Tuesday, September 30, 2008

“This crowd couldn’t make sausage”

“The 228-205 defeat reflects badly on all concerned, starting with the Democrats who run the House. The majority party is responsible for assembling a majority vote, and Speaker Nancy Pelosi failed in that fundamental task.

Her highly partisan speech on the floor -- blaming "right-wing ideology of anything goes, no supervision, no discipline, no regulation" for the financial distress -- is no excuse for Republicans to vote no. But it is indicative of the way she has governed for the past two years -- like Tom DeLay without the charm. The cynics are saying Ms. Pelosi deliberately tanked the bill by giving 95 Democrats a pass, knowing failure would hurt John McCain, and given her track record we can see why people would believe it.”

That’s harsh. Even I don’t think Nancy would sink that low. Destroy the economy to get Obama elected? Hmmm. Well, maybe she would.

The beltway crash

A bank regulator tells his side

John Corby on 610 a.m. in Columbus offers a call-in show with topics from uses for bacon (yesterday) to what's the dumbest trick you pulled as a teen-ager. Today, the subject seems to be a bit more serious--the government bailout. As I walked in the door (I was outside picking up branches from the storm 2 weeks ago) I heard
    --a bank regulator saying the banks were forced into the Community Reinvestment Act (CRA) and each bank had to have a plan and a department. Bank field examiners spent over 50% of their time enforcing the Act, which took away from the enforcement of safety and soundness of the investments. Every bank in the nation, under the CRA, had to reinvest part of its own capital in the community, i.e. lending to borrowers, primarily minorities, who were not qualified for loans. This participation (which was forced) showed the banks were supporting the community. The caller said he and other bank employees who realized what was going on would have never been able to speak up for fear of losing their jobs, and that those who oversaw the CRA at his bank were the most liberal and militant in the organization. Then the banks were blamed for all the subprime loans they were forced to write. From the horse's mouth
Before we taxpayers fund the bailout, we need to dump the CRA which started the downward plunge and abandon this crazy idea that everyone needs "the American dream." And that includes its slush fund, Housing Trust Fund, which goes to the states for local organizations to put poor people in housing (which usually no one else would buy) including my own church. It's a nightmare for many. There needs to be good, sound, affordable housing stock. But it doesn't mean that every welfare mother who's taken a training program in computer programming and found a decent job should be shoehorned into "affordable" housing with a mortgage which will be a burden to her and her children. I'm sure this was all done with the best intentions, but the consequences have resulted in a national crisis. These same people in a good rental or subsidized housing with an adequate investment vehicle on the side would have been far better off and not experienced one more failure in their lives.

"The CRA forces lenders to spend money, time, and resources on documentation, PR, and other compliance costs. Moreover, the examination process to determine the level at which a bank is meeting its CRA obligations can sometimes take several months. This has become a major point of leverage—and source of funding—for “community” activist groups. Lending institutions, rather than face the increased expense of a slowed deposit facility application due to a CRA challenge, have committed over $7 billion to such groups and $23 billion to community development lending projects since 1977. Some companies seek to mitigate the threat by funding activist groups’ projects, instead of reforming their overall approach to community reinvestment, according to Jonathan Macey of Yale Law School.

Groups like the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now (ACORN), aware that even small delays in approval can result in substantial losses of money for financial institutions, have been exploiting such a strategy for years. For example, Chase Manhattan and J.P. Morgan donated hundred of thousands of dollars to ACORN around the time that they applied for permission to merge." The Community Reinvestment Act's Harmful Legacy March 20, 2008

How electing Obama will hurt the poor

1. The National Abortion Rights Action League (NARAL) gives him a score of 100% on his pro-choice voting record. I think Ashley Judd noted that in a TV enterview yesterday (Hollywood stars are important supporters of our glamcan). Did you know approximately 79% of Planned Parenthood clinics are placed in target minority neighborhoods. While African-Americans make up only about 13% of the U.S. population, their abortions account for 35% of the total. Since Roe v. Wade was passed in 1973, there have been 13 million African-American abortions in a U.S. black population estimated at some 37 million. Genocide against the poor is a not-so-subtle way to reduce poverty.

2. A lot of you think the poor don't pay taxes. Oh, they do, just not federal income taxes. That's for the middle class and rich. But by far, the rich pay the largest share of federal income taxes. Along with their big incomes, they have big, hot shot lawyers and accountants. Obama will actually get less tax money if he rescinds the Bush tax cuts, but that doesn't matter, because what he cares about is "fairness." Punishing the rich by taking from them. So he'll need to drop down a few pay grades to the ordinary middle class to make up the difference.

3. But we have all kinds of taxes factored into our system. That $1,000 tax rebate for working families? Guess where it will go. Look at your computer or your shoes or a lightbulb. Wrapped by and bundled in taxes from the designer's table to the cashier's hand. And Obama's plan to "tax the rich" will affect every product and service the worker and non-worker alike has to purchase. If you think shareholders will earn less or CEOs will just roll over and accept less, think again. The cost of the product and service will go up. The poor pay a larger percentage of their income for food and basic services than you do. Every product that gets to the store has been taxed many times at many levels by many businesses, and those are the very folks Obama wants to tax more. Why in the world would you think that cost wouldn't be passed on to you? Or to the poor?

4. When the cost of gasoline goes up because Obama and friends are going to make it increasingly difficult to be energy independent with oil and coal as well as new technology and alternatives, it's the guy earning less than $40,000 who will be hurt the most, and it's his family who will have less money to spend because it is going into the gas tank.

5. When electricity rates go up because Obama and friends don't like coal, will they ask the working poor to sit in the dark and not turn on their TVs?

6. When the environmental regulations keep getting stepped up by Obama and friends, it's the poor who will be hurt the most with new requirements for their homes, and automobiles.

7. The only accomplishment of the current Democratic Congress (other than the failed bailout) has been the increase in minimum wage, which always hurts the entry level worker and the small businessman the most. We can expect more of this.

8. Obama's dislike and denigration of the military and its worth will close one more door for the poor who will be discouraged from joining the military with a lackluster, weak Commander in Chief. They have traditionally used this method to learn skills and get an advanced education while building their sense of pride and self worth in a country gone soft and valueless. He would rather they become totally dependent on the government rather than serve their country with honor.

9. Obama and friends will up the global warming hype, hurting the poor first, not only in our own country, but also those in the third world.

10. And of course, if Obama wins, racism is over! After all, if he doesn't win, it is racism that kept him from the White House. So if he wins, we're past all that. No more race-based benefits from the government. Think of that!

John calls Katie on her Gotcha Journalism

You go, John! Someone should teach her some manners, and if it has to be you, go for it. I think we'd all get better TV news if the interviewee would smack down the journalist--right or left--when she inserts her own politics, whether Charlie Rose or Greta van whatsit.
    John McCain: Of course not. But, look, I understand this day and age of "gotcha" journalism. Is that a pizza place? In a conversation with someone who you didn't hear … the question very well, you don't know the context of the conversation, grab a phrase. Gov. Palin and I agree that you don't announce that you're going to attack another country …

    Couric: Are you sorry you said it?

    McCain: … and the fact …

    Couric: Governor?

    McCain: Wait a minute. Before you say, "is she sorry she said it," this was a "gotcha" sound bite that, look …

    Couric: It wasn't a "gotcha." She was talking to a voter.

    McCain: No, she was in a conversation with a group of people and talking back and forth. And … I'll let Gov. Palin speak for herself.
Check the video, yesterday in Columbus. (I don't watch Katie, but my son told me about it so I looked it up.)

John Kerry unhinged

Watched him on Fox last night. A scary dude. So glad he was defeated in Ohio in 2004 which kept him out of the White House.

It's very clear the Democrats have dropped the bailout ball--going all the way back to President Carter in the 1970s when this social engineering of the poor began with the "American dream" of home ownership and expanded under Clinton in 1993. Did the rich get richer? You bet. Oh, and the agencies, lobbyists, and foundations that mushroomed to help the poor. How many jobs did they produce for recent idealist college grads? The rich usually benefit in these social engineering programs, particularly the people putting them in place with the regulations and loop-holes, blocking reform. The Chris Dodd and Barney Frank dog and pony show--wonder how much richer these guys were in 2007 compared to 2004? Well, guys, it's probably gone now, at least on paper--but the people in Congress don't seem to suffer that much, do they? Fewer rich people for Obama to tax. And you know what that means, don't you? The tax man cometh for you.

