I Liked What Evan Bayh Had to Say

I keep on telling myself (and some of my friends) that I’m going to stop following national politics so much because it is DEPRESSING. And yet, apparently, I really WANT to put myself in a bad mood because I keep on reading about it. This morning, I briefly thought there was a little bit of hope when I heard about several democratic senators (who I think I will send short thank-you emails to later this evening) who are opposing the disgusting omnibus spending bill*.

How many of you even know about the $410 billion spending bill, which is an increase of 8% over last year?

Currently, the bill is blocked by critics, but some of the news reports I’ve read say it’s only temporarily blocked and will pass regardless. This means, government spending will include 8,500 earmarks. Obama campaigned on a platform of stamping out earmarks, but will he follow through and act on this promise? The explosion of earmarks began under a Republican control of Congress and the White House and with this bill, the Democratic Congress and House looks to continue this “great” tradition.

I was really worried that our government wouldn’t set aside some money for rodeo museums, honeybee factories and the Guam public library. There are about 100 other programs, too, looking for some funding boosts from this bloated bill.

Senator McCain more than just spoke out on this and offered a proposal to save $32 BILLION, wiping out $7.7 BILLION in earmarks. Sadly, even Republicans opposed McCain. When across the nation, we as a people are tightening our budgets in this recession, why is the government blatantly trying to increase spending? Voters repeatedly stated their belief that Obama was the best choice for our economy, over McCain. I may not have voted for either, but currently, Obama indicated “he would sign the earmark-ridden measure,” which McCain clearly opposes. Just a thought.

*Indiana Senator Evan Bayh (D) seems to be leading the protest and I agreed with what he said here: “No We Can’t.”

Episode 24: Happy Halloween! Bring on the Chocolate

MZ left her computer unlocked yesterday and it didn’t take long before an email was sent out with her name in the “From”:

Subject: I need chocolate

I’m having a rough day around here, kids… please bring me chocolate and I will heart you forever.


See what happens when you leave your computer unattended where I work?

Apparently, the chocolate gods smile on this behavior. So can somebody please tell me why I continue to lock my computer so that nobody has access to sending emails out “from me”? If I started leaving it open to the world, perhaps I would get some chocolate, too.

The last time I left my computer in such a vulnerable state, I was working in a different department. The chocolate gods didn’t care about the goings-on in that department… at least not enough to bestow gifts of their cocoa goodness on us. Instead, an email was sent out inviting people to a barbecue at my place.

I did get a response from a coworker saying they were so bummed they’d be out of town and couldn’t make it.

It’s okay, friend. Just bring me some chocolate as part of your RSVP.

P.S. I won again today! We had a drawing in our on-site gym to celebrate Halloween and I won one of the gift cards. Guess where I get to go spend free money? BARNES & NOBLE! HIP HIP POORAY!

Political Link(s) of the Day: “Obama alone is willing to discuss the economy,” and “McCain’s plan to lower taxes is America’s express lane back to prosperity.” (Two economists present two opposing opinions about who would be better for the economy; which article is more convincing? Notice I asked which article, not which candidate…)

I think I’ll Write in Ross Perot in November

I wrote an entire blog entry about personal, political misgivings. I didn’t post it.

I considered going through McCain’s speech like Obama’s (with help from, but to be honest, it’s all the same: no candidate tells the truth entirely. Both parties say they’re going to bring change to Washington, but come on. They’re still politicians bending the numbers to look good for them and to be honest: Bush and Clinton both promised to bring change to Washington, too.

It’s good to know that some things in life are consistent. You can always count on politicians to tell partial lies, make promises they wont’ keep, tear down their opponents through ad campaigns and speeches, use the race/sex/age/experience/trump card, and make for humorous commentary on Jon Stewart’s and Colbert’s shows.

