MAXINE

"Aim at Heaven ... you get Earth thrown in - Aim at Earth and you get neither" - C.S. Lewis

Saturday, February 28, 2009

Stimulate This, Jimmy Carter

President Obama after meeting with, from left, National Economic Council Director Lawrence H. Summers, Sen. Christopher J. Dodd (D-Conn.), Treasury Secretary Timothy F. Geithner and Sen. Richard C. Shelby (R-Ala.). Image Credit: Bill O'leary/The Washington Post

Stimulate This, Jimmy Carter

The poor economic record of the Carter years ... and in particular, the unusual combination of high inflation and high unemployment ... was an important reason for Carter's loss of popularity and his 1980 defeat.

The 39th President of the United States has nothing on the potential for economic havoc that liberal federal government spending will have once the 44th President, Barack Obama, has his proposed $3.5 to $4 trillion dollar budget approved and placed into action.

The budget proposal released today is coming on the heels of the approval of $787 Billion dollars of tax monies to stimulate our economy ... the largest spending bill ever passed by our leaders in the U.S. Congress in the history of the United States.

Just to try to understand how much money of our citizen supported spending, the Government has approved on our behalf, after hearing that the next budget President Obama wants to have approved may spend about $4 Trillion dollars.

This all becomes a little inconceivable.

Example:

If one was to spend only $1,000,000 (that's one-million dollars) a day and intended to spend this money until one had spent $1,000,000,000,000 (one-trillion dollars), one would not finish until three (3) thousand years from now.

So, TIMES FOUR (4) – that’s a million dollars a day for twelve-thousand years!

There are only three-hundred million (300,000,000) men, women, ... and children who live in the United States – do the math.

The Obama Effect - This chart, showing the utter devastation Obama has wrought on the stock market, is from Investor's Business Daily.

This excerpted and edited from Commentary Magazine -


How Big Is Big?

Jennifer Rubin - 02.25.2009 - 7:07 PM

The spending numbers become meaningless after awhile. This helpful guide puts things in perspective:

$787 billion would buy 4.6 million homes here in the US at the most recent median price of $170,300 for January 2008.

$787 billion would send a check for $2,623 to every man, woman and child in the US.

$787 billion would fund 7.7 million four year scholarships to the average private university in the US at current tuition rates.

$787 billion would fund 30 million full four year scholarships to the nation’s public universities.

$787 billion would buy 27.7 million cars at the average price of an automobile sold last year in the US.

$787 billion would fund four full months of a tax holiday in the US.

This not only helps clarify how much we are spending, but how poorly we are allocating taxpayer dollars. If we actually did a couple of these things there might be broader support even among conservatives for the stimulus or the other spending projects Democrats have in mind. However, who thinks we’re going to get much value or immediate productive economic activity from the $787B?

You have the sense that, if they tried, they couldn’t spend the money in a more inefficient and less productive fashion. And you’d be right. The Democrats’ goal is to expand the public sector and pet liberal projects, not to worry about efficiency and productivity.They’re doing a fine job.

Reference Here>>

Then there is this little budget of $4 Trillion dollars and the claim that it will reduce the deficit by half.

This excerpted and edited from The Washington Post -

In President's Budget Plan, Broad Agenda and a Few Gaps

By Lori Montgomery, Washington Post Staff Writer - Thursday, February 26, 2009

President Obama's spending plan is built on the assumption that lawmakers can resolve some hugely contentious issues -- and it relies on a few well-worn budget tricks.

The request he will deliver to Congress today proposes to provide what administration officials are calling a "down payment" on a major expansion of health care coverage for the uninsured. It identifies $634 billion in tax increases and spending cuts to cover the cost of part of the program, but does not say how the administration hopes to raise the rest of the money -- hundreds of billions of dollars more. "TBD" has been penciled into categories for cost savings and benefit reductions.

