemed cute and pathetic at first, I do think it could have some lasting effects on just how Americans treat each other on a day to day basis. We all remember what happened when a fiery Hutu radio host in Rwanda was allowed to spew his hate speech against the Tutsi. It led to civil unrest and then eventually genocide.

Can't we all just get along civily? I remember a time when Congress would have their debates and then go have lunch together. Now they can barely speak to each other without partisan retribution leading their emotions.

The problem with Republicans is that they don't play fair ball. It's like a basketball team that's currently winning a never-ending game. A foul is called by the Left side but the Right side says their opinion doesn't matter, even if they are currently leading [in charge]. Well I'm sorry to all you nasty, angry, bile spewing Republicans out there...but our opinion DOES matter...and we're in the lead so DEAL WITH IT. Instead of smashing everything OUR President says...try learning to get along. Try learning to debate in a civil manner. Try learning that you're NOT ALWAYS RIGHT. And most of all......


Tuesday, March 17, 2009

A good discussion or debate topic

I was emailed this article and thought it might ignite a good discussion or maybe even a good debate. I am interested to hear from everyone. What are your opinions?

About the Author:

Linda R. Monk, J.D., is a constitutional scholar, journalist, and
nationally award-winning author. A graduate of Harvard Law School , she
twice received the American Bar Association' s Silver Gavel Award, its
highest honor for law-related media. Her books include The Words We Live
By: Your Annotated Guide to the Constitution, Ordinary Americans: U.S.
History Through the Eyes of Everyday People, and The Bill of Rights: A
User's Guide. For more than 20 years, Ms. Monk has written commentary for
newspapers nationwide - including the New York Times, Washington Post, Los
Angeles Times, and Chicago Tribune


By Linda Monk

The Crash of 2008, which is now wiping out trillions of dollars of our
people's wealth, is, like the Crash of 1929, likely to mark the end of one
era and the onset of another.

The new era will see a more sober and much diminished America .

The "Omni power" and "Indispensable Nation" we heard about in all the
hubris and braggadocio following our Cold War victory is history.

Seizing on the crisis, the left says we are witnessing the failure of
market economics, a failure of conservatism.

This is nonsense.

What we are witnessing is the collapse of Gordon Gecko ("Greed Is Good!")

What we are witnessing is what happens to a prodigal nation that ignores
history, and forgets and abandons the philosophy and principles that made
it great.

A true conservative (Rep or Dem) cherishes prudence and believes in fiscal
responsibility, balanced budgets and a self-reliant republic.

He believes in saving for retirement and a rainy day, in deferred
gratification, in not buying on credit what you cannot afford, in living
within your means.

Is that really what got Wall Street and us into this mess -- that we
followed too religiously the gospel of Robert Taft and Russell Kirk?

"Government must save us!" cries the left, as ever.

Yet, who got us into this mess if not the government -- the Fed with its
easy money, Bush with his profligate spending, and Congress and the SEC by
liberating Wall Street and failing to step in and stop the drunken orgy?

For years, we Americans have spent more than we earned.

We save nothing.

Credit card debt, consumer debt, auto debt, mortgage debt, corporate debt
-- all are at record levels.

And with pensions and savings being wiped out, much of that debt will
never be repaid.
Our standard of living is inevitably going to fall.

For foreigners will not forever buy our bonds or lend us more money if
they rightly fear that they will be paid back, if at all, in cheaper

We are going to have to learn to live again within our means.


Up through World War II, we followed the Hamiltonian idea that America
must remain economically independent of the world in order to remain
politically independent.

But this generation decided that was yesterday's bromide and we must march
bravely forward into a Global Economy, where we all depend on one another.

American companies morphed into "Global Companies" and moved plants and
factories to Mexico , Asia, China and India , and we began buying more
cheaply from abroad what we used to make at home: shoes, clothes, bikes,
cars, radios, TVs, planes, computers.

As the trade deficits began inexorably to rise to 6 percent of GDP, we
began vast borrowing from abroad to continue buying from abroad.

At home, propelled by tax cuts, war in Iraq and an explosion in social
spending, surpluses vanished and deficits reappeared and began to rise.

The dollar began to sink, and gold began to soar.

Yet, still, the promises of the politicians come.

Barack Obama will give us national health insurance and tax cuts for all
but that 2 percent of the nation that already carries 50 percent of the
federal income tax load.

