Wednesday Morning Open Mic for February 9, 2011

Back to the open mic topics! I will have to wait and see how my night plays out before I know how this open mic area is going to look in the morning. I have three topics picked out that I want to write about but I am not sure I am going to have the time to write the commentary under the article at the same time. So I will begin to do so and if need be I will post the unfinished ones as articles and then go back and add the comments I have on them in the morning when I can find a few minutes. I will also be trying to see how the open mic works with the new format. It used to be a lot easier to distinguish between different comment threads. But now without the numbering and without the lines designating so it may be more difficult to see the separation between topics. If that becomes the case we will try to figure out a new way! So let me know throughout the day how you are doing with it. I have three topics planned and a fourth if I find time.

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  1. USWeapon Topic #1

    Obama to Call for $53 Billion for High-Speed Rail

    President Obama is calling for a six-year, $53 billion investment in high-speed rail, as he seeks to use infrastructure spending to jumpstart job creation.

    An initial $8 billion investment will be part of the budget plan Obama is set to release Monday. If Congress approves the plan, the money would go toward developing or improving trains that travel up to 250 miles per hour, and connecting existing rail lines to new projects. The White House wouldn’t say where the money for the rest of the program would come from, though it’s likely Obama would seek funding in future budgets or transportation bills.

    Vice President Joe Biden and Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood were to announce the initiative during an event Tuesday in Philadelphia.

    Obama’s push for high-speed rail investments is part of his broad goal of creating jobs in the short-term and increasing American competitiveness for the future through new spending on infrastructure, education and innovation. During last month’s State of the Union address, Obama said he wanted to give 80 percent of Americans access to high-speed rail within 25 years.

    At the same time he’s calling for new spending on sectors like high-speed rail in the upcoming budget, Obama also has pledged to cut overall spending as he seeks to bring down the nation’s mounting deficit. The White House has said environmental programs for the Great Lakes, and block grants for community service and community development are among the programs that will face cuts.

    But it’s unlikely the cuts Obama proposes in the budget will be enough to appease the GOP. Republicans now controlling the House have promised to slash domestic agencies’ budgets by nearly 20 percent for the coming year.

    Obama’s call for increased spending on high-speed rail projects is nothing new. He’s long seen the sector as an area of opportunity for creating jobs and improving the nation’s transportation system. His administration awarded $10 billion in federal grants for high-speed rail projects last year, including $2.3 billion for California to begin work on an 800-mile-long, high-speed rail line tying Sacramento and the San Francisco Bay area to Los Angeles and San Diego; and $1.25 billion to Florida to build a rail line connecting Tampa on the West Coast with Orlando in the middle of the state, eventually going south to Miami.

    Last summer, Obama laid out a plan to invest $50 billion in highways, bridges, transit, high-speed rail and airports, adding it to the first year of a six-year transportation bill. Congress didn’t act on the proposal before adjourning last year, but LaHood has said he hopes to have a bill on Obama’s desk by August.

    Read the rest of the article here:  http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2011/02/08/obama-billion-high-speed-rail/#

    OK, I know that we have touched lightly on this subject  in the past. But I have to ask for everyone’s opinion on it this time. I don’t know of anyone who is interested in this being a way forward for our transportation. Literally no one. I can understand the idea of creating a good metro service in some cities where they are not available. If you made it clean and made so that people felt safe using it, you may end up with a decent number of people using it to commute to work rather than sitting in rush hour traffic. But it is really nothing more than that. The high speed rails that the government seems to favor that will move people from one city to another are simply not something that I see a demand for.

    And here is why. We are not that kind of people any longer. Americans have a love affair with the automobile. It is ours. And we are not going to easily be persuaded to give it up.

    What I secretly fear, and I freely admit that I have nothing to show me that it is a fear based in truth, is that the idea of high speed rails is actually something that is quietly pushed by the environmental folks. They would really like to get rid of vehicles. But the only way to do that is to first provide an alternative to point to. Once a high speed rail is in place, the government can begin putting regulations in place, drastically raise the price of gasoline, and whatever else they want to do that makes driving a car slowly go away. Again, I have never heard this idea espoused by anyone other than the voices in my head. But it kind of sounds like something the government would do.

    Plus can you imagine the imminent domain claims that will come about as they seize private property to make way for their new high speed rails…..

    • gmanfortruth says:

      THis has Liberal Global Warming Bullshit written all over it. Get the people to rely on more government crap, that will prove to be unreliable (due to weather, ect). Obama has no idea about economics, he’s clueless, and he’s proving that he didn’t have the experience or knowledge to lead this country. At best, he’s the worst puppet to take the office, he’s a dick, he’s become a lonely ant, running in circles to find the colony that don’t exist anymore. He’s the doctor in “Lost in Space”!

    • Buck the Wala says:

      Generally speaking I’m a fan of high speed rail – the US needs some alternatives to driving (takes too long) and flying (too expensive), especially for mid-haul trips. It’d be a good investment.

      My problem with this proposal though is where the high-speed rail is to be built. Now nothing against California, but LA to San Fran? Probably a good route to build this thing later on, but not to start. I believe the other route was Tampa to Orlando or Miami!? For an initial project this should be built on the Northeast Corridor connecting DC to NYC to Boston – this is the highest trafficked train corridor and the only train route, I believe, that actually makes money.

      • Sure….build it. But not with tax money. I would be against my tax money building a high speed rail to anywhere…..you and I both know that it will end up subsidized….like Amtrak which needs to go the way of the dinosaur.

        • Ray Hawkins says:

          @D13 – I’ve done some work in DFW area and my wife travels there frequently for business. What are your thoughts on the sprawl down there? I remember being in the Plano area – traveling a ginormous highway to get to a land (from DFW airport) of a 1000 strip malls and lookalike corporate parks – I thought how beautiful the area must have looked before the urban planners there decided 18-lane highways (I am exaggerating but not by much) were the wave of the future to complement the enclave-like strip malls. I thought then that the area would be prime for some mass transit but it wasn’t clear what was in place or what was planned?

          Thoughts?

          • Isn’t it amazing how the sprawl gets when you have land? What actually happened back in the 80’s. The climate, low taxes, no state income tax on personal or business, multple municipalities all competing with one another for property tax revenues, very friendly people (not afraid to say hello or will stop and help you change a flat or will come to your aid in a parking lot) brought a ton of business’ in. Most of the strip centers are actually locally owned. There is land in abundance. Ranches that developers bought and made into middle to upper middle class enclaves that incorporated into little municipalities. And in Texas, a city cannot just annex without a vote…and it takes 2/3 vote. So you have strip centers located in the midst of all these enclaves. For example, Dallas alone is located over 340 square miles in 5 counties. It is not condusive to mass transit because of the size of the area. The business center of Dallas is not located in downtown Dallas…it is located in 6 or 7 areas in and around Dallas within this 340 square miles. Everyone drives an SUV or pickup truck. We have a train that runs from Fort Worth to Dallas now and it stays empty most of the time. Parking and driving is not a problem as it is in New York or LA or Chicago. Downtown Dallas or downtown Fort Worth only house less than 2% of the population. When you take in the 12 county metropolitan area….you are looking at 6.1 million people in over 8,500 square miles. That is why we drive cars. To have a mass transit to cover that population in that distance is impossible and economically not feasible.

            Yes, Fort Worth is a beautiful city as well that sits in the plains of west Texas….Cattle land….plenty of it. But when you consider the metroplex area….Dallas, Arlington, Fort Worth….it is HUGE.

            One last note. To drive from Southwest Fort Worth to North East Dallas (Rockwell area) is over one hour at speeds of 65 mph on the freeways.

      • Obama called on lawmakers to make government more responsive and efficient. He proposed a freeze on non-defense discretionary spending that would save $400 billion from the budget over the next decade and endorsed additional cuts of $78 billion in the defense budget.

        “We have to confront the fact that our government spends more than it takes in,” he said. “That is not sustainable.”

      • Ray Hawkins says:

        When I did consulting work in NYC I commuted daily from Philly to NY – the trains were always packed to the gills. I am sure if asked those riders or any of the thousands I used to share commuter trains with from where I live into the city they would show zero interest in using a motor vehicle.

        • gmanfortruth says:

          Ray, Hope you are well and warm today. It seems D13 and Murf are enjoying some of our weather for a change. 🙂

          I see the train issue as an urban issue. I don’t believe that those in rural areas should help foot the bill for something they will likely never use. JMHO 🙂

          • Ray Hawkins says:

            @G-Man – the witch’s tit slapped me in the face this morning when I took the dogs out.

            Years ago I enjoyed a cold & brisk morning with a hot cup of coffee and I’d smoke a butt or three while the dogs did their business. Now I don’t smoke. The dogs don’t feel like waiting for me to make coffee. And the creaky knees stiffen up when I hit the cold.

            The economics of supporting mass transit is a problem. That I cannot argue.

    • If high speed trains were going to be the future the railroad companies can spend their own money on it. Except they know if they wait long enough they can get the government to spend everyones tax dollars instead.

    • A Puritan Descendant says:

      Just another government boondoggle.

    • The CA voters floated a bond to start the HSR from Sacramento to San Diego. It is planned to start in Sac so it can go down the mostly flat Central Valley to Bakersfield. The first section scheduled for construction is in the middle from nowhere to nowhere. They will avoid collecting fares this way.
      As with most of these large unwanted elitist projects, it is designed to keep the unions happy. Passenger rail is doomed to failure in this country because our cities are too spread out and too far apart. It takes a car to get to the rail head and then another car to leave it.
      It would be better to work on high speed frieght rail than passenger. If we could speed up the movement of goods and remove trucks from the hiways, passenger traffic would move more feely and fuel costs for freight would go down.
      That’s my quick answer, gotta go for now.

      • Buck the Wala says:

        Not a bad idea — high speed freight rail. Has that been instituted anywhere else?

        I gotta disagree with you on the passenger rail though — in certain areas it makes a ton of sense (see, Northeast Corridor). Also high speed rail to connect cities to airports in highly trafficked metro areas would be beneficial.

      • I like the idea. But there’s no reason you can’t use the same rail for both passenger and freight, is there?

        I see it in the subway in the city (or at least I used to in my younger years) – the garbage train would come through the station at 2AM on the same tracks as the passenger lines. No reason you couldn’t expand on that idea.

    • Bottom Line says:

      ” President Obama is calling for a… ” = Bad idea

      ” President ________ is calling for a… ” = Bad idea

      ” President… ” = Bad idea

      • President Obama is calling for..
        – a reevaluation of the “War on Drugs,” with a focus on ending the ban on marijuana
        – a repeal of DOMA
        – lower taxes on the Middle Class
        – an easier path toward citizen ship and permissibility of immigration
        – an end to commitment of US troops in Iraq
        – a national day of appreciation for female Russian tennis players

        These are bad ideas?

        • Bottom Line says:

          Matt,

          “President” Obummer calling for anything is a bad idea because ANY president calling for ANYTHING is a bad idea, because presidents are a bad idea, because they are heads of “STATE”, and states are a bad idea.

          Who are they to say anything about what we do? They should have no say in any of those things you mentioned.

          Whether I agree with it, whether it works in my favor or not, …the fact that they are saying it is what makes it a bad idea.

          • So you would prefer he does absolutely nothing than try to get rid of some of the bad things?

            I specifically picked things that are walking back the excesses of government (ie, govt overstepping on personal freedoms by restricting private drug use). If the govt tries to undo that, that should, almost definitionally, be a good thing.

            • Bottom Line says:

              Matt – ” So you would prefer he does absolutely nothing than try to get rid of some of the bad things? ”

              BL – I don’t give a shit what he does or does not do, …so long as it does not violate my rights and freedoms.

              Matt – ” I specifically picked things that are walking back the excesses of government (ie, govt overstepping on personal freedoms by restricting private drug use). If the govt tries to undo that, that should, almost definitionally, be a good thing. ”

              BL – Good is relative. Half empty/half full blah blah blah.

              ANY government is an excess.

              A burglar decides that he is gonna start breaking into people’s homes without stealing anything, …should we praise him?

              No, because he shouldn’t be breaking into homes. Shoot him on sight.

              If the government outlawed breathing, then repealed the law, should we rejoice that they are downsizing?

              No, who are they to say whether we can breathe or not in the first place?

              If I give you permission to make love to your wife, do you thank me?

              No, you’d think “who the hell is BL to say what me and the Mrs do anyway? ”

              If you were mugged on your way home from work, but the mugger gave you back a $20 for cab fare, do you thank him?

              No, It’s YOUR money!

        • Matt…Matt….Matt….

          a reevaluation of the “War on Drugs,” with a focus on ending the ban on marijuana………..cool but treat it exactly the same as liquor.

          a repeal of DOMA……..cool…suspend the Federal Law and leave it to the States.

          lower taxes on the Middle Class…….cool…do not raise texes on corporations or the rich to make up for and change the current tax system to a fair tax system where everybody, even the poor, pays.

          an easier path toward citizen ship and permissibility of immigration…..cool on 1/2. not cool on 1/2. And eliminate entirley anchor babies.

          an end to commitment of US troops in Iraq…….cool but you left out Afghanistan and the rest of the world.

          a national day of appreciation for female Russian tennis players…. Who gives a raptors ass?

          NOw…they are not bad ideas…had to be tweaked a little.

        • Re-evaluation of War on Drugs = good, as long as it leads to cutting or ending it.
          Repeal of DOMA = repeal of damn near anything is good at this point
          Lower Taxes on middle class = Good, except I dont like his definition of middle class. Hell, I dont like the class BS at all, just lower the taxes. And lowering them makes no difference if you continue to spend it just hides the taxes in inflation. In fact, by hiding taxes in inflation, it harms those without assets the most (the poor and lower middle class) because they cannot earn interest and invest in ways to compensate for the loss of value in their money. Hell with lowering taxes, lower spending.
          Easier path to citizenship = good thing.
          End of US involvement in Iraq war = good thing
          National Day of appreciation? I presume a joke?

    • Buck,

      If it was a “good investment” it would already been done.

      It is not a good investment – it is a huge waste of money.

    • High Speed Rail:
      I like the concept on paper, especially if you include the idea of high speed freight rail. In fact, for the US, that is about all that makes sense. The thing is, if it is a good investment, then private ventures should, and would, invest in it. Government should not do it nor spend taxpayer dollars on it. If it requires government intervention to acquire the land, then it is no good. If it requires taxpayer dollars, then it is not a good investment.

      I do not necessarily buy the “It wont work here because Americans love their cars”. That is not a universal concept. I know of more and more people who are discovering the joys of not having a car. The drop in bills not needing insurance or a car payment or car maintenance or fuel costs is significant. That said, this growing number of people are ALL in metro areas, where population density is high and business centers are close to residential. People need to be able to get to work AND the store, and have a variety of employment opportunities to be comfortable without a vehicle. As such, interconnecting passenger rail between cities is ridiculous. MAYBE, as buck mentioned, you do rail between major cities in the NE Corridor, where population density is high, and you have a lot of people who already do not drive, and you have a significant amount of city to city travel. Still, to say it will never work is to say that culture cannot change in a country. It can. As cities grow in density, mass transit becomes more viable, and cars diminish.

      The thing is, business travel itself is quickly dropping. Telecommunications is quickly allaying the need for in-person meetings. Certainly there remains, and will always remain, some demand for that, but it is not like it used to be. Remote meetings are becoming more and more popular.

      No sprawled out cities or residential areas will benefit significantly from high speed rail. You would end up with too many stops for high speed to be efficient, or to many park and rides to save anything on anyone’s commute, either fuel or time. Many areas of the country just do not work for mass transit at all, much less inter-city rail.

      The only thing that really makes sense is freight rail. The mid-west food production to the coastal population centers. The coal and oil production to the energy production plants. The few remaining manufacturing plants to major consumption centers. These are things that might make sense, and with the speed, might include a lot of mail/fedex/UPS type shipping as well to get things across the country faster for less than flying. Again, however, if it is a good investment, let private industry do the investing. At least the will make better decisions on where to try it than the government. California? Really? Build it right on the fault line why don’t you?

  2. USWeapon Topic #2

    Palin, Daughter Bristol Seek to Trademark Names

    Sarah Palin is attempting to trademark her name ahead of a possible 2012 presidential run.

    The former Alaska governor and 2008 Republican vice presidential candidate filed paperwork with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office in November to register the trademark.

    The federal office is seeking more information and examples of usage. The office is also seeking additional details for the application submitted in September by Palin’s daughter, Bristol, a contestant on ABC’s “Dancing with the Stars” last year.

    Palin’s attorney, John J. Tiemessen, said Friday that he has six months to provide the information.

    “We are preparing to respond to all their questions for both,” he told The Associated Press by telephone from his office in Fairbanks.

    He said he couldn’t disclose the reasons why both applied for trademarks because of attorney-client privilege.

    But Seattle lawyer Marshall J. Nelson, with the firm Davis Wright Tremaine LLP, says it’s not that unusual for entertainers to trademark their names.

    “Everybody’s name is sort of their brand, and once it gets associated with goods or services, then it functions as a trademark,” Nelson said. Once a name is trademarked, he said, it gives the holder additional remedies to recover profits and damages if someone uses the name inappropriately.

    That holds true for politicians as well as entertainers.

    Read the rest of the article here:  http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2011/02/08/palin-daughter-bristol-seek-trademark-names/#

    Really. I don’t even know what to say. I guess since it is Sarah the appropriate response is….