I don't always recommend a Wiki, but I'm in a hurry to get to my volunteer job today--if you're a Democrat or Marxist, there will be plenty of sources pointing the other way, but you'll have to find them on your own:
    "In early 1993 President Bill Clinton ordered new regulations for the CRA which would increase access to mortgage credit for inner city and distressed rural communities.[7] The new rules went into effect on January 31, 1995 and featured: requiring strictly numerical assessments to get a satisfactory CRA rating; using federal home-loan data broken down by neighborhood, income group, and race; encouraging community groups to complain when banks were not loaning enough to specified neighborhood, income group, and race; allowing community groups that marketed loans to targeted groups to collect a fee from the banks.[4][6]

    The new rules, during a time when many banks were merging and needed to pass the CRA review process to do so, substantially increased the number and aggregate amount of loans to low- and moderate-income borrowers for home loans, some of which were "risky mortgages." " Community Reinvestment Act

Real food

in times of real stress and real need. Today I looked up the raw peach to check the nutritional value. It is low in calories and fat, but high in carbs, so nutritionists seem to think they are a mixed blessing. Not me. When I was a little girl, my nickname was Peachy. I love peaches. Apples, particularly Honey Crisp, are my first choice, but I'm out--only have Braeburn and Gala on hand. So I sliced up two peaches (leave on the skin) and grilled lightly in some margarine, sprinkled with cinnamon and a touch of vanilla, topped with a 1/2 cup of whole walnuts, and I'm enjoying a warm, delicious breakfast almost as much as if I had an apple. My favorite way to eat peaches is in warm peach pie with vanilla ice cream.

If you're under stress because of what is happening to your pension or your plans to buy a new home, you'd better stop with the salty, crunchy snacks that provide pleasure and no benefits and start with some good food. Real food. In the long run, it's a bargain. It will cost you less to eat real food, you'll feel like you're doing something useful (preparing), and you'll get more mileage for your dollar.

Today I chatted with a man at the coffee shop who has a very important job. He was having a large coffee, a large cinnamon roll, and a large chocolate chip cookie. He needs to be kinder to his tummy and brain.

Monday, September 29, 2008

Monday Memories--credit for the payroll

In 1960 I was a secretary at a small tool and die company in Indianapolis. I ran the office, answered the phone, prepared invoices, filed, wrote the checks for payroll, ordered supplies--the usual, plus made the coffee and cleaned the restrooms. After a few days of my coffee, the boss relieved me of that job. My boss was good looking for an old guy--he was about 33 and had a glass eye (I was 20 so he seemed ancient.)

After a month or so, and I learned to drive the truck, I was sent downtown to the bank to get a loan either for payroll or for the next job. I just did what I was told, but even I knew the boss was borrowing against a job that most likely we didn't have yet, or was a long way from the design table. But it all seemed to work.

I hadn't thought about that little building with the gravel drive-way and the trips to the bank to borrow money for the boss who hadn't finished elementary school until thinking about all the companies this week wondering about their line of credit for payroll, remodeling or new products. One or two missteps and I think that Indy bank would've owned the company and my boss's house. Now we have to wait and see what the brilliant minds with years of experience and advanced Ivy League degrees who got us into this mess will do to save our homes and businesses.

A note to visitors behaving badly

Think of visiting a blog as visiting another's home, or sitting in a restaurant overhearing a conversation, or waiting in line at the theater listening to the opinions of the others interested in the same film. Don't loose your manners just because you think no one will know. If you read something here you don't like, fine, leave a comment. Make your case. But if you insult me because I'm not a Democrat, or not a Marxist, or not your religion or not your sex, or you're young and I'm old, and you bring out the spray paint or throw your feces instead of being reasonable and joining the conversation, then you will be deleted, tossed in the trash. Think about your own home or property--you would not want such trespassers behaving badly, would you?

The good news

Sandy always looks on the bright side and refuses to be scared by government stats asking for more money:
    after infancy, old age is the single biggest risk for dying. In 2004, the death rate was:

    0.08% for ages 18-24 (38% lower than in 1950)

    0.19% for ages 35-44

    0.42% for ages 45-54

    0.91% for ages 55-64 (52% lower than in 1950)

    2.16% for ages 65-74

    5.27% for ages 75-84

    13.82% for ages 85+ (32% lower than in 1950)

    Dying of cancer is one of the biggest fears for young adults, but it can be reassuring to realize that, despite the media portrayals, cancers are primarily diseases of aging. Overall death rates from cancers are 0.09% for ages 25-34 years and don’t even cross above 1% until age 75+. Health of the Nation

Greeting McCain-Palin in Columbus

A friend and I met near her home and drove to Franklin Park Conservatory on Columbus' east side, then boarded a bus to Capital Center on the campus of Capital University. The huge line wound around the streets of Bexley, down an alley, past all the t-shirt, political button and bumper sticker hawkers, until finally we got inside the building. It was great fun with the opportunity for a lot of people-watching before the candidates arrived to loud cheers, roars and music. Of course, there were a lot of university students there, but also people with babies and children. I was surprised by how many disabled people had made the effort to be there--and it was not a comfortable environment if you were on crutches, a cane or in a wheelchair. Palin's promise to be a voice for those with special needs in the White House was met with loud cheers. Although, she could've given the weather report and been cheered. The crowd loved her. Eat your heart out Katie Couric (if you have one). You should be so popular.

Democrats in favor by 140-95

But they blame Republicans for the failure of the bailout bill? Huh? Not a single Republican vote was needed to pass this rescue, plus they insulted John McCain when he returned to work on it. Pelosi is an embarrassment to her party and position--all she did was nag and whine.

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Do you remember what you weighed in 7th grade?

I do. I was 5'3" and 114 lbs. by the end of the school year. We had "public" weigh-ins. I don't know how common that was, if it was the teacher's idea, the county or the state; it may have been included on our grade reports. I wasn't teased. Some were, and I'm sure it was a miserable experience for them. No one would put a child through that today. Or would they?

Arkansas has been held up as a national model for its childhood obesity program. The 4th annual report is now out. Junkfood was removed from the schools, nutrition and wellness was included in the curriculum, and exercise and physical activity were included for a recommended healthy lifestyle. The Arkansas Act included compulsory BMI screening with reports sent to parents. Even by the third report, no reduction in childhood obesity was shown, and by the fourth participation was down. It seems the counties with the fewest number of overweight children were showing the most underweight children, and there's concern that the intense focus on weight and a healthy lifestyle might actually be causing children to adopt unhealthy behavior!

Sandy at Junk Food Science has a complete run down on this Arkansas program, and has covered it before, citing studies that show BMI in childhood means nothing for health in adulthood and low-fat diets for children aren't good for their development. In fact, no one even knows what a healthy BMI is for children, and it was never meant to be a diagnostic tool for "good health." Also, there's concern that in a poor state, this unproven program has taken important dollars that could be better used elsewhere (math, science, reading, for example).
    Since Act 1220 was enacted in 2003, it has failed to have any measurable effect on children’s weight status; it has failed to demonstrate meaningful improvement in their overall diets or physical activity levels; it has failed to demonstrate improved health outcomes; and there are growing indications that it’s having unintended consequences. Parents, healthcare and educational professionals, as well as taxpayers, might rightfully question if the costs for these school-based initiatives might be better utilized in efforts to help improve the future of Arkansas’ children.
Another really interesting read at Sandy's blog is on the myth of the thin Old Order Amish (Lessons from the Amish), those guys who eat healthy and get lots of exercise--like 12-16 hours a day!
    It’s one of the most popular contemporary myths — and the foundation of present-day obesity public policies — that if we all lived rural lifestyles and did hard physical labor all day; ate homegrown, homecooked foods; and had none of today’s modern conveniences and electronics, we would all be thin. It’s a nostalgic vision of past eras ... but it’s not true.

    Even living these idealized lifestyles, eating virtuously and physically active far beyond what most of us could imagine, the Old Order Amish are just as fat as the rest of the United States white population. In fact, the average BMIs of mature Amish women (over age 40) are 1-2 kg/m2 higher than those of other U.S. women the same age.
I think the jury is still out on why we're all getting so fat. Maybe we can blame global warming and President Bush.

Inspiring sights and sounds

Thursday I was at the Lane Road Library and parked very close to the walking path that borders the park next to the library. There was a frail woman, a little unsteady--maybe 65-70--walking by herself. She was quite thin and wan, but the glow on her face could have lit up the town. I'm guessing she was recently released from the hospital after surgery or chemo or both and was so grateful to be out and moving on her own. She looked joyous and was taking in every bird, leaf and blade of grass that we miss in our routines. Then later in the day I was doing the mail run for the church and had to back out because a home health van was blocking my exit. The driver hopped out, opened the back doors of the van, and carefully maneuvered a large man in a wheelchair on to the lift, and was lowering it. I couldn't see the man's face--so I don't know who he was. But I thought of all the effort it took for him and his caregivers to get him to Lytham Road so he could attend a Bible Study for an hour. Probably several hours.

Because of the nice weather, we've been able to have the windows open at night, and during the night I can hear the trains--maybe 2 miles from here. Since our Amtrak cross country trip in 2003 I've loved hearing the trains. It's a fabulous way to see the country and meet the folks.

Which candidate understands foreign policy, war, energy and security?

Michelle Obama and the answer.

The bad news, the good news

Burning down the house.

The bad news is that Obama will probably be our next president; the good news is the Democrats have screwed him with the subprime crisis. He probably won't have any money to spend--but then, neither will we!

Norma DISAGREED with the Barack Obama position on 46 of the 51 test questions. This means she disagrees with the Obama position 90% of the time.

