Saturday, October 30, 2010


I was reading a news item on Yahoo tonight and was shocked to see what our justice system has evolved into in one area. I don't know who is worse in this story - the judge or the plaintiff family. The incident took place in New York City.

The brief history is that two mothers took their children out to ride their bikes. The children were FOUR years old and the bikes had training wheels. The mothers (the article indicated) were walking along behind their young children, maybe talking. The kids (being children) started riding faster - now really, how fast can a four year old pedal a training wheel little bike?

As they rode past a building, maybe looking at each other as they rode along, an 87 year old woman was walking down that New York street. The children accidentally hit the woman and she fell. Help was summoned and the woman was taken to the hospital for her fall. Nothing else happened until three or four months later.

Being a mother, I'm going to give these mothers the benefit of the doubt and assume that they took that immediate action to help the woman, and admonished their children for their increased speed and not looking where they were going. That is what most good mothers would do. After all, at four years old, they were just little kids, playing, not realizing what could happen.

Three months after the incident, the 87 year old woman died of unrelated health factors, not due to the affects of her fall that day. At 87, that could be expected in life. However, the greedy descendants decided to sue the four year olds for negligence in a wrongful death. WHAT? ARE YOU KIDDING?

A judge had to decide whether to let the case go to a jury. He cited a case dating back to 1928 and said that suing a four year old is legal. It seems the legal age was in fact FOUR back in 1928. Since the children were each over their fourth birthday, the judge agreed to let the case proceed to trial.

The adult descendants of an 87 year old woman, who maybe lived a good long life, and had other health concerns, decided to place the blame of death on two FOUR year old children, suing them for negligence in playing, riding their bikes with four wheels. What has this greedy world come to?

Now the parents have to hire lawyers to defend their little children for doing what little kids do, being themselves. They did not have the knowledge or age of common sense to know they were doing wrong by pedaling faster, or that something might happen. But the woman's death was not as a direct or indirect result of the fall, according to the news item.

If the deceased didn't leave her relatives enough money in her Will or Estate, I think it has been reduced to a greedy situation to go after two FOUR year olds when they were not responsible. This world has become corrupt with greed and deceit as the greedy rich get richer, the middle class is disappearing, and the poor are getting poorer. Now the "system" has to "go after" FOUR year olds who probably won't even understand what is happening to them. How things have changed!

Sunday, October 24, 2010


Today is National Boston Cream Pie Day, my all time favorite. My second choice is cherry, and third is apple.

Now if I just had one to celebrate with, it would be a great day. Viva La Boston!

Tuesday, October 19, 2010


I don't know about the rest of you, but I'm shocked at what I learned. If you were financially strapped, and you borrowed a few dollars from a friend, would you go out and buy a luxury item to feed your fantasy instead of groceries to feed your body?

If we as taxpayers feel like the $47.5 billion we paid to get AIG out of the mess it created by churning out credit default swaps was not used properly, you should just head up to Mount Mansfield in Stowe, Vermont. There you can reap the benefits of the AIG-owned resort's recent $400 million overhaul. (Technically, the resort is owned by an AIG spinoff that is owned by AIG.) There's skiing, snowboarding, shopping, dog sled tours, a spa, a performing arts center and more, with lift tickets starting at $71 and topping out at $655 for 10 days of mountain trails. Is it worth it? Considering the ownership, who knows more about going downhill (skiing) fast than AIG?

In addition, American International Group (AIG) is likely to gain “tens of millions of dollars” from the initial public offering of a Chinese automaker that does business with Iran, the South China Morning Post reported.

AIG, through a subsidiary, owns 13.5 percent in Chongqing-based Lifan Industry Group Co., which exports motorcycles to Iran and where a local factory has a licensing agreement to assemble Lifan’s cars from imported kits, the Hong Kong-based English-language newspaper reported today, citing Mark Herr, AIG’s New York-based vice-president of media relations. Herr said the investment in Lifan wasn’t in violation in U.S. law and an unidentified U.S. Treasury Department spokesman said the matter didn’t appear to violate U.S. sanctions, the Post said. The China Securities Regulatory Commission will hold a preliminary hearing on Lifan’s IPO application today, it said.

