Saturday, February 21, 2009

Quote of the Day

From Gonzo's Bar and GoGo Grill.

I’m tired of wasting money to police nanny-state laws. I’m not impressed when someone in a bar complains, “Here I am, drinking my brain-cell killing booze, lstening to music played at ear-splitting decibels, trying to pick up this woman so I can get in my car, drive drunk to her house, have unprotected sex with her - and this guy is blowing SMOKE into the air!”

The rest is even better. Read the whole thing.

Cinderella's Closet

Bucks Co. Students Unveil 'Cinderella's Closet'

High school students in Bucks County who refused to let the economy ruin their prom turned a cafeteria into a shopping wonderland Wednesday evening.

Two best friends at Conwell-Egan High School decided to take matters into their own hands.

"They were actually going to change our prom into a semi-formal which would make us not be able to wear normal gowns because of the economic crisis," organizer Alyssa Slemmer explained.

Slemmer and junior classmate Keri Richards solicited local clothing stores who donated nearly 200 dresses.

New dresses are being sold for at least 50 percent off, while previously worn gowns are going for even cheaper.

"It goes to tuition assistance because a lot of us know girls and guys that are going here on tuition assistance that can't afford to come here and this money is going to benefit them," Richards said.

There is a full catalog of affordable gowns and accessories that are available in what is being called "Cinderella's Closet."

"The girls thought if they had this sale, then it would get the school to change their mind because they were saving money and it worked," teacher Peg Cargan said.

Conwell-Egan's junior prom is in March, but they intend to open up "Cinderella's Closet" for other schools and students this spring.

They are planning on opening Cinderella's Closet for other schools as well.

Oh the young and the foolish of our country

NYU Students Barricaded Up To Protest Budget

The group inside is a coalition who call themselves "Take Back NYU." Members pushed tables and chairs against doors, and the group has a live webcam posted on its Web site.

"[We want the school to] establish new programs that encourage social and environmental responsibility," one student said via the webcam.

The group held a news conference late Thursday afternoon.

Their demands include full budget and endowment disclosure, affordable education, and increased student participation in the university's operation.

"Most important to me is the budget demands," student Jane Bird said. "I think it's gotten out of hand at this point."

There are also other demands that don't concern the budget. The group wants 13 scholarships a year provided for students of the Gaza Strip, and to give surplus supplies to the Islamic university in Gaza.
The reality, from my viewpoint is that this whole thing was really about getting scholarships for Gaza Strip students. I believe the rest of the demands were just thrown in to add legitimacy to their cause. They have not a clue as to the wrath they are asking for upon themselves and our country with such action.

Friday, February 20, 2009

Final Draft on Stimulus Bill, Complete With Last-Minute Edits

For those of you who have the time, energy & inclination to read it I present to you the Final Draft of the Stimulus Bill.

The two pieces of the bill – a 496-page appropriations section, and a 577-page tax package – represent a Herculean effort on the part of staff members of the House and Senate Appropriations Committees, and the tax-writing Senate Finance and House Ways and Means committees.

This must be a joke

Obama says stimulus money must be spent wisely

WASHINGTON – President Barack Obama says the $787 billion economic package will help struggling cities, but both Washington and the mayors have a responsibility to spend the money wisely.
Especially with all of the "PORK" in the stimulus package and considering that President Obama signed it into law this week, I think this kind of favorable common sense is a day late and a dollar short.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

On the lighter side

Aperantly some offense has been taken from the oval office.

Post cartoon isn't racist, or funny

The good/mixed parts of the Stimulust package

Stimulus: How it may affect your wallet

Congress has finalized the $787 billion economic recovery plan. Here's a look at some of the provisions geared at financial relief for individuals.

I have cut a lot out of this, only leaving the information that I find interesting. For more details read the article.

Making Work Pay Credit: The bill provides a credit equal to 6.2% of earnings up to $400 per person (up to $800 per couples who file jointly).Estimated cost: $116 billion.

One-time payments to those who don't work: Estimated cost: $14.2 billion.

Break for higher income families: The bill includes a one-year provision to protect middle- and upper-middle-income families from having to pay the Alternative Minimum Tax. The AMT was intended primarily for high-income taxpayers but has in recent years threatened to engulf those lower down the income scale. Estimated cost: $70 billion.

