Another Day, Another Snow Job

Yesterday some weather forecasters said we’d get snow while others said we wouldn’t. Of those calling for snow, one was correct. We got exactly as much as he said we would, and that’s why I pay attention to Glen Burns at WSB-TV. After 13 years of watching (and listening to) him, he’s right more often than anyone else.

 

I took the video fairly early in the day. We ended up with about 3 inches total here at our house, but at one point it was melting as quick as it was falling.

It was pretty to watch, but it was a heavy, wet snow and the kids didn’t find much interest in it. Amazing really, because we rarely get snow, so you would think they would want to be out there all day.

With all the snow falling outside, I couldn’t help but wonder if hell had frozen over. After reading the news today, I’m still not sure.

House Ways and Means Committee Charlie Rangel was on the verge of losing his gavel Tuesday night as a trickle of Democratic defections turned into a flood.

It wasn’t clear how Rangel would go – voluntarily, by force, temporarily or permanently – but the tide had clearly turned against him by the time he walked into a closed-door meeting with Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s staff Tuesday night.

“The dam broke today,” said a senior Democratic aide.

Charlie Rangel has been in the House of Representatives for 39 years. House members are elected every two years. That’s one election and 17 re-elections so far for those of you keeping track. By now, Mr. Rangel is pretty settled into his job as a career politician, but it looks like his days are finally numbered.

Sure, it’s only a leadership role, but a very influential one at that, so if hell is freezing over, I’m hoping his days as a Congressman could be coming to an end as well.

Another interesting development today was the sudden “switch” by Senator Jim Bunning (R-KY).

For days now he has blocked a bill extending unemployment benefits, highway funding, and other government programs because the bill was unfunded.

Tonight, however, he switched his position because Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) promised him a vote on his amendment forcing the $10 billion bill to be offset by closing a tax loophole, as well as a chance to offer amendments on the next Senate jobs bill which will cost $150 billion.

Just moments after he agreed to Scary Harry’s terms, the extension bill passed 78 – 19 and his amendment failed with only 43 Senators voting for it.

So what did Bunning gain out of this? Nothing. Nothing at all. He folded under the pressure when he should have stood his ground. How much longer can we write checks with nothing to pay them with? Here’s Sen. Jim DeMint (R-SC) speaking on the Senate floor today before Sen. Bunning caved.

 

The one bright side was seeing which 19 GOP members voted against the measure. Senators Alexander, Barrasso, Bennett (UT), Bunning, Burr, Coburn, Corker, Cornyn, Crapo, DeMint, Ensign, Enzi, Gregg, Hatch, Johanns, McConnell, Risch, Sessions, and Thune all voted against a bill that will cost $10 billion with no money allocated to pay for it.

Even though he voted against the bill itself, by dropping his opposition to the bill Jim Bunning helped increase our national debt by $10 billion in just a matter of minutes. Thanks, Jim!

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Mao, Money, Men, & Murder

What an interesting day today was.

It started with some clouds and rain outside to dampen our bird watching plans. We had planned to visit Sweetwater Creek State Park again to see if the bald eagle was still hanging around and to see what migratory birds were flying about. After a very short discussion we decided we could wait until tomorrow when the skies should be clear.

Because the birdwatching trip was out, we made a short pit stop at our favorite antique store in Villa Rica. We spent about an hour walking around looking at everything and when we walked out I loaded an antique Irish Spinning Wheel into the back of the truck. Gidget loved it and the price was reasonable, so we brought it home. It appears to be about 200 years old, and it’s definitely going to be interesting to see what Gidge does with it.

I was going to do an in-depth post tonight, but after our exciting day, I decided to take the evening off and just post some more quick thoughts. I seem to get more attention for my quick thoughts anyway. Is this your way of telling me that I am long winded in my other posts?

Thought #1 – Mao Tse-Dunn

Wow.

Thought #2 – Whose Deficit Is It?

The federal budget deficit has surged to a new, all-time record high of $1.42 trillion, as the recession as tax revenues to plunge while the government’s massive spending has put a debt on our kids and grandkids that will be nearly impossible to dig out of. The budget year ended on September 30th and the deficit is more than triple that of last year’s previous record under Dubya.

There’s enough blame to go around, but truth be told, the Democrats (including Senator Barack Obama) have been in control of Congress, which is ultimately responsible for spending, since the 2006 elections. We could spend hours debating exactly whose fault it is, but the fact remains, the deficit is ours. Yours. Mine. Ours. It belongs to all of us, and now we have to figure out how to get out of the mess they (everyone involved in creating that debt) got us into.

