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Author: TriSec    Date: 03/28/2009 12:23:32

No, not an Olbermann fan blog today!!

Humans are fascinated with time. I'd be no exception to that rule, in fact collecting clocks is a bit of a compulsive disorder with me. Every room of the house (except the bathroom, which curiously has no clocks) has at least two clocks in it. Sitting at my screen right now, and counting the computer clock, I have no less than 5 clocks within eyesight.

Every clock in my house works; and every one is set for the correct time (mostly.) My two most accurate clocks would be the radio controlled atomic clock that checks in with NIST every four hours...and my 100-year-old handmade "Regulator" clock that I adjust twice a year. I'm such a time nut that I have at least one clock set to "Zulu" (what used to be called Greenwich Mean Time), usually the stove clock. It drives my wife nuts.

We humans also obsess over events and timelines. As you well know, every Tuesday I keep a running total of how many days we've been in Iraq. Today is our 2,201st day in Iraq, for example. Like many of you, I counted down for over 1,000 days until the end of the Bush Administration. And even though he's been President for just 67 days, we'll be heading to the polls again in 1,319 days. The longest Mr. Obama can be President is another 2,855 days.

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15 comments (Latest Comment: 03/29/2009 02:20:59 by Raine)

Lacking Substance
Author: BobR    Date: 03/27/2009 12:36:32

flimsy (flĭm'zç) adj.
Light, thin, and insubstantial

The press conference held yesterday by Republicans illustrated in a perfect moment of lucidity how truly insubstantial they are. Performing yet another in a series of poorly staged press stunts, they held up what they said was their answer to Obama's request for an alternative budget. What they actually held up was a pretty package containing no details and no numbers. It was a shameless attempt to divert the spotlight from a live appearance by Obama. Unfortunately for Boehner and the rest, the press was actually paying attention to the details (or - more accurately - the lack thereof) and called them on it.
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39 comments (Latest Comment: 03/28/2009 00:32:59 by livingonli)

Author: Raine    Date: 03/26/2009 12:36:11

It's a national shame, and something the media and even Washington needs to focus more on. While we talk of the economic stimulus and all of the things that have to be done, there are tent cities popping up all over our nation. In the 1930s they were known as Hoovervilles. I don't think I need to explain why. Well, today they are being increasingly referred to as Tent cities because many of it's residents came from a middle class background and actually OWNED a tent before falling out of what was once known as America's safety net. Today we have entire family's living under bridges, in the woods, over by the railroad tracks, in abandoned cars, even in lawfully registered vehicles -- you name it, they are out there living, and they have no roof over there head. They lost their Job, and/or their home and thus any security they may have had. The stories may differ, but ultimately they are the victims of the policies put in place that allowed that to happen. And the person who who was behind the wheel letting this all happen and in charge for the past 8 years: George W. Bush. These are not tent cities, these are Bushvilles -- the 21st century version of Hoovervilles.
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82 comments (Latest Comment: 03/27/2009 04:11:02 by Raine)

The Common Touch
Author: BobR    Date: 03/25/2009 12:30:46

There is an anecdote (possibly apocryphal) from the the 1992 election campaign involving then president George H. W. Bush and a grocery store scanner. It painted him as elitist and out of touch with the regular people. There is evidence to suggest it may have cost him the election.

Contrast that with the 2008 election. By any measure Barack Obama was a "regular" person. Only the previous year had he finally paid off his student loans. He was raised by a single parent and grandparents that worked regular jobs. He married a woman raised in a middle-class family. By contrast, McCain had 7 houses (or was it nine?), had been in DC forever, married a rich heiress and - in spite of all attempts to paint him as looking out for the Regular Joes (especially of the plumbing variety) - was perceived by the electorate as being out of touch. Despite attempts to paint Obama as "elitist", again the public saw through the ruse.
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32 comments (Latest Comment: 03/26/2009 03:09:15 by Mondobubba)

Ask a Vet
Author: TriSec    Date: 03/24/2009 10:51:28

Good Morning.

Today is our 2,197th day in Iraq.

We'll start this morning as we always do, with the latest casualty figures from Iraq and Afghanistan, courtesy of antiwar.com:

American Deaths
Since war began (3/19/03): 4260
Since "Mission Accomplished" (5/1/03): 4121
Since Capture of Saddam (12/13/03): 3798
Since Handover (6/29/04): 3402
Since Obama Inauguration (1/20/09): 31

Other Coalition Troops - Iraq: 318
US Military Deaths - Afghanistan: 667
Other Military Deaths - Afghanistan: 448
Journalists - Iraq: 139
Contractor Deaths - Iraq: 1264

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

$ 607, 462, 190, 000.00

As you well know, last week marked the sixth anniversary of the start of the war in Iraq. Despite President Obama ending stop-loss and putting a withdrawal date on the table, our troops are still heading overseas. Here in Massachusetts, the 101st Finance Detachment is preparing to head overseas in June, and the Waltham News-Tribune caught up with a few of the soldiers for their thoughts.