Actually, I agreed with him on one question simply because the person who wrote the test worded it so poorly. If you're going to write a test, you shouldn't load it, and some of these are. And this test was obviously written before the current bailout/meltdown. But in the end, you do get to see the poll questions they came from.

Six questions on the bailout

Over at City Journal, Nicole Gelinas thinks President Bush, Secretary Paulson and Congress should have taken a deep breath and answered some questions. Read the whole story--I've included just the questions. But I suspect the trillion dollar deal is done. I can see why Obama didn't want to return to DC to provide input. He doesn't want to be anywhere near this when the far left finds out there's no money for the goodies he's promised. As one commenter at Politico observed, ". . . if you were voting for Obama because of all the freebies he promised he will get you, that ship has sailed. That leaves voting for the candidate that is best at keeping our country secure." Here's the questions.

One. Will this bailout plan actively delay recovery?

Two. Isn’t Treasury worried about the dead-weight loss to the economy that the bailout could represent?

Three. How will this plan restart the now-moribund credit markets?

Four. When the Treasury prices mortgage-related assets under its program, what criteria will it use in assessing current values?

Five. Will the Treasury buy derivative securities like credit-default swaps under this program?

(Six) Bonus Question: The proposed bailout plan means that many creditors to financial institutions would be effectively off the hook for mistakes made by the firms to which those creditors lent money. (Injecting government capital into flailing banks, which some have proposed, could carry the same risk.) But in Thursday’s FDIC-engineered failure of Washington Mutual, the nation’s sixth-largest commercial bank, uninsured creditors will suffer losses made through similar management and investor miscalculations. Why is it acceptable for WaMu creditors to suffer, but not the creditors of the institutions that will be able to sell their bad assets to the taxpayer? Aren’t we setting ourselves up for worse problems in the future, by encouraging future lenders to big financial institutions not to worry too much about the toxic assets those companies may be amassing?

Do you really want to marry a guy who can't commit? His behavior during this economic meltdown was scandalous, in my opinion. He wanted to vote "present" even though he wasn't. He wanted phone consults, not face to face confrontations with people who know what a phony he is. His campaign was more important than developing a plan that won't bankrupt the country, even though he has a good chance of being the guy who will be stuck with the solution which could affect all his glorious socialist programs in our future.

You can call Sarah Palin inexperienced and laugh at her accent, baby son and her college degree, but of the four folks trying to lead, she's the only one who wasn't on hand to sound an alarm, kick some bums out, or just sit it out.

Peggy Noonan's palpable hatred

toward President Bush is never more evident than her huge, fully illustrated article "Hope for America" (no bias here, folks--Obama owns "hope" like Palin owns "lipstick") in the week-end WSJ. After a boring and depressing trip through airport lines (Bush's fault) with the Statue of Liberty's sandals in a plastic bin, she mentions finally McCain's temper. But she never alludes to or outlines Obama's seething anger so obvious in his face in the debate Friday, anger building that McCain had shamed him into returning to Washington to do his job--be a Senator from that great state of Illinois where Chicago is king and goon. She gently fondles and caresses Obama like he was a pre-mature baby on life support, and maybe unconsciously that's what she sees. After all, she was a speech writer for Presidents Reagan and Bush the Father. Give her respect! She coined "kinder and gentler" and "thousand points of light," for Pete's Sake.

A few years ago, after she was no longer included among the favored, she began sounding like the girlfriend not selected to be the bridesmaid, then she graduated to the ex-wife who didn't get her settlement in the divorce, and now she sounds like the former mother-in-law of the guy who deserted his wife. But oh so careful, charming and oozy with her words.

What is anger, after all, if it isn't hanging out the Bernadine and Bill former 60s radicals who wanted to bring down the government; if it isn't listening to years of Rev. Wright smearing white folk while choosing to schmooze and live with them; playing footsie with Israel's enemies who want them bombed out of existence; if it isn't stepping on the necks of those black mentors who elevated him; if it isn't throwing old pals, including Tony Rezko, the mayor of Detroit and your own grandmother who raised you, under the bus. Peggy, wake up. That's hatred. Not flashes of temper or getting testy. Anger from the guy who gets impatient with idiocy and naivete is anger understood.

But you, Peggy? You're just the gal sitting back waiting to be asked to dance. Or maybe even invited to the dance. Good luck with the new book.

If you're skipping Sunday worship . . .

This week I've been reading "A history of Lutheranism" by Eric W. Gritsch (Fortress Press, 2002). Very readable. In chapter 3 (p. 71) there is this interesting explanation on "a catechetical way," and I say interesting because I didn't get much catechism, i.e. instruction, (became a member in the loosey-goosey 70s), and it's not clear to me what our Lutheran (UALC, Columbus) congretation does to instruct new members these days--looks like 2.5 hours on a Sunday afternoon.
    "Because Luther had advocated a spiritual equality between clergy and laity based on baptism, he made the ordained and nonordained partners in Christian formation through worship and education. Accordingly, participants in worship need to understand and become part of the Sunday liturgy, and they need to experience their station in life as a divine calling to make faith active in love. Thus, there is an intimate link between the Sunday celebration of God's love in Christ and the Monday obligation of love of neighbor."
Isn't that nicely said? Loving God, and neighbor as yourself begins with Sunday worship. Then the author goes on
    "Worship through word and sacrament is the inhaling of divine power, as it were, and making a living in the world is exhaling."
Some of the music in our worship service geared to the youth and gen-x families is so loud and thumpity-bump-bang-crash that I suspect some are mistaking an increase in heart rate for divine power, but then Bach and some Wesley hymns do that for me.
    "(p.40) Worship and education were to Luther the twin pillars of Christian life. That is why he urged everyone, especially pastors, to use the liturgy of word and sacrament, together with the catechism, as the bridge from false security and vanity to proper conflict with the world's evil. . . his pedagogical theory is fundamentally collaborative and reinforcing, with the emphasis on voluntary education at home, enforced in church and school."
Sounds quite modern to me. Luther thought that the monastic schools were poor and advocated public schools so that parents could be involved, and he also recommended the establishment of public libraries! I didn't know that. I think we skipped that in the history of librarianship when I was in graduate school.

Saturday, September 27, 2008

The boogey man is real; he lives on the internet

Protect the children.

And if your librarian thinks children don't need filters, sit her down in front of this video.

Parenting a teen parent

I wandered into Chipped Polish from UV's blog, and noticed she had a category on parenting a teen parent. Very honest and realistic. I think she's also trying to go to college (grandma, not mom). Kinda makes you grateful for your own problems, you know? But although I don't want to be her, I give her a lot of credit for supporting her daughter's choice. I'm puppy sitting a 3 lb Chihuahua today. . . and. . . she just threw up.
Road to Victory Rally: September 29th in Columbus, OH
doors open 9 a.m.

The Capital Center [Capital University]
On the corner of Main and Pleasant Ridge
Bexley, OH

Republican presidential nominee John McCain is headed to Central Ohio on Monday with vice presidential nominee Sarah Palin for a rally at Capital University in Bexley.

The McCain camp has scheduled a rally at the university’s Capital Center, on the corner of Main Street and Pleasant Ridge Avenue. Doors open at 9 a.m. for the event. [We drove over and looked at the facility. I didn't see any parking that didn't require a sticker. Maybe there will be exceptions. Not a large building.]

Free tickets can be reserved at several Central Ohio outlets. For details and to RSVP

Ticket Locations

(I removed McCain Headquarters because we couldn't find it.)

Ohio Republican Party
211 S Fifth St
Columbus, OH 43215
Hours: Friday 9am-9pm
Saturday 10am-6pm
Sunday 12pm-6pm
Please click here to reserve a ticket at this location

Franklin County GOP
14 E Gay St
Columbus, OH 43215
Hours: Friday 9am-9pm
Saturday 10am-6pm
Sunday 12pm-6pm
Please click here to reserve a ticket at this location

Delaware County Victory Center
6011 Columbus Pike
Lewis Center, OH 43035
Hours: Friday 9am-9pm
Saturday 10am-6pm
Sunday 12pm-6pm
Please click here to reserve a ticket at this location

Fairfield County Victory Center
118 E Main St
Lancaster, OH 43130
Hours: Friday 9am-9pm
Saturday 10am-6pm
Sunday 12pm-6pm
Please click here to reserve a ticket at this location

Licking County Victory Center
1006 Hebron Rd,
Suite B
Heath, OH 43056
Hours: Friday 9am-9pm
Saturday 10am-6pm
Sunday 12pm-6pm
Please click here to reserve a ticket at this location

I've tried unsuccessfully to map this place, and finally found an athletic event that gave directions. I hope this is correct, but if not, it can't be worse than some of automated maps which looked like they'd been hacked by a Democrat.

Directions to Capitalʼs Campus

From the east on I-70:
Exit at Livingston Avenue. Turn right at the light and go four blocks to Francis Avenue and turn left. Francis dead ends into Mound Street. Turn left onto Mound and go one block to Pleasant Ridge Avenue. Turn right onto Pleasant Ridge. The Capital Center is on the northeast corner of Mound and Pleasant Ridge.