We bailed them out so they could buy a resort and invest overseas, instead of in America? Who knew?


AIG reportedly plans to sell shares of its Asian insurance unit, AIA Group Ltd., in Japan, along with AIA's planned listing in Hong Kong at the end of this month. The Nikkei business daily reported Thursday that AIA's Japanese share sale is expected "to raise tens of billions of yen." Terms would be finalized around Oct. 22, and the share offer will take place Oct. 26-27, the report said. The report said the shares should price at about 200 yen ($2.45) each.

AIG plans to sell more than half of its stake in AIA Group Ltd through a Hong Kong listing, aiming to raise up to $20.5 billion at the top price. AIG is offering 5.86 billion shares in a range of $2.35-$2.52 under the basic offer. Citigroup Inc., Deutsche Bank AG, Goldman Sachs Group Inc, and Morgan Stanley are joint global coordinators for the IPO. AIG has hired them to market the offer. (Citigroup? Goldman Sachs? Morgan Stanley? REALLY?)

AIA's offer is being supported by strong foreign inflows into Asia which has driven many regional stock markets to multi-year highs.

AIG is expected to cap the underwriting fees for the AIA Group Ltd IPO at 2 percent, helping the underwriters to earn as much as $355 million, sources told Reuters. The underwriting commission is expected to be paid on the base offer of up to $14.86 billion, plus a 20 percent option, that would result in AIG raising $17.83 billion from the IPO based on the top end of the price range.

NOTE: An initial public offering (IPO) is when a company issues common stock or shares to the public for the first time. They are often issued by smaller, younger companies seeking capital to expand, but can also be done by large privately-owned companies looking to become publicly traded. In an IPO, the issuer may obtain the assistance of an underwriting firm, which helps it determine what type of security to issue (common or preferred), best offering price and time to bring it to market. An IPO, therefore, allows a company to tap a wide pool of stock market investors to provide it with large volumes of capital.

BOTTOM LINE: We need MORE Wall Street reform, NOT LESS like the GOP wants. We need sanctions and a department to oversee the bailed-out entities so they don't take American money overseas, where the GOP is getting most of theirs. Wake up people, give Obama and the Democrats a chance to STOP THE INSANITY!

Monday, October 18, 2010


In Evanston, Illinois in 1875, a law was passed forbidding the sale of ice cream sodas on Sunday. To get around the law, on Sundays soda clerks began serving ice cream with flavored syrup, but no soda water. The item became popular, and on weekdays customers asked for "Sundays." City officials objected to naming the dish after "church day" so the spelling was changed - and it has been SUNDAE ever since. Of course, chocolate Sundaes are the best!

Saturday, October 16, 2010




Sunday, October 10, 2010


A house needs upkeep and there's always something to do. I have learned how to fix many things over the years, and I'm good with tools, but today I tested a well-known MAN THEORY. Men think that one particular item will fix just about anything, so for lack of a better idea, I tried it. I will soon see how long their theory lasts.

The lower part of the back wall of my shower is coming loose. The tiles are protruding in spots. I cannot afford a new tub enclosure since I learned they cost between $200 and $300 for what I need. So today I attempted my "repair." I got out the "MAN THING" - DUCT TAPE. I taped the loose tiles so they were flat again and not open to catching water from the shower head. I know it doesn't look fancy, but only time will tell if this Man Theory works - that duct tape will fix anything!

Friday, October 8, 2010




Boehner’s America: The Economy

Corporate greed runs rampant: CEOs are unchecked, consumers’ rights are weakened, foreclosures jump up.

Boehner’s America: The Environment

More dependence on fossil fuels that create climate change, big breaks for big oil, lower emission standards.

Boehner’s America: Health care

Handouts for big pharma and insurance companies, gouging of Medicaid and Medicare, less coverage for children.

Boehner’s America: Reproductive Rights

Loss of funding for Planned Parenthood, no information about choice from health care providers, major support of anti-choice groups.

The GOP has made it clear that the interests of women and families don't matter to them. If they win on November 2, Speaker Boehner and the Republican majority would start right away at gutting our progress and protections: They would repeal health care reform; Abandon Social Security; Protect big corporations; And chip away at our reproductive rights at every turn.