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41 comments (Latest Comment: 03/25/2009 01:05:39 by Mondobubba)

What is going on?
Author: Raine    Date: 03/23/2009 12:33:01

I keep hearing people on the TV mosheen say things like let the companies fail, or we can't let them fail -- it depends on the pundit. The money amounts keep getting bigger and bigger whether it the bonus, the amount given or the amount going into the machine. I am overwhelmed.

I am starting to think that Geithner should go, not because he can't handle it, but because I simply don't trust him anymore. Then I remind myself that so far, our president has come thru, even in the face of incredible odds. So here I am trying to convince myself not to worry.

But I am worried. I am concerned. And so is AIG's competition:
Some of American International Group's biggest rivals have urged U.S. Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke to prevent the insurance giant from using the government rescue to win an advantage, particularly by cutting prices, The Wall Street Journal reported.

In an article posted on its website, the Journal said AIG's competitors had complained directly to Bernanke at a Mar 4 meeting at the St. Regis Hotel in Washington.

Bernanke said he would look into the complaints, the Journal reported, citing unidentified people familiar with the situation.

Industry executives and competitors told Reuters in December that AIG has been lowering prices to win new business and boost market share after receiving bailout dollars, even as market fundamentals suggest that prices need to be raised.
The thing that has me most bothered about this situation is that AIG is not a part of TARP, we [the American People] were not told about this, and it was rushed thru right before the elections.

As I try to not look back and place blame, I can't help but wonder how we got here. Not just financially, but how AIG became Godzilla to Obama's Gamera. This was something that the president adopted and short of just saying fuck it all and walking away, he must deal with it. I just hope that the very people he has to do this job are acting at THIS point in the interest of the American people. I am not so sure Geithner was doing that when he was working for the NY federal reserve.

For myself... it is not about the Bonus Money-- it's about the principle of the bonus money. American's by and large are understanding people, but they don't like being lied to. Actually, they don't like KNOWING they are being lied to. So when people on the left AND the right talk of fake outrage and populism, be happy that for the first time in a long time America is fighting back about something besides the war. I wish we didn't have to be angry, but the fact that people are actually questioning what is happening is wonderful.

Happy Monday!

:peace: and

39 comments (Latest Comment: 03/24/2009 01:51:49 by livingonli)

Author: velveeta jones    Date: 03/22/2009 13:50:59

Good Sunday morning everyone. Its spring and that means our gardens will soon be full and brimming with lots of delicious things to cook. So, lets get started shall we? Our Entrée today will be:

Braised beet stuffed Trout with Chardonnay and Lemon Sauce

In a greased casserole dish add the Trout along with one chopped onion and 1/2 cup of lemon juice. Braise the beets with butter and garlic and add the slices onto the trout fillet. Put a second fillet on top, fill the casserole dish 3/4 with Chardonnay and the rest with heavy cream. Cook with top on, at 475 degree’s for 35 minutes.
Serve with a sprig of parsley and a cinnamon stick.
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19 comments (Latest Comment: 03/23/2009 04:09:11 by BobR)

Cleaning out the drawer of the Blog mind...
Author: TriSec    Date: 03/21/2009 12:46:02

With the usual apologies to Bob Ryan, from whom I shamelessly steal this idea from time to time.

So, show of hands....how many of you out there think maple syrup comes from a bottle at the supermarket? I asked this question at a Cub Scout meeting about 3 weeks back, and surprisingly enough, a handful of my urban scouts did indeed raise their hands!

You poor folks that live far away from the Northern Tier....if you're using Aunt Jemima, Mrs. Butterworth's or worse, the store brand....that ain't syrup.

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16 comments (Latest Comment: 03/22/2009 02:31:02 by Will in Chicago)

Author: Raine    Date: 03/20/2009 21:08:15


Pronunciation: \ˈbō-nəs\
Function: noun
Etymology: Latin, literally, good — more at bounty
Date: 1773
: something in addition to what is expected or strictly due: as
a:money or an equivalent given in addition to an employee's usual compensation
b: a premium (as of stock) given by a corporation to a purchaser of its securities, to a promoter, or to an employee
c: a government payment to war veterans d: a sum in excess of salary given an athlete for signing with a team

It seems to me that something like a BONUS, should not be assumed as part of a SALARY. It's a BONUS, in other words -- in addition to the contract that an employer has with an employee.

I like the idea of a bonus... I LOVED getting them... I also however... NEVER relied them as part of my income. Why so many companies and CEO's are acting like the idea of a bonus is a god given right is beyond me.

If people rely on those bonus' for stability and quality of life, then perhaps those companies could get rid of the idea of a bonus and simply increase employee salaries.

I think America needs to go back to the very basics of what a Bonus really was meant to be: It was a a nice thing for a job well done.

Those that are working for the companies that the government is bailing out did not do a good job. You know what sucks? Good people got caught on a sinking ship. I have been there before myself... but the truth is this...

If your company is failing, you should never have expected a bonus -- Contract or not.

:peace: and :heart:
2 comments (Latest Comment: 03/21/2009 12:50:01 by TriSec)

How about a little good news?
Author: BobR    Date: 03/20/2009 12:22:45

It seems that lately I have the uncanny knack for writing about depressing news every Friday. So at least for today, I am going to try to break that habit and point out some of the better news this morning...
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65 comments (Latest Comment: 03/20/2009 21:10:04 by Raine)

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