Friday, November 9, 2012

You know you're a liberal when...

  • You know that GOTV has nothing to do with television
  • "I got this" is a favorite quote
  • You know Obama was born in Hawaii, but doubt that Trump's hair is real
  • You think that millionaire's don't need a tax break because when you at look what they spent on PAC donations, surely they have a bit of extra cash around
  • and last but not least,
  • You don't drink the red cool-aid, you prefer blue power aid!

Congrats to everyone that worked hard on this campaign!

Please feel free to add to the list...

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

When you're having trouble deciding who to vote for

This is a previously published post, but still viable today...
Our country is facing numerous problems.  It’s up to us to send the best qualified people to help solve them, but sometimes that's hard to determine, so here's a checklist that I hope will help.

 5 things to look for in a candidate (and why they are important)

  • ·             Education/Intellect
  • ·         Work Ethic/Accomplishments
  • ·         Problem solving capacity and ideas
  • ·         Perspective
  • ·         Integrity

Why these?

Education/Intellect -- Think of it this way: would you work with an investment advisor who wasn’t educated and who didn’t understand basic economics?  Or a doctor that quoted cliches and generalities?  The problems we face are complex; we need representatives that can understand them.

Work Ethic/Accomplishments -- has the candidate accomplished anything for the good of others?  Did they put themselves through school or was everything handed to them?

Problem solving capacity and ideas-- can the candidate appreciate the multiple facets of an issue?  Have they put forth actual solutions they want to work on?  Would they reach “across the aisle” and work with the opposition to get a better solution or just sit back and vote “no”?  

Perspective -- It’s a global world, whether we like it or not.  Can the candidate appreciate the impact other countries actions have on us (and our on them?) Do they understand and respect other cultures?  

Integrity -- Do they pay their taxes and obey the laws?  How do they run their campaign?  Do they take responsibility and explain their voting record?   How many special interest groups are big donors to their campaigns?  How much PAC money is being contributed?

Scoring:  For each positive attribute the candidate has, they get one point.  If they have a negative attribute (for example, they are running a smear campaign) give them minus one.
 If you feel an attribute is very positive, give them two points if you like. 
You might be surprised how your scorecard totals come out.  If you find this helpful, please add a comment.

Where to find information:  do an Internet search for voter information, league of women voters, and/or board of elections.  You can also visit individual candidates’ sites.
In my area, there are many judges that are elected.  The judges, and county commissioners, are elected officials that many voters really don’t have good information about, yet make decisions with impact!  It’s worth your time to look these up before voting. 

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Hey, What's the Deal with Health Reform?

Pete, a friend of mine, who is a CEO of a small company, was complaining.
“We’ve just received a notice that our health premiums are going up 20%.  I don’t think we can absorb this -- now the employees are going to have to pay more.  Health reform has been a disaster!”

I understand his concern and imagine he’s got his hands full with strategic plans, budgets and balance sheets, so there isn’t time to research health reform.
So I’ve done some research and can assure him that his increase isn’t due to the health reform law.

  •            First, most of the reforms haven’t kicked in yet, they are scheduled to be phased in.  2014 is a big year where we’ll see major changes.

  •           But good things are in effect – one is the provision that health insurers spend at least 80% of premium on medical costs.  I don’t know what carrier he’s dealing with, but some of the big names can do this, some are not that efficient.   They've been forced to  look hard at their administrative costs and not just pass them along to the customer.

  •          Creation of ACO’s (Accountable Care Organizations) are enabled by the law.  These begin to address costs by rewarding for outcomes, not by the test.  They deliver better care at lower costs.  These are new and their effects will be greater as they grow in popularity.

So, Pete, this may not make you feel any better about that stiff increase, but don’t blame health care reform. 

It will take time,  it could be improved (hopefully it will) as we see what works best, but it is a step in the right direction of doing something about spiraling healthcare costs. 

There are many articles on this, let me know if you'd like the links. 

all the best,


Tuesday, October 9, 2012

A "do nothing"?

My next door neighbor said he wouldn't vote for President Obama because he is a "do nothing."

True, he's had a hard time getting Congress to pass anything -- a hard task when many of them admit their main objective is to make sure the President doesn't get re-elected. 

It's like putting lead weights on a racehorse.

