I got up this morning and the sky looked weird.  Of course I was not up at the crack of dawn.  Those days are long gone and usually only seen if I had been up all night.  The sky looked not bright yet not overcast.  It was like someone was holding a light behind a curtain and that was the light.  I know rain is forecast for the day so assumed it was about to arrive.  I now can see drops on the windows so my shopping will be in the rain – yuck!  ‘Shoulda’ gone yesterday!

I like most of you have been watching the news of the bombing in Boston.  My heart aches for those who died especially for the little boy Martin who is all over the news with his sign for Peace.  My prayer is that he knows the ultimate peace now – the peace of Christ.  Then again if he is not a Christian the peace his faith promises.

The mixed messages we get from an ever evolving investigation have been frustrating me some.  While I am not sure I want it to change, the 24 hour news cycle can get in the way of real information.  It also can help as the word gets out to encourage everyone that has information and/or pictures to bring them forward as it might help. Pictures are important.  In the book, “The Girl With the Dragon Tatoo” wasn’t it a picture she found that solved the case?

It still is confusing.  They had a suspect.  They didn’t have a suspect.  They now have two maybe?  It is a tan backpack the picture shows.  They have black back pack material that has been sent to the FBI for scrutiny.  Look, we all have seen the CSI shows and heard the head Medical Examiner say let the evidence tell us.  While it is important to be current in the news cycles lets not make up news.  Let the evidence show us.

On another moment of mixed messages.  Our current President refused to call this a terror attack.  Really???  A bomb by any means is an act of terror is it not?  How many times were kids accused of ‘terrorizing their friends’ with cherry bombs.  Please let us call it what it is.  A bomb went off in Boston. If it was not a public works problem, it is a terror attack.  Now the other side is we actually do not know from where this attack came.  The evidence will tell us.

Mixed message #3.  Quote from yesterday’s newswires……..

“All in all, this was a pretty shameful day for Washington. But this effort is not over. I want to make it clear to the American people: We can still bring about meaningful changes that reduce gun violence so long as the American people don’t give up on them.” -President Obama speaks about the background check plan defeated in the Senate

The mixed message here is if it is okay to do a background check on guns why is it not okay to have photo id to vote?

Mixed messages about guns is really in the forefront as well.  Guns plural did not kill children in Newtown a crazy man did.  The weapons he used were legally obtained.  Guns did not kill people in Boston this week.  It was a bomb.  Guns did not kill the people of Waco today.  That was an accident.

Lastly the mixed message of killing children.  All over facebook are notices about how sad it is that our children are being killed.  The women’s groups are all out with their causes as well.  I have often wondered where the rights of girl babies are when they are aborted?  The fact is more children have been killed by abortion, which is legal, than by any bombs or guns.  How does this make sense?  How can we justify this killing?

More mixed messages of the week include the protocol of sending a contingent to the funeral of Hugo Chavez and we sent no one to the funeral of Margaret Thatcher who in her term in office was a great friend to America?

We are told not to politicize tragedies and in is first speech about Boston BHO said:

“I’ve updated leaders of Congress in both parties, and we reaffirmed that on days like this there are no Republicans or Democrats — we are Americans, united in concern for our fellow citizens.”

I am not being picky here.  When I hear the words Congress I do not hear both parties.  I hear a whole.  Why did he not simply say we that he updated congress and all share concern?

The current President also said we would get to the bottom of Benghazi and then did little to help in the investigation.  He promised the victims of Sandy that all would be well and they would get “immediate” attention after the event which was just before the election.  He told Newtown families:

“We’re going to have to come together and take meaningful action to prevent more tragedies like this, regardless of the politics.”

He is a President not King and cannot guarantee anything.  We have a governmental process.  If the words were meant for inspiration then they have been proven to be like a metal trashcan.  Solid on the outside and hollow on the inside.  So as to his words, which are generally mixed messages I say,  “What difference, at this point, does it make?” to quote Hillary Clinton.

What I know is that the truth of Benghazi will come out.  England will forgive our breach of protocol.  There will be another election in 2016.  AND I know Boston.  I lived there.  I know all that can be done will be done.  The American people once again are leading the way not the leadership.  The American people sang at the Bruins game.  The American people played “Sweet Caroline” at the Yankees game.  The American people will persevere and be stronger.



FIRED UP FRIDAY – sort of…


Today is the opening of the Olympics.  A friend suggested that politics be put aside and we all focus on the red white and blue of the festivities.  A wonderful idea. 

I have not been much of a fan of the Olympics.  I love to see some of them such as the opening festivites and swim competitions in the summer.  In the winter I like the skating and some skiing..  Those of course are the sports in which I have participated.  The rest of it, for me, drones on in starts, stops and waits and I find it fairly dull.  I do like that it unites our country in one voice at this time.  As for the competition, it is not for me.  I really only compete with myself anymore.  I rarely win.

Uniting as an American country is what I have been speaking about in many of my posts.  I believe we need to get to civility and discussion not divisiveness and polarization.  A cousin of mine, who is also a writer, sent me an email saying that she rarely discusses politics as she does not want that to be her public face nor does she think she is qualified.  I loved this honesty.  My blog, my public face,  is not predominantly political.  There have been my days when I have been fired up.  There will continue to be those as well.  I told her that I do not believe that I am necessarily qualified to speak about politics.  I am, like any other voter who is, trying to understand our system through the prism of my own values.

Another point she shared was her work with the government.  For many years she wrote law and legislation.  She knows all too well all the work that goes into this and shared some insights with me.  It is important to read bills.  I remember once when I was talking about getting social security at 65, I was told I would not be able to do so as the law had changed.  After much research I discovered indeed it had.  The change had been tacked onto some other bill.  I had not been aware of this. 

President Obama promised to run the most transparent administration.  He promised to have use C-Span.  Have these promises been met?  He said there would no longer be red states or blue states.  Has this happened?  

What it appears we have in this country at this time is a competition of who can speak the longest and loudest to win an argument.  We need discourse based on reality.  Not my perception of reality – reality as it is – taken from news sources that show the people speaking.  Our President really did say to John McCain that ‘Elections have consequences.”  Nancy Pelosi really said. “We have to pass the bill so that you can find out what is in it”.  Mitt Romney really said, “I like being able to fire people who provide services to me.”  Those quotes are real.  What the press does with them is another thing.  It is their interpretation.  We in America as Americans have to determine for ourselves what they meant.  As my cousin also said, we can then express ourselves in the ballot box.

Americans need to think for themselves once again.  Listen to my words if you choose.  Most likely try as I might on occasion to be impartial my post will reflect my values and beliefs.  The posts of left leaning bloggers and news people will reflect theirs.  We need to see it all.  It is not a competition as to the loudest voice winning.  America needs every voice to be informed and expressed in the ballot box to win.

As we compete with others nations at the Olympics we are united in hoping America wins.  Let us also enjoy the competitiveness of our own athletes as they compete against each other.  I think the men’s swimming will be very interesting.  May we win much gold!

When we get back to politics as usual – if it ever stops – let us listen openly.  Let us discuss not to change each others minds.  Let us listen to hear beyond the words.  I am sure the people making those three quotes did not mean exactly what their words said.  Words are important.  Just as important is our ability to discern what the speakers were saying.  That is our part.  Not a competition, discernment and these are very different things.




Disclaimer:  I have taken a turn in my post this morning.  It was not what I intended at all.  The post on soap will wait for another day.  Read the following 1608 words if you want or delete if you want.

On facebook occasionally there are notices from friends that they are cleaning out their facebook friends and to hit like if you want to stay.   I am giving you this choice today.  I am not cleaning out.  I am inviting you to do that.

Yesterday I was involved in a thread on another wall.  The wall owner posted a clip saying that Canada had banned Fox News for lying.  I have been cautioned over and over again (thank you Dale) to check out things on Snopes or Fact Check before forwarding them.  This habit has made me aware that there is a lot of misinformation out there and did not want this person to be perceived as passing such along.  I commented on the owners wall with a post suggesting that the facts be checked.  I shared that Fox News was involved in a licensing issue and distributed in Canada over private channels just like the cable channels in the USA.   

The response was from the wall owner was that the Canadians were afraid the Prime Minister was ‘trying to push American style hate-media onto our airwaves and make us all pay for it’.  This had a credit of another website.  I commented something about our President not liking Fox News as well and as I reread it think I missed that point.

