Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Washington Painting the Walls When the Roof Is Leaking

As unemployment hit 10.2% last week the House in a special Saturday session of Congress passed health care bill that is costly and unpopular. In a great example of politicians being out of touch, Congress has decided that health care reform takes precedence over the economy and jobs even when poll after poll (including the exit polls taken during last weeks special elections) show that jobs and the economy is at the top of almost everybody's list of important issues.

The House health care bill is extremely costly and attempts to pay for itself through massive MediCare cuts. There are tax hikes on small business that can't help but have a negative effect on job creation. This bill will likely add greatly to our already staggering federal deficit, again not helpful for long-term economic recovery. Finally, it is a 2000 page bill that does little to reduce the cost of health care, one of the primary reasons that health care reform was needed in the first place. Congress has put the country on notice that they're priorities are not those of the American people.


Washington Painting the Walls When the Roof Is Leaking

 

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

White House Versus Fox News

Well crack out the violins the White House doesn't like Fox News. The first two to pull out their bows are sure to be Senator McCain and Secretary Clinton, who will likely also be playing in the percussion section as they simultaneously bang their heads against the wall. Both have repeatedly noted the media's incredible Obama love-fest during the election. Secretary Clinton even stated that Fox News treated her most fairly of any network at that time.

President Obama has received the most favorable media coverage of any politician in my lifetime, and likely of all time. Yet that does not appear to be good enough for the Obama White House. Apparently all news network must feature personalities who fawn over the President's good looks and eloquence. If your station is not packed with people whose legs tingle when the President talks then clearly you are not a legitimate news organization. Robert Gibbs today cited Glenn Beck and Sean Hannity as proof that Fox is not truly a news network. Now I'd rather poke myself in the eye then watch the Glenn Beck show, but isn't he really just Kieth Olbermann in conservative clothing? Yet no admonishment from the White House for MSNBC being fully in the Obama tank? Isn't good journalism what happens when those in power are questioned and challenged? Clearly at this point in history Fox News, while obviously filled with conservative programming, is far more likely to ask a probing question of the White House than an organization like the New York Times whose reporter literally asked the president at a press conference what he was most enchanted by as president (seriously they asked him about being enchanted).

Now as for Sean Hannity, he has been full of tough but legitimate questions for candidate and President Obama. ACORN who was given a pass by other media sources was researched by the Hannity show. President Obama's personal and public associations are frequently questioned by Sean Hannity. He is a self-ascribed conservative, and that apparently not acceptable, particularly if thy have a lot of questions. Most candidates go through a series of tough questions when they are vetted, but candidate Obama was able to avoid this scrutiny because the media's school-girl crush on him. The White House's criticism of Fox News really isn't about Fox News, it's about the administration's incredibly thin skin. This adminstration wasn't tested by the media during the election and therefore is completely unprepared to handle even the mildest of criticism from prominent conservative comentators. As Senator McCain has repeatedly stated 'this aint beanbag,' and maybe this president and administration just don't have the stomach or the backbone for politics.

From Politico Fox 'not really news,' says Axelrod
"It’s really not news — it’s pushing a point of view. And the bigger thing is that other news organizations like yours ought not to treat them that way, and we’re not going to treat them that way. We’re going to appear on their shows. We’re going to participate but understanding that they represent a point of view.”

White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel said on CNN's "State of the Union" that Fox "is not a news organization so much as it has a perspective."

"It’s not so much a conflict with Fox News," Emanuel told John King. "I suppose the way to look at it and the way … the president looks at it, we look at it is: It’s not a news organization so much as it has a perspective. And that’s a different take. And more importantly, is not have the CNNs and the others in the world basically be led in following Fox, as if what they’re trying to do is a legitimate news organization …

Crack Out Your Violins The White House Doesn’t Like Fox News

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Health Care Reform Call - Orrin Hatch

Senator Orrin Hatch held a blogger call last Friday where he explained the numerous problems with the Democrats health care reform plans. It should be noted that Senator Hatch has a history of working across the aisle on health care issues. He definitely wants health care reform, but believes the current attempts at reform are fatally flawed.

The most glaring problem with health reform plans is the cost. Only the Baucus plan attempts to be budget neutral and it does so by raiding Medicare, Hatch described the plan to cut Medicare by 4.4 trillion as, "a joke". It also appears that Congress may try to address the problem of doctors' Medicare compensation outside the scope current health care reform plans. This issue, commonly referred to as the 'doctor fix,' will cost a significant amount of money, therefore labeling it as something other than 'health care reform' is a way of adding the cost to the deficit while masking the true cost of health care reform.

Senator Hatch also noted that the head of the CBO (Congressional Budget Office) Doug Elmendorf has proven himself as a honest and reputable person. He explained that one of his major concerns about reform plans is that the CBO has stated that they have no idea what effect reforms will have on the cost of health care and the cost of health insurance premiums. Senator Hatch, like Senator McConnell, also stated that the Democrats should make good on their campaign promise of transparency and at minimum should have the CBO grade any congressional plan and post their online 72 hours prior to a vote as promised last election by President Obama.

It should be noted that their are currently several different health reform plans that have come out of committee. The Baucus plan from the finance committee is the only one that can make any claim that it is budget neutral. It reaches budget neutrality through huge cuts to Medicare, and increased taxes on things like medical devices. However the other plans, one out of the Senate HELP committee lead by Senator Dodd, and those from House committees are nowhere near budget neutral as promised by the President. Now these plans are being merged together behind closed doors in a decidedly un-transparent manner. What the final bill will look like is still a bit of a guess, but considering how poor the committee bills are that the final bill will be based upon, Senator Hatch's assessment that the best hope for real health care reform is to defeat the current plans and make the Democrats start over and truly attempt a bipartisan bill appears to be right on point.

Orrin Hatch Details Serious Flaws with Dems Health Care Reform Plans

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Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Charlie Davies in Serious Accident

From Yahoo/Reuters - U.S. striker Charlie Davies hurt in deadly car accident
ARLINGTON, Virginia (Reuters) – United States forward Charlie Davies is in a serious but stable condition following surgery after being injured in a deadly single-car accident in Virginia early on Tuesday.

Davies, 23, underwent several hours of surgery after sustaining a lacerated bladder and fractures to his tibia and femur bones in his right leg, the U.S. Soccer Federation said in a statement.

A person in the car with Davies was killed in the accident, federation spokesman Neil Buethe said in the statement.

Davies's injuries were not considered life-threatening, but would rule him out of playing the 2010 World Cup in South Africa.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Poking Fun At residential Politics

President Obama has attempted to sell his health plan to the American people on two previous occasions by by standing in front of a large group of supportive nurses. Yet this failed to do the trick so this time President Obama invited two doctors from each state in the union to the White House to show people out there that there really are professionals that support the President's health care reforms. This time would be serious, this time they'd have their doctor's outfits on. One poor doctor who showed up without his white coat looked sadly out of place, but never fear the Obama administration is here with a spare coat at the ready. Don't want a doctor to lose all his super powers with no white coat, and besides who wants to wreck a pretty picture of 100 properly attired doctors with the President of the United States.