Obama's budget also would make permanent a tax cut for the middle class enacted in the recent stimulus package. But to pay for it, the president counts on a big infusion of cash from a politically controversial cap-and-trade system, which would force companies to buy allowances to exceed pollution limits. Even if that plan is approved, some lawmakers have other ideas about how to spend the money.
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"They've painted the worst-case scenario in order to make it as easy as possible to improve on," said Maya MacGuineas, president of the bipartisan Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget, which champions deficit reduction. “But I'd like to see them go much further in terms of fiscal responsibility in actually closing that deficit gap."
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"It's a bold plan. This is big strokes. This is not a budget about little things," said Rep. Chris Van Hollen (D-Md.), a member of the House leadership.
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A senior administration official, speaking on condition of anonymity because the budget has not been released, said the spending proposal is just a summary of a fleshed-out plan that will be complete in April. In addition, some details were intentionally left out of the document because the president did not want to dictate policy changes to lawmakers.

The health reform proposal, for example, "is the starting point of a conversation with Congress," the official said. "We're not going to go to Congress and say, 'Here's the plan.' We're starting a conversation and saying, 'This is what we want to get done.' "
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The deficit is perhaps the trickiest issue in Obama's spending plan. He has pledged to cut it in half by the end of his first term. Specifically, administration officials say the annual gap between federal spending and tax collections will fall from something north of $1.4 trillion this year -- the highest since World War II -- to $533 billion in 2013.

But Republicans and some budget analysts noted that this highly touted goal is not particularly ambitious: This year's budget deficit is bloated by spending on the stimulus package and various financial-sector bailouts, expenses unlikely to be repeated in future years. The nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office recently predicted that the deficit could be halved by 2013 merely by winding down the war in Iraq and allowing some of the tax cuts enacted during the Bush administration to expire in 2011, as Obama has proposed. That alone would cut the deficit to $715 billion, according to the CBO.

"It's easy to cut the deficit in half after you've quadrupled it," said Brian Riedl, a budget analyst at the conservative Heritage Foundation. "The end of the recession, the drawdown of Iraq spending and the end of temporary stimulus spending will by itself cut the deficit in half. He should do more."
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The official defended the administration's figures, saying they accurately represent recent war costs. "It's a change in our policy that is going to bring those costs down," the official said.

But several budget analysts criticized the speech as misleading.

"It's a hollow number," said Sen. Judd Gregg (R-N.H.), the senior Republican on the Senate Budget Committee, who recently withdrew as Obama's nominee to head the Commerce Department. "You're not getting savings if you're assuming spending that isn't actually going to occur."

Reference Here>>

Ahhhh! The benefits of Central Planning ... it took only 12 Five-Year Plans to bring down the Soviet Union. How long will it take to dismantle the freedoms we enjoy here in the United States (many say the freedom train has already left the station).

We, at MAXINE, believe this is Carter's Second Term ... on STEROIDS!!!

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Monday, February 23, 2009

Lance Armstrong Dispatches "Syringe Man" On Palomar Mountain

Fans and photographers gather around Lance Armstrong (center, white cap) as he begins his first real competition of the 2009 season at the Amgen Tour of California. Image Credit: Dave Cynkin

Lance Armstrong Dispatches "Syringe Man" On Palomar Mountain

In the final stage of the Tour Of California 2009, Lance Armstrong pulled off a move that I suspect he (or any competitive cyclist) has been wanting to perform since he was taken down by a fan's lanyard grabbing his handlebar on an uphill stage in the sixth of his seven Tour de France wins.

Syringe Man as he was overtaken by the peloton in Stage 8 in the Tour of California. Image Credit: Diabo moderno

An exhibitionist fan dressed up in a black and yellow costume and carrying an apparatus that resembled two syringes on a stick (people have dubbed "Syringe Man"), was running along side of the peloton on snow covered Palomar Mountain. The man was alone and presented a hazard to the riders as they made their way up the mountain as he was alone and looking as if he were running in an unpredictable manner.