    WTF

    • gmanfortruth says:

      I see this as holding her enemies (the left) to account for the slander she has dealt with. She’s one hated women by the Libbies, this is her answer, and a legally good on. If she gets the patent, the left wing whackballs can’t continue the onslaught without being held liable in court. Smart move on her part. I’m not a Palin fan, but the Left is so out of touch with reality, they need shut up somehow, and this would work.

      • Buck the Wala says:

        Nope, this just goes to show that she’s a whackjob who only cares about making money. A trademark will help ensure that no one else can profit off her name. It will not provide any protection for libel/slander – even with a trademark she is still a public figure.

        • Is there any law that has been established that public figures are immune from slander/libel? I have always wondered whythere has notbeen luits filed against some of the stuff that has been said about political figures. Not sure that I can agree with the fact that just because they are public figures….that they cannot be slandered like anyone else.

          • Buck the Wala says:

            Since they are public figures and hold themselves out as such (which Palin clearly is and does), there is a much higher standard applied to win a slander/libel case. You need to show ‘actual malice’.

            I’m sure many here are going to jump up and shout – there’s been tons of actual malice with statements about Palin! True, there have been some – but remember, the statement’s truth is a defense! 🙂

            Also, let’s look at statements made about Obama (and any other modern day politician) – there is some actual malice there too. But politicians tend not to sue for such statements because it generally winds up hurting their own image – it shows weakness; that they can’t take the beating that comes with running for office.

            For the case that established this higher threshold — New York Times Co. v. Sullivan

      • Ya know Gman….I have asked numerous times why people hate Palin and NO ONE has come through with a reason….other than she is a ditz. I stil do not know why everyone is afraid of her. Her policies are certainly less dangerous that Obamas and Pelosi, et al……she will not get the Repub nomination. Is it because she is a female? So, I will ask once again…..Why is Palin such a target? What makes her dangerous?

        • I think someone said it on here before and it makes perfect sense. The MSM keep her in the news and make it sound like she is a viable candidate for the republicans, because the democrats hate her so much so that Obama or whoever the democratic candidate is will use it for fundraising.

          • YOu really think people are that shallow and ill informed that it will make a difference…..it seems to me and most of my conservative leaning friends, that the msm and the left contradict their own values (ie…equal rights, women’s rights, etc) by trashing her all the time. I just don’t see it. For example, and I probably missed it somewhere, Buck calls her a whack job as do others….but no one says why. I think it is because she is a strong female that likes to hunt.

            • Buck the Wala says:

              Nothing to do with her being a strong female.

              I don’t hate Palin herself – I don’t know her personally. But I hate the idea of her, or someone like her, being President. The woman not only is unintelligent on the issues, but she downright rejects reasoned thought. She has her own conclusions and that’s good enough for her; well, that’s not nearly good enough for me and I’m surprised that’s good enough for many of you here who routinely call for research and logic.

              • Ok Buck, fair enough. If it is her policies you do not like…I can understand…but her policies are definitely conservative and you are not a conservative. I get that and can understand that. Obama has his own conclusions and his is all that counts according to you and him..so it is a two way street. You are reacting the same way that I react when I do not understand your blind following of the Liberal Agenda which I think is more harmful to us than anything that she could do…..but that is MY opinion and like you, I am entitled to it. But….thank you for answering. I can understand your statement of hating the idea or her or anyone like her being president….that reflects policies…like I hate most of Obama’s policies and political thinking.

              • Ray Hawkins says:

                @D13 – the issue is she has no policies! I’d be happy to give careful thought to what she proposes is she’d actually propose something for chrissakes! The easy thing to do is simply attack the guy in office without offering what you believe to be a viable alternative (hell – I can do that and have!). The easy thing to do is repeat the same over-generalized crap that doesn’t put you onto any policy hook (e.g. her criticism of Obama on Egypt – suggesting he is “hiding” something but then she never offers a “here is what I would do”).

                The reason folks such as myself throw their hands in the air is that from day to day…..from tweet to tweet…..from FB posting to FB posting she cannot decide if she is an authoritarian conservative or a libertarian conservative – which makes it damn near impossible to determine if she is merely a “brand” or a viable politician or a worthwhile social/political commentator.

                😉

              • Buck the Wala says:

                The trademark seems to indicate she sees herself as just a brand…

              • @Ray…ok…she is a brand. Why all the hoopla? Why the hate and the rhetoric? She gets up and espouses no more and no less that Obama or others. She will not get the repub nomination nor is she presidential material….but neither was Obama and he got elected so you may have a precedent there and that could be causing the fear, I guess. But if she is a mere trademark or a brand…why not simply ignore her? Why does the media hound her and her family….for what reason? I see NONE. She is no threat other than a great fundraiser and she puts butts in the seats better than anyone. But, what is the fear?

                As I said, she does not get my vote or support but I simply do not understand the fear factor. Unless it is the fact that you or anyone cant figure her out???? It makes no sense. I am only amazed at her for one reason….she fills up stadiums better than anyone in history for fudraising…perhaps that is it?

              • @ RAy, once again…..one thing that came to mind about the fund raising. I have a great friend who is an ardent Obama supporter and remains so. Consequently, we have some spirited discussions….one thing came to mind he told me. He went to a fund raiser in Kansas City where Obama was the key note speaker and he (my friend) was sorely disappointed because there were only about 1,500 people there. When Palin spoke…she pulls 10,000…….in the same city. His comments were very caustic about that. Then she comes to Dallas, pretty much a democrat city for the most part (Dallas is our token “progressive”city not Austin) and promptly fills a 20,000 seat stadium as a fund raiser for another candidate. He gets really upset at it and attacks her personally.

                I do not see her as any different on the issues as the majority of the candidates out there. Both the left and the right criticize each other without offering alternatives all the time….Obama is a master of that. ( The most recent is the speech to the Chamber ). So…..since both sides do it….what is the difference?

              • @Ray

                the issue is she has no policies! I’d be happy to give careful thought to what she proposes is she’d actually propose something for chrissakes! The easy thing to do is simply attack the guy in office without offering what you believe to be a viable alternative (hell – I can do that and have!). The easy thing to do is repeat the same over-generalized crap that doesn’t put you onto any policy hook (e.g. her criticism of Obama on Egypt – suggesting he is “hiding” something but then she never offers a “here is what I would do”).

                The reason folks such as myself throw their hands in the air is that from day to day…..from tweet to tweet…..from FB posting to FB posting she cannot decide if she is an authoritarian conservative or a libertarian conservative – which makes it damn near impossible to determine if she is merely a “brand” or a viable politician or a worthwhile social/political commentator.

                Hmmmm, so maybe the best strategy for Palin is to run on a platform of “Hope and Change”

              • Ray Hawkins says:

                @D13 – why you ask? Because it makes a great story! Whenever there is a slow news day Sarah is very reliable for being a lightning rod for most anything.

                Look – let her followers follow as they may. Its their right to do so and I applaud Sarah for promptly emptying their pockets with her speaking engagements and books and……

                I don’t think there is really fear anymore with her. She is seen by many as alternately a freakshow or as a merely an interesting story. The net being she cannot be considered a serious contender for anything in 2012.

              • Ray Hawkins says:

                @Naten – that platform was already very successfully used.

                Maybe “Despair and Regression”?

            • I Really, really do think people are that shallow and ill informed. look at mathius 1st law: People are stupid. otherwise there wouldn’t be this thing called “Jersey Shore” on TV.

              • But do people watch Jersey Shore because they’re dumb, or are they dumb because they watch Jersey Shore?

                Emilius watched The Bachelor while I was in the room the other day.. I’m pretty sure I hemorrhaged at least 15 IQ points.

              • owwww…..that was what that was.

        • gmanfortruth says:

          Colonel, I’ve wondered this myself. The only thing I can think of, is during the campaign, the kool-aid drinking minions were furious because she made many negative comments about their Messiah. When people get that rock-star affection towards somebody, they go blind to the facts, and in typical liberal style attack the messenger, because their to damn ignorant to attack the message.

          • I can see that as well, my friend, and I see the messenger being attacked more than the message. I feel the same about Obama. I do not like the personal attacks on him as a person either. I correct many conservative friends on personal attacks…..his policies…fair game….who he runs with….fair game….who he supports…fair game…….but name calling and slander….is bull shit and gets away from the real problem he represents. The same for Palin were I from the left side of the scale.

        • Ray Hawkins says:

          @D13 – I gave you an answer before (which you agreed with) – she is a quitter. I could add to the list but what is the point?

          • Ray Hawkins Says:
            February 9, 2011 at 10:11 am

            @D13 – the issue is she has no policies!

            Sorry Ray, but that is not true. Drill baby, drill is her pitch for her complete energy policy. Contrast that with Obama’s invest in green policy.
            Which do you support?
            Which is worse?

            I think the answer to either will come back to another issue.
            If you are concerned with the economy and jobs, Palin is a clear winner. If you think the environment is at risk, you support a forceful shift to green energy, no matter the cost.

            At the very least, Palin has been clear on her policy view on energy, jobs and the economy.

            • Buck the Wala says:

              Drill Baby Drill! is suddenly a well-thought out policy proposal?

              You readily admit that is is ‘her complete energy policy’…instead of catchphrases (which I’m sure she’ll soon be trademarking as well), let’s see some actual though out comprehensive policy initiatives.

              • The complete policy: Drill, baby, drill for oil in baby caribou skulls after you shoot them from a helicopter using the AK47 that is your constitutional right, dontcha know?

            • Ray Hawkins says:

              @LOI – maybe you’re onto something. (“Drill baby drill”)

              A concise economic policy could be “Git-r-done”

              Foreign policy = “I’m comin’ to get ya” (Think the House of Pain tune “Jump Around”)

              Transportation Policy? = “If the Lord had meant us to fly, He would have given us aluminum skin.”

              Bi-partisanship? = “That boy is more slippery than snot on a doorknob”

              And to be clear LOI – I can think the environment is “at risk” but that does not require me to support a “forceful shift to green energy”

              • Ray Hawkins says:

              • Ray Hawkins says:

                Oh – and the counter to the socialist eating policies of michelle obama:

              • Obama’s Message to America: The Era of Big Government is Back, Now Help Me Pay For It
                by Sarah Palin on Thursday, January 27, 2011 at 12:22am

                The President’s State of the Union address boiled down to this message: “The era of big government is here as long as I am, so help me pay for it.” He dubbed it a “Winning The Future” speech, but the title’s acronym seemed more accurate than much of the content.

                Americans are growing impatient with a White House that still just doesn’t get it. The President proves he doesn’t understand that the biggest challenge facing our economy is today’s runaway debt when he states we want to make sure “we don’t get buried under a mountain a debt.” That’s the problem! We are buried under Mt. McKinley-sized debt. It’s at the heart of what is crippling our economy and taking our jobs. This is the concern that should be on every leader’s mind. Our country’s future is at stake, and we’re rapidly reaching a crisis point. Our government is spending too much, borrowing too much, and growing too much. Debt is stifling our private sector growth, and millions of Americans are desperately looking for work.

                So, what was the President’s response? At a time when we need quick, decisive, and meaningful action to stop our looming debt crisis, President Obama gave us what politicians have for years: promises that more federal government “investment” (read: more government spending) is the solution.

                He couched his proposals to grow government and increase spending in the language of “national greatness.” This seems to be the Obama administration’s version of American exceptionalism – an “exceptionally big government,” in which a centralized government declares that we shall be great and innovative and competitive, not by individual initiative, but by government decree. Where once he used words like “hope” and “change,” the President may now talk about “innovation” and “competition”; but the audacity of his recycled rhetoric no longer inspires hope.

                Real leadership is more than just words; it’s deeds. The President’s deeds don’t lend confidence that we can trust his words spoken last night.

                In the past, he promised us he’d make job creation his number one priority, while also cutting the deficit, eliminating waste, easing foreclosures in the housing markets, and making “tough decisions about opening new offshore areas for oil and gas development.” What did we get? A record $1.5 trillion deficit, an 84% increase in federal spending, a trillion dollar stimulus that stimulated nothing but more Tea Party activism, 9+% unemployment (or 17% percent if you include those who have stopped looking for work or settled for part time jobs), 2.9 million home foreclosures last year, and a moratorium on offshore drilling that has led to more unemployment and $100 dollar a barrel oil.

                The President glossed over the most important issue he needed to address last night: spending. He touched on deficit reduction, but his proposals amount to merely a quarter of the cuts in discretionary spending proposed by his own Deficit Reduction Commission, not to mention the $2.5 trillion in cuts over ten years suggested by the Republican Study Committee. And while we appreciate hearing the same President who gave us the trillion dollar Stimulus Package boondoggle finally concede that we need to cut earmarks, keep in mind that earmarks are a $16 billion drop in the $1.5 trillion ocean that is the federal deficit. Budget cuts won’t be popular, but they are vitally necessary or we will soon be a bankrupt country. It’s the responsibility of a leader to make sure the American people fully understand this.

                As it is, the American people should fully understand that when the President talks about increased “investments” he’s talking about increased government spending. Cut away the rhetoric and you’ll also see that the White House’s real message on economic reform wasn’t one of substantial spending cuts, but of tax increases. When the President talks about simplifying the tax code, he’s made it clear that he’s not looking to cut your taxes; he’s looking for additional tax revenue from you. The tax “simplification” suggested by the President’s Deficit Reduction Commission would end up raising taxes by $1 trillion over the next decade. So, instead of bringing spending down in line with revenue, the President wants to raise our taxes to pay for his massive spending increases. It’s tax and spend in reverse: spend first, tax later.

                And the Obama administration has a lot of half-baked ideas on where to spend our hard-earned money in pursuit of “national greatness.” These “investments,” as the President calls them, include everything from solar shingles to high speed trains. As we struggle to service our unsustainable debt, the only thing these “investments” will get us is a bullet train to bankruptcy.

                With credit ratings agency Moody’s warning us that the federal government must reverse the rapid growth of national debt or face losing our triple-A rating, keep in mind that a nation doesn’t look so “great” when its credit rating is in tatters.

                Of course, it’s nice to give a speech calling for “investment” and “competition” in order to reach greatness. It’s quite another thing to advocate and implement policies that truly encourage such things. Growing the federal government is not the answer.

                Take education for example. It’s easy to declare the need for better education, but will throwing even more money at the issue really help? As the Cato Institute’s Michael Tanner notes, “the federal government has increased education spending by 188 percent in real terms since 1970 without seeing any substantial improvement in test scores.” If you want “innovation” and “competition,” then support school choice initiatives and less federal control over our state and local districts.

                When it comes to energy issues, we heard more vague promises last night as the President’s rhetoric suggested an all-of-the-above solution to meeting our country’s energy needs. But again, his actions point in a different direction. He offers a vision of a future powered by what he refers to as “clean energy,” but how we will get there from here remains a mystery. In the meantime, he continues to stymie the responsible development of our own abundant conventional energy resources – the stuff we actually use right now to fuel our economy. His continued hostility towards domestic drilling means hundreds of thousands of well-paying jobs will not be created and millions of Americans will end up paying more at the pump. It also means we’ll continue to transfer hundreds of billions of U.S. dollars to foreign regimes that don’t have America’s interests at heart.

                On the crucial issue of entitlement reform, the President offered nothing. This is shocking, because as he himself explained back in April 2009, “if we want to get serious about fiscal discipline…we will have to get serious about entitlement reform.” Even though the Medicare Trust Fund will run out of funds a mere six years from now, and the Social Security Trust Fund is filled mainly with IOUs, the President opted to kick the can down the road yet again. And once again, he was disingenuous when he suggested that meaningful reform would automatically expose people’s Social Security savings to a possible stock market crash. As Rep. Paul Ryan showed in his proposed Roadmap, and others have explained, it’s possible to come up with meaningful reform proposals that tackle projected shortfalls and offer workers more options to invest our own savings while still guaranteeing invested funds so they won’t fall victim to sudden swings in the stock market.

                And what about that crucial issue confronting so many Americans who are struggling today – the lack of jobs? The President came to office promising that his massive, multi-trillion dollar spending programs would keep unemployment below 8%; but the lack of meaningful, pro-free market reforms in yesterday’s speech means his legacy will almost certainly be four years of above 8% unemployment, regardless of how much he increases federal spending (or perhaps I should say because of how much he’s increased it).

                Perhaps the most nonsensical bit of double-speak we heard last night was when the President said that hitting job-creators with a tax increase isn’t “punishing their success. It’s about promoting America’s success.” But government taking more money from the small business entrepreneurs who create up to 70% of all jobs in this country is not “promoting America’s success.” It’s a disincentive that will result in less job creation. It is, in fact, punishing the success of the very people who created the innovation that the President has supposedly been praising.

                Despite the flowery rhetoric, the President doesn’t seem to understand that individuals make America great, not the federal government. American greatness lies in the courage and hard work of individual innovators and entrepreneurs. America is an exceptional nation in part because we have historically been a country that rewards and affirms individual initiative and offers people the freedom to invest and create as they see fit – not as a government bureaucrat does. Yes, government can play an appropriate role in our free market by ensuring a level playing field to encourage honest competition without picking winners and losers. But by and large, government should get out of the way. Unfortunately, under President Obama’s leadership, government growth is in our way, and his “big government greatness” will not help matters.