John McCain is going to cut taxes, expand the military, move NATO into
Georgia and Ukraine, confront Russia and force Iran to stop enriching
uranium or "bomb, bomb, bomb," with Joe Lieberman as wartime consigliore.

Who are we kidding?

What we are witnessing today is how empires end.

The Last Superpower is unable to defend its borders, protect its currency,
win its wars or balance its budget.

Medicare and Social Security are headed for the cliff with unfunded
liabilities in the tens of trillions of dollars.

What we are witnessing today is nothing less than a Katrina-like failure
of government, of our political class, and of democracy itself, casting a
cloud over the viability and longevity of the system.

Notice who is managing the crisis.

Not our elected leaders.

Nancy Pelosi says she had nothing to do with it.

Congress is paralyzed and heading home.

President Bush is nowhere to be seen.

Hank Paulson of Goldman Sachs and Ben Bernanke of the Fed chose to bail
out Bear Sterns but let Lehman go under.

They decided to nationalize Fannie and Freddie at a cost to taxpayers of
hundreds of billions, putting the U.S. government behind $5 trillion in

They decided to buy AIG with $85 billion rather than see the insurance
giant sink beneath the waves.

An unelected financial elite is now entrusted with the assignment of
getting us out of a disaster into which an unelected financial elite
plunged the nation.

We are just spectators.

What the Greatest Generation handed down to us -- the richest, most
powerful, most self-sufficient republic in history, with the highest
standard of living any nation had ever achieved -- the baby boomers,
oblivious and self-indulgent to the end, have frittered away.

Added Comments:

How do WE THE PEOPLE put the villains who are responsible under oath and
sit them down at public hearings to determine whose necks should meet the

Hypocritically, those who had oversight responsibility - such as Senator
Chris Dodd [Chairman of the Senate Banking Committee] and Barney Frank
[Chairmen, House Financial Services Committee] who helped get us into this
mess - are on every TV channel voicing their righteous indignation and
pompously sitting on their elevated platform glaring down at those they
are chastising and grilling, trying to pass the blame to others.

WE THE PEOPLE should be on the elevated platform in judgment and execution
of the likes of Chris Dodd, Barney Frank and the rest of the band of
thieves and conspirators who are responsible for the financial collapse of
the USA .
To name just a few of the culprits:
Henry Paulson Jr - Secretary of the Treasury

Alan Greenspan & Ben Bernanke -- Chairmen Federal Reserve

Christopher Cox - SEC Chairman.

But not to worry -- YOUR PUBLIC SERVANTS who fear being voted out of
office will take their self-awarded Golden Parachute Congressional
Retirement, give WE THE PEOPLE the finger one last time and head for their
safe havens as the World Citizens they are.

However, before they waddle off into the sunset, they will go on record
one last time denouncing corporate greed, lavish salaries and bonuses for
their key felons at Fannie May, Freddie Mac, Lehman Brothers & AIG.

Meanwhile, WE THE PEOPLE fiddle while Rome burns and are too lazy and
indifferent to vote all the scum out of office

Saturday, March 07, 2009

Energy Vampires

Well folks, I ran across another good article that explains what I have been trying to tell you all along: Leaving certain appliances plugged in CAN drain energy and cause a rise in your electric bill. Below is an article by Lori Bongiorno. Please read, learn and enjoy!

Energy Vampires: Fact vs. Fiction

It's well-known that most electronic devices in our homes are sucking up energy even while they are turned off. But for all the information out there, many questions remain. I got hundreds of reader questions after writing the post What's wasting energy in your home right now. Below are answers to the five most common inquiries:

Which electronic devices waste the most energy when they are turned off but still plugged in?

Set-top cable boxes and digital video recorders are some of the biggest energy hogs. Unfortunately, there's little consumers can do since television shows can't be taped if boxes are unplugged. It also typically takes a long time to reboot boxes.

However, some of the other major consumers of standby power are more easily dealt with: computers, multifunction printers, flat-screen TVs, DVDs, VCRs, CD players, power tools, and hand-held vacuums. The Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (LBNL) measured standby power for a long list of products.

While it's true each individual product draws relatively little standby power, the LBNL says that when added together, standby power can amount to 10% of residential energy use.

Why do electronic devices use energy when they are switched off?