From the west on I-70:
Exit at the Bexley/Main Street exit. Follow the ramp around onto Alum Creek Drive, which will dead end into Main Street. Turn right on Main Street and go four blocks to Pleasant Ridge Avenue. Turn right on Pleasant Ridge. The Capital Center will be on your left, at the corner of Pleasant Ridge and Mound Street.

We've always had an economy, only recently have we had televised debates

The back story on televised debates from the Chicago Tribune.
    When Vice President Richard Nixon met Sen. John Kennedy in the 1960 debates, it was more than a television first. It was the first time ever that the nominees for the country's highest office had met in face-to-face debate. For more than a century and a half, candidates for president left that job to political surrogates.

    There were no debates in 1964, 1968 and 1972 because federal law made televised presidential debates impossible. Until President Gerald Ford and Democratic nominee Jimmy Carter squared off in 1976, the "equal-time" law required anyone who sponsored a televised debate to invite every candidate for president to participate. Typically, more than 200 people register as candidates with the Federal Election Commission. The 1960 Nixon-Kennedy debates happened only because Congress authorized a one-time exemption to the equal-time law. In 1976, the Federal Communications Commission and the courts reinterpreted the law, deciding that a debate was a "news event" exempt from the equal-time requirement.

    It takes more than a change in the law to change a nation, and we Americans owe our tradition of televised presidential debates to two Republicans and one Democrat. When President Ford agreed to debate Gov. Carter, he ignored the political wisdom that an incumbent should never agree to share the stage with a challenger. Ford later credited his performance in the debates with his comeback—after trailing badly, he lost the election by a single percentage point. In 1984, President Ronald Reagan was ahead in the polls, but chose to debate Walter Mondale anyway. And in 1960, it was two-time Democratic presidential candidate Adlai Stevenson who first proposed the idea of televised presidential debates. But for Stevenson, Nixon and Kennedy would never have debated and there would be no televised presidential debates today.
Chicago tribune via LibraryLaw.com

I think that last sentence is a bit of a stretch--I think someone would have eventually come up with the idea had Stevenson not thought of it in 1960. Sounds like a bit of Illinois hype on that part (he was governor of that state), but the rest is interesting.

Neo-Neocon says: "I’ve never understand why the debates are considered so important. This was true even back when I was a liberal Democrat. Yes, debates do demonstrate two things about a Presidential hopeful: how fast he/she is verbally, and how clear in communicating thoughts without a script. These things matter. But they matter far less than the ability to make the sort of decisions a President actually faces when serving.

Seems McCain had a point about the SEC

A week ago "Obama heaped criticism and sarcasm on John McCain, his Republican rival, and mocked his call to fire the head of the SEC." (USAToday) Yesterday, the NYT reported "The chairman of the Securities and Exchange Commission, a longtime proponent of deregulation, acknowledged on Friday that failures in a voluntary supervision program for Wall Street’s largest investment banks had contributed to the global financial crisis, and he abruptly shut the program down." Story. I don't expect Obama to apologize--he'll explain it away and say 1) it was his idea, or 2) he didn't mean it, or 3) we're all too dumb to understand his nuances.

The Debate

Too close to bedtime for me, so I didn't watch it until this morning when I tuned it in on C-SPAN when I was fresher. WaPo may call it "lukewarm" but that's only because Obama didn't score any points. This debate wouldn't have changed anyone's vote--you'll dance with the one you came with. However, for people like me who became a McCain supporter very late or after Palin was his pick for VP, it was an eye opener. During the primaries, I was supporting first Huckabee then Romney, so I barely paid attention to McCain. The debate was my first time to really hear a broad range of what he believes. And I don't like all of it, but as far as debating or explaining, the old guy was vastly superior to the young whipper snapper. His wisdom and experience were the "brights" on the classic car speeding into the dark night. Obama's vehicle was the experimental model driving on "dims." (For you young folk, that's high beam and low beam.)

Let's set aside Obama's facial expressions which ranged from grim to grimace, from scowel to snippity, from half closed eyes to downcast eyes. He's far less quick than George Bush, whose been the butt of so many jokes from both his enemies and supporters (and he accepts it with humor, something Obama doesn't have). His stammering and parenthetical lead ups to every question seem to imply, "Help, I'm in quick sand, someone write me a speech!" Eventually, he gets to the point and hits his stride that he has memorized, but it is so painful.

And the head nodding during the question? Doesn't that drive you crazy when someone does that to you? It signals: "Hurry up, I know best, so let me speak." If a question is directed to both, Obama would "hit the buzzer" first with "uh, uh, well, I, I, I, . . ." until he could think of something to say, and then he begins, "The only point I want to make is. . ." and you think he'll finally get it out, but it leads to more stammering. The man seems incapable of saying anything with clarity or succintness. Maybe it was his years as an untenured teacher of law. Love or hate McCain, he gets to the point, even if it begins with "let me tell you my record."

Each speaker was skilled in bringing the question, no matter what it was, around to their best talking points, but Obama was not good at trying to paint McCain as a third Bush, which seems to be all his coaches tell him to say. He's voted with Democrats 97% of the time and accuses McCain of voting with the President, his party, 90%. Duh! McCain was a thorn in Bush's side. Are Americans so stupid that they don't see that's a one string guitar? And even Obama's record agreed with the President 40% of the time. Was he wrong?

My opinion: McCain won because he stayed on topic and struggled less for an answer.

And a note from McCain who is returning to Washington to work on the financial crisis in my mailbox this morning: "Our next president and Congress will face challenging times that require selfless leadership. They must find solutions to issues like the economy, national security, and energy independence. I'm ready to work with Governor Palin and our Congressional allies to address the nation's most pressing challenges. Make no mistake, we are ready to lead and the Obama-Biden Democrats are not."

Vote for experience, and the guy who doesn't stammer.

Friday, September 26, 2008

And now a word from our change agent

Sorry, I didn't find this sooner--dated Sept. 24.
    The [McCain] announcement knocked the Barack H. Obama campaign, the Democrats, the congressional leadership, and the elite news media (to the extent that those are not simply synonyms) back on their heels... like walking up an unlit stairway and taking that last step that isn't there. They scrambled around like prats, denounced McCain, called it a "political stunt," contradicted each other (and themselves two minutes later), and in general, ran around like chickens with their legs cut off.

    In other words, just exactly what they did when McCain named Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin as his vice-presidential running mate.

    The decision by Sen. McCain to return to the Senate and worry about the country before his own political interests is the same bold, maverick move as the Palin choice... and it tells us once again, if more proof were needed, who the real "change agent" is in this campaign: Consistently, from the moment the Democratic primary was settled, John McCain has been the leader and Barack Obama the reactionary, either following or angrily denouncing. Today was a "denouncing" day:
    Big Lizards, Sept. 24

Top Four 527s go for Obama

These are the guys funding all those ads that drive us crazy.

"Of the top five organizations to give money to 527s, the top four are liberal.
They are SEIU ($24,014,524), Soros Fund Management ($4,900,000), Steven Bing’s Shangri-La Entertainment** ($4,850,000), and The Fund for America ($3,770,000).
The fifth is conservative Sheldon Adelson’s Las Vegas Sands Corp. ($3,597,632).

Here’s the rest of the story.

**Bing's personal fortunes mostly stem from his grandfather, Leo Bing, who built luxury apartment homes in New York decades ago and reportedly gave a $600 million inheritance to his grandson when he turned 18. (SFGate)

Finance/Insurance/Real Estate

Top Contributors to Federal Candidates and Parties: Total contributions: $339,649,585, 50% to Democrats, 50% to Republicans, but the heavy hitters like Goldman Sachs, Citigroup, JPMorgan Chase, are all betting on the Democrats.

Check it out. Do you suppose there's any arm twisting going on in Congress?

Oh those darn Jesus people!

ACORN and LaRaza, the “community organizers” (like Jesus), apparently would have gotten a piece of the bailout pie.
    "House Republicans refused to support the Henry Paulson/Chris Dodd compromise bailout plan yesterday afternoon, even after the New York Times reported that Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson got down on one knee to beg Nancy Pelosi to compromise. One of the sticking points, as Senator Lindsey Graham explained later, wasn’t a lack of begging but a poison pill that would push 20% of all profits from the bailout into the Housing Trust Fund — a boondoggle that Democrats in Congress has used to fund political-action groups like ACORN and the National Council of La Raza.
Read the pitiful news here.

Dodd's scam to bankroll the left.
    ACORN practices widespread voter fraud to increase liberal turnout in elections, and is guilty of financial fraud and embezzlement, but it has avoided any punishment due to its links to liberal lawmakers like Senator Chris Dodd, Congressman Barney Frank, and Senator Charles Schumer. ACORN is engaged in massive fraud in battleground states like Florida. (Election rules are being shredded for partisan purposes in other battleground states like Virginia and Ohio).
Some of these organizations really are Jesus People. Others are just crooks and agitators. I looked up the Ohio Housing Trust Fund, and our church's Hilltop housing group gets a grant.