Temporary deduction for car buyers: The bill would let those who buy a new car, light vehicle, recreational vehicle or motorcycle in 2009 deduct state and local sales taxes as well as any excise tax charged in the purchase. The deduction would be available to those earning less than $125,000 ($250,000 for joint filers). It will be an above-the-line deduction, meaning even taxpayers who don't itemize may take it in addition to the standard deduction. Estimated cost: $1.7 billion.

Even RV's? I see no specifications that it has to be American made. What sense is this?

Temporary credit for home buyers: The bill increases the size of an existing temporary and refundable first-time home buyer credit to $8,000, up from $7,500. It also removes the requirement under current law that the credit be paid back if the buyer stays in the home for at least three years. And it would extend the credit's expiration date to Dec. 1, 2009, from July 1. Those eligible for this credit must have purchased a home after Jan. 1, 2009, and before Dec. 1, 2009.

The full credit is available to those making $75,000 or less ($150,000 for joint filers). Estimated cost: $6.6 billion.

I actually do think this is a good idea. I have mixed feelings about the forgiveness if you stay in the house for 3 years. It is basically an interest free loan.

New temporary college credit: Estimated cost: $13.9 billion.

Temporary Pell Grant increase: Estimated cost: $15.6 billion.

Temporary expansion of child tax credit: Estimated cost: $14.8 billion.

Temporary increase in earned income tax credit: Estimated cost: $4.6 billion.

Direct lifeline benefits

Health insurance help for the jobless: The bill includes provisions to help eligible jobless workers pay for health insurance under Cobra. Cobra coverage allows newly unemployed workers to keep health insurance provided by their former employers for a period of time.

For workers who have been laid off between Sept. 1, 2008, and Dec. 31, 2009, the government will subsidize 65% of their premiums under Cobra for up to 9 months.

Those people laid off between Sept. 1, 2008, and the day the stimulus law goes into effect, and who did not sign up for Cobra, will get an additional 60 days to do so and receive the subsidy.

The subsidy will be limited to those whose income for the year is $125,000 or less ($250,000 for couples filing jointly). Estimated cost: $24.7 billion.

Another provision provides states funding to help pay for expanded Medicaid rolls for workers who've lost their jobs and can't afford health care on their own or can't get Cobra coverage because their former employer doesn't offer a health care plan. Estimated cost: $87 billion.

Unemployment benefits: The bill provides jobless workers with an additional 20 weeks in unemployment benefits, and 13 weeks on top of that if they live in what's deemed a high unemployment state, of which there are now about 30. Estimated cost: $27 billion.

In addition, the weekly unemployment benefit will temporarily increase by $25 on top of the roughly $300 jobless workers currently receive. Estimated cost: $8.8 billion.

Plus, the first $2,400 of benefits in 2009 would be exempt from federal income taxes. Estimated cost: $4.7 billion.

Food stamp payments: The bill includes a provision would increase food stamp payments by 13.6%, Estimated cost: $19.9 billion.

The bill also provides assistance to help local groups providing food and shelter, elderly nutrition services such as Meals on Wheels, and a program to help food banks re-stock their shelves. Estimated cost: $350 million.

Other help for needy families: Estimated cost: $2.4 billion. To top of page

possible common sence from government?

California Senate approves long-awaited budget

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — The California Senate has approved a long-awaited budget package intended to wipe out a $42 billion deficit, possibly steering the state clear of a fiscal disaster. The budget awaits approval by the Assembly.

The vote could finally bring a drawn-out budget battle to a close after leaders agreed to ask voters to revise the state's constitution to allow open primaries for legislative, congressional and gubernatorial elections to win state Sen. Abel Maldonado's support.

Leaders also met his demands to remove a provision to increase the gas tax, freeze legislators' salaries in deficit budget years and to eliminate new office furniture budgeted for the state controller.

I think this may just be a landmark. For the legislature to not get money when the state budget is in a deficit, that is amazing enlightenment! Apparently this amazing reform is because they needed a Republican vote to pass it. How quaint.

Octuplets after 6 previous- a social value question

Octuplets' family facing foreclosure threat

The default notice shows Angela Suleman is $23,225 behind in her mortgage payments and that the house could be sold at auction beginning May 5.

However, the mother of 14 may have more time to help with the repayments after the bank official said the sale could still be delayed by the discretion of her lender, IndyMac Federal Bank of Pasadena.

"We take these things one case at a time — there's no shortage of people struggling to make their mortgage payments right now," an Indymac representative said.

"Roughly more than 10 percent of our customers are 60 or more days behind.

Not that this is a big surprise.

But it links to this article

Incidentally, the octuplets’ father is also the father of Suleman’s six other children, who were also conceived via in vitro fertilization.

According to Suleman’s mother, Angela, the octuplets’ father, is one of her daughter’s “admirers.”

Reportedly, the name David Solomon appears on four of the first six kids’ birth certificates. Earlier this week, the Associated Press reported that the octuplets last names would be Solomon. But, no one knows for sure if David Solomon is actually the name of the hopefully-not-so-proud father.

Whomever donated the sperm that resulted in Suleman giving birth to a total of 14 children likely feels he bears no responsibility for the chaos these children will experience in life. After all, once he provided his sperm to doctors, they were the ones who presumed Suleman to be a competent person and used that sperm to fertilize her eggs. They acceded to her wishes to implant the resulting embryos in her uterus. They tended to her during the pregnancy and delivered the children into the world.

What possible moral failing could be assigned to a man who merely provided the genetic material for a sterile laboratory procedure sanctioned by the law of our land, a procedure that has helped bring millions of beloved children into the arms of good and decent parents?

I believe the octuplets’ father does bear a moral burden for providing the sperm used in this birthing calamity. The 14 children fathered by Suleman’s sperm donor were born to an unemployed mother with psychological problems and no apparent insight into the consequences of her actions. But they are also the offspring of someone she apparently knows, and that person apparently has even less concern for the human lives he helped create.

The Suleman case exposes gnawing ethical questions that are not asked frequently enough about the whole process of sperm and egg donation.

At what ethical cost does a society decide to sever every meaningful connection between millions of human beings and their offspring? When the medical system is shown to be capable of the kind of reprehensible, misdirected creative impulse evident in the Suleman case, doesn’t it begin to support the notion that donors of sperm and eggs have some responsibility to make sure they aren’t helping to create chaos and suffering? Must asexual reproduction be, by its very nature, amoral reproduction?

I say we do a DNA test and if the children are his then hold him financially responsible. In any other case many states would do that automatically.
I doubt that anyone who knows this woman doesn't hear the off key calliope music every time she enters the room.

Invitro fertilization is a very expensive process. Where did the money come from for that?

Going Going Gone!!!!

Kyrgyzstan shuts U.S. air base, NATO Afghan help sought

BISHKEK (Reuters) - Kyrgyzstan's parliament voted on Thursday to close the last remaining U.S. air base in Central Asia, dealing a blow to U.S. efforts to use the region as a jumping-off point for its growing campaign in Afghanistan.

Kyrgyz Foreign Minister Kadyrbek Sarbayev said Washington would be given 180 days to wrap up operations after the parliamentary decision was signed into law.

I wish I could say this was a big shock. But, it's not!

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Burris 'welcomes' probes into Blagojevich contacts

Here we go again.

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. – An increasingly embattled Sen. Roland Burris said he "welcomes" the opportunity to answer renewed questions from authorities and elected officials about how he landed a coveted Senate appointment from ousted Gov. Rod Blagojevich.

It appears he'll have his chance.

Burris' admission that he had more contact with Blagojevich advisers about the Senate seat than he described under oath to a state House impeachment panel has prompted furious lawmakers to seek a criminal investigation into whether the Democrat committed perjury.

DUH he committed perjury.

How many more will fall?

Housing bailouts-Here we go again!

This article is an interesting read.

Headlining Obama's plan was a $75 billion Homeowner Stability Initiative, which would provide a set of incentives to lenders to cut monthly mortgage payments to sustainable levels. It defines this at no more than 31 percent of a homeowners income. Funding would come from the $700 billion financial industry bailout passed by Congress last fall.

Another key component: a new program aimed at helping homeowners said to be "under water" — with dwellings whose value have sunk below the principal still owing on their mortgages. Such mortgages have traditionally been almost impossible to refinance. But the White House said its program will help 4 to 5 million families do just that.

Obama said this change would come at "roughly zero" cost to taxpayers.

As usual this is going to be highly ineffective and much more expensive than predicted, probably deliberately so. The reality is that the Federal Government forced these banks to make loans to people who shouldn't have had them in the first place. Now ...

letter to all that voted for our Emperor Obama: humorous email from Dad

Guess you heard that 68% of "the youth vote" went to Obama. My granddaughter called this morning to tell me she was one of them. I replied with this e-mail:

The election of Obama comes down to this. Your grandmother and I, your mother and other productive wage-earning taxpayers will have their taxes increased and that means less income. Less income means we will have to cut back on basic purchases, gifts and handouts. That includes firing the Hispanic lady who cleans our house twice a month.