This photo op was such a powerful image that the administration looked for other ways to visually convince Americans to support other Obama administration proposals.



In fact they held one doctor over and convinced another familiar face to help sell the President's second stimulus plan...



This was such a success that later that same day came the announcement the the Justice Department would be addressing the concerns of illegal aliens...



Then came President Obama's surprise announcement of the appointment of his two new green job czars...



Finally President Obama, under advisement from his most recent appointments, decided green aliens would receive a government stimulus check if they cashed in their used space ship for a newer more fuel efficient model...




Obama - How to Sell a Plan

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Obama's Pitch

President Obama has attempted to sell his health plan to the American people on two previous occasions by by standing in front of a large group of supportive nurses. Yet this failed to do the trick so this time President Obama invited two doctors from each state in the union to the White House to show people out there that there really are professionals that support the President's health care reforms. This time would be serious, this time they'd have their doctor's outfits on. One poor doctor who showed up without his white coat looked sadly out of place, but never fear the Obama administration is here with a spare coat at the ready. Don't want a doctor to lose all his super powers with no white coat, and besides who wants to wreck a pretty picture of 100 properly attired doctors with the President of the United States.

This photo op was such a powerful image that the administration looked for other ways to visually convince Americans to support other Obama administration proposals.



In fact they held one doctor over and convinced another familiar face to help sell the President's second stimulus plan...



This was such a success that later that same day came the announcement the the Justice Department would be addressing the concerns of illegal aliens...



Then came President Obama's surprise announcement of the appointment of his two new green job czars...



Finally President Obama, under advisement from his most recent appointments, decided green aliens would receive a government stimulus check if they cashed in their used space ship for a newer more fuel efficient model...



Obama - How to Sell a Plan

Monday, October 5, 2009

Man Arrested on USF Campus

Foxs is reporting an arrest after it was reported there was a man on campus carrying a gun.


Police arrested a suspect on the University of South Florida in Tampa Monday afternoon after the man was believed to have entered the campus with a gun.

The suspect, described as an African American male in a green and yellow striped shirt, was seen as he entered a police car.

Students had been told to stay indoors and away from campus Monday afternoon, according to the university's Web site.

A message posted by the university said that officers 3were on scene and began searching the area just before 2 p.m.

Authorities said an off-campus call was transferred to USF police from the Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office. The caller reported that a man with a gun was in front of the university's library.

The campus transit system was shut down while police searched for the suspect.


Police Arrest Suspect After University of South Florida Lockdown

Monday, September 28, 2009

Health Care Support Steadily Declining

Rasmussen Reports polling shows, Health Care Reform - Support for Health Care Plan Hits New Low. The most likely health reform plan at this time is the Baucus plan, yet what health care reform means is still largely unknown as numerous amendments to this bill are under review including whether a public option will be part of the bill. Many basic factors regarding cost and effectiveness have not been fully addressed, and a new CBO report states that Medicare benefits will likely be cut eventually even though supporters of the bill have stated the opposite. The Rasmussen poll and accompanying article is an interesting read as it shows how the American people are viewing health reform and its effects.
Just 41% of voters nationwide now favor the health care reform proposed by President Obama and congressional Democrats. That’s down two points from a week ago and the lowest level of support yet measured.

The latest Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey finds that 56% are opposed to the plan.




If the plan passes, 24% of voters say the quality of care will get better, and 55% say it will get worse. In August, the numbers were 23% better and 50% worse.

Fifty-four percent (54%) say passage of the plan will make the cost of health care go up while 23% say it will make costs go down. In August, 52% thought the plan would lead to higher costs, and just 17% thought it would achieve the stated goal of lowering costs.

While many credit or blame the town hall protests for building opposition to the plan, it appears they were simply a reflection of public opinion rather than a creator of it. This sense is confirmed by the fact that Obama’s approval ratings fell more in June and July before stabilizing in August.

One thing that did change during the month of August is that public perception of the protesters improved. Most voters came to believe that the purpose of the town hall meetings was for members of Congress to listen rather than speak. That’s partly because just 22% believe Congress has a good understanding of the legislation.

While some Democrats have charged that opposition to the president’s plan is based upon racism, just 12% of voters agree.

Voters overwhelmingly believe that every American should be able to buy the same health insurance plan that Congress has. Most favor limits on jury awards for medical malpractice claims and think that tort reform will significantly reduce the cost of health care. Forty-eight percent (48%) want a prohibition on abortion in any government subsidized program while 13% want a mandate requiring abortion coverage.

Support For Obama Health Care Reform Continues to Drop
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Wednesday, September 23, 2009

McConnell Upset About First Amendment Infringement

After numerous complaints about the Democrats rushing through health care legislation without adequate debate or explanation, a new complaint arises about Senator Baucus using his position to restrain companies (Humana in particular) from providing customers with information about the Senate Health Care Bill.

From the Wall Street Journal - Baucus Bludgeons Humana
Earlier this month, Humana sent a one-page letter to its customers enrolled in its Medicare Advantage plans, which offer private options to Medicare beneficiaries. Humana noted that, because of spending cuts proposed by Democrats, "millions of seniors and disabled individuals could lose many of the important benefits and services that make Medicare Advantage health plans so valuable." The Kentucky-based company also urged its customers to contact their Representatives. Pretty tame stuff, as these things go.

Mr. Baucus took it as a declaration of war. He complained to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, the federal health-care agency, which on Friday duly ordered Humana to cease and desist. CMS claimed the mailer was "misleading and confusing" and told the company it has opened an official probe as to whether the mailer violated laws about how the insurers that manage Advantage plans are allowed to communicate with their customers, as well as other federal statutes.

"Please be advised that we take this matter very seriously and, based upon the findings our investigation, will pursue compliance and enforcement actions," CMS concluded, ominously. Humana could be fined or booted from Medicare Advantage altogether.

"It is wholly inappropriate for insurance companies to mislead seniors regarding any subject—particularly on a subject as important to them, and to the nation, as health-care reform," Mr. Baucus said in a statement yesterday, playing the role of Congressional censor. "The health-care reform bill we released last week strengthens Medicare and does not cut benefits covered under the Medicare program—and seniors need to know that."

In fact, the Baucus draft legislation slashes $123 billion over the next decade from Medicare Advantage, which Democrats hate despite the fact that almost one-fourth of beneficiaries have chosen it over traditional fee-for-service Medicare. One reason seniors like it is because private insurers focus on quality and preventive care and try to manage benefits, as opposed to simply paying bills.