                Consider what his “big government greatness” really amounts to. It’s basically a corporatist agenda – it’s the collaboration between big government and the big businesses that have powerful friends in D.C. and can afford to hire big lobbyists. This collaboration works in a manner that distorts and corrupts true free market capitalism. This isn’t just old-fashioned big government liberalism; this is crony capitalism on steroids. In the interests of big business, we’re “investing” in technologies and industries that venture capitalists tell us are non-starters, but which will provide lucrative returns for some corporate interests who have major investments in these areas. In the interests of big government, we’re not reducing the size of our bloated government or cutting spending, we’re told the President will freeze it – at unsustainable, historic levels! In practice, this means that public sector employees (big government’s staunchest defenders) may not lose jobs, but millions of Americans in the private sector face lay offs because the ever-expanding government has squeezed out and crippled our economy under the weight of unsustainable debt.

                Ronald Reagan said, “You can’t be for big government, big taxes, and big bureaucracy and still be for the little guy.” President Obama’s proposals last night stick the little guy with the bill, while big government and its big corporate partners prosper. The plain truth is our country simply cannot afford Barack Obama’s dream of an “exceptionally big government” that may help the big guys, but sticks it to the rest of us.

                – Sarah Palin

              • Why I Support the Ryan Roadmap
                Let’s not settle for the big-government status quo, which is what the president’s deficit commission offers.

                By SARAH PALIN

                The publication of the findings of the president’s National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform was indeed, as the report was titled, “A Moment of Truth.” The report shows we’re much closer to the budgetary breaking point than previously assumed. The Medicare Trust Fund will be insolvent by 2017. As early as 2025, federal revenue will barely be enough to pay for Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid and interest on our national debt. With spending structurally outpacing revenue, something clearly needs to be done to avert national bankruptcy.

                Speaking with WSJ’s Jerry Seib, Congressman Paul Ryan (R, WI) insisted that the deal between Republicans and the White House on the Bush Tax Cuts was not a second stimulus and that the agreement would promote growth despite adding to the deficit.

                The commission itself calculates that, even if all of its recommendations are implemented, the federal budget will continue to balloon—to an estimated $5 trillion in 2020, from an already unprecedented $3.5 trillion today. The commission makes only a limited effort to cut spending below the current trend set by the Obama administration.

                Among the few areas of spending it does single out for cuts is defense—the one area where we shouldn’t be cutting corners at a time of war. Worst of all, the commission’s proposals institutionalize the current administration’s new big spending commitments, including ObamaCare. Not only does it leave ObamaCare intact, but its proposals would lead to a public option being introduced by the backdoor, with the chairmen’s report suggesting a second look at a government-run health-care program if costs continue to soar.

                It also implicitly endorses the use of “death panel”-like rationing by way of the new Independent Payments Advisory Board—making bureaucrats, not medical professionals, the ultimate arbiters of what types of treatment will (and especially will not) be reimbursed under Medicare.

                The commission’s recommendations are a disappointment. That doesn’t mean, though, that the commission’s work was a wasted effort. For one thing, it has exposed the large and unsustainable deficits that the Obama administration has created through its reckless “spend now, tax later” policies. It also establishes a clear bipartisan consensus on the need to fundamentally reform our entitlement programs. We need a better plan to build on these conclusions with common-sense reforms to tackle our long-term funding crisis in a sustainable way.

                In my view, a better plan is the Roadmap for America’s Future produced by Rep. Paul Ryan (R., Wisc.). The Roadmap offers a reliable path to long-term solvency for our entitlement programs, and it does so by encouraging personal responsibility and independence.

                On health care, it would replace ObamaCare with a new system in which people are given greater control over their own health-care spending. It achieves this partly through creating medical savings accounts and a new health-care tax credit—the only tax credit that would be left in a radically simplified new income tax system that people can opt into if they wish.

                The Roadmap would also replace our high and anticompetitive corporate income tax with a business consumption tax of just 8.5%. The overall tax burden would be limited to 19% of GDP (compared to 21% under the deficit commission’s proposals). Beyond that, Rep. Ryan proposes fundamental reform of Medicare for those under 55 by turning the current benefit into a voucher with which people can purchase their own care.

                View Full Image
                Palin
                Associated Press
                Palin
                Palin

                On Social Security, as with Medicare, the Roadmap honors our commitments to those who are already receiving benefits by guaranteeing all existing rights to people over the age of 55. Those below that age are offered a choice: They can remain in the traditional government-run system or direct a portion of their payroll taxes to personal accounts, owned by them, managed by the Social Security Administration and guaranteed by the federal government. Under the Roadmap’s proposals, they can pass these savings onto their heirs. The current Medicaid system, the majority of which is paid for by the federal government but administered by the states, would be replaced by a block-grant system that would reward economizing states.

                Together these reforms help to secure our entitlement programs for the 21st century. According to the Congressional Budget Office (CBO), the Roadmap would lead to lower deficits and a much lower federal debt. The CBO estimates that under current spending plans, our federal debt would rise to 87% of GDP by 2020, to 223% by 2040, and to 433% by 2060. Under Rep. Ryan’s Roadmap, the CBO estimates that debt would rise much more slowly, peaking at 99% in 2040 and then dropping back to 77% by 2060.

                Put simply: Our country is on the path toward bankruptcy. We must turn around before it’s too late, and the Roadmap offers a clear plan for doing so. But it does more than just fend off disaster. CBO calculations show that the Roadmap would also help create a “much more favorable macroeconomic outlook” for the next half-century. The CBO estimates that under the Roadmap, by 2058 per-person GDP would be around 70% higher than the current trend.

                Is Rep. Ryan’s Roadmap perfect? Of course not—no government plan ever is. But it’s the best plan on the table at a time when doing nothing is no longer an option.

                Let’s not settle for the big-government status quo, which is what the president’s commission offers. We owe it to our children and grandchildren to make these tough decisions so that they might inherit a prosperous and strong America like the one we were given.

                Ms. Palin, the former governor of Alaska and the 2008 Republican Party vice president.

                One may agree or disagree with Palin but her articles are as full of ideas as any other politicians.

              • Bailouts Reward Bad Behavior
                by Sarah Palin on Monday, December 6, 2010 at 9:15pm

                Do insolvent states actually believe other states should bail them out? In June 2009, I was invited to introduce Michael Reagan at an event in Anchorage. In my remarks as Governor of Alaska, I warned against President Obama’s debt-ridden stimulus bill and its effect on all our state budgets. I believed that the bill’s benefits would be limited because government would grow exponentially, and I warned that the package was equivalent to a federal bribe with fat strings attached that created new unfunded mandates for state governments. At the time, most state legislatures, including Alaska’s, chose to ignore that warning. I predicted that states like California would soon be coming to the federal government asking for a bailout. After I gave that speech, I remember the mocking I received for predicting California and other big government states would continue to spend recklessly and yet expect others to bail them out. The naysayers in the media went a bit wild in their condemnation of my sounding that alarm.

                Well, fast forward to today. We now know that the nearly trillion dollar stimulus package didn’t lead to the job growth promised by President Obama; instead it left already struggling state governments even deeper in debt because now they are on the hook to continue programs and projects that were started by these “free” federal funds. So now, as predicted, folks in Washington and in over-spending state capitols are whispering the dreaded “b-word”: bailouts – for individual states!

                American taxpayers should not be expected to bail out wasteful state governments. Fiscally liberal states spent years running away from the hard decisions that could have put their finances on a more solid footing. Now they expect taxpayers from other states to bail them out, which will allow them to postpone the tough decisions they should have made ages ago and continue spending like there’s no tomorrow. Most Americans would say these states have made their bed and now they’ve got to lie in it. They accepted federal dollars and did not voice opposition to the unfunded federal mandates, and they even re-elected politicians who foisted debt-ridden programs on them that could never be sustained.

                Instead of coming to D.C. cap in hand asking for more “free” money, they should follow the example of their more prudent sister states and take the necessary steps to sort out their own finances. They must start by reforming their insolvent pension systems. Many states have multi-billion dollar unfunded pension liability problems that they have refused to address for many years. They’ve deferred their spending problems, assuming the problem deferred would be an issue avoided; instead, it’s resulted in a crisis invited. These states still won’t reform their costly defined benefit systems for fear of offending the powerful public sector unions. Sooner or later, their pension systems will collapse unless they do what states like Alaska did, which is to swap unsustainable defined benefits, which are more like glorified Ponzi schemes, for a more prudent defined contributions system.

                My home state made the switch from defined benefits to a defined contribution system, and as governor, I introduced a number of measures to build on that successful transition, while also addressing the issue of the remaining funding shortfall by prioritizing budgets to wrap our financial arms around this too-long ignored debt problem. When my state ran a surplus because we incentivized businesses, I didn’t spend it on fun and glamorous pet projects for lawmakers – though that would have made me quite popular with the earmark crowd. In fact, I vetoed more excessive spending than any governor in our state’s history, and I used the state’s surplus to bring our financial house in order by paying down our unfunded pension plans that some other governors wanted to ignore. This fiscal prudence didn’t make me popular with the state legislature. In addition to vetoing hundreds of millions of dollars in wasteful spending, I put billions of dollars into savings accounts for future rainy days, much like most American families do in responsibly planning for the future. I also enacted a hiring freeze and brought the education budget under control through a commitment to forward-funding. I returned much of the surplus back to the people (it was their money to start with!) through tax relief and energy rebates. I had proven as the mayor of the fastest growing city in the state that tax cuts incentivize business growth, and though the state legislature overrode some of my veto cuts and thwarted an additional tax relief request of mine, the public was supportive of efforts to rein in its government.

                It’s one thing to veto spending and reduce the size of government when your state is broke. I did it when my state was flush with revenue from a surplus – though I had to fight politicians who wanted to spend like there was no tomorrow. It’s not easy to tell people no and make them act fiscally responsible and cut spending when the money is rolling in and your state is only 50 years shy of being a territory and everyone is yelling at you to spend while the money is there to build. My point is, if I could fight this fight in Alaska at a time of surplus, then other governors can and should be able to do the same at a time when their states are facing bankruptcy and postponing this fight is no longer an option.

                So, let’s not continue to reward irresponsible political behavior. Instead of handing out more federal dollars, let’s give the governors of these debt-ridden states some free advice. Shake off the pressure from public sector unions to cave on this issue. Put up with the full page newspaper attack ads, the hate-filled rhetoric, and the other union strong arm tactics that I, too, had to put up with while fighting those who don’t believe a state needs to live within its means. Stand up to the special interests that are bankrupting your states. You may not be elected Miss Congeniality for fighting to get your fiscal houses in order; but in the long run, the people who hired you to do the right thing will appreciate your prudence and fiscal conservatism.

                As Michael Reagan’s dad once said, “We hear much of special interest groups. Well, our concern must be for a special interest group that has been too long neglected…. ‘We the people’…” The people deserve leaders who will make the tough decisions to secure the future prosperity of their states.

              • Ray Hawkins says:

        • “Why is Palin such a target? What makes her dangerous?”

          She is an individualist and was successful before she came on the national stage, which is all the things that progressives tell the masses they can not achieve without government help. Is she using her new found fame to enrich herself, absolutly? Does if bother me, no? Is she relative to politics now, no except to raise money? Will she run for president, I think not? (She’s a fool if she does) Is she qualified to be president, possibly? She is no worst than some of the fools we have had. She is dangerous to the progressives because she is so popular with so many people that vote and see some part of themselves in her.

    • WTF is right. There is NO justification for this crap. What, should I patent my name? Jon Smith, the brand name. Retarded. It is a statist move, and smacks of a lot of the crap that corporations do that should not be done, and part of my reasoning for being against the corporation to start with.

      As for why she is hated, I don’t get the vitriol. I do get the dislike, and the opinion that she would not be a good presidential candidate, I tend to agree. But, the full on hatred is retarded, and makes the people doing the hating have no more credibility than Palin herself. Less even. I get dislike, but to back up those spitting blind hatred is showing some severe hatred of your own.

  3. USWeapon Topic #3

    Walking Away — Underwater Homeowners Meeting Across Country

    On Tuesday evening in Boynton Beach, Fla., underwater homeowners are gathering for happy hour at Ralph and Rosie’s Restaurant, an independently owned bar and eatery involved in a dispute with the local town and being put up for auction at the end of the month. Ralph and Rosie will offer the homeowners free appetizers and soft drinks. In Portland, Ore., the meeting’s at the Hopworks Urban Brewery, where they’ll be joined by a staffer for Sen. Jeff Merkley (D). Denver homeowners will gather at the Village Inn on Colorado Avenue.

    Los Angeles hasn’t figured it out, while Austin is meeting at Texican Restaurant. New Yorkers are getting together at a Starbucks in SoHo. [UPDATE: Los Angeles now has a location. Scroll down for details.]

    The gatherings are being self-organized by homeowners looking to meet others who have tried to work out modifications with their bank for their underwater mortgage. Groups big and small have gotten involved: ForeclosureHamlet.org organized the Ralph and Rosie’s gathering, while the Service Employees International Union let a long list of their activists do the honors. Last week, HuffPost teamed up with MSNBC’s Dylan Ratigan for a series of stories on the housing crisis, which spawned the Meetups, broken down by city here. Scroll down to see a slideshow of the MSNBC series.

    Nearly a quarter of all mortgages are underwater and banks are increasingly worried that homeowners will walk away — or, in the industry term, “strategically default.” HuffPost spoke with nearly 50 people with underwater loans to find out what the emotional and financial consequences of strategic default had been for those who’d beaten that path.

    “There should be support groups for people who have to deal with these banks,” said Richmond Burton, 50, a soon-to-be-former resident of Long Island’s East Hampton. “It can drive you crazy. I’m very good at dealing with pressure, and they made it feel like you’re at their mercy.” Burton will be at the SoHo gathering.

    The industry is placing increasing attention on strategic defaulting. On Tuesday, Equifax announced that it had developed a unique method to measure under what circumstances homeowners would stop making mortgage payments, yet continue to pay other bills. Equifax finds, perhaps not surprisingly, that people with more expensive underwater homes are more likely to strategically default.

    Read the rest of the article here: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/02/08/no-way-to-live_n_819935.html#s236280&title=The_Financial_Crisis

    Alright. We have talked about the concept of walking away from a mortgage in the past. I know that there are those here who fall on both sides of the issue. Perhaps it is moral. Perhaps it is not. I won’t get into that.

    But I find these meetings across the country to be a very good thing. Because to me it is a start to what the PROPER response is to the banks that are acting like arseholes by refusing to negotiate with those who are struggling. There are many of us here at SUFA who consistently stand on the principle that government regulation is not the answer to what big business is doing with its customers.

    What we have here are average citizens who are fed up with the banks. They are banding together on their own. If they continue to do so they will gain influence against the banks and force the banks to react in a way that is more favorable to the customers. THIS is what a free market solution looks like. People who voluntarily join together and demand something better. No government intervention necessary.

    • I am against both sides in different ways.

      I realize that they agreed to the banks terms when they signed on the line, and I would generally hold them to their agreement even if their house is worth half of what they paid for it. By generally, I mean that if they can still afford the payments then tough luck, I am all for the banks if they try to walk away.

      If they lost their jobs and can not afford to make any payments at all, then I side with the bank because foreclosure in that case is expected.

      If they lost their job and get a new job that cannot pay as much then I would blame the bank for not working with them. It should be in the banks best interest if they restructured the loan (if reasonable) because if the bank foreclosed then the bank has to sell the house for half of what they loaned the money to buy it for. If however they restructure the loan then they could perhaps lower the payment and adjust the interest rate and lengthen the amount of time on the loan and still make money because you pay so much in interest on a house over the long run, the bank would make more money then the bank selling the house at such a large loss. I think the same thing about the people that signed an adjustable rate mortgage. They were stupid to agree to that, but again, it should be in banks best interest to make money and not lose it.

      If the bank does not work with a homeowner who can only afford less then their mortgage, I see no problem with the homeowner saving their money that would be going to the mortgage and looking for someplace to rent. Yes, it will destroy their credit, but where is the logic if they keep throwing money away on something that they can not afford.

    • This may be a little off topic but it bugs me. Why are mortgage loans set up to where you pay such a huge amount towards interest. It is a very unfair way for these loans to be set up.

      • Not to mention lost equity due to decreasing home values, which keeps you putting % in escrow for taxes and insurance. My homeowner’s insurance has doubled in only 7 years, but my mortgage payment goes up every time this happens.

  4. For comments atm. 🙂

    • gmanfortruth says:

      Hey, fricken cold tonight and the next few days, would rather have the snow. Wind chills around -15 tomorrow, yuk!

      • Oh come on gman, cry when it gets cold! 😉

        It’s projected for an overnight low of -14 here, but my temp gauge reads -18 already. It snowed for about 18 straight hours since midnight last and there’s about 8 or 10 inches out there in the yard.

        Plus the weather liar tells me it’ll be a warm 14 for a high tomorrow.

        Come on over, I’ll make coffee and we can sit around and fix the USA. 🙂

        • gmanfortruth says:

          I’d love to join Ya! We can have a nice bonfire and enjoy winter, LOL. I love the snow, but it’s gettin old, I want to get some outdoor work started, guess I’m gettin cabin fever, again! Oh well, Mother Nature is having her way again, not much we can do about it (some would want us to stop breathing cuz of CO2, jackass riding morons!). Life will continue, looking forward to getting the garden in, scouting deer in July and takin pictures of the turkeys struttin in the backyard come Spring. I don’t like El Nina, she’s a bitch, 😆

          • Yes, I confess to a bit of cabin fever too. I’m ready to get some outdoor work done It’s Gods country to me up here and I hate not seeing the view. Next month I’ll see some of my Shumway’s order come in so I can start my planting – I can’t wait. The rest will come at the April planting time.