Republicans say they are the party of paychecks, HOWEVER, (R)Governor Chris Christie of New Jersey just put 6000 workers out of work who were federally funded. The State of New Jersey received $3 billion from the federal government to build their half of a New Jersey-to-New York (Hudson River) rail tunnel project to keep up with the flow of traffic. Christie put a stop to the construction, but wants to keep the money and put it into his highway trust fund.


Going camping, living in the wilderness, or living a rustic backwoods-life without modern conveniences, healthcare facilities, a job or money should be OUR choice, NOT Boehner's. But HE wants the ultimate choice over OUR lives. Don't let him rule YOU.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010


The Republicans want to impose a national sales tax on the middle and lower classes to fund a tax cut for the wealthiest 2%. They want to de-regulate Wall Street and would rather see American soldiers die for oil than invest in renewable fuel sources. The Republicans don't care about the average person. They favor the rich, to line their own pockets.

Republicans complain that the bailouts didn't work and cost too much. However, TARP (Troubled Asset Relief Program) has been an enormous success from a policy perspective — it saved the financial system and averted a second Great Depression at a very low price to taxpayers, according to a report just released.

The price to taxpayers of the bailouts and financial rescue of 2008 and 2009 continues to fall sharply. In figures to be released soon, the Treasury Department will report that the final net cost of the TARP is expected to be about $50 billion. Add in expected returns from Treasury's interest in insurance company AIG, and the final net cost will be closer to $30 billion.

The news of the shrunken cost, which comes on the two-year anniversary of the legislation that created TARP, represents a dramatic improvement. A modest recovery in the economy "from a period in which people thought it would be the end of the world" helped reflate assets and markets.

In the fall of 2008, Congress authorized the government to spend up to $700 billion to shore up the quaking financial system, and it is common for critics to refer to TARP as a $700-billion program. But the full amount was never spent.

The TARP had several components. Some components were designed as pure expenditures rather than investments, such as the nearly $30 billion earmarked for the Home Affordable Modification Program (HAMP). Apart from the funds spent on housing, Treasury now doesn't expect to lose money. In the central component of the TARP, the capital purchase program (CPP), Treasury purchased shares of preferred stock in hundreds of banks. Of the $205 billion invested in banks through the CPP, $153 billion has been paid back. With dividends ($16 billion) and the sale of warrants Treasury received ($6.9 billion) bringing in more cash, the program is on a glide path toward break-even. In the TARP Two Year Retrospective, published today, Treasury now projects a profit of $16 billion on the CPP and other programs to aid banks. Two huge wild cards remain.

First, AIG received more than $180 billion in support from Treasury and the Federal Reserve, including $69 billion in TARP funds. AIG last week issued a plan to extricate itself from the various financial relationships it has with the Fed and the Treasury. The centerpiece is a plan to convert Treasury's preferred shares into common stock representing about 92 percent of AIG, and then sell it slowly over time. If it succeeds, Treasury will ultimately see gains of $16 billion on its holdings in AIG.

Second, there's the $81 billion invested in the automobile sector, most of it in General Motors and related entities. Of that, $67 billion remains outstanding, and GM's upcoming initial public offering is likely to make only a small dent. Treasury now expects that it will ultimately lose $17 billion on its efforts to aid the auto industry. "The returns we'll get from our investments in banks and AIG will be more than enough to cover the money we'll lose in autos," said Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner.

These figures likely won't do much to rehabilitate the popular image of TARP. Americans generally regard the program as having been conceived in sin, and attitudes against it have hardened. Through TARP, the government still has a portfolio of $184 billion in "investments" — in banks, car companies, AIG, and vehicles created to purchase toxic assets.

The benefits of TARP, which were sold as a way to get credit flowing again, haven't always been apparent to most Americans. Treasury has been engaged in a campaign to educate the public about the net cost and impact of TARP. But at a time when Wall Street firms are performing well and unemployment remains high, it remains a difficult sell.

The truth is that not all the $700 billion approved was used/spent; the end result will be a PROFIT to the Treasury, and TARP WORKED! It saved our economy from disaster and made the government a profit.