But here's the short list of what he has been able to do, even with this handicap:

  • Ended the war in Iraq
  • Winding down the war in Afghanistan 
  • Focused on the people who attacked us on 9/11  -  Osama bin Laden is gone
  • Cut taxes for middle class families
  • Kept student loan rates low 
  • Raised our standing among our allies

And there's more -- he's been a hard working President!

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Saturday, September 22, 2012

Lowering Taxes for Business

Every election, I hear someone say: "We need to lower taxes for business to create jobs, stimulate the economy, etc..."

On the surface, this seems like a really good idea.  Businesses employ people and we could use more jobs.

But would this really do any good?

I don't think so.  Businesses only pay taxes when they generate a profit (or in the case of some large corporations, work the system to avoid taxes even when they make a profit)

Most of the businesses I've worked with focus on EBIT (earnings before interest and taxes) as a key metric.  No EBIT?  No taxes.  

I've never heard someone say:  "Wow, the corporate tax rate just went down.  Let's get serious about making money now -- we were just playing before."  

Have you?

Here's a good article on how corporations are the real "moochers".

Thursday, August 30, 2012

I respect other's viewpoints, as long as they're . . . . . true.

I respect that people have different views on how the government is run -- being able to express our view and vote is the great part of living in a democratic country. 

I also know that politicians have been "spinning" the truth for as long as there was politics.  If you look at history, even some of the founding fathers did that. 

But to repeat outright lies and represent them as truth really insults the American people.  It resembles brainwashing.

So in my own effort to counteract some of the things I saw last night on television, here is a list of five lies that Paul Ryan told when he gave his speech to the RNC.  I hope news outlets report on these!*

1. Lie: President Obama is the "greatest threat" to Medicare.
Truth: Obama didn't make any cuts to Medicare benefits; he made cuts to provider reimbursements, to improve cost efficiency and extend the fiscal security of Medicare by eight years. According to the Medicare actuary, "[Obama's] Affordable Care Act makes important changes to the Medicare program and substantially improves its financial outlook."1
But Ryan actually does want to cut benefits. He proposed dismantling Medicare and replacing it with a voucher system, leaving millions of seniors to come up with more money to pay for care out of pocket.2,3
2. Lie: President Obama didn't save a General Motors plant in Wisconsin.
Truth: First, Obama wasn't even in office when the GM plant closed. Second, Obama never made a promise to save it.4
3. Lie: President Obama ignored recommendations of a bipartisan debt commission.
Truth: Paul Ryan actually sat on that commission. And he led Republicans in voting down the commission's own recommendation. So the commission never gave a report to Obama, because Ryan himself voted to kill the report before it could.5
4. Lie: President Obama is responsible for the downgrading of the U.S. Credit Rating
Truth: House Republicans, including Paul Ryan, held the full faith and credit of the United States hostage to try to ransom it for trillions of dollars in cuts to social programs without increasing taxes on the wealthy one dime. Standard & Poors said specifically, "We have changed our assumption on [revenue] because the majority of Republicans in Congress continue to resist any measure that would raise revenues." That's why our nation's credit rating was downgraded.6,7
5. Lie: Ryan wants to protect the "weak."
Truth: Ryan's biggest feat in his political career was proposing a budget with dramatic cuts to programs benefiting the poor. He'd cut Medicaid by one third, take away health care insurance from 30 million Americans, and cut Pell Grants for 1 million students. All so that he could give more tax breaks to the rich.8
* Fox News actually did point some of these out.  To give them credit, here's a link to the article:
1. "Fact check: Paul Ryan at the RNC," USA Today, August 30, 2012

2. "Undoing Obama Medicare cuts may backfire on Romney," The Boston Globe, August 18, 2012
3. "Romney-Ryan Medicare Plan Would Cost 29-Year-Olds $331,200: Report," Huffington Post, August 27, 2012
4. "Paul Ryan Misleads With GM Plant Closure Tale," Huffington Post, August 29, 2012
5. "Fact Check: Paul Ryan misleads on debt panel's spending cut plan," CNN, August 30, 2012
6. "Top 5 Fibs In Paul Ryan's Convention Speech," Talking Points Memo, August 30, 2012
7. "Paul Ryan Address: Convention Speech Built On Demonstrably Misleading Assertions," Huffington Post, August 30, 2012
8. "4 Ways Paul Ryan's Budget Would Devastate The Poor," ThinkProgress, August 17, 2012

Monday, June 11, 2012

The Blue Button

Sometimes little things can make you happy

I've got a blue button on my hair dryer.
The instructions said that when you push it, negative ions* come out in the air.
I have no idea if it really works, but even so, every morning when I'm drying my hair (I start with my head upside down) I push the button and I smile. :)
It's automatic -- I don't know if I'm smiling at myself because I'm pushing a button that does nothing, or if it really works. 