            My goats don’t like it this cold either. It keeps them locked inside the goat house all day.

            Soon the wife will get off work and start the 40 mile drive up the mountains to get home. Then we’re tucked in for a week till she goes back to work – and I’m looking forward to that time with her too. 🙂

            • gmanfortruth says:

              When your wife gets home, pass on my well wishes! It sucks being away from your loved one for a long time. What can you plant in your area in April? We can put in tators and beats and such, but can’t plant above ground until almost mid-june. This year we’re doing a southside garden of blackberries and rasberries, in addition to our regular garden. We’re planting Potatoes, sweet potatoes, yellow beans and… something if we have room! We’d like to can at least 400 quarts, the goal is 5 to 6 hundred. Raising a pig at our neighbors farm as well, he’ll be in the freezer come May.

              • We’re going to do most of the planting in April and May – but later March we can start putting in the carrots, potatoes, some mangels (to feed the chickens), onions and such. The rest will wait. We hav a laundry list we’re going to try out up here from asparagus to zucchini, plus herbs too.

                Since the ground isn’t great I’m building several 4x8x2 growing boxes that will put good growing soil in. The raspberries, chokecherries, blackberries will all go in this year too, and were planting a couple of apples trees and a black walnut tree as well.

                Of course it will all be fenced to keep the deer out.

              • gmanfortruth says:

                We did a soil test through Penn State University this fall, cost 15 bucks. It will help replenish the nutrients that are lacking . I can provide info if you would like! We have a 75′ x 25′ fenced in (deer too) garden that we can expand to 125′ x 75′ if needed. Our last frost is usually the first week of June, so we’re carefull on planting too early. We also have a good co-op here with the local farmers, plenty of cattle (black angus), hogs, chickens ect. I want to work on co-oping our local defense system, just in case. That’s this summer. We have a bear problem with corn, which we will solve through trapping and relocating (which never works, LOL). The deer herd is healthy but needs thinned of does. that will happen this year through crop damage tags. In one night, we had 67 deer in two small fields, looked like a Christmas tree at night.

              • I too am getting the old planting fever here in Alabama as well. Within the next 1 to 2 weeks I should get the Irish potatoes, onions and turnips in the ground, if it will get dry enough. I am planning on starting my tomato beds this weekend to get me some tomato plants for the second week in April to transplant in the garden. Hate it for you to have to wait so long to plant because come the first weekend in April a-planting I will go.

            • “I can provide info if you would like!”

              Sure, much appreciated. You can grab my email off the comment I made over on your blog.

              I’m also creating some greenhouse covers for my boxes using pvc pipe and heavy plastic sheeting to help hold in the temps till June time.

        • Hey PlainlySpoken……do you see the tears? I am crying. I look for a Parka when it goes below 85. THe chill factor in Fort Worth right now is -11. MINUS 11……geez. No wonder Buck and those up there have a hard time thinking straight. Brain freezes. 🙂

  5. 8)

  6. Bottom Line says:

    http://www.freep.com/article/20110209/NEWS07/102090368

    Patriot Act provisions not renewed

    The House failed to extend the life Tuesday of three provisions of the USA Patriot Act, a slipup for the new Republican leadership that miscalculated the level of opposition.

    The House voted 277-148 to keep the provisions on the books until Dec. 8. But Republicans brought up the bill under a special expedited procedure requiring a two-thirds majority, and the vote was seven short of that.

    The Republicans lost 26 of their own members, adding to the 122 Democrats who voted against it. Supporters say the three measures are vital to preventing another terrorist attack, but critics say they infringe on civil liberties.

    The three provisions will expire Feb. 28 if the House and Senate can’t agree on how to proceed.

    • Buck the Wala says:

      Which provisions? Didn’t notice anything in the link…

      Thanks!

      • Bottom Line says:

        Which Provisions?

        I’m not sure. I haven’t done the research yet.

        I just turned on the TV this morning and heard it announced…so I did a google search, and that was what I found.

        I’m having wireless connection issues lately. Everything is downloading SLOW. So, you may be able to find out easier than I can.

    • Cool…..I know one of the provisions was the roving wiretaps. Obama came right out and said that they were necessary on the TV yesterday morning when I first reported it.

      • Buck the Wala says:

        One of the three provisions, Section 206 of the Patriot Act, provides for roving wiretap surveillance of targets who try to thwart Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) surveillance. Without such roving wiretap authority, investigators would be forced to seek a new court order each time they need to change the location, phone or computer that needs to be monitored.

        Another provision, Section 215, allows the FBI to apply to the FISA court to issue orders granting the government access to any tangible items in foreign intelligence, international terrorism and clandestine intelligence cases.

        The third provision, Section 6001 of the Intelligence Reform and Terrorist Prevention Act of 2004, closes a loophole that could allow individual terrorists not affiliated with specific organizations to slip through the cracks of FISA surveillance. Law enforcement officials refer to it as the “lone wolf” provision.

        • ahhh…thanks….have to read about those in more detail. No one in the military likes the Patriot Act very much.

          • Buck the Wala says:

            Yeah I need some more info on these specific provisions too. In theory – and with proper constraints – not sure if I have a major problem with these specific provision, but would need a lot more info before reaching that conclusion.

            • yup…..wonder haw open ended it is and how far reaching. Will try to find those today….we are forzen in anyway…

              BY THE WAY….will you yankees keep yore damned frigid air up there, please. Failure to do so will result in us Southern Rebel types sending some 115 degree heat yore way….with 85% humidity…..and my clandestine raptor force will cut your electrical grid for no A/C

              • Buck the Wala says:

                Thought it was about time to send some of this frigid cold down your way!

                I’ll gladly take the 115 degree heat right now – it was 10 degrees when I left the house this morning.

              • Murphy's Law says:

                Once again unbelievable cold today, schools closed….never in 40 years in the DFW area have I seen weather like this. Even when we had a deep freeze back in 1983 for 295 straight hours (I looked it up, it’s the record), there was not snow and ice with it shutting everything down.

                This is the 5th day school has been cancelled here, and we only have 2 weather days built into our school calendar….there was an email sent in one dept in my district that they will petition the state for a waiver so the students don’t have to make it up, but will require the teachers to subtract it from their accumulated sick leave days.

                The fur is going to fly! This should be fun to watch…

                Murf

        • gmanfortruth says:

          Hey, The House of Reps got two things right and it’s only February. 🙂

  7. @ Buck. Found this today….A Rasmussen Reports poll released Monday reveals most voters believe the law will increase the cost of health care, increase the federal deficit and erode the quality of care. Though the Obama administration stepped up its public defense of the law in advance of an unsuccessful repeal vote in the Senate, the numbers suggest many Americans are not accepting the administration’s arguments.

    The study found 58 percent of likely voters favor repeal to some degree, with 44 percent strongly supporting it. Thirty-seven percent oppose repeal, with 26 percent strongly opposing

    • Buck the Wala says:

      I haven’t yet had time to find a more comprehensive study showing public support for individual provisions of the bill. Will try to dig it up later today.

      Also, one thing I’ve noted in the past about the 58% who support repeal — a sizeable portion of these individuals support repeal of this bill, but want a much more comprehensive bill (such as a public option or univeral care) in its place.

      • Have not seen that support here. But will ask around. No one likes the public option around here….do nt know about universal care. Most of the friends that I have in Canada….all four of them..hate the Canadian system and come to the United States for their healthcare. I have only one acquaintance in england and they hate theirs as well. BUt…..as stated before, I will not support a tax based health care plan over what we already have in the county hospitals. I am part of the Veterans System now and use my supplemental coverage as much as possible because the government run VA care is substandard, very slow, rationed, and administratively a boon doggle. If the VA is any litmus test on Universal Health Care…..I do not want it.

        • Buck the Wala says:

          here’s a hint: Google ‘selective sampling’

          🙂

        • Murphy's Law says:

          To me this is pretty simple- look at the gov’t healthcare we already have- VA and Medicare/Medicaid.

          How well is it managed? It’s a JOKE at least on the administrative side…..one example of millions- my ex was in the VA system because of kidney issues that eventually necessitated a transplant, and the domino effect on his system caused him to need a hip replacement, then later he had a heart attack and triple bypass surgery. All of this secondary to the kidney issues. After his heart attack he had to wait 15 DAYS for a bed at the VA……just cooled his heels at the local hospital, because the VA recommended he stay inpatient there, because if he went home to wait he would go to the bottom of the waiting list for a bed at the VA. There’s much more I could tell, but the point is that the bureaucracy was a nightmare….and we all know that Medicare is full of fraud and waste…

          and we want the gov’t to run ALL our healthcare?

          Buck, do you believe it would be well managed? Anyone else? If you do, what evidence can you produce to back up your beliefs?

          Murf

          • Buck the Wala says:

            Sure there are issues on the administrative side. The same is true for private insurance.

            But isn’t it odd that those on Medicare are overwhelmingly satisfied with their coverage? That the administrative costs are actually lower than many private insurance plans?

            • Nope, not odd…..I dont know too many who complain about it that are on it…I do know that a lot of doctors are not taking medicare or medicaid any longer for various reasons. MOst of which are the delays in getting paid. I have supplemental USAA health and it is readily accpeted but when I walk into doctors offices, there are signs posted that say not accepting medicaid or medicare.

            • Also, I will agree that the administrative costs on private insurers are astronomical….mostly because of the burdensome regulations that require it.

            • Murphy's Law says:

              Buck- sorry, I am politely throwing the BS flag here- it is just too glib to say that the same is true for private insurance. Reports of fraud and waste abound with Medicare, far more than private insurance, along with stories of mismanagement of cases on an anecdotal level. And most on it are not likely to complain while they get to suck on the gov’t teat. By the way, I don’t include veterans being served by the VA as those sucking on the teat….they earned their benefits and deserve a much better health system than they now have.

              You did not answer my question. Do you think it would be well managed? Or more to the point, do you think it would be better managed (less fraud, less waste, patients more efficiently handled and treated) than the private system we now have? And again, what evidence do you offer to support it?

              Do you have statistics (with references) to back up your last two statements?

              Murf

              • Buck the Wala says:

                I never said private insurance has the same issue with fraud as Medicare does; I said that private insurance has administrative issues as well – there is tremendous waste in private insurance, just as there is waste in Medicare. I am sure there is fraud with private insurance as well, whether or not at the same levels as Medicare is another issue.

                I will try to dig up some more specific references later on though…for now, out to lunch…

  8. @USW…you gotta see the new M60 Mk 4…….wow….15,000 continuous rounds with no melted barrel. AWESOME.

    Heavy…but a great weapon.

    • gmanfortruth says:

      Col, Seen a video of a test fire. Mean machine there! Do you think Matt could figure out how to make one actually go bang? 🙂

    • I will have to search for a video later today. Are they planning to use it to replace the M249? I hated the switch from 60 to 249. Smaller rounds and more importantly, not as loud and intimidating.

      • Nope….not a replacement per se…..but when you watch the video…you gotta sit down….you can’t handle it standing up…..awesome….15,000 linked rounds with a single trigger pull…no jams, no barrel melt…right hand twist and no torque….AWESOME…..

        The mk4 has side rails for mounting on just about anything. Turn up the volume……just friggin awesome. Whew!!!!

        • Better than a cask of grog with three wenches while holding the barrell of a rail gun on Thor’s Hammer.

          • Dread Pirate Mathius says:

            Y’AARRRGH!

            Anything is better than holding the barrel of a my rail gun.. the EM field would disrupt every neuron in your brain if you got that close during firing.

            But she packs a hell of a punch.

  9. gmanfortruth says:

    Paul Joseph Watson
    Prison Planet.com
    Wednesday, February 9, 2011

    A leading advocate of Obamacare told NPR yesterday that Americans who refuse to pay for health care should be forced to wear gold stickers on their foreheads and refused emergency hospital treatment, in a chilling throwback to how Jews were persecuted by being made to wear yellow stars by the Nazis during the occupation of Europe.

    In an article carried on the NPR website entitled Alternatives To Mandating Insurance? Maybe, Dr. Len Nichols, Professor of Health Policy and Director of the Center for Health Policy Research and Ethics at George Mason University, and a staunch advocate of mandatory health care, came up with a novel idea “to make the consequences of not having insurance even more dramatic.”

    For example, he says, perhaps if people don’t buy insurance when it is first available, “if you ever try to buy insurance again, you’ll have to pay three times the market price, and we will put a gold sticker on your forehead and say to all hospitals, ‘You do not have to treat this person; this person has forfeited their right to uncompensated care.’ ” (Click here for audio).

    Given the brazen insensitivity of the comment, NPR presenter Julie Rovner immediately tries to downplay its vulgarity, insisting, “Nichols is only half serious about that gold star.”

    But even “half-serious” is bad enough. Imagine if somebody like Rand Paul had said that opponents of a policy he advocated should be forced to wear gold stickers – the backlash from the establishment neo-lib media would be horrific, and Paul would be castigated as a neo-nazi thug, but when a liberal makes such a remark, it’s all fine and dandy.

    Identifying Obamacare dissidents by means of gold stickers harks back to how Jews were forced to wear yellow stars by the Nazis during world war two. Jews were ordered to sew the cloth patch on their clothing in order to mark them as Jews in public. The Nazis revived the idea from the Middle Ages, when it was used to physically brand people of different religions as a tactic of persecution.

    Nichols’ thuggish comment underscores how despotic and autocratic the motivations behind Obamacare are in using force and persecution to make Americans buy something, which is completely unconstitutional and violates the Commerce Clause, as two federal judges have now ruled.

    The penalty Americans would face for refusing to pay fines imposed as a result of mandatory health care was made clear when Joint Committee on Taxation Chief of Staff Tom Barthold confirmed to Sen. John Ensign (R-Nev.) that those who refused to pay the $1,900 fee for not buying health insurance “could be charged with a misdemeanor and could face up to a year in jail or a $25,000 penalty.”

    “Dear Senator Ensign; Section 7203 provides that if there is a willful failure to file, pay, maintain appropriate records and the like that the taxpayer may be charged with a misdemeanor with a penalty of up to 25,000 and not more than 1 year in jail,” wrote Barthold.

    In an addendum, Barthold also raised the prospect that refusniks could be hit with charges of “felony tax evasion” that would incur a $100,000 fine and up to five years in jail.

    Polls have consistently shown that a majority of Americans are opposed to mandatory health care.

    House Republican Leader Eric Cantor indicated on Tuesday that Congress would block funding for Obamacare as part of budget cuts planned for next week.

    Florida Judge Roger Vinson ruled mandatory health care unconstitutional last week, noting that the entire law should be declared void because it violates the Commerce Clause. Vinson was the second judge to rule the legislation unconstitutional after a similar decision by a Virginia federal judge in December last year.

    Both rulings bolster the inevitability that the fate of Obamacare will be decided in a Supreme Court showdown.

    G says- If this is an example of progressivism, count me out. We are so screwed!

  10. Unspinning Unemployment.

    … we’ve got this job number: 36,000 new jobs. Everybody says that’s disappointing, but somehow the unemployment rate has dropped from 9.7% to 9%. Now, keep in mind we are in the presidential election campaign season already.

    And also keep in mind no president, no incumbent has ever been reelected with an unemployment rate above 8%

    “A net total of about 3 million jobs would have to be created this year to lower the average unemployment rate by 1 percentage point for 2010…” Ladies and gentlemen, in the last two months we have lowered the unemployment rate by .8%, almost a full point, with only 139,000 new jobs: 103,000 jobs in December, and 36,000 in January. Now, the unemployment rate dropped to 9% with 36,000 jobs. The number of jobs created is a thimble.

    It’s irrelevant. It’s almost statistically zero. Yet the unemployment rate has plummeted almost a point. How is this happening? I’ll tell you: We’re being spun like a top, and here’s exactly how they’re doing it. They have just subtracted 2.2 million jobs from the universe of available jobs. And how did they arrive at the 2.2 million number? Very simple: 2.2 million people in the last reporting period have stopped looking for work. Well, we’ve told you about the U6 unemployment rate, the U3. The U6 calculates that. It takes into account everybody out of work for whatever reason.

    http://www.rushlimbaugh.com/home/daily/site_020411/content/01125107.guest.html

    Yeah, it’s Rush…but who do they think their kidding? Watch the other hand folks.

    • 1% of 300 million is 3 million. There are not 300 million people in the work force to be technically “unemployed”

    • Anita……figures don’t lie….liars can figure. You must remember that the numbers you are seeing do not count the unemployed no longer on insurance nor the part timers. It only counts the number of applications that are filed. I have yet to discover WHERE they come up with the new jobs unless there is some accounting on the number of deductions sent in to the IRS.

      • Facts are stubborn things.. statistics are more malleable..

      • Right. That’s where these U3 vs U6 differ. U6 counts all those underemployed or just plain quit looking. The U6 number puts unemployment at 17%. Regardless they’re shuffling numbers around to get the unemployment rate down around 8% just in time for the election. Bastids!

        • anita

          They are not manipulating numbers. They are manipulating the economy.

          The numbers are objectively collected and reported. The spinmasters like to focus on the U1 to U3 numbers because they are smaller. But the numbers within each survey group are valid, at least as much as survey data is valid.

    • Why Can’t Obama Do the Math On Jobs?

      By John Lott, Published February 07, 2011 FoxNews

      President Obama has a message for the U.S. Chamber of Commerce today: You have an obligation to start creating jobs. The government has done what it needs to do and any failure lies with the private sector.