Monday, October 4, 2010


I wonder when the last time the headless horseman was seen at “Cherry Hill” around here? An article published in 1976 said it was 80 years ago, which would have been 1896. Legend has it there was a spooky spot right here in Fayette County.

A little moraine about 15 feet high and 200 feet across on the east side of State Route 38, a mile south of Yatesville used to be called “Cherry Hill.” It was so named for the numerous cherry trees that stood on the hill years ago.

Strange folklore stores were connected to Cherry Hill throughout the years, including murder, ghosts and counterfeiting. One of the first courts was held in a house on Cherry Hill, according to legend.

The first Methodist church in the county was located a short distance south of this historic hill, which hill was later carved away for the gravel it contained.

There used to be an old Inn on the hill, and folklore has it that a land buyer with lots of money stopped at the Inn and during the night he was murdered. His horse was found in the woods a mile away.

Descendants of the innkeeper told that a federal agent was probing counterfeit activities of the famous Funk family, when one of the Funks was the innkeeper. Once the identity of the federal agent was known, he was also murdered. When the murderer’s wife discovered her husband disposing of the body, he threw an axe at her putting a large gash across her breast.

Soon after the murder, ghost stories began circulating that told of a headless horseman seen riding about the hill at night. So lurid were the stories that the place was shunned and people passing at night fearfully galloped their horses to pass the “haunted hill.”

No one would stay in the Inn and it was abandoned. Later lights could be seen through the boards of the roof and it was told that ghosts walked at night and men played poker at the Inn, according to legend.

The Inn was torn down leaving only the large stones and foundation logs which remained for several years.

Little by little, the ghost scare subsided. The last sighting of the headless horseman was told by a man living on the William Selsor farm, a mile east of the hill. He was returning home late one night with a little too much booze in his system. After opening the gate, the man led his horse through and saw the headless man standing with arms outstretched. He yelled, his horse ran away and he ran into the house.

A few days before, some boys had placed a piece of fence rail across the decaying top of a gatepost near the gate through which the man had to pass. The man never believed he saw a gatepost with a fence rail across, but always believed he saw a ghost.

Saturday, October 2, 2010


The bank bailouts certainly helped those on Wall Street, and there are 667,200 millionaires living in New York, an 18.7% increase from the previous year. So why does New York have such huge budget problems?

Finance (banks and Wall Street types), technology (Google, Facebook, Microsoft and Yahoo types), and oil (BP and Exxon types) remain the main sources of wealth in the U.S.

Isn't that why we NEED the Wall Street Reform Bill?

Los Angeles has the second largest number of millionaires at 235,800, a 13.3% increase from the previous year. More actors and actresses getting richer? Still, the difference between the amount in New York and Los Angeles is significant.

Chicago and Washington D.C. are next on the list with 198,100 and 152,400 respectively, again an increase of 15.1% and 19.3%.

One person commented:
"Millionaires have been made and the rich have become richer while the middle class and poor have lost their homes, lost their jobs, and for all practical purposes, pulled the country down because of George Bush's tax cut. Now the rich do not want any tax increases. People should not blame this administration on the state of the economy, the unemployment, or anything that has pulled the country down... But, the conservative machine is doing a great job of stirring that pot and placing blame to any place except where it all started, and that was during the Bush Administration. Let the rich get richer and it will create jobs, well where are the jobs?"

Another comment was:
"The only ones that made out are those fat cats on Wall Street, like John Kasich. It was the biggest STICK UP and no one had to go to jail or pay for their greed. They should be the taxed the heaviest to put the money back into our economy!"

They're right. In the last 20 months, this country has seen progress and improvements because of the President's accomplishments like:

*Froze White House staffer pay.
*Set a deadline for closing of Guantanamo Bay.
*Signed an executive order to ban torture and inhumane treatment of prisoners.
*Set a military draw down in Iraq.
*Signed an order banning gifts from lobbyists.
*Passed the AMD Stabilization and Support Bill to strengthen the military.
*Expanded the SBA programs for lending.
*Passed a credit card bill of rights to prevent gouging by CC companies.
*Directed the FCC to improve broadband availability.
*Created the Advanced Manufacturing Fund to invest in manufacturing strategies.
*Closed the "donut hole" in Medicare prescription drug plans.
*Expanded the Senior Corps volunteer program.
*Required insurance companies to cover pre-existing conditions.
*Gave tax credits to those needing help paying for health care.
*Expanded eligibility for Medicaid.
*Expanded funding and loans to train healthcare providers.
*Fully funded the Veterans Administration.
*Provided funds to the VA to retain mental health professionals.
*Appointed a special advisor for violence against women.
*Funded the Violence Against Women Act.
*Made investments in advanced military air technology.
*Ended the abuse of supplemental budgets for war.
*Allocated Homeland Security funding according to risk.
*Increased funding for local emergency planning.
*Appointed a White House coordinator for Nuclear Security.
*Initiated a grant and training program for law enforcement.
*Improved international relations.
*Restored funding for the Byrne Justice Assistance Grant program for anti-drug and anti-gang task forces.
*Established an Energy Partnership for America for research in clean technology.
*Improved the release of presidential records.
*Expanded the Pell Grant program for low income students.
*Pushed enactment of Matthew Shepard Act to expand factors of hate crimes.
*Restored funding to EEOC to fight pay discrimination.
*Funded the Community Development Block Grant program.
*Promoted Arts education.
*Passed Wall Street Reform to restore accountability and responsibility.
*Passed a new healthcare bill to cover 30-50 million more Americans.
*Established criminal penalties for mortgage fraud.
*Raised fuel economy standards.
*Encouraged investment in alternative energy.
*Created a job training program for clean technology.
*Supports high speed rail (i.e. grant to Cincinnati for the 3C connector).
*Increased funding for the EPA.
*Extended unemployment benefits.
*Reversed restrictions on stem cell research.


These are all GOOD THINGS and with faith, confidence and support, he will do more for the American people. We just have to vote OUT the PARTY OF NO, the obstructionists and haters. Please vote November 2nd.


I was reading the following article to learn some of what the new "Pledge to America" would really do to us. It was earth-shattering to learn what the Republicans want to TAKE AWAY FROM THE PEOPLE. If you know anyone in school/college, or fighting cancer and waiting for new strides in research, or have a police or fireman in your family, you are out of luck. See for yourself:

From Bloomberg Reports...

"U.S. House Republicans’ pledge to cut $100 billion from the federal budget next year would slash spending for education, cancer research and aid to local police and firefighters.

Keeping the midterm-campaign promise would require a Republican-led Congress to cut 21 percent of the $477 billion lawmakers have earmarked for domestic discretionary spending.

“That’s where you get the savings,” said Representative Paul Ryan, a Wisconsin Republican who would likely be chairman of the Budget Committee if his party regained its majority in the Nov. 2 elections.

A cut of that magnitude would necessitate major reductions in spending likely to spur protests across many fronts, and Republican leaders have refused to specify any major targets before Election Day. Most of the proposals Republicans have offered so far provide minimal savings, like shaving $2 billion from the budget by capping federal salaries next year.

Still, Republicans argue that spending cuts trump tax increases as the best way to start balancing the budget in the wake of the worst recession since the Great Depression.

“To balance the budget, Congress has to get its arms around the spending here in Washington, and we have to have a healthy economy that gets Americans working again,” House Republican Leader John Boehner told an audience yesterday at the American Enterprise Institute, a Washington-based group that favors smaller government. “You can’t have a healthy economy if you raise taxes on those that you expect to reinvest in the economy and hire more people.”

Social Services

Democrats warn that the promised cuts would lead to dramatic reductions in social services across the board.

“This would have significant real-world consequences,” said Representative Rob Andrews, a New Jersey Democrat on the Budget Committee. “I don’t see any way there isn’t a hit on college students,” he said. “I don’t see any way there isn’t some hit on local police and fire.”

Republicans have made their task even harder by taking military spending off the table along with any programs for seniors or veterans.

Under the Republican plan, the budget resolution would set spending at 2008 levels, lawmakers said. While cutting the $100 billion needed to meet that pledge would force deep cuts, they have steered away from a specific plan for it.

“I’m a budgeteer,” Ryan said. “I just bring down the cap.”

Potential Firing Range

The Republican pledge to trim $100 billion from discretionary spending puts many programs, such as public education and cancer research, on a potential firing range:

President Barack Obama has requested $73.4 billion for the Department of Education next year. That request includes $23 billion for Pell Grants to help low-income students afford college, a 32 percent increase from this year.