Electronics consume standby power for one of two reasons, says Chris Kielich of the Department of Energy. They either have an adapter that will continue to draw electricity, or they have devices (such as clocks and touchpads) that draw power. Anything with a remote control will also draw standby power, she says, since the device needs to be able to detect the remote when it's pushed.

Does everything suck energy when it's plugged in and turned off?

No. If your coffeemaker or toaster doesn't have a clock, then it's probably not using standby power, says Kielich. Chances are your hair dryer and lamps (although they may have a power adapter for the dimmer) are not drawing standby power either, she says. Devices with a switch that physically breaks the circuit don't consume standby power.

Will switching things on and off shorten their life?

Probably not, says Kielich. You'd have to turn devices on and off thousands of times to shorten their lives. The real downside, she says, to unplugging electronics is that clocks and remotes will not work, and you do have to reset everything.

Can you ruin batteries by unplugging battery chargers and causing batteries to completely discharge?

It could be a possibility, says Kielich. Her advice: Don't let batteries get completely drained. But you don't need to have things like hand-held power vacuums and drills plugged into the charger when it's 100% charged, or even 50% charged.

Power Strip FAQs

Plugging electronics into a power strip and turning it off when you're not using it is a widely prescribed solution for curbing vampire power. Here are answers to common questions:

  • Power strips draw energy when they are turned on, but not when they are switched off.
  • Any decent power strip should have surge protection, according to Kielich. Flicking your power strip on and off will not create a power surge capable of damaging electronic devices. In fact, it will protect devices from other surges.
  • Several readers were worried about the possibility of fires caused by plugging too many things in at once. If you plug in the allowed number of devices, then power strips are safe, says Kielich. Just don't plug your power strip into another power strip, or you run the risk of creating an overload.

Saturday, February 07, 2009

"Good evening, and happy Mardi Gras"

After working hard and experiencing what is likely to be my greatest political victory in my lifetime, I have been tired. Add a beautiful wife who has begun gaining weight for all the right reasons (Madison Elizabeth is due March 20th, 2009!!!), and things get even tougher. A large work project that has kept me working late for weeks is also worth a mention. Then, I am finally taking a risk and attempting to start my own business in the near future. Sometimes life sure can keep you churning lemonade. However, you won't find me frowning.

My Thanks to You:
I have read what Grey Fedora and SueBee have posted with great appreciation. When my life begun handing me lemons...they stepped up and continued to keep this blog active and a good place to check in on now and then. I thank both of you from the bottom of my heart and am glad to have you as authors. (I am still accepting applications if anyone is interested)

"Hope & Change" - Dead Ideas?

Of course not. But to hear a conservative talk show or a quick glance at FOXNews Channel and you'd think Barack Obama is already a complete and utter failure. He's not, of course. However, he's also not perfect. And get this... he actually admits it now and then!

Yes, a long glance or a quick listen to all things conservative shows them so riled up that I continue looking for a stained blue dress from an Obama intern. What are they so amped up about? The republicans in Congress are upset that the policies and ideas they've been shouting from the rooftops for the last 8 years aren't being included in the "Stimulus Package." Their solution is, quite literally, to use the same exact strategies they have been using the last 8 years that clearly do not work.

Tax Cuts

Yes, tax cuts need to be a part of any passed stimulus (Jobs) package. Guess what...they are? In fact, 42% of the package go to tax cuts, while the other 58% goes towards new Government spending. I think he was very generous.

State of the Union....sorta...

Obama has addressed Congress in I can safely call a well delivered ball of caution wrapped in hope. He spoke of cutting the deficit in half, saving or creating 3.5 million jobs, our kids having the highest proportion of college graduates in the world, double our renewable energy supply and lastly (and certainly least) moving our medical records into the 21st Century. Add finding a cure for cancer and you can begin to see why some ignorant people would begin viewing him as the Anti-Christ or Hitler.

Wow, really? So because our new President is an incredible speaker, an leader and we're going through a recession that we can compare him to a psychopathic sociopath? I don't think so. I won't go into the Anti-Christ accusation as there is no comparison to actually make. The ridiculous comparison is beyond any condescending words I could come up with.

Either way, Obama gave a great, mostly factual speech that worked well and sat well with the American people.