      Indeed, the job numbers are bleak. Unemployment fell last month, but only because Americans have given up looking for work in record numbers. On net, 319,000 quit looking for work and left the work force in December. In November, it was even worse, 434,000. Over 1.5 million American have left the workforce since August.

      Just 36,000 net jobs were added in December. — That is far fewer than the about 150,000 needed just to keep up with the growth in the population.

      This is a strange “recovery.” Recoveries almost always add people to the labor force. As more jobs open up, recoveries are supposed to mean that people who had previously left the labor force during the recession hope they now have a chance to get a job and start looking again. Thus, they officially rejoin the labor force.

      It is simply unprecedented that 19 months into the recovery, more and more Americans keep on quitting the labor force. (Here is a diagram that compares the growth in the number of people “not in the labor force” during the recoveries that started in 1982 and 2009.)

      But to President Obama, the failure for this anemic job growth is clear. He believes that government programs have created the ideal conditions for economic growth, and any failure to create jobs is the problem of businesses.

      In his weekly radio address on Saturday, after listing what he clearly regards as all the wonderful policies that were supposed to stir new investment and job growth, Mr. Obama added:

      “Even as we make America the best place on earth do business, businesses also have a responsibility to America. Now, I understand the challenges you face. I understand that you’re under incredible pressure to cut costs and keep your margins up. I understand the significance of your obligations to your shareholders. I get it. But as we work with you to make America a better place to do business, ask yourselves what you can do for America. Ask yourselves what you can do to hire American workers, to support the American economy, and to invest in this nation.”

      Making “America the best place to do business,” in Mr. Obama’s perspective, refers to the many wonderful economic interventions his administration has implemented.

      In his speech on Saturday, he mentioned subsidizing the research in green energy. To “win the future,” we just need to make “more efficient lighting and windows to heating and cooling…make buildings more energy-efficient… making windows and insulation and buildings that save more energy.”

      This is the arrogance of socialist central planners: Obama believes he and his administration know better than individual companies how they can earn the most money.

      Read more: http://www.foxnews.com/opinion/2011/02/07/obamas-got-wrong-comes-job-creation/#ixzz1DTdzHhHH

    • Don’t forget people who are under employed. There are millions of people who are qualified for highly paid jobs who have taken whatever position they could (even at a substantial pay cuts) just to make ends meet. They aren’t considered “unemployed.” But I have no idea how you would count them since almost everyone thinks they should be in a better position.

      When I was laid off in December ’08, it took me two months to land a new job – another month and I would have started looking at retail. I run a department at a multi-billion dollar hedge fund, but I would have taken a job at the GAP, and the government would say that I’m “employed”? Bah.

      • Mathius

        They are accounted for by the answers they give to the surveys. These SAME questions are asked each month and/or quarter.

        All the unemployment numbers are based on public surveys, they are NOT hard core data.

  11. Timely article in honor of our newest homeschooler, Anita and her son!

    Educating Our Children: The Evolution of Home Schooling
    http://www.foxnews.com/us/2011/02/09/educating-children-evolution-home-schooling/

    • Yes Ma’am! I’m hanging around here for a bit because he’s working quietly on his own at the moment.

      I’ve been looking into homeschooling for a full year now and I can’t tell you how many articles I’ve read in support of it. There really is a shift going on as we speak AWAY from public education.

      Both our stress levels are down these last few weeks. He’s excited to see good grades on papers..I’m excited to see him proud of himself. Win/Win

      • Murphy's Law says:

        By the way…..congrats on your decision to homeschool. If you already mentioned this I missed it…..how old is your son?

        Murf

        • Thank you Murf, he’s 12, got moved along to 7th grade with the crowd even though his grades didn’t deserve the promotion. But I knew from working with him on homework that he DID actually know the classwork. 7th grade 1st semester didn’t improve the situation at all so I made the leap. We’re only on the third day but he’s moving along just fine..good grades, good attitude!

  12. The Washington Post can pretty good at forgetting scandals, especially when it comes to Michelle Obama. The front of Wednesday’s Style section has a story on Michelle Obama’s “fluid staff” turnover: three chiefs of staff, two communications directors, and (soon to be) three social secretaries. But the headline isn’t about how the FLOTUS can’t be satisfied and keeps firing aides. It’s headlined “Legacy in the making: Despite the changing look of her East Wing circle, Michelle Obama keeps her eye on the progress to come.” If that doesn’t sound penned by the White House, wait — it gets better.

    Reporter Nia-Malika Henderson becomes Nia-Malika Amnesia in this amazing passage of willful memory loss on Michelle: “She has told her staff then that there was little room for mistakes. Two years later, observers are hard-pressed to find any major flubs, and the first lady has staffed up for Michelle Obama 2.0.”

    Did the obsequious Post forget the security breakdown with the Salahis’ major security breach at a White House state dinner? That was only a major Post (and TV network) obsession. It caused the departure of social secretary Desiree Rogers. Some lefties wanted “public executions.”

    Read more: http://www.newsbusters.org/blogs/tim-graham/2011/02/09/wapo-bizarrely-finds-no-major-flubs-among-michelle-aides-blatantly-forge#ixzz1DTbbzUyI

  13. Murphy's Law says:

    I saw this article months ago in Time magazine and to say the least it intrigued me. It was the cover story of the April 19, 2010 issue, titled “Should Schools Bribe Kids?” It’s not just a study on should we pay $5 for A’s, etc. The study was done in 4 different cities and used control groups (of course) and also different incentive systems. The guy spearheading it was not trying to convince people it would work, he wanted to find out for himself if it would work, and what might work best. He was met with huge opposition, even including death threats, before it was over.

    Here is the link: http://www.time.com/time/nation/article/0,8599,1978589,00.html

    I would love to hear anyone else’s thoughts/opinions.

    Murf

    • Long article, but very interesting. No wonder the Psychologists and scholars said it was a bad idea, and the one called it racist. The article on yesterdays thread talking about how those same people are mostly liberal makes it clear why they think it is a bad idea. Because it teaches personal responsibility.

      • Murphy's Law says:

        I thought it was very interesting as well, and one question in particular caught my attention- in expecting children to do well in school just for the love of learning, aren’t we holding them to a higher standard than we hold ourselves? Most people would not show up for work were it not for the paycheck……I also thought it very interesting that the most effective of the reward systems was also the least expensive, by far.

        I’m always interested in cost-effective ways to improve public education. We throw way too much money at it as it is.

        Murf

  14. plainlyspoken

    Loose end from yesterday. Your reply to my comment to Matt.

    plainlyspoken Says:
    February 8, 2011 at 11:40 pm

    JAC: “End of life counseling is needed for granny to handle the stress of being denied life saving medical care.”

    PS: I don’t normally get frustrated at comments, but I must say JAC, this one doesn’t sit well with me. What makes you think it’s only granny who may need end of life counseling – also called advanced directive planning?

    I must confess that I wonder if people really understand what advance directive planning really is all about?……

    PS, My comment was intended as some sarcasm in the context of the previous commentary. But lets cut to reality.

    Yes, I know what is involved and I think it is a good thing.

    I do not think that the Federal Govt should mandate Insurance companies to provide this service nor do I think that Govt should provide this service.

    I am absolutely sure that rationing will occur under greater Govt control of health care. This will result in life saving services being denied due to cost/benefit ratios. This will in turn cause an increase in the need for counseling at various levels.

    And in this way, my sarcastic barb contains a thread of truth.

    At this very point in time these are primarily great POLITICAL talking points or metaphors for what is coming. But it is coming. It is inevitable thanks to the mindset of the Progressives who think they can run the universe according to the whim of their massive arrogance.

    One other thought. Doesn’t the name “advanced directive planning” strike you as a most strange title for this type of counseling?

    • If it walks like a duck, looks like a duck, quacks like a duck…..it must be……………………….. A WITCH!

      • D, do you have the text of that paphlet you were talking about? I’d very much like to know what, exactly, the govt sent out..

        • I figured you would catchmy reference to Monty Python…..

          Yes, As soon as I can get over to my parents, I will get the document and transcribe it. I do think there was a reference on it as well. Bear with me….I will get it for you.

      • Buck the Wala says:

        I’d like to see this pamphlet as well.

    • JAC,

      I had both my Mom and Stepdad go through hospice care – by their choice obviously. They were denied nothing that could make their more comfortable and give it all the quality they could want or hope for. I lost my father when I was 25 and the turmoil my Mom went through making decisions she wasn’t sure were what he would have wanted was hard to watch and help her with.

      Their advance directive planning told us exactly what their decisions were and gave us the peace to know we were doing what they desired for their lives.

      My wife is an RN, with experience as a hospice nurse and currently working as an ER Trauma nurse (and a damn fine one in my biased opinion!). It breaks her heart when she has patients come into the ER who are having one hell of a rough ride with their terminal conditions because no one – including their doctors – didn’t talk with them about their wishes and desires for their lives.

      When she was a hospice nurse she had patients on her case load who were young, and dying (30’s somethings in a couple of cases) and had not one inkling of what choices were theirs to make in choosing their life care until she sat down with them and talked to them about all the issues.

      These people were cheated by not having this type of counseling earlier in their lives – when they first found that the end of their lives loomed closer than they had ever planned. If encouraging physicians to hold these discussions with their patients (provided the patient wants the discussion when asked) by allowing them to charge for the visit (as it takes about an hour of discussion to cover the topic and issues clearly as a general rule) they by Lord let it be people.

      Those who would describe this as a “death panel” are full of horse hockey. I pray their families/loved ones are never pulled in a tornado of turmoil trying to understand what they want for the end of life care when catastrophe strikes.

      My apologies for any anger that may comes through from me on this topic – but it strikes very close to my soul for me.

      • dang it.

        3rd paragraph strike “didn’t talk” and replace with “talked”

      • Well said, sir. Well said.

      • Plainly spoken..please forgive me for plainly speaking.

        My parents have had codiciles and wills when they were in their 30’s. I have had a will and codicile since I was 21. They get amended from time to time. Prior planning for this type of thing should be as common as getting up in the morning and taking a breath of air. My children have the same thing and have since they were 18. There is no excuse for no prior planning. And, if there is anyone on here that has not done that…you are not being cheated by anybody except yourself. It is your responsibility to sit down with your family and getting all this figured out up to and including emergency situations when no familiy member is present and that is to include specific life saving measures that are NOT to be done.

        While I will agree with you, Plainly, that this is necessary and it does relieve a lot of tension….it is NOT a responsibility of Medicare nor the government to even mention it much less provide for it. As you know, even the bills that have great intentions are bastardized into things that were not intended. Death Panels are a name….but it is a bastardization of “end of life counseling” that will inevitably ensue….and I distrust government enough to know that is where it will go when costs get more prohibitive under this new health care bill. Obama could not get it in the bill so he had it done administratively under Medicare. This is an end run and it should piss you off to no end. It should especially piss you off that a Medicare doctor will mention it in order to be able to bill something. It is a personal decisions and needs to be left to the individual and not a government paid or run item.

        It strikes very close to my heart as well. I have two parents that are in their 90’s and time is not on their side. But it is all done….and without a government agency telling us when to do it. If you can do it…and I bet you have….and I can do it…..and have….and I bet that Buck and BF and everybody else that has a responsible bone in their body has done it.

        The counseling is no more of a death panel than an insurance company making a financial decision not to cover something. My reference to death panels and end of life counseling, as I am sure most on here have me figured out by now…..is referencing down the road when the counseling is turned into the panels….and I believe….firmly believe….that it will.

        Leave it to the families. They do not need a government to remind them of anything.

        And, I apologize for my firm stance as well. It hits me just as hard as I am facing it now….BUT…..there is no decision to make as they are already made.

        • That’s great that you and your kids and for parents have take steps to plan things out clearly – I applaud you for it.

          But you, like my wife and I, are in a small minority.

          So very many people don’t, don’t understand the issues and likely will not get the information and may well not know how to go about getting it, what they should be considering etc.

          I don’t like the majority of the health care law and want it gone – but it has good pieces to it. If Medicare IS the “insurance” someone has under our current system then that is their insurance and it is YOU (not you specifically – but generally), the taxpayer, are the “death panel” by refusing to let these people have the opportunity to learn from their medical professional of choices (not some lawyer as a codicil to a will would like require) available to them. I’m sorry but if my tax money is going to be take for it anyway then I damn sure want to see some good come from it.

          Is the whole law “evil” just because it’s the liberals/Dems/progressives who have supported and enacted the law?

          I respect your position D13, but I won’t agree with it in this particular case.

          • Buck the Wala says:

            I’m with you 110% – providing people the option of sitting down with their doctors to discuss these issues is a no-brainer.

            I do have all my own documents in place. I routinely sit down with clients and discuss some of these issues. But speaking with a lawyer about the legal issues and laying out a documentary framework for your desires is a far cry from sitting down with a doctor to discuss the medical issues associated with these types of decisions.

            • gmanfortruth says:

              Guys, I’ve stayed out of this, but, time to speak. I worked for a major Healthcare network in Ohio for 9 years. Numorous hospitals, outpatient care, and all the normal health related facilities including “retirement homes” (or what evr they’re called these days). The type of councelling being discussed was always an option with the company I worked for. It had it’s own group of people assigned to a VP. I had a hard time understanding this discussion, because most healthcare related organizations were already providing this “option”. So, to claim that this is some new government idea is ludacris, as it’s been there for at least a decade, and it is offered by those that specialize in that area, I’ve seen it myself while working, and have been asked to leave the room for these talks.

              I’m not saying that they aren’t good, but any illusion that this is new is just that, an illusion. It’s been happening, throughout healthcare for many years. I’m not sure why we need another stupid law to mandate something that was already happening!

              Is anybody so nieve to think the government thought this up? Please, them Jackwagons are incapable of thinking.

              • gmanfortruth says:

                What really erks me, is that something that was provided by trained professionals, will be handled by, doctors, who are not trained for this, and they can bill for their time. So now, a service that was provided with almost no cost to the patients, is now going to cost 10X more, and paid for by the patient. How the hell is that reducing healthcare costs? How the hell is this letting doctors do their doctoring when we’re already short on family doctors, and this will improve healthcare? Are you kidding me?

              • Fair enough.

                I tried to get the point made and it seems I was ineffectual at doing so.

                I’m too emotionally wrapped up in this issue to be a dispassionate voice of reason it seems.

              • gmanfortruth says:

                PS, You’re point was spot on. As was D13’s. As I said, this important part of healthcare has been getting accomplished, with almost no cost to anyone. I believe it’s a necessary part of the healthcare system, and I have witnessed it’s strong presence. End of life discussions have been a big part of healthcare, but the Left somehow wants to put their moniker on it and claim it as theirs. That’s bullshit, and just another progressive lie that needs to be corrected.

                My aplogies if I came off wrong with regards to your current family situation, I ment no disrespect. I’m just fed up with the left trying to shove control down our throats when it’s not needed.

                Peace!

              • gmanfortruth says:

                Damn keyboard! I think you can decipher things. 😆

            • gman, you said nothing wrong and weren’t disrespectful in any way. No worries good sir.

              What I am worn over – on this issue – is I saw how little people got this kind of instructional information or counseling. People do need it and so, even more, do their loved ones who suffer as much almost as the patient themselves. It is a tragedy when I would attend facility functions at care homes where my wife had patients on her case load and it was the families who seemed so lost in all of this really because the patient couldn’t express what was going on and why they wanted things as they wanted. They were dealing so much with their end of life issues they didn’t know how to get their loved ones to understand. My wife would spend as much time with the families as it took to explain the choices and realities of what their loved one was going through (unpaid too),

              As for why doctors – I’m sorry but if I am having the discussion I am going to have questions on how my medical conditions may impact what decisions I make. I want my primary physician answering those questions – not some potentially (and likely from what I have observed) medically untrained person who understands nothing about me, and is not someone I have built any kind of trust relationship with.

              We scream in this country about letting patients and their doctors work together to make the decisions about one’s medical stuff – yet then we get mad when it is being pushed – in this aspect at least – to let it be that way.

              You’re right, it wasn’t a “new” idea by the Dems. It’s been around quite a while. But, gman does that matter and should we let that be the reason to stand in the door and fight against something that we agree is good for people to have?

              For anyone out there reading who has not given thought to what they would, and wouldn’t want, for quality of life and medical care should something happen that incapacitates them where they are unable to make their own choices I encourage you to at least check out Aging With Dignity Five Wishes (http://www.agingwithdignity.org/five-wishes.php)

              • gmanfortruth says:

                My Friend,

                I’m not going to go into a point by point answer, as is usual with our political discussions. This is not a political discussion.

                This is a tough talk, cuz I’m not in disagreement with you. I moved up with my father, at his request, to help him live out his last years with some enjoyment and dignity. We have had our “stuff” together for years, as we are both each others legal rep on healthcare issues. I know I understand aging with dignity, or I would be somewhere else. I don’t have a significant other (female, to make that clear) in my life, and not currently looking for one. My personnal priorities take a backseat when it comes to family.

                As too your delema, should we have end of life counceling available to everyone? Yes, with pro’s and Doc’s involved the whole way. So we are in agreement there, I hope.

                Now the problem, legal mandates, which will always take away from one part of the program. Now the doctor, MUST devote alot of time too XXX, instead of devoting time to XXX, the later being what he went to school for. So, with mandates, we cross a bridge, do doctors spend their time and knowledge talking about end of life, at a point not needed, or do they heal and extend life?

                That is the proressive lie!