The money also funds special education programs, block grants to school districts and $2 billion in adult education.

A 21 percent cut across the board would take about $15 billion from education. A 21 percent cut in Pell Grants would take almost $5 billion from student tuition.

The Obama administration has asked Congress for $76.4 billion for the Department of Health and Human Services next year. Almost half that -- $32 billion -- is for the National Institutes of Health, which includes the National Cancer Institute and other research facilities.

A 21 percent cut at the National Institutes of Health would take about $6 billion from health research.

Centers for Disease Control

The president’s proposal includes $6.6 billion for the Centers for Disease Control, $5.1 billion to help low-income households pay their energy bills and $8.2 billion for meals for low-income children and other aid through the Head Start program.

In aid to local governments, Congress sets aside money for local law enforcement through Justice Assistance Grants. Police departments can use the money for equipment and personnel and any other crime-prevention programs. Lawmakers have requested about $2 billion next year for the office that allocates that.

A 21 percent cut would take $400 million from police.

Within the overall federal budget of $3.6 trillion, entitlements such as Social Security and Medicare, requirements such as payment of the national debt and discretionary spending on defense consume most of the money. Less than $500 billion is allocated for discretionary spending outside of defense.

Programs that saw big increases under Obama could be particularly vulnerable in a Republican-run House of Representatives.

National Cancer Institute

The president’s request for the National Cancer Institute is up 10 percent from where it was in 2008.

Spending requests this year for Transportation and Housing and Urban Development rose by 38 percent from 2008, up $18.6 billion to $67.4 billion. Likewise, Democrats sought a 47 percent increase for diplomatic spending next year.

Representative Eric Cantor of Virginia, the No. 2 Republican in the House, set up a website called “YouCut” that encouraged Internet users to propose and vote on specific cuts.

Ideas include selling excess federal property and forbidding the administration to advertise stimulus projects, which would save “tens of millions,” according to Cantor’s website. Others that would produce much bigger savings, like revamping Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, are politically difficult to enact.

Other lawmakers offer broader cuts, like Republican Arizona Representative Jeff Flake, who favors major cuts to farm subsidies through the Department of Agriculture.

Tax Collectors

Cutting some budgets can be counterproductive, said Scott Lilly, former Democratic staff director of the House Appropriations Committee. If the Internal Revenue Service is forced to cut tax collectors or agencies reduce the number of people who audit federal spending, the government could lose more revenue than it would save through budget cuts, he said.

Republicans would protect money for the military and operations in Iraq and Afghanistan. By offering explicit protections for seniors, programs like Meals on Wheels and low- income housing grants could also be off-limits.

Republicans want to revamp the spending process in other ways to give lawmakers more license to strip individual programs from individual government agencies.

Boehner offered a plan yesterday to break the spending bills up so that money for the Labor Department isn’t coupled, for example, with funding for Health and Human Services.

‘On Their Own Merit’

“Let them come to the floor individually, to be judged on their own merit,” he said at the American Enterprise Institute. “Members shouldn’t have to vote for big increases at the Commerce Department just because they support NASA.”

The pledge that Boehner announced in September includes a proposal giving individual members of both parties more discretion to cut money from spending bills as they are being debated on the floor of the chamber.

The fight would play out during an expected post-election debate over curtailing the federal deficit, projected at $1.34 trillion this year. Democrats charge Republicans with hypocrisy for championing budget cuts as they push for an extension of Bush-era tax cuts for the wealthiest Americans that could cost $41.1 billion next year.

“It will have a serious impact on real people, but it won’t have a serious impact on reducing the deficit,” Andrews said of the Republican pledge for budget-cutting.

Obama said in June, during a meeting with other heads of state in Toronto, that he hoped “some of these folks who are hollering about deficits and debt step up because I’m calling their bluff.”

Even Republicans acknowledge that spending cuts alone won’t balance the budget.

“Let’s face it: We could zero out both the Department of Defense and zero out the Department of Education, and we’d still have a massive structural debt that we’ve barely made a dent in,” said Representative Jeb Hensarling, a Texas Republican."