"Good evening and happy Mardi Gras"

So as I sat there beaming in the glory of the distinguished gentleman I helped get elected there was mention of a "Republican response." While this is normal practice for an official State of the Union address I didn't realize it would be happening. At the mention of Piyush "Bobby" Jindal I began to worry that some of Barack's thunder would be stolen. I had heard his name and seen him speak before when all the Governer's met with Obama in the preceding days. After suffering through the open mic of Chris Matthews' "Oh, God..." cry, Mr. Jindal began to speak (here is some "FOX News" analysis).

I was immediately relieved.

I felt like I was being lectured by Mr. Rogers without a changing of the shoes. I believe Jindal may have ruined his chances with that one blip in time he had to do well in front of a widespread audience. In fact, most people turned him off before he finished. That says it all...

It has to be seen, to be believed.

When the old policies don't work...suggest the old polices anyway:

I have heard much criticism of the stimulus package over the last few weeks and if I wasn't such a political nut I would have tuned out long ago. My biggest problem with 99% of the critics is that the only ideas that are offered meant to "one up" the ideas of President Obama are nothing but the SAME EXACT IDEAS that got us into the recession that former President Bill Clinton pulled us out of and the SAME EXACT IDEAS throughout the awful years of the G. W. Bush administration. Trickle down economics. If we give money to the rich, they give money back to the poor and middle class. It didn't work for Reagan and Bush Sr. and it won't work now.

Wealth can be earned quite easily even if the Capital Gains tax rate goes up to 40%. Wealth can be earned easily even if the largest corporations see their taxes go back to the way they were in the 90's. It was earned at an incredible rate then and it can still do it now.

What can we do to help?

Honestly, I think taxes should go up for anyone making over $100,000 a year. I don't make even close to that, but would pay more taxes for a few years if it meant solving the economic crisis we're in. Since that will likely not happen, as I'm too "middle class," I will now make larger donations to the local food bank, the Salvation Army and Red Cross.

Anyone who can afford to chip in, should. If it's not through helping or volunteering for a government entity, then send it to your favorite local charity. Scrapped for cash? Don't get that box of cookies or bag of chips the next few times you're at the grocery store and put it towards a charity you like. Skip going out to eat for a few weeks and give that money to a favorite charity. Do as my wife and I do...have a competition for the most "luxury or unnecessary spending" skipped.

Even if you don't like who is in office, you can still help out those less fortunate who have lost their jobs and are less fortunate that those of us who still have one. I will not be that person who tells you to "Go out and shop" as others have in the past. Charity and contributions to society through volunteer work and helping your neighbor can go a long way into turning this great country of ours around.

I apologize for my long absense...but the fight for peace and prosperity still hold true.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

The Tax Cut Myth

I know this is going to be a hard sell.

Since time immemorial the tax collector has been universally despised. No one likes to see their hard earned money confiscated by the government for the common good. I know I take every deduction I am eligible for when I file. But we have been sold a bill of goods when it comes to lowering taxes.

We tried it in the 1920's. There was a boom, a bubble, and a bust. We tried it in the 1980's; another boom, bubble, and bust We have been trying it the last eight years, and you guessed it: boom, bubble, bust. Those who don't remember history are forever doomed to repeat it.

The theory is that if the rich can keep their money, they will invest in businesses that create jobs, more businesses, more tax revenue and greater wealth for the nation. It sounds like logic and common sense. But what really happens? Exactly the opposite!

Higher taxes create an incentive to reinvest profits into long-term growth.When taxes are relatively high, the only way to retain the bulk of the wealth created by a business is by reinvesting it in the business: factories, equipment, staff, research and development, new products.

During the Eisenhower administration, arguably one of our most productive periods, the corporate tax rate was in the 70% range. This meant that every dollar corporations posted as profit instantly turned into 30 cents. (Assuming they actually paid taxes on it)

Unless you really need the money for another yacht or mansion, you invest it the business and find ways to spend it that take it out of the taxable profit column but increase the value of the company.

When you plan for the long term; you need a happy, stable work force. It becomes worthwhile to pay good wages and offer decent benefits. Your employees, community and society prosper along with you.

The problem with low taxes is they change the business culture. Instead of responsible, sustainable investment, they encourage profit taking.

Suckers who run companies with steady, reliable profits became targets for takeovers by people who were willing to milk them for everything they are worth; leveraged buyouts, hostile takeovers, cut the work force, raid the pension fund, sell the assets, outsource production, issue junk bonds; who cares what happens in 10 years, you can make a bundle by screwing everyone else!

After they gutted American industry in the 80's, the rich folks had way too much money to play with, and they become greedy bastards. Investing in business is slow. You don't often get immediate returns on your capitol. Plus, it exposes you to the risks of the preceding paragraph.

This causes investors to look for the latest "hot" sector, where they can make a quick profit and move on. They find the area and flock to it. It heats up even more.

Joe Sixpack, who can’t afford to take the same risks the big boys can, sees people making tons of money quickly and easily, simply by buying and selling, and doesn’t want to miss out. He doesn't realize he already has by the time he gets on the bandwagon.

Sub-prime mortgages, derivatives, mortgage-backed securities, and other Ponzi schemes were all very profitable for a few people who got in early, but they do not create sustainable wealth. Just a boom, then a bubble….. Followed by a bust.

Tax cuts are the root of our economic distress. A responsible tax policy that creates long term investment in business growth is the rising tide that will lift all boats.

Saturday, January 17, 2009


Well, I did not get very many comments or suggestions like I expected the last time I posted this (kudos to Grey Fedora for the helpful suggestions), so I am re-posting it. It is very long and worth printing off on, you guessed it, recycled paper. Read it carefully and you will see that everyone in your family and the office can participate in going GREEN. With kids and even the workplace you can make a game out of it to see who can be the most GREEN and whoever wins gets the incentive of your choice whether it be a nice dinner with the boss or extra allowance or phone time for the kids. The more fun and interesting you make it, the easier it is to show everyone how simple making small changes can improve the impact we all put on our environment everyday. So, without further ado, here is the post from last November:

I promised you all a post that gave you tips on transitioning your office and home into a more environmentally responsible place to work and live. In my research, I found a site,, that said it all and so I am copying the information from that site to this post. Remember, even a single light bulb change to an ecobulb can give you a savings of up to $93 a year. I did this in my own home and saw an instant savings on the power bill. From an average of $205/month, the bill dropped to $145 and I went a step further and unplugged all appliances such as unused televisions, computers, lamps, printers, etc. and it went down again to $91. What a savings. Did you know that a desktop computer uses the same amount of energy as a refrigerator? Surprising isn't it?

Actions You Can Take at Home:

1. Change 5 lights: Change a light, and you help change the world. Replace the conventional bulbs in your 5 most frequently used light fixtures with bulbs that have the ENERGY STAR and you will help the environment while saving money on energy bills. If every household in the U.S. took this one simple action we would prevent greenhouse gases equivalent to the emissions from nearly 10 million cars.
2. Look for ENERGY STAR qualified products: When buying new products, such as appliances for your home, get the features and performance you want AND help reduce greenhouse gas emissions and air pollution. Look for ENERGY STAR qualified products in more than 50 product categories, including lighting, home electronics, heating and cooling equipment and appliances.
3. Heat and cool smartly: Simple steps like cleaning air filters regularly and having your heating and cooling equipment tuned annually by a licensed contractor can save energy and increase comfort at home, and at the same time reduce greenhouse gas emissions. When it's time to replace your old equipment, choose a high efficiency model, and make sure it is properly sized and installed.
4. Seal and insulate your home: Sealing air leaks and adding more insulation to your home is a great do-it-yourself project. The biggest leaks are usually found in the attic and basement. If you are planning to replace windows, choose ENERGY STAR qualified windows for better performance. Forced air ducts that run through unconditioned spaces are often big energy wasters. Seal and insulate any ducts in attics and crawlspaces to improve the efficiency of your home. Not sure where to begin? A home energy auditor can also help you find air leaks, areas with poor insulation, and evaluate the over-all energy efficiency of your home. By taking these steps, you can eliminate drafts, keep your home more comfortable year round, save energy that would otherwise be wasted, and reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
5. Use green power: Green power is environmentally friendly electricity that is generated from renewable energy sources such as wind and the sun. There are two ways to use green power: you can buy green power or you can modify your house to generate your own green power. Buying green power is easy, it offers a number of environmental and economic benefits over conventional electricity, including lower greenhouse gas emissions, and it helps increase clean energy supply. If you are interested, there are a number of steps you can take to create a greener home , including installing solar panels and researching incentives for renewable energy in your state .
6. Reduce, Reuse, and Recycle: If there is a recycling program in your community, recycle your newspapers, beverage containers, paper and other goods. Use products in containers that can be recycled and items that can be repaired or reused. In addition, support recycling markets by buying products made from recycled materials. Reducing, reusing, and recycling in your home helps conserve energy and reduces pollution and greenhouse gases from resource extraction, manufacturing, and disposal.
7. Be green in your yard: Use a push mower, which, unlike a gas or electric mower, consumes no fossil fuels and emits no greenhouse gases. If you do use a power mower, make sure it is a mulching mower to reduce grass clippings (PDF, 8 pp., 1.59 MB, About PDF). Composting your food and yard waste reduces the amount of garbage that you send to landfills and reduces greenhouse gas emissions. See EPA’s GreenScapes program for tips on how to improve your lawn or garden while also benefiting the environment. Smart Landscaping can save energy, save you money and reduce your household’s greenhouse gas emissions.
8. Use water efficiently: Saving water around the home is simple. Municipal water systems require a lot of energy to purify and distribute water to households, and saving water, especially hot water, can lower greenhouse gas emissions. Look for products with EPA's WaterSense label; these products save water and perform as well or better than their less efficient counterparts. There are also simple actions you can take to save water: Be smart when irrigating your lawn or landscape; only water when needed and do it during the coolest part of the day, early morning is best. Turn the water off while shaving or brushing teeth. Do not use your toilet as a waste basket - water is wasted with each flush. And did you know a leaky toilet can waste 200 gallons of water per day? Repair all toilet and faucet leaks right away. See EPA's WaterSense site for more water saving tips.