She just lost her job. We can't afford her anymore.

What is the economic effect of Obama's election on you personally?

Over the years, your grandmother and I have given you thousands of dollars in food, housing, cash, clothing, gifts, etc., etc. By your vote, you have chosen another family over ours for help. So in the future, if you need assistance with your rent, money for gas, tires for your car, someone to bring you lunch, 202-456-1111. That's the telephone number for the Office of the President of the United States. I'm sure Mr. Obama will be happy to send a check from his personal or business accounts or leave cash in an envelope taped to his front door.

It's like this. Those who vote for the president should consider what the impact of an election will be on the nation as a whole and not just be concerned with what they can get for themselves.

What Obama voters don't seem to realize is that the government's money comes from taxes collected from taxpaying families. Raising taxes on productive people means they will have less money to spend on their families.

Congratulations on your choice. For future reference, you might attempt to add up all you've received from us, your mom, Mike's parents and others and compare it to what you expect to get over the next four years from Mr. Obama.

To congratulate Mr. Obama and to make sure you're on the list for handouts, write to:

The White House
1600 Pennsylvania Ave. NW
Washington , DC 20500

Love you kids, but call the number listed above when you need help.


Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Why are many pools closed across the U.S.

Once again the government is nanny-stating us to death because of 1 persons negligence.

Many Garrison Pools will close if not in compliance with new Legislation

Eustis pools closed due to new law.
Stewart, Hunter pools close
Under the law, all public pools and spas must have compliant drain covers installed and a second anti-entrapment system installed when there is only a single main drain. Congress gave all affected pool and spa operators one year to comply with this act. Public pools and spas that operate year-round were expected to be in compliance by Dec. 19, 2008. Seasonal public pools and spas, currently closed, must be in compliance with the law on the day they reopen this year.

The law is named for the granddaughter of former Secretary of State James A. Baker, III. Baker joined Graeme's mother, Nancy Baker, and Safe Kids USA in a three-year advocacy campaign for the legislation. In 2002, at the age of 7, Graeme Baker died in a spa after the powerful suction of a drain entrapped her under water.
I guess I shouldn't be too surprised. Even though Bush signed off on it, it was started with Secretary of State James A. Baker III because his granddaughter died. Why was her mother, Nancy Baker, not paying closer attention? So now we all have to pay! I really find this a double whammy as not only is this a required expectation of military life, on an already stretched budget the military and all other non-backyard pools are being required to make this costly replacement/repair. The second part is that pools are not just recreational. Pools are also used for physical therapy for people who need the exercise but can not bear the weight.

For more information about the Pool and Spa Safety Act, how to comply, and which companies have been certified to manufacturer drain covers and safety vacuum release systems, please log on to:

Spuratic posting this week.

Raging Dave's posts will be few and far between this week. Next week he will be back with normal web access and posting away as usual. Until then I will see what I can do to fill in the blanks.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

The Celebration of Pork continues!

Since the Federal Government is porking it up, I'm going to continue to showcase pork for a little while. You've seen the Breakfast of the Gods, the Breakfast 'o Gods Ragin' style, and today I give you freshly smoked Andouille sausage.

Now, all you Andouille purists, no, this is not made with beef, nor is it stuffed in beef intestine. It's pork, pure pork and spices, because I can get pork for $1.29 a pound and so that's what I use to make sausage. But the spices are pure Andouille, to the point where I just ate some and my ears are burning. Great flavor, great kick, and it was smoked until fully cooked over a mix of hickory and black walnut.

Mmmmmmmm, porky goodness!

Quote of the Day

From the comments on this post at The Breda Fallacy.

The advocates of this stimulus are like the physicians of two hundred years ago. Bleeding the economy does no more to promote it's health than bleeding a patient does to cure the flu. I know there are economists who have figured this out, but I think they are viewed as quacks by their colleagues who work for the government.

I think I can safely say that the American I know and love is gone. Kevin Baker agrees. If anything, he's a bit more pessimistic than I am. I'll I know is that I'm stacking up on ammo.

Headin' out

As usual, the military likes to send me hither and yonder, so I'm heading out way to darn early tomorrow morning. I should be able to post from where I'm at, but don't expect much until the late evenings.

I'm racking up the frequent flier miles these days.