The grab! Image Credit: Diabo moderno


Syringe Man in snow bank. Image Credit: Diabo moderno

As the Peloton, led by Lance Armstrong's Astana Cycling Team team mates passed by the fan, Lance Armstrong helped "Syringe Man" out of the way and deposited him in a snowbank at the side of the road - hazard dispatched!

Syringe Man struggles to get up. Image Credit: Diabo moderno

This excerpted and edited from Amgen Tour Of California -

Herbalife Play by Play
Feb. 22, 2009 17:46:41

We saved the best for last at the 2009 Amgen Tour of California. Stage 8 was the Queen's stage, the most difficult of the race. It was a 96.8-mile pedal from Rancho Bernardo to Escondido, which was the first time the race has traveled to San Diego County.

The route included four California Travel & Tourism King of the Mountains climbs, none bigger than the fearsome Palomar Mountain, an above categorization climbs that peaks at 5123 feet, the highest summit ever reached in the Tour.

With two-time defending champion Levi Leipheimer (AST) in the leader's tunic, an abundance of attacks were expected in a final effort to claim the yellow jersey. An early break was established, but eventually collapsed on Palomar Mountain where an elite group formed including Leipheimer and his closest rivals – David Zabriskie (GRM) and Michael Rogers (THR).

On the descent four riders formed a new move, which then slimmed down to duo consisting of Frank Schleck (SAX) and Vincenzo Nibali (LIQ). The pair made it over the final KOM climb of the race on the testing Cole Grade and motored towards the finish on the valley floor while the Astana-powered peloton kept the gap close to preserve Leipheimer's overall victory.

After rounding the final corner, Schleck made his move and pulled away for the stage win ahead of Nibali. George Hincapie (THR) won the pack gallop to claim 3rd place for the day.

The top three positions on the General Classification held up:
Leipheimer followed by Zabriskie (36 seconds) and Rogers (45 seconds).



Tonight Leipheimer celebrates his Amgen Tour of California three-peat and his Team Astana toasts the Team victory. After winning back-to-back stages earlier in the week, Mark Cavendish (THR) takes home the Herbalife Sprint jersey. Jason McCartney (SAX) climbed his way to the California Travel & Tourism King of the Mountains title. For the third consecutive year, Robert Gesink (RAB) leaves the Golden State with the Rabobank Best Young Rider jersey in his suitcase.
Reference Here>>

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Thursday, February 19, 2009

Let The Revolution Begin

Simpsons characters pictured in a mob revolt with tourches. Image Credit: The Simpsons

Let The Revolution Begin

It's ironic that Barack Obama, whose friends were disciples Saul Alinsky, an ardent social revolutionist, becomes president and sparks a revolution toward conservative American Values.

A revolt might be happening already and the signs of this revolt began yesterday. First in Arizona and Second on the floor of the stock exchange when a reporter for CNBC talked with people who work to invest money ... to make money for their clients and themselves.

The wake-up call is startling in that the mainstream media will not report the groundswell of reaction to the demonization of taxpaying, mortgage paying citizens who are cast a losers in this brand new Obamaworld ... Carter's Second Term.

Protests outside of Dobson Elementary School in Mesa, Arizona where President Barack Obama unveiled his mortgage bailout plan. Photo features "Swastika Guy" and "Hammer-and-Sickle Guy" in close proximity to Fox News contributor Michelle Malkin and Sen. Josh Penry. Image Credit: of ProgressNow Colorado

First, this excerpted and edited from the Arizona Republic -

Ask what the country CAN do for you
by E. J. Montini, The Arizona Republic - Feb. 19, 2009 12:00 AM

President Barack Obama came to ground zero in the foreclosure crisis on Wednesday and offered a mix of government assistance and personal responsibility.

To which a lot of folks in Arizona said: "Nice try, but we ain't buying it."

There's no need for a complicated analysis of Obama's speech.

We can sum up what the president said at Dobson High School in Mesa, as well as the reaction of many local residents, by using two quotes. The first is from Obama, the second from a reader of The Republic responding online to the president's remarks.