              • gmanfortruth says:

                Progressive, arg, this damn keyboard 👿

              • gman, I took it to the bottom to give us more space. 🙂

          • Fair enough, my friend, fair enough.

      • Plainlyspoken

        The use of the term “Death Panels” has nothing to do with the end of life couseling. Two different things but can be linked together for political gain only.

        Death Panels is a term coined to describe the inevitable “RATIONING” decisions that will come with Federal Health Care and/or insurance.

        It has nothing to do with the counseling except in that once the rationing starts there will be an increased need for counseling that occurs much sooner that it should be needed.

        That is the only connection. So you should separate the two in your own mind and when you argue these points with others.

        Now a question for you, direct and to the point.

        Do you support the FEDERAL GOVT dictating what practices MUST be covered by Health Insurance throughout the United States?

        • THat was my point I was trying to make….I am just not articulate enough,

        • “I am absolutely sure that rationing will occur under greater Govt control of health care. This will result in life saving services being denied due to cost/benefit ratios. This will in turn cause an increase in the need for counseling at various levels.”

          You seem to tie it together to a degree with this statement JAC.

          Sarah Palin ties it together as well – here’s just one example (http://news.yahoo.com/s/politico/20090813/pl_politico/26078).

          So I doubt I am misunderstanding and incorrectly tying the two pieces (advance directive planning and death panels) together.

          JAC, no I don;t support government dictating where I don’t believe they have a right to be. Nor do I support them stealing money that is mine. But since they’re going to then I support using my cash in a manner I find positive and productive. I only support Medicare paying docs for these consults where Medicare is the “insurance” the individual has. I would encourage private insurance to do the same in their policies for people.

  15. A question for those of you who support Obama care or a government option. I have not found any reference to it in the health care bill yet…..but……

    What if a doctor does not want to accept insurance or does not want to accept government option insurance as a matter of practice. Would you then support a mandate that a doctor can not turn down any insirance?

    • gmanfortruth says:

      The only way Obamacare can work is total control of everything, which is their goal. They have one big problem, the Constitution is in their way, and they are too arogant to understand that “this dog won’t hunt”!

  16. We should regulate this!!!

    Joking, relax.

    Mostly joking, anyway..

    • I got you “figgered” out…..I know that you are joking. But I really do wonder that if doctors decide not to take insurance…can they be mandatred to do so? Or, if they decided which insurance to take….I wonder if some mandate would not come out…thereby eliminating personal choice again…..

      • I don’t know how much it helps to mandate insurance if no one takes the insurance… You’d basically be forcing people to pay money to insurance companies for nothing.

        But then again, there has to be said something for the fact that insurance is a pain in the a** for a doctor’s office to deal with. Especially for a small private practice. There are forms and forms and more forms, and much of it is far from simple. Plus it forces the doctors to wait for payment creating a float that could be tough on small practices.

        My suspicion is that if too many doctors refuse to take the insurance, the govt will force them to in order to make the new system work. Is that a good thing? I don’t know..

        • Buck the Wala says:

          I’ve always been torn on this issue.

          On the one hand, a doctor should be able to make this decision, as to which insurance they do and do not accept.

          On the other hand, Mathius makes a great point; not to mention why should my own personal choice as to which doctor I can see be limited by my insurance company?

          • So after awhile You have no choice-the Doctor has no choice-the Insurance company has no choice-the choice is left to…….your boss-the government..and whoever is currently in power. Scary thought isn’t it!!!!!

            • Buck the Wala says:

              Actually my choice as an individual would increase as I would be able to see any doctor I choose.

              And to Jennie below – any evidence to support such a conclusion? Please don’t cite to the fact that we are experiencing a shortage of primary physicians in this country. This is something that has been ongoing for years and is more attributable to the structure of medical education, the decline of respect for community doctors, and the pay afforded specialists, than to anything the government has done.

              • Maybe you will be able to pick your doctor, doubt it-not sure how much that will matter in the long run-since the government is gonna control everything else. Find it funny that you will talk about you getting more choice by taking away the choice of everyone who works in the medical field- care or insurance. But just remember if their rights don’t matter -eventually your rights won’t matter either.

              • Proof? It just seems obvious to me. If you make medicine less profitable for doctors, fewer people are going to want to make the huge investment in time and money to become doctors. Doctors close to retirement will retire early to avoid complying. My husband is a plastic surgeon. He could stop taking insurance altogether and just do cosmetic cases for cash.

              • Jeannie,

                A friend of my daughters-she’s been talking about becoming a doctor for years-was in college working towards getting into medical school-not anymore, changed her major-her words-not mine-“why bother”

          • Forcing doctors to take insurance is a great idea if your goal is to have fewer and less qualified doctors.

        • No it’s not a good thing-but it does show how government grows to powerful-one regulation leads to another then another and on and on and on.

          • True, V. In this case, I would agree.. there are going to be a lot of patches, changes and tweaks before HCR reaches it’s final shape (assuming, of course, that the courts don’t wind up throwing it out).

            There is a certain amount of policy creep. Does it negate entirely the benefits from the initial policy? I don’t know that either. I don’t think so, but I can’t say for sure.

            • My above response to Buck, which was supposed to be attacked to this one 🙂 , is my thoughts on what it will lead too, which is no choice. Not a good thing. There is either a better way or it just shouldn’t be done.

        • Bottom Line says:

          Matt – ” My suspicion is that if too many doctors refuse to take the insurance, the govt will force them to in order to make the new system work. Is that a good thing? I don’t know..”

          BL – Why am I not surprised?

          • http://www.heartland.org/healthpolicy-news.org/article/27508/Obamacare_Expected_to_Increase_Loss_of_DoctorOwned_Practices.html

            Driving Out Private Practice

            John Graham, director of the health care studies program at the Pacific Research Institute in San Francisco, California, says the trend away from doctor-owned private medical practices was going to happen with or without Obamacare.

            “The regulatory cost, the cost of malpractice insurance, the cost of navigating the health care system—they are high for small, doctor-owned practices. Some of these costs are artificially imposed by government, but I would not say that is the sole reason for the trend away from doctor-owned practices,” Graham said. “Medicine is highly specialized now, and even if we had a free-market health care system, you would see innovation in practice, in small group practices, in sole practices evolving into larger groups.”

            Graham agrees Obamacare will likely lead to a higher level of unionization among doctors, expanding unions and associations as political entities while discouraging private practice and physicians hospitals.

            “The long-term goal of many of the people who have imposed Obamacare is to put the provider side of health care in the public sector,” Graham said. “It is putting medical providers in hospitals, nursing homes, and other areas under government control, and having them deliver their service according to a very centralized system. That system will probably demand a high level of unionization or quasi-unionization and drive out private practice.”

  17. Ray,

    For some reason-none of the youtube videos are posting on my computer! Are they on anyone else’s?

  18. gmanfortruth says:

    Proposed GOP budget cuts for the rest of this fiscal year. What is your opinion?

    The List of 70 Spending Cuts to be Included in the CR follows:

    · Flood Control and Coastal Emergencies -$30M
    · Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy -$899M
    · Electricity Delivery and Energy Reliability -$49M
    · Nuclear Energy -$169M
    · Fossil Energy Research -$31M
    · Clean Coal Technology -$18M
    · Strategic Petroleum Reserve -$15M
    · Energy Information Administration -$34M
    · Office of Science -$1.1B
    · Power Marketing Administrations -$52M
    · Department of Treasury -$268M
    · Internal Revenue Service -$593M
    · Treasury Forfeiture Fund -$338M
    · GSA Federal Buildings Fund -$1.7B
    · ONDCP -$69M
    · International Trade Administration -$93M
    · Economic Development Assistance -$16M
    · Minority Business Development Agency -$2M
    · National Institute of Standards and Technology -$186M
    · NOAA -$336M
    · National Drug Intelligence Center -$11M
    · Law Enforcement Wireless Communications -$52M
    · US Marshals Service -$10M
    · FBI -$74M
    · State and Local Law Enforcement Assistance -$256M
    · Juvenile Justice -$2.3M
    · COPS -$600M
    · NASA -$379M
    · NSF -$139M
    · Legal Services Corporation -$75M
    · EPA -$1.6B
    · Food Safety and Inspection Services -$53M
    · Farm Service Agency -$201M
    · Agriculture Research -$246M
    · Natural Resource Conservation Service -$46M
    · Rural Development Programs -$237M
    · WIC -$758M
    · International Food Aid grants -$544M
    · FDA -$220M
    · Land and Water Conservation Fund -$348M
    · National Archives and Record Service -$20M
    · DOE Loan Guarantee Authority -$1.4B
    · EPA ENERGY STAR -$7.4M
    · EPA GHG Reporting Registry -$9M
    · USGS -$27M
    · EPA Cap and Trade Technical Assistance -$5M
    · EPA State and Local Air Quality Management -$25M
    · Fish and Wildlife Service -$72M
    · Smithsonian -$7.3M
    · National Park Service -$51M
    · Clean Water State Revolving Fund -$700M
    · Drinking Water State Revolving Fund -$250M
    · EPA Brownfields -$48M
    · Forest Service -$38M
    · National Endowment for the Arts -$6M
    · National Endowment for the Humanities -$6M
    · Job Training Programs -$2B
    · Community Health Centers -$1.3B
    · Maternal and Child Health Block Grants -$210M
    · Family Planning -$327M
    · Poison Control Centers -$27M
    · CDC -$755M
    · NIH -$1B
    · Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services -$96M
    · LIHEAP Contingency fund -$400M
    · Community Services Block Grant -$405M
    · High Speed Rail -$1B
    · FAA Next Gen -$234M
    · Amtrak -$224M
    · HUD Community Development Fund -$530M

    • Not enough taken from the IRS?

    • · Job Training Programs – Seems high – what is involved with this
      · GSA Federal Buildings Fund – Seems high – what is involved with this
      · EPA – What percent of the total budget is this?
      · DOE Loan Guarantee Authority – Seems high. I think this number is misleading
      · Community Health Centers – Seems high – what is involved with this
      · Office of Science – Sure – why not.. Republicans hate science anyway
      · NIH – Sure – why not.. Republicans hate science anyway
      · High Speed Rail – .. Yea, ok
      · Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy – Sure – why not.. Republicans hate science anyway
      · WIC – Que es?
      · CDC – Because what we need is less spending on medical research and control
      · Clean Water State Revolving Fund – Republicans also hate the environment
      · COPS – Cops as in the police?
      · Internal Revenue Service – Right, because the best way to raise revenue is by getting rid of the people who raise it
      · International Food Aid grants – Oh yea, screw the poor people, too. Can’t forget them.
      · HUD Community Development Fund – Oh yea, screw the poor people, too. Can’t forget them.
      · Community Services Block Grant – Oh yea, screw the poor people, too. Can’t forget them.
      · LIHEAP Contingency fund – Que es?
      · NASA – .. Yea, ok
      · Land and Water Conservation Fund – Republicans also hate the environment
      · Treasury Forfeiture Fund – Que es?
      · NOAA – Sure – why not.. Republicans hate science anyway
      · Family Planning – Not sure..
      · Department of Treasury – Cut it where within the treasury?
      · State and Local Law Enforcement Assistance – Exactly. Only rich neighborhoods should be able to afford police protection.
      · Drinking Water State Revolving Fund – Republicans also hate the environment
      · Agriculture Research – Sure – why not.. Republicans hate science anyway
      · Rural Development Programs – Oh yea, screw the poor people, too. Can’t forget them.
      · FAA Next Gen – Que es?
      · Amtrak – .. Yea, ok
      · FDA – Because what we need is less spending on medical research and control
      · Maternal and Child Health Block Grants – Oh yea, screw the poor people, too. Can’t forget them.
      · Farm Service Agency – Que es?
      · National Institute of Standards and Technology – Seems high – what is involved with this
      · Nuclear Energy – Like coal is such a better option..
      · NSF – Sure – why not.. Republicans hate science anyway
      · Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services – Screw the addicted and mentally ill people, too. Can’t forget them.
      · International Trade Administration – Que es?
      · Legal Services Corporation – Que es?
      · FBI – Eh, what have the feds ever done for me?
      · Fish and Wildlife Service – Republicans also hate the environment
      · ONDCP – Que es?
      · Food Safety and Inspection Services – Cave comedentis?
      · Power Marketing Administrations – WTF? Can it.
      · Law Enforcement Wireless Communications – Que es?
      · National Park Service – Republicans also hate the environment
      · Electricity Delivery and Energy Reliability – Yes, I always felt life was better before electricity
      · EPA Brownfields – Que es?
      · Natural Resource Conservation Service – Republicans also hate the environment
      · Forest Service – Republicans also hate the environment
      · Energy Information Administration – Que es?
      · Fossil Energy Research – Sure – why not.. Republicans hate science anyway
      · Flood Control and Coastal Emergencies – Right, because coastal emergencies never hurt anyone.
      · USGS – Que es?
      · Poison Control Centers – I’m sure the free market would cover this, no problem
      · EPA State and Local Air Quality Management – Republicans also hate the environment
      · National Archives and Record Service – Knowledge is a bad thing – I forgot
      · Clean Coal Technology – Coal sucks – “Clean coal” is a myth. Take this money and spend it on nuclear research
      · Economic Development Assistance – Oh yea, screw the poor people, too. Can’t forget them.
      · Strategic Petroleum Reserve – Meh
      · National Drug Intelligence Center – Screw the addicted and mentally ill people, too. Can’t forget them.
      · US Marshals Service – What have the marshalls ever done for me?
      · EPA GHG Reporting Registry – Que es?
      · EPA ENERGY STAR – I would need more information
      · Smithsonian – Knowledge is a bad thing – I forgot
      · National Endowment for the Arts – How did I just know this would make the list? I must be psychic!
      · National Endowment for the Humanities – How did I just know this would make the list? I must be psychic!
      · EPA Cap and Trade Technical Assistance – I would need more information
      · Juvenile Justice – Juveniles don’t need justice?
      · Minority Business Development Agency – Because we live in a post-racial world, right?

      Odd though.. I didn’t see anything on here about the DOD or SS or MEDICARE.. but the republicans are serious about trimming the budget.

      HA! All told, these cuts amount to $23,029mm. That is, as someone once said, “a sparrow’s burp in a hurricane.”

      How about, instead of trying to kill the NEA, which gives Sesame Street to the nation’s children, to the whopping tune of 6mm (or 2cents per person), they take a whack at the TRILLIONS spent on “defense”?

      It’s a joke. They’re grandstanding. Again. This is nothing but red meat disguised as fiscal conservatism.

      Harrumph.

      • Bottom Line says:

        Matt – ” It’s a joke. They’re grandstanding. Again. This is nothing but red meat disguised as fiscal conservatism. ”

        BL – You said it before I could.

        • Typical Republican Shill: AHH!! We have to stop spending money on educational programming for young children! It’s an example of blatant overreaching government! Taxes are too high! I’m just like you, and I don’t think we should be taxed for this – that’s why I want to cut that budget by $6,000,000! Do you know how much money that is? If you stacked it up, it would be more than a 3rd of a mile high! Cut! Cut! Cut! See, that’s why you should vote for me, tea partiers! I’m serious about the budget!

          ..

          But, er, I don’t support cuts to social security or defense..

          ..

          And also, Obama’s a Muslim Socialist Usurper!

          • Bottom Line says:

            Matt,

            Please tell me your reply was meant to go somewhere else.

            I was agreeing with you. There’s no need to be derogatory and call me names like “Republican”.

            🙂

            • I wasn’t talking about you… I was talking about whoever came up with this list of “cuts.” I know you’re not a Republican.

              I also specifically said “Republican Shill” because there are plenty of actual Republicans who are not shills – I mean, in the Republican party there must be hundreds of non-shills – maybe even a thousand!

      • gmanfortruth says:

        I would eliminate these agencies. These should be State issues. A small example of how oversized and overreaching the Feds really are.

  19. Just on the news…..the Federal Government is going to propose installing black boxes on all new vehicles under the guise of saftey to monitor the driving habits in the event of accident. The story went on to say that would prevent people from working out their own accident measures and require the black box to be reset at the car companies and require the data to be downloaded snd sent in to the Federal Government.

    Plaintiff lawyers and AAA are supporting this move.

    • people settleing fender benders the old fashion way by just paying for it? you can’t do that, how are the corporations going to make money? The best solution is obviously pass laws to make the corporations make money, because then they can use that money to make jobs! /sarcasm

    • System is already available, just not from OEM’s.

      http://www.drivecam.com/

    • I’m really gonna have to move out into the boonies aren’t I -this country is doomed if this crap doesn’t stop.

  20. gmanfortruth says:

    Many of you will enjoy this, some won’t. Tough! Get over yourself! 🙂 There are two parts, this is part one. I will post part two by request.