This did not go unnoticed by Senator Mitch McConnell who was uncharacteristically angry over the this impingement on Humana...

From ABC Blog "Shut Up! The Government Says" - McConnell on Humana Letter
Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell does not normally get riled up, but he just gave an impassioned speech on the Senate floor about the gag order, Humana, and Senate Finance Committee Chairman Max Baucus, who initiated the HHS investigation. McConnell referred to Baucus only as “a colleague.”

“Using the full weight of the federal government’s enforcement powers to stifle free speech should trouble all Americans — and all of us — even more,” McConnell said. “We cannot allow government officials to target individuals or companies because they do not like what they have to say.”

“Shut up! the government says,” said McConnell on the Senate floor of the CMS letter to Humana. “Don’t communicate with your customers. Be quiet and get in line,” he said facetiously.

There are two points to remember here. Humana is based in Kentucky, so McConnell is quick to protect them. And second, he is a staunch defender of the first amendment. For instance, McConnell is the often the only Republican to vote against a flag burning amendment when it periodically arises.



Dems Heavy Handed on Heath Care

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Burress Starts Two Year Sentence

From the sad and stupid crimes section, Plaxico Burress has to serve a two year sentence for having an unregistered weapon in a night club, which he shot himself in the leg with. A sad case of a talented and gifted individual being stupid at the wrong place and the wrong time.

Ex-NFL player Burress enters prison

NEW YORK (CNN) -- Former NFL wide receiver Plaxico Burress surrendered to authorities Tuesday to serve a two-year prison sentence on a weapons charge, the Manhattan District Attorney's office said.

Burress was also sentenced to two years of post-release supervision with permission to travel for business, according to district attorney spokeswoman Tracy Golden.

Burress, 32, pleaded guilty in August to a weapons charge stemming from a shooting incident at a nightclub last year. He pleaded guilty to the lesser charge of attempted criminal possession of a weapon and agreed to serve two years under a plea agreement.

The former New York Giants wide receiver accidentally shot himself in the leg with a .40-caliber semi-automatic pistol he was carrying in his waistband. The incident occurred November 29, 2008, in the VIP area of the Latin Quarter nightclub in Manhattan.

Monday, September 21, 2009

ACORN's Government Money

An interesting article on BigGovernment.com shows that the problem with ACORN is not just that they receive federal funding, but many states fund them as well. Pennsylvania, even after the recent video tapes showed the depth of ACORN's corruption, are not resisting calls to de-fund the organization.

http://biggovernment.com/2009/09/21/acorn-got-over-200k-of-pa-taxpayer-money-probably-getting-more/

Despite receiving a “cease and desist” notice from the Department of State to stop soliciting contributions, Pennsylvania taxpayers have given ACORN over $200,000 in state grants since November 2007. Yet none of the mainstream media in the Commonwealth is bothering to cover this issue. Nor has it reported on recent efforts to defend this rogue organization.

Jeff Lord, writing in The American Spectator, noted how Rep. Steve Barrar’s efforts to investigate ACORN’s activities in Pennsylvania are being stymied by Rep. Babette Josephs—a self-identified member of ACORN. Josephs is the Chair of the House State Government Committee—the committee where good government legislation goes to die.

Quiet Car Dealerships

Boston.com reports on the 'Post-Clunker' sales drought for car dealership in their article Car showrooms quiet after clunkers clamor ends

It has been nearly a month since the car-buying frenzy of the Cash for Clunkers program ended, and many area auto dealers are longing for the good old days of July and August.

Like consumers nationwide, Massachusetts residents rushed to take advantage of the federal voucher program, which offered them up to $4,500 on old gas-guzzlers to be put toward the purchase of new, more fuel-efficient vehicles. About $65 million worth of vouchers were handed out statewide during the monthlong program that ended Aug. 24.

But once the federal money dried up, so did the sales rally. Now, customers at dealerships like Silko Honda in Raynham are few and far between, and inventory is once again accumulating.

Manager Adam Silverleib said business was “pretty intense’’ as a result of the federal stimulus program, with the dealership hustling to accommodate customers and handle the piles of paperwork required for them to receive reimbursement on vouchers. “Now we’re kind of back to where we were in the spring,’’ he said.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

ACORN's Third Faud Tape

If there is any question that ACORN supplying tax cheat info, and overlooking human trafficking was a fluke or a couple isolated instances, here's a third tape from ACORN's New York office.


ACORN New York - Third Corruption Tape

Monday, September 14, 2009

ACORN

The Baltimore office of ACORN gives tax advice to two people posing as a pimp and a prostitute who say they want to import underage teenagers from El Salvidor to work in the States as prostitutes. ACORN receives federal funding and has had numerous run-ins with the law usually regarding voter fraud. This however is a new low, at best these ACORN employees are condoning the human trafficking of underage girls, and in reality are likely breaking numerous laws.



Note: Except for when ACORN received government funding, I've posted very little about ACORN post-election. The public had their chance to learn about ACORN if they wished, they made their decision, voted, done deal, the race is over. However, this is insane. Democrats have to step to the plate, and renounce this. I in no way think that candidates aided by ACORN or any rationale human with any semblance of a moral compass thinks that human trafficking is acceptable. However, this is an example of an organization not just acting questionably, but this is evidence that ACORN has completely gone of the rails. Any politician to weak to stand up against ACORN will now be tying themselves to an organization that condoned prostitution and indirectly promoted human trafficking.

ACORN Condones Prostitution

Friday, June 26, 2009

Free Iran Recap - Freedom Via Internet

Since the election in Iran on the 12th of June, information about the protests and brutal government crackdowns has flowed in via the internet, particularly social media sites, and specifically Twitter. Twitter was the first place to provide information about the protests as the media largely missed the story in the beginning. Now the flow of information out of Iran has slowed due to massive arrests and violent government oppression. Along with the slowing of information, the main stream media's attention has been diverted. Yet this remains a topic that deserves continued public attention. People are fighting for their freedom under unimaginable conditions.

Here is a recap of some of the videos, stories, and information that has come out of Iran along with the role technology has played...

Total Oppression Versus Open Communication in Iran
In an early show of force students were beaten in their dorm rooms, and their rooms were trashed, computers and the like destroyed. Angered by the brutal beat downs, many professors at Tehran University protested by resigning. Hospital workers who treated the students, also disgusted by the government’s brutality, went on strike the following day to protest the students’ treatment.

Foreign media was banned, journalists have been jailed. Due to the crackdown, citizen journalism virtually the only way the story is getting to the rest of the world.

Iranian government claims that death of Neda was staged by the opposition. They prevent any form of public mourning for both Neda and the many others killed in the protests.

Soccer Team Members who wore green armbands during a game are permanently banned from the sport.

British representatives expelled from the country.

Special courts established for trying arrested protesters.

Mass show of force and violent suppression of peaceful protests continue.

Videos: The first video shows the death of Neda a young Iranian woman who has come to symbolize the Free Iran movement. She was shot while simply watching the protests, and reportedly died by her father's side. Be warned that the first two videos are very graphic and disturbing. The third video, while somewhat less graphic, but is also quite disturbing.

*VERY GRAPHIC* Young Lady Dies on Streets of Iran

*Very Graphic* Video of Iran Protests and Man Badly Beaten

Shooting of Iranian Students Caught on Camera

Massive Show of Force on Streets of Iran

Video of voter fraud in Iranian Election

June 20 Iran Protesters Face Off with Police

Crowds During June 20th Protests

Riot Police Attack Protesters in Iran

Video Showing Scope of Iranian Protests

This Week's Articles:

This week a violent beat down of protesters was under reported as the flow of information slows. CNN and the AP both had reports on this brutality...

AP Reports Iran Security Forces Again Beat Down the Opposition Protesters

Distraught woman describes the brutality to CNN, Reports of Brutal Crackdown In Iran

Article's Prior to the June 20th Protests

Concern About Khamenei’s Statements

Arrests and Protests Continue in Iran

American’s Practical Support of A Free Iran

Articles About the Role of the Internet in post-Election Iran

Twitter Changing the Playing Field In Iran and For Totalitarianism
One of my first thoughts on seeing Twitter being used by Iranians following their elections was, ‘Imagine if they had Twitter during Tienanmen Square.’ Totalitarian regimes historically thrive, in large measure, by controlling the media and modes of communication. Would be protesters become isolated. Government propaganda simply spins any protest or event into something that reflects well on the regime in power.

Following Iran Elections on Twitter – A Lesson in Freedom and Technology
Google Farsi - English Traslator: Google launches Farsi - English translator Thursday night/Friday morning. A hugely helpful tool that aids communication, and understanding of news directly from Iran.

Cable and Network News relying on Twitter: Saturday the 20th, with a government imposed blackout of foreign media CNN and others have to rely on citizen journalists along with Twitter and other social media sites to gather news. Protests are scheduled even though Ayatola Khamenei has made statements that suggest a possibly violent crackdown on protesters. Reports of tear gas used and armed police barricades used to disperse crowds.

Students Shot on Camera: A tweet linked to this video of Iranian students being shot

A graphic YouTube video of a woman's death (Neda) becomes a symbol of the movement. Trending topic on Twitter is #Neda as references to the video, and her life show how moved people were by her tragic death.

Mousavi Facebook post:
Through a post on Facebook it has been reported that Mir-Hossein Mousavi has stated that he is "ready for martyrdom."

Embassies Take Wounded Iranians: Word spreads quickly on June 20th that many European embassies are taking care of wounded Iranians. These embassies along with their address/directions were also diseminated through Twitter. The safety of the hospitals is in question, and the Canadian embassy is pressured (via use of Twitter) to open its embassy too, yet embassy remained closed on Saturday.

Iran Elections and the Internet
An interesting subplot to the Iranian elections is that the internet is providing people more information than major news networks...Dear CNN, Please Check Twitter for News About Iran


Since writing about the Twitter Effect in Iran, and the role of the Internet as a whole, I have also been interviewed on radio and TV. For more info on appearances, please visit the Broad Side of the Barn.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Twitter, Iran, and Cracking the Totalitarian Model

One of my first thoughts on seeing Twitter being used by Iranians following their elections was, 'Imagine if they had Twitter during Tienanmen Square.' Totalitarian regimes historically thrive, in large measure, by controlling the media and modes of communication. Would be protesters become isolated. Government propaganda simply spins any protest or event into something that reflects well on the regime in power.

Yet now there is Twitter, other social networks, and the internet at large. It's wise for Tweeters and others to understand that the deck is still stacked against those protesting the election. The Iranian government still controls the media, and in a textbook totalitarian move they have banned foreign press. While members of the Twitter community have set up proxy servers for people in Iran to use, the government has shut down known internet connections, which means that in all likelihood a large majority of Iranians are only hearing the official government version of events.

Yet protests continue and news spreads in large part due to Twitter and the internet. This is not something past totalitarian regimes have had to deal with. There are enough Iranians using Twitter (or other forms of communication) to organize that protests continue. The government has not been able to implement complete control. Hopefully those watching, participating, and following #iranelection on Twitter recognize that there is a definite possibility that this ends very badly as totalitarian regimes are also brutal. The reality is that what results from this is wholly a guess, but it changes the playing field and gives voice to those who previously had none. Person to person communication tools change the dynamic shifting, at least some of the power to the people, and puts a crack in structure of totalitarianism.

tienneman

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Twitter Changing the Playing Field In Iran and For Totalitarianism

Friday, June 12, 2009

Obama Cribs the McCain Platform

As a staunch McCain supporter I'm over the defeat; that is except when the Obama administration attempts to use parts of the McCain platform that they previously criticized. When the Obama administration followed the McCain plan in their Iraq and Afghanistan I was relieved. They weren't as reckless as their campaign statements made them appear. Also, I have to give them a gamesmanship points (even if they lose honesty points) for completely sticking it to the far left without making them angry. Yet the annoyance started when Obama used the McCain rhetoric about the economy without including all that pesky fiscal discipline. The statements post stimulus about strong economic fundamentals were practically verbatim what Senator McCain said during the election. Now health care is on the table and so is taxing employer based health insurance. Remember Obama campaign ads revolved around the idea that this was a terrible plan for Senator McCain to propose. Now it apparently is not such a bad idea. What makes it worse is that in the McCain plan there was a $5000 tax credit that would have off-set the tax. There will be no tax credit with the Democrat's plan, so any tax assessed is coming right out of your pocket. I'll get over the annoyance, but if the Obama administration keeps adapting McCain ideas the least they could do is adopt his fiscal discipline (and math skills) too.


Obama Using McCain Ideas

Does Letterman Get It



Greta Van Susteren is correct in her analysis that Letterman 'doesn't get it'. His defenders don't get it either. While there are numerous issues that these comments bring up. The basic fact remains there are boundaries (or should be), and the children of public figures should be left alone.

Other good articles regarding Letterman's joke and pathetic apology...

Did David Letterman Get a Free Pass

Dear David Letterman

Steele Suggests Boycott of David Letterman

From my perspective Steve Chapman of the Chicago Tribune in the article Palin is Right About Letterman has it right
For that matter, it's hard to see what Bristol has done to deserve the ridicule. It's not her fault her mother is a national political figure. Dealing with her situation is hard enough without being under a media spotlight.

Instead of acting as though he's the victim of someone else's misunderstanding, as he did last night, Letterman ought to simply admit he blew it, big time, and personally apologize to the Palins and his viewers.