When the power goes off

Much of Ohio was without power last week--no electricity, no cable TV, no internet. It was darn inconvenient--and we didn't even lose ours! Meetings were cancelled, traffic lights were out, grocery stores and restaurants had rotting food, lots of "little guys" had no income. Remember folks, 50% of the country's electricity is supplied by coal. Yes, that stuff the environmentalists and the Obamanationists want to ruin. If you think it was dark last week, just wait!

Liberals and fat cat CEOs never worry about the cap and trade costs which will kill the coal industry, dim the lights, and hurt the poor. But if you are a voter in Pennsylvania, West Virginia, Ohio, and Indiana, and you're clinging to your religion or guns, you'd better start worrying about where the electricity is going to come from and how you'll pay for it when the e-regulations gear up. And no, I don't like McCain's falling down the green hole either, but sometimes you have to choose your battles. The only hope we have is he has chosen a conservative running mate who might be able to influence him.

Check it out, voters.

Country First

I've never been wild about John McCain, but my respect grows by the minute. I don't know if he can do a thing in Washington, but at least he knows he has a job to do. Both Obama and McCain need to be in DC doing the job they were elected to do. The campaign has already been too long, and people have already made up their minds. Obama is afraid of townhall meetings because he'd have to use his own words, but debates work well for him. On the economy, Obama is clueless. He's also not popular with anyone in Congress. He couldn't referee a little league game let alone bring conflicting sides together. One or the other of these two guys will have this dumped in their laps come January. Will Obama continue to be AWOL as he was in Illinois and as he has been for most of his Senate term?

I just hate the idea of the bailout--I've paid my bills, I've been honest, and then these whiz kids decide every Tom, Joe and Fred needs to buy a home, and the real estate flippers decide to take advantage. These guys have had 4 years to clean up this mess, and the same cheats and liars continue to make money--like Jamie Gorelick and Barney Frank who 2 years ago stonewalled (pardon the pun) the Republicans who wanted to clean house and said there was no need for changes--everything was fine. But given that, I would hope the Senators have a few more details, even Obama, that we haven't been privy to, and which the MSM hasn't spun out of control.

Update: The debate is back on and Obama was dragged kicking and screaming back to DC, then made the rounds stuttering and stammering on the TV news, telling everyone "he's on the phone." I've heard that within another decade there may have to be classes in the public schools to teach kids how to talk to people face to face. Sounds like we might be there.

Janet, Joycelyn and Jamie, Clinton’s back-up singers

Jamie Gorelick has been in the news lately with the Fannie Mae scandal--I think she’s gone on to more millions. Not sure about Janet Reno. But poor Joycelyn is on the rubber chicken circuit, chatting up the folks, earning a few bucks, still mad that “politics” lost her a cushy job.
    Former U.S. Surgeon General M. Joycelyn Elders will present “The Politics of Health: What will the New Administration’s Challenges Be?” during a lunch presentation Wednesday (10/8). The lecture and Q&A, from noon-1:15 p.m. at the Buckeye Hall of Fame Café is sponsored by the OSU College of Public Health, Ohio Department of Health, Columbus Public Health and Columbus Metropolitan Club. Lunch is $25.
I tried to find out what agency represented her so I could see what the honorarium is, but the only one I could find (in cache) apparently doesn’t represent her anymore. Of course, if Obama is elected there won't be any politics in health and we'll know that racism is dead in this country. The vast army of Civil Rights folks will be in the unemployment lines. Well, if he isn't elected because of racists, wouldn't the opposite mean racism is gone?

Dear Left Wing Friend

You disparagingly referred to my blog as "right wing," but I notice you don't call yourself "left wing" even though you are working 24/7 for Obama having left family, friends and dog to go out and work for him. I write a lot of blogs--you can check back here to see what else I blog about--which you apparently don't read. Yes, I do think the stakes are high for this campaign, but I thought that in 2004 too. I sort of snoozed through 2000 just beginning my retirement, and wouldn't have been too concerned if Gore had won. At that time he was not unhinged. The attack on this nation on September 11, 2001 turned me into a Bush fan. I just knew Gore wouldn't have been up to the task.

So I'm right wing, but you're not left wing??! If it weren't for abortion, I'd probably be calling myself a libertarian. You will never be anything but a Democrat; you were born one and you'll die one. I'm exposed to the liberal lock-step-think all day. You wear blinders. You have contributed to Moveon dot org and the ACLU and you brag about it. I've never given my hard earned money to any political action group, and only on a few occasions have sent money to a candidate--and usually that is someone at the local level where it's a little easier to see the results. If money is going to leave my piggy bank for a cause, it will be to help poor people through a Christian organization or church, and it won't be given to a politician who will ear mark it for pork to build a park or a highway named for himself. Yes, I'm among those evil conservatives that surveys report give far more time and money to charity than liberals.

I spend about an hour a day telling the folks who stop by here my own researched and thought-out opinion, backed up with links to other writers if I can find them, that your candidate is an empty suit and a disaster for our country, and you spend 8 or 9 hours a day working for him, script in hand, organizing the novices, phoning the undecided, and doing the shitty work women have always been asked to do to move the man ahead. Based on just time spent, that makes you more a fanatic than me.

You live in a state with one massive city that controls the whole state with a history of corruption back to the 18th and 19th century. If it has ever been a swing state, I don't remember. Kennedy wouldn't have been president if the dead hadn't voted in your state. It has such a powerful Democratic machine that it even raises the dead to vote at election time. This is the machine that has nurtured your candidate.

You complain that your salary has been low your whole working life. What? Was that even during Kennedy/Johnson, Carter and Clinton administrations? And all those years we had a Democratic Congress? Didn't they do anything for you? And you think Obama will change that? He wants to decrease our disposable income by increasing taxes on business! He wants to punish the successful. Will you (or your surrogate Democrats who are younger) move to another city for Obama? Will you learn to drive a car for Obama? Will you go to college for Obama? Will you invest in the stock market for Obama? You don't have to have millions or even thousands--I did without and put aside 15% of my salary in tax deferred investments after the children left home. During the 1990s technology bust and fall out from 9/11 my investments didn't grow at all until Bush cut taxes to encourage investment and growth. Over time, the stock market is a much better investment than gold or real estate (although Fannie Mae CEOs and Barney Frank want you to believe everyone, even the poor and illegals, has to have a house). I'm not sure my little pension will recover from this latest government melt down, but at least my candidate knows he needs to be taking care of business in Washington and not saying, "call me if you need me."

You have stayed with your party and never questioned. The party left me years ago. I first began to suspect something was wrong in the mid-80s. Don't know which had more affect--raising teens, the Bork inquisition, or the smearing of Clarence Thomas, but I did eventually learn that I couldn't change someone else's direction and lifestyle--not with lectures, not with money, not with bribes, and certainly not with my politics. It was a valuable lesson, one I've never forgotten. You can stay there on the fringes of the left wing if you want, but not me.

Who helped in the emergency

Columbus got hit hard by the hurricane winds of Ike. We are still watching the clean up, although the power has been restored. Here's the note I've sent Panera's attached to their survey of customer service (www.panerasurvey.com).
    I just wanted to let you know what an outstanding job the 2 Paneras I visit did during the recent electric outage (Hurricane Ike) here in Columbus, OH. I go to both the one on Bethel and the one on Tremont Rd in UA.

    Just this morning I heard another customer complimenting the manager(?) at Tremont on the outstanding service they provided to the community last week when that neighborhood was without power about 6 days. The lines went out to the parking lot, but the Panera's staff were helpful, patient and friendly with a clientele that was really frazzled.

    Just thought you'd like to know what great people you have working there. Give them all a bonus, because they really went above and beyond what is usually asked of a restaurant!

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Objects of Wonder

Tonight we're going to the members preview of the "Objects of Wonder" show at the Columbus Museum of Art. These are the treasures found among the libraries and collections of Ohio State University, from the scientific to the artistic, pigeons to paintings, and cartoons to costumes. Should be fun. I had planned to attend a special program on this at UAPL last week, but the power outage cancelled all the programs.

Update: This is an amazing show--don't miss it. We plan to go back again because you can't possibly see it all in one trip. If you have any connection with Ohio State--student, alumnus, employee or tax payer--you just have to see this. And even if you have no connection at all, it's a fabulous art-objects show. I didn't see anything from the Vet college, although they have a wonderful art department and medical artists and photographers on staff. I remember a painting of a horse that is bigger than our condo. But perhaps I just didn't come across it. I did see the eye glass display from the Medical College--it's awesome--eye wear of famous people like Elvis and Sophia and President Ford. Whuddathunkit? The beetles and butterflies, the costumes, displays of wood from Ohio trees that went to Exposition in Chicago in 1893, Alaskan native art from the Byrd collection, John Glenn's gear from space flights, and I had no idea that George Bellows had painted so many presidents. And the rare books--what wonderful bindings. Again--don't miss it.

Your Mind is Blue

Of all the mind types, yours is the most mellow.

You tend to be in a meditative state most of the time. You don't try to think away your troubles.

Your thoughts are realistic, fresh, and honest. You truly see things as how they are.