Spread the Word Tell family and friends that energy efficiency is good for their homes and good for the environment because it lowers greenhouse gas emissions and air pollution. Tell 5 people and together we can help our homes help us all.

Actions You Can Take on the Road:

1. Buy smart: Before buying a new or used vehicle (or even before renting a vehicle), check out EPA's Green Vehicle Guide and the jointly-run EPA/DOE Fuel Economy Guide Web site. These resources provide information about the emissions and fuel economy performance of different vehicles. The Green Vehicle Guide provides detailed information on emissions (including Air Pollution and Greenhouse Gas scores for each model) and the Fuel Economy Guide focuses on fuel efficiency (including side-by-side fuel economy comparisons and a customized fuel cost calculator). These Web sites are designed to help you choose the cleanest, most fuel-efficient vehicle that meets your needs. There are a wide range of cleaner, more fuel-efficient vehicles available on the market today that produce fewer greenhouse gas emissions.
2. Drive smart: Many factors affect the fuel economy of your car. To improve fuel economy and reduce greenhouse gas emissions, go easy on the brakes and gas pedal, avoid hard accelerations, reduce time spent idling and unload unnecessary items in your trunk to reduce weight. If you have a removable roof rack and you are not using it, take it off to improve your fuel economy by as much as 5 percent. Use overdrive and cruise control on your car if you have those features. For more tips to improve your gas mileage, visit the Fuel Economy Guide Web site.
3. Tune your Ride: A well-maintained car is more fuel-efficient, produces fewer greenhouse gas emissions, is more reliable, and is safer! Keep your car well tuned, follow the manufacturer’s maintenance schedule, and use the recommended grade of motor oil. Also check and replace your vehicle’s air filter regularly. For more details, including potential savings from these actions, visit the Fuel Economy Guide Web site.
4. Check your tires: Check your tire pressure regularly. Under-inflation increases tire wear, reduces your fuel economy by up to 3 percent, and leads to increased emissions of greenhouse gases and air pollutants. If you don’t know the correct tire pressure for your vehicle, you can find it listed on the door to the glove compartment or on the driver's-side door pillar. More details are available on the Fuel Economy Guide Web site.
5. Give your car a break: Use public transportation , carpool or walk or bike whenever possible to avoid using your car. Leaving your car at home just two days a week will reduce greenhouse gas emissions by an average of 1,600 pounds per year. Whenever possible, combine activities and errands into one trip. For daily commuting, consider options like telecommuting (working from home via phone or over the Internet) that can reduce the stress of commuting, reduce greenhouse gas emissions, and save you money.
6. Use Renewable Fuels: Both E85 and bio diesel are renewable fuels that can reduce greenhouse gas emissions from your vehicle. E85 is a fuel blend containing 85% ethanol that can be used in certain vehicles called Flex Fuel Vehicles (FFVs). FFVs can be fueled with E85 or with traditional gasoline. There are approximately 6 million FFVs on the road today. To find out if you own one of them, check the inside of your car's fuel filler door for an identification sticker or consult your owner’s manual. If you own a diesel vehicle, consider filling up with a bio diesel blend such as B5, a fuel blend containing 5% bio diesel. Bio diesel is a renewable fuel made from agricultural resources such as vegetable oils. The Department of Energy’s Alternative Fueling Station Locator can help you locate both E85 and bio diesel fuel stations in your area.