Thought #3 – Sheriff Joe Rocks!

An Arizona sheriff known for cracking down on people who are in the country illegally launched a crime and immigration sweep in northwestern metro Phoenix on Friday, a half day after officials in Washington limited his powers to make federal immigration arrests.

Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio, whose sweeps have led to allegations of racial profiling, said the rebuff from Washington won’t stop him. He said he can still arrest immigrants under a state smuggling law and a federal law that gives all local police agencies more limited power to detain suspected illegal immigrants.

“It doesn’t bother me, because we are going to do the same thing,” said Arpaio, whose deputies had arrested 16 people by Friday evening on unspecified charges. “I am the elected sheriff. I don’t take orders from the federal government.”

We need more law enforcement officers like Sheriff Joe.

Thought #4 – The Face Of Single Payer

This one is a tough one. When I first read about this over at Insignificant Thoughts, I almost didn’t click the source link, because I knew it was going to be bad.

In England, a woman was having a very difficult pregnancy. She ended up going into labor 21 weeks and five days after conception. The record for a suriving baby is 21 weeks and six days.

And it still is.

The fetus did not survive.

Oh, it was born alive. Its heart beat, it breathed, it moved. But under the definition of the National Health Service, it was too early. So it was denied any care whatsoever — and the miscarriage took almost two hours after delivery to recognize that it was not alive.

Fortunately for Sarah Capewell, she was under the care of Britain’s universal health coverage system. Had she been in the US, things might have turned out differently.

I was right. It’s hearbreaking. If you support the current versions of health care reform being tossed around on Capitol Hill, make sure you click that link. You need to see what you’re supporting.

Man becomes man only by his intelligence, but he is man only by his heart.
Henri Frederic Amiel

How Much Is Your Job Worth?

Take a moment to sit back and think about your job. You know how much money you earn each payday. Whether you work for yourself, or your employer pays you to show up every day, stop for a moment and think about what that job of yours is worth.

In 2007, the median annual household income was $50.233. Keep in mind that the median value accounts for all of the people within the household who work. So, how much would you pay for a job. Just one job?

Would you pay $30,000 for a job? What about $50,000? Stop. I am not asking how much you earn or how much you would prefer to earn from that job. I am simply asking how much you would pay, out of your pocket, for that job. Would $71,500 be too much?

So far, 30,383 jobs have been created by companies that have gotten $2.2 billion worth of stimulus contracts directly from the federal government. That equates to $71,500 per job based on just the funds that have been distributed.

Do you remember when we were told that the stimulus package would create 2 million jobs? So far 30,383 jobs have been created at a cost of $71,500 per job. Of course, these numbers do not account for the other $784.8 billion spent in the process, or what that $784.8 billion has done for state and local governments. One thing is for sure. That $784.8 billion didn’t go toward creating jobs.

Since the stimulus package was forced into the pocketbooks of every American for generations to come an additional 3 million jobs have been lost.

When you take all of the numbers into consideration, by adding up the jobs created, subtracting the jobs lost, factoring in the still-sluggish economy and divide it all by additional tax burdens in pending legislation, how do you account for any of it?

Democrats and Republicans alike. How do they account for the pile of debt sitting in our lap with nothing to show for it? They may not be able to account for the money they so carelessly spent, but I say we hold them all accountable for what they’ve done.

A Pocket Full Of Lies

Unemployment keeps rising and people wonder why small businesses aren’t creating the number of jobs that the Bush Administration and the Obama Administration have said would be created.

Maybe, just maybe, it has something to do with the fact that no one knows what the government will look like in the next year or two?

Maybe it has something to do with all the potential increased costs if the Cap and Trade bill or the Healthcare Reform bill make it through Congress to the President’s desk? Who knows?

Maybe it has something to do with the fact that Secretary of the Treasury, Henry Paulson lied to Congress and the American people when he said, “These are healthy institutions, and they have taken this step for the good of the U.S. economy. As these healthy institutions increase their capital base, they will be able to increase their funding to U.S. consumers and businesses.

The bailouts did nothing but prop up banks which should have been allowed to fail. Sure, things would have been tough for a lot of people, but if the banks were insolvent, they should have been allowed to fail so the system could correct itself.

But what did we get instead?

We got one great big headache, a big ol’ pocket full of debt, and a bunch of banks that are still on the verge of failing because $700 billion wasn’t enough to provide the financial security they needed to open up lending to consumers and businesses again.

I bet the next thing they’re going to tell us is that the Obama administrations revised estimate of $2.2 trillion in long term deficits was incorrect as well.

Thanks a lot Hank, for nothing.