You tend to spend a lot of time thinking about your friends, your surroundings, and your life.

Seen at Antigonos' Annals

You mean like Joe?

". . . at a time when one public gaffe could stall the energy Ms. Palin has brought to the McCain campaign, the self-described “maverick” governor from Alaska has taken few chances in her first week on the campaign trail."
NYT Caucus Blog

I've lost count. He's not even funny, anymore, he's pathetic. Is this what a first class education and years of experience bring to the ticket? Thank goodness for Sarah.

There wasn't enough room under the bus

so Jim Johnson of Fannie Fame is back in the Obama ranks of financial wizards. Story at Politico. If you were wavering toward Obama because you thought he was clean (too new), think again. Only Palin has a clean record on this. Elect Sarah.

Trickle up fiscal responsibility

"She can hardly be blamed. It's not her fault that her parents' income qualify her for the school's free lunch program," said the teacher. "But every day she raises a ruckus in the lunch line because she demands the extras, like cookies or dessert or an extra slice of pizza, that require payment. She sees the other kids can buy them, and she demands the same. She just doesn't get it."

How is she different than our Congress?

Comments, not mine, on the bailout

Dr Patrick Byrne of Overstock commented: "This bailout is necessary to save the bacchanal that is our US financial system. However, at the core of the administration's plan is the assumption that Wall Street is worth saving. It is not. For years Wall Street has bossed Washington, DC around like they're hired flunkies, while preying on Main Street businesses and investors. The federal government should use this opportunity to extract from Wall Street concessions that could never be extracted were Washington in its customary subordinate position." Here.

Nancy Pelosi is pleased.

Michelle Malkin says kill it and says credit is not a civil right.

McCain acting presidential; Obama not so much.

"This is a disaster waiting to happen. The best course of action for Congress is to do nothing and let the situation resolve itself. In short order we will have new market champions. If it absolutely has to do something, it can announce new lending programs to fend off a credit crunch (though this puts more pressure on private financial institutions and shouldn't really be done unless the credit crunch materializes)." Gabriel Malor

"When I and my wife, a legal alien, bought our house, the mortgage company told me that if my wife were an illegal alien, rather than legal, we would have qualified for certain loan programs with big banks. But because she was a legal alien waiting for her green-card (which she had recently applied for), we didn’t qualify." Hans Bader at OpenMarket.org

More as I find them.

Bush's legacy

He's not scrambling for one the way some former and ex-presidents have done, but of course, history (and the media) will assign it whether or not he claims it. I don't know how the bailout will be viewed; I hope not with all the things President Hoover tried (yes, I know Joe Biden thinks Roosevelt was president in 1929, but that's what you get with those first class educations that people like the Palins couldn't afford).

Here's what I wrote on Nov. 27, 2007:
    Here are my ten suggestions for a Bush legacy, in order of importance, five positive, five negative.

    1) The appointment of two outstanding judges to the Supreme Court, Roberts and Alito. This will extend many years and perhaps be able to return the Supreme Court to its original intention, moving it away from creating law. Kennedy, his father's appointment after the Bork nomination failed, was a tremendous disappointment for conservatives, so it is possible that with time, this one won't be in number one place, but for now, that's where I'd place it for long term impact.

    2) The tax cuts and overseeing the most robust economy in the history of this nation I'd place second. Facing my retirement in 2000 dependent on the health of the stock market, I was watching my accounts stagnate, and then tumble after 9/11. Right now the economy is softening and Democrats are making all the wrong moves, especially for retirees (look out boomers) mainly because they use taxes to punish, not to move the country forward.

    3) Getting us back on our feet after 9/11. Although I didn't dislike Al Gore and wouldn't have been upset if he'd been President (my first election as a Republican), it is still hard to imagine his taking charge after that disaster. For awhile it looked like there might even be a resurgence of patriotism and love of country, but that quickly faded as the Bush hatred over the lost election of 2000 continued to fester and eat away at the reasoning faculties of otherwise sensible people.

    4) Freeing more women in Afghanistan in the 21st century than Abraham Lincoln did slaves in the USA in the 19th century. We don't know yet the full consequences of this, because women were quite advanced in this country before it was stolen from them by the Taliban, and the climb back up will require a lot of will. American feminists have ignored this achievement rather than give Bush the credit.

    5) Leading the country into an unpopular, controversial war with the support and backing of both parties, including some of the same senators who later reversed their decision. That Bush held strong and refused to abandon the Iraqi people the way Nixon did the Vietnamese is a huge legacy, especially for those he saved from the blood bath had he caved into demands for pull-outs and withdrawals from his enemies.

    And on the negative side of the legacy ledger.

    1) Offended his supporters and party by nominating a weak Supreme Court candidate (White House counsel Harriet Miers) and by attempting to partner with the Democrats on an amnesty bill for illegal immigrants. These two actions also hurt any Republicans who supported him on other issues.

    2) Not being able to corral his stampeding RINOs and missing the opportunity to reform Social Security by taking total control back from the government to allow investment in personal accounts.

    3) Standing firm in his resolve that all societies deserve and desire a democracy. Perhaps only history will decide this one, but you've got to admit trying to jump start a 7th century mentality and push or drag it into the 21st century, is a tough row to hoe.

    4) The biggest tax spender on education ever to enter the White House, crafting a program with Ted Kennedy's help. Did he tell us during the 2000 campaign that he wanted to be the "education president?" Earmarks (pork) and wasted foreign aid--but that's more congressional, and something we've just come to expect from our government, isn't it? This and the next one have made him an anathema to many conservatives.

    5) Expanding medical care to a government drug program with Ted Kennedy, thus laying the ground work for the Democrats to make it even worse and more expensive. I think government-doled, rock-bottom health care for every household earning less than $1 million is a real possibility after 2008. Those making over a million will still be able to purchase first class care like they do in socialist countries.
I think some items might need to be rearranged. The Iraqi war has been long and has fractured the American spirit from the bitterness of the anti-war crowd, just the way I remember the VietNam years. But he didn't abandon them and turn yellow-belly the way they wanted him to do. Not that they would have praised him for an earlier resolution. The Iraqis will sell their oil to the Chicoms--why mess with our environmentalist nonsense--they have to rebuild their economy which the left says we broke. But I guess that removes "blood for oil" argument. The Dems won that one. Even today, the other party won't use the word victory, and maybe only historians will. Democrats and their progressive/socialist/marxist fringes have been so wrong on all fronts about this, it will be difficult to sort out because the academics and the press always are on the left and write from that perspective.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Dear George, Henry and Ben

Your bailout stinks. In a few months you'll be gone and you are handing the Democrats a federalized economy while you're still in office, what they planned for later on in the Obama years. You're not even going to make them work for it! I don't want to blame this all on President Clinton, because he had a Republican Congress to work with, but getting a home loan used to be very different before the mid-90s. It took 20% down, and our housing cost couldn't exceed 35% of our monthly after tax income. It's possible that since you guys are all rich, you've forgotten how we ordinary folks scrimped and saved and did without to pay our mortgages. Then someone brilliant decided we needed to move everyone into "the American dream," without considering who could or would pay. Then we got the NINJA loans, and even wealthy people took advantage of your lax no interest, no assets loans during the housing bubble. Yes, some minorities and poor people got into homes, most of which they couldn't afford. Again, I don't blame just the Democrats--I seem to remember something laudatory about this in the last State of the Union address.

You, President Bush, proposed in 2001 and 2003 the overhaul in the housing finance industry. It was blocked by liberal Democrats. That's a failure of leadership; we can't blame only the Democrats. Then Senator McCain with three other Senate Republicans tried to reform the government’s involvement in lending in 2005 and again that was blocked by Democrats. So he's not the "can't we all get along guy" that he thinks he is. And Obama? He was missing in action or not on board. (Why is this guy always out of the room when an important vote is taken? He's actually getting points for his absenteeism!)

Maybe you think I’m excusing you, but I’m not. You are the leaders. Why did you let the Democrats bamboozle us, and why put them in charge again when they've made such a mess? Now you are going to make the tax paying, honest, bill paying American pay for the mistake the two parties made together? Barney Frank and Chris Dodd are the reigning Democrats in banking and finance, and the rules were changed during the Clinton administration and it was former members of his administration who drove these GSEs into the ground and walked away with Golden Parachutes.

Tell me why, George W. Bush, should we bail out these bad, bad decisions made at the federal level by the Democrats in Congress and your administration?

Kudos for doing your job!

"9 East Rhodes Achieves 100 Percent Hand Hygiene

Congratulations to faculty and staff in 9 East Rhodes Hall for receiving 100 percent hand hygiene compliance in August. They were selected from 24 inpatient units at UH, Ross, Dodd Hall and UH East and outpatient areas that had 100 percent compliance. To properly wash your hands, wet them with water, apply soap and rub your hands together for 15 seconds. Rinse and dry with a disposable towel then use the towel to turn off the faucet to avoid re-contaminating your hands. You can also use an alcohol-based hand rub for routinely decontaminating your hands."

