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Author: TriSec    Date: 08/04/2012 12:14:56

Good Morning!

It's been a whirlwind week for one convalescing from life-changing events. I started Monday back in the hospital for an outpatient procedure, then went right upstairs for chemotherapy. Wednesday it was back again to finish the treatment, and somewhere in there I got all my paperwork in order so I could go back to work.
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3 comments (Latest Comment: 08/06/2012 12:43:02 by BobR)

Give the Economy a Jolt
Author: BobR    Date: 08/03/2012 12:50:53

With the upcoming election, the choices being proffered generally revolve around 2 economic models. The Republicans are doubling down on their trickle-down economics, rebranded as "job creators". The Democrats are proposing a more bottom-up approach, assuming that creating jobs in the public sector will result in more jobs in the private sector as those new workers spend their paychecks.

But there are other differences besides economics, and one in particular plays into both economic models: energy. The Republicans are clinging to the old-school polluting technologies of oil and coal. They reason that more drilling will mean more jobs in the private sector and cheaper gas at home (which could stimulate the economy). I've written before why gas prices won't go down (hint: refinery capacity). There is also the Keystone pipeline project with the new jobs created working on that bit of infrastructure ranging between a few hundred and tens of thousands, depending on who you talk to (and who you believe).
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65 comments (Latest Comment: 08/04/2012 01:43:35 by livingonli)

Jumping off the Cliff.
Author: Raine    Date: 08/02/2012 12:57:46

On July 9, I wrote a post about the President coming down strongly in favor of extending the tax cuts for Americans making less than $250,000. In that post,I stated:
We will see tax fairness this year. I believe the GOP has run out of excuses. Obama gave them the tax cut extension 2 years ago, in return for DADT being repealed-- and the economy reacted exactly as many suspected. While some may criticize President Obama for not doing things fast enough, perhaps the long game is worth it in the end.
Two and a half weeks later, the Senate voted to reject the GOP Tax Plan and passed the Democratic plan. As I stated then, it is what the President has been proposing all along.
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32 comments (Latest Comment: 08/03/2012 00:05:24 by TriSec)

Author: BobR    Date: 08/01/2012 13:12:29

There's a seminal scene in the 1987 movie "Wall St." where character Gordon Gekko says "Greed is good... greed works". The message he is trying to deliver is that greed drives the desire to succeed and overcomes the "weakness" of empathy that might cause one to have second thoughts about a business decision that hurts others.

It seems strikingly apt when looking back on the arc of Mitt Romney's career. Empathy is a handicap in the business of making money from other people's work and pain. The numbers on the page are what matter, not the lives of the those who worked hard to build a dream, only to have the life sucked out of it by corporate vampires looking for a quick buck.
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52 comments (Latest Comment: 08/02/2012 01:23:12 by TriSec)

Ask a Vet
Author: TriSec    Date: 07/31/2012 11:48:09

Good Morning.

Today is our 3,950th day in Afghanistan.

We'll start this morning as we always do; with the latest casualty figures from our ongoing war, courtesy of Antiwar.com:

US Military Deaths - Afghanistan: 2,061
Other Military Deaths - Afghanistan: 1,048

We find this morning's Cost of War passing through:

$ 1, 357, 813, 400, 000. 00

Well, it's all about Afghanistan today. Let's first talk about money. We post a rolling total here that took a significant jump a ways back, primarily because the President decided to put it on the books instead of covering up the true costs. War is expensive and wasteful, but sometimes you run across a story that just makes you shake your head. Quick question - we all drive cars, do you lease or own?
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70 comments (Latest Comment: 08/01/2012 04:17:21 by livingonli)

Wimping out
Author: Raine    Date: 07/30/2012 11:52:10

I strongly suggest this be read.... The article is even more scathing than the cover that accompanies it....
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63 comments (Latest Comment: 07/31/2012 03:16:51 by Will in Chicago)

Mixed bag
Author: velveeta jones    Date: 07/29/2012 14:24:59

Good morning ya'll!

I have a mixed bag of "stuff" today, because I'm invited to the White House to consult with the President and his cabinet and then attend a dinner in my honor.

No, not really. I'm in my dressing gown watching the Olympics.
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2 comments (Latest Comment: 07/30/2012 03:48:13 by BobR)

Author: TriSec    Date: 07/28/2012 13:08:13

Good Morning.

You all know of my lifelong involvement with the Boy Scouts of America. You're probably aware that the highest award a scout can earn is the rank of Eagle. Of course, you know that the Eagle is the symbol of these United States.

These are all connected...throughout much of my adult Scouting career, I've answered many queries if I'm an Eagle; and always the answer is a definitive NO. I've gone out of my way to correct everyone at every turn who thinks that I am. Like most Scouters, I also have a vast collection of memorabilia, whether it's hats, pins, patches, or mugs, and with a lone exception, none of the things I have even have so much as a feather on them of the said Eagle. (The only exception is the Eagle Patrol patch that I have on my jacket; it represents my days as a member of the Aquila District staff. Aquila being a constellation called "The Eagle".)
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3 comments (Latest Comment: 07/29/2012 13:38:41 by velveeta jones)

Murder, Mayhem, and Medical Costs
Author: BobR    Date: 07/27/2012 12:15:11

A week ago, a guman entered an Aurora, CO movie theatre at midnight and unleashed a barrage of death and injury upon the packed room. For most of America, the shock and horror was felt over the next few days. For the approximately 70 people injured, however, their nightmare is only beginning. It is also a perfect example of why the ACA (aka "Obamacare") is so vitally important.

The most contested provision of the ACA is the "mandate" that everyone carry insurance. The idea is to cut costs by reducing the amount of "free care" (paid for by tax dollars) that is provided in emergency rooms across the country. Why? Because emergency room care is very expensive. The mandate is there to encourage people who are young and healthy to maintain insurance, and collect a tax penalty to help cover the costs of emergency room care for those that don't.
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26 comments (Latest Comment: 07/27/2012 20:53:15 by Mondobubba)

Tax Gambit
Author: Raine    Date: 07/26/2012 13:57:11

Senate Dems were able to pass a tax package yesterday. It's going to be interesting to see what happens now that it goes to the House. In an unusual move, this bill originated in the Senate. TPM states:
Wednesday’s development places the onus of avoiding the full expiration of the Bush tax cuts on House Republicans. They are expected to pass legislation next week to extend all of the Bush tax cuts — but the Senate has already rejected that proposition. That leaves the Senate Democrats’ bill as the only viable vehicle for preventing everyone’s taxes from increasing next year.

Republicans will object to House adoption of the Senate bill on technical grounds. It faces what’s known as a blue-slip problem, because the Constitution requires revenue-raising measures to originate in the House of Representatives. But the blue-slip problem is only an obstacle if House Republicans insist on making it one — and Democrats are confident voters will be receptive to the argument that the GOP is standing in the way of middle-income tax cuts until wealthy Americans get a tax cut too.
How did this happen at all? Mitch McConnell got the ball rolling.
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56 comments (Latest Comment: 07/27/2012 02:07:42 by livingonli)

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