    Good morning, brothers and sisters;
    it’s always a delight to see
    the pews crowded on Sunday
    morning and so eager to get into
    God’s Word. Turn with me
    in your Bibles, if you will, to the 47th
    chapter of Genesis, we’ll
    begin our reading at verse 13 and go
    through verse 27.
    Brother Ray, would you stand and
    read that great passage for us?
    ….(reading)….
    Thank you for that fine reading,
    Brother Ray… So we see that
    economic hard times fell
    upon Egypt and the people turned to
    the government of Pharaoh
    to deal with this for them. And Pharaoh
    nationalized the grain
    harvest and placed the grain in great storehouses
    that he had built. So the
    people brought their money to Pharaoh, like a
    great tax increase, and
    gave it all to him willingly in return for grain. And
    this went on until their
    money ran out and they were hungry again.
    So when they went to Pharaoh after
    that, they brought their
    livestock -their cattle,
    their horses, their sheep, and their donkey –
    to barter for grain and
    verse 17 says that only took them through
    the end of that year..
    But the famine wasn’t over was
    it? So the next year the people
    came before Pharaoh and
    admitted they had nothing left except
    their land and their own
    lives. “There is nothing left in the sight
    of my lord but our bodies
    and our land. Why should we die before
    your eyes, both we and
    our land? Buy us and our land for food
    and we with our land will
    be servants to Pharaoh..” So they
    surrendered their homes,
    their land, and their real estate to
    Pharaoh’s government and
    then sold themselves into slavery
    to him, in return for grain.
    What can we learn from this, brothers
    and sisters?
    That turning to the government
    instead of to God to be our provider
    in hard times only leads
    to slavery? Yes. That the only reason
    government wants to be
    our provider is to also become our master?
    Yes.
    But look how that passage ends,
    brothers and sisters! Thus Israel
    settled in the land of
    Egypt , in the land of Goshen .. And they gained
    possessions in it and
    were fruitful and multiplied greatly.” God
    provided for His people,
    just as He always has! They didn’t end up
    giving all their possessions
    to government, no, it says they gained
    possessions! But I also
    tell you a great truth today and an ominous
    one.
    We see the same thing happening
    today – the government today
    wants to “share the
    wealth” once again, to take it from us and redistribute
    it back to us. It wants
    to take control of healthcare, just as it has taken
    control of education, and
    ration it back to us, and when government
    rations it, then government
    decides who gets it, and how much, and
    what kind. And if we go
    along with it, and do it willingly, then we will
    wind up no differently
    than the people of Egypt did four thousand years
    ago – as slaves to the
    government and as slaves to our leaders.
    What Mr. Obama’s government is
    doing now is no different from what
    Pharaoh’s government did
    then and it will end the same. And a lot of
    people like to call Mr.
    Obama a “Messiah,” don’t they? Is he a Messiah?
    A savior? Didn’t the Egyptians
    say, after Pharaoh made them his slaves,
    “You have saved our
    lives; may it please my lord, we will be servants to Pharaoh”?
    Well, I tell you this –
    I know the Messiah; the
    Messiah is a friend of mine;
    and Mr. Obama is no Messiah!
    No, brothers and sisters,
    if Mr. Obama is a character
    from the Bible, then he is Pharaoh.
    Bow with me in prayer,
    if you will…

  21. These are all California State Agencies … taken from the State of Calif. web pages.

    ANY WONDER WHY CALIFORNIA IS BROKE?

    California Academic Performance Index (API) * California Access for Infants and Mothers * California Acupuncture Board * California Administrative Office of the Courts * California Adoptions Branch * California African American Museum * California Agricultural Export Program * California Agricultural Labor Relations Board * California Agricultural Statistics Service * California Air Resources Board (CARB) * California Allocation Board * California Alternative Energy and Advanced Transportation Financing Authority * California Animal Health and Food Safety Services * California Anti-Terrorism Information Center * California Apprenticeship Council * California Arbitration Certification Program * California Architects Board * California Area VI Developmental Disabilities Board * California Arts Council * California Asian Pacific Islander Legislative Caucus * California Assembly Democratic Caucus * California Assembly Republican Caucus * California Athletic Commission * California Attorney General * California Bay Conservation and Development Commission * California Bay-Delta Authority * California Bay-Delta Office * California Biodiversity Council * California Board for Geologists and Geophysicists * California Board for Professional Engineers and Land Surveyors * California Board of Accountancy * California Board of Barbering and Cosmetology * California Board of Behavioral Sciences * California Board of Chiropractic Examiners * California Board of Equalization (BOE) * California Board of Forestry and Fire Protection * California Board of Guide Dogs for the Blind * California Board of Occupational Therapy * California Board of Optometry * California Board of Pharmacy * California Board of Pediatric Medicine * California Board of Prison Terms * California Board of Psychology * California Board of Registered Nursing * California Board of Trustees * California Board of Vocational Nursing and Psychiatric Technicians * California Braille and Talking Book Library * California Building Standards Commission * California Bureau for Private Postsecondary and Vocational Education * California Bureau of Automotive Repair * California Bureau of Electronic and Appliance Repair * California Bureau of Home Furnishings and Thermal Insulation * California Bureau of Naturopathic Medicine * California Bureau of Security and Investigative Services * California Bureau of State Audits * California Business Agency * California Business Investment Services (CalBIS) * California Business Permit Information (CalGOLD) * California Business Portal * California Business, Transportation and Housing Agency * California Cal Grants * California CalJOBS * California Cal-Learn Program * California CalVet Home Loan Program * California Career Resource Network * California Cemetery and Funeral Bureau * California Center for Analytical Chemistry * California Center for Distributed Learning * California Center for Teaching Careers (Teach California) * California Chancellors Office * California Charter Schools * California Children and Families Commission * California Children and Family Services Division * California Citizens Compensation Commission * California Civil Rights Bureau * California Coastal Commission * California Coastal Conservancy * California Code of Regulations * California Collaborative Projects with UC Davis * California Commission for Jobs and Economic Growth * California Commission on Aging * California Commission on Health and Safety and Workers Compensation * California Commission on Judicial Performance * California Commission on State Mandates * California Commission on Status of Women * California Commission on Teacher Credentialing * California Commission on the Status of Women * California Committee on Dental Auxiliaries * California Community Colleges Chancellors Office, Junior Colleges * California Community Colleges Chancellors Office * California Complaint Mediation Program * California Conservation Corps * California Constitution Revision Commission * California Consumer Hotline * California Consumer Information Center * California Consumer Information * California Consumer Services Division * California Consumers and Families Agency * California Contractors State License Board * California Corrections Standards Authority * California Council for the Humanities * California Council on Criminal Justice * California Council on Developmental Disabilities * California Court Reporters Board * California Courts of Appeal * California Crime and Violence Prevention Center * California Criminal Justice Statistics Center * California Criminalist Institute Forensic Library * California CSGnet Network Management * California Cultural and Historical Endowment * California Cultural Resources Division * California Curriculum and Instructional Leadership Branch * California Data Exchange Center * California Data Management Division * California Debt and Investment Advisory Commission * California Delta Protection Commission * California Democratic Caucus * California Demographic Research Unit * California Dental Auxiliaries * California Department of Aging * California Department of Alcohol and Drug Programs * California Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control Appeals Board * California Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control * California Department of Boating and Waterways (Cal Boating) * California Department of Child Support Services (CDCSS) * California Department of Community Services and Development * California Department of Conservation * California Department of Consumer Affairs * California Department of Corporations * California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation * California Department of Developmental Services * California Department of Education * California Department of Fair Employment and Housing * California Department of Finance * California Department of Financial Institutions * California Department of Fish and Game * California Department of Food and Agriculture * California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection (CDF) * California Department of General Services * California Department of General Services, Office of State Publishing * California Department of Health Care Services * California Department of Housing and Community Development * California Department of Industrial Relations (DIR) * California Department of Insurance * California Department of Justice Firearms Division * California Department of Justice Opinion Unit * California Department of Justice, Consumer Information, Public Inquiry Unit * California Department of Justice * California Department of Managed Health Care * California Department of Mental Health * California Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) * California Department of Personnel Administration * California Department of Pesticide Regulation * California Department of Public Health * California Department of Real Estate * California Department of Rehabilitation * California Department of Social Services Adoptions Branch * California Department of Social Services * California Department of Technology Services Training Center (DTSTC) * California Department of Technology Services (DTS) * California Department of Toxic Substances Control * California Department of Transportation (Caltrans) * California Department of Veterans Affairs (CalVets) * California Department of Water Resources * California Departmento de Vehiculos Motorizados * California Digital Library * California Disabled Veteran Business Enterprise Certification Program * California Division of Apprenticeship Standards * California Division of Codes and Standards * California Division of Communicable Disease Control * California Division of Engineering * California Division of Environmental and Occupational Disease Control * California Division of Gambling Control * California Division of Housing Policy Development * California Division of Labor Standards Enforcement * California Division of Labor Statistics and Research * California Division of Land and Right of Way * California Division of Land Resource Protection * California Division of Law Enforcement General Library * California Division of Measurement Standards * California Division of Mines and Geology * California Division of Occupational Safety and Health (Cal/OSHA) * California Division of Oil, Gas and Geothermal Resources * California Division of Planning and Local Assistance * California Division of Recycling * California Division of Safety of Dams * California Division of the State Architect * California Division of Tourism * California Division of Workers Compensation Medical Unit * California Division of Workers Compensation * California Economic Assistance, Business and Community Resources * California Economic Strategy Panel * California Education and Training Agency * California Education Audit Appeals Panel * California Educational Facilities Authority * California Elections Division * California Electricity Oversight Board * California Emergency Management Agency * California Emergency Medical Services Authority * California Employment Development Department (EDD) * California Employment Information State Jobs * California Employment Training Panel * California Energy Commission * California Environment and Natural Resources Agency * California Environmental Protection Agency (Cal/EPA) * California Environmental Resources Evaluation System (CERES) * California Executive Office * California Export Laboratory Services * California Exposition and State Fair (Cal Expo) * California Fair Political Practices Commission * California Fairs and Expositions Division * California Film Commission * California Fire and Resource Assessment Program * California Firearms Division * California Fiscal Services * California Fish and Game Commission * California Fisheries Program Branch * California Floodplain Management * California Foster Youth Help * California Franchise Tax Board (FTB) * California Fraud Division * California Gambling Control Commission * California Geographic Information Systems Council (GIS) * California Geological Survey * California Government Claims and Victim Compensation Board * California Governors Committee for Employment of Disabled Persons * California Governors Mentoring Partnership * California Governors Office of Emergency Services * California Governors Office of Homeland Security * California Governors Office of Planning and Research * California Governors Office * California Grant and Enterprise Zone Programs HCD Loan * California Health and Human Services Agency * California Health and Safety Agency * California Healthy Families Program * California Hearing Aid Dispensers Bureau * California High-Speed Rail Authority * California Highway Patrol (CHP) * California History and Culture Agency * California Horse Racing Board * California Housing Finance Agency * California Indoor Air Quality Program * California Industrial Development Financing Advisory Commission * California Industrial Welfare Commission * California InFoPeople * California Information Center for the Environment * California Infrastructure and Economic Development Bank (I-Bank) * California Inspection Services * California Institute for County Government * California Institute for Education Reform * California Integrated Waste Management Board * California Interagency Ecological Program * California Job Service * California Junta Estatal de Personal * California Labor and Employment Agency * California Labor and Workforce Development Agency * California Labor Market Information Division * California Land Use Planning Information Network (LUPIN) * California Lands Commission * California Landscape Architects Technical Committee * California Latino Legislative Caucus * California Law Enforcement Branch * California Law Enforcement General Library * California Law Revision Commission * California Legislative Analyst’s Office * California Legislative Black Caucus * California Legislative Counsel * California Legislative Division * California Legislative Information * California Legislative Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender (LGBT) Caucus * California Legislature Internet Caucus * California Library De velopment Services * California License and Revenue Branch * California Major Risk Medical Insurance Program * California Managed Risk Medical Insurance Board * California Maritime Academy * California Marketing Services * California Measurement Standards * California Medical Assistance Commission * California Medical Care Services * California Military Department * California Mining and Geology Board * California Museum for History, Women, and the Arts * California Museum Resource Center * California National Guard * California Native American Heritage Commission * California Natural Community Conservation Planning Program * California New Motor Vehicle Board * California Nursing Home Administrator Program * California Occupational Safety and Health Appeals Board * California Occupational Safety and Health Standards Board * California Ocean Resources Management Program * California Office of Administrative Hearings * California Office of Administrative Law * California Office of AIDS * California Office of Binational Border Health * California Office of Child Abuse Prevention * California Office of Deaf Access * California Office of Emergency Services (OES) * California Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment * California Office of Fiscal Services * California Office of Fleet Administration * California Office of Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) Implementation (CalOHI) * California Office of Historic Preservation * California Office of Homeland Security * California Office of Human Resources * California Office of Legal Services * California Office of Legislation * California Office of Lieutenant Governor * California Office of Military and Aerospace Support * California Office of Mine Reclamation * California Office of Natural Resource Education * California Office of Privacy Protection * California Office of Public School Construction * California Office of Real Estate Appraisers * California Office of Risk and Insurance Management * California Office of Services to the Blind * California Office of Spill Prevention and Response * California Office of State Publishing (OSP) * California Office of Statewide Health Planning and Development * California Office of Systems Integration * California Office of the Inspector General * California Office of the Ombudsman * California Office of the Patient Advocate * California Office of the President * California Office of the Secretary for Education * California Office of the State Fire Marshal * California Office of the State Public Defender * California Office of Traffic Safety * California Office of Vital Records * California Online Directory * California Operations Control Office * California Opinion Unit * California Outreach and Technical Assistance Network (OTAN) * California Park and Recreation Commission * California Peace Officer Standards and Training (POST) * California Performance Review (CPR) * California Permit Information for Business (CalGOLD) * California Physical Therapy Board * California Physician Assistant Committee * California Plant Health and Pest Prevention Services * California Policy and Evaluation Division * California Political Reform Division * California Pollution Control Financing Authority * California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo * California Postsecondary Education Commission * California Prevention Services * California Primary Care and Family Health * California Prison Industry Authority * California Procurement Division * California Public Employees Retirement System (CalPERS) * California Public Employment Relations Board (PERB) * California Public Utilities Commission (PUC) * California Real Estate Services Division * California Refugee Programs Branch * California Regional Water Quality Control Boards * California Registered Veterinary Technician Committee * California Registrar of Charitable Trusts * California Republican Caucus * California Research and Development Division * California Research Bureau * California Resources Agency * California Respiratory Care Board * California Rivers Assessment * California Rural Health Policy Council * California Safe Schools * California San Francisco Bay Conservation and Development Commission * California San Gabriel and Lower Los Angeles Rivers and Mountains Conservancy * California San Joaquin River Conservancy * California School to Career * California Science Center * California Scripps Institution of Oceanography * California Secretary of State Business Portal * California Secretary of State * California Seismic Safety Commission * California Self Insurance Plans (SIP) * California Senate Office of Research * California Small Business and Disabled Veteran Business Enterprise Certification Program * California Small Business Development Center Program * California Smart Growth Caucus * California Smog Check Information Center * California Spatial Information Library * California Special Education Division * California Speech-Language Pathology and Audiology Board * California Standardized Testing and Reporting (STAR) * California Standards and Assessment Division * California State Administrative Manual (SAM) * California State Allocation Board * California State and Consumer Services Agency * California State Architect * California State Archives * California State Assembly * California State Association of Counties (CSAC) * California State Board of Education * California State Board of Food and Agriculture *California Office of the Chief Information Officer (OCIO) * California State Children’s Trust Fund * California State Compensation Insurance Fund * California State Contracts Register Program * California State Contracts Register * California State Controller * California State Council on Developmental Disabilities (SCDD) * California State Disability Insurance (SDI) * California State Fair (Cal Expo) * California State Jobs Employment Information * California State Lands Commission * California State Legislative Portal * California State Legislature * California State Library Catalog * California State Library Services Bureau * California State Library * California State Lottery * California State Mediation and Conciliation Service * California State Mining and Geology Board * California State Park and Recreation Commission * California State Parks * California State Personnel Board * California State Polytechnic University, Pomona * California State Railroad Museum * California State Science Fair * California State Senate * California State Summer School for Mathematics and Science (COSMOS) * California State Summer School for the Arts * California State Superintendent of Public Instruction * California State Teachers Retirement System (CalSTRS) * California State Treasurer * California State University Center for Distributed Learning * California State University, Bakersfield * California State University, Channel Islands * California State University, Chico * California State University, Dominguez Hills * California State University, East Bay * California State University, Fresno * California State University, Fullerton * California State University, Long Beach * California State University, Los Angeles * California State University, Monterey Bay * California State University, Northridge * California State University, Sacramento * California State University, San Bernardino * California State University, San Marcos * California State University, Stanislaus * California State University (CSU) * California State Water Project Analysis Office * California State Water Project * California State Water Resources Control Board * California Structural Pest Control Board * California Student Aid Commission * California Superintendent of Public Instruction * California Superior Courts * California Tahoe Conservancy * California Task Force on Culturally and Linguistically Competent Physicians and Dentists * California Tax Information Center * California Technology and Administration Branch Finance * California Telecommunications Division * California Telephone Medical Advice Services (TAMS) * California Transportation Commission * California Travel and Transportation Agency * California Unclaimed Property Program * California Unemployment Insurance Appeals Board * California Unemployment Insurance Program * California Uniform Construction Cost Accounting Commission * California Veterans Board * California Veterans Memorial * California Veterinary Medical Board and Registered Veterinary Technician Examining Committee * California Veterinary Medical Board * California Victim Compensation and Government Claims Board * California Volunteers * California Voter Registration * California Water Commission * California Water Environment Association (COWPEA) * California Water Resources Control Board * California Welfare to Work Division * California Wetlands Information System * California Wildlife and Habitat Data Analysis Branch * California Wildlife Conservation Board * California Wildlife Programs Branch * California Work Opportunity and Responsibility to Kids (CalWORKs) * California Workers Compensation Appeals Board * California Workforce and Labor Development Agency * California Workforce Investment Board * California Youth Authority (CYA) * Central Valley Flood Protection Board * Center for California Studies * Colorado River Board of California * Counting California * Dental Board of California * Health Insurance Plan of California (PacAdvantage) * Humboldt State University * Jobs with the State of California * Judicial Council of California * Learn California * Library of California * Lieutenant Governors Commission for One California * Little Hoover Commission (on California State Government Organization and Economy) * Medical Board of California * Medi-Cal * Osteopathic Medical Board of California * Physical Therapy Board of California * Regents of the University of California * San Diego State University * San Francisco State University * San Jose State University * Santa Monica Mountains Conservancy * State Bar of California * Supreme Court of California * Teach California * University of California * University of California, Berkeley * University of California, Davis * University of California, Hastings College of the Law * University of California, Irvine * University of California, Los Angeles * University of California, Merced * University of California, Riverside * University of California, San Diego * University of California, San Francisco * University of California, Santa Barbara * University of California, Santa Cruz * Veterans Home of California

    CERTAINLY THERE’S NOT AN OUNCE OF PORK HERE…SO, the only places they can cut is Police , Fire and Teachers….
    Think about it.