Below a recruitment notice for overweight people to participate in a heart study, I noticed this item for keeping the Buckeye spirit:

Nutrition Services will begin carrying Suisse Shop cupcakes tomorrow (Sept. 23) at Seasons Cafe at UH and Seasons Express at Ackerman and Morehouse. The cupcakes were selected by Columbus Monthly as the "Best of Columbus 2008." Cupcake varieties include a Buckeye cupcake (chocolate cupcake with peanut butter frosting and topped with a candy buckeye), Waldorf Red cupcake (with Waldorf Astoria frosting and topped with scarlet and gray sprinkles), White Empress cupcake (chocolate with white truffle frosting) and vanilla and chocolate cupcakes with french buttercream frosting. All cupcakes are available for $2.29 each.

OSU Medical Center This Week Newsletter, September 22, 2008

Another architect's watercolors

When Dora and I roomed together at the University of Illinois we were both dating architectural students. Neither one was a painter, except what was required of them in their course work. Now they both are. Here's her husband's web page. Really wonderful stuff. Sometimes we're fortunate enough to get one on a Christmas card.

There's never a free lunch or gas card

I should know that by now, but it looked legit. Just answer a few questions, vote for your candidate, and we'll send you a gas card, depending on the availability for your zip code. By the time you do all that and get to the end, I found a $14.95 offer for a fax service I couldn't opt out of, so I didn't finish. But the election choice was interesting. There were two very nice photos of Obama and McCain, no one looking surly or decrepit or ugly or dark. Then these bios from encabulat.com:
    Barack Obama: A Senator from Illinois; born in Honolulu, Hawaii, August 4, 1961; obtained early education in Jakarta, Indonesia, and Hawaii; continued education at Occidental College, Los Angeles, Calif.; received a B.A. in 1983 from Columbia University, New York City; worked as a community organizer in Chicago, Ill.; studied law at Harvard University, where he became the first African American president of the Harvard Law Review, and received J.D. in 1991; lecturer on constitutional law, University of Chicago; member, Illinois State senate 1997-2004; elected as a Democrat to the U.S. Senate in 2004 for term beginning January 3, 2005.

    John McCain: A Representative and a Senator from Arizona; born in Panama Canal Zone, August 29, 1936; attended schools in Alexandria, Va.; graduated, United States Naval Academy, Annapolis, Md. 1958, and the National War College, Washington, D.C. 1973; pilot, United States Navy 1958-1981, prisoner of war in Vietnam 1967-1973; received numerous awards, including the Silver Star, Legion of Merit, Purple Heart, and Distinguished Flying Cross; elected as a Republican in 1982 to the Ninety-eighth Congress; reelected to the Ninety-ninth Congress in 1984 and served from January 3, 1983, to January 3, 1987; elected to the United States Senate in 1986; reelected in 1992, 1998 and in 2004 for the term ending January 3, 2011; chair, Committee on Indian Affairs (One Hundred Fourth Congress; One Hundred Ninth Congress), Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation (One Hundred Fourth through One Hundred Sixth Congresses, One Hundred Seventh Congress [January 20, 2001-June 6, 2001], One Hundred Eighth Congress); unsuccessful candidate for the Republican presidential nomination in 2000.
I thought it was odd that committees for McCain were listed, but not Obama, then I thought maybe only chairmanships were listed. Considering Obama's youth and few years in the Senate, that didn't seem quite fair, so I looked in FactCheck.org, found out that he IS THE CHAIR of a subcommittee on European Affairs of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, which is chaired by Joe Biden. By reading through that information, I see that's why there is a political ad from the McCain people on this. It seems he could have held hearings pertaining to the role of NATO in the war in Afghanistan, but he has not. In fact, the first year he was chair, he had no meetings at all. Now, I don't glue myself to the TV when these hearings are shown, but if this is how Joe Biden became an expert (he used to chair the subcommittee Obama heads now), shouldn't they be meeting--I mean, just to chat and get aquainted and give the staff researchers something to do?

Anyway, since McCain isn't currently the chair (that's for the party in power), I thought Obama's subchairmanship should have been listed. It's possible these bios predated that, however. While speaking to the press in the Israeli town of Sderot this summer, Obama mistakenly said he was on the U.S. Senate banking committee, but in a later clarification by staff, he says he meant to say "my bill."

This too is your money

I noticed this little blurb today
    Ohio State signed a new $4 million, three-year contract to operate the USAID-funded PDP in the Ukraine, the world's longest-running, sustained effort to promote democracy. The program is credited with helping Ukraine's legislature pass significant reforms that have contributed to democratic and economic transitions in that country, said Charles Wise, director of the Glenn School and the project's chief executive since its inception in 1994

    "Ukraine is a shining star in terms of a having a functioning legislature compared to any other country in the former Soviet Union. They have real contested elections and they make laws that matter," Wise said. "The federal government has called this a 'model' program that can be used as a template in other countries of the world."

    The new contract runs from September 2008 through May 31, 2011. The Glenn School will act as a subcontractor for the project, which intends to . . .story here.
Is this $4 million before or after OSU skims its 50+% off the top for operating expenses? Anyone know? I used to be a USAID employee (agricultural credit in developing countries) through a contract at Ohio State, but didn't pay much attention to that stuff then. All I cared about was getting my paycheck. I do remember that with small credit loans to women in developing countries, 100% or more return on the investment (which was probably under $100 dollars) was considered wonderful. Good thing we weren't dealing with the oil companies who get about 8% on their investment.

A hymn for our elected officials

who when they aren't sitting on their hands, are using them to point fingers across the aisle.

Modern day, happy-clappy, contemporary Christian praise songs just don't work for me in a crunch, so this is based on "Lord Jesus Christ, Be Present Now" by unknown author, 1651. Based on Psalm 95. Tune: "Herr Jesu Christ, dich". To be sung "brightly."

Lord Jesus Christ, be present now,
Our hearts in true devotion bow,
Your Spirit send with grace divine,
And let your truth in lending shine.

Glory to God the Father, Son,
And Holy Spirit, Three in One!
To you, O blessed Trinity,
Be praise here and Washington DC!

I’ve got the low down, trillion dollar, Ben and Henry Blues

Woke up this morning ‘bout five fifteen,
Read my big ol Bible and a new magazine,
Jumped in the van, turning on the key
Let me tell you mama, there’s no stopping me.

Driving on to Main Street, stopping at the light
Heading for the coffee shop the other side of night,
Singing with the radio, changing stations now
Got the dog and pony show, candidates take a bow.

Mitigating factors, oozing out the wazoo,
Sell ‘em or hold ‘em, it’s all a rescue.
I’ve got the low down, trillion dollar
Ben and Henry blues.

Warm bakery bread and yeasty brown rolls
Congress still propping up the C-E-Os
Espresso coffee chai and tea
The government ya know--that’s just you and me.

NINJA loans for aliens, flipping for the rich,
From coastal homes, to buildings in the sticks,
McBama to Fannie to Goldman Sachs
They’re pointing fingers and covering tracks.

Mitigating factors, oozing out the wazoo,
Sell ‘em or hold ‘em, it’s all a rescue.
I’ve got the low down, trillion dollar
Ben and Henry blues.

Questioning King Henry.

Martin Luther's Definition of Faith

Luther was the most amazing writer. I wish I had a set of his works--as it is, I only have vols. 27 and 54, probably picked up at book sales, and his Small Catechism, plus a smattering of excerpts, like prayer books. Our church library set is now on the reference shelf; I used to be able to check out individual volumes, and of course, the local public library doesn't have them. Some of his works is available on-line, some in ascii and some in html (if you print for easier reading, the number of pages is about the same). However, if you want to understand modern western history, you really need to understand Luther.

In 1520 among the hundreds of other things he published were 4 titles which laid out reform of the medieval church as he understood it. I've printed out for the coffee shop today, "Concerning Christian Liberty," a quote from which heads the blog today (Sept. 24), although maybe not the day after tomorrow, since I change that often. In that document Luther writes that Christian freedom is genuine discipleship as the faithful way of following Christ. Essentially, in those 4 titles he called for the common priesthood of all believers, the rejection of the sacramental system, and removing ethics from a meritorious obligation to free love of neighbor in need--all points of which were clearly stated in Scripture, which is why he promoted translation into the vernacular (German, in his case). Here's his definition of faith:
    Martin Luther's Definition of Faith:
    An excerpt from
    "An Introduction to St. Paul's Letter to the Romans,"
    Luther's German Bible of 1522
    by Martin Luther, 1483-1546
    Translated by Rev. Robert E. Smith
    Johann K. Irmischer, ed. Vol. 63
    (Erlangen: Heyder and Zimmer, 1854), pp.124-125. [EA 63:124-125]
    August 1994

    Faith is not what some people think it is. Their human dream is a delusion. Because they observe that faith is not followed by good works or a better life, they fall into error, even though they speak and hear much about faith. "Faith is not enough," they say, "You must do good works, you must be pious to be saved." They think that, when you hear the gospel, you start working, creating by your own strength a thankful heart which says, "I believe." That is what they think true faith is. But, because this is a human idea, a dream, the heart never learns anything from it, so it does nothing and reform doesn't come from this "faith," either.

    Instead, faith is God's work in us, that changes us and gives new birth from God. (John 1:13). It kills the Old Adam and makes us completely different people. It changes our hearts, our spirits, our thoughts and all our powers. It brings the Holy Spirit with it. Yes, it is a living, creative, active and powerful thing, his faith. Faith cannot help doing good works constantly. It doesn't stop to ask if good works ought to be done, but before anyone asks, it already has done them and continues to do them without ceasing. Anyone who does not do good works in this manner is an unbeliever. He stumbles around and looks for faith and good works, even though he does not know what faith or good works are. Yet he gossips and chatters about faith and good works with many words.

    Faith is a living, bold trust in God's grace, so certain of God's favor that it would risk death a thousand times trusting in it. Such confidence and knowledge of God's grace makes you happy, joyful and bold in your relationship to God and all creatures. The Holy Spirit makes this happen through faith. Because of it, you freely, willingly and joyfully do good to everyone, serve everyone, suffer all kinds of things, love and praise the God who has shown you such grace. Thus, it is just as impossible to separate faith and works as it is to separate heat and light from fire! Therefore, watch out for your own false ideas and guard against good-for-nothing gossips, who think they're smart enough to define faith and works, but really are the greatest of fools. Ask God to work faith in you, or you will remain forever without faith, no matter what you wish, say or can do.


    This text was translated for Project Wittenberg by Rev. Robert E. Smith and is in the public domain. You may freely distribute, copy or print this text. Please direct any comments or suggestions to:

    Rev. Robert E. Smith
    Walther Library
    Concordia Theological Seminary
    E-mail: smithre@mail.ctsfw.edu
    Surface Mail: 6600 N. Clinton St., Ft. Wayne, IN 46825 USA
    Phone: (260) 481-2123 Fax: (260) 481-2126
Note: It's nice to see this modern English translation by Rev. Smith. Much of what Luther wrote was in Latin, then translated into German, then into 19th or early 20th century English, so it gets a bit tough to slug through all that. It makes me conscious of all the parenthetical phrases and unnecessary asides I use in my writing. Also, it makes me appreciate the beauty of having the Bible in modern English, or any vernacular. After all, there are over 10 million Lutherans in Africa (more than North America), and many Lutheran missionaries have worked for years to carry Luther's dream of Scripture in the mother language to spread the gospel to the common man.**

In case you want to hop in and criticize me for not acknowledging Luther's flaws (he had many), or other denominational missionaries translating (there are thousands), you are free to write your own blog or web page. I can't do all of it!

** “Since Luther was a prolific writer it came about that he began to standardize the rather loose orthography and syntax within his Mittel Hoch Deutsch expression. Second, that product was not addressed solely to the nobility nor to a cloistered religious readership, but purposefully and directly to the common people. Inasmuch as the capacity of the printing presses at that time reached a broad public, the effect of Luther's standardization led eventually to a changed form of the German language which has been termed "ein frühes hoch Deutsch." “
Martin Luther’s German Writings

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Show me the Chicago child

who benefited from Obama's management of the $100 million dollar Chicago Annenberg Challenge. Did they learn to be better readers, thinkers, writer, communicators? Did they go on to a community college or university and study math or science? Or did they just get more political and radical nonsense that won't help them with life skills. Obama had the benefit of a very good education--he learned his politics on the side. Couldn't other children? When asked in 2000 about his experience to run for Illinois Senate, he cited this experience. So, where are those children? I'd like to see the results.
    Obama replied: "Well, I'm in my second term, but it's true that certainly both Senator Trotter and Congressman Rush have been in elected office longer than I have. I can't deny that.

    "I would argue, though, that my experience previous to elected office equips me for the job. You know, I have a background as an attorney. I've represented affordable housing organizations to build affordable housing, something that is a major issue in the district. I've chaired major philanthropic efforts in the city, like the Chicago Annenberg Challenge that gave $50 million to prop school reform efforts throughout the city."
The economy and the current mess with government bailouts of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac is big news today. How did he do with smaller amounts? Like $100 million? Obama and Ayers

In Just Four Years, Obama Has Received More Money From Fannie Mae And Freddie Mac Than Any Other Member Of Congress In The Past Two Decades (Since 1989) Except Senate Banking Committee Chairman Sen. Chris Dodd. (Lindsay Renick Mayer, "Fannie Mae And Freddie Mac Invest In Lawmakers," Center For Responsive Politics' "Capital Eye" Blog, www.opensecrets.org, 9/11/08)

Top All Time Donors to Democrats and Republicans, 1989-2008
(only #92, Amway, gave solidly Republican (90%+). Twenty of the top 100 gave almost exclusively to Democrats.

Here's why we can't get tort reform: "American Assn for Justice, formerly the Association of Trial Lawyers of America (ATLA), this group of plaintiffs' attorneys and others in the legal profession now goes by the name of the American Association for Justice (AAJ) and boasts 56,000 members worldwide. A lobbying heavyweight, the association has been battling any attempt at tort reform, including recent proposals to cap awards in medical malpractice lawsuits. AAJ also lobbies Congress on any legislation that may inhibit the ability of consumers to bring lawsuits, particularly against health care providers, asbestos companies or insurance companies processing claims related to terrorism. The association favors Democrats, who oppose most attempts to initiate tort reform. In 10 years they contributed $29,160,889, and 95% went to Democrats.

Want school choice? "The American Federation of Teachers represents 1 million teachers, school staff, higher education faculty and other public employees. The federation also has a health care division, which represents health professionals and nurses. As one of the leading education groups on Capitol Hill, the federation lobbied heavily on President Bush’s education plan, beating back attempts to attach pro-voucher amendments." 99% to Democrats.

And so forth.

Yes, Gloria, there is profound sexism

Mostly from leftist women.
    "Feminist anger against Sarah has exposed the fact that feminism is not about women's success and achievement. If it were, feminists would have been bragging for years about self-made women who are truly remarkable achievers, such as Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, or former Hewlett-Packard CEO Carly Fiorina, or Sen. Elizabeth Dole, or even Margaret Thatcher. Feminists never boast about these women because feminism's basic doctrine is victimology. Feminism preaches that women can never succeed because they are the sorry victims of an oppressive patriarchy. No matter how smart or accomplished a woman may be, she's told that success and happiness are beyond her grasp because institutional sexism and discrimination hold her down. . . Sarah Palin is an exemplar of a successful, can-do woman, and the feminists simply don't know how to deal with her. I hope she will usher in a new era where conventional wisdom recognizes that feminist negativism is ancient history and American women are so fortunate to live in the greatest country on Earth." SF Gate, Sept. 21

Advice for McBama

"This is not the Barack Obama who inspired millions. This is not the Barack Obama who is likely to persuade all those white working-class Hillary voters that he respects their values and will look out for their interests. In short, Mr. Obama needs to relearn the lesson that propelled him to a historic nomination: cheerful and optimistic generally trumps cranky.

Mr. McCain could take a lesson too. If Mr. Obama's impulse is to tax anything that prospers, Mr. McCain often gives the impression that his is to court-martial it. Indeed, after a postconvention Palin bounce in which he showed his happy warrior side, Mr. McCain appears to have reverted back to Paris Hilton's wrinkly white-haired dude -- especially with recent rhetoric that makes American business leaders sound like the Taliban."

How Sarah got McCain's Groove Back

Reference questions

Today when you go to the library, ask a question. Try to find a librarian, though. I don't think it gives the staff quite the same sense of "ah-ha, a live one" that a librarian (MLS from an accredited institution) experiences. "Where's the rest room?" or "Can you fix the printer?" don't count.

I love to read through the questions that bring people to my site. Because I write on so many topics, these robotic spiders scroll around a page and match up some strange words or sentences--like the first name of a mayor's wife with the Latin name of a plant. Not quite up to my road kill or black birds in a pie diseases that I used to get at the Vet Library, but interesting. Since about 9 p.m. last night these are some of the more interesting questions that brought people to my blog. I get anywhere from 120 to 180 hits a day, depending on what I'm writing about. If a big poo-bah blogger links to me, it might spike to 350 for a few days. Sometimes they just glance and move on, sometimes they stay for 30 minutes to an hour.
    who administers zostavax in san antonio? [Let me get back to you on that]

    how to do my thoughts [just stir gently and half bake]

    lakeside "raccoon run" results [do you want 2008? I have photos but no results]

    abercrombie and fitz "the christmas field guide" [Yes, I'm getting Christmas catalogs too]

    24th mapping squadron [I'm 3rd from the top on this one]

    dadsandsons near blogspot [is this a boolean question]

    "catholic social doctrine" "joe biden" [bingo]

    how come there are so many anti-obama books and no anti-mccain books [probably because no one thought he'd be the candidate--check Daily Kos--they hate him and Sarah over there]

    orbiter can opener review [I have a great review on this topic--even a photo]

    cnn report, in 2008, new peal medicine for cancer used in europe [this sounds fascinating but I'm not sure what "peal" is. Learn to type in just the key words