It doesn't matter.
Bottom line, I always feel just a little better.

So, look for your blue buttons of happiness. They're out there!
And smile!

Have a great day!

*negative ions are the good kind -- they are also produced by falling water, like your shower or a water fall. I think it's why people love waterfalls so much.

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Why is it?

Why is it that when you try to sneak out in your pajamas to throw out the trash, you are bound to see a neighbor?

Why is it that when you'd like to see one of your neighbors, you rarely do?

Have you ever felt lonely and wanted to see someone you know?

Here's the trick -- make a quick run to the grocery store in your old sweats -- you know, the ones that are sooo comfy but bag out because the elastic has seen better days.  And don't comb your hair.  You'll be bound to see someone you know.



Saturday, May 12, 2012

Next election or next generation -- a good question

From a bumper sticker:

A politician thinks of the next election.
A leader thinks of the next generation.

Think about it.

Sunday, April 8, 2012

We need more trains!

If you don’t think this country needs to rebuild its infrastructure, take a trip down I-95. 

On the way to Florida from North Carolina, we experienced three major traffic backups due to accidents and slowdown from unidentified causes. 

We’d looked into the auto train (auto train but the last stop before Florida is in Washington, DC.   Next trip we’re going to take the train, even if it means renting a car.

It will save gas and aggravation!

Anyone have experience on the train?  Please share your experiences.

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Pictures worth a 1000 words--mass transit

Ah, we love our cars, but alas, gasoline is getting more scarce.  Think we should invest in public transportation?

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Not all women are like that!

I was listening to morning drive time radio the other day and the female part of the duo was talking about her numerous coach purses.
I like her personality, she's usually amusing; but it started me thinking.
If you listen to programs like this and ads on TV and radio, you'd think American women are pushy, know-it-alls, and extremely materialistic.
Just listen to the ads.

And how many women really want numerous designer label purses? Really?

I happen to regard a purse as a necessary tool. It holds stuff that doesn't fit in your pocket.
You get a new one when the old one wears out or gets too dirty to clean.
If I could swing it, I wouldn't have a purse at all.

And lots of women I've talked to feel that way.
So if you like purses, great. If you don't, don't let TV and radio pressure you into thinking you do.

Friday, February 17, 2012

Time Warp Politics

I think my mother would be puzzled by anyone that would vote for any of the current GOP candidates.

My mother was a devout Catholic and staunch Republican.  She loved children and opposed abortion rights.

But in her years working as a nurse and living as a compassionate person, she saw way too many women who never were allowed to reach their potential because they were imprisoned by their biology.  Children too early, too close together, too many -- all these impacted women's lives as well as their children's and husbands (though in some cases, the husbands vanished).

Though she taught us to have morals and self esteem, she was a big fan of contraceptives, realizing that prevention was necessary at times.  Contraceptives have allowed couples to both have careers and bring families into the world when it makes sense, not haphazardly.

To the best of my knowledge, Jesus didn't say anything about contraceptives -- they didn't exist in the form we have them today.  Isn't that like saying people shouldn't have heart surgery?  That wasn't mentioned either.  How about taking Viagra?  What do these time warp politicians have to say about that?

So back to my mother.  If she was here, I don't think she'd be voting Republican this year.

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Question for the debates

I've got a question for the debates that hasn't been asked.   I'd really like to hear what they say on this one:

"What do you plan to do to help the 50 year olds who have been hardest hit by the last recession?  These individuals want to contribute and have skills and talents to do so, but have a rough time competing for jobs."  

Please be specific -- answering "loosen government regulations" or "lower taxes on business" will not be accepted.

Please comment if you have an idea that might work on this.