    Courtesy of Cyndi P

    • “California Water Environment Association (COWPEA)”?

      Cow pee?

    • A Puritan Descendant says:

      Here is A – B in the Sate of Maine >

      Accountancy, Board of
      Phone: 207-624-8603

      TTY: 888-577-6690

      More info +

      Administrative and Financial Services, Dept. of (DAFS)
      Phone: 207-624-7800

      TTY: 888-577-6690

      More info +

      Agriculture, Dept. of
      Phone: 207-287-3871

      More info +

      Air National Guard
      Phone: 207-626-4325

      More info +

      Air Quality, Bureau of
      Phone: 207-287-2437

      More info +

      Alcohol and Drug Counselors
      Phone: 207-624-8603

      TTY: 888-577-6690

      More info +

      Alcoholic Beverages, Bureau of
      Phone: 207-287-3721

      TTY: 207-287-6791

      More info +

      Architects, Landscape Architects, Interior Design, Board of Licensure
      Phone: 207-624-8603

      TTY: 888-577-6690

      More info +

      Archives, Maine State
      Phone: 207-287-5790

      More info +

      Army National Guard
      Phone: 207-622-9331

      More info +

      Arts Commission, Maine
      Phone: 207-287-2724

      TTY: 877-887-3878

      More info +

      Athletic Trainers
      Phone: 207-624-8603

      TTY: 888-577-6690

      More info +

      Atlantic Salmon Commission, Maine
      Phone: 207-287-9972

      More info +

      Attorney General, Dept. of
      Phone: 207-626-8800

      TTY: 207-626-8865

      More info +

      Auctioneers, Board of Licensing
      Phone: 207-624-8603

      TTY: 888-577-6690

      More info +

      Audit, Dept. of
      Phone: 207-624-6250

      More info +

      Banking, Bureau of – see Bureau of Financial Institutions
      Phone: 207-624-8570

      TTY: 207-624-8563

      More info +

      Barber and Cosmetology, Board of
      Phone: 207-624-8603

      TTY: 888-577-6690

      More info +

      Baxter Compensation Authority
      Phone: 207-287-6715

      TTY: 207-287-6712

      More info +

      Baxter State Park Authority
      Phone: 207-723-5140

      More info +

      Behavioral and Developmental Services
      Phone: 207-287-4242

      TTY: 800-606-0215

      More info +

      Budget, Bureau of
      Phone: 207-624-7810

      C – Z can be seen here >

      http://www.maine.gov/cgi-bin/agency_dir/agency_directory.pl

  22. I noticed, there are no comments about Palin’s articles-I’m really curious-did anyone on the left read them? I expected some ranting HeHeHe 🙂

    • Palin? Never heard of ‘er.

      (and neither, apparently, has my spell check)

      • Did you read them? 🙂

        • No… I don’t even know which articles you’re talking about.

          The problem, you see, is that when I read things by her, I find myself facing a strong urge to stab myself in the eye with an soldering iron just to make it stop.

    • I read them earlier V but I didn’t respond because D13 had already fired up the lefties.. I figured I would get the same (or worse) treatment The ideas are there some folks just refuse to accept them.

      • They don’t have to agree but they should at least admit that she has them-as much as any other politician. I’m like D13 -I don’t understand the craziness when it comes to Palin. Except that she’s a woman who’s against abortion-so the abortion crowd hates her-she hunts so the animal extremist hate her and she’s for drilling so the conservationist hate her-but then other conservatives fit this same description-so beats me.

  23. gmanfortruth says:

    This country needs alot more of this. I might start one here in Pa.

    Kurt Nimmo
    Infowars.com
    February 8, 2011

    The folks over at Think Soros, otherwise known as Think Progress, are freaking out over a plan in Montana to establish a state militia.

    “In a nod to extremism, Montana state Rep. Wendy Warburton (R) is introducing a bill to bring the militia movement into the mainstream by creating what she dubs ‘home guards’ to provide services in case major emergencies,” writes Tanya Somanader.

    Think Soros and the SPLC insist this is part of a frightening rightwing trend. According to the Montana Human Rights Network’s Jamee Greer, Montana’s state militia will be like a magnet for all sorts of nefarious and scary anti-government types.

    But what really sticks in their craw is the lack of federal oversight. “The ‘home guard’ would not be subject to federal oversight and a company would only be recognized if certified by the governor,” reports the Billings Gazette.

    Danger Will Robinson! Locals can’t be trusted not to operate outside of the purview of bureaucrats in the district of criminals, especially if the home guards will be used to defend states’ rights against federal intrusion.

    🙂

  24. Another reason cock-fighting should be illegal.

    Link.

  25. New Quiz- I liked this one-straight forward questions-I had no trouble answering them.

    http://politicalquiz.net/

    My Scores

    The following are your scores. They are based on a gradual range of 0 to 12. For instance, a Conservative/Progressive score of 3 and 0 will both yield a result of social conservative, yet 0 would be an extreme conservative and 3 a moderate conservative

    Conservative/Progressive score: 0
    You are a social conservative. You believe in traditional values, and care first and foremost about your country, your family, and your religion. You dislike the agenda of the left because you see them as trying to destroy these things.

    Capitalist Purist/Social Capitalist score: 2
    You’re a Capitalist Purist. You believe that the market should be completely free, and that the invisible hand of the market will make sure that the people get what they want and will do it in the most efficient way possible. You believe in small government, less taxes, and more privatization.

    Libertarian/Authoritarian score: 2
    You are libertarian. You think that the government is making way too many unnecessary laws that are taking away our innate rights. You believe that the government’s job is primarily to protect people from harming other people, but after that they should mind their own business, and if we give the government too much power in controlling our lives, it can lead to fascism.

    Pacifist/Militarist score: 7
    You’re a Moderate. You think that in very rare occasions, the United States should invade a country in order to make the world better by spreading democracy or ending a tyrants rule. You also think that defense is very important, and we shouldn’t lower the defense budget. You think that, while the Iraq War probably was a mistake, that we can make the world a better place by sticking with it and spreading democracy in the middle east.

    Overall, you would most likely fit into the category of Hardcore Republican

    • gmanfortruth says:

      Overall, you would most likely fit into the category of Libertarian. Nice test.

    • A Puritan Descendant says:

      My scores >

      Conservative/Progressive score: 0

      Capitalist Purist/Social Capitalist score: 1

      Libertarian/Authoritarian score: 0

      Pacifist/Militarist score: 6

    • Bottom Line says:

      1. Are our gun control laws too strict?

      Yes. There should be no laws, including gun laws.

      2. Should gay marriage be legalized?

      No. Legalizing something implies government has the right to say how people engage in romance.

      3. Should we consider invading Iran?

      We? Who is we? No. They are no threat to me.

      4. Should intelligent design be taught in public schools alongside evolution?

      No. Nothing should be taught in public schools because public schools should not exist.

      5. Does the US need a system of universal health care?

      No.

      6. Should marijuana be legalized?

      No. Legalizing marijuana implies government has the right to say what we are to do with OUR bodies.

      7. Should we repeal [or substantially change] the Patriot Act?

      Yes. Get rid of it and ALL other laws.

      8. Does the US have a right to stop countries we do not trust from getting weapons?

      No. Rights are for individuals.

      9. Should we end (or reduce the use of) the death penalty?

      Who is we? I don’t penalize people with death unless they are a legitimate threat. And no, I should not take the option off of the table as it may be necessary.

      10. Should there be a higher minimum wage?

      There should be NO minimum wage set by government. Allow the market to decide wages.

      11. Does affirmative action do more harm than good?

      Yes. It is a law.

      12. Is the United States spending too much money on defense?

      Yes. The defense budget should be $0.00

      13. Should embryonic stem cell research be funded by the government?

      No. Nor should anything else. The federal budget should be $0.00

      14. Should flag burning be legal?

      No. Making it legal implies that government has the right to say what I do with MY property.

      15. Should all people (rich and poor) pay fewer taxes?

      Yes. Taxes should be $0.00 for everyone.

      16. Should the US begin withdrawing from Iraq?

      No. Not until it is rebuilt to the same condition it was before it was wrecked all to hell.

      17. Is it sometimes justified to wiretap US citizens without a warrant?

      No. Nor is it justified if there IS a warrant.

      18. Should the government be involved in reducing the amount of violence/pornography in tv/movies/games/etc?

      No. The government simply shouldn’t be.

      19. Should the United States only start a war if there is an imminent threat of being attacked ourselves?

      What kinda silly ass question is that? If there is imminent danger, it isn’t “starting” a war.

      20. Should stopping illegal immigration be one of our top priorities?

      Yes. It should not be illegal to cross “imaginary lines”.

      21. Is outsourcing of American jobs justified if it allows for cheaper goods?

      No, government regulations that cause high overhead costs, and thus higher consumer prices that cannot compete with foreign manufacturers is not justified.

      22. Are all abortions unethical? [with the exception of risk to mother’s health]

      Yes. Killing babies is fundamentally wrong.

      23. Should social security be privatized?

      Yes, as should everything else.

      24. Should the United States ever go to war even if the UN is against it?

      No, The US OR the UN should not exist. Local militias should defend their lands against ANY attacker, regardless of what anyone says.

      • You’re getting a little “out there” now BL.

        6) Legalize marijuana. You’ve been OK with that in the past as a way of reducing boarder problems.
        9) Death penalty..you’re riding the fence. Yes or No?
        24) There should be no US? Wut up with that?

        • Bottom Line says:

          Anita – ” 6) Legalize marijuana. You’ve been OK with that in the past as a way of reducing boarder problems. ”

          BL – Legal means permissible by law. If I say that I want it legal, it means that I want government’s permission, …AS IF government has a say as to what I put in MY body.

          I am a free man. I don’t need anyone’s permission if I decide to smoke some pot. Legal or not, millions of my fellow smokers and I will smoke if we want to. 🙂

          Anita – ” 9) Death penalty..you’re riding the fence. Yes or No? ”

          ~ “9. Should we end (or reduce the use of) the death penalty?”

          BL – The question presumes my involvement by using the word “we”.

          I don’t go around threatening and kidnapping people, throwing them in dungeons, deciding their fate, etc…, …all for the sake of what I say is best for all.

          I don’t have any need to “penalize” anyone. If I “penalize” someone with death, it is because they are a legitimate mortal threat.

          So, …If I say I want to “get rid of” the “death penalty”, it means I want to relinquish my right to kill in defense. I don’t want to take that option off of the table as it may be necessary. Survival takes precedence. I am no victim.

          Do I want to eliminate my capacity to defend myself?

          No.

          Do I want them to stop killing people?

          Yes. I want them to not even exist.

          Anita – ” 24) There should be no US? Wut up with that? ”

          ~ 24. Should the United States ever go to war even if the UN is against it?

          BL – Think Anarchy/Libertarianism

          “States” are governments that are “United” under a centralized government, sitting on a big beautiful chunk of land called “America” on a big sphere with a water surface called “Earth”, somewhere in “The Milky Way Galaxy”.

          If this union of states(a..k.a-republic) did not exist, it wouldn’t be unilaterally attacking other nations, proceeding with it’s imperialist/colonial agenda, pissing off the world, having issues with world governments that are made up of other countries that do the same things.

          If they didn’t exist, there would be no such problems.

          If America were a completely decentralized network of cities and villages, who also served as a network of militias (with no restrictions on weapons), when necessary, they could defend the land.

          🙂

          • Just letting you know I’ve read your post and I still think you’re “out there” 🙂

            • Bottom Line says:

              Out there?

              I don’t dispute that.

              When I see the “Nolan Chart”, I see a box. And I don’t think inside the box.

              Whenever I take these political quizzes, I have a difficult time answering their presumptuous questions.

              It would be like me asking you if you cover the room with plastic before you lure children in and chop them up, yes or no?

              I am literally off the chart. When I entertain the questions as is, I always end up at the edge of whatever box or chart they display, usually labeled a “hard-core libertarian”.

              But they are fun.

    • Buck the Wala says:

      Hardcore Democrat

    • Hardcore libertarian!

      Jon Smith/D13 2012 🙂

  26. gmanfortruth says:

    Don’t know how many people saw this, but it’s good info to be aware of in the event of a major food contamination. The Feds are way out of control!

    The HR bill that also passed with S 510 has an interesting part in it:

    * HR 2749 would give FDA the power to order a quarantine of a geographic area, including “prohibiting or restricting the movement of food or of any vehicle being used or that has been used to transport or hold such food within the geographic area.”

    [This – “that has been used to transport or hold such food” – would mean all cars that have ever brought groceries home or any pickup someone has eaten take-out in, so this means ALL TRANSPORTATION can be shut down under this. This is using food as a cover for martial law.]

    Under this provision, farmers markets and local food sources could be shut down, even if they are not the source of the contamination. The agency can halt all movement of all food in a geographic area.

    [This is also a means of total control over the population under the cover of food, and at any time.]

    WTF! 👿

    • A Puritan Descendant says:

      So they could do this under authority of law. An action all would soon be aware was unjust.

      From the Declaration of Indepedence >

      “That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness…….”

      • gmanfortruth says:

        APD,

        I think that time may be close at hand. I used you as an example of what S 510 can do to your apple trees in the article on my blog. Basically, the Feds can make you cut them down under that law. People need to wake up!

        • A Puritan Descendant says:

          I may be able to avoid cutting them down. If my daughters have a hard time finding a husband, I can go find them their future husbands in a bar somewhere and promise a lifetime supply of free Cider if they will marry them. 😉

  27. gman, down here.

    Yes, this is not a typical political discussion and I do believe we are on the same page for the biggest part of this.

    The mandate. Is it a mandate that they must take this discussion up? Or is it an authorization to allow it to be done? No doctor is going to be forced to have a discussion when the patient is uninterested in discussing the topic as far as I see it.

    Does this detract from the physician dealing with other aspects of a patients medical issues? I don’t believe so.

    It is one of the very few items I’ve seen in this law that I can agree with at all. Again and again I’ll say it – if the damn government is going to take my money anyway then I’ll advocate for using it in a way I believe is a benefit to individuals.

    • Also gman, it is a part of what doctors went to school for and took an oath about “doing no harm.”

      I know some danged fine doctors that make this a part of their practice with their patients. It’s hard on most docs to do since they are in a mindset to heal, cure, save.

      Anything less is thought of as giving up in their view, so talking with their patients about the reality is very difficult for them.

    • gmanfortruth says:

      I totally understand your thinking. Let’s put the issue into a different perspective. I’ll quote you ” if the damn government is going to take my money”. Don’t you see the real problem? It’s not healthcare, it’s allowing the damn government to take your money! Maybe we should solve the later first, so the other can fix itself.

      • Yes sir, I see the problem and always have (though I may not have always acknowledged it).

        Yes, let’s solve the latter and I will go off and find some way to encourage and convince private insurance companies to encourage doc’s have these conversations with their patients.

        But, while Uncle is taking my money…………

        • gmanfortruth says:

          My friend, You are not alone!

          Quote: “I will go off and find some way to encourage and convince private insurance companies to encourage doc’s have these conversations with their patients. ”

          It’s not about insurance companies, it’s about healthcare providers (not just Docs). And your not alone, mainly because I agree with you.

          Quote “But, while Uncle is taking my money…………

          Once again, we are together, maybe it’s time to stand up and tell them NO as well!

          As individuals, I think we agree. That’s 1 +1 = 2
          If both of us can convince one more person, who will in turn convince one more person, on and on. We can be a very powerful force. Freedom is a work in progress, and if we don’t start to say NO, and begin to regain those freedoms that have been lost, what are we leaving for our kids and grandkids?

  28. My sons car is in a ditch, on it’s side, thank the Good Lord he is okay-said he hit a slight bump in the road and he was in the ditch. Car is probably totaled but thank the Good Lord he is okay. I am not-will be-as soon as he gets home. Luckily one of his friends, who he works with left work at the same time as him and picked him up off the side of the road. One more time -Thank you Lord!!!!!

    • Whoa! Good to hear he’s OK. Now the big question is are YOU OK yet? Do you guys have icy roads down there?

      • Yes, thank you I am okay-just took awhile to get rid of the shakes. I suspect you know exactly what I’m talking about. 🙂

        • Sure do! My daughter was broadsided on the driver’s side a few years back. She came within inches of her life. Went to the accident site..don’t know how she came out with just a couple bruises. Scary stuff.

      • And yea-our roads are pure ICE!

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