Saturday, September 18, 2010
Yesterday, the Gekko's headed north to Circleville, Ohio for a funeral for my grandmother.
My grandmother died at 89 and was a testament to alcohol, nicotine, lard, cream, butter, and sugar; all the ingredients for a good life.
As we headed for Stoutsville (where I hadn't been for over 30 years) for her burial, I had lot's of memories of my dad and I picking wild black berries and sponge mushrooms.
I also had memories of some of my relatives there who had no indoor plumbing and had to pump their water out of wells.
And that's where the lessons begin.
As I grew into adulthood, I had little interest in the old country ways. I was smarter, better, faster than those pedestrian hillbillies; too metropolitan. Is it a coincidence that I was a flaming liberal as well?
As I've gotten older, when I came to one of those forks in the road of life, I don't think I've ever regretted a decision I ever made out of some good old common sense.... country style.
When I make a financial decision I always remember my dad telling me.... "If you can't draw it out on a cocktail napkin, it's too complicated".
Or my mom's lessons on freedom/responsibility.... "If you're mature enough to drink and drive you're mature enough how to get out of jail without calling home".
Or my friend's dad who taught the lessons of maturity..... "As long as I can kick your ass, you'll do what I tell you. The day you can kick mine, you get to move out."
Of course the David Brook's, Charles Krauthammer's, and Karl Rove's of the world believe our problems are way to complicated for a bunch of yahoo's in fly over country.
Can you imagine one of these simpletons in a sub committee hearing on the budget. "I've been looking at our federal checkbook and it seems to me that we don't have the money for (name your project)".
Or a hearing on health care. "If people want health insurance, why don't they buy it and if they can't afford it, figure out a way to get the money for it."
The fact is, that people have always figured out a way to make their lives work. I once asked my dad why my great aunt had a flannel covered toilet seat hanging over a heating stove in the living room. He told me that in the winter that outhouse gets mighty cold so you grab the toilet seat off the hanger and take to sit on in the out house.
I'm thinking if those pedestrian hillbillies can figure out a way to have a nice warm seat in the winter, they could probably bring some common sense to congress.
At Mason High School, vending machine choices include Coke, Gatorade - and carrots.
An all-carrot vending machine was installed this week as part of a national campaign that packages and markets carrots like junk food.
The campaign is an attempt to get kids to eat healthier and fits with Ohio's new Healthy Choices for Healthy Children legislation, aimed at requiring school districts to step up more to fight childhood obesity.
Cincinnati and Syracuse, N.Y., are the national test markets for the campaign. Mason and a Syracuse high school are the only schools in the country to pilot the machines, which will remain for two months.
I'll take the expiration dates for $500.
How about some celery, ranch dressing and BACON in that vending machine.
We'll just conveniently omit all that stuff about our creator.
Friday, September 17, 2010
Thursday, September 16, 2010
I've always been struck by how our political process has evolved over time. Seriously, in my mind, why can't the Rotary Club sponsor candidates for office? Why not Greenpeace? How about the Chamber of Commerce? or PETA?. Each organization has a set of guiding principles that makes them different from your average bowling league.
The point is........ what the hell makes you a republican in this country? Because according to Karl Rove et al., what makes you a republican is simply the ability to be elected as one......... nothing more. There's no shared values or mores. So if you are a small government type who has no chance of being elected, Rove would like to have you expelled from the party. According to Karl Rove, Christine O'Donnell did the heinous thing of beating the electable (sort of ironic isn't it?). It was like bringing in a steak dinner to a PETA meeting.
I've have been downright sickened by the response of the GOP establishment towards elected anti establishment candidates.
Let me ask this question to the republicans...... if Mike Castle is elected we get.........? What?
A majority? What exactly will that majority do? Especially with the likes of Lindsay Grahamnesty, Olympia Snowe, Susan Collins, etc. as part of that majority.
Remember, these are the same republicans who cleared the way for the democratic trouncing led by one Barack Obama by bringing us the billion dollar Bridges To No Where.
Instead of Karl Rove and the likes criticizing the electorate, maybe they ought to be listening to what the voters are saying. We're no longer willing to put up with politicians, of any party, who's only governing principle is to go along to get along.
This GOP response to Christine O'Donnell illustrates the arrogance of power that continues to permeate the party structure across the country.
Look, the republican party let's anyone in who wants in. Maybe anyone wanting to be a republican should go through a screening process before being admitted into the party but that's not how it works.
Or maybe the republicans should work to elect the people other republicans want as their leader.
What a foreign concept to the anointed.
Wednesday, September 15, 2010
As it pertains to sports stadiums nothing could be more truthful.
Most teams rent the stadiums but they get to control everything in and around the facilities. In the case of the Bengals, the rent doesn't even cover the debt service on the buildings, now at 561 MILLION dollars. The shortfall is made up by an increased sales tax.
So now Chris Monzell, neighborhood idiot, thinks it's a good idea to sell the stadiums to relive the county of it's debt obligations............
The Republican candidate for Hamilton County Commission proposed a new solution to cover the debt for the county's two riverfront stadiums: sell them.
Chris Monzel proposed the idea Wednesday at a meeting with Enquirer editors and reporters, arguing the county shouldn't be in the stadium business.
"I will try with all my power to get us out of that," he said. "If you look at the core functions of county government, it's not owning two sports stadiums."
His Democrat opponent Jim Tarbell countered, "Nobody in their right mind will try and buy our stadiums. That is ludicrous."
So let me make sure I have this right. I pay millions for a property that generates little to no rent and I have to pay all the expenses for the upkeep on the facility. Where do I sign up?
The fact is, Mike Brown, with the help of Bob Bengalhaus (then county commissioner), ripped off the taxpayers of Hamilton County out of nearly a billion dollars.
But it's not even the money but the control they gave Mike Brown for development of the Riverfront. Not one thing can go on that site without his approval and his name isn't on one document of ownership.
I guess I need to start reading my junk mail more closely.
If I were a Delaware resident, I don't know who I would have voted for in the republican primary. Reading news accounts it appears that the race was between a non electable, tea party moron and a thoughtful, established, experienced, yet electable, republican. Of course, that analysis comes from thoughtful, established, experienced media members who seem to like the status quo.
Given that for the past 40 years, those thoughtful, established, experienced and electable republicans conspired with thoughtful, established, experienced and electable democrats to put 10 TRILLION dollars of debt on the books with another 50 TRILLION in unfunded liabilities. All that without even mentioning the TRILLIONS of dollars in unfunded state and municipal pension liabilities.
Oh and I forgot all about those thoughtful, established, experienced, yet electable politician types who manage to pass 1200 page bills without knowing one damn thing in those bills.
I think I'll take my chances with the unelectable, tea party moron.
For the record, one of those unelectable, tea party morons, Rand Paul, is up by 10 points.
Tuesday, September 14, 2010
Monday, September 13, 2010
It goes like this........
Mr./Ms. "Progressive" - You know the rich don't pay enough in taxes.
Me - Is that right? How much do the rich pay?
Mr./Ms. "Progressive" - Well they don't pay enough.
Me - Let's be specific. Let's assume that a married couple with two kids make $125,000 each ($250,000 total). How much should they pay in total federal, state and local taxes?
Mr./Ms. "Progressive" - Well they get all those deductions.
Me - First off, I won't even try to educate you on the Alternative Minimum Tax which wipes off a lot of those deductions you think the rich get. Forget that. I want to know how much you think they should pay versus what they are paying?
Mr./Mrs. "Progressive" - I just know that they don't pay enough.
Me - So, in other words, you are just reciting the class warfare talking points. You have no idea how much they do pay or how much they should pay so you really don't know shit.
It plays out over and over again.
So let me fire out the question to the "progressives" out there.
Let's assume that a married couple with two kids make $125,000 each ($250,000 total). How much should the pay in total federal, state and local taxes?" Not percentages..... actual dollars.
So have the guts and tell me how much.
When a government report found that President Barack Obama’s health overhaul would modestly raise the nation’s total health care tab, the White House responded with a statistic suggesting costs would go down.
Health reform director Nancy-Ann DeParle wrote on the White House blog last week that the same government report indicates spending per insured person will be more than $1,000 lower in 2019 because of the law — some 9 percent below previous projections.
“The act will make health care more affordable for Americans,” DeParle said.
It turns out that may be fuzzy math.
Where the hell was this clown last year? He needs to get himself a hundred thousand dollars in student loans and I can get him a Masters in the Obvious degree.
Here's the deal. You can't cover more stuff for more people and expect costs to come down. I don't care what slide rule, abacus, calculator, spreadsheet you use for your computation.
I guess if Obamunist showed these people that gravity really pulls us away from the earth they'd believe it.
Meet Jessica Gamble.
Why is Jessica in the news?
A 21-year-old woman is accused of forcing a small child to smoke marijuana.
Jessica Gamble of Roselawn is held at the Hamilton County jail in lieu of $10,000 bond. She faces one count of corrupting another with drugs.
Gamble forced the juvenile to smoke the drug sometime between June 12 and Aug. 19 at a residence in the 7400 block of Edgemont Drive, Springfield Township Police Sgt. Nick Peterson wrote in court records.
During the 2008 presidential election, did Jessica here for for Obama or McCain?
At New York's colleges and universities, the arrival of a new school year brings anticipation tinged with anxiety. For many students, the second emotion is prompted by one nagging question: How am I going to pay for this?
Many of them won't be able to find an answer. The Higher Education Services Corp., which services and collects federally backed college loans in New York, has almost $2 billion worth of defaulted debt on its hands.
As of July 1, HESC listed 145,437 accounts with $1,983,922,931 in college loans that had gone into default. That's up from last year, when there were 144,216 borrowers for a total of $1,895,211,727 by the end of July.
A friend of mine told me over the weekend that his ex wife had defaulted on over $80,000 in student loans. Her profession? Teaching art. For about 10 years her payments were $380 a month even though interest was accruing at $550 a month. Huh?
Now she's in a world of hurt.
Apparently, she never did the cost benefit analysis that she'd be better off working as a cafeteria worker than ever repaying that debt as an art teacher.
Where are the congressional hearings looking to vilify the people responsible for screwing the financial future out of all these grads.
The number of people in the U.S. who are in poverty is on track for a record increase on President Obama's watch, with the ranks of working-age poor approaching 1960s levels that led to the national war on poverty.
Census figures for 2009 — the recession-ravaged first year of the Democrat's presidency — are to be released in the coming week, and demographers expect grim findings.
It's unfortunate timing for Obama and his party just seven weeks before important elections when control of Congress is at stake. The anticipated poverty rate increase — from 13.2 percent to about 15 percent — would be another blow to Democrats struggling to persuade voters to keep them in power.
Sunday, September 12, 2010
Yet, the NFL, who has lots of revenue sharing, is basically allowing shit ball organizations to prosper in the face of organizational failure.
Case in point, the Cincinnati Bengals and owner Mike Brown, ranked 31st of the worst owners in the NFL beating only a 80 year old senile, douche bag in Al Davis. Here's what Yahoo sports had to say about Mr. Brown......