OBAMA: "So solving this crisis will require more than resources - it will require all of us to take responsibility.

"Government must take responsibility for setting rules of the road that are fair and fairly enforced.

"Banks and lenders must be held accountable for ending the practices that got us into this crisis in the first place.

"Individuals must take responsibility for their own actions.

"And all of us must learn to live within our means again."

READER: "What about stoops like me that still pay their payments on time and live within their means and didn't buy a pool or a Hummer? I deserve something, don't I?"

After all these years, we appear to have decided that John F. Kennedy was wrong and that we CAN ask what our country can do for us.

Or as another reader put it: "We should all just let our houses go and our jobs, then live off the government and let someone else pay for this turkey's 'stimulus'!"

Obama tried to make the case that we're in this mess together.
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One man responding to a blog I wrote for azcentral.com said, "Let's get this country back on track and stop the government from trying to be everything to everybody. The Constitution only guarantees 'life, liberty and the PURSUIT of happiness.' "

Another added, "So let's see if I understand - all of us who pay our debts and taxes now get to fund the rescue of homeowners who are upside down. Ummm. I can see a tax revolt forming in the near future."
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What might work is appealing to our self-interest.
Reference Here>>

CNBC's Rick Santelli, while broadcasting for “Squawk Box” on the floor of the Chicago Board of Trade, called for a referendum to see if we want to "subsidize losers' mortgages" or buy cars and houses in foreclosure and "give them to people who might actually prosper down the road." As traders cheered, he went on to say that we should "reward people that can carry the water instead of drink the water." [click-image to launch video] Image Credit: CNBC via lolfed.com

Second, this excerpted and edited from StreetInsider.com -

Rick Santelli - The Rant Heard 'Round the World'
February 19, 2009 12:24 PM EST

The rant heard 'round the world'. The Drudge Report is highlighting CNBC's Rick Santelli's rant on CNBC this morning ripping Obama's mortgage plan:

'The government is promoting bad behavior... do we really want to subsidize the losers' mortgages... This is America! How many of you people want to pay for your neighbor's mortgage? President Obama are you listening? How about we all stop paying our mortgage! It's a moral hazard'...
Reference Here>>

Video Here

In this 44th Presidency of the United States, people who actually hold a long-term job, invest their money wisely, follow through with their monetary commitments are targeted and become losers (and those who behave in the opposite – Rewarded, with Government money transfer programs).

The economic model for all of this targeted upheaval is found in the principles of Keynesian Economics, a macroeconomic theory based on the ideas of 20th-century British economist John Maynard Keynes. The theory emphasizes the role of demand-side factors, as opposed to supply-side factors, in the determination of aggregate output.

In a nutshell, the value of money is placed not on wealth creation but dollar bill creation. The Government can choose to print the amount of money required to place the economy on a path that the Government feels is the correct path. This is as opposed to a free market determination which recognizes the free will of the consumer and the value of money that is placed in the popularity/supply of an item and the willingness for someone to pay the price someone else is willing to pay.

Even Vladimir Putin is warning the Obama Administration against the downside of a socialist economy stating that it was a “Five Year Plan” central planning Keynesian economic model that brought down the Russian Empire.

Image Credit: The Wall Street Journal Online

Putin Speaks at Davos
The Wall Street Journal - JANUARY 28, 2009, 2:29 P.M. ET

The following text is a transcript of Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin's speech at the opening ceremony of the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland.

Good afternoon, colleagues, ladies and gentlemen,
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Excessive intervention in economic activity and blind faith in the state's omnipotence is another possible mistake.

True, the state's increased role in times of crisis is a natural reaction to market setbacks. Instead of streamlining market mechanisms, some are tempted to expand state economic intervention to the greatest possible extent.

The concentration of surplus assets in the hands of the state is a negative aspect of anti-crisis measures in virtually every nation.

In the 20th century, the Soviet Union made the state's role absolute. In the long run, this made the Soviet economy totally uncompetitive. This lesson cost us dearly. I am sure nobody wants to see it repeated.

Nor should we turn a blind eye to the fact that the spirit of free enterprise, including the principle of personal responsibility of businesspeople, investors and shareholders for their decisions, is being eroded in the last few months. There is no reason to believe that we can achieve better results by shifting responsibility onto the state.

And one more point: anti-crisis measures should not escalate into financial populism and a refusal to implement responsible macroeconomic policies. The unjustified swelling of the budgetary deficit and the accumulation of public debts are just as destructive as adventurous stock-jobbing.
Reference Here>>

CONTEXT QUOTE:

Owners of capital will stimulate the working class to buy more and more of expensive goods, houses and technology, pushing them to take more and more expensive credits, until their debt becomes unbearable.

The unpaid debt will lead to bankruptcy of banks, which will have to be nationalized, and the State will have to take the road which will eventually lead to communism.

Karl Marx, Das Kapital, 1867


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Monday, February 16, 2009

An Open Letter To State Senator Abel Maldonado

Sen. Abel Maldonado, R-Santa Maria, votes no as the Senate takes up the budget bills Sunday morning without success. Image Credit: Brian Baer/Sacramento Bee

An Open Letter To State Senator Abel Maldonado

Dear California State Senator Abel Maldonado:


Please show a Republican backbone, an Abe Lincoln (the one who abolished slavery - abusive taxes are slavery) backbone, a fiscal backbone, a Magan's Law type of backbone for ALL of the citizens of this fine state.

VOTE NO ON THE STATE BUDGET - NO ON ANY TAX INCREASES.

Thank you for your backbone - Living in Los Angeles, I do not have a Republican State Senator to speak for me ... so you are my only voice.

Regards,
Edmund Jenks
Managing Editor - MAXINE, Oblate Spheroid, Symblogogy
Feature Page Editor/Reporter - NowPublic
Blog Roll - Pajamas Media

"This will get done," Senate Pro Tem Darrell Steinberg [pictured] told Sen. Sam Aanestad, R-Penn Valley, who complained that the closed-door meetings were excluding the public. Image Credit: Carl Costas/Sacramento Bee

This excerpted and edited from the Sacramento Bee -

California lawmakers fail to pass budget deal
By Steve Wiegand and Dan Smith - Sacramento Bee - Monday, February 16, 2009

California legislators tried and failed for a second day Sunday to close a $40 billion hole in the state's budget, still one Republican vote short of approving a package that contains $14.3 billion in tax increases.

State Sen. Abel Maldonado, a moderate Republican from Santa Maria, indicated in an interview with The Bee that he was willing to consider casting the decisive vote if he was satisfied with the final version of the tax proposal.

"I'm very concerned with the tax package," said Maldonado, who early Sunday had been quoted as saying he was adamantly opposed to the tax hikes. "We're still working on that. Everything's fluid. I don't like tax increases. … let me just work on the tax issue. I'm working on that. I don't want my state to go off the cliff, OK? I don't want that."

Senate President Pro Tem, Darrell Steinberg, seated, talks with fellow democrats at 5:25 a.m. as they attempt to get the one Republican vote needed to pass the budget plan in the Senate. Behind him from the left, are Senators Mark Leno, D-San Francsico, Christine Kehoe , D-San Diego, Ellen Corbett, D-San Leandro and Jenny Oropeza, D-Long Beach. Image Credit: Brian Baer/Sacramento Bee

Legislative leaders and Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger sought to find a way to persuade Maldonado to vote for the tax bill.
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The Senate adjourned shortly thereafter, with plans to return at 11 a.m. today.

As all sides neared exhaustion, the delay was designed to allow Maldonado more time to mull over his choices.

