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Nobody was listening anyway


Fri, Feb 1st, 2008
Posted in Commentary

Last Monday night my wife was baby sitting so I was able to watch the "State of the Union" speech in its entirety. There was no one home to hear some of my language.

Most of these speeches are used to lay out bold and broad policy objectives after boasting about all the great achievements, real or imagined, over the past year. A presidents' last State of the Union is usually more of the latter and less of the former. Bush failed on both, but according to most of the pundits it was probably all right because nobody was listening anyway.

He did his best to convince us that walking down any street and market in Iraq would be like walking around any street market in Indiana. Many of us read about the five soldiers killed that morning in Iraq by an IED and in the gun fight that ensued.

He talked about the NATO forces in Afghanistan and the fine job we are doing there. The carping that Gates had done about our Afghanistan partners and the resurgence of the Taliban is too fresh in our minds to swallow that.

He talked about the possibility of a recession as if it was a small bump in the road, affecting corporate profits only. There was no real empathy for increasing unemployment, impending loss of homes in the mortgage mess, or the transfer of jobs overseas. Instead the plan is a pandering bribe of 3 to 6 hundred dollars (that we or our children eventually will have to pay back some how) and big plans for business and industry. Reduce their taxes and give them accelerated depreciation for equipment purchases. It is not important that in 2001, when this was done, it didn't provide any stimulus at all.

What really got my knickers in a knot was his conflating the stimulus package with making his ill advised "tax cuts" permanent to stimulate the economy. These cuts do not sunset until 2010. Changing the sunset will do absolutely nothing that doing nothing won't do, except extend the time it will take to get our fiscal train back on the track and quit bloating the national debt. This guy wants to do everything on the nation's credit card.

I'm used to politicians using statistics in a way that is favorable to their point of view. The speech writers for Bush have risen to new heights. He claimed that American taxpayers will see their taxes rise by an average of 1,800 dollars if the tax cuts are not made permanent. That makes it sound as if the average taxpayer will pay 1,800 dollars more. Wrong, wrong, wrong. Pay attentio .....
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What I did at Camp

Fri, Jan 25th, 2008
Posted in Commentary

Camp is for kids, right? Well, I left my three kids with dad and set out for St. Paul for a weekend of intense "camp," without the traditional canoeing, mosquito-friendly tent, and fireside songs. I was a little nervous about what to expect, but I c ..... 
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It's all about the Benjamins

Mon, Jan 21st, 2008
Posted in Commentary

With a possible economic recession in our near future some in government think that a tax cut is the way to prevent this from happening. This theory is if we pay less in taxes we will have more money to spend and thus boost the economy.

I g ..... 
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Second hand smoke

Mon, Jan 21st, 2008
Posted in Commentary

The reported health risks of second hand smoke are likened to the Great Plagues of Europe. If it were true, Baby Boomers would not be a threat to Medicare and Social Security. They would not have been large enough to mount campaigns for women's righ ..... 
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The Year of the Rat(s)

Fri, Dec 28th, 2007
Posted in Commentary

Some last minute thoughts as we enter 2008, or in the Chinese lexicon, the Year of the Rat.

• There is one year left of the Bush - Cheney junta. They introduced the world to such noble concepts as rendition, torture (think waterboarding) ..... 
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Let's hear it for the "City Guys"

Fri, Dec 21st, 2007
Posted in Commentary

We see and hear tributes to our firefighters, police, and emergency responders; they deserve this praise, especially in our small towns where they are often volunteers, risking lives to protect us.

There is another group of folks who merit o ..... 
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Maybe they really are evil

Fri, Dec 14th, 2007
Posted in Commentary

Internet chatter in the so called blogosphere is nasty and vitriolic. Main street media is not much better with both major political ideologies demonizing and calling the other evil.

I have been concerned about Bush's intellect and Cheney's ..... 
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So, this is democracy?

Fri, Dec 14th, 2007
Posted in Commentary

The unfortunate thing about living so close to Iowa is the spillover effect of the presidential primary which is held every four years. The white noise emanating from south of our border has been deafening and will only get louder in the next few we ..... 
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Awash in a sea of noise

Fri, Dec 7th, 2007
Posted in Commentary

I never thought I would be agreeing with Spiro Agnew or Dick Cheney, or even G. W. Bush. They and others have over the years railed against the print, radio, and TV media about not sharing what they consider to be the good or accurate news.

..... 
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