Also, you can always count on me to NOT go to bed at a reasonable hour, despite my promise to myself that I would try this weekend. Friday night I thought for sure I would get to bed early as my plans to St. George never quite materialized so I went to dinner with my parents and cousin, Adam. Then I stopped by Auntie N’s condo (which I love and wish were MINE) to help her with her PC. She had a mean little Trojan that took a mighty long time to fix, but we finally prevailed and I found my way home shortly after two a.m. Saturday night, I went to a movie with Pepe instead of bed, but neither of us would recommend Babylon A.D. Oh well. So then Sunday night rolled around and for sure I’d get to bed early. Ha. Instead, I wanted to help poor little Claire with the splinter in her foot. Sadly, even with my parents, Maren and Jennie helping, she went home with half a splinter still in her foot. I got to bed around 12:30 a.m.

Maybe tonight…

The DOC’s Politics

DOC: So, are you paying attention to the conventions lately?

LRE: You mean my doc wants to talk politics, too? Fine; I can do that.

DOC: Really?

LRE: Yeah, but I’m going to have to refer to my notes where I have exact quotes and even links.

DOC: Oh, right… more of those underlined, blue things.

LRE: Yeah, more of those. So since everyone else is talking about politics… and, in particular, the speeches at the convention, yeah, let’s talk about them, too.

DOC: Those speeches are so often filled with little white lies.

LRE: Never expect a politician to EVER tell the WHOLE truth. I haven’t taken the time to evaluate Palin’s speech, yet… however, I HAVE done so with Obama’s. After he finished all his promised (how are we going to pay for health care equal to that offered to Congress for 10 million in this country without?), he started telling half truths. Imagine that…

DOC: I was kind of waiting for him to start promising soda in all of the drinking fountains.

LRE: I know, right? Here’s what he said after:

Obama: “Now, many of these plans will cost money, which is why I’ve laid out how I’ll pay for every dime – by closing corporate loopholes and tax havens that don’t help America grow.”

LRE: Not quite true, big guy. In July, his campaign told the LA Times that the yearly cost of their proposed tax cuts would be $130 billion with the revenue from closing tax loopholes at just $80 billion. What he FAILED to mention was that he would be raising taxes to pre-Bush levels for families earning more than $250,000 a year and singles making more than $200,000 a year; talk about supporting the American Dream. Think that was misleading? Wait; he’s not quite done yet. The NONPARTISAN Tax Policy Center stated that “without substantial cuts in government spending” Obama AND McCain’s plans “would substantially increase the national debt over the next ten years.”

DOC: I don’t know about you, but I’m really looking forward to ten more years of annual deficits.

LRE: Let’s see… here’s another quote for you; on taxes.

Obama: “I will cut taxes… for 95% of all working families… [McCain proposes] not one penny of tax relief to more than 100 million Americans.”

LRE: Turns out, his numbers are very wrong (unless you think being off by 34.2 MILLION isn’t that big of a miscalculation). His planned cuts would affect 81.3 percent of households. McCain’s plan would leave 65.8 million without a cut. However, there’s a bigger difference for corporations. McCain proposes to lower the corporate tax rate while Obama promises billions of dollars in increased corporate taxes through loophole closings. These tax cuts DEFINITELY affect consumers (that’s YOU AND ME, doc): these changes would manifest as lower returns on investments and losses from stock sales. Corporate Income Tax eventually comes out of people’s pocketbooks.

DOC: That sucks; especially since you don’t even pay me.

LRE: Whatever; I will as soon as you actually exist. Next quote; this one about Afghanistan.

Obama: “When John McCain said that we could just ‘muddle through’ in Afghanistan, I argued for more resources and more troops to finish the fight against the terrorist who actually attacked us on 9/11.”

LRE: If you’re going to quote somebody, try and get it right. In 2003, McCain said, “I think Afghanistan is dicey… There has been a rise in al Qaeda activity along the border… I believe that if Karzai can make the progress that he is making, that, in the long term, we may muddle through in Afghanistan. So I’m guardedly optimistic, but I am also realistic that the central government in Kabul has very little effect on the policies of the warlords who control the surrounding areas.”

DOC: What? You mean, McCain actually knows what’s going on over there? How did he find out? It’s not in the media…

LRE: I’ll ask him next time we hang out. But, BOTH candidates have called for an increased troop presence in Afghanistan. Obama proposed sending two more combat brigades, McCain proposed three more, but those would include NATO forces.

