Olemike's Blog

Archive for November, 2010

Deficit Reduction Action

Posted by olemike on 11/28/2010

Anyone who does not have their head in the sand knows that there is a lot of discussion right now about how (or if) to reduce the federal deficit.   I personally think it is critical that we take immediate action to reduce spending, increase revenue, and reduce the size of the deficit.  Not doing so will have drastic fiscal implications for our nation.  I read the proposal of the Obama Fiscal Commission and the proposal by the Bi-Partisan Committee.  Both have some great ideas that will work.  Most of us may not agree with every individual line item but in total, both plans make a great deal of sense.  Hopefully, Congress and the President will take action to implement some, if not all of these proposals.    They are quite lengthy but definitely worth your time to read.  Let me know what you think about the specific suggestions.  Let’s create some discussion.  In future posts, I will list the items I really like and those that I am concerned about.

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Stones and Glass Houses

Posted by olemike on 11/15/2010

I read with great interest this article by Glenn Greenwald concerning the trial ( or lack thereof) of the 9-11 mastermind Khalid Sheikh Mohammed.  It now appears that not only will the trial not be held in New York (which was always a bad idea), but may also not be held in a military tribunal for quite some time.  So, in effect, the Obama administration is continuing the Bush administration policy of holding  people for long periods of time without a trial.  I am starting to think the President Obama and President Bush (and VP Cheney) may agree about more that we thought.  I think it’s fair to say that it is easier to criticize than to govern. 

What’s that saying about stones and glass houses?

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The Deficit Wars

Posted by olemike on 11/11/2010

It was interesting to see the proposed  cuts which the Deficit Commission may be recommending to the President and Congress.  I  think, for the most part, it is a pretty good list.  Unfortunately,  both parties will start defending their special interests.  However, we as citizens need to make our feelings known to our representatives.  You can read here  and here about the proposed cuts.  Let me know what you think.

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Dancing with Sarah Palin

Posted by olemike on 11/08/2010

As a Dancing With the Stars fan, I have to wonder why Bristol Palin in still in the competition.   With only a few weeks left in the season, she has outlived her skill level by 3 or 4 weeks.  The only way to explain this is that fans of her mother are voting for her even though she is currently and has been for the last 2 or 3 weeks the weakest dancer left in the competition.  Bristol can’t possibly have a personal fan base to keep her around this long.  Obviously, Sarah has a lot of fans in the demographic that watches this show.  However, it’s time for reality to take hold.  In fairness to the other competitors,  Bristol should be going home this week.

Posted in Culture | 4 Comments »

Winter Garden Planting

Posted by olemike on 11/08/2010

Last week (11/5/10) I planted 4 items in our second raised bed.  They were  “Red Creole P.R.R. Onions, Early Jersey Wakefield Cabbage, Squirrel’s Choice Olympia Hybrid Spinach, and Swiss Chard.  I was a little late doing this so I don’t know what kind of yield I will get.  We’ll wait and see.

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Crimson Clover cover crop

Posted by olemike on 11/08/2010

I planted some Crimson Clover cover crop seeds in one of my raised beds a few days ago.  It is coming up quite nicely.  I will leave this bed unplanted through the winter in an attempt to replenish the nitrogen. 

Posted in Gardening | 1 Comment »

Political Promises

Posted by olemike on 11/05/2010

As a conservative, I was pleased at the election results on a national basis (California being the exception).  That being said, I think we should examine the promises the Republicans are making and hold them accountable.  I was critical about President Obama because I thought he and the Dems broke lots of promises.   I will list what I hear the Republican house leaders say and then we can collectively analyze their performance over time.  We will focus mainly on the House because Democrats still control the Senate.  I will massage this list on an ongoing basis.

Here goes the list thus far. (most of this list comes from this article by John Boehner or this one by Eric Cantor.

  • Continue a moratorium on earmarks.
  • Increase the amount of time the minority party has to deliberate.
  • Allow 72 hrs for each bill to be read before voting.
  • Reduce spending.  Explain how all new spending will be paid for.
  • Every bill include a clause citing where in the Constitution Congress is given the power to pass it.
  • No more “comprehensive”  bills.     (Thousands of pages of legislative text that make it easy to hide spending projects and job-killing policies)
  • No more bills written behind closed doors in the speaker’s office.
  • Reduce “Suspension Calender” issues to one day per month.  (These are non-controversial issues such as recognizing the NCAA basketball champion, naming a post office, etc)

I will fine tune this list as time progresses and the new Congress takes control.  Most of this stuff is “fluff” so far.  We will get more detail later, I’m sure.

 

For you who choose to comment, if you want to add a “promise” I haven’t listed, please provide a link to where you found it. 

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Bi-Partisanship

Posted by olemike on 11/04/2010

Let’s hope that the President and Congress will actually work together to get some positive things done.  Here are a few of my suggestions:

1.  Extend the Bush tax cuts for everyone for two years.  At that point, only raise taxes for those making over one million.  $250,000 seems a little low to me.  Use tax policy to motivate corporations to keep manufacturing in the domestic United States.

2.  Reduce defense spending.  Do we really still need troops in Germany and Japan?  If so, let them pay us to be there.

3.  Greatly reduce agricultural subsidies.  Paying someone to not grow crops is ludicrous.

4.  Raise the retirement age for receiving Social Security by at least one year for workers who are under 40 years of age.

5.  Require all public employee unions to convert to “Defined contribution” plans rather than “Defined Benefit” plans.  Programs such as these are bankrupting the states.  However, I dont’ know if the Federal Government has the power to do this.  It may need doing by each state.

6.  Pass an immigration overhaul.  Continue the current deportation pace.  Increase penalties on business owners to hire illegals.  Implement or improve a guest worker program.  Implement a roadmap to citizenship for current illegals who “assimilate” into the American culture.  Make sure they go to the back of the line.  Increase the number of border patrol agents.

7.  Modify the healthcare plan focusing on cost control.  Include tort reform

 I have other ideas but I’ll post those after these are implemented.  I’d like to hear your ideas as well.

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Voting

Posted by olemike on 11/02/2010

Let’s all vote for our preferred candidates today.

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