The response from the wall owner to another poster participating in this thread was that ‘…Tea Party aren’t fiscal conservatives but rather simple-minded, fearful, bigots…’.  I shared then that I believed in the Tea Party so that would in fact be me.  In the same post I said I prefer to see and hear things from people in their own words, referring to the other poster and quoting Obama’s own words in his book about his drug use and being at a madrassa as it had come up in another post.  I was then told I was narrow-minded

Let me add here that I know this wall owner very well.  We have chatted occasioanlly about politics this wall owner freely shared that they were a bleeding heart liberal who wanted everyone to have everything.  The clincher was the following post.

The wall owner said, “I’ve never wanted to talk to you about politics and as to my real feelings about the Tea Party, I was holding back. Discussing family, books, and hobbies with you is lovely, but your politics fly in the face of nearly everything I believe in and I am happy that you will no longer be spewing it on my wall.” 

I was then invited not to ever post on this page again which I found questionably open-minded.  I will of course desist as it is not my wall. I would never enter where I was not welcomed. Got it! 

This brings me to the point of this post.  It is my understanding that in order to further a blog and get advertisers a blogger needs to be widespread.  I am not sure how my facebook people got on my blog.   I believe there was a thing in publish that automatically added when I was looking for further publication.

I discovered this when a friend was visiting and we were chatting about my blogging.  She is a liberal union gal and she told me that she gets my blog.  I said I did not know she was a subscriber.  I was afraid I had offended her since it seemed my posts were automatically added to her wall.  I still am not sure what pops up on peoples walls from my blog as I get nothing on my wall.  She put it ever so nicely.  She said if it looked interesting she would read it if not she deleted me.  I was so glad to hear this.  We ended up having an interesting political discussion.  I have other very dear liberal friends, as she,  and I discuss politics with them.  We remain close despite our differing views and opinions.

THE POINT!  I cannot figure out how I got to facebook and when I have time will try to fix it.  Until then if what I say offends you then please delete me.  If you do not want to hear anything of a differing opinion then please delete me from your wall.  I will miss your posts as I like my facebook friends.  I will understand your desire not to have my ramblings show up on your wall.  It is going to be a year of this as I want to complete my challenge.

FULL DISCLOSURE.  I am not sure it needs to be said and as sure that I want to be clear.  So here it is – I am a conservative.  Maybe even a Libertarian and definitely a work in progress.  I think the Tea Party people believe in limited government and small business.  I rarely call anyone names on my wall and invite comments from right or left.  I ask that there be no foul language, swear on your own walls (thank you David!).

I work daily at my Christian faith and am thankful that God does not leave me when I fail.  I respect all faiths.  I may not agree with their rules, such as jihad, and I would do nothing to harm another except speak out.  My faith calls me not to harm and the Constitution gives me the right to speak openly.

I do not believe in abortion.  It seems odd to me that we can be charged $250,000 for destroying an eagles egg and babies are freely killed.  I accept that abortion is the law of the land and pray daily that one day we will realize that we are the only country in the free world regularly legally killing our own.  I would not ever do anything to a woman who has had an abortion except love her and pray for her wiser decision one day.  I would not go to a Doctor if I knew they did abortions.

I believe in marriage as a union between a husband and wife.  I love all my gay friends and respect their choices in life.  I am preparing a post on this for later.   I believe we need understanding here not legislation.   

I believe in loving my neighbor.  I help my fellow man when and where I can freely with gifts of money or time or goods if that is what is needed.  I do not like the welfare system we have in this country.  I believe it can create people that do not and ultimately will not as they do not know how to provide for themselves.  Give a man a fish and he will eat for a day.  Teach a man to fish and he will be sustained for life. Not exact yet the point is there.  I believe many need help and the system we have can be fixed to help not encourage staying there as a way of life.  Let us freely give to our neighbors not be taxed to help.  Perhaps the answer here is that all legislators be required to tithe 10% of their money as well as 10% of their time to others before they can legislate or tax?

I believe we need to stop name calling and divisivness and talk together.  Our founders argued vehemently over the Declaration and the Constitution all with a “Good Sir” or “the Gentleman from” in their conversations as formality was required.  Perhaps we need to bring that and the powdered wigs back to get our country working again.

I do not believe that global warming is man made.  A volcano – nature made – spews out more pollution than factories.  I believe we need to be very conscious about our planet and not destroy it.  I have been driving a car since 1982 that is good on gas.  We recycle and give away our ‘stuff’.