DOC: That would be good; get a little help from a friend.

LRE: Yup. Let’s see… another quote; this one on the middle class.

Obama: “Now, I don’t believe that Senator McCain doesn’t care what’s going on in the lives of Americans; I just think he doesn’t know. Why else would he define middle-class as someone making under five million dollars a year?”

LRE: How ‘bout if we go back to where Obama found this “definition” given by McCain – location: Saddleback Church forum; date: August 16. Here, doc, you read this quote.

DOC: Pastor Rick Warren said, “Give me a number, give me a specific number – where do you move from middle class to rich?” And McCain replied, “I don’t want to take any money from the rich – I want everybody to get rich… so I think if you are talking about income, how about $5 million? (laughter) But seriously, I don’t think you can… the point is that we want to keep people’s taxes low and increase revenues.”

LRE: Hilarious, I know, but still; HE WAS JOKING. And another quote, talking about the average family.

Obama: The income of “the average family… [went] down $2,000” under George Bush.

DOC: Not for me; I started out making nothing and I’m still making nothing.

LRE: It’s not correct at all, let alone for imaginary docs. The census reports that average family income went down $348. Apparently, Obama didn’t exactly mean “average” or really “family” either for that matter. An Obama aide stated that he really meant median (midpoint) income for working families, not retired couples. If we’re looking at all families, median income bumped up under Bush by $272. And that, folks, is how politicians take statistics and find the numbers that say exactly what they want them to say.

DOC: Why didn’t he just say ‘median working families’ instead of the average family.

LRE: Why don’t you just phone him and ask?

DOC: Later.

LRE: I’m not out of quotes yet. Next one’s about McCain’s health care plan.

Obama: “How else could [McCain] offer a health care plan that would actually tax people’s benefits…”

LRE: McCain proposes to grant families a tax credit up to $5,000 to use for health benefits although what McCain seldom mentions is that employer-sponsored benefits would also become taxable. Both candidates are spouting half-truths here, neither giving the complete picture.

DOC: What? You mean, they’re BOTH politicians? Gasp.

LRE: Right… imagine that. You want one more quote?

DOC: Yeah, bring it.

Obama: “And next week, we’ll also hear about those occasions when he’s broken with his party as evidence that he can deliver the change that we need. But the record’s clear: John McCain has voted with George Bush 90 percent of the time.”

LRE: Obama has made his campaign slogan clear – he promises change.

DOC: And yet he chose Biden as his running mate, who has been in the Senate for over 30 years.

LRE: And… according to the NY Times, he would not “reinforce Mr. Obama’s message of change.” But back to the quote… It’s true that McCain’s voting support for Bush policies has average slightly above 89 percent over eight years, although it has gone up and down, hitting it’s lowest in 2005. By comparison, Obama’s record has averaged just under 41 percent. BUT… his voting record is JUST AS PARTISAN. His vote has fallen in line with his party 97 percent of the time. If we’re going off of Senate votes, NEITHER candidate can claim a record of breaking with his party

DOC: Palin on the other hand…

LRE: Could be different.

DOC: Thank you, Obama, for giving us a lesson in how a POLITICIAN bends people’s words, tells only part of the story, and picks very particular statistics to convince the masses that he’s their new Savior.

LRE: How does that promote change? Sounds like the same thing we ALWAYS hear from career statesmen.

(with a little help from

Questioning the Validity of an poll

I was reading an article from the AP on yesterday about whether or not the media is favoring Obama or McCain with the amount of coverage. The article admitted that Obama was getting the spotlight and poor old McCain was left in the wings. Come on; that’s obvious. I expect the media to be liberal and favor the Democrats. They’re consistent. However, the strange thing is that they set up a supposed poll to see if readers agreed or not. I voted and got back the results. I must admit that I was rather surprised by the number of readers who voted that they, too, see the media as liberal. Well, then I checked in today to see how the numbers had changed.

Somebody who’s knowledgeable in statistics tell me: what are the chances that your percentages will stay EXACTLY THE SAME when you’ve had 103,594 MORE people vote since the first screenshot? Check this out:

Yesterday’s screenshot:

Today’s screenshot: