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Pulled Pork
Author: BobR    Date: 11/12/2010 12:55:59

There's been a lot of discussion lately over earmarks, and how they "pork up" the budget. The term itself is likely a reference to a pig's ear, since it originated in the notching of livestocks' ears for identification purposes. Although the practice is an easy target for those claiming to clean up government waste, the reality is that it is a tiny part of the money spent by government, and eliminating them will not affect the budget at all.
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46 comments (Latest Comment: 11/12/2010 20:33:44 by TriSec)

Thank A Vet
Author: Raine    Date: 11/11/2010 13:43:04

Today is Veterans Day.
Mr Jon Soltz, Chairperson of VoteVets.org wrote this yesterday
[..] On the 11th Day of the 11th month on the 11th hour, in 1918, World War I ended. Armistice Day was celebrated until 1954, when it became a day to remember everyone who had served this great nation, honorably.

As America 's 21st Century Patriots, we Iraq and Afghanistan veterans are the newest to this community, but also among the proudest. We are not just proud of our service, but proud to be joining some of the greatest Americans who ever lived. From those who served in battle, from World War II through Operation Desert Storm, and to those who served during peacetime, we are now a part of an extraordinary community.
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24 comments (Latest Comment: 11/11/2010 21:41:06 by BobR)

Politics and Power
Author: BobR    Date: 11/10/2010 13:30:39

Politics in the U.S. is a strange animal. It seems that winning is more important than doing, and power is more important than than money (at least to the candidates). The most recent election, and the stories swirling in the eddies that any election creates (both prior and post) are no exception.
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34 comments (Latest Comment: 11/11/2010 02:40:08 by velveeta jones)

The Simple Unspoken Truth
Author: Raine    Date: 11/09/2010 20:04:30

It doesn't get more simple than this.
"Republicans are using spending cuts as a weapon and condition for extending unemployment benefits to millions of Americans who have lost their jobs. Republicans claim they want to cut spending by $5 billion to $6 billion each month, and on the surface it sounds like a good idea to reduce the national deficit.

At the same time though, Republicans are fighting to extend the Bush-era tax cuts for the wealthiest Americans that helped create the record debt we are drowning in. When Republicans gave tax cuts to rich people, they knew they were not funded, and had to let them expire after 10 years."
Source: Politics USA
As a married couple, we never seem to hear plain ol' boots-on-the-ground conservatives complaining about that. We usually rail against politicians, as we both don’t like to alienate our friends and the good people who have a sincere political ideology that differ from ours. That said, this is a fact: The GOP is fighting to give tax cuts to people who are richer than plain middle class voters can ever hope to be.

This is a conversation we have in our household on regular basis, as we have struggled and eventually did succeed in getting out of debt. We use that struggle and success as a way to identify with what the country is going thru and how we see solutions to what ails it.
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5 comments (Latest Comment: 01/01/2013 22:06:22 by TriSec)

Ask a Vet
Author: TriSec    Date: 11/09/2010 11:35:54

Good Morning.

Today is our 2,792nd day in Iraq and our 3,320th day in Afghanistan.

We'll start this morning as we always do; with the latest casualties from our ongoing wars, courtesy of antiwar.com:

American Deaths
Since war began (3/19/03): 4427
Since "Mission Accomplished" (5/1/03): 4288
Since Handover (6/29/04): 3568
Since Obama Inauguration (1/20/09): 199
Since Operation New Dawn: 9

Other Coalition Troops - Iraq: 318
US Military Deaths - Afghanistan: 1,371
Other Military Deaths - Afghanistan: 825
Contractor Employee Deaths - Iraq: 1,487
Journalists - Iraq : 348
Academics Killed - Iraq: 448

We find this morning's cost of war passing through:

$ 1, 104, 857, 675, 000 .00

Turning to the news at hand, while the left is licking their wounds from the election, so is the veteran community. The good news is 9 vets won their election and will be taking their seats in the new congress. The bad news is they are all Republicans. One of the comments to the story below notes that GOP vets tend to vote for the defense industry, while Democratic vets vote for Veteran's issues. Only time will tell which way the freshmen go this time, so it's up to all of us to keep them in the hotseat.

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39 comments (Latest Comment: 11/09/2010 20:07:50 by Raine)

Monday Morning Open thread.
Author: Raine    Date: 11/08/2010 13:23:11

I am temporarily suspending myself indefinitely without pay because I supported candidates financially.

In the meantime, Sign a petition and support me by liking something on Facebook.
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25 comments (Latest Comment: 11/09/2010 00:50:01 by trojanrabbit)

Author: velveeta jones    Date: 11/07/2010 15:19:27

Welcome dear readers to a new ballgame. The crazies have taken over the nuthouse and already started shouting to the point of spittle frothing from their tight lips while waving their overly-tanned arms in self-righteous indignation.

Rand Paul is pissed off that his opponent made fun of his religion of choice during his college prankster days and used it to his advantage to ride his way into the Senate by the Tea Party. The same Tea Party that the majority believe, and criticize, President Obama for being a Muslim.

Lindsey Graham is actually out singing the tunes of "Bomb, Bomb, Iran"
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3 comments (Latest Comment: 11/08/2010 14:08:24 by Scoopster)

A Saturday Ramble
Author: TriSec    Date: 11/06/2010 10:40:30

Good Morning!

Despite the hour, I am not off to donate platelets this morning. (But why aren't you?)

No, I'm off to do something called "University of Scouting". It's an all-day event chock full of hopefully useful training and other things. It's mostly geared towards new leaders, but I need credit for attending some sort of training in order to earn my Den Leader's award this season...so off I go.

We're all aware of the seismic shift that happened this past Tuesday. I've been switching between cynic and disinterested for much of the week. Fact is, America has spoken, and even though they have spoken wrongly, there's not much you or I or anyone else can do about it. I rather like Raine's idea from earlier in the week that we should call the Speaker's office every day in the new congress and demand jobs, reduction in government, and budget austerity. It won't do a damn thing, but we'll feel better about it, I suppose.

After Bush' won' in 2004, I went back and reread "Rise and Fall of the Third Reich". I was astonished at the time over the similarities in the respective rises to power, and knew that we were in for bad times ahead. Six years later, and this past year I reread George Orwell's "nineteen-eighty-four". Sad to say, we are there.

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7 comments (Latest Comment: 11/07/2010 03:32:32 by Scoopster)

Friday Science Fun Stack
Author: BobR    Date: 11/05/2010 04:20:11

It's been a long ugly campaign this year, and I'm sure I'm not the only one that's a little burned out on the political battles. There will be plenty to come when Congress gets back in session, and even more next year when the new Congress gets under way. For now, though, I'd like to indulge in a Friday Science Fun Stack.

One of the most fascinating things I've seen in a while is a photo of comet Hartley 2. NASA's Deep Impact spacecraft flew within 435 miles of it and took pictures:
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50 comments (Latest Comment: 11/06/2010 00:50:04 by Raine)

Smaller Gov't = Fewer Jobs.
Author: Raine    Date: 11/04/2010 13:48:53

I will ask them respectfully to deliberate upon this: Governments do not create jobs. Individual entrepreneurs, men and women, create jobs — but not the government. Rand Paul, November 2, 2010

Spoken by the newly elected Senator, who will officially works for ....the government. Yes, Rand Paul's Job was created BY THE GOVERNMENT. Nope, No irony there.

John Boehner, who for the last 18 months, with a steady beat on a leathery drum kept asking, mostly via his twitter feed: Where are the Jobs? Where are the Jobs? Where are the Jobs?
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15 comments (Latest Comment: 11/05/2010 03:03:03 by livingonli)

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