I am a feminist in that I believe all women can have a choice in all things.  If they do not want a baby choose to use birth control first to nip this argument in the bud.  If a woman wants a creer she should have it.  If a woman wants to saty home as her career she should have it.  If a woman wants all of it – go for it.  Feminism was about equal rights not about my female rights being better and more important than yours.  Again I do not believe in legislating it.  I think there was a study done years ago that said if test legal cases had been brought about and won in each state that the ERA amendment would never have been necessary.  Equal rights would be in existence.  NOTE here is that since my ‘career’ was at home the feminist do not consider me one of them.

I hate guns and would not ever deny anyone’s right to have them.  In fact I may yet learn how to use them as a new challenge.

I love to discuss issues and share information and opinions.  I may not agree with yours as you may not agree with mine.  I am interested in what you have to say and sharing points of view.

So there you have it!  As Walter Mitty said – this is my world and welcome to it!  OR Not if you hit the delete button.




This is a fired-up Friday submission.  It is full more of questions than answers however.  I have been listening to the news this past week not reading and following as closely as normal.  I have scanned the papers only in passing.  I have done cursory looks on the web.  I am full of questions.

The requirements to be President of the United States of America are three fold only.  The first is that you be a natural born citizen.  OR if you were born in another country your parents had to both be natural born citizens of the USA.  The second is that you are 35 years of age.  The third is that you have to be living in the USA for at least 14 years. 

Those seem fairly simple to me.  The question arises, ‘When did our tax returns become part of the requirement?’  It is written no place in the Constitution.  Then again the IRS is not in that document!

In the research I did to investigate this question one source went back to FDR who did not submit his tax returns.  Nixon submitted 4 yrs as I remember.  Ford submitted a summary only and Carter three years.  It varied from then on.  The source taxhistory.org


also said the following:

Individual income tax returns — including those of public figures — are private information, protected by law from unauthorized disclosure. Indeed, the Internal Revenue Service is barred from releasing any taxpayer information whatsoever, except to authorized agencies and individuals.

Question number 2 is, ‘Are not our candidate’s private citizens afforded all rights?’ Question #3, ‘Why do we need these?’  If they have passed any scrutiny of the IRS and accepted then, ‘What do we need to know of one’s private finances?’  We require no one else serving in public office to submit their taxes.  Of the 535 members of Congress on 17 make their returns public.  When this issue was pushed recently by a news organization, Nancy Pelosi quickly changed the subject to the economy.  She further suggested that if the media was covering this why shouldn’t they open their returns?  Another question!  Seriously?

Does not the President have some rights of privacy?  Do not candidates for the office deserve this?  We need to know what the platform of the candidate is and how they plan to carry it out.  I believe we need to know the character of the candidate as well. 

Character is not found on a tax return.  Or is it?  If you lie about your deductions wouldn’t this exemplify poor character?  If you take advantage of all the available LEGAL options, couldn’t this exemplify wisdom to use the tools at hand?  What do your charitable deductions say about you as a person?

When we hire someone for a job we interview them.  We are given a resume to look at prior to this interview.  The job applicant may even fill out an application.  This is the information we receive.  There may then be a process of one tow or three interviews before an individual is chosen.  Today in our PC world we are not to ask age or ethnicity.  I found it very interesting when our daughter who is now looking for employment with her newly earned BS degree was sent a piece of paper asking, among other questions, her race.

The ridiculousness of the scrutiny that we put our Presidents through today is exhausting.  We spent many TV hours and newsprint columns and internet info to discover that George Bush had not attended all of his National Guard meetings, nothing illegal by the way, and had a DUI.  On the other hand we spent very little time on the passage from President Obama’s book where he said, “I blew a few smoke rings, remembering those years. Pot had helped, and booze; maybe a little blow when you could afford it.”  Perhaps the reason this was not openly discussed is that he was not arrested?  Cocaine use and an arrest are a felony I believe.  Now we are after Mitt Romney for a prank he pulled in school.  And of course his tax returns.

It is time to make a list of exactly what is required for the paperwork for the Office of President.  Simple – a list!  In order to run for this office you need to supply your school transcripts from college and grad school, your dissertation if one was written, your work experience from college to now, your personal and business tax returns for 5 years and a copy of your most recent physical.  Isn’t that enough?

On the other hand we could listen to what they are saying and judge them on their character.  Think the quote goes something like this, ‘Character is what you do when no one is watching.’  The final question then would be, “What were Mitt Romney and President Obama doing when no one was watching?”


PS ……… funny addition – I cut and paste a lot of info from the web to use or not in my writings.  I write my comments above all of these and add what I want.  I then run spell and grammar check before I post.  I was surprised to see that the page I took from Mr. Obama’s book had more corrections that should have been made then my own post!!!  Evidently my stream of consciousness writing is more grammatically correct!!!



Letter to the Editor Of The News Journal,Wilmington,DE:

I am writing in response to the letter from Rev. Long of Chester, Pa. that appeared in your newspaper onTuesday July 3, 2012.  The line above his letter was “Obamacare really means ‘Obama Cares”.”  Rev. Long’s letter mentioned the names the Affordable Healthcare Act has been called and ended with the fact that it may bring Obama a second term and show that he really cares.  I do not want to spoil Rev. Long’s impression of this bill.  I do not believe that caring means paying.  If you care about someone do you not want to take care of them?  This bill charges us all under the guise of care.

The facts are that this bill will cost us all – all of us – $500 billion plus in tax hikes.  The law contains 20 new or higher tax items.  It is the largest tax increase in American history.  The people that pay for this increase – 75% of them – earn $120,000 or less per year.  President Obama said two very important things that need to be added here.

He said, “I will not raise taxes on anyone earning under$250,000.

He said, “The Affordable Healthcare Act is NOT a tax.”

Americans for Tax Reform has a website that details all of these increases documented with page numbers of the bill.  It can be found at http://atr.org/full-list-obamacare-tax-hikes-a6996.  There you will find that in 2010 over $53b taxes took effect.  An example is item #3 “Black Liquor” tax hike of $23.06 that increases the tax on a type of bio-fuel.  Bill: Reconciliation Act; Page 105. In 2011 over $6.4b will go into effect. 

In 2012 we find #9 Employer Reporting of Insurance on W-2 (Min$/Jan 2012): Preamble to taxing health benefits on individual tax returns.  Bill: PPACA; Page: 1,957

In 2013 we see the addition of over $260b.  Included in this is item #14 on this list.  This is a Flexible Spending Account Cap – aka “Special Needs Kids Tax” of  $13b.  This imposes cap of on FSA of $2500.  This is now an unlimited amount.  One group this will effect is parents of special needs children.  There are thousands of families in the U.S.who use FSAs to pay for the education of their special needs children.  Tuition at one school was documented as $14,000 per year.  Under current tax law FSA dollars can be used to pay for this.  With a cap of $2500 who will pay in the future?  The documentation of this was: Bill:PPACA; Page 2388,2389.

In 2014 we are hit with $60b plus and in 2018 it is $32b.  If this is how Obama Cares I would ask him to please not care so much.  The United States of Americacannot afford it.  Do not take my word for it.  Check it out for yourself.

The question then arises, Can we trust a man who in his OWN words says one thing and then deliberately does another?  I think not.  His own words and subsequent actions set up questions of honesty.  He must not be elected again in 2012.




How much do you weigh?  What is your blood pressure? What is your cholesterol level?  Do you have 20/20 vision?  What is your heart rate?  What is your standing heart rate?  Do you know the answer to any of these?  Hopefully most of us know the answers.  Whether we like them or not they are part of who we are.  They also are a private affair to be shared with our doctor and anyone WE choose.  It is not the government’s right to know these numbers.  Yet it may be soon. 

New York Cityis banning 16 oz drinks that have sugar in them to help beat obesity.  It is being called a ‘nanny state’ law.  In other words we are not capable of taking care of ourselves so the government must step in.  The theory is that there are more obese people that are dragging down our health care so the government must fix it.  If they run this like they do other programs we can expect a major disaster.  In New York this seems to be passing just like their trans-fat law.  Mayor Bloomburg believes he knows best.

TheNew York law says that you cannot have more than 25 calories of sugar in any 16 oz. drink.  This law would work only for drinks that are sold where food is prepared like take-outs or fast food establishments.  Any grocery that does not sell prepared food will be exempt.  Now the question becomes does this mean coffee too???  I can buy a cup of coffee and take 2 sugars.  A tsp of sugar has 16 calories and a packet of sugar is estimated to have 25 calories as it contains a heaping teaspoon.  So I have a 16 oz cup of coffee and add 4 sugars I am running the risk of committing a crime???