"This will get done," Senate Pro Tem Darrell Steinberg told Sen. Sam Aanestad, R-Penn Valley, who complained that the closed-door meetings were excluding the public.
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I wish to God that you could deviate just a little bit," he told Aanestad, "just a little bit from your philosophy, from this endless mantra of no new revenue, no new revenue ever, and be participant and a partner with us in solving this problem."
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The key bills in the package, which has been hung up since Saturday, require two-thirds approval of both the Assembly and the state Senate.

That means at least three Republicans have to vote for those elements with the 51 Democrats in the Assembly, and three Republicans would have to do likewise with the 24 Democrats in the state Senate. Most Republican legislators have taken pledges never to raise taxes, and fear that doing so could lead to their defeat in GOP primaries.

Even so, legislative leaders had said the three GOP Assembly votes were there. The hang-up was that there were only two Republican senators – Senate GOP leader Dave Cogdill of Modesto and Sen. Roy Ashburn of Bakersfield – willing to vote for the package.

Another GOP senator, Dave Cox of Fair Oaks, was widely believed to be the 27th vote, but made it clear Sunday he would vote no.

The budget-balancing aspect of the package takes a three-pronged approach, with $14.3 billion in temporary tax increases, $15.1 billion in spending cuts and $11.4 billion in borrowing.
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The plan also relies on voter approval of five measures at a May 19 special election.

Voters would be asked to OK borrowing money from two voter-created special funds for mental health and children's health programs, changing constitutional language that covers lottery operations and school financing, and creating a spending cap.

Reference Here>>

The latter five measure conditions that require a vote by the public on May 19th are provisions that have been voted on by the citizens before - passing by 70% - and now this group of legislators will be asking all of us to overturn our vote on the use of these monies in the State Budget.

Why don't we all vote to end taxation slavery and get a whole new bunch of legislators who know how NOT to tax and spend.

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Thursday, February 12, 2009

Weird Joaquin … A Letterman Set Up?

Phoenix caused a flurry recently when he told a camera crew that he was done making films, over acting and planned instead to focus on his music. Attending a Paul Newman tribute, Phoenix's words with met with skepticism and many thought he was joking, but his publicist confirmed his plans to change career paths, saying, "That is what he told me." Wearing dark sunglass, Phoenix actively showed off his message to camera crews on the red carpet premiere of "Che" at the AFI Fest held at The Grauman's Chinese Theatre [November 2, 2008]. Held up to onlookers it read "BYE! GOOD," but message received. Caption & Image Credit: Huffington Post

Weird Joaquin … A Letterman Set Up?

Last night, Joaquin Phoenix sat down to be interviewed by David Letterman on his culture based night-time entertainment show and all David could do in the end is say, “My apologies to Farah Fawcett!”

The reference was meant to place this interview with Joaquin Phoenix as one of the least productive and weird ever to happen with David. He generally expects his interview guests to have a story or two to tell about the “Artistic” project they are on to promote. When Dave asks a question or two, a good guest would be off and running with a few antidotes made a little more interesting by questions from Dave Letterman, himself – that is the template.

Last night, Joaquin Phoenix decided to break the template and become less than engaging. He even has an uncomfortable exchange with Paul Shaffer, gets annoyed at the audience and won't even set up the clip from his movie "Two Lovers." That's before he takes the gum out of his mouth and sticks it to Letterman's desk.

Joaquin Phoenix on David Letterman's Late Night Talk Show [February 11, 2009] ... not talking too much. Click Image To Launch Video.

This appearance was soooooo off of the reservation as it relates to what is expected from a professional actor with the stature of Joaquin Phoenix one suspects that this appearance was, well, a set up.

A normal template style interview, with both parties engaged, would have probably been less interesting and buzz worthy about a love story movie (two people who meet in a New York Subway – how original) than what had actually happened.

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Tuesday, February 10, 2009

From Lost Decade To Lost Generation

A reflection in a stock market display in Tokyo. Image Credit: 2005 - Katsumi Kasahara

From Lost Decade To Lost Generation

Barack Obama, in his first news conference of his tenure as the 44th president of the United States, dashed all hope and signaled a change from the United States being a free enterprise economy to a socialist based economy.