He also should to keep in mind that if you're going to ridicule someone's sex life, you might pick on someone your own size. And make very sure you have the right person.

Letterman Doesn't Get It

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Palin Letterman Feud Starting

While the Palin Letterman feud heats up, lets look at why David Letterman's bad joke appears to be the straw that broke the camel's back.

1. Letterman likely jumped on the Palins' last nerve when he made a crude joke at their daughter's expense. Governor Palin hasn't just been criticized, she and her her family have been attacked in a particularly hateful way, and at some point that has to wear thin particularly when ones children are targetted.

2. The Palin's reaction conqsequently was a little overreaching. It seems unlikely that Letterman was referring to the Palin's 14 year old daughter as the Palins thought. Circumstances pointed to the fourteen year old, but Letterman accurately pointed out that he doesn't have a history of making crude remarks referencing children. However, making vulgar remarks about any of the candidates/politician's kids is inexcusable, they didn't choose the public life and should be left alone (and 18 is still pretty young). The Palin's anger is completely justified and understandable.

3. Lots of people are fed up with jokes about female politicians always going 'there.' This can be seen in the HillBuzz blog (a Clinton supporters blog) requesting a boycott of Letterman sponsors. The lead in to the joke about the Palin girl was a crack about Palin looking like a "slutty stewardess." Like Hillary Clinton, Sarah Palin has been the brunt of jokes and criticism that directly critique her appearance and sexuality. As hated as Bush and Cheney were in the last eight years, no one criticized their appearance or made explicit comments and jokes about them the way they have about Clinton and Palin. Again Letterman stomped on a raw nerve.

4. Some will be angry at the remark, others will be angry at anything referencing Governor Palin. Therefor this is is going to be big. Palin supporters can be quite intense (and oddly similar to the fervent Obama supporters). They're not likely to let it go, and the left's kooky raging Palin hatred means they won't let it go either.

So there you have it, we're in for a broohaha. Letterman's apology was weak because he was starky towards the Palins, and didn't recognize the fact that all of their kids should be off-limits particularly when making off-color jokes. Michael Steele has addressed the Palin Letterman matter by saying,
"Letterman's joke about Sarah and Todd Palin's daughter was thoughtless and tacky," Steele said in a statement to The Hill. "I saw his explanation for the joke, but sometimes the easiest thing to do is simply say 'I'm sorry.'"

"When Letterman starts making tasteless jokes about kids, it's time to turn the channel,"

Senator McCain defended the Palins saying,
"I don't understand why Letterman would say that about a young woman," McCain said during a telephone interview on Thursday. "They (the Palins) deserve some kind of protection from being the butt of late-night hosts."

As Steve Chapman of the Chicago Tribune sums up the situation in his article Palin is Right About Letterman by stating...
It's hard to see what Bristol has done to deserve the ridicule. It's not her fault her mother is a national political figure. Dealing with her situation is hard enough without being under a media spotlight.

Instead of acting as though he's the victim of someone else's misunderstanding, as he did last night, Letterman ought to simply admit he blew it, big time, and personally apologize to the Palins and his viewers.

He also should to keep in mind that if you're going to ridicule someone's sex life, you might pick on someone your own size. And make very sure you have the right person.

CBS's Feedback Form
Palin Letterman Politics

Friday, June 5, 2009

Senator Brownback on Gitmo

Senator Brownback talked to bloggers today laying out the problems with closing the Guantanamo Bay Detention Facility. The most pressing of these problems is what to do with the detainees. Senator Brownback explains that one commonly overlooked risk of bringing prisoners to U.S. prisons is that the surrounding prison communities may be subject to violent acts by groups making political statements about the prisoners' detention. He also explains that the Geneva Convention says that prisoners of war will not be held along with a general prison population. Senator Brownback lays out numerous reasons why closing Guantanamo is poorly thought out, and is decisively lacking a realistic and safe plan. The propsal also lacks support both in Congress and among the American people. A new Gallup poll shows that by a 2 to 1 margin Americans Oppose Closing Gitmo and Moving Prisoners to U.S.

This call is worth listening to as one may be surprised at the number of solid reasons the Senator gives for opposing the Obama adminstration's call to close Guantanamo.
Blogger Call with Senator Brownback
Brownback Talks Guantanamo and Foreign Policy « Purple People Vote

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Pelosi Apologize or Prove CIA Lied

While some may see the following statements by John Boehner as politically motivated, in truth he has a strong point to make. If the CIA lied to Nancy Pelosi that's illegal, and Pelosi should follow through on providing evidence so that that they will be held accountable. If the CIA did not lie then they are (at least) owed an apology.

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Free Us Now Radio Featured Guest, Author Katherine Morrison

Featured Radio Presentation

Monday Night May 4th soROARity
Katherine J. Morrison
"Author of An Independent Call"

Free Us Now guest, Katherine Morrison wrote a book about the 2008 presidential election. The book entitled An Independent Call, chronicles the journey of an Independent New Hampshirite from wary observer of town hall meetings to eventual McCain supporter and volunteer. It is an amusing look at the events of a campaign. From meeting candidates from both sides of the aisle, to becoming a blogger for McCain, to being chewed out on campaign phone calls, to receiving press credentials for the Republican National Convention, this account relates the experience of being a participant at the lowest level politics from an outsider's perspective. A mix of good humor and political opinion from the middle.

Rockingham NH County Commissioner, Maureen Barrows, recommends An Independent Call stating that it is- "A must read for anyone interested in the day to day life of a volunteer in a political campaign-attention to detail is brilliant."
No radio needed The Free Us Now Radio show is online - If your computer is down no problem call on the phone and hear the entire show right on the phone- Please come! Monday 10 PM eastern/ Bring your questions.
Call-in 347 539-5420.

Event: Free Us Now Radio Show
Host: BettyJean Kling
Start Time: Monday, at 10:00pm
End Time: Monday, at 11:30pm
Where: http://www.Blogtalkradio.com/NO-WE-WONT
Call-in:  347 539-5420

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Are You A Radical Too?

Tea Party protesters won a victory today as the mainstream media could not ignore their protests like they have in the past. As expected some of the media described the protesters as radicals (ever-classy and most-trusted Anderson Cooper of CNN used an obscene joke to describe the attendees) despite the pictures showing peaceful gatherings of people of all ages in attendance. Yet media logic dictates if you don't love Obama, you must be crazy.

Yet it's not just the media searching for crazy. A report was leaked by DHS on "Rightwing Extremism." To quote the report,
Rightwing extremist chatter on the Internet continues to focus on the economy, the perceived loss of U.S. jobs in the manufacturing and construction sectors, and home foreclosures.

Dang it, I'm a radical. There were signs, once in high school I got a detention for a overdue library book; even back then I was bad. My internet chatter about obscene government spending has all been a clever ploy to manipulate my readers to take radical action like, 'vote the bums out,' or 'tell your representatives what you think.' I tell you I'm bad, and if I didn't have a job or a cold I would have been one of those crazy tea party animals too. You need further proof that I'm a radical? How about this...
Rightwing extremist views bemoan the decline of U.S. stature and have recently focused on themes such as the loss of U.S. manufacturing capability to China and India, Russia’s control of energy resources and use of these to pressure other countries, and China’s investment in U.S. real estate and corporations as a part of subversion strategy.

Well there you have it. I'm concerned that China owns us, and all our debt, I must be a radical. Granted, I'm a centrist on guns and immigration, and lean a bit left on the social issues discussed in the report, but imagine my surprise to find out that I've been cavorting with other radicals over the past 2 years by volunteering for the McCain campaign. Pro-life, pro-second amendment, high concentration of veterans, don't let the good humor, sarcastic wit, family values, and helpful manner fool you - we were all a big bunch of radicals, just ask MSNBC.

Now I know there is a serious side to this report. Every group in every country has its nutballs, and its the governments main job to protect its citizens from radicals of all sorts. Yet this seems like a veiled attempt to blur the line between staunch conservatives and radical Klan-like groups, when in reality that is a very clear and distict line. Veterans in particular are owed an apology for their less than flattering portrayal in this report. As for me, I'm going to keep chattering about the economy, and take pride in the fact that someone out there thinks I'm radical.

You May Be A Radical Too...

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

NH Independent and Veteran Canvas Hampton

Excerpt from An Independent Call the story a New Hampshire Independent McCain Supporter


Finally, on a more upbeat note, one trait that Senator McCain shares with a good number of his fellow veterans is a wicked sense of humor. While I’d like to say that my rationale for voting McCain was all high minded, I have to admit his sense of humor roped me in in the beginning. It’s probably part of the reason I enjoyed so many of the events with veterans; I’m sure there are veterans out there that lack a sense of humor, but overall I found them quite fun to be around.

During the general election I headed out to canvas a neighborhood with a veteran named Wes. He drove; I hopped out and knocked on the doors. We were canvassing Hampton Beach, a sort of unfortunate task in late Fall to early Winter, since not a lot of people stay at their beach house when the temperature drops. The sheets given to guide us to the appropriate address were accompanied by a brief survey asking whether the occupant was home and whom they were supporting for the different elected offices. The numbering of houses and condos on these sheets could be hard to follow, as locations were not necessarily listed in numerical order. Condo complexes could be particularly difficult to figure out. For instance, 5 Ocean Boulevard unit 16 could be a different page from 5 Ocean Boulevard unit 14, and unit 15 would simply not be on the list at all. The other problem was that you often had to be allowed or buzzed into many of these condo complexes. This basically meant looking for condos, routinely unoccupied due to the season that, even if occupied, could not be accessed. Consequently, we’d just drop a stack of literature on their doorstep, which will likely be picked up sometime this coming June.

So in the process of trying to locate a particular address on Ocean Boulevard, Wes backed his car up right into a pole. Looking down, arranging literature at the time, I was startled at the hit and said, ‘Ooo!’ and looked over at Wes. Thinking, this can’t be good we both hopped out of the car and took a look at his bumper. There was a new yellow stripe down the back side of his car and he said, “Ah, it’s just paint.” Relieved that it wasn’t too serious and that the damage didn’t trouble Wes, we hopped back into the car, and started trying to figure out where our next stop was. As we headed forward we spotted the house number of the next stop; Wes hit the brakes and his coffee flew off the dashboard, hitting me in the arm and soaking my left side. This time Wes looked stunned as I sat there looking at my sweater covered in coffee. “Well, it’s not hot,” I said. He handed me towels and clearly felt badly that I was wearing his drink. I had a t-shirt on under the sweater, so I hopped out of the car again, rung out the sweater and dried it off as best I could with some towels, put it back on, and hopped back into the car. While I smelled of coffee all day, the sweater was dark so it didn’t really matter.

We got through the rest of the doors without much incident, but had trouble finding one particular side street. Finally, we found the tiny narrow street in question; we headed down to the end where we eventually spotted the number of the home on a trashcan outside of a sliding glass door. I got out, knocked on the door, and a young guy, who apparently had just woken up, and was wearing a pair of old boxers and a t-shirt opened the door, saying nothing.

‘Hi, I’m a volunteer with the McCain campaign, and…’

‘No,’ he said and he shut the door and went back to bed.

I got back in the car and said, “Obama.”

As we started to head out of the narrow street I looked back, and Wes said, “Don’t worry, I won’t hit anything… …I saw you watching.”

“Well, I wasn’t going to say anything.”

On the way back to the office he said, “You did a good job.”

“Thanks. You too…”

“Except for the pole.”

“Well that and the coffee, but other than that you did a good job.”



Veteran's Good Humor

Sunday, April 12, 2009

In The Beginning - Curiosity

Excerpt from An Independent Call the amusing story of a New Hampshire McCain supporter.

In the beginning I just thought I’d go see the different candidates at the campaign events in New Hampshire. Four years prior, not long after I moved to New Hampshire from Massachusetts, my sister was volunteering for Senator Kerry’s campaign. She’s a loyal and active Democrat; our parents are Republicans. We talked on the phone after the Iowa caucuses when Howard Dean screamed during his concession speech. She hadn’t heard it called the ‘I have a Scream Speech’ yet, and I said that I felt for him. I figured if I were in politics that would be the sort of thing that would take me out. It wouldn’t be scandal or corruption; I’d simply do something so embarrassing that no one would take me seriously again.

My sister told of a news clip she had just seen of a woman who had met Senator Kerry, then fainted. The video looked like a shot from the Wizard of Oz with Senator Kerry standing over a pair of feet. I was starting to realize that I had missed quite a show by not attending Primary events, so I simply thought this time it would be interesting to see. I certainly had no plans of picking a candidate early, and no interest in joining a campaign. I thought it might give me something to write about on my website, but basically I was just curious.



Monday, April 6, 2009

Credible Journalist

Since much of today's media has such a blatant school-girl crush on President Obama, it is important to not only point out the shmoes who can't resist telling America that President Obama gives them a, 'thrill up their leg;' it is also important to point out those few journalists who are credible. National Review did this in their article Jake Tapper Isn't Letting Go. The article not only points out that ABC's Jake Tapper was virtually the only network journalist willing to write an article critical of then candidate Obama, but also that he is now pretty much the only one willing to ask Press Secretary Gibbs a tough question during White House briefings. For many Tapper was the first to show Robert Gibbs as a sub-par press secretary when Gibbs refused to take Tapper's questions about transparency seriously, as shown in the clip below. National Review did all of us who are fed up with the over-the-top media bias a service by not only highlighting Tapper as a solid competent member of the media, but also by reminding us that one can't just complain about those who do a poor job, and that it may be even more important that we applaud and encourage those who are competent than it is to gripe about those whose bias is so obsurd and obvious.


Recognizing a Professional Journalist - Katherine Morrison



Thursday, April 2, 2009

Obama Owns the Budget and the Economy

With an Obama stimulus package, and an Obama omnibus spending bill already passed, and now the a huge Obama budget working its way through the Congress, Politico notes that President Obama owns this budget, and hence the economy. Fierce fights may follow budget victory.
The House and Senate face a flurry of final budget votes Thursday, with Republicans pushed to the margins and having come forward only in the past 24 hours with a detailed alternative of their own.

But the victory for President Barack Obama could prove hollow, especially in the Senate, and Republicans are betting that the president’s very activism will work against him as he takes ownership of more and more difficult economic issues.

“This is a defining moment, and there is overwhelming empathy with folks who are scared to death about the direction this country is going,” Sen. Saxby Chambliss (R-Ga.) told POLITICO. “All of a sudden, you have the president taking over General Motors, the president taking over the financial industry and now the health care industry? I think there will be even a larger outcry coming from our constituents at the ballot box next time.”

Some of this nervousness already seemed evident Wednesday night in a Senate fight over how to proceed on Obama’s climate change legislation. On two successive votes, one as large as 67-31, a solid bipartisan coalition blocked efforts by liberal environmental interests wanting to use expedited budget procedures to circumvent Senate filibuster rules on cap-and-trade revenue provisions.

The defeat raises the stakes further for health care reform as the big remaining prize for the White House in the budget debate. And to a remarkable degree, Obama has been willing to blur the lines between himself and fellow Democrats to help move the process forward with this goal in mind.


Obama Owning the Budget and the Economy

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Sites to View

Broad Side of the Barn has added several domain names to its listings in the promotion of An Independent Call.

These include:

An Independent Call - AnIndependentCall.com
Katherine Morrison - KatherineMorrison.com
New Hampshire Primaries - NewHampshirePrimaries.info
Independent New Hampshire - IndependentNewHampshire.info

Also new domains to check out include:

Purple People - Purple-People.info
Battleground States - BattleGroundStates.info

Monday, March 23, 2009

New Hampshire Campaign Book

An Independent Call by Katherine Morrison, being released by Broad Side of the Barn.

An Independent Call chronicles the journey of an Independent New Hampshirite from wary observer of town hall meetings to eventual McCain convert and volunteer. It is an amusing look at the events of a campaign. From meeting candidates from both sides of the aisle, to becoming a blogger for McCain, to being chewed out on campaign phone calls, to receiving press credentials for the Republican National Convention, this account relates the experience of being a participant at lowest level politics from an outsider’s perspective. A mix of good humor and political opinion from the middle.

Katherine Morrison is the creator and Author of Purple People Vote.

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Forclosure Sales Making for Extremely Low Housing Prices in Detroit

From Excite/AP Outside buyers drawn to Detroit's foreclosed homes

Welcome to Landlord Nation, where foreclosure notices are plentiful and for-sale signs offer at least 1,800 homes for under $10,000 that once were worth at least 10 times more.

In extreme cases, homes are on sale for $1 or less, which has enticed investors to Detroit from as far away as the United Kingdom and Australia.

"In the past few months, I've picked up 10 new clients from out of state that are buying in bulk," said Mike Shannon, a suburban Detroit real estate agent. His office specializes in foreclosures in a city that's among the national leaders.

"They're coming to us, saying 'Look, I want to buy 50, 100, 1,000.' They want to own every decent and cheap house they can find."

Despite a stagnant retail housing market, real estate sales of foreclosed homes are booming. Shannon regularly fields calls from eager prospects, and recently sold 30 homes in one day to one buyer. A trio of U.K. investors has bought a half-dozen and plans many more.

"I thought it would be quite good fun to have a look," said Darren Veness, who lives near Brighton, England.

Outside buyers are the latest in a long line of landlords taking over the deteriorating housing stock of a city that because of its once mighty auto industry boasted one of the highest owner-occupied housing rates in the U.S. And unlike many large cities, Detroit's single-family homes dominate its landscape, not high-rise apartment buildings.

The outside investors aren't only interested in Detroit, but it's been targeted because of the sheer volume of homes and the fact that values have fallen so much more than elsewhere.


Friday, March 6, 2009

Evan Bayh Opposes Omnibus Spending Bill

Senator Evan Bayh of Indiana wrote an Op-ed in the Wall Street Journal yesterday coming out against the huge appropriations bill that would increase spending eight percent from last year. His article Deficits and Fiscal Credibility is definitely worth a read, below is an excerpt.
This week, the United States Senate will vote on a spending package to fund the federal government for the remainder of this fiscal year. The Omnibus Appropriations Act of 2009 is a sprawling, $410 billion compilation of nine spending measures that lacks the slightest hint of austerity from the federal government or the recipients of its largess.

The Senate should reject this bill. If we do not, President Barack Obama should veto it.

The omnibus increases discretionary spending by 8% over last fiscal year's levels, dwarfing the rate of inflation across a broad swath of issues including agriculture, financial services, foreign relations, energy and water programs, and legislative branch operations. Such increases might be appropriate for a nation flush with cash or unconcerned with fiscal prudence, but America is neither.

Drafted last year, the bill did not pass due to Congress's long-standing budgetary dysfunction and the frustrating delays it yields in our appropriations work. Since then, economic and fiscal circumstances have changed dramatically, which is why the Senate should go back to the drawing board. The economic downturn requires new policies, not more of the same.


Senator Evan Bayh Rejects Bloated Appropriations Bill

Saturday, February 28, 2009

$81 Billion Bill to fill up at the Pump

WCTV reports that a gentleman who went to the pump to fill up his vehicle had his credit card charged over $81 billion for his trouble. $81 Billion Gasoline Bill

Juan Zamora recently topped off his tank for his weekly commute and he thought he’d put in 90-dollars worth of gas.

Then, he received an automated call from his credit card company checking a pre-authorization at a gas station for the amount of 81-billion, 400-million, 836-thousand, 908-dollars.

Zamora says he was told the company used the merchant number and not the dollar figure from the pump.

Friday, February 20, 2009

Rewarding Bad Behavior

With the recent unveiling of the Obama administration's housing plan there is a growing concern that the government is promoting policies that reward bad behavior and punish good behavior. The housing plan is the latest policy where the government gives money to those who are in over there head. This is a somewhat more palatable policy than preceding bailouts as it focusses on helping the individual with mortgage problems. However, it is following a string of policies that that basically says 'if you screw up, the government is here to give you money.' Businesses and individuals that pay their bills and taxes on time are subsidizing those who don't. The housing plan isn't completely without merit, but this trend of government bailouts big and small is wearing on many as can be seen in this CNBC clip of Rick Santelli becoming fed up with the government rewards for bad behavior on the floor of the Chicago Stock Exchange...




Punishing Good Behavior

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Drummer Louis Bellson Passed Away at 84


Louie Bellson, a jazz drummer and bandleader who combined remarkable instrumental virtuosity with far-ranging compositional skills, has died. He was 84.

According to his wife, Francine, Bellson died Saturday at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles of complications of Parkinson's disease following a broken hip in November.

Bellson's long, productive career stretched from his teens -- when, in competition with 40,000 other young players, he won the Slingerland National Gene Krupa drumming contest -- to the tours and seminars he continued until 2008.

Best known as a superlative big band drummer as a result of his work in the 1940s and '50s with Tommy Dorsey, Count Basie, Benny Goodman, Harry James, Duke Ellington and others, Bellson was also an adept small group player. His more than 200 recorded appearances as leader and sideman encompass sessions with Jazz at the Philharmonic, Woody Herman, Stan Getz, Dizzy Gillespie, Louis Armstrong, James Brown and dozens of others, including Ellington's Big Four alongside guitarist Joe Pass and bassist Ray Brown.

"What makes Bellson so special," former Times jazz critic Leonard Feather wrote in 1991, "is his overall musicianship. A gifted composer and arranger who has written everything from jazz instrumentals to ballets, he can incorporate his role logically instead of banging away without regard to the dynamic or melodic structure of the work in progress."

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Lost in Space

Lost in Space from Wired counts down eight weirdest items lost in space. From human remains to a spatula here are the Wired's list...

1. Spatula

2. Tool bag

3. Glove

4. Tank of ammonia

5. Gene Roddenberry's ashes

6. Pee

7. Pliers

8. Camera

For more detail read Wired's Lost in Space article.

Friday, February 6, 2009

What's $1 Trillion?

With the Economic Stimulus approaching the $1 trillion mark, lets look at what $1,000,000,000,000.00 equates to…

$1,597,444 check for all of the 626,000 people that have filed unemployment claims this month.

$227,272 check for all 4.4 million people collecting unemployment benefits.

$333.33 check for every American man, woman, and child.

It would take a worker making $50,000 a year 20 million years to earn $1 trillion.

If ever ticket of every home Red Sox home game at Fenway Park for the 2009 season was sold for $308,642.00 each that would equal $1 trillion.

The GDP of Mexico is just over $1 trillion.

The GDP of India is also just over $1 trillion.

The combine GDP of the following countries is approximately $1 trillion…

Uruguay, Lebanon, Yemen, Uzbekistan, North Korea, Cyprus, Estonia, Ethiopia, Cameroon, Trinidad and Tobago, Ivory Coast, Panama, El Salvador, Tanzania, Equatorial Guinea, Iceland, Bahrain, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Macau, Jordan, Bolivia, Ghana, Brunei, Paraguay, Gabon, Zambia, Uganda, Senegal, Botswana, Honduras, Burma, Albania, Jamaica, Republic of the Congo, Georgia, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Afghanistan, Nepal, Armenia, Cambodia, Mozambique, Madagascar, Republic of Macedonia, Chad, Mali, Malta, Burkina Faso, Mauritius, Namibia, Haiti, Benin, The Bahamas, West Bank and Gaza, Nicaragua, Papua New Guinea, Moldova, Niger, Laos, Jersey, Kyrgyzstan, Liechtenstein, Mongolia, Tajikistan, Aruba, Zimbabwe, Montenegro, Guinea, Malawi, Rwanda, French Polynesia, Fiji, Barbados, Mauritania, New Caledonia, Kosovo, Togo, Suriname, Swaziland, Guam, Guernsey, Isle of Man, Somalia, Central African Republic, Sierra Leone, Cape Verde, Faroe Islands, Greenland, Lesotho, Eritrea, Belize, Bhutan, Maldives, Guyana, Antigua and Barbuda, Gibraltar, San Marino, Saint Lucia, Djibouti, Liberia, Burundi, British Virgin Islands, The Gambia, Seychelles, Grenada, Northern Mariana Islands, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Vanuatu, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Comoros, Samoa, East Timor, Solomon Islands, Guinea-Bissau, Dominica, American Samoa, Tonga, Micronesia, Cook Islands, Palau, São Tomé and Príncipe, Marshall Islands, Anguilla, Kiribati, Tuvalu
 
If you'd like your political representatives to now what $1 trillion equates to, their contact info can be found at...
 
Senators - http://www.senate.gov/general/contact_information/senators_cfm.cfm
 
Representatives - https://writerep.house.gov/writerep/welcome.shtml
 

Stimulating Math

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Stimulus Money for Beekeeper Insurance

Republican Challenges to Wasteful Stimulus Plan

Republican Senators put together an alternative stimulus package that has a much lower price tag than the current version of the stimulus bill, as the AP reports that the current plan tops $900 billion. The Republican alternative allows home owners to refinance their home mortgages at a low interest rate that will help the home owner and help stabilize home prices in general. This plan also provides more money for infrastructure projects than the current bill and cuts the payroll tax and the corporate tax to encourage economic growth and job creation. Also, it requires spending cuts once the economy has rebounded helping to limit the amount of future government debt. CNN reports not only that their is a this second bill, but moderates are also working on the current bill trimming the excess pork...
Some Republicans want to take it a step farther than their party's leaders. Ten Republican senators, including Sen. John McCain, want more funds -- almost $90 billion -- for infrastructure. They are shopping around a plan with a price tag of just under $500 billion.

"We can either fight the Democrat proposals, which would increase the deficit incredibly and mortgage our children's futures and not beneficially stimulate our economy, which we will do, in many respects. But we have to have a proposal of our own," said McCain, R-Arizona.

That version of the stimulus measure, put together by Florida Sen. Mel Martinez, is broader than the one proposed by GOP leadership, but narrower than the Democratic bill.

The group of Republicans met Tuesday to discuss their plan because they don't believe their leadership's approach, focusing exclusively on the housing crisis and tax cuts, is enough to jump-start the economy.

Another alternative that's getting a lot of attention is a bipartisan plan from Nebraska Democrat Ben Nelson and Maine Republican Susan Collins. The two moderate senators are looking at the current economic stimulus package and trying to scrub it of all spending that they say will not stimulate the economy.

One attempt to trim pork from the current bill was successful. An amendment passed sponsored by Tom Coburn that eliminated a $246 million dollar tax break for Hollywood movie companies.

Senator McCain has sponsored a petition protesting the current version of the stimulus bill...

Sign Vote No On The Stimulus Package Petition
Republican Senators Put Together Alternative Stimulus Package