Drinks that have 16 oz of a non-sugar drink are okay.  Here are a couple of factoids.  Saccharin, a petroleum derivative, while still used here and banned inCanada, does not break down in the system.  In Super Nutrition for Women, Ann Louise Gittleman, M.S. states that. “The National Academy of Sciences in 1978 evaluated the evidence and concluded that saccharin was primarily a promoter of other cancer-causing agents, a carcinogen.”  The U.S.has put warning labels on Sweet and Low which use saccharin.  Aspartame (NutraSweet or Equal) has been documented to have over 92 health side effects.  Some of them are depression, aggression, diarrhea, ringing in the ears, blurring in the eyes, squiggly lines in your eyes as well as bulging eyes.  Aspartame is a combination of two amino acids and methanol (wood alcohol).  According to Gittleman, reports to the Food and Drug Administration and the Centers for Disease Control indicate that if an individual drank 3 or more 12 oz drinks with aspartame they could consume as much as eight times the EPA’s recommended limit for methanol consumption.  To think that the EPA has a limit alone gives me pause.  As for Splenda, Samantha Heller, MS, RD says, “Saying Splenda is made from sugar is like taking the round wheel off a car and putting on square wheels.  Is it still a car? Yes. But can it perform like a car? No – wand what’s more we don’t know what will happen when people try to ‘drive it’ cross country.”  Are these better than sugar and not deserving to be banned? 

This is all to help obesity according to Mayor Bloomburg.  Just like the elimination of transfats from all cooking in the city.  Seriously?  We were thinking of setting up a cartel to transport McDonald’s Fries from New Jersey over the border so that New Yorkers could still enjoy the really good greasy fries.  I really believed there would be big bucks in that.  Another question I would ask – when was the last time anyone saw a fat person with a soda that was not a diet soda?  I am serious.  If this ban is to help obesity does it?  Diet food is not always better.  Perhaps we can be allowed to make up our own minds?  I suppose I could go into the whole issue of food stamps and what people buy with them.  Low income eating tends to be carbohydrate high sugar eating.  Maybe welfare could implement an eating course?  Perhaps the Mayor could look at obesity from this point of view? 

Think I will go get another cup of coffee.  The number of calories in mine is 0 calories as I leave out the sugar.  I want to do my part of course!!!





When our children were little they had a show called ‘Schoolhouse Rock’ that would send information and snippets about our government across the airways. Anyone remember this:

I’m just a bill.
Yes, I’m only a bill.
And I’m sitting here on Capitol Hill.
Well, it’s a long, long journey
To the capital city.
It’s a long, long wait
While I’m sitting in committee,
But I know I’ll be a law someday
At least I hope and pray that I will,
But today I am still just a bill.

If you remember the tune you are old like me!!!  The picture accompanying this little ditty is a rolled up piece of paper with a ribbon on it.  The cartoon character proceeds to tell the Boy in the piece that a lawmaker comes up with an idea and writes a bill.  Then it shows them arguing over it and the Boy comments on that.  The Bill, the name of the paper roll character, answer that he is lucky as most bills do not get this far they die in committee.  Then Bill says it looks like he is going to live so he goes to the House of Representatives.  If the House votes to keep him the bill then goes to the Senate he tells the Boy and the arguing and discussing begins again.  Bill then explains that if he passes the Senate he still may not make it pass the President’s veto.  Very informative for the kiddos and even their mother though I knew this from history.

So then the question arises – why are the Republicans being blamed for the stalling that is going on inWashingtonD.C.  Our President had a super majority – that is both houses of Congress held a Democrat majority – for the first two years of his administration and could have passed anything he wanted if all the Democrats were on board with it.  As of 2010 the Republicans have a majority in the House.  The Senate still remains a Democrat majority.  Perhaps we need to go a little further to understand.

What the Bill did not go into is the fact that nothing comes to the floor of either house of Congress unless it is put on the agenda.  The agenda is set by the Speaker of the House or the Majority Leader in the Senate.  Any bill that makes it to the floor in the House and passes may be stopped in the Senate if it never gets on the agenda.  In the case of the Congress that is sitting at this time Sen. Harry Reid of Nevada is in charge of setting the agenda for the Senate.  For a bill to move anywhere it needs to be on the agenda.  Once the bill gets to the Senate floor discussion and hopefully compromise occurs.  If discussion leads to a yes consensus then the bill goes back through the whole process House and Senate for a final approval on that which was previously reached.  If it does not reach consensus it is dead on the Senate floor.

The Speaker of the House, Rep John Boehner, is in charge of setting the agenda there.  He has spoken over and over again about 30 bills that the House has passed and Sen. Reid refuses to put on the agenda for the Senate.  There seems to be a disagreement about the number and the Democrats say they have taken up three so the number is 27.  Regardless, how can anything get done if there is no discussion?  Sen. Reid has not brought a budget to the floor of the Senate in three years.  The Republicans forced him to bring President Obama’s 2012 Budget to a vote.  It was defeated 99-0 after the House had defeated it 414-0.  The movement of much of our Congress seems to be stalled in the Senate.  While the Republicans do not have a majority,  they do have a tool called a filibuster that can stall and stop Senate business.

 On top of all of this is the further question of leadership.  It is my understanding that a good leader gets his people together on a regular basis and listens and guides and empowers.  Does not a good leader help bring information forward and guide people to see each others points?  Are we seeing that from our President?  Are we so polarized that we cannot see each others points.  We do not necessarily have to agree.  We can listen and look for ways to compromise if we meet.  When was the last time he met with the leaders of Congress?  Aren’t  these meetings supposed to happen on a regular basis for the good of our country?  In the last few days our President has issued an executive guideline to alter arrest procedures of Homeland Security and invoked executive privilege on document sour Congress wants.  How can the Republicans be faulted?  Is it the House’ fault?  They are having committee meetings.  They are passing bills?  How can they be at fault if the Democrats under the guidance of Sen. Reid are not doing the work required of them?  The question then remains who are the obstructionists at this time?  Perhaps I am missing some big part of the understanding of how our government works?  Perhaps it needs to work together?




I have been engaged in a running discourse these last few days on Facebook.  The  thread began when I posted a ‘share’ about MSNBC fantasizing about blowing up Romney’s campaign bus.  This went directly, without passing GO, to a post with the question of is this journalism to the fact that MSNBC denigrates conservatives and FOX does the same to Liberals.  Then we were hit with the name calling that comes on both sides.  The thread got very interesting for me when FOX News was criticized for NOT being fair and balanced and my nephew used the Daily Show as a tool to prove that.  Another nephew posted, “I also know that a recent study found that people who rely on foxnews for their info are the least informed americans.”  That hit a spark for this information junkie and off I was on a search to find this study.

FairleighDickinsonUniversitydid a study in 2011 that showed just that.  They called New Jersey people and asked them a few questions on the news and the results were published.  In 2012 they did the same with the questions to the whole country they said, the same to all participants, and found the same results.  As a FOX News watcher this did not seem to ring true.  I searched and searched and could not find a recent study that agreed.  I did however find the ratings for Friday the 15th of June had FOX News as one of the most watched.  I posted those on my wall and concluded that if in fact that is true then there are a lot of uniformed people walking around out in America.

It got me thinking and searching to find definitive news.  My conclusion is that there is no longer such a thing.  CNN may come the closest to fitting the paradigm.  Straight news left us I believe when Cronkite left TV.  I did not know what Walter’s political views were. I knew that he cared about things from the tone of his voice as in the example of taking off his glasses when JFK was assassinated.  Otherwise he read the news with no emotion or opinion.  The same could be said for Huntley,Brinkley, Edwards,Downs and Walters – newscasters of the day.  It is my belief that this is a rare thing on TV anymore – network or cable.  More so now than ever before to be informed it is up to us to find the information. 

Matt Drudge said it best.  He broke the Clinton-Lewinsky story and no one would listen to him let alone print it.  It is said that 11 times the networks ignored what he was telling them.  It proved to be true of course.  He is quoted, “We have entered an era vibrating with the din of small voices. Every citizen can be a reporter, can take on the powers that be.”*  I believe this is exactly where we are right now.  In order to make an informed opinion we have to be our own reporter/journalist/newscaster.

My brother-in-law was right when he posted on the thread that those leaning left listen to MSNBC and those leaning right listen to FOX News.  In saying that we can all listen to it all and we must.  On both there are news shows and opinion shows.  We must know the difference.  While Bill O”Reilly is the most watched show in his timeslot he freely states that he is an opinion show.  He brings in people from both sides and has a debate – unless he has strong opinions about what is being debated.  At these times he can take over the conversation which is his right to do in the format he has set.  It is our responsibility to discern the difference.  Glenn Beck and Rush Limbaugh are loud and entertaining and amazingly right, meaning correct, on occasion.  As I said on my thread we must learn to separate the wheat from the chaff.  There is a lot of chaff out there.

This is where the rubber meets the road to use an old cliché – must do a blog about clichés one day!  If as an audience we only watch one station we are going to get one side.  We are going to vote one way and our discussions will be narrow.  For me I try to be well informed and listen to many things and subscribe to newsletters and websites.  I want to be informed.  Matt Drudge now has one place to go look at many sources with his Drudge Report.  The Huffington Post offers an alternative.  There also are others.  It is up to us to choose.    

We must be informed not steeped in ideology.  From information we can choose to make informed opinions and ideas.  I cannot end this any better than to use a quote from one of our former Presidents:

“If we cannot end now our differences, at least we can help make the world safe for diversity.” ― John F. Kennedy

Not sure about making it safe.  We can however be informed and listen to each other without rancor.


* (Read more at  http://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/quotes/m/mattdrudge389074.html#kqYhCivPdvf6Wwmj.99)





I have been busy this last 10 days or so and have only heard dribs and drabs of news.  Much of what I heard was about jobs or lack of them.  The unemployment numbers are up.  I did catch – actually watched – the President tell us ‘the private sector is doing fine”.   He went on to say that the public sector needs help.  If I had not heard it myself I would not believe he said that.  Knowing how hard it is to find a job I was very surprised by these statements.

Got me to thinking just what is the ‘private sector’ and just what is the ‘public sector’.  Simple person that I am I looked it up and Dictionary.com had answers to both.

private sector – noun-the area of the nation’s economy under private rather than governmental control.

public sector – noun-the area of the nation’s affairs under governmental rather than private control.

Fairly simple.  This said ‘nation’s affairs’.  Teachers, fireman, policemen – all nation’s workers?  In a discussion about this I wondered when teacher’s became public sector workers.  They used to be paid by their schools or the school districts from the area in which they taught.  Assuming that the property taxes paid this bill.  The firemen and policemen were paid from the municipalities which of course is a form of government.  So government is a very large umbrella. 

Then I thought of unions and wondered how many public sector employees are in unions.   Had a hard time finding that answer.  I did find that 12% of workers in theUSare in unions.  Of that 12% the public sector is 37% and teachers are 36.9%.  The private sector workers make up 6.9% of this 12% number.  So was the President referencing these numbers?  It is all very confusing to me.  I am learning. 

Is ‘public sector’ the code word for union employees?  Are there public sector workers that are not in unions?  Oh think I can answer some of that one.  Our Representatives and Senators are public sector workers.  They are not a union are they?  Wait they do have their own special healthcare?  There really is much to learn.

Then I wondered why is the President speaking about job creation.  I did not remember that as part of his job description.  Back to google.  I found his description in scholastic.com – teaches the kids so keeping it simple for me.  It said the following:

The Constitution assigns the president two roles: chief executive of the federal government and Commander in Chief of the armed forces. As Commander in Chief, the president has the authority to send troops into combat, and is the only one who can decide whether to use nuclear weapons.

As chief executive, he enforces laws, treaties, and court rulings; develops federal policies; prepares the national budget; and appoints federal officials. He also approves or vetoes acts of Congress and grants pardons.

I do not see job creation here unless it comes under the budget part.  Didn’t his budget just get defeated by all the members of congress?  Wasn’t this the second or third year his budget was defeated? 

I am going to look more into private and public sector workers – union and otherwise.  If the union is 12% of our workers in the wholeUnited Stateswhy are we paying much attention to them.  There is another whole 88% somewhere and what are they called???  Are they all private sector? Some public sector? Combination of both?  Why are they not being heard?   Didn’t we just have some protests that the 1% was not supposed to be or have more than the 99%?  Then how come we pay more attention to the 12% than the 88%?  Fairness – think I did that last week.  Just asking???