Citing the economic downturn as the reason why our elected leaders should pass the current large scale government spending legislation (with interest, over one trillion dollars) that is in front of them, Barack Obama invokes other economic downturns in the world.

One of the key examples he used as how a government spent itself out of economic troubles was the “Lost Decade” that Japan went through when their economy shrank and the government took over the fiscal control of many business enterprises. The funny thing is, the economy in Japan turned around when the government turned over major government operations back to the private sector after holding on to them for nearly a decade.

If our congress passes this spending bill, our country will not only revisit some of the worst economic times we have ever experienced (most recently the “Stagflation” Carter years with a misery index of 22 – currently the misery index stands at 7.6), we will loose major freedoms of choice for not just one decade … but a generation.

Another perplexing element tucked away in this trillion dollar “Stimulus” bill is the government’s reach into an un-funded yet subsidized health care.

The Democrat Party led Senate has confirmed New York Federal Reserve Bank Chief Timothy Geithner as President Obama's Secretary of the Treasury. The vote was 60-34, as many lawmakers questioned Geithner's failure to pay all of his taxes ($46,000) from 2001, to 2004. He has since paid them in full. Image Credit: NECN

This excerpted and edited from Congress Daily via NACS Daily -

Stimulus Package Contains Risky COBRA Provisions
Congress Daily - February 10, 2009

Senate leaders began debate on Friday on an economic stimulus bill that has some business community leaders concerned about the costs associated with the proposed health provisions, particularly one that would expand COBRA coverage.

Congress Daily writes that the health provisions of the Senate’s version of economic stimulus bill would subsidize COBRA premiums to allow “laid-off workers to afford to keep their job-based insurance for up to a year” However, the House-passed $819 billion version of the stimulus bill would “go a step further” and allow those who have been “on the job at least 10 years and who are age 55 or older to keep their job-based insurance until they become eligible for Medicare.”

On Friday, Senate leaders agreed to “a $5 billion reduction in COBRA subsidies for unemployed workers to buy health insurance” and instead of having the federal government subsidize 65 percent of the cost for nine months, as prescribed in both the House and Senate bills, the Senate bill reduces the subsidy to 50 percent but extends it for one year,” writes Congress Daily.
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These costs would significantly increase if people could keep COBRA longer as they approach Medicare eligibility...COBRA should not be considered a long-term source of coverage and was not intended to be one...Both current employees and their employers would face significant cost increases to finance the committee’s proposals to indefinitely extend COBRA coverage.”
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The Senate – with pressure from President Obama – is expected to pass its version of the economic stimulus package today. The bill will then head to a conference committee to reconcile the differences between the House and Senate versions.
Reference Here>>

This additional drag on the structure of business expenses has the opposite effect on the economy as it relates to stimulus and growth.

The new Treasury Secretary of the Obama administration, Timothy Geithner, has just announced his new plan that proposes yet another two (yes, that’s 2) trillion dollars of taxpayer money committed to propping up our mortgage banking industry.

Process without consequence is NO PROCESS at all.

We are living in the parallel universe described in the Superman comic books known as Bizzaro World (all things are flipped to the opposite) ... where everything Good is labeled and reacted to as Bad - and everything Bad is labeled and reacted to as Good.

In this real world, the outcomes and consequences are not flipped and actually remain the same.

United States' Social Engineering through the US Congress created entities of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, left unchecked ... has led to this world economic disaster.

All "Bailout" scenarios leave these Social Engineering processes in place.

A trillion here, two trillion there ... WHY NOT? is what we, at MAXINE, say!

Bend over and kiss the future generation’s economic and personal freedoms goodbye.

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Thursday, February 05, 2009

Social Web Meets The Financial Fed

Republican lawmakers are raising concerns that ACORN, the low-income advocacy group under investigation for voter registration fraud, could be eligible for billions in aid from the economic stimulus proposal working its way through the House. House Republican Leader John Boehner issued a statement over the weekend noting that the stimulus bill wending its way through Congress provides $4.19 billion for "neighborhood stabilization activities." He said the money was previously limited to state and local governments, but that Democrats now want part of it to be available to non-profit entities. That means groups like ACORN would be eligible for a portion of the funds. Image Credit: FOX News

Social Web Meets The Financial Fed

In Carter’s Second Term (Barack Obama’s 44th Presidency), the citizens of the United States are faced with a very fast moving Federal Government that is being directed by the Barack Obama Administration to spend out our tax money at a record rate.

The sweeping spending and economic stimulus plan recently passed by the House of Representatives on a one-party vote (the Democrat Party) proposes massive spending transfers to recognized money wasting, non job producing, “”shovel-ready” pet projects rooted in liberal socialist political philosophy – that is, to pay people for votes and political allegiance.

Examples of the type of projects this Executive Branch and Democrat controlled Congress believes will stimulate the American economy includes $4.19 billion for "neighborhood stabilization activities." (read that ACORN), $1 billion for Amtrak, the federal railroad that hasn't turned a profit in 40 years, $2 billion for child-care subsidies, $50 million for that great engine of job creation, the National Endowment for the Arts, $400 million for global-warming research, $2.4 billion for carbon-capture demonstration projects, $650 million on top of the billions already doled out to pay for digital TV conversion coupons, $150 million for Honey Bee Insurance, and there is more … much more.

So, how does one find out what is being discussed and potentially placed into law as it relates to ones tax dollars being spent and be a part of a social web process at the same time?

Enter the Daylight Network, on Monday, daylightnetwork.com, launched with a $5,000 Obama Prediction Market, and a suite of tools designed to help citizens (you and me) audit the federal government.

That’s right, just register and vote on what projects listed will pass, get bigger, fail, and possibly make money along the way through your prediction.

Home Page of Daylight Network - The more and more Americans learn about the stimulus package, the less they like it. Today, according to the Rasmussen poll, less than 37% of Americans are now in favor in the plan that now nears $1 trillion. We have dissected every major provision of the bill made it available for everyone to vote on every single line item. We are updating our results every few hours and blogging, phoning, faxing, e-mailing, and tweeting the results across the country. With enough momentum we can influence the Senate and cut the pork! Caption & Image Credit: Daylight Network

This excerpted and edited from MHT (Mass High Tech – the journal of New England technology) -

Federal gov’t audit website Daylight Networks launches
By Galen Moore, MHT - Monday, February 2, 2009

Amateur political pundits: Aaron Day has got $100 cash for you.

The CEO of Tangerine Wellness Inc., a Boston company that provides corporate weight management programs online, has co-founded Daylight Network. Its site, daylightnetwork.com, launches today with a $5,000 Obama Prediction Market, and a suite of tools designed to help citizens audit the federal government.

The Obama Prediction Market treats predictions about President Barack Obama’s first 100 days like publicly traded stocks. Each member gets $5,000 in online “currency” to invest in – or short sell against – predictions. Stocks rise in value as more people buy in, and at the end of the president’s first 100 days, the top 50 traders split a $5,000 pot.

The site is free.
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“I’ve always been strongly interested in politics,” said Day. He came up with the idea for Daylight Network about two years ago, but left it alone because he didn’t think anyone would be interested. “Now, we’re in extremely difficult times and people are looking for answers.”

In addition to the prediction market, the site provides calculators that show how federal dollars are spent.

An individual taxpayer can find out exactly how the government is spending each dollar of his or her tax money. Home pages for each government organization give an overview, a news feed and a list of non-government alternatives.

“What I wanted to do is provide some transparency so that people can appreciate what the government does and audit the government independently,” he said.

His hope is that an online community will grow up around discussions of possible solutions.

To solve the country’s financial problems, “It is going to take not just government,” Day said. “It’s going to take the private sector, non-government organizations, everything is going to have to be motivated.”

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