It’s hard to put Brown’s philosophy in its proper context, but here’s a loaded attempt: He’s the 21st century’s answer to a Communist Party bigwig in the Soviet Union’s heyday – gaming a system steeped in shared revenues for his own benefit while setting new standards among his peers for brazen laziness. Says one owner: “Anything that’s going to force him to do any extra work, he speaks out against it.” In recent months, Brown voiced opposition to the league’s moves to allow teams to cut sponsorship deals with state lotteries and hard-liquor providers and to sell advertising decals on practice jerseys. When Saints owner Tom Benson asked for a waiver on club-seat revenues to help fund improvements at the Superdome – part of an admirable transformation that has pushed him away from his usual spot at or near the bottom of these rankings – Brown was the lone Grinch in the meeting room. “It’s a great American story, Tom Benson defying the skeptics and keeping the Saints in New Orleans, and [expletive] Mike Brown speaks out against it,” the same owner says. “Meanwhile, the guy has the best stadium deal ever. It was completely built for him and he has no operating expenses. He probably makes more money than any of us.” Nonetheless, Brown repeatedly advocates for additional handouts from his larger-market peers via revenue-sharing and spends as little of it as he can get away with on employees. Sometimes it pays off – I guess. After months of low-balling sixth overall draft pick Andre Smith(notes), the big tackle caved and took a below-market deal at the tail end of training camp. Then again, Smith suffered a stress fracture in his foot two days after reporting. Perhaps the football gods have a sense of humor.
A couple of years ago, I decided to quit the NFL. I'll admit to watching a game if it's on TV every once in a while but I don't play fantasy, do pools, or anything if I think Mike Brown's getting his grubby as hands on the money.
My greatest hope in life is that there is an ebola outbreak at the next NFL owner's meeting and Mike Brown and the McCaskey family (ranked 30th by the way) are wiped out in a painful, tortuous bout of lethal diarrhea.
Then maybe I'll start watching again.
Normally, presidents are cheerleaders for the nation's economy.
Oops. My bad. This was from the NY Times in March, 2001 ripping then president Bush for "talking down the economy". Here's some more of the beat down......
Now comes George W. Bush, who is presenting what an analysis in The Financial Times lastweek called ''the novel spectacle'' of a president ''urging citizens to ignore good economic news and focus on the bad.'
All week, the president talked about the economy ''sputtering,'' and he wrapped up the week on Saturday by beginning his weekly radio address to the nation this way: ''Good morning. For several months, economic indicators have pointed toward a slowdown, and now many Americans are starting to feel its impact. The stock market is causing worries, high energy prices are straining family budgets and some workers and small-business people have been directly affected by layoffs and slowing retail sales.''
The fact of the matter is that the stock market did have a very bad week -- its worst in 11 1/2 years -- and many people are beginning to feel the pinch. But the economic news is not universally bad.
The Labor Department reported that 135,000 jobs were created in February, and the unemployment rate remained low at 4.2 percent. Retail sales remain relatively strong, particularly for big-ticket items like cars. Almost certainly, given the growth in jobs, the economy is not now in a recession.
But Mr. Bush and his advisers clearly decided a while back that the best shot they had for getting the public to support and Congress to approve a large tax cut was to argue that the measure was essential to bolster a sagging economy.
Early in his presidential campaign, in December 1999, when the economy was on a roll, Mr. Bush outlined his tax plan to the Chamber of Commerce in Des Moines and suggested that economists might be wrong in forecasting continued economic growth. Just in case, he declared, taxes should be lowered because ''if delayed until a downturn begins, tax cuts would come too late to prevent a recession.''
This is how I know the Obamunists are cutthroat socialists..... they're the only politicians to talk down their own economy.
Look, I actually don't believe that there's much any president can do, policy wise, to improve an economy. They can do plenty to harm it.
But the Obamunists seem hell bent to beat down the very people who you need to create jobs for the masses; not exactly out of the "How to make friends and influence people" playbook.
This is what happens when you hire a bunch of liberal art majors to run economies. They somehow seem to get degrees from colleges without one Econ 101 course. See if you were to ever take an econ 101 course you would understand that 90 percent of economics is psychology and sociology. If people perceive shortages, demand goes up. When people perceive you're out to screw them, they tend to do crazy shit like hoard cash.
One of Ronald Reagan's greatest strengths as president is that he created a perception that things were going to be great, and he supported everyone in that vision. Have you ever heard The Messiah speak of our nation as a great one? Have you ever heard The One speak about the great private enterprise engine that creates opportunities for millions around the world?
Maybe the dumb asses in the Obama administration would understood that. If they would have taken a couple of history courses to go along with that econ course.