Actions You Can Take at the Office:

1. Manage office equipment energy use better: Office equipment and electronics use energy even when idle or on stand-by. To save energy and reduce greenhouse gas emissions at work, always activate the power management features on your computer and monitor, unplug laptop power cords when not in use and turn off equipment and lights at the end of the day. Consider using a power strip that can be turned off when you're done using your computers, printers, wireless routers and other electronics.
2. Look for ENERGY STAR qualified products for the Office: When buying new products for your office at work or at home, get the features and performance you want and help reduce greenhouse gas emissions and other harmful air pollutants. Look for ENERGY STAR qualified office equipment, such as computers, copiers, and printers, in addition to more than 50 product categories, including lighting, heating and cooling equipment and commercial appliances.
3. Ask your office building manager if your office building has earned the ENERGY STAR: ENERGY STAR-labeled buildings provide safe, healthy, and productive environments that use about 35 percent less energy than average buildings. Their efficient use of energy also reduces the total operational cost of the building.
4. Use less energy for your commute: Switch to public transportation, carpooling, biking, telecommuting and other innovative ways to save energy and reduce greenhouse gas emissions on your way to and from work. Encourage your employer to offer commuter benefits that address limited or expensive parking, reduce traffic congestion, improve employee recruiting and retention and minimize the environmental impacts associated with drive-alone commuting. If you do drive, find out the fuel efficiency of your vehicle using EPA's and DOE's fuel economy Web site, and make more environmentally-informed choices when purchasing your next vehicle by using EPA's Green Vehicle Guide.
5. Reduce, Reuse, Recycle: Recycle office paper, newspapers, beverage containers, electronic equipment and batteries. Reducing, reusing, and recycling in your office helps conserve energy, and reduces pollution and greenhouse gas emissions from resource extraction, manufacturing, and disposal. You can reduce, reuse and recycle at the office by using two-sided printing and copying; buying supplies made with recycled content; and recycling used printer cartridges. For your old electronics, investigate leasing programs to ensure reuse and recycling or donate used equipment to schools or other organizations.

Actions You Can Take at School:

1. Bring science to life: Explore the Climate Change Kids Site and watch Climate Animations that bring to life the science and impacts of climate change. The site also provides games that help students, their parents and their teachers learn about both the science of climate change and what actions they can take to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
2. High school students check your school's climate impact: High school students can investigate the link between everyday actions at their high school, greenhouse gas emissions and climate change. Using EPA's Climate Change Emission Calculator Kit (Climate CHECK) (WinZip of Excel spreadsheet, 3.4 MB) students can learn about climate change, estimate their school’s greenhouse gas emissions and conceptualize ways to mitigate their school’s climate impact. Students gain detailed understandings of climate-change drivers, impacts, and science; produce an emission inventory and action plan; and can even submit the results of their emission inventory to their school district.
3. Get Involved your College or University: College students can play an important role in reducing greenhouse gas emissions at their colleges or universities by reducing their emissions from energy they use in dorm rooms. Students can also work with school administrators to: increase energy efficiency on campus, reduce their school's greenhouse gas emissions by using green power, create a campus climate action plan , or develop an inventory of their school's greenhouse gas emissions.

1. Teach students about climate change and ecosystems: Use the Climate Change, Wildlife and Woodland's: A Toolkit for Teachers and Interpreters to learn about the science of climate change and its potential effects on our nation’s wildlife and their habitats.
2. Engage middle school students in estimating emissions: Enhance critical thinking skills by introducing the Global Warming Wheel Card Classroom Activity Kit (PDF, 1 pp., 86 KB, About PDF) to middle school students. A hand-held wheel card and other resources help students estimate household greenhouse gas emissions in order to encourage students to think about ways to reduce their personal, family, school and community contributions to climate change. If you are an informal educator, simply use the Global Warming Wheel Card as a part of your field activities.
3. Learn from other educators: Investigate what other schools and organizations are doing to educate their audiences on climate change by clicking on Educators’ Links, a searchable database offering links to resources such as lesson plans, videos, books and toolkits.
4. Save money and the environment: The least efficient schools use three times more energy than the best energy performers. By partnering with the highly successful ENERGY STAR for K-12 program, school districts can serve as environmental leaders in their community, become energy efficient, reduce greenhouse gas emissions and save money!
5. Estimate your emissions and take the challenge: School Administrators can also work to reduce their school's greenhouse gas emissions by developing an inventory of their school's emissions or by taking the 2006 College and University Green Power Challenge.
6. Reduce, Reuse, Recycle: Recycle school or classroom paper, newspapers, beverage containers, electronic equipment and batteries. Reducing, reusing and recycling at school and in the classroom helps conserve energy, reduce pollution and greenhouse gases from resource extraction, manufacturing and disposal. You can reduce, reuse and recycle at school or in the classroom by using two-sided printing and copying; buying supplies made with recycled content; and recycling used printer cartridges. For your old electronics, investigate leasing programs to ensure reuse and recycling or donate used equipment to schools or other organizations.

I think you will all agree that this site provides a lot of useful information and I hope that it inspires you to go GREEN. If anyone would like to suggest more useful ways to go GREEN, please use the comment section.

Monday, January 05, 2009

More to come

This blog has sure been quiet the past month, I hope this means everyone has had a happy and safe holiday season, filled with friends and family memories. But now the real work of cleaning up after the Bush Administration begins.

Yesterday, Bill Richardson withdrew his nomination for Secretary of Commerce amid a grand jury investigation. James Carville over on Newsmax predicts a streak of Democratic scandals. Carville points out it is simple math: More Democrats in elected office increases the likelihood of scandal.

The difference needs to be in how the scandals are handled. So far, the Democrats seem to understand this. John Edwards, Eliot Spitzer, now Bill RIchardson; with the exception of Governor Blagojevich, and William Jefferson, most Democrats caught with their pants down or their hands in the till quickly remove themselves from the public eye.

When they don't, it is the Democratic leadership that puts pressure on them to step down. William Jefferson was stripped of his committee memberships by his own party, Democrats are leading the resistance to seating Blagojevich's Senate nominee.

Defending Tom Delay, Trent Lott, Larry Craig, and Ted Stevens cost the Republicans dearly in the court of public opinion. The party must be like Caesar's wife; beyond reproach. Like the military academies, you don't lie, cheat or steal, nor tolerate those who do.

Another of Carville's predictions was especially interesting:

A "near catastrophic ideological rift" in the Republican Party. "There is no obvious Republican leader on the horizon, and the party is caught between its Southern/talk-radio base and the rest of the country on whether they should oppose or cooperate with [Barack] Obama's administration. The combination of the lack of an obvious leader and the general political combustibility of the Republican Party will lead to a dangerous fissure that will plague it until the 2012 election cycle."

I have another name for the southern/talk radio base; I call them "the proudly ignorant," and the alliance between them and the fiscal conservative wing of the Republican arty has always been uneasy.

Perhaps nowhere could the rift be seen more clearly than last year's Republican Convention. It was like watching a schizophrenic relative; John McCain could have been anybody's doting grandfather, then Sarah Palin's lunatic rants. You never knew which Republican party you would get on any given day. I have Republican friends who voted Obama because the concept of President Palin scared the hell out of them. They have sown the wind, and are now reaping the whirlwind as the crazies demand a place at the table.

Right now, the Republicans are in the same position the Democrats were after 2000 and 2004, in danger of becoming a minor, regional party.

This is no time for complacency. As Republicans found out in 2006 and 2008, there is no such thing as a "permanent majority." By recognizing the problem, they have already started to regroup. They realize the tried and true formula of turning out the religious right and the racist voting blocs, plus a little voter suppression doesn't work anymore. Demographics overwhelmed them. Look or them to start hiding the crazier elements, and an appeal to moderate, thinking people.

The best thing Democrats can do now is govern effectively, get some programs that help Americans passed through, and cut out the Cancer of scandal from among themselves before it becomes inoperable.